Hard Line In The Quicksand

When a new road is abandoned because some Maori say it will disturb a spirit monster, New Zealanders may fume, but they also laugh. When tribes use their influence to bog down development projects for years, public ire eventually fades. Maori claims to the nation's oil and mineral reserves stirred anger, but the Labour government's firm "no" ensured it was short-lived. Last year's claim to the seabed and foreshores was different. Instead of scotching it, the government offered a compromise, which Maori are still considering. Beach-loving New Zealanders were outraged - and they've stayed that way. The foreshores issue "was the...

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