July - Sept

The Northern Advocate 25/9/15
RADICAL RETHINK
I heard this morning an item that surpasses all the antics of radical Maori so far.

The Northland Nga Uri a Hakiputatomuri Native Council believe that existing laws do not apply to them.

It has sacked the Northland Regional Council by telling them it has done a miserable job, and have issued their own passports, permits, driver’s licences and motor vehicle registrations.

I would expect that as they do not wish to continue to suck at the teat of the Mother Government, they will immediately end their receipt of all government benefits, pensions, unemployment benefits, hospital and outpatient treatment, subsidised doctor visits and associated subsidised pharmaceuticals. They will keep off taxpayer-funded roads and not call on our police force to protect them if need be.

They will surrender all the advantages that rightfully belong to those of us who obey the laws of our country as decided by the sovereign powers of our parliament. Another sideshow will be when they try to fly out of the country using their unlawful passports.
R B
Tauranga

The Northern Advocate 21/9/15
NO MORE EXCUSES
Responding to a recent letter published in the Reader’s Write about Maori being under privileged, that’s why they commit crime — everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. That is why a lot of crime is committed in the dark with concealed clothing and they run away after the wrongdoing has been committed.

Making excuses for bad behaviour keeps people in a victim mentality and who wants to stay in that position?

My mother came from a large family and her father died when she was 2; she was born in the middle of World War II in England where the houses across the road from her were bombed. Money was extremely scarce and neither she nor her siblings committed any crimes in their whole life.

They would not have dared then or now. As my mother says, she wouldn’t make herself a thief for anything.
M T
Whangarei

Sunlive/Weekend Sun (Tauranga) 18/9/15
CRIME NOT RESPONSIBILITY OF CROWN
It has been obvious for years that certain iwi groups try every trick in the book to screw the last taxpayers' dollar from the Crown.

The latest mind-boggling effort comes from a Tom Hemopo, who is hiring a team of lawyers to lay a claim to the racist Waitangi Tribunal, alleging the Crown is failing to protect Maori because half the prisoners in jail are Maori.

Whose fault is this? Certainly nor that of the Crown.

We live in a democratic society, all under the same laws and are totally responsible for our own actions. If I decided to rob a bank and got caught – which I probably would – I know I will be sent to prison.

It is not the Crown that is failing Maori but their own iwi. Many iwi have received millions of taxpayers' money, often investing it unwisely.

There is always big talk about whanau, so why are iwi not supporting young Maori by
helping to prevent them from joining gangs and committing crimes?

Where is the parental support? Education is available for all, and if young Maori drop out, that is their responsibility – not that of the Crown.

As for the many second offenders, you do not need to get burnt twice to know fire is hot.

The law is very simple: commit a crime, go straight to gaol.
M B
Tauranga

The Northern Advocate 18/9/15
NO STRAPPING
Concerning “Beaten children deserve an apology”. I went to a small school on the west coast north of Dargaville in the mid 50s which had a mix of Maori and Pakeha children. We also had a mix of Maori and Pakeha teachers at this school and I do not recall any children getting caned or strapped for speaking Maori. In fact Pakeha kids were pulled up, but never strapped, for our pronunciation of Maori placenames or trees etc. However I do remember getting six of the very best for eating hailstones. Discipline was quite different then.

I am sure there were many children strapped, for things we now would consider insignificant. I agree with AW Pike (September 14) that expecting an apology from Prime Minister John Key is ridiculous.
IM D
Whangarei

The Northern Advocate 17/9/15
PUSHING LIMITS
Tony Clemow writes that the one-day seizure of Kaitaia airport, with the damage and disruption it brought, is “healthy for us all” (September 15), yet letters and social media comments show that New Zealanders do not agree.

If Ngati Kahu insist that the land on which the Kaitaia airport sits was confiscated, then Ngati Kahu members should provide evidence of confiscation. If it was a forced sale under the Public Works Act, details of the amount paid to the original owner should be revealed.

Clemow writes that the legal system has always been loaded in favour of those in power.

He goes on to cite Parihaka, Bastion Point and the Ureweras but all of these eventually had outcomes loaded against those in power.

Clemow cites Parihaka but does not say that members of the vehemently anti-government Hau Hau group squatted on Crown land which had been legally confiscated for 14 years before the government reclaimed it without bloodshed.

The theatrics of protest are fine.

But when protest escalates to intimidation, disruption, and damage, all to make a political point, the protesters have become terrorists.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo

Taranaki Daily News 16/9/15
A RIGHT TO KNOW
John Key’s Government is handing out $70 million on another Treaty settlement. Chris Finlayson has signed a final deed settlement with a Taranaki iwi and is apologising for an assault on its members’ human rights.

This again is based on false history. The fact is, the Taranaki people first lost their land to the Waikato in 1830/34. They then sold most of it, which in Maori lore did not belong to them, to the New Zealand Company. It was the Governor who paid off the Waikato ‘‘owners’’ and then returned it in 1841 with the protection of British law and order.

The leasing of the returned land was a means of the Maori owners receiving a return on very productive land they were uninterested in developing or farming. Not only have they benefited from the leases of this land but also from the huge taxes the farmers have paid to the government over the years.

A full and final settlement has already been made and honoured by the people of New Zealand since 1946 for the land confiscated by the crown in 1863. All this to a people who virtually wiped out a complete race of people single handed while they waited to have land they had lost and then sold returned to them again, but this time on a golden platter.

I hope this puts the record straight on the total events surrounding the confiscations, and the leased lands. The people of New Zealand have a right to know the full story.

There was no holocaust at Parihaka, the holocausts occurred in Taranaki in 1830/34 and to the Moriori on the Chatham Islands in 1835, long before the British became involved. The British made it possible for the Taranaki Maori to return to their defeated lands as well as receiving a return for 100 years without even lifting a finger, but still they want more.
I B
Wanganui

The New Zealand Herald 15/9/15
MAORI REPRESENTATION
Brian Rudman contributed an excellent column on the farcical situation of unelected Maori considering it their right not only to sit on the Auckland Council but to vote also.

This outrage has been condoned by the unfortunate behaviour of a dysfunctional council and mayor.

The invalid voting of these unelected people has already determined council decision-making in the opposite direction to what would have prevailed if no Maori vote was allowed.

If that is not enough, Maori are now demanding, through legal proceedings, additional non-elected representation, a matter that constitutional law expert Sir Geoffrey Palmer describes as “extraordinary”.

Long-standing leftleaning councillor Mike Lee has also expressed his disquiet.

The situation is, however, much worse than that. If Maori wish to be represented on the council, let them stand in localbody elections just like any other citizen.

Anything else is a demand for a special privilege, which according to retired District Court judge Anthony Willy, has nothing to do with the Treaty of Waitangi but is a myth nurtured by Maori in their pursuit of power and control of public resources.
H L G
Remuera.

The Northern Advocate 15/9/15
SPEAKING OUT
Ngapuhi Speaks — a supposed account of Ngapuhi history which must be questioned. They claim that in 1814 Ngapuhi had circumnavigated the world, trading with 69 countries and, on their return, held seminars to discuss the trade.

My old books tell a different story. As late as 1832, Ngapuhi were still travelling down the East Coast in canoes, murdering and cannibalising natives on Mercury Island, Mayor Island and Mokoia Island. Hardly the stuff of great urbane world travellers.

Another account which certainly causes doubt: when the first cattle and horses arrived in 1814 the natives were terrified by such animals. As the international traders with 69 countries they purport to be, surely the sight of cattle and horses would not be a new experience for them?

Ngapuhi are requesting the Crown arrange for a review of funding of research to set aside for them to commission research of their histories. Is this to be a sanitised history which is to be taught in schools, or will the actual truth of 200 years ago be truthfully told? Is it to be the truth or a fairytale?
R B
Tauranga

Bay of Plenty Times 15/9/15
COLONIAL UPSIDE
M Borell is most insulting when he calls R Bishop a "colonial dinosaur" because Bishop has criticised the sanitised Maori "history" handed out to polytech students. Whereas the handout paints an admiring picture of Maori culture, it does not tell the true background which led to the need for the Treaty in the first place.

New Zealand, prior to 1840, was a most violent country, torn apart by continual intertribal fighting and cannibalism.

The Treaty brought Maori under British law and, for a long time, there was peace. Borell's despised colonials brought education, housing, roads, hospitals [and] science, leading Maori into the 19th century and turning this country into the fabulous place it is. It is great that the polytech is promoting Maori culture, but let them also be honest about New Zealand's warring past. It is nothing for Maori to be ashamed of, but facts are facts. (Abridged)
M B
Tauranga


TRUTH HURTS
I read with dismay M Borell's comments about R Bishop's letter. Unfortunately what M Borell didn't like was the truth about the twisted and untrue versions of the Treaty and Maori culture being questioned by R Bishop, who is entitled to do so as to ensure our young people are not being misled.

M Borell speaks about the teaching of positive aspects of Maori culture, but is pleasantly happy to have a twisted version of Maori history and culture which is being bandied around New Zealand. May I suggest to M Borell go and find out the proper truth of Maori history and culture in New Zealand and not the false ones you wish to listen to, being taught to our young people.

All children need to be told the true facts on New Zealand's history and not a twisted version, which M Borell sanctions and wishes to promote, which again misleads people on New Zealand's history, New Zealanders and immigrants alike. Education for M Borell on democracy and facts would go a long way, which unfortunately is in short supply in New Zealand at present. (Abridged)
M L
Te Puke

The Northern Advocate 14/9/15
UNAPOLOGETIC
Re “Beaten children deserve an apology”.

I have always admired the work Dover Samuels has done in his political life and for Maori but his drift into self-pity disappoints me greatly.

He says he spoke only Maori at home. Where would he be today if he were not forced to speak English at school? The punishment was not for speaking Maori but for disobeying school rules. There were Maori pupils in my class and they were treated the same as others.

Discipline was tough in those days. I was not a naughty boy at school but I received many bonenumbing cuts to the hand with a heavy leather strap to say nothing of the six strikes across the backside with a cane that left bruises for weeks.

It was all in the name of discipline. My advice to Dover Samuels is don’t dwell on imaginary wrongs of the past.

The idea of expecting an apology from the Prime Minister for the discipline in schools 60 years ago is little short of ridiculous.
AW P
Whangarei

Herald On Sunday 13/9/15
NEW LOW AT COUNCIL
There is no good reason ratepayers should pay the legal costs for an independent body over which the council has no control (Legal threat ahead of council funding vote, September 6). Whatever the justification for approving the funding to the Independent Maori Statutory Board selection panel, the perception is Auckland Council has caved in. A precedent was set when the IMSB threatened legal action in 2011, but threats against councillors is a new low.
S S
Meadowbank


KAITAIA AIRPORT PROTEST
Terrorism: the organised use of violence or intimidation for political or other ends. I expect the mob who invaded Kaitaia Airport, lit fires, intimidated staff and prevented a flight that was bringing medical professionals to assist residents to be charged as domestic terrorists.
F A
Papatoetoe

Taranaki Daily News 11/9/15
JOIN THE MAJORITY
Peter Moeahu’s ‘Maori world view’ of ‘seized’ ( Daily News, letters, September 7) seems to differ from recorded fact? In 1831 chiefs wrote to King William IV for protection mainly from each other and the French. Approximately 500 chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 ceding their individual chieftainship to the Queen, in return all New Zealanders gained protection, rights of British subjects and legal ownership of their lands, dwellings, and all their property.

Henry Turton’s Deeds of Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand record that Maori Chiefs sold most of the land including the water, the trees, everything above the land, and everything below as clearly shown in example Deed No 420 http:/ /nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/ scholarly/tei-Tur01Nort-t1-g1-g1g1-g13-t20-g1-t2.html. Hundreds of these standard transaction deeds are on file at the Victoria of University website.

From a total land mass of 26.8 million hectares, only around 1.2 million hectares (4.5 per cent) were legally confiscated during the 1860s wars, this was part reimbursement for the cost of quelling the rebellions and to compensate settlers for destroyed property. Confiscations took place after Maori rebels were warned this would happen.

Moeahu says to ‘‘join the rest of us’’, yet numerous recorded polls show a 80 per cent of New Zealanders oppose ethnic separatism. Perhaps his minority should join the 80 per cent and move forward in equality together.
GEOFF PARKER
Whangarei

Gisborne Herald 10/9/15
UNDER ‘PARTNERSHIP’ SIEGE
Claims for water and coastlines, on top of costly co-governance and billions of dollars in Treaty settlements, combine to give the appearance that our country is under siege in the name of “Treaty partnership”.

The Government is quietly working with iwi leaders to facilitate tribal control of New Zealand’s freshwater management — without alarming the public.

Our coastlines were opened to tribal claims.

“Park the charming stories about the customary connections Maori enjoy with the foreshore and seabed,” NZ Herald columnist Fran O’Sullivan wrote on February 6, 2010. “What’s really at stake are the big bucks that can be earned from commercial activities such as marine farming, mining, iron sands or even clipping the ticket on revenue from offshore gas and petroleum deposits.”

Demands for race-based appointees with voting rights in local government are being allowed. This subverts New Zealand’s one-person-one-vote democracy that is based on citizenship, not ethnicity.

Tax exemption for some tribal corporations and the multimillion-dollar cash transfers in the name of river “co-governance” are two more examples of undeniable and highly questionable forms of race-based privilege.

“Treaty partners” seems to be the war cry. I challenge anybody to show me anything in the Treaty, Maori or English, that could be construed as a “partnership”.
GEOFF PARKER,
Whangarei

The Northern Advocate 10/9/15
IT WAS POLICY
Some years ago, I researched and wrote the 100th history of the local school.

From information received, I understand that because Maori elders were concerned with their children’s future, a decision was made that all pupils needed to learn English. This was adopted as school policy.
M L
Opua

The Northern Advocate 9/9/15
ENGLISH ONLY
Dover Samuels ( Advocate, 5/9/15) calls passionately for a formal apology to children beaten at school for speaking Maori but he only states half of the truth. 
 First, it was not, repeat not, colonial oppressors who insisted on Maori children being taught only in English but Maori elders who saw English as the pathway for their children to participating in the wider world. In the 1870s, Maori MP Takamoana sought legislation to ensure that Maori children were taught only in English and several petitions in a similar vein were taken to Parliament by Maoris. In 1877, Wi Te Hakiro with the support of 336 signatories sought an amendment to the Native Schools Act to require teachers in Maori schools to be ignorant of the Maori language. 
 
Second, corporal punishment was used against all children of any race for any breaking of school rules. Any kind of corporal punishment of children is repellent but that is how it was and “the strap” or cane was still in use in my schooldays. My cousin was strapped on his first day at school. 
 
There can be no doubt that it was Maori elders themselves who were responsible for the situation which Mr Samuels deplores. He should inform the Waitangi Tribunal accordingly.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson 
 
NO APOLOGIES 
Your article, “Beaten children deserve a sorry” (5/9/15), appeared as if only Maori were physically punished at school. 
 
I wonder if our esteemed Prime Minister will apologise to anyone physically punished for spelling mistakes, writing left handed, or looking out the window and so on? Nearly everyone over 55 remembers a teacher smacking or hitting them with a ruler, a belt or a cane. 
 
In fact, Maori elders asked for their children be required to speak only English at school, to take advantage of the new economy, as recorded here http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-BIM873TeHa-t1g1-t2.html 
 
The article also repeats the phrase that Maori “lost” their land. 
 
The word “lost” means “deprived of” and implies that something occurred beyond the loser’s control. 
 
In fact, land-owning Maori willingly sold most of New Zealand in hundreds of transactions painstakingly much of which is recorded in Turton’s deeds posted for all to see on the Victoria University of Wellington’s website http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/name-401540.html 
 
New Zealand has 26.8-million hectares of land. Just 1.2-million hectares were confiscated. Approximately 1.47 million hectares remain as Maori land. The remaining 24.13-million hectares were sold. 
 
The article was a sob story to gain attention, apologies, and compensation.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo
Bay of Plenty Times 9/9/15
HISTORY SANITISED
English and French history is recorded in all its truthful blood and glory. Shamefully, the Chinese have expunged the history of Tiananman Square and I fear that Maori history in schoolbooks is also being sanitised.

A polytech handout called "Network Waitangi" has this euphemistically potted history of the Maori race: "The visitors found a highly developed sustainable civilisation in which autonomous tribes operated their own systems of health, education, justice, welfare and spiritually. "Hapu practised a particular relationship with each other, the land and environment and all was interwoven with a common language."

The truth is that the visitors found a collection of warring tribes practising cannibalism and the law of the club. Maori lived in fortified pa as protection against that "particular relationship with each other".

Are school history books being sanitised, and if so, why are our young people being lied to? (Abridged)
R B
Tauranga
 Taranaki Daily News 8/9/15 
FALSE HISTORY
It is a wonder to me that Peter Moeahu still gets space in your columns for the false version of history which he spouts.
 
He seems to have forgotten that Taranaki was depopulated by the murderous Waikato tribes in the 1830s and its surviving people rescued by the British.
 
In 1840, "taonga" consisted of timber, flax, pork and potatoes, not water, and were guaranteed by the Treaty to all the people of New Zealand without distinction. It is high time that he got that fact into his head.
 
New Zealanders of all races, including the Maori battalion, fought for our flag and the liberty and democracy which it signifies. I for one stand up in defence of our present three flags including the New Zealand white ensign under which I am proud to have served.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson
 
The Northern Advocate 8/9/15
 
CULTURES EVOLVE
Marie Kaire (September 5) is absolutely correct in saying that our New Zealand culture and language lies in the hands of our children. New Zealanders should be aware of our history and the various ethnicities that formed our society. This should be taught based on facts, not opinion.
 
We speak the same common language (English), mostly wear the same style of clothes, live in similar houses, work in a single economy, play sport, and eat the wide variety of food now available.
 
This defines New Zealand's present culture, not some 19thcentury romanticism. Cultures evolve; they are not static.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo, Whangarei
 
Taranaki Daily News 4/9/15
 
WHITEBAIT DEBATE
If Maori are so worried about the whitebait why don't they start breeding whitebait instead of expecting DOC to do the job. With all the millions they have got from the Waitangi Tribunal, surely there is enough money and people to do the job and it will create jobs. A win/ win situation.
J B
Patea
 
Northern Advocate 4/9/15
 
TOUGH TIMES
I heard this week Dover Samuels saying he had been caned for speaking Maori.
 
In 1945 at Otahuhu Primary School, I was strapped repeatedly for using my left hand.
 
This was the last year of World War II and every able bodied man was serving his country overseas, leaving teaching to be staffed by women, young, middle-aged or retired (as was my case).
 
Everyone did their best, I am sure.
J P
Reotahi
 
Taranaki Daily News 3/9/15
 
NO CONSULTATION
It's outrageous; the Government appears to have conceded management rights of our freshwater to iwi without being transparent to other New Zealanders. Recently National passed the unconstitutional Marine and Coastal Area Act, enabling iwi corporations to claim the foreshore and seabed. They are now working with Iwi Leaders to facilitate tribal control of New Zealand's freshwater management - without alarming the public.
 
With no public consultation, local authorities are doing secret deals with iwi leaders. This is in spite of the overwhelming opposition of the NZ people to separate Maori representation on local authorities.
 
Local Government New Zealand signed a Memorandum with the Iwi Chairs Forum to "support and encourage strong relationships and collaboration between councils and Iwi". Residents and ratepayers have not been consulted. They want to avoid the crisis following the decision on foreshore and seabed ownership.
 
Maori leaders claim; "We want input into the governance, management of water. Permanent iwi representation alongside councils. It's critical that iwi and Maori have influence both in local and central government if we are going to continue to move forward as Treaty partners."
 
The Treaty is being used to seize half the country. This must stop. Protest to your MP now.
D S
Cambridge
 
Taranaki Daily News 1/9/15
 
IGNORE PROPAGANDA
Dr Danny Keenan (Taranaki Daily News, Letters, August 18) should get his facts right before writing letters.
 
James Cowan gave the best estimate of deaths in the tribal rebellions of the mid-1800s: 2254 rebels, not Keenan's "3000", and 736 in Government forces including loyal Maoris and civilians. Has Keenan forgotten that, close to his home, in the capture of Pukerangiora by Waikato in 1831, around 1200 Te Ati Awa were slaughtered and many eaten? Those with tattoos were decapitated, prisoners being forced to carry the heads back to the Waikato.
 
Our flag was designed in the 1890s at about the time the silver fern was adopted so his statement that it was a national symbol "much longer" is more nonsense."Aotearoa" was never a name used for New Zealand in 1835 nor for many years afterwards. Busby's "United Tribes" were merely a far northern group who were never truly united. They had no idea of what he was doing in asking them to choose a flag. It found a use as the house flag of the Shaw, Savill and Albion Shipping Company.
 
On many levels it makes good sense to stay with our present flag and ignore the false propaganda of people like Keenan.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson


Dominion Post 31/8/15
 
BUSBY'S FLAG PROCESS A NONSENSE
Peter Price (Letters, August 20), who endorses the United Tribes flag, is sadly misinformed about flags. In 1834, James Busby decided that Maori-owned ships needed a flag and had three made to designs by Henry Williams, from which he asked a group of chiefs to choose.
 
As Michael King's Penguin History of New Zealand describes it, independent witness Austrian Baron von Hugel made it dear that the choosing ceremony "was little short of a farce ... The assembled chiefs . . . expressed much puzzlement . . . [and] politely proceeded to vote for all three." For this service, the chiefs were rewarded with a large cauldron of porridge.
 
The so-called "United Tribes of New Zealand" were another Busby fiction - they were a small group of chiefs from the Far North who never did anything except fight amongst themselves.
 
Busby's flag, the one Price talks about, got used, second-hand, as the house flag of the Shaw Savill and Albion Shipping Company which is dead now.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson
 
Southland Times 31/8/15
 
TREATY SETTLEMENTS
I often hear that treaty settlements are too high, too ongoing.
 
In 2013, the value of iwi assets was nationally assessed at $36.7 billion (that is $36,700,000,000). Little of that is cash of course. Most will be the value (and potential income generator) of the assets, like land, property, quota, forestry etc. Maori (or part Maori to be precise) make up about 11 per cent of our population which equates to 462,000 Kiwis. Therefore each individual Maori has, through their iwi corporate structures, $82,000 in assets. A family of four would have $328,000 in assets. From where I sit, this value and increasing income base does not trickle down to individual Maori or individual families, and nor should it.
 
However, I believe the best use of that ongoing corporate wealth, is to use a significant part of it to greatly increase the employment options for Maori as a decent income will help remove many of the poor social statistics that plague Maori as a race.
 
For example, the NZ deep sea fishing quota, which Maori now own 50 per cent of through treaty settlements, should not be subleased to foreign (Taiwanese and Indonesian) companies who fish here, use their crews, take the catch elsewhere to process in their own countries. Iwi lose employment on ships, development into second mates and master roles, employment in processing plants including management options, employment in sales and marketing and NZ loses the tax revenue. And this is all for an easy buck for those in corporate iwi. Their No 1 goal should be more employment and better income levels for their own.
N C
Invercargill
 
Waikato Times 27/8/15
 
KING’S CLAIM
Maori King Tuheitia has laid claim to Auckland. The Maori King says he is determined to launch a claim for greater Auckland.
 
Some ask when will this treaty end.
 
If the claims have credence in law then let the relevant bodies address it, I say,but what I see is a different matter completely
 
I see a gang, the Tribal Huks, feeding mokopuna and Tainui descendants living in poverty, on the benefit, in the jails.
 
I see potential for a large market garden cafe, a training centre, a prime place for the tourist dollar and employment of the tribe’s youth.
 
Tainui Inc has charitable trust status. It doesn’t pay taxes, giving it a commercial advantage.
 
I see a tribe where a disproportionate amount of their people rely on the government for their existence.
 
George Orwell’s words echo in my mind from his novel Animal Farm: ‘‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’’
P E-M
Hamilton
 
Taranaki Daily News 26/8/15
 
SPREAD THE WORD
A few weeks ago I was asked "Why do you write letters to the editor?" At the time I was explaining my ideas to a group of five and the answer was "I have to talk to a group this size 20 times to get my thoughts to 100 people, whereas with one letter to the editor I can spread how I am thinking to thousands."
 
I think it is important for an elected representative to put their thoughts down in writing so there are no unpleasant surprises after an election. Many who seek public office prefer to not put their plans in writing to enable them the freedom to "run with the hares and hunt with the hounds".
 
I am against the New Plymouth District Council's ward system of representation. It was interesting to note Councillor Tamati's and Mayor Judd's comments that the referendum on Maori wards was an embarrassment to Maori. Let me tell these two and the others who voted for a Maori ward that it was an embarrassment to all of us, especially those of us who could see the NPDC was on the wrong track and did something about it.
 
We all, at times, feel disenfranchised by decisions made by both the management and governance of the NPDC. This doesn't mean we need wards on gender, economic, racial or geographic criteria.
 
It means we need an "at large" voting system as we have a "one bucket" financial system. A "no ward" scenario would allow all of us to vote for all the councillors as well as the Mayor and if the candidates were good enough they would be elected, no matter what part of the NPDC area they came from.
J H
Urenui
 
Gisborne Herald 25/8/15
 
MANY RACES NURTURE CULTURE WITHOUT TAXPAYER FUNDING
To keep the record straight re banning the Maori language at schools (August 23 letter), it was Maori elders who asked for the language to be banned at school so their young, through learning English, would be able to take advantage of opportunities arising from the new economy; Refer: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-BIM873TeHa-t1-g1-t2.html
 
Your correspondent further stated that “the colonials basically tried to shut down Maori culture”. Surely she does not support law of the club, daughter slaughter, cannibalism, slavery, enforced marriages which were a large part of the Maori culture, “laws” and values pre 1840?
 
In 1831, Maori chiefs wrote to King William IV asking for help. This was accomplished through the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840. Those wise Maori chiefs chose to accept English law and culture, which provided them not only with protection but a written language, land ownership, education and access to clothing, housing, healthcare etc — do I hear ehara koe i a ia! Perhaps not!
 
In New Zealand many races nurture their culture and language with neither funding from the taxpayer nor imposing it on their fellow Kiwis. Why can’t Maori?
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo, Whangarei
 
Gisborne Herald 24/8/15
 
EDUCATION, CIVILISATION . . .
Re: Values we should share, August 22 letter.
 
The comment that “intervening Europeans banned the Maori language from schools for a time” is completely wrong. It was Sir Apirana Ngata who encouranged education in English to improve the success for Maori children in both worlds. “English in school, Maori at home!”
 
In another venture, it was Sir Maui Pomare who went into the Maori villages to introduce the laws of Pakeha hygiene. As a result, he went on to become a doctor to improve the quality of life for his people.
 
These forward-thinking men could see the value of the “education and civilisation” that your correspondent seems to spurn.
 
Would she really like to return to the life Maori lived before the advent of the “superior colonials”? Life was short, harsh and brutal.
 
Land was only “owned” until a marauding neighbouring tribe came and took it off them. In fact, the tribes were very happy to have a white settlement between them and the neighbouring tribe as it was a buffer of safety.
 
Maori have gone from stone-age to space-age as a result of your own colonial ancestors. Don’t knock them!
R B
Tauranga
 
The Southland Times 24/8/15
 
TREATY CLAIMS
And here we go again. The Maori King is laying a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal for a huge chuck of urban Auckland.
 
If one ever wants a colour-blind New Zealand, where everyone is treated equally, someone needs to put an end to this gravy train.
 
Unfortunately, both major parties in New Zealand need Maori voters or more importantly, the support of the Maori Party.
 
The treaty, signed by nearly all the Maori Chieftains, was in Maori, not the subsequent English interpretations.
 
That Maori document had three clearly worded articles. The first was that Maori ceded sovereignty to the Crown of England, primarily to avoid the pending French colonisation and the decades of decimation as Maori slaughtered, ate and made slaves of other Maori. The third was that Maori would have the rights of British subjects (where slavery was banned) and that all in New Zealand would be one people.
 
The second article related to Maori having the right to have and retain rights over their ‘taonga’ (this being land or property). Taonga is the spear and implied that land would include what was taken during periods of conflict with other tribes.
 
Taonga, with the help of the Maori Council and an Appeal Court case, now determines taonga as a ‘treasure to Maori’ which opens up everything including culture, language, forestry, deep sea fishing, fresh water, wind, air waves etc.
 
Maori and the Crown were parties to the treaty. Parties do not mean we are in partnership. Parties and partnership are totally different. And the United Nations agreement (which we are signatory to) on Indigenous Peoples Rights is not applicable to Maori as they are not indigenous to New Zealand – they migrated here just like other cultures who came later.
 
We need to put an end to this. A deadline to lodge any more claims (Helen Clark had already set September 1, 2008 for that reason). A second date should finalise the settlements. No more top-ups or new lines of sucking money out of our nation.
 
Then we can get rid of the currently racially based Constitutional Committee, get a new flag and new constitution with no reference to the Treaty of Waitangi, where all those in New Zealand are truly ‘‘one people’’.
N C
Invercargill
 
Northern Advocate 22/8/15
 
UNDER PRESSURE
In her letter (18/5/15) Marie Kaire thought that the Government is not doing enough to promote the Maori language. Yet we, an English-speaking nation, are increasingly being bombarded daily with Maori language in government departments, hospitals, libraries, police stations, supermarkets, banks, airports, education facilities, radio. TV and newspapers.
 
The amount spent on Maori language initiatives is something of a moveable feast, depending on what is included. An excerpt from a Stuff.co.nz article in 2011 reads: "the Government spends about $225 to $600 million on te reo initiatives annually." The $3.3 million that Marie begrudges Asian language teaching in schools pales into Insignificance by comparison. It's an increasingly global economic environment, so to make a living we need to communicate with as many people as possible. This in itself makes te reo an absolute luxury.
 
