Oct - Dec

The Northern Advocate 28/12/15
‘H’ TRUTH IGNORED
A few weeks ago the Minister of Land Information Louise Upston decided that Wanganui should be spelt with the “h” in it. The Geographic Board received 299 objections and 350 supporting submissions to put the “h” in the spelling of Wanganui.

I sent my submissions to all Wanganui District councillors, the Geographic Board and Minister Louise Upston proving that there was no “h” in the spelling of Wanganui back in 1840, when the chiefs signed the Treaty document as the “Chiefs of Wanganui” without the “h” in it.

Also, Wanganui is not a Maori name. It was connected to the Waitaha people who were here about 300 years before Maori arrived in New Zealand.

There is a pa site just 2.6km out of Wanganui State Highway 4 called “Waitaha Pa”.

All this evidence was rejected by the councillors, NZGB and the minister. A letter from the adviser of the Geographic Board said the board did not agree with the objections, which means that any submissions that had evidence to prove there is no “h” in Wanganui was disallowed.

It just shows they are not interested in the truth. (Abridged.)
I B
Wanganui

Weekend Sun 24/12/15
DEAR EDITOR
One has to wonder why the Otorohanga student is so keen for a special holiday be put in place to "commemorate" the Land Wars to the extent that he not only presented a petition, but organised a part-Maori march on Parliament. Is this a sincere desire to remember the dead on both sides, or to open up old wounds which time ought to have healed as we move forward. Already I have read letters with allegations of "land-grabbing colonists" so perhaps the time has come to set out a few facts.

Only 4.5% of the entire land mass of New Zealand was confiscated and a large part was handed back to tribes before 1873. The rest was legitimately sold by Maori, sometimes several times over. Since then even more land has been handed back or millions upon millions of taxpayers` money paid in compensation - which does not appear to trickle down to the majority of Maori.

When some tribes rebelled and broke the Treaty covenants, Governor Gray warned them that land would be confiscated to pay for the cost of quelling the rebellion and to reimburse settlers for destroyed property.

The fact is that land-owners Maori sold New Zealand to colonists in hundreds of transactions recorded in the Turton`s Deeds posted for all to see on the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre of the Victoria University website.
M B
Tauranga

Waikato Times 24/12/15
COLONIAL VIOLENCE
Andrew Paul Wood, in his recent letter shows he is not short of invective, excessively so, ‘‘brutal violence is there another kind?’’

Consider Turia’s ‘‘Holocaust’’ comment. His knowledge of history is either slender or unreasonably selective. To use the term ‘‘genocide’’ for the few thousand who were casualties of the Land Wars and ignore the 60,000 who were killed or enslaved in the Musket Wars or the thousands who perished in regular internecine battles between tribes or during the depredations of Hongi Hika, Te Rauparaha and their like, seems illogical or grossly biased. It was this sort of quotidian lifestyle that caused the northern chiefs, fearing the annihilation of their people, to call on the British to come and establish order and this resulted in the Treaty. That, Mr Hood is historical fact.

Perhaps Hone Heke, one of the proponents of the Treaty, attacked the flagstaff on Te Maiki because he resented having to comply with the requirements of the Treaty by releasing his thousands of slaves, a compliance he took a long time to affect.

The confiscation of the Waikato lands was legal under the Treaty and appropriate under Maori tikanga according to Sir Apirana Ngata and the three hundred chiefs at the Kohimarama Conference.
B J
Tauranga


AUCKLAND IWI
Anyone who saw on Thursday night, TV3 Story programme on the Auckland Council's Mana Whenua approval requirements must be gravely concerned at the unconscionable acquisitiveness and gross greed of the iwi around the Auckland region and beyond.

Their claims, mostly spurious or at least very tentative, show the lengths to which many of the Tangata Whenua will go to to enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow New Zealanders.

If the acquired assets were used to solve the many problems that beset Maori there might be some purpose in their acquisitions but this is not likely, as so far, in spite of the many millions of dollars gained by tribes in Treaty settlements, there has been no apparent alleviation of the health, education, employment, welfare dependency and crime statistics of Maori. The average Maori has gained nothing from these predatory claims.
B J
Tauranga

The New Zealand Herald 24/12/15 also in the Northern Advocate 24/12/15
WAR DANCES
There seems to be a bit of hoo-ha over Miss New Zealand doing the haka. Let’s look at where the so-called haka came from. Originally it was the Dance Of Bes of Egypt. Bes was a little bowlegged dwarf with red hair. He is depicted with his hands on his hips and tongue poking out. He was a god of amusement and pleasure and often depicted as carrying a weapon for the protection of women and children.

The Dance of Bes was a special stance, a spiritual movement that has been changed into a war-like performance and negative action.

The Picts, or Gaels, used a similar challenge and the chant in old Gaelic was very similar in sound to some of the old Maori challenges. Sometimes the Celtic women used to stand on ridges above a battle and chant, egging the men on in battle. Some used to actually fight with their menfolk and a warrior women had a fighting school on Skye where warriors of both sexes taught the art of war.
I B
Wanganui.

Herald On Sunday 20/12/15
KEEP THE LAND WARS IN CONTEXT
What we should be celebrating, and do, is the Treaty of Waitangi and not remembering the Maori Wars with a special day and apparently a large amount of guilt (Land Wars need to be remembered, December 13).

Before 1840 inter-tribal wars were being fought in New Zealand by Maori with such ferocity the Maori race was in danger of decimating itself. With a rag-tag assortment of European speculators settling in both islands, they were also being persuaded to sell off their lands for such trivial things as muskets and gunpowder.

When New Zealand became a Crown Colony of the British in 1840, there were wise Maori chiefs who were in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi, its protection and its law and order. I don't know the number of casualties suffered in the Maori Land Wars, tragic as it was, but let's keep it all in context.
B S
St Johns


NO HOLIDAY NEEDED
I strongly support the viewpoint that it is ludicrous to promote a national holiday for what some describe as the 1860s Land Wars. Accurately these must be categorised as tribal uprisings and rebellion referred to by eminent historian James Cowan as the New Zealand Wars.

Perhaps the Otorohanga College students should concentrate on their formal education and gaining a widespread accurate knowledge of New Zealand history rather than be swayed by and indoctrinated with rewritten history promoting the self-interest agendas of those driving this holiday nonsense.
R P
Mt Maunganui

The Northern Advocate 18/12/15
HUMAN RIGHTS
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a milestone document in the history of human rights. Issued by the United Nations General assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, it sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected. New Zealand was one of 51 countries to sign the United Nations Charter in San Francisco on June 26, 1945. Following are excerpts (abridged) from the proclamation, stating clearly our government's obligations.

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Over the last 30 years successive governments have passed legislation granting a minority of citizens special rights and privileges based solely upon distinction of race and birth. This legislation pertains to "Treaty rights", referring to a document that originally united all New Zealanders as one people and included the phrase "guarantees to all the chiefs and tribes and to all the people of New Zealand".

Clever lawyers, academics and historians have ignored the reference to "all the people" and presented interpretations implying that the Treaty was for Maori alone, even claiming that in certain cases they are exempt from English law.

The Maori race that signed the Treaty no longer exists —only diluted descendants sustained by periodical re-definitions of "What is a Maori?".

Either we live by the above noble principles of equal human rights or eventually perish as a divided nation. United we stand, divided we fall.
M M
Kaipara

Gisborne Herald 17/12/15
IWI SCULPTURES, WATER RIGHTS AND DUE PROCESS
The proposed Hawaiki Turanga sculpture has upset a large number of Harbourview residents. They have my sympathy and support.

At a council meeting in May it was stated that the parties should meet to try and find a compromise — yet apparently no correspondence has been forthcoming from the council.

As has already been stated, this is a carbon copy of the Kelvin Park debacle.

It appears that the words due process are “lost in translation” by our council.

I was going to pen a letter solely dealing with this, however my line of thought was shattered when I read the advertisement headed: Are you ready to give up water?

I cannot believe that iwi leaders issued an ultimatum to the Government to surrender control of our nation’s fresh water supplies within a year. Can you believe, the Government is apparently complying? They have decided to hand over co-management of fresh water to iwi at regional council level. Catchment by catchment. Council by council.

Our Government’s trick appears to be to let councils sneak iwi water control clauses into complex fresh water plans. This will be controlled by unelected iwi representatives with voting rights to control this issue.

Iwi want priority rights to water in perpetuity. Since 2008 (and I quote) the Maori Party, supported by 1 percent of New Zealanders, has effectively held the balance of power in Government — and with it, the power to demand co-governance of our natural resources.

What was our Government’s response to this assault on our democratic rights — appeasement. How on earth can a minority rule a majority?

Perhaps our Prime Minister should let us know what he is going to do about this ridiculous situation.

My other pet project has been our flag. Tell me, if we became a republic and then came up with a new flag (and only then), would the Treaty rights still apply or would we be at last released from the shackles of this millstone that hangs around the neck of our country? Perhaps we may save a dollar or two.
M M

The New Zealand Herald 16/12/15
NZ’S CIVIL WARS
I refer to the Herald editorial (December 11) that there is little to gain by honouring New Zealand’s civil wars in a special national day. I respectfully agree.

