Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maui Street - great new maori blog

Great to see that muzza has set up a maori blog Maui Street - we need more maori blogs and we need to connect them all up.
I've been an avid reader of the New Zealand blogsphere for quiet a while now and i've recently noticed the shortage of blogs written from a Maori perspective. This blog is an attempt to address that shortage. Most of my postings will deal with Politics and are written from the perspective of a young Maori male.
This post from muzza discusses the maori party and there successes/failures - an excellent summation and discussion.
A common criticism from the left is the MP have favoured symbol over substance. To a lesser extent they have shown far too much deference to the “Iwi elite” and not enough compassion towards urban Maori – or poor Maori. In my opinion the first criticism holds true. Many, if not most, of the MP policy wins have had very little practical effect.
Awesome to have more korero - thanks muzza - looking forward to part 2.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Song to start

relevant today and so haunting

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Little wheel spin and spin, big wheel turn around and around


Little Wheel Spin and Spin Big wheel turn around & around (4x)

Merry Christmas Jingle Bells
Christ is born and the devil's in hell
hearts they shrink Pockets swell
Everybody know and nobody tell

Little Wheel Spin and Spin Big wheel turn around & around (4x)

Oh the sins of Caesar's men
cry the pious citizens
who petty thieve the 5 & 10s
and the big wheels turn around and around

Little Wheel Spin and Spin Big wheel turn around & around (4x)

Blame the angels, blame the fates,
Blame the Jews or your sister Kate
Teach your children how to hate
and the big wheels turn around and around

Little Wheel Spin and Spin Big wheel turn around & around (4x)

Turn your back on weeds you've hoed
silly sinful seeds you've sowed
Add your straw to the camel's load
Pray like hell when your world explode

Little Wheel Spin and Spin Big wheel turn around & around (4x)

Swing your girl fiddler say
Later on the piper pay
Do see do, swing and sway
Dead will dance on judgement day

Little Wheel Spin and Spin Big wheel turn around & around (4x)

Friday, November 26, 2010

fish off the rocks mate

You have to laugh at the absurdity of this - A russian billionaire wants to build a 230m concrete path across coastal rocks so he can go deep-sea fishing from his Northland getaway during his twice-yearly visits. He wants to be able to get his quad bike down there and will paint it natural colours - so it will blend in. At the end of the path will be a pontoon - 4 metres by 14 metres. He is a bit of a keen fisherman apparently.

So who opposes this and why
From NZH

The Department of Conservation and Historic Places Trust are opposing the resource consent application to build the path and a floating pontoon.They say the plan will have more than minor effects on the environment and is contrary to parts of the Resource Management Act.
the Northland Regional Council is recommending it be approved
I wonder if tangata whenua have been consulted because if not then that needs to happen ASAP. I hope this grotesque vanity will not be built and that the russian billionaire enjoys this place the way it is rather than remolding it.

sale just wrong

So someone will be making  lots of money from the auction of maori artifacts stolen and looted from these islands (and I mean that under all circumstances including gifts). Will our government bid - oh i don't think so, that is only for fantasy movies and finance company investors - maybe a museum will buy them - you know, for their antiquities area.

I'd like to see them come home and be treated with respect - this disgusting habit of comodifying indigenous people must stop and i'd ban the auction and sale of indigenous cultural artifacts.

From TV3
More than $600,000 worth of precious Maori artifacts are to be sold at auction in Paris next week, including a canoe prow said to have been owned by a Treaty of Waitangi signatory.
The prow is only about 28cm high and described as "very rare" and in the shape of a tattooed head representing Hema, a hero of Maori mythology, will be sold in Paris next Wednesday.
"The rarity of the work and its importance in the history of the Maori is equalled by the exceptional treatment of the facial tattoos, which completely cover the face in curvilinear patterns," the auction house said in notes for its catalogue.
A 48cm waka huia - an ancient wooden container for greenstone and huia feathers - was carved with stone tools. It was collected by William Oldman.
A 13cm hei tiki carved from greenstone was collected by naturalist Frederick Strange during a stopover of the HMS Acheron in Auckland in 1849.

Collected - such an innocent euphamism - how were 'artifacts' collected? What was the mindset of the collectors?

This is a filthy business and these auctions are the latest shameful episode in the long exploitation.

beginning submission

The Maori Affairs Select committee is currently hearing submissions on the replacement to the Foreshore and Seabed Act. There are divisions within Maoridom, " members of a Maori Party branch gave differing submissions on it yesterday." - one supported and the other opposed.
From Claire Trevett NZH
Heeni Collins said she had initially opposed it until she read it fully. She now believed its provisions for customary rights and title were sufficient, provided tests of ongoing and exclusive occupation and use by iwi were applied flexibly. She it had to be acknowledged many iwi had shared their resources because hospitality was integral to Maori culture.
However branch secretary Roimata Tauroa, who also gave a submission, said the bill should not go through, saying it was no better than the 2004 Act and set tests that were too high for most iwi to meet. She said those who marched in the 2004 hikoi had expected more than simple repeal - but it had not been delivered.
Other submissions included mining interests - so what did they say?
mining interests also gave submissions yesterday, saying while they supported the overall changes they wanted more certainty for potential future mining of ironsands and oil.
Senior policy analyst for mining industry representative Straterra, Bernie Napp, said the bill risked creating uncertainty which could put off investors. He said it protected existing permits and resource consents but there was no protection for mining companies who currently had exploratory permits who might later seek a permit to mine the area.
Todd Energy senior executive Chris Hall raised similar concerns, saying the objective of the bill was to reinstate Maori rights while also protecting the interests of all New Zealanders. "We have reservations about whether the appropriate balance has been struck in this legislation to the extent it overrides our ability to explore for and produce petroleum in the national interest as well as our own."
IMO mining corporations goals of creating profit don't align with the national interest. Mining companies want zero impediments to mining - simple really, anything that negatively, potentially, affects the profit is a threat and maori will fall into that camp - eventually - but that will be after they have stripped everything of value off the land and the people and it will be after the promises and lies are shown up as the cynical manipulations that they are, until that day mining will be big buddys with maori, but the savages are watching and we won't get covered over by illusion and fancy words.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

money talks

Gareth Morgan has made some extreme comments in relation to changes in the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust's governance. He isn't happy about the number of mana whenua representatives - not happy at all and in his usual style has shot from the hip. He has been accused of racism - what do you think?

