Government Shows Their Racist Colours- Harawira
For Saturday 19 March 2005 release
Tai Tokerau Candidate
Government Shows Their Racist Colours – a Great Opening to Race Relations Day
“The Prime Minister’s dismissal of the United Nations report on the Foreshore and Seabed Act, shows how racist her government is”, says Hone Harawira, Maori Party candidate for the Tai Tokerau.
“The report states that ‘the law discriminates against Maori by extinguishing the chance for Maori to gain customary title over the foreshore and seabed and by not having any guarantee concerning redress’.
“Is there a stronger message to make this government realise that what they did in passing the law was wrong and racist?” asks Harawira.
“When she dismisses the United Nations out of hand, it shows her contempt for international process.
“I’m not surprised at Clark’s arrogance in distancing herself from the Committee and the report itself,” Harawira continues, “even though the New Zealand Government signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination way back in 1972, this government’s actions have shown they have no intention of honouring it.
“The UN is now asking the New Zealand Government to report on how they intend addressing the wrongs committed against Maori, as a result of the passing of the foreshore and seabed legislation last year.
“Given the Government’s background, I won’t be surprised when Helen Clark comes up with a reason why the government won’t be acting on that decision either.
“The government lied when they said that the Act was the best thing for all New Zealanders. Now they’re backing Project All Black to rake in millions of dollars in taxes and royalties,” Harawira asserts.
Project All Black is the name given to the application from a Chinese company, which wants to mine the seabed from Taranaki to the Kaipara Harbour.
“The Government is creating a national headache because Iwi have clearly signalled their intention to fight this bill in every way they can. Now with the reprimand from the UN, it has become an international headache as well.
“The Government should take stock of what the findings could mean for this country.
“It will highlight that positive race relations within New Zealand is a lie. It will mean embarrassment for all of Aotearoa. And it will mean facing international condemnation and possible trade restrictions.
“Clearly, this matter will not go away until the Foreshore and Seabed Act is repealed and Maori are granted their right to be truly active Treaty partners.”