Jan - March 17

NZ Listener 31/3/17
LAMENTING MAUNGA CLOSURES
I am dismayed by the decision of the Tupuna Maunga Authority (TMA) to close vehicle access to five further volcanic-cone summits in Auckland ("Peak practice", March 25).

Apart from the Listener article, I've seen little public reaction to or commentary on the plan.

Having lived in Auckland for 50 years, I have visited all these cones — indeed, lunch on top of Mt Wellington was a regular occurrence when I worked in that area.

Now, every time I see that imposing cone, my heart sinks at the thought that it will no longer be accessible to me.

As an older man, I wonder if I will ever be able to take my grandchildren or overseas visitors to these places in future.

TMA's Paul Majurey says that pedestrianising the summits, and other measures, will help Aucklanders rediscover and cherish the maunga.

A more likely outcome is that most Aucklanders will feel alienated from these taonga and cherish them less.
PAUL LOWMAN (Half Moon Bay, Auckland)

Rotorua Daily Post 31/3/17
USE IT OR LOSE IT
I fully understand that some people (I know of at least one young lady) may have been offended by my remark that “Maori is a dead language” ( Letters, February 4) to that end I feel obliged to further comment.

As a journalist I feel duty bound to create “thought” and “reaction”; I may not always believe in the body of my comments — I make said comments usually to stir reaction — it appears to have worked!

If one attacks something it usually creates a strong defence and often makes people think and act towards something they had previously not thought much about.

Maori, like Welsh, Cornish and thousands of North American Native languages, is not a dying language.

As long as people use and admire these tongues they will persist — I hope! As the old saying goes, use it or lose it.
JIM ADAMS, Rotorua

Northland Age 30/3/17
HARDLY GUARDIANS
Your pale-faced part-Maori correspondent, Herbert-Graves continues to babble on with her make-believe in your columns yet again, I see. (March 14) Her statement that "Rangatiratanga was always about looking after Papatuanuku" is rubbish it would be hard to beat

She can keep her pagan belief in "Papatuanuku" if she wants to since religious tolerance is the New Zealand way, but "rangatiratanga" was just a missionary-coined word for the right of possession of property - for "weakling said Te Rauparaha to whom, in the tribal tradition or "tikanga", possession was by force of arms.

As for her kaitiakitanga before 1840, it was estimated by Dr Tim Flannery that pre-European Maori were responsible for the extinction of between 28 and 35 species of birds and destruction of about one third of New Zealand's forest cover.

Subsequently seven to nine species have become extinct - deeply regrettable but not solely due to Europeans. It is recorded that Maori killed 646 huia in a single month.

Plunder of moa led to their extinction within a century and the archaeological evidence is that only the choice cuts were eaten, the rest going to waste.

Today, muttonbirds, plentiful in the Bluff of my youth, have been hunted by Ngai Tahu to the point of commercial extinction.

As for our beautiful native pigeons, senior Ngapuhi tribesman Sonny Tau, justly convicted of the possession of five corpses, has set the example. It has been reckoned that at the present rate of poaching in Northland, it will be extinct there within a decade or two.

One ray of hope was a pigeon census on Banks Peninsula on the initiative of local Ngai Tahu, in which I personally took part. I invite Herbert-Graves to do the hard yards of tramping through sodden bush herself on some genuine conservation work.
BRUCE MOON Nelson


MAORI FIRST
National show their true colours again, or, should I say colour?

Finally they had a way out in the RMA, as in they would not have to write into it an ATM machine for the treaty troughers.

Everyone saw what happened up in Auckland and the .... people had to go through getting consents. Lucky for Aucklanders they had the 'democracy group' who in the end were successful in ending the treaty-troughing rort. Getting a non-culturally-hypnotised judge was a blessing as well. Dame Sian Elias must have been beside herself, no Christmas card for Justice Wylie this year!

How do National stay at the top of the polls? There's never a week gone by when you don't read about another "deal" between National and their Maori Party, another giveaway, another one of "our" rights trampled over, the name of your town, school, street, mountain, stream, beach changed to a Maori name, by you. Is that what you wanted? What did you do about it? Nothing in most cases.

I see down in the South Island there have been a few cases of people power overturning name-changing and straightening out their councils.

Anyone thinking that voting for National is a vote for a brighter future of all Kiwis, that things will change under 'Honest' Billy, is a mug, an eejit

'Honest' Billy and the Nats had a way out of entrenching additional iwi consultation requirements in the RMA. Seymour from ACT, and Dunne from UnitedFuture got together, no mean feat in itself, and offered their support, but no, Maori come first with National.

Look at the people who are at the top. Minister in Charge of Treaty Settlements and Attorney-General Finlayson (conflict of interest, ex Ngai Tahu lawyer). Hello, any bells ringing yet?

Dame Patsy our Governor General and activist for Maori, openly admitted this in her speech when she took on the role.

Susan Devoy, not in charge but one of the sharpest tools for the treaty troughers to silence the New Zealand public.

Sian Elias, our Chief Justice, activist judge for Maori, she like Patsy openly admits this in her speeches.

A vote for National, Labour or the nutty Greens is a vote for Maori and the Maori Party.

Under these three parties Maori come first. You're there to pay the bills, and don't moan about it.

You have a chance to stop it, but will you?

Think about what your children will inherit. Well, actually what they won't inherit. They will be milked like cows, except it will be for cash, and the sad thing is the children will actually believe they are bad people, because under these three political parties they are told that at school. They must be made to pay for the sins of their ancestors.
REX ANDERSON Lower Hutt

NZ Herald 30/3/17 (Short & Sweet section)
ON SEATS
What is this nonsense of the Labour Party seeking non-Maori candidates to stand for election in the seven seats set aside for Maori in the Parliament. This makes a total mockery of having these seats and adds to the call for their abolition.
HYLTON LE GRICE, Remuera.

Bay of Plenty Times 29/3/17
KNOWING HISTORY
Readers who research this history online starting with papers past and the Waitangi Tribunal report WAI 215 will find a far more complex picture than that painted by Tommy Kapai, (Ngati Ranginui/Pirirakau).

His blaming the “Crown” conceals the fact that government forces generally consisted of settler militia and volunteers, some British, and a similar number of Te Arawa Maori.

Kapai also throws in the claim that the “Crown” wiped out whanau when relatively few people died on either side.

Maori accepted that some land confiscation was inevitable but argued over how much of which land — Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Haua (east of the Waikato), for example, making competing claims.

Added to this was government muddling and delay plus a complex mix of beliefs, fears, and ambitions of settlers, kingites, Hauhau, Pai Marire, and “friendly natives”.

The “grand narrative” Kapai attempts to build is not our history. (Abridged)
CHRIS LEE, Matua


RIVER’S IDENTITY
In reply to the letter by Bryan Johnson about the personification of a river — I, along with the rest of clear-thinking Kiwis also find it ridiculous.

As a new person, and to welcome it to the world, I would like to invite the river to my next birthday — quite a trip from Whanganui to Tauranga but “people” do it every day. I just do not know where to post the invitation!
ROBIN BISHOP Tauranga

Bay of Plenty Times 28/3/17
GET REAL ON RIVER
While one should accept and respect the fables and legends that identify a culture, to personify geographical features as though they had physical persona is carrying cultural sensitivities to an irrational extreme.

Rivers and mountains do not breed.

They cannot become the progenitors of a race.

As a non-Maori person of Euro/Asian ancestry I do not believe that Helen of Troy was the off-spring of Zeus, as a swan, seducing Leda.

Those who claim non-acceptance of tribal legends are racially insensitive need to “get real” and put their energies to more productive activities.

For a government or state institutions to allow such fallacious claims to gain official status shows how much they are influenced by the Maori Party and some other Maori factions.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa

Northland Age 28/3/17
EXPORTING FIASCO
Freshwater as we all know is a very valuable commodity. Environmental Minister Nick Smith and previous PM John Key had it quite right, when stating that no one owns the water.

The Government in effect administers freshwater and its use and allocation as guardian and trustee for all Kiwis but that hasn't stopped National having secret squirrel talks with Iwi Chairs forum representatives, about management and control of freshwater which is an absolute farce. Kiwis should be outraged about this.

Turning to the bottled water fiasco, the current 'Save our Water' Petition has merit but I would like to see full details on the main advocates as I seriously question whether or not they have their own little agendas for freshwater.

Clearly any pure aquifer/springs water taken and shipped offshore from NZ should be levied, at least 20 cents per litre and if there were say 5 billion litres annually (some suggest 10 times that figure), equating to $1 billion per annum which could be ploughed back into essential infrastructure. The first consideration must always be; can we allow anyone to take our freshwater without first addressing whether or not it is more precious to us as a nation if it is not hocked off. Do we ever receive any tax or GST from the taking of our water - probably not.

Finally the primary question is; would any other country on this planet allow us to take their natural resources virtually free of charge - the answer of course is `not bloody likely' but if someone can come up with an example, let's hear it!!
ROB PATERSON Mount Maunganui

Wanganui Chronicle 27/3/17
RELIGIOUS RIVER
For proof that mankind is inescapably religious and secularism a farce, look no further than the Whanganui River treaty settlement.

What Keith Beautrais terms (Letters March 23) "personification of the natural world" as in the respect shown by ancients for "spirits of the woods and the rivers" is rank animism and totally religious.

Didn't think we had state religion in NZ? Think again. Alongside the formal atheism the Government and its institutions operate under, we are also under legal compulsion to recognise and, in many ways, participate in Maori animism.

The creator God did not give spirits to things, and giving the honour due the creator to created things is idolatry.

This settlement will resonate with many a conservationist, though, because their pantheism also ascribes a spark of divinity to created things.

Just shows paganism is alive and well and supposed evolution has not eradicated religion from the human heart.
JOHN HAAKMA, Wanganui

Bay of Plenty Times 25/3/17
CHURCH BURNING CLAIM ‘FANTASY’
Peter Dey March, 24) distorts the story, in my view, by cherry picking the parts that suits his narrative.

There was no church burning — a fantasy whoever says it.

Occupants of the hut, which was dug down a foot or two to form a rifle pit, were offered the chance to escape and three did so, including Potatau.

Sergeant McHale entered the hut and called upon the remainder to surrender at which chief Hoani shot and killed him. In the exchange of fire the occupants killed several of the troops.

Setting fire to the hut would have been fair game in the circumstances but Corporal William Johns, a veteran of the battle, is quoted by Cowan “the firing of Maori guns and soldiers rifles at close range into dry raupo whares is sufficient explanation”.

Had not Hoani acted as he did, none of them would have been killed and the deaths in the battle would have been about two – a tribute to the humanity and good sense of General Cameron.

I again ask Devoy where she got the tale of “an atrocity by Crown soldiers”. (Abridged)
RICHARD PRINCE, Welcome Bay


HOODWINKED
I couldn't let Ms Stewart's diatribe in Wednesday's Bay of Plenty Times go unanswered. No it wasn't that she felt compelled to label anyone who thought that giving the Whanganui River its own identity (just so it could be owned by one part of the population) racist, anti-abortionist, stock standard dimwits or so far gone as to be dead, because this paper allows her to reputedly insult its readership as of right.

No, the part I take exception to is that she claimed that Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson "got it" when it came to guardianship of our rivers.

The reality is that Mr Finlayson has been allowed, in my view, to hoodwink the rest of the population over who owns what in NZ because he has "got it" from the rest of the population courtesy of the tax take.

It's easy to be Father Christmas when its not coming out of your own pocket, just like its easy for Ms Stewart to denigrate all those farmers and early pioneers who did make this, what was once a great country, after you have sold off your families' interest in the place.
BRIAN W BROWN, Tauranga

Hawkes Bay Today 25/3/17
NAME DROPPING
Recently I drove to the Hawke's Bay Sports Park to view the venue for the up-coming Festival of International Hockey. To my utter amazement I could not find any sign directing me to HB Sports Park. Further down Percival Road was a sign “Kahungungu Park”.

The first of my questions to the Hastings District Council and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council is to ask when was the decision made to change the name, who made the decision, and why wasn't the public consulted?

Were there other ideas, options considered or was this an “in-committee, inhouse” decision? Transparency was promised by Mayor Yule at the last election.

On the same day, I thought I had better check on a park in Mayfair, which I was influential in re-naming Bill Mathewson Park in honour of a significant Hastings sports and youth sport administrator, and delightful rough diamond, in particular, back in 1997.

Again, to my absolute astonishment, I found that the park's sign had been removed. Is this park's name to be reinvented as well, without public knowledge or consultation?

I have been promoting for a number of years now that the memory of one of the city's finest mayors of the modern era, Jim O'Connor, be recognised by this city with the naming of a new park. After all, the city fathers tore down the O'Connor Stand on the old Nelson Park and didn't place the O'Connor name anywhere else in Hastings. The sports park would have been ideal.

Are new park signs to be planted like mushrooms in the dark of night while the citizens sleep?

Signs by stealth are a poor public relations exercise and the mayor, councillors and staff should be brought to book — or at least explain their autocratic actions. FRANK LONG, Hastings

NZ Herald 24/3/17
RIVER’S PERSONHOOD
Why does Rachel Stewart consider anyone who opposes the Whanganui River being a person must be white, racist, anti-abortionist and stock-standard dimwit. Does she really think that only those people think it ridiculous a river being given status as a person.

Yes, we need to protect our waterways but make them a person, really. I admit to being a stock-standard dimwit. However, if we now have a river as a person how about giving the unborn child a legal identity as a person and not just a fetus that can be discarded if not wanted.
BARRIE CAVILL, Henderson

Wanganui Chronicle 24/3/17
FARCE ACCOMPLI
The is to be congratulated for its ability to c oncentrate al l r eports of criminal activity on just one page of the March 16 edition, Page 8.

