Wednesday, December 30, 2009

keep your eyes open

News that Youthline has had a massive surge in calls is a real worry. Don't forget those latest (2007) suicide statistics which showed young maori men kill themselves more than 4 times more than the national average. Now is the time to be there for our rangatahi, now is the time to be available to them, to talk and listen to them. This time of year creates big pressures and many of us have not been taught very good coping skills. When it gets really tough there doesn't appear to be any way out, the answers are just not there. Keep your eyes open and spend some time with your tamariki and mokopuna.

From stuff
"A major increase in calls to a youth helpline points towards "disconnect and distress" in society, Youthline chief executive Stephen Bell says.
This Christmas has seen a rise of nearly 70 per cent in telephone calls to the help line compared to the same period last year.
A survey of calls received on Christmas Day showed prevailing concerns included self harm, eating disorders, relationships (particularly with family), friendships, loneliness and the loss of friends, through death or otherwise.
A survey by the organisation of 600 youths in October found that embarrassment was the leading cause that prevented young people from seeking help. "There is always a danger that, if people need help and don't seek it, they will continue to withdraw from those around them putting themselves more at risk," Mr Bell said.
It is positive that people are seeking help but invariably they will be the tip of the iceberg. A large number of young people will be struggling and embarrassed that they are struggling. Keep your eyes open. Thanks.

Pacific response to copenhagen summit

This video sums up copenhagen well.

Kia kaha ana - I hope we get more of these videos - they are really awesome.

Hat tip Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua

aurora borealis

I've seen some nice displays of the southern lights when down south but nothing like these. Our world is so beautiful.

and go here for another even more amazing set of animated images.

Hat tip boing boing

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

when what we see is not what we see

Go here to read and see a facinating dissection by a forensic hacker on a victoria secret photo. The layers of manipulation are scary. It boggles the mind why they continue to whiten skin colour.

Hat tip boing boing and photoshop disasters.

unspoilt beauty spoilt

The greens have nailed this issue. There is no way that a business should get a concession at Cathedral Cove and the fact that DOC are doing it for revenue is beyond sad, what about protecting the environment DOC, what happened to that imperative?

From Stuff
"Residents and holidaymakers near the remote and unspoiled Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula are appalled an icecream stall is operating there under a licence granted by the Department of Conservation.
The cove's crystal waters and famous arch are accessible only by boat or a half-hour trek.
DoC initially issued the licence for a seven-week trial period, pending approval from the Thames Coromandel District Council.
A public meeting early next year will give people a chance to respond to the developments in and around the cove.
But residents feel the icecream stall should not have been allowed in the first place. They also told the Herald the shop is already operating, without council permission.
"It is astonishing and shocking that DoC would not only grant a licence ... but would do so without any consultation with the community that loves and protects the place," said Mr Hawley.
Waikato conservator Greg Martin said DoC was faced with diminishing state funding and had to find ways to fund its work.
But Mr Hawley said it was not worth ruining the beauty of the site for the 8 per cent of the shop's earnings that went to DoC.
That is not much money is it? The fact is that this is the thin edge of the wedge or as we used to say, "In like a needle, out like a plough." Once the precedent has been set, others will use that.

I quite worried about DoC, especially with the underhand deals they are doing around the place. What is going to happen when brownlee gives them the word for the mining? - they will cave in like wet newspaper.


Chill out. Homegrown and loving it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

whales strand again and again

Pilot whale strandings occur with disarming frequency. From Stuff
"Hundreds of locals, holidaymakers and Conservation Department staff worked for hours to keep the pilot whales hydrated after 63 beached at Colville Beach about 5am yesterday.
Groups of volunteers were assigned to tend to individual whales."
I have worked all day to try and save pilot whales. There is no doubt that that experience changes people. It could be that it is a realistic diversion away from the fantasy of xmas and holidays. It could be worlking with others to do something worthwhile or it could be that being close to a beautiful animal, who is suffering and upset, and helping them or at least trying to help them, is good for us. But why?

IMO it is because we realise during these events that we are part of nature. The whales themselves are not too big, their eyes are amazing and they make similar sounds to humans who are not well. When you are near one you cannot help but recognise the similarities and connection.
"A pod of 105 long-finned pilot whales, calves and adults were found beached at the eastern tip of the spit on Boxing Day. None of them survived.
The stranding site was at Bush End Point, near the lighthouse.
The whales had been there for a couple of tides and had been out of the water for a long time. "It has been quite hot and they were very distressed. You could see the pain and suffering in their eyes."
These animals would have been insane with suffering. And up there - no chance for help or assistance.
Four DOC staff were called to the site and shot the surviving whales, DOC Golden Bay biodiversity programme manager Hans Stoffregen said. "It was horrible but nothing could have been done to save them. It was the most humane thing to do."
Because the site was in a natural reserve, the whale carcasses were left where they stranded, to decompose."
I have taken tourists out the spit and every now and then there would be the remains of a decomposing whale on the beach and guess what? We would stop and have a walk around it, I would explain about the decomposition process and why the animals are left alone. The flies, the smell, the visuals all left indellible impressions on the tourists. This is also part of conservation. The more we can understand the more we can be part of the solutions.

Why do whales strand?

No one knows but some theories, such as pollution, a sick animal that others follow, disorientation from weather or noise from the multitude of propellors in the water, sonar giving distorted returns due to sand or all of the above, flight from a predator like an orca, probably have a ring of truth to them.

In the days before europeans, when the whales stranded the people would gather their tools and head out for harvesting. There are many middens along farewell spit that show the activity associated with rendering whales. Pilot whale bone is not so good for carving, but the meat and oil would have been very welcome.

If you get a chance to save some whales I encourage you to go for it. It is good for you, good for the planet and good for the whales.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


the rata sprays light
we feasted on sun
then turned around
and retraced our steps
to find our family

Saturday, December 26, 2009

cost is not an argument

This group - the Wanaka Community Board - are completely wrong in my view. From the ODT
"The Wanaka Community Board has resolved to oppose the New Zealand Geographic Board's proposal to put a macron - long vowel sound - over the first "a" in the place name Hawea."
And why are they opposing this?
"Jude Battson, who represents Lake Hawea on the board, said it could be emotive discussing changes and Maori people might say the spelling had nothing to do with non-Maori people.
"But once you get past the emotion of it all, the cost of it is paramount to the Lake Hawea Community Association resisting it," Ms Battson said."
Really? the cost? Whatever you do - don't get bloody emotional about it especially not you maori trying to explain why the correct pronouciation via adding a macron is important and means something.
"There could be a lot of money we could spend on this that we could be using to reduce our debt," Ms Battson said.
Yeah right very weak argument indeed - and
"This is not about being counter-cultural. We are dealing with things in 2009. This name has been in place since the early settlers arrived and were trying to understand - because there was no written [Maori] language - what the meaning [of Hawea] was," Queenstown Lakes Mayor Clive Geddes said.
Might I suggest to geddes that the name was in use well before settlers turned up. Why not ask maori how they pronounce their language and how that should be represented in english. Don't be so arrogant - everything existed before the europeans arrived - and guess what - everything was known and named and had it's unique whakapapa.
"Hawea is supposed to be pronounced with a long "a" sound on the first syllable and without any emphasis on the second syllable.
The Lake Hawea Community Association also discussed the issue recently and has decided to write a submission pointing out most members consider the change unnecessary and that adding a macron was unlikely to influence the present generation of residents to pronounce the word properly.
The board members also discussed whether a macron would encourage district newcomers to stop saying "Hi-wee-ar" (incorrect emphasis on the second syllable).
The change has come about because the Department of Conservation recently included a macron in the official name for the Hawea Conservation Park.
The park name was gazetted so it is now a Crown protected name.
As we move towards another year we really should make the effort to fix up these pronounciation issues. It is easy - just listen to what the local tangata whenua say and do that. No need for big debates or upsets. Listen to maori and do what they recommend. We will move towards better pronounciation of maori and ignore those who deliberately persist with incorrect sounds.

removing the dust

Sometimes others say what you want to say so much better than you could ever say it.

Such a case in point is this declaration from Lets Talk Native Pride blog
"We have lost our way, not our ways. We have let others define us with their telling of history, their view of spirituality, their laws and their economy. Our belief systems are not lost. They are covered with ignorance, fear and shame; just dust. It is time to Remove The Dust. This is the expression our ancestors used when it was time to remind ourselves who we are. By removing the dust from our old wampums we could revisit their meanings and most of all, talk about it. We are referred to as an oral society as if that is some how primative. Our voices are the most powerful tool we have. The ability to speak and listen is the power to teach and learn. For all the writing and reading we will ever do, it would teach us nothing if we couldn't discuss it. Technology now allows us to have voices in this new medium. So let's talk. Let's teach. Let's learn."
The First Post on Native Pride
November 17, 2008

In many ways that is the kaupapa of mars2earth

Friday, December 25, 2009

avatar - holiday viewing for our politicans

Avatar the movie has had much hype. This post from  Annalee Newitz at Gawker and comment thread offer a slightly different view of the movie, for instance
"Avatar imaginatively revisits the crime scene of white America's foundational act of genocide, in which entire native tribes and civilizations were wiped out by European immigrants to the American continent."
"This is a classic scenario you've seen in non-scifi epics from Dances With Wolves to The Last Samurai, where a white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member."
Go here for the full article - I highly recommend it. And for another view try here.

I haven't seen the movie yet. But I do note the brownlee would not be one of the blue ones. Perhaps all of our politicans would do well to ponder this movie, and it's deep and deeper meanings, behind their 3-d specs these holidays.

Hat tip stuff white people do blog

Footnote - It is good to see Rawiri Taonui saying here that 'avatar recycles indigenous sterotypes' too.

stranger in a strange land at a strange time

Thursday, December 24, 2009

bennett lobs in some helter skelter

paula bennett and the government have it all wrong. It is not the beneficiaries fault that there are not enough jobs. If you have to blame - blame the real culprits not the victims. What a shocker to put fear in people's hearts just before the holidays.

From Stuff
"The Government is considering cancelling unemployment benefits after a year and forcing beneficiaries to reapply.
Other changes under consideration by the Government are understood to include work-testing for domestic purpose beneficiaries whose youngest child has turned six, compulsory budgeting advice for beneficiaries who claim frequent grants, and part-time work obligations for some sickness and invalid beneficiaries."
Well we know which groups will bear the brunt of this new policy and maori and young people are over represented - and aren't they the group that kill themselves four times more than the average.

This song sums up, on lots of levels.


When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah yeah yeah hey"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

happyzine - because good news makes a difference

Charlotte Squire - Founder, editor, contributor of Happyzine

I highly recommend Happyzine (pronounced like maga-zine)

This site and blog is dedicated to making the world a better place by offering alternatives to the negative, violence based news from the MSM (main stream media). If you don't watch the news or don't want to - go to happyzine, you will not be disappointed. Even better - become a contributor.

There are many contributors who all talk about their experiences and expertise. The happyzine community is growing and evolving. Making the world a better place starts from us.

