INDEPENDENT NEWS

Call for Pakeha to join hikoi

Published: Tue 20 Apr 2004 09:06 AM
Call for Pakeha to join hikoi
“It is vital that all peoples seeking peace and justice between cultures in Aotearoa support the seabed hikoi to Parliament, " the Rev. Joan Cook, spokeswoman for Network Waitangi Whangarei, said yesterday.
The group is backing the invitation made by Hikoi organisers, for all cultures to join the march in Whangarei on Sunday afternoon.
Network Waitangi Whangarei is an independent PakehaTreaty education group, active in the North for 16 years.
“However people choose to identify themselves, the issues are universal," she said. "Other property owners would not stand by while their riparian rights were removed by Parliament, and neither should tangata whenua."
“Northlanders have enjoyed the status quo - unfettered access to the beaches and marine resources of local hapu - for two centuries. We need to acknowledge that privilege rather than add to unresolved issues between the Crown and iwi in Tai Tokerau.”
Supporters are urged to assemble near the garden centre at Springs Flat on Sunday at 3pm, to welcome the hikoi, and to attend the hui at the Polytechnic marae that night.
"This is a unique chance for Pakeha and Tauiwi to gain first-hand knowledge of what is at stake."
“Sunday is Anzac Day," she said, “a day to remember sacrifices made to protect New Zealanders' democratic rights, such as due process before the law, which is undermined by the introduction of this Bill.”
The group is urging all who are alarmed at the potential for future governments to sell marine-based resources and use rights, to make submissions opposing the bill.
She said an anti-racism coalition, formed in Whangarei last week, is lobbying Labour MPs to drop the "unjust, unfair, and unnecessary" Bill, and to support affirmative action policies. The group is also looking at a "Hands Across the Breach" event, to enable support for the rights of local hapu to be expressed.
Network Waitangi believes it is outrageous that the Bill discriminates against Maori property owners, at a time when politicians are stressing the need for "one law for all".
"Aboriginal, or native, title, is recognised in international law, as is the Maori text of the Treaty, which affirms the collective property and self-management rights of hapu, in its second article."
The fact that legal aid will not be granted to hapu to appeal provisions of the Act, is also a violation of the equal rights of all citizens promised in the Treaty's third article, the Rev. Cook said.
She said politicians have been wrongly asserting that Maori ceded their sovereignty to the Crown in 1840. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The contradictions between the English and Maori texts need to be more widely known. But international courts measure New Zealand’s performance in terms of the Maori text, in which hapu ownership rights over their property is confirmed," she said.
“The Waitangi Tribunal is the only mechanism the country has, to mediate between the two parties to the Treaty. The fact that it has already judged the proposal as breaching the treaty, means that it is inevitable that successful claims will be made."
"The Bill is the last of many Acts, or raupatu, that have immorally taken prime Maori resources without recompense. It is time for non-Maori New Zealanders, tangata tiriti, to try to dissuade the Crown from further diminishing its - and our - mana.”
No raupatu in our time. Sign the Tauiwi petition: http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/hksign.htm

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