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Cowardice, bigotry and saying whatever it takes

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 2nd, 2009 - 77 comments
Categories: labour, maori party, national, racism - Tags: , , , ,

I’ll be glad to see the back of the Foreshore & Seabed Act. For many on the Left, including myself, its been a monument to Labour’s failure of nerve in the face of a campaign by National to exploit the underlying racism of Pakeha New Zealand for electoral gain.

Yes, there was a certain electoral logic to it. Neutralise the issue, appease the bigots, and continue the fight for progressive values in other areas. Still, the Foreshore & Seabed Act could never shake the feeling of cowardice and betrayal it was born in.

Now that the rise of the Maori Party has forced National to change its stance toward Maori from despised minority to desired coalition partner, we have a real opportunity to replace the legislation with something better. And Labour, freed from the fear of backlash from the bigots, can at last play a constructive and progressive role in the debate.

But there’s just this one thing that’s been bothering me. It’s this smug attitude from National and its backers that has them trying to rewrite that dark chapter of our race relations from 2003-2005. In their reading, this was purely a case of Labour shafting Maori, as if it all went on in some kind of political vaccum. The timeline then skips to 2009, where John Key and his new National Party come along and set things right.

Let’s not forget the political context here. This whole mess stems from Labour’s cowardice and National’s bigotry. National, you’ll recall, was the party of Orewa, of Iwi vs Kiwi and of Bill English’s “Beaches for Kiwis” billboards. National voted against the foreshore and seabed legislation because they thought it was too soft on Maori.

In fact, it was John Key who stood up in Parliament and said:

“in National’s view Māori did not own the foreshore and seabed in an exclusive situation. They owned it along with all other New Zealanders, and they have not had anything taken off them.”

There’s no way National have been playing an honest game here. You don’t go from divisive, race-baiting Orewa rhetoric in 2004 (a speech John Key stood right behind) and then suddenly decide you’re on the same page as the Maori Party on the foreshore and seabed just five years later.

That is, unless your choices are driven by pure political calculation. In 2004, Maori were a group that were never going to vote National, but could be used to scare working class Pakeha into ignoring their economic interests and switching over from Labour. In 2009, the Maori Party is an organised political force that National has to court if it wants to remain in power for more than one term.

John Key, the ‘candidate straight from central casting‘, is the perfect man to sell this switch. Tell him it’s racism you need, and he’ll sell you racism with a smiling face. Tell him to woo the Maori Party, and he’ll give up the foreshore and talk about partnership. Each comes to him as naturally as the other.

That’s fine so long as he’s choosing the progressive option, it sure beats the way it used to be. But let’s not kid ourselves about why National’s suddenly changed its tune on the foreshore and seabed.

77 comments on “Cowardice, bigotry and saying whatever it takes ”

  1. Smokie 1

    No egalitarian should have a problem with the foreshore and seabed being held in public hands. The problem with the legislation was that instead of nationalising all holdings, only existing public holdings were nationalised. That meant the american barons who own D’Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds kept their title, which is an absolute disgrace.

    If the Act has the words “public” with “all” replaced, it’d be a great piece of egalitarian legislation.

  2. Ianmac 2

    Yes to all of the above. But did I hear on the radio this morning that huge compensation will be needed for …..what? The 4 years of being dispossesed? The sale (?) of the seashore? Anyone?

    • Tigger 2.1

      Yes, Turia raised the prospect saying compensation was the usual outcome “when you steal or take something that isn’t rightfully yours”. Useful words there Tariana, just the sort of approach designed to further flame the redneck ire…

      It appears the assumption that National and the Maori Party will reach agreement on how to proceed. Surely some cross-Parliament approach is called for here?

  3. Very good post Eddie. It did seem to me at the time like Labour was caught between a rock and a hard place – but they still chickened out and they have certainly paid the price for it.

