Takutai Moana Bill: in the national interest
All those SOPs to amend the bill in committee and not one put up by the Maori Party. The shame is they are refusing to make it better and now seem to be proud of their blind loyalty to National:Their latest press release - from the co-leaders:
"“We have now reached agreement on this Bill, which meets our bottom lines, and enables discussion of the underlying issues to continue. It does not achieve everything we want, but it creates a pathway forward to a resolution,” he said.
“The agreement between us will allow this Bill to pass. We know aspects of this Bill are contentious for both our parties, but we intend to stand by the undertakings we have given,” said Dr Sharples."
What bottom lines? Not nothing, but whatever is next to nothing. The undertakings Sharples mentions are undertakings to the National party not to the membership of the Maori Party. They go on to state:
We are not prepared to play games, and we will not support any last-minute amendments designed to compromise our position.
"Compromise our position" of what? The position of having backed the bill as National has created it? The SOPs from the Greens certainly are better positions for Maori than the version of the bill they have signed off and sold out on - why aren't the Maori Party supporting those Green SOPs? Because they are acting in the "national interest" !?
“The responsibility of being in government is to act in the national interest, which this Bill does, by recognising Maori rights and protecting public access.
Is it in the national interest that unlawful activity or recreational activity or the exercise of public access are all arguably acts of extinguishment of Maori customary land? That's what the bill promotes by having only fishing and navigation as the things that do not break the continuity necessary to establish title - everything else, like the exercise of the public rights in the bill - are not excluded. That is the effect of the contortions of this bill.
Found the quid pro quo on the SOPs. Not really a deal or a bargain - they back everything Finlayson puts up - and all the Maori party get is some funding in another bill for the court cases. That's not going to help much if the tests the courts must use have been predetermined in a prejudicial and hostile manner in this bill.