Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Must Try Harder

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  • Susan Archer,

    Can I confess to being a Waitangi Day slacker? I'm glad the ceremonies up north went off without major incident, but I felt nothing much about the day.

    Sorry, I'm slow reading RB's original post, and it seems the discussion has moved on a bit. I share that sense of being a WD slacker. It's a nice bonus holiday in the best NZ summer I can recall since the mid-1970s. (The weather seemed to go to the pack about 1977, but perhaps my memory deceives me.)

    Or perhaps I'm honouring the Pakeha settlers, sideline spectators as the Crown and Maori dealt with each other in 1840 and, through their descendants, stilll standing on the sideline 168 years later, wondering which side to cheer for. Or which after-match party we'll be invited to...

    I find the more I try to engage with the Treaty, the less certain I am that it is, or ever will be our "founding document." I'm either pessimistic, or optimistic enough to believe we are yet to write such a thing!

    Auckland • Since Oct 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    __Worik, I'm not sure if you understand the issue.__

    I understand very well. I spent a lot of time huiing and listening to both sides during the passage of the Act.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to seem patronising, you just weren't very clear in your first post.

    But other people, who were in a good position to know, said that the test could be met for a lot of the shore line.

    In which case it's unthinkable that the government wouldn't have become involved.

    You cited fish-farming and mining on the stretch of beach between high and low tide in your first post: what would your reaction be if anyone else asserted a property right to pursue those activities around a majority of the national shoreline? Would that really be in the public interest?

    But I'm more inclined to go with the High Court's view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    You cited fish-farming and mining on the stretch of beach between high and low tide in your first post: what would your reaction be if anyone else asserted a property right to pursue those activities around a majority of the national shoreline? Would that really be in the public interest?

    Russell, are you really saying that hapu should have property rights taken away, in case they misuse their property ?

    I agree that there was a role for the government in this in terms of finding a mutually agreeable way forward. But I do not agree that this role is best fulfilled by what amounts to a large-scale property rights confiscation purely on the basis of race.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell, are you really saying that hapu should have property rights taken away, in case they misuse their property ?

    No. But Worik was speculating on the foreshore's value based on its potential for economic exploitation via mining and fish-farming. As far as I can tell, both of those are covered under separate regulation, but I suspect that, as a Green, he'd be horrified if any other party started talking about exploiting property rights to do that along a large stretch of New Zealand's coastline. (Although, as I said, the High Court indicated that we weren't looking at automatic rights to huge stretches of coastline.)

    I agree that there was a role for the government in this in terms of finding a mutually agreeable way forward. But I do not agree that this role is best fulfilled by what amounts to a large-scale property rights confiscation purely on the basis of race.

    No argument from me there, or from the Business Roundtable, which had the decency to stick with its absolute regard for property rights in the case of the F&S, as it did in opposing local loop unbundling in defence of Telecom's property rights.

    It's worth noting that Telecom's property rights have also been legislated over in the name of the public good in recent years. The difference is, they go to go to court first ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    No. But Worik was speculating on the foreshore's value based on its potential for economic exploitation via mining and fish-farming.

    Got it now. My reading of Worik's post was that this economic exploitation was something he thought the government had it's eyes one, not iwi.

    IIRC, the message from iwi with regard to the property rights associated with the FS&SB amounted to "great, now we can protect our taonga". Of course, the discussion did not get much further than this because the narrative quickly became one of analysing the government's proposals rather than developing a way forward that respected both hapu rights and those of ordinary beach-loving Kiwis.

    It's worth noting that Telecom's property rights have also been legislated over in the name of the public good in recent years. The difference is, they go to go to court first ...

    The case for unbundling the local loop was crystal clear, and Telecom had years to prove the government wrong. The succinct version of the case for extinguishing hapu rights to FS&SB is thus: FUD.

    I'm not averse to property rights being extinguished per se, but clearly the bar needs to be much higher than we saw in the FS&SB debacle.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Got it now. My reading of Worik's post was that this economic exploitation was something he thought the government had it's eyes one, not iwi.

    Ah. That reading hadn't occurred to me.

    IIRC, the message from iwi with regard to the property rights associated with the FS&SB amounted to "great, now we can protect our taonga". Of course, the discussion did not get much further than this because the narrative quickly became one of analysing the government's proposals rather than developing a way forward that respected both hapu rights and those of ordinary beach-loving Kiwis.

    We managed with lake beds with remarkably little drama ...

    But I still think there was unhelpful rhetoric on all sides.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

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