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robson-on-politics 27 August

robson-on-politics 27 August

robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 27 August

Foreshore and Seabed

This week the special committee has started twenty days of non-stop hearings and spent two days in Auckland. This committee must follow closely the arguments being made as the issue is a heartfelt one for so many Kiwis. Eminent law professor Jock Brookfield presented an interesting concept that instead of Crown ownership, the Crown should take Trusteeship over the foreshore and seabed, and work out ownership use with all relevant hapu and iwi.

His informed view is that the mass of legal authority holds that aboriginal title for foreshore and seabed remains unless those who hold state power specifically extinguish it. That, he says, was not the case in New Zealand. Robson-on-politics holds to our April words: As the Progressive MP on the Bill, I can say we will take submissions seriously. And it is important that if inadequacies are highlighted, the Bill be changed. Progressive on the first reading of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill

Crown Prince throws a right Royal tantrum

Revolutionary change happens when the old order cannot govern in the old way. Today Tonga is changing. One time royal favourite Police Minister Clive Edwards and two other ministers have been told to resign.

The King ordered a new airline to be grounded. Air Niu is owned and operated by former staff of the collapsed Royal Tongan Airlines - that was an incredible tale of corruption and mismanagement. But then the Crown Prince started his own new airline and got the King to stop Air Niu. That was an airbridge too far even for royal rottweiler Clive, and there was a revolt in the 12-man Cabinet (personally appointed by the King) and three were told to go. Word reached me Wednesday and the media caught up with the story 24 hours later.

Perhaps Clive now, rather than wanting to "kick Matt Robson's backside" might want to aim a well directed kick towards the royal privatisers. With the Crown Prince now gathering more and more economic and political power into his own hands and being handsomely funded by the Chinese government, the case for democracy becomes even stronger. New Zealand can no longer put its head in the sand over events in Tonga. Our close neighbours deserve effective support for democratic change. Latest from NZ Herald:

And on other matters Tongan

Another case shows how Tonga's Royal rulers ignore the needs of the people. Paula Taufa is ill. He sought dialysis treatment in New Zealand - there is not one machine in Tonga. Too bad says the NZ Immigration Service. You came on a visitor's permit now, you can go home to die. On Tuesday I sent a fax petitioning the King to pay for treatment for his loyal subject. Not a word in reply. I think that our Select Committee inquiry on Tonga will ask why $6 million aid per year (and extra money for a 400 strong military force) has not developed a health system that would allow Paula Taufa to live. NZ Herald on an earlier dialysis dilemma: The hardliners such as National MP Wayne Mapp, "unlike a judge, have the luxury of not having a man's life on their consciences"

Immigrants, refugees and work - We're all heart

Helen Clark wants to see "better results than we're getting at the moment" before there is any thought of increasing the numbers of refugees. She has thrown the onus onto the refugee community which she says will have to improve its employment results. In fact our Labour-Progressive government can still improve its resettlement results in a world of 26 million refugees where we take 750 per year.

Compared with Australia with its well-developed resettlement and integration programmes, our services still have a long way to go. The new $62 million package over four years is an excellent first step. The many talented refugees and immigrants in New Zealand with well-directed assistance would flourish. A good move would be to establish a separate Minister for Refugees from that of Immigration so the two categories with vastly differing needs are not mixed up. This would be a better response to Tony Ryall's pre-election posing. Starting work on the new package:

Sunday sees the Progressive selection meeting for four Auckland electorates. Orakei Community Centre, 156 Kepa Rd from 2pm. On The Robson Hour, midday Sunday, 531 on the AM band, I talk to Kalafi Moala on the tale of three ministers, lawyer Sione Fonua on Paula Taufa and dialysis and to Ricky Houghton on economic development in Kaitaia. _________________________ At there is more on the above and on the rest of the week's news. Subscribe to robson-on-politics by fax to 04 472 7620 or email to Similarly to unsubscribe.


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