Foreshore law failing Maori, should be scrapped: Report

Foreshore law failing Maori, should be scrapped: ReportA review of the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act says it should be repealed. The 150-page report said the law failed to recognise Maori property rights as recognised by the courts and advanced the general interests of the… [NZ Herald Politics]

Finally we get the recommendations from the review committee. There are four options;

They recommend the Act be repealed, and offer four options for consideration:

  1. Do nothing further – leave the Court of Appeal decision intact and allow claims to be made to the Maori Land Court.  This option is not favoured.
  2. Have a staged settlement with negotiations between Hapu/Iwi and the Crown – basically add this to the historic grievances to be settled. They say if this happens, there needs to be provision for public input to safeguard rights of access etc.
  3. A national settlement along the lines of the fisheries and aquaculture settlements.
  4. A mixed model that combines a number of discrete components: a national settlement, allocation of rights and interests, local co-management, and an ability to gain more specific access and use rights. This is preferred.

My preferred Option is Option 1. This was the position before Labour egregiously changed the law with just 4 days notice. It should be the position that remains after the law is repealed.

This law was never about the beaches and always about the removal of a group of citizens to seek redress in the courts. There was no guarantee that any court would have awarded title and Labour panicked.

There is almost no case for a “settlement” and could be seen as just another treaty gravy train process to be milked.

The Maori Party has done well to garner enough support to overturn this legislation and good on them. Their supporters have been rewarded for their loyalty in the face of some pretty treacherous actions from Labour the party that previously claimed to be the only one to represent Maori interests.

Labour with their high and mighty attitude will no doubt scaremonger against the recommendations. I hope they do, so we can see once and for their condescension toward Maori.

Restore the status quo and let Maori take their chances in the courts like every other citizen.