Sunday, May 31, 2009

Water under threat in Te Wai Pounamu

Mokihinui dam before and after - thanks Forest and Bird

It's a worry. We seem to have a range of plans for dams, tunnels and irrigation all coming out or applying for consents at the moment. And all affect Ngai Tahu because they are all on our rivers and concern our water.

Mataura dams - up to 4 dams proposed for Matauta/Clutha River

Papapuni/Nevis Valley dam - two dams and flooding eight kilometres of river in part of the 7891 hectares of valley floor

Waitaki north tunnel plan - Remove 66% of the water from the natural riverbed for 53% of the rivers length

Mokihinui hydro project - an 85 metre high dam, Fourteen kilometres of gorge will disappear under 80 metres of water; 330 hectares of river bed and forest will be flooded

Fish and Game are complaining about water quality problems in Otago

We also have DOC with 12 agreements made in secret with power companies

and in Saturdays press, news that massive irrigation plans threaten the Mackenzie Basin.

Conservation groups say that the plans could transform parched, high country land into a replica of the Canterbury Plains.

DOC oppose the plans because of the clash with it's proposal for a 30,000ha Mackenzie Basin Drylands Park. The Mackenzie Basin is home to 56 threatened plant species.

Forest and Bird have called it a "water grab". And why do they call it that?

- 36 applicants
- Consents sought 128 to take water, change land use and discharge to water
- Water takes: 90 million cubic meters a year (new), 56 million cu m (renewal)
- Water takes are from: Upstream of the Lake Ohau outlet, upstream of Lake Pukaki, upstream of Lake Tekapo and upstream of the Waikaki Dam but below the glacial lake outlets
- Land area to be irrigated at least 27,125 hectares

and on the same page in the press we had a story about Solid Energy applying for resource consent for a new dam.

This hydro development is on the Sockton Plateau near Solid Energy's open cast coalmine. The scheme would divert streams through a series of reservoirs, tunnels and power station outfalls.

And this is the kicker - in capturing the tribitaries before they ran into the Ngakawau River, they say they will improve the water quality, which has suffered from mining runoff.

I'm sorry but just how stupid do you think we are. The streams were stuffed by you and now you want to abuse the streams more, with this power scheme, and you are doing it to help clean up the streams! Clean them up anyway you made the mess.

The under sea micro-tunnel would run about 600 meters offshore. 110 hectares will be inundated. So far over 30 submission with 9 opposed.

So I think you would agree there is a lot going on around water.

My questions are:

Do we have the resources within OTRONT to fight these projects and maintain the mauri of these waterways? We have opposed most of these projects. We have had our kaumatua and kaiwhakahaere, our legal team and other OTRONT people all put strong and impassioned Ngai Tahu case's up. But what do we do if they just ignore us?

If we don't fight and stop the degradation of these waterways we might not get another chance. Already the arguement is used, "Well it is already not natural, so it doesn't matter." If we don't fight, if we accept the economic arguements , the jobs arguements what is that saying about us?

We have a relationship with Meridian Energy. Does that relationship influence anything we do in this area?

I have a few other questions and some answers as well... but I've save them up for later.

Good writing here

Sometimes good writing just has to be commended.

This first piece by Chris Trotter is awesome. I won't give it away but it is well crafted and delivers a real kick. Which I happen to disagree with.

The second is from Jeremy Clarkson the outspoken host of that car show. He is very witty, and amazingly I agree with him. We must get serious about alternative energy cars and we must really consider the true cost of producing a car rather than just look at fuel economy.

Enjoy

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Good job Radio NZ National, that really does sound like us

I really have to say a big thank you to Radio New Zealand National. The effort that they have put in to get their announcers to speak Te Reo is outstanding. And offers a good example of what can be done. It is so great to hear our language on the radio. Just as impressive is the wide range of audio files available so it is easy to listen again to programmes you missed. Their maori archive is extensive and interesting. The last one I listened to was from Sunday with Chris Laidlaw. He had maori MP's talking about a recent maori parlimentarian conference they had been to. Its well worth a listen.

A Ngai Tahu movie? an idea so crazy it might actually work

Sometimes the dreams seem too big, too unachievable, but then I think naaaah it totally do-able.
Wouldn't be great if we were able to produce a movie based around one of our histories. It's not so unachievable. Many Ngai Tahu are involved in all aspects of the film and movie industry in this country and overseas. We have the talent to do the technical aspects of film-making.

The storyline is an area where we would have to tread carefully but we could ask Ngai Tahu whanui to nominate an idea. They would provide a outline of the story. A group of kaumatua and the director and producers would decide on the most appropriate. The call would then go out for scriptwriters to submit their storyboard for the idea. Once again the best is selected. I know that this may prove to be the stickiest area of the whole process but I'm assuming it can be achieved.

The call for actors who are Ngai Tahu would go out and screentests and selection would occur. Other activities like scouting sites, organising gear and logistics could be worked through, liasing with paptipu runaka near locations.

Quite a bit of thought would need to go into the likely auidence for the movie, while it would amazing to see a Ngai Tahu “Apocalypto” or perhaps a Ngai Tahu “Last Samurai”, the better way to go may be for an movie for Cannes and other film festivals, if success is achieved there, it can often lead to wider international success.

Okay, I know, what about the money Marty? I suppose a budget of 20 million could do it. It would need good project management, but if launched as an Iwi wide initiative it could capture the imagination of Ngai Tahu whanui. If that happened there could be all sorts of ways to keep costs low. For instance, with high quality negotiation skills agreements could be reached with organisations and individuals in the business, whether that be Weta or actors or technical crew. And those agreements could be designed to provide win-win scenarios for all parties. This could all keep the costs down. Distribution deals can be made through normal channels, there are bound to be Ngai Tahu there or others who agree with the vision.

There would be excellent opportunities for Ngai Tahu to increase their skills in a number of areas, under the watchful eyes of their cousins already in the industry, plus earn an income. We could provide employment for our people involved in the film and movie industry and those people could also provide a type of mentorship for others. We could employ Ngai Tahu rangatahi and train them at the same time!

Spin off benefits for iwi members would be all the accomodation, food, location logistics, payroll, merchandise, costuming... just think about it – there could be hundreds of employment opportunites and they could all be coordinated through the project manager.

That person would liase with the director and producers and also TRONT, Papatipu Runaka and Ngai Tahu Whanui. They would need a team to support them but we have the people that could do that too.

It's too hard! Sorry it's not actually. It could be done but of course it would take some imagination and leadership.

There will be big issues to overcome. The main one may not be related to the logistics or technical aspects or even the crew and team to produce and distribute the film. I suspect if anything could prove challenging it will be the choice of story. In most of our history there have winner and losers. Trying to find a story that doesn't offend anyone could prove difficult but within that difficulty may also be the development of greater understanding, more aroha and a closer iwi. Closer to each other, closer to our histories, and closer to our culture. It just seems so do-able to me. 20 million could be found, or whatever the likely costings are. The positives outweigh the negatives.

Of course we could start small, test the waters with a documentary or series on maori TV but we didn't get to where we are by thinking small.

Te Panui Runaka - it just keeps being great!

Another excellent edition of Te Panui Runaka for Matahi-a-te-tau (May). [sorry about the non-macrons, please just add them in where they need to be]

My favorite bits were the korero from our Kaiwhakahaere. It was great to hear about all of the mahi being done at the highest levels. The role is a balance between looking inward and looking outward and I think that Mark Solomon is doing really well. But we must always be looking to the future for the next generation so that the good work can continue and be built on.

I also really enjoyed hearing from Oraka Aparima Runaka about Ta Tipene O'Regan's korero about our histories and knowledge. I would love to have these and other wanaka from our kaumatua, filmed and put up on the blog, or the TRONT website, so that others can learn as well. Imagine the treasure trove of knowledge that would build up. It would become an online library with password access if necessary. Even a copy of the korero would be good.

