NZ POLITICS DAILY: Opportunistic grab for a handout or principled stand for collective rights?

Prime Minister John Key

An opportunistic grab for a handout or a principled stand for collective rights?

John Key will feel on safe political ground in rejecting the Maori Council’s water rights claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, portraying it directly as an "us and them", Maori vs the rest issue:  "As [chairman] Maanu Paul said last night, the reason is they want you all to pay for that. He said you need to pay for their water" – see Danya Levy’s Key rejects Maori water claim in asset sales battle.

The claimants have a very different view, saying the privatisation of the assets has forced them to take action: "Mr Wihapi says Maori have been quite comfortable for years with the government and its agencies using natural resources for the benefit of the whole nation. But he says things have now become serious, because tribal property is set to be stolen" – see Radio NZ’s Hapu blames Govt for water rights claim.

 
While the tribunal and, almost inevitably, the courts will have to decide what rights actually exist, the underlying principle the Maori Council is arguing is the same as has been agreed on many previous claims. Resources that iwi gifted or allowed the state to use for the public good are reclaimed once the collective benefit ceases, and this has been the case with vast tracts of land used for schools, railways, roads and parks across the country.
 
Tracy Watkins warns that history suggests the issue might not be as easy to dismiss as the PM thinks – see: Claim on water case of déjà vu.
 
That is a view shared by economist and treaty scholar Brian Easton: "If the government were to ignore those property rights, then I think there could well be the same sort of anger as occurred with the foreshore, that is they would see the government has privatised them" – see Janika ter Ellen’s Water claim could provoke anger – scholar.
 
Willie Jackson highlights the formidable team leading the Maori Council, particularly ex-Maori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal judge Eddie Durie in Don't underestimate role on Maori Council.
 
The government hasn’t ruled out buying back shares to settle claims but they are likely to be negotiated in secret with individual corporate iwi bodies on the condition that the sales are not impeded in any way. The Maori Council, in contrast, is openly challenging the unpopular sales because the public interest of all New Zealanders is being undermined.
 
Although a deal with the council is also possible, any legal delays could prove politically fatal to the sales, as it did to some in the 1980s. Anti-treaty sentiment may not be enough to overcome the many negatives the government faces.
 
Pete George (Extorting water rights rort wrong) and Martyn Bradbury (If you are a Pakeha who hates asset sales, you should rally around the Treaty) argue the opposing views of the water claim.
 
There is another risk for the government, especially as John Key has been quick to say it will ignore any Waitangi Tribunal recommendation, irrespective of the outcome.
 
The Maori Party has already paid a heavy price for its association with National. To have their coalition partner dismiss the tribunal so easily will put further strain on the relationship and open them to further attacks from the opposition: "I think now is the time for the Maori Party to say 'if you are not even bothering listening, we are out'," says Mana Party leader Hone Harawira – see: Patrick Gower’s Asset sales decision not binding – Key.
 
Other important or interesting political items today include:
 
* The Dominion Post editorial thinks Clayton Cosgrove has shown a lack of judgment – see: Political distance breeds suspicion.
 
* New housing is becoming the preserve of the wealthy in New Zealand says David Kennedy in his blog post Housing Crisis Demands Immediate Action!
 
* The modern National Party has lost the traditional balance that "natural social hierarchies" used to provide, argues Chris Trotter in Barbarians, risen without trace.
 
* Debate on trade deals in New Zealand tends to focus on the advantages to our agricultural sector, but Audrey Young reports that Tech firms fear trade deal loss of freedom. She also reports that at least US drug companies have given up trying to destroy New Zealand’s public purchasing body – see: US companies accept Pharmac is here to stay, says head of lobby group.
 
* Is Auckland’s casino more interested in using customer data to extract more profits from problem gamblers than stopping them? – see: SkyCity refuses to reveal gambler research. The Problem Gambling Foundation has long claimed that SkyCity's business model depends on problem gamblers as they provide 40% of pokie profits – see: SkyCity Host Responsibility Questioned. Meanwhile, the distribtution of pokie funds is again in the spotlight as it is revealed that Auckland gets Waikato and BoP gambling proceeds.
 
* The relaxing of the Emission Trading Scheme deadlines risks our international credibility on climate change, writes Colin James in On the bus. Or the truck. It's a gas.
 