Wars are never tidy. There were instances of valour and atrocities on both sides in the 1860s — and the wars were about land grab and racial divide as well as of sovereignty and order.

However, in spite of this, what is important about them is the eventual accord before and after the wars between pakeha and Maori which is, of course, still subject to pressures today. The patience of Maori and the grievance process of the European majority are examples of and reflect mutual respect and consultation. Arguably, it is this accord which has formed a basis of our nation and is a central part of a distinctive New Zealand identity.

On Waitangi Day this accord (subsequent to the Treaty) needs more emphasis — perhaps best encouraged by celebrating and remembering the positives arising and examining improvements.

Arguably too, this might be best achieved by renaming it New Zealand Day.
J C
St Mary’s Bay.

Southland Times 16/12/15
ON THE BALL
Lloyd Esler (Times, December 11) is rather more on the ball than Deveron Fyfe (Times, December 14). The English language has always had a genius for adopting words of foreign origin which accounts for much of its richness today and I am greatly indebted to Alan Dunlop at Southland Boys' High School for developing my love for it.

Thus "kiwi", "weka", "tuatara" and so on are English words today and it is normal for us to attach an "s" when we mean the plural. Most of us are quite happy to be called "Kiwis". Actually the southern Maoris were quick to see the usefulness of a plural and soon adopted the "s", even though it was not a sound in the Maori language. Certainly my part-Maori classmates at Bluff school had no trouble with it.

Deveron reveals the dream world he lives in when he refers to "Aotearoa New Zealand". We have been New Zealand (originally in its Dutch form) since 1643 whereas "Aotearoa" was only one of several names for the North Island with no relevance for us Southerners.
B MOON
Nelson

Weekend Herald 12/12/15 (A quick word section)
"Aotearoa" was never a name for New Zealand but only one of many for the North Island. So we can't "revert" to it as R Buchanan suggests. Thank goodness!
BRUCE MOON
Nelson

Weekend Sun / Sunlive (Tauranga) 11/12/15
WATER OWNERSHIP ISSUE
Simon Bridges, MP for Tauranga thinks David Round, Lecturer in Law at the University of Canterbury is ‘extreme and pretty silly' when the question of ‘who will own water?' is raised.

Simon considers it ‘scaremongering and another stunt' just like the festering sore of the Foreshore and Seabed Act which was overtaken by the Marine and Coastal Area Act driven by the Maori Party, Chris Finlayson (Solicitor General) their puppet John Key and radical corporate Iwi. This Act took the foreshore and seabed out of Crown (all New Zealanders) ownership.

Why has the Government, of which Simon is yet another puppet, been talking to elite Maori groups throughout NZ, behind closed doors? Why have these iwi groups been funded (by the taxpayer) to produce massive documents supporting their management and claims of ownership of water?

What do citizens know of the Government's underhand measure of moving the ‘water' ownership issue sideways to elected Regional Councillors along with the edict to have non-elected Maori representatives on boards that will decide these huge issues?

Neither the legal manipulating and misinterpretation of Te Tiriti O Waitangi masterminded in the 1970s, or the $3.2 billion paid to corporate iwi has shown any measurable benefits to Maori. At only 15 per cent of the population they are still hugely overrepresented in negative statistics within the Housing, Welfare, Justice, Health and Education ministries.

The question of ‘who will own water' is extremely pertinent.
M J. A
Pyes Pa.


PROCESS NOT DEMOCRATIC
Simon Bridges MP, how can you say National Party are not handing over our water to Maori? Does your leader not notify the cabinet of these decisions?

The National Party has been given an ultimatum by Maori to relinquish at least some if not all ownership of our fresh water to Maori, and demanding an answer by next Waitangi Day. Co-governance or some of the payments received from metered water, it always gets back to money.

To side step the issue, government has handed the whole matter of fresh water to the Regional Councils to manage and redraft major changes to how our fresh water is distributed, and how much ownership Maori have.

BOPRC have a huge discussion document on their website where we had been asked for comment and Maori have their separate site too, but as usual no one knows about it.

This is not democratic, in fact, it is apartheid giving Maori special privileges once again. It's insulting to the majority of NZ. We all happen to have a culture (not just Maori) and spiritual affiliation with the land and water, particularly those of us who work the land.
All the people of NZ should own the water and be allowed a say in decisions made.
C H
Katikati.


CREATING A DIVIDED SOCIETY
Your article ‘Who will own the water?' (The Weekend Sun, November 27) raises concerning issues.

Ministers are in confidential discussions with the Iwi Leaders fresh water Forum. The Sapere Report is clear on what Maori believe they are entitled to. This includes preferential decision-making power over access to water and making money out of water.

As for the government shifting the problem to Region Councils, it is happening right now as a perusal of the BOP Regional website shows.

“The Draft Water Quantity Plan Change will give - council will ask tangata whenua to share their values, commercial and cultural interests and aspirations for each river or stream of significance to them within their rohe”.

Hui-a-Iwi are in progress now on marae to discuss the recognition of these so-called ‘values and interests in freshwater'.

Co-governance, co-management, and recognition of unique rights are all in the mix and all to be paid for by ratepayers.

Special rights based on ethnicity will only sow the seeds of resentment and create a divided society.
R P
Welcome Bay.


STOP THE SECRET WATER MEETINGS
In his column, Tauranga MP Simon Bridges (Sunlive November 30) says the ‘Keep Water Kiwi' adverts are: “Extreme and pretty silly”, and responds to a question: “Are Maori claiming ownership?” by saying that's wrong and ‘No, that'll never happen'.

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group is claiming ownership of water. This group has set out a strategy on its website of the steps it is taking to make it happen. The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group also wants a $1 billion fund of public money to teach tribal members resource management skills.

Mr Bridges claimed Dr Muriel Newman, one of the forces behind the Keep Water Kiwi adverts, ‘got a lot of people worked up' over the Foreshore and Seabed ‘and they have been proved wrong'.

However, the existence of about 40 live claims by tribal groups to the marine and coastal area around New Zealand shows that Dr Newman was indeed devastatingly correct, and Maori claims continue unabated. Dr Newman was also correct in drawing attention to widespread public opposition to an attempt by the Maori Party to entrench the Treaty of Waitangi in the Constitution through the Constitutional Advisory Panel. Government has remained strangely silent about this for two years.

Mr Bridges should take a message to his National Party bosses that regular secret preferential meetings between senior ministers and the coalition of private tribal businesses on the issue of water ownership should cease immediately.

This creates the perception of deals being done behind closed doors.
SL P
Arataki.


KIWIS WITH DIFFERENT BLOODLINES
Letter writer T Fellingham makes many valid points about the part-Maori radicals who are calling the tune on our water-rights.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says the Government has made it clear no-one owns water and Maori will never claim ownership of water. David Round of NZCPR says that the Government has been working covertly with the tribes on sneaking water-control clauses into water-management plans. NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell says that putting water into tribal hands is just another step towards selling off our assets.

Certainly, there are proposed new changes to the Resource Management Act which will give tribes ‘sweeping new rights' to be involved in resource planning.

I am reliably told that from their ‘komiti meetings', Maori are demanding the means to express economic interests in freshwater and a guarantee of freshwater and infrastructure to every marae. They also have a raft of other demands including, I believe, a $1 billion funding of public money to implement fresh water management and control. So they are planning to make money out of us.

My unease is directed at those who people the Maori Sovereignty Movement, aka The Maori Party, who are creating such a divisive society, and who are really just radicals in suits. I was born here so I'm as indigenous as the next person. We are really all just New Zealanders, some have Maori ancestry, some have European, Pacific Island, or Asian bloodlines. We are all boat people regardless of when we arrived.

We should all simply be Kiwis with the same rights and privileges, and the subject of water allocation should not even see the light of day.
R B
Tauranga City.

The New Zealand Herald 11/12/15 (Short & Sweet section)
ON COMMEMORATION
In their article, Nanaia Mahuta and Paul Moon claim, “We have become expert at turning a blind eye to our own past”, yet they refuse to acknowledge the existence of Moriori, Turehu, Waitaha and other preMaori residents of New Zealand and claim Maori were the first people here. They should practise what they preach.
B M
Whangarei.

Before it all goes to far, we should all be aware that there was no such thing as the “land wars”, only tribal rebellions.
BRUCE MOON,
Nelson.

Wanganui Chronicle 10/12/15
Dear Editor,
Re article in today’s paper December 8 “Council new flag design speaks of region’s history” What right has council got to change our Wanganui flag without the people knowing about it? There should have been a binding referendum on it for the people to decide not the council and they have Whanganui District Council spelt on the bottom of the flag with another groups spelling above it.

This council is worst than John key with him changing our flag.

It is another slap in the face for the people of Wanganui. How can the voters trust this council, they have already deceived them over the spelling of Wanganui, they are a damned disgrace and shouldn’t be running our council.
I B
Wanganui

Waikato Times 10/12/15
TREATY ISSUES
Your correspondent Paul Evans-McLeod makes some very valid points about Maori being under-represented in universities but are at the same time asking for government assistance to fund more Maori scholarships. Maori tribes are extremely wealthy, with most of their funds established in tax-free charities. They have received multimillion dollar Treaty settlements, plus top-up payments of many more millions, all paid for by the largesse of the New Zealand taxpayer.

