Nov - Dec 2014

Taranaki Daily News 31/12/14

You recently published an article by Rachel Stewart ( Taranaki Daily News, December 22) who picks Andrew Judd as a New Zealander of the Year. She admires his staunchness in attempting to establish a Maori ward for his council.

I also have two picks for New Zealanders of the Year. The first is Mary Barnard, a Maori woman, who finds it offensive that Maori are considered unable to achieve on their own merit. She considers the very idea to be divisive and belittling to Maori.

The second, for the very same reason is Chris Manukonga, and he will also actively campaign against a Maori ward.

I sincerely hope that when election time rolls around again, that both Mary Barnard and Chris Manukonga are successful in their bids to become voted on to the council. They will be doing so as citizens without a racist agenda unlike those who are pushing for a separatist, divisive Maori ward.

A council is there to provide services to the community whether that community is brown, white or brindle. How does being Maori impact on parks, footpaths, libraries, drainage, recreation areas, rubbish collections? A councillor represents all citizens and is not there to bow to separatist demands. Mary and Chris – you rock!

Wonky thinking from Rachel Stewart who wants to reward stupidity and profiting from crime.

Stewart wants to honour New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd ‘‘for services to equality in the face of staunch ignorance and redneckery’’.

But Judd’s proposal of a 50/50 Maori/non-Maori council would have six councillors to represent 48,615 general roll voters and six to represent 3697 on the Maori roll.

The only prize Judd could qualify for is for staunch ignorance of equality.

Stewart also wants to honour Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager for services to the exposing political corruption.

Hager may have used stolen emails in a book that he profited from. This is an offence known as receiving and is a punishable under section 246 of the Crimes Act 1961.

Hager’s book is already haunting Hager who is facing a police investigation.

Dirty Politics may well haunt those who cooked up the Labour Party’s ‘‘Vote Positive’’ campaign when the link between Hager and the person who stole Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater’s emails is exposed.

Bay of Plenty Times 24/12/14

Dear Editor,
I do not know how long the debate over a Maori Ward will continue, but I can assure Peter Dey that the majority of democratic Taurangians think it unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money.

The small number of part-Maori living here are well represented by the Tangata Whenua committee and the pathetic excuse that they cannot attend all council meetings is ridiculous.

There are enough of them to have a voice and they are paid to attend.

Most important, just what are the different views Dey alleges part-Maori hold?Councillors are not elected to pander to the separatist needs for part-Maori but to ensure a well run city for everyone- good schools, roads, libraries, hospital, sports grounds and tourist facilities.

What are the separatist part-Maori needs in regards to the above? We are all under one law.

Separate laws for part-Maori is racism.

NZ Herald 22/12/14

Race-based special Maori seats are an attack on the very fabric of democracy and do great damage. Requirements for permission for many activities from a small elite are found across the whole country.

In Wellington, the descendants of warrior bands who killed the inhabitants in the 1820s have special powers. In Auckland, payment is asked for planning permission on culturally sensitive sites.

Yet Dialogue writer Catherine Delahunty would have it that all is well so long as democracy is not completely destroyed and the sky has not fallen on communities or upon decision-making. Should we wait for complete disaster before opposing stupidity?

Maori are not marginalised. There is equality, one person, one vote among all citizens and ratepayers. The early inequalities were protective of Maori, when Maori did not have to pay rates but were given the same facilities, including free healthcare, as everyone else.

We live together in a sovereign nation. Our democratic government should not be whittled away by the unequal representation and claims for separation into tribal sovereign entities that Catherine Delahunty supports.

NZ Herald 19/12/14

Opinion writer Catherine Delahunty quotes with apparent approval the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Ngapuhi did not cede sovereignty in 1840.

But the tribunal dishonoured the Treaty and treated with contempt all the solid evidence from the time that the chiefs knowingly ceded sovereignty.

The Prime Minister may have shown recently “a backwards-looking and naive grasp of New Zealand’s history”, as she claims, but her own is worse.

Writing to Grey Power Magazine in September last year, she said the Treaty “promised to respect the existing authority and law of the country while governing the new settlers according to British law”. This is a figment of imagination.

Hobson made it clear at Waitangi that “the law of England gave no civil powers to Her Majesty out of her domain”. Protection from the French and others that the chiefs sought required cession of sovereignty. It was their choice and they ceded.

Rotorual Review 17/12/14

Do only McVicker, Macpherson and Kent believe we live in a democracy? Why are they the only councillors to oppose Chadwick trying to have her mates take seats on council committees, take part in Resource Management Act decisions and even form their own subcommittees!

Well, they are very welcome to be involved in all of the above but first they must get off their butts, campaign and be elected. That is how a democracy operates. No drones please. Had enough of Chadwick already.

Southland Times 17/12/14

When the seabed and foreshore debate was raging many, many years ago, New Zealanders were given an assurance that Maori ownership or part ownership would not prevent Kiwis from going to the beach.

We had the incident up north of iwi blocking an access road.

Now we have local iwi for Ninety Mile Beach stating that they are to seek an access fee for entry to the beach in 2015. Either a flat fee or a ‘‘koha payment of a gold coin’’ according to a tribal spokesman.

What will the next access fee involve – a lake, a river or a mountain ?

It will be over my dead body that I will ever be restricted to any of these parts of our country due to the non payment of a fee or koha. And the halfwitted mayor of the Far North (an ex MP) should be told to resign for being party to such nonsense.

Taranaki Daily News 12/12/14

As a Maori woman seeking council election I am saddened that Andrew Judd failed to mention he supported a Maori ward when he campaigned for the mayoralty.

In my opinion a leader should be consistent to the vision and policies they outlined while campaigning.

A Maori ward is a divisive distraction.

I was at Tuesday night’s debate about Maori wards and I agree with Winston Peters that the emphasis should be on Maori healthcare, education and employment rather than creating a special Maori ward that sends a message that Maori can’t compete on their own merits.
New Plymouth

It is amazing that we are still debating Maori seats and wards in central and local government.

As a country we should have moved on from this separatist thinking. By now we should have processes covering the Treaty of Waitangi built into government and council policies.

These processes can then be used to discuss the issues with Maori people to get a good outcome for the community that benefits everyone.

In most cases both parties are not that far different on the issues and all that is needed is communication.

If the NPDC does this, that makes Maori people part of the decision-making process and no wards are needed.

This works with all the smaller minority groups on any issue – like cutting council costs, Len Lye and community needs – that is fair for all in the community. Simple really.
New Plymouth.

The Maori ward debate was clearly a racial issue for Willie Jackson of the affirmative team in Monday's debate.

I am very happy that Willie is not on my team for the council by-elections because his rhetoric is clear.

‘‘Maori can’t make it’’, and to me that means ‘‘Maori like me, don’t have the ability to rise up against the odds’’.

Willie repeated the same old rhetoric you will always hear when someone wants something for nothing. I don’t need someone telling me every day, ‘‘you can’t make it’’.

Question is, will voters in favour of the separatist ward want to vote for a Maori, standing as an individual, or are they interested in structure, rather than people.

My only agenda is to represent all the people of our beautiful community – disabled, youth, elderly and whoever wants my help.
New Plymouth.

"Mr Judd should do the honourable thing and stand down, then put himself forward in a by-election - this time openly promoting his plan for co-governance," Muriel Newman says (Daily News, December 5). She is right.

The shame is many of us voted for Judd. To our horror, if only I had known, Mr Judd would have never received my tick on election day.

The Treaty of Waitangi is open slather for people to create mischief and that is precisely what Judd is doing.

Interpretation of history depends on who the writer is and along with truth is a measure of what it suits the writer’s pen.

Why can’t we move on from this separatism? How many families in Taranaki now have Maori blood in them? Many, I am picking, and mine is certainly affected.

Hugh Johnson has launched a petition calling for a binding referendum. Congratulations Hugh, I can well imagine the time and effort this man has put in.

You, Hugh, are an example of democracy in action.
New Plymouth

Taranaki Daily News 11/12/14

In the interests of clarity, I beg to disagree with your reporter’s account of the recent debate on Maori wards, suggesting that those for their establishment won the day.

Bearing in mind that the vast majority of the audience were of Maori ethnicity, the loudest applause was, naturally, directed at those speaking for the establishment of a race-based ward.

My disappointment was that all those supporting the motion spent the first few minutes of their allotted time trying to make fun of Winston Peters. I have no idea if it was their intention to try to belittle him, but it added little to the debate.

It was also interesting that those for the motion spoke of Maori not having the opportunity to get to the top in our society, just because they were Maori – a real contradiction, because all three proposing Maori wards are of Maori descent and are successful in their chosen professions without any special privilege, just intelligence and hard work.

To suggest that the Maori voice is not heard when a predominantly Pakeha local authority is trying to establish a Maori ward is ironic to say the least, whether they are established or not. (Abridged)
Bell Block

The world has recognised and honoured what Nelson Mandela did to overcome the apartheid era in South Africa. Apartheid simply means ‘‘apartness’’. It is the mechanism of enforcing non integration and preserving a separation among various ethnicities, cultures and groups. Now, there are no officially separate or exclusive identities in South Africa. No special privileges, representations or considerations are given to any groups. None is sidelined. There is full integration – there is equality for all.

