Jan - March 2015

Hawkes Bay Today 31/3/15
Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay. Wow. Who wanted Hawke's Bay Airport renamed in the first place? The really disturbing thing about this is the apparent ease that one minority group of people, Maori, can go to the elected representatives of the larger Everybody and say: "Hey, what about ... ?" and presto, it's done! No wider discussion is sought. It is just done, long-winded, inappropriate, or otherwise, the result; just done.

And all the “representatives” then congratulate themselves on the resulting “wise” decision. Why?

Because in this timid PC society to question or oppose anything Maori is to be labelled “racist”, as this opinion will be . . . all quite Orwellian.

Whatever happened to that Greek ideal of democracy?

What will it shorten to, because shorten it will? Ahuriri Airport? Hawke’s Bay Airport?

“Ahuriri” is very local — effectively “Napier”. Napier Hawke’s Bay Airport? See anything contradictory?

If the main idea is the Maori name then more appropriately it should be Te Whanganui-aOrotuˆ Hawke’s Bay Airport. There’s a thought for the visitor.

If the Hawke’s Bay Airport really needed some renaming, then Van Ash Airport, honouring one of NZ’s great flying pioneers, a local who made a huge contribution to aviation, might have been worthy of consideration.

But then who wanted to know?

Rotorua Daily Post 31/3/1
Regarding partnership with iwi. There are two issues here. One being the partnership which no one really finds fault with, the other being the process whereby the partnership takes place.

It is with this second issue that the difficulties are occurring because of the way it is being set up.

The question is, will Maori get the best person for the job or will representation be based upon the popularity vote?

If it is based upon the popularity vote, then the partnership is doomed from the start because if Maori can’t stand as an equal and hold their own in the chambers of debate, then they will always be on the losing end and nothing will be achieved by the partnership.

I would like to balance Jean-Paul Gaston's letter (March 20) which was based mainly on unelected in-house appointments of Maori committees etc.

When special Maori representation is democratically put to the wider public the picture is vastly different to what Gaston portrays, as the polls below show:

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

79% — No to Maori seats: New Plymouth done by Taranaki Daily News 27/4/U

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.

To my knowledge there has not been one public poll conducted that has shown that New Zealand citizens favour race-based representation.

In reference to mayor Steve Chadwick bringing people onto the Rotorua Lakes Council —there should be nobody on the council being funded by rate-payers of Rotorua, unless they are actually democratically elected by the ratepayers of Rotorua.

This is unlawful. To just put people on the council because of the colour of their skin smacks of racism and cronyism, this is totally unacceptable.

Also, when Chadwick attended the Matatini Festival in Christchurch recently, did she use ratepayers' money to fund her trip, and, if so, why?

Rotorua Lakes Council,' Strategy & Partnerships group manager Jean-Paul Gaston responds: Mrs Chadwick's recent attendance at Te Matatini was to support the six local kapa haka teams competing. These duties were undertaken in her capacity as Rotorua mayor. The council covered her airfare costs and she made her own accommodation arrangements. I should also clarify that the council's Te Arawa Partnership Model proposal would not see anyone appointed on to the council, but only to committees and panels. Such appointments are not "unlawful" as claimed. They are permitted under the Local Government Act and are common practice in a number of councils around the country.

Rotorua Daily Post 30/3/15
Rotorua used to be a pleasant and happy place to live. This changed when Mrs Chadwick became Mayor. Now Adrienne Rosoman (Letter, 26 March) tells us to stop 'bashing the Mayor? Instead of reduce our debt the Mayor is dividing our community with her Te Arawa Partnership Plan. If she had organised a proper referendum everybody would have accepted the outcome, whether we liked it or not. That is democracy.

Instead we got a deceiving confusing questionnaire on the web that is blatantly biased in favour of her pre-determined Plan. Shame. And who does the analysis? The same officials that tried to sell the Plan? Why should we trust them? No transparency. We heard about council getting "legal advice" as if that should be the final word. Advice from whom? What was the advice? No, we do not know, nobody knows. It was just a phone call, absolutely no transparency. Then there is the cost of 15 persons Te Arawa Board and their seven nominees. How much per year? A million? We do not know and the Mayor did not want to discuss this with her councillors.

We, the community ought to know, we are paying for it. No transparency, it is all so deceiving. One wonders what is in it for her. Sorry Adrienne, its not "pro-democratic babble" but fed-up citizens publicly calling the Mayor to account. Try listening.

Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy & Partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, responds: Your correspondent can be assured that every submission will be provided to councillors for their consideration. Council staff will register and analyse submissions. The estimated cost of the proposal the council is supporting in principle is $250,000 per annum, or $290,000 in an election year. These figures, along with cost estimates for the other models council has also considered, are set out in the statement of proposal which is available from the council's Customer Centre and website.

Wanganui Chronicle 30/3/15
Truth is indeed the first casualty of war, Potonga, (letters, March 23), but "Photoshopping" history blurs the record even more. Yes, Pai marire literally means "good and peaceful", but its Hau Hau doctrine of beheadings and cannibalism would have taught modern-day terrorists a few lessons. And yes, Titokowaru "taught the colonials lessons in guerrilla warfare", but to believe he abandoned Tauranga-ika because "there was no honour in fighting an enemy who murdered children" is preposterous.

Having won stunning victories at Te Ngutu-O-Te-Manu and Moturoa, why would he throw it all away by abandoning an impregnable pa which even the military conceded it had no chance of taking? And why did he lose many of his followers overnight? I'll go with the explanation that he was dismissed after exposing his middle wicket to another chiefs wife, thus losing the captaincy.

The "child murder" you refer to, while inexcusable, resulted from a legitimate military operation gone wrong and was not a deliberate exercise in butchery as was carried out against children by Te Kooti on the East Coast or against the Gasgoyne family in Taranaki.

John Bryce, later Native Minister, was in charge that day but one of his Hau Hau adversaries, Kowhai Ngutu Kaka, later referred to him (Wanganui Herald, March 12,1884), as a brave enemy and afterwards a sincere friend, defending him against charges, "that he cut down women and children with glee". Bryce was given the epithet Kohuru (murderer), but Ngutu Kaka states, "We never heard that Bryce killed any of our race, big or little, male or female, until we heard mention of it in Rusden's book and none of us believed that he would have killed little children or women willingly under any circumstances." Bryce was exonerated of

Rusden's charges in a British court and awarded compensation. Ngutu Kaka concludes, "As a race we respect those who fought against us, hand to hand, but who always saved life where circumstances warranted their doing so. Customs differ and we kill prisoners as a rule."

Gisborne Herald 28/3/15
Re: Tikanga Maori still our law, March 25 letter.

Most of your readers will know that Sue Nikora is an extremist and her efforts to pervert the truth will be seen for what they are.

Such is her claim that the Williams “shrewdly mistranslated” the Treaty and the rest of that garbled paragraph.

She also manipulates the truth in talking about her ancestors not allowing their lands to be given away. In fact the Treaty provided for the exact opposite with express provision for the protection of Maori ownership. Both the Koias and Nikora choose to muddy the distinction between land ownership and sovereignty — entirely different concepts.

Her last paragraph about “the pakeha governing body . . . desperate for some sort of control over their people” is yet more rubbish at total variance with the reasons for having a Treaty and procedures in the signing process.

Your readers may be assured that what I wrote in your March 20 column was strictly accurate. I am sure that this will be accepted by the great majority, be their ancestors European, Maori or both.

Dominion Post 28/3/15
Isn't Dame Susan Devoy being racist by assuming that all golliwogs are bad just by looking at the colour of their skin? (Gollies belong in the past, says Devoy, March 24), Only those people who read the Noddy books by Enid Blyton would even know what she was on about. There is always a villain in stories. Do we think the colour of the "villain" has anything to do with their actions as a "bad guy"? How about all these do-gooders stop assuming that their perception of a golliwog is the same as that of those who own and love them?

Hawkes Bay Today 28/3/15
Leave our Hawke’s Bay Airport name alone.

The “Hawke’s Bay Airport” is our airport and a clear destination for travellers. The name does not require local Maori embellishment.

I was present at a meeting of local councils when the decision was taken to extend the runway in Napier in preference to developing the Bridge Pa airfield.

It was agreed by the councils that the name “The Hawkes Bay Airport” would represent the whole of our province.

Obviously Hastings Council was disappointed that the development was not closer to Hastings. As a point of interest, in recognition of the extra travel involved for the citizens of Hastings Air New Zealand was to provide a free bus service.
Havelock North

Meaningful consultation is needed before a final decision is made to change the name of Hawke's Bay Airport. Discussions with Man a Ahuriri and the HDC were informal and in my view amounted to an ambush with insufficient warning given to consider the ramifications such as financial implications. Most airports have aligned their names and three-letter IATA codes with city names. Mangere was changed to Auckland (AKL), Rongotai to Wellington (WLG), Harewood to Christchurch (CHC), and Momona to Dunedin (DUD) to name a few. Hawke’s Bay Airport (NPE) is actually an exception, though the brand Hawke’s Bay is well recognised.

Australia also aligns airport and city names as in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Whilst John F Kennedy Airport in New York (JFK) has been used as an example of where alignment doesn’t apply, not naming airports after their host cities generally happens only in super cities with multiple airports such as in London (Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted).

Adding the name Ahuriri to Hawke’s Bay Airport will be confusing and costly.

To people outside of Hawke’s Bay the word is unknown, except perhaps in North Otago where apparently there is another Ahuriri.

The implications with GPS navigation systems, maps, telephone directories and all manner of things have not been considered, and the name may be ignored by the aviation industry.

By all means use the name Ahuriri for the access road to the airport industrial zone, the terminal building, or even the entire area of land uplifted during the 1931 earthquake, but not the airport.

That it is Te Reo is irrelevant. Renaming the airport Ahuriri simply has no merit.
Hastings District Councillor

Rotorua Daily Post 28/3/15
The purpose of local government as set out in section 10(1)(a) d the Local Government Act 2002 is to ... enable democratic local decision making and action by and on behalf of communities. Note that "communities" is pluraL Principles of administrative law require the Rotorua Lakes Council to ad equitably and to treat all parties equally. A proper statutory approach to the act and its overriding plurall purpose would preclude giving voting rights to one community and not to others.

The question is: why does the council need a partnership arrangement with Te Arawa when we already have elected councillors who are Maori? The answer is: councillors are elected by the wider population to represent the interests of all residents. They are required to sign a declaration and swear an oath to this effect when they take office.

Under legislation councils have an obligation to facilitate Maori participation in council decision-making. The proposal currently being publicly consulted on is this council's response to meeting those requirements. More information on the council's proposal, other options that have been considered and how people can make submissions, is available from the council's Customer Centre and website — rotorualakescouncil.nz The last day for subnussions is April 17. (Abridged)
Group Manager, Strategy & Partnerships Rotorua Lakes Council

Wanganui Chronicle 28/3/15
I was there in the late 1970s when they interviewed the experts as to wily they were changing "Wh" to an "F'. Their answer — and I quote — "We need to add an 'F' to our alphabet so we can expand the vocabulary to make it a more usable language." To modernise it, plain and simple — no dialect or linguistic mystery.

Question 2: "Won't that change all the place names starting with 'Wh' Answer: "Yes, but when all the old people die off, the young ones wont remember how their ancestors pronounced them." I'll give Ken's iwi credit for not wanting or allowing their placename changed like all the others allowed to happen. I understand how and why "Wh" was changed to an "F". What I don't understand is why same people feel the need to put up smokescreens to deny it happened.

Gisborne Herald 27/3/15
The living descendents of missionaries Henry and Edward Williams are fed up with claims, like that of Sue Nikora on March 20, that they “shrewdly mistranslated article the second of te Tiriti o Waitangi”.

The treaty was drafted in English and translated into Maori.

In the first article of te Tiriti, the word “kawanatanga” was used to translate “sovereignty” and in the second article the word “rangatiratanga” translated “possession”.

The word "rangatiratanga" appears in the sentence which says "The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and the tribes and to all the people of New Zealand, the possession (tino rangatiratanga) of their lands, dwellings and all their property.”

Therefore, when Sue Nikora writes “Here pakeha, take our tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty)” she is twisting the meaning of the treaty and has blinded herself to the confirmation of ownership of lands, dwellings and all their property stated in that article.

And her claim that the treaty “agreed to the British governing their own people” and “New Zealand remain under tikanga Maori” twists the first article that says “the chiefs . . cede to the Queen of England for ever the entire Sovereignty of their country”.

Weekend Sun/Sunlive (Tauranga) 27/3/15
To the average New Zealander it would seem more fair if the Government would show as much circumspection in the pay out of the Maori land claims supported by the Waitangi Tribunal and require the same verification of these claims that they are showing in their reluctance to pay out David Baine.
B J,

Rotorua Daily Post 27/3/15
The furtive pleas of the mayor — “it is rather sad” and the deputy mayor “Councillors must have an open mind” ( Rotorua Daily Post, March 14) will fall on deaf ears in the community with the ongoing public debate regarding the contentious Te Arawa Partnership Proposal.

She, a hardened politician after many years in Parliament, and he a loyal servant, should have taken into account the ramifications of tinkering with democracy and the resultant public outcry once again.

She had ample warning last May when she endeavoured to push unelected representation through under the radar, and was completely rejected by the Rotorua community.

Yet once again, she chose to divide the councillors and, of more concern, the resultant division of the community.

That councillor Donaldson should endeavour to silence those of us who are representing the majority in our city is extremely disappointing to say the least. His threat of legal challenges pales into insignificance compared to the inaccuracies, and the total bias of the council’s efforts right now.

The public information meetings are proving to be totally one-sided and of little value, with more council staff attending than members of the public as was the case last week. (Abridged)

Taranaki Daily News 27/3/15
Regarding the article of Dion Tuuta (Comment, Daily News, March 23) I would like comment that standing for council was both challenging and rewarding, and following the by-election result, I was invited to join the committee of a prominent local organisation that is affiliated to a national federation.

Dion was correct in his writing that I appeared to be challenging the status quo, I was; but I won’t be deterred from standing again and promoting my willingness to serve my community and that Maori can do it. My thanks to those who supported me with their vote and congratulations to Harry and Roy, as well as the other candidates.
New Plymouth

Christchurch Press 26/3/15
IN A FEW WORDS (Section)
It is a stark example of the political correctness into which this country has sunk when Pak'nSave has to apologise for selling golliwogs (March 24). Try explaining that in Vanuatu, where all the little girls are black. It would be just as appropriate to stop selling band-aids because they are pink and clearly racist.

Northland Age 26/3/15
Article in the Dominion Post March 21 by Duncan Garner, ‘Reptile behaviour: Can some lizards really derail a new house?’

This all has to do with the Auckland unitary plan, put in place by our government, where Aucklanders requiring a resource consent are obliged to seek a cultural impact assessment from iwi, where you have to get approval from iwi to put up a shed, build a house or even cut down a tree, for which you could be charged up to thousands of dollars. Each iwi can come up with their own costs for their services.

This is the sort of racist rubbish that has been forced on people.

With a by-election coming up this weekend the people in the North need to send a good message to the government that you are not going to put up with this rubbish. I hope they will be hit hard in the by-election.

Mike Rashbrooke cites some European wars of the past. He could add the slaughter by Asiatics from Genghis Khan to Pol Pot, including the Japanese rape of Nanking. If he looks in the Old Testament he will find that the ancient Hebrews were adept at genocide. But all this is irrelevant. Maori society developed in isolation for many hundreds of years, and with its incessant slaughter, cannibalism and slavery, it had become pathological.

I can hear the squeals of rage from Gregory and Rashbrooke as they read this, but that is how it was.

The consequences persisted beyond 1840, and, as Paul Moon suggests, may continue today. The decline in Maori population for decades was one effect, gradually countered by inter-breeding with Europeans amongst other things.

Colonisation has become unfashionable, and it is easy to blame it for today’s problems. It had a major effect upon Maori society but the good far outweighed the bad — better food, clothing and housing for a start — but today’s grievance industry, abetted by the corrupt Waitangi Tribunal, lays all its woes upon it.

The situation is made worse by the twisted meanings for the Treaty of Waitangi preached far and wide by so-called ‘treaty trainers’ today. Now we have the Fairfax newspaper chain distributing a news-sheet to all schools on Waitangi Day with similarly false statements about the Treaty and its consequences. Perverting the minds of children is surely a despicable activity.

Until this tide turns racism will increase and Maori social statistics will only get worse.

I grieve for my country.

Wanganui Chronicle 26/3/15
Imagine what our society would be like had pakeha had not decided on the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840: no parity between tribes, no wealth, no cultural identity, little food, continuing musket wars and cannibalism that cost half the Maori population their lives between 1820 and 1840.

It seems Peter Grant (letters, March 18, 2015) has not researched Maori history prior to 1840. Over half the Maori population, men women and children had been slaughtered, taken as slaves or eaten between 1220 and 1840.

When Hongi Hika returned from England in 1820 with 800 muskets he had smuggled into New Zealand with the help of Frenchman Baron Charles de Thierry, he went on the rampage south, slaughtering thousands of his fellow countrymen. Te Rauparaha did the same in the south. The Maori, like the moa and many other New Zealand birds, were well on the way to extinction by their own hand before 1840.

Ngapuhi were the first to see the light in 1831 when they realised the southern tribes were arming themselves for utu/revenge on their northern brothers and sisters, so Ngapuhi asked the King of England to be their guardian and protector. From this, Maori gave up their territories and governments to Britain in 1840 and in return, were given the same rights and protection as the people of England under one flag and one law. While this history of New Zealand has nothing to do with pakeha Peter, we should all know what New Zealand was like for tangata Maori before the Treaty of Waitangi.
Palmerston North

Hawkes Bay Today 26/3/15
The presently-namedHawke’s Bay Airport perfectly describes that entity’s purpose and function as the region’s airport. Furthermore, the airport’s present naming is complementary to, and fully congruent with, the efforts being made by many vitally interested and hard-working people who are passionate about attracting more businesses, organisations and jobs to the Bay by promoting the region as Hawke’s Bay.

Prefacing our airport’s name with “Ahuriri” unnecessarily muddies, confuses and detracts from attempts to promote a cohesive picture of the Hawke’s Bay brand.

It’s silly and narrow to get caught up with agonising over what the name for our airport should be based on its strict locality. It’s a wider matter than the airport being just Napier’s or Ahuriri’s airport.

Napier City Council and Hastings District Council, you buckled too easily on this one and just didn’t give the matter sufficient thought. Nor did you engage in dialogue to gauge public response.
Havelock North

You have got to be kidding me, right. A noisy, bullying minority group want to bully the Napier City Council into changing the name of the HB Airport. The name HE Airport is just fine, as it describes an airport that serves Hawke's Bay. I think if the NCC went to the people and asked them if they want a name change, they might not like the answer they get. Come on NCC, grow some dangly bits and learn to say no.

Rotorua Review 25/3/15
District Council official Jean-Paul Gaston (Letters, 19 March) claimed that having Te Arawa nominees sitting on council committees "would not set a precedent as non-elected members had been appointed to council committees and sub-committees in the past".

In the case of sub-committees, true. There is an independent accountant sitting on the Audit and Risk Committee. But sub-committees only advise Council. In the case of Council Standing Committees, not true. Standing committees, such as the Strategy, Policy & Finance and Operations & Monitoring committees are the powerhouse committees of Council.

All councillors sit on these two committees which arguably, are where all of council's decisions are made.

There has never been an unelected person sitting on these committees because they would be party to councillors' electorally-mandated decision making and potentially compromise their independence to make decisions in the public interest.

There has never been an unelected person sitting on the CEO's Performance Committee. Current members are the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Standing Committee chairs.

It used to be all councillors. The addition of an iwi nominee would further intensify decisions sympathetic to

Te Arawa rather than public interests.

I'm not casting aspersions on the current CEO, but if I wanted to keep my job, this pressure could lead to a far more politicised performance — such as advocating the Te Arawa Partnership Plan, Option 2, (or Option 3, which is same without voting rights but equally undemocratic). Officials should be trustworthy experts, politically neutral and incorruptible, for the common good.

I've read the "Time to Have Your Say" leaflet distributed by Council, attended several of the information sessions and read items written by council spin doctors. Over and over it is stated that non-elected representatives have been appointed to committees in the past. Yes, that is true, but what is conveniently not mentioned is that these appointments are to small subcommittees and often for a fixed project.

Unelected representatives have NOT been and MUST NOT be appointed to the two major committees on Council, namely the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee, and the Operations and Monitoring

Committee. These committees comprise the full Council and are the engine of Council, and it is to these committees that two unelected appointees will sit if the Te Arawa Proposal is passed.

Given the make-up of Council, this will give a disproportionate level of power to an elite few. The council propaganda also states that any committee decisions "can be overturned by the MIL Council" which is also true and is easy to do when a subcommittee comprises of only a few members, but which is laughable in the instance of decisions made by the two major committees. Why would they (the full Council) overturn a decision they had just made as a committee?!

The information as it is presented sounds perfectly upfront and honest but is simplistic and I do wonder if the council is providing just enough information to endeavour to legitimise the Te Arawa Proposal. A few extra words expanding the truth would present a totally different picture with a more serious outcome for the future of Rotorua. I suggest to the council that much of their information is simply propaganda, promoted to allay people's fears. I do hope that the citizens of Rotorua can see through this stage-managed council performance.

Option 3 is a Trojan Horse. It is the Te Arawa Partnership Plan without voting rights. If citizens support Option 3, to solve the Voting Rights issue, they will be endorsing the undemocratic aspects of Option 2. Both Option 2 and Option 3 will result in unelected people being appointed to committees of Council and having undue influence compared to other interest groups. These unelected people will become insiders to decision making, have massive information and lobbying advantages, and report back to the Te Arawa Board.

These nominees and Te Arawa-affiliated councillors will caucus to serve one interest group's interests.

Citizens' rights and votes are equal. People give their personal sovereignty to elected representatives who account to them for their service in the public interest. Unelected nominees from an interest group will not account to the people but to the interest group that recommended them. Under Option 2 and Option 3, members of one interest group will cross the line from being legitimate policy advisers into becoming party to councillors' mandated decision making, compromising the independence they need to make decisions in the common good.

The Democratic Governance Model advanced by the Pro-Democracy Society limits decision making to elected representatives in everyone's interest. Citizens must make it clear in their submissions and at the hearings that they are against Option 2 and Option 3. Option 3 is a false trade-off over voting rights, and only until another ram-through decision converts it to Option 2.

Obviously the council is so financially strapped they haven't the funds for the basic resource of a dictionary. I am sure that the councillors voted to have Option 2 along with 1, 3 and 4 to go out for "Public Consultation".

It is quite obvious they do not know the definition of "consult" which consultation is derived from. The Oxford states: "seek information or advise from (people); take consideration of or do ones best for (persons feelings, the interests of)".

Now I know they all have computers but maybe they are unaware of the online free encyclopedia, Wikipedia. It even has the definition of "Public Consultation or simply Consultation is a regulatory process by which the public's input on matters affecting them is sought." Wikipedia also mentioned that this is a "two way flow of information and opinion exchange".

The meeting I attended on 16 March was very far from this definition. As an information meeting it also fell very short of that also because it only covered the Mayor's and Mr Williamson's preferred option that they are striving to get approved. Wikipedia also states: "Ineffective consultations are considered to be cosmetic consultations that were done due to obligation or 'show' and not true participatory decision making". Now Mr Williamson and the Mayor certainly is full filling that part of the definition!

All Ratepayers are paying your wages and I don't think it is wise to play foolish games and waste money on these so-called consultation meetings. My advice is to buy yourselves a dictionary so you are informed of the definition of "consultation" and consult with all ratepayers.

Hawkes Bay Today 25/3/15
Who are these faceless gnomes of bureaucratic totalitarianism who make decisions such as the renaming of Hawke’s Bay Airport to the Ahuriri Airport, without any consultation with the people of Hawke’s Bay?

The creeping paralysis of the “Maorification” of New Zealand through the promotion of ethnic fundamentalism is once again highlighted by this seemingly innocuous decision. It is a subversion of democratic principles and the rights of Hawke’s Bay citizens.

Cultural relativism or bicultural ideology has dominated the policies of successive spineless governments and their departmental institutions in New Zealand.

It is a strategy used by iwi elite and their supporters of cultural relativism, for the manipulation and control of Treaty interpretation to validate their own rhetoric of cultural exceptionalism and racial entitlement.

An isolated incident of renaming an airport is inconsequential until it is added to the special racial privilege in education, health, the unelected, unaccountable Maori committees on local bodies, 300km of foreshore and seabed under claim from Waipatiki, Mahia to the East Cape, to name a few of the trends and decisions being made to the detriment of 85 per cent of our population

This is no doubt why The National Business Review, in commenting on the Auckland Unitary plan, said it was “cooking up a Maori supremacist, neo-apartheid legal and political environment in Auckland”, which applies also to Hawke’s Bay.

Taranaki Daily News 25/3/15
Maori leader Grant Knuckey wants the NPDC to better explain the reasons for wanting a Maori ward (Daily News, March 19). It will be interesting to see how many councillors will stand beside Mayor Andrew Judd to give the reasons – as it could be political suicide.

When the council voted for a Maori ward it was passed by just one vote. Two councillors were missing: Grant Coward and Richard Handley. In retrospect, I wonder which way they would have voted? Maybe things would have turned out differently.

It is timely to remember that Maori just wanted representation and a vote on the Monitoring and Policy committee of the council. When this was rejected by council Andrew Judd, to the surprise of Maori, and without proper consultation opted for a Maori ward.

This may have been well intentioned, but it has backfired and forced the public to confront a divisive issue.

Hugh Johnson is to be congratulated for garnering 4248 signatures to force a binding referendum - even if some of the people signing it were clueless.

Daily Post Rotorua 25/3/15
Please allow me to challenge Matthew Martin’s article ( Rotorua Daily Post, March 21).

Society members recall the mayor’s promise at the December 18 council meeting that options suggested by the public would be considered during the special consultative procedure. They also recall official Gaston’s identical promise at the February 26 council meeting.

Martin’s statement that “no record can be found of that promise being made” ingratiates a procedural impropriety.

Martin reported that “claims of intimidation have been rubbished by the Rotorua Lakes Council”.

