Hone Harawira’s speech

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, March 10th, 2011 - 19 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, Maori Issues, maori party - Tags: , ,

Speech: Hone Harawira

Marine and Coastal Area Bill – Second Reading
Hone Harawira, Te Reo Motuhake o Te Tai Tokerau
Tuesday 8 March 2011

Tena koe Mr Speaker, and may I please begin my first formal speech in parliament as Te Reo Motuhake o Te Tai Tokerau, by extending my gratitude –

1. To my immediate whanau, my wider whanau, and all the people of the north for their continued and unwavering support over the years,
2. To the tino rangatiratanga movement for always reminding me of the importance of refusing to back down on matters of principle,
3. To all those who have contacted me over the past few weeks, offering their support for the principles that I stand by, and my commitment to justice and equality for Maori wherever they may be, and finally
4. To the Labour Party and to my whanaunga Shane Jones, for allowing me the opportunity to speak to this second reading of the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, and to note how right David Parker was in recognising the clear differences between myself and the Labour Party over the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, differences which still exist in the positions we take today on this new bill to confiscate Maori rights.
5.
Mr Speaker – I’ve said it before and I say it again here – whether I am a member of the Maori Party or not, whether I am a Member of Parliament or not, does not change the fact that when Maori rights are under threat, somebody needs to speak up and challenge that threat, and if the Maori Party will not speak up, indeed, if the Maori Party choose to be a party to that threat to Maori rights, then be assured that I will not shirk from speaking up and challenging that threat as well.

Because Mr Speaker, when the Minister of Treaty Settlements says that “Maori will have to show that they held exclusive use and occupation of the area since 1840, without substantial interruption, and that the area in question was held in accordance with tikanga”, then what he is saying is that the National Party / Maori Party government intends to use exactly the same test in 2011 that 50,000 Maori marched against in 2004.

And when Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister says that “customary title is not going to be easier to achieve, but it’s not the government’s job to make the tests easier…” then what he is doing is spitting in the eye of the Maori Party for backing a deal that is likely to break their backs at the next election.

And when Mr Speaker, the Maori Party actually says in their video, and I quote: “if we were negotiating on what is fair, just and moral, then we would have a very different outcome,” then Mr Speaker, please let it be known to all who care to notice, that I am glad that I am no longer a member of a caucus that has finally realised that the price of their coalition with National, is their support for a bill that is unfair, unjust and immoral.

And when Mr Speaker, the Maori Party says “that is the choice facing Maori people, and we will be guided by them” then I have to ask, which people is it that they are talking about?

Is it the iwi leadership Mr Speaker, whom the Maori Party went out of the way to promote during this process, who refused to support the bill and subsequently refused to attend the first reading of this racist piece of legislation even though the Maori Party begged them to come and show their support, and who are again conspicuous by their absence at this second reading, because they simply do not accept that this bill will achieve anything for Maori?

Or is it Mr Speaker, the people behind the thousands of emails, phone calls, texts, facebook messages and tautoko that I have been getting from Maori wherever I go in Aotearoa, who support the same principles that I do, and say that they will walk away from the Maori Party if it supports this racist piece of legislation?

And when Mr Speaker, the Maori Party says that “saying 95% of Maori are opposed to the bill is wrong and it is mischievous” then I have to ask, what about the 72 submissions that the Maori Affairs Select Committee received from marae, hapu, iwi, Māori land owners, organisations and collectives, Mr Speaker, because, of those 72 submissions Mr Speaker:

1. Only ONE supported the Bill
2. 20 said the Bill should be put aside or withdrawn
3. 33 said the Bill was not much different from the 2004 FSSB Act
4. 34 said the Bill needed significant amendment, and
5. 37 either did not support the Bill or outright opposed it
6.
And if I can Mr Speaker, please let me quote here from some of those submissions, because it is important to remind the Maori Party of the issue that got us into parliament in the first place:

1. “The facade of saying no-one owns the foreshore and seabed equates to ongoing extinguishment of our ownership rights and interests”
2. “The Bill is so flawed it should be withdrawn”
3. “The country has not learnt from past injustices and continues to see extinguishment of Maori rights as a legitimate problem-solving process”
4. “The Bill knowingly breaches Crown obligations under the Treaty”
5. “No real enduring resolution can occur as long as one Treaty partner continues to dictate to the other the nature and extent of their rights, and the process by which those rights are recognised and upheld (or not)”
6. “Maori should not support an equally unjust law”
7.
And when Mr Speaker, the leadership of the Maori Party moves to force me out so that they can say that the Maori Party unanimously supports this racist piece of legislation, do they seriously think that the 50,000 who marched against the confiscation of their rights in 2004 are going to accept the ongoing confiscation of those rights in 2011?