Nikki Preston, Waikato Times
Economist Gareth Morgan said successful iwi attempts to take greater control of the project were "a case of blatant self-serving opportunism".
The hard work of volunteers, private funders and landowners was being "threatened by piracy," he said. He is calling for the flagship 3400 hectare ecological island to be given national park status to protect it from political gamesmanship.
Multimillionaire Dr Morgan said iwi were "seizing and capitalising" on the community's, landowners' and private funders' efforts.
"My concern is their contribution to work and funding has been zilch.
"If they had been at all honest they would have made this move before, not after, the fence was erected." He said few, if any, private funders "will be willing to pour money down the throats of the wide-mouth frogs of indigenous imperialism".
Mana whenua had "struggled to lift a finger so far" and now the hard work was done and money contributed, they were demanding effective control of the mountain's future, Mr Morgan said.
What a diatribe, but is it true? Not according to those who might know something about it.
Dr Morgan's claims have been slammed by trust chairman Doug Arcus, iwi and the Waipa District Council.
They said Dr Morgan was "ill-informed" and funders they had spoken to were supportive of the new governance structure.
Mr Arcus, a Hamilton lawyer, said Dr Morgan's comments were "misinformed, simplistic and what many on the trust considered racist". His comments overlooked key facts, including Maori owning the largest amount of land locked up behind the fence, and that iwi were legally required to be involved in relocation of species.
Waipa Mayor Alan Livingston – also a trustee – said Dr Morgan's comments were "out of whack". He said the new governance structure would be more effective when it came to making quick decisions.
And what is the big change that has caused this distress?
Under the new structure, mana whenua will provide three of the six trustees, with the remainder drawn from landowners and community representatives and the board having the option to co-opt another two trustees. Iwi will be able to appoint a co-chair.
It is still only 3 of the 6 trustees - that is not onerous considering the stake tangata whenua have in the area. And also considering the state of the trust as i posted about here. What is this project?
The trust oversees the ambitious ecological project which saw a 47km-long pest-proof fence built around the bush-clad mountain southeast of Cambridge. Since the fence was completed in 2005 and pests eradicated, more than 30 kiwi and other endangered wildlife – including takahe – have been released on to the mountain.
In October, Ngati Koroki Kahukura chair Karaitiana Tamatea told the Waikato Times iwi were hopefully of a cash settlement for their Waitangi Tribunal claim in relation to Maungatautari, which would be invested and the interest ploughed into the project. Iwi were aiming to be able to provide "about $1m a year, forever," he said.

Morgan gave a 1 million interest free loan and was going to write it off but because of the increase in Maori involvement on the board now isn't. If morgan is really interested in helping this trust then he will listen to the people involved and what they consider the best way forward is - there is no ownership involved in giving a interest-free loan - that's just business.

kick them while they are down

As expected Rebstock and co have come out with a range of ideas to destroy the welfare state and beneficiaries, in the guise of fixing it and them.

From NZH
The review by the Government's welfare working group chaired by economist Paula Rebstock suggests that as few as 20,000 of the 144,000 sickness and invalid beneficiaries might be exempted from job-search requirements.

Nice - 20,000 out of 144,000 - that'll learn them - get off your butts and find one of the non-existant jobs, after all you are only sick or invalided. How bad is this - at the stroke of a pen 124,000 people are able to go and work, in fact they must search for work - MUST.
Sole parents could be required to look for work when their youngest children turn 3, or even 1.

The children can look after themselves in rebstocks world. The effect of this draconian measure on society is massive and all negative. Meanwhile families and whanau are further seperated and people are more isolated and children are not valued. I am not going to live in rebstock's world.
the review also offers beneficiaries a long list of potential "carrots" to help them get and keep paid work.

What about if there is NO work? Carrots - just like donkeys - geddit?
The proposals range across other public services, suggesting a radical revamp of the school system to steer at-risk youngsters into apprenticeships or other practical training.

Yes let's create more factory schooling - that will fix everything.

When I read this report it makes my skin crawl - it is all just about money and the people are just obstacles. The most vulnerable in society are at risk and maori are highly represented in those groups - this report is an attack upon maori because maori will suffer the most under these recommendations - and that is the way they want it - it suits their purposes.
The Rebstock report does not explicitly recommend any of the options it has put forward. It called for submissions on its ideas by Christmas Eve and will publish final proposals in February.
It also proposes contracting out some Work and Income services to private companies and iwi. It says 31 per cent of all beneficiaries are Maori and calls for a "strategic memorandum of understanding" with iwi leaders to reduce Maori welfare dependency, partly by developing specific programmes "by Maori, for Maori".
Don't be under any illusions - this report is not about helping beneficiaries or maori - they will try to lay the reponsibility on maori without giving any resouces to help - then they will point the finger and blame maori.