Maori author Alan Duff predicted 20 years ago that the claims would never stop: ‘‘It is champagne that comes from that tap, so why would they walk away? It is time for Maori leaders to step away from that tap!’’

It is also more than time that the Waitangi Tribunal is disbanded and as a country we should insist on it.

The definition of democracy is that we are all treated equally regarding race, gender and religion. The watered-down bloodlines of today's Maori owes as much to their European heritage as it does to any Maori ancestry. Surely we should all simply be Kiwis with the same rights and privileges and these neverending Treaty claims should not even see the light of day.
R B
Tauranga

Northern Advocate 9/12/15
TREATY ISSUES
Unless the media, mainly the press, is willing to fulfil its obligation of informing the public on major national issues then most of the country will remain unaware until too late of the collusion between the Government, the Maori Party and iwi Treaty revisionists. This undemocratic alliance results in deals of which the public is only made aware after agreements are confirmed that cannot be challenged or changed. Then the 86 per cent populace will find they have lost control of more than the foreshore and seabed to the 14 per cent part-Maori in the population.

At last, one member of the National Party, Judith Collins, has acknowledged the fault in the Resource Management Act of allowing the Independent Maori Advisory Board to appoint unelected members with voting rights to councils, legislation that was condemned as an undemocratic mistake by its initiator, Rodney Hide. Perhaps, at last, John Key may critically review some other areas of Maori privilege that his government has permitted and redress the balance by promoting rule for all. Democracy.
B J
Tauranga

The Nelson Mail 7/12/15
Dear Editor,
The word 'aotearoa' which is appearing on new banknotes is a fraudulent name for New Zealand. It does not appear in the Treaty of Waitangi and by this action the Reserve Bank bigwigs dishonour the Treaty. It was only ever one of several names for the North Island and has no relevance in the South. There are too many people with influence in this country who are trying to destroy our identity and this is just another example.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson

The New Zealand Herald 7/12/15 (Short & Sweet section)
ON TV3 PROGRAMME
I am extremely concerned at the report that a Maori programme is mooted for TV3 “to be 100% taxpayer-funded”. There is already a Maori TV station. I understand that both the capital cost of setting up this service and the annual running costs have been paid for by the taxpayer. As a taxpayer I say enough is enough.
D C
Torbay

Northern Advocate 5/12/15
WATER WORRY
Kevan G Marks letter (23/11/15) raised the freshwater issue which should be of great concern to all New Zealanders. The iwi Leaders Freshwater Group has been working on this matter since 2007.

The Government’s stance on freshwater is that no-one owns water, instead they have passed responsibility to capitulating regional councils and unitary authorities who are meeting with the tribes behind closed doors right now.

This is huge. Water is life. We can't do without it.

The foreshore and seabed was serious enough, but is nothing in comparison to this nationwide hijack by elite Maori with the support of radical bureaucrats and appeasing politicians.

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group wants:

* Transfer of title to all Crown-owned river and lake beds and title to the water column above to regional tribal groups,

* title in fresh water consistent with Waitangi Tribunal rulings,

* guaranteed allocation of fresh water for all marae and marae housing, as well as free water infrastructure for maraes and marae housing,

* tribal participation at all levels of fresh water decision-making,

* a $1-billion fund of public money to build the capacity of tribes to implement fresh water management and control,

* tribal involvement in resource consents or an allocation of tradeable water rights.

New Zealanders, we are on a very dangerous path. Your help is needed.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke)
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo

Waikato Times 4/11/15
BOLLOCKS TO THAT
Maori are under-represented at New Zealand universities and more support services are needed, a study says. The Otago University study found Maori were under-represented as graduates, making up 7 per cent of the sample, and less than 6 per cent of postgraduates, despite Maori constituting 15 per cent of the population.

‘‘Maori graduates are critical for Maori futures and the future of New Zealand,’’ lead author Dr Reremoana Theodore says. ‘‘We know that higher education is associated with benefits to the individual graduate, such as employment and better health, and to their communities, such as high rates of community service and reduced poverty. ‘‘This requires a whole of university approach to supporting Maori success with adequate government support to further improve outcomes,’’ Dr Theodore said.

Bollocks to needing adequate government support. Maori need to turn inwards to realise their future drawing on their $8 billion asset base to fund scholarships grants incentive programs to encourage participation. Just like te reo encouraged from birth to adulthood, it is long past time Maori stopped looking at government to cure their own malaise. Funding themselves restores the mana to their nation a will provide a speedier path to success.
P E-M
Hamilton

NZ Herald 4/11/15
MAORI CRICKET SCHOLARSHIP
Some years back when New Zealand yachtsmen received world recognition for success in the Admiral's Cup and the Fastnet races, Sir Pita Sharples suggested that as very few Maori engaged in this sport the Government should set up a fund to encourage Maori participation. Now, with the formation of a Maori Cricket Scholarship, we have another example of ethnic preference. Why no Indian, Pacifica or Asian scholarship? But then most participate in these sports without the need for financial inducements. Surely a successful iwi corporation like Ngai Tahu could produce from their bountiful, untaxed coffers money for this purpose?
B J
Omokoroa.

Bay of Plenty Times 3/12/15
SCHOLARSHIP BIAS
Some years back, when New Zealand yachtsmen received world recognition for success in the UK's Admiral's Cup and the Fastnet Races, Pita Sharpies suggested that, as very few Maori engaged in this sport, the Government should set up a fund to encourage Maori participation.

Now, with the formation of a Maori Cricket Scholarship, we have another example of ethnic preference.

Why no Indian, Pacifica or Asian scholarship?

But then most participate in these sports without the need for financial inducements. Surely a successful Iwi Corporation like Ngai Tahu could produce from their bountiful, untaxed coffer money for this purpose. Is it not time for Maori to be considered as New Zealanders?
B J
Tauranga


The New Zealand Herald 3/12/15
SUGAR-COATED ACCOUNT

Auckland Council engages in lies of omission in its summer edition of the ratepayer-funded Our Auckland.

Page 20 propagandises glad tidings that One Tree Hill will receive a new defining single tree near its summit.

The article states, “the Monterey pine was first damaged in 1994 and then again in 1999”. Actually, the iconic pine was criminally vandalised on both occasions by hostile Maori activists intending to punish Auckland's population by killing it.

Outgoing mayor Len Brown puts a brazen face on the scandal that 15 years were then wasted pandering to Maori tribal interests for permission to replant a suitable tree.
M C
Te Atatu Peninsula.

Gisborne Herald 1/12/15
DON’T HAND OVER CONTROL OF OUR FRESH WATER, GOVT
Ready to give up water? Don’t be so stupid. I’m pretty happy that I live in New Zealand but I’m seriously reconsidering that sentiment.

I was horrified to read in the paper that the Government was happy to hand over control of water to iwi at a regional council level. The implications of where that could lead is mind-boggling.

What on earth is wrong with our government?

People get up in arms when they want to sell off the “family silver” or sell our farms to overseas interests, but as far as I can see no one seems to care that they want to give control of our fresh water away.

This is a precious commodity and in my view the elected government of the day should have the oversight — it is not theirs to give away.

We really do have to be vigilant that we are not slowly but surely being told what we can do, where we can do it and how to think — we are already being manipulated from all sides.

I don’t want to change the flag but Mr Key is giving it his best shot. Why?

Where will TPP go, and climate change? We are being played for suckers.
For the first time in my life I might not vote, and I have always considered that a cop-out.

What I might do is sequester myself as far away as possible from all the shenanigans and guard my perimeters.
A B

The Press 30/11/15
ECAN DEMOCRACY
The item (Nov 26) on Ngai Tahu rejecting a return to democratic elections for ECan was astounding enough in itself but it is only a symptom of an alarming trend of taking democratic rights and power from the people and transferring it to selective, self interested groups.

What gives public servants such as Ministers Smith and Adams the right to deny democracy? The failure to restore full democracy is denying the whole democratic process to Canterbury people, publicly owned water and rivers.

Similarly it’s appalling that of Canterbury’s 10 mayors, only Lianne Dalziel opposed the proposed legislation. As she said, the Government’s attitude is ‘‘extraordinarily arrogant’’.
ANDI COCKROFT
Co-chairman Council of Outdoor Recreation Assns

Northern Advocate 30/11/15
(No Heading)
Congratulations to correspondent Geoff Parker (Advocate, 13.11.2015). Your predictions were spot on regarding the covert endeavours to create a new constitution that includes the fanciful ‘Treaty of Waitangi principles’.

A letter in today’s Advocate suggests just that, under the guise of supporting a flag change. Correspondent Frank Edwards proposes a constitution that contains the Treaty and the renaming of NZ as Aotearoa, thus entrenching a permanent apartheid system in our legislation.

Thanks to research by historian Ross Baker our first constitution and NZ’s founding document has been unearthed; namely, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter dated December 16, 1840.

