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What the foreshore and seabed is really about

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 am, April 4th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, labour, maori party, national - Tags:

Predictably, the media has covered the foreshore and seabed issue with lots of pictures of people on beaches and focused on the ‘access for all’ guarantee. Nevermind that access to the beaches (at least those that aren’t privately owned) has never been in doubt.

The foreshore and seabed is a huge area of land and a potentially mammoth economic resource. The goal of iwi is not the recognition of a spiritual connection with that land in the legalistic forms of Pakeha culture. No, they want to be able to exploit a resource they believe they own for the benefit of their people.

Focusing on the beach when talking about the foreshore and seabed issue is kind of like using images of a sunny day to talk about climate change. It totally misrepresents the issue.

Let’s start with definitions:

Beaches are narrow strips of often sandy land by the sea.

The foreshore is the area between the mean high-tide mark and the mean low-tide mark.

The seabed (and this is the important part) is the seafloor from the mean low-tide mark to 12 nautical miles offshore.

That is an area of thousands of square kilometres and a huge economic resource to whoever has the right to exploit it. There’s lots of minerals and oil in the seabed. There’s huge potential for aquaculture too. It’s not the bit you lie on with your beach towel.

And aquaculture, you’ll recall, is what this issue has actually always been about. Ngati Apa wanted to get in on the burgeoning aquaculture industry in the Marlborough sounds. There was a bit of a gold rush for licences on. So, Ngati Apa said, ‘Wait a minute, why do we need a licence? We already own the seabed’ and got a court to agree that that might be the case.

Maori were hopeful that subsequent cases following Ngati Apa would determine that a very strong level of title existed giving them exclusive and unfettered rights to undertake economic activities like aquaculture (and possibly mining) on the foreshore and seabed without needing permits from the local authority, while not being able to sell it or exclude people using it merely for recreation.

It was the possibility to argue in court that parts of the foreshore and seabed were Maori Customary Land that the Foreshore and Seabed Act removed. That frustrated the goals of iwi looking to make a buck off aquaculture and, possibly, mining (indeed, the first time the foreshore and seabed was an issue back in the 1860s! it was about rights to fisheries and mining, a court gave Maori title only for Parliament to come and stop it). However, under the FSA, iwi have been able to negotiate with the Crown for the recognition of right for more traditional uses of the foreshore and seabed in defined areas.

There was no guarantee that Ngati Apa or any other Maori group would have been able to obtain the kind of free reign they were looking for from courts. As the Ministry of Justice notes ‘there was no earlier case law stating what rights came along with customary land or what it would involve. There was also no case law on how the courts would recognise customary title in the foreshore and seabed. This was an uncertain position which would have required a lengthy and costly court process.’

That’s why the Maori Party has been arguing all along (until now…maybe) that full but inalienable and non-exclusionary ownership of the foreshore and seabed by Maori should be recognised by legislation. That would put them in a much more certain, and potentially much stronger, position than arguing for limited title through the courts.

National’s proposals do not give Maori the ability to obtain the kind of title they want, which is why Hone Harawira has rejected them as ‘stupid’ and Tariana Turia is even pretending to put up a fight. As Chris Finlayson admitted, it’s just symbolism from National – all National’s proposals really do is repeal the legislation but leave the same law in place. There is no substantive change that is relevant to Maori goals from the law that Labour put in place.

Maori would be able to go to court to try to have their customary rights recognised. This could potentially include the right to issue permits for customary activities that would not be subject to the RMA and local body plans but that would not extend to issuing permits for non-traditional activities like aquaculture and mining. Activities like these that require a coastal permit would still need permitting by the local authority which is what Ngati Apa was trying to get around in the first place. All the iwi would be able to do is veto permits, not issue them without the local authority.

So it’s hard to see how this is a satisfactory outcome from a Maori perspective. Iwi like Ngata Apa want the right to get court recognition of their ownership of the foreshore and seabed so they use what they believe is their land for their people’s economic gain without having to contest with others get approval from government as if the resource was public. Instead, they will not be able to have that issue determined by courts and the foreshore and seabed will remain in what is effectively government ownership by another name and iwi will still have to seek approval to carry out serious economic activities on the foreshore and seabed.

