Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mana Party

The Mana Party has launched and what a launch. Well done to everyone and I am very excited about what we can achieve this year. Now we have a vehicle to get behind and lend our passion and energy to. The values of the party are being developed but already we are seeing a strong social justice focus and that is great. This is part of the kaupapa that will attract support from all those who care about the disadvantaged, and there are many who do. The bigger picture is the main election so the by-election is a good opportunity to build the story and tighten the lines. The big emotion to invoke is hope - hope for the present and the future. Be positive in deriding their schemes - ridicule them and get people laughing at their idiocy.

Chris Ford says, "Hone Harawira brings Mana to the left" - which is a line I really like in an article that is worth reading
There has long been talk, but no action, on the need to form a new left wing party. Hone Harawira has thrown down the gauntlet. The wider left outside of the Mana Party needs to meet that challenge and talk with Hone and his leadership team. And the first thing that fellow Left wingers can do is at least endorse Hone's campaign for re-election at the forthcoming Te Tai Tokerau by-election. That's what I am also doing here, straight off. I look forward to seeing other left wing activists do.
Yes The Mana Party can represent all people who believe in the kaupapa. And we have seen some awesome support from some very influencial activists today. People who dedicate themselves to creating a better world for those less fortunate or disadvantaged. Tino rangatiratanga can be reconciled with social justice - they are both about equality.

There is much to do and it will be done and this movement will grow and gain momentum. The powers that be are afraid of Hone and people power so they will go hard to discredit everyone but they will lose. And we will win.

Friday, April 29, 2011

join the waka

Open letter from Mike Treen to all unionists & fighters for equality & social justice in Aotearoa.

The Standard
Dear friends,
I am writing to urge all supporters of genuine left politics to support and if possible participate in the new Mana Party led by Hone Harawira to found a new movement for radical social change in Aotearoa/New Zealand.The Mana Party is being launched this Saturday, April 30, from 12 noon at the Te Mahurehure Marae, 73 Premier Ave, Point Chevalier, Auckland.
This party is a product of the protracted struggle over the last decades to achieve an independent voice for the interests of Maori people in Aotearoa/New Zealand. That struggle exposed a rift that has seen a the Maori Party captured by pro-corporate elite more concerned with protecting the interests of the wealthy against the interests of the vast majority of people in Aotearoa/New Zealand – whether Maori, Pakeha, Pacifica or Asian.The Mana Party is determined to continue to be the voice of the majority of ordinary Maori and at the same time give voice to the excluded majority across our land – whatever their national or ethnic origin.
In a letter to a unionist this week Hone gave a summary of how he sees the new party’s direction. He wrote:“As you can appreciate the new party to be called Mana hasn’t been launched yet and I’m certainly not in a position to make policy on its behalf at this stage. “However I can say I have been a proud union member in any job I was employed. The party and I will be pro-worker. I am fortunate having several trade unionists taking leadership roles up to assist the new party and who have offered to contribute to its policy.“We have had some policy discussions in the interim working group and can give you a bit of a feel where we are at. Nothing is confirmed of course.“
• Mana will be anti neo-liberal, against monopoly capitalism and against privatisation of the people’s assets. Utilities such as water, power, roading etc should be in the hands of the people rather than a guaranteed money making venture for corporations“
• Our strategy on taxes will be targeted at wealth such as capital gains taxes, death duties, and asset taxes. We will want to abolish GST with sometime like a financial transaction tax (we’d like to call it the Hone Heke Tax). The rich need to pay their fair share. As a start the last tax cut should be cancelled. Labour’s GST cosmetic elimination off fresh veges and fruit says everything about their current state of mind. Timid and uninspiring. “
• KiwiSaver is privatisation of our pensions so increasing the money we give to these financial institutions to do what they want needs more thought. “
• We should nationalise monopolies and duopolies. “
• We certainly need an agreed mechanism to set minimum terms of pay and conditions for workers. But given the private unionised workforce is small we think we should probably focus on union building first. The two practical steps would be any bargaining unit covering workers would take a vote. If a majority voted in favour of a CEA covering everyone then a bargaining fee would apply for those workers not wishing to join the union. It stops free loading and undermining the negotiations yet still allows workers to choose whether they belong to the union. The second suggestion is that the state covers any CEA costs for both sides. I would appreciate your feedback on this as a short term step. Ultimately every worker needs to be in strong unions but then that’s your job, not mine. “
• New Zealand needs a planned economy that makes job creation its main emphasis rather than leaves it to the non-existent free market. “Given the short time I’ve had to respond to this I apologise if I haven’t covered everything you’d like. But my response should give you some comfort to where our new party will position itself politically.
“Have no doubt we will be a staunch party that puts people – Maori and non-maori – before the needs of the already rich.I’m appealing to all supporters of the rights of working people and genuine equality and social justice in our land to become part building this new movement.
As the invite to this public launch declares: “Happy are those who dream and are prepared to pay the price to make those dreams come true”. By supporting the founding public launch of the Mana Party this Saturday we take one more step towards making our dreams a reality.
Yours in Solidarity
Mike Treen
I am getting very excited about the historic events happening this weekend - no wonder labour, goff and the maori party are scared and no wonder that there is a buzz of anticipation around the Mana Party. Time to take the power back for the people - join in, we need you.

