Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nooooooooo - not the rugby

The lament from the maori party is, "we can't withdraw support for our bill because john key said that he will pull it and we will be back to the existing Foreshore and Seabed Act, and that discriminatory Act was a major reason the maori party formed in the first place." It is certainly a dilemna - here is my provocative solution.

Recommit to the orignal goal of repealling the Act - with title vesting in Maori and with the Crown having to prove non-customary ownership. This is the line to hold.

Accept that the gnats will reveal their true colours, as will labour and they will oppose this line.

Facilitate a hikoi to parliment to show maori support for the return of the stolen foreshore and seabed. Get onside with iwi leaders and the activist arm - they are all parts of the whole.

Explain to the crown that unless the repeal is passed then the maori party will lead maori boycotts and protests at the Rugby World Cup.

Yes i know that is a big call but it is time to WAKE UP. Maori have few opportunities to really put the pressure on and these times must be taken - otherwise we just leave it for our mokopuna - and that's not good enough for me. Our tupuna have sweated blood and tears to try and get back what was stolen - how much blood and tears have we given? How much are we prepared to give?

No iwi or hapu voluntarily gave up their land including foreshore and seabed - why would they, it was and is the source of life for them, the source of mana and connection. No iwi or hapu have said that they would restrict anyone from going to the beach, in fact they have emphatically stated that everyone will still be able to go to the beach. Why should private owners be able to restrict people?

What about the backlash? Yes there would be some but many would agree and what is the alternative - pretending - pretending that everything is all okay while the rugby is on, when the statistics don't say that, when the actions of the government don't show that, when maori views are barely considered if at all. And when the international marketing opportunity leaves town - everything goes back to the way it is now? It is better to lance the wound and that means allowing the pus to flow - it is there anyway. Once the pus is oozing that will cause many people to realise that they are on the side of equality, rather than be associated with nutters. There will be pain and redness and swelling but we will get to healing.

It is time to turn the assimilation strategy back on them, it is time for us to talk to our fellow workers, friends and family and all people who live here, it is time to tell the truth and bring some light into the darkness of denial. We must look to Tane's example. It is up to all of us because we all want a better world for our moko and we are in this waka together.

And what does this solution mean for the maori party? A bit of downsizing on the expence accounts no doubt as the gnats exact revenge. Increased mana within maoridom and more seats in the election. The question is really, do you think john key would allow boycotts and protests at his ego-fest, in front of his mates and the international media?

Believe it or not i think this strategy would bring us together.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

wrong script

A comment from Stevie on Te Karere Ipurangi
"Kia ora koutou, good to see Ngati Apa receiving redress. They have fought a long battle with a evasive, dismissing and disingenuous Crown unit. To show the level of the Crowns disingenuousness, on the same day they forked out $28m in land and putea to Ngati Apa, they forked out $25m to Peter Jackson and Warner Brothers after about 2 days of negotiations to get a movie made here."
That point is really stark - just think about that point a bit - the differences between a movie and redressing wrongs 150 years old which alientated people from their land, their communities and their ability to shape and control their own destiny.

Whatever the actual numbers, the fact is that after 2 days they found the money and the tax breaks meanwhile tangata whenua continue to have to fight for the scraps the crown determines will fall off the table. What about the priorities?

Why are we not having national discussions every time a claim is settled, even if it is for a fraction of the value taken? Imagine discussions about what actually happened, why the claim was made, and how the settlement addresses this. Histories could be shared and understanding increased. Tangata whenua connection with the land, including the traditional names, re-established, adding and sharing context for all who live here, a celebration of a wrong acknowledged, a chance to move forward together.

Friday, October 29, 2010

telling it like it is

In an excellent article by Kim Triegaardt within Te Karaka (Spring), Mark Solomon Kaiwhakahaere and Anake Goodall CEO, of Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu speak candidly about the replacement bill for the Foreshore and Seabed Act and what it means for them and Ngāi Tahu. These quotes are small snippets, go here so you can read the whole article and get the full context of the answers.
What do you find most disappointing about the bill?
Anake - ... "The double jeopardy idea is really offensive. At Otākou those settlers would have starved if our people hadn't fed them...for that expression of mana and manakai they will be excluded."...
If you could create the ideal Act what would it look like?
Mark - ... "... we've had a settlement on the land. I do not believe that Ngāi Tahu has to prove who we are or where our area is - it's in three Acts of parliment. We know who we are and I don't accept that we've ever surrendered our rights to the foreshore and seabed."...
How do you respond to John Key's comment that "I'm not sure everyone will be happy with it - (the legislation) - well, that's just the way it is".
Mark - "See you - see you over the generations."
Anake - "You can pass this legislation tomorrow and we won't lose any sleep over it because it won't endure."
How do you respond to the Māori party welcoming the legislation as a victory?
Mark - " The Māori party can say what they like but the reality is that if the iwi and hapu of the country do not accept the deal then they can pass whatever they like. All it will mean is that we will start with a new claim process and like our land claims that took six generations, if this takes six generations then so be it."...
I think you are getting the idea - there is no acceptance of this bogus bill - these leaders see the truth about the inequality and blatant discrimination against maori within this bill. Step up Māori party or be brushed aside.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

