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Time for Turia to go

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 11th, 2010 - 65 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, Maori Issues, maori party - Tags: ,

It’s been a momentous week on the foreshore. Labour announced that it was dropping its support for the Nats’ Marine and Coastal Areas Bill (replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004). All indications are that this is not a stunt, but a recognition that the underlying issue is far from resolved, and that Labour is trying to approach it constructively:

Enduring foreshore and seabed solution needed

Labour has today announced it is withdrawing support for the Marine and Coastal Area Bill. “We are now working with other parties to develop an enduring solution that will fully recognise un-extinguished Māori customary rights and title while guaranteeing access to the foreshore and seabed for all New Zealanders,” said Labour Leader Phil Goff.

Here is an opportunity for Maori to move past the current road block, and make genuine progress on their long held goals. In this context I was astounded and utterly disappointed in Tariana Turia’s response. Here it is in full:

Oh my, how the worm has turned

Press Release: The Maori Party
MEDIA STATEMENT
Tariana Turia
Co-Leader, Maori Party

Maori Party Co-Leader Tariana Turia says the Labour Party’s grand announcement they would not support the Marine and Coastal (Takutai Moana) Areas Bill is hypocritical but entirely predictable.

“This is the same party that pushed through the Foreshore and Seabed Act despite receiving massive opposition to the legislation.

“In fact of the 3946 submissions made 94 per cent opposed the Act, not to mention the tens of thousands of people who marched to their doorstep to voice their opposition,” says Mrs Turia.

“This is electioneering at its worst. They seem to think that every Maori is against it but what they don’t realise is that those same people have not forgotten what they did.

“My how the worm has turned – it’s just a shame that they didn’t see fit to follow public sentiment in 2004.”

Mrs Turia says the Labour Party needs to be reminded that the Ministerial Review Panel that undertook a review of their Act received a large number of submissions opposing the Act.

“In fact 85 percent of the submissions were opposed with 10 percent in favour of extensive amendment or repeal.

“Nothing has changed – public opinion to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act remains remarkably consistent.

“I am embarrassed for the Labour Party – they are totally without principle and continue to try and fool people by pretending they care,” says Mrs Turia.

“It must be terribly disappointing for Dr Michael Cullen, who used his last press conference as a Member of Parliament to admit, that with the benefit of hindsight, Labour should never have introduced legislation to prevent Maori from going to the Maori Land Court to seek customary title for the foreshore and seabed.

“If the Labour Party really cared about what people thought then they would never have passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act in the first place.”

That response is so blindly driven by petty personal hatred that it is utterly irrational.

Turia hates Labour because of their position on the foreshore in 2004. All the while she is working closely with National, whose position on the foreshore in 2004 was, lest we forget, hysterical press releases about how “Maori Gain Control Of The Beaches”, and a divisive and racist Iwi / Kiwi campaign. Both major parties have obviously moved on since 2004, but Tariana Turia has not.

The cruelest irony is that Turia’s blindness has forced her to become in effect the very thing that she hates. She is now the one defending a law which is in practice the same as Labour’s law. She is now the one defending a position which the majority of Maori reject. She is the one slamming the door shut on initiaitves that could break through the roadblock. She has herself become the biggest obstacle to progress for Maori on the foreshore and seabed. All for hatred.

Does it get any sadder than this? For the good of her party and her people Tariana Turia should step down, and let cooler heads explore new possibilities.

65 comments on “Time for Turia to go ”

  1. sorry r0b – Tariana ridicules labour -the party, and you abuse her – the person. That is bully behaviour – the cause of so many of this countries problems.

    “She is now the one defending a law which is in practice the same as Labour’s law”

    Fuck me r0b – she has said she believes the repeal is progress from the hated F&S Act (do you remember a hikoi r0b, or that even the proponents of that weak law have distanced themselves from it now) and even if we disagree with her it is fair that she can have her view.