What Mayor Judd is proposing to do to Maori in New Plymouth is tantamount to ensuring the separation of a minority group and preventing full integration.

I do not believe that the Treaty of Waitangi was meant to be an apartheid instrument for keeping Maori separate. On the contrary, I believe it was meant to ensure equality. If I am wrong, then the Treaty should be scrapped.

By the way, equality in representation does not mean a 50-50 split between different groups. If you were doling out lollies to 14 people, you would not give half to a group of 13 people and half to the remaining one – that would not be equality. Likewise with representation.

Land owners of the New Plymouth District Council area need to be aware that submissions close on December 11 at 5pm on a planned change to the District Plan that will affect people who have an existing waahi tapu site on their property, and also where local hapu have requested that a site be moved or new sites identified.

Plan change 40 will redefine the name to Waahi Taonga/Sites of Significance to Maori and Archaeological Sites, with amended rules and terms. If you may be affected, then please check this out on the council website or at libraries. You may want to make a submission.

Some of us are concerned that the only people who have been personally notified of the submissions being called are all the hapu of the New Plymouth District, and the affected land owners in the area covered by Ngati Rahiri, as this hapu is the first in the district going through the process to confirm their amended sites, Plan Change 43.

Bay of Plenty Times 11/12/14

Peter Dey (Letters, December 10), in his advocacy for racebased wards, seems to have little understanding of the role of councillors.

Councillors are elected to represent all of the community — including Maori, and advocate on behalf of all. Councillors do not need a deeper tan to understand and respond to their community’s needs.

A Maori ward is the opposite, being elected by and answerable only to an ethnic group and required to promote their wants as opposed to needs of the wider community. If this so desirable then Asian and Pacific wards would seem appropriate. And let’s not forget the Irish and the Dutch.

His calling Mary Brooks and Robin Bishop “mean-spirited, uncharitable people” for their defence of democracy does his cause no favours.

The role of council is to provide services for the community such as sewerage, water, roads, libraries, playing fields. Do Maori turn on the tap or flush the toilet differently?

Dey may like to enlighten us as to what skills a Maori ward councillor would bring to the Voice for all table that would benefit all of the community.
Welcome Bay

The Wellingtonian11/12/14

After the December 4 letters from me and others, evoked by Ms O'Connor's letter of November 27, I doubt that the matter will be allowed to rest at that. Frankly, I shouldn't be surprised if there is soon a modest proposal, by Maori or Maoriphile spokespersons, for "weighted" electoral rights, everywhere, as well as the weighted number of Maori seats in Parliament that we've now had for some years. I mean that a right to several votes by every person with any Maori ancestry, but by nobody else. may well be the next preposterous scheme alleged to be what the Treaty's "principles' pledge to the tangata whenua. If people cannot achieve their PC utopias democratically. then other means must be used!

I write in support of B Cronin, S Plowman, J Robinson and H. Westfold whose letters deploring the racism of L O'Connor were published on December 4. The myth that the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 produced any form of partnership between Maori and Pakeha has been perpetuated by successive governments, including this National Government, to such an extent that the younger generation in this country think that the myth is the truth.

The Treaty of Waitangi made all people living in this country citizens of equal status and subject to British law. Any laws or privileges based on race are nothing more than racism. There should now be one electoral roll and Maori seats should be abolished (as was advised would happen if MMP were to be adopted). Maori have proved they are capable of being elected to both parliament and local committees on their merit. How did we In this country ever get to the position where people are so misguided as to think that rights should be determined by race?
Island Bay

The claim by Liz O'Connor (November 27) that the regional council deliberately decided not to vote for separate representation for Maori on the council missed the crucial point that consultation with all the iwi representing Mana Whenua around the region revealed that they do not want us to take this route at this time. It would be rather foolish of a council to ignore that, and to describe the decision as racist and self-serving is absurd.

Liz O'Connor may not be aware of the fact that the regional council has a unique arrangement whereby the council committee responsible for all natural resource planning is composed of equal numbers of Maori and non-Maori. It works extremely well and has become something of a model for practical biculturalism in the wider local government sector. It is a model which, arguably. delivers rather more to Maori than the presence of a single Maori councillor.
Wellington regional councillor

NZ Herald 9/12/14

The English part of Speaker David Carter’s prayer is not that bad. But the Maori part is a sham, and why does Parliament need a prayer at all?

Hasn’t Wellington got churches and marae that MPs can go to if they want a religious start to their day?

I am surprised the religious people in Parliament are so arrogant they would want their prayers to be read parrot fashion over colleagues who do not believe in it, and surprised the non religious MPs have so little pride in their own beliefs that they put up with it.

But the real damage is when the same abuse spreads to school children, in assemblies, and Bible in Schools. To encourage that kind of arrogance in the Christian pupils and grovelling in the others is not good for either.

Parliament and state schools exist to serve the whole community. To open the day with a burst of one-sided religion puts a flavour of parochialism over the business that follows.

Bay of Plenty Times 9/12/14

How Peter Dey (Letters, December 5) can expect anyone in Tauranga who has common sense to accept his line of nonsense is beyond belief.

His latest flawed contention is that because possibly 75 per cent of the constituency are non-Maori, then accordingly those people will not vote for Maori candidates, so therefore Maori candidates are disadvantaged.

What nonsense. In the general elections a smaller percentage of voters will in all likelihood vote for the smaller parties. That doesn't mean that that smaller party is disadvantaged in any way.

If the Maori of Tauranga put up Maori candidates and the 25 per cent of voters in Tauranga who are Maori (according to Dey) all exercise their rights and vote for Maori candidates, then they could have 25 per cent of the candidates on council. This would give them a significant voice and the leverage to represent the needs of their voters. That's how it works.

This is not racism, but simply democracy in action — something that we as New Zealanders (both Maori and nonMaori) fought and died for.

I still hold my democratic rights as precious.
Welcome Bay

I take my hat off to N Edwards for the refreshing letter last Wednesday , December 3, about the Maori referendum and the situation in general.

It is sad but true that we do have a rift between Maori and Pakeha and it is growing.

Many Pakehas are fed up with the continual demands that Maori seem to be asking for and the apparent inability of some Pakehas in high places to say no now and then.

There is a lot of talk about us being one nation but that sadly does seem to be the reality. To have a gift seat for Maori on the council is not democratic — would we also give a gift seat to our Indian ratepayers or Chinese or Islanders so their voice can be heard?

I feel sure that for most people when we vote for our council members we vote on their policies and opinions, not on their race. (Abridged)

When people indulge in name calling during a discussion [Peter Dey, Letters, December 5], they have lost their way.

You ask who would vote for a Maori candidate in an “at large” Tauranga City Council ward.

Look no further than our very own local Maori MP Simon Bridges who has one of the largest majorities in the country, representing the very same voters, in a non-Maori electorate.

How did Simon Bridges achieve this?

Keeping his head down, while he works extremely hard.

Keeping his eyes and ears open [and his mouth shut at the right time].

Using his brains [always very handy in all situations]

Not asking for, expecting or being given any race-related “favours”.

Congratulations Mr Bridges.

You are an excellent example to all of us on how to succeed, using what used to be the Kiwi way of doing things — ie hard work and using a level playing field.

Wanganui Chronicle 9/12/14

Re: items in the “Maori outraged” and “We have not seen the end of the H issue” ( December 4): What a poorly handled shambles. Fortunately for the majority of Wanganui ratepayers, the result was right.

This matter needs to be put to bed once and for all. It has to go to a binding ratepayers’ referendum that is controlled and supervised, sent out in the next rates account.

None of this texting or emailing your reply, either; that is open to corruption. A simple and clear yes/no to having Wanganui spelt with an “H” or not and send back or drop in your reply to council. It’s that simple. I know this will not be popular with the mayor and her supporters, but in some enlightened circles it’s called “direct democracy”.

Whatever the results, we move on. If the ratepayers vote to leave things as they are and Ken Mair and his supporters get upset and throw their toys out of the cot, that’s their problem. Democracy for all, not democracy of the vocal majority.

I agree with former councillor Stephen Palmer (letters, December 4) that Ken Mair should pull his head in and the council concentrate on putting its financial house in order.

That is the most important issue facing all Wanganui ratepayers right now.
St John’s Hill

Bay of Plenty Times 8/12/14

Peter Dey (Letters, December 5) states that the creation of a Maori ward would remedy the lack of Maori representation on the council.

He makes no mention of the Tangata Whenua Committee, which has been a part of the city council for 14 years.

What exactly is this committee? How many members are there on this committee and do they receive remuneration? Simply put — are they paid for their work? Do they receive expenses such as food, mileage, rate rebates?

If so, they are de-facto council members already.

It seems to me, a politically aware onlooker who is good friends with Mr Google, that there is already much influence from Maori through this committee and that more than a few Maori are already involved in council matters through this and sub-committees which are attached to it.
Mr Dey, do you want the Tangata Whenua Committee to be abolished and a Maori ward created in its place — or do you actually want both? I await your reply with much interest.

Peter Dey (Letters, December 5) implies that effective, nondivisive and fair voting to meet today’s challenges should be on racial lines only.

For example, part- Maori voters for part- Maori candidates, maintaining anything else is “simple-minded ignorance”.

