Wednesday, September 29, 2010

a tree is green and brown

I have recently been placed on the māori party press release list and I'm really pleased to recieve the emails detailing what the māori party have been up to. I'm going to post the ones that resonnate because it is important to get a full view of the goings on rather than just the MSM spin - sure these are spin too, but they record what's happening.

For instance this is a good stance by Tariana and the māori party
"Maori Party MP for Te Tai Hauauru Tariana Turia is disappointed that the South Taranaki District Council has dismissed iwi and backed a move to give control of a major water supply to farmers.
"The decision goes against the spirit of this country's most significant freshwater report that was handed to the Government just last week," said Mrs Turia who was referring to the council's decision last night to back a local bill, sponsored by Chester Burrows, giving local landowners control of the Cold Creek Rural Water Supply Scheme.
"The report [from the Land and Water Forum] recommended that councils must engage with iwi about the way in which their water bodies are valued, and to work collaboratively with them and other relevant land and water users.
"I am very sad to hear that the council has sidelined Ngati Ruanui and not engaged them properly.
"The water that ends up in the creek runs from the head of Ngati Ruanui's ancestral mountain, Maunga Taranaki, so they must be included in all major decisions concerning the resource.
"I will be talking to the Minister of Local Government and the Minister for the Environment, to ensure Ngati Ruanui is not left out and that the recommendations of the report are upheld."
The report Land and Water Forum: A Fresh Start for Freshwater looked at freshwater management at local, regional and national levels."
Fighting for the right of māori to be heard and respected, protecting the mana of the people and the mauri of the waterway, showing the hypocracy and injustice around disempowering decisions - this is the role of the māori party. Well done.

 and now, while the pressure is building is the time to take it up a notch - put some olive branches out to the greens and work together on a bill or amendment or protest and opposition. Use the values of manaakitanga to build relations and support. I can't really see much downside - it puts pressure on the gnats thus increasing bargining power, it strengthens a relationship with a potential partner with many shared values, it creates more opportunity to make positive changes in whatever is focused on by using two sets of resources and activists, and it increases mana.

It's time to focus on similarities and connection not differences.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Open letter about flawed CERRA from concerned citizens

I am reposting this as is - I agree with the sentiments expressed - this legislation giving gerry brownlee of all people, these extraordinary powers, is seriously flawed and a potential danger for all of us - no? silly? It has happened before plenty of times around the world.

From Pundit
An open letter to New Zealand’s people and their Parliament.

We write as a group of concerned citizens with academic expertise in the area of constitutional law and politics.

We share New Zealand’s deep concern about the physical damage to Canterbury and the personal trauma this has caused the region’s residents. All levels of government have an obligation to help the people of Canterbury rebuild their homes, businesses and lives as quickly as possible.

However, while we are united in wishing to help Canterbury recover, there is a risk that the desire to do “everything we can” in the short term will blind us to the long-term harms of our actions. In particular, abandoning established constitutional values and principles in order to remove any inconvenient legal roadblock is a dangerous and misguided step.

Yet this is what our Parliament has done, in just a single day, by unanimously passing the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010. It represents an extraordinarily broad transfer of lawmaking power away from Parliament and to the executive branch, with minimal constraints on how that power may be used. In particular:

•Individual government ministers, through “Orders in Council”, may change virtually every part of NZ's statute book in order to achieve very broadly defined ends, thereby effectively handing to the executive branch Parliament's power to make law;

•The legislation forbids courts from examining the reasons a minister has for thinking an Order in Council is needed, as well as the process followed in reaching that decision;

•Orders in Council are deemed to have full legislative force, such that they prevail over any inconsistent parliamentary enactment;

•Persons acting under the authority of an Order in Council have protection from legal liability, with no right to compensation should their actions cause harm to another person.

These matters are not simply "academic" or "theoretical" in nature. Over and over again history demonstrates that unconstrained power is subject to misuse, and that even well-intentioned measures can result in unintended consequences if there are not clear, formal measures of oversight applied to them.

We do acknowledge that the powers granted by the Act have some restrictions on their use. They only can be used to achieve the objective of the legislation (although this is very broadly defined). Five key constitutional statutes are exempted from their ambit. Orders in Council inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 may not be made. Parliament can review and reject Orders in Council, albeit through a rather slow and protracted process.

Nevertheless, the vast amount of lawmaking power given to ministers renders these limits insufficient. In particular, there need to be tight restrictions on the enactments a minister may change through an Order in Council and clear and precise grounds that justify any such change. These grounds also need to be open to review by the judiciary, to ensure that they really are met in any particular case.

