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Finlayson losing it

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, November 17th, 2010 - 91 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, Maori Issues, maori party, national - Tags:

Is the interminable tangled mess of the foreshore and seabed issue getting to Chris Finlayson? Something certainly is, because he’s clearly losing it:

Minister tells Maori protesters: ‘Go to hell’

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson has told a Maori protest group in the Northland town of Taipa they can “go to hell”. …

The group said the land, which is council owned, should be returned to Ngati Kahu, and have demanded Finlayson meet them in Taipa. Finlayson had a fiery response to the group’s request.

“They can go to hell, because I’m not going up there,” he said this afternoon.

When asked if the protesters’ demands were unreasonable, he said: “I think they’re stupid.”

Video of the event here.

Politicians have to be careful about letting their temper rule their tongue. John Key got away with calling protesters “cold and desperate”. But Helen Clark didn’t get away with calling the leaders of a protest “haters and wreckers”. That remark arguably contributed to souring relations between Labour and Maori at a crucial time in the foreshore and seabed negotiations.

Now Finlayson has risked the same response. To have the Treaty Negotiations Minister tell Maori protesters to “go to hell” and that their demands are “stupid” is about as inflammatory as it gets. How is Maori leadership, wrestling with their response to the new Marine Bill, likely to respond to such a remark? Let’s hope that they show more maturity and intelligence than the Minister.

Update: Today Finlayson stands by his comments. He should be replaced as Treaty Negotiations Minister.

91 comments on “Finlayson losing it”

  1. kriswgtn 1

    Captcha=votes

    How ironic my anti spam word

    I was appalled and disgusted when I saw this on TV last night

    Pressure getting to you Finlayson

    Youre a disgrace but good thing THIS will have cost you and your party of clowns Votes

    • Mark M 1.1

      really ? kriswgtn.
      I would think it would gain votes as the majority of New Zealanders are sick and tired of unemployed thugs occupying private property and ignoring the law.
      The Popata brothers and their ilk belong in jail.

  2. higherstandard 2

    I thought it was quite refreshing to see someone in government saying what they really think.

  3. Lazy Susan 3

    Terrible performance – he looked crazed on TV last night. Also Finlayson had a very terse and petulant manner when interviewed by Kathryn Ryan last week regarding the Law Society’s crticism of the government’s law making process. Finlayson is at the end of this audio clip.

    • ianmac 3.1

      And failed to answer the question claiming Cabinet Responsibility. No wonder they avoid proper interviews.

    • Finlayson had a very terse and petulant manner when interviewed by Kathryn Ryan last week regarding the Law Society’s crticism of the government’s law making process

      Alone amongst his peers Finlayson actually has an understanding of good lawmaking, the reasons for longstanding legal protections such as the right to silence, double jeopardy etc. He’s no wet, but nor is he a loon.

      Now imagine yourself as such a person… someone, if you like, in the traditional liberal National mould… finding yourself in a Cabinet with Power and Collins in inter-related portfolios. Then there’s Bennett and Tolley, who display and equal contenpt for legal niceties like privacy etc.

      Just as you’re wondering what hell you’ve awoken into, you’re made aware of Worth, Wong, English…

      And some slimey little crackpot keeps demanding you introduce bills to extend impriosnment…

      And the one guy you can turn to for support has a rictus-like grin and tells you not to worry, the punters like the idea of having their rights eroded as he dons his Hawaiian shirt for another “well earned” break.

      “Terse”?! It’s a wonder he didn’t take RNZ hostage with his coffee spoon.

      (Of course it could be argued he should jettison the lot of them, but I know from experience the instinct is to stay and fight… ironically, especially if you’re the only person left who seems to remember what the hell it was all about in the first place).

  4. there’s a nastiness about finlayson that really grates. He’s always slipping in nasty little put downs (he doesn’t have the robustness to just plain insult like Brownlee would).

    This is an extension of that. But he’s treading on the wrong toes. The Maori Party is based in the Maori protest movement. Attacking Maori protesters who are only using the same tactics his ministerial colleagues have used in the past is dumb.

