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Takutai Moana Otautahi - We Will Not Be Silenced

WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED
We won't let the Foreshore and Seabed Bill pass without comment!

Press Release: Takutai Moana Otautahi Collective
Thursday 18 November 2004

People from a number of different groups (Maori/Pakeha/Tauiwi) will congregate and make noise outside Tim Barnett and Mahara Okeroa’s Labour office today in Christchurch to demonstrate opposition to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill being passed this week in Parliament.

“This Bill breaches a number of human rights laws and the Treaty of Waitangi and will create a great deal of conflict in the future” says spokesperson Frances Mountier.

“We’re here today to say that despite ignoring us through the submission process and other legal channels we will not be silenced. We will continue to speak out when the Treaty of Waitangi and human rights breaches take place.”

“The government can not simply keep acting undemocratically and expect Maori to take this. This kind of disregard for people working through legal avenues will breed conflict.”

Background There has been continued strong opposition to the Government's foreshore and seabed policy for the past seventeen months from Maori, and non-Maori, because it is unfair, unjust and unnecessary. The first proposals were rejected at all of the Government's so-called consultation hui.

The Waitangi Tribunal earlier this year found that the Government's foreshore and seabed policy is a serious breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, and of national and international human rights standards.

In May more than 25,000 people participated in the Hikoi to parliament to oppose the legislation. Then 94% of all submitters to the Select Committee hearing the Bill rejected its intent and content. The Human Rights Commission stated that the Bill breaches human rights protected under NZ law and in international conventions. A second Hikoi took place in Auckland where thousands again expressed opposition to the Bill.

Interventions have been made at the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. There are currently two complaints about the Foreshore and Seabed Bill before the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which urgently requested information from the Government about the Bill.

But still the government is going ahead with this racist law.

ENDS

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