Te Ati Awa’s glittering $247m Waitara prize

The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill that passed its third reading on Thursday shows how a tribal group managed to expand a grievance into three current settlements totalling over $247 million.

Waitara, a town of 6900 located 16km north of New Plymouth, was where the 1860s tribal rebellions started when one Maori landowner wished to sell his Pekapeka Block to the Government and another chief, who didn’t own the land, forbade him and triggered hostilities.

Te Ati Awa and two sub groups - Manukorihi and Otaraua - will get $28 million from property sales on Waitara land over the next two decades, plus $28 million more to go to projects co-managed by the tribe and the Taranaki Regional Council, according to Radio New Zealand. (See https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/378150/long-running-land-dispute-resolved-as-parliament-passes-waitara-lands-bill?fbclid=IwAR3i7QP9K8MPy23s0_l9EogoVR4Ani0xBcNQj4vOUjIE_chlJX4AJlNbI4w)

They'll also get 120 hectares of land, mostly in reserves. Another $34 million will be allocated to Waitara River and environmental projects, co-governed by the council and tribe.

In 2014 the Crown settled with Te Ati Awa, the tribe which built the pa that triggered the 1860 fighting. They received $87 million and an apology. Te Ati Awa participated in the Taranaki Iwi settlement of 2015 which included $70 million in financial redress.

Te Ati Awa had been offered in the 2014 settlement to buy Waitara lands for $23 million, but the tribe hung out for more and got a further $90 million plus 120 hectares.

It appears that the current Government is even more generous with taxpayers’ money for tribal interests than the former Government was and there is not a peep out of Winston Peters, who garnered the one-law-for-all vote in 2017.

Waitara is mostly leasehold land, and most of the leases are residential. The ongoing dispute has had a devastating effect on land valuations. Residential leaseholders are often stuck with homes that they can only sell under valuation.

Colonisation-violence link debunked

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor stepped into the world of fantasy this week when he claimed that Maori experienced little violence before colonisation, but are now highly exposed to violence and should be given culturally appropriate solutions.

Historian John Robinson disagreed by quoting Joel Samuel Polack, who lived in New Zealand between 1831 and 1837, and who wrote two successful books based on his experiences in New Zealand, observed:

“On taxing some females with having committed infanticide, they laughed heartily at the serious manner in which I put the question.  They told me the poor infants did not know or care much about it.  One young woman, who had recently destroyed a female infant, said that she wished her mother had done the same to her, when she was young;For why should my in­fant live?’ she added; to dig the ground! to be a slave to the wives of her husband! to be beaten by them, and trodden under foot!  No! can a woman here protect herself, as among the white people?’”

Dr Robinson said that assertions of the “relative absence of whanau violence before colonisation” in academic papers are merely assertions lacking concrete evidence.

See https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/colonisation_violence_link_debunked

Please sign our petition against voting tribal appointees

Early next year, our MPs will vote on a new law, the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, which would allow the South Island tribe Ngai Tahu to appoint two councillors onto the Canterbury Regional Council. 

The two appointees would sit and vote alongside the 14 elected councillors. As such, members of Ngai Tahu, the tribe that has received $437-million in Treaty settlements since 1998, would be represented by the councillors they voted for as well as the Ngai Tahu appointees.

This bill is profoundly undemocratic. If passed, the ordinary folk of Canterbury would be governed by people they didn’t vote for, and would not be able to sack them if displeased by their performance

Please sign our petition to Environment Canterbury to block the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, which would allow Ngai Tahu to appoint two representatives with voting rights onto the council.

It's important that this bill is voted down, as otherwise it would be used as an excuse for appointees with voting rights on councils throughout the country.

Church backs bogus treaty claim

The Anglican Church in Tauranga is supporting an application to the Waitangi Tribunal by the Ngai Tamarawaho and Ngati Tapu to get compensation from the taxpayer for a grievance that has no basis in fact.

The Church is apologising to two Tauranga sub-tribes for selling its land to the Crown in 1867 "without seeking their agreement"?

In fact, there was no need to seek anybody's agreement since the Church Missionary Society had bought the land outright in two purchases in 1838 and 1839.

These transactions were ticked off by Governor Hobson's Land Commission after 1840 as conveyances that had been made freely between willing sellers and a willing buyer.

If the Anglican Church genuinely wants to create harmony in society, it should not be misrepresenting history in support of a bogus claim that will further enrich the tribal elite at the expense of taxpayers.