Not only do crimes covering assault, theft, drugs and drink driving appear, a crime against logic and reasoning is reported on.

Obviously, I refer to the granting of the legal status of a person to the Whanganui River. It appears that the river now has al l t he r i ghts, duti es and l i abi l i t i es t hat c ome personhood . . . amazing!

I note that the Treaty Negotiations Minister (aka Minister of Giveaways) Chris Finlayson says the river could now be represented in court proceedings and that the granting of such status is no stranger than family trusts, or companies, or incorporated societies. These entities can be held to account for their actions, so obviously the river is tarred with the same brush.

Let’s look at possible problems facing the river. We all know the river is sick, so will it be entitled to a sickness benefit paid to the trustees? If someone drowns, will the river appear in court on a murder or manslaughter charge? 

Obviously, the river will now take over the responsibility for flood damage claims and will also dredge itself regularly.

Undoubtedly, river users such as the Waimarie, the rowing clubs, marina and wharf users, and perhaps even the Coastguard will be charged a fee also payable to the trustees.

This will lead to the requirement to pay tax and the river will have to be registered for GST. In addition, te awa will have to comply with all relevant health and safety legislation. Its rates bill payable to the district council will be astronomical and Horizons’ bite of the cherry will not be small.

Still, the $30 million should keep the river afloat for a while. Perhaps the first improvement to the health of the river could be the removal of the tree just downstream of the Dublin St Bridge. This must obviously be a thorn in the side of te awa and removal will alleviate the poor person’s pain!
D PARTNER, Eastown

Bay of Plenty Times 23/3/17
DEVOY CLAIM
Peter Dey (Letters, March 18) in his response to my letter has failed, in my view, to understand that the complaint against Dame Susan Devoy applies to her original statement that at the Battle of Rangiaowhia women and children were locked in a church which was burnt to the ground, killing those inside, and not, when challenged, her subsequent statement, which, in my opinion, was an effort to take the spotlight off what she said by changing the narrative.

What scotches her claim is that of the two churches at Rangiaowhia, the English Church is still there and the Catholic Church remained until the 1880s.

It is recorded that the resident Catholic priest the Rev Father Vinay closed up the bullet holes in his church after the battle. These are facts and are verifiable.

Our race relations are fraught enough without assertions paraded as facts.

As Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan has to be capable of backing up her claims with verifiable facts.

Come on Dame Susan, name the “several people”, and provide evidence that can be verified or admit you were wrong.

I commend to readers and Peter Dey James Cowan’s definitive history The NZ Wars.
RICHARD PRINCE, Welcome Bay

The Northern Advocate 23/3/17
TRUTH PREVAILS
This letter is written to whet Kevan Mark’s historical appetite and to hope that he keeps digging away for the truth about our past.

I have been researching for decades now and am coming up with a history that is far different to that portrayed by academia.

The following is a small snippet that concerns Maori jewellery which is fascinating because of its implications.

In the late 15th century a new piece of pounamu was added to the Maori greenstone repertoire. It was the pekapeka which appeared in the Hokianga region around about the time that a huge tsunami struck our northwest coast. The pekapeka is unusual in its design and in the late 1400s was a popular piece of jewellery in the southeast Asian area which suddenly appeared in Aotearoa.

For it to have been invented here is far fetched due to its complex design and so accordingly people of an Asian extraction had to have visited our shores or were shipwrecked on our northwest coast following this huge tsunami. I believe Kevan wrote a letter to the Advocate about his mum finding the remains of a Chinese junk in the Hokitika hinterland.

There is a bit of unsubstantiated data stating that a Chinese junk was wrecked at Mitimiti.

Any information on this topic would be gladly received at davidthomasbrind@gmail.com

Keep up the good work Kevan. I admire your tenacity. The truth will prevail.
DAVID BRIND, Maunu

Wanganui Chronicle 23/3/17
MISUNDERSTOOD
The Hobson's Pledge criticism of the Whanganui River person certainly got a few yelps out of columnist Rachel Stewart, who appears not to understand the settlement.

Perhaps Stewart thinks that by making this river a person and throwing money at it, a transformation from green and greasy to pristine would miraculously occur.

Not so. According to the settlement summary, $81 million plus interest has gone to tribes to stop complaints about past alleged misdeeds by the Crown, such as disregarding eel weirs during dredging and assuming free use of the river and the bed that it sits on.

A further $30 million goes to set up a fund from which interested parties may get grants for the river's wellbeing.

A further $200,000 a year for 20 years will fund a two-person board known as the "human face" — presumably $100,000 a year each.

A further $430,000 to develop a strategy document on the wellbeing of the rver person.

We have gone down this track already with the $211.8 million Waikato River settlement in 2010, which brought complaints last year about the lack of progress in the claimed river clean-up.

Stewart's venomous rant shows that criticism of our new river person has shaken her personal beliefs.
MIKE BUTLER, Hastings


CULPABLE RIVER?
Now that the river has been given legal status as a person, can it be charged with murder when someone drowns in it?
GRAEME SMITH Gonville


WHAT NEXT?
So now the Whanganui River is a legal person, what is a legal person? A legal person has all the rights, duties and liabilities of a person but is not a natural person, a human being.

When it comes to understanding the river's new rights and responsibilities, it's easiest to think of it like you'd think of a company. Basically, the same tax rules apply to it as apply to other legal persons. It probably depends on what it does, but if it starts supplying goods or services it will have the same GST responsibilities as a company would, or would the river be on a benefit or collect the dole?

Has anyone thought this is a load of rubbish besides me?

Doesn't it tell you what idiots we have in power who would support this? What will be next? I would hope now that the owners of any property affected by flooding will be able to sue for damages from Maori and the Government. Hands up how many people have been sucked into this. If most of you are, then the country is doomed.
IAN BROUGHAM, Tawhero


CLOSE TO MARK
Regarding Rachel Stewart's article (Chronicle, March 7) I am sure she intended to be facetious about our river, but I fear she is very near the mark.

This river is now an identity in its own right, which means it can charge for its use for any purpose.

On the other hand, being an entity with the tights and responsibilities of a person, it must be liable for its actions, like flooding of roads and houses.

Or is this the biggest load of rubbish ever perpetrated by a Solicitor-General in the history of New Zealand to pander to the Maori vote?

An explanation would be very welcome from anyone in the legal profession.
PETER SMITH, Whanganui


DELUDED CLAIMS
I do not intend to indulge in name-calling with Potonga Neilson, but if there is an "orchestrated litany of lies," it comes from his pen, not mine.

Te Rauparaha did make the statements I quoted about Ngati Ruanui being a degraded tribe — no need for me to "allege" it. If they are Potonga's relations, perhaps that speaks for itself.

