The lament from the maori party is, "we can't withdraw support for our bill because john key said that he will pull it and we will be back to the existing Foreshore and Seabed Act, and that discriminatory Act was a major reason the maori party formed in the first place." It is certainly a dilemna - here is my provocative solution.
Recommit to the orignal goal of repealling the Act - with title vesting in Maori and with the Crown having to prove non-customary ownership. This is the line to hold.
Accept that the gnats will reveal their true colours, as will labour and they will oppose this line.
Facilitate a hikoi to parliment to show maori support for the return of the stolen foreshore and seabed. Get onside with iwi leaders and the activist arm - they are all parts of the whole.
Explain to the crown that unless the repeal is passed then the maori party will lead maori boycotts and protests at the Rugby World Cup.
Yes i know that is a big call but it is time to WAKE UP. Maori have few opportunities to really put the pressure on and these times must be taken - otherwise we just leave it for our mokopuna - and that's not good enough for me. Our tupuna have sweated blood and tears to try and get back what was stolen - how much blood and tears have we given? How much are we prepared to give?
No iwi or hapu voluntarily gave up their land including foreshore and seabed - why would they, it was and is the source of life for them, the source of mana and connection. No iwi or hapu have said that they would restrict anyone from going to the beach, in fact they have emphatically stated that everyone will still be able to go to the beach. Why should private owners be able to restrict people?
What about the backlash? Yes there would be some but many would agree and what is the alternative - pretending - pretending that everything is all okay while the rugby is on, when the statistics don't say that, when the actions of the government don't show that, when maori views are barely considered if at all. And when the international marketing opportunity leaves town - everything goes back to the way it is now? It is better to lance the wound and that means allowing the pus to flow - it is there anyway. Once the pus is oozing that will cause many people to realise that they are on the side of equality, rather than be associated with nutters. There will be pain and redness and swelling but we will get to healing.
It is time to turn the assimilation strategy back on them, it is time for us to talk to our fellow workers, friends and family and all people who live here, it is time to tell the truth and bring some light into the darkness of denial. We must look to Tane's example. It is up to all of us because we all want a better world for our moko and we are in this waka together.
And what does this solution mean for the maori party? A bit of downsizing on the expence accounts no doubt as the gnats exact revenge. Increased mana within maoridom and more seats in the election. The question is really, do you think john key would allow boycotts and protests at his ego-fest, in front of his mates and the international media?
Believe it or not i think this strategy would bring us together.