"In our land claim [settled in 1997] the Crown fully acknowledges that they took our lands under duress, that their actions were unconscionable. They furnish us with an apology over their actions but then they are going to use exactly the same [acts], put it on the table today and say the families ... have no rights. Where is the justice?
"What we want is a set of tests that aren't ... deliberately put in place to minimise the rights of Maori."
The tests (to meet the definition of customary title) say Maori must show continuous and exclusive use of an area under claim since 1840. Land ownership abutting the foreshore is a good indicator of where hapu or iwi will be successful in gaining customary title.
Maori own 278.8km, or 3.2 per cent, of 8832.9km of South Island coastal land.The bar is set too high and deliberately weighted against maori - that is a fact. How many iwi or hapu will be able to get over the bar? Not many - if any. And that is just the way the gnats want it.
Of more concern is what solomon says about why maori should have their customary rights recognised
"Not qualifying for customary title would deny the tribe rights to mine minerals, whereas the repeal legislation, which is expected to be passed before the end of the year, would allow Maori with customary title to mine any mineral apart from Crown-owned petroleum, gold, silver and uranium.
"There is prospectively an opportunity for some iwi over minerals. I'd state ironsands as an example," Mr Solomon said.This is too far.
Too much of our land and water have been sacrificed to the beast of 'growth' and 'progress' and 'money'. We have desecrated papatuanuku and diminished our mana because of that. Protection is the way to go not dredging up ironsands to send offshore so overseas businesspeople can make more money. Manawhenua is the way and it is a two way street.