Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cows deserve respect

We deserve respect

The future of our dairy farms - is this where our dairy farms are headed?

"It is a containment farm, meaning the herd of more than 4855 animals resides in the four massive cow barns on the 35-hectare property, or in the calf-rearing shed or heifer barn.

Three thousand pregnant Friesians were imported from New Zealand to start the herd, which has just begun its second calving season.

The efficient containment system succeeds where pasture feeding is not an option – as in much of China where the land is unavailable or the winters are too harsh.

Self-consciously high-tech, the farm relies heavily on computers to track each cow's life history, medical records and movements, to measure feed consumption and forecast calving schedules, and to plan the herd's diet.

The milking operation goes 18 hours a day, with each cow milked three times. Two 30-tonne tankers leave the farm each day trucking milk to a range of domestic producers."

Lucky cows. Three times a day is a lot. Is this really the way to go. They are already considering the concept here. And i am not saying there shouldn't be dairy farms but they should be where cows grow best. A barn is not that place.

I wish we were helping the people over there bring back their traditonal methods. Those methods worked, they spread the wealth and benefits across more people and communities, they were sustainable and conservationally orientated. The answer seems to be in working with nature not in opposition by trying to put things where they are not meant to be.

By working with nature we achieve so much more.

The water thieves are here and a poem

I reading "The Water Thieves" by Sam Mahon at the moment and i'm loving it. Especially important now that the consents have been granted for this monstrosity. As you would expect i oppose this irrigation scheme totally.
"A revamped Central Plains Water (CPW) irrigation scheme is set to proceed after the plan to draw water from two Canterbury rivers received interim approval.
While it will result in some adverse effects on the environment, we do not regard any of those on their own, or the total effects of the scheme, to be unsustainable," the commissioners said." (my emphasis)

Well it doesn't get clearer than that.

While reading sam's book I came across a passage that i think could go well as a poem. The words are straight from a paragraph. i've just added a few hyphens but taken no words out or changed the order.

it flows
an unquenchable vein
through long-straight rapids
quiet pools
broken gullys
it ambles.
shingle-flats-flecked with wings
slips through the silent gorge
green and heavy
its slumbering-silver-skin
pricked by shallows.
Then waking mature
roaring sheeted-torn
and flecked, it surges
hefts its bed
into new patterns
with every new season-dividing
the thousand acre forest
to the north from
of wild willow
to the south-amidst
which you'll find
from time
to time a pale
drift of wood-smoke.
Most likely
it is us.

I know, probably a bit over zealous with the hyphens.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ngai Tahu good news

Sometimes it is easy to focus on negatives without recognising the positives. I do it, we all do it to some extent or other. Since the release of the Annual Report Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu I have posted on a couple of things that caught my eye. I don't shy away from my belief that Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu should actively endeavour to employ Ngai Tahu iwi members, and i reiterate that it not related to any one else that is giving their time and energy to support and strengthen the kaupapa. I respect and thank everyone involved in that mahi. I am pleased you are there, working hard. My position is not related to that aspect. My position is simple – we must support, nurture and grow our own. And we are lucky in that we have generous numbers of Ngai Tahu qualified and able to perform the roles. And we have a wide range of roles within a wide number of companies where any experience can be achieved. We just have to get the two sides of the equation to connect.

Succession planning takes time and needs to be thought through. The fear of just replacing people willy-nilly is not credible. No one would suggest that, but creating a plan, based on a timeframe seems sensible to me. The institutional knowledge built up should be fostered within our people. We have serious flaws around the knowledge kept by individuals, for all the right reasons, but vunerable to a sudden change in personal health. It happens to us all and we have the perfect way to maintain continuity.

It is our old ways. The ways of learning, maintaining and teaching knowledge. And we have the perfect modern infrastructure. A multi-headed, well construced and managed corporation that is dedicated to improving the lives of Ngai Tahu whanui. It seems to me that some modern concepts as coaching, mentoring and even apprentiships are similar to our traditional methods. Surely we can conceptulise the bridge from the past to the future and build it. It could create new models of adult learning, modern management and governance techniques, indigenous self determination, and multi-generational succession planning. i believe the knowledge is there we just have to want to do it.

Perhaps it is a natural part of our evolution and growth as an iwi that it will just take as long as it takes, or maybe we do need to keep pushing the envelope – to boldly continue to create maximum opportunity for our people. To do it our way. And if you think about our histories, our intertwined past is also our intertwined future. We have always looked after each other – we had to, we still do. The world is different now and we have grown and evolved as a people. We can use our shared heritage and kin bonds to help all our people. And the best thing is it is already happening.

As Mark Solomon our kaiwhakahaere says in the Annual Repot, “... it is important that we continue to look out for one another and to take courage from our achievements.”

Our achievements are many, including registering a profit from our business endeavours in very difficult economic conditions. The team at Ngai Tahu Holdings also had to work through the changes in senior people and that would have been very difficult. It is a credit to their personal character's that they have kept to their mahi and delivered a worthy result. Thank you all. The Office has also lost some good people and after the years of ups and downs any change must be destabilising and scary, especially during times of massive layoffs. Everyone has once again kept to their mahi and our kaupapa and delivered a wide range of services across an amazing selection of important areas. I mean really, do you know many other entities that could even attempt that. Our team delivers it.

As Anake Goodall, CEO says, “the importance of connection cannot be overstated. The development we are currently working on and the reconnections we are now making are manifestations of our quiet and unwavering commitment to doing what we are here to do better, and in more active partnership with those we are here to serve.”

I love to hear that talk. Thank you to all the team in the Office. You can be proud of your achievments.

And the changes seem quite big to me.

As Mark says, “Te Runanga put kotahitanga back on the agenda for both the Office and holdings.”

And Anake supports with, “... these changes have been led by clear instructions from te runanga for kotahitanga across the group...”and “Te Runanga now has the mechanisms to direct the Te Runanga Group through our planning cycle and align all activites of all entities within the group.” and powerfully, “... we are giving effect to the Ngai Tahu values and vision with a shared commitment that has not been seen before.”

I am impressed with the confident tone of both Anake and Mark. This is good for our iwi and their confidence gives me confidence.

Unfortunately we have a storm on the horizon and it's approach seems inevitable.
So I ask that, as changes occur, people continue to consider kotahitanga and our shared connection to each other and everyone and everything.

Mr Soul - Buffalo Springfield

Whew! been a big week - time for a musical interlude methinks

a talented group of strong individuals

muttonbirds and fur seals - do the study before you start killing

Okay on this one we just need to get the study done, because i suspect the results may be surprising. This is also another example of working out what exactly is the problem before rushing too fast into solutions.
"The proliferation of seals on the Mutton Bird Islands may prompt southern Maori to investigate culling the mammals, which have been protected for more than a century.
Fur seals were hunted to the brink of extinction by early settlers, but the population of mammals had increased markedly since granted full protection in 1894.

Conversely, their numbers were now affecting mutton birds, an important source of food and income for a small group of southern Maori who have exclusive harvesting rights on the 36 islands making up the Mutton Bird Islands, around Stewart Island."
I think the study will determine whether the numbers are affecting the titi or if other factors come into it. The relationship between the seals and birds is complicated and cannot be understood, or have a solution designed, without considering as many interrelated factors as possible. otherwise a solution can turn into a bigger problem - anyone remember ferrets and stoats? Bought in to fix the rabbit problem... luckily they didn't bring in foxes to get the ferrets and stoats!

Footnote - anon raised a good point in the comments about acknowledging the kaitiaki of the islands and the good work that has been done and continues to be done. Thank you for all your mahi and aroha. You have kept our ancient tradition alive, you have protected the islands and the titi, you have taught your children as you were taught. Sorry for not saying that in my initial post.

song for mike laws - i feel your pain

Lyrics - my emphasis

I am young but a fool

I am stupid but Im cool
I am kind but Im weak
I can turn the other cheek
All I wanted was to find a friend

I just cant hide my monster side
I cant control the loss I feel
The loss I feel

If I had another chance
I would peacefully advance
But as Im fated to be here
Resigned and ridden by my fear
I should love my self but my vanity
Loves someone else

I am the best there is
Until all there is
Is hot air
Unfulfilled I take it out on you
Because you care
And because I love you
I expect you to be there

I just cant hide my monster side
I cant control the loss I feel
The loss I feel

sterilise them all says mad mike

How mad, bad or sad is mad mike now?

"Whanganui Mayor Michael Laws says giving the "underclass" money to be sterilised will address our child abuse problem."
he really means maori - don't be fooled by his 'underclass' term.
"Mr laws said the children of beneficiaries, drug addicts and criminals had little chance in life. He was speaking five days after the death of two-year-old Wanganui boy Karl Perigo-Check, the son of a convicted murderer and gang member.

"If we gave $10,000 to certain people and said 'we'll voluntarily sterilise you' then all of society would be better off. There'd be less dead children and less social problems.

"Do we really expect these children to become doctors or brain surgeons?"
Yes we do mike - everyone regardless of their background has the chance to grow and achieve their goals. This is really the thin edge of the wedge - when even the subject can be raised, albeit by a severley disturbed person - what next mike? Who next?

Everyone is outraged and that is good. We really are getting the nut-cases coming out aren't we?

mike laws is now acting like he is having a total emotional and mental breakdown. Can't someone help him.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More questions from the Ngai Tahu Annual report

Question. If 53 people receive remuneration of $100,000 or more within Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, how many people in total, are employed within TRONT.

You know - what percentage of the employees earn over $100,000 - is it 10%, 50% or 70%?

I posed the question to the office and was told that that information is confidential and unable to be disclosed. I could go through all the entities and work it out, and I may indeed do that.

I will find out the answer and it won't be the bullshit answer. But what percentage do you think earn over $100,000 from TRONT?

Does it matter?

Does it matter what percentage of the total earn above $100,000?
Would you be upset if, say,  40% of the total staff earned over 100k?
Does it matter what percentage of them are Ngai Tahu Iwi members?
Does it matter what they do and where in the organisation they do it?
Would you care if no one from the Office earned over 100k and it was only employees in Holdings that got the big money?
Would you care if it was the other way round?
Does it matter what percentage of the rest, who earn less, are Ngai Tahu Iwi members?

If you do care, like me, then i am sure we will be interested in those statistics.

By my base calculation. There is a total of around 9 million being paid to these 53 people.

PNG mining reality

Too close to home in so many ways.
"Reporting for, Independent photojournalist Damian Baker examines life in Porgera Valley, a once-pristine region in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea—now ravaged through multinational gold mining."

They come, they mine, they make money, they pollute, they go, and we are the ones left behind.

Hat tip - Intercontential Cry

maori and greens the future

They will take your DNA

The maori party are saying that young maori men - who for some reason are over represented in the police statistics will resist this move. The move to take DNA, without consent or a judge saying it is okay.
"From 2011, the police will be allowed to take DNA samples from anyone they intend charging with an imprisonable offence.

Consent will not be needed, and samples will be able to be taken without judicial approval."
Resist this move - got that fucken right!!!!!

Why resist it?
"Britain had the world's largest database; it held the DNA of 75 per cent of young black men compared with 22 per cent of white men, Ms Katene said."

The same will happen here. Maori will be on their database while the big crims - the ones who rip off millions, like the banks and energy companies - will just happiliy truck along.

How about DNA-ing all white collar crims. All the rip off artists - instead of targetting petty crims.

Too hard and doesn't fit within the pre-concieved ideas of who crims are - does it?
"the bill was passed into law on a vote of 108 to 13, with the Greens and Maori Party opposing."
The future is maori and greens.

Good information at Tumeke

Hey lets privatise water - then air, hugs, sunlight, mitochrondria and your DNA

Not surprising that they want to privatise the water - it will be the air next.
"The Government is planning to make it easier for private companies to take over water and wastewater services from councils.

Local Government Minister and Act leader Rodney Hide yesterday said "flexibility in delivery of water services" was part of changes to the Local Government Act 2002."
... "Under the act, councils can contract "any aspect of the operation of all or part of a water service"."
'Any aspect of all or part' - total wriggle room there.
"Green Party local government spokeswoman Sue Kedgley said the changes would effectively privatise all aspects of water supply services.

"This has the potential to be hugely harmful to the public," she said.
"This theft of the public's assets is alarming and dangerous."
Auckland water campaigner Penny Bright was totally opposed to the plan.
"In no way is the commercialisation or privatisation of water services to be supported."
She said water services should never be run to make a profit. Affordable water was a basic human right."
Basic human right - not everything is a commodity rodders. Is there anything you wouldn't sell - maybe your rosebud?

Ngai Tahu Election results

Ngai Tahu Final Papatipu Runaka Election results for these 3 runaka

Te Runanga o Otākou TRONT Representative - Tahu Potiki

Te Taumutu Runanga TRONT Representative - Sandy Lockhart

Te Runanga o Koukourārata TRONT Representative - Elizabeth Cunningham

BB and Richard have good comment on these (Mainly about Tahu) appointments. And there has been comment here on mars2earth.

What do you think?

Do we need the UN to send a verification team in to check the ballot boxes... oh, that's right we don't have ballot boxes do we...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hindu and Maori - respect and connection - a model and win for us all

Awesome festival. This is the way to do it. Build strong connections between us all by highlighting our similarities and connections.
"Festival enhances Hindu-Maori relations

Press Release: Hindu Council of New Zealand
Deepawali Festival takes Hindu-Maori relations to greater heights

Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2009 turns to be an important milestone for Hindu-Maori relations (whakawhanaungatanga).

A number of Maori cultural traditions such as karakia, powhiri, kapa haka will be performed on Saturday, 7th November 2009 to commemorate Deepawali (Festival of Lights) at Rotorua Energy Events Centre and Apumoana Marae.

Deepawali is a well known Hindu festival celebrated by Indian community all over the world."
Enhances Hindu-Maori relations - doesn't that sound great?
“I have great admiration for the people of India. Learning of Dr Guna Magesan's desire to create a strong relationship between his people and my people I have captured "Rehua" to celebrate our journey of friendship” said Natanahira PONA, Rotorua’s Tohunga Whakairo (Master Carver)."
Intent is so important
"Conceived in the discipline of studying distant Constellations, Rehua proclaims our shared respect for Nature. It encourages the forging of strong entrepreneurial and personal relationships. It manifests the sacred mantra of Om and the miracle of life and death” said John Marsh, JP, MBE a respected Kaumatua in Rotorua.