    Had it not been for the Foreshore & Seabed issue I think Labour would have probably been able to form a government with the Greens in 2005. That would have meant no Winston Peters to stuff things up for them last year, a far more progressive government in the 2005-2008 term and so forth.

    The ball is now in National’s court, this will certainly be a tricky dead rat for them to swallow.

    • r0b 3.1

      Agreed – excellent post.

      Labour stuffed up this issue in 2004 for sure. But doesn’t it illustrate the difference in philosophy between the two major parties. National cynically exploited and used the redneck backlash to further their own political ends (despite the cost to Maori and race relations). Labour is not going to use the same tactic, but will act constructively over the review. Good move.

      Gotta feel sorry for the rendecks though. They’ve got nowhere to go on this one, poor dears. No party to front their anger.

      All in all, a perfect example of the paradoxical forces that sometimes see right wing parties achieving better progress on progressive goals than the left. It’s a funny old world.

      • Tim Ellis 3.1.1

        Oh, those poor red-necks, r0b. You mean those tired old has-beens who supported Winston Peters until his very sad and very bitter end?

        In case there’s any ambiguity, I was referring to Winston Peters’ voters, rather than Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          Oh, those poor red-necks, r0b. You mean those tired old has-beens who supported Winston Peters until his very sad and very bitter end?

          No Tim, I mean those frothing loonies from talkback radio land and the sewers of Kiwiblog. The ones you Nats were so happy to pander to with your cynical and divisive “Iwi/Kiwi” and “beaches for Kiwis” campaigns. National’s base. The ones that voted you in to government, and are now going to be more than a little pissed at you. If you don’t know who I’m talking about yet Tim, chances are you soon will…

          In case there’s any ambiguity, I was referring to Winston Peters’ voters, rather than Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.

          No ambiguity Tim, I don’t think anyone would mistake Helen and Michael for rednecks.

          • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1

            Oh, r0b, it appears that people with strong anti-Maori views are not just on the right. Some of them are not even at the so-called “sewer”. They are right here at the Standard:

            Foreshore review dead-on

            Say goodbye to the right of a family to have a day at the beach. This is one slippery slope New Zealanders are heading down. There is no reason why the iwi elite wont lock the beaches up in the future. Hell, they are doing it already in heaps of areas. And you idiots are falling for it hook like and sinker

            If Maori had their way, every lake, forest, river, mountain, beach and rock in this country would be locked up. They are doing it now. For example, DOC want to fix up an old stock tunnel on the whitecliffs walkway up here in Taranaki, but the Maori are making things difficult, and not letting them, I think that they really need to pull finger and realise that to enjoy the outdoors is a kiwi birth right.

            Millsy is not an isolated case. Redlogix says:

            There is no question in my mind that Maori are ultimately seeking full private property title rights. All the talk of ‘freedom of public access’ is just a sop.

            Sorry but I cannot see it working. At some point, no matter how it’s spun and diced, there will arise an irreconcilable difference between iwi ‘property rights’ and ‘unfettered public access’.

            Then Zetetic helpfully cuts in:

            It’s all about aquaculture. Big bucks to be made. Iwi want to be the ones making them. Get the rights recognised, get the aquaculture. Oh well, it was theirs in the first place so fair enough.

            No economic interest in closing beaches (although some extremist group will do it)

            Oh, that’s right, I forgot, r0b. It’s only the people on the right who are ever racist, reactionary, or appealing to bigots. Heavens, Eddie accused me of pandering to racists several times yesterday, just because I voted National in 2005. Mind you, he has been a bit unhinged recently.

            • Wendall 3.1.1.1.1.1

              millsy’s comment might be racist. Redlogix and Zetetic are talking about the economic imperatives underlying the interest in the foreshore and seabed.

              Tim, do you even remember what the Ngati Apa case was about? It was about aquaculture, the iwi were claiming ownership of the foreshore and seabed for aquaculture. Like Zetetic says ‘fair enough’… it’s not racist to point out that there’s an economic reason why iwi are so interested in havng those rights recognised, it’s especially not racist when you say they should have them.