I am a contributor and next year will be doing a weekly "Round-up of the Web" for happyzine - highlighting positive, inspiration, innovative stories of people making a difference in the world. And my focus is on environmental and indigenous positive news.

mars2earth will continue as it is.

please leave the area

I have mentioned these councillers here. The Auditor general has determined that they broke the law, but they will not be proscecuted. From Stuff
"Auditor-General Lyn Provost said Pat Harrow, Angus McKay, Bronwen Murray and Mark Oldfield illegally debated and voted against proposed water charges in June because they held water consents."
Have some honor and resign - it is time to go - please leave the area.

going up, going down

This video is amazing. Be careful if you get motion sickness.

has goff created enough escape velocity to leave the key gravity well or does his booster not have enough boost?

thank you for thanking me

This is the type of email i like to get. Well done to WWF Australia for thanking people - it reinforces all the good aspects of why we do what we do. The title of the email was inspired
"Do you know what you've done this year?"
Nice - made me want to read it ASAP to see if i was in trouble :)
"This is what you've done:
180,000km2 of the Southern Ocean was declared a marine sanctuary
$375 million was committed to halve the chemical pollutants entering the Great Barrier Reef
There will be a senate inquiry into the Montara oil spill off the north-west coast of Australia to ensure that there will be more marine protected areas
1 million km2 of the Coral Sea was declared a conservation zone
Australia's network of protected areas will be increased to help many of our struggling species to survive.
Because of you, WWF has been a part of some remarkable wins for the environment.
Thank you again, we couldn't have done it without you.
I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and much happiness in the coming year.
There is more to achieve in 2010 and we look forward to you standing with us throughout the year.
Greg Bourne
CEO, WWF-Australia"
Greg thank you for thanking me, you set a high standard that i hope others will follow.
When we are fighting the good fight it can be easy to just get caught up in the battles and not enjoy the respite. There have been many achievements this year.
What are your wins? Where have you made a difference? Who have you helped?
It sounds wanky but if you keep track of your achievements or successes then when times get tough you can go back and read about what you have done. That can really help.
And when you get a break - like now, you can read and remember all of the contributions over the year. What have I achieved? Where could i improve? Don't get into the 'wrongs' or 'failures' - they just highlight areas to improve.
Taking the time to enjoy the successes is just as important as actually achieving the successes themselves.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ngāi Tahu Election Update

Congratulations to Nuk and Quentin the two new Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu representatives recently confirmed.

Footnote - Congratulations also to Gerald elected as representative for Waihao

Confirmed representatives to date are

Waihao - Gerald Te Kapa Coates
Tūāhuriri - Tutehounuku Korako
Arowhenua - Quentin Hix
Ōraka-Aparima - Stewart Bull
Koukourārata- Elizabeth Cunningham
Makaawhio - Tim Rochford
Ōtākou - Tahu Potiki
Taumutu - Sandy Lockhart
Rāpaki - Wally Stone
Waewae - Lisa Tumahai
Puketeraki - Matapura Ellison

Progress report from the TRONT website

Mō Tātou: Te Hokinga Mai

Good event coming up from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu's website

"Mō Tātou: Te Hokinga Mai

20 February – 20 June

Robert McDougall Gallery at Canterbury Museum

Ngāi Tahu Whānui, people of Te Waipounamu (the South Island), and Canterbury Museum are proud to present Mō Tātou: Te Hokinga Mai.

The return home of this Te Papa curated show is celebrated with the complementary exhibition Mō Kā Uri, which showcases Canterbury Museum’s rich collection of Ngāi Tahu taonga alongside contemporary artwork by leading Ngāi Tahu artists."
Would be well worth a visit. What a great day or three's outing for those who can get there. I'd certainly visit if I was coming down that way.

organ harvesting horror

Sometimes normal horror isn't enough. News released on Stuff that Israel has admitted illegal organ harvesting 10 years ago, is so outlandishly sick that it could be a sci-fi plot.
"Israel has admitted that in the 1990s, its forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without permission of their families.
The Channel 2 report said that in the 1990s, forensic specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.
In a response to the TV report, the Israeli military confirmed that the practice took place. "This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer," the military said in a statement quoted by Channel 2.
Hiss became director of the institute in 1988. He said in the interview that the practice of harvesting organs without permission began in the "early 1990s." However, he also said that military surgeons removed a thin layer of skin from bodies as early as 1987 to treat burn victims. Hiss said he believed that was done with family consent. The harvesting ended in 2000, he said.
Complaints against the institute, where autopsies of dead bodies are performed, at the time of Hiss' dismissal came from relatives of Israeli soldiers and civilians as well as Palestinians. The bodies belonged to people who died from various causes, including diseases, accidents and Israeli-Palestinian violence, but there has been no evidence to back up the claim in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians for their organs. Angry Israeli officials called the report "anti-Semitic."
I hope the perpetuators of this atrocity are brought to justice.

is it raining yet?

a kiss - salty tears streaming
half-hidden stones bakedhot
on top with toes immersed
cocooned in calm
a saltlesssolution reigning,
is it raining yet?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

direct action to protect us

Direct action works. It highlights injustice, is non-violent, visible and effective. We will need to do more of this type of direct action here to protect our sacred lands and rivers.

In Northern California the Karuk people are protecting their sacred sites. From The Ruckus Society
"This morning the Klamath Justice Coalition used a human blockade to defend Karuk sacred sites from logging activities. The action took place near Orleans, CA within the Six Rivers National Forest and halted work on the Orleans Community Fuels Reduction Plan."
"Originally, Forest Supervisor Tryone Kelly engaged with community members on a collaborative process to develop a fuels reduction plan that would protect sacred areas, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and protect sensitive stands of hardwoods. However, in practice it looks like another timber harvest that disregards the concerns of the community."
“We are shocked that the Forest Service thinks that it can get away with lying to our community. We want fuels reduction, but we will not accept the destruction of Karuk sacred sites or a timber sale disguised as a fuels reduction plan,” added Annelia Hillman."
and from The Seattle Times
"Tribal spokesman Craig Tucker said the tribe spent three years working with the Forest Service to be sure the thinning project near Orleans, Calif., did not cut big trees or run heavy equipment where world renewal ceremonies are performed, only to see it ignore the agreement.
"We're not saying don't cut any trees," said Tucker. "We are saying just do what you agreed to that we spent three years working out, and stressed every step of the way how important this place is from the tribe's religious perspective."
and what was the reason that the tribes wishes were disregarded?
"This was just an oversight," Kelley said, adding no one would be disciplined. "When the tribe brought it to our attention the first week of logging, we started working with the tribe to mitigate impacts."
Oh that's all right then - bloody hell that was after three years of negotiation, do you really think this muppet didn't know the impact of what he was doing? Of course he did - he just didn't care.