    And it’s divisive, these comments play to a redneck crowd by casting Maori as the bad guys.

  5. tc 5

    Not only is Findlayson risking his political future (in a nat kind of way that is) he’s also putting his non-political future at risk by being party to foolish and ill considered ‘reforms’ that will not win him many fans in the tight and cosy legal fraternity

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Not a good grasp of the issues from Finlayson. There are also historical water quality issues and settler descendants sitting on land they should not be nearby.

    You can talk about tactics and about mandate, and where each of the 15 marae and the Ngati Kahu runanga stands on this occupation, about riling up the local pakeha, but the young Ngati Kahu leaders are doing the right thing before the whole of the Doubtless Bay coastal strip is occupied by european owned “gin palaces”.

    Someone has to be the pointy end of the spear. If Ngati Kahu had not taken action several years back on Karikari peninsula, a prime beachfront slice of the very Landcorp farm now proposed as part of the settlement Finlayson refers to would have been sold off for further real estate sub division. Finlayson’s temper probably stems from annoyance that his script has been diverted from.

  7. Lew 7

    One day Pākehā New Zealand will realise that Māori aren’t just going to pack up and go home to keep the government of the day happy. Because they are home, and the government’s happiness or otherwise about that fact is mostly irrelevant.

    That day will be a good day.

    L

    • vto 7.1

      And Pakeha New Zealand aren’t home Lew? Lot of assumptions tied up in that statement of yours eh fulla..

      • Lew 7.1.1

        Sure they are, vto. But they’re also the only people asking in any seriousness for the other lot to piss off, and claiming the auithority of government to do so.

        L

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          Really? Do you think all pakeha are asking for maori to piss off and simply get into line?

          Perhaps a small portion are (every sector has this portion of reactionary fools). And a reducing portion as the decades pass. But I think your claim that all, or even a large majority, are is quite wrong. Which surprises me as most of your ramblings tend to the right end of the right-wrong spectrum imo.

          I think a very significant portion of the NZ population recognise that things still require some sorting re past grievances. Another portion also recognises that the current situation which by law in many instances creates two classes of citizens based on birth is not sustainable. It never has been in any society. Perhaps all these portions get mixed up on such attempted assessment of portions..

          • Lew 7.1.1.1.1

            I never said, or meant, anything about ‘all’ or ‘a large majority’, vto. While I may ahve been a bit vague in my generalisation, I don’t think there’s any credible disagreement that sentiments such as I mentioned are a clear feature of NZ politics — embraced by both political parties to a large extent.

            L

          • Bunji 7.1.1.1.2

            I wouldn’t underestimate the size of that portion vto. It’s nice to think we live in a tolerant society, but all too many aren’t… (but certainly not all, or a large majority, but Lew’s made himself clear on that point).

            • vto 7.1.1.1.2.1

              true.

              An anecdotal… These days in wanderings around our fair land I find it jarring in many social settings when someone comes out with something reactionary / racist re Maori. Jarring due (amongst more) to its relative rarity. Relatively rare compared to similar wanderings 20 or 30 (or more) years ago when such comments were not so jarring due to their frequency.

              Evidence that the portion is reducing imo.

              • Lew

                I agree. Overt anti-Māori racism nowadays is a bit like farting — in polite company it doesn’t really fly (if you’ll excuse the expression).

                L

        • Vicky32 7.1.1.2

          Hey, wait a minute! Not all Pakeha think that way, I am not asking for anyone to piss off or shut up, and I am a Pakeha…
          Deb

          • Lew 7.1.1.2.1

            I know perfectly well that not all do, since I’m a Pākehā too… but just because it ain’t true of you or I don’t mean it’s false in the general case.

            L

            • Vicky32 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Not as far as I have been able to see among the people I mix with, Lew… (Granted, that includes Maori family members, and also, “bloody foreigners” (Asians I work with.) If I had more to do with the ‘average’ white New Zealander I might hear more of the kind of thing that wants rebuking…
              Deb

    • Bunji 7.2

      Hey Lew – how do you get the macrons on the a’s?

      (captcha: inform)

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      And I’m hoping that Maori wake up one day and realise that we need to live as one people. That this divisiveness that they keep ramming down our throat hurts all of us.

      • Lew 7.3.1

        Swap ‘Māori’ for ‘workers’ to see how stupidly hegemonic your statement is.

        ‘One Nation’ and ‘Any Culture You Like As Long As It’s Mine’ assimilation doctrines have no place on the political left.

        L

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1

          I’ve said before that it won’t be any specific culture but an amalgam of all of them. The merging of cultures will happen whether express permission is granted or not as that’s the nature of culture – to grow and adapt.

          • Lew 7.3.1.1.1

            I look forward to your forthcoming calls for Pākehā New Zealanders to unreservedly capitulate to Māori demands, then — in the name of national unity.

            L

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1.1.1

              I’ve heard that before the coming of the Pākehā all land was held in the commons. Now, if the demands were that the land be returned to the commons rather than to private ownership then I would be right there beside them. The problem, of course, is that’s not their demands. In fact, I’d say that their demands actually show the cultural shift from what Māori culture used to be regarding land to a Pākehā specific ownership model – a model of which I disagree with.

              • Lew

                Perhaps, rather than just naïvely believing whatever bullshit you’re told if it happens to suit your preferred outlook, you could find out the actual factual facts of the case. Reams and reams of good scholarship have been written on the status of land among pre-European Māori, and absolutely none of it boils down to “they all owned it all in common”. You could start by reading Boast’s “Buying the Land, Selling the Land”.

                In a nutshell, they owned land just enough in common that individual title could not be established to European colonial standards (as needed to easily buy, sell, raise mortgages, &c), but also sufficiently in private ownership that it was clear and obvious who had been wronged (and who hadn’t) by discrete examples of confiscation, compulsory acquisition, forced-sale or other raupatu.

                Your argument that modern Māori accession to Western ownership models somehow represents them “selling out” their culture is bullshit as well — for one thing, when it’s that or nothing, the choice is easy; for another, almost without exception land proceeds from Treaty claims and such is held in trust as “tāonga tuku iho”, or a treasure to be passed down to descendants, rather than as the sort of commodified asset you’re suggesting. Yes; the legal mechanism by which this land is held is Westernised, and in some cases the trusteed have chosen to exercise their rangatiratanga to subdivide, sell or lease parts of it. None of this is necessarily inconsistent with tikanga Māori.

                You seem to want it both ways: Māori suffering all the consequences of existence in the postcolonial 21st Century, whilst being forced to adhere to traditions from the 19th. Next you’ll be arguing, as many such idiots did at the time of the fisheries settlement, that Māori could own as much of Sealord as they liked on condition that they use flax nets and bone hooks to do all their fishing. Sorry; it doesn’t work that way.

                Disagree all you like, but for the love of all that is righteous, try to make sure you have the faintest idea about the topic you’re disagreeing about.

                L

                • nzfp

                  Hey Lew,
                  I don’t know if I agree, I always thought he “tāonga tuku iho” to be those intangible qualities of culture, tikanga, reo, waiata, etc…

                  As for the land issue – specifically that ‘absolutely none of it boils down to “they all owned it all in common”’, that doesn’t fit with my personal experience as a Te Arawa Maori. When Tarawera erupted, Ngati Awa gifted my Hapu – without title etc… land in the Coromandel – land which today is worth multimillions of dollars. However when my grandmother moved to Auckland, she considered her need and use of the land to be finished, and she gave it back – without hesitation – because it didn’t – never did – belong to her or us.

                  What is interesting, is that the land has never been produced and my whanaunga have been advised that we – collectively – are free to go back and camp on it anytime we choose.

                  But hey, that’s my personal experience.

                  • Lew

                    NZFP,

                    “Tāonga tuku iho” also has a generation of modern legal usage behind it (and on this basis the term is front-and-centre of the new MCA Bill).

                    The situation you describe isn’t the same as it all being owned all in common. Your tipuna were given usage of the land. To put it another way, some Ariki or other made a decision to exercise his rangatiratanga (presumably in accordance with his peoples’ commitment to manaakitanga). That does not imply that anyone would have been free (under any other circumstances) to take such a right (even to later give it back) — and in many cases, attempting to do exactly that resulted in outright warfare.

