Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Life is very interesting isn't it?

I've just read about
Te Kooti's first visit to Waihi.

Waihi is in the news because they have just evacuated it due to concerns about an eruption or slips.

"The historic village - the ancestral base of Taupo iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa - is on a seismic fault line in an area of known instability near the Hipaua Cliffs geothermal area at the southwest corner of Lake Taupo.

Sixty people - including paramount chief Te Heuheu Tukino II - were killed in the village after a landslide in 1846."

If you had of asked me a month ago where Waihi was i might have struggled to answer correctly. Yet this place has a maori history, a strong, detailed maori history. And knowledge of that maori history would enhance the lives of everyone.

Back to the book... one of the great joys with an author that i haven't read before is getting used to their style. I have found that Judith Binney's writing is so good that i am there at that time, and place, and I can feel the emotion. She layers this with an amazing amount of detail and facts from many sources. I, like many I think, think about those times and imagine a 'Piano' or 'Vigil' or 'River Queen' style - dark, raining, dirty etc. But was life really like that? Is the weather always dark and dismal today?

Learning is quite joyful. Do natural events have any connection to what we are doing, collectivelly rather than individually? Is everything just little and big coincidences?

What would maori of Te Kooti's time have said about the omens.

Titirea - aspiring and inspiring

This is excellent - why? - because it means that people are getting involved, people want to have their say and although most will be part of some group - it doesn't matter. The dialogue and debate, publically, is the way to go.

"More than 190 submissions on the draft Mount Aspiring National Park Management Plan Review have been received by the Department of Conservation (Doc), and more are expected before the 5pm close today... "

From DOC

"A National Park's key role is to protect the values that make it special and to see that people enjoy those values. A management plan's role is to provide guidance on managing conflicting demands. The park faces a range of issues. These are addressed in the draft plan and include: aircraft use; visitor pressures in some places; protecting natural quiet; whether there should be commercial activity in remote and wilderness areas; preserving biodiversity in the face of threats from introduced pests – plants and animals."

From the draft plan - check out section 2 dealing with obligations, under the Treaty of Waitangi, between Crown/DOC and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu as kaitiaki. Very interesting and impressive.

Perhaps the first stage of any discussion is to get the name right. The name of this maunga isn't Mt Aspiring, it is Tititea. or maybe Titirea/Mt Aspiring. The name of the National Park is The Mt Aspiring National Park, but if there is no legitimacy in the 'Aspiring' name then the name of the national park needs changed. Just a small point that doesn't diminish the good work being doen.

The mana is with Ngai Tahu

I believe in maori working together against the common enemies of oppression, colonisation and racism. Sometimes though, maori are in conflict between iwi. And at other times there is conflict within an iwi.

Working together doesn't mean compromising everything.

I am pleased to see that:

"Two iwi from the top of the South Island have withdrawn from a High Court hearing over disputed land awarded to Ngai Tahu."

"In court yesterday, the lawyer for Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa, Jamie Ferguson, said his clients believed the High Court was not an appropriate forum for Maori to resolve their differences. The parties should talk to each other to move forward amicably.

The move has left four iwi Ngati Apa, Ngati Rarua, Ngati Toa and Rangitane to continue the case."

"Stephen Kos, QC, for Ngai Tahu, told the court the 2008 tribunal was wrong to find in favour of the small iwi grouping because the Maori Appellate Court had emphatically ruled in favour of Ngai Tahu in 1990.

The Maori Appellate Court decision had subsequently been considered in the Privy Council twice: once in an appeal petition in 1991 and once on review in 2006. The petition was declined and the council upheld the Maori Appellate Court decision on review.

Against this background, Mr Kos said the tribunal, in its 2008 findings, should have considered itself bound by the Maori Appellate Court decision."

Everyone makes mistakes and these Te Tau Ihu iwi should accept their mistake and give up this court case. The mana is with Ngai Tahu. The borders will be protected strongly and are not going to change.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Give the people back

Give it up France.

You and other colonising countries should give all of the stolen indigenous items and people back to where they came from.

Having museums and universities holding these artifacts and people is obscene. The arguments regarding the benefits of holding such items in the colonising country don't hold water. Research the items in the countires of origin. Send the mummies back - why should they be in france instead of the land of their birth.

Have some damn decency - you colonised the country, plundered the culture, stole anything valuable, wasted the resources and now struggle to give back the stolen people.

"France is set to approve a bill to return to New Zealand more than a dozen mummified Maori heads in what supporters say is a belated move to right the wrongs of European colonialism.

"The Maori heads that are still dispersed in European and US museums have a history that reminds us of the worst hours of colonialism," read the summary of the draft bill, which is due to be debated by the Senate in Paris.

Last year, France's Culture Ministry blocked the return of a Maori chief's head from a museum in Rouen to Te Papa, saying the move could mean that France would have to return mummies to Egypt. The ministry has said, however, that it favours the current proposal."


"The Upper House Senate has voted unanimously in favour of a bill calling for France's museums to return all Maori heads still in their possession to New Zealand.

The bill now heads to the National Assembly for debate."

As stated above

"France's culture ministry last year blocked a museum in northwestern Rouen from returning a Maori chief's head to New Zealand's national Te Papa Tongarewa museum, fearing the move could force Paris to return mummies to Egypt.

But the newly appointed Culture Minister, Frederic Mitterrand, has come out in favour of the bill drawn up by a cross-party group of senators, telling them: "The Government fully shares their ethical concerns."

"In what began as a ritual, a sign of respect from tribe and family towards the dead, these mummified heads led to a particularly barbaric trade, fuelled by the sinister curiosity of travellers and European collectors," he said."

A positive for the French who have taken a beating here recently :)

Go round not through

I think we should build roads around Urupa rather than through them. That is why I agree with what they are doing up in Wairoa.

"Mahia's main road, Ormond Drive, was established in the 1960s but some sections are not located on a legal road reserve.

One section is located across land that is part of the Ruawharawhara urupa (cemetery), at the Opoutama end of the road.

In August 2007, Wairoa District Council came to agreement with Ruawharawhara urupa trustees to allow the road to be used until August 2009. After that, it was agreed the road would be removed."

Council engineering manager Neil Cook said work could now begin on a more detailed investigation into the two proposed routes.

"After taking into account the results of lengthy community consultation, a cultural audit and an archaeological survey, it was decided to go ahead with the investigation of these two new roading options.

"Each option is different, with its own set of positive and negative aspects.

"The important thing is that we fully investigate each one, with further public consultation as necessary, so that council has the knowledge on hand to make an informed final decision," he said."

Consultations, options, respect... jeepers it's sounding too good to be true.

our past

The adage often used is, "Remember the past or you are doomed to repeat it."

Over a few posts I am going to put the Crown apology to Ngai Tahu up.

Why? So that we can remember the past and not have to repeat it!


The Crown apologises formally and will apologise publicly to Ngai Tahu as follows:


Kei te mohio te Karauna i te tino roa o nga tupuna o Ngai Tahu e totohe ana kia utu mai ratou e te Karauna - tata atu ki 150 nga tau i puta ai tenei pepeha a Ngai Tahu ara: "He mahi kai takata, he mahi kai hoaka". Na te whai mahara o nga tupuna o Ngai Tahu ki nga ahuatanga o nga kawenga a te Karauna i kawea ai e Matiaha Tiramorehu tana petihana ki a Kuini Wikitoria i te tau 1857. I tuhia e Tiramorehu tana petihana ara:
"Koia nei te whakahau a tou aroha i whiua e koe ki runga i enei kawana \'85 tera kia whakakotahitia te ture, kia whakakotahitia nga whakahau, kia orite nga ahuatanga mo te kiri ma kia rite ki to te kiri waitutu, me te whakatakoto i te aroha o tou ngakau pai ki runga i te iwi Maori kia noho ngakau pai tonu ai ratou me te mau mahara tonu ki te mana o tou ingoa."

Na konei te Karauna i whakaae ai tera, te taumaha o nga mahi a nga tupuna o Ngai Tahu, na reira i tu whakaiti atu ai i naia nei i mua i a ratou mokopuna.


The Crown recognises the protracted labours of the Ngai Tahu ancestors in pursuit of their claims for redress and compensation against the Crown for nearly 150 years, as alluded to in the Ngai Tahu proverb 'He mahi kai takata, he mahi kai hoaka' ('It is work that consumes people, as greenstone consumes sandstone'). The Ngai Tahu understanding of the Crown's responsibilities conveyed to Queen Victoria by Matiaha Tiramorehu in a petition in 1857, guided the Ngai Tahu ancestors. Tiramorehu wrote, 'This was the command thy love laid upon these Governors ... that the law be made one, that the commandments be made one, that the nation be made one, that the white skin be made just equal with the dark skin, and to lay down the love of thy graciousness to the Maori that they dwell happily ... and remember the power of thy name.' The Crown hereby acknowledges the work of the Ngai Tahu ancestors and makes this apology to them and to their descendants."

I am also going to find a copy of the petition that Matiaha Tiramorehu conveyed to Queen Victoria in 1857 and put that up too.

1857 was only 1824 months ago.

language is the key

Keep learning, keep improving.

if you're progressive trotter - then i am a parsnip

There is quite a battle on at the moment. In one corner is Chris Trotter and the latest here, in the other is Lew from Kiwipolitico. I think BK Drinkwater sums it up well on his blog where he says,

"What followed was a debate in extraordinarily explicit terms over the role of identity politics in Progressivism. For Trotter, class is the sole sufficient statistic for the identification of a group's interest. For Lew, belonging in a power-minority group must be taken into account.

This fundamental disagreement prevents Lew and Trotter from agreeing on, well, just about anything. Among the issues they've hashed over is the independence of the Maori Party from Labour. For Trotter, the Maori Party's supply and confidence agreement with National is nothing short of a betrayal of the interests of the Maori people: an interest he sees as belonging in the Labour Party and movement. For Lew, Maori are infantilized when portrayed as being dominated by class interests: Maori are active agents with a special identity in the world we all live in; this identity is not to be subsumed by nineteenth-century European categorizations in terms of economic class.

What the present fight seems to be about is the right to call oneself Progressive. Trotter thinks that it's a term that belongs to fairly old-school socialists whose understanding of the world is derived mainly from class analysis; Lew insists that the vocabulary of minority groups and power structures is essential. It's probably a healthy debate for the Left to be having right now, and it's interesting to read."

So what do i think? Well there is much to comment on, so I'll just stick to one point.

I am in Lew's corner simply because his arguements make sense, they are actually not coloured by personality or animosity as trotter's are. I think that Chris Trotter is wrong. I'm just going to talk about the maori party issue although i agree with Lew that the Green and left-women have also experienced his diatribe.

Insulting the maori party for sticking up for their constituents is really just paternalism and racism. Trotter doesn't understand maori, their world view or how they are utilizing their own resources, including debate, to create their own solutions to their own issues, political representation being one of those.

Trotter says, " I have never argued against the rights of women or indigenous peoples – nor denigrated any person for doing so."

This is just not true. By calling maori party leaders kupapa and using the slaughterhouse imagry, trotter has argued against the rights of maori. By attacking maori political leadership he insults all who voted for them. Remember he is not really attacking the policies of the maori party - he attacks individuals - personally - in the guise of attacking the policies. He thinks he know best and he thinks he knows best about what is 'best' for maori. He can see the road ahead, while the maori party just don't have the 'vision' or they have sold out their strength for baubles or they have been enticed by personal gain to ditch their principles and back the rightwing plans. Ummmm sorry chris that is all rubbish. Your mountaintop is really just a hill - with a mediocre view.

No one elected you trotter. Maori didn't vote for you - but they did vote for the maori party. The success of the maori party in representing their constituents will be tested at the ballot box. I expect MORE seats for them.

Trotter argues against the rights of maori all the time, whether it's his oppostion to the 'h' in Whanganui, or his personal animosity for the leaders of the maori party. In trotters world maori are not able to handle their own destiny. They need the large, warm, white hands of 'progressives' to lead them and help them achieve their emancipation. Maori have the right to seek their own destiny and they will. The maori party is a representation of maori, or at least a large section of maori - whether you like it or not chris.

You are not maori chris, you have no idea what the maori worldview is - yet you sprinkle your tomes with maori words and concepts as if that adds some gravitas to your arguement. All it does it show you up for the self declared racist you are.

So the fake tears and hand wringing from trotter hold no water for me. He gives it out but can't take it. His pompous tone and continued disgraceful personal attacks on the maori party show him for what he is - a racist not a progressive at all.

With friends like trotter who needs enemies.

FOOTNOTE: Well chris doesn't like me commenting on his blog and has deleted one of my comments. I was simply pointing out that his comments about the maori party were personal and it was precious of him to be offended by Lew for playing the man not the ball - when he does that all the time. I also said that non-maori using maori concepts and words to insult maori was ironic. And my final point to him was that as a self-declared racist, surely his independence and neutrality could be called into question.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The things we see

Astronauts took this photo of an eruption on June 12. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance; the surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption. Credit: NASA/ISS/Earth Observatory

I'm reading Redemption Songs

As I've mentioned i am a voracious reader but I've had a bit of an issue with the library and haven't been getting books out. It has meant that I've been able to re-read some books – which has been great. But i was ready for a new really good read. First i had to sort the library issue out. And the issue was that I usually take out 9 or so books at a time. I had forgotton to return them on time and had accumulated overdue fines of $120 – and I didn't want to pay it. Eventually I went and and had a lovely chat with a librarian – we sorted it out (halved the fine) and I was able to get some books out.

The book I am reading is, “Redemption Songs – A life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki”. I chose this book because of the internet. A blog called Reading the Maps had a list of great NZ books and this was number one. I hadn't read it before – I know it seems remarkable – it does to me too, but I hadn't even know the book existed – let alone the contents. I tend to believe in fate and that I have come across this book at exactly the right time for me. I'm 50 pages in and then I remember something interesting.

I once attended a Ngai Tahu meeting and during the discussions a lament was made that it was difficult to tell our stories. A Wahine toa spoke and said that she used whatever was at hand, be it a superman doll or whatever and used them to tell the stories for her tamariki. The point was that we just have to use what we have got in front of us. Yes we always try for more but what we have is enough to do something, to keep moving forward.

So I'm going to start the book again and read out loud all of the interwoven maori. This is my way of trying to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I'm using what is at hand. It is also my way of marking respect, to the subject and to apoligise for my lack of knowledge. It's a personal thing. But the real advantage is the change in my consciousness as I read the book. I believe that intent creates mauri. How do we learn? Maori traditionally have learned orally. The spoken word has power. Speaking out loud is powerful. How are our stories and legends passed down now? We don't really have the opportunities to get together to korero; the western based society that has been created here dissuades it. But stories are so enriching. My brother is a great storyteller, he is funny and you become immersed in the story, reacting as each event occurs. It times gone past he would have told our Ngai Tahu whanui stories. Our history, our heroes, our journeys, our legends. In future times he might very well do that. I don't know if we give enough respect and kudos to our storytellers within our Ngai Tahu whanui.

I'm not going to write a review of the book – I think that would be a bit persumpuous for the book of the year 1996, but i will write about the insights I get from the book.

I feel like Witi Ihimaera who wrote in a review in the Listener, 1995 that, “I had Redemption Songs in the house for seven days before I had the courage to read it. I circled it warily, watching the way the sunlight glowed on the cover and the moonlight surrounded it with a halo. It was only when i saw the rainbow on the eighth morning that I decided the time was propitious.”

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael

Very sad to hear that Michael Jackson has died. His life became a parody and a horror show. It really does show that money can't buy you happiness. He seemed to dislike himself so much that he tried to change from a handsome black man to a grotesque white man. So talented, so sad.

trotter spews bile on maori party again

Chris Trotter writes well, but as a self declared racist, it seems to me like he really needs help.

Go here to read his latest bile about the maori party.
If you do want some counter-arguements go here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peru makes history after indigenous protests

History for indigenous people in Peru after the recent clashes and deaths

"The Peruvian Congress has voted to repeal two controversial Amazonian laws after protests that led to the death of an unknown number of policemen and indigenous people.

The Congress voted to repeal the laws at the end of last week. The laws undermined indigenous peoples’ rights and made it easier for outsiders to take control of their land.

Peru’s Amazon Indian organisation, AIDESEP, described the government’s decision as ‘historic’. ‘Our struggle and the lives of our indigenous brothers and sisters have not been in vain,’ said AIDESEP’s vice-president, Daysi Zapata Fasabi. ‘(This decision) shows that our struggle is a just one and that no one is manipulating us.’

Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, admitted that the laws were passed without consulting the Amazon’s indigenous inhabitants and that a ‘succession of errors’ was made in the government’s handling of the protests."

Yes! the struggle is just and yes! - laws that don't consider the indigenous population are wrong.

I hope our government and the powers that be ARE LISTENING!

Scots show maori how to fight a common enemy

The old adage, "My enemies enemy is my friend." is apt with this story. Two historic enemies, working together against a new, common enemy. Made me think of maori.

Yes, in the past there have been nasty intergenerational conflicts within Iwi as well as between Iwi. Those conflicts form part of our history and past and should be remembered.

Today we have new enemies and past inter-maori fighting needs to be put aside so that we can face and defeat the new enemies.

And who/what are these new enemies? Destruction of our land, sea, sky, water, our culture, language, and even ability to be indigenous in our own country.

Maori will take as much help as everyone wants to give, but ultimately maori must accept their mana and lead the battles for their emancipation. And that is happening.

We are learning from others just like over

"EDINBURGH - For centuries they were sworn enemies, two fearsome clans who raided each other's territories to pillage and murder on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis.

But, some 350 years on, the Morrisons and the Macaulays are now united in the face of a common foe - a planned wind farm on the site of a historic battlefield where their forefathers fell."

Murdo Morrison, 70, a member of Clan Morrison, which legend has it can be traced back to the Norseman Olaf the Black (King of Mann and the Isle in 1226), said that, according to local lore, the last great battle between the clans was fought on the site in 1654.

Though no record of how many died exists, several are believed to have been buried on moorland at Druim nan Carnan - The Ridge of the Cairns - north of Barvas. The stone cairns that once marked their graves are no longer visible. But the proposal to place three turbines nearby has stirred protest.

"It's not about the wind turbines. It's about the desecration of what is probably a burial site," said Morrison, who is a member of the Hebridean Environment and Landscape Protection Society.

Local oral history tells how, in 1654, the Macaulays of Uig raided the cattle of the Morrisons of Ness, but made their escape only as far as Barvas, where the two sides fought a final, bloody battle."

Awesome that local oral history is known and discussed. And ancient burial sites are considered worth protecting.

How much local maori history could the average kiwi discuss?

Could they even pronounce the names of the iwi involved or perhaps the main players in the dramas?

How much local maori history could the average maori discuss?

Isn't the lack of knowledge and understanding of maori history a bit shocking when you think about it?

Isn't it a national disgrace?

Are the maori party class traitors?

It's hard not to comment on blogs when something irritates you.

I got irritated at
the Standard blog around the issue of labour MP's calling out 'sellout' to maori MP's when they rise to speak.

My comment,

"You cannot fix any class issue until the race issue is sorted and that won’t be sorted while you are still working everything from the class angle."

was picked up by Lew at Kiwipolitico (one of my favorite blogs).

Go and have a read and add your comments to the debate.

Thanks Lew

Community gardens growing in Catlins

I'm a big fan of community gardens. This initiative in the Catlins (where our family is from and my cousins still reside) is fantastic.

"Little green fingers in the Catlins are behind plans to establish a community garden in Owaka where residents will be able to grow and tend to their own crops.
Year 7 pupils at The Catlins Area School, with some help from teachers, have been beavering away behind the scenes for the community garden on an old tennis court between the school and Owaka Playcentre.

While still in its early stages, the plan has won over the Clutha District Council, which has approved a 10-year lease of the land at a peppercorn rental.

School science teacher Jane Young, in a letter to the council, said the garden would reflect the principles of sustainability and good organic gardening practice.

All ages, from preschoolers to the elderly, would be able to get involved, she said. "

Yes! Get people involved, engaged and connected. All ages, all ethnic backgrounds. The benefits are so numerous for the individuals, the community and this country.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good development involves maori

Taieri Mouth

Good news from Taieri Mouth where developers have been instructed to resubmit plans so that they address local maori concerns, raised about a new development.

"Developers of a planned subdivision at Taieri Mouth have been asked to revise their plans to address Maori concerns and those of the nearby school who say their view of the coastline will be lost if the 23-lot development goes ahead... "

"In an interim decision released this week, the panel, chaired by Clutha Mayor , has given the applicant a month to provide an altered plan to address those concerns.

Mr Hayes said the panel heard "compelling evidence" from Te Runanga o Otakou and Taieri Whanau about their relationship with the the coast in the location of the subdivision.

Their chief concerns included the development of housing, and effluent disposal in the area on the headland was "culturally inappropriate" and would detract from the mana of the waahi tapu sites on and beneath the headland.

They were also concerned about the loss of access over the headland during high tide, the potential for effluent to be discharged into a small stream, the loss of the "present vista" of Moturata from the Taieri Beach School and the loss of bird habitat."

It's right that developers should consider the effects of what they are doing on maori. Who better to consult with, than tangata whenua - to ensure that the development has the best possible chance of success.

Kaipara under threat

The Kaipara harbour could be completely stuffed by this.

"Crest Energy Kaipara hopes to install 200 underwater turbines in Kaipara Harbour, Northland, and wants exclusive occupancy of the entrance to the 94,700hectare harbour.

Crest has been granted resource consent by Northland Regional Council for the scheme which is predicted to eventually produce up to 3 per cent of the country's electricity supply.

However, the approval prompted appeals to the Environment Court, which completed lengthy hearings in Whangarei last week and is yet to rule.

Research by Niwa scientists in March revealed that 98 per cent of snapper from Ninety Mile Beach to Mana Island, near Wellington, spawn in the Kaipara.

Crest told the court that the five- storey-high turbines would have no environmental impact. Although Crest's plans, on a map, block only part of the mouth, it wants the only navigable channel and exclusive use for 35 years.

A Crest environmental consultant, Luke Gowing, said in evidence that the "effects of the proposed installation and operation of the cables and marine turbines will have no more than minor effect on the biological resources and fishing activity within the Kaipara Harbour"."

So just a little recap. 98% of snapper on the westcoast of te Ika a Maui are spawned in the Kaipara. 98%

The Five-story high turbines would have no environmental effect says Crest. They want exclusive occupancy for the entrance of the harbour.

Northern Regional Council has granted resource consent. Environment Court yet to rule.

Ngai Tahu artist exhibits in Wellington

If you are in Wellington check out the Mary Newton Gallery to see contemporary Ngai Tahu artist Areta Wilkinson's new exhibition.

"A Ngai Tahu artist has turned to audio-visual techniques to add another dimension to her new series of jewellery.

Areta Wilkinson’s Waka Huia series opens at the Mary Newton Gallery in Wellington tomorrow.

She says each of the 12 unique works will include a recording on its creation.

That’s a departure for her previous practice of letting the work speak for itself."


Sacred Arizona mountains - lessons for us?

San Francisco peaks

perhaps a little more information about the fight to protect the sacred mountains in Arizona.

"The Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort, located on the Peaks which are also managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is attempting an expansion and snowmaking with contaminated wastewater. The plan has been called a threat of “cultural genocide” by the president of the Navajo Nation."

"The expansion plan at Snowbowl includes: clear-cutting 74 acres of rare alpine ecosystem & creating a 14.8 mile long pipeline up the San Francisco Peaks to a 10 million gallon storage pond to make fake snow out of wastewater. This wastewater has been proven to contain harmful contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, hormones and cancer causing agents.

In a study of Flagstaff's "reclaimed" water known as the “Endocrine Disrupter Screening Project”* completed by both Dr. Propper of NAU and the USGS, besides the obvious bacteria and nitrates, they also found the following:

Human and veterinary antibiotics, antihistamines, caffeine, codeine, oral contraceptives and other hormones, steroids, anti-seizure medication, solvents, disinfectants, flame retardants, moth and mosquito repellants, wood preservative, antifreeze and de-icer ingredients, pesticides, and other cancer causing agents such as Atrizine (the list goes on). Dr. Propper suggested that she “would be very concerned if anyone were to drink the reclaimed water”.

Snowbowl employees will potentially be placed at greatest risk due to prolonged exposure to contaminants in wastewater snow.

Concerns have also been raised about other applications of wastewater, currently the City of Flagstaff uses reclaimed water to irrigate parks, school fields & golf courses."

*An endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that when absorbed
into the body either mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the body's normal functions

An excellent chronology of events here

1862 - 2007

The San Francisco Peaks have been held sacred, since time immemorial, by the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Tewa, Haulapai, Havasupai, Yavapai-Apache, Yavapai-Prescott, Tonto Apache, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache, San Juan Southern Pauite, Fort Mcdowell Mohave Apache, and Acoma.

All tribes traditionally hold that if this Sacred Mountain is disturbed by any means, than their ways of life are violated.

The Hopi and Navajo Tribes have historically objected to any development which has had the potential for disturbing this sacred mountain.

The Homestead Act of 1862, which offered 160 acres of free land in the West to settlers willing to move and live on the homestead. This law led to 270 million acres of land passing into private hands.

Late 1800s: First Anglo occupation of the present day Flagstaff area, leading to the persecution and forced removal of many Native American’s from the area.
Early settlers primarily viewed the extensive forests of the San Francisco Peaks region exclusively for their economic value.

1924: United States Congress grants Native Americans the rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, however Arizona does not recognize the native right to vote until much later.

And so on... "

Go to the Save the Peaks site. There are excellent resources and plenty of information. We don't really have this type of high resource approach to the areas we are trying to protect here. I'd love to see the internet being used even more strongly, to pull the various threads of arguement together and provide forums, advice and resources for protecting and fighting for our land.

Takes more than a sticky plaster to heal.

A really excellent article in the SST about traditional maori healing and medicine.

Worth a read and another good example of maori solutions for maori issues. The other area to really consider is that this is also an example of inclusiveness. Using traditional maori healing doesn't mean you also cannot use modern medicine as well. It's not exclusive, it's inclusive - as many maori solutions are.

"About five times a year, Atarangi Muru, an Auckland grandmother of Ngati Kuri descent, takes her travelling medicine show overseas, bringing traditional Maori healing techniques to hundreds of patients across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East..."

"The iPhone-toting healer is a modern day tohunga, a practitioner of rongoa Maori, or traditional Maori medicine. Muru is among the hundreds of practitioners working in diverse capacities around the country to keep an age-old cultural knowledge alive: in clinics and hospitals, university and marae, city and countryside. Some receive a cut of the $1.9 million the Health Ministry spends on rongoa each year, the only public funding given to alternative health providers. Others, like Muru, prefer to work independently of the health system..."

"The Maori approach to health differs from conventional medicine in its appreciation of the spiritual dimension to wellbeing... "

"Percy Tipene, spokesman for Te Paepae Matua mo Rongoa, the national body for Maori healers which is being established with $300,000 of Health Ministry funding, says that crucial to rongoa's effectiveness "is the psychological belief by our people that what they're obtaining is going to heal them... "

"Today there are about 30 rongoa clinics around the country, 15 of them funded by the Health Ministry to promote wellness through massage, prayer, spiritual counselling and cultural support... "

"The Health Ministry's plans to bring the old tradition of rongoa in line with the accountabilities of a modern health system holds little allure for Muru, who works under natural laws perceived as more powerful than any ministry edict. In fact, it's an influence she regards as unhealthy... "

"I worked in a group of healers once that received government funding, but our healing was in a box, and we couldn't work outside the box," she says.

"In society nowadays, we have too many rules, too many conditions.""

The holistic approach to health is common in many non-western societies. Incorporating a spiritual/non-physical aspect to healing makes sense in my book.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being Maori in business

Interesting focus for our Kaiwhakahaere as stated within his June report,

"Put simply, I am working on developing the ways that we can authentically and successfully be Māori within our commercial operations."

I'm looking forward to seeing what develops from this kaupapa. I hope (and are confident) that we won't just direct solutions into the money/finance/commercial world. Yes I know we have to be there, and I know the answer is to incorporate maoritanga with business, and I know that this is the mahi that is being put in.

But I also know we can get caught up in the money side of things too much and forget what the real issues are. For instance within this time of economic downturn what actually are the real issues? Is it continuation of profit? It is avoiding maori businesses going under? Is it development of recession proof maori businesses? Is it new markets, new potential clients, new potential offerings? Is it protection of maori jobs? Or maori families? Or maoritanga?

As stated:

"One of the key initiatives I am involved in is the Minister of Māori Affairs’ Taskforce on Māori Economic Development. This group is dedicated to three key objectives:

•Supporting iwi and Māori through the economic recession;
•Identifying longer term, strategic economic development opportunities for iwi and Māori; and
•Facilitating the use of kaupapa Māori values and ways to increase economic development and benefit sharing."

Lots of considerations. All the best for this mahi Mark.

