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Foreshore and Seabed – where to from here?

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 pm, November 10th, 2009 - 92 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, treaty settlements - Tags:

There has been much furore today over Hone Harawira’s latest comment that:

If I should be suspended for my language, he [Phil Goff] and his mates should be lined up against the wall and shot.

I thought the comment was appropriate in the circumstances, as a response to Phil Goff calling for him to be suspended over his use of language. Hone was simply trying to put some perspective on his use of bad language, suggesting that if his punishment should be as severe as suspension, then Labour’s punishment for the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be much much worse. Read the following on the Foreshore and Seabed Act (following on from yesterday’s post), and consider what deserves a worse punishment a few inappropriate words, or the Foreshore and Seabed Act?

On June 19th 2003, the Court of Appeal ruled that Maori had the right to have their claim for title to the foreshore and seabed heard in the Maori Land Court. The basis for the decision was that native property rights continued until lawfully extinguished, and that (from the Court of Appeal decision):

The onus of proof of extinguishment lay on the Crown and the purpose had to be clear and plain. The property interest the Crown had therefore depended on any pre-existing customary interest, the extent and content of which was a matter of fact discoverable, if necessary, by evidence of the custom and usage of the particular community.

In other words, if Maori had customary interest in parts of the foreshore and seabed, they continue to have property rights until those rights are lawfully extinguished. Consistent with Article 2 of Te Tiriti (covered in yesterday’s post), Maori can only give up their property rights by consent. A hearing in the Maori Land Court is necessary to determine by evidence from both Maori and the Crown which, if any, areas of the foreshore and seabed Maori should still hold lawful title to.

The very next day following the Court of Appeal’s decision, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced that the Government would legislate if necessary to ‘preserve the status quo’, because it was ‘important to establish what has long been assumed that the beaches and seabeds have long been there for all New Zealanders’.

3 days later, the Government officially announced it would legislate away Maori rights to have their claims heard in court. This was a massive breach of the Treaty Principles that* ‘require the Pakeha and Maori treaty partners to act towards each other reasonably and with the utmost good faith’. So before I go on to discuss why legislating was unnecessary, it should be noted that the Crown have never given any adequate justification for legislating without first even attempting negotiations with Maori in good faith.

The argument that the Crown needed exclusive title to protect access to the beaches was misleading, given that there has never been unrestricted access to the foreshore and seabed. As Moana Jackson has rightly pointed out: “Port Companies, the Department of Conservation, and numerous other authorities have for years restricted entry to the waterfront”. Likewise, many people seem to believe in the myth of the Queen’s chain, said to be a 20 metre strip along the edge of all waterways and coasts. The Queen’s chain doesn’t exist in either statute or the common law, and only approximately 70% of New Zealand’s coastal land is currently in public ownership. If it were simply about protecting access to the beaches, appropriate covenants could be put on the foreshore and seabed to protect access other than in special circumstances such as for rahui, tapu, or developments where in any case a resource consent would be necessary.

The Waitangi Tribunal’s report on the Crown’s Foreshore and Seabed Policy outlines numerous options available to the Government that lessen the prejudice against Maori. Many of the options I list below stem from ideas in the Waitangi Tribunal’s report.

If the Government were so determined not to allow Maori to claim title to parts of the foreshore and seabed, they could have sat down with Maori to properly explore the options that were genuinely available. I think that still applies today, and any alternative other than simply repealing the Foreshore and Seabed Act should involve consultation and negotiations with Maori, not just the Maori Party. Therefore the alternatives I outline below are not ones that would be acceptable without agreement from Maori – but given the outcome of other negotiations in good faith with Maori, I can’t see why obtaining an acceptable solution isn’t possible.

Giving Maori back their right to go to court would firstly establish exactly what the situation is that we are dealing with. Any problems stemming from court decisions could be dealt with when and if they arise, so that solutions could be found to real and known problems, rather than the purely hypothetical situations given as an excuse for legislating. If it were then determined as a matter of public policy that the Government needed to legislate away Maori property rights, at least the nature and extent of those rights would be known, and compensation could be properly negotiated.

Another option would be to follow along the lines of the Orakei Act 1991, which affirms Ngati Whatua ownership of the Orakei Reserve. Mechanisms were put in place to allow control and management to be exercised by both Maori and the Crown (delegated to local government), and to confirm public access. In the words of Sir Hugh Kawharu: “public access to the foreshore at Okahu Bay has been unrestricted from the day title returned to Ngati Whatua”, and “here at least the mana of Ngati Whatua stands tall, intact, and protected”.

