In the past the New Zealand government/crown has already
confiscated much of Maori land, through outright theft or
discriminatory legislation. Spurred on by international foreign
investment in the oil, fisheries transport, and marine industry the
government has introduced further legislation to appropriate over 31
million acres of the seabed and foreshore seeking to deny Maori economic
access to the seabed that they have held for generations.
This legislation breaches international human rights standards and
right of access to and protection of the law,
to own property and not be arbitrarily deprived of it, the
freedom from racial discrimination and the
right to enjoy culture.
We the undersigned state that to support this legislation is to repeat
the injustices of the past by condoning land confiscations no different
from colonial and imperial administrations of the nineteenth century. We
do not support that violating the basic human rights of a people, is
justified regardless if it profits sections of the dominant culture.
We reject that this legislation is in the best interest of all New
Zealanders - as the readiness to violate the basic human rights of one
group of New Zealanders is a threat to all.
We reject mainstream media and government misinformation employed to
gain support for this legislation through the promotion of false and
negative perceptions of the Maori people. Thus, we reject the notion
that for the Maori to have these human rights recognized is to grant
them special privilege over Pakeha. Thus, we reject the dissemination of
false speculations that Maori would start to deny Pakeha public access
to beaches. We reject these tactics on the basis that they are appeals
to racist sentiment to pass racist legislation.
We support equal rights of all indigenous people of the world, and add
our voice in support of the Maori of New Zealand (Aotearoa).