April - June

The New Zealand Herald 30/6/15
If Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau is found in possession of protected native birds, he should be prosecuted like anyone else.
What’s the point of the Conservation Department and other agencies spending millions of dollars to try to save these species if they are just going to end up on the dinner table at the local marae? How can Maori call this bird a treasure while contributing to its demise?
Mr Tau and his mate David Rankin set an appalling example to Maori. Their behaviour and comments are an insult to the thousands of dedicated New Zealanders who work tirelessly to save these birds from extinction.
These people are the real guardians of the treasures of this country. Not those who demand treaty rights at any cost.
E. M
The public anger that a Weekend Herald editorial describes at the smuggling north of “taken” kereru by an iwi leader will turn to rage if the perpetrator is not prosecuted.
And it will boil over if the court strikes with a wet bus ticket. After all, there were five kereru. Concealed. He should be asked to identify the shooter, too.
If the police and courts allow a smidgen of customary rights to exculpate Sonny Tau, it will make all those who have gazed fondly at the world’s largest pigeon, listened to it coo, and celebrated its protected status, see red. Even those who support Maori Treaty aspirations will grumble.
Rosellas destroy puriri flowers, looting the kereru's autumn berries. The kereru may seem numerous, but its status is still threatened.
D.L. C
New Plymouth.
Bay of Plenty Times 27/6/15
Judea's Churchill Park should not be renamed to satisfy demands by local hapu (News, June 25).
Again Tauranga City Council are going out of their way to consult local Maori.
How about the council going out of its way to consult with the large majority of the ratepayers/population?
The name Churchill Park is more meaningful to the majority of Tauranga residents than an obscure Maori name.
The council is prepared to go out of its way to satisfy the demands of the few. (Abridged)
First prize for Hypocrites of the Year goes to the Rotorua-based Te Arawa tribe who has accepted a confidential sum from the owners of the Rena for withdrawing their opposition to leaving the Rena remains on the Astrolabe Reef.
Isn't it amazing how, by crossing their hands — not with silver, but thousands of dollars — all concerns go straight out of the window and are sunk without a trace.
Congratulations to the iwi who so far, have staunchly refused to budge. (Abridged)
NZHerald 26/6/15
A disturbing trend is emerging in New Zealand, that of using children as pawns to obtain a political end. This was evident in a recent campaign in Northland, when children were encouraged in schools to design their own Hundertwasser buildings. These would then be proudly shown to their mums and dads, who would be subconsciously influenced to vote in a manner that would please their child.
Another example is John Keys campaign to change the flag. Children in schools and in external competitions are being urged to design their own version of what they would like a new flag to look like, cunningly manipulating young minds into believing the existing flag is outdated and in need of a change.
Are you listening, Mum and Dad? For all with a passionate cause, go for it by all means, but leave our children out of it.
Christchurch Press 25/6/15
Tahu Pokiti seems determined to follow up on relations between Maori and Pakeha, usually from the point of his own criticism. To me this relationship has always appeared open and fair, but I acknowledge I could be wrong.
However he attacks (June 23) the US woman who sought to be black (his word) and somehow extends this to partly explain the growth of Ngai Tahu, from 5000 to 25,000 people in the last 25 years.
One of the factors to which he ascribes this growth is "some notion that a fortune awaits them", and without sharing his view I continue to be amazed that Ngai Tahu still pays no tax on 80 per cent of its investment income (because it only distributes less than 20 per cent to any Maori charities).
A raw point, I believe, with many of its property developer and agricultural commercial rivals. If indeed this company, starting with the public assets gifted it by the Government, is still building up a huge corpus by those who run the organisation, why 1) no tax to the country, and 2) no help to non-Ngai Tahu Maori?
Bay of Plenty Times 24/6/15
The recent reports of money being offered to iwi for withdrawing objections to leaving the remains of the Rena wreck on Astrolabe reef are concerning. Maori objections are of "cultural offence" rather than environmental.
The scientific reports show environmental risks are negligible and attempts to remove more debris would cause more problems than it would solve. The decisions need to be made on the basis of science.
The main beneficiaries of the donated $1 million Mediterranean Shipping Company's Rena Recovery Fund were the residents of the island of Motiti, receiving $366,000, working out at $13,500 each for the 27 residents (Census figure). Then there's the $11.5 million Limitation Fund which was set up to compensate business owners for provable losses. Of this $5.5 million went to business owners and the balance, it would seem, to iwi interests.
Hugo Shanahan, spokesman for the Rena's owners and insurers, was reported (BOP Times, July 2014) as saying that ,they "have settled claims made by Motiti Island iwi (among others) for the "cultural harm done": If these claims have been settled why then is more money required?
Welcome Bay
Northern Advocate 23/6/15
It was a shame that M Armstrong's well written letter (June 6) was short on reality. An online Maori dictionary (www.maoridictionary.co.nz) gives as meanings for "kawanatanga": government, dominion, rule, authority, governorship, province. This will never change the rigid views of Armstrong but reasonable people will see that it all adds up to one word: "sovereignty".
Ownership (or possession) is one of the many words that rangatiratanga translates to, it is the logical choice given the wording of "all the people" in Article Two of the Treaty of Waitangi, a document In Maori. How does that suggest that Maori would be senior parties to the Treaty as she infers?
French fear was the main reason that 13 chiefs sent a letter to King William IV asking for protection. Excerpt from that letter: "We have heard that the tribe of marian [French] is at hand, coming to take away our land. therefore we pray thee to become our friend and the guardian of these islands, lest the teasing of other tribes should come near us, and lest strangers should come and take away our land."
Generations of Maori lived in mortal fear since their severe drubbing at the hands of the French on Moturoa Island 1772. This fear was confirmed 90 years later by Rev John Warren who was also present at the signing of the treaty. .. Ms Armstrong should tell readers what genuine benefits she believes tikanga Maori would bring to the council table.
Kamo, Whangarei
The Dominion Post 20/6/15 (Points section)
The requirement for police in Auckland (or anywhere else) to single out Maori drivers for special treatment is race-based policing that has no place in this country. We’re all equal under the law, or are meant to be.
Northern Advocate 19/6/15
Tangata Whenua — An illustrated history - The secret agenda concerning our history has reared its ugly head yet again.
Recently, a university professor and his associates won a coveted prize called the Royal Society .of New Zealand's Science Book prize which was written about Maori history.
All well and good but they totally ignored the Chinese and Tamil aspects of Maori history which places these people in all the Pacific Islands at the time they say the Maori left in the wakas.
This is a grave error of judgement, which totally distorts the picture of our history and attempts to hide its true picture in much the same way as the Waipoua story or the 105 embargoes of our history.
Why then is there a hidden agenda or is it just an academic distortion of the facts to fit their own argument?
NZHerald 19/6/15
Of course, once the leaked document about the police not ticketing unlicensed Maori drivers in the Counties Manukau district became public, it supposedly referred to everyone without a licence, not just Maori. Nonsense. It was specifically targeted at New Zealanders of Maori descent, as stated, to minimise the numbers.
If it truly was to be applied to everyone, the police guidelines would have simply stated "all unlicensed drivers". They did not.
I am fed up with this type of law and local bylaws being instigated under the guise of either Treaty settlements, cultural sensitivity or just trying to help.
It is always the taxpayer or the ratepayer who foots the bill, and it does nothing except give the people involved a sense of entitlement. It also supports the idea that they need not take responsibility for their actions. In other words, it is always someone else's fault.
If ever one needed proof that New Zealand has racial issues, we saw it when a senior Maori police officer said that in South Auckland, Maori offenders caught driving without a licence would be excused from any legal ramifications. There can be only one law and that must be applied equally to all people regardless of race, colour or creed.
West Harbour.
The Dominion Post 19/6/15
I don't enjoy criticising police, being a retired one myself; but the latest disclosure on Maori youth caught without driving licences by police beggars belief and demands a response to a classic case of racial bias. Police have issued a "policy" that such offenders are not to be "ticketed" in future.
One can only wonder what will be the next offence to be included. Police usually tread cautiously on anything smelling of racial policing, and rightly so too.
What is wrong with "diverting" such offenders? Minor offences such as these should be included in the "police diversion scheme" and include all youth not just one class. The scheme is tailor-made for such offending. Failing that, write them all up the same way as before.
The Christchurch Press 19/6/15
No fines for unlicensed Maori drivers ‘‘a nationwide programme Turning of the Tide, which aimed to reduce Maori offending’’! What sort of insanity are we embarking on? Why not go to the logical extreme, and reduce Maori offending to zero: Declare the race to be above the law.
Northern Advocate 18/6/15
Wiremu Kakarana's view, of New Zealand's 'first flag doesn't match history.
Pre-1840, Britain had no intention of expanding its empire and annexing New Zealand. From 1806, the New South Wales government attempted to control the lawlessness rife in the South Seas. Successive governors issued proclamations and orders to protect natives and enforce law and order but their efforts were futile.
In 1814, Governor Macquarie appointed chiefs Hong' and Korokoro to act with Mr Kendall as magistrates in the Bay of Islands.
By 1831, the fear of French annexation was such that 13 chiefs of the Bay sent a letter to King William IV pleading for protection. Correspondence from King William IV, the British Parliament, Maori chiefs, NSW government and their representatives from 1806 to 1840 are well documented in an attempt to control British settlers in NZ, Governor Darling (NSW) conceived the idea of sending a consular agent to the Bay of Islands.
His successor, Governor Bourke appointed James Busby. Among his copious duties on April 13, 1833, was "... to bring escaped convicts and others to trial in Sydney and to mediate to prevent internecine wars. " .. Mr Busby's first notable act was the choice of a national flag.
Governor Bourke dispatched three flags. At the Busby residence, the assembled chiefs finally chose the 'National Standard'. [A full description is given]. This flag was hoisted beside the Union Jack and honoured with a royal salute of 23 guns by HMS Alligator .. " .
Before NZ became part of the British Empire, vessels built in NZ and entering overseas ports to trade were liable to seizure as they had no flag of their own and were not permitted to fly the British Ensign.
After choosing the National Standard, as the flag was called, any vessel having a register from a Maori chief countersigned by the British Resident was allowed to trade to all His Majesty's ports and a right to protection of the of England.
Hardly a symbol of Maori independence.
References: Maori and Pakeha. A History of New Zealand, Shrimpton and Mulgan. New Zealand Gazette. The Story of New Zealand, Professor Frank Parsons, published by Equity Series, Philadelphia. 1904.
Wanganui Chronicle 16/6/15
Regarding the flood of letters about the "H" in Wanganui: No one is going to get the same profile as our current mayor got, with her personal views on the front page of the Chronicle (June 2). To give examples of "partner organisations" using the "H" is misleading and saying that people using the "H" is more common is a joke.
Put aside groups that are funded and directly linked to the Wanganui District Council and there is less than a handful using the "H". It would be a bold local group linked directly to the district council for funding who didn't put in the "H".
If the mayor is so confident the majority of Wanganui people want a name change, go to a proper postal referendum (included it in the next rates bill). What has happened to her election spiel of "inclusiveness" — it seems this is directed at a minority group within the community. I urge people to make their views known why we should keep the spelling as it has been for years — go to: http://www.linz.govt.nz/regulatory/place-names/place-name-consultation/13067
St John's Hill
Wanganui Chronicle 15/6/15
One of the criteria for the name change is the meaning of the word. According to the New Zealand Geographic Board website, "Whanganui" means "the long wait".
Who said it? Tariana Tuna. "Somewhat ironically, the correct meaning for the name Whanganui is the long wait (`whanga' meaning to wait, 'nui' meaning large or long). The name originates from the time of Kupe, the great navigator, Te Whanga-nui-a-Kupe," Turia said (http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/wanganui-s-h-become-official-alternative-5267524).
I, and many others, thought the word "Wanganui" meant "big bay" (it can also mean "big water" or "big harbour") — "nui" is big and "wanga" (with or without the "H") is to do with water. But apparently not any more — "nui" which was "big" now means long", and the word for "water, bay or harbour" now means "wait".
How could this happen?
Perhaps the iwi ordered up a name change and the New Zealand Geographic Board complied. Strange how, after all these years, the teachers, the academics, the general public, the Maori have all been wrong about the meaning of the name, the correct meaning only coming to light now.
Whether you consider the method used to have the "H" inserted is deceptive, underhand or unethical is up to you. Remember, those that want the "H" will use any method, including re-writing history.
To those who changed your business name or address to include the "H", your business and address is associated with "a long wait" — not a good marketing look.

Rotorua Daily Post 13/6/15
Thank you Gloria Moengaroa for answering my letter (June 12), but you have still not answered my questions. At least you had the courtesy to reply and that is a step to understanding.
Submissions and letters have ex-pressed what Te Arawa want, such as a voice at council, their voice heard, but have not clearly stated what their "perspective" is, and what they hope to achieve with their added power. "Perspective" is an outlook on life. How does yours differ from mine? I would like to see the Lakes cleaned up, to reo established for the future generations, and a more equal division of wealth. What do you plan to do about these things?
What is the "Maori way of fife"? If you wish to go back to the olden days and actually live on the marae, then do so. Would women be allowed to speak? Colonials often live in communities. Subject, of course to health and hygiene checks. Do you wish for totally Maori medicine and childbirth? Do you want to go back to pre-European days? Think what Rotorua would be like if you removed everything colonial.
Te Arawa donated the land the hospital stands on. but colonials built the hospital and trained the doctors and staff and paid for the equipment and drugs. Mrs Moengaroa, you seem to think Te Arawa should be given special voting because they pay taxes. Do you wish to go back to the days when only landowners were entitled to vote, and their wives, siblings and others were not?
The wealthier you were the more votes you got. there are many large landowners in the country but I am sure they do not set out as a block to obtain power. If voting rights depended on how much money you paid in tax, then beneficiaries would not have a vote, as they do not pay tax. You quite wrongly insinuate the white powder sent to the mayor was sent by a Pro-Democracy supporter. Why? No intelligent person would have done it. It was probably done by a silly teenager being smart. They should be labelled terrorist regardless of ethnic origin.
Democracy has been compromised. Now is the time to step back without emotional rhetoric and try to see the other person's point of view so that we can move on. This needs to be done by both sides before it gets out of hand.
Wanganui Chronicle 13/6/15
Putting the "H" into Wanganui district will only open up a huge can of worms which would please the mayor as she already has her stationery printed. If that happens, then the name of our city will be doomed to change as well.
The mayor doesn't want to listen to the ratepayers, but there is always a solution to problems. Perhaps when receiving mail with the 'H' in Wanganui, cross the mis-spelt word out and write wrong town and return to sender. Even better we can just use the post code 4500 and give up Wanganui completely.
This will create history in New Zealand as being the first town known by numbers with no name. There is an easier way to fix this and that would be to take a vote of no confidence in the mayor and force a re-election. Problem then solved.
Rotorua Daily Post 12/6/15
MP Te Ururoa Flavell cannot be excused for continuing to state that those who opposed the Te Arawa Partnership Plan were racist. I am sure a few held this view unfortunately, and while his statements may please some, it is sad he uses the race card to denigrate the views of many in Rotorua who simply want the democratic system for electing representatives to continue. After all, the democratic system got him into his current job. I am not a member of the Pro-Democracy group, just a voter that wants elected people who represent all of Rotorua to make decisions at council committee and full council level.
Mr Flavell’s view that “Racism has been defeated” could not be more wrong, unfortunately, and will polarise some people given that we will have people on two council committees who have not been elected by Rotorua but who are voting on decisions that will affect us all particularly given the majority view of council as it currently stands.
In addition Mr Flavell, the reason why you believe Maori and others have “lost a voice in democratic processes” is not due to “the colonisation process” you mention but instead is due simply to people not taking part in the democratic process — not voting .
To use an undemocratic process to try and correct this failing is a great pity. The way to get listened to is to get voted in as you yourself state, not a back-door method which is what has occurred.
Wanganui Chronicle 12/6/15
To mayor Main and her obsequious supporters, I — as a long-time ratepayer — am incensed to learn we have to pay to communicate with a segment of our community.
The PC brigade is alive and well as can be seen in the article published May 30 — all the cliches and posturing to Maori is nothing but appeasement.
If locals think they are going to share in any Treaty settlement monies, they had better think again.
To the four councillors who had the temerity to question the inane decision, a pity we do not have more of you.
Would mayor Main please inform us who gets this liaison money and how often we pay for the unnecessary bull manure?
Wanganui Chronical 11/6/15
Headline in the paper on June 2: Mayor Annette Main says: "Time for a change of name." It's time for a change of name all right — we need a change of mayor, with a different name. With the evidence that I have sent to the mayor and all the councillors proving that Wanga-nui was spelt without the "h", and she still wants to go ahead and change the spelling. If the rest of the councillors support the mayor for this change, then it is racially-motivated. As I have said before, the name of Wanganui has nothing to do with Maori. Even if the ratepayers have their say and don't want the "h" in the name, the mayor will still go against the people.
The phantom "h" in Wanganui. Most government departments seem to want us to spell the name of our place incorrectly. For more than 7I years I have called Wanganui my home town, so why is it that a small percentage wish to hold the rest of us to ransom over a very debatable name for our place?
The Maori cannot even agree on a definition of the meaning of the name (with the "h"). Local Maori prefer the translation as large or great estuary. However the great explorer Kupe said it meant "long wait".
Whatever the translation, the people of Wanganui voted in favour of keeping the name without the "h" in two referenda. Add the fact (as supplied by the council who persist in going against the wishes of their electors) that the Maori population is about 25 per cent. We must all detest the mistaken efforts of the media and government departments to pronounce our name "Fonganui" or, even worse, "Funganui".
Rotorua Review 10/6/15
We lost the battle of Gallipoli; we (in Rotorua) have lost the battle against unfair anti-democracy. But we shall win the war, for democracy must survive if the world is to continue to turn. The world is in the most precarious state, with corruption, upheaval and suffering happening both on our own doorstep and throughout the country and world. Every town and village has its mafia and citizens who are intent on becoming rich at the expense of the majority. It is now fifty years since Sir Winston Churchill died in 1965 (aged 90 years, the same as I). This day we still look back on his achievement of saving both the British Empire (of which we were part) and the whole world.
Probably one of the greatest achievements ever accomplished by mankind. We stood threatened by one of the greatest fighting forces known, but through our own tenacity and the leadership we received from Sir Winston; we won the war which preserved our democratic rights. Surely, we, in the township of Rotorua will muster the strength and courage that will win us through the battle which we have brought on ourselves by our own council throwing out our democratic freedom of one person one vote. (Abridged)
The Northern Advocate 10/6/15
Re your article Return to our first flag (29/5/15), the so-called Maori (or Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand) flag was adopted by Northland chiefs in 1834 at the behest of British resident James Busby, after a NZ-built ship owned by Europeans was impounded in Sydney for not flying the flag of a recognised nation state.
It had nothing to do with a symbol of independence from Britain and did not acknowledge Maori as our first people or unite all subsequent people into one nation as your writer, Wiremu Kakarana, claims.
Busby presented the chiefs with a variety of designs. They eventually chose a flag modelled on that of the Church Missionary Society, with which they were well familiar. This was not a Maori initiative, but an expedient by the British resident to protect New Zealand's pre-Treaty commerce.
It was the Treaty of Waitangi (in the Maori language) that united the the groups of people in New Zealand.
Then by Queen Victoria's Royal Charter (November 16, 1840), which established a legislative council, an executive council and the courts, and granted certain powers and authority to the Governor, New Zealand became independent of New South Wales under the watchful eye of the British Parliament on our first step towards nationhood.
Taranaki Daily News 9/6/15
The following has just been drawn to my notice.
‘‘Radio NZ’s Mediawatch this morning had a disturbing discussion about a Human Rights Commission initiative which is looking into the negative reporting of race issues.
‘‘The Taranaki Daily Post (sic)was singled out as the worst newspaper in the country for reporting negatively about Maori issues and they listed 19 different news items.’’
This is a blatantly racist initiative to stifle the freedom of the press and silence those of us who strive to report the truth and attempt to counter the blatant falsehoods of much which we read – and I nominate what P. Moeahu and D. Tuuta in your area write as prime examples.
However, it is my experience that you do actually give more space to them than to any people such as myself who endeavour to counter their efforts – I have written at least two letters recently to counter Moeahu’s falsehoods and another about Tuuta’s which have not appeared in your columns.
In my opinion you actually favour the racists in your editorial decisions, not those who oppose them. If you are excoriated as the worst in ‘‘reporting negatively about Maori issues’’ then anything like balanced presentation in the media is going out the window.
I exhort you to keep your courage and keep on as you do at the very least.
The Daily Post Rotorua 9/6/15
Would someone please tell me, just what is the “Maori perspective” which is continually alluded to, but seems to us colonials a nebulous feature?
In reply to Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Rotorua Daily Post (June 2), I would question that “Te Arawa’s issues were given scant attention and never given the same weight of consideration as all other matters”.
If this were in fact the case, it should have been diarised to ensure the facts and circumstances were correct, and taken to a higher authority such as the Race Relations [Commissioner].
“Disrespectful and snide remarks, put-downs and undervaluing of their world” are sometimes used by some unthinking individuals, but I am sure are not the normal New Zealander’s way of life. Within council, this should have been dealt with by the mayor.
I would challenge Merepeka to state, in clear facts, what is meant by Maori way of life, and also Maori perspective? These phrases are bandied about but no examples ever given.
Regarding the Rotorua Lakes Council meeting on May 26. My intent was to arrive early at the disability carpark for easy access to the building, so imagine my annoyance to find the whole parking area coned and roped off.
I asked the workers guarding the area why this was so and was told that it was being reserved for the Maori hikoi.
As an ordinary member of the public, I explained that I just wished to park in the disability parking spot handy to the building. They told me that if I did there would be such a crowd that I may not be able to get out (a veiled threat?).
After parking in Fenton St, I unloaded my walker and headed for the council building and a bit of warmth out of the cold wind.
I was stopped at the outside door by security and refused entry because it was not yet 9am, and had to insist on waiting in the outside foyer, at least partially sheltered from the cold. If I had been allowed access to the disability parking area, I would have happily sat in the car.
Others joined me and stood in the small area, and when Maori elders arrived chairs were produced for them.
On admittance to the building and before gaining entry to the council chamber, I had to lift the seat of my walker to show that there were no guns, knives or machetes.
Is this the way to treat an 84-year-old female in this town?
A little consideration and respect would not have gone amiss.(Abridged)
Rotorua Rotorua Lakes Council strategy & partnerships group manager Jean Paul Gaston responds: We apologise for the inconvenience caused to your correspondent. Because of the exceptionally large number of people arriving for the council meeting on May 26, some temporary changes to regular parking and seating arrangements were required. Unfortunately, additional security measures were also necessary on the day because of a security threat prior to the meeting.
Rotorua Daily Post 6/6/15
My comments on content in the Daily Post of May 27.
Tania Tapsell: The reason I voted for you and others of Te Arawa descent was on your merit and to represent the people of Rotorua including Te Arawa. For you to say you could not do both disappoints me.
Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell: You have missed the point badly, sir. Racism was never the reason that a large number of people disliked the TPP. Opposition to the TPP was due to the simple fact that democracy requires people making decisions to be elected by those they represent. Do not misrepresent and hide behind “the race card”. In fact, Te Arawa that will not be elected by the people of Rotorua but who will vote on decisions that affect us all is an example of racism, just not your version of racism.
Mayor Chadwick: Your letter says “Welcome Te Arawa to the table” and yet we have had Te Arawa councillors at the table for years including a former longstanding deputy mayor. How condescending of you to demean their past efforts including the efforts of a number of Te Arawa that I voted for. Like Mr Flavell, you mistakenly talk about the community being divided “along racial lines” when in fact your opponents were concerned about the damage you were doing to our democratic system. You know, the one that says “The principle that all citizens have equal political rights” which is how you got elected to Parliament and our council!
The ongoing calls of Maori regarding the so-called "racist' views of those opposing the Te Arawa Proposal are nothing new. For many years now, those of us who have stood for one person, one vote, have been tarred with the "racist"labeL
Firstly we had the leader of the Maori Party, Te Ururoa Flavell, proclaim that "racism has been defeated today" — and furthermore "Te Arawa have had to stare at, and sit next to, the ugly face of racism". Such comments are unbecoming of a leader of a political party — although they do reflect the separatist agenda of his party. However, one must wander what the outcome would have been if a non-Maori made such divisive comments?
Then we have our local councillor, Merepeka Ruakawa Tait, espousing her views that we who have different "worldly views" can live side by side respecting each other's differences. Then in the next breath she brings up not just the "R" word, but also throws in "prejudiced and bigoted" also. She then caps it cif by suggesting that we do not know what we are saying because "it's hard when you don't know what you don't know"!
However, such antagonistic comments only serve to perpetuate the huge divide in our commimity over what many see as a power grab by Maori.
Interestingly enough, political commentators around the country are united in their views that it is the Rotorua Lakes Council that is the racist party for disregarding democracy! (Abridged)
Councillor Merepeka Ruakawa Tait claims councillors give Te Arawa issues "scant attention". During six years as a councillor I can honestly say I never saw this to be the case. To be fair, issues don't exactly come before council clearly marked Te Arawa ar Pakeha, so maybe some did sneak through without being recognised as specific Te Arawa issues.
Councillors' decisions must reflect what is best for all ratepayers, and there will always be occasions when those decisions are not in line with what some Te Arawa want, but that hardly means that the issue was given scant attention.
A couple of instances spring to mind, the first being the proposed Te Ngae Rd upgrade and the other the flying of Tino Rangatiratanga on Waitangi Day. Both decisions went against Te Arawa wishes, but neither was given anything like scant attention. In fact quite the opposite would be true.
I have always tried hard to understand and respect other cultures, but if I make decisions which are contrary to yours, please don't label me racist. If my point of view differs from yours, please don't call me prejudiced or bigoted. If those labels are true of me because of my values, then surely the same is true of you?
Cr Raukawa-Tait's bio says that she wants to "thwart the spread of political correctness". I applaud the goal but somehow doubt that inappropriate name-calling is quite the right way to go about it.
Wanganui Chronicle 6/6/15
I was astounded to see mayor Annette Main claiming "the time is right" to introduce the "H" into our Wanganui name. Maybe she needs a reality check by reviewing the two referenda in which she will see the overwhelming majority of Wanganui's citizens do not want the "H" in our city name.
The same goes for those organisations who have taken the liberty in changing the name of our city. Air New Zealand no longer recognises the name "Wanganui" (try making a booking in their reservations system). They have even gone to the length of changing the IATA code WAG from Wanganui to Whanganui The same applies to the TV weather shows.
If the "H" issue is here to stay, I would rather replace the status quo of either/or to that of both, as is done in many countries around the world.
Changing to Whanganui is acceding to the wishes of the minority, and spits in the face of democratic processes held on this issue Maybe those who use "Whanganui" do so for the purpose of political correctness. This being the case, might I remind them of Harry Truman's take on political correctness in 1942: "Political correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of sh** by the clean end."
Durie Hill
Weekend Herald 6/6/15
It is disturbing but not surprising that presenter Mihingarangi Forbes has quit Maori Television after the channel’s chief executive told the current affairs team what it cannot air on Native Affairs.
It is sad to see an emergent Maori establishment behaving like their procorporate white Pakeha counterparts ( also known as the old boys’ network). It is showing that it is unable to tolerate the airing of criticism, too.
The proper role of journalism is to expose wrongdoing, because the authorities are unwilling or unable to do so. But in the present ‘ free market’ era, where widening gaps in wealth are structurally supported by establishment institutions, interference in newsrooms has become commonplace.
Such practices as the reformatting of news and current affairs programmes and publications, and structuring decent people out of their jobs, and the rise of corporate sponsored public relations, together add up to the gutting of journalism.
How can a newsroom not become dysfunctional when it is, essentially, being directed to factor in what the well-off Maori establishment would prefer to remain in the dark?
Gisborne Herald 5/6/15
I have observed the Koia’s carping about Treaty things and sovereignty with increasing disbelief. Of course the Maori language version is the only legitimate Treaty. Hobson’s statement: “The Treaty which forms the base of all my proceedings was signed at Waitangi on the 6 February 1840 . . . . This instrument I consider to be de facto the treaty, and all signatures that are subsequently obtained are merely testimonials of adherence to the terms of that original document” confirms this.
Chiefs who signed the Treaty certainly ceded sovereignty (if they ever had it in the first place) and the Littlewood document is undeniably Hobson’s final draft translating word-for-word with the Maori Treaty, the only difference being the dates of the draft and Treaty.
As for those who didn’t sign the Treaty, the British obtained sovereignty in many other ways. Kiwis have held sovereignty themselves in their own right since 1947.
All the cogent factual evidence exists from around the time of the Treaty, not that subsequently fabricated from 1975 onwards by reinventing history, some 135 years after the event. Let’s just go with the eye witness accounts of 1840 (circa) and the era’s reputable historians’ research, not the separatist bigots modern, twisted wish list.
Anyway, the Treaty is now only an historical relic. We have moved on and Kawharu’s self-serving version in English is as bad as the bogus Freeman version.
Hey, why didn’t the Treatyists just try and change the Maori Treaty words? The reason is obvious; being set in concrete, they couldn’t — so they played with and tried to create a modern-day English language version to suit by changing the meaning of the Maori words.
Malcontents who don’t like Kiwiland as it is today should opt out — stop taking benefits, stop making ACC claims, stop going to the dysfunctional Waitangi Tribunal with fatuous claims for handouts, return passports and stop accepting honours (gongs and platitudes). Go live in the wilderness if you don’t want any part of the rest of us, because we sure as hell won’t miss you.
Wairarapa Times-Age 5/6/15
I was pleased to see Pita Sharples has accepted a knighthood. Along with the honour bestowed on his co-leader, I was a little surprised as I was under the impression that he and his party wanted their own flag, and self-government.
Perhaps he will assist in the campaign to save our flag and the history it stands for; a united country free from racism and equal opportunity.
Winston Peters was one accused of being tempted by the baubles of office. This surely can’t be so in this case where the two ex-co-leaders of the Maori Party are now leaders in our society, who by virtue of accepting this high office are now publicly loyal to our flag and constitution.
I look forward to their support, and feel that we now should be able to look forward to a brighter future.
Wanganui Chronicle 5/6/15
I have read and read the "fors" and the "againsts", and to see this morning's (June 2) front-page headline where the mayor thinks it is time for a change, I am really disgusted. Again the minority will win. I was born in Wanganui (with-out the "H") and I will always pronounce and spell Wanganui without the "H". I have warned my service providers that if any mail comes to me with the "H" on the address, it will be returned —"incorrect address". I think it is a disgrace that a few radicals can hold a gun to the weak — in my opinion — Wanganui District Council's head. Why not put it to the vote and get a fair and true answer as to whether the people of Wanganui want the "H" or not?
So our Mayor thinks it's "time for a change". I agree. It's time we had a mayor who listened to the wishes of the large majority of the Wanganui people and told Ken Mair and his Tupoho Working Party that we don't want an "H" in Wanganui. If changing the mayor is the only way we can keep the name of Wanganui, then let's do that. Maybe then she will realise that majority votes do count
Re the H in Wanganui, it's probably time to change the mayor (no, not you, Ken). Total disregard for us rate-payers. Might be time for a boycott, perhaps. Honour our referendums.
Basically I am pushing the mayor to publish her rationale and the Tupoho Working Party and names of the 10 "pro" councillors. It's a historical decision. Maybe she will list why referendum was ignored ... nahhhhhhh. And until the ratepayers' group makes its position sub-mission to the Geographic Board, I cannot put my views out there as president. God, this is exciting being part of Nui, sorry Wanganui, sorry Whanganui.
People can make submissions about changing the spelling of the name Wanganui District Council to Whanganui District Council. This is a new submission process, previous submissions/ votes don't count It is about putting your views as to why the name should not be changed to Whanganui, as it has it already been decided that the name is to be Whanganui. Quote from the New Zealand Geographical Board chairperson: which recognises Whanganui as the correct spelling". "Whanganui means the long wait".
This statement was published by the NZGB on April 30. Submissions from the public were requested on May 28, almost a month later. The NZGB paper also mentions: "Discuss the possibility of consequential name corrections to the other Wanganui names, particularly the suburb of Wanganui East"
Now we know the iwi blackmailed the council into making the proposal to change the name. Quote from the proposal for a name change: "The reality that iwi engagement and support with the council would be systematically withdrawn if a proposal was not made." So is it really about the spelling or an attempt to prove that dictatorship by tribe overrides the democratic process PS: The consultation process has been opened to the public, have a look at the information online. It is in a PDF at http://www.linz.govt.nz/regulatory/place-names/place-name-consultation/13049
Take time to put in a submission. It may do no good, but a least you tried.
Anyone in New Zealand can make a submission on (not) putting the 'H' in Wanganui​ the online form is here > http://www.linz.govt.nz/regulatory/place-names/place-name-consultation/13067
Please fill out the form (only takes a minute) and send the link to all of your likeminded contacts or 'share' on internet social sites.
Rotorua Daily Post 4/6/15
Privilege either racial or religious brings trouble. The mayor and the seven councillors who have just voted for it are shallow thinkers.
Rotorua Review 3/6/15
Sold down the river by Dave Donaldson, Karen Hunt, Trevor Maxwell, Merepeka Raukaea-Tait, Charles Sturt (who should know better) , Tania Tapsell and Janet Wepa and of course, our Worshipful Mayor. Eight to five. Seven councillors hanging on-to the apron strings of the mayor, have they not a mind of their own?
For a verdict of this type to a question so important to Rotorua we should have at least a unanimous verdict and until this is the case we must give the citizens of Rotorua a chance to vote upon this most important issue, and at the next local election.
The council have been much less than honest and unbiased in the forming of their questions and from all accounts the people of Rotorua are not in favour of the giving of council seats to un-elected members.
The citizens must be allowed a vote before the present council ruling is validated, otherwise a deal of trouble and expense will ensue.
The New Zealand Herald 3/6/15
The article headlined “Season of discontent” seemed oblivious to the fact that most Auckland land was sold to the wicked white coloniser by Ngati Whatua chiefs between 1840 and 1855, with Orakei (Bastion Pt, 283ha) being sold shortly after 1860.
In 1886, 5.3ha of land at Bastion Pt was taken under the Public Works Act for military use.
The Crown then decided in 1941 that it no longer needed Bastion Pt land for defence, so it gave the land to Auckland City for a reserve.
In 1952, the remaining residents were evicted and rehoused in state houses. So that their old waterfront village could become a public park, the buildings were cleared.
In 1976, the Crown announced it was about to develop the remaining land at Bastion Pt for high income housing and parks, sparking the occupation.
The judgment that year by Justice Speight said that Maori, at their own request, were given the right to sell, and “I do not see any justification of an accusation of Crown duplicity in making the purchase”.
However, a few years later the Waitangi Tribunal recommended in the claimant’s favour and it was returned to Ngati Whatua with many extras.
Daily Post Rotorua 3/6/15
The council meeting on May 26 was another, though not final, scene of a drawn-out drama, expertly stage-managed, scene-by-scene by the in-house pro-duction team. It even came with a heavy security presence. Was the council expecting a riot from the audience wanting to get to the stars, I wonder? Though I don’t agree with her views, I’d like to congratulate Cr Tapsell on her respectful and eloquent presentation. The same cannot be said of several other councillors whose presentations were liberally splattered with “vitriol” and fury, the very aspects of submissions they were accusing those opposed to the Te Arawa proposal of!
The mayor commented that throughout the submissions Te Arawa “remained dignified and steadfast”. Were she and the other councillors napping during the pro Te Arawa tirades directed at those opposed to the proposal, especially those on the final day of submissions where fist shaking and intimidating finger-pointing were included? Is the level of acceptable language and behaviour determined by which side of the fence you are on, maybe? Why, given we were told there was to be no public participation in the meeting was a waiata permitted after Cr Maxwell’s speech when the lone voice of a gentleman, presumably wanting to comment on that was disallowed?
During the meeting and in the publicity since, much has been made of the changes to the proposal, mere window dressing. It was stressed, that only recommendations can be made by the two major governance committees on which the two Te Arawa members will sit and that those recommendations can be overturned by the full council. “Wow”, you might say, what a concession. What is missing is the fact that those committees comprise of the full council so they are highly unlikely to overturn a decision they’ve just made, albeit with two extra voices. More expert stage management presumably designed to placate the public and lure them into thinking that council has “listened“.
Watch this space as the drama production continues to unfold with further scenes written over time.
Taranaki Daily News 1/6/15
Is Mayor Judd too arrogant to accept the will of the people who he is elected to represent? Why can't he just accept that his proposal for a Maori Ward was overwhelmingly defeated because the majority of us think of Maori as a part of our multi-cultural society, the same as the rest of us.
Why does Mayor Judd think he needs to speak at a hui to explain his journey to establish a separate Maori Ward? Really, all he is doing is stirring the old race based pot, and none of us want that.
Can't we just leave the past in the past and get on with being a "united nation" where it's one for all and all for one.
New Plymouth
Rotorua Daily Post 1/6/15
There have been racist remarks on both sides of the [Te Arawa Partnership] debate.
Mr Flavell and many people have been hurt.
The sign of our maturity will be when we can move forward together, despite those remarks.
A very large number of residents from many races are willing to work together to progress Rotorua — who is going to be the one to step forward and demonstrate true leadership?
It is a sad day for democracy in New Zealand when racism wins in Rotorua, and the mayor and seven councillors dishonour the Treaty of Waitangi which promised equality for us all.

Rotorua Daily Post 30/5/15
I have always believed that the soft and loving part of my nature came from the Te Arawa component in my blood, but recent events shatters this conception. At the oral submissions, I heard angry and sometimes vicious commentary against those not in favour of the 're Arawa Plan from those supporting the controversial plan, which has since been amended and really should be named the Rotorua Lakes Council Plan.

I was embarrassed at the venom. Where was the aroha ? In the months that I have known members of the Pm-Democracy Society, I have never heard arguments based on race or anything offensive regarding Te Arawa people. The process was always to try to ensure equal rights for everyone. I do believe in integration. Integration of all ethnic groups in the community, not separatism and extra privilege for one sector, despite the history. That was our past and we should all learn from it, not exploit it to the detriment of peaceful cohabitation.

I can only pray that come September 2016, we will see a group of elected councillors who will work to unite all peoples in the Rotorua district and Rotorua will be a happy and peaceful place to live.
Rotorua, MBE, JP

So, hands up anyone who thought this wouldn't happen? It was always going to get pushed through regardless of the charade of "listening to the community". So what can we do now some people will be asking?

I propose two options. We find a way to kick this lot out and hold another election with people being upfront about their motives unlike this council's track record, in particular the mayor and her loyal band of merry men; women. Or, and I like this option. A group of local people get together, clearly state what they intend to do when voted in and run as a cohesive united team to further Rotorua.

And if Maori want a greater voice on council, feel free to run for counciL I'm quite happy to lead a team whose first order of business would be to overturn this latest appeasement to a small vocal group. [There's] a well known phrase ... The Te Arawa deal "will be gone by lunchtime".

The Daily Post Rotorua 29/5/15
Right or wrong the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal has been adopted by council, eight votes to five. I think our community owes a debt of gratitude to those councillors who stood up and opposed this proposal and brought it into the public arena so the people of Rotorua had a chance to decide what their views were on the subject, what-ever they were.

As with contentious matters of this type, it is not easy for all people to stand up and express a view which may be considered unpopular, and particularly one which has some race element attached to it. So I guess we won't know for sure whether the council vote truly reflects the views of the people of Rotorua. I do have a view, but the purpose of my letter is not to express that view.

The purpose is to recognise councillors McVicker, Searancke, Kent and Bentley, who showed courage and have maintained an unswerving opposition to the proposal, in what must have been an unpleasant climate.

We must not exclude the major effort undertaken by McPherson and I also applaud councillor Gould who came out to oppose the proposal in the final vote. These are the people I want on my council as I know they will take on the contentious issues that arise in the administration of our city, and while they did not have success on this occasion, to those councillors, and others, I would say a big thank you and well done.

May I be the first to say “I told you so”. When Mrs Chadwick first released her proposal for this so-called Te Arawa partnership, I wrote to your paper on May 20, 2014 saying we should all stop messing around as we all knew what the outcome was going to be. Mrs Chadwick was for many years a member of the last unlamented Labour Government and already knew that she had the numbers to win.

She was a very good learner during her years in government and knew, before putting forward any contentious proposal, you must have the numbers. All that has happened is the implementation of the partnership has been delayed.

But all is not lost. At stake was democracy and, like governments, councils can be voted out. Next year we have the council elections and we have an opportunity to elect a new council who truly believe in democracy.

The mayor and seven councillors that supported the Te Arawa Partnership Model claimed it was “The Right Thing to Do”, “Looking to the Future” and that “Mana Whenua are more than an Interest Group”.

They ignored the principles of democracy, harked back to a myth of entitlement, and allocated powers illegally and unfairly. They flouted political gravity; our community is deeply polarised by the TAPM.

The decision was predetermined by commitments made on December 18, 2014 before any public consultations.

The Special Consultative Procedure was corrupted by a biased Statement of Purpose and joint marketing by highly politicised public officials and the new elite from Te Arawa.

Public debate was undermined by the CEO’s quasilegal threats against ProDemocracy councillors’ rights to free speech and association.

The changed powers of the Strategy Policy and Finance, and Operations and Monitoring committees will be trivial in effect.

Cancelling the Te Arawa nominee on the CEO’s Performance Committee reluctantly recognised employment law.

Deferring the proposed Te Arawa nominee on the Statutory Hearings Committee may suffer the same fate, given revisions to the Resource Management Act.

The tactical purchasing of legal opinion is reaching two limits; the law and ratepayers’ pockets.

The Pro-Democracy Society will remember the 8:5 decision as a triumph of popularism and ideological fervour over the moral ideal of democracy, the law and the public interest.

We will let the triumphalism die down before weighing up the pros and cons of a judicial review. In a just society, democratic rights and the law are absolutes.

The Christchurch Press 28/5/15
L Shelley’s letter (May 26) asks why Ngai Tahu has charitable status while being one of New Zealand’s largest businesses. The June 30, 2014 combined financial statements for the Ngai Tahu Charitable Trust on the Charities Register (CC35565) report an income-tax exempt surplus of $135 million with total comprehensive income of $187m (with apologies for the accounting jargon). However, to answer L Shelly, we turn to the notes to the financial statements which tell us that apart from an Australian subsidiary, all the entities in the combined group have charitable status and accordingly no income tax expense or liability is recognised in the financial statements of those entities.

The privilege of the exemption from income tax is found in the Income Tax Act 2007, with exemptions for charities nonbusiness income at section CW41, and exemptions for charities business income at section CW42.

These exemptions are of historical origin, and a question I ask is, did Parliament contemplate at the time of introducing the exemption for charities business income that such activities would be undertaken on the scale we now see on the Charities Register?

There are many hundreds of limited liability companies on the Charities Register, which we as taxpayers subsidise. This is why I argue that it is time for a review of such privileges.

The Northern Advocate 28/5/15
Thank you to Whangarei City councillors Shelly Deeming, Susie Bretherton, Greg Martin and Sue Glen for standing up for democracy.

Our mayor and a number of councillors seem to have forgotten how they got there. Ratepayers’ representatives who they believe will make good and honest decisions regarding our fair city.

Now Maori representation on council is being given as of right. Why are there two sets of rules? If Maori want a voice on council they should f i eld candidates in the same way as other ratepayers; there should be no special conditions.

One City — One People — One Rule
One Tree Point

Wanganui Chronicle 28/5/15
The other day I read in the paper about Maori having three topics they like to talk about when they meet.

They are migration, battles and whakapapa. Thinking of that as a Maori input for a new flag, what might the British pakeha input be?

It seems to me they also are migrants, have battles to remember, and a heritage to honour. And there are other things the British have contributed to the make-up of New Zealand. They are democracy, literature and technology. And then it seems to me that fidelity, to God (Io) and to each other, might well be the heart of our nation.

So I stand for migration, battles, heritage, fidelity, democracy, literature and technology.

Gisborne Herald 27/5/15
It seems Henry Koia (25/5/15) is the only one “misconceived”. An online Maori dictionary (www.maoridictionary.co.nz) gives as meanings for “kawanatanga”: government, dominion, rule, authority, governorship, province. This will never change the rigid views of Henry Koia but reasonable people will see that it all adds up to one word: “sovereignty”.

The Southland Times 27/5/15
I was upset by the latest international report that stated that Maori are incarcerated in prison in higher rates that their population base and suggesting that there is something wrong with the police system in dealing with Maori offenders and that the justice system may be tougher on them when sentencing.

We need to look at the larger picture to see that dealing with one issue (crime/sentencing) will not change anything. More cultural training for police, more Maori police and alternatives to prison for Maori offenders will not deal with the big picture in isolation.

The truth is that Maori are over-represented in poor results in housing, employment, crime, drug and alcohol, gaming problems, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, education results, health and finally life expectancy.

The solution requires a long-term (over several generations) wrap-around approach to help individual whanau and hapu groups to find a way with support of this poverty and misery trap. Government funders need to pull together and stop targeting funding into silos that just shift the focus from one year to another, from one election to another.

The best results will achieved by a large non-government agency (like Family Start) which has 30.40 per cent of its staff Maori.

Funding Maori for Maori programmes has been historically racked with problems. Until New Zealand deals long term to its most vulnerable, our country will struggle to be the best place to live for all.
Invercargill (Abridged)

Taranaki Daily News 26/5/15
Surely the time has come for the mayor of the New Plymouth District Council to pack his tent and disappear after the recent result in the referendum, taking with him the CEO and a number of the brain dead councillors we the ratepayers of this city have to endure. I am not a fan of blogger Cameron Slater but he was spot on with his remarks on our mayor. What will this guy think of next and at what cost to us the long suffering ratepayers of New Plymouth.
New Plymouth

To correct Peter Moeahu (letters May 20) let’s stick to the facts. The issue is that in spite of special education privileges too many Maori are failing.

It’s the failing that concerns me as a past tutor and educator, and why is it happening, that is the question that needs answering, Peter.

Funding was not mentioned in my letter, but yes, Kohanga Reo and others are funded from taxes, our taxes, from the Ministry of Education.

The ‘Hate Maori week’ and racism comments were yours not mine, and I trust that you read Fiona Whitesages’ letter (May 21) with her experience of special Maori treatment. I rest my case.
New Plymouth.

Rotorua Daily Post 26/5/15
The council once known as the Rotorua District Council consisted of real people elected by the people of the district to run it in an efficient and proper manner. But over recent times something has changed: We now have an organisation apparently run by a magician and staffed by illusionists.

Cut straight to page 169 of the agenda for the May 26 council meeting and we find a rabbit pulled out of a hat in the form of a new proposal to replace the TAPP Option 2! When one drills down into it one finds nothing but the original Big Bad Wolf dressed in different clothes!

There is still the intention to appoint non-elected people to very important committees, give them a vote and pay their expenses from ratepayer funds.

The only apparent change is to convert committee decisions into recommendations to be voted upon by the full council, a body consisting, except for the two non-elected members, of the same people who made the recommendations in the first instance. Are they likely to vote against themselves?

All through this magic show we have been told that it was Te Arawa’s proposal. Did Te Arawa also make the new proposal outlined on page 169 of the agenda or was it dreamt up by a Mandrake on the council’s staff after reading the the electorate’s objections? And, since it is new, should it not go back to the ratepayers for consultation?

Many thanks to Kim Gillespie for his balanced editorial (May 20) on the likely effects of the legal advice provided by Hamilton law firm Tompkins Wake in regards whether any councillors will be able to vote on the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal.

Interestingly, what neither Mr Gillespie nor reporter Matthew Martin in his sensationalist front page article “Resign or abstain” on the same subject on the same day raised was the origin of this legal advice.

Who requested this law firm to provide this advice, at what cost and who pays for this advice? Given the subject matter of the advice, it was easy to conclude that our mayor or her staff instigated the request for this advice which seemed to imply Pro-Democracy councillors only should not vote.

Matthew Martin clarified who had requested the legal advice in his third page article the very next day May 21 — council CEO Geoff Williams — so ratepayers will pay this cost.

The reality is that every councillor including the 10 who voted for the TAPP proposal last year will have decided on how they will vote plus having listened over the past months to the public debate. In other words, no councillors now have an open mind. The legal opinion has backfired on the CEO and mayor. If this legal advice means that no councillors can vote, then the mayor must leave this vote for the people of Rotorua to make at the next election.

Re Keith Garratt letter ( Rotorua Daily Post, May 25) Keith Garratt cannot seem to grasp that the Auditor General’s guidelines are unworkable in this case, which is presumably why (Rotorua Lakes) council has backpedalled on the requirement.

At the council meeting of December 18, 2014, the Mayor proposed an amendment to the effect that council accepted the Te Arawa proposals “in principle”. The councillors, in the majority, who voted for this amendment can hardly claim subsequently that they do not have any bias and predetermination regarding it. The lawyers’ ink on the TPP proposals had hardly dried and although presented by Te Arawa there had been no out of council exposure to the issue, yet some councillors were willing to vote for that position.

With all those who voted for the amendment debarred by this action and the opposition to the amendment debarred by action aiming to defeat the consequences it is likely there would be no councillors qualified to vote on the TPP issue at all if the guidelines were imposed.

Your Monday (May 25) editorial is timely — the people of Rotorua, not the lawyers, should decide this issue. Why can there not be a referendum of all voters along with the council elections next year?

Reading in the Rotorua Daily Post (May 20) the fact that there are certain members of the Rotorua Lakes Council who wish to bar dissenting councillors from expressing their opinion about and voting on the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal and invoking legal options of “Resign or Abstain”. I am aghast at their reasoning.

These are the actions of totalitarian governments of some overseas countries and is the cause of severe strife where it is used. This is the suppression of free speech and New Zealand is not the place for these actions.

This whole kerfuffle over the TAPP, as the submissions have shown, is that it is extremely divisive and will sow the seeds of mistrust and antagonism for many years to come.

We hear the Treaty of Waitangi often quoted but we rarely hear Lt Captain Hobson’s words “He iwi tahi tatou” — “We are now one people”. When is it going to happen?

Wake up before it is too late!

Hawkes Bay Today 26/5/15
Re Sat 16/5/15. It is important to get balance right on race issues. A well-known criminologist said: "To solve a cold case, you have to go back to where it all began." To know the truth is the important issue, here are a couple of truths. I have the translation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by Professor Sir Hugh Kawharu . Article 2, first line says: "The Queen of England agrees to protect the chiefs, the subjects and all the people of New Zealand." Hobson's final draft says the same. Check out www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz We should all be equal by taw. We are not.

After years of trying by Maori to get the law courts of the Hague to give them indigenous rights, they failed to get the rights granted. Why? Because the law courts had received two books from two Maori families, plus another. They were from From Hawaiki 2000BC to Hokianga by Joan Leaf (Nga Puhi) and Ancient Celtic New Zealand by Martin Doutre. He has a website. Then refer to ebook on kobobooks.com called 005 Thunderbox. In the book, you will find four major historical short stories.

Tom Johnson and Harry Marett are right to be concerned about the race-based privileges and laws in this country favouring Maori. Giving billions of dollars each year to them destroys their productive ability. This would happen to any race.
Havelock North

Northland Age 26/5/15
What a load of crap that either the Maori or other indigenous people own the land, water, sun, air, forests, birds, fish or beasts. All the above was in place before mankind, either through evolution or creator. Otherwise mankind, regardless of race, could never have existed.

We co-habit this universe with many species of birds, fish, animals, plants, insects etc, all dependent on the above to survive. The only species on this planet to claim ownership of such is mankind, with his own mankind laws, for no other reason but to have wealth power and control, as the agenda of a few is either to buy or take from others for themselves, and God help anything that gets in their way.

If Maori or other races claim ownership of land, water, air, oceans, sun, forests, birds, fish etc then they must be responsible for erosion, flooding, storms, droughts, volcanoes, earthquakes, snow storms, fires, tsunamis, tornadoes, avalanches, sea level rise and much more. I guess they would cover their backsides, like insurance companies, and claim it is an act of God, so if that is the case then they believe in a creator, so everything belongs to Him, end of story.

Ownership is a man-made law, for no other reason than wealth, power and control, just like profits from money that does not exist, but the interest paid is real money. We are only caretakers of the planet, not owners.
Diggers' Valley

Christchurch Press 26/5/15 (In a few words section)
Can anyone tell me please why Ngai Tahu is registered as a charity when (I understand) they are one of the biggest businesses in the country.

Gisborne Herald 25/5/15
Henry Koia wants an arbitrator to entrench the myth that chiefs did not cede sovereignty — like the foolish Waitangi Tribunal agreed to another myth, that “tino rangatiratanga” in article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi means “unqualified exercise of chieftainship”.

Mr Koia reacted to my May 19 letter, that juxtaposed the English and Maori of article 2 to show that “tino rangatiratanga” translated “possession”, by asserting that Treaty academic Sir Hugh Kawharu said it meant something else.

Kawharu’s assertion that “tino rangatiratanga” meant “unqualified exercise of chieftainship” is what he believed the chiefs might have understood in 1840, according to his footnotes to his Treaty text.

But missionary William Colenso’s eyewitness written account of the Treaty debate shows that chiefs understood that signing meant accepting a chief above them and a number vehemently disagreed.

Unfortunately for Mr Koia, the Treaty of Waitangi Act cites the official English text and Te Tiriti as “the Treaty”. It does not cite Kawharu’s interpretation.

The 480-word Maori Te Tiriti text was not translated from the 568-word official English text.

The English text I used for my May 19 letter was the 375-word Busby February 4 text on display at Archives New Zealand in Wellington that has only four words that differ from the Maori text and one of those words is the date.

Mr Koia should say why he wants you to believe that chiefs did not cede sovereignty and how New Zealand society should be re-created to suit his beliefs.

The Daily Post Rotorua 25/5/15
Thankfully common sense has prevailed and council has decided not to ask the councillors who are members of the ProDemocracy Society to resign or abstain from voting (though that is what council would prefer).

I still can’t see how being a member of a society is a conflict of interest, given no personal gain is possible, when being a member of another group whether based on ideology, ethnicity or any other leaning but in this case Te Arawa, is not a conflict of interest, given personal or family gain is possible. The pro-democracy members have made no secret of their leanings. The Te Arawa councillors have not been so open, but will have predetermined views. Just think back to the council meeting December 18, 2014. How can you vote against a proposal giving influence and power to “family”?

Nothing has changed as a result of the costly sham process that we have just gone through involving the Te Arawa Partnership proposal. No common ground or compromise has been reached although alternatives were offered by the ProDemocracy Society.

It would seem that the local body elections in 2016 will be the decider.

Most people who bother to vote are middle-aged and older. Most people opposed to the TAPP are middle-aged and older.

Gisborne Herald 23/5/15
It is our friend Henry Koia who needs to face facts.

1. He would soon have seen that the Waitangi and East Coast contexts were very similar if the French had taken over.

2. There is no such thing as a Treaty in English. The various bogus treaties written by Freeman are indeed irreconcilable with the real Treaty — in the Ngapuhi dialect, but East Coast tribes will have understood it.

3. The “English version” should have no application anywhere, even if an ill-informed Parliament decreed in the 1970s that one of Freeman’s efforts was “the Treaty in English”.

4. As Henry says, the Treaty’s words are too plain and simple to admit double meaning. What those words say is: (i) The chiefs cede sovereignty (kawanatanga) to the Queen completely and for ever (ii) All Maoris (tangata Maori katoa o Nu Tirani) receive the rights of the people of England — including all slaves, remember. (iii) All the people of New Zealand (tangata katoa o Nu Tirani) are guaranteed possession (tino rangatiratanga) of their land and property.

End of story.

Bay of Plenty Times 23/5/15
If one is to believe the recent reporting in the media then with all the welcoming committees, greeting groups, cultural displays, singing and dancing, the national protocols and required participation in ethnic activities, hongi, haka and hui, Prince Harry must have left our fair shores confirmed in the belief that most New Zealanders are of Maori heritage. Or is it that the 86 per cent of the non-Maori population are so lacking in cultural identity or significance that they do not deserve similar representation in the welcoming of foreign dignitaries to our shores?

Rotorua Daily Post 23/5/15
I would like to expand on the selected history Janine Rangi Marie Bosma-Robson and others gave in their Te Arawa Partnership Plan proposal] submissions.

When Hongi Hika returned from England in 1820 he had collected over 800 muskets and went on a rampage south, slaughtering an estimated 40,000 unarmed men, women and children.

In February 1870 Te Kooti attacked Rotorua and it was only the quick thinking of Captain Gilbert Mair that saved the people of Rotorua. Government troops continued to protect Rotorua for the next seven years and land was "gifted" in appreciation. Pocket History of Rotorua by Don Stafford.

As for Maori being tangata whenua, this is what Professor Ranginui Walker had to say in 1986, "The traditions are quite clear on one point, whenever crew disembarked there were already tangata whenua (prior inhabitants). "The canoe ancestors of the 14-century merged with these tangata whenua tribes". Tangata Maori is the word used by Hobson and Williams in the Tiriti o Waitangi as they knew Maori were not the tangata whenua. See Te TIriti o Waitangi.

By 1840, many of the chiefs had sold large areas of their "empty" lands, but most sales were disallowed or never claimed after the treaty was signed and the land returned to Maori. Please respect your democratically elected representatives, they have done an excellent job for all the people of Rotorua irrespective of race, colour or creed. Tatau tatau — Together we stand — divided we fall.

Wanganui Chronicle 23/5/15
Re Charlie Anderson letter. May 9, Make a Submission. I hope people will make a submission to the council on the debate about putting the "H" in spelling of our city as this could be your last chance: at least you will have expressed your view even though it is a foregone conclusion that the "H" will be put into the name.

Here is what is going to happen: the Minister for Lands (Land Information) will be supporting it. the Geographic Board will be supporting it as the board is heavily loaded to support one side and our council will use the excuse that the Geographic Board says it should be in the spelling instead of telling the people that they have got a document that was sent to them giving evidence that the chiefs of Wanganui in 1840 signed it without the "H" on it.

The Minister of Lands and the Geographic Board also have received this document. If they all put the "H" in the spelling of Wanganui they will be deceiving you.

The Christchurch Press 22/5/15
The Press report (May 12) of hearings on the 10-year plan noted that Ngai Tahu prioritised fixing sewer pipes above all else, but offered no suggestions about funding that.

However the report missed the key thrust of Ngai Tahu’s submission. They want the Council to continue the special powers and role the Government gave them through the CER Act, thus giving Ngai Tahu precedence over all other stakeholders, the citizens and ratepayers of the city.

They want control over all planning and resource allocation, all cultural and artistic life and a major say in the rebuild of the central city and its civic functions thereafter.

In addition Ngai Tahu expect the council to fund this role, calling for full provision of resources – ie staff, office facilities, copying, and access to council staff – to be paid for in perpetuity by the ratepayers of the city. Already we pay for this at Ecan.

Yet Ngai Tahu offer not a single cent to the council to fund the recovery. This is an organisation that has $100 million to give to Dunedin for hospital buildings, but has nothing for our council struggling to fund restoration of basic services and to continue the vibrant city life we had.

And cutely, the submission labels freshwater as "wai Maori", perhaps a precursor to the Water Lord deal the government is currently hatching.

One hopes the councillors will see this submission as an attempted coup-by-stealth and reject it out of hand.
Central Christchurch

The Daily Post Rotorua 22/5/15
I am not a member of the Pro Democracy group. Whilst being of the same mind with regards to Te Arawa not having voting rights, I am not against Te Arawa having people attend and being paid an honorarium, of the various committees they sit on to ensure the rights of all are upheld. Te Arawa should pay for their own committee, not the people of Rotorua. I would also like to see Tuhoe represented on council subcommittees.

I take my hat off to people like Reynold Macpherson and the others of the group for standing up speaking out, explaining and making the people of Rotorua aware of what the council/Te Arawa was proposing.

Suggesting that members of the group have a secret agenda, that may or may not be so, time will tell.

Personally, having attended the December council meeting, I am convinced that without the Pro Democracy group the Te Arawa proposal would now be a done deal. Good on Pro Democracy group in this instance.

As regards to wards, I see the Far North council had a referendum on wards, defeated by 68 per cent; New Plymouth 80 per cent. Why is Rotorua discussing wards? In 2006, 70 per cent of Rotorua people were against wards, then wards were kicked out.

I say to Te Arawa, Tuhoe and other tribes, stand 6-30 creditable candidates at the next council elections and let the people decide on merit and democratically who should be on council — would say 5-6 of 12 be sufficient to satisfy the Government’s wishes. They already have four.

I was appalled to read in today’s paper (May 20) that the council has received direction from its lawyers that any councillor who belongs to the Pro Democracy Society should either resign from the society or abstain from voting.

The directive suggested that any councillor who did not have an open mind on any subject should not vote.

I cannot understand how intelligent people can believe that anyone going into a voting situation can possibly have an open mind. One must form an opinion on any issue.

Those belonging to the ProDemocracy Society simply have a strong opinion, as I am quite sure do those who approved of the Te Arawa Proposal and who would have been happy for no further public consultation.

Surely, one must have an opinion to enable one to vote.

The Northern Advocate 22/5/15
M. Armstrong (May 16) may be interested in the results of the recent New Plymouth District Council’s public binding referendum (May 15), a massive 83 per cent against undemocratic Maori representation.

In her letter Ms Armstrong unwittingly highlights one of the flaws in appointed representation on councils when she says, “Kake and Munroe will be there long after other councillors have been forgotten.” Readers be warned, these unelected appointed positions cannot be voted out if they do not perform or push an agenda contrary to the general public’s wish.

I am encouraged to see by her wording “treaty parties” she concedes there is no “partnership” between the Crown and Maori.

She asks for ideas on how minority groups could contribute to the council decision making process, answer as New Zealanders.

Ms Armstrong chants "the tyranny of the majority" mantra in her promotion for racial input into council decision making.

A district is made up of individuals, each with their own individual views that need to be respected. That there is a concurrence with others to make up a majority is not a crime but a strength. The majority view is the summation of individual minority views. It's not tyranny — it is crowd wisdom.

She also infers that a "force overthrew" the original warring tribes in New Zealand. She seems to conveniently forget the letter written to King William IV by the chiefs asking Britain for protection from the French and Maori warring tribes. To give this protection British laws, democratic governance had to be established, something some should be eternally grateful for.

Dominion Post 21/5/15
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd has indicated his dissatisfaction with the result of the recent referendum which came out strongly against the creation of a separate Maori ward for the city. He wants to take the matter further, possibly to the UN.

There appears to be an implication that the voters are racist, but it ill behoves an elected official both to deny democracy and to second-guess voters’ motives.

The idea that people of Maori ancestry can only have their views represented by Maori appointees is actually insulting and patronising. It belies the fact that Maori people have a wide range of opinions which are not necessarily conveyed by activists. For example, a significant proportion of those of Maori ancestry choose the general rather than the Maori electoral roll.

The mayor’s promotion of 19th century tribalism and separatism will, in the long run, bring no benefit to most Maori people.

Taranaki Daily News 21/5/15
The NPDC mayor retreats to Lucy’s Gully to lick his wounds and find solitude and inspiration after the Maori ward referendum result.

In colloquial terms he was ‘‘cleaned out’’ but the lure of the trough will see him stand again in 2016. Why, what for, what is the point?

He will need more than an adviser, he will need a man with long hair a beard and a long flowing robe, who has holes in his hands and feet and can produce a miracle.

The mayor wants to take the case to the United Nations and I am sure Mr Ban Ki-moon will drop Palestine, Iraq, ISIS and other hot spots to roll out a red carpet welcome for the mayor and the two representatives of the Waitangi [Taranaki branch] Gravy Train, Mr Moeahu and Mr Knuckey at the ratepayers’ expense, followed by a visit to our sisters cities in China and Japan, a relationship the mayor said would end. And I swear to God I have just seen a squadron of pigs flying overhead.

Between now and the next local elections I would wager there will be others on the council venturing up to Lucy’s Gully to find solace and seek divine guidance to see the light. Of course there will be others who pre-election time promised this and that, keen to promote themselves and talk the talk but on election couldn’t walk the walk but took the 30 thousand odd pieces of silver anyway. What is the point of being there if your integrity and credibility are shot to pieces? Some previous mayors left a legacy, Mr Lean the sewage treatment plant.

Mr Tennent the Coastal Walkway, Mr Duynhoven a bad taste, Mr Judd ?????.
New Plymouth

In response to Frank Gaze (Letters May 20), you have a very unique take on fairness, justice and equality Mr Gaze. We elect our representatives based on merit and ability, as is the fair and just way. Perhaps if more people with some Maori ancestry were nominated, (based on merit and ability please), more would be elected. Is this fair, just or equal?

I worked hard to pay for my daughters to board at high school as we lived so far from town, whilst every year, two girls with some Maori ancestry were given full scholarships and attended for free. Lucky them? Most people know instances of reverse racism created by our overly PC government. And FYI, decent hard working people with some Maori ancestry that I know, don’t want to be given handouts or treated unequally.

Throughout history races have been overthrown by others, wiped out, enslaved, or integrated. How many centuries ago did Maori choose equality Frank? Burn the Treaty, apparently it’s too ambiguous, easy to misinterpret, and divisive. Could we please just move on together as Kiwis, with respect for our history, cultures and each other, no matter what race.
New Plymouth

Rotorua Daily Post 21/5/15
Jocelyn Towers’ sweeping assertions and partisan opinions ( Letters, May 16) deserve brief answers. The charges of arrogance and propaganda are apparently to counter our success at uncovering spin, deceptions, manipulation, intimidation and predetermination in the current governance policy process, as well as mounting an effective campaign to contest an illegal and immoral “partnership” plan.

I apologise for the extent to which my sotto voce mutterings and whispers to a colleague at one hearing actually impaired a fellow citizen’s capacity to hear, in an environment where the public broadcast system was working well.

Finally, I thank Jocelyn for the suggestion that I and my colleagues should run at the next local body elections. She is not the first to propose this.

But she confuses ends and means. Our purpose is to defend democracy. Once we help council develop a compromise to improve mana whenua’s influence, consistent with the democratic and legal rights of all citizens, the society will have achieved its purpose. A compromise is being worked on.

On day one of the hearings, I asked the mayor and councillors to accept that the people are deeply divided by the partnership plan and to defer making any policy decision until a broad consensus has emerged. It would restore their political fortunes (which they deserve given their emergent successes elsewhere), revitalise democratic capacity building in our community, and allow me to drift quietly back into political obscurity.

I read with concern the accusations aimed at the Pro Democracy Society by a Jocelyn Towers ( Letters, May 16).

Emotive and unsubstantiated claims like this can easily be made by people from either side of the argument and contribute nothing to a sensible and reasoned debate.

On the subject of members of the public talking in the council chamber. I have attended a number of the meetings in the council chamber and have experienced this from people on both sides of the argument.

The problem within the chamber is that on many occasions the volume of the audio system is too low for the public to hear adequately. At two of the meetings I attended requests were made to have the volume increased.

As far as the honeymoon being over, I think of greater concern is that due to the undemocratic aspirations of some we now have the trials of an increasingly divided Rotorua community having to live together.

I am 82, have lived in Rotorua since 1976 and would like it to be known that I am in no way related to Jocelyn Towers.

Gisborne Herald 19/5/15
Jason Koia, who says chiefs did not cede sovereignty, should re-read the Treaty of Waitangi.

The English version in Article 2 says: “The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and the tribes and to all the people of New Zealand, the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property.”

Translated into Maori, that sentence says: “Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu — ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa.”

If “te tino rangatiratanga” translates “the possession”, Mr Koia should explain how “te tino rangatiratanga” means “unqualified exercise of chieftainship”.

Furthermore, Mr Koia should keep track of the contents of his letters to avoid self-contradiction.

His letter of May 16 says that chieftainship is not subservient to international law. But on April 25 he appealed to “a competent judicial with binding powers”, as a higher authority to show that chiefs are sovereigns in their own right.

Which is it Mr Koia? Chiefs are above all other authorities, or chiefs seek a “competent judicial” as a higher authority to say they are above all others?

The Daily Post Rotorua 19/5/15
I, like many people in Rotorua, am alarmed by the letters that appear in the local papers that are misleading, manipulated and clearly show that a group of people in Rotorua, support the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal (Tapp) at the expense of their fellow citizens.

A case in point is Keith Garratt’s attack on the ProDemocracy Society (Letters, May 14). It brought to mind a famous quote from an infamous man: “The great masses of people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than a small one”.

Keith would have us believe that 97 per cent of Rotorua’s people are not bothered by Tapp, which is antidemocratic, an unnecessary cost to the ratepayers and would give the Te Arawa elite disproportionate power over the rest of us.

Let’s look at the facts. Nearly 2000 people signed a paper and online petition in four weeks against Tapp options 2 and 3, 1900 submissions and hundreds of letters to papers. For Keith to say that 97 per cent of Rotorua people are not bothered by Tapp is an understatement and it is what it is — a divisive and crude attempt to gain power, influence and money and has led to a deeply divided community.

As for his comments that the councillors who support the ProDemocracy Society have a conflict of interest, he fails to mention his friend the mayor and five of her councillors have close ties with Te Arawa and also have a conflict of interest.

Darrin Walsh, CE Chamber of Commerce ( Rotorua Daily Post May 9) echoed Geoff Williams, CEO Rotorua Lakes Council ( National Business Review May 8). Both prefer to shoot the messenger rather than address the damage being done to Rotorua’s community and economy by proposing to give unelected Te Arawa nominees power over fellow citizens and disproportionate power to one community of interest. Both judged the resistance to the Te Arawa Partnership Plan (Tapp) as mischievous, anti-progress and anti-business development. Not so.

The resistance is due to The People getting organised to insist on compliance with the moral ideal of democracy and the law in council decisionmaking. The resistance has been gradually ratcheted up, now to national level. It is to give the mayor and councillors reason and time to invent a fresh reconciliation of the need to give mana whenua greater say with the democratic rights of all citizens. One without the other would be intolerable.

Both Williams and Walsh appear reluctant to concede that democratic governance is a pre-condition of sustainable communities and economic development. The UN argues that such good governance consensus-oriented, participatory, follows the rule of law, effective and efficient, accountable, transparent, responsive, equitable and inclusive.

So, instead of image management, the Queen of Consensus might now manage a policy settlement process that creates a broad consensus between the proponents and opponents of the Tapp, the councillors and officials. Conciliatory democratic politics can provide a congenial context for community and economic development.

The Northern Advocate 18/5/15
Our government is currently negotiating with Maori tribal corporations over their claims to fresh water. This is happening behind closed doors, while we are being distracted by the new flag smokescreen.

Opportunists are seeking control of a huge share of our natural, fresh water under the spurious pretext that it is a “taonga” to Maori.

How ridiculous this is when water is the very essence of all life. As such a basic need, our water should be held in public ownership for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Maori have no greater claim than all other Kiwis. And they certainly don’t have any treaty rights to water. David Rankin, of Ngapuhi descent, confirmed this: “Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, Maori never owned water. So there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim.”

New Zealanders need to get active and protest this tribal grab for another of our birth rights. If we don’t act fast, we will soon have a mandatory “koha” imposed on our water bills.

Hawkes Bay Today 18/5/15 (Text 2 Ed section)
■ Great article by Torn Johnson. Totally agree! Maori have no right to own water or have control over our water resource.

■ Tom Johnson is to be thanked for pointing out the threat to democracy by giving Maori preferential rights to water. No one owns NZ water!

■ Tom Johnson is absolutely right. Special rights for Maori have gone past a joke. Special water rights for Maori is racial discrimination. Nobody owns the water. It's time New Zealanders stood up and said enough is enough. John Key continues to give in to Maori wishes. It's blatant racism. TC

Tom Johnson's great article can be read HERE

Rotorua Daily Post 18/5/15
I sat through many of the submissions to the council and came away saddened and disappointed. Saddened because what could and should be a harmonious and progressive community has descended into acrimony and distrust. Disappointed because the Maori councillors for whom I voted are clearly thought of as inept and inappropriate by Te Arawa.

I voted for four Maori councillors because I felt that was the correct balance to incorporate the views I feel are so important to this country and, specifically, to this region. I am also saddened that there is such disharmony amongst our Maori community and that our mayor, for whom I also voted, seems by her comments in the press to intend to bash on with the proposals regardless.

Recently there was a parallel in the Fonterra "state of the company" presentations throughout the country. I attended two. The farmers were angry that their senior management was intent on bashing on regardless against a strong tide of shareholder disagreement. One meeting especially was very vocal in a reasoned way and the presenters left in no doubt how the suppliers felt about reduced prices and increased spending overseas and on executive salaries. After that meeting the key presenter spoke to me and said, "I thought that went very well!" The message I assume was taken back to HQ was: "Message delivered, the peasants are passionate but happy".

The "fear" which our mayor referred to in the press was really disappointment, and at the next council elections Te Arawa should put up candidates it feels are appropriate. The often-heard claim that Te Arawa are "not heard" is surely because, in my ignorance, I voted for the wrong councillors.

