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Peace In Our Time On Foreshore And Seabed

Peace In Our Time On Foreshore And Seabed

Wednesday 7 April 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

The key announcement today was that ancestral connection orders will be available for any Maori `group' that can show an `association' with an area of coastline, ACT New Zealand Maori Affairs Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"It will give rights to interfere in local government, in perpetuity, and can only poison relations long-term between neighbours. It is a form of inherited political power that most of us thought ended when squires no longer ruled," Mr Franks said.

"The Government has promised increased Maori control over coastline, drawing on the analogy of customary fishing at a time when it is plain that those rights are abused and earn little more than contempt.

"Labour wasn't asked today why 1840 is the trigger date for ancestral connection, when it claimed all along that this is about English common law, not Treaty rights. No timetable was given for sorting out who gets the ancestral power to interfere with elected local government.

"Kaitiakiship will be made up as we go, because it is based on tikanga. Maori have rightly insisted that tikanga is not frozen. It evolves as needed.

"Ancestral connection is the consolation prize for Maori. Yet it doesn't allow development or constructive use. It is a right to stuff your neighbours around. Expect more taniwha to be discovered in vital areas, and expect them to be curiously mercenary.

"Don't blame Maori if that is the temptation a Government forces before them to get out of today's political riptide. What else would someone do, if the only benefit they could take was from lording it over others?

"Worst of all, ancestral connection was not mentioned in any of the Court of Appeal judgements. It has nothing to do with common law, it is purely a political device to get peace in our time," Mr Franks said.


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