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      marty… i find it slightly amusing your defenition of “abuse”. can you clarify exactly how turia is being “abused” in the post?
      as far back as i can remember, turia has been using every opportunity to rubbish and denigrate eveything the labour party has been doing, or saying… to those of us with the ability to recognize such behavior, it has been obvious she has been driven by her own personal visions of grandeur, and resentment of the labour governments insistence that she work within responsible guidelines with a view to governance.
      can you now characterize that last paragraph as “abuse”?

      • marty mars 1.1.1

        “blindly driven by petty personal hatred that it is utterly irrational”

        is that abusive language?

        How about – bbfloyd is blindly driven by petty personal hatred that is utterly irrational.

        sound like a compliment to you?

        • bbfloyd 1.1.1.1

          marty.. sounds like you havn’t got anything else but personal invective to argue with… not particularly relevant or cogent.

          • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1

            why not answer the point – you asked for an example and I gave it and then I contextulised it to emphase the point – what is wrong with that? It wasn’t personal it was an illustration.

        • felix 1.1.1.2

          No marty, that’s not abusive language. Now if that’s all you’ve got then fuck off.

          (That was)

          • marty mars 1.1.1.2.1

            no felix – you fuck off

            or you could give me an example or description of abusive language to show me the error of my ways if you have the gumption.

            • felix 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I just did, moron. Oh look there’s another.

              You claim there’s abuse in the post, it’s up to you to show it – not me.

              Fact is you can’t address the substance of the post so you feign offence, then when called on it you can’t come up with anything to justify the outrage.

              • well I see I’m getting under your skin a bit – I gave the example – you disagree – your bullshit lines won’t work on me felix – the fact is it is you who reacted and can’t back it up.

                • felix

                  meh, perhaps you’re just the most sensitive person in NZ.

                  If you think it’s abusive to describe someone’s motivations as petty or blind then ce la vie. It must be a full time job being offended if that’s your threshold.

          • salsy 1.1.1.2.2

            Take it easy Felix, the Standard should never be a dumbed down community – patting each others backs, how boring. We need to flesh out ideas here, argue them down to bone and get the to truth of the situation. I hate to see a contributor get attacked in such a meaningless way, just for critiqing a post – even with a bit of passsion. Blind ideology is a useless as political apathy.

            • felix 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Are you calling me an ideologue and a back-patter?

              I’m offended and upset and I’m going to go have a cry with marty mars

    • lprent 1.2

      I have to agree with r0b, that press release from Tariana is completely over blown and outright politically stupid.

      In the end any legislation that goes through will require a substantial level of support to make sure it doesn’t become a political football in the future. This round started with widespread support, but simply got too compromised by compromise. This was reflected in the submissions and active hostility towards it by both Maori and pakeha for various reasons. Consequently the political and public support has fallen away to the point that if in the unlikely event that this current bill passes, the law will be perceived as being as illegitimate as the forming Maori Party perceived the F&S to be.

      Tariana points out with malicious glee that this lack of public support is similar to the 2004 bill, but does not seem to apply the lessons that Labour had to learn to her support of the current bill. If there isn’t enough support for the compromises, then don’t persist with a failed approach. Move on.

      I get the impression that Tariana is more interested in the headline that she has overturned labours F&S legislation than actually getting a workable solution. Since the only way that she can get National to support that repeal is to put in new legislation, she will accept any law, unsustainable as it is, to achieve that.

      • burt 1.2.1

        I get the impression that Tariana is more interested in the headline that she has overturned labours F&S legislation than actually getting a workable solution.

        A workable solution…. now that’s an original idea from a lover of self serving govt.

    • Muzza 1.3

      r0b, i have come to expect petty point scoring and unfair analysis from the Standard commentators, nevertheless the MCA bill is far more robust in its creation and far more honest in its intent that the hated 2004 Act. However, i must admit the MCA is roughly similar to the 2004 Act in a practical sense.

      For Maori the primary goal at the moment is repeal of the F&S Act 2004. Whether something is passed to replace the law is a secondary concern.