29 miners lost - RIP


Conrad John Adams, 43, Greymouth, New Zealand
Malcolm Campbell, 25, Greymouth, Scottish
Glen Peter Cruse, 35, Cobden, New Zealand
Allan John Dixon, 59, Runanga, New Zealand
Zen Wodin Drew, 21, Greymouth, New Zealand
Christopher Peter Duggan, 31, Greymouth, New Zealand
Joseph Ray Dunbar, 17, Greymouth
John Leonard Hale, 45, Ruatapu, New Zealand
Daniel Thomas Herk, 36, Runanga, New Zealand
David Mark Hoggart, 33, Foxton, New Zealand
Richard Bennett Holling, 41, Blackball, New Zealand
Andrew David Hurren, 32, Greymouth, New Zealand
Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, 47, Cobden, South Africa
William John Joynson, 49, Dunollie, Australia
Riki Steve Keane, 28, Greymouth, New Zealand
Terry David Kitchin, 41, Runanga, New Zealand
Samuel Peter Mackie, 26, Greymouth, New Zealand
Francis Skiddy Marden, 41, Runanga, New Zealand
Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, 23, Greymouth, New Zealand
Stuart Gilbert Mudge, 31, Runanga, New Zealand
Kane Barry Nieper, 33, Greymouth, New Zealand
Peter O’Neill, 55, Runanga, New Zealand
Milton John Osborne, 54, Ngahere, New Zealand
Brendan John Palmer, 27, Cobden, New Zealand
Benjamin David Rockhouse, 21, Greymouth, New Zealand
Peter James Rodger, 40, Greymouth, British
Blair David Sims, 28, Greymouth, New Zealand
Joshua Adam Ufer, 25, Australia
Keith Thomas Valli, 62, Winton, New Zealand.

The loss of these 29 men will ripple for ever. Arohanui to family, friends and the coast community.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

learning by listening

I've talked about this concept of strengthening communities by talking about the history and significance of an area by tangata whenua. When this happens we get context and understanding as all people are entwined in the area where they live and each landmark and significant place has a story and a connection to other places in the area, and most importantly - the people.

A great initiative up North, from The Whangarei Leader
Two days of fun and Maori storytelling aims to foster an appreciation for the Raumanga area.
The wananga is aimed at families in the Smeaton Drive, Tauroa St and Fairburn St areas, community development officer Kim Anderson says.
The wananga carries on from a hikoi earlier in the year when the streets were blessed and community spirit was fostered, she says.
"It made them feel more at home. There was a sense of belonging, a sense of doing things for the area," she says.
Adults will be taken on a history lesson with a trip to Ruarangi – the mountain now used as Winstone Aggregate's Otaika Quarry.
They will also visit Kaka Porowini Marae.
For kids, there will be a fun day full of activities including traditional Maori games based at The Pulse.
Awesome initiative. I am very impressed with this because every step in the direction of connection and understanding is a step towards a better future for all of us. Building community and bringing people together, with context for today is the best way to create a sense of belonging. And we all need to feel like we belong - especially tangata whenua. This is also an example of a generousity of spirit, a practical example of manaakitanga (making welcome) and I hope the local community take up the offer. We cannot understand the maori worldview without listening.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

destruction of wetland

There are many idiotic things we do to the land and draining wetlands is well up there. Unacceptable news that a wetland in the Catlins has, somehow, been drained.

From ODT
Fish and Game hired a helicopter last week to investigate reports the Lundy Marsh (formerly the Cairns wetland) had been drained and the peat bog and tussock vegetation destroyed.
"You'd hardly recognise it, it's been drained, the vegetation is gone, and from the helicopter it looks like grass on top," Fish and Game Otago officer Morgan Trotter said.
On a scale of one to 10, he described the destruction of the wetland as a seven or eight.
Bloody hell - this is really bad.
Wetlands acted as a sponge, absorbing water in winter and releasing it during dry conditions in summer, keeping rivers flowing, he said.
Mr Trotter said he had laid a complaint with the Otago Regional Council about the damage to the wetland, which he believed had taken place in the past year, although drainage of the area had been an ongoing issue.
He had also made an Official Information Act request to the council for all information it had on file regarding the wetland.
Thank goodness for the Morgan Trotter's of the world.
Otago Regional Council resource policy director Fraser McRae said the damage done to the swamp was of concern and the council would be making inquiries to see whether the work was done legally or illegally.
"The current plan does not protect all wetlands, nor will it in the future stop people from draining everything people might see as a wetland."
Taking and draining water from a wetland was a permitted activity (did not need a resource consent) if it was not in the schedule 9 of significant wetlands.
The wetland was on leased council-owned Kuriwao Endowment Land but under the 1948 Act governing the land, the council had no control over what was done on the land by the lessee.
The wetland was not in the current water plan so was not subject to any protective measures, he said.
Yep - you don't even need a resource consent to drain a wetland or starve it of water, then you can watch it slowly die. We need to help this wetland - I'll keep you posted on what we can do.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the long wait

My thoughts are with the miners and their whanau and the communities they live in. This is a terrible time of not knowing.

From NZH
Rescuers will be forced to wait several more hours before they are able to enter the Pike River coal mine where 29 men remain trapped after a large explosion yesterday afternoon.

I hope everthing works out the best way possible.

Littletunes Studio - music for the people by the people

I've got a mate who is a gifted musican. He has set up Littletunes which is a great concept. Take a group of young people for a couple of days, get them playing instruments, writing lyrics and singing. record and cut it together to make a song, video it and give the band and parents a copy. It really is amazing to see the results, music is such a universal language. An offshoot of Littletunes is the work Sam does with people of mixed ability . These videos show the fun and enjoyment of the process, in this case a weekend workshop. Many people are doing much in our society to make it better and increase the opportunities, especially in releasing creativity. Good on you mate.