Marie promotes compulsory Maori language learning in preschools and primary schools, yet clearly the results of these public polls show that if given a choice New Zealanders oppose compulsion: 79 per cent say no to compulsory te reo (NZ Herald online poll), and 82 per cent no to compulsory Maori in schools (yahoo Xtra poll).
 
In 1962 visiting scholar David Ausebel wisely wrote: "The future of the Maori language and culture lies not with the intervening European but in the Maori home, and in the habits and usages of the Maori parents."
 
The fact that Maori parents chose (for very valid reasons) not to teach the Maori language to their children is no justification for forcing non•Maori to pay for its revival and forcing New Zealand children to learn it.
 
While the Maori language and culture may be a very great treasure to those who value it. to those who do not, it is not.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo
 
The New Zealand Herald 18/8/15
 
LEARNING TE REO
Further to the letters about the Maori language, in 1962 visiting scholar David Ausebel wisely wrote: “The future of the Maori language and culture lies not with the intervening European, but in the Maori home, and in the habits and usages of the Maori parents.”
 
The fact that Maori parents chose (for very valid reasons) not to teach the Maori language to their children is no justification for today forcing non-Maori to pay for its revival, and forcing New Zealand children to learn it.
 
While the Maori language and culture may be a very great treasure to those who value it, to those who do not, it is not.
GEOFF PARKER
Whangarei.
 
Southland Times 17/8/15
 
FINLAYSON SHOULD GO
Mr Winston Peters has uncovered something that Chris Finlayson did not want the people of New Zealand to know about. He uncovered that the 13 men and women who bring about what are referred to as "settlements" for the Waitangi tribunal received $7.8 million.
 
Mr Peters is a man of the truth. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Finlayson said the comments were unfair, disgusting, vulgar and crude, and accused him of an "intemperate attack" on the negotiators. "Mr Peters is nothing more than the Donald Trump of New Zealand politics who wants nothing more than a cheap headline." "I say to New Zealand First that their tendency to personalise things and attack the individuals as they have done with my treaty negotiators is something I resent and something I think is quite simply disgusting".
 
What Finlayson has judged in Peters he is guilty of himself. Peters reported facts. Finlayson became rude and insulting. He has acted, it seems, and I may be wrong, in a manner like that of a vicious viper whose contrivances have been revealed.
 
He is guilty of unjust transferences of billions of tax money. All of these acts of "settlements" are what seems to amount to extortion, are based upon fictitious and contrived accounts of justice being exercised. I see this from the true accounts from the NZ Centre for Political Research. Let Mr Finlayson be dismissed.
A W M
Invercargill
 
NZ Herald 13/8/15
 
ENGLISH FLUENCY
Now that Maori Language Week has come and gone, perhaps we could have a New Zealand language week.
 
There are quite a number of children enrolled in total-immersion Maori schools who have little or no knowledge of our common language.They cannot communicate effectively with more than 90 per cent of their fellow citizens.
 
It reflects poorly on New Zealand that many foreigners who are interviewed speak English more fluently than a sizeable percentage of our own population.
 
Until recently, English was the common tongue that bonded all citizens together — but not any more. The preservation of te reo has historical merit, but let’s not use it to divide our nation.
 
Let’s give everyone a fair go and have an English language week.
M M
Kaipara.
 
The New Zealand Herald 12/8/15
 
MAORI LANGUAGE
Two recent letters questioned the wisdom of teaching Maori in schools.
 
One correspondent recalled his teacher father telling him that the local Maori, when donating land for a school, asked that the teaching be in English, and the second said that learning an impractical language should be a matter for individuals.
 
When the Europeans came to this country, the Maori vocabulary consisted of some 1500 words. This very limited vocabulary enabled them to build oceangoing canoes, voyage to these islands, and settle from the top to the bottom. This was a remarkable achievement, and the language that enabled this to be done should be preserved as a taonga.
 
However, around the 1950s, a section of Maoridom decided that Maori should have their own language. A board was set up and using the original few words as examples and Maorified words and grammar from English, a new language was invented called te reo.
 
It is a made-up language and like Esperanto, will surely fail. I hope that the original will not be lost in the process.
B R
St Heliers.
 
Southland Times 10/8/15
 
CRIME STATS
Marama Fox, the co-leader of the Maori Party made an interesting, yet farcical, statement that "Maori are 3 times more likely to be picked up by the police, 3 times more likely to go to prison and 3 times more likely to get longer sentences. This shows structural discrimination against our people.
 
Having previously worked in a prison and in social services, I find this type of stereotyping a nonsense as it implies the system (police and sentencing judges) are discriminatory against Maori. If you don't commit crime, and even if the police pick you up, they will have no evidence for court. If you are not repeat-offending, your sentence will not get longer each time you get sentenced. Are Maori three times more likely to commit crimes and therefore bring themselves to the attention of the police?
 
Like all areas in which some Maori under achieve in compared to other NZ races (education, health, social, welfare, poverty, abuse etc), the primary cause lies with the families that are developing their children and inter-generational learning. The solution lies with supporting "at risk" whanau, not shifting the blame onto Government authorities after the event or failure to achieve.
N C
Invercargill
 
The NZ Herald 4/8/15
 
LANGUAGE CHOICES
I agree with your correspondent Albert McGhee. It is admirable that some want te reo to endure, but it is for individuals to ensure it survives.
 
Individuals need to meet the costs of learning such an obscure and impractical language.
 
I have basic communication skills in Mandarin, a partial understanding of French, and can communicate on a basic level in sign language. At no time have I had any need (or desire) to learn te reo.
 
I am currently concentrating my efforts on Latin because it has far greater practical use. It is the foundation of English and the Romance languages. English is littered with “latinisms”. Te reo is not.
 
I invest in many languages at my own expense. I do not have taxpayer-funded teachers at my disposal, as do those in te reo immersion and even in standard schools.
 
Every year, we have the same inane promotion of te reo, the teaching of which is a waste of limited educational resources.
 
Sign language is of far greater use despite the differences in signing worldwide. It should be mandatory in all primary schools, with pupils having the option of continuing it at secondary level.
G M
Royal Oak.
 
NZ Herald 3/8/15
 
ON TE REO
My father taught in a new school at Tawata on the banks of the Wanganui River in the early 1930s. The land for the school was given to the Education Board by the local iwi on condition that Maori children had to speak English at school, even in the playground. The elders recognised that if their children were to succeed, they had to be proficient in English. Often, all was not as now seems.
M L
Remuera.
 
Christchurch Press 3/8/15
 
TIRED OLD GAME
I read in last weeks Press that some teachers were under scrutiny for their lack of mastery of the Maori language. The support behind this witch-hunt was the statement from the ministry that we are a bicultural nation. This confirms what I have long known – that New Zealand does not recognise that we stopped being bicultural years (maybe decades) ago and we have been multicultural for ages.
 
It is not about out-dated ideas like Pakeha and Maori. Anyone who has lived overseas and come back here can see how backward we are. We still play that tired old game. Why should the sought after skills of these teachers be on the line because of a ‘‘skill’’ that just doesn’t matter? If my children were forced to learn Te Reo I would extract them from that school. It has absolutely no benefit to them overseas and limited benefit to them here in NZ. I have Maori relatives but I am realistic.
S Y
Papanui


Weekend Sun / Sunlive (Tauranga) 31/7/15
 
MAORI LANGUAGE: OUR FUTURE?
I am wondering what is the point of the article in which Ellis Byers states ‘I am Maori.' (The Weekend Sun, July 24). Quite frankly, who cares?
 