Creating firebreaks is good work. Disrespecting and deceiving indigenous people is not okay for anyone and is stupidity. The indigenous people have lived and used their trails and sacred places for generations, they know and understand the land and what it needs. And that worldview can incorporate the current high intensity forestry that is the modern way.

Listen to the people that know and stop treating them as if they don't exist.

Our issue is mining here. How many open wounds will it take to get people involved. I imagine a response similar to the springbok tour, where many groups with a common concern, work together  in direct action to effect change and right a wrong. We will need that type of emotional connection to stop them.

Hat tip Intercontinental Cry

thanks for nothing world leaders

I agree with the greens, it is indeed a sad day for the planet.

From NZCity
"The Greens are furious at the outcome of the climate summit in Copenhagen, calling it a disgrace and a tragedy for humanity."
Energy spokeswoman Jeanette Fitzsimons says the summit agreement is a failure, which has been papered over with fine sounding words. She says the point of the meeting was to agree on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, but it has not happened.
"There's basically no substance at all in the agreement. Barack Obama came out with a lot of fine words, which sounded quite inspirational until you realised that they were completely hollow."
Ms Fitsimons says it is a disgrace New Zealand was the first country at the summit to walk away from its previous commitments. She says the Government has let down all New Zealanders.

The only good thing to come out is that we now know where we stand. We have to think about how we are going to handle the changes. How are we going to support our brothers and sisters in the pacific. We must always continue to reduce carbon emissions and pollution - that is our minimum duty to the planet. But we must also become climate change accepters. We have passed the tipping point, we aren't going to stop it - if we ever could. All of the energy directed in copenhagen to try and develop a treaty, has to be redirected. And I am pessimistic that the only way some countries will take it seriously is after they have experienced the inevitable natural disasters that will occur. They are already happening now. 

Time to work solutions to adapting to the impending changes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

helping our people

This release, reported in the NZ Herald confirms what many know. Although the general trend in suicides appears to be falling, sadly maori and especially young maori men kill themselves more than other groups.

The 2007 suicide rates show that maori kill themselves at a rate of 16.1 people per 100,000 population compared to non-maori at 9.9 per 100,000 population.

Young maori men kill themselves at a rate of 39.5 per 100,000 population.

This is a tragedy that affects us all. What is wrong with our society that maori kill themselves nearly twice as much as non-maori and young maori men kill themselves at four times the overall rate?

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. We must front up to this. I don't know if i'd call it a maori problem - it affects us all. But more maori are killing themselves and we have to help. We have to provide support and hope, for them and their whanau and the community as a whole.

The consumerist culture based around selfishness and exploitation is not our natural way, for maori or anyone. Community and connection is actually more natural.

Truth is also the key. Why hide the deaths via euphamisms - 'coroner is investigating... no suspicious circumstances...' We have to front up to the truth otherwise we won't be able to find solutions.

There is no doubt that understanding and pride in culture can lead to higher self esteem. How do the young people feel when they see and hear the arguments in society about race, from hone to mike laws. Our people deserve to hear solutions too.

Part of the problem is talking about depression. We have all suffered depression or have a loved one that has. It is tough. To lose hope and fell hopeless is terrible. Trying to guilt someone or cajole them out of it doesn't work. Ignoring it can make it worse. About the only thing that works is talking and being there for the person. It wears supporters down though, it takes a lot of love. What else is there to do? Drugs? They just deal with the symptoms not the cause. Therapy? yes a good option. I wonder if there is any maori-style-group-conference-support style system that are used around the country?

I think we all recognise the symptoms, we're just not sure what we can do to help. Communities would be the answer here. If we talk about what is happening then people know and they can help. It doesn't have to be a hidden-away thing - we can front up to it, together. Just think about what happens now - isn't it worth considering all ideas? But many people don't have close communities near by- we battle on pretty well alone. I don't think the government can help us. It is going to have to develop from the communites we all live in.

There are many worthwhile ideas and people helping in this area, such as, and suicide prevention website. I wonder how iwi and runaka are supporting their people and interacting with the government support - I am sure there are many heroics going on. What are the answers - any ideas?

