Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank you Te Papa

I have commented a few times about this issue and guess what - they are already doing it. Thank you Te Papa you are making us proud. A great story from 3 News
"The second-largest international repatriation of Maori human remains has taken place at Te Papa in Wellington.
They have been returned to New Zealand from five museums throughout the UK and Europe.
Te Papa's Michelle Hippolite says it is a step towards restoring the dignity of the dead.
The remains will never be displayed at Te Papa.
The museum sees its role as a guardian to find homes for the hundreds of homeless. So far around 332 ancestral remains have been repatriated from 12 countries, but there are still about 500 remains waiting to be brought home.
There are not enough clues about where to return a third of the remains, and finding the rightful place can take up to four years, so until then Te Papa is where they'll rest.
It really doesn't get better than that.

open minds and healing

This story from stuff is enlightening.
"Carol Coleman wanted the teenage thug who nearly killed her son with a hammer locked up behind bars and left to rot."
and who wouldn't her son was hit for no reason while minding his own business and he could easily have died.
"A 15-year-old boy was arrested for the assault and appeared in the Palmerston North Youth Court.
The judge recommended a family group conference which enraged the Colemans."
From wikipedia - "Family Group Conferences (FGCs) originated in New Zealand. They were originally used to allow social work practice to work with and not against Maori values and culture."
"They didn't see how the conference could hand down a punishment to match the crime.
Sitting in a circle chatting seemed like a "soft" way to deal with such a serious assault, Mrs Coleman said.
On the way to the conference the Colemans were worried justice wouldn't prevail.
I'd imagine many people would feel the way the Colemans felt. And aren't those feelings of fear and discomfort similar to the feelings we feel around maori culture sometimes. Family Group Conferences incorporate a traditional indigenous response to wrongdoing. It is a good model and it works and here's why.
"It was really, really powerful." Said Carol.
At the outset of the conference everyone introduced themselves.
Then Blake's dad, John, spoke on behalf of his son and family.
"He told him to sit up and listen to what I'm going to say to you."
The boy sat up straight and looked Mr Coleman in the eye which was the turning point, Mrs Coleman said.
"He wasn't belligerent, cheeky or snarling, as we expected."
Mr Coleman's main message was that an attack doesn't just affect the victim, it affects the surrounding family.
Then the boy apologised.
"I said to him, 'you nearly killed my son', he looked me in the eye and said, 'I know, I'm really sorry'."
Blake plucked up the courage to ask what he had done to provoke the attack.
The boy answered: "Absolutely nothing", Mrs Coleman said.
"Once Blake did that his whole body just relaxed."
The conference was incredibly healing and empowering for both the offender and victim, Mrs Coleman said.
"This process gives them the chance to face up to what they've done.
"I just feel for victims who don't get to face the perpetrator and get to say what they need to say and get the answers that they need to get."
The Colemans realised the boy would not gain a thing from going to prison and mixing with hardened criminals.
The Colemans also sat in the gallery when a youth court judge signed off the plan.
"It was really sad when he [the boy] turned around and thanked us for coming. I would never even have predicted that."
Blake and his family are looking forward to meeting the boy again in February.
"If he succeeds in what we've challenged him with, which is quite hard, then we will feel that Blake's injury has been compensated for, much more so that locking him in jail and letting him rot."
Thank you for your courage Coleman family. And thank you to the young man trying hard to turn his life around.

Locking away problems doesn't work. Creating opportunities for healing does. Obviously not every crime can work within this framework but lets really use it as much as we can. Perhaps the model could be modified to facilitate forums where the deep hurts and resentments relating to maori can be discussed and worked through.

Proud to be Ngai Tahu

This is quite a long post. I cover a bit of ground from the recent insults to Ngai Tahu over the maori party and national ets deal, a little history and then I discuss why bringing Ngai Tahu and the four other iwi into the ets debate is just a white elephant. I also talk about what i think the various parties are up to.

Have you noticed all of the insults to Ngai Tahu because of the ets deal recently? How often have we heard about fat-cat, and elite southern gentry corporate iwi called Ngai Tahu. It's Ngai Tahu and four other iwi, no doubt there is some unintentional compliment in there because of the mana of Ngai Tahu but is it really true? Are Ngai Tahu a fat-cat, elite iwi taking advantage of the country and other maori to line their already fat-cat pockets?

The many people who think and say that Ngai Tahu are a fat-cat iwi know nothing of Ngai Tahu.

Ngai Tahu have struggled against high odds to be in the position they are in today. It didn't happen by chance, it was a result of a lot of hard work, from iwi members at all levels of the iwi. The inferences you make about the iwi insult all Ngai Tahu IMO.

Do you know who you're talking to?

Ngai Tahu whanui are unique. We are Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha. Our ancestors lived in Te Wai Pounamu for generations. We are a people of this land just like Tuhoe are a people of theirs.

This information is from the Ngai Tahu website. I encourage you to read it and think about it. Our story is real.
“Ngāi Tahu, our tribe had its first contact with Pākehā (European) sealers and whalers from around 1795. By the 1830s Ngāi Tahu had built up a thriving industry supplying whaling ships with provisions such as pigs, potatoes and wheat. Shore stations were established from 1835 under the authority of local Ngāi Tahu chiefs.
We are smart and learnt early the new ways. What a true partner in this island and country we could have been if we were allowed to have our land and our resources and the ability to develop our desinty.
Many Ngāi Tahu women married whalers, and the tribe was no stranger to European ways. When seven high-ranking southern chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, it was seen as a convenient arrangement between equals.
"By 1849 when the Crown began defaulting on the terms of a series of ten major land purchases dating from 1844, earlier suspicions of the Crown's good faith by some of the Ngāi Tahu chiefs were confirmed, and the Ngāi Tahu Claim 'Te Kerēme' was born.”
“When Ngāi Tahu first took its case to the courts, in 1868, the government passed laws to prevent the Courts from hearing or ruling on the case.”
and from the Waitangi Tribunal
"The Tribunal cannot avoid the conclusion that in acquiring from Ngāi Tahu 34.5 million acres, more than half the land mass of New Zealand, for £14,750 pounds, and leaving them with only 35,757 acres, the Crown acted unconscionably and in repeated breach of the Treaty of Waitaingi".
"As a consequence, Ngāi Tahu has suffered grave injustices over more than 140 years. The tribe is clearly entitled to very substantial redress from the Crown"”
“Ngāi Tahu received cultural redress in the form of confirmation of the ability for Ngāi Tahu to express its traditional kaitiaki relationship with the environment, tribal redress, an apology from the Crown, acknowledgement of the role of our taonga Aoraki and economic redress in the form of a payment of $170 million plus the ability to purchase property from the Crown.”
The iwi has taken those assets and built them and developed delivery mechanisms to provide support for iwi members. That hasn't happened by stepping on other iwi or anyone else in this country. Ngai Tahu has been and still is, more than happy to share knowledge both ways with other iwi and work together with them all on mutual projects. There is no rift between iwi, there are disagreements and personality/ego conficts but so what.

