Ihumatao, the election, and Winston

Ihumatao is perhaps the most visible race-relations shambles that the next government will have to fix. Located near Auckland Airport, Ihumatao is where activists have protested against Fletcher’s plans to build almost 500 homes on land that it bought from a private owner whose family had owned it since it had been confiscated in 1863 as a consequence of tribal rebellions. 

Despite a number of Treaty settlements involving the area, protesters say that the land should be given “to Maori” although it is unclear which Maori.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern foolishly got involved and construction at the site was halted in July last year while a solution was sought. More than a year has passed and nothing has been announced, despite speculation throughout the year that a deal was near.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters on Friday revealed that he had threatened to pull the pin on the Coalition Government if the Government bought the land to give to the protesters.

ACT MP David Seymour responded by saying that Peters created the situation at Ihumatao when he made Ardern PM and asserted that "Peters could have promoted one law for all inside Cabinet. Instead, he's rolled it out three weeks before the election."

See https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/09/nz-election-2020-winston-peters-thinks-jacinda-ardern-made-a-terrible-decision-by-intervening-in-ihum-tao.html

Meanwhile, our petition for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business has collected 3110 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

Waikato Maori faculty row started with money

Claims of systemic racism at University of Waikato were sparked after an employment process by its Vice Chancellor found two top academics had “not met standards” over the use of hundreds of thousands of dollars on a key project, according to a report released on Friday.

A review by Hekia Parata and Wira Gardiner came after six academics sent a letter to the Ministry of Education alleging structural, systemic and casual racism at the university.

The report said the “catalyst” for the claims of systemic racism was the investigation of two Maori and Indigenous Studies Faculty staff members after an unauthorised attempt to spend $300,000 of university cash.

See https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/300116670/waikato-uni-racism-claims-incorrect-sparked-by-spending-probe--report?fbclid=IwAR1dNO9sjF1DU-NA4xiXUmyJjedp-rw7ClbIbR9KDVQTdgIYqBBys82Uvo4

Otago’s race-based admissions policy in court

A father has filed a civil case against the University of Otago after his child was denied entry to its medical programme, despite the student’s results translating into an average of more than 92 per cent.

The man says his child missed out due to a university policy which gives preference to Maori, Pasifika, rural, refugee and low socio-economic students.

Under that policy, for the 2020 intake, the medical school had 202 places available for first-year students, of which 120 were given to those entering under special categories leaving only 82 general entry places.  

The special categories were 58 Maori, 20 Pasifika, one Maori/Pasifika, 29 rural, 11 low socio-economic category and one under a new refugee category.

See https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/122880752/otago-uni-accused-of-being-deceptive-about-medical-school-admissions-policy?fbclid=IwAR1u0qenAlXiHR1MdlbC77x15XyhZldxAhwr8D5aiuBNw5U37r1siVvywmc

Otago’s Maori preference questioned. See https://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.com/2020/09/bruce-moon-racial-privilege-at-otago.html

Councils shelve separatist proposals

The Nelson City Council last Tuesday decided against going down the Maori ward path at this time, although councillors agreed to write to central government asking for a change to the 2001 Local Electoral Act “to ensure the legal requirements to establish a Maori ward are the same as a general ward”. See https://i.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/te-reo-maori/122848583/nelson-mori-ward-unworkable-under-discriminatory-legislation-say-councillors?fbclid=IwAR3dmilqX_ygY3lsTR6KJlGoHM7baJQ69SGJE02G3AnwsNYTI0k0wZVRjaU

The Nelson City Council tried to introduce a Maori ward in 2012 but a vote on the proposal showed 79.4 percent against.

This suggests that Nelson City councillors know perfectly well that the overwhelming majority of ratepayers do not want racially based representation.

Meanwhile, the Greater Wellington Regional Council also decided against proceeding with a proposal for a Māori constituency seat in 2022. This was after four of the region's six iwi authorities had said that they do not wish to have a Maori constituency. See https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/426929/no-maori-seat-for-gwrc-in-2022?fbclid=IwAR2aLzRWWZewSZyB_J4naJvWq9RGxSYKNTJnRRm9kpKNHIadIOkiraCc5FM

There are 78 local authorities in New Zealand. Environment Bay of Plenty and the Waikato Regional Council have Maori constituencies, and the Wairoa District Council has a Maori ward. There are two current proposals for Maori wards, one in New Plymouth and the other in Tauranga.

See also “Against ratepayer wishes” at https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/bruce_moon_nelson_council_supports_race_based_wards_against_wishes_of_ratepayers

Remembering Hobson

September is the month when the founder of our country as a Western nation built along British lines, and Auckland City itself, the visionary Governor William Hobson, died. September 10 marked the 178th anniversary of his death from stroke-related illness at age 49. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that it was not the best time to mark the anniversary at his grave site in the Symonds St cemetery, but hopefully next year will be different. Governor Hobson was also born in the same month, on September 26, 1792, and so we take the opportunity to celebrate the 228th anniversary of his birthday. 

Our coastal petition is growing

Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 25,190 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all Even if you have signed, you may follow the link to ask your social media friends to sign to.

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