The Govt should wait for final Tribunal report

July 31st, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The has said it wants the Government not to proceed with any asset partial sales until it completes its report.

I think the politically smart thing to do is for the Government to agree to this, even though it will mean a delay. The reasons are:

  • The delay is likely to be two months or so only, which isn’t critical. Selling MVP in say Oct/Nov instead of Aug/Sep is not a big deal.
  • If he Govt declines a delay, I suspect it might annoy the Tribunal enough that they are more likely to make unpalatable findings in their final report.
  • A refusal to delay would inevitably see court action.
  • The Maori Party would be placed in a very difficult position if the govt refused the Tribunal’s request.
  • The public might not agree the the claim made to the Tribunal, but they would find it hard to understand why one can’t wait until September for their final report.

Just to be very clear, if the final report comes out and says the partial should not proceed until all water rights issues have been resolved (which could take years), then I do not advocate that the Government should necessarily agree to further delays. That decision has to be based on what exactly the Tribunal says, and the quality of the reasoning for their recommendations.

But a delay until their report is done, is not an unreasonable thing, so long as their report is completed by September as indicated.

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27 Responses to “The Govt should wait for final Tribunal report”

  1. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    Yep…
    Take a month to report that a preliminary assessment is being considered, another week to say opinions from Crown Law, plus, say, two other quality QCs, are under active consideration and then tell them to get stuffed…. and promise legislation if they try the legal delay route.

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  2. Viking2 (11,281 comments) says:

    No its not smart. We kiwi’s are feed up with the hori’s using taniwha’s and any excuse their toady’s can rummage up to prop up a poorly drafted anachronism call the Treaty. Especially when its propped up by a bunch of self interested Jurors.
    Kiwi’s didn’t vote for this at anytime. Like most things political it was fostered upon us by bleeding heart lawyers in the self interest of the cash it would generate for that profession.
    The Treaty is a dog and history has long since rendered it useless.
    time National found those Principles that you were going on about in another post earlier and took a stand against this racist fraud.

    worse still this fraud is being perpetrated using the English version of that said document which doesn’t align with the Maori version which is like the Litllewood version.
    Talk about being shafted using bullshit.

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  3. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    What Viking2 said.

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  4. Bob R (1,357 comments) says:

    In terms of the sale itself, is Bob Jones correct?

    “Since the advent of the industrial revolution every business has sought the bliss of a monopoly. The competitive market economy denies that, except in unique situations, such as for example with our hydro electricity generating dams. So why sell them?

    Here the Government becomes a little slippery. To reduce debt, says the Finance Minister, despite our public debt being low by world standards and interest rates never being lower. To enable future capital-raising, argues the PM, overlooking that if, as an appeasement to objectors, the Government intends retaining half ownership, it will still be up for 50 per cent of any capital-raising while receiving only half the previous dividend return.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10816918

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  5. wreck1080 (3,813 comments) says:

    But, we already know what the report will say.

    The maoris will want money in return for allowing the govt to privatise.

    This country is borked, everytime someone is proactive the maoris come crawling out of the woodwork holding out their hands.

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  6. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Yes, let’s raise the white flag and surrender to the greedy racists. Pffft.
    Instead, the National goverment should ignore these people who claim to own the “waters” of NZ.

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  7. scrubone (3,083 comments) says:

    The whole thing would have a lot more credibility if it had been launched when (or rather, before) Contact was sold.

    I havn’t followed closely, but is there actually a suggestion that the dam’s water rights are somehow conflicting with some specific rights of maori somewhere, such as the right to take water for drinking as it flows past a pa?

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  8. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    If he Govt declines a delay, I suspect it might annoy the Tribunal enough that they are more likely to make unpalatable findings in their final report.

    It would be a sad state of affairs if the government of the state is beholden to a panel that gets “annoyed” enough to make retaliatory reports and findings.

    But sadly enough, now that you’ve mentioned it I find it very easy to imagine that that will indeed be the case…

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  9. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Fuck the Tribunal.

    I elected a government not a tribunal.