Littletunes - music for the people by the people

Those songs will ring in your head, they are catchy and atmospheric and the sentiments of "got to be lazy" and "are you ready for a good time" say it all. Send me or Sam an email if you'd like to consider the talents of Littletunes to help your group, Sam works with children, youth, mixed ability people and teams within communities and organisations to release creativity, improve self esteem, and connect and strenghten teams.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kahu aged three

What can I say - I'm a proud dad. Kahu is three and he loves his bike and the skatepark - here's why

we will and we won't

It is too much, I suppose, for key the prime minister, to realise what Ngati Kahu are protesting about in Taipa. He says,
Mr Key said the Popata brothers, who are nephews of Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, are trying to paint the occupation as a protest relating to the foreshore and seabed issue, when it is clearly not.

I don't think they are doing that at all. their protest is quite specific to the land they want back. Obviously that land is on the foreshore and seabed - that is the connection. Get used to it key, this is just the beginning. The threats are what maori have heard for many years, they are nothing new. 
Prime Minister John Key says the occupation of land at Taipa in the Far North could damage the Treaty settlement process.
"If there's a genuine claim there," he said, "then the right track is to take that up with the negotiations minister and his team."

Yes that is what you want; that maori fit within your little box and follow your rules designed for your purposes. We will follow the process and we won't. You already have the land but time will bring it back and generations if necessary.
Radio NZ

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

beware the mining beast

What would really happen if maori land was opened up, by iwi for mining. Well other indigenous peoples have experienced this, for instance the Takla Lake First Nation people in British Columbia.

These are quotes from the Executive Summary of "Bearing the burden the effects of mining on First Nations in British Columbia. International Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School. Full report here.
While Takla has good relations with some mining companies, it has generally been ambivalent or even hostile to new projects. This attitude stems largely from the fact that community members feel excluded from the process that reviews proposals and inundated with mining claims and projects on their traditional territory. In addition, Takla—home to exploration sites, a major open-pit mine, and several abandoned operations—has seen the range of harms caused by different stages of mining. Members of Takla widely report destruction of habitat, a decrease in wildlife, and a fear of health problems from contaminants. Because of Takla’s close
ties to the land, these effects cause cultural as well as environmental injury. Finally, even those members who are willing to accept mining say that they have not received the benefits that are supposed to accrue from the industry—in particular, revenue sharing and employment opportunities.
The players in this industry do not care about indigenous peoples or the environment - they really have just one responsibility and that is to generate a profit for shareholders. They crush their opponents, break their promises and laugh as the walk across broken land and bodies, all the way to the bank. They are mean and serious and they eat indigenous rights without blinking. It is too late once they are in, once they sniff a profit and the door is opened - much too late then.
Takla’s traditional governance structure reflects this close relationship to the land. Known as the potlatch system, it is centered around keyohs, families’ traditional tracts of land. A family leader represents the keyoh at community gatherings and is commonly described as “speaking for the land.” The names these keyoh holders inherit often indicate their responsibilities to the environment. The name “wise fish,” for example, belongs to a man who must protect the water so that fish can safely spawn. The Canadian government, however, banned the potlatch system for many years and created an alternative governance structure—an elected chief and four council members—that still survives. The existence of two types of spokespeople sometimes creates tensions because government officials communicate primarily with chief and council as representatives of the whole community while ignoring keyoh holders who “speak for the land.”
There are many similarities between indigenous peoples. I hope our 'speakers for the land' are making their voices heard - we need to hear them.
During interviews, Takla’s members voiced particularly adamant criticism of the lack of consultation. Because free entry does not require consultation, they often only learn about claims registered on their traditional lands through chance encounters with miners. These encounters have become rare since the advent of online registration, yet the number of claims has skyrocketed. Takla’s leaders said they are overwhelmed with NOWs for exploration proposals. They have neither the time nor the financial resources to conduct in-depth studies to supplement the superficial information they receive and to identify any problems before the deadline. Even when they do respond, their former mining coordinator said, “99.9 percent of the time” the government dismisses their objections.
When the floodgates are opened the flood comes.
Mining also threatens Takla’s culture and spiritual life. The registration of claims without consultation may be viewed as culturally insulting to Takla given their historic occupation and claims to traditional lands. At later stages of the process, environmental degradation interferes with Takla’s subsistence hunting, food gathering, and use of medicinal plants, and with the transmission of cultural knowledge that accompanies those activities. Finally Takla members generally feel a spiritual connection to the land, and some told IHRC that they experience personal pain when they see the environment injured by mining.
The time to halt these talks is now, before any momentum is generated, before it gets out of control and un-turn-round-able. We must learn the truth from those that have already suffered the consequences of letting the mining beast off it's chain.

i didn't mean what I wanted you to think I meant

I dunno about you, but the term "dumb arse coconut" does seem like an insult rather than pacifika humour to me  - but if a pacifika person says it about another pasifika person - what then? I don't think I'd like "dumb arse hori" for instance. It is worth watching the video to see that the easiest way to go is to just say, "Yes, that was wrong, I made a mistake, I am sorry and I apologise to everyone offended by my poor comment."

Go here to watch the video on TV3.

Hat tip - Kiwiblog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

no YOU go to hell

What a poor example finlayson has set by telling a group of maori to "go to hell" - What right has this person has to curse this group - for any reason. He is losing it - his recent obnoxious interview with Kathryn Ryan and now this. From TVNZ
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson has told a Maori protest group in the Northland town of Taipa they can "go to hell".

Hone, from Stuff
Maori Party MP Hone Harawira said he was disappointed Mr Finlayson had spoken "so disparagingly" about the protesters.
"They are simply seeking the return of lands clearly identified by the Waitangi tribunal as having been improperly taken in the past," he said.
"They have been very respectful even when being abused themselves."
The group has re-occupied land in Taipa, a week after they were moved on from a previous occupation on a section next door. The taking over of ancestorial land and building whare is an effective resistance tool as we are seeing up in Taipa. I support this action and this example is a showing lessons that we can all take on board.

