Sunday, September 23, 2012

underreported struggles 65

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry. The first story is of real concern to me and I hope this move can be defeated by the First Nations.

The Canadian government is getting ready to introduce legislation that would allow individuals to own private property on reserves, effectively abrogating collective ownership of reserve land for any First Nations that adopts the law. The government claims this will encourage economic development; but the reality is far less economical. As Pam Palmater observes, the new law will open the floodgates for the gradual takeover of indigenous lands by non-First Nations peoples, including land-holding companies, banks, corporations; heck, even bored Canadians looking for an adventure!

An International Fact-Finding Mission (IFFM) recently confirmed that the Philippines-based A. Brown Company, Inc. never had the right to open a palm oil plantation in Opol, Misamis Oriental in Southern Philippines, where it displaced hundreds of families from the Higaonon Peoples. The IFFM has since issued a call for A Brown to immediately pull-out of Opol and respect the farmers' and indigenous peoples' right to their ancestral lands.

The Ktunaxa Nation is attempting to challenge the British Colombia government's recent approval of a controversial year-round ski resort that will sit in Qat'muk (GOT-MOOK), a profoundly sacred area to the Ktunaxa Peoples in southeastern British Columbia.The Ktunaxa are now in the process of applying for Judicial Review of the approval.

A Barabaig community in Tanzania has teamed up with the Indigenous Knowledge Project (IKP) to develop a sustainable economy that works for the people. The initiative is a rarity, founded on the ideals of sharing, autonomy, participation and sustainability. In the words of IKP co-founder Heather Cruise, it has to be “heart-to-heart, grass roots, participatory.” In this special series, Intercontinental Cry takes a look at the project, its purpose and the people involved in it.

The Dongria Kondh, who've all but faded away from the international community's gaze, renewed their opposition to Vedanta Resources' plan to mine a sacred mountain for bauxite. Ahead of Vedanta's AGM in London, the Dongria Kondh sent a strong message to the company's chairman Anil Agarwal, "Even if Anil Agarwal himself comes here, we won’t leave our land. We will use all our strength to make them leave this place. Let us live our lives in peace".

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

Saturday, September 22, 2012

just business

Sometimes an event just sums it all up and those of you who have been reading the last few posts will know that I have been showing the connection between a number of actions by the prime minister john key and his government and the bigger picture of what they are after. Deliberate ignorance, court case on water, PR push by oil and gas exploiters, reduction of protection for conservation areas against exploitation. The digging up of Papatūānuku and the desecration through exploitation is a large part of their end game IMO. 

So what is the latest? At the world’s largest conservation summit a motion to protect the world’s rarest dolphins and porpoises, including New Zealand’s Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins was passed by 576 for and 2 against - and one of the 2 against was this country - New Zealand.

Karli Thomas, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, said: "Our government is letting minority business interests ride rough shod over the values of ordinary New Zealanders. By voting against this call to protect our most endangered dolphin, New Zealand has arrogantly dismissed international concern and has severely tarnished our global reputation.”
Shameful? Disgusting? yes for sure all of that but why? Well it's a pain to issue exploitation certificates when pesky dolphins live in the area you want to dig up. Simple really those glorified fish have to go and we can't shoot them so let's keep getting them killed with nets and fishing and destroying their environment. Shameful? Disgusting? Yep and if you think like that, like me, then we just don't understand - it's not personal, it's business.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

we know why

Further evidence of the long game of prime minister john key which I have been discussing over the last 3 posts. Deliberate ignorance, court case on water, PR push by oil and gas exploiters and now this - "The Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill which will ensure that all land classified as a National park, Nature Reserve etc in future is automatically included in Schedule 4." That appears to be good but as I/S says it weakens the protection on that land so they can mine it. The proof is right there in front of us, as I/S states

No Right Turn
At present, decisions on whether to permit mining on Schedule 4 land are made by the Minister of Conservation, and strictly on conservation grounds. The bill would change that, inserting the Minister of Energy as a joint decision-maker, and adding an economic benefits test. So, the question of whether to dig up a National Park will be a question of "balancing" conserving the area with the projected economic benefits of destroying it.
This is not happening by chance - it is planned and not even hidden. Part of the strategy is to overwhelm, create a tsunami of information, events, and issues that people care about. They hope it all just becomes too much for people but as usual they are overconfident of their own opinions and judgements of human nature - they think everyone is like them - greedy and self obsessed. But people aren't like that all. They are wrong and that is how we stop their nefarious plans.

Hattip - No Right Turn

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the journeyengagement

I talked in my last post about the prime minister john key and his deliberate ignorance designed to bolster the inevitable court case on water. Why is the court case so important for key? It's got nothing to do with Māori or water - it is about commodification and in a round about way, the oil and gas exploitation. He has promised and I don't think the powers that be will accept a backdown on that. News about the PR campaign that they are about to wind into is scary - they have the money and they have many of the politicians.