This was the decree that established NZ as a selfgoverning country in it’s own right, having formerly been under the jurisdiction of New South Wales.

To quote Mr Baker: “The Tiriti o Waitangi gave Britain Sovereignty over New Zealand and (gave) tangata maori the same rights as the people of England under the jurisdiction of New South Wales, but what gave New Zealand the right to become a British Colony with its own governor and its own government with one flag and one law for all (was) Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter.”

A constitution is a body of fundamental principles by which a nation is governed, and the Treaty’s sole purpose was to gain sovereignty over all of the people of New Zealand as a prerequisite to NZ’s first constitution — Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter.

So you might call the Treaty of Waitangi a preamble to the constitution, much as there was a preamble to the Treaty that is now conveniently ignored.
M M
Kaipara

Whakatane Beacon 27/11/15
DEFENDING DEMOCRACY
YOUR correspondent Tony Fellingham (Beacon, November 25) makes some very valid points in his summation of the part-Maori radicals who now appear to be running the country.

This freshwater issue is just the latest in a string of ridiculous claims by these people.

The iwi Leaders Freshwater Group has been working on this since 2007. On Waitangi Day this year, they gave John Key an ultimatum of one year to advance freshwater rights to Maori.

The Government’s stance on freshwater is that no-one owns water, instead they have passed responsibility to capitulating regional councils and unitary authorities who are meeting with the tribes behind closed doors right now.

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group wants:

* Transfer of title to all Crown-owned river and lake beds and title to the water column above to regional tribal groups

* title in freshwater consistent with Waitangi Tribunal rulings

* guaranteed allocation of fresh water for all marae and marae housing, as well as free water infrastructure for maraes and marae housing


* tribal participation at all levels of fresh water decision-making


* a $1 billion fund of public money to build the capacity of tribes to implement fresh water management and control, and


* tribal involvement in resource consents or an allocation of tradeable water rights.

* The definition of democracy is that we are all treated equally regarding race, gender and religion. It is time for all New Zealanders to ensure that democracy is upheld.

Let your regional council know in no uncertain terms that this race-based hi-jack must not happen.

This is a far more important issue than the flag – if ever there was a time to stand up and be counted, this is it.
R B
Tauranga

The New Zealand Herald 26/11/15
FRESHWATER CONCERNS
Despite what the Prime Minister says, there are a number of reasons to be concerned about the outcome of the Government’s discussions with iwi over water rights (“Brash stands by water ads”, November 24).

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group is seeking, among other objectives, the ownership of all Crown-owned river and lake beds including the water column; and joint management agreements, comanagement arrangements and the transfer of powers.

This is of great concern, further exacerbated by the fact that these discussions are going on behind closed doors, and that there is a lack of consultation with the general public.

I have no difficulty with anyone having a say on how our freshwater is managed, providing the final decisions are made by our democratically elected representatives.
S S,
Meadowbank.

Wanganui Chronicle 25/11/15
Dear Editor,
These waterways that our government are giving away to Maori have already been gifted to the Crown to hold for ever for all the people of New Zealand.

In 1864 at raglan Waikato Maori sold their rivers and lakes to the Crown as a lasting possession absolutely for ever and ever. Few New Zealanders know about this because the deed of conveyance has long been kept from public view.

The deed written on the fifteenth day of September is a full and final conveyance and surrender by the chiefs and people of the tribes.

4th February 1840 25% of all New Zealand fisheries were given to inward coming people and that includes the right to fish and to own the fisheries.

The Maori went to court to argue the point it was for the ordinary people.

The waters were sold, the rivers were sold, the lakes, the streams, and everything beneath the surface.

Roman law held that running water is common to mankind. It is held that all rivers and ports are public, hence the right of fishing in a port or in rivers is common to all men.

It recognizes public rights to the use of the banks as well as the surface of the water on no navigable as well as navigable rivers. This was based on the law of Greece and other ancient civilizations.

This government of ours is doing everything they can to divide our one nation into two nations and there is not one party in parliament is prepared to stop it.
I B
Wanganui

The New Zealand Herald 25/11/15
ARGUMENT WITHOUT FACTS
Susan Healy ( Herald 24/11) clearly doesn’t want to recognise or even appreciate the freshwater issue. She seemingly lives in some sort of rose-tinted vacuum refusing to face reality or acknowledge the wrongness of stealth meetings as opposed to open public consultation with all Kiwis.

She then proceeds to launch off down the race path. Her rant can at best be described as sanctimonious nonsense, completely unsupported by the facts or history.
R P
Matapihi.

Whakatane Beacon 24/11/15
PART-MAORI RADICALS CALLING THE TUNE
IT is the part-Maori radicals that are calling the tune on our water rights. As we found in every war, it is the radicals who gain the power – the moderates appease them.

But this is more than just the apathetic majority of New Zealanders that are sitting idly by and doing or saying nothing.

This is now the time for all New Zealanders to end that apathy and understand what is being done, in the name of the Treaty, to our rights, resources, heritage and prospects by the increasing power of a newly-created tribal elite that is systematically undermining our institutions and our age-old sovereignty.

The Maori people who ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria in 1840 no longer exist.

Their descendants, usually with more European blood in them than Maori, are one of numerous ethnic groups in modern New Zealand society in which we participate as citizens with rights based on citizenship, not ethnicity.

In such a society no single group should be entitled to rights, privileges and special funding that is not available to others.

The benefits of colonisation for Maoris, lifting them out of a violent, stone-aged existence, far outweighed any negative consequences.

The Waitangi Tribunal should be abolished in the interests of the nation and its future as, by either gross error or deliberate lie, this body is driving a sword through the nation’s unity and constitutional validity.

It’s time to acknowledge the truth that there is neither partnership nor principles in the Treaty.

These fictions were invented 150 years later – after the event – by self-interested parties so as to give superior rights to part-Maoris, which the words of the Treaty do not.

It’s time to end all co-governance agreements as they undermine New Zealand’s unity and sovereignty.

It’s time to take a stand for democracy and equality of citizenship and to face down all demands for racial preference.
T F
Tauranga

The Northern Advocate 23/11/15
LET’S GET SORTED
It is inevitable that one day New Zealand will become a republic.

Firstly: We must clean up our back yard, and this will not happen overnight. This includes New Zealand’s history. Why are there 105 embargoes? Just what history is being hidden, what for, and by whom? It seems that there were at least three races of people here before the coming of the Maori — the Waitaha, Moriori and Patupairarehe. Let us hear from those few who are left!

Secondly: Abolish the Maori seats in Parliament, as the Prime Minister promised he would, plus the Waitangi Tribunal. Many Maori people would agree with this. It is an albatross around our necks.

Thirdly: Sort out our water rights here and now. Fresh water belongs to everybody, not a select few! The Government has no right to give away that which it does not own! Let democracy reign for a change and have a referendum on this.

Fourthly: Get our young people back to work. Idle hands make idle minds.
K G. M
Kaipara

Bay of Plenty Times 21/11/15
IWI SELFISH
I am most appalled at local iwi tribe Te Rununga o Ngai Te Rangi, who are trying to block the Tauranga Harbour Board's intent to widen and deepen the harbour to facilitate the entry of larger ships. As Steve Morris of TCC has said, unless this work is done it will relegate Tauranga to nothing but a feeder port, thus losing the business of major shipping lines.

Apart from the millions of dollars that - - - - - - - - -- will be lost, to local business, trades and unemployment etc. Think of the number of jobs the fabulous, now improved harbour, will create for part-Maori as well as non-Maori.

The iwi tribe trying to prevent the improvement are claiming "cultural rights" and their ability to fish for crabs, cockles and 4 mussels etc, there is plenty of seafood and good fishing close to the harbour. What a narrow-minded attitude to try and prevent that, which benefits to all; what deepening and widening the harbour would bring to all Taurangeans. (Abridged)
C T
Avenues

Weekend Sun/Sunlive 20/11/15
FIGHTING FOR OUR NATURAL RESOURCES
Thank heavens for people such as R Bishop, who not only has a sound knowledge of New Zealand history, but is also sending out a clarion call to the silent majority to lift their heads out of the sand and be aware that part-Maori tribes are holding out an ultimatum to the Government that they are given co-governance or total control over our freshwater by which they will undoubtedly try and make financial gain John Key categorically stated: “No-one owns the water.”

Now he is trying to back down and give in to part-Maori pressure by passing the buck to local councils who will deal with the issue behind closed doors. We all know what that means – councillors scared stiff they will be called ‘racist' sitting across the table from belligerent part-Maori demanding what they erroneously consider ‘their rights' because they allege they were here first. Well, they weren't and they are forgetting that under the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand became another colony of England, under British law.

The Treaty gave Maori control over their land, which they were given permission to sell through the Crown (which they did with gusto) but no mention of water because no one in their right mind would think anyone ‘owned' a natural resource which is always changing and there for all to use during their lifetime.

Instead of wasting millions messing about with the flag, John Key should stand by his statement that no one owns the water and send out a referendum inviting all New Zealanders to democratically vote on this vital matter.
M B
Tauranga

Waikato Times 19/11/15
NZ’S FUTURE
The ideology of the neo-liberal (new right) group in parliament that believes private enterprise can provide social and education services more efficiently than the state, and the wealthy can buy real estate without impediments, is leading NZ into a fragmented future. Where the gap between haves and have-nots is steadily growing.