Te Ngai Tuahuriri Runanga has more nominations for their appointment committee than places so the candidates were all there with a short bio about them and what they hoped to achieve. This is brilliant. Wouldn't it be great to get all of the candidates in each runaka to do the same. It would increase our knowledge and connection. I wish all candidates well.

News that at easter the 20th anniversary of Mau Taiaha was celebrated by, Te Tohu o Tu, ki Te Waipounamu, at Te Whare o Awhitu, Taumutu was awesome. 180 warriors attended the wananga celebrations and it sounds like it was a massive success. I would love to have video of that on a website somewhere too. The photo montage was inspiring.

So kia ora to the team that continues to deliver an amazing amount of information, every month, for the benefit of Ngai Tahu whanui.

a series of interconnected musings on time, Ngai Tahu, Ranganui Walker, and our tamariki

Time is an interesting subject. We know it is relative, we notice that time has sped by sometimes and at other times it seems to drag. In the western framework we have tried to tame time, to control it. We built clocks and created the time for money exchange known as 'work' and developed adages like, “Time is money.” We become slaves to these creations and we lose sight of the truth – that time is relative. And within that relativity is infinite space.

What happens in that space is interesting. Some view the past as gone and unavailable for access. Others feel connected to the past.

Some cultures have a circular view. Maori get mocked when they describe the connection they have to their tupuna, the fact that they are there beside them, with them at all times.

I'm reading Ranganui Walkers Biography Mata Toa at the moment and it's got me thinking. I'll post my review when I've finished it, but at the moment, 172 pages in, I'm reading a lot of what he did, but not too much why he did it. A great man who has done so much.

Anyway, the book is a very good chronicle of what has happened for maori from the 1970's to now. It really is brilliant and enlightening. It is easy to forget how far we have come in such a short time.

In 1959 a publican in Papakura refused to serve Dr Henry Bennett because he was maori. That was around 600 months ago.

The pilot for kohanga reo was first run in Wainuiomata in 1981. That's 336 months ago.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu was established by the Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Act 1996. That is 156 months ago.

In 2004, Tariana Turia resigned from parliament and, as a maori party candidate, contested and won a by-election in Te Tai Hauauru with more than 90% of the vote. 60 months ago.

Many of my posts have an urgent feel to them and it is true to say that I would like everything yesterday. But I also believe in thinking things through and mulling and considering before action is taken.

Most times we spend 20% of the time thinking about the problem and 80% of the time on the solutions. The better way is to spend 80% of the time on thinking about the problem you want to solve. Often the solution just jumps out as obvious. But you really need to think deeply about what actually is the problem.

“Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei For us and our children after us”. We are doing amazingly well for such a short time. As Ngai Tahu we take the long view, just as our ancestors did. By thinking of our children we connect with our ancestors. The eternal connection is always there and many know it even if they don't talk about it. If we facilitate discussion and debate for all Iwi members on subjects that affect all Ngai Tahu whanui then we are furfilling and continuing the climb towards collective tino rangatiratanga. The journey is long and it is short. We have only a few more months to go! We must keep the long view, because it helps us concentrate on the problem rather than leaping into solutions too early. When that happens you often get worse, unintended circumstances developing.

But we must also keep pushing forward. We are a people that enjoys movement, we are hunter gatherers, we move, we adjust, we modify, we succeed. Our Iwi is made up of unique individuals with multiple strengths. You can't just have accelerators, any more than you can just have brakes. To get and keep the car moving, without crashing, you need a good combination of accelerator and brake.

Time is relative. The past is right there beside us. We need to start thinking about the problems we want to solve. We need all of our Ngai Tahu whanui minds, experience and knowledge to be mulling the big issues we have. Time is relative but we need to start now.

boys behind girls - absent fathers - time to front up

Disturbing news about the education lag for many boys.

"New Zealand boys are further behind girls in the classroom than in any other developed country, and the head of a Christchurch boys' school blames marital splits. (My emphasis)

The 30-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday released a report comparing achievement by 15-year-old boys and girls in 40 countries.

Of the OECD countries in the study, the difference in reading achievement in favour of girls was greatest in New Zealand, the report showed.


"There are significant gender differences in educational outcomes, and these appear as students grow older.""

I've discussed this in a post here.

""It's an issue that boys' schools have an opportunity to address," St Bede's College rector Justin Boyle said."

Boys seemed to have particular difficulty with writing, and the school had introduced a programme to improve writing skills, he said.

"I believe also there are other social issues; who are the male role models who are influencing these boys?" Boyle said.

"Invariably, we find if mum and dad have split they have not had the male role model in their lives to encourage them in a holistic way about how they get educated"" (my emphasis)

and

"Boys are affected by divorce very deeply because 85 per cent of custody goes to the mother and guys just disappear. That needs to change," he said.

"We need to have a family split-up philosophy where we realise that sons need their fathers. All custody and access should be 50-50."


That is my view too. We need to help men be good fathers to their boys and we need to start helping them today.

And we really need to consider the consequences of not helping these men be good fathers. We are already seeing this:

"An attack in which three men blew a sheep's jaw off with fireworks and attempted to set it on fire had to be one of the worst animal cruelty cases, the Tauranga SPCA says."

These guys, Blake John Kerridge, Mitchell Anthony Herbert and Matthew Ludolph all aged 17 from Auckland have been let off because the police could not prove exactly how the sheep was killed.

and this:

"Hamilton's coroner says a man who died with two of his children in a head-on smash had set out to commit homicide.

He had threatened to kill himself behind the wheel and when he did die, so did two of his three children."

In evidence, the man's estranged wife told the court her husband had found their separation difficult and repeatedly threatened to kill himself.

Her husband was allegedly unhappy with the thought of her finding someone else or their children having a stepfather."

We have to start today or these headlines with boys and fathers going mental will increase. Start with your whanau, start with your own personal healing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

We don't back down to racists here roseanne hawarden

Reading the maps is one of my favorite blogs at the moment and there is quite a flare-up occuring over this:

"On Tuesday I discussed Rosanne Hawarden, the South African immigrant to New Zealand who has been campaigning against the reburial of ancient bones on Malborough's Wairau Bar. Hawarden believes that members of the Rangitane iwi, whose rohe includes Wairau Bar, have been conspiring with academics and museum curators to hide the fact that many of the bones being reburied belonged to a non-Polynesian people."

I linked through to the site the other day here.

Roseanne has been dis-ing Keri Hulme, yes that's our keri in the comments section. She also doesn't want her photo used... sorry Roseanne I don't listen to racist fools!

Are you slack or racist nzhearld?

Interesting news about the icebergs and also that Aoraki has had a name change - at least from the hearld's either slack or racist point of view.

"Strong winds at Mt Cook have blown more than 50 icebergs down to the southern end of the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake."

I suppose Mt Cook is in cooksland because it doesn't exist in this land anymore.

Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Ngai Tahu
SECTION 3: AORAKI/MOUNT COOK
preamble
A In the spirit of co-operation, compromise and good faith which has brought about the Settlement, and in special recognition of the significance of Aoraki/Mount Cook to Ngäi Tahu Whänui, the Crown wishes to restore to Te Rünanga title to Aoraki/Mount Cook.

B Te Rünanga in the same spirit wishes thereupon to make a gift to the Crown, on behalf of the people of New Zealand, of the title so restored in order that Aoraki/Mount Cook will remain and continue to be part of the National Park.