I can state that I, along with 85% of the population in New Zealand, I most definitely, am not Maori but am just as proud of my European heritage as he seems to be of whatever amount of Maori blood Byers has in his veins.
 
I note he goes to the beach each morning to pray to his Maori ancestors. With a name like Ellis Byer, he obviously has European or other blood within. Does he pray to those ancestors as well?
 
He might offer a prayer of gratitude to British ancestors for the fact that he is living in a peaceful democratic country and able to air his views due to the British answering
the requests of Maori elders to Queen Victoria begging her to send troops to put
a stop to intertribal fighting, cannibalism and possible extinction of Maori.
 
The 85 per cent of non-Maori landing on these shores all bring their own very special cultures which they share and which enrich us.
 
We respect Maori culture but I, for one, am not interested on pretending to be part
of it. I will not say ‘Kia Ora' to my friends but Hello, and I strongly object to the likes of Byers trying to thrust his Maori views down my throat. We certainly need to know the history of this country, but the real truth, not the whitewashed stuff that is being dished out to students today.
 
The most important thing is that we are New Zealanders, and I am proud to be one.
M B
Tauranga
 
The New Zealand Herald 31/7/15
 
DOOMED LANGUAGES
Language is, first and foremost, a practical tool that allows individual organisations to communicate with others.
 
It allows groups to form, societies to take hold, and, finally, the advances we have achieved in the sciences, engineering, finance, law, and so on that give us the modern world.
 
As painful as it may be to hear, Maori, as with my own ancestral languages of Pictish or even Gaelic, is doomed to the dusty books of history. Why? Because it has no purpose. Something without purpose will die.
 
Romantic notions of culture and history are laudable but jarringly out of place. Why learn Maori when you can study a widely spoken language? Or medicine? Or finance? Or painting? Or any one of thousands of languages.
 
Anyone spend time and money to keep their mobile phone running? No? Because it is redundant.
 
And let's not ask people to pronounce Maori words "properly-. I hardly hear anyone speak English or any other language correctly in New Zealand. But then again, it really does not matter. As long as we can communicate.
A M
Dannemora
 
Bay of Plenty Times 30/7/15
 
CHANGING NAMES CAN BE DIVISIVE
Robin Bishop (Letters, July 18) is quite right, requests for the changing of place names can be divisive, particularly when it is imposed without wide consultation, or against the wishes of the majority.
 
One has only to look at the resentment caused with putting the H in Wanganui.
 
The history of Churchill Park, both British and Maori, should be told. Rather than creating animosity by renaming the park, an information plaque telling this rich history, for the benefit of visitors, would be a much more appropriate outcome.
R P
Welcome Bay
 
Dear Editor, Published in the Katikati Advertiser 24/7/15)
 
Last week three of us from Grey Power Assn and the Rate Payers Assn met with three local Councilors and a week before that we met with the Mayor Ross Paterson and CEO Miriam Taris to discuss the lack of changes to the LTP, namely rates! Not a lot of progress was to be made!
 
It seems there has been a slight reduction in rates for the coming year, but hello we think the same has been loaded back onto the following years increase, so that’s not very helpful, just meant to confuse us all.
 
The worry now is Katikati and TePuke will face higher effluent
 
Charges coming our way soon and the reason this has not been built into the costing’s is the Council doesn’t really know what these costs will be yet?
 
The article June 18 is laughable, it says to satisfy the opposition from Maori for treated sewerage being pumped into waterways [clear water]. They are one of the worst offenders as many of the local Maraes don’t pay rates and they are not hooked onto any of the services and it seems their untreated effluent just goes straight into the harbour and they are offended at the rest of us ratepayers! Have I missed something here?
 
There soon will be more stringent regulations even on Storm water /grey water and it will get to a point even this would not be allowed to go directly into the streams.
 
All the more reason why the feel good luxuries like the new Library should be deferred for a few years not brought forward.
 
Lets get it right, the basic service costs are what should be paid for first and no more debt or rate rises to the struggling ratepayer.
C H
Tauranga
The Dominion Post 24/7/15
 
EUROPEAN NAMES HAVE VALUE TOO
Bob Brockie (July 20) brings up a valid point that has me very concerned. The move to remove European names from our geographic places is gaining traction and, worryingly, is being assisted by the New Zealand Geographic Board to overturn these names.
 
I am aware that an iwi is hoping to rename Hastings as Heretaunga and Clive as Waipureku. The area may be called Heretaunga, but the infrastructure from which the city of Hastings has been built is from European knowledge and expertise that the colonial settlers brought with them and therefore surely cannot be renamed as it is living history.
 
With more than 200 years of intermarriage, there is as much Anglo-Saxon, French or Scandinavian blood running through the veins of all of us, including those who only celebrate their Maori-ness. Therefore as a spiritual people, surely all their bloodlines must be equally honoured?
 
There are many lovely Maori placenames, but also many European names which also deserve to be equally honoured. Please let us leave the names in our country exactly as they are now.
R B
Tauranga
 
NZ Herald 24/7/15
 
KERERU’S GUARDIANS FAILING IT
The issue over kereru is not about how they taste or how many you can stuff up a jersey, but the damage that has been done to kaitiakitanga, the Maori concept of guardianship and protection.
 
Many claims for customary rights and Waitangi Tribunal findings are based on the concept that Maori are the kaitiaki, the guardians of the environment. The Wai262 claim for ownership of the flora and fauna and special intellectual property rights rests entirely on the claim that Maori must have ownership so they can exercise this guardianship.
 
Secretly serving guests kereru at a marae is a disgrace. It makes those guests unwittingly complicit in the bird’s decline. Would they serve pork to Jewish guests without telling them?
 
Making excuses and blaming former farming practices for the bird’s decline is less than helpful. It is what you do now that counts. Eating another species to extinction is, hopefully, not an example of kaitiakitanga in practice.
R P
Tauranga.
 
 
ON KERERU
We are trying to save the kereru from extinction as one of our few remaining indigenous treasures. I would have thought Maori would be in the forefront of efforts to protect, encourage and foster this beautiful bird.
E. M
Titirangi.
 
The New Zealand Herald 23/7/15
 
WELCOME VISITOR
My puriri and guava tree are visited by a kereru every year. I lean out my back door and call softly, “You are most welcome”.
 
Dame Tariana Turia has just implied permission to serve up a beautiful New Zealand treasure whenever there is a special occasion on the marae. She seems to want it to be a normal practice.
 
Shame on her. I am so angry at how little she cherishes our own wildlife.
K R
Henderson
 
 
ON THE KERERU
Dame Tariana Turia says her tastes have been anglicised. Yet the English eat a wide variety of game from rabbit to deer, pheasant and even wood pigeon. Cultural traditions should have no bearing on the taking of endangered animals. Or how can we condemn other cultures that have historically eaten fin whales and gorillas?
J G
Waiheke Island.
 
 
Dominion Post 23/7/15
 
SUPPORT FOR DUAL PLACENAMES
I heartily support Allen Heath in his comments (July 21) on dual names and the over-zealous political correctness of some individuals, councils and the Geographic Board. Changing names allocated back in time is akin to rewriting history.
 
When I arrived here Mt Egmont was the name for Mt Taranaki and Mt Cook the name for Aoraki. We live in a modern, pluralistic society and I have no objection to joint English and Maori names for places and plants. That does not mean we should bury our European heritage, as so many PC zealots seem to desire.
 
The new name for Taita Community Centre is a good example of not consulting citizens as well. We have the same problem with road and urban planting. European trees and plants are now a no-no; why cannot native and exotic species be allowed together? They seem to thrive happily together in my garden.
 