So Simon Bridges is about to hand in his badge having won far too many invalid non-Maori votes to be legitimate and thus incompetent to represent the Tauranga electorate?

We have been forced to expect this sort of incoherence from the Waitangi Tribunal that our central Government politicians keep insisting we fund and take seriously.

Bay of Plenty Times 6/12/14

I support letter writers Mary Brooks and Jan Hill (Letters, December 4) 100 per cent.

As Matire Duncan (not a Maori name) wants a referendum to endeavour to create a separatist “Maori” ward, she and her people must pay for it.

However, she has to first obtain sufficient numbers to support and force a referendum.

If she gets her way and a referendum is held and as is quite likely the result is “NO” to a Maori ward, we all know what will happen next: Matire Duncan and her people will race off, complain to the Waitangi Tribunal over how unfairly and in a racist manner they have been treated.

In New Zealand we are supposed to have a democratic system where everyone, not just a minority group, have the right to define the future of our city and country.

If we must have a Maori ward then we must also have one for our Asian, Pacifika and Indian communities. After all, fair is fair. As the late historian Michael King said, “Pakeha New Zealanders who are committed to this land and its people are no less indigenous than Maori.”

Peter Dey's letter (December 5) is the most racially insulting epistle I have read for a long time. He alleged that most non-Maori people living in Tauranga will not vote for Maori because of the colour of their skin.

This is absolute rubbish. Maori are only 14 per cent of the our population and yet look at the number of Maori in Parliament People vote for what councillors offer to improve the lives of all people living here, Maori and non-Maori. They do not look at their ancestry to decide if they are fit to be a councillor.

Most of us are mixed blood anyway. A public meeting was held regarding a Maori ward, iwi were well represented but the council listened to public opinion and decided against it. I think Dey should apologise to the non-Maori population in Tauranga for his remarks.

Wanganui Chronicle 6/12/14

I note that Ken Mair threatens to take his bat and go home, because the council resolved not to recommend putting an "H" into the name of Wanganui. Now come on, Ken, don't be petulant —nobody likes a sore loser.

Taranaki Daily News 5/12/14

The article by Dion Tuuta today (Dec 1) contains more myth than fact. The great thing about the Treaty of Waitangi is that it guaranteed equality of rights for all New Zealanders. He and others like him obscure the fact that ‘‘tino rangatiratanga’’ was about rights of all New Zealanders (‘‘tangata katoa o Nu Tirani’’ are the actual Treaty words) and ‘‘all’’ means ‘‘all’’. Many ‘‘treaty settlements’’ are frauds imposed on the taxpayers of New Zealand, as Alan Everton’s careful analysis of Ngai Tahu’s fifth ‘‘final settlement’’ makes clear. Waitangi Tribunal pronouncements about Ngapuhi claims to sovereignty show contempt for the truth of which there is abundant evidence.

‘‘The Crown’’ which Tuuta and his like keep talking about means the people of New Zealand, some of whom have Maori forebears, and the benefits the latter have received over the years from the democratic decisions of all the people far outweigh any injustices or grievances they suppose to exist. As the British settlers in Taranaki paid three times over for some land to meet competing tribal claims, the ‘‘injustices’’ are clearly the other way around in such cases. Let this temper the immoderate claims of Mayor Judd and Dion Tuuta today.

Our mayor sees Maori as a race with ‘‘special needs’’, against the principles of the unity of the Treaty, and attempts to veto any input by the citizens of New Plymouth by referendums, by voting against it.

He makes references to material that is non existent in the Treaty of Waitangi, displays an abuse of democracy, and naivety and ignorance of the meaning of the term ‘‘indigenous’’. I watched Te Karere this week and saw young Maori celebrating their homeland of Hawaiki. Maori know where they came from even if our mayor does not.

Letters to the editor from Peter Gaines and Bruce Rayner explain very well the intentions of the British in 1840, when the Treaty was written. Total sovereignty ceded to the British Crown, in exchange for full and equal rights for all New Zealanders, full protection for all New Zealanders, no special privileges and the right for the Maori settlers to retain or sell land they already possessed.

There were breaches of the land sales agreements and confiscations which have been and are being addressed.

Other than that, there is nothing that can be construed as Maori having such a thing as a 50 per cent place in a democratic system without being put there by election, which is what Mayor Judd is now proposing.

He should take an example from the South Taranaki mayors who don't need a Maori ward as they meet face to face and confer with their local iwi regularly.
New Plymouth 8

Wanganui Chronicle 5/12/14

I applaud the councillors who, despite all the political manoeuvring and lobbying by the media and local activists, had the courage to stand up for the truth in these days and voted for what they know their community as a whole wants.

Our world is on fire because of those who have allowed liars to infiltrate our society under the pretext of tolerance and inclusivity only to have their good works thrown back in their faces. Ken Mair's example of the iwi's reaction to the council's decision is indicative of those with an agenda — like the woman I met in Wellington who proudly bragged she was part of the group who displaced Kerry Prendergast as mayor. She sang the old refrain that she could not explain why the other Wanganui down south had also lost its "H" or why the other villages such as Whangaehu had not, and that her grandmother always used the "H".

If Maurice Williamson had found an iota of evidence that this city had ever been host to an "H", I'm sure we would all be wearing it now. But as he has now been shown as placater and pawn, surely the indictment he has left on this city should be lifted.

If the iwi really cared about their community, they would be happy with their victories so far and leave the majority alone, also happy with theirs. But this will not prove to be the case, and Ken Mair's true colours will once more be seen.

Re the article in the Wanganui Chronicle, December 3: "Wanganui council rejects the 'H' by one vote". Thank goodness common sense prevails.

That "H" issue. Council has seen fit to debate it once more. I don't understand why; did not our Geographic Board decide it could be spelled either way? That provides individual choice, nothing demanding —like our ethnic minority would have foisted upon us.

Mayor Annette tells me the local Maori population equates to 24 per cent — which, if you added those others who are in favour of the "H", would still be nowhere near the 51 per cent necessary for a majority. Or maybe there is no place for majorities in our society.

Those Maori leaders were very quick to respond to the vote with a statement that they would seriously consider withdrawing their support from council and nullifying recently-signed agreements. Is this a case of "throwing one's toys out of the cot" or "if you won't play by my rules, I don't want to play any more"? Surely a very selfish view.

Two referendums have clearly indicated the wishes of the residents, and now we are talking about a third. Good on you, Ray Stevens, for suggesting it be binding. All referendums should be binding, surely.

Further congratulations to all those councillors who took the obvious course of action in voting against the motion. Your actions were quite correct from many aspects. As for Jenny Duncan saying she had yet to hear a convincing argument for not using the "H", one must ask where the convincing and concrete evidence is for using it. After all, Maori of those days had no alphabet or written language, and when one considers all the various Pakeha-written documents that feature both spellings ... enough said as to who was right and who was wrong.

I learned many years ago that "if it ain't broke, don't try fixing it". The word Wanganui ain't broke. It's been like that around 150 years, and suddenly a minority is saying it is a "wrong that needs righting". Get off the grass. Leave it as is and then we can spell it how we like.

0 dear, poor old Ken Mair has thrown his toys out of the cot because the council has decided against the "H". Well, guess what. Most of the ratepayers threw their toys out when the matter was brought up again. We have voted and decided in the referendum. And that should be that. Once again we are being made the laughing stock because of this issue.

As you travel around our country, people ask: "Where are you from?" When you say Wanganui, invariably they come back and say "with or without the 'H'?"

Democracy has spoken, and if you do not like it, Ken, perhaps you should move to another country where the dictators and stirrers have the say.

People from Lands End to the Bluff love Wanganui as it has always been (without any "H"). The day the Wanganui Chronicle or any other business adds that unnecessary "H", I will close my account with it — even if it means making Hawera my main town.

Taranaki Daily News 4/12/14

According to the New Plymouth District Council records, 14 councillors currently represent 54,696 eligible voters, of whom 3561, or 6.5 per cent, are on the Maori roll.

In Mayor Judd’s latest visionary exploration, seven Maori councillors would represent 6.5 per cent of the electorate, while the other seven councillors would represent the remaining 93.5 per cent. It would be highly interesting to know if the councillors who voted for the mayor’s ‘‘One’’ Maori Ward proposal are still backing his newest interpretation of democracy.
New Plymouth

Bay of Plenty Times 4/12/14

Why do local iwi continue to create a rift between non-Maori and those who are Maori?

We are all New Zealanders under one law.

I refer to their proposal to hold a referendum to vote against the decision of our democratically elected council, not to create a separate Maori ward ( News, December 1).

This will cost $170,000. Will iwi pay for this?

There is already a Maori voice on the council and if Maori want more representation, all they need to do is to support candidates for election in a democratic way. Anything else is racist.

What part of “no” doesn’t Tangata Whenua Collective deputy chairwoman Matire Duncan understand?

Tauranga City councillors have voted unanimously (9-0) not to establish a Tauranga Maori Ward and Ms Duncan is totally ignoring this and pushing for a referendum to obtain the separatist ward at a cost to us ratepayers of $170,000.

On page 11 of the same edition of the Bay of Plenty Times, Tommy Wilson is boasting that “one of our informed business bros” had taken $400,000 and in 18 short months had turned it into a return of $1.2 million, equating to a 300 per cent return to iwi.

