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 third time.
Tēnā koutou katoa ngā iwi o te motu kua tae mai nei ki te w’akanui i tēnei kaupapa o te rā. Ki a koe te matua, ka nui te mihi aroha ki a koe hoki. Ki a tātou katoa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
[To all of you, the tribes of the nation who came here to celebrate this matter of the day, greetings. A huge and respectful tribute to you, as well, sir, to us, to you collectively, and everyone.]
From the opening sections of this bill, an agenda for change is set. The connection between Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the principle that customary rights attach to w’ānau, hapū, and iwi with traditional interests in the coastal marine area is at the heart of this legislation. There was more at stake in this bill than simply repealing the 2004 Act, notwithstanding how fundamental that is. It is about honouring the Treaty in principle and in practice.
Earlier this week as the people gathered with their banners flying, their tears flowing, and their flags held high I reflected on our journey to achieve meaningful representation as representing the Treaty partner. I want to say that there is very little difference between what we say as members of the Māori Party and what those on the hīkoi say when it comes to the crucial issue of the foreshore and seabed, Treaty relationships, and Treaty issues. The difference is not about the “what”; the difference is about the “how”.
There are those who are unable to accept the legitimacy of Parliament and it is their right to do so. But the path for the Māori Party is a different one. We have chosen the
vehicle of Parliament to advance our aspirations in a modern context. We have chosen to participate in kāwanatanga and to uphold the mana of our tūpuna. We can do both. We came here to tackle issues head on, to fight on every front, and to prepare a place for others to come forward and to continue the work, knowing full well that if we do not put forward the best case we can—who will?
Although other political parties claim to represent Māori they do so in the belief that tangata w’enua can be treated as a homogenous group even though there are so many tribal differences and demographic variations that must be appreciated. What is worse is that one party seeks to wilfully denigrate tangata w’enua and their values, and we deplore that behaviour. That party is the same party that deliberately lodged 700 questions today in an attempt to roadblock the passage of this bill while cheerfully abusing the expectation of citizens that all parties will be frugal with the taxpayer dollar. New Zealanders do not expect the critical business of the State to be delayed for questions that amount to little more than wasting Parliament’s time and taxpayers’ money. The people deserve better.
The Māori Party came to Parliament because we want the very best for our people. We want their aspirations heard. We want tangata w’enua to be a strong voice and to be leading the future of Aotearoa. It is a mission that I know others have carried before us. Nevertheless, it is the most critical reason for our existence as a political movement. It is, after all, about our struggle for survival; the reconciliation of kāwanatanga with rangatiratanga; and the long-term plan 100 years from now, and onwards. I have only to walk the corridors alongside Matangireia to glance into the faces of our tūpuna and to recall the political actions that each took to advance the calling of their w’anau, hapū, and iwi. Their spirits are around us all in this Chamber and in this debate, and we are all the richer for their legacy.
One of the saddest aspects of this time has been the way in which some have chosen to use this legislation as a tool to create division both within Parliament and, indeed, within our own party. To act in such a way is anathema to me, and it operates against all of our kaupapa. I have always been someone who has sought to foster unity and to celebrate diversity rather than to promote divisiveness. As members of w’anau, hapū, and iwi we are already divided along so many lines: by religion, politics, income, and education. Those who have are separated from those who have not. What I genuinely hoped was that we could look, as a nation, at this issue with new eyes, understand the differences, and work together to make change, as small as they may be.
I want to share with us all a message from my son that epitomises the journey we in the Māori Party have taken up. He shared with me the words of the late Dr Martin Luther King: “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but he must do it because Conscience tells him that it is right.” The Māori Party supports this bill, knowing that it is right to want a better future for our mokopuna; that it is right to repeal law that is unjust and discriminatory; and that it is right to restore the access that tangata w’enua were always entitled to—to have their day in court.
Our greatest task ahead of us as a political movement is to make the advances for our people based on our kaupapa. We must move forward, and to do so we must have meaningful recognition of tangata w’enua political representation. We have come to Parliament to make change happen, and to work with the Government, whomever the Government is. We have chosen not to participate in the politics of attack but to invest in the politics of possibilities.
When we were offered the opportunity of being in Government we returned to our people and we were given the mandate, right across the motu, to take up the wero and do all we could to make progress. A very clear call came from our membership to repeal the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act and to restore access to the courts. We have done that. We have honoured our word—we have removed the Foreshore and Seabed Act from the statue book of this House.
The challenge now is to test this new law. The message we have been getting from some iwi leaders is that now that the right of access to the courts has been restored, case law and customary rights may be politically achievable. W’anau, hapū, and iwi must grasp the opportunity on a case by case basis to go to the courts and begin to establish customary rights and title in our legal system on a progressive basis. But we are fooling no one if we think we have solved everything by restoring access to the courts and repealing the 2004 Act, no matter how significant this is. Our journey is a lifelong one, as it has been for our tūpuna before us and will be for our mokopuna ahead of us.
This bill is another step in our collective pursuit of Treaty justice. We have absolutely no doubt that there will come a day when this bill, like every single piece of legislation debated in this House, is reviewed and improvements are made, and we will move on together. This bill was never just about the Māori Party; it started with the leadership of the eight iwi who took an application to the Māori Land Court at the top of the South Island. It has been shaped by innovative jurisprudence created by some of our finest legal minds. It has been critiqued by many, many thousands of New Zealanders who have joined the hīkoi; written petitions, submissions, and emails; and composed haka and waiata. They have walked the talk.
The Māori Party has directly benefited from the expertise and wisdom of many people, including all of our devoted supporters who are with us today, as they have been ever since the very first hui of the Māori Party on 23 May 2004. We mihi to them all. We are indebted to the generosity of spirit, the selfless commitment, and the bold and courageous vision of iwi leaders who have walked with us on this journey to a brighter future.
Finally, we pay our utmost respect to the champion of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, the Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson. From the onset he has demonstrated remarkable resilience, insight, and personal integrity to do what is right. I will never forget the depths to which he has gone in order to treat this take with the respect it deserves. Nā reira, tēnā koutou katoa. I commend this bill to the House.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Hon Rick Barker): If the member of the public does not stop talking, I will ask for him to be removed. Permission has been given for a waiata at the end, which is perfectly acceptable. This is a debating chamber for members.
Hon SHANE JONES (Labour)
: This is the day the cup of sanctimony runs over. We have just been served up a speech riddled with sanctimony and selective memory, and held up by the politics of betrayal. We have heard from the co-leader of the Māori Party Tariana Turia that the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill—the very reason for the Māori Party’s being—has actually been fulfilled. This is the day the Māori Party has delivered a bill that suits the purposes not of Māori but of corporate New Zealand, with mainstream, bigoted approaches, and it weakens every hapū and every tangata whenua. The only people who will gorge at this cup of sanctimony with Tariana Turia are those from the legal profession. A very deep and, unfortunately, expensive road leads to the courts. It will yield precious little results.
This bill is designed to fossilise Māori rights in the seabed and foreshore. It is not evolutionary. It is not dynamic. It insists that Māori rights have to be viewed through the prism of 1840. This bill is designed to leave Māori political aspirations in a legal
crypt. That speaker has not advanced the cause of Māori in the seabed and foreshore; the bill has advanced the cause of what she sees as the right of the Māori Party to uplift and sustain the National Government.
This bill, firstly, represents a great deal of activity and supposed benefits for Māori Party membership. Now that Tariana Turia has delivered the consent of betrayal to her own people to suit the purposes of National, she has only one reason to remain, and that is Whānau Ora. At a time when we are discussing the demise of the seabed and foreshore interests of Māoridom, she is clinging tenaciously to the benefits and the rewards of Whānau Ora.
We have heard the most powerful financial spokesman, Bill English, continue to mislead not only garden-variety Kiwis but also Tariana Turia. That member said she would have to review her future in politics in the event that the Whānau Ora interests were not served. She refuses to review her suitability in the face of failing on the seabed and foreshore, pinching ideas that largely were provided by Dr Cullen, and dressing them up with a different coloured korowai. There is nothing left in the bars of the Whānau Ora for the Māori Party.
What makes the Māori Party remain in power, tethered to National? Is it the perks of office? Is it the promises to its diminishing, almost non-existent membership? No. It is a mistaken and foolhardy belief that its vision will take our country forward. Its vision has pitted Māori against Pākehā. We have had thousands of emails from a whole range of Pākehā organisations that express repugnance and disdain for this bill. Every single leader of the iwi community loathes this bill. They actually curse the day that they helped to raise money, organise hui, meet the costs of vehicles, etc., to enable the Māori Party to come into being. Every expectation they loaded on the backs of the Māori Party is today dashed.
This bill provides an opportunity for a hollow husk of a right. No rights are available here. No interests will be served other than the short-term, superficial political agenda of a small, diminishing number of Māori MPs, who, thankfully, will not be here after 26 November.
It comes to pass that Hone Harawira, in the face of oppression and adversity, in the midst of our own people, has spoken something closer to the truth. It may be inversely related to the name Harawira, but that is another matter. In this case he has had the courage to stand by those original interests, and he has had the courage to challenge the leadership of his own party, which, as a consequence of this bill, has become blind to the aspirations and goals of the Māori community, and has become ignorant of the fears that blight the Māori community.
This bill marks the day that the Māori Party will actually begin to meet the costs of its departure. It has no broad support. Firstly, the legal advisers are clapping their hands up and down the country. We did not want a bill that would worsen the legal costs and the impost on Māoridom; we wanted a bill that took an expansive and pragmatic approach that brought all New Zealand forward so that this issue did not become as divisive as it is today.
We took a progressive approach. Indeed, the former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Cullen offered solutions. But in offering the opportunity to work in a win-win situation we suffered repudiation from the Māori Party and ignorance from the National Party. That is why only 11 percent of the population of te iwi Māori supports this remedy. When polled, 89 percent of Māori said that this bill sucks and that it must go, like its authors.
Secondly, at the Māori Affairs Committee thousands of submissions were completely wiped aside and people were treated in a grossly rude manner. They were not given more than a cursory opportunity to exercise their democratic rights and have their say.