From Radio NZ
Protesters moved back on to Taipa Point on Tuesday and are setting up camp on private land, next to the council reserve they were evicted from last week.

And Margaret Mutu states,
Ngati Kahu negotiator Margaret Mutu said on the iwi's website in March that she told a hui "the current settlement cannot be full and final because it does not return all our lands".
Prof Mutu said a 1997 Waitangi Tribunal report agreed that Ngati Kahu's title to the Taipa Point land had never been extinguished.
It is pretty clear that this is their land - give it back as i state in this post.

From Stuff
Far North District Council spokeswoman Alison Lees said the land was given to the council in parts in 1928 and 1963.

Give this land back. And as for finlayson - grow up and start treating people with a bit of respect.

Monday, November 15, 2010

derailing resource

Of recent times I've been in a couple of debates on the net. This resource can be used to identify tactics of oppression and it is worth considering how we use these techniques in our interactions with others.

Derailing for Dummies
"You know how it is. You’re enjoying yourself, kicking back and relaxing at the pub or maybe at the library; or maybe you’re in class or just casually surfing the internet, indulging in a little conversation. The topic of the conversation is about a pertinent contemporary issue, probably something to do with a group of people who fall outside your realm of experience and identity. They’re also probably fairly heavily discriminated against - or so they claim.
The thing is, you’re having a good time, sharing your knowledge about these people and their issues. This knowledge is incontrovertible - it’s been backed up in media representation, books, research and lots and lots of historical events, also your own unassailable sense of being right.
Yet all of a sudden something happens to put a dampener on your sharing of your enviable intellect and incomparable capacity to fully perceive and understand All Things. It’s someone who belongs to the group of people you’re discussing and they’re Not Very Happy with you. Apparently, they claim, you’ve got it all wrong and they’re offended about that. They might be a person of colour, or a queer person. Maybe they’re a woman, or a person with disability. They could even be a trans person or a sex worker. The point is they’re trying to tell you they know better than you about their issues and you know that’s just plain wrong. How could you be wrong?
Don’t worry though! There IS something you can do to nip this potentially awkward and embarrassing situation in the bud. By simply derailing the conversation, dismissing their opinion as false and ridiculing their experience you can be sure that they continue to be marginalised and unheard and you can continue to look like the expert you know you really are, deep down inside!
The deadly accurate points are made with humour - if you 'debate' on the net then this is essential reading.

and hope

I hope these news items are signals of real change.

The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is wonderful news.

and Canada has finally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Both items are concerned with truth and people power and they offer hope.

Friday, November 12, 2010

proud to be a savage

Headlines that promote stereotypes are often insidious and sometimes not. In the name of humour they use the headlines to attract attention but is that what they are really doing? From their world view it is an insult, a derogatory term that puts the boot in (that's where the humour and wittisim is) - they would be horrified and insulted if someone called them that. But that's not the way we need to take it - there are many examples where groups have reclaimed the hate-filled words used to insult them and turned them into positive expressions of membership of that group. This has happened successfully within sexuality, disability, gender and ethnic struggles. It is time for indigenous people to reclaim some more of the insults they try to use on us.

From Stuff
"Samoan PM savages Air NZ"
The word 'savage' needs to be reclaimed. Let's turn their ideas of superiority around and reclaim their 'insults' and turn them into our proclamations of identity.

Savage as a noun means a "person regarded as primitive or uncivilized." As an adjective it means "Not domesticated or cultivated; wild".


I am proud to be a savage, I love being not domesticated or cultivated, it's great to be wild and primitive, I bask in my uncivilised nature. We can all be savages.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

not long now

I am pleased with Te Papa. They are doing an important task in repatriating our ancestors. Some of their homes cannot be identified and Te Papa are beginning a process of hui and consultation with maoridom to determine the best course of action for our koiwi tangata. They say it will take two years and I think that is a worthy amount of time to consider this important issue and it is a tribute to the Te Papa team that they recognise it will take a while - too often maori get forced into quick decisions, forced by a pace set by others, hurried and harried - but not in this instance and we can all rejoice in that.

From NZH
Since 2003 the museum's international repatriation programme for koiwi tangata - skeletal remains - has brought home 186 from medical schools and museums abroad.
Te Papa is meant to be just an interim home as researchers try to find where the remains come from. So far they have sent 26 koiwi to 12 iwi.
Repatriation manager Te Herekiekie Herewini said Te Papa held 500 individual koiwi but for about 125 of them it would be difficult or impossible to establish provenance. Te Papa also holds 101 toi moko, which are preserved heads.
There are a couple of options to consider at this stage
Two options include having a putunga kotahi, mausoleum, built in Wellington to house the remains or agreeing to a Ngati Kuri request for burial near Te Rerenga Wairua, Cape Reinga, the place where Maori believe spirits of the dead depart for Hawaiki.
I am in favour of Te Rerenga Wairua. My hope is that these deliberations are not closed to those who wish to learn about maori values. It is up to maori to decide but it is important for everyone and everyone could learn an immense amount by this process. I am sure this will be another point of connection between people.

dargy dags

Maps has identified more Dargaville racism - why they still praise grave-robber hilliam up there is a mystery to me. This was the previous effort from their museum.

A quote from the latest post
"But the antics of Hilliam, and the tendency of some journalists to take those antics seriously, have begun to earn Dargaville a reputation for wackiness and insularity. Your paper contributes to this problem when it reports Hilliam's claims uncritically. At the very least, your article ought to have noted Hilliam's lack of any qualifications, his lack of any support from serious scholars, the series of false claims he has made over the years, the unease his grave-robbing and misappropriation of taonga have caused amongst Maori, and his ties to the One New Zealand Foundation.

