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State of the Nation speakers to explore Treaty

Network Waitangi Whangarei press release January 27, 2006

State of the Nation speakers to explore Treaty issues

Five Pakeha speakers will be among several invited speakers addressing current Treaty of Waitangi issues, and future nation-building, at Waitangi this year.

The forum, which does not include politicians, is taking place on the morning of February 6, at Waitangi's Te Tii Marae, and will be open to the public.

Convened by the Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi, the event aims to rekindle thoughtful and reflective analysis of the nation's progress, towards honouring the promise of the Treaty.

Whangarei residents will be able to preview the non-Maori speakers' addresses at a public meeting on Sunday February 5, at 7pm, in the Pat Irving Room of St John's Church, 149 Kamo Rd. The meeting is hosted by local independent Anti-racism and Treaty education group, Network Waitangi Whangarei.

Spokesperson the Rev Joan Cook says, "We hope the evening will meet a need for Pakeha to continue to talk together about the issues raised by the evolving indigenous peoples' rights movement, both internationally and locally.

"It will be helpful to explore how Pakeha can also benefit from suggested constitutional changes, which, if we get it right, could safeguard both individual and collective democratic rights."

She says, "We have some brilliant and entertaining speakers coming to town, and we hope Whangarei people will take the opportunity to be stimulated by their views."

There will be time for discussion at the meeting, which will be facilitated by local educator Susan da Silva.

Tauiwi speakers: Waitangi 2006 State of the Nation

· The Rev Bob Scott, retired Anglican priest, who has worked for 14 years in the Programme to Combat Racism team of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and who was previously with the Conference of Churches' Programme on Racism, in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

· Dr Betsan Martin, who fasted for a week in protest at the Foreshore and Seabed Bill in 2004, has written extensively on co-management, and is a long-time independent Treaty educator with practical experience of supporting kaitiakitanga.

· David James, peacemaker and mediator at Wanganui's Moutoa Gardens occupation, independent Treaty of Waitangi and anti-racism educator, and director of the Rowan Partnership.

· Professor Jane Kelsey, of the Law Faculty at the University of Auckland, who specializes in global economics, social justice, colonialism and international relations. She has written several books and articles on the Treaty of Waitangi, since 1984.

· David Slack, author of Civil War and Other Optimistic Predictions, and Bullshit, Backlash and Bleeding Hearts, who writes a blog called Island Life, at publicaddress.com, and runs an online speechwriting business.

ENDS

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