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Dr Muriel Newman

Secret Deals

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The old Gisborne-Tolaga Bay Coach Road 1890s

The old Gisborne-Tolaga Bay Coach Road 1890s

Government advertisements in newspapers last month encouraging iwi to lodge claims for the country’s foreshore and seabed are a reminder of a growing complacency in New Zealand. At a time when leaders around the world are increasingly concerned about the dangers of social division caused by radical separatism and extremist ideologies, our governments have created and continue to support a privileged tribal elite. This elite lives like royalty on the proceeds of taxpayers’ funding, while disadvantaged members of their wider tribal groups struggle in the country’s worst social statistics.

As a nation founded on egalitarianism, is a racially defined class-based society really the sort of future we want?

Claims for the ownership of New Zealand’s coastline are part of a list of demands that are being sought by corporate iwi. Most recent are calls for the ownership of the country’s fresh water, claims for Crown land earmarked for affordable housing in Auckland, demands for free state houses, for tribal representation on local body councils, for ownership rights to parks, rivers, and mountains. There has even been a demand for the inclusion of trout in a Treaty settlement – despite of a Court of Appeal ruling that customary rights do not apply to trout because they are a European fish introduced by settlers in the 1860s.

Without a doubt, iwi demands are becoming more frequent and more far-reaching, but rather than confront their motivation, governments usually adopt the line of least resistance and give in. Appeasement is the easier path for career politicians.

This is certainly the case with the privatisation of our coastline. Tribal ownership of the foreshore and seabed was the price the country paid for the National Party’s coalition deal with the Maori Party in 2008. Iwi leaders wanted the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act repealed. That Act had been introduced by the Labour Government to re-affirm Crown ownership of the coastline, following a controversial Court of Appeal ruling that some tribal groups may have customary interests in the marine and coastal area.  The replacement law, the Marine and Coastal Area Act, opened the coast up for tribal ownership – but without the need for iwi to prove their claims in court.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Dr Hugh Barr of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand, outlines the present situation:

“This article updates information on the National Government’s highly controversial 2011 Marine and Coastal Area Act, that allows Maori tribal privatisation of the foreshore and seabed, through gaining Customary Marine Title over these priceless resources. The Act is the brainchild of pro-Maori Treaty Claims Minister Christopher Finlayson.

“It is now more than four years since this Act came into force. Over forty highly optimistic and large claims have been lodged by tribal groups, generally in areas with highly productive fisheries e.g. along the eastern coasts of the North Island from Wairarapa to Cape Reinga.

“But no Customary Marine Titles have yet been awarded. However, now that the National Government has been returned with 59 MPs in the 121 seat Parliament, and a comfortable majority assured on this issue by the two Maori Party MPs, Finlayson can now push claims through without hindrance.

“This is regardless of whether the Claims meet the specific conditions required by the Act. As a consequence, the Office of Treaty Settlements, which manages Marine and Coastal Area Act claims, is now scuttling around the country encouraging tribal claimant groups to lodge claims before the April 2017 expiry date.”

At this stage, eleven claims are listed on the Ministry of Justice website as being under direct negotiation with the Minister. They include a claim in the Kaipara District by the Te Uri o Hau hapu that goes right out to the 12 nautical mile Territorial Sea limit and is made up of two parts – one on the west coast includes the northern part of the Kaipara Harbour and much of the Poutu Peninsula up towards Dargaville, and the other on the east coast extends to the edge of the fashionable Langs Beach development and covers the popular Mangawhai Beach area.

The problem is that under the new law, deals between claimant groups and the Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson are carried out in secret. There is no requirement for claimants to prove they have used the area exclusively and continuously since 1840 in an open court of law – as was the case with the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act. That’s the real reason why iwi leaders wanted the law changed.

Openness and transparency are at the heart of democratic government. Yet here we have a situation where priceless public resources are about to be given away in secret. Where are the safeguards to ensure there is no corruption and that claims aren’t being fabricated? What about the rights of the public and councils to have a say – it’s their beaches too? What avenues are available to those who oppose the claims and believe they are bogus – where is their right to have their voice heard? Who will ensure that the advocacy of powerful iwi leaders does not trample over the rights of others?

For too long governments have indulged the iwi elite – particularly their claim that they are Treaty partners with the Crown. But as Judge Willy says in his Sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi report, “It is constitutionally impossible for the Crown to enter into a partnership with any of its subjects”. He explains that while Ministers and senior Government officials regularly enter into joint undertakings with outside entities, they do so as servants of the Crown and not as the Crown.

It is through government concessions, that corporate iwi are enriching themselves and becoming more influential. As Ngapuhi leader David Rankin recently warned, “If you think the claims are nearly at an end, think again.  Hundreds of new claims are being planned right now.  These will challenge the Crown and seek compensation for the handling of the current settlement process.  Too many people have too much at stake for the claims process to end.”

When Treaty settlements are made, iwi leaders refuse to use these taxpayer funds to alleviate poverty and deprivation amongst struggling tribal members.

Sonny Tau, the chairman of Ngapuhi, the country’s northernmost tribe, confirmed this only too clearly in a recent interview with Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill, when he explained that the several hundred million dollars they expect to receive from their Treaty settlement, will not be used to help improve the welfare of their tribe. Echoing the mantra used by all iwi leaders, he claimed that the social responsibility for tribal members is the duty of the Government – not the iwi.

Successive governments have turned a blind eye to this despite an expectation from taxpayers that the public wealth being given to iwi leaders will be used to improve the status of Maori overall.