            • r0b 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Some of them are not even at the so-called “sewer’. They are right here at the Standard:

              So your point is that some right wingers post here too? Well thanks for clearing that up Tim.

              As for RL and Z, they are raising their own concerns, they aren’t frothing at the mouth. The frothing is going on as your Nat supporters vent on their forums. As I/S puts it:

              “Down in the sewer, National’s carefully cultivated following of rednecks is going feral, while in the comments on Colin Espiner’s blog, the ignorance has reached toxic levels, with claims of racism, threats of race war, and the usual allegations of cannibalism forming a poisonous brew of Pakeha entitlement.”

              Mind you, he has been a bit unhinged recently.

              Ahh yes – another of your classic attacks. Lovely stuff from you Tim: “[X] is a liar, a fruitcake, and is mentally disturbed, in need of psychiatric therapy. Rather than waste her money in legal fees, suggest she spend it on therapy instead.” Speaking of frothing and ranting eh.

            • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Oh, that’s right r0b. I momentarily forgot that millsy, redlogix, and Zetetic are right-wingers.

              Since I/S doesn’t allow comments to his blog, I don’t see what relevance his discussion of comments on other blogs is, or how it’s relevant to this post. But try as you might to come up up with a futile red herring yet again, r0b, it isn’t working.

            • Daveo 3.1.1.1.1.4

              I seriously struggle to see what was “anti-Maori” or bigoted about Zetetic or RedLogix’s comments. In fact Z’s was explicitly supportive of repealing the F&S legislation.

              I think you’re grasping at straws Tim.

            • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1.5

              r0b, you seem to have conveniently forgotten that Tane intervened in that exchange, with the following:

              Randal. I read more comments than you care to imagine. I also have to make judgements over what to allow and what not to allow in order to ensure the blog is a constructive place for people to visit and participate in. Ev has been warned, and warned, and warned, and then warned some more. Today’s jacking attempt, and the flame war that ensured, was the final straw.

              This blog is for everyone who wants to participate in good faith. It is not a sounding board for Ev’s personal obsessions. She has her own blog, she can write to her heart’s content there. When she’s here she can stay on topic and respect that not every thread is about her.

            • r0b 3.1.1.1.1.6

              Yes Tim, and even after Tane had intervened and dealt with it, you felt it necessary to snipe away with your snide accusations. A path you were starting down again with Eddie.

              Lift your game Tim. You could start with an apology to the victim of your attack.

            • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1.7

              Lift your game Tim. You could start with an apology to the victim of your attack.

              I sniped at Eddie after Eddie inferred I was a racist for no other reason than that I voted for National in 2005, r0b. I took offence at that statement, and I would suggest that if it is the attitude of the Labour Party that anybody who voted for National in 2005 is racist, then Labour will spend a long, long time in opposition before they start winning enough votes to govern again.

              Fair cop on the sniping front though, r0b, I agree it wasn’t particularly constructive on my part and it doesn’t add to debate for either Eddie or me to be sniping at each other.

              [lprent: I’m unsure if Eddie is even a Labour party supporter…. Not that has all that much to do with it either. ]

            • r0b 3.1.1.1.1.8

              Fair cop on the sniping front though, r0b,

              Well that’s a start I guess, so well done. ttfn.

    • Jarbury

      “Had it not been for the Foreshore & Seabed issue I think Labour would have probably been able to form a government with the Greens in 2005”

      Afraid the numbers were against this happening no matter what. After Peters and Dunne vetoed the Greens Labour had nowhere to go.

      The total number of seats was 121.

      Labour+Progressive+Green+Maori would equal 61
      Labour+Progressive+NZF+United Future would equal 61

      but there was no way that a coalition with the Maori Party was going to happen.

