Indigenous Declaration part of Nats’ clever game

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, April 20th, 2010 - 68 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, maori party, national - Tags: , , ,

What I think Pita Sharples fails to understand is that John Key and National don’t see international agreements the way the Left does.

The Maori Party is dead keen on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples because they believe that by signing on the New Zealand government will be committing itself, legally and morally, to the principles contained within, including the implication that indigenous peoples have special rights, and that will have real-world effects for policy etc.

Labour believes the same thing that’s why (wrongly, on balance, I think) it refused to sign on.

Key and National see a UN declaration and see that a) it’s international law so not really binding anyway if we don’t want it to be and b) it’s only a declaration, so not even ‘binding’ international law like the Law of the Sea or the Geneva Conventions (and we know how often those are breached). Key has said that the Declaration will change nothing.

So, this was an easy choice for Key. He has given what he sees as nothing and Sharples has got what he believes is something valuable. (giving Sharples the secret trip to New York to unveil it was a masterstroke).

The problem for Sharples is that Key is Prime Minister. And if he thinks the Declaration is a meaningless piece of paper, that will be its effect in New Zealand.

This, along with giving Tariana Turia her Whanau Ora pipe dream but with no budget attached, is part of National’s clever manipulation of the Maori Party. They give away virtually nothing, in return the Maori Party leadership is co-opted and rolls over on the real issue – the foreshore and seabed.

I have to admit, this is masterful politics by National. They’re going to have the Maori Party singing the praises of a foreshore and seabed deal that fails to deliver what they want.

68 comments on “Indigenous Declaration part of Nats’ clever game”

  1. I am watching Parliament and Hide is spitting tacks about the signing of the declaration.

    Labour just moved an extension to his speaking time and the nats refused leave!

    Their next cabinet meeting should be interesting.

    It may be good Wellington politics by Key but what will the rednecks think?

    • Bright Red 1.1

      Hide called it a breach of Act/National’s confidence and supply agreement.

      • gobsmacked 1.1.1

        “We didn’t sign up to anything” – statement by John Key, in the House just now.

        First question to Dr Sharples, when he gets off the plane: “Do you agree with the Prime Minister?”

        • And Key constantly repeated the phrase “non binding and aspirational”. Which is an assessment of the meaninglessness of the gesture that’ll probably be news to Pita Sharples. Mind you, Key could just be taking about his commitment to the job. Non binding and aspirational.

  2. greenfly 2

    Pleeeeeease!

    Her name is Tariana TURIA.

    Metiria TUREI is the Green Party Co-leader.

    [Fixed – thanks – please forgive the odd typo in Marty’s prodigious output! — r0b]

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Yes the Nats are well and truly playing the Maori Party like 10 guitars at the moment.

    I really wonder when Dr Sharples is going to wake up and realize that John has dictated what music was to be played has eaten all the food and drink and he’s (Dr Sharples) is going to be left cleaning up the after party mess.

    Quite sad but there you go.

  4. Herodotus 4

    A bit lost here, but how can the NZ govt sign sow=mething (from Red Alert and herre) of questionable value, when parliament has not voted on it, so it is only the Nats & MP who have signed?
    Just not sure how a group of parties can commit NZ to something in the UN?

    • Ianmac 4.1

      Good point Herodotus. How can NZ sign or as John says not sign a document on behalf of NZ without NZ consultation?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        Parliaments approval is not required.
        All other ‘treaties’, which are binding have just been approved by the Executive Council ( cabinet & GG), which has the legal authority to do so.
        This is what happens when you dont have a constitution that says approval of parliament is required.
        I think other Westminster governments work the same way

  5. ak 5

    “No Practical Effect: a brief history of the Key administration 2008-11”

  6. tc 6

    Yup more mastery over the MP…..candy from a political baby….too easy.

  7. dave 7

    C`mon guys Tariana TUREI? WTF???

  8. Key and National see a UN declaration and see that a) it’s international law so not really binding anyway if we don’t want it to be and b) it’s only a declaration, so not even ‘binding’ international law like the Law of the Sea or the Geneva Conventions (and we know how often those are breached).