My actual statement was that “society members have felt degrees of intimidation by council officials and Te Arawa activists”. I provided Martin with three examples, none reported. Council beware; many senior women have indicated that, while they will be making submissions in favour of democratic governance, they are too afraid to speak to their submissions. Martin cited Gaston’s refutations at length, including there had been many attempts to disrupt meetings “by constantly interrupting presenters”.

The March 16 session was interrupted by many citizens angry at the bias in the presentation, but it was the exception. Since Martin never attended any of the five sessions I did, his willingness to repeat Gaston’s claims uncritically damages his credibility as an independent journalist. Cr Sturt’s reported claim that it is an “open process” is laughable.

He was one of five councillors who voted against the materials prepared for public consultations because they were so biased in favour of a predetermined outcome. The process continues to be unfair and unreasonable.

Editors Note: Our reporters have attended information sessions, and we disagree strongly with your claim that reporting Mr Gaston’s words “uncritically” in any way damages our reporter’s credibility as an independent journalist.

In response to Jean-Paul Gaston’s letter (March 20).

When I was on [Rotorua District] council (2007-2013), we had four main committees and all elected councillors were on all four. Never once, in those six years, was anyone, other than an elected member, ever a member of those committees. And the only people who ever had voting rights were elected members.

Te Arawa standing committee members did have voting rights for their committee, but they were elected by members of Te Arawa. All committees’ decisions were ratified by a full council meeting made up totally of democratically-elected members.

The Oxford Dictionary defines democracy as “the principle that all citizens have equal political rights” and while the mayor might have campaigned on providing more input for Te Arawa, there certainly did not exist pre-election a proposal that would permit undemocratic rights to any group.

A true democratic working model with Te Arawa would see more Maori representatives put themselves forward for election at the next local body elections, and like the previous election, I would be voting for them on their merits which I certainly did.

The addition of up to six unelected Te Arawa ( Rotorua Daily Post, March 20) to sit and vote on three committees and RMA hearing panels is simply not democracy as we know it but a weird, bastardised distortion of a fundamental right.

The mayor seeks to reduce the extent of the proposed changes in the Te Arawa model by stating “one or two iwi representatives to some of our committees” ( Rotorua Daily Post, March 21) instead of saying six.

Our mayor has not “consulted with the community” when the Te Arawa partnership model was formulated as reported by her ( Rotorua Daily Post, March 21) but fortunately is in the process of doing this now.

She says “we (the council) will make a decision” but she really has two options if she truly believes in democracy. One is for a referendum despite the cost (democracy is worth it) or, better still, wait until the next election and let the people of Rotorua decide — true democracy in action.

I don’t often fall off my chair, but I came pretty close when I read JP Gaston’s letter to the editor (March 20), claiming that non-elected people have been on council committees in the past.

This would appear to be a deliberate deception, intentionally misleading ratepayers into believing that having non-elected members of Te Arawa sitting on council committees is not unprecedented. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem is that not all council committees are created equally. There is an independent accountant on the audit & risk committee and a bunch of tourism operators plus one councillor were on the tourism committee, but the main standing committees of council, which are now called strategy, policy & finance and operations & monitoring (have had other names in the past) have never had people other than councillors on them.

It is on these power-house committees that it is proposed to give Te Arawa two seats. I call them “power house” because all councillors sit on these committees and they arguably are where all of the important debate, discussion and decision making is done.

There has never been an unelected person sitting on these committees because they would be party to councillors’ electorally-mandated decision making and potentially compromise their independence to make decisions in the public interest.

I really think that it’s time for Rotorua Lakes Council to stop skirting around the difference between their committees and tell it like it is for once.

Hawkes Bay Today 24/3/15
I view with a jaundiced eye the renaming of Napier airport as Ahuriri.

Apparently this was agreed to by the Napier City Council after a request from treaty claimants.

What ever happened to consultation on this issue?

I amsure that over 90 per cent would oppose such a proposal if we were given the opportunity of a vote on the subject.

We are proud of the name Napier, so-called from our British heritage and the exploits of Sir Charles Napier.

It was because of him and the hard-working settlers that bought us to where we are today.

Perhaps the airport chair, Tony Porter can provide the cost of the rebranding and the subsequent marketing budget to advise our fellow citizens where exactly in New Zealand Ahuriri airport is.

With the ongoing kowtowing to vociferous part-Maori claimants I have no doubt that next week the unelected NCC Maori Consultative Committee will demand a name change to our city.

Going on past performance I am sure our hapless council will acquiesce so as to be seen as “culturally sensitive” to the partMaori minority.
J J. H

Taranaki Daily News 24/3/15
Mary Barnard although Maori stood for the council as a Maori, as a woman, more importantly as a person of integrity. She has made it clear to all people she was standing on her principles which she stands by, to make a difference for her constituents, not just Maori. One gets the feeling that if you are Maori and you do not make the cut you have failed. To the contrary, like myself I stood because I believe I am the right person for the job, not because I am Maori.

I am of Maori and Pacific Island descent which I am proud of, I am also a Pakeha and part Chinese. So what? When you run for office people vote because they believe in you. You need to trust the people of NPDC because they vote on their feet. Good luck to both the candidates who got through even if it is for a short time.

Well done Mary, we in Waitara are proud of you, not because you are Maori and a woman. It is because you ran a race that was not going to be easy, and according to the votes you did extremely well. Your mum and dad would have been proud. Well done to every candidate.

I stand by the people in Waitara who are fighting to keep the pohutukawa trees, and the leaseholders - your fight will be harder than Mary's but do not stop. Ka whaiwhai tonu matou - a fight that never ends.

Wanganui Chronicle 23/3/15
H Norton (letters, March 9) understated the problem: racial favouritism is not a "little sickening", it is a huge, one-sided problem in this country and it gets worse every time I see another special treatment afforded to Maori. Okay, I accept that Maori are disproportionately represented in many areas, but why should 86 per cent of the country have to pay to change that sad statistic?

You cannot deny the existence of racially preferential, publicly funded organisations specifically targeting Maori health, Maori education and other areas such as "equality" in the workplace. Don't get me going on the subject of "customary rights".

Laws must encompass the entire population, not just 14 per cent who manage to claim a degree of Maori heritage, how-ever slight. I strongly suggest you take a hard look at your interpretations of the words "racial" and "racist" as you are obviously unaware of the difference.

I admit to making racial statements, as that is true when making comments pertaining to another race. However, I am not "racist", because I have no pre-judice against another race (in this case Maori). There is a distinct difference, and unfortunately it seems that some people with a smidgen of Maori blood see any detrimental comment as racist because it is something they think can be exploited.

Some of the happiest times of my life have been sitting around a smouldering hangi pit with a feed in one hand, a beer can in the other and trying to remember the words of Ten Guitars as my Maori soldiers passed the guitar from hand to hand.

There was no racialism then, so why is it there now? The only reason I can see is that someone saw a dollar to be made.
Wanganui (edited)

Daily Post Rotorua 23/3/15
In reply to the column from Darrin Walsh chief executive Rotorua Chamber of Commerce (March 19) who states that local economy and business confidence is high and the main driver is the Rotorua Lakes Council.

He also mentioned the email from the deputy mayor Dave Donaldson that “was leaked” to the press last Saturday, warning the four councillors, who are actually doing their jobs “representing the whole community”, that they are putting at risk the fact that Maori TV could come to Rotorua. I am on a daily basis dealing with local businesses and I try to buy everything I need in Rotorua. What I see is over 80 empty shops in the CBD, some days the CBD is like a ghost town, council’s pet project the “Green Corridor” is taking away over 70 carparking spaces from the CBD and what I hear from local businesses is the opposite of what Mr Walsh and the Lakes Council spin doctors are telling us.

Hamilton, Tauranga and Taupo are all growing and doing well. But unfortunately for Rotorua, Steve Chadwick, her supporting councillors and council senior management are slamming through their own agenda without taking the whole community with them. This has led us to the present divisive, volatile and anti-democratic situation that they created by their actions, which were not inclusive and has growing numbers of Rotorua’s people up in arms. Until these issues are settled in a democratic manner, Rotorua is not the best place for Maori TV to relocate.

March issue Grey Power national magazine
It may interest Grey Power members to know that here, in Rotorua, where the AGM is soon to be held, we are facing a very controversial proposal.

It could become a national issue for Grey Power members and for all citizens who believe in democracy. Especially the young who will inherit this problem and won't thank us, if the proposed change becomes more widely implemented.

In essence we have a battle with the Rotorua District Council that is hell-bent on giving unelected Te Arawa citizens seats on influential Council Committees so that they have both speaking and voting rights. They will be backed by a new Te Arawa Board to whom they will account, with a supportive bureaucracy, all at our ratepayers' expense.

There are those of us who see this as a negation of democracy that is not in the public interest. We feel that, if this proposal is accepted then, as the Victorian British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said: "A precedent embalms a principle".

We do not need this kind of precedent becoming embedded for the future of race relations in this country. When you embalm a body (in this case, democracy) it is because it is dead and no amount of political spin doctoring will restore it to life. To allow it to happen will bear out just what Disraeli said all those years ago.

Accordingly, many citizens, including four of the 12 elected members of the Rotorua Council, have formed the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society to try and counteract this undemocratic bid for power by a few ambitious members of Te Arawa. We do not want to see democracy compromised by what we regard as unethical practices.

As senior citizens it would be hoped that we can leave the country in a united state rather than one run by an unelected minority.

Ethnocracy is the unfamiliar term for government by an ethnic group.

In conclusion, while nobody wants to deny Maori or anyone else their democratic rights, no interest group has the right to expect to be in such a privileged position although unelected and to be given disproportionate power. What is being attempted in Rotorua today may soon become the norm country wide if it is not stopped now.

Daily Post Rotorua 21/3/15
HISTORY LESSON When will we learn from history or from the current situation in the world at the present time. When one section of the community is given rights and privileges over and above those of another section of the community, it eventually leads to civil war. It won't happen immediately but it will happen. Do the current councillors want their names recorded in history as the ones responsible for starting the trend that brings New Zealand to civil war?

I was taught to do my best to respect the opinion of other men, the circumstances of other men and the ambitions of other men. I was taught that other men were my equal. and that in a democracy none were ever stronger nor weaker than me.

The Te Arawa proposal threatens this guarantee. It will allow my neighbour, by right of birth, to have one more vote than mine. It has about it the look of privilege. Te Arawa have asked that this extra strength be given to them with the Te Arawa partnership proposaL This need for strength has naturally divided our community. Some in Te Arawa claim that this strength is needed in law in order to facilitate their participation in council decision making processes.

Could I suggest that Te Arawa do not need this privilege; Te Arawa are as strong as an ox and with their combined power and strength do not need any rights bestowed by privilege. It would be a foolish council that did not take notice of their desires. Our council will always be ready to facilitate Te Arawa participation in our city. Their proposal is admirable, except for the divisive voting rights that it contains. I suggest that if the proposal did not contain these voting rights, the cause of division would be removed and the proposal would be welcomed and embraced by the community, a community that respects the opinion of Te Arawa, the circumstances of Te Arawa, and the ambitions of Te Arawa. Te Arawa would go forward and achieve their aims, because they are Te Arawa. lAbridgedi

What an appalling conclusion Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson has arrived at. Why does he have to put commercial interests before people's democratic rights? I would remind him that he was elected under a democratic system and as such it is his first duty to defend it against any group wanting to undermine it, such as this Te Arawa proposal. When you start putting aside democracy just to placate a minority no matter who they are, then it is good night freedom.

History is full of such examples, as the people affected have found to their ultimate cost. We don't want that here. Nobody, no matter who they are, has a right to special privilege under the law and nor should they.

What that is it going to take for people like councillor Donaldson to accept this simple concept of one man, one vote. No more, no less. I would suggest instead of being scared off by a group opposing special rights that he tells them (Maori Television) if that's what they think then stay in Auckland where they are now. But if they can accept the democratic principal d one man, one vote well, yes, they are welcome. Please Mr Donaldson stop scaremongering and trying to twist the issue into one of race when it is not and is not going to be.
A.J. M

The recent attempt by the Pro-Te Arawa faction of the Rotorua Lakes Council to blackmail the Pro-Democracy faction into silence by saying they could jeopardise efforts to have Maori Television relocated to Rotorua must be a godsend for the Pro-Democracy faction.

Whilst Paora Maxwell, CEO of Maori Television, has never commented publicly on either issue, the relationship between him and Trevor Maxwell of the Pro-Te Arawa faction is undeniable. I have no issue with equal Maori and, read into that, Te Arawa involvement in council decision making.

They could certainty not do worse than the shambles the previous lot, read into that most of the present, in the state they left the district. Even the Pro-Democracy group are not at odds with that. It is the issue of appointments that is the issue They are inherently dangerous in that they always lead to the appointment of mates or relatives of the dominant faction.

This is only natural because the dominant faction wants to ensure its survival This current standoff is all about power; those who have it don't want to share it with those who crave it. This stand off could easily be resolved by a return to a system similar to wards. There could be a population-based balance of seats which would ensure a new 50)50 race representation and it should not matter whether Maori have a low voting turnout or not. The result would be the outcome of a democratic system.

If a person is elected in as mayor of a city I presume they are sworn in to give allegiance and to be answerable to that city and its ratepayers. I would imagine that would mean governing to the best of their ability, always with good intent and according to the democratic principles required by the Local Government Act.

This of course means that no one group would be given preference over any other. All would be treated fairly and equally. Whoever the mayor, if a pawn elected by the people, sides with any proposal that can and will affect the smooth running of our city, means that they have violated their sworn allegiance and should be removed from office immediately.

Our current mayor (I say current as I just can't see her in the position, come the next elections) should be at least censured for her blatantly arrogant attitude to fellow councillors who oppose the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal. I would be happy to see a friendly and ongoing connection between council and Te Arawa, and any other interest groups, but I am definitely against free riding on to council committees with full voting rights and all that goes with it. It is wrong for a democratically elected mayor and some councillors to abuse their oaths by trying to water down democratic governance.
J. F

Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy & Partnerships group manager. Jean-Paul Gaston responds: The Local Government Act requires councils to facilitate Maori participation in their decision-making processes. To help meet their legal obligations other councils across the country already have mechanisms in place for supporting Maori participation in council decision-making processes.

Gisborne Herald 20/3/15
GREETINGS to the Koia brothers! (Letters March 14 and 17.) They have their pet theories, but both are wrong.

Henry and Edward Williams translated Hobson’s final draft treaty of 4th February 1840 to the Ngapuhi dialect “as closely as the idiom of the language would admit” (Henry’s words).

Only this version in Maori was presented at signing meetings, Hobson’s emissaries under his orders “not to allow any one to sign until he fully understood it”.

At Waitangi both English and Maori texts were read out and nobody said their meanings differed — confirmed in 2000 by elder Graham Rankin.

East Coast emissaries were Henry’s missionary brother William, son Henry and George Clarke the younger. They were all fluent in Maori and they would have followed their instructions faithfully. Thirty-nine chiefs signed including David Rangikatia, Te Kauruoterangi and Kauruoterangi — Koia ancestors apparently.

Hobson made it clear that under British law, protection could be offered to New Zealand only by ceding sovereignty. This was the provision of Article first.

Jason’s talk of “a limited governorship” is nonsense. With no classic Maori word for “sovereignty” (showing how vague the concept had been) the Williams chose the missionary-coined word “kawanatanga”. Its derivation is obvious but derivation is not the same as translation — witness “kete wananga” meaning “library”, derived from “wisdom basket”.

At Waitangi and Hokianga, where the chiefs’ words were recorded, plainly they knew that by signing they became subordinate to the Governor.

Jason and Judge Fenton confuse sovereignty with land ownership. Hobson, by proclamation on 30th January, recognised Maori land ownership and said that pre-Treaty sales required examination before confirmation.

Article second guaranteed the right of property ownership — hitherto only by force of arms. See Hongi Hika’s 1820 definition of “taonga” — “property procured by the spear”. With no adequate Maori word, the Williams chose the missionary-coined “tino rangatiratanga” for “possession”.

More than that: the guarantee was to “tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”. If that does not mean “all the people of New Zealand” in the East Cast dialect, the Koias will tell us what it does mean.

Article third granted full rights as British subjects to all Maori — “tangata Maori, katoa o Nu Tirani” — including slaves who had no rights at all beforehand. Note the distinction, though some Treaty twisters try to claim Article second means the same. It was unnecessary to include existing British subjects and foreigners’ status was not changed. This was a generous gift, unique then in colonial history.

It is time for all New Zealanders to recognise that Waitangi Tribunal reports are worthless as honest assessments of situations. Witness their support against all the contemporary evidence for the spurious Ngapuhi claim that they did not cede sovereignty and for the Ngai Tahu claim, which Alan Everton (and others) found to be “a swindle”.

The great thing about the Treaty was that it guaranteed equality to everyone — no special rights to Maori or anybody else. Of course that change took some time and on occasions Maori have had greater rights than the settlers. Nobody should be trying today to alter the Treaty provisions or the blessing of democracy to the advantage of any special interest group, racial or otherwise.

There will not have been much evidence of government activities on the East Coast in 1855 but if the Koias allow the scales to drop from their eyes they will see that they enjoy today many benefits of the civilisation the British bestowed on New Zealand.

The Treaty of Waitangi is not, as some say, “a living document” but a deal done in 1840. It is time now to move on together as New Zealanders.

Northland Age 19/3/15
Re Messrs Gregory and Rashbrooke’s attack on Bruce Moon (letters, March 10). Gregory’s nonsense is not worthy of a reply. Mr Rashbrooke says that people of so-called ‘wrecker ilk’ cherrypick history events etc, Rashbrooke himself selectively starts his history lesson midway through the Parihaka saga with a stupid rental scenario?

At the time of the Treaty of Waitangi there were only about 150 Maori left in the whole of Taranaki due to invading Waikato tribes in the preceding years. In 1840 the authorities begun purchasing land in Taranaki from very willing Maori sellers. Due to the peace which flowed from the Treaty of Waitangi, Taranaki Maori returned in 1841 to claim land that was forfeited when conquered by the Waikato tribes.

There were squabbles between Maori of who owned the land which in many cases resulted in settlers paying many times over to satisfy conflicting Maori claims.

Maori armed rebellion against the Crown in 1860-61 saw numerous settler families murdered and their houses and barns burned to the ground in the mayhem.

Rebelling Maori were warned that their land would be confiscated and this did eventuate. Rashbrooke’s ‘hero’ Te Whiti now comes on the scene (1864), and for 14 years he squatted on the above confiscated land which now legally belonged to the Crown.

During this time Te Whiti and his followers created havoc in the surrounding Taranaki area and harboured known criminals.

In 1881, after diplomatic efforts had failed to resolve to stand off, Parihaka was reclaimed by the Crown without bloodshed.

A stockpile of around 250 weapons, including breechloaders, Enfields, revolvers and a variety of ammunition were discovered in this ‘republic of peace.” A possible reason these were not used in the reclaiming was due to the overwhelming size of the Crown forces.

I say to Bruce Moon: “The only people that are mad at you speaking the truth are those that are living a lie, keep speaking it” (Unknown).

Daily Post Rotorua 19/3/15
I have as a result of a letter penned by the Hamurana and Awahou Ratepayer and Residents Association ( Rotorua Daily Post, January 31) which expressed opposition to the Te Arawa Option 2 as it stands, received copies of two letters that were sent to Mayor Steve Chadwick.

One from a local iwi trust and the other from a wellknown iwi local. These letters stated I had no right to intend joining the Rotorua Pro Democracy Society — something I have never alluded to, either verbally or in writing. However if I did, I believe it would be my right as a citizen of New Zealand to do so, after all we supposedly live in a country where there is freedom of choice.

It was also stated in the letter that I and my committee for HARRA, wrote to the editor, were against Te Arawa involvement with council on certain committees. That was definitely not stated — what was clearly said was that HARRA were against Option 2 as put forward by Arapeta Tahana at the Rotorua Lakes Council full council meeting in December 2014 where Te Arawa representatives put forward by iwi would have full voting rights. We are and were not against the continued Te Arawa input into matters pertaining to the future of Rotorua development — input that is in an advisory capacity only.

It would appear that the Rotorua Lakes Council are trying to set a very dangerous precedent which is tending to favour selected groups over others. This proposal is totally against the principles of democracy and is, in fact. pointing to the George Orwell Animal Farm situation — “All men are equal but some are more equal than others.” I and many others wait for democracy to prevail. [abridged]

Jean-Paul Gaston, Rotorua Lakes Council strategy & partnerships group manager responds:
The proposal for two Te Arawa representatives to sit on certain council committees, alongside the council’s 13 elected members, would not set any precedent as non-elected members have been appointed to council committees and subcommittees in the past.

Taranaki Daily News 19/3/15
Mike Nightingale (letters, March 13) seems woefully ignorant of the fact that any Maori initiatives gained since the 70s have never been changed back if found to be not working – one can just imagine the hikoi and cries of racism.

He makes another error in confusing ethnicity with citizenship in governance.

Democracy is based on a simple principle. All citizens have the same legal rights and responsibilities, and most importantly, must be treated the same by the law. This principle has allowed Western countries to flourish.

Within any society, there will be subgroups sharing similar views and interests, be those cultural, religious, ethnic, social or sports. But this does not entitle them to any special legal privileges. No good can come from giving unequal and unfair voting rights to unelected and unaccountable self interest groups. For proof, just look around the world. Such power-hungry goings on always end in terrible destruction.

Therefore, governance and property rights must be based on equality - the same rules to apply to all citizens equally. And one vote per person.

There must be no preferment for anyone, based on ethnicity, culture or religion - except for the basic right of freedom of expression and belief.

Matters of culture and governance must be kept entirely separate. New Zealanders must resist this undemocratic racial takeover of our local governments.

Hawkes Bay Today 19/3/15
You reported recently that a poll taken by random phone selection revealed a majority of Hawkes Bay residents would vote against amalgamation of the five councils and the question that was asked to get the answer.

The problem with the question was that it had a number of issues within it, not the least significant being that there would be a Maori group established. Now being totally against any form of racism as we are expected to be, if I had been asked, I would have said no; not because I am necessarily against amalgamation (although my enthusiasm is diminishing by the day as we are fed dubious information and as one council, using ratepayers' money, is fighting another council in the Environment Court over the granting of consent to subdivide land) but because of the racist proposal that only Maori get to have a board.

Now if the proposal was to establish a pakeha-only board as well, that would make it a level playing field but because of the racist approach to Maori only, I cannot agree with the amalgamation proposal and never will.

Rotorua Reveiw 18/3/15
I have been reading with great interest all the letters on Mayor Chadwick’s plan to have un-elected Te Arawa Board appointees given Council Committee places with voting rights.

I have also been reading what is happening in New Plymouth, where Mayor Judd suddenly tried to force a Maori Ward on the council. Like Mayor Chadwick, Judd campaigned to put past council blunders to right and then, out of the blue, introduced a Maori Ward. Please note that I attended Mayor Chadwick’s pre-election meetings and never once heard her mention a Te Arawa Partnership Plan.

The Local Government and Resource Management Acts already require councils to consult with Maori in decision-making processes. Some might say that this gives Maori superior status to others in the community because your race defines your right to have more say than fellow Kiwis.

Happily, the people of New Plymouth are taking personal responsibility for the direction that their council is moving towards. A petition was raised (this requires 5 per cent of ratepayers’ signatures), forcing the Mayor to agree to hold a referendum, binding for six years.

I have looked at the Te Arawa Partnership Plan, Option 2, which is clearly undemocratic, according rights and privileges to one iwi because it doesn’t include ALL local Maori. I also looked at a counter-proposal called the Democratic Governance Model.

This latter model clearly gives ALL Maori in our community the ability to have their say in decision-making processes through a Maori Policy Advisory Board, without according them disproportionate power and undemocratic voting rights. Their input is balanced by input from a Community Policy Advisory Board, input from individuals and smaller interest groups, and expert official advice.

I think ALL Rotorua Ratepayers should be aware of this alternative Democratic Model at rotoruaprodemocracy.nz and to make a submission to protect our democracy at the council website or email, fax or write to the council.

In order to make a right decision it is normal practice for a business to hire an expert adviser. Such an adviser does his job and disappears. The management then decides what to accept or not. If the council wants advice on any issue from the Te Arawa board, then so be it.

But surely, just one person ought to be capable to convey such advice. But no, the council wants seven advisers. They all present the one view of the Te Arawa board, so they all will be repeating one another. But wait, there is more: The council wants to put these advisers permanently on the payroll, funded by us, the ratepayers. But wait, there is more, and this is unheard of, ‘‘option no. 2’’ gives these seven people the power to vote. So Te Arawa gets seven votes to promote their own ideas. It is the most undemocratic thing one can think of.

There goes our democracy, with the council’s ‘‘option no. 2’’ we have a dictatorship.

In its advertising promoting the Te Arawa Partnership Model, Council states that iwi partnering with local government is required under ‘‘current legislation’’. The principal Act governing the activities of Council is the Local Government Act. In addition, Council is required to administer aspects of the Resource Management Act. Neither of these Acts makes reference to ‘‘partnering’’ or ‘‘partnership’’ in an iwi context. The proposed model is not a requirement of ‘‘current legislation’’, but instead, is the consequence of ideological positioning of some on Council

The advertising also suggests that the need for a partnership arises from a recent decision of the Environment Court. While commenting on the need for Council to improve its consultation processes with Maori, the court made no suggestion about a partnership. The court reported administrative shortcomings on the part of Council (with respect to consultation) and that it was these failings that required attention. The court made no suggestion, direct or indirect, that Council needed to effectively partner with Maori. There is indeed a need for improved consultation with Maori (and given recent decisions of Council, with the public at large), but this does not extend to anything like a

partnership. Council should therefore describe the proposal for what it is and not, as it has been concocted by council spin doctors on behalf of the ideologues in Council. This includes the so-called information about the proposal currently set out on the council's website which is full of inaccuracies and half-truths.

The people of Rotorua need to realise that the proposal, and Council support of it, is a flagrant abuse of both democratic principles and the law. Each of us should lodge a submission opposing the proposal, to avoid inappropriate power being granted to a single interest group, and to ensure that all decisions of Council are made by those who we, the people, elect to govern on our behalf.