Go here for a good read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have you considered Papatūānuku?

News that some iwi leaders including Ngāi Tahu's Mark Solomon have been in talks with the government on mining is beyond disturbing. They argue that they want to be at the table and that they already have expertise in utilizing natural resources. They also say it is just talks, they will go to their iwi for consultation if any plans are developed. It all starts with talks and I just don't think this group are gullible enough not to understand the political implications of their move. But have they considered the cost to maori and the values that have sustained us for generations. Have they considered Papatūānuku?

Solomon says , NZH
"It's about getting all the best information you can and acting responsibly as kaitiaki (caretaker) for protecting the land and if there is an economic spin out of it, that is good because that also goes back into the community."
Protecting the land does not include mining, no matter how much money you get for it. There are lines and this is one and it is unbelievable that they don't see this - it is further evidence for those that believe they have been subsumed by the power and become part of the problem, not the solution.

There is no mandate from manawhenua for this, whether it's talks or plans - none! The lines about building economic status are complete bullshit if that status is built on the cutting and drilling of Papatūānuku for money - that is not following the kaupapa, that is the opposite of the kaupapa. There can be no wealth without the whenua and will mining support or destroy the mauri of the whenua? There is no mana in this - just a wasteland where mana is absent.

"Ngai Tahu would look at anything, as long as it's sustainable," says tribe leader Mark Solomon. "If the environmental impacts are negligible, then we would look at it."

Really, anything?

For some iwi to even begin the process of considering mining Papatūānuku for money is a demonstration of an unwell mentality. A well mentality is one that is centred in the maori world view of interconnection, mana, tapu, mauri, wairua and whakapapa. How does this activity fit with our values? It doesn't! Why have we fought our claim - so that we can desecrate our mother? NO!

This will be fought tooth and nail I promise you that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

this is Maoriland

oh dear - this council has backed down to warriner who objected to the use of a macron in Kāpiti. Gutless and useless are they. warriner is in another catagory - guess which one?
From Dom Post
"Mr Warriner, an English immigrant living in Paraparaumu Beach, said using the macron was "offensive to the New Zealand language".
"At the end of the day, this is New Zealand it's not Maoriland. I didn't come to Maoriland, I came to New Zealand. I speak the New Zealand language, I'm a citizen of New Zealand."
If the small things that are "against democracy" are not sorted out then New Zealand can "forget the big ones", he said.
I'd prefer immigrants with this attitude to go away. We don't need antiquated ideas based on race hatred bought in by some immigrant - we have enough already thanks. So pack up and piss off mate - this is MAORILAND.

T-shirts are insult - BB

Busted Blonde has a provocative post up about the T-shirts for the RWC. I'm not so worked up about this although I have to say 'ka mate' does nothing for me - it's not my haka. Every iwi has histories of fighting and enemies - that is a given. What to do about them - that is the question. Most iwi have histories of infighting, where brother killed brother - certainly Ngai Tahu whanui have plently of those stories - do we hold the emnity tight and foster it? The lamentations of the fallen are still ringing in our ears, utu demands reciprocity - how do we fufill those obligations in today's world?

Hat tip - Roarprawn

visual poem

I am examined
little eyes watch
as I remember
an untidy day
closer to a settled
bird with spear
coiled and club,
always club.
I am examined

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Taonga returned

Great news that this taonga māori rock art has been returned home. I have posted about the taonga of the māori rock art here and here and it is great that Te Ana, the Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Centre is opening in December.

From Katarina Filipe Timaru Herald
"After nearly 100 years, 12 pieces of art were welcomed back to Waihao Marae with a powhiri yesterday, attended by representatives from Waihao, Arowhenua and Moeraki runanga.
The drawings were removed from sites in the Aoraki area in 1916 by American antiquarian James Lee Elmore and have since been housed in museum collections around the country and overseas.
How do the people feel?
Wendy Heath, kaikaranga of the tangata whenua, said the return of the art was "huge".
"They mean so much to us. They were done by our tupuna, they're our link to our tupuna in that sense. It's just so heartwarming.
"[The centre is] going to be brilliant for Timaru and South Canterbury as a whole. Us sharing our treasures with people will give them a better understanding of who we are."
Good effort from all concerned. Visiting these taonga will be a essential for anyone coming through Timaru and that is awesome because each of these visitors, whether from here or somewhere else, will get an introduction to Ngāi Tahu whanui. Eco-cultural tourism, where context is given to create connection, is what visitors want - they want to understand and interact.

sun - money-magnifying glass - sacred sites

The proposed destruction of 17,000 cultural sites in the Mojave Desert so that massive solar projects can go ahead  is shocking. The companies will get tax rebates for putting the shovel in this year. They will destroy petroglyphs and large geoglyphs, they will impact upon the environment and the ecosystems which are fragile. They are not considering the indigenous people and their sacred sites. They just care about money.

Check out the video and sign the petition - see below.

