English admits Kermadec stuff up

Acting Prime Minister Bill English has conceded – sort of – that they way the Government handled to Kermadec sanctuary proposal was deficient. he said “”I think if you did it again you might do it a bit differently”.

RNZ: English admits Kermadec sanctuary could have been handled better

If the government had its time again it would do things differently on the creation of a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says.

Mr English said there had not been as much consultation as the Māori fisheries entity Te Ohu Kaimoana wanted to see so the legislative process was put on hold while the government considered ongoing negotiations with the Māori Party.

Though it was a government support party, the Māori Party was advocating strong views, so the negotiations were not the government ‘talking to itself’, he told Morning Report.

“Certainly in the nearer future we’ll be … going back over the ground with the Māori Party to make sure everyone understands each other’s objectives and we get reasonably clear about what the trade-offs [are] here.

“But I think in the long run we haven’t come across anyone who doesn’t want this sanctuary to be in place – it’s really the conditions on which it’s in place.”

As a general principle New Zealand has accepted that in the conservation or preservation of land or sea there was some “trimming of rights”.

“I think there’s a case to argue that there could have been a different track for how the issue was discussed with them but I think we’ve all got to deal with reality.

“If we want conservation of and or sea resource for environmental purposes then we’ve got to balance that against property rights.

Mr English said the circumstances meant the government proceeded a bit differently than it usually did, and that had helped create a situation where it didn’t get agreement of all parties concerned.

“I think if you did it again you might do it a bit differently,” he said.

The disagreements might in principle look difficult to resolve but he was confident there would be a way through.

“In practice … we have found in New Zealand solutions to reasonably challenging issues to do with Māori interests and there’s no reason why we can’t in this case.”

That’s fairly long winded but I think it can be summarised as ‘we stuffed up, we’ll try and get it right this time’.

The government is restarting discussions with the Māori Party to see whether it will support the bill.

I expect the will put more effort into doing it right this time.

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  1. The ‘big mistake’ they made was assuming the ‘great protectors of the land’ would be more than happy to put aside their fishing rights, just as the rest of New Zealand will do, in order to create a great Ocean Sanctuary.

    • @ PDB – If as Shoowopadidydidy points out on Stuff, it is a matter of contract law, not of race – as alluded to by your veiled slur – then National’s ‘big mistake’ was thinking they could break the contract without consulting the two iwi who were the other partners to the contract.

      • ‘Race’ was no part of my comment – No group is beyond criticism or being accused of hypocrisy, no matter who they represent.

        • Oh come now Pantsdown …

          Who, pray tell, are the ‘great protectors of the land’ in your comment then?

          The implication, equally of course, is that we pakeha are the great ‘non-protectors’ of the land, which is something to be really proud of I guess?

  2. Questions I haven’t seen answers to:

    1- What property right has been taken from Maori or other fisheries entities with Quota? Quotas haven’t changed, the Kermadecs would just be a no fish zone. Quotas are set by the government: they can and do change them when they believe its in the best long term interests of fisheries management.

    2 – What other fisheries entities owning quota have publicly complained?

    Just seems a bit of a storm in a teacup, albeit that Nick Smith could have run the consultation process more formally and in more correct manner.

    Smells like a beat up – and I believe in property rights and adequate compensation when they are overtaken by government actions.


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