It seems to me that we will have Te Arawa representatives on the Strategic Policy & Finance Committee and the Operating & Monitoring Committee. My question is: Are these people (Te Arawa representatives) going to be paid for the time they spend on these committees, and if so where is this money going to come from? Are our Mayor and councillors going to take a pay cut so that the pool of money allocated for their honorariums include these unelected people or are my rates going to be increased to cover the cost?

Taranaki Daily News 16/3/15
Mike Nightingale’s letter (March 13) claims the recent NPDC byelection illustrates how difficult it is for Maori candidates to get elected under the current system. And he cites Bev Gibson and Colleen Tuuta as examples of Maori candidates who fell well short of getting elected. But he conveniently forgets to mention that Maori candidate Mary Barnard – who campaigned against Maori wards and fairness to all – was only 800 votes short of getting elected behind high profile career politician Harry Duynhoven.

Daily Post Rotorua 14/3/15
Rotorua District Council’s website inviting feedback on the Te Arawa Partnership Model offers two feedback forms.

The first, for hand-written feedback, includes the question ‘‘Is there another option or arrangement that you prefer and why?’’ The second, for online feedback, does not include this question.

Both feedback forms are blatantly biased in favour of the Te Arawa Partnership Model. Only the first feedback form asks for views on other options (presumably Options 1, 3 and 4), despite being promised to councillors and the public by the mayor on December 18.

Citizens are encouraged to make the point in their submissions that they resent loaded questions favouring the Te Arawa Partnership Model, the use of different forms, not being asked about other options, and that only the written feedback forms allow respondents to call for the Democratic Governance Model promoted by the Pro-Democracy Society.

Councillors are encouraged to think about this use of partisan and unreliable methods by officials and, given the absence of independent monitoring of their analysis, the validity of data and recommendations they offer in their report.

Rotorua Rotorua Lakes Council responds: We apologise for the inadvertent omission of one question on the online submission form. This has already been corrected. Submitters are welcome to identify any other alternatives they would like the council to consider. The last day for submissions is April 17.

Te Arawa is not the only iwi in Rotorua. In fact there are 13. If we are so unfortunate that it comes to pass that Te Arawa can appoint seven unelected people on the council, then the other dozen iwi will have the same right. Imagine, 13 times seven gets us another 91 councillors plus the present 12 that makes a total of 103 councillors.

The estimated extra cost to ratepayers would be well over two million annually, our rates would double and the council building would be too small to have their meetings. Funny? For sure. At the same time this is pure logic. How frightening and what an awful thought.

These people come in without being democratically elected, and we are lumbered with them, whether they are up to it or not. At the council meeting the mayor did not want to discuss cost. That was obvious, it would kill the whole idea.

Rotorua Lakes Council responds: The proposal the council is currently publicly consulting on would see the establishment of a single board outside of the council to represent the interests of all Maori in Rotorua — not 13 boards. The two Te Arawa representatives proposed for appointment by the council onto two main committees, would not become councillors. We encourage your correspondent and other residents to look at the details of the proposal and to make submissions with their views. Information is available from the council Customer Centre and online at rotorualakescouncil.nz

I was appalled to hear the mayor claiming to have campaigned on the proposal to give Te Arawa nominees a vote in council committee decisions without being elected to the council. I know she did not!

There was the need for a "closer relationship" mentioned but never a suggestion that unelected people would be appointed by a Te Arawa Board to council committees and have a vote.

Te Arawa has always been in an advisory capacity to council decision making processes. That should continue because local iwi and other sub groups in our community need to have the same relationship with the council. a policy advisory relationship.

However that is not the same as the iwi, or any other interest group, suggesting that it should have voting rights in any decision making. That is the role of mandated representatives who must remain fully accountable to the people.

If our councillors bend to this undemocratic proposal. surely Te Arawa is putting itself in the position of a spoilt child who cannot stand on its own feet but has to have the help of an indulgent parent. If voting rights is what they want, let Te Arawa put its best people up for election to the council and have its influence legitimately placed at the council table, not underhandedly slipping in through the hack door.

Rotorua Lakes Council responds: The council's proposal is to have two Te Arawa representatives sitting alongside 13 other elected members on the council's two main committees. Any decision of a council committee can be overturned by a majority of the 12 publicly elected councillors and the mayor, at a full council meeting. We encourage residents to share their views by making submissions by April 17.

Wanganui Chronicle 14/3/15
Re: Don Williams letter of March 10: Don is so right - Pakaitore was never at Moutua Gardens, it is all made up just to justify occupying it. It is one of many things where our history has been rewritten just to please certain people.

I have !mown for many years that it was not at Moutua Gardens and so did the older Maori leaders. People are quiet happy to be sucked into this rubbish.

The known truth is that it was between the town bridge and the Union Boat Club site and was washed away in a great flood that we had. If you told a tie often enough, it becomes the truth to many people. You also have a racial council who don't want to know the truth and will go along with any rubbish.

Potanga Neilson, I am sick of reading your opinions. Every day you sit on your high horse pointing the finger at every other ethnicity for your problems. You obviously need to get a hobby other than starting racial segregation as you clearly have too much time on your hands. Time to move on and move forward and live as equals in Wanganui.

Gisborne Herald 13/3/15
Jason Koia (Gisborne Herald, March 11, 2015) has twisted ideas about the Treaty of Waitangi.

There is only one Treaty, in Maori, and only fair copies of it were intended for signature. The sole exception was when a purported “English version” was used to accommodate an overflow of signatures at Waikato Heads.

By signing the Treaty, Chiefs ceded sovereignty to the Queen completely and forever; all Maori were granted the full rights of the people of England, a very generous provision; and the property rights of all New Zealanders were affirmed. Apart from a provision for sale of land, soon repealed, that is all, repeat all, that was agreed in the Treaty.

Any “pre-Treaty rights” to such things as water were ceded and thereafter English common law applied. Mr Koia’s “inherent rights guaranteed exclusively to Maori” are something from his imagination. He is the myth-maker.

The written evidence makes it clear beyond any shadow of doubt that the chiefs at Waitangi and Hokianga knew this and signed readily. The recent claim of the Waitangi Tribunal that they did not cede sovereignty is false. A Jeff Hapuku claimed recently that the Hawke’s Bay chief Hapuku was forced to sign at gunpoint — that is also untrue.

So plenty of false statements circulate about the Treaty.

Hobson’s emissaries had strict instructions to explain fully the provisions of the Treaty so that the chiefs understood it. When East Coast chiefs signed the Treaty, as they did freely, they accepted the terms of the agreement.

If Jason Koia has solid written evidence from 1840 that the East Coast chiefs did not believe they were ceding sovereignty, let him produce it. Anything else is worthless hearsay.

Northland Age 12/3/15
Letters by Gregory and Rashbrooke in the Age on March 10, full of personal abuse, are devoid of any reasonable reply to me, showing clearly that they have none.

Gregory says correctly that his beloved Wakaminenga did not meet on Treaty day. It probably never met anywhere. His absurd statement that “no rangatira signed the Treaty” is stark evidence of the extent of his delusions. Does he seriously believe that Waka Nene and Patuone, to name just two, were not rangatira or even higher grades of chief?

He derides the “infallibility of Google” seemingly unable to understand that it is merely a method to access documents such as the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand and History And Traditions Of The Maori Of The West Coast, North Island Of New Zealand, Prior To 1840.

It is clearly useless to suggest that Gregory consult such records but other readers may care to do so and inform themselves better.

Rashbrooke is similarly deluded in talking about our “different assessments . . . of European and Maori cultures” which he cannot distinguish from the historical material which I present.

I do not “cherry-pick” as he claims but one cannot cover everything in a letter or short article. Thus I stick to history and refrain from opinion.

Clearly he worships the Parihaka cult and its sham pacifist Te W’iti but unlike Rashbrooke who does not want to know, other readers will find Bolton’s well-documented account (Google “Kerry Bolton Parihaka”) both objective and rigorous.

On he goes with something from his own imagination about renting land for 20 years. Really! Les Still suggested that all this be “given a bone”. That is fine with me but clearly this pair do not know when or how to keep their mouths shut.

Daily Post Rotorua 12/3/15
In reply to your reporter Matthew Martin's editorial (February 28), I read this editorial and a famous quote from Edmund Burke came to mind,"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing".

I found Matthew's editorial to be biased, demeaning, ill informed and probably the most discriminatory editorial I have read in the Rotorua Daily Post. Which surprised me, I have always found that the Rotorua Daily Post showed no bias and was a great community paper for all of us. Another man's "grey haired, Pakeha and middle class people with D badges is another man’s freedom fighter”.

These people are not anti-Te Arawa or anti-Maori, but they are pro-Rotorua, pro-democracy, pro-good governance, as ratepayers expect to get a say in what happens in Rotorua, and include people from all walks of life, including Te Arawa.

They value Te Arawa’s advice, knowledge and goodwill, however they believe that members on council committees, with voting rights, should be democratically elected people. We cannot afford to have a “council within a council”, which Option Two of the Te Arawa Iwi Proposal is proposing and we should be looking at other options that would be more democratic and inclusive of the whole community. “He iwi tahi tatou”, “We are now one people”.

In Te Ururoa Flavell's article (March 3) I detected the implication of a "right" due to Te Arawa given its footprint and history "all over Rotorua". The same can be said for so many other groups who have contributed to make Rotorua what it is today. Read Don Stafford’s book.

He implied that the democracy movement simply does not want Maori at the decision making table. “So what is wrong with Maori at the table”, he asked. He then answers his own question by saying “Nothing!” That question and answer are so true.

The Rotorua Council has four democratically elected Maori councillors whose knowledge and expertise contribute to the functioning of council. They sit on committees just as there are Select Committees in Government on which MPs sit, as Te Ururoa would know.

Just as, in an advisory capacity, the Government uses the expertise of specialists outside government, some of whom offer alternate views, so our council should, in fact must. Te Arawa is imminently able to contribute valuable advice in its areas of its expertise. This is the way forward for Rotorua, but just as in national Government, again as Te Ururoa would know, those advisory roles should not come with voting rights, to prevent undue influence.

The consultation process with Te Arawa, a key sector of our community, definitely needs reform but bulldozing through a biased and inherently flawed partnership plan is not the best way to effect this for the long term future of our district.

Rotorua Lakes Council responds:
The current consultation process on the council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model proposal is intended to seek the community’s views on that proposal, or on other alternatives. The council welcomes submissions and urges people to use this consultation opportunity to share their views.

The Northern Advocate 12/315
Speculations about the Treaty of Waitangi should be settled once and for all by looking at the evidence of the day recorded carefully by Colenso, which was ignored by the Waitangi Tribunal in reaching its conclusion (that Maori never ceded sovereignty).

Chiefs who opposed the treaty initially knew full well that by signing they would become subordinate to the governor and hence to the Queen. Thus Te Kemara: "The Governor to be up and Te Kemara down — Governor high up, up, up, and Te Kemara down low, small, a worm, a crawler — no, no, no." And Kawiti: "I, even I, Kawiti, must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Governor said 'No' ." Again, Tareha: "You high, and I, Tareha, the great chief of the Ngapuhi tribes, low. No, no." Nevertheless, all three of these signed the Treaty within a few days.

The only misunderstanding arose because French missionaries had said that by signing, the chiefs would become slaves whereas the exact opposite was the truth. The wording of the treaty made it clear that slavery would be abolished. Sovereignty was ceded.

The Waitangi Tribunal has betrayed all the people of New Zealand by blatantly ignoring the truth.

Dominion Post 12/3/15
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd had two ways of bringing a ‘‘tangata whenua voice and an understanding of Te Ao Maori to the main table’’: a separate Maori ward, or by adopting single transferable voting (STV) ( The case for a Maori ward , March 10).

Predictably, he chose the far less democratic option.

Maori make up 15 per cent of the council’s population.

If STV were adopted, Maori voters would have sufficient voting strength to elect one of 14 councillors at-large (or to elect one representative in the 10-seat city ward), on their own terms, with incumbent councillor Howie Tamati still elected primarily by non-Maori-roll voters.

By corralling Maori-roll voters into a separate ward, Judd will ensure that the separately elected Maori councillor will be elected on far fewer votes than his or her council colleagues.

That is because there will be little incentive for Maori-roll voters to vote – their representation will be guaranteed whether they vote or not.

And, as we have seen in the Bay of Plenty, under FPP conditions, that councillor will be returned unopposed more often than not, with Maori-roll voters therefore being effectively disenfranchised at most future elections.

This is a bad proposal that deserves to be rejected by New Plymouth voters.

New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd is still pushing his idea of having a Maori ward.

At least now the voters of New Plymouth can have their say, now that a referendum is to be held, no thanks to Judd. He has a problem understanding what separatism is. Part of it means separate wards or electorates for different groups or races.

People like Judd are living in a PC dream world, where the Treaty is the most important document ever written. Where the idea that all humans are equal is corrupted, so that a group that makes up 10 to 15 per cent of the population should be given 50 per cent of the say.

The meaning of racism is, ‘‘treating people differently because of their race’’ . If Judd cannot understand this, then how can he be fit to be a mayor in any city in New Zealand, let alone New Plymouth?

He is not. Sadly he is not alone. We live in an age where this corrupt form of thinking is all the rage.

Maori are New Zealand citizens and as such have the same rights as other Kiwis. No more, no less.
Kingston [abridged]

Rotorua Review 11/3/15
As I see it, there are rules/laws that govern everything we do.

Why? To keep us safe and out of trouble. Just because they were written by wise old sages many years ago doesn’t make them less useful or needful.

If the Mayor and some of the yes men don’t understand that, by letting people in the backdoor, they deserve a vote of no confidence.

People who try to enter this way are usually mischievous.

In the proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model available to the public, it states that the council is required by law to facilitate Maori participation in council decision-making processes . . . and ‘‘to build iwi capacity capability to partner with local government’’. This is necessary and welcomed, is in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 and incorporates ALL iwi. Absolutely nowhere in the Act does it state that a specific iwi should be given preferred status over another.

Te Arawa is not the only iwi identified in Rotorua. In the last census (2013) approx 60 per cent of the Rotorua Maori population affiliated with tribes other than Te Arawa. Where in the council’s preferred proposal do these iwi get the opportunity to ‘‘participate in council decision-making processes’’? Nowhere.

To me this proposal is a pet project completely biased in favour of Te Arawa and one has to wonder, apart from Te Arawa receiving inordinate power, what other motives or under-thecounter dealings are involved.

Of further concern is the huge cost of implementing and maintaining this model.

It has cost enough already. The council has mentioned a figure of ‘‘about $300,000’’ but I seriously believe that this is a gross underestimate given the council has recently admitted to a budget blowout, even after pruning jobs and supposedly costs after the last local body elections. We don’t need the budget blowing out further on a pet project that is going to divide the community. It's our money as ratepayers that will be spent. Funny how it's easy to spend other people's money. As this drama unfolds, one has to wonder if a TV programme could be based around it!.

The Council’s Online Submission Form is corrupted. The Mayor promised public consultations about Options 1-4 and to collect other options. The Submission Form is, instead, biased in favour of the Te Arawa Partnership Plan and a shabby attempt to predetermine the outcome. But there are ways of defeating this trickery.

The first question asks if you want to speak about your submission to councillors. Say YES so councillors hear your views directly. Why? Officials have a very poor track record and there will be no independent scrutiny of their analysis of submissions.

The second question is a trap; ‘Do you support in principle the intention to effectively partner with Te Arawa?’ Please answer NO and explain that you don’t want unelected people on council committees making decisions, disproportionate power going to any interest group, and you want everyone to be able to contribute fairly to decision-making processes.

The third question is another trap; 'What aspects of the proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model do you agree with and why? Please answer NONE and repeat your explanation. Anything positive could be used as evidence of your support!

The fourth question is yet another trap; 'What aspects of the proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model do you disagree with and why.' Please answer ALL OF IT and repeat your explanation. Repetitive? Sure, but so are the questions and you need to resist the bias again and again.

The fifth question is the first truly open question; is there another option or arrangement that you prefer and why?' No mention of the promised Options 1, 3 and 4. But you can call for a Democratic Governance Option, as required in law. You can ask for a Maori Policy Advisory Board, for a Community Policy Advisory Board, and for individuals, interest groups and expert officials to advise elected councillors, who alone should make decisions in the public interest.

The sixth and final question is "Do you have any further comments?" Please complain about the bias in the questions that try to predetermine the TAPP outcome. Please say again that you don't support the TAPP and that you do want democratic governance.

Finally, please go to the Rotorua District Council website, click on the Te Arawa Partnership Plan, and fill in the Online Submission Form to beat the bias. Or we will get the TAPP imposed on us with a minority in power in perpetuity.

Daily Post Rotorua 11/3/15
Erana Hond-Flavell (Letters, February 27) made some good points. I respect her right to support the mayor, to talk up the interests of tangata whenua and mana whenua, and to "sell" the Te Arawa Partnership Plan.

But facts are facts and the public won't buy soft soap. The mayor's "new brand of democracy" will mean rule by an elite; an oligarchy. The mayor's team wants to dilute the responsibilities of elected representatives with unelected nominees from a new Te Arawa Board. When they come on board the new elite will rule the roost.

Rebranding the set-up won't make it democratic. Enough "rebranding" already. Everyone in Rotorua has done pretty well since 1840, by trading land, technologies and ideas, and working together on community projects (health, education and welfare). So why abandon democracy so a minority get a lot of extra power?

The mayor's insiders and the new power team in Te Arawa only developed the "partnership" to give each other political privileges. Their Option 2 is entirely self-serving.

So, good on the Pro-Democracy Society for blowing the whistle, despite being called racist scaremongers.

They are actually real Kiwis; 50 shades of brown. The Society's Option 5 recognises that Te Arawa has not been listened to properly and deserves a Maori policy advisory board. Fair enough. But also that input into council policy and planning decision-making processes needs to come from a community policy advisory board, expert officials, and lobbying by individuals and interest groups. That's democracy, un-rebranded.

Rotorua Lakes Council responds: There was a commitment made by the council in the Rotorua 2030 vision, to develop a new partnership model with Te Arawa. Maori policy ad-visory boards already exist in a number of councils. FAQs (fre-quently asked questions) on the current consultation process are on the council website (rotorualakescouncil.nz) and available from the council's customer centre. They provide more information on the differ-ent models adopted across New Zealand. Rotorua Lakes Council encourages everyone to make a submission and to have their views heard through this process.

Whangarei Leader 10/3/15
In making claims on cultural bias, H Norman of Whangarei appears to construct what he calls facts (March 3). A look at any one of Turton’s deeds will show a description of the property sold, the vendors, the purchaser, and the amount paid. H Norman’s assertion that money paid amounted to deposits were fabricated by claimants much later.

Surplus lands referred to investigations of pre-1840 land sales. If land sales commissioners found the area sold ‘‘excessive’’ the government took that surplus land from the purchaser (a settler) and not, as H Norman asserts, from the Maori vendor who had already sold that land.

There is no ‘‘Vacant Lands Act’’ on record, as H Norman claims.

The total land area of New Zealand is 26.8 million hectares. Around 1.2 million were confiscated during the 1860s wars (much of which was returned at the time).

About 1.47 million hectares remains as Maori land.

Therefore, 24.13 million hectares were transacted through sale and purchase agreements.

Chiefs wanted regular conferences like the meeting at Kohimarama in 1860 to continue but the government never followed through. No threats as H Norman claims, only numerous declarations of support for the government by chiefs.

Sovereignty may be gained via cession by treaty, occupation, or conquest. The British government acquired the sovereignty of New Zealand by all of the above as well as via proclamations.

Daily Post Rotorua 10/3/15
Yet another "red herring" letter from Te Taru White (Letters, 28 February). He claims he supports democracy. Good.

One person, one vote. Votes of equal power. Fair representation.

So why does his Te Arawa Federation of Maori Authorities want to "double dip"?

Seats on the two council committees, which comprise all councillors and only chaired by someone other than the mayor, would give them disproportionate representation through unelected nominees.

These committees already have councillors of all ethnicities representing them. All councillors are sworn to represent everyone in the district, not just "My People". Te Taru makes too much of Te Arawa (actually its entities) paying its way.

So do other interest groups; farmers, forestry operators, senior citizens, retailers etc. To pay your way is one thing, and honourable. To try and justify disproportionate political power by bandying about talk of large sums of money and assets is something else again.

I am a member of the "brigade" that Matthew Martin chose to denigrate in his editorial (February 28). His remarks were arrogant and patronising. He has become the mayor's mouth-piece.

The members of the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society are a group of people who are vitally interested in the future of their city, and our nation, and believe in the principles of democracy. What does he know of the members of the group?

He made many assumptions at a glance; middle class, Pakeha, etc. He projected his own prejudices on to us. Members of the society are actually individuals who come from all walks of life. Many have had successful careers. They have lived long and experienced much, but more importantly, have gained knowledge from life experience. Probably more than is required for a degree in journalism.

Just because some-one has grey hair and walks with a stick doesn't mean that their brain is addled. If any special interest group wants the right to vote on council, it needs to put up candidates at the next local body election and get their supporters to vote for them — that is democracy.

Northland Age 10/3/15
Les Still (March 5) wrote "We have been told the British Army was full of gentlemen trying to civilise savages that ate each other. We have been told by the other side that the Maori were pacifists and were slaughtered by the Army. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle."

If the "truth lies somewhere in the middle", then it is wrong to be gifting millions of dollars to Maori tribes (the other side) on their version of history.

Daily Post Rotorua 9/3/15
I see the proposal, as stated in the Rotorua Daily Post, is to set up a parallel council of 14 members to work alongside the Rotorua Lakes Council’s 13 members. These councillors are not elected but will be nominated to their paid positions.

This will give the Te Arawa Council (for a start) the rights and privileges for six members to sit on four strategic council committees, and full voting rights. In other words, our democratically elected councillors will find that as time progresses they will be outvoted and superseded.

This is a takeover by stealth and it is being sold to our ratepayers and others as democracy. Will other ethnic groups in the Lakes District get the opportunity to set up their own councils to run other committees? There are already five councillors of Maori extraction in our line-up of councillors. If Maori want more representation just cut this nonsense and stand for a seat on council at the next election and make sure the whanau go out and vote.

Rotorua Lakes Council responds:
Under the council’s preferred option, the only Te Arawa representatives able to vote would be the two people the councillors would appoint to the strategy, policy and finance committee and to the operations and monitoring committee. They would hold two of 15 votes on those committees, and any of the committee’s decisions could be overturned by the elected members on the full council. There is no “parallel council”. The council encourages everyone to make a submission and to have their views heard through this process.

Taranaki Daily News 9/3/15
The Local Government Act does not define what methodology or system that councils could or should implement to meet its objective of Maori contributing to the councils' decision-making processes, nor does it set out a person specification, regarding who should be best to sit on council.

The council must find a way to break down the ongoing stigma and false platitudes regarding our "all cultures" relationships.

The council can lead the way, and extinguish the continuous negative spin of "them and us" to a more positive spin of "all of us".

The council can lead the way, to bridge cultural divides and promote an inclusive society where people "want" to exist together, and not "have" to exist together.

The council can lead the way by promoting an attitude that is all cultures vibrant, all cultures inclusive, and all cultures supportive, where anyone who is willing, can give it a go in our district and city.
NPDC candidate

Wanganui Chronicle 7/3/15
"But in the new plan there will be what is called in South Africa, 'segregation'; two separate institutions for the two elements of the population living in their own separate areas. Separate institutions involved territorial segregation of the white and black. If they live mixed together, it is not practicable to sort them art under separate institutions of their own. Institutional segregation carries with it territorial segregation." — Jan Smuts, 1929

"it's about two different cultures here, living side by side" — Gareth Morgan, as reported in the Wanganui Chronicle January 23,2014

"... separating the races in an apartheid-type arrangement ... ". — G R Scown, Wanganui Chronicle letters, January 24, 2014

"The possibility of Maori having self-rule is an issue that should be explored." — Labour leader Andrew Little.

I can remember when the Maoris couldn't go to South Africa in the All Blacks and what a brouhaha that caused in this country. So now, what can I say?

As a "foreigner" returning to New Zealand after many years abroad, I see apartheid is well an the way to becoming a reality in this country.

I had difficulty sleeping on the night of February 23 as I was full of wild anticipation for the second edition of Te Putake.

I was convinced that it was to be a day celebrated by all Wanganui region (don't think the name has been changed yet) inhabitants. After the initial over-hyped fizzer, the second attempt had to be better — or so the learning curve would normally suggest.

Nope, just same old, same old. There was nothing in this edition that could not have — nor should not have—appeared in the regular edition of the Chronicle. Again, like the previous edition, content was duplicated.

This supplement has to be more insulting to local Maori than it is to non-Maori. By its very existence, it has enhanced an "us and them" environment and Wanganui does not need that at a time when unity is the desire of the country. Sorry Mark and Kiritahi, but your presumably well-intentioned efforts have failed to bear fruit and the sooner this endeavour is consigned to the compost bin, the better.

We do not need, nor want, a racially inspired newspaper supplement. Produce the whole thing in te reo and I will lead the applause for your support of biculturalism and bilingualism.
— Edited and abridged

Daily Post Rotorua 7/3/15
I've just got home from a council meeting at which the mayor stated that one of the points she canvassed on in the mayoral race was the relationship with Te Arawa.

I went to two mayoral candidate debates and don't remember the subject being raised by her. Maybe I fell asleep at that crucial point or possibly my memory is failing me, but I doubt both possibilities!

Another issue, the ugly democracy issue. At the meeting we heard that for many years the Rotorua Lakes Council has had non-elected people sitting in on and advising specific committees where their expertise is of value. Thank goodness for that wisdom. This is "participation", "contributing to", "engagement in".

It assists in good decision making. From national level down to family affairs, advice trap experts is necessary. This, however. does not mean the finality of voting rights.

Rotorua Lakes Council responds: There was a commitment made by the council and community in the Rotorua 2030 vision, to develop a new partnership model with Te Arawa. The Te Arawa proposal includes voting rights: however it should be noted that other alternatives also identified include options with no voting rights. Rotorua Lakes Council encourages residents to make a submission and to have their views heard through the current consultation process.