C As further recognition of the significance to Aoraki/Mount Cook to Ngäi Tahu Whänui, this Deed also provides for a Statutory Acknowledgement, Deed of Recognition, Topüni and Statutory Advisor role for Te Rünanga in relation to Aoraki/Mount Cook, and for the name of Mount Cook to be changed to Aoraki/ Mount Cook (my emphasis)

Footnote: I sent them a nice email and now the story on the website has been corrected. Good on you NZHearld.

The way it is?

Tremain ODT 25/5/09

Go here for more info.

How to fix Ngai Tahu Tourism

Ngai Tahu Tourism.

I don't know about you but for me when I think of Ngai Tahu Tourism i don't think of a group of tourism businesses owned by Ngai Tahu, i think of tourism businesses related to Ngai Tahu.

Within this nest we have a range of tourism businesses with no connection to Ngai Tahu, other than we own them. i think that is wrong and needs fixing, and here are my ideas.

Firstly, there is nothing wrong with the current structure but let's change the name so that there is no confusion about what this nest of businesses is and what they aren't.

Secondly, have we really thought about what Ngai Tahu tourism could actually be? I have posted a few of my views and they relate to engaging with papatipu runaka at the local level. Creating iconic Ngai Tahu businesses where we can show visitors and our own people our stories of our land. We have so much to tell.

I have taken many tourists out for 6.5 hours in a bus, around iconic natural beauty and what those tourists said to me is that they want to hear the stories, they want to engage and they want context. It's our job to create the opportunities to do that.

Perhaps one way is to get serious about the cycleway. We could create small part journeys along the cycleway where we are able to build context for visitors around where they are and what they are seeing. it could be simple pou, or it could be a personal guide. the key is we create it, manage it and own it. We should be the ones telling our stories.

No one person can come up with the best way forward so why not ask our people what they think we could do? Would a pounamu trail work? The rock art sits there deterorating, perhaps we could show visitors these taonga. We have coast, we have valleys... we have every ecology and environment that is possible to describe and show visitors. And they will be interested. Ecocultural tourism is what people want.

But before we do all that we have to stop kidding ourselves that 'shotover jet' or the 'kiwi house' in te ika a maui are part of Ngai Tahu tourism. they aren't, they just happen to be businesses owned by Ngai Tahu to generate profit.

It is over 10 years since settlement and now is the time to reassess some of the structures that have been put in place. Do these structures help or hinder us? Do we have the courage to say that we want it a certain way; our way, rather than just accept what our pakeha overlords tell us.

Ngai Tahu Tourism should be about Ngai Tahu.

Footnote: I've just been and had a look at the shotover jet website. Ngai Tahu don't even get a mention, except here, see if you can find it! What the hell is going on. When our own companies don't give us due recognition - bloody hell I'm not saying they need a mihi or anything just an acknowledgement of how bloody lucky they are to be owned by tangata whenua.

What are you hiding vodafone?


Brighton beach... i know it well. (Side issue - what is the maori name for this beach and why don't we use that name - there are thousands of beaches around the world called brighton - another colonisation hangup.)
It seems that there is a bit of fuss about this new cellphone tower and the non-notification of Brighton residents.

Vodafone applies to build 30m communications tower on council-owned land near Brighton.

• The tower, near an existing Telecom facility, aims to improve mobile coverage and meet growing customer demand.

• Dunedin City Council staff opt for limited notification, meaning most Brighton homeowners not consulted.

• Submitters at yesterday's hearing argue for full public notification of Vodafone's proposal.

• Council hearings committee abandons resource consent hearing; "not satisfied" limited public notification was adequate.

• Vodafone's Brighton resource consent at centre of debate"

"Council planner Jeremy Grey recommended consent be granted with only limited notification for two homeowners living 85m and 160m away, because the tower's impact would be "no more than minor".

That was despite the tower's height breaching a 12m limit for a rural residential zone contained in the council's district plan. "

Amazing - there is a 12m (36ft) limit on height - the proposed tower is 30m (90ft) - that seems like almost a 3-fold increase to me!

Why not notify people about the proposed tower? What are they trying to hide? Come on vodafone this has a look of slyness about it. The tower is too tall, the notification is completely inadequate and your buddies on the council are about to be exposed... how about telling the truth?

Good budget analysis by Chris Trotter

I agree with this analysis from Chris Trotter about the budget. What do you think?

Bowalley Road: The Budget of Fear

Budget - what budget?

Ahhh the budget. All i can say is, "Who knows!"

Will the package work as english wants? Well considering the nats have now backtracked on their election promise for tax cuts because as english has said, "Things are worse than we thought." Hey english do we look stupid? You were told the economic situation was bad. Labour told you and you ridiculed them for not delivering tax cuts. You promised and didn't deliver. Anyone with a brain knew you were telling porkies to get elected... we can see the game, don't worry about that. And if you didn't know the extent of this downturn - then you are incompetent. So which is it? Lies or incompetance?

The maori party is spinning some good news from the budget.

"The Maori Development Ministry did not get extra money, but Dr Sharples rejigged the funding it already had to put $10 million into his Maori economic taskforce and $32 million towards a new network of about 40 Maori "advocates" to work with families to ensure they were getting the support they were eligible for."

So no extra money, just a rearrangement of the deckchairs.

"He has also given an extra $3 million towards a $5.7 million fund for te reo development."

Yay - that is good news albeit very small good news.

"Some of the other gains were already National Party policy, but the Maori Party said it had pushed to ensure they went through - including an extra $22.2 million for the Office of Treaty Settlements and $19.9 million to roll out the Maori teaching programme Te Kotahitanga to a further 30 secondary schools.

It also put on its list a $12 million fund for housing on Maori land and a $15.9 million fund for aquaculture claims."

All good - well done.

"Co-leader Tariana Turia said the party had no concerns about the decision to drop payments for the superannuation fund.

"Most of our people hardly live to be 65. I don't think it's going to have a huge impact on our people."

The party supported the fund being maintained at its current level, but had no difficulty with money being withheld in the interim."

Sorry Tariana, I agree with your conclusion but not the way you got there. Yes maori do die earlier than non-maori, but they still die after age 65. Maori also earn less in their working life, they work longer after retirement than non-maori and they are affected by increased commitments to their marae, whanau and iwi when they get to kaumatua status. Maori will be hugely affected by this change in super. Pretty soon, because it cannot be funded, the age of eligibility will rise. By the time some of us get to retirement the age is likely to be 70. And I cannot see how the amount of payment, set at a percentage of the average wage, is going to be maintained when there isn't enopugh money to pay for it.

Notwithstanding all that - there is no way that the money should be borrowed to pay contributions. The big problem is that although markets will rebound (as historically they always have). It is impossible to know when they will rebound or by how much. Most of the guesses at the moment are widely optimistic. this is going to last for years not months.

So what do we do? Well we can keep trying to move the ambulance so that it is available for the people who jump or get pushed off the cliff. Or we can change the paradigm.

First we have to get off the merry-go-round of the trying to please the international bankers - we can't, they don't care - it is a waste of time with no possibility of success.

We have to look after ourselves. First as a country, then communities, then whanau. Or the other way round of course.

I've got some other thoughts on this which i'll post about soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

truth, newspapers and indigenous rights

This is a great article from Brenda Norrell that touches on the eternal truths about truth, newspapers and indigenous rights.

Censorship and the dying rags

Whilst the article is written from a different perspective it is amazing how many similarities there are to this country and the reporting that goes on, especially around maori topics and issues. Do you think our newspapers tell the 'truth'? Our newspapers spin the lines given to them by the powers that be, don't they?

Don't get sucked in by the mainstream media... they don't care about you, the truth or people... they care about maximising profit, and if they have to squash you to get that, they will!

Good luck metiria and sue


I hope Metiria Turei is elected co-leader of the Greens. I like Sue Bradford, she is strong and effective but i think metiria will be a nice counter to russ the mus. I am not really a massive fan of russel.

