Category: Maori Issues
Don Brash has become something of a lightning rod for free speech in New Zealand. In 2004, as leader of the National Party, it was over the Treaty of Waitangi. Now it’s over the right to free speech itself.
Most New Zealanders strongly believe that the country’s beaches and sea are part of our national heritage and should be in public hands. They share a sense of dismay that the National's law change resulted in opportunistic tribal groups to lodging hundreds of claims, covering every square inch of our coast many times over.
The Ngati Porou Bill is now before the Maori Affairs Select Committee. It was initially drafted by the former National Party Attorney General, Christopher Finlayson before National lost the 2017 Election. It has been carried forward by the Labour-led Coalition Government, although why is unclear, as you will find out by reading on.
Thank you for your introduction, Mr Chairman and for all your hard work to ensure that I could be heard. As most of those present will know, I was denied my right to talk at the public library some little time ago. I am not going to offer you my “views” or “opinions”. I am going to offer you hard facts of history so that you can decide for yourselves.
There is growing concern that local government is becoming more ‘activist’. Unfortunately ratepayers are not at the heart of their motivations. Before looking at examples, let’s examine how the new Labour-led Government is dealing with some of the constraints being faced by local authorities.
After months of procedural work, developments relating to the Marine and Coastal Area Act claims process are coming thick and fast. They include a new Bill in front of Parliament, a series of High Court case management conferences, the notification of priority claims for Crown Engagement, and a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry.
A very surprising Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 10 May. The Bill is surprising in that it was originally brought forward under the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, which was abolished by the 2011 Marine & Coastal Area (MACA) Act of 2011.
Last week the final referendum results for the five councils that had decided to introduce Maori wards against the wishes of their local electors were released. In each case, the public voted against their decision. The message from the results is that most New Zealanders do not want local government defined by race.