Hillary Calvert introduced an amendment this week to change the Foreshore and Seabed Act – sorry, Marine and Coastal Act. In keeping with Act’s philosophy of One Rule For All (and in the darkness bind them…) it denies Maori the right to charge for access to beaches, whilst allowing current private owners to (continue to) charge access fees.
Chris Finlayson was happy to consider and probably support this fine idea from parliament’s newest MP that was entirely new to him.
But Rodney Hide has overplayed his hand again by jumping about yesterday with emails showing that Chris supports the measure… emails that Radio NZ reported yesterday were between Hide and Finlayson from 3 weeks ago – well before Calvert got to parliament. Oops.
Maori object to this measure. They have no intention of charging access to beaches, but they don’t have any desire to have racist provisions that disallow them to charge when white men may. Particularly in a bill that in theory is meant to address grievances, not create them.
How will National tread? Act are claiming a victory, the Maori Party are defending against their ‘grandstanding’. But do the pre-planning emails show that this is the first of many wins for Act against Maori, as National try to save their right-wing flank?
PS. Check out Sharples vs Hide on Close Up the other night. Two ministers basically reduced to name-calling. Very undignified.