The submissions and hearings are all over. We hope that the council took all arguments on board. According to a poll done by the Daily Post, the majority of us citizens were against the proposal mainly because it gives some Te Arawa people an undemocratic unfair advantage over all other citizens, including Maori. I hope that the council did not just go through the motions of appearing to listen, but accept that their proposal has created a divided community. Either they will come up with a more acceptable proposal, or else May 26 will become Rotorua's blackest day.

Wanganui Chronicle 18/5/15
I am heartily sick of this "H" debate. We have already had two (I think) referenda and still we have the PC brigade trying to push their barrow and introduce the "H" into Wanganui. I agree with Charlie Anderson's letter. There is no need to submit "submissions" to obfuscate the matter any further. Just take the majority vote (the majority of those that bothered to vote in the first instance) and drop the letter out of existence altogether. Then the real workers for the benefit of this fine town can get on with further promotion. And for goodness sake get the pronunciation of the "Waimarie" right. It was never "Waimari-ay!"

Hawke's Bay Today 16/5/15
Good on Tom Johnson. Once again he has had the courage to say what free thinking New Zealanders know is happening to our country. The undemocratic, "power game" type of politics that has developed under the

MMP system of governance, in which very minor parties can get what they want by trading their supporting vote, is a major contributor to the racist legislation that is driving this country towards a neo-apartheid state.

Incredibly, it is our National government that has put itself in this position by adopting an appeasement policy with their coalition-tail that is blindly designed to stay in power, ignoring the reality they are perpetuating a greed culture that will be difficult to stop.
Ironically it follows this situation may have some influence as to the apathetic attitude that prevails in this country, in which people, including government members of parliament, sit there and say nothing, silenced by the fear of being labelled a racist.

As Tom Johnson has stressed, it is the fate of our grandchildren we should be concerned about.

The heroes of World War 1, we are now so proud of, would turn in their graves if they knew what is happening to the country they helped to build.

Wake up New Zealand before it is too late. “Evil happens when good men do nothing”
Havelock North

The Daily Post Rotorua 16/5/15
On the final day of hearings of submissions concerning the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal, many speakers pleaded for Te Arawa "to be heard" at council, which sounds perfectly reasonable. However, when there are already at least four Te Arawa councillors, Janet Wepa, Tania Tapsell, Merepeka Rauka wa -Tait and Trevor Maxwell, together with other council members who are related to Te Arawa persons, why are they not being heard already? Surely Te Arawa are already perfectly well represented on the council? Perhaps "being heard" is not quite what the submitters meant? Perhaps what they really meant is that Te Arawa want power without accountability to Rotorua ratepayers, by whom they expect to be paid?

A few have claimed that my attempt to find a policy compromise (Rotorua Daily Post, May 9), having rejected the Te Arawa Partnership Plan (TAPP) as undemocratic, is a backdown.

Not at all. The Democratic Governance Model remains Pro-Democracy Society policy. It sets out principles, values and a structure for fair input into the policy and planning decisions made by elected representatives. TAPP Options 2 and 3 are rejected because they propose unelected people being given power over fellow citizens, disproportionate power to one legitimate interest group, and unwarranted costs to ratepayers.

With the hearings complete, our community now has to find a pragmatic policy settlement. The method I suggested is to find common ground and build interim bridging policy on it. It is not a method favoured by extremists, who insist that their point of view is absolutely right.

My view is that defending democracy is very different to being against race-based representation. If some in our diverse community wish to self-identify as Maori for political purposes, and they join the Maori Roll to elect strictly proportionate representation from Maori wards, they would be legitimately exercising their democratic rights with-out disadvantage to others.

Since we know from referenda that Maori wards are not popular, due to anti-race-based representation feelings, they need to be explained as a more democratic solution than the TAPP', because they can advance mana whenua interests without violating the democratic rights of other citizens. Not perfect but reasonable, like rural wards.

Taranaki Daily News 15/5/15
In response to the emotive letter from Peter Moeahu (May 13), the thrust of my earlier letter was that too many Maori fail in spite of' special education privileges, not because of'. He says "if we got special privileges don't you think we would succeed?". Well apart from mainstream education available to all, what else is there for Maori?

Firstly there's Kohanga Reo which is for Maori children from birth to six years old aimed at maintaining Maori language and philosophies, the Maori Education Trust Scholarship Funding, the Ngarimu Maori Battalion Memorial fund Scholarships Awards, the Manu Pirere Awards, Wairarapa Moana Trust Awards, Haane Manahi Memorial scholarships, Haumingi 1A2 Incorporation Tertiary Grant, Henry Rongomai Bennett scholarship fund. These are for Maori.

Also, WITT provides nine courses in Maori Arts and culture. I don't see the 'pakeha privileges', 'hate Maori' or 'racism' Peter speaks of, only an education system that meets all needs to achieve in this land we live in, and to equal and compete with well educated immigrants and the world. A lot of non-Maori are not succeeding either Mr Moeahu, but there's nothing for them that Maori can't access also.

I wasn't brought up in ignorance as you suggest, I was brought up on facts, and I know the history of our country probably as well as you, but banging on about racism and the past won't help Maori or non-Maori succeed in anything, but equality, as the Treaty intended, can.
New Plymouth.

Peter Moeahu (letters, May 13) says that we should read the Treaty of Waitangi and find out what it really said. He should take his own advice which might correct his very distorted ideas about it. His "50-50 Treaty partnership" is a blatant falsehood and I challenge him to show where the Treaty mentions it. Article second of the Treaty guaranteed equal rights to all of us to own property. Present government proposals to grant special rights over water to Maori interests are racist and a betrayal of what was agreed in the Treaty and the democratic rights of all other New Zealanders.

Wanganui Chronicle 15/5/15
Is anyone recording the minutes of the council meetings currently being conducted in the opinion pages of the Chronicle? It just goes on and on. It doesn't matter which school of thought you believe in; the mere fact of elected "people's representatives" acting in such a way can only be seen as immature and churlish.

How about a citizen's generated petition/referendum for another election so that adult persons can take over running the town? Oops, silly me. The council does not recognise the results of referendums, so that would be a waste of time and effort.

Perhaps we could try a hui on a convenient marae? Seems that this is where all important decisions concerning Wanganui are made. (Edited)

Hawkes Bay Today 15/5/15
Campbell Live recently exposed a farcical situation that exists in Southern Hawke's Bay. An overseas company has been given a resource consent to take, without recompense, our precious high quality fresh water from an aquifer. The company stands to make a long-term return on the exported product of tens of millions of dollars.

Local and regional authority officials, who assess resource consent applications are not generally known for their common sense and wisdom. I know that they were merely following the letter of the law. They could, however, have petitioned Government for an urgent amendment to the legislation, and held off making a decision in the meantime.

There is every chance that, in the distant future, a country's wealth will be determined, not by bits of paper or the tonnes of useless metal held, but the ability to access and trade fresh water. Opening the door now to foreign interests to access it, at no cost, and at the expense of other local enterprises, is stupidity.

The Government must change the legislation and buy back the Chinese operation whatever the cost. Assuming proper resource allocations are put in place, they can then consider the potential for a local consortium to take advantage of another thriving export industry that would benefit New Zealand.
D W. P
Kapiti Coast.

Dr Tom Johnson's "Talking Point" article (May 13) is an excellent summary of what is going wrong in New Zealand as a result of past and ongoing policies of the National Government. The issues covered by Dr Johnson are serious, with far-reaching implications, and we should all be aware of them. This article should be read by all persons with an interest in a positive future for our country.
Havelock North

Rotorua Daily Post 13/5/15
I have attended four of the five days of oral submissions regarding the Te Arawa Partnership Plan at the Rotorua District Council chambers and I make the following observations.

The number of speakers for and against the proposal were about equal, the arguments for implementing the proposal were mostly subjective in content, while the arguments against were more objective.

Those speaking against emphasised issues of legality, cost and equity in regards the franchise of the total community of the RDC.

I did not hear one speaker raise the racial aspect.

However, many speakers for the proposal implied that racial motives were behind the opposition.

In general, the hearings were conducted with respect for each other’s point of view, but today (May 11), the invective by one of the speakers directed against those present who were hopefully attempting to uphold democracy was unpleasant.

Continuation of this vituperation should have been stopped.

I am a member of the ProDemocracy Society and I am also of Te Arawa and I have substantial land interests in the district. But I am against any sort of privilege that undermines equal rights.

I am satisfied that the submissions I heard that were not in support of the Te Arawa Partnership Plan, did not contain arguments that were based on race, because all the members that I know who belong to the Pro-Democracy Society agree that Maori should have the same rights as any other individual and until this plan came into being, I thought that they did.

I have listened to many of the submissions on the Te Arawa Partnership Plan. Considerable passion and research has gone into many and some have been eloquent. I have also noted those opposed to the TAPP have not been reduced to racism and racist slurs, a credit to them.

I have learned a lot of history for which I am grateful but we have not been told anything of how Te Arawa will use the power and influence granted should the TAPP be accepted.

Today (May 11), I had to listen to much vitriolic racial hatred and slurs directed at those opposed to the TAPP.

Rotorua citizens had been assured that they have nothing to fear from the TAPP but how can those citizens now feel comfortable with an as-yetunexplained plan based on an ideology of racial grievance and entitlement such as we heard today, an ideology to which the drivers of this proposal ascribe?

Given this race-based entitlement has been reiterated repeatedly with varying degrees of ferocity, then should this partnership with council come to fruition, heaven help the Rotorua district as a whole because this planned, exclusive relationship certainly won’t.

Northern Advocate 13/5/15
It comes as no surprise to read the Auditor General's findings that the Whanau ora programme is difficult to define and even more difficult to define what it has achieved after four years and millions of dollars poured into it, one third of which has been spent on administration!

I have raised this question of accountability before with no answer to my query. Problems of this nature cannot be fixed by pouring money into them. There must be tangible data to show value for taxpayer dollars. Mr [Te Ururoa] Flavell has stated ( question and answer time in the House, May 8) that Whanau On will be moving into a second phase of development, so can taxpayers be assured that all money spent will go to families in need and will there be data to show this has occurred?

Highly unlikely as we have not yet seen such data from Hau Ora or the Kohanga Reo Trust. As I have stated previously, two women, each on a salary, were able to service families on the top half of the East Coast with budgeting, truancy, accessing school uniforms, preschool and adult education, counselling, childcare arrangements, home-work classes, bullying people into making wills, transporting elderly to doctors and shopping and many other tasks I probably did not know about.

They were not caught up in administration as their energy was focused on practicality. How times have changed! And not for the betterment of families.

Wanganui Chronicle 13/5/15
It is with some confusion that I read that local Maori are going to be out in force with all their finery and ceremonial glory to welcome Prince Harry.

But hold on — isn't he a member of the Royal family? So that makes him a member of the Crown. That is the heart of the British Commonwealth and the same people who supposedly ripped off Maori with land deals and confiscation. So why are they going out of their way to welcome him? Is that not hypocritical? Surely they should have him on a marae grilling him about past wrongs done to them at the hands of his forebears.

My children who have been brought up with a good work ethic and education are now paying. I paid, my parents who worked all their lives paid, my grandparents and great grandparents all contributed to the great Waitangi hand-out. And yet none of our five generations of New Zealanders had one single thing to do with any of it.

Maori should take up their fight with those who caused their grief, not us hardworking Kiwis who had nothing to do with it. (Abridged)

Northland Age 12/5/15
Our government is currently negotiating with Maori tribal corporations over their claims to fresh water. This is happening behind closed doors, while we are being distracted by the new flag smokescreen.

Opportunists are seeking control of a huge share of our natural fresh water under the spurious pretext that it is a 'taonga' to Maori. How ridiculous this is when water is the very essence of all life. As such a basic need, our water should be held in public ownership for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Maori have no greater claim than all other Kiwis. And they certainly don't have any Treaty rights to water. David Rankin, of Ngapuhi descent, confirmed this: "Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, Maori never owned water. So there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim."

New Zeal anders need to get active and protest this tribal grab for another of our birth rights. If we don't act fast we sill soon have a mandatory koha imposed on our water bills.

Water is targeted by the Maori elite as the next resource to control The influential Iwi Leaders' Group say it's their right under the Treaty of Waitangi. But it's just another attempted money grab, and unfortunately our political leaders are allowing them to get away with it.

Ngapuhi's David Rankin says, "Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand Maori never owned water.

And even after Europeans arrived. Maori never owned water. So there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim. Neither is it a Treaty right."

This is another case of opportunism. On the basis of the foreshore and seabed issue, Maori have learned if they keep pushing for the rights to something, eventually a weak government will give in and hand it over. This is how iwi corporations have secured Auckland's mountains, national parks, the foreshore and seabed, mining rights, forestry rights and radio frequencies. Iwi leaders are pushing the government for water ownership. They know control of water brings power.

This must be stopped now before it's too late. Stop Nick Smith's plan to give Maori the rights of ownership of New Zealand fresh water. Speak up; tell them today.

The Northern Advocate 12/5/15

Correspondent Paul Berks (May 8) 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.

We are constantly bombarded with claims to Maori sovereignty over New Zealand from political activists like Hone Harawira and Margaret Mutu, and race-based representation on the Whangarei District Council is just another increment of that agenda.

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.

New Zealand currently has a stable political system that includes everyone, irrespective of race. This is achieved by having rights and responsibilities based on citizenship, not ethnicity or groupings. On that basis, Mr Berks, there are no options to consider.

Gisborne Herald 11/5/15
Messrs Porter and Koia keep on chanting their mantra that the chiefs did not cede sovereignty in 1840 but the simple fact is that over 500 did so and knew it, with very few recorded exceptions.

Mr Koia’s contention that “there was more than enough evidence” to the contrary is nonsense. Hobson was therefore legally and morally justified in proclaiming British sovereignty over the whole country a few months later and we have evolved to an independent sovereign country since.

Mr Porter’s suggestion that we return to the pre-1840 position is an absurdity. Get over it, my friends.

As for “dishonouring the treaty”, in signing the chiefs accepted that all Maoris — “tangata Maori katoa o Nu Tirani” (not be it noted Aotearoa, a false recent name for our country) received all the rights of the people of England. “All” included slaves yet many chiefs did not release their slaves nor accept them as equals under British law and the Treaty wording. That was dishonouring the Treaty.

Rebellions by some tribes later blatantly dishonoured the Treaty too. Pots should not call the kettle black.

As for the Waitangi Tribunal, it invariably accepts all claims before it which time and again have been shown to be false and we taxpayers (not “the Crown”) pay up meekly in consequence, but that is another story.

Jason Koia (April 21 letter) says his ancestors held tribal sovereignty prior to the 1835 Declaration of Independence but says the chiefs did not know the concept of sovereignty just five years later when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

In the same letter Mr Koia talks of “Maori Treaty rights” but there are no specific Maori Treaty rights in the Treaty of Waitangi, in which:

Article One — the chiefs cede sovereignty to the Queen.

Article Two — the Queen confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes and all people of New Zealand the possession of their lands, dwellings, and all their property.

Article Three — the Queen extends protection to the people of New Zealand and grants Maori the status of British subjects.

The rights in the Treaty include everyone and involve all the people of New Zealand.

In his final attempt at credibility Mr Koia says, “Colonialists opposed to Maori rights have not agreed to international arbitration in fear their arguments will fail”.

Well Mr Koia, I would welcome an independent, unbiased arbitration to put this racial issue that is driven by elite Maori to bed. However, I fear that the “international arbitration” Mr Koia has in mind may be the United Nations, which has a record of favouring “first peoples” through kangaroo courts.

Rotorua Daily Post 11/5/15
If one thing is coming through from submissions made to the Rotorua District Council re the Te Arawa proposal it is that a lot of people, especially those from the health sector, are seeing at first hand the discrepancies between the poor, who are mostly Maori, and the rest of the community.

They have an incorrect idea as to what a local body can do to correct these appalling statistics and think that by giving extra political power to a select few from one tribe, it will somehow solve these social problems.

They are wrong because they are looking at the complaint and not the cause, which is a lack of education to enable people to cope with the complexities we now all live with. To correct this issue they are looking for short cuts like this TAPP as if it will solve the problem, when it won't, because like all hasty solutions it just creates another long term one for society to deal with, thereby compounding the complexity of our society for everyone else.

It is hard for people to cope with rapid change as evolution is a slow process, but the consistency of change makes it difficult for even intelligent people to adjust. We are bombarded with so much information we all suffer from information overload.

In a short letter it is hard to explain the complexities of this problem and I am not sure I understand them all myself. For instance can anyone tell me which blades fit which razor, because I can't? Yet in days gone by any make of blade used to fit any make of razor. Why has this changed and are these changes to my advantage? My solution is to buy throw away razors that add to the landfill problems the council now has.

I note the proposal re: Maori Wards and wonder if the next one will be for Maori Reservations.

Taranaki Daily News 11/5/15
Dion Tuuta's Comment column (Daily News, May 4) raises some interesting and also disturbing points. He claims that Witt holds the key to the future for Taranaki Maori, citing an over-representation of Maori in the unskilled labour market, and says that this has to be addressed, and can only be achieved over time with education and training.

I agree with him, that is the only way that Maori can get to the higher ground of employment, as many of them have, along with non Maori. Unfortunately, with all the special education privileges that have been created for them too many Maori are falling short.

The problem as I see it is a poor attitude to achievement, with too much focus on race and culture rather than education. Witt can never be the answer to this problem unless training courses are equal for Maori and non-Maori, the teaching and curriculum are of the highest standard, and Maori are willing to attend classes and learn and train alongside non Maori. That's what the real world of business opportunity requires, and segregation and special needs treatment will never achieve what Mr Tuuta wants for Maori, such as representation in key industry and local authorities.
New Plymouth

Well isn't it great to see our editor of the Daily News still pushing our mayor's cause for a Maori ward (promotion disguised as news).

Well here are a few facts that need to be printed.

The majority of citizens, no matter what race they are, want a level playing field for all representation on Local Bodies. The mayor stated that a Maori ward was a first step. Remember he would like to see 50/50 representation. They call it the "thin end of the wedge syndrome". The far North District Council voted against a Maori ward - 68% opposed it and 44% of the population are of Maori descent.

The reality is that New Zealanders do not want to be defined by race. Let's keep our country free of institutional racism. I wonder if in the not too distant future, when our grandchildren are subject to having a separate justice system, paying Maori for every consent or privilege to use water, and fish in our rivers and

from our foreshore and sea. Being guests in our own country with a multitude of race-based laws and rights, will they then say "granddad was right". Let's all swim up the river together as one!
Bell Block

Water is targeted by the Maori elite as the next resource to control. The influential Iwi Leaders Group say it's their right under the Treaty of Waitangi. But it's just another attempted money grab and, unfortunately, our political leaders are allowing them to get away with it.

Ngapuhi's David Rankin says, "Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, Maori never owned water. And even after Europeans arrived, Maori never owned water. So there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim. Neither is it a Treaty right."

This is another case of opportunism, on the basis of the foreshore and seabed issue, Maori have learned if they keep pushing for the rights to something, eventually, a weak Government will give in and hand it over. This is how iwi corporations have secured Auckland's mountains, national parks, the foreshore and seabed, mining rights, forestry rights, and radio frequencies.

Iwi leaders are pushing the Government for water ownership. They know control of water brings power. This must be stopped now before it's too late. Stop Nick Smith's plan to give Maori the rights of ownership of NZ fresh water. Speak up; tell them today.

Wanganui Chronicle 11/5/15
I have to agree with Councillor Charlie Anderson's comments regarding the "H". I have refrained from comment so far, but here is my take on the matter — it is not only a spelling issue, it is a pronunciation issue, and every man, woman, child and ethnic expert has a go at it.

The bastardisation of this town's name is carried out every day by every TV and radio news reader and weather presenter. TV One has already decided we have an "H" in the name and Willie Jackson on Radio Live pronounces it as Funganui, with a strong emphasis on the "Fung". Another town that gets the ethnic treatment by TV is Taupo. They get it all ways — Torpor, Towpor, Taupor etc.

I have a suggestion — leave the "H" out and pronounce properly, as it is written, bearing in mind this town was built by Europeans, not Maori.

I would remind the ethnic PC brigade that Paraparaumu, was pronounced as Paraparam for years. We did not change the spelling, we learnt to pronounce it correctly, as it is written.

The Dominion Post 9/5/15
The influential Iwi Leaders Group say they deserve water rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Water is being targeted by the Maori elite as the next resource to control. But it’s just another attempted money grab and, unfortunately, our political leaders are allowing them to get away with it.

Maori have learned if they keep pushing for the rights to something, eventually, a weak government will give in and hand it over.

This is how iwi corporations have secured rights around mountains in Auckland, national parks, the foreshore and seabed, mining rights, forestry rights, and radio frequencies.

Iwi leaders are pushing the Government for water ownership.

Ngapuhi’s David Rankin says: ‘‘Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, Maori never owned water. And even after Europeans arrived, Maori never owned water. So there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim. Neither is it a Treaty right.’’

This is another case of opportunism, on the basis of the foreshore and seabed issue. They know control of water brings power.

This must be stopped now before it’s too late. Stop Nick Smith’s plan to give Maori the rights of ownership of New Zealand freshwater. Speak up; tell them today.

The Dominion Post 8/5/15 (Points section)
I note that Whanau Ora has spent millions over the last four years (May 6), but what I do not understand is why it took so long for the auditor-general to make some detailed inquiries.

Hawkes Bay Today 9/5/15 (Text 2 Ed section)
■ Hekia Parata, why are Maori getting such special treatment and close focus in the education system? The system isn't failing them, they are failing the system. If the shoe was on the other cultural foot, boy would we as a nation be hearing about it! I agree with past texts, we need her out. Enough is enough!

Wanganui Chronicle 9/5/15
At the first Wanganui District Council meeting to debate the "H", it was stated that over time people had accepted the "H" and now was the right time to include it in the council name. In the latest phone book, of the 19 businesses that have adopted it, only four are private, while 110 businesses have not.

I asked Ken Mair if he could explain this, at which point I was chastised by the mayor for being disrespectful to our guests. I may need to be a little more diplomatic in my questioning but still think it was a good question — I have yet to receive a reply. The vote was lost 7-6.

Sixteen days later we were back in council debating the "H" again. Below is the speech I made at that second debate.

"I am not going to dredge up the old debate whether the H' was silent or whether there was or wasn't a Maori alphabet — those subjects are open to conjecture and will never be addressed no matter how long they are debated. "I worry this council is seen as superficial and flip-flopping. We seem to have little or no ability to stick to our decisions and provide what this community needs—consistent and considered decision-making. It is a sad day when one side of a debate loses, it is reduced to hassling till it wins. In respect of the ''H there was a perfectly valid and considered public referendum which resulted in a clear majority of our citizens saying no to the 'H. Of those who cared about the H', the majority said no. "Some councillors put no credence in that referendum result To put no credence in that referendum belittles those voters and demeans the democratic process. If there had been no referendum my view may be different, but there was and that result must prevaiL "Now we are being railroaded into making a decision where the majority supported the sentiments highlighted by that referendum to have to make that decision again. "Does that mean every time one of us has doubts we go back and relitigate? What confidence does that instil in the public? I don't accept that some councillors had no time to consider the original motion — we all had months if not years to make our decision. "I am losing confidence in this council and its leadership. Effectively we were ambushed by the original Indian and now that the supporters of that model have not got their way, we are ambushed again:"

That speech fell on deaf ears — the vote changed from 7-6 against the "H" to 10-3 in favour in 16 days. Stunning. The most disappointing thing for me is the people who built this city; the ones who died doing so and the ones that continue to build this city have little or no say. The ones who force the "H' upon us are the least productive but have the biggest say, how does that work? Put your submissions in people — it is not good enough to shrug and say what is the point. I can assure you this council will listen if enough public noise is made especially if we think we may lose our seat at the council table.
Wanganui District Councillor

Most people don't realise Queen Victoria did not have the right to grant Maoris exclusive rights over her own British subjects, this is elementary knowledge as Britain never had racial laws. All Treaty documents which have been used to install Maori exclusive rights have been false or unauthorised translations —Hobson never authorised an English Treaty. Hugh Kawharu was actually a sitting judge on the Waitangi Tribunal when he wrote his "attempt at a reconstruction of the literal translation of the Maori text". This "reconstruction" is what was accepted by the 1987 Court of Appeal to establish there was a "partnership between Maori and the Crown" as well as the "five principles of the Treaty of Waitangi" — the Crown, likewise, accepting it for the purpose of this case. Amazing how easy it is to con the people

Gisborne Herald 8/5/15
Re: Bigots in deep denial . . . April 18 letter by John Porter.