The past, present and the future are all included in this one sound - "Om". Carving a symbol of Om and Sun in the Rehua means so much to our community. The Sun is described as the soul of the universe, representing the life-force on earth which sustains everything. His is the energy of confidence and power, consistency and inspiration.
Building connection between communities and doing it with mutual respect and understanding. What a fantastic model for all of us. Good work by these groups.
"Last year New Zealand Hindu conference was inaugurated by respected Te Arikinui King Tuheitia, the Maori king. That was a landmark in the history of New Zealand and race relations.

This year, carving of Rehua for our community is another landmark. This is a big leap in Hindu-Maori relations."
As Dr Guna Magesan, the coordinator of Rotorua Deepawali Festival and General Secretary of Hindu Council of New Zealand says,

“The respect and relations that we have built over the years have brought us close to the Maori community”.
We have been organising regular Marae stay for our community people to learn, understand and experience Maori culture and customs."

Kia kaha and thank you.

amazon peoples fight mining and oil companies

In the amazon the indigenous people continue to fight against exploitation.
"Some three hundred indigenous people from the Peruvian Amazon region of Madre de Dios are on their way to the town of Salvacion to evict the Texas-based company Hunt Oil from their ancestral territory."
"Last month, Indigenous leaders from the Madre de Dios issued a formal statement rejecting Hunt Oil’s presence in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve—a legally protected biodiversity ‘hot spot’ which the government handed over to the company in 2006. The leaders warned Hunt Oil to voluntarily exit the territory within a week or they would be forced out.
This ultimatum was released just a few days after FENAMAD, the Native Federation of the Madre de Dios River and tributaries, took legal action to halt the company’s activities, which, according to the lawsuit, threatens the headwaters of the Madre de Dios river, Upper Alto Madre de Dios, the Blanco river, the Azul river, the Inambari river and the Colorado river."
“The most vulnerable ecological and cultural areas are now being invaded by seismic lines, whose impacts are irreparable. The area of intervention is one of very high biological value from a worldwide perspective and its surface and underground hydrological system have great cultural significance for the Harakmbut, which makes this a vital space for the subsistence of not only the indigenous communities, but the greater population of the Amazon Basin,” states FENAMAD. “For that reason, all of the beneficiary communities of the RCA have taken the position of impeding the entrance into the oil block and defending the protected area with their lives.”
"Defending the protected area with their lives!" These indigenous people are fighting for their lives. So are we - but we don't realise it. And i mean all of us, from whatever background. We are all here, in this waka and we are all connected.

The examples given by indigenous people protecting their lands and water from mining and exploration - should shame us. We are the same as them! Yet, will we defend our lands and water? Will we? Will you?

Hat tip - Intercontinental Cry

whose side are you on ministry for the environment?

This is hard to believe.

"Groundwater quality has "no significant relationship" with land use, a Ministry for the Environment report says"
That's right - the Ministry for the Environment are saying that land use has no 'significant' relationship to water quality.
This is the ministry for the environment here - this is not only nonsense but it plays right into the hands of those that would do anything they want on the land and not have to worry about the water they pollute.
Too true russ - you are on to it and thank goodness for that, because if you weren't we probably wouldn't even have heard of this. Why aren't other political parties interested in these issues - they affect us all.

minister smith said;
"The report said nitrate and E. coli levels breached health standards at 5 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, of 973 monitoring sites, including 279 in Canterbury.

Quality was rapidly changing at a third of the sites, with "patterns that suggest human influence". But the report said there was "no systematic or significant relationships" between groundwater quality and land use or land cover."

"Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the claim was absurd and "propaganda".

He said the uncertainty in the report suited the Government's political agenda "to downplay the environmental impacts of agricultural intensification"."

"he was "a little surprised" at the conclusion because the popular notion was that land-use intensification led to water-quality problems.

Smith said he would defer to the specialists who prepared the report rather than favour popular opinion."
It does seem to be quite a contrarian position - i wonder why the ministry have taken it.

Ngai Tahu Annual Report - what caught my eye

Ngai Tahu Annual report is out now. Go here to read it online.

I'm not going to do a big analysis - I'll leave that to the number crunchers but i will highlight a couple of areas that i noticed.

I found this interesting


There have been a number of governance changes over the year in review. Mark Solomon resigned at the end of September 2008 and was replaced by Gerry Coates. Wally Stone’s departure in February saw Linda Constable step in as Interim Chair until the appointment of Trevor Burt on 1 August 2009. Mark Tume was not available for reappointment when his term ended on 30 June. Mark has been replaced by Catherine Drayton. We would like to pay tribute to all of our departing directors for their efforts over their time with NTHG. In particular we wish to acknowledge Wally Stone’s leadership and the performance of NTHG during his two and a half year stint as Chair.

Full subsidiary boards are in the process of being established for Ngāi Tahu Property, Ngāi Tahu Seafood and Ngāi Tahu Tourism. These boards will be populated with a cross-section of industry expertise, commercial and governance expertise and will all have Ngāi Tahu representation. As a result the role of the Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Board will be redefined and mechanisms put in place to ensure the alignment of the subsidiary boards to the overall NTHG direction. We believe this will give us a strong governance structure moving forward."
These subsidiary boards sound good. All with Ngai Tahu representatives - i hope they go outside their usual circle of friends and get some new blood in, some new ideas and a wider cross-section of iwi membership being involved.

I notice we have reduced the amount of money spent on these items:

Rünanga Distributions & Development
Culture and Identity
Social Independence
Natural Resources, Tribal Properties and Mahinga Kai Cultural parks
Strategy and Influence
Whai Rawa Distributions and Development
Tribal Representation

From $12,859,000 to $10,189,000 that is a reduction of $2,670,000 or 21%

But I also notice this
"Short term employee benefits (senior management positions)(excluding redundancy/exit payments) have increased from $3,169,000 to $3,596,000".
 That is an increase of $427,000 or 13%

We have the following disclosed remuneration for employees of TRONT

Over $500,000 = 1
$500,000 - $400,000 = 0
$300,000 - $400,000 = 2
$200,000 - $300,000 = 8
$100,000 - $200,000 = 42

That is 53 people in the office Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (thanks anon - good clarification) who earn over $100,000 a year. And that is an increase of 3. Talk about top-heavy!

How many are Ngai Tahu whanui?

So a tough year for our tribal income but not for some working in the office. Hui a tau will be interesting.
A final word from the kaiwhakahaere's report
"At one point this year, I was actually being called on a regular basis by whānau, old and young, offering to forego all manner of programmes, grants, subscriptions, anything to save the iwi money. How envious would be the chiefs of industry to hear of such selfless expressions from shareholders. But then we are an iwi, and ‘shareholder’ is an inadequate term to describe whānau bound by whakapapa and the pursuit of self-determination."
We have come a long way as an iwi and we have a long way to go.

Delight over at roarprawn

BB is delighted that Tahu Potiki is the Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu representative for Ōtākou.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

racist biscuits to go

Do we really need to be careful about what we say? Are some of the expressions that we use racist and offensive but we just don't think about it until someone else notices?