Ngai Tahu had to develop the corporate structure:Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, because that is the only structure the government would pay the putea to. It is a corporate structure but it has to manage a massive number of projects and businesses – equivilent to a corportation but quite different as well. The purpose of the corporation and business interests is to provide funding for the regeneration and support projects that Ngai Tahu does with its people. And that ranges across as many areas and projects as you could think of, from whakapapa and tikanga to wetland restoration - to support of education and health initatives. From a savings scheme to language revitilisation. There are so many projects, go here to see the full list. People moan that maori don't fix their own problems – have a good look – Ngai Tahu are working to fix theirs.

Is it just envy that causes people to call Ngai Tahu fat-cats?

A success building performance worries the weak and inspires the strong.

The claim was paid just over 11 years ago - that's 132 months. Ngai Tahu have proven that if you give maori the ability to manage their destiny they will do so. The putea was a fraction of what was taken or owed but it was something and it is taonga. Yes, Ngai Tahu can swing some muscle via it's relative Te Wai Pounamu economic size, and they do make mistakes but overall they are benign and often positive for everyone. Ngai Tahu add value to the community and to this country.

To use terms like fat-cat and elite, is lazy, rude and inaccurate. The evidence is right before you everywhere around the rohe, that Ngai Tahu are contributing to the betterment of everyone. But we won't be treated as plastic maori. The big error people make about maori in general and Ngai Tahu in particular is that they fail to realise the dynamic nature of the society. When europeans arrived maori weren't static they were on a journey of development, and they still are. Some people want maori to stay they way they imagine them to be, but that won't happen.

Just because we have worked hard and built our putea doesn't mean we don't have individual bad apples or people that take advantage – so what. You could say, “I was not talking about iwi members just the corporate elite.” Ummm who are these people? Who is flying around in a lear jet drinking $500 beers on the back of the iwi? There are no middle men here. the leaders of the iwi are part of the iwi and they are accountable to the people who elect them. When you call Ngai Tahu a fat-cat iwi you are insulting all Ngai Tahu. There are individual members of the iwi who are very rich, again so what? They didn't get their by stepping on Ngai Tahu heads – they played the game in the world and succeded.

The ets deal in regards to the denigration of Ngai Tahu is a white elephant. First the lay of the land as I see it.

Labour caused the formation of the maori party through the Foreshore and Seabed Act. Politics is the game of getting up front wins while appearing to be getting long term wins. Politics is shortermism dressed up as longterm vision. It is a finite game, ruled by the election cycle. You have to get the wins otherwise there is little point being there.

What win does the maori party want? Repeal of that hated law. That is the game. That is the goal. Everything else is secondary. Time will tell on the rightness of the path chosen. It is impossible to know at the moment whether the tradeoffs are worth it.
The really big problem for the maori party isn't the trade offs though – it's whether or not they can actually get any repeal in the way that they would want. And that stumbling block is National.

What win do the nats want? To stay in power. What will they do to achieve that? Whatever they have to. Would they break promises to the maori party to appease a middle electorate redneck majority just to stay in power? Yep without even blinking. Why would they do that? Because labour is pulling those people into it's orbit by appealing to their overt and covert racist mentality. What can we do? Well, we could do what they're doing.

So what's in it for labour. What win do labour want? Power again for sure but they also want to destroy the maori party.They want their maori seats back. They want to protect their maori from the bad maori. They also want to split the nats from maori – a bit of wedge driving. It's a fair strategy but the cost to labour is something they may have underestimated just as they did when they enacted law on the Foreshore and Seabed. Labour is building a track record of this – whether the misguided and simpleton approach of trying to find dirt on john key to their utter disbelief that the electorate would reject them so resoundingly. They are making a big mistake. Many forgave but few have forgot the rogernomics years but that was the labour party in action. They continue to riducule the feelings of betrayal and disbelief from maori around the Foreshore and Seabed law.

Labour have abdicated their left credentials and clearly stated the centre or middle is their ground – move over National. The vacume in the left will be filled, perhaps by the greens, or some new entitiy. I'd like to see a maori left part to contest with the maori party and also in the general seats. The days of the dinosaur big parties is nearing the end and no refenedum on MMP will save them.

The only party that actually cares about the ets and the dismal prognosis for the future is the greens. Powerlerss, they can only stand and watch the freakshow that will be copenhagen. Too little too late – leaders of the world you have let us all down.

This so called deal between the maori party, 5 iwi and national is a white elephant because the maori party don't really care about Ngai Tahu and their redress. The maori party want the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act and the subsequent vesting of rights with maori. National just want the ets legislation passed. The 'world leaders' all seem to have made a pact to turn up to copenhagen with their hands washed. National seems to be in the mood to do and say anything to get to copenhagen with the deal done – I wonder why?

And Ngai Tahu itself, I can only give my thoughts but Ngai Tahu made it clear what the purpose of the land was for – to create a farming base for the iwi. They were prepared to go to court to seek legal judgement. Have a look at the history of our iwi – we don't go to court without a good case. Ngai Tahu believed that they could prove that the crown knew about the likelihood of the accumulation of debits and withheld that information, deliberately, to enhance their side of the negotiations. Don't forget the context – this is the negotiation for the apology and redress to the iwi, from the crown for injustices, deceits and lies over many many years. Ngai Tahu didnt and aren't asking for anything other than fairness. Whether the case was sound or not, will not be known but the fact that this injustice has been somewhat rectifyed is actually good and not related to any deals between the maori party and national. It was a wrong that had to be righted and convienently it was able to be righted within these negotiations. It should have been righted anyway. It is not related to any deals at all. Yet Ngai Tahu get tarred as if it was their fault. We get called fat-cats fro wanting fairness. I listened to Mark Solomon on Jim Moras show and although he was treated rudely he got his points across. There was a wrong that we were prepared to fight to get righted. It is quite simple. The crown knew that the land was to be used to develop farms for our people. Once again people looking after themselves – that is a good thing. I'd like them to be organic, self sutaining, energy efficient, permacultured, communities that provide models for others to follow.

I'm proud to be part of Ngai Tahu whanui – to have a strand of whakapapa that connects back to the ancient times. I have lots of other whakapapa lines as well they are all me and we get on fine. If you really think about Ngai Tahu and the struggles over the years and the struggles now, to maintain and build our culture one person at a time, against insurmountable odds of distance and 'kiwi' culture you would be proud too, of Ngai Tahu. If you read our stories of what and how the land and everything in it became and coexists you would be grateful that that knowledge is still around. The land was named and the passes known when europeans arrived. They saw waste and unproductive land while Ngai Tahu whanui saw bounty and histories and knowledge and connection. To judge Ngai Tahu, by calling us a fat-cat iwi and elite, some kind of high gentry farmers, is to understand nothing of us; all you are doing is showing your ignorance.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