many will listen

Good lineup of speakers for the launch of the Mana Party tomorrow
There have been some enquires regarding who the guest speakers will be. They are:

■· Margaret Mutu

■· Annette Sykes

■· Matt McCarten

■· Syd Keepa

■· Mereana Pitman

■· Sue Bradford

■· John Minto

■· Veronica Tawhai

■· Will Ilohahia

■· Lisa McNabb

■· Nandor Tanczos

■· Hone Kaa

■· Selwyn Muru
Yes very good indeed - the momentum is building and this lineup of speakers is proof of the wide appeal of the Mana Party - and it will get even wider when the kaupapa is announced.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

byelection valuable

I think there is value in having a byelection in Hone's electorate. The cost is irrelevant and a red herring - to be used as a weapon by baiters who don't like Hone or his Mana Party. The mandate recieved will be a blow to labour and the maori party and it will be interesting to see if the maori party stands a candidate, thus breaking their agreement with Hone. They will lose whichever way they go. It will be a good practice run for the main election and it will generate media exposure for the Mana Party.

Mr Harawira will launch his new Mana Party on Saturday and the Herald understands he and his strategists are considering forcing a byelection to seek a mandate for his new party from Te Tai Tokerau voters.

Classic lines from phil whatshisname
Labour leader Phil Goff said any such move by Mr Harawira so close to an election would be "irresponsible, farcical and a reckless waste of valuable taxpayers' money". "If Hone Harawira wanted to force a byelection, why didn't he do it at the time when he left the Maori Party? "Why would someone who claims to be concerned about people suffering because of the rising cost of living want to waste taxpayers' money on such an irresponsible political stunt?"
Lots of strong words there showing just how fearful goff is - too late for you goff, but feel free to bring labour down with you. The left will survive and regather - hopefully under the banner of the Mana Party.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

new terror raids being planned?

Good post by Morgan at Maui Street on potential terror raids on Te Whanau a Apanui and their continued opposition to the exploitation of their land and seas.
If the police suspect something untoward is going on then the sensible step is to engage with Te Whanau a Apanui on reasonable basis – i.e. face to face in a non-threatening situation. There is no reason to blow this issue to Mars.
The proposed raids on Te Whanau a Apanui are a direct response to a community who are trying to stand up for their own rights. They oppose oil drilling off their coast and this is how they are being treated! Their concern is for ALL New Zealanders, they know if Petrobas is granted permission they are the first in a line of many who will ravage much more than the East Coast. We need to show our support.

The sources seem plausible so we will see what happens - we are watching and as we have seen with the terror raids against Tuhoe - they are just that - 'terror raids' - based on, and designed to propogate, terror. Kia kaha Te Whanau a Apanui.

Hat tip Maui St

Sunday, April 24, 2011

known by the name

It doesn't really matter what the new name is for Hone's new Left Māori Party. It seems to have leaked via the greens that it is The Mana Party. We will see - I like that name and for me it says it all - no explanation needed. It also provides a relationship to Mana Motuhake and The Mana Māori Movement, and that whakapapa is important. 

Update - well it seems pretty official now - The Mana Party - launch next Saturday.

For the new party the effectiveness of the message is the key - keep it simple, repeat often and keep to the planned pathway. Some things need no comment, others a little and then there are times to really give it heaps and saturate the coverage. The battles are those that align with the kaupapa.

What does the party stand for and believe in? Simple and repeatable phases. Hone is onto it with his latest excellent press releases about petrobras. His quote about the 'warships coming over the horizon' is evocative, simple and repeatable. His outrage that this should be happening on ANZAC day to tangata whenua who have given so much, is genuine and I share it. They have no shame.

The kaupapa that i believe will attract all people is one based upon support for equality, the disadvantaged, kaitiakitanga and tino rangatiratanga. I will say it again - these principles are universal human rights and values that are not attached to any ethnicity. It will soon be time for people to make choices and I believe many people will join the waka.

captain arrested

The arrest of the captain of an indigenous owned boat, whilst exercising customary rights of fishing within tribal waters, by the NZ Police with the assistance of the NZ Navy, in defence of petrobras is nothing short of outrageous and wrong. They are defending the expoilters against their own people.

Elvis Teddy, the captain of San Pietro, the iwi owned boat, has been "charged with operating a vessel in unsafe manner under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act." The charge will be defended and it will be interesting to watch the crown case fall apart.

After repeated warnings the three other boats moved away but the San Pietro stayed and deployed buoys and fishing lines in the path of the survey ship, causing "grave safety concerns" for the ship's master, Superintendent Bruce Dunstan said.

The San Pietro was stationary and 1.5 nautical miles from petrobras's Orient Explorer. It is the repeated warnings bit that they don't like, nevermind the law of the sea. This escalation is a bad sign - for the authorities - it shows they are floundering, it shows they are desperate and it shows us what we must do - support this action and the people on the water in any way we can.