    This declaration isn’t international law.

    In 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of the Child. That was non-binding, you couldn’t sign up to it, or accede to it, or ratify it. It was a bunch of countries agreeing through the UN to say some words. They weren’t and aren’t international law and those words were of no legal effect anywhere.

    30 years later, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and opened it to countries for signature. New Zealand signed that convention, and later (in 1993) ratified it. That convention, really quite similar to the Declaration in content is binding international law, and in 1994 was even used by the Court of Appeal in reaching its decision in the Tavita case, with the Court dismissing the argument that the Minister and Ministry of Immigration were at liberty to ignore the convention.

    The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is of the first sort. In a few years time, that declaration may lead to a Convention, which is actually international law, of real value. Like how the Declaration of the Rights of the Child led to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights led to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

    Until then, all that has happened is that the Minister of Maori Affairs said a few things in a speech to the UN. It’s nice, and what he said was important, but it’s not law, or binding in any sense.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      In a few years time, that declaration may lead to a Convention, which is actually international law, of real value.

      How many years do you think Graeme?

      • I’ve no idea, this took 20+ years just to get from a draft to a general assembly resolution. It could be a while. Of course, once it gets to that point (if it ever does) we get another vote on at, and have to sign it and ratify it before it would have any effect on us. And even then, we could enter reservations and say that this bit and that bit wouldn’t apply to New Zealand.

      • toad 8.1.2

        As short as possible, hopefully, RL.

        But doesn’t all of this make Rodney Hide look like more of a dork? He who supposedly supports property rights, but I guess as long as they are only those of nice wealthy white people like him.

  9. Jim MacDonald 9

    Well well well
    Key has got ACT & Maori Party
    twirled around his thumb
    instead of them pissing into the tent
    he’s got them pissing out of the tent
    he may now be celebrating with a good piss up
    but he’s pissing off many sections of the public (read voters) in no time

    • luva 10.1

      Yeah but what are they going to do about it – vote Labour?

      The people that are pissed off are hard righties who will never swing so therefore there is no danger in Key pissing them off.

      Act won’t go anywhere.

      In the same way Labour has always walked over their mates to the left, National can take Act and hard right support for granted.

      • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1

        True, but only up to a point. ACT are quite a bit more scary to centrists than the Greens are I suspect. (hence Key’s pre election distancing from douglas/privatisation/etc)

        So if ACT starts picking up Nat’s right wingers, that’s a problem.

        • Herodotus 10.1.1.1

          That the could allow for the 30k of additinal votes NZ1 requires to get back in. How aeasy we make it wfor the past relics to regain control, and he doesnt have to do anything new. Just what NZ needs for a bright future, an old dog.
          I thought Winny was gone, but like the undead we appear never to be able to get rid of him.

  10. Ianmac 11

    John said in Parliament that they did not sign anything. On TV 3 News they said repeatedly that the UN Declaration was signed……

  11. bobo 12

    So Hide threatened to walk over a smaller issue of Maori seats on supercity , the Indigenous Declaration one would think is a much bigger deal… will he walk the talk… is this the beginning of the end of the Nact Coalition , surely one side will lose on this, either a Maori Party expecting this deal to mean some real changes more than what Key calls symbolic, or Act screaming separatism.

    What was Goff thinking complimenting Key on camera being a slick operator on a day when it looks like the wheels could be falling off the Nact agreement with Act, the whole secrecy thing with Sharples and Key looks amateur at best in running a stable government.

    • Daveosaurus 12.1

      “What was Goff thinking complimenting Key on camera being a slick operator”

      Positive reinforcement. I’d sooner New Zealand had a government that did clever things, than a goverment that did completely retarded things; and for the last year or so they’ve looked alarmingly like the latter.

      • bobo 12.1.1

        Goff was also quoted as saying he is waiting for the public to tire of Key…. maybe a bit more fire in Goff’s belly wouldn’t go amiss instead of waiting to get back in by default…

        On a side note if this is such a smart move by Key why did he need to sign this deal? the Maori party are a cheap date for National, they have nowhere to go, they would still be with Nact even without this deal, all Key has done today is give Winston Peters more chance of re-election with the whole separatism card and pissed off his own support base. All makes for great political entertainment.