"Dunedin-based Green list MP Metiria Turei is "quietly confident" she will be named the party's new female co-leader at its conference in the city this weekend.

Ms Turei and Sue Bradford are the two nominees to replace co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons, who has been in the role since the party's beginnings in 1995."


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hey Key focus on us not them!


It worries me when I read that:

"Prime Minister John Key says the primary goal of tomorrow's budget is to avoid a credit rating downgrade while his Finance Minister Bill English says the priority is the economy."

Hang on a second, that is a pretty big difference in views. I know that I prefer English's view. Key's comments indicate he is thinking about something but it isn't us or our country. Trying to please the 'international herd' will never work, they keep wanting more.

Focus on this country key, instead of your next job.

Reading the Maps: Rosanne Hawarden's balls-up

This is a very interesting blog about racism and bogus history.

Reading the Maps: Rosanne Hawarden's balls-up

Why shoot the tiger - it did nothing wrong!

I am upset by the news that, "A senior zookeeper has been mauled to death by a white tiger at Whangarei's controversial Zion Wildlife Park." It is terrible that someone has been killed and their family now has to cope with the loss of their loved one.

But news that "The tiger has since been shot dead." just flabbergasted me.

Why shoot the tiger?

The tiger is a wild animal and just because we get psuedo-conservationists who cuddle them and make them out to be pussy cats doesn't change what they are.

Was the tiger likely to escape and attack villagers?

Couldn't protective measures be put in place to ensure no more keepers get killed?

Killing the tiger is nothing more than petty revenge. The tiger did nothing wrong it was just acting according to it's nature - the blame must rest with the humans... but it is all moot now because they have already destroyed this magnificent creature.

Protect the mauri of Waitaki and the mana of Ngai Tahu

I have read the commissioners interim decision regarding meridians proposed north tunnel power project on the Waitaki river. I don't think they gave enough weight to the submissions made by maori and environmentalists.

The maori submissions against the project were strong and the commissioners even adopted one of the principal submissions from Paul Horgan (on behalf of TRONT). Good on you Paul!

So what did maori say?

All spoke of the past degradation of the mauri of the river since the dam was built and the future increased degradation if the proposed tunnel was built. Concerns were raised about the rock art and their protection.

Our kaiwhakahaere stated that, "... the significance of Aoraki and the Waitaki Catchment for the cultural identity and wellbeing of Ngai Tahu cannot be overstated."

He said, "Waitaki literally means 'The waterway of tears.' It is often referred to as 'the tears of Aoraki' that spill into Lake Pukaki and eventually make their way along the river to the coast."

He also spoke about the degradation of maori values and sites as a result of existing hydro electricity developments and the importance to Ngai Tahu of ensuring not only that this did not continue but that restoration also takes place.

Mark also said, "The diversion of up to two thirds of the water from what remains of the existing river in order to produce additional electricity is culturally insensitive."

So what exactly are they going to do?

Remove 66% of the water from the natural riverbed for 53% of the rivers length!

This river is the 8th longest in this country and the Waitaki Catchment is the second largest and it is also the longest braided river.

Potentially 13 out of 20 wetlands will be affected and two of the wetlands could face major changes.

Okay... so what did the commissioner say about the maori submissions.

(Bold my emphasis)

"On the Maori values in section 6 (f) and these are also recognised in the Plan we have come to the conclusion that the NBTC should not be refused consent because of any effect on these values as they were put to us in evidence by the Runanga representatives. We agree with Ms Dawson that the values spoken of all find their expression in the natural values that we have been considering for other purposes and we must also remember that the Lower Waitaki River is not and has not been a natural river for many decades. While we understand the reasons that lead to statements such “enough is enough” and that because of past degradation the Lower River is even more precious, we respectfully disagree with conclusions. There will still be connectivity from the mountains to the sea and the adverse effects on the wetlands can be remedied and mitigated. Indeed MEL specifically seeks the assistance of the Runanga groups to do this. We expresss the hope they will get involved and be active particpants if consent is granted."

So guess what maori - they don't care what you think about this. They believe that because they have already put a dam on this river, that it is now not natural, and so this gives them the right to do anything they like!

"We said earlier in this decision that we would heed the words of the Privy Council in McGuire v Hastings District Council (supra) and we have done that. While they are strictly speaking obiter dicta, they are of course deserving of the highest respect by us. They exhort us to recognise that section 6 (c), section 7(a) and section 8 of the RMA are strong directives and that we should be particularly sensitive to Maori issues. If a suitable alternative can be found that would not adversely affect Maori values then these provisions should strongly encourage the adoption of that alternative. We have held that in our view the values in section 6 (e) and to the extent they are recognised in the Plan will be affected but those effects are capable of being remedied or mitigated."

Thats right - the degradation of the river including the mauri and spiritual values can be mitigated - what a load of rubbish! You cannot bring back that which has already been lost. Once the river is reduced and strangled you cannot mitigate those effects by building a little wetland somewhere or making sure the fly fishers or jet boaters can get on the river. We are talking about maori values - we will determine if the effects can be mitigated not some pakeha!

"We do not recall any specific reference to Treaty of Waitangi principles in thecourse of the hearing of the Runangas’ case and so we do not need to refer to section 8 ofthe Act any further."

Ok - so here is the way forward. use the treaty.
Do we give up - NO!
Do we bow down - NO!
We fight and continue to fight for the mauri of this river, for our ancestors and our children and for the ability to form our own future away from the paternalistic pakeha.

Don't give up TRONT and don't stop fighting this!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is this how we want the world to see Ngai Tahu?

I've been meaning to post about this for a while.

Do you think that this sounds like Ngai Tahu?

"We invite you to learn about our culture, our history, and our people in New Zealand today. New Zealand is a land of many contrasts both geographically and culturally. We want to share with you our language, our traditions and history and our love for this land - Aotearoa (New Zealand) - The Land Of The Long White Cloud. In particular - Te Waipounamu (The Greenstone Isle), the South Island."

I think it is time to upgrade some of the language and content from the front page of the TRONT website. This statement above is the VERY FIRST thing that visitors to the website see and read. It seems to be very PC and bogus to my mind.

Compare it to this statement from our Kaiwhakahaere talking about water and Ngai Tahu's relationship to it:

"If you can picture a water way or location in Te Waipounamu, perhaps a favourite site or place like Queenstown or Wanaka, a fishing spot, or a special place over looking water and you will likely be referring to a place that was a traditional or seasonal camp site."
"Our ancestors had a thing for location, an eye for places that were sheltered, had access to food resources and connected to water and waterways, and invariably places that conjured up feelings of beauty and awe."
"Water was a central feature, a medium that our people lived with and off rather than seeking to manipulate it to do things that were not natural, it was a resource that the people had no need to control or harness."
To Ngai Tahu water is not only a source of food and physical sustenance, but a source of mana and spiritual sustenance, intricately linked to our well-being, and the hunter gatherer society."


That sounds a bit more like us - doesn't it?

1840 is not year zero

Why do New Zealanders continue with their ‘Year Zero’ way of looking at the history of this country?

I have just seen a short history of Te Tau Ihu (Top of the South). Two sentences for the over 1000 years of maori history and the rest of the 3 paragraphs for the pakeha history. Doesn’t this seem a little ludicrous? Why is the maori history of this land not told to all citizens? Did this land begin when pakeha got here? Is 1840 year zero!

Well for many, it is! The picture of maori history, heroes, legends, marriages, loves and losses is unknown and irrelevant to many. Not because the information isn’t interesting or even useful, but because there is no way for these people to engage with these histories. They are histories of someone else – the ‘others’. It is not the history of the pakeha, and because it is not the pakeha history… guess what?… from their point of view it might as well as not happened. In fact for many it didn’t happen. It is all myth and superstition. New Zealand started when the pakeha arrived in numbers, before that – it didn’t exist! New Zealand is Ed hilary and number 8 fencing wire and Gallipoli.

