Stockholm Syndrome and leaky homes at the coast

Written By: - Date published: 4:12 pm, November 27th, 2009 - 47 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, maori party - Tags:

Bomber over at Tumeke has a good post up on Goff’s speech.
Pointing out the Maori Party has Stockholm Syndrome is not race baiting
That to me sums up Goff’s speech, far more eloquently than I could. He referred to Eddies earlier post….

..ouch, did we read the same speech? I don’t think pointing out that the Maori Party is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome is race baiting. I don’t agree with Goff building Hone up further than it needs, Christ Phil there’s much more Pork to slice off Rodney than Hone for Mill grist. But the Emission Trading Scam needs a response that is critical and claiming the race card won’t deflect that criticism.

I also think claiming this is Goff’s Orewa speech is just bullshit. Read the Hollowmen and see the emails at the time when Brash’s spin Dr’s knew that the Maaaaaaori get too much line was just a lie but they used it anyway. Goff is actually pointing out the bleeding obvious, that’s a planet away from what Brash attempted to do.

I think Gordon Campbell has the best take on this speech…

After doing several courses on coastal processes and some experimental work, the one thing that I’m utterly clear on is how fragile the interface between sea and land is. It doesn’t take much fiddling around with the offshore berm or onshore dunes to cause massive problems decades later, or hundreds of miles away. Keeping the ownership and control in the hands of the state, where the state has no major motivation to commercialize the shore and seabed and a high liability, seems like the simplest way to reduce screw-ups. Ask anyone whose house drops into the sea because someone removed a dune a decade earlier kilometers up the coast.

I don’t feel comfortable with developers, corporations, iwi, or iwi corporations getting control of coastal processes. None of them have a good track record of responsibility of dealing responsibility with such a fragile environment. In the case of the iwi they really don’t have a record at all in modern times. At least the state is still there and in control when the state screws up. The state also has the resources and capability to make restitution and clean up the mess. I suspect that anyone else in control would be like developers in a leaky homes case (like I’ve just been through) – they disappear.

Bearing in mind how much change is going to go on with changing sea-levels over this century, letting the coastal systems go into private hands (and iwi are private hands) seems like a bloody stupid idea.

Sure we could set up regulatory institutions, but if they have to fight through the courts to take action against ‘private’ owners of the coast, then the damage would probably be done by the time the case finishes and the party at fault would probably be bankrupt anyway. It is easier to not give ownership at all. Then there is no question to waste the courts time on.

The Foreshore and Seabed act seems and seemed to me to be an appropriate response to protect a fragile environment. The ‘partnership’ provisions seem like a good way to give some control but with the state retaining liability. In the meantime I hear a *lot* of words from the Maori party about ‘rights’, and none about responsibility about the coastal areas that they want to take charge of. That seem like a curious and to me suspicious omission.

47 comments on “Stockholm Syndrome and leaky homes at the coast”

  1. Sure we could set up regulatory institutions, but if they have to fight through the courts to take action against ‘private’ owners of the coast, then the damage would probably be done by the time it finishes.

    The damage would not already be done by the time it finishes, because generally in court cases of that nature, temporary injunctions are put in place to preserve the plaintiffs’ position.

    You’re also forgetting of course that Resource Consents are also needed before any development of the nature you outlined could commence. The Crown has the ability to regulate where and when Resource Consents can be given.

    The Foreshore and Seabed act seems and seemed to me to be an appropriate response to protect a fragile environment.

    If the Crown were adamant not to give ownership to Maori (in whatever limited places it was determined they had a legitimate interest in), there were other options available as I outlined in this post.

    The Foreshore and Seabed Act was a clear breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. The least the Crown should have done is attempted negotiations in good faith.

  2. As for Goff’s speech, I agree there is nothing wrong with suggesting the Maori Party have Stockholm Syndrome, though if that’s the case one could wonder why they didn’t get it with Labour.

    The fact is there were many other comments in Goff’s speech (almost called him Brash!) that were geared I’m sure to stir up the same shit Brash did in 2004. Others have mentioned the Hollow Men and how that makes what Brash did different. Personally, I’d love to get my hands on the emails going around Goff’s office in the past few days.

  3. Yeah, I haven’t seen a single bit of documentation by Iwi saying how they’d they’d use the coast to prevent the issues that I’ve raised.

    Perhaps they should start describing what they’d do with the coast, and how they’d conserve it and prepare to deal with the contingent liabilities. But even that is irrelevant. What I’m saying is that to me it isn’t a legal or rights issue. In fact I couldn’t give a shit about them. They are minor issues in this debate.