We have seen a destruction of process, a betrayal of political aspiration, and a sell-out. During this process we have a seen a massive sell-out. The very issue that brought the Māori Party into being is what it has sold out on today.
The Māori Party may think, as a consequence of the National Party’s polling, that this level of deceit will not count in the minds of Māori voters. But without a doubt, we will drive home this point at every single hui and in every single interview. At the end of the day, very honest, sincere, and hard-working people supported that party. Every one of those people has been sold out today.
I come back to talk about the Attorney-General. It was said that the Attorney-General went to great depths. Of course, the member meant to say that he sunk to great depths. The Attorney-General is no stranger to the finer points of the English language, but he knows that the moment he seized the pen of authorship and completely sold out the Māori Party he was marching to the drum of the real supporters of this legislation. The existing rights of corporate New Zealand, the ambitions of the legal profession, and the rights of private landholders have not been interfered with. None of those rights have been eroded or weakened. The only people who will be put in possession of Clayton’s rights are tangata whenua. The Attorney-General has come up a criterion that is so narrow, whose threshold is so high, and the politics of which are so divisive that he knows that no one of any substance will achieve anything approximating customary interests, or, indeed, Treaty-based justice.
All the flash and hollow words were from a speech written by the Attorney-General for Tariana Turia to deliver. They forget that at every single meeting Dr Cullen organised in the time that he had the seabed and foreshore legislation she sat there and never once opened her mouth—Dover Samuels has told me this. She never ever demurred. She never ever did anything other than defect. Somehow she has arrived on the back of this legislation as some form of Mother Teresa. This bill is a betrayal, and Māori people have been sold out today by none other than Tariana Turia. Kia ora tātou.
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Prime Minister)
: If Labour regards Hone Harawira as someone it cannot do business with, why do Labour members sound exactly like him when speaking on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill? What a disappointment the previous speech from Shane Jones was. He used to be regarded as a person with the capability and vision to help New Zealand deal with issues of Māori and Pākehā learning how to live together and work together in New Zealand.
Labour’s cup is running over with resentment and regret about how it handled the issue. From well before the Foreshore and Seabed Act and certainly since 2004, Labour has shown that it does not know how to handle aspirational Māori. It can handle Māori who, traditionally, may have done what Labour told them to do, who thought what Labour said they should think, and who kept quiet about it. But in 2004 Labour panicked over this issue and brought in legislation that was clearly resented and opposed by thousands of Māori. Labour did not solve the problem, which is what this Government set out to do. This Government set out to solve the problem—the problem of different world views about property rights, different world views about our history, and different views about how that history should be expressed in 2011. It is not an easy problem to solve.
I congratulate the Māori Party, but not on agreeing with what National wanted, because it did not. The bill is not what National wanted in every respect. It is the result of a tedious, testing, and tense process that has gone on over the last couple of years, not just within the Government—and I do not mean just the tedious chairperson of the Māori Affairs Committee—but with the thousands of New Zealanders who take an interest in this issue; with the MPs who have sat and listened to, and wrestled with, these issues; and with the Attorney-General, who has performed in exactly the way
Tariana Turia said: with deep respect, total thoroughness, and, I must say, an evenness of temperament that is not what we have always associated with him but on which he must be complimented. His temperament is in total contrast to that of the Labour member Shane Jones in his previous speech and to the way Labour members have conducted themselves throughout this discussion.
Labour members’ conduct has shown their utter lack of suitability for any responsibility for these issues in modern New Zealand. They might feel comfortable going back to Rātana every year, but the Rātana deal was done with Michael Joseph Savage. He was a man of vision, but the deal was done 80 years ago. The new kind of deal is much more respectful, much more robust, and more difficult. I can say that as a member of the Cabinet who spends probably a quarter to a third of my time, even as Minister of Finance, on issues related to Māori. The new deal is more difficult, but it is real progress. That progress is what the bill represents. Other issues in New Zealand will be wrestled with as intensively as this one and are as polarising as this one, not because we choose it to be that way but because that is the way this nation is with the different peoples who live here.
I am so proud of the bill, because at least three-quarters of the Parliament have demonstrated that they are willing and able to wrestle successfully with these issues. The alternative is unresolved resentment and an ongoing sense of injustice that prevents progress and a positive view of New Zealand. Even if we do not think the bill is perfect—and I do not think anyone does—it is progress. It is a step forward from where we were. The bill is not a perfect answer, but I suspect that it will be a lasting answer, because, despite the brave words of Mr Shane Jones, a future Labour Government will not undo the legislation in his time.
A sign of the pettiness and internal damage within Labour is that its members had an opportunity to demonstrate some vision for New Zealand and they just spouted resentment of the Māori Party. National certainly does not always agree with the Māori Party, but the Māori Party deserves credit for taking a historic opportunity to use the democratic process to take responsibility for a solution. That approach is in marked contrast to the way a lot of these issues have been dealt with in the past. The Māori Party took responsibility for a solution. National has had to, as well.
My email has been overloaded with people who say they will never vote for me again. I actually think they will. When it comes to polling, even if 89 percent of New Zealanders do not like the bill, that number is only marginally higher than the percentage of voters who do not like Labour. If I were in Labour, I would keep the polling numbers to myself.
I acknowledge the work of the Māori Affairs Committee, its chairman—
Hon Tau Henare: What’s my name?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: —the Hon Tau Henare—and members, who, without much public recognition, did a great job of persisting through weeks and weeks of very polarised discussion in order to come up with solutions that would work. In particular, I congratulate the Attorney-General. Only someone of his intellectual breadth and determination would be able to see the bill through what would be about the most intensive process I have ever seen legislation go through in 20 years in Parliament.
Finally, I acknowledge my Government colleagues, who consist of National members and, of course, the Māori Party, and the ACT Party, in its own unique way, who have seen the process through to a result. The result is one we should be proud of, not because the legislation is a fantastic piece of art and political creation but because the result comes from a proper, realistic, forward-looking process for dealing with very difficult issues.
We could have collectively allowed this issue to become as polarised as some wanted it to be. We could have let that happen, but we did not. In that respect, I pay tribute to the leadership of the Prime Minister, who cannot be here today. At all times he was able to bring to this discussion his own particular mix of equanimity, decisiveness, and generosity of spirit, which set the tone for the relationship between the Māori Party and National. Quite frankly, this country will need the same kind of process again.
I support the third reading of the bill. I am disappointed that on this occasion Mr Jones missed his opportunity, which was a big opportunity, to lift himself above the level of the rest of Labour. Labour has gone so low that it has dragged him down, as well. That is a disappointment, but this bill is not a disappointment; it is a success.
KELVIN DAVIS (Labour)
: I, along with the rest of the Labour Party, oppose the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill. If the fact that over 4,000 submitters to the Māori Affairs Committee opposed this bill—albeit for reasons that were polar opposites—was not enough reason to oppose it, the poor process followed by the select committee certainly was. That process, firstly, blocked any legal advice from being obtained by the committee on the effect of the changes to the threshold test for establishment of customary marine title; secondly, forced through hasty consideration of the 500-page departmental report on submissions; thirdly, did not include any revision-tracked view of the bill in respect of the many amendments recommended by officials, which made proper consideration and deliberation impossible; fourthly, saw Government members block a resolution that a revision-tracked version of the bill be prepared prior to the committee’s deliberation on the bill; fifthly, ignored the submissions of hundreds of people, whose submissions have had no substantive analysis by the select committee, as evidenced by the fact that the committee reported the bill back to the House without comment on most of the issues, and without a single amendment, be it technical or substantive; and sixthly, left many important technical issues unresolved. Those matters are all reason enough to oppose the bill.
I was embarrassed by the process that this bill went through. When I explain to schools and other groups the process used to develop legislation, I tell them that if people want to participate, then they need to make submissions on issues, ask to be heard at the select committee, and put their case forward. I say the various points of view will be heard and deliberated on, and decisions will be made. I tell them that although they may not get their way, they will be given a fair hearing. That is obviously not true of the process on this bill. During the select committee process a range of opinions were heard. Some I agreed with; many I did not. But I respected those submitters’ right to be heard and to voice their opinion. I am embarrassed that I was part of a process that dismissed their points of view without due consideration, and I apologise to those people who have been misled as to the integrity of the legislative process. Democracy has been the loser.
This bill could have settled the issue of the foreshore and seabed once and for all. New Zealand has been persuaded that the foreshore and seabed is the most important issue to Māori—it is not. Attention has been diverted from the issues that really affect Māori. While the Māori Party has been focused on wet sand, our people are suffering. What has the Māori Party done, as part of this Government, about easing the cost of living? Why did it vote for the rise in GST? What has it done, as part of this Government, to create jobs for Māori? What has it done, as part of this Government, to enable our children to succeed at school? What has it done, as part of this Government, to prevent our teenagers from having babies? What has it done, as part of this Government, to reduce Māori incarceration in prisons? What has it done, as part of this Government, to support and develop Māori business and enterprise? What has it done, as part of this Government, to reduce Māori dependency on drugs and alcohol? What
has it done, as part of this Government, to reduce the number of our women and children who are beaten at the hands of our menfolk?
If the answer to those questions is Whānau Ora, then I ask, which of the specific issues that I have just raised will Whānau Ora alleviate? To what extent, by when, and how will we recognise the success? And will the pending Budget cuts to Whānau Ora condemn it to failure?
We can focus again on the wet sand, or we can develop policy that will support schools to see that teachers use research-based best-practice strategies, and that will support schools to establish relationships with Māori students and whānau, and to develop Māori-relevant curriculum pedagogy. We can focus on the symbolic, or we can develop policy that will prevent Māori from developing diabetes, renal failure, and obesity, or from seeking solace in drugs and alcohol. We can focus on the symbolic, or we can develop policy that will create jobs for Māori, ease the cost of living for Māori, and help Māori to be even more successful contributors to our society. We can focus on the symbolic, or we can develop policy that will see our people living in warm, comfortable, and secure homes.
When I travel around Tai Tokerau I hear about, and see directly evidence of, the sense of hopelessness amongst many of our people. Too many are simply struggling to survive, and they see Parliament arguing about wet sand. I wonder why we cannot put the same amount of energy and passion into helping them—the people.
We will now have the spectre of the Māori Party relitigating this issue every 3 years post-election. But to have that opportunity, the Māori Party will be happy. Grievance is what gives it strength. The Māori Party is happy to entrench Māori with a sense of injustice, because it is always easier to criticise and condemn than to search for opportunities for growth, development, and prosperity. While the Māori Party relitigates this issue, our people still will be underachieving at school, and getting locked up, knocked up, beaten up, drunk, stoned, and killed. This is a missed opportunity, and it is time to move on and focus on the real issues that affect Māori.
Anyone who knows me knows that I believe the path to Māori success lies in education. I have said before that we will achieve more in one generation of fully educated Māori than we will in another 171 years of grievance. Education can and will address underachievement. Success at school will mean Māori are better equipped to seek higher-paid employment, which will assist them to meet the cost of living. Success at school will reduce Māori teenage pregnancy rates. Success at school will reduce Māori incarceration rates. Success at school will enable Māori to succeed in business and enterprise. Success at school will reduce Māori drug and alcohol dependency. Success at school will help to reduce the rates of child and spousal abuse. Through increasing the number of highly educated Māori, we will be able to achieve in the highest positions in the land. We will be able to achieve in the worlds of business, finance, and politics, and in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Through increasing the number of highly educated Māori, we will be able to gain the respect, influence, and credibility that, sadly, many of us lack now. Through increasing the number of highly educated Māori, we will regain the self-respect and dignity that many have lost.
Māori need to be brave enough to venture on a new path that leads us away from grievance, and on to a proactive and progressive path that enables us to achieve our dreams, goals, and aspirations—both in the 21st century and into the future. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them a better Māori world than the one that we inhabit now, and if we do not, we will fail our people and fail our future. A Māori world of grievance simply condemns our people to the same reality that we are living in now, and they deserve more than that from us. I stand here as a Māori member of Parliament and implore all other Māori members of Parliament to focus on that which
will move us forward, and not on that which will trap our children in the same cycle of discontent.
The Labour Party opposes this bill because it focuses on the wet sand. It focuses on the symbolic issue, and it does not focus on the issues that mean the most to Māori. Those are the cost of living, and the issues of education, Māori incarceration, teenage pregnancy rates, and all the other issues that really matter to the people. We can focus all our energies for as long as we want to on the wet sand and all those other things, but at the end of the day what matters is our people, and this bill does not address the issues that are pushing and suppressing our people. That is one of the major reasons why the Labour Party does not support the bill. I look over to the other side of the House at people like Tau Henare, who are playing up for the crowds. The only reason Tau Henare is sitting there and yelling his head off is that there is an audience, and he is more interested in playing up for the crowd than he is in addressing the issues that really put our people down. So I say to Tau Henare, shame on him for sitting there and just mouthing off and not actually coming up with any—any—issues that will make a difference for Māori. Not only is that the case but also he was the guy who led the select committee astray—a terrible process. He needs to be ashamed of his part in perpetuating this whole horrible bill that is before the House. Kia ora tātou.
METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green)
: “Not in our name. No raupatu in our time. No raupatu in our name.” That was the call in 2004 when Māori and Pākehā struggled together to oppose the foreshore and seabed legislation passed by Labour. Although I am pleased Labour has changed its position on these issues, it does not have any credibility in making claims against other Māori members in this House of selling out our people. But for Labour—and the Māori MPs in Labour—selling out our people in 2004, we would not be here today to witness the same thing happening again. The players have changed, but the issue is the same and the injustice is the same.
I am proud to be here on behalf of the Green Party of Aotearoa / New Zealand to join our voices with the thousands of New Zealanders—Māori and Pākehā alike—who object to this unjust, confiscatory Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill. I acknowledge the hīkoi that arrived on Parliament grounds on Tuesday. I acknowledge their dignity and their passion. Today we are witness to a terrible betrayal by the Māori Party. It is a betrayal of our tikanga. It is a betrayal of all the kuia and kaumātua who have struggled their whole lives to see justice for Māori. It is a betrayal of our young ones—our
rangatahi—who will have to continue this fight after this day, because of the cowardice we will see played out in this House. It is all because of a Māori Party obsession with power at any cost. The Māori Party is now utterly compromised by the acquisition of power. The Māori Party contributes to the divide and rule tactics we see being played out by National this time round. National is deeply hostile to the interests of Māori.
When this legislation first came to the House in 2004—then named the Foreshore and Seabed Bill—we were fighting the same colonial Government that Māori had been fighting for generations. At that time I expressed my deep disappointment as a Māori member of Parliament that I was thrust back 150 years and returned to the same struggle against colonial power as that of my forebears. I said it was the same old struggle, fighting the same arguments over the confiscation of land, and objecting again to parliamentary sovereignty flexing its muscle against tangata whenua, regardless of the justice of the issue. We were fighting the same manipulation and deception, fighting the same arrogance and paternalism. By this legislation today, as then, Māori are being returned to the same indecent fight—the fight just to be Māori in our own land. As with the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, the
Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is a direct descendant of the racist legislation of our colonial forebears.
But there is one even more terrible difference between this legislation in 2011 and that in 2004. For the first time in New Zealand’s political history a Māori political force has the power to stop racist legislation. For the first time ever in our political history Māori wield enough political power to say no and to stop the Government from extinguishing Māori tikanga rights. For the first time Māori are genuinely the decision makers in whether this bill, this confiscation will proceed. Today the four Māori MPs from the Māori Party are the decision makers for Māori aspirations over Māori land. We could be celebrating that fact, which is a circumstance that has arisen out of decades of struggle in the courts, struggle in education, struggle in the economy, and struggle in politics. Those four Māori MPs exercise this political power because of the hard work of many generations before them who had that struggle. In many ways, this moment is an apex of Māori parliamentary political power. It is a moment that thousands of Māori and Pākehā have struggled for and fought to achieve together. So why are the four Māori decision makers today exercising that power to pass racist legislation? Why are the Māori decision makers today deciding that they will allow the confiscation of Māori land?
Last time, in 2004, we fought a well-known enemy, a political force descended from its colonial forebears. It was a circumstance that Māori knew well and expected nothing less from. Then, Māori rallied around a new political identity, one that would fight for Māori every step of the way, which was a genuine alternative—by Māori, for Māori—for the first time in this Parliament. Last time we believed that if Māori had the power, then we would have a just outcome, but today we are betrayed.
The Green Party opposes this legislation because we are committed to justice and we are prepared to stand up for that principle. We have been tireless in our advocacy for the protection of Māori customary rights. Under the bill, Māori customary rights are extinguished and the foreshore and seabed remain under the threat of exploitation, damage, and sale. The Green Party has fought for the ecology of the foreshore and seabed—our precious coast, its habitats, the species that rely on its health, the whānau who care for those places, and the children who delight in its treasures. This bill puts all of that at risk.
Last time my plea was to the Labour Government. “Just don’t do it.”, I said. Today my plea is to the Māori Party—to Rahui Katene, to Te Ururoa Flavell, to Pita Sharples, and to Tariana Turia. I ask them to please turn their faces to our people, to face the thousands of young Māori who are slogging their guts out just to get by. I ask those members to turn their faces to them and tell them there is a reason for them to believe in us here, and to tell them they have not been abandoned by those members. But they will not turn their faces; they will turn their backs. I say to whānau that the Green Party has not abandoned them. Together we will seek justice and peace in our country, and together we will achieve it. Kia ora.
Hon JOHN BOSCAWEN (Deputy Leader—ACT)
: I begin this afternoon by responding to the comments of the Hon Tariana Turia on the Marine and Coastal (Takutai Moana) Bill. She said that the Māori Party was right to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. The ACT Party agrees with her, and has always agreed with her. Tariana Turia and the Māori Party members know that we strongly opposed that Act when it was passed through this Parliament in 2004.
Tariana Turia said that the Māori Party was right to restore access to the courts. The ACT Party agrees with her, and always has, and the members of the Māori Party know that. Tariana Turia also said that the ACT Party used the lodging of questions to members this afternoon to try to delay this bill. Tariana was right; we did do that. The reason we did that is we oppose this bill and we think this bill is wrong. We think this bill is wrong for the reasons I will summarise very shortly. However, Tariana Turia said
that the ACT Party had used this legislation to denigrate tangata whenua. With respect, that is where I disagree with her, because we have not deliberately gone out of our way to do that. We have fought for the rights of all New Zealanders and Māori New Zealanders to have the right to their day in court and to have the right to access. But we have not gone out of our way to denigrate tangata whenua.
Tariana Turia said that the ACT Party had used this bill to try to create divisions. I also totally reject that. We have not used this bill to try to create division. In actual fact, we believe this bill will create division, and that is one of the reasons we so strongly oppose it. Why do I say that? A number of rights created here will be of benefit only to those who gain customary title. I will come back to the test for customary title, but I take this opportunity to say to National members who will be voting for this bill that rights are conferred on customary title holders that are over and above the rights that other freehold property owners get in New Zealand, whether they be Māori or non-Māori.
Te Ururoa Flavell: Shocking!
Hon JOHN BOSCAWEN: Well, the ACT Party thinks that is shocking, because we believe strongly in having one law for all.
I will give one example of that: a planning right. If iwi or hapū gain customary title to an area of the common marine and coastal area—and Mr Finlayson has acknowledged that could be up to 10 percent of our coast, but, who knows, as it could be a lot more than 10 percent; it could be a huge amount more and we will know only in time—they have a planning right and they can decide what happens on that piece of land or marine and coastal area. That benefit is not available to any other New Zealander. I will repeat that: it is not available to any other New Zealander. No New Zealanders who own a piece of freehold land can decide what will happen on that land. No New Zealanders can go along to the local council and say what they want to have happen on that land and have the council do as the landowner says. That is one of the benefits conferred on customary title holders.