I was more than flabbergasted this morning (February 28) when I read the opinion article by the mayor regarding democracy. I was speechless, as I was at the (February 26) meeting when she said that she campaigned on the basis of what she Is now promoting. That Is untrue!

If in fact she had promoted an undemocratic policy of appointing unelected Maori representatives, with voting rights around the council table, then quite simply, she would not have been elected. This was in effect confirmed last May when she endeavoured to push through, under the table this very change in support of iwl. The fact that it was totally rejected then by the community seems to have been conveniently forgotten.

As for the "effective partnership with iwi that council did commit to after the 2013 elections", again I have to dispute the mayor's terminology as the word "partnership" has only recently been added to her vocabulary. The word at the time was "improved relationship with Te Arawa" — which we all agreed to.

So for the mayor to claim that she and council are "democracy in action" is an abuse of the power that the mayor has been entrusted with.

More the pity for Rotorua that a politician, who has achieved so much for our city, could throw it all away with such an undemocratic push for Maori around the council table.

Weekend Sun/Sunlive (Tauranga) 6/3/15
In the rush to create a combined district council there has been a reluctance to share with ratepayers that Western Bay District Council was named as one of the four councils in New Zealand most likely unable to pay its debts.

Couple that with the Tauranga City Council, which is also heavily debt ridden, and ratepayers would be in for massive increases if we allow this project to proceed.

Has council forgotten that in 2014 they voted unanimously against the creation of a separate Maori seat on council and recommended that no Maori Ward be established in the 2016 elections? Maori currently have 15 paid member representations with Tauranga Moana Tangata Whenua Collective for $10,000 in fees plus an annual grant. They also have separate Kaumātua Forum input and representation on the various working groups. If, as some of your correspondents imply, that is not sufficient consultation, consider that of half of those who call themselves Maori, only 3% bothered to vote.

Most are satisfied with the status quo. Ratepayers of all ethnic groups do not need more paid separate representation.

We also need to say no to a National government whose appeasement policy to iwi has given away so many of the natural resources it was entrusted to hold in perpetuity for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
R. E. S
Mount Maunganui.

Daily Post Rotorua 6/3/15
“At last some sense — common to all”. Well said Blanche LoisKingdon. To all the contributions of this wearisome saga — the “wearing thin” submissions of Merepeka Raukawa-Tait — the waring tongue of the Vercoes and others, all pushing the same barrow — Arawa’s past gratuities. To me, these spin of nothing but a bribe, if they really believe they can be used as a claim of racial right. They should honestly be ashamed to seek some self principled morality to push for more control of council affairs, Maori or otherwise.

Beware residents of Rotorua, if this issues goes to the public vote, remember Blanche Lois Kingdon’s quip, “How can it be right that any one group of people can have a role in making decisions about how the district’s affairs are run, when others are bound by law to observe the democracy of an election process.” If this democratic principle is not observed, New Zealand, as one nation, one people, one rule, as our treaty purports, is in for a contemptuous future.
Kawerau Council

Rotorua Lakes Council responds:
Council encourages everyone to make a submission and to have their views heard through this consultation process.

Rotorua Dail Post 6/3/15
Text Views section
■ The government needs to have a look at itself with regards to how it impliments the Maori content in schools it has become racist and divisive , isn't it time to put this treaty propaganda behind and move on ?

Daily Post Rotorua 5/3/15
All this hoo-ha over the Te Arawa Partnership proposal could be put right by the Rotorua Lakes Council.

The mayor and all of the councillors have prejudiced themselves by expressing their views on the subject so it makes all of them ineligible to vote on the subject.

We all know that the mayor has three Te Arawa in her camp and their position is abundantly clear. This is a very serious business and the indecent haste it is being handled at has to make you ask the odd question of all the councillors. Personally, I don’t give a toss either way because I won’t be around long enough to see the fallout. An issue such as this proposal should be sorted by a ratepayer referendum. There is no need to jam this through as the mayor would like.

The cost of a referendum would be peanuts when you consider all the hot air and money being wasted yapping about it. Let the decision be made by the ratepayers, not their paid employees and make it a binding decision, no matter who winds up disappointed.

Democracy practised is far better than democracy having lip service paid to it. Once again, all the councillors and the mayor have put their feet in their mouths and have predisposed their decisions, making them all ineligible to decide on the future of Rotorua, especially on such a sensitive subject.

The council encourages everyone to make a submission and to have their views heard through this process.

For the record, a referendum would cost ratepayers around $80,000 to stage, and would not allow people to share their individual views or make suggestions, as the current consultation process does.
Rotorua Council

I regret that Alex Wilson (Letters, February 23) misunderstood my statement, “Ngati Whakaue put up for auction, leasehold sites.”

“Leasehold” implies that land was not sold but money was paid for the right to occupy the properties over a specified length of time.

Perhaps the word “gifted” has also been misunderstood, thus contributing to the present council/Te Arawa fuss.

“Gifting” usually means giving a present with no conditions attached but representatives of Ngati Whakaue donated land for specific purposes. This was of benefit both to the donors and the rest of the community.

It seems ridiculous that some members of the local authority are using the supposed generosity of landowners in the past as justification for favouring some of the descendants.

Northland Age 5/3/15
Re sovereignty and authority to make laws.

History consists of stages or events and each stage or event has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Bruce Moon’s letter ‘Before 1840’ dated the February 26 was the beginning of the Queen’s sovereignty and the authority to make laws in New Zealand.

While Resident James Busby wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1835, it was abandoned within 12 months.

The middle bit consisted of two parts. 1 In the Treaty of Waitangi, dated February 6, 1840, the chiefs gave up their territories and governments to Queen Victoria in return for the same rights as the people of England, under the dependency of New South Wales. 2 Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/Letters Patent dated the November 16, 1840, separated New Zealand from New South Wales on May 3,1841, and New Zealand became a British colony with a Governor and constitution to form a legal government to make laws with courts and judges to enforce those laws, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

The end of this stage or event in our history was the 1860 Kohimarama Conference, where over 200 chiefs confirmed their allegiance to the Queen’s sovereignty and laws, and the 1879 Maori Parliament, where over 300 chiefs again confirmed their allegiance to the Queen’s sovereignty and laws.

There is no denying “The chiefs placed in the hands of the Queen of England the Sovereignty and authority to make laws”: ‘The Treaty of Waitangi — An Explanation’, by Sir Apirana Ngata, M.A, LI.B, Lit.D. 1923. Sir Apirana Ngata was the Minister of Native Affairs.
One New Zealand Foundation
Palmerston North

Rotorua Review 4/3/15
Our mayor seems determined to break one of the basic rules of all democratic societies.

This rule has been written into innumerable national constitutions and is generally protected by the courts, human rights commissioners or large numbers of angry people demonstrating in town centres.

The non-compliance of these rules causes infinite trouble with little advantage to society but with a very large benefit to those who are willing to break the rules either as legislators, industrial powers or criminals.

Our mayor is attempting to use the fact that Maori once dominated in New Zealand and therefore they should have special rules which guarantees them land, jobs and other things that are generally worked for by the individuals .

Should our mayor be successful we can foresee Maori groups all over New Zealand demanding the same privileges or in fact more of the same privileges which will certainly lead to unrest and difficulties between Maori and European New Zealanders.

Unfortunately when any group is allocated special privileges they have to keep getting additional privileges to safeguard the first ones allotted which means there is no other direction except into trouble in major proportions when sorted out which means a lot of people in deep trouble and if there is physical violence means jail or worse.

I would ask the district council which normally seems to be an intelligent operation to draw back from this initiative on the part of the mayor and a few underpowered councillors so Rotorua and New Zealand don’t have to go through the trauma that these little grabs for power always leave within a society.

The question of whether councillors should be free to express their opinions on the Rotorua District Council Te Arawa representation proposal turns on whether they are acting in a political or quasi-judicial role.

A judge must approach a case impartially and with an open mind. He or she must be free of prejudice, and seen to be free of prejudice, which requires that he or she should express no opinion on the matter before hearing the argument of all parties in a properly constituted forum.

Politicians, however, are elected on the basis of their publicly expressed opinions, and are not generally expected to be impartial, even though impartiality and an ‘‘open mind’’ are virtues worthy of a politician as much as a judge.

Are Rotorua councillors approaching this issue in a political or a judicial capacity? Since they will be hearing submissions from the public, there is a quasi-judicial element to their role. If they cannot listen to submissions in good faith and with an open mind they are better not to hear the submissions at all.

Having said that, a prejudice expressed in public is better than one held in secret. The matter is already being debated in the public arena, and there is less harm in allowing councillors to join the debate than there would be in attempting to secure their silence.

Events in the last two months are worrying me, my family and most of our friends in Mourea.

I attended the council meeting on December 18. It was a farce. The mayor’s clever manipulation of Cr Sturt’s motion on Te Arawa’s proposal was most disconcerting. She re-worded it to reflect her way of thinking and to get the remainder of the council to vote her way.

By even contemplating acceptance of the presentation of Te Arawa’s proposal to Rotorua District Council, the mayor clearly implied (backed up by the majority of councillors) that Te Arawa is an inferior group of people requiring special privileges in order to survive in today’s society. That is not my belief, nor any of my friends’, and it is morally wrong to make any group in our community feel inadequate. I will vote against any version of the proposal to try to prevent this from happening. I will vote for Option 5 being offered by the ProDemocracy Society.

And then, in more recent times we are being force fed a diet of council propaganda telling us that our local economy is developing. They are repeating silly ‘‘research’’ at our expense into perceptions of the future economy.

The facts never mentioned are that unemployment continues to rise and the value of our homes continues to fall when they are rising across the rest of New Zealand. Have the property owners of Okawa Bay got some premonition for the future of Rotorua? There are some properties listed below GV and not selling. Others that have sold recently have all been under GV. And now I hear that the council’s budget is out of control and it has been adding to our mountain of debt.

So, we will need more than Option 5. We also need to get this council off its addiction to spin, back to reality, back to its core business and back into real debt reduction.

The facts never mentioned are that unemployment continues to rise and the value of our homes continues to fall when they are rising across the rest of New Zealand. Have the property owners of Okawa Bay got some premonition for the future of Rotorua? There are some properties listed below GV and not selling. Others that have sold recently have all been under GV. And now I hear that the council's budget is out of control and it has been adding to our mountain of debt. So, we will need more than Option 5. We also need to get this council off its addiction to spin, back to reality, back to its core business and back into real debt reduction.

Whoa!! Let’s hold our horses for a minute and think a bit more about this so-called Te Arawa partnership. At the moment we are concerned about the lack of democracy in appointing unelected councillors, but just suppose Te Arawa get their way.

We will be adding at least another seven Te Arawa people selected by a new Te Arawa board of 14. The nominees and the board will probably have their own CEO, administrative staff, separate consultants, research staff, spin doctors and relationship managers with Maori entities. How much extra is this going to cost us ratepayers?

At the extraordinary council meeting held on February 26 one council official muttered a very vague reply to this question and our mayor, Steve Chadwick, quickly killed the discussion. Wonder why? Rumour has it that some councillors have spotted a major budget blowout and have no idea how it might be fixed.

At the moment we have a mayor, 12 councillors, and if we add the Te Arawa board of 14 and their seven nominees, that will mean we will have 34 in governance before adding bureaucrats. Can you imagine the chaos? Think about the undue influence of the Te Arawa group. Will anything be democratically passed?

Just think of the cost! No problems for Steve, she just loves spending our money.

Daily Post Rotorua 4/3/15
So, one justification for the Te Arawa Partnership Plan is that council committee seats are to be awarded to Te Arawa to reward them for whatever contribution they may have made in the past. Is this going to be their payday? Will it be forever?

The problem is that seats on council committee are not for sale. They belong to us, the citizens that make up our community, and the ratepayers who fund it all.

The mayor and councillors have no right to give seats away to their mates.

It diminishes our right of fair representation and to decision making on our behalf.

Regarding ‘‘biased opinions’' and ‘‘predetermined positions’’. We all know the opinion of practically everybody anyway. Rotorua is too small. Going by the CEO's hastily-contrived rule to disallow voting by those with an opinion or fixed position, there will not be many people left allowed to vote.

Councillor Charles Sturt has announced that councillors who are members of the ProDemocracy Society are “guilty by association”.

What! They have a guaranteed human right called ‘‘freedom of association’' in our democratic society. So, is Charles anti-democracy? He certainly has shown some of his colours. Another one that is not allowed to vote?

Or, if he is waiting to see which way the wind blows on Thursday, does his predetermined position of political pragmatism rule him out as well?

What utter nonsense.

The letter by Mr Waaka Vercoe ( Rotorua Daily Post, February 20) is perpetuating a misconception when he stated Te Arawa gave the land Rotorua city sits on. It was in fact bought outright by the Government for the price of £9000 according to the old newspaper clipping (see below).

What Ngati Whakaue did donate very generously was that formally known as the Pukeroa domain and was given for recreational purposes, not for a hospital site as so often claimed. In fact when a hospital was built on the site they protested strenuously as they wanted it kept tapu since it was a burial ground and pa site used when Ngapuhi attacked in their notorious and bloody raids during the Muskets Wars between 1820 and 1840.

It was sad to see Mr Vercoe using that silly tag “redneck”. It was not a racist attack on Te Arawa but criticism of an undemocratic grab for seats on the Rotorua council. Democracy cannot be compromised even for a people whose generosity is not in dispute. Local bodies cannot right the wrongs of the past, or we would all be at it.

That’s because there is not a race of people on earth who at some time in their history have not been conquered or wronged by another, so let’s get on and live with each other in the 21st century instead of harking back to past wrongs and leave them where they are; in the past. It will do nobody any good to fiddle with democracy in the hopes of righting long-past wrongs, although in this case, a self-interested myth.

■ Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2254, October 16, 1889, Page 2 PURCHASE OF ROTORUA TOWN SHIP. (per press association.) Auckland, October 15 The Government have concluded negotiations with the Natives at Rotorua for the purchase of that township, the price agreed upon being £9000. Mr Lewis, UnderSecretary for Native Affairs, and a Bank of New Zealand official, accompanied by a constable, have left for Rotorua, taking the purchase money with them.

The Northern Advocate 3/3/15
The Northern Advocate, February 7 contained a Waitangi Day essay written by a gentleman with the rather intriguing title of “Pakeha Tiriti Educator”.

The Treaty was drafted in English and then translated by Henry Williams from English into the Maori language — not the other way around — so it would seem logical that the aforementioned gentleman would be better employed as a "Maori Treaty Educator" explaining exactly what the English words mean to our present day part-Maoris.

However, it is not as simple as that. Historians agree that the final Treaty draft was lost and that the one being presented as the "English official version", dated February 3, 1840, is actually an earlier draft.

Now for the interesting part. In 1989, the hand-written lost final draft was re-discovered —and it was dated February 4, 1840, the day before the Treaty was signed. The hand-writing was verified by an expert as being that of James Busby, the paper's watermark was authentic for that in use at that time, and the reverse side bore the signature of Lt Governor William Hobson.

In it there was no mention of forests or fisheries and it guaranteed the possession of lands, dwellings and property to all the people of New Zealand, not just the Maori.

In 1869, the Legislative Council ordered that a back-translation be made from the Maori language Treaty and this was carried out by TE Young of the Native Department, proving to be almost word for word the same as the re-discovered "lost draft".

Apparently this was all too much for our "historians" with their reputations on the line, so the document is now buried in the Government Archives, out of sight, out of mind. So there we have it; another inconvenient truth for the Waitangi Tribunal to ignore.

Wanganui Chronicle 3/3/15
Please explain, Julie Gordon (letters, February 23), why not wanting New Zealanders pronouncing Whanganui "Fonganui" is so racially offensive to you? Racially anything, for that matter?

Northland Age 3/3/15
Re B Moon's article (Before 1840 Letters February 26), may I express my appreciation towards an honest newspaper, which is rarely seen these days.

From The Realms of King Tawhiao, by Dick Craig. Hongi Hika made a pact with French Baron Charles de Thiery at Cambridge to give him sovereignty of New Zealand in exchange for 500 muskets. Trading in gifts given in London on his return home at Sydney in 1821 he bought another 300, 800in total, and this is what triggered the Maori Musket Wars, with a cost of 60,000 lives and thousands of slaves.

Pressure of the above is why Maori chose Britain to make a Treaty with them as "it Is only thy land which is liberal towards us", "we prey thee to be our guarding and protector". These words contained in a letter from 13 Northern chiefs dated November 16, 1831 to King William. Victoria's father.

As a matter of interest, the word used for possessions was rangatiratanga, the same as the translation from possession contained in Governor Hobson's final English draft of the Treaty.
Palmerston North

To KING WILLIAM, the Gracious CHIEF of ENGLAND. KING WILLIAM, We, the chiefs of New Zealand assembled at this place, called the Kerikeri, write to thee, for we hear that thou art the great chief of the other side the water, since the many ships which come to our land are from thee. We are a people without possessions. We have nothing but timber, flax, pork, and potatoes, we sell these things however to your people and then we see the property of Europeans. It is only thy land which Is liberal towards us. From thee also come the missionaries who teach us to belleve on Jehovah God, and on Jesus Christ, his Son. We have heard that the tribe of Marian 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 tearing of other tribes should come near to us, and lest strangers should come and take away our land. And if any of thy people should be troublesome or vicious towards us (for some persons are living here who have ran away from ships) we pray thee to be angry with them that they maybe obedient, lest the anger of the people of this land fall upon them. This letter is from us, from the chiefs of the natives of New Zealand.

Wanganui Chronicle 28/2/15
I have always wondered which camp the Wanganui Chronicle had its foot in regarding the dreaded "H" — now we know. Page 3 of the Chronicle of February 26. in the first sentence .John Maslin refers to the Wanganui District Council with the "H". It is not a legal entity and he knows it.

With recent photos in the Chronicle of the council building flying the Maori flag, their mischief-making is quite clear. In these troubled times with both sides trying to make their point over the "H" no one needs this crap to further inflame the issue with this type of irresponsible reporting. I challenge the Chronicle to put its money where its mouth is and put the "H" in the Wanganui Chronicle name. I dare you — your sales of newspapers and advertising will fall through the floor and you know it.
Wanganui District Councillor

■ EDITOR'S NOTE: Another story on that same Page 3 of February 26-- also by John Maslin — referred to "Wanganui District Council" (bid to do away with byelections). Mr Maslin has never referred to "'Whanganui District Council". The mistake councillor Anderson refers to happened in the sub-editing process. The Chronicle is not in the business of mischief-making but in reporting accurately. The council is called "Wanganui District Council" and that is how we refer to it (the aforementioned error notwithstanding). This newspaper has carried the name of the city and district for more than 150 years and will continue to do so. With regard to the "H" debate, the Chronicle has a neutral position and like everyone else, awaits a decision of the New Zealand Geographic Board.

When you left our city 30 years ago, Wayne Shaw (your letter of February 19), you left Wanganui. You have now returned to Wanganui. Get it right.

Daily Post Rotorua 28/2/15
The 40-odd Pro-Democracy Society members at the extraordinary council meeting on Thursday, February 26, were amazed and amused. The sole topic was the document designed to ask the public what they think of the Te Arawa Partnership Plan.

The mayor and all councillors had been sent amendments by the society on Sunday to ensure that the information was, as the Audit Office requires, “accurate, complete, fairly expressed, and politically neutral”. Officials had made eight changes but there were another 17 issues not addressed. The documents didn’t meet Audit Office requirements, were biased and included misinformation.

... Very few of the amendments were actually considered. Pro-Te Arawa councillors were allowed to filibuster to kill time.

Councillors Kent and McVicker were cut off. Councillor Searancke described the tactics as “childish”.

One official commented at length about how ‘‘comfortable’’ he was with the revisions, given the legal advice he had received. When questioned by councillor Bentley it turned out that the advice was all verbal, unrecorded, therefore unavailable for review.

It was doubly amazing that the mayor and some councillors were totally opposed to considering the amendments that would have removed any possibility of a judicial review, with substantial potential costs to the ratepayers, with the budget in freefall.

There was laughter when the mayor said she campaigned on a partnership with Te Arawa. Nobody could remember that! And if true, it confirmed her bias and predetermination. [Abridged]

Weekend Sun (Tauranga) 27/2/15
Why does Gareth Morgan think he knows what's right for you and me?

We have just spent more than a year fighting the battle to keep the Treaty of Waitangi out of the constitution, because it is just so wrong for NZ.

It would be just like the gun law in the American Constitution (which they hate), talk about the elephant in the room that everyone has to bow and scrape to.

The Waitangi Tribunal has done nothing but cause grief since 1975 when another know-it-all Geoffrey Palmer got it all slipped through along with the so-called Waitangi principles set in concrete. Do we really want to go there again? Not to mention renaming NZ, it's about as rubbish as changing the flag!

All these things cost so much money that we don't have and what for?

Also he wants Te Reo compulsory in schools, No again. It could be optional in schools, but why should we all have it rammed down our throats when many children can't even spell, read or write English which they need just to get a job!

Wonders never cease - Morgan wants an Upper House of Parliament with 50/50 Maori representation too, now we really are getting into special privileges for the minority.
What's gone wrong here with all these self-appointed gurus, maybe someone is paying him to say all this or he thinks he's going to get a knighthood for it all!

New Zealand democracy where has it gone?
C H,

Re: ‘What special privileges?' (The Weekend Sun, February 20).

I give credit to Lyn Jarman for her queries about the petition at present circulating, concerning the status of the English language in NZ.

But I think she may rest easy, surprisingly, in these days of dark, hidden agenda.
R. Bishop's petition is precautionary, and some questions, to my mind, still need government answers.

English was the common language in use from about the mid 1800s. It simply wasn't questioned, I expect, and became the de facto official language, for all
governmental purposes and just general usage.

For example, the prevailing, useful language, when as often as not there were no other written words available in the Maori language.

And why wasn't the English language included at the official branding of the recent Maori and NZ Sign languages?

Maybe there is more reason to now question their ‘official' branding? How and when and why it was organised?

To ask why these matters aren't automatically the responsibility of the Government.
In the present case of the petition, what possible problem could have arisen had English simply been left with its implied official standing? Would the Government have just said: “Oops , sorry, you should have asked ?”

It strikes me as a very unresolved situation. I request our Member of Parliament Simon Bridges, sort this out for us and ensure the public is put in the picture clearly, promptly.

Tell us why it is necessary to have a petition at all?

Did the Maori and Sign language application require a petition? If not, why not ?
What procedure did they follow in order to achieve ‘official' status?

Daily Post Rotorua 27/2/15
Our mayor is a bit strange as she is unable to recognise that Te Arawa’s drive for special privilege is a real danger to not just Rotorua but New Zealand as a whole.

If Rotorua gives these gifts to Te Arawa then obviously every Maori tribe in New Zealand can be expected to put in for similar claims using similar pressure to add to their inventory of privilege, payments and unearned income.

I tend to think that a good many European New Zealanders would also like to become the owners of government-built assets to relieve their work burden, however I really doubt if they would get much of a reception at the council from our mayor and certainly not from the general public. The mayor seems to forget that most New Zealanders, certainly European New Zealanders, know privilege and favour when they see it. A fair number have some idea of European history where favour and privilege was rife and some of them will know the results of that privilege with numerous revolutions and civil wars all over Europe for hundreds of years.

I don’t think the mayor would have been successful in her campaign for mayor if she had been honest with the people and indicated what her intentions were once elected.

Wanganui Chronicle 27/2/15
Potonga, Julie, and Messrs Norton and Sachs: I think you'll find your racism credit cards are subject to recall, having been now used beyond any feasible credit limit and revoked due to unwarranted usage. Ken Main so if we ratepayers don't agree with your rules and attitudes you're gonna withdraw from partnership with the council? Excellent news, goodbye then. Disagreement is simply disagreement; nothing racist about it. Drink some cement mix and harden up.

Taranaki Daily News 26/2/15
And baptism which this (Noah, saved through water) prefigured, now saves you. 1 Peter 3:21 The early church was facing persecution and here Peter writes to encourage the believers. He refers to the fact that Noah’s ark, which saved eight people through water, prefigures baptism. He then says, this saves you. In baptism, God does something! God acts, God enables, God saves. New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd will serve just one term before being removed by the people – leaving an undeserved stain on a district he once pledged to protect and promote.

New Plymouth will be unfairly labelled ‘‘redneck’’ throughout the country because the electorate chose not to scratch his overnight itch for a permanent Maori seat among councillors – in fact, seven of the 14 seats if the choice were his.

The fault is Judd’s alone. Apart from vague, spiritual references, he failed to tell the people how those on the Maori roll were currently being disadvantaged by the council, how those proudly claiming a degree of Maori ethnicity had goals that differed from anyone else’s, and what part a local body, specifically the NPDC, could and should play in that condition, above the myriad government agencies already so committed.

Most people, in this electorate and just about any other, see their council as scrupulously colourblind. Candidates fortunate enough to have a measure of Maori blood in their veins are judged on their merits alone.

Mongrels all of us, we have elected such candidates in the past and will in the future without tinkering with the jewel in the crown of democracy, which is one equal vote for each and everyone of us.

As the United States has discovered to its dismay after a half-century of preferential lawmaking, race-based systems serve only to lock in the perceived disadvantage, entrenching shallow and foolish opinions on opposite sides of an abstract divide. They are yesterday’s thinking, and we all deserve better.
New Plymouth

Wanganui Chronicle 26/2/15
A very commendable article (Chronicle, February 21) by Laurel Stowell/Mariana Waitai about the 20th Anniversary of the standoff at Moutoa Gardens (Pakaitore is under water).

She tells us that they maintain the gardens at Moutoa. Do they mow the lawns and keep toilets clean, plus look after the various monuments on site? And who is paying for it? Is it all coming out of the the millions from the river settlements?

There is no mention of the wanton vandalism that occurred 20 years ago to the Ballance Statue, and the Morrell fountain. Where was the so-called respect then? I, for one, will never set foot on the gardens again.

Letters from Julie Gordon, H Norton, and Rod Sach are "close to the bottom of the barrel" when they claim that people who resist Maori whingers are racists.

It is the "W" bathers, not the "Wh" bashers, who write uneducated rants. No Maori has an innate right to question the spelling of written Maori, a creation of the missionaries who wrote down what they heard.

