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Foreshores Comment - National Urban Maori Authorit

Tuesday 19 August 2003, 12 noon

Foreshores Comment - National Urban Maori Authority

National Urban Maori Authority (“NUMA”) Chair, Willie Jackson, says NUMA is apprehensive about the principles identified in the foreshores and seabed document released by Government today. Willie Jackson says, “It is no surprise that Government has assumed guardianship of the foreshores – they know that they must risk the Maori vote in order to appease the majority of the population. The challenge to the Labour Government is, how will they engage Maori participation in this guardianship role? Anything less than a equitable partnership is totally unacceptable”.

NUMA acknowledges the Government principle that customary rights will not be extinguished, however, Mr Jackson says, “NUMA is sceptical about the process to be used for exploring the nature of those rights”.

According to NUMA, “the foreshores customary rights issue is of critical importance for urban Maori”. 70% of all Maori are urban-based, and so ensuring that such customary rights are identified and protected for this population is of critical concern for NUMA.

The short timeframeof six weeks given to consult and prepare submissions is ridiculous given the magnitude of the foreshores and seabed issue. This is seen as a tactic used by Government to restrict Maori participation in its decision-making processes.

NUMA wants to ensure the voice of urban Maori is heard during the process and therefore demands that Government engages with us.

Willie Jackson
Chair, NUMA

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