Europeans have no “legitimate authority” to be here. Hmm-mm. Do you?

The Maori record is hardly benign, so no other earlier settlers would have been tolerated. Kill, feast on them, claim their land and all besides — standard practice.

Global catastrophes are no respecters of persons. Remember Tarawera? Were the kindly Maori spared?

The world is governed by the Law of Change. Every one of us and the environment. It’s unstoppable, and didn’t stop when man appeared, Maori or European. We have several stark reminders of this right now. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, fires. No mercy for those in the way, even John Porter.

Maori did their share of serious environmental damage. At least 30 species of birds and a significant proportion of early forest were wastefully utilised — leading to extinction of those birds.

Margaret Mutu (Auckland University) recently exhorted Maori to use as many magnificent Northland wood pigeons as they desire for food, as was their custom. If in the process pigeons became extinct, so be it. No prosecution followed. (No fish and chips alternative?)

Forget the weird prophesies. Get back to earth and be content to be another innocent, ignorant human being.

Rotorua Daily Press 7/5/15
I wish to correct the impression, as printed in Saturday's Rotorua Daily Post (May 2), that I am in favour of Rotorua Lakes Council's Te Arawa proposal. The portion quoted under my name on page 5 is only a small part of my submission.

I am against the proposal as put forward by RLC. I believe Te Arawa, as with all other groups, have the right to be heard by our council. However, I do not support council voting rights for any publicly-unelected citizens.

If past Rotorua District Councils have not heeded Te Arawa well, it is up to our present council to do so — this is surely possible without granting the contentious voting rights.

The way forward is not simple. Let us respect one an-other and pull together to create a city that is productive, creative and a happy one for all.

Rotorua Review 6/5/15
Given the continuing refusal of the current regime on the council and the new elite in Te Arawa to provide detailed costings for their proposed partnership model, I trust readers will forgive me for teasing them into action (Rotorua Review, 22 April). I used an explicit logic of "if . then" and average salaries in local authorities at the PayScale Human Capital website to estimate probable costs.

Imagine my surprise when Arapeta Tahana dismissed three of my "ifs"; that the proposed Te Arawa Board members, and the seven they nominate to serve alongside elected our representatives on council standing committees, would be paid as much as elected councillors, and that a CEO would command a commensurate salary and infrastructure. He went on to say these projections bordered "on the outrageous."

Outrageous? Now that cost structure methodology is clear, perhaps he can put his moral outrage on hold long enough to develop his own "if . . . then" detailed projections using the roles, structures and functions he hinted at. Simply reiterating the council spin doctors' $250-290K figure won't convince understandably sceptical citizens.

But justifying the projections will also now have to pass a new extended test before getting up as public policy. It is the moral outrage expressed by a substantial majority of long-suffering ratepayers in their submissions regarding the partnership plan (on the council website). Many ask why the costs of the patently undemocratic partner-ship plan should be added to the council debt, and why we should accept the socially divisive costs of adding a parallel governance and administrative system.

The TAPP smoulders on, a thermal issue in a thermal region. It is worrying therefore, that in a press release the mayor stated that in the opinion of the council lawyers Tompkins Wake, the proposal in its current form is legal. But she failed to mention aspects described as "contentious" by the lawyer. These include the nomination and appointment by a new Te Arawa board, voting rights and that the council's discretion is "not without limits".

Further, that the opinion made no mention of whether the lawyer believed the proposal applied concepts of democratic local governance (a fundamental LGA requirement). An alternative legal opinion has been provided by the eminent legal firm Russell McVeagh of Wellington. It highlights three areas of concern, namely the TAPP could constrain the powers of the RDC; it is inconsistent with the LGA requirements relating to democratic local governance and; thirdly, it is inconsistent with the LGA and RMA in relation to Maori involvement in local governance under the Treaty of Waitangi.

The mayor's media release about obtained legal opinion made no mention of the Russell McVeach opinion, a copy of which was given to councillors. The concerns are very serious and in Russell McVeagh's opinion

could lead to a successful judicial review. The last thing we need is yet another judicial exercise involving the RDC. The costs and payments from the Rotoma sewage scheme fiasco and Ngongotaha sinking homes debacle spring to mind — council stubbornness, ratepayer's money wasted.

Can I suggest the council re-evaluate its stance on the TAPP issue and put a decision on hold until a third independent opinion has been gained or decide that, given the division in the community, the proposal should go back to the drawing board. The initial intent was admirable but it is now obvious the process is not.

Taranaki Daily News 4/5/15
In this timid PC society to question or oppose anything Maori is to be labelled a "bigot" or "racist", as Gordon Burnside has shown in his article 'Bigotry a game of musical chairs’ (Taranaki Daily News).

Most Kiwis are not ‘bigots/racists’ as Burnside suggests, what they do oppose is race-based policy and entitlements based on lies using guilt as a motivation.

New Zealand was a country in which rights and responsibilities were based on citizenship irrespective of race. Over the past 26 years unequal rights based on race have emerged.

Burnside waffles on in his proMaori rant about hating and liking Germans and Japanese, the difference is that these two races are not opening a racial divide in our country as elite Maori and their cultlike followers are, undemocratic Maori representation on councils is just one of the many aspects of this insidious push for Maori control of New Zealand.

Giving him a little credit he did speak highly of New Zealand’s most popular political watchdog ‘‘New Zealand Centre for Political Research’’, who are to be congratulated for their efforts in keeping Kiwis informed of issues that affect us all.

Northern Advocate 4/5/15
The Whangarei mayor and council need to be aware that their is no place for race-based representation in New Zealand. I fully agree with Geoff Parker’s letter advising the Mayor and her council of other districts that have tried to appoint unelected Maori to council committees.

Thanks to the Treaty of Waitangi Maori were given equal rights and responsibilities as British subjects, and have the right to any democratic elected position in our country.

Time to be one people and not live in the past.
RD3, Whangarei.

Democracy has evolved over the centuries from times when the crown ruled, then the males of the aristocracy had roles, then land-owning males had votes, finally females and in NZ all races.

We are a democracy in which everyone is to be treated equally through governorship by freely elected representatives. There must be an absence of hereditary or arbitrary distinction or privileges.

Recently Whangarei District Council has taken a step by appointing Maori representatives to council committees, of potentially undermining the very basis of democracy, as in my previous sentence The community has not been told if those appointed have voting rights.

Your writer Geoff Parker has given some very solid facts about the reactions of communities across NZ when their Councils have proposed special Maori seats or Maori wards. They have voted for absolute democracy to remain.

I hope our councils in Whangarei will never take the backward step of introducing arbitrary distinctions or privileges to any identifiable group within our community
RD 4, Whangarei

Wanganui Chronicle 4/5/15
No respect for local iwi — news readers from all TV channels are pronouncing Wanganui this non-existent place called Fonganui. Other iwi have screwed up their place names, but they have no right to screw up Whanganui under the pretence that it's their modernised dialect. It's total ignorance/arrogance and should be stopped before it becomes embedded throughout New Zealand.

Napier south iwi are in the process of making up their own dialect to make theirs sound different to everybody else's. It will be interesting to see how they will pronounce all the place names.

Gisborne Herald 2/5/15
Jason Koia’s response (April 25) to my letter the day before is as careless as his reading of other evidence. I did not allege, as he says, that Maori ceded sovereignty in 1840 because of anything Wikiriwhi said in 1860. His words were just confirmation of what all knew at Kohimarama. Chief after chief who signed in 1840 knew they would become subordinate to the Queen. He seems to think that “maru”, meaning “the protection of the Queen” did not imply “sovereignty”. If so, he is splitting split hairs.

I do not, as he claims, “reinvent the Maori language again”. The Treaty-twisters do that. The meaning of words in 1840 is the only thing which counts. In 1840 “kawanatanga” meant “sovereignty”, “rangatiratanga” meant “possession” (granted to all of us) and “taonga” meant “ordinary property” or “chattels” — nothing more, nothing less. Accept this and the truth will prevail.

To Jason Koia, who wants a judicial inquiry into sovereignty matters. Sovereignty may be ceded in three ways — through cession by treaty, through occupation, and through conquest.

The government has control of New Zealand, so there is no question where sovereignty lies now.

On February 5, 1840, the British government proposed that chiefs cede to the Queen sovereignty in return for rights as British subjects, including possession of property. This agreement became known as the Treaty of Waitangi.

So it was clear that whatever sovereignty existed before 1840 lay with the chiefs.

That treaty is the first proof that sovereignty was ceded.

Continued occupation, first by settlers then by citizens under the political system that the treaty brought, is the second proof.

The subjugation of groups that took up arms against the settler government, especially during the 1860s, through victories on the battlefield, was the third proof that sovereignty was ceded.

Mr Koia, you just need to refuse to pay your tax or commit a crime to find out who has got the power.

Northern Advocate 30/4/15
It is unfortunate that at the time we commemorate the sacrifice made by our soldiers in WWI we read of the Whangarei District Council’s decision to appoint non-elected people to Standing Committees. The decision shows a lack of respect for the democracy our soldiers fought for.

Those who make decisions over us should be accountable to us.

Equality of status before our governing bodies, regardless of race, is another fundamental human right disregarded by the council.

For the mayor to lament that there is no one who can “whakapapa back to our community partners” indicates she believes Maori are not part of the same community we all live in, they are only partners to it.

In truth our community has many ethnicities, Maori being one, and not all are represented in council; nor do they need to be because representation is not about identity. It is just as wrong to assume that a man cannot be represented by a woman or that a woman automatically represents all women, as it is to assume that only Maori can represent Maori. If this were the case where are the Chinese or Indian representatives?

Identity politics is a way of thinking with ancient roots in mankind’s tribal history, it is an ugly mindset that lies behind such obscenities as collective punishment and clan feuding. Civilised modern societies have moved on from it.

The mayor also believes that Treaty obligations require Maori to be singled out for special treatment, which is also wrong. The Treaty gave all New Zealanders the same rights as British subjects, no one superior. The mayor and her council’s decision is in fact in contradiction of the right to equal citizenship guaranteed to us all in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Northern Advocate 29/4/15
Re ‘‘Partnership between hapu and Whangarei council spurs debate’’ (April 23).

“Who owns freshwater?” seems to be the focus of New Zealand at the moment, however I am more concerned of what is in our water that induces council mayors to go rogue on their constituents?

For instance, a struggle for democracy has been happening in the New Plymouth district where the mayor has unsuccessfully tried to get unelected representation for Maori interests on to New Plymouth council committees, then he managed to force a Maori ward aberration through by council vote 6/5 despite strong public opposition. Fortunately in this case, a staunch local gathered about 4000 signatures via a petition (only 2800 required), which has forced council to go to the people of New Plymouth with a binding referendum.

A similar case has happened in Rotorua and, again luckily, the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society was formed to oppose undemocratic race-based representation on their council. This group forced the mayor and her cohorts to call for submissions from the Rotorua public.

I am not sure of the Whangarei mayor’s election campaigning but, in the instances above, neither mayor campaigned on race-based representation.

One only has to look at the polls below to see that the general public do not want a bar of undemocratic race-based representation either by appointment or Maori wards.

70 per cent — No to Maori seats in Parliament ( Sunday Star-Times poll 2013)

79 per cent — No to Maori special voice: Rotorua ( Rotorua Daily Post 9/5/14)

79 per cent — No to Maori seats: New Plymouth ( Taranaki Daily News 27/4/11)

80 per cent — No to Maori wards: Waikato District Council, April 2012.

80 per cent — No to Maori wards: Hauraki District Council, May, 2013

79 per cent — No to Maori wards: Nelson District Council, May 2012.

52 per cent — No to Maori seats, Wairoa District Council, May 2012

68 per cent — No to Maori wards: Far North District Council March 2015.

Something for Whangarei councillors to ponder on.

Wanganui Chronicle 28/4/15
Best wishes, Potonga, in asking the Race Relations Conciliator to go in to bat for you. I have no wish to get in to a race debate, so shall leave that to you.

My interest is New Zealand history, so all I ask is that you approach it objectively and not avoid confronting the uncomfortable bits, as atrocities were committed by both parties. Please note also that I did not refer to the killing of the boys at Nukumaru as an "incident". In fact, I called it inexcusable.

And was Kowhai Ngutu Kaka really only "a pakeha commentator who sympathised with the Maori cause" and not a Hau Hau, as you state? The following are his words that appeared in the Wanganui Herald (February 13, 1884): "We killed Captain Lloyd and several men and cut off their heads," and, "We called Dr Hewitt out of his house ... then we seized him and cut off his head for our Niu (pole)." Hardly the words of a bystander. He also claims to have been in Titokowaru's Hau Hau camp just prior to the battle for Te Ngutu-O-Te-Manu, then describes what he and others did with the recently buried dead at Tangahoe, but you may not want to know the details.

The old saying "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" is more relevant today than when it was first uttered. So debating it is not "a vicious psychological assault on an innocent people", as you allege. It's more a matter of recording history as it was, not as we would like it to be.

Taranaki Daily News 27/4/15
Under the headline ‘‘The spoils of war’’, my fellow citizen Peter Moeahu appears to be referring to sporadic armed conflict over 27 years during the 19th century in which 2899 people lost their lives. This included 2154 who fought against the government and 745 who fought for it - Maori and non-Maori, died on both sides.

Mr Moeahu is linked to Te Atiawa, the tribe that last year signed up to receive $91 million, which would put him and his group among the "haves" among Maori. He cites a litany of what "pakeha" allegedly did to Maori but does not say it was the actions of a Te Atiawa forebear, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake, who triggered the 1860s wars.

Wiremu Kingi sold large areas of the then-deserted Taranaki to the New Zealand Company and when Taranaki tribes that had fled the area from Waikato onslaughts returned, Kingi led opposition to land sales, sparking the first Taranaki war.

If treaty settlements were justified and fair and race-based co-governance equitable we would not be debating the transfer of cash, assets, and governance rights to private tribal corporations. We only need to look at the shambles in Auckland created by treaty settlements, the council, and the Maori board, for evidence that this new world in which rights are based on ethnicity, not citizenship, is not working very well.

Hawkes Bay Today 27/4/15
In the bid to base water-use decisions on all relevant information, local iwi have shown they are an articulate force in the long-term interests of all. As part of tribes who have been a continuous presence in Hawke’s Bay for more than 25 generations and retain the value of kaitiaki or guardianship, they are to be respected for their past care for the environment and regard for “mother nature”. Inheritors of a mantle which guaranteed them coequal rights in a treaty which may one day be the firm basis of a constitution for all citizens, Maori voices have a special part to play in appeal to “One Nature for all”.

So when Mr Ngahiwi Tomoana of Ngati Kahungungu Iwi Inc repeats the phrase “we will still be here in one thousand years” to back up that special role, it has earned respect. Yet looking back 1000 years to tribal Britain, before Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and other guarantees for all, it is hard to see Brits today making their tribal connections — or claim to special authority. Or us in another thousand years.

What has gradually replaced that consciousness is a more diverse but still stringent set of citizen players with reliance on scientific evidence, government watchdogs, political parties and citizen interest-groups — who all now play a role in keeping power honest and the people aware.

Good on the Iwi Leaders Group for speaking out, especially when others appear to lack this — or the authority to do so. We are fortunate to have a treaty that enfranchises those co-partners whose relationship to nature has remained strong. But the idea that iwi have more rights or will naturally be more knowledgeable in this process does not necessarily follow. And may remind some of his fellow citizens of the (now non-PC) exchange between the lone ranger and his “faithful companion”. “Tonto, we are surrounded by Indians.” “What do you mean ‘we’, Kemo Sabi?”

Northern Advocate 27/4/15
At Wednesday’s Whangarei District Council meeting an item came up entitled “More inclusive decision making” — the “inclusive” bit seeming to be about Maori input. A councillor Halse proposal was debated.

Councillors Hermon, Innes, Morgan and Williamson, and her worship the mayor supported him.

Councillors Bell, Bretherton, Cutforth, Deeming, Glen and Martin opposed the motion.

Our mayor used her casting vote to force the motion through.

A widely accepted convention is that it should be used to maintain the status quo.

Urgency is the commonly cited reason for doing otherwise. Some argued that it was desirable to move on but nobody claimed urgency.

The main argument against pressing on was that it was an important matter and the motion introduced material new to many councillors.

Furthermore, it had been agreed that there would be a workshop to discuss the issues and this had not occurred.

Our mayor said that the council had been busy. And . . . ?

The matters to be decided were important. Of course all our representatives should be briefed.

Of course they should have the opportunity to discuss the matter. Of course if you agree to a meeting you should hold it.

And what harm could a month’s delay (the time cited) possibly cause?

I see what happened as absolutely crazy.

How to create a divided council in one easy lesson.

Sunday Star Times 26/4/15
NO WONDER the Government is holding negotiations with the Iwi Leaders Group over claims to fresh water behind closed doors (Sunday Star-Times, April 12). This bid for what amounts to ownership of a share of the country's freshwater is in effect a step down the path towards the privatisation of this precious resource, a concept which the government knows is very unpopular with the vast majority of New Zealanders.

To take something as essential to life as water, which nature gives us free of cost, and treat it as a property right shows that the avarice of mankind knows no bounds. Our freshwater resources are the birthright of all New Zealanders, a collective asset that we hold in common. Access for all to this most basic of needs is best served when the control of water management remains in the public domain.
S S,

I READ the letter of the co-chair of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (SST, April 19) regarding water ownership with interest. As our parliament will soon have to decide where it stands, we are fortunate in having an MP, David Seymour who studied how different countries resolved the conflicting interests, while he was director of the Saskatchewan branch of Canada's prestigious Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

Mr Seymour's comparisons can be read in his book Birth of a Boom: Saskatchewan's Dawning Golden Age. I believe that we need to examine other country's solutions, with their various benefits and disadvantages, before deciding what is best for New Zealand.

Northern Advocate 25/4/15
Where has democracy gone? The Whangarei mayor has used her casting vote to pass the recommendation that two members of Te Huinga be co-opted on to two subcommittees.

In this term of council we have had no workshop or opportunity to fully debate the matter of Maori representation. So by stealth we have had a recommendation bought to council via the 20;20 inner city revitalisation committee to co-opt Maori as members, including the civic honours committee.

This is an issue not only facing Whangarei district, New Plymouth has had a referendum forced upon it after the public ran a poll obtaining the required number. They did not accept their council's decision.

The Far North ran a poll for dedicated Maori seats for Maori wards. Their ratepayers voted °no". Maori representation should follow our nation's democratic rule.

Council needs to consult at length with the public. We have a process for this —the special consultative procedure. This is when the issue is of such significance to the community as a whole. Surely this is just that — an issue that will determine the direction and the governance of this community?
Hikurangi Coastal Ward

Sunlive/Weekend Sun (Tauranga) 24/4/15
Prime Minister John Key is moving towards granting preferential water rights to Government-created tribal corporations - this is after saying on countless occasions that ‘no one owns' the water in NZ.

Key has slipped so many backdoor deals through to keep in with the Maori Party what is next?

A report commissioned by the Iwi Leaders Group calling for “an equitable, permanent share” of water allocations has been released , following a recent Cabinet Paper proposing criteria to give “preferential access” to private tribal companies that pay little tax on a case-by-case basis.

Talks between the powerful Iwi Leaders Group and the Government, fronted by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith, are at a critical stage after ministers rejected a nationwide ‘Waterlords' settlement along the lines of the outrageous Sealords deal over Maori commercial fishing claims and the Treelords giveaway of Central North Island forestry.

The claim that tribes own the water has no merit and only exists because it has repeated so often that some have started to take it as a fact.

Where will this end,? Will we be unable to walk down to the beach, have to pay local Maori for drinking water, and what will it cost to fill a swimming pool?

Gisborne Herald 24/4/15
Re: Public’s view clear in many polls, April 17 column.
Mr Naden should be gracious enough to acknowledge Mr Parker’s superior knowledge of the facts. By an overwhelming majority, New Zealanders do not want state racism.

Jason Koia apparently thinks that by constantly repeating his propaganda that the 1840 chiefs did not cede sovereignty, he will make people believe him.

The recorded words of chief after chief make it totally clear that they knew that by signing the Treaty they would become subordinate to the Queen. As chief Wikiriwhi Matehenoa of Ngati Porou told the up to 200 chiefs (a much higher number than those who had gathered at Waitangi): “We are all under the sovereignty of the Queen.”

The Maori translation is illustrative of what he understood. He used the words “te maru o te Kuini”, where the word “maru” means literally “power, authority” —translated at the Kohimarama conference in 1860 as “sovereignty”.

Claudia Orange bases her opinions on false assumptions, while Hugh Kawharu had severe conflicts of interest. Neither is to be trusted. The Waitangi Tribunal invariably supports tribal claims no matter how unfounded they are. As Ngapuhi elder David Rankin said just a month ago: “a growing number of Maori are fed up with the Waitangi Tribunal and the entire Treaty gravy train . . . . The tribunal exists to make lawyers and a few Maori elite very rich. It has deprived our people from their birthright and divided and destroyed many of our communities. The sooner it is shut down the better.”

It is always as well to know who are one’s real enemies.

Northern Advocate 23/4/15
Re the letter Ancestral Lands (14/4/15), I would like to enlighten Jane Tana that Maori are New Zealand citizens and as such have all the rights and responsibilities of that citizenship, which includes paying rates.

She can live the ‘‘idyllic’’ lifestyle if she wishes but she should not expect fellow New Zealanders to subsidise her rates or those of Maori ancestral land.

The fact is British property laws gave tribes title to their lands which prevented the loss of these lands to another tribe by the law of the club.

New Zealand has a total land area of 26.8 million hectares, 1.2 million hectares were confiscated during 1860s sovereignty wars, the bulk of which was returned to Maori shortly thereafter via compensation commissions.

There is currently around 1.47 million hectares of Maori land, including customary land.

The wicked white coloniser did not “take’’ land and natural resources from Maori as Jane Tana claims.

Landowner Maori sold up to 25.33 million hectares in hundreds of transactions painstakingly recorded in Turton’s deeds posted for all to see on the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre of Victoria University.

Turton’s deeds also reveal that the sales included “trees, minerals, waters, rivers, lakes, streams, and all pertaining to the said land or beneath the surface of the said land”.

These were standard deeds used in all transactions of that time.

The claim that Maori had everything taken from them is in fact a repeated lie.

Hawkes Bay Today 23/4/15
It was good to read Councillor Rick Barker's support for the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's regional planning committee (HB Today, April 10).

Unfortunately, however, there are some facts that need correcting. To give the respect due to our Treaty Partners who form half of this committee, and to ensure the public are accurately informed especially with reference to the role this committee would have in an amalgamated council, it is important to get these facts right.

This Committee was set up through Treaty settlements and gives effect to Treaty partnership in natural resource governance.

This is no sub-committee. It is a full committee of council with decision making powers. It is the only decision maker on all matters pertaining to resource management plans. While its decisions are in the form of recommendations to council, council cannot amend them.

The terms of reference state plainly that," In the event that the Council does not adopt all or any part of any Proposed Regional Plan, Proposed Regional Policy Statement, Plan Change or Plan.

Variation, the Council shall refer such recommendation in its entirety back to the Committee for further consideration.” Put simply council can either accept the Regional Planning Committee’s recommendations in full or refer them back for further consideration. The decision making lies with this committee.
Hawke’s Bay regional councillor

NZ Herald 23/4/15 (Short & Sweet section)
When local iwi acquired Mt Tarawera, the incredible and much used road to the summit became gated and ordinary New Zealanders were charged an exorbitant amount to pass through. This charge was attributed to the need for someone to monitor that gate. Of course, only rich tourists and tourist companies go up there now. Is Maungawhau going the same way?
Western Springs.

Northland Age 21/4/15
Your garrulous correspondent, BC Gregory, has now descended to nitpicking with his claim that the chiefs did not sign the Treaty of Waitangi, but Te Tiriti'. Well, well!

Does he know that same documents of the Treaty of Utrecht were written in Latin and, If so (unlikely), would he advocate that we refer to it by a Latin name? Do I have to remind him again that there was only one treaty — in the Ngapuhi dialect — so it would have been impossible for anybody to sign one in English because there wasn't one?

Some chiefs' signatures were put on a copy of Freeman's bogus treaty at Waikato Heads when missionary Maunsell had run out of other options. (See my chapter in Twisting the Treaty, ISBN 1 8T2970 338, for the full story.) He should note also that "Tiriti" is no more than a corruption of the word treaty, so what is the big deal?