"Wanganui was the way the name was heard and spelt in the Treaty document that the Wanganui chiefs signed. Like-wise, the word for land" in the treaty is "wenua". "Whenua" is just more "Wh" nonsense.

Most of what Potonga Neilson writes is likewise pure nonsense, suitable only for the comic strip.

Titokowaru, whom Rod Sach mentioned, was one of the most brutal of the rebels in Taranaki, a Hau Hau who brought slaughter and the reintroduction of cannibalism.

Northland Age 26/2/15
I was astonished when I read the blatant misinformation in BC Gregory's letter re Parihaka (February 9).

He wrote"Parihaka, a very well planned and orderly town, was a progressive and hygienic town for its time" and yet the Auckland Star published on September 22, 1875, 'In this "republic of peace" more than a thousand Maori were huddled together in most unhygienic conditions. In Parihaka there are nearly two hundred cases ( of measles) and there have been about twelve deaths'.

And the Taranaki Herald reported on September 12, 1881, "Parihaka was infected by vermin and was absolutely filthy through lack of sanitary precautions".

These Parihaka people were not the law-abiding citizens Gregory paints them to be: 'Yesterday a party of twelve Maori, when returning from Parihaka, entered Loveridge's store at Oakura, commenced pulling things about, and were very bounceable. The Constabulary had to be called in to eject them," wrote the Auckland Star on June 24,18'79.

Te Whiti and his followers had for 14 years been squatting on land confiscated in accordance with the rules of the time. Over this period they stole horses from settlers' farms, pulled down a newly-built stockyard at Ngakumikumi and ploughed up settlers' land. 'Such incidences indicate the belligerent nature behind the facade of passive resistance that settlers had to long endure: wrote Dr Kerry Bolton in his recent work 'The Parihaka Cult'.

Gregory wrote further, "His (Te Whiti) frontline troops of children, without weapons, were massacred." There was no 'massacre or loss of life at the reclaiming of Parihaka, the only injury was a small boy's foot accidentally got stood on by a soldier's horse

The statements from the newspapers above illuminate how creative Gregory is with the truth.

Rotorua Review 25/2/15
The Te Arawa issue rumbles on. What started as a "cultural audit" of the Te Arawa relationship with the council has been manipulated by the mayor and her cronies to become a serious governance issue that has divided both the council and ratepayers. The CEO's warning that councillors may lose their voting rights if they cannot demonstrate that they had "approached the matter with an open mind" makes a mockery of democracy. The mayor and her three Te Arawa councillors already fall into the category, more so if you factor in conflict of interest.

Freedom of speech and freedom of association are cornerstones of democracy, something we should all cherish. Threats are divisive. Should the Te Arawa Partnership Plan be passed (as the mayor has publicly stated she prefers), Te Arawa would appoint two members with voting rights on two of the most important council committees and one member on two others, the purpose being to "strengthen Te Arawa's influence and participation in RDC decision making" (Doc no: 515043). The sole beneficiary of this influence and and participation would be Te Arawa, not Rotorua as a whole.

Can you imagine the furore, not to mention the illegality, if this were to happen at national government level? It is disturbing to think that one interest group can potentially have an inordinate amount of influence over the rest without a public mandate. Advice would be fine, in fact welcomed, but bias and self-interest is not.

Think back to episodes in global history when minorities have imposed their will on the majority. What happened? It would seem that Rotorua is heading down this track, albeit at a regional level. To the now four councillors (threatened with loss of voting rights) who have publicly stood up for democracy, I thank you for your good sense and foresight.

Taranaki Daily News 25/2/15
So Te Atiawa kaumatua Grant Knuckey is determined to keep pushing for a Maori ward on the New Plymouth District Council.

This despite a pending 4248-signature petition calling for a referendum on the matter.

Knuckey says Maori have had 150 years of living in this country where their views are not taken into account.

He had a chance to throw his potae into the ring along with the 13 other candidates, get himself elected and start redressing the balance. Why didn’t he? He went on to say that he’s never seen so many Maori people concerned about how they are being treated in the community.

It will be interesting to see if this "so many Maori people" translates into votes for Mary Barnard, Bev Gibson or Chris Manukonga. If it does, then as Barnard said in her profile if she or either Gibson or Manukonga are successful it will emphasise the fact that Maori don't need a special seat to get in. It would be interesting if we could get an ethnic breakdown of the petitioners. It just might show that both Maori and pakeha are well represented.
New Plymouth

Bay of Plenty Times 25/2/15
To the average New Zealander, it would seem more fair if the Government would show as much circumspection in the payout of the Maori land claims supported by the Waitangi Tribunal and require the same verification of these claims that it is showing in its reluctance to pay out David Bain.

Wanganui Chronicle 25/2/15
Having read some of Potonga Neilson's letters to the editor and his judgement about the Irish and the land wars in New Zealand, I need to comment on some of his remarks.

The Irish would not have been sympathetic to the tribal warring factions and slaughter, and for the early settlers it would have been irresponsible not to show tribes a better way of life. The Irish were a victim of circumstance and it was forced on them by the English and the potato famine. Some people may be a victim for a time but the Irish decided they were not going to remain a victim, and that's why a lot of them ended up in New Zealand, Australia, America and Canada.

The people of Ireland wanted a united Ireland, and that was how the IRA was formed to meet violence with violence — again a circumstance forced on them by England. Mr Neilson sees himself as a victim of circumstance. As with some others, it is not forced on them. He blames other people and feels sorry for himself. That's the choice he and others make, instead of a better New Zealand.

The Irish also have culture —St Pat's Day — they never forget, and it is not forced on others. If you lose your language and culture it is because you refuse to pick it up and not because of someone else.
Te Puke

Northland Age 24/2/15
BC Gregory has changed his tactics from silly abuse to downright lies when he says it is “a Moon tactic” to “portray an erroneous view of history” — the exact opposite of the truth. My whole objective is to present the truth as accurately as I can establish it as a counter to the colossal amount of misinformation, and worse, circulating in New Zealand today.

It is Gregory and his ilk who do not want to know the truth and proceed to deny it.

How the Taranaki tribes got to the Chatham Islands is well told in Michael King’s Moriori, page 57ff, followed by eyewitness accounts of the butchery of the native people — the penis being thrown to the women “who ate this dainty morsel eagerly”.

As for Parihaka, let your readers refer to Kerry Bolton’s account, supported by reference to much contemporary evidence and decide for themselves (Google Kerry Bolton Parihaka to find it.).

Gregory asks whether the ‘Wakaminenga’ signed the Treaty. The answer in Hobson’s own words is: “The treaty . . . was signed at Waitangi, on 6th February, 1840, by 52 chiefs, 26 of whom were of the Confederation, and formed a majority of those who signed the Declaration of Independence.” Another was Te Hapuku, who signed in Hawke’s Bay.

One Jerry Hapuku on Waitangi Day this year stated falsely that he was forced to sing at gunpoint — yet another off today’s many untruths. Refer to http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/ 2015/02/mike-butler-treaty-gunpoint-threat-and.html for a more complete account.

Surely your readers know by now to disregard utterly the nonsense spouted by Gregory?

Daily Post Rotorua 24/2/15
I was most upset by Waaka Vercoe’s letter ( Letters, February 20) from Whakatane.

I am concerned that opposition to the proposal put up by Te Arawa and Rotorua District Council, and initially favoured by a majority of councillors (that Te Arawa be given unelected places on the most important council committees) is being viewed by some as a racial issue instead of one of common democracy.

How can it be right that any one group of people can have a role in making decisions about how the district’s affairs are run when the majority have to observe the election process?

One of the reasons frequently given, and repeated by Waaka, is that Rotorua is on land donated by Te Arawa. That statement is not entirely correct. Certainly land for medical purposes and for other forms of public use was gifted for community projects (with settlers raising money and the central government making contributions according to Don Stafford), but most of the land that makes up the Rotorua District was settled under normal financial transactions.

Furthermore, it is my opinion and belief that what is given for the benefit of one’s fellow citizens is unconditional. (abridged)

Bay of Plenty Times 24/2/15
Peter Dey (Letters, February 20) rightly points out that the term “apartheid” refers to a system of government that favoured South African whites.

Many saw the introduction of the Treaty of Waitangi Act in New Zealand in 1975 as a form of reverse apartheid.

In New Zealand, at least, I think the term apartheid is now generally accepted as any form of legislation or government that favours one group or caste of people over others based on ethnicity.

It seems apparent that the opponents of Peter Dey’s insistence that a Maori ward be established in our city council see his proposal as just that.

Daily Post Rotorua 21/2/15
Democracy is a special thing and worth protecting. We often take the one adult person-one vote system for electing local and government representatives for granted in New Zealand and often do not recognise its value in determining what we have today.

While not a perfect system, it is still the best system for allowing an adult population, irrespective of race or religion, to express their wishes and needs and we can thank democracy for the relative peace, and general progress internally in the western world today.

Conversely, tribalism, perceptions of cultural superiority or injustice and religious fanaticism continue to be the major causes of conflict, poor or retrograde development and lack of peace in many parts of the world today.

Our mayor now wishes to depart from democracy and introduce a system allowing non-elected people on to various council committees, who will have voting rights and whose decisions may or will influence the outcomes of various debates and the future of voters and, in fact, everyone in our area.

Can our mayor please explain clearly and concisely why this is needed, why she is prepared to risk what we dearly value, and the advantages of what she is proposing?

If she can do this to the satisfaction of Rotorua voters, then great. If she cannot do this, then I think she needs to focus on the real issues of today such as reducing council debt.

What is going to be achieved by extending public consultation by three weeks? (Proposal goes to consultation, February 18) We must go back to the beginning, when this idea was put forward to the council by our mayor. Steve Chadwick. With some councillors absent, she was able to push through the name change to "Lakes" and only a public outcry stopped her front putting through this legislation.

In Steve's campaign for the mayoralty. there was no mention of this "partner-ship". So whose idea was it? Steve's, Te Arawa or maybe husband John? To be fair to all of us who voted for Steve, she should resign, hold another election for mayor, and campaign with honesty telling us what she is proposing for Rotorua. It might cost us a few thousand dollars, but project costs don't seem to be a problem for Steve.

Councillor Trevor Maxwell is "concerned" that some councillors had already made up their minds. He is stating the obvious, I doubt if any of them have not made up their minds. But this is far too important just for the council to decide, it is a decision to be made by the public of Rotorua. Come on Steve, test the water and hold another election. That will tell you how popular your legislation is.

Dominion Post 20/2/15
Labour leader Andrew Little has proposed looking at giving Maori greater self-governance, possibly including the ability to make some of their own laws.

If this is where Labour is going then why would anyone vote for them?

This separatist rubbish is why Labour cannot win an election.

I had hoped that Little would move away from this form of stupidity. But no, they have not changed at all.

Equality and laws that apply to all, is at the centre of a free and democratic country.

Maori are citizens of this country, as we all are.

What they want is first world jobs, with first world wages, a good education system and health care.

What Labour need to do is to talk about these issues, not different laws based on race. Come on, pull your socks up.

NZ Herald 20/2/15
In answer to complaints from the public, the security person charged with locking the gates to Mt Eden unfairly blames the Mayor for the earlier closing time.

However, the Auckland Council is not in control of the management of Mt Eden. Instead, this power has been transferred to the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority, a co-governance body of which half the members, including the chair, are agents of local iwi.

Unlike the democratically elected representatives on the authority, who are accountable to the citizens of Auckland, the iwi group has no obligation to consider the wishes of the wider community. The same situation applies to 14 of Auckland’s volcanic cones, which together make up a large proportion of Auckland’s open spaces.

Those annoyed about the earlier closing times need to direct their anger at the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority. Unfortunately, since the introduction of this new management scheme your chance of being heard has significantly decreased.

Wanganui Chronicle 20/2/15
It's sad that Potonga Neilson, in his letter to the editor on Saturday (February 14), chooses to play the man instead of the ball.

New Zealand is at a cross-roads where we have a choice between going down divided racist tribal paths and ending up with something similar to the sectarian violence we see in Ireland, or working together to make a better future for all New Zealanders.

Without a true understanding of history, you cannot make sense of the past or plan a better future. Irish and other troops that came here in the 1850s and 1860s had had a guts-full of wars — The 100 Years War, Napoleonic wars and Crimea to name just a few (and to say nothing of the tribal wars the Irish had between themselves much as the early Maori did).

The troops were sick of killing and bloodshed and, given the Maori were outgunned and could be easily defeated, they took pity on them and inflicted minimal losses. It would have been so easy to station gunboats on all major rivers and alongside fertile areas of land by the coast and "blow away" all resistance.

In my opinion, we have a history in New Zealand of working together. Let's not lose that just because politicians have been working to buy the Maori vote over the last little while and thus create disharmony among our peoples so they can grab the Treasury benches.

Potonga, we have common cause. We both believe the Treaty settlement process is fatally flawed.. Together we can make New Zealand a better place for our children and our children's children. Let's work together to take the politicians and divisive radicals, working for their own gain, to task.

Whangarei Reporter 19/2/15
The Waitabgi tribunal, in its wisdom, has ruled that chieftains who sighed the Treaty of Waitangi did not cede sovereignty to the Queen.

If that decison does indeed reflect fact then it is obvious that there was a major misunderstanding between both parties who were signatories to the document.

The Queen's representatives believed that the Maori were agreeing to accept the sovereignty of the Queen as supreme "Rangatira" over and above their own chieftainships -- and the subsequent granting of the same rights as British citizens was contingent upon the Maori acceptance of that proviso.

The Maoris (according to the tribunal) believed that they were entering into an equal partnership with the Queen, gaining her protection while retaining the right to self-government and the right to make their own laws.

So we are left with a "contract" between two parties both of whom had a complete misunderstanding of the intent of the other party.

If such a contract was to be presented for consideration in any court of Iaw (given these "facts") there' is little doubt that the contract would be declared null and void.

Thus the chieftains would retain their "tino rangtiratanga" but no longer be entitled to the rights of British citizens.

And if it so transpired that the Treaty was found to be an invalid document this would also invalidate all previous "Treaty settlements".

Sir Apirana Ngata M.A. LL.B. certainly did not share the Tribunal's conclusion in his book, "An Explanation of the Treaty" — but then, not many of today's part-Maori would have read that.

Rotorua Review 19/2/15
On February 12 the Rotorua District Council CEO warned our elected councillors against ‘‘making definitive statements on a final position and avoid any action, or statement, that indicate a closed mind or predetermination and therefore may disqualify you from voting’’. The Rotorua ProDemocracy Society sees this as yet another attempt by the current regime to predetermine the outcomes of the debate over the Te Arawa Partnership Plan (TAPP).

The first example was when the mayor and three Te Arawa councillors met with the Te Arawa Standing Committee just after the October 2013 election to negotiate ‘‘agreed themes’’ that largely predetermined what became the TAPP. The second was when the mayor redirected the council’s Cultural Engagement Audit to become the Hovell Report, which further predetermined the content of the TAPP. Public feedback was 2:1 against power going to unelected people nominated to council committees by a new Te Arawa Board and against disproportionate power going to a minority group. It was ignored.

The third example of (attempted) predetermination was when the mayor and Cr RaukawaTait issued four warnings in May 2014 against public comment on the TAPP before Te Arawa had been consulted.

They were ignored. Negative public comment simply intensified. The intended July implementation deadline had to be scrapped.

The fourth example of (temporarily successful) predetermination was when the latest TAPP was boosted by the mayor, and council meeting conditions and procedures were cleverly manipulated, to gain approval in principle for Option 2. The fierce public reaction was ignored.

Councillors in our democracy have just been warned to avoid having closed minds or predetermination under threat of being disqualified from voting on behalf of their constituents. We advise councillors (and the public) to ignore these hypocritical threats and to continue to exercise their democratic rights to associate and speak openly. They can’t be ignored forever if we are to retain our democracy.

As reported the Rotorua Lakes Council CEO has presumed to tell democratically-elected councillors what to think, say and do, thus: "Please be mindful to avoid making any definitive statements on a final position and avoid any action, or statement, that indicates a closed mind or pre-determination and therefore may disqualify you from voting."

What an arrogant, presumptuous and insubordinate statement to make! Who the hell does he think he is, telling elected councillors that? Implying that any view not liked by the mayor and CEO might disqualify a councillor from voting. It gets worse. "Councillors need to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a councillor and any private or external interest they might have.

This note is provided as a reminder to members to review the matters on the agenda and assess and identify where they may have a pecuniary or other conflict of interest, or where there may be a perception of a conflict of interest. "If a member feels they do have a conflict of interest, they should publicly declare that at the start of the meeting or of the relevant item of business and refrain from participating in the discussion or voting on that item. "If a member thinks they may have a conflict of interest, they can seek advice from the chief executive .. ." I can't believe the temerity and gross, impertinent gall of the man.

The CEO should be told to clear his desk and be shown the door. It would be great if all councillors AND THE MAYOR declared, at the beginning of meetings, what they believe in, have an external and internal interest in — and so potentially have a closed mind on — in the paramount importance of equal democratic rights for all. If the CEO thinks that would disqualify them from voting, or is a conflict of interest, then he should damn well disclose his closed-mind conflict of interest with equality of the democratic process, publicly, to everyone.
Hawke's Bay

Daily Post Rotorua 19/2/15
It is with great sadness that I read that the three councillors of Te Arawa descent are considered unable to represent Te Arawa views and needs. I had full confidence in them when they received my vote at the last ballot. In my opinion, they can wear two hats while fairly representing all the people of Rotorua. Any group that would like representation should put for-ward their own candidate in the next election. Unelected members of council set a dangerous precedent.

Jackie Evans is incorrect in stating that "Te Arawa gifted most of the land upon which Rotorua now stands." (Letters, February 11). In 1882, Ngati Whakaue and its sub-tribes put up for auction, leasehold sites that were to form Rotorua township. Some areas on the plan were marked as public reserves which gave prospective investors greater confidence that they would be buying into a "proper" town. Proceeds from the auction far exceeded expectations and the Maori landowners looked forward to a substantial rental income. The town was founded on a hard-nosed business deal and the gifting of land was not part of the process.

Bay of Plenty Times 18/2/15
Re Peter Dey’s letter of February 16 . I am stating emphatically that the “official” English version of the Treaty of Waitangi is not genuine. The myth that it is genuine needs to be debunked, dismantled, and destroyed. Being “official” does not necessarily make something genuine or correct.

The “official” English version of te Tiriti was concocted after the event by Hobson’s pretentious secretary, Freeman, who wanted a “royal style” document suitable for dispatches to England and Australia. He wrote seven of these with variant wording.

It was not Hobson’s choice to have two versions. He said: “The treaty, which forms the basis of my proceedings, was signed at Waitangi, on 6th February, 1840, by 52 chiefs, . . . This instrument I consider to be de facto the treaty, and all the signatures that are subsequently obtained are merely testimonials of adherence to the terms of the original document”. These are the facts, no matter what the book by Claudia Orange says.

It’s ironic that, while international convention requires that a treaty in the native language (in this case Maori) prevails, Mr Dey relies on a false document in English. Shame on the politicians who created this mess.

Daily Post Rotorua 18/2/15
The mayor and three Te Arawa councillors are still trying hard to reserve council seats for Te Arawa.

Personally, I would be most embarrassed to sit among democratically elected councillors when nobody had voted for me, and make decisions in the interest of a group that nominated me. How awful.

Why Te Arawa? Why not dish out council seats to (say) societies, social services, the police, the hospital, our business community etc? How can the other groups get access to the sort of power that the nominees will have? How do we get rid of them if they are not up to it? Won’t it encourage corruption?

I just learned of a warning given to councillors by the chief executive, on behalf of the mayor no doubt, that exhibiting a fixed mind or predetermination may result in the loss of voting rights.

That sounds like the mayor and the Te Arawa councillors to me. They have been fixed on delivering greater power to Te Arawa since they got elected.

They have helped predetermine Option 2 from the ‘‘agreed themes’’ onwards. Their fingerprints are all over it.

I thought we lived in a democracy where we and our elected councillors have the right of free speech, the right to associate with others to talk things over, and the right to express views as they develop.

This attempt to muzzle councillors just before long-overdue public consultations begin is disgraceful. Shame on the chief executive and on the mayor’s undemocratic regime.

The officers warning that councillors cannot approach an issue with fixed ideas is probably one of the stupidest things I have heard said in a democracy.

There are innumerable issues that come forward that may have value and amendments that might fix those issues and yet he is asking councillors not to approach these proposals with knowledge of what the consequences of proposed solutions might be.

I am sure that the parliament of Adolf Hitler had similar tactics. However, I thought we had moved forward from that and that elected members of any group have the right to listen to and participate in any debate and make their mind up on the issues and the value, good or bad with whatever is being promoted.

Frankly, I am embarrassed that the district council has hired people that are so completely uninformed when it comes to democratic decision making and the idea that councillors would accept these directions is also very scary indeed.

I would suggest to all councillors that the best thing to do is to make a decision to re-evaluate the officers’ ability to do the job. There are a number of people in Rotorua that could take that job over on a temporary basis while searching for a replacement for the officers who have had a brain explosion when it comes to advice for a democratically elected council.

Wairarapa Times Age 18/2/15
By her own admission, Master-ton Mayor Lyn Patterson's views on the Treaty of Waitangi are rather simplistic. You can say that again. In particular, I wish to raise the issue of having "the voice of Maori heard at the decision-making table".

Is this not patronising and insulting? Are people of Maori ancestry not capable of standing and being elected through our democratic process and thus being part of the decision-making process? Further how can she assume that there is a single Maori viewpoint to be brought to the table.

Surely Maori people have as diverse range of opinions on political and community matters as does everyone else. Unfortunately having a non-democratic, unelected Maori in-put usually seems to mean that only activist views get heard, and those with simplistic under-standings go along with them.

Gisborne Herald 17/2/15
In her letter of February 7 Pauline Tangiora, the claimant for customary marine title of the foreshore and seabed of the whole of the Mahia Peninsula out to 22.2km at sea, berated Dr Hugh Barr, secretary of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ), for opposing this race-based grab for an important public resource. She claimed he was “damaging race relations”.

In fact he was stating the truth that, with customary marine title in their hands, Mrs Tangiora’s Rongomaiwahine tribe could declare part or all of this area to be “wahi tapu” — from which the public could be banned with fines of up to $5000 for individuals.

It is Mrs Tangiora who is damaging race relations by this greedy claim to these formerly publicly owned areas. Why not leave things as they are instead of creating racial divisions where they didn’t exist before?

Mrs Tangiora also wrote, “Mr Barr needs to familiarise himself with the Treaty of Waitangi and the responsibilities everyone has in respect of it.”

It is Mrs Tangiora who needs to understand the three simple articles of the Treaty, by which the chiefs ceded the violent and anarchic islands of New Zealand to Queen Victoria in return for Maori (including the slaves) having all the rights and freedoms of British subjects. The Treaty gave equality to all and not race-based privileges to a few. There were no “principles” of the Treaty and nor was it a “partnership” between Maori and the Crown. These are modern fictions dreamed up 150 years after the event by self-interested parties.

It’s time Mrs Tangiora became a New Zealander instead of trying to dig up a tribal past at the expense of all other New Zealanders.

Whangarei Leader 17/2/15
Your report on Treaty teacher Moea Armstrong (Leader, February 3 P7) misleads the public to believe what she and others are teaching on the Treaty is the truth.

No! They are rewriting history to support their political view and agenda.

As your report stated: Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says there is no question the Crown has sovereignty in New Zealand.

That is why we have the Union Jack flag flying at the [Waitangi Day] ceremony, the Royal Navy being the honour guard and the Governor-General representing our Sovereign Queen.

If the public read the book Twisting the Treaty, that is in our public library, they would be made aware of the true history of the Treaty and its meaning.

The chiefs who signed it and met again in 1860 at Kohimaramara agreed the Queen was the Sovereign of New Zealand.

I think these rewriters of history and false teachers of Treaty meanings are pulling the wool over the public’s eyes...not opening them.

Regarding your story ‘‘Treaty educator opens eyes’’, Whangarei Leader, February 3 page 7.

■ Moea Armstrong indicates the Treaty of Waitangi is our founding document. The Treaty is about chiefs ceding sovereignty in return for rights as British subjects, all the treaty says is the Queen is sovereign and Maori are her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property.

■ She asks why were Pakeha farmers and Maori sharemilkers.
The fact is land-owner Maori sold New Zealand in hundreds of transactions painstakingly recorded in Turton’s deeds posted for all to see on the NZ Electronic Text Centre of Victoria University.

■ She says: ‘‘For the first time I understood why that was – that there was an historically ugly cause of that.’’ She says workshop attendees are sometimes shocked when they realise the scale of the historical injustice. Perhaps she could specify ‘historically ugly cause’, historical injustice.

■ She claims systemic asset stripping. There was little ‘‘asset stripping’’. Maori tribes/chiefs were willing sellers of land to the pioneers – sometimes paid several times over.

The chiefs also sold the water, the trees, everything above it and everything below it.

■ She claims it is a misconception Maori ceded sovereignty, yet in article one of the Treaty it clearly states Maori cede sovereignty forever to the Queen.

■ She questions the fact Maori now have special privileges. The government has fostered numerous privileges for those who claim Maori ancestry. Tax exemption for tribal corporations and the multimillion dollar cash transfers in the name of river ‘‘co-governance’’ are just two examples.

■ She points to the government’s $1.6 billion bailout of South Canterbury Finance in 2011 to downplay the annual expenditure of $1.16b in funding for Maori. The bailout was a one-off payment of $1.6b to investors of all ethnicities while funding for Maori is repeated every year and is at least $1.16 billion, and is on top of other funding through health, housing, social development, and education.

■ She says the settlements Maori are getting are only a shadow of what they should be receiving. The land sales and purchases appeared to be satisfactory at the time because they continued for decades. For instance Ngai Tahu managed to sell almost the entire South Island in 10 deals over 20 years.

The land Ngai Tahu exchanged for 14,750 pounds, which is $1.6 million in today’s dollars, was minus forest cover burnt off by earlier generations to flush out game. There were no towns, roads, farms. There was no development whatsoever.