As stated previously, I'd like to see Ngai Tahu give the same considerations to our iwi members. How about setting up our own taskforce? Big problem is by the time anything gets going the economic tsunami will have passed through... even if it lasts for 3 years.

no-fun-but-mental child beaters- vote YES

I'm against smacking children - for any reason. Therefore I'll be voting YES in the forthcoming referendum.

I'd rather be anywhere than on the same side as the types who put this cartoon up - have a really good look at it - see the maori? see the wimin? For an explanation of why this cartoon is off - go here. As they so nicely put it, "

"Racist, sexist, reactionary bigots, that’s who. Are these the kind of people you want to line up with when it comes time to cast your vote?"

The trouble with Titi

Trouble down south.

"Up to 100 Maori families could lose their right to take muttonbirds from the Beneficial Titi Islands in the escalating row over who should have access.

The families are caught in the middle of a battle between Ngai Tahu, which wants wider access for Maori, and the small group of Rakiura families who are direct descendants of the chiefs who signed over the islands to the Crown in 1864 with the proviso that their descendants had exclusive rights to some of the islands.

A small group of direct descendants is considering conducting a review they believe will protect their exclusive rights but other families who now have access may be excluded from the process..."

"... Ngai Tahi pushed at the Maori Land Court last year for access to all Rakiura Maori with common ancestry back to the 1700s, but lost out to the descendants who had brought a test case."

This is complicated and affects the mana of the whanau involved and Te Runanga. I hope it can be resolved (but I'm not too optimistic) without more courts and costs.

Self rule for Greenland

Nice news from Greenland.

"NUUK, Greenland, June 21 (UPI) -- Greenland took a step toward independence Sunday as it became a "self-ruled" country on its national day.

Self-rule gives residents of the world's largest island more control over their lives, including local government control of the police and courts, the BBC reported. Kalaallisut or Greenlandic, the language spoken by the Inuit people who are a majority of Greenlanders, is now the official language."

We added Maori as an official language for this country in 1987. The Māori Language Act 1987 was a piece of legislation passed by the New Zealand Parliament. It gave Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) official language status, and gave speakers a right to use it in legal settings such as in court.

1987 was 22 years or 264 months ago.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Raising bilingual tamariki Part 1

Ahhh the challenge of learning our language.

You may have seen these DVD's when they first came out. Did you look at them? Did you listen? Did you learn?

Three generations to bring back a language. You and me, our children and then their children. At that point we may be on the way to recovering our language.

My tamaiti is 2 in October. No better time to get into it than now. Karawhiua Kai Tahu!

Indigenous fight for rights in Arizona

San Francisco Peaks

Yep - making artifical snow from reclaimed sewerage effluent, spraying it on a sacred mountain (sacred to over 13 tribes), in Arizona, to make a snow-park! The supreme court in the US have thrown out the appeal.

"Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, Arizona skiers may soon be spared the inconvenience of living in one of the Union’s warmest and driest states.

Last week the high court removed the final legal hurdle blocking Arizona Snowbowl from making artificial snow with reclaimed sewage effluent on the San Francisco Peaks—a plan which 13 southwestern tribes say will desecrate their sacred mountain.

In a long-running lawsuit filed against the the U.S.Forest Service (the ski center's landlord) the Navajo and several other tribes had sought protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that to make snow on the mountain would decrease the "spiritual fulfillment" tribal members get from practicing their religion. By declining, without comment, to act on the tribes' appeal of a lower court ruling, the Supreme Court effectively gave Snowbowl the go-ahead.

Lawyers for the tribes say they still have several options (which appear to be long shots) for blocking Snowbowl. For now, though, Snowbowl is free to busy itself with that time-honored Western tradition: moving water uphill toward money."

The supreme court considered this:


Whether the Ninth Circuit correctly held--in conformance with this Court’s precedents--that a snowmaking plan that would "diminish the sacredness" of government land in the view of certain Indian tribes imposed no substantial burden on those tribes’ religious exercise."

In other words, in the courts opinion there is no substantial burden imposed upon the tribes 'religious exercise' even though the tribes have described a diminishing of the sacredness, in their view, from the development.

Don't listen to the indigenous people - what they have to say doesn't matter?

Is it over, have these tribes given up? I don't think so!
Native names for the peaks:

Dook'o'oosłííd—Diné (Navajo)
Dził Tso—Dilzhe’e Apache
Tsii Bina—Aa'ku (Acoma)
Nuvaxatuh—Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute)
Hvehasahpatch or Huassapatch—Havasu 'Baaja (Havasupai)
Wik'hanbaja—Hwal`bay (Hualapai)
Sunha K'hbchu Yalanne—A:shiwi (Zuni)
'Amat 'Iikwe Nyava[10]—Hamakhav (Mojave)
Sierra sin Agua Spanish
The Peaks—Anglo Arizonans

Summary of North Bank Tunnel Scheme


A nice summary of the position regarding the North Bank Tunnel Scheme on the Waitaki River:

"North bank tunnel scheme hearing

State of play:

> The Meridian Energy Ltd $900 million north bank tunnel concept power scheme is to take up to 260cumecs of water from Lake Waitaki into a 34km-long tunnel between the Waitaki dam and Stonewall, with one powerhouse generating between 1100GWh and 1400GWh a year.

> Environment Canterbury (Ecan) granted four water-only resource consents in December for the power scheme.

> Five appeals were filed with the Environment Court by the Waitaki Protection Trust, the Lower Waitaki River Management Society, Ngai Tahu, Ngati-Mamoe Fishers People and Black Point farmer Garth Dovey.

> Ngai Tahu and its runanga, Mr Dovey and Ngati-Mamoe Fishers People are withdrawing appeals.

> Waitaki Protection Trust will now not oppose scheme.

> Lower Waitaki River Management Society only appeal left.

> Interested parties: Central South Island Fish and Game Council, Waitaki First, Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company, North Otago Irrigation Company, Maerewhenua District Water Resources Company, Kokoamo Farm Ltd, K and D Farms Ltd, Wainui Station, Dugald MacTavish.

> Environment Court hearing set down for June 22 to July 3 in Oamaru; July 6 to 17 in Christchurch; with a fifth week from July 20 if needed."

Only one appeal left...
This is what the last media release, in May, from Ngai Tahu said:

"Discussions between Meridian and Ngāi Tahu over measures to mitigate the effects of the North Bank Tunnel Project are proving positive.

Ngāi Tahu has agreed to withdraw an appeal to the Environment Court, on the basis that discussions will continue with Meridian and the belief by both parties that the outcome for the Waitaki River will be better at the conclusion of the discussions.

Representatives of the rūnanga are confident that Meridian is listening to their concerns and have decided to show good faith by withdrawing court action.

Ngāi Tahu expects to work collaboratively on a number of initiatives designed to mitigate the effects of the project, particularly regarding any adverse affects on values, identity and practices of Ngāi Tahu.

It is important that Meridian continues to work alongside Ngāi Tahu as kaitiaki to ensure the mauri (wellbeing) of the Waitaki is protected."

Still the same problem - isn't it?

Mitigating the effects of the project - and just how this river is going to be better off after this scheme is in place - is beyond me. I hope we haven't bowed down to meridian and given up this fight too soon.

Ariana Tikao - Tuia

Set the day, week and year up with a viewing of this moving waiata and video.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

John Minto - still going strong

A letter in today's Press stood out to me. Mike Graham from South Brighton says:

“It was refreshing to read a letter agreeing with John Minto (Ardas Trebus, June 11). Almost all your correspondents who write in response to Mr Minto's articles are negative.

