Friday, July 31, 2009

non-violent silent protests - effective and unforgettable

Well, they said they would do it and they have.

"Six members of the so-called Mauri Nation State Hapu yesterday halted the trial briefly to protest at the 'syntax' of the charges laid against Field.

They were moved out of court but have returned this morning with 30 people.

As well as protesting, they are filming their own activities. Use of cameras in the High Court is banned without permission."

"The protestors are led by Tass Davis - an uncle of Maori Party MP Hone Harawira – who in June announced a planned campaign of civil disobedience targeting the homes of high-profile judges and occupying courtrooms to draw attention to the group's bid for a Maori sovereign nation.

The 75-year-old former Auckland police constable said at the time that he expected between 300 and 400 Maori would be involved in the non-violent campaign."

Non-violent, in your face protest. Silent, watching, remembering. Very effective indeed - watch the squirming start.

101 - don't hose your 4year old down for wetting the bed

A couple of thoughts for this young man.

"A father who hosed his naked four-year-old daughter after she wet the bed, wanted to teach his partner a lesson, the Invercargill District Court was told yesterday."

Don't take your anger with your partner out on your child. You were angry with the partner, so why hose down your daughter? You were trying to get your partner to feel as upset as you, but it doesn't work that way. You need to deal with the anger you feel. Why are you angry? What actually are you angry about? What can you do to make it better? How can you deal with your anger better? The hard news to accept, is that if you get angry, it is your stuff and you need to deal with it. Don't blame your child, don't blame your partner.

And the second thing is, what the hell are you punishing your 4 year old for wetting their bed for anyway? Children don't deliberately wet their beds, children don't think, "How can I agitate my father" Grow up and deal with the issue. Why is your daughter wetting the bed? Maybe she is picking up on the emotional immaturity, maybe she is scared, maybe she needs comforting. What she doesn't need is her father punishing her (to get back at his partner) for wetting the bed.

Who is supporting this guy? Where are his family? Where are his elders, who can teach him right from wrong, truth from lies. I hope he gets the support he needs.

Good settlement not so sure about the sentiment from the crown

Congratulations to Iwi group Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika made up of Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama, Ngati Ruanui and Ngati Mutunga iwi who have recieved an apology and some compensation. The apology said the Crown was "deeply sorry that it has not always lived up to its Treaty of Waitangi obligations" and hoped the settlement would "restore its honour which has been tarnished by its actions".

Hmmm not sure if it's about restoring your honour Government - it's about restoring the Iwi group's honour? But you are correct in saying that the government actions have tarnished their reputation, over the years.

And of course the big headline with this story is that the iwi group have forgiven the crown. But my reading of that is actually that they have accepted the apology of the crown not given their own apology.

So what was the compensation?

"The agreement includes a cash settlement of more than $25 million.

As part of the deal, the iwi have bought the former air force base at Shelly Bay, a prime Wellington waterfront spot.

The iwi can also buy certain properties and lease them back to the Crown, including Archives New Zealand, the National Library and the High Court.

The deal includes an annual hui between the iwi and a minister of the Crown to help facilitate access to government services."

All sounds pretty low to me considering the injustice and the subsequent use of the land. But good luck to the iwi group in helping their people.

raising bilingual tamariki Pt 3

Keep listening, keep trying, keep up the good work to protect our language.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

the right are wrong

What a day for the nats yesterday. We now know that they voted against the Marine Animals Protection Law Reform Protection Bill. As russel norman says, 111 hector dolphins left and the nats say they are adequately protected. The nats and act voted against Maryan Streets bill to ban the import of products made from slave labour. So tough luck slaves. And are voting against Rahui Katene’s bill for a Matariki Day holiday.

So, no saving the animals, no saving the people.

The right wing is here and they are just starting to get into their agenda. State assets - sold. Unemployed - Your own fault for being unproductive. Women - stop dressing up so much and inviting trouble. Gays - keep out the way of people so you don't get killed. maori - Stop moaning, you have maori language week - what's your problem. Older people - save more you lazy buggers - you are letting the side down, and so on.

Bully bennett refuses to say sorry and stop lying about the real reason she released the details of her opponents income. English continues to drop any middle road and is fully in 'welcome to our shore oh rich ones" mode - has that guy got any shame. Key is fluffing around trying to look like a leader while 150 jobs were lost yesterday. The maori party are not coming up with ideas to create jobs - here's one - how about using the weak idea of cycletracks and add maori to them.

So, now that the right wing agenda is out, should we worry? yep - maori often lose when the right wing get into it.

water = money, maybe, for meridian

This is classic. Do a feasibility study after you have applied to take water - shouldn't it be the other way round?

"Meridian Energy Ltd is preparing for a major engineering feasibility study into its proposed Waitaki River north bank tunnel power scheme to finalise the design, derive an up-to-date costing and determine its commercial viability."

"External relations manager Clare Shaw yesterday said the study would provide Meridian Energy with a clearer view of the commercial viability of the north bank scheme."

"Carrying out the full study will depend on issues such as a decision from the Environment Court on whether water should be granted for the scheme.

The study's first stage will look at the viability and economics of the project, identify a preferred layout and pursue land-use resource-consent applications with the Waimate District Council.

The decision to proceed with the study's second stage will be dependent on the Environment Court's decision and the viability and economics of the project determined during stage 1."

So meridian haven't even worked out if the proposed descecration of the river would be 'economically or commercially viable'. Doesn't that seem strange? Are they already thinking of their next overseas owner? How can you put forward applications for water take when you cannot say whether it is economically viable? And the whole 'economic viability' arguement is bogus anyway - if you set something up to be economically viable, in todays economic environment - what happens when that economic environment changes? As it always does.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Water and maori - back to the future

Pita Sharples says it like it is.

"In a speech to the Indigenous Legal Water Forum in Wellington on Sunday, Dr Sharples said local hapu and iwi needed to be full participants in decisions on water management in their areas, and water ownership issues needed national attention.

He said Maori believed water had a spiritual significance and they had a guardianship role to play.

"We seek to maintain our collective responsibilities to respect and protect the environment and communities that give us our identity, our rangatiratanga, our mana."

The state of fresh water was not just an environmental issue but related to the Treaty of Waitangi yet Maori had not been given an adequate role."

"This narrow focus on economics is driving the degradation of natural water sources by pollution, abstraction for irrigation or power generation, and the flooding and droughts made worse by deforestation and climate change."

That paragraph sums it up in my book. The focus is too narrow. It's about more than just money. If we don't protect the environment and water specfically, then we not only won't make the money but we won't be here. And that would be a shame.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TPR - building community

I've really enjoyed the latest Te Pànui Rùnaka. There is so much going on. From the carving apprentices at Ngàti Waewae, to the brillant update from Waihao about their recent wanaka. So much good news. One of my favorite reports was from Òtàkou about their recent wanaka . What a wonderful 3 days they must have had; to hear the history, to visit the places where it happened, to talk, write waiata, and have kai. What a great effort.

As usual I really appreciated learning about the candidates for the appointments committee of Te Hapù o Ngàti Wheke. Skills, experience, knowledge, passion and humility. Perfect attributes for the role – best of luck to all. Aoraki Bound is one of the best things we do as an iwi. My heartfelt thanks to all the organisers and tutors – you are making a massive difference in the health of our young people, our land and our iwi. You truly are great leaders for us. And more proof comes in the article by Huhana Carter, I found this paragraph particularly moving:

“There were many highlights of this experience but for me the opportunity to meet the kaitiaki of our treasured resource, pounamu was truly memorable. i learnt of the trails and asssociated stories. As I walked the tracks I continually thought, “Kà tapuwae o mua mò muri”” (the footprints of the past informing us about the future). To physically walk in the footsteps of our ancestors was an absolute privilege. I found the course to be particuarly enlightening to strengthen my cultural identity through increased understanding of the history and places of significance to Kài Tahu. Very little of this knowledge has survived in our whànau. We only have small pieces of information, but this course has confirmed some knowledge and expanded the overall picture. I would like to encourage others to take the challenge.”

