The Marine and Coastal Area Act is flawed in many respects, but especially in its failure to define a critical legal test. As it stands, unless the law is amended, it will be Judges rather than Parliament that determines whether Maori interests will own some of the coastal marine area or most of it.
The Marine and Coastal Area Act should be closed down, but instead it remains a privatisation threat to our coast. My Association, the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand, has been concerned about attempts to privatise New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed since 2004.
Under the guise of ‘compassion’, the agenda is all too easily captured by vested interest groups that are promoting welfare policies that will increase dependency on the state, rather than reducing it.
Earlier this month a public wharf on Matakana Island, off the Tauranga Coast, was blockaded with barbed wire and fence posts. A sign placed at the front of the Panepane wharf said, “Bugga Off.”
As you and your family head off to the coast this summer, you might want to consider how long it will be before Maori tribal groups are dictating access rights to your favourite beach. Few holidaymakers will realise that ownership of the beach they are visiting is under claim.
The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ) objected to the claim by Ngati Pahauwera, for a Customary Marine Title over the coast between the Waikare River mouth and the Waihua River mouth, in northern Hawke’s Bay.
Over recent weeks the plight of Manus Island refugees and the Prime Minister’s offer to take 150 has dominated the news. The media’s obsession with the refugee issue is reminiscent of their incessant promotion of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party in the run up to the election.
In November every year, most of our mainstream media subject us all to saturation coverage of the evils of “climate change” (by which they mean dangerous anthropogenic global warming). This is no coincidence. At this time of year, the UNFCCC holds its annual “Conference of the Parties”, which is attended by large delegations from every government in the world, along with tens of thousands of acolytes.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised to address New Zealand’s flagging productivity growth. According to the Productivity Commission, the country is being held back by our persistently weak labour productivity growth, which was the fourth lowest of all OECD countries between 1995 and 2014.
The government says it want to increase the export orientation of the New Zealand economy. Early in their term of office, the previous government adopted an explicit numerical target for lifting exports (as a share of GDP). Unfortunately, no progress was made towards it.