We were alerted to two documents that have been leaked to the Tangata Whenua.com website that show that the Foreshore and Seabed issue is in trouble.
The first we understand, is an early draft of an "alternative proposal" to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
Its custodians are apparently the Iwi Leaders Forum.
The second is rebuttal, and although the language is a bit intemperate the premise and analysis is sound.
The " Alternative proposal" is a ( kuri ) dog .. for these reasons.
Its shows a scant understanding of property rights or commerce.
And it shows an even scanter understanding of tikanga.
It proffers a solution that is all about status – that will piss Pakeha off – but offer no real legal or commercial benefit for Maori.
The cock up with the Foreshore and Seabed act was that it did not recognise property rights or due process.
As a nation we need not fear ownership of small bits of the Foreshore and Seabed by Maori - indeed we should embrace it. With rights come responsibilities.
Instead this document is a wishy washy salve to political objectives ( note it even refers to " feel good" factors) and not a rights based approach.
What New Zealanders want is something that is fair and legally robust.
While the Iwi Leaders Forum denotes a group with mana and intellect this paper is a simplistic attempt to take more than can be morally justified but less than that which might be legally justified
It trades off the tiny bit of the foreshore Ngati Apa may have been able to get, in exchange for a nebulous bit of feel-good nonsense around the whole South Island coast line .
The fact of the matter is that there is no simplistic feel good national solution to this problem – it has to be based on the law and due process iwi by iwi
The paper was apparently written by controversial Maori strategist and influencer Sacha McMeeking.
If so we wonder how much she was paid for it?