Wheels fall off Cullen's helicopter entry
Cullen forced to flee signing by angry mob:
Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen had to be protected from an angry mob of screaming protesters after being verbally abused and jostled before the signing of a historic Maori land claim agreement between the Crown and a small Far North iwi. [...] But the event quickly turned sour after Dr Cullen, the Treaty Negotiations Minister, flew in by helicopter and landed on the beach to be met by a hostile group protesting against the agreement being signed. [...] Dr Cullen left in the helicopter and signatories to the agreement later met in Kerikeri - described in a media release as "a more accessible location" to "ensure all parties could attend".
And so the protesting parties cannot attend no doubt.
A spokesman for the Ngati Aukiwa group who oppose the agreement, Wilfred Petersen jnr, said most of the about 200 people at the beach were against the arrangement. "We didn't want them signing it on our land."
Swooping in like a wannabe Santa on his helicopter onto the beach - that he orchestrated the stealing of in 2004 via the Foreshore and Seabed Act - wouldn't have helped either. In the pre-Christmas rush of Treaty deals this type of protest was probably going to occur. It's right for the government to return land that is wrongly held - but not if it's to the wrong people. It seems to be a live issue in this case. What sort of integrity do these parties have and this agreement have after this incident? If things were done properly you would expect all iwi and hapu in the area to be blessing this deal and having confidence enough to sort out any contention through the process:
Agreement In Principle Between The Crown And The Kahukuraariki Trust Board:
Will overlapping groups be consulted on the Agreement in Principle? -
Yes. The Crown will be consulting with other Far North iwi whose interests overlap with those of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The consultation process will give those groups an opportunity to discuss with Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa and the Crown any views they have about the proposed redress in the Agreement in Principle.