If we look to the genesis of the situation here today, we know that the judges in the Ngāti Apa decision in 2003 said that iwi and hapū should have the right to go to court to state their claim. That is a right that the ACT Party has stood for consistently throughout the entire time since. However, what was the Labour Government’s response to that decision? The Labour Government’s response was to pass the Foreshore and Seabed Act. It announced within a matter of hours of that Court of Appeal decision that it would substantially reduce the rights of iwi and hapū to go to court. Yes, iwi and hapū have the ability to go to court. There are rights there, but they were substantially lessened, and the benefits that they would derive from going to court were substantially reduced. The ACT Party opposed that.
What has the National Government’s response been? It has been not just to repeal that Act to undo that injustice but also to impose another injustice. Why do I say that? I say that because this bill sets down a number of tests. It codifies the tests, as the Attorney-General tells us, and it does not leave the matter to the courts. There may well be some iwi and hapū who feel that they have had those rights taken away from them. The Hon Bill English talked this afternoon about ongoing resentment. Well, the only way to avoid ongoing resentment and a sense of injustice is to allow iwi and hapū to go to court—to do what they asked to do—and let the judges rule on that matter. As Tariana Turia said earlier this afternoon, there was far more at stake than simply repealing the 2004 Act.
The National Government has responded exactly as the previous Labour Government did. It looked to put legislation in place, and there may well be iwi and hapū who are denied the right to go to court because of the tests laid down in this document. Equally,
there is the real chance that customary title may be transferred over land and provide benefits to a small group of New Zealanders at the expense of all other New Zealanders. I do not necessarily mean there will be a difference between Māori and non-Māori; I mean that certain selected iwi may benefit at the expense of other iwi and other non-Māori.
It always fascinates me to listen to Metiria Turei talk about the 12,500 private titles. I have always found it fascinating that of those 12,500 titles that Metiria Turei rails against, 3,000 are actually in the name of Māori. What are the benefits that go with the granting of customary titles? We have potentially billions and billions of dollars of mineral wealth. We know that off the Waikato and Taranaki coasts there are literally billions and billions of dollars worth of ironsands. Why are we concerned? It is because the National Government has been happy to tell its own MPs and the public that the test for customary title is a very, very high test. The Government has said to the public of New Zealand that to be able to prove customary title, they need to show continuous and exclusive use and occupation of an area since 1840. The Government has said to New Zealanders that that is a very high test. Well, it is a high test, but it is not actually the test. In 1840 the limits of our territorial waters were simply 3 miles. This bill enshrines in legislation the fact that it is assumed that iwi and hapū have customary titles over the foreshore and seabed, out to 12 miles, not 3 miles, but 12 miles. That change to our territorial limits was legislated for only in 1977.
When David Parker spoke in the Committee stage, he said that a vote for National was a vote for the Māori Party, and a vote for the Māori Party was a vote for National. I daresay that that was simply a pitch to the Māori voters who have previously supported the Māori Party to throw their political allegiance behind Labour. ACT has not sought to try to gain political support on this issue; we have sought to educate New Zealanders and to explain to them the provisions of the bill. I ask the members of the Māori Party whether they honestly believe that New Zealanders have been told the truth by the National Government. If they honestly put their hand on their hearts, I do not think they can answer yes to that question. The reason I say that is a lot has been said about access to the common marine and coastal area. Boaties will get a surprise when they look at clause 28, because they will find that when they sail into a bay that has been granted customary title they will be able to anchor there only temporarily. What is “temporarily”? Can they anchor their boat for 5 hours, or for 5 days? Who knows? Yet the Attorney-General will stand up and say that this provision provides certainty.
There has been a racist element to this debate. We have received emails from members of the public, and I have gone on record, and the media have acknowledged this, as saying that ACT’s position is different from the Coastal Coalition, and it has always been different. ACT believes that iwi and hapū should have the right to go to court. I have stressed that point at every public meeting that I have held over the last 6 months—at every single public meeting. ACT will be voting against this bill. We think it is a tragedy for iwi and for hapū, and we think it is a tragedy for all New Zealanders. The feelings of resentment that the Deputy Prime Minister spoke about this afternoon will not be resolved by this. Thank you.
Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES (Co-Leader—Māori Party)
: Tēnā koe, e te Mana Whakahaere o tō tātou Whare. Mihi au ki ngā mema Pāremata i koneki tae noa ki a koutou ngā mana, ngā reo kua tae mai ki te whakanui i tō tātou rā. Tēnā koutou, nau mai, whakapiri mai. E tika ana hoki kia mihi atu ki a rātou ngā mate kua ngaro atu, rātou i pupuri ai i te mana o ngā whenua, o ngā takutai moana, o ngā roto, o ngā maunga, i ngā wā mai rā anō. I tipu ngātahi tātou me te whenua nei. He Māori tātou, he iwi, he hapū, he whānau. Nā reira, ngā mate kua pā ki a tātou, rātou i kaha ki te pupuri i
te mana i runga ake i ngā whenua mai i te hainatanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi tae noa ki tēnei rā. Nā reira ngā mate, koutou, haere, okioki pai mai.
Nā, kia hoki ki te kaupapa o te rangi nei. Tēnā tātou katoa. I te tau 2003, i te Kirihimete i hui mātou o Ngāti Kahungunu i tā mātou hui whakamutunga mō te tau. I reira ka puta mai te kōrero a te mahi o te Kāwanatanga ki te whakatū i tēnei Ture Takutai Moana mō te 2004. I reira ka puta te kōrero ā mātou, ka tau te taunaki kia hīkoi ki te Pāremata nei. Nā mātou i tono atu ki ngā iwi katoa ki Te Tai Tokerau, ki Te Arawa, ki hea rānei, kia hīkoi tahi tātou ki konei i te tau 2004 ki te porotēhi, ki te tū pakari, ki te kōrero, e whakahē ana ki tēnei ture e tango nei i te takutai moana. Nā, kua oti kē te mōhio, e 30,000 tāngata i hīkoi mai, mai i ngā pito katoa—ngā tamariki, ngā kaumātua. Mō ētahi o rātou kua ngaro atu, kua mate. Nā reira i tae mai mātou, i kōrero mātou ki te Pāremata o taua wā, ki te Kāwanatanga, kāre mātou e whakaae ana kua tangohia tēnei ara ki te kōti.
I tīmata mai i Te Tauihu-o-te-Waka i a Ngāti Apa mā. I haere rātou ki te kōti, ki te kimi i tō rātou tūranga i runga ake i te whenua, i te takutai moana i roto i a rātou. Nā, i mahi tino tere te Kāwanatanga kia aukatingia te haere o ngā Māori ki te kōti, ki te kimi mana i runga ake o te takutai moana. Kāhore tērā Kāwanatanga i kōrero ki te iwi Māori. Kāhore rātou i kōrero ki ngā mema o Reipa, ngā mema Māori. Kei te mōhio au, kāre ngā mema i taua wā e tino tautoko ana i tēnā ture ēngari, koinā te mahi o te Pāremata nei. Ko te nuinga ka pōti, ka wikitōria ētahi, ka ngaro tētahi. Nā reira kua pāhi tēnā ture.
Nā reira ko te hīkoi mai i tērā tau, he hīkoi o te ngākau, nā reira, tēnei kua tae mai ki tēnei wā, te rā i whakatau, i pāhi ai tēnei ture takutai moana mō tēnei wā. Nā, mā tēnei ture e mukua tērā pire o te tau 2004, e whakawātea ana i te huarahi kia hoki ngā iwi ki te kōti, atu ki tēnā, ka āhei te kōrero kia haere tonu ngā kōrero kia taea e ngā hapū me ngā iwi ki te tono atu ki te Kāwanatanga me te kōti, ā, i runga i tēnei kaupapa. Ki ahau nei, ko tēnei ture, he utu mō tērā kua whakaturetia i te tau e 2004. Nā reira koinā tāku i tū nei i runga i te mana o ōku tīpuna mātua ki te kī ki a tātou te iwi Māori, anā, kua tae ki tēnei wā kia tū pakari tātou ahakoa pēhea te taumahatanga i runga i ō tātou pokohiwi. Nā reira, anei rā kua tae mai ki tēnei rangi.
Nā reira, māku i tēnei wā e whakamārama atu, ko wai mātou te Pāti Māori. Ko mātou he ringaringa o te Pāremata. Kāhore mātou e kawe te mana, te rangatiratanga o ngā iwi, o ngā hapū, o tāngata mā. Kai a rātou tēnā. Ko te Ao Māori tēnā te rangatiratanga. Ko tēnei he Whare Pāremata, he kaupapa mai i Westminster kua whakatōkia kei roto i tēnei whenua, ka haere katoa ngā kaupapa i raro i tēnā kaupapa o te Whare Pāremata. Ko te kaupapa i konei, ka kōrero tēnā taha tēnei taha ka mutu, ka pōti. Mā te nuinga o ngā pōti e wikitōria. Mehemea he torutoru ngā pōti, ka hinga. He kaupapa Pākehā tēnei, ēhara i te kaupapa Māori. Kia mōhio mai. Kei konei mātou, kua uru atu ki roto i tēnei kaupapa, te kaupapa o te Whare Pāremata. Nā reira anei mātou he ringaringa mō te iwi, he ringaringa mō koutou ngā iwi, ngā hapū. Tukua mai ō koutou kōrero, ō koutou kaupapa. Mehemea ka whakamanatia i roto i tēnei Whare Pāremata, anei rā mātou ki te tautoko i ō koutou tono. Kia mōhio mai. Nā reira tēnā koutou.
Tino pīrangi au ki te whakamārama atu i tēnā. Ki ngā mema i tērā taha e kōrero mai mō te koretake o tēnei Pāti Māori. Ē, tino hē koutou. Tino hē koutou. Kua riro ki a mātou ētahi o ngā hōtaka, ngā kaupapa pēnei i te Whānau Ora;ngā Whare Oranga Ake kia whakahokia ngā mauhere Māori ki roto i te iwi, e rua ngā whare ka tū i tēnei tau; te arotake i tō tātou reo Māori, kī mai te Wai 262, ngaro haere tō tātou reo, kāore anō kia whakapakaritia; anā, nā te Pāti Māori, e tū tētahi arotakenga i te mana o tō tātou reo.