And they are right. For pakeha, the maori history is less important and relevant to them than histories about the native Americans or the swiss. In other words – they just don’t give a stuff. Why should they? What is in it for them? What benefits would they gain by understanding and engaging with the real history of this land? Not much at the moment. We need to provide context to encourage engagement around the histories of this country.

Because maori, due to colonization, have been forced into this defensive position of having to defend everything from so called historical facts, we never really get the chance to present our histories to anyone other than us. Just look at all of the pseudo-historians that come out when maori get uppity (such as wanting to have reps on the Auckland Supercitycouncil). All of sudden we get, “What about the moriori?” “Maori weren’t the first here – they are not indigenous – the first people here were white, celts, Spanish, Chinese, south Americans, aliens, Egyptians, lizard people, romans, Christians, you name it… anyone but maori.”

What is going on here? Why is there resistance to this idea that maori are tangata whenua, indigenous, were ripped off and deserve recompense?

It seems to me that the major difficulty for pakeha is that if they agree that maori are indigenous and that they were colonized and treated poorly… then where does that leave them? Where does that leave someone who was born in this country and who isn’t maori?

Who am I? My people came here from another land and colonized the indigenous people and made all of their beliefs secondary to mine. My people created this land like their homeland, without a thought for the original inhabitants. My people took what they wanted and created a land to live in. Yet I have a nagging feeling that what my people did was wrong and I am actually living a lie.

And this is where we really get to it.

If maori are not recognized as tangata whenua and indigenous and treated with the respect and dignity that they should be… then this country will never reach it’s potential. This New Zealand will fail. You cannot build a country on lies and deceit. You cannot build a country on foundations made of nothing.

You can build a country on truth. You can build a country on strong foundations. You can build a country when maori are not treated like second class citizens, when maori don’t have to defend every position from the ‘Year Zear’ pol-potters.

This land is not england.

This land is maori.

Hikoi photos


Great photos from the hikoi yesterday.

Thanks squirrel

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tukituki Awa to be cleaned - hopefully

Tukituki River with Te Mata peak

Plans to protect and clean up the Tukituki river are good. Having a land based way of sorting out the human waste seems like a much better idea than dumping it into the river. Building wetlands is also excellent - after all they are nature's way of filtering and cleansing.

"Sewage could soon stop pouring into Hawke's Bay's badly polluted Tukituki River, with officials investigating a new system of disposing of the area's human waste.
Discharges of sewage from oxidation ponds in Waipukurau and Waipawa are seen as the biggest cause of the pollution that has sparked a cleanup campaign by the Hawke's Bay Environmental Water Group.
Now Central Hawke's Bay District Council is looking at a new sewerage system that would eliminate discharges into the popular river and could save ratepayers money."

""The Tukituki is very popular with swimmers, canoeists and fishermen, but it has become slimy and smelly at times in recent years.
"It would be fantastic if the council could achieve something positive before 2014."
Mr Crombie also welcomed a decision by Hawke's Bay Regional Council to start a five-year programme of building wetlands where some of the most important tributaries flow into the Tukituki. The programme, starting later this year, has not yet been costed.
The wetlands will remove or block much of the runoff from farms, especially cattle excrement."

It is our duty to clean up these rivers for our children and their children.

Hone Harawira on Q and A

I don't normally watch TV on Sunday morning but i heard that Hone Harawira was going to be on Q and A so i thought I would watch. I really enjoyed it. Yes Guyon was trying to bait Hone into saying comments that could generate headlines but it didn't work. Hone held the line really well.

My favorite comment was this:

“There can only be one tangata whenua – that’s Maori… just because a cat is born in a banana box doesn’t make it a banana”

For a transcript of the interview go here.

Waitaha group oppose meridian and Ngai Tahu

Who is providing kaitiakitanga to the Waitaki River?

Came across this information, where Ngai Tahu have withdrawn their environment court appeal to the north bank tunnel project, over the weekend.

"A second major opponent of a new $900 million power scheme on the lower Waitaki River is withdrawing its opposition after reaching an agreement with the project’s proponent, Meridian Energy Ltd. Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and its Arowhenua, Moeraki and Waihao runanga will withdraw their Environment Court appeal against the north bank tunnel concept scheme and work with Meridian to complete a mitigation agreement."

and in the comments section I found this from the Waitaha group

"Firstly is common belief of the Crown and their Agents namely Local Authorities’, Government Departments and Major Local and International Companies that the since the Ngai Tahu Treaty Settlement that Ngai Tahu are the only consultation group contained within the Settlement.Although Waitaha were legislated against their wishes into the Ngai Tahu Settlement Act 1998, there are many Nga Uri (descendants’) of Waitaha who have not registered with Ngai Tahu Whänui but exercise the right to maintain their identity, cultural values, tikanga and kawa of Waitaha under The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, the Rights: The Resource Management Act 1991 further more defines Local Authority obligations to Maori ; Resource Management Act 35A: Duty to keep records about iwi and hapu; The Local Government Act 2002 where it clearly defines under Section 14 Principles Relating to Local Authorities Clause (d); The Treaty of Waitangi Article Two (2) clearly defines property rights as Hapu, Whanau and Individual rights. Te Runanganui O Waitaha me maata Waka Inc are supporting others in the objection to this Project."

So I followed their link to here

"Te Runanganui O Waitaha & Maata Waka Iwi Authority Inc. Provides for the wellbeing of the members of the Runanganui. Membership is automatically bestowed on the Uri of the Hapu of Kahea, Waitaha, Kähui Tipua, Rapuwai and Häwea who are willing to participate by their attendance at meetings and be bound by the kawa of Waitaha and shall be subject to the rules and regulations or by-laws of the Runanganui."

The website is pretty good. Only 750 visits to the website. I don't have any issues if these people choose to highlight certain whakapapa lines, after all we have always done that. And it is in our nature to vote with our feet when we disagree with some leader or approach. Ngai Tahu can dismiss this group but I cannot see them going away.

My interest was stimulated because I am opposed to damn dam's (or tunnels) being built. Ngai Tahu put a very strong case for the protection of this river, but now have conceded and are negotiating with meridian, who is still opposing this north tunnel? Do we just have to accept the defilement of our awa further? Can we appeal or is this the best we can do.
If we can't protect this river, who can? Who is providing kaitiakitanga?

Friday, May 22, 2009

RIP Lucy


I don't know Lucy Gordon. I've never seen spiderman 3 and can't remember seeing her in any show/program. Two days before her 29th birthday she apparently committed suicide in Paris, by hanging herself.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

It is so sad that a talented young person (and they are all talented!) believes that killing themselves will solve their problems.

Is there any young person near you who is having a hard time? If yes, talk to them. Don't judge - just listen - you may be able to save their life!

indigenous ancestors desecrated here, there and everywhere


I am disturbed that in the US are still building a huge wall to keep people in/out.

What does this have to do with us here at in the south pacific?

"Homeland Security destroyed 69 graves of Tohono O'odham ancestors in one location alone while constructing the US/Mexico border wall south of Tucson, in violation of all federal laws created to protect American Indian remains.Homeland Security and US courts waived all federal laws to protect Native American graves and the environment and then allowed for border wall construction at San Pedro near Nogales. The graves were violated and the details were not made public.Although the archaeologist exposing the desecration only revealed it as a rare find, for O'odham, these are the graves of their ancestors which were destroyed.Archaeologist Maren Hopkins said the village is believed to have existed from around A.D. 700 to 1200."

So the 'powers that be' desecrate indigenous sites not just here but over there too. There is no real difference between this and this, is there?