Hone has come out with a strong statement
MP Hone Harawira is calling the arrest a disgrace. Harawira says no New Zealander challenging the right of a government to deep sea oil drilling should have their own warships come speeding over the horizon to arrest them.
Good stuff Hone, and
The San Pietro belongs to East Coast iwi Te Whanau a Apanui. The iwi say they were exercising their customary right to fish in the area. Independent Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is furious at the arrest. Mr Harawira says it is a disgrace Defence Force personnel helped arrest the man yesterday. He says it is wrong for a New Zealand citizen to be threatened by the military for opposing a deal between the government and a foreign oil company.
Mr Harawira believes it is a make or break situation for the Maori Party, and he is urging the party he left recently to walk away from National.
This is very good - the leadership and mana of Hone is really starting to shine. And we will need strong leadership to stop these expoilters.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

visual poem - longing for a breeze

You'll have to indulge me a little bit - this poem is just my emotional response to the exhibition rather than a critique of it.

longing for a breeze

the floor was polished
and clacked
with footfall and they lay
quietly disemboweled,
and were viewed.
a card explained: revered once, then dis
repair, now look
their mauri is strong. so they
say breezelessly.

A whare tūpuna
will say what to that?

Pita Sharple's taiaha watches
through glass.

They are alone at night.

the con then the salt

So key has ruled out changes to the Crown Mineral Act saying that he doesn't believe mandatory consultation with iwi before giving out licences is necessary, he says that "consultation on oil exploration work in the Raukumara Basin may have happened late, but it did take place." It happened after the licence was given - in what way is that consultation? - it isn't, not even close.

The legal advice to the government regarding how to stop the the activists stopping Petrobras is to be kept secret - to be expected really, when you look at the confused positions they are taking

There are also conflicting views on exactly which laws are being used by police against anti-oil protestors off the East Coast. Late last week police said it was the Maritime Transport Act that was being used, with safety warnings being issued to provide safety zones to oil company Petrobras' survey vessels. However that's at odds with what the Prime Minister said at his post-cabinet press conference. John Key indicated a different statute, the Continental Shelf Act, is being applied.
Are they going to make it up as they go along or worse, make it up after the fact? Not looking good so far.

Meanwhile the people are making their presence felt

Hundreds of people throughout New Zealand have turned out to protest against oil exploration off East Cape. The protests on Wednesday included delivering Prime Minister John Key an oil cake and were held from Auckland to Dunedin.
Awesome! The flotilla has put out to sea again and Te Whanau a Apanui is lodging a complaint with the UN. This is really the way to go - multiple fronts - keep the pressure on - find the weak spots - get people involved - get visibility - and keep the focus on. It is the one year anniversary of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We will not forget the environmental devastation that greed causes and we will not forget the long battle that Te Whanau a Apanui has been fighting for their rights.

We are going to win this battle make no mistake about that - we are going to win!

kei te ako au

I been away at a wānanga learning te reo Māori. It has been a hīkoi and a half for me. The first time in 2 years that i have traversed that land. Lots of insights and learning - lots of inspiration and reinforcement of values. I visited Te Papa and have some thoughts on that. They'll all come out over the next few posts for sure but for now I want to say few words about learning. Our group was 60% wāhine, 50% Māori and the median age probably early 30's. How fantastic to see the student's confidence rise after just a couple of days. Everyone got better at speaking in te reo Māori - everyone. And this is what could happen nationally - this must be what happens nationally. There is no loss, no trade off - you lose nothing and gain everything and this is avaliable for everyone potentially but we must get serious about learning te reo Māori - as a country. The recent report from Te Paepae Motuhake offers some answers

An independent Maori language review panel, released its report today following submissions from 15 hui around New Zealand and interviews with government agencies. Among its recommendations, the panel proposed introducing a Minister of Maori Language, and redirecting government funding to focus on promoting te reo in families.
That's the sort of things we need to do but will we?

I know the language won't die - it will grow and strengthen and become normalised - soonish we will all be speaking te reo Māori - get a headstart and begin learning or strengthening your te reo Māori skills - your confidence will also rise, just like me and my fellow students.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

good writing on risks

A great post  and awesome writing from Tracey Barnett that outlines so many of the risks attached to drilling in the Raukumara Basin. There are so many facts within this post that it boggles the mind and they are presented one by one in a masterful display of good writing. Highly recommneded.
We're pioneers, after all. The oil industry calls us the "new frontier", like Greenland and the Shetland Islands, because nobody was willing to touch our difficult, dangerous and remote deepwater sites with a stick - that is, until the world supplies got tight enough and the money got good enough. Then one day, there is an accident, a huge explosion on our maiden deepwater exploratory well. Several people are killed, but the pain is just beginning...
... Our story may be fiction, but storms, earthquakes, bad oversight, even drunk captains, aren't. Just ask Petrobras. In the past 15 years, its chequered safety record shows it has had 282 deaths from accidents, explosions and fires, and 27 oil rig blowouts since 1980.

Good stuff - let's get the facts out there so that they are known. There are many levels of arguments against this exploitation and all must be used - the environmental, the economic, the risk management, the community, sustainability, facts and emotion and all in alignment with the fundamental right of tangata whenua to their lands.

strong and effective

A powerful post by Potaua at entitled "Why I left the Maori Party"
Today though, it leaves me in an new, empty space.  Everything that I had given for the past 6 years, was over.  The future looked like more hard work but we were ready to give it.  Heck, our old people had done the mahi for over 100 years to regain the Urewera.  It wasn’t about taking the money and leaving the situation for future generations – the challenge was to address the injustice and to restore our homelands.
I encourage you to read the whole post it is awesome. With supporters like these for Hone's new Left Maori Party you can see why it will be strong and effective.