Perhaps we should tear up all our European art, culture and history; then pretend we are all Polynesians. That of course would be living a lie, but who cares.
T S
Tirohanga
 
Dominion Post 21/7/15
 
KEEP DUAL NAMES FOR PLACES, LANDMARKS
Bob Brockie (July 20) commented on recent moves to expunge European names from geographic features in New Zealand because the eponyms were associated with individuals of doubtful character, or who held abhorrent beliefs.
 
His response was appropriate, but he did not go far enough in finding names of infamous Maori (Hongi Hika, Te Wherowhero, Pomare, among many others) who were assiduous raiders and murderers, and yet have names associated with landmarks and localities throughout New Zealand.
 
The fad in this country to rewrite history, especially if it has links to European colonisation (see the current flag hysteria), is wrong and smacks of ignorance.
 
If dual naming has to be the answer, then so be it.
 
Those who wish, use one name and those who object, use the other. We have a heterogeneous history, like it or not, and by retaining names that reflect that history, even if they give offence, will stimulate debate, which is a better outcome than descending into a bland mindlessness.
A H
Woburn
 
New Zealand Herald 21/7/15
 
MT EDEN CAR BAN
I have lived on the slopes of Mt Eden for 38 years, during which time I have been up it hundreds of times, whether walking, running, cycling or by car.
 
Now the Tupuna Maunga Authority wants to eliminate cars from reaching the summit. This is exasperatingly silly.
 
Authority chairman Paul Majurey supported the ban proposal by saying “the maunga are revered and treasured places for mana whenua, with significant spiritual and cultural values to be protected”.
 
How ironic that the preservation of the cultural values of one “culture” may override the cultural and even spiritual values of the citizens (or visitors) of all the other cultures that make up Auckland.
 
How will removing cars restore spiritual value from yesteryear? Why cars? Will cycles still be permitted? Why will cars be permitted up to kiosk level but not beyond? Is that somehow outside the sensitive zone? And will carparks have to be extended near the kiosk?
 
Mt Eden is a formidable basalt lava plug. It is under no imminent threat from cars, or from people, and their access should not be further meddled with.
A K
Mt Eden.
 
 
CULTURAL COLLISION
The Weekend Herald feature headlined “Cultural collision” was, by implication, quite concerning.
 
No New Zealander would oppose the sensible commemoration of events precious to Maori. A study of Unitary Plan provisions in Devonport has, however, highlighted eight areas totalling 25.13 hectares affecting 189 properties with associated restrictions and corresponding effects on value.
 
An analysis of Archaeological Association records shows that the sites concerned commemorate three middens; a site that is suspected but not known to have been a clifftop pa; two hills, once pa sites that have almost completely disappeared having been quarried for scoria; a spot where an unspecified object was found on the beach; an area covered by housing which is described as an agricultural field system; and, finally, the grave of Eruera Maihi Patuone, who was buried at St Paul’s Church in Victoria Rd and whose resting place is already revered by those who know his story.
 
Perhaps the enthusiasm of council planners is somewhat excessive.
J M,
Devonport.
 
The Southland Times 13/7/15
 
 
RACE-BASED SELECTION
Is there anything more inappropriate in 2015 than a team selected on race?
 
In no other area of life is inclusion — or exclusion — based on race acceptable. Where there are disparities based on race in terms of poverty or health we are appalled and work hard as a society to correct them.
 
The Maori All Blacks have a strong and proud heritage.
 
But they are a race-based team and should not exist in the modern world.
M B
Winton
 
The Northern Advocate  9/7/15
 
KERERU OUTRAGE
 
The outrage over the fate of the kereru native pigeons is well founded and justified. It is unbelievable that a Ngapuhi maori leader, Sonny Tau would take the pigeons then hide them under his clothing to avoid detection – how bizarre is that? This seems to debunk the myths that these people are environmentalists, conservationists, protectionists and in the eyes of some illusionists, guardians of the universe and so forth…
 
The perpetrators of this sacrilege and the willing recipient of the kereru need to be prosecuted by the Department of Conservation, no ifs and buts about it. Most proud Kiwis seek to protect NZ’s native birds, fauna and flora at the cost of millions of dollars to the NZ taxpayers annually and this wanton killing of protected native wildlife is soul destroying. Well done DOC I see Mr Tau has been charged and he must now come out into the open and name those who killed the kereru.
R P
 
 
(NOTE: This letter was heavily abridged?  the abridging underlined above)
 
Rotorua Review 8/7/15
 
CRITICS NEED TO BE HEARD
The mayor’s brutal attempts to suppress councillors speaking for a growing number of disaffected constituents will have to stop with live streaming.
 
She will have to rein in those who vilify critics of the current regime.
 
The quality of decision-making on all council committees will have to dramatically improve.
 
Recall, she blamed the 8:5 near-split vote to implement about half of the Te Arawa Partnership Plan on a ‘‘bizarre situation where four councillors joined the Pro-Democracy Society and forgot that we’re elected to represent the wider interests of the people of this district’’ (Bathgate, Rotorua Review, June 3).
 
It was bizarre in her mind because it violated the moral norm of unity behind the slogan she keeps repeating: ‘‘Tatau, tatau’’, ‘‘ We, together’’. The reality has been nasty and divisive.
 
The mayor will need to accept the concept and legitimacy of a loyal opposition (an increasingly coherent and growing bloc of elected representatives who remain loyal to the interests of The People).
 
The society formed to resist the tyranny of the majority on council who used their numbers to stack key committees with unelected political allies.
 
There was no dignity in the undemocratic power grab and the extremists defining widespread opposition as racist.
 
Even the least numerate on council know that the power grab will give disproportionate representation to mana whenua, add a $250,000 annually to council debt, and convert a marginal 8:5 split into a much safer 10:5 division.
 
But, as Daniel O’Connell put it: ‘‘Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong.’’ (Abridged)
REYNOLD MACPHERSON
Rotorua

Northern Advocate 8/7/15
 
FINITE RESOURCES
Your "Quite Contrary" columnist is apparently quite befuddled when she makes suggestions on the breeding of kukupa for meat. In this country, we ridicule and disapprove without compunction the consumption of bear paws, monkey brains, tiger testicles, shark fins, whale meat and rhinoceros horn. However, they are all simply traditional delicacies just as kukupa, kiwi and kakapo are traditional delicacies.
 
The real point is that farming of such endangered species to satisfy the cravings of people who claim the right of digestion for spiritual reasons is simply out of step with the times.
 
If a kaumatua calls out on his death bed for a portion of kukupa to aid him on his way to Hawaiki, then I'm sorry but there are a lot of others who just have to make the same journey without the help of endangered feathered friends.
 
Of course people worldwide have customs which reflect the wonderful diversity of humanity, but somewhere along the line we all need to accept that we live in a world of finite resources, and behave accordingly. Even in Tai Tokerau. (Abridged)
GM T
Whangarei
 
Bay of Plenty Times 8/7/15
 
KERERU OUTRAGE
The outrage over the fate of the kereru native pigeons is well-founded and justified. It is unbelievable that a Ngapuhi Maori leader, Sonny Tau, would take the pigeons then hide them under his clothing to avoid detection —how bizarre is that?
 
The perpetrators of this sacrilege and the willing recipient of the kereru need to be prosecuted by the Department of Conservation, no ifs and buts about it.
 
Most proud Kiwis seek to protect New Zealand's native birds, flora and fauna at the cost of millions of dollars to the New Zealand taxpayers annually and this wanton killing of protected native wildlife is soul destroying.
 