B C Gregory's letter (April 16) reeks of one who is smarting after having been clearly bowled out over the Parihaka affair. With feral, cunning Gregory smokescreens his defeat with waffles about lizards, world wars, rangitiratanga, Maori concepts of land ownership and trivial translations of the name for the same treaty document.  Need I say more?

Hawkes Bay Today 21/4/15
It doesn’t make sense to change the name of Napier Airport, for Napier is known as the “Art Deco City of the World” around the globe. Confusion could put the Art Deco Trust in the red. A large amount of tourism would be lost.

These sudden changes would cost enormous amounts of cash. Are the proposers prepared to put up this money? I think not!

The French and the English fought over Ottawa. The French took one side of the river, and the English the other. On the French side the names of everything are in large French lettering with slightly smaller lettering for English names appearing underneath. On the English side the names are in large English with the French names appearing underneath.

So a sensible compromise was made.

Such a compromise could take place in New Zealand. It could be gradual and less expensive to initiate. Where the name has a traditional non- Maori the English/French or other name could be printed in larger capitals and the Maori added in smaller capitals.

There would be no confusion to the overseas situation and no large cost to install the change. The changing of stationery would then only be needed as present materials run out Costs to travel firms would be minimal. They change advertising regularly.

There needs to be a sensible element of compromise in everything we do in this regard and any changes should be brought in gradually. Not suddenly! This would keep costs down.
Havelock North

Sunday Star Times 19/4/15
THE ARTICLE ( Sunday Star-Times, April 12) on a Maori bid for ownership of water, ie, aquifer, rivers, lakes, is a double-edged sword.

No doubt some Maori are concerned. Undoubtedly there are many New Zealanders, regardless of ethnic background, who are concerned at government’s cavalier attitude to rivers. Then there are some, regardless of ethnicity, who see water as the gold to expand corporate dairying or other intensive lands and to heck with water quality or flow, environment, cultural or outdoor recreation values.

Plus it’s not just exploiters eager to profit from water, but those politicians, eager to gut the RMA to fast track conversions to mega-dairy farming. The water belongs to the public, regardless of ancestry.
Co-chair Council of Outdoor Recreation Assns

Rotorua Daily Post 18/4/15
Re Rotorua District Council & Te Arawa proposaL Should this proposal in its present form go ahead, I would consider it an act of discrimination to the people of Rotorua with disastrous consequences.In my opinion, it generates an impression of dictatorship, power and egotistical views of those personnel including the Mayor, who were democratically elected to this council, to do whatever they like in the future.

To have unelected people included with voting rights is wrong. If this format is adopted, then clubs, business, tourist and promotional entities, including every ethnic group who make up the RDC Electorate, should be able to put forward non-elected personnel with voting rights. Yeah right!

I have no problems with the history of how and what Rotorua was built from, in fact proud to be part of the culture. However I do have a problem with any group trying to push their virtues beyond realistic expectations and affordability of the community to enhance or enforce their own aspirations on our people unethically.

Grow up RDC! You are spending unnecessary money, our money, on rubbish proposals such as this instead of say, cleaning up our roadsides el rubbish. Get working on this city to be proud of for our guests.

Former Te Arawa Standing Committee members (TASCers) want to 'set the record straight' (April 9). A few facts help. Councillors did not request a 'partnership' proposal from Te Arawa in Iate 2013. They requested a Cultural Engagement Audit from Tama Hovel following the slating that Council officials got from Judge Smith.

The fundamental problem was the incapacity of officials to consult interest groups properly according to law.

In early 2019 the audit was switched by the Mayor, Te Arawa-affiliated councillors and TASCers into developing what is now the Te Arawa Partnership Model (TAPM). The proposed solution was power sharing with the new elite in Te Arawa which was unrelated to the fundamental problem, which continued. When the Novell Report got leaked in May 2014 and its proposed co-governance model was rejected by the public.. the Mayor's Working Party ducked for cover (much as they are doing right now).

The TASCers took six months to generate support for the TAPM around Te Arawa marae. The Mayor and her officials refused to consult non- Te Arawa interest groups; back to the fundamental problem. Once the Mayor had manipulated 'support in principle for the TAPM in December 2014, TASCers campaigned with officials in the Council Information Sessions for Options 2 or 3. These public consultations were undermined by bias and pre-determination. spin and unwritten legal opinion; back to the fundamental problem. The Mayor, her Councillors and TASCers should expect a Judicial Review to follow Judge Smith's playbook, at massive expense to the ratepayers.

Wanganui Chronicle 18/4/15
R Pearson (Letters, March 28) writes of smokescreens. He says that Maori experts in the 1970s wanted to add an "f" to the Maori language to modernise it and expand its vocabulary. Fair enough. But they didn't add an "f" they changed existing letters "wh" to an "f", something that H W Williams of dictionary fame regarded as a mistake. They, apparently, wanted the "wh" to die with the old people.

Mr Pearson gives credit to Ken's iwi for not wanting their place name to be changed. But I understand that local Maori do want an "h" to be added to their "Wanganui" in a silent form. That could have enormous ramifications. There is the old te reo of the 19th century, the "f" te reo of the 20th century and now, maybe, the silent letter te reo of the 21st century.

The phonetic character of the Maori language is under threat. Letters in any Maori name could be dropped into silence depending on usage. If the "h" in "Whanganui" is silent who can complain about hearing Wangarei, Wakatane, Watawata, Narawahia, wenua, wanau and wakapapa? And why stop with the "h"? Will not Omaru, Tamranui, Otrahanga, Paraparam, Taitap, TeAmutu all become correct depending on local usage as Karina Gardiner (Letters, March 16) points out?

Gisborne Herald 17/4/15 (In the column section)
I WOULD like to respond to the three gentlemen (April 14) who questioned my letter of the 11th.

Joe Naden is free to believe what he likes, but the facts are that in the period of the musket wars (1800-1840) approx 45,000 Maori lost their lives in battle. In the period of relative peace between tribes (1840-1886) the population declined a further 31,000, possibly due to diseases. Since 1886 the population has steadily increased. I will leave readers to decide if more perished from intertribal war or European disease.

Murray Jones infers that colonisation was to blame for Maori pulling the musket trigger on fellow Maori. Need I say more?

Jason Koia says my argument of the 11th was flawed because the musket was the most powerful tool used for colonisation the world over. This was not the case in New Zealand because only 2154 rebelling Maori and 745 British/colonists/kupapa were killed in the sovereignty/land wars between 1843 and 1872. Hardly a “holocaust” as some extremist Maori claim.

Koia’s “creative” letter then touched on the 1835 Declaration of Independence (DOI). Pro-Maori historians Claudia Orange, Michael King and Paul Moon say the DOI had no international status, was an unauthorised act and that there was no indigenous power structure within New Zealand. Only 57 chiefs north of the Firth of Thames thumbprinted the DOI — New Zealand had some 600 chiefs at that time. Even if the DOI had any validity, the chiefs themselves breached the agreement by not meeting annually as agreed and were back at war with one another within months.

He then infers that Northern and East Coast Maori did not cede sovereignty. If they did not, then why did they set their slaves free, end cannibalism and female infanticide? The chiefs’ speeches at the signing of the Treaty leave no doubt they fully understood that they were ceding full sovereignty to the Queen.

There are three ways in which one state may acquire sovereignty over another — by cession (the Treaty), by conquest (New Zealand wars), and by occupation. The British government gained the sovereignty over New Zealand through four ways, adding the proclamations of sovereignty over the North Island on May 21, 1840, Stewart Island on June 5 and over the South Island on June 17. The proclamations appeared in the London Gazette on October 2, 1840.

The rest of his prattle can be ignored, except for one more point that I would like to put right. He says that not all New Zealanders support my views. Perhaps the results of these polls may enlighten.

79% — NO to compulsory te reo (NZ Herald online poll)

79% — NO to Maori seats (CAP submitters)

82% — NO to compulsory Maori in schools (yahoo Xtra poll)

85% — NO to Maori housing: Bay of Plenty Times 2013)

81% — NO to ‘Maori are special’ (Close Up poll 2011)

81% — NO to Maori names for North Island, South Island (Stuff poll 2/4/13)

71% — NO to ‘h’: Wanganui (NZ Herald poll 2009)

70% — NO to Maori seats in Parliament (Sunday Star-Times poll 2013)

79% — No to Maori special voice: Rotorua (Rotorua Daily Post 9/5/14)

79% — No to Maori seats: New Plymouth  (Taranaki Daily News 27/4/11)

80% — No to Maori wards: Waikato District Council, April 2012.

80% — No to Maori wards: Hauraki District Council, May, 2013

79% — No to Maori wards: Nelson District Council, May 2012.

52% — No to Maori seats, Wairoa District  Council, May 2012

68% — No to Maori wards: Far North District Council March 2015.


Hawkes Bay Today 17/4/15
Regional councillor Rick Barker’s claim that having noncouncillors on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee adds to democracy by making council decisions better informed misses one key point.

That is the point made by Sarah Taylor, whose letter Cr Barker was responding to, is that the 10 iwi appointees represent groups whose sole purpose is to advance their interests.

For instance, the Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust has a mission statement that is to “protect and enhance the resources of Ngati Pahauwera for the welfare of the people.” The examples Cr Barker gave of non-elected people on council subcommittees included transport interests and police. While unidentified transport interests may include roading contractors, police are not profitmaking entities.

If it is a good idea to have private self-interested business trusts identified as tribal and Maori advising the council, why not include all manner of private self-interested business entities on the regional planning committee to ensure that the council is better informed?

Those who loudly decry private enterprise getting favourable treatment are silent when those private enterprises self-identify as tribal post settlement governance entities.

One fact Cr Barker did not divulge is that a portion of his income derives from negotiating treaty settlements — a 2013 news report listed him as having earned $48,660 from such work. with many millions more of public money set aside for this project.

Wanganui Chronicle 17/4/15
Re article April 9 "$150K budget for iwi liaison": Our council has so much money left over from our rates that they are going to spend $150,000 a year over the next 10 years just to talk to them about running our city.

Mayor Main said the big portion of the council role required engagement with Maori.

Who is this group of people who get special treatment from our elected councillors, who are supposed to represent all us ratepayers?

If our councillors think these people are different to us and are more important than the rest of us, then perhaps we should refuse to pay our rates, as we are not important enough to talk to. (Abridged)

In the good old days we used torn-up newspaper in the toilet. I thought those days were gone until April 9, 2015, a day that, to quote a well-known phrase from Pearl Harbor, will go down in infamy. The iwi liaison article on the Chronicle front page (and its continuance on page 3) will be framed and hung on the back of the toilet door to remind me of its true meaning each time I sit there contemplating the woes of our community. Actually, I got that wrong, we are not a community, we are Maori and others.

This deplorable truth is constantly emphasised by the actions of the Main-led council, whose pro-Maori stance on all matters is almost worthy of a Dame Susan Devoy inquiry.

Although a few brave councillors have the temerity to hold contra views, it appears Annette can always muster the numbers to achieve her wishes.

I appreciate that there are some issues where government regulations require input from local iwi as part of the ethnic PC revolution sweeping the country, but why should we have to pay for it? And why should the budgeted cost rise 476.9 per cent?

Surely iwi, as part of our society (and already well paid by Waitangi Tribunal decreed settlements), would be only too happy to provide cultural advice at no cost as part of their desire to further the understanding of their culture and heritage? (Edited)

Rotorua Daily Post 17/4/15
Keith Garratt’s letter (April 11) is ill advised, as is the council, on the matter of conflicts of interest. The two grounds for a legal challenge, had he read all of the Auditor General’s guidelines, are bias and predetermination.

To illustrate, the council’s 10-3 decision to approve the Te Arawa Partnership Plan (Option 2) in principle on December 18 before any public consultation, and prior to the Special Consultative Procedure, appears to be a prima facia case of predetermination by the 10. When council officials and Te Arawa activists jointly ran the Council Information Sessions to push market Option 2, instead of offering all four options and any option the public might suggest (as explicitly promised by the mayor and officials), this appeared to operationalise bias.

The real problem is Garratt’s position backs up into the CEO’s “verbal” legal advice to council. There is no legislation that I am aware of that supports his threat that a councillor must demonstrate the absence of predetermination or lose voting rights. If it were so, the 10 councillors that voted their “support” in principle for Option 2 would be disqualified. It appears Garrett is propagating a hoax and council may have been misled.

With reference to the front page article “Te Arawa Speaks Out” (April 9) to set the record straight. They say “it’s important people have their say and we always wanted this to go out for community consultation, but it is disappointing that some sectors of the community have attempted to derail this process”. The “process” is to inform the public of the proposal — certain sectors of the community have not attempted to derail this process, merely let it be known to the council and the public that the preferred option of the proposal is undemocratic.

Te Arawa did not explain why unelected people should be given disproportionate power over fellow citizens ie they need to justify the extent to which mana whenua status warrants a modification to the rights of non Te Arawa Maori and non Maori citizens to fair democratic representation. The parallel governance and administrative system being proposed in the Te Arawa Partnership Model will be expensive and divide our community.

We need (a) policies that unify the community and (b) policies that decrease, not increase debt. That’s why I prefer the Pro Democracy Society’s model that offers a Maori Policy Advisory Board, a Community Advisory Board, as well as input from the smaller interest groups, individuals and expert officials. Fair’s fair.

It’s pleasing to see Te Ururoa Flavell’s article in the Rotorua Daily Post (April 14) celebrating the successes of Maori Business in the New Zealand International Business Awards and the inaugural Excellence in Export award in Auckland gained by Miraka. He also points out Sealord, and Kono of Marlborough, owned by local Malborough iwi, are also very significant in our economy.

So why then are local iwi, Te Arawa, pushing our mayor and council to provide them with extra voting seats on the important council committees. Is it that they are jealous of the local business success of outside iwi like Ngai Tahu, who figure prominently in Rotorua Tourism, and they can’t manage such success for themselves. Seems like a small brother act to me.

I’m against power plays in local politics. I’d vote against the Te Arawa partnership model.

Many citizens of Rotorua have been looking on in wonderment at the Rotorua District Council’s determination to add two unelected Te Arawa members to its governance committees — with full voting rights. This is simply wrong. Adding unelected voting members to the governance process is the wrong way to solve the issue.

It is perfectly reasonable for councils to have two types of committee. Let us differentiate these as “governance” ( or “standing”) committees, made up of duly elected members, and “advisory” (or “special”’) committees that might include nonelected members with relevant experience and expertise. All governance decisions should rest with the council or a governance committee. Council should not try to override the governance process with a constitutional aberration.

The legislation indicates that voting members are elected. “A person may not act as a member of a local authority until that person has, at a meeting of the local authority, following the election of that person, made an oral declaration in the form set out . . . and a written version of the declaration has been attested . . .” The provision clearly relates to elected members and that seemingly would exclude anyone else. On this count alone, one would have to ask whether the council is exceeding its authority. Council has, of course, taken legal advice, but at last report had seemingly refrained from getting this in writing. That is a wise move because any legal opinion referred to at a meeting becomes public information, and a written opinion would be open to attack by other lawyers.

These comments are only the tip of the iceberg. There is a litany of reasons why council’s proposal is offensive and should be rejected.

So the Rotorua District Council now has on its agenda a suggestion or proposal to scrap the City Focus concept as part of a CBD redevelopment and put this out to public consultation.

This may or may not prove to be beneficial to the future of Rotorua city, but I strongly suspect that the timing of this public announcement is merely to divert people’s attention from the much more important topic of the moment, and I refer specifically to the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal.

The City Focus and its public consultation process is, in my opinion, just a diversionary tactic and hopefully it won’t work. I am well aware that the mayor and some of her councillors, with the help of certain compliant council staff members, are hell bent on forcing this Te Arawa option two on the public and every legal democratic effort should be made to change this course of action.

Northland Age 16/4/15 (Feedback section)
HELEN S RE: RANKIN — The Tribunal is a bully. Wow — stand up David Rankin and take a bow. Finally, a Maori who has the courage to say what many of us have known — the louder you bang on about how under-privileged you are the more money you get. But if you are a hard-working Maori who just wants to earn a decent living you get kicked at every opportunity. He and Shane Jones should start up their own political party — with both their no-nonsense attitudes they would be odds-on favourites, with both Maori and Pakeha.

JULES: THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE. David Rankin is quite right. History is being re-written with the stories some iwi bring to the Tribunal. The academics know this, and we know it. It is encouraging separatism. The Tribunal should cease if only to stop the bastardisation of our history

Taranaki Daily News 16/4/15
In response to Mike Nightingale (Letters, March 25), when rights are based on citizenship every citizen is included regardless of race.

Problems occur when special deals are allowed to special interest groups, with the basic problem being parity, of the form ‘‘if such and such groups get that then my group is entitled to this. . .’’

The Waitangi Tribunal created a rift along a racial line and subsequent settlements have widened that rift while creating haves and have-nots among Maori. Need I continue?

The Wellingtonian 16/4/15
There has been much public comment about the sledging experienced by our Black Caps during the Cricket World Cup.

But little is said about the ultimate sledge – the haka – performed by our All Blacks before rugby tests. The eyerolling, tongue-squirming, throatslitting mime has become an embarrassment to many, Maori and Pakeha.

Opposing teams have not adopted the habit and are somehow expected to show reverence to this graceless and menacing call to battle.

Let’s discourage sledging, ditch the pre-game haka, and may the best team win.
Mt Cook

Hawkes Bay Today 16/4/15
For once I agree with our MP, Stuart Nash, regarding the rebranding of our airport. Also, another correspondent pointed out that this renaming would cause problems at IATA level. It is a ridiculous suggestion and I do not support our mayor of misinformation, who I believe was also chairman of the finance committee that signed off on our white-elephant museum. As they say ... it ain't broke, so why fix it?

In conclusion, may I wish the person(s) who attacked our friends' labrador with what is believed to be a crowbar, all the worst karma in the world The poor animal nearly died All stitched up with drains sticking out of his head. Scumbag(s).

Rotorua Review 15/4/15
At ANZAC Day we remember our grandfathers fought for freedom and democracy in two world wars. Yet we must remain vigilant against threats to democracy even in the guise of ‘an improved partnership with Te Arawa.’

Under the TAPP our council proposes to abdicate power to a Te Arawa board, which nominates additional unelected members to RDC committees. While elected councillors vote independently on issues according to their merits for the benefit of all Rotoruans, the Te Arawa reps would no doubt be block voting and/or reporting back to the Te Arawa magnifying the controlling effect beyond their numbers. This is more like a corporate takeover than a partnership.

By diluting the votes of elected councillors this undermines the rights of all ratepayers under the Treaty of Waitangi including Crown sovereignty (or te kawanatanga katoa o ratou whenau – a single Government over all the land) and equal rights for all New Zealanders (full rights and privileges of British subjects, with the right to live, work and vote anywhere in New Zealand).

This separatist proposal is potentially divisive with the one hapu one vote principle in the Te Arawa board splitting Maori against non-Maori, iwi against iwi and hapu against hapu.

This board as a de facto second local government would undoubtedly want to raise taxes to pay for itself.

Applying the principle of `no taxation without representation' ratepayers could rightly ask that all Te Arawa board taxes be paid by those who choose to affiliate as Te Arawa board members.

The per annum bill might look like: TAB structure and admin: $1m 20 per cent of rates for 20 per cent of influence on council: $8m additional council direct costs: $400,000 Total: $9.4m

There are only a few days left for us Rotorua citizen and rate payers to have our say. The Mayor is pushing hard to get her idea ‘Option 2’ approved. We all had a leaflet in our letterboxes inviting us to make a submission.

Unfortunately her leaflet did not clearly state what her ‘Option 2’ entails.

It should have stated that a couple of Te Arawa people, elected by Te Arawa, will be involved in Council decision making, taking away our democratic right to elect at an election all people involved in decision making.

It should have stated that they even get voting rights.

It should have stated that these people are going to be put on the council’s permanent payroll.

It should have stated that’s whole exercise is going to cost us rate payers close to a million dollars per year.

This is the sort of information that rate payers need to make up their minds.

Hawkes Bay Today 15/4/15
The revelation that an agreement in principle for a 50 per cent shareholding in HBAirport was signed on December 19, 2013 with Mana Ahuriri, as part of a $19.5 million Treaty redress reveals the deviousness of our politicians and the stench of subterfuge.

Lack of disclosure and transparency is a typical strategy used by the Attorney General and the Government when dealing with Treaty grievances, Foreshore and Seabed claims and other racebased issues. The public are always faced with a “fait accompli”.

Most New Zealanders are happy to see genuine grievances resolved in a manner that recognises the pluralistic society we live in. Our whole future depends on the preservation of democratic principles and equality within the law for all citizens.

What is incomprehensible to the same New Zealanders is how nine grievances in 1882 taken by Maori to England (Hirini Taiwhanga) can morph into 2039 claims by 2015. The principle cause is the Waitangi Tribunal which former members Dr Michael Bassett and Brian Priestley have criticised for the rorts it has perpetrated and the “Gravy Train” industry that has been created by it.

Treasury estimate Treaty claims will cost New Zealand taxpayers $3.2 billion. Researcher Mike Butler exposes this Ahuriri claim as another rort, 300 Maori signed a very explicit deed of transfer of 107,247ha (Ahuriri Block) to the colonial government for 1500 pounds in 1851.

Is it fair that a 50 per cent share in an important part of Hawke’s Bay infrastructure and investment is gifted to a small section of the community that has no definitive historical right to it?

Rotorua Daily Post 15/4/15
Mr Garratt (Letters April 11) is totally incorrect. There is no conflict of interest by councillors opposed to the Te Arawa Partnership model. There are two opposing factions of course but these became apparent months ago, when the first vote was taken at a council meeting.

This is democracy in action and no councillors need to stand aside. Councillors of both factions are gathering support in different, legitimate ways.

While not a member of the Pro Democracy Society, I strongly endorse their view that we cannot have people not elected by Rotorua representing a single group in society who will vote on council committees, as this is totally opposite to the dictionary definition of democracy which is “the principle that all citizens have equal political rights”. Why are the mayor and supporting councillors prepared to ditch hard-won democracy, something some countries only dream about?

Surely Te Arawa councillors, some of whom I voted for, can represent the views and aspirations of Te Arawa and others? If they cannot, then they should resign and the people of Rotorua will elect, yes elect, new representatives. One concern if the model goes ahead is whether the unelected Te Arawa committee members will take the same oath as councillors, to represent the interests of the wider community?

Lastly, Mr Gaston of RDC is ingenuous to say other councils have appointed non-councillors to committees, as what he is not saying is that they do not have voting rights.

The TAPP has never had the support of the full council in its present form. The proposal is strongly biased to a particular conclusion, and public debate has been limited by the process council staff have employed at "information" sessions.

If a four-member Te Arawa Standing Committee is estimated by council staff to cost $200,000 per annum to run, just how much will a board of up to 14 members cost? Where is the indebted council going to find the funds to pay for this extra level of bureaucracy?

The Local Government Act mandates that Maori be consulted. No one disagrees with that. The LGA also mandates that council be run democratically. That means one man, one vote and all citizens are treated equally — no bias to one particular interest group.

All elected council members have to take an oath to serve the best interests of the electors that put them there in the first place. If members are appointed with voting rights, how do the electors remove them if they are not performing as they should? Opponents of the TAPP are just asking for democracy to be preserved in the process of giving Maori input to the council decision-making process.

Rotorua District Council's Strategy & Partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, responds: Under the Local Government Act, the power to make appointments to committees or to remove committee members remains with elected members of the council.

Gisborne Herald 14/4/15
So here we go again with the Treaty, colonisation etc. Jason Koia wishes that no European has to experience what his people went through — maybe he should study a bit more European history.

Being English, my forbears were invaded, slaughtered and colonised at various stages in history by Celts, Romans, Normans, Germans, Vikings, Danes and various others, hence my DNA being a mix of above races.

Before European arrival on these shores, the different tribes here fought, enslaved, colonised and cannabilised each other, as is natural in the human race — the strong dominate the weak. In fact, it was the arrival of Europeans that caused the tribes to eventually unite and become known as Maori.

New Zealand was not the land of milk and honey many would like to believe before the advent of European settlement.

If your head and heart are always in the past, you will never move forward.
A. A

Jason Koia has responded (April 11) to my invitation to do so and that is OK. Yes, Ngapuhi will have had more muskets than the East Coast tribes in 1819 but it was not until the next year that Hongi Hika went to England and came back with several hundred he had acquired by astute trading. Before that, Maoris had to bargain hard to get them. As has been pointed out (by Ian Wishart as I recall), muskets were valuable to sailors too and they were generally reluctant to part with them except for a good price.