three wise lefties

I have been following the peter jackson union bashing debate around the hobbit over the blogs with interest. The debate on the left has shifted to a discussion of unionism and what that actually means in terms of the relationship between unions and their members, unions and other unions, and unions and the state. Mr Trotter has a very good post here. Lew from Kiwipolitico has a great post here and now Maps has put a post up here. We now have three very smart left thinking people debating with each other this very important issue - go to the sites and follow the debates - add in your view and maybe also consider this concept of 'support no matter what because of shared values', in relation to maori struggles for tino rangatiratanga.

Update - Lew has posted a retort.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

if your heart hurts - cut it out

The removal of Hone from the maori affairs select commitee considering the replacement to Foreshore and Seabed Act is disturbing. The reason the maori party have given is that Hone has already made up his mind and that his mind is made on opposing the new bill. Everyone has a bias or some position, that is natural and I'm pleased Willie Jackson has made that point too. He believes this shows that the bill will be rubber-stamped by the select commitee. If that was the strategy they have made a mistake - now that Hone is not on the commitee then he will have more opportunity to galvanise opposition and i hope he goes hard on that one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ngati Kuia Te Whakatau Treaty Settlement

Congratulations Ngati Kuia on the signing of your Treaty of Waitangi settlement deed on Saturday - you have waited a long time for this - Te Whakatau deed of settlement – redress for 150 years of injustice, broken promises and cultural repression for Ngati Kuia, the people of Te Hoiere (Pelorus).

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson said (from The Marlborough Express)
"The Crown had repeatedly failed Ngati Kuia in their rights and interests to land and its actions had left them almost landless.
And the Crown's attempts to provide for landless Ngati Kuia amounted to nothing more than a cruel hoax, he said. "In 1884, Teone Hiporaiti was moved to describe Ngati Kuia as `the poorest tribe under the heavens', and I think these words resonate with the sheer exasperation and despair that must have been felt by all of Ngati Kuia.
"The Crown is deeply sorry for these actions and its failure to remedy them until now. I hope that in signing this deed, we are restoring the economic base of Ngati Kuia, restoring the honour of the crown and re-establishing the treaty relationship between the two parties."
And the iwi response was (From The Marlborough Express)
"Ngati Kuia chairman Waihaere Mason replied: "Greetings, minister, and welcome. The fact that you have come here, face to face, to this, our place – centre of the universe – to be with us today speaks volumes for our mana, and for your mana."
"As a people, we must move from grievance to a place of optimism; to a new future that will allow us to grow culturally, socially and economically. We must seize this opportunity. We must move on. Our children's children will be told of today and charged with the responsibility to protect this heritage."
and (from The Marlborough Express)
"The settlement gave the iwi many opportunities to buy land in Te Tau Ihu, Sharyn Smith said.
But, also it allowed the iwi to give their – original – names back to the land.
This was important to Ngati Kuia.
"We were the people who named the places – all we are reinstating is our own names. Te Hoiere (Pelorus) is a significant name for us; to have that acknowledged with that name is really important – and that is only one name of many."
and (from The Marlborough Express)
"That was what redress was about: identity."
"Having a secure sense of identity is much more important than having money in the bank. To have a place to belong and to have people who call you their own."
Ngati Kuia would always work toward strengthening the land of their tipuna (ancestors) for their children, iwi negotiator Mark Moses said."If your sense of pride comes from saying, `I come from this mountain and this river', but the mountain is bare and the river is polluted, what does that say about you?"
These quotes show what values are important for maori - they also show the dignity and mana of the people and they allow us to understand and appreciate the momentus occasion that this is for those whose land was taken - this is a privilege we have been afforded.