I suspect that many of these people are still suffering from the hangover of associating Mr Minto with the Springbok tour.

His comments should be based on what they say, not on some longstanding paranoia about his previous associations.

I challenge readers of Minto to open their minds.

It is the job of a good columnist to be inquiring, informative and provoative. At times, we need to get up each others noses in order to promote healthy debate.”

Good points Mike and it is worth remembering what a contribution John Minto has made for our country. he is a hero in my book. I don't always agree with him 100% but I have always liked the way he has stood up for others. He has constantly championed the worse off, the people that often cannot speak for themselves. He is still active, still going strong. Kia kaha John

the beginning of the new and the new beginning

Winter solstice and Matariki are here.

The new year of growth is begun. It is time to discard that which is no longer needed and move forward into the new day and year. A time of promise and growth, a time of rebirth and forgiveness.

This is a nice description from the Maori Language Commission:

"During Matariki, we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.

Throughout Matariki, we learn about those who came before us. Our history, our family, our bones.

Matariki signals growth. It's a time of change. It's a time to prepare, and a time of action. During Matariki, we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give.

Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It's a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people. "

It's cold and frosty here with beautiful blue sky weather, the perfect winter's day. My intuition is saying that we are in for a new year of fantastic progress.

Blessings and all the best.

Community spirit in Motueka

This is a good story about a community working together to protect and provide comfort for elders.

"Motueka's new, state-of-the-art community hospital will be opened tomorrow, ending a 16-year fight to retain a public hospital in the town.

The 45-bed hospital was constructed by the Friends of the Motueka Community Hospital Trust, which was formed in 1993 when the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board threatened to close the existing hospital.

The trust has spent the last 16 years raising funds, purchasing land and working towards the building of the Courtney St hospital, and it will finally realise its dream tomorrow.

The hospital will be used primarily for aged care, although it also has four beds for medical patients. Mr Inglis said the new hospital would be a big asset for the community because it "will keep the families together"."

Keeping families together with elders in our lives, that is worth working towards.

On a slightly different note I am not sure if I know of any name more abused than Motueka. Anyone who doesn't care pronounces it 'mot-chew-ay-car' when the actual pronunciation is closer to 'more-two-ear-ka'.

Nelson Mail editorial response

This editorial in the Nelson Mail last night is thought provoking.

Firstly the praise:

"OPINION: Though some political parties have lately demonstrated surprising fluidity in terms of their core values, the same cannot be said of the Maori Party.

It lives by its slogan, "What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people" and inherent in that is the understanding that there are benefits for the entire country if the position of Maori is raised.

The party, and in particular its co-leader, Pita Sharples, have surprised many early doubters with their positive and earnest contribution to the political scene.

The mana-enhancing agreement with the National Government gives party MPs the opportunity to contribute at the highest level to the running of the country.

Dr Sharples raises some valid points in his latest speech, in which he calls for universities to consider preferential, open entry for Maori students.

His claim that Maori educational under-achievement is a legacy of "colonisation and successive governments' education policies over the past century" will ruffle feathers, as will the suggestion that the "dice are loaded against Maori, right through the school system".

However, the performance gap between Maori and other students is real, whatever its causes.
Dr Sharples points out that in 2007, just 63 per cent of young Maori males and 67 per cent of Maori females left school with at least NCEA level one. The rate for Pakeha was 20 and 22 per cent higher respectively.

Though this represents a troubling loss of potential at an individual level, it also contributes to low national productivity.

It is in the wider community's interest that the gap be closed and, while previous government policies have attempted this, clearly more needs to be done.”

So that is a nice summary of the good. Praise for the maori party and how they have performed and some compliments for Pita Sharples regarding the issue he has raised. The counter argument against the solution presented by Pita Sharples, is then given.

“However, Dr Sharples' solution is not the way to achieve this. If anything, encouraging Maori students who have under-achieved in secondary school to continue on to university might well be counter-productive.

To admit immature students who have not mastered the educational basics at secondary level on to higher learning would merely set them up to fall from greater heights.

Opening the doors does not necessarily mean young Maori will pour through them, and it is what goes on within the hallowed halls that matters most.

Open entry for most university courses is available from age 20. Dr Sharples would do better to push for a greater range of transition programmes aimed at helping to prepare students, of any ethnicity, for eventual mainstream university courses.

However, his and the Government's main thrust ought to focus on change at a far more basic level.

As Prime Minister John Key points out, the emphasis ought to be on raising standards of literacy and numeracy, rather than opening the doors to ill-prepared students, simply on the grounds of ethnicity."

So far so good. A well reasoned different opinion about the solutions. All very cordial and nice. But things are about to change.

"To continually blame "colonisation" for all Maori ills is an over-simplification that does the Maori Party no credit."

Not too bad the maori party getting told off.

"However, there is in some New Zealand families, regardless of ethnicity, a generational bias against "the system" which sees achievement mocked and attempts to better oneself knocked back, or at least not supported."

Okaaaay, maybe. Ethnicity is no the issue it appears that class is.

"More could be done to highlight potential career paths other than in sport or hip-hop, and to present tertiary education as viable and desirable."

The use of hip-hop now lets some light in. Who likes hip-hop? Darkies – that's who.

"More could be done to change the culture of negativity and envy, wherever it occurs. More could be done to grow tall poppies rather than continually smashing them down."

Culture of negativity? Culture of envy? Continually smashing tall poppies down? Pretty strong language and while the disclaimer, “ wherever it occurs” is put in, the meaning is pretty clear.

Stop moaning about colonisation maoris. Stop being negative and stop looking at envy on the rest of New Zealand and stop wanting everything. Stop acting like you are special and stop holding this country back by trying to get long forgotten crimes, committed by long dead people, corrected. Just get with the program, we are all kiwis and we all have the same rights, no one should get special rights. The problem with maori is that they are too focused in the grievance mode. You still see yourselves as victims. Poor maori see how worse off than everyone else you are, boo hoo, tough, get off your arse and stop moaning.

As you can tell I've heard a lot of those comments over the years. They are all based on falsehoods.

Maori are continually coming up with ideas and solutions to the situation they are in. This idea from Pita Sharples is an example of that. His solution is a maori solution. I am sure he set out to cause a bit of a splash with the initial headline. And maybe he underestimated the virulent outcry that created so much noise that any further clarification from Sharples was unheard and then interpreted as a backdown.

I'm putting the mistake down to the fact that Pita Sharples has a good heart and he believes others are like him. He thought it might actually be thought about as a maori solution to a maori problem. He thought that the mana of maori as tangata whenua and the indigenous people of this country counted for something. Perhaps being close to the action has clouded his view of the real situation in this country, I don't think so. To me it was just a miscalculation in his perception of how he would like it to be, as opposed to how it is.

So what was the mistake? The public are suffering from a number of misconceptions about maori. It brings to mind a book called “Positioning” which I read many years ago. The concept relates to the perception people have in their minds about things. It's called memes now when considering populations.

The comments outlined above exist because of the positioning or paradigm that people have around maori. You can't bully it out the way, it is there and won't move or change.

The idea is that if you, in a marketing sense, are number two and you want to be number one. Instead of fighting on the same battlefield as the current number one, you change the battlefield. And on this new battlefield you are number one. It's the same for what people believe. You have to change the meme, you have to change the position, you have to change the paradigm.

The classic marketing example is rental cars, with Hertz and Avis. When people thought rental cars, they thought Hertz first and then Avis. Avis couldn't beat Hertz on that battlefield, so they changed it to a different battlefield where they were number one.