"With the hope of change evaporating during the Obama Administration, a federal judge ruled that Homeland Security can seize the Tamez family land. After a court battle, with an alert to the international community, the Tamez family said a federal judge condemned the Lipan Apache family land for the US/Mexico border wall."

"The seizure of the Tamez family land raises new questions about the actual intent of the US government as it acquires private property from California to Texas for the border wall. The US covert scheme to acquire borderlands includes seizing private land and seizing the use of American Indian lands, such as Tohono O'odham land in Arizona, for the border wall corridor."

So, for the so-called sake of security the US government seizes private land and native american land. A continuation of past practices?

"The land seizures were facilitated by the fear created by 9/11, then fueled by immigrant racism and xenophobia on television news and finally accelerated by the so-called drug war in northern Mexico. However, more questions are now being raised regarding the covert US government's role in the drug and weapons trafficking in the borderzone. The Zetas, the most notorious murderers, were trained as US Special Forces, while the US appetite for drugs provides the demand. The weapons also come from the US."

You didn't really think it was about security, did you? It is about power and control.

What is the connection? Maori are being treated the same way in this country. Get out on 25 may and hikoi for justice.

Support our cousins


Even if we can't be there - it's good to support this hikoi. Kia kaha!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sort it out later? Later has arrived!

Imagine this... you create a landfill and after many years one of the faces of that landfill erodes. This face is being eroded by the sea and is 60 meters long and it is in Hampden. Are we just going to let all of the landfill erode into the sea and pollute the north otago beaches down to Moeraki?

"Hampden residents have had enough of finding rubbish littering the beach between their town and one of North Otago's major tourist attractions, the Moeraki Boulders.

The rubbish is being washed out of about a 60m-long face of the old Hampden dump as the sea erodes the former landfill.

It ends up on the coast, then is carried north by the sea and on to Hampden beach, which is a popular picnic and swimming spot. "

"The Waitaki District Council has been trying to remedy the situation since 2005, but is being held up by a resource consent application to the Otago Regional Council that requires input from the Department of Conservation.

The problem has been dragging on for years, but residents' patience has again been tested by heavy swells during the past week which have eroded more of the dump's face and released more rubbish."

"Any leachate from the dump is not considered to pose a health risk."

Yeah right!

Good ODT editorial on this issue here.

Let's fix this problem up. And i wonder what other landfills are getting eroded and beginning to leach or lose their contents. For too long we have just dumped everything to sort it out later... well later has arrived!

Can you see the shuttle?


Here's the full sun... amazing - can you see the shuttle?
Look at how beautiful the sun is in this photo - wow!

Nice closer space photo of shuttle

Great closer space photo of the shuttle in front of the sun.
Can you feel the curve of our sun?

Record fine for scum serial polluter


A record fine for this scum businessman who dumped waste into the manawatu river is a very good thing. Although i would name and shame this person even more - bring back the public stocks for this offense.

"A businessman who deliberately dumped waste into the Manawatu River has been hit with what is believed to be a record fine more than $180,000.

The penalty is thought to be the biggest handed down under the Resource Management."

Who is he?

Kenneth Thurston

His company?

Tawera Land Co Ltd

"The maximum available penalty was a $200,000 fine or two years' imprisonment."

"At his trial in February, Thurston, who defended himself, offered to drink the waste water to prove he was not polluting the environment, but the offer was declined."

Why not let him drink the waste water?

"Kenneth Thurston was found guilty on five charges of discharging milky-white wastewater with a "distinctive meaty smell" from Mainland Meats, at Longburn, into the Manawatu River in 2006.

He was also convicted on three charges of discharging effluent from a dairy shed on to land in 2007 and 2008.

The offending was described as calculated, cynical and deliberate, motivated by the costs Thurston was facing to lawfully dispose of the waste."

"Horizons senior investigator Greg Bevin said the judge recognised Thurston had attempted to mislead council staff, who found evidence of substantial fatty orange residues at a drain edge and on plants.

"In my experience this would definitely be the worst example of a business owner's breach of the Resource Management Act in our region and is certainly at the top of the environmental offending scale.""

He even tried to poison the army!

"Last year the army launched an investigation into whether soldiers were exposed to cancer-causing asbestos after a training exercise near a dilapidated building on Thurston's Longburn property.

The building should have been demolished by council order nine months before the army exercises."

So this guy is a serial polluter, who doesn't give a stuff about people, the environment, this land... kenneth thurston - you are low.

leave the landscape alone please fonterra

Arthur Burns Mosgiel Woolen Millsby John Toomer

Trees are underrated. They not only provide shelter, protection, reduce erosion, and numerous other benefits - they look good as well. I have to say that I prefer natives before introduced trees, but any tree is better than no tree - in most instances.

Now that f and p have got rid of all the workers in Mosgiel, fonterra are looking to use the site for storage.

"Fonterra plans to construct storage facilities for 62,000 tonnes of product on the former Fisher and Paykel site in Mosgiel, but it is too early to know the impact of facilities on the landscape.

A 45,000-tonne dry store and 17,000-tonne coolstore were in planning stages as the company looked at developing the site to meet its business needs, New Zealand warehouse transformation manager Greg Pope said.

"While some changes to the landscape will be required to enable site access and development, we know that a lot of work has gone into planting and enhancing the site."

The company wanted to recognise community interests and "preserve as much of this landscape work as possible". "

The key words are "as much as possible." Those words really mean "as much as we want." And those words translate to, "as much as will increase our profit."

I grew up in Mosgiel. We learnt absolutely zero about maori history around taieri. No information on Lake Waihola, Taieri Mouth, Henley, Maunga-atua, saddle hill. Zip. The Taieri plains would have been magnificent with it's full covering of bush, swamp and forested areas. I just don't like trees being cut down to make more room for fonterra to store it's stuff.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Learn why there is a hikoi on 25 May


This is an awesome article (reproduced in full) by Rawiri Taonui, who makes the case for the inclusion of Maori seats on Auckland's "Super-City" council.

"On May 25, Maori will march from Bastion Point to be accepted as equals in the Super City of Auckland. They will walk in the footsteps of Apihai Te Kawau, who invited Pakeha to settle the Waitemata, the shadows of those who trod the Maori Land March and Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi, and in memory of Ngati Whatua twice evicted from Okahu Bay and Bastion Point, and 85 ancestors desecrated in the name of Runway 2.

The royal commission recommendation establishing endorsed Maori seats within the Super City council was consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1994, the Court of Appeal said Maori parliamentary seats were an expression of the Crown's sovereignty obligation to actively protect and ensure Maori participation in political life. The same follows at council level.

Both central and local Maori seats are an expression of Maori tino-rangatiratanga - self-determining decision-making within over-arching kawanatanga structures. Te reo Maori is a taonga under the treaty. This not only includes the day-to-day right to speak and hear your language spoken, but also the right to a political voice via an elected cultural representative of your choosing in the forum of equal partners. Maori seats would recognise the contribution of tribes to Auckland's prosperity.

When Maori invited Governor Fitzroy's Pakeha to Auckland, they did so as one equal to another - none envisioned their descendants squatting as second-class citizens in a back room consultative committee of the city they gifted. All iwi lost land, rivers, harbours, natural resources, marae and cemeteries so that the big city could flourish. Ngati Whatua gave the CBD and rich Kohimarama-Mission Bay waterfront; Ngati Tai gave East Auckland; Ngati Paoa, Waiheke; Te Kawerau a Maki, Waitakere; Ngati Maru, the North Shore; Te Wai o Hua, Ngati Oho, Ngati Tamaoho and Ngati Te Ata lost South Auckland. More recently, they gave 50% discount ground rent to establish Vector Arena.