Iwi do not want legal recognition of some kind of fuzzy spirital connection with the foreshore and seabed. They don’t want the right to use the foreshore and seabed but only in the manner their ancestors did.

They want legal recognition of property rights, rights to use the economic potential of what they regard as their property. Whether or not you agree with the iwi’s arguments or believe they should have these kind of property rights to the foreshore and seabed, this cannot be seen as anything other than a continued denial of the rights that the Maori Party was created to win back.

41 comments on “What the foreshore and seabed is really about ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    There was also no case law on how the courts would recognise customary title in the foreshore and seabed.

    Actually, there probably is but not in NZ and not specifically about the seabed or foreshore. By 1840 it was pretty well determined in England that land usage over a long period denoted ownership and that was the law and understanding that Te Tiriti was signed under. They may have some claim to some of the foreshore but the Maori didn’t use, and so have no claim, to the seabed.

  2. Libz Ideology 2

    Marty, I am with you on this issue, but you’re being hypocritical for supporting other leftist policies that violate an individual’s property rights.

    You said…
    They want legal recognition of property rights, rights to use the economic potential of what they regard as their property.

    Where is my right to my own earnings when the government (both Labour & National) forced me via law to pay taxation in order to run WFF (Working for Families)? If families want to have children, then it is their free choice, but my right to my salaries/wages is not to be violated via over-taxation in order to pay/support those who in their own volition choose to have more children than they can afford to support.

    Now do you get my point? You apply property rights in this case correctly, but ignore it when it suits your wealth redistribution leftist agendas.

    • You’re dreaming, Libz. NZ is not over taxed at all. I’d happily pay more tax if it would improve healthcare and schooling and, no, I don’t get WFF. The point is the tax take from PAYE is generalised (we all pay on the same basis), but it apportioned out on both a general way (healthcare, schooling etc) and on the basis of individual needs at a point in time (WFF, pensions etc.).

      One of the reasons WFF is popular is because it ‘comes out of tax’ and is not seen as a welfare payment.

      You seem to be mistaking your individual income for property. Property rights and and the rights to fair tax on income are two different concepts. Individual property rights and the rights to the seabed and foreshore are also different, but related, concepts.

    • Redlogix 2.2

      If families want to have children, then it is their free choice, but my right to my salaries/wages is not to be violated via over-taxation in order to pay/support those who in their own volition choose to have more children than they can afford to support.

      Of course when you reach the age of retirement you will be demanding your ‘right’ to some form of superannuation… paid for of course out of the taxes of those in the workforce much younger than you… the children of others that entailed considerable sacrifice to raise to adulthood.

      In other words you are happy to avoid the costs of having children while you are young, but willing to reap the benefits of what others have achieved while you are old. There is a word for this….

      Besides your argument is a bit of a threadjack. As has been repeatedly pointed out to libertarians, if you don’t like paying taxes you have the free choice to move to a country where they don’t have any… or start your own one. By contrast the F&S issue is about the potentially massive transfer of wealth from the public into private hands…. here in New Zealand.

    • Marty G 2.3

      I’m not actually expressing my opinion on the issue. I’m just explaining what Maori want, because it’s something that we rarely see covered properly.

      I totally believe that the healthy functioning of any society necessitates that when individuals’ rights and interests come into conflict the freedom of action of some needs to be limited so that overall outcomes are better. We do not live in a world where individuals’ rights are absolute and even extreme libertarians do not really want that – the just want absolute rights for some.

      • Redlogix 2.3.1

        Back on thread. Yes I totally agree Marty. From direct first-hand personal experience there is no doubt in my mind that the Maori tribal elite have a long-term goal of the full restoration of their pre-European rights and privileges. What they have in mind is for Aoteoroa to become a series on independent tribal nations (with a pan-tribal authority providing for a minimal layer of essential external services)… each owned and governed by the tribal chiefs. If us whitey’s want to stay we can pay rent. “You’ll find us Maori a generous landlord” … direct quote.