interesting speculation regarding 28 farm purchases in southland

What an interesting story. From Neil Wallace at The ODT
"A Maori trust, with financial backing believed to come from Dubai, has contracted to buy 28 farms in Southland, with plans to buy others throughout the country.
The cost of the farm purchases so far is estimated at more than $150 million.
Two of Southland's largest rural real estate companies, PGG Wrightson and Southern Wide, declined to deal with the trust, but the farms have been bought through other real estate agents.
Mr Murray, from Invercargill, declined to name the trust he represented or confirm rumours its funding came from Dubai.
He did confirm that an option was for milk from the trust's farms to be processed specifically for Dubai markets.
Mr Murray said the trust he represented was not aligned to a tribe, but made up of a group of individual Maori people from throughout New Zealand who had pooled their resources.
"We're just Maori people who have got together and decided, `Let's do this'."
There was no Treaty of Waitangi settlement money involved."
and the rumour mill
"The trust's activities have fed a rumour mill in the South, with speculation Dubai leaders were privately funding the trust to secure future food supplies.
Farming newspaper Rural News has reported on its website that "a hapu trust" was negotiating a 99-year treaty with a Dubai World subsidiary.
It would bankroll the buying of the farms, as well as processing plants, in return for a guaranteed 99-year food supply.
Mr Murray is described as fronting the trust, and Rural News quotes him as saying: "All I know is that it asked me to buy farms and that the Arabs approached us because they wanted to deal with an indigenous country."
Mr Murray could not break down the numbers of dairy, sheep, beef, or deer farms his trust had contracted to buy, but the total cost could easily have already surpassed $150 million.
Affiliated to the Te Rarawa tribe from Kaitaia, Mr Murray has lived in Southland since 1960 and lists among his jobs an electricity transmission line overseer, publican at the Mossburn Hotel and volunteer at Invercargill Prison.
Well a story with a number of very interesting angles. i'll be keeping an eye on this one.

spelling mistake not okay


Government announces that both spellings of Whanganui are okay. From Stuff
"Mr Williamson said the official geographic name for the city would be the alternatives Whanganui or Wanganui. He had decided to assign alternative names so people had the option of choosing whichever name they preferred."
"During extensive consultation it became clear to me that local iwi were seeking an acknowledgement of something that is very important to them. They wanted recognition and respect for their history and their language.
"It was equally clear that the majority of the city's residents did not want change forced on them."
The decision to use both spellings is not a solution, it is an insult to local maori.

It is a spelling mistake that should be corrected.
It is the maori language.

Correcting the spelling mistake could be an occasion for celebration. The righting of a wrong to bring the community together, hearing the stories and understanding the connections. When are we going to find a person of mana who stands up and leads the way in this type of reconcilliation? We need them yesterday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

communial land gives us strength?

This news is interesting. From Native American Legal Update
"In a break from long-standing land control policies, the Nisga’a First Nation in British Columbia is set to begin allotting property to its members, who can then mortgage, lease, or sell it – even to non-Nation members."
"After three years of study, the Nisga’a government has concluded that restrictions on private property ownership by its members has been a significant obstacle to financial growth."
"This new policy from a First Nation in Canada will contrast sharply with policies among Tribal nations located within the United States."
"The selling off of Tribal lands, typically at below-market value in order to obtain much needed cash, resulted in the “checkerboarding” of Native reservations and an alienation of Native peoples from their traditional homelands."
"Most Tribes within the U.S. have spent the decades since the end of allotment trying to regain lost lands and return them to permanent Tribal status."
The approach of the Nisga’a First Nation also contrasts with the communial ownership of maori land here. Historically the way to get the land was to make it into a commodity and allocate it to people. Then you can buy and sell it. Most indigenous approaches work towards more communial ownersip to protect traditional land from being sold.

But others have a different view of the way forward. There are some within even our iwi who would like this approach - we have to guard against it IMO. I don't judge any people for making decisions on the best way forward for them - good luck to them, but for me, communial ownership is a very big strength.

Hat tip - Native American Legal Update

at last i looked up

at last I looked up

art and culture

Royal Moko Barry Ross Smith - Go here.
I haven't asked permission to use the image of the painting but i'm hopeful that because I have linked to the site where you can buy it that barry will be okay with it.
This painting has caused upset. My view is that moko should not be used in this way but i am torn because I believe in art and the right of artists to push the boundaries. But the line comes in when appropriated cultural items, that have meaning, are used.

From Stuff
"A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with a traditional Maori tattoo has raised the ire of Palmerston North residents who believe the image is insulting to both Maori and the Queen.
The print, at the Downtown Art & Framing store, features a young Queen Elizabeth with a moko on her chin and lips.
The date of the Treaty of Waitangi signing appears in Roman numerals next to the monarch.
What does all that mean from the artists point of view?
"Paeroa artist Barry Ross Smith, who created the artwork last year, said it was not intended as an attack on anyone.
"It was a way to show as a country that we have self determination from England.
"We actually built an entirely new race by signing the treaty, so the Queen of that new race would need a moko."
Mr Smith also did a self portrait in which he has a full facial moko – a statement about the merger of two equal cultures.
Hmmmm not sure about all that. So why are people upset?
"Palmerston North Maori warden Nola Te Papa, of Tuhoe, said she was shocked when she first walked past the print on Tuesday.
"Those are only worn in Tuhoe by people in the chief's bloodline," she said.
"These artists are getting too carried away with the Maori moko, that's abusive. They are just printing it anywhere."
The print was a breach of tikanga (Maori custom), which could result in bad luck for family members of the Queen and the artist, Miss Te Papa said.
"Bev Blackwell said it was an insult to Maori culture and the Queen.
"I think it's disgusting and offensive. It should be destroyed and taken away."
Are artists allowed to just do what they want? We know society puts barriers in place via laws regarding decency and so on but is it okay for an artist to use a cultural item that causes insult to the people that cultural item has meaning for. Obviously the technique is used deliberately for effect by some artists but in this instance where the artist says they didn't intend to insult the people that were insulted - what then? Say sorry? Say too bad? Say - that's art. It is a tough one but the lines are always there it is really a question of where they are drawn.

maori party pulls support

Better call from the maori party
"The Maori Party will pull its support from a bill to restructure polytechnic councils after it failed in its bid to ensure Maori representation would remain.
Yesterday Te Ururoa Flavell said the party would continue to support the bill only if the Government backed its amendment to provide for three Maori appointments to the councils.
The amendment failed after National and Act voted against it.
Mr Flavell, the Maori Party whip, said the party had previously supported the bill in the hopes of exploring shared governance models. When it became clear that was not possible, the party made its support conditional on an amendment increasing the council sizes to 12 and providing three Maori places.
He said he did not believe it was enough to simply require the minister to take into account the desirability of Maori representation and Maori would yet again be left to depend on the good will of non-Maori who were represented.
The failure to get changes through spelled the end of Maori Party support, but it would continue to work with the minister to try to ensure Maori were on the councils.
That all seems quite reasonable. Offer support to get it moving and withdraw support when they don't listen. Smarter and more mature politics.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

arctic oil drilling

I'm amazed that they are opening up the arctic for oil drilling. What a load of window dressing in copenhagen when announcements like this are made. It won't be long before they are drilling in antarctica, they are probably already planning it now.

