Monday, October 25, 2004

Another foreshore and seabed rethink

First it was (seemingly) John Tamihere, now the Progressives are rethinking their support for the foreshore and seabed bill. Like others, they favour a trusteeship solution. Those filled with fear at any retreat from expropriation and crown ownership have nothing to be afraid of; the Herald sums it up pretty well:

"Trusteeship" would leave open the possibility that some Maori could claim ownership rights - customary title - in the High Court while overriding legislation would guarantee navigation and access.

In other words, we'd all still be able to practice our customary right of going to the beach.

In itself, the Progressive's move isn't a problem for the bill, but Labour's Maori caucus are also rethinking support, and if they change their minds, then the government will have to do some serious rethinking of its own.

Progressive opinion seems to be moving towards trusteeship as a solution. It would be nice if Labour remembered its progressive roots and followed along.