Harawira: Give Maori the foreshore and seabed

  • 06/02/2010

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira laid out his bottom lines on the foreshore and seabed at Waitangi today, challenging the Government to hand full title to Maori while ensuring full access to all New Zealanders.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday said he thought an "elegant" solution could be found, but he warned Maori not to expect too much.

But Mr Harawira told a hikoi at the whare runanga (meeting house) at the Treaty Grounds that people should have the highest aspirations and demands.

"When the politicians say we should be realistic, that's their way of saying 'no'," Mr Harawira said.

Mr Harawira said he had three key principles he wanted in any repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, which angered many Maori and led to the formation of the Maori Party.

"One, Maori title of the foreshore and seabed," he said.

"Two, in case anyone is scared we will sell it, make it (title) inalieanable.

"Three, full access to all New Zealanders forever."

Mr Harawira said Maori title was the only way to end the anxiety and angst felt by Maori when the foreshore and seabed was taken into Crown ownership.

He said making the title inalienable would ensure it "can't be lost to overseas people buying up big chunks of it".

Mr Harawira said the only time access would be denied would be if a rahui, or temporary ban, was placed on part of it, something done usually for tangi or to protect seafood.

"But when there is a rahui on it's not just Pakeha that cant go and fish, it's Maori as well," he said.

Mr Key this morning said he was hopeful a resolution on the foreshore and seabed issue could be reached.

He said there was widespread consensus at an Iwi Leaders Forum yesterday and that only one or two iwi didn't support the solution the Government was proposing.

Labour leader Phil Goff said nobody knew what was being negotiated as most discussions were behind closed doors.

He re-stated Labour's position that the current foreshore legislation worked well.

Mr Harawira was marching at a hikoi in support of the tino rangatiratanga flag.

The hikoi of about 150 people held the flag at the base of the Treaty Grounds flagstaff, where it is not flying, before taking it to the whare runanga.

Mr Harawira said getting the tino rangatiratanga flag raised on the flagstaff with the other four flags present "may not happen overnight, but it will happen".

NZPA

source: newshub archive