        I’ve heard versions of this directly from the lips of respectable and very senior tribal leaders over the years. They naturally keep this agenda close to their chests, but on occasion they let it explicitly slip. Now I’m can see Lew telling me I’m scaremongering already. Sorry buddy… I’ve been around a few more odd spots in my life than most and this is stuff I’ve learned to my sorrow.

        That is what worries me. Over 25 years ago I listened to an elder boasting about how he was going to get Kaingaroa forest back into tribal ownership; seemed preposterous at the time… now achieved. The advantage they have is continuity of purpose, individual leaders come and go, but collectively the tribes will go on forever each generation taking another slice of this country back into their control and ownership of their elites.

        • Lew

          Well, RL, I suppose it’s no more absurd than the idea that Christians want to return to a medieval theocracy.

          Happy Easter.


          • RedLogix

            Well Brian Tamaki’s crew didn’t have seven almost guaranteed seats in Parliament, nor any Ministers of the Crown last I looked either. But if he did would your idea be so very absurd?

            • Lew

              RL, if you can’t see the difference between the two groups there’s honestly no hope.

              Anyway — back to hiding eggs for toddlers ; )


    • Galeandra 2.4

      And, of course, when you are old and in need of sevices like spoon-feeding or bottom wiping, you won’t tax my self-indulgences aka children in order to fund that? Not a new comment, just another recycling of one of the arguments offered in the face of greedy self-centredness. “my right to my own earnings” apparently absolves you from any social responsibility.
      Now how about sticking to the topic of F & S legislation?

      • jcuknz 2.4.1

        But who gave you the right and the opportunity to earn your income? Think of tax as a payment for the priviledge of living and working in this country. It is also a matter of self interest to look after those with less … they are more peaceful when looked after.

    • Bored 2.5

      Libz, your right to salaries and wages goes along with your right to be a member of the society you enjoy the benefits and priveleges of. Methinks you complain too much, how about you pay zero taxes and stay off our roads, out of our hospitals and of the phone.

  3. Bill 3

    A sentence with enormous implications jumps out from your post Marty, yet you seem to have skipped over it as largely inconsequential.

    You have written…

    “All the iwi would be able to do is veto permits, not issue them without the local authority.”

    This isn’t some small detail. A veto is a mechanism of absolute control, albeit in a negative form.

    If what you have said is correct, then ownership becomes useless because it doesn’t bring control with it which remains with local iwi. That’s a powerful position to be in.

    If I understand correctly, a pakeha company could apply for a coastal permit to mine for gold off the coast. But decisions by the local authority on whether to grant a permit can be vetoed by local iwi.

    Which means that at the end of the day either nobody gets permits or local iwi get all the ermits or pakeha companies get permits only after agreening to whatever pound of flesh the local iwi sees fit to demand.

    • Marty G 3.1

      good point, bill.

      i guess my point is that doesn’t give iwi the positive ability to do what they want, but being able to block anyone else would go a long way towards that.

      • Macro 3.1.1

        This already happens of course. If I seek a variation of the town plan that also goes past the local iwi.

        • Bill

          Having a right to be consulted and having a right of veto are two vastly different things.

  4. jcuknz 4

    However twisted and bad governments may be when viewed from different points of view that is better than giving one group ultimate control. Was it Winston Churchill who said ‘Democracy isn’t that wonderful but it is the best of the options”. Maori control is not democracy.
    Thankyou Marty for the explanation, I wasn’t sure what it was all about.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1

      Not sure that Maori would want total control of all governence- thats why they signed the treaty in the first place. Only Rodney Hide and certain businessmen in Auckland want that.

      • Macro 4.1.1

        As with all things – some do and others don’t. Hone et al. for instance does.

