Hon TARIANA TURIA (Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector) on behalf of the
Attorney-General: I move,
That the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill be now read a first time. At the appropriate time, I intend to move that the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill be referred to the Māori Affairs Committee for consideration, that the committee report to the House on or before 25 February 2011, and that the committee have the authority to meet any time while the House is sitting except during oral questions, and during any evening on a day on which
there has been a sitting of the House, and on a Friday in a week in which there has been a sitting of the House, despite Standing Orders 187 and 190(1)(b) and (c).
This bill will repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. As I utter those words I remember the maiden speech that I delivered when I first entered Parliament on 26 February 1997. I said then: “We must exercise the legitimacy that we never gave up. There is a desperate need for us to get this relationship right. No nation divided against itself can stand.” Today it is time to repair the relationship and restore the spirit of nationhood in this country.
None of us will easily forget the anguish of extinguishment epitomised by the 2004 Act. That Act purported to extinguish any existing Māori customary title to the foreshore and seabed held by Māori. In early 2004 the Waitangi Tribunal concluded that in choosing to legislate, the Crown had seriously breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi by failing to respect the tino rangatiratanga and the good faith obligations of partnership. It had failed to demonstrate active protection of mana w’enua in the use of their lands and waters. It expropriated Māori property, denied our people the option to pursue due process under the law, and had created grave injustice without either consent or compensation. The rest is all history—a history marred by grief, anger, and conflict. Introduction of the 2004 bill led to the largest mass collective action since the Māori land march in 1975 and culminated in a hīkoi to Parliament by an estimated 40,000 people.
The select committee established to receive the Foreshore and Seabed Bill was flooded by close to 4,000 submissions, approximately 94 percent of them in opposition. Concerns were passionately expressed that the Crown had no right to alienate the foreshore and seabed and that Parliament was out of order in denying Māori the right to pursue claims through the courts.
But there was also a willingness to begin again. Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa, the Māori Law Society, told the ministerial review panel: “A government that has the courage to enter into these discussions is likely to find that genuine and enduring solutions are available, with a little creativity, and a commitment to achieving justice.”
As part of the 2008 post-election discussions the National Party and the Māori Party agreed to a review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act. The review was completed in 2009 and its findings were studied at length. A consultation document was published earlier this year and included options for further progress. In a process led by the Attorney-General, the Hon Chris Finlayson, this document was then subject to 20 consultation meetings in halls and marae throughout the country.
I acknowledge the broad vision of the Attorney-General and his consistent energy and enthusiasm for setting a wrong right. He and we also have appreciated the generosity of so many w’ānau, hapū, and iwi who have entered into the debate with characteristic passion and commitment—a commitment to the future for their mokopuna and our mokopuna, and a commitment to the future of this nation.
I particularly mention Ngāti Porou, who demonstrated such largesse in being prepared to hold up their own claim for the interests of the collective. It was an absolute manifestation of w’akaaro rangatira. When Ngāti Apa asked the Māori Land Court, and subsequently the Court of Appeal, to recognise their interests and rights in the foreshore and seabed in their rohe, they advanced a debate that had been held amongst tangata w’enua for generations. What has also been clear throughout the debate is the widespread acknowledgment by New Zealanders that tangata w’enua have extremely valid arguments for the recognition of customary interests and rights in the marine coastal area.
The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill creates a new regime that recognises and provides for the legitimate association of w’ānau, hapū, and iwi with the
common marine coastal area while ensuring that the interest and rights of all other New Zealanders in this area are also recognised and protected. The preamble acknowledges the intrinsic inherited rights of w’ānau, hapū, and iwi derived in accordance with tikanga and based on their connection with the foreshore and seabed. In doing so, it responds to the call from many who simply asked for recognition of their ancestral connection to the coastline. The mana tuku iho provision is an acknowledgement of ancestral connections. It allows w’ānau, hapū, and iwi to take part in the statutory conservation processes within the coastal marine area, including the establishment of marine reserves and conservation areas and the management of stranded whales. In most respects it will formalise existing practise.
The bill sets out a process by which customary rights that were exercised by iwi and hapū in 1840 and continue to be exercised today in accordance with tikanga Māori will be recognised and the future exercise of such rights can be protected. The bill also provides for the right to seek customary title to a specific part of the common coastal marine area if that area has been used and occupied by a group according to tikanga and to the exclusion of others without substantial interruption from 1840 to the present day.
Mr Assistant Speaker Roy, somebody is speaking to the right of me and it is distracting.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Eric Roy): Please desist.
Hon TARIANA TURIA: Once granted, such titles will have a number of associated rights, including the right to permit applications under the Resource Management Act, permit conservation activity, protect wāhi tapu, or to take up the ownership of non-Crown minerals. Under the bill, customary rights and customary title can be achieved in two ways: by application to the High Court or by agreement in direct discussions with the Crown. This is the day in court sought by Ngāti Apa and other iwi.
A right of public access to the marine coastal area is also a vital part of this bill. The irony is, of course, that w’ānau, hapū, and iwi have always been willing to share with all New Zealanders. It is the essence of the indigenous heart. Denial of access was never an issue.
The Māori Party thought long and hard about this bill. As a political movement, we represent a vast range of prospectives all along the social continuum. We will argue to the wire for a way for tangata w’enua to engage with the Crown in accordance with Treaty principles of cooperation, goodwill, and the utmost good faith. In that respect, I mihi to the iwi leaders and to their advisers for their tough and rigorous engagement with the Government, and for their vision in seeing what these proposals might achieve both for iwi and for all of Aotearoa. It is their right to assert for rangatiratanga of w’ānau, hapū, and iwi. I honour them all for their dedication on behalf of all those whom they represent. E ngā w’atukura, e ngā māreikura, e ngā ūpoko o te iwi Māori, tēnā koutou.
[To the males of noble birth, females of noble birth, and the heads of the Māori people, greetings to you collectively.]
There will always be those who criticise us, and we accept that. The reality is that five votes out of 122 will never a majority make. But if we are to uphold our word to our people we must be able to make progress and to see it. What would be the benefit to our constituency if our energy was consumed with being oppositional rather than seeking progress, incremental as it may be?
This bill is but a small step along the way, but it is a step forward. It may be that our mokopuna conclude it has not gone far enough, and one day they may return to this House in a time when numbers will enable a different story to be told and a different outcome. But at this time I am proud with what we have done because we did what we
promised. In fact, we achieved more, namely to seek repeal and access to the courts. The Act sets out pathways for that to happen.
Ultimately it is for tangata whenua to say how their mana and tikanga will operate. Our role is to open the door and to insist that the Crown deal with tangata whenua in accordance with Treaty principles of honour, with integrity and good faith.
Finally I stand here today to pay tribute to those who have walked this journey with us. It was vital for us to keep faith with the people. We acknowledge the tears shed, the heat of the debate, and the pain of conflict and division throughout this beautiful land, which we love. Let the legacy of this last decade be a watershed moment in our history moving us onwards. Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa, and I commend this bill to the House.
Hon DAVID PARKER (Labour)
: I rise on behalf of Labour to support the first reading of the replacement foreshore and seabed legislation, the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, and I acknowledge Tariana Turia, who has just taken her seat. I want to make comments on three areas. First, I want to talk about the history of the foreshore and seabed controversy, then I want to talk about the main changes that are brought about by the bill compared with the current Foreshore and Seabed Act, and, if I have time, I want to end by talking about the need for a clear acknowledgment, which I think is necessary from the Māori Party, that it accepts it is proper that this be dealt with as a full and final settlement of the framework for determining customary interests in the foreshore and seabed so that we as a nation can move forward without rancour.
On 19 June 2003 the Court of Appeal announced its decision in the Ngāti Apa case. It found that unextinguished Māori customary interests existed in the foreshore and seabed. We should recall that the case arose from unfair treatment of Ngāti Apa in relation to aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds area. The underlying issues in respect of that injustice have been cured in separate legislation. Aquaculture settlement legislation from the previous Labour Government conferred rights upon Māori in respect of aquaculture, which settled the underlying injustice. The Court of Appeal decision in the Ngāti Apa case did not define what the threshold test was for customary interests, nor which of the rights were unextinguished. The Court of Appeal decision was a surprise to many. It overruled a line of cases that went back to the 1877 decision in
Wi Parata v The Bishop of Wellington and the Attorney-General. That had been affirmed by the Court of Appeal itself in 1963 in the Ninety Mile Beach case.
Controversy soon erupted after the Ngāti Apa decision, and the reaction was not all about customary rights. There were two other significant factors that in my opinion were involved. The first was a septic political environment. There was divisive exaggeration and rhetoric, some from Opposition parties at that time. It was not from the Greens; it was not from ACT, which took a property rights position; it was not from New Zealand First or United Future; it was from some National members. It is a matter of record, which we should not shrink from recalling, that Don Brash, Bill English, and Gerry Brownlee all made repeated, inaccurate, exaggerated, and divisive statements. They preyed upon the intolerance that lies so close to the surface of just about any country, they rarked up concerns in an irresponsible manner that pitted Māori against non-Māori, and made settlement of these issues very difficult. Their task was made easier by some of the exaggerated statements that were coming from the other side of the debate. In this, I do not shrink from saying that Hone Harawira was making assertions that were wrong in suggesting that the Ngāti Apa decision effectively gave ownership rights tantamount to freehold title rights to virtually the whole of the foreshore and seabed around New Zealand. That was wrong, too.
There was a second factor in play in my opinion. That was that there was a widespread reaction against the Treaty of Waitangi being used as justification for
policies that did not need a Treaty-based justification. At the time there was social policy being advanced that was good, just social policy to help people who needed a hand, and it did not need the Treaty-based justification. I know, and all of us in this House know, that the foreshore and seabed rights are not Treaty-based; they are common law - based. But that technical truth is lost on many. It was especially lost at the time of that political climate. Colin James noted at the time that what we were seeing was a high-water mark for Treaty-based political justification of policy. History shows that he was right. I ask members to remember that at the time we had somewhat silly advertisements from the Ministry of Social Development that advertised for even junior positions—receptionists and the like—to require an understanding of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. A lot of people in New Zealand thought that it had gone just too far. That is not to deny the fundamental constitutional importance of the Treaty of Waitangi in our country, but there was a backlash against that.