Neilson becomes more and more deluded with his claims of "criminal activities of the settler government", "criminal acts" of colonists and so on.

If he knew anything about history, he would know that it was the Waikato tribes who devastated the population of Taranaki and that they, like many Hauhau, were cannibals.

It was the British who were the salvation of the Maori race, which had been well on the way to exterminating itself.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson

Northland Age 23/3/17
CHANGING NAMES
It was interesting to see people's reactions on Maori TV to deputy Mayor Tania McInnes' proposal to change the name of the Far North Council. They asked "Why?" or suggested she talk to the people or concentrate on fixing infrastructure first and foremost.

While not necessarily the same issue, there does seen to be a covert campaign to revise or bury a significant part of New Zealand's history and culture by changing geographical names throughout the country.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon has been advocating that Poverty Bay be changed to Turanganui a Kiwa. (And Gisborne to Tairawhiti for good measure.) While an online poll showed 62 per cent for keeping Poverty Bay, this counts for naught.

Radical politicians and bureaucrats (in this case the New Zealand Geographic Board Nga Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) have a habit of finding ways to ride roughshod over democracy to achieve their plans. Admittedly, many of us have become used to Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Taranaki/Egmont, helped by their shorter and easier to pronounce Maori names. But how do you feel about Te lka-a-Maui and Te Waipounamu, now official names for the North and South islands? Actually, it doesn't matter how you feeL A Stuff online poll recorded 81 per cent against this, but those Kiwis were disregarded.

Ignoring referendums has become standard fare under recent governments.

It's not just Kiwis who struggle with names with numerous syllables. Tourists are either totally confused or don't even try. Many of the adventurers travelling thousands of miles to spend six months walking Te Araroa (our national walkway from Cape Reinga to Bluff) refer to it as TA, and stumble and stutter if you ask what the initials stand for. Kiwis often mix it up with Te Aroha.

Meanwhile the media, bureaucrats, academics and other leftist zealots are working hard to convince us that we now live in Aotearoa (despite the 600 or so very separate tribes living here in 1840 never having a word for all of these islands).

And the government-owned Air New Zealand staff are now announcing to passengers that they are arriving in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Come 2018, Hawke's Bay airport will change to Ahuriri airport. Other work-in-progress will see 30 geographical features with a name change in Marlborough and there'll be 11 in the Far North. Check with the council for what's proposed in your area. As we know with the long-drawn-out Ngapuhi Treaty settlement, it's long past the time that they had anything to do with historic land confiscations. They are being put in place to increase the economic, political and social standing of tribal elites.

Such is certainly the case in Auckland where the successful tribal invaders, Ngati Whatua, happily sold their spoils to the government for the establishment of the city. Despite this, their Treaty settlement involves 20 name changes of iconic features (volcanic cones and islands), so One Tree Hill has become Maungakiekie, Mt Hobson (named after the founder of Auckland City) has become Ohinerau, etc.

It's good to know we can rely on Mainlanders for a bit of resistance.

Dunedin parents recently stopped the re-branding of two schools combining on the site of the former Caversham School as Otepoti South. Faced with suggestions of a boycott, the Education Ministry accepted the name Carisbrook, the site being just along the road from the former famous rugby ground.

In another example of Southern resistance, parishioners queried their minister when he started referring to their church as being of Aotearoa. Unable to account for the process by which the country had changed its name, he decided that an error had been made. So it can be done. 

The culture that brought democracy, legal equality, law and order, property rights and an end to tribal wars and slavery to these islands deserves acknowledgment.

Recognition of outstanding achievers, such as James Cook and Governor Hobson, must certainly not be obliterated They did nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, we all should be in awe of them and their accomplishments. Not many of us (of Maori, British or other ethnic descent) would want to be here if they hadn't been here first and done what they did.

We Kiwis should be proud of our shared history.

We can recognise, enjoy and celebrate our combined cultures without having to eliminate or subjugate all vestiges of British involvement.

So it's time to make your views known to those of power and influence, before we completely lose our rights to be heard.
FIONA MACKENZIE Whangaparaoa



The New Zealand Herald 22/3/17
RIVER’S IDENTITY A NONSENSE
The Whanganui River is about to get its own “legal” identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person. It is hard to tell what planet Mr Finlayson, who has backed this idiotic legislation, is on.

The legislation also allows the two natural persons appointed to act for Te Pou Tupua (the “face” of the river), to pocket $100,000 each a year for the next 20 years. Next thing you know, we, the taxpayers, will be giving away more money to feed the Taniwha that live in the river. Will people who draw water from the river be required to enter into a contract with the river?

Will the river be a GST entity? Will these contractual arrangements come on top of the normal RMA requirements? I dread to think where we are all going to end up as this is only river number one. This has all the hallmarks of one huge scam both politically and financially.
DAVID LANE, Mt Eden.

Bay of Plenty Times 22/3/17
ALL TAKE AND NO GIVE ON WATER
Fresh water, as we all know, is a very valuable commodity. Environment Minister Nick Smith and former PM John Key had it quite right when stating that no one owns the water.

The Government, in effect, administers fresh water and its use and allocation as guardian and trustee for all Kiwis, but that hasn’t stopped National having secret squirrel talks with iwi chairs and forum representatives about management and control of fresh water, which is an absolute farce.

Kiwis should be outraged about this.

Turning to the bottled water fiasco, the current “Save our Water” petition has merit, but I would like to see full details on the main advocates as I seriously question whether or not they have their own little agendas for fresh water.

Clearly, any pure aquifer/ springs water taken and shipped offshore from New Zealand should be levied, at least 20 cents per litre and if there were say 5 billion litres annually (some suggest 10 times that figure), that equates to $1b per annum which could be ploughed back into essential infrastructure.

The first consideration must always be; can we allow anyone to take our fresh water without first addressing whether or not it is more precious to us as a nation if it is not hocked off?

Do we ever receive any tax or GST from the taking of our water? Probably not.

Finally, the primary question is; would any other country on this planet allow us to take their natural resources virtually free of charge — the answer, of course, is “not bloody likely” but if someone can come up with an example, let’s hear it.
ROB PATERSON, Matapihi

Hawke's Bay Today 22/3/17
CHALLENGE ALLEGATIONS
Replying to Susan Jacobs Talking Point article ( HB Today, March 17).

I find it bizarre she believes we have free speech and freedom of expression in New Zealand because obviously the facts state otherwise.

Two recent examples: The Auckland University European Students club folded because of threats and protest.

Their crime? Being European.

Victoria University objected to two former Israeli soldiers telling their story on campus. Their crime? Being Jews. So it follows if these supposed bastions of free speech are so repressive, then other examples must abound throughout New Zealand.

They do. One of the first things trainee teachers, social workers and nurses must learn is the Treaty Of Waitangi from a Maori perspective.

Debate isn’t encouraged, with any students disagreeing being ostracised or accused of colonial racism.