Finally, if ownership is to remain vested in the Crown as legislated in the Foreshore and Seabed Act, not only is compensation required, but the Act needs to be amended to enable true customary rights. The Foreshore and Seabed Act forces Maori to prove their “customary rights”, narrowly defined by the Act as only those “traditional activities” that have “continued to be undertaken, substantially uninterrupted, in accordance with tikanga from 1840 to the present”. Of course the raupatu (confiscation) of land and resources since 1840 has effectively made that impossible.

In conclusion, it is pleasing to see that the political climate seems to have substantially changed since 2004. That National managed to convince people that Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act was “soft on Maori”, especially after Helen Clark’s assertion that the Hikoi were a bunch of “haters and wreckers”, says a lot about the situation at the time. 5 years on and both Labour and National seem to have come to their senses. Let’s hope that any solution is a lasting one acceptable to both Maori and the Crown.

* As said by President of the Court of Appeal, Robin Cooke, in interpreting the Treaty Principles in New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney General 1987.

92 comments on “Foreshore and Seabed – where to from here? ”

  1. George D 1

    I can’t give advice to Labour. Honestly, I can’t, I have nothing useful to say. What I do know is that they can’t continue on like this. They’ve got to change direction, fundamentally. That requires humility and introspection, and I don’t see that right now.

    • Adolf Fiinkensein 1.1

      George D, what a strange comment in response to a measured and sensible analysis of the current debacle. The author placed the blame for the debacle fairly where it belongs – with the Clark regime, for it’s hasty and ill thought panicked legislation and then suggested a number of eminently sensible remedies.

      I thought it was a remarkably refreshing piece.

  2. the sprout 2

    i applaud your careful, non-reactionary reading of Hone’s comments on Goff and like you i think they are indeed appropriate when considered as they were meant.

    the rest is excellent too, but just on the grounds of being well thought out, substantiated and well written 🙂

    it’s pretty hard to defend Labour’s handling of the F&S when you lay it all out as you have in this and the preceding post

  3. Posts like this will kill the Standard because it’s hard to disagree with anything even tho I want to 🙂

    You are right to say how both parties were then happy to play politics with Maori for electoral gains.

    I have some sympathies for Hone’s position but it must be tough as Sharples and Turia present a more acceptable facade of Maori nationalism.

    Anyway, another enjoyable post.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    “I thought the comment was appropriate in the circumstances”

    No, it wasn’t. It was very stupid and there is no reason to defend it.

    Harawira’s smokescreens for his own behaviour have nothing whatsoever to do with the Foreshore & Seabed Act. It is the oldest trick in the book. Don’t fall for it.

    Now, back to the F & S …

    • rocky 4.1

      So you’re saying Hone’s comments were worse than the Foreshore and Seabed Act?

      • gobsmacked 4.1.1

        They had nothing to do with the Act.

        If he really meant them, then of course they would be worse, as incitement to murder.

        But obviously he didn’t mean them. It’s just basic child psychology, isn’t it?

        Child does wrong, child told off, child knows he’s in the wrong, so child lashes out, using the Bigger Issue Distraction. (“I hate you, I hate you” – storms off to bed.)

        Parents can either fall for it, or not. I suggest, not.

        • rocky 4.1.1.1

          You’re right, Hone’s comments had nothing to do with the Act – they were a reaction to Phil Goff sticking his nose in. He didn’t incite anything, he suggested Phil Goff and the Labour party have a lot more to answer for than he does. Fair call I say. But of course claiming others have done worse doesn’t justify the offensive language used in Hone’s original comments, which he has already apologised for.

        • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.2

          I agree with Gobsmacked. The comment was not appropriate.

          Violence is wholly unacceptable and killing is inexcusable. So to say what Hone said is commensurate with what Goff said is simply wrong.

          • rocky 4.1.1.2.1

            How did Hone advocate violence in what he said?

            • Tigger 4.1.1.2.1.1

              rocky, I really appreciate your thoughfulness here. It’s hard to agree with your use of ‘appropriate’ though.

              At the very least, Harawira’s remarks are ill-worded (he’s not as clever as you seem to think he is, a clever man would not have tried to put out this fire with gasoline) and unhelpful (how are those race relations looking now?). And if they are those things, how they can be appropriate?

              Look at the circumstances in which they occurred (an apology) – how can such words that are designed to inflame, be appropriate?

              Oh and when Harawira called Goff a ‘bastard’, was that taken out of context too? Was that appropriate also?

              Harawira is part of the divisive fringes in this debate – we need him just like we need Michael Laws to remind the rest of us that while the loud mouths are calling people bastards and racists the rest of us need to do some hard yards in working towards a fairer, more just New Zealand.

            • rocky 4.1.1.2.1.2

              My use of “appropriate” was in the context of a response to Phil Goff, not in defending his own actions.

              a clever man would not have tried to put out this fire with gasoline

              Can’t disagree with that! It should have been obvious how his words would be taken, but that in itself doesn’t make his comments wrong.