      I agree it would have been more progressive. Maybe in 2011 …

      • gingercrush 3.2.1

        You didn’t read what he said micky. Had the foreshore and seabed issue not come up or been turned into what it eventually did. Its highly unlikely the Maori party would exist. Its highly unlikely National would have got most of its base vote back (eventually that vote would have come back but presumably would be spread more with the minor parties). Hence Greens and Labour would have largely been able to form a government in 2005.

  4. exbrethren 4

    I’d agree that the deal with the Maori Party is one of pragmatism.

    Key’s position has changed, however in fairness to him I’d say that he doesn’t strike me as a racist unlike Brash. The question is if he can bring enough of his caucus with him to set in place something that addresses this issue to the satisfaction of the Maori Party.

  5. Smokie 5

    Agreed Duncan.

    Nonetheless, I’ll take the opportunity to discuss the merits of nationalising land in interests of all citizens. It’s a shame New Zealanders will cry foul if certain hapu or iwi try to claim private property rights, all the while ignoring a wealthy upper class who own most of this country’s fertile land.

  6. Yes, there was a certain electoral logic to it. Neutralise the issue, appease the bigots, and continue the fight for progressive values in other areas.

    “Throw Maori overboard for electoral gain”. Yes, there’s logic in it, but it leaves a <I.very bad taste in my mouth.

    • Wendall 6.1

      Hear hear. I think every lefty has agreed with you on that.

      • Lew 6.1.1

        No, not really. As Tim says, plenty of lefties are quite happy to cut māori loose (both in rhetoric and in policy) when it suits them. Labour are the party who have fired the most recent shots in the war of colonialism, by passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and while National may have goaded them into it, it remains that they pulled the trigger.

        That both parties and at least some of their supporters appear to have changed their tune is to be welcomed, but neither are without blame, and pretending the Labour left has been a great friend of Māori is as stupid as saying they’ve been champions of the working class. It’s not part of their mandate. Perhaps it should be, but it ain’t.

        L

        • ak 6.1.1.1

          You’ve lost me Lew:

          pretending the Labour left has been a great friend of Māori is as stupid…
          Christen me stupid then, because many decades of close observance of this issue leads me to the assertion that Labour has been as great a friend to Maori as public sentiment would allow, in a million different ways including the F&S – and in relevance to the post, a billion times greater friend than National has ever been. But don’t take my stupid word for it, ask a Maori list voter (or the 20-odd percent who swung tory after Orewa One).

          ….as saying they’ve been champions of the working class.
          Jeez I’m doubly dumb today. Of course, Labour’s the champion of the bourgeoisie. Must be the name that fooled me.

          • George Darroch 6.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, that name is pretty tricky.

          • Lew 6.1.1.1.2

            ak,

            Labour has been as great a friend to Maori as public sentiment would allow

            Precisely. That’s not very great.

            Of course, Labour’s the champion of the bourgeoisie.

            How’s the pro-worker agenda going these days, ak? Labour are soft capitalists, not soft socialists. That’s fine by me, but to dyed-in-the-wool Marxists, it means they’re part of the problem, not of the solution. The Green party’s policy record on industrial relations and classical Marxist-based social justice is stronger.

            L

            • George Darroch 6.1.1.1.2.1

              When Labour stops promoting continued deregulation at the cost of workers, unrestricted ‘free trade’, and gives back a proper right to strike, I might let people call them a left-wing party.

              At the moment they’re to the right economically, with moderate social interventions for market failures. Defend that if you want (it is a relatively defensible position) but don’t call it what it aint.

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.2.2

              George,

              Indeed.

              L

          • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.3

            I agree with Ak.

            Who was it that brought in the Waitangi Tribunal?

            How about full employment, health, education, minimum wages, stronger support for unions and employment law.

            We could get into a Monty Pythoesque “what have the Romans ever done for us?”

            Do you really mean that?

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.3.1

              mickysavage,

              The point isn’t that Labour weren’t better than National – they were. But that’s pretty faint praise, and doesn’t make them a friend of Māori except in the past.