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  10. Paulus (2,565 comments) says:

    FFS I did not vote in a General Election, for whatever Party, to give the running of the country to the Waitangi Tribunal.
    They will go to High Court whatever, and the Court will give leave to go to the, so called, Supreme Court who will favour the Waitangi Tribunal whatever.

    Key – call a General Election on who runs New Zealand.

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  11. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    John Key and Notionals’ opportunity to show who runs the country, Parliament or these newly created quasi legal racist bodies.

    Go to the country on a Treaty referendum.

    Go for broke and stick a few more items on it.

    Marriage “equality”. Parental discipline, ETS ,asset sales…….

    Prove we really are a “progressive” democracy by putting power in the hands of the electorate and not the elites of Wellington.

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  12. calendar girl (1,203 comments) says:

    Paulus: “…I did not vote in a General Election, for whatever Party, to give the running of the country to the Waitangi Tribunal.
    They will go to High Court whatever, and the Court will give leave to go to the, so called, Supreme Court who will favour the Waitangi Tribunal whatever.”

    It’s difficult to argue with that as a prediction. Sadly, I think we all know instinctively that this is how it will pan out.

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  13. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Go to the country on a Treaty referendum….

    Unfortunately, that requires gonads this piss-weak National government doesn’t have.

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  14. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    Bob Jones, notwithstanding a minor misquote in respect of Gibralter, details a wonderful response in today’s NZ Herald that Solicitor General Heron (Is he a son of late Dick Heron?) could do worse than incorporate into his draft Government response. I feel sure Bob would not object.

    Time to end the BS and copy what Clark/Swain said/did on oil and gas. But hang on. That was a Labour response.

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  15. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    The Government needs to continue to get things done and dusted now. The Maori Monkey Court will come out with its adverse report in two months whether they wait or not,. There will then be appeals, better to ignore the tribunal and proceed with the Govt Agenda. To do otherwise is to display weakness.

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  16. smttc (711 comments) says:

    Flipper, I was at law school with Mike Heron and yes he is indeed the late Dick Heron’s son.

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  17. rg (200 comments) says:

    So it is all about political expediency now is it? To hell with what is right and what is wrong. John Key and this National Part are weak and I for one am sick and tired of it.
    The Waitangi tribunal represents Maori interest only.
    The Government represents all people, including Maori.
    So who exclusively represents me, a white NZer?
    The answer is no one, and that is why we are being treated like second class citizens who are excluded from the process of deciding these matters.
    I have read the Waitangi Tribunal report and it has gone way outside its brief here.
    It’s role is to decide the validity of a claim. What resourced the Crown uses to settle any Treaty breach is up to the Crown, not the Tribunal. It needs to butt out.
    Sell everything quick before Maori want more.

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  18. UpandComer (525 comments) says:

    I have to admit this anoys me. I’m normally pretty receptive to Maori claims. I’ve read a lot of the material about Maori history through to the 70′s. Very ugly, and they were definitely treated very badly, and I’m glad Doug Graham did so much work there. But this is irksome. Iwi groups are hypocrites. They are the most rapacious sellers of blessed and sanctified precious ‘Taonga’ to foreign interests in the country – they sell more land and natural resources then any other group, to overseas interests. They’re going to do very well out of this (Ngai Tahu and other’s are going to buy a lot of these shares). Let the Tribunal make it’s report and delay a few months. If we have to, give them a nominal amount of money – but that’s it. Maori need to understand that they simply cannot assert ownership over the water to the detriment of everyone else. I fail to recognize that the treaty provides that – even if it does, who is to say what is and isn’t ‘taonga’ today? After the tribunal, adopt a few things, but put it darn well through.

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  19. Brian Marshall (194 comments) says:

    Having re-read the Treaty just before, I suggest a different approach. John Key should ask the Tribunal what part of the treaty covers the ownership of water. They will waffle on about lands rivers and possessions bit.
    He should then challange them and reiterate that it does not say that the Maori were in possession or ownership of the water and again repeat the question. When they continue about principles and meanings of the wording, he needs to say “enough is enough, you are making this shit up” cause that’s what they are doing.
    Only by doing this will he have seen to have listened to the claim and keep some sort of respect for the tribunal.
    If any claims for water rights have a basis, they should go through the courts for a customary rights claim. They would need to show continious usage of that right over the years. When the treaty was signed it brought english common law rights and that allows for usage of water rights, but not ownership of all the water in a river.

