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.


robertguyton said...

Niho me matikuku e hoa!

Ana said...

Tautoko, Papatuanuku First

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marty,
"Economic Spin", "back into the community", "sustainable", "environmental impacts are negligible". Reads like Nat, Key, Brownlee speak to me. I wholly agree with Ana.

Anonymous said...

have you ever seen the damage the various Atua do to Papatuanuku all without our help

mountains are made into hills, landslides and earthquakes make far larger changes in minutes than mining will ever achieve

the outfall of Whakatipu once flowed through Murihiku and now not so much

the scars on Secretary Island from the recent (within the last 10 years) earthquakes are still visible and will last at least for my lifetime and probably for another two generations

I am not a very big fan of mining or dairy farming or a whole lot of things but the reality is these things are going to happen. So we can stand on our digs and say no way and watch as others profit and our voice is not heard on the steps that can and should be taken to mitigate or we can participate and do what we can to limit or mitigate the damage and if it helps with our particpation in the economy of the country then all the better.

have you been to the Arahura and seen the farms on the site of old mining operations - the outcomes of mining and dredging looked pretty harsh for a generation and now they sustain whanau

are you saying Ngai Tahu can't extract pounamu unless it is on the surface? Our old people would divert streams to gain access to pounamu and to build eel weirs - was that wrong of them?

who has the right to impose on all Maori a view that we are not to participate in the economy because of some kind of blanket rule

in my view the high moral ground is pretty good if you can afford to sit there but some whanau don't have that luxury

what i have heard the iwi leaders say, and Mark in particular, is let the people of the area decide after they consider the facts and weigh up their responsibilities

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Robb and anon,

Good points from you both and yes Robb the language tells the story.

Anon - there are choices and the people decide. There is no doubt it is a tough one - I'm aware of the various tensions.

There is a big difference between thinking of 'things' as resources and thinking of them as commodities.

There are lines that we hold - for instance would anyone consider mining Aoraki? What about if there was a billion $ under him?

Anonymous said...

Who are these iwi leaders anyway? And what is an iwi leader? The Treaty was signed by rangatira of hapu. So why does the Govt decide only to deal with iwi. And then who decided who the leaders of the iwi are? Were they elected? Appointed? If either of these, then by who? Descended from tupuna? Or are they corporate brown table members who get in first and take the cream for themselves, make decisions that benefit only a brown elite, and all with no regard for tikanga, mana, wairua, mauri.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora anon

Yes - you have made some very good points.

Since colonisation began they have always wanted to cluster maori in managable groups - this makes it easier to steal the land. The crown wanted to pay the putea from successful claims (claims which confirmed stealing and deliberate attempted destruction of maori) so they created and enforced a structure which fitted in with their world view and set up that structure. Did maori have a choice? Much of the modern iwi structures are artifical and contrived - it suits them and, well tough cheese if it doesn't suit maori.This imposed system undermines maori values IMO.

This issue of who are leaders and where they get their mandate from is so vital, so important. Ngai Tahu banded together to fight off common enemies, that doesn't diminish the fractionation within the iwi - it is a strength of the system.

Anonymous said...

I am always bemused about the talk of Maori leadership and the assumption that the new post colonisation ways of doing things are somehow inferior.

Pre-colonisation the leadership roles mostly depended on ariki lines and if you came from their that was good for you and not so good for others.

As colonisation took hold so did the biblical view of the place of women so very few are seen as signatories to the Treaty or land sales and thus men sold land on behalf of iwi and hapu.

Breaking up the collectivism of Maori was a colonialist strategy and Maori sought to retain collectivism (one of the few consistent themes). The breakdown of collective action was a key premise of land legislation until the advent of Maori Trusts and Incorporations. These are not Crown driven initiatives they are Maori driven initiatives.

And the re-emergence of iwi collectives has coincided with the re-emergence of Maori political power. And to do that we need leaders - but from where should they come?

IMHO the system is better today than at any time previously. Is it perfect? hell no!!!

But at least now, as a collective we can influence who leads our respective iwi and they can be judged on what they do.

Ngai Tahu whanui will have two days in which to speak directly to their leadership as early as next week at the hui a tau.

so Marty - i don't agree that it has been the Crown who wanted to collectivise Maori - from a Ngai Tahu perspective we fought hard for it because without it and the legal recognition of us as an iwi permission to mine an area could be got from any old Maori in a pub over a few beers and the local community was totally powerless

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting - some folks thing Mark is advocating and negotiating to allow the Crown to mine on Maori Land and yet the Crown thinks he is opposed to it.

Depends what you want to hear I guess.

from Question time yesterday
Minerals, Nationalised—Mining on Maori-owned Land
5. Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Labour—Hauraki-Waikato) to the Minister of Energy and
Resources: Did he give an undertaking to the Iwi Leadership Group that he would revisit Government policy on nationalised minerals if Māori considered granting consent to mining on Māori-owned land?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Prime Minister) on behalf of the Minister of Energy and
Resources: No.
Rahui Katene: Has he seen the comments on mining from Mark Solomon, chair of both Ngāi Tahu and the Iwi Leadership Group, that it is about getting all the best information one can and acting responsibly as kaitiaki for protecting the land, and what processes has he established to ensure iwi will be informed about Government policy on Crown minerals, moving into the future?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: Yes, I have seen those comments from Mr Solomon. I think he is probably still a wee bit focused on having no mining whatsoever, whereas I think there are possibilities in the Ngāi Tahu rohe that would be quite positive, including providing jobs for members of Ngāi Tahu. The Government is talking with iwi leadership about the best process to ensure iwi are well informed about Government policy on minerals and resources and can take iwi views into account. I do not think this will be difficult, because it is a process that we put in place for a whole range of issues that we discuss with iwi from week to week in the same way as we do with every other New Zealander.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora anon,

Strong arguments. I agree that collectivism is aligned with maori values.

