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Online Petition Backs Maori Claims To Foreshore

Online Petition Backs Maori Claims To Foreshore, Seabed

  • http://www.tumai.co.nz
  • AUCKLAND (Tumai/Pacific Media Watch): Tu Mai magazine has launched an on-line petition in support of Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed in New Zealand.

    The "foreshore petition" aims to provide opportunity for supporters of Maori claims to register their name and present their views on the growing debate over ownership, following the government's announcement to place foreshore and seabed in the "public domain".

    With the opposition National Party's www.beachesforall campaign, calling for legislation to vest ownership in the crown, managing director and editor Ata Te Kanawa said it is important for "other" New Zealanders supporting Maori customary rights and title to collectively make known their opinion on the issue.

    "Actually, I found the beachesforall website really useful, it was handy to use it as a template, and the web afterall is 'public domain'," she joked.

    Te Kanawa believes the independently owned publication with its nationwide distribution and no allegiance to any particular iwi entity, is in an ideal position to solicit support for the petition from people of all walks of life and ethnicity.

    "Support for Maori claims may not be restricted to Maori, I have reason to believe the Pacific Island community could well kick in given their understanding of foreshore and seabed ownership in the Islands," said Ms Te Kanawa.

    Ms Te Kanawa said that with the hysteria and hype surrounding the foreshore and seabed furore, many Pakeha had swamped talkback shows and contributed to letters to the editor columns.

    In contrast, Ms Te Kanawa said these were not necessarily user-friendly avenues for Maori commentary.

    "One has to be very brave or very well versed to call talkback shows and be able to ignore the onslaught of racist comments of the previous half dozen callers, plus the next ten, while trying to maintain enough composure to contribute to such forums," she said.

    The website will offer contributors the option to have their comments published on line, in the magazine as well as their names registered on the petition.

    The on line petition can be accessed on Tu Mai magazine's website: http://www.tumai.co.nz/foreshore.htm

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