Senior figures from the oil industry and the Crown's resource management unit have stressed the need to step up community engagement at the Petroleum Summit in Wellington today.
Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chairman Chris Bush said public confidence was needed to fulfil the Government's exploration goals - and both the Government and industry needed to lay the groundwork for that.
"We need to take the time and explain why it is important to grow oil and gas exploration here in New Zealand, so communities have an understanding of the benefits and the future energy situation we may face without it."
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment unit tasked with managing oil and gas resources and issuing exploration permits is also pushing for greater community engagement.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals director of petroleum Kevin Rolens said it would be looking at how it engaged with local communities to build confidence and connect with the public.
Rolens said his unit was developing a stakeholder strategy to ensure the community received consistent messages.
Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chief executive David Robinson said "Our communities must come on the journey with us. Our panels on community engagement are an important part of making sure we are doing our best to engage with Kiwis across the country."
Their tactics are in play in the quotes - simple message driven relentlessly into the mind by repetition and the use of pseudo-words like journey and engagement. They had better get on with it though because the latest news report from their conference was dominated by the loud protestors outside - respect!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

undo the gag

What a half-wit John Key the Prime Minister is - do you think this remark is off the cuff?

On his way into caucus at Parliament this morning he was asked about the unity around the water issue at the national hui last week called by King Tuheitia.
He suggested that from the media reports he had seen there wasn't unity.
"There are kind of more positions than Lady Gaga's got outfits."
I don't, I think it was deliberate. The point of the comment? To trivialise Māori and their belief systems. You see I don't agree with sharples that key is culturally ignorant - I mean of course he is, but like the banks affair, he is choosing to be. He isn't ignorant - no it is much worse than that - he is deliberately ignorant or choosing to be ignorant. And why would someone do this? It's all about the court case now - the hui that noone will attend, the public statements and the quips - he even says it here, it is a strategy. Key is a bankster he gets a buzz from riding the edge and he is going to ride this one all the way in. So why is he a half-wit? His deliberate ignorance is not an advantage it is a weakness and the more he speaks, the more that weakness is revealed. He thinks he is smarter than he really is - but he isn't.

Friday, September 14, 2012

now is the time and this is the place

Many have said that water will become a defining issue for the people of the world and here in Aotearoa that is manifesting right now. Māoridom have attended the hui called by King Tuheitia at Ngaruawahia and they have agreed on some principles.

... overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling on the Government to halt the sale of power company shares until it had thrashed out a framework recognising Maori proprietary rights in water.
It also backed a resolution for that framework to be agreed before iwi and hapu enter into negotiations with the Crown over their water claims - and warned they could test the case in court if the Government worked around it.
Finally, it agreed that Maori should speak with one voice on the issue - a new body representing Maori interests across the spectrum will be set up to spearhead the negotiations instead.
Yes there are issues to resolve within the Māori nation to achieve this united front, this speaking with one voice, but it will be done because that is the kaupapa when faced with threat and this is a defining issue for this country and a threat to Māori mana. I have stated a few times that Māori are just not going to take the same old bullshit that has happened for years. The time is now, the line in the sand is here. We hold and fight here, for this.

This process is mana-enhancing for iwi and hapū, this is what our Tūpuna fought for and this is what we will fight for, so that our tamariki don't have to.

Mā te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tātou - in unity we have strength.

1500 a moment to reflect

Well I thought I would just take a moment to reflect. This post is number 1500 which seems significant somehow. There have been 1415 comments and for everyone who has commented thank you, and also of course to all those who have read the posts. I started blogging Sunday 22 March 2009 - just about three and a half years ago! I started the blog for lots of reasons and one was I made a blog that I wanted to read, about the subjects I thought were important and weren't being discussed enough or at all. I thought like minded people would find the blog and that has happened and i'm really grateful and humbled by that. So thank you again. The most popular post is water tiger, I'm pretty sure because of the picture, but it's ironic nevertheless. Although I can be scathing on some politicians, I'm really more interested in building communities and bringing people together - that's another purpose of the blog. When I started there weren't many blogs that discussed Māori issues from a Māori perspective, thankfully there are now, and most are displayed down the side of this blog - they are all great and I love them all - even when I disagree with the writer. Indigenous blogs are there too and they are so important because they show our connection, our issues and struggles, our successes and victories are the same. That is my binding belief - that we are all equal and deserve and demand equality. That is why I put the left blogs and other blogs on my blogroll - they all relate to that concept. I have learned much from those blogs and they are there partly to make it easier for me to go and read their latest posts. I know - me, me, me... it's hard to write it any other way, I promise. And the truth is you cannot write blog after blog unless you are getting something from it. I am, and it is the connection with you the readers, as well as the self-centred but necessary enjoyment of being able to say what I want (within reason of course). I know most of you understand because you have your own blogs. As I said at the beginning this is a reflection but I do want to keep it brief.

Blogging means a lot to me and I feel that I've learned so much and that I've been given so much. I'll continue to blog about things that catch my eye and try in my idealistic way to make the world a better place - I must - for my son and all of us - past, present and future.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

dear john

Below is Hone Harawira's open letter to Prime Minister John Key. It sums up everything really well.


Kia ora, John

I'm down at Turangawaewae for the water hui, and I just wanted to clear up a few things before I go in. You see John, there's quite a bit of confusion about how Maori are being pushed to help you with your asset sales problem, but there doesn't seem to be much of a push from your side to help Maori with any of our problems - like poverty, low wages, massive unemployment, poor housing, benefit cuts ... you know the rest.