The state school system has been damaged ever since Tomorrow’s Schools. It is a disgrace that school principals and staff are asking parents to pay outrageous fees (supposedly donations) for clothing, books, extra-curricular activities, and swimming lessons. It weeds out the poor and keeps the purity of decile ten schools. They're copying the private and integrated schools.

But worse is to come. The drive by Act and National to implement charter schools (euphemistically called "Partnership Schools") is causing separation of groups by race and religion. In the past state schools were for everybody so immigrants etc were thoroughly exposed to the NZ culture.

With partnership schools the government thinks it's saving money. What it's really doing is confirming Maori apartheid and bolstering ghettos of indoctrinated religion.

The state schools used to be free, compulsory, and secular. Our English ancestors had seen how religion and wealth was a divisive force so set up the education system to avoid that. Now, with profitable charter schools being state funded, our country is once again falling into the trap.
P H W
Thames

The New Zealand Herald 17/11/15
WATER DEAL COMING
While people have their minds on Christmas, our Government will be giving iwi a big Christmas present. It is going to give them the freshwater rights over which Bill English and Nick Smith have been in talks with powerful tribes.

The Government says it will not hand over the rights to Maori but instead will allow regional councils to do local deals. This I call passing the buck. The Government will set criteria by which local iwi can get preferential access to water.

There will be a commercial value on this freely given natural resource. They will ensure water is accurately priced.

A 2012 Waitangi Tribunal report found Maori had Treaty of Waitangi rights of a residual proprietary nature in freshwater. Well, everyone living has a residual right to freshwater.

It has been estimated the total value of water is $34.84 billion a year. It’s plain to see the motive behind this for those involved in this cash grab. Are people going to be happy to pay iwi for the right to water? Wake up, our Government is destroying our country. Or don’t you care?
I B
Wanganui.

Gisborne Herald 16/11/15
THEY CHOSE TO REBEL
All those who blather on about Waerenga-a-Hika seem to have forgotten that those in the pa had chosen to rebel against the Crown, thus dishonouring the Treaty of Waitangi. Government forces were fully entitled to take control of the pa and restore Crown authority. It is regrettable that some of those inside were killed, but they asked for it. What else did they expect?
BRUCE MOON,
Nelson

Wanganui Chronicle 14/11/15 (Words in red were abridged)
DEAR EDITOR
Re Potonga Neilson accusing soldiers of invading Parihaka, destroying buildings and forcibly ejecting residents, a bit quieter than the Waitangi Tribunal that claimed soldiers mimicked the Nazi Holocaust but still untrue.

It was a Constabulary Force which entered and no one was killed. Potonga was right to say they were invited in by dancing women and children, but all Taranaki squatters were allowed to stay on this Government land with only strangers removed. The reason was rumour they were collecting muskets for armed revolt and 200 were found during search.

Potonga accused “soldiers?” and said “rape and pillage were literal, so settlement can never be just compensation.” And, “There must be penalties”.

This case was taken to Her Majesties Court and penalties were given to the ringleaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, who were found guilty on many charges but leniency by “pardon” was given to other Taranaki rebels that were active in blocking roads, ploughing up pasture land, digging up roads, filling up ditches and ect. over a period of 16 years.
 
If Potonga believes the rebels were hard done by, I suggest he put it to the test and block roads etc. as above.

There cannot be a breach of the “Treaty”, there can only be a breach of the laws of New Zealand.

The Waitangi Tribunal does not take the oath, allow all witnesses on both sides and takes hearsay over hard evidence. It cannot be a legal entity as is Her Majesties Court.

In consideration it was Taranaki rebels that triggered the “Maori Wars for Sovereignty” in 1853, 7 years before troops rescued New Plymouth settlers in the fabricated “Land Wars”, Government had right to be concerned about Parihaka arming.
I B
Wanganui

Weekend Sun/Sunlive 13/11/15
CURRENT EVENTS IN WATER ISSUE
The Iwi Leaders Freshwater Group was formed in 2007 to advance freshwater rights for Maori through direct engagement with The Crown. On Waitangi Day this year, they gave the government an ultimatum of one year in which to achieve this.

This is too much of a hot potato to John Key, so he has passed control of the subject to regional councils and unitary authorities.

The deal to give freshwater rights to Maori is progressing right now behind the closed doors of the BOP Regional Council and they fully know of the huge controversy this would cause if this were to be made public.

One fact that has disappeared from the debate over the current tribal claim for water is that chiefs sold the rivers, lakes, and streams with land they sold in the 19th century.

For example, in 1864 Waikato Maori sold the Horotiu and Waipa Block area for £1000 ($106,838 in today's money according to the Reserve Bank inflation calculator).

Included in the deed of sale are “trees, minerals, waters, rivers, lakes, streams and all pertaining to the said land or beneath the surface of the said land” – so effectively that puts out the Waikato-Tainui tribes for any deals on water.

This must become the subject of a binding referendum for all New Zealanders. If ever there was a time to stand up and be counted, this is it!
R B
Tauranga

Northern Advocate 13/11/15
FURTIVE SCHEME
A covert revolution is quietly making gains in New Zealand, yet most are too distracted by the flag debate and the All Blacks to see it.

Late 2013, a racially stacked Constitutional Review Panel recommended a written constitution based on the undefined “principles” of the Treaty of Waitangi, but said the public first needed more “education” as they were likely to resist.

So although there was no public demand, work started on changing our flag and removing the Union Jack.

New banknotes were issued without Queen Elizabeth in the plastic window and the issuing nation no longer just New Zealand, but also the fictional Neverland, “Aotearoa”.

Meanwhile, with Super Silly Auckland leading the way, huge sums are discreetly being transferred from the taxpayer to unelected, unaccountable, racebased bodies active at local and regional government level. Many of these payments to nebulous tribes are to ensure public works can continue and New Zealanders can still enjoy city parks, national parks and coastlines.

While some regions were allowed a vote on race-based governance and totally rejected it, the instigators haven’t gone away and are quietly reworking their methodology.

Even more concerning are government moves behind closed doors to hand over control of freshwater to tribal Maori — catchment by catchment, council by council. While we may not lose access, we will be paying Maori tribal elite for this essence of life.

Supported by radical bureaucrats and appeasing politicians, New Zealanders are being rapidly conditioned to the idea of a Republic of Aotearoa with a Treaty-based constitution. This will enforce dual sovereignty and race-based taxes for the pleasure of living here. Wake up New Zealand.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo

Waikato Times 13/11/15
HISTORY ISSUES
There are omissions, there are distortions, then there is complete eyewash. Tom O’Conner writes all three. Ngati Haua have a long history of instability.

Having fought and bickered with all their Maori neighbours it is unsurprising they also fought with Pakeha – despite the efforts of missionaries to bring peace.

In the 1863 war they did not play a major part, content to attack a few settlers in Auckland, and were the first to surrender their mere after Rangiriri, when they broke away from the Kingitanga.

Little of their land was confiscated but they did freely sell many blocks – the swamp where Morrinsville now stands was sold for $1.9 million.

This was one of many blocks sold or leased by Ngati Haua to farmers to give themselves a very good income.

Nor should the 10 ‘‘owners ‘‘ rule be blamed.

Tribes always had the option, by law, of keeping their land in native i.e. communal ownership –many did.

Ngati Haua elected to individualise their titles. The land court (50 per cent of the judges were Maori) said the 10 were representatives –not ‘‘owners’’.

The money was largely wasted by Ngati Haua.

The 10 ‘‘owners’’ rule was abandoned in 1873 anyway.

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed by 40 Waikato chiefs.

It never authorised rival monarchies, land leagues or attempts to subvert fledgling New Zealand.
M L
Hamilton

Tim O'Connor's article can be read here > http://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/waikato-times/20151106/281719793460435/TextView

NZ Herald 7/11/15
COUNCIL'S MAORI BOARD
I've waited a long time to hear Rodney Hide admit the undemocratic Maori Statutory Board was a mistake leading to division and poor governance. He's finally done it. It would now be refreshing to hear from Act and National. When will they too admit it? When will they start listening to ratepayers and fix this and the many other flaws in the Super City structure?
F M
Whangaparaoa.

Bay of Plenty Times 4/11/15
MAORI CONTROL
In reply to Lawrence Woods I. am certainly curious to know the physiological and psycho-logical differences that require customised medical treatment for Maori. However, it is the issue of separatism which concerns me much more.

A push continues for Maori-only schools, education scholar-ships, housing projects, consultation rights under the RMA, local government liaison committees. There are separate Maori boards and committees in local government, seats in Parliament, television and radio, health prioritisation programmes, prisoner programmes, and so on.

