Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can we do better than last?

Australia will now officially back the UN declaration on indigenous rights, which it voted against in 2007.

This is good news. Whatever you think of the UN, protecting and empowering indigenous peoples is great work. It's good for everybody because diversity is our strength.

Australia was one of just four countries to vote against the declaration when the UN's General Assembly adopted it in September 2007, along with the United States, New Zealand and Canada.

Thats right we didn't vote for it, why you might ask? Parekura Horomia said at the time the NZ was well advanced in indigenous rights and we had the Treaty to sort things out. Hmmm not so sure about that.

So the Aussies are signing up, do we really believe that the USA under Obama won't also join, not sure about the Canadians but as Aroha Mead said on the radio, it is quite possible that NZ will be the LAST country to back this declaration.

John Key has said in questions in the House that he wants to wait to see what the Aussies say on Friday. Ummmmm can't we make up our own minds John? Why do we have to wait for the Aussies, you lead our Government and you are working with the Maori Party, in fact they Ministers in your own Government! Why not ask them? Well they do have a view and as you would expect:

31 March 2009 - The co-leaders of the Maori Party are welcoming news that Australia will soon sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and they believe New Zealand should move very quickly to do the same.

"In fact," says Dr Pita Sharples, "It is a blot on the history of our country that the previous Labour-led government didn't sign the Declaration."

"We said so at the time and we believe the new government must now move swiftly to sign. It is the right thing to do." http://www.voxy.co.nz/

So I'm not sure what the holdup is. Is it true that maori are celebrated as indigenous people in this country or is the truth a little less than that.

Queenstown hotel prices drop like a stone

Big bad news for Queenstown. Might have a silver lining if you are looking for somewhere up-market to stay... well... winter is coming.

Hotel prices have fallen 35% in Queenstown from a year ago. That the 3rd biggest fall in hotel prices anywhere in the world!

What does it mean?

Less money (income) - less jobs, less downstream and feeder businesses, less local economy, less completion of the big hotel projects. More Ngai Tahu unemployed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Whanganui back

The NZ Geographic Boards decision to add the 'h' into the city and district names is a good decision. The mistake was made (and easy to see how it could happen when you are trying to write down an oral language that uses sounds you are not used to).

Michael Laws should just shut up now. He is becoming smaller and less relevant every day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Love these photos. Both the Sombrero Galaxy M104, the top one is in infrared.

Matakahi - A Great Ngai Tahu Holdings initative

These cadetships for young Ngai Tahu are fantastic. I'd like to see them increased at least 10 fold. The way to grow talent is to nurture it, safely in a nest. We have the best training ground around for our people - within our own organisation. Good on Holdings for developing this idea and actually doing it - can't wait to see what else is coming up.

These are the words describing the kaupapa

"Matakahi means a wedge, used to describe our kaupapa to support the growth of future Ngāi Tahu business leaders, strong in both their culture and in commerce.
Since the Ngāi Tahu settlement our iwi have grown the tribal pūtea and are significant players in the investment, property, tourism and seafood sectors. So if you are Ngāi Tahu and are interested in a career in commerce, then your iwi is interested in you!"

It also has both maori and english to help us learn the language. I'm rateing this A+.

Only 875 hits on the website so far - lots more of our people need to know about this.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ngai Tahu Rock Art needs protection now!

Why not spend a fraction of the $50 million to support the Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust.

We are the kaitiaki of this most precious taonga. We must support the efforts to protect and empower the local runaka and the Trust so that we have no more loss - loss that can never come back.

What could be done? We know that over 500 rock art sites have been recorded by SIMRAP, only a small fraction of these are being actively protected and managed. That is discraceful!
Immediately all recorded sites should be bought into a management plan. The plan could include employment opportunities for young Ngai Tahu. Ecocultural tourism and culturally sensitive tours for guests/tourists run by Ngai Tahu for Ngai Tahu. Managed and run at the runaka level.
Many iwi members have never seen or been close to their sacred taonga, left for them by their ancestors. They would be honoured to be allowed to. All parties win, the heroes who keep the home fires burning and those coming back, humbly, heroes too, to learn and reconnect with their rightful histories.

This Trust still has to seek sponsorship - whats wrong with sponsoring our own?

Seriously, what possible reason could there be for this neglect.