the truth will set you free

I wish for justice and peace for the family of Halatau Naitoko. The latest from the state is disturbing
"Police officers who shot dead a teenager are going to unprecedented lengths, including requesting to use a Darth Vader-style voice distorter in court, to keep their identity a secret."
"Three suggestions were put forward to the High Court at Auckland yesterday.Option A: The surrogate witness – Officers A81 and A84 are taken to a small room next door to the Coroner's Court. They are supplied with headphones and can hear coronial proceedings. They answer questions to a "surrogate" witness, who is seated in the courtroom. The "surrogate" witness repeats the officer's evidence word for word. This option is seen as the safest by police to protect their identity. Option B: Voice distortion – Officer A81 and A84 give evidence using a voice distortion device. Police have trialled this technique, but say it is not absolutely perfect. The officers' lawyer, Todd Simmonds, called it electronic and lacking in human quality. "To be frank, it's a bit Darth Vaderish." Option C: The compromise – The coroner exercises his discretion to clear the court of members of the public and media. The two men give evidence in a closed court before only legal counsel and a representative or representatives of the Naitoko family. Family must sign "satisfactory undertakings" promising not to disclose the identities of the officers.""
That is a heck of a lot of to-ing anf fro-ing to protect the two officers. When you also consider the display ads in the papers for the AOS on the 2nd aniversary of the urewera state raids to create terror and the lagging of prosecution in that case - well, it all looks very contrived.
This week Mr Naitoko's inquest was adjourned so the two officers could challenge a court ruling forcing them to take the stand. Their lawyer, Todd Simmonds, said the coroner's request would mean "parading them before a courtroom" packed with media and family.
As Simmonds argues, "We don't need to see either witness or hear their natural voices in order to fully satisfy the ... purposes of the coronial inquest. These officers are not on trial."
Meanwhile a family has lost their beautiful man.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Ngai Tahu connection to Queenstown

So while goff goes on and Ngai Tahu get insulted - this is really what is important

our histories our stories our people

more please

some left blogs on goff

watch my poll ratings

This story has a wee way to go but inital reactions are interesting. Thank you.

Good post by Lew at Kiwipolitico on goff here and here

Good post by Danyl at The Dim-post on goff here

Good post by toad at on goff here

Good post by Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn on goff here and here and here

And when you get to the point of asking "What the hell are we going to do about this?" Go and visit Maps at Reading the Maps - he discusses mr trotter and his likening of the maori party to the nazi party.

Maps shows a way forward instead of the sad old retoric of mr trotter and brash and goff. I cannot recommend Maps's article highly enough - it should be compusory reading for all people of this country.

brownlee into coromandel mining

Don't do it gerry.
"Some conservation land in the Coromandel could be used for mining, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says."
Mr Brownlee told Radio New Zealand today that there were areas of interest in the Coromandel.
"There are interesting areas in the Coromandel, and it will be controversial me even saying it, where there could be -- and I stress could be -- further gold mining activity," he said.
"I doubt it would be above ground, where those areas deemed to have relatively low conservation values but are currently locked up because they are deemed to have high values."
Once agin brownlee uses the 'could ' approach - gerry we are not stupid. And just read his last sentence again - what do you think he means?
"Coromandel Watchdog was involved in ending mining on the peninsular 20 years ago. Spokesman Denis Tegg told Radio New Zealand his group would fight the move. Land now considered lower value was regenerating and becoming more special as it was allowed to recover."
Mining would be devastating, he said.
"The experience we have from overseas and in some cases in New Zealand is that those tailings (toxic waste) cannot be contained forever."
The Greens say the value of the land for recreation and tourism was far greater than income from mining.
The party previously released figures showing there were 21 current mineral permits for prospecting and exploration, affecting 42 protected areas.
We will create more wealth and better lives for everyone by not mining. Mining is short-termism - it is designed to make a quick buck and leave the mess for future generations to sort out - it is yesterdays thinking.
What fossils and historic material will be destroyed. How many ecosystems will be disrupted.
What a godsend goff is to national at the moment - providing idiotic distraction from these mining and destruction plans - thanks for nothing goff.

Coromandel Bush

goff meet the reid boys

I am very angry with goff

Song for goff

Jesus and Mary Chain - In my hole from the album Psychocandy


Grass grows greener

On the other side
Corn grows sweeter
On the other side
And I watch, And I watch, And I watch
And I see too much
And I broke my face
And my head grows too much
God spits
On my soul
There's something dead inside my hole

In my hole
In my hole
In my hole

I step crueller
But less defined
Striped cats cooler
But so is mine
And I want to see
What I want to be
And I see me on a touching screen
And I'm dancing to a scream

God spits
On my soul
There's something dead inside my hole

In my hole
In my hole
In my hole

How can something crawl within
My rubber holy baked bean tin
It's god to me, it's god to me
It is heart and soul

Oh, heart and soul

This song is whitenoise with feedback - but it is bloody brillant - be warned though - it is full-on!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wetlands will save us

I love wetlands. i used to drive tourists out onetahua (farewell spit) and as they were with me for 6.5 hours - i got to talk about quite a few topics, including flora, fauna, geography, history, context and connection.

Look at this photo - doesn't the whole area look like a kiwi head with farewell spit being the beak? This photo shows the extent of the wetland, at high tide the spit is one kilometre across and at low tide another 6-7 kilometres of wetland is exposed.

Onetahua - Farewell Spit

The average tide in Mohua (Golden Bay) is over 4 metres - that's 12 foot of water going in and out twice a day - it creates a magnificent wetland area. So much diversity and life and so fragile.

Destroying wetlands is stupid.

This decision here to build more marinas, against the wishes of conservationists and local maori is wrong. Keys assertion that more marinas will be built is shocking.
"Environmental groups and local Maori have fought the 205-berth marina, built on a salt marsh that used to be home for dotterels and skinks."
A good link from NickS in the comments on the Standard on this issue.
"... the 1997 review paper form Daily et al, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Benefits Supplied to Human Societies by Natural Ecosystems, of which pg 9 has some of the relevant details."
Page nine
"Wetlands are particularly well-known for their role in flood control and can often reduce the need to construct flood control structures. Floodplain forests and high salt marshes, for example, slow the flow of floodwaters and allow sediments to be deposited within the floodplain rather than washed into downstream bays or oceans."
And it happens in many areas, not just this country, as discussed in this article The Cultural Impact of Eroding Wetlands from Colourlines
"Brenda Dardar Robichaux, now principal chief of the Houma Nation based about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, has fond childhood memories of helping her father, Whitney Dardar, on his shrimp boat, though as a teen she would often protest the hard work and long hours. Dardar, now 73, still shrimps, but he is driven by passion rather than profit, since profits are now scant thanks to environmental degradation and competition from shrimp farms and bulk imports. He knows his grandsons will not follow in his footsteps but instead will likely work in the same offshore oil fields that have helped destroy the traditional Houma way of life."
"Recently, environmental, industrial and economic factors have converged to make traditional subsistence practices unsustainable or even impossible for most Native Americans in this region. The main culprit is the rapid erosion of wetlands and hence the solid land that once sustained farming and provided habitat for nutria, mink, muskrat and other animals that Native Americans would trap for food and fur. The wetland loss is attributed largely to the oil and gas industry, which has cut thousands of miles of canals through the wetlands to service their offshore operations. The degradation has also long been caused by the canalization of the Mississippi River, confined by levees so it can no longer ramble and switch course from year to year, depositing sediment and replenishing land in the process."
"The wetland erosion has meant the incursion of saltwater into previously fresher areas, making the land too salty for planting and impacting fish and shellfish. The increasing salinity has seriously impacted the oyster trade that used to be a major winter-time income for Natives. Marine organisms are also harmed by the dead zone created by nutrients from fertilizer funneled south from Midwestern farmland by the Mississippi River, feeding massive algal blooms that suck up oxygen in an 8,000 square mile section of the gulf."
The value of wetlands cannot be estimated because they are actually invaluable. They provide a wonderful ecosystem that is neither land nor sea, the reduce flooding, they sustain a massive biomass not far off a tropical rainforest, they are sparce and beautiful and need to be protected.

