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Dr Muriel Newman

Activist Capture

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Two weeks ago, the first day of racing of the Sail Grand Prix regatta in Lyttleton Harbour was cancelled due to the sighting of a Hector’s dolphin. That followed a practice day, where sailing was restricted to only 11 minutes. And on the final race day teams were again refused practice time.

The race area is a dolphin sanctuary and the race organisers had agreed to abide by the special protocols that were put in place.

However, world champion New Zealand yachtsman and SailGP Executive Director Sir Russell Coutts believes the restrictions were excessive and a symptom of a wider problem that New Zealand faces.

On the morning of the final race day, Sir Russell read out a statement on Newstalk ZB about the challenges he and the teams had faced. His full statement is featured as this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentary:

“Our people and our athletes care deeply about marine conservation. In addition to our normal marine mammal protocols, SailGP has had this extreme marine mammal management plan forced upon us in Lyttelton, demanded by the Department of Conservation, Ecan and Ngati Wheke for this event. Otherwise, SailGP would not be permitted to race. Other harbour users, including commercial users, are not subject to such protocols…

“Unfortunately, yesterday was another example of there being almost no balance in the decision-making – another example of New Zealand being handcuffed by unprecedented layers of bureaucracy and red tape.”

Sadly, for New Zealand, Sir Russell is right when he says our country is handcuffed by bureaucracy and red tape. The effects can be seen right across society and at absurd levels.

In an article “Drowning in Red Tape” the Herald outlined some of the ridiculous hurdles thrown at NZ King Salmon, which has finally gained a resource consent to build its salmon farm in Cook Strait after nine years of battling through the consent process. It will be a world first for farming the highly sought after Chinook king salmon species in the open ocean, where conditions are cooler and more conducive to growth. Once fully operational, the venture is expected to make a major contribution to employment and export growth.

The company described the resource consent process as “very robust”. But that’s a euphemism for the costly nonsense they were forced to comply with. Even though the operation will be located out at sea, they were required to produce multiple ‘expert’ reports on the impact their operation will have on the “natural character” of landscapes: “It’ll be over the horizon, there’s no landscape to see. You won’t be able to see it from the land”!

They were also compelled to “find common ground” with opponents, which, of course, included iwi. It doesn’t take much imagination to work out what that would have involved!

Another dreadful example of the crippling effect of red tape and bureaucracy can be found in the report on the response to Cyclone Gabrielle, which revealed the New Zealand Defence Force was not only unable to deliver much needed water supplies because it was not an “authorised water supplier”, but personnel were not permitted to assist locals in the clean-up operation, because they didn’t have access to full personal protective equipment!

When asked about Sir Russell’s criticisms during a post-Cabinet press conference, the Prime Minister agreed: “I think we have turned ourselves into a red tape and obstruction economy. We’ve got more work to do making sure we don’t put barriers and obstacles in the way of being able to attract worldclass events to New Zealand. It’s up to SailGP and those local authorities, which comprises a range of groups and interests, to work it out. When you’ve got 50 million people on TV and 20,000 at the event, being delayed a day isn’t a great thing.

“We want to build a strong pipeline of future major events for this country. It has huge advantages to us economically. I think it’s fantastic when they happen. So we want to encourage more. There’s 195 countries who actually try and make it work for them, and I think we can do a better job of that.

ACT leader and Regulations Minister David Seymour was also critical of the “nonsensical regulations” that had interrupted sailing. He described a “crazy thicket of regulation that is deadening our culture” and he explained a key objective of regulatory reform is “to let our once proud can-do culture breathe again.”

New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters believes the issue highlights how “overly influential bureaucratic processes” and “power-drunk government departments” are impeding the country’s economic development and international reputation.

“New Zealand needs to get back to being a ‘can-do’ country that prioritises common sense and productivity. Of course, there needs to be a ‘balance’ of all considerations, but ‘balance’ seems to have been thrown out the window.”

The Deputy PM claims the country has become “inward-looking” through “nonsensical moral and cultural roadblocks. Our economy and our international reputation are suffering in the face of pearl-clutching extremists and their dizzying sense of self-worth.”

And that’s the problem in a nutshell. New Zealand is suffering from ‘activist capture’. 

As a nation, we’ve allowed this to happen because some at the top of the political pyramid have themselves been activists, while others have lacked the backbone and focus to say enough is enough.

There’s been too much appeasement of minority interests: climate activists who claim the world will end if we don’t stop driving cars and eating meat. Maori sovereignty activists claiming ‘we-arrived-here-first’ privileges to mask their greedy ambitions to capture land and resources. Gay rights activists intent on indoctrinating children.

Such groups have been allowed to get away with destructive actions, that should never have been tolerated in a decent society.

Descending from the sublime to the ridiculous, the latest battleground is rainbow coloured road crossings. Like advocates wanting Maori language road signs, the answer to anyone wanting to use road safety measures to make political statements, should be a firm “no”!

The reality is that those responsible for upholding the law need to deal firmly and swiftly with fanatics, otherwise activism escalates, controversy widens, and society becomes destabilised.  

Radicals exploit weakness. Appease them and they will take more and more until they capture control.

A case in point is local government’s Significant Natural Areas (SNA): Section 6 of the Resource Management Act (RMA) requires “the protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna.”

While SNAs were intended to protect areas of national significance, thanks to the influence of radical environmentalists, they’ve been liberally applied to effectively confiscate private property rights from landowners.

To their credit the Coalition Government has now suspended any issuing of SNAs for three years, while the RMA itself is overhauled.

When the RMA was introduced in 1991 it was heralded as enlightened ‘enabling’ legislation. But it didn’t take long to be captured and used by activists to block progress.

An early victim was the Northern Motorway extension from Albany to Orewa. Opened in 1999, it took six years to battle environmentalists through the RMA consenting and objection process, and just two years to build. The cost of delay was estimated by Transit NZ at the time, to be $1 million worth of community benefits lost for every week the road was not opened.

What’s worse, is that in 2001, to appease the Green Party, Helen Clark’s Labour Government set up the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, which uses taxpayers’ money to pay activist groups up to $50,000 to fund legal challenges to RMA applications.

That Fund still operates today!

Without a doubt, the RMA has crippled progress in this country – at every level of society the process has been captured by minorities wanting to over-ride public or private interests and impose their radical worldview on others.

Fortunately, the Coalition is tackling the problem, not only by repealing and replacing Labour’s overhauled RMA – which was even more damaging than the original – but also, through a Fast-track Approvals Bill to enable faster decision-making for projects of significant regional or national benefit.

However, specifically excluded from the fast-tracking process is any activity “that would occur in a customary marine title area under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011.”

The implication of this is significant. As a result of the Marine and Coastal Area Act being interpreted more liberally by Judges than Parliament intended, Customary Marine Titles are likely to cover the entire coastline of New Zealand. That means future Governments will no longer have the right to consider coastal projects for fast-tracking, but will instead need to go cap in hand to the multiple iwi groups that will end up sharing title to our coast.

And while the Coalition has signalled it plans to “fix” the law and return it to what Parliament intended – namely only a minority of claims in remote areas of the coast would qualify for Customary Marine Title – this reform was not included in their 100-day plan, nor is it in their recently announced 36-point plan.  

With multiple High Court claims expected to be decided this year, this matter is urgent.

Right now, for example, a hearing is underway for control of the Whangarei Harbour. In spite of the area being one of the country’s oldest operational ports, with, over the years, an oil refinery and even a power station, that hasn’t stopped the fifteen applicant groups who are seeking Customary Marine Title from claiming they have each used the area exclusively and continuously since 1840.

These applications are indicative of the opportunism that underpins the vast majority of the 585 claims for the coast that are waiting to be resolved.

