Our newsletter last week ruffled a few feathers, with Maori Television having two cracks against Hobson’s Pledge comments and a New Zealand Herald columnist one.
First, on Tuesday, Maori TV covered Green Party MP Marama Davidson declaring that we were being racist by saying that any inquiry into allegations of State abuse of children should proceed irrespective of ethnicity. See http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/marama-davidson-condemns-latest-hobson-pledge-campaign
On that day, New Zealand Herald columnist Rachel Stewart also complained about our criticism of the Wanganui River being declared a person.
After relating her journey through white guilt, Stewart went over the top by declaring that those “who seek to undermine, mock and resent such a revolutionary game-changer [the Wanganui River being declared a person], are so far gone as to be dead”. See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11822500&ref=CE-WC-DND
Maori TV had a second bite on Wednesday, also on the Wanganui river person legislation.
They had Maori Affairs lecturer Ella Henry say that "it is so profoundly racist to brand the belief system of any other culture as primitive and animist that it's beneath contempt. This is deplorable." See http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/brash-under-fire-again-continued-criticism-maori
Critics of Hobson’s Pledge are quick to call us racist. In so doing, those pretending to represent Maori avoid having to answer any tough questions.
Labour opposes Point England reserve bill
The Labour Party is opposing a bill to allow Point England reserve land in Auckland to be used in a treaty settlement with Auckland tribe Ngati Paoa.
The tribe says “by opposing the legislation Labour is opposing a Treaty settlement Bill - for the first time in the history of the Treaty settlement process”.
The purpose of the Point England Development Enabling Bill is to enable housing development on 11.69ha of land on the Point England Recreation Reserve.
The reserve comprises 45.43ha and includes sports fields, a walkway, and other facilities for recreation.
The summary of the legislation says that a portion of the reserve, of at least 18 hectares, has had little investment, and public use is restricted as it is fenced for grazing.
Labour’s opposition to this bill could appear to show cracks in the claimed cross-party consensus on treaty settlements.
Willie Jackson points to lack of trickledown
The lack of trickledown of treaty settlements may become a part of a build-up to September’s election, according to comments by urban Maori advocate and former Alliance MP Willie Jackson, who has been given a high place on the Labour list.
Jackson said: “We have had treaty settlements and we are not seeing the benefits for people in the cities. We have people living in cars. I can take you to 100 Māori, 1000 Maori, in South Auckland who have not seen a bean".
Jackson said that the next big name to be drafted into play by the Maori Party will be Mark Solomon, the former chief of Ngai Tahu in the South Island, the tribe that has had multiple settlements and top-ups, and the instigator of the Iwi Leaders Group.
Continuing his attack, Jackson said: “I think the Maori Party is besotted by the iwi leaders and the tribal elite.”
Jackson’s focus on urban Maori, and Labour’s strategic decision to stand its current electorate MPs away from its list, appear to be a move against the power of the Iwi Leaders Forum and the Maori ‘king’.
Maori wants Maori to care for troubled Maori
Maori self-determination specialist Whatarangi Winiata this week strongly urged Social Development Minister Anne Tolley to let Maori look after their own at-risk children.
Dr Winiata, who instigated dividing the Anglican Church into Maori, non-Maori, and Pasifika sub groups, and who was president of the Maori Party, says the Oranga Tamariki Bill needs to re-written to ensure that Maori care for troubled Maori.
This academic is also critical that the bill is being scrutinised by the “Pakeha dominated social services committee”.
The problem with Dr Winiata’s approach is that children, who have become troubled by the failures of their parents, may be sent back to their grandparents, whose parenting failures created the parenting failures that resulted in those children being troubled in the first place.
Troubled children, irrespective of ethnicity, should be directed to homes, irrespective of ethnicity, that would be best for the wellbeing of those troubled children.
Sadly, Dr Winiata’s recommendation would appear to entrench the cycle of failure.
Hobson’s Pledge seeks solutions for all who are in need and vulnerable without selectively choosing one ethnicity over another.
Dr Winiata’s grandstanding is offensive to all those who marched in the streets in horror of yet another child viciously beaten.
Meet Don and Casey
Don Brash and Casey Costello will speak in Waikanae at 7pm on Monday, April 3, at the Waikanae Community Centre, 28-32 Utauta Street, Waikanae.
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