NZ Maoris are fighting to retain their rights to the seabed. You might have thought this silly. How possibly could the Maoris have the rights to the seabed. Well, I agree. There is no practical way that Maoris could have rights which would deny access for white NZ'ers. The problem however is that there are greater issues involved, and the Maori Party is quickly digging itself into a hole, where they will be slaves (like British 'subjects') to the govt. In fact they are already appeasing government, but very soon they will be surrendering their moral agency or legitimacy to a court system which will not interpret the law in their favour.
The National Party wants them to cede control of the sebed in exchange for the opportunity to negotiate individual claims on a case by case basis. The Maoris after decades of failed negotiations are desperate for a win. Its showing, because they are about to be sold a lemon. The govt realises that if they can sell this agreement to Maori, they would have side-stepped the implications. Why? There are several strategic advantages for the govt:
1. They will not have to deal with the issue
2. The courts will decide the outcomes
3. People will not know the merits of specific cases, so any public sympathy will be muted.
This is a dangerous agreement for Maori, but also for all NZ'ers. Why? The best prospect that white NZ'ers have for getting rights is if Maoris are recognised as having them. After all, if a minority are recognised as having rights, pretty soon NZ whites will want them as well.
The Maori Party is self-serving, like all politicians. Their credibility they think rests on getting an agreement. the reality is that they will win a battle, but cede the war. That is bad for everyone. So what can we expect from this agreement. Well, Maoris will retain certain allocation rights for fishing, but they will lose control of important mineral districts like the titanomagnetite beach sands stretching from Wanganui to Huntley, on the North Island.
Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell said the bill was the best the party could negotiate in the circumstances and it was possible there would be "another time for our people to come back and have another go in the future".
There is no chance in hell of that happening. This is a sell-out. The best chance Maoris have is through the courts. They ought not be seeking a parliamentary outcome. The party is happy to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 and restoring the right for iwi to go to court to seek customary title through the courts or in negotiations with the Government. They have six years to make any claims. Good luck with that.
Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is the only one objecting to aspects of the new regime. The problem is that he is opposing issues he cannot reasonably expect. There needs to be a single objective act governing all people. They ought to be fighting for common rights, not Maori ownership. What is the difference - Maori tyranny is just as worrying as a govt one.
The Labour Party is playing the same game of course, arguing that "the party does not wish to play politics on the matter". Surprisingly it is the Green Party woh are opposing it. Co-leader Metiria Turei said "it did not address the fundamental injustice of Maori losing ownership rights". Who would have thought that a collectivist organisation like the Greens would be advocating rights. Well, of course its not an objective concept of rights, its the subjective type which enslaves. It just so happens on this occasion, they are supporting Maori because they have a legitimate gripe with the govt. Rest assured they will be throwing wealthy people under a bus on another day for some poverty stricken soul, neglecting human nature in the process....appealing to some court term emotive need, rather than policies which actually fix problems.