Prior to European arrival, all of the foreshore and seabed was in Māori control. If a hapū has never given up title to an area they are responsible for, then it is reasonable to expect that title remains with them. If you want to know how the Crown has led the New Zealand public to believe all of the foreshore and seabed is publicly owned, I discuss that history in a previous post.
The Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 was unjust because it gave the Crown title to all of the foreshore and seabed not already in private ownership, and removed the ability for Māori to test their ownership in court. The Marine and Coastal Areas bill is unjust because, although it restores the ability of Māori to test their ownership of the foreshore and seabed (albeit with an outrageously high test), it does not then allow them full ownership. As Carwyn Jones says:
”I find it strange that the new, statutory, 'customary marine title' only exists where a particular part of the foreshore and seabed has been exclusively used and occupied, and yet the title itself does not provide for such exclusive rights.” September 13, 2010.
Ngāti Kahungunu asked Moana Jackson to give his opinion on the bill. He has been providing regularly updated primers. The latest version is here. It is a short and easy to understand breakdown of the current version of the Marine and Coastal Areas bill, and all that is wrong with it. If you only read one explanation of the bill, this should be it.
Carwyn Jones is scathing of the select committee report:
”Instead of any detailed engagement with these important, and sometimes complex, issues, we have a one-page majority report that addresses the issues raised by over 5,000 submissions in seven sentences, and attaches material from the departmental report without analysis or comment.” February 18, 2011.
Anyone who makes it through my blog posts is obviously fine with reading. However, if you'd rather listen to analysis, Metiria Turei gives a searing speech on the Māori Party's role in the circumstances leading to the hīkoi against their bill here.
I hope to see you on the hīkoi.
Monday 14th March - Te Rerenga wairua to Kawakawa
Tuesday 15th March - Kawakawa to Auckland
Wednesday 16th March - Hikoi through Auckland
Thursday 17th March - Auckland to Tauranga
Friday 18th March - Te Puke - Rotorua
Saturday 19th March - Taupo to Hastings
Sunday 20th March - Palmerston North to Otaki
Monday 21st March - Otaki to Wellington
Tuesday 22nd March - Parliament House, Wellington
More details about where, why and how to join are on indymedia and here.
Update: Ana at Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua is posting regular updates on the progress of the hīkoi, as well as video footage.