It is the same with the public misconceptions about maori. Those thoughts show a glimpse of the meme in play and also parts of the paradigm or worldview that people have, that cause them to think the way they do.

We have to change the battlefield and I believe it is already happening. The centre of balance is shifting and that is visible in the reaction we see from the public to the stimulus supplied from maori. It could be a natural process, maybe it will happen no matter what. The perceptions that people have about maori are being tested. Maori are building their mana and that mana is being expressed in all sorts of ways, the resurgence of maoritanga evidenced in so many glorious examples is testament to the beginning of a dawn to a new day. Ideas such as those offered by the maori party are another example of the inherent mana of maori being expressed.

Maori are offering solutions to the isssues they face. We just have to listen.

Perhaps I have misinterpreted the intent of the editorial. I may have just dreamed it all up and created a mountain out of a molehill, it wouldn't be the first time that has happened. But i think I'll trust my intuition on this.

Friday, June 19, 2009

is our name us New Zealand?

I like the idea of French Polynesians picking a new name for themselves:

"Oscar Temaru has been campaigning for a name change in French Polynesia to symbolise increased independence from France, but his suggested alternative has caused ripples among some.

Temaru has put forward Maohi Nui, a name that refers to the indigenous people of French Polynesia in the language of the archipelago’s most famous island, Tahiti.

But inhabitants of another island group, Marquesas Islands, know Maohi as a raunchy word for touching a woman’s sexual parts, Tahiti-Pacifique magazine publisher Alex du Prel said. “For Tahitians it is a fine word, but for Marquesans it is very sexual and not really the type of name you want to have to symbolise your country," du Prel said."

I'd imagine we'll have similar arguements here, when the name of this country gets changed.

I know, I know... but it will happen.

And I'm not disrespecting anyone who has died for this country. The didn't die for the name, they died for the country. The name of the country does have connotations, obviously, but what is the name 'New Zealand' saying about us? Is the name New Zealand so important in its own right, that we can't change it? And if it's too hard to contemplate changing the name - what is that saying about us?

I'm pretty clear in what I believe.

We won't be a proper country until we do change our name. And change it to a maori name that reflects the status of maori as tangata whenua and the indigenous people of this land. The name "New Zealand" is a yoke that is holding us back. I'm not against some combination name to reflect the reality of our bicultural society. I just would like the bigger 'bi' in bicultural to be on the maori side, not the other.

Changing the name will change the mindset, change the paradigm. It will be a big, agonising for some, liberating for all, eventually, step towards making this country achieve its potential.

Free Hawaii - it's not really part of the USA

It's unbelievable really when you think about it. How the hell is Hawaii part of the USA? Haven't they got enough country without these islands in the middle of the pacific? Indigenous independence for Hawaii information here.
Of course it was a retorical question because this is why -

This news report about increasing the missile defence capabilities of Hawaii is just plain off.

"The US has positioned more missile defences around Hawaii, as a precaution against a possible North Korean launch across the Pacific, reported to be planned for the country's Independence Day."

The US has a big mental block around Hawaii because of Pearl Harbour.

Is this building worth 1.8 Million?

So the old Dunedin prison is up for sale and Ngai Tahu have the first right of refusal.

"The Department of Corrections has revealed it is selling the decommissioned 113-year-old Dunedin Prison, but is keeping quiet about to whom the building may be sold, or its future use.
Since it was decommissioned in 2007, there has been speculation about whether the building, which held about 59 medium-security prisoners and 40 remand prisoners, would be reopened for remand prisoners or sold.

The category one historic building is worth about $1.8 million, according to Dunedin City Council rating information."

It is hard to know the value of this building. Yes it is histotrical but jeepers may need a bit of cleansing before you put backpackers in it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Talented Dane Moeke


Hat-tip: Kiwiblog

Poke a hornet nest with a pointy stick and they get agitated

The call from Pita Sharples to offer open access for maori to university has raised many issues relating to race relations in this country.

The main arguements against this approach are that it is not fair, we are one country, if you give maori special treatment - what about everyone else, and it is detrimental to maori to be given special treatment because it creates the view, both internally and externally, that maori can't do it on their own.

Examples here are taken from the comments section of the article on Stuff. I am being selective but only to show the types of lines used by those opposed to maori.

"Nathan #10 08:40 am Jun 18 2009
I am sick and tired of hearing about special treatment for the Maori. I am in no way a racist and have many friends of maori decent. What if the shoe was on the other foot and the "pakeha" wanted special seats in parliament, special medical centres, special seats on the super city and now special rights for access to university without having earned it by putting in the hard yards at school, what an outcry that would be! Can't we get over this racial segregation and just be New Zealanders??"

"Trevor #24 08:48 am Jun 18 2009
"We have seen how the dice are loaded against Maori" You have to be joking!! We all have the same opportunity as any other race....this is racist and should be stopped NOW."

"Andy #37 08:54 am Jun 18 2009
I'm sick of the racist comments by the Maori party. There should be one rule for all New Zeandlanders no matter what the race."

"Diane Elizabeth Warrington #67 09:08 am Jun 18 2009
This makes me so angry. What about every other student who works diligently and consistently to get a real grade to further their education? Why should one race get a free ride? Focus in school, go to school, every day, attend every class, do the work THEN reap the rewards of an education. Someone who can't cut it in school is absolutely not going to cope in the university world. Failure breeds failure. Success comes from hard work, even the brightest and best get there by working and often BECAUSE they work hard. Diane"

"Debbie #102 09:31 am Jun 18 2009
I feel really embarrassed for Maori people, that this leader is implying his people are too dumb to get to Uni on their own merits. I am sick to death of maori people getting "special" treatment, it is absolutely ridiculous - stupid part is maori I speak too are not the ones claiming victim, it is all the leaders! STOP singling your people out, you are causing them shame! they want to live beside the Pakeha and other races in peace just like we want to live beside them as one nation."

"Michelle Brown #112 9:48am
I could feel my blood boiling listening to this. They are no more special than everyone else in this country and there are other ways to encourgage that culture to step it up. This is not the answer, there are alot of NZ european students that struggle through main stream schools and work as hard as the next and fail to pass levels to reach the Uni stage, why should Maori's be put ahead of these, we need equality for all when looking at the ones who under acheive and establish why they underacheive, I struggled throughout college and fail in a test environment, yet I have acheived middle to senior management roles within my career through obtaining the opportunities within the workforce and working hard to move through the ranks.
I am absolutely outraged at the thought of this being acceptable, the government needs to put a stop to it. The Maori's need to take stop making excuses for their poor performance and start working hard like the rest of us and I am not racist, I was married to a Maori, but sick of them constantly looking at what they can get next without doing the hard yards like the rest of us. signed Underachiever"

"Alan #140 10:20am
Maori have more opportunities than the rest of us already. Sharples can stick his idea."

"mel #145 10:23am
ridiculous! why should Maori get free passes into uni, why not anyone with "miserable" grades? This whole idea angers me, if you can't get through high school, then maybe university isn't for you! I am quite sick of this whole race thing in NZ, why should any race get special treatment!"

"Seb #180 10:46am
Unbelievable. This kind of issue doesn't deserve media coverage and is an insult to all New Zealanders, including Maori. If Dr. Sharpes and his like really want to help Maori he should focus on the integrating them into the wider society where they can contribute and achieve on their own merits when given the confidence to do so. If they are constantly told the only way they can get anywhere (eg, university, parliament, auckland supercity council)is by preferential treatment, they will continue to believe it."

