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Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Zealand decolonisation: A plan/A note

The Treaty settlement process of the NZ government continues despite the Waikato Tainui end of the fiscal envelope looking like spilling out next year and ratcheting up the quantum of each subsequent settlement.  The generational change from the initial negotiations of the late 1980s and the early 90s is upon us. Another generation emerges wondering why their elders settled for an amount of money that represents just a tiny fraction of what was lost, and why their elders signed off with only a few scraps of land being returned.  The traditional owners can only be bought off for so little for so long.

The constitutional picnic arranged by the Maori Party to discuss the Crown, a republic and the Treaty has come to naught amid the usual complacency.  The future doesn't seem like a place the average NZer is keen to get to - not if it involves giving up the aspects of cultural and financial status and security they feel they are entitled to.  The average settler in NZ expects no losses in any transition - not for themselves anyway.  It may seem like a quiet picnic at the moment, but this is as deceptive as every other interlude between confrontation of which there have been numerous examples.  It all

The settler (whether they are the descendants of those who arrived from Britain in 1840 or whether they got off the plane from China yesterday) expects the status quo will be rolled-over and continued in any relationship change between the regime and the Maori tribes, but this is predicated on two precarious assumptions.  Firstly the presumption that Maori will be expected to bear immense losses and accept a permanent confiscation of their lands in any settlement outcome.  Secondly that the mass immigration scheme that founded the colony and keeps the democratic power of Maori in check is viable in the long term.  This scenario though widely held by the Pakeha community is unrealistic.

Here are some of my thoughts in the last few days regarding the future:

A plan


A note
South Pacific British Settlements Act 201X (UK)
An Act to provide for transitional and residual arrangements in respect to the recognition of certain treaties made by Her Majesty's Government in connection with the protection and administration of islands and territories in the South Pacific Ocean.

Remaining colonies-
New Zealand: New Zealand government
Tokelau: New Zealand government
Cook Islands: Cook Islands government
Niue: Niue government
Pitcairn: United Kingdom government
Norfolk: Australia government
Solomon Islands: Solomon Islands government

Former colonies-
Fiji: Republic of Fiji government
Western Samoa: Samoa government
New Hebrides: Republic of Vanuatu government
Gilbert and Ellice Islands: Republic of Kiribati government

South Pacific British Settlements (New Zealand Crown Titles Redemption) Fund
Deed: Between UK and NZ governments
Beneficiaries: Whanau and hapu owners being compensated for the acquisition of their land as Crown Title.  Owners of 'Freehold' Crown titles quitting and entering NZGCTRC system
Trustees: UK Treasury, NZ Treasury.
Funds: held on account in £ sterling in London
Basis of payment: NZ or UK citizen registered owner of 'freehold' Crown title and whanau and hapu owners to claim at uniform rate of £1 per acre for land area.  
Distribution: NZ government to pay from own account the 'Freeholders' to surrender title, and pay the whanau and hapu owners at same time and amount on same basis.  NZ govt to apply annually to SPBSF based on audited reports of area of surrendered titles.

New Zealand Government Crown Title Redemption and Conversion
Act: Governs the process of cancelling Crown title and the conversion into a system of title established by hapu and Iwi. Interacts with the SPBSF.
Crown Title: Conversion date set for all land in territory.
Claims: Any 'freeholder' is entitled to the uniform redemption price to quit the title (disbursed from the SPBSF) and the 'freeholder' may also apply for Improvement/capital value claim (ie. the financial loss on the asset of real property) is assessed as difference between current market value of 'freehold' and projected market value of the form of title after the conversion process (disbursed from the NZ Government).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cult of Santa

My TV review for Christmas is posted over at The Daily Blog.  On the geopolitics and ideology of Santa.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Len faces council

With the Herald going ballistic and Len hounded from one engagement to another by a heckling mob it seems improbable he can continue as Mayor. Now add to that list today's censure motion from his own council.