If we have to buy all the land they are on, who cares, make them offers they can't refuse = that's what $50 million is for.

The key is speed. Each day more and more slips away. Push this up the agenda. Make it a priority. Get off your hands and stop thinking like pakehas - the money isn't the issue!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Heroes of Ngai Tahu

One of the groups of unsung heroes within Ngai Tahu are the crew of Tahu FM. This is a good example of making a positive difference to our community. I've got them via the net. Have a listen, its great! Wish I was going to be able to be at this gig, awesome.

Harrison gone - my guitar isn't weeping

News that Andrew Harrison COO for Ngai Tahu Holdings has resigned doesn't really bother me. I thank him and his whanau for the mahi, all the best for the future.

Now, who will be replacing him (Ngai Tahu whanui or not? - it is a retorical question because why would they want to promote their own, they haven't done it so far) and is this where the battles are being fought now, in the boardroom? Once the 'Gray report" put the crosshairs on him it was only a matter of time. Who next? - I bet they are not very comfortable and even more so now that every company in NZ is considering who to dump because of the economic nightmare coming.

Hmmmm - If it was a game of chess it could look like one side has taken 3 pieces (and not pawns) and the other side still has to get a big piece. The collective may have taken more of the incumbents pawns but you really need the bigger pieces otherwise you get creamed towards the middle and end of the match.

Bury Asian dead in NZ?

This idea is mental. Bring your dead bodies over here to bury? - I don't think so! Has anyone asked the tangata whenua? Oh don't worry they already have real estate agents out looking for land for them - bloody hell.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Awarua - is it a bluff?

I note that restrictions are being placed upon those welcome to attend the hui down south. I am not sure whether this will really benefit the collective because it might create an illusion about their support. (When you have secret meetings and you get worked up about things then you can actually believe that everyone thinks like you).

Sure they will have the numbers and Mark will be walking into the 'enemy camp'. I am also sure that Tikanga will be observed, everyone will have their say... and nothing will change. All entrenched views will stay entrenched. Perhaps the kanohi ki te kanohi aspect will help, but we have already seen the non-results of that from Kaikoura.

Perhaps this will be the big battle - which might mean we are nearing the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end!

Monday, March 23, 2009

50 million ways to make me your lover

Here is an alternative idea to use the 50 million, that no final decision has been made on yet, for the building of the House of Tahu.

Get serious about our language

It's great to see young Ngai Tahu who can speak the language. For many older iwi members there has not been the opportunity to learn, and now many in their 30's, 40's and 50's would love to learn, if it was made easier.

I think one of the big barriers is money. It's is difficult to imagine going to college for a year to learn Te reo, on a student income or maybe using savings. How can someone take time off their job to do the hours needed to learn. I don't think 2 hours a week at Te reo class can do the job unfortunately.

So if we take the 50 million and cut it into 50 x 1 million pieces we have 1 million a year to spend for 50 years. That should make the whole thing totally funded. Take the 1 million and cut it so that you provide a full scholarship for 12 people of $50,000 each. Everyone gets $50,000 to offset, during the full years learning, their income.

Everything can be measured and the 12 people will have to do the learning otherwise the money is refunded on a prorata basis. That is $600 thousand. The other $400 thousand or so is used to pay tutors, resources etc.

Part of the deal is that the learners must go back into their communities and teach other Ngai Tahu. At the end of the first 12 months we have 12 good speakers going back into their communities and teaching our language. Another 12 people begin the program. The initial 12 do more advanced courses similar to the current good offerings.

At the end of 24 months we have another 12 starting and so on. All for very little money.

All of the figures can be adjusted to get the mix right. You can have 20 people for a shorter total investment period. You could give people $60,000 instead of $50,000. You could even pay the $50,000 for 3 years so that the learners can really become teachers. It doesn't really matter, the pool is big enough to absorb all of the adjustments.

It could be done and it would dramatically increase the self confidence of Ngai Tahu whanui in a very short period of time.

pollution detecting pollution

Ummm isn't a robot fish, the size of a seal, pollution too? Can you have good or bad pollution? Seems slightly paradoxical to me.

Shatner speaking

I'm a trekie (1st series) and anything of the others without that picard guy. William Shatner is underrated from his colourful name, his acting, his music and back to his acting again. All the while his unique line delivery set the tone.

