Sunday, December 12, 2010

Karl du Fresne: Thanks for setting it out so clearly, Tuku

In Friday’s Dominion Post, Tainui iwi chairman Tukoiroirangi "Underpants" Morgan obligingly provides all the reason anyone needs to be deeply suspicious of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

Commenting on the announcement that Labour had withdrawn its support for the government’s Marine and Coastal Area Bill, Morgan reiterated that the legislation still had Tainui’s backing.

The biggest issue with the bill, he said, was that it set the bar too high for iwi to prove customary use of the coastline, and thus establish customary rights.

He then said that the main difference between National’s proposed legislation and Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 was that the National bill enabled iwi to go “head to head with the minister in relation to determining its customary rights and interests”.

Precisely. That is the bill’s most odious feature.

It’s one thing for Maori claims to customary rights to be properly tested in open court, but quite another for iwi leaders such as Morgan, representatives of a privileged tribal elite, to do sweetheart deals with the Minister for Treaty Settlements, Chris Finlayson, behind closed doors.

The good news is that thanks largely to a sustained campaign by the Coastal Coalition, support for National’s bill is rapidly unravelling. This is evident from Finlayson’s increasingly shrill attacks on opponents, whom he has labelled “clowns” and “paranoids”.

Only one more MP needs to do a flip-flop before National and the Maori Party lose the numbers to push the bill through. Rumblings of discontent in the National caucus are being reported almost daily. Even Labour has belatedly come around to the view, promoted by ACT and favoured by National when in opposition (in other words, before political expediency persuaded it to cosy up to the Maori Party), that the only place to resolve claims over ownership of the foreshore and seabed is in the courts.

First published on Karl du Fresne's blog at


Anonymous said...

From the following response to our OIA request from Mr Finlayson, if we can believe him, the ownership of the Foreshore and Seabed will remain with all New Zealanders.

This response is to your OIA Requests to the Prime Minister and Hon Simon Power, both transferred to the Attorney-General.
Following the acquisition of sovereignty in 1840, the Crown reserved exclusively to itself the right to grant fee simple titles. During the course of the 19th Century, the Crown proceeded to grant a number of titles, some of which extend into the foreshore and seabed. The Marine and Coastal Area Bill, which is currently before select committee, explicitly preserves the "common" interests of all New Zealanders. These guarantee to all New Zealanders access and navigation in the marine and coastal area. This encompasses areas that may be subject to a customary marine title. I.e. the guarantees of public access and navigation apply equally to customary marine title areas and to other parts of the common marine and coastal area.


Office of Hon Christopher Finlayson

One New Zealand Foundation Inc.

Anonymous said...

For Tuku and other Maori Sovereignty people any bar is a barrier to high. They are of the view that Maori should not have to ask anyone for title to something they already own.

It's time for some honesty on this issue - for Maori it’s about money not mana. There is a trillion (yes, trillion) dollar bounty at stake. This is what they want to take from us to satisfy their glutinous greed.

Anonymous said...

Who is "Tukoiroirangi"? You mean, Tukuroirangi Morgan? Isn't the underpants thing just a little dated?

Anonymous said...

These comments are exactly how Pakeha veiw Maori, through dollar signs. What Maori Value isn't Money. It is our History, our Whanau, and our Conection with the Land that links us to our ancestors. Pakeha will never understand this because all they see is dollar signs.

Anonymous said...

History, Whanau and connection with the Land that costs the country hundreds of millions in tax-free payouts every year, you mean?

Unknown said...

Maori history? Do you mean savagery, cannibalism, slavery and the extinction of the Moa and hundreds of other Fauna? or do you mean violence toward your whanau and mokopuna and the Maori land wars where half of the maori population was wiped out by other maori tribes?
Yes you are correct, "Pakeha will never understand this" and the sooner this Maori "I Want It" IWI rubbish is unceremoniously dumped in the cess pool the better off the country, including Maori will be.