Friday, April 30, 2010

oil well from hell


I haven't posted about this massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but i have been thinking about it a lot.

This spill is about to devestate the coastline, the waterways, the wildlife and the indigenous communities in the way. I know most talk about the ECONOMIC cost but that is the lowest costs of the costs that we will pay.

And how many oil wells around this country?

How many after gerry-monster has his way?

kiwi are not commodities

I oppose sending our endemic fauna overseas to zoos and other institutions. News that 5 kiwi have been sent overseas is sad. These birds, our birds, whakapapa here and for them to be bought up and live in a zoo overseas shows what we really think of these birds - that they are a commodity, a thing to be used to build prestige or even up the wildlife that come here to our zoos.

From NZH
"American researchers studying ways to breed kiwi in captivity are about to receive their first delivery of the shy brown birds for almost 20 years.
Five North Island brown kiwi were packed into crates and put on a plane to Los Angeles yesterday evening, destined for new homes at San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia and Frankfurt Zoo in Germany.
The two pairs and a female will join an expat population of about 39 kiwi - 23 living in Europe and 16 in America.
This idea that they can help our breeding program from overseas is a red herring in my view. They want to learn how to breed in captivity to increase the numbers of birds - in zoos, in captivity.
"The Smithsonian got its first pair of kiwi in 1968 as a gift to the US Government from then New Zealand Prime Minister Keith Holyoake. They produced the first chick born outside of New Zealand in 1975, a male which is still alive and entertaining visitors at the zoo.
A spokeswoman for Auckland Zoo, which hatched and reared the birds being exported this week, said they were needed overseas to inject some genetic diversity into the small populations.
To me it is exploitation without consideration for the individual birds or the species. I just don't trust their motives or reasons.

World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth

How is it all going with the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.

Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network describes the work carried out by the working group on Forests at the conference.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

agreement from most - but not the Tariana haters

I am concerned for low income maori families and the increase in GST coming up and now the rise in excise on tobacco. Don't get me wrong - tobacco are maori killers and I am all for reducing their harm in society. Getting rid of tobacco altogether - well I am not sure I would go that far.

From Stuff
"Parliament has given overwhelming support to a tobacco tax increase that will raise the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes by about a dollar to around $11, effective from midnight, with two more hikes in the pipeline.
After a debate under urgency tonight the bill was passed into law on a vote of 118-4 with all parties except ACT giving it full backing. ACT split its vote with one MP supporting the bill - John Boscawen - and the other four opposing it.
So strong support from most parties.

Interesting to see The Standard with this post and this line within the post.
"Associate Health Minister with responsibility for tobacco harm reduction, Tariana Turia, once considered getting rid of the displays a priority. But she’s too busy reprinting her business cards with ‘Minister for Whanau Ora (don’t ask what it is)’ to worry about stuff like Maori dying of lung cancer any more."
That shows the hatred that some labour people have for Tariana. We cannot trust labour - they will sell us all down the river for the mythical middle vote as soon as look at us. They have done it before and they will do it again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

brownlee puts both feet in his mouth

Some truths about mining from the Commissioner for the Environment

From Scoop
"The government has not made a case for opening certain Schedule 4 land to mining says the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, in her submission."
“These areas have been set aside as some of our most precious conservation land and before we can even begin to discuss mining it in any rational manner we need a lot of good information which simply hasn’t been made available.
“There are also significant issues around having the powers of the Minister of Conservation watered down by granting shared access with the Minister of Energy.
“Such a move would unfairly privilege mining and compromises the role of the Conservation Minister who holds the conservation estate in trust for the public.
summarised as
"Mining plans don’t pass first hurdle."
and also from Scoop the Greens get into brownlee
"Minister Brownlee was emphatic last year when he said “I make it very clear that no one is talking about mining our national parks”. Despite this public assurance, the Minister went on to propose the removal of parts of Kahurangi, Mount Aspiring, Rakiura and Paparoa National Parks from Schedule 4, in order to allow mining. After three attempts, Cabinet released a discussion document proposing only the removal of part of Paparoa National Park for mining.
“Brownlee’s two failed attempts at writing the discussion document and a policy flip-flop were required before Cabinet gave the task to an independent sub-committee to complete.
“The public continues to be misled. The Minister has placed a reservation over Mount Aspiring National Park, ‘for the purposes of considering those areas of land for allocation of permits by competitive tender’.
“We now have a situation where the Minister claims that official maps on the Crown Minerals website don’t mean what they say. Who should we believe?
“We are well past the time when the Minister should be held accountable for the mess he has made of his portfolio,” Mrs Turei said
brownlee you are a fool and you have been caught out and publically shown for the lies you have told. You have made a mess of your portfolio but that isnothing compared to the mess you are trying to make around our environment and our people - shame on you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

mana motuhake

There are a couple of things to consider regarding the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People

Hone's call to put a copy of the dec in every maori household is a really good idea although I would take it further and offer a copy to all households in this country. This aspirational goal is exactly that - something to aspire to and the more we align and move towards the aspirations included within that dec then the better off we will all be.

And secondly we will this week soon get a settlement for Tuhoe. This settlement will break new ground in terms of achieving mana motuhake. Tuhoe are likely to get Te Urewera back and this is just. This is their homeland and where they live. And it is quite specific to them because as mentioned on Native Affairs last night - no one lives on Aoraki. We should not be afraid of this.

Tuhoe have discussed the treaty settlement issues and others relating to the police terror raids in Tuhoe territory, with phil goff - that is important because labour were government when the raids took place - another shameful episode for them.

Tuhoe will set a higher standard for other settlements and future settlements will be coloured by this one and the UN dec. We are seeing massive changes beginning to occur and we must embrace them, we must celebrate them. We are in this waka together but as I have said many times - it is a waka.

leave the macrons alone

This is weird.

macrons are used to denote the sound that should be pronounced - a word with a macron in is different to a word without - they have completely different meanings they are different words. Like chalk and cheese.

From Stuff
"Councillor Tony Jack put forward a notice of motion that the council refrain from using macrons in the spelling of Kapiti, Otaki or Paekakariki in any council papers, publications, maps or signage.
Why would this person even suggest this?"

Laziness or craziness - either way not on.
"The motion was strongly opposed by most councillors and labelled "offensive" and "disrespectful" by the sole Maori representative at last week's meeting, Andre Baker, who was supported by two Maori women who burst into song.
Councillor Peter Daniel voted against the motion. "How do we know how to pronounce the names unless there is a macron?"
Mr Baker, the Otaki Community Board chairman, stressed that the Maori language was a gift, and opposed the motion. "I ask you to consider this before you tell Maori how to use their own language. You are doing a huge disservice to our tangata whenua.
"It is really disrespectful and offensive to my community. We are very proud our community clearly identifies with Maori, Chinese and non-Maori and of our bilingual initiative."
Mr Baker told mayor Jenny Rowan that the council needed to work harder on its partnership with tangata whenua. "If this had been dealt with in an appropriate manner I would not be here trying to justify the gift."
Work harder to be in partnership with maori - respect the customs and the knowledge of maori and your community will prosper and flourish.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

initial mining plans revealed

The true extent of the mining plans are slowly being revealed.

