Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

NZers - Owners Of The Foreshore and Seabed?


“We the people of New Zealand” - owners of the foreshore and seabed?

By Gordon F Copeland

On Monday 18 August, the Government released its proposals on the foreshore and seabed of New Zealand. That night Prime Minister, Helen Clark, was on the Holmes show and announced to the nation that the Government’s proposal was to put the foreshore and seabed into a “public domain” so that no one would own it. Paul Holmes then asked her the question. “Why on earth are you doing that? Why don’t you do just do the straightforward thing and put the ownership of those assets with the Crown?”

I found the Prime Minister’s response to that question extremely interesting. She said that to do that would be to unnecessarily inflame division in this country, because the Maori people would regard ownership being placed in the Crown as a win for the Crown and a loss for Maori – or words to that effect.

That was an entirely new thought for me. I have been reflecting on that, and I have come to see that, from a Maori perspective, there are two parties to the Treaty. One of those parties is Maori, and the other is now referred to as “the Crown”.

Therefore, if the Crown were to assume ownership of the foreshore and seabed, since Maori see the Crown as the other party to the Treaty, I can see that, from their point of view, the Crown becomes the winner and they the loser. However I don’t find the Government’s “public domain” solution, satisfying either. Deep down, I say “no” - the foreshore and the seabed belong to all of us as citizens of this country.

I grew up on the beach in Tasman Bay. There was nothing between the beach and our property except the Queen’s Chain. It was part of my inheritance to walk and play on to that beach and I feel, with all other New Zealander, a sense of ownership. The way forward, for me, needs to reflect that reality. So why not put these assets (and the contiguous Queen’s Chain) into a title in the name “We, the people of New Zealand, as guardians in perpetuity for ourselves and future generations.” I have used the word “guardians” building on the Maori philosophy of kaitiaki. Indeed, the words on the title could be in both English and Maori to make that clear.

I think an ownership title expressed in that way that would give this whole debate a very, very different perspective. It would make all of us owners and guardians for all future generations, without distinction on the basis of race, creed, and arrival time in New Zealand, or any other criteria. As in the United States “We, the people” might resonate with every citizen of this country.

Is it time to ditch the notion of “the Crown” and move forward?

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels