Don’t panic

The Foreshore and Seabed Act was the result of panic.

The Court of Appeal didn’t say Iwi with continuous customary use could convert that to freehold title. It just said they had the right to test that in court.

But once that got into the media that was translated into Maori having freehold title and the ability to exclude people from the beaches. There was a public outcry and the government panicked.

That was politically costly for the Labour Party because the Act which resulted led to the birth of the Maori Party.

But Labour wasn’t the only party at fault. Former National Party leader Don Brash told Q&A the party got it wrong.

Now John Key has said the legislation will almost certainly be repealed.

There is no indication yet on what will replace it but when panic led to the mistake in the first place it would be helpful if everybody could debate the issue calmly and rationally.

Mr Key said the legislation had been complex, but a replacement that sat well with all New Zealanders was possible.

Not only possible but necessary.

Property rights must be respected and public access to the beaches must be retained. Those are not mutually exclusive.

8 Responses to Don’t panic

  1. Richard says:

    I know a little about this. Those not familiar with the issue might like to go to
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_foreshore_and_seabed_controversy
    for a good summary. National did not come out of this at all well- stirring up Ngaiti Redneckee
    But note the agreement between Ngaiti Porou and the Crown in Oct 08 as a sign of what will come.

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  2. pmofnz says:

    Richard, Such backdoor agreements giving away the foreshore and seabed under some tenuous link to supposed customary rights are exactly why I get hot under the collar about unfettered access to the beach. Parliament is sovereign in this land, all are British subjects, not some coastal residents who think they exist outside of that sovereignty and also think they own the beaches.

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  3. gravedodger says:

    Actually pmofnz some of the early titles issued in the days of settlement included all the land to the center of streams and to the mean high water mark of the sea, and remain to this day as the legal boundary, as the only opportunity for the crown to claim the “queens chain” comes when a subdivision or other title variation occurs.

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  4. homepaddock says:

    PMNZ – I don’t think anyone was trying to give away the foreshore & seabed.

    It all comes down to property rights and Not PC explains it better than I could: http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/11/privatising-foreshore-seabed-get-on.html

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  5. pmofnz says:

    gd, MHWS vs FS is a mere technicality – there may be access to some beaches compromised by early titles being in the tidal zone. I would hope these are small in number, although to my knowledge a map detailing them has never been publicly shown. Some may also be compromised by erosion.

    hp, The giving away of the seabed is the ultimate game of those involved as it potentially comes with the undersea resource to be sliced and diced in the future. Although Not PC has some arguments for and against, I firmly believe that represents an extreme view not to be ever entertained. One wonders why so called libertarian views never materialise into votes.

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  6. murrayg1 says:

    This is all about getting ownership of ‘the commons’, via Maori. They get out from public ownership, that which the avaricious cannot. Then it’s only a matter of a simple transaction.

    And – anyone who mentions ‘beaches’ (and it’s been done consistently by a certail clique) is running spin. There’s a lot more to the coast than beaches.

    Ultimately, the flawed ideology probably envisages carving up the sea-bed into 1/4 acre lots. Afterall, there’s nowhere else to grow……

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  7. pmofnz says:

    murrayg1, Glad there is someone else who possibly sees it as I do. As you say, the word beaches are the emotive vehicle.

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  8. Richard Parata says:

    pmofnz: HP is right in my view- property rights. Not PC sums it up well. The problem with these sort of issues the MSM report on the dramatic and balanced commemtry goes out the window. Can see the correspondence on this issue going down a well worn track of dire speculation

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