Back in 2004, there was a great deal of controversy when the iwi ‘owners’ of Lake Taupo announced their plan “to charge a licence fee to commercial operators using the water and airspace above it.”

While the Government stepped in with a deal, since the Marine and Coastal Area Act includes in the definition of the marine and coastal area, the seabed, the water space and the airspace above, and with Customary Marine Title holders having the right to ‘derive a commercial benefit’ from their area, there are growing concerns over the direction in which successful claimants may wish to take their new found power.

With the right to veto resource consent application in their area, without any shadow of a doubt, Customary Marine Titles are a license to print money.

In the case of the Whangarei Harbour, the awarding of Customary Title to multiple iwi would also have a major impact on plans to re-commission the Marsden Point Oil Refinery, to expand Northport, as well as any thoughts of relocating the Devonport Naval Base to Whangarei.

Given such uncertainties, it is essential that the claims process is halted until the Marine and Coastal Area Act changes have been introduced, to prevent Customary Marine Titles being awarded to opportunistic claimants that do not meet the high standards intended by Parliament.

In his statement, Sir Russell Coutts alluded to the influence of iwi: “I find it astonishing the amount of influence iwi have over the authorities here in New Zealand. The Department of Conservation would not allow racing in Lyttleton unless SailGP had approval from the iwi.”

He also said, “I suspect most New Zealanders don’t realise the full implications of such a stance.” 

He’s right.

If the public really understood the extent to which iwi have manoeuvred themselves into positions of influence, where they can not only dictate what goes on, but also make serious self-interested demands from both public and private interests, they would be shocked.

It has to stop.

To ensure future coastal projects in New Zealand are not condemned to the endless delays, on-going litigation, and serious demands for bribes that are likely to occur if the Marine and Coastal Area Act is not changed, the Coalition needs to immediately suspend the claims process while the legal and bureaucratic nightmare that’s being created by activist Judges is sorted out.

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*Do you agree with Sir Russell Coutts that New Zealand is “handcuffed by unprecedented layers of bureaucracy and red tape”?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


