Where is the formal response to the two-govts plan?

Six weeks ago, when the leaders of both the National and ACT parties drew attention to a Government-commissioned plan, titled He Puapua, to establish two governments in New Zealand by 2040, one for Maori and one for everyone else, there was name-calling and side-stepping.

After a few days of media commotion, Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson told Radio New Zealand on May 5 that he had prepared a draft Cabinet paper outlining a possible Government response to the He Puapua report. See Draft Cabinet paper

Since then, there has been not a word.

Although the plan was presented as a way to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, He Puapua goes far beyond anything stated in the Declaration’s 46 articles.

Meanwhile, it looks like the administration of the He Puapua prescription, of additional separatist policies and persuasion to get us to embrace a Maori identity, continues to pick up the pace.

Our petition against the segregated governments plan has picked up around 8000 signatures. If you have not done so already, click here to sign it  Reject co-governance

Appeal riles Opotiki coastal claimant group

A member of a Bay of Plenty group awarded customary rights and title to parts of the coastal area around Opotiki is questioning what right the Landowners Coalition of Whangarei has appealing the High Court decision that went in favour of the tribal group.

Karen Mokomoko from Te Whanau o Mokomoko says the appeal is frustrating when the six groups of the Whakatohea tribe involved in the case want to proceed with drawing up the orders to implement the judgement. See Claimants frustrated

The Landowners Coalition is headed by Bob Syron, a property investor, and Frank Newman, a director of the New Zealand Centre for Policy Research think tank which is headed by former ACT MP Muriel Newman.

The Landowners Coalition was represented in court by barrister Christopher Finlayson, who as Attorney General in the last ACT-National-Maori Party Government wrote the Marine and Coastal Areas Act to replace Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Newman said that when the Act was passed the Attorney General indicated valid claims for a customary title would only affect around 4 percent of the coastline because, for a claim to be successful, the claimant group would have to prove that it had enjoyed “continuous and exclusive” use of the relevant coast since 1840 – a very demanding test.

But the Whakatohea judgment by Justice Churchman has implications for approximately 200 similar claims currently before the High Court which cover the entire coast of New Zealand.

The key issues at stake in this particular matter include clarifying these phrases in the Act:

  1. “Holds the specified area in accordance with tikanga”,
  2. “Exclusive use and occupation”, and
  3. “Substantial interruption”.

In the Whakatohea case, Justice Churchman decided that:

  1. Tikanga should be given greater weight than western proprietary concepts,
  2. Use and occupation can be “exclusive” even when shared, and
  3. Neither the granting of a resource consent nor the fact of land having been lost or confiscated represents a substantial interruption to connection to the land.

Attorney-General David Parker did not appeal the decision on behalf of the people of New Zealand. He refused to say whether he would have appealed the decision if the Landowners Coalition had not done so.

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 more than 36,400 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all

Antarctic trips by Maori 1000 years ago ridiculed

“Research” published by the New Zealand Royal Society that claimed Maori travelled to the Antarctic at least 1000 years before Europeans was ridiculed this week as unadulterated nonsense by straight-talking knight Sir Bob Jones. See Disgraceful NZ Royal Society

The so-called “research” by a conservation biologist Priscilla Wehi was based on oral history and the rest was speculation, Sir Bob wrote.

The ludicrous Antarctic story was reported by the New Zealand Herald in a subdued manner, qualifying Wehi’s farcical claim by a headline saying “Maori may have discovered Antarctica”, he wrote.

However, a recent check shows that the Herald headline headed into hyperbole by saying “Polynesians first to discover Antarctica not news to Maori”. See First to discover Antarctica

Was that a straight headline or did the sub-editor (if the Herald still has subeditors) write that with tongue firmly in cheek?

Sir Bob said that the New Zealand Royal Society “continues to disgrace its British parent body’s prescribed rationale of absolute respect for factual scientific evidence every time it touches on Maori issues”.

Govt ties media funding to activism

The New Zealand’s mainstream media's practice of reporting only one side of stories concerning equality and unity between Maori and everyone else has been traced to guidelines issued by Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi.

In January, Cabinet agreed to draw down $55 million over the next three years from the broadcasting fund to be administered by NZ On Air “to support the production of public interest journalism including Maori and Iwi journalism”. 

The document, titled Public Interest Journalism Fund: General Guidelines, that was released in April, said that this fund came about, firstly, because “the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19, particularly through social media channels”.

Reason No 2 was a supposed “need for the fund to reflect a Te Tiriti o Waitangi Partnership with Maori media”.

Media commentator Karl Du Fresne, who has worked in New Zealand journalism for 40 years, including a stint as editor of the Dominion Post, summed up the fund.

“Nowhere in the guidelines is there any explicit commitment to the publication of a range of competing views on vital issues – for example, race relations and the Treaty,” Du Fresne wrote.

“In fact, the guidelines pretty much rule it out, since recipients of public money won’t be able to acknowledge the existence of Treaty sceptics, still less give them space or air time, if they’re required to promote the principles of a Treaty “partnership”, the very existence of which the sceptics challenge,” he wrote. See Journalism or indoctrination?

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