The situation has been made worse through the introduction of race-based policies – particularly the last Labour Government’s ‘by Maori for Maori’ funding model that enabled iwi leaders to pick up well-paid government contracts to provide social services to their tribal members. The problem is that these contracts are linked to Maori deprivation, so it has suited corporate iwi to leave their members over-represented in all of the worst social statistics

The only Cabinet member to publicly challenge this agenda of iwi leaders is the former Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett, who, five years ago said it was time they stepped up to help their people: “I have here a list of the iwi affiliations for about 71 percent of the 2,227 Maori children in Child, Youth and Family care right now. Child, Youth and Family has 66 Tuwharetoa kids, 111 Ngati Porou, 80 Ngai Tahu. We have 393 from Ngapuhi, 21 Ngati Kahununu, 10 Te Atiawa … I could go on. I want these children in families, not in care.

“What if we asked iwi to look within themselves and ask what can we do? So I want to know if you … will you put your hands in your own pockets and commit some resources to a joint effort?”

Things have moved on since that time. Iwi leaders strongly support Whanau Ora, where they are now taking a leadership role and look set to gain even more lucrative taxpayer funded contracts – based on, the greater the tribal disadvantage, the greater the resourcing.

If Ngapuhi’s Treaty settlement money was not going to be used to improve tribal social outcomes, Kim Hill wanted to know how it would be used. Sonny Tau said it would become a “money-making machine” – but their first priority would be to “pour resources into marae”.

Marae, of course, are the key to two special privileges available to tribal corporations that were passed into law by the previous Labour Government.

The first is that being involved in managing a marae enables an iwi corporation to register as a Maori Authority and pay the special tax rate of 17.5 percent – instead of the 28 percent rate paid by other businesses.

The second is that if an iwi corporation is involved in the administration and management of a marae, then it can apply for charitable status and avoid paying any tax at all.

To be considered as a charity for tax purposes, an organisation has to meet common law requirements: it has to be established for a charitable purpose and it has to meet a public benefit test – to ensure it has been set up to provide a genuine benefit to the wider community, not to individuals connected by contractual arrangements or by blood ties.

Since Maori tribal corporations are based on blood ties, they failed the common law public benefit test and were unable to register for charitable status – until Labour changed the law. In their new Charities Act 2005 a provision was included in section 5 (2), which provided an exemption from the blood tie disqualification by allowing blood relatives to register as a charity so long as they are involved in the administration and management of a marae.

This means that not only do some of the country’s richest business corporations avoid paying any contribution to the government’s tax base at all, but their tax-free status gives them a major competitive advantage over other New Zealand businesses.

Race-based government policy and taxpayer funding has created a powerful iwi elite and a two-tier society, but it has done little to help those Maori most in need. Wealthy tribes appear content to leave that responsibility to the government and taxpayers, so they are free to pursue their own self-interest.

At a time when governments around the world are recognising the dangers to social cohesion caused by racism and extremism, in New Zealand there appears to be not only a lack of political courage to confront the rorts and rackets being harvested by the iwi elite, but also a lack of political will to address the perverse incentives within the Maori grievance industry.

The simple reality is that career politicians won’t confront these race-based issues while they have to rely on the support of the racist Maori Party to govern. But if more New Zealanders acknowledged that race-based policies and programmes are becoming a serious threat to our future, then the tide could turn and politicians pursuing their abolition may gain a majority in government and the ability to bring about change.


Do you believe the process of granting of customary rights to the foreshore and seabed should be fully disclosed and transparent?