Well now, if Maori can achieve that, I am positive they can get elected onto an “at-large seat” and there is no need for a Tauranga Maori Ward or any other special privileges whatsoever. So that’s sorted then.

Wanganui Chronicle 4/12/14

When a previous Wanganui District Council decided to apply for consent to discharge sewage into the sea, rather than spraying it on to forest, we invited river iwi to have representatives on the team of officials that would plan the application. While Maori prefer land-based discharge, their team members understood that disposal on land would be much more expensive than putting "it" out to sea and that their own people, who were largely of lower socio-economic status, would be most affected by the additional cost. So they agreed to sea disposal as long as the treatment standard was raised, and that was accepted and implemented.

Similarly, a boycott of liaison arrangements with the current council over the "H' will drag our community down again economically, and that will hurt Maori people more than anyone else. The "H" will happen but it should happen when the majority of Wanganui people can live happily with it, and I don't believe that time has come yet.

Ken Mair should get real and pull his head in, while our council should concentrate on putting our financial house in order.
Bastia Hill

Northland Age 4/12/14

Re statement in the editorial December 2. The fact that Maori have not been more prominently represented is not the council’s fault, or the wider community’s.

Recently, after the death of Murray Rae (of Maori descent) a bi election was held for our Northern Ward. Three candidates stood for election, all of whom are of Maori descent. The Pakeha did not bother to stand.

It appears Maori are becoming more involved in public affairs.

It is time to set out what really happened at some critical moments on New Zealand’s history.

From Hobson’s brief from the Colonial Office, August 14, 1839: “The Queen . . . disclaims . . . to govern them . . . unless the free intelligent consent of the natives, expressed according to their established usages, shall first be obtained.”

At Waitangi on February 5, 1840 in his opening remarks, Hobson stated: “You yourselves have often asked the King of England to extend his protection unto you. Her Majesty now offers you that protection in this treaty . . . But as the law of England gives no civil powers to Her Majesty out of her domain, her efforts to do you good will be futile unless you consent. (Our emphasis)

The words of the chiefs who spoke against signing were:

Te Kemara, chief of Ngatikawa: “Health to thee O Governor . . . I shall never say ‘Yes’ to your staying. Were all to be on equality, then, perhaps, Te Kemara would say ‘Yes; ‘ but for the Governor to be up and Te Kemara down . . . low, small, a worm, a crawler -no, no, no.

Rewa, chief of Ngaitawake: “I will not say ‘Yes’ to the Governor’s remaining. No, no, no; return. What! this land to become like Port Jackson.”

Moka, chief of Patuheka: “Let the Governor return to his own country: let us remain as we were.”

Kawiti, chief of Ngatihine: “I will not say ‘Yes’ to thy sitting here. What! To be fired at in our boats and canoes by night! What! To be fired at when quietly paddling our canoes by night! I, even I, Kawiti, must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Governor said ‘No’”.

Hakiro, who appeared to speak on behalf of Titore, deceased chief of Ngatinanenane, arose and said: “O Governor! I say no, no, no. . . . We will not have a Governor!”

Tareha, chief of Ngatirehia: “Thou, the Governor up high up, up, as this tall paddle”. Here he held up a common canoe paddle and continued: “and I down, under, beneath! No, no, no. I will never say ‘Yes, stay’”.

Wai of Ngaitawake also opposed signing. No others spoke against it.

It will be clear to any reasonable person that these chiefs understood clearly that by signing the treaty, all would become subordinate to the Governor, though some had excessive ideas of what his powers would be. Simply said: they knew that by signing they would cede sovereignty.

On the next day, February 6, Te Kemara, Rewa, Moka, Hakiro and Tareha all signed the treaty. Kawiti signed later. As Te Kemara admitted afterwards, his speech had been all “mere show”.

Later, before the land commissioners, he stated that he had disposed of his lands in a fair sale.

Rewa. Mob, Hakiro and Tareha all lived close to French bishop Pompallier and had been told they would become slaves if they signed — the opposite of the truth, but Hobson made it clear that this was untrue and that all religions would be tolerated.

On February 6, Marupo of Wanaurara and Ruhe of Ngatihineira both spoke against signing and then signed the Treaty, Marupo twice. Genuine opposition was virtually nonexistent.

More was said than is related above, of course. It can be Googled easily by entering 'Colenso — the Authentic and Genuine History of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.' While Colenso did not publish his account until 1890, it is a condensed version of his notes taken at the time, which he checked for accuracy with several of those present, including Busby.

On July 10,1860, Governor Gore Browne invited chiefs to attend a conference at Kohimarama to ascertain their opinion of the Taranaki rebels. Lasting for a month, it was the greatest assembly of chiefs which ever occurred, around 200 attending in total.

Minutes of the meeting were taken with much care in English and Maori, and have been republished recently by Victoria University of Wellington. Again, they can be obtained by Googling 'Victoria University Proceedings of the Kohimarama Conference Comprising Nos 13 to 18 of the Maori Messenger.

With one or two very minor exceptions, the chiefs clearly affirmed their support of the Governor, approved of his actions and condemned the activities of the Taranaki rebels. Many declarations were made of their loyalty to the Queen, their sovereign, some Ngapuhi chiefs speaking thus:Treaty veteran, Waka Nene:"I know no sovereign but the Queen, and I shall never know any other." Taurau: I am from Ngapuhi ... there [is] but one name upon earth .. . the Queen. Let us then rest under the (Queen's] Government. WI Te Tete:"Let me have the last word! We have now become one people under the Queen."

The conference finished with a resolution passed unanimously at the last session. "That this conference takes cognisance of the fact that several chiefs, members thereof are pledged to each other to do nothing inconsistent with their declared recognition of the Queen's sovereignty, and of the unions of the two races".

When Anne Salmond stated her support for recent Ngapuhi spokesmen who claimed that they had never ceded sovereignty, I quoted these statements to her. She replied that the chiefs would not remember accurately what had been said 20 years ago. (Email to me, August 24, 2010). This is pure nonsense, of course. The chiefs' memories were well- trained and would certainly know accurate accounts of Waitangi proceedings. [So much for Dame Anne. Those attending her Rutherford lectures would be well advised to take what she says with several grains of salt].

Then we have the testimony of Rev Samuel Warren: "I was present at the great meeting at Waitangi when the celebrated treaty was signed, and also at a meeting which took place subsequently on the same subject at Hokianga.

There was a great deal of talk by the natives, principally on the subject of securing their proprietary right to the land, and their personal liberty. Everything else they were only too happy to yield to the Queen, as they said repeatedly, because they knew they could only be saved from the rule of other nations by sitting under the shadow of the Queen of England In my hearing they frequently remarked, 'Let us be one people. We had the gospel from England, let us have the law from England.' "My impression at the time was that the natives perfectly understood that by signing the treaty they became British subjects, and though I lived amongst them more than 15 years after the event, and often conversed with them on the subject I never saw the slightest reason to change my opinion.

The natives were at the time in mortal fear of the French, and justly thought they had done a pretty good stroke of business when they placed the British lion between themselves and the French eagle"

While Warren was writing in 1863, he had, as he said, conversed with the tribesmen over more than 15 years. It would be very prejudiced to doubt this assertion from Warren. All reasonable people will see clearly that the foregoing evidence is reliable.

The chiefs ceded sovereignty to the Queen completely and forever when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and they knew full well what they were doing. In doing so, all Maori, including the many thousand slaves of other Maori whose conditions were abject, received the full rights of the people of England, a precious gift, and the rights of all the people of New Zealand to own private property were affirmed.

That is all which was agreed by the signatories to the Treaty, and those who deny it today or claim that it said anything else (but for a sentence about land purchases, which soon became a dead letter) are dishonouring the Treaty.

The Waitangi Tribunal and today's Ngapuhi spokesmen are the greatest offenders.

Bay of Plenty Times 3/12/14

Re Maori referendum sought on separate council seat — you have got to be joking.

The Maori collective wants to spend $170,000 of my rates money when they are crying foul over hungry children and children with no shoes.

I am of proud Te Whanau a Apanui and of Whakatohea descent. I also identify, as many Maori do, with the many tangata whenua lucky enough to call the Bay of Plenty home.

If any Maori person is good enough for council then they can stand and make it in the general election with everyone else.

Maori should not be singled out and say they need their own seat because they couldn’t gain one during a normal election — council or government.

Talk about wanting a backdoor option.

I am so over us getting handouts.

I was brought up to stand up for myself and make something of myself — and have taught my sons the same, all the while maintaining a strong connection to who we are and where we are from, which the tangata whenua of all of New Zealand luckily has.

Taranaki Daily News 2/12/14

Mayor Judd wants to promote 50-50 seats for Maori and non-Maori on all council committees.

Could he also be wanting to extend that to dual or co-leadership by having one Maori mayor and one non-Maori mayor for each council?

Then each could receive 50-50 of the mayor’s salary and share their resources. The mayor may want to extend his 50-50 promotion to 50-50 Maori and non-Maori on the Maori ward.

He also suggests Maori on the general roll might want to switch to the Maori roll to get more seats on councils. I am very happy to have my individual right to remain registered on the general roll. So what is it that he really wants, because, as we now know, he doesn't declare what his fixture plans are with the voters?