    Changes to the uses of the coast are a conservation issue. I have yet to be convinced that people like those in the Maori party are aware of those issues at all.

  4. Perhaps they should start describing what they’d do with the coast, and how they’d conserve it and prepare to deal with the contingent liabilities.

    Perhaps they would have had the chance to explain their position if negotiations had been attempted in good faith by the Crown. Helen Clark announced the status quo would be protected the day after the court decision, and that the government would legislate a week later.

    They are minor issues in this debate.

    That may be your opinion, but I don’t think many on either side of the debate share that view.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1

      Fair point Rocky, but after the performance of the Maori Party over the ETS, do you think many people will be willing to trust them not to sell out our children (again?).

      Remember, Key has promised to fill the Coromandel with Marinas and the Nats are promising to ramp up Aquaculture and to open up the conservation estate to get at our under ground resources.

      Hopefully Maori and Pakeha alike can put a clamp on this exploitation- the problem is that the Maori Party are not demonstrating that they can be the vehicle that can be used.

      • rocky 4.1.1

        Fair point Rocky, but after the performance of the Maori Party over the ETS, do you think many people will be willing to trust them not to sell out our children (again?).

        We’re talking here about Iwi, not the Maori Party. And of course if you look at my last post on the issue, there are many more appropriate ways those issues could have been dealt with.

        Remember, Key has promised to fill the Coromandel with Marinas and the Nats are promising to ramp up Aquaculture and to open up the conservation estate to get at our under ground resources.

        Indeed, so lprent’s claim that the foreshore and seabed is safer in the hands of the Crown doesn’t stack up.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          No what I said was that the state was liable for any decisions that they take.

          That means if anything does go wrong that they have the capability to rectify the problem if possible. So in the event that they allow something stupid to happen and are found liable for it, then they can do what is required to fix the issue. The state is also responsible to cleanup of any resulting brownfield issues.

          That liability tends to make the state responsible and capable over decades. The state

          The problem is that Iwi don’t have the capability, nor the experience nor the knowledge to use their ‘rights’. Before the state abrogates those responsibilities, the iwi should demonstrate that they have the ability to contain their liabilities and the knowledge to know how to.

          Otherwise we just wind up with another failed privatization like whatever fuckwit deregulated the liabilities on buildings in the 90’s.

          • BLiP 4.1.1.1.1

            The problem is that Iwi don’t have the capability, nor the experience nor the knowledge to use their ‘rights’. Before the state abrogates those responsibilities, the iwi should demonstrate that they have the ability to contain their liabilities and the knowledge to know how to.

            At little paternalistic, don’t you think? I mean, have Pakeha demonstrated their superior ability to manage the lakes?

  5. The Foreshore and Seabed act seems and seemed to me to be an appropriate response to protect a fragile environment.

    Would you care to explain how creating a very narrow definition of customary rights was about protecting a fragile environment?

    • lprent 5.1

      Because it gives the iwi organizations a platform to demonstrate their capabilities to conserve the coastal areas. That kind of experience takes time to acquire.

      • rocky 5.1.1

        Because it gives the iwi organizations a platform to demonstrate their capabilities to conserve the coastal areas. That kind of experience takes time to acquire.

        Yeah right! For any sort of customary rights to be claimed, Maori now have to prove they have essentially exercised those rights consistently since 1840. Land confiscations have made that almost impossible. Have you read the Foreshore and Seabed Act?

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          Yes… And the vast majority of coastal areas have access, most iwi haven’t moved much, and we are talking here about customary rights.

          But I suspect that you are deliberately ignoring my point and only concentrating on what you want to talk about… Exactly how do you protect that vulnerable areas against human stupidity.

          • rocky 5.1.1.1.1

            Exactly how do you protect that vulnerable areas against human stupidity.

            By having the state legislate adequately in the Resource Management Act. As with the leaky building stuff, the state agency that allowed things to happen should take some of the responsibility.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.1.1

              What state agency? Unless you’re talking about the councils?

              The government of the time was stupid enough to legislate councils to abrogate their responsibility to private inspectors. The restrictions on every about buildings apart from things like earthquake and fire regs are handled by the local councils. However the councils are responsible for how they used that power.

              The councils when using that ability didn’t inspect the inspectors enough and didn’t ensure that they carried sufficient liability cover. Consequently from a short period in the 1990’s there will be court cases running until the late 2010’s.