"The name of the Coles brand biscuits, Creole Creams, has sparked controversy.
Sam Watson, the deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland, said the word "Creole", often used to describe a person of mixed European and Africa ancestry, was a racially loaded term.

"The word Creole comes from a period when people's humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream. This is the same kind of thought that underpinned horrific regimes like the Nazis," Mr Watson said."

"People need to exercise their intellect. This so-called blending was actually the institutionalised rape of black women. They were victims of brutal regimes of rape and victimisation."

Mr Watson described the biscuit name as deeply insensitive and indicative of a "deep undercurrent of racism in white Australian society".

"It virtually infects every level of Australia's consciousness, language, culture and history," he said.
Very strong words. And can you really argue that they are false. Just think about it - why use derogatory terms when you don't need to, to sell bloodly lollies FFS.

"Why the need to use that sort of language to market a confectionery?"

We are represented in this hall of shame.
"Eskimo lollies caused controversy in New Zealand this year, when a Canadian tourist objected to the name.

In the mid-1990s Arnott's renamed its controversial Golliwog biscuits Scalliwags before finally discontinuing the line of biscuits altogether.

In Europe, chocolate and marshmallow biscuits produced by the Dutch biscuit maker Van der Breggen were still marketed as Nigger Kisses as late as 2006, when they were finally rebranded as Buys Kisses."
Why should these lolly companies be allowed to get away with it. Where do you think negative attitudes towards others comes from - thin air?

Jeepers that was quick -
"Supermarket giant Coles will change the name of an in-house brand of biscuits amid claims it is racist.
Coles Spokesman Jim Cooper said the name of the "You'll Love Coles" brand of chocolate and vanilla biscuits, called Creole Creams, will be changed as part of the company-wide rebranding of Coles products.
The name change comes on the back of claims of racism, with the word Creole used to describe a person of mixed European and African ancestry."
That is how you sort out problems - don't moan, don't fight just accept and sort it out.

Ngai Tahu Elections update

A couple of good threads talking about the same issue - Ngai Tahu Elections

This one has 10 comments and this one has 3 comments - what do you think? Do we need to check out our candidates or let the Papatipu Runaka sort it out. Have you voted for anyone? Are you going to vote for anyone? Are we just going through the motions - paying lip service to the notions of fairness and equality and an ability to have an influence over those that have been given the task of governing us and our assets?

Rugby World Cup - it is about money not sport

We go all ga ga for big sporting events. Like the Olympics for instance. We look at the 'good' and don't consider whether the 'bad' may outweigh the 'good'.

The 2010 Winter Olympics are in vancover. There are many who resist this event. Not just for the damage it causes to the environment, the less well off, indigenous rights but also for the corporate greed, advertising and marketing. I mean, you don't really think the olympics are about sport and fairplay do you? They are about making money. First second and third. Everything else is well behind that.

So what about the Rugby World Cup - how does that stack up? Go through the video and just think about our country and what has already happened. For instance, they extended the runway at Auckland by digging up the graves of maori. Is this not an abuse of indigenous rights. We have had the debarcle over the TV rights - is that not an example of inherent racism? What envionmental damage is going to be done? Is there going to be any damage to the environment when they build the waterfront screens and party area? Does extending stadiums cost anything environmentally? Or do we just not really care.

Think about our big sporting event and think about the reasons for it. If you think it is about rugby - you are wrong. It is just one big excuse to try to make money.

Hat tip - Ana at Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua

Sunday, October 25, 2009

oil spill disaster

Photo by Chris Twomey / Australian Greens, courtesy of WA Today

This is a bad leak.
"The Greens have been highly critical of the government's handling of the oil spill, which has been leaking for more than two months into the Timor Sea.

Equipment failure has caused further delays in the attempt to plug an oil well that has been leaking for more than two months into the Timor Sea."
This is the australian greens but our greens have highlighted it as well.
"The government just yesterday announces it's giving this same company a massive new area for oil exploration in Australian waters," Senator Brown told the Nine Network on Sunday.

"They're rewarding this failure... with further exploration leases."
Hard to believe that they are giving this company more ability to explore.
"The Greens believe anywhere from 10 to 20 million litres of oil has spilled into the ocean since the leak began on August 21.

Oil and gas began flowing from a well at the Montara oilfield, more than 200km off Western Australia's northwest coast, on August 21.

Photo courtesy of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
PTTEP, a Thai-based company which operates the oilfield, has failed three times to plug the leaking well with mud."
This is an ecological disaster bigger than the exxon valdez. How bad is it?
"The spill is reportedly Australia's worst since offshore drilling began more than 40 years ago.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said the area around the West Atlas drilling rig was "teeming" with marine life, and 16 seabirds had died after coming into contact with the toxic slick.
Biologist Gilly Llewellyn led a WWF survey of the area and said there were times when they watched as dolphins surfaced "literally in a sea of oil".
"Clearly, wildlife is dying and hundreds if not thousands of dolphins, seabirds and sea-snakes are being exposed to toxic oil," she said.
"It's a massive contamination event, it's posing a massive risk to wildlife that is largely confined to sea, that we won't actually see on our shorelines.""

NASA / MODIS image taken from the Terra satellite

"Conservationists estimate that the oil is covering an area of at least 5,800 square miles (15,000sq km). "
The risks of putting these types of oil platforms up around our coast is too high. Even the attempt down south is not worth it for the potential disaster that could be caused by inevitable failure - either mechancial or human. i know we already have them - so be it - but putting up more is not the way to go.

award for bully-girls not fair cries laws

Its a joke he cried - I am uhappy

No it is true and we are happy

Well done on your award.

"The pupils, aged 11 to 13, at Otaki School's kura kaupapa unit, were upset with an angry reply from Mr Laws, whom they wrote to in August urging him to insert the letter "h" in Wanganui.

Mr de Bres presented the girls with certificates yesterday to honour their stance.

"Your message to stand up for yourself is clear. You acted with real dignity and calm and quietly stood up for what you thought when dealing with such rubbish from Wanganui's mayor.

"There has been a huge response from around the country for what you did. I hope the minister in charge of this issue will decide to correct the spelling," Mr de Bres said.

He believed the way they had dealt with criticism was an example for everyone in New Zealand.

Ngarui Wihongi-Manukau, Rautini Thompson, Maria Logan-Richards, Amokura Rangiheueu, Teina Davis and Te Rangiamohia Nikora-Davis were disappointed Mr Laws had failed to respond to issues they had raised about the spelling of the town and asked him to apologise."
"Although shy about receiving the honour, the girls said they were pleased they had stood up for themselves and would do so again."
Awesome. This is our future and it is great.

chess and politics

You have got to hand it to the right they have got the left pretty stuffed at the moment. It is interesting to watch the techniques being used so effectively. It reminds me of chess. I'm a pretty average player but I've been getting beaten by a mate who i would normally expect to beat. He has got better and i have got worse. So back to the chess books for me so that i can get my chess brain on again.