From Radio NZ
"The full extent of the Government's original plans for opening national parks to mining exploration, has been revealed in papers obtained from the Ministry of Economic Development.
They show the plan went through at three major redraftings in a matter of weeks.
Mining activities are currently banned in 40% of conservation estate under Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, which identifies areas of unique biodiversity or landscapes of cultural or historic value.
Officials initially recommended allowing mining exploration on huge swathes of land, including up to nearly 90% of Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island."
That's right you read it correctly - they initially wanted to allow mining on 90% of Rakiura National Park - they still do want to, only they have revised their public plans to make them more acceptable - but don't be under any illusions if they can get away with the mining, they will do it. The plan to mine Rakiura is STILL on the table.

Hat tip The Standard

Thursday, April 22, 2010

giant gecko dead in mousetrap

Sad news about the first giant gecko found in 100 years on our mainland.

From Stuff
"The first giant gecko found on the New Zealand mainland for almost 100 years has been killed in a mouse trap at Maungatautari.
The Duvaucel's gecko was found in the trap last month, and while dead, its discovery has led to hopes among Maungatautari staff and supporters that more of the rare species are living on the mountain.
Up until it was discovered at Maungatautari, the Duvaucel's gecko could only be found on predator-free offshore islands.
The Duvaucel's can grow up to 30cm long, "weigh as much as a blackbird", and live for more than 50 years.
Many of the creatures in our country took over the niches that mammals used in other countries - it is difficult to catch introduced mammals when our endemic creatures can also be caught and killed. Very sad story but hope is still there that these geckos are still on the mainland - just keeping out of sight.

"Planet or death" Peoples conference on climate change begins

Opening ceremony of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth

Go here for more info
""Planet or death!" chanted Bolivia's leftwing president, Evo Morales, to a crowd of 20,000 people. "We will be victorious!" the crowds answered back, waving rainbow-coloured, chequered Andean indigenous flags.
Morales was officially inaugurating the first international "people's conference" on climate change – the grassroots alternative to last year's failed United Nations talks in Copenhagen.
The meeting in the city of Cochabamba has attracted people from more than 125 countries, although many delegates from Africa, Europe and India were unable to come because of the travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano. The meeting has no direct bearing on the UN climate talks, which continue this year, but is billed as a venue for the grassroots movements to put pressure on governments to act on climate change.
Domingo Lechon, climate justice co-ordinator from Friends of the Earth Mexico, said: "Cochabamba represents a unique opportunity for popular demands to be adopted by governments. We will use this new people's agenda as a rallying call to mobilise movements of affected peoples, indigenous peoples, peasant farmers, trade unions and women to dismantle corporate power and force our governments into action."

Hat tip Rimu on frogblog

advancing maori rights

This is how I feel about this countries support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

From Stuff
"Sir Eddie Durie, a former Waitangi Tribunal chairman has labelled New Zealand's commitment to the indigenous rights declaration the most significant day in advancing Maori rights since the Treaty of Waitangi."
and a weak response from shane jones
 "Labour MP Shane Jones said New Zealand's support would fuel Maori litigation. "After spending decades trying to work out the meaning of Treaty principles, now we will be bedevilled by the meaning of indigenous rights."

The shame that the labour maori members must be feeling - they could have made this advancement for maori but they blinked. They went with the racists instead of maori and that will never be forgotton by maori. Labour if you ever want maori support again you had better make some major changes - and i don't mean your logo.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ngāi Tahu election update

Congratulations to James and Terry the two Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu representatives recently confirmed.

Confirmed representatives to date are

Waihao - Gerald Te Kapa Coates
Tūāhuriri - Tutehounuku Korako
Arowhenua - Quentin Hix
Ōraka-Aparima - Stewart Bull
Koukourārata- Elizabeth Cunningham
Makaawhio - Tim Rochford
Ōtākou - Tahu Potiki
Taumutu - Sandy Lockhart
Rāpaki - Wally Stone
Waewae - Lisa Tumahai
Puketeraki - Matapura Ellison
Wairewa - James Daniels
Hokonui - Terry Nicholas

5 to go

"nothing is ever just symbolic for maori"

Hone reveals the truth
"Mr Harawira, however, said "nothing is ever just symbolic for Maori"."
This is the area all the idiots like useless-goff and dim-hide and pinocciho-key don't get. Yes the endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is aspirational and non-binding but it is also real.

maori don't care what the politicians think, we know that this is a very big deal and the most amazing aspect is that as all the pundits say the maori party and pita sharples have been duped and sucked in by john key, we know the truth - that it is the other way round.

Another good quote from Hone
"This country recognises the rights of women, the rights of workers, the rights of dogs. Great that they can finally get around to recognising the rights of indigenous people."
and my favorite
"He said Labour were "koretake [useless] bastards" who had had the chance to back the declaration but did not take it.
I tautoko that - what a sad lot they are and to think they claim to represent the left, the poor and downtrodden.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

changing society one person at a time

Interesting to remember why this country didn't endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

From NZH

This was why
"New Zealand was one of only four countries to vote against the declaration.
Explaining that vote, New Zealand's then permanent representative to the UN, diplomat Rosemary Banks, said one article in the document gave indigenous peoples the right "to own use, develop or control lands and territories they have traditionally owned, occupied or used".
She said the entire country was potentially caught within the scope of that article. "The article appears to require recognition of rights to lands now lawfully owned by other citizens, both indigenous and non-indigenous ...
"Furthermore, this article implies indigenous peoples have rights that others do not."
New Zealand's "explanation" also saw major problems with the declaration's provisions on redress and compensation for indigenous peoples. The declaration also implied that indigenous peoples had a right of veto over Parliament and management of national resources."
This is non-binding remember, but it is also the beginning of the end of our bogus society where maori are treated like visitors in their own country.

The last paragraph of Pita's speech.
"New Zealand's support for the Declaration represents an opportunity to acknowledge and restate the special cultural and historical position of Māori as the original inhabitants - the tangata whenua - of New Zealand. It reflects our continuing endeavours to work together to find solutions and underlines the importance of the relationship between Māori and the Crown under the Treaty of Waitangi. Its affirmation of longstanding rights supports and safeguards that ongoing relationship and its proclamation of new aspirations gives us all encouragement and inspiration for the future."
To change society, we must change people - for the better, an improvement, a strengthening - a movement towards connection and community.

well done pita

This is the start of Pita Sharples speech to the UN -

from Stuff
"To the inherent powers of this land; to the Onondaga people, who have offered spiritual acknowledgement to the unseen world to bless us, greetings to you.
To the spirits of the deceased, of each and every nation, we farewell you to the ultimate resting place of humankind.
To this house of the peoples of the world, please welcome this newcomer from New Zealand.
To the living representatives of indigenous peoples of the world, I salute you all.
I greet your mountains, your rivers, your lands, (the places) where your ancestors originated, including you who are meeting here today.
I come with a humble heart to celebrate the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The New Zealand Government has long discussed this matter, and has recently decided to support it.
So I salute the leaders and chiefs, the many peoples and groups who established the foundation of the Declaration, for assent by the Governments of the world.
Announcement of New Zealand's Support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
I will post more when I have had a good read - but to those who say this means nothing - I say, this means something.

close up exposes mining truth

Great piece on mining on close up last night which shows much of the truth about mining - it is dirty.

And dirty miner OceanaGold is highlighted - go here

the slap on the wrist for their dirty practices is a joke and makes a mockery of our environmental credentials.

Monday, April 19, 2010

oversized genitals? yeah - nah

Upset about oversized genitals on carvings? - if you don't like it - go away.

