Editorials 16 June 2010

June 16th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald says the reshuffle is only the start for :

Probably the most notable aspect of the Labour Party’s reshuffle was ’s acknowledgment that further change is needed.

Halfway through the electoral term, his party is struggling to dent the Government’s popularity, despite the helping hand provided by policies such as the mining of the conservation estate and an increase in GST.

Clearly, Mr Goff will need to place more figures with vigour and political appeal around him before the end of the year. Yesterday’s reshuffle of positions and responsibilities should have been merely the starting point. …

Mr Goff has acted decisively against those exposed for their misuse of credit cards. A tougher test will be orchestrating a thorough Labour renewal this year.

The party’s failure to gain traction leaves Labour that option or one other – a resuffle from the bottom, in which Mr Goff and deputy Annette King are moved by their colleagues rather than the other way around.

I believe Goff is safe until the election.

The other three are on the foreshore and seabed announcement. First The Press:

The 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act was one of the most contentious and deeply flawed pieces of legislation passed by the previous government.

The act stripped Maori of the basic right to have the courts test foreshore and seabed claims and led to the split in Labour ranks which produced the Maori Party. Labour was subsequently unable to find an acceptable alternative to its legislation but now Prime Minister John Key has achieved just this, with a solution that is fairer for all New Zealanders. …

For Key and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, the agreement brokered this week is one of the most significant achievements of their first term in the Beehive. It offers the prospect of a balanced and lasting settlement to a divisive issue which has for six years been, as Key aptly noted, a “weeping sore” in New Zealand.

And the Dom Post:

A last-minute pre-Cabinet meeting on Monday, involving Mr Key, Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson, the Maori Party and the Iwi Leadership Group, came up trumps. In a deal that is too timid for some Maori and too bold for some Pakeha, the hated 2004 legislation will go, foreshore and seabed now vested in the Crown will become “public space”, which cannot be sold, and customary title and customary rights will be recognised by way of a new court process or direct negotiations with the Crown.

Mr Key seemed genuinely to want this agreement. He has increasingly grasped the uncomfortable fact that the country cannot move forward unless and until Maori grievances are honourably settled. With that at least partially achieved thanks to Monday’s deal, the prime minister, Maori Party MPs and iwi leaders, however, must do more than pat each other on the back. That many Kiwis are unhappy almost goes without saying.

And finally the ODT:

The Government has had its way with its favoured plan, and despite contending otherwise, has made some concessions whose effective outcome may be determined not by elected Parliament but by unelected courts – hardly a desirable situation in a property-owning democracy headed by a Government which purports to have sought “balance” in its scheme.

The Maori Party can claim a long-term gain sufficient to cover any embarrassment about its short-term compromise.

There may yet be room for adjustment, or at least for some acknowledgement of the equal status – if it still exists – of the vast majority of New Zealanders, including urban non-tribal Maori, whose future connection with the foreshore and seabed is apparently to be legally classified as of inferior virtue.

Thus does grievance lie upon grievance.

The very unhappy it seems.

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10 Responses to “Editorials 16 June 2010”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    The ODT is unhappy and rightly so.
    JK and The National Party is taking us away from all of us owning the S&F.
    They have not dealt with Sian Elias judicial activism (then or in the future).

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  2. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Armstrong also sates “that the fracas with Carter is viewed by the public as evidence of discord and disunity which indicates Labour is in no fit condition to take back the reins of government.”

    How very true.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I believe Goff is safe until the election.”

    Maybe. The Little faction must be pretty close to making a move after this debacle. I reckon many in Labour must be thinking that the Rainbow/ Progressive alliance has run its course.

    What’s the election going to prove?? That Goff’s a no hoper?? Ain’t that evident enough already?

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  4. Fletch (5,726 comments) says:

    The 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act was one of the most contentious and deeply flawed pieces of legislation passed by the previous government.

    @ The Press

    How so? It seemed very good to me. Under Crown “ownership” the F&S belonged to everyone and no one. It wasn’t so much owned as administered by the Crown. Everyone could make use of it. I still think of the beach as a no mans land that is neither land or sea but something in between that no one should be able to own. It’s like the front passenger seat of a family car that the kids have to take turns in using – the parent wisely oversees that it is shared.

    Getting rid of Crown ownership now opens up that seat to squabbling –

    “it’s mine”

    “no, it’s mine”

    “but I was here first!”

    “that doesn’t matter – you went away!”

    “I used to sit in that seat driving with Dad before you were born”

    “so? I’m here now. How does that make it fair? We’re both here now.”

    I think Key has made a grave error.

    It offers the prospect of a balanced and lasting settlement to a divisive issue which has for six years been, as Key aptly noted, a “weeping sore” in New Zealand.

    The Press there is just re-mouthing oft-repeated phrases. It’s lazy journalism. They should learn to think for themselves.
    I think the ODT and Dom Post have a better idea.

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  5. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Patience may be safer for future Labour leaders – taking over now and almost inevitably losing the next election may mean a change is only temporary. And it’s easier to roll a losing leader.

    On the other hand a new person may gain valuable experience leading through a losing election and building on that through the next term.

    Mr Key seemed genuinely to want this agreement. He has increasingly grasped the uncomfortable fact that the country cannot move forward unless and until Maori grievances are honourably settled.

    Not grasped by some of the foaming mouth reactionaries on this blog, who rubbish Maori for doing nothing for themselves and hate it when they do something.

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  6. Fletch (5,726 comments) says:

    Not grasped by some of the foaming mouth reactionaries on this blog, who rubbish Maori for doing nothing for themselves and hate it when they do something.

    Pete, I don’t see that as “doing it for themselves”. It’s easy to put your hand out for something and expect it be given to you for free. ‘Doing it for yourself’ is building something from the ground up – doing it the hard way.

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  7. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Phil Goff is getting all tangled up in his puppet strings Helen left him hunging on… the only thing that can be done for him now is for someone to step up and cut them..

    DPF…Is leaving room for a Maori adjustment.. like a Maori full and final settlement .. never ending.

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  8. wreck1080 (3,529 comments) says:

    The next labour leader will lose the election regardless of whom it is.

    Labour are full of limp wristed pathetic would-be has-been losers.

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  9. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    ‘That many Kiwis are unhappy almost goes without saying.’

    I suspect most Kiwis haven’t got a clue about this resources grab.

    As I read it, given National’s willingness to curry favour with Maori, iwi will soon be claiming and being granted customary rights to pretty much everything from the foreshore out to 22km and all the airspace above it.

    That includes all the ironsand, all minerals bar four, plus the right to veto any development within that 100,000 square kilometre zone (about a third of the country) and get a piece of every oil deal and tax every aeroplane that flies into and out of the country.

    When most Kiwis realise that that’s what the National government (the one that pledged to abolish the Maori seats) has just gone and done, then yes, I imagine their unhappiness will know no bounds.

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  10. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “As I read it, given National’s willingness to curry favour with Maori, iwi will soon be claiming and being granted customary rights to pretty much everything from the foreshore out to 22km and all the airspace above it.”

    ..and I think that is right enough, but the question I would like Key and his acolytes to answer is what and who the hell are these so called” Maori”, and by what means are they due a different legal status to every other NZer? Is it because of their race??

    If so, then why, when equality under the law for all men is a staple of western civilisation, does anyone imagine that to provide them with this superior legal status is a good thing? Just crazy and goes against everything the west has ever stood for, other than when Hitler was granting the Aryans similar superior status.

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