              Look at the circumstances in which they occurred (an apology) how can such words that are designed to inflame, be appropriate?

              His comments towards Phil Goff weren’t part of the apology.

              Oh and when Harawira called Goff a ‘bastard’, was that taken out of context too? Was that appropriate also?

              Definitely inappropriate, but if he’d used a less offensive word it would be opinion and perhaps justified. Not exactly a hanging offense.

              I can’t disagree that Hone’s ultra straightforward way of speaking is often unhelpful in getting the public to understand his point of view. It doesn’t stop me having a huge amount of respect for the good work he does.

            • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.2.1.3

              How did Hone advocate violence in what he said?
              Where did I say he did? What I’m saying is , and it should be clear from my first comment, that saying someone should be suspended and saying someone should be shot are not proportionate statements.
              You said “if his punishment should be as severe as suspension, then Labour’s punishment for the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be much much worse”. Right I agree, but what Hone said is grossly disproportionate. It’s unacceptable what Hone said.
              If you had said what Goff said was absurd and Hone followed it with an even more absurd statement then it that context it’s justified, but you didn’t.

            • rocky 4.1.1.2.1.4

              Fair enough QtR, but of course you miss the point that I doubt Hone actually meant what he said. The comparison was supposed to be outrageous to highlight how outrageous the Foreshore and Seabed Act is in comparison with what Hone has done.

            • Tigger 4.1.1.2.1.5

              “ultra straightforward way of speaking ”

              My Mum taught me a long time ago that there is a big difference between being a loudmouth and being staunch. You seem to have this respect for him and good on you. I don’t. Harawira is a bully. Just like his mother before him.

      • gingercrush 4.1.2

        They’re not comparable in the slightest. The Foreshore and Seabed Act was democracy in action. You and others may well feel it was confiscation of rights etc. That isn’t the point. In New Zealand we have a representative democracy. As Labour was the government of the day and had the numbers necessary to pass the legislation they could. Our democracy isn’t perfect. But we have a system in place where a majority can legislate things away.

        Hone’s comments carried a message of violence. Something that isn’t acceptable in this country. I don’t know why you insist on defending his comments. They were unacceptable. Secondly what Hone said was racist and out of line in the first place. That is why Goff thought he should be suspended. That is an opinion. For Hone to then go and say Goff should be “shot down” for participating in democracy is disgraceful.

        —-

        The hypocrisy that you display Rocky and others here is disgusting. Are you now saying as a Maori and a New Zealand I have the right to believe Helen Clark, John Key, Phil Goff or anyone else should be shot down for passing something in law I disagree with? That is dangerous territory.

        You can’t go criticising elements of the right for having pictures of Helen as a dictator etc. After all, you lot now seem to be legitimising such actions.

        • rocky 4.1.2.1

          But we have a system in place where a majority can legislate things away.

          So anything the government does is ok because they have a majority? That mentality really scares me!

          Hone’s comments didn’t threaten violence. His whole sentence was based on a premise that he was showing he disagreed with. It was a colourful way of telling Goff to **** off and stop sticking his nose in.

          • Daveski 4.1.2.1.1

            The test should be what if John Key said the same thing. You’d have to agree that there would be every so slightly a different reaction here!

            Put it this way – if Hone didn’t think it was a stupid thing to say then he is truly stupid.

            • rocky 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Good question, I had to think about it. I do think my reaction would be pretty much the same. It’s the context that counts. If Hone had said Phil Goff should be shot I would condemn his comments, but he didn’t.

              Having said all that I would judge John Key more harshly for calling for violence on Phil Goff than I would for Hone saying it, as I think Hone has more justification. But I wouldn’t support either saying it.

          • gingercrush 4.1.2.1.2

            I never said anything the government does is okay because they have a majority. But we do live in a democracy where if you are able to get a majority in the house you can pass legislation. You can disagree with that. You can even protest about that. What you really shouldn’t do is then say someone should be shot simply because they were participating in a democratic.

            I’m so glad we can use colourful language to tell people to fuck off. I mean how wonderful is it to say Helen Clark should be shot for the Electoral Finance Act. Or that Michael Cullen should be shot for Kiwisaver. What is next? Allowing our parliamentarians to use sexist comments? I can’t imagine you’d take that lying down.

            • rocky 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Repeating yet again… Hone didn’t say anyone should be shot. He said IF he should be suspended for using offensive language THEN Phil Goff should be shot for the foreshore and seabed.

              He clearly didn’t want either the former or the latter to be true.