How good is that? We are doing many things really well and Aoraki Bound is one of those excellent Ngai Tahu initiatives.

Another fantastic idea is the DOC Trainee Ranger Programme. We need to train our people up and this is an effective and innovative way to do it. And we are training them up in skills and expertise that we will need. Our kaitiaki role will increase over time, we will have more to protect and support, and we will need more Ngai Tahu skilled and able to support the kaupapa. Congratulations to the successful applicants to the programme: Michael Robb, Levi Lanauze and Joseph Walker. And thanks especially to Rachael for dreaming this idea up, turning it into a plan, and then making it happen. The scholarship from Te Runanga is a lovely touch.

So an absorbing read and so much information. Thanks so much to the team (Vicki) who gets this essential panui out every month.

BB - good Ngai Tahu posts on fishers and fish

Two good Ngai Tahu posts over at Roarprawn.

Sanford Sealord stuff. I agree with Busted Blonde here - this is very shortsighted.

And the second post talks about hectors dolphins and the fact that fishers have to have an observer with them, and if they don't, they face court action. I agree again with BB that the dolphins should be protected along with everthing else. And i also agree that the protection agencies must work with the fishers to protect this species. Work with them.

Matariki - a time for maori to bestow honour

Congratulations to maori author Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira for being awarded the international Linguapax Award for her promotion of te reo Maori.

"Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said Te Wa o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week) was a good time to honour "a woman who has been at the forefront of Maori language revival"."

Perhaps around makariki we should have the maori awards. This could be when maori give out awards to people of this country around maoritanga or promotion of maori or support of maori. It would mean a lot more than Queens Service Medals and such like. We would be honouring our own - from all walks of life and we would be honouring them for their alignment with tangata whenua and the correct place of maori in our society.

and then the land was taken

I thought I would write some thoughts after finishing Redemption Songs A life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki. I was left with a great feeling of sadness. So much was hoped for: so much belief and faith. Yet, in the end, the tide came in and the land was lost. These are just some small thoughts that have stuck in my head. Obviously a lot could be written.

I found the Old and New Testament biblical references difficult to digest. I am not a christian. But as I was reading, I began to see the deeper picture. The real battle was of mana and atua. IMO Te Kooti skillfully wove maori atua and christian gods into a new form. And that new form, made up of a synthesis of maori/christian/jewish, then battled with the existing christian gods of the colonizers. There was a realization that you had to fight fire with fire. You had to use your enemies strength against themselves. Quotes below from Redemption Songs.

Details of how the land was taken were harrowing. When Donald Mclean arrived in 1865 at Turanga his terms to the people were,All maori had to take an oath of allegiance; all malefactors and those who had ‘fought against the government’ were to be surrendered; everyone who did not belong to the district was to be expelled; and all arms were to be surrendered. If these terms were not complied with, then the ‘lands of the promoters of disturbance’ would be confiscated.” But, as was always the case, the decisions’ behind the facade were always to get the land.

In 1868 another confiscation Act was passed.
This was the East Coast Act, which stated that, because a considerable number of natives in the district had been or were in rebellion, it was proper that land should be taken. Anyone who had been engaged in rebellion, singly or cojointly, or had counseled or advised such acts since 1863, would not be permitted to obtain title in tribal land. Moreover, the court was empowered to divide tribal land and to confiscate any that had belonged to ‘rebels’; it was purposefully different from the previous legislation in that it created an ostensibly acceptable framework for establishing claims to ownership, as well as being confiscatory. It aimed to defuse the protests by maori that the court was simply land-taking, in order to gain their participation in its processes. In fact, it created an environment where Maori contested ownership rights with one another. At the same time it sought to curtail any movement of sympathy for the whakarau by defining all supporters as ‘rebels’ and then punishing them by stripping them of their land. In such a manner, Te Kooti, along with so many others, was rendered landless.

This is where it all began. This process of colonizing maori and taking all of the resources can be traced back to starting points like this. The law. The law is written by those who wish to use the law to get some gain for themselves. The law is not infallible. It is written by people, and because it is written by people, it can be rewritten. The law is not the law when it deprives people of their rights. That law is false. This is where some of my sadness while reading the book, comes from.

Keep learning

Every little bit helps. Everytime you listen and practice our language you are doing your bit to save it. Keep going.

maori + cycleway = success

The cycleway - well it won't create massive jobs but it might help morale.

Get maori involved. turn the cycleways into journeys of discovery, create context by bringing the people of the land into the planning and delivery. Just looking at the scenary will be good but by bringing indigenous context in we can make the journey's iconic and world famous.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stop blaming the dead victim - weatherston family

And if you want to know why weatherston can't accept responsibility for his heinous actions - here's why:

"Clayton Weatherston's parents say their son is an honest person and they believe his account of his relationship with Sophie Elliott.

"Clayton is an extremely honest and sensitive person. He tells the truth; we all tell the truth," his mother, Yuleen Weatherston, told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

Many of the things they learned about their son during his murder trial in Christchurch made sense in hindsight, she said.

"We were very sad not knowing the psychological and physical abuse Clayton was suffering in his relationship with Sophie, and the effect that was having on him."

How can your son front up if you can't even accept the truth. There is supporting people you love and there is keeping your head in the sand and actually harming them more. STOP BLAMING THE DEAD VICTIM

let our taonga come home

I can't understand why all of the sacred taonga of maori are held in museums and universities rather than with the people they belong to. The european concept of putting everything away and honouring the past that way is different to the maori way of honouring the past. And the maori worldview has not even been considered. All of the taonga has a whakapapa which connects to the people. Each of the taonga has a lifeforce or mauri that is connected to the people. The people are still here. They are not forgotten footnotes in history. The people still exist and they should be given their sacred taonga back. I fully understand the impulse to store away treasures, and put them in special houses and make them available only really to the few: the people who study, who inspect. But that way is not right for these living taonga. Perhaps the best way to counter the various objections that invariably will occur is to talk about how it would be if the taonga were given back.

Imagine the ceremonies of welcome when the taonga return home. It will be a time of rejoicing and happyness and that has to be good for everyone in the current climate. It may be that some iwi will want to create special houses for their taonga. They may wish for people to still visit them. They could create job opportunites by building eco-cultural tourism. Explaining their stories to visitors and showing their taonga where appropriate. They could build visitor centres, with kai and accomodation, all done the maori way. Tangata whenua would control what happens, but of course all sections of our society would benefit.

Others may wish their taonga to remain where they currently are. Tangata whenua would negotiate with the current holders of taonga and work out the solutions.

Mana would be enhanced as sacred taonga are returned. Part of mana is pride, self belief, self esteem. We don't want our kids to go to gangs, or drugs, or worse and they will if they don't have a sense of self esteem. The way to build self esteem is through community, a sense of belonging. Returning the sacred taonga increases the attraction of the iwi, the hapu, the whanau. As these strengthen, the attraction ripples out and attracts others. As self esteem for a community increases it attracts others and their self esteem increases too.

IMO maori derive some parts of their mana from dsplays. Abundance is a sign of strong mana. Sharing and offering taonga for others to appreciate is mana building. Maori would share their taonga with everyone, but under their terms. It would probably mean more people would see and appreciate them because they would be seen in context, within a living culture – what better way to experience and learn. Maori are inclusive not exclusive.

The houses of learning could still have access to whatever they want as long as the owners agree. But think about this, maori are not dead and gone. Maori are still here. The decendents of the original owners of all of the taonga in museums and universities are all around us, now. Why is it considered correct to hold sacred taonga imprisoned, when their owners and creators are alive and well.

