Just when we seemed to be working towards a political consensus on the foreshore and seabed, out crawls Winston Peters from his self-imposed political exile:
They are arguing about title. Make no mistake about it they are arguing something separatist. And if that’s the way that New Zealand is to go then our future towards the Third World is certain.
How do you construct a different world view when the mass majority of Maori activists I know have less than a quarter Maori in them and when I know so many Europeans who value the beach for, its shellfish, for its contact with nature and for their love of New Zealand being the way it is.
Of course “they” are arguing about title. That is because title to the foreshore and seabed, or at least the right of hapū to go to Court to establish whether they have title to the foreshore and seabed, is what was extinguished by the Foreshore and Seabed Act. This is about property rights – pure and simple.
Peters’ comments are nothing short of nasty old-fashioned colonial racism of the sort that categorised people of mixed race as sambos, mulattos and quadroons.
Even the National Party appears to have moved on from the days when Don Brash espoused that type of bigotry.
So I guess Winston just couldn’t resist the chance to exploit the vile racist underbelly that still exists in New Zealand society.
Let’s hope New Zealand has grown up somewhat over the last few years, and that the vast majority of New Zealanders want to see him rapidly slither back under the rock from which he’s emerged.