How much could we learn if these historical and life changing settlements were given greater prominence in our society? How much would we grow - as a country, as well as personally.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

activist MP in action

Hone Harawira's interview with Duncan Garner on The Nation yesterday (23 Oct) was awesome. Go here to watch (only NZ at the moment sorry). garner trys the serious approach first and Hone dominants him, very powerful finger-pointing indeed. garner has prepared a little trap which is so useless it's embarassing to watch. Hone stays in control and delivers his message with honesty, sincerity and mana. Good stuff - some exerpts
Duncan - would you describe yourself as an activist or an MP?
Hone - an activist - an activist before I came in, an activist MP and hopefully an activist still when I get out of parliment.
An activist MP - I like that, we need members of parliment like that and yes sometimes they push the line too far but I'd rather that than meekness. Hone is an activist - he activates and who else within that parliment is going to push maori issues in the same way?
Duncan - hasn't john key stripped your mana from you (the maori party)?
Hone - yeah he has.
The truth is hard sometimes but it has to be faced and then it can be remedied.
Duncan - if it came to a choice (between labour and national after the last election) who would it be?
Hone - the greens... if it come to a choice for me of who we would go into coalition with first , it will always be the greens.
Yes yes yes! - music to my ears. This is the way to go and we are seeing some excellent early activity - yah.

The rest on the interview goes downhill fast as garner tries to get Hone to say something contoversial - what an absolute tosser garner is -, he must be desperate to try, "do you dislike pakeha?" Hone holds it together and answers very well - good work.

Hone showed good composure and his mana was evident. garners weak attempt to goad Hone was pathetic in it's intent and implementation, but it gave hone the chance to explain his position again so that was good.

I respect Hone and his kaupapa - this was a strong performance that bodes well for maori politically.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

uplifting and worthwhile

This post from Robert Guyton is brilliant for a number of reasons - it talks about wetlands, those places that are so important for the ecosystem - a transition zone that is both water and land. The wetland was saved from destruction and restored with love and when the name was being discussed - local tangata whenua were consulted and they gifted the name, and other names which describe what happened in those areas beautifully. What a fantastic model for how to do things in this country - everyone benefits. Local tangata whenua feel respected and included and this builds stronger bonds between and within communities. The mauri of Te Wai Korari wetland is strengthened which flows through as mana to the kaitiaki. When Rob wrote to local maori - he gave them the time to reply when they were able and this took some time. Respecting that others work differently and that part of truely respecting is to allow response and recriprocation when the other party is ready, not when we are ready. Just think how many misunderstandings and conflicts could be avoided if we allowed others to respond, in their way, when they were ready. I think about the so called golden rule of "treat others as you would want to be treated" and it is wrong. The phrase should be "treat others the way they want to be treated".

From the post on Rob blog,
"... Expectantly. After several months and a hui that involved discussion on the issue, a beautifully handwritten letter arrived from te tari runaka. Yes, they said, the area was named long ago and yes, they would like to gift us the use of that name. Te Wai Korari. The nectar of the harakeke flower, named from the practice of collecting wai korari from the flowers to be drunk as a ‘cordial’ by children and adults alike, back in the day when sugar was truly a treat, not a mainstay like it is today. So Te Wai Korari it is. Our panel marking the entrance to the wetland is painted with nga rau harakeke me nga korari, puawai hoki, flax leaves, flower stalks and blossoms and the beautiful name. "
This gift of the use of the name has added context and dimension, depth and connection. Imagine what this country could be like if we did that - added the maori names and context to most if not all places and considered as a gift from maori to everyone. The names are there, the histories are there - they are known. It the right of all who call this country home to be able to learn the histories and the correct and meaningful names for different areas.

Visit robs blog it is awesome - Thanks for the post and keep up the great work Rob. Kia kaha.

Happyzine will post Robs story - if you wish to read positive real stories about people like you, doing exciting and good things in this country and around the world then I recomend visiting Happyzine. If you cannot be bothered with the endless negative news on the TV and want to read some positive media then try Happyzine. If you want to write your stories and contribute to a better world then Happyzine is the answer, it cannot be praised highly enough IMO.

We need to build our networks and share our stories.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

we have a major malfunction

The Waitangi Tribunal pre-report on the state of the maori language highlights the perilous and fragile position of the language. We should be scared if we care about Te Ao Maori. But fear must be turned into action and I don't have any problem with some people saying maori should take responsibility for their own language - give us the resources and we will. But there is a role for the whole country to be involved in rebuilding Te Reo because the aquisition of this language would open up the world of maori for people and that would add immense benefit to us all. Just imagine how different some of our discussions would be, how rich and subtle and satisfying - we would probably resolve issues much faster than today.