Friday, April 15, 2011

ever evolving actions

All of the items entrusted to museums are expected to be looked after. As many of you will know, I would return all taonga to Māori, unless they specifically state they are happy for the museum to continue to look after them, but even then I'd look at other alternatives - creating iwi museums and supplying expertise and advice to iwi when they ask so that they can empower themselves in their rohe, on their land. IMO the respecting of taonga we see in museums is more an offshoot of the colonising religion than traditional respect of mana and tapu. Mana to me is like the weight in a non-tippable doll. The weight provides the base but it also provides the impetus for action and movement. Mana is derived from the Gods and whakapapa and it is also derived from action and activities. Mana does not plateau and sit at a level - it is constantly going up or down based upon what is happening - and in tradtional times everything was conducted to enhance and strengthen mana. Taonga were hidden away but they were also used, in ceremony or significant tasks - to inspire the people and enhance mana. Taonga are a living, connected part of a community and are so much more than what they appear.


Professor Mark Stocker a art historian at University of Otago has uncovered artifacts, including taonga that were entrusted to a british museum, have ended up for sale on the open market. He says, "Our heritage is being trampled on ... I think it is rather extraordinary." He tried, but was unable to stop a sale over here.

However, it was also discovered that the pare and the pataka were about to be auctioned at Auckland art dealership Dunbar Sloane in September last year. Professor Stocker sought legal advice and told the police. The pataka was withdrawn from sale, but the lintel was auctioned and sold to a private buyer. He said the items reaching the open market raised serious questions about how safe historical treasures entrusted to museum collections could be.
Professor Stocker doesn't hold back in his conclusions
There were three possibilities about how the items came to be for sale, he said. Someone may have stolen them to make money, they may have been sold by accident, or they may have been sold with permission.
The fallout has started
British newspapers have reported Bristol museum director Mr Griffiths has resigned. British police are also investigating.

And some strong, true words by Professon Stocker
There was no way of knowing how many items had been sold or were on the market, Professor Stocker said. He was particularly offended about the intended sale of Maori artefacts, which he said showed disrespect towards the technical and spiritual qualities Maori artists brought to their works.

Thank you Professor Stocker for all your work in this area. Taonga are not to be bought or sold in an auction - they shouldn't even be over there - bring them home to their people - we need them to be home.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

balance of trust

Smart move from The Greens in accepting to cast Hone Harawira's vote when he is not in the house. He has also transfered his Oral Questions to the Greens and he has done it because, "most of his votes are more aligned with the Green Party." Yes that's right, the maori party used to have his proxy but they asked if he wanted to move them. I wonder why - setting up to challenge him up north i suppose - it won't help them one little bit. Meanwhile The Greens and Hone work closer together and build trust - they will need this time and that trust so that when they control the balance of power in the House, they can deliver to the people.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

trust me I promise

Ngai Tahu have come out in support of the CERA bill which give wide ranging powers to gerry brownlee to sort out christchurch. Our kaiwhakahaere has said that the "detail of the legislation backs up Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee’s commitment to engage with Ngai Tahu along with local government; business groups and the wider community." I'd be interested to see where that is - might have to read the legislation because I am not convinced the brownlee even understands what consultation is - he deliberately didn't consult with tangata whenua over granting the exploitation licences to Petrobras. He has been under increasing scrutiny in his role and has been found wanting. I wouldn't trust him or his words to consult and discuss - he means "let's work as a team and do it my way."

The Greens, Chris Carter and Hone have opposed the Bill. The Greens have come out with some excellent arguments
“The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery bill effectively gives unbridled power to the Beehive for five years and sidelines councils and local communities. The international evidence shows that community-led recovery efforts work best and we will be seeking amendments to achieve this,” said Dr Kennedy Graham, Green Party Earthquake Recovery spokesperson. “Under this bill the Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will be able to exercise emergency powers and change any law in the country for the next five years. This is more than is needed for the rebuild and is not consistent with a democratic locally-led recovery effort."
Too much power indeed, as Idiot/Savant notes
 Which means that the big decisions around the future of Christchurch will be decided not by its people, but by Gerry Brownlee. Who while he is a Christchurch MP, isn't exactly in the same position of democratic accountability as the elected representatives of the Christchurch City Council.
Eddie at The Standard is scathing
The power given to Brownlee here is unprecendented and uncontrolled. He will be appointing the CEO or CERA who will report to him. On Marae Investigates last Sunday, a disaster expert, Dr Regan Potangaroa, who has worked around the world said he had never seen such powers put into the hands of a minister, or anyone. He said they are powers that officials have in dictatorships.
Can we trust him to not abuse his powers - the evidence says no, we can't. I have no doubt that brownlee is well below par on any standard. That's right - I don't like his philosophy, what he stands for, says or does. We will see if he consults and works with tangata whenua, we will see if he consults and works with communities.

support and compassion to Japan

It is shocking to think about the suffering the earthquake and tsunami have caused, and are still causing, the people of Japan. This report talks about the toxic waste left behind from the tsunami and the dire consequences for the land.
As much of Japan worries about nuclear radiation, residents along its northeastern coast are confronting a different environmental disaster: the wide-scale destruction and contamination of farms and other land from salt water, chemicals and other detritus and toxins washed in with last month's tsunami.