Ahni at Intercontinetal Cry reports,
For just one of the projects, "Blythe Solar, a partnership of Chevron and the German firm Solar Millennium will grade and level 9500 acres of desert in an area near to the Blythe Giant Intaglios. These are extremely large geoglyphs (images created on the surface of the Earth) representing Man, Woman, Creator, the seed and the “Trinity,” in the Ute Aztecan cosmological view."
In this excerpt from "Solar Gold," Alfredo Acosta Figueroa, an Elder, Tribal Monitor and historian from the Chemehuevi Peoples, describes the importance of these Sacred Intaglios, how they were made and what they mean to Indigenous Peoples. Figueroa also offers a humble suggestion on how they can be projected.
“This scale of an impact has never occurred before, " states Dr. Jim Andre, Director of the Granite Mountains Desert Research Institute. Once it reached about 250 proposed projects, from 5 to 25 thousand acres each, totalling 2 million acres, just for California... when you consider the importance of these (eco) systems to provide corridors for species to move as climate changes, whether its human caused change, or just the natural course of variation in climate change, you’ve really done in the entire ecosystem at that scale.”
To learn more about the film or to make a donation, please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/Solar-Gold. More excerpts are available at http://www.vimeo.com/user1982946
A petition is being circulated For the Protection and Preservation of the Blythe Geoglyphs. You can sign it at http://www.petitiononline.com/savekoko/petition.htmlA
A number of the projects are discussed in detail at http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/Contacts
La Cuna de Aztlán Sacred Sites Protection Circle
Alfredo Acosta Figueroa, Coordinator/Elder Historian & Chemehuevi Tribal Monitor
424 North Carlton Ave.
Blythe, Ca 92225
Phone: (760) 922-6422. Email: lacunadeaztlan@aol.com

Freshwater Bay Pictures, LLC
Robert Lundahl, Principal
833 So. Cedros Ave. #50
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Phone: (415) 205-3481. Email: robert@studio-rla.com
I can't really see any difference between this destruction and the religious destruction wrought by the Taliban, after all they are both concerned with destroying sacred sites. The god the companies worship is money, and that god is eternally unsatisfied.

Hat tip Intercontinental Cry Visit this site - it is one of the best!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Te Karaka - a bounty of richness and mana

On a brighter Ngāi Tahu note - the latest issue of Te Karaka is out and as usual it is packed with very interesting articles, photos and general knowledge regarding Ngāi Tahu. Well worth having a look online here - just look at the variety of information
"In this issue, we have some great stories including our cover story: South Seas Adventure. We follow the fleet of Polynesian waka as they set sail for an epic voyage around the Pacific.

Ngāi Tahu sails again. Fresh from a waka wānanga at Kaikōura’s Takahanga Marae and sailing a waka hourua around the Hauraki Gulf, a young Ngāi Tahu crew is one step closer to reviving the iwi’s maritime heritage.

Whale tales. TE KARAKA spends a day chasing whales and talking to the people behind Whale Watch Kaikōura – now one of the world’s leading indigenous businesses.

Taonga revival. The sound of taonga pūoro is becoming more familiar as contemporary music embraces the airy sounds of Māori wind instruments. Ngāi Tahu seeks to breathe life into taonga pūoro at a workshop of musical minds and instruments in Christchurch.

The need for speed. Anthony Knowles. It’s a name to remember because one day this Christchurch youngster is going to be famous around the world. Catch up with the country’s top Under-17 speedway rider.

Upholding the law. The first woman appointed as a Crown Solicitor outside the Crown Law Office in New Zealand is also a proud Ngāi Tahu descendant.

The let down.The National Government has missed an opportunity to right the wrongs of the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Mark Solomon and CEO Anake Goodall give their frank assessment of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Ancestral affinity. Irene Mura Schroder (Kāti Māmoe, Ngāi Tahu) is Curator Visual Arts Southland Museum and Art Gallery. She writes about the arrival of Te Hokinga Mai and what it means for Ngāi Tahu’s southernmost rūnanga.

Financial know-how on par. A landmark survey measuring the financial knowledge of Ngāi Tahu whānui has produced encouraging results.

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu: Māori Stormtrooper and more

He koreroreo nā Keri Hulme: Toitū te whenua hoki

He whakaaro: Tom Bennion – The foreshore debate – a new deal?

He whakaaro: Guest – Moana Jackson – Injustice compounded

Toi iho: Tuhituhi whenua – Ross Hemera

He kōrero kai: Jason Dell’s postcard from Singapore

Hei mahi marā: Mauri magic

He aitaka a Tāne: Kahikatea – the tallest native

Te ao o te Māori: Shaky times in Canterbury

He tangata: Hinemoana Baker

A bounty of richness and mana. Thank you once again Faumuinā and team, for all the hard mahi in relation to producing this glimpse into Ngāi Tahu whanui and values.

the policy made me do it

To me Ngāi Tahu Property selling 18,250 hectares of rural land leased to forestry companies located in the lowland Canterbury foothills is just wrong. The diversification argument is disingenous because this is LAND and this land is generating over 1M in rental income - that is low risk. Press Release
"NTP Chief Executive Tony Sewell says the Ngāi Tahu’s rural investment portfolio currently represents 1/6 of the Tribes commercial asset base. "Quite simply we are looking to diversify the overall portfolio in line with the Tribes investment policy.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon says the iwi has a number of policies in place that guide the decision making of those that lead its commercial entities, including the Group Investment Policy Framework, finalised this year, which encourages Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation and the subsidiaries to diversify the investment portfolio. "All our subsidiaries will, at times, have to make decisions to sell assets in order to reinvest in a manner that is consistent with our Investment Policy. We see diversification as being essential to secure the tribe’s future financial success."
I think we make a mistake when we just consider land as a commodity that generates profit. I am not happy with the blame being placed on the policy - who signed off the policy? The iwi decides the policy, in line with the values of the members of the iwi. I am not sure where the value of 'selling land' sits but it'll be well down the list i'd guess.

I have checked out the annual report and it says that the Group Investment Policy Framework is designed to get higher returns and provide liquidity and they will achieve that by "moving unproductive assets". The goal is to build net assets from 500M to 1B by 2015 - that's about 48 months away.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Surfing video - get ready for summer

Summer is coming - this video just makes me want to get into the water...


My eyes won't dry is very apt.

incremental visibility?