Kei a au tētahi rōpū ōhanga, whakapakari ai i te ōhanga Māori; ngā Māori e mahi ana, ngā manukura o ngā iwi e mahitahi ana mātou ki te whakapakari i te pūtea mō ō tātou iwi, ā, mō te mana o tō tātou iwi. Ko tētahi, ko te kawenata matua kia arotakengia tēnei kawenata. Ka hia tau ka kōrero tātou mō te mana o te Tiriti o Waitangi. Ka hia tau
i tae atu mātou ki Waitangi ki te porotēhi kua tango te mana o te Tiriti o Waitangi, kei hea tēnā i roto i ngā ture o te ao nei, o tēnei whenua? Nā, kua whakaae te Kāwanatanga nei kia arotakengia tēnei kaupapa nui. He wā tēnei mō tātou ki te haramai ki ngā hui kōrero ai, kaua e noho wahangū. Mehemea kei te pīrangi koutou kia whakamanahia tō tātou Tiriti o Waitangi anei, kua huakina mai te tatau. Nā reira haramai koutou ki ērā momo hui, ki te mahi i tēnā.
Ā mātou mahi i tēnei, kōrero au mō te mahi o te Pāti Māori. Te pānui pukapuka i ngā kura, nā mātou i tuku atu ki roto i ngā kura, kura Māori, kura Pākehā katoa mō ngā mea nohinohi, kia āhei ai rātou ki te pānui pukapuka. Ērā mahi katoa. Nā mātou i whakaiti te tāke i runga i te penehīni, me te hikohiko i raro i te kaupapa Government Electronic Tenders Servicei tētahi wā nā tēnei; me te utu mō te tangata ia hāora, nā mātou i werohia tō tātou Kāwanatanga.
Nā reira koinā ahau e tū nei ki te kī, anei rā mātou ō koutou ringaringa. Anei tā mātou mahi kei roto i te Whare Pāremata nei ki te kawe mai i ō koutou hiahia, ki te mahi i ngā mahi kia tuku atu i mua o ngā pāti e rua, toru, whā i konei; ki te kimi huarahi mō tō tātou iwi. Kei te mahi pēnei ai ētahi o ngā mema Pāremata i konei. Ko te katoa o ngā Māori i konei, e tino tautoko ana i te iwi Māori, ngā hapū, ngā iwi. Kāore he Māori i konei, kāre e tautoko ana i te iwi Māori. Ēngari, nā te kaupapa o tēnei wāhi, ka noho tātou, wero tātou i a tātou kei roto i tēnei Whare. Ēngari, i te mutunga ake, anei te Pāti Māori. Kāore he matua kei runga i a mātou, kāore he pāti e kī nei ki a Māori me pēnei, me pēnā. Ko mātou te rōpū motuhake mō koutou. Nā reira kei te mihi au ki te Pirimia, otirā ki ngā Minita, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa kei raro.
[Greetings to you, Mr Deputy Speaker of our House. I acknowledge the members of Parliament present here today, including you, the authorities and languages who have arrived here to celebrate our day. Greetings, welcome, come closer. It is fitting, as well, that I acknowledge those who are no longer with us, the ones who held in their hands the power over the lands, foreshore, lakes, and mountains since time immemorial. We and this land evolved together. We are Māori—tribal, subtribal, and family. So the ones who died and affect us strove to maintain control over the lands in their time, from the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, right down to this day. So I say to you, the dead: depart, farewell, and rest there.
Let me come back to the matter relating to this day. Greetings to you all. In the year 2003, at Christmas, we of Ngāti Kahungunu were at a meeting—our final meeting of the year, in fact. It was there that word came that the Government was planning to draft the Foreshore and Seabed Act for the year 2004. And it was there that the recommendation was made to march upon this Parliament. We asked all tribes from the far north, Te Arawa, and wherever, to march here together with us in 2004, to protest, to stand strong, and to voice our opposition to the law that would take our foreshore and seabed away from us. Now, it is well known that 30,000 people, young and old, marched from all over the country. Some of them have died. So we came, engaged with Parliament and the Government of the day, and said we did not agree to access to the courts being denied.
It began among the tribes of the northern South Island, with Ngāti Apa and others at Te Tauihu-o-te-Waka —the Bow of the Canoe. They went to court to have their rights over the foreshore and seabed determined amongst them. The Government then moved quickly to deny access to the courts by Māori tribes to determine ownership over the foreshore. That Government did not consult the Māori people. It did not consult Labour members and the Māori members of that party. I know for a fact that members at that time did not really support that law, but that is how this Parliament works. It is a majority vote—you win some, and you lose some. So that legislation was passed into law.
The march at that time was one of the heart. We have arrived here now, at this moment, the day this Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is settled and passed, for the moment. This bill will repeal that legislation of the year 2004. It clears the way and enables tribes to go back to the courts again. Beyond that, it enables discussions to continue so that subtribes and tribes can apply to the Government and the courts about this matter. To me, personally, this legislation is payment for the legislation enacted in 2004. So that is why I stand before you, on the power of my ancestors, to say to us, the Māori people, that the time has come for us to stand staunch, regardless of the hardships upon our shoulders. So here we are; we have arrived at this day.
At this point, I shall outline who we of the Māori Party are. We are servants of Parliament. We do not carry the authority and right of authority of the tribes, subtribes, and the people, at all. They have that —Māoridom has it. This is a House of Parliament that originates from Westminster. Its procedures are well and truly embedded in this country. All matters here are conducted under that parliamentary procedure. Each party here speaks, and at the end a vote is cast. The majority vote cast determines an outcome. If there are fewer votes cast, the matter is deemed lost. This is a Pākehā system, not a Māori one. You, the Māori people, have got to understand this. We are here, we have entered into this procedure of Parliament. Therefore, we are your servants in this House, servants for you, the tribes and subtribes. Send us your talk and policies. If you want them enacted here in this House, that is what we are here for—to support your demands. Make a note of it. So thank you collectively.
I really wanted to explain that about us, and to make it clear. To those members on that side of the House who are telling us that this Māori Party is useless, you collectively are so wrong—absolutely incorrect. We have secured programmes and initiatives like Whānau Ora; and ngā Whare Oranga Ake, units to be established to house Māori prisoners so they can be reintegrated into the tribe—two have been built this year. There is a review of our Māori language. Wai 262 states that our language is disappearing—it has not been rejuvenated. Well, as a consequence, a review of the status of our language has been implemented by the Māori Party.
I have an economic taskforce that is tasked to strengthen the economic situation of our tribes. There is another one that relates to the constitution—a major one. How many years have we talked about the status of the Treaty of Waitangi? How many years have we arrived at Waitangi to protest that the status of the Treaty has been removed; where is it in world laws, and in our own? The Government has now agreed to review this important issue. It is an opportunity now for us to come to the forums—but do not sit back in silence. If you collectively want our Treaty of Waitangi enshrined in legislation, the door has been opened up. So come to those sorts of forums to work at that.
In relation to how we deal with this, I will talk about what the Māori Party has done. Reading books in schools: we promoted that in the schools, including Māori schools and all mainstream schools—for preschoolers, as well, to enable them to read—all those kinds of initiatives. We have reduced the tax on petrol, and, in time, electronics, under the Government Electronic Tenders Service scheme; we also challenged the Government about the personal hourly rate.
So that is why I stand here and say to you, the collective, here we are, your servants. Our responsibility in this House is to bring your needs here, to do what has to be done to them before putting them before the parties here, be it two, three, or four, to find ways for our people. Some members work like this here. All Māori members here really support the Māori people, subtribes, and tribes. There is not one who does not. But because of what this place is about, we are forced to poke and prod each other in this
House. But at the end of it all, here is the Māori Party—there is no one in charge above us, no party telling Māori that you should do it this or that way. We are the independent party for you. So I acknowledge the Prime Minister, and, indeed, the Ministers; greetings to you, collectively, and to us all. I end here
Hon TAU HENARE (National)
: Te mea tuatahi, aku mihi ki a koutou e te pāpā Pita, e te whaea Tari, kei a koutou aku rangatira, aku tuākana i roto i te Pāti Māori; tēnei te mihi, tēnei te aroha ki a koutou katoa. Ngā rangatira o te motu nei anei te mihi ki a koutou, e aku rangatira, e aku tuākana i runga i taku komiti, te komiti whiriwhiri take Māori o te Whare nei.
[The first thing is to thank you all—Pita, the fatherly figure; Tariana, the motherly figure; and my esteemed and elder colleagues in the Māori Party. I acknowledge and empathise with you all. To the leaders of this nation, I salute you, the esteemed and respected members on my committee, the Māori Affairs Committee of this House.]
First of all I congratulate the members of the Māori Party, basically on being here and doing what they said they would do, which was to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. So I give big ups to that party. Secondly, it was not National members who stood in this House and accused Māoridom of being haters and wreckers, and who accused people of all sorts of things. When the Prime Minister of this nation, Helen Clark, felt that it was a better look to visit a sheep named Shrek instead of going outside and greeting 50,000 people, I thanked God I was never a voter for that party. Then, having come to this stage of my political career, I hear—
Kelvin Davis: Tell us about when you were a union rep.
Hon TAU HENARE: What about then? I will tell the House what I was doing then. I was talking about the right of people to go to court, the right of people to seek justice in the courts. But within 2 hours of the Court of Appeal decision, both Helen Clark, the Prime Minister, and Margaret Wilson had said that all bets were off. They said: “We’re not going to court, and you Māoris are not going to court to find out whether you own something or don’t.” The Court of Appeal judges said that it would be very hard to prove a case, but people could still come to court and find out whether they could. But that was all Māori asked for. Yes, I know that some of my whānau up north were jumping up and down, left and right, saying that the beaches were ours, and asking how the Government dared to confiscate the beaches. Well, the Government did not do that, but it did confiscate our human right, our civil right, to be able to go to court and seek justice. That is what it was all about. So when the question is asked of me about what was I doing then, I tell the House that I was on the radio, on Newstalk ZB, talking about that stuff. I marched over the harbour bridge in support of the Māori Party, in support of the repeal of the 2004 Act, and in support of the right to seek justice.
