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Seabed policy breaches basic human rights

Government foreshore and seabed policy breaches basic human rights

"Almost all Maori and many non-Maori considered that the principles and related proposals constituted a major breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, and would give rise to a new round of Treaty grievances if implemented." (Analysis of submissions on the proposals for the foreshore and seabed, NZ Government, December 2003, 17).

Kia ora,

Last week the government released its policy framework for the foreshore and seabed which as anticipated is somewhat problematic on a number of levels. The policy framework does, as referred to in the above quote, constitute a major breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, and also of international human rights conventions. The inconsistency between the government's foreshore and seabed proposals and their obligations as one party to the Treaty of Waitangi has been covered in previous Peace Movement Aotearoa alerts and updates since June 2003 - this update focusses on the framework in relation to international human rights standards and conventions.

There are four main sections: 1) provides some background information on international human rights standards and conventions, 2) outlines the breaches of international human rights standards and conventions which are inherent in the government's policy framework, specifically: a) the right of access to, and protection of, the law, b) the right to own property and not be deprived of it, c) the right to freedom from racial discrimination, including issues raised in the 1999 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's decision against the Australian government; d) the right to enjoy culture; 3) 'Guided by the feedback'? the creation of a new myth; and 4) where you can get more information and resources.

The conclusion is reached that in relation to these four basic human rights, the government's foreshore and seabed framework is clearly in breach of international human rights standards and conventions.

The full text of the update is now available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/fs231203.htm

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