Hat tip The Standard and Colourlines

give them back before you suffer

My advice for these thieves is give these taonga back.
"Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Invercargill has confirmed six Maori stone artefacts have gone missing and a police inquiry is under way.
Manager Gael Ramsay yesterday said the artefacts consisted of adzes and other stone tools including some made from greenstone.
She valued the collection at "up to $1000 at the maximum"."
The monetary value doesn't matter - it's the tapu you have to worry about. Give them back.

Smithyman - Lone Kauri



Whatever happened, it happened.
In swamp, on lowlands, gum diggers find ancestors.
Sometimes a lot of them lying the one way
as though sometime was
a great wind which put down a bush if not a forest,
trunk by trunk, and they've been lying there unseen.
Their wood can still be good enough for working.
Hauled at, they are reluctant to be earth, turned over.
They are pigheaded.

On the climb to Ngapukehaua there's one
didn't go down, up there by himself standing
over teatree. He's not far from caves of the dead.
Maybe he feels responsible,
he's older. Nowadays

I have to stop for a breather.
He has been lightning smitten and gale struck.
He is failing from the top down.
I like to crouch into and lean my back against.
I say "Brother" and he sighs.

Smithyman online

random thoughts

Some thoughts on this very hot sunny morning here in whakatu
The maori party have set their course. And their course is the focus on the Foreshore and Seabed repeal and it is a worthy target. But getting into bed with the gnats gives you many bites. Many little bites can drive you crazy
labour are not the friends of maori any more than the nats are. goff will play the race card more and more and NACT will drop the maori party as soon as they can
maori members of parliment from other parties should drop their heads in shame, especially those who smile while the maori party suffers
Do maori have the numbers to build a maori-left party? Hone hasn't got the skill or ability to lead a maori-left party. Where are the other voices, where are the other leaders? Waiting for the bodies to cool before they pop up out of the bushes?
Divide and divide again - that is how you ensure a people have no power. Pay off some, alienate others, reward those underdeserving to create dissent, say different things to different people and pretend you didn't, give token power and then undermine it, find enemies and use them and we are seeing all the tricks being used and the losers are maori
the myth of the iwi groups holding all the money is perpetuated by non-maori to divide maori more and more
You can try to change the system from within or from without. Playing by westminster rules is not working, we need more action on the street, we need more engagement from all maori, we need some hope.
We know that there are seasons and cycles and flow. We have to be unattached to the ups and downs and keep focused on the goals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

apocalypse now intro - The Doors - the end

I am very worried about the maori party. Not so much for them but for maori and the major setback it will be if they go down. Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Our past being revealed - and it is wonderful

Our history is being revealed bit by bit - and it is wonderful.
"A treasure trove of artefacts recovered from Papanui Inlet on Otago Peninsula may lead to the area becoming a site of national significance."
"The find has prompted Otakou runanga to call for the site to be nationally recognised."
Yes protect this area and do it quick.
"Runanga manager Hoani Langsbury said a meeting would be held next month between the various stakeholders, including the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the Department of Conservation, to discuss the area's future.
"We don't want to keep people away from the area, just increase the amount of monitoring we do."
To deter treasure-hunters, the exact location of the find is being kept secret.
The funny thing is that there are thousands of these types of sites and discoveries waiting to be revealed - but we won't see or find them if we are mining everywhere - will we gerry.
"Fossicking is deemed illegal under the Historic Places Act 1993."
I didn't know that but if anything is ever found - contact the local iwi. I know of taonga being revealed, and bones being found by people - they went straight to the iwi. How many adze are being held by farmers and fossickers in their houses, without anyone knowing? Thousands at least.
"The find highlighted the significance of the area for Maori, who can be traced in the area back to the 14th century."
The area had been frequented by Ngai Tahu and Kati Mamoe, and bones were still found, although whether it could have been a burial site was unclear, Mr Langsbury said.
Don't forget the Waitaha - who form Ngai Tahu whanui - we are only here because of our whakapapa to those lines. And the area has had people there for a lot longer than the 14th centrury - a lot longer - and this is known. Hard to keep that sentence in, on reflection.
"While it was unclear what would happen to the recovered items, they might be offered to Otago Museum or, in the case of items with "national significance", to Te Papa.
That would be a big waste and affront to the mana of the taonga and Ngai Tahu whanui IMO.

fighting for Aorangi School

no more fun when the school s closed

The fight to stop this school closing will be a tough one i think. tolley seems well out of her depth but she is quite stubborn so getting a change after she has announced the decision to the media, will be a challenge - even if the prime minister used to go there. Shame.
"Christchurch's Aorangi School is taking its fight for survival to the High Court, after a decision to close it was confirmed yesterday.
"It's not over yet, not by a long shot," Aorangi School board of trustees chairman Greg Thompson said last night.
Tolley's decision was met with disbelief, anger and tears yesterday.
The school has 27 staff, including teachers, administrators and teacher aides, now facing unemployment.
Aorangi School principal Stephanie Thompson said the decision defied logic.
"It's always been about what is appropriate for the children. I do not see how this decision is in the best interests of the community and the children."
She said the decision sent a clear message that the National-led Government did not believe a low socio-economic, multicultural part of Christchurch was as important as other groups.
"We've just got to hope that natural justice will occur and that democracy will win over bureaucracy.
"Since when does bureaucracy get to rule over what the people say?
"I didn't think we lived in that society."
I sorry, but that is exactly the society we live in and we need to change. If the people keep getting trod on they will, at some point, say enough is enough and then key and tolley will see the results in the polls - because that seems to be the only way they will listen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Interesting essay from last Woman Blog

very interesting essay - Reel Bad Indians: A Cinematic Reflection on History, Popular Culture, and Tribalism in Kevin Willmott’s “The Only Good Indian” (Snap Review) from Last Women Blog

We can't move forward until we know where we are.

Hui a Tau photos

Photos from Hui a Tau

These photos were all taken by Adrienne Rewi. A gifted photographer with a great blog, Introducing Maori Lifestyles that i visit frequently - i highly recommend a visit. And many of her photos appear in Te Karaka, where she is sub-editor - we are lucky to get a wee sneak preview. Go to Introducing Maori Lifestyles to see more photos and read about interesting topics that relate to all of us.

Thanks Adrienne.

Karawhiua Kai Tahu!

they blinked

Well I say congratulations to Ngai Tahu.

My base understanding is this.