One nurse made national headlines after she had to finish her nursing training in Australia, after running foul of a Maori tutor. Then there was the case of probation officer Josie Bullock who refused to sit at the back of a Corrections Department powhiri because she was a woman.

Most government departments also have Treaty training from a Maori perspective. Opting out isn’t an option. These are just a few cases of many.

Let’s remember how this debate started. Bill Sutton extrapolated a lack of European faces at the Matatini festival with racial problems in New Zealand. Using his logic, does the probable lack of brown faces at the upcoming Dixie Chicks Mission Concert, or the no-show of Maori at the last Harry Potter book release in Napier mean Maori are racist? No, it just means everyone has different tastes.

Unfounded allegations must always be challenged. I thank Tom Johnston and others for doing just that.
JAMES THOMPSON Hastings

Hawkes Bay Today 22/3/17 (Text Us section)
* How can one race claim to own a river? When will Maori be happy with their lot? I hope that all the maintenance and money spent on the Wanganui River has been, and will be, paid for by those people who claim to own it. These claims are nothing more than a gravy train. What next? BJ

The Northern Advocate 22/3/17
REAL PEOPLE
Kevan Marks ( Advocate, March 20) has put out a call to sort out our history, to a list of important people and to “anybody else who may be interested”. I am in that latter category. What a magnificent story there is to tell, full of complex real people, some amazingly perceptive and others just plain fools.

But with the current political correctness putting a blanket over any questioning picture and telling only simplistic versions of supposed wrongs, the real people have disappeared. None more so than the Maori who played such a significant part.

My two recent books, Two Great New Zealanders, Tamati Waka Nene and Apirana Ngata and The Kingite Bebellion follow the ideas and actions of many of these real people, the ancestors of us all.

They are peppered with stories of great events, with many fascinating twists unknown to most people today.

Think of Tamati Waka Nene, a bloodthirsty warrior who turned away from war to ask the British for help, who signed the Treaty of Waitangi and celebrated its success at Kohimarama in 1860.

Of another great warrior turned peacemaker, Te Wherowhero, who supported and worked with Government. The tragedy of his last few years as the first Maori “king”, Potatau, was that he was old and feeble and his thoughtful advice was ignored by the hawks of the day.

Then there is the most forceful of the hawks, Rewi Maniapoto, who, when the fighting was over, called the great 1878 peacemaking meeting in where Grey placed Waitara in the hands of the two of them, old foes acting together. That was a day to celebrate!

It is fun to research and discover the real story. The difficulty is to break through and be heard.
JOHN ROBINSON, Waikanae

Wanganui Chronicle 22/3/17
TOWARDS EQUALITY
How can we achieve equality in 2017? We must force our politicians to abolish all racial and separatist organisations, agencies and legislation. This could be achieved by putting pressure on the political parties and the politicians standing for office in this year's elections.

There is no reason why we cannot have one law/legislation for all New Zealanders and stop this conspiracy, which is rapidly destroying our nation. We encouraged South Africa to do this; it is now our turn. Honour those who have suffered for justice and freedom in our land, respect those who have worked to build and develop our country. Believe that New Zealand belongs to all those who live in it under one law, one flag.
IAN BROUGHAM Tawhero

Nelson Mail 21/3/17
POPULATION AND PRISONS
TV One news gave prison statistics stating that 51 per cent of prisoners in New Zealand were Maori but it was even worse for Maori women who made up 58 per cent of the prison population! One would think that our country is overflowing with Maori women offenders. In fact, 122 per cent of Maori men are in prison while this is only 0.11 per cent for Maori women and 0.21 per cent of the total population are currently in prison.
KERRY GATEMAN, Nelson

The Northern Advocate 21/3/17
ONE LAW FOR ALL
So Peter Dunne was “appalled” by leaflets in his electorate that promoted democracy through the abolition of racially privileged parliamentary seats and equal rights for all New Zealanders under one law, alleging they contained “disgraceful, despicable, racist bigotry” and urging people to tear them up.

The realisation of these two principles, democracy and equal rights, were once the ultimate aspirations of the people of New Zealand and the cornerstone of Kiwi society, but look at what has happened — democracy has become a dirty word and equal rights is presented as being inferior to the rights of minority groups.

Words have been distorted to become the opposite of their original intention and our educational system brainwashes students into believing racial distinction is more important than being a New Zealander in a united country.

In 1986 the Royal Commission on the Electoral System recommended the removal of special Maori seats in Parliament and abolishment of the Maori roll with the introduction of MMP.

Presumably, Mr Dunne would consider the members of that Commission to be racist bigots and be suitably "appalled" at such despicable ideas. Democracy is defined as government by the people and rule by the majority.

Anyone opposing politically correct views is howled down with cries of "racist", "bigot", "homophobic", "xenophobic", ad nauseam.

All of these accusations are attempts to intimidate and shut down freedom of speech and rational discussion.

It would be interesting to hear Mr Dunne's views on democracy and equal rights — and upon the freedom of others to read leaflets containing contentious issues he personally finds objectionable.

Our country is being dragged down into a quagmire of politically correct idiocy.
MITCH MORGAN Kaipara

NZ Herald 21/3/17
WATER ISSUE REASON TO ELICIT ANGER
Fresh water is a very valuable commodity. Environment Minister Nick Smith and former PM John Key were right when they said no one owns the water. The Government in effect administers fresh water and its use and allocation as guardian and trustee for all Kiwis but that hasn’t stopped National having secret squirrel talks with Iwi Chairs Forum representatives about management and control of fresh water, which is an absolute farce. Kiwis should be outraged about this.

Regarding the bottled water fiasco, the Save our Water petition has merit but I would like to see full details on the main advocates as I seriously question whether they have their own little agendas for fresh water.

Clearly any pure aquifer/springs water taken and shipped offshore should be levied, at least 20c per litre, and if there were say 5 billion litres annually (some suggest 10 times that figure), this equates to $1 billion per annum which could be ploughed back into essential infrastructure.

The first consideration must always be: can we allow anyone to take our fresh water without first addressing whether or not it is more precious to us as a nation if it is not hocked off. Do we ever receive any tax or GST from the taking of our water — probably not! Finally, would any other country on this planet allow us to take their natural resources virtually free of charge — the answer of course is “not bloody likely” but if someone can come up with an example, let’s hear it.
ROB PATERSON, Mount Maunganui.

Taranaki Daily News 21/3/17
THE WORDS OF CONFLICT
For at least the second time in recent weeks the Taranaki Daily News has repeated the untruth that in 1881 ‘‘British troops’’ ‘‘invaded’’ Parihaka. If repeated enough this will become ‘‘truth’’ like the Aotearoa name myth.

The troops had left about 11 years earlier. And it was not an invasion but a police action such as in the Ureweras recently.

I am not saying it was right or just and I have the greatest regard for the policies of Te Whiti and Tohu but please level any criticisms correctly.