                    L

                    • nzfp

                      Hey L,

                      Your tipuna were given usage of the land

                      heh heh Tupuna in Te Arawa’s case – yes you are correct. That usage spelt the difference between life and death for us – as you know many Maori dispossessed of land simply starved to death.

                      As for giving the land back – I’m pretty sure (I was too young) they (my Tupuna) went through some process of acknowledging our completion of the usage of the land – what I referred to as giving back – afterall we never owned the land.

                      some Ariki or other made a decision to exercise his rangatiratanga (presumably in accordance with his peoples’ commitment to manaakitanga)….

                      Manaakitanga has such a socialist colour to it. That said, to exercise rangatiratanga to do what exactly – allow another tribe to use land under his/her control? Does that prove ownership or stewardship (tiakitanga) of the land?

                      The point is – I hold the view – whether traditional Maori or not – that New Zealand is a society of New Zealanders and that the resources of our nation – given freely by nature, that cannot be created by us – consequently belong to all of us. How this is handled is worth debate. Some of the suggestions include:

                      1. Allowing the resources to be bought and sold privately,
                      2. Allowing the resources to be bought and sold privately but taxed to ensure that the nation as a whole benefits from the resources,
                      3. Defining the resources as part of the public commons – with some mechanism to allow the production of the resources- whether through leasing or some other means.

                      The third option seems to fit best with how I was raised to view common resources such as land, and water which seems to lend itself to collective ownership – in Trusts – in a society that seems to adhere to option 1.

                      By the way, there may be other options – it’s worth discussing one day.

                  • hateatea

                    ‘As for the land issue – specifically that ‘absolutely none of it boils down to “they all owned it all in common”’, that doesn’t fit with my personal experience as a Te Arawa Maori. When Tarawera erupted, Ngati Awa gifted my Hapu – without title etc… land in the Coromandel – land which today is worth multimillions of dollars. However when my grandmother moved to Auckland, she considered her need and use of the land to be finished, and she gave it back – without hesitation – because it didn’t – never did – belong to her or us.’

                    A ‘tuku aroha’ – given to someone who needed it for the length of time required, then returned when the need was no longer there. Your tīpuna knew her tikanga. Unfortunately, too many assume that possession is, as the say, 9/10ths of the law and that they can not only keep the land, but sell it and keep the money!

                    My understanding of land, pre colonisation, was that land belonged to whānau, hapū or iwi and that the kaumātua or rangatira decided who would ‘use’ areas, depending on their need with the good of the community in mind.

                    Whether or not that is consistent with a 20th or 21st century view of land ‘ownership’ is irrelevant. Without tāngata agreement, laws pertaining to land, water and other resources have been changed many times to suit the needs of the settler governments in the first instances and, of latter years, the overseas ‘investors’.

                    Treaty settlements and negotiation processes are complex, lengthy and, ultimately, far from satisfying for claimants as the amount of land available to ‘satisfy’ claimant groups is miniscule compared to land taken, the amount of money set aside as compensation is risible compared to the economic impact of the losses over more than 160 years. Further, in my experience, the Crown’s adherence to settlement agreements is little better than to the original Treaty of Waitangi.

                    Mr Finlayson’s experience in Treaty settlement processes may have lasted over many years but he has obviously forgotten some of the valuable advice given him during those years. He may well live to rue that day that he loosed his grip on his temper.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  In a nutshell, they owned land just enough in common that individual title could not be established to European colonial standards (as needed to easily buy, sell, raise mortgages, &c), but also sufficiently in private ownership that it was clear and obvious who had been wronged (and who hadn’t) by discrete examples of confiscation, compulsory acquisition, forced-sale or other raupatu.

                  That’s the type of land ownership that I want but to my mind Maori ownership of specific sites goes against that model and moves toward the westernised model. The foreshore and Seabed is a prime example here: It would be better for it to be held, in it’s entirety, by the government as “tāonga tuku iho” and then administered through a democratic process (I’ve said before and you agreed (with conditions) that democracy satisfies Tino Rangatiratanga in Ti Tirity O Waitangi) so that it can be used to benefit the local people but not over used.