In any event, on one side we had National saying that the Foreshore and Seabed Act was too generous; on the other side we had Tariana Turia and others saying it was too restrictive. Some have asserted that the 2004 Act was rushed, but I do not accept that. The Court of Appeal decision was on 19 June 2003, and the Foreshore and Seabed Act received Royal assent on 24 November 2004, a year and a half later. There was a full select committee process, thousands of submissions, as Tariana Turia has acknowledged, public meetings, and protest marches across the country. Some say the Crown ought to have appealed to the Privy Council at the time. I accept that that is arguable. It was complicated, politically, at the time by the replacement of the Privy Council with the Supreme Court. In my opinion, appeal would have been likely to overrule the Court of Appeal in finding that the Māori Land Court, a court of statutory jurisdiction, had jurisdiction over the foreshore and seabed given that nothing in the empowering Act talks about anything other than land and, in fact, land that is dry. I personally was disappointed that the courts, which have given themselves the power to have regard to
Hansard in areas of ambiguity or uncertainty, declined to do so in that case, because the
Hansard debate does not show any reference. I, for one, thought that that would have been overturned. Although that may have been the case, legislation would still have been necessary to protect rights of public access because the underlying thesis of the court was right—that is, that there were properly-to-be-recognised unextinguished customary interests in the foreshore and seabed. That need for legislation to protect public rights of access and recreation was denied by the Māori Party until after the review panel concluded that it was necessary. It is now clear that legislation was always necessary. We know, therefore, that appealing the decision would not have cured things and that legislation was necessary.
The 2004 Act was passed. It is clear that criticisms from both ends of the spectrum were exaggerated, but it was not perfect. Labour has engaged constructively to improve it. Changes to the name—and it is mainly a change of name from vesting the foreshore and seabed in the Crown to creating a common marine and coastal area—do not change things in substance if the bundle of rights held by different groups are the same. Essentially, that is what is happening here: the bundle of rights does not change and public access is protected. It was never about fisheries, and it still is not. Other customary interests are still being recognised as they ought to be. The main difference between this legislation and the Foreshore and Seabed Act is that Labour and other parties have agreed that it is appropriate also that the court has the power to award customary title, which under the current legislation is called a territorial customary right. We said that in our submission to the review panel.
This is an important change. I accept that. It has to be said that it is an important process change; it does not change the substance of an outcome, it is a process change.
Previously, a claim to a territorial customary right could be considered by the court. If the court found an unextinguished right remained prior to the Foreshore and Seabed Act the court could not confer that right but, rather, had to refer the matter back to the Crown for a negotiated settlement. That carried with it a risk that a future Government could frustrate fair claims, which is why we agreed that giving the power back to the court is appropriate, despite the fact that the prior regime enabled a fair outcome in respect of Ngāti Porou.
It is clear that the changes being made could have been achieved by amending the existing Act rather than repealing it, but we have said we can go along with that. Repeal is important to the Māori Party, so we will agree to that as part of our offer to get this settled.
Hon Tau Henare: Greaser.
Hon DAVID PARKER: “Greaser” was the comment we had from Tao Henare.
Hon Tau Henare: “Tao”?
Hon DAVID PARKER: Tau Henare. That is the same sort of unhelpful rhetoric that we do not need in order to settle this dispute.
Legitimate issues have been raised about whether the new legislation will settle the protracted controversy. The stated objective of the Government, which includes both National and Māori Party members, is to fairly settle the issue. It is perfectly reasonable to expect that John Key on behalf of National will obtain an acknowledgment from the Māori Party, or that the Māori Party will offer, that the proposed legislation fairly settles the framework for foreshore and seabed claims. Failure to achieve that will represent a failure by both the Māori Party and the National Party in their duties to the country to reach a fair and enduring outcome.
Labour has given the Government a benign political environment in which to do this. We have not scaremongered, we did not run “Kiwi not iwi” billboard campaigns like National ran when the first legislation was proposed. We have been public in our criticisms of those who are running a billboard campaign against National at the moment. It is ironic, though; we see that. We have actually done the right thing in criticising that as wrong. We agree that achieving full and final settlement of the legal framework for the foreshore and seabed is important for our country. If it will not be achieved in the benign political climate that we have helped create around this, then when will it ever be created? If we as a country cannot deal with these issues and move forward in a fair and durable way, it does not say a very good thing about our country. If the acknowledgment that this new legislation settles the framework fully and finally is not forthcoming, then I believe that the Māori Party will have failed in its duty to the country and National will not have achieved its purpose. We need to move forward as a country without rancour. The time has come to settle this.
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Attorney-General)
: I begin by thanking my opposite number, David Parker, for his careful and constructive approach to this issue over the last 18 months—I appreciate it. I do not want to dwell on the history; I want to discuss the bill that is being introduced today by the Government, and that I sincerely hope will provide that just and durable solution to a matter that, I agree with Mr Parker, has vexed the country since the passage of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill recognises and provides for the association of Māori with the common marine and coastal area of New Zealand and ensures that the legitimate interests of all New Zealanders are protected.
In 2008, the Government agreed with the Māori Party that it would review the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. I appointed a ministerial review panel, and that panel concluded that the Act was discriminatory and should be repealed. Since then, the Government has embarked on a programme of extensive consultation. I personally have
met with recreational, conservation, and business interests and with local government, iwi, and hapū. I attended many hui and public meetings around the country in places like Taipā and Akaroa. They were very useful meetings indeed. The Māori Affairs Committee will provide another forum for discussion and submissions from the public.
In drafting the replacement legislation, the Government has kept three important principles in mind: firstly, access to justice; secondly, property rights; and, thirdly, the relationship of all New Zealanders with the marine and coastal area. The bill applies to the area from the high-water mark at mean high-water spring tides extending to the outer extent of the territorial sea. It does not nominate an owner for this space; it creates a common coastal and marine area. It excludes areas already in private ownership.
The bill does not take away rights; rather, it recognises and protects the rights of all New Zealanders, including Māori, to the common marine and coastal area of this country. Recreational interests in this area, such as swimming, boating, walking, and fishing, are accepted as a birthright of all New Zealanders. That is why public access, fishing, and navigation in the common marine and coastal area are guaranteed.
We also recognise the importance of ports and essential infrastructure to our island economy. Existing interests and use rights are clearly set out and are protected in the proposed legislation.
Māori interests in the common marine and coastal area are provided for in a number of ways. First, the mana of iwi and hapū is recognised by the status of mana tuku iho. Mana tuku iho is an acknowledgment that iwi and hapū have a traditional role in caring for the common marine and coastal area in their rohe. It allows participation in statutory conservation processes, like the establishment of marine reserves and conservation areas, and in the management of stranded marine mammals.
Second, the bill sets out the means by which customary rights can be recognised and protected. The bill also provides for the right to seek customary title to specific parts of the common marine and coastal area if the area has been used and occupied by a group according to tikanga without substantial interruption from 1840 to the present day. The Court of Appeal in the Ngāti Apa decision discussed the concept of customary title. It stated that it could range from use rights, or what it called usufructuary rights, to something similar to freehold title. This bill provides for the exercise of a number of valuable ownership rights because, once granted, such titles will have the following rights in the customary title area: the right to permit or not permit applications for new resource consents, with limited exceptions defined in the bill; the right to give or withhold permission for conservation activities; the protection of wāhi tapu; the ownership of minerals other than petroleum, uranium, silver, and gold; the right to create a planning document; and the presumed ownership of taonga tūturu, which are Māori cultural or historical objects.
I will say a few words about the scheme of the bill and public access. Creating a common marine and coastal area allows the rights and interests of all New Zealanders to be recognised in the legislation. This has caused concern in some quarters that the right of public access is not a guarantee of free public access, but I can confirm that it is. The scheme of the bill is that clause 27 guarantees the right of access in the common marine and coastal area, subject to the ordinary restrictions, such as ports, naval bases, burial grounds, and measures required for public safety. Clause 60 states that customary marine title exists in particular parts of the common marine and coastal area. Clause 63 prescribes the rights that go with customary marine title. Those rights do not include charging for access. Customary title is different from fee simple title, but that does not mean it is inferior. The rights of customary marine title and the public rights of free access, fishing, and navigation can, and do, coexist. I am satisfied that this legislation
recognises those facts and that all New Zealanders can be confident that their interests in the common marine and coastal area are recognised and protected.
Customary rights and customary title can be obtained in two ways: by application to the High Court or by agreement with the Crown after negotiation. The corollary of restoring the right to go to court is to allow parties to reach agreement outside court. The tests that applicants must meet to prove customary title will be the same, whether that title is sought in the courts or through agreement with the Crown. These tests as closely as possible mirror where I think the courts in New Zealand would have brought us were it not for the 2004 legislation: to the principles in the Ngāti Apa decision and the inclusion of tikanga.
I need to point out in this speech that a provision intended to be included in the bill was accidentally left out during its final drafting. The provision should have been included under clause 61 and states that fishing and navigation by third parties does not preclude a finding that a group has had exclusive use and occupation from 1840 until the present without substantial interruption. It is an important part of the bill. Its omission was an error for which, of course, I take full responsibility, and I ask the select committee to consider including it in the version of the bill that it recommends to the House.
This legislation is the result of robust and lengthy consultation carried out in good faith. It restores access to justice. It respects property rights. It recognises the importance of the marine and coastal area to all New Zealanders. I thank all those who have engaged with the Government to date, including iwi leaders and the various commercial and recreational interests I have referred to. I particularly acknowledge the Māori Party. That party has been a strong partner in the development of the bill. I thank Mrs Turia in particular for her tireless work over the years to address the injustices of the past. She is a great New Zealander. I commend the bill to the House.
Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA (Labour—Ikaroa-Rāwhiti)
: The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is the foreshore and seabed legislation, part two. I have listened to the previous three speakers and they have covered most of the relevant issues. I thank those people who were involved in the first part of this legislation, when the Foreshore and Seabed Bill came back, and who had to withstand the quite understandable tirade of our Māori people. I thank Minister Turia and John Tamihere for being part of that decision at that time. That everybody seems to want to move on is, quite rightly and respectfully, where we need to get, but some questions need to be asked. Even the Prime Minister said that most people will not notice any difference from the first effort. The Prime Minister also said that he believed this legislation was the lasting solution and would not be revisited. Certainly, there is tinkering and hankering around it, but it is not too much different from what was already there. We need to ensure that that is not imbued with too much exaggeration.
The Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson, said it was in the public interest that this bill be durable and he hoped that would be the case. He has just repeated that statement, and I respect that. But there are issues that have been brought to the fore. Te Ururoa Flavell has a different view of this legislation. He admits that this legislation will not be durable. He admits that it is not a lasting solution and that the Māori Party will revisit it as we go along. I ask the Māori Party whether they want this issue settled, or whether this relitigation of the Foreshore and Seabed Act is its only source of political oxygen. There are questions that need to be asked in relation to what is being said quite nicely here. At the end of the day, we need to ensure that compromise is about setting legislation that is relevant for Māoris now. I understand why Hone Harawira has jumped up and down, and done his parading, as he did in the Māori Affairs Committee this morning, which his mum supported. That is understandable, because it is “Māori-awhi”. At the end of the day, though, there is some tinkering and some maintenance of the issue of us being dependent on everybody else.
I will say clearly where I stood, and where my colleagues stood, in relation to the legislation on the takutai moana. Māoris need a ture for the foreshore and seabed. Māori need legislation on the takutai moana. Without any legislation there, people like Gerry, who is doing a good job in Christchurch, can go along, do what they like, and ignore the tangata whenua. That is what this is about. As a kid I went with my nanny every fortnight to get kai moana—seafood, I kindly translate for the Attorney-General—around the takutai moana. Every fortnight we would go round and collect it. If members can understand a 10-year-old or 12-year-old kid dragging a bag of kina or pāua through the water, to get it home, and then understand the glee of their whānau in accepting it—urban people did not do it too much—then they would understand the connection between Māori and the foreshore and seabed, the takutai moana. Where is it now? It has been raped, pillaged, and plundered by the damn Samoans, the Indians, the Asians, the Māori, and the Pākehā—the whole damn lot of them. They have ransacked the foreshore and seabed. There is no more seafood. It has gone.
Everybody talks about our mana protecting the right of Māori. That will not happen. I do not know who has put it into other people’s heads that our mana is something that can be legislated for. Mana is integral in the whakapapa of an individual and of a collective, in the sense of those issues that give us the right to stand here as tangata whenua, as this nation’s first people. This is something I hear the Māori Party go on and on about. The process of going through the court is something we have to question. This legislation may restore access to our courts, but the question is whether it restores access to justice. If not, why not? That is what was promised by the Māori Party. What is a customary title, anyway? At the end of the day, Māori mana is not something that can be purveyed. But the opportunities that are about moni, the new aquaculture industry—all of those things that Māoridom gets left out of—is something for which we need a ture.
When we leave this great bastion tonight where legislation is written, and where we banter with each other across the House, we will drive out of here on the left-hand side of the road. The other people coming this way will drive on the right-hand side of the road. Most of that land was flogged off from Māoris in this town here. But there is a ture, a legislation, that makes us understand where people’s rights are. That is what the Foreshore and Seabed Act was always about. I am glad it gets debated. I am not glad that there is indifference, but I am glad that we are trying to be so nice to each other in order to achieve a better place for all New Zealanders. Let us not kid ourselves about what it will do for Māori. That is why we did it and that is why I understand the Māori Party does it, but let us be clear on this.
There are other issues. Treaty specialist Dr Paul Moon stated that the Government’s marine and coastal area bill is “bound to disappoint” those who have campaigned for greater Māori rights to the foreshore and seabed, and especially what they were promised by the Māori Party. This is fine as long as we recognise it in this House and Māoris know exactly what the bill will deliver, because they are struggling to find it. Like Moana Jackson did, Dr Paul Moon also mentions the high threshold set for hapū for proving entitlements to customary title. The hurdles that hapū have to jump in order to prove their right to customary title are prohibitive. We did that in Part 2 of the Act, and we need to own that, but that we get to a better space is something we have to be a lot stronger and a lot clearer on. I am sick and tired of Māori either being put into grievance mode or, at the end of the day, staying in grievance mode or giving political oxygen to nincompoops who do not want to create a better life for their people. That is what we tried to do, I say to Georgina, and she knows it. That is what we tried to do to
make sure that that would happen. We tried to make sure there was clear legislation that Māori could use in a whole lot of other matters—not in relation to their mana, because nobody can take that away.
The action is not with the big-time hitters and their hui going on around the country. Every academic in town or at university is getting together, trying to hypothesise what is good or not good for Māori. The action is behind the windows and curtains of the houses where our people are struggling to feed their kids at the moment. Seven out of 10 Māoris in Wairoa are unemployed. People in Hastings cannot pay their power bills, and they are going without lighting and heating for their kids. That is the issue. When people sign up to a Government that allows $1.75 billion to go to those who have put their assets at risk and gambled with them, where the hang are we going? When people do not respond or cross the floor in relation to the 90-day legislation, and the bar is raised at universities so that Māori will not get into them, I really wonder and have a fear for the future of our people; I certainly do. That is the relevant point.
Hon Tau Henare: What happened to the $9 billion surplus?
Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA: Mr Henare has asked me to apologise. He does enough of that in meetings, without bringing it here. The legislation will do nothing to change that reality, and it may have exasperated Māori inequality. There is controversy around this legislation.
Hon Tau Henare: 9 years and you didn’t do anything.
Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA: Mr Henare is dead right about the 9 years that Labour was in office. We sat outside there when our whānau came up the road, we looked them in the eye, and they grew sad with us. That member was Minister of Māori Affairs for a short term. He has a practice that was relevant to the foreshore and seabed legislation; he is a great waka jumper. He had the papers on his table in relation to the Ngāti Apa settlement and what was being pushed through to try to exact the position that would give freehold title. What did he do? He did nothing. At least we stepped up to the mark. If we had not put up the things that his Government says it will make better, we would not be discussing this. Those issues have drifted off.
We want to have goodwill in relation to this issue at the select committee, I say to the Attorney-General, and we certainly want to make sure this bill gets to a better place. But I think we need to clarify and differentiate between some of the huffing and puffing in relation to what Māoris want and what the rest of New Zealand wants. Māoris generally are supportive of what the rest of New Zealand wants. Here is some simple logic: most of the motor camps that are still open around the foreshore and seabed are owned by the Māoris. The rest of them generally sold them off and speculated on them. I have a worry about the rates value of the sections owned by families who have lived at Porangahau for a long, long time. That is the issue that should be debated. That is what should be encapsulated in this bill.
DAVID CLENDON (Green)
: Tēnā koutou katoa. The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill depends upon one key assumption, and that is that Māori rights are derived from the Crown and, by extension, from the Government of the day acting on the Crown’s behalf. The provisions of this bill make sense only if one accepts that primary assumption, and as it is one that the Green Party does not, and cannot, accept, we cannot offer any support for this bill. I will speak later in the debate, and in following readings, about some practical and specific concerns about the bill, but it is necessary first to establish our core position and the reasons for it.
The starting point for legislation of this sort must be that prior to 1840 Māori exercised sovereignty—were sovereign—in Aotearoa New Zealand. The leaders of iwi and hapū exercised legitimate authority, and that was acknowledged by the Crown in the declaration of 1835, and by the acknowledgment a year earlier that the flag of the
confederation gave vessels flying that flag rights of passage and commerce in international waters.
The signing of the Treaty in 1840 saw Māori cede kāwanatanga, or governance, to the Crown, and in exchange the Crown guaranteed to Māori tino rangatiratanga, or chieftainship, which meant the right of Māori to control their lands, villages, and other treasures. The base of all negotiations must be that Māori held recognised sovereignty rights and continue to hold those rights, unless the rights associated with that sovereignty have been legislated or alienated by some legal and defensible means.
The Ngāti Apa claim made by the Marlborough hapū that led us to the Foreshore and Seabed Act was essentially that they had ongoing rights in the foreshore and seabed, and that those rights were being ignored. The iwi sought to take their claim to the court to be tested by the legal process. The courts indeed ruled that there was a case to answer, and that led to one of the few instances in the 9 years of the Clark-led Labour Government when we saw what could be described as at least a knee-jerk response, even a panic response, to that situation. The choice was made to follow a legislative course, and that choice was made to prevent a legal claim being taken to the court. A choice was made to deny Māori their day in court; a day that might prove or disprove Māori claims to continuing rights in the foreshore and seabed.
The legislation we are debating today, although it poses as a new approach, effectively does the same thing. It starts from an unproven and untested assumption that the Crown has primary rights in this area, and that any claim must be made from that basis. Any Māori claim to rights will be tested against an unreasonably high bar that is unlikely to be surmounted or to produce meaningful or positive results for Māori. An alternative base assumption is that Māori do indeed have existing, sustaining rights, and that the onus is on the Crown to disprove Māori rights in the foreshore and seabed. Such a core assumption puts a very different complexion on the debate.
It is worth recalling in passing that Ngāti Apa’s pursuit of legal remedy in 2003 was an endeavour to gain access to resources to build an economic base. There is constant criticism of Māori—criticism that we are overrepresented in all the negative social statistics. Yet so often when Māori seek to establish some economic activity, and when there is a nascent expression of Māori entrepreneurship, that is condemned as an example of allowing, or requiring, special privilege rather than being seen as an expression of fulfilling the provisions of the Treaty.
The history of what in 2003-04 followed the decision by the Government of the day to circumvent proper legal process is well known, and perhaps best remembered for the massive protests by Māori and non-Māori alike, the scale of which had not been seen for decades, and which led to the establishment of the Māori Party as a force in Parliament and in the wider community.
The National Party has much to regret, and it should perhaps even feel some shame at some of its pronouncements and actions since the debate began, or began again in earnest in 2003. Some of that party’s actions and statements fuelled divisiveness and fear in the community in 2004, and in the following year exploited and even encouraged anti-Māori sentiment over the foreshore debate as a election tactic through the use of the “Iwi/Kiwi” billboards.
