Don to speak at Waitangi

Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash told the New Zealand Herald that he was feeling a bit nervous about being part of the line-up to speak in the forum tent at the lower marae at Waitangi on Tuesday.

As National Party leader in 2004, he was hit in the face with mud as he spoke to reporters there.

That was a few days after his speech at the Orewa Rotary Club in which he warned about a dangerous drift towards racial separatism, and the development of the now entrenched Treaty grievance industry.

Reuben Taipari, who has organised the speakers this year, said while there were people unhappy Don was speaking, he would be safe.

"The reason for getting Don Brash in is, we've got to hear his side of the story. In order to understand him and in order to find a solution we've got to be brave enough to have that conversation”, he said.

See https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12200058&fbclid=IwAR1vcO9GNkDnN6gdGG2BPnCSv5TZfnfbDoM2ihd1heocIwwLBVIY-cdbOXI

Nats re-set Treaty settlement target

National leader Simon Bridges said at Ratana festivities south of Wanganui that he would settle every historic Treaty claim by 2024 if he gets back into Government.

We recall a National Party pledge to have all historic claims settled by 2014.

That was not achieved, but over nine years, the National-led Government did settle 49 claims that included $1.6-billion in financial redress as well as regional race-based co-governance deals. See https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/unintended_consequences_of_treaty_settlements

There are a further 55 settlements at various stages in the pipeline with further claimant entities likely to appear

We also recall that the father of Treaty settlements, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, wrote in his book New Zealand’s Constitution in Crisis that he thought in 1984 that settlement of all historical claims might take 10 years.

The process started in 1985 when claims back to 1840 were allowed. Here we are in 2019, 34 years later, with $3.6-billion financial redress already mostly paid, and the process is going stronger than ever.

We say that wherever it can be reasonably established that the Crown unlawfully confiscated property from any individual or group, compensation should be paid, provided however that any such compensation should be “full and final”. 

However, the only areas in New Zealand where land was confiscated are in Taranaki, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay, and most of those areas had “full and final” settlements in the 1940s.

The Treaty settlement process has degenerated into pay-outs for every tribal group that asks. The business has become so lucrative for vested interests, it looks like this foolish policy will be with us forever.

Little support for ‘Aotearoa’ name

A petition to add “Aotearoa” to our country's official name, which would require 329,263 signatures to trigger a referendum, gathered just 1072 signatures in two months.

Petition organiser Danny Tahau Jobe wrote: "Official documents of national identity, birth and citizenship certificates, passports and money-notes have Aotearoa and New Zealand together as the names of the country".

"Only 'New Zealand' has official status. Both names together will officially confirm/enhance nationhood and uniqueness in the world."

The Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, which allows for citizens to propose non-binding referenda on any issue, requires the signatures of 10 percent of all registered electors within 12 months.

With 3,292,632 people enrolled for the 2017 election, Mr Jobe would need to collect 329,263 signatures for a referendum, the results of which the Government could ignore.

The ad hoc addition of “Aotearoa” to official documents is evidence of political activism within the civil service that destabilises national identity. Such activism should cease.

See https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/01/petition-launched-to-add-aotearoa-to-country-s-official-name.html?fbclid=IwAR2cKyXHqvjDjYMpGvTcAYgZNB4BOnB-RviU3qApqN2Rdqfj8Orp5YfGyQ8

‘Shame’ comment and national anthem confusion

Outrage two weeks ago that forced New Plymouth councillor Murray Chong to apologise for commenting on Facebook that he felt ashamed of singing the “te reo version” of the NZ national anthem prompts comment.

Many would be surprised to know that the “E Ihowa Atua” words were written by Native Land Court judge Thomas Henry Smith in 1878 and do not translate the original English lyrics penned by Thomas Bracken in 1875 and set to music in a competition in 1876.

The lyrics in Maori are a series of unrelated invocations to be sung to the melody of the national anthem.

Many would also be surprised to be reminded that "God Defend New Zealand" is one of two national anthems, the other being “God Save The Queen”, with both having equal legal status, although "God Defend New Zealand" is more commonly used.

Since "God Defend New Zealand" only officially became the national anthem in 1977, those aged 42 and over would have started life with the British national anthem “God Save The Queen” as our national song.

Besides the torrent of abuse that Chong faced for expressing an opinion, forgive us the mixed feelings about our national anthem. It has had a mixed history which is yet to be resolved.

See https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/new-plymouth-councillor-apologises-saying-he-ashamed-singing-anthem-in-te-reo?variant=tb_v_2&fbclid=IwAR04GH8zW8Ljtdu_nK7UeXBLpGSDEu2mn9P5yx-KPQ6RuTC3HnBQ4ZB3dBA

4322 have signed against voting tribal appointees

A total of 4,322 people have signed our Change.org petition to Environment Canterbury to block the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, which will allow Ngai Tahu to appoint two representatives with voting rights onto the Council.

Soon, our MPs will vote on the first reading of the Bill which will allow the South Island tribe Ngai Tahu, that has received $437-million in Treaty settlements since 1998, to appoint two councillors on to the Canterbury Regional Council. See https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_82375/canterbury-regional-council-ng%C4%81i-tahu-representation

The two appointees will sit and vote alongside the 14 elected councillors. As such, members of Ngai Tahu will be represented by the councillors they voted for as well as the Ngai Tahu appointees.

This bill, that was introduced on November 30, is profoundly undemocratic. Canterbury people will be governed by people they didn’t vote for, who cannot be sacked.

It's important that this bill is voted down, as otherwise it will be used as a precedent for voting tribal appointees on councils throughout the country.

We're getting close to our next target of 5000 signatures, please click here to sign, OR google "change.org Ngai Tahu" and click on the link to  "In a democracy, why should Ngai Tahu have more say than you?”

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