*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


I have no confidence in the government on this matter. Cyril
The idea that socially divisive negotiations can be carried out in secret is abhorrant to democracy. Kynan
Does not need further arguing. Menno
Yes. But there should be no process and no granting! Barry
They belong to all New Zealanders, this will end in no Non Maori having a right to go to the beach. Heaven help NZ. Peter
All claims should be Transparent with no “secret deals”. Lynn
How do the rest of the people of New Zealand find out about this outrage? Chris Finlayson( Attorney General)?? is guilty of high treason. Monica
Of course we need to know, but quite frankly, the horse has bolted. Chris findlayson and the govt have screwed the crap out of this country all in the need to preserve their own self interests. There is only the flag to be stolen now and Im sure they will give that to maoris as well. I have NO national pride in this country and its all due to losers on welfare, crimals and maoris being given special treatment, instead of being penalised and put in their true place … in most cases, the gutter. If maoris want the seabed, let them live on it …full tide! Ive worked for every thing i own and never never asked for a cent. My pride wouldnt allow me to. These people have no moral standards. Des
No particular race “owns” the sea and foreshore. Any minerals etc should be for ALL the PEOPLE not just one race. Andrea
This is plainly racism at its best if not fully disclosed. One has to ask who is actually running this country a govt or a race. Who are the beneficiaries of so many working Kiwis??????? Elizabeth
Good one Peter, I agree %100 with you I am sick to death of the whole Maori thing. The very word Maori turns me completely off, particularly since the Maori elite are not Maori at all, they are Europeans with some Maori ancestor. I’m sick of the whole bloody lot and regret that the Treaty and all it idiocies can’t disappear in a cloud of smoke. Athol
Most definitely yes. As in ancient times, the monument builders and redistributors of other people’s wealth get all the credit and not those who produced it. We surely do live in an age of the democratisation of plunder. Don
We must stop National Party politicians giving away land, that is public property, to part Maori leaders whose only intent is to improve their own financial status. If Key and Finlayson are allowed to give our beaches and foreshore to part Maori it will lead to violence when the rest of us are stopped from visiting beaches. Ernest
The granting of “customary rights” to the foreshore and seabed should not even be considered, let alone granted, but if our dishonest and weak-kneed politicians engage in such discussions those discussions should be fully disclosed and transparent. Should there be no disclosure until the deal is agreed to those same politicians can expect a pretty severe outcry. We are all citizens here; not just the few half-caste Maori elite so-called iwi. Robin
National will never be transparent on this issue -many of their supporters know that they are doing the wrong thing. Roger
NOBODY should “own ” the Foreshore or the seabed. Bob
As the majority are affected the full facts should be made available to all. Alan
Should “customary rights” be available to all nz citizens? I believe so. Barry
After reading the articles this week I am speechless. Murray
It is absolutely ridiculous that we are reverting to these sorts of things. What happened to “one people” “one nation”? Why do we continue to pander to select parties to the detriment of others? What good does this sort of thing do for New Zealand as a whole? Delwyn
None of that belongs to one race, it belongs to New Zealander, cut out making us 2nd class citizens. If they can have a referendum on the flag and binding why not this yes/no. WE are living in a Putin style, definitely not democratic. Robert
Stop all racist nonsense in NZ. Ian
Are the claimants tested to determine whether they qualify as “Maori”. How is it that the Maori are considered to have greater rights than those New Zealanders who may have arrived after, Can the Europeans not charge all the Maoris for all the development of the country – the roads, bridges, cities, electrical supplies, dams, airports and so forth. I wish to make my claim against the Maori otherwise I want them barred from the use of all these facilities please. Chris
I’ve had enough of one race having all these privileges. Especially as there isn’t a purebred Maori in the country in the country, and the bloodline is getting thinner. Richard
Words fail me, the way NZ’s going. Wake up NZ. John
Time to stand up to these greedy iwi…take Finlayson out of the treaty decisions…and the rest of nz wake up Dianne
Yes but no! In our society in which all are supposed to have equal rights regardless of race, ‘customary rights to anything should have no place. Ron
All the time. Barry
If it is not public then there must be a smell about it. Ken
If not, it will never end. Helen
This is another infuriating example of non Maori treated as insignificant citizens and increased racial/social disharmony in NZ. Tradition has allowed free access to most of the shoreline of NZ for all to enjoy. It is lunacy to believe Maori if given privitisation rights on the foreshoe will do anything other than exploit this and ruin a major aspect of life in NZ. Stan
A must procedure. Jim
Absolutely – but, the politicians in Parliament are scared of losing the ‘Maori vote’, so cede to the blackmail (or bribery if you prefer} and will do anything to retain their positions to appease the ‘trough dwellers’ that seem to hold all the Maori Power. I am getting very fed-up with the lying and cheating, and cowering parliamentarians. Merv
Why aren’t opposition parties not trying to make all this knowledge public? Frances
Of course it should be transparent, its public ignorance and apathy is one reason they get away with it. Noel
Unfortunately this like so much else will fall on deaf ears. Tony
I sometimes wonder if Finlayson is getting some sort of kick back with all his “easy” settlements for the elite members of the tribes. He is certainly very pally with them. Marion
“Customary rights” my butt. In 1840 Maori owned NOTHING. They simply used or occupied it until someone else took it off them. Reuben
This should not be allowed to happen, the sea bed and sea shore is there for all New Zealanders, Chris Findlayson should be sack!! Shane
Each time a settlement is made, deductions should be made to cover the cost of social services to the tribe. Peter
Excellent article Mike
Very definitely! Ted
Enough is enough. Stop this nonsense by telling Maori to look after their own as no more claims will be accepted from now. Tom
Watching the farce on wood pigeons this week any Maori “environmental protection” arguments hold no water. What other arguments have been raised and how valid are they? Neil
They should disclose information and be transparent. Why should there be privileged tribal elite when it is tax pays money. Robert
Yes! Yes! and Yes!! Alastair
One law for all New Zealand. Bryan
Not in nations best interest to be done in secret. Colin
Secret deals are out of order, lack integrity and lead to corruption. Russ
It shouldn’t even be happening at all. The foreshore and seabed belong to all New Zealanders. Keep these assets as property of the Crown. Steve
Yes absolutely! Mark
All this demands much wider publicity. Alan
Yes definitely. John
Too many deals done behind closed doors Finlyson far to soft should be replaced with the likes of Winston Peters. Ken
Democratic government ? ‘ yeah right ‘ ! John