The current Prime Minister said in the House that Māori lost nothing under Labour’s legislation because they never owned it in the first place. This Government nevertheless came into power promising, among other things, to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and technically it has fulfilled that promise. However, the legislation that is on offer to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act differs from it in name only. The legislation has a new name, but in essence it is the same as what it replaces; it just papers over the cracks. It marries together Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act and
Labour’s negotiations with Ngāti Porou into one bill with a bland name, but all the injustices continue.
The legislation remains manifestly unjust, and treats Māori and Māori customary rights as inferior and second-class. Under this bill Māori remain second-class citizens. They do not have the same access to the courts to determine their property rights as holders of private title. Their customary title is determined not by tikanga but by the Government. The Government continues to own the foreshore, or at least to assert ownership of the foreshore. The construct of common space or non-ownership deceives no one. There are two sets of Crown-derived orders, accessible either through the court or through direct negotiation. The rights within those orders are determined by the Crown, and they are less than the rights held by existing fee simple owners of the 12,500 private titles in the foreshore and seabed. Large iwi with significant resources can lay claim to the mana moana held by small iwi, thereby entrenching injustice.
The bill extinguishes customary rights by operation of law, without the consent of the customary owners, because the rights can be obtained only through legislation. This bill replaces an unjust law with an equally unjust law. It uses different language and wears different clothes, but in essence it is the same. It seeks to reduce Māori to the status of supplicants in their own country, and it allows the exercise of customary title only by grace and favour of the Crown. A very different approach is required, and we will continue to advocate for that approach, based on common law, natural justice, and honouring of the commitments made by both sides in the Treaty relationship. Kia ora koutou.
DAVID GARRETT (ACT)
: ACT stands opposed to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, just as we opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Bill in 2004. In the case of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, which is now the existing Act, we were outraged at the decision to treat Māori as second-class citizens by denying them the chance to have their property rights tested in court. That legislation did not take the entire foreshore and seabed from Māori as some people claim, including those—or at least some of those—in the Māori Party, but it did deny Māori the right to go to court, and that was travesty enough. But we do not resolve one injustice by creating another, and this bill tries to do precisely that. National is overreacting, just as Labour did in 2004.
The solution, in our view, is deceptively simple, and it is to restore the situation that existed before the 2004 Act was passed. The decision of the Court of Appeal in the Ngāti Apa case held that iwi had the right to go to the Māori Land Court to seek freehold title of limited areas of the foreshore and seabed. It also stated—and this is important—that the chances of gaining such title were not very high. The exact quote stated: “… any customary property in the areas vested seems unlikely to survive.”, and that, I believe, is where the Māori Party and certain iwi leaders have an objection to just repealing the current law without replacing it.
The odds of iwi gaining more than a few tracts of foreshore and seabed without legislative intervention would be slim. Thus the Foreshore and Seabed Act was not the largest land-grab in New Zealand history, as some have hysterically proclaimed. That, sadly, happened in the 1860s, after the so-called Māori Wars and the illegal confiscations of land that followed. The Attorney-General has said publicly that up to 10 percent, or 2,000 kilometres, of coastline could end up in iwi hands. The only reason we are likely to lose 2,000 kilometres of coastline, and the resources that go with it, to a few elite Māori is that Mr Finlayson has made that decision, in conjunction with those who stand to profit. The biggest problem with the bill is letting iwi negotiate with the Government directly, which will result in purely political outcomes and create new injustices. Why, as Mr Finlayson has said, go through the court process when the Government has already said that he will provide a better outcome?
If an iwi goes to the High Court and is awarded customary title over areas of the foreshore and seabed, ACT is completely comfortable with that decision. I will say that again. If an iwi was to go to the High Court and be awarded customary title over an area of the foreshore and seabed, we are completely comfortable with that. But if behind closed doors, over in the Beehive, the Government gives away an area of foreshore and seabed, then no one with an interest in democracy should welcome that.
As I have said before, if National can gain a political advantage from giving away large tracts of foreshore and seabed, it will do it. Its track record—indeed, this very bill—is proof that politics comes before what is right. Well, the bad news for the National Government is that this bill might buy it a few months of peace from the Māori Party, but it is in for no end of grief. I put on record that Mrs Turia, Dr Sharples, and certainly Mr Harawira responded that they agreed with those on the other side who said that this will be an endless revisiting process and not a full and final settlement or a full and final legislative resolution, at all.
Last week I asked the Attorney-General where in the legislation before this House it states that public access will be free. He helpfully pointed to clauses 27, 60, 63, and 64. Well, that worked as a fob off in the House because I did not have the legislation with me, but when I read those clauses carefully, I did not see the word “free” or the phrase “charging for public access is prohibited” in any of those clauses. Clause 27, for instance, states that any individual has the right to enter, stay on, and leave what is now called the common marine and coastal area. But I ponder why it is so hard to insert the simple words “for free” in there. I ask who, or what, is stopping Mr Finlayson from doing so.
I also asked Mr Finlayson whether it would be an offence to charge for public access. It took three points of order and the intervention of Mr Speaker before he admitted “it could be an offence. It depends on the circumstances …”. So all we have to go on is the constantly changing word of the Attorney-General. Although this bill gives him great power, in its current form he cannot necessarily stop iwi from charging for access, and he should say so. It is a bit rich of Mrs Turia and others to say that that will not happen. It is happening now and Mrs Turia knows it.
At public meetings I held recently in Northland—
Hon Parekura Horomia: Give an example.
DAVID GARRETT: —I will give some—I did not have to “search high and low” for people who had been denied access, as Mrs Turia has claimed. They came to me. One man was ordered to “get down to the Pākehā end of the beach”. A newly married couple were told by iwi members to pay in exchange for allowing the picturesque backdrop of a pretty bay to be used for their wedding photos. The Mayor of the Far North and his wife told me that they have been told to get off the beach, but in rather more direct language, a number of times. It is happening now on beaches that have no customary title. What makes anyone think that that will stop when this bill is passed?
There is no doubt that those same leaders who made a meal out of the supposedly meaningless phrase in the State-Owned Enterprises Amendment Act 1987 are looking at the word “tikanga” and seeing big dollar signs. That word is in this bill and its explanatory note 26 times and is defined—I use that word loosely—as “Māori customary values and practices”. That extremely vague term gives iwi open licence to ignore the Resource Management Act, exclude people from customary title areas, and have the sole right to make millions, possibly billions, out of any resources on that land. If Māori profit from minerals on land that is awarded to them by the High Court, then that is no problem. I will say that again. If Māori profit from minerals, whether on land or on sea, awarded to them by the High Court, then that is no problem. But that is not what will happen. Instead, grubby deals will be done behind closed doors up in the
Beehive. This bill is deliberately poorly drafted, and loopholes failing to guarantee free access to beaches will be exploited, unless closed. Nothing is surer than that.
I urge the public to put in their submissions as soon as possible, and to ask that the phrase “charging the public for access is prohibited” is inserted in the law, just as it was, quite deliberately, in section 40—a kind of section that lawyers call a belt and braces section—of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. Under the rules of statutory interpretation, a judge will eventually say that an omission of an equivalent section in this legislation is not an accident.
We should also be seeking a clear definition of “tikanga”. Mr Finlayson told us today, in answer to oral questions, that the meaning may vary from iwi to iwi and hapū to hapū. Ultimately, of course, the power to award customary title should be taken away from the Government and given solely to the judiciary in the form of the High Court, where it belongs.
In repealing and replacing one injustice, we are on the verge of creating many, many more. That is why the ACT Party so strongly opposes this bill, on behalf of the many thousands of New Zealanders who share our concerns. Thank you.
Hon PETER DUNNE (Leader—United Future)
: I apologise to my colleague whose call I have jumped. I say, as we start out, that this is a very important day for New Zealand. It is a chance to put to rest what has been a 7-year sore in this country, right back from the time the original court rulings were made that gave rise to the Foreshore and Seabed Act and all of the associated controversy. I want to go through a little bit of the history, because it is relevant to where we have come to today.
I am delighted to see the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill before the House. I am delighted to see the provisions that effectively take us back to where we were in 2003-04 when the concept of public domain, as the way in which the foreshore and seabed would be treated, was paramount in the thinking of the previous Labour Government. I want members to remember what happened to overturn that concept. I think it was Harold Macmillan who once said that his party had run into a couple of minor difficulties along the way. The Labour Government of the time ran into a couple of minor difficulties—one of whom is sitting not too far away from me—and, as a consequence, no longer had a majority to pass that legislation. United Future and the Labour Party at that point had been working on the concept of a public domain solution. When the Government no longer had a majority for that it had to turn to a party that had showed no interest in the foreshore and seabed.
The New Zealand First Party suddenly saw a chance to come charging over the horizon on its white charger to solve the problem and to claim all the credit. Members will recall that what New Zealand First did as part of its agreement with the Labour Government of the time, which was desperate for a majority, was to say that any reference to the foreshore and seabed as public domain had to be removed. Mr Peters, who used to parade as a great constitutional historian, said that we cannot have such Americanisms in our law. In reality, of course, the notion of the public domain—the common—is an old British tradition. It is not the first time that Mr Peters’ sense of history got the better of him. But the consequence of that decision—
Hon Mita Ririnui: Be careful; he’ll be back!
Hon PETER DUNNE: I will give the member the charity of my silence on that point. The consequence of that decision would set in place the train of events that have led to this bill today. In light of that decision at the time, the United Future caucus had no option but to withdraw its support for the Government’s bill.
I will quote to the House a couple of sections from a letter that I wrote to the Prime Minister of the time on 7 April 2004, because they are quite pertinent to today’s discussion. “Our concern has always been that the concept of Crown ownership by itself
is too limiting, as it leaves open the possibility at some future point of the Crown, for whatever reason, deciding arbitrarily to dispose of ownership interest. Recognition of the concept of public domain, which you”—being the previous Prime Minister—“yourself acknowledged at one of our earlier discussions had some parallel in the old English common law notion of the common, has the important, symbolic effect of adding an additional factor to the concept of the ownership of the foreshore and seabed that no Government would be likely to tamper with.” That is the principle that is effectively being given force in this bill.
I also observed at the time in my letter: “We have not been backward in arguing for and defending that position”—public domain—“in times when the far easier course of action would have been to leave it all to the Government to sort out, because we believed this was an issue that transcended normal party politics. It is why we urged you last year”—that is, late 2003—“to have discussions with the National Party to explore the possibility of a durable, multiparty solution—a course of action we still consider is worth pursuing.”