NZ Herald:
Auckland Council today passed a vote to censure Mr Brown but continue to work with him, and will not carry out a vote of no confidence.
A preliminary vote was tied, but was passed by 15 votes to five, following a 30-minute adjournment
Speaking to media this afternoon, Mr Brown said he accepted the decision.
"This is a fair but very firm direction to myself and I have indicated to them that I accept that that is an appropriate direction."
He would not be drawn on how much he would contribute to the Ernst and Young report into his affair with Bevan Chuang, a matter which will now be the subject of "confidential but binding" negotiations between Mr Brown and a group of councillors.
The motion passed by 15 votes to 5 with cries of "shame on you'' coming from the public gallery.
Councillor Mike Lee said the issue was unprecedented in his 21 years in local Government politics.
"The Auckland council in the past few weeks and months has suffered a blow, it's been battered and bruised and the question now is what to do about it.''
The motion of censure was unprecedented and was one of the strongest motions a fellow politician could give, Mr Lee said.
"It means we have chastised the mayor for his failings, and a motion of no confidence means that we can't work with him.
"Members, we have a choice here and we have to try and move forward.''
Councillor Dick Quax said the council would only be able to move forward when Mr Brown was gone.
"He has been the architect of his own dilemma.''
All he has done was to try to put the blame on someone else, he had shown no integrity and failed in his duty of the Mayor of Auckland, Mr Quax said.
A presentation was given by Auckland resident Lisa Prager, who told Mr Brown his time as mayor was over.
The comment was met by calls of "stand down Len, stand down'' from the packed public gallery.
"We want you gone, we want you out of that seat,'' some observers called.
"I call on this governing committee to do the right thing and ask for this man to stand down,'' Ms Prager said.
"On behalf of the people of Auckland I ask for you stand down.''


Len is going down in flames. Penny Hulse may have to take over - she would be the continuity candidate that Len's voters would likely back. She has basically run things for the last three years while Len has been conducting his important Mayoral duties of cutting ribbons, shaking hands and cavorting about town with his mistress.

Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse won't say whether she would stand for mayor in a by-election, should Len Brown resign.
Ms Hulse said she had "absolutely no view'' on whether Mr Brown should resign.
"Legally, if Len resigned, I would become the temporary mayor while a by-election is held. There's no getting around the legal process. However, that's in the future and it may be something that will never happen.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mayoral xmas: dead turkey or lame duck

What the NZ Herald have launched looks more like an indictment than just a campaign. I was saying old slappy should go on day zero of this tortuous saga - it would have spared his family a lot of shit. Glad to see the Herald has caught up with what was already apparent from the beginning when Slater spilt.

Some of the gruesome highlights from today:

A vote of no-confidence in Auckland Mayor Len Brown will be attempted tomorrow by five of the city's councillors.
The five councillors will propose the motion: That the Governing Body notes that Len Brown lacks the essential leadership credentials of judgement, honesty, integrity, and credibility and as a result councillors have lost confidence in his ability to carry out his duties as Mayor of Auckland.
The five councillors - Mr Quax, Linda Cooper, Cameron Brewer, Sharon Stewart, Denise Krum - have advised other councillors of their intentions and are confident more will come on board over the next 24 hours to support this stronger statement, Mr Quax said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said councillors met during the lunch break to finalise the wording of a set of actions against Mr Brown at tomorrow's public meeting of the full council.
Earlier today TVNZ reported that Mayor Brown had been chased down the street by about 12 protesters, calling for his resignation.
"It's not okay to root in the mayoral office,'' "Where's your dignity?" and "Shame shame shame,'' the group chanted.
As the mayor was driven away the protesters ran after his car.
Today the New Zealand Herald took the rare step of running our editorial on the front page.
In it, we called for Auckland Mayor Len Brown to stand down, after it was revealed he failed to declare free hotel rooms and upgrades.
"Tomorrow, Auckland councillors will not only formally censure Mr Brown but begin a process designed to clip the wings of the mayoral office. If that happens, the Super City may no longer have a leader with the independent authority to drive things forward. The only means of avoiding that outcome is for Mr Brown to resign. He must go in the interests of Auckland and Aucklanders."

