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Maori land is lost again

4 November 2004

Under the gaze of the tipuna, Maori land is lost again

Green MP Metiria Turei says the Foreshore and Seabed Select Committee process has been a rude farce.

"The Government's announcement today does absolutely nothing for Maori," said Mrs Turei, the Green Party's Maori Affairs Spokesperson and representative on the Committee.

"Submitters criticised Ancestral Connection Orders in the original draft of the Bill for being hollow. All they wanted was to be able to exercise their kaitiakitanga within the resource management framework.

"The simple removal of ACOs from the Bill now doesn't meet their concerns, it just leaves them in where they always been, subject to the whim of local authorities and their variable understanding of the Treaty.

"The Government's suggestion that Maori reserves constituted under Te Ture Whenua Maori Act might be used for redress where customary title is proved might sound attractive, but they are in no way guaranteed. Crown ownership is still going to be entrenched in law while the rights of tangata whenua remain subject to the Government's beck and call.

"Today's report back confirms for all to see that the ad hoc 'Fisheries and other sea-related' Select Committee is impotent.

"The hearing process only happened so the Government could tick the boxes in the law making process" said Mrs Turei.


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