I will talk briefly about our Māori Affairs Committee. I congratulate every member on our committee, especially the Māori members, who have had to put up with some of the worst vitriol that I have ever heard inside or outside this place. I say to every party—Labour, National, and the Greens—who had a Māori on that committee that I commend the actions of their members on the committee. I enjoyed myself immensely; it is the committee that I have always wanted to chair, and I finally got my wish.
I turn now to John Boscawen, the “prince of parliamentary procedure”, the prince of—no, not darkness, but he may be one day. I note the sort of vitriol and the twisting and turning of the issues we had from our coalition partner. In my mind, I suppose, this is why Mr Key is the Prime Minister and I am not: if I was the Prime Minister, there would be no warrant for that member who is sitting over there. There would be no warrant for that member sitting over there. I said last week that I accepted the apology—not on behalf of all Māori but on my own behalf—that the Hon Maryan
Street made in this House. It is time for us to move on so that we can deal with the issues that Kelvin Davis raises. It is time for us to say that—
Su’a William Sio: Pākehā and Māori are now at each other over this bill.
Hon TAU HENARE: That is the acolyte from Labour, sitting in the cheap seats. Look, it is time for us to move to a better place—a better place where we can actually have our barbecues and do whatever we want on our beaches. But regardless of any law, whether it be the 2004 Act or the 2011 Act, there will always be somebody who jumps up and says: “Get off my beach! This is not your beach; it is mine.” No law in the land will stop that, so people should not go around using that as an excuse to vote against legislation that I consider to be a wee bit better than the 2004 Act. Will we ever get legislation any better than this? I doubt it—I doubt it. Do members know why? It is because the Greens will never be in Government. They can say what they say because they will never be in Government, and because they will never have to front up to the whole of New Zealand and say: “This is what we have to deliver.” They have to front up to only 5 percent of the nation, and they can say what they want on whatever planet they are on. But they will say it just for that little 5 percent—or, these days, even 6 or 7 percent. Oh, it is 7 percent. But they do not have to say it to the majority of this country. The majority of this country wants just to get on. They just want to be able to put a roof over their heads, they just want to be able to go to the beach and pick a few kai moana for themselves so that they can put it on the table. That is all they want.
Hon John Carter: Or having a rest, even.
Hon TAU HENARE: As John Carter says, even just for a rest. It has nothing to do with anything else, and if people think there is some sort of subliminal takeover of this country by some radical Māoris, my goodness I would like to see it. I would like to see it, because some of my whānau up north have been waiting for a hell of a long time.
To talk about colonialism and imperialism, as a sister did over there, is all well and good for 1880-1890. But this is 2011 and it is time to move on. It is time to pick up our tools, pick up our toys, play together in that big sandpit, and not be divided. If we cannot do that, then we are seriously, seriously in trouble.
I want to turn briefly to my whanaunga Hone Harawira. I believe that a democracy works because we have dissent. It does not work when we do not have dissent. So to all the whānau who turned up the other day—and there were only 200 or 300—
Paul Quinn: Mostly your relations.
Hon TAU HENARE: Yes, they were mostly my relations, and I am from the cradle of colonisation so at least I know what I am talking about. I congratulate them on the manner and the way they came to Parliament, and the way they brought their message. I congratulate them. I cannot congratulate these three groups: the Coastal Coalition, the One New Zealand Foundation, and that party over there. That party has done nothing but cause trouble on racial grounds.
Hon David Parker: You said “that party”. You meant ACT.
Hon TAU HENARE: That ACT Party—I am sorry, it is the ACT Party. I thought Winston was good at it, but boy, he has got nothing on these fellas. I commend the bill to the House and I thank every member of the Māori Affairs Committee who had to go through what they went through—not a lot of committee members have to go through that abuse and vitriol. Congratulations to the Māori Party, and congratulations to National. This is about moving on. This is about the first step of our playing in the big sandpit together.
Hon DAVID PARKER (Labour)
: I begin by saying it is a great sadness that the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill does not settle the issue. As I and other members on behalf of Labour have said previously, it means that the objective that National and the Māori Party set for themselves has not been met. We were very close
to being able to achieve a settlement that all sides could live with. If there had been an acknowledgment on the part of the Māori Party that this legislation, when passed, settled the framework for determination of foreshore and seabed in a fair way, then I think that the rest of Parliament would have rallied round. We would have tried to deal with the detail of the threshold test, we would have tried to take some of the ambiguity out of it, and we would have tried to ensure that it was fair. But, of course, the Māori Party did not take that stance. It actually said that it did not accept it was fair. The co-leaders, the Hon Tariana Turia and the Hon Pita Sharples, and their chief whip, Te Ururoa Flavell, said the same thing. As a consequence this Parliament has been left with an assertion that this settles issues, when we know both from the attitude of parliamentary parties, including the Māori Party, including the ACT Party, and from Hone Harawira and others that it is but a fiction, because they do not accept that this is a fair settlement. That is where, for me, there is a certain sadness, because the issues have narrowed.
I agree with the Hon Tau Henare that this legislation has never been about access to beaches, and that people who use that language are being divisive and are endangering race relations. That is something Labour did not do during the first foreshore and seabed debate, nor in this foreshore and seabed debate. I have to put on record, in response to some of the criticisms that Tau Henare just made of us, some of the comments made in respect of the last foreshore and seabed bill. Some of the worst of them came from current Ministers of the Government. Dr Mapp said: “What the Government is doing here is clearly preferring Māori above all other members of the community … So it is very, very clear that we have two classes of citizenship. Māori are in the preferred position.” That was wrong. It is absolutely clear that if there are two classes of citizenship in New Zealand, those at the bottom of the economic tree more often than not are Māori, not non-Māori.
Nick Smith said: “This bill is racist. This bill is flawed.” He said that 10 percent of the coastline was going to be vested in new foreshore and seabed reserves. He was replying to what Dover Samuels, on behalf of Labour, had said about how it would not make any difference to families wanting to go down to the beach and have a barbecue. Dover Samuels said that in this House because National members as senior as Don Brash, Bill English, and Gerry Brownlee had all been saying access was at risk. Dover Samuels was making the point that that was not the case with the legislation, and indeed there was an explicit clause in that legislation that preserved public rights of access. What did Nick Smith say at the time? He said: “Well, yes, it does, and I will tell members why. In relation to the 10 percent that his Māori caucus claims will now be foreshore and seabed reserves, it will be for the management committee to decide who will be able to have a barbecue and where.” That is what
Hansard shows was being said at the time. It was irresponsible and it caused a real divisive hatred around this legislation, which this country has yet to get over totally. There are still misunderstandings in respect of both ends of the spectrum of opinion as to what was the effect of the Ngāti Apa decision, what was the effect of the Foreshore and Seabed Act that we passed, and what is the effect of this bill.
I come back to the issue of whether there has been political leadership. I have quoted previously a column by John Armstrong, which I thought summed this up. I know that I have referred to it a couple of times previously but it is worth repeating, because I thought he hit it on the head. He said that at the start of this debate we had the Māori Party and their forerunners saying that the existing legislation, the Foreshore and Seabed Act, was far too rigid and did not fairly recognise Māori unextinguished customary interests in the foreshore and seabed. That was at one end of the spectrum. National, at the other end of the spectrum, was saying that yes, it did far too much. In
the middle we had Labour, which was actually closer to the Māori Party end of the spectrum than it was to the National end of the spectrum. National moved past where we were on the Foreshore and Seabed Act and it did what we had recommended in our submission to the review tribunal, which was to restore the right to get a remedy from the court. One always had the right to go to court to show that but for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, one had an unextinguished interest. One did not have a right to get a remedy from the court and one had to go back and rely upon negotiation with the Crown—effectively the grace and favour of a future Government—and a future Government could do an injustice by refusing a remedy, and that was wrong. We said that was wrong; we actually agreed with the Māori Party on that. That could have been achieved by way of an amendment to the legislation. The Government has chosen a repeal; we could have gone along with that too.
Anyway, we moved there and National moved there. We could have even been pushed a little bit further on some of those things if we had actually had certainty. But we could not, because the Māori Party would not make that little movement from where they sat, to actually being leaders and saying that the matter was settled for the sake of our country. We then put up another remedy and said that if we could not reach agreement about what the appropriate threshold tests are, we could do what the Greens and the ACT Party suggested, which was to put the whole thing back to the court, including the threshold tests, to let the court determine the threshold tests. In that way Māori rights would be fully recognised. There would no longer be any misapprehension, at least in this House, that access is at risk. That would have been a good solution. It would also have ensured that Māori customary interests were no more than fully recognised. Well, that cannot cause an injustice, because this is all about the common law right in the first place, too.
We represent the broad spectrum of opinion within the country. We have a very strong Māori caucus, which is keen to protect the legitimate interests of Māori, and to protect their unextinguished customary rights. We have representatives of other parts of society, as well, and we all agree that our Māori members are right. We should fully, but no more than fully, recognise unextinguished interests in the foreshore and seabed. We proposed that the whole thing be referred back to the court. There was general agreement that there needed to be legislation for the sake of settled race relations and that access was not a threat. There was general agreement that we had to make sure that customary interests could not be alienated, because there was a theoretical risk under Te Ture Whenua Maori Act following the Ngāti Apa decision that recognised that customary interests could be converted to freehold title and then sold. It was always necessary to have some legislation to close off that possibility, and there is now agreement that it was appropriate to legislate re access.
We are here not because of a failure on the part of the Opposition parties to show willingness to compromise and to get this issue settled. We are actually here because the Māori Party was not willing to make that little bit of movement. We are also here because the Prime Minister was not willing to pick up the phone and say to the Māori Party: “This is the deal, guys. We said we were going to settle this, and unless we settle it, we’re not going to go through with this charade.” If he had done that—well, we might have had a settlement also, because the Māori Party might have backed down to that. Alternatively, National could then have accepted that the issue could not be settled, as the fresh codification of the threshold tests was not going to work. National could have accepted that that will not work to the satisfaction of the range of interests that showed up to the Māori Affairs Committee. Then it could have moved to our position and referred the whole thing to the court, and that would have settled it, too. It is sad that this is not settled.