From Waikato Times
"Phillip Stevens was exploring at Hamilton Gardens with his four children, all aged under 10, last weekend when they came across the Maori themed garden for the first time.
His nine-year-old son had noticed the carvings as they entered the garden. "He asked us `is that a penis?'," said Mr Stevens. "It was pretty obvious what it was, but as you go on there's one with big testicles, then there's one holding it. We tried not to make too big a deal of it, and just told them it was a bit inappropriate."
He said nude works from European art traditions would not offend him in the same way as the genitalia were of more natural proportions."
 hey stevens they are in proportion :)
"However, Nga Mana Toopu O Kirikiriroa spokesman Wiremu Puke said the carvings were based on early styles produced by carvers in the Waikato basin, and saw no reason to warn visitors who might be offended.
"There are drawers and drawers in the Auckland Museum of carvings that have mutilated genitals due to the early missionaries. That's probably one of the most visited gardens, and people are usually amused or intrigued by the carvings."
Mr Stevens said he had decided to speak out because he felt too often people just left it up to others to raise issues.
It was about financial accountability as well as the potential for offence, he said. "If rates are paying for these, surely someone would have the common sense not to put them up. On the day we were there, there were (several) Muslim families in the gardens," Mr Stevens said.
The puritanical christians and moral guardians are always out to push indigenous cultures down. There are innumerable examples of where our taonga have been destroyed or mutilated to appease bogus sensibilities.

Now we also have the Koran translated to maori - I wonder when they will want maori to wear burkas?

We know that chritianity was one of the major weapons used to squash indigenous cultures, not only here but in many places. I wish that our old ways were more well known so that our people had alternatives that fitted with our land and us.

the blues

says it all really

Friday, April 16, 2010

OceanaGold + 15 infringements over five years = dirty miner

Dirty miner OceanaGold is facing the environment court on Monday.

Is this there first infringement notice? - no.

second or third? - no

Try - 15th infringement over five years!

Funny how these companies always say, when their disgusting behaviour is noticed, that they have just fixed it.

From Stuff
"Gold miner OceanaGold is being prosecuted for allegedly polluting a Buller stream, having been issued 15 infringement notices in five years.
The West Coast Regional Council is taking the company to the Environment Court over breaches in resource consent conditions at its Globe Progress mine in the Victoria Conservation Park in Reefton, Radio New Zealand reported.
However, OceanaGold said it had fixed the problem which had resulted in sediment being discharged into waterways near the open cast gold mine.
The company is to appear in the Environment Court on Monday."
There is no clean mining - it is all dirty but some are especially dirty and meanwhile the streams and waterways die and these mining companies keep making money.

PPP's bad for maori

I'm dead against these private/public partnerships (privatisaton) of prisons. They will be bad for maori and the rest of the country.
 These private prisons cost more than public prisons.

A very good post by Marty G at The Standard
"With echoes of the mining debate, the Government’s apologists on private prisons say ’sure, in principle we shouldn’t do this, punishing criminals is the job of the state, but we’ve got to balance that against all the money we will save… money!!’ and we know that money trumps all for these people.
But do Public Private Partnerships (privatisation in rather tawdry drag) really save money?
The experience here and abroad says no."
They also deliver worse outcomes for society and the prisoners.

A great comment from Eddie C at Kiwipolico
"Been tried, failed (massively overrepresented in prisoner abuse, suicide, and illness rates), and discarded in Ontario. Obviously has also been tried and failed elsewhere, but the Ontario situation is one I’ve actually had occasion to research. And the company responsible was, I believe, GeoCorp, which is one of the frontrunners for any private prisons work here. Geocorp also has a record of trying to influence the development of criminal justice policy to send more people to jail, for longer, in the jurisdictions in which it operates. We really don’t want that sort of crap in NZ.
Funnily enough, they have their own prison town of a sort – Kingston. Lovely city of 100k right on Lake Ontario, beautiful campus of Queens university, the Royal Military College…. and 3 or 4 prisons. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the town (that aren’t students) is employed by either the federal or provincial government."
They will be bad for maori for a number of reasons.

Many maori will be recipients of their so called service. 50% of male prisoners in this country are maori and 60% of women prisoners are maori. So many of our people being wasted, locked up and discarded by society. Private companies have one objective and that is profit. That means cutting costs. And it also means increasing revenue. They are diametrically opposed to what prison should be about - which is to rehabilitate people, to help people find meaningful connection back to society. Yes there is punishment, being in prison is punishment. It is worthless to keep focusing only on the results rather than the causes.

The true reason many maori don't fit into this society and are over represented in prisons is never actually addressed. And the reason is colonisation and the effects of that. When you add in captialism, racial profiling and just plain racism, and the breakdown of community then the mix that causes behaviours that end up in jail begin to be understood.

We are also seeing some of the ways that work to remedy this. Te ao maori has given hope to many prisoners. It has awakened within, pride and understanding, and awareness and that all leads to positive contributions to society. These activities build communities. It is the remedy to the plight of colonisation, and it is the way to bring our people home. Both building knowledge and understanding and building community.

But we have a danger here because these private prison companies don't care about maori - they care about profit. If it makes more profit; it is good. if it reduces profit; it is bad. It is obvious that these companies will use maori for their own profit objectives. There will be all sorts of enticements that will seem good but unfortunately they will be poisoned apples.

Go here to read about the murky dealings in this area between iwi leaders and these private prison companies - it is already happening.

We do have a very real problem that must be faced but bringing private companies into the prisons is not the way to fix it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Global War on Tribes

This article is brilliant.