          • the sprout 4.1.2.1.3

            for god’s sake. Hone was not inciting violence, and i think you’re being a little disingenuous QtR to say “Violence is wholly unacceptable and killing is inexcusable” and then say that you weren’t implying he was.

            rocky’s point and defence, which was not a defence of Hone’s choice of words, is entirely valid.

  5. BLiP 5

    And Labour wonders why Maori have lost faith . . .

    Good one, Rocky. I struggle to see how you maintain so moderate a tone when discussion so enraging an injustice. Must be about time your name appeared on the ballot . . . but which party would it be?

    • exactly BLiP.

      how i wish Goff had just STFU on this one. plenty of rednecks out there would have gone after Hone anyway. this was Goff’s big chance to rise above it and show statesman-like qualities and not piss-off more Maori voters – maybe even impress them by his unwillingness to go after Hone over what is really a pretty petty matter unless you’re hellbent on finding reasons to bag dem marries.

      instead the first i hear of him in weeks is sanctimonious bleating about this. it’s pathetic.

      who is advising Goff, Melissa Lee?

      • George D 5.1.1

        Worse thing is, it’s a distraction. The media is incapable of talking about two things at once, so it’s going to be this. Nothing about the unscrutinized policies being implemented by MACTIONALUF.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    Phil was talking about, how Hone behaved when criticised for missing the Brussels meeting. The F and S act was passed 5 1/2 years ago and is a totally different issue.

    Is Hone above all criticism now? Is he going to keep bringing up the F and S act everything he is criticised?

    We all know the shameful history of land confiscation of NZ and we all know about the F and S (yes I also think it is best to repeal it), but you shouldn’t use it as a shield to bad behaviour.

    PS when it is repealed will the MP finally get around to talking about the 14% Maori unemployment problem?

    • rocky 6.1

      Agreed that attacking someone else is never a defense to your own actions, my point was that Hone’s comments were telling Goff to butt out and have been taken all out of context.

      PS when it is repealed will the MP finally get around to talking about the 14% Maori unemployment problem?

      A quick google will show you many examples of the Maori Party talking about the Maori unemployment problem.

  7. ak 7

    Ae, engari funny how Ngati Porou seem to have managed swimmingly under this “greatest landgrab in history” blah ne innit? Wrong move by Hels for sure, but hardly the genocidal massacre it’s repeatedly painted.

    if the Honster wants to yap on about relativity of comments and/or actual effects of policy on Maori, he might do well to nip down the foodbank with me tomorrow and ponder the effects of Labour’s WFF and the changed WINZ culture on real peeps. Or take a peek at how much dosh went into Maori Health over the last decade, while re-reading the Orewa One speech and comments from his new-found cobbers, including Sunny boy.

    Agreed, terrible stuff from Goffy – trying to outflank the Mild One on the right. Insane. Exactly the desperate confusion and departure from principle that got him where he is today.

    • gitmo 7.1

      You know I find far more latent racism in your comments than Hone’s.

      Now if I was Hone what would I say …. “fuck off back to the Labour caucus you smarmy cunt “… ah I feel much better now.

      [rocky: while I agree with the sentiment, I really should warn you for this comment.]

      [lprent: I wouldn’t worry about it too much. gitmo is just a bit of a limp prick. Small in every dimension and under any psuedonym. Ah I feel much better now…. I also made an unhelpful comment. ]

      • ak 7.1.1

        I find far more latent racism in your comments

        Genuinely curious. Now you’re feeling better, care to point out where/expand?

      • felix 7.1.2

        Lynn, are you implying that “gitmo” is incapable of “raising his standard”?

        • lprent 7.1.2.1

          Nah if I thought that then he wouldn’t be here. Bit like Hone really……

          • the sprout 7.1.2.1.1

            erectile function is a prerequisite for commenting?

            • infused 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Lyn uses pills.

              [lprent: Ummm looks like a moderator left this for me… I can refute this foul canard against my partner.

              Lyn doesn’t have pills. I was chasing aspirin on the weekend and had a look in her bathroom (you know – the clean one). It was even more skint on the pill department than mine was (and didn’t have any aspirin, panadol, etc). I had some anti-inflammatories from doing nasty things to my ankle last year. Pretty useless for a headache.

              Incidentally I now understand the convenience of having a bathroom each. It has improved my early morning zombie condition because I can now do things in the right order. ]

  8. felix 8

    Repeating yet again Hone didn’t say anyone should be shot. He said IF he should be suspended for using offensive language THEN Phil Goff should be shot for the foreshore and seabed.

    He clearly didn’t want either the former or the latter to be true.

    Why is this so hard for so many to grasp?

    Is it willful ignorance?

    I listened to Radio Live today and all of their news bulletins stated in no uncertain terms that Hone had called for Goff to be shot, sometimes immediately after playing the recording of what he actually said which was so obviously not that.

