Friday, January 29, 2010

Luminate Festival

I'm off to Luminate Festival today. If you are up there come and say kia ora, I'll be on the information desk at various times.

And what is Luminate
"Returning for it's third year, Luminate is a place to re-energise on the dancefloor, participate in workshops, be inspired about living sustainably, receive a massage, join in drumming around the fire, relax with a warm chai, watch an enlightening movie, be in harmony with nature, and celebrate a sense of conscious community. 28th January - 2nd February 2010."
Canaan Downs at the top of Pikikirunga (Takaka Hill) is a magical area with lots of native trees and plenty of room. It is going to be FUN.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

shock resignation from jeanette

I am in shock - not because i didn't think she wouldn't go at some stage - but because i don't want her to go.

from stuff
"Green Party MP Jeanette Fitzsimons confirmed today she had resigned from Parliament.
Ms Fitzsimons, the former co-leader, said it was time for a change of pace after a 13 year parliamentary career.
At age 65 she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren - fair enough Jeanette - I give the highest praise to you for the work you have done to save the planet and this country. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

special board of enquiry set up by smith

Good news that the cubicle dairy farms have been 'called in'.

from Stuff
"I have called in these discharge consents as they are nationally significant due to their scale, the fragile and iconic nature of the Mackenzie Basin environment, the importance of freshwater quality to the Government and the high level of public interest," Dr Smith said.
"The effluent from these intensive farms is equivalent to a city of 250,000 people and raises quite legitimate questions over the long-term impacts on the water quality in the Mackenzie Basin."
Environment Canterbury has received more than 4000 submissions against the proposals, while both the parliamentary commissioner for the environment and the Green Party have urged the Government to "call in" the proposal as a project of national significance.
Calling in the application means it by-passes local authorities and the normal Environment Court process and instead goes to a special board of inquiry, set up by the Environment Minister, and chaired by an Environment Court judge.
The board will comprise Environment Court Judge Jane Borthwick, water engineer Michael Bowden, scientist Dr Jim Cooke, Ngai Tahu representative Edward Ellison, and Waikato University lake ecologist Professor David Hamilton.

"I have deliberately chosen board members with first-class expertise on water quality issues and three who are also serving as commissioners on related water take consents to ensure appropriate continuity of the decision making process," Smith said.

This is almost a dead duck, but the pressure must be kept on and we need to keep our eyes open to their other plans. They will be equally witless.

kaiwhakahaere - the role

The role of kaiwhakahaere has been debated at the table. The subject has also been discussed here with some very interesting comments.

I'd like to talk about the role without getting into personalities.

The role originally was some sort of chairperson but the reality is that the role is a lot more than that. For instance the kaiwhakahaere is the public face of the iwi – they front the media, the hui, the issues, on behalf of the iwi. The role is an iwi role and that is why I think we should consider electing a non-TRONT representative to the role.

The role of the TRONT rep is to represent their runaka at the table and also to collectivelly govern the protect the wider iwi interests. The role of the kaiwhakahaere is to represent the iwi. Currently the 18 Papatipu Runaka Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu representatives elect the kaiwhakahaere from amoungst their number. I am not sure, but i would imagine, that fufilling the role of runaka rep and kaiwhakahaere at the same time, may be too much for one person.

I don't think we would create some type of 'super-leader' who is above the iwi and does what they want – there are too many checks and balances and too many eyes watching for that to happen. What we would create is the description of a role and the personal qualities needed and then we would select the best candidate for that role. And by we I mean all the iwi. If the role is considered an iwi role then the iwi should determine who the successful candidate is. Imagine the candidates, or their proposers, putting forward their case. We would get some fantastic korero and discussion of issues – there would be no secrets or hidden agendas – because the words would be known.

Yes there would be issues – costs for instance, campaigns, lobbying, moneyed influencers, communication and so on but the role was developed to fit a pakeha paradigm and it is only just over 10 years old. It is time to have a good look at it, a least to investigate options.

The role is arguably the most important in the iwi. We have to have the very best person from our iwi to be in that role and i think we need to look wider than our reps.

Comments – I have a problem when others (who are not position holders) are named, especially family members. The only other issue for me is if I think the comment is or could potenially be legally dodgy.

destroy and rejoice

I just can't resist

You'd think all those gnats would get pretty hot inside their dalek outfits

Monday, January 25, 2010

pretend maori greet cruise ships

Dressing up and pretending to be maori for cruise ships that arrive in Tauranga is insulting at best. It should not be allowed.

From NZ Herald
"Discovery Heritage Group has been banned from Port of Tauranga land after rival companies complained it hired foreign workers to wear traditional Maori dress.
Company director Terina Puriri said she employed a range of nationalities, including French and Israelis, because local Maori were not willing to promote their heritage.
"Some of our Maori are too slack to promote themselves. Some of our Maori are too lazy to get out of bed to do that.
"They don't turn up and it's a known thing for Tauranga Maori to do that."
Bullshit - disrespecting tangata whenua is shocking - what possible motive could their be - other than drawing attention away from the shameful company.
"Local kaumatua Iria Whiu, from Ngati Ranginui and Ngai te Rangi, was outraged, saying Puriri's comments were "highly insulting".
Using non-Maori posing as Maori was an insult to Maori nationwide, he said.
Exactly. This company should be investigated and protests should be launched. This type of exploitation is the very worse kind. Using non-maori to pretend to be maori is far too far IMO.

Good website from Tahu Potiki

Good initiative by Tahu Potiki in setting up his website and blog.

I know that some are better writers than others but i'd still like to see a lot more TRONT reps with their own site and blog – then we would really improve the communication.

It is interesting to read some of the discussions reported from the table. This site is a real treasure trove.

Hat tip Roarprawn

E Hine from Ariana Tikao's Ōhākī show, Christchurch Arts Festival 2009


treasures recovered

I'm a great believer in giving things back to the people they belong to, once that has been determined. We also had massive excavations when our dams were built - we know that maori rock art went under water - but how many other treasures did? What happened to anything that was found during those engineering jobs - I suppose they could say they never found anything, but it hardly seems realistic when you think of all the farmers with adze that they have found and any road that is built, always seems to turn up something interesting.

By CHERYL WITTENAUER The Associated Press
"Some U.S. military veterans are finding work helping sort through a massive government archaeological collection that has been neglected for decades.
Prehistoric and historic pottery, stone tools, arrowheads, Indian beads, necklaces, earrings and ear spools, and ceremonial artifacts, even human remains, were collected. The items then sat in boxes and paper bags in university museums as well as private basements, garages and tool sheds.
The collection dates to the 1930s, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started building dozens of locks, dams and reservoirs, and the ground beneath them was excavated for archaeological treasures.
In recent weeks, U.S. veterans — many disabled — have begun processing, cataloguing, digitizing and archiving the collection as part of a one-year $3.5 million project, funded with federal stimulus money.
It's part of the corps' effort to find American Indian cultural items and return them to tribes or their descendants — something all federal agencies must do under a 1990 law."
This is good work.

Hat tip Buffalo Post

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maria Callas "Vissi d'arte" Paris 1958

I enjoy a bit of opera and I've been to a few. I love sopranos, i'm not really a fan of the tenors.

Maria Callas is my favorite for too many reasons but mostly because I just feel the emotion in her voice.

beautiful - and the subtitles helped I think

facebook hate groups

Facebook hate groups and sites - well I am not a facebooker so I can't say I've seen too many of these but it is disquieting how many offensive groups form in this social networking arena. In Australia there is a big battle, from The Sydney Morning Herald
"Facebook sites inciting anti-Indian sentiment continue to flourish despite protests from Indians in Australia.
Groups such as I think Indian People Should Wear Deodorant, Stop Whinging Indians, and Australia: Indians, You Have a Right to Leave, have not been removed."
Freedom of speech so get over it? or the birthplace of hate and abuse?
"More than half a dozen Australian groups that are specifically anti-Indian are still active on Facebook. On top of that, there are many broadly racist groups, including F--- Off – We're Full and Speak English or Piss Off!!!, which has 54,000 members and is growing at a rate of about 2000 people a week.
"I don't think it's just a Facebook problem – it's a social problem, a problem in the society," Gautam Gupta, secretary of the Federation of Indian Students said.
This month anti-racism groups and school principals condemned students from elite Melbourne private schools who joined the group Mate, Speak English, You're in Australia Now.
Students from Sydney private schools Monte Sant' Angelo, Trinity Grammar and MLC are members of Speak English or Piss Off.
Facebook declined to comment on the sites.
I don't think i'll search for anti maori or anti-people of colour immigration in NZ because I am sure the results will agitate me.

Is this acceptable? Where are the lines? For me, respecting others and their unique differences is part of what connects us all. I love diversity and individuality because, paradoxically, the more we respect differences and diversity the stronger collectively we become. Knowledge is power - power over ourselves. And knowledge is the basis of awareness and connection.

I know that some people live in so much fear, mainly of themselves, that they hate or dislike people because of their race or colour. These people get together via social networking or whatever, and they gee each other on, reinforce their mutual paranoid fantasies, sometimes commit hate-crime, sometimes shoulder a person of colour on the sidewalk, and so on. If they didn't have a facebook site would they still do this? Yep. Does having a facebook site encourage them? Yep. Should the facebook sites promoting hate and intolerance be banned? Dunno. Or yes and no. Yes - because we must always make it harder for these people, they must know that we won't accept their dehumanising of other people. And No - it is important that we keep an eye on these nutters, their rantings and raveings are just mindless dribble from their fear-maddened minds. But those maddened thoughts lead to action for some.

What do you think?
Hat tip - Fight Dem Back


It's still summer...


Saturday, January 23, 2010

designer dairy farms

Designer diary farms?
"Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) is selling 29 "designer dairy farms" it has built on former forestry land around Tokoroa.
They range in size from 218 to 726ha and in price from $5.1 million to $10.4 million.
The company hoped their sale will bring $224.5 million.
Mike Fraser-Jones, senior agent for realtor Bayleys, said the CHH had begun selling off land in the area during the late 1990s but retained 30,000ha for development.
"The farms represent the end process of converting forested land back into a productive state," he said.
That's right - if it isn't a farm - it is not productive and is a waste of space and time.

from stuff
"Each farm comes with a new dairy shed configured for farm size and a mixture of herringbone and rotary systems. The farms are based on an assumption of three cows per hectare, have deep water bores and pressure water systems, and new residences.
"Each of the farms has been designed for optimum efficiency, with approximately 1,500 metres being the longest walking distance for the cows, centrally located, top-of-the-line dairy sheds and three architect-design homes located for both convenience and views," Bayleys says.
The farms were converted with substantial investment in modern machinery, roading and residences ahead of Kyoto Protocol rules that came into force in 2008 requiring that cleared plantation forests be replanted rather than converted to another use.
All farms are being sharemilked at present and are supporting 20,000 cows. None have a farming record longer than 18 months and the most recent began operations in June last year. It appears likely that the properties will also be marketed internationally, once a domestic marketing campaign has been undertaken, thereby satisfying Overseas Investment Commission rules.
Hmmm this does appear to be a way to get a wider range of people on the land but which people?

Farming should not be about commodification. If they were really smart they first, wouldn't have converted the land, but seeing as how they are tricky dickies they got in before the kyoto protocol came into effect, why not convert the land into sustainable, organic, permacultural farms - it probably wouldn't have cost much more, maybe less. Then, instead of monocultural dairying, we could have hollistic farming that is good for the farm, the land, the ecosystem, the farmers, the community and the animals. I have the same view about any group that converts forestry into dairy. We must keep looking forward and thinking ahead - the rip, snort and bust approach is not the way to go.

ice outrage

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

It is not okay to misappropriate bits of a culture for your own ends - namely winning a ice skating competition. This really is a shocker - it is unacceptable.

From BBC
"Indigenous Australian leaders have expressed outrage at an "Aboriginal dance" routine by Russian ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.
The Russian world champions perform in dark-skin bodysuits adorned with leaves and white body paint markings.
Indigenous leader Bev Manton has decried the "ripping off" of Aboriginal culture as offensive and disrespectful.
"From an Aboriginal perspective, this performance is offensive," Mrs Manton writes in an editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Our dance, our ceremony, our image - and, importantly, how they are depicted - are sacred to Aboriginal Australians."
Mrs Manton, chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, has urged the three-time Russian national champions to rethink their routine before the Olympics in Vancouver.
"Interest must be expressed in a way that is respectful. The ripping off of our art and songs is not, and nor is this depiction of my culture," she wrote.
Respect - it is not that hard - first you need to think of indigenous people as actual people.