And do they seriously think that all those who joined the Maori Party are going to stay, if the party sells out their people on the very issue that gave birth to the party, and that those same people are likely to vote for the Maori Party that supports the ongoing confiscation of those rights?

Because this I know Mr Speaker …
1. All 4 Maori Party MPs who voted for this racist piece of legislation, did so without going back to ask their constituents what they thought about it;
2. All 4 Maori Party MPs who voted for this racist piece of legislation, have publicly expressed grave doubts about the bill itself;
3. All 4 Maori Party MPs who voted for this racist piece of legislation, have been told in no uncertain terms by their constituents that they do not support it; and
4. All 4 Maori Party MPs who voted for this racist piece of legislation, have been called upon by iwi in their electorates to withdraw their support for it
5.
And Mr Speaker, the analysis of the submissions makes it quite clear why Maori do not support this bill –

1. it fails to properly recognise and provide for the mana of hapū and iwi
2. it continues the original confiscation via vesting in the ‘common space’
3. it sets the use and occupation tests too high
4. it limits the content of a customary marine title
5. it introduces a costly, adversarial and complicated court process;
6. it remains discriminatory to Māori, and
7. it continues to breach Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Tikanga Māori, common law principles, and international human rights standards, including the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
8.
Mr Speaker, this bill is deserving of nothing but contempt and dismissal, for it preys on the desperation of the Maori Party to be seen to be doing something about the issue from which it was born, while highlighting the determination of the National Party to ensure that Maori will actually get nothing from the same piece of legislation.

Mr Speaker, with all my heart and all my soul, I urge the Maori Party, indeed I beg the Maori Party –

1. To recognise the fact that they have been sold down the river by their National Party coalition partners on this bill;
2. To accept the reality that they occupy a cold and lonely place in the hearts and minds of their people for supporting this bill, and
3. To do the honourable thing by their people by withdrawing their support for this bill, because without the support of the Maori Party caucus, this bill will die the death it truly deserves.
tu te ao maori
tu te rangatiratanga
tu motuhake
tena tatou katoa

19 comments on “Hone Harawira’s speech”

  1. grumpy 1

    Good at making speeches but can’t be bothered voting?

    • Carol 1.1

      Probably not so much that he couldn’t be bothered, but he’s used to someone else lodging the votes on behalf of the Maori Party. Put all his efforts into the speech.

    • Craig Walsham 1.2

      And practically the difference it would have made to the outcome if he had cast a vote against it 00000000.
      So back to the issue the Maori Party has sold out and Hone knows it foreshore.

  2. SHG 2

    Shame! Dumb! Doh!

    — Hone Harawira

  3. bbfloyd 3

    well said hone…. i hope it resonates around the chamber…. not likely considering what you’re up against, but one can hope….. hopefully you won’t have to put up with idiots ignoring you simply on the basis that you didn’t vote when it would have been a futile gesture anyway… they’re just reactionary dittoheads,,, but there’s a lot of them..

  4. higherstandard 4

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10711225

    The different parties views on the legislation is worth a look

  5. neoleftie 5

    one wonders if this issue is nothing more than a kicking bag, slowly deflating, that will get a kick and some more air from every successive government.

  6. ianmac 6

    At times Hone has pointed out the odd and unjust rights that some (rich?) folk have to own beach and foreshore, onto which you enter at your peril. The wharf and industrial needs are understood but some rich chap with a flash house can buy full and complete ownership? Can understand the fury of Hone with the Bill.