I turn that round and acknowledge the support of Labour for this legislation. What is important now as we move forward—and I accept the comments that I have heard Mr Parker make, if I heard him accurately, over a period of time—is that there are some fine points of distinction between the two measures, but they are important. I think there is a basis for moving forward with a strong and durable voice from this Parliament to give effect to a solution that denies the injustice of the last 7 years brought about by political circumstances beyond the control of everyone in the House today, to be brutally honest, but that have had the effect of causing considerable affront to Māori. Effectively, on Crown ownership the legislation stated that the Crown was making decisions on behalf of all of us.
The reality is that whether we are Māori or Pākehā or whoever, we are together on these islands; it is our combined efforts that make this country what it is. The foreshore and seabed is ours—how we resolve particular aspects of it and how we take into account customary use and customary title are matters that we can resolve. But the oppression of the concept of Crown ownership has made that a much more difficult issue over the last 7 years than it needed to be.
With this bill before the House it is an opportunity for all of us to stand back a little, reflect on the events of the last few years, and take a course of action forward. I know from discussions with my colleagues to my left—figuratively speaking—and the Attorney-General that there is a genuine commitment to get this right. I get that sense from the Opposition, too. This is one of those issues that may not put a big stake in the ground in terms of our identity for the future if we get it right, but, if we get it wrong, it has the ability to start tearing us apart.
I feel very angry when I reflect on the circumstances that led us to this course. The sheer, naked, political opportunism from people whose sole motivation was not to bring the country together but to divide, to score points, and to display bitterness—
Hon David Parker: Don Brash.
Hon PETER DUNNE:—the member quotes a name, and I may not disagree with him in that context, either—has got us to this point. The reality is that if we continue with what has been extremely divisive law—[Interruption]—and I ask members opposite to have their discussions elsewhere—then this country will be the big loser. This bill provides an opportunity to move forward. There will be a select committee process and there will be a lot of public interest in the bill’s provisions. Some of the talk I heard to my right—and that is not speaking figuratively—earlier today puts up a number of straw men that are simply not justifiable. There are people out there at the
moment who are using this as a tool, I think, to foment racial tension in this country in a way that is distinctly nasty and unhelpful.
We have the opportunity as a Parliament with this legislation to put to bed once and for all this festering sore. I acknowledge the support of the overwhelming majority of the House for the legislation, and I hope that as it goes through its various parliamentary processes that it can be either modified to accommodate some of the points that are at issue or its support can be sustained. I am absolutely convinced of this point: if we do not repeal the existing legislation, given its historical overtones, we will be creating a huge rod, a huge tension, and an ongoing understandable bitterness in this country from which we cannot recover.
Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES (Co-Leader—Māori Party)
: Tēnā koe e te Kaiwhakahaere o tō tātou Whare. Ehara taku mana i te mana kore noa, engari taku mana nō tuawhakarere iho, nō ōku tīpuna, mātua. Ka whai haere au i ngā tapuwae o ngā tīpuna, mātua, pēnei i ngā mema Māori kei roto i tēnei Whare i tēnei rā. Nā reira kei te tangi au ki ō tātou tini aituā, ko Uncle Darcy tērā i tukua atu ki te kōpū o te whenua i tēnei rā tonu. Nā reira koutou ngā mate haere, okioki pai mai i mātou. Kei te tautoko i ngā kōrero a Pita nei, te mema nei, mō tana kōrero rangimarie ka tau pai tātou, i tēnā kaupapa, kia haere tātou, haere tahi tātou ki mua.
Ka hoki aku kōrero, ki te wā, i haere a Ngāti Apa ki te Kōti Teitei, tētahi kōti teitei e whakaae ana taua kōti, kia āhei rātou ki te haere ki te Kōti Māori, ā, ki te pēhea ō rātou mana i runga ake o te takutai moana o rātou. I te whakaaetanga a te Kōti Teitei, ka tino tere te Kāwanatanga o taua wā, ki te whakatū i tētahi pire kia aukatingia tō rātou haere ki taua kōti. Ki a au nei, kua takahia e rātou tō rātou ake tikanga arā, dueprocess, i tērā mahi. I tērā ahiahi tonu, o te kōti, kua puta te pukuriri kei roto i ngā Māori, ngā iwi, nā te mea kua aukatingia te huarahi ki mua, ā, kāore he kōrero ki ngā Māori e pā ana ki tēnā aukatingia, ka whakatūria e rātou tētahi pire, kāore he kōrero anō ki te iwi Māori mō taua pire, engari nā te Kāwanatanga anake i taua wā.
Kua tae tēnā rongo ki a mātou o Ngāti Kahungunu, nā reira i te hui Kirihimete o te Hakihea i te tau 2003, i whakaae mātou kia hīkoi mātou ki te Whare Pāremata, ki te whakatakoto i ā mātou kōrero, ā mātou amuamu, ā mātou māuiui, kei roto i tēnei pire ka whakatūria e te Kāwanatanga, i tērā wā. Nā mātou i karanga atu ki ētahi atu iwi kia haramai, kia haere tahi ai ngā iwi ki te Whare Pāremata. Nā tēnā, i hīkoi mai ngā iwi, ngā hapū mai i Te Tai Tokerau, tae noa atu ki te Tonga.
I hīkoi mai, i tae mai mātou ki te arawhata o te Pāremata nei, whā tekau mano o mātou i tae mai i tērā hui. I haere mai ngā pakeke, i haere mai ngā rangatahi, i haere mai ngā kōtiro, ngā tāne, i hīkoi mai ngā Hāmoa, i hīkoi mai ngā Tararā i taua kaupapa ki te tautoko i te pukuriri kei roto i ngā Māori i taua wā. Ki a mātou kua tūkino ō mātou mana, kua whakaparahakongia ō mātou tikanga Māori. Nā reira tēnei kua tae mai mātou i tērā wā ki konei. I roto i tērā hīkoi, ka kōrero mai ngā kuia, ngā koroua ki a mātou e pā ana ki ō rātou ake mamae i ngā tau kua pahure ake. Engari kei te pīrangi rātou ki te hīkoi ki te Pāremata i tēnei kaupapa, whakatakoto ai i ō rātou kōrero i mua i te aroaro o te Pirimia. Ērangi, ka tae mai mātou ki koneki, kāore te Pirimia, e tū ana ki te mihi ki a mātou. Kua puta mai te kōrero, kei te kōrero kē ia ki a Shrek i tērā wā. Ko tana kōrero kangakanga ki a mātou, ko “haters and wreckers” ērā kōrero, ka pukuriri anō mātou, ā, me ngā koroua. E tino mamae ki ngā koroua, pērā i a Tāme Te Maro, Saana Murray. Ko ēnei ō tātou tino tīpuna, ka whai mātou i ā rātou tapuwae, i ō rātou tikanga. Ana, tangi rātou i ēnā kōrero.
Nā reira tae mai mātou, anei rā ngā mema Māori ki te pōhiri atu ki a mātou, tā mātou whakaheke. I kōrero mātou i te Pāremata nei, i hoki mātou ki ō mātou kāinga. A Ngāpuhi ki Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou ki a Ngāti Porou. Āe ka tika tēnā kōrero.
[Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. My prestige is not new; it is from ancient times, from the ancestors. I follow in the ancestors’ footsteps, like other Māori members in the House today. I mourn our many dead, like Uncle Darcy, who was buried today. May they rest in peace. I endorse the comments of the Hon Peter Dunne, urging us to move forward peacefully and in a united fashion.
I now turn my attention to the time when Ngāti Apa went to the High Court, which determined that they could go to the Māori Land Court to test their rights to the foreshore and seabed. Upon the High Court’s decision, the Government of the time swiftly enacted legislation to block their access to the judiciary. In my view, it treated due process with contempt through its actions. On that afternoon at court, Māori expressed their anger that the pathway forward had been blocked. There was no consultation about the issue with Māori, and the law was enacted by the Government of the time without talking with Māori.
News had reached my iwi, Ngāti Kahungunu, so at a Christmas meeting in December 2003 we agreed to march to Parliament to present our views and complaints about the bill established by that Government. We invited other iwi to march as one to Parliament. Hence iwi and hapū from the far north to the South Island marched.
Forty thousand of us reached the steps of Parliament at that gathering. Old and young, men and women, Samoans, and Dalmatians came to support the outrage that Māori felt at that time. We believed that our prestige had been damaged and our customs had been disregarded, so we came here. During the protest march, the elders spoke of the pain they had experienced in past years. Despite that, they wished to march to Parliament for this cause, and to have their say to the Prime Minister. But when they arrived, the Prime Minister did not acknowledge us. We heard that she was speaking to Shrek instead, and denouncing us as “haters and wreckers”, making us angry again. It really hurt our old people, like Tāme Te Maro and Saana Murray, our great ancestors and role models. They wept at those comments.
We came to Parliament, where the Māori members welcomed us at the end of the journey. We spoke at Parliament then returned to our homes—Ngāpuhi to their home, Ngāti Porou to their home. Yes, that is correct.
Hon David Parker: And Tame Iti spat at the Deputy Prime Minister. Don’t forget that. It was not all one-sided.
Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES: Kāore koe e mōhio ana ki taku kōrero. Āe. Nā reira, i hoki mātou ki ō mātou ake hapū, ō mātou iwi, ka hui anō mātou, me aha tātou?
Ka puta te kōrero me whakatū tētahi tōrangapū Māori, kia uru atu ki rō Pāremata, ki te muku i tēnei Ture Takutai Moana 2004. Kātahi ka kōrero mātou, ka hui mātou i tērā tū a Tāriana Tūria. Kāore e whakaae ana ki tēnā e Parekura? Engari, i hīkoi ia ki waho o te Pāremata, anā ka whakahokia ia e tōna iwi ki roto i te Pāremata kia tū motuhake ko ia anake i tōnā pāti. Nā reira waea atu au ki a ia, nā tana kaha, mēnā pīrangi ia he tautoko, anei rā ahau ki te tautoko i a ia. Kōrero māua i Tāmaki, ka whakaae ana kia whakatū tētahi Pāti Māori. Nā reira i hui mātou i ngā marae o te motu. I Waititi Marae, whakaae ana te motu whakatū Pāti Māori. Te Hatarei tēnā, ā te Rātapu, i hui anō mātou i Ngāruawāhia, a tautoko anō tērā rōpū. Nā tēnā i tū au mō te tūru o Tāmaki Makaurau.
