Friday, August 13, 2004


Select committee hearings have turned up another interesting possible solution to the foreshore and seabed row: vesting the foreshore in the Treaty.

The idea is from constitutional lawyer and author Alex Frame, and would involve the stablishment of a "Treaty Council" to manage and oversee the foreshore for the benefit of all New Zealanders:

The constitution of the proposed Treaty Council is intended not only to assure Maori real representation in the decision-making process... but to draw on Maori wisdom and concepts so as to produce a better management regime for the foreshore and seabed than could be arrived at by the executive branch of Government through its existing mix of agencies.

I like this idea - it captures the idea that this is not a country where you can own the beach, but a country where they are for everyone, while making significant concessions to Maori. If the government is going to insist on extinguishing customary title, then this would be a far, far better way to do it.