The authorities have recently upgraded the nuclear emergency from a 5 to a 7 - equal to Chernobyl, but 7 is the uppermost figure so it doesn't actually have a definitive end. Massive amounts of radioactive water have been released into the ocean and nobody actually knows the effect of that. The authorities have not wanted to panic people so who knows how much radiation has been leaked into the atmosphere.
In Chernobyl, in the Ukraine, a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing a cloud of radiation over much of the Northern Hemisphere. A zone about 30 kilometres around the plant was declared uninhabitable.
The global reach of this tragic event is not yet being seen, but it will be I believe. All we can do is send our support and compassion to the people, they are suffering terribly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

finally it awakened

Well it is nice to get it wrong sometimes - the maori party have come out with a very strong statement against the governments handling of the activists stopping Petrobras - they have called the sending of the naval vessel 'Libyan tactics' as in sending troops against your own people. Very strong language indeed but the real test is - if that is the belief then how can you support that regime - against your own people? What are you going to do about it? More talk? More expression of disappointment? How about some action!

Maori Party MP for Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell compared that action to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's military intervention against his people in a statement this afternoon. "We aren't Libya so we shouldn't be using our military against our own people - it is totally over the top for the Government to be using Navy resources in this way." He said some of the protest action could have been averted if local iwi Te Whanau A Apanui and Ngati Porou had been consulted at marae along their coast about the oil exploration work.
That is true and so is this
"We expressed our disappointment at those iwi being left out of the process in June last year, and we reiterate that again now. "To give the people of this country confidence, the government must put the permit on hold until that consultation has happened."
Okay - they are strong words so what are you going to do about it? When are you going to realise that the results mean more than the rhetoric. Make your words more than hollow, by action.

moby dicks

So the police have been sent in, on a navy ship, to "intervene in the protests only when they impeded the right of the survey ship to conduct its operations." Key says, "... last night, my understanding was a naval ship was deployed and it's now in the region." Key doesn't know how many officers on board or how they will balance out the right of activists to protest LAWFULLY, against the rights of Petrobras - that is an 'operational' matter. Luckily there will be lots of cameras out there to show how these operational matters get played out.

This was a classic from parata
Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata said she was in constant contact with Petrobras but had not spoken with the Brazilian company since the protest began.
hardly constant then is it? Why would you think they care what you think anyway.

And this little titbit
The Government was working on legislation to govern future deep-sea drilling, and Petrobras would not be able to drill before this was in place.

Hmm - wonder what is in that legislation.

Monday, April 11, 2011

misreading the depth

The prime minister of this country, john key, has "not ruled out" sending the navy and airforce to protect petrobras from the activists who have stopped them.

The activists are part of a bigger struggle to protect the land and seas and support tangata whenua in their fight for justice. The police are circling the flotilla. Crown law has been asked to 'research the legal options' available, oh yes - they are scared.

key uses the argument that petrobras has a legal right to explore, granted by the government and that must be upheld. Yes we know you gave them that right key - you can cut the act. You gave them the right, for your money reasons, and you will support their right to explore, for the same reasons.

But you have made some mistakes that will topple your plans - disrespecting tangata whenua, disrespecting the people of this country who care about the environment, the land and sea and the world our grandchildren will inherit. You and your mates have misread the depth of opposition to this folly.

This is just the beginning...

Good posts here at The Standard and Pundit

Sunday, April 10, 2011

oil survey ship stopped

Fanastic effort by the activists in stopping Petrobras today. We will not tolerate drilling and exploitation and the sooner they realise this, and pack up, the better. The government has called for calm - there is no calm and there will be no backing down on this issue - this is a line in the sand that will be defended - with vigour. We know your bogus arguments about money and 'economic benefits' and they are all worthless because we don't believe them - we never will, because we have heard from other peoples about the effects of your polluting, degrading industry and we have seen it here too. As in other countries, the indigenous people of this land are leading the battle to protect the land and sea. They lead because they hold the mana and they are directly affected.

The Government is calling for calm after Greenpeace protesters today disrupted a Brazilian oil giant from investigating deep sea oil drilling off the East Cape. Greenpeace said swimmers from a protest flotilla of five vessels entered the water today and diverted the oil survey ship the Orient Explorer off course.
The flotilla was supported by East Cape iwi Te Whanau a Apanui, which said the company had no right to be in the waters east of their tribal lands. "This is not a protest," iwi spokesman Rikirangi Gage said. "This is an act of defence of our ancestral lands and waters that have sustained us for generations."
The powers that be will not like this and that is good. Greenpeace are experts in high visability protests that generate publicity and we need these. We also need the deeper understanding of what this is all about and that is - supporting Te Whanau a Apanui in their fight to defend their life. We all want the same result so let's keep up the pressure on Petrobras, Parata, Brownlee and Key. I expect silence from the maori party. The Greens and The Mana Party (just testing the name out) will keep pushing hard.