Kāore au i pīrangi ki te haramai ki te Pāremata. Ka hia tau au i whakakorengia te uru mai ki roto i te Pāremata. Engari, nā taku mauri e noho māuiui ana, whakaae ana au kia tū au hei mema mō Tāmaki Makaurau. Kātahi ka tū te rā pōti, ka riro whā tūru ki a mātou o te Pāti Māori. Nā, ka tae mai mātou ki konei. Ka titiro mātou i ngā tūru i reira. Ka whakaaro mātou me pēwhea kia muku, kia tangohia tēnei ture? Nā te mea kei konei te Kāwanatanga Reipa i tērā wā, Nāhinara i reira. Kāore rātou i kōrero mai ki a mātou e pā ana ki tēnei ture. Ko mātou anake e noho i reira, ā, kāore mātou i mōhio me pēwhea. Engari i tēnei wā, i tēnei tau o te Pāremata, ka nuku mai te Pirimia, mehemea pīrangi
mātou ki te nuku atu rātou kia noho hei hoa i roto i tētahi Kāwanatanga. Ā, ka noho tātou me aha tātou, me aha rātou. I tērā, ka whakaae ana te Kāwanatanga kia aratakingia te Ture Takutai Moana 2004, ā whakaae ana mātou.
Mai i tērā, whakaae ana mātou kia aratakingia te ture, engari kia muku, kia tangohia tēnā ture, kia whakahokia te rangimarie ki te iwi Māori, ā, te utu o te rangimarie nā te mamae kei roto i a mātou. Engari kī mai te Kāwanatanga mehemea ka tangohia te ture, ka whakatūria tētahi atu ture. Nā reira i mahitahi mātou, i raro i te maru o te Minita Finlayson me ērā atu. Kātahi ka puta mai tēnei pire. Ehara māku te kōrero e pā ana ki ngā rerekētanga o taua pire i tēnei pire. Engari ki ahau ko te mea nui, kia mukua tēnā ture, i patua te mauri o te iwi Māori, me te mana o taua hapū, o taua hapū, o taua hapū. Nā, kua tutuki tēnā wawata kei roto i tēnei pire.
Nā reira tēnei mātou e mihi atu ki a tātou katoa e kōrero rangimarie ana e pā ana ki tō tātou noho i tēnei wā kei roto i te Whare Pāremata. Kei te tautoko mātou kia haere ki mua tātou. Ahakoa te tautohetohe ka pai tēnā, engari i roto i te rangimarie. Kaua tētahi e tūkino i tētahi atu, tētahi atu whānau, tētahi atu iwi, hapū rānei i roto i te Whare nei. Nā reira koinā tāku i tēnei wā. Kōrero au mō te mamae, nā, kia oti pai i tēnei ture. Nā reira, ko taku tūmanako, taku hiahia mō tātou katoa i tēnei Whare, me tautokongia tātou katoa, koutou o ACT. Kia tautokongia tātou katoa i tēnei ture kia whakaoti ai tēnei mamae kei roto i ētahi o ngā iwi o Aotearoa nei. Nā reira kua mutu taku kōrero mō tēnei wā, kia ora.
[He does not understand what I am talking about. Yes. So we went back to our hapū, our iwi, to plot a way forward.
It was suggested that we create a Māori political party, to go into Parliament and repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. We held a meeting pertaining to Tariana Turia’s stance. Does Parekura not agree with that? She walked out of Parliament and was brought back by her people to stand independent from Labour. I rang her and offered my support. We spoke in Auckland and agreed to create a Māori party. We held meetings on marae across the country. At Hoani Waititi Marae the people decided to establish the Māori Party. That was on Saturday. On Sunday we had another meeting, in Ngāruawāhia, where it was also endorsed. That is why I stood for the Tāmaki Makaurau seat.
I did not want to enter Parliament. For several years I rejected advances to enter Parliament. But because my life force had been weakened, I agreed to stand as the member for Tāmaki Makaurau. On election day we secured four seats. We came here and looked at our seats over there, and wondered how we could repeal this Act. Labour was in Government and National did not talk with us about the Act. We were alone, and we were not sure what to do. But then the Prime Minister invited us to be a coalition partner in Government. So we mulled over our options. Once the Government agreed to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, we agreed.
Since that time we have endorsed the advancement of this bill to diminish that Act, restore peace to Māori, and address the hurt and pain we experienced. However, the Government told us that if the Act is repealed another one will be enacted. So we worked together under the direction of Minister Finlayson and others, leading to the emergence of this bill. It is not for me to speak about the differences between the two pieces of legislation. In my opinion the most important thing is that that Act, which discriminated against Māori, is repealed. That desire has been realised with this bill.
We commend everyone for the sentiments expressed relating to our behaviour in the House at this time. Let us move forward together. We may argue, but let us not abuse one another in this House. That is all I have to say right now. I spoke of the pain to be dealt with in this bill. I hope and wish that we will all support this bill—the ACT
members as well. Let us all endorse this legislation so that we may move on from the hurt lying within some of New Zealand’s tribes. I conclude here. Thank you.
Hon SHANE JONES (Labour)
: Ā, kia ora anō tātou. I te tuatahi ki te reo Māori. Tēnā tātou e noho nei i roto i tēnei Whare. Te mātotoru o tātou e āmene ana kia pāhingia ai tēnei ture takutai moana, te Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.
Kei tōku rohe he temepara nō te Hāhi Rātana. Tana ingoa ko Te Takutai Moana, kei roto Āhipara. Take i huangia ai tā te mea, koia tēnā te huarahi i hīkoi ai te poropiti, te māngai o ngā mōrehu, a Wīremu Tahupōtiki Rātana i tana haerenga ki Te Rerenga Wairua, ki te whakatau i tana kaupapa ki tetahi wāhanga o Te Rerenga Wairua e kōrerotia ake nei ko Ngā Atua Peruperu. Nōna e hīkoi ana, kātahi ka tatū i a ia, me hua e ahau he temepara hei whakamahara i tōku iwi Māori, ko te takutai moana he taonga mai i te wāhi ngaro. Nā reira, he tautoko i te wairua o ō tātou kōrero i tēnei rā, kia kauwa rawa tātou e waiho i tēnei kaupapa, hei kaupapa wehewehe waenga tonu i a tātou tetahi iwi, ki tetahi iwi, Pākehā ki te Māori.
Tua atu i tērā, e tika ana kia whāki mātou o roto i te Rōpū Reipa, arā atu anō wetahi mahi kīhae i oti tika i a mātou i te wā e Kāwana tonu ana mātou. Take tēnā i whakapuaki ai a Dr Cullen i ōna whakaaro. Arā noa atu ngā wahanga i tino hapa ai te Rōpū Reipa i te hanganga o tēnei ture.
Tetahi atu take hei mahara mā tātou, ko te wā i ara mai ai te hīkoi, te hia rānei mano tāngata i pau i a rātou te nuku roa o te motu te hīkoi, ehara i te mea mō tēnei pire anake te iwi Māori i hīkoi ai, kāhore. He hiahia anō rātou ki te whakataetae atu ki te wairua poke i ara mai i a Don Brash me āna kōrero hanihani ki te iwi Māori. Otirā, i te korenga o mātou ngā kaitōrangapū i tērā wā i mōhio me pēhea tēnei take, kaupapa rainei e whakataungia ai kia kauwa tetahi wairua wehewehe e tomotomo mai ki waenga tonu i te marea, horekau i oti tika i a mātou.
Nā reira, tēnā tātou katoa.
[Greetings again to us, but first some comments in Māori. Greetings to us seated about in this House. There are a lot of us wanting to pass the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.
In my region of Āhipara is a Rātana Church temple. Its name is Te Takutai Moana. The reason this temple is mentioned is that that was the path taken by the prophet and mouthpiece of the survivors, Wīremu Tahupōtiki Rātana, on his journey to Te Rerenga Wairua to deliver his message to a part of Te Rerenga Wairua referred to as Ngā Atua Peruperu. As he was walking, he concluded that he should construct a temple as a reminder to my Māori people that the foreshore was a treasured piece gifted from the unseen place. So to endorse the spirituality of our speeches, we must never allow this matter to be a divisive instrument amongst us between people, Pākehā and Māori.
Further to that, it is right that we within the Labour Party reveal that there is other related business, as well, that we were not able to complete while in Government. That is a reason that Dr Cullen referred to when he expressed his views. There were other provisions where Labour erred when this legislation was passed.
Something else for us to bear in mind relates to the time when the march came to be, and the thousands upon thousands marched the length and breadth of the country. It was not for this bill alone that the Māori people marched. No. They also wanted to take Don Brash on in their large numbers in regards to his disparaging remarks about the Māori people. But because we politicians did not know at that time how to settle this issue or matter to ensure that a spirit of divisiveness did not pervade through the public, it was not completed properly.
So, greetings to us all.
We support the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill going to the Māori Affairs Committee. I have said in Māori that a great deal flowed from this hair-raising
episode called the takutai moana. I recall the day the then Māori Fisheries Commission began to fund the litigation that led to a decision by the Court of Appeal that took most of us, me included, by utter surprise. It would be correct to say the Māori Fisheries Commission thought we were securing an economic advantage for Māori in the marine-farming industry. Once commissioner John Mitchell brought the issue to the attention of the commission, which was then chaired by Sir Tīpene O’Regan, significant amounts of money flowed; Joe Williams, before he became a jurist, was the litigator, and it wended its way through the various highways and byways of the legal system.
In many respects it should have gone to the Privy Council. It could not go to the Privy Council, I suppose—not that I was a member of Parliament at the time—because the agenda at that point in our recent constitutional history was to get rid of the Privy Council, and I was a significant supporter.
David Garrett: Bad move.
Hon SHANE JONES: Mr Garrett ought not to say that; he may one day need the services of such a court of great distinction.
