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Young New Zealanders Oppose Government Legislation

4 May, 2004

Young New Zealanders Oppose Government Legislation

The Labour Government has left no other option for those who oppose the foreshore and seabed legislation but to join the hikoi as it marches to Parliament this week. As young New Zealanders members of arc will be marching with thousands of other tangata whenua, Pakeha and Tauiwi to voice their concern.

The proposed legislation on the foreshore and seabed is the biggest Treaty breach of our time, said Jen Margaret, a Pakeha spokesperson for arc. arc is a national network of young people who are committed to education and understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ Treaty of Waitangi.

“Maori have never relinquished their rights over the foreshore and seabed. Any change in ownership that takes place, which is not voluntarily ceded, amounts to theft or confiscation and is a violation of the Treaty of Waitangi.”

Throughout the last nine months the Government has been constantly provided with information from iwi and the Waitangi Tribunal about ways in which an enduring solution to the seabed and foreshore issue could be provided. The government has disregarded this information and has hastily created legislation that is fundamentally flawed and is a violation of domestic and international human rights standards and conventions.

For a lasting resolution to be achieved on the seabed and foreshore issue the outcome must be in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is every bit as important for Pakeha and Tauiwi as it is to Maori because it is the agreement by which our rights to live in this country were negotiated.”

“As a national network of young people we see this legislation as a blatant injustice that will have to be dealt with by current and future generations of New Zealanders. It is deeply distressing to see the government take such a huge backwards step by introducing legislation which echoes some of the worst laws of the 1800s”.

ENDS

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