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I am not a fan of Coutts but this time he has hit the nail on the head and full marks ! Compared to when I was young New Zealand appears to be totally stuffed in multiple ways. Having sailed at Lyttelton and around the Peninsula many years ago over a long period, the recent SailGP was an embarrassing shambles for all concerned.. Oh and the closest the Iwi ever got to the water in those days was the bar of the Mitre Hotel !John
its gone on far too long. STOP it NOWwilliam
I totally agree, the Greens are a left wing group of silly politicians.Frank
Thank goodness David Seymour has taken the new “regulation minister” portfolio!Peter
National is too weak to deal with this massive problem, it needs a major, almost radical overhaul.Chris
Suffocating NZ.mary
Review and correct NOWAnthony
Iwi are a corrupt burden and should be controlledAnthony
We have become a nation of do-gooders who do nothing. We need to get out of our own way.Mark
Christchurch desperately needs events and entertainment shows since the big earthquakes of 2010,11. How many times does greedy Maori have to have their palms crossed with silver?Monica
Trim down the red tape regime to a practical size and move the dead wood along. We dont need them – full stop!Neil
“Red tape” sums it up rather well.Mark
Very definitely. If any business looks like being a success iwi claim a right to a percentage of the takings, not just the profit. How can any business sustain such a DONATION to anyone who doesn’t have any right without working to earn it. The story of The Little Red Hen and her Chicks is totally relevant – those who do the work get to eat the bread.Marie
This type of handcuffing has been forced on our society by the unrealistic demands from mainly the Green Party and other Green extremists. It has to STOP.Gifford
Unfortunately the bureaucrats do not realise the the work they are doing is intended to destroy our country so the world elites can take us over so much easier, forever we will be slaves. We must become a sovereign nation taking no dictates form any world organisations.Alan
The casual disinterest of most new Zealanders in these important issues will soon become a rude awakening, when one day we realize our freedoms are gone…chris
go russalan
Absolutely. A staggering amount of completely daft stuff now holding this country back, big time.Grahame
Without a doubt, it must be sorted out with urgency as a starterGary
Iwi having final say in everything in NZ is revolting. Iwi were never here 1st so are not indigenious. They were a violent blood thirsty race. They practiced canobalism , murdered, raped and enslaved earlier peoples of this country. Savages with no moral compass. Not taught in our schools, but should be. Some of their evil ways are coming to the forefront today. Threatening violence and taking up arms against us if we dont toe their line. Australia looking better option as every days passes.Kevan
Every layer of government, regional and local authorities are the same, they need to be brought to accountRobert
will this Govt. have the COURAGE to put a stop to IWI influence??colin
Constraints to future world events and iwi interference must be stopped in order for NZ to get back on track financially and be seen by the rest of the world as a desirable location to hold events which attract huge financial gain.Carol
And its all by design. The building blocks of the digital prison being built around us.Tara
To the absolute detriment of any future poductivity and ecomonic growth in this countryMargaret
I agree but it is caused by successive Governments giving an invisible spiritual authority to Maori, that does not exist in law. Our constitutional foundation of the its laws and decrees are founded on Judean Christian values most MPS seem totally ignorant of this. That includes the Previous National Prime Minister of NZ John Key. Will this Government stand up for one Nation one sovereignty or will the return of the Pagan gods of Maoridom be joined to the tried true, written and recorded in times past. The laws and values that have developed Western democracies all over the world. I fear for them, when I hear how the other judges on the supreme court are falling over backwards for Joe Williams to join Tikanga Law (hearsay) to our judicial system. Having been an enforcer of our laws for 39 years and it was good law. But now under serious attack. Will this Government stand by the laws that have served us so well?Dene
my grandson graduated from high school but does not know what a capital city is? it is his age group we are talking about getting votes! Cindy advanced the bureaucracy by 14000 but all are screaming crudely about the coalition trying to get it banck to what it was, affordable, accountable. We hambve lost the plot! Who is at the wheel?murray
We here in NZ are strangling ourselves with unnecessary “Red Tape” dreamed up by bureaucrats to justify their jobs & the more they create these ridiculous rules/laws the more they justify their employment to keep dolphins safe along with many other aspects to our daily lives. Common sense has been canceled & it appears that there didn’t seem to be any alternative plans in dealing with one mammal on the course. Dolphins are very intelligent creatures & I’m sure they would know to stay away from a potential thret to their lives. Fishing trawlers have sonic equipment onboard to scare dolphins away from their boat when they haul in a catch to avoid being caught in their nets, so why couldn’t they have used the same sonic equipment to clear the race area for this event. What would the organisers have done if the dolphin(s) had turned up for the Sunday SialGP Racing….I wonder…?Bruce
It is only going to get worse unless the government stands up and says ‘NO!’ in a big loud voice. Relegate The Thievery of Waitangi to history, stop all race-based spending and activities, reverse Comrade Clark’s ‘All maraes are charities’ legislation, make all tribes and sub-tribes to form limited companies and make them subject to annual audits and taxes. That would bring out all the New Zealanders with a drop of Maori blood who would be able to claim a share of whatever tribe their blood belongs to. At the same time DEMOCRACY can return to NZ and the madness will stop overnight.Gerard
Most definitely.Trevor
I’m pleased that he has had the guts to say what we all know, maybe he would make a good Prime Minister!Alan
Clearly something needs to change and fast before events like Sail GP put New Zealand in the to hard basket, I wouldn’t blame them.Ray
I wish I was selling red tape. I’d be pretty well off by now. What started off as a good idea has morphed into a disaster. Same with the foreshore and seabed. Good intentions captured by the perpetually disgruntled and turned against itself. David Seymour, get onto this and smartly before scheming people entrench more precedents for you to overcomeMike
This country is literally drowning in red tape, it has to stop! It will soon get to the stage that tourists, high profile business, sports events etc., will just stop coming here; and our revenue will drop to the point that we will be a third world economy. We are almost there thanks to the last Labour, TPM, Greens Government. Worst thing that has ever happened to our beautiful country and its peoples.Heather
Yes definitely,, most do not realise NZ will have trouble attracting international events here. They need to look further than our left wing media.Heather
The activist mob are vicious and self-righteous willing to intimidate anyone opposed to their world view.John
A captured bureaucracyBarry
I wonder why New Zealanders of the modern age put up with being charged taxes on land claims and reparations to a group whose claims are mainly in the 1800s. Those people (mostly immigrants since the 1950s) had nothing to do with land wars and all other New Zealanders were mostly born after 1920 and they had nothing to do with it either. Its a complete wrought charging people and their ancestors reparations for something they did not do. On another matter I see Luxon is investigating taxing charities. I hope the Maori Corporations and tax free entities are included in these investigations.Terry
There must be an end to this and the sooner the better. NZ is being held to ransom by Iwi .John
This whole ‘Iwi’ nonsense does indeed have to stop. As you so rightly say it is only a license to print money.Peter
we can not keep on buckling to the fewNoel
Absolutely, it seems that NZ is being stifled by those that want to destroy ambition, investment, growth, entrepreneurship in this rich nation, by over compliance and ticket clipping by Iwi, councils and other organisation’s that see growth and prosperity as a bad thing.Rob
Why on earth do we have to ask IWI about anything that is proposed. It seems to me that the only reason, is for them to find a way to make Money out of the suckers, asking the question? THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!John
Totally agree with Russell Coutts.Wayne
This situation could well be likened to a huge whale being emeshed in a ntangle of Nets!!!and must be cut free.Karen
I was there the first day of racing. What a disaster from loud DJ’s disco to uncooked food no live bands and even the grand stands unable to put ABCD in alphabet format but then 1 dolphin vs 50 million viewers and it won !!!!Stu
Your poll should have been a stop on Marine and Coastal Area Act claims!!!Tony
A massive clean out of government bureaucracy is desperately needed. Suggest top 3 levels in all government departs across the nation be immediately sacked.Richard
Crazy interference. The likelihood of the Dolphins getting damaged or killed is very small. As an individual I’m happy to take such a risk and therefore support Sail GPPaul
Sadly, his surprise at this situation only confirms that he no longer lives most of the year in NZ !!Laurie
Yes, although Coutts can be regarded as egocentric and his comments should be viewed with that in mindPeter
I absolutely agree. Bureaucracies and Iwi are destroying our country with their greed.Gregor
Whenever a potential problem crops up our response is to pass a new act or regulationTrevor
Yes, as Muriel said, certain people/departments, have caught the MIRI bug, and thrown the baby out with the bath water, figuratively and politically, turn a once great little country into a racist/devisist CountryTony