Hat tip - Buffalo Post

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kura Reo Kai Tahu

Kura Reo Kai Tahu - wonderful initiative - thank you.

From Al WILLIAMS - The Timaru Herald via stuff
"Arowhenua's community is celebrating Te Reo Maori with a week of workshops which have attracted people from all over the country.
More than 100 learners and speakers of Maori language have converged on the marae to upskill and put Te Reo into practice with others.
The community is hosting the second annual Kura Reo Kai Tahu (language school of Ngai Tahu) – a project facilitated by Ngai Tahu in an effort to bring generations of the tribe together to speak their dialect in an immersion environment.
Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu representative Charisma Rangipunga said the event was part of the tribe's language revitalisation strategy.
"We invite members of the tribe to come together to practise, upskill and learn new language skills. We endeavour to get to all our marae."
Two pools of people were taking part, with kaumatua taking the lead role.
"All students meet with elders in the morning for an open forum session.
"It is part of them passing on collective memories of their elders," Ms Rangipunga said.
Afternoon classes were dedicated to teaching Ngai Tahu proverbs, archival material, transcripts, dialect and composition lessons, she said.
One of the key components was being able to learn traditional language and to apply it in ways it could be used on the marae.
A team of 50 parents and 30 children had come together with the support of the Arowhenua community, she said.
"Their heritage, their traditions and their ancestors are something they can be proud of."
Arowhenua marae manager Mandy Home said the week had been very busy for the marae. Challenges had included catering for 100 people.
"This week is very important for our people.
"It's a resurgence of the language but it's also about teaching the children the language and taking ownership of their Ngai Tahutanga.
Whanau had given up their free time to uphold the Mana and Aroha of Te Runaka O Arowhenua, she said.
"Finally, Haere tonu Huirapa."
Saving our language = saving our people.

disaster in Haiti - what's going on

I've read some perceptive articles on the disaster in Haiti. Here is one of the best.

From Michelle Chen at RaceWire
"As the unprecedented humanitarian relief effort in Haiti struggles through logistical chaos, triaging shipments of food, medicine, and personnel, making sure help is distributed efficiently, one entity seems to consistently dominate the hierarchy of needs: the Military.
... Sky News, under the headline “Clashes over aid rise,” describes outbreaks of violence as “Hundreds of scavengers swarmed over damaged stores around the capital, seizing goods and fighting among themselves.” But a few paragraphs into the piece, we get this quote from top military commander Ken Keen: "The level of violence we see now is below pre-earthquake levels."
At a press conference on Monday, Keen admitted that there was no massive threat of violence. In fact, military officers' fears may have been informed by alarming press accounts—demonstrating the media's influence on not only public perceptions but policy calculations as well." ...
Fantastic article that really made me think.

Great Ngai Tahu submission

Yes! This is the type of submission we want and need from Ngai Tahu. Thank you Paul and the team.

From MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD - The Timaru Herald via Stuff
"Ngai Tahu says the science in support of widescale irrigation proposals in the Upper Waitaki is "patchy".
Hearings considering more than 126 consent applications to take water in the Mackenzie Basin and Upper Waitaki, covering more than 27,000 hectares of land, will resume in Christchurch from January 25 until March 9.
Legal adviser Paul Horgan's submission documents released yesterday said Ngai Tahu was "alarmed" by the scale and intensity of the Southdown Holdings, Five Rivers, Killermont Stations, Simons Hill, Simons Pass and the two Rosehip applications.
"Ngai Tahu considers that the science presented in support of the proposals is patchy and that there is a raft of uncertainties surrounding the actual and potential effects, especially those upon cultural values," he said.
"Unfortunately, we are led to the view that what the applicants are seeking is that a suck-it-and-see approach be adopted.
"For Ngai Tahu, its enduring relationship with the Upper Waitaki is too sacred for such a cavalier approach to be justified."
Ngai Tahu will speak at the hearings on January 25, but it is understood that the submission will provide the bulk of its evidence.
Mr Horgan's submission said although many of the smaller consents would not pose significant environmental or cultural risk to the area, it felt many of the larger applicants had failed to properly assess the science.
He claimed that the applicants have only measured water quality in the two arms of Lake Benmore, once in January 2008 and again in April 2008. He was also concerned about the accuracy of the sampling.
Ngai Tahu cultural adviser Mandy Waaka-Home's submission said she was not convinced the larger consent holders would be able to operate in a "benign manner".
"We do not believe we should have to suffer the indignity of gathering and eating food from an environment that is knowingly polluted. There is no dignity in that.""
Remember this is what they want to do
"Three companies: Five Rivers Ltd, Southdown Holdings Ltd and Williamson Holdings Ltd have lodged consents applications with Environment Canterbury to allow 17,850 dairy cows to be housed in large sheds around the clock from March to October and for 12 hours a day for the rest of the year.
Waitaki District Council gave the proposals land use consent without public notification, but ECan has received more than 4000 submissions against them."
We will stop this development, and then we will stop the next one and the one after that too. They don't stack up or make sense - they are mono-cultural exercises in greed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

tui coming back

Tui's are a bird that I wouldn't have imagined needs help - but they do and it is surprising where they used to be and where they are coming back to. From Stuff
"The Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust helped move 30 tui to the area last year, in the hope the birds would again breed in the region.
Trust co-ordinator Rachel Barker said the project started in 2007, with support from the trust, Ngai Tahu and residents.
She said the tui left the area 15 to 20 years ago.
Well done - plant more trees, that might secure their return.

our sun in green

Amazing shots of the sun

I still struggle with understanding how they can even get the photos

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

cruise ships in Haiti

It is appalling how the Haitian people have been treated, a week and still no food or water or shelter - a week?

Cruise ships are still calling on private beaches. From the Guardian
"Sixty miles from Haiti's devastated earthquake zone, luxury liners dock at private beaches where passengers enjoy jetski rides, parasailing and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks.
The 4,370-berth Independence of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean International, disembarked at the heavily guarded resort of Labadee on the north coast on Friday; a second cruise ship, the 3,100-passenger Navigator of the Seas is due to dock.
The decision to go ahead with the visit has divided passengers. The ships carry some food aid, and the cruise line has pledged to donate all proceeds from the visit to help stricken Haitians. But many passengers will stay aboard when they dock; one said he was "sickened".
"I just can't see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water," one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum.
The Florida cruise company leases a picturesque wooded peninsula and its five pristine beaches from the government.
"In the end, Labadee is critical to Haiti's recovery; hundreds of people rely on Labadee for their livelihood," said John Weis, vice-president. "In our conversations with the UN special envoy of the government of Haiti, Leslie Voltaire, he notes that Haiti will benefit from the revenues that are generated from each call …
"We also have tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti. Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most."
Well there you go. You may even choose to believe those explanations. I think it is bullshit. They are trying to make profits - first, second and third. That's it.