From Zoltan Grossman at Counterpunch
"The so-called “Global War on Terror” is quickly growing outside the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan, into new battlegrounds in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond. The Pentagon is vastly increasing missile and gunship attacks, Special Forces raids, and proxy invasions--all in the name of combating “Islamist terrorism.” Yet within all five countries, the main targets of the wars are predominantly “tribal regions,” and the old frontier language of Indian-fighting is becoming the lexicon of 21st-century counterinsurgency. The “Global War on Terror” is fast morphing into a “Global War on Tribes.”
Tribes are distinct from ethnic groups. Ethnic group identity is based largely on language, such as Pashtun, Kurdish, Somali, Tajik, and so on. Many ethnic groups also assert a territorial nationhood, whether or not they have their own independent state. Tribal group identity is based on smaller and older regional clans and dialects—such as Zubaydi and Jibbur (Iraq), Durrani and Ghilzai (Afghanistan), Wazir and Mehsud (Pakistan), Wahidi and Zaydi (Yemen), and Darod and Hawiye (Somalia). These internal divisions are familiar to anyone who has studied ethnic nationhood. (The Lakota Nation, for example, contains seven bands such as the Oglala, Hunkpapa, and Sicangu. In most other countries, these “bands” would be termed tribes, and the Lakota Nation would not be called a tribe.)
One of the hallmarks of American colonization is to pit favored tribes and ethnic nations against the national security threat of the moment— Crow against Lakota, Igorot against Filipino, Montagnard against Vietnamese, Hmong against Lao, Miskito against Nicaraguan, Kurd against Arab. When the minority tribal allies (with their very real grievances) are no longer needed, Washington quickly abandons its defense of their “human rights.” We love ‘em, we use ‘em, and then we dump ‘em. These divide-and-conquer strategies are being revived from Pakistan to Yemen, as the Pentagon arms tribal militias to do its bidding—often against other tribes.
Tribal resistance against Western intervention and corporate globalization take different forms in different countries. In Pakistan and Iraq, tribes may fight under the green banner of political Islamism. In India and Peru, some tribal peoples have fought under the red flag of Maoist rural insurgent armies. In Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico, they have coalesced within their own self-defined indigenist movements, which have effectively intersected with socialist and environmental movements.
In central and northeastern India, the Indian Army has launched a counterinsurgency war against Naxalite rebels, to open up the tribal forest regions to mining and timber companies. The Naxalites are usually described as “Maoists,” but as the writer Arundhati Roy observed in Outlook India (3/29/10), “It’s convenient to forget that tribal people in Central India have a history of resistance that predates Mao by centuries…. Naxalite politics has been inextricably entwined with tribal uprisings.”
Whether in Mexico, India, Iraq, or the United States and Canada, the Global War on Tribes has some common characteristics. First, the war is most blatantly being waged to steal the natural resources under tribal lands. The rugged, inaccessible terrain that prevented colonial powers from eliminating tribal societies also made accessing minerals, oil, timber and other resources more difficult--so (acre for acre) more of the resources are now left on tribal lands than on more accessible lands.
Resources are not always the underlying explanation for war, but they’re a pretty good start at an explanation. In the case of Indigenous tribal peoples, their historic attention to biodiversity has also enabled natural areas to be relatively protected until now, as corporations seek out the last remaining pockets of natural resources to extract. Look no further than the Alberta Tar Sands, for instance, to see the exploitation of Native lands by modern oil barons.
The Global War on Tribes is a campaign against the very existence of tribal regions that are not under centralized state control. The tribal regions still retain forms of social organization that has not been solely determined by capitalism. In her anthology Paradigm Wars, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, comments that “promoters of economic globalization, the neocolonizers, use the overwhelming pressure of homogenization to teach us that indigenous political, economic and cultural systems are obstacles to their ‘progress.’” (p. 14).
During European colonial expansion, small, tribal peoples who could not muster large military alliances were more vulnerable to conquest and occupation. In most countries, the colonization process left them divided and fighting each other. In the 21st century-- just as many remaining pockets of exploitable resources are located in tribal regions--the only successful pockets of resistance may be found in the mountains, deserts and forests where tribal peoples refuse to die.
Go here to read the full article.

We have seen the same tactics here where divide and conquer is the standard approach. We must see through the mists they place over the truth. Community and connection is our natural state. It is easy to slide into self interest with the baubles they offer - but it is not our natural way.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

march against mining

Be brave - hit the streets

make your presence felt

stand up for the land

Go here for more info

One aspect that is disturbing is the lack of maori input in this. Where is the voice of tangata whenua, why are maori not being consulted or involved? Why?

World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth about to open

Great to see this conference about to start. This is a good example of how indigenous peoples can lead the world.

From the Guardian UK
"In what is becoming the hippest environment meeting of the year, presidents, politicians, intellectuals, scientists and Hollywood stars will join more than 15,000 indigenous people and thousands of grass roots groups from more than 100 countries to debate climate change in one of the world's poorest nations.
The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth which opens next week in the small Bolivian town of Cochabamba, will have no direct bearing on the UN climate talks being conducted by 192 governments. But Bolivian President Evo Morales says it will give a voice to the poorest people of the world and encourage governments to be far more ambitious following the failure of the Copenhagen summit.
Morales will use the meeting to announce the world's largest referendum, with up to 2 billion people being asked to vote on ways out of the climate crisis. Bolivia also wants to create a UN charter of rights and to draft an action plan to set up an international climate justice tribunal.
More than 90 governments are sending delegations to Cochabamba, Bolivia's third largest city. Also expected to attend are scientists such as James Hansen, James Cameron, the director of Avatar, the linguist Noam Chomsky, author Naomi Klein of Canada, anti-globalisation activist José Bové of France, and actors Danny Glover, Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon are expected.
Awesome initiative and whilst I am not such a fan of actors leading the cause - we will take anyone and everyone.

The world leadership being shown by Morales and Bolivia is heartwarming and inspirational.

Who from this country is going?

the whenua - not yours to sell

Remember the gnats declaring that this country was 'open for business'. There are multiple attempts going on from massive overseas interests to buy our whenua in the disguise of buying dairy farms.

It is not yours to sell - it is not yours to buy.

From The ODT
"The Chinese-backed company seeking to buy 29 North Island dairy farms is also trying to buy up to 100 farms in Otago and Southland and build a dairy factory in Southland."
There are 809 dairy herds running more than 400,000 cows in Southland and 355 herds with 180,000 cows in Otago.
Long-term plans were to build dairy factories in the central North Island and another in Southland.
One factory would manufacture long-life milk and the other infant formula, with Natural Dairy planning to use its packaging and distribution expertise in 24 Chinese cities.
Last week, Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden warned the rush to secure future food supplies posed a threat to the co-operative as heavily backed overseas companies bought New Zealand farmland and tied up supplies of food.
Ms Wang said Natural Dairy was doing nothing different from Fonterra owning dairy farms in China to supply the Chinese market.
Last year, a Dubai-backed Maori trust abandoned plans to buy 28 Southland sheep, beef, deer and dairy farms.
Earlier this year it was revealed Auckland-based Southern Pastures, with offshore backing, was trying to raise $500 million to buy farms in the southern hemisphere, but with a bias towards New Zealand."
I cannot understand why we allow these offshore interests to consider buying our farms, our land - that is just stupid. We need to stop these attempts to sell our land, our whenua - the point is - it is not yours to sell!

first australians - great series

I watched the first part of this series last night on Maori TV. It told the history and deliberate attempted destruction of Tasmanian Aborigines - it was so sad.

History - this series should be on primetime and everyone should watch it. The countries that colonised the indigenous people - the canada's, the australia's, the usa's, and the new zealand's and the many others must realise that unless the truth is known there can be no basis of forgiveness or moving on. You cannot build a society on lies. Thank goodness for maori tv otherwise we would remain ignorant.

Go here for more excerpts

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Aboriginal News Group condemns US murder of journalists and civilians

For the full text go here

The video here

Aboriginal News Group Press Statement


“If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.”

-- Justice Robert H. Jackson, Prosecutor, Nürnberg War Crimes Trials
At this time, the editors of the Aboriginal News Group wish to extend our condolences and solidarity to the families, friends and colleagues of Reuters journalists Namir Noor-Eldeen, Saeed Chmagh, and to the other innocent Iraqi non-combatants shot to death as the result of an unprovoked aerial assault on the civilian neighbourhood of New Baghdad on July 12th, 2007 by American military forces. It is in the spirit and desire for justice, peace and an end to the war and occupation that we present the following commentary.

As of this writing, more than 2.5 million people have viewed a copy of a classified military video that was clandestinely obtained, analysed and eventually made public on April 5th of this year, at great personal risk, by,1 a citizen-journalism portal that specialises in making whistle-blower data available to the general public. Presented as a piece of evidence, this video has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the 2007 incident was not only unnecessary but completely inconsistent with the initially-reported “dangerous conditions” on the ground that supposedly led to the attack in the first place.

