Sunday, October 31, 2010
Hugh Barr: National is appeasing Maori separatists on the foreshore and seabed
Maori separatists are increasingly the main enemies of the New Zealand democratic state. They seek, in time, to overthrow it and establish an iwi supremacist system, where iwi control the country, and it is no longer a democracy.
For instance the argument that the Treaty of Waitangi is a “partnership” between the Government and tribes gives them superior powers and rights to other New Zealanders. The model of South African Apartheid comes to mind. But given utu (revenge) and mana (power, authority, control) are such central features of Maori society, as emphasised in the intertribal musket wars prior to 1840, it is likely to be even more polarising.
A number of Maori land occupations are now taking place for questionable reasons. At Taipa in the Far North, the Labour Weekend boat regatta was stopped because of a Maori occupation. At Papaaroha near Coromandel, use of a boat ramp has been blocked. And a road is being blocked into the western area of Urewera National Park.
Most non-iwi kiwis are innocent of the sins of early land settlement, and the gains that the settler land speculators made then. But this does not stop separatist endeavours to take revenge on us. Who else are the separatists to blame? As well, being able to take continuing payments for past wrongs from the present government and taxpayers, is the only likely source of “compensation” available. Now that this system has started we are finding it very difficult to stop. First Treaty claims. Next the foreshore and seabed. On it goes.
A Maori separatist tribal aristocracy is likely to be parasitic on the rest of the community, and is the easiest system for them to put in place – it largely exists now. Rather than the distracting mirage of “catching Australia” that John Key talks about, there is the reality of moving instead to the “Tonga” feudal model, if Maori separatism gathers much more momentum. Laws, such as the Marine and Coastal Area Bill would greatly assist this racial rush to the bottom.
Iwi separatists see foreshore title as being the same as New Zealand’s very strong land property rights with their draconian trespass laws. Then tribes could deny coastal access to those they did not like, or who refused to pay access charges. Allowing this would strike right at the heart of the coastal outdoor access rights New Zealand prides itself on – no doubt fitting revenge in Maori separatist eyes.
This is why the issue of free public access, and coastal minister Christopher Finlayson’s refusal to transfer the 2004 Act’s guarantee of free public access across to his new Bill is such a contentious issue. This is true for iwi, who are all “outraged” that they may not be allowed to charge, as presumably Finlayson implied they could. It is also contentious for non-iwi kiwis who should be waking up at last about where John Key and Christopher Finlayson want to take them without them realising it.
On dry land it is often tribal groups that charge for access – in the Kaimanawas for deerstalking and tramping, on Mt Tarawera for tourism, and on Stewart Island for deerstalking. They charge there because they can. It is naive to think that, if iwi have the right to charge for access on the foreshore and seabed, none will use it.
Separatists also rave on about 12,500 private coastal properties that may contain small areas of the foreshore and seabed, due to changes in legal definition of the foreshore, or erosion of the coast. They want all these confiscated from their owners by – who else – the Government. Separatists claim it is racist to allow free public access across any future designated iwi customary marine title, while allowing trespass rights over these private titles. It is clear they would love to have trespass rights on their customary titles on the foreshore and seabed as well.
Land Information New Zealand estimates that the parts of these 12,500 properties on the foreshore and seabed cover only a few square kilometres. This is miniscule compared with the 100,000 sq km (35% of New Zealand’s dry-land area) that is the size of the currently the Crown-owned foreshore and seabed.
If this small area of private land was confiscated, it would then be available solely for tribal groups to claim, if Finlayson’s Bill passes. This highlights the lengths that Maori separatists will go, and their smokescreen arguments about non-Maori racism they use to camouflage their own racist agenda, to gain ALL our foreshore and seabed in iwi title.
Separatists bully Governments to give all powers and resources to tribal groups. If they get away with this, then, in the resulting Maori supremacist and apartheid country created, those not belonging to tribes will have very few rights and will be treated as second class citizens.
We have all lived under Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed since 1840. This gives largely free public access over most of it. The separatists’ goal is always going to be a massive iwi privatisation of public rights and resources. This will hugely divide communities because of the extreme rights and privileges being given only to tribal groups.
Though Maori separatists claim National’s foreshore Bill is unacceptable, it has much that will shock non-iwi kiwis, if only they knew about it.
National’s most shocking proposal is the process for proving customary marine title. This will not usually be determined in the High Court as National promised.
Instead, what Christopher Finlayson’s Bill euphemistically calls “recognition by agreement” (clauses 93-95) will normally replace the Court. Under this option, the applicant group will meet in secret with a sympathetic minister, probably Finlayson. But it could be Pita Sharples, or Hone Harawira. No other interested group will be present or able to test the evidence provided e.g. by cross examination.
Only details of the Applicant Group and the areas to which the agreement relates will then be published. No evidence will be required about whether the group meets the Act’s conditions. No appeal by other interests will be allowed.
A more undemocratic and secret process is difficult to imagine. I wonder if separatists wrote this part? It has their supremacist feel about it – rights for iwi only.
National MPs appear not to have been briefed about it. At a recent public meeting National MP, Chester Borrows, claimed that National would never use such an underhand method. He presumably didn’t know the truth.
Another major concern for the public is wahi tapu or so-called sacred or burial sites. Here the public will be excluded. Why, after 170 years of public use of the coasts, such areas would now need to exclude the public is bizarre. Maori burial now usually takes place in cemeteries anyway. Ancient bones are likely to be those of unknown tribes ambushed in cannibal wars long ago. They are also normally on dry land, not the foreshore.
Wahi tapu will normally also be decided in secret, “by agreement”, solely at the discretion of the tribal group and the minister, as part of award of customary title. The public will have no consultation or appeal rights. This is almost certain to lead to excessive abuse of this provision. There is no justification for this “right”. Insult is added by the Bill proposing that Maori “wardens” i.e. bouncers, can be appointed to patrol wahi tapu, with fines of up to $5,000.
What is surprising is that the National Government has kept this issue below New Zealanders’ radars. Finlayson, has only on 28 October released the summary of public submissions made in April. This is six months after the 30 April closing date.
The reason for Finlayson’s secrecy is now clear. Public submissions to his questionnaire rejected repealing Labour’s 2004 Act by almost four to one. And even worse for National, submitters opposed National’s plan for privatising the foreshore and seabed to tribes by thirteen to one.
John Key stated at the start of this consultation that National would not proceed with the legislation unless there was general support. This is now clearly the case. But it has been kept secret for six months by Finlayson, in spite of requests for release. Consequently Key should now withdraw this controversial Bill.
The public appear lulled because these revolutionary proposals are coming from John Key, Christopher Finlayson and the National government. New Zealanders’ apparent touching faith that “nothing will happen” under National could not be more wrong!
The Bill’s undemocratic passages described above highlight just how easy Maori extremist capture has been under National, and how much it has already occurred. If Key’s and Finlayson’s dalliance with the Maori Party, and separatists, gets enacted through this Bill it will be a disaster for all New Zealanders.
The public has only until Friday 19 November to make submissions on this Bill, the most important issue facing our country for many years. The public needs to oppose the Bill and ask that it be withdrawn. See the Coastal Coalition website http://www.coastalcoalition.co.nz/ for information on making a submission and where to send it.
Dr Hugh Barr is the Secretary of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations and author of the recently published book “The Gathering Storm over the foreshore and seabed”. The book can be ordered by emailing email@example.com.
at 7:54 PM