Some basics that the right have done well. They have captured and have control of the centre. This is almost always a sound idea in chess because it gives you more options and restricts your opponent. The right have built a formidable pawn wall. Each protecting the other. national, act, maori party, dunne and the greens. The left pawn wall is fracionated and seperate – labour, greens maori party and anderton. The rights queen, (key), is placed well and rampages around the board. The left queen, (Goff), is restricted by other pieces and is ineffectual. Once you start thinking down this track it is really fun to carry the analogy futher into pins and skewers, passed pawns and so on.

One tactic within chess is the multiple attack. This is when different pieces attack in different ways on the same or other opposition pieces. When combined with a swamping and overloading attack it can be overwhelming. And isn't that what we are seeing at the moment in our society. How many areas are under attack at the moment? There aren't many, if any, that aren't. This is a classic swamping multiple attack and it is a good tactic because it works. It is attacking your opponent where they are weakest and in the case of the left our big weakness is our fractionation. We are too apart. We have to work in unision to achieve what we all want. But there are a few problems to sort out.

Labour needs to realise who its friends are for a start. Then they need to go left, instead of this centre stuff. You have lost the centre - no way through there. If the centre is blocked then you go around it. Go left - back to your home. You need to go there because sometimes i don't even think you are a left party. An individual chesspiece can do much but when it is combined with other pieces the value of each piece increases and the safety of each piece improves too. The left need leadership not a mini-right. Is labour the party to lead the left? Not sure about that.

The greens also need to have a look at themselves. I can't stand this corporate middle ground rubbish. You're green - what is the problem? You are doing a good job highlighting environmental issues, really good, but we need to get others behind you in a concerted campaign. Too often you are a lone voice when there should be others beside you. Part of the responsibility for getting others there with you, is yours. We need to simplify the message. Get a song competition going to remake “ban the dam cried the fantail” pull the community into the campaigns. When being swamped the answer is to simplify.

And the maori party. Jeepers I think help is needed. I fully support the kaupapa but national have been playing with us like a cat with a mouse. When it appears that choices are being made it then becomes obvious that we are being manouvered into the action that they wanted in the first place. When being manipulated in this way in chess – bold choices have to be made. It is no good pissing around – you either get out or you go down trying. Often a sacrifice is needed. I remind the maori party that they are independent. They are not part of national. their constituency is all maori, from all sides of the political spectrum. The friends of the maori party are those that support the same values as them. The values of the maori party are maori values that are mirrored in many of the policies and beliefs of the greens and labour. If those parties are too stubborn or stupid to realise that, then you take the lead. You organise the hui and the korero. Don't wait for them, you, the maori party put out the hand of friendship and shared values. You be the bigger person for the sake of all of us. And I know that the maori party also has shared values with national and act and that is good too. That is the point – the maori party represents maori, who come from all sides of the political spectrum.

The nats, well if it's not broke don't fix it. But chess is a game where a great position can quickly turn into nightmare battle for survival in just a few moves. You see there is always the opponent who has ther own plans in play and it can be easy to be so focused on the wonderful position you have, that you forget the other side of the equation. Pawn chains can be broken at their base. Queens can be trapped by their own trickiness or they can bob around so much, that time spent on their antics is time lost on other important areas. They become a fatal distraction.

And act. I admire rodney – he has morphed into an effective political player. A knight in chess can be an awesome weapon. On a good square it can comand a powerful presence with lethal consequences to any who stray on one its attacking squares. Able to leap over pieces to land they are great but you can get close to them. Right up beside them, and then they can be less effective. They become vunerable Its short sword time. Often a bishop or knight is used to maximum advantage throughout a game. They slash and burn, batter doen their opponents and live charmed lives. Right up to the time it becomes necessary to sacrifice them, for the greater good. It doesn't matter how much that piece has contributed to the success of the game to date; when the time comes, the time comes. And the problem for the piece is that you never know when that time may come. Plus there is not much you can do about it. So whilst it is a political reality it doesn't really matter. national may try to absorb act, or they make the sacrifice. I suppose the cycle of elections is the timeframe.

And to stretch the analogy to breaking point, it is interesting to consider who or what the king's are. Are they power, or an ideology, an individual, or a cabal, an ideal, anyway you get my drift. If you have lasted until now reading this then, what do you think?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

do we know what we want to know and why we want to know it

I am not surprised that "Chapman Tripp are opposed to the proposal, within a discussion document put out by the Ministry of Economic Development, that all big companies file financial statements publicly. A similar proposal was shot down in 2006 with Chapman Tripp saying then that, “it would be a disincentive to invest in this country, it was an unwarranted intrusion of privacy and an unnecessary imposition of compliance costs.” The proposal may apply to law and accounting firms and also to companies owned by private families like the Talley and Todd families" and the main rationale behind the move is that there is a 'broad societal interest' in the financial health of large entities."

Would it be useful to know this information. Is it fair that this information is disclosed. Would the argument, “if you have nothing to hide then you have no problem.” be appropriate. It is hard to argue that these big entities do affect society in all sorts of ways. What actually do we want to know? Often we jump into solutions without understanding the problem. If disclosure of this information is the solution – what was the problem? Don't get me wrong my initial response was that this was a good thing to do, I just think the consideration of the problem may yield interesting insights.

Don't pretend-consult - you won't get your statue built if you do

Well it looks like the giant maori warrior has hit a bit of a problem. I had hoped that they had consulted maori.

"Tainui are developing their own cultural icon, despite the local community board's recently announced plans to create a sculpture of a giant Maori warrior.

The tribe has commissioned master carver Wikuki Kingi Jr, son of the late Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa chairman Wikuki Kingi, to create a 3 metre by 3 metre sculpture that will feature the moko of the second Maori King, Tawhiao.

Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc chief executive Hemi Rau said the moko sculpture was not being built to replace the community board's giant warrior sculpture.

He said that "the region's icon should reflect its uniqueness," and he did not believe the planned Maori warrior would best reflect the region.

"Ngaruawahia should reflect its cultural significance rather than something that is considered generic."

"It has to be relevant to the area that it portrays."

The moko sculpture was commissioned as part of the 150-year anniversary of the Kingitanga movement and has been in the pipeline for 18 months."

These are true words. I mean local maori know how they want their culture portrayed - don't they? If the local tangata whenua say that a statue should reflect the regions uniqueness as opposed to being generic - that is fair enough isn't it? Yes it is and this community should have listened to maori.

"Ngaruawahia Community Board chairman Bryce Sherson was surprised to learn of Tainui's plans for a independent sculpture yesterday when speaking to the Waikato Times.

"I find it quite amazing," he said. "(It) seems strange that they would go out on a tangent on their own."

And this is the big problem right here. It wasn't maori that went off on a tangent, bryce - it was you!

"The community board has been developing plans for the Maori warrior sculpture since 2005, when the board held a competition for locals to suggest an `icon' for the town."

How patronising of you - a competition? There are already icons for the town - you just don't know about them because you have your own agenda and you want maori to fit in with you.

"Mr Sherson said the board had invited Tainui's involvement from the beginning, even asking for the tribe to provide a model for their Denis Hall-designed sculpture, which Tainui didn't "because they couldn't find anyone"."

