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Friday, October 31, 2008

Ngati Porou in the House, Cullen's house.

The Labour Party's confiscation law will never be called confiscation by the Pakeha press. Legislating rights, ancient rights off a group of people to advantage another group of people and then making the losers apply for lesser rights that are defined entirely by the people that have legislated it away is described as "overturning a court ruling". That's how the Rhodesian Press Association would have reported it.

And this agreement is being signed just a week before a General Election in which the area covered by the agreement, and the people it affects, just happen to be in a highly marginal Labour electorate. Parties will use their government incumbency for these cynical deals. Shoddy, shameful deals under a disgraceful law that is unconstitutional and illegitimate.

After the difficult and at times heated debate about the foreshore and seabed in 2004 not many believed that we would achieve an agreement and that, following the passage of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, our positions could ever be reconciled.

But from the beginning both sides approached this issue with goodwill and patience. Ngāti Porou sought to discuss their concerns about their longstanding customary rights as soon as that debate began.

The government recognised that there was an issue that needed to be resolved.

Our first step was to incorporate provisions within the foreshore and seabed legislation that would give Māori the opportunity to have longstanding rights recognised.

These provisions provided the framework within which this agreement was negotiated. Members of Ngāti Porou took one of the two options provided in the legislation and decided to talk directly to government.

This agreement is the culmination of those talks.
Your leadership entered into this process with great enthusiasm and a determination to uphold your rights.

It is a tribute to the skills of people like Dr Mahuika and their regular communication on progress that the consensus for ratification was so solid.

This was confirmation that throughout this process your leadership rested on the support of your people.

Maori cannot protect their property rights against the settler onslaught by disunity. Labour want to retain their Pakeha veto over entrenching the Maori seats. What sort of person on the Maori roll would still keep voting for the Labour Party?

Turia also made some good points about the media at a documentary launch yesterday, out in the field - as it were:

On May 3, 2004, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, confided to Breakfast Television, that the hikoi making its way to Wellington was comprised of :

“The same old faces. The Ken Mairs, the Harawira family, the Annette Sykes, the haters and wreckers, the people who destroy Waitangi every year, now wanting to do a Waitangi in every town in New Zealand on the way to Wellington where they will do a Waitangi on the steps of Parliament. Is this not what New Zealand has got absolutely sick and tired of?”

Those words, of course, will be forever on the public record.

And that’s bad enough.

But what is even worse, is the ominous silence that followed those words.

No analysis of the appropriateness of the phrase “to do a Waitangi”. No analysis of the ethics of identifying individuals to be targeted for attack. No analysis of whether or not the people of New Zealand shared Helen Clark’s views.

Framing Maori is a film that forces us all to ask these questions, about every item of news, every 6 o’clock bulletin, every story in which we, Maori, tend more often than not, to be framed as the baddies.

Of course, it’s not as if ‘framing Maori’ is reserved just to the television screen. My colleague, Derek Fox, pointed out that in the election campaign trail, the questions reserved for the Maori candidate are often predictable – how to deal to child abuse, crime, law and order.

I am proud to stand here tonight, to say, we are framing Maori in a different light.

Gideon Porter, in the documentary, talks about the challenge of providing a context in mainstream news. In a space of 90 seconds, he’d try to cram in a slice of history, the views of mana whenua about the issue – and the issue itself.

Only four countries at the UN voted against the Indigenous Rights Declaration: Canada, USA, Australia and the other Anglosphere colonial entity with a massive European and immigrant population whose economic prosperity is based on keeping the indigenous people off their own land. The other entity that passes confiscation laws against native populations. Didn't hear about it? It was probably on page 14 in a news brief. The TV news had about 30 seconds on it about half an hour into the bulletin.

Previous posts on this issue


At 31/10/08 7:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

At 31/10/08 7:30 pm, Blogger peterquixote said...

OK I agree,
excellent post Tim,
however no Government will ever give away ownership of the foreshore,
not ever,
MAORI dreaming,
Ownership of the entrance and exit to the Nation is Government.
This is what Government is.
The position is absolute and 96% of New Zealanders will back this position.

At 31/10/08 7:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are only 2 things I hate:

1. Racists
2. Maoris


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