The land was taken from Ngai Tahu
The crown worked on a settlement
A clause to ensure the value of the land was not reduced, was in there
The crown said there were no circumstances for reducing value
ETS if in force would reduce the value because when you cut down trees you incur carbon debt
Ngai Tahu indicates it will enforce rights of contract because they were not told about this
crown says they disagree with that interpretation
crown and maori party and iwi negotiate
deal done

A good article from Rawiri Te Whare
"For reasons of circumstance, rather than on fairness or justice, forests have figured disproportionately in settlements. The reasons are, in simple terms, because forestry land also comes back to iwi with accumulated rentals charged to lease the land to foresters.
It is also because iwi can only seek the return of land still owned by the Crown. Private land is excluded, so irrespective of the nature of how the land was taken, by unjust confiscation, or the actions of flawed law, Maori can only seek the return of that which is still currently on the Crown books.
Forestry land - former state forests - are therefore often a key aspect of a settlement.
We were ripped off and when recompensed we were going to be ripped off again but because of our smart people we have forestalled the latest rip off.
"It is worth remembering at this point that on average iwi settlements equate to compensation at the rate of around 3 per cent of the value of that which was taken."
Don't get me wrong i thing all of the ETS/carbon money stuff is too little, too late - but if we are to do something - it shouldn't disadvantage those who are already disadvantaged. It is not the job of maori to carry the load - if anyone doesn't like the deal they should complain to the crown and not moan at maori or blame them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A museum muse

Imagine a different way of looking and thinking about the taonga currently residing in our museums. i have been posting about my belief that taonga should be given back to their owners or descendents. The various taonga were created as part of a continuious line of whakapapa that still exists today. But rather than strip the museums why not consider this approach.

The empowerment of maori communities in association with their wider communities and the institutions, could be a win-win-win scenario.

It would be a win for maori communities by strengthening mana. The structural changes that would need to be needed, could be coordinated with the institutions, local communities, even government and used as the catalyst to drive community and local maori development. Training, apprentiships, planning and management could all be built in to that development. For example if a taonga was given back then it would have to be received correctly and given somewhere to live. All of those areas need to cover both maoritanga and good museum proceedure. And that is a point. If the taonga are given back then they are given back. Their kaitiaki will determine what happens. Some may be fearful that taonga will be unavailable for viewing but how many are visited now? It is about respect and trust.

Maori communities may decide to develop other opportunities. There is no doubt that the welcoming home ceremonies could be magnificant. Bringing the wider community together in shared rejoicing. It could be done – we all want to be involved and one of the barriers to engagement is the feeling of them and us. When communities learn about the heritage of their area, the taonga and the tangata whenua, the connections increase and strengthen - distrust, stereotypes and fear break down. Nothing happens overnight and it is already happening out there to some extent.

But what advantages could there be for the institutions themselves?

Nothing stays static and museums and their attitudes to their charges and the public is a typical example. Just think of the difference that Te Papa has made. Love it or hate it – it is different and an example of a different way of looking at the whole area. My idea is just a little further along the line. Devolving the way we think of museums from single buildings in the centre of cities to a more community based approach. Taonga held in the areas they came from, with the people who they came from.

Reasearch could still be carried out where the parties have negotiated and agreed. Some research could be done at the community level thus increasing the experience of the researchers and givng them insights that they would not normally get because they lack the cultural context. Agreements would be good for everyone and create goodwill and more opportunities for learning.

Many current taonga will not be able to be repatriated because it is simply not known where they came from. This could be sorted out at a pan-maori level with the institutions. Good practice would continue to be carried out and the museums and institutions would continue as is, but stronger.

Museums do tread a fine line amongst all of their various tensions. They do research, protect, display, manage, catalogue, interact with the public, interpret and try to remain financially viable. It is a big ask. This initiative would create big publicity which would be good for the museum. Big publicity means more people interested, which means more grants, donations, and visitors. Creating strong mutually beneficial realtionships with iwi would have no downside.

When you think of all of the taonga currently in institutions and how much is on display or being researched compared to how much are just locked away in drawers and boxes – well, who knows? The institutions could probably repatriate 5 taonga to every iwi and not even have to touch their displays. and why not? Imagine the goodwill. It would be a brilliant coup that would mean the world to maori and would be good for this country in so many ways. We could start with one and test it out.

I love big museums, there is so much gravitas, I've always loved them. I don't want them to go, but i do think they can continue to evolve. Connecting with communities strengthens all parties. I've barely touched on the economic benefits but they are there. Even the government and all of us win.

Most importantly of all, the taonga are back home, where they belong.

Book review Comanche A History of a People

I've just finished “Comanches The History of a People by T.R. Fehrenbach. It has affected me in ways I never imagined it would. Yes, the book is sad – it's a book about destruction but it also relevant to today's world where similar tensions exist between peoples and between development and protection.
”Authoritative and immediate, this is the classic account of the most powerful of the American Indian tribes. T.R. Fehrenbach traces the Comanches' rise to power, from their prehistoric origins to their domination of the high plains for more than a century until their demise in the face of Anglo-American expansion.”
That is accurate and understated because this book really does cover a lot of ground and it is written in a very readable style. I did struggle with a sense of unease at some of the uncompromising descriptions and judgements.
“History is brutal... The story of the People is a brutal story, and it's judgements must be brutal. These judgements may offend those who would have man be a different kind of being, and the world a different kind of place.”
I am one of those, yet when you look around the world today and see the brutality of people to other people – well, perhaps understanding the brutal nature on people is a very worthwhile endeavour.
”As Dee Brown states, “For a complete history of the Comanches, this book probably has no equal”
and that fits with my view; a slightly qualified endorsement. But as a qualifier it is small and didn't detach from my pleasure in reading the story of the People.. I recommend the book even though as stated,
“Any history of the People, no matter who writes it, must suffer from the fact that records were kept only by the People's enemies.”
They called themselves Nermernuh or the People and were known as Comanche
“The few thousand Nermernuh or People, who lived and died on the plains and were destroyed as an independent people, shaped the continent in ways that few modern Americans have seen or understood.”
“... they destroyed the ancient dream of Spanish empire in North America; they shredded the Mexican frontier; they blocked the French advance into the South-west; and they delayed the advance of the Anglo-American conquest of the continent for almost sixty years.”
I am embarassed to admit that I, like many people, when I think of Native Americans – the image of the Plains indian comes to mind. Hunting the buffalo, living in tipi, counting coup and so on. Hollywood has a lot to answer for because that image of Native Americans is a small sample of all of the Native American peoples. All of the peoples had their own beliefs and ways of living. Just as here in this country it is fair to say that although all are maori, there are differences between Ngai Tahu and Nga Puhi. Native American peoples, with their vast continent are also different to each other, yet are still all Native Americans.

The Comanche were people of the plains. Of course nowdays there are no plains or buffalo. The descriptions of the destruction of the People and their lives, including inconcievable destruction of the plains and the buffalo are heart-breaking, especially when you consider it was all done for the ignoble purpose of making money.
“...40,000 hides left Dodge by rail in a single day” “...during 1872-74, 1.5 million hides went out of Dodge alone” “ ... the records show that between 1868 and 1881 the bones of thirty-one million animals were sold for fertilizer in the state of Kansas. After 1881 there were no records, for there were neither bones or buffalo.”
The attitude that drove the destructions is still here today. It is here in this country and we have to resist it – for the benefit of everyone and everything.

 I cannot get the final pages out of my head. They describe how 3 years after the last wild Comanches were brought into the agency, the military finally agreed, in 1878, that the tribe could go on a hunt. They were filled with joy, the older men and women described the wonders of the hunt to the young people. They talked of the great richness of sucking the marrow from the bones and satisfaction of riding the Plains and chasing the buffalo. They danced and prepared their horses and arrows. They rode out, under military escort, and they rode for miles and miles, for days and days. All they found were bones. The buffalo were gone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

key insults native americans

So whilst discussing the stadium in Dunedin, our Prime Minister key says, "we are not indian givers."
"When questioned whether the Government might ask for the money back if it was not finished in time, Mr Key said: "I don't think so.
"We're not Indian-givers."
This is an insulting term that denigrates native americans.