Yeah bloody maoris couldn't find anyone - well guess what bryce - consulting with someone means you listen to what they say and take it into consideration. You don't just ram their square peg into your round hole. And you want maori to fit in with your timeframes? - they might actually have a different timeline than you and if you say you are consulting with them - then take that into consideration.

Reminds me of the saying,""Hey guys lets work as a team and do it my way."

The battle of the statues! It is already over - take the lessons about true consultation rather than lip service from this bryce. Go back to maori with a contrite attitude and listen to what they are saying - they are saying it for a reason.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ngai Tahu choose the river over money - thanks - that is mana!


"Ngai Tahu has quit a North Canterbury irrigation scheme.

The tribe's property company has resigned from the Hurunui Water Project's (HWP) board and put its shares, held by wholly-owned subsidiary Ngai Tahu Forest Estates Ltd, into a trust.

Ngai Tahu's move follows news that the project's resource consent applications with Environment Canterbury have been suspended while its backers try to avoid a court battle with opponents.

Ngai Tahu Property chief executive Tony Sewell said in a statement that the company would like to boost productivity of its Balmoral land holdings, but not at the expense of sustainable use of land and water resources."

That is wonderful news Thank you so much NT Property. You have made the best decision.

"The Ngai Tahu runanga's submission to the HWP asked for the applications to be put on hold, despite the property company's shareholding. Consents affected an area of "immense cultural significance", the submission said, and information provided in the application was "entirely inadequate".

Ngai Tahu hapu Ngai Tuahuriri and Ngati Kuri supported a water conservation order for the Hurunui River."

"Ngai Tahu wanted to take time to decide its freshwater strategy, she said.

"They've had a lot of internal conflict because the property division has been supporting the project," she said. "In my understanding, it's just for the relatively short term while we try to establish something through the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.""

This is mana and just a massive win for our iwi for our rivers for our children. Karawhiua Kai Tahu!!!

a good book and a burble on rivers

Upper Taieri River

I'm currently rereading a book “When the rivers run dry” by Fred Pearce. I really recommend it and this is my second time through. Is there anyone who can remember what our rivers near our towns and cities used to be like? They have been given a pretty hard time and they are suffering. It seems we have a blindspot with rivers and water. Maybe we think it will always be the way it is and we just don't notice the changes that have occured. But of course it's not like we can walk around all day thinking about rivers. Luckily, hopefully, that is what a blog is for :)

As fred writes;

“Earth is the water planet. It contains an unimaginable 1.4 billion cubic kilometres of the stuff. 97% is seawater. Of the remaining 35 million cubic kilometres of fresh water on or near the planets surface, two-thirds is locked up in ice-caps and glaciers and one-third, about 12 million cubic kilometres, is in liquid form. The greater part of it is in the pores of rocks. These reservoirs of underground water, known as aquifers, vary hugely in their accessibility and drinkability. But the water is there, beneath our feet.

The remaining smidgeon of the world's liquid waterfresh water- we are now down to a mere 200,000 cubic kilometres, are in lakes, and there is probably another 90,000 cubic kiilometres in soils and permafrost. Next comes atmospheric water vapour, which contains another 13,000 cubic kilometres; rivers, which contain around 2,000 cubic kilometres at any one time and living organisms, from rainforests to you and me, with about 1,000 cubic kilometres.”

Yes there is a lot of water but water is part of fast and slow water cycles and not that accessible even when you would expect it to be. Rivers for instance. “Hydrologists reckon the maximum that might reasonably be caught and used by humans employing currrent technology is 14,000 cubic kilometres. The three rivers with the biggest flows- the Amazon, Congo and Orinoco – all pass through inhospitable jungle for most of their journey from headwaters to the sea. Those three alone carry almost quarter of the water we have to survive on. And two more of the top ten – the Lena and Yenisei in Siberia – run mostly into the Arctic. A tenth of the world's river waters flow into the Arctic. Take out these and we are left with around 9,000 cubic kilometres of river water for our needs.”

For too long we have taken our rivers for granted. We don't actually have that much water to go around. We are blaise about water and rivers, but we know that the real truth is our rivers are all degraded from what we remember even from a few years ago. We need to wake up. There are lots of rivers under threat right now, from all sorts of 'developments'. Keep your ear to the ground about what's happening near you and your rivers. There is alot going on. Part of the solution is to get tangata whenua engaged and empowered, working together with all interested parties like environmentalists and fish and game (I take my hat off to fish and game they are fighting hard to protect rivers – thank you) and anyone else who loves the rivers the way they are. Provide a united front, backed up with all the analysis and number crunching that is needed. All parts can work together for common goals. But base it upon tangata whenua that is the immovable foundation. Anyway i digress.

The chapter titles of the book tell the story.
“When rivers run dry,”

the crops fail
we mine our childrens future
the wet places die
floods may not be far behind
engineers pour concrete
men go to war over water
civizations fall
we go looking for new water
we try to catch the rain
we go with the flow

You see, the book is optimistic and we have to be – don't we.

We are blessed with great rivers in this country and we must protect them. Damming more rivers is not the way to go. Creating dairy farms in places where cows shouldn't be is not the way to go. Mining National Parks for their mineral wealth is not the way to go. Those three things and more affect our rivers and the rivers are here under our guardianship our kaitiakitanga our protection. We can chose what happens to them. And we must protect against as Fred says,

“... what environmentalists call 'the tragedy of the commons'. Everybody chases short-term wealth even at the cost of destroying their long-term collective future. Nobody can afford to miss out on the boom, because they will all share in the eventual bust. Some think it is what we are doing to the planet.”

Are we going to do that here? Are we doing it already? It seems hard to fathom. I can promise you there are rivers in this country still unblemished by fouling. Still undamed and untamed. And it is possible to save our existing rivers and protect them more from here on in. We just have to think about it a little.

I'm only 80 pages into Freds book and I already feel inspired.

dargy museum fixes mistakes but lets turn it into a celebration

This is a win!

The various posts are here on reading the maps

1. Inital post
2. second post asking for response
3. third post a response and an email back. Maps has written a full reply to their email - well worth a gander.

The dargaville museum has been caught out giving bogus information that was incorrect and hurtful. After this was pointed out to them and after due consideration they have realised their mistakes and are fixing it.

This is a reasonable response. It is good to admit when we make mistakes. I congratulate you dargaville museum - you have taken a good first step - now how can we turn this into a win for you and all of us.

How about instead of trying to pretend it never happened why not embrace the event and what it means.

Make the true dedication of the pou an event. Work with local maori and involve the community. Turn the discovery of this incorrect information and the subsequent correcting as the positive event it is. have a celebration! If you did you would be amazed by the response. You will be heroes and your museum would take it's place as an example of how to right wrongs, how to accept blame and fix mistakes. that would set you up as an even more iconic museum.

Don't hide from this embrace it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

let it go now saxtons

My advice to the saxtons is - let it go.

"A father and his late son have lost an appeal against their convictions for the theft of greenstone (pounamu) from Ngai Tahu.

David Saxton, 62, and his son Morgan Saxton, 30 were found guilty in 2007 of the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of pounamu from South Westland's Cascade Plateau.
David Saxton was sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment and his son to two years and six months jail.
They were also required to pay reparations of $300,000.
The pair launched an appeal against the convictions and sentence last year, but before the case was heard Morgan Saxton was killed in a helicopter crash in Wanaka in November."

