Wednesday, 9 May 2012

So what?

The opponents told you to worry about the Government'sForeshore and Seabed Law, and now politicians like Winston Peters are saying"I told you so".

What a truly hideous intro. It deserves better.
So what if Maori have made claims for customary rights to 20 beaches under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) act? Maori still cannot restrict public access if the rights are granted.
And isn’t that what everyone wanted to avoid, I mean nobody wanted to pay to use the beaches, right?

Under the new act that is what is ensured, is it not?
So, so what if a group of Taranaki Maori want customary title over Whitebait? Is that going to stop you heading to the river during Whitebait season and catching your family a feed?

The introduction of the Marine and Coastal Area act, which is the replacement to Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed legislation, was opposed for a variety of reasons but I do not ever think that they would have disputed that Maori should have a right to test their rangatiratanga over certain areas and resources.
I mean that is what the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi ensured, isn’t it?

“Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession. but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.”
And confiscation by treacherous means has been documented to the point it cannot be disputed. I mean, that is why the government has to settle treaty claims, isn’t it?
So, the question again: so what if Maori want to test their customary title over 20 beaches? I mean that’s not even rangatiratanga and anyway it is the right Maori have under the act, a piece of legislation sanctioned by the New Zealand government.
Passed last year the new act replaced the Seabed and Foreshore one.
Under the old legislation Maori could not go to the court for a determination of Maori customary title to the seabed and foreshore, a right confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Attorney-General v Ngati Apa.
The new act restores this right and any customary interests in land but, like the previous one, it also guarantees public access. 
It does not give Maori full title over the land and in order to gain customary title to a section of the seabed and foreshore it must be proven that their use of it has continued to be exercised since 1840 and has not been extinguished as a matter of law.
If only Patrick Gower had read Radio New Zealand’s snap on the Amnesty submission maybe he would have thought a little deeper.

Not only was his story, screened last night on TV3 news, alarmist but it missed out important facts.
From the presentation it seems Gower may have been torn between two angles for the story – whether to concentrate on the Taranaki iwi’s claim on the kiwi-delicacy, whitebait, or the supposed in-fighting over poor little Motiti Island?
In my opinion Gower shouldn’t have concentrated on either of them.

So what if Taranaki want to try and prove customary rights over whitebait in their rohe? It’s a right allowed to them under the act.

And so what if there are three groups who want to claim customary rights over Motiti? Take a visit over there and try and work out how many whanau whakapapa to that island because under this act the Motitians couldn’t legally stop you roaming up onto one of their beaches even if we were to be granted customary rights.
Wow two rants in two days, sorry. But ah well that’s what you get I guess, I am passionate about these things and I just want informed, balanced news on Maori issues. Is it too much to hope for?

No comments:

Post a Comment