The irony is that the descendant owners of stolen suburbs may now also take from Maori the franchise right for their own voice.

Democracy is weak in multicultural societies. Electoral boundaries cut across tribal lines.
Dominant groups rarely vote for candidates from ethnic minorities unless they are celebrities or culturally assimilated parodies. New Zealand Pakeha voters have a demonstrated 150-year record of not electing Maori in central and local elections. There are no Maori on the Auckland City Council or Auckland Regional Council and only10 of 250 members of all local bodies are Maori - none is an advocate for Maori.


This cultural veto denies participation by the best leaders from all cultures, the myth of one-person one-vote equality a thin disguise for majority dominance. The argument that consultative committee process will be better for Maori is patronising. This implies that elections are for Pakeha and sub-committees for Maori. Those that attest that Maori seats are racist ignore historical Pakeha prejudice.

The UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racism allows affirmative actions that promote the equal footing of an ethnic group in political life. Not having Maori seats excludes Maori; having Maori seats does not exclude Pakeha. The worst rednecks resent Maori voting for Maori in Maori seats because they fear equality means losing monocultural monopoly control when endorsed bicultural representation recognises the equality of large and small appropriately sharing degrees of power in the interest of all. Balancing majority and minority participation secures and ensures individual and collective freedoms.

New Zealand is falling behind international trends to enhance indigenous political participation. Dedicated seats are also consistent with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The preamble and Articles 8 and 18 recognise the need to affirm and promote the collective right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision-making through representatives of their choosing.

The Nisgaa and Nunavut tribes are self-governing provincial governments in Canada.
The United States affords limited domestic sovereignty for the Cherokee, Sioux and Navajo.
Norway and Sweden have Sami parliaments, and, with Finland a cross-border regional Sami Parliament. The Ainu of Japan are asking for dedicated national seats after the Maori example. Mexico and Nicaragua allow autonomous self-governing regions. Bolivia has a revolutionary new constitution guaranteeing indigenous representation at all levels, including applying principles of regional, participatory and community democracy electing indigenous peoples via dedicated seats to local and central government.


In a multicultural world, the tyranny of the majority that excludes is ending.

A recent survey shows 46% of all Aucklanders are ready for Maori seats.

Pasifika communities have come out in support and many say they will march in the hikoi.
Prime Minister John Key showed great courage to dump generations of baggage and form a partnership with the Maori Party.


Now is the time to be visionary in a decision that would stand the best leaders of two cultures in a great country side-by-side in Parliament and face-to-face in the Super City.

National shelved the royal commission recommendations last month, as we remembered a time when the Anzacs fought for their country and the Maori Battalion fought to be accepted as equals by their country.

That struggle continues"

Go here for information and meeting points for the Hikoi and Citizens’ March, May 25. I wish i was going to be up there for this hikoi. Kia kaha!!!

Time to cull cats?

Feral cat - not Louie

I like cats, have always had one or two. In many ways they have been special friends, with special bonds.

Louie, my current cat has lived with me for 10 years, in over 12 homes, in Muriwai and Nelson, Golden Bay and Christchurch. I love Louie - he is such a gentle cat. But he is a killer! - mainly rodents, and some introduced species of birds (I did explain to him that i wouldn't be happy about native birds getting eaten) and I have never seen him eat /kill a native - but i could never say that he hasn't. No skinks or lizards have been left decapitated on the lawn, but once again I could never swear that he hasn't killed one or two.

There is something magical about cats. Perfectly designed, focused, attractive... but then I am a cat person.

BUT I will not get another cat after Louie dies. Much as I love cats - I love birds and native wildlife more. I don't know if i would get rid of all cats from this country but i would get rid of all feral cats and i would come down hard on people who dump their cats... really hard!

Cat dumpers are up there with pig torturers in my book.

This news from Dunedin is disturbing:

"The dumping of domestic cats in remote places on Otago Peninsula is threatening the area's "very precious" wildlife.

Those who look after endangered species, such as yellow-eyed penguins, are worried about their safety as the wild cat population increases greatly"

"Cape Saunders farmer Dave McKay said he had been looking after a yellow-eyed penguin colony on Little Papanui beach, on his farm, for 30 years. This season, about 100 of the penguins made his beach home, as well as some blue penguins.

In the past 15 months, Mr McKay had trapped or shot 23 cats, of which half were domestic cats. He had others in his sights."

"Dunedin City Council parks officer Scott MacLean said the council contracted three-monthly night shoots, mostly for rabbits on the peninsula, including Okia Reserve, where it was not unusual for five feral cats a night to be shot.

Penguin Place also had an ongoing problem with feral cats, especially from Christmas onwards, and had trapped 25 since October 1.

Larnach Castle, which was trying to encourage native birds back into its garden, had trapped seven feral cats since February and it was thought four more were on the property. The cats were either put down or adopted out by the SPCA."

So - want to get rid of your cat - give it to the SPCA, don't dump it.

And as a final word - what a weird way of looking at this issue, "The penguins and other wildlife on the peninsula are a vital tourism attraction and were in 2007 estimated to add $100 million or more to the Dunedin economy each year."

Forget the dollars fool and concentrate on protecting the wildlife.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ecosanctuary gets funding to bring back birds

Orokonui Ecosanctuary is to reintroduce Kiwi, Takahe and South Island Robin next year, with a little help from the Governments Biodiversity Funds.

Awesome to see the birds coming back and also great to see this term - Ecosanctuary - I like it!

"Four Otago projects will receive a total of $109,881 from the Government's Biodiversity Funds, with the ecosanctuary receiving the lion's share."

""These are special grants for a very special project,"Other Otago groups to receive grants were the Lake Waihola Waipori Wetlands Society ($2688) to assist with a comprehensive weed-assessment report, and the Waitati Beach Reserve Society ($2100) to contribute to fencing sand dunes at Doctors Point, Dunedin.

The Biodiversity Funds were established in 2000 for biodiversity protection projects and are distributed twice a year, with more than $2.5 million allocated in the latest funding round. "

Nice...

167,000 people a month projected to fly into queenstown


Forecasts for Queenstown international airport are that they expect more than 2 million visitors a year by 2037. That's 4 times the current amount!

So currently they get 500,000 visitors a year. That's 42,000 people a month, over 9,500 a week or 1,400 a day.

If it is 2,000,000 visitors a year, that is 167,000 people a month, about 38,500 a week or 5,500 a day.

That is a lot of people, and this is only the international flying visitors not the drivers or campervans or buses.

So it makes sense when they then say, "To accommodate such growth, the airport, at Frankton, needs to expand to the southeast rather than the northeast, leading to "discussions" with Remarkables Park Ltd for the required 22ha of land." doesn't it?
hmmmmm, in Auckland they have just dug up 85 maori to extend the runway for the rugby world cup.

hmmmmm, at the moment we have accomodation businesses falling over, perhaps it would make strategic sense for Ngai Tahu to get in there, after all those 167,000 people a month are going to need somewhere to stay and something eco-cultural-tourism to do and sorry, shotover jet doesn't fit into that!

To be honest I think Ngai Tahu tourism is a misnomer. There is no Ngai Tahu Tourism just businesses owned by Ngai Tahu that are in the toruism sector.

Can't buy me Mana

Mana magazine may be reaching the end. Derek Fox, "part owner and editor of the Maori affairs magazine Mana has announced he is looking for a buyer as the publication struggles to survive."

There is a natural cycle to magazines. They grow, they plateau, they decline. magazines are static and are created at a certain time for certain reasons.

"At its peak Mana had 30 staff, working in print and radio."

"Former Mana journalist Rereata Makiha said the magazine captured the soul of Maori stories when it launched 17 years ago.

"The magic was in how people pulled together to change how the mainstream reported Maori stories."