Don't waste any more money on appeals and lawyers. Be thankful that we live in today's, not yesterday's world. You stole our taonga and got caught, got convicted and are paying the price to society and hopefully to Ngai Tahu financially. Let it go - it is done - but make sure you pay back the token $300,000.

Ngai Tahu debate update

The debate is hotting up here

Richard Parata has posted here and some more information here.

What do you think?

Treaty - getting it is only the first step

It's an interesting question. Having a treaty that protects some resource is one thing. Having that treaty enacted so that the resource is actually protected - is another. Is it any wonder that indigenous people have suspicion with treaties?

Puget Sound sunset
"In 1974 a ruling was given by U.S. District Judge George Boldt that Puget Sound's tribes hold treaty rights to half the region's catch of the fish."
"Another judge, today,  is dealing with Boldt's unfinished business — presiding over a U.S. District Court trial in Seattle this month about the state's obligation to make sure the fish survive in perpetuity."
"No matter the outcome, taxpayers this time may be on the hook for $1.5 billion or more to repair clogged and broken road culverts that prevent salmon from swimming upstream to reach spawning beds."

The choice seem stark. If there is a treaty then that treaty should be effected in such a way that the outcomes of that treaty are realised. The treaty gives rights to the tribe of half the region's fish. The culvets stop those fish spawning. The culvets need to be fixed so that the fish can spawn, so that the tribe can realise the potential of the resource (and treaty) and thus create positive outcomes for them and their communities and society as a whole.

"Even more significant might be the groundwork laid for future lawsuits over other insults to salmon habitat, from stormwater pollution to wetlands to housing developments.

"The judge has already found that there's a treaty right to protect fish habitat," said Robert Anderson, director of the University of Washington's Native American Law Center. The question now is "how far the federal courts are willing to go to compel that result.""
"More than 1,000 culverts between the Columbia River and British Columbia, most of them owned by the Washington Department of Transportation, are designed so poorly or in such ill repair that they block or limit access by fish to hundreds of miles of streams.

While the state slowly has been working to fix them, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled for the first time in 2007 that treaty rights required it."
The state argued in negotiations that it didn't have the ability to bind future Legislatures, said Marty Brown, Gov. Chris Gregoire's legislative director. But he also said the state's holistic approach to salmon recovery showed fixing culverts wasn't always the most ecologically important thing to do, especially since cities, counties and federal agencies — including national forests — often had hundreds of culverts blocking the same streams.

"We're just as concerned as the tribes about Puget Sound and habitat restoration," Brown said, "but we want to make sure we're talking about the whole ecology of the thing."

It sounds reasonable but is it.

"The tribes say the state knew about problem culverts for 60 years but kept building them and even now fixes only a few dozen in a good year. Given the tribes' successful record in these cases, some outside observers suspect the state may in part be using the courts for political cover. The state could appeal if it loses, putting off binding commitments a few more years. And spending the money ultimately "might be a lot easier if they were under a court order," said Michael Blumm, an Indian law expert with Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland."
Personally I am not a big fan of treatys. They are often one-sided and have fish-hooks galore! But if there is a treaty then it should be enacted to give realisation to the outcomes of that treaty - now and into the future. And this case is interesting from that perspective. The judges have said that there is an obligation to protect the fisheries and that that obligation extends to the future ability of the treaty partner to be able to also reap the outcome of the treaty obligation.

Now the lawyers will sort this out but i wonder about the implications of that style of ruling on the treatys and agreements we have here.

Hat tip - Native American Legal Update

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Te Karaka - online and loving it!

WOW!!! Tau ke!!!

Te Karaka online is awesome!

Go and have a look, have a read - immerse yourself in Ngai Tahutanga

Very immpressive indeed and great for bloggers :)

Ngai Tahu Holdings Group - recruiting now

Two big positions within Ngai Tahu Holdings Group. Applications close today so be quick!

"Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) provides strategic financial leadership across the Ngāi Tahu Holdings Group and is responsible for ensuring Group compliance with all regulatory requirements, accounting standards, and other corporate directives and objectives as they relate to financial/accounting activities.

NTHC Group Accountant

Reporting to the CFO this position is charged with providing accurate, and timely reporting of financial information to the business, meeting financial compliance (statutory) obligations for Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation and its subsidiaries (the Group) and ensuring all financial information prepared for the Group meets the needs of the businesses."

Important roles - it certainly seems like the changes that occured earlier in the year have been smoothed - yeah right!

big outing for BNP

nick griffith leader BNP

The BNP or British National Party have just had an outing - a big one.
"A detailed membership list of the British National party containing names, addresses and telephone numbers was published on the internet this morning.
The list, which contains thousands of names, was published on Wikileaks, a website that purports to be a clearing house for information to be published anonymously.

The source of the data remains unclear but it appears to show details of the BNP's members and supporters at 15 April this year, as well as data about members whose subscriptions to the party had lapsed."

And what do these members believe in?

"The BNP's constitution states it is "committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948". The party also proposes "firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home"."

And who are they?

"The most common names among the BNP's 2,034 female members are Patricia, Joanne and Karen, and the largest concentration of BNP members is in Charnwood, a Conservative-controlled East Midlands constituency.

The latest list also reveals that the membership include dozens of doctors, majors, captains and corporals.

But it is the geographical spread of the BNP's members which is most revealing about where the far right's power base comes from. The greatest concentrations of BNP membership are in the East Midlands, in the urban areas around the Pennines and in Essex.

The BNP has one councillor on Charnwood borough council, Cathy Duffy, who represents the village of East Goscote."

Analysis after the last year's leak, he continued, showed that the BNP's membership consisted of mainly middle-aged white men who worked in semi-skilled jobs. Membership lists can, however, give a skewed impression of the BNP's supporters and voters. "The fact is a that a lot of BNP supporters wouldn't join a political party," he said."

So the membership is, well, pretty ordinary and that is the key to this story.

It is ordinary people who join racist groups. It is ordinary people who bow down to nazi flags and dress up as concentration camp inmates - they are ordinary just like you and me.

We need to keep an eye on these types of organisations. they are filled with ordinary people who can end up becoming monsters - especially in their attitudes to others, not like them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

hint for maori party - start kicking instead of toeing the line

Hint for the maori party - when national want to put something up that adversly affects maori - like for instance the proposed changes to ACC, it is political naivety to vote for the first reading so, "The issues can be debated." That is bullshit. Don't vote for it and let the debate occur outside the house and outside the parameters of the parlimentary process. By voting for these issues to go to the next stage of the process, where you say, 'they will be debated' you are kidding yourselves, propping up a government that is selling it's soul and all of us out, for a couple of pieces of silver. You will achieve much more by holding a line and not voting for every bullshit proposal put forward by this government.

"Maori Party leader Tariana Turia said her MPs still had many concerns about the proposed changes, but believed the issues should be debated."

You are being tested and found wanting.

We are not stupid - stop treating us that way.
"We see that ACC is one of those issues in which every New Zealander has an interest - directly or potentially. On this important basis, we think that the people should be given the opportunity to have a say on the proposed legislation," Mrs Turia said."

