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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Foreshore Act complication

The summer of safety stories marshall themselves between the NZ Herald's red flags:

Controls for cars on the coast called for

More people will die on Northland's beaches unless something is done to control vehicles driving on the sand, a Far North beachside resident says.
Police, councils and the Department of Conservation share his fears. The Northern Advocate newspaper has received a flurry of calls from coastal residents and visitors concerned about the behaviour of some beach drivers...

Waitakere police had launched beach patrols with officers on quad bikes, a possibility in Northland.
Kaitaia police Senior Sergeant Gordon Gunn is concerned a major accident could occur. "The beaches are classed as roads, and they have a speed restriction of 100km/h and all the normal road rules," he said.

So, now that the government has confiscated the beaches they are now bringing out the police force? Maori kiatiakitanga is being replaced with central state authority and that is presumably legally unquestioned now. Quite apart from the long-standing problems exhibited and enumerated in the report is the matter of the Foreshore and Seabed Act that has a deliberately vague statement that the public has:

"s.7 (d) The right to engage in recreational activities in or on the public foreshore and seabed."

Now this is totally undefined and will have to go to court to figure out - because they rushed it through parliament without due consideration to what the hell they were doing (and because they ignored my submission because I was against confiscation). Is shooting recreational? Is driving recreational? They are open questions now as to whether they are rights. Any attempt to contain it better be watertight (as it were) or section 7 (d) must surely be read widely (in keeping with the wording) to include everything not specifically excluded. Any lawyer representing someone caught in breach of any purported restriction will be wise to pull that section out as a defence.


At 10/1/06 4:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question as a confused mixed race New Zealander....

How come 15 years ago we were told time after time that the Treaty was a fraud and isn't worth the paper it is written on and now the same people (some of who made it into parliment after the last election) are standing up and telling everyone to honor the Treaty?

What has changed other than the settlements over the last decade? I personally do not think anything for me is any different but when I get asked by others of whatever race I don't have an answer for them.

Some of my Pakeha friends even hesitate at asking for fear of being labelled a racist which seems to be the easy response from some of our less educated brothers that don't know either.

I realise this is off topic but I just found your blog so thought I would ask.


At 10/1/06 8:47 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

Phil (?-or is it RB with his trademark "Cheers"?):

"How come 15 years ago we were told time after time that the Treaty was a fraud and isn't worth the paper it is written on and now the same people (some of who made it into parliment after the last election) are standing up and telling everyone to honor the Treaty?" - People who are now in parliament have changed their stance... is normal - they're MPs afterall. Maybe they have changed their stance because they have more trust and respect of Pakeha? Because it has been reciprocated perhaps? Because fairness and redress and justice and self-determination are the primary goals and the Treaty is secondary? Because at the time the govt. did not want to deal with people on a Treaty basis? Because the Govt. did not want dialogue on that level and then changed it's mind. maybe they are all soft-cocks who caved in to Govt. pressure? Maybe it's the money in the system enough to buy their silence? There are many reasons and different opinions - some iwi/hapu that didn't sign the Treaty might have a different view from those who did.

But what this is is a Catch 22 for Maori and the Treaty. Maori can either be:

A) Pro-Treaty (and sometimes pro-Queen and pro-Government and pro-Process of tokenism,) - in which case they will be mistreated as they always have been and be taken advantage of and stuffed around, patronised and then ripped off and have to take it up the arse and smile because they accept The Treaty; or be
B) Anti-Treaty (and anti-Govt. and anti-process,) - in which case they will be mistreated, not see any negotiation from the govt. and get nothing, protest, get labelled as treasonous and get your land confiscated for being in rebellion because they do not accept the Treaty.

That was then. Now: Being Pro-Treaty means keeping the Govt. to it as a constitutional instrument and as a tool of legitimacy in righting wrongs, along with varying degrees of disgust at the Govt.'s failure to not also be pro-Treaty. But there are as many opinions as their are Maori of course.

"What has changed other than the settlements over the last decade? I personally do not think anything for me is any different but when I get asked by others of whatever race I don't have an answer for them." - The answer you are giving is "I don't know." That's fine. Nothing's changed for you. But I still don't know what the question was.

Maybe you mean "the Treaty/Maori rights and property redress system" ie. the Waitangi Tribunal? " What, as a Maori, have you got from our system?" - is that what your white friends are asking? You could always tell them that thinking of things in personal terms is a typically Pakeha way of viewing the world, but what about asking them "What, as a Pakeha, have you got from your system?" (designed by Pakeha, to help Pakeha including from the property system instigated against and at the expense of Maori in general) They might have the same answer too - "I don't know." Ask a West Coaster whether they personally benefit from the $110m the Labour government gave them six years ago. Ask an Aucklander whether they've personally gained from the transport spending - or as a whole or as a group. It's hard to say. And even if nothing happens to one individual is it relevant in assessing success or failure? Is the fact that you have not sort to actively participate in anything relevant to what you may expect by way of "change"?

There are cultural and language gains for Maori (& NZ) as a whole that have changed NZ over the last 15 years. But if someone wants to see it in dollar terms then I'm sure they can do that also. It's how much value the observer places on it all.

Because everyone is different we have statistics I suppose.

At 10/1/06 10:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your quick and detailed reply. I don't know who RB is but it's not me.

I just typed a nice long response but after reading over it decided to delete it. My intention was not to get into who's doing what and why, it was just to see if there was an easy answer to what has caused the polar shift in attitudes towards the Treaty.

The more I think about it the less I believe it can even be answered. I guess everyone looks at it for different reasons - security, principals, Maori rights, maybe even greed and of course there is everyone else that has jumped on the bandwagon without really understanding the issues behind it.

You have hit the nail on the head by saying that everyone is different. I think that pretty much sums it up.

Muchas gracias,

At 11/1/06 12:31 am, Blogger Joe Hendren said...


Its worth pointing out that the change in attitudes towards the treaty is also due to changes in legal intepretation of the treaty by the Courts. Its not all due to the changing whims of politicians!

While the Wi Parata (1877) view regarded the treaty as a "simple nullity" the New Zealand Maori Council case of 1987 saw a much more liberal approach describing the treaty as a living instrument and sought to define the 'partnership'. If anyone ever asks about what the 'principles of the treaty of Waitangi' are, this case is a good place to start (I wish Tory MPs demonstrated a little more education on this point)

I think one could argue this case had at least as much, if not more influence, on the changing attitudes towards the treaty than say the decision of the Labour govt to allow treaty claims back to 1840.

At 11/1/06 12:41 am, Blogger Joe Hendren said...


One thing I have wondered about

If a beach is defined as a road, what is to stop local authorities placing temporary/permanent speed restrictions on parts of the beach likely to be covered in people?

If I am building a sandcastle, can I call it 'roadworks' and surround it with roadcones and 30km/h signs? :)

And on another note I assume s7(d) would not apply to the small sections of the F&S in pakeha private ownership - I would love to see a Court rule on this as it may very nicely demonstrate one of the key contradictions and worst aspects of the F&S bill.

Cheers, (not RB!)

At 11/1/06 11:59 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

JH: Are beaches really designated as roads? Is this a police misconception? Where is that written?

On the Treaty: I note that the term for NZ in the Maori version is a transliterated Nui Tireni - which sounds a lot like New Tyranny doesn't it? And that is what it turned out to be for many unsuspecting signatories.

At 23/1/06 10:11 pm, Blogger peterquixote said...

yes fascists approve of tyranny tj but dont we have to be like frightened, doesn't there have to be an element of terror inflicted from the tyrant


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