How long can this clown Brown keep laughing everything off as he keeps doing in his chummy interviews with his mate John Campbell on TV3? How long can the sad dog act persist? He has to wear that all day instead of getting on with business because this is an unresolvable distraction whilst he remains in office. His French bedroom farce antics all over Auckland with Mistress and Wife in and out of hotels and helping the mistress get a job in the city apparatus is incompatible with being a good Mayor. When media ask 'What the hell were you doing at meetings in Hong Kong paid for by their government that you won't tell us about?' this can't be met by Len with a chuckle and some bullshit about moving on. There is no credibility. There was none to begin with.

When Brown uses soft money ad campaigns via charities (as he did in 2010 with an anti-pokies line) and takes a line against gambling and then when he's in office he's taking money off Sky City and getting comp'ed at the Casino hotel what are the electors to make of this? There are many other such questions of integrity, political, moral or otherwise. Backing the port management against the union another notable incompatibility with the people who voted for him and what they were expecting. Len has lot a lot more people down than his wife and family and the sooner he realises this the better.

Either he goes or - to mix metaphors - he is the lamest duck waiting for the longest Christmas.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Asset sales referendum: Nats smacked

67% opposed to National's policy, only 33% supporting. It is a resounding public rejection of privatisation, but without clearing what John Key hypothesised would be an "interesting" point - nfortunately the total no vote of 895,322 is under National's Party vote of just over a million at the 2011 general election - the Nats will not be swayed. Come hell or high water they seem intent on selling it all down.

The Asset sales referendum results by electorate.

The blue ribbon Tamaki and Epsom electorates voted narrowly in favour, but all the rest were against. The Maori electorates especially: only 5 - 8.8% in favour. And John Key couldn't convince his own electorate either: 47.7% in favour.

Was it a waste of $9 million? Not compared with the millions blown on the marketing and organisation of the share floats.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

NZ Police: Hard case

The instant porn-kill that is the 'roast busters' case continues more than a month after the police were exposed.

NZ Herald:
The Police Commissioner has been grilled by MPs over the handling of the Roast Busters rape allegations, conceding it should have been "sharper".
Yesterday, Mr Marshall was grilled by a select committee in Wellington about the police response to the case.
Asked for his assessment of the police response, the commissioner said: "Certainly, the situation involving the initial response - that there hadn't been a complaint and then we found there had been a complaint - was something that we should have been sharper on in terms of communication.
"That excited, naturally, the members of the public, and we accept that."


Communication has nothing to do with it. What "excited" the public was that detectives from the Waitemata District had known about and covered up a series of rapes by young men - including the son of a serving policeman - and that these detectives had told them what they were doing was OK. That is what sickens people. It "excites" the public that the police commissioner himself has given many assurances that these young men will not be charged and that he expects all police staff to be exonerated in the following phoney self-investigation that will be done by the police on behalf of the supposedly independent IPCA. Commissioner Marshall is ultimately reponsible - he has admitted he knows the father of the accused. The obvious conflicts of interests here seem to have escaped the Commissioner, the hopeless Police Minister, Anne Tolley, and the rest of the government and the opposition.

That the police commissioner can get away with vouching for a rape gang shows the shallowness of political talent in this country and the profound and misplaced trust in the police that permits this sort of corruption to continue.

I was especially disappointed by Jacinda Ardern.
Labour police spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern, who led the questions yesterday, was pleased with Mr Marshall's response.
"When these kinds of situations arise, the public makes as much of a judgment over the handling of it as they do the issue itself," she said last night.
"And in this case there certainly were failings, and the Commissioner has acknowledged that."
Ms Ardern was confident the police were doing their best to resolve the case.


No they aren't doing their best to resolve anything - they are doing their best to do nothing and leave it unresolved. All the evidence makes that clear. We are over a month into this and all the police have done is organise a covering operation known as "Clover" to direct the victims away from a prosecution and towards other government agencies. The police are refusing to give any details of this non-operation.

