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Support the foreshore and seabed hikoi
Support for the hikoi, Waikato Anti-Racism Coalition

28 April 2004

The prospect of unfair and discriminatory foreshore and seabed legislation is fuelling Pakeha support for the hikoi - foreshore march - as it approaches the Waikato, Waikato Anti-Racism Coalition spokesman, Neville Robertson, said today.

"The Government's proposed law will deny one cultural group (Maori) the access to courts and processes that have been in place to settle land ownership and use. That doesn't fit with the priority we give to giving everyone a fair go.

If the Government's prepared to do that to Maori whanau, hapu and iwi, in the name of treating all New Zealanders 'the same', we have to wonder what will happen to Pakeha and any New Zealander's just claims to land title and use," he said.

WARC - a Pakeha group that promotes honouring The Treaty of Waitangi and halting all forms of racism - is in support of the protest march to Parliament that will present a petition opposing the foreshore and seabed bill.

"The hikoi highlights the very serious impact that the new law will have on tikanga Maori (cultural practices and beliefs) as well as the fact that it will create many new Treaty grievances by removing Maori land ownership and customary use rights. Like the 1975 land march lead by Whina Cooper it is also an opportunity to raise Pakeha awareness of the issues, by promoting debate and providing facts to give a clearer understanding of the implications of the new law for all New Zealanders and for Maori/Pakeha relationships.

"So far most public Pakeha reaction to Maori protest about the proposed law has been an emotional response, combined with an irrational fear that without this law Maori will control access to the beach. That is the sort of distortion and over-simplification that the Government is relying on to justify its actions."

WARC is calling on other Pakeha to become informed about what the law means and to voice their support for the hikoi when it travels through Huntly (April 29) to Hamilton, Rotorua (30th) and Taupo (1st May). See hikoi schedule.

Neville Robertson,
Waikato Anti-Racism Coalition, tel 025 620 9132 or email

Foreshore and seabed information   |   'Race', Privilege', and 'The Treaty'