Foreshore and Seabed Bill
4 November 2004
the Foreshore and Seabed Bill was reported back to parliament today. The Fisheries and Other Sea-related Legislation Committee did not reach agreement on whether the Bill should be passed, so reported it back to parliament with no amendments. It appears that any government amendments to the Bill will be made via Supplementary Order papers and the legislation will be passed before the end of the year essentially unchanged.
The Select Committee Report has seven parts - an outline of issues arising during consideration of the bill; and the views of Labour and Progressive, National, New Zealand First, ACT, the Green Party, and United Future. The Select Committee Report is available online here.
Michael Cullen's surreal press release includes statements such as:
"This does not detract from the value of the committee process and the forum it provided for submitters to have their voices heard and their views on the Bill communicated to the government ... Officials from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet who monitored the committee hearings and assisted the committee in its deliberations have drawn up a list of recommendations to address practical concerns raised in the submissions. These are mostly technical in nature and uncontroversial."
Given that the government apparently intends to proceed with this confiscation legislation despite the majority of submitters rejecting the Bill as a substantial breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, as unjust and unnecessary, and as a violation of human rights protected in domestic legislation and international human rights conventions, it is difficult to see how anyone could describe a Select Committee process which has clearly failed as having "value" - and whose precisely are the voices he claims were "heard"?
Furthermore, to describe the list of recommendations as "mostly technical in nature and uncontroversial" when they fail to address the basic travesty of justice that is the Foreshore and Seabed Bill is simply ridiculous.
Cullen's press release misleadingly has a link to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill Departmental Report which was put together by government officials, not to the Select Committee report ...