                  The piece of land that is the focus of this article is presently held by the council and so is “common”. Should it be shifted into private (Maori) ownership? I don’t think it should although there may be ways that would allow more local (i.e, Maori) say in how it’s used.

                  Your argument that modern Māori accession to Western ownership models somehow represents them “selling out” their culture is bullshit as well..

                  I didn’t say that they sold out did I? I said it was cultural shift which came about through two cultures merging. The division that I speak about is Maori saying that they are one people and everyone else is another. This does not help us.

                  You seem to want it both ways: Māori suffering all the consequences of existence in the postcolonial 21st Century, whilst being forced to adhere to traditions from the 19th.

                  No, I don’t want that. I want everyone to be equal and to have an equal say in the use of the countries resources. We won’t get that if we keep seeing two peoples.

                  Disagree all you like, but for the love of all that is righteous, try to make sure you have the faintest idea about the topic you’re disagreeing about.

                  I almost didn’t put that bit in because I knew that my understanding was incomplete but couldn’t continue the conversation without it. Figured you’d put me right 😛 and, yes, I’ll read that book you suggest.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    I guess the problem is that there is no chance at all, at the moment, for Pākehā land to be held in any sort of common.

                    So until that changes what justification can exist for Māori land, that has been stolen, to be held in common?

                    • nzfp

                      Hey PB,
                      There is a lot of Pakeha land held in the common – everything held by the Crown is held in the common.

                      However a problem that Draco has identified is that “common” land is the only land available for treaty settlements. The problem being that justice in this current economic model requires the “privatisation” of common land.

                      I agree it is terrible, we need to privatise land to address a grievance where common land was stolen for privatisation. Doesn’t it just seem wrong.

                      Draco and Lew,
                      Lets change the economic model – we can start there. A National Dividend for all people will go a long way towards fostering that cultural harmony. If everybody has more leisure time, sharing work, taking time to have a BBQ with the neighbour (Maori or Pakeha) down the beach – they will all be too happy to be worried about who did what to who.

              • nzfp

                Captcha: would you believe it – AGREE

                It’s just like the whakatauki – Toitu te Whenua – the english version goes – people come and go but the land remains. The concept behind the whakatauki demonstrates an understanding that land is independent of people, i.e. not owned, but a resource provided freely by nature – or in this case Papatuanuku. That doesn’t mean people are independent of the land, because of course we are not.

            • nzfp 7.3.1.1.1.2

              Oh do you mean like the Pākehā New Zealanders who are married to Māori New Zealanders? I see an awful lot of them everyday – beautiful children too.

          • marty mars 7.3.1.1.2

            I really oppose this hive-culture mentality, it’s creepy and borg-like.

            I’ve read your comments above (this is posting a long way away). This merging culture – have you any examples of where this has happened? Variety is the spice of life – uniqueness, difference, mutual respect. Monoculture artifically created is not utopia. Tino rangatiratanga creates equality and fairness, it doesn’t divide people, it brings them together – all people who live here.

            • Adele 7.3.1.1.2.1

              Teenaa koe, marty

              I so tautoko your comments.

              Usually when the hegemonic argue for differences to be set aside – that we should live as one, or as an amalgam – it implies that the resulting oneness or homogenous gloop of humanity will look, think, and be white like them. Personally, I would rather swim with sharks while menstruating. Although with my luck, I most likely would be eaten by a great white pointer.

      • Jim Nald 7.3.2

        I have been longing through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and quietly hoping for reconciliation in the recent decade, that we, all of us and as a nation, would be able to close a chapter and begin to write new history together.
        Finlayson’s denouncement neither helps nor heals, but hurts.

        • Lew 7.3.2.1

          Exactly. Integration of diverse peoples into ‘he iwi tahi tatou’ must be by mutual agreement or not at all.

          L

  8. g_man 8

    The whole situation is slighlty complicated. Might pay to recall some of the background …

    Police told a Ngati Kahu protest group occupying the land at Taipa they have to move off or be arrested for trespass. Which suggests to me they were occupying the land illegally.