Let me come back to what we thought we were doing. The Court of Appeal decision created a Māori political movement built upon the rhetoric and the aspirations of our matuas, reflected, indeed, in Matiu Rata and others. As a consequence of our party making a call in the face of considerable adversity, the Māori Party sprang into existence, and it now holds a great deal of power and influence. No one in that Cabinet or on that fisheries commission ever thought that, as a consequence of funding litigation to get Māoris into aquaculture, they would end up in the Court of Appeal and we would have a notionally independent Māori political party steering the affairs of this House. That was the furthest thing from our minds.
It needs to be said that we need to move on from this issue. I can thoroughly understand the concerns of my whanaunga Hone Harawira on this issue; after all, it was our matuas in the late 1950s who took the Ninety Mile Beach litigation. They took it to the point where they had exhausted what meagre resources they could amass, but it floundered at the high levels of the judicial system at the time. So it has always been a live issue for those particular iwi. I think of those matuas of ours, the Rev Mutu Kapa, Waata Tepānia, and Joe Conrad, people whom I saw in my youth who had a very, very profound view that the territory right out to the horizon ought to fall under the rangatiratanga of the tangata whenua of that area. So I can understand why it is difficult for him to agree to this bill, because it does not seriously change much at all in terms of what Dr Cullen ended up with, save for one constitutional imperative: it restores the right of Māori citizens, whether through hapū, whānau, or iwi, to go and have their day in court.
I hope that those who do have a sustainable claim take the route of negotiation, because the days of the ability to secure a significant concession from the court system on this issue have come and gone. As for the radicalism, in my view, reflected initially by Lord Cooke and followed on slightly by Sian Elias, we do not have a court system like that any longer, which is part of the reason why I always supported the dissolution of our connection with the Privy Council—but that is another matter. So I support the route of negotiation. I say that because at the end of the day it reflects what people are prepared to live with. If we push the envelope too far it will not be sustainable. If it is too weak, Māori will continue to feel aggrieved. If it is outrageous, it will feed the rhetoric from the ACT Party. This measure does create the opportunity for a negotiated outcome, but let no Māori group exaggerate or be sucked in by its lawyers to thinking this is an El Dorado.
The legal tests and the threshold in this legislation mean there will be precious few, if any, full customary title awards made. This bill does not take account of the hapū and
iwi who lost their land contiguous to seabed and foreshore. It does not take account of the fact that colonialism means they no longer are able to fulfil the test of contiguity. Only through the medium of politics and clever negotiations can that come to pass.
Labour members support this bill, but it has been a hair-raising experience, and in many senses it is a cheerless end to an inordinately exciting and saddening episode. It brings into law that which largely was always there. The saving grace is that the negotiations process may provide an opportunity for the Māori claimants to secure what they are after. But do not for a moment think that by restoring access to the court, we have simplified or lowered the threshold—the test—that enables Māori political rhetoric to be fulfilled, because the legal test will be arid, dry, and extremely difficult to overcome. But that is the bill that lies before us today. It is not inordinately different from what Sian Elias said, and I only hope that the organisations that represent tangata whenua on this issue do not entertain ridiculous ideas as to whether there is an El Dorado here. A negotiations process is available but the legal process will be very expensive, and, at the end of the day, the result will be inversely related to the expectation. Kia ora tātou katoa.
SIMON BRIDGES (National—Tauranga)
: It is good to follow the Hon Shane Jones. I agree with much that he said and, indeed, with much of what the Hon David Parker said in what, I think, was an excellent speech. I do not want to sound a sour note after hearing their good speeches, but I cannot let the Labour Party’s revisionism in this area pass, that somehow this was all Don Brash’s fault, or it was somehow all Winston Peters’ fault. It is a matter of historical record: the New Zealand Press Association, the day after the Court of Appeal’s Ngāti Apa decision, recorded Helen Clark as saying that the Government would legislate to preserve, if necessary, the status quo in this area, and that it was a matter of policy for the Government, not a matter for the courts. So to say that this issue arose somehow because Labour had no choice and that it was the “Iwi/Kiwi” billboards that brought this about is simply not the case. Labour should take its share of blame and its share of the history on this issue, just as I accept that the National Party should, as well.
But I do not want to look backwards. I think this is a very positive day for this country. I come back to the members of the ministerial review panel, Hana O’Regan, Richard Boast, and Sir Eddie Durie, who said that—and I think this is something that Shane Jones picked up on—there have been some polar opposite views in this area between some Māori who saw the 2004 Act—perhaps rightly so—as highly discriminatory, and some Pākehā, whom perhaps David Garrett speaks for. There are many Pākehā—and I do not call them racist, because I do not think they are—who see the repeal of the 2004 legislation as racially divisive.
The review panel also said that we in this country have a duty to achieve a balance between those competing interests—a compromise, if one likes. I think we do that in this bill through two key concepts. The first is access to justice, which is a core interest for Māori and iwi in this country—the ability to go to the courts and have their claims heard. The second is public access and the uninhibited right of all New Zealanders, Māori and non-Māori, to enjoy the beaches, and so on. The review panel talked about that as a bedrock right of New Zealanders.
So it is a compromise, but I believe that it is a principled compromise. Some might say that that is an oxymoron—that we cannot have a principled compromise. David Clendon from the Greens would have us believe that we cannot have that. But I say we can, and that what we are doing in this bill is entirely in accordance with the law and with the Court of Appeal’s Ngāti Apa decision. In that decision the Court of Appeal rightly overturned—and I hear the arguments that maybe it should have gone to the Privy Council—the Ninety Mile Beach decision. Here we are getting back to the tests
set in that decision. We are, in a principled way, reaching a compromise that, in some ways, the Court of Appeal did. The bar will be set high in the law we set out, just as it was in the Court of Appeal’s decision for iwi. That is as it should be. We are getting back to that Court of Appeal decision; it is not more and it is not necessarily less. I think that in this legislation we have a balanced law. It is a law of compromise but it is principled compromise. I agree with a lot that David Parker said. Let us hope that it is a compromise that is enduring and is once and for all.
Hon MITA RIRINUI (Labour)
Ā, kāti ake kia ora tātou i roto i te Whare nei. Hoi anō rā, wāhi tuatahi māku tēnei nā ki te tautoko i ngā whakaaro ki wā tātou mate huhua. Tēnā o wā tātou rangatira i hinga ai i roto rā i Te Tai Rāwhiti, te pāpā o tēnei o tātou a Parekura, o te rua tekau mā waru. He tangata toa i roto i te Pakanga Tuarua. Nāna i hoki mai ki tana whānau, ki tana rohe, ki tana marae, ki tōna hapū, ki tōna iwi kia mahi i ngā mahi e pā ana ki ngā rangatira o tērā wāhi. Pērā anō i ngā mate kua hinga atu i te motu. Kīhai tēnei i te wareware i a rātou me ō rātou mahi rangatira i waenganui i a tātou. Otirā, waiho rātou kia moe.
Tū noa iho tēnei ki te whai wāhi i te kōrero a te Minita Māori e pā ana ki te pire, kua karangahia nei ko Te Takutai Moana. Otirā, ki te Kaihautū, tū ana taku whanaunga mai i Te Tai Tokerau, a Shane Jones, ka tāhaetia wētahi o wāku kōrero e pā ana ki tēnā Whare wairua, kai te tū mai rā ki te Pā o Rātana me Te Rere o Kapuni, e kīa nei ko Te Rere, me ngā wairua heke iho nei mai te Maunga o Taranaki. Ka hui ai ngā poropiti katoa i reira, hai aha? Hai whakaarohia i ngā tū āhuatanga e whakamamaehia i a tātou te iwi Māori, mai i te taenga mai o te toimahatanga, te kapua pōuri, mai i tāwāhi ki a tātou katoa. Hoi anō rā, tēnei te mihi ake ki a ia, otirā, ki a tātou.
Ā, nā te Minita Māori i whakarangatira ai tō tātou reo i roto i te Whare e pā ana ki te pire. E tika ana māku e whai wāhi i a āna kōrero, kia tū tonu mai rā te mana o tēnei taha o te Whare. Hoi anō rā, ahakoa i tūtū mai rā i ngā mema o roto i te Whare ki te kōrero ō rātou kōrero e pā ana ki te pire, kai waenganui i a tātou me te hītōria o te pire kōrerohia. Te āhua nei kua ngaro te riri ki waenganui i a tātou. Tae mai hoki tātou ki roto i te Whare, ā, ka riri katoa mātou i te āhuatanga o ngā mahi o ngā tangata o roto i te Whare i ngā tau kua taha ake nei. Ka tū mai wētahi o tātou, anā, ka tau iho nei tēnei mea te humāria ki runga i a tātou, ka ngaro. Hoi anō rā, kai te kimi, kai te whai wāhi au i tētahi kōrero māku i te mea, ko au tētahi i hara mai rā i runga i te pukuriri. Hoi anō rā me kī rā, kua āhua pai kia tau te rangimāria ki a tātou.
Hoi ano rā, e tika ana me kōrerohia tātou i te hītōria o tēnei take e pā nei ki te takutai moana. Ahakoa rā, mihi ake ana au ki te Minita, nāna i haria mai te pire ki roto i te Whare. Te tohu nei nā, kai te tautoko ia i te pire o tērā kāwanatanga o te tau rua mano me te whā. Tāku titiro, kārekau he rerekētanga kai roto i te pire i haria mai ki roto i te Whare. Kai te āhua ōrite tonu i taua pire. He aha te tohu ki a tātou? Kua tika rā te mahi o tērā kāwanatanga? Te mahi o tēnei kāwanatanga, āhua tīnihia pea engari, ka tautokohia. I tēnei wā, māku ki a koe kai te Minita Māori, waiho rā te mamae o te ao tawhito kia moe. I āhei tonu tātou, tātou katoa, kia haere whakamua. Hoi anō rā, kai te mihi ake rā, me tēnā o wā tātou tuāhine, a Tāriana. Kua kōrerohia ngā kōrero e pā ana ki tana weheanga i te Rōpū Reipa, kei te pai. Koinā ngā mahi o ngā tau kua taha ake nei, waiho ki reira.