We know things are hard for your Government right now, what with trying to sell off power companies when you don't own the water that drives them - but really John, that's something your officials should have sorted out a long time ago.

The consultation hui earlier this year showed clearly that Maori don't support asset sales, there was that huge march on Parliament against it, and there's that petition on the street right now with 250,000 signatures and growing, opposing asset sales as well.

And you must have known John, that Maori would take action to protect their water rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

That's why Maori were so upset when you ridiculed the idea of a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, then belittled the New Zealand Maori Council for daring to take the claim in the first place, and then said that the Tribunal wasn't worth listening to anyway.

You see John, the Tribunal is one of the only avenues we have to present our claims in our own way. In fact it's the only place where what our kaumatua and kuia have to say has any meaning. It's deeply flawed of course, but it has a special place as the nation's only specialist judicial body on Treaty issues.

That's why when the Tribunal said that "government would be in breach of the Treaty if it proceeded with its asset sales programme before Maori water rights had been settled", we really hoped that you might do the right thing and let the judicial process run its course.

So when you decided to simply defer the sale, and engage in behind-closed-door deals with selected iwi leaders, you can imagine how ... upset ... we got.

Because this is an important issue John, to all of us. This is about water, and in particular Maori interests in that water.

And water really is a taonga to us John, a treasure. It's hard to explain in English but water is something to cherish, to care for, to respect and to protect for future generations. Moana Jackson says "every tribe has a river" and the people of Whanganui have a saying: "I am the river and the river is me". Water is part of who we are.

And Maori water rights need to be understood in that context, John. Not as a tradeable commodity, but as part and parcel of our very existence.

Even Pakeha people get that; I think that might be why so many of them oppose asset sales too.
The Tribunal has confirmed those rights (with the support of a number of your own Crown witnesses), and the Council has quite rightly asked the Tribunal to consider the extent of those rights and how best to recognise them in stage two of the hearings.

That's not to deny hapu and iwi their rightful claims to waterways in their territories, but the issue of Maori water rights calls for a nationwide discussion and commitment to standards and expectations far greater than what can be achieved by small groups meeting behind closed doors.

John, this is one of the biggest decisions Maori will ever make, and five weeks just isn't enough time to do it justice.

So where do we go from here?
Well ... if I were the Prime Minister John, I think I'd:
•Set aside the asset sales programme for a while.
•Give the Tribunal time to complete stage two of the hearings.
•Give Maori time to go back and share all that information with our kaumatua and our kuia, our cousins, our kids, and yes even our mokos as well, because the decisions we make today will affect them and their mokos too. And time, too, for hapu and iwi to consider the wider implications for them as well.
•Give the rest of the country time to give their views too, because on this issue, every New Zealander should have a say.
•And then I'd call everyone back to the table in 12 months, and see if we could come up with a solution that works for all.

Anyway, gimme a bell some time and let's have a cup of tea and a chat.

Yours sincerely,
Hone Harawira

I quite like these open letters, it gives a real chance to get the points across, it gives a little control, and it drives the recipient up the wall. Keep this good stuff going Hone - it is effective and inspirational and we need lots of that.

Hattip: Tiger Mountain commenting on the Standard

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

positive movement

Can a bad/useless/corrupt/putwhatyoulikehere government do good things? Can a bad person do good things? 

Obviously this has been a point of discussion around other areas and putting value judgements of what ‘bad’ is aside I want to thank finlayson (I don’t think he’s ‘bad’), personally and as a representative of the government, for saying these things

“Ngai Tuhoe’s history shows clearly why it is so important to settle genuine historic Treaty grievances,” Finalyson said.
“The conditions in Te Urewera, which contains some of our most deprived and isolated communities, show the very real and continued effects of the Crown’s Treaty breaches on the daily lives of Ngai Tuhoe people in the present.”
Huge areas of Tuhoe land were wrongly confiscated and more purchased unjustly, Finlayson said.
“Military campaigns against Tuhoe prisoners and civilians were described even at the time as extermination and the Crown employed a scorched earth policy in Tuhoe settlements.”
This settlement is a strong step towards mana motuhake for Ngāi Tuhoe and I congratulate them.

It is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction and as Tuhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger has said, “he believed the tribe had ultimately won what it was seeking, which was control over the park.” 

I wonder about the figure of 170M – is that figure used for relativity or do they calculate it some other way?

Friday, September 7, 2012

saying less

I am not a fan of the term Hone has used – house nigger is not a term that anyone should use in my opinion – unless you are Malcolm X and you say house negro. I think it was a mistake from Hone and a worry too. There is no need to go into that type of insult – it doesn’t make any difference apart from increasing the notoriety of Hone – and that is playing into their hands because they love demonising him, and any reason is a good reason – so why do it? I really can’t see any reason other than publicity and that sits wrong with me. The alternative is that Hone has so little control over himself that he just cannot think or speak strategically and I just don’t believe that.

Everything is going okay and the Mana movement is building – cut the bullshit Hone and get on with the job e hoa.