Harawira Correct: Foreshore Bill Is An Insult

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Although we may have different viewpoints on the ideal outcome of the foreshore and seabed debate, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira was absolutely correct when he described the Government’s proposed Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill as an ‘insult’ to Maori, ACT Deputy Leader John Boscawen said today.


“Mr Harawira’s comment before the Maori Affairs Select Committee yesterday was right on the money – as was his description of claims that Maori opposing the Bill simply don’t understand it,” Mr Boscawen said.


“The foreshore and seabed is a huge issue for Maoridom – indeed, for all New Zealanders – and it is ridiculous for the Government to claim that any opposition to its legislation is born of ignorance about the Bill.


“National needs to recognise that this Bill is hopelessly flawed and satisfies no one.  Opponents of this Bill are not ignorant – nor are they ‘clowns’ or ‘paranoid’, as Attorney-General Chris Finlayson would have us believe.


“The level of opposition to this divisive and flawed Bill throughout the country is huge and shows the Government has no public mandate to pass it.  National should scrap this legislation, repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and restore the right of iwi and hapu to have their claims heard in open court,” Mr Boscawen said.