Monday, July 30, 2012

slipping on water

Great news from the Waitangi Tribunal – they have issued an interim decision, that the government , “not go ahead with its proposed partial privatisation of power generating SOE until the Tribunal has at least had a chance to issue its full decision on stage one of this Inquiry”. They have been direct in their language which I take as a pointed challenge to big mouth key. 

For instance in in the conclusion they state in point 59 that

In the interests of the Maori-Crown relationship, and all New Zealanders, the issues raised in this stage of the inquiry are serious ones that warrant measured consideration.
And in point 61
We therefore conclude that the Crown ought not to commence the sale of shares in any of the Mixed Ownership Model companies until we have had the opportunity to complete our report on stage one of this inquiry and the Crown has had the opportunity to give this report, and any recommendations it contains, in-depth and considered examination. (my emphasis)
Key is a bit stuck now and this will get nasty make no mistake about that – this was not planned for and the lie about what was said at the infamous meeting between the Maori Party and key will now be tested. Key will never listen to Māori, never. It is not in his interest to. So the slippery one is about to coat himself in grease and start being even more slippery and we will be watching.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

sullied waters

So The Maori Party and John Key the Prime Minister had their meeting last night and the Maori Party are pleased. It is interesting to look a little closer at this.

Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples had previously indicated the meeting was called to discuss Mr Key's comments which they said undermined the Waitangi Tribunal which is currently hearing the Maori Council's bid to halt the sale of Mighty River Power until Maori rights and interests in water are defined.
However after emerging from the meeting late last night Mrs Turia said "the main issue was that this Government would treat our people in the same way the Labour Party did by legislating away their rights".
Hmmm they seem like totally different issues to me. Key's comments have morphed into something Labour did years ago - but what they did affected Tariana significantly. She continues to try and exact revenge but I'd suggest she go to New York and get into Helen if she is so hellbent on retribution.
Mrs Turia was asked whether that meant that should a court decision subsequent to the tribunal find that Maori did have proprietary type right over water, the Government would not legislate against that.
She said: "That was what they told us tonight".
'They' - not nice Mr Key, or The Prime Minister, or Johnny - no it is they. I wonder who 'they' are. The use of 'they' implies wriggle room to me but who will do the wriggling, I'm not too sure. To date I have not heard key say it or agree with Tariana's statement.
Meanwhile in a joint statement issued by Mrs Turia, Dr Sharples and Mr Key, they said that both parties had agreed that when the Waitangi Tribunal report on the Maori Council's claim was issued that, "as part of developing their respective responses, the two parties will jointly discuss the matter".
Nice, a joint statement and key is happy to put his mark to this one. I wonder why. Could it be the slamdunk statement that they will, "jointly discuss the matter" - jeepers expect the shit to fly NOT.

So what have we got really? Joint discussions and that is it. Until I hear the words out of key's mouth about not legislating against any decision I won't believe it - and if he does say it i will still be unconvinced - key will not do it - they will not let him, and he doesn't want to anyway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the drip continues

It has indeed been interesting watching the debate about the indigenous rights of Māori and water. Key the prime minister calls the claim by The Māori Council, "opportunistic" and that shows what a dim he is - hey key, how long have Māori been fighting for equality? Don't bother answering bankster I wouldn't believe what you say anyway. Perhaps key should heed Annette Sykes advice that key should, "either get a law degree or stay quiet about Maori water rights issues". 

Yes STFU because this following comment from key is outrageous

and I think that there's no merit in the case that the Maori Council is bringing.
No merit? How the fuck would you know key. Read all the evidence already have you?

The pressure is building on The Maori Party.  Maanu Paul
Maori Council spokesman Maanu Paul said it was "crunch time" for the party and co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples, who have argued they need to stay at the Cabinet table to make a difference.
“In a Maori world, they should act like Maori – defend their mana, not the money.”
I beg Tariana, who I've got the hugest respect for, to sit back and reflect and in the spirit of Che Guevera who obviously influenced her last week, position herself for freedom and the rights of our people rather than to take money as a Prime Minister's friend at the table.
Initially i thought they would never walk but now I dunno, they actually could and I hope they do - for all of us.
Key has made a blunder with this whole fiasco and part of that blunder was to insult Tariana and Pita by not seeing them sooner. But i'm not worried about them, they have made their bed and if they did resign from their agreement with national, well that would be good, a final positive to add to the mix.
The wheels are starting to fall off - time to up the pressure!

Monday, July 16, 2012

underreported struggles 62 & 63

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry.

underreported struggles 62

The O'odham community of Gila River is coming out in full force against the proposed Florence Copper Project. In addition to ever-growing grassroots opposition, The Gila River Tribal Council has voted 15-0 to oppose the project. A resolution from the Tribal Council cites the potential for the development to impact water on the reservation.

The ministers of the Supreme Court of Paraguay withdrew the tenure of settlers who were illegally permitted to invade Indigenous Land in the 1960s. As a result of the decision, the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe, after nearly a century, are now ensured full occupation of the territory demarcated in 1938.

After decades of struggle, Indigenous Peoples in El Salvador will finally be recognized in the constitution – a first step towards recovering their community identity, which they have been denied by the state and by society at large. A reported by IPS News, Article 63 of the constitution will be modified to acknowledge indigenous languages and other expressions of indigenous culture.

underreported struggles 63

To the shock and dismay of Indigenous Peoples throughout Australia, the Australian Senate rushed through a new law meant to extend the despicable Northern Territory intervention for another ten years.

A consortium of indigenous and non-governmental organizations have sounded the alarm over a disturbing new eco-tourism scheme by the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department (MPFD). The MPFD, a government agency responsible for managing all forest areas in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, says it wants to lease out 50 to 150 sq km bricks of land to interested tourism companies. Those companies would then be free to change the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples to something more 'compatible' with conservation.

After a 30-year struggle, two indigenous Wounaan communities in the eastern Panamanian province of Darién finally received titles from the government to their traditional lands. Thousands of other Wounaan and Emberá are awaiting their own titles in another 39 communities.

Visit Intercontinetal Cry to read about these issues and many others.

Monday, July 9, 2012

stopping the rot

There are many big issues at the moment and two of the most important are the weakening of the RMA, and the Claim put to the Waitangi Tribunal today on Māori rights and ownership of water.

Both of these issues are interrelated and they are both connected to the exploitation of our natural resources for the illusory benefit of a few and the detriment of the many. 

The report released last week by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) outlines substantive changes to the principles of the RMA and as Green spokesperson Eugenie Sage says

The TAG recommendations are weighted towards facilitating development. This Government’s agenda is to weaken the RMA to advance its dig it, drill it, mine it, irrigate it agenda for resource exploitation. The proposal to drop the requirement for councils and decision makers to provide for the “preservation” of natural character and the “protection” of outstanding landscapes and significant indigenous vegetation and habitats as matters of national importance ignores Environment Court case law which had built up over the last 20 years. Changing these fundamental parts of the RMA will cause unnecessary litigation and tilt the playing field heavily towards development.
Yes this weakening of the RMA is a pretext for lowering standards to facilitate exploitation of our natural resources.

Fish & Game NZ chief executive Bryce Johnson has commented

The technical advisory group (TAG) seems to have gone way beyond its terms of reference, and indeed it smacks of political opportunism to fit a perceived Government ‘economic growth’ agenda,” Mr Johnson says removing the clause 7(h) – which specifically references ‘protection of the habitat of trout and salmon’ – would lead to further water quality decline.
“This would remove what water resource developers see as a roadblock to environmentally unsustainable development, enabling further and faster decline of freshwater quality. Make no mistake – any attempt to lessen the protection of trout and salmon habitat in the RMA is full-frontal attack on the environment.”
Very strong words indeed, highlighting the real concerns and danger of these recommendations from TAG. They need to relax the laws so that they can really get the exploitation ripping along – the Greens and Fish and Game NZ are fighting hard to stop them and Māori are too – just not the Maori Party.

And this issue directly relates to the other big issue of the moment. As The Māori Council nicely states

“Maori interests in national freshwater and geothermal resources will be crystal clear when Maori and specialist experts present their evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal hearing,” say New Zealand Maori Council co-chairs Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie and Maanu Paul.
 “The claim sets out what interests Maori had and continue to have in springs, rivers, lakes, aquifers, waterways and geothermal resources,” said Sir Edward.
“The Council became concerned when Government announced its intention to sell off some of its assets without full consideration of the impact on Maori interests in water resources,” added Mr Paul. “The NZMC has a statutory responsibility to advise Government on behalf of all Maori.”
The Mana Party support the claim

"Government has consistently refused to deal with the Maori interest in water, instead running the line that "nobody" owns the water, while maintaining all rights of management and jurisdiction over it" said Harawira "but if that was the case, then what gives them the right to sell shares in power companies that use that water""
"Maoridom will be pleased to know that newly appointed Council co-chairman Sir Taihakurei Eddie Durie is spearheading the claim. Taihakurei Durie is one of this country's pre-eminent jurists, and has a greater understanding of the Treaty law than anyone else alive".
"I suspect that there will be many Pakeha supporting this claim as well" said Harawira "as more and more of them come to realise that The Treaty is the only chance of keeping our power companies in the people"s hands".
This line "nobody owns the water" that key is using is a smokescreen especially when in his next breath he says

"The Waitangi Tribunal's rulings are not binding on the Government, so we could choose to ignore what findings they might have - I'm not saying we would, but we could."
Get it? That is the key way - threats and spin. This will be a very interesting hearing and the report that comes out will show the truth, but the truth is irrelevant to key and his cronies. It is money they want and they will destroy us all to get it - well fuck them I say - we will stop them and we will do it with integrity and honesty - the two qualities our opposition lacks.