Finlayson encourages Labour apologyTreaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson has encouraged delegates to support the rank-and-file conference remit that the Labour Party’s leadership apologise for passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act while in government under Helen Clark.
“I am glad that almost a decade after passing this shameful piece of legislation, which denied access to the courts to people based on race, the Labour Party is ready to discuss an apology,” Mr Finlayson said.
The National government repealed the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2011 with the support of the Māori Party and United Future, and restored the right of Māori to go to court through the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.
“I would suggest that the Labour leadership also apologise for their the party’s abysmal treatment of Tariana Turia because of her principled stand over the issue,” he said.
“While they are at it, they should apologise for the way Helen Clark called Dr Pita Sharples, a man who has devoted his life to improving Māori educational achievement, a ‘hater and a wrecker’.”
“They should apologise that Ms Clark deliberately snubbed the 35,000 New Zealanders who made a hikoi to Parliament to protest that discriminatory legislation, preferring to pose for a photo opportunity with Shrek the sheep.”
“At the same time, Labour may wish to say sorry for the way Treaty of Waitangi settlements stalled almost completely during their nine years in power - averaging 1.6 settlements per year, and needlessly delaying the resolution of these grievances for the good of the country. Last year, the government signed 15 deeds of settlement with iwi, only one fewer than Labour’s total for nine years in office.”