Clark says no regrets over Foreshore & Seabed

Radio NZ reports:

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has no regrets over her handling of the Foreshore and Seabed controversy.

One of her weaknesses is an inability to admit mistakes.

National later repealed the law as part of a deal with the Māori Party after it came to power in 2009.

It restored the rights of iwi to seek customary rights in court and ruled that no one owned the foreshore and seabed.

But Miss Clark said her actions had “stood the test of time” and she would do nothing differently given the advice she had.

“It wasn’t an easy call, but here we are, years later – how much substantially has changed about the position?

“If someone had given us the brilliant advice that [the foreshore and seabed] could be classified as not belonging to anybody that might have been quite helpful, but I don’t recall ever having such advice.”

This suggests that her response was thought and considered. In fact she announced a law change to over-turn the court decision just 24 hours after the decision was delivered. It was a hasty panicked blunder. They had no need to make a decision within a day.

They also could have appealed the decision to the Privy Council. But because they were abolishing appeals to it (for future cases) they decided it would be a political embarrassment to appeal, so instead decided to legislate over property rights.

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