Any claim that such safeguards are unnecessary because the Act’s powers will be wisely and sparingly applied, and that informal "consultation" and "public pressure" will ensure that this happens, must be resisted. Only formal, legal means of accountability, ultimately enforceable through the courts, are constitutionally acceptable.

Furthermore, the Act now stands as a dangerous precedent for future "emergency" situations. This earthquake, devastating though it has been, will not be the last natural disaster to strike New Zealand. When the next event does occur, inevitably there will be calls for a similar legislative response, which will be very difficult to resist given this example.

Finally, we emphasise that we have no partisan agenda to pursue here. The fact is that all MPs of every party joined in this action. They did so with the best of intentions, driven by an understandable desire to display their solidarity with Canterbury’s people.

But we feel their action was a mistake, and they too quickly and readily abandoned basic constitutional principles in the name of expediency. We hope that with a period to reflect on their action and the consequences this might have that they now will revisit this issue in a more appropriate manner.


Professor Stuart Anderson, Faculty of Law, University of Otago.
Mark Bennett, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Malcom Birdling, Keble College, University of Oxford.
Joel Colon-Rios, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Richard Cornes, School of Law, University of Essex.
Trevor Daya-Winterbottom, Faculty of Law, University of Waikato.
Professor John Dawson, Faculty of Law, University of Otago.
Richard Ekins, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.
Associate Prof. Andrew Geddis, Faculty of Law, University of Otago.
Claudia Geiringer, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Kris Gledhill, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.
Professor Bruce Harris, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.
Professor Mark Henaghan, Faculty of Law, University of Otago.
Dr John Hopkins, Law School, University of Canterbury.
John Ip, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.
Carwyn Jones, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Dean Knight, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Prof. Elizabeth McLeay, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Steven Price, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Vernon Rive, Law School, Auckland University of Technology.
Mary-Rose Russell, Law School, Auckland University of Technology.
Katherine Sanders, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.
Dr Rayner Thwaites, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
Professor Jeremy Waldron, New York University School of Law.
Ceri Warnock, Faculty of Law, University of Otago.
Nicola Wheen, Faculty of Law, Univerity of Otago.
Hanna Wilberg, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.
Hat tip - Robert Guyton and The Standard

Monday, September 27, 2010

we are who we are

I've just come back from down south where I went to a whānau hangi and hui. This celebration was for my auntie - who is very ill. We laughed and cried and discussed the maori party and mataitai, the snow and whitebaiting, we drank and feasted and talked about whānau and remembered and were immersed in whānaungatanga, manaakitanga, kotahitanga, wairuatanga and utu. Every whānau, hapū and iwi have their own way of doing things that is often distinct from the textbook. And every whānau, hapū and iwi has adapted to the situation they are in - to survive. That is Te Ao Māori. Our tūpuna have and still guide us. We celebrate them too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poroporoaki ki Sir Archie John Te Atawhai Taiaroa from the maori party

A message from the maori party

Te Ao Maori lost a very respected man tonight. The Maori Party pays tribute to him with the following poroporoaki.

Nga mihi,

The Team @ Te Paati Maori

Poroporoaki ki Sir Archie John Te Atawhai Taiaroa

21 September 2010

Ka tanuku! Ka tanuku! Ka tanuku koa te tihi ki Tongariro, ka tanuku!

E rere! E rere! E rere kau te awa tupua mai i te Kahui Maunga ki Whanganui!

E tau ra te kapua pouri ki runga o Tainui, Te Arawa, Aotea, Kurahaupo!

No koutou te rangatira e tiraha mai ra, otira he pononga na nga iwi katoa!

Atawhai! me pehea matou? Ko koe te whetu arataki, te totara whakaruruhau, te pou korero, te ringa atawhai o to iwi Maori. He tangata humarie, e hau ra o rongo taiawhio noa ki nga topito o te ao.

Kua hinga koe, kua pani matou i te koraha.

Kua eke koe ki nga taumata o te matauranga, kua kakahutia koe ki nga tohu mana o te ao Maori, ao Pakeha. Ka piripiri to whanau ki a koe i roto i te aroha, engari te ringa kaha o aitua, e kore e taea te karo. He mamae, he mamae.

E te rangatira, takoto mai, takoto mai, takoto mai i te poho o to whanau, e tangi hotuhotu nei ki a koe. Moe mai ra, moe mai ra.