I hope the issue of leadership and mandates is discussed at Hui a Tau.
And I also hope the issue of mining comes up - I'd like to hear from our kaumatua about what they think.

robertguyton said...

Anonymous - there is a profound difference between the mining' of pounamu and coal. One adds the the critical issue of climate disruption that leads to major impacts on the whole planet. The other does not.
As to the 'damage' done by nga Atua, again there is a profound difference between those events and any that are engineered by nga taangata. You comparisons are not so valuable as you might have hoped.
The diversion of streams to make eel weirs is an example where the harm was slight and reversible and occured at a time when the population was very low. The plans by the Chinese to redirect their major river to flow into an entirely new part of the country is a counterpoint to your example, Scale is very important in this discussion.

Anonymous said...

I always love it when a Pakeha claims our language, sits with our Kuia and Kaumatua and soaks up our culture and then judges us.

Our people are users of resources. Be it pouanamu or coal they are used for economic benefit. We use helicopters and explosives to take pounamu from places we could never have recovered it from thirty years ago and if required we will mine it.

One of our rights under the Treaty is the right to development. I also love that it is we Maori who must pay the economic cost of protecting the lands that are left after others have raped and pillaged all the other areas.

I take comfort from the fact that pounamu born in what is now Fiordland is now taken from the Arahura - the arrogance of us to think whatever we do really makes that much difference - the timeframe for Papatuanku is measured in milions of years - not the 10 measley generations since Pakeha arrived or the 40-50 generations since Maori arrived with stories of how Te Waipounamu was formed.

Three million years ago the resources of Aotearoa were mainly under the ocean and many hundreds of miles from where they are today.

How is that for scale? I am told that the ruptures in the alpine fault could move the northward moving land by up to 8 meters up or down and along - it will make any the footprint of a modern mine look like a 1/4 acre section in a 100000ac back yard.

And in case it is important, I do not personally favour mining - but I would allow my whanau the curtesy of allowing them to weigh up the pros and cons of any particular proposal and it will be my moko who will judge them.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora anon,

Once again they are very strong arguments.

Yes on the cosmic timescales we are all little sparkles. We do use natural resources and modern technology and I don't have any issues with that but as this post stated I do have some issues around digging up papatuanuku to provide profit for others, and maybe some for maori, whilst depleting our natural storehouse for the future. Just because we have the ability to do it doesn't mean we should. But as you say the people will decide and I'm good with that too. I hope they get full information and not just spin, so that they can fully consider this. Be nice if, for instance, Iwi took 2 years to consider it, as Te Papa are taking with the consideration of koiwi tangata whose homes are unknown.

I actually think it is a good thing that people are learning our language and sitting with Kuia and Kaumatua and any judgements from those people about aspects of Te Ao Maori will be given there appropriate hearing. It's a pity brownlee and key can't be bothered learning the language but they don't have the respect for it that others do.

I appreciate your considered comments - thank you - if you have any reports from Hui a Tau - they would be gratefully recieved.

Anonymous said...

Rubbish rubbish and more rubbish!

Mark is a no one,uneducated for his current position which he has pushed himself into.

Mining ,forestry ,fisheries,maori social developement... all about the money.What about the Raping of commercial qouta from the sea in order to make the mighty buck.

With seas so depleted of every species one would think maori in power would be not collecting this resource to give nature a natural timeframe to rebuild after a hundred years of rape and plunder.but no,collective "maori kaitiaki" of whatever rohe stil fish or lease their quota to international fleets to make there coin.

its a sad self serving age we live in and earth is just a whore most _uck and wash their hands of after.

And back to the main Man mr solomon,are you all so blind?

Over two years ngai tahu has tried and failed to hold democratic elections for the position of kaiwhakahaare ,and hapu delegates.So far no one has advertised nor informed anybody as to when the kaiwhakahaare vote of 18 delegates will occur?

Have we all forgotten the last eight years of "mark" and the disruptive solo reign of his?

Now the "one man" tront table chair wants to mine?

I am ngai tahu ,his actions are shamefull to our tribe.His arrogance and fat headed approach to leadership are only self serving.any one can say "for the benifit of us , our children ,and those after,look i just typed it!

etu kai tahu whanau!

Anonymous said...

MORRISON: There’s been talk around mining applications with Maori tribes, there’s been talk with the government, mining on Maori land. What’s Ngai Tahu’s involvement when it comes to mining applications in Te Waipounamu?

SOLOMON: Well there was no talks with the government about mining Maori land. The meeting that was held with the government was specifically to ask – could we set up a frame work so iwi katoa could engage in a dialogue with the national government over their plans around mining over all exploration, there was no talk about mining.

MORRISON: Is Ngai Tahu open to mining minerals other than Pounamu?

SOLOMON: Ngai Tahu in their submission to the Crowns plea to mine the conservation estate we take a very cautious approach. We would look at every application on a case by case basis and we would certainly be opposed to the government making the DOC estate more free and open for mining.

MORRISON: In terms of a case by case basis, if the government was to tell Ngai Tahu that some of the land under Ngai Tahus’ jurisdiction contains some very wealthy mineral base would you then decide to even if it is Maori land would you then decide to mine it?

SOLOMON: We would have to look at it if it had detrimental environmental impacts then I would say that Ngai Tahu would say no, it would have to be on a case by case basis, what are the effects how would you mitigate before we engaged.

from Sunday 28th November, 2010

Anonymous said...

Fraccing is very hazardous... it poisons the land, water, & aquifer systems! It looks like they will be starting to frac on the West Coast:

You can find out more about what fraccing is on the Facebook Group Page called Say No To Fracking In NZ!