Although it is duly acknowledged that skirmishes had occurred earlier that morning in a related region, (the very reason for the presence of the two Reuters reporters) there was no visible fighting or disturbances on the street in which Noor-Eldeen, Chmagh and the other unfortunate victims were walking through. Not only does the video show in graphic detail the vicious needlessness of the initial shooting attack, but more importantly, it documents the purely sadistic second attack on the family, which included two young children, that stopped to rescue a severely wounded survivor of the initial ambushWithout reservation, the editors of The Aboriginal News Group roundly condemns the unprovoked attack on our fellow journalists and the other innocent Iraqi civilians wrongfully shot to death in the residential community of New Baghdad, Iraq, 06:21:09 Zulu Time, July 12th, 2007 as an act of unmitigated colonialist violence.
While we wholeheartedly support the growing public demand that the Obama administration immediately compel the United States military to objectively reinvestigate this matter without delay or prejudice, the Aboriginal News Group does not believe that the US government can be expected to investigate or judge its own illicit use of deadly military force impartially. Instead, we call for the creation of an autonomous, citizen-led review commission based on the model of the Russell International War Crimes Tribunals of 1966-67 that would serve to critically reaffirm the rule of international law and the responsibilities of combative states to protect common citizens from unwarranted military violence.

Perhaps this is an obvious point, but all of this clearly illustrates that the United States military war machine has yet again shown itself to be little more than a willing agent of brutal anti-human physical destruction under the auspices of defending the laudable ideals of “freedom and democracy”. As Indigenous people we point to the painfully obvious “colonialist attitudes” displayed by the helicopter crews clearly intent on opening fire on the pedestrians milling peacefully below them. We perceive this to be nothing less than “Indian Hunting”, the colonialist practise of indiscriminately seeking out native citizenry to violently prey upon, perhaps the ugliest by-product of all wars and conflict. The audio commentary overheard during the video is without qualification disgusting as well, but it provides us with further evidence of the obvious disregard many US military personnel have developed towards the human rights and safety of Iraq’s civilian society.

In our view it is not by chance or mistake that the helicopters used in the 2007 attack are called “Apache”, or that one of the mission crews used “Crazyhorse” as an identification monicker. As conscious Indigenous people, we understand that the imperio-colonialist’s subconscious rationale behind the utterly disrespectful use of these and other proud North American Indigenous names and symbols is concretely indicative of their lack of comprehension, compassion or sense of responsibility towards the victims of their violent belligerence.

Stop the violence by stopping the war.

The Aboriginal News Group

I encourage you to read the full statement here.

Hat tip censored news

supergrass gone

Supergrass = very good band. 17 years together and now breaking up due to the old 'growing in different directions' one.

Sun hits the sky

Mokihinui abandoned by kaitiaki

I note that Ngati Waewae have endorsed their position, in the weekend, regarding the proposed Mokihinui River hydro project. My initial post is here - with strong comments.

It is one thing to be neutral and try to make the best of a very bad situation and it is another to publically support the dam. Publically supporting that which was once strongly opposed is not right especailly when the reasons for opposition are still there.

What sorts of arguments did Ngati Waewae initially use to oppose this dam?

from Point 3 of the introduction within the oral submission - Rick Barber
"I wish to note how honoured and privileged I am to have the opportunity to represent both Te Rūnanga o Ngati Waewae and Ngā Awa o Mokihinui at this important consent hearing, which, in many ways, serves as another opportunity for Ngāti Waewae to obtain meaningful recognition of and provision for the outstanding cultural values associated with the Mokihinui. Hitherto, the vital relationship between Ngāti Waewae and the Mokihinui had been almost entirely overlooked in favour of corporate quest for so called “renewable” sources of energy generation (as evidenced by the construction without Ngati Waewae and Ngāi Tahu input of the Arnold, Mokihinui, Aviemore, Benmore, Ohau, Pukaki and Tekapo hydro systems)."
and Point 4
"Needless to say, Ngāti Waewae, Poutini Ngai Tahu does not want to see such a culturally destructive approach to energy generation repeated again in our takiwa it is in this context that Ngati Waewae is opposed to the Mokihinui Hydro proposal.
"a) That the concept of hydro electricity generation…has tended to be undertaken in a culturally insensitive and distasteful manner across the motu / island and the proposal here is no exception."
"10. For this and other reasons, Ngāti Waewae continues to advocate for the awa Mokihinui to be left in its natural near pristine state, for the reasons outlined in the CIA and.
• Our relationship with the Mokihinui, including his genealogical/whakapapa associations with the Mokihinui.
• our role and obligations as kaitiaki; the role that the Mokihinui plays as a source of mahinga kai; the angst engendered by the application and the likely future state of the awa; and our aspirations for the future management of the River."
It is hard to see what the big changes have been apart from the commitment for meridian to pay some money to Ngati Waewae as a mitigation for the destruction of the mauri of the river - as if that could ever make a difference.

What does Rick Barber say?

From Stuff
"In 2008, Rick Barber submitted against the dam because of its cultural and ecological impact.
Barber said he was part of Ngati Waewae's land and environment unit at the time.
However, Ngati Waewae changed its stance during the hearing and claimed Barber did not represent its true views.
Barber said yesterday that his submission was "absolutely" the iwi's position after consultation and site visits.
"Any Maori who would like to see a river dammed isn't Maori as far as I am concerned."
Whilst i agree with the sentiment, sadly this isn't true. There are some maori who are only interested in their own personal advancement and others who measure themselves via money or position. These people are maori. But perhaps Mr Spock has the right way to look at it,

"It's life Jim, but not as we know it."

jones attacks sharples viciously with wet napkin

There are many options when considering how to beat your enemy. Some people like the king-hit approach, others the war of attrition and death by 1000 cuts. Shane Jones knows all this and he is a very good attacking weapon for labour.

This recent attack is a bit loose, a bit weak though. It was a scratch not a cut.

From Stuff
"Dr Sharples who will be at a hui at Auckland's Puatahi Marae today in an official capacity as the Maori Affairs minister.
Labour MP Shane Jones said this was evidence that Dr Sharples would "do what [Prime Minister] John Key wants".
Ummm - shane - he is the minister, yes the other members of the maori party attend as individuals or members of the party but sharples is the minister
"The independent perspective that the Maori Party formerly had on this issue is now over," he said.
hey jones how independant are you? methinks you have to follow the party line more than the maori party
"The transcending perspective is that reflected by the prime minister and his loyal ministers, of whom [co-leaders] Tariana [Turia] and Pita are two."
Mr Jones said he thought there was a very serious prospect that Mr Flavell and Mr Harawira would break away over the issue.
maybe but they will still be maori fighting for maori rights - not like you jones - why don't you stand in an electorate seat and let's see what support you actually have instead of slinking in on the labour party list.
"And you'll have Dr Sharples there doing the prime minister's bidding really," he said.
It must be tough to have to bow your head to goff. Jones has a widely inflated view of his own abilities and there is no way that he would consider that goff has any better skills and abilities than him.
"It's not surprising because Pita actually is a very obliging chap. Pita is very accommodating and very obliging and in that sense, he is very much the diplomat."
I am keen for jones to keep the pressure on the maori party but FFS get some decent lines and angles. This is death by 1000 cuts but that attack barely drew blood - in fact I'm calling it a scratch.

smithyman - trees


                  not so many kauri
and on the flats when
those were cut out
they put the fire in          kahikatea

burning off

Black black black was the colour of my true love's hair.
Was after, grey, like ashes,
and were                       

and those which had
bloodstain flowers,
the family of

Sunday, April 11, 2010

lakes in trouble

Lakes - we take them for granted in this country a little bit. We are blessed with good rainfall but many of our lakes are very sick. I came across this very good article on the state of lakes around the world - it makes very sobering reading.