              My building was just lucky that the council did all of the inspection. That meant we got a resolution in about 5 years from detecting the problem – after we’d already paid to fix it up.

              The private inspectors virtually all went belly up as soon as any liability hit. That is what I suspect that iwi would do as well. As I said earlier, I hear a *lot* from the Maori party, and from some iwi about their rights. I don’t hear anything about their responsibility that goes with those rights

            • rocky 5.1.1.1.1.2

              The government of the time was stupid enough to legislate councils to abrogate their responsibility to private inspectors.

              And the state can just as easily change the legislation.

          • rocky 5.1.1.1.2

            But I suspect that you are deliberately ignoring my point and only concentrating on what you want to talk about

            Ignoring your point… no. Concentrating on the issues I care about… yes. You said you thought the Foreshore and Seabed Act was a good response to the Ngati Apa decision. I think that makes it legitimate for me to comment on why I thought it wasn’t. I’m still waiting for you to explain why you think the Act was a good way to deal with the issue, even with your opinion that the foreshore and seabed should belong to the Crown.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.2.1

              What I’m saying is how would giving a private organisation like iwi rights ensure a conservation of the coast?

              At present the responsibility for that conservation is clearly held by the state, who are also responsible for any liabilities from their decisions. That is what the F&SB maintained.

              If the courts give ownership to Iwi, then they also get that liability. At present I don’t see any way that they could carry it. For that matter I don’t see any signs that they have the knowledge to understand their liabilities.

              What I see are groups concentrating on their rights and not concentrating on being able to fufill their liabilities in an incredibly fragile erosive environment. Perhaps the liabilities should be legislated for as required insurance? But that would really be unusual…

            • rocky 5.1.1.1.2.2

              What I’m saying is how would giving a private organisation like iwi rights ensure a conservation of the coast?

              ummm.. like for example the foreshore at Okahu Bay reserve which is owned by Ngati Whatua, and jointly managed by the Crown (local council) and Ngati Whatua.

            • rocky 5.1.1.1.2.3

              Perhaps the liabilities should be legislated for as required insurance? But that would really be unusual

              Or perhaps the Crown should ensure there is adequate legislation to stop harmful developments – both on the foreshore and elsewhere.

  6. Armchair Critic 6

    LP – I thought the RMA had precedence over the F&SA, so any development of coastal land in private ownership would need to meet RMA requirements and would be subject to meeting the requirements coastal policy statements and regional plans, as well as district plans. Admittedly the first two documents are not written to cope with much development of the coast.
    But my first impression was that you are drawing a long bow. Repealing the F&SA won’t lead to a variety of organisations becoming responsible for coastal processes unless there is a legislative FU in conjunction with the repeal. And admittedly, NACT seem to be good at legislative FUs.

    • lprent 6.1

      Yeah but the legal difference between the RMA, ie restricting what you can do with your own property, and interfering with someone elses property is the difference between a civil procedure and a criminal one.

      Criminal procedures tend to be a better deterrent. The state is well funded for prosecutions. Individuals bringing a case to the RMA aren’t.

      • Armchair Critic 6.1.1

        No problem with criminalising development on th coast line. Not the best solution, IMO, but better than unfettered development.
        The way it was achieved, preventing a group of people from having their day in court, was much more of a wrong than the good that was gained by protecting the coastline.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.2

      Watch out for Key’s response legislation to the F and S repeal. Might have few clauses thrown in. Of course it will be ‘urgent’ legislation that does not have to go before Select Committee.

  7. Sonic 7

    “Keeping the ownership and control in the hands of the state, where the state has no major motivation to commercialize the shore and seabed and a high liability, seems like the simplest way to reduce screw-ups”

    Ah the wonderful state, they would never sell of resources to big capital would they.

    Btw can you tell me where I can get an ounce of what you were smoking when you wrote this?

  8. lukas 8

    this post lost any credibility it might have with this sentence…. “Bomber over at Tumeke has a good post”

    Bomber is a small child with ADD trapped in a cavemans’ body.

    • lprent 8.1

      Ummm and your comments don’t exactly inspire me with any confidence. Always negative, low on content, and high on being snarky or something.

      Do you have anything useful to contribute or is that it?

    • toad 8.2

      lukas – fuck off !!! The Standard has a much higher level of debate than the Blog That Shall Not Be Named (which is where you belong).

      We actually have rational arguments here. In this case, I agree with Rocky, and disagree with lprent. Sometimes it may be the other way round.