Shouldn’t be any race based rights to the foreshore and sea bed full stop. Ian
I do not understand the issue as we the Europeans have made what New Zealand is to day not the Maori. All they want is to bleed us more end more. I believe we have given them far to much already without any contribution from them. Peter
Of course it should. l
Of course it should be transparent, after all it is our country also – cheeky beggars. Roy
This is a democracy!! Murray
Yes of course all dealings with part maori crooks should never happen in the first place,part maori have no rights to have anything granted to them at all. appeasement for 175 years is beyond reason and should be canned, part maori sure were made in taiwan [cheap and nasty] James
Our frustration is increasing dramatically in this country at the continued existence of APARTHEID. Until the Maori seats are abolished in Parliament and one law for all prevails, this sort of nonsense will continue. Geoff
I spent several months collecting signatures in Nelson against the customary rights to the foreshore and seabed. We failed to get enough support to force a referendum. NZ will come to regret the day they did not give us more support. John
First let me make a suggestion re a new NZ flag design based on the current national state of this country. The flag should be black, depicting a mushroom , a cowpad and a banana. The colour stands for political apathy and lack of information, the mushroom stands for the NZ public ( being kept in the dark and fed shit by the government). The cowpad stands for the NZ Government sending us down shit street. The banana is the symbol for the conspiracy between The Government and Maori leaders who use the TOW to turn this country of ours into a Banana Republic (and they have almost succeeded) Now to the issue of the day: It is crystal clear that the agenda is to hand over a massive natural resource to a few corrupt characters which will exploit this resource regardless. And that will also mean that the general NZ public will have no rights to enter these areas for recreation without paying fees to the local Mafia . That will be the bottom line and will be implemented shortly after pen was put to paper. It does not matter anymore if this process is transparent and disclosed or not. The deal is done and only massive protest action from the NZ public would delay and maybe stop this treacherous act (and others) But that brings us back to the mushroom mentality of the majority. Action of this kind requires a certain level of political enlightenment and interest in greater affairs in general. My experience is that in almost all cases where I entered into a discussion of that kind with my fellow countrymen( and women) I found that there was no will or deeper interest in that kind of subject. Despite the fact that these issues we are dealing with in NZ are affecting everyone’s live in a big way. Quite a lot of people are bickering about things but most of them are not able to put their concerns into a coherent and meaningful comment (partly to blame onto a to a dismal lack of information in the media) When the power take over is completed ( ie control is in a few( and wrong) hands we will face stage two of the establishment of the Banana Republic.That stage will incorporate the systematic indoctrination of all things Maori in schools incl the compulsory speaking of Maori language and making English a secondary language. The falsification and desemination of history in schools to favour everything re Maori history. The gradual draining of pension funds from what they call Pakeha ( non Maori anyway) to fund all poor Maori. Political dissent will result in the persecution or expulsion of permanent residents or citizens in NZ. It was already made quite clear in Kim Hills interview that settlement funds will be kept and controlled by the Maori elite and that the rest of the country has to come up with the money to pay for the so called disadvantaged. This comment in itself demonstrated utter insolence and disregard for the rest of us ( Dare to call that racist). And Kim Hill did say nothing!!!!!! So: In short : We are screwed. And all this will lead in time to stage three. And that means social injustice reaching into every corner of society and this in turn will breed violence on a scale this country has not been seen since The Kooti raped and pillaged his way through this land. Any resistance of the general public will be dealt with by the Maori authorities accordingly. History has given us many examples of that kind where a minority in key positions exploited their power ruthlessly. Michael
Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee! Maori won’t be satisfied until they completely rule the country – they virtually control it now with at last count around 50 pieces of legislation granting them preferential treatment and rights unavailable to anyone else. The Resource Management Act also grants all sorts of priviledge and special rights requiring consultation over so-called customary rights and guardianship, et al. They hold that these priviledges arise from the Treaty – Bunkum! Those rights should relate ONLY to Maori land as per Article 2 which clearly states such rights shall extend over THEIR LAND (and not the land they sold the the colonists.. But they have cunningly fabricated all sorts of interpretations into our legal framework so that they now have us by the nether region over almost any land in NZ. The Goverment (past and present) has backed itself into a corner – look at the fiasco the first right of refusal is creating in Auckland. Brian
Yes, but would the present Government or even the Opposition if in power (all by courtesy of the Maori Party) would take a blind bit of notice? The length our two main parties have gone too in placating Maori, appeasing and finally acceding to ever increasing demands for more and more makes the idea of the Partition of this country the most sensible way out of an impossible situation. The alternative will see more and more of a highly successful Maori Danegeld, and the rest of non Maori merely second rate citizens. (For as we all well know the United Nations has stated that all non Maori cannot be termed “Indigenous” even to the third generations born. Maori claims will not stop, despite any political assurances to the contrary.. Ask yourself this very simple question would you give up a position of absolute political strength? Apart from the never ending demands, top ups to infinity, there is the added bonus of a Supreme Court judgement going against Maori in the Takamore case and our Political Master successfully having it buried privately; quite obviously to avoid any confrontation. Honour it seems (in the political version) therefore has been satisfied, but it has stained forever our legal system together with the authority of the Supreme Court, making plain to all that the figure of Justice no longer has a bandage over her eyes. Furthermore the recent actions in many court cases that anyone brought before the Courts can get name suppression at the drop of a hat these days, such suppression being attributed to family circumstances and other “considerations”! Why this has been allowed in infiltrate our Court system over a period of time is somewhat of a mystery. Is it due to those to whom punishment is abhorrent? Is it due to overzealous liberalism or an over healthy concern for those accused, and an obvious lack of interest in the victims of crime? We are well into an era of Political secrecy, since we the non Maori, have never been told the fullest extent of Customary Rights, especially so when applied to the justice system. It would be an Act of Faith for the Government to disclose the limits of Customary Rights have in the interpretation of the law and when they can or cannot supersede non Maori rights? Failure to do this will further strengthen the concept that we have a double racial standard in New Zealand, and confirm to what extent this has placed an apartheid system into this country. Brian