The Maori Party is distraught to hear of the sudden death this evening of Sir Archie John Te Atawhai Taiaroa, of Te Atihaunui a Paparangi, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Apa/Nga Wairiki, with ties to Ngati Haua, Ngati Kurawhatia and Ngati Maru.

Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said Sir Archie's importance to all Maori people is impossible to overstate.

"He played so many leading roles - tribal, regional, national and international, it would be hard to list them all," Dr Sharples said.

"He tackled the most complex challenges and pursued them to a successful conclusion. He was at the heart of the protracted Maori fisheries struggles, he was a leader of Maori broadcasting litigation that spanned over 20 years, and he took on the longest-running court case in New Zealand's history - the Whanganui River claims.

"But even more importantly, he did so with such integrity, humility, dedication and love. He was an inspiration to others, he achieved much more in his lifetime than one person could ever do.

"As a result, today we have powerful modern institutions, like Te Ohu Kaimoana, Maori Television, and pan-tribal organisations serving the interests of Maori and other indigenous peoples around the world.

"Sir Archie was a down to earth, humble man, whose networks spanned the globe."

Sir Archie was born on the Whanganui River and lived his life within his tribal rohe, apart from a few years studying at Canterbury University and overseas.

"The most remarkable thing about Sir Archie was that while he was recognised internationally for his leadership within the World Council of Whalers and honoured as a distinguished iwi leader by the Crown and iwi alike - he was never happier than returning to the tranquillity and beauty of Te Hinau Marae at Tawata," Dr Sharples said.

In 2003, Sir Archie was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Maori, especially Whanganui iwi. And in October last year, he was invested as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in front of over 1000 people gathered at a special ceremony at Hato Paora.

He was an old boy of Hato Paora College, he was on the Taumarunui District Council for 16 years, six as Deputy Mayor and he was chair of the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board.

"In his work, he travelled to the Privy Council, the United Nations and the International Whaling Commission, and countries all over the world, to defend the rights of Maori and indigenous peoples.

"Yet he always related to people personally, with such warmth and kindness and courtesy.

"Our special love goes out to Lady Martha and the children and grandchildren and the whole of the whanau pani.

"E te rangatira, haere, haere, haere ki o tupuna."

Friday, September 17, 2010

dams in earthquake country? - um... no thanks

Great blog I've been recommended - Clean Green New Zealand - really?

The latest post considers previous earthquakes of Murchison 7.8 1929 and Inangahua Junction 7.1 1968 and the proposed dam on the Mokihinui - and asks
"Is it really a good idea to build a dam that will create a lake 14km long, above a (small) town, locate it in "Earthquake Country", and over a fault line that leading scientists claim is long overdue to move?"
That is a pretty good question and offers another reason to oppose this damn dam.

Check out the blog and let's strengthen our community.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

two wrongs make two wrongs

Isn't it a bit weird that the maori party are supporting the bogus repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation and the greens oppose it. The greens are showing good integrity on this issue and their spokesperson gets it just right with this statement.

From Scoop
“The proposed legislation is discriminatory because it creates one set of rules for Maori title, and another for the 12,500 existing private titles in the foreshore and seabed,” said Green Party Maori Affairs Spokesperson David Clendon.
The Marine and Coastal Area Bill being introduced to Parliament today does not guarantee public access to the foreshore and seabed owned under private title and does not stop these private titles being sold. It also outlines that Maori customary title can be overridden by mining interests whereas private title interests cannot.
“This bill effectively treats Maori rights as second class,” said Mr Clendon.
There is no argument against this because it is true and the maori party are voting for it - I wonder how many votes they will get next election. I voted for and believed in the maori party, but there is something missing within them at the moment.

With ACT disintegrating like they deserve, the maori party had a real opportunity to put the pressure on and get some real gains for their constituents. The danger is that more baubles will be dangled and egos stroked and nothing will happen. I'm not holding my breath.

I like Hone, but he is not a leader of a political party, he is too hot headed. Others needs to be found that can carry the mana and responsiblity. Leadership is about bringing the people with you, it is about walking backwards to the future, it is time for new leaders to be bought forth to push the political agenda for maori. And these people need to be immune from the poisoned fruits of the exploitive, comodification driven, capitalist quagmire. Let us turn our backs to that system opposite to kaupapa.

Good on the greens for supporting maori - they are doing the right thing for the right reasons.