    Why is this total disconnect being encouraged?

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      It’s like when Cullen told the the Herald that if they really thought retrospective legislation was teh evil, then he had a tax bill for them stemming from some mishap retrospectively corrected.

      This of course, was Cullen threatening to tax the Herald if they didn’t shut up.

      I wish basic fucking logic started with an ‘r’.

    • felix 8.2

      Yeah.

      Just heard their latest version, they’ve edited Hone’s recording so now he’s just saying

      “him and his mates should be put up against a wall and shot”

      with no indication of the sentence it was edited from. It’s like that’s what he really said.

      Why would they do that?

      Are other media outlets doing the same thing? What was he “saying” on the telly tonight?

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1

        “Why would they do that?”

        It’s exciting!

        • felix 8.2.1.1

          I was hoping in vain that there might be some other explanation than the obvious one – that most of us lead lives of such trivia that such things pass for thrills.

          I despair. I’m going to go and chase the dog around the lawn for a while and see if it all comes right.

    • Why is this total disconnect being encouraged?

      racism.

      NOTE: still not excusing Hone’s choice of words despite agreeing with his sentiment as correctly characterized by rocky above

  9. Westminster 9

    I disagree, Rocky. While I appreciate the effort you’ve gone to craft a defence for Hone, the fact is that he’s acted in a totally foolish and childish manner. To my mind, he’s behaving no better than the person I thought the biggest fool in Parliament until now, ACT MP, David Garrett. You can rationalise Hone’s behaviour, you can explain it, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to excuse it. This kind of intemperate language diminishes Hone, his colleagues and his message. There were a 1000 things he could have said he chose those intemperate words.

    • rocky 9.1

      I didn’t defend Hone’s “behaviour”, I said his comments were an appropriate way of telling Goff to butt out. No one’s yet explained to me what is wrong with his comment about Goff. Unhelpful perhaps, but not wrong.

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        I agree with your logic, rocky. It is quite clear that Hone was not actually promoting violence towards Goff, and that he was just trying to make a point.

        I think the bigger issue is that he should have been aware of how such a comment might be taken in the media etc. His reactionary nature is again tripping him up. He has shown a tendency to shoot from the lip that IMO makes him a liability for the Maori Party.

        • felix 9.1.1.1

          And I agree with your logic, t, but an even wider issue is why can’t someone make such a point without it being so misrepresented?

          Are we really that dumbed down as a culture? As a nation?

          • the sprout 9.1.1.1.1

            no but there are a lot of racists in this country who like nothing better than whipping joe whitey into anti-Maori hysteria. good for ratings too

  10. gitmo 10

    Hone is a sideshow – people who are getting excited about his language should get over it.

    Nice post by the way I agree completely and am staggered that some see the F&S as reasonable legislation I wonder if they would view it the same way if their property rights and the right to seek redress via the courts was extinguished in a similar manner.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    not only is compensation required,

    Where’s the British law that existed in 1840 that recognised that anybody owned the seabed?

  12. Sanctuary 12

    Let’s be honest here. A majority of New Zealanders almost certainly oppose the treaty settlement process and an massive majority of New Zealand voters are implacably opposed to the “Treaty Partnership”. The only thing that keeps the whole process on track is a broad consensus amongst the political elites of left and right that natural justice requires the compensation of Maori for past wrongs.

    Lucky for Hone Hawawira and the rest of his blustering mates then that those white motherfuckers in the New Zealand political elites and leftist ‘intelligensia’ – the people who he professes to dispise so much – are not of the the same ill-tempered, racist and splenetic disposition as he is, lucky for him that they are more measured in their publc utterances and lucky for him they are not disposed to take his seditious calls to violence seriously.

    It is lucky for Hone his worst punishment is from now on he is going to be mercilessly mocked and treated like a dull-witted and somewhat common jester who no one takes seriously.

    Because at the end of the day, if they did take him seriously, Hone would be in big, big trouble right now.

    • rocky 12.1

      Interesting. Got any logical reasoning to back up your comment against the “Treaty Partnership”? Or is it just your blind racism we’re seeing here?

    • felix 12.2

      Just the blind racism I think, rocky.

      I’m sure it holds true if you swap the words “massive majority of New Zealand voters” for “most of my mates”.

      Or perhaps “the handful of people who wouldn’t run a mile from discussing the issue with me out of sheer embarrassment for my ignorance”.

      Either that or it makes perfect sense for politicians from across the spectrum to actively and openly work against the wishes of such a majority with no concern for their own re-election.

  13. Swampy 13

    Hone Harawira has stood as a candidate for Parliament and holds office as an MP, in that Hone Harawira can be reasonably assumed to acknowledge the supremacy and legitimacy of the Parliament that was set up by all those white mf’s.