The whole business is a rort by the I Want Its. It wouldn’t matter so much if they were genuine Maoris instead of mongrels. Chris
Iwi are the last people who should be trusted with guardianship of our already depleted flora & fauna. I’ve always refferred to the Coastwatch TV series as “Te Karere” for obvious reasons. Interesting how you’ve quoted Sonny Tau as a source – the Kereru muncher from the north! Dave
Abolish all customary rights completely. Brian
Its never ending, racism by our own government. Allan
I am horrified that potententially we could lose our Langs and Mangawhai beachs and fishing to Maori John
For the reasons given by Muriel I think it is appalling that these negotiations are carried on in secret. Wah
This whole land grab rort should be stopped–NOW. Is there an honest politician with a backbone that will stand up and denounce the whole corrupt system favoured by that slimy finlayson and co. Ralph
This should never have happened. Race based privilege needs to be abolished altogether. John
The Price Of Our Lopsided Form Of Our Practice Of Democracy. Jim
Like everything under keys mob, only the rich receive beneficial treatment. David
This country is going the way of South Africa, Mario will take over in due course due to Chris Finlayson. Geoff
Sick of iwi greed. Neil
I say yes, but in all reality there should be no reason for this because the foreshore and seabed belong to all NZ as does the fresh water and the air we breath. Murray
This is just more racism. Alan
Absolutely! Alan
When will enough be enough?? Denis
Yes I do as the public should be fully informed so that these matters can be debated in public. The comments about Iwi being tax exempt is very important but the Goverment does nothing about it and as stated it is unfair competition in business . Gaire
It’s an out rage please we need to do something these claims are just getting out of hand, finlayson needs to be rained in. Paul
The whole treaty industry is a disgrace, and Key and Co should hang their heads in shame. All they care about is power, money, appeasing this racist stone aged tribal nonsense, in exchange for MOwdy support in patliament,and to hell with tomorrow’s generation. I am angry and frustrated. Carolyn
Aren’t the Government supposed to look after the interests of all citizens, not just a selected (racially) few? John
Blah Blah, why don’t you get your man in Epsom to vote against som eof these outlandish policies. John
Of course they should be. Chris Finlayson should be replaced immediately by someone who is fair and has common sense. Another secret that gripes me is the secret deal that Mighty River Power did with the Taupo Maori about paying to store water in Lake Taupo. As a shareholder in MRP , as are thousands of others, it is obscene that we are not able to access that information. I am sick of Maori claims. Mike
More racism from the unelected undemocratic Chris Nga tahu Finlayson the Racist little twat. Greg
One nation One set of rules and policies. Graham
Unless there is full disclosure and transparency there is little or no hope of ensuring that the deals are honest and fair. Corruption will be inevitable when there is secrecy. Martin
Apartheid is becoming well established in NZ. Jo
This racist, undemocratic process should not only be transparent, it should CEASE immediately, but John and his wobbly mate Chris won’t let that happen. I’m so grateful that I’m not going to be around when New Zealand reaps what recent governments have sown! One of the only benefits of old age! Les
This sort of stuff happening behind closed doors is just not right. It goes against all principles of a democratic society. The foreshore and seabed claims as well as the Waitangi Tribunal should be filed in File 13 where they belong. Steve
Should never have been given away in the first place. Repeal this. Sheila
The whole rort leaves me speechless. Stand up New Zealand and stop the “Gimmee Gimmee” process. Kabe
but it is time to stop any race getting special considerations. No-one owns the seabed and foreshore they are for the use of all. Anthony
What is there to hide? (Rhetorical question) Laurie
Of course we are getting fed up with what is being just given away without any discussion. Peter
There is no other way. If full disclosure is not given how can the public know that what is happening is honest, and like some of previous claims. the radio air waves, the rain. Come one we also want a fair deal. John
The foreshore and seabed should be enjoyed freely by all New Zealanders. John
Absolutely clear, transparent, unequivocal and be widely reported in mass media. Donald
The public deserve to know what is going on. Barry
All law changes in a democracy must be fully transparent otherwise we have become a dictatorship. Ian
We do not need radical separatism! Monty
I am sick to death of the whole Maori thing. The very word Maori turns me completely off, particularly since the Maori elite are not Maori at all – they are Europeans with some Maori ancestor. I’m sick of the whole bloody lot and regret that the Treaty and all it idiocies can’t disappear in a cloud of smoke. Peter
It should not have been allowed thus far. All of us ,whatever race ekect to become New Zealanders. Maori should stop bleating and get on with the job as the rest of us have to do. Betty
Most definitely. NZ is supposedly a society where all are equal and the way race divisions are being constantly created should be ringing alarm bells and it is time to call a halt. Sue
Why doesn’t Pakeha have any rights here-only the Maoris once again.Every thing should be transparent to expose the iwi’s are nothing but money grabbing thieves. Bob
Why is it that only Maori seem to know what is going on. I sent an email to John Key. Waste of time because he sent it on to finlayson who seems to be only interested in Maori. Is he one himself. Hazel
Its the very thing that should be owned equally by all New Zealanders yet is part of a vote buying policy by National as the brown tail continues wagging the dog! Paul
Most certainly – Government has a responsibility to report to the public on such important issues. David
Absolutely. Everything should be out in the open and above board. However we now know full well that any deals made by Government with “Maori’ are underhand and hidden from view and there is never any consultation with the non”Maori” majority population first.. I get absolutely sick and tired when I query another deal made with “Maori” of the response , “Ah yes but according to the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi”. What a load of utter crap. Rog
It should be complely transparent and out in the open. David
Definitely yes. Keith
With corruption rife in nz politics it will never change unless a few good men and women stand up to stop this bleeding of NZ. Richard
This amount of more, more, more for Maori is sickening. When ever will we stop being held to ransom? Peter
… but there should be no customary rights granted to anything. The seabed and foreshore belongs to us all not just a few brown people … most of whom bludge off the rest of us. Dianna
Absolutely – it is the only lawful way allowing all New Zealanders to know what is going on. Fraser