A Maori world view would be for the mayor to pay the candidate's application fee, and give each Maori candidate a grant for advertising and publicity, because only wealthy people can afford to stand for council. I'm standing as an individual, and on my own merits.
New Plymouth

I wish to air my views in respect of New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd’s call to enforce Maori wards and the suggestion that district councils should have 50-50 representation.

When I saw this, I thought, I don’t qualify, simply because I’m more than half Maori... according to my birth certificate. However, what a load of bollocks! I've never ever seen myself different to anyone else in my community, let alone in this wonderful country.

I breathe the same air, drink the same rain water, and actually walk beside whoever happens to be walking the same way as me.

Furthermore, what are the criteria to be able to vote in these Maori wards if established? Is it going to be based on the electoral roll, affiliation to hapu and iwi, or are there going to be rules made up by local councils? Maybe if one can identify themselves as being of Maori descent . . . we'll never know. If it's going to be the electoral roll, then I don't qualify because I have never been on the Maori roll.

To this end, I am going to submit my name for local elections here in South Taranaki next, and I'm going to start campaigning now . . . by approaching those Maori who live in my ward, not only to vote, but enrol. That is all.

Bay of Plenty Times 2/12/14

On reading that the Tangata Whenua Collective wishes to force a referendum on the people of Tauranga (News, December 1), my thoughts just go to the point that this is 2014 and close to 2040, not 1840.

If you have the candidates and get the votes you go in. If not, work with what you have got and in three years try again.

My wife and I took part in the Christmas parade on the week-end, and my wife went and asked a woman from one of the bands in the parade, where are you from? Her reply was New Zealand — this is her home. She also said she was from an Asian country and of Chinese descent.

What better answer could you get? This person was one of us and had joined in our way of life, but still proud of where she came from. We are one people from all nations and I am proud to be a New Zealander.

I don't want to see some people get more advantage in any area than others but wish to see people achieve their goals in an open field, where all play with the same rules. (Abridged)

Re Maori seat referendum —the city council made its decision and councillors were voted in by the people. A separate seat just for Maori does make for separatism and division. Maori must get their representative voted on like other councillors do — then we get the best people for the job.

Wanganui Chronicle 28/11/14

Every time I read the newspaper, view TV or listen to the radio I am inundated with Maori this and Maori that, and I have had a gutsful. To be fair, this is now a global problem, not just re-stricted to Maori,encompassing "indigenous" peoples across the planet. Suddenly ethnic groups are finding they have been taken advantage of through colonisation over hundreds/thousands of years.

The argument that "ignorant" natives have been ripped off by clever non-natives has some merit, but it is the offspring of those non-natives who have educated the "ignorant native" progeny to the extent that they are capable of questioning the treatment afforded their forebears.

The really unfortunate issue is that in recent decades the requirement to appear unbiased and politically correct has resulted in indigenous people being constantly favoured regardless of the credibility of their claims. This raises the question of who really are the indigenous people of New Zealand: Egyptians, Swedes, Eskimos, Chinese or some Polynesian mob from somewhere in the Pacific? Language similarities may even suggest a Southeast Asian link. Without doubt, Maori were not the original occupiers of "Godzone".

The question of sovereignty (as seized upon by Potonga Neilson, following a predictable and unsubstantiated pronouncement by the Waitangi Tribunal), is just rubbish. There was no sovereignty among Maori as a collective group.

If Maori, collectively, cannot decide what a haka is really all about, what right do they have to dictate anything to the rest of the country's population? I have seen all sorts of definitions of the haka and where it was to be performed and to what purpose, ranging from a welcome, a celebration of a person's life, a concert item and even a ballet performance.The fact that some iwi want payment from groups using "their" haka sums up what appears to be the prevalent attitude among an increasing number of Maori: forget tradition and culture, just show me the money.

Let's forget all this racially inspired, politically correct excrement in a bull paddock and get on with being a nation. (Abridged)

Taranaki Daily News 28/11/14

Nothing is gained by a public declaration that the vexed question of exclusive Maori wards in local politics should be passed on to central government for a law to be passed forcing the issue. It is very much akin to passing on a poisoned chalice to the next unfortunate recipient.

In this matter, much play has been attached to the inferred intent of the Treaty of Waitangi. The very core of the whole issue, however, had its beginnings long before 1841.

In the early 1800s England was cementing its place as an aggressive, autocratic (and, if you like it) paternalistic seagoing colonial superpower. Any serious student of English colonisation will quickly establish that all power was in Whitehall, and the Industrial Revolution was making British goods for sale on an international scale.

Into this mix, in 1841 a ship’s captain and an assistant cobbled together New Zealand’s foundation document. The question is, why would such a proud and overly successful country as England engage with a native warrior race in far-flung New Zealand as regards the matter of special privileges regarding the democratic process?

The answer, of course, is that no such event took place.

Now bring this whole matter into the here and now in 2014. It is submitted that the good old Treaty of Waitangi has become a catchphrase for any tailor-made situation you like; never mind whether it is relevant (such as the case before us).

The cold, cruel facts of the matter are that any candidate standing before the polls, and succeeding, is entitled and will receive our sincere congratulations.

I am now exiting the debate on this matter, and will not be responding to any sorties of dazzling rhetoric, as I am told summer is here, and the bowling greens beckon.
New Plymouth

Welcome to the socialist state of New Zealand. This is what New Zealand will start to become if Andrew Judd has his way legislating a law requiring Maori citizens to have up to 50 per cent representation on future local body councils.

My reaction would be exactly the same if he was promoting females, Europeans, or any other race or group to be granted the same privilege.

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders suffered badly or died in wars during the past 100 years defending the right of New Zealand and other countries’ citizens to maintain their democratic rights and freedom, and yet we now have a mayor who is virtually saying this no longer matters.

Taranaki Daily News 27/11/14
For Andrew Judd to know whether his push to artificially boost Maori representation better reflects the Treaty of Waitangi, he would have to know what the Treaty is.

The Treaty is a declaration of equality; this includes the opportunity to campaign and sell one's candidacy on the strength of effective ideas. It is not about throwing democratic principles to the wind in an attempt to distract the public from one's ineffectiveness in council.

Representation is about performance, not body count anyway. Otherwise you have a disaster in the making. I believe (as I know John McLeod, Andrew Little, and Jonathan Young do) that every man stands on his merits, independent of race or creed.

At what point does Judd's patronising condescension to the Maori populace become just a slap in the face? Does he utter to himself, "You people don't have the wisdom and skill-set to enter the kingdom without me".

Is this his way of twisting voters' arms into re-electing him for another term: to create a gridlock that only his importunate self can clear? I think so. But will the voters see through the ploy? Stay tuned.
New Plymouth

Northland Age 27/11/14
I see the Waitangi Tribunal have been true to form by verifying their shonky interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi regarding the acceptance of sovereignty or not by the signatories.

This question has been plagiarised by academics over the years to discredit the original intention of chiefs of the time who knew precisely what they signal for. Twenty years later in 1860 at Kohimarama 200 paramount chiefs and rangatira gathered for a runanga or tribunal council to discuss how Maori had fared in the intervening period. They were addressed by the Governor General who described the Treaty and what it meant Sixty per cent were explicit in their agreement and pledged their allegiance, a further 17 per cent expressed similar sentiment 21 per cent did not state an opinion and 2 per cent were against There is a full transcript of the proceedings and the chiefs' speeches are wonderful to read.

The Tribunal is noted for its subterfuge and manipulation of the truth but will the government ever have the guts to disband it? Maybe we will have to change the flag and become a republic to effect it. Then we may have the unity of one people.
RD3 Kaitaia

Bay of Plenty Times  25/11/14
Taylor Delamere ( Letters, November 22) states that a Maori ward is the answer to the inequality between Maori and non-Maori within our political system. Is he not aware that Maori already have a very influential voice in the Tauranga City Council?

The Tangata Whenua Committee was established by TCC 14 years ago with the sole purpose of ongoing engagement with the council therefore it is quite clear that Maori are already very much involved in council matters and the suggestion of a separate Maori ward has to be a complete overkill.

Dominion Post 21/11/14
I note the recent findings about governance as prescribed in the Treaty, made by the Waitangi Tribunal.

This has us once again dancing on the head of a pin regarding nuances of the meaning of Maori words.

Back in the 1950s I knew a librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library. He had to index some early documents in the Maori language.

His knowledge of Maori was inadequate to the job, so he was sent up the Whanganui River as only there were to be found a few elderly Maori who still spoke the language as it was in those early days after 1840.

When it comes to discussing the finer points of the language we must bear in mind two things.

The written language exists thanks to a few well-educated, English-speaking Victorian missionaries.

And we must also bear in mind that in a country of warring tribes, plus all the difficulties of travel there must have been great variations of patois and finer points of meaning.

With all respect to the members of the tribunal they can have but little knowledge on which to base the decisions that they make. No-one has that knowledge.

Bay of Plenty Times 21/11/14

I strongly support R Smith (Letters, November 20) regarding the abolition of the existing six ward seats that Tauranga currently has and I also congratulate the councillors in recently opposing, so strongly, the introduction of specific Maori wards.

As a reminder though at the last electoral representation review six years ago, the councillors also voted for the abolition of the ward seat system and reverting to at-large voting for Tauranga city.