I'm not talking about an overnight change but a planned approach with definate timelines, that maori agree to. And I realise that there may be some areas of difficulty, such as determining where a taonga came from and where they should go, fragile items, large items such as meeting houses, training and developing infrastructure to support runanga in the care of taonga and so on. But think of the benefits. The taonga home with their people. A cultural tsunami of pride and joy and inclusiveness. A healing. A way to move forward together. Jobs, community building, tourism, construction, carving and so on and so on.

Whatever we do it has to be better than what is happening now, close your eyes, can't you hear their distant cries, they want to go home.

Whakanuia Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2009

Whakanuia Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2009
Celebrate Māori Language Week 2009

Good resources here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What is real?

Image credits: NASA / JPL-Caltech / The SINGS Team (SSC/Caltech)

Amazing new image from space. I reproduce the article and explaination in full below from here.

"NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a wild creature of the dark -- a coiled galaxy with an eye-like object at its center.

The galaxy, called NGC 1097, is located 50 million light-years away. It is spiral-shaped like our Milky Way, with long, spindly arms of stars. The "eye" at the center of the galaxy is actually a monstrous black hole surrounded by a ring of stars. In this color-coded infrared view from Spitzer, the area around the invisible black hole is blue and the ring of stars, white.

The black hole is huge, about 100 million times the mass of our sun, and is feeding off gas and dust along with the occasional unlucky star. Our Milky Way's central black hole is tame in comparison, with a mass of a few million suns.

The ring around the black hole is bursting with new star formation. An inflow of material toward the central bar of the galaxy is causing the ring to light up with new stars. The galaxy's red spiral arms and the swirling spokes seen between the arms show dust heated by newborn stars. Older populations of stars scattered through the galaxy are blue.

The fuzzy blue dot to the left, which appears to fit snuggly between the arms, is a companion galaxy. Astronomers say it is unclear whether this companion poked a hole in the larger galaxy, or just happens to be aligned in a gap in the arms.

Other dots in the picture are either nearby stars in our galaxy, or distant galaxies.

This image was taken during Spitzer's cold mission, before it ran out of liquid coolant. The observatory's warm mission is ongoing, with two infrared channels operating at about 30 Kelvin (minus 406 degrees Fahrenheit).

Infrared light with a wavelength of 3.6 microns is blue; 4.5-micron light is green and 8.0-micron light is red. The contribution from starlight measured at 3.6 microns has been subtracted from the 8.0-micron image to enhance the visibility of the dust features."

The fractual nature of reality where the macro reflects the micro. Looks maori in design to me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels?

I heard this story on the radio initially, and i couldn't really believe what I was hearing.

"More than 60 years after they helped Australian soldiers in Papua New Guinea, the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" have been officially recognised.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels is the name used for local civilians who provided vital help to Australian troops in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War."

What these Papua New Guinean people did to help the soldiers is awesome. They risked their own lives many times over. They were bestowed with the name, "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" but I wonder what name they call themselves. I am all for anyone wanting to be called whatever they want but really, fuzzy wuzzy angels? - it doesn't seem right to me.

I mean, read this, "The Australian government is inviting other Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels to come forward so they can be honoured for their great contribution."

New leadership for NTHC

Good news that Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation finally has a new Chair.

Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, announced today that Trevor Burt and Catherine Drayton have been appointed as Directors on Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited (NTHC), with Mr Burt appointed as Chair.

Both appointments are for three years and commence 1 August 2009.

All the best for your mahi.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hurunui river under threat

Hurunui River

I don't like the sound of this.

"The Hurunui Water Project (HWP) plans to build a 75-metre high dam in the south branch of the Hurunui River, creating a 7km-long lake, papers filed with Environment Canterbury show.
Together with a weir that would raise Lake Sumner's level by up to 3.2m, an extra 138 million cubic metres of water would be stored for irrigation."

"Dairying now occupies 9 per cent of HWP's irrigable area, but 45 per cent of the land is expected to convert to dairy if the irrigation plan is approved.

Environmentalists are outraged, especially because of a proposed water-conservation order for the Hurunui River."

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the project "will effectively privatise what is a public resource, which is a wild river, and using the water to carry out a huge dairy conversion in Canterbury".

"The implications are that we will lose one of the last wild rivers," he said.

Forest & Bird South Island conservation manager Chris Todd called the plan "outrageous".

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is almost certain to oppose it.

Canterbury conservator Mike Cuddihy said yesterday the proposal ran "completely counter" to a conservation order."

We don't want this river dammed. We need to protect the mauri of the Hurunui. A 75 metre high dam - 75 metres!

Who the hell are these Hurunui Water Project people?

"HWP is owned by the Hurunui Irrigation and Power Trust, Ngai Tahu Property, Mainpower and Eskhead Station."

So there you go.

Why is NT Property involved in a project to harm a Ngai Tahu river?

english looking after his foreign mates

Irishbill at the std asks the question, "What do the maori party think of this announcement."

"A slackening in foreign investment rules aimed at showing the world "New Zealand is open for business" will make it easier for overseas investors to buy assets such as Auckland Airport."

"Finance Minister Bill English yesterday said the Government was dropping criteria preventing the sale of "strategically important assets" into foreign hands as part of a raft of changes aimed at encouraging greater foreign investment."

I don't know what the maori party think but I do know what i think and that is, that this is a disgrace. This country is not yours to sell english. You want to finish off the job for your overseas masters/mates and ensure that all of our resources are owned by overseas interests - well you have a fight on your hand diptonboy, a big fight.

"The Government will introduce a new right to veto on the grounds of "national interest" - but Mr English expected it to be used so rarely that he could not think of a case which might require it to be invoked."

Heads up english national interest = maori interests

english says
"Let's get practical - we need the money because we need the jobs. Essentially our message is let's stop being defensive. Let's tell the world we are open for business, this is a great place to invest, not a place that says 'well you look different from us so we're going to make it as hard as possible'."

You are a failed leader and it is easy to see why you were dumped as leader of your party and replaced by key. We will lose jobs when we are owned by overseas people english - it's ABC's but you don't care about that - all you care about is your pension, and your overseas mates.

Irreplaceable maori site gets ready for the bulldozer


Nationally important maori sites get ready for the bulldozer.

"Irreplaceable" 700-year-old Maori ruins of national importance in South Wairarapa may be developed into a residential subdivision - upsetting archaeologists who demand the entire area be preserved.

Waiwhero, about 2km north of Ngawi, containing well-preserved examples of 14th-century Maori gardens and a battle site sacred to local iwi, is the site of a planned subdivision into four houses."

Otago University archaeology professor Helen Leach, who has written extensively about the area, said the site is one of the most prominent examples of Polynesian stonewall gardening systems in New Zealand and is irreplaceable.

"It makes my blood boil, to be quite honest."

I know how you feel Helen, many of us do.

"A 2006 Department of Conservation report says Waiwhero and the surrounding area of Palliser Bay have extraordinary historical value.

"The sites are largely intact and many are well mapped. Terraces, middens and living structures exist within the gardens. These sites are, therefore, a relict archaeological landscape, primarily because they collectively capture an economy at a defined period in time.
"As such, their importance cannot be understated."

Cannot be understated! Will that protect these sites?

What do tangata whenua say?

"Kahungunu ki Wairarapa resource consent officer Haami Te Whaiti said Waiwhero was the site of an important battle in the iwi's history.

Waiwhero ("red water") referred to a stream immediately to the south that was stained with blood after a battle between hapu.

The iwi was asking for a qualified archaeologist to monitor all earthworks on the site to prevent damage to artifacts both on and below the surface.

