Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust Statement

Joint Statement - Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust, Tuhoe Nation (Hati Ponika) And International Indian Treaty Council

Delivered by Estebancio Castro Diaz

1. Indigenous brothers and sisters, experts of the Working Group, State representatives, greetings from the Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust, Tuhoe Nation, and the International Indian Treaty Council. I am making a joint statement on behalf of these three organisations in relation to recent political developments in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

2. We regret to report to this Working Group of the deliberate confiscation of the seabed and foreshore in Aotearoa/New Zealand by the New Zealand government. The New Zealand government has drafted legislation that extinguishes Maori property rights and Maori access to justice. The proposed legislation is called the Foreshore and Seabed Bill 2004.

3. The proposed legislation is a political reaction to a New Zealand Court of Appeal case that held that Maori have customary property rights to the foreshore. The government did not like this decision and quickly responded by formulating a policy that the foreshore and seabed would be vested in the Crown because they had always assumed that they owned it. The policy was hastily taken around the country to a number of Maori nations. Whilst Maori expressed their views about the policy in differing ways, the overriding position was a clear rejection of the policy. It was obvious to Maori that the consultation process was rushed and that the government had already made up its mind.

4. In the last year, Maori have patiently and clearly voiced their opposition to the government’s position. The government has failed to listen to our concerns.

5. When the proposed legislation was still policy Maori applied for and were granted an urgent hearing before the Waitangi Tribunal. The Tribunal found that the policy breached not only the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi but also the actual terms of the Treaty. The Tribunal held “the policy clearly breaches the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. But beyond the Treaty, the policy fails in terms of wider norms of domestic and international law that underpin good government in a modern, democratic state. These include the rule of law, and the principles of fairness and non-discrimination.” The Tribunal urged the government to reconsider their position.

6. The proposed legislation takes away the right of Maori to have customary rights investigated and recognised. These rights are not compensated for nor are they extinguished with the free prior and informed consent of Maori. The imposition of this regime effects only Maori property rights and therefore discriminates against Maori on the basis of race.

7. The proposed legislation also breaches international standards of human rights norms including the right to culture, the right of non-discrimination and the right to justice. Whilst the New Zealand government considers the proposed legislation to be necessary to establish “a comprehensive framework for recognising rights and interests in the foreshore”, it provides no certainty for Maori, it legalises the Crown’s political assumption of ownership and, creates further obstacles for Maori to assert their right to tino rangatiratanga/Sovereignty.

8. The proposed legislation has already led to conflict between Maori and the government. It will not bring about resolution of these matters but rather create further grievances and uncertainty. We urge the New Zealand government to undertake honest, open dialogue with Maori on this issue and not to extinguish our human rights.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sam Uffindell’s Sorry Excuse For An Apology

Most of us believe in redemption and atonement… But the timing, the nature and the semantics of Sam Uffindell‘s apology for his role in a gang that beat a younger kid (reportedly) with wooden bed legs, has left much to be desired. The victim seems pretty clear about the motivation behind Uffindell’s apology, which came out of the blue 22 years after the event...


National: Sam Uffindell Stood Down Pending Investigation
Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the National Party caucus pending an investigation into further allegations about his past behaviour, says National Party Leader Christopher Luxon... More>>

Auditor-General: Submission On The Water Services Entities Bill
We have published our submission to the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Water Services Entities Bill. Because water services are critical to everyone, our focus is on how the public and Parliament are able to influence the performance... More>>

Luxon: Speech To The 2022 National Party Annual Conference

Kia ora! What a brilliant conference! The energy wave from this weekend will carry us right through to election year and I say: bring it on... More>>

Green Party: Abuse Revelations Leave No Choice But To Overhaul RSE Scheme
The Green Party is calling on the Government to overhaul the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme in the wake of revelations of shocking human rights violations... More>>

Government: More Women On Public Boards Than Ever Before

“Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level... More>>

Te Pāti Māori: Debbie Ngarewa-Packer Calls On PM To Support Bill To Ban Seabed Mining

Te Pāti Māori Co-leader, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Rauru uri Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is today celebrating that her Prohibition on Seabed Mining Legislation Amendment Bill has been drawn from Parliament’s biscuit tin... More>>




InfoPages News Channels