    • neoleftie 6.1

      That ianmac is something that i find distressing – private individual ownership of the foreshore. I say honor the treaty, at least in maori iwi community ownership it cant be sold to overseas interests and sold and resold as a commodity.

  7. Descendant Of Smith 7

    The whole approach to this since Labour passed their silly piece of legislation has always bemused me.

    I saw absolutely nothing wrong with Maori going to court to test their rights to the foreshore and seabed in the first place and saw Labour’s move as completely unnecessary.

    And as to having prove continuous use since 1840 WTF is that about. I thought Maori were here before 1840 – did not realise they arrived here when we did. Surely use prior to 1840 is much more relevant – you know before their land was taken through legal or often illegal means.

    Before some of the traditional areas used were taken or sold, before the locals were displaced, before land was taken from hapu that resisted the colonisers and was given to those that supported the colonisers for their own reasons, before private ownership rather than collective ownership became the norm.

    And if we are going to deprive one part of the population of their ownership of land such as the seabed and foreshore to place that land in common use for all to use in perpetuity then lets deprive them all – private landowners as well.

    The hypocrisy of those who are concerned that Maori won’t allow them usage when all over this country there are private owners who already don’t is just astounding. I have much much more faith in hapu/iwi willingness to share than I do in wealthy landowners who have their own private little beach – often not because they own the beach but because they own the access points.

    But then that is part of the racism inherent in this whole thing isn’t it – that Maori rights are somehow less important, that the treaty was with a defeated race bowing to the white conquerors cause they had no choice – you know such as with American Indians – rather than a treaty with a race of local indigenous people far more numerous than the settlers with whom the treaty was made. Racism that assumes that Maori while much larger in number bowed to the superior white man intelligence and cultural superiority – the whole taming of the savage beast.

    The same Victorian moral superiority that sees charity as better than welfare, that same moral superiority that says you are poor because you want to be, the same moral superiority that says women are responsible for pregnancy – why it’s reared it’s head again in this much more knowledgeable, enlightened world puzzles me – though I know deep down it’s because the congruency between the wealthy and the fundamentalist religious right has re-birthed in globalisation – having lost much of it’s power and influence in the post colonisation period.

  8. todd 8

    I can’t help but feel a bit sad that the Maori party is disintegrating. A lot of good people put a lot of effort into getting that party on their feet and now they look like they wont be around after the next election. What a waste. All because National has divided and conquered like the bad old days. Haven’t they learned anything?

    • felix 8.1

      You get in bed with the Nats, you’re gonna get fucked.

      It’s not like we didn’t all warn them. I’m just glad the Greens got out with little more than a treatable STI.

      • chris73 8.1.1

        I think you mean any minor party that get into bed with a major party is gonna get fucked

    • Marty G 8.2

      I think a lot of people on the left supported a left Maori Party having a crack but the first worries came early when Turia said they weren’t left or right, those were Pakeha constructs and they were for all Maori.

      You can’t get far attempting to ignore the materialist divide that is the fulcrum of politics, the internal contradictions have ended up tearing them apart …

      but not before they had done a lot of harm to their people, to the idea that a Maori party can be successful, and to their supporters’ belief in the parliamentary process as an avenue to effect change.

    • I agree Todd ,a golden opportunity for Maori to have an effective voice has been scuttled by Turia and Sharples. The vain showmanship and slimy behavour of Turia has show her up for what she is , a self interested social climber.This woman with her unnatural hatred of Helen Clark has put the Maori Party on the skid. The blame for their demis is due entirely to this nasty woman. Its very sad and I for one am not only sorry but angry . The trouble is its beyond repair now and the chance for a better Aotearoa for both Maori and the rest of us has been blown. I just hope that the Maori population will remember this traitorous action by just a few .

  9. deemac 9

    It is irrelevant that HH’s vote would have made no difference – on that basis no-one would ever take a stand unless they were sure of winning. Remembering to vote is a key part of an MP’s job and as far as I’m concerned this episode just epitomises Hone’s lack of suitability for the role.

  10. Treetop 10

    There is no place for window dressing when it comes to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill. The vote has to be 99 % in agreement. The bill in its current form is divisive.

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