*Finally, a number of national sports bodies, who have long complained about Sky TV’s charges for vital television coverage, look to break free of the pay TV operator – see: Sky TV could face competition with new free-to-air channel.
 
Bryce Edwards

 
Today's content:
 
Asset sales
Tracy Watkins and Kate Chapman (Stuff): Share deal could settle Treaty claims
Adam Bennett (Herald): Maori state objection to asset sales
Adam Bennett (Herald): Maori plan to fight Key's 'ignore it'
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): Maori Council hopes to talk over asset sales
Adam Bennett (Herald): PM's water ownership claim challenged
Pete George (Your NZ): Extorting water rights rort wrong
Willie Jackson (RadioLive): Don't underestimate role on Maori Council
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Claim on water case of déjà vu
No Right Turn: Threats and bluster
 
Clayton Cosgrove
Keeping Stock: Did he really say that
 
Free Trade
 
Gambling
 
Housing
Lindy Laird (Northern Advocate): 'Slum landlord' claim rejected
David Kennedy (Local Bodies): Housing Crisis Demands Immediate Action!
 
Kiwi Rail job losses
Gordon Campbell (Scoop): On the job losses at KiwiRail
 
Other
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Peter Dunne – The Power of One
Chris Trotter (Press): Barbarians, risen without trace
Shane Cowlishaw (Stuff): Cool response to ACC payout offer
Gareth Morgan (Herald): Let's levy the rider not the bike
Sam Thompson (Newstalk ZB): Te Tai Tokerau seat "winnable" – Shearer
Catherine Delahunty (Frogblog): Minewatch Northland
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Shearer on mining
Waikato Times: Editorial - If it looks like a subsidy ...
Michelle Duff (Stuff): Schools heavy parents over fees
Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Te Papa staff fear jobs may be axed
Martyn Bradbury (Tumeke): Sky TV - the unregulated
Morgan Godfery (Maui Street): Hands off the whales, Te Ohu Kaimoana
Neil Ratley (Stuff); Power bills on the rise
Pete George (Your NZ): MP views on alcohol minimum pricing

 

 

 

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11 Comments & Questions

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The only 'collective' at play are big government statists using this issue to ensure that the state is not diminished in size.

The Greens, led by a 'former' Australian communist male and an avowed anti-capitalist Maori female, as UN sock puppets are in the fray as they globally endeavour to control a nation through its water usage. Often one finds ICLEI at play, Agenda 21 and Green policy working hand in glove.

Of course Labour leader Shearer is a former UN apparatchik, as is Helen C (number 3 at the UN), as are a slew of discraced former Labour MP's and party workers such Chris Carter.

Green MP Delahunty was Helen C's former Labour Party chief press propoagandist... a place now taken by the lover of dialectical incrementalism suturing the combined leftist AgitProp media angle that ties the Greens to Labour together - Clare Curran, the Labour Party Green liaison and chief propagandist. She has been key in coordinating the Greens, Labour, Mana and NZ First on this issue.

All these forces are employed in trying to convince Maori that they are no longer 'last cab off the rank' (as Helen was quoted saying).

Of course they are lying. You can tell because their lips are moving.

These forces are comprised of the same creatures who cannot resist the call of the central planners, they are the collectivists that hate the independent individual, who seek to replace democracy with 'social' democracy, replace justice with 'social justice' and replace freedom with UN-freedom.

Live outside the dialectic.

Pax.

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OCR you have terrible spelling but I agree with your analysis.

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More trying to get their noises in the trough led by the usual suspects,more reasons to head accross the Tasman and leave them to it.

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Strange how the river water now, is of interest to maori.
What did they ever do to harness or develope water prior to the arrival of the Pakeha. There is no record of early power generation on the rivers pre Pakeha technology.
The country is probably coming to a point where the 'silent majority' need to start protecting their, and their grandchildrens future interests. November 2014 will be too late; the media will have by then, indoctrinated the unthinking public to believe yet again, that this imagined grievence and right of Maori has substance.

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Please, what is the Maori reasoning?
Anybody??

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The reasoning is that Key has a slim majority and likes to have the Maori Party in support.

The water claim want lead to any rights or compensation over water, but it could lead to some kind of special allocation/discounted lot of Mighty River Power shares or similar as Key keeps them onside and stop them freaking out investors.

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I see, like the free fish quota you mean? 10% of everything with out the need of a catch history?

