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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

*With prejudice*

The games have already begun with the foreshore and seabed repeal law.Submissions are being heard by the Maori Affairs select committee, which is why Tau Henare is in charge. Oh, help us. The government - and I suppose the Maori Party too - will want this to go through ASAP, but they can't get it through before Christmas and so it will become law after the committee reports in the new year. They are moving fast - submission deadline was Friday and already they are sitting.

The problem with this legislation - as with the original Act - is that the confiscation is already taking place via parallel legislation. Another set of aquaculture "reforms" are being put through - all with extreme prejudice as to Maori interests - so as to circumvent Iwi rights and to create and entrench private property rights for non-Maori. The deal whereby Maori are guaranteed 20% of allocated space effectively means that up to 80% is being confiscated for those commercial interests that have no rights to it. It's called privatisation - and it can only happen through the Crown and the government is bending over backwards to hock it off.

If we take a look at the legislative history of these bills we see the pattern clearly:The FSA confiscation was passed by the NZ parliament on 18 November 2004, the latest round of bills also coincide with the FSA repeal. But it is not going to mean very much if all the areas have been privatised out of Maori title beforehand and rights granted by the Crown to others that the Crown will honour ahead of any Maori claims. It is completely prejudicial and makes something of a mokery of what the FSA repeal should be aiming to achieve.


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