Government must take more time to listen

Published: Fri 3 Oct 2003 10:06 AM
Government must take more time to listen
The Green Party is urging the Government to extend the period for consultation on proposals for the foreshore and seabed.
Today is the deadline imposed for written submissions on the Government's plan.
"Six weeks was always going to be an unrealistic time-frame for the public to reach consensus on such an important and emotive issue," Green Party Maori Affairs spokesperson, Metiria Turei said today.
"Michael Cullen has never been more correct than when he said 'It is important that we get this right.' Well, thanks to a campaign of racist rhetoric from the right wing parties and to confused signals from within Government, it still isn't 'right.'
"I've been to more than a dozen hui over the period and the overwhelming response from Maori is an absolute rejection of any move to strip them of Customary Right over the foreshore and seabed.
"The Government asked for consultation and must now show that it has listened to the feedback from Maori. But what about Pakeha consultation? What efforts has it made to involve all New Zealanders in the process?
"This six-week period can only be the beginning of a much longer, much more comprehensive and much better resourced process of consultation," said Metiria. "Maori have waited 150 years for justice: we'll wait a bit longer for the Government to get this right."

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