    • rocky 13.1

      1. What does that have to do with anything?

      2. Acknowledging present day realities doesn’t mean you agree with them.

    • the sprout 13.2

      Swampy
      so i guess the only appropriate way to change an institution you think may not be legitimate is to just sit and whine impotently from the sidelines, right?

      or is the best way to challenge things you might think illegitimate by engaging in even more illegitimate forms of resistance like political violence?

  14. dave 14

    He said IF he should be suspended for using offensive language THEN Phil Goff should be shot for the foreshore and seabed.

    Well., it all very normative…. I dont think the comments are appropriate ( you obviously do), even taking into the account the words in capitals. When is something unhelpful all of a sudden appropriate?

    • felix 14.1

      I think you’re asking the question the wrong way around. The statement itself isn’t particularly unhelpful, it’s just a simple comparison of scale.

      When does that become unhelpful and inappropriate? Are there words we are barred from using on the grounds that someone else might use them in another sentence to convey a different meaning?

      • dave 14.1.1

        The statement itself isn’t particularly unhelpful
        So how helpful is it?

        • felix 14.1.1.1

          I don’t claim that it is helpful.

          • dave 14.1.1.1.1

            Oh well, so how particularly unhelpful is it?

            • dave 14.1.1.1.1.1

              arrgh cant edit,…. lets clarify, you said it was not particularly unhelpful, so how “not particularly unhelpful” ( to use your terms) was that statement?

              [lprent: There is a new version of Ajax edit as of last week. Tested OK after some issues that made me have it off for a day. What browser and OS were you using? I’ll test on one of my systems. ]

            • felix 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Bit confused now. You said it was unhelpful. I disagreed. It’s all gone double-tripple negative or something.

              I don’t really know what you want me to explain. Perhaps you could say why you think it was unhelpful, seeing as you reckon it is and I don’t really see it.

            • dave 14.1.1.1.1.3

              Lynn

              Window XP Firefox cheers D

  15. Strathen 15

    Rocky – I agree with your interpretation about the whole ‘if’ & ‘then’. I’m struggling to see why people can’t see it.

  16. bobo 16

    Hone is a drama queen and like Wodney is loving the negative attention, so I take it most the posters on here disagreed with Labour introducing the F & S bill at the time? Just now when certain mainstream media bloggers write “oh the heat has gone out of the issue “and “Key’s able to diffuse and bring the public around” blah blah , good old Hone gets the public’s backs up and could have screwed up nationals hard sell on the issue to the public.

    What is Labours new position of the F & S act ? Instead of worrying about name calling some clear policy positions wouldn’t go amiss..

    • rocky 16.1

      I can’t speak for the other posters, but I certainly disagreed with Foreshore and Seabed Act when it was passed.

      As for Key bringing the public around, the National party is just as responsible as Labour for the political climate.

  17. Al 17

    I’m with Sanctuary here. There is quite a lot of approval out there for Phil Goff’s stand. He picked the right public mood on this one.

    You can dismiss people as rednecks if you wish, but it would do more good to perhaps consider that the general public have a point. The redress of past wrongs is largely completed. As could have been predicted- a few Maori have done extremely well out of the settlements and now have more in common with the Act party than with Labour. There is a burgeoning middle class of Maori who live much like any other middle class group and probably many vote National. And then there are the impoverished Maori who need help just like any other impoverished class.

    Labour exists for the underdogs in our society. There are many white working class people now in New Zealand who feel completely abandoned by society and by politics. Many of them are very angry. They were born here but they can barely afford to participate in society. They are priced out of the housing market. And on top of that they are told their culture and history doesn’t matter. These people deserve a voice too and if Phil Goff is going to run a Labour party that unites people rather than divides people then he has my support .

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1

      Nice point about the two classes of Maori that are now developing. One group are interested in using political power to advance their economic interests whilst the other are in a struggle for economic survival. When they talk about Maori economic success how do they seperate this from the entire NZ economy?

      The challenge for the MP is to show they are interested in the latter as well as the former- unfortunately the support of the ACC changes, the climate change legislation and overriding obsession with the F and S (first thing that HH brings up whenever he is attacked) doesn’t really show this.

    • rocky 17.2

      The redress of past wrongs is largely completed.

      How so?

  18. torydog 18

    stop making excuses for this thug.

    Im sure there are more New Zealanders who couldnt careless about the F & S, and infact are thankful they had a government who was willing to protect this for ALL New Zealanders……to use that as an excuse to cover up Hones disgusting behaviour which is more befitting an Mongral Mob member is simply pathetic!

    • Hone a Thug?