"Indian giver derives from the alleged practise of American Indians of taking back gifts from white settlers. It is more likely that the settlers wrongly interpreted the Indians' loans to them as gifts. This term, which is certainly American, may have been coined to denigrate of the native race. Historians would now agree that, where deceit was concerned, it was the settlers who were the front runners. It isn't uncommon, and it could be argued that it is customary, for the conquering race to attempt to justify their invasion by dismissing the conquered as dishonest and stupid."
And from the straight dope
"Indian" was once used by the white man as an all-purpose adjective signifying "bogus" or "false," owing to the supposedly low morals of the red man. Thus you had "Indian summer," false summer late in the year; "Indian corn" and "Indian tea," cheap substitutes for products the original colonists had known back in England; and "Indian giver," someone who gives you something and then takes it back.
But of course Europeans were the real Indian givers, repeatedly promising the Indians reservations by treaty and then stealing them back once valuable farmland or minerals were found."
Now we know key isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer but this insult is not acceptable. We all unconsciously use terms that once examined, we realise are inappropriate. This is one of those situations.

Apologise to native americans. Start thinking before you insult indigenous people.

The positive from this is that the term is now more known for the cheating of the native americans - not much different from the broken treaties and promises over here and the cheating of maori that occured and still occurs.

round the world to home

I come across all sorts of interesting articles in my travels around the net.

A great analysis of the 'big' movie New Moon from a Native American viewpoint. Source Native  Legal Update
"Perhaps the most troubling issue with New Moon and the entire Twilight series is the use of the wolf as the basis for Quileute identity. The Quileute people do not even have a wolf myth in their cultural lexicon – although other Tribes such as the Seneca and Cherokee do. In New Moon, when members of the Tribe come under stress or confront a significant challenge, their common reaction is to morph from a sentient human being into a feral beast whose favored mode of behavior is bloody violence. The audience can understandably view this as a message sent from the film’s writers, consciously or unconsciously, that when it comes to Native Americans: “Deep down, they’re really just wild animals.”"
Or perhaps the 'big'movie 2012, this article from Racewire is called 2012 - A Race Odyssey which is a very witty title.
"Say what you want, but “2012” succeeded in at least one respect; it put forth strong characters of color in less than stereotypical roles."
A great article from Indian Country Today that will really get you thinking
"The dominant society of the United States presumes that American Indian nations and peoples are obligated to accept and live in accordance with a non-Indian perspective on American Indian existence. Unfortunately, we as Indian people don’t spend enough time challenging that presumption."

The native Ainu are fighting for their rights in Japan - sourced from indigenouspeoplesissues
"The Ainu were only recognized in June last year as Japan's indigenous people, in a resolution passed months before Japan hosted a summit of world leaders, the Group of Eight conference, on Hokkaido."
"Ainu men kept full beards while women adorned themselves with facial tattoos which they acquired before they reached the age of marriage. Ainu clothes were robes spun from tree bark and decorated with geometric designs."
And this article sourced from redmegaera blog was a very interesting discussion on racism and the various detours that we throw up
"We internalized our beliefs about people of color, ourselves, other white people and about being white. Those internalized attitudes became actualized into racist behavior. As I continue my journey toward becoming a re‐conditioned and effective anti‐racist, I have become aware of “habits,” attitudes and their attached behaviors, which divert me from my intended goal. To change the detouring behavior, I must first be fully conscious of what I’m doing, the behavior and its consequences. Next, I need to reflect on the behavior’s attitudinal roots. Finally, I determine the prescribed, desired change I want to make and the best strategy for achieving it. Sometimes I need to remove the behavior from my personal repertoire. More often though, re‐tooling is necessary, replacing the discarded pattern with new behaviors. It will likely take repeated attempts before I have fully internalized and externalized the desired change."
Pretty weighty topics that i hope you find thought-provoking. Let me know if you come across an article or post that inspires you or helps you see things from a different angle.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nubians want apology

Isn't it shocking how some people are treated just because of the colour of their skin. Is it insidious or unconscious? It happens everywhere.
"Nubians come from the southernmost region of present-day Egypt, where a culture later known as Nubian first arose around 3800 BC along the Nile and in northern Sudan. It was one of Africa's earliest black civilisations, complete with an independent kingdom.
Haifa Wehbe has the minority Nubian community in Egypt distraught over her latest children's album "Baby Haifa" and the community's activists have launched several lawsuits over the lyrics.
The Nubians took issue with a verse in the song Where is Daddy? in which Wehbe croons: "Where is my teddy bear and my Nubian monkey?"
The line, Nubian representatives say, infers that members of the black Egyptian minority are monkeys. In November, they slapped separate lawsuits on the singer, her record label and Wehbe's Egyptian song writer.
If the Nubian's are offended then it should be remedied. It is hard to imagine anyone not being offended by being called monkeys - you would be wouldn't you?
"It may not be intentional racism on the part of the song writer, but it is still highly racist and offensive," said Motez Isaaq, with the Committee for Nubian Issues.
Isaaq said that stereotypes of minorities are so entrenched that referring to them in popular culture media is frequently done unconsciously.
"We are one of the oldest civilisations on earth," said Isaaq. "Instead, our image is constantly perpetuated as the uneducated doorman or waiter."
Isaaq alleged that Nubians are discriminated against because of their darker skin, and stressed that the community still holds in painful memory the political oppression in the 1960s, when the Egyptian government forced tens of thousands of Nubians to leave their homes and resettle elsewhere in southern Egypt, to make way for the building of the High Dam, 685km south of Cairo.
These people have been treated poorly - imagine having to move everything because everything you know and love is about to be under 15 metres of water.
"Isaaq said the danger of her song is that it targets children."
"Kids can soak up the lyrics so quickly," he said. "They could start calling their Nubian classmates monkeys."
Isaaq's group has held protests against the song, he said, and is also suing Egypt's culture minister and the country's state censorship board for allowing Wehbe's latest album to be on the Egyptian market.
The Nubians want a formal apology and an end to airing the song in Egypt, Isaaq said, expressing also hope that the action would change the way other Egyptians treat their Nubian fellow countrymen.
And the final words are resounding
"Egyptians have to stop treating us as second class citizens," he said. "We are the original Egyptians and the country needs to remember it."
I hope the apology is soon and that the Nubian people get treated with more respect.

They begin the journey home

They are coming home.
"Swedish museum officials yesterday handed over the skeletal remains of five Maori to a New Zealand delegation as part of a broader move in Europe to repatriate bodies taken from foreign burial grounds."
The ceremony was held at the Natural History Museum in southwestern Gothenburg, and included songs and prayers."
And these words are very true.
"The human remains in Western museums are mostly the result of colonial relationships and a racist view of the world," museum director Goran Blomberg said."
"We now aim to work actively for the repatriation of human remains younger than around 200 years to their country of origin."
Thank you.
"Te Herekiekie Herewini of Te Papa thanked the Swedes for their action."
"This is significant for Maori as it is believed that through the ancestors' return to their homeland, the dead and their living descendants will retrieve their dignity, and also close the hurt and misdeeds of the past."
Closing the circle.