Make no mistake, any inch they get on this issue will turn into a festering sore - people power will stop them.

cosmic cleansing

I find it helpful to clear the head sometimes - to gain another perspective, to think from a different angle. The mysteries of the cosmos are intriguing and invariably require deep thinking - just the distances involved make the mind quiver.

In March astronomers discovered a high energy burst (gamma-ray burst (GRB) 110328A) from within the constellation Draco. It has been confirmed with the Hubble Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory that the source is the middle of a galaxy 3.8 billion light years away which gives creedence to the view that a giant star has fallen into the black hole at the centre of this galaxy and we are seeing it because the jet of particles emited just happens to be pointing at us. But this burst is unusual because of it's duration.

Wired Science
Astronomers have witnessed a cosmic explosion so strange they don’t even know what to call it. Although the blowup, discovered with NASA’s Swift satellite on March 28, emits high-energy radiation like a gamma-ray burst would, the event has now lasted for 11 days. Gamma-ray bursts last for an average of about 30 seconds. Also unlike a gamma-ray burst, the explosion has faded and brightened, emitting staccato pulses of energetic radiation lasting for hundreds of seconds.
My mind follows a piwakawaka's fliting path with this knowledge. I am amazed and confounded by the distances and realisation that this is the past, here today. I marvel at the science, the telescopes, the cosmic coincidence of looking down the barrel of this event, the analysis and compounding effect of understanding. I doubt - how can we know really, with our imperfect instruments being observed through crude organs and intrepreted by spinning neurons, encased. Everything is constantly moving and nothing is still. Whether at the atomic or the galatic level - all moving, all adjusting, so any understanding is very fleeting. I find connections - science's continued build up of knowledge mirrors traditional knowledge building, being aware, in the right place at the right time, can illuminate, and there is beauty and mystery everywhere, all around us, within us - we are here.

As I said, I enjoy cleansing my mind with cosmic events - when cleansed, the issues of the here and now can be assessed more clearly, more cleanly, and ultimately that leads to better decisions and stronger action because of alignment and the lack of clatter. We must look up and out to be able to look down and in.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Māori Recovery Network - supporting people in Ōtautahi

I don't want to diminish the suffering and loss that the people of Ōtautahi have experienced because of the earthquake. They are still in the middle of it - I have had many conversations with quake refugees and they all are still working through many things - from childrens nightmares to what the hell to do about a job. There are many organisations helping and that is good. I want to make special mention of this outstanding initiative from Ngāi Tahu - The Māori Recovery Network.
A Ngāi Tahu- led collaboration of Māori organisations, formed to support the people of Christchurch following the February 22 earthquake.
The Network's kaupapa (purpose) is to reach out to, support and assist whānau (families) in the worst effected Eastern suburbs of Ōtautahi. The Māori Recovery Network works in a Māori way and is committed to supporting Māori and non-Māori whānau.
The Māori Recovery Network includes Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Puni Kokiri, He Oranga Pounamu, Ngā Maata Waka, Māori Wardens, Māori health and social service providers, Māori Party and the wider Māori network— organisations with memberships committed to supporting the recovery effort.
Collaborative, people focused, cooperative, daily updates - this is mana in action and it is awesome to see Ngāi Tahu take a lead role in the recovery of the people and the region. It is making a difference
Total number of contacts as at: 5.00pm Tues 5 April 2011 6795

Whānau with home safety concerns 150
Whanau requesting food parcels 478
Whanau requesting water 496
Whānau needing medication attention 194
Whānau needing clothing / bedding, etc 107
Whānau needing transport 71
Whānau needing assistance with filling out paperwork 30
Whānau needing counselling 95
Whānau needing respite for family 19
Whānau needing assistance with cleanup labour 52
Whānau members registered with Red Cross 1171
Whānau members registered with WINZ 923
Our kaiwhakahaere has come out with some good ideas around upskilling and trades and also using the expertise Ngāi Tahu have in 'Green Building' - this is what we want and i feel pride in seeing the values of manaakitanga, kotahitanga and rangatiratanga being displayed - thank you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ever decreasing circles

The plastic waka controversy - it seems a non-issue - if local tangata whenua want to do it - then they can, they have negotiated a good deal. but there are some real issues around this waka. Personally I'd rather they actually carved a waka in front of people - show the skills and abilities and for me a plastic waka is meaningless.

 A real issue is that this is the only promotion of Māori culture to the supposed hordes coming for the rugby. That is it, apparently, although this post notes another. If true it gives tokenism a bad name. Some people wonder what tino rangatiratanga is, well in my view it is the opposite of what we have with this situation. The rugby world cup is marginalising maori by presenting a false face, and behind the illusion we are creating is real suffering, real issues that need addressing. You cannot hold a people down and expect there to be no consequences - they are there in every statistic. Nothing will be fixed without self determination, it is the beginning, middle and end. Nothing will be fixed while we hide from our truth, which we will have to confront at some point. The whole paradox of it is, that when that happens, we will all be better off.

Another issue is this murk around the fact that sharples, the elected MP, without tender, gave the contract to a group that are his constituents. This could turn out really bad for Pita, I'm afraid. At the least, it gives his opponents ammunition but whatever happens the cloud has been cast and many will find it slightly distasteful, even if all the rules were followed.