It was hardly a case, as Jason claims, of “the musket supplied by the Pakeha” but of Maoris determined to get them to carry on brutal tribal warfare as they had for many years beforehand.

So, with a few muskets, Ngapuhi made an impressive haul of slaves on the East Coast, nearly as many as the entire number killed on both sides in the so-called “Land Wars”.

The bayonet may have been “handy for killing Maori children” but the Maori club was just as effective and used against children, both white and Maori, at Matawhero and at Whitecliffs to name a couple of instances, while at Mohaka the Lavin boys were killed by bayonet-wielding Maoris.

I strongly advise Jason and his brother to get over the grievances they nurse about “battles long ago”, to take pride in being New Zealanders and take as their example Lieutenant Ngarimu VC who died fighting valiantly “for God, for King and for Country”, in the words of the song of the Maori Battalion.

So the unhinged fifth columnists’ subversive claptrap continues ad nauseum. The major worry is that these malcontents walk among us, they vote, they breed and latch on to Kiwis’ hard-earned money. They are not targeting the British (long gone), nor the Crown (a nominal figurehead), but all real-life Kiwis who legitimately hold and have held absolute national sovereignty over New Zealand in their own right since 1947. When Kiwis wake up to the rorts and scams being perpetrated there will be repercussions.

Clearly the contrived, rewritten tales surrounding past historical events are fabricated and exaggerated to suit racial agendas. The assertions and allegations made are invariably vexatious, scurrilous, fallacious and wrong. Frankly these people should probably be treated in padded cells with psychotic medication.

Most radicals are non-productive, non-contributing money grubbers — in short, parasites searching for a host (the Kiwi taxpayer). They only survive in these PC days because the rest of us are forced to put up with them weaving and peddling their nonsense.

Fellow Kiwis; it is easy to judge who is right based on the everyday evidence before your eyes. Just trust your instincts/common sense and we can turn the tide on this creeping cancer.

Your correspondent John Porter disagrees with the assertions of Bruce Moon over the issue of sovereignty.

Is this the same John Porter who in 2007 threatened Transit New Zealand when it refused to fly the Maori flag from the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day that year? Mr Porter said the Northland floods were a signal to the Pakeha government and the flood damage was a direct consequence of Transit’s racist policy prohibiting the Maori flag from flying on the bridge.

“Time to teach Transit another lesson. Until there is a complete reversal of this policy, Transit can expect a series of similar infrastructural damage from flooding. No problem arranging another $100 million flood disaster.”

From the same John Porter in 2002 are emails to prominent politicians in Australia offering to provide assistance with drought mitigation and to suppress raging bushfires which, according to him, were caused by institutional racism in Australia.
R. B

Rotorua Daily Post 14/4/15
In the Rotorua Daily Post (April 4) we see quoted once more that the cost of the Te Arawa Proposal is $250,000 ($290,000 in an election year).

Like a stuck record. What the public haven’t been given is a breakdown of the actual costs included in that figure.

We need to know what has been allocated to the new board, costs to cover salaries and or attendance fees of the unelected appointees, the actual costs of support staff, travel, cars etc.

We have not been given these, just a cost comparison with the other options.

Given the number of people included in this proposal is yet to be determined, how can we be expected to believe a mere $250,000 is going to cover it?

You can’t pay too many even part-time salaries for $250,000, let alone supporting costs.

Get real. Be honest. We want the real, itemised cost of this preferred option, a budget that would pass scrutiny by an independent accountant.

Rotorua District Council’s Strategy & Partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston responds: Council estimates that the proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model can be implemented within a $250,000 per annum budget, with an additional $ 50,000 in a year where elections for the Te Arawa Board would take place.
Those calculations accommodate direct costs, strategy development, board fees, executive officer, administration, advertising, and a share of the cost of elections.
More detailed budget breakdowns would be prepared once the council has made a decision on the proposal.

Your correspondent, Erana Hond-Flavell (April 11) suggests that acceptance of the Te Arawa Partnership proposal might induce the council to “negotiate a fresh path”.

Are our councillors so devoid of intelligent ideas that they need a permanently installed advice bureau?

As for “strengthening the indigenous voice”, is this necessary? The council members of indigenous extraction seem to be quite competent in the performance of their duties. What more should they be doing?

Perhaps the council has become too dependent on advisers, consultants, and barrow-pushers, all too keen to tout their wares.

Erana Hond-Flavell’s sycophantic and abusive letter (April 11) reveals an entitlement to power that is the antithesis of democracy. In Erana’s world, the mayor’s regime is noble and right because it supports the Te Arawa Partnership Model (TAPM). All that don’t are to be abused.

The good people are those who support her beliefs and interests. Those who don’t are evil, and according to David Dornan (Letters, April 11), should leave.

But, why should unelected people have power over fellow citizens? Why should one interest group have disproportionate power? Why should ratepayers pay for an expensive parallel system that will divide our community? Silly stuff.

The society assumes, instead, that our community is diverse and that democratic structures and processes hold the best promise of reconciling plural interests in a peaceful manner. Its Democratic Governance Model (DGM) also assumes that tangata whenua have special interests that are to be respected and accommodated.

It therefore recommends a Maori Policy Advisory Board, whose input to policy and planning is balanced by input from a Community Policy Advisory Board, smaller interest groups and individuals, and expert officials.

Vastly improved methods of consultation and contributions into decision-making processes are obviously essential. The choice is clear. The TAPM (Options 2 and 3) will share power between the new elite in Te Arawa and the current regime on council.

The DGM will reserve decision-making power to elected representatives, including those from Te Arawa, in the public interest. Submissions by April 17 are critical.

Rotorua Daily Post 13/4/15
If the council is desperate to get the opinion of Te Arawa on all issues then surely they can ask the Te Arawa-affiliated councillors, not a privileged gang on the proposed Te Arawa board.

Getting input from other groups like the tourist industry, the majority of Maori who are not affiliated with Te Arawa, Grey Power, shopkeepers etc is at least as important. Putting people who want to talk to the council on the permanent payroll is, of course, absurd, but that is what is being proposed.

We, the citizens of Rotorua, decided at the last election whom we wanted to vote on our behalf. That is the basic principal of democracy. There will be a conflict of interest whenever unelected people from any particular group are given power.

The Te Arawa proposal was organised in secret. From the moment it was finally leaked to the public everybody was up in arms. This is such a major thing, that there should be a referendum. The Rotorua Daily Post did the next best thing and held a poll. The majority voted against it. (Abridged)

Gisborne Herald 11/4/15
I would like to point out a couple of things to your correspondents Jason Koia and Christian Collier (9/4/15).

Koia points to Hugh Kawharu’s statement, “there could be no possibility of the Maori signatories (to the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi) having any understanding of government in the sense of sovereignty”. And yet Koia and his kind claim that in 1835 Maori had already established sovereignty over New Zealand in the Declaration of Independence. Are they saying Maori fully understood sovereignty in 1835 but not in 1840?

Collier says, “Colonisation treaties were designed to rip off the natives and breed them out or kill them off”. Yet in his book, When two cultures meet, Dr John Robinson explains that colonisation may have been the saviour of Maori. Between 1800 and 1840 the Maori population decreased from approximately 120,000 to 75,000, a period of the Maori-against-Maori musket wars.

It is true that the population did continue to decline after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, mainly due to a smaller breeding population because of male losses in the wars and the earlier practice of female infanticide. From about 1885, as the breeding stock built due to peace and female infanticide being made illegal, the Maori population increased and has done so ever since.

I very much doubt that anything new has been said in the latest debate on the meaning and interpretation of the Treaty.

Mr Mulrooney is quite right in suggesting that there is no end to the status quo. Sides have been taken, stakes driven into the sand and lines have been drawn. What we are in desperate need of is a new approach to this impasse.

I am a Johnny-come-lately and not too distressed with Treaty goings-on. I can, however, empathise with all those Kiwis whose families came here generations ago seeking a better life and put their lifeblood into making this fantastic country what it is today. Every Kiwi has benefited from their extraordinary work (they didn’t do it alone of course). Some sectors of today’s society unfairly look at them and their descendants in a very poor light.

Today there are around 4.5 million souls who make this place their home. Is it so difficult to put the past where it belongs and get on with today’s problems?

I am led to believe that anyone feeling empathy to Maori and wanting to be considered Maori can become Maori. There is no requirement for a bloodline. How useful is that?

I very much hope nobody is offended by the following quote: “If the mountain won’t come to Mohammad, then Mohammad must go to the mountain.” (I also hope I have spelt the prophet’s name correctly, if not I unreservedly apologise).

Let us all declare ourselves Maori; the Crown and Treaty can be got rid of overnight, a new flag designed and the past can be laid to rest.

One people, One nation, a golden future. How bad is that?

Rotorua Daily Post 11/4/15
Considering the continuing budget blowouts at the (Rotorua Lakes) council, the mayor certainly needs lots of advice. But why from Te Arawa? Are they the experts we desperately need? Seven of them?

Putting seven advisers on the payroll, paying them top salaries, has created division in the community. At what cost? The mayor does not seen to mind. Why just Te Arawa? They are only 30 per cent of Rotorua Maori. The mayor could not possibly deny the other 70 per cent the same right. If she did there would be another division in the community.

Of course, there are more sectors in our community that have made their contribution to making Rotorua what it is. Do they want to send advisers? There is no doubt that after wasting millions and dividing the community, the mayor and some councillors won't be re-elected. Can we get rid of all these advisers and get back to normal? We can only hope so.

John Rika claims (Letters. April 6) that "MMP recognises that unelected representatives are capable of making a valued contribution".

Well, it does no such thing. Political parties select both their list and electorate candidates well before a general election with the public having no say. Whatever the appearance, when almost all of us cast an electorate vote, we choose the party, not the individual just as we do with our list vote.

So what is the real difference? Answer: none at all even in cases of "tactical voting". None are "unelected representatives", so bang goes John Rika's argument. If we don't defend democracy, well come to regret it sooner or later.

Northern Advocate 11/4/15
In the Whangarei Leader (March 17) M Armstrong put the Waitangi Tribunal on a pedestal whereas a Ngapuhi kaumatua, David Rankin, a direct descendant of Hone Heke says “The Tribunal makes up history as it goes along", and Brian Priestley MBE “It would be hard to imagine any public body less well-organised to get at the truth".

Agreed the Maori text that approx 500 chiefs signed is the correct treaty. Unfortunately, since 1975 the Waitangi Tribunal and successive governments have related to the inaccurate and excessively legalistic 'official English' version which was penned by Hobson's secretary James Freeman using discarded earlier drafts. The differences between the two texts have been exploited to use treaty “principles” instead of the exact text of the treaty as authority to transfer wealth, assets and rights to Maori

The main fear for Maori was the French as a letter (1831) to King William IV from thirteen chiefs asking for protection shows, not the 'intentions of the British' as Armstrong said.

Her letter touched on the 1835 Declaration of Independence (DOI), pro-Maori historians Claudia Orange, Michael King, Paul Moon say the DOI had no international status, was an unauthorised act and that there was no indigenous power structure within New Zealand. Only 57 chiefs north of the Firth of Thames thumbprinted the DOI, New Zealand had some 600 chiefs at that time. Even if the DOI had any validity the chiefs themselves breached the agreement by not meeting annually as agreed and were back at war with one another within months.

Armstrong then incorrectly infers that the DOI was incorporated in the treaty, the fact is it was superceded by the 1840 TOW because Hobson made sure that the chiefs that signed the DOI also signed the TOW. She blunders on by asserting that the treaty only 'allowed for a governor to oversee British settlers' when the treaty says 'ALL the people of New Zealand'.

"The violence in the 'violent colonisation' she refers to was in most cases instigated by Maori rebels and I have covered the fact that most of New Zealand was sold by willing Maori sellers in a previous letter to the Leader.

The Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 vested ownership in the Crown for the benefit of ALL New Zealanders including Maori. Whereas now under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2010 there are at least eleven applications for title/rights to large areas of the coastline by separate Maori interests. Close to home there is a large claim in place for most of the upper Kaipara Harbour around Pouto Point and up the coastline to Mahuta Gap, and on the east coast from Te Arai Point to Langs Beach.

NZ Herald 10/4/15
In response to your correspondent Tom O’Donnell’s criticism of the sale of golliwogs, people buy them because they like them, not because they are racist.

The origins of the golliwog began with British soldiers in Egypt near the end of the 19th century.

Labourers working for the British were spoken of as Ghuls — the Arabic word for desert ghost — by the British troops. The children of the Egyptians played with stuffed dolls made of black material. These dolls, in turn, were given as gifts or bought by the soldiers before they returned home.

These dolls became known as ghuliwogs, a name that would eventually become the golliwog we know today.
Glen Eden.

Rotorua Daily Post 10/4/15
John Mica's attack on the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society (Letters, April 6) is arrogant, presumptuous and would deny us our human right to active citizenship. He cites implausible majorities against us when our membership has just risen quickly past 300. That is more than attended the hui-a-iwi in December 2014 to legitimate the Te Arawa Partnership Plan.

We have many Maori members, including Te Arawa, who are opposed to unelected people being given power, against any interest group being given disproportionate power, and the council wasting [money] on a parallel governance and administrative structure that would divide us on ethnic lines. He demands that we trust the council to judge what is in the best interests of Rotorua because they have a mandate. Is he immune to the reaction since May 2014 when the public rejected the Hovell Report ... ?

The mandate has been abused to the point where the mayor's regime has destroyed its legitimacy. When a government loses its legitimacy, citizens in a democracy have the right to question and resist its decisions. Apologists like John Rika can provide loyal support but they are supporting a shrinking and power-blinded elite. The society will not accept the loss of our birthright to democracy. It is a legacy we will pass on.

There have been letters lately bagging Pro Democracy and what the society has been saying about the Te Arawa proposal. One by Keith Garratt (March 27) asked questions and demanded answers. Well I have some questions of my own.

First, where is the money coming from for this Te Arawa scheme to be implemented, because if he looks further he will see it is not cost free? It is well known that the council is in debt and, among other things, has a big white elephant known as an international airport to pay for. Some councillors who were elected in 2013 campaigned on holding the borrowing and spending. Minister of Local Government Paula Bennett has made it clear local bodies cannot have new methods of raising revenue so what other ways are there available to pay for this scheme? They can't borrow their way out of this one as it is an ongoing cost.

I think once reality hits that our rates will increase to pay the burden of financing unelected members, people will cry: "Why did nobody tell us this would happen?" and Pro Democracy will simply say: "We did but you wouldn't listen". [ABRIDGED]
A.J. M

Rotorua Lakes Council's strategy and partnerships manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, responds: The cost estimate for the council's Te Arawa Partnership Model proposal is $250,000 per annum ($290,000 in election years), which would be set out as part of each year's annual plan and budget. The cost for previous arrangements (ie the former Te Arawa Standing Committee) was approximately $200,000 per annum.

Gisborne Herald 9/4/15
John Porter in his diatribe (Gisborne Herald, April 8) refers to “Moon’s rant”. I invite readers to compare what I wrote with his own.

To begin with, he quotes Freeman’s bogus treaty which allegedly promised Maoris: “full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates, Forests and Fisheries and other properties”.

The only real treaty is one in Maori which guarantees to ALL the people of New Zealand — tangata katoa o Nu Tirani — the possession of their property. No forests and fisheries. Different, eh?

Perhaps Mr Porter would prefer a return to the days when one Ngapuhi taua in 1819 against the East Coast tribes Ngatiporou and Ngaiterangi returned home with nearly 2000 slaves.

Maybe your correspondents Sue Nikora and the Koia brothers would like that too. I invite them to tell us.

It doesn’t matter what Mr Moon, Mr Butler or others say, Jason Koia will not listen. He has his understanding of the Treaty and others have theirs.

Personally, I don’t think this matter will ever be settled in a manner that will satisfy Mr Koia. As I stated in an earlier letter, it all appears “lost in translation”.

Kawanatanga was accepted by the chiefs who signed as meaning sovereignty. Mr Koia states it was “likely” to have been explained as meaning the chiefs would retain their authority, as outlined in the preamble. So even Mr Koia is lacking in a guaranteed definition of kawanatanga.

Sue Nikora uses it as depicting sovereignty, although switches it with tiritiratanga as circumstance requires.

Mr Koia also desires a sovereignty that lies with all the people. Strange. We’ve already got that with the Queen merely a nominal head.

Does he want all Maori to be governed by a separatist Maori government? I don’t know. If so, go for it but do not expect to receive all the benefits your people currently receive from a government you will not recognise.

You say your people are deprived of their rights. Tell me Mr Koia, can you name one government department that is strictly for Pakeha?

Do you envisage your own penal system, justice system, police force etc, or would you somehow govern your people but use the present “Pakeha” structure to carry out your government’s decisions and rulings. Good luck if that’s the case.

As Maori had no written language, their stories were passed on orally. We all know how a message passed from one to another, then another can alter considerably.

I feel our early missionaries did a remarkable job in taking the phonetic sounds of the Maori language and turning them into the written word. It would appear that when they wrote the words and repeated them back to the Maori they were quite acceptable. I think kawanatanga falls into that category.

I would suggest to you Mr Koia that your demands for a separate Maori government may be opening a Pandora’s box.

Taranaki Daily News 9/4/15
I believe the whole idea of attaining Maori representation around the New Plymouth District Council table is meritorious considering Taranaki Maoridom live under a permanent Taranaki New Zealand sanction where any given Taranaki Maori/Pakeha issue is concerned.

New Plymouth District Council Mayor Andrew Judd is to be applauded for going up against his own Pakeha people in his decision to help Taranaki Maoridom inch closer to the position of representation at the council table.

Race prejudice drives the political decision-making democratic process in New Plymouth, Taranaki and all over New Zealand and the fact remains that Pakeha have the majority of the say in terms of decisionmaking whether it be at a civic, regional or national level of politics.

I know that the wording of this letter will unsettle our Taranaki Pakeha friends and relations but there needs to be some plain dialogue taking place to protect the Taranaki Maori/Pakeha relationship from completely unravelling to the point where race tensions ensues. Do we really want a race war?

I'm only raising the race relations issue because I feel that there is still time left on the time/ space continuum to save the love we need to engage each other with. Somebody has to intervene before it is too late. (Abridged)
New Plymouth

Hawkes Bay Today 9/4/15
Bill Dalton's Talking Point attempting to justify the unilateral dictate renaming our regional airport is both factually incorrect and grossly misleading. He states that Hawke's Bay airport has never been referred to as Napier airport. Well tell that to IATA who name Hawke's Bay airport, Napier airport, both throughout New Zealand and around the world. Thus the IATA tag we all receive designated NPE when travelling into the region.

That to many is just a side issue. The point both he and his council run from is one of promised consultation on the issue. It is now clear that the only reason this disaster has been bought to our attention is because a small group stated that this is what they required when meeting with the NCC. They elected to neither consult CAA, IATA, travel agents, the travelling public or the ratepayers they were elected by to represent and who's interests they were required to protect. The only consultation was with a vociferous group —everyone else was deliberately excluded.

This is contemptible. Particularly when before the last election, Bill Dalton promised full consultation with all affected parties on important issues. In fact it was to be a pillar of his mayoralty—yeah right ! His justification to acquiesce to this small group was that they were going to become a "major investor " in our city, nonsense then it would be appropriate to consider changing the name to Big Save airport. After all the enterprising family behind that business has invested $10's millions in Ahiuriri creating jobs and opportunities for people of all races. The fact that Bill Dalton states that the name change to Ahurir Hawke's Bay airport is " a neat idea " is reason enough to have this appalling decision nullified.

Hawkes Bay Today 9/4/15 (Text us section)
■ Treaty of Waitangi course for DHB staff is now called, "engaging effectively with Maori" and run by Hone, who is rather entertaining. Gives a greater awareness of Maori issues. Also, encourages us not to pander to the gangs and their intimidation tactics!

Rotorua Daily Post 9/4/15
My concern grows at the apparent fudging by the council in defending their position over the partnership proposal, and Jean-Paul Gaston's letter to the editor (March 20) does not clarify the position. He talks of all the councils that have Maori participation, but fails to say which of these has Maori participation by election and which by appointment. Do those who have been appointed have voting rights?

The council's standard reply to letters (and indeed encouraged it in their pamphlet "Time to Have Your Say) is to put in a submission. My concern is — what happens to the submission? Who reads it and decides where it goes from there? What opportunity does the public have to see the submissions? Is there to be an independent person/committee to handle the submissions, and how transparent will the process be? Who decides whether a submission is worthy of further investigation and what will the process be after submissions close on 17 April?

The way the council are continuing to bulldoze ahead expounding their favoured view does nothing to help me have confidence in this exercise, and I would like some clear answers to above points. (Abridged)

Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy & Partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, responds. Councils where Maori participation is by election are quite limited, compared with councils that have chosen to use some form of consultative committee or appointments to committees. Submissions received by the council will be made publicly available and will be published on the council website after submissions close. A copy of every submission will be provided to the mayor and councillors. Hearings, where submitters get to speak to their submissions, will also be open to the public to attend, as will council meetings where submissions will be considered. Final decisions will be made by the mayor and 12 councillors.

Northland Age 9/4/15
Under the Resource Management Act (MA), anyone wanting to build or initiate new opportunities and jobs in rural centres will encounter the extortionate demands and manipulation by activists, the huge costs extracted by the RMA industry, and the barriers put up by consenting authorities.

Consents often take years to go through —council hearings, the Environment Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, all costing such vast sums of money, and in the end many are forced to abandon their project.

Typical of many is the case of Kawakawa, a small Northland community riddled by unemployment. Huge mineral wealth is likely under the poor farmland. But if anyone suggested that it should be extracted to provide jobs, hope and wealth for the region, the environmentalists, armed with their most effective weapon, the RMA, would block development.

Official records show the Act adds about $15,000 to the cost of a section and $30,000 per apartment Over the past decade, the delays, uncertainty and costs associated with the RMA have been estimated to have reduced housing supply by 40,000 homes and added $10 billion in cost. It's time we got rid of the Act.

Rotorua Review 8/4/15
Each stanza of the New Zealand national anthem repeats the line: ‘‘God defend our free land.’’ That’s five times this is drilled into our skulls. The foundations of freedom are access to information and to the polls. Rotorua voters would be silly to relinquish even partial control of the political process to a private group, no matter how well intentioned. If New Zealand had a constitution, presumably as a democracy, the mayor’s initiative would be illegal.

Rotorua Daily Post 8/4/15
I am sure that like many people in Rotorua, I do not really care who represents us on council providing they are best people for Rotorua and its people.

I understand that we have three or four Te Arawa as councillors, some of whom I voted for and given that Maori make up about one-third of the Rotorua District population, I would say that this means democracy is working.

What I and many others cannot understand is why cannot the mayor understand that what she is proposing is not democracy. As mentioned in an earlier letter, the Oxford Dictionary defines democracy as "The principle that all citizens have equal political rights." This means the Te Arawa proposal is not democratic as it gives unelected people voting rights and therefore unequal political rights.

An advertorial from Rotorua Lakes Council (News from the council, Rotorua Daily Post, March 27) posed two questions and model answers under Te Arawa proposal Q&As but I suggest the writer takes some English comprehension training as his/her model answer did not answer his/her question. The first question asked "Why does the council need people on some committees to provide a Maori perspective when there are already some Maori councillors?" The model answer stated "Councillors are elected to represent all residents of the district and they take an oath to represent the interests of the wider community."

Dominion Post 7/4/15
I noted with interest in Guilty pleas after racist rant (April 1) that the Wellington police have a commissioned officer with the title of being their "district Maori responsiveness manager".

Given the high crime rate amongst Maori such an appointment is no doubt appropriate. But as we live in a multicultural society, and not just a bicultural one, do the police reflect that multiculturalness -and not just of society but of the police as an organisation itself-by the appointment of more commissioned officers representative of a range of other cultures?

For example, does Wellington, or any other police area for that matter, have, say, a "district Samoan responsiveness manager" or maybe a "district Vietnamese responsiveness manager" or indeed even perhaps a "district Chinese responsiveness manager"? If not, why not? Or is it that the police too are followers of the faulty mantra that New Zealand is but a country with two cultures only?

Hawkes Bay Today 7/4/15
It would appear that the airport company is going to change the name of the airport to this ridiculous Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay, whether we, the vast majority, like it or not.

Is this the way the democratic process works? Silly me, I thought it worked another way. I was under the impression that central government and local councils were elected into their respective positions by the vast majority of the people who voted them in.