From Censored News
"Obama administration has approved Royal Dutch Shell Plc's (RDSa.L) plan to drill for oil off Alaska's northwest coast as early as next summer."
"As Alaska Natives, our ancestral ways of life and homelands are imperiled by devastating proposals for fossil fuel drilling and development," said Colleen Swan of Kivalina, a community located adjacent to the Chuckchi Sea who is in Copenhagen this week on her first international journey. "These fossil fuels are carbon that will compound climate change, and the ecological devastation we see is also compounded by the impacts of climate change, and so it is a lose-lose. That's why we are here in Copenhagen to tell the world our story, and demand real action by the Obama Administration."
"Drilling approval comes even though the government has not yet resolved legal problems with the Bush-era five year leasing plan opening vast areas of the Arctic Ocean seabed to oil and gas activities.
"Oil and gas development is spreading rapidly across the Arctic," said Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe. "Before moving forward we need to develop the missing science about the Arctic Ocean and the impacts of drilling and a better comprehensive plan for protection of the Arctic."
and the answer
"We don't need to put our seas and marine life at risk. Instead of drilling for more dirty oil, we can shift to clean energy that will create jobs, combat global warming, and keep our wildlife and wild places intact," said Dan Ritzman, Alaska Program Director for Sierra Club.
It is important that we know about these developments. We need to keep watch, not just to protect the people and the environment but also because the same tactics are used here. It is up to all of us to protect our natural heritage. We cannot let them destroy our environment for money. For us and our children after us.

Hat tip Censored News

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

nowhere here in the middle

This is a wonderful video, hearing the stories from the indigenous people. We know how it feels for people to believe you don't live in a place, that it is empty and that they can have it and use it for anything.

Nowhere here in the middle by Tara Jones
"Documentary about the radioactive waste dump proposed for the Northern Territory, Australia. Traditional Owners and community members who live at the proposed sites explain their concerns. Dr Helen Caldicott explains the reality of living near a nuclear waste dump. An inspiring story of indigenous insight and resistance."

And what of the situation now? From ntnews in november
"The Federal Government has been sitting on a report on the decision to build a nuclear waste dump in the Territory for the past nine months.
Australia needs to build a waste facility by 2015, when spent nuclear fuel rods are returned from France.
The Government had previously promised to decide the location of the facility based on "science".
"The Commonwealth's Radioactive Waste Section manager Patrick Davoren said the report only looked at three Defence sites - all in the Northern Territory.
They included two near Alice Springs and another one in the Katherine region.
The report also considered Muckaty Station, near Tennant Creek, which was offered by the local traditional owners. After watching the video this sentence cannot stand.
"The Government is considering its position in the light of that report and in light of its platform and its election commitment," he said."
"Labor is yet to fulfil a 2007 election promise to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act, which allows the Government to force a nuclear dump in the Territory.
Then Deputy Opposition Leader Julia Gillard promised on December 18, 2006, to reverse John Howard's decision to build a dump in the Territory. "Labor does not support the Howard Government decision to site a waste dump in the Northern Territory," she said.
Then Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd attacked the CLP during the 2007 campaign for supporting the dump."
Well, we will watch and wait.

plenty of questions

Some fair questions that need an answer from a Te Ata Tino Toa Press Release at Te Karere Ipurangi
“Using a free market solution to fix climate change problems created by the free market is intellectually unsound, why has the New Zealand government passed an emission trading scheme that has condemned the Pacific?” asks Sina Brown-Davis ( Ngapuhi / Samoa )
“Why would some Maori support the Dairy industry that has been irresponsibly polluting our rivers and environment before the lives of our cousins in Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tokelau and the other many small island communities in the Pacific?”
“Putting the interests of the dairy industry and tribal capitalists out to make a quick buck before the lives and homes of small island communities should be condemned around the Pacific and by Maori who believe in the values of whanaungatanga and whakapapa”. continued Sina.
There has been wide support within the global indigenous community that Indigenous Peoples rights needed to be protected in any negotiations that come out of Copenhagen.
This was articulated by the Indigenous Peoples caucus at the lead up meeting in Bangkok when they said
‘The recognition of our rights must be in accordance with international human rights law and standards including the UNDRIP and ILO Convention 169, among other human rights instruments. If there is no full recognition and full protection for Indigenous peoples’ rights, including the rights to resources, lands and territories, and there is no recognition and respect of our rights of free, prior and informed consent of the affected indigenous peoples, we will oppose REDD and REDD+ and carbon offsetting projects, including CDM projects.’
Previously the Maori Party had supported the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The New Zealand Governments position to date has been to oppose the inclusion of the Declaration in the agreements being negotiated at Copenhagen.
How do they intend to deal with this contradiction?
As with all of the good questions raised, there is a strong chance that they will deal with it by doing nothing and just ignore the questions.

Good flag

I am pleased that the tino rangatiratanga flag will fly above this country. Does the flag represent all maori? No but does our current flag represent all people of this country now?
Flags are symbols and representations and this flag represents sovereignty and governship and self determination for maori and for all people within this country.