To me the whole controversy reinforces why we need strong representation in parliment, why we need Hone to get this new Left Māori Party underway so that we can all hop on the waka and get to paddling. Self determination is a basic, essential human right - it is not based on colour or ethnicity - everyone, from any background can support that right. Tino rangatiratanga is not something to be afraid of, it is something to welcome. The truth will set us all free.

Hat tip - No Right Turn and Roarprawn

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

visual poem - above

My treasures
undisturbed, inseparable
and distinct.
cradles me, my infinite land

coming alive

Good news that the Takiroa Māori Rock Art Site will reopen soon. Heavy rains had made the area unsafe and remedial work is being done to upgrade the paths and viewing points. This will open up the taonga to visitors - which is important - these taonga are an essential part of our shared history and by learning from Ngāi Tahu the context around them, we honour our tupuna, Ngāi Tahu and all peoples. Some scaling of the rockface is needed and the Otago Section of the NZ Alpine Club have done the job for free, just asking for a talk on the Rock Art sites for their mahi. That is the way to do it - when all parties are respected, great things happen.

The whole area is coming alive

Timaru Herald
Also becoming more accessible later in the year will be Maori rock art sites at Craigmore and Totara Valley. Te Ana, the Ngai Tahu Rock Art Centre in Timaru, plans to start scheduled tours to the two areas later this year. It has leased an eight-hectare site in Totara Valley to gain access to one of the most significant rock drawings, the giant taniwha. The area will be placed under a QEII covenant that protects vulnerable natural features or habitats.
Timaru Herald
A four-day festival featuring South Canterbury's Maori rock art and highlighting Ngai Tahu heritage, is being planned with the help of $50,000 from a special Rugby World Cup festival fund. In announcing the grant, the New Zealand Lotteries Festival Fund said the four-day festival would celebrate southern heritage, culture and creativity, with a programme centred around the theme of Maori Rock Art. It is designed to highlight Ngai Tahu heritage and the stories told through previous Maori rock art taonga.

Now this is fantastic and I take my hat off to the innovative thinkers who thought this festival up. The connections are everything - the stories, the histories, the legends, the knowledge. By respecting Ngāi Tahutanga all people are connected. Thank you to all involved.

A wonderful post on the taonga here at Introducing Maori Lifestyles

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Man will snap

I have had a horrible realisation - John Key is going to call a snap election. David Cunliffe the labour spokesman has asked Bill English to resign over South Canterbury Finance. Goff the idiot has come out and said the whole government should resign. Key has said if labour want a snap election - then let's go for it. And he wants any excuse to go for it and goff has played into his hands.

Radio NZ
Prime Minister John Key says he would welcome a snap election if the Labour Party wants to go to the polls over South Canterbury Finance. Labour says the whole Government should resign over the finance company's collapse and the general state of the economy. Labour is calling for Finance Minister Bill English to resign, saying his mis-management has cost the taxpayer millions of dollars.
Think about it - who wins from going early? The gnats do because the longer they go to the election, the more political erosion they will experience. Key has already been booed - he won't like that one little bit. The gnats have some shockers to get through and they will not want those policies to affect their chances at the polls.
They want to bolster the maori party and they want to cut Hone's legs off - before he can build up momentum. They are ambivilant about dunne, hide and the greens. And they are high as a kite over labour and their bumbing, useless efforts. key is the man, he tells himself that, his advisers tell him, the media tells him and many voters tell him that HE IS THE MAN. The man can trust his instincts and the man can make the call - it's what he does, it's what the man does.

Get ready for it - labour aren't but the greens will be and don't you worry about Hone and his new Left Maori Party - we are fighting for equality and fairness already.

look over there

Tariana has come out with a statement that it is 'tragic' that Hone is building a 'left' maori party rather than one built upon tikanga and kaupapa. She thinks the new party will threaten the greens because they represent the values of 'left' within the parliment. I don't agree with her view. The greens and Hone's new party will get on well and work together without conflict because their philosophy's are in alignment.

Waatea news
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Hone Harawira's new party could be more of a threat to the Greens than to his former colleagues. Mrs Turia says it's tragic the Tai Tokerau MP is talking about setting a party of the left, rather than one based on kaupapa or tikanga. “I think that his party could have a huge impact on the Greens who of course are the most left wing party who do work quite hard to address what we would consider are left-wing issues,” she says. Mrs Turia says it has taken years for Maori to be able to sit at the table with Government to advance their aspirations.
hey Tariana our rangatira sat at the table in 1840 didn't they? Which side of the table would the maori party have sat on?

The powers that be are very, very scared of Hone and his new Left Maori Party and those powers that be include the usual suspects and labour and their various fake-left supporters. I love the fact that they are scared - it shows we are on the right track. The compromisers and assimilationists can do their worst but it won't matter because it is all coming together nicely.

Monday, April 4, 2011

the name will come forth

Hone is polling on a new name for the new Left Maori Party. There are some good suggestions and some classic racist comments - ahhh it's reassuring to have the usual racist rants coming forth - they are easy to ignore and less offensive than subtle fake friend racism.

Go and add your suggestion on Hone's site for a name.

I like the Mana Party.

oh stop them we will

This countries draft energy policy has been obtained by the Coal Action Network Aotearoa and it makes clear what the government think - and they think massively expanding coal and oil and gas exploitation, while pretending to focus on renewable energy sources. After hundreds of submissions ignored, this government is following through on its "we are open for business" line.