Some of the comments in the original article are interesting. Both sides put in some good points.
"I only ask the question - what kind of morally bankrupt fat ass ignorant tourist would actually believe it's ok to to do this?
Surely the cruise company who pretends to be oh-so-concerned about the welfare of the Haitians could forgo their little beach-party just this once and instead donate whatever it is they claim to generate in revenue for the local population. Wankers."
"The cruise company could choose not to dock for a couple of weeks and still pay the Haitians who work for them - the Haitians wouldn't then loose financially and they could help their families if necessary. I can't imagine the Haitians are paid so much that it would make a big difference to the Cruise company.
Having said that, whether you're trying to force down a burger 60 miles or 600 miles from a disaster zone is a bit irrelevant really."
"I head out to Haiti this week, disaster response is my job. Now think about this before you get on your high moral horses. Let's just think about a supermarket that survives an earthquake ... should they give away their stock and end up bankrupt, or should they accept IOU's? Or should they stay closed 'out of respect'? No doubt for me - they should open and do business because people need to buy the things they are selling. And if they go out of business they add to the economic impact of the earthquake. Now shift to the recent floods in Cockermouth - did you hear the local people telling tourists to stay away 'out of respect'? Of course not, in fact traders worked desperately to get their businesses open for Christmas - they need the money. So what's the difference about a cruise ship in Haiti? How is it helping the people of Haiti to close down one of the few sources of income that hasn't been hit by the earthquake? I'm no fan of cruising, but it's business and it will bring revenue to Haiti and I'm sure most of the passengers will find a way to donate to the aid effort and whether their donation is generated by natural generosity or guilt will make not one jot of difference to the people it helps. There's no need for us to feel guilty about natural disasters per se, but we should feel guilty if we don't respond adequately to the plight of our fellow humans. Put away your bleeding hearts and put your hands in your pockets instead."
"How much of the revenues spent on the cruise go to the haitians? is it merely the guards salaries and a beach rental fee? or more than that?
Also, tourism isnt the answer to Haiti's economic problems. its more accurately part of its persistent servitude."
"This is only about distance isn't it; I mean people are only disgusted because the ship is physically close to people suffering. How far away is acceptable? The next island along? Florida? London?"
Any thoughts?

Hat tip Stuff white people do

Martin Luther King Jr - some quotes

Some Martin Luther King Jr quotes
"Being a Negro in America means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means trying to hold on to physical life amid psychological death. It means the pain of watching your children grow up with clouds of inferiority in their mental skies. It means having your legs cut off, and then being condemned for being a cripple. It means seeing your mother and father spiritually murdered by the slings and arrows of daily exploitation, and then being hated for being an orphan.
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
[I]t is necessary to understand that Black Power is a cry of disappointment. The Black Power slogan did not spring full grown from the head of some philosophical Zeus. It was born from the wounds of despair and disappointment. It is a cry of daily hurt and persistent pain.
A good many observers have remarked that if equality could come at once the Negro would not be ready for it. I submit that the white American is even more unprepared.
Hat tip Racialicious

Te Oneroa a Tohe - nice new/old name

This is a good example where there is no logical reason to keep the old name.
"The Crown had signed an agreement in principle with Te Hiku Forum, which represented five Far North iwi with a total of 40,000 members, to settle a number of claims lodged over the part 23 years.
Along with Maori co-governance of 90 Mile Beach, the Crown had agreed to pay $120 million and transfer the ownership of Aupouri forest and seven Crown-owned farms.
Co-governance of the beach could provide for a possible name change for the area, known as Te Oneroa a Tohe.
The origin of the beach's current name was unknown, but the beach was actually 88 kilometres long."
Surely no one would object - the name 90 mile beach is meaningless at best. The local maori name Te Oneroa a Tohe has been there for hundreds of years.

Ngai Tahu Elections - Arowhenua Update

Arowhenua update from this original post
From Stuff
"Arowhenua upoko Joe Waaka has been voted off as the Arowhenua Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu (Tront) representative after a special general meeting on Sunday.
Up to 60 people attended the meeting at the Arowhenua Marae and voted against Mr Waaka 26-25, Te Runanga O Arowhenua registered member Pierre Manning-Waaka said.
Mr Waaka was replaced by Timaru barrister Quentin Hix. Mr Manning-Waaka said he hoped the new appointment would bring the people back to the marae, as hundreds had left since 1970. Of the 9000 members of Te Runanga O Arowhenua, only about 40 would turn up to monthly meetings, he said.

"We want a strong marae base. I'm calling for people to return to the marae and support the process and the runanga. The more people we have the better."
Yes, let's get people back to the marae and strengthen the ties that bind.
"The role of a runanga representative is to administer the assets and liabilities of Te Runanga as kaitiaki for Ngai Tahu Whanui and not discriminate against any particular Papatipu Runanga."
Is that the description of the rep role that you would use? Are some Papatipu Runaka being 'discriminated' against?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ngai Tahu Cadetships - Applications close 5 March 2010

An email i recieved from Eruera Tarena addressed to all Ngāi Tahu whanui

Tēnā koutou e te iwi,

Please find attached a pānui about iwi cadetships with Ngāi Tahu Holdings and Ngāi Tahu Property for 1st and 2nd year Ngāi Tahu tertiary students studying a relevant qualification. This is a great opportunity for our future iwi business leaders so please forward to any who may be interested. More information is in the December issue of Te Pānui Rūnaka or go to

Nāia tetahi tono mō kā tauira ki kā whare wānaka, kuratini rānei i a rātou tau tuatahi, tuarua rānei i tā rātou whai i tētahi tohu mātauraka kei te ū ki te ao pakihi, ki te ao whakatipu rawa whenua hoki. He mea akitu tēnei mā kā kaiarahi pakihi-ā-iwi o āpōpō nō reira tukuna atu te tono nei ki ēnā ka hiahia pea ki te whai i tēnei o kā huanui. He kōrero anō i te pukapuka Hakihea o Te Pānui Rūnaka, haere ranei ki
This is the type of initiative that will get our people in positions in our companies and organisation.
Karawhiua Kai Tahu!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

greens are giving me hope

The greens give me hope. Kevin Hague, Green MP has written an excellent piece on opposition to a proposed goldmine in Ruatapu, about 10km south of Hokitika.

The whole article is very well written and i recommend you go here to read the whole post.

Some highlights for me
"I’d read the application and Assessment of Environmental Effects before heading down there, and was surprised just how close (15m) the mine would come, and what a valuable piece of regenerating podocarp forest would be lost if it were bowled. It’s the usual infuriating assessment: the bush is ’significant’, it is a rare piece of lowland forest, it represents the southern limit on a numbe of species, and provides habitat for some birds that are at risk, but compared to the larger amount of forest around neighbouring Lake Mahinapua, loss of this would be of minor effect.
... But whether or not the town is currently safe to live in (and I have asked the Medical Officer of Health to investigate this), what is certain is that an alluvial gold mine will make things much, much worse. The nature of alluvial mining is that soil is dug up and turned over into large piles. Wind blows across these, dispersing PCPs far and wide. To muffle the noise of the mining operation, ‘bunds’ are created. From the mine soil. Same problem – 15m from people’s kitchen windows. And that dredge pond? The mining operation has to continuously clear large volumes of water, and some of it will be pumped into the dredge pond. Some of that water will be forced down into the ground water, but mostly it’s likely to raise the water level in the pond. We do occasionally have extreme rainfall events on the Coast, with the prospect that the pond will overflow, but in fact before that happens the water (and sediment) will flow through tunnels (known by the old timers, but not officially until yesterday) into Lake Mahinapua.
This is good writing by Kevin. We must get people emotionally as involved as those directly affected by these developments and this type of article is one of the ways to do it. Thanks Kevin - good work.

Hat tip Frogblog

Friday, January 15, 2010

dizzee rascal - bdo must-see/dance

BDO - wish i was there - be cool, be safe.

My pick - dizzee rascal - this will go off!!!
Armand - wow

Footnote - nice...
From the big day out gig review at stuff
"Bonkers. That one song made Mt Smart Stadium go stark raving mad as Dizzee Rascal provided one of those Big Day Out moments that will be talked about for years to come."

Fisheye extravaganza

Thursday, January 14, 2010

beneath clouds - a great movie

I watched a wonderful movie on Maori TV the other night - Beneath Clouds.

I've been thinking about it for a week or so now. I loved the space the movie had - both the cinematography, the soundtrack, and the dialogue. There was room to move in there, to breathe, it was quiet. I identified with both characters, the actors were amazing.

I'm going to talk about the movie now.

The descriptions of the movie i have seen seemed slightly skewed to me.

From SBS Films
Lena (Dannielle Hall) has an absent Irish father she longs to see and an Aboriginal mother she finds disgusting. When she breaks away, she meets up with petty crim Vaughn (Damien Pitt) who’s just escaped from low security prison to reluctantly visit his dying mother. Blonde and light-skinned, Lena is remains in denial about her Aboriginal heritage; Vaughn is an angry young man with a grudge against all whites. An uneasy relationship begins to form as they hit the road heading to Sydney, taking them on a journey that’s as emotional as it is physical, as revealing as it is desperate.
and the listener
"...follows Lena, a young  girl who shuns her aboriginal mother and, in the process, her entire heritage and heads to Sydney hoping to find her Irish father."
I'm not saying that that didn't happen - it's just that it seems a slightly surface way of seeing the movie. For me there were deeper layers than that. For instance, i didn't feel that Lena had abandoned her aboriginal heritage, or rejected it. When the aboriginal woman askes her who are her people, she just looked at her, but it wasn't with disgust at having her aboriginal heritage 'outed', it was amazment that someone had noticed and seen the inside her, not just her apparent outward appearance. Vaughn looks at her, surprised, and i think a little embarrased that he had not noticed her but only seen her at 'face value', much the same way that people treat him, as an aboriginal man.

The search that both lena and vaughn undertake for their parent's did happen, obviously, and on other levels it is a journey that is a common human experience, the search for knowledge and understanding, for truth and honesty. But, you know, i could be reading too much into it. Certainly the scene where Vaughan gets home to his mothers house is riveting and heart-rendering.

I enjoyed the fact that it felt like the movie ended in a unnatural place (for western time paradigms), with an apparent ending, but to me, we were part of the way through. And there didn't need to be more movie.

Skillfull story-telling and movie-making. Get it out on video - treat yourself.

From Native Networks
"Filmmaker Ivan Sen (Gamilaroi) drew on his own background as the child of an Aboriginal mother and an absent white father for the screenplay of his first feature-length work, Beneath Clouds, filmed on a $2.5 million dollar budget. This film about a teenager's search for her father won Sen global acclaim, screening at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and winning the Premiere First Movie Award at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and the 2002 Best Director Award from the Australian Film Institute.
"Australian filmmaker Ivan Sen blends controlled composition with spontaneity in this interior road film, where two hitchhiking Aboriginal teens meet on the long road to Sydney. In this partly autobiographical film, his first feature, Sen mirrors the clash between Lena and Vaughn's personal ideals and disappointments through land, identity, and their tale-telling encounters along the way, always emphasizing the journey over the destination.
and a review
"Beneath Clouds strikes a chord in indigenous and non-indigenous minds and hearts by subtly revealing something all of us should remember: we each have the power of choice." - Bird Runningwater, Sundance Native Forum

NO to road between Haast and Hollyford

It is starting... from Stuff
"A long-mooted proposal for a road through pristine forest between Haast and the Hollyford Valley is again being considered by the Government.
Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed the project was "under consideration" and has asked for more analysis after raising the subject with Cabinet colleagues."
AFTER raising the issue
Mr Brownlee attended a meeting in October with the Westland District Council, Southland District Council and Scenic Hotel Group owner Earl Hagaman.
Mr Hagaman said building the road would create the eighth wonder of the world and any damage to the environment was being exaggerated by certain parties, he said. "There's a few people that think it's an invasion, but what they don't realise is that it hardly touches any of the so-called reserve areas and national parks and that sort of thing."
There was always controversy when a new road was built, Mr Hagaman said.
The controversy is that you want to destroy our natural environment to make more money - well fuck you mate and brownlee and all of you destroyers.

Hat tip The Standard

and follows on from this post

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

earthquake disaster for Haiti

My heart crys out for the people of Haiti. They need much support.