It is completely immoral that an elite self-appointed select few mindlessly hobble NZ on the international stage causing nothing but embarrassment.Paul
Sir Russell is 200% correct. Kiwi not iwi. How much money has iwi extorted over all of NZ ? Millions of dollars if not billions. These greedy little porkas must be stopped. They dont give a shit about the rest of us.Allan
And unprecedented and unacknowledged iwi power to teh detriment of the majority of the populationAnon
He should run his silly yacht races in places that aren’t marine mammal sanctuariesJohn
It is one of the reasons that our productivity is one of the worst in the OECDKerry
get him electedian
Its time the Silent Majority spoke up and said enough is enough. Take back control from the minorities.Grant
Need Urgency Spelt out clearly to stop iwi taking control of our entire coast and next all water IT MUST STOPleo
Particularly of the indigenous variety.Neville
This is what David Seymour in his capacity “Minister of Regulation” is hoping to fix!Peter
Maorification is crippling this countryRick
Roading is the most obvious area of controlling movements with cones & lights when work is not being donePeter
And dismissed if they are not impartial.Barbara
No way can the country advance under the existing regime. Competition is crushed.David
It has to stop but no Govt will have the courage as they only look for reelection.Peter
Local governments should have rectified their own snaps before making rules for nearby private property.Ian
Bureacracy and red tape is already too complicated, then you add in Iwi who need no relevant knowledge or expertise but just be maori and the system is a farce.Dale
Get rid of the Treaty let us go forward. together as all New Zealanders !! AS at the present time with all the rubbish of claims for foreshore will ruin this countryRoss
Common sene and the good of all has been lost.Tony
Most definitelyMike
It is al so desperately disappointing and worrying.Elizabeth
The government needs to sort this out ASAP. That is what they were voted in forNigel
You can’t stop a large event because of one fishLGF
The laws are an arse!Keith
Absolutely, he’s right – what a sad departure for our country from fairness & equality.Giles
Yes its a massive handbrake,I beleive this coalition will slowly sort it outPaul
Its insane that the previous Labour insanity allowed such a tiny, but vocal minority to gain such power over the majority. The sooner this government redresses this the better for NZ & the world.John
The gullibility and lazy thinking of the average kiwi combined with the left-leaning media with their agendas created the perfect breeding ground for nonsensical bureaucracy to proliferate. The NZ universities play their part with so called ‘research’ that always call for more crazy regulationsJaco
Absolutely rediculous, these laws need to be revised asap.Jacky
Enough is enough, this has gone on too long! Hopefully the new. Government can sort it!Dominic
Activists are adding to the demise of our countryJim
The venality and greed demonstrated by iwi has no limits!Dennis
This is a big deal iwi want you to ignore the real prize. Majority of public think coalition is ending the iwi takeover but they are notGlenn
Like SIr Russel Coutts, we are becoming very upset at the idea that everything must be sanctioned by Maori. It is about time a definition of what os who is deemed a Maori is determined. Many who say they are Maori look more European than I do and I am not anything. Its a fraud!Derek
makes you wonder how this has been let to go this far. Bloody Greenies and MaorisROB
Absolutely. Commonsense has gone out the window. Woke ism has taken over plus maori radicals are exercising their racial power too. This rubbish has to stop asap. National have to stop pussyfooting around ,the two coalition partners are showing them how to do it.Peter
Hell YES YESMartin
Common sense has become remarkably uncommon in too many aspects of New Zealand life. Slowing much needed progress and adding unnecessary costs in so many essential pprojects…bob
Let us return to a New Zealand that is equal for everyone. The Iwi and activists have been given too much power. It has to stop. Who has the backbone to reverse this?Diana
I only hope that David Seymour can achieve everything he wants to.Allan
It is a ridiculous state of affairsKevin
Red tape, silly regulation and maori interference is crippling society and destroying entrepreneurial effort.Gavin
This has been going on for years and governments have done nothing. It is time the current government grows some balls.Dennis
totally and it is insane!!!!tony
Of course he is correct and the past governments are to blame. A bunch of soft clowns have been running this country for too long, put there as a result of poor correct communication resulting in the population being sucked in. This government must quickly toughen up if we are to progress , regardless of the screams.Tom
In all aspects of life todayIan
What about the Tauranga wharf extension that has been hald up for 5 plus years also when it is the busiest port in NZ.Just appalled at all the delays.!!!!Barrry
Yes…. The country is stuffed and we know which Labour Led minority STUFFED IT! GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND. (Eng.)Bruce
Plus, there is far too much. I WI and the Maori elite who want total Control of all our natural resources. When just recently the discovery of green hydrogen and Maori say they own the water. Our Prime minister need a stronger back bone and deal. And confirm that all natural resources are crow owned end of story.ken
I dont know which is worse The beehive or local govt as my local govt wants a new and bigger building to house all the new parasites that they are employing and not a intelligent brain among any of them. so if luxton dosen’t pull finger and get rid of the no hopers this country will go down the s***hole , look forward to getting rid of the maori seats which is a start but the momentum needs to increase to rid the other crap from the treaty pig trough, so good on Sir Russell Coutts for his honesty, we need more of his type to speak up.Richard
Let’s demand a moratorium on all claims for Customary Marine TitleRhonda
The situation in NZ has become way out of balance and simply lacks common sense. Wake up NZ and stop letting minority groups dictate what should be the right for open conversation, expression of varying points of view and freedom to conduct public interest events and sensible management of them.Stan
Our democratic heritage must be respectedStuart
We had first hand experience of Iwi interfering in building on private land and charging through he nose to discussRichard
Well overdue to be cleaned up.John
Stifled at every stepJanet
New Zealand majority held at gun point by bureaucratic minnows having duped woke politicians into bowing to their BS claims.Hugh
As if dolphins are unable to care for themselves – they are probably as fast as the boats?tony
Could not AGREE MORE ! NZ as a Country is going to the DOGS !! Myself and two of my friends already looking at alternative locations .Pierre
Another example that New Zealand is heading for financial ruin as investors will no longer be interested in contributing to NZ economy.Roger
Totally and the involvement with Iwi makes it much worse. What the hell have they go to do with anything above our lawmakers, local and any Government issues and when they demand money from schools etc for “advice” is absurd. Tell them to go to hell or is it too late !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Alan
Too right.Harvey
Insane red tapeTom
As time has gone on during my life I could see this stuff crippling NZ and I would not like to see it happen. This and other issues (looking back) and getting compensation time and time again for wrong doings has crippled NZ for a long time now and I don’t understand people not seeing it.Jackie
It is frightening the power and control this small bunch of part Maori (Iwi) have over New Zealand and it’s citizens. The Govt. appears Hog Tied, in repealing divisive laws, dragging out reversals of maori wards to 2028!!! why. Ardern managed over night to shut down oil and gas and stop the democratic process on maori wards almost immediately plus instruct the public service serve a minority first before all others almost over night. It cannot be that complicated if the last Govt could figure it out. Who is really running the country?Sam
Its almost too late to changeGeoffrey
In every part of New Zealand projects are stifled by zealots, Iwi, red tape, bureaucracy, & so-called greenies.Barbara
you bet your bottom dollar it is. I have personally experienced a Ten Year RMA delay – cost $1.5 million. It is some of the very worst legislation ever passed into law and I am still paying the price with stupid demands and holdups from the local body, who was the objector in the first place. Lets get back to reality.Don
The govt must stop this nonsense right now!Janet
there is is also the matter of over 70000 being paid to Iwi for dolphin watching i understandCraig
And remember – ‘Yes Minister’ & ‘Yes Prime Minister’ were supposed to be COMEDIES !!!Mike
iwi need to be brought under control and start living in the real world of paying taxes as all other New Zealanders have toAlastair
Absolutely. Common sense has been lacking for a while. Iwi have so many silly demands, they don’t really have the country as a whole at heart. Nor do other activists.Sheila
its got to stop.Christopher
The Maoris have taken over this country, and the courts.Bruce
this is not the NZi grew up in. we were one people and we all looked after our land. When i jumped into the water, the fish shot away quickly, the Dolphins would do the same thing.josn
Absolutely, the country is drowning in it.Lauree
Thia nonsense has to stop, iwi have to realise the world has moved on from cave-dwelling mentality.Terry
Bureaucrats with No Practical experience No Commercial experience make life a misery for realismMick
Absolutely, activist capture is now a common occurrence in out country and flies under the radar most of the time due to non reporting by our media.Lawrie
Do away with the journalism fund that seemingly ties editorial slant and writers’ articles to a particular narrative, and open up the public communication sphere to more facts being made available from more sources. People generally/typically don’t care as long as their own lives aren’t impacted, but by the time they realise there lives have changed, they (just like the lobster in a boiling pot) will realise it’s too late.John
Absolutely right.Jeff
It is evident at all levels.Raymond
Try and do anything on your land or develop a section!!Merv
further example of manipulation by Maori activistsBryan
It is part of a deliberate , orchestrated plan to control, I believeHarvey
these handouts to maori have to stop!Greg
Excessive regulations and compliance is adding an additional 30% of cost to evtmajor project. Explains why we have no money for infrastructure.Gavin
When will common sense and personal responsibility prevail? New Zealand has become a land of nursemaids and sucklings. The past few years have seen how radical extremists have taken power and manipulated systems for their own benefit, regardless of the overall affect this has on the country and its inhabitants. Current government has a window of opportunity to make changes that would prevent this recurring but do they have the guts to take it on or will they find excuses that allow it to continue unabated?Martin
The cost of red tape is incalculable, not only in financial terms, but quality of life too!Elizabeth
Get rid of all iwi in favour of one NZ people’s. Stop apartheid now!Norman
Handcuffed? Strangled!Mike
Iwi has become synonymous with bludgerEvans
Absolutely a small corrupt cabal of local iwi that seek to control the country. Unless stopped it will be the beginning of the end for NZ traditional ways and culture. Where is the Kiwi spirit gone.John
Absolutely yes, handcuffed, hamstrung and chocked into immobility by a bloated and officious labor appointed bureaucracy. They all need to go, nowFlip
Agree 100%Kevin
He could not have made it clear to the stupidity of the power of minority groups in NZRichard
And its killing our economy and causing our children to depart for greener pastures.Jan
100% yes. Two weeks ago the local council said we were a water supplier. We have a house with a rainwater tank and no one else gets water from our tank. Thanks not comrade Jacinta for 3 waters.Donald
Equally important was his comment on the required Iwi consent. This requirement needs to be nullified .Stephen
Time to get back to common sense,to many gravy trainsPeter
4th World Country around the cornermike
Again this is as obvious as the nose on our face. It is inconceivable that this has got to this stageBruce
Time to start pushing back before the rights and freedoms that we have taken for granted for so long, are snatched out from under our noses by a bunch of greedy brown parasites, aided and abetted by a horde of sycophantic bureaucrats and sharp lawyers, hell-bent on extracting as much wealth from the industrious as they possibly can, for their own selfish ends. This must cease forthwith, before our nation is totally ruined!Scott
This country is turning into a joke. Please coalition govt…start making a stand or there really is no future here in NZ.jo
As the previous government created and caused such bureaucracy and red tape. They caused no end of problems for this country called “NEW ZEALAND”Richard
And it is getting time this government finds and uses the key to end this BSPeter
Let us be positive ……JUDITH
It has been a downhill slide for over 40 years and we are approaching the ultimate conclusion of a country in apartheid paralysisFrank
We are in a mess as a country.Tony
we should go back to “can do” solutionsgerard
I think the marine life are smart enough to get out of the way of a few sailing boats. Fishing nets no, but sailing boats, what a bungleTeresa
Yes of course. Not only that l believe because of all the wakademics and as weak as dish water politicians, this country has been on a downward slide for far too long now. Why wouldn’t you go to Australia where common sense seems to have prevailed. It’s so sad what this country has come down to.Paul
Yes, and they need to be stripped of their powers to divide our country in favour of Iwi activists who are trying to claim ownership of our foreshore and Seabed Act. This is urgent because these High Court proceedings are already being held and more claims being lodged. We need to do this immediately for our future generations to.June
Name and shame the individual responsible for making this decision and ruining the sports eventTony
The Coastal Marine and Seabed Act should be an urgent priority for the coalition government under urgency! Greedy money hungry activists from Iwi should be prevented taking claims to the High Court immediately.. Too many bureaucrats and too much red tape preventing anyone trying to get projects and developments through.June
IWI have too much say they are only a vocal minority and need to be put in their place . They were not the first people here and there are no live Maoris in NZ todayArthur
Yes and No…but not where Russell’s perceived woes are concerned. He signed an agreement, fully understood the terms and conditions, took a known risk and lost. He is accustomed to having things his way. In this instance things didn’t go his way which is the only reason this has become a conversation. In broader terms yes we are shackled to minority interests. These are slowly being rescinded…SNP as an example. The wildlife sanctuary issue is of a different kind. It is… and should remain, a priority that we protect these spaces from human effects. Cruise ships as well.Jen
Activist capture a damnation for New Zealand. Demolish the Mahuta’s, the Jacksons, the Maori seabed claimants NOW! NO MERCY!Marshal
Activist judges need to be sacked, along with the academics that have been in the universities for far too long. In my opinion, neither of these groups should be allowed to squat in their respective jobs any longer than 9 years, then put out to pasture.Merryl
We have a relatively delicate economy; the growth of which is continuously being hampered by excessive bureaucracy and unchallenged minority groupsRichard
This situation has continued to grow over the years and in particular over the past 6 years to the point where it is strangling logical progress.. An urgent overhaul is surely overdue.chris
Yes, particularly when approvals for most developments need the green light from Maori after paying the obligatory koha (brown mail).Tony
Definitely. Maori as a minority group has far too much influence & costs our country Millions in unnecessary court proceedings. It’s a disgrace and not how their elders from the past would have behaved.Christina
Absolutely , and it’s stuffed our once great countryWhetu
Labour Government must never get back in!!!! Our Money thrown at anything Iwi criminal. Labour has for years supported the take over of this country by the low / no paying income tax Iwi. It must stop. Shocking seeing students following Ardern’s full promotion protests against opposition, yet condemned and had attacked the covid lockdown protesters, who had their human rights removed, for not accepting her order to vaccinate!!!! Disgusting and criminal!!!Julz
Most definitely.John
We are drowning in bureaucratic restrictionsjenny
It’s a lot worse than that.Shane
I say, Less bureaucracy and more democracy. That has been my slogan for many years.Barbara
Activism in NZ is out of control along with spending, etc,, etc.Varina
Sooo much bullshit is suffocating our wonderful NEW ZEALAND. Stop the maori interference NOW, they were NOT here first by MANY MANY years. Brian
Iwi elite need to be out in their place! They are putting a yoke around 94% of New Zealanders. They are not the majority.Dianne
Absolutely correct.David
bureaucracy and red tape in all areas of our lives are slowing us down, increasing levels of homelessness, increased violence everywhere including hospitals where even if the get security guards they cant actually do anything due to regulations.Lianne
Too many people at the top having the say of every thing.Ann
We have got to return to our “get up and go for it” culture of yesteryear.Michael
Very poor prospects for a country with this level of obstruction.Paul
NZ has become an inward looking backwater influenced by Marxist goons and greedy Iwi idiots. It’ll get worse and no major events will come here. We’ll be like a Zimbabwe of the South Pacific and have a similar economy if something drastic is not done soon.John
100% correct……fix it coalition government and fix it quick.Neville
Yes it is ruining our great little country! I hope there is a decent future for our kids and grandkids going forward! We are farmers and have a small helicopter company and the red tape & compliance costs for both is crippling and putting our long term survival in jeopardy..Caroline
I agree with Coutts in general but why did he hold the race in a mammal sanctuary. If you do that and agree to the rules then cope with them – don’t bitch about it after the eventChester
Maori are less than 10% of here in NZ it is a total sham that our Government puts up with this nonsense.William Clive
it surely time for New Zealanders to wake up and stop this stupidity that has been slipped in by the minority who are quite content to take the handouts on benefit dayJohn
we’ve got to stop the bull—- also I did not understand about Whangarei Harbour before. I do now. This is alarming, is this the reason Marsden Point was shut down, I understand from my enquires the plant is fully serviced and operational, but all the employees are now gone or in very short supply. This is a travesty.bob
Even Blind Freddy can see this is trueBruce
More bureaucracy and red tape means more civil servants and more powerful government departmentsAndy
You think Russell Couts has problems. Try the world of construction!!!!!Brian
In the 80s/ 90s, the government catchcry was “reds under the bed”, the insinuation being communist spies. Nothing has changed except those reds are our own governments controlling our every move for “sustainable development” so we, New Zealanders can single handedly stop the world from it’s imminent demise as foretold by the UN for over 50 years. Our housing is 3-4 times the price as it is in our neighbour’s countries. Yeah, don’t know why.larry
Hopefully the govt moves quickly to put a hold on these so called claims!! Iwi are not the first people of the land since 1840 it has been proven otherwise honestly. Very obvious Maori are very quiet when the majority speak out re embargoes put on these findings. At last the rest of kiwis are taking note and saying enough is enough no more treaty settlements, the truth has come out.. come on Kiwis stand up for our New Zealand, don’t allow the greedy activists to brainwash our young people. The likes of Ardern & swabric are using our students to push their agenda’s.Dianne
