Tuesday, February 22, 2011

retrospective promises

When I posted about maori boycotting the rugby world cup I envisioned a different scenario than the one we have now. For instance in my version I had the maori party leading the hikoi and the protests at the rugby world cup - but the maori party are leading nothing. I thought that the maori party would lead but that is not how they see themselves. Tariana recent video entilted "Keeping our Promise", is professionally made and she talks of the
"two things that maori party supporters asked the maori party to achieve in their first term of government - to repeal the foreshore and seabed act and provide a way for maori to go to court" 
Tariana declares that they have achieved that and the problem is that the bar has been raised.

Tariana also is keen to describe how the Bill abolishes crown title and introduces recognition of customary interests. Customary title is described as "giving iwi development rights" - and she talks about those rights pertaining to, say - "sand mining and further oil exploration"! Thanks for letting us know your agenda.

Without bating an eyelid she praises the select commitee process, saying,
"people will be able to have a say" 
The body language just after these lines tells the story.

Iwi leaders have said the hurdle of customary title is a biggie and Tariana explains that because of the racists the
"government gets incredibly nervous from their polling about what it means for them, if an election were to be called."
What the - who calls the election? But don't worry all of that is just "political realities".

and Tariana also says that the maori party job is to open the doors to enable whanau, hapu and iwi to negotiate their own positions on this issue (the foreshore and seabed repeal) and the maori party have done that. -
"so, we've kept our word to keep the door open  and allow people to get in here basically to negotiate their own deal" 
Tariana states that the Bill has to go through or it will revert and all of the new rights will be lost and it will be much harder for iwi because,
"the government won't be under any obligation to in fact listen to them, or to put anything in place".
Umm Tariana isn't that the party you support - even against the wishes of the people?

The message is clear. Tariana says expectations are too high and that
various iwi have been prepared to accept settlements of between 1% and 3% of what has been taken from us ... when measuring achievements of what has happened with the foreshore and seabed has lifted the bar... and created, not only an opportunity, but the maori party has set a precedent that for the first time ever, our people in numbers, have been able to access ministers of the crown in a way that they never have been before - when you're in opposition you get no opportunity... we have to build relations in this place because unless we do that, the door will always be shut to us.
Of course Iwi have been prepared to accept whatever crumbs they have been offered - a good analogy with the maori party position. So, the lines have been set and the "We've kept our promise" is the big theme for this and probably the election. It is an interesting framing because I cannot recall the big promises as such - but if you want to present your argument, you create strawmen and then proceed to argue - the "promise" line is in that catagory. It is made up and irrelevant. My view remains unchanged - the Bill is a farce and reduces maori rights and the maori party should listen to their people and not support it.

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