Tribal rebellions day is upon us

A mass haka at Waitangi at 3pm on Friday, March 9, 2018, probably timed for the 6pm news, will kick off the first national tribal rebellions day.

Commemorations are open to the public, and “all New Zealanders”, as “a time to remember the past, acknowledge the differences and foster spaces of liberation from a nation's pain, progressing and supporting a journey of healing and reconciliation between two cultures,” according to the pre-story. See

In 2015, two Otorohanga College students, supported by Waikato-Tainui, took to Parliament a 13,000-signature petition calling for the Government to set aside a day to remember what they called the “land wars”.

These so-called land wars were more like sporadic tribal rebellions, with some in the 1840s and most in the 1860s, all objecting to British rule.

Waitangi Day has been a national grievance day for decades. With treaty settlements so far progressed, and grievances supposedly redressed, why do we need another such day?

Another call to abolish Maori seats

Unexpectedly, with Simon Bridges elevated to the National Party leadership and with Paula Bennett as deputy, blogger Ross Miller suggested that with two Maori politicians in charge, they should make a commitment to abolish the Maori seats.

He suggests that this is a policy that would grab the imagination and support of National’s core base and is a policy that attracted many voters to New Zealand First; voters who will be sorely disappointed that Winston Peters has been unable to deliver on his promise of a referendum on the issue. See 

For the record, out of 120 seats in Parliament, 29 of those belong to members of Maori descent, with just seven of those there courtesy of the separate Maori seats.

Deadline passes for coastal area objections

The close-off date for registering in the High Court notices of appearance objecting to Maori claims for the coastal area passed last Monday, February 26, although further notices will be accepted with a $200 late fee on top of the filing fee of $110.

Despite reassurances that claims for recognition of protected customary rights or customary marine title under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 would be minimal, by the April 3, 2017, deadline there were 161 claims seeking negotiation with the Crown and a further 200 through the High Court, together covering the entire coast.

While Bill English has gone from leading the National Party, the former Treaty Negotiations Minister is still there, along with the mess he created with his disastrous Marine and Coastal Area Act.  That was passed mainly to satisfy the demands of the Maori Party, which of course has now gone from Parliament.

The Act is flawed, especially in its failure to define a critical legal test. As it stands, unless the law is amended, it will be judges rather than Parliament that determine whether Maori interests will control some of the coastal marine area or most of it. 

Hobson’s Pledge is clear that awarding some New Zealanders customary title under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to areas of the coast on the basis of race conflicts with a society in which all citizens have the same rights irrespective of where we came from.


Looking for the few who want Maori wards

Former Waitangi Tribunal director and entrepreneur Buddy Mikaere, when interviewed in the Bay of Plenty Times while campaigners were collecting signatures for a vote on Maori wards, said no one had been in the public arena arguing for Maori wards.

Palmerston North was the only area in which Maori wards were promoted -- by the mayor, a councillor, the editorial writer at the Manawatu Standard, and by Teanau Tuiono, who addressed a small, predominantly non-Maori audience at a closed meeting last Tuesday.

In fact, the proposals are being pushed mainly by non-Maori councillors in five regions, which include Palmerston North, Manawatu, Kaikoura, Western Bay of Plenty, and Whakatane, out of their interpretation of a statutory obligation to consider Maori representation.

Further support comes from Green MP Marama Davidson, who wants to remove the right for citizens to petition for a vote.

Voting documents will be posted in the five areas on April 27 and the vote closes on May 19.

If you live in those areas and wish to help, we need volunteers to deliver flyers and to erect signs.


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