However, following the objection of no more than six applicants this decision was overturned, by the Local Government commission, which not only went against the majority view of councillors but introduced two ward seats for each of the three wards against the then existing one seat per ward.

The warning I have is to be vigilant as so far the councillors and the residents have won the first battle and not the war.

Taranaki Daily News 21/11/14

You have called for some reasoned debate on the issue of the establishment of a Maori ward for the New Plymouth District. I shall begin by stating that I am unequivocally opposed to such a development. I am opposed not because I think it will disadvantage me in any way - indeed, I think it will make not one jot of difference to the great majority of the citizens. I am opposed because it will disadvantage Maori.

I am sure mayor Judd is trying to be inclusive, but my message to him is that you include people by treating them the same, and that by granting them different rights you are, in effect, excluding them. How can Maori ever achieve true equality if we are to continue to patronise them in this manner and treat them as some "special needs" group who require separate representation in order to progress? If I were part of such a minority I would regard such a proposal as a gratuitous insult and be saying "we don't need your patronage, we don't want your special privileges, we are better than that and can stand on our own two feet, thanks all the same".

My challenge to Maori of the district is to tell mayor Judd and his supporting councillors where they can shove their demeaning, separatist proposal, and reiterate that you are perfectly capable of competing with any other group of citizens, minority or majority, on an equal footing. (Abridged)
New Plymouth

In response to John Warner (Letters, October 29), there's nothing dubious about the actual and true accounts from Maori themselves that have been recorded since the arrival of the first settlers, and there are plenty of their statements regarding a race or races of people living here when they arrived.

The retired curator of the Dargaville Museum, Noel Hilliam, has been researching and compiling evidence of this country's earliest settlers since 1954. Academics who talk privately to Noel are astounded at his research material and indisputable evidence of habitation in early New Zealand.

They encourage him to keep speaking out about the truth, but none will back him publicly. They are afraid to jeopardise their jobs and research Rending by going against the relatively recent official belief that Polynesians were the first to settle here. Noel comments: "You will learn the true early history of this country's earlier people from the Maori and original handwritten records of the Land Court minute books. These people based their recorded history on fact, and had no reason to lie.

The distortion of our history has come about over the last 30-40 years." Ngapuhi leader David Rankin says: "If we believe our histories, then we as Maori are not the indigenous people of New Zealand, and academic historians are ridiculing and suppressing any Maori history which disagrees with their views."
D S Highlands Park

Dominion Post 20/11/14
In her recent Rutherford lecture, Anne Salmond claimed a similarity of worldviews between King George IV and Hongi Hika, with their word their bond and so on. George IV was no paragon of virtue, but Hongi butchered and cannibalised thousands of other Maori before and after meeting the king and his treachery in deceiving other tribes about his plans is well established. Salmond’s comparison is ridiculous.

Again, Maori society was strongly hierarchical with several grades of chieftain from the ariki at the top to the rangitira.

Then came the ordinary tribesmen and, in abject conditions at the bottom, the slaves.

Women did almost all the manual work as well as childrearing while the men hunted or prepared for warfare.

Salmond’s claim that their culture was ‘‘egalitarian’’ is storytelling.

Her claim that the 1835 ‘‘Declaration of Independence’’ set down a national identity is another fairytale.

Equally, her claim that the superstitious Maori ‘‘worldview’’ was ‘‘a possible scenario for the future’’ is absurd.

Are atua [Gods] to be included in it? If the Royal Society cannot find better people to be Rutherford lecturers it had better give the idea away completely.
Island Bay

The Southland Times 20/11/14
The Waitangi Tribunal has now proclaimed that the northern chiefs never ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria in 1840. This is a colossal lie. The sources are readily available to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that sovereignty was ceded completely and for ever and that the chiefs knew that by signing the treaty they were doing this.

That the tribunal chooses to ignore this evidence shows that it is the most corrupt body ever funded with taxpayer money in New Zealand. It should be abolished without delay

Already one tribal spokesman is crowing gleefully that this strengthens tenfold their spurious claims to water, oil and mineral rights.

If most New Zealanders do not wake up to this great confidence trick, they will soon find that much of their birthright has been stolen from under their very noses.

Bay of Plenty Times 20/11/14
Now that the council has decided in favour of equality, and voted against a Maori ward, perhaps people could put their energies into getting the ward system abolished.

That would mean people such as Matire Duncan could stand for election and know that they get on to the council, because they are the best person for the job — and the ratepayers want them there — and not just because they are Maori.

Then, they could do what is best for all the people of this great city of ours.

I applaud the council in its decision, knowing that it goes against the policies of other councils.

I only hope that those other councils follow our lead, and do away with race-based councillors, and let anybody who wants to stand, know they do so on their own merit, and because of what they have to offer to the whole of the community.

Maori are an intelligent and innovative race of people, and the vast majority of them get on with life, and make their own way, just as everyone else does.

G Edwards’ letter of November 17 contradicts himself all in one line.

Asking how to eliminate separatism then promptly says he supports Maori representation on council, which is separatism.

I sometimes wonder if most Kiwis do not know what democracy means?

It means of the people, elected representatives by the people.

Not special privileges for minority groups, who can take positions in governments or councils unelected.

All the people pay for this so it’s all about equality.

Edwards says: “Maori have become strong economic players in their own right so let them get elected to these positions in the same way everyone else does, stop treating them like lame ducks.”

No one is giving them cold shoulder.

I applaud the council for seeing sense and saying no to a Maori ward with unelected Maori. It should never ever happen in our democratic society — that is not how democracy works.

I read that the city council has voted against creating a separate Maori seat. This is as it should be.

It also stops councillors from marching like lemmings towards the cliff of political suicide. However ratepayers should remain vigilant after reading Mayor Crosby’s statement Bay of Plenty Times on Tuesday 19, referring to a separate Maori seat.

Mr Crosby suggested the right time could be when local government reorganisation was considered in the Bay of Plenty”.

He goes on to say we have been on a journey of healing and reconciliation, this is not the right time

Note to Mr Crosby: there never will be a right time.

Separatism and apartheid is wrong — in local politics and national.

Northland Age 20/11/14
The Waitangi Tribunal has now proclaimed that the northern chiefs never ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria in 1840. This is a colossal lie.

The sources are readily available to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that sovereignty was ceded completely and forever and that the chiefs knew that by signing the Treaty they were doing this.

That the tribunal chooses to ignore this evidence shows that it is the most corrupt body ever funded with taxpayer money in New Zealand. It should be abolished without delay.

Already one tribal spokesman is crowing gleefully that this strengthens tenfold their spurious claims to water, oil and mineral rights.

If most New Zealanders do not wake up to this great confidence trick, they will soon find that much of their birthright has been stolen from under their very noses.

Should letters to the editor be repetitive, or should incorrect facts be left unchallenged?

BC Gregory ( November 30) believes that those who disagree with him are guilty of confused thinking, almost by fiction. He then makes some wild claims such as that all rangatira had died since 1840, before the Kohimarama conference of 1860. Gregory even makes the extraordinary claim that no Maori rangatira signed the Treaty at Waitangi.

As just one example of what did happen, consider senior Ngapuhi chief Tamati Waka Nene, who lived from around 1785 to August 4, 1871. He signed the letters to the British government of 1831 and 1835, and the Treaty of Waitangi, and was the first Maori speaker at the Kohimarama conference. I pointed that out in a recent letter.

Such Maori chiefs, in Ngapuhi as in other tribes, were not fools. Many were bilingual. They understood and debated over decades the basis of British actions, agreed on the necessary sovereignty of the British Crown, and celebrated the outcome.

Dominion Post 19/11/14
Anyone shocked by a finding that Ngapuhi did not concede sovereignty knows little about the Waitangi Tribunal ( Hope for goodwill to see us through strife, November 17).

That chiefs did not agree to cede sovereignty is basic tribunal dogma that flows from a 1980s reinterpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi by Sir Hugh Kawharu that better fits claimant aspirations.

That chiefs agree to cede sovereignty is written clearly in Article 1 of the treaty – and this is so in the Maori text, official English text, the Littlewood treaty, and the Kawharu reinterpretation.

Kawharu’s semantic mischief appears in the re-translated Article 2 that guarantees chiefs possession of their property.

Most forget that the treaty was drafted in English and translated into Maori.

‘‘Kawanatanga’’ was used to translate ‘‘sovereignty’’ in Article 1 and ‘‘rangatiratanga’’ translated ‘‘possession’’ in Article 2.

The phrase ‘‘absolute unfettered chieftainship’’ is another meaning of ‘‘rangatiratanga’’ but does not make much sense when read in light of the original English draft.

Was the tribunal offering a balanced view of the evidence placed before it for the Far North inquiry or was it advocating for Ngapuhi claimants?

Here’s a clue. Try to recall a recommendation that was not advocating on behalf of claimants.

The Waitangi Tribunal comments on joint sovereignty should be of concern to all because they reflect what the Government has actually been doing, regardless of validity in terms of the Treaty.

Helen Clark made clear her view that New Zealand should be one people with the foreshore law.

Since National entered an alliance with the clearly separatist Maori Party we have moved towards government based on two races.

The foreshore legislation was scrapped. A whole series of social welfare policies have separatist race based provisions.