              Most non-Māori, on both sides of the political fence, misunderestimate the damage the Foreshore and Seabed Act did to Labour’s side of that balance, and it seems likely that most will likewise misunderestimate the value of National’s good and equitable engagement on the issue (assuming there is in fact good and equitable engagement).

              Labour have a good historical relationship which they’ve recently squandered; National have a poor historical relationship which they’ve recently shown strong indications of improving. While I’m not holding out great hopes for National’s Māori policy beyond the FSA repeal, it’s not as simple as Labour good-National bad when it comes to Māori issues, as much as Labour partisans would like it to be so.

              L

            • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1.3.2

              Could somebody please supply a list of left-leaning parties (called SPD, ALP, US Democrats, Parti Socialiste, whatever) that have …

              1) gained power
              2) kept left
              3) got re-elected

              In the real world (as opposed to armchair blog-world) NZ Labour under Clark did better than almost any international equivalent, anywhere. You want Schroeder, Clinton, Blair, who? Rudd? Let’s see where he is after nine years.

              I’m sick of pompous purists telling us how much leftier Labour should be. You can be sure they aren’t the ones that would have suffered most under Brash.

              Democratic politics is the art of the possible, and since people like George and Lew have achieved nothing at the ballot box themselves, perhaps that suggests possible can be pretty damn difficult.

              But please feel free to rebut with details of the New Left Jerusalem achieved outside NZ – on Planet Earth, not planet keyboard.

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.3.3

              GS,

              I’m sick of pompous purists telling us how much leftier Labour should be.

              I’m arguing they should be, but more than that I’m arguing that if they’re not, or if they decide to pick winners, then they pays their money and takes their chances as to who they piss off.

              They have to expect furious responses from those whose agendas got crushed by the “greater good”. That’s what the Māori backlash against Labour over the FSA is about – Māori got screwed, and it’s their decision to make whether the greater good was worth it. They decided. That’s democracy.

              Had Labour decided differently they may have pissed off a larger, more influential part of the electorate, and so the decision may have been justified from a purely pragmatic perspective. But I’ll ask you the same question I asked Chris Trotter (and which he refused to answer): What value is the hollow victory of appeasement?

              L

            • gingercrush 6.1.1.1.3.4

              GS shouldn’t you apply that same principle to the Maori party and the Green Party. Both of whom have decided to work with this government. You’re quite happy to attack them for not being pure to their cause yet you’re defensive when others question the Labour party.

            • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1.3.5

              GC

              Eh? I haven’t attacked the Greens at all, you’re wrong. I’ve attacked the Maori Party not for having a deal (it was in their interests to do so) but for being far more docile than they need be. ACT have been tougher on National than the mP have been. Nothing in the deal prevents the mP from speaking out on (e.g.) unemployment … but they never do, do they?

            • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1.3.6

              Lew

              Appeasement, or political expediency? There was no National-NZ First gov’t after 2005, which (IMHO) was a very possible outcome. But we’ll never know, so it’s pointless in the end. In the fantasy counter-factual, everyone does the right thing and it all works out for the best. In political history, not so much.

              The F & S Act was not good. It was better than National’s direction at that time. It might be worse than what we end up with after repeal and a new framework … but I wouldn’t be certain of that. There are massive issues waiting.

              Does Key care more about this than Cullen? Nothing in his make-up suggests he does. So while I hope he will be enlightened and visionary, forgive me for not assuming he will be.

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.3.7

              GS,

              It’s not an either/or proposition. Appeasement for political expediency. It’s still appeasement. Sometimes it’s justified, sometimes not, but whether justified or not, the appeaser has to accept the consequences of their appeasement. Labour largely has, in conceding its error on the FSA and signalling a willingness to work constructively with the government. A good chunk of Labour’s activist support base, however, seem intent on defending it to the death. That’s unfortunate.

