Iwi Leaders confirm reservations about Marine Bill

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(Source | Waatea News) Ngati Toa leader Matui Rei says opposition among iwi leaders to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is hardening.

An Iwi Leaders Forum hui at Ngati Toas Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua at the weekend discussed possible responses to the bill.

Mr Rei says they were united that it sets to high a bar for iwi to realistically claim customary rights to areas of the coast.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has claimed support from some iwi for the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, but Mr Rei says it is still seen as confiscating Maori property.

The bill is quite different to the current act by while they might be different I think one of the major points that has been made is that the outcome for Maori is still the same. It is being perceived as another example of raupatu, Mr Rei says.

Iwi will seek changes through the select committee.

Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says iwi may be expecting too much from parliament.

Dr Sharples says the Marine and Coastal Area bill is the best Maori can expect, and its now time for kotahitanga or unity.

He says the Maori Party has fought for what it can get, but parliament is not a panacea for all ills.

To go there and expect that our bet dreams were going to be realised by a western culture that really doesnt even begin to understand the Maori ideology and our philosophy and our aspirations. Unfortunately kotahitangi is something that we havent really made it yet, Dr Sharples says.

1 COMMENT

  1. Teenaa koutou,

    Essentially what Pita Sharples is saying is that taangata whenua should simply accept and eat the rotten kai being offered, otherwise we starve. Puukana to that. Kotahitanga would be more effective by lending its considerable weight to rejection of the Moana and Takutai bill – let it sink into the nutrient deficient bog of bad legislation.

    The thinking behind this bill appears to be "let the Courts' decide" that is, the rationality of the legal mind will give justice to taangata whenua grievance – the common law will deliver what statute cannot.

    While that may well be the case, my issue with such a stance is that it is so weak-kneed and subservient. Surely, we, as nations of people, should be well and truly over trying to appease and make happy our Treaty partner.

    We have grown in so many ways but they continue to struggle with such basic concepts like 'principles' aka Treaty. Its been 170 years since the Treaty was signed and in this contemporary age we need to say enough – call it tough love.

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