This Government and the local councils are there to look after the wants and needs of the majority of their people, not just a noisy, bullying minority.

Do we, the great unwashed, not get listened to? It would seem to me that most people do not want a name change. People have long memories, especially at voting time. (Abridged)

Bay of Plenty Times 7/4/15
I wonder how Tauranga ratepayers feel about $1 million being added to the Environmental and Enhancement Fund as proposed by Mr Tama Hovell and his mates on the Tauranga waste water committee ( BOP Times , 26/3/15)

Mr Tama Hovell’s complaint is that only two applications for $160,000 have been accepted over the last 10 years and iwi and hapu committee representatives feel aggrieved that is all that has been granted of ratepayers’ money.

One needs to ask why this money was granted, what for and how was it spent in the interest of transparency and accountability. Tauranga ratepayers are entitled to know.

Mr Hovell further wants the wording of the fund changed and a sub committee formed with delegated powers to change the policies and also with delegated authority and control over the account and disperse the funds as they feel fit (not part of the resource consent).

It was pleasing to note that councillors Stewart and Clout took personal responsibility and voted against the proposal for decision making powers by this committee while the other four voted for the review.

Tauranga ratepayers need to demand that councillors focus on keeping control and put a stop to extravagant culture spending and listen to the mood of the ratepayers with a view to curbing continual rate increases which are of no benefit to the community.
Te Puke

Rotorua Daily Post 7/4/15

That is my opinion and the opinion of all I have spoken to about the proposal to have two unelected people in our council with voting rights.

It is amazing that we have elected a mayor and some councillors who have not the brains and the common sense that there is only one race, the human race. Even our highly paid CEO is struggling with it, but he must be concerned about his job.

Rotorua is a multi-cultural city and our mayor and councillors must work together to unite people and not to divide.

Shame on our mayor and some councillors that there is a need for a pro-democratic society in Rotorua.

Hawkes Bay Today 6/4/15
Now it is revealed: the proposal to rename Hawke’s Bay Airport was merely a softening-up exercise to prepare the people of Hawke’s Bay for the handing over of a halfshare in their regional airport from public ownership to a group of private individuals.

I have always believed that this airport (and, hopefully, the profit created by it) should be owned by the people who live here, including those in Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay. Successive governments have refused to relinquish the 50 per cent share held by the Crown, while consistently neglecting the airport.

But now it appears that the current administration is happy to hand this, gratis, to Treaty claimants.

Our airport is a vital strategic asset that has immense social and economic importance to the Bay. It is as non-negotiable as any arterial highway or seaport. No part of it should be sold or given away. Its inclusion in a Treaty settlement is unacceptable and must be firmly resisted.

It is unreasonable to permit such a transfer of property, raised by accident in 1931 and developed using public funds, to a private enterprise whose members have no known expertise in running an airport, simply on the basis of resolving an alleged 19th century grievance. The Napier City Council and the Hastings District Council must have known about this, but told us nothing.

Neither did their puppet, the airport company.

All the more reason to do away with them and replace these rotten, incompetent boroughs with one authority capable of standing up to the Government and fighting for the Bay’s interests.

Some say that this is already a done deal, conducted in secret.

If that is so and cannot be undone, we should at least seek an assurance that the settlement will not include the Control Tower.

I noticed that there were several texts saying that an earlier texter should learn the “correct Maori pronunciation”. What a lot of twaddle. “Correct Maori pronunciation” is a recent, very expensive, invention.

Europeans established the spelling of Maori words according to what they heard in areas familiar to them. They tried to spell the words so that they could be pronounced by other Europeans.

In England there has been communication by radio, TV, telephone . . . for many generations yet people from one end of the country have difficulty understanding the pronunciation of people from the other end.

That is without including Scotland, Wales or Ireland!

Ancient Maori had none of these benefits so how could they be expected to have a uniform, “correct pronunciation”.

Whanganui is a good example. When the h was added we kept on hearing “Funganui”.

The Maori people of the area did not pronounce wh as f, so surely that should be respected and it should be pronounced as spelt.

Responding to a call for teaching local dialects, Professor Pou Temara (a leading te reo exponent) has been quoted as saying “Do we learn Ngati Porou or Ngati Kahungunu, or do we just learn Maori?”

There are obviously differences between tribes and no doubt, he could have quoted other examples.

He also said that many iwi leaders were opposed to a “cover all” Maori language devoid of tribal nuance.

The “cover all” idea is more practical from the point of view of promoting the language, but can it  strictly be said to be “correct”?

Rotorua Daily Post 6/4/15
I have watched the debate over Maori representation on council with interest. Hopefully a consensus will be reached on the main issue so Rotorua and the local region can move ahead.

The side issue of potential conflict of interest does bother me. I am unsure whether the same rules that apply for central government MPs exist for elected and appointed participants on our local council. Specifically that involves central government functionaries (elected and appointed) declaring any financial or other conflicts of interest before they serve. Often this may require an MP (the current Prime Minister included) setting aside financial interests when it comes to voting on policy. I presume the same rules apply for the elected or current appointed members on our Rotorua District Council.

My question is will the new appointees be subject to the same declarations? In my opinion, it is crucial the voting public are made aware of any processes to deal with this issue before the appointments proceed. We the public need to be assured declarations of interest will happen effectively, conclusively and be available for open and full public audit. Correct me if I am wrong or have missed communications in the media, but I have not seen any clear assurance about this.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s strategy & partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, responds: Every meeting agenda includes an item where all committee or council members have the opportunity to declare conflicts of interest. While members can seek advice from the chief executive or other advisers, local government legislation places responsibility for declaring a pecuniary or other interest with the member. A member may need to stand aside from decision-making on a particular agenda item if a conflict arises between their role as a committee or council member, and any private or other external interest they might have.

I protest at your caption in the (March 23) issue below a photograph of Rotorua Pro-Democracy supporters “MUST FOLLOW: A perceived free ride into the council is actually part of meeting Local Government Act obligations”, when nothing is further from the truth. There is no such obligation in the act, nor is it true that “facilitating Maori participation in council decision-making is an obligation all councils have under the Local Government Act” as claimed by our mayor ( Rotorua Daily Post, March 21)..

The act requires local authorities to “maintain and improve opportunities for Maori to contribute to local government decision-making processes”.

Where does it say anything whatsoever about taking part in decision-making? It doesn’t — that is what local authority elections and elected councillors are for. The act unequivocally states the requirement is to enable Maori to contribute to decision-making processes, that Maori be given every opportunity to advise the local authority, and have due weight given to that advice.

A suitably constituted Maori Policy Advisory Board that is actually listened to fulfils this legal obligation. The society advocates such a board, and a Community Policy Advisory Board representing other major interest groups. (See website www.rotoruaprodemocracy.nz)

Council staff and our mayor should research “consultation with the public”, which in my dictionary means consulting with and listening to people, not embarking on a spin campaign to get your own way. [Abridged]

Gisborne Herald 4/4/15
Bruce Moon’s assertions(20 March) on NZ Sovereignty are accurate and correct, backed by facts, history and reality.

Sue Nikora’s unintelligible unhinged rant (25March) which is best described as a fictional take on how to fantasize about the past and destroy the future. Those chiefs who signed the Treaty (legitimate maori version) clearly ceded sovereignty to the British. The Treaty was a simple, straightforward document with 3 Articles, with no treaty principles, and no treaty partnership. To allege duplicity on the part of those involved in completing the treaty is idiocy and driven by self-interest with an agenda tailored to suit separatists, radical racists, grievers, treatyists, apologists and appeasers et al.

The Treaty is now only an historical relic and the biased WaitangiTribunal is 40 years past its use-by date requiring immediate dismantling .

British sovereignty in fact was initially claimed by Hobson’s declarations of 21st May 1840,subsequently ratified by the British Government on 2nd October 1840. Of course there have been many other actions that have confirmed sovereignty to the British who transferred this to all New Zealanders by virtue of the Statute of Westminster 1931 (adopted in 1947) whereby New Zealand became an independent nation with its own sovereignty. In other words from 1947 New Zealand gained constitutional independence, full sovereignty and unlimited sovereign power.

Kiwi citizens themselves now hold sovereignty, not the British, not the Crown and a warning to the malcontents , you are not fighting the British, you are attacking your fellow Kiwis. Aotearoa (where is that?) tikanga maori lore is claptrap!!

Rotorua Daily Post 4/4/15
Your correspondent, Dr Johan Morreau, states that Rotorua town (presumably the land) was gifted to us (presumably to those not of Te Arawa heritage). This is far from the truth as Ngati Whakaue auctioned the leasehold rights of town plots while land necessary for public reserves was to be controlled by the Town Board.

The word "gifted" as noted in documents relating to land transfers implied a contract between the donor and the local authority. At the time, Maori leaders were determined to lift their people out of a stone-age culture as quickly as possible.

Land was not "gifted" in the modern sense of the word but was provided as sites for a school, a hospital, and other necessities of the new culture. Generosity was not in the nature of those early "gifters" of land but they held the strong conviction that their people must adapt to conditions in the "Pakeha culture" and take advantage of its benefits.

The Te Arawa information sessions are now over. I attended several of these and two things were seriously absent. One, where was the mayor or her deputy in all of this? The council accepted the Te Arawa Proposal "in principle" therefore it must be their job to sell the product. A car salesman does not leave it to office staff to sell his truck load of new cars. If Steve is pleading the need for neutrality. that's a joke.

Number two. The info sessions did not include a budget, just vague mention of $250,000. Is it because a cost analysis hasn't been done or has it but it's too scary to present to the ratepayers -- until it's a fait accompli and we have no say?

We, as ratepayers, are entitled to know how our ever-increasing rates are being spent. How can a new board with a CEO, the six unelected appointees, the inevitable admin staff and very hungry consumables possibly cost a mere $250,000? In business this would never happen. Shareholders demand a budget Ratepayers are shareholders of council. We expect wise and transparent investments.

Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy and Partnerships group manager, Jean Paul Gaston, responds: The purpose of the recent series of public information sessions led by council officers was to simply assist residents with understanding the council's proposal and its background. The council's view is that if people are well informed they can make up their own minds and then give informed feedback through the submission process. Copies of the statement of proposal included cost estimates for the proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model and for the other models also considered by the council These were made available to everyone attending the information sessions and are on the council website, www.rotorualakescouncil.nz

Rotorua Daily Post 2/4/15
Why do Te Arawa need to be on the Chief Executive Perform-ance Committee as reported in the Rotorua Daily Post (March 12). If a member of Te Arawa sits on a Resource Management hearing will there be three or four commissioners on this panel (presently there are three)? Will this mean an extra cost to the applicants or will the council pick up the extra cost via my rates? As I understand it the cost is between $80-$100 per hour per commissioner. Please can this be clarified.

Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy & Partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston responds: The proposal for a Te Arawa representative to be appointed to the council's Chief Executive Performance Committee is to allow for a Maori perspective of relationships between the oper-ational arm of the council (led by the CEO) and iwi. That appoin-tee would not have voting rights on the committee. Appointment of a Te Arawa representative to RMA hearings would not increase the number on panels and would therefore not increase costs.

Hawkes Bay Today 2/4/15
The proposal to rename Hawke's Bay Airport to something that might roughly translate as Lagoon Airport Hawke's Bay is yet another example of harmless, trite obeisance to political correctness. Depending on your sources, Ahuriri can translate as a fish a bit like a kahawai, or a weir or dyke, or (according to Colenso) a "fierce rushing" of water. It can be a funnel-shaped fishing net or a low fence by a pa to keep the pigs out.

But however you read it, this will cost ratepayers in Hastings and Napier, plus the wider public which "owns" the other 50 per cent of the airport, a great deal of money in new signage, new stationery and loss of website visibility for quite a while. The exercise will add not one cent to the airport's bottom line. Aviators will look down on this nonsense with a mixture of amusement and despair. When Wanganui was renamed Whanganui (following similar pressure), the airport firmly remained as Wanganui. Likewise with HB Airport. Pilots will continue to call the controllers at "Napier Tower" and the airport designator will be NZNR.

However, on the ground, everyone may have to cringe and bear it, unless some silly heads are banged together and they agree on something sensible and cost-free, such as "Hawke's Bay Airport/Papa Rererangi o Ahuriri" for example.

Pilots have a saying, usually applied to Air Traffic Control, but now applicable to all who consider the proposed name change a fruitless waste of time and money. It states: 'Don't let the b s get you down."

Northland Age 2/4/15
Maori chiefs voluntarily sold 25.33 million hectares, while not owning the land anyway because Maori had no accepted concept of land ownership as we know it. They certainly did not lose the land or have it stolen, as Les Still ignorantly infers. ( The better opinion is to give them their land back, letters March 12).

New Zealand is a land area of 26.8 million hectares ( 268,000sq km); 1.2 million hectares were confiscated during the 1860s Maori Wars, the bulk being returned to Maori shortly after via compensation commissions. In September 2009, 1.47 million hectares of Maori land ( including customary land) existed, with much the same in 2013.

The fact is that land- owner Maori sold New Zealand to the ‘ wicked white coloniser’ in hundreds of transactions, painstakingly recorded in Turton’s deeds posted for all to see on the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre of the Victoria University of Wellington’s website.

In the same publication ( March 12) BC Gregory attempts to whitewash my facts re Parihaka ( February 26).

However he has a chronological problem— the reclaiming of Parihaka by the Crown took place on November 5, 1881, whereas my two newspaper articles relating to the squalor and diseases, which Gregory cunningly attributes to after the reclaiming of Parihaka, were dated September 22, 1875 and September 12,1881.

Need I say more?

Voters have said a resounding “No” to Maori seats on their local council, by a two to one margin. Of the 38,946 electors on the electoral roll, just over 35 per cent or 13,624 voted in the referendum, with 68 per cent opposed to Maori wards and 32 per cent in favour.

The result is even more notable because nearly 44 per cent of the Far North District is of Maori descent, well above the national average of around 16 per cent. The result is consistent with the result of a referendum in the Wairoa district in 2012, where their council’s Maori ward proposal was defeated in spite of Maori constituting 46 per cent of their electoral population.

The reality is that New Zealanders do not want to be defined by race — not even those of Maori descent. The only people who want to divide the country by race are a small but vocal minority of tribal activists and supporters, like Mayor Andrew Judd in New Plymouth, who has called for a law change to require half of all local authority council representatives to be Maori “because they’re our treaty partner”.

While sovereignty advocates know that reinventing the Treaty of Waitangi to claim that Maori are equal partners with the Crown is the key to achieving electoral privilege, the public can see through this cultural veil. They believe that if iwi want representation on their local council, then rather than demanding special privileges or seats based on race, their candidates need to work hard and stand on their own merits, like every other aspiring councillor. But they also need to show that they have the best interests of the whole community at heart, since voters in local body elections tend to support candidates who will work for the community at large rather than a segment of it.

That of course does not suit the ruling elite within Maoridom who say they need to be at the council table, “but should not have to rely on voters’ whims to get there”. As a result, in many parts of the country, corporate iwi are attempting to bypass local democracy and bring their representatives on to councils by the back door. They are pressuring councillors to appoint their delegates on to councils with voting rights. But any such move would fundamentally alter the democratic makeup of a council, and by convention, major constitutional change should only be undertaken with the express approval of voters through a public referendum process.

In fact, any change to the way people gain a vote around a council table should be subjected to the same checks and balances as the establishment of Maori wards, whereby section 19Z of the Local Electoral Act gives a local authority the right to introduce Maori wards, and section 19ZB gives local electors the right to challenge that decision through a binding poll.

That such provisions do not apply when councillors appoint Maori representatives on to a council with voting rights — despite the effect being virtually the same as creating a Maori ward — is probably due to the fact that when the original law was drafted, gaining Maori representation on councils via appointment rather than election was not something that had been contemplated.

However, times have changed, and local electors should have the same right to challenge a council decision — through a public referendum process — if council appointees are granted voting rights that have the effect of changing the voting make- up of an elected council.

Changing the Local Electoral Act along these lines is a fundamental issue of democracy, not race.

It is the duty of elected councillors to put the interests of the wider community ahead of the demands of powerful vested interests who want to control the local government decisionmaking process.

That’s why the Far North District Council needs to think very carefully about their next move, now that the Maori ward referendum result is in.

They have already indicated that if the proposal failed they would need to consider alternative non- electoral means of ensuring effective Maori representation. But given that their community has categorically rejected race- based representation, they need to reflect on what their obligations under the Local Government Act actually are.

The Local Government Act requires councils to “provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to the decision- making processes of the local authority” and to consider ways of fostering the development of Maori “capacity”. However, the Act also states very clearly that councils must prioritise the good of the whole community. That’s why many councils around the country have discharged their responsibilities by establishing local Maori liaison committees or advisory boards — they are not required by law to do any more than that.

In fact, any change to the way people gain a vote around a council table should be subjected to the same checks and balances as the establishment of Maori wards, whereby section 19Z of the Local Electoral Act gives a local authority the right to introduce Maori wards, and section 19ZB gives local electors the right to challenge that decision through a binding poll. That such provisions do not apply when councillors appoint Maori representatives on to a council with voting rights — despite the effect being virtually the same as creating a Maori ward — is probably due to the fact that when the original law was drafted, gaining Maori representation on councils via appointment rather than election was not something that had been contemplated.

However, times have changed, and local electors should have the same right to challenge a council decision — through a public referendum process— if council appointees are granted voting rights that have the effect of changing the voting make-up of an elected council. Changing the Local Electoral Act along these lines is a fundamental issue of democracy, not race. It is the duty of elected councillors to put the interests of the wider community ahead of the demands of powerful vested interests who want to control the local government decision-making process.

That's why the Far North District Council needs to think very carefully about their next move, now that the Maori ward referendum result is in. They have already indicated that if the proposal failed they would need to consider alternative non-electoral means of ensuring effective Maori representation. But given that their community has categorically rejected race-based representation, they need to reflect on what their obligations under the Local Government Act actually are.

The Local Government Act requires councils to "provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to the decision-making processes of the local authority" and to consider ways of fostering the development of Maori capacity. However, the Act also states very clearly that councils must prioritise the good of the whole community. That's why many councils around the country have discharged their responsibilities by establishing local Maori liaison committees or advisory boards—they are not required by law to do any more than that.

Rotorua Review 1/4/15
Congratulations to the Rotorua Review in not having every letter concerning the Te Arawa Partnership Plan referred to the council’s four (soon to be five) spin doctors for rebuttal.

We are grateful that a crucial point in law can now be considered by the mayor, councillors and officials unencumbered by spin.

This point has been made in private on a number of occasions but ignored.

Council officials have taken to repeating an error in law to justify the Te Arawa Partnership Plan (TAPP); that under current legislation, councils have an obligation to facilitate Maori participation in council decision making.

Not so. The LGA and the RMA refer consistently to the obligation to enable Maori contributions to council’s ‘‘decision-making processes’’ but not to ‘‘decision making.’’

There is a substantial difference between decision-making processes and decision-making.

Decision-making processes can include philosophical debates over rightness, the strategic analyses of options and the political mobilisation of support, all quite properly the role of policy advisory boards, expert advisory services and as part of consultative processes.

Decision-making, however, is the act of deciding policy or plans, and to be legally legitimate, must be specifically empowered with legal authority.

Current legislation obliges councils to enable contributions by Maori in decision-making processes but nowhere do they authorise participation in decision-making or specify structures such as those proposed in the TAPP.

This means that the extension of an obligation to facilitate participation in decision-making processes, by the appointment of recommended nominees of an interest group to key council standing committees without precedent, is a political preference, not a legal obligation.

Hence, when officials cite the LGA and the RMA as legally obliging the council to facilitate Maori participation in decision making, they are advising ultra vires; where the council is being advised to act outside the limits of the law.

That is unwise, and when knowingly at variance with the law, culpably illegal.

Further, since citizens are guaranteed ‘‘democratic and effective decision-making’’ by the purpose of the LGA, they are urged to make submissions that insist on their legal and human rights.

Three points might be uppermost; that power to make decisions going to unelected people is undemocratic, that disproportionate power going to one interest group is undemocratic, and expecting indebted ratepayers to spend up to $1 million annually on a parallel governance and administrative system is both ineffective and unreasonable.

Recently the Rotorua Prodemocracy Society Inc has been referred to as the ‘‘Democratic Party’’ with members being ‘‘democrats’’.

This is particularly irksome given the society is absolutely not a political party. It is a legally registered society (hence the ‘‘Inc’’) formed in response to the Rotorua Lakes Council’s completely undemocratic proposal to appoint unelected members to council by stealth.

Its members come from a variety of political persuasions, walks of life, age and ethnicity.

Hawkes Bay Today 1/4/15
Can it really be possible that “Ahuriri” is the Maori word for Napier? Ahuriri was used by Maori to denote the site of Napier and a huge area to the west, possibly as far back as the Kawekas, long before the establishment of Napier was even dreamed of.

Every airport in New Zealand which is serviced by Air New Zealand bears the name of the city it serves, with two exceptions.

Those two are the Bay of Islands and the Hawke’s Bay Airports. But it’s clear which areas they serve.

Hawke’s Bay can’t afford to be listed on Air New Zealand’s website or collateral with a name that only Hawke’s Bay people recognise.

Tourists moving through the airport make a significant contribution to the airport’s funding, a fact well recognised by the airport company which is a major sponsor of Hawke’s Bay Tourism. But giving the airport a name that nobody outside Hawke’s Bay has ever heard of will actually be undermining Hawke’s Bay Tourism’s efforts to promote Hawke’s Bay.

Contrary to the claims made by some correspondents, the airport has never been called the Napier Airport and has been the Hawke’s Bay Airport since it was opened in its present form in 1964.

The naming of the airport should be consistent with the names of all other airports in New Zealand, which means that it should be known as the Hawke’s Bay Airport, or perhaps the Napier/Hastings Airport. The airport company should have recognised this before making such an unwise decision...

Rotorua Daily Post 1/4/15
I reply to Martin Hine (Letters, March 26) who believes that objections to the Te Arawa Partnership Plan have "excited concern among the racists and rednecks who try and rouse the rabble in us.

To make us subjects [to?] the intimidation of the mob." Not so. The campaign for democratic governance is not related to race. It champions the democratic rights of all interest groups in the district. It points out that no interest group in a democratic society should have voting rights that are greater than any other interest group.

This is what the Te Arawa "Partnership" Plan is touting. The census showed that 12,462 (or 39 per cent) of Maori in our district affiliate with Te Arawa while the other 61 per cent of Maori do not. 22,410 (34.3 per cent) indicated that they were of Maori descent in Rotorua's population of 65,280.

Many believe that being mana whenua bestows special rights and responsibilities. But why should this translate into unelected people being given power and require ratepayers to pay for a parallel governance and administrative system?

The mayor and her backers seem to have forgotten what democracy is all about.

We did vote for them as the best people for the job. On this issue, how-ever, the Pro-Democracy Society argues that the mayor and many councillors got it wrong and "the people" are saying so.

I note that Jean-Paul Gaston (Rotorua District Council's strategy and partnerships group manager) claims that "of the 420 submissions registered, exactly 50 per cent of submitters had answered yes to the first question, "Do you support in principle the intention to effectively partner with Te Arawa" (Daily Post, March 28).

This may misrepresent public opinion as a significant number of these submissions may favour consultation with Te Arawa, however object to the concession of voting rights. Therefore I would urge others who wish to contest any part of the Te Arawa Partnership Model Proposal to select the "no" option with regard to this question and then provide further explanation.

There are many important issues being raised by the Roto-rua City Council [sic] in adding 14 additional representatives from Te Arawa.

1. Other Maori groups and different ethnic groups should be included.

2. Should the city council divide our community into white and non-white — which is racial profiling.

3. Since any additional representatives should not be salaried, should all councillors reduce their salaries, if they have other sources of income. This would directly benefit the Rotorua community and help our current debt.

4. Why does the council need non-elected members? If there are problems in making some decisions we have many expert local businesses including accountants, lawyers, architects and design, builders and teachers. In the past we have not required additional, non-elected council representatives.

I would prefer that Rotorua does not change history and set such a precedent, thereby dividing our community into two parts, a third Te Arawa and two thirds Pakeha and other ethnic and multicultural groups. This will not provide a stable or happy community. Will it enhance our bid for tourists, or make it more difficult? Please work for fairness.

Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy & Partnerships group manager Jean-Paul Gaston responds: It is incorrect to suggest that there is no precedent for appointing non-elected people to council committees. In fact for many years now, the council has appointed people to council committees and subcommittees, as allowed under the Local Government Act. Ultimate decision-making powers always remain solely with publicly elected members on the full council.