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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection) Bill - concerns

A member's bill, the Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection) Bill, is back up for its final reading this afternoon.  I have written on the problems with this well-meaning bill in an earlier post. My SOP to remedy the situation didn't quite make it in time.  I had a email correspondence with the Greens spokesperson who was considering putting it up.  I'll OIA myself on it:

On 9/25/13, Eugenie Sage wrote:
> Kia ora Tim
> Kevin Hague passed on your draft SOP to me as Green Conservation
> spokesperson. I saw it 30 mins before the last debate session on the
> committee stages of the Bill   started. This finished 10 minutes ago..
> I'm not sure the SOP as drafted would have  improved the situation for
> customary fishers. There are no offence provisions  in relation to customary
> fishing.  As you know  section 26ZH in the Conservation Act says Maori
> fishing rights are unaffected by Part 5B which deals with freshwater
> fisheries and includes some offence provisions. The SOP  risked weakening
> the position of customary fishers by  inserting a provision which implies
> that there are offences and that these are to be treated as if they were
> offences in respect of warranted officers (section 41).
> Ngai Tahu was the only iwi to  submit on the Bill and did not raise
> customary fishing as an issue.
> I was unwilling to put forward an SOP which in the short time available to
> consider it,  I was uncertain whether it would improve the situation for
> customary fishers.
> Nga mihi
> Eugenie Sage, Green MP
> Green spokesperson on Water, Environment/RMA, Conservation, Local Government
> and Christchurch Earthquake Recovery


My response:

Tim Selwyn  Sep 25
 to Eugenie

Kia ora, Eugenie.  You gave a good speech.  Ngai Tahu have their own
provisions in subsection b - that's why they didn't object.  There
were seven other submissions and they were not from Iwi.  I think the
Bill's name meant it went under the radar.  But seriously, DoC just
got a wish list through and next time one of their officious rangers
is verbally abused by tangata whenua for trying to stop them fishing
that Crown agent can now get them locked up longer.  What are Maori
supposed to do? Stop fishing?  Each time they go back and get arrested
the sentence of imprisonment increases.  The only ones going to cop
the wholesale increased maximums you are voting for will be Maori who
refuse to fish like the Pakeha tell them to, ie. the customary fishers
who act like the s.26ZH is a fact. The Crown agencies, esp. DoC act as
though it isn't.  In the real world that statutory protection needs an
offence and a penalty attached.

This Bill is a tool to enforce the colonial state against the
indigenous people and their right to exist as a people of the land
more than it is to punish the red-herrings of Germans with gekos down
their trousers.  The question is not why s26ZH should be included as
an offence equivalent to obstruction of a warranted officer, but why
it has been excluded.  It's being treated like the Treaty has for too
long, as a token thing with no actions to enforce it.  Maori have
rights in name only without that offence and penalty being inserted.
Those are my thoughts.

I remain very sceptical about this Bill, incl. why the commercial
relativity of x3 (LawSoc submission) was not accepted.  The drafting
is odd, I can't find a similar instance of a penalty on a penalty that
has different criteria the way the commercial gain provisions are

Thank you for engaging.  Green MPs are the best.  Great comms to get
this far at short notice.  Nice speech too - only real critical input
I managed to hear of the debate.

Nga mihi.





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