    • You bought into that media spin? It’s obvious what he was doing. Damning with faint praise.

      John Key is a skilled politician. Great at photo ops. And really good at spin. Etc. These aren’t compliments.

      • Spot on, Graeme, though I think it’s a bit optimistic to call it ‘media spin’. Rebecca Wright clearly doesn’t get irony. Her sign off line is a shambles:

        “Mr Goff ended the day spectacularly off message even his own team were left wondering what happened, but politics is war and today Mr Goff blinked first.”

        War? Blinking? And the line about ‘his own team’ sounds somewhere between wishful thinking and an outright lie.

        What an amateur.

      • bobo 12.2.2

        Subtle sarcasm doesn’t work in soundbites cut n paste out of context as the MSM always do. Goff should know this by now. Its not me that buys into the spin i’m talking about the swing voter who watches a 10 sec clip on the news each night.

  12. Blue 13

    The funny thing is, I think Labour didn’t want to work with the Maori Party when they were in Govt in part because they expected them to be tough negotiators – principled people who would demand real, tangible outcomes on things such as the Foreshore and Seabed and Maori health, education and other important areas.

    They could have had no idea that the Maori Party would actually be thrilled to bits with empty, meaningless gestures, and lend support for nothing more than a few baubles.

    If only Labour had known they would be such a cheap date.

  13. Rharn 14

    This is the new ‘Treaty’ grudge for the future generation of Maori. No government can agree to the Indigenous Declaration and its aims and as such will be grounds for further litigation. Another smooth talker like Doug Graham will emerge and a new round of claims be generated when the existing claims have dried up.

    And I agree with Bobo. Goff wasn’t thinking when giving Key kudos. He really has to go if Labour want to be taken as serious contender for the next election.

  14. Jenny 15

    All the member countries of the UN signed up to this agreement in 2007, the exception, the four white settler countries Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA who stood out like sore thumbs in their refusal to sign this agreement.

    Why did the Labour Government refuse to sign?

    In my opinion it has a lot to do with the fact that the Labour Party has still not broken with Neo-Liberalism.

    There are three parts to the dogma of Neo-liberalism; The first wave was Privatisation, The second is Globalisation and the last is Financialisation.

    The Clark Government pursuit of free trade agreements, included foreign investors reciprocal demand for no limits on investment in this country, including any sort of legal challenges over native title.

    (Which specifically gained recognition in the UN Declaration).

    The drive to Globalisation demands zero limits on foreign investment and was first raised in the earlier Multilateral Agreement on Investment, which the Bolger administration was a signatory to, but which collapsed due to mass grass root global protests and resistance, in the world’s first global internet co-ordinated political campaign.

    The Labour Government, though in a piecemeal way with one to one free trade agreements, was resurecting the MAI.

    In progressing the second leg of Neo-Liberalism, the Clark Labour Government could quite happily sign up to a free trade agreement with the Chinese Government while ignoring the shootings of the indigenous people of Tibet protesting for their national rights which was reaching a crescendo at the exact same time.

    As well as this, at the same time and for the same reasons, the Labour Government was hell bent on eradicating any native title over the Seabed and Foreshore.

    While all this was going on, there was just no way that the Clark Government could sign up to the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People.

    To do so would have risked putting New Zealand under the international spotlight. If New Zealand had signed the Declaration, there was a very real risk of objections being raised in the UN about New Zealand breaching the spirit of the agreement, and not just by Maori.

    With imminent repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and while at the present moment the National Government is not negotiating any free trade agreement with a totalitarian state bloodily suppressing a national minority, the way is presently clear for the Government to sign up to this agreement without risking negative repercussions. Even though in practice National’s policy on Globalisation, Free trade and Neo Liberalism is no different to Labour’s.

    • RedLogix 15.1

      the Labour Government was hell bent on eradicating any native title over the Seabed and Foreshore.

