The officials weren't making a sales pitch as such - because the Iwi couldn't realistically have got everything prepared by the government's short timeframe anyway - it was more the presentation of cursory information as a matter of form. Nevertheless it was an opportunity to tell the men from the ministry exactly what I thought about this insulting offer. It is a "shares minus" scheme designed to divide Maori by enticing a few Iwi in the strongest positions to take the second-class deal and give up the court action. (Excellent blog post at Waitakere News on the legal framework of the case, and John Armstrong in the NZ Herald also.)
Not that Pakeha give a fuck about Maori getting dicked over - if you believe the usual mindless bile spewing out of the drain at talk-hate radio:
The Waitangi Tribunal’s latest report looks into the Urewera National Park area and the people involved, mainly Tuhoe.
But the report also tells us, almost instructs in how we need to be reacting to this. It says we should be ashamed. I have thought about it and I still cannot for the life of me work out how I could do that. How can you be ashamed of events you had no part of, no knowledge of, weren’t there, weren’t born, you have no connection, no family ties, nothing. You can think it was wrong or a mistake or something that needs rectifying. But I always connected shame with direct involvement or association like you did it, you were there, you know the perpetrator or you condoned it. That can bring shame. Is a government department, which is all the tribunal is, really now in the business of telling us how to feel? And why would they think they have that right?
Is it wrong if young German's feel ashamed of their nation's Nazi past? And would Hosking also claim that people should not similarly feel proud about the positive things from the past to which a person plays no part? If we can't feel ashamed of a misdeed against Maori in 1893 how can we feel proud of voting rights for women in 1893?
The point is the Crown was the agent of dispossession and still is. The Crown has been in continuous government without break - something NZ politicians seem quite proud about - but the consequence is that this government is as responsible as past ones for the wrongs they commit and the liabilities they incur. Just as the NZ government will not reneg on Crown debts - no matter how long ago the security was issued - the NZ government can't reneg on fundamental instruments such as the Treaty.
Hosking: The tribunal concept set up all those years ago was a generous concept and even if you supported it, you have to have wondered by now whether the whole thing hasn’t got wildly out of hand. Did a specific set of grievances need an entire tribunal as opposed to the other grievances we have over things like privacy and government and law who merely need an ombudsman or a commissioner? And does a tribunal, by becoming so activist in their findings and language, do the cause and our country any good by backing one side to the detriment of the other by instructing us to feel certain emotions around any given outcome, emotions in reaction to an event none of us had the slightest part in?
Hosking doesn't quote the "ashamed" part so it's difficult to say what they did to piss him off - apart from remind him of history. "Backing one side"? Makes a change from every other arm of government backing Mike Hosking's side. As to why the tribunal exists - he must be feigning ignorance, surely? The other mechanisms couldn't work because the laws were so anti-Maori and in opposition to the tenets of the Treaty - especially back in 1975.
Hosking: Can anyone honestly say the wrongs committed generations ago were ever really in any danger of happening in our life time? That the colonial simplicity and aggression of those days still lingers in any tangible fashion that would somehow be able to be enacted in the 21st century?I would’ve thought it was exactly the opposite.
To the extent that the confiscations and the oppressive measures of the past remain in effect then it is indeed happening in our lifetime. All those things that were taken and damaged and have not been returned or mended hurt today as they hurt in the past. The "simplicity and aggression" persists across the board in government action (and inaction) just as it does in the mind of Hosking. As for the reactionary reiteration of the Pakeha mythology that maintains that everything bad that happened in the past (but - hypocritically - not the good things of course) remain in the past is utterly self-serving and plainly - factually - incorrect. The Foreshore and Seabed confiscation was enacted in 2004. The Urewera "terrorist" raids in 2007. The Crown-owned hydro dams across the rivers are being alienated to private interests as I type. At the local level Councils up and down the country are wantonly allowing the desecration of waahi tapu and selling off land before claims can be settled. The list of active breaches and prejudicial decisions are contemporary and they are numerous. But to the poor, downtrodden white man like Hosking:
All I’ve know my entire life is a country that is bending over backwards to put things right, to make things better.
Bending over backwards!? The equivalent to the entire quantum of settlements over 20 years can be given over by the Minister of Finance to pay off the greedy (mainly Pakeha South Island "investors") of South Canterbury Finance in the course of an afternoon... and yet Hosking reckons it's the Maori that are having the government - the whole country - bending over backwards for them? Absurdity, absurdity on roller blades.
Hoskings comments are the sort of factless, delusional, racist justifications and excuses that ciculate within the Pakeha community (esp. via the media) at quite a velocity: reassuring and reinforcing the ignorance and prejudice that prevents a proper and full resolution to the Treaty question.