Undoubtedly .Russ
NZ regulations need a big over hall and most need throwing in the rubbishColin
absolutely, Maori are not indigenous to New Zealand, its a proven fact, and these iwis need to be put in there place, they have been allowed to much control, this government needs to get of there perch, and stop this maori juggernautrodger
Bring back number 8 wire, black singlets, and gum boots, time to start real work again.sven
NZ is a very highly regulated country with far more government interference in your daily life than UK. This is not necessary or desirable, but having said that, I strongly disagree that Coutts or anyone else has a right to harm dolphins in order to show off in their silly toy boats and make a lot of money.TOBY
Come on govt .Use urgency to solve these problems and get our lives back on track.David
But I think he was a bit strong. The race could have been cancelled for lack of wind, and he would not have bleated. Also, dolphins were part of the contract!John
Most definitely and Maori made up nonsense.Steve
It has to be stopped!!Cath
NZ cannot afford to go “backwards” any longer, Fridays socialist influenced children’s protest was a prime example!David
Appeasing the Greenies has slowly, over many years, encompassed us all in a web of complete madness. Only ACT has now finally drawn our attention to it. Go for it, David Seymour!Andy
While I can thoroughly agree with and support the evidence of others that we are stuffed by illogical red-tape, I object to that man’s coat-tailing with his private greed and lack of concern for a protected species whose presence that he was totally aware of.Deirdre
It’s ridiculous and the iwi and others involved should be sorted out in a very serious manner. If the powers that be had some guts we wouldn’t be putting up with it.Gordon
Finally we have someone with enough guts to say what many of us just think, good on you Sir Russell, let’s hope we now get some action to stop this nonsense before it goes any further.Audrey
Absolutely – it is almost 200 years since the ‘treaty’was signed and it is time we ignored Maori activism as they are predominantly not Maori, and we also have many other racial groups making up NZ society. Our best solution is to become another state of Australia.gerry
Yes. This wasn’t the smartest place to hold this race. It is a restricted area, but one dolphin??Elizabeth
don’t keep looking in the rear view mirror, you will not know where you are going. You’ll crash big time ! Guaranteed.Henk
Just stop the red tape bullshitben
Keep the pressure on this coalition Government to reverse all this Maori entitlementHenry
In this case one could ask why they want to race in a protected area for wild life. It does not surprise me that DOC needed consent by iwi. If you apply for a position on the board for DOC the first 2 questions are if DOC can take advise from iwi about your application. A large part of the application form is taken up by questions about your understanding and interpretation of the treaty of Waitangi. Also if you have experience in dealing with claims. I thought DOC was about protecting our nature reserves!lone
“Experts” Seem to imagine a Dolphin is unable to move in response to a vessel . Dolphins have been doing this since ships were first launched and to think they can’t nove move away from on going a bit faster than most is to denigrate the intelligence of these clever creaturesIan K
I propose we should declare a national day to burn all red tape regulations in this country. Let’s call it – Forget All Red Tape day(FARTD). Let’s remove the stench of self interest groups and overly zealous government departments.Rob
He’s right on the money. The problem has been getting worse with successive changes of government & accelerated 10 fold under Ardern’s evil reign. Lets encourage every clear thinking voter to lobby their elected representative for change.Rex
Most definitelyWilliam
No question about it!Gary
Far to much Bureaucracy in this Beautiful CountryRodger
There should be a fair play ground, where all people are treated equally. Not special privileges for some!Stuart
With regard to rainbow crossings, Councils should be made aware that these “crossings” are not in fact legal crossings as they do not comply with MOTSAM or the new regulation that specifies that pedestrian crossings are white stripes on the road surface and the dimensions and spacings are also specifies. Councils could be putting unsuspecting pedestrians at risk when using an non-compliant markings.John
Time New Zealnds woke up raher than turn blind eye. Besides they are indioctrnating your minds at school to aacept social preferences – God safe NZ as the bureaucates won’tbruce
Certainly and it needs to be stopped imm diatelySidwell
WE are lucky that no snails were involvedMichael
Tribes are accorded far too much influence in New Zealand. The result is mostly negative for the country.Frank
Woke governments and pandering to Iwi has strangled NZ. APARTHEID reigns supreme in NZ as an added complication.Geoffrey
Yes it is happening with every environment court hearings ,, especially with saving water. Ie ; Dams, River Dams etc;Stan
It happens in every phase of our New Zealand lives.Denis
Who would try to deny it. This type of curse crops up in every facet of daily life.The idea that Maoris are some sort of elite New Zealander is laughable,they have bred with every race in New Zealand to the point their race no longer exist.Peter
The tail wags the dog in NZMel
All claims need to cease immediately.Peter
Traditional means “long Established” How LONG is not defined. With no pre-european written language it can NEVER be established what TRADITION or TRADITIONAL to a “so-called”Maori culture means.. Further more as the pre European the people lives in TRIBES there can have been no common CULTURE. iT IS TIME TO DO AWAY WITH THE NONSENCE.CHARLES
Give this issue somelegs and airspace — I am sick of being kept in the dark as a NewZealand citizen and have to read what is occuring fromOverseas media!!!!!!john
This is just a continuation of racist policies.This should be left up to the current government to set what should be allowed to go ahead, not some group of racists that believe they should have control of our country. They like the fact that they can hold their hands out for benefits established by the “invaders”. They want power over the majority. It must stop nowDianne
Thank you Sir Russell. You have the gonads to put fair & square.Doug
This stupidity and greed has reached a point where every aspect of our lives requires permission and consent from a faceless bureaucracy and a few radical iwi leaders. Put a stop to it by the end of this year.John
Good on him for letting NZ know whats going on behind closed doorsPatricia
I’ve been here 40 years and it is sad the way the country has changed during that time.ivan
It’s about time Maori activists and elitists joined the Maori majority who are happy to become one with pakeha, and enjoy the benefits of all we can do together to make NZ a great country again.Sue
Please contact Luxon on your article!!Robert
He is 100% correct.Neville
The sooner our country removes all impediments to progress the quicker we can grow, prosper and lift the standard of living for everyone!Walnetta
The whole situation is outrageous – especially the amoral self interest of IwiHylton
RC agreed to the protocols. The dophins live there, are impacted by being caught in fishing nets, suffer from p0lastic pollution etc and are very endangered. RC/RGP were only there because of pollution in Auckland harbour used before. Deal with that. Red Tape is there because it has been needed. Leaky Homes an imensley costly disaster which is ongoing. There can be too much Red Tape but the Sail GP race couykld have been cancelled by a weather event. Perhaps RC would like to berate God/Nature/Climate change re this!? And the event happened fine in the end. A shame as RC re Mandates was great. What a whinger now .. and they were pretending they cared about the marine environment.Rochelle
We are like a mini Russia full of un-needed red tape. Talk about overkill. Comrade Putin would be proud of our socialist racist & marxist shackles. But will Seymour triumph?Perter
It’s time for New Zealanders to regain our “DiY” heritage and put an end to those who sit on their hands and yell “STOP” on every project put forward.Glyn
It would seem that any future major development or function. can be held up indefinitely, while these activists place obscure arguments before the courts each on taking longer and longer times to rssolve or strike out.Carl
But ot so much handcuffed, as HOGTIEDGeoffrey
Far too much say from groups sniffing a source of money rather than the good of the countryJeremy
It’s now Us & Youse, common sense does not exist, no democracy, Iwi dictates and demands only they have the right sadly to dictate. Absolutely this is not the New Zealand I grew up in, and it’s getting worse, and we are all playing their game.Colleen
Yes. Unfortunately that is too kind as a description. The place has been out of intelligent control for some time. (Who let the Monkeys drive the bus might be nearer)?Andrew
Coutys is quite correct in his summation. AS for foreshore and seabed going to Iwi ownership, the time will come when citizens will need to take it all back.Ray
I Can’t understand the Governments apathy on this vital issue which MUST be addressed urgentlyKay
Why is the Coalition not moving swiftly on changing the Marine and Coastal Areas Act?Pamela
Compliance in NZ is another name for corruptionanne
Racist nonsense that needs to go as the foreshore seabed rivers & lakes & airspace belongs to All New Zealanders.Derek
get rid of it as quickly as possiblegraeme
Of Course, and it will probably not change as the politicians bow to the demands of the minority as they want their votes so that the politicians can stay in power. It is time the politicians looked after the entire population not just the “stirrers”.tony
IWI has far too great influence and it is ridiculousGeoff
100% correct!!!!Colin
A minority group, the greens have too much say beyond facts. Only theory and agenda bend their minds.Ken
Part of the problem is NZ’s political system of MMP, 1st promoted by Green party co-leader & activist Rodney Donald. This system allows itself to be highjacked by minorities & activists. It is time the MMP replaced if NZ is to truly progress.Greg