As Sharples says,
"Flags are a symbol of rallying and being strong. This shows the Government is recognising a relationship with tangata whenua and that's going to be good for Maori and race relations in the long run."

We shall see about that pita. The flag is for the people not the politicians. It says nothing about race relations other than providing a focus for both sides of the debate. And that debate is heating up.

Calabi-Yau space conceptulised

A gift for the person who has everything

Calabi-Yau Manifold Crystal

"According to string theory, space-time is not four-dimensional as you might expect, but actually 10-dimensional. The extra six dimensions are believed to be compactified or rolled up into such a small space that they are unobservable at human scales of sight. Their size and six dimensions make Calabi-Yau spaces difficult to draw. But, this model shows a three-dimensional cross-section of this likely space to reveal its structure and shape."
It's amazing that they are even attempting to show, somehow, these extra dimensions. It's good to give the mind a shake-up every now and then and really think about something that is not easy to think about - extra-dimensions fits into that catagory.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kirsty MacColl - not forgotten

Kirsty MacColl died 10 years ago today in Mexico run over by a speedboat in front of her two sons. News that the website and group dedicated to justice for Kirsty is disbanding is sad but inevitable. The case was never going to be reopened and a proper trial for the real person driving the boat will never come about. But Kirsty's memory is strong and her music is still there for us. I can't stand 'Fairytale in New York' with the pogues - and I like the pogues and kirsty. You are not forgotten kirsty and at this time of year memories of you are stronger than ever. RIP.


summer manuka flowers

bleeding, cascading and blurred,
no need for tinselled pine, we could
hold the wrists of a saviour
and do it in summer while
desertheat lies over sunheat
and if there was, there would be
a lion and lamb - there is.

200 jobs for 3 mil cu metres of water each year is a crap deal

This story from Stuff irritates me.
"A 'large" international pharmaceutical company is considering setting up a refinery in Southland, which could create 200 jobs."
That's right 200 JOBS - whoop tee do. And what hoops would southland have to jump through?
"Southland's chances could be hindered by the refinery needing 3 million cubic metres of water annually."
Oh what a choice. Shall we a) give this international pharmaceutical company our clean water so that they can turn afterbirth into perfume or skin cleanser* and sell it to make massive profits for them and their shareholders. And potentially get 200 jobs. No idea of what sort of jobs but cleaners and processing workers seems most likely, or b) tell them to fuck off.

hmmmm tough choice.
* "Venture group manager Steve Canny said the company was looking at refining agricultural materials into "high-value" products.
It is not known what the products might be but, when pressed, Mr Canny jokingly suggested it might involve turning "afterbirth into perfume"."
Freudian slip there steve - that is exactly the 'high value' crap you want to sell.

darth vader blues

Sorry - can't resist

laughing is so good for us, sometimes it is the only and best thing to do.

is that a swallow?

Well goff and his mates will be smiling.

As reported by TV3

'Labour is up in our latest 3 News Reid Research Poll – and the news for Goff personally is much better too.
Labour has jumped 3.6 percent to 30.8 percent – the highest the party has been at this year.
John Key has dropped almost six points to 49.9 percent as preferred Prime Minister – under 50 percent for the first time this year.
Phil Goff has finally made it past Helen Clark as the preferred Prime Minister; up 3.3 percent to 8.0"
Perhaps these comments from the TV3 website tell a story
"Kim @ 13 Dec 2009 7:01p.m.
I see the maori party hardly rate a mention in this survey. What a surprise ;)
"C @ 13 Dec 2009 6:46p.m.
I hardly think an uplift of less than 4 percent is a sign that the public is falling behind Phil Gaffe and his incompetent bunch of goonies. That's within the margin of error, and likely shows that this particular sample had a slight skew towards Labour supporters. Given his own people disagree with his speech, your tabloid style headlines suggesting Labour and Goff have made an impact is ludicrous.
Notwithstanding this perceptive comment, Team goff will be bolstered by this, so expect more of the same... sadly.

Friday, December 11, 2009

good speech about water rights and maori from Pita

This is a good call by Pita Sharples. From Stuff
"Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has called for the issues of water ownership and water management to be debated at the local and national level.
"Local hapu and iwi need to be full participants in decisions on water management in their areas," he said, "and water ownership issues need to be allowed to come on to the local and national agenda.
"We must be there at the table to ensure our rights and interests in water management and any other mechanisms to deal with our natural resources are articulated, and more importantly are heard."
Too often essentials like water get co-opted into the general area and the rights of indigenous maori are forgotten.
"Dr Sharples also pointed to a Chilean Supreme Court decision last month in favour of indigenous water rights against a company seeking to bottle freshwater from a source used by Aymara Indians.
Dr Sharples said at the heart of the Chilean case was the centrality of community water rights and the value of water as a vital resource fundamental to every aspect of life."
Community water rights to protect our water for everyone, and not just sell it off to the lowest bidder so one or two people can make money by exploiting the water and all of us.
"Just as with Maori, the rivers and streams are the lifeblood of the people, the essence of life."
Like other indigenous people, Maori felt an obligation to those who had gone before and those who followed, "to take due care of the rights, interests and responsibilities we share collectively in water"."
"Dr Sharples said after his speech that by water "ownership" he was not talking about title but about "the coming together of two different world views, reconciling with each other, two different political systems - the Maori one, the parliamentary one - coming together to work out kaitiakitanga [guardianship], management, whatever.
"I don't see ownership as a one-concept thing at all."
Reconcilling two world views - we have to do this. And notice that both world views must be considered - not the fake consideration often given to tangata whenua rights. A meeting of two equally valid and important world views. Coming together - listen to this NZ - this is the way to heal and give maori the rights and respect they deserve and desire. Good speech Pita.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

