Labour backs down on Foreshore & Seabed Law

April 22nd, 2009 at 5:46 am by David Farrar

It is good that Labour has said it was wrong to legislate to remove the ability of Iwi to seek title in court for parts of the Foreshore & Seabed. Access to the courts should not be removed at whim by a panicked Government.

It is bad that once again they try to rewrite history about why they did so. Here is what Dr Cullen says:

believed at the time of the Ngati Apa decision that it would have been unacceptable not to respond to the Court of Appeal ruling in a definitive way. The finding created widespread uncertainty that a responsible Government needed to address.

“We responded with the best solution possible at the time. But I have always regretted the fact that National and other parties refused to enter into proper discussions on this issue, so that a broad political consensus – as has been established with the Treaty settlement process – could be reached.

Labour made their key decision before there was any attempt to get consensus. Within just a few days of the Court of Appeal ruling, Clark and Wilson announced they would legislate to over-turn the decision.

“The matter must be resolved once and for all. Now that National claims to have disavowed its previous ‘Iwi vs Kiwi’ stance and a review has been established, the potential for that broad consensus to be reached appears possible.

Labour are trying to rewrite history to portray their decision to legislate to remove access to the courts, as being the result of National’s Iwi/Kiwi campaign.  Again – the truth is Labour made the key decision to legislate within a few days of the Court decision – which was around two years or more before the Iwi/Kiwi billboard.

The sensible and principled thing to do would have been to appeal the Court of Appeal decision to the Privy Council. Labour did not want to do that as they had announced they wished to abolish such appeals, so rather than follow the law, they unilaterally changed it.

Chris Finlayson has resisted the urge to score cheap points at Labour’s expense (a lesson they could learn) and is reported as saying:

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson last night welcomed Labour’s move.

“I agree completely with Dr Cullen’s sentiment that the review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act needs to be approached in a non-partisan way, and that the issue should not be used as a political football.

“I welcome his assurance that the Labour Party will engage constructively with the review. Our goal is to reach the best possible outcome for Maori and all the people of New Zealand, and it is important that the voices of all parties in Parliament are heard.”

Of course the details of what the review panel proposes will be crucial.

Tags: , ,

14 Responses to “Labour backs down on Foreshore & Seabed Law”

  1. Rob Salmond (246 comments) says:

    If you are going to praise people for not scoring cheap political points and condemn people for rewriting history, then you probably shouldn’t: (1) try to score cheap points yourself; by (2) rewriting history. Kind of hurts your credibility.

    You know very well that National’s hardline stance on Maori and treaty of Waitangi issues substantially pre-dates the Iwi/Kiwi billboards, and goes back at least to Don Brash’s Orewa speech in January 2004. You also know very well the horrified view that most Maori took of that hardline stance – during the exact time that Parliament was debating the original Foreshore and Seabed Bill. In implying that Labour made its decisions during 2004 without regard to National’s hardline stance, you are scoring cheap points by rewriting history into a work of fantasy fiction.

    I think it is great that both National and Labour have climbed down from previous positions on this. Maybe know we can get some sensible, lasting law in this area. In Chris Finlayson achieves this, he will be deservedly praised.

    I also agree with you that the time for scoring cheap partisan points on this is over. It is just a pity that you do not follow your own advice.

    [DPF: Oh I enjoy partisan points. I am not the Attorney-General who sensibly is above such things. I'm a mere blogger]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. RainbowGlobalWarming (288 comments) says:

    Oh David, you and I know that Labour are clearly a party of whiny pantie waisted jobs worths who couldn’t organise a by-election in an ex-Labour stronghold let alone form a meaningful partnership with Maori.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Rob Salmond (246 comments) says:

    [DPF: Oh I enjoy partisan points. I am not the Attorney-General who sensibly is above such things. I'm a mere blogger]

    Partisan points I can respect and plead gleefully guilty to. Rewriting history not so much. If you need to rewrite history to score a partisan point, then it isn’t much of a partisan point.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,872 comments) says:

    I would have thought the history teacher might have had enough brains to keep his trap shut.

    And as far as the very dodgy Mr Salmond is concerned it appears ‘rewriting history’ doesn’t apply when it comes to Labour.

    He says not one word to refute the truth of David’s analysis. Just some wishy washy bullshit with the dead set giveaway introduction “You know very well……….” as he swans off to skilfully change the subject from ‘was there any consultation?” to a dissertation on prevailing attitudes at the time.

    Well Mr Salmond, facts are facts. THERE WAS NO CONSULTATION. Now, what more Labour lies do you have up your sleeve?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Inventory2 (10,270 comments) says:

    Kiore mate anyone?

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2009/04/labours-kiore-mate.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Elvis Christ (29 comments) says:

    Hmm, seems like Labour are slowly learning that trampling on private property rights really pisses people off.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. peterwn (3,239 comments) says:

    There would have been no point in taking it to the Privy Council. Their Lordships would have basically said ‘We do not understand things Maori – the NZ Court of Appeal is best eequipped to consider this sort of thing. This was one of the factors that was considered or ought to have been considered in the Supreme Court debate. There was a whole raft of matters where the legal buck effectively stopped at the Court of Appeal with no further paractical avenue of appeal because the Law Lords considered themselves out of their depth on such matters.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    The whole Foreshore and Seabed debate has been particularly problematic for the left in New Zealand, and it means that the left has often been rather schizophrenic about whether to support a) the nationalisation of the beaches or b) support Maori struggles.

    Personally I always agreed with the Labour’s basic Foreshore and Seabed Act, and saw it is a fairly clear left-right issue. Back in 2003 I wrote the following article arguing that leftists should support the nationalisation of the beaches:
    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2003/12/nationalise_the.html

    Labour’s U-turn on the matter is an another example of the party being pulled further towards the right, into the new boring political consensus.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Of course this flip flop has nothing to do with one of Cullen’s new private roles as an advisor to 3 iwi

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Patrick Starr

    No of course not, Cullen was always against this bill as were all of Labour and it was National that drafted the law and passed it. It’s a myth that Cullen even voted for the law or that the Labour party colleagues agreed with the intent.

    Oh… Did I do too much Dr. Cullen style re-write of the past in that ? Rob Salmond, can you back me up, I know you are good at making stuff up if it makes Labour sound good….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. expat (4,049 comments) says:

    I see the Salmond is flip flopping his way across the wet grass of the Mt Albert motorway extension. Look out for the electorate in the large van….too late.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Ross Miller (1,687 comments) says:

    One is perhaps entitled to ask if the Labour Party Research Unit has links with David Irving given their/his propensity for rewriting history.

    And Rob Salmond doesn’t exactly enhance his own credibility by tying his horse to the same wagon.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Pat (76 comments) says:

    According to Cullen-speak, National are to blame for the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. Give me a break. The history teacher who sought to create history is now wanting to re-write history because his political career is history.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,744 comments) says:

    Labour doesn’t so much “back down” as “bend over” of late. :lol:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.