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  20. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    Thanks smitc.

    Dick and Fiona were a wonderful couple. Dick passed on before he had a chance to fulfill his potential.
    I once sat (as a client) in his office while he tore a charlatan (who later met an unfortunate death) apart. Those were Kensington Swan days. Dick delivered answers on many curly questions, but I seem to recall that his definition of “consultation” was the one that caused bureaucrats many headaches.

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  21. David Garrett (6,785 comments) says:

    No DPF. What the government should do is make a stand once and for all, and legislate to return the status of the “treaty” to what it was prior to the 1980′s, when the activist Court of Appeal overturned 110 years of law, and declared a document which had hitherto been declared “a simple nullity” to be “our founding document.”

    I don’t want to bore everyone with a disquisition on international law as it applies to treaties between nation states. Suffice it to say there are a number of requirements – not least of them that the the parties are each themselves capable of entering into a treaty with another nation state – before one can say that a document is a “Treaty” as international public law understands that term. The so called “treaty” fulfills none of those requirements. But don’t take my word for it – consult any text which covers the subject of how states make treaties with each other, and how the contents of such treaties become part of each nation’s domestic law (There’s a little clue for you).

    If the “treaty” was anything at all, it was a treaty of cession, under which one party cedes sovereignty to the other. That is what Article 1 contains – a cession of sovereignty over New Zealand by the tribes who signed in favour of the British Crown.

    But sadly the legal jack is long out of the box….the political reality now is we either resign ourselves to endless demands from the “treaty partner” or we make a stand and say “enough”. I think there is little to no chance of the second happening, but if it doesn’t, this nonsense will still be going when you and I are long gone.

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  22. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Makes sense to me DG..

    Damn the torpedos .. Full speed ahead !!..

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  23. tedbear (129 comments) says:

    I’m considering changing my mind on water ownership.
    If the Maori want to own water, then they own it all, not just the bits that flow in and out of power stations.

    There’s been some very bad flooding in Timaru today and it’s high time ALL Maori got down there with their buckets and cleaned up the mess caused by their water.

    No longer will there be any need to have private flood insurance.

    The water meters about to be installed in Kapiti can now be done by Maori and save the ratepayers heaps.

    Before any more rain arrives that may cause more flooding anywhere in New Zealand, Maori better get diversions in place to avoid massive compensation claims.

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  24. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Yes good thinking tedbear. I wonder what’s going to happen when people start blaming the taniwha for all that flooding and even the general wastewater charges – I mean, how else do all those tree roots grow inside the drains if not for taniwha.

    And I wonder how much that’s going to cost iwi, in terms of having to spend all their Waitangi settlement money, on not only limos for their tribal leaders, but also root extractions for the entire district, because of all those blasted taniwha infestations that just won’t go away, despite all the ceremonies requiring nay demanding them to vacate all the drain pipes etc etc. And yet the taniwha just don’t listen and the roots just keep growing. How peculiar and inexplicable.

    I mean pretty soon you’d imagine all the Waitangi money is going to be spent and Maori will be right back where they were in the early 80′s, except a few of the elders will have some 2nd hand flash cars that they could sell on TradeMe and maybe make a bit on the side before the IRD claws it all back because they monitor TradeMe these days, as well.

    Oh dear!

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  25. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Reid – Several times it has been mentioned the Taupo National Member’s publicity sheet that lauds the accomplishment of $220 million being spent on the co-guardianship of the Waikato River.
    Any costs connected with water are most unlikely to be Maori, I would suggest.

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  26. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I agree with Pauleastbay.
    Fuck the Tribunal. They do nothing except get in the way and hamper progress in this country.

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  27. Geoff (10 comments) says:

    For those geniuses amongst you who seem to think that we should just treat the Treaty of Waitangi as a dead document. Fantastic idea. As a country we could agree to tear it up. The Crown’s sovereignty would evaporate and Maori can then run the country. Problem solved.

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