One aspect of the report is the context - we are still waiting for the Wai 262 claim - this has been 20 years now and many kaumatua who set the claim in motion are no longer with us - this pre-report does not address the Wai 262 claim and it is about time something was decided.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

living well - a Bolivian view

This is an inspiring statement from the Bolivian delegation to the UN on April 2010 on the concept of 'living well'. I have cut exerpts but the post is still quite long, I encourage you to have a full read - it is interesting to note our personal reaction to a less well known worldview. From Bolivia rising
"Living Well means living within a community, a brotherhood, and particularly completing each other, without exploiters or exploited, without people being excluded or people who exclude, without people being segregated or people who segregate.
Lying, stealing, destroying nature possibly will allow us to live better, but that is not Living Well. On the contrary, Living Well rather means complementing one another and not competing against each other, sharing, not taking advantage of one’s neighbor, living in harmony among people and with nature. It is the basis of the defense of nature, of life itself and of all humanity, it’s the basis to save humanity from the dangers of an individualistic and highly aggressive, racist and warmongering minority.
We are all valuable, we all have a space, duties, and responsibilities. We all need everybody else. Based on complementing each other, the common wealth, organized mutual support, the community and the community life develop their ability without destroying man and nature.
Living Well is contrary to capitalist development and goes beyond socialism. For capitalism, what matters the most is money, making a profit. For socialism, what matters the most is the man, because socialism tries to meet the increasingly growing needs of man, both material and spiritual.
Within the Living Well framework, what matters the most is neither man nor money; what matters the most is life. But capitalism does not care about life, and the two development models, the capitalist and the socialist, need rapid economic growth, causing a dissipation of energy and an insatiable use of fossil fuels to boost growth.
Therefore, development has proved to be a failure, as evidenced by the crisis of nature and the severe effects of climate change. It is now the leading cause of global crisis and the destroyer of planet Earth, because of the exaggerated industrialization of some countries, addicted consumerism and irresponsible exploitation of human and natural resources.
The industrialization and consumerism of Western “civilization” threatens Mother Nature and the subsistence of the planet, to such a degree that it must not be spread to the whole of humanity, because natural resources are not enough for all of us nor renewable at the same pace in which they are being exhausted.
The construction of a Living Well vision to counteract Global Crisis in this era of climate chaos and diminished resources in our finite planet, means ending consumerism, waste and luxury, consuming only what is necessary, achieving a global economic “power down” to levels of production, consumption and energy use that stay well within the environmental capacities of the Earth.
In order to adapt ourselves to the true reality of a post carbon era, we will have to satisfy our fundamental needs such as food, housing, energy, production, and means of support, from local systems and resources. This means encouraging regional and local self-sufficiency, sustainability and control; economic localization and community sovereignty, local production for local consumption, local ownership using local labor and materials.
For societies that now accept the images of “the good life” widely promoted in the media, this “good life” is based on hyper consumption of commodities, the new strategies to use less resources, to accumulate less, and to be ruled by modest standards of living also become arguments for greater personal fulfillment. Driving less and walking more is good for the climate, the planet, and our health. Buying less means less pollution, less waste, less time working to invest in shopping. Less stress, more time for the family, friends, nature, creativity, recreation and leisure which are activities on which people spend little time nowadays.
In the construction of Living Well, our economic and spiritual wealth is tied directly to a high regard for Mother Earth and a respectful use of the wealth that she gives us. The only alternative for the world in this Global Crisis, the only solution to the crisis of nature, is that human beings acknowledge that we are part of Mother Nature, that we need to restore the complementary relationships, the mutual respect and harmony with her.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear our politicans speak like this - with conviction. This world view is out there amongst many peoples and it is great that Bolivia is leading the way in spreading this alternative reality - which is a lot better than some of the alternative realities when oil runs out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Brinkmanship - to create immense pressure in a situation until one person or party backs down.

We are at a very critical point for the maori party. The threats have now escalated. First Hone said walk away and let the gnats and act pass the bogus new F&S law. Tariana has added, from NZH,
"...If our constituency says this is not worth our while progressing then of course we wouldn't."
and Pita has voiced his concerns as well...

key has also escalated with his scummy notion of, "the Maori Party did not support the bill the status quo would remain."

We are at one of those pivot points in our history and each pathway forward has risks and rewards. Kaupapa is the only answer - look to the past - our tūpuna, our gods and legends to show the way. Kia kaha.

Hone's line in the sand

Hone has found his line in the sand and he is saying the maori party should hold the ground with the gnats against the amendment from ACT to legislate that maori cannot sell. Fair enough - that line is a line, but for me there were plenty of previous lines that could and should have been drawn - like the insults to Tuhoe, like the insults to tangata whenua over exploring for oil and gas without consulting maori, like the GST increase and so on. The whole repeal of the F&S Act was the line in the sand and the resulting new legislation still discriminates against maori by allowing more rights to private property owners than holders of so called 'customary title', that is if any hapu or iwi could ever meet the test. That is the line in the sand that should have been held.

