close
1 mins to read

Hide lambasts attorney-general for secret iwi foreshore deals

Act party leader Rodney Hide has slammed Attorney-General Chris Finlayson's push to establish law which would allow secret deals with iwi to hand over the control of New Zealand's coastline.Mr Hide said New Zealanders' worst fears about the government's p

Liam Baldwin
Wed, 10 Nov 2010

Act party leader Rodney Hide has slammed Attorney-General Chris Finlayson’s push to establish law which would allow secret deals with iwi to hand over the control of New Zealand’s coastline.

Mr Hide said New Zealanders' worst fears about the government’s planned replacement of the Foreshore and Seabed Act with the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill were confirmed by Mr Finlayson.

“[Yesterday] in the House, the attorney-general agreed that, under the proposed legislation, our valuable foreshore and seabed can be handed across to iwi in secret, in the Attorney-General’s office, with no public or Parliamentary scrutiny,” he said.

“The attorney-general also confirmed that the entire coastline could be applied for, except coastline which is already in private ownership.”

Mr Hide said there was no precedent in any other Westminster jurisdiction of a minister being able to transfer title to private interest groups in secret.

“The reason for this is obvious - to avoid corruption and political patronage.

Mr Hide said it was unacceptable that a single minister couldn’t hand across beaches and heritage to iwi with absolutely no transparency or accountability.

In last week’s National Business Review, former Act MP Muriel Newman, representing the interests of lobby group the Coastal Coalition, said the bill was taking New Zealand down the path of tribalism.

“In a modern world, this is a backward step,” she said.

New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, represented by Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett said the bill created uncertainty, undermined the Resource Management Act and was worried about the ability for secret deals with iwi to be concluded.

“A more pragmatic outcome should be that the bill be withdrawn and replaced by an approach based on making a fresh start guided by overarching principles which the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders would agree with,” he said. 

Liam Baldwin
Wed, 10 Nov 2010
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.
Hide lambasts attorney-general for secret iwi foreshore deals
10180