■ Armstrong says a report released last year by the Waitangi Tribunal was a ‘‘watershed moment’’ for our country. In summary, the report says that when Maori rangatira [chiefs] signed the treaty from 1840 onwards, they did not give the British Crown the authority to make and enforce law over their people or territories. If this was correct then could she explain why the chiefs freed their slaves and cannibalism ended? The rangatira consented to the Treaty on the basis they and the governor were to be equals, each controlling their own people, the report says. There is no mention of Maori and governor being equals in the Treaty, or each controlling their own people – this is from a couple of chiefs of the many who spoke on the day before the signing, so they knew full well that they were not consenting as equals or controlling their own people.
Whangarei (abridged)

Wanganui Chronicle 17/2/15
I wonder how many Wanganui people have read the Wanganui River settlement "Ratification Booklet". This was produced last year for local iwi as a guide to help them vote on the terms of the proposed, historic Waitangi Treaty Claim for just the river (not any land claims) and for its post-settlement governance.

Electionz confirm that of the 5000-odd registered, some 29 per cent of iwi voted with a resounding 97 per cent level of support.

As a recently returned but born, raised and educated Wanganui boy, I have always been aware of the river's significance, particularly to (but not just) Maori, and the long outstanding legal issues on the ownership of the river bed that came to the fore at the time of European settlement in the mid-1800s. This claim has been tortuous and was well overdue for settlement.

But what does it mean? The river is given a new and unique status, and an all-embracing structure, a trust called Nga Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui takes control, dissolving the old river board, the Pakaitore Trust and the Fisheries Trust. In hard-nosed terms, the settlement produces financial redress of $80 million plus $1 million for set-up costs and a further $30 million to scope and deal with the health of the river. A total of $111 million.

This is big Nickles in anyone's terms. Hopefully, it will not be dealt with like nearby Tuwharetoa, who turned a $60 million settlement into $16 million in short order. Rather, one can but trust that it will be used like the settlement for Ngai Tahu, whose assets now exceed $1 billion, including major exposure to farming and tourism; the latter surely having great local economic significance. The river really is an untapped and under-utilised asset, yet will it remain so? This settlement has the ability to bring major economic advantages, not just to Maori but all people of the district. Will that materialise? Only time will tell.

Media reports quote: "Labour leader Andrew Little has proposed looking at giving Maori greater self-governance, possibly including the ability to make some of their own laws. Mr Little made the comments yesterday, referring to a Waitangi Tribunal finding last year that Northland Maori did not cede their sovereignty when signing the Treaty."

The Waitangi Tribunal completely overlooked the 1860 Kohimarama conference, attended by 200, and the 1879 First Maori Parliament, where 300 paramount Maori chiefs swore their allegiance to Queen Victoria's sovereignty, including Northland Maori.

The Treaty of Waitangi extended New South Wales boundaries to encompass all the islands of New Zealand under one flag and English law only. On May 3, 1841, Queen Victoria's Royal Charter/Letters Patent dated November 16, 1840, separated New Zealand from New South Wales and New Zealand became a British colony with its own governor and constitution to form a legal government to make laws with courts and judges to enforce English law only, irrespective of race, colour or creed on May 3, 1840. New Zealand was born. Unfortunately, unlike John Key in this instance, Andrew Little and the Waitangi Tribunal omit information held at Archive New Zealand.
Palmerston North

Wanganui Chronicle 16/2/15
It saddens me (a third generation resident, born and bred in Wanganui), to be part of a democratic process that is being driven by our council governance and officers with a hidden agenda.

I was schooled alongside my Maori friends in Aramoho. Those people are still friends today. Our past two generations were never taught to spell Wanganui with an H. I wish to speak and pronounce my language as a New Zealander, as I was born and raised. To change the name will cause a social split and a feeling of no longer belonging to our place of birth.

I am in my 60th year, and you political people must consider that the vast majority of this community, who are born here, hold their own pride of place that is now being undermined. I am a passionate defender of Wanganui — I have a small business here and put $700,000 back into the community in wages annually — but the failed wastewater plant and now the rebirth of the H debate makes me want to leave this town and go where democracy is still alive.

Wanganui really needs to look forward and listen to the majority of ratepayers before this town, socially and financially, becomes irreparable.

Daily Post Rotorua 16/2/15
I was reading Saturday February 14th’s Rotorua Daily Post and two things stood out, the first was the fabulous photo on the front page with the title “Warriors A Big Hit”. The photo showed school kids of all ethnic groups, in Rotorua, excited having their photo taken with the Warriors. It was great to see all these boys and girls of different ethnic backgrounds enjoying themselves as one. “He iwi tahi tatou”, “We are now one people”. It was a reminder (councillors and council management take note) that Rotorua and its citizens are made up of people of all ethnic groups who should all enjoy the same and equal rights together.

The second was the editorial under the title “Everyone Entitled To Have View Considered”. This sums up exactly what is expected in an open democracy, where everybody can have their say, be treated fairly and have their views acted on by the councillors, who took an oath to look after “all” the people in Rotorua. The last thing we want to see is Rotorua divided, we want to make a difference for everybody in Rotorua, not just one group. For those councillors who voted for Option Two of the Te Arawa Proposal, please reconsider and listen to the wider community and ensure that we all get a say in how our beautiful city is run.

Wanganui Chronicle 14/2/15
It appears that preserving the Maori language is flavour of the mouth. Despite offering three obviously unacceptable submissions to the editor on this subject, I have decided to have one last go. If this fails, I may have to give Susan Devoy a call — mind you, she is busy trying to avoid the duties of her office over a pakeha coach of a Maori basketball team causing that team to be refused entry into the National Maori Basketball Tournament. Apparently Ms Devoy needs a formal complaint before she can act or even comment

The Chronicle of February 6 sort of sums it up... First, the cartoon of Gareth Morgan (leader of the NZ branch of the KKK —Kiwi Kat Killers) shows his idiocy, although his calls for compulsory force feeding of te reo in schools is not mentioned.

Then the "Another View' column succinctly addresses biculturalism The only problem is that while the majority of the population want to achieve this, a small vocal radical mob of part-Maori want a dominant position and special treatment. Turn over the page and Lynette Archer is pushing the "bilingual barrow" in the parenting column. To show her proficiency in te reo she manages to insert the occasional Maori word but her comment that "in NZ we are fortunate to be able to speak and understand two languages" is not only patronising, it is also total rubbish unless referring to a minute portion of the population. Again, her hypothesis that bilinguals are more creative thinkers and posses sharper brain functions in older age beggars belief.

So, the creators of the seven wonders of the world, the historic masters of art and sculpture, mathematics, medicine and philosophy were all bilingual youngsters? I think not.

As for teaching te reo at an early age in schools, I have it on good authority that there are very few te reo fluent qualified teachers available to utilise the material previously provided to schools at great cost. I can see no practical reason for forcing te reo on the general public. It has no place in global economics and the chances of three NZ citizens, a Samoan, a Pakistani and a Chinaman standing on the footpath on Queen Street in Auckland having a conversation in te reo are as remote as me catching a great white shark in Virginia Lake on a fly rod.

Anyone reasonably observant would see an increase in the appearance of the word "Aotearoa" in print. It appeared on a postage stamp in larger letters than our country's real name.

There are many names for our country. Tasman named it "Staten Landt", then it was named "Nieuw Zeelandt". Since then it has been New 'Zealand for 373 years.

When the Treaty was written in 1840 it was transliterated to Maori as "Nu Tirani" which appears eight times in the Treaty. Until around the middle of the 19th century, Maori favoured "Nu Tirani" — Aotearoa is absent from the Treaty of Waitangi.

Aotearoa was sometimes used as a name for the south Island; for the North Island it was "Nu Tirani" and about a hundred years later was "Tominiona Niu Tirani" (Dominion of New Zealand). Moriori called one of the places where they landed "Aotea" meaning new dawn. The Waitaha name for the North Island was "Whai Repo" meaning sting ray; for the South Island it was "Aotearoa", plus there were many other names. We are all New Zealanders whatever racial origins we may have. Our country has been called New Zealand for 373 years and we should recognise it as such.

NZHerald 14/2/15
The constructive Herald editorial that we have nothing to fear from Maori sovereignty needs some qualification.

Potential models include indigenous parliaments ( for example, a Maori parliament alongside the general Parliament with defined powers or an advisory role only); constitutional provisions ( for example, a right of veto by Maori over some decisions, or entrenching the Maori electoral seats, or an Upper House constituted 50 per cent by Maori pursuant to the Treaty); and separate territories ( an autonomous area under the overall umbrella of central government).

Maori sovereignty should not derogate from the current sovereign state. While there might be a limited power in Maori to govern their own specifically defined affairs or act as an advisory council to government, further inroads such as the power to raise taxes, rights of veto of decisions and half an Upper House echoing the Treaty are highly controversial.

They require careful analysis of need and benefit, including whether other measures will gradually improve harmony, Maori representation and participation.

If accepted, it may mean the end of the Maori seats, the major current mechanism for accommodating Maori interests.

The issue is likely to depend on whether Maori can agree on any such change and its specifics.
St Marys Bay.

Weekend Sun/Sunlive 13/2/15
The timely column by Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller speaks for most of us when he comments on his memories of Waitangi Day - the tears of the elders as they weep for the loss of prestige caused by the ugly actions of the radical Harawira clan and their followers.

It is the reason many bridle when they see the protest flag.

Connotations of radical Maori are raised every time that flag is raised.

The shame is that what we see, can show untrue perceptions of Maori in general.

Most Maori families are decent hard-working people, who simply want to buy a home and educate and raise good children. They vote for Todd Muller, Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, and NZ First leader Winston Peters instead of former Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.

I remember the delightful old Maori people of days gone by. I think of the fine Morrison family of Rotorua.

These old people interviewed in chat-type shows on Maori TV were courteous, gently-spoken, and absolute pillars of society.

Maori leaders are surely aware they must work hard to erase the damage caused by those who affected by the radical views of the fevered few!
Pyes Pa.

Bay of Plenty Times 13/2/15
Any doubts of the Waitangi Tribunal’s ethnic bias must surely have been removed when it accepted a claim from some northern Maori tribes that their ancestors did not cede governance and accept the sovereignty of the Queen.

What did Hone Heke, one of the first signatories of the Treaty, believe he was agreeing to?

Andrew Little, Labour Party leader, in giving apparent credibility to this claim, by his statement at the Waitangi Day remembrance ceremonies, has not only cost his party some thousands of votes but also displayed a naivete and lack of foresight not expected of a party leader.

Daily Post Rotorua 13/2/15
We reply to Aroha Bray (February 6) and Jackie Evans (February 11) on behalf of the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society. Aroha asked why we are against partnership (not so) and want to divide the community (we don't).

We want council to operate in a democratic manner as required by law without representation favouring any group.

Partnership is a political slogan. Jackie supported an undefined partnership because Te Arawa is "no ordinary ethnic minority" due to Treaty obligations and past contributions. Regrettably, the Treaty, the Local Government Act and the Resources Management Act do not prescribe any particular form of relationship.

The LGA is to ensure "democratic and effective decision-making".

The partnership proposed in Option 2 will mean giving a new Te Arawa Board the right to nominate appointments for unelected positions on council sub-committees alongside elected councillors. This would give Te Arawa disproportionate power. This would also confuse the legitimate rights of all interest groups to lobby councillors with the responsibility that councillors have to make decisions in the public interest.

Councillors must enact both roles effectively and separately.

Kaumatua Jim Gray (July 16, 2014) warned against seeing Maori as incapable of taking their chances "on a level playing field" and "making special concessions to Maori representation ... not being granted to other ethnic groups".

Our members believe that council should apply democratic principles in the interest of all citizens as required by law. Keeping "an open mind" about the Te Arawa Partnership Plan will favour one interest group.

Dominion Post 12/2/15
There is some loose analysis in your editorial (February 6).

Treaties are not signed by cultures, but by people. They are not about culture.

‘‘Kawanatanga’’ is not ‘‘some form of government’’. It means ‘‘sovereignty’’ as read out at Waitangi by Hobson from his final draft in English, understood by English-speaking chiefs and by others in their recorded speeches.

‘‘Tino rangitiratanga’’ is not ‘‘some form of self-governance’’, but more accurately ‘‘possession’’ (of property) but, even more importantly, it was guaranteed to all the people of New Zealand, ‘‘tangata katoa o Nu Tirani’’, with no special rights for tribes to water or anything else.

It is some people today who seek material gain or political power who twist the meanings of these words otherwise.

This is pseudo-democracy, not ‘‘profoundly democratic’’.

Dominion Post 12/2/15 (To the point section)
How peaceful. respectful. and civil Waitangi Day celebrations would be if the media and politicians left the dissidents to protest. yell and shout at Waitangi on their own. Then. that would be something for all of us to celebrate.
Stokes Valley

Daily Post Rotorua 12/2/15
Supporters of RDC's preferred option for Te Arawa representation ask those opposed what are they afraid of? I'm opposed to the option. Although not afraid, I'm extremely nervous. I'm nervous when people think that it's OK to meddle with democracy. Democracy's not always perfect, but it's a damn sight better than alternative forms of governance. I'm nervous when interest groups gain special rights, including voting rights, on political bodies.

If it's OK for Te Arawa, then why not other legitimate groups such as tourism operators, accommodation/ business owners, developers etc, all groups vital to Rotorua's success?

The answer, because decisions made would be based on what‘s best for their own interest group. We must reserve places on council committees for those elected to make decisions in the public interest.

I’m nervous, when a councillor makes a speech stating that she’s there for “my people” (Te Arawa).

Councillors swear an oath to serve the entire community of Rotorua, always making decisions they believe are in our community’s best interest, not just Te Arawa’s. Clearly other Te Arawa councillors feel the same as this young councillor, and it isn’t right.

I’m very nervous when our mayor gives unelected members of an interest group voting rights on committees and RMA hearings without public consultation. That shows an arrogant disregard for the opinions of the majority of Rotorua’s voting public.

If Te Arawa deserves a stronger voice, messing with democracy isn’t the answer and long term, in nobody’s best interest.

It has been suggested that the councillors associated with the Pro-Democracy Society be morally obliged to abstain from voting on the Te Arawa Proposal (Letters, February 6).

Hypothetically, should that happen, then shouldn’t those council members with Te Arawa affiliations be morally obliged to abstain also? Not many councillors left. Alternatively, how about a conscience vote as sometimes occurs at national government level, that way all councillors could vote anonymously as they truly feel, without having to bend to any pressure.

Taranaki Daily News 12/2/15
What should be our national day?

New Zealand became a selfgoverning country on September 26, 1926, when it was declared to be a ‘‘self-governing dominion’’. Prior to this the Constitution Act of June 30, 1852, of the British Parliament allowed ‘‘self government’’ in New Zealand. The 1926 day was ‘‘Dominion Day’’ and celebrated as such until it was abolished by the Lange government when Waitangi Day was declared to be the national day. This despite the fact that New Zealand was simply a colony both before and after the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Treaty was a contract between the British Crown (British government) and Maori chiefs. It was designed to protect various Maori tribes from the unscrupulous and aggressive Europeans, and the equally unscrupulous and arrogant other Maori tribes. In addition all Maori were granted all the rights and privileges, and responsibilities of British citizens, and their precious belongings protected. In return the chiefs gave the Queen absolute authority.

The Treaty did not create a nation. New Zealand remained a colony of Britain.

Dominion status was not complete independence and the British still held some authority in the country. Complete independence came in 1949 when New Zealand accepted the Statute of Westminster by which it became a completely independent nation in the British Commonwealth of Nations. This date really marks the start of the nation ‘‘New Zealand’’.

The reasons for the Labour government’s move to move the day from Dominion Day to Waitangi Day are obscure, but the change was illogical, unwarranted, and incorrect. Dominion Day, being celebrated in all towns in the country, was enjoyed by all Kiwis – a truly national day. Waitangi Day, being restricted to one locality, is available to only a few – hardly a day for the nation.
New Plymouth

Northland Age 12/2/15
The diatribe against Bruce Moon, a well-respected writer, a former national president of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals, an authority on early New Zealand history and an overseas volunteer to boot, by Mr Taipari ( Northland Age February 3) defies belief.

To suggest that Bruce Moon is a racist/redneck is misleading and quite untrue, and are futile attempts by activist Taipari to defend the indefensible, as is his call for media censorship to prevent the truth and facts seeing the light of day.

Clearly Mr Taipari prefers twisted ‘fairy tales’ and the feel-good ‘fiction factory’ stuff to fuel the self-delusions.

He can’t even comprehend there is only one genuine Treaty (the Maori version) which contains no reference to trees, seas, lakes and fresh air or ‘kitchen sinks’, and the ‘two nations’ claptrap is laughable, as there was one British government representative, Hobson, and a group of disparate Northern Maori chiefs.

Moving on, interestingly, Mr Taipari reckons he lives by some sort of moral code, but then most other Kiwis claim to have this attribute also.

As for the farm and three houses custodianship, are these on Maori land and are rates paid on Maori or general land? The two businesses referred to, are they Maori interest-orientated, and was there any government taxpayer or community funding, either direct or indirect?

Well, Mr Taipari, what are the answers?

If Parihaka is to be rescued from the silence of history, then we should get its history right.

First, the white feather worn there as a symbol of peace had been stolen from the Chatham Island Morioris, who were true pacifists. In 1835 these peaceful islands were invaded by Te Ati Awa subtribes from Taranaki, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama, who proceeded to commit genocide on a colossal scale. This was not the first time, as Ngati Toa had allowed them to annihilate Ngati Ira at Port Nicholson.

The invasion is well-documented in Michael King’s book Moriori.

A hundred or more Moriori women were laid out on the beach and stakes were driven through their bodies; men treated similarly. King gives eyewitness accounts of how bodies were prepared to be eaten.

It was not long before a Moriori population of about 1600 was reduced to 101 survivors — a holocaust indeed.

At Parihaka there were no casualties at all, one child’s foot trodden on accidentally by a trooper’s horse being the only injury. Yet the Waitangi Tribunal, which has assumed much authority, has stated that ‘the invasion of Parihaka must rank with the most heinous action of any government, in any country, in the last century’, calling it ‘the holocaust of Taranaki history’.

This statement by the Tribunal is quite untrue. The ‘holocaust’ claim was repeated by Keri Opai in a well-publicised interview with Kim Hill on Waitangi Day. With such statements by such people, how can we ever expect to have a true history of our nation?

Taranaki itself had been conquered by Waikato tribes a few years before the Chatham invasion; one-third killed and eaten and one-third taken as slaves, while most survivors fled to the south. Some Ngati Tama had taken part in Te Rauparaha’s bloody southward migration with the virtual annihilation of tribes which stood in the way.

When the British came, South Taranaki was almost deserted, land there having been paid for to the Maori survivors and a British colony established, southern refugees who had not gone to the Chathams returned and commenced to war bitterly with other tribes. This spilled over on to settler areas, where numbers of defenceless farmer families were killed.

The government intervened as a full-scale rebellion erupted. When this was quelled, rebel land was confiscated, as they had been warned it would be, and in accordance with their own practice in the Chatham Islands and elsewhere.

With the development of Pai Marire, Te W’iti became a convert and took part in the attack on the Sentry Hill armed post. Later the Hau Hau (Pai Marire) ‘prophet’ Te Ua ‘consecrated’ Te W’iti.

He had no right to build at Parihaka, which was on land confiscated in accordance with the rules of the time. The premier, Sir John Hall, tried to negotiate with Te W’iti whose replies were entirely evasive. He had only himself to blame for the action taken by the government.

Te W’iti’s own three feathers look remarkably like the Prince of Wales’ feathers, a 14th century symbol we have been seeing on television recently. It looks as if Te W’iti stole from two sources.

Nobody should claim that all actions taken by the government during the Taranaki tribal rebellions were entirely well-judged, but they took place against a background of tribal savagery against other tribes and the settlers.

I’d be happy to supply references to reliable sources. This is particularly needed for latter-day schoolchildren, who are being fed a very biased, anti-colonial ‘history’ of our nation. The truth is that, prior to 1840, most Maori were hell-bent on their own destruction, and the British saved them from themselves.

Northern Advocate 11/2/15
Reading Minister of Education Hekia Parata’s opinion piece (Northern Advocate 9/2/15) has made me despair for the future of children of Maori descent. They, their parents and their fellow Kiwis are constantly being manipulated by propaganda designed to make them useful pawns in the machinations of power hungry politicians and activists.

I agree that, years ago, children weren’t able to speak te reo at school. But Ms Parata fails to mention that this was because Maori elders wanted them to have the best possible future opportunities. Kamatuas knew then that being able to communicate well, with as many people as possible, would make life easier and more prosperous for Maori. That perspective is still valid today.

These same elders were the ones wanting punishments for children caught speaking Maori, as verified on the website: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-BIM873TeHa-t1-g1-t2.html

Ms Parata also fails to explain that, historically, most students were subjected to teachers slapping and hitting them (with a ruler, belt or cane) for minor demeanours. Physical punishment at school was standard practice and was certainly not focussed on any ethnicity – ask anyone over 55!

And finally, the treaty has achieved everything such a document would have been intended to achieve in 1840. New Zealand led the world in delivering legal equality, independent of race, gender or religious orientation. Unfortunately there is no document on earth that can make people value their own education and health, or take up the opportunities available to them.

Ms Parata fails New Zealand and all children of Maori descent by her efforts to keep them confined in “a Maori World”.

Dominion Post 11/2/15 (To the point section)
Your Waitangi Day editorial was a valiant effort to sort out the Treaty’s position in today’s world, but it is very simple. In signing, the chiefs ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria. Without that Britain would not have taken protective steps towards New Zealand. In return all Maori were granted British citizenship under British law and all citizens of NZ were of equal standing from then on.
Island Bay

NZ Herald 10/2/15
Iwi businesses are forming a significant and growing part of the economy. But I will withhold my congratulations until iwi corporations such as Ngai Tahu and Tainui find a sense of civic responsibility and start paying their fair share of taxes on their commercial activities.

Iwi-owned corporations are excused paying income tax because they are registered as charities, yet very little of their profits is distributed for charitable purposes.

When tax privileges such as these exist, the revenue burden must fall on others. Consequently, their businesses are being subsidised by the taxpayer. Being income tax exempt they also gain a considerable advantage when competing against other businesses.

A review of the tax treatment of iwi owned business operations that are registered as charities is urgently needed.

What does Labour Party leader Andrew Little mean when he says he is willing to look at Maori making their own laws? Will such laws apply only to iwi, or to all New Zealanders? Who will enforce these laws?

He pointed to the example of Native American reserves. They have the powers of arrest. Is this something he supports for New Zealand, and if so, where?

No doubt Mr Little was appealing to a Waitangi audience, but has he forgotten the Orewa backlash? If he is going to be open to Maori sovereignty, he needs to lead the debate with fully articulated views about where he is leading his party.

Dominion Post 10/2/15
Education Minister Hekia Parata raised the hoary old chestnut that "children who dared to speak te reo Maori at school were cruelly silenced" ( Maori world, Treaty gaining expression in our classrooms, February 5).

Parata also failed to acknowledge that at that time children were caned for numerous things, including being late, speaking in class, spelling mistakes and many other perceived wrongs - actions that we now see as wrong, but were the norm worldwide at the time.

Parata says it as though teachers just decided on a whim to cane children for speaking te reo, when in fact it was Sir Apirana Ngata who instigated it by saying to government and educators that if our children are to survive in a white man's world they need to learn English.

He then sent the message to kaumatua to see that it happened, but he never said it should not be spoken in homes, which is why my mother and others continued to speak it.
Lower Hutt

Hawkes Bay Today 10/2/15 (Text Us section)
■ Of course Don Brash was right! Some years ago my daughter applied for a $10,000 university grant. A letter from Nick Smith stated as she didn't have iwi affiliations, she was not eligible. SMB

Northland Age 10/2/15
Clark’s Labour government embedded policies such as sustainability and social justice into our school curriculums. But it was over the Treaty of Waitangi that the most blatant political manipulation is seen.

The Treaty is now interwoven in all subject areas at all curriculum levels. But as if that is not enough, the Maori Party announced last year that as part of their coalition deal with National a stronger Maori focus would be brought into the curriculum through the spending of $1.6 million over three years to strengthen the teaching of Maori ‘history’ in both primary and secondary schools.

The official promotion of what amounts to Maori supremacy in schools sends a signal to students and families that the only culture that matters in New Zealand is Maori. This rejects the curriculum’s cultural diversity principle, stating; “The curriculum reflects New Zealand’s cultural diversity and values the histories and traditions of all its people.”

The symptoms of a failing education system are starting to show: lower than expected international test scores, school leavers without basic literacy and numeracy skills, increasing numbers of tertiary dropouts, excessive political indoctrination. If this concerns you, raise your voice.

Dominion Post 9/2/15
Peter Taylor (Letters, February 5) gives an explanation of where the name "New Zealand" comes from. It's history and therefore it's relevant.

The Dutch cartographers never amended the name to Nova Zeelandia. It was just common practice to put names of countries in Latin form on maps.

After his explanation he complains about being stuck with a meaningless name. This is a bit of a contradiction. He shows a lack of logic and appreciation of history. If he had told me that he does not like the current name and wants it changed, as per Gareth Morgan's suggestion, I would have believed him.

He can dream sentimentally about his white clouds, but changing the name of New Zealand to Aotearoa is definitely not a good move.

Bay of Plenty Times 9/2/15
We do need a New Zealand day so maybe we as New Zealanders can become more patriotic and the New Zealand flag is the honour of the day for "one people". It is a divided country when it is all about black and red flags for separate tribes and ethnicities — the country has lost its way.

Northern Advocate 7/2/15
On February 2 your correspondent John Ross had a lengthy knock at Pakeha and their relations with Maori. He accuses us of "not being the least bit concerned about the shocking welfare, health, prison and education statistics in our so-caIled 'equal society'." John needs to reflect on and research the education, welfare and health services currently made to uplift Maori.

In the Whangarei Leader, February 3. Moea Armstrong under the heading "Treaty Educator opens eyes" also gives opinion shaky on fact: -The fiscal envelope is $1 billion over 35 years of settlements ... "

The Northern Advocate Waitangi Day Supplement of February 3. a very good supplement with some sound factual information, includes the following: "Maori assets, initially gained From Treaty settlements, have grown from an estimated $9 billion to $16 billion in the past six years". The "Timeline" in the Treaty supplement is good, brief, factual information. Good stuff.