      No, a thug is a man who has no qualms about stealing hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money by claiming he still lives in Dipton while he’s been living full time in Wellington and who, when journalists and people critical of his behaviour start to ask questions makes threatening calls to quash that criticism.

      That, torydog is thuggery. Come to think of it someone calling himself torydog comes across as somewhat mongrelish

      • gitmo 18.1.1

        No Bill is a trougher not a thug – otherwise we’d have to classify virtually all parliamentarians as thugs.

        From the dictionary…”Thug, a person, often a criminal, who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire. Often a member of a gang, as an enforcer in organized crime”

        Probably the closest to a thug in parliamentary terms would be the party whips or Trev on a particularly grumpy day.

  19. Matthew Hooton 19

    Outstanding post. What you outline is exactly what should happen now.

    Two points – (1) National’s line in 2003-6 that the F&S Act was “soft on Maori” was seen as plausible because the Act did involve Parliament coming over the top of the court process and apparently just deciding that there were in fact likely to be customary rights in the foreshore and seabed, when this had not in fact been established by the courts. This is why legislation ahead of the court process is always going to be wrong and politically unsustainable – it will always involve giving greater or lesser rights to hapu than the common law may ultimately find, leaving room for uncertainty and ongoing grievance by either Maori or Pakeha, especially those less sympathetic to Maori economic aspiration. If I have a dispute with my neighbour over where our boundary fence should be, we are likely to b oth prepared to accept the final result of a court process, but one of us is going to be pissed off (and the other perhaps guiltily satisfied) if politicians roll up and draw a line.

    (2) I also agree on the “lined up and shot” comment. This is a mere colloquialism – especially in this case when it was clearly made in both a figurative and hypothetical sense. Phil Goff is smart just to let it go – otherwise Labour would just be seen as self-appointed, puritanical language police.

    • Bright Red 19.1

      I thought Goff actually did it exactly right in coming out hard on Hone’s actiosn and dismissive on his words. It made Goff look strong.

      • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1

        It’s a subjective thing I guess, and I’m sure many agree with you.

        But he looked weak to me, crying about bad language and jumping on a bandwagon.

    • rocky 19.2

      You make a good point, but I can’t see how you can relate National’s actions in 2004 to that point.

  20. Matt Andrews 20

    I thought Mr Hooten’s column in the NBR on Friday was a compelling and well-argued explanation of why what the Maori Party wants is quite right wing.

    I worry about the suggestion Labour should line up alongside National and the Maori party in supporting privatisation of the foreshore and seabed.

    Socialists (and even social democrats) should support bringing the foreshore and seabed into full public ownership.

    • Matthew Hooton 20.1

      Yes, that would be another approach for Labour to take – a full nationalisation. But it would require Labour to announce it was confiscating the approximately 30% of the coast line where access is currently restricted by private ownership. It would also surely have to involve making an exception for ports, a problem Labour could perhaps get around by nationalising any private ownership in these – but then it would be saying New Zealanders have access to the foreshore unless the state says otherwise. All this would be pretty controversial, but such a position would have a certain integrity.

      • Herodotus 20.1.1

        Whenever a sub division consent is issued to develope land adjoining the foreshore one condition is that the esplande land is “gifted” back to council, so as time progresses land onwership will slowly be transferred back to council/govt ownership.

    • rocky 20.2

      How would the Crown taking ownership of the entire foreshore and seabed make it any less prejudiced against Maori claims?

      • Matthew Hooton 20.2.1

        Because the State would be confiscating everyone’s private property interest in the foreshore and seabed – a true socialist utopia. There would be no particular prejudice against Maori interests. Note, I’m not advocating this, but some in Labour may find it attractive and it would be involve more integrity than the F&S Act which confiscated any Maori customary title but not any other type of title.