From Waatea News
"Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says his party should walk away from the Government if National does an inside deal with ACT over the foreshore and seabed."
Mr Harawira says the Maori Party has already compromised to get the Foreshore and Seabed Act repealed, and that should be the end of it.
“I don't see why we should sit back and allow a little fat redneck like Rodney Hide put in an amendment at the last minute. We should be saying to National, ‘Here’s the deal National. If you want to do deals with Rodney Hide go right ahead. We’re out.’ As a matter of principle we should say ‘Nah, you wouldn’t do deals with us on the super city so we’re not doing any deals with you guys and Rodney Hide over the foreshore and seabed,’” Mr Harawira says.
He says while National would still have the numbers to pass the amendment, the Maori Party would have stood up for its principles.
Yes the compromises have been made and time will tell they were correct decisions, for me the compromises were ineffective because the repeal is bogus. It is time for the maori party to accept the truth because they know the truth, - it's just a matter of going back to the kaupapa.

But good on you Hone, at least one member of the party is saying publically what needs to be said.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Indigenous Papuan's tortured

It is important that we do all we can to oppose injustice wherever it is. Part of opposing it is to spread information about what is going on. The struggle indigenous Papuans face in fighting for independance against Indonesia is immense. Tom Allard from the Sydney Morning Herald has published a story about a new shocking video showing torture of two Papuans.

From SMH
"Although Jakarta made an autonomy deal with the province almost 10 years ago, its indigenous Melanesian people remain the country's poorest while migrants flood into the resource-rich area and dominate business and paid employment, further marginalising the Papuans.
There have been repeated reports of abuses by the military and police, but foreign journalists are banned from entering Papua without special permission, while non-government groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been told to leave in the past year.
''We have been living under Indonesia for almost 48 years,'' said Victor Kogoya, a member of the central committee of the Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, a Papuan student group. ''For all this time, we have never felt calm, never peace. Why? Because ever since the security state has been chasing us, arresting us, killing, terror and intimidation.''
The victims speak in the Papuan dialect Lani, strongly suggesting the video was filmed in Puncak Jaya, a regency in Papua's highlands where a unit of the armed Free Papua Movement commanded by Goliath Tabuni has been staging sporadic attacks on Indonesian police and military posts for the past two years.
Papua, which was formerly known as Dutch New Guinea, was not incorporated into Indonesia when it became a state in 1949. It was held by the Dutch until 1962 when, following Indonesian military incursions into the area, an agreement brokered through the Untied Nations gave Indonesia administrative control of the region pending a referendum.
That ''referendum'' involved just 1025 handpicked tribal leaders who unanimously agreed to join Indonesia. The so-called ''Act of Free Choice'' has been labelled fraudulent and remains a source of great anger for many indigenous Papuans.
While separatist sentiment remains strong, it has little international support. Australia recognises Indonesia's sovereignty over the region.
This struggle is close to us for many reasons not just geographical. kia kaha.

It has always been about the land

I'm less than convinced by Labour's turnaround to now oppose foreign ownership of NZ - this seems like trying to stake out ground others already have, but maybe they will get some traction from it - I'm into anything which forces this government to adjust their policies. So good luck to them. I do agree with the Greens who say, from TV3
"The Greens say while they’re glad to see a change of intent, they’re not entirely convinced it will make a difference."
For many maori foreign ownership of land is already here and is an effect of colonisation. It is good that this subject is being discussed because it gives us an opportunity to look at the bigger picture of how tangata whenua are treated. To exhalt loudly on foreign ownership, without using the same gusto in addressing maori inequities around land, seems a little shallow and false to me. And the same people who sold so much of our land when in government are still there, still wanting power.

Under our current world view no one would think to perhaps ask maori what they think and what solutions they may be able to offer.

Ka whawhai tonu matou

lines - visual poem

on the lines of my hand

and the sand-lines near me

you may see an imprint

of us

perplexing me, i am

For some reason this perplexes me

From NZH
"South Canterbury Finance chief executive Sandy Maier became a director of Ngai Tahu Holdings the day after Allan Hubbard's finance company was placed in receivership and helped steer the iwi business conglomerate into an abortive bid for the company two weeks later."
"Companies Office records show Maier become a director of Ngai Tahu Holdings on September 1.
Perhaps others can enlighten me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I support the Maori party and opposition parties call for firearms not to be kept in all police cars. Who will get shot by them disproportionatley - Maori that's who - guns in all cars means more shootings and more maimings. 50% of males in jail are maori and 60% of females are maori and they got there after their inital contact with the police. We have seen the horrible shooting of a young man - and with more firearms in police cars, the chance of it happening more often is dramatically increased.