The artifacts represented the iwi's heritage and were a source of their identity, Mr Te Whaiti said."

And the developers?

"Property Brokers rural real estate consultant John Stephen, who bought the property in 2005, said he was not made aware of the archaeological value of the land until late in the resource consent application process and said the area was already highly developed.

South Wairarapa District Council senior planner Chris Gorman said subdivisions along coastal areas could be seen as an opportunity to improve the protection of heritage areas.

A developer could be required to build fences or carry out other measures to protect a site as a requirement for consent, he said."

"The motivation to do the work is increased because they won't get their title otherwise."

That's how absurd it gets.

Develop the area to protect it.

Destroy the village to save it.

Kill people to give them freedom.

The same lines and it is orwellian doublespeak.

And meridian use the same technique - if you let us build the dam then we will put some protection in for the damage we cause.

"A decision to preserve all archaeological sites along the coast would be something for iwi to decide, Mr Gorman said.

The council was disallowed from giving out details of archaeological sites to the public in order to prevent people tampering with sacred sites, he said. "I guess the lesson is anyone on the coast better make sure they get a hold of a iwi representative or someone on the Maori Standing Committee before they get too far down the track."

You got that right Mr Gorman. The days of maori just taking the abuse of their rights are over.

maori sacred sites desecrated here too - just like over there

They fight them there, we must fight them here.

"Indians living in the vast Mojave Desert are increasingly vexing what they say are an onslaught of “Indiana Jones” types and lawless recreationists that are disturbing, damaging and even vandalizing sacred sites and breaching reservations. The 25,000-square-mile desert is the traditional home to half a dozen Indian tribes along the lower Colorado River that straddles the state lines of California, Arizona and Nevada."

Indians say vandals, increasingly directed by Web sites and books, litter the sensitive sites with beer bottles and evidence of made up rituals. Off road vehicles leave a trail of destruction with tire marks across ancient geoglyphs and breach reservations."

And when they talk to the people, what do they say?

"Randy Luden scaled a mountain of boulders etched with dozens of petroglyphs that could be thousands of years old, hoping to get as close as possible to the records of a past civilization. The Las Vegas man didn’t think he was damaging the representations made by descendants of Mojave Indians because he was careful and wore soft shoes.

That was of no consolation to two Mojaves watching from afar.

“Oh no; he shouldn’t be doing that,” said Paul Jackson Jr., a tribal artist for the Fort Mojave Reservation.

As Luden approached the Indians, Linda Otero, a Fort Mojave council woman, told him he shouldn’t have climbed on top of the glyphs because they were holy.

Gilbert Leivas, of the Chemehuevi Tribe, stands in front of geoglyphs Indians consider sacred and explains how off road vehicles come dangerously close to the site. Satellite images show tire tracks running across the glyphs.

“But how else am I going to get the full interpretation,” Luden responded."

"Otero, in so many words, said he couldn’t.

“Treat them as you would other ancient sites in Europe. You just can’t go in their hall or records and touch their scrolls. They have guards and fences to block you, they are protected.”

Now we also have sacred sites here in this country. These sites are barely protected even though they are taonga.

brailsford and his mates walk all over our sacred trails, desecrating these pathways with their bogus views, insane rituals, excretement and litter.

How long before maori say enough is enough. You just can't treat our sacred sites like this. We won't allow it. How long before we stand up for our ancestors and say, "We draw the line here!" "No more, no further, NO!

Perhaps the last word should be:

"The damage, whether blatant desecration or unintentional, is hindering Indian spiritually. Cara McCoy, of the Chemehuevi Tribe, recently went to a sacred site and found it so littered she couldn’t take off her shoes to properly pay respect. It also threatens the education of the young ones into tradition, leaving Indians questions about the future that could only be answered with their historical references.

“We are still fighting Indian wars here,” said Jackson, the Mojave artist, as he stood on a sacred site, looking down a stretch of river filled with rowdy boat recreationists."

"Sorry we don't hire blacks, no offence meant."

Julia Eru Photo: BEN WATSON

Sad to see this sort of racism happening.

"A young student’s search for a job ended with a blunt email: "Sorry we don’t hire blacks, no offence meant".

The racist reply stunned Albany student Julia Eru, 20, who says words can’t explain how horrible the email was.

"It’s so offensive in so many ways," she says.

"I thought that kind of stuff was in the past. The person needs to know it’s not right.""

So did we Julia, so did we. But unfortunately there are still many people who don't realise how lucky they are to be here, under the protection and mana of maori.

"She sent a second email using her sister’s English name and the response was entirely different: "Hi honey, positions are now closed. Lots of love Andria.""

So what has been the response?

She says she got a further racist response when she replied to her original email in her own name, seeking someone to complain to.

Ms Eru says she is still waiting for a reply to her complaint to the Gumtree website that ran the job ad, which remained online until it was taken down after the North Shore Times contacted them.

The North Shore Times received a strange series of responses to questions put to the emailer.

One email said a junior receptionist had acted inappropriately and had been fired. "All apologies to those concerned and God Bless."

But another email read: "In the mean time kindly f*** off. Cheers Li Wu. The computer hacker."

One email referred the North Shore Times to a website for Penrose-based importer and wholesaler Jin Bill International Ltd but the Companies Office website lists the company as having been struck off. It was registered until June 23 this year.

Despite that a company director’s name, Fanmao Zeng, appears on emails sent to the North Shore Times from the bright startltd2002 address.

The company did not respond to phone messages and there is no listing for the director.

When the paper visited the Penrose address we were told the company hadn’t been operating for at least a year."

Sounds like the whole company is some scam anyway, doesn't it?

Julia, kia kaha - don't worry about the racists they are on their way out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Good intellectual seminar series for Uni's

Good news about these seminars. The first one was yesterday but there are some other good ones coming up.

"A seminar on reclaiming usage of Mäori place names such as Te Waipounamu for the South Island, and spelling Whanganui with an 'h' will be broadcast live to all New Zealand universities this afternoon. (Yesterday... sorry)

Speaker Sir Tipene O’Regan is at the centre of the debate considering official alternative Mäori place names as a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board, and board member of the Manu Ao inter-university academy to support Mäori academic and professional leadership. He will present the seminar between 12.30pm and 1.30pm from Canterbury University as part of the academy’s weekly interactive seminars that begin today."

"Moana Jackson will present the seminar on July 29 talking on the next steps for the foreshore and seabed issue, former Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro presents the seminar on August 5, followed by Dr Rangi Mataamua on the subject of Mäori astronomy on August 12, then John Tamihere on the topic of Mäori representation on the proposed Auckland super city on August 19"

"Dr Katene says the seminars will be of interest to Mäori university staff, students, practitioners and professionals.

“The academy was established in response to the need for a well-qualified Mäori academic and professional workforce of high calibre Mäori leaders," he says. "The project has three main aims – advancing Mäori scholarship excellence, strengthening links between Mäori professionals and Mäori academics and accelerating Mäori leadership. These aims will be met through a series of academy-sponsored activities that also include lectures, leaders’ groups, forums and symposia."

Don't forget the little people, those who aren't at Uni. We want to hear the analysis too. And we can understand in the rarified air up there. After all, if you have old 'frontbum, cat dumper' Tamihere talking, then the intellectual debate will be accessable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

flu getting fended off

Got the flu at the moment - arrrgggggg - so have had a little bit less energy - but that has been good, you know natural cycles and such like. My son has also had the spew and poo going and it's amazing how much fear can build up. Even if you're like me, and you don't believe the hype about swineflu, the fear still creeps in and so, when your 20 month old son is spewing it's a worry. Don't worry, he is fine. But it made me think about how devastating it must have been for our people in the old days when disease first began to cut people down, lots and lots of people. What a terrifying time it must have been. It ripped communities apart and created consequences that we are still dealing with now.

Lots of things have caught my eye, Sophies amazing family, labour MP's moaning about the maori flag, meridian perhaps up for sale, eclipses, jovian atmospheric holes and the the latest Te Karaka magazine. Stay tuned.

let maori look after Te Whanganui a Tara

Wellington Harbour is polluted and smells.

That's bad enough but that is just the surface of the issue, because it is also a reflection of the mauri of Te Whanganui a Tara or the great Harbour of Tara and that reflects the people.

"Stormwater pipes are spewing raw sewage into Wellington Harbour.

The harbour is also being polluted with animal faeces, heavy metals, cigarette butts and oil products that are commonly washed into the stormwater system.

Officials admit they are unsure how polluted the harbour has become and plan to step up monitoring."

It's not really a surprise - is it?

How many other harbours around our country are in the same state? perhaps the better question is, "How many are not polluted?" I suspect the answer is "Not many - if any."

"Four overflows this year sent 44.6 cubic metres of raw sewage pouring into the harbour. A fifth mishap let 57 cubic metres into Cook Strait.

About 2.5 million cubic litres of treated sewage also poured into the harbour during repairs to Hutt Valley's sewerage pipe in May."

Blame it on the pipes, the age, the weather - blame everything. But the truth is that this is a result of GROWTH with no consideration for the environment. The environment remembers and repays the compliment 3 fold.

What to do? It's hard to know, yes - monitoring, yes - fines for offenders but really nothing will change unless we change the attitude that says, "Economic growth is the most important thing - more important than people, than families, than nature, than papatuanuku."

Was the harbour polluted when maori managed it? NO.
Was there kai moana available for whanau? YES.
What is the difference?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who will look after the water?

Native Affairs last night had a special on water. Fantastic and is repeated on Friday at 10pm. They looked at all aspects including the battles in Te Wai Pounamu around irrigation, dams and pollution.

Let maori look after the water, as one environmentalist said, Pakeha have been responsible for the last 100 years or so and look at where we have got to. It's all about money with no thought about the future.

Let maori take their rightfull place as kaitiaki of our water, we successfully managed, loved and looked after our waterways for generations, we can do it again.

When they built the benmore dam, some of our best rock art was destroyed - my question is how is that different from the Taleban destroying the Buddhas?

What will be destroyed today if the 'developers' get their way? And who will stop them?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome and introduction for Ngai Tahu whanui

Nau mai, haere mai, Ngai Tahu whanui

I thought that because of the article in the latest Te Karaka, that I might welcome you and offer an introduction to my blog. Hopefully it will give you an idea of where I'm coming from.

The blog is a mixture of my views and ramblings and news or something I notice, that catches my eye and elicts a response from me.

I set up this blog so that i could offer my views for others to read. And they are just my views, my opinions and my passions. I'm not affiliated to any position other than my own.

I love debate and discussion. Comments and other opposing views are not only desired, they are essential. So feel free to add your voice on any topic that you feel strongly about. It is also more than okay to just listen and read the debates.

I write in english because I want the site to be widely read, and i can't write or speak te reo. I haven't worked out how to get the blog to do macrons so I apoligise for that. My views can be strong but I decided long ago that it is easier to beg forgiveness rather than ask for permission, but I do realise that once spoken, words cannot be taken back.

My only rule around comments is no personal abuse. Make your argument strongly, with wit, compliments or cutting remarks but leave whanau, slander and unsubstaniated abuse out of your comments, please. And if there is something that is bugging you – what solutions do you suggest? what could be done to fix the problem you have identified? Don't forget to tell the good news too, the successes, the victories – there are many out there, we just have to hear about them, and support each other. We are kin, and connected and i know that you, just like me want the best for our iwi, for all Ngai Tahu whanui, for us and the children after us. We care, that is why we speak.

Before I talk about what i talk about, my vision is that this blog is an inspiration to you to set up your own blog. We could link them all together and really improve our internal communication. Or perhaps we could set up a Ngai Tahu site where we could have multiple Ngai Tahu bloggers, posting about everthing and anything to do with Ngai Tahu, similar to, as an example 'The Standard' blogsite, which is a left wing political blog that uses multiple anonymous posters.

Until we get there, I am open to Guestposts from anyone who has something that they want to say. Just send me an email to and we can chat. Mars2earth has a RSS feed to the Office, it is on the intranet there. People read what is posted. So, on mars2earth we fight the old way, with respect to our opponents, with respect for ourselves and always knowing that we belong and have a right to speak.

So what catches my eye? Anything to do with Ngai Tahu is the first area. I have posted on a number of topics such as our sacred 'Rock Art', 'Heroes of Ngai Tahu', What I think is wrong with 'NT Tourism', the TRONT website 'opening statement', 'other ways to spend $50 million', telling our stories, the 'economic tsunami', the 'Titi Island courtcase', 'Herewaka aka Harbour Cone in Otago', a 'Ngai Tahu movie', and 'Te Karaka'. Plus many others, in fact in some ways, all of the posts connect to Ngai Tahu in some ways. The most comments I have received was on the subject of 'employing Ngai Tahu as directors', and I also wrote about 'why I think it is up to Ngai Tahu to paddle the waka'.

Another major area I talk about is environmental and conservation subjects, especially when they intersect with Ngai Tahu. So 'water' is often mentioned. I especially concerned about out kaitiakitanga role within Te Wai Pounamu and some of the solutions such as this 'innovative Ngai tahu idea'. I do post on other Iwi's struggles to protect their mana and general maori topics.

Politics, other indigenous cultures, such as inspiring stories like 'Lessons from Whitney White' success for the Ngobe people and also in Peru.

I like when racists such as 'Roseanne Hawaden' or supporters of fake theories such as 'were celts here first and taught maori all they know', get their comeuppance. I don't like racism both obvious and subtle and had a good debate with Gosman about the subject on this post about 'allowing people to walk on Uluru'.

I enjoy talking about fatherhood, and space and post photos like these sometimes, books that I have read or are reading such as Ensteins Biography, Mata Toa , music, art, time, developing communities, nature, good writing and debate on other blogs and many other things.


Nga mihi

the moon, the moon...

Did they land on the moon 40 years ago? Who knows?

I tend to think they did but there are many
disbelievers. News that NASA lost the original footage is almost too convienent and if I was sceptical I'd think NASA deliberately lost the film to keep them in the spotlight. You can't get money for spacetravel and exploration unless people are interested in what you are doing. If doubters show up then defenders also come out. This increases the visibility and ultimately the money. And without the money nothing is reaching escape velocity.

Neil Armstrong's story is interesting, even if, like in Capricorn One he was filmed in studio. Buzz didn't even take one photo of Neil on the moon - talk about grudges, not one photo. And imagine if you found out that your barber, who cut your hair for years, was sweeping the cuttings and saving them, and now selling single strands. It would make you reticient to open up about what happened, wouldn't it?

"Marx Sizemore joined Herald’s in 2000 and started cutting Armstrong’s hair soon after... In 2004 Sizemore was approached by Todd Mueller, a dealer in celebrity memorabilia. Mueller wanted Sizemore to save some of Armstrong’s hair and sell it to him for $3,000... According to Mueller, Sizemore did this more than once, receiving another $3,000 for two more bags of cuttings. “There is three haircuts’ worth,” says Mueller, speaking from his office in Colorado Springs. “Four and a half ounces.”

In 2005 Armstrong discovered what had happened and confronted Sizemore. A lawyer’s letter followed but Sizemore went to the media and Armstrong backed off. Now he and Mueller are planning to capitalise on the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing by selling individual strands pinned to cards. Sizemore shows off a card he intends to issue depicting the Eagle touching down on the lunar surface, next to a small patch of white which will contain a hair. Mueller says he wants to create a more “high-end” product, estimating the value of a single strand at between $50 and $100. How much is his cache worth?

