Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What we have really lost

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The fact that John Key put the kibosh on the whole thing via press conference gives me the shits. Basic courtesy would suggest he tells the other parties first.

    He did tell the others first. Tūhoe was informed before the public announcement (as was the Maori Party).

    Lake Waikarimoana(sp?)

    Ask and ye shall receive: Waikaremoana.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    No -- because if there's every been an "easy" Treaty settlement, I've never heard of it.

    Tuhoe have been remarkably good at managing a single narrative on their ownership of this land for over a hundred years. Even allowing for the inevitable Ngati Newfullahs (and legitimate iwi, hapu, etc) that pop up around the time many of the larger settlements start being discussed, there's been little indication we'd see dissent or competing claims in this case. If there is such a thing as an easy settlement, this is it.

    Just that there's something about basing the argument (or any public policy debate) on "moral claims" that makes me twitchy.

    But many of these issues are moral in nature. "Was it wrong to take this particular resource from this particular group of people at this particular time?" isn't a question that can be answered without recourse to moral language, but it's a question that needs to be asked. The only other alternative is to rely totally on the written law of the time, which, funnily enough, didn't necessarily take that question into account.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle,

    He did tell the others first. Tūhoe was informed before the public announcement (as was the Maori Party).

    Thanks Graeme, that's one thing that I missed when I read the articles. I feel a little better in the way it was done.

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    it's my understanding tuhoe accepted money from crown for lake waikaremoana 3 times, 1919, 1940 and then in the 60s or 70s.

    Easy. If I owe you a million bucks, but I tell you all I'm going to give you is $100, take it or leave it, maybe you'd take it but keep coming back too. It's not a negotiation between equally powerful parties, so one solution for the weaker party is to keep chipping away.

    Tom: get a grip on yourself, will you?

    It is incredible that anyone would seriously put forward the idea that we as a nation could simply give away our territory to someone else to create a unitary state, and do so without a fight. It is, frankly, the very definition of treason to even advocate such a course of action.

    In the first place, the context is preventing a festering grievance turning into violence. In the second place, treason is:
    "Every one owing allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand commits treason who, within or outside New Zealand,—
    (a) Kills or wounds or does grievous bodily harm to Her Majesty the Queen, or imprisons or restrains her; or
    (b) Levies war against New Zealand; or
    (c) Assists an enemy at war with New Zealand, or any armed forces against which New Zealand forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between New Zealand and any other country; or
    (d) Incites or assists any person with force to invade New Zealand; or
    (e) Uses force for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of New Zealand; or
    (f) Conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in this section."

    Advocating giving land to another entity is none of those things. Nor should it be, or we'd never be able to negotiate who owns a island or a chunk of ice shelf.

    And anyway, what sort of nonsensical state would be created? One can hardly have any doubts that Tuhoe "sovereignty" would scarcely amount to much more than a cherry picking of what bits of the New Zealand state they would like to discard or keep; Most probably New Zealand would have to keep paying for the first world health, education and welfare expectations of Tuhoe, but obeying the laws of New Zealand? No thank you. We'll make up our own to suit ourselves.

    I understand that you fear that, but that doesn't mean it needs to work out like that. I find it amusing that on the one hand you argue that Tuhoe sovereignty could never happen, but on the other you want to tell us how certain you are about how terrible it would be. We'll never fly to the moon, but when we do, the cheese will be delicious.

    It may well never happen. We may well all end up happy with some different solution. I don't think it hurts to understand that it is an aspiration for some people and to think about why.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2918 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Can't they just build another one?

    Seriously; its not just this case which is being delayed, and when cases are delayed this much, justice is denied.

    I think this large one was made by knocking out the wall between two ordinary size court rooms.

    So I presume that yes they can build another large one, but each time they do that they lose one court room. So it's probably a trade off between "how many big court cases we have" vs "how many court cases do we have". If you're using a large court room for a small case, you're being inefficient.

    What's crazy is that it's the room that determines when the case can go ahead. I would have thought that judges and staff would have been the scarce resource, they presumably cost more than the actual court room.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Tom: get a grip on yourself, will you?

    I felt the need to shout 'off with their heads' to anyone who suggested the idea.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Every one ... commits treason who...
    (b) Levies war against New Zealand;
    ...
    (f) Conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in this section.

    Wasn't there such talk on some of the Operate 8 intercepts?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Tom: get a grip on yourself, will you?

    Thank you. Treason? Inciteful* much?

    *Yes, I know.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wasn't there such talk on some of the Operate 8 intercepts?

    Possibly. I couldn't possibly speculate about that.

    But first, no one was charged with treason, implying that there wasn't a sound case to be made, and second, that's not what Tom was talking about. Tom appeared to me to be saying that merely proposing to transfer sovereignty from some chunk of current NZ territory to another entity is "the very definition of treason."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2918 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    As for Comrade Trottersky, gahhhh!
    Is the reason that he gets sinecures as "left
    commentator' by business periodicals because
    he makes the 'left' look neanderthal and solely
    focused on his idiosyncratic take on Class Politics?

    Craig Y.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 367 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Is the reason that he gets sinecures as "left commentator' by business periodicals because he makes the 'left' look neanderthal and solely focused on his idiosyncratic take on Class Politics?

    Bingo.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I don't think it hurts to understand that it is an aspiration for some people and to think about why.

    If such a precendent is created, where will it end? If the ongoing "passports" farce is anything to go by, the Maori sovereignty movement is even stronger in Northland. Will we have to put up with an independent Nothland Maori Confederation clustered around the Hokianga? Will ambitious and emboldened Maori bully the New Zealand state into limply agreeing to compulsory land re-shuffles to create a contiguous sovereign King Country in the Central North Island/Waikato?