From AFP
"The United States, France, Canada and governments across Latin America were gearing up to help Haiti, after a massive 7.0 earthquake leveled buildings and caused an unknown number of casualties.
US President Barack Obama said his government stood "ready to assist the people of Haiti," as the State Department, USAID and United States Southern Command mobilized, the White House said, "to coordinate an assessment and any such assistance."
In Paris, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France "expresses its complete solidarity" with Haiti, adding that his ministry's crisis center had begun working "to mobilize and dispatch without delay urgent aid to Port-au-Prince."
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Canadian officials "are making contact with trusted humanitarian partners with a presence in the region to identify humanitarian needs resulting from this earthquake."
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he was "very concerned" with the situation in Haiti.
In Bogota, the president's office said Colombia was "under alert and ready to respond to the Haitian authorities' call for help," adding that the defense ministry and emergency management services were coordinating upcoming assistance efforts.
Venezuela said it would send a 50-member "humanitarian assistance team" to Haiti in the next few hours. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said the team would leave for Port-au-Prince early Wednesday bearing food and medical supplies for stricken Haitians.
In Panama, the country's Vice President Juan Carlos Varela pledged that his government would provide assistance to the United Nations's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Peru said its 205 peacekeeping troops in MINUSTAH would help in rescue efforts in Haiti.
Mexico's foreign ministry said it was keeping close watch on Haiti.
In the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, President Leonel Fernández called on the international community to help Haiti overcome a "real tragedy." He said his government was at the ready to send assistance.
I'll keep you posted on how we can support the people of Haiti.

idle apology

Phil apologised for the word motherfucker in this song - "The Horses version played yesterday with the offending words was recorded live in 2005 to mark the 30th anniversary of the album's release.

Fair enough, to me it is getting less offensive the more people use it.
So many good songs but i'm going for this one - co-written with 'the boss'.

give it back

We will see more of this. These protests will multiply.

From Radio New Zealand Copyright © 2010
"John and Wikatana Popata set up camp at the weekend on a former camping ground at the coastal town of Taipa. The land is destined for subdivision. They say their occupation of private land in Northland is to send the Government a message that all privately-owned land in the area should be returned to the Ngati Kahu iwi.
The iwi's chief negotiator, Margaret Mutu, says the land should be returned, even though it's not part of treaty negotiations.
"When they see Pakeha at Taipa building these huge, monstrous luxury houses and desecrating wahi tapu, discharging sewage into our rivers, they've just had enough, she says.
She says the protest has the full backing of the tribe. "These young boys are just reflecting what their elders have been saying for quite some time now."
As the iwi says they are fed up with pakeha disrespecting their land. But the big bogey for pakeha is that the land is under private ownership, albeit a subdivision development. The iwi fully support this protest.

Would other iwi support their people trying to protect the land? Would TRONT come out and say that they support Ngai Tahu protestors trying to protect the land and rivers? 

My suggestion to them is to think about these issues because they may indeed need to be considered this year. Our rohe is under threat from many angles, from mining, from exploitation of all resources, from dams and dairy developments and the sacrosant line of  "it's private property" is not good enough. Where are our young people with fire in their bellys?

Footnote - interesting news that, "The Far North section being occupied by two protesting brothers is owned by an Auckland businessman, who laments the over-development on New Zealand's coast."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

class and identity

In this comment Ana raised some excellent points. Go here to read the full article

from Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua blog
"The veneer is radical, but the substance is not
“ Neo-liberal reforms and the growing social inequalities in New Zealand society have not affected all Maori equally. Those Maori representing tribal corporations and commercial interests have directly benefited from the pro-business, neo- liberal agenda that was implemented to restore the conditions for profitable capital accumulation in the New Zealand economy from 1984 onwards.
They have benefited from the reduction in corporate taxation levels that was achieved through large cuts in welfare expenditure, the commercialisation of health, housing and education.
On the other hand, the dismantling of the welfare state, the cuts to benefit levels and the introduction of market rents for state housing in the 1990s brought increasing hardship and poverty for many New Zealanders.
Working class Maori have had to face the prospects of increased poverty, falling real incomes, unemployment, deteriorating employment conditions and job security, social welfare cuts and user-charges for education and health services. So, while those Maori representing tribal corporations and commercial interests have directly benefited from the economic policies of successive governments, the over-representation of Maori in the working class has meant that the vast majority of Maori families have borne the brunt of the economic restructuring.
With the growth of inequality and social polarisation within Maori communities it is increasingly difficult to sustain this notion that Maori communities are classless communities that share the same sets of experiences of inequality and the same political aspirations this ignores the critical divisions that have arisen within and between iwi, hapu and urban Maori communities over the allocation and distribution of the benefits of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, a process that has resulted in a substantial shift in resources and compensation to those sections of Maori society already wealthy and powerful.
It is critical to acknowledge that Maori struggles over the past 15 years have not simply been directed against Pakeha and the state, but have involved the struggles of ordinary Maori families for a greater degree of control over resources within iwi, hapu and urban Maori communities.
Indeed, the revitalisation of militant Maori struggles in the 1990s represented a direct challenge to the Treaty settlement framework and the narrow commercial interests of tribal authorities. It revealed profound levels of discontent with the adoption of corporate models for the management and distribution of settlement assets and exposed the failure of cultural nationalist strategies to provide a real solution to historical grievances and Maori inequality in wider society."
I have struggled with 'çlass politics' verses 'identity politics' and have generally fallen on the side of identity. This article has made me think and this year we all have to a lot of thinking - about what is important, where the lines are, and what we will and won't accept. With national into their second year - the neo-con agenda will be pushed very hard and we must resist it.

Kia ora Ana for helping me see a bigger picture and getting me to think more.

Kia kaha

Ngai Tahu election update - special general meeting called in Arowhenua

The electoral process in Arowhenua under fire.

