Sunday, January 9, 2011

who is stopping you

Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn sums up this article in the nzherald very well. The article is about who actually is restricting access to beaches. It is not maori stopping people going to the beaches - it is private owners just as we have been saying. The spin by those opposed to maori getting back the foreshore and seabed has been spearheaded by the campaign based upon the fear of the majority of this country not being allowed to go to the beach. Will those same fear-mongers now turn their attention onto this group of real culprits - somehow I don't think so.

From NZ Herald
So it's from a small industrial building in Penrose that the New Zealand Herald launches a "Please let me swim at your beach" road trip. The plan is simple: to ask landowners if they mind letting us stroll through to their piece of paradise to dip our toes.
From No Right Turn in response to the article
...The problem isn't Maori, but millionaires. The people putting up gates and shutting the public out are farmers and the residents of exclusive gated communities, both of whom effectively privatise public space by restricting access.
If we think this is a problem - and I agree, it is - then the answer is not to restrict justice to Maori, but instead to legislate for free access regardless of who owns the adjacent land. But a solution where Pakeha are allowed to privatise public space while Maori are denied justice and have lesser property rights is not acceptable, and can only be regarded as racist.
The conclusion of racism is correct IMO. Lessor rights for maori is as obvious as it gets - this is not subtle or hidden - it is there baldly - lessor rights for maori. That is just not acceptable.

I don't fully agree with the other conclusion that the remedy is to legislate for free access, although I do think it is a good interim solution - the long term answer, in my view, is that the foreshore and seabed be vested with maori. Access is available for everyone and no more private ownership of the foreshore and seabed.


Charlotte said...

this is happening world-wide. Apparently in Taihiti families grow up with out any access to the sea at all, or very little, during their day to day lives. We are so lucky here, but it's certainly beginning to change. I think we need to legislate for open access to oceans, though this is a huge call. We certainly don't need to follow world-trends and allow rich people to determine our access to the sea. It's up to us, NZers are an innovative bunch, we need to formulate our own preventative measures so that our children can still enjoy the taonga of our moana in generations to come.

Anonymous said...

Yes, in those areas where public access to beaches is being selfishly blocked by foreign millionaires, local developers, or other private owners (Maori and Pakeha) - it's a problem and should be strongly opposed. Scary big gates, threatening signs, barking dogs and unfriendly owners don't exactly make Kiwis feel welcome do they? I'm happy to respect their land, but they don't own the adjacent public beach and they never did! It's ours, yours and mine to enjoy forever, and it should stay that way!

The NZ Herald article was incredibly misleading, because it was solely talking about problems with ACCESS to beaches ACROSS private land.

Whereas the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is focused on privatising the ownership of our shared, publicly-owned BEACHES (foreshore and seabed below the high tide mark) by stealth, placing restrictions on public access that currently do not exist, and giving away millions of dollars worth of national mineral rights to a small select group of coastal iwi. What about urban working-class Maori? How are they going to benefit from these shady little deals in Chris Finlayson's office? The only people who will benefit from this are the corporate iwi fat cats, and they don't give a stuff about anyone except themsleves.

I also object to the fact that customary owners would not be subject to the Resource Management Act, unlike any other private land owners in New Zealand! Tell me how that isn't racist? The RMA is a sensible act designed to protect the environment and manage resources in a sustainable way through an open, transparent process, which local councils and everyone else has to abide by, yet for some reason iwi don't want to play by the same rules? And why should customary owners of the foreshore and seabed have more powers than democratically-elected councils? Why shouldn't the public get any say in the management of coastal areas?

If you support equal rights and equal laws for everyone, then you should be opposed to this regressive and racist Bill. If you care about your community as a whole (Maori and Pakeha and Asians and Pacific Islanders and Africans and everyone else) you should be opposed to privatisation of public beaches.