The Marine and Coastal Act must be stopped.Rod
Undoubtedly and the bureaucracy is definitely overpaid for the value that it gives New ZealandShaun
Easy to fix if you have a government that says to these self centred groups, legal eagles and political parties that see a bob in it for themselves, “SLING YOUR HOOK”andrew
Dolphins are obviously more intelligent than those decisions makers who believe dolphins cannot possibly look after themselvesTony
New Zealand is a third world country thanks to all this BSRonnie
There is no doubt about it!Murray
Sir Russell has nailed one if the key factors impacting productivity improvement in New Zealand. The red tape and bureaucracy are stifling progress and increasing costs for everyone in New Zealand.Chris
The rapacious IWI should NOT be allowed to dictate to the other 99%Peter
I dont agree with coutts as it was after all a sanctuary so NZ should not have allowed the dam rich mans boat race in that area. Theres plenty of places around NZBarbara
Layers applied by leftist harpiesMick
Real the cycle of greedSteve
He. Is 200% correctPeter
Of course it is, due to the Authoritarian, Totalitarian Communistic format of the prior Evil Government… There are a lot of Gordinian knots to untie to relieve us ALL from the attempt to smother us in cotton wool in the guise of protection by “mother” State, as though freedom of choice, freedom of speech and freedom of actions were a consistently bad evil… Labour still clings to its hopes and dreams to manage ALL of our actions, whatever they may be… Including yachting being indirectly cancelled due to the fact that fish and some mammals actually (unbelievable, I know!) Live in the seas and oceans! Maybe we should have a global referendum to consider the option to immediately stop ALL Sea-faring vessels, and between the gaps caused by oceans we use bats (Wuhan has plenty, allegedly)… Naturally Gen Z and Gen A will be up in arms, not because we were strapping heavy parcels and snail mail (another option right there!) …but because their online purchases would take, like, forever, and ever to arrive… Maybe even more than two weeks! Graham
Hold my nose agreeing with himGill
Absolutely !Joan
Labour killed the country and National hasn’t help so far.Graeme
We are talking about a very small population of dolphins!Mike
And immediately suspend any court action about foreshore and seabed claims and return to the intent of the original law. Much of this problem has been caused by activist judges seeking to rewrite the law.Laurence
Iwi are by far the most dangerousStep
Far too much power is being given to iwi! It has to STOP!Kel
Refer to Franz Kafka!Colin
Rather than handcuffed we are shackled.Warren
Absurdly highjacked by iwiClive
save us from bureaucrat, or is that from crazy idealsChris
I live on the edge of the Whangarei harbour and I am very concerned about the possibility that I will have to pay some Maori to catch a fish???Brian
Bureaucracy and the stronger bureaucracy BROWN BUREAUCRACY!John
Nonsensical decision making from morons, iwi & government depts. must stopTerry
We’ve lost our way to radicals and iwi.Rex
The Coalition needs to sort the nonsense and put a stop to it once and for all.Anthony
I absolutely agree that we have far too much red tape! And I also agree that much of this is due to activist groups having too much influence. However it is also important to remember that the strong tendency of bureaucracies to protect themselves and their “turf” also plays a role. And as for the recent sailing regatta, my view is that, given the restrictions enforced on them, Sail GP should just have said “OK, fine, we’ll go elsewhere.” Now, about endangered native species — their protection IS a legitimate concern for many people (not just Maori) , so we need to develop clear, straightforward rules and regulations on which species to protect and how best to do it. These rules should be made after public consultation and parliamentary action. They should not be left up to activist judges and uncontrolled agencies that pander to extremist demands.Marla
it is time to bring back COMMON SENSE and to get rid of a lot of the handbrakes on progressLes W
This country is being suffocated by extremists and their bureaucrat enablers.Trevor
An absolute disgrace and an embarrassment that racing was cancelled.Jillie
I’m not a sailor, but love watching the yacht races, and think the heavy handed way the sailing was handled and now reading Sir Russell Coutts expose, I’m completely supportive of his stance, as being another example of how our previous Labour Govt stuffed our country up in more ways than one!Bev
They re still going ahead with fluoridating all of our drinking water as well as if councils don’t they will have to pay $200.000.I don’t think this is democracy especially as Bloomfield,Luxton and Reti are going on old information from2014and not the latest that proves it is a neurotoxin.This is more Naziism don’t you think?linda
Absolutely – I have a small 30 lot subdivision consent being held up for over 3 years by an activist council engineer who just does his own thing with impunityIhaia
Has been getting worse as time goes bye, and influenced by our ‘entitled’ Maori population. We have become both an entitled and a racist country, and it is so sad to see our decline. Mates warring against mates for ‘customary entitlement’ that should be shared for and by ALL peoples in New Zealand.M
Bureaucracy reigns supreme in NZ and is an absolute joke!Selwyn
yes I agree, The so called Maori, are not the first people to have inhabited this land that is now called New zealand. They have also come from a different land.Fiona
Enough is enough how much more bureaucracy crap are we going to take before there is a revolution.Roydon
Yes, every where one looks, greed and graspingVaughan
the media needs to change its directionMark
The Coalition must immediately stop allf foreshore and offshore seabed claims. All this area belongs to ALL New ZealandersRayner
It%u2019s been developing for decades, by people who want to tell other people what to do and, in some instances, take financial gain in doing so.DAVID
Under the Labour government our country became divided and went downhill rapidly. It is always slower going upwards than descending. May our coalition govt get rid of all laws and regulations set up to divide and ruin our country.Kath
Urgent, needs law made to repeal Marine n coast.Natalie
Definitely. and it gets worse each and every dayFrank
Absolutely. The Govt need to act NOW to resolve this mess. Sad that National who created this mess is lacking the honesty to clean up their mess.Noel
Activist Capture article says it all. We need the government to grow some $#&* and stop the stupidity that is happening.Trevor
Has been for a long time and it’s getting worse!Brenda
After all the scientific, cultural and economic assessments, iwi approval is required.Henry
Totally undemocratic.Kevin
I think its probably too late to change this course (the overbearing bureaucracy and insane influence of Maori). We are handcuffed by a minority that does not think through fully the consequences to our Nation .Stewart
Labour govt went mad with officialdom !Patrick
We are not ‘drowning’ in the BS ‘red tape’ …. We have already drowned in it … ! And – we have sunk to unbelievable depths …..Lorraine
Poorly educated are sucked into the mammoth climate scam.Bruce
Totally, and without basic commonsense, and realism. This one example of complete wilful and self-serving rubbish is and has made us a laughing stock of the World. We are finished globally if this is not stopped immediately.Robyn
When companies and infrastructure needs are not being meet and being hogtailed by snails or single dolphin worries or whatever the country stagnates.Jacqueline
We all agree with environmental protection of our marine life – but the Salil GP debacle will be seen as a WTF from the international community. It is also inconsistent – as we do not stop cargo and cruise ships. Totally stupid.Matt
The govt must urgently stop the current foreshore and seabed claims and revert to pre John Keys appalling reversal. NZ cannot keep allowing Maori to hold the country to ransom.Gail
Get the law changedJeremy
When will iwi control Taupo?RICHard
Let’s look at retail restrictive practices too! It’s been illegal in much of the OECD for decades!Chris
This comment is so true it’s frightening.Richard
It has indeed got out of hand and needs addressing now. I do not consent to this criminal opportunism by the minority maori elite.Neil
I don’t see any improvement since our Coalition too power. In fact it is now straight out open warfare ,evident also with the support of the mediaKaren
Restricted but not handcuffed. The restrictions can and should be eased in many cases. Hopefully this government can do this as indicated.Graham
Its become embarrassing to have to admit that as a nation we have been “sucked in” by this Maori nonsense after all the good the nearly 100% of immigrants have delivered over the last couple of hundred years. Jim
Without a shadow of doubt in so many areas of life, social, economic, business, every area of NZ. The coalition needs to be the strongest ever in NZ to cut out bureaucracy and red tape. Otherwise NZ will continue to slide downhill to become a third world country.Jim
All the dolphins I have witnessed while boating swim alongside of the boats and do not get in the way or nor are they hurt.Gail
We are too controlled and must return to personal responsibility and commonsense guidelines..Neil
Bureaucracy gone viral!!!!!!!!David
Too much of the red stuff.Murray
Of course Sir Russell is right. New Zealand is being destroyed by bureaucracy and Iwi should have no imput whatsoever.Des
Not only bureaucracy and red tape but the brain washing of school children on extreme climate change and teaching them that Maori were peace loving people who cared for each other and the environment.Steve
One dolpin would follow one launch out of the harbour under the bow wave ?Tom
Unprecedented? maybe in certain things, Sail GP wasn’t one of these, Coutts, is a traitor IMHO and he got his whiny tanty all wrong, he should’ve just STFU and ran with the decision to delay without the rant.Bart
Too many intermediate layers of those who seek to control everything but without the masses being involved. Will NZer’s EVER WAKE UP to see this constant degradation of our lives….probably not.fred
