Monday, February 20, 2017

This bill should not proceed

Over the past week the Maori Affairs select committee has been hearing submissions on the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill. The bill is supposedly an attempt to heal the oozing sore of the theft and confiscation of land at Waitara, the nexus of the land wars. It does this by effectively legitimising and making permanent those confiscations by giving stolen land to leaseholders. Te Atiawa, the iwi the land was stolen from, initially supported the bill, but after opposition from its grassroots has now rejected it. So we have a bill which would ostensibly settle a Treaty grievance being opposed by the people it is purportedly settling with. In fact, the only people who benefit from this bill are the descendent of land thieves, who would get to keep what was stolen (as opposed to merely paying peppercorn rents for it).

Fuck that. Its not just wrong, its a constitutional outrage, a one-sided, unilaterally imposed "settlement" that the iwi don't want. Rather than healing a Treaty breach, it instead perpetuates it and creates a new one. This bill should not proceed. The select committee should dump it.