Returning our people is very important and I congratulate these museums for their efforts.

hui a tau weekend

Big weekend down south - Hui a Tau.

Notice of 14th Annual meeting of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu 2009
The annual meetings of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Ngāi Tahu Charitable Trust respectively, will take place on Friday 20 November at 3pm: Waihopai Rūnanga, Murihiku Marae, 408 Tramway Road, Invercargill."

And then over the next two days

Notice of Hui-ā-Tau 2009
•Saturday 21 November 2009
•Sunday 22 November 2009

Will be held at 5pm on Friday 20 November 2009

Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka
Takutai o Te Tītī Marae Foreshore Road
Colac Bay, Riverton

•Mihimihi – 9am Saturday 21 November 2009
•Review of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Annual Report
•Agenda as set by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

There are questions that need to be asked and there are truths that need to be spoken but we must aways remember the kin bonds that bind us together they are more important than anything that seperates us.

I'll try to get some updates but these things have there own way of coming out.

Nga mihi nui

Will keep this thread going over there, so please keep adding your comments and questions to Hui a Tau questions

Thursday, November 19, 2009

volcano cam on Te Puia o Whakaari

The sun goes down over one of our volcanoes 'Te Puia o Whakaari'

this is part of our world

Ancient Rock Art - protect it here and over there

nine mile canyon

Protecting the past - for the future.

We have our Maori Rock Art here and there is also many examples of indigenous rock art being protected in other countries.
"Parts of a remote central Utah canyon decorated with ancient Indian art are being nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bureau of Land Management this week nominated 63 sites along Nine Mile Canyon, which some call the world's longest art gallery. It contains more than 10,000 prehistoric rock carvings and paintings of bighorn sheep, owls, a two-headed snake, spear-wielding hunters and warriors engaged in hand-to-hand combat.
In the coming years, the BLM in Utah plans to nominate more than 800 sites in the canyon for the national register, according to Megan Crandall, an agency spokeswoman in Salt Lake City. She said it's the largest such attempt for archaeological sites in Utah."
But as is often the case things are complicated.
"The BLM is about to launch another indepth study on the nearby West Tavaputs Plateau. The agency has been considering a proposal that would allow about 800 more natural gas wells in the area and increase truck traffic on the narrow, 78-mile road that snakes through the sandstone and shale canyon.
Conservationists worry the extra truck traffic would kick up dust in the canyon and jeopardize the irreplaceable rock art."
"The canyon's drawings and carvings, easily spotted today from the unpaved road, have been a source of fascination and speculation since their discovery in the late 1800s. Some of the art is believed to be the work of the mysterious Fremont people, who lived in present-day Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Nevada from 700 to 1300 A.D.
Other inscriptions in the canyon's walls are from the Ute Indians, early explorers and members of the U.S 9th Cavalry.
The first batch nominated for the national register includes 19 rock art sites, 40 that include evidence of people living and working during the Fremont period and four sites with homesteads and cabins from the late 1800s and early 1900s. All the proposed properties are on BLM land."
Yes this rock art is under threat from natural gas exploration and miners and so on. What would happen if brownlee found gold under some of our rock art? Perhaps an audit of the rock art would be the best place to start - we don't even know where it all is.

gerry meet lemmy

gerry you gamble all our futures - you are the ace of spades

If you like to gamble, I tell you I'm your man

You win some, lose some, it's -all- the same to me
The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say
I don't share your greed, the only card I need is
The Ace Of Spades
The Ace Of Spades

Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil,
Going with the flow, it's all a game to me,
Seven or Eleven, snake eyes watching you,
Double up or quit, double stakes or splits,
The Ace Of Spades
The Ace Of Spades

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools,
But that's the way I like it baby,
I don't wanna live forever,
And Don't Forget The Joker

Pushing up the ante, I know you've got to see me,
Read 'em and weep, the dead man's hand again,
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die,
The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be,
The Ace Of Spades
The Ace Of Spades

brownlee turning coulds to woulds

here we go...

"The Government is rolling out the welcome mat to foreign oil explorers as new estimates show the country could be sitting on $60 billion of untapped black gold.
Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said yesterday that by 2025 the amount of now untapped oil and gas off the coast could be worth about $30b a year in export receipts.
Mr Brownlee said the tax receipts would amount to about $10b a year – enough to wipe out the current cash deficit."
What about the coulds gerry?
"The data is in a series of reports released by the Government yesterday. Chief among them is a survey of oil and gas reserves by GNS Science, which says there could be as many as 6.5b barrels of undiscovered oil in 10 areas off the coast, stretching from the Great South Basin to Cape Reinga.
GNS also believes there could be about 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the same 10 areas.
He also announced the Government was reconsidering the tax and regulatory framework of the petroleum sector to make investment more attractive for foreign oil explorers.
"New Zealand's largely unexplored petroleum resource could be one of the country's most significant economic opportunities," Mr Brownlee said. "The industry has been neglected by successive governments for far too long, and when you see the potential that's there it's sort of a little bit of a surprise."
Sure gerry we believe you.
Mr Brownlee's enthusiasm for oil exploration comes hard on the heels of moves to open up parts of the conservation estate to mining, which the minister also believes could put billions into the Crown coffers.
Mr Brownlee said the Government saw oil and gas playing a big role in getting the economy out of deficit. "We very much want to send the message that New Zealand is prospective for hydrocarbons and open for business.
"This summer would see the most oil exploration yet undertaken in New Zealand waters, and the Government wanted to encourage more.
NZ Oil and Gas said any moves to open up the possibility of joint ventures with foreign investors were good news. Drilling for oil was risky and expensive, but the potential benefits were huge.
Do you see how they do it. First make a statement around a few coulds then guestimate the supposed value from that and the next thing those coulds have turned into woulds. We would earn, it would be worth - yet these woulds are really still just coulds. Yes we would earn that if we could tap all of the potential youknowwhats.

That is how the brownlees of the world get their agenda in. There is no consideration of other factors - environment, global warming, the rights of indigenous people and all citizens - it is all about money for brownlee and his all about money is based on bullshit and a whole pile of coulds. You are a big pile of coulds gerry.

