On Maori Sovereignty
Letter to the Editor
3 November 2007
Further to your editorial on the dangers of silence and restriction of information surrounding the police raids around the country, the implications go well beyond the threat to the justice system in Aotearoa.
The uncertainty, hurt and anger caused by the manner in which the police carried out their activities presents a real and growing danger. The uneven application of military style "lock down" to tangata whenua communities in the Urewera region emphasises the underlying discrimination upon which the raids are premised.
The creeping incursions of laws of suppression over two decades effect us all because they are fundamentally predisposed to crush the precious freedoms of debate and dissent, but they cut most savagely at Maori expressions of self determination.
Mature and genuine negotiations between government and tangata whenua are critical to resolving our deepest issues around power, sovereignty and the legitimacy of Crown rule in this country. Far from acting as deterrent to behaviors of the kind that the laws are supposed to suppress, the secrecy and injustice of the situation will encourage further dissent. Resolution requires major constitutional change that recognises and enacts Maori sovereignty in Aotearoa.