              L

            • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1.3.8

              *sigh*

              Come on, Lew, don’t play dumb. Labour in 2009 are doing the right thing, because (as ever) we start from here.

              Labour in 2004 made a choice, which had consequences. The other choice would have had different consequences <i.and we don't know what they would have been.

              One consequence of what they did do, however, is that Brash lost the election, was replaced by Key, and Maori have become a group for National to work with, not exploit for cheap votes.

              Appeasement? Or victory?

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.3.9

              GS,

              Brash lost the election, was replaced by Key, and Maori have become a group for National to work with, not exploit for cheap votes.

              Ignoring for a moment that National has never been in a position to exploit Māori for cheap votes, are you seriously trying to argue that the Foreshore and Seabed Act was intended to repair the relationship between Māori and National, and that this was Labour’s intention all along?

              Come off it. I agree that the net effect of Labour’s cynical pandering to the One Nation idiots has resulted in the state of race relations in NZ being better than they were beforehand, because both National and Labour now realise they can no longer afford to ignore the needs to tangata whenua. This was the māori party’s purpose, driving this change was their mandate, it was the justification for going into government with National and it’s them who can take credit for the thaw (however much of a thaw that might be).

              Appeasement? Or victory?

              Appeasement by Labour. Victory for the māori party.

              L

            • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1.3.10

              Lew

              Orewa was exploiting Maori for cheap votes. And consequence and intention are different things. Politics IS about tough choices. The Maori party will discover that soon enough, when they have to sell a compromise (inevitable) to their own voters. It’ll be interesting to see what you have to say then.

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.3.11

              Orewa was exploiting Maori for cheap votes.

              I take your meaning, now – not Māori votes.

              Politics IS about tough choices. The Maori party will discover that soon enough, when they have to sell a compromise (inevitable) to their own voters. It’ll be interesting to see what you have to say then.

              Indeed, it will be, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they manage that tension. I think they’ve made some bad decisions so far, but mostly they’re minor crimes of omission which can be reasonably excused on the grounds of needing to build a relationship in good faith with a much more powerful government partner – the sort of compromises Māori MPs in other parties have to make every day of their political lives. I don’t know what the first really big issue of division will be.

              As to the implication of “what you have to say then”, I’m not a blind defender of or apologist for the māori party; I’m not even part of their constituency. I just support their right and ability to drive their own political agenda. Since that agenda is explicitly derived from kaupapa Māori, and their constituency knows this and broadly understands those kaupapa and how they work in practice, the extent to which they betray the agenda should (in principle) be reflected in their electoral support. But we’ll see.

              L

  7. I wonder how Steven Joyce is feeling at the moment. After all, Iwi/Kiwi was his idea.

  8. toad 8

    jarbury said: I wonder how Steven Joyce is feeling at the moment. After all, Iwi/Kiwi was his idea.

    Actually, it was John Ansell’s. But Joyce was campaign manager so would ahve signed off on it.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      For those who (want to) forget, Steven Joyce was very proud of the Iwi/Kiwi billboards:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10328610

      National ran a nasty, divisive campaign, and it almost worked. They would do it again without losing a moment’s sleep.

      • George.com 8.1.1

        I welcome the redneck right wingers to contact their local National Party MP and once more pour out their venom on the government. A solution to the FS&SB is required however I look forward to National reaping some of what it sowed 4 odd years ago. Brash went vote grubbing with his cynical politiking and stirred up the issue, will be nice to see some of that wind blow back on his party. They’ll deserve it.

  9. I strongly suggest people have a read of what Idiot/Savant has to say on this issue. Very clearly stated reasoning behind why the Foreshore & Seabed Act was wrong: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2009/07/prendergast-is-dead-get-over-it.html

    • Lew 9.1

      jarburby, thanks.

      Idiot/Savant, since you don’t allow comments on NRT, allow me to express my thanks to you for this article here.