I am enjoying Audrey Young's posting on the foreshore and seabed issue and the maori party. There are some good points about this idea that the new Bill is similar to the old Act and also the lack of any support from the Bill to counteract Hone. I am not convinced that the Bill provides a foothold for maori to be able to challenge and erode the most unpalatable aspects of the Bill.

Audrey Young from NZH
"The Maori Party National Bill restores the right to go to court, it gives Maori the right to negotiate directly with the Crown for title, it relaxes the test to gain customary title (when compared with the territorial rights order under Labour), and gives successful iwi actual ownership of the foreshore and seabed, including development rights - with the proviso it cannot be sold.
Harawira has opted for purism over pragmatism. He and his supporters concentrate on the fact the bill does not "return" the entire foreshore and seabed to Maori, and/or that the ownership rights of customary title will fall short of the other parcels of foreshore and seabed that are in private title.
Harawira is not spelling out the obvious to his support base.
Based on recent New Zealand history, it is obvious that if the bill becomes law it may not take too much time before the aspects of it, such as the test to gain customary title, are re-cast by a coalition agreement or a court.
Could the Bill provide a foothold for maori to legally challenge the test for customary title, using the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights, in the near future? Is that really how to achieve progress? I have always struggled with the notion of incremental gains, I know it can be effective but isn't the visibility of the gains part of the actual gains? Does the incremental nature of the gains affect the visibility of the gains? If all of the Waitangi Claims were settled under the radar wouldn't that be a good thing and would the lack of visibility affect anything? Wouldn't high visibility lock in the gains by creating a modified societial world view? ... some questions I'm pondering...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A teacher teaches

Racism is a funny (not ha ha) old thing - race is a discredited concept so how does racism work? - based on generalisations about what people see and/or hear and the misconceptions that people have about the groups being generalised. Denigrating people by ridiculing them and disrespecting them, and for indigenous people, doing the same to their culture too, creates distress for the people unfairly targeted. The Green Island Postshop/Kiwibank, just out of Dunedin, has got a few questions to answer after this appaling example of disrespect. From ODT
"Asked to provide the name of the account by the female teller, she answered "Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepoti".
"She just laughed. And then she got her manager and said, 'Come and listen to this'," Miss Amiria Stirling said.
She repeated "Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepoti" to the pair, and then a nearby cafe worker was invited by the bank staff to listen as she repeated the school's name for a third time.
To add further insult, when asked her surname to complete the transaction, she was told it "was much better" to understand, before being farewelled with "kakariki", which translates to "green", as she left the building.
This is just appaling - I am going to give them a point for attempting to say goodbye in te reo because at least they tried. And it is fair to say that the first time you hear Otepoti (awe-tay-paw-tee) it can sound a little funny to uneducated ears - but still that is no reason to insult the woman. These people never considered that their actions were hurtful, it just didn't enter their head. Are they racist? No more than many others, certainly they are culturally insenstive and I hope they feel ashamed and tidy up their act, but I suspect they may be going, "What is the problem", "I have lots of maori friends", "People are just too PC and oversenstive", "It was just a bit of fun".

Anyway, what has been the result so far
"Miss Stirling said she was stunned by the incident and, after consultation, decided to write letters of complaint to the bank and members of Parliament, stating, "Our school chose Kiwibank because it's a bank for everyone.
"A founding belief of our school is that all languages and cultures are precious. All languages and cultures should be uplifted and celebrated, never laughed at."
The letter finished with an open invitation for branch staff to come to the school, which has a roll of 10, and to participate in free Te Reo Maori lessons.
Miss Stirling said the incident would serve as a lesson for the schoolchildren on conflict resolution, and the school was likely to continue using the branch in the future.

I would be very happy for Miss Amiria Stirling to teach my son - a brilliant example of mana and how to make lemonade from a couple of lemons. Thank you Amiria for this lesson.

Hat tip - Halfdone


Entanglement is interesting. Within quantum physics, entanglement is where, "two particles are inextricably linked so that measuring a property of one instantly reveals information about the other, no matter how far apart the two particles are." Many experiments have confrimed this and as science demands repeatable experiments to confirm theory it also wants to test the theory by trying to prove it wrong. One of the implausable explanations offered is that somehow the monitoring machines influence the results - so what do you do? Put the machines far enough away that the results are known before any light (or communication using light speed as it's fastest proxy) can reach the measuring device. This experiment has been completed and the results have confirmed that the machines are not involved. The experimenters explain it, from Sciencenews,
"The Austrian team used laboratories on the Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. One station, on the island of La Palma, had both a source of entangled photons and, about 1 kilometer away, a photon detector hooked up to a random number generator that told the instrument what kind of polarization to look for. A second photon detector, also hooked up to a random number generator, was located on the island of Tenerife, 144 kilometers away from the source on La Palma.
This setup prevented any conspiracy between the photon emitter and either of the detectors. Even the 1-kilometer distance was far enough to guarantee that a signal traveling at light speed between the photon emitter and the detector would arrive too late to affect the experiment’s outcome.
Pairs of entangled photons always had correlated polarizations at both detectors."
This process of experimentally testing an unlikely hypothesis to tick it off, close the loophole and tighten the theory is an laudable aspect of science.

As you may imagine there are many pathways to go with a post like this. I could, for instance, talk about maori knowledge systems and how they also have been developed by testing and discarding against theory. Or I could talk about this concept of entanglement and how this concept fits in with a connective universe but as Brian Greene says in "The fabric of the universe" "While I like the sentiment, such gushy talk is loose and overstated." and I do have a tendancy to go that way. I thought about using entanglement as a metaphor for the maori party but I've got a bit of maori party fatigue. So I'll just let the post stand as an example of the mysteries of this world we all inhabit.