To Whom It May Concern:
We are writing this submission to express our concern and disappointment at the way the government has approached the seabed and foreshore issue thus far, and to support the Court of Appeal ruling that "customary rights and title of Maori" should be argued in the Maori Land Court.
The extinguishing of Maori collective title and interests by the Government is a clear breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi which affirmed these rights. Attempts to extinguish Maori rights to redress in courts and for rights over the seabed and foreshore have produced nothing but cultural polarisation and bitterness between the peoples of this land. As young Pakeha we have inherited the injustices of the past, injustices that are a direct result of the colonisation of this land. We do not wish for those injustices to be continued into our shared future.
We do not support the principles of access, regulation and protection that the Government has outlined in it's proposal on the seabed and foreshore. We support Maori reaffirming their collective title and interests that are acknowledged by Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
It is due to misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge that many Pakeha feel distressed and threatened by Maori claims to the seabed and foreshore. It is the Government's responsibility to provide the public, especially the dominant Pakeha majority, with balanced and unbiased information about the history of this land and the possibilities for a Te Tiriti based future.
We object to the process in which the Government has attempted to resolve these issues. The consultation with Maori has been done entirely on the Governments terms and shows an abuse of power in its enormous disrespect for Maori processes as well as a disregard for the relationship embodied in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
We hope that we are of a generation that will see the Treaty honoured.
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