1999, the National government sold the state owned electricity
generator Contact Energy, which owned hydro, geothermal and
gas-fired power stations in the North and South Island,
including the Clyde Dam, in a public share offering. At that
time, there were no calls for the tribal ownership of water,
no claims to the Waitangi Tribunal, no special deals for iwi.
Over 220,000 investors bought shares and life went on.
different it is today.
week the Maori Council’s hearing over the ownership of water
will get underway in the Wellington High Court. Prime Minister
John Key expects that even if the government wins the High
Court case, the Maori Council will appeal to the Court of
Appeal, and if necessary to the Supreme Court. Their plan is
to delay government’s partial privatisation of Mighty River
Power as long as they can in order to extract shares, rights
and other forms of appeasement.
cost of this drawn-out legal battle is likely to be
significant and as with all Treaty-related expenditure, much
of the cost will fall on taxpayers. Already, the Maori
Council’s water claim has cost $1.24 million – the cost of
the Waitangi Tribunal is $190,897, legal aid for the claimants
$323,341, Crown lawyers $670,686, and consultation over the
“Shares Plus” option another $55,000.
not everyone agrees with the government’s asset sales
programme, but the National Party did win the 2011 general
election with that policy at the forefront of its manifesto.
The Prime Minister wanted to gain an unambiguous mandate from
the public for proceeding with their asset sales programme,
and the fact that National won the election and were able to
form a government has, in his mind, given them that mandate.
is no doubt that the Maori Council’s opportunistic claim is
now compromising the sale process. Their interference is
likely to result in a considerable loss of value of assets
which will impact on every New Zealander.
is important to point out that these opportunists who are
claiming our water do not represent Maoridom as a whole. Many
people of Maori ancestry are embarrassed by their grasping
cargo-cult mentality. They are as sick of the arrogance and
the division within New Zealand society that biculturalism is
creating as most other New Zealanders. They want us all to
work as one for the good of the country.
why is it that a decade ago an electricity generator could be
sold without claims for the ownership of water, whereas today,
such claims are not only widespread, but they are treated
seriously? The answer is that a party representing the Maori
sovereignty movement is now a member of the National-led
addition, as a result of on-going concessions and lavish
appeasement policies, over the last four years Treaty
Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has created huge
expectations amongst tribal groups that they can get whatever
they want. In a recent column
for the NZCPR, Professor Roger Bowden has calculated that from
the base of an expected $1 billion fiscal cap, the total cost
of settlements has exploded and is now anticipated to reach
$5-6 billion, consuming the total anticipated return from the
whole partial asset sale programme!
top of that, National has agreed to the Maori Party’s
constitutional review, a process by which they intend to
replace New Zealand’s present constitutional arrangements
with a new bicultural constitution enshrining the Treaty of
Waitangi as supreme law. With the process already captured by
biculturalists (thanks to Mr Finlayson and his National Party
colleagues) the process to achieve the Maori Party’s aim of
co-governance of New Zealand by the iwi elite is now underway.
[If you share our concerns over these developments, please
visit the Independent Constitutional Review website at ConstitutionalReview.org
to find out more and support us]
the sovereignty movement on a roll, opportunistic claims are
coming in thick and fast. A claim for wind has already been
lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal and a new claim for the
electromagnetic spectrum is underway. This claim more than
anything else shows what suckers we are – how can it be that
taxpayers’ money could possibly be given out for something
that was not even imagined at the time the Treaty was signed
week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, freelance writer Michael
Coote, suggests that the move for Maori tribal claims to
privatise the ownership of natural resources or rights has
gone “viral”. He explains:
water rights spat over legalised corruption demanded by Maori
tribes wanting payoffs for use of rivers running through their
patch of turf has leaked across to radio spectra now that it
has become apparent that prime time for applying tribal
standover tactics is when the government needs to meet
‘digital dividend’ 4G-700MHz band radio spectrum is coming
up for auction to mobile phone companies by the government’s
deadline of first quarter 2013.
by the water rights brouhaha, advocates of the Maori airwaves
grab like Nga Kaiwhakapumau i Te Reoare are up in arms and
convening a national hui to further their Waitangi Tribunal
claim to own the radio spectra apparently commercially
exploited by their technologically precocious neolithic
ancestors prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.”
To read the full article, please click HERE.
point is that since the government intends forcing all
television networks to go digital by December 1, 2013, the 4G
radio spectrum will be available for commercial use. It is
expected to be in high demand from telecommunications
companies wanting to connect smartphones to cellular networks.
