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Monday, February 08, 2010

Foreshore Act replacement takes shape

Iwi leaders are happy with progress made on replacing the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Iwi Leaders Forum met at Waitangi with Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson to discuss how work being done by Crown officials and forum advisers would translate into action.

Ngapuhi chair Sonny Tau says Mr Finlayson assured them the act would be repealed as soon as an alternative was ready, and the Crown would no longer insist it owned foreshore land until proven otherwise.

"Section 13 will be removed, that’s the ownership by the Crown, and the new Foreshore and Seabed legislation will contain a clause that gives the mana of the iwi status and that in terms of its management the Crown is happy to share that management,” Mr Tau says.

Maori will be able to go back to court to pursue their foreshore claims.

MOANA JACKSON PICKED TO HEAD IWI CONSTITUTION WORK

Meanwhile The Iwi Leaders Forum has established a working group to look at constitutional change, ahead of an official exercise run by the Government.

The Maori Party was promised a constitutional review as part of its support agreement with National.

But working group head Moana Jackson from Ngati Kahungunu says any terms of reference for such a review would be limited by the Crown’s views of its own power.

He says for Maori, everything starts from the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“The view that I take is whatever constitution is established in this country is subject to Te Tiriti rather than Te Tiriti being subject to any constitution, which is what the Crown has tried to do for 160 years, so a Maori constitutional review would start from a different place,” Mr Jackson says.

The working group will talk with Maori around the country and draw together some of the work done by earlier generations.

NGATI AWA KEEN ON IWI INPUT TO LONG TERM PLAN

Ngati Awa has launched a campaign for iwi members to have a say in the future direction for the Bay of Plenty iwi.

Spokesman William Stewart says Ko Ngati Awa Te Toki was officially launched on Saturday, Waitangi day, and aims to make contact with tribal members worldwide using social networking web sites to create a collective vision for 2050.

He says the month long campaign is important to ensure a unified approach to tribal development over the next 40 years.

FORESHORE AND SEABED ROWN BASED ON FALSITIES

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says debate over the Foreshore and Seabed Act has descended into farce.

The Ngati Wai kaumatua was on the paepae on Friday when the Government was welcomed to Te Tii Marae.

During the welcome, Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira described the Foreshore and Seabed Act as a gigantic land grab that needed to be reversed, and Prime Minister John Key warned the Act could be left in place if Maori were unwilling to compromise.

Mr Peters says the exchange on the marae was a reminder of the danger of making promises that can’t be kept.

“The reality is if no land was taken after Foreshore and Seabed Act passed, if not one inch of land was taken from anyone or passed from anyone’s hands into anyone else’s hands, what on earth is Hone and the Maori Party talking about? It’s a great lie, a great fiction, which Mr Key thought he could accommodate. Now he’s finding what a farce this is,” Mr Peters says.

He says whatever the Government comes up with to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the Maori Party and its supporters are likely to be disappointed because they have such unrealistic expectations.

WARNING GIVEN ON TONGAN HIKOI REPEAT

Meanwhile a Maniapoto man who encouraged hundreds of Pacific Islanders to go to Waitangi in the hope of getting residency has been warned against a repeat performance.

Gerard Otimi was at the head of a group of about 100 Tongans and Samoans who went on to Te Tii Marae on Friday, telling them just before going on that if questioned by media, they were to say they were there to celebrate the treaty.

When the Labour Party was welcomed later in the day, Waitangi kaimatua Kingi Taurua said his explanations of marae protocol seemed to have been misinterpreted as a promise to adopt people into the tribe so they could stay in New Zealand.

But Northland-based list MP Shane Jones said the misinterpretation seemed deliberate.

“Tongans, greetings. To all the Maoris bringing the Tongans here, our eyes are on you. Do not use the name of Ngapuhi, do not use this marae, and never use the Treaty of Waitangi to either mislead or bring expectations among our Pacific brethren that you will not be able to deliver. That is not the kaupapa of this day,” Mr Jones says.

KAINGA WHENUA COULD LEAD TO RURAL MARAE REPOPULATION

A co-ordinator of Maori economic development projects in many parts of the country Willie Te Aho says the government's latest housing initiative will let many Maori return their rural marae.

Mr Te Aho says the initiative under which the government will guarantee Kiwibank loans for Maori to build on multiple owned land is most welcome.

“A lot of our Maori people who drifted into urban areas are now looking at how to get back to their bases, the baby boomers and that, so this creates an opportunity for them,” Mr Te Aho says.

It will not only allow more Maori to build on land around marae but on any multiple owned land.

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