Tribe wants to decolonise ‘Benneydale’

Mount Cook has become Aoraki and Mount Egmont, Taranaki. Now, as part of a Treaty settlement, the New Zealand Geographic Board is considering a proposal by the Maniapoto iwi to have Benneydale renamed “Te Maniaiti” after one of two hills there.

The small town, created in the 1940s to house coal miners, became known as Benneydale as a combination of the surnames of the under-secretary of mines, C.H. Benney, and the mine superintendent at the time, T. Dale.

Nearly 300 have signed a petition against a name change and only 177 live in Benneydale.

Edward Emery, of Ngati Rereahu, who opposes the name “Te Maniaiti”, said "if you lived somewhere and it was your family farm, how would you like us to come over into your fella's farm and start changing things around, this is part of our family land. The only thing we would like to be changed here is to put it as Ngati Benneydale."

Any final decision by the Geographic Board may be released in mid-April. If the board does not decide, the call will be made by Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage.

Note, even though Maniapoto was the main Waikato tribe to fight the Government in the 1860s it largely avoided confiscation because their land was difficult to access and not considered valuable.

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Massey prefers activist’s ‘free speech’

Veteran Maori protester Tame Iti will be at Massey University’s Palmerston North campus for five days from March 18 as the activist in residence.

The theme of Iti's residency is "decolonising ourselves – indigenising the university".  He will hold a public talk, a workshop, and release a paper at the self-proclaimed Tiriti-led institution

Iti will be hosted by the Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation, which is within the school of communication, journalism and marketing, and the Massey business school.

The Tuhoe activist served nine months of a 30-month sentence, from 2012 to 2013, for firearms offences following the arrest of 18 people in the 2007 Urewera "terror raids".

Last August Massey cancelled a single speech by former Reserve Bank Governor and former National Party leader Don Brash to avoid being seen as endorsing racism yet has booked Iti, a race activist, for a week in what looks like a paid job.

The move shows the sort of free speech Massey University prefers.


Tribunal claim over effect of liquor on Maori

A claim that laws around the sale and supply of alcohol disproportionately impact Maori has been re-filed with the Waitangi Tribunal as urgent by a Maori warden who said he witnessed a proliferation of liquor outlets in poor areas

David Ratu from South Auckland, who initially took the claim to the Tribunal in 2017, said Maori were twice as likely to die from alcohol-attributed death and binge drink than non-Maori, and Maori were over-represented in cases of violence, sexual assault and serious car crashes where alcohol had been a factor.

He wants the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to be amended to ensure Maori are included in bodies that decide whether an alcohol licence is granted. He also wants the Act to reflect the principles of active protection, consultation and good faith and ensure proper recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Aside from Mr Ratu’s observation about school children getting easy access to alcohol, the claim unwittingly reinforces the stereotype that Maori are drinkers. It also assumes that someone else is to blame for personal choices.

8264 have signed against tribal appointees

A total of 8264 people have signed our petition to Environment Canterbury to block the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, which would allow South Island tribe Ngai Tahu to appoint two representatives with voting rights onto the council in perpetuity.

This is more signatures than the number that brought a Metallica concert to New Zealand. Soon, our MPs will vote on the first reading of the Bill.

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

Ngai Tahu, which is also seeking more input on decision-making at The Otago Regional Council, has received $437-million in Treaty settlements since 1998.

Please click here to sign, or Google " Ngai Tahu" and click on the link to  "In a democracy, why should Ngai Tahu have more say than you?”

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