Now the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group are liaising with Bay of Plenty Regional Council and other councils around the country to get tribal rights to [freshwater] cemented into law. I hope that all Kiwis will take issue with this and protest strongly. You control water and you control the people! This must be stopped!
R B
Pyes Pa

Bay of Plenty Times 31/10/15
LIVE AND LET LIVE
Between Mary Brooks, Peter Dey, Graham Clark and other writers of letters to the BOP Times, we can certainly see the different viewpoints that they express on the healthcare system and other points of difference involving land ownership and the preferences shown to the Maori population in many services, such as reduced consultation fees etc. Are we always going to have this problem in New Zealand?

The ethnic make up of this country is changing rapidly and we can no longer speak of just the pakeha or the Maori. In New Zealand there are now a growing number of Chinese, Indian, Korean, English (from the UK) as well as many immigrants from South Africa, Canada and other countries, so that we are becoming a mixture of cultures, with different ideas and opinions. The true Maori population is really quite a minority as New Zealand continues to increase its immigration of people from other countries.

There are discrepancies in the system, we know that . . . the Maori population do have many concessions because of who they are, and this is where the resentment arises. Apartheid is just a word that means "a social or racial segregation involving political and economic discrimination against a certain people". So if a certain portion of a country's population are receiving "benefits" that the rest of the population are not receiving, that is a form of Apartheid . . . no matter what Peter Dey has to say.

But all this aimless, pointless squabbling is getting nobody anywhere, except hot under the collar. No, I don't agree that any particular racial group should be given preference, and certainly the land issue that Peter Dey talks about is quite ridiculous . . . I think he should take a good look at what C Thompson said (letters, October 29) which is to the point. One cannot compare land values of 1835 or thereabouts to those of today so that is just ludicrous.

We are in the end, all on these islands together, no matter what racial group we belong to or where we came from . . . everyone in this country came from somewhere else . . . so yes, there will always be differences of opinion and we should, and do for the most part, learn to live and let live. (abridged)
I A
Tauranga South

Bay of Plenty Times 29/10/15
HOSPITAL VISITORS
Peter Dey objects on being questioned about separate health systems based on culture and not clinical knowledge. My own experience in the high dependency unit at Waikato Hospital while visiting a sick relative not too long ago the non-Maori patients were only allowed two visitors while Maori were allowed several visitors in the unit. Just recently, a friend of mine was admitted to the same high dependency unit at Waikato Hospital. Again, only two non-Maori are permitted and, again, several Maori are allowed.

These very same people with the special privileges were saying "we own this hospital". Robin Bishop (Letters, October 27) appears concerned about the many separate racial systems proposed by Maori, not only in our hospitals, and which all need to be addressed. People should be treated on clinical findings and not the culture card. Maori already have substantially reduced consultation fees in the health system not available for non-Maori. Radical Maori play the racial card to gain advantages, mostly with a price tag paid for by all of us. (Abridged)
M L
Te Puke

Bay of Plenty Times 28/10/15
CROWN INCREASED VALUE OF LAND
Peter Dey's ridiculous statement that the value of land bought in the past from Maori, is now worth $20 billion needs addressing. The high value of some land today is only due to the infrastructures built upon it as soon as the first settlers arrived and found a barren waste with no roads or decent houses.

In 1835 — five years before the signing of the. Treaty — the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin landed north of New Zealand with a companion. In his book The Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin comments on the "uninhabitable, useless country, where the natives lived in filthy hovels in marked contrast to the missionaries' clean settlements and their well-cared for stock". Before 1840 Maori had no idea that land could be sold for money. They soon learned and sold, through the Crown, massive tracts. The price agreed on was acceptable to both parties, so it is no good Maori saying they were hard done by.

Anyone who sold a house in Auckland years ago for say $250,000 and now sees it being sold for more than $1 million cannot call foul it is the way values change. The colonists who settled here turned a barren land into the vibrant country it is today and Maori have enjoyed all the benefits of their work. The Crown owes them nothing.
C. T
Tauranga South

Dominion Post 28/10/15
RIVER MAORI DIDN'T USE AN 'H'
So the "h" raises its ugly head again (Tribunal demands 'h' for Wanganui, October 23). My grandfather came to New Zealand in the late 1800s as a Salvation Army missionary. For many years he was based at Jerusalem, on the Whanganui River. He and my grandmother later moved to Oamaru.

My grandfather, I remember, spoke Maori, having learnt it from local Maori. At the time Wanganui was spelt and pronounced without an "h" and that is how I know it from my own school days in Wanganui.

So is the Waitangi Tribunal telling us that the river Maori didn't know their own language? This matter of the "h" is nothing more than attention seeking for a group. Will the tribunal also support non-Maori names reverting to their original ones? I name two - Koroniti and Atene, both on the Whanganui River.

It is wrong to call the majority of residents who voted to keep their city's name without an "h" as being opponents. They were simply being "preservers" of the correct spelling and name.
L A
Featherston


WHY IS THE SPELLING SO IMPORTANT?
So Fanganui. it is. Despite Ken Mair and his fanau calling it Wanganui, we must satisfy the need to assert Maori sovereignty by changing the spelling. Why is the spelling so important? Surely, rather than add the "h" to the name with the inevitable result that it will be pronounced incorrectly, the Waitangi Tribunal should ask the publishers of the Maori dictionary to list "wanga" as an alternative spelling to "whanga". After all, the Maori dictionary lists "owha" as an alternative to "oha". Wouldn't that be a much better way of resolving the issue recognise regional differences in pronunciation by accepting regional spellings? But then Mair wouldn't have the satisfaction, every time he hears the weather forecast garble the name of his district, of knowing that "I did that".
D L
Whanganui

Bay of Plenty Times 27/10/15
RESIST THIS DRIVE FOR SEPARATISM
Peter Dey, please tell us: what exactly are the cultural requirements for Maori in the health system? I Googled it and got some waffly intangible innuendo about non-verbal communications, beliefs, material goods, help-seeking behaviours and that, culturally, little benefit is perceived in a programme of lifestyle change.

It appears that "culture" is simply a different way of wording details around an illness — the medication is the same even if they ignore the sage advice around lifestyle change. You can lead a horse to water...

My legitimate concern is the separatism which is being pushed by radical Maori and which you apparently condone. I see an ongoing daily drive to create separate racial systems in all areas. How can this be healthy for our country to be so divided like this?

I call it apartheid —you call it, well — nothing at all.

It is separatism of the highest order and I feel it is of huge concern to us as a nation. Is there anything wrong with my wish that we are all just Kiwis?
R B
Tauranga

Bay of Plenty Times 26/10/15
EVERYONE EQUAL
Oh dear, more verbal diarrhoea from Graham Clark. He tries to create a hypothesis by stating that our Healthcare system, which provides equal healthcare for all New Zealanders, is similar to a situation in which the Government would provide food for all.

To even compare the provision of food with that of healthcare is stupefyingly ridiculous.

When one has a heart attack or a stroke, doctors or nurses do not have time to worry about the colour of your skin or what religion you follow, but must take instant action to save a life. If Mr Clark is involved in a car accident and has serious head injures, I doubt if the ambulance staff will ask him about his cultural needs.

We have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, anyone who seeks professional help is treated with the utmost courtesy and concern. What more do Maori require in the way of cultural requirements? Clark states that, under the present healthcare system, "Maori do not demand privileges but equality". Dear Mr Clark, that is exactly what you are getting. (Abridged)
M B
Avenues

Bay of Plenty Times 24/10/15
SYSTEM MUST BE FAIR FOR ALL
Peter Dey (Letters, October 23) attempts to justify special funding for Maori by claiming that Waitangi settlements are about $2 billion for land taken that is now worth $20 billion. He is comparing apples with oranges, comparing undeveloped land with land that has been subdivided, has infrastructure added such as electricity, water, sewerage, stormwater and has been built on.

In 2011, Te Puni Kokiri advised Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharpies that welfare payments to Maori exceed the tax contribution that Maori make to the economy. Healthcare, roads, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure and services are paid for out of tax coming from elsewhere. Tribal authorities are registered as charities and so in essence pay no tax at all.

Separate treatment along racial lines is costly. Treasury figures show that race-based funding in 2011 alone cost $1.324 billion. Peter Dey needs to realise that because Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi provides equally of citizenship, Maori gain full access to healthcare, and fortunately not some healthcare system measured by their contribution to the tax base.
R P
Welcome Bay


ONE PEOPLE
Peter Dey writes about cultural requirements that Maori apparently require in a healthcare situation. My concern is more to do with the divisiveness that is happening in our society. Certainly continue to acknowledge your culture, but as a democracy, wouldn't it be better if we all lived under one system?

After all, it is the same medication which cures us all.

Hundreds of separate systems are being ramped up daily by imaginative Maori who know their every ridiculous wish will be granted by some pooh-bah in Parliament afraid of being seen as racist if denied. A state of apartheid is deliberately being created — surely we would have a better society if we are all simply Kiwis.

Alan Duff recently wrote "Being Maori in Enzed is a nega-tive experience. Maori who have moved to Australia tell you living as an individual is infinitely better. It is wonderful to be Maori and Kiwi and individualistic at the same time.

Our Maori leaders have to invest in this potential and step away from the Champagne Tap of continual claims." Please let us all be one people.
R B
Tauranga

The Dominion Post 24/10/15
AIRPORT NAME CHANGE LACKS COGENT REASON
So some of the residents of Hawke’s Bay feel the time is ripe for a change of name for the Napier/Hawke’s Bay-call-it-whatyou-will airport (October 21).

