Why extend racial preference in law?

There are two pieces of legislation wending their way through Parliament designed to further entrench the crazy notion that the Treaty of Waitangi created an obligation on governments nearly 200 years later to treat anybody with a Maori ancestor in some kind of preferential way. They are the Public Service Bill and the Education and Training Bill, both sponsored by Chris Hipkins, who is both Education and Public Service Minister.

The Public Service Bill, introduced last month and currently with the Governance and Administration select committee, represents a grand plan to revamp the whole public service by repealing the State Sector Act.

Mr Hipkins said: “The current Act is silent on the Crown’s relationship with Maori, and that is something we are changing.  We’re requiring chief executives to operate as a good employer, recognizing the aims and aspirations of Maori, the employment requirements of Maori, and the need for greater involvement of Maori in the Public Service…  This is another clear signal that we are serious about our commitment to our treaty partners.  What is good for Maori is good for New Zealand.”

The Minister promotes the absurd notion that the Treaty of Waitangi created a partnership between the Crown and Maori.  The idea of a partnership between the Crown and any of its subjects is a constitutional nonsense, and has been described as absurd by politicians as different as Jim McLay, David Lange and Winston Peters.

This tinkering by Mr Hipkins creates a racial obligation on public sector employers and appears to put “those with a Maori ancestor” ahead of “best person for the job”. 

Submissions close on January 31, at the end of holidays.

The Education and Training Bill, introduced earlier this month, is a rewrite of our education laws giving increased emphasis on all matters Maori.  One of the primary objectives for [school] boards is to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi by:

  • working to ensure that plans, policies and local curriculum reflect local tikanga, matauranga Maori and te ao Maori;
  • taking steps to make instruction available in tikanga and te reo Maori; and
  • by achieving equitable outcomes for Maori students.

The Hipkins rewrite appears to give education and training law a brown-wash at a time when far too many pupils, perhaps especially Maori students, come out of school with a poor understanding even of English and other basic skills required to gain meaningful employment

To find out more about the Education and Training Bill see https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/education_and_training_maori_indoctrination_bill_coming_your_way

No entrenchment for Maori seats

A bill making it harder to remove the Maori seats from Parliament has been voted down by MPs, with New Zealand First opposing the change.

Electoral (Entrenchment of Maori Seats) Amendment Bill, in the name of Labour Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene, would have meant the seats would have been entrenched in electoral law, requiring 75 per cent of MPs to vote to get rid of them.

The bill passed its first reading last year with the unlikely support of New Zealand First, which opposes the Maori seats and wanted to hold a two-part referendum on the seats that did not eventuate, asking whether they should be entrenched or done away with altogether.

See https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12292856&fbclid=IwAR00702uwh_SO13Hl9d2VxjcVNbAUvmYItikCKPape6l4X9e6snYOtOVhx0

Tauranga council still dithering on The Elms

The Tauranga City Council on Tuesday is revisiting a decision made by the former council involving a property at 11 Mission St known as The Elms after pressure to give it to the Otamataha Trust.

The Otamataha Trust, which was created by the New Zealand Mission Trust (Otamataha) Empowering Act 2014, administers property in Tauranga on behalf of Ngati Tapu and Ngai Tamarawaho.

That Act seeks to undo an 1838 sale of land in Tauranga to the Church Missionary Society and an 1852 Crown grant. But it cannot affect land that is in private ownership, as is 11 Mission St.

A total of $825,000 of ratepayers’ money was paid for the property in 2006, before the Otamataha Trust existed, to give the property to the Elms Foundation, which manages 11 Mission St, which is one of New Zealand's oldest heritage sites. 

Since the previous council consulted ratepayers before deciding against a give-away, the new council should again consult while bearing in mind that 60 percent of 823 submitters did not want the property to go to Otamataha Trust.

It’s a pity that legislation like New Zealand Mission Trust (Otamataha) Empowering Act 2014 pits citizens against each other in disputes over property ownership.

A NZ history without political correctness

We don’t often do book reviews in the Update, but we’re making an exception in this issue for a fascinating book entitled Navigators and Naturalists: French exploration of New Zealand and the South Seas (1769-1824) by Mike Lee, published last year. 

Most Aucklanders know Mike Lee as the long-time chairman of the Auckland Regional Council, and long-serving member of the Auckland Council.  He has just staked his claim to be regarded as one of New Zealand’s foremost historians.

Paul Moon, Professor of History at Auckland University of Technology, has described the book as “an extraordinary work in many respects” in offering readers “a new dimension of the country’s early colonial history”. 

Among other things, the book provides a frank reappraisal of the history of early European-Maori contact, notable for the refreshing absence of the stultifying political correctness which all too often is a feature of contemporary academic work.

The book is a handsome tome of almost 500 pages and usually retails for $69.99.  It can be bought direct from the author for $50 plus $5 postage, by emailing him at mikeleeauckland@gmail.com.

Legal action delays Mount Albert tree cull

Protesters welcomed news this week that an application has been filed for a judicial review of the Tupuna Maunga Authority’s decision to fell 345 exotics on Mount Albert, Auckland.

The trees were to be cut down in a five-week project that was supposed to start on November 11 but protesters got in the way.

The trees on Mount Albert will be safe until the judicial review is held in March. The review only covers Mount Albert, and Honour the Maunga did not initiate the judicial review. The plaintiffs wish to remain anonymous.

The ancestor mountain zealots have a legal problem that stems from a reference to section 17 of the Reserves Act in the Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014 which seeks to protect the natural environment and beauty of the countryside that the Tupuna Maunga Authority appears hell-bent on destroying.

Meanwhile, the camp protest on Mount Albert will continue.

Film Commission’s two-out-of-three rule

Any film which has any substantial reference to Maori must have at least two of the three critical roles filled by Maori, according to New Zealand Film Commission affirmative action guidelines.

The three critical roles are writer, director and producer.

It’s unclear just what proportion of an individual’s ancestry must be Maori to qualify for that description. 

Whether the Film Commission extends this principle to identity groups other than Maori is not known.  This is nuts.

Petitions update

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 8426 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at http://chng.it/stXwrrtFLY

Our petition to evict protesters at Ihumatao, and for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business, has collected 2774 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

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