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Support the foreshore and seabed hikoi
Open letter to Helen Clark

5 May 2004

Dear Helen,

We have known each other for almost twenty years. I am a Pakeha who has been a staunch member and supporter of the Labour Party for many more years. I worked for your election campaign in Mt Albert in 1984, and you supported my bid for public office on the Auckland Harbour Board in 1985. With the betrayal of the electorate by Douglas, Prebble and co in the late '80s I moved my support to New Labour and the Alliance.

I have always been one of your most ardent supporters and have until now considered you to be a great Prime Minister who was able to bring together the diverse sections of the New Zealand public with understanding and compassion and with a sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of the tangata whenua. All that support has now gone.

Your comments of the hikoi members as "wreckers" and "haters" and your reference to "Shrek" fills me with disgust. The pressure that you are now under, and which presumably leads you to make such ill-advised comments is of your own making. Had you allowed the due legal process to take its course you would have consolidated your position against the divisive politics of Don Brash. Instead, you have chosen to join him in a display of racist gutter politics. When Maori accede to our demands that they follow due process, and it looks as though they might have some legal success, you decide to shift the goal posts. Sadly, from a Maori perspective, that has been the history of the Crown from the 1840s.

You now have neither my support nor my confidence. If and when a Maori party is formed it will get my vote.

Dr Tony Ward

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