      But hell r0b, you made a few good points – pity you had to denigrate Turia to make them. Calm down.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        I think that you are indirectly making the same point in your second para as I did in my final paragraph on 1.2. Bearing in mind that F&S legislation will not be repealed until there is a suitable replacement in place. Could you tell me why replacing one unpopular bit of legislation with an even more unpopular peice of legislation is useful? And to whom?

        Apart from the reason I gave that is?

      • bbfloyd 1.3.2

        M.. so you indulge in petty point scoring in order to accuse others of doing just that… bit of a fruedian slip there old chap..

        • Muzza 1.3.2.1

          Indeed bb, emotion may have got the better of me on that occasion.

          lprent, you are right in suggesting we are making similar points – albeit roughly similar. Turia knows that repeal of the 2004 Act is her pass mark – sadly it appears to her what comes after is less important and can be left for future generations.

          Essentially, I think you misunderstand the Maori position. There is no deep dissatisfaction among Maori concerning the content of the MCA bill compared to the anger and contempt that swept Maoridom in 2004, although that anger was directed more at the perceived intent of the government and the way they conducted themselves. I genuinely believe the MCA bill is vastly more popular in comparison. Do you see tens of thousands of Maori marching the streets? Do you see Maori leaders frothing at the mouth in opposition to the bill? No. There is concern and some opposition from iwi leaders who feel they may be short changed e.g. Mark Soloman but the depth of feeling just does not run very deep with this bill.

          Where concern does arise surrounds whether or not customary marine title is sufficient to restore mana whenua and whether the test for CMT is too high – borderline unachievable for iwi and hapu who believe they have a legitimate claim to the foreshore and seabed. Of course Maori are not united in their views but overwhelmingly (I say this from anecdotal experience on Marae etc) Maori support the MCA bill on the grounds that it is an improvement from the 2004 Act in both its content and intent. If Maori see the bill as an improvement then repeal and replacement is justified in my opinion.

    • roger nome 1.4

      Marty – rob like so many others is sick of Turia seeking to discredit any left parties whilst providing John Key’s government a false and tacit endorcement from her constituents – many thousands of Maori. Now – the stats overwhelmingly show that people who vote for the Maori paper want them to work with the labour party, not National. Her and PS have signed an agreement with National which gags them from speaking out against virtually anything politically important that National does. Because they’re not speaking on behalf of thier constituents any more – they’re not fulfilling the role that they were elected to do – therefore they abrogate thier right to call themselves representitives of Maori. Both Turia and Sharpels should go.

      • marty mars 1.4.1

        Kia ora Roger,

        The context of the press release was a response to labour pulling it’s support and therefore it is legitimate to mention labour. I have no love for the right wing agenda and whoever is pushing it and I support opposing those voices at every turn.

        Whether they are representatives of maori is for ballot box to show – and it will – in fact I wish that could be tested now.

      • sweetd 1.4.2

        “Now – the stats overwhelmingly show that people who vote for the Maori paper want them to work with the labour party, not National.”

        What stats?

        • felix 1.4.2.1

          In 2008 the party votes certainly showed that. I’d be interested to know if there are more recent polls on the matter though.

          • Bunji 1.4.2.1.1

            As i recall there was also specifically a poll held shortly after the election of Maori voters that said that… but there’s not been anything since that I’m aware of.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    Good call, R0B. Tariana’s tunnel vision has blinded her to the fact that the new law is just the old law with a name change. It changes nothing for maori, but for the Maori Party it’s the end of their relevance.

    My abiding memory of Turia is her waddling into the Whanganui Job Summit and receiving a standing ovation from the pakeha businessmen in the room. They got what she still doesn’t; the Maori Party have been bought fair and square by John Key and their presence in his cabinet is similar to that of an elephant’s head in a hunter’s trophy room.

  3. gingercrush 3

    No you assume Maori are on board with this proposal. You assume this is a genuine proposition from Labour. Basically you’re taking out your arse. I see no iwi or hapu applauding Goff.