Opportunistic tribes can see that ownership rights to 4G will
be extremely lucrative!
As at 11 June 2009, the Waitangi Tribunal had 2,034
treaty-related claims registered. Most are historic grievances
of mixed legitimacy that were lodged ahead of the September
2008 final cut-off date for historic Treaty claims.
Of the substantive historic tribal claims, the Office
of Treaty Settlements reports that 35 historic claims have
been settled, 18 are awaiting legislation, 15 have
‘agreements in principle’, and 9 are at the negotiation
stage. And with regards to contemporary claims, as at January
2012, over 200 had been lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal.
contemporary claims represent a real problem for New Zealand.
As long as there is a Waitangi Tribunal claims process in
existence to give legitimacy to fabricated claims, all other
New Zealanders will be forced to pay the price - and the
racial division will grow. And as long as the political class
remains committed to appeasement, the country will remain
vulnerable to further attempts to extract more. A case in
point is a potential claim for compensation by iwi over a new
fisheries bill that is in front of Parliament - let me
Zealand’s commercial fishing sector is worth upwards of $4
billion. It used to consist largely of an inshore fishery,
with Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, and Soviet vessels fishing
beyond our 12 nautical mile Territorial Sea limit. The
introduction of the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone
in 1977 and the quota management system in 1986, led to the
fishing industry becoming one of the country’s leading
export industries, with more than 90 percent of the annual
There are now over 1,500 commercial fishing vessels registered
in New Zealand and 239 licensed fish receivers and processors.
Some 2,200 individuals and companies own quota. Maori control
over a third of the industry as a result of their Treaty of
Waitangi settlement. In addition to quota and cash, they
received a 50 percent share in New Zealand’s biggest fishing
company, Sealord, and they receive 20 percent of any new
species brought into the quota management system.
problem is that rather than leasing boats and employing tribal
members to catch and process their fish - something that most
New Zealanders imagined would occur as a result of their
generous Treaty settlement - they have instead used foreign
charter vessels, with foreign workers to catch and process
their fish. It has been estimated that 2,500 jobs would have
been created if iwi had employed New Zealanders instead of
using foreign fishermen. And while work in the fishing
industry is not easy, the industry offers good opportunities
and decent pay - a New Zealand Captain can earn over $200,000
a year, an engineer over $100,000, a cook $90,000, and crew
members $50,000 to $80,000.
a result of widespread allegations of slave labour and
inhumane living conditions on foreign charter vessels, the
government launched an inquiry last year. In addition to
concerns about the fishing crew, there were also were concerns
about the catch being processed in China using slave labour
and without high food safety requirements - yet being sold
into world markets as Produce
of New Zealand to compete against New Zealand seafood
caught and processed by New Zealanders under New Zealand’s
high food hygiene standards.
a result of their inquiry, the government has decided to phase
out the use of foreign charter vessels by 2016. At that time,
any foreign fishing vessel would be required to be reflagged
to New Zealand, which means that they would be deemed to be a
New Zealand ship and would need to comply with our domestic
legislative and regulatory requirements. At present New
Zealand is the only country in the developed world that allows
foreign vessels to fish in our exclusive economic zone without
phasing out of these foreign vessels to comply with New
Zealand’s standards and laws should satisfy concerns already
raised in the United States about slave labour and in the
European Union about food hygiene - which might already be
locking us out of important export markets.
most of the industry is very supportive of the proposed
changes, iwi are not! They claim these changes will make
fishing uneconomic and may well demand compensation from the
government for changing the law.
Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) accompanying the Fisheries
(Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill,
which is on Parliament’s Order Paper awaiting its first
reading, states that the potential loss of export revenue as a
result of reflagging foreign charter vessels is up to $300
million. It states that the economic impact of the changes may
fall disproportionately on Maori and iwi quota holders.
But the RIS also states, “The Crown could also refer to the
principle that settlements do not impinge on the Crown’s
right to develop policy in response to contemporary issues. At
this stage it is difficult to quantify this risk. Officials
have consulted with a range of iwi leaders on the reflagging
option to minimise the risk and have
committed to investigating options to enable iwi to continue
to maximise returns from their quota”.
iwi will attempt to claim compensation of up to $300 million
remains to be seen.
week’s poll asks: Do
you think Maori fishing operators should be required to man
their vessels with NZ crews and be subject to NZ processing
standards? Click here for poll >>>
rejects claims of a Maori Council victory
2.Mai Chen, Stopping
the grievance cycle
3.Ministry Primary Industries, RIS
Government Response to the Ministerial Inquiry on Foreign
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