The New Zealand political establishment has failed mightily. I heard Sean Plunket on Radio Live agreeing with Police Assoc. spokesperson Greg O'Conner that it was all just a "mucked up press conference" over what was a complaint or not. Sean said he's see Greg for a beer over the holidays. Yuck.

Once Graham McCready and his private prosecution agency lay charges the police lose control and it is game over: big boys jail since they're all 18 and over, objection to suppression, seeking maximum charges, maximum penalties. The Commissioner cannot stay on in that situation - which is why the police are putting up such flak.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nelson Mandela

My TV review for this week is posted up over at The Daily Blog.  It's about my memories of South Africa and Mandela - which virtually all come via television.  Ending thus:
With Mandela’s passing it throws into contrast how far NZ has to go to reach the same stage of decolonisation that he achieved in a relatively short time.  Jim Bolger and Doug Graham were the FW de Klerk and Pik Botha of NZ, but the selected tribes they chose to deal with had mortals like Bob Mahuta and Tipene O’Reagan instead of a Mandela.

Worthwhile reflections have come from the 1981 Spingbok Tour protest leaders John Minto and Trevor RichardsMorgan Godfery also has an excellent blog post on the stress the white establishment puts on Mandela's reconciliation stance rather than his militancy.

Barak Obama's funeral speech at the Soweto stadium.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Banksy go bye-bye! Rodney go hi-hi?

John Banks chucking in the towel when he would have retired at the upcoming general election anyway has only brought forward the inevitable leadership crisis in Act. 

That it all must end for Banks in a courtroom arguing that donations from businessmen that he negotiated (and where cheques were given to him in envelopes by those business figures) were somehow anonymous is an embarrassment rather than a shame - slack rather than shocking.  Why? Because leaders from time to time don't have the instant Chinese Wall of a bag man to accept the money to shield them from what we all know has happened.  Winston Peters was pinged for pretty much the same thing back in 2008 when the usual gentleman's agreement surrounding political donations fell to bits with an irked Owen Glenn going public.  Without the plausible deniability of that intermediary bag man, and with the businessman (Kim Dotcom in Banks' case) blabbing the full gruesome, bunga-bunga-esque details of the solicitation of the donation it puts the politician in an exposed and untenable position.   Oh sure, it's corrupt as, an utterly opaque practice designed to mislead the public - don't get me wrong - but this stuff is so routine I'm not really horrified or even offended by it anymore - just bemused that it has got to the point where someone (like Kim Dotcom) wants it to be public and the default position of politicians is to try to convince them to go along with concealing it anyway. Very few tears will be shed over that trial.

As for which tick from the parasite micro-party will be parachuted into the National Party's special reserved electorate of Epsom to continue the circus - who knows, or cares?  Especially when the party for the last four years hovers well below the threshold to get even one additional member in off the list the rigmarole of a potential farce in Epsom may be just too much for the Nats to stomach. Rodney Hide?

NZ Herald:
Former Act leader Rodney Hide is being courted by supporters in the party to make a comeback in Epsom to replace outgoing leader John Banks, the Herald understands.[...]Several sources told the Herald Mr Hide had been approached recently and urged to consider a return to Act and to national politics.
One insider said Mr Hide would be nominated by Epsom party members whether he liked it or not. Mr Hide did not return calls yesterday.

Who else?

A replacement for Act on the right will be seriously considered by National and former Act members. It has to be because without a massive circuit-breaker of a new instantly recognisable and credible character as leader they are toast.  Seriously burnt and inedible toast.

Apart from the tarnishing of the brand [it's a list that goes back more than just a few years that is too long to mention here] Act faces other hurdles that seem insurmountable less than a year out from an election.  Like: what the hell are they doing in parliament if it is just to prop up National without being able to advance the libertarian side of the agenda.  Might as well vote National, right? 