      This Declaration makes the S&F debate a moot sideshow. It’s now simply a case of when Maori assert their full sovereignty of all NZ … as some are already doing.

      the exception, the four white settler countries Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA who stood out like sore thumbs in their refusal to sign this agreement.

      Well we really have only two options:

      1. Recognise that everyone here in NZ is a settler, all else is merely a question of when they arrived.

      or

      2. Accept that the first settlers here have superior rights to those who arrived later, and through the magic of ‘native title’ are the real owners of it.

      In the long run this is how this will play out. Pick a lane.

      • Lew 15.1.1

        RL, as much as it does not suit your race-war narrative, there is another option. The one which has been followed by governments from both sides of the house for most of the past generation: accept that there was much that was genuinely and legitimately alienated (by sale, etc.) and that much of what was illegitimately alienated (by war, decree, etc.) will be ceded by those from whom it was taken in the name of harmony and good faith (such as has already happened in every single Treaty settlement to date). What’s left, and that constitutes a very small slice of the country, is what’s up for discussion.

        Comes back to the basic question: do you think the Crown should honour its agreements, or not? If not, why not?

        I don’t expect you to answer, of course.

        L

        • RedLogix 15.1.1.1

          do you think the Crown should honour its agreements, or not?

          Cool, but if you mean the Maori version of the Treaty, then it’s simple… the Chiefs never surrendered their sovereignty and it’s only a matter of time and politics before they reassert it in full. I understand that to be your position… so why not be honest about the real implications this has.

          Alternately we may well ask Maori to honour their side of the bargin, and openly unconditionally accept that the Crown is the ultimate sovereign of this nation. That’s my position.

          Ultimately there is no undoing history. At some point you have to move on… it’s a cliche but a truism all the same. All of us have family who have suffered terrible losses in generations past, many born under a less than favoured star…but most of us put our faith in what can be achieved today and in our children’s lifetime as the only real means of progress.

          If there is a difference between the Maori and Pakeha world it is this; the Maori (and Polynesians in general) tend to view themselves as a person standing at the apex of their ancestoral predecessors, the living representative of those who have gone before them carrying forward their collective task. Necessarily their viewpoint essentially stands in the present, looking back into the past. By complete contrast the Westerner sees himself as the first progenitor of his children and generations into the future. We view ourselves as individuals standing in the present looking forward into the future.

          OK so this is a very rough generalisation, and it isn’t a judgement call here, both races bring distinct strengths and weaknesses to the table. But it does bring explanatory power to why the past is so important to Maori, and why Pakeha find the whole obsession so baffling.

          But in practical terms we either learn to mutually respect and learn from each other’s strengths, or we ultimately go our separate ways. If you want to call this a ‘race-war narrative’ then who am I to stop you… neither of us will have much say in how it actually pans out. It’s not too unreasonable to look to Zimbabwe to get some inkling as to one future for the white people of NZ.

          • Lew 15.1.1.1.1

            RL, you think it’s simple, but it’s not really. They didn’t cede sovereignty, but they did cede much to the crown, and there is an understanding and acceptance even among groups who were not signatories to the Treaty that they are now bound by its provisions in a de facto sense (senationalist bullshit about “a separate TÅ«hoe nation” on TV3 the other day notwithstanding).

            As it is, tangata whenua do accept in fact and in principle that the Crown is the ultimate sovereign authority — and with a small number of mostly marginal exceptions they long ago committed to working within the structures provided by the government and civil society to progress their agenda. There could have been a race war if the 80s had taken a different course; there wasn’t, and there isn’t now. Those of you whose memories of Māori activism in the 80s cloud your view of the current reality are a greater threat to peace and stability than the spectre of activism you raise. It is unreasonable to look to Zimbabwe, because there never was any good faith there. That’s the difference. Settler governments here are not like Ian Smith’s regime was. You advocate for policies which would make governments here more like it, and warn of Zimbabwe-like consequences of not doing so. Do you see the absurdity of that logic? In reality, the harder the line taken by government against Māori, the harder they will resist: the sorts of policies you advocate make a race-war more likely, not less.