It’s absolutely shocking what’s going on and I find it so difficult to believe that most New Zealanders just sit back and let it happen. If only treason was still a crime as Chris Finlayson would surely be guilty and dealt with. Actually the current National Government has done more harm and at a quicker pace than successive Governments. They think they are finishing the settlement process but that process was finished and settled in the late 1940-1950’s. What is happening today is a giant fraud backed by reinvented history. I really fear for our country but nobody in power seems to listen. We are leaving our children a real racist mess. Helen
The Government should be held accountable to the New Zealand people for going behind their backs and doing these secret deals. These things should never be allowed to happen and it is time all claims are totally finished with. We are supposed to be one people: not maori and everyone else. Frank
Secrecy on such matters was one of the several reasons given for the inclusion and deaths of NZ Troops during WW2 and later wars. We have certainly gone backwards with gigantic steps. John
All govt proceedings should be made public. All govt money given for “Treaty” settlements should be ring fenced for aid to struggling Maori families & not give carte blanche to iwi to squander. Greame
Of course. Colleen
If this trend towards Maori apapartheid continues then I can see my grandchildren emmigrating to Australia or beyond and leaing moari to rot. Victor
YES! No deal made with Maori should be secret if any morsel of DEMOCRACY remains in this nation. No democratic government has this right! Any secrecy is the hallmark of dictatorship!!! Cecelia
Time to stop the gravy train. Geoff
I am a Korean War Veteran and my family served in two World Wars to defend our nation including its coast and waterways and I OBJECT to the present government handing over any more resources to the tribal elite. Forbes
So many secret deals we’ll wake up one morning to find Maori running the country. Tony
I believe that all New Zealanders should have the same rights to the foreshore. Richard
If we had a government that believed in one law for all we would not be in this mess in the first place. At a time when the United States appears to be removing any trappings of separatism we move steadily towards towards apartheid. The Key government gives in to all maori demands realising that when the public eventually rebel, it will not be on their watch and the Key knighthood will be safe. John
It is so sad that a handful of Maori are spoiling the reputation of the majority with these ever greedy demands. I say again, New Zealand should be all one people, whether black, blue, yellow or whatever colour, so long as they are all citizens. Most Maori are lovely, friendly and good people who want to share this lovely Country with other citizens. The way that these and other unreasonable demands are progressing the more likely a civil war could eventuate. Let’s put a stop to it – equal shares for all citizens! Peter
Will New Zealand ever be one nation? I am beginning to despair. The sooner we have an electoral system that has elected representatives answerable to all citizens irrespective of race, creed or colour, no representative selected on a race basis, and one set of laws that apply to ALL citizens, we may have a chance of achieving a unified nation. The recognition of resource assignment by direct negotiations by an iwi and a minister will work directly against the creation of a one-law-for-all unified society. Michael
The reasons why everyone except the claimants are kept in the dark is the fear of opposition. Some of the reasons for claiming customary rights can be clarified by non-claimants who have knowledge and understanding. We protested strongly against this legislation and Mr Finlayson pushed it through for unconvincing and manufactured reasons. Don’t like the guy for his supercilious manner. Mike
Go to www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/LoveridgeResponse.htm and you will find what was promised was “freedom of religion”, not “customary rights”. In order to implement he Treaty of Waitangi Acts 1975 and 1985 all must give full weight to the false English Treaty which Hobson never authorised, if unauthorised I would imagine all Treaty settlements used as a result would be illegal. An unauthorised Treaty translation of Prof Hugh Kawharu was used to establish the Crown/Maori Partnership and the Principles of the Treaty. How could these entities possibly be legal? George
Yes! No one has the ownership of foreshore and seabed. They belong to all NZ. Maoris already claim ownership of an area near Cable Bay in Nelson and refuse access to the general public. They will,, if allowed, restrict and charge fees for access to increasing areas of our coast beaches if they can get away with it. No one owns water or river beds. It gets worse with tax free status demanded and given to Maoris whilst their poorer relations have to be supported by our taxes through Work and Income, whilst they chant their cry of gimme gimme gimme. On a related subject, we read in the Nelson newspaper, that a home and 2 hectares of rural land near Nelson is to be sold by Housing Corp and has been empty for over 6 months. It has to be offered to Maoris but they are still thinking about it. Now, normally if you want to buy an offered property you make a quick decision or it is sold to another buyer. How come Maoris can dilly dally for over 6 months while people awaiting a place to live are literally left out in the cold? Chris
Absolutely. Graeme
There needs to be a class action – taken by NZCPR perhaps – to halt these growing racist rorts through a High Court decision! People would support it through crowd-funding or ‘Give a Little’. Paul
I’d rather see the whole thing stopped for good! Brenda
Of course I do, that would be democratic. But it will not happen as long as Finlayson is allowed to continue as Minister. Terry
There should not be any preference given to any one group of NZ’ers.With Maori breeding with every race to come to NZ they have effectively bred their race out of existence Peter
I am becoming more and more disillusioned with governments of all stripes. We should consider limiting MPs to maximum 3 terms in parliament? Mike
Most certainly. But in real terms we are peeing into the wind as long as this gutless government party is in power – and I vote National.  My suggestion is that John Key and his elk spend more time at home running the country that is spent traveling around the world. Ron
landers arte unaware of what is going on in their own country and in particular, how our so called Minister of Maori Affairs is so self opinionated in such issues that should be open to public common knowledge before the “gifts” are made Laurence
Of course. Why would any process as important as this be acceptable if conducted in any other way. We will wake up one day in the not too distant future to a country that no longer meets the majorities expectations and we will not be able to back the truck up. Gary
I suspect we are fed distractions while behind the scenes deals continue to be done to benefit Maori alone at the expense of the other 80% of New Zealand tax payers. Donald
Of course. All such deals should be made public but in saying this I do not accept the Goverment doing racist deals with Maori. Peter
About time the claims were challenged. Ngaire
The foreshore and seabed belongs to all New Zealanders – not just to a select few because of a smidgeon of racial descent. No doubt we would all like to live by the beach, eat unlimited quantities of seafood, avoid working yet still get paid, and maybe have our own little garden of recreational horticulture. What a life! And some do-gooders making all other countrymen pay for it? Wouldn’t you want these negotiations kept secret if it included you? Sometimes I wish that my great-great-great grandmother had slept with a Maori. After all, isn’t that the only qualification that you need? Mitch
Sick of the grasping greedy Maori. Rose
It’s only being held in secret because of the intent of claiming the whole country, bit by bit. Reading the comments, Trina is the only one putting the truth down about the average New Zealander and their disinterest about what is going on in front of their noses. That is the real issue. If people would only show some interest, issues like Chris Finlayson’s previous alliance with Nga Tahu would be brought out into the open, and the reason he is in parliament would be clear.Talk about conflict of interest! As for secret dealings regarding the seabed and other things, the whole subject is just a disgusting continuation of the weak John Key Government’s capitulation to the Maori Party coalition. I have the notion that as a boy John Key said the himself “one day I will be the Prime Minister of my country”. Now that that has come to pass, the idea of improving the country for all it’s citizens has never been in his mind, and I fully expect him to not be with the National Party come the next election, and he will fly back to where he was living previously leaving us with the mess of racial discrimination by Maori to be more entrenched than we could ever have imagined. This coming from a long time National voter too. Lorraine
Failure to do so fosters more racism. Stuart
Absolutely. Usually we are told when the deal is done and cannot express our opinions against any such deal. I like many others are sick and tired of all the pandering to the greedy elite Maori IWI who do little to help their own people. Colin
Full disclosure and transparency should automatically apply to ALL political processes regardless. Granting of “customary rights” should not even be happening! This concept has grown out of the “treaty partnership” myth and is being milked for all it is worth by the iwi parasites. This will continue unabated until we elect public servants with enough backbone to push a Bill through Parliament which calls for the total removal of any reference to racial privilege in our laws and statutes. The public need to realise that we are all citizens of one nation, all equal under the Law and demand these changes, How things have been allowed to sink to this level is beyond me. I can only put it down to our “she’ll be right” attitude, which is going to damn us as a nation if we do not wake up. Scott
Why should one sector of our country have special rights.? This is approaching the type of situation in South Africa and will create grave problems for the future of our country. It MUST be stopped now. Brian
Do I belief in those customary rights NO NO NO. All New Zealanders should and must have the same rights. No more, no less. Johan
Of course it should. Roy
When it affects all New Zealanders everybody should be told. Dennis
Governments have no right to secretcy. They are voted in by all New Zealanders to look after all New Zealanders not just one race. Forget the flag and concentrate on cancelling all Treaty claims or at least recognizing the fact that their are very few if any true Maoris left.s Mary
Once again we are witness to maoris attempting to grab the whole of this country and it’s natural resources. This is met by weak politicians who are hell bent on a racist society and appeasement to remedy the claims of a minority race who have contrbuted nothing to the building of this nation. The politicians who for decades have elevated maoris to a position of privilage above all others, latest example….maoris not prosecuted for unlicenced driving !!! Claims negotiated without public knowledge. These inhabitants of the Beehive need to be reminded that they are our employees and therefore it is their duty to keep the public fully informed of their activities. David
Yes this government is causing more racism than any past government i have seen in my eighty three years. Lionel
Too much favoritism and too many baubles now already to the ethnic minority. Allan
Secrecy by our government is not democratic, is it moral. . Bryan
Certainly should be. Marian
When are we going to see al this racial nonsense bought out into the open and aired on prime television, I am sure that Mike Hoskins would give it air time if he was allowed. Bill
The National Govt totally disgusts me. Trevor
Very definitely! Any and every concession to Maori by central Government or local councils, should be fully disclosed and transparent. Maori have shown time and again they are simply not to be trusted in such matters. Frank
We certainly live in a two tier society. Russell
Yes. But my question is: If Maori own the sea bed than how far does that reach & should they be the ones to patrol it instead of the NZ Navy? Nick
It has to happen !!. Mark
Too much is done behind closed doors. Garry
The foreshore & seabed should stay for all NZers not just a few. Cherryl
There should be no separate ownership of seabed and foreshore. Colin
These rorts coupled with Agenda 21 aregoing to to cripple us for ever! Jim
I am a NZer, I have a right to know what MY government is going on my behalf. Dave
The maori treaty claims have been getting more and more bizarre. They are pushing to see how far they can go. Shena
If not I agree we are setting ourselves up for a racially divided society. Gregor
It is unbelievable how progressively, greed and not need or compassion typifies Maori leadership. And scandalous how present Govt policy is promoting this. Thank you for your concerns in attempting to alert us. Press on. Arthur
One country one law one nation apartheid is making a great comeback right here in godzone. Kevin
Secret deals based on race should not be part of a democratic government’s policies. Kevan
Under the Westminster system transparency is pivatile. Without it democracy is not functioning Peter
Absolutely, why should they deal under a differing code. Tim
However, there should not be any customary rights given to iwi, the foreshore and seabed belongs to us all, stop this racial division now before we end up in a civil war. Carolyn
Absolutely ! Terry
All this ownership and customary rights debate has gone way too far, time the Government hardened up on behalf of all New Zealanders and stopped handing out freebies. Laurel
Of course it should be disclosed. Better still scrub the whole thing and give every New Zealander equal rights to the foreshore & seabed; which is common sense. But our governments won’t do it because they are racist. Eric
One has to watch the Maori Land Grab next. National is sucking up to Maori at the expense of the rest. Dave
Full disclosure is essential so a “wall of shame” can be documented and widely published prior to each general election. John
Yes absolutely…but with this Government it won’t be the case…too much ha already been decided in secret meetings for this to be Anh different. Democracy I’d dead in NZ. Shame on Finlayson and this Government..only time will tell what their actions have truly meant to the people of this country. Audrey
Absolutely, we are being sold out by a gutless Govt who are too politicall tied up with th Maori Party for majority votes on important voting issues! Bruce
Democracy is about people ruling. HYPOCRISY IS A PRETENCE OF VIRTUE used by self-centred individuals to further their personal ambitions. Barry
I have big question marks over all this supposed customary rights that are been demanded Albert
Why encourage race-based policies? That is, if nothing else, just plain stupid! John