      • nzfp 4.1.2

        Hi Zaphod,
        Maori understood that the treaty effectively created two states, a Maori state and a British state with Victoria the head of the British state and all Pakeha and Maori tribal groups in control (governance) of their tribal areas. Certainly the Maori versions reference to “tino rangatiratanga” translates to absolute governance (literally). Bear in mind that Maori were quite capable of governing themselves previous to the arrival of European colonists (most of whom were fleeing economic depression and hardship in Europe for a better life in New Zealand).

    • felix 4.2

      I believe Churchill said it thus:

      Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

  5. coolas 5

    I’m staying on a popular beach where local hapu have had continuous occupancy since landing some 700 years ago. One end of the beach, purchased by settlers in the 1850’s, is covered with houses; the other end, separated by a stream, has remained in Maori ownership and is a vast expanse of dunes dotted with a few houses. The Marae is nearby. Many schemes for developing the land have been floated over the years but nothing happens, not due to multiple ownership problems, but because the hapu can’t find a way to develop the land without loss ownership. Ownership/occupancy is worth more than potential benefits.

    Due to this relationship with the land and the beach the hapu are acknowledged as the kaitiaki of the foreshore (and seabed) of the beach. Hapu members are voluntary MAF inspectors checking catches of cray and paua. The stocks have remained constant for 20 years.

    From this experience I have few reservations with Tangata Whenua being acknowledged as owners of the foreshore and seabed where continuous occupancy (sec 13) can be established.

  6. Jenny 6

    “Iwi do not want legal recognition of some kind of fuzzy spirital connection with the foreshore and seabed. ”

    Yes Marty, But what did the Labour Government want, that put them on a collision course with Maori?

    At the time the Labour Government were busy seeking all sorts free trade deals with whoever they could, no matter their record on political oppression, environmental destruction, or cheap, and even slave labour.

    These free trade deals, were done as part of greater campaign for freeing up access to overseas markets for our exporters. In exchange, foreign multi national investors sought the removal of any restrictions to the buying up and exploitation of this country’s natural resources.

    And contrary to what you claim Marty, to my knowledge at least one foreign investor stated their interest in, as you put it “the often sandy land above the sea” for iron sand extraction. This could easily be “the bit you lie on with your beach towel.”


    The question of native or traditional property rights as recognised by the UN, and in the Treaty of Waitangi, meant that foreign (and local) investors in the seabed and foreshore could have faced unwelcome public court challenges from local Iwi. If for instance one of these companies wanted to suck up all the iron sand from the local beach, or dredge a river mouth, or drill for oil near traditional fishing grounds, etc.

    It was not long after the Foreshore and Seabed legislation was enacted that a prospecting licenses for the west coast of the North Island were granted to the foreign Australian multinational Fortesque Metals.

    (This is something that could have not been done before the S&F legislation without risking some sort of legal challenge from local Maori interests).

    Marty it must be a warning signal for you when you get right wing trolls rushing to agree with you on this one.

    Any challenge to the government’s unfettered right to sell off this resource to commercial interests, with no link to local communities, was often greeted with out right hostility from Labour Party supporters. Often marshalling arguments similar to yours about Maori being tribal etc. which, as well as not being wholly accurate are off the point.

    In my opinion drafting in these sorts of stereotypical arguments is to obscure the fact that the seizure of the Seabed and foreshore was part of the greater opening up our economy and natural environment to foreign multinational exploitation.

    The opening up and easing of the legal hurdles for the exploitation of our marine environment by the Labour Government, that the Seabed and Foreshore legislation allowed, was done as part of a conscious trade off for preferential treatment for our exporters, and was cheered along by the right.

    I have briefly scanned many of The Standard’s past posts on this issue and many of them are dismissive and even intolerant to Maori concerns on this, (and other issues as well).

    In my opinion it is deeply ironic, that The Standard posts that attack the Maori Party for doing deals with National are from the supporters of a party that acting in a high handed and arrogant manner drove them to this very position.