I turn to some of the problems we are left with in the process. We still do not know what the legal effect of the changes to the thresholds test is, because Parliament has not had any legal—
Simon Bridges: I do.
Hon DAVID PARKER: We have heard Simon Bridges say he knows. It would have been helpful if he had told us at the select committee. We were blocked from obtaining legal advice. The Foreshore and Seabed Act had the benefit of advice from a professor who happened to be visiting New Zealand from Cambridge University, who was an expert in matters of international common law rights relating to unextinguished customary interests. We had no such advice at the select committee. The Government blocked us from getting the advice it already had; it refused to let that advice come to the select committee. It was entitled to do that. It can claim privilege, but if it claims privilege it shows that the select committee really should be getting its own legal advice. We are now left with both Māori submitters and some of the submitters such as the Coastal Coalition having completely different views about what the effect is of the test, because it remains uncertain. Labour opposes the passage of this legislation.
PAUL QUINN (National)
: I will focus on three aspects of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill in my contribution to this debate. Firstly, I take the opportunity to thank the advisers whom I see in the gallery, and whom I acknowledge, and also the select committee staff. I wonder whether anyone knows how much I, at least, appreciated their very hard work, by paying them the compliment—unlike the members on the opposite side of the House—of actually reading the material they put in front of us. I acknowledge and thank them for that.
I will also talk a little bit about the process. It is fortunate that the previous speaker spoke a wee bit about the process, because what he just said was a load of bollocks. It is as simple as that. Labour declared its position on 9 December. Labour members said: “It is this or nothing.” I have here the press release. On 9 December Labour declared its position, and that was it. The Green Party member on the Māori Affairs Committee sat in the committee and said nothing. Notwithstanding the fact that the leader of that party said that we did not discuss the report, the member who was present when we did discuss it is sitting in the House right now. When we were deliberating he was asked for a contribution. The chairman asked him whether he had something to say, and what did the Green Party member say? He said that, no, he had nothing to contribute, and that his party was writing an independent report.
The point is that those people had already declared their positions. Therefore, what was the chairman left to do? The chairman was left to say that if that were the case, the best form of sunlight—
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I refer the member to the Speakers’ rulings on page 117. There are a number of them there. It is a third reading speech. We need to concentrate on the content of the bill. The member may mention what has happened in the Committee of the whole House, but may not speak at length on the select committee process.
PAUL QUINN: The chairman—wisely, I think—made the decision to bring the bill back to the Committee of the whole House and, in fact, to have all 86 recommendations that were recommended by the departmental report talked about in the Committee of the whole House. I ask what greater acknowledgment of democracy there is than to actually get it out of the secrecy of the select committee and have the debate here, and thrash it out so that the people could see the positions of each party. What did we do? We took notice of all of those submissions, and, as a consequence, we had thousands of amendments. That puts to bed the issue of process.
The last matter I want to focus on in my short contribution to the debate is the main difference between the major Opposition party and ourselves, and that is the issue of codification. This is where the Opposition has said that it wants to leave it to the courts, full stop. The problem with leaving it to the courts—and history has shown this, as I have referred to in an earlier debate—is that since 1877 we have had three principal cases on which the Ngāti Apa case was based, and they are all different. Each decision has taken the debate in a new direction. In fact, this Government, under the guidance of the Attorney-General, said that, yes, we need to have the capability to go to court, but we need to ring-fence it, and that is what codification does. It says we make the judgments, but it is within these boundaries.
It has been a great privilege for me to be part of this process, and, as a parting shot, I offer a loan of my tikanga book to the ACT Party so that it might get to know it better and be more fully informed when it wants to debate the issue going forward.
SIMON BRIDGES (National—Tauranga)
: The Māori Affairs Committee received nearly 5,800 submissions and heard several hundred submissions orally. There was a lot of disagreement. There was not much consensus. But the process was, as the departmental report made clear, robust and we listened. The process was not a waste of time; it was valuable. We made changes that the constituency that John Boscawen is trying to appeal to, as well as others, will appreciate and be reassured by. Firstly, we made it explicit in clause 27 that the public cannot be charged for access to the common marine and coastal area. Arguably we did not need to do that, but we did. Clause 94 was amended so that negotiated agreements can now come into effect only following the scrutiny of this House and legislation. A large raft of technical amendments was also asked for by the courts, etc., to ensure that this law works as it is intended. As I have said, there was disagreement. People disagreed for completely different reasons.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I cautioned the previous speaker that in a third reading members can talk only about the contents of the bill as reported back from the select committee. This is a third reading speech. It is not a discussion about what happened at the select committee.
SIMON BRIDGES: I am well aware of the submissions we received. But the question I would like to pose in relation to this bill—and the substance of the bill as it was reported back to the House—is what is a responsible Government to do in the instance where there is complete discord, where consensus is not to be found? How should the Government deal with these hard issues? We could throw our hands up in the air and do nothing. Let us call that the ostrich option, where we bury our head in the sand. But that option just leaves the problem as a problem. Another bolder Government that is more equal to the task would still have to find a solution. We should not just defer problems, and that is not the kind of Government that I ever want to be a part of. Instead, we have dealt with this problem. We have balanced the various competing views in the interests of all Kiwis. This means, of course, that there are a number of grumpy people—Steve Chadwick not the least of them. But that is better than the ostrich strategy where ignorance is bliss until the ostrich is finally road kill.
Frankly, with a complex issue like the foreshore and seabed, there is no perfect answer. There is no quick fix. There are no simple truths that everyone can sign up to. Rather, there are different perspectives where the best we can hope for is the least bad or least wrong solution. I believe that we have the best solution possible even if it may not be “the right one”.
Hon Steve Chadwick: Oh!
SIMON BRIDGES: Labour’s solution—and Steve Chadwick makes some faint moan—which is its sixth solution to date, is to repeal the 2004 law and leave this hard issue to some unelected judges to sort out. That response is a cop-out. I agree with Paul
Quinn that one of the problems is that we do not know what we will get, but it is also an abrogation of our responsibility in this House to another less well-equipped branch of Government to solve the problem. When I say “less well-equipped”, I do not mean any slight on the judges. It is just that they would have to try to do what we have just done, which is, effectively, hold a select committee and listen to the various voices on this, then attempt to balance the competing issues. The problem is that they cannot. Lon Fuller has noted that, as jurists, they are not set up for that. Courts are geared up to hear a couple of parties and to decide between their competing contentions. They have no process to hear from thousands as we did. We do. As a Government we will not cop out on this difficult issue.
Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA (Labour—Ikaroa-Rāwhiti)
E tū atu tēnei ki te mihi ki a koutou i tae kaha ake ki konei ki te whakarongo ki te otinga o te pire nei. E mihi kau ana ki ngā kanohi Māori katoa i roto i te Whare nei mō tēnei tino take. Tēnā tātou.
[I rise to acknowledge you for being resolute to get here to listen to the completion of this bill. I particularly pay a tribute to all the Māori in this House in respect of this great matter. Greetings to us.]
I stood in front of the 2004 hīkoi, and it was unnerving because a lot of young whānau members were there. It has been a telling time from then until now. The Māori Party came to Parliament and said that it would repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act. I recognise the chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, the Hon Tau Henare, especially for the very important statement he made in which he said he believed that the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is a wee bit better. I think that puts the bill into a clear framework. Whether the bill is a wee bit better or a whole lot worse is something that only time will tell. I certainly recognise the Attorney-General for his sterling effort, but I will also go back and recognise my colleague and friend Michael Cullen for his effort.
I will raise a couple of salient points. There is insufficient legal analysis on the threshold test for the establishment of customary title, which has been criticised as being both too high and too low. It was very interesting to hear the Deputy Prime Minister state that we need to modernise, and that we should not stay back in 1840. The right given to Māori here is in relation to the kawenata—that document—that forged the relationship between Pākehā and Māori; it is nothing more, nothing less. I am not too sure if this is a forewarning for why, of all the things to attack, the Government starts attacking Māori programmes and activities. I could get into a bunfight with the present Minister of Māori Affairs by telling him what Labour did and what he has not done, but I will leave that for another time. I do not have the time now, and there are more important things to say, but I would tell the Minister and convince him that when I was Minister I did a whole lot better than the Government is doing at the moment. I also have a question about the veto rights conferred upon iwi in respect of developments within customary title areas. I believe they undermine the full and final nature of the commercial aquaculture settlement—these are points to watch as we go along—and that the hapū and iwi planning documents are rated second in relation to what is already there.
There are some really interesting things that have come out during this great debate since 2004, in the sense of this being the supposed end-all and be-all. We can wax lyrical about Don Brash’s red-neckery, and Tau standing with him near the board sometimes—I will never forgive him for that—and supporting it, but some of the worst vitriol I have heard from useless Pākehā in this Parliament has been from the people in the ACT Party. It is outrageous, disgusting, and gutless that we should go to those extremes. There is nothing worse than extreme Pākehās; they are no better than extreme
Māoris. That is one of them down there. I took umbrage at my sister Metiria saying that we were sell-outs or whatever, and that we need to have further discussions, because what I have learnt that this place is that it is about numbers. Sure, maybe in 2004 we could have done better, and there were different numbers in our own organisation. I have no shame in standing here and saying that. If it has hurt some of my whānau, I apologise, but that is exactly what has happened.
Matua Pita said that no organisation is sitting over him. The irony is that the Māori Party members are caught in the same catch-22 situation we were in. They are four of the defining numbers that would make a difference in the vote for this bill. Even at this late stage, I humbly ask them to reverse their decision. They have four of the defining votes. I tell members that I have never known any Māori to cut off access to the beach. Where I come from, we control the land along the beach, and irrespective of the legislation and the courts, we will define and determine what happens there. But it is good that we are at this stage. It is good that we can bring finality. I could go on and on about the highest level of Māori unemployment in this country since the Second World War. I could go on and on about people not being able to feed their kids, fill their cars up to go to the hospital, and all of that “rubbish”—as people think it is. That is what the Deputy Prime Minister was suggesting: that we should modernise everything and drop the culture. I say to Bill English, tell the Scots to stop playing the bagpipes.
