Friday, April 9, 2010

ZenTiger Customary Rights

A Maori leader caught poaching trout from Lake Taupo says local iwi should be given customary rights to take fish.

This has to be my favourite story of the week. Aside from the fact that he was using a net (bad form) to take an excessive amount of trout during spawning season and therefore threatening the restocking process necessary to stop trout going the way of the Moa last time Maori exercised their customary rights, the court of appeal has rightfully pointed out that it can hardly be considered a customary right given the trout was introduced by the British and European settlers.

The broader issue here is of course that some Maori want to have a separate system and separate "rights" to the rest of New Zealanders. It's divisive and ultimately, unsustainable. If they get their way, then in 100 years our Pakeha ancestors will have legitimate grievances requiring the gifting of land and the allocation of our own "customary rights" that we were denied. Or our great grandchildren will be told to "get over themselves" and being the sort that go out into the world and succeed on their own merits, they probably will.

1 comment(s):

I.M Fletcher said...

Yeh. For some, "customary rights" equates more to "let me do what I want to do. I'm selfish and don't care about anybody else; let them get their own fish, I'm going to take what I want and if there aren't any left, it doesn't bother me".

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