    (Not that I think you should stop ‘constructively’ criticising the Maori Party for this, particularly when it hurts the people they purport to represent.)

    But Labour really need to look honestly at their own record, as well. And try and stop muddying the debate with misrepresentation and childish and sectarian slanging matches.

    For a start the Labour Party should admit that the Seabed and Foreshore legislation was a mistake, and publicly avow to meet with representatives of the Maori party to re-examine the issue and hear their concerns.

    Second, that the Labour Party announce that as well as re-examining the S&F legislation, that the Labour Party, in the interests of all New Zealanders, Pakeha and Maori, are prepared to seek a coalition deal with the Maori Party after the next election.

    Thirdly, instead of needlessly attacking the Maori Party and driving them deeper into the Nact camp by making public statements that the Labour Party seeks to destroy the Maori Party in the elections. Make a public statement that Labour agree to co-exist with the Maori Party.

    Fourth seek some sort of reapproachment with the Maori Party by suggesting common causes of interest.

    Fifth, That the Labour Party should support positive Maori Party initiatives like calling for the removal of GST from food for instance.

    Lastly Marty, I would like to take issue with you, over your emotive and simplistic misrepresentation over the start of this issue.

    “…… what this issue has actually always been about. Ngati Apa wanted to get in on the burgeoning aquaculture industry in the Marlborough sounds. There was a bit of a gold rush for licences on. So, Ngati Apa said, ‘Wait a minute, why do we need a licence? We already own the seabed’ and got a court to agree that that might be the case.”

    What you left out was that Ngati Apa didn’t just wake up one morning and say “Wait a minute, why do we need a licence?” as you claim. But in fact took their court case because they had also applied for licences and had been denied them, when all sorts of other non-iwi people were getting them.

    Was that fair? was that just?

    The court didn’t think so.

    The Labour Government, using legislation over ruled the court’s decision.

    The Government could have mounted an appeal if they thought they had justice on their side, and Ngati Apa publicly announced that they would accept the ruling of the courts if the appeal went against them.

    (This gracious acceptance of our country’s legal code was probably not as generous as it might seem on the surface, as all things being equal and in the balance of fact, Ngati Apa probably would have won the appeal.)

    But the Labour Government insisted on tilting the table their way and forcing this injustice through, using threats of dismissal against objections from within their own Maori caucus to get their way. MP Tariana Turia refused to bow down to this diktat and was dismissed by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

    The creation of the Maori Party was a direct consequence of this chain of events.

    The reality is, that there is a concrete need for such a party and it will not be going away anytime soon. The sooner the Labour Party accept this fact and stop trying to either attack,mock, marginalise, or ignore the Maori Party, and instead try and seek some rapprochement with them, the sooner they will be able to oust the Nats. As looks possible, the Maori Party may be holding the balance of power after the next election. (That is Marty, if your prediction of the collapse of the ACT party is correct.)

    More Act infighting


    • Whattreeetee 6.1

      Nice commentary Jenny.

      It would be sad excuses to point to the racist hysteria that National was whipping up at that point, and to the Orewa speech of Don Brash which made the action one of cowardly political necessity and some would argue the best compromise.

      So I’ll put it another way. Michael King’s NZ history (which i don’t have handy so can’t find the quote) came to the conclusion that the treaty of 1840 was an uneforceable mess, between versions and translations and any number of cultural problems.

      So what we have now with National and the Maori Party is the Maori Party negotiating the treaty. You’ve outlined the problems they had working with or as part of Labour, now they’re trying again to create a new treaty with every agreement- be it an agreement about Maori television, the foreshore, Whanau Ora, managing private prisons or whatever is going.

      It will be interesting to see how the Maori Party react to this and how they justify their relationship with National if they don’t get a significantly better deal than they did with Labour.

    • Lew 6.2

      From your typing fingers to Phil Goff’s eyeballs, Jenny. The left needs more of this sort of thinking. There are too few of us wanting to work with, rather than against, the tino rangatiratanga movement, and that’s a bloody shame.


      captcha: compromise (!)

