Waikato tribe’s water ransom bid deplored

Under no circumstances whatsoever should the Waikato tribe – or any tribe – hold to ransom a third of the country's population, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones told a select committee on Thursday.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff asked the Environment Select Committee to fast-track a consent to take more water from the Waikato River to ease Auckland’s drought-related water shortage and one tribe with a Treaty settlement involving that river has objected.

Fast-tracking the request to take an extra 200 million litres on top of the current 150 million litres each day, plus 15 million extra due to the drought, would be possible by adding it to the list of 11 projects on the Covid-19 Recovery Bill.

Jones said that he was "confounded" Auckland had been waiting seven years to obtain water from the Waikato River when every day "billions of litres" of water flowed over the mouth of the river.

"For me, as a Maori, to hear that somehow Auckland has to either pay a fee or go on bended knee - that should not happen under the guise of the cloak of Maoridom”, he said. "No one's got the authority to do that."

Some tribes appear to assume the right to extort favours because they have been given rights that exceed the rights of non-tribal New Zealanders, such as the right to co-govern and the requirement to be consulted.

The stand-off between the Auckland Council and Waikato-Tainui looks like a consequence of giving extra rights to tribal groups.

See https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/audio/shane-jones-criticises-those-holding-drought-stricken-auckland-to-ransom-over-water/?fbclid=IwAR3TA6gtgarZdxAsQxjzJKv5ozRjnzAyHcnpa9xfMgtu9Mg16qxmZnGMcKc

New abuse commissioner to focus on colonisation, racism

The new commissioner of the Royal Commission into historical abuse in state care, Julia Steenson, appears to want to divert attention to colonisation and racism.

Steenson said she was "shocked to her core" to realise as an adult the impact of colonisation on Maori resulting in widespread racism.

She said that the racism “took several forms - systemic racism, the unconscious bias of some people and the blunt straight-out racism of some”.

She also attributed statistics that say 60 percent of those in state care are Maori, despite making up just 16 percent of the population, to the effects of colonisation.

Diverting attention to alleged causes long ago in history or to the behaviour of other people probably won’t help the 60 percent in state care with some Maori ancestry and definitely won’t help the 40 percent with no Maori ancestry.

See https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018752514/aotearoa-needs-to-debate-colonisation-racism-new-commissioner

Share coastal petition with friends

More coastal claimants are seeking a hearing with the Maori Appellate Court, according to documents filed with the High Court. 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 23,685 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.

Has a sneaky Ihumatao deal been done?

Talk of a possible $30 million deal over disputed private land at Ihumatao earmarked for housing emerged during the week. Fletcher Building appear crippled by a Maori claim and government inaction. Our petition for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business has collected 3034 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

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