Written By: Eddie - Date published: 11:57 am, November 26th, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: act, foreshore and seabed, Maori Issues, maori party, national, national/act government, racism - Tags: allan peachy, john boscawen, lamingtons in the news, tau henare
The new deal is nothing like what the Maori Party was set up to win. The sell-out faction says its good enough for now and they’ll try to to better later on. The Harawira faction knows that if they cave now then this will become the enduring settlement and the fight is becoming very public:
Pressure is increasing on the Maori Party to back away from its foreshore and seabed deal with National, with MP Hone Harawira and at least two branches formally calling for the planned law change to be scrapped.
Divisions among some of the party’s most powerful supporters over the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill are also widening, with several iwi groups calling in formal submissions to Parliament for it to be dumped.
They include Ngati Kahungunu – one of the biggest iwi – which has said the bill is “so flawed” it should be scrapped and an expert group of Maori and Pakeha created to find a solution.
The Maori Affairs committee issued more than 500 submissions on the bill yesterday, as it started hearing evidence on the proposed replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
But with more than 90 per cent of submissions being against the bill, National and the four Maori Party MPs still backing it are facing mounting opposition from both Maori and Pakeha.
It’s obvious that National is getting worried about the impact of ACT’s campaign against the Bill, supported by the Coastal Coalition. First there was Tau Henare getting feisty at Lamington Head:
“Maori Affairs select committee chairman Tau Henare today called Mr Boscawen “lamington head”
referring to an incident when a member of the public threw a cake at the ACT MP during the Mt Albert by-election last year.
Relations between the pair soured last night during the first hearing of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill when Mr Boscawen questioned a submitter about the ability of iwi to have ownership of non-nationalised minerals like iron sands.
“Do you have any confidence in a Maori Affairs select committee that can’t actually see that?”
Mr Henare took exception to that and questioned why Mr Boscawen was on the committee.”
Then there was Allan Peachy having a cry too:
“National MP Allan Peachey is warning the Government that the foreshore and seabed saga is polarising the party’s support, and many core voters feel betrayed and will never vote for National again.”
This, of course, is just what National deserves. Under Bill English and, to a greater extent, Don Brash, National made racist dog-whistling a central part of their electoral platform. They can hardly be surprised when someone else makes a play for that position now and the votes that come with it now that National is trying to act responsibly and is proposing a law that essentially reiterates the existing law.
The Nats and the sell-out faction will still have the numbers to pass the law, especially as Labour is backing it too. But it’ll come at huge cost to them both.