      Cheers,
      L

  10. While I am not convinced either way as to whether Ngati Apa and others own the foreshore and seabed, I am neutral on it, I do not agree with John Key’s statement that Maori had nothing taken off them by the passage of that Act. The Act was wrong because it removed due process, it took away the right to have a case heard in a court of law because Labour was worried about what the court might rule.

    • Oh dear

      This from the FSA

      “33 High Court may find that a group held territorial customary rights

      The High Court may, on the application of a group, or on the application of a person authorised by the Court to represent the group, make a finding that the group (or any members of that group) would, but for the vesting of the full legal and beneficial ownership of the public foreshore and seabed in the Crown by section 13(1), have held territorial customary rights to a particular area of the public foreshore and seabed at common law.”

      Looks like due process to me.

      • Lew 10.1.1

        Micky,

        That’s not the full schedule of entitlements which Māori could have tested. Unilaterally excluding certain of those entitlements didn’t look like due process to Māori, nor to anyone, really, outside Labour. Even most of those who opposed the bill recognised that it circumscribed due process, although they frequently argued this was its chief benefit.

        L

        • mickysavage 10.1.1.1

          Lew

          I do not disagree. I was responding to Madeline’s comments that “it took away the right to have a case heard in a court of law because Labour was worried about what the court might rule” when it is clear that a case could be brought.

  11. millsy 11

    So Madeline,

    You want the honkies to be thrown off the beaches?

  12. Pat 12

    The rednecks, of both parties, have nowhere to go now that Winston is but a memory. Of the remaining parties, perhaps ACT might be the most likely place where an anti-Maori campaign might emerge, but I think Key has got the lid on Hide on this one.

    What will eventually emerge from the review will be a sensible cross-party solution. Key, Goff and Turia are too smart to miss the opportunity.

    • felix 12.1

      As I recall ACT opposed the F&S it on the principled grounds that it removed due process.

      Even a stopped clock eh?

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Quiz time:

    The leader of which political party said this?

    “The parliament is legislating to have the foreshore and seabed in Crown ownership and that’s good.”

    “Maori surrendered sovereignty to New Zealand in 1840, I think that’s one of the fundamental points at issue here, there’s a feeling that somehow Maori did not surrender sovereignty and that they should therefore still own the seabed and the foreshore. … The Crown owns the seabed and the foreshore and since the 1860s it’s been a clear understanding by most New Zealanders that the Crown owned the seabed and the foreshore.”

    “The minority believe that somehow they own the seabed and the foreshore and the Crown is confiscating that, that is simply not the case.”

    • toad 13.1

      Same guy who said this:

      Now clearly parliament has the responsibility to put the framework back in place and that’s what we would have favoured doing, to establish the Crown owned the seabed and the foreshore for all New Zealanders…

      • George Darroch 13.1.1

        Aw come on! You’re not going to pretend he actually believed that, are you? You outrageous scoundrels.

        He only said that cause of National. It’s National’s fault, I tell you!

  14. r0b 14

    Running against form, Armstrong has got it right on this matter:

    Also of considerable help to Key, Tariana Turia, Sharples and Finlayson is the new stance adopted by Labour. That party’s submission to the panel acknowledged failings in the act which, back in 2004, sought a middle road between Maori claims of ownership rights to the foreshore and seabed and appeasing Pakeha fears that Maori would block access to the country’s beaches.

    Labour now thinks iwi and hapu should be able to claim customary title, but with the proviso that such title cannot be converted to freehold title and therefore cannot be sold.

    Labour’s softening echoes the panel’s report and opens the door to National building a cross-party consensus without fear that the current major Opposition party will exploit angst among Pakeha in the way National did back in 2004.