Dominion Post 7/2/15
Helen Clark's Labour Government embedded policies such as sustainability and social justice into our school curriculums. But it was over the Treaty of Waitangi the most blatant political manipulation is seen.

The Treaty is now interwoven in all subject areas at all curriculum levels. But as if that is not enough, the Maori Party announced last year that as part of their coalition deal with National a stronger Maori focus would be brought into the curriculum through the spending of $1.6 million over three years to strengthen the teaching of Maori "history" in both primary and secondary schools.

The official promotion of what amounts to Maori supremacy in schools, sends a signal to students and families that the only culture that matters in New Zealand is Maori. This rejects the curriculum's Cultural Diversity principle stating "The curriculum reflects New Zealand's cultural diversity and values the histories and traditions of all its people."

The symptoms of a failing education system are already starting to show: We have lower than expected international test scores, school leaven without basic literacy and numeracy skills, increasing numbers of tertiary dropouts, excessive political indoctrination. If this concerns you raise your voice.

Hawkes Bay Today 7/2/15
In regards to the article titled, “Let them play, Devoy urges tourney bosses” in Friday’s edition of Hawke’s Bay Today.

If the boot was on the other foot and a sports team was refused entry into a competition because the coach was a non-white there would be an outcry nationwide. The Race Relations Commissioner would be up in arms, calling it racist and there would probably be a government enquiry.

The mere fact that we have specific sports teams and schools for Maori only is racist in itself.

This racist behaviour happens more and more in New Zealand by Maori and it only encourages racist behaviour against Maori.

Why can’t we just all do things as a group and not as a race.

Daily Post Rotorua 7/2/15
We do need a New Zealand day so maybe we as New Zealanders can become more patriotic — and the flag is the honour of the day for “one people”.

It is almost treason and definitely a divided country when it is all about black and red flags (terrorist colours) for separate tribes and ethnicities — the country has lost its way.

Wanganui Chronicle 7/1/15
Twenty years on and they still cling to myth. We have had two referenda, run by none other than the Wanganui District Council, with a majority 80 per cent against the "H". You dare ask again? Objections end on Friday, February 13. There's an irony. Appeal to Parliament for our wishes to be respected by voice and vote — a binding referendum is democracy's way.

Wanganui was bequeathed to its citizens in 1880 by Wellington Province, not by Maori. Maori, of course, had no written language, yet now try to pervert English.

The Wanganui River in the South Island has no "H'. The New Zealand rugby team were incorrectly published as "All Blacks" instead of "All Backs". A spelling mistake? You want to change the flag, the anthem, and have separate seats in Parliament?

We appear to have some politicians who do not listen to the people they represent. Next there are those that pontificate we are either Maori or Pakeha — it's the same flawed thinking. New Zealand is a "technicolour" society made up of multiple ethnicities, religions and cultures. Just check the real statistics. Finally, we have Waitangi Day, changed by the Labour Government from New Zealand Day for, presumably, similar political reasons. Is that why they languish in the polls?

NZ Herald 6/2/15
It is pleasing to see the Herald editorialising about issues around the Treaty of Waitangi but I think your analysis is flawed. I believe the reason the majority of New Zealanders with Maori ancestry either never supported racebased parties or are moving back to mainstream parties is that, like the rest of us, they recognise that the end result of any “bicultural” or “partnership” accommodation in government will be the imposition of tikanga defined by a small minority of separatist zealots.

Put simply, the biculturalism you speak of is, in reality, a euphemism for separatism.
C L,

NZCPR BreakingViews 5/2/15
Following are random excerpts from the transcript of the Kohimarama Conference in 1860 attended by 112 Maori Chiefs. Many of those Chiefs were Ngapuhi, so it will become apparent that the Waitangi Tribunal’s “finding” that Maori did not understand the concept of “Sovereignty” when signing the Treaty is far from the truth.

Wi Te Tete: “Listen ye Pakehas, and ye Maori Chiefs! We have now become one people under the Queen.”

Hori Kerei Te Kotuku: “When you arrived we were dwelling in ignorance, we were blind. First came Christianity, after that the Law. I saw that there was salvation for me. You appointed magistrates. We received them. It was during the time of Governor Grey that we first recognized the Queen's authority. He said there is no other Sovereign for us but the Queen. I did not receive the Law without consideration. I sought it carefully in the pages of Scripture. I did not search in ignorance. I saw its benefits, and then I embraced it. Now the Queen is my Sovereign.”

Te Ahukaramu: “These are the things which I desire. First, God: secondly, the Queen: thirdly, the Governor. Let there be one Queen for us. Make known to us all the laws, that we may all dwell under one law.”

Raniera Te Iho: “I offer my land, in the proper manner, to the Governor. True the land passes across to the Governor, but then I get my price for it. Should I afterwards stretch forth my hand after my land, that would be wrong. I prove my allegiance to the Queen by parting with my lands. I give up my land to Queen Victoria, and to the Kings and Queens, her successors.”

Tohi Te Ueurangi: “Let the Queen be above all. I have nothing more to say.”

Most Chieftains (Ngapuhi included) echoed this thought – the Queen above all others.
New Zealand has become so politically correct that fiction is now more acceptable than the truth.

Northland Age 5/2/15
Before Mike Rashbrooke starts pontificating about what we should and should not do, he ought to get his facts right.

Te W’iti and Tohu were cult leaders who defied the law and finished as each other’s sworn enemies. The white feather was stolen from the Chatham Islanders, who were genuine pacifists, slaughtered and eaten by Taranaki tribes. Some members returning to Taranaki brought the white feather idea back with them.

Rather than read Dick Scott’s story of Te W’iti’s rhetoric, readers should note that at his funeral, Homi, son-in-law of Tohu said, ‘”These men were past masters in word-painting; that is all. You have been deceived.” A delegation from the Young Maori Party stated that Te W’iti was a fraud who could do no good for Maori.

When Parihaka was occupied by government forces, a cache of arms and ammunition and a hoard of cash were discovered. For an accurate and well-documented account Google ‘Kerry Bolton Parihaka’. Do that, Mr Rashbrooke.

As for BC Gregory, witty in his own opinion, personal abuse is his speciality. If he touches the truth it is by accident.

No doubt readers of the Age find what these men write to be entertaining, but if they seek the truth they should look elsewhere.

Wanganui Chronicle 5/2/15
Waitangi Day is a sad day, as it reminds us that the tribes/iwi of New Zealand are dead in the water, locked into a feuding dog-eat-dog past. It's time we stopped the intertribal warfare (that includes Ngati Pakeha as well as all the smaller iwi) before we end up like Afghanistan or tribal parts of Africa and the Middle East.

The name Wanganui has a life of its own, independent of any language. It's a west coast New Zealand city populated by people from all over the world. Wanganui is a "Kiwi" word and one all the peoples of Wanganui, New Zealand and the world can be proud of. It has lost any links it had to the Polynesian languages.

One suspects Maori has done the same, shown by the need to establish a Maori Language Commission, one of whose roles is to invent "new" Maori words. To add insult to injury, we pay millions of dollars a year to invent and support the Maori language — Maori Language Commission/ Te Taura Whiri i to Reo Maori receives $3.204 million in baseline funding annually when fewer than 25 per cent of Maori homes have access to a Maori speaker (http://www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/englishpub_e/bim.pdf p28). Money better spent on supporting/ intervening with poor families and those that maim and injure their own offspring of whatever race but Kiwis all).

Think how many jobs for Kiwis could be created instead of new words almost nobody uses. New Zealand itself is an anglicised Dutch name for a place discovered by Polynesians (and others) and colonised by the British.

The Treaty of 1840 was, among other things, an attempt by the British to stop the tribes/iwi killing each other (read a history of the 1820-30 musket wars). Any problems with the Treaty should be taken up by the people of New Zealand with the Queen and people of Britain, as we are an independent nation (Statute of Westminster adopted by the people of New Zealand on September 25, 1947). If we want a national day to celebrate our birth as a nation, this is the day we should celebrate.

Daily Post Rotorua 5/2/15
Re your editorial "Flag issue still not over" (February 4). Flying anything except our national flag on February 6 dishonours the Treaty of Waitangi, by which we became one people with equal rights and no special rights for Maori or any-body else.

Taranaki Daily News 3/2/15
The saga of whether we have a referendum on the establishment of a Maori ward in New Plymouth is nearly over. The petition will be lodged with the council on February 12 and there should be enough signatures (4000+) to force a referendum. A total of 5% of the electors is required and calculations show this to be about 2749 signatures. It is unlikely, but if more are required they could be obtained before the deadline of March 2

Thank you to everyone who helped with the petition. It is not possible for me to thank everyone individually who worked on the petition so please accept this as acknowledgement of a job well done. Blank sheets were emailed then photocopied and passed to friends who obtained signatures or even more photocopying with copies to more people for even more signatures and so on. Thank you to you all.

I hope the community recognises the dedication and effort of obtaining the outcome. Thank you too to the businesses too who displayed the petition -without your support the result could have been different. I was fascinated to read in the Council Quarterly Update that our mayor recommends viewing the video of the Maori Ward Forum held in December before you vote in the referendum. Sure, watch the video, then ask three questions. Who organised the event? (the mayor) Who paid for at least one speaker to come to Taranaki for the forum? (the council). At which event were the most signatures for the petition obtained? (the forum) Interesting eh?
Petition Organiser Bell Block

Bay of Plenty Times 31/1/15
I see the list of five candidates has been published for the Mount/ Papamoa Ward by-election and their credentials do not inspire confidence. My concern is with Clare Wilson, an unsuccessful Labour candidate for Bay of Plenty in the last general election.

The Labour Party's election policies on the Maorification of NZ (see manifesto) was and continues to be appalling. Did Ms Wilson ally with policies that support Maori ward race-based representation and unelected representation for Maori interests on various local authority committees?

In addition being left-wing, does she think Tauranga should have all the nice-to-have quirky baubles, no matter what the cost with no thought to who pays? This should be of concern to voters.

The Maorification of New Zealand is a gravy train for few, on the backs of many hardworking New Zealanders. Anyone who supports separatism of this nature should not be given any power to do so.

Voters, think about the repercussions on who is elected carefully and be afraid if you get it wrong. (Abridged)
Tauranga Central

Wanganui Chronicle 31/1/15
I opened my Chronicle this morning (January 28) to find that separatism has taken another step in Wanganui with the inclusion of a new publication Te Putake inside the local rag. The front page column headed "Welcome" gives the raison d'etre for this new journal (all pink and shiny PC crap) and informs the reader that "we would love to get feedback on what you think of it".

Well, here goes... Since Potonga was a babe-in-arms (and before), the local paper has operated on the principle that every newsworthy item was published on its merits without racial, gender, religious or sexual pro-clivity bias. To now produce a publication specifically to "celebrate activities and achievements of iwi in our region" is divisive and an insult to all non-Maori.

Had this mini-paper been published in te reo, thus catering for the few Maori language conversationalists in our society, I could see some merit. The only te reo I can see is the advert by the museum at the front page and a couple of heading sub-titles elsewhere.

On the positive side, I can now count from two to eight in te reo (front pages do not carry a number). I look forward to the first edition of the "China Courier", the "Hindu Handout" and the "Pommy Pravda" which I am sure will all be equally good reading. (Abridged)

Northern Advocate 31/1/15
In 1431, this country's coastal areas were destroyed by a tsunami of well over 100 metres;This tsunami, caused by a cometary impact, was at 120m when it hit Australia and 110m when it hit North and South America.

Countless Chinese junks were wrecked around the Pacific Rim, with 80 of them wrecked around New Zealand This is verified from three sources.

By the 1430s, China was a super-power navigating the entire Pacific and indeed the world. They mapped the planet from Greenland to Antarctica. When they first started exploring is up for conjecture, but evidence indicates the Pacific and Americas were fully explored in early times.

Soon after the comet's impact, the entire coastal population of New Zealand was decimated and so ended the archaic Maori. Ninety per cent extinction. The Iargest junks were over 400ft long and had a complement of over 10OO people, including sailors, soldiers and technicians. If we calculate a 10 per cent survival rate, that equals 4000 castaways from only 40 junks. These Chinese castaways yielded mega-data to the coastal survivors, which caused the renaissance in Maori culture, allied classic Maori, whose taonga we admire so much today.

Out in the Pacific, every atoll and large island was totally destroyed and untold people killed. There were survivors who joined forces to leave their devastated homes and head for newer climes, Aotearoa. They knew where to come because the Chinese had bases on nearly every Pacific island.

We can safely say that the great migration of 1350AD didn't happen until 1432AD, as pointed out by the late Michael King. Its catalyst had to be the mega-tsunami. These people were refugees and took up New Zealand as their haven from destruction, and as such became the tangata whenua upon which our culture is based upon today. Kia ora Maori ora.

Bay of Plenty Times 30/1/15
Racist reports in the media indicate that most of the population are realising that the real racists are those who claim historical ethnic privileges with special rights and not those who, irrespective of ethnicity and cultural backgrounds, regard themselves primarily as New Zealanders and are willing to accept all other citizens as equals.

Taranaki Daily News 30/1/15
With respect to the letter from Gaye Atkinson (Daily News January 8th) it's not a matter of comment from previous writers (like Gordon Hudson) going unchallenged, it's a matter of the issues raised in many letters which Gaye hasn't followed. Racism (taken from racialism) is the theory that human abilities etc are determined by race.

This has been seen in the Cast system of other cultures where you can only rise to the level of your heritage. This does not occur in New Zealand where everyone, regardless of gender or race can rise to and achieve whatever they commit themselves to.

We have Howie Tamati on our local council, with no special privileges to him to be there. We have other Maori standing for the by election, on their own, such as Bev Gibson, Chris Manukonga, Mary Barnard, and others opposed to a special place based on race.

I do struggle with Bev Gibson as she has proven to be an articulate educated person with proven skills to make changes that benefit. Why then does she advocate a 'special needs' place for her people when she, and her people, can get there as has been proven by representation at all Government levels, and her as an example?

Listen to what most Maori are saying, they don't want to be, or need to be, treated like a special needs race. As Mary Barnard says, it is offensive, divisive, and belittling
New Plymouth

Northland Age 29/1/15
Rueben Porter (good Maori name that!) can march wherever he likes. There is no Iaw against it, and the exercise may do him good.

Given the one side of his ancestry he mentions, clearly some of his forebears took part in Hongi Hika's treacherous onslaughts on other Maori tribes—on Thames tribes at the Totara pa, Waikato at Matakitaki and Ngati Whatua at Te Ika o Ranganul, being a few, with slaughter and cannibalism on a colossal scale.

If he reads Te Tiriti o Waitangi, a document in his own Ngapuhi dialect, and does not pretend that revisionist notions about the meanings of words were what they meant in 1840, he will know that Ngapuhi chiefs ceded sovereignty to the Queen when they signed it, and they knew it.

He will also discover that by the treaty, all the people of New Zealand (tangata katoa o Nu Tirani) received equal rights — simply no special rights for part-Maor' but huge benefits just the same. They have had major concessions over rates payments. Are his own up to date?

He will also note that the name of our country in Te Tiriti is Nu Tirani. Aotearoa is a nonsense name dreamed up decades later by a couple of romantic Englishmen.

NZ Herald 29/1/15
In response to S Grimes letter, Maori were paid the going rate for the land. Did she take into account the costs involved let alone the risk? The costs would have included the company set-up, surveyors, title registrations, legal fees, promotional costs, and they probably had to borrow to pay for the purchasing materials. I would like to change the past and claim some things I sold years ago as I know they have increased hugely in value. Strangely enough I seem to have moved forward, which is a lesson in itself.

ChCh Press 29/1/15
Shame on The Press for joining the pathetic media efforts to further the nonsense known as political correctness, rather than taking the opportunity to ridicule it. In the latest case (Jan 27), SPCA head Bob Kerridge had the audacity to say that dog attacks were more prevalent – in percentage terms – amongst immigrants generally and Pacific Islanders in particular. You immediately play the ‘‘race’’ card, at him for expressing such a view.

This is not an opinion being expressed, it is an observation of fact, just as there is proportionally more domestic violence amongst Maori and Polynesians, and more Maori imprisoned as a percentage in population terms. Don’t persecute people for quoting factual statistics – that is simply shooting the messenger.

Until these issues can be openly discussed, what chance is there of addressing them? The fact is, if a certain ethnic group appear to contain a disproportionate number of ‘‘bad dog’’ owners, then it is that group that needs to be openly identified, examined and, if necessary, educated. Can we never get back to the time when the word ‘‘racism’’ was used correctly, and not applied in ways designed to cramp freedom of speech?
 G D

Dominion Post 28/1/14
I am an admirer of Gareth Morgan. He is a respected economist, philanthropist, adventurer, conservationist and no doubt many other things.

But he is wrong in setting out to try to change the name of this country to Aotearoa.

He claims to have done research proving that this is the name that Maori people gave to the land and has been promoting this idea at the Ratana gathering.

He should refer to Michael King’s highly-regarded work The in particular chapter 3, The Great New Zealand Myth, which traces the origin of this word.

And he should also remember that there is a campaign in progress to change our flag, mainly on the basis that it is too similar to the Australian flag.

Here he should beware of the doctrine of unintended consequences. Should we become Aotearoa our air force (RNZAF) would naturally become the Royal Aotearoa Air Force (RAAF) and our navy (RNZN) the Royal Aotearoa Navy (RAN). Does this sound familiar?

Bay of Plenty Times 28/1/15
It is ludicrous for Manu Caddie to allege that those living today will not vote for the Maori wards because of the shame regarding the British behaviour after 1840. That makes little sense. Does he know the meaning of “shame“? For example, what about the story of the Taranaki Maori tribes’ invasion and theft of the Chatham island homeland of the pacifist Moriori — altogether a story so tragic and brutal in every aspect , including all that followed, that it beggars belief that human beings could behave in that manner. That’s shame. And it is indescribable.

Those Maori were weary of the endless border warring, so had chosen to destroy and brutalise a successful little island population, in order to find peace. And stole everything for themselves. The rest must be left to the imagination.

Another event of barbarism inconceivable to anyone today, surely, resulted from Hone Heke’s visit to London, asking for King William’s assistance. En route back home he sold the generous royal gifts, buying muskets with the funds.

There followed (1800-1840) a battle so insane that figures like 40-60 thousand dead were considered tentatively, to describe the numbers killed, and the cannibalistic orgies to follow were indescribable. Was there any shame there?

Bay of Plenty Times 27/1/15
Let me enlighten Manu Caddie (Letters, January 2) on one subject: part-Maori are not indigenous to New Zealand any more so than every other Kiwi born in New Zealand.

The United Nations is a totally discredited outfit and other than by means of fabricated political and judicial fictional nonsense Maori interests have no legitimate claim to any special rights nor should they have.

While on the race topic, “Pakeha” is a derogatory racial term used to denigrate anyone who does not have infinitesimal Maori bloodlines and the use of that word to describe genuine Kiwis should cease forthwith.

Aotearoa is not the Maori name for NZ.

The correct name is Niu Tireni.

If anyone thinks special rights involve designated local authority ward seats for Maori then think again because this is nothing more than race-based bigotry and totally abhorrent to most Kiwis.

NZ Herald 27/1/15
While Dame Susan Devoy may think Bob Kerridge’s comments are unhelpful, the same could be said of hers. It would seem that despite actual statistics one should never speak the truth when there is reference to race. Interventions by the Race Relations Conciliator over the years are nearly always in favour of those other than white.

This could be construed as racial bias. Why did Dame Susan not intervene when Gareth Morgan made racial slurs against Pakeha, or does her job description not cover such instances?

The Race Relations Commissioner should perhaps open both eyes.

NZ Herald 27/1/15 ( Short & Sweet section)
Mike Butler's excellent article on the Treaty of Waitangi and the $2.3 billion gained by Maori for Treaty settlements goes to prove that the rich get wealthier while the poor get nothing.
Mt Wellington.

Northland Age 27/1/15
Bruce Gregory (letters January 22) says “The level of some individuals’ historical knowledge further surprises. The ‘Boyd’ was built as a slaving ship before being requisitioned for other purposes. The record exists” — but nowhere in the recorded alphabetical list of slave ships from the ‘Adelaide’ to the ‘Zong’ is there mention of a ‘Boyd’.

The ‘Boyd’ was, in fact, a brigantine convict ship that sailed in October 1809 from Australia’s Sydney Cove to Whangaroa to pick up kauri spars.

Convict ships, as used to convey convicts to the Australian colonies, were ordinary British merchant ships as seen in ports around the world at that time, and none of them were specifically built as a convict vessel. Neither were they engaged exclusively for convict transportation use, all being used for !general cargo, or passenger transport, at various tunes.

Between 1788 and 1868, 608 convict ships transported more than 162,000 convicts to Australia. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser of Thesday May8.1832. has a fascinating account of the Boyd' incident which can be accessed via http://trove.nla.gov.auinclp/ del/article/2206419..

Wanganui Chronicle 26/1/15
In response to the article about Garth Morgan, "Embrace the Treaty" (Chronicle, January 23), I would like to make the following comment: For far too long we have taken the Treaty of Waitangi as our founding document. The Treaty was not a legal document, because one party to the Treaty had no legal system.

The Treaty was more of a moral and practical way of allowing Britain to obtain sovereignty over the islands of New Zealand for the survival of the tangata Maori. It was an agreement between 512 individual tangata Maori chiefs to give up their individual territories and governments to Britain in return for the same rights as the people of England.

This agreement was accepted by all other nations and was never challenged. Britain obtained sovereignty over the North Island by treaty and over the South Island by discovery under the dependency of New South Wales on May 21, 1840.

Queen Victoria's Royal Charter/Letters Patent has been ignored for far too long. It must be dragged out of our archive and given its rightful place in our political and legal system.
One New Zealand Foundation,
Palmerston North

The Northern Advocate 26/1/15
I fully endorse Kevan Marks and Mitch Morgan’s letters (Jan 19), regarding the embargo and Government secrecy regarding pre-Maori settlement of NZ. Worldwide, archaeologists go to extreme efforts to trace early history. But not in NZ.

What is it that must be kept hidden away, and forbidden to speak about. And why? It is no secret that there were preMaori settlements here, so why not explore and enhance our history?

Radical Maori advocates keep trying to reinvent history, and would have us all believe that they were not isolated tribes, who lived in fear of attack and slavery from each other, before the treaty brought peace through law and order, plus all the advantages of modern life.

Why then does everything Maori have to be preserved, like native trees? If DoC are cutting down historic oak trees because they are not native, are they also going to remove all fruit trees, flowering shrubs, roses and vegetables? Come on folks, let’s all get real and live in the real world.

Bay of Plenty Times 26/1/15
Murray Maunder (January 16) seems to be relying on the Gate Pa exhibition for his views of history.

Yes, I have seen the exhibition and was impressed by the concept and the effort of the organisers, but to have Tommy Wilson involved in its presentation undermines its credibility, as it was Tommy Wilson who claimed a monstrous massacre at the Battle of Rangiaowhia that never happened.

Historians James Cowan, Nigel Prickett, Michael King, James Belich and Ranginui Walker give no credence to his claim.

It also shows the unreliability of so-called oral history, it being little more than stories that alter and are embellished over time.

Mr Maunder asserts that James Cowan is a “discredited source” by unnamed “mainstream historians”.

Perhaps he may care to name them with appropriate references.

Rawiri Puhirake was not defending his land as claimed by Mr Maunder.

The Bay of Plenty had been at peace for some 20 years and t here were no t hreats to Ngaiterangi land from the British until he challenged them to fight him and lost.
Welcome Bay

Daily Post Rotorua 26/1/15
The response to Mrs Michie’s letter (January 23) by Mr J P Gaston of Rotorua Lakes Council assumes all residents of our city are “computerised”.

Among the senior population (over 65), which comprises 13.75 per cent of residents, the majority are not for reasons that are many and varied.

Therefore the Te Arawa proposal needs to be made available in hard copy to ensure all residents have access to this important document and are then in a position to make an informed decision as to the content and the possible consequences.
President Grey Power Rotorua

Rotorua Lakes Council Responds:
Copies of Te Arawa’s partnership model proposal are also available from the council’s Customer Centre, and can be mailed out on request.

Wanganui Chronicle 24/1/15
Gareth Morgan show's a distinct lack of knowledge of things Maori, and apparently thinks separating the races in an apartheid type arrangement will be good for our little country. His only good idea is getting rid of Maori seats, not good for our country, but Maori think they need them to keep the gravy train running. He says Maori have suffered great violations of their rights under the Treaty.

Geoffrey Palmer inserted clauses that were never there and have only led to young Maori, who really know nothing of our history, being led to believe they are victims of Pakeha avarice. This puts a chip on their shoulder which is a huge deterrent to progressing themselves.

Treaty settlements should never have been handled on a tribal basis, tribalism is recidivism. Old soldiers told me that prior to World War II tribalism was rampant, meaning Maori were living in small cliques. They said the Maori Battalion broke a lot of this tribalism, as they ended up with friends from tribes from all over the place.

I tried to persuade the National Government when they took over from David Lange that all settlements should be done on an area basis, with people eligible if they lived in that area. Forcing them into tribalism was a backward step and would set Maori relationships back. I was told that was not our worry, it's Maori's problem, I could not convince them governments should practice good governance, that it was in everyone's interest.

It would take quite a few pages to alert Gareth to how little he knows.
Wanganui (Abridged)

Bay of Plenty Times 24/1/15
Gareth Morgan’s article (News, January 22) raises some serious questions about how well this man knows the history of his own country.

The notion that the Maori language was not allowed in schools — far-thinking Maori leaders themselves asked that children speak only English in school.

He then said, “They bloody near got exterminated” — certainly, but it was brutal tribe-on-tribe fighting that was causing the extermination.

Then the suggestion of a national conversation about enshrining the treaty into law. All done, but not dusted.

The race-based Constitutional Advisory Panel went around marae to tell of their intent to entrench the treaty into a written constitution.

With submissions shortly to close, the panel felt they better inform the other 86 per cent of us. In Tauranga, a tiny back-page newspaper notice of a public meeting meant to slip by us.

But some saw it and Michael Cullen was left in no doubt how we felt about this most undemocratic and racist potential legislation.