So when a group (via David Farrar) starts up this year - the NZ Taxpayers Union - we see the displacement occurring.  The original group that was set up twenty years ago with a similar rationale was called the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers: which became the Act Party.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Con census

The census figures are out.  No surprises that the mass immigration programme of successive NZ governments - which also suffices for an economic policy - has reached a point where a quarter of the resident population of this country are foreign-born migrants.  Such an obvious colonial demographic has not existed since the war.  

By this measure an outside observer (there are scarcely any domestic observers with any thought or concern we live in a perpetual state of economic, social and political colonialism) would be struck by the glaring unsustainability of that project.  How is importing 30,000 - 50,000 people every year for the last twenty years developing the nation, if not developing it into something that reflects the values, habits, culture and language of the origins of the migrants rather than the population of indigenous and locally-born?

The ability for any country to absorb this proportion of migrants without itself changing is impossible.  Any ability of government to influence or moderate such change in a modern liberal nation state is limited.  The NZ government has dealt with this problem by claiming (on behalf of the entire population) that they want this change, that it is inevitable, that it is necessary, that we are dependent upon it, that it is proof of modernity and that as long as most of them can speak passable English there will be no worries.  As conflicts in other nations with similar issues have demonstrated once the migrant communities have been established on the basis that they are able (and indeed encouraged and expected by both central and local government) to keep behaving as foreigners and retain their myriad differences this necessarily erodes any prospect of integration with the existing community and often leads to more overt conflicts than just some cross-words at a bus stop.  

That politicians, academics and the rest of civil society are almost uniformly, ideologically, committed to the permanency of large-scale immigration is something of a testament to how this elite have themselves benefited from it (through increased business and increased house prices) - and that this group because of their position as Europeans at the top level in a colonial situation have calculated that the non-European migrants pose no immediate threat to their position.  Fiji and Kanaky (New Caledonia) are probably the more relevant examples in our region than Australia to highlight what happens when a European power uses immigration in a gross fashion - in the case of Fiji the importation of Indians for solely economic purposes.  We know how that worked out for Fiji, meanwhile in typical French fashion they are refusing to leave their New Caledonia colony by dragging out the process.

But perhaps the Israeli state is a closer example to how the NZ state has operated if we want to understand how the impact of population displacement in the NZ political system has benefited the settlers.  As the Israelis are acutely aware the population figures between the total non-Arab population (ie. Jews, but also others who are not Arab) and the Arab population is crucial to the viability and existence of the Zionist entity.  As long as the Arab inhabitants are under 20% the system is stable, but above that it becomes wobbly as Arab political parties become more likely to be included in coalitions and seek concessions undermining the Zionist character of the regime.  Similarly the NZ system will become unstable if Maori reach 20% and unviable if it looks like Maori will ever reach a majority.  The pressure for the return of the vast tracts of seized Maori land, compensation, and demands for substantive cultural and linguistic rights will be overwhelming and NZ as we have known it will be dissolved.

The mass migration programme ensures this will not happen.  The Maori population is static at barely 15% of the total and will remain so if it continues... as planned. 

The reason the Maori seats have not increased beyond the current seven is not because of the loss of Maori to Australia, or because Maori are not moving off the General Roll and onto the Maori Roll, but because migration adds at least one extra General Electorate every term.  The natural increase in the Maori population could never match 30,000 - 50,000 immigrants year in and year out and therefore Maori are receiving proportionately less representation than they otherwise would because of it.  Contained, marginalised and in a subject position, Maori do not even have the guarantee of a super-majority enjoyed by other electoral legislation - the European settler inheritors hold a sword of Damocles over this and parties in the past have threatened to strip this out. 

The Maori seats were established by the settler parliament to contain Maori to a minimum level of representation that the Colonial Office would agree was not in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi compact - and thereafter the seats were justified by the settlers as existing instead of having the Treaty terms implemented.  The same sort of token approach to native representation was taken in some other British colonies such as Rhodesia.  Very little has changed in the scheme of things.