Inspired by the Bolivian constitution, the Maori Party wants National to scrap the F&S legislation and allow Maori to claim customary right to the F&S as an indigenous right. But this is not a matter of indigenous rights or cultural pride. It’s the promise of a fat profit. And this will not be shared among all Maori. The Maori Party has sold out its working class Maori voters for the chance to grab title to the F&S. This is a huge resource already being plundered by Maori fishing interests in league with Japanese monopolies super-exploiting Maori workers. (see Socialise Sealords). This is also the case with the Treaty Settlements which benefit the ‘tribal capitalists’ and their bureaucratic mates and not the vast majority of Maori workers who do not have strong tribal affiliations.
When the F&S issue arose, we opposed the Bill, and instead called for Maori to occupy traditional F&S sites and for the Pakeha working class to support these occupations. We saw this struggle as opening the way to the uniting of workers across racial barriers to win workers control of key F%$ resources and keep them out the hands of both multinationals and greed tribal capitalists. Today, our position is to reject the National/Maori Party deal completely. There is nothing progressive to come out of the repealing of the Act. This was part of the deal done between National and the Maori Party to keep the right wing National Party in power. The trade off is that the Maori Party which represents Maori capitalists will get their share of the national resources. Meanwhile Nationalhas blank cheque to attack all workers. Nothing good for Maori or Pakeha workers can come out of this deal to keep National in power.
All of this is covered up in kupapa words: “Our government takes pride in delivering on this part of the Confidence and Supply agreement between the two parties. It’s an agreement that was intended to form the basis for an enduring and constructive relationship between our two parties. The Maori Party, and Rahui Katene in particular, have worked closely with Attorney General Chris Finlayson on the terms of reference for this review,” says Mr Key. "This review is so important for us," says Dr Pita Sharples. "The issue goes back to the foundations of our party, the identity of our people as tangata whenua, and us fulfilling our promises to the people." "It is very pleasing to be here today," says Tariana Turia. "We want to put right an injustice that should never have happened, but we do not want to create another injustice for anyone else. We have said the Act should be repealed, and we are certainly open to hear what the panel might recommend about the best way forward for the country."
* Kupapa: Maori who fought alongside the armed settlers against those Maori who fought to defend their land and independence from the settlers.