  15. Tim Ellis 15

    Of course! I had momentarily forgotten that it was Don Brash who forced Helen Clark to refer to the hikoi organisers as “haters and wreckers”. It was National who forced Labour to refer to the Maori Party as the “last cab off the rank” and prefer Winston Peters, that celebrated political liberal, in a coalition ahead of the Maori Party and the Greens. It was National who forced Helen Clark not to allow Tariana Turia to cross the floor and vote against the foreshore and seabed legislation, which led to the formation of the Maori Party.

    It seems to me that much of the animosity towards the Maori Party from Labour Party supporters continues to be Labour’s assumption that Maori owe their votes to Labour, irrespective of how badly Labour treats them.

    • Tim you really should get a job.

      We seem to now have political analysis by the incessant rechanting of the odd couple of words said by someone many years ago rather than a proper analysis of things.

      Labour treated Maori well. I can assure you there no assumption that anyone owes Labour their votes. There is the hope that they will give Labour the privilege of their support.

    • r0b 15.2

      Don Orewa “Iwi/Kiwi” Brash and his “Beaches for Kiwis” party played on the worst elements of fear and racism in NZ for political advantage.

      Yes, Helen Clark fell out with Turia, and it is a disaster that the MP was formed in the context of bad blood with Labour. But that is nothing to the damage that National cynically did to race relations in this country.

      Labour and Maori have a long and productive history together, and the original tension with the MP (a particular party representing some Maori) doesn’t change that.

  16. jh 16

    I’ll be glad to see the back of the Foreshore & Seabed Act. For many on the Left, including myself, its been a monument to Labour’s failure of nerve in the face of a campaign by National to exploit the underlying racism of Pakeha New Zealand for electoral gain.
    ……….
    The racism being the fear that Maori once owning foreshore and seabed might exhibit variable behaviour.

    Here’s what Chris Trotter has to say:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4392654a1861.html

  17. jh 17

    “While I believe that Labour’s foreshore and seabed legislation is misguided and inappropriate, Margaret Mutu asserted that her iwi, Northland’s Ngati Kahu, has full unrestricted ownership of all foreshore and seabed within her tribal boundaries with sole powers to regulate, manage and control all activities,’ Mr Shirley said.

    “She claimed that this power of ownership extends to Tahiti, the ancient homeland of Hawaiki.
    http://www.act.org.nz/news/margaret-mutu-must-be-challenged

  18. BP 18

    “Labour’s failure of nerve in the face of a campaign by National to exploit the underlying racism of Pakeha New Zealand for electoral gain.”

    Then the Maori Party was set up to exploit the underlying racism of Maori New Zealand for electoral gain.

  19. Roddey Racist 19

    When racists like myself think about Moari we ascribe the same motivations as (say) cousins sqabbling over the old farm. The goddey googey left however are more inclined to be swayed by the thinking of closed societies where if the head Baboo says something you believe it or else! So when Maori* claim they only want mana and to practise kaitiakitanga you believe it, man!

    * using stockmans classification is “highly offensive”: Academic Cant. University.

  20. brokenback 20

    The nats repealing the Foreshore & Seabed act as gesture of good faith to the Tangata Whenua in general and to cement an ongoing alliance with the MP ???

    What are you people imbibing ?
    Please keep your eye on the ball.sharpen up!

    That toxic selection of dogwhistlers and crypto fascists in denial , that comprise the NP “brains trust”[ I use this in its loosest terms] exist only to serve up what is still available in public wealth for their Cyano capitalist paymasters.

    New Zealand has an enormous marine resource , extended significantly in 2008 .
    It encompasses vast areas of clean , temperate ocean suitable for pelagic fish farming [protein , #1 resource of the 21st century] , massive tracts of unexplored sedimentary basins for oil and gas , and recently explored volcanic vents producing rare and expensive metals.
    A huge treasure chest and most certainly in the eyes of a number of transnational thieves .
    The MP and all TW would be well advised to tread with extreme caution , read the fine print so to speak. and remember well, one of the great lines [unlikely to reworked and delivered by donKey]
    …..white man speaks with forked tongue….

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