      But you come here with a nasty ad homieum put-down. I don’t always agree with Bomber either. But take note of the arguments, rather than dump shit on those who provide them.

      As for trolls like d4j (and you, unless you smarten your act up) I’m surprised how many blogs let trolls get away with factually unsubstantiated attack comments for so long.

  9. Lew 9

    Lynn, the whole problem with your line of argument about the foreshore and seabed is: while it might be a good idea, while it might be good for conservation and access, while it might be a harmonious solution, the foreshore and seabed wasn’t the crown’s to dispose of.

    If we’re to enjoy the rule of law in this country, it must apply to the government, who must not be permitted to legislate away inconvenient realities on the basis of a simple majority in the house.

    L

    • quenchino 9.1

      the foreshore and seabed wasn’t the crown’s to dispose of.

      The Crown is the sovereign in this country. All else is legal sophistry.

      • Lew 9.1.1

        Quenchino,

        As I said: if we are to enjoy rule of law.

        What it seems you’re saying is that we aren’t, and don’t.

        Is that ok by you? Would it be ok if it was your family land being expropriated?

        I don’t know about you, but if I genuinely thought that the crown considered that it had a legitimate right to just do as it pleased without regard to existing local and international legal strictures, then I’d get my rifle and start a resistance.

        But I don’t think that, because it ain’t so.

        L

      • quenchino 9.1.2

        Yeah, resist away, but then war confers the right to conqueor, to confiscate… and around it goes. Much simpler and cheaper to do politics.

        As for ‘legal strictures’, they’re Parliament creatures, not the other way around.

        • Lew 9.1.2.1

          Quenchino, you have my condolences, it must be tough being that jaded. I’m pretty cynical, but … crikey.

          L

          • quenchino 9.1.2.1.1

            Dunno Lew, there just doesn’t seem much point in even having a government if it cannot make a law regarding the shoreline of it’s own territory.

            • toad 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Sovereignty and Te Tiriti is not what this issue is about.

              It is about property rights. It is about the jurisdiction of the Courts to determine, in any particular location, and according to its facts, whether Maori still hold property rights over the foreshore and seabed.

              The last Labour Government didn’t renationalise Air New Zealand without compensation. They didn’t renationalise the railways without compensation.

              But somehow, when it comes to Maori property rights, the last Government chose to nationalise the foreshore and seabed without compensation.

              Cullen has acknowledged the error in that, albeit when he had already decided to depart Parliament.

              Goff has not, and his speech yesterday reveals him as, if not a racist prick himself, someone who is prepared to exploit racism for political gain.

            • quenchino 9.1.2.1.1.2

              That’s cool… so it’s all ‘property rights’? Do the new owners plan on paying rates? If this ‘property’ of theirs damages coastal property, or drowns someone. Because they failed to fence it off safely, can I hold the new owners accountable?

              Curious to know just when the govt of NZ sold this asset in the first place, like the airline and railways?

              And if it’s a property right, just where do I find it in the LINZ database, like all other title legally conferred by the Crown? Oh right, it’s nothing to do with sovereignty.

            • Lew 9.1.2.1.1.3

              Quenchino, the point is that the crown does not enjoy pure and unfettered sovereignty — it enjoys sovereignty constrained by existing strictures, one of which is the Treaty — and despite what toad claims, the foreshore and seabed is a treaty matter. The treaty guaranteed tangata whenua exclusive rights to their ‘tāonga katoa’ — lands and possessions, as it was translated, although the Māori term is much broader. The foreshore and seabed clearly fall within this ambit — in either language — a legal fact affirmed by successive courts and governments.

              It’s partly property rights, but not solely in the sense in which you’re talking about them. Aboriginal title is the preeminent state of all territory in Aotearoa — this is another matter of English common law which predates the Treaty, was well understood by the Treaty’s signatories (on both sides), and which has been affirmed by the courts of this land many times since. The legal status of all land, including that on the coastal margins prior to the FSA was that it was assumed to be held in aboriginal title unless alienation could be proven. The court case which the FSA circumscribed (Ngāti Apa) was a test of alienation.

              The title isn’t legally conferred by the crown because it predates the crown’s jurisdiction over these lands. In order for title to be conferred, the land would first have to have been alienated — by sale, confiscation, conquest or whatever, many of which means were themselves unlawful but are nevertheless legitimate since ‘alienation’ is a less strict test than ‘disposal’. If it had been alienated, it could no longer be held in aboriginal title, by definition. So that’s why you can’t find it in the LINZ database, and perhaps why you can’t seem to comprehend it: it predates your frame of reference.