            L

            • RedLogix 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Those of you whose memories of Māori activism in the 80s cloud your view of the current reality are a greater threat to peace and stability than the spectre of activism you raise.

              Yes I remember them well, so does Chris Trotter, and perhaps the fact that you are too young to have been there is the missing piece in this puzzle. So you’re thinking Hone Harawira is just a ‘marginal exception’ then?

              Mr Harawira, however, said “nothing is ever just symbolic for Maori”.

              “It is an important step in our process of heading towards self-determination. I can absolutely guarantee that those Tuhoe who are seeking sovereignty and those other iwi who will be lining up behind them will use the principles of the declaration to support their claims.”

              Herald

              The problem for your logic, is that it is essentially an apologist smokescreen, a continuous “nothing to be seen here, normal transmission will be resumed shortly” coverup for the fact that there is a still a radical portion of the Maori world whose goals and aspirations are still exactly the same as they were in the 80’s. However I suggest that the virtue you ascribe to them is more to do with weakness of arms than purity of heart.

              • Lew

                Again with the race-war metaphors. And another classy touch: anyone younger than middle-age doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I get this a lot. At what point does the old guard stop trying to fight the coming war (to use your frame of reference) like they fought the last one?

                Trouble is, I do have a family involvement with this stuff. I don’t speak from academic naïvete, I speak from actually knowing some of these people, and having some general familiarity with how they operate and what their goals are. Often they are extreme. It’s caricatures like those you and Trotter peddle which drive them to the margins when almost without exception they would prefer to work within the system, for the simple reason that it’s more effective to do so. Nothing much to do with purity of heart or weakness of arms.

                As to Hone Harawira being a marginal exception: he’s an MP in government! How much more co-opted by the system, how much more of a commitment to due process, civil legitimacy and the rule of law do you expect?

                At the heart of my criticism, and aside from matters of principle upon which we disagree, is a pretty simple practical matter: if you’re going to subjugate and disenfranchise an indigenous population, you’d better do a thorough job of it, like they did in the Americas and Australia. If you don’t — and NZ’s settlers didn’t, and I trust you don’t advocate such a course of action now — then you’d better be prepared to treat with them, to compromise, and to work in good faith. Doing neither is not really an option, because where injustice prevails, resistance will inevitably emerge, and it’ll flow through the gaps of whatever barriers are put in its place. The policy track which you and Trotter and many of your generation advocate is that which abided in NZ up until the early 1980s — it is to deny, and block, and scaremoger. It failed: resistance flowed around the barriers and continues to overcome them. Thankfully, it was replaced.

                L

              • Lew

                I should add — it’s not that the caricatures of the old-guard Socialists are particularly bad; those from the conservative redneck right are much more pervasive and predominant. It’s just that the old-guard Socialists should know better, in my view, and this explains my particular frustration with them. That they do not know better is a large part of the reason why I’m not one.

                L

              • RedLogix

                And another classy touch: anyone younger than middle-age doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I get this a lot.

                Well it was you who first brought up how us dinosaurs were stuck in the 80’s … but what the hell.

                It’s caricatures like those you and Trotter peddle which drive them to the margins when almost without exception they would prefer to work within the system

                Well I quoted one of those caricatures from today’s Herald above, virtually urging Tuhoe to press ahead with their intention to create their own separate sovereign nation in the Urewera.

                What other possible interpretation can this have? Tuhoe have always claimed they never ceded sovereignty and are demanding the return of all their traditional lands into their private tribal owership, creating their own little Bantustan.

                Well I guess NZ could indulge Tuhoe on this, after all it’s only a National Park and if they can be mined for white capitalist profit then giving away to some otherwise useless forest must be an easy thing. But that would not be the end of it, we could have a sweepstake on which iwi would next to lay claim to another, larger portion of traditional native title.

              • Lew

                RL, fair cop on the dinosaurs thing.

                Thing is, no matter what Harawira says, there’s no prospect whatsoever of a TÅ«hoe nation. It’s agitatory stuff, an opening bid which will be whittled far away. I’m all for taking politicians at their word, but context is important as well. The suggestion isn’t to grant them their wish — it’s to begin negotiations with them on the basis that grounds for mutual agreement lie somewhere between outright sovereignty and utter denial of any historical claim.

