Sunday, March 13, 2005



We ought to be ashamed

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has slammed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 as discriminating against Maori by extinguishing possible customary title over the foreshore and seabed without providing a guaranteed right of redress. This violates our obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and particularly Article 5, which guarantees everyone, "without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin... equality before the law" as well as "the right to equal treatment before the tribunals and all other organs administering justice". I have not been able to find the actual report, but we are mentioned in this press release - right below the "Decision on Situation in Darfur":

In a decision on New Zealand, the Committee noted its review of the compatibility of the New Zealand Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 with the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in the light of information received both from the Government of New Zealand and a number of Maori non-governmental organizations and taking into account its General Recommendation No. XXIII on indigenous peoples. The Committee expressed its appreciation at having had the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue with the State party and the State party’s written and oral responses to its requests for information related to the legislation, including those submitted on 17 February and 9 March 2005. Bearing in mind the complexity of the issues involved, the legislation appeared to the Committee, on balance, to contain discriminatory aspects against the Maori, in particular in its extinguishment of the possibility of establishing Maori customary title over the foreshore and seabed and its failure to provide a guaranteed right of redress, notwithstanding the State party’s obligations under articles 5 and 6 of the Convention.

The Committee acknowledged with appreciation the State party’s tradition of negotiation with the Maori on all matters concerning them and urged the State party, in a spirit of goodwill and in accordance with the ideals of the Waitangi Treaty, to resume a dialogue with the Maori community with regard to the legislation in order to seek ways of lessening its discriminatory effects, including where necessary through legislative amendment. Moreover, the Committee requested the State party to monitor closely the implementation of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, its impact on the Maori population and the developing State of race relations in New Zealand and to take steps to minimize any negative effects, especially by way of a flexible application of the legislation and by broadening the scope of redress available to the Maori.

I'm hoping that the full report will eventually show up here. A description of the submissions process is here.

This is a decision we should all be ashamed of. But what's even more shameful is that this had to go before the UN in the first place. The bill's violation of the equal right to justice was identified the moment it was put before the house, and yet the government chose to ram it through anyway. Now our international reputation is suffering because of their desire for a "quick fix" to satisfy the redneck vote...

The committee's decision is only going to strengthen Maori resolve over the foreshore - not to mention providing the Maori Party with a serious piece of ammunition in its competition for the Maori vote. And if they are successful in sweeping the Maori seats, we may find the Foreshore and Seabed Act being revisited...

5 comments:

amazing.
haha Im thinking I might have to call myself maori next time I'm asked.

It looks like any law that give any other race even vaguely similar rights is discriminatory.

Imagine if a law was passed in the UK that said that anglo saxons collectively owned the fore shore and everyone else needed there permision to go there. Racist?

that is basically identical to the situation we are proposing here.

Posted by Genius : 3/14/2005 06:41:00 PM

Genius ought to read some information regarding the Act and it's passing rather than post misleading and unfounded comments about some ridiculous analogy with Anglo-Saxons wanting to "collectively" own the coastline. This issue is about family property rights versus the government wanting to cheaply lease off marine space to Pakeha and foreigners - space that Maori have no intention of ever closing off.

The ignorance is breathtaking. The assumptions about Maori positions even more so.

Genius thinks that "similar rights" include the right of Pakeha to own all Maori foreshore and seabed - ALL of it, even bits that no white man has even seen or touched. Read the legislation.

I'm sure the UN was saying the same thing about South Africa and apartheid and met with Genius' sorts of comments from the good Afrikaner folk. Are any people more smug, complacent and ignorant as Pakeha? Do they really believe they are the "nicest" white people to have ever colonised a native race? Or have we dropped that myth now? It's just that Pakeha seem incapable of living up to it in any meaningful way, especially when it matters most.

The UN condemns our government for racism and it takes half an hour for TV One news to mention it on their bulletin. No, of course we aren't racist - let us never speak of it again.

The "call myself Maori" comment is priceless - spoken like true banjo picker.

How embarassing to have ever said anything like that against your fellow countrymen! When does Genius plan on becoming a local and stop behaving like a foreigner? It won't have the Queen's skirt to hide under forever.

