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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finlayson: Queen

The Attorney-General's Ngata Lecture is about the Treaty settlements and his involvement, earlier as counsel for Ngai Tahu where he loved suing the Crown - and now as the Minister in charge of Treaty Negotiations where he hopes he doesn't get sued and can conclude the process by the stupendously optimistic target of 2014. Unfortunately - for some unknown reason - this You Tube clip cannot be embedded and the features are disabled. Simon Bridges' banal and utterly inconsequential existence as a backbench local MP (see Tubemeke in sidebar) however is fully enabled. Bizarre.

Finlayson's brief portrait of the Treaty process is illuminating for more than just his thoughts on the Iwi-Crown relationships. I laughed at the bit (in image) where he likens the process to Queen songs. That's just, like, so totally gay :) He does it completely straight as well. Loving it! I now have images of NZ's top legal officer strutting around his Beehive office using the ornamental flagpole as a microphone, Freddy Mercury-style, dictating his ministerial correspondence:
"It's a kind of Maori... One dream, one goal, one settlement at a time... a settlement that will last a thousand years... and we'll soon be, we'll soon be done..."

Enjoy:
[UPDATE-- 1:49PM: Well it's hard to criticise the Nat's on being unresponsive to the public... on this issue. They've just enabled the embed:Thanks. --UPDATE ENDS]

1 Comments:

At 14/7/09 3:41 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a number of questions in the minds of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders which for the most part, out of fear of the consequences, remain unspoken. So let's get them out into the open.

They are these: when, oh when, will Maori Treaty of Waitangi claims be settled finally, once and for all?

When will the taxpayers of New Zealand be freed from having to watch hundreds of millions of public dollars being shovelled at Maori, who make up less than 15 per cent of the population? (In the 2006 Census, there were 565,329 people who identified with the Maori ethnic group, and 643,977 who were of Maori descent.)

When can we close the public purse to Treaty claims, move on and start spending our money on things like health, education and infrastructure, which become more pressing year by year?

How do we find out how much money has been paid out in Treaty claims so far, and what are the chances of discovering what has been done with all those hundreds of millions?

Why is it that even after something like a quarter of a century of Maori tribes acquiring this vast wealth, more than 50 per cent of our jail population are Maori; poverty is endemic among Maori; illiteracy and innumeracy are rife among young Maori; and crime, violence and child abuse are more often than not perpetrated by Maori?

And why is it that Maori claim the exclusive title of tangata whenua (local people, hosts, indigenous people of the land) when the same applies to most Pakeha, whose parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and often great-great-grandparents were born here?

These questions, which have lain dormant for a while lately, have come back to mind as a result of a couple of events that have happened in the past week or so.

One is the report of the review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, passed in a panic by the Labour-led Government in 2003; the other the payment of some $280 million to tribes in the Central North Island from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

The recommendations of the review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act was, of course, a foregone conclusion from the moment the makeup of the review panel was made public - former High Court judge and Waitangi Tribunal chairman Eddie Durie, barrister and law academic Richard Boast, who has represented various iwi in Treaty negotiations; and Hana O'Regan, a Maori culture expert.

As anticipated, it recommended that the act be scrapped and some other way be found to deal with seabed and foreshore issues that recognise both Maori "customary rights" and the right of all New Zealanders to enjoy our beaches and coastal waters.

So now we're in for a lot more time-consuming negotiations which will, in spite of comments to the contrary, probably include yet another claim for "compensation".

Richard Boast, who has represented various iwi in Treaty negotiations;

JUST LIKE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MICHAEL CULLEN HEY.AND DON'T FORGET THE GUY WHO GOT THE BALL ROLLING IN THE FIRST PLACE, REPUBLICAN SPUD 1 IRISH ENGLISH QUEEN HATING JIM BOLGER AND BLUE-BLOOD TORY DOUGLAS GRAHAM REMUERA M.P

 

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