I query the comments that the Taranaki wars started with the first shots at the L Pa and ended at Parihaka. There had been much fighting and killing over settlers legitimate farms for quite some time and it was fear by these innocents that brought the army here in the first place. Again I am not saying this was justified but because no European settler had yet been killed does not mean that this was not a time of war. And it was before the L Pa action.

During all hostilities in this land people died, more Maori than European, but let us not forget that the worst wars were started principally by Ngapuhi against it’s southern neighbours. And, of course, the Waikato massacres of Te Atiawa are well recorded though not as well publicised as they should be. (Yet Taranaki iwi today fly flags invented by northerners purely for the own benefits.)

I despise all violence, wish only peace and goodwill to all, but to find this I believe we must know our history. Please read historian Danny Keenan.
ERROL SPENCE, Inglewood

Northland Age 21/3/17
ENTIRELY ARTIFICIAL
A very interesting Northland Age article (February 28), containing extracts from a book, by Anahera Herbert-Graves in which she promotes a treaty-based constitution —although I must admit to being somewhat bewildered.

Many will recall outraged Maori activists being extremely vocal in their opposition to separate development in South Africa, with special privileges for a minority white population, yet here we have a modern day part-Maori advocating apartheid in New Zealand (with one minor variation - the colours are reversed).

Most non-Maori New Zealanders were equally repulsed by special rights being accorded to a sector of South African inhabitants solely because of their colour, but eventually equal rights prevailed and an egalitarian country emerged from one that had previously been split in two. The uniting of both races under a common law was a giant social evolutionary step forward.

But now we have Ms H-G wanting to change the meaning of the Treaty from its original concept of becoming one people (a meaning that was clearly understood by both parties as referenced in the transcript of the Kohimarama Conference 1860 and An Explanation of the Treaty by Sir Apirana Ngata 1923) into a deliberately mistranslated document promoting racial segregation.

To quote Ms 11-G: "The change we are talking about is the next step past merely biculturalising the Crown to finding something that's not assimilative or integrationist ....". Not assimilative or integrationist? The only system compliant with those conditions is separate development (apartheid).

The Treaty raised no objection to separate cultures, as it granted all New Zealanders equal rights with the Queen as overall sovereign of both parties, but the above historically recorded references make it quite clear that both Pakeha and Maori fully understood at the time the Treaty was signed that all were now one people under a common law.

In the latest extract from Ms H-G's book (Northland Age March 7) she states, "A constitution should be about who we are ... not Pakeha deciding who's a Maori ... " She is correct in the latter part of that statement. It is not for anyone else to decide how an individual identifies oneself; but there must be differentiation between biological reality and belief.

An example is an individual of 99 per cent Pakeha (non-Maori) genetic ancestry claiming to be Maori This is obviously a matter of personal belief and as such should be categorised as a religion, not as a matter of legal identity.

A constitution must never enforce anothei's beliefs upon the majority. I believe that is called democracy, and any amended constitution must be subject to a nation-wide referendum.

Ms H-G obviously favours apartheid ahead of national unity, so I will leave her with a quote from one of the greatest men of last century, Nelson Mandela: "Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial; and when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another."
MITCH MORGAN Kaipara

NZ Herald 20/3/17
RIVER'S NEW STATUS
I notice that the Whanganui River has now been given legal person status. Have we all gone completely mad? The river is a body of water that runs downhill to the Tasman, that’s about it.

If it does have a personality you would hope it would be a tad more than that displayed by Chris Finlayson, who no doubt brainstormed this load of PC rubbish. The money saved by not producing this legal nonsense may have gone some way towards cleaning up the river.

Where is the accountability over waste? Successive governments and the Auckland Council generate it like sewage. The cost to the taxpayer and ratepayer is horrendous and you can see no benefit whatsoever coming out of this, just more charges for the innocents who want to enjoy the river.

Eventually it will be a no-go, like Auckland’s spectacular but no-drive volcanic cones. PC nonsense. We need a revolution and a well-oiled guillotine.
ROD KANE, Henderson.

Northern Advocate 20/3/17
OUR TRUE HISTORY
There has been a bit of correspondence regarding Donald Trump, who won the election to the US presidency, even here in New Zealand, where the media ghouls have rallied against him. There are many in the US who want him dead.

Have we learned anything in the past 2000 years? Perhaps not. If the Lord Jesus Christ were alive today, there are people who would nail him to a cross! He (Mr Trump) is not going to sort out corruption and problems, assuming that they exist, overnight. It seems to be a divided society. Is this the price for a civilised democracy?

We are more fortunate here because we have a society of one people, don’t we! Well, not quite! I’m sure that if William Hobson were alive today, there would be people telling him to “shut up” as he is extinct, as one member of the Waitangi Tribunal told a leader of the Patupaiarehe people, while addressing that august body, and who were here with the Waitaha people 1000 years before Maori. How can we have a partnership if we are one people, or race? To have a partnership, there must be two or more people, or races, and that is what we have here in New Zealand and, as such, it is not a democracy. It is a hypocrisy!

My challenge to the media still exists, but I will extend it to the judiciary, historians, archaeologists, members of Parliament, and anybody else who may be interested — sort out our true history!
KEVAN G MARKS Kaipara


RMA BILL
It looks to me as if the Maori Party has reneged its their promise to its people over the Resource Amendment Legislation bill. This is the bill that replaces the Resource Management Act and it is now going through Parliament. It has had its second reading and the Maori Party voted for it.

This bill will allow the Government to over-ride local councils' regulations to keep their districts GE-free. It is also a bill which allows the farming industry to continue use our fresh water streams and rivers for their animals to drink in, and to wee and poo as they do!

The Maori Party will say they're still in "negotiation" with Minister Nick Smith to make sure those provisions do not stay in the final version of the bill. If they really believe that, then they've had the wool pulled over their eyes.

As have all their constituents. There are at least three clauses in this Bill which will allow a Minister like Mr Smith to do whatever he wants to —introducing CMOs, cattle in the waterways, and other serious matters which will adversely affect our environment, and ultimately, our lives.
JENNY KIRK Whangarei

Wanganui Chronicle 20/3/17
RIVER A PERSON?
I was always taught that there are three types of physical beings — animal, mineral or vegetable (plants). I'm not sure what the river is now that it is a being with a legal identity? All I know that this nonsense is going to come back to bite us. DAVID BENNETT, Whanganui

Hawkes Bay Today 18/3/17
SOCIAL DIVISION
Meka Whaitiri’s article “No quick fixes to issue of representation” discussing why she isn’t pushing for separate wards for Maori candidates in Hastings District is disingenuous.

The real reason behind Whaitiri’s reticence appears to be that Labour has set its sights on wresting further power off our democratically elected representatives, through either Maori Boards or local government “partnerships”.