What is easier: educating Genius so it is not a racist or sending it on a one-way trip to Australia?

To get rid of the top one hundred thousand most virulent racist gatekeepers in this country could cost as little as $199 x 100,000 = $19.9 million. Throw in traffic fines remission and it could be a goer. A small price to pay for never having to put up with being poisoned in your own country. Apologies in advance to the long-suffering Aborigines.

When is it leaving?

Would it go to Scotland and then complain that the State should confiscate the ancient family rights of the Scots just so it could get it's hooks into their property and incessently whinge about everything Scottish?

The colonisation project has obviously not come to an end in the minds of some. To the extent that they cannot change their minds then they could at least have the courtesy to change countries.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/14/2005 08:51:00 PM

Genius: Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed are not based on race, but on ordinary property rights, of exactly the same sort enjoyed by everybody else. And what is being proposed is equal access to the courts and equal justice under the law. The fact that this is seen as "race-based" simply shows how fucked up and scared some Pakeha are. It seems the mindset which saw Rua Kenana's "one law for both peoples" flag as seditious and "insolent" is still alive and well and living in Nelson...

I may not like the idea of people owning the beaches, and I may be dubious about the merits of some claims, but I recognise an injustice when I see it, and denying people access to the courts because you don't like the thought of them winning stinks to high heaven. And that applies whether they be white, brown, or green with purple splotches.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/15/2005 12:17:00 AM

> This issue is about family property rights.

ok

> versus the government wanting to cheaply lease off marine space

you can set up the alternatives in whatever way makes you feel good

> Genius thinks that "similar rights" include the right of Pakeha to own all Maori foreshore and seabed

Your making no sense here - I dont think "pakeha" should own any land and certainly not foreshore. The fact that they havent touched that sea bed is irrelevant and is equally applicable to any immigrant to britain in regard to their foreshore.

> I'm sure the UN was saying the same thing about South Africa and apartheid and met with Genius' sorts of comments from the good Afrikaner folk.

In case your an idiot I will note that I am not suggesting pakeha (whatever that means) have any special rights.

> Are any people more smug, complacent and ignorant as Pakeha?

what is a pakeha? oh and by the way whoever they are I expect they are offended by your deeply racist comment. Races are NOT "ignorant" although individual members such as yourself may be.

> Do they really believe they are the "nicest" white people to have ever colonised a native race?

er Im guessing pakeha means "british" then? you realy should use a more specific term I wasnt sure if you were including asians and indians.

> The "call myself Maori" comment is priceless - spoken like true banjo picker.

what's a banjo picker? by the way I am part maori obviously. calling myself maori is just like calling myself pakeha or anything else.

> Would it go to Scotland and then complain that the State should confiscate the ancient family rights of the Scots.

what are their ancient rights?

> Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed are not based on race, but on ordinary property rights, of exactly the same sort enjoyed by everybody else.

Im pretty dubious about property rights let alone owning somthing like the foreshore it makes a hell of a lot more sense to jsut say "it cant be owned" by an act of parliment than to go through a hundred court cases to come to the same decision.

> And what is being proposed is equal access to the courts and equal justice under the law.

the government is jsut proposing to pass a law a law you seem to support ideologically and yet dont think should happen. If you dont wnat anyone to own the foreshore that can only be achieved by an act of parliment the courts will only shuffle the papers and leave it open for debate.

Anyway saying the foreshore is owned by everyone is equal justice. Your complaint is similar to a white person saying taxation is racist because they have to pay more. Sue maori are the main ones making a claim to the foreshore at the moment but that should be jsut as irrelevant as if all the white people asked for a tax cut.

> denying people access to the courts because you don't like the thought of them winning stinks to high heaven.

Hardly - that is exactly what every similar law of parliment does - it closes some avenues for legal acton and opens others. for example if we found there was a loophole in the law that allowed people to sue for compensation of money "stolen" through taxation you would close the loophole as opposed to letting it run through the system right?

Posted by Genius : 3/15/2005 07:09:00 PM

Selwyn, you're a tosser and you made a total fool of yourself with your axe through the window wank. Stop trying to suck up to the Maoris - they think you're a wanker too.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/01/2005 09:58:00 AM