“Between twenty and thirty million dollars. You will get a card with Moon, hair and a certificate.”

Compared to Mueller’s, Sizemore’s Armstrong hair is a snip at $19.99 a strand, but he still hopes to make millions. Armstrong, says Mueller, now gets his hair cut at home"

Lots of astronauts have seen UFO's too.

We must continue to look up, at the moon and stars. We must continue exploring and growing. I don't think spending money on this endeavour is a waste - it's money well spent and a better use for it that weapons construction or defense budgets.

One of my dreams is to see a takeoff live. Day or night won't bother me.

Mandela = forgiveness

Happy birthday for yesterday Nelson Mandela.

The reason that this man is considered special is that after years of jail, on release, he didn't go all out for revenge on his captors. Most of his captors were surprised by that. Most of the world looked on in admiration at his tolerence and ability to forgive.

Good lesson for our country on forgiveness and the assumption that maori would be vindictive if given power - they wouldn't.

key to being bendy

bendy white knight and non-minister

I'm a bit torn. On one hand I like the idea that folic acid is not going to be out in our bread and I am pleased the decision has/is now being made to back out. But on the other -how did we ever get to this. The non-minister has been saved from looking completely silly by the white knight of popularity - key. He is very bendy. I hope he doesn't bend too much when the racists put the pressure on around such issues as the Foreshore and Seabed.

And really, isn't bendy good if he bends the way you want him too?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

a stealthy approach works, and we all gain

This is a really good initiative that should be widened.

"Officers in the Central Police District, which includes Palmerston North, Wanganui and New Plymouth, are trained to say a simple karakia (prayer) and sprinkle holy water at the site of any fatal incident."

"Palmerston North-based Senior Sergeant Gordon Rongonui started the practice in 2002, when he began teaching tikanga Maori lessons to 738 Central District officers."

"Rather than them calling me out all the time ... we came up with a small karakia prayer card, about five lines, one side in Maori and the other in English, that anyone can do."

What a simple practical way to help get the people doing the practice. Make it easy, is the way to go.

"All that it is, is lifting the spirits and sending the spirits back to God, to heaven."

"It's all to safeguard the dignity of the person, the dignity of the family and the dignity of all the people around them."

"Dead criminals were treated the same as victims, Mr Rongonui said."

"When you go in, you always treat the deceased with respect. They could've been mongrels when they were alive but they were also someone's husband, someone's father, someone's child."

Senior Sergeant Gordon Rongonui has trained the officers to treat these deceased people with respect and within a maoritanga framework. It doesn't matter if you believe or not, or if you were bad or not. What matters is that you have died and for that, you are accorded respect. I agree with this approach and i think it does help the spirit move on.

I also like the way this has been introduced , without big fanfare, very stealthy.

And who has gained and who has lost? Well I can't think of any losers out of this, perhaps the atheist's will complain or maybe the really severe racists, but the winners far outweigh them.

The winners are everyone in this country. Our whole country gains when maori tikanga is incorporated into society. We need more of this stealthy approach, as well as the big protests. We need more maoritanga incorporated into our society. Well done Gordon Rongomai.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two good blogs worth checking out

The blogosphere is a great way to learn.

Two blogs that i would like to mention are: and

Both of these blogs are worth checking out. It is just so great to see quality sites that put up interesting posts on wide ranging subjects. Especially subjects as satisfying as art and lifestyle.

Visit these blogs and add your comments, i am sure both Feddabonn and Adrienne will make you welcome.

Landfill leaches rubbish into the sea

Bent Jansen with leaching rubbish

I've discussed this before here.

Having the contents of a landfill leaching rubbish into the sea is unacceptable.

Come on Otago Regional Council - give the approval so this can be fixed - what are you waiting for - summer?

"The Waitaki District Council is still awaiting approval from the Otago Regional Council before it can fix the Hampden landfill, which is leaching rubbish into the sea.

Heavy seas have eroded about a 60m-long face on the beach between the Moeraki boulders and Hampden beach and the council applied to the regional council for resource consent to seal it.

But the Department of Conservation (Doc) was not happy with the method proposed, delaying work, while heavy seas continued the erosion."

Get around the table, get agreement and then fix the problem - what could be easier? :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Will iwi support grey power nelson?

Nelson Grey power leading the way against rip offs by big electricity companies.

"Nelson Greypower has begun a campaign to get $4 billion overcharged in electricity repaid to New Zealanders.

The 12,000-member organisation is the largest Greypower association in the country, and its president Gordon Currie is calling on all welfare and service groups and other national organisations to bombard Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee with letters demanding compensation.

The Commerce Commission revealed in May that Meridian, Genesis, Contact and Mighty River Power overcharged New Zealanders by $4.3b between 2001 and 2007.

Mr Brownlee has commissioned an electricity industry review.

Mr Currie's message was not to pussyfoot around with the $4b. He said consumers had been ripped off. "It belongs to us so 'Give it back'," he said today.

Mr Currie said the $4b amounted to $1000 for every New Zealander."

Good on you Grey Power Nelson - I support this move. meridian aren't the good guys, they have ripped us all off. And who are the ones that suffer most?

I hope some iwi organisations add their weight to this call. If they do it will create lots of good feelings and goodwill between grey power and maori - and that will be a really good thing.

Indigenous view of Honduras coup

An interesting take on the Honduran coup situation from an indigenous Honduras viewpoint.

"The largest indigenous organizations in Honduras are calling for the immediate return of deposed President Manuel Zelaya, and they assert that the new administration is trying to hide the real reason for the coup, which was that the opposition feared a new constitution that could provide more rights and protections to indigenous and other Hondurans.

The groups also said the coup leadership was preventing indigenous people from protesting, forcing the military recruitment of children, active persecution of leaders and creating a “black list” of resistance leaders (including protest against the recently enacted suspension of the rights of free speech, free assembly, and protection against illegal search and torture.)"

"Many press accounts emphasized the idea that the chief executive was interested in creating a new law to allow him to run again, and that he was a puppet of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. But Zelaya’s indigenous supporters are saying they were in favor of the referendum because it could give Native peoples a chance at re-writing the constitution to give them more rights and protections of their territories; and when the president was deposed, indigenous peoples reacted quickly.

From June 28 to July 5, indigenous groups like the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), the Indigenous Coordinating Body of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean (CIMCA) and MASTA or Moskitia United, issued press releases outlining a list of demands and concerns, all connected to Zelaya’s forcible removal by the military."

"Edgardo Benitez Maclin, a Tawahka leader and Regional Coordinator for CIMCA (the Indigenous Coordinating Body of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean), responded to requests for comment by sending a series of press statements outlining the issues for Native peoples in Honduras. According to Benitez, the Lenca, Miskitu, Tawahka, Pech, Maya-Chorti, Tolupan, Garifuna, Creole, Nahoa and Chorotega peoples contributed jointly to each of the press releases.

The “Political Position of the Peoples” statement included a section about the groups’ desire for a new constitution. “We will never give up our historic struggle for reform of the political constitution of our country, in which it recognizes the multicultural and multilingual Honduras; the particular rights of our peoples; for a participative and inclusive democracy; the right to the free, prior and informed consent of our peoples. … as is established in the Treaty 169 of the UN and the UN Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”"

"The CIMCA statement pointed out that what was happening recently was a throwback to a darker time in Honduran history.

“The military during the ’80s lead abominable operations against the civil populations, as is being done now by coup President Micheletti who is calling on these same men to be his advisors. This means that there is a latent and serious danger to the lives of all indigenous leaders and those of others in the social movements.”"