As Ms Whaitiri puts it: “If they’re more about ensuring a kaupapa Maori perspective, then we also need to look at whether Maori wards are the best way of ensuring [increased participation] compared with the likes of a Maori Statutory Board or something akin to the Te Arawa partnership model in Rotorua.”

Not content with the upper hand in the Regional Council (through co-governance of the planning committee) and the prospect of Iwi Participation Agreements that would allow local tribes to be in charge of allocating water consents, Ms Whaitiri wants even more power (and most likely a hefty budget) in the hands of a newly forming Maori aristocracy.

This Maori elite she represents doesn’t want the bother of standing for election on a platform of contestable ideas, nor fancies the idea of being publicly accountable.
Ms Whaitiri says that “we shouldn’t get bogged down in divisive arguments, but instead take steps to encourage discussion”.

I would encourage Ms Whaitiri to reflect on whether the anti-democratic barrow she and Labour are pushing is contributing to our sadly deteriorating race relations. (Abridged)
SARAH TAYLOR, Napier


MEETING NEEDS
Susan Jacobs’ attack on “folks and their conspiracy theories” raises a question.

That is whether the Establishment’s attempts, through Treaty settlements and race-based affirmative action, to atone for what she calls “colonising wars and oppression”, has made a difference.

Or has this latest round of paternalism merely given the liberals a warm glow of self-satisfaction while the dysfunction of the so-called oppressed class stubbornly stays the same?

If you want to go down the ethnic grouping path, Maori unemployment remains at a substantially higher rate than for other ethnicities — 12..2 per cent in 2015 compared with the overall rate of 5.8 per cent.

A big indicator of continued poverty is children growing up with a sole parent. There were 30,688 Maori on sole parent support last year compared with 33,684 for everyone else.

Susan Jacobs, with her long career in tertiary education and nursing practice, should be well aware of the data.

The Hobson’s Pledge position is that policies intended to support those who need special assistance from government should be based on need, not ethnicity. Evidence shows that the Treaty settlements and race-based affirmative action approach has not worked very well.
TOM JOHNSON, Napier

NZ Herald 18/3/17 (A Quick Word, section)
* The Tupuna Maunga Authority intends to severely restrict access to Ike volcanic cones in Auckland inoluding Mt Victoria Devonport. We now learn they are trying to evict the lessees of the Devonport Bunker music venue after 46years of trouble-free occupancy. Why? CAM CALDER, Devonport.

Dominion Post 17/3/17
MORE HYPOCRISY
Politics, as has been demonstrated many, many times, is a sea of hypocrisy. This has been shown to be the case yet again. I refer to, Tolley to soften stance on 'whanau first' (March 16).

It has long been government policy that in the cases of Maori children being abused, they are placed in the expected safety of their wider family. This policy has a 29 per cent failure rate.

The Government recognised this failure and moved toward placing an abused child in the safest environment regardless of relationships. That is plain common sense.
Now, the Maori Party, which must wear much of the responsibility for this failure, has indicated its possible withdrawal of support of the Government if the new approach goes ahead.

The Government, for its part, is now saying it may water down the new policy because, although it is very concerned about child abuse, it is not so concerned as to risk not being on the government benches come October this year. REG FOWLES Waikanae

Southland Times 16/3/17
TREATY BELONGS IN THE PAST
REAP spokeswoman Amanda Keen wants to ‘‘focus on te reo for the children’’ and ‘‘the need in Southland to teach our children the language’’ but as one who lived in Bluff for nearly all his schooldays, I ask ‘‘what language’’?

When Captain Cook visited Dusky Sound, his naturalist, Georg Forster, recorded the speech of the people there.

It was so different from that of northern Maoris that Cook’s interpreter from Marlborough could not understand it.

Generally in the south, ‘‘l’’ predominated over ‘‘r’’; ‘‘k’’ over ‘‘ng’’ and there were virtually no final vowels spoken.

It was the ‘‘kaik’’ at Otago Heads and ‘‘Wakatip’’ not ‘‘Wakatipoo’’.

Recognising the value of a distinctive plural, southern people soon added the ‘‘s’’ as in ‘‘Maoris’’ even though it was a new sound for them.

The Ngapuhi dialect of the extreme north in which the Treaty of Waitangi was written was as foreign as Swahili to the people of Southland - or Murihiku - probably not residents’ name for it.

As for her ‘‘classes focussing on implementing the treaty’’, she should be informed that the treaty was fully implemented in 1840 and totally superseded by further constitutional developments.

It is high time it was consigned to its place in our early history and left there.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson

Taranaki Daily Times 16/3/17
AN ARGUMENT OF IRONY
I find it somewhat ironic that Dennis Ngawhare piece on mispronounced place names, should refer to ‘New Zealand’ as ‘Aotearoa’?

All leading historians in this country have long acknowledge that the application of the name Aotearoa, is a late 19th Century fabrication by an amateur ethnologist; Stephenson Percy Smith, and is devoid of any sound basis in Maori oral history.

This ‘myth’ surrounding the naming of; Te Ika a Maui and Te Wahi Pounamu, as ‘Aotearoa’ has been perpetuated by the Colonial governments’ Department of Education School Journal, February 1916 with a complete fabrication (fairy tale?) of the discovery and naming of ‘New Zealand/Aotearoa.

To quote the late, and much respected, local historian Michael King: ‘‘After decades of repetition, Maori themselves came to believe this was so... In fact in preEuropean era, Maori had no name for the county as a whole’’

‘‘Maori came to embrace it solely as a result of widespread publication and dissemination in New Zealand primary schools between the 1910s and the 1970s’’. Tell a lie often enough and long enough and eventually it is believed.
T W BUSBY Egmont Village

Otago Daily Times 16/3/17
CITIZENSHIP ISSUES DISPUTED
YOUR correspondent Jeff Leenhouwers (ODT letters, 9.3.17) has based his eloquent call for a significant Maori role in future citizenship ceremonies on the false mythology that the Treaty of Waitangi created a ‘‘bicultural’’ society. It did no such thing.

By signing the Treaty, each Maori chief accepted British sovereignty and the rule of British law in place of the law of the musket. The British Crown confirmed all its new subjects in the possession of their property (taonga) and all the country’s residents were to enjoy the status of British citizenship regardless of their ethnicity or when they or their ancestors arrived here.

As a British territory, New Zealand was initially overseen by the Governor of the Colony of New South Wales until the issuing of Queen Victoria’s Charter which established New Zealand as a crown colony in its own right. Neither the Treaty nor the charter said anything about biculturalism.

The claim that New Zealand society is ‘‘bicultural’’ is a politically motivated nonsense, aimed at elevating all things Maori to a status not warranted via either the Treaty or Queen Victoria’s charter. If there were, indeed, only two cultures in New Zealand and one is Maori, what is the one other? Irish, Scottish, Chinese, Dutch, Indian, German? The possibilities, in our multicultural society, are endless.

