18 November 2004
Members of arc are joining actions around the country in protest against the passing of the Foreshore and Seabed bill. “The government is trampling on the rights of tangata whenua through this legislation, and in so doing is violating domestic and international human rights standards and conventions in order to try to gain votes. Helen Clark is deluded in thinking that people will have forgotten about this by the time of the next election” stated Abigael Vogt, 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.
“We, like many thousands of others, have voiced our opposition to this unjust and racist legislation at every stage of this process. However, the government has shown its extreme arrogance and disrespect for people who do not support their position. People entered into the consultation process in good faith, only to have their time and resources wasted and their views and wisdom disregarded. Opposition to the legislation and government process around the drafting of the Bill has come from tangata whenua and tauiwi across a broad spectrum of society including; the legal profession, churches, academics, community leaders and youth”, said Ms Vogt.
In spite of the destructive process of the government, arc’s work for a constructive future based on Tiriti o Waitangi will continue, alongside that of numerous other groups and individuals throughout the country.
“Despite the Government introducing legislation which is aligned with that of the 1800s, we know that at the grassroots level there is significant change happening in this country. There are many people working in their own communities to build a positive future which honours Te Tiriti”, said Ms Vogt. “We support the presence of honourable leaders in parliament, like Tariana Turia and Jeanette Fitzsimmons. These leaders hold a vision for a more positive future and we acknowledge the challenges they face in working within the existing parliamentary structure.”
arc has evolved out of the Pakeha peace movement and identifies Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the major peace issue facing this country. As a network of Pakeha, tangata whenua and tauiwi we challenge the media to present the views of the diverse range of people who uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the basis of a just and peaceful future for Aotearoa / New Zealand.
arc, PO Box 78-338, Grey Lynn, Tamaki Makaurau
Contact: (09) 376 1582 or 021 1100799