    However, in the same article there was a comment that “a Waitangi Tribunal report in 1997 upheld Ngati Kahu’s claim and agreed its title to the land had never been extinguished.” Which suggests they had a right to be there.

    But if they had a right to be there, why were they guilty of trespass?

    To further confuse the issue, Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said “Illegal occupations of private or council-owned land are not part of that process.” So again, it appears they were occupying the land illegally.

    Ngati Kahu and four other Far North iwi signed an agreement in principle with the Crown in January – which says to me that Ngati Kahu were negotiating with the Crown in good faith – yet Ngati Kahu’s negotiator and chairperson of the Runanga Margaret Mutu has supported the occupiers’ actions. Which makes a bit of a mockery of the whole “good faith” part from the Maori side.

    I don’t pretend to understand who’s right and who’s wrong in the negotiations. But if there are negotiations going on with the iwi, and agreements have been signed, and then two loose cannons (who have already been convicted of assaulting the Prime Minister, remember) go and occupy the land that is involved in negotiations, I can understand (a) Chris Finlayson getting annoyed about it, and (b) that he wouldn’t want to talk to them. They don’t have a mandate, he is already heavily involved in negotiations with iwi, and to cap it all off they have a history of violence.

    • Lazy Susan 8.1

      Thanks for the background g-man. What’s clear is that nothing about this issue is straightforward. But what’s also clear is that the Treaty Negotiations Minister suggesting a group of Maori are “stupid” and should “go to hell” is unlikely to lead to a settlement. Finlayson’s a nasty piece of work who needs to step down from his role and a get a bit of anger management training.

      • grumpy 8.1.1

        I think gman has hit on what’s pissing off Finlayson. If he has entered into negotiations in good faith with Ngati Kahu and it now appears that their chief negotiator is saying something different, how can he continue meaningful negotiation.
        However, with the past record of the two guys involved in assaulting Key, and Mutu’s assertion that agreements “can’t be full and final because we haven’t got all our land back”, why is he negotiating at all?

  9. vto 9

    It doesn’t surprise that Finlayson came out with something brainless like that… it is entirely consistent with his showing on Nat Radio last week about the Law Society’s concerns over this govts draconian law-making practices. i.e. arrogant, ignorant, full of self-importance, and in fact simply wrong on top of all that. He seems to miss some basic understandings …

    I predict a short Parliamentary career.

    • insider 9.1

      It wasn’t brainless it was an entirely calculated play to appease aggrieved and law abiding pakeha who are getting upset that a bunch of (probably dole bludging) ruffians are able to interfere with business and their children’s sailing regatta, and get away with it because of their skin colour.

      Finlayson is under pressure around the F&S and some of the perceived vagueness of protections of general rights and belief there are some hidden fishhooks that will give far more power to Maori than has been publicly suggested.

      I think this is Finlayson responding to that pressure saying to Maori he will deal nicely with them if they follow legal process and to pakeha that he won’t go too “native’ in any negotiations with Maori.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        appease aggrieved and law abiding pakeha who are getting upset that a bunch of (probably dole bludging) ruffians

        Yeah nice use of the 2nd person to give voice to this sentiment.

  10. g says 10

    how can you trespass on public (council) land?

    • Name 10.1

      By entering or remaining with an improper purpose. Just because land is ‘public’ doesn’t mean any member of the public can do whatever they want on it.

      • Armchair Critic 10.1.1

        That’s right. Going past the reception area in council’s offices, without being invited, can be trespassing. The catchments for water supply dams are often council-owned reserve land and entering them without a lawful reason is trespassing. There are plenty of other examples of how one can trespass on public land.

  11. prism 11

    Finlayson is showing his ‘aristocratic’ or colonial background by taking this ‘The natives are revolting’ attitude. We expect more formal language, not common abuse, from him and also more understanding of the general situation relating to Maori in NZ, the local situation, the history of it, and the long-term poverty and lack of advancement in Northland which underlays the discontent and determination to advance claims.

    That some are outside the ‘official’ iwi claims is not an unknown thing, and the Far North council should be included with the central government in trying to reach a basis for discussion.

    captcha – based – their argument is probably based on a real and true grievance and misdemeanour in law and morality. A government of integrity should attend to their arguments.

    • Joe Bloggs 11.1

      What about the integrity of following ‘due process’ with Ngati Kahu? That’s the process that Finlayson and Ngati Kahu agreed earlier this year.

      If Finlayson were to attend to the arguments set forth by these tresspassers, then you’d argue he was showing no courtesy to Iwi leaders.

      I call bullshit to your ‘aristocratic’ comment – it’s a pompous piece of ideological claptrap.

      • prism 11.1.1

        Thanks Joe Bloggs that’s a compliment from you with your right wing ideas. I would be doubtful of my case if you praised me. Your ideas are so fixed and rigid, you would save yourself and others time if you just printed out your fixed decisions on all further happenings for the year on January 1st and then we could all refer back to them to gauge your stance with no wasted time by you having to repeat it all year. Find something useful to do.

  12. hateatea 12

    Whether the occupants have right on their side or not is something I cannot judge without a much broader reading on their claims and the rebuttals. However, with very vivid memories of both Bastion Point and Pakaitore, I respectfully remind people that what may appear to be a pointless and / or illegal occupation may actually be founded on truth and subsequently returned to the ‘occupying forces’ or their legal representation.

    • Tiger Mountain 12.1

      Having read the Muriwhenua Report 1997 and various other relevant documents I feel you may be right hateatea. Land ‘lent’ to doctors and church, not used for the stated purpose then swiped by local authorities. In the late 1930s fertiliser and supplies left at farm gates by Govt. unasked for, then land confiscated when payment was not forthcoming. Rough stuff. ‘A marginal people living on marginal land’ as the Muriwhenua Report put it. And to rub it in, an ongoing sewerage and water quality problem in the center of the motu at Taipa.
      http://www.ecocentre.co.nz/environ/dbcatchment/testing/

  13. Robb 13

    I would not expect a MP to tell a group of people to Go to hell, I would also not expect an MP to refer to New Zealanders of European decent as W-M-F or others to make references such as Cancerous & Corrosive, but it seems to happen across all parties. All statements or references are bad it does not matter how you look at it.

  14. David 14

    Remember in his Maiden Speech Mr Finlayson said he was not going to descend into criticism of individuals (Address in Reply debate 16 November 2005).
    Then again he also took the opportunity in the General Debate on 27 August 2008 to say of the Labour Party “It is really an excrescence, and it is really lower than vermin”. Hardly becoming of the Attorney, more fitting for the Kiwiblog comment threads.

    • David Lester 14.1

      Actually he, more than any MP in recent history, seems incapable of resisting the nasty jibe, the personal put down and the condescending comment. The Attorney-General should maintain a higher standard of conduct. Simon Power would make a much better Attorney, if for no other reason, he has the dignity and gravitas for the role.

  15. randal 15

    what he means is that they have a claim to land that he covets for himself if he can only just wait them out and pass a law to get his sticky fingers on it.

  16. Tigger 16

    As a gay man it strikes me as ironic that Finlayson would tell another group to go to hell when it’s likely he’s spent his life hearing that people think he’s headed there…

  17. Jewish Kiwi 17

    I think he just needs to get laid. Being a self-described celibate gay catholic cannot be any fun at all.

    • prism 17.1

      I thought those people were priests. Perhaps finners wasnt up to the required national priests standard and had to settle for being nacts attorneygeneral

  18. r0b 18

    Today Finlayson stands by his comments. He should be replaced as Treaty Negotiations MInister.

    • Carol 18.1

      And Shane Jones has asked, when Finlayson said the protestors should “go to hell”, what directions did he give, and who did he hope they would meet there? Finlayson replied Mallard isn’t dead yet. Jones: based on that answer, should Finlayson now be regarded as the dark prince of treaty negotiations…..

      I haven’t repeated it exactly word-for-word, but close.