"Alice van der Wende #195 11:01am
All New Zealanders here should have equal rights and be governed by one law.
If we want to get ahead and do well in life - we should all work for it and work hard then New Zealand will be the best country to live in the world.
End of story."

Not really too much to say about all that other than this is what we are up against in trying to create a country based on values of fairness for maori.

And these comments from this one, you can just add to the list above. I have zero respect for Shane Jones.

"But Labour MP Shane Jones, who was educated at Harvard, said Dr Sharples' call only deepened the sense of Maori as victims.

"This notion that we can make every kid into an astrophysicist without addressing basic literacy and numeracy and other learning impediments which have to be addressed well before they go to university show he's more interested in cheap rhetoric.""

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who is entitled to harvest titi court case.

This is the sort of issue where i will put it up for others to read and see, but i won't be taking a line on it.

"One court case has led to battle lines being drawn in the town of Bluff and among Rakiura Maori. That case has thrown decades-old rights to hunt muttonbird on an exclusive group of islands off the coast of Stewart Island into question."


The Council of Chief Descendants case:

Chiefs who signed the 1864 Rakiura Deed of Cession, essentially a purchase agreement, signed away their titi, or muttonbirding rights, and those of their descendants, on any customary basis.

However, rights were established on half of the 36 islands (this half known as the Beneficial Islands) for descendants of the chiefs to continue to harvest muttonbird provided they could prove their ancestry to those signatory chiefs.

The remaining 18 islands, now known as Rakiura Titi Islands (or formerly Crown Titi islands) are controlled by the Crown. These have also been subject to the right of Rakiura Maori to harvest titi once they have been granted a permit to do so.

When Tommy Ashwell's family right to harvest on the Beneficial Islands was challenged, Ngai Tahu Whakapapa advocated that anyone who descended from a common ancestor back in the 1700s had a right to the Beneficial Islands.

That's the view that the Council of Chief Descendants is opposing."

Kakapo coming back!

Brilliant news about the kakapo:

"More than two dozen kakapo chicks are being hand-raised in Invercargill following a bumper breeding season.

The Department of Conservation kakapo recovery team set up 14 years ago has seen the population of the endangered bird rise from 51 in 1995 to 124 today"

Still not many of these most amazing parrots.

A lesson in preserving indigenous knowledge

Whitney White

This is a very good article that has ramifications for all indigenous people especially Ngai Tahu.

"Sometimes, stories just fade away.

That bothers Whitney White — especially when it happens at the Prairie Island Indian Community.

"A lot of our elders aren't passing down the culture and the history as much any more," the 22-year-old said.

White is combating the issue her own way. She made it the core of her senior project at St. Olaf College — a video collection of interviews with tribal elders.

"If no one's stepping up and doing this, then it's my responsibility to myself, my history and my daughter," she said. "I'm helping to preserve our identity as a people.""

"White said the issue was crystallized for her when she went to interview former Tribal Council member Curtis Campbell Jr. He went into the hospital later that day.

White never saw him alive again.

"That just shows you how important my project is," the 2005 Red Wing High School graduate said. "These elders aren't going to be here forever.""

"As she moves forward, White said she wants to keep pointing the camera at Prairie Island's elders. First, more elders. Then, the following generation. Maybe youth after that, she said."

"I like to listen," she said. "And I think it's worth recording."

Each and every day more of our traditional knowledge is lost. Succession planning is all about protecting that knowledge for future generations.

We have already lost so much, it is a real concern to me that now we have the economic tsunami and OTRONT are going to cut - jobs, initiatives... But what is less important? What can be cut and what remains to help us strengthen our tribal identity and preserve our traditions.

Protecting the environment for our children is more important than the rugby world cup!


The ODT has a good editorial on the Herewaka (Harbour Cone) issue.

"The probabiltiy that the Dunedin City Council will sell parts of Harbour Cone, the jewel it bought two years ago, should not surprise or upset.

The council, at a cost of $2.6 million, took the chance a year ago to put into public ownership a precious part of Otago Peninsula. At the time, it was made clear the council wanted to get much of its money back, and that approach remains today.

And this appears as the reasoning...

"In an unemotional and realistic way it must be prepared to restrict spending and garner income in every way possible to limit ballooning debt. Paying for water and sewage works and for the stadium means it must be miserly in many other areas."

So it is really a prioritisation issue. The stadium for the rugby world cup is more important than the protection of iconic landscapes. The big problem with that view is that the rugby world cup is at best temporary and fleeting, while the iconic landscape is permanent and enduring.

Will your children's children really thank you for building the stadium and selling off Herewaka? I don't think so!

Can you handle the truth?

Note this video shows dead bodies.

The indigenous fight for rights is our fight too.

Good solution for a polluted river


The Tukituki gets some support.

"Sewage that now pollutes the Tukituki River will soon be used to help grow new forests.

An $8 million-plus scheme will mean that from 2011 there should be no more effluent flowing into the scenic river from oxidation ponds at Waipukurau and Waipawa in Central Hawke's Bay.

Instead it will be piped to forests to be developed by Hawke's Bay Regional Council."

"Hawke's Bay Environmental Water Group spokesman Colin Crombie welcomed the announcement. "We applaud it hugely," he said.

Tamatea Taiwhenua chairman John Nepe-Apatu said Maori had been concerned for some time about sewage discharges into the river, so were very pleased that they would soon be stopped.

However, the Taiwhenua still had worries about similar pollution problems in some Tukituki tributaries, especially the Tukipo and the Maharakeke streams.

These waterways were particularly vulnerable to pollution from the Takapau township and farming and industries in the district, Mr Nepe-Apatu said."

Good thinking. Have posted about this here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Protecting water worth fighting for


Good to see The Lower Waitaki River Management Society is still fighting against meridian energy.

"The Lower Waitaki River Management Society yesterday confirmed it would go ahead with its Environment Court appeal against Meridian's $900 million North Bank tunnel concept power scheme after mediation last week failed.

It was the last of five appeals before the court, due to be heard from June 22 in Oamaru and Christchurch, after four other appellants either withdrew or decided not to oppose the scheme."

Best explained here and here.

"It is a David and Goliath situation, but it is important we indicate quite clearly what we believe should happen."

The society has a $40,000 grant from the Ministry of the Environment's legal fund along with donations to help pay for the appeal.

However, it would welcome further donations, Mr Penno said.

Meridian wants to build a power scheme on the lower Waitaki River between the Waitaki dam and Stonewall."

Good luck to this group with their appeal.

Good resources for maori in film industry

A great website for maori in the film industry.

"Ngā Aho Whakaari represents the interests of Māori on all issues that affect the business and creative aspects of the screen industry from film to digital new media. Our members include writers, producers, directors, actors, photographers, actors, crew, IT specialists, animators, students, educators etc…

Our name Ngā Aho Whakaari means ‘the strands of many visions’ and encapsulates our representation of the many Māori who work within the industry, the diversity of our productions and the collective aspirations which we have for our people.

We have as our guiding principle, a proverb. ‘E kore te Totara e tu noa i te parae, engari me tu i te wao’ – The Totara does not stand alone on the plane, but stands in the forest. It is a statement which invokes all members and supporters of Ngā Aho Whakaari to work in unity for the betterment of our people, language, customs and prestige."

Perhaps we could use some of these talented maori to help us with our movie.