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Maori Party backs call from Tahiti tangata whenua

7 September 2011

Maori Party backs call from Tahiti tangata whenua

The Maori Party is supporting a bid by tangata whenua in Tahiti to take back control of their island nation.

"As tangata whenua in Aotearoa, we Maori understand the determination of the Ma'ohi to reclaim rangatiratanga over Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Huahine and other islands in their traditional territory, which they originally held prior to being colonised by another nation thousands of miles away," Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said.

“This is entirely consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which I endorsed as Minister of Maori Affairs on behalf of the New Zealand Government.”

"What the Ma'ohi are asking for is fair, just and humane and we urge governments in New Zealand, Australia and other nations in the Pacific to back them by endorsing the resolution for decolonisation of Tahiti at the meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum currently taking place in Auckland."

As co-leader of the Maori Party, Dr Sharples will meet with the delegation from Tahiti in Auckland on Thursday.

Dr Sharples said the Ma'ohi are specifically seeking agreement from France that Tahiti be put back on the United Nations' decolonisation list, which would be the first step of a managed process toward them regaining their independance.


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