Did MP start petition that got blogger sacked?

A petition that got a blogger fired from his job after he criticised the He Puapua plan for two governments under tribal monitoring, plus a spoof video ridiculing a Maori Party MP, raises the question whether a Maori Party co-leader started it.

About two weeks ago, British-born Lee Williams posted a video blog drawing attention to that plan. His blog included footage of Claire Charters, the leader of the nine-person group responsible for He Puapua, saying that New Zealand “was ready” for such a change in governance arrangements.

Around that time, questions about the plan in Parliament sparked allegations of racism, a haka, and Maori Party MP Rawiri Waititi being ejected.

Williams followed up with a spoof blog that gave an unflattering depiction of the Maori Party MP.

A Change.org petition called on dairy firm Synlait to sack Williams (see Change.org Synlait), which they cravenly did. See Investigating

A little bit of scrutiny revealed that the petition originally said “Today: Debbie is counting on you”. Later, "Debbie" was deleted and “Justice Aotearoa” was used.

The question is whether that “Debbie” was in fact Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

Free speech comes with a cost while the winds of change favour all things Maori.

Our petition against the segregated governments plan has picked up more than 7100 signatures. If you have not done so already, click here to sign it Reject co-governance

White privilege lessons not going away soon

Despite denials from our Prime Minister, there is no sign of any retreat from in-class race-shaming rituals intended to eliminate racism, but which end up making some children feel guilty about their skin colour.

On Monday, ACT Party leader David Seymour called a Ministry of Education initiative that speaks of the importance of recognising white privilege "despicable". See White privilege

National Party leader Judith Collins said "they are teaching children - little kids - that they should feel either angry at the kids sitting next door to them because apparently that kid’s got white privilege, or else the child itself - the white child or Pakeha child - should be feeling guilty because of this white privilege."

In the same news report, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said no education resources use the words "white privilege".

However, it is clearly spelt out in the Ministry of Education’s Te Hurihanganui programme, which says it intends to build “critical consciousness”, which means “reflecting critically on the imbalance of power and resources in society, and taking anti-oppressive action to do something about it for the better. It means recognising white privilege, understanding racism, inequity faced by Māori and disrupting that status quo to strengthen equity” See Te Hurihanganui

Ask for an honest history curriculum

We agree that the draft history curriculum divides history into villains and victims, contains significant gaps, and pushes a narrow set of highly political stories from our past, as a new petition on the ACT Party’s website states.

The draft curriculum’s “three big ideas” are divisive and wrong, the petition says.

The first “big idea”, that Maori history is the “continuous history” of New Zealand, excludes the many peoples who have travelled from the furthest points of the globe, brought their histories and cultures with them and worked to give themselves, their families and this county a better future.

The second, that colonisation “continue[s] to influence all aspects of New Zealand society”, is depressing and wrong and neglects the elements of our society that are untouched by colonisation.

The final big idea, that power has been the primary driver of our history, creates a narrative of oppressors and oppressed, and leaves out the many forces that have propelled our past, including scientific discoveries, technological innovations, business, and artistic creativity, the petition says.

Please sign the petition by going to Petition for an honest history curriculum

A submission by Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash on the proposed history curriculum may be read at Submission

Urge govt to appeal coastal ruling

Please email Attorney General David Parker urgently and ask him to stick up for all New Zealanders by appealing against the High Court judgement two weeks ago that granted a Bay of Plenty Maori group customary marine title to several coastal areas.

The right to claim for customary marine title was created in a 2011 law called the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.

This provided for a customary marine title to be granted where the claimant tribe could establish, to the court’s satisfaction, that it had had “continuous and exclusive” use of the particular part of the coast since 1840. 

At the time it was passed into law, the assessment of the relevant Minister was that it would be extremely difficult for any tribe to establish that they had had “continuous and exclusive” use of the claimed coastline, and that as a result the number of successful claims would be very tiny.

Despite the claimed part of the coastline between Whakatane and Opotiki having been forfeited when the related land was subject to confiscation, the judge found in favour of the claimants and injected consideration of “tikanga” into his decision, effectively allowing that to override the specific provisions in the Act. 

If this decision is allowed to stand, it is likely that hundreds of claims for customary marine title – involving most if not all of the coastline – will succeed.

The Attorney General has a statutory responsibility to act in the public interest.

His Office has already expressed concern that the Crown’s position has not been correctly represented in the High Court decision, and that the law is not being applied as intended by Parliament.

The Attorney General is now considering whether or not the decision should be appealed.

The deadline for making that decision is 5pm Monday.

It is vitally important that as many people as possible urge him to lodge an appeal. The email address of the Attorney General, the Hon David Parker, is [email protected].

Meanwhile, our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights, has picked up more that 33,000 signatures.

We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all

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