    Most of the praise is coming from Act and the Coastal Coalition. That suggests to me what Labour has done has actually done far worse for Maori. You r0b exhibit the same denial where you still believe Labour acted honourably in 2004.

    True conensus requires support from Maori and I’m not seeing that at the moment.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      G… so where are you looking? up your own arse by the sound of it…

      • gingercrush 3.1.1

        Ok then wise guy please point me to Iwi and Hapu supporting Labour’s move? Go on away you go.

        • bbfloyd 3.1.1.1

          G if you can get your head out of that dark place for a while, you might recognize that my comment relates to your obviously biased sympathies, which lead you to make questionable claims… it is not my job to educate you, or give you opportunities to attempt to bog down any discussion with petty arguments over minutiae. if you wish to interpret the information you have in your own way, then so be it, but don’t act surprised when you get called on it..

        • pollywog 3.1.1.2

          Aren’t Ngati Kahungunu and Ngai Tahu in support of not supporting the bill also, and if Hone is opposing it then he’s prolly got Nga Puhi backing him up too ?

          it seems more like Labour are supporting the groundswell coming from hapu and iwi…

  4. Turia should attempt to stay. If her position is so unpopular – all Labour needs to do is run an effective candidate against her.

  5. Bill 5

    Still reckon the unspoken crux of the matter is the right to exploit resources.

    Under the F&S the right to exploit resources resided with the Crown. Under the Nat scenario, Maori have a veto option on exploitation. In practice, that veto gives Maori leverage to negotiate partnership arrangements.

    So what is it the Labour Party want to in relation to rights of exploitation?

    The formation of a Maori elite who set up companies and who then become the principle beneficiaries of exploitation of resources is not something I favour. But Labour’s idea of investing all decisions around potential exploitation with the Crown is disempowering, not just to ordinary Maori (as is the Nat scenario), but also to Maori elites. If Labour haven’t moved on that detail, then it would explain Turia’s ongoing opposition to Labour on the issue.

    Access, as in can you, I or whoever go to the beach isn’t really the issue as far as those interests are concerned. That’s just a convenient ‘story’ for the public arena. At the end of the day, ordinary Maori and ordinary Pakeha will be sidelined by business interests. The only real question being considered is who will gain control over those business interests…private Pakeha and/or Maori business interests in partnership with the Crown or private Maori business interests in partnership with private Pakeha business interests…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Still reckon the unspoken crux of the matter is the right to exploit resources.

      Exactly, and it needs to reside with all of us under democratic control.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    “In fact of the 3946 submissions made 94 per cent opposed the Act, not to mention the tens of thousands of people who marched to their doorstep to voice their opposition,” says Mrs Turia.

    Doesn’t mean that 94% of the people opposed the act.

  7. r0b 7

    Ahh I knew I was going to get beat up on this one!

    marty mars and others, I apologise for the offence. Two points however. First, it’s hard to write about that press release without mentioning Turia individually by name. That isn’t the Maori Party position — I certainly hope — that is Turia’s position. And second, it wasn’t my intention to attack her as an individual. You can say that pointing out that she is driven by irrational hatred is an attack, if you like, but first tell me if you think that the claim is incorrect.

    And I certainly stand by the point of the post. Turia is now sitting in the very same position that she attacked Labour for in 2004. She’s defending essentially the same law against essentially the same Maori popular unrest. She wanted to be part of the solution, but instead she has become part of the problem. It’s very sad, and I think the best way that she can further her goals is to step down and let calmer heads have a go.

    • Bill 7.1

      She’s defending essentially the same law…

      Nope. Not the same law. This time around, Maori elites get to veto development meaning they get a ‘buy in’ which means they potentially get their hands on lots of filthy lucre.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Ahhh, the law makes much more sense now.

      • burt 7.1.2

        which means they potentially get their hands on lots of filthy lucre.