From Stuff
"Arowhenua upoko Joe Waaka has called for a special general meeting to look at the "flawed process" of appointing the Arowhenua Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu (Tront) representative – a position he holds.
The meeting, advertised in Saturday's Timaru Herald, will be held on January 17 at the Arowhenua Marae.
When contacted by The Herald yesterday, Mr Waaka declined to comment.
Te Runanga O Arowhenua Society Incorporated chairman John Henry said he would attend the meeting and that people would have to "wait and see what happens".
He wanted to make it clear it was Mr Waaka, not the runanga or the incorporated society, who had called the meeting and that Mr Waaka was entitled to do so.
According to the advertisement, the four items on the agenda include:
To invoke Te Runanga O Arowhenua Society Incorporated disputes clause 25 with regard to the flawed process of appointing the Arowhenua Tront representative.
To appoint a working group to review the appointment komiti rules or policy and recommend any changes or improvements in reporting back to the member and the Kati Huirapa Hapu.
To notify Tront that the Arowhenua appointments komiti notice to them is invalid and was not legally endorsed by the member at a properly constituted general meeting.
To appoint a disputes komiti as per clause 25 of Te Runanga O Arowhenua Society Incorporated.
Hmmmm wish i was going.

From TRONT Website - Quentin Hix was elected Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Representative for Arowhenua.

Monday, January 11, 2010

hush hush

I love this song

No hushing or shushing this year

Hone at Parihaka

Well I believe this will be a very big year for Hone. He has started it well with this speech at parihaka.
From stuff
"In a wide-ranging speech at the Parihaka International Peace Festival in Taranaki at the weekend, the maverick Maori Party MP admitted he was trying to mind his language but said the sentiment remained and the "rape of Maori lands" continued.
You are not minding your language enough IMO - the term 'rape of maori lands' is problematic for me. It provides an easy deflection for people who don't actually want to talk about the issue. And i think it is demeaning to women, men and children who have been raped. Yes it implies non-consent and a degrading of the victim and has a shock-factor but it is not the right term in my view.
"Last year I made the statement that white so-and-sos have been raping our lands and ripping us off and everyone hated me. All I was doing was holding up a mirror to New Zealand."
Most people got irritated because you used it as some type of rationale for going to paris. Humility is also a noble attribute.
Mr Harawira, who is on an extended summer break from Parliament after making a public apology for his inflammatory email, then said the rape of Maori lands was not an issue confined to the past.
"The Foreshore and Seabed Act sits on our shoulders today. Here at Parihaka, January 9, 2010, we sit under the biggest land grab.
"There's a move to repeal that act, but it hasn't been repealed yet."
However, the foreshore and seabed solution was simple, the MP for Te Tai Tokerau said. "First, put all the foreshore and seabed in Maori title. That will take away the angst, anxiety and anger that has been with Maori forever. Second, make it unalienable so it's never able to be sold."
Good solution.
Guaranteed access for all Kiwis would be the final step and was something most Maori had no problem with, he said.
Again good.
Mr Harawira also hit out at Maori iwi leadership, saying many were now more focused on corporate activity and profit than caring for their people. "Great things are happening in corporate development but what about social work? Our people are starving, our children can't read, they can't write or count."
Don't get sucked into fighting maori against maori. Yes we need to get more happening with our people. I do agree about the disconnect between corporate iwi and the people but it is not mutually exclusive - you can do both and we must do both otherwise we will always be dependant upon handouts.
"I tell the kids I've been to court on 35 charges and I'm now in Parliament. Any one of those kids could be prime minister."
That's right Hone - you are part of maori leadership and i am looking forward to seeing you get some runs on the board.

Friday, January 8, 2010

kfc racist ad pulled

The aussies in hot water again. Like many in this country they don't get that this type of stereotyping is offensive and just plain racist. kfc have pulled the ad - pity they never made it.

Just coincidence that the fried chicken stereotype was used, a deliberate strategy, or ignorance and stupidity?

head in the sand time over

This idea, from Bolivian President Evo Morales to have an alternative climate conference, is a great one.

From censored news
"Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday he's inviting activists, scientists and government officials from around the world to an alternative climate conference following the failure of a summit in Copenhagen to produce binding agreements.
The leftist leader said the April 20-22 meeting in Cochabamba will include indigenous peoples, social movements, environmentalists and scientists as well as governments ''who want to work with their people.''
This is leadership. it is impossible to imagine our fake leaders doing this isn't it? And of course they would never say the following:
"In his speech to the assembly and in a press conference during the summit, Morales railed against capitalism and imperialism, which he said spawned the problem of climate change by ignoring the rights of nature and the rights of indigenous peoples.
He denounced industrialized countries for pledging $10 billion a year to help countries meet the challenges of climate change, while spending ''trillions to fight unnecessary wars'' in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Time for action and this is a good start. Head in the sand time is over.
Hat tip censored news

hendix - wild thing

The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was a three-day concert event held June 16 to June 18, 1967

opposition on environmental and cultural grounds

Good to read in the press and on stuff today that Ngai Tahu are going to oppose irrigation proposals for the Upper Waitaki on environmental and cultural grounds.

There are more than 126 consent applications to take water, covering more than 27,000 hectares, and will be heard in CHCH from 25 jan to 9 march.

Ngai Tahu speak on the first day - which is appropriate and correct. Good luck with this fight, we are with you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

size does matter

Greenpeace Sea Shepherd is fighting hard to protect the whales from the japanese and after this episode they were lucky they just lost the boat and not people. From stuff
"The impact of the collision sheared off the front of the $1 million Ady Gill - the former Earthrace high-tech speedboat which resembles a stealth bomber.
Despite such colossal damage to the vessel, Auckland cameraman Simeon Houtman was the only crewman injured. He has broken ribs."

now is that the wee boat ramming the big boat? I don't think so! The japanese steered into the wee boat and if you are unsure, check out the hosing of the crew after they have rammed it, shows intention very well.

Disgusting scum attempted murderers!

Footnote BB at roarprawn has a number of exclusive videos on her site - all from the whalers point of view, which she supports. Obviously i 100% disagree with her.

hat tip for video roarprawn

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

traditional remedies promoted in Bolivia

Good news from Bolivia. From the Latin American Herald Tribune
"Bolivia’s socialist government has inaugurated two “inter-cultural” pharmacies in the Andean highlands that will sell both conventional drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry and plant-based medicines used by Indian healers known as “kallawayas.”
Health Minister Ramiro Tapia said this is the start of a broader effort to distribute these traditional remedies in pharmacies nationwide.
In addition to these inter-cultural pharmacies, the Health Ministry is planning to set up a herbalist’s shop, a germplasm bank and a pilot center for growing and preserving these medicinal plants.
Tapia said the project is consistent with provisions of the new Bolivian constitution – enacted by President Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of this Indian-majority country, in February – that state that natural medicines must be valued, respected and promoted.
The president of the Bolivian Federation of Traditional Doctors, Eduardo Fernandez, told Efe that natural remedies are used to combat respiratory, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, nervous system, ophthalmological and other ailments.
He said that, because they are completely organic, these medicines “are metabolized and the body assimilates them more easily.”
Imagine that  - natural medicines must be valued, respected and promoted. What happens here? Have you heard of any traditional remedies or natural medicine being offered. I have been to a hui where traditional healing and natural remedies were presented, from a western trained maori doctor. I asked how the two worldviews could be reconcilled. He said that there can be conflict. The Bolivians have shown a way to work through that conflict. We could do it here. Our bush is chocker with medicinal plants. Just think of manuka honey. It's not about comodifying anything but working with the indigenous people, in proper partnership. And that requires us to value, respect and promote maori.