Well done Department of Conservation, I see Mr Tau has been charged and he must now come out into the open and name those who killed the kereru. (Abridged)
R P
Matapihi
 
Bay of Plenty Times 7/7/15
 
RENA SQUABBLES
Why are we having this Rena payment dispute (News, June 24)? We all live in the Bay of Plenty and all helped clean up the beaches after the disaster.
 
It brought more people to the area, the businesses did far better than they ever did. The beaches were closed for a time but it was not the end of the world and luckily nobody was killed over this disaster.
 
The ship's owners have paid and suffered enough. All the leaky oil equipment and all other leaching poisonous equip-ment has been removed.
 
There has been quite a few boats and ships sunk and wrecked before in New Zealand waters and we have not had all this procedure before with hapu and iwi.
 
Nobody owns the Astrolabe Reef and all the fish belong to everyone.
 
What is left of the wreck can be a diving or sightseeing venture in the future. (Abridged)
J D
Te Puke
 
Northern Advocate 4/7/15
 
PIGEON DESPAIR
The continued hunting of wood pigeons makes me feel nothing but despair. All over Northland there are many people like myself giving up their days, weeks and years to lug traps deep into the bush and set them, in an effort to protect kukupa.
 
Scraping possums, stoats and rat after maggoty rat out of traps is no fun. But we do it because in Northland, birds such as native wood pigeons are heading towards local extinction.
 
In forests with no pest control, which is the vast majority of Northland's forests, almost all wood pigeons will lose their young to either possums or rats. When these old birds die, there are none to replace them. But it gets even worse than that. When pigeon numbers get very low they inter-breed, their eggs become infertile and will not hatch.
 
For anyone taking pigeons, it's like a spit in the face to our hard work. It's demotivating. Is our work simply a waste of time?
 
We need leaders to step up on this issue, not be a part of the problem. The numbers of these birds have got so low in Northland it's gone beyond a customary issue to a moral one. People must put aside their selfish behaviour and protect this taonga for the next generations.
B W
Paihia
 
 
KERERU UNJUSTIFIED
David Rankin's comments of support for Sonny Tau and the five dead kereru concealed under his overcoat are ill-considered to the point of boneheadedness. It may be that the taking of such species as kereru, kiwi and other rare species has not been specifically put under rahui (ban) by Ngapuhi, but in practice they are, or they should be.
 
The admirable concept in tikanga of kaitiakitanga or guardianship is frequently applied to species that are in danger, so that rahui (bans) are often placed on the gathering of shellfish etc, particularly when stocks, are low, this gives the opportunity for replenishment. But to claim that the gathering of endangered species is fine under tikanga and that the law has not caught up with the Treaty is to suggest that anything not specifically unacceptable in tikanga is permissible. The mind boggles at the possibilities. In other words, if Mr Tau had five dead kiwi under his coat, well sweet as.
 
If I was nabbed for such an offence I would be hammered and rightly so with a very hefty fine. Mr Tau has admitted his mistake, but I would say only because he was caught. I would hope that he is not given special treatment because he was taking them to kaumatua, or because folk like David Rankin think they can justify such irresponsible actions by wheeling out an Article of the Treaty.
G M T
Whangarei
 
Sunlive / Weekend Sun (Tauranga) 3/7/15
 
JUST TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN?
I'm sure there are many decent Maori who are thoroughly embarrassed by the greed and hypocrisy shown by some iwi. A case in point is the fact two iwi so far have accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from the owners of the Rena sunk on Astrolabe Reef in 2011, as a result of the iwi agreeing to withdraw their wish to have the wreck removed because of the danger to the environment and wildlife.
 
It's amazing the mighty dollar can quell all consciences and concern about the damage the Rena may cause. Just take the money and run.
 
Another disgraceful example is Napuhi Runanga chair Sonny Tau, who was caught with five of beautiful Kereru birds hidden under his coat. The kereru only lay one egg a year so he's deprived the world of five precious chicks.
 
How many more has he shot in the past?
 
It makes a mockery of Maori claiming to be protective of all native flora, fauna and wildlife.
 
They did a good job prior to 1840 by wiping out nearly all creatures that walked and flew in NZ – their cloaks show evidence of the thousands of birds killed for their feathers for adornment.
 
If Sonny wants to eat fowl, there are plenty of chicken and turkey in the Supermarket. Only problem is you have to pay for them.
M B
Pyes Pa.
 
Northern Advocate 2/7/15
 
DECLARATION NULL
Kingi Taurua (June 8) seems unaware of Article One in the Treaty of Waitangi (Maori language version) — "The chiefs of the confederation of the United Tribes and the other chiefs who have not joined the confederation, CEDE to the Queen of England for ever the entire sovereignty of their country".
 
A separatist element within New Zealand now hangs its fortunes on resurrecting the 1835 Declaration of Independence because the public are awakening to the fact that the Treaty was a great race-uniting document that gave all New Zealanders (not just Maori) equality, protection and ownership of their lands.
 
Busby concocted the Declaration to prevent an impending takeover by French adventurer Baron De Thierry.
 
Historian Michael King says, "The 1835 Declaration had no reality, since there was in fact no national indigenous power structure within New Zealand".
 
Only 57 chiefs, mostly affiliated to one tribe north of Auckland, signed (thumb-printed) the Declaration, there were some 600 tribes in New Zealand so the Declaration cannot be deemed a national consensus.
 
No functioning government came into existence as a result of the Declaration.
 
Hobson ensured that the chiefs who signed the Declaration, or their heirs, also signed the Treaty, therefore if the Declaration had any validity it was nullified by the Treaty.
 
Mr Taurua should specify what he believes were dishonest, fraudulent, unfair land dealings from consecutive governments.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo
 
 
KERERU CRIMINALS
Sonny Tau's possession of five New Zealand native kereru pigeon for consumption and then glibly apologising for this sacrilege beggars belief.
 
Some of us are well aware that Northland Maori still hunt native pigeon as do Tuhoe in the Urewera.
 
Customary right arguments are vacuous and protection was needed and given to kereru which only lay one egg a year and play a very important part in our native forests by dispersing the seeds of our native trees for regeneration.
 
The introduction of predators and the destruction of the kereru's natural habitat was bad enough but to hunt them is unsustainable and spells' doom for our native pigeon.
 
Sonny Tau, being a Ngapuhi Maori leader, should set the standard for the protection of our native species but instead he showed disregard for our wildlife laws and the conservation of the kereru.
 
In the eyes of the rest of us, to kill.our native pigeons, which are struggling to survive along with other native birds, is unlawful, culturally insensitive and a crime — prosecution is a must.
M L
Te Puke
 
Bay of Plenty Times 1/7/15
 
RENA'S REMAINS
Leave the wrecked Rena where it is. I found the letter by Richard Prince (June 24) on the subject of the claims and reports of money being offered to iwi for withdrawing their objections to leaving the remains of the Rena where it is, really interesting.
 
It looks to me that there are too many hands out wanting money, and those people don't seem too concerned about what it will take to remove the wreck and how dangerous it would be to make this attempt. What I don't understand is why are so many iwi involved in this and surely this situation is important to all New Zealanders, not just to some select groups.
 
Are those reefs owned by someone? If so how and when did that take place? Hugo Shanahan, a spokes-man for the Rena's owners, seems to be bending over backwards to please the iwi, and "community leaders". When will the people of New Zealand be able to stand together on such issues and not have some groups being shown to have preference over others?
 
We are all concerned about the wreck of the Rena, but if it means that to remove this wreck would cause more difficulties and danger to those people working on the wreck, then just leave it where it is! (Abridged)
I A
Tauranga South