        That’s the crux of the problem isn’t it. If Maori have a chance to manage their own destiny they won’t be voting for more welfare and where will Labour be then ?

        • Zorr 7.1.2.1

          Actually this is a grab by the Maori elite which does very little for the average Maori struggling to raise a family. Try another one burt.

          Perfect captcha: lacking – just like burt

          • burt 7.1.2.1.1

            That be as it may, who are we to tell Maori how they are to manage their own resources and governance structure?

    • Fair enough r0b – IMO it is legitimate to ask whether tariana is an impediment to a lasting solution – I think that is a reasonable question to ask and an understandable position to take.

      She thinks that the repeal gives a forward movement to maori aspirations – I oppose that view and think that it reduces any forward movement. No biggies in all that.

      I can’t say why tariana feels about labour the way she does – but I have noticed she didn’t attack goff or clark and her mention of cullen wasn’t personal against him IMO.

      • Lew 7.2.1

        marty, I can. Cullen’s personal statement aside, Labour haven’t ever come out and said the FSA was bad law born out of bad process. Perhaps it’s because (like certain commentators around here, notably micky savage) they continue to labour (heh) under a delusion that it’s good law born out of good process; but in my view the reason is that they simply haven’t got an alternative. I hope that what we’ve seen this week indicates a change on that front.

        L

  8. Name 8

    The Maori Party is as valid, and ridiculous, as a “People called Jim” Party.

    “Mr. Speaker, I represent everyone called Jim and on their behalf vote for/against this piece of legislation.”

    • Lew 8.1

      To the extent that people called Jim vote for them, they’re dead right. That’s who the māori party represents: people who vote for them. Who happen to make up a majority of those voting in five out of seven Māori electorates.

      No more stupid than the National and Labour parties both claiming to represent “hard-working Kiwis”.

      L

      • Marty G 8.1.1

        actually, they didn’t win the party vote in any seat, did they? (checking -no)

        The true Maori Party is the Labour Party because more Maori vote Labour than any other party.

        Maybe it should be called ‘the Five Individuals with Local Mana Party’

        • Im still trying to find out who” her people are ” that she keeps mentioning . Its certainly not the main stream Maori as they gave their party vote to Labour, by a huge majority.To tell the truth this woman gives me the creeps ,I would not trust her for one moment. As for Sharples well he is just her poodle.

        • Lew 8.1.1.2

          That’s largely down to smart tactical voting in those electorates — partly the awareness that party votes would be wasted since they were already looking to get 4+ MPs without them; and partly a hedge and (as you say) a signal to the leadership as to preference. Party vote indicates who you want in government; electorate vote indicates who you want working for you locally. Tariana and Pita Sharples disregarded that signal, and may yet pay a high price for doing so. Fair enough if they do.

          L

    • Jim Nald 8.2

      say wot?

  9. Lew 9

    r0b, I also think you’ve laid it on a bit thick but I see where you’re heading. However in Tariana’s defence Labour still haven’t really resiled from the FSA — and in fact they still spend a lot of their time defending it. While National aren’t much better in policy terms, and are showing a similar reluctance to make meaningful concessions, they have changed direction considerably since Iwi/Kiwi and are at least prepared to work with the māori party.

    On present form neither party is a friend of Māori. So while Labour has an opportunity to demonstrate that they’ve changed, I don’t think a little cynicism is unreasonable. But ultimately your reasoning is right: if Turia stands in the way of genuine progress, she should be punished in the court of public opinion and at the ballot box.

    L

  10. Bored 10

    I am sort of reminded of Nero fiddling whilst Rome burned. But who is playing Nero?

  11. dave 11

    That isn’t the Maori Party position — I certainly hope — that is Turia’s position.
    It was a Maori Party media release, not a Tariana Turia media release. Could you explain why Labour wants to reinstate the the right to go to court to test claims to the foreshore and seabed after passing a bill that prevented it?

    • r0b 11.1

      Because people can learn in six years? Honestly, that’s a pretty stupid question if you accept National’s much more extensive flip flop on the issue.

