Foreshore and seabed information   |   CERD 71st session

Maori Party says UN report depressing

20 August 2007

The Maori Party describes a just released UN report on race relations in New Zealand as a depressing read.

The UN Committee on Racial Discrimination has raised further concerns about Maori over-representation in poverty and crime statistics and wants Waitangi Tribunal recommendations to become binding.

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says they are all arguments his party has been making.

He says the report indicates the government's re-targetting policies on the basis of need rather than ethnicity has created a political climate unfavourable to Maori.

He says that is a huge blow to our international reputation on race relations.

The Maori Party is also on the warpath as the United Nations report has again recommended the government renew dialogue with Maori over the Foreshore and Seabed Act to seek a way of mitigating its discriminatory effects.

And Ngai Tahu is renewing its call for dialogue over the foreshore and seabed legislation after the report which criticises the Act and strongly urges the government to enhance the status and recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says it is the third time the UN has come out against the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

He says the fast-tracked legislation wasn't necessary and no iwi in the country agreed to it.

Solomon says the government's actions were undemocratic and this is supported by the UN report.

But Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen believes the latest report is a lot softer than a previous one.

Cullen says the UN committee has recognised the government is in a range of discussions with Maori groups and is confident of reaching some satisfactory agreements.


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