Hui consultation exposed as a sham
16 September 2003
The true nature of the Government's consultation process with Maori over the foreshore and seabed issue has been exposed as a charade, Green MP Metiria Turei said today.
"The refusal of Labour MPs to front-up to Nga Puhi at today's 'consultation hui' in Whangarei indicates quite clearly that they're simply not interested in hearing anything that conflicts with their own pre-determined position," said Metiria, the Green Maori Affairs spokesperson.
"Wira Gardner was always going to be a contentious choice to facilitate this meeting, after his role in the Ngawha prison decision, but his absence should not have prevented Labour MPs from entering into a dialogue.
"Ngawha remains a major sore point for Nga Puhi. They quite rightly feel that their concerns over the prison have been totally ignored and it is utterly unbelievable that the Government could expect a warm reception, given the continued desecration of the Ngwha wahi tapu.
"I've attended all six of the Government-organised hui, as well as a number of Maori-organised hui on the foreshore, and the overwhelming outcome has been a rejection of any move to remove customary title.
"If the Government is sincere about consultation than it has to accept that this is a two-way process. Its refusal to listen to Maori on anything other than terms 100 per cent their own is both arrogant and insulting to Maori.
"The Greens believe that recognition of customary title is compatible with guaranteed access to the foreshore for all New Zealanders. However, reaching a national consensus on this depends on the views of Maori being aired and - more importantly - listened to.
"The Government scheduled a ridiculously short time-frame for its 'consultation' process. If it isn't going to listen, then stop messing Maori around."
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