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Gulf Forum Proposals Should Upset Post-Election Ennui 

If you thought for one moment that silence denoted the denouement of our Hauraki Treaty Partners ambitions for control of the Gulf - have another think. 

The Election has surely interrupted the process, but only for short period while forces gather behind the scenes for a final push towards the re-constitution of the Gulf Forum to give its Maori majority (yes, majority with eight of sixteen, PLUS the inevitable Te Puni Kokiri representative appointed by Government) control over the Waihou and Piako catchments, the Gulf and its islands.)

This is no joke - it is a deadly serious game being played by Paul Majauey and David Taipari 'behind the scenes' on one side, and Chris Parkinson on the other. It appears destined to end with the new un-democratic structure being imposed by edict with John Key's support in the same manner as has occurred elsewhere, but with far graver consequences for the majority of those who count themselves as having 'interests' in the Gulf and its environs.  

The only commentator who is showing the slightest interest, or understanding of what is being proposed (and to which document our candidates French, and Seiling have provided support, intended or otherwise), is Michael Coote in the NBR. His latest article this week should be a 'wake-up' call to all who consider themselves to have 'interests' as described, and required reading for everyone whose interests may in the future be compromised by the precedent setting content of this 'agreement.' 

It seems that the current Government considers this form of engagement with tangata whenua to be not only desirable, but necessary in order to achieve the 'sharing' of resources required to correct the perceived 'inbalance' that has occurred since the Tiriti was enacted in 1840.

I am not an Act supporter (or any other party for that matter), but my deep sense of democratic values is offended by what what is being proposed, and I can only assume our Treaty Partners have decided that their objectives can only be achieved by means other than those embodied in such principles. This follows a pattern now being followed in a vast number of third world countries that previously paid lip service at least to democratic values - witness Fiji!

I for one, am deeply disturbed at what is being proposed, and quietly slipped though the 'checks & balances' process, both at national and local levels. Just by way of example, our Council along with Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Waikato, Waikato Regional, and Auckland all together end up with a single representative on this new 16 person governance body.

Work that out, and think it through - that is the way of the future. Is that really what the Settlement process was all about? I think not, and I suspect that many others in the mildly pro-Maori, even pro-Maori camp will think likewise. Chris Finlayson has done some great work, but he should not let his deeply held beliefs in the injustices of the past interfere with his responsibility to uphold democratic values fit for the future, and fit for purpose, let alone meeting the the so-called 'best-practice' mantra.  




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