              L

            • quenchino 9.1.2.1.1.4

              Lew,

              If all title the Crown has conferred is on land that was alienated by virtue of conquest, confiscation or sale (which nowadays seems open to perpertual re-negotiation) … and in your own words mostly unjust… then logically all private title issued by the Crown must also be both unjust and therefore subject to being legally struck down.

              Alienation is a fancy word for theft is it not?

              If aboriginal title not only predates, but takes legal and moral ‘preeminience’ over all of this continent, then the Crown, Parliament and the entire NZ Govt, is a framework of simple nullity because it literally has not ground to stand on.

            • Lew 9.1.2.1.1.5

              Quenchino, now we get into the distinction between that which is morally right and that which is legally (or practically) right.

              Morally; you’re right, in a very strict sense. This is why my parents returned their (confiscated) land to the descendants of those from whom it was confiscated. But having done that, I and my family now have an inalienable stake (granted by those descendants) in the that land. Because legally and practically, it’s not so simple as ‘simple nullity’, a term which was used once before, as I assume you’re aware. The crown and its parliament and laws and courts have legitimacy granted them by successive generations of tangata whenua. The treaty was a major part of this. That’s real.

              Nobody sane expects a pure, strict solution; that way lies ruin. This is why the negotiated solutions (of which the Foreshore and Seabed Act was not one) are the only way the issue will ever be settled, once and for all. When all parties are happy with the outcome — or at least tolerably unhappy.

              L

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1.2.1.2

            I guess if you had a pure finders keepers(first in first served) attitude to sovereignty and legal ownership of land the descendants of the Australian Aborigines would control all land ownership accross the ditch all red headed celt descendants would be Britains landlords the Metis in central Canada etc.. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen and ownership has been vested in the Royal family and ultimately parliament.

            There are certain economic and historical realities, so as much as we all hate to make concessions a legal compromise and politically tenable compensations etc have to be made to provide for social harmony and benefit of society.

            Hence we have a planning system and a legal framework to spell out who can do what with their land who has legal rights etc.. However fair or unfair you may feel that is.

            In short I doubt whether the iwi’s will obtain anywhere near total authority over their lands even if the court cases that follow the repeal of the F and S Act give recognition. It is not even certain they will get more than they have now under the current arrangement.

    • lprent 9.2

      Sorry been en-route to my parents (my mother has a slipped disk).

      To me, if it’d been land I wouldn’t have had an issue with taking it to the courts – there are relatively limited effects for neighbors from land based issues. Much of those are confined to waterways, and that has a reasonably strong legislative framework. Incidentally, a large part of the waterway contros is actually based on the effects on the state owned foreshore…. That is going to cause legal issues in its own right. On earth water is damn near the universal solvent and main eroder. That to me is of far more importance than legal rights.

      The problem is that it is that the coast is the main erosion area in NZ. Because there hasn’t been a issue with who has final control until the court case, there hasn’t been a legal framework. That meant that there are few controls apart from some pretty limited and local acts. For instance are you allowed to use ‘your’ seabed as a dumping site for fill from building sites? Allowing massive aquaculture farming? Mining the offshore berm?

      Water currents would spread the effects of these far and wide, outside of the area under private control?

      If it went off into private control, a whole new legislative framework would be required. Leaving it up to the courts about what you could or could not do would be time consuming and remarkably ineffective. We’d wind up with a serious of disasters for the next 50 years while they sorted it out and it wouldn’t have a particularly good coverage.

      So there will have to be a frigging great pile of legislation removing or restricting the rights of ‘ownership’ because to date the state has restricted those rights to themselves. Those acts would be fought hard by the prospective ‘owners’ defending their rights.

      This is simply an area where changes in usage will have widespread and often incalculable effects.

      It has taken close to a century to restrict the rights of private owners to dump sediment (and everything else) into waterways, stop developers stripping fore-dunes to get a better view for developments, etc. Many of these decisions and acts depended on the effect on the foreshore and seabed that the state ‘owned’……

      As I said earlier, I hear a lot about ‘rights’, I don’t hear much about the responsibilities. I hear even less about the other downstream effects on existing controls. Pretty much I don’t hear much thinking going on, especially from the Maori party which formed around this issue.

  10. piglet 10

    DENIERS. GOFF IS A RACE CARD PLAYING DIVIDER OF NEW ZEALANDERS.

  11. marcus-w 11

    Another own goal from Team Labour

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