  7. Shore Steve 7

    Always seems to be what Maori want, not what Maori would like.
    We want, we want, we want, change the record

  8. ianmac 8

    So it all depends on what Customary Rights restored actually means. The right to veto, the right to charge a fee for say boat moorings in the Sounds, and marine farming or mining as of right without recourse to a consent process would cause more strife amongst the general population than the 2004 Act. Hells Bells. John Key is quite relaxed of course.

  9. Nemesis 9

    You aren’t an authority on what iwi want Marty.

    What iwi want is to be treated with dignity and respect. That means not unilaterally extinguishing their customary rights without consultation through the foreshore and seabed act. That means not calling Maori who protest at this extinction as “haters and wreckers”. That means the PM not shunning a hikoi by Maori to express their concerns to government to go and meet a sheep called Shrek.

    You’re a labour party hack Marty.

    [lprent: Careful. I suggest you read the policy before proceeding down that line in the second para.

    I don’t take kindly to people making assertions about who authors or even commentators are in real life beyond what they are willing to share.

    From memory Marty G has a stated political preference away from the Labour party towards the greenish hue and further left. Unless you can show proof of your assertions, you won’t be able to comment here for long.

    If you want to continue making baseless assertions, then I’ll presume that you wish to be classed under the troll genera and act accordingly.. ]

    • RedLogix 9.1

      What iwi want is to be treated with dignity and respect.

      Sounds nice… but how did you envisage that playing out in practise? I’m assuming you mean that customary rights should have been ‘not extinguished’ and full private title accorded as asked for?

      You aren’t an authority on what iwi want Marty.

      Great… I take then it that you are the authority we need to hear from? If so I’d love to hear in your own words specifically what you think it is iwi want, what the tino rangatiratanga movement’s purpose is and what will ultimately satisfy them. In that context what would be your political vision for Aoteoroa in say 2050?

      • nzfp 9.1.1

        Hi RedLogix,
        I can’t speak for any other Maori but I can certainly say that my “political vision for Aoteoroa in say 2050” would include a free and fair media that doesn’t use the Maori/Pakeha along with the Labour/National, Male/Female, Left/Right false dichotomies to keep the New Zealand population distracted from what is truly the cause of all the hardship in our nation.

        Our Labour/National political leaders continually tell us that they don’t have enough money to fund all of the government responsibilities – consequently we are forced to “choose” those responsibilities most important to us. If we choose Small Medium Business, company tax rates, lower tax we choose National, if we choose education, health, welfare we choose Labour. However this choice is false because our economy is capable of funding all of our governments responsibilities without taxing the citizens and without borrowing from private banks and both Labour and National know this and choose not to act accordingly.

        The problem is that our media would rather distract the public with “racist” issues rather then inform the public on economics and politics. A truly informed public would know that there is no shortage of funds for our nations infrastructure, that we don’t need to tax small business, that we can give zero or one percent loans to businesses, that we can fund education to PHd (free), fund free health care etc… etc… However what is more important is that we create a division based on race between the most recent immigrants to Aotearoa and the oldest immigrant community.

        kia ora ano tatou nga taangata katoa o Aotearoa (ahakoa no whea kotou).

        • RedLogix

          With this standard of good faith contribution, you’ll be a welcome contributor here.

          false dichotomies to keep the New Zealand population distracted from what is truly the cause of all the hardship in our nation.

          I’m inclined to agree, but while you express an ideal… I’m left wanting for some specifics on how this might all come about.

          • nzfp

            Hey RedLogix,
            I’ve been reading a few more of your comments and I think I can say I agree with pretty much everything I’ve read (of your comments) to date. Of course I haven’t read them all yet.

            I’m left wanting for some specifics on how this might all come about.