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The NZMC are not "claiming ownership of fresh water but want the Crown to acknowledge their rights over the resource before effectively allocating those rights to private investors" (NZHearald).

Water rights have been a feature of many past settlements as it is covered under Art.2 of Te Tiriti. Use by the State of said resources for the good of all NZrs has never been an issue to Maori, privatisation and dissemination of these rights to private interests run on the basis of commercial self interest is very much a concern not just to Maori, who have been left holding the 'stop asset sales' can for the rest of NZ after the "freedom" of democracy as ruled by the people failed.

OCR: Freedom in a democracy actual means trade liberalisation as it operates within a capitalist system based on GDP.

No thank you is ever expected BTW.

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As a fourth generation Kiwi of English decent, I am through being a second class citizen. Why am I not afforded the same privileges and respect Maori are? Why should the country even debate the ownership of water? Water is an essential of life, water occurs naturally, water is not a tradable commodity (yet), John Key, listen up...Maori are just like the trade unions...take bit by bit. It is a gradual wearing down. The gains are incremental, until Bingo.. I Want It All (IWI, has it all. Wake up, get a bit 'street smart' and hard nosed. When will this wholesale hand-over of my and my decendants rights, privileges and property stop? I am an ordinary hard working business owner and expect nothing more than equality for everyone not just 'the chosen few'. Whenever there is a dollar in it, IWI are all over it. Culture, spiriitual significance, ancestural significance...I say BS. The Maori grabs for land, foreshore & seabed, minerals, radio waves, flora & forna, fishing quoters, special places in tertiary education, oil & gas, now WATER. The duty of the elected government of a country is to protect its citizens and the govern in the best interests of the country...It is not happening.... Why should I pay for something that happened 170 years ago?? This madness (and greed) will not stop until we have a government with balls and spine to declare the 'gravy train" has ceased running. I fear the apathy in this country is so ingrained that to apply any sort of pressure to this government to adhere to the Waitangi Treaty... "all citizens to be treated as equals" is a mere wish and not reality.

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These are Treaty issues and therefore sovereignty issues, in terms of Maori as being part of the general public then you're more than welcome to the Maori privilege of over-representation in all the nations bad social statistics, and you wonder why Maori aren't satisfied by the status quo?
In terms of an agreement between two sovereign nations which Te Tiriti is, when one party's administrator (John Key) decides to sell national resources in the form of water right for the benefit of private business owners like yourself then Maori will object to the sell off of their sovereign rights, rights that will never leave this country like so many SOE shares. You've fallen for the greedy Maori line when it is obviously meant to divert attention from the fact that the NZGovt cannot claim ownership of water. As Gareth Morgan put it, you cant sell the car if you dont have the papers that prove you own it. Hence the point of the claim, to stop the real money grab which is asset sales as John Key knows after making his fortune trading in NZ asset sales in the 80s. Before you think Maori assume they lord over you think about the Governor General, did you vote for him? No he was appointed by the Queen, your sovereign! Which in your culture still makes you a peasant, yay democracy!

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Come on you guys New Zealand has been run more or less the way you have wanted for the past 30 years... how come we are tanking?

What you born to rule dreamers don't seem to understand is that real life is not an academic or ideological exercise, small countries especially need to pragmatically configure their most fundamental wealth enabling assets in such a way to under pin an acceptable standard of living for everyone otherwise you get in to a situation where the balance is forcefully regained.

So now we live in a country where the most expensive power is where the poorest people are, that is not the measure of a successful country, that's an epic fail!

I'm no apologist for Maori but if you had listened to the comments made by some at the centre of this action they make quite a good argument whether or not you are sidelined in to the dog whistle red herring of 'they want all the water'... and that is; commodify the underpinning of our colllective standard of living and sell it off and you break a type of moral symmetry and if you are going to do that then screw you we want our share and she's all on, I wouldn't expect private school educated muppets to understand that having never connected with real people except the ones that clean their home and vaccuum the pool ohh and the Koreans they drive over.

I'm okay with anything with in reason which stops this sale so good on them.

Now this is happening and with Winston putting up a power asset buy back as a bottom line the sale is finished, best news I've heard all day.

The next thing is to completely overhaul how we do power, that's another story.

BTW... Labour Party (girlie men), like to let the Maori do your dirty work eh?

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