Most parties support most clauses of MaCA

March 16, 2011

 Politics is usually reported as black and white with differences highlighted and areas of agreement ignored.

If you’d listened to yesterday’s debate on the Marine and Coastal Areas legislation and read stories about it you’d think that only National and the Maori Party supported any of it.  But Audrey Young reports that most parties support most of the bill’s clauses:

 

All parties, and Hone Harawira support the repeal of Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed 2004 Act.

All parties support the right of Iwi to go to court – Harawira doesn’t because he thinks they already own the area in contention.

National and United Future support the proposed test; the Maori Party thinks the test should be easier; Labour thinks the test should be left to courts; Act and Green want it left to the courts and Harawira opposes this clause.

National, the Maori Party and UF, support allowing Iwi to negotiate directly with government instead of going to court; Labour agrees but want the decision ratified by the courts not parliament; the Green Party supports this but under tests outlined by the courts and Harawira opposes it.

All parties and Harawiara support the ban of sales of areas under customary title.

All agree that public access to these areas should be guaranteed.

National, the Maori Party, UF, Act and Labour don’t want to do anything about the 12,500 private titles that include parts of the foreshore and seabed. The Greens want these titles treated the same way as customary title (ie public access and no sale) and Harawira wants them all under Maori title.

National, the Maori Party and UF support the MaCA Bill, the other three parties and Harawira oppose it.

The most vehement opposition from outside parliament is from people who think they’ll lose access to beaches.

Legislation doesn’t apply to beaches – it applies to the foreshore and seabed, the bit from the high tide mark to the 12 mile limit – and everyone in parliament agrees that public access should be guaranteed.

So why all the fuss when most parties agree on most clauses and public access will be guaranteed by all of them?



MaCA only applies to wet bit

March 14, 2011

The Coastal Coalition has done a very good job of stirring up opposition to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

One of the lines they keep repeating is that the MaCA will enable Maori to prevent access to the beach.

But the MaCA doesn’t apply to the beach.

The beach is the dry bit. The MaCA applies to the wet bit, the foreshore and seabed which goes from the high tide mark to the 12 mile limit?


Both can’t be right

February 20, 2011

The Coastal Coalition thinks the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill goes too far.

Hone Harawira, his supporters and some other Maori groups, including Ngai Tahu, think it doesn’t go far enough.

Both can’t be right.

John Key says free public access is guaranteed:

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill replaces the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, a piece of legislation which divided New Zealand and discriminated against Maori property rights.

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill recognises the importance of New Zealand’s beach culture as a value we all share. It also recognises the Kiwi value of a fair go, and ensuring no-one is denied access to justice.

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill guarantees free public access for all New Zealanders, makes sure the public foreshore and seabed can never be sold, and restores the ability of iwi to test their property rights through the Courts.

The MaCA applies only to the wet bit of the beach and beyond  i.e. from the high tide mark to the 12 mile limit.

A fact sheet countering the Coastal Coalition’s claims is here.


Something better than nothing – updated

November 1, 2010

The Maori party is learning that politics requires compromise.

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill which seeks to replace the Foreshore and Seabd Act doesn’t go far enough for some.

“We got to the stage where we can discuss the issues rationally, with some leaning one way and some the other way, and I think we really got to the point where everyone had a better understanding of what government is, and what our role is in there – which is the most important thing,” he told NZPA. . .

Dr Sharples said the party had to make concessions to get this far and people were starting to understand that.

I think they will understand now – if the party votes for it to go ahead – that we have made it very clear that we didn’t get what we really wanted, and what we did get was better than 2004.”

“We are trying to teach everyone that this is kawanatanga, this is government and these are their rules of operation, and if you want to gain some wins you work within those rules and get the wins you can.”

In politics, and life, you can’t always get everything you want but it’s usually better to accept something than walk away with nothing.

Update: A speech by Tariana Turia gives a similar message:

In the end, I think it is a really important consideration for us to think about: do we want to part of that political process or not because we know that in Parliament, everything is about votes and you win or lose on the vote that is taken on any one day.

The difficulty for us, we have five votes and if we can’t garner enough to get 63 votes it becomes very difficult on any issue on any one day in that environment.

But I don’t want you to think that we sit there and we roll over on these issues, we do not. We do not, and we never have. . .

. . . But I do want you to know that while we may do things in Parliament that you don’t approve of, I can promise you that we listen to what you say, and that we advocate what you say and there are times when we lose. And that’s our reality.

Now we can either decide that that is not good enough and shouldn’t be there and we shouldn’t be participating or we should be in opposition basically just throwing stones at whoever the Government is.

Well I have got much longer in my life actually and I’ve had my days of sitting on opposition benches moaning about everything and getting nowhere. . .

National didn’t have to invite the Maori Party into coalition and the party didn’t have to accept. But the government is stronger and the Maori Party has achieved more because it is part of the government not the opposition.

Update: Pita Sharples also  told the party to put health before the beaches:

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has urged rank and file members to put policy wins in health, education and welfare ahead of damaging splits over the foreshore and seabed as opposition to the planned law change gathers momentum.

In an extraordinary departure from accepted doctrine in the political movement born from protests against Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act, Dr Sharples said claims to coastal land were not as important as other matters the party was pursuing.

“For many of my friends, they don’t even know what’s going on with the foreshore and seabed,” he told the party’s annual meeting in Hastings at the weekend.

“But they know what’s going on at home when they’re hungry. They know what’s going on at home when they haven’t got jobs.

“They know when they see their children not reading well, compared to the other children around them.

“These are the sort of things that our people are dealing with day to day, and that’s why I really would like us to think why are we in Parliament.”

Roarprawn also blogs on this.


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