Chris Finlayson, Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, is about to grant the first customary marine title to Hawke's Bay iwi Ngati Pahauwera. The first of many applications for Hawke's Bay alone that he has invited and given many thousands of dollars of public funds for iwi to put forward their claims. Any objectors to these claims had to pay a fee to lodge them.
The minister says no one loses any rights. He must be some kind of magician that can create new rights out of thin air without taking any away from someone else.
The ‘someone else' being the general citizens of New Zealand. Mr Finlayson has stated "We've now got a whole lot of cases. In my view there will be a couple of big ones."
Anyone remember last year the statement from him and John Key that these claims will be minimal?
These marine titles include resources and allow iwi to create policies for management of these resources. This is just another attack on equality of citizenship.
The minister in charge here, along with many other decision-makers in this country who presumably support these decisions are not elected by the people as you would expect, but are appointed.
We may well ask who appoints them and the answer to that is they, for the most part, appoint each other. Certainly not us, the citizens.
G Faulkner, Welcome Bay. (Abridged)