From Voxy
"The Maori Party said Ms Collins had acted hastily by indicating support for guns to be routinely carried in police cars."
"The police have not even completed their report on the idea and already the minister has jumped the gun," said MP Te Ururoa Flavell.
He said his party saw the introduction of a mass rollout of guns in police cars as an extreme action which rapidly elevated New Zealand's position along the "continuum of indicators of violence".
"This year, New Zealand was ranked for the second year in a row as top of the 2010 Global Peace Index -- 1st out of 149 nations. This is a ranking we should be proud to protect. It represents a culture of peace which we should be looking to preserve," Mr Flavell said.
He feared normalising the use of guns would lower the bar about what was an appropriate threshold for responding to problems.
Good arguments there - well done. Unfortunately i seem to have been taken off the maori party press release email list - can I go back on please?

The report is still to come in and I hope that it recommends other options than putting firearms in police cars. I have left the almost last word to minister collins
"I'm the minister who goes to see police officers when they're shot and in hospital and goes to see their families when they're killed. I'm not prepared to sit around and say 'well lets worry about offenders'. Actually I'm more worried about our police officers."
Thank you for your honesty, on your head be it.

you know

There are many discussions around the ether which show the inability of some to see that the unseen forces in our world exist in science as well as indigenous beliefs. At the quantum level traditional science breaks down and the rules that seem to govern us don't work. Unseen forces act on even more unseen forces, in fact it is pretty well all unseen forces. To delve into this area requires a belief in unseen forces that exert influence sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, sometimes in proximity and sometimes over vast differences. Are those unseen forces really any different than indigenous unseen forces? Maybe it is the personification aspect which makes it hard to handle, my point is that there are more similarities than differences between science and indigenous knowledge than people would like to acknowledge or even accept.

Taniwha Scales

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RIP Shirley

Shirley Flavell nee Hunt
20/09/1936 - 8/10/2010

Kia hora te marino,
Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana,
Kia tere te karohirohi i mua tonu i o koutou huarahi.

May the calm be widespread,
May the sea be as the smooth surface of greenstone,
And may the rays of sunshine forever dance along your pathway.

My Auntie has died and is farewelled in Dunedin today. I don't have any words other than I love her and miss her.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

not the right way to do it

The degree that a person or taonga is tapu determines the way they are treated. But the nature of tapu is not easily understood without the cultural context. This controversy from Stuff, where pregnant or menstruating women were advised that they shouldn't attend because of the tapu nature, is an example where the context was not created. The email that was sent said,
"An invitation for regional museum staff to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of some of Te Papa's collections included the condition that "wahine who are either hapu [pregnant] or mate wahine [menstruating]" were unable to attend."
"Unable to attend" is the offending statement, this was modified into
"Te Papa insists the request is not an outright ban.

"If there are pregnant women who want to go on the tour we don't stop them. But we do prefer they respect the belief." Te Papa spokeswoman Jane Keig said."
The belief is articulated as
"There are items within that collection that have been used in sacred rituals. That rule is in place with consideration for both the safety of the taonga and the women," Keig said.
She said there was a belief that each taonga had its own wairua, or spirit, inside it.
"Pregnant women are sacred and the policy is in place to protect women from these objects."
I'm not saying that isn't a bad effort but where is the context and why was the email framed in the way it was. We do have a strong maori voice in Mutu who says,
"Margaret Mutu, head of Maori Studies at Auckland University, said women should not be offended by the request."
"The reproduction area is extremely powerful and can do damage to things that are not tapu. It's about the power of women, not about stopping them."
Mutu said the objects were obviously dangerous and the hapu they came from would have told the museum about how to treat them.
"They are tapu and pregnant or menstruating women are tapu. It would be very unwise to put the two up against each other."
Now we start to get some idea of the world view where tapu 'go up against each other'. Protecting against offence in either direction is very important. This would be an interesting national discussion, we would all learn a great deal - but instead, because of the lack of mana in dealing with these taonga  and views, we are about to have a three-ring circus.

FOOTNOTE - Lew at Kiwipolitico has an awesome response to the controversy and also Andrew Geddis from Pundit is fighting the good fight - this is great to see - strong advocates for maori actually battling in the trenches for maori.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great South Basin - too risky too remote

I am putting this in my good news file.

From Radio NZ
"Todd Energy and ExxonMobil have given up their search for oil and gas in the Great South Basin off Southland, saying it is too risky and remote.
The Government jointly awarded the companies a permit to explore part of the basin in 2007.
Todd Energy managing director Richard Tweedie says the joint venture has spent the past three years acquiring and evaluating state-of-the-art seismic data from the basin.
Mr Tweedie says it has decided the area has a high technical risk, which is made worse by its remote location and harsh operating environment.
He says the companies tried to bring on new partners to share the risk, but were unsuccessful.
Good decision and now let's hope for a domino effect with the other explorations as they get dropped one by one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pou whenua attacked

More than anything I am sad that these pou whenua have been attacked. I'm waiting to see who may have done it, whoever they are, they have made a big mistake by doing this.