  21. Sufi Safari 21

    I don’t think the Foreshore & Seabed legislation was just. I don’t think the redress of past wrongs is largely completed. I don’t like that media selectively quote people. And I don’t like that society is full of rednecks ready to pounce on every mis-step by someone different from themselves as a pointer to the flaws in a particular race or religion.
    That said, the story for mainstream media is not that Hone told Phil to butt out, or that the Foreshore and Seabed legislation is bad. It’s that Hone used the words ” lined up against the wall and shot” in the middle of a radio show where he was expected to make an apology of sorts for two recent perceived lapses of judgement. One of which also revolved around intemperate choice of words.
    The reporting about his comments has stuff all to do with racism and everything to do with how media write about public figures. Hone is not the first politician to have his words selectively quoted and it is not a practice that the media reserve for Maori politicians.
    He made a deliberately provocative statement. Whether he actually meant that he wants Goff and much of the Labour Caucus shot is pretty much immaterial. He said the words “[they] should be lined up against the wall and shot.” Of course those words are going to be breathlessly reported. Of course they’re going to be brought bare against his judgement in the middle of similar questions being raised along those lines.
    No news outlet is going to report “What Hone actually meant was: [cue detailed analysis of F&S Act and Maoridom’s righteous sense of grievance over it…]”. Not because they hate Maori, but because the media just don’t do sentiment translation. They’ve just been delivered another story on an active news thread about Hone Harawira: angry politician with poor judgement. They’re going to pick the juicy bit of what he said and run their Hone stories out for another day or two.
    So rocky and sprout, I think you’re wrong about media racism being behind how this story is reported. Laziness perhaps, opportunism probably, circumstance definitely.
    Consequently Rocky, while the F&S element of your post is compelling, I find it mostly irrelevant in informing this story other than perhaps explaining Hone’s passion. Hone used aggressive and provocative language and resorted to clearly defined political trope to deflect criticism from himself. Hone’s approach will play one or another with his constituents (as will Phil’s), but I really don’t think it warrants a general defense by way of Foreshore & Seabed Act against the handling of the story.

    • felix 21.1

      …but because the media just don’t do sentiment translation.

      I disagree entirely. Tightly editing Hone’s statement down to just the words “him and his mates should be put up against a wall and shot” as some media outlets have been doing with the recording is sentiment translation – and highly inaccurate translation at that.

      They go to more trouble to distort his statement to fit their translation than it would be to simply run it as spoken.

      But then, no story.

      • Sufi Safari 21.1.1

        But felix, this particular story is those words. There are any number of ways Hone could have deflected to the injustices of the Foreshore & Seabed Act, but he chose to use “[they] should be put up against a wall and shot”. Whether he meant it or not, whether he believes it or not, he said it. The on-going Hone Harawera story is not about the Foreshore & Seabed, it’s about a series of actions and reactions from Harawera that raise doubts about his judgement (if you like in the context of traditional expectations around the modes of expression used by Members of Parliament… for better or worse). His choice of words in this instance add to that story.

        Most of the online reporting of his comments that I’ve seen (with the exception of TVNZ) has included a the full quote “If I should be suspended for my language, he and his mates should be lined up against the wall and shot”. The TVNZ story is pretty poorly written overall, but holds to the general tenor of the media response to Harawera which is to reflect the limitations of his apology and the deflection he used responding to Goff. I don’t think it’s racism on the part of the media to focus on the deliberately provocative elements of what Hone said and I don’t think the Foreshore & Seabed injustices provide Harawera’s comments with any additional context nor does it make them any more defensible if you find the wording problematic.

        • felix 21.1.1.1

          If taking those specific words out of the context of the sentence in which they were spoken endows them with a specific and literal meaning which was not present in the original statement at all, then it’s ludicrous to pretend it is simply reporting what he said

          For example, yesterday Radio Live’s (hourly? half hourly?) news bulletins had a news reader saying “Hone Harawira this morning called for Phil Goff to be shot!” followed by a tightly edited recording of Harawira saying “him and his mates should be put up against a wall and shot” to give the impression that what the news reader had said was in fact true.

          But felix, this particular story is those words.

          No, the story is the meaning of those words and that meaning was deliberately fabricated.

    • rocky 21.2

      Consequently Rocky, while the F&S element of your post is compelling, I find it mostly irrelevant in informing this story other than perhaps explaining Hone’s passion.

      If you look at my post previous to this one, you will see I had planned a post of the Foreshore and Seabed Act before Hone’s latest comments about Phil Goff.

  22. gomango 22

    I thought Goff actually did it exactly right in coming out hard on Hone’s actiosn and dismissive on his words. It made Goff look strong in my parallel universe. I hope some one notices.

  23. Pat 23

    “I also agree on the “lined up and shot’ comment. This is a mere colloquialism especially in this case when it was clearly made in both a figurative and hypothetical sense. Phil Goff is smart just to let it go otherwise Labour would just be seen as self-appointed, puritanical language police.”

    Bernard Hickey was advocating a “dead cat bounce”. There is also “more than one way to skin a cat”.

    Unless you are “all over the place like a mad woman’s shit” (as my father used to say).

  24. Herodotus 24

    Remebmer what brought this statement out. Hone Lied to his leader having a sickie and that he went AWOL on official business. And how does he justify his wrong doing, by a playing the race card.
    How come both a Nat & Lab MPs kept his secrete. Nice to see that they will keep quiet to protect a MP rorting the system. Double standards again. What other things are Mps keeping to themselves?

    • Pat 24.1

      Willie and JT were teasing Hone that he had given them the “what goes on tour, stays on tour” speech. If that was true…

  25. best thing you have ever written! You sure you aint turning blue????

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