With national widespread objection, the plan was put on hold.

Mr Morgan appears to be remarkably uninformed — perhaps at the time he was busy apprehending delinquent cats and missed the action.

Re Democracy and Maori Peter Dey has done a sterling job in defending his position on Maori representation on the council. I cannot follow why he now chooses to bring the magnificent Maori Battalion into his debate. Some rounding off is needed.

The willingness and skill of Maori in battle has been known since Abel Tasman's days. Maori were not subject to conscription during World War II. Fair enough, it started as a European war. The Maori Battalion's four companies were formed along iwi lines. There were notable exceptions — some iwi made a decision not to participate. There were logistical difficulties with the tribal companies in the sense that reinforcements did not match casualties.

Another interesting feature is that of all the Maoris who served in World War II only around 20 per cent served in the Maori Battalion. We all seem to overlook that many conscripted Pakeha New Zealanders (and Australians) were killed in the war. Further, if it wasn't for them, along with all the volunteer troops, NZ would have been subjected to a brutal and callous occupation by the Japanese who, in my view, were just as bad as Isis is now.

Since the tragic world upheaval of the 1945, we in NZ have all had a renewed opportunity to do well, and that particularly applies in the Bay of Plenty.

NZ Herald 24/1/15
Dr Gareth Morgan's attempt to be an honest broker championing Maori fails because of its inflammatory language and errors. Any "near- exterminations of Maori was from uncontrollable epidemics. Speaking English in schools was a parliamentary policy requested by a Maori MP. later by petitions one from the North Island brought by Renata Kawepo and 700 supporters, and another from the South Island.

They wanted young Maori to enter the modern world. Years later, it continued to be the policy of the Young Maori Party. whose leaders Buck and Pomare rhetorically said - the three most important subjects are English, English. and English. and then mathematics." We have not "begrudged every step of the way". I have seen missionaries' letters agonising over the education of their young Maori. We could do better. but impugning motives of so many people of goodwill by false claims will worsen the situation.

NZ Herald 24/1/15 (A quick word section)
I expect to see Gareth Morgan giving his millions to his latest cause, or will he be expecting to add to the great big pot of money he has already gained from the current system in New Zealand
A C. Titirangi.

Since when did the opinions of Gareth Morgan, a man who holds cats to the same morals and values as humans, become worthy of media attention?
K M. Blockhouse Bay.

Somebody please tell Gareth Morgan to sit down and shut up. He was wrong about the cats. Now he's trying to guilt trip NZ into believing that killing and eating the previous population is worthy of public admiration.
M LA. Mt Roskill

NZ Herald 23/1/15
What do the Treaty Settlements Minister Chris Finlayson and the Waitangi Tribunal have to say about the Tuwharetoa losses of $50 million from settlements that they approved and which amount to officially sanctioned faulty investments and monetary practices?

As in similar cases nothing will be done, no one will be held accountable, no legal action will follow and all will soon be forgotten until a claim of reimbursement or top-up of the original settlement is made by the tribe.

Extraordinary excuses are presented such as, "The Trust did not have a proper understanding of its finances", and "the move from settlement negotiations to handling the proceeds of the claim required different skills".

Obviously. The decision not to hold the founding trustees accountable "because of the cost of legal action and the ongoing damage to the reputation of the trust and iwi" is, as it states, a face-saving evasion.

Personal guarantors for debts were assured that they would not be chased for the money. What are guarantors for? Surely these problems need not have arisen if those well-paid lawyers at the tribunal or the iwi's legal advisers had been doing their jobs.

It saddens and diminishes my day to see the prominence Gareth Morgan’s regressive views are given, presumably because he’s a successful businessman. This is the 21st century and New Zealand is a vibrant forward-thinking country based on equal voting and equal opportunity for all who live here. While we are respectful of our Maori roots as well as our European ones, our laws, lifestyles and opportunities are based on today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

Dr Morgan’s attempt to tip a swill bucket of historical shame on us serves us poorly. There are no races, only cultures, and we are a mix of many. He iwi tahi tatou.

Daily Post Rotorua 23/1/15
I have been saddened (and appalled) by the reports of the very low level of debating in the current local council. Even in Parliament calling a member a “white racist” would not be permitted. Are there no longer any rules about the conduct of council and committee meetings? Or were these done away within the recent so called local government reforms?

Name calling advances the matter under discussion not one iota. I agree entirely with Te Ururoa Flavell’s statement in his recent article. “If we have issues these should be placed on the marae to allow people to respond without it becoming a shouting match or belittling people”. This should also apply to our council.

When are the general public going to have the opportunity to study the Te Arawa proposal and to make submissions? One would hope that an independent commissioner(s) be appointed given the apparent bias being shown on the council.

Democracy is a fragile flower and must constantly be defended and preserved.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Strategy & Partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, responds:
Te Arawa’s partnership model proposal has been publicly available since being considered at a Rotorua Lakes Council meeting late last year. It can be viewed on the council website (rdc.govt.nz) and part of the minutes of the December 18 council meeting (under Our Council/meetings). The format and exact timing of the public consultation programme is yet to be finalised by the council but is likely to take place around March/April.

Taranaki Daily News 21/1/15
According to the paper (TDN, January 9) the New Plymouth District Council is paying some insurance on local marae. Why, when large settlements have been paid out to these tribes?

Do the council members know about this or was this a backroom deal? Can they please explain why they are doing this when they are talking about cost cutting?.
New Plymouth

Daily Post Rotorua 21/1/15
I understand that there are currently four of the incumbent councillors tied to Te Arawa bloodlines. In addition to this the mayor’s husband, I understand, is of Te Arawa.

From what I observed at the council meeting I went to, the mayor certainly has leanings towards the proposal of Te Arawa to get more people with voting rights on to various committees without being democratically elected.

Should I be wrong in my understanding of which councillors are of Te Arawa descent I apologise to them.

I suggest there is a conflict of interest, with the councillors of Te Arawa descent, deliberating and voting on this issue and may I say the mayor whose husband is of Te Arawa descent having the casting vote should the final vote be a tie, is this democratic and ethnically fair?

I suggest that all the councillors of Te Arawa descent and the mayor due to her husband being of Te Arawa descent should excuse themselves from all deliberations and voting on the Te Arawa proposal. This will avoid any conflict of interest.

In the mayor’s absence, I suggest all deliberations on this subject and the voting on the Te Arawa proposal be chaired by councillor Rob Kemp.

Wanganui Chronicle 21/1/15
Historian Kyle Dalton is correct when he states the name of ‘Wanganui’ was changed to ‘Petre’, therefore there can be no argument that the original spelling was without the ‘h’. By 1854, there was confusion of many spellings of Maori names because of the different dialects and pronunciations of the different tribes.

The accepted pronunciation and spelling by the 14 ‘chiefs of Wanganui’ in 1840 was without an ‘h’. To change it now would be disrespectful to those 14 ‘chiefs of Wanganui’ when they agreed in 1840 to given up their territ ori es and governments to Queen Victoria in return for, “the same rights as the people of England”. Article 3, Tiriti o Waitangi.

Don’t blame me. This pakeha has been very supportive publicly that Maori can spell Whanganui how they like, for it is their language and I understand the local dialect keeps the ‘H’ silent, which satisfies the crotchety old white locals such as myself when we talk of Wanganui.

Today I telephoned an Auckland business to update my address now I have returned to my home city. I told them Wanganui plain and simple (respecting the dialect), and they kindly confirmed my address back to me, and got it perfectly right until they claimed I lived in a fictitious place called Fonganui.

So now I have to backtrack a little and yes, get a little egg on my face, and ask my local Maori friends during this ‘last chance’ period of submissions about the ‘H’: are you really, really sure you want to put the ‘H’ in the name and eventually have the entire country telling you, wrongly, every time they open their collective mouth, that you live in Fonganui?

Local Maori will still have my respect about the spelling of their own language whichever way it eventually goes.

Besides, the stick-in-the-muds like me need to remember that language does change over time, otherwise (how far back in history should we go?) we might all still be speaking Latin, or perhaps Greek . . . or even ancient Phoenician, unchanged for millennia.

Daily Post Rotorua 20/1/15
In councillor Raukawa-Tait’s racist, sexist and ageist rant at the December 18 council meeting she asked “What has democracy done for Te Arawa?” It apparently helped convince nine other councillors democracy had somehow failed Te Arawa and that a different political ideology justified the new partnership they approved in principle.

The ideology involved is minoritarianism; a belief that a minority has an absolute right to power. It believes, to misquote George Orwell, that all citizens in Rotorua are equal but mana whenua are twice as equal as others.

We now have ethnocracy; rule by an ethnic group. The mayor and Crs Raukawa-Tait and Wepa are the ruling triumvirate. They control key council committees, disregard democratic principles and procedures, and exhibit bias and predetermination in favour of Te Arawa’s interests. They ignore the purpose of the Local Government Act; “to provide for democratic and effective local government that recognises the diversity of New Zealand communities”.

The real question is what will ethnocracy do for Te Arawa? Look overseas. Ethnocracies tend to be corrupt and tyrannical. Disproportionate and unelected power is resisted and then withdrawn by fresh mandates for democracy and effectiveness. Locally? The consensus on the council about Rotorua 2030 has collapsed due to the lack of authentic public consultations and decisions being rammed through. The root cause is the mayor’s ethnocracy.

Fortunately, while Te Arawa’s long-term interests are endangered by ethnocracy, democracy principles include the responsibility to protect the interests of minorities. But not the converse.

NZ Herald 19/1/15
Opinion writer Joshua Hitchcock makes the preposterous claims that entire regions, such as Taranaki and Waikato, were confiscated from Maori without compensation, and that it cannot be disputed that our nation’s wealth was built on the back of stolen land.

As the thousands of deeds involving land sales throughout New Zealand show, most of the land was sold by agreement, not stolen. Documents show that sales were legal, and proceeded with the full consent of the Maori vendors.

The land area of New Zealand is 26.8 million ha. The chiefs sold 24.13 million ha. A total of 1.2 million ha was confiscated during the 1860 wars, much of which was returned at the time.

Since then, compensation deals have been made with several iwi, including the 1944 Taranaki Maori Claims Settlement Act, and the 1946 Waikato-Maniapoto Maori Claims Settlement Act, purportedly final settlements of grievances over the confiscation of Maori lands in Waikato and Taranaki.

The wealth of New Zealand was built on the backs of hard-working farming families on land that had been bought and paid for, in some cases more than once.

Northern Advocate 19/1/15
An article in the Advocate, p2, Jan 10, stated that if one was to find an archaeological site, it must be referred to Heritage New Zealand. Just what would such an authority do with such a site, close it down and destroy the evidence? It seems that our very own Department of Conservation cut down some very old oak trees in the Bay of Islands because “they were not native”.

These trees were almost two metres through, proving that they were very ancient. Did DoC count the rings after they were cut down? If so, how old were they? What happened to the bones of early inhabitants who were six to seven feet tall? Were they Maori bones? Were they sent to a mill, as was some 60,000 skulls, to Robinsons Mill, South Auckland, when they promised to pay 3d (threepence) per bag of bones, to be crushed up and used for fertiliser? Why are there 105 embargoes on various sites in New Zealand? Is there something that the authorities and politicians do not want us to know? These, and many other questions, require answers.

How about a Commission of Inquiry into our history, which, as it stands now, is somewhat questionable? I will not hold my breath for an answer to any of these questions.
K G. M

Further to Kevan Marks’ letter entitled Many Questions ( Advocate 14/01/2015) regarding destruction of evidence of preMaori occupancy of NZ:

It is unsurprising that authorities are not being advised of new discoveries until fully documented photographs and carbon dating of artifacts have been established.

Why? Because the immediate “official” response is to bulldoze the site, impose a 75 year embargo on the region, or advise local iwi who rapidly declare the area sacred to prevent further investigation. There are more than 100 such embargoed sites in NZ. Yes, Kevan, what don't they want us to know? I have just viewed one website with photographs of an immense earthen pyramid, stone walls extending for miles, and religious cairns in North-land. Artifacts on this site have been carbon-dated at around 5000 years old. The location was not disclosed — probably because the "discoverers" were led to the site by a bulldozer driver who was occupied in demolishing other structures in nearby areas.

Millions of dollars are at stake arising from Maori claims that they are the indigenous people of NZ, thus any evidence that casts doubts upon NZ being uninhabited when their ancestors arrived is a serious threat to their money tree — and also raises the ugly question of mass extermination of an earlier people.

Ngapuhi chieftain David Rankin (a direct descendant of Hone Heke) states unequivocally that when his ancestors arrived, there were people on the shore to greet them — and puts it even plainer by saying "Maori are not the indigenous people of Aotearoa."

Are our governments, "historians" and part-Maori spokespersons collaborating to conceal damning evidence? Kiwis should rise above their apathy and insist upon a Royal Commission of Enquiry into our true history so that we can all determine fact over fiction.

Daily Post Rotorua 19/1/15
I went to the district council meeting when the Te Arawa proposal was being discussed. I wanted to see democracy in action. I left the meeting feeling somewhat let down on that score.

First, councillor Sturt had his amendment changed to a motion by the mayor, then the mayor added an amendment to his motion which, from where I was sitting, was not what councillor Sturt had intended to say in the first place. (Councillor Sturt, you were outfoxed and compounded this by voting in favour of the final motion, which was not what you had intended when first you spoke to the motion.) Well, that was my impression of it.

I also noted that when Councillor Kent spoke against the motion he received applause from a section of the public gallery. The mayor asked that the public not applaud speakers for or against the motion, yet on at least four occasions when councillors spoke in favour of the motion sections of the public gallery applauded, with no intervention from the mayor. I guess, as it was obvious to me that the mayor was in favour of the motion, it was OK to applaud. Not very democratic, in my view. I left with the impression that: We, the council, will let the public have a rant and then we will do as we intended all along, vote for “Te Arawa” to have their two seats with voting rights.

Re the submission by Te Arawa that they be appointed to Rotorua District Council.

They would not be elected, but simply appointed. They would not have to contest the position and would have full voting rights as do elected councillors. They would be paid appropriately.

Mr Sturt objected to a specific clause and was promptly countered by Mrs Chadwick. Her attitude was dismissive.

Mr Kent then explained his objection to the submission and received a round of enthusiastic applause from some of the public seated.

The mayor made it blatantly obvious that applause was not to be forthcoming, but failed to repeat the reprimand to those that applauded councillor Tapsell. I was not impressed.

Various letters to the editor have been published since then, by those for and against this submission, but not all. A strongly worded letter handed to a staff member at the Rotorua Daily Post counter a few days after the meeting has so far not been acknowledged or published.

In fact there have been very few in the past 10-14 days. Letters to the editor are invited in your column, so why is it that Daily Post has failed to print all received?

The decision by council to consider Te Arawa’s submission without Rotorua ratepayers’ consideration and input is completely undemocratic.

Editors Note
We print many letters covering a wide range of views. Please refer to our guidelines above, which state letters may be abridged, edited or refused at the editor’s discretion, and that rejected letters are not normally acknowledged. Sometimes we have so many there may be a delay in publishing.

Daily Post Rotorua 17/1/15
I went to the council meeting on December 18 to hear the Te Arawa proposal with an open mind but left feeling concerned.

What came through is that the council is now split along racial lines and those of Maori blood or bent are determined to push through the Te Arawa proposal to have unelected Maori representation around the council table, regardless of consequences.

Has it not occurred to them that their own input in future decisions could be watered down by these possibly pushy unelected members whom they accepted as being entitled to a say on how the rates are spent? It could end up with their own views as elected members becoming irrelevant to what Te Arawa want.

No doubt these unelected new members would want to be paid for their input and advice at further cost to ratepayers. Yet at least one Maori councillor was elected on the platform of reducing debt and preventing further unnecessary borrowing, it now leaves the impression further debt is okay so long as it is in Maori favour.

I gained that impression when this same councillor spoke of “my people”! I felt disappointment because it now seems “my people” come before the general ratepayers who voted this person in. I was saddened to hear another councillor accuse an opponent of being a white racist.

The other thing that came through on the basis of the Te Arawa proposal is that Maori seem to have a different perception of what democracy means to those of us whose ancestors came to this country later and brought the concept along with many other benefits and inventions we now all use regardless of race.

Abraham Lincoln in 1863 defined democracy as government of the people, by the people, for the people. He did not say government of the people, by the privileged, for the privileged.

That’s what we could get by giving the green light to this undemocratic Te Arawa proposal.

December 18 was my first attendance at a council meeting — I was somewhat shell-shocked.

Initially the first address in Maori took 15 minutes and few in the room under-stood this time-waster. It's time we got rid of such puffery from public meetings.

Te Arawa are unhappy with the model for change proposed and consider their percentage of the Rotorua population should give them a bigger voice. It does, doesn't it? Look at the composition of council Te Arawa obviously consider that they, as major landholders, need a proportionately bigger voice.

New Zealand demonstrated in the late 19th century belief in one man one vote and obliterated the landholder voting privilege inherited from England. It initiated women's voting which put it among the most advanced democracies. Let's not go back to a privilege system in New Zealand government or in local councils.

The October 14 council meeting agreed to advocate for Te Arawa reps on some council committees and the December meeting endorsed that by voting for option two, the Te Arawa preferred plan, giving them privileges over other community group to appoint delegates with full voting rights to certain committees. As I see it, consultation with special-interest groups is highly desirable for council and may need group representation at some meetings, but it does not need their membership on its committees, which would bias decision making and be undemocratic.

Te Arawa are trying to become part of council as a pressure group with full membership on committees, etc. They don't want consultation, they want power. This proposal is a backward step to ancient forms of government where groups with power shut out the voice of the common people, let's not have that on Rotorua's council. (Abridged)

Weekend Sun (Tauranga) 16/1/15
In his recent articles in the Herald, Gareth Morgan constantly resorts to the 'Royal Prerogative ' We, as though all readers are in agreement and accord with his writing. He may be a 'Gun' in Investment, Motor cycle riding and 'Cat-belling' but his statements on the Treaty show a distinct lack of knowledge of history or a marked deficiency in literacy.

Mr Morgan, read it. Nowhere does the Treaty mention Principles or Partnerships.

To suggest as he has that a second house of government be established with 14% of the population having equal power to the remaining 86% of the population shows a bizarre approach to democracy. He states that such a system exists in Australia but I don't believe that the Senate in Canberra is comprised of 50% aborigines or in Ottawa, Canada that half of their second house has First Nation People representatives. The House of Lords in London has not a single Saxon or Norman on its roll.

That the Herald has published his fatuous verbiage only shows how far the standards of a once internationally respected newspaper, have fallen.

I write this with the realisation that, as the Herald virtually controls the Media in New Zealand, it will never be published.
B J,

Editor's Note - Don't worry Bryan, the Herald doesn't control the Bay of Plenty media, so we're happy to oblige and publish your letter.

NZ Herald 15/1/15
Opinion writer Joshua Hitchcock claims that Maori did not cede sovereignty under the Treaty of Waitangi, and that the Treaty was sold to Maori as a co-governance arrangement. This is fanciful nonsense.

Evidence shows that not only by signing the Treaty did the Maori chiefs accept that the Queen would become the sovereign of New Zealand, it is made clear from the speeches of the chiefs for and against the signing that they knew full well that they would be ceding sovereignty, thereby becoming British subjects.

This was reconfirmed at the Kohimarama conference in 1860, attended by 200 chiefs. And also verified in 1922 when Sir Apirana Ngata wrote in The Treaty of Waitangi — An Explanation that “the chiefs placed in the hands of the Queen of England the sovereignty and authority to make laws”.

There is no constitutional basis on which it could be said that the Treaty confers some form of joint sovereignty on Maori. Moreover, it is constitutionally impossible for the Crown to enter into a partnership with any of its subjects, which appears to escape Mr Hitchcock.
S S,

Bay of Plenty Times 15/1/15

In his claims that Maori suffered from taxation without representation (Letters, January 5) and paid the same rates as everybody else (Letters, January 7), Peter Dey has wandered far from historical truth.

Maori got the same voting rights as every British citizen when the 1852 Constitution Act extended the vote to all males over the age of 21 who owned land. By 1860 some one sixth of the electorate were Maori, who paid about one fortieth of the finances of the country. Traditional

Maori land ownership had been tribal and, since the voting power of Maori was still considered inadequate, Maori seats were introduced in 1867 as a temporary measure, giving the vote in those seats to every male Maori. The debates in Parliament make interesting reading, and show the goodwill of early New Zealanders.

Apirana Ngata pointed out similar generosity in local taxation. "It was in the year 1894 that Maori lands were subjected to rates and then it was half of the rate and it was not until 1910 that full rates as for European lands were levied." Yet Maori received treatment in the hospitals that were financed by the rates they did not pay.

NZ Herald 13/1/15
Opinion writer Gareth Morgan supports division into two peoples, in partnership, with “the aspirations of rangatiratanga to be significantly progressed”. What is meant in reality?

Puzzlement with calls for tribal sovereignty is not new. In 1894, when speaking in the House about the bill that Hone Heke Ngapua had introduced in support of kotahitanga, James Carroll said that “he had never been able to arrive at any understanding of what they really required; they could not say themselves what they really required”.

Mr Morgan talks of shifting authority from central government to groups and communities. How, then, will such groups be chosen? He supports rangatiratanga, which is the unqualified exercise of chieftainship, a “self-determination” that hands power to a race-based chiefly caste.

Such division of government would require the division of the country into provinces, with some ruled by a local tribe under the direction of chiefs. This could have much in common with Indian reservations in the United States, sovereign nations that (like the individual states) make and police their own law. Indian tribes may ignore state law to open casinos and do not have to uphold US laws banning discrimination.

I agree with Carroll. Since nothing is clear, such ideas do not merit consideration.

Taranaki Daily News 13/1/12
Regarding Gaye Atkinson’s letter (January 8) that states proposing Maori wards abides by a government law requiring councils to ‘‘provide for Maori participation and effectiveness in the decision making process’’.

I am proud of my Maori and European ancestry, and opposing the Maori ward is just one of my reasons for standing for the council on merit.

I want to represent the interests of the wider community and be able to fully utilise my effectiveness on the council. My aspirations of representing my community are contrary to the Government’s law, Mike Nightingale, Rachel Stewart, Gordon Hudson, and the supporters of a Maori ward seat.

With all due respect to this caring group, they do not mention in their writings that Maori are capable as individuals, with the ability to stand on their own two feet, challenge the odds, break down the barriers, be role models for our youth, and succeed onto council.
NPDC by-election candidate. New Plymouth

Bay of Plenty Times 12/1/15
Peter Dey writes of his perceived need for a Maori ward versus the current Tangata Whenua Committee.

Why have this paid committee and its various sub-committees if it is as ineffective, as Mr Dey obliquely suggests.

Last year, in the National Business Review, Rod Vaughan interviewed Dr Brian McDonnell, an academic of Tuhoe and British descent, who says, "We must have one standard of citizenship for all and the over-arching identity in the progressive New Zealand state must be unified citizenship, not class divisions based on 1840 groupings.

"The order in which your ancestors arrived as migrants, settlers to this country cannot give you a constitutional status that is different from anyone else. We cannot have two types of citizenship depending on your ethnic group.

"People who are born here belong to the land equally."

With the words of the respected academic in mind — the council is in the business of providing services to the community, whether that community is brown, white or brindle.

How does being Maori impact on parks, footpaths, libraries, drainage, recreation areas, rubbish collections?

A councillor represents all citizens and is not there to bow to separatist demands.

Tommy Wilson (January 6), is again trying to re-write history.

He claims that women and children were killed at the Battle of Te Ranga. James Cowan's definitive history The NZ Wars debunks this.

He also wrongly claims Maori were only fighting to hold on to their land.

Bay of Plenty was a battle ground, the Thames tribes, Ngapuhi, Waikato and the Arawa all taking part.

In 1842, Major Bunbury was. sent to Tauranga with a view to curbing the Arawa tribes. In 1845 peace was inaugurated, and a stone inscribed "Te Maungarongo 1845" (the peace making) was set up at Maketu.

After several hundred years, peace reigned throughout the Bay of Plenty.

For Ngaiterangi and Tauranga a new era of prosperity had dawned.

Unfortunately this was sacrificed when in 1864 the warmongering Ngaiterangi chief Rawiri Puhirake taunted the British demanding they come and fight him. At Gate Pa he got his wish, repelling the British.

The next battle Te Ranga was for Maori a crushing defeat. This re-established peace in Tauranga and signalled the end of the NZ Wars.
Welcome Bay

Maori "deserve" seat on council. Get Real. "I Want." Iwi want a free ward so they have a seat on Council. What next?

Maori need to get a candidate to stand for council, just like everyone else. Nothing is free in this world, you have to work towards it. I am pleased you have come up against some stiff opposition. (Abridged)
Mount Maunganui

Bay of Plenty Times 10/1/15
Peter Dey (Letters, January 5) compares the American revolutionaries "no taxation without representation" with the situation here in New Zealand. No comparison. Maori in NZ have equal voting rights with every other citizen. Revolutionary Americans did not.

Peter Dey says "The Maori community is paying the same rates as everybody else but has no representation on the council" (Letters January 7). Rates are gathered from owners of New Zealand property, therefore Maori already have representation on councils as New Zealand citizens.

In a democratic society, groupings do not need special privileges by way of undemocratic wards or privileged ratepayer-funded committees to convey their views to council.

Bay of Plenty Times 7/1/15

Manu Caddie (Letters, January 3) seems to think that Pakeha have some sort of fear or guilt about the history of New Zealand. Can I assure him far from it.

How could earlier settlers be blamed or shamed of any guilt for stopping the tribal warring factions from killing one another.. They, the settlers, had every right to show Maori a better system and show them a better way of life.

Unfortunately, it appears some people don't share the same view and feel Maori should have a privileged place in our society with special powers not available to other New Zealanders. We see Maori appointments to the hospital boards and in other areas of local government which only Maori can stand for election. Mr Caddie has to come to grips that Pakeha guard democracy with jealously and it is the best system available where everyone has equal opportunity for those that wish to take it.

Again, unfortunately, New Zealand has seen some unsavoury happenings under MMP in the quest for power from the present government and it is continuing to add to this by giving advantages by one section of the community over the other.
Te Puke