Foreshore and seabed information   |   CERD 71st session

UN criticism wide reaching

20 August 2007

The Maori Party's justice spokesperson says a United Nations report on race relations in New Zealand goes a lot further than the foreshore and seabed debate.

As well as criticising the government's handling of Treaty of Waitangi issues, the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination reiterated its earlier concerns about Maori over-representation in poverty and crime statistics.

It said cultural issues aren't taken into account during sentencing, even though the Sentencing Act allows them to be.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the committed has recognised the relationship between the justice system and Maori is disfunctional.

"If the system for example is racist by intent, then clearly itís not just about one matter and itís not just about one cultural element. What it is is about addressing the whole issue about the justice system," Mr Flavell says.

He says the report is a blow for New Zealand's international reputation on race relations.

Radio Waatea News Update

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