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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of limits

ODT via NZPA reporting Hone is off the committee and the whip, Te Ururoa is on. His mind is no more open to the new foreshore and seabed bill than Hone's. Both would prefer Harawira's idea for a catch-all iwi/hapu title, but that is not what the Nats have forced the Maori Party into agreeing and so the loyal whip has been installed to do the dirty work. He faces opposition from Harawira - who may now want to make a submission himself - and from within his own party and electorate. From Te Karere last week:

The select committee submissions still have three weeks to go, but the Nats have pre-determined the outcome to a very great extent, so the process of everyone supposedly having an open mind on the issue is a farce. I will make a submission however, but will probably put in some different options in the hope the Nats can come further in than they are at the moment with what is essentially a re-statement of the 2004 confiscation Act.

Meanwhile any property rights that Maori have - even if they are based in the Crown system the same as every other freehold title - still attracts adverse media attention. The underlying concept behind highlighting everyday disputes only if Maori are on one side and Pakeha on the other is to deem potential racial animosity (no matter how ill-founded or irrelevant or latent or supposed) as newsworthy. It isn't. Today's NZ Herald story of an ongoing dispute in Northland is an example:

Also hyperbolic, but not quite accurate is the UK Daily Mail's story on those troughing Windsors:It is a notional 15% that they are taking from general Crown residual assets in lieu of the old funding from what I can make out - I don't believe the British royal family actually have title to the whole of Britain's foreshore and seabed. But I note the map that comes with it indicates that most of the planned off-shore wind turbine farms are beyond the territorial limits and so outside of the various local authorities - and the grasp of the Windsors! However once NZ's land-based turbine areas are maxed out we may have to turn to the seabed to put them on and then the issue will be live here. The Kaipara tidal turbine idea is a harbinger of the arguments to come when the commercial exploitation and privatisation of the marine space will conflict with Maori territorial rights.


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