There are times for toeing the line and times for kicking the line. It is about time this government realised that the maori party weren't always going to toe the line. It won't matter if the foreshore and seabed are sorted but along the way we gave away everything else, including our mana.

I agree with this


Sue Bradford said, "during the 1990s privatisation, employers pressured workers into not reporting accidents or saying they happened outside of work so they could retain low premiums.

"Tariana Turia seems to be actually saying privatisation may be a good thing for Maori and I don't think there's a shred of evidence for that, and if she looked into what even began to happen back when it was partially privatised under National before, she would see the outcomes were really poor particularly for workers with the least bargaining power.

"... I just can't believe that the Maori party would support this legislation."

and now this

"National and ACT have struck a deal over ACC reform that will see the Government investigate opening the work account to competition."

As suspected and no surprise to anyone - except for the maori party. Opening ACC to competition will not be good for maori as sue highlights.

i'm starting to worry about the maori party

black drain - why don't you drink a glass Environment Bay of Plenty


Sadly this affliction is rampant - especially when the environment is concerned.

"Environment Bay of Plenty has given permission for the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill in Kawerau to continue discharging effluent into the river, as well as gas and dust emissions, for another 25 years."

Does the mill pollute the river?

"The commissioners acknowledged the degradation of the river as a result of the discharges"

What do local tangata whenua say?

"Tipene Marr, leader of eastern Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Rangitihi, had argued for a 10-year consent and a genuine commitment by the companies to reduce damage to the river.

Mr Marr said he was saddened that he would not see the Tarawera River run clean again in his lifetime.

"They are now allowing them to pollute the river for 90 years.

"We can't use the river, we can't swim in it, it's no good to us anymore."

So why have Environment Bay of Plenty dropped the ball on this 'Black Drain'?

"The hearings commissioners said the permit renewal was granted under exceptional circumstances, and because there was no scientific evidence of poisoning of aquatic life.

The commissioners acknowledged the degradation of the river as a result of the discharges, but said this was outweighed by the social and economic benefits the mill provided in the forestry industry."

You reckon? Try taking the social aspect out because you don't really care about that and what you have left is economic benefits. To who? The people of the land? I don't think so - why not try the mill owners and shareholders and how many of them live in kawerau? bugger all. You have sold out this river and our people for NOTHING. Spineless and useless you have left nothing for your grandchildren and your names will be mocked, if anyone can be bothered to remember them.

Might be good to drop a nice glass or two of this lovely water for Environment Bay of Plenty to have a sip - bottoms up.

protesting for a good cause

Good protests against the changes to ACC for abuse survivors.

"At least eight survivors of chronic childhood sexual abuse joined 170 people in a rally at Auckland's Albert Park, followed by a march to the city's ACC branch. Others marched in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin."

"The changes, taking effect from October 27, require sexual abuse victims to be diagnosed with a mental illness under the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version 4."

There is no doubt that using this new system will make it harder for survivors to get help and heal. And this, it seems to me is part of the privatisation process.

"North Shore psychotherapist Christine Hatcher, on her first march since the 1981 Springbok tour, said she would not take any more ACC-funded clients because it was against her code of ethics "to put survivors of sexual abuse through more trauma than they have already been through".

Dr Gudrun Frerichs, also from the North Shore, said that in 20 years of psychotherapy she had never been wrong in assessing whether a client would get ACC funding for sexual abuse counselling - until a tightening in the past three or four months.

"Now I can't say whether someone will get funding or not," she said. "You have to wait for ACC. It might take up to six months for a decision."

Support when it is needed the most is the answer - not trying to reduce the support given to these very brave people who survive this terrible offending.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ngai Tahu elections

Thank you anon for the challenge in the comments

Anonymous said...

"I have been disappointed that there has been very little information from yourself or Richard on what is happening re elections. While folks on BB criticise Makaawhio, which held a direct vote, no examination has been carried out on the other Runanga who are engaged in the process.

For some Runanga, like Oraka Aparima, there was simply no contest. Other Runanga there is clearly shenagins going on. Waewae held the postal vote months ago using a mailout list which excluded almost all the Tuahiwi members.

Taumutu held no postal ballot and were not even going to hold interviews before re-appointing their Rep. Talk about pre-determination...

Otakou takes the prize so far. They had enough numbers to hold a postal ballot but the names were not quite right. So the Chair re-opened nominations and guess what the father in law of the Chair and a couple of others put their names forward. And then they held a ballot run from the runanga database and low and behold enough of the "right kind of people" are now on the apppointment committee.

And now, it seems that the Chair of the Runanga wants to be the Rep and the other applicants have been told they are wasting their time in going through the process.

And who is the Chair and the Rep in waiting, let me think ... ex CEO Tahu Potiki. Until he clears up the question of the alleged double payout when he was CEO he has a damn cheek.

I am surprised that Edward would allow himself to be involved in such shenanigans - to participate on an appointment committee when your son-in-law is a candidate is pretty damn dodgy.

It is clear that BBs mates are trying to arrange a change at the table to bring in the same trouble makers who were making headlines earlier this year.

There motives are definately suspect and the modus operandi of how they intend to get into power speaks for itself."

October 19, 2009 11:31 AM

Marty Mars said...

"It is hard to know where to begin.

On one hand i think the elections are just a load of rubbish. The same people doing the same thing for the same reasons. No democracy, no fairness.

Two have finalised their election and 16 have yet to. There are 11 weeks until 2010 - the maths doesn't add up.

i have heard of kaumatua not being included, taken off, changed and adjusted. All without proper process.

When we register as Ngai Tahu our whakapapa is recorded. Most runaka have asked for members who think they whakapapa to them, to get in touch with them - this is just a joke. We have already registered and it is the runaka's responsibility to write and contact us to vote - not the other way round. My runaka haven't contacted me and the only one that has - had a kaumatua that we weren't descended from as one of our tupuna.

Who owns this? The runaka asked that TRONT leave it up to them. TRONT's duty is to it's members who are the members on the roll at TRONT.

I have reread the comments from all of the hui regarding this election process.

My thoughts at this stage are -

1. It is not a fair or democratic process.

2. The responsibility for enrollment and ability to cast a vote should be the runakas but they have abdicated their responsibility and now no-one looks after members.

3. The electrol college approach is flawed and part of the reason for the low interest.

4. Each runaka has set up their own criteria and process - they are not all equal or equivilant.

5. The process whereby if a runaka has the same nominations as places and therefore it just puts people in, without election or debate, is not democracy or giving people choice.

Trying to get information is difficult. No ones wants to put their head up because the whole thing is so bogus that that they will be tarred with the brush.

I am not giving up but i think what will be will be and the results from this flawed process will become very evident quickly - and then we can fix it. Maybe at hui a tau someone will raise the questions.

Our mana has not been enhanced by this."

What do you think?

Do you care?

Footnote - Go here to read Richard Parata's latest insight to the Ngai Tahu Elections

Taster..."The following is a submission to a Runanga I where I have voting rights. It is a formal dispute - allowed under the Runanga constitution- about their electoral process. So far I have not had a reply. The points I raise are applicable to other Runanga elections. It is my view that any Runanga who do not run a democratic process have no right to sit at the Tront table."