HONE HARAWIRA (Independent—Te Tai Tokerau)
: Tēnā tātou katoa e te Whare. “Te tino rangatiratanga, ka ngaro i te ture nei. Te mana o ngā tāngata whenua, ka ngaro i te ture nei.” Our sovereignty is lost under this law. Our authority as people of the land is lost under this law. Those words were spoken by a strong supporter of the Māori Party, Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru, when the hīkoi arrived to oppose the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill. They represent the feelings of Māori throughout Aotearoa who are opposed to this racist bill, which will become law when the Māori Party votes for it.
This is a sad moment for Māoridom. It is the end of a long and hopeful, but ultimately tragic, journey that began when 50,000 people marched to oppose Labour’s confiscation of our rights to the foreshore and seabed in 2004, and blossomed when the Māori Party was elected to win back those rights in 2005. Hopes were lifted by the review in 2009, but, sadly, will be betrayed in 2011, when the Māori Party votes against the people who put them in power and in support of the continued confiscation of Māori rights to the foreshore and seabed.
Eighty-nine percent of Māoridom does not want this racist bill, but still the Māori Party tells everyone that it is a Māori Party bill. Those members are pleased to stand in support of it, even though Tariana Turia has said that if they were negotiating on what is fair, just, and moral, then there would have been a very different outcome; even though when Te Ururoa Flavell was asked: “Who is running the timetable?”, he said it was National, when asked: “Who wrote the bill?”, he said it was National, and when asked: “Whose bill is this?”, he said it was National’s; and even though Rahui Katene said they knew that the test the Court of Appeal put in place was far too high and that few would be able to meet it.
So confused and contradictory are the comments of the Māori Party MPs whose votes will turn this racist bill into law that I struggle to understand why they would do it. But a friend explained it like this: “Isn’t it amazing how you can become so embroiled in a fight that you don’t even notice who you are fighting anymore? You become so defensive you stop hearing the other person’s argument, even if it is reasonable. You switch off; you only hear the voices that agree with you. You know deep in your heart that you are wrong, and in those moments when you have only yourself to answer to, you even acknowledge that you might be wrong, but you blindly
carry on in your course of destruction because you are stubborn. It takes a huge amount of humility to back down when you have invested so much energy in the fight, but unless you do find a way to gracefully acknowledge that you are wrong, you continue to reap angst and disharmony and you alienate people that you care about. I think that is where the Māori Party is at. I hope they find the mana they need to step back, refocus, and see who the real enemy is.”
I support the repeal of the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act. I support Moana Jackson’s proposal that we take that repeal and simply add to it a 2-year moratorium to give Māori the opportunity to come back with a better deal than this.
In closing, I take this opportunity to thank the Māori Party for raising this issue, albeit it gave it up without winning tūpuna title; the ministerial review panel for the excellent and insightful report; the Attorney-General for fronting hui, although his viewpoint was never accepted; the Greens for their consistent support for the Māori view on this; the 50,000 people who marched with us against injustice in 2004; and the 500 people who marched for us against injustice in 2011.
But, most of all, I thank our Māori people for their courage in the face of the continued denial of their rights, for the compassion that they display for others, and for the deep and abiding love they have for this land we call Aotearoa—a love they share with other New Zealanders, whom I know also care passionately about this land. But there is a special love that comes to Māori by being born of this land. They are descendants of a people for whom the takutai moana is, and always will be, a part of their very existence. Although others might say that they have given up on this fight, I pledge to Māoridom that, for me at least, this fight will not end until Māori finally have tūpuna title to the takutai moana that they truly deserve.
Tū te Ao Māori, tū te rangatiratanga, tū motuhake, tēnā tātou katoa.
- [Long live Māoridom, sovereignty, and independence; greetings to us all.]
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Attorney-General)
: The third reading of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill marks the end of more than 2 years of consultation and policy development on a matter that has troubled this nation for many years. Today this House will repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 and replace it with new legislation that recognises and protects the interests and rights of all New Zealanders to the common marine and coastal area. It will confirm the right of public access without charge to that area. It will protect the rights of coastal navigation, port activities, other infrastructure, and access to minerals. And it develops a way in which Māori can seek to have their interests and rights protected on an equal basis. That recognition and protection will include recognition of mana tuku iho status for iwi and hapū to acknowledge ancestral connections with specific parts of the common marine and coastal area. It allows for the recognition of customary rights associated with the exercise of longstanding activities, and it gives iwi, hapū, and whānau the right to seek customary title to specific parts of the common marine and coastal area to which they have had longstanding and continuing connections, subject to the continuing right of access.
It has been said at various times during the debate that the Government was rushing things, or was not taking enough time. Indeed, just a few minutes ago Hone Harawira was asking again for the bill to be delayed in favour of a long conversation. Well, we have already had a long conversation. The ministerial review panel, which recommended repeal of the 2004 Act, was set up 2 years ago and reported in June 2009. The bill we debate today has been before the House for 6 months. One thing that has become very clear over those 6 months is that noise does not always equal principled opposition. But for all the noise, what emerged during the debate of the Committee of
the whole House was that there is consensus among nearly everyone in this House on the most important points—in particular, the repeal of the 2004 Act; in particular, the restoration of the right of iwi to seek customary title.
There have been points of difference between the parties, but I think those differences have narrowed as the debate has gone on. As I said, we agreed that the right to seek recognition of customary title must be restored. Then there was the narrow issue of how we provide for that access to justice. The bill provides guidance for the courts based on the remarks of the Court of Appeal in the Ngāti Apa case, the experience of Commonwealth jurisdictions such as Canada, and our shared understanding as New Zealanders of the importance of beach culture and manaakitanga. The alternative proposal would be to repeal the existing law and leave the courts to piece together the tests and awards of customary title from scratch. But that would probably take years to achieve and lead to uncertainty.
We believe certainty is important. That is why codification of the tests and awards is necessary. Indeed, that was the view of many submitters to the Māori Affairs Committee considering the bill. It was also the view of former Attorney-General Michael Cullen. In Labour’s extremely good submission to the review panel in 2009 he wrote that the goals of certainty and equity demanded that tests and awards should be codified in the legislation, and I agree with Dr Cullen. On a number of occasions I have acknowledged Dr Cullen’s submission and thanked him for his very positive contribution to the debate. Today I record my thanks to him for his help.
In all my consultation, I never once met one iwi leader who wanted to stop the public from going on to any customary title area. This set of values about the marine and coastal area is shared by all of us, and is expressed in the fact that Labour and the Greens would also legislate for free public access and the inalienability of customary title.
Parliament created this problem in 2003-04 following the court ruling on the Ngāti Apa case. It is incumbent on Parliament now to provide a solution and to put things right. We cannot sit by and shrug our shoulders because it may be a difficult task. It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and snipe as the Green Party did. The Green Party has not made one positive contribution to the debate. Third-rate sloganeering is not a contribution. I have some very friendly advice for the ACT Party members, who have been schizophrenic on this issue, not knowing whether to be tea partiers or classical liberals—Sarah Palin or Margaret Thatcher. Choose Margaret Thatcher! Choose classical liberalism! It is a much classier brand.
In the end I think we have struck the right balance. I note that in the report last year of the UN special rapporteur, James Anaya, he wrote that the bill represents a notable effort to reverse some of the principal areas of concern of the 2004 Act.
Today I pay tribute to the Māori Party for always holding firm to its principles. Working with my colleagues in the Māori Party on this issue has been the highlight of my time in Parliament. They have achieved repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and no one can take that away from them. I particularly mention the Hon Tariana Turia. She has shown quiet dignity and courage in support of her convictions. She does not seek the headlines. She does not need to rant to get her views across; rather, she approaches issues fairly and with the gravity they demand. She is a great New Zealander and a class act.
I acknowledge the leader of the United Future party, Peter Dunne. He has taken a principled approach on this debate from 2003 onwards. He has been of great assistance to me as we worked to find a just solution. I thank David Parker, Parekura Horomia, Mita Ririnui, Kelvin Davis, and Shane Jones for their contributions during the Committee stage of the bill. I have great respect for those parliamentarians. We
disagreed on a few key issues, but I agree with David Parker that the debate on their part was devoid of hyperbole and rancour. It was a very positive contribution. That is why I am mildly disappointed with Shanes Jones’ somewhat resentful and waspish contribution this afternoon. Having said that, however, I congratulate Mr Jones on his outstanding amendment. It was so good that it was unanimously accepted by the Committee. Finally, I acknowledge the hard work of the officials in the Ministry of Justice and the Parliamentary Counsel Office. I thank them for their outstanding efforts.
Today we move to settle an issue that has troubled our nation for a long time, but I am confident, and I genuinely believe, that this legislation recognises the interests of all New Zealanders in the common marine and coastal area. It rights a wrong that occurred in 2004. It represents a just solution to a difficult problem. I commend the bill to the House.
- A party vote was called for on the question that the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill be now read a third time.
HONE HARAWIRA (Independent—Te Tai Tokerau)
: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you explain why you gave the Māori Party the opportunity to vote differently, but not me?
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: According to the interpretation, the member did not cast a vote. No vote was cast but a view was expressed.
HONE HARAWIRA (Independent—Te Tai Tokerau)
: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. A vote was cast.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: This matter led to the recall of the Speaker during the Committee stage of the bill. He ruled very clearly that unless the interpretation was clear that a vote had been cast, it would not be counted. I have ruled accordingly.
Hon Members: Point of order, Mr Speaker.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is the end of the matter.
Hon JOHN CARTER (Minister of Civil Defence)
: I seek leave of the House to allow the member to recast his vote.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Leave is sought for the member to cast his vote. Is there any objection? There is no objection. I will ask Hone Harawira to cast his vote.
A party vote was called for on the question,
That the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill be now read a third time.
||New Zealand National 58; Māori Party 4; United Future 1.
||New Zealand Labour 39; Green Party 9; ACT New Zealand 5; Progressive 1; Independents: Carter C, Harawira.
|Bill read a third time.