Nice to see an indigenous viewpoint. For more information on what has happened in Honduras go to Kiwipolitico blog. (read the comments too)

Spammers use maori - they are low

Hasn't SPAM increased. Bloody hell - look at this one

"Hello marty mars

You received the following message from : emmanuelkona (



I take the liberty of writing you this very confidential mail. I implore you to give it your maximum attention as the contents are in absolute good faith.

For avoidance of doubts, my name is Barrister Kouevi Emmanuel Kona, I was personal attorney to late engineer Joseph Waikato Ngaha , nationality of your country who died in ghastly motor accident by running into a stationery Trailer without warning sign on December 26 , 2006.

After his death with members of his family,due process was followed to alert members of the public and any relation of his through Electronic Media Obituary Announcement both in the local television station here in Togo.

Right now his Bankers has written me requesting me to contact any of his relation for the purpose of transferring his estate in the sum of 10.2 million Us Dollars.Due to the pressure from the Bank I decided to present you as the next of kin to my said deceased client and to further ask your hand of co-operation under utmost confidentiality to claim the outstanding sum by presenting you as the Next of Kin of my late client.

Needless to reassure you that as a Lawyer and personal attorney to my late client, all the necessary information and documents that will sufficiently prove to the officials of the Bank that you are the next of Kin to the deceased shall be obtained legally from the probate section of the High Court.

I would therefore request you to give this letter serious thought and get back to me urgently at my private email

Emmanuel Kona"

A couple of really irritating aspects to this one.

It came to me via (I don't blame
They have worked out that maori are from here and are using fake maori names.

Whew - 10.2 Million US dollars - but I don't think i'll be responding to kona from Togo. I hope you don't either.

Maori context makes great walks greater

Hollyford valley

Great walks - what an excellent concept.

"The Department of Conservation (Doc) is bracing itself, for heavy demand for Otago's Great Walks, after next season's bookings for the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler tracks opened yesterday."

"There are 11 Great Walks in the country and the season runs from late October to late April."
The new-look Queenstown visitor centre first-floor information hub, on Shotover St, is 95% operational. Stand-alone "pods" displaying area maps of national parks and tracks have been installed and a large-scale backlit map displays Otago-Southland. A trip-planning table has been included and a pair of interpretation panels covering Doc's work in the region have been hung, with four more to come.

Every dollar of profit went into conservation activities.

This week, Dunedin carver Malcolm Murchie, of Kai Tahu Kati Mamoe and Ngati Raukawa, started to carve a piece of West Coast totara, which will form the 1.2m high plinth for a piece of pounamu, which will become the centre's touchstone early next year."

Good that Ngai Tahu are involved. I would say it would improve things even more if some intrepretation of maori history could be given as well. Perhaps another couple of 'interpretation panels'.
When i worked in tourism, the guests didn't want to see little england, they wanted to see this land and they wanted to understand the maori people. Who are they? where did they come from? what did they do? And if you are really on to it, context can be applied to show how the stories from the past are relevant to today. This island is chocka with our history's. Tourists want to hear them.

Of course Ngai Tahu have a tourism business in this area - The Hollyford Track - What do they say about Ngai Tahu and their fortunate position in being owned by tangata whenua:

Under 'history', "The first human arrives, Maori, and a coastal village evolves. The tribe gathers abundant seafood and builds canoes from the giant trees of the forests."

Under 'about us', "NOTHING"

Under 'staff', "NOTHING"

As far as this company is concerned Ngai Tahu don't even exist. Funny when you consider that they are owned by Ngai Tahu, and are giving tours through Ngai Tahu land. And their profit or loss comes back to Ngai Tahu too.
What an embarrasment for them and us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nice protection of endangered skinks

The critically endangered grand skink (Oligosoma grande) Landcare Research

Nice. Good story about saving endangered skinks. (not the pictured one above)

"A community conservation project in Central Otago aims to reintroduce critically endangered lizards.

The Central Otago Ecological Trust pilot project, supported by the Conservation Department and Landcare Research, plan to release 12 Otago skinks into a protective enclosure at the Aldinga Conservation Area near Alexandra."

"Trust chairman Grant Norbury said, "There has been a lot of depletion of lizards in Central Otago because the land has changed dramatically with farming, viticulture and pastoral use."
The lizard population in the area had also been heavily predated because of introduced pests such as cats, he said.

Work was continuing near Conroy's dam to recover vegetation in a 14ha area surrounding the enclosure.

If the pilot were successful the trust wanted to expand it and introduce wild skink and other species, including the Duvaucel's gecko and tuatara, he said."

A good example of people working together to conserve the environment and ecosystems. Thanks.

MGMT supporting Chris Knox

Great band and great cause. All the best Chris and whanau.

"Touring Brooklyn band MGMT will DJ at a fundraising night for iconic Kiwi musician Chris Knox, who suffered a stroke last month.

Knox and his reformed band The Tall Dwarfs were scheduled to open for MGMT at three sold out shows at Auckland venue The Powerstation next week.

But Knox suffered a stroke on June 11 and will be unable to perform.

After two weeks in hospital latest reports said he had returned home to relearn skills that have been impaired by his stroke.

MGMT, one of last year's biggest bands thanks to hit singles Time To Pretend and Kids, will DJ at the Bacco Room on July 20.

Tickets cost $20 and all proceeds will go towards Knox's recovery"

Great video from a fan.

Ngai Tahu elections

The Ngai Tahu elections are a worry. Here is Richard Parata's analysis - and note this is from 2006 but is still relevant today. In fact my question is, "What has changed?"

"Iwi pleads for more openness"; "Ngai Tahu beneficiaries are calling for greater transparency in the way their assets are managed" (The Press, September 22). I could not agree more. The time has come for all Ngai Tahu to be informed and involved, through democratically elected representatives."

The process by which the 18 representatives are appointed to Tront is not democratic. Few of the 37,000 eligible beneficiaries have the opportunity to vote directly for a person to represent them.

A major problem is that voting is marae-based and through an electoral college. Only some marae allow fully democratic postal voting. All beneficiaries can trace their whakapapa to more than one marae and by right can vote on multiple marae, and therefore the system allows multiple votes. But implementing a full multiple-vote system would produce more problems than it would solve.

It does not help in seeking the participation of beneficiaries that 55 per cent live outside the tribal area, in the North Island and overseas. Lack of democracy means that Tront is not truly accountable to the people. Unbridled power has taken precedence over the democratic needs of the beneficiaries, with serious consequences for the tribe's financial future."

It is important that all Ngai Tahu get engaged with this election. Go to Richards blog and read up about the historical situation that has got us here. Ask your runanga or your rep about what is happening. Find out if you are enrolled. Find out if your Tiipuna is included within the roll for your marae.

There are many challenges facing our Iwi and those challenges require a full paddling commitment from all members of the waka. And we can't get that unless we give Ngai Tahu whanui a way to ensure their voices are heard. Because it's their iwi too, its our iwi too...

We need our own bread

Well, don't know about you but I'm not eating store bread from september. Organic is the way to go although it is expensive. Maybe pulling out all the old breadmakers that haven't been used for a while. There are also some good maori bread recipes. Here are 3 I've found - feel free to send me your recipe for maori bread or any bread at all.

From a great

"Floaters (Fried Maori Bread)
5 Cups of standard white flour
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups of luke warm water
Cooking Oil
An electric frying pan or a deep pot
Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Make a well in the middle and gradually add the water. Stir together with a knife.

When the mixture starts looking like dough tip it onto a floured bench.

Knead the dough just a little until the dough develops a smooth texture. Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 6cm. Cut into slices, much like scones, pricking each one with a fork.

Heat a pot of oil or fat. Olive oil or grape seed oil is fine, and a lot less fattening.