His voice is worthy of an international talk like William Shatner day. Bugger the pirates arrrwww lets go Shatner.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Irritable Male - the quiz

My partner sent me this and guess what? i did the quiz and now have a new name for grumpy - I am an irritable male. The sad fact is though, I am grumpy and now I have more awareness I going to be not grumpy. I got 75 see how you go.

Good Nelson rally

Nelson jobs rally attracts more than 200
The protest was all about the real problem with this economic crisis - its still about profit. Maybe lower profit but look at the quarterly revenue statements of the big companies and guess what - they are still making profits. Everyone will feel the pain of the economic tsunami coming, and evidence suggests it will take another 6 months before it begins to really be felt, but the ones who will really suffer are those that lose their jobs and have to survive, not the fat cats who had to let the 100 or 5 go. And i'm not talking about the small businesses that are suffering just as much as their workers. Companies and their management should be held to account for their decisions to get rid of staff and if maintaining profits if identified they should be dealt to.

Ngai Tahu responds well, sort of

Well I have a good read of the material on the Ngai Tahu website and I have to say that I think they have responded quite well. Everything is coded in lawyer speak and various other dark devices but that is corporate life - you can't put anything out until the lawyers have received their thousands.

The documents and panui were exactly what I expected. Somehow though I don't feel satisfied.

The problem I have is not what is said but what is not said. For instance did Wally ask if any document was prepared, was the answer no, and was a copy of the document then produced. If that did happen then I don't think that is right. Just because no final decision is made doesn't mean no decision has been made. Do you really expect me to believe that the 'Gray Document' was commissioned by Anake for a rainy day. Another nagging concern I have is that the "Collective" have obviously got concerns, I just don't believe they are maliciously trying to destroy anything. They are some of our people in important positions whose voices cannot be ignored. I don't want a sanctimonious witchhunt from the current administration, I don't want a stalinist purge.

The ''collective'' (slight deviation - man I dislike this name it is so bad, why not call yourselves something cool or meaningful - even rebels would be better) indicated in the leaked emails that they were considering legal action. Has the battle actually begun? Is the current leadership believing that they have repelled the boarders? Have the ''collective'' shot their best shots?

More than smooth documents are needed to sort this out.

Good Ngai Tahu news

I like this good news about the Buff Weka and Ngai Tahu. As kaitiaki we must protect our ecosystems for the future. I haven't met many weka but the ones I have met were all very likeable.

For us and our children after us

The people of Ngai Tahu that I have met really believe in creating a better future for their children and their childrens children. Many iwi members sacrifice a lot to do their best to give their tamariki a good start in life. The lucky ones are bought up within our culture and learn from those that know. The less lucky ones grow up as kiwi's. It's often only later in life that they begin to find their way back to their home fires. And, like many things in life, that is when the hard work begins.

What is the current infighting doing to the confidence and self belief of our tribe?

The two camps have to pull their heads out and front up to the problem. Enough of the secret meetings and leaked documents. Front up and let the people decide what is right and what is wrong.

For too long this iwi has been in fear. We are now afraid of our own. People are afraid to speak their truth because they might lose their jobs. people say nothing because they are gagged. There are 18 representatives why are they not letting their views be known. Some have spoken out and raised their heads - kia kaha!

The problem can only be sorted by kanohi ki te kanohi. Face to face. We always look our foes in the eye, we always have. Get all of the fighting done, say all of the secret hatreds and slights that have accumulated, clean the pus out and begin to heal the wounds.

The teams both contain people I know and respect, but everyone's honour is being lost the longer this goes on. It is time for our kaumatua and respected ones to speak up and impose some order.

The real problem is communication. Between the two waring parties, but even more importantly with the majority of iwi members. Thank the gods for BB and Richard otherwise the only things we would know are what the Press, ODT and Hearld are printing. Its not good enough. The Ngai Tahu website is a disgrace. Where are the forums for iwi members to discuss the issues? Where are the places to create online communities? Why are Ngai Tahu whanui been kept in the dark?

Too many of our so called leaders treat us like idiots, they feed us spin and lie to our faces. It really is not good enough. We were colonised and made subjects in out own land and now when we really need our leaders to be strong and build our tikanga and lanuage and to bring more of our people home, instead they weaken us.

It's not all about you! it's for us and our children after us.