Me te mihi anō ki te katoa. Kua horahia mai rā o rātou whakaaro, ahakoa wētahi kāre au i te whakaaea, ko te nuinga o ngā kōrero e tika ana, e pono ana. Hoi anō rā nā runga i tēnā, mihi ake ki a tātou katoa.
[Greetings to us in this House. First of all I must endorse the thoughts in respect of our many deaths, in particular one of our leaders who has passed away in the East Coast, an uncle of one our political colleagues, Parekura, and a member of the 28th Battalion. He was a warrior in the Second World War and returned to his family,
region, courtyard, subtribe, and tribe to carry out the work concerning the leaders of that place. Similarly, I acknowledge the passing of others of the country. I will not forget them and their chiefly work amongst us. Indeed, allow them to rest there.
I have stood up merely to take part in the address by the Minister of Māori Affairs about the bill called Te Takutai Moana. On the other hand, Mr Deputy Speaker, when my relative from Northland, Mr Jones, stood up, he stole some of what I wanted to say about that spiritual house standing at Rātana Pā and about Te Rere a Kapuni, a waterfall referred to as Te Rere. As well, I wanted to talk about the spirits that came down from Mount Taranaki. All the prophets assembled there, and for what purpose? To deliberate over the different kinds of situations that have hurt us, the Māori people, when the weight and extreme grief of it all descended upon us from overseas. But I acknowledge him and, indeed, all of us.
In respect of this bill the Minister of Māori Affairs has done our language proud. It is apt that I make a contribution to follow up his address and to keep this side of the House to the fore. Even though various members of the House have stood up and expressed their views about the bill, among us is the history of the bill to be talked about. It appears that the anger among us has disappeared. I was angry as well when I came into the House; we were all angry about what people in the House did in the past. But when some of us stood up, this thing called goodwill prevailed over us and the anger disappeared. However, I am still participating and looking for something to talk about because I was one who came here in anger. But let us say that I am feeling somewhat better, and allow goodwill to prevail over us.
It is right that we debate the history of the foreshore. But regardless of that, I acknowledge the Minister who brought this bill into the House. This signifies that she supports the 2004 Act of that other Government. To me it still looks a bit like that other Act. What does that signal to us—that what the other Government did was right? Although this Government has made some changes, it will be supported. At this point, I say to the Minister of Māori Affairs to let the pain of the past rest in the past. We agreed, all of us, to move forward. But I acknowledge him and this sister of ours, Tariana. Her departure from the Labour Party has been talked about; that is fine. What has happened in the past should be left in the past.
I acknowledge everyone. They have placed their views before us. Some I do not agree with, but the majority are correct and true. Because of that I commend us all.
It would be very hard to take a call in the first reading of the Takutai Moana bill, as I call it, without making some reference to a little bit of history. Firstly, though, I say that we on this side of the House support the bill. We will support it to go to select committee. I am excited that the Attorney-General has decided that this bill will go to the Māori Affairs Committee. The Māori Affairs Committee will hear submissions from all around the country, hopefully; we will put in place a process to ensure that happens. I think 2011 is a bit too far away for it to come back to the House; in my view, there is no reason that it could not be done in a shorter time frame. Nevertheless, it is another opportunity to revisit some of the issues. It is a rare opportunity, and I consider myself fortunate to still be in the House today to discuss the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill for a second time, because some of the issues that were raised during 2003 and 2004—because of the political pressures of the time, which were highlighted by the Hon Peter Dunne—were not able to be addressed at that time. This is a good opportunity for us to revisit those issues.
I congratulate the Minister. His support for the bill tells me that the previous Labour Government got it right; there is no doubt about that. The previous Labour Government got it right. Regardless of all the hype and emotion about the trips up and down the country by some—many of them in this House—at the end of the day there are very few
changes in this particular bill, apart from, perhaps, the title of the bill and a few process issues.
Other changes were recommended by the Hon Dr Michael Cullen during the submissions process. We are very glad and excited that the Government conceded that Dr Cullen was considered to be an authority—if not the only authority—on these matters, and that the Government has decided that those recommendations, forwarded by the Hon Dr Michael Cullen on behalf of the Labour Opposition, were taken into account.
Simon Bridges: He’s not God.
Hon MITA RIRINUI: I thought I heard the member for Tauranga say that that is not right. He has only been here for 5 minutes. You never know; he will learn something over time. He will learn a bit more over time.
It was a very difficult time. As Shane Jones described, it was a hair-raising experience. It was for many of us who were sitting out on the forecourt of Parliament, listening to the haka and the chants that, we were told, were coming from as far away as the airport. There were not 50,000 people; there were 20,000, according to the official police count. Notwithstanding that point, it was, as Shane said, a very, very hair-raising experience—in my case, a very unforgettable experience. I say that because regardless of who they were—Shane Jones referred to ngā momo tangata katoa o te ao; I believe the Minister referred to them as well—and regardless of their ethnicity, religious persuasion, and all those things that make us different from each other, that great mass of people came all the way to Wellington, to Parliament, in order to express a point of view about a very, very important piece of legislation. I am not saying they all understood what it was about, but I will say that today we see good legislation. But it falls well short of what those people were promised at that time.
Putting that aside—and I thank the Hon Peter Dunne for his comments—I say that this is an opportunity for every political party in this House to come together to resolve this longstanding pain in the proverbial. That is what it is—a pain in the proverbial. I believe that we can resolve it as responsible people in this House. I do not agree with the ACT member David Garrett. I appreciate that he has a strong point of view, but I just do not agree with him. You see, sometimes the best way to resolve these issues is in the back rooms of Parliament. When he speaks of grubby deals in the back rooms of Parliament, it shows me how much respect he has for Cabinet, because that is where these deals are done. They are done by a proper process that is controlled strictly by the
Cabinet Manual, and we consider the people who represent us in Cabinet to be honourable people, regardless of our personal views of them. If the member is saying that we should not settle foreshore and seabed customary interests for Māori in back rooms or in Cabinet, is he suggesting that we take all this stuff, including Treaty settlements and negotiations, away from Cabinet and Parliament into the courts? I can tell him now that there will be no settlements—there will be no settlements. They are not grubby deals; the people who have come to represent the interests of their particular groups are honourable people.
This is also an opportunity for me to acknowledge Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta, some colleagues who stood with me shoulder to shoulder out there on the forecourt of Parliament. I mention the Hon Dover Samuels.
Hon Parekura Horomia: JT.
Hon MITA RIRINUI: I acknowledge the Hon John Tamihere, and I acknowledge the Hon Parekura Horomia.
Hon TAU HENARE (National)
: Well, well, well, well—I have been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. I suppose—
Grant Robertson: Lower the tone, Tau.
Hon TAU HENARE: Oh, lower the tone! Do members know what people hate? It is the fact that 6 or 7 years after Labour did a deal, after the dirty deed was done, those same members have turned up and said “Oh, we didn’t mean it. Oh, it’s OK. Oh, it’s all right”. But one of the things those people never said was “sorry”, and, like the famous Elton John song, “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word”. You know, every member of the Labour caucus who has spoken this afternoon has missed this one opportunity, the only opportunity that they will ever have to say sorry.
Hon Mita Ririnui: What for?
Hon TAU HENARE: Oh, what for! The Hon Shane Jones hit it on the head, save for a little difference. Do members know the difference between the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill and the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act? It is access to the judiciary. Everybody has a right—it does not matter whether they are black, white, red, or green; it does not matter—everybody has an absolute right to go to court to find out whether they are right or whether they are wrong.
What happened in 2004? I will tell the House what happened. The Prime Minister and Dr Cullen, Clark and Cullen, got the willies 24 hours after the Court of Appeal made its decision in 2003. In 2003 they got more than the willies. They extinguished a people’s right to have access to the judiciary. In this bill’s explanatory note it is stated that it will repeal the 2004 Act, and that is music to the ears of the thousands of us who marched across the Auckland Harbour Bridge—
Hon Shane Jones: You were at McDonald’s!
Hon TAU HENARE: Oh, no. I was not at McDonald’s; I was not watching any porn videos. Oh, no; that was not me.
This is about access to the judiciary. This is about human rights, and that is what that whole debacle was about. Fifty thousand people were outside the front door of this place. Today we saw a couple of teachers having a little protest; well, in those days 50,000 people were outside the front door. Labour members took the opportunity today to talk about the fact that it was Don Brash’s fault, or that it was this man’s and that man’s fault. I cannot believe the gall of those members across the way. They were the Government at the time. They made the rules; they made the law. But they stopped people from going to court to find out, which is the most significant part of this legislation. It restores a people’s right.
Those members should just say sorry; they missed the boat. They had the opportunity to say sorry, but they could not bring themselves to say it. The Labour Party has said sorry to all sorts of people—gay people, Samoan people, Chinese people, Korean people, and who else? But they have not said it to Māori. Those members have not got up off their hind legs tonight to say sorry for the hurt and the pain that was brought upon Māori by their own people. Mita Ririnui, Parekura Horomia, and Nanaia Mahuta were the instigators. They should hang their heads in shame. They had an opportunity to say sorry, but they never did. Shame on the Labour Party!
I will tell the House another thing: in 2004 when Labour passed the Act, it was the instigator of the Māori Party. I say congratulations to the Māori Party, because five people are here who have stayed the course and did what they were elected for. They were elected to repeal the Act, and it is being and will be repealed. So my hat is not off to those people across the way; I doff my cap to the people in front of me. It is off to those five members of the Māori Party, who have worked tirelessly with the Hon Chris Finlayson for the repeal of this bill. So let us take a vote, and let us send the bill to the Māori Affairs Committee where we can see who was responsible for this garbage from across the way.
A party vote was called for on the question,
That the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill be now read a first time.
||New Zealand National 58; New Zealand Labour 42; Māori Party 4 (Flavell, Katene, Sharples, Turia); Progressive 1; United Future 1.
||Green Party 9; ACT New Zealand 5; Māori Party 1 (Harawira).
|Bill read a first time.
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Attorney-General)
: I move,
the Māori Affairs Committee consider the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, that the committee report finally to the House on or before 25 February 2011, and have authority to meet at any time while the House is sitting (except during oral questions), and during any evening on a day on which there has been a sitting of the House, and on a Friday in a week in which there has been a sitting of the House, despite Standing Orders 187 and 190(1)(b) and (c).