                L

  15. Jim Nald 16

    Blah blah blah

    Act I, Scene 1: Nats&ACT v Maori Party
    Act I, Scene 2: Nats&Maori Party v ACT
    Act I, Scene 3: Nats&ACT v Maori Party
    Act II, Scene 1: Nats&Maori Party v ACT
    Act II, Scene 2: Nats&ACT v Maori Party
    Act II, Scene 3: Nats&Maori Party v ACT
    Act III, Scene 1: Nats&ACT v Maori Party
    Act III, Scene 2: Nats&Maori Party v ACT
    Act III, Scene 3: Nats&ACT v Maori Party

    Sideshows, Smokescreens, Shameless Shams: Much Ado About Nothing

  16. Hone has it right

    “Mr Harawira, however, said “nothing is ever just symbolic for Maori”.”

    and

    “He said Labour were “koretake [useless] bastards” who had had the chance to back the declaration but did not take it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10639755

    • Bright Red 17.1

      sorry, but that’s a cop out.

      if something doesn’t change the real world, it is just symbolic. doesn’t put food in the kids tummies, doesn’t get people into work, doesn’t get iwi their land back – a piece of paper, ink on dead wood, it means nothing unless it alters the real world.

      if you’re happy to be bought off with symbolism and get screwed over in the real world, that’s your choice.

      • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1

        Not speaking for any one but me here, but nothing is ever ‘just symbolic’.

        Firstly, it’s got to be symbolic of something.

        Now, Key and Harawira quite probably have very different interpretations of what this was a symbol of. Neither of them are objectively correct. Yet.

        Maybe neither of them will end up getting what they want out of this symbol.

        But symbols are not small things.

      • marty mars 17.1.2

        it is not a cop out

        it will change the real world and it is also symbolic – yes it is both, depending upon the angle of view.

        the funniest thing is listening to goff and others talk about who shagged who – the maori party and maori haven’t been duped – they have laid a cunning trap and done labours job for them – but i don’t spose they will get any thanks

        big win for maori and just the start

        • Bright Red 17.1.2.1

          How’s it a big win for maori? What will change in the real world?

          Simple question.

          • felix 17.1.2.1.1

            What will change in the real world?

            The government.

          • Bright Red 17.1.2.1.2

            I guess I just don’t get this whole post-modern thing. I’m interested in what people do, what policies and actions change, not the words and symbols around them.

            If signing the DRIP does nothing for Maori standards of living, then what value is it?

            • Lew 17.1.2.1.2.1

              Its value is symbolic and aspirational. That is to say, it gives them a platform to lobby from, and will help to entrench a new set of norms. Just as the (similarly non-binding) UN Declaration on Human Rights has resulted in many states enacting laws to give effect to (some of) the provisions of that declaration, and there being a general consensus on the rights enshrined there.

              L

              • Bright Red

                but none of that is acknowledged by the government, so that makes it meaningless

              • Lew

                It may make it meaningless for this government. But not for the courts, or the media, or other civic institutions, or the courts of public opinion, or future governments, or the rest of the world.

                L

              • Most or all of those laws will have been adopted not because of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but because of the binding conventions that were adopted later incorporating what was merely declared in the UDHR.

                The ICCPR is binding. The ICESCR is binding. The UDHR is not.

                The Declaration on the Rights of the Child is non-binding. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is binding. Etc.

              • Lew

                Graeme, I’m sure you heard Mai Chen on this topic saying that a convention would likely follow.

                L

              • I concur.

                Did she say that we’d sign and ratify it?

                Did she say that even if we did, we’d probably enter reservations in respect of the articles Labour has said they were concerned with while they were in Government?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Surely though, doing whatever it is we did yesterday, is meant as a signal that yes we will sign on to a convention. What principled reason could we now have not to?

                The caveats and such remind me of the famous signing statements attached to legislation by some US Presidents to the effect that ‘this law does not infringe on the executive’s power to act, notwithstanding what this law says about that power’.