Critics – well, some of them anyway – have yet to bring to the debate any cogent or logical reason/s for advocating the change in the first place.

Shades of the flag debate methinks, and someone with some authority – but more importantly – time on their hands.

Unsurprisingly, local Maori started the ball rolling with a well publicised desire to have the airport's name changed "as recognition of the airport's location".

But until the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake there was no airport and it was indeed an "act of God" that caused the land to rise nearly three metres on that fateful day.

So if we are to rename the airport "in recognition of its location" perhaps it should be named The Hawke's Bay Earthquake Airport, thus justifying to all who land there why our whole country is nicknamed The Shaky Isles.
T M
Tokomaru

Bay of Plenty Times 23/10/15
WE'RE BEING HELD TO RANSOM
Graham Clark said this country was "built" on an agreement between Maori and the Crown (Letters, October 21). Can he explain to me why are all the other races that are living here still having to pay extra taxes to fund Maori wants if the country is already "built".

The thing that grates with me is my children and grand-children, like myself and my parents. are being held to ransom over so-called past wrongs by the Crown. And yet the beneficiaries of the largesse being handed out for those wrongs are no more than watered-down descendants of some of the earlier inhabitants. The grievance industry has got so out of hand that I am questioning whether I am even allowed to call myself a New Zealander anymore.
B W B
Tauranga

The Northern Advocate 23/10/15
RECORD STRAIGHT
The article “Migration was worth it for us” (October 19) seeks to compare the flood of “refugees” to Germany/Europe with New Zealand colonisation in the 19th century, and in the process gives a distorted view of our colonisation history.

It is an unfair comparison because New Zealand, with a land area of 268,000sq km, had vast tracts of untouched land and a small Maori population of around 80,000 ( similar to Whangarei‘s population), whereas Germany with 357,000sq km has about 80 million people.

NZ colonisation was also a gradual process over many, many years.

The European colonists brought to New Zealand many riches from the civilised world which Maori eagerly embraced and benefited from. Maori chiefs requested British governance (law) ceding sovereignty by signing the Treaty of Waitangi etc etc.

The wars mentioned in the article were instigated by rebelling Maori and after numerous warnings land was confiscated to quell the uprisings, fund the war effort and to compensate innocent settlers for destroyed property. Much of the confiscated land was later returned. The British really treated Maori with kid gloves.

Undeveloped raw Maori land was purchased (sometimes more than once) at a mutually agreed price. Developing this land set the foundations for our nation.

Without doubt New Zealand's colonisation has been advantageous to all cultures who have integrated and intermingled over the past 175 years. I wonder if the Syrian "refugees" will benefit the German society to the same degree?
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo

Bay of Plenty Times 22/10/15
HEALTHCARE
Yet another rant from Graham Clark regarding our wonderful healthcare system. He states: "I would prefer healthcare when I want it, not when government says I am sick enough to receive it.'

I am sure no member of the Government has examined Mr Clark and decided whether or not he needs care. All Mr Clark has to do is go to his doctor, or the A & E at Tauranga Hospital, when a professional healthcare person will assist him. If he needs hospitalisation and an operation, that will be provided free to Mr Clark from our taxes.

Mr Clark also writes: "This country was built on an agreement between Maori and the Crown — not other cultures." Let me remind Mr Clark that under the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori and non-Maori became equal citizens subject to British law. "Other cultures" who have settled here, becoming New Zealand citizens, work and pay their taxes and are entitled to every healthcare available. To suggest otherwise is racist and outrageous.

Our taxes cover a wide range of amenities, healthcare being one of them, and I am truly thankful that I live in a country where the best possible care in the world is available.
M B
Tauranga

The New Zealand Herald 22/10/15 (Short & Sweet section)
ON ONE TREE HILL REPLANTING
For Auckland’s Mayor to invite Mike Smith to the tree planting on One Tree Hill is like inviting Erich Honecker to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
B J
Omokoroa

The New Zealand Herald 22/10/15
INVITATION TO TREE VANDAL A DISGRACE
New Zealand really needs to take a lesson from Australia with respect to law and order. Sure, they are tough, but if you refuse to play by the rules you will face the consequences. Take the desecration of the 120-year-old Monterey pine by Maori activist Mike Smith. Under the guise of protest he chainsawed a tree that was an icon to around three generations of New Zealanders and that stood as an Auckland landmark. It was nothing more than an act of vandalism, something that would have seen any other ethnicity doing time In a prison. Smith, however, it would seem, came under a different set of rules, something that is becoming all too common in this country. Now, to add salt to the wound, we learn that none other than Len Brown, equally infamous, intends to invite Mr Smith to a ceremony whereby a fresh grove of trees will be planted in the same area where the icon he destroyed once grew. Would Brown invite the youths who vandalise Auckland's trains to a ceremony at Britomart if new trains were bought? I would hope not, but then again in this place you never know.
P B
West Harbour.

Bay of Plenty Times 19/10/15
HEALTHY DEBATE
Graham Clark's letter (Letters, October 15) sounds as though he wants the health system to fall over itself to ensure Maori cultural requirements are catered for. Isn't it time Maori moved into the 21st century instead of many of them still living in the past? Is Mr Clark aware of the special provisions/privileges built into the health system for Maori? Much of this was introduced by Labour. Shouldn't there also be priv-ileges for Pacific people, Asians, Indians, Muslims etc to be fair, to fit their cultures? We are all immigrants — including Maori — so we should be all treated the same. Many of us do purchase/choose our own healthcare system if we can afford it. No one is told they must use the public health system. (Abridged)
R B
Papamoa

Sunlive/Weekend Sun 16/10/15
THE RENA CIRCUS
Around and around on a merry-go-round

Infighting over money and attempts to justify mythical ‘cultural' payments that frankly have nothing to do with the environmental issues in the MV Rena application is appalling. Addressing adverse environmental effects; protection of the Bay of Plenty marine environment and assisting the Bay of Plenty coastline and beaches recover are overlooked and some it seems couldn't care less so long as their own self-interests are served. Doesn't anyone care about the marine environment?

If any danger apparent, then address that, but the wreck is not currently regarded as a navigation hazard. Nature often has the ability to repair and recover naturally.
Confidential meetings involving the Crown, Rena owners/insurers and part-Maori interests do nothing to inspire public confidence lacking transparency and accountability. Even Hearing Panel is unaware of the details so how can final assessments be made.

The implications and precedents set by “horse trading” around perceived cultural considerations are ruinous.

Effectively the Crown looks like a Waitangi Tribunal mouthpiece, with talk of Treaty obligations and changing nebulous cultural dynamics.

The Crown's obligation is to all Kiwis, not just Maori interests.

On basis of scientific/engineering assessments with validity and integrity established to the satisfaction of the Hearing Panel indicating no further significant adverse environmental outcomes will arise in the coastal area and appropriate protection measures at applicants' cost put in place in the event of any future issues then RMA approvals should be granted.
R P,
Tauranga

Gisborne Herald 15/10/15
NO SPECIAL RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES
Re: One opponent hardly counts as ‘division’, October 12 letter.

Tim Marshall appears to be cherrypicking the Local Government Act to suit his agenda.

The “Encouraging Maori participation in local government” site page clearly states: “Taken as a whole, they are an obligation to consider what steps the council can reasonably take to encourage and assist Maori to participate in local affairs. These provisions do not confer special rights and privileges on Maori that are not accorded to other tauiwi (other members of the public).”

Perhaps Mr Marshall can provide evidence of other groups or individuals that have special right/privileges such as having un-elected members appointed for council hearings?

Further, the 11 councillors who voted for this undemocratic race-based move should hang their heads in shame as they are not listening to the wider public — where the Gisborne Herald poll results of October 2, 2015 were 69 percent voted NO to Ngati Porou co-management of the Waiapu catchment.
GEOFF PARKER,
Kamo

An online comment below the above letter
Abdicating is not the half of it. These frail excuses for humanity simply collected their pay and took the foetal position. Disgusting cowardice.
Haisman is the taonga here. The rest were all sheep.
P J

Waikato Times 15/10/15
LAND WARS DAY
Tom O’Connor provides the best reason why the concept of a Land Wars Day is such a bad idea. His article is riddled with errors, many by omission.

As an example. Few, if any, of the land war battles involved only British troops on the government side as Maori fought for the government for various reasons.

Just how the massacre at Poverty Bay where Te Kooti and his followers slaughtered more than 50 men women and children, the majority Maori, could be commemorated or the follow-up where Ropata from the Government side threw at least 120 of Te Kooti’s followers over a cliff is not clear.

Like many aspects of history the closer you get to the truth the more complex the reasons for events become.

I would say that the pupils who suggested this day are likely being manipulated by whoever is advising them.

The difference with the American Civil War process is that they don’t have a Tribunal where money can be repeatedly made out of historical claims.