  19. bobo 19

    Finlayson has always come over as one of the nastiest, snarky, Tim Stamper lookalike, short tempered, perfect old school tory in the house, no idea why he got the arts & culture portfolio, he probably listens to Mozart while sticking pins in a homemade Phil Goff doll, so I guess he probably has something in common with Chris Carter.

  20. It seems with finlayson getting rattled that the strategy is working. I hope other peaceful occupations occur.

  21. John Laurie 21

    The concept of Maori traditionally owning land in common is somewhat of a myth. Given a population of around 120,000 in the whole country, there were vast tracts of land, mountains and swamps where nobody lived, which were occasionally hunted across. These might be said to have been owned communally if owned at all. Closer to home individual families owned their own cultivations and housesites and passed them on to their descendants when they died. The basic principle was that ownership resided in the people who cleared the land and created the resource. Communal tribal and hapu rights really came in at two levels – the hapu or tribe would generally prevent transfer of the resource to foreigners, and unclaimed assets would revert to the group.

    The Muriwhenua Report was criticised for bias when it appeared by one of New Zealand’s top historians (Bill Oliver) among others. My impression was that it had totally ignored many of the cogent arguments put up by the Crown and simply echoed the claimants assertions.

    The argument for the tuku whenua institution is a case in point. It’s interesting that 70 years after the pre-Waitangi sales and 50 years after the big sales to the Government, Maori in Northland (Papatupu Block Committee Minute Books) were using the word “hoko” about both types of sale. “Tuku” was only used for land granted to the Government for schools.

    Taipa itself was a fight zone (as it’s called in Papua New Guinea) between two tribal confederations who both claimed it – the scene of a bloody war in 1843 between Rarawa and Ngapuhi – by no means the last in New Zealand, given the uncertainty of land ownership in a tribal world, before the colonial government gained the power to effectively intervene.

    • nzfp 21.1

      The basic principle was that ownership resided in the people who cleared the land and created the resource

      Which is the basis of “ahi ka” and the proverb “whatungarongaro te tangata toitu te whenua”

      before the colonial government gained the power to effectively intervene

      Is that like how Nga Puhi were given firearms by the colonial government to holocaust my Iwi – Te Arawa?

  22. Chris73 22

    Good on him for being honest and saying what MOST kiwis are thinking…nowif only they’d send in the cops to arrest and jail them

  23. Utah 23

    Sure its bad politics to show how pissy you are; but both Finlayson and the protestors are equally guilty of that. And Finlayson is probably not much of a politician; but he’s all the better for that imo. And much of this, on both sides, is just bad theatrics; but I suspect Finlayson is playing to a Maori audience as much as anything.

    Finlayson is, after all, actually committed intellectually, professionally, and even probably morally, to the settlement process. Look at it from his position: He’s in a very tight and closing corner; the Nats are insisting he speed settlements up, and this is only going to make the next few years of treaty settlement very very nasty indeed. Intra Maori politics is the real furnace here. Finlayson is really the only person in the Nats with a hope of navigation these waters (any other suggestions, anyone??). But he’s being shafted from all sides: Key’s brutal rebuff of the Tuhoe deal means Maori can’t trust him to deliver on what he says….and Mutu and other iwi leaders are fanning flames instead of defusing their people….

    All in all, this protest, in the middle of negotiations, is just plain awful. My only criticism is that Finlayson should have gone there and told them so face to face.

    • prism 23.1

      The comments revealing the problems that Finlayson is facing do explain why he would feel pissed off. He can’t afford though to get into slanging matches with Maori as the young ones would have a longer and wider vocabulary than him. And when tempers rise and if mofos get thrown about it diverts from the matter in hand.

      This Taipa protest has been going on for some years. As you say Margaret Mutu is fairly uncompromising in her criticisms of the government. The central government should talk to local govt about access and to the protesters. What do they want, give them a hearing. And the accommodation owner could sell the idea of watching history unfold! Some people go on disaster holidays. This could be a much more positive but still interesting stay. Some Maori in Kaitaia have carried out quiet protests and small sit-ins in the past like spreading themselves over the entry steps to public buildings and blocking entry and exit to the public. I don’t know if they have been aggressive, so I wonder if there is reason for anxiety by the accommodation owner.

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