Friday, March 12, 2004

"Worst case scenarios"

National is saying that the government's attempt to find an amicable and final solution to the foreshore and seabed issue has allowed a "worst-case scenario" to come to pass, with the Maori Land Court allowing a large foreshore case to proceed.

I think it's a telling sign of National's commitment to "equality" and "one law for all" that they regard Maori exercising their due-process rights - rights which are absolutely fundamental to any conception of justice - as a "worst case scenario".

They're also trying to play this up as a sign of imminent Maori ownership of the foreshore, with the implication that the government must act now in order to stop it. This is simply not the case. The court has decided to allow preliminary hearings; the actual case is quite some time away, and appeals will no doubt drag things out for a couple of years. There is no rush, and we still have plenty of time to work out a solution. National is simply trying to drum up hysteria and panic by misleading the public - which is what they've been doing all along.