From Janet Larsen
"More than half of the world's five million lakes are endangered.
Over the last half-century, world water use has tripled, expanding faster than population. Today, irrigation accounts for two-thirds of global water use.
Lakes are not only being drained dry. They also are dying from contamination. Farm wastes, sewage and nitrogen fallout from fossil fuel burning fertilize lakes — cause excess algal and plant growth that in turn, depletes water oxygen levels and kills aquatic animal life.
This process, called eutrophication, plagues more than half the lakes in Europe and Asia, 41% of those in South America — and 28% in North America.
Acid precipitation, largely from fossil fuel burning emissions, is killing thousand of lakes. An estimated 120,000 square kilometers of lakes in Norway are acidified to the point where fish stocks have crashed.
Sweden has some 4,000 acidified lakes. In Canada, some 14,000 lakes are severely acidified. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that some 70% of sensitive lakes in New York's Adirondack Mountains are at risk of periodic acidification. It also believes that without further reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions the rate of acidification will increase by half or more.
A survey of remote mountain lakes throughout Europe found that even lakes far from human development were acidified by sulfur and nitrogen deposition. Virtually all were contaminated by heavy metals (such as mercury, lead and cadmium) and fly ash particles.
More than two billion people live in countries with chronic water stress. Many of the world's people, especially in developing countries, depend on fish for protein.

There are some very good specific examples of lakes in real trouble in this article, from the 5 million year old Aral Sea which has lost four fifths of it's volume, to West Africa's Lake Chad which has shrunk to a 5% of its former size. A lot of very good information.

One of the biggest threats to our lakes is pollution - from dairy farms, and fertilisers. Time to say no more and let's really get serious about healing our lakes. There is some really good work being done in this regard already, much of it lead by tangata whenua. Thank you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a maori solution

This story is a good example of maori finding solutions to their problems. Organ transplant is a touchy subject. Maori need organs but not many donate.

From Stuff
"Many Maori believe the body has to remain whole and should be returned on death to ancestral land for burial."
"Maori make up 14.1 per cent of the New Zealand population, yet in 2007 represented 32 per cent of those needing kidney transplants. In the same year, no Maori donated organs after death, though there have been up to seven donors in other years.
In the five years to 2008, between 17 and 37 European New Zealanders were donors each year.
Otago University masters student Jennifer Ngahooro, whose study focuses on Maori organ donation, has proposed measures to increase Maori donation rates.
"Mrs Ngahooro suggested a ceremony modelled on powhiri for transplants, so that before the operation, grieving families could gather in a hospital chapel to farewell body parts. A separate ceremony would be held for recipients of organs and their families.
This has a good feel to it. Respecting the body, respecting the spirit of giving and recieving.
"It's a Maori model, but I think it's a model that would be really good for everyone."
Mrs Ngahooro said a two-stage process – a hospital ceremony followed by full funeral – would be acceptable to modern Maori, many of whom no longer had their bodies returned to ancestral land.
Now I am not sure what the people will think of this but it is worth considering and it seems quite good to me. Incorporating te ao maori is the way to go for many of the challenges we face, we just have to keep an open mind.

Friday, April 9, 2010

visual poem

they argue that
my cuts don't heal
and as i breathe
my chest moves not

I argue that
my fresh cuts bleed
and as i breathe
great weight descends

big made up numbers

The mining lobby throw many big numbers around. So big, hardly anyone can check them. Luckily we have people like Coromandel Watchdog spokesman Denis Tegg on the case.

From JEFF NEEMS - Waikato Times

This was the assertion
"The document includes references to a 2008 GNS Science report, which estimated the value of minerals in the wider Coromandel at $54 billion. The discussion paper also says mineral production from the open pit mine at Newmont's Martha Hill Waihi is "valued" at $225 million per annum."
Okay - and the truth
"Denis Tegg said with the average life of a modern mine at about 10 years, the value of total production per open pit mine would be $2.25 billion.
Mr Tegg argued that to extract the purported $54 billion worth of minerals from the Coromandel, 24 open pit mines would be needed – eight of those in land currently covered by Schedule 4.
Prime Minister John Key has ruled out open pit mines in the Coromandel, implying only underground mining methods would be used.
Mr Tegg said if that was the case, and based on his calculations, more than 600 underground mines would be needed to extract the Coromandel's $54 billion in minerals.
The Government discussion paper also noted that after 66 years of intense mining, the Thames goldfield produced just $3.6 billion of gold at today's prices.
"If Government figures are to be believed, those old miners completely missed finding another $54 billion bonanza just waiting to be dug up in the next few years," Mr Tegg said.
So anyway you cut it - it is just made up. And what does brownlee say about these calculations?
"Responding to Times questions, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee dismissed Mr Tegg's calculations as "fanciful and misleading".
Oh dear - back to school for you gerry

if you sell out are you a sellout?

What a disgrace - that some would sellout their kaitiaki role for money. What about the children and their children?

From stuff
"Meridian Energy has confirmed it donated money to a West Coast iwi which changed its mind over its opposition to the massive Mokihinui River hydro dam.
Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae, the council representing a sub-tribe of Ngai Tahu, strenuously opposed the dam, but changed its mind during the hearing. This week, it publicly supported the scheme.
Yesterday, the iwi said Meridian had agreed to pay into a fund "to monitor effects". Information on "anything else" would be released after a runanga meeting at Arahura this weekend, runanga chairman Francois Tumahai, of Christchurch, said.
Meridian confirmed that it had made a payment, but declined to say how much.
Meridian said yesterday that it had made a payment so Ngati Waewae could "fund other cultural initiatives". "They did a lot of work for us in assessing the cultural impact of the project," spokesman Alan Seay said. "The cultural project we are funding is to offset the impact of the project on the mauri [life force] of the river."
In Ngati Waewae's original submission, represented by Richard Barber, it opposed the scheme for cultural reasons. "Ngati Waewae considers that the construction of the dam, power-generating stations and the associated infrastructure, such as the lake and transmission lines, will degrade the awa [river] and present a significant loss to the tangata whenua," he told commissioners.
However, Mr Tumahai said Mr Barber had not represented the true views of Ngati Waewae. The iwi had originally had a neutral stance on the project, he told Westport News.
Idiots - you think you can offset the destruction of the mauri of the awa by setting aside some cultural fund?

Destroy the rivers, destroy the land and destroy your mana. What a shameful incident, I hope the true voices of Ngati Waewae oppose these sellouts.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

whanau ora - some pitfalls

What are some of the pitfalls of whanau ora?

Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn covers some of them very well
"On the negative side, there are real privacy and human rights concerns here. One of the reasons for the silo mentality among delivery agencies is because (to pick a random example) how well a family's kids are doing at school is none of Housing New Zealand's damn business. Ditto your sexual history and the police. Whanau Ora would either share this information, or concentrate it in the hands of the single contact point. There are also concerns about the privacy and rights of individuals against members of their own families (the report recognises this in cases of pregnancy). This could easily turn into an Orwellian nightmare, in which every family has its own paternalistic dictator, acting with state power to make decisions based on their own moral views rather than the wishes and needs of the family.
Secondly, the scheme's "Whanau goals" are very prescriptive, to the point of social engineering. For example, it seeks to promote not just self-management, health, and participation in society, but also participation in te ao Maori and "Whanau cohesion". To point out the obvious, whether I speak to my mother is no business at all of the government. Neither is what culture you participate in. These things are great for people who want them, but they should not be dictated by the state.
The biggest problem, however, is governance. Using an independent trust will mean that policy advice and the management of the programme is deliberately and consciously divorced from public service norms of professionalism, transparency and accountability. It means the staff overseeing the scheme will not be bound by public service neutrality, that contracts will not be subject to the usual public service rules (freeing up space for "relational contracting", by which they mean favouring certain regular providers rather than having a level playing field), and their decisions, contracts and advice will not be subject to the Official Information Act (note that by contracting out actual delivery, service provision is already insulated from the jurisdiction of the Ombudsmen. WINZ has to be fair and reasonable; contracted services don't). And that is simply unacceptable.
I hadn't noticed the point within the second point - " seeks to promote not just self-management, health, and participation in society, but also participation in te ao Maori and "Whanau cohesion"."

I like that - seeks to promote participation in te ao maori and whanau cohesion - isn't that what we need to do?

brownwash or empowerment - whanau ora

Is this a genuine attempt to empower maori or is it brownwash to help hide the neocon privatisation objectives of national? Whatever the answer - maori will find out.

from Stuff
"Prime Minister Key has appointed Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia as Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora."
I wonder who will get Minister of Foreshore and Seabed?
"... a new Whanau Ora trust would draw on money currently spent through the Government's housing, health, education, justice and social welfare agencies and report to a dedicated minister."
This will be closely scruitinised so I cannot see any bullshit going on. Both the left and the right want this to fail, or work, for the wrong reasons - it is only maori who want it to work for the right reasons.
"Whanau Ora Governance Group will oversee the roll-out and progress of the policy. The group is: Rob Cooper (chair) who is chief executive of the Ngati Hine Health Trust, a Maori-owned provider of social services in Northland; Professor Sir Mason Durie, who chaired the Whanau Ora Taskforce; Nancy Tuaine of Te Atihaunui a Paparangi (Whanganui) who is the manager of the Whanganui River Trust Board and a member of the Whanganui District Health Board; Leith Comer, chief executive of Te Puni Kokiri; Peter Hughes, chief executive of the Social Development Ministry and Stephen McKernan, the director-general of Health.
Is this bunch all 'yes' men and women?
"Mr Key has said the May 20 Budget will include money for the whanau ora policy, but that the Government has not accepted all the report's findings."
Trust key? Only if you want to lose your hand.

I am keeping an open mind on this one and will be watching carefully. But i really hope it works and that maori are better off because of this program - shit could they be worse off?

Dun Mountain diversity

This mining on schedule 4 lands is a bit quiet at the moment isn't it?

Some of the additional areas they want to 'investigate' are,

from Nelson Mail
"The stocktake will also take in parts of Murchison, Kaikoura Ranges, Riwaka's Graham Valley, Dun Mountain and Schedule 4 conservation land on the eastern side of Kahurangi National Park."
"At Dun Mountain the stocktake is expected to confirm the presence of gold, base metals, nickel, copper, chromium, cobalt and those of the platinum group, with "moderate prospectivity" for mining."
"Minister of Energy and Resources Gerry Brownlee, said that the "numbers are always going to be all over the show""
All of the projections are made up with little basis in reality or 'all over the show' as "feed me gerry" states.

What is the story with Dun Mountain
"It's quite fascinating ... a very special geological area with vulnerable and unique vegetation and history."
Ironically, she says another important cultural treasure of the area is the 19th-century copper and chromite mines.
Early Maori quarried argillite (pakohe) for adzes and tools, and their workings can still be seen.
Plants and animals, including the Marlborough mini gecko, adapted to the hot and dry landscape, and are unlike their relatives in other parts of the country. The Nelson Biodiversity Forum notes it as being nationally important for conservation and biodiversity values.
Let's start talking about these areas they want to dig up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Moana Jackson - Foreshore and Seabed primer

A very good summation and primer on the Foreshore and Seabed from Moana Jackson
‘The test of whether any rights regime for Indigenous Peoples is just or unjust is quite simple – does it recognise an equality of rights and restore what has been taken, or does it assert something else?’ Kawaipuna Prejean, Hawaiian intervention at the 1991 sitting of the United Nations Working Group on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This Primer has been prepared as part of the ongoing discussion in Ngāti Kahungunu about the foreshore and seabed issue, and in particular the Crown consultation document on the repeal of the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act.

It is hoped that it might be of value to others who wish to engage in the discussions and participate in the consultation process with the Crown.

It canvasses some of the main points in the Crown proposals and attempts to relate them to the issues Māori have raised on the subject since 2003.

The Iwi Leaders’ Group has released a detailed commentary on the Crown document and this Primer necessarily addresses some similar issues. However it also focuses on others to determine whether they in fact recognise an equality of rights for Māori and restore what has been taken, or whether they assert something else.

It acknowledges that the document does have positive features in accepting that the current situation in regard to the foreshore and seabed has been both unacceptable and inequitable to Māori. However whether it is a ‘sophisticated’ or ‘elegant’ solution as the government claims is another question because ‘elegance’ is rarely the same as ‘fair’ or ‘just’.

On that basis there are several areas in the Crown proposals which need some ‘improvement’ as the Iwi Leaders’ Group has stated, and several which need to be elaborated upon further.

However of perhaps more importance is the fact that the Crown’s preferred option for resolving the issue is conceptually flawed – it is based on certain presumptions, both political and legal, which limit the chance for substantive improvement and therefore also limit the possibility that any resolution will actually promote an equality of rights.

It is obvious that the issue is an intensely political one but politics or political expediency should never preclude justice. Neither should they damage the relationship between the Crown and Iwi and Hapu that was envisaged in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The 2004 legislation did both.

This Primer is based on the belief that there is no need to repeat those mistakes.

- Moana Jackson.

What is positive about the Consultation Document?

It clearly commits to three main changes –

1. The repeal of the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act.
2. The restoration of rights which that Act tried to remove.
3. The restoration of due process. That is restoring the right of those who wish to go to court on this matter to do so.

Does it suggest anything to replace the 2004 Act once it is repealed?


It suggests four possible options to regulate the use and protection of the Foreshore and Seabed.

It also suggests in some detail the sort of ‘customary rights and title’ Maori might be entitled to under its preferred option.

What are these options?

1. To fully vest the Foreshore and Seabed in the Crown.
2. To create a radical title for the Crown in the Foreshore and Seabed – that is, the right to regulate subject to Iwi and Hapu rights.
3. To vest full ownership of the Foreshore and Seabed in Maori.
4. To create a ‘No ownership’ regime based on a public domain or takiwa iwi whanui.

What is the Crown’s preferred option?

The ‘No ownership’ regime.

What does this mean?

It is not clear what the notion of public domain would entail but the concept of ‘No ownership’ poses real conceptual difficulties, the most important of which are –

1. In tikanga terms whenua has to belong to somebody just as tangata whenua have to belong to the whenua. The notion of not belonging (or not being ‘owned’ in the document’s language) is a diminishment of the relationship Iwi and Hapu have with the whenua and therefore of whakapapa itself.

2. In terms of Pākehā law it appears to revive the discredited colonising legal doctrine of terra nullius or ‘the empty land’ which once allowed colonisers to take indigenous lands simply by saying there were no people there.