    • Bunji 11.2

      Any press release Turia makes will be a Maori Party press release – it doesn’t mean the rest of the party agree with it (although it does make it hard for them to resile from it)

      On election night 2008 Turia said she was just going to do one more term, because she wanted to spend more time with her mokopuna – does that position still hold, or has she got that taste for power now?

  12. MrSmith 12

    “It must be terribly disappointing for Dr Michael Cullen, who used his last press conference as a Member of Parliament to admit, that with the benefit of hindsight, Labour should never have introduced legislation to prevent Maori from going to the Maori Land Court to seek customary title for the foreshore and seabed.”

    Someone enlighten me please as to what this statement is all about, I though Labour just announced they would let the courts decide if re-elected?

  13. noironyintended 13

    If Labour was serious about making amends for one of the worst race relations disasters in recent times then they would stop cozying up to the Maori Party and work with ACT who know even more about what Maori want than Labour.

    • Alexandra 13.1

      I agree with Rob,
      Turia’s outburst are indicative of her hatred of Labour generally, and this one is no exception, Turia’s silence and indeed support of this governments actions, that are detrimental to most Maori, is what I find to be irrational . How she can demonstrate such patience and tolerance towards the nats and yet hold such a short fuse for Labour, generally speaking? Perhaps she’s inherently tory at heart and her outbursts are part of an enduring campaign to assist the nats stay in power. Turia underestimates her own people, most of whom, want to see the back end of this government and this will be reflected at the ballot box next year. I’m guessing Turia will perfer to stay around as long as the nats are in power, and will step aside when that changes.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        “Perhaps she’s inherently tory at heart and her outbursts are part of an enduring campaign to assist the nats stay in power.”

        That’s the truth in a nutshell. Turia is fundamentally a Tory and Labour made a big mistake encouraging her to stand as a candidate for them in the first place.

        captcha: relevant. That thing is spooky.

  14. peterlepaysan 14

    Labour blocked Maori access to Courts over customary title issues regarding the foreshore and sea bed.

    The rights or wrongs of this action are,clearly,debatable.

    There are many, regardless of political allegiance, or racial affiliation, who thought the issue should have been able to be taken to Court. There are equally many,regardless of racial or political connections who think otherwise.

    This is going to be a long debate.

    Goff is quite right in saying the proposed legislation is not durable.

    Ironic that he and his colleagues enacted the existing legislation. Sigh.

    • Anne 14.1

      “Ironic that he and his colleagues enacted the existing legislation. Sigh.”

      Yes it is ironic, but at least they owned up to their mistake earlier this year. I guess they deserve brownie points for that.

    • millsy 14.2

      Yes, god forbid that New Zealanders should have the right to access the beach without a bunch of rich iwi elites petitioning the courts to lock up vast swathes of the recreational estates. If people like you had your way all the beaches and the parks and lakes and moutains would be owned be iwi elite who will charge big bucks to access.

      The court system does not exist to deprive new zealanders of their recrational birthright,

  15. George,com 15

    An opinion of mine is that this issue will probably only be fully sorted when the like of Turia, Goff etc have retired. The same goes for Labour-MP relations. Turia has too much bitterness to welcome warm relations with Labour. Clark going fixed one of the relationship issues, Turia is a blockage. When she retires the next leadership of the MP may be able to build stronger ties. It is still all too personal for her.

  16. daveg 16

    I think Labour need to face some cold hard reality. They let Maori down badly when enacting the original legislation and ended up looked like the ‘rednecks’ they purport to dislike, although I’ve never been convinced of that, given the demographic of support they have. Its bad politics to do this, example – Winston Peters. The simple reason its bad politics, is that NO-ONE CARES ANY MORE”. The divisions in this country are made by politicians and their knee-jerk reactions. The Foreshore and Seabed Act was one of the worst pieces of legislation in this genre and to deny culpability is to live in vastly delusional world.

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