For best results deep fry the bread in very hot oil. Add the cut dough shapes, turning as they brown. N.B. If the oil is not really hot then the floaters will not raise very well.

Great with lots of jam and/or Golden Syrup.

Floaters (Fried Maori Bread) Recipe 2
4 Cups of standard white flour
3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoons of yeast
1 Ltr of water
Cooking Oil
An electric frying pan or a deep pot
Add sugar, water and yeast together, then pour into the flour. Mix into a dough then, leave to rise for 20min. Knead and cut into appropriate sizes. Cook in hot oil till golden brown.

Add Golden Syrup on top.

Rewena Paraoa (Maori Bread)
2 Cups plain flour
3 medium slices potato
1 tsp sugar

Boil slices of potato with 1 cup of water until soft. Cool to lukewarm and mix in the flour and sugar to a paste. Cover and stand in a warm place until the mixture has fermented.

5 Cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Rewena (per above)

Sift flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Fill with Rewena and sprinkle baking soda over the top. Combine and knead mixture for about 10 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture is too firm. Shape into loaves or place the mixture into greased loaf tins. Bake at 450F (230C) for 45-50 minutes."

Some other advantages of making your own bread is that it can be a fun, family thing to do. it stops you watching TV courtcase-porn or listening to radio courtcase-porn and let's be honest - aren't you sick to your stomach of hearing about how a young woman was killed and mutilated, every night?

Bread is also pretty forgiving so it doesn't matter if it doesn't come out like new worlds loafs. Give it a go.

More wild places please

Brighton beach

Protecting the sand dunes so that people can recreate is fair enough.

"Eleven of Dunedin's coastal reserves look set to be given new protected status, at the expense of some recreational rights, in an effort to protect vulnerable sand dune systems."

"Community and recreation services manager Mick Reece said, when contacted, yesterday changes in the reserves' status recognised the importance of protecting the coastal environment from flooding, erosion and other threats.

"You can't recreate if the dunes disappear and you are inundated, so the primary driver for managing the reserves should be coastal protection," he said."

"Council staff would have greater control over access to the reserves, while recreation became "a secondary use", a report by council staff said. However, recreational rights would be maintained where they were compatible with the new emphasis on protection.

The new rules could lead to more fencing and other restrictions on informal tracks cutting through dunes to beaches, with public access "funnelled" into maintained beach access, he believed.

More "one-on-one" talks between the council and private landowners could also be required, where properties had crept on to council reserves over time, he said.

"There's a whole lot of issues in some of those areas," he said."

"To be protected

• Kuri Beach (two areas on coastal side of Taieri Mouth Rd)
• Brighton (coastal side of Brighton Rd)
• Ocean View (coastal side of Brighton Rd)
• Island Park
• Ocean Grove (coastal side of Tomahawk)
• Te Rauone
• Long Beach
• Warrington
• Karitane
• Waikouaiti (in the vicinity of Matanaka Dr)"

A new emphasis on protection - that's good. And the point is, if there is no sand left, then people who recreate in/on the sand won't be able to. So restricting access to protect the dunes makes sense, when you take a long view.

The only area that needs more work is to understand the ecosystem of those dunes. They move, grow and diminish for reasons. Man-made solutions rarely work - how many reclaimation/protection of dunes initiatives have worked?

Sand dunes remind me of mudflats in that they appear to be quiet places with not much happening but in fact they are integrated ecosystems with massive biomass. When some people look at mudflats they think - development, but I think we need more mudflats left as mudflats and we need more sand dunes left as sand dunes. More wild places - it's good for the heart and soul and the economy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Link to great post from Maps

A great post Reading the Maps: Expanding the map about polynesian voyages, and expanding the maps.

Money over protection gets the nod from MoF

This news is interesting...

"Otago Harbour will be opened for the commercial harvesting of cockles for the first time in 30 years following a decision to grant a special research permit to a Dunedin fishing company."

"The Ministry of Fisheries confirmed yesterday it had granted a special permit to Southern Clams to carry out research trials on commercial cockle-fishing in the middle banks of the harbour near Port Chalmers.

The permit had been issued for three years, with a possible two-year extension, allowing for 650 tonnes of Southern Clams' 1140-tonne annual quota."

And what do local maori think about this?

"Yesterday's announcement disappointed one of the men behind a proposed Otago Harbour mataitai, which would exclude commercial fishing.

Otakou runanga project manager Hoani Langsbury said "we are unhappy with the decision", declining to comment further until the runanga had discussed the development.

It is understood Southern Clams would be exempt from any mataitai and would be able to fish the area during the permitted period."

So maori want to create a mataitai to protect the ecosystem within harbour but commercial (research) interests have won out.

"Speaking from France last night, Southern Clams director Roger Belton said he was "delighted" with the ministry's decision...

If the mataitai was granted, he hoped any future decision on commercial fishing would be made by the ministry rather than the local runanga."

I disagree with belton. I think the local runanga is exactly the right place for decisions to be made regarding commercial fishing in/around and near mataitai.

Flying high

I'm a fan of the tino rangatiratanga flag personally.

"The Maori Party is tipped to announce a national series of hui next week, aimed at selecting a Maori flag."

Go to Tumeke blog and look at some of the options that Tim has found.

hat-tip - Tumeke

slip by bennett?

I noticed Paula Bennett on the radio saying that she was surprised by the increase in unemployed here. Offically there are 1200 or so going onto the unemployment benefit every week. But Paula let sip that that is the NET figure. Actually about 2500 people are being made unemployed every week and some jobs are being created thus leaving us with the net figure. But my question is:

How many of those jobs are real, full time jobs and how many are part-time, temporary jobs?

Plus there is no logical reason for the Minister to be surprised unless she wasn't aware of the Economic tsunami and its ramifications, or the figures she is looking at are different to the ones being published.

IMO when the real figures come out - not just bennett will be shocked.

Building with nature

Affordable low cost housing - now that is an achievement worth going for.

"Increasing the demand for homes made from a repackaging of papatuanuku, the earth, is what a low-cost housing project in the Far North hopes to achieve.

Auckland University's Engineering School has been leading research into the performance of uku housing - a building method which involves mixing earth, flax and cement to use as a base material.

The research aims to "equip rural Maori communities with the knowledge to use their own earth and labour to build desirable housing"."

Using natural materials to build (as much as you can) is good for the environment, good for the community and good for the people.

Monday, July 13, 2009

good discussion here

Gosman and i are having a debate about racism here. Come and contribute - what do you think?

Oppose a 4-fold increase of wastewater discharge into the Waikato River

Waikato River - Alfred Burton circa 1885

I'm with Tainui on this one.

"Dairy company Fonterra wants to quadruple its wastewater discharge into the Waikato River at Hautapu, but faces strong opposition from Tainui and downstream water users.

Waikato-Tainui is among 18 submitters to the resource consent process, of which 11 are opposed."

"If consent for the new multi-million dollar waste treatment facility at the Hautapu dairy factory site near Cambridge is granted, 10,000 cubic metres per day of treated effluent would be discharged into the river.

This would be a four-fold increase on the existing 2500 cubic metres per day Fonterra is currently allowed to release at the site.

Both Auckland and Hamilton draw their water supplies from the Waikato River."

So, a four-fold increase in discharge into the place where many Aucklanders and Hamiltonians get their drinking water - how off is that?

"In its submission, Tainui asked for Fonterra's Hautapu applications to be "declined in their entirety" because they would "severely impact on the health and well-being of the Waikato River". "

"An Environment Waikato report released last year noted levels of nitrogen and phosphorus had increased in many of the region's rivers in the past 10-15 years, and 70 per cent of the region's waterways were not considered safe for swimming."

Well that seems like at least two good reasons to stop the application. I hope the views of tainui are considered with the weight they deserve.