"Broadcaster Willie Jackson said both the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, which he heads, and Waipareira Trust, which his Radio Live co-host John Tamihere runs, were interested in buying Mana ."

"We think the name is a good brand, no doubt about that. It's got a good name and history but it needs a bit of spark.""

The name 'Mana' is great, but it is hard to keep a magazine going in these times. That is why Ngai Tahu are fortunate with Te Karaka; there is no commercial imperiative for that magazine. But the same issues face both, and those issues relate to relevance and connectivity. New ways of creating and enhancing communication offer complementary rather than competitive options, for instance, an on-line and paper magazine can have different sections determined by the medium. And they can also have similar or connected sections where they intersect. We just have to concentrate on the goal of the communication. Much more time thinking about what we are trying to achieve.

Monday, May 18, 2009

te reo texting here!

Great start with 100 initial maori words added to predictive text on 2 new telecom phones.

"As well as common greetings, the words include days of the week, months of the year, the numbers one to ten, and popular New Zealand place names.

"The initial list is at 100 words, and our goal is to make it bigger," Telecom spokeswoman Rebecca Earl said.

"This is a sort of test run and then we'd love to know how people find it. People can feel free to send us suggestions on words that they think we might have missed."

The list of words was created with help from the Maori Language Commission which indicated what words might be most commonly used in text messages, Ms Earl said.

Chief executive Huhana Rokx said the commission had been delighted to support Telecom with the service.

"This initiative ensures that te reo Maori remains a valid form of texting discourse," Ms Rokx said.

"Our young people who are growing up as bilingual Maori language speakers are also active mobile users and expect the same immediate service that predictive texting offers in the English language."

Good idea and well done Telecom and the Maori Language Commission.

island turned into big toilet

defiled Puketutu

Wow - watercare services want to dump 4.4 million cubic metres of treated sewerage on Puketutu Island over the next 35 years and the big issue is whether they should pay $2 a cubic metre to local maori? How about these issues:

"The Manukau Harbour island is marked as a wahi tapu (area sacred to Maori) in the Manukau district plan, and many Maori groups oppose putting sewage there."
"Ms Kirkwood, who has led efforts to protect and restore the Manukau Harbour on behalf of Waikato-Tainui Maori, said the island was sacred, although restrictions on using it were less strict than before.

"It is the only island of great significance in the Manukau Harbour and we need to look after it. They need to take their crap away from the water," she said.

"Have a look at the islands in the Hauraki Gulf and the mana we put on them by making sure no rats, no possums, are on those islands. Why would we look at an island in the Manukau Harbour and put shit in it?" Ms Kirkwood said."

but wait who is this to the rescue:

"Former Waitangi Tribunal director Wira Gardiner gave evidence for Watercare that any remnants of tapu would have been removed by building a wastewater treatment plant on the island in 1958 and using nearby tidal flats as sewage ponds."

Great... thanks gardiner, good one...

What have watercare got to say?

"The island’s rich Maori and European heritage has shaped the landscape. It was the location of one of Auckland’s longest Maori settlements and has sites of significance to local iwi. In 1938 it was purchased by Sir Henry Kelliher and since then it has been used as a racing stud, sheep farm and functions venue.
Over the past 60 years the island has also been used extensively for quarrying and the disposal of clean-fill. During this time the original volcanic cones have been considerably modified and removed."

"Each day Watercare produces around 300 tonnes of treated biosolids at the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant. That equals around 30 truck-loads. The former quarry on Puketutu Island has the capacity for around 35 years’ production.
Under Watercare’s proposal, treated biosolids will be placed as a series of layers and contained within an embankment on the island. Over time these layers will create an elevated central landform next to the existing volcanic cone."

"The footprint of the completed landform will be approximately 46-hectares, while the footprint of the treated biosolids placement area inside the embankment will be approximately 28-hectares.
The height of the final landform will vary from approximately 40-metres in the north-east of the rehabilitation area to approximately 25-metres in the west. The upper surface will be gently sloped with a series of steps of steeper grades.
The rehabilitated site will be landscaped and progressively released to the Auckland Regional Council or a charitable trust as a regional park.
Subject to obtaining the necessary approvals for the development, rehabilitation is expected to start around 2012."

To me the way that maori are treated in this country is similar to the way this island Puketutu is being treated.

pork industry board torture pigs for profit

Pigs are very sensitive creatures. They deserve dignity and to be treated with respect. Holding them in these cages is cruel and torture for them. Our insensitivity towards animals contributes to the causes of the breakdown of our society. As our general insensitivity rises, or our sensitivity decreases, we become more callous and ultimately desensitised, to initially the animals cries of pain and suffering, but eventually to other humans cries of pain and suffering.

So we watch the news and see a woman crying in the middle east because her family has been blown up and it barely touches us.

"Comedian Mike King, who used to front a campaign promoting pork products, says the "callous and evil" practice of crate farming pigs should be outlawed immediately."

"The pigs were unable to move and obviously in distress, chewing at the cage bars and frothing, King said.

There was one dead pig in the sties and Mr King described the pigs as being "despairing, terrified and lost".

It was "callous, evil" treatment of pigs and the sound of "screaming" pigs he would never forget.

"It was like they were screaming for you to help them.


"If I had known this was going on I would never have supported this. I firmly believe that anyone who sees this would say this has to stop.""

"However, the Pork Industry Board said intensive farming was the only way it could remain competitive and changing from crates and stalls would cost millions of dollars.

They were the best way to prevent indoor pigs them from injuring each other.
The board said less than half the country's pigs, about 20,000, were kept in such ways and by 2015 the proposal was they would spend half their time out of the crates."


So it is all about the money or profit again. If it was me I'd put the pork industry board into cages... and leave them there.

UPDATE

"Green Party animal welfare spokesperson Sue Kedgley criticised Mr Carter's apparent lack of knowledge regarding pig farms after being shown the footage on the Sunday programme.
"Mr Carter looked shocked and said he had no idea sow stalls were widely used in New Zealand," Ms Kedgley said.


"I am incredulous that the minister, who has been chair of Parliament's agriculture select committee for three years, would not know sow crates are used widely by New Zealand pig industry.

Meanwhile, in light of last night's Sunday programme, the New Zealand Pork Industry Board has postponed this year's Bacon of the Year awards. The board said it supported the Minister's investigation and believed it was inappropriate to proceed until the issue was resolved."

Ummmm yes quite a good idea to hold off that award - now get back in your cages!

Sorry Mohammed, you're too brown!


"Award-winning author Mohammed Hanif has accused New Zealand immigration officials of racism after he was detained for three hours on the way to receive his Commonwealth Writers first book prize."

Many may look at this story and say that this is rubbish it is not racism because the hunt is still on for terrorists and they just happen to be swarthy brown types, so it makes sense to check those people out even more than others.

The sad fact is that it is racism. All brown people are not terrorists. Differenciating people based upon the colour of their skin is racist and also dumb. Just think, if you were a terrorist and you knew the profile of terrorists that the governments were looking for, it would make sense to look the oppostite of the profile, wouldn't it? So, by having a set profile you actually increase the likelihood of an attack not lessen it. That is all based upon the supposition that someone is trying to commit a terrorist attack, which i don't believe.

"He believed he was singled out by authorities because he was "brown" and when asked if he considered the delay was due to racism, said "yes".
Searching his luggage was pointless, he said. "They're not going to find terrorists by going through their underwear."

Officials did not seem to listen when he told them he was in New Zealand for Auckland's Readers and Writers Festival, he said."

Sorry Mohammed they don't care about your achievements or what a good father you might be - they just care that you are brown... and therefore a threat.

The irony is that this country is BROWN not WHITE. And the sooner we get back to that reality the better we will be, as a country, as people and as a nation.