From Stuff
"Two significant Maori artworks near the State Highway 36 entrance to Rotorua have been damaged in a chainsaw attack."
"Pou whenua are carved posts placed strategically on the land to acknowledge and represent the relationship between tgata whenua, the people of the land, their ancestors and their environment or trangawaewae, place of standing.""
"Inspector Bruce Horne said ``This destructive action is not just a mindless act of vandalism - it is an attack on the Rotorua community,''
"The pou were an investment made by the Rotorua community and were placed at the entrance to our city as symbols of the esteem in which our local Iwi are held and the importance of the city's Maori heritage.''
Good luck in sorting this out. When i think of the possible culprits, the list seems long and I cannot work out which of them would be worse.

out of sight

Local body elections - all over with some close calls still coming - did you notice the invisibility of Maori? I noticed it and the results will tell the story, once they are analysed we will see how few maori have been elected - does this seem right to you?

I've been reading a good book, The politics of Indigeneity by Roger Maaka and Augie Fleras. As they say, "Failure to move beyond a mono-constitutional discourse has had the unintended yet controlling effect of reinforcing a colonial social contract." And isn't that what the local body elections have produced - they have reinforced a colonial social contract but, “Indigenous peoples claim a state as culturally distinct and territorial-based nations whose rights were suppressed because of forced incorporation into society.” The colonial social contract just doesn't cut it anymore, the change hasn't come yet but it will come, it is coming.

The key is that the indigenous peoples had societies before colonisation and the process of colonisation systematically stripped those societies. To right this wrong requires a reinstatement of that society, obviously modified for today, and that reinstatement is really vesting the decisions with the people; tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake. We cannot escape this conclusion and we need to consider why some feel so threatened by this. What would be lost if we vest authority to maori and the maori world view? How much of our answer to that question is based on falsehoods and racism and how much is based upon the advantage we receive from our current society?

It is good that the left have taken something out of these elections but there is something or someone missing...

Friday, October 8, 2010



Ian Morris a founding member of Th'Dudes has been found dead in Napier at the age of 53. Very sad indeed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I have had enough of politics,
time for a visual interlude
to clear the energy

taniwha scales

Looking down into
waikoropupu springs

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

significant disparity

The latest Education Review Office report on maori students really offers an insight into how maori are treated in this country. "Significant disparity" between Māori and non-Māori students - that is what you get for being indigenous and colonised - significant disparity.

So although they state that,
"Improved Māori student achievement has been a key government priority in education over the decade."
This key government priority has been a dismal failure
"...national and international testing data continue to show significant disparity in the achievement of Māori and non-Māori students."
why? simple really
"a substantial proportion of schools do not review their own performance in relation to Māori student achievement."
and the even more compelling reason
"...a sizeable minority of schools consultation with Māori parents and whānau is limited, and Māori parents’ engagement in their children’s education is not valued."
Many people seem to resent maori engagement in any area
"In 2009 Māori made up approximately 22 percent of the students in New Zealand schools with just under 167,000 students. Māori students made up over half of the roll in 19 percent of schools. Māori students made up at least 15 percent of the roll in 60 percent of New Zealand schools.
And for all those students the ERO can offer

"This evaluation highlights that many New Zealand schools are not yet demonstrating sufficient commitment to ensuring the progress and achievement of Māori students."
This is institutional racism and these entrenched systems of inequality must be overthrown. No decent people can sleep well at night while our young indigenous students get discarded by the system.


Roll that around a bit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

severe splinters

Time to have a big think about john key for the maori party - yes they should have seen it before but let's just hope they see it now. He has very little mana. This is what he has said about the racial insult delivered in front of him, From NZH
"Mr Key wouldn't call the comments racist, instead saying: "I think they were totally inappropriate."
"I'm not going to spend my life critiquing Paul Henry, because if I do I'm going to be doing that at every post-Cabinet press conference I hold."
Mr Key said he would continue to appear on Breakfast in his regular weekly spot.
"I do a lot of interviews with interviewers who do stupid things."
This is the same guy who can't remember which side of the Springbok Tour he was on. Mr personality doesn't actually have a personality, he is wafer-thin, his principles don't exist. This performance rates up there with his gormless act on the letterman show - he has reached 'George Bush and his story reading while the planes crashed' level. As key is saying on the radio, "its all about sending the message." About time the maori party sent a message to key IMO.

hi ho hi ho it's off to work we go...

