Saturday, March 5, 2011

Frank Newman: Where's Winston?

Winston Peters should have been the strongest advocate against the government’s Marine and Coastal Area Bill. He has instead remained largely silent. Why?

While Peters has stayed silent the grassroots movement that is the Coastal Coalition has filled the cavity of silence. It has come from nowhere to gain widespread support and sufficient funding to conduct a high profile awareness campaign. Their success is clearly evident in that they are the major participant in the debate and commentary on the issue rarely goes by without them getting a mention. Meanwhile Peters has been a non-starter and despite their best efforts, ACT has failed to get traction, being largely an appendage to the debate rather than a primary player.

So why has Peters not come out all guns blazing on this issue? If every there was a case of a man for the times it is Peters and this issue. Why has Peters not contributed anything but cursory attention to stop the bill from passing into law?

Only he knows the answer to that but my guess it’s because he wants the bill to pass so he can launch a campaign against it. Put simply, he will have a stronger and longer re-election platform to repeal the bill once it becomes law.

Assuming this is the case, does that matter? Yes it does. We know that the Hon Chris Finlayson has his fountain pen ready to give away 2000 km of our coastline to corporate iwi. That is likely to happen before the 23 November election.

Is Peters willing to allow that to happen, for the sake of his political convenience? It’s a question worth asking because it’s a question about what Peter’s cares for most: vast tracts of the coastline being given to Maori, or having a stronger platform for his re-election.


Chuck Bird said...

"It’s a question worth asking because it’s a question about what Peter’s cares for most: vast tracts of the coastline being given to Maori, or having a stronger platform for his re-election."

Frank, surely the answer is obvious. Peters has demonstrated time and time again that he one of the biggest political opportunists NZ has seen.

Anonymous said...

If, as you suggest, he wants the bill passed so he can grandstand against it or even worse, to lobby for its repeal should he be elected, then to my mind, that is politics at its very worst and borders on criminal. Ray

Chuck Bird said...

While the Coastal Coalition has come from nowhere to gain widespread support and sufficient funding to conduct a high profile awareness campaign what can that achieve on its own?

87% of the voters were against the anti-smacking law but could not stop it.

What is needed is a political party to support the issue combined with public support.

If ACT were to make the F &S and/or separate Maori seats and nonnegotiable policy I believe they would get a lot of votes.

If Peters makes the issue nonnegotiable he could easily change his mind. The same could be said for ACT but Rodney does not run ACT. He may be leader but he does not run ACT like Winston runs NZF. Can anyone name another NZF candidate?

Anonymous said...

It's just as well we do have the Coastal Coalition. It's ironic isn't it - citizens having to band together against the politicians who are supposed to be representing their interests.

As I have suggested in other posts we need to dump most of the current crop of politicians and elect our own. There must be honest and competent people out there who would put the genuine interests of their constituents ahead of Party advantage.

Frank asks, "Where's Winston?" Where's anyone on the political scene apart from a handful of ACT MPs who to their credit have opposed the Bill.

I tried to raise the issue of an MP's loyalty to his/her constituents in a letter to The Southland Times but it was not published. So we might also ask where is the in depth reporting by the Fourth Estate on this issue?
Do its members see this issue as a done deal and hardly worth the trouble?

If we, the citizens, want true political change we are going to have to initiate it ourselves. Maic.

Anonymous said...

If we cant see through Winston by now, we dont deserve democracy.
He will jump on any bandwagon to gain a vote. He is just a charlatan with a pompidor and I would not trust him for a nanosecond.

Anonymous said...

I would like to be involved in forming a political party that represents the majority of New Zealanders.
Whether you call it the Honkie party or the non-Maori party it does not matter because it will not be the first racist party formed in NZ.
Please New Zealanders wake up to what is happening and stick up for your rights.
Non-Maori have customary rights too.Don't let someone from another race start charging you for something that you were able to enjoy for free,eg fishing,swimming,hiking,etc.
To me it feels like my great grandfather has been accused of murder and been acquitted so now they are going to sentence this generation with the crime.
Wakeup John Key or you are TOAST.

David Willocks

Roy Good said...

That pretty boy Winston is of course the greatest carpet-bagger in or out of politics as we all know with the irony that the majority of his supporters would I think naturally fall into the anti F. & S. Bill camp which is our loss really.
Perhaps another street march similar to the Electoral Reform protest is needed?

John Ansell said...

Very perceptive Frank, I'd wondered the same thing but hadn't thought that even Winston was that morally bankrupt. Silly me.

Anonymous said...

With fairness to Winston Peters, he has opposed the Marine and Coastal Bill publicly many times. What can he do to stop it, he was voted out of Parliament in 2008 with only 4.2 percent of the vote. I think the best thing John Key did was to say he wouldn't form a coalition with Winston Peters. NZ 1st got my vote at that moment. I believe the news coverage on this is shocking because the news media purposely ignore it or always has to put a slant to it like Hone leaving when it came time to vote. That's a smoke screen.

Frank Newman said...

Anonymous March 10, 2:53 asks, "What can he do to stop it, he was voted out of Parliament in 2008 with only 4.2 percent of the vote."

Answer: He could speak out more. He has the personal fire power to bring the debate alive and shake up the media for their appalling reporting on this matter which has largely accepted the National Party half-truths. He should have brought his fire power to the battle field by now and should do so before the battle is lost.

Frank Newman said...

Surprise surpise, the day AFTER the bill passes into law, Peter's speaks out against it!

NZPA "NZ First leader promises foreshore fight
If New Zealand First gets back into Parliament at this year's election it will fight to repeal the new foreshore legislation.

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill which repeals the Foreshore and Seabed Act and restores to Maori the right to seek customary title to parts of the coastline through the courts or by negotiation with the Government passed into law yesterday by 63 votes to 56.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was a minister in the Labour-led coalition government which implemented the 2004 Act.

"This legislation has been enacted solely because of a backroom deal between National and the Maori Party. It will only benefit a few Treaty travellers and corporate Maori who stand to make a killing off a resource that rightfully belongs to everyone," Mr Peters said today.

"Some coastal Maori have customary historical rights relating to the foreshore. That was recognised in the previous legislation as was shown when the East Coast iwi Ngati Porou reached a beneficial deal with the Crown over their customary rights."

Mr Peters said the new bill would do lasting harm to race relations and would see areas of the coastline end up privatised and sold overseas.

"Access to our coastal areas is our birthright and these areas must be held in trust by the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders in perpetuity."

"The Government says the bill guarantees public access."