    It seems to me any government that cedes sovereign territory loses credibility; dangerously so. One only has to look at the Unionist movement under Carson and the impunity with which the Ulster Volunteers were able to arm themselves to understand what happens when a large section of a settler population loses faith in their government. Further, the whiff of a revanchist Maori sovereignty movement actually achieving its goals would utterly debase our economy, because the most productive and best educated - the white middle class - would basically just up sticks and move to Australia.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • David R,

    Slippery slope argument has been invoked. Goodbye thread...

    AKL • Since Sep 2008 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    emboldened Maori bully the New Zealand state

    I have met some of the claimants in Northland, through my work. I don't think it would be possible to use the phrase 'emboldened bullies' to describe them. At least, not with a straight face.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Goodbye thread...

    I think its fate was more or less sealed at the first appearance of the word 'treason'.

    Oh well, could always use the time to read some Binney, I guess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I'm going to take exception to the following, Russell:

    But it will also hear evidence that suggests that the key actors were, at best, alarming clowns who were collecting and training with weapons and other military equipment.

    By saying 'at best' you are salting the pot; it suggests that this is the most minimal description that can be applied to the accused (I take it that you are saying their alarming clown-like nature is due to the alleged link between certain members of the accused and certain firearms and that you are not accusing them of being 'alarming clowns' in the literal sense) when, of course, that is the charge the Crown must prove. If you had simply said:

    "But it will also hear evidence that suggests that the key actors were alarming clowns who were collecting and training with weapons and other military equipment."

    that would have been more sensible.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 401 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Sovereignty can mean lots of things in this context. The right to make decisions about things that affect you is one possible definition - it doesn't in and of itself mean passports and borders and citizenship. A more sensible and nuanced discussion would include concepts like devolution, which hasn't as I recall destroyed the economic viability of the UK, models like local government and so on.

    Talking about passports and borders is one end of a very long spectrum, and the various separatist ventures (Gerard Otimi, Native Assessors Courts etc) are very much in the fringe - they're not backed by mainstream Maori leaders, and often spring up in opposition to more traditional tribal structures like Runanga. Unfortunately the fringe dwellers are overrepresented in the media, who love a good drama, especially when it scratches the paranoid itches of those who supported Brash at Orewa.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Oh well, could always use the time to read some Binney, I guess.

    Good call. We all live in encircled lands. Some of us are just slower than others to realise it.

    Further, the whiff of a revanchist Maori sovereignty movement actually achieving its goals would utterly debase our economy, because the most productive and best educated - the white middle class - would basically just up sticks and move to Australia.

    I'm grateful there are such benchmarks made available to other posters here. Thank you Tom, and balls to all that.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Why ask for ownership to be returned unless they want more power over the management of the area? If you check out the Wairoa District Council which governs Lake Waikaremoana, Maori seem under-represented in the area's local government: http://www.wairoadc.govt.nz/council/representatives/
    http://www.whakatane.govt.nz/About-the-Council/Council-People/Mayor-and-Councillors-Profiles/
    There seem to be multiple councils governing the area outside central government. Maybe government could set up a local body that acknowledges their tribe members' geographical location - a super-district...

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Andre:

    You might ask for ownership to be returned because a) it's your land and b) you are part of that land. Tuhoe, the People of the Mist, regard Te Urewera as their whenua; they are it and it is them.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 401 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    It appears to me that we had a workable deal chucked under the bus by a PM who did not want to be seen to be pandering to Maori. It is such a short term focus in the context of such a long term issue.

    Lakes Waikaremoana and Waikareiti are treasures of the nation as well as Tuhoe. Two-thirds of the troops that fought Tuhoe 150 years ago were Maori.

    The whakapapa of the military actors is irrelevant. What matters is that the Crown stole land off Tūhoe. We already have existing mechanisms lakes where the lakebeds have been vested back to hapu - with access guaranteed - so I don't know why you would have a problem with that.

    There must be other ways to settle treaty claims than through diminishing our conservation estate.

    So, the Crown stole land, and the Crown still owns it, but if the Crown classifies the land as a National Park, they get to keep it ? If you think that is an equiitable way forward, then I have some real estate on the Moon I would like to lease to you...

    Just that there's something about basing the argument (or any public policy debate) on "moral claims" that makes me twitchy.

    However, when you have a dispute with the entity that creates the local statutes, it is hardly unsurprising that said entity has ensured you have no "legal claims", and thus, only "moral claims".

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 446 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    alarming clowns

    scared yet?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    The Fortean Times had a great issue on Coulrophobia a while back.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 401 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    | it's my understanding tuhoe accepted money from crown for lake waikaremoana 3 times, 1919, 1940 and then in the 60s or 70s.

    Easy. If I owe you a million bucks, but I tell you all I'm going to give you is $100, take it or leave it, maybe you'd take it but keep coming back too. It's not a negotiation between equally powerful parties, so one solution for the weaker party is to keep chipping away.

    Quite right. And JK saying, "No, sorry" doesn't magically make the issue go away or resolve once and for all. It merely delays the process of sorting this claim out. Tuhoe have waited 150-odd years and a few more won't matter.
    I do find it disturbing that they were obviously given the impression that the deal was done and they would get Te Urewera back, only to have it pulled at the last moment, thus making the situation worse rather than better.
    Was this going to be treated in the same way as the return of land around Okahu Bay where it was returned to Maori then gifted back to the people of Auckland?

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    The Fortean Times had a great issue on Coulrophobia a while back.

    Worth $800 per week, according to Sideswipe.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

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