Special funding exists for Maori education, radio and TV. Administration of these has been devolved to new agencies.

Treaty settlements involve not only money and land but special race-based provisions on joint management of rivers, lakes, mountains and so on.

These now seem to include a huge national park and 90 mile beach. Auckland Council has special non-elected Maori representatives.

The tribunal’s comments will hopefully lead to some serious debate about how New Zealanders actually want democracy to operate here.

Taking account of Maori concerns is one thing. Shared administration with an undefinable 15 per cent is another. Do we want to be one nation or not?

NZ Herald 19/11/14
The Waitangi Tribunal has outlived its usefulness. To paraphrase Oliver Cromwell’s famous dismissal of Parliament, “They have sat here for too long to be of any further use.”

The British at Waitangi in 1840 would have had no hesitation in confirming tribal authority on the chiefs gathered there to sign the Treaty. The British were governed locally by their lords in a similar fashion and had been for more than a millennium. The lords owed their allegiance to the Crown, personified by the monarch.

The Great Reform Act was still 12 years away and it was to be another 70 years before the aristocracy lost its ascendancy in the governance of the the land and the Empire.

The British were not in the habit of “sharing” power, and to suggest such is nonsense.

Bay of Plenty Times 18/11/14
Prime Minister John Key has been trying to get us excited about getting a Security Council seat for the fourth time, claiming deserved fame, trade and wealth will now surge our way, based on our “can-do” international credibility.

Added to this, foreigners will be hugely impressed by our November 14 Waitangi Tribunal judgement.

Supporting stacked membership, ever-elastic budget and the prime role to rewrite history with no questions asked.

Justifying race-based separate development for selected New Zealanders as it believes some northern hapu chiefs sought the 1840 status quo and Musket War security as effective alternate sovereignty and social provision.

The message will go viral: “These Kiwis have things totally sorted at home, we need such help. With this outlook NZ will fix all the world’s problems overnight”. Yeah right.

It may give little satisfaction for the acquisitive tribes of the North, who have claimed the Ninety Mile Beach, to reflect on the fact that in pre-treaty times if they lost their lands they usually lost their lives as well and there was no Waitangi Tribunal to seek compensation for them.

Tommy Wilson has written again about poverty. Certainly t here are some people struggling through no fault of their own but there are many others whose choice of lifestyle has left them in this situation.

It goes right back to education and home environment.

Students must be taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Dropping out of school before finishing your education or university studies means you are unemployable.

There is no accountability as to what benefits are spent on.

There should be a close inquiry as to where the money goes, how much is spent on food for the children and on how much is spent on alcohol and cigarettes.

It is very easy and affordable to grow your own vegetable garden.

Simple gifts can be handmade and Christmas is not solely about eating and presents.

I note 75 iwi are meeting in Tauranga next week.

I hope they will give some thought as to how they can use some of the $85 million Maori

No free lunches

have been award in Tauranga and will use much of it to help their own people with food, education and housing.

Northland Age 18/11/14
I note Mr Piripi reports that there has been “little resistance so far to proposals to restrict vehicle access” to 90 Mile Beach. Any chance that is because no one has come out and publicly stated what the proposed access restrictions will be other than to, possibly, tour buses?

Put it out in the open now, Mr Piripi. Tell us who and what vehicles will be restricted, so later on when the goalposts get shifted we can say “Told you so”

I’m in the wrong job. I should have applied for a Marsden Fund grant to ask Maori claimants what they think of the Treaty settlement process (‘Funds awarded for claims research’, Northland Age, November 11). It wouldn’t take long. In fact I have already done some groundbreaking historical research. I’ve read The Northland Age, listened to the radio and watched telly. For that I’d charge half the $710,000 already allocated.

Then I’d phone a few friends who are never short of an opinion. That would sop up the rest and because I would have completed this research in record time, I’d offer a 20 per cent discount to the Marsden Fund so they’d have a bit of dosh left over to give to schools to feed the kids. That would be $142,000. Not bad, eh?

Bay of Plenty Times 17/11/14
Your correspondent Peter Dey (Letters, November 12) seems a little confused. Any political system that offers any group of people different rights and privileges based on racial descent is apartheid and is wrong. No matter what colour the beneficiaries are, it’s a system that undoubtedly leads to bullying, corruption and resentment. He claims apartheid in favour of Maori is ‘ more fair’. In that case, why shouldn’t all of the 200 ethnicities in New Zealand have the privilege of racebased seats?

He claims Maori are not seeking political control, yet we are constantly bombarded with claims to Maori sovereignty over New Zealand from political activists like Hone Harawira and Margaret Mutu. A separate Maori ward for Tauranga City Council is just another part of their agenda.

Dey speaks of ‘ Pakeha domination’ , which admittedly sounds bad but is simply radical puffery. Does he really think that replacing ‘democracy’ (where everyone has equal rights) with ‘Tribal Law’ (where might is right) will lead to a fairer, more inclusive society? Look around the world at the nations providing their citizens with peace, human rights, infrastructure, healthcare and education and you have to agree that true democracy has generally proven itself to be the most beneficial system of all.

Thank goodness some New Zealanders are aware of the rampant drive to separatism within our society. They should be applauded for their courage in standing up to the perpetrators and speaking out.

Bay of Plenty Times 15/11/14
It was a tiny item tucked away in the television news last week. A 13-year-old boy in Turkey has been radicalised by Isis. He is a child who should be laughing with his friends, riding his bike and climbing trees. Instead he was calmly talking about beheading and dying for the cause. He will not complete his schooling, get a job, marry or have a family.

The camera then turns to his mother who, being asked if she is happy for her son to die for his ideals, replied, "Oh yes" — she was very happy for her son to be killed fighting.

As the camera began to pan away from her face we saw the moment of truth. Her face crumpled and for a nano-second we had a glimpse into her real feelings. She cannot scream out loud — "No — I do not want my son to die in this war!"

Obviously very fearful of consequences, she has to live a terrible lie, a tragedy multiplied a million-fold for mothers in these war-torn countries.

I loudly rail against all forms of separatism and division — take note Tauranga City Council in your latest foray into the world of divisive politics. Let us all be one people, unlike those in the tragic tale above.

Wanganui Chronicle 15/11/14
Prime Minister John Key has been talking about changing our flag and some time in the future New Zealand becoming a republic. If we do away with the Union Jack and also come a republic it would be for sure that our present constitution would be changed for a new, written one, a new anthem and politicians would swear loyalty to a false English document which has been used as the Treaty.

The constitution that the Constitutional Advisory Panel targeted was one modelled on Bolivia where private land, homes and cars were confiscated and put into what was named as the "community". If past owners wished to retain use of what used to be theirs, they would need to rent from the "community" with proceeds divided equally between Maori and government.

Maori tribal law was envisaged with the usual "no right of appeal" with each tribe exercising its own law within its boundaries. Remember John Key supported Peter Sharples wing to the United Nations in secret (Parliament was unaware, no mandate existed) to sign the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. Be aware, republicans — this is where our country is headed if republicanism is pulled off.

Bay of Plenty Times (Online Comments) 15/11/14
Maori ward fears ‘‘myths’’ Why are Maori fighting so hard for a separate seat if it is all a myth? They are fighting for separatism and racism. Why do Maori think they need special treatment? They have the same rights now as everyone else and all they have to do is work for it like every other elected person on any council, board or committee. D C

There should be no basis for racism in elections. Let the candidates stand and be selected in a simple general election process — who wins the places represents the people. DAVE

No way, I thought that was what John Minto protested about, Apartheid. Elected representatives on merit. WATCHDOG55

Concern raised at proposed tauranga maori seats Worth noting that just last week the Rotorua District Council voted unanimously to support the status quo — no Maori seats. For your information, the RDC already has three Maori Councillors of the 12. MICHELANGELO

If Auckland Council are anything to go by then it will cost $600 if you want to take photos of the city from the top of the Mount. Paul Henry show last night showed that is what the local Iwi there are getting. MORT DOG

Richard Moore: Creeping ‘specialness’ needs to stop Great article. Too much ‘specialness’ around! ROB

Taranaki Daily News 13/11/14
For weeks thousands of people have been protesting in the streets of Hong Kong for the right to free democratic elections. Elsewhere in the world people are dying in their thousands for the distant dream to live in a ‘‘One person, One vote’’ democracy. Here in New Zealand every town has a cenotaph with rows upon rows of soldiers’ names who gave their lives so we can enjoy freedom and democracy. Their sacrifices ensured that we have no statutory impediments that would hinder an individual’s or a group’s right to fully participate in this country’s democratic process.

So why is it that the New Plymouth District Council and, in particular the mayor, wants to undermine this non-discriminatory principle by introducing a race-based alternative without seeking a public consensus beforehand? His latest backdoor move to seek a law change to make the results of the proposed public referendum nonbinding on the council clearly demonstrates that he does not want the public to have a say on this matter.

Mr Judd, you have ambushed the electorate with this undemocratic proposal and are now quite rightly reaping the highly predictable public ire.
New Plymouth

Bay of Plenty Times 13/11/14
So the law says that Tauranga city must consider whether to institute a Maori ward every six years.