                It’s just chicanery to sign something on the condition that it is actually interpreted as meaning something else.

              • It’s just chicanery to sign something on the condition that it is actually interpreted as meaning something else.

                While I can see an analogy, it doesn’t really work in an international law context.

                Reservations aren’t about interpretation, they’re about saying “we agree to that bit and that bit, not that bit, and we promise to act accordingly”. Without reservations, many fewer treaties would be signed.

  17. gingercrush 18

    Meh I think once again National Party has released a policy, report, statement or a declaration in this instance and completely out-thought themselves. I can just imagine what happened behind the scenes within National. With PR operators and communications staff within the party coming out with how they were going to sell it to the public. It looks completely messy. Though I don’t buy the Labour Party’s spin. that there’s nothing for Maori nor their reasons for not signing this in 2007. If National’s messages are increasingly blurred then Labour is also doing the same thing. Also inevitably and something that seems to always go over people’s heads here is that Labour is successfully dog-whistling and when you all decry over National doing it you’re well silent when Labour does the exact same thing.

    Also to say this is easy for National to do is rather incorrect. Many who vote National will be incensed by this action and I’m not talking about the right-wing blogs here (who are rather nutty). Labour inevitably panders to this racism. That is a risk for National because unlike you I think whanau ora and foreshore and seabed will deliver far more than you think.

    In regards to Whanau Ora. The budget for it has long been signaled and I suspect it’ll be significance come budget time. Indeed it plays into National’s hand because it utilises the private sector in welfare. Something both National and Act have wanted for years. Whanau Ora provides that smokescreen for both of them. Yet its also controversial and will be worrisome for some National voters in its targeting of Maori. And Maori in the interim will be the main beneficiaries of Whanau Ora. But it’d be a mistake for you to simply dismiss Whanau Ora.

    The Foreshore and Seabed likewise will gain the support of the Maori Party and its supporters. Whilst the issue of is it public domain or Maori title or Simple Fee title is one of the sticking point. This will not be simply what Labour legislated and it actually goes much further than the initial court decision did. Take what Chris Finlayson said on “The Nation” and you get increased co-management rights. Increased rights in addition to the Resource Management Act. Increased property rights. It won’t be perfect. But for you to simply say the Maori Party will sell out on it is simply wrong. For it gives them more than they’ll ever get from Labour and actually more than what they would have got in court.

  18. oooh this is gonna create some fire in the belly of Nga Puhi and Tuhoe as they ready to negotiate their treaty settlements.

    Methinks Key and his handlers got played on this one and that it will be seen as a masterstroke for Sharples in particular. His mana credits will be well in the black with most Maori now.

    And flags are symbols. They mean a lot to some, even to the extent that many have died in vain for them and for others they serve as a rallying point. If as a symbol it didnt/doesn’t mean anything then why are we still holding one to of the last vestiges of symbolic colonial power ?

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      Yeah this symbols don’t mean anything stuff is something I just don’t get.

      The US Declaration of Independence was an utterly symbolic gesture carrying no legal force. It was backed up with conviction that it meant what it said.

      National might think it can hide behind it’s caveats. And I suspect they can if the point is to keep the rednecks on side. But if they want to turn their relationship with the mP into a one night stand then trying to back away from what this means to Maori would be a good way to do it.

      Even if they do though, the runs are on the board, the ink is dry, the symbol exists. If Labour was left, they’d help the mP wield it and tell the rednecks to find another home.

  19. john 20

    Baubles, Bangles and Beads . Hear how they jing, jing-a-ling-a. Baubles, bangles, Bright, shiny beads. Sparkles, spangles, My heart will sing, sing-a-ling-a, wearing baubles, bangles and beads. I’ll glitter and gleam so, make somebody dream so, That someday he may buy me, A ring, ring-aling-a, I’ve heard that’s where it leads, wearing baubles and bangles and beads.

  20. Ianmac 21

    I have heard that there were no caveats and I have heard that there are caveats. Where or what are they?

  21. Lew 22

    Ianmac, read the Hansard for 20 April.

    L

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