The difficulties were recently highlighted when a leading barrister commented, not entirely jokingly, that if no-one owned the foreshore it was technically ‘empty’ and someone else could come along and take it, just as colonisers have always done.

Are there any other difficulties with the ‘No ownership’ regime?

The idea is also problematic if not deceitful because while the Crown suggests no owner it actually retains for itself a right to control and manage the Foreshore and Seabed that in reality amounts to ownership.

Indeed the document makes no reference to repealing the many statutes which have already been passed to vest ownership in the Crown.

The government has made it clear for example that it will continue to control whatever ‘nationalised minerals’ might exist in the Foreshore and Seabed. Those minerals are petroleum, gold, silver, and uranium. The document makes no clear reference to other ‘nonnationalised’ minerals.

The ‘No ownership’ concept is problematic in another way because it essentially gives the Crown the right to determine whatever Maori ‘customary rights’ might flow from the regime because they will necessarily be subject to, or have to be exercised in relation to existing statutory authorities. Indeed that right to define is akin to the right of an owner to decide what may or may not happen on a particular piece of land.

Are these ‘customary rights’ the rights Iwi and Hapu define according to tikanga?


They are rights which Maori may have used since ‘time immemorial’ but they are actually constrained within the colonising doctrine of aboriginal rights or title. They are therefore a ‘burden’ on whatever authority the colonising power has assumed but they are also able to be extinguished or removed if the Crown decides to do so through legislation or some other means.

The document specifically retains this right of extinguishment. For example it notes that if a customary right has not been exercised because it has been extinguished by the Crown, even in breach of ‘Treaty principles,’ it stays extinguished unless the Waitangi Tribunal recommends otherwise.

The result is that the ‘customary rights and title’ are lesser rights than those enjoyed by others. They are not tikanga-defined or controlled but are rights that one famous Court case described as ‘diminished’ and ‘necessarily dependent’ on the whim of the Crown.

How then would the rights be established if the ‘No ownership’ proposal goes ahead?

The Consultation Document says there are different territorial or title rights and nonterritorial or use rights.

They may be recognised either through a court case (the restoration of due process) or through direct negotiation between the Crown and a particular Iwi or Hapu.
As a general rule Iwi and Hapu will have to establish the rights by proving –

1. They have been continuously exercised without interruption since 1840
2. They apply to foreshore continuously occupied without interruption since 1840.
3. They have not been extinguished.

Are these requirements any different to the 2004 Act?

Not really.

They effectively retain what may be called a ‘Crown wins’ test because most Iwi and Hapu have been prevented from continuously exercising them by Crown actions since 1840.

The only possible difference is a suggestion that the Crown may decide it has to prove it extinguished the right rather than Iwi and Hapu having to prove it wasn’t removed, but no firm commitment has been made in that regard.

What ‘customary rights or title’ are then available?

Very few.

They include such things as

- Protection of certain ‘customary activities’.
- Ability to prepare a ‘Planning document’ to be considered by local bodies in their District Plans and applications under the Resource Management Act.
- Ability to grant or withhold permission under ‘customary title’ for activities requiring a resource consent from a local body.

Do Iwi or Hapu with these titles have to guarantee public access?

Yes, and Maori have always of course agreed to do so.

However there is a fundamental inequality in this requirement because others with freehold title to land on the foreshore do not need to grant access. It is only Maori with a ‘diminished’ title over a tiny piece of the foreshore who have to do so while those who control over 80% of it do not.

Can the other options be considered?

Technically yes, although the government is clear about its preferred option. Indeed it has said if Maori do not accept it the 2004 Act will remain in place. That seems an unfair threat and hardly a good basis for a proper Treaty-based resolution.

Yet there are other possibilities that will address the concerns many people have while allowing a resolution for Maori that will recognise an equality of rights and restore what has been taken rather than assert something else as the current option does.
More resources by Moana Jackson are available at

Hat tip Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

damn dam decision

This dam will not go ahead even though it has gained resource consent. I have posted about this before but I never expected this idiotic decision.

From The ODT
"Commissioners have decided two to one to grant resource consent for a controversial hydro dam on the West Coast.
The consents were subject to 200 conditions to mitigate and monitor the dam's effects.
These included habitat enhancement and predator control over 3000ha.
An initial bond of $500,000 was also required from Meridian, which says the scheme would produce enough power for 51,000 homes.
The plan - which would see the building of an 85m high dam creating a 14km long lake - has been opposed by environmental lobbyists and the Department of Conservation.
They say the scheme would come at too high a cost to the environment and that there are better schemes which could produce enough power for the Coast without as much damage.
This is what that dam will do

We can still stop this dam - we must stop this dam.

Monday, April 5, 2010

killer blow for the Great Barrier Reef?

It really has just been a matter of time. An oil spill within the restricted area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a disaster for that environment.

From Associated Press
"The 230-metre bulk coal, was taking about 72,000 tons (65,000 metric tons) of coal to China. The Shen Neng 1, hit the reef at full speed, nine miles (15 kilometers) outside the shipping lane, early on Saturday evening.
So far, two tonnes of oil has leaked, causing a slick more than three kilometres long and 100 metres wide, but another 950 tonnes remains on board.
State authorities were seeking information about the effect the coal could have on the reef environment if the ship broke up before its cargo can be salvaged."
Already under grave threat, this could be the killer blow for the Great Barrier Reef.

And what about here - how many coal ships are going to be scooting around our coast - just another disaster waiting to happen.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

some thoughts on the foreshore and seabed

I have been doing a bit of thinking on the Foreshore and Seabed and recently posted this comment on Te Karere Ipurangi (a brilliant blog and website) - it sums up my some of my thoughts to date.
"I tautoko those comments and i have some thoughts
Does anyone really believe them when they say no one will own the F&S? Annette Sykes is right about that, when something valuable to the money-zombies is identified then the government will assume control and ownership. Are maori just supposed to take their word? has their word ever been true in the past?

This lowering of the ability to prove customary title is a farce. And having the ability to go to court seems like window dressing when fundamentally the mana is not resting with maori. It doesn’t matter if the foot on your throat is slightly lifted, it is still there. And what is the story with a ONE MONTH consultation period? How is that fair, when we have easter and school holidays and maori are expected to get whanau, hapu and iwi together to discuss and come up with their choice of the four useless options.

And the threats – is this the way to have a fair negotiation? Key threatens that if maori don’t like the options then he will leave it as it is, findlayson threatens that maori should not use explosive language – haven’t heard too many threats from the maori side yet.

I can’t quite work out how the iwi leaders group and the maori party are working together – who does what? What about everyone else. The maori party are certainly saying quite different things compared to national and there are visible contradictions. It’s a worry when Tariana implies that the maori party promised to get the F&S repealed and they have done this so they have achieved that goal.

I hope we can pull together on this one – it is so essential. Ma te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tatou.

And while this righting of a wrong is going on we must get ready to protect the whenua. This mining is being proposed on our land. These national parks are our sacred places, our taonga. They have already destroyed Te Rongomai o Te Karaka the other day. Most of the money from mining goes to overseas multinational mining companies – there is no economic benefit at all. And they don’t even know what they think is there – it is all guesswork – it is just a big have. These companies destroy indigenous communites and their homes all around the world, they destroy wilderness and ecosystems, all for what – money – our kaitiakitanga is more important than money. Our mana is more important than money. In other countries indigenous people lead the fight against these companies, I hope we do the same.