            Well a great place to start is not to vote Labour or National until they show a genuine policy for monetary reform. I personally believe that familial, racial, ethnic and gender conflict in our communities is linked to economic stress. Economic distress will not be adderssed until we have real monetary reform that frees people and business from debt slavery. Our Labour and National governments have sold the right to create our money supply to private businesses and until we get back control of our economy our money masters (mainly Australian, European and American banks) who control the media will continue to distract our peers with racial issues. I believe that a free and happy New Zealand public would be more concerned with making families and having BBQ’s with their neighbours then arguing of who got here first.

            So what’s the first step? Find out if any of our political parties understand monetary reform. Talk about monetary reform. Read about monetary reform. Vote for monetary reform. Considering that both Labour and National are led and have been led by Bankers who slip back into the Banking and Finance industry after their terms in office you can probably safely assume that neither National or Labour are interested in economic reform. Ask your Green/United/Progressive/Maori Party candidates what their policy on economics and monetarism is and you’ll soon know if they understand economic theory at all.

            Of course I have left out one political party in particular but I don’t want to appear to be pushing their agenda.

          • nzfp

            I should add that my “first step”‘s are directed at people who have never considered monetary reform or New Zealand economic history for that matter. I get the impression you probably know all about it. Have you ever heard of Professor Richard D. Wolff?

    • Nemesis 9.2

      He’s a hack based on all his posts parroting labour party lines. Why don’t you read your own policy. When you’ve finished reading it, read it again. And again. Because after reading it three times you will still be the only person who cares about it.

      [I’m willing to accept that you haven’t been around here much. This is not the kiwiblog sewer where anything goes… there is a clear and actively enforced moderation policy in place. Treating it with further contempt WILL see you permanently banned. This is a learning moment…use it or lose it.]

      [lprent: Not recently. But that history was why he got an immediate warning. But face it he is probably just another numbskull ACT wingnut parroting all of Ayn Rands lies and probably having some of her rather strange personal psychotic behavioral traits as well. After all he seems to make crap up without evidence. And as a guest in our blog, he is wanting to insist that he sets the rules and can see things that no-one else can.

      These are traits that seem to be shared by spoilt brats and the weirder ACToids. But lets be generous and see if he has any manners before making a decision ]

      • Marty G 9.2.1

        you think this is all over being insulted? Let’s be serious here. It’s about real world outcomes. Politics is the competition for power over the allocation of resrouces and the enjoyment of the product of those resources. Iwi want what they believe are their rights, their economic rights, over the foreshore and seabed. Treating them with dignity while denying them that is meaningless. You need to give Maori more credit than that.

      • nzfp 9.2.2

        Didn’t Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum “Ayn Rand” fail to correctly define money? Makes for an interesting discussion on economics with a Libertarian if the basis of the argument is incorrect.

    • Jum 9.3

      Helen Clark called the organizers of the hikoi haters and wreckers,not the protestors. I think we’re all beginning to find out she had far more sincerity in her government than the one that the Maori organizers are now propping up.

      Last I saw, the MPs who did attend the hikoi stop at Parliament, were spat at by one of the organizers. Not my idea of people I’d want to meet.

  10. uke 10

    Part of the problem here, it seems to me, are radical differences between how the quasi-public domain environment is regarded across and between Maori and Pakeha:

    = Is it a domain of weekend leisure for wage slaves (“lying on a beach towel”)?
    = Is it a “wilderness” to be preserved from human interference?
    = Should capitalist exploitation to create “exchange value” be allowed?
    = Or should it be regarded as a “commons” permitting a measure of subsistence outside wage slavery?

    Apart from a few who lead a partly-subsistence lifestyle, it seems most Pakeha simply cannot break out of the wage-leisure-market goods logic (or a wage-leisure-government services logic). On the other hand, Maori traditionally understand the independence offered by gathering your own kaimoana, for example.

    If more Pakeha grasped the possibilities of subsistence and we adapted our economy in this direction – toward commons-based living, low energy consumption, minimal goods and services, time and leisure abundance – we wouldn’t be squabbling over who gets the rights to capitalistic exploitation.

    I fear, however, this is too radical a suggestion for a nation of consumer lifestyle addicts, Pakeha and Maori.

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