As the CANA post says
Its top priority is to “Develop petroleum and mineral fuel resources”, ahead of other priorities like 2 Develop renewable energy resources 3 Embrace new energy technologies
While it’s been obvious that this has been the Government’s priority from the moment they came to power, they have now laid it out with a whole lot of pretty pictures to accompany it. It’s always helpful to know what you’re up against, and this document clearly shows it.
Yes we know what we are up against - exploiters and thick-heads, liars and misinformation experts, and idiots who just don't see the big picture apart from the big payouts. In other words they are the enemy of the land, the sea and the people - the enemy.

Who can stop them? The greens will be strong and Hone's new Left Maori Party will be too and the rest of the political parties? I hold no hope for them - sure labour will make political points but not on principles.

Who can stop them? - the people can and we will.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

underreported struggles 48

Ahni at Intercontinental Cry has some very important underreported struggles this month.

A group of Barriere Lake Algonquins discovered a Canadian mining company preparing for a new mining exploration project on their unceded lands. When informed of the situation in Barriere Lake, workers on site--mostly Crees from the Mistassini and Oujebougamou First Nations--voluntarily agreed to stop working and leave. Barriere Lake community members are now planning to maintain a constant presence at the site to stop any further developments.
Indigenous women from the community of Lake Tyers, in East Gippsland, Victoria, started a blockade against the state government's self-imposed rule over their community. The blockade officially went up on March 8, International Women's Day, in order to stop a government-appointed administrator and his staff from gaining entry to the community. In response to the blockade, the government withdrew several services meant for the reserve.
A shocking allegation was made against the UK mining giant Vedanta Resources. According to a recent report, paramilitaries were told at meeting sponsored by Vedanta "to warn Dongria Kondh villagers not to oppose Vedanta else they will be branded Maoists (terrorists) and then killed." The allegation stands in stark contrast to Vendata's "enlightened rhetoric" concerning the Dongria Kondh.
"While the rest of Panama was celebrating Carnival," observes Cultural Survival, the Ngöbe came together to elect a new president for the Ngöbe Bugle Congress, the largest Indigenous organization in Panama. The government of Panama--who recently ratified ILO Convention 169--has been attempting to impose a new electoral system on the Ngobe since 2010. The Ngobe are widely opposed to the imposition, which violates their rights as defined by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples... and ILO Convention 169.
Traditional Authorities from the autonomously governed Wixarika community of Tatei Kie, declared the Wixarika Peoples' "total opposition" to mining in the ceremonial center of Wirikuta in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. In a written declaration, the Traditional authorities state that "We will not hold back in the face of anything in its defense and we convoke the whole world to join the effort to avoid this terrible destruction of the sacred, definitively opposing the dark interests behind it, which seek our spiritual death."

And many more - please visit Intercontinental Cry and read about these struggles.

cornfields vs oilfields - infographic

This infographic, sent in by a reader, is important because there is so much misinformation around alternative fuels. It is good to see a balanced approach which explains the positives and negatives.
With today's ever increasing gas prices, it's a wonder why we don't push harder for alternative sources of fuel. But at the same time, these alternative sources aren't as amazing as you would think. We've highlighted the pros and cons regarding corn ethanol, and presented information about just how effective an energy source it really is.
Cornfields vs. Oilfields
Via: Online Schools

There is no perfect pathway to the future and having information to determine the options is so important. Be informed. As oil runs out and our society is forced to change, we must consider the wider ramifications of our incessant consumerism and addiction to oil. We must reduce our demand.

flotilla update

Some good commentary and photos from Tim at Tumeke on the flotilla against Petrobras and their exploitation.

from Tim at Tumeke

Good stuff Tim - looking forward to more reports.

Friday, April 1, 2011

the soul's start slipping

Now the momentum has begun. And within the advance-avalance, the pebbles move and bump and impart some energy onwards. A new poll for Tamaki Makaurau shows Pita Sharples support has been slashed - really dealt to - and the slasher is in his mirror.

Horizon Research says his majority of 7,540 appears to have slipped to about 1,140. The poll shows Mr Sharples would get 47.8 per cent of candidate votes in the largely Auckland-centred electorate while his new Labour opponent, Shane Jones, would get 42.1 per cent. In the party vote contest in the seat, Labour would remain a clear winner.
I'm looking forward to Hone's new Left Maori Party taking these Party votes and showing the naysayers that all people, of any ethnicity, can support equality and fairness, tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga and protect the disadvantaged.

operation 8 trailer

Ana has a great post on the terror raids and a new film called Operation 8 that will be essential viewing.
Operation 8 involved 18 months of invasive surveillance of Maori sovereignty and peace activists accused of attending terrorist training camps in the Urewera ranges -- homeland of the Tuhoe people. Operation 8 asks why and how the raids took place. How did the War on Terror become a global witch-hunt of political dissenters reaching even to the South Pacific?

Operation 8 - WORLD PREMIERE at the World Cinema Showcase on Sunday 17 April 2.45pm at the Paramount in Wellington.

As I have already said - we must shine light on these terror raids - the truth must out.

Hat tip - Whenua, Fenua, Enua Vanua