worse than useless

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

success for Yaqui Tribe

I appreciate that there can be difficulties, if not impossibilities, in determining where human remains come from. Recently here, we have had koiwi tangata (skeletal remains) and four toi moko returned from overseas, and that is good. They will be recieved at Te Papa, and that is good. I don't know what happens then. But the repatriation of human remains is happening in other places too, like this
"The remains of a dozen Native American warriors of the Yaqui tribe have been laid to rest following a two-year campaign to rescue them from a New York museum."
The museum said it was the first time it had "turned over cultural patrimony to a foreign government that immediately returned it to the indigenous people".
"They would not be at peace with their souls and conscience until they got their people back to their land," said Jose Antonio Pompa of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
"On Monday afternoon, on the slope of a mountain near the Yaqui village of Vicam, the 12 sets of remains were "baptized" to give them names that have been lost to history.
They were given a warriors' honor guard, and amid drumming, chants and traditional "deer" and "coyote" dances, each was laid to rest in the ground they had been striving to return to when they were slaughtered.
The bones were forgotten in museum storage until Perez and anthropologist Andrew Darling, who works for the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, started to study them in 2007 and realized their gruesome story.
The Pascua Yaqui tribe of Arizona took up the fight to have the bones returned.
"The approach we use is that we are one people ... the border is just an artificial concept," said Robert Valencia, vice chairman of the Pascua Yaquis.
U.S. Indian remains are protected under the North American Indian Graves Protection Act. But because the law doesn't cover Mexican remains held in the U.S., the Arizona tribe contacted the Mexican Yaquis and they in turn contacted the Mexican government, which also decided to get involved.
The remains were honored by Yaqui on both sides of the border, spurring the tribes' hopes for recognition of their status as a single people who have long lived in both countries — in Sonora and in southern Arizona near Tucson.
The remains were packed into ceremonial wooden boxes and taken first to Tucson, where they were given a hero's welcome by Pascua Yaquis, including an honor guard of Indian veterans of the U.S. Army.
"That is why the warriors' role is important, because when we make territorial claims, it is because Yaqui blood was spilled there," said Mexican Yaqui elder Ernesto Arguelles, 59. "This is the first opportunity we have had to stop and mourn."
I am pleased that your people have returned back to you - well done on succeeding against insurmountable odds.
Hat tip The Buffalo Post

goff - knee jerk without the knee

I watched goff over the last few days and i agree with met.
"Green Party co-leader Meteria Turei has accused Labour's Phil Goff of playing the race card on changes to the emissions trading scheme.
Mr Goff claims the Government's negotiations to win support from the Maori Party for its plans means race-based legislation is in the offing."
goff has found a rich seam, as many have before him, and he is mining away. The sad aspect is that while he gets the hanky out because he is so offended and upset  - the opportunities for him to create a statesman-like presence and grasp the high ground for all people of this country are lost. But you have to be a stateman to take on that mantle and goff isn't. Not even close. He is an opportunist.
"The idea is some iwi who received forests in their treaty settlements would be given the right to plant trees on parts of the conservation estate and collect the carbon credits.
But Ms Turei says the there could be some merit in the proposal.
“It's not about being race based. It‘s about the value of those settlements and Labour can take some responsibility for issues around the valuation of settlements and themselves when they were in government. It’s a silly comment from Phil Goff and playing to the worst kind of politics,” Ms Turei says."
I agree - the WORST kind of politics and goff has been around since he used to ride his trike into the chamber, so he knows exactly what he is doing. No vision and no future goff.
"She says the forestry deal should have been part of the scheme anyway, and the Maori Party is selling its support cheaply and ignoring the long term interests of ordinary Maori."
Exactly! well said met - this is good leadership and a good model for goff - much better than the brash model he is using now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Stroke - Songs for Chris Knox

The Stroke - Songs for Chris Knox
"The Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox album was released yesterday, and features well-known artists, including Boh Runga and Don McGlashan, singing Knox's songs. There are also two new recordings by Knox's bands, The Nothing and Tall Dwarf, featuring Knox himself.

Family friend and Flying Nun record label founder Roger Shepherd said although Knox's speech was limited, his ability to hold a tune remained, and he could make sounds along with music. "His musical faculties seem completely unaffected.""
All the best Chris

"I wanted to support my community"

A great initiative.
"A 22-year-old Dunedin woman, whose friends have been affected by unemployment and suicides, has decided to help by starting a tourism venture aimed at tapping into the lucrative cruise ship market.
Jackie McGregor (Nga Puhi), who has been part of a kapa haka group since she was 7, was dismayed to find many of her friends in kapa haka were unemployed and left despondent by suicides in the wider Maori community.
"I wanted to do something to support my community."
What a fantastic sentiment.
"The former hospitality worker had the idea of setting up a kapa haka group aimed at the cruise ship market as she was often asked by tourists if there were any Maori cultural performances in Dunedin.
"This has been designed to give us, as a community, an opportunity to support ourselves."
Maori creating opportunities to enlighten others about maoritanga - the cruise ship passengers will love it!
"A research project by the University of Otago marketing department, supported by the Dunedin City Council, concluded the potential for Maori tourism products in the city was "immense".

Well done on getting this idea working jackie - i hope local tangata whenua are helping you out too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ETS deal

what we don't need more of

I am mixed on this, as reported by 3 News.
"The cost to taxpayers of playing our part in reducing global carbon emissions has more than doubled to an estimated $110 billion. But Maori will get a special deal - it's the price for Maori Party support of the Government's Emissions Trading Scheme."
The deal will see Maori foresters pay nothing to grow trees on Department of Conservation land, which can be harvested and sold for carbon-credit profits. In return, the Maori Party will support the ETS.
Five of New Zealand's richest iwi will gain millions more in the deal.
The deal is essentially compensation for iwi who claim the Crown did not tell them the forests they gained in treaty settlements would be devalued by an emissions trading scheme.
DOC has already earmarked conservation land for planting trees, but it wants commercial foresters to pay for the land. Iwi leaders want it for free, and to retain ownership over the trees for later sale.
"It makes great sense," says Dr Smith. "This is about finding a win-win where New Zealand gets the benefit of getting additional trees being planted, iwi are able to benefit from some of the carbon credits."
There is no getting around the fact that iwi were going to be the losers and this concession goes some way to compensating for that. But i can't help worry when I see Dr Smith look so happy.

creating connection and growing food

This is a great initiative. Helping people find their connections and grow food - it doesn't get much better than that!
"A group of Auckland's homeless have become part-time gardeners, thanks to a collaboration involving Ngati Whatua and the city's young business leaders.
Ngati Whatua has given up part of its "whenua rangatira", the land of its chiefs around Orakei Marae at Bastion Point, for homeless people to start a vegetable garden to supply the Auckland City Mission's foodbank.
City Mission homeless team leader Wilf Holt said varying numbers of four to six streeties had spent two days a week gardening since late September.
"In some cases people have time on their hands which, with their drug and alcohol addictions, plays into the addiction's hands," he said. "Now they are too tired at the end of the day."
He initially approached Ngati Whatua when he heard that they were holding community planting days around Matariki, the Maori New Year in July. He put the word out among the streeties, 70 per cent of whom are Maori, and took busloads of about 40 volunteers up to Orakei twice - the second time in driving rain.
"There was this wanting to participate in something larger than themselves," he said.
"There was the fact that it was on a marae. There was just this desire to perhaps reconnect."
"Ngati Whatua trustee Ngarimu Blair said the iwi jumped at the chance to help.
"We are reaching a phase in our revitalisation in Auckland where we can more and more begin to look at how we can help others," he said."
Inclusive not exclusive
"The supervisor of the iwi's plant nursery, Te Hira Hawke, said the streeties were good workers.
"I always thought they were mostly drunkards," he said. "They're not. Some people here have some really hard-luck stories. They're not drink or drug-dependent, they've just had a hard time."
He appealed to the public for gardening tools, shade cloths, poles, seeds, seedlings and topsoil - "anything to do with gardening".
"We need a bit of help to help them," he said. "I know there are people out there that are kind-hearted."
So, if you can help - please do. This is a good example of community building, focusing on achieveable results. Growing food, connecting with culture, working together - these are the solutions to the problems we face. When people need a hand - we should give a hand. It could be us next time.