Smug finlayson says
"When the Attorney-General was asked at question time why private titles were being treated differently to Maori title his response was because “two wrongs don’t make a right”.
How about - two wrongs do make two wrongs - or does that not compute?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

noisy sheep

So Hone has broken ranks with the maori party over the bogus repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. Good - he has done it early. I wonder how he and his other maori party mp’s feel about being described as sheep? If that isn’t an insult I don’t know what is – but watch and see, first tariana will say she never said that, then key will say she did and that will be the end of it because they don’t even need to try and spin it, they don’t even care.

From Stuff
"Mr Key said Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia told him this morning that "they'd lost one of the sheep in the flock."
"It's highly predictable and quite frankly we would never be able to pass legislation that would satisfy Hone Harawira," Mr Key said. "Nor should we, because that would not reflect the views of the majority of New Zealanders.
"If he doesn't vote for it, I don't care."
Such a big man is mr key, he doesn’t care – but I bet he will care when his pack of cards fall due to the destruction of the maori party/gnat top and tail. It is getting closer every day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Remembering Steve Biko

I have decided to repost this post - 33 years ago he died.

Hat tip Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua

One of the most influencial people in my life was a man called Steve Biko. I found this book when I was young and it affected me greatly. Then along came the tour and I carried a handmade sign saying, 'Remember Steve Biko' throughout all the protest marches.

This is a quote from a paragragh of an article Steve Biko wrote in 1970

"Does this mean I am against intergration? If by integration you understand a breakthrough into white society by blacks, an assimilation and acceptance of blacks into an already established set of norms and code of behaviour set up and maintained by whites, then YES I am against it. I am against the superior-inferior white-black stratification that makes the white a perpetual teacher and the black a perpetual pupil (and a poor one at that). I am against the intellectual arrogance of white people that makes them believe that white leadership is a sine qua non in this country and that whites are the divinely appointed pace-setters in progress. I am against the fact that a settler minority should impose an entire system of values on an indigenous people".

That was written in a different time, place and context I agree, but once you get over the fact that we are not black south africans, and allow your mind to slide over the black/white terminology, the message still resonates.

We must do things our way.

What does that mean for us Ngai Tahu? Many of us still have an inferiority complex. Many of us still believe that the consumerist, western model is our model. Many of us still think they are right and we are wrong. Colonisation is insidious, it is designed to make people change their values, it erodes a peoples confidence in themselves so that they believe the lies that they cannot do it, or that they don't have the skills or that the pursuit of money is the be all and end all. It's all rubbish. Only Ngai Tahu whanui will save/protect/grow/empower Ngai Tahu whanui.

That is why I believe we must employ Ngai Tahu in every position that comes up and all existing positions should have a succession plan put in place for the goal of, eventually having 100% Ngai Tahu in the roles. (Just a small digression, I have great respect and admiration for all of the work that non Ngai Tahu have done for the iwi. I thank you sincerely for your mahi and aroha, and hopefully it goes without saying that I also respect and admire the iwi members who do work for the iwi, it is a very tough environment that takes great patience and forbearance to survive in).

But my point is that it must be Ngai Tahu who build this iwi. Our values not others, and don't worry the knowledge is there, waiting to come forth. We have thousands of brilliant people that could run TRONT and OTRONT and all of the subsidaries.

Perhaps another quote from Steve Biko

"The blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that they should be playing. They want to do things for themselves and all by themselves."

Letter to SRC Presidents, I Write What I Like, 1978.

Steve Biko died on the floor of a empty Pretoria Central Prison cell on 12 September 1977, aged 30.

Ngāi Tahu Election Update September 2010

Congratulations to Mark for being selected as the Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu representative for Kaikōura.

Only Awarua to go now.

Confirmed Reps

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
Moeraki - Gail Tipa
Waihōpai - Michael Skerrett
Ōnuku - Ngaire Tainui-Wybrow
Kaikōura - Mark Solomon

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What does the community want

The act of stealing a taonga breaks tapu and causes offense. Te Whiti's mere was stolen and has now found after information was recieved. The culprit could face charges. How will the fate of this person be decided? Discussion and consensus is the answer.

From NZH
"Te Whiti's oldest surviving relative, great-grandson Rangikotuku Rukuwai said the people of Parihaka would discuss the way to resolve the issue at the remembrance day for the prophet on September 18 and 19.
The Parihaka community would look at the reasons for the individual's actions and everybody would get to have their say on the matter, he said.
This is the way to work things out. The community has its say BEFORE the police and authorities get involved. Understanding the reasons behind a persons actions is beneficial to all partiers and assists the healing that inevitably needs to be done.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


"even the dead shall rise on judgement day"

I have, obviously struck some soft sand - but it looks like the net will be up soon for me and I'll be back into it.