A Land War Day would in all probability become yet another way of promoting a revisionist history and division in our society.
R S
Mangatarata

The New Zealand Herald 15/10/15
LAND MARCH TOOK A BUS
Forty years have passed and I ask, when will the myth of the Maori land “march” be exploded? My very clear experience of it was that I travelled from Te Kuiti to Hamilton on business and met the marchers on the outskirts of Hamilton heading south.

I was involved in Hamilton for only a short time and returned home and saw no sign of the alleged march.

When I reached Te Kuiti I observed a large crowd at the marae at the south end of the town and also saw a large bus parked on the road below it. You may draw your own inference from this.
J M
Waiuku.

Gisborne Herald 14/10/15
SAME RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES
Re: ‘Tyranny’ of the majority, October 8 letter.

Extremist minority groups often raise the spectre of the tyranny of the majority in their call for special government favours.

A population is made up of individuals, each with their own individual views that need to be respected. That they concur with others over how their country should be run to make up a majority is not a crime but a strength. The majority view is the summation of all of the individual minority views. It’s not tyranny — it is the wisdom of the crowd.

Democracy is based on the simple principle that all citizens must be treated the same under the law. Every individual has the same rights and indeed has the same responsibilities under the law.

Within society, people may share common views and interests with others, be those cultural, religious, ethnic, social or perhaps sporting. All such groupings are basically tribal in nature. But forming such groupings does not give the members collectively any special rights under the law.

Democracy is based on individuals having equal rights. If you start treating one group of people either better or worse than others, it will end in tears.
GEOFF PARKER
Whangarei

Bay of Plenty Times 14/10/15
UNDERMINING OUR KIWI SOCIETY
Your correspondent Bryan Johnson writes of racism and privilege in our democracy. Through a family member, I am involved with the IHC. Now I discover that there is a separate disability system for Maori. Why?

These people all have the same basic needs — housing, food, transport. Who has decreed that intellectually disabled Maori are to be separated from the rest of us? Surely brown, white and brindle all living together in the same IHC house, with cultural needs met by their own families, makes for a better society?

There are hundreds of separate systems especially for Maori. Why? There are untold Maori health facilities, sports teams and awards, trade training schemes, housing, television, radio, the list is endless. Who is leading this and why?

While we are sleeping, are those of a radical bent quietly undermining our society? We all used to be just Kiwis surely we can again.
R B
Tauranga

Dominion Post 14/10/15
TEACH THE WHOLE STORY OF OUR HISTORY
With regard to Dave Armstrong's article (October 12) about the lack of recognition given to our own wars, here in New Zealand I wonder why he stopped at the mid-19th century? Plenty of wars were raging on in New Zealand soils before then.

Is the same "don't mention the New Zealand Wars" rule going on with regard to the atrocities that were being committed by some Maori tribes against other tribes, before and after, the arrival of Pakeha? Do we "commemorate" the murder, cannibalism and enslavement of the peaceful Moriori by marauding Wanganui Maori tribesmen? Te Rauparaha of Kapiti was also waging equally savage wars on other North and South Island tribes. Do we carry on "commemorating" him as a "great warrior", or should we give acknowledgment and commiseration to the unfortunate souls that lost their lives defending their families and lands?

I'm sure there are many more pre-European war stories that could be told, but no-one mentions them, certainly not any teachers I listened to. Let's make the history of New Zealand taught in schools, and related by the media, a complete one. I acknowledge injustices done in the past by Pakeha and their attitudes, but none of us are faultless.
L C
Peka Peka

NZ Herald 14/10/15
NEW ZEALAND’S NAME
Your correspondent Dr Brian Cocksey provided a long-outdated explanation of the naming of New Zealand.

The main mysteries surrounding the naming were explained by early historians and summarised by the noted historian Eric McCormick in a Turnbull Library booklet in 1958.

Many of the remaining questions were answered by the present writer in a New Zealand Journal of History article in 1972.

In December 1642, Tasman named his discovery Staten Landt, believing it was possibly joined to Staten Land near the southern extremity of South America. When a Dutch explorer circumnavigated the earlier Staten Land in 1643, it was obvious to geographers that Tasman’s theory was wrong.

The first known use of the name Zeelandia Nova is in a world map published by Joan Blaeu in 1646. A leading Amsterdam publisher, Blaeu was also the official cartographer for the Dutch East India Company, the sponsor of Tasman’s voyage.

Blaeu gave the name to honour the Zeeland Chamber of the company. It is unlikely he consulted anyone but the renaming was not a casual act.

The name Zeelandia Nova was selected after Blaeu considered a possible conflict with other Dutch names in use in the Pacific and Australia.
B H
Whangaparaoa.

Dominion Post 13/10/15
NZ WARS DAY WOULD OPEN CAN OF WORMS
I disagree with Dave Armstrong's opinion (October 12) that a day be set aside to commemorate the New Zealand Wars. Would that include the Musket Wars when Maori slaughtered about 20,000 of their fellow Maori? I doubt it.

If a commemoration day were created to remember the New Zealand Wars, I fear it would open a never-ending can of worms as accusations would fly between part-Maori and non-Maori as to who started which conflict, why was land seized in retaliation for uprisings against the Crown, and how much returned. We are still bombarded with alleged grievances from part-Maori and millions and millions of taxpayers' money has been given in attempts to settle them. This is ongoing and will be exacerbated by old wounds being reopened and racial tensions increased.

The only results of war are death and destruction and yet still they rage in the Middle East. We live in a beautiful country created by Maori and non-Maori. Instead of Queen's Birthday, why not have a New Zealand Day, when we commemorate all efforts to make this country what it is today.
M B
Tauranga

Gisborne Herald 12/10/15
WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE.....
Re: ‘Tyranny’ of the majority, Oct 8 letter.

Mr Joe Naden sees himself as a victim of circumstance and puts the blame on the early settlers of New Zealand.

During a lifetime we can all become a victim of circumstance but one does not have to remain a victim — we have a choice.

My grandfather landed in New Zealand in the early 1860s, a victim of the potato famine in southern Ireland and of the brutality of the English. His family and the Irish people were victims of circumstance but they elected not to remain victims. They had a choice and my grandfather took his opportunity in New Zealand while other Irish people took theirs in America, Australia and Canada.
M L,
Te Puke

Bay of Plenty Times 12/10/15
PRIVILEGED RACE
In a democracy, racism exists when one section of the popula-tion claims or is granted special and exclusive rights or priv-ileges purely because of their ethnicity. This is currently permitted in New Zealand under John Key's National Government and the Maori Party.
B J
Omokoroa

Dominion Post 8/10/15 (To The Point section)
Ngai Tahu Holdings Corp "acts as a charitable trust" meaning no income tax will be paid on their $115 million profit. No tax was paid on their 2014 profit of $160 million either. Giving tax-free trust status to some entities gives them a huge advantage over tax-paying competitors. Isn't it time these commercial giants stopped pretending and started paying income tax like other NZ businesses?
N H
Thorndon

Taranaki Daily News 7/10/15
THE PARIHAKA CULT'
The front page article 'New insights into the 1881 invasion of Parihaka' (Taranaki Daily News, October 3) was a revised history lesson for the unknowing.

It was not an "invasion" at Parihaka but a resumption of land illegally occupied by members of a cult masquerading as pacifists - a trick some had learned when they massacred the genuine pacifists of the Chatham Islands.

For 14 years Te Whitt his followers and members of the vehemently anti-government Hau Hau group squatted on legally confiscated land. 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'.

`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 24,1879.

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, a truly humane action carried out without bloodshed.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo

The New Zealand Herald 5/10/15 (Short & Sweet section)
ON LAND-GRAB BID
The storming of the Tournament office in Auckland need not have turned confrontational if the staff had had the foresight to have on hand vouchers for free McDonald’s and KFC to give to the Maori activists. They would have left peacefully and of their own accord.
M S
Remuera.

Weekend Sun (Tauranga)
READERS ADD FUEL TO COUNCIL'S FIRES
It never fails to amaze me how the brain synapses work at City Hall. How did they fail to realise that a total fire ban policy that provides exemptions for hangis is simply racist, as Yvonne James so rightly points out (The Weekend Sun September 25)?

Surely they are not saying that a contained charcoal barbecue is more dangerous than a raging inferno heating hangi stones, but rather, that one culture is more important than others, so requiring special consideration.

If a total fire is appropriate then have a total fire ban. To have exemptions for one culture only, is saying that the cultutes of the rest of us aren't, it seems, valued enough to have exemptions. This does nothing for race relations.

If Tauranga City Council hadn't worked this out then some training in race relations is needed.
R P,
Welcome Bay

 

Waikato Times 2/10/15
LAND WARS HOLIDAY
One has to wonder what the hidden agenda is behind the Otorohanga students’ petition to the Government to set aside a day to commemorate the Land Wars. What on earth for - they occurred in the 19th century and are totally irrelevant to the 85 per cent of nonMaori living in New Zealand today.

Is it just another attempt to create racial disharmony by digging up old alleged claims against so-called colonial oppressors? Do the Otorohanga students also want to petition to commemorate the Musket Wars of the 1810s, when it is estimated Maori slaughtered 20,000 of their fellow Maori, enslaving many hundreds more? Somehow I doubt it.
M B
Tauranga