Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ain't Politics A Beach!

As they say, it's all over bar the shouting. But the shouting continues...
Despite too-late tirades from the extended Harawira clan, the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is now law... and yet the government is worried it'll clog up the courts for years to come! Minister of Courts Georgina te Heuheu says the govt is crossing its fingers that wouldn’t happen, but acknowledges the possibility. Well, hello! Surely the government considered that, when planning this bill? "Crossing fingers" is not generally a recommended political solution. What ever next: some makutu/witchcraft in conjunction with its Maori Party allies?
But seriously, let's be realistic. A maori tribe has to prove continuous exclusive use/occupation of a particular coastal area since 1840, in order to stand a dog's show of gaining the property deed. I'd be amazed if there are even half a dozen that might - just might - have a leg to stand on. Then factor in costs of a prolonged legal battle, and concerns of coastal claims clogging courts crumble.
The bill restores the rights of indigenous brethren to go to court, but they'd need to be rock-solid in their claims or only the lawyers will benefit.
Opponents of the legislation say it ain't over yet: the Greens promise they won't let the issue die as the election looms. Ooooooooooooo, the Greens as the nation's rottweilers - I'm trembling!
Former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira (remember him?), despite his fierce opposition, forgot to vote on the bill's second reading and nearly missed his chance on Reading No.3! The wally on principle cast his vote in maori, the translation took it as "a view, not a vote", so it was ruled invalid. Only after National intervened, was Hone-bro able to get his vote counted...but to no avail!
According to Harawira, 89% of maori opposed the bill. Really? 89%? Impressive figures - yet, at best only 200 marched to parliament to protest!
Hmmm, I'm pickin' the rest were down at the beach...

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