Enough of this divided way where Iwi elite continue to rort the system One country one people!!! Alan
” A New Zealand Crisis..” the creation of ‘Entrenched Inequality..” by the Oligarchic elite….. iwi alongside the low-life C Finlayson and the PM…No one really seems to care…..sad sad days for New Zealand. Christopher
White New Zealanders want equality, never forget Maori were not the First to inhabit New Zealand. Ian
Key, Findlayson and their iwi matesl, are traitors to their country and should be hung drawn and slaughtered. Alan
Wtf Of course. It’s the democratic way. Ron
The NZ govt. should criminalise this racist theft from it’s taxpayers. Instead, it continues to legalise it. Astonishing! John
Our politicians are elected to represent us. How can we tell if this is being done if they enter into secret deals. Peter
I am sick of the Maori gravy train !!!! Why wont the Government finish this crap, and make it a level playing field for everyone? Kevin
It’s time iwi used their wealth to help those tribal members living in poverty and deprivation. Barbara
Terrible, terrible future! Finlayson is a traitorbto the majority population of NZ. National Party has NO HONOUR. Jennifer
Absolutely. Graeme
ALL New Zealanders must be equally treated always. Alan
It’s ridiculous to say that Maori have any more right to the seabed than anyone else. Edward
Of course it should! The foreshore and seabed are for ALL NZers not just the privileged few. Like many non-induginous NZers I have been “warned off” parts of our foreshore – unacceptable. It seems OK to rape the fisheries resources if you are one of the “privileged few” and can be done with virtual impunity. Andrew
A bit more of the same old same old, with the National branch of the Labour party unwilling to confront reality. Lets give all water ways & coastlines to the Maori descendant elite, but make them responsible for all flood & erosion damage that occurs when natural disaster strikes. Have not seen any light brown hands raised accepting responsibility after the recent Wanganui floods for example.. Allan
I thought in 1981 we protested against race based laws. Bryan
There should be NO granting of customary rights to the foreshore and seabed, for any group, on any grounds whatsoever. However, it’s probably too late to do anything about it, especially as this government seems to be only too willing to cave in to corporate iwi demands. The future is bleak. Graham
The country of New Zealand is starting to get divided by racism and unfortunatly it is Maori through their greed that is causing the rift. They signed a treaty that they never have abided by so why should the rest of us tax paying NZers let them get away with it. The elections used to be the way to vote but now i am not sure that supposed democratical way works either as Succesive Govts have bowed to brown pressure. What did the Mori Ori ever recieve for their compensation. Nothing is ever said about that holucaust as it is always swept under the carpet. I say enough is enough and its time to stand up and say NO. WAYNE
It is about time the Govt stopped pandering to the radicals of maori and treated all land and seabed issues as finished. It all belongs to NZ and should remain as such. If the phoney treaty issues were stopped it would end very quickly David
Definitely ? Ken
Why would should it not be? What is there to hide? Andy
If not then we should give up pretending to be a civilised democracy. Peter
Everyone should know what is happening with these deals. Rhys
Not that I agree with the law in the first place. Ross
It is only right that everyone be informed ! Hugh
It is truly unbelievable that this sort of stuff can happen in a so called democracy, why do the media not get involved when this stuff is happening or are they like our politicians, too scared of being labelled RACIST if they challenge Maori? Stevo
I’m a New Zealander too and I have the same rights as everyone on this land. Jim
There should not be any ‘customary rights’ at all. Judith
The whole concept is an outrageous rort and is well past time that it was brought to an abrupt halt. Geoffrey
This is a no-brainer, of course it should be transparent. Hone
Outcome effects us all. Allan
The National Party continues to allow Racism to flourish. Lance
It is time all this racsist nonsence came to a stop. Ron
Working New Zealanders have their heads down trying to keep themselves moving ahead. All they can see, and all they want to see is their feet moving one step in-front of the other. I have mentioned the danger of the Corporate Iwi motivation to a number of people, and as I talk their eyes glaze over as they say “oh” yeah, its not good” and then quickly change the subject. It is as if they cannot cope with the information or its hard for them to grasp because they have not been directly impacted by it, so for them it is not a reality. Another issue that may be making the likes of Muriel, Hugh, Mike etc’s job tougher is the level of sensationalist propaganda in our social media and news. Some New Zealanders may be too saturated in highly emotive information to be able to take on anything else. It is like an emotional exhaustion or overwhelming sense of powerlessness and they flick into a survival mode of shutting down to anything beyond issues affecting their immediate day to day lives. I was frustrated to learn that the biggest issue New Zealanders had with the Foreshore and Seabed was guaranteed access to the beach. I mean, . . . REALLY!!!!!!! Stuff the fact that our Foreshore and Seabed has just been privatised for any Tom, Dick and Harry to have, let alone Iwi. Stuff the fact that once this goes through a presidence has been set for the Iwi to keep challenging and claiming against the Crown on. Stuff the fact that any lip service deals today can be changed real quick tomorrow once Iwi rule! Stuff the fact that our precious resource is being handed over to Iwi on the grounds of appeasement of Race based rights. Oh, man! I just want to rip my hair out at how weak brained and self centeredness of New Zealanders today. None of what is going on is going to mean anything to people until it starts affecting them, by then, it is too late. Trina
Common sense. Chris
Time to replace Finlayson methinks, time for the national party to grow a set of balls. Wink
For too long the successive governments have rolled over and shown their bellies instead of standing up for what is supposed to be democracy in this country. No wonder the tribes have jumped onto the bandwagon and reaped the benefits of essentially tax free money to enrich themselves…oops…. I mean marae when they expect the govt to hand out yet more $$$ to help the maori disadvantage. It’s a disgrace and I’m disgusted that the govt won’t stand up to the tribes and demand that the millions of dollars be earmarked for the poorer members health and welfare. MEL
The current situation is a National disgrace… Wake up New Zealand!! Donald
Settling foreshore and seabed claims in secret is a scandal. It must be changed. James
I put in a submission that claims should be decided in the High Court, but the government took no notice. I can only hope that there is such a public outcry that the government has to change the law. Nigel
The whole claim business is a rort. In this day and age no group could possibly have owned the foreshore and seabed continuously and exclusively since 1840. Robert
Yes, we live in a democracy – the process MUST be fully disclosed and transparent. Mary
All claims to the foreshore and seabed in this day and age are pure fabrications and any Minister approving them would be using a corrupt process. Brian