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Pacific Support Needed For Foreshore Protest

Pacific Support Needed For Foreshore And Seabed Protest

AUCKLAND (PIMA/Pacific Media Watch): A Pacific Island workshop on the Maori foreshore and seabed issue will be held this weekend during the annual Pacific Island Media Association (PIMA) conference in Auckland.

Guest speaker Maori lawyer Annette Sykes will discuss the background behind the foreshore and seabed issue and why Pacific peoples should lend Maori their support at the conference at Auckland University of Technology.

"The select committee hearings on the foreshore bill were a farce. The Maori voice has been blocked as only 10% of the 4,000 submissions were heard,² says Sykes. "Hapu (tribes) up and down the country have now seen first hand that the government is not listening."

The PIMA workshop comes one week before a second protest hikoi in Auckland against the government¹s proposed foreshore and seabed legislation. Sykes says she will be appealing to all Pacific peoples to endorse the hikoi.

"Auckland has the largest gathering of Pacific peoples in the world and we call on them, our Pacific whanau, and all peoples of Aotearoa / New Zealand to join Maori in the Hikoi,² she says.

"As we would support their rights to resources in their nations, we ask that they join Maori as we Hikoi to ensure our rights are upheld. The partnership between Maori and our Pacific whanau is a powerful statement about our collective indigenous rights."

Sykes says she agreed to speak at the Pacific media conference because of the historical and traditional connections between Maori and Pacific Island peoples. She has also been invited to speak on the topic around the Pacific and is not surprised at the regional interest in the issue.

In August, the Pacific Island Media Association held a successful workshop on the Treaty of Waitangi with University of Auckland senior lecturer, Manuka Henare. This Saturday¹s Foreshore and Seabed workshop will be led by Samoan facilitator, Peta Siulepa.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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