Tuesday, March 28, 2006

White cliffs barrier to Dover

In case you missed it when it flashed by on National Radio’s Waatea News this morning (declaration: I am currently working in a production capacity for said news feed, which is why my energy hasn’t been directed to this blog in recent weeks), a dis to the Maori caucus from Chris Carter.

Two weeks ago in Caucus Dover Samuels, the former MP for Te Tai Tokerau and now a list MP, savaged Carter for vetoing a marina project at Whangamata on the Coromandel, as he has the power to do as Minister of Conservation. While Maori are somehow expected to be pro-conservation, they also have important but at the moment mostly theoretical economic interests in the coastal zone. If something isn’t done to create streamlined and transparent regulatory processes, the 20 percent of aquaculture space Maori are to receive under the aquaculture settlement (the concession prize for losing the foreshore and seabed stoush) becomes just another liability. Labour Maori MPs have been giving a lot of thought to this.

News of Dover’s tongue lashing leaked out (alluded to first on Waatea News, then in the Independent), and Dover was forced to say he and Carter were great mates etc.

This week Carter is in Brazil representing the country at a United Nations conference on biological diversity. He delegated all his ministerial portfolios to Rick Barker, the Minister for Internal Affairs, Justice etc.

Left twiddling their thumbs were not only Samuels, who is associate minister of housing, but Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa, the associate minister for conservation.

If Labour wants to win back the Maori electorates it lost last time, it better show it can have a good relationship with the Maori in its own caucus, let alone those voters out there.


Blogger Mikaere Curtis said...

You're missing the point. Samuels railed against the concept of a Minister "overturning" a court decision (even though Carter did not overturn anything - it's a two stage decisional process).

But this is *exactly* what Dover and the rest of the Labour Maori caucus did in the Foreshore and Seabed legislation.

It is hard to see Samuels' comments as anything other than hypocritical.

10:10 AM  

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