on a beach

At rangihaeata
i walked alone

and listened
to ancient-hills humming

and wondered
about world warming

and the trees
and the land

the stones were softly sighing

the rippled-sand resembled my heart

NT Seafood CE appointed

New appointment for Ngai Tahu Seafood Ltd, from Stuff
"Nelson man Brian Moriarty has been appointed the new chief executive of Ngai Tahu Seafood Ltd.
The company's chairman, Brian Rhoades, made the announcement yesterday, saying the board was delighted to have someone of Mr Moriarty's calibre and experience to lead Ngai Tahu Seafood. Mr Moriarty will move from Nelson to Christchurch, where he will be based, early in the new year, and will begin his role with Ngai Tahu Seafood on February 3.
Dr Rhoades said Mr Moriarty's knowledge of the seafood industry, strong business acumen and well established networks would add considerable value to Ngai Tahu Seafood.
Mr Moriarty said he was excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead for Ngai Tahu Seafood. "The company has developed a very strong foundation over recent years and is now in an excellent position to successfully pursue strategically aligned areas of growth.""
Good luck with the challenges ahead.

So we get a good person into a good role - how about putting a young Ngai Tahu person in to support him and learn from him. It could be mutually beneficial and add value to the iwi. It doesn't have to be straight away - he can get his feet under the desk - but why not have a plan to empower Ngai Tahu whanui.

extreme surfing event goes for it

They are brave. From Timesonline
"Giant waves of up to 50 feet pounded Hawaii's shores today, creating the perfect conditions for a fabled extreme surfing competition.
Thousands of onlookers gathered at Waimea beach to watch the world's top surfers plummet down the face of the huge waves as they competed in the one day Eddie Akau competition, held only when waves top 20 feet in Waimea Bay.
This is only the eighth time in the competition's 25 year history that conditions have been right to hold the event. The last time the Eddie - named after a celebrated Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard - took place was in 2002.
This video isn't from this event but it is considered the largest wave ridden and caught on video. Enjoy.

dirty deal

As I suspected, the backroom deals are already done and the developing countires, the poor, and indigenous people are the ones who will suffer first, then everyone.

"Britain's Guardian newspaper said the document was being interpreted by developing countries as setting higher levels of allowable greenhouse gases per person for rich nations than poor ones.
Though the document, posted on the Guardian website, does not contain any figures on emissions targets or cuts, the newspaper said the concern had been raised in a "confidential analysis" it had seen.
It claimed the analysis said developing countries would not be allowed to emit more than 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050, compared with 2.67 tonnes for rich nations, but did not say what the figures were based on.
There were concerns that the document, said to be worked on by representatives of a small group of countries including Britain, the United States and Denmark and circulated to only a handful of other nations at Copenhagen, was sidelining the United Nations negotiations.
Dr Smith said New Zealand had been consulted about the document."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

we don't care

I've given up on mr trotter - a while ago actually.

If you are interested in how the real left are handling the weeping sore that is mr trotter go and read lew's brilliant piece at kiwipolitico and also go to read Map's piece at Reading the Maps. The true nature of the struggle is exposed by the rancid stench from mr trotters putrifying carcass of ideas. Check out the comments and really think about the world mr trotter wants and how that fits into our world.

for example, mr trotter's start to a response to keri h in the comments on reading the maps,
"What relationship exists between Pakeha and Maori? It's a fraught question with a simple - but brutal - answer.
The relationship of the conqueror to the conquered."
mr trotter - sad, mad and bad.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

closing the gaps in australia

Sometimes I come across something that really covers the major points well. This article is one of those excellent outlines that encompasses wide ranging sub-topics within the major topic. Think - what do we really know about what is happening over the ditch?

From Green Left an awesome site  "Human rights shame: Aboriginal people fighting back."
"In February 2008 — at the first session of parliament after he won government — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a moving apology to the Stolen Generations, the Aboriginal children abducted from their families last century as part of a policy of social engineering to extinguish the Aboriginal identity."
The speech carried the promise that, unlike the preceding Coalition government, the new Labor government was willing to address the ongoing oppression Aboriginal Australians have suffered since the British invaded in 1788.
But the grim reality is that Aboriginal people continue to suffer human rights abuses as horrific as any occurring anywhere in the world. The Rudd government is maintaining Coalition policies that are making the situation worse.
Furthermore, such is the institutional nature of anti-Aboriginal racism that these abuses would pass unnoticed were it not for the strong resistance of the Aboriginal people themselves.
Rudd promised to “close the gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous education and health outcomes. The gap is indeed glaring: Aboriginal life expectancy is 17 years less than that of other Australians.
However, Rudd’s policies have actually increased the gap."
It is interesting that rudd used the 'closing the gaps' line so quickly dropped by labour here when the racists starting making noises. And isn't it also interesting that in trying to better the situation they have actually made it worse. Why did that happen? Perhaps they should have talked to and worked with the aboriginal people to help empower them.

Go here to read the full article - it really is an eye-opener.

sometimes, all I need is the air that i breathe and to love you

Sometimes... all i need is the air that i breathe and to love you, all i need is the air that i breathe and to love you, all i need is the air that i breathe...

Leaders of the world in copenhagen - hear our plea and make agreements to protect the most vulnerable people and ecosystems - please.

Sing it long and sing it loud brothers and sisters!

what a galaxy

The latest from the HubbleSite NewsCentre

November 18, 2009: The magnificent galaxy NGC 4710 is tilted nearly edge-on to our view from Earth. This perspective allows astronomers to easily distinguish the central bulge of stars from its pancake-flat disk of stars, dust, and gas. What's striking in the image is a ghostly "X" pattern of stars. This natural-color photo was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys on January 15, 2006.

For more information about galaxy NGC 4710 visit here

Credit: NASA, ESA, and P. Goudfrooij (STScI)