It's a 38-page Treasury paper providing the first concrete set of public proposals from any official source to the working group's review, which has been given until next February to come up with proposals to reduce long-term benefit dependency, so rebstock the chair rightly says (From NZH) the report is
"just one of many inputs that the working group is getting".
But the report will be influential and what are treasury recommending?
"reclassifying all 144,000 people on sickness and invalid benefits into three categories based on their ability to work, shifting those with some capacity to work in the near future on to the unemployment benefit."
"requiring sole parents to look for paid work before their youngest children turn 6, and contracting out most welfare services to private companies or charities."
It sounds sick but the justifications are based on British and Australian experience
"In Britain, the paper says, 69 per cent of previous disability beneficiaries were classified as "fit for work" and moved on to the dole."
"On the basis of the recent UK reforms, the reclassification of all sickness and invalid beneficiaries could result in more than 80,000 New Zealand beneficiaries moving on to the unemployment benefit," it says.
"The paper also recommends moving sole parents who have skills and experience on to the dole - a move that has just come into force this month for sole parents with no children under 7 in Britain, where it is expected to cut sole parent unemployment by 30 per cent."
The paper says Australia's decision to contract out job search services for the unemployed to private companies and charities in 1998 halved the cost for every job placement from A$12,000 to A$6000.

You can save money everywhere
"The move would make no difference to benefit rates for sickness beneficiaries because they already get the same as the dole. But the adult invalid's benefit of $243 a week is $49 higher than the $194 adult dole."
Just to recap they want to take everyone off the invalids and sickness benefit and put them on the unemployment benefit - they are not sick or disabled anymore - just lazy and need to find one of the millions of jobs available. They want parents to desert their children more than we do even at the moment (which is already high compared to other countries) to go and find these mythical jobs and they want to privatise the delivery of welfare services - and they want to do this to "reduce long-term benefit dependency"? Nah they just want to save some money - don't worry about the people or their lives or how they will suffer because of moves like these. Don't worry about maori who will be disporportionatly negatively affected if these changes were made.

This report reminds me of the old line - Do you want to lose 5kgs instantly? Cut off your head. This is slum clearing without any international sporting event.

It is fair enough to get worked up about racist losers like paul henry but the deeper enemy is harder to grasp. This report from treasury is the tail of the beast.

Monday, October 4, 2010

dirty henry

There are many disturbing aspects to this story. paul henry obviously believes he can just say whatever he likes and the people will love him and follow him. He believes, like TVNZ that, (from NZH)
"The audience tell us over and over again that one of the things they love about Paul Henry is that he's prepared to say the things we quietly think but are scared to say out loud,"
And what are these things that paul henry can say out loud that the rest of us think?
"On the Breakfast programme this morning Henry asked the Prime Minister about who he was looking to replace Sir Anand with when his five year term ends this year.
"Is he (Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand ) even a New Zealander?" Henry asked.
Mr Key said he was.
"Are you going to choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time... Are we going to go for someone who is more like a New Zealander this time?"
Just to clarify
"Sir Anand is New Zealand's first Governor-General of Indian and Pacific ancestry. He had a lengthy career as a lawyer, judge and ombudsman before taking up the job in August 2006.
He was born and raised in Auckland, attending Richmond Road School in Ponsonby, and Sacred Heart College in Glen Innes. His parents were born in Fiji and migrated to New Zealand, his grandparents were born in India and had migrated to Fiji.
Now I'm not a great fan of the queen but this is just minimum standards of behaviour - I would be equally horrified if he said it about anyone.

Are these really the views of the silent people of this country? No doubt some will applaud henry for his courage in speaking his truth - but I've never seen a bigger coward, a weak racist so insecure that he had become a joke - and not a funny one. But this 'joke' reflects back a side of ourselves that often remains hidden - even flies have their uses.

Indigenous issues

A speech and a video about indigenous struggles.

Censored News covers the recent speech by Bolivian President Evo Morales entitled, "Nature, Forests and Indigenous Peoples are Not For Sale ". A speech which deserves greater coverage.

Intercontinental Cry has a video on Defending Sacred Sites from activist Wounded Knee De Ocampo. The list of sacred sites under threat is long and sadly we could list many more from here.

Good blogs for information on the real issues that affect people not the MSM agenda.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the truth about the marine and coastal area bill

I'm just finishing an essay and something has hit home to me. The Marine and Coastal Area Bill actually increases oppression of maori. Just consider - to be told that you have the right now to go to court and argue that you have an unbroken customary relationship with an area - an area that may have been stolen, confiscated, swindled or comodified - so that if in the unlikely event that you are granted 'customary title' you can enjoy the disadvantages of having less rights than other property rights holders. LESS RIGHTS because you are maori! There are no advantages of this Bill for maori - the right to go to court? - for what? to argue against institutional racism and entrenched oppression perhaps but not to get worthless and meaningless fake gains of some made-up designation of title. This Bill is a complete waste of time and money and anyone promoting this Bill is perpetuating and increasing the oppression of maori IMO. (Probably a bit strong - aroha mai)