Totally agree that New Zealand has been “handcuffed” by bureaucratic and ideological dreams as exampled by politically driven Climate Change (Global Warming didn’t fit) as sea ice increases, EV vehicles that conk out in the cold – or catch fire – solar power panels smashed in hail storms, very confused young people who cant accept their biological sex, much general education and social standards driven by racial agendas instead of natural co-existence as evident in the wild – birds, animals and fish etc all co-existing WITHOUT bureaucratic or autocratic regulations! Our potentially great education system needs to return to basic education – NOT bureaucratic ideological political clap trap which turns students off! History and Nature offer fabulous guides.Stuart
Socialism is the root of all evil.”we can do your thinking better than you can.”Bruce
Tribes are taking over- check your local tribe and find out just how much control they already have over local affairs in your region.Roger
Thanks a lot, China John.Bill
Drain the swampRobin
It’s all a sad procession of farcical management by public servants, I mean, non-public entitled, growing obese as an organisation, servants. But what could I have done as a responsible citizen when my, educated, vote counts the same as that of the village idiot( of which there are too many). People must be licenced to vote after doing a test. Only dreams on my side, never going to happen. We are still spending way more as a country than we earn, that will hurt soon.Leonard
Yes and it needs to be stopped immediately but will they ?Peter
What God given Right do Iwi have that procludes all else. NONE. So politely tell them to get elected first !! The upper Group of Iwi are no better than the World Economic Forum. Proof that IWI actually stands for I want it !!Geoff
Totally please get it stoppedDianne
He is not the only one with such opinion I believe there is a large silent majority too afraid to speak up because they will be labelled either Racists or given other derogatory labels applied to people voicing common sense opinions opposing vocal minoritiesWilliam
The world over…….Andrew
Yes – advantage for a very small minority can not be allowed to continue to the detriment of the majority.Liz
It is ridiculous how much we are controlled by pathetic ,and infantile regulations!Ron
Hector dolphins are very smart and can travel at great speed – no-way one would get in the way of a sit boat! True story!Dennis
Totally agree..most New Zealanders are extremely ignorant of what has happened under labour.Heather
It is like a cancer that has crippled our country.Mike
absolutely yes, particularly around road works and traffic managementjohn
we should be combining at all levels with Australian like bodies — to kill off the red tape here — start with the Master Builders Assoc. think what savings could be made to housing if we ere to adopt Ausy rulesBrian
But racing of any type should not be permitted in a wildlife/marine sanctuary. Th SailGP class is particularly incompatible with these specific environments.Glenda
And still we have a government run by a fool, a lost soul, and a 40yr B.S. merchant and a country of muppets with a attitude of I’m alright Jack, **** you.Russell
New Zealand has turned into a country that’s the epitome of How the West was lost .Its very sad activists haven’t contributed to the prosperity of New Zealand seem to have forgotten unless there progress we cannot become a First World Nation.Michael Andrew
The Apirana Ngata Treaty article should be mandatory readingLeslie
In particular I abhor the deepening extent to which iwi groups have been elevated to a position of final arbiters on every aspect of change. I fail to understand what makes modern Maori more qualified than any other person or body in this country including the plethora of experts used to advise inept public servants.Mike
Yes, it’s shocking.Kate
the Coastal and Marine Areas Act needs urgent repeal, it is part of the mandate that we NZ’ers gave this Govt when we voted last year, THEY NEED TO GET ON WITH IT AND STOP F;UFFING ABOUT.bOUD
Red tape is everywhere within New ZealandPeter
New Zealand is being crippled by all of the red tape & especially all of the Maori bullshit activism. It has to stop for New Zealand to be able to make any real progress. The activist sympathetic judges need to be permanently removed because of their stupid ‘interpretation’ of the law.david
In all aspects of life and commerceHelen
Beauracracy is totally out of controlColin
Clearly Sir Russell was annoyed, and rightly so. BTW, what did the sport event have to do with the local Maori tribe?Neil
We are a nation riddled with apathy. Individuals so consumed with making progress (not without good cause) for themselves they have little interest in electing people with common sense to positions of power. The reason activists are able to make largely unimpeded headway.Bruce
Good on himDavid
The additional problem being is when the red tape and bureaucracy is reviewed by the Bureaucrats themselves it becomes an even worse quagmire.Clive
Just another way of sneaking apartheid rules into our everyday activities, a bit like the “foreign” language on our road signs & outside schools!!!! Creeping seratism!!!Honest Dave
The situation is beyond ridiculous, and it has been allowed to fester for decades. I despair.Alastair
It’s been creeping up for the nearly 60 years I can remember.Mark
100% this is not the country I emigrated to 60 years agoGareth
Radicalism at every corner is the legacy of neo Marxist influence to infiltrate and destroy the democratic system from within. Radicalism can only be fought by being radical . It is high time that our present Government stops this endless pussy footing and gets to work to root out all the land mines these Commies have strewn all over the place. A fresh start is what we need. Forget about all this pointless whinching of the left. and get on with it.Michael
Could sink NZ.mary
The thing that amazes me is that the iwi have no idea on how to care for an area, just take a look at those places they now control. But they also never owned the land or have proof they were the only ones who ever solely occupied or used the area.Ross
The Gene Pool of NZ Govt. bureaucracy has become a ‘gene puddle’ of pathetic proportions . Time for a serious evapouration . “You are fired…! “ChrisH
Parliament needs to step in and put a moratorium on MACA.Rose
We’re running with the handbrake almost fully on the whole time. People only know the half of it.Andrew
The really important thing for the coalition gov to do now is get on with the job ASAP of getting rid of every devious and co governist regulation the Labour Green and Te pati moari partys introduced and it is now really obvious that all and anything to do with the Treaty of Waitangi be finished and delegated to the history books,it has to stop or this country New Zealand will slide into anarkey and racial division.kevin
It is one reason, of many, why we are leaving New Zealand to live in Australia.Paul
Must be obvious to everyoneBeverley
It would make sense NOT to plan further events anywhere near protected regions. Perhaps Lyttleton should have never been considered in the first place.Phil
Yes agree completelyCollin
The unqualified ones who know the least have far too much say in proceedings of others industrious with good productive intent.mike
Its astonishing the influence iwi and other activists have over everything. Everything they do is based on greed, ignorance or power trips, – and yet our governments allow them to get away with this time and time again. But then again – much of our government is fueled by the same. Greed, ignorance and power trips. Let’s hope this government does do something about this. I won’t hold my breath – but still hopeful.Christine
Just look at the road cones!! Persons on duty standing all day! NZ ers founded this country on a common sense will do attitude not a protection framework.John
Maori attempting to hijack entire nation. Land occupiers render said land unmarketable.Phil
Absolutely. 100%. Time to drain the bureaucratic swamp. At least the coalition has made a start, but it needs to go further and harder though.Neil
I can’t see the situation improving, because the vast majority have no backbone. I don’t actually blame the activists for trying it on, I blame the silent majority who disagree with them, but are too spineless to say so.Rod
Totally agreeGavin
We have to stop this Iwi radical nonsense. We are all New ZealandersRod
Thanks Muriel for drawing the public’s attention to what is happening to our coast line!!Marianne
Of course YES! The country had not released itself from RMA ‘prison’ through law change before the Covid-19 regulations. Now the law should and will be changed. Let’s hope it profoundly favours private enterprise.Ray
NZ has been hijacked by red tape controls and will not progress until we unshackle ourselves of them.Phil
But in this case Coutts received $2million from Canterbury rate payers so I don’t support his wrathJohn
this bollocks needs to stop and include no more funding for put their hand out protest groups FFSalex
Time to change the law!Dominique
It is really sad about two emigrants that seem to have left New Zealand; “Logic” and “Common Sense”. We can but pray that the current coalition government can entice them to return.Graham
New Zealand is suffering from activist capture and a destructive collective ideology capture, because our governments were captured by the globalist One World Government agenda decades ago.neil
Red tape and bureaucracy are a nightmare in this country. The government is doing the right thing to tackle it. They are also doing the right thing to reduce the size of the public service – too many bureaucrats making work for themselves have contributed massively to the problem.David
Nothing is easy in this country any more. It has become ridiculous. And iwi consultation over almost everything has made the problem far worse.Murray
Stopping the race all day over a single dolphin, which would have swum out of the way once the race got going, is madness. No wonder SailGP won’t come back to NZ in a hurry. Who could blame them!Pauline
There are far too many bureaucrats in NZ – and not only in central government but local government as well. Harry
Red tape has become a nightmare in this country. And it’s driving good Kiwis to Australia for far better pay and much more common sense. Who can blame them!Bryan