Mana Whenua - Working it out III
It does bare repeating - as typical New Zealanders they have left it to the last moment to work something out - so some of the scenarios in my post the day after the Hikoi are eventuating:Tainui are going to boycott. So they should. What no-one foresaw was Tau Henare calling Hide a "jerk off" and wanting conscience votes on Maori representation.Henare doesn't play that game no more - that's the signal. His candid memo was put out by the PM's office apparently, so who knows what games are going on behind the scenes. What is becoming clear is that Maori are not prepared to play the lets-pretend-that-piece-of-paper-we-both-signed-in-1840-doesn't-apply-to-the-government game. That's the vibe.
The legal fictions created over the colonial period are being challenged rather than just rolled-over. The last attempt at rolling anything over (that was seriously contended by Maori) was the Foreshore & Seabed Act and now that is about to be reversed one way or another.
The Crown's purported remit into Iwi territory and affairs is based on a history of unilateral action and abuse - that relationship will be healed once the abuse has stopped. Having the Crown get Maori to accept something they don't need or want is yet another unilateral action and constitutes a further abuse in the "Treaty relationship."
The series of forced annexations from 1863 - including land confiscation as far North as Mangere is a fact that does have a bearing on the Auckland Council, just as the corruptly acquired Orakei block that the City Council annexed in the 1920s has a bearing on the Council of tomorrow. These are Maori territories yet to be settled.
From 26th May:
Following yesterday's impressive hikoi and the solidarity amongst the present Mayors (not Banks of course) there is optimism that some sort of Maori representation in Auckland will come next year. But the logic is that if the Crown does not recognise Tangata Whenua authority and if they deny a right to participate at the top table of governance in Auckland, then they - as signatories of the Treaty (that made the government possible in the first place) - should be able to exclude themselves completely from anything to do with the new Council.
The Crown could recognise them and their territory held under tikanga Maori directly as the republican form of settler government does in the US (although they use the word "sovereignty" when they speak of the relationship between the federal government and the native American nations). That's if a compromise cannot be reached. That's what the Maori Party must put in the legislation if no reps are on.
The irony in all this is that the local Iwi want an inclusive model, but the government's intransigence and their suggestion of a Maori forum instead could be viewed as a type of separatism. What would wake the government up? Threaten to take it to that level - put it on the table - so the government are aware of the alternative.
Hide goes on about "one man - one vote" and now Sharples seems to have tried to work that into his proposals. He was talking about using the Maori Roll yesterday on RNZ - that would give the Maori Party possible advantages should they want to pursue local politics (which I'm sure they will not). Sharples was saying electoral colleges and candidates having to be Tangata Whenua as examples of the sorts of possibilities.
Mr Key said he had discussed with Dr Sharples a proposal from iwi for Maori representation.
Dr Sharples said the iwi proposal by Ngati Whatua and Tainui, which has gone to the Cabinet, made provision for electing mana whenua representatives to the Auckland Council.
'We've come up with a way that we can democratically elect mana whenua on to this council our way that is still voting and still democratic."
The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance called for two ward-based Maori seats and a third seat appointed by mana whenua (local iwi).
Good - the compromise positions are being debated at the top level now. The government has come up with this continuum of second tier boards for the über city - that needs to be done with Maori representation as a guide so that we can get from the amorphous to the concrete.---
Mana Whenua - continuum of options
Crown to recognise Iwi as being independent sovereign states (ie. before Treaty)
Max. Mana Whenua
Min. Mana Whenua
Council to have: Present system (Local govt. forms ad hoc Maori consultative/advisory committees of invited Maori they recognise as Tangata Whenua. Option of holding referendum of total population to determine if there should be Maori wards using Maori parliamentary electoral roll, as they have done on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.)
So it will come down to the last minute. The parliamentary select committee is due back with its recommendations on 4 September - their efforts completely undermined by Cabinet issuing what I believe John Key referred to as a "decree" banning Maori seats yesterday. However filling in those bullet points in a tight timeframe is now going to become a desperate scribbling on a page of join the dots, the outcome of which could be any shape or form - and it's probably not going to be particularly pretty either.
What is pretty about the whole picture - or procedure? And let's not even mention the fight brewing up North: