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Young Pakeha reject scaremongering over seabed

Young Pakeha reject scaremongering over access to seabed and foreshore

On June 19th the Court of Appeal ruled that specific "customary rights and title" of Maori should be argued in the Maori Land Court. The scaremongering over this fair decision during the past month has angered a national network of young Pakeha/Tauiwi who are committed to education and understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"As young Pakeha and Tauiwi with a shared vision of Aotearoa based on Tino Rangatiratanga and honourable Kawanatanga, we support Tangata Whenua in their continued attempts to exercise their Treaty rights in relation to the seabed and foreshore", said Garrick Martin a spokesperson on the seabed and foreshore issue for Arc (Aotearoa Reality Check), a national network of young Pakeha/Tauiwi.

"Arc rejects the media hype that this issue is about "special rights" for Maori. Such scaremongering shows both a lack of understanding of Treaty issues and a lack of willingness to openly engage with issues of colonisation in Aotearoa-New Zealand", said Garrick Martin.

Arc supports Maori reaffirming their collective title and interests, which have existed for centuries and that were acknowledged in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Attempts by the Government to extinguish those rights are a clear breach of Te Tiriti, as well as a breach of the Crown's own common law acknowledgment of customary rights and title.

The fear that the exercise of Maori title over the foreshore and seabed will result in a denial of access for Tauiwi is based on misinformation resulting in a lack of understanding. It is Maori access and resource base that has been limited over the past 160 years, through land confiscation, resource extraction and other impacts of colonisation. That Iwi and Hapu should not be able to seek redress for past wrongs in the Courts adds insult to injury.

"Our fear is that an attempt by the Government to extinguish Maori right to redress in the Courts and for rights over the foreshore and seabed will only serve to create more bitterness and anger for future generations to resolve" said spokesperson Garrick Martin.

This potential injustice is of concern for both Maori and many Pakeha and is one of several recent attempts by the Labour Government to trample on the rights of Tangata Whenua.

Arc (Aotearoa Reality Check) is a national network of young Pakeha/Tauiwi people in support of Tino Rangatiratanga

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