My recollection is about that time ago Tauranga wished to completely do away with wards so that we could each have a vote for all the council candidates. Having made the decision locally, we were overruled by Big Brother — which I think was in the form of the Local Government Commission.

I would be more comfortable in having a Maori roll for one seat (or more) if I could have a vote for all the rest of the council — provided of course the number of Maori registering on that roll reached an appropriate minimum percentage to the total eligible voters.

I will be unhappy if the council introduced a Maori ward at the expense of the small number of at-large candidates that I can now vote for. I am less concerned if the candidate was taken from the geographical ward allocation.

We certainly don’t want any more councillors.

Once again, an ongoing ward system would need a mechanism whereby the number on the Maori ward roll was an appropriate percentage to the total eligible voters.

So let's widen the review

Northland Age 13/11/14
I was outraged to learn recently that a Victoria University of Wellington legal studies academic has received a $300,000 Marsden Fund grant to research ‘traditional Maori legal principles.’

This Carwyn Jones appears to be a Welshman with a smidgen of Maori ancestry, whose public profile on the VUW website suggests he has chosen to identify monoculturally as Maori, thus artificially elevating one set of ancestors while trampling down another. Yet traditional Maori culture says one is to honour all ancestors equally.

It will be asserted that since these Maori customs were rudely subsumed by past white settler governments, they should thus be reinstated with equal standing in order to undermine the rule of law and advance the ‘one country, two people’ agenda of Maori sovereignty activists.

One might have hoped that Mr Jones had learned in Introduction to Legal Studies that the rule of law requires a settled form of civil government. Once he manages to get his head around this concept, he can hand back his grant for redeployment towards research that's actually substantive and useful.

There was no pre-European Maori Nation state and no settled form of civil government, just a bunch of warring tribes in a perpetual hobbesian state of nature with one another (in which "man was in continual fear of violent death" and "life was nasty, brutish and short,") meaning the only universally acknowledged traditional Maori legal principle was te rau o to patu' (the law of the club).

I'd have told the Marsden Fund that for $300,000. (Abridged)

Wanganui Chronicle 8/11/14
Re: The article Mooted for Wanganui High" (November 1). The board of trustees of the high school are considering putting the "H" into the school name. I would hope the board would let the public know why the "H" should go into the spelling of Wanganui High School I hope it is not because they think that it belongs to a group of people who call themselves Maori.

Maori never had a written language and the name does not belong to Maori. I suspect this has been pushed by a small minority of people far their own satisfaction and not the will of the people.

Bay of Plenty Times 8/11/14
Tauranga City Council knows it is going to receive much correspondence by even suggesting a separate Maori ward for Tauranga.

R Smith (Letters, November 7) has it exactly right — it is separatist and racist, whereas Matire Duncan (Letters, November 7) must be wrong when she says “separatist, racist and apartheid establishments are myths”. How is it a myth?

“Apartheid” is an Afrikaans word meaning “the state of being apart’’ and is also defined as “any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc.”.

Of course race-based policies are divisive and separatist, and I would like Ms Duncan to explain to all of us how a separate Maori ward is anything other than apartheid.

We live in a democracy and the definition of that happy state is that “all citizens must be equal with no regards to race, gender or religion. We must all be equal under the law.”

Ethnicity should not even enter the equation. Let us live in a city where we are all democratically equal under the one law.

Bay of Plenty Times 7/11/14
One would think that with a clean-out of the old guard, the Tauranga City Council would now be a forward-thinking council, and would not even contemplate separate Maori seats.

Maybe it is time to also have a clean-out of the old guard in the Tangata Whenua Collective?

I fail to understand why so much time and effort, and presumably my rates, are wasted trying to bring about separatism in this city.

And let’s face it — that is what Maori representation is.

There is a small but vocal minority with a chip on their shoulder, that seem to think they are owed something from the rest of New Zealand. They should get over it.

They are owed nothing. Maori should be left to integrate and be part of the rest of society.

Why they are targeted to be different from other races that fill this country, is something I just cannot understand.

If this council wants to be remembered for i nnovation and forward thinking, they should be abolishing anything that smacks of racism, including the regional council Maori seats, and let each and every one of us make our own way in life.

Northland Age 6/11/14
So BC Gregory has surfaced again with his usual inaccurate chitter chatter, which he seems to think is witty. Here are a few corrections.

No Britisher would be scared by Frenchmen like de Thierry, but the Maori were. As Ngapuhi chiefs wrote to King William in 1831: “We have heard that the tribe of Marion [ i. e. the French] is at hand, coming to take away our land. Therefore we pray thee to become our friend and the guardian of these islands.”

Hongi went to England and met King George, not King William, as Gregory seems to think. He went to Woolwich arsenal and purchased as many muskets as he could afford. He bartered for more in Sydney, using gifts he had received, then returned to slaughter a colossal number of other Maori.

As Gregory has worked out rather cleverly, Michael King was not at Waitangi in 1835, but Austrian von Hugel was an eye- witness at the flag- choosing ‘ farce’, and wrote about it. This would be rather more accurate than word- of mouth from Gregory’s moko- scribing ancestors.

For their choice of flag and their ‘ Declaration of Independence’, Busby rewarded the chiefs with a “large cauldron of porridge”.

Gregory received the precious gifts of the English language and the art of writing, but had better stick to chewing fern roots, not visiting the supermarkets for porridge and other material benefits the British brought to New Zealand.

Northern Advocate 5/11/14
The following excerpt is from a website called “Te Ara, The Encyclopaedia of NZ”:
Hongi Hika, the Ngapuhi Chief, was among a group that arrived in England in 1820.

He sought an audience with King George IV, worked on a Maori grammar at Cambridge, and obtained muskets in Sydney on his return trip.

Hongi’s later murderous exploits are an interesting part of early Maori history, but of far more significance is the reference to the compilation of a Maori/English lexicon.

Such a dictionary would contain exact meanings of the words and terms incorporated in the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi (the only internationally recognised Treaty document) at the time it was signed in 1840.

If an unbiased researcher (should one still exist) was to obtain a copy of this invaluable reference manual he or she could translate the Treaty literally. We would then know without any doubt precisely what those Maori Chiefs understood the document to mean when they signed it.

Academics, 175 years later, have distorted the original meanings so much that an agreement to accept the Queen as paramount Chief is now translated as having entered into an equal partnership with the (then) most powerful person in the world.

Apparently Hongi's Maori/ English dictionary defines "taonga" as being "property obtained by the spear".

This same word is now re-defined by our linguistic experts as being anything sacred to the Maori people. Around 80 years ago there was a very popular song called, A bachelor gay am I. People all knew that this referred to "A single hetero-sexual male — happy to be free of the responsibilities of marriage to a person of the opposite sex."

So how might it be interpreted by our politically correct academics of today?

Perhaps as, "A homosexual male, not involved in any contractual marital arrangement with a person of either gender." I rest my case.

Taranaki Daily News 5/11/14

Why do we keep putting Maori down by giving a select few special privileges suggesting inequality?

Most Maori in this country are as equal as equal is. We have a Maori governor-general, and Willie Apiata VC has a high profile.

Another that comes to mind is Tame Iti. We also have a number of Maori with a voice in Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand Maori live in Australia and compete well in a society that gives them no privileges and in fact often gives them a hard time, but they appear to be able to survive OK.

I believe Mr Judd that you have been run over by the squeaky wheel and misled your council into following you.

If you wish to help Maori, help their children's health by putting fluoride back into the water supply. There lies the worst decision ever made by our council, to save a few paltry dollars. I suggest you do your homework!
New Plymouth

Wanganui Chronicle 5/11/14

Regarding article in the Chronicle on Saturday, November 1: "H" mooted for Wanganui High". How disappointing to read the front page article regarding the "H" to be included in the spelling of Wanganui High School run by principal Garry Oliver. I would have thought the lesson here was to teach the students to honour our referendums, not to go against them.

Regarding the opening of the Briscoes and Rebel Sports stores where students from Wanganui Intermediate School were performing the haka. What is called the haka today is a negative action, intimidating, threatening and should never be taught or performed by schoolchildren.

Bes was the southern Egyptian god of pregnant women and the protector of mothers and children and the home. When our ancient people abandoned Egypt and moved into Europe and elsewhere, this was taken with them. Bes of Egypt was a little bow-legged dwarf sometimes dressed in either a panther skin or a kilt with his hands on his hips, tongue poking out in the same way as this is done now when performed. Bes was a fun little god who also danced for the children.

When Te Rauperaha put words to this action, he was being searched for by his enemies who were intent on killing him and so took refuge in a pa. The chief there told him to sit in an old kumara pit with his wife sitting on top spreading her cloak around — and Maori did not wear underwear then.

Te Rauperaha composed his haka on his surrounding circumstances. It starts off: "I am alive, I am alive; I am dead, I am dead" and goes on to describe in detail what he saw as he looked upwards.

I would doubt if it would be allowed to be performed in English. Would something as explicit as this be performed with so-called pride at public events if they knew what the original words meant?

Potonga Neilson, when he romanticises about Parihaka, never mentions it was Parihaka Maori were responsible for genocide of the Moriori on the Chatham Islands in 1835. It is documented: Port Nicholson. November 1835, the HMS Rodney was hijacked by Parihaka Maori to escape the Waikato Hau Hau, after being told by American whalers of the Moriori.