Hat tip Traditional Knowledge Bulletin blog

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

good blog on our wild places

One of the big surprises to me, when i took visitors on tours of onetahua (farewell spit), was the massive disconnect many people feel from nature. It's like nature is out there and we are here. But the truth is we are part of nature, linked and connected. I'm like many people, in that i don't get out in the bush often enough. When you are in the bush you live the connection. Our ability to protect our wild places is proportional to our emotional connection to our wild places. When it feels like they want to cut off your arm - then we are there.

This blog musings from aotearoa is wonderful. You can experience tales of the bush, read some excellent commentary and view beautiful photos - good on you Robb, good luck with the hip, hope you're back out there soon.

unless it doesn't disturb the land surface

I've read this article a few times and something keep pinging my radar but for a while I couldn't work out what it was. From stuff - brownlee on mining
"The Government wants to protect new conservation areas from mining even though it is still considering whether others should be opened up for exploration.
Schedule four bans mining access to 13 per cent of New Zealand's land, including its highest-value conservation land.
Brownlee has come under pressure from interest groups over the mining proposal and has not ruled out excluding national parks.
Brownlee rubbished claims that mining was about to be allowed in national parks.
Brownlee's letter to the International Union of Conservation Nations-World Commission on Protected Areas' Oceania deputy vice-chairman, Bruce Jefferies, says removing an area from schedule four of the Act did not automatically allow mining on public conservation land.
"It merely allows applications for exploration or mining access to be considered on a case-by-case basis, as is the case for the majority of public conservation land.
"Any activity allowed would be subject to strict environmental and conservation standards."
The Government recognised some conservation areas, such as recently gazetted marine reserves and additions to a national park, "should be considered for addition" to the schedule, "and therefore be completely closed to mining", he said.
However, Brownlee also said underground mining might still be allowed.
"The Minister of Conservation and I have, therefore, asked officials to review areas listed on schedule four with a view to adding some conservation areas that should be closed to the possibility of mining access, except underground mining that does not disturb the land surface."
Hmmmm how do the statements, "...completely closed to mining." and "... closed to the possibility of mining access..." fit with "... underground mining might still be allowed." and "... except underground mining that does not disturb the land surface."?

Looks like one angle they will use is the old, 'if you can't see it, it isn't happening' line. But how will all the machines, equipment and so on, get to these, 'underground mines that don't disturb the land surface'? I don't imagine the cost of helicopters would hold up, so roads and maybe sea. Will they disturb the environment?

All mining disturbs the surface, it is the nature of the beast. But it is a matter of degree and that is what they are working on. If they gain access to schedule four land, currently protected against mining, and if they approve (which they will) an application, and begin mining - then nothing can be protected. I can't tolerate that, so I say we have to stop them early. Catch them out, with their lies and misinformation. Shame these pretenders.

Monday, January 4, 2010


like us
tears flowed
 felt hailstones
 together as
dull clouds
toward hilltop
before goodbye

a book review

I've just finished reading "The last Comanche Chief - The life and times of Quanah Parker" By Bill Neeley.

I enjoyed the read and found it very interesting.

Quanah's mother was Cynthia Ann Parker (Naduah) captured at age nine by Quahada warriors and recaptured by Texas Rangers at age 34. Fully a comanche, she didn't adapt, tried to escape several times and after her third child caught influenza in 1863, and died of pneunomia, she stopped eating and died in 1870.

Peta Nocona was Quanah's father - he led the Noconis band of the Comanches. Quanah was born in 1850.

Quanah grew up as a free comanche , by his teens he was leading raiding parties. In the 1870's the plains tribes were losing the battle against the enroachment upon their lands. In 1875, the last tribe of the Staked Plains, under Quanah's leadership came in. Quanah, in his late 20's now, accepted that the old ways were gone and endeavoured to create opportunities for his people. Quanah embraced much of western culture but not monogamy or christianity. He had five wives and twenty five children and founded the Native American Church which practices the Peyote religion. He also had a town named after him, met presidents and continually applied for more resources for his people. They say that the times produce the people and Quantah had the qualities needed at the time.

It is impossible to understand their situation from our perspective. To have grown up free and to see your world and everything that you cared about lost and changed, into something alien and disturbing - the shock must have been great. To actually survive that is a miracle.

Our tupuna also went through the same process. From the brilliant "The Welcome of Strangers", Atholl Anderson
"In two decades from 1844-64, Ngai Tahu were left with one acre out of every thousand acres they had once owned."
It just doesn't seem that long ago. Different indigenous peoples met the wall of colonisation in different ways. All tried to survive and make the best situation for themselves and their people. We all have a lot in common.
We must look to today, whilst holding our past and future close. We must look to the people - all of the answers are there. The challenges we all face are not just for our 'leaders' to shoulder. We need more people power. We need it within our iwi and we need it within our country.

how to improve the quality of our 'race debate'

Well i think we are in for a big year this year. In many areas we will be tested, and race relations is going to be right up there. We have heard and read various debates around the issue in this country last year and often the debates descended into arguments about semantics rather than the real issues. The real issues were derailed.

Ever heard or read someone say things like...

"We just did to the maori what they did to the moriori."
"Maori kept slaves too."
"You are getting too emotional."
"Why not deal with the real maori problems."
"You're just oversensitive."

I have come across this article on 'derailing'. Funny and perceptive, I highly recommend it.

We are going to have to raise the quality of the race debate in this country or we will forever be battling these derailing tactics. Keep your ears pealed - these derailing tactics are everywhere.

Hat tip - stuff white people do

Friday, January 1, 2010

beyond the universe

Wow - kick off 2010 by putting it all into perspective.

I'm a sucker for these space animations - I love them.

Hat tip - goNZo freakpower