Jeff Leenhouwers is right in suggesting that new citizens who have their New Zealand citizenship confirmed in Dunedin might well be reminded at the ceremony of those who have made our city a special place by such achievements as creating New Zealand’s first university and first botanical gardens, initiating the opportunity for secondary and university education for women and girls, and gracing the city with architecture that is the envy of the rest of the country.

Those people were the Scots.
JOHN BELL

Northland Age 16/3/17
CHANGING NAMES
I've seen it over and over in the business world. When a CEO doesn't know how to fix things, he/she simply changes the name, logo and uniforms, the result is a dud because nothing improves, and the CEO is soon given the heave-ho.

So deputy Mayor Tania McInnes' plan to change the Far North District's name suggests that she too is devoid of noteworthy ideas. If the vision is for "He whenua rangatira, a district of sustainable prosperity and wellbeing," she'll have to dig a little deeper.

How about starting with some plans to strengthen local education, skills training and work prospects? Address the issues that stop business from locating in the North — work-ready people, infrastructure, law and order and the like.

So, Ms McInnes, please give the window dressing a miss and focus on the tough stuff.
GEOFF PARKER, Kamo

Hawkes Bay Today 16/3/17
BE PROUD
Banister Martin Williams uses a common political and legal ploy of trying to disprove something not stated in my Talking Point article of March 10.

My point was that we need to preserve democracy, equality within the law for all citizens and our right to have a say in the direction and future of our country — irrespective of race, religious belief, cultural values, sexual orientation or age.

There are no words or phrases in the Treaty of Waitangi that confer any form of joint sovereignty on Maori or any partnership with the Crown.

Mr Williams' claim that Maori had a prosperous thriving economy before 1840 ignores the fact that from 1820 to 1840 Maori suffered from the depredations of the "Musket wars", wherein an estimated 20,000-40,000 people were killed — which does not indicate a prosperous economy.

There appears to be a real generational gap between myself and Mr Williams. Whether he has succumbed to the revisionist sanitised history fed to him by our education system or not, I do not know.

My philosophy in life is to treat people the way I want to be treated myself. This is known in business management as the Golden Rule.

We should all be proud of who we are but never ram it down other people's throats. My Irish heritage is important to me but I don't expect to have an Irish Jig and somebody sing Danny Boy at every function I attend.
TOM JOHNSON, Napier

Bay of Plenty Times 16/3/17
VERIFYING FACTS
Dame Susan Devoy stated in her guest editorial (Opinion, February 4) that at the Battle of Rangiaowhia women and children were locked in a church which was burnt to the ground, killing those inside. Both churches at Rangiaowhia survived the battle, one being still there today.

In her response to the Bay of Plenty Times, she, in my view, is now trying to shift the narrative by saying that she had been told by several people that women and children were burnt to death in a place of worship and it is a fact that women and children were burnt to death by Crown soldiers.

She should know that a fact is something that can be verified. Being told by “several people” (unnamed) does not make it a fact. For Devoy to rely on this story without checking it, in my view, beggars belief. A Google search would have raised a red flag. She needs to be sure her statements are grounded in fact.

If Devoy does not admit she made a mistake, then she will, in my opinion, destroy her credibility as race relations commissioner.
RICHARD PRINCE, Welcome Bay

Dominion Post 14/3/17 
PATH TO SEPARATION
I marched against racism and for equality during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Like many others here, I cheered when the 1981 tour of the racially chosen Springboks was so dramatically interrupted.

Now as one of the authors of "One Treaty, one nation", I am labelled a racist for the same commitment to equality regardless of skin colour and inheritance.

Peter Dunne has no understanding of the meaning of racism when he throws out his ridiculous - and hurtful -accusations without any idea of the facts that we present.

After the fall of apartheid in South Africa, the Government of National Unity set up the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to help deal with what happened under apartheid. It did its job of reconciliation in just five years.

In New Zealand the Waitangi Tribunal, formed in 1975, has been expanding for more than eight times as long, for 40 years by 2015, building new grounds for grievance and setting off down a path of racial separation. There is no racism in calling for an end to this divisive system.
JOHN ROBINSON Waikanae


THE 'RACIST' LABEL
Might I suggest to Peter Dunne that perhaps, rather than being racist, the leaflet droppers in his electorate may simply have a different opinion from him. It seems to be the norm today that the best way to shut someone down is to label them "racist". Wouldn't it be great to have the discussion?
SHELLEY MACRAE Manakau

Hawke's Bay Today 14/3/17
DON’T PATRONISE
Local government councillors need to understand their own competence and credibility as councillors before deciding on Maori wards, or Maori representation as of right.

Regardless of an elected member’s age, sex, or ethnicity, or what sector of society may or may not have voted for them, once elected they are duty bound to represent all of the people.

Ironically councillors who favour Maori wards or Maori representation clearly have no confidence in themselves to represent Maori.

Maori don’t need demeaning, patronising Pakeha do-gooders giving them special wards or token representation on councils.

Maori can and do vote for whoever they want to represent them as New Zealanders, just as everybody else does.

I would hope that Hastings council’s elected members were elected for their competence and not their colour, sex or any other discriminatory factor.

Why would we want to build any kind of discrimination into our electoral system when we are trying to remove it from the rest of our society?
JOHN BARROW Dannevirke

The Dominion Post 13/3/17 
EQUALITY, NOT RACISM
Peter Dunne (March 10) labelled the brochure promoting the book One Treaty, One Nation, of which I am one of the authors, as ‘‘nasty racist drivel’’.

What is ‘‘racist’’ about calling for equality before the law for all New Zealanders and an end to special race-based legislation, which gives superior rights to those who can claim a Maori ancestor at some point in the past?

If apartheid was wrong in South Africa, why is it right to have more and more laws such as the Marine and Coastal Area Act, ‘‘co-governance’’ agreements, special Maori wards in local government and the current amendments to the RMA, that are dividing our nation more and more into two classes of citizenship – Maori, and the rest. This is contrary to the Treaty of Waitangi which ceded full sovereignty to the Crown and created one people.

The arguments in the brochure that get up Dunne’s nose are for a single standard of citizenship and an end to special privileges for Maori. These are noble, democratic aims and to smear them as ‘‘nasty racist drivel’’ tells us all we need to know about Dunne, a smear merchant whose only consistency is supporting – puppet-like – whichever party holds power.
HUGH BARR, Wellington Central


NEED FOR BALANCE
Peter Dunne says he is appalled by leaflets in his Ohariu electorate that are full of ‘‘disgraceful, despicable racist bigotry’’ (March 10). But the leaflet raised valid concerns regarding ‘‘special representation of part-Maoris in local government’’, and excessive Maori influence ‘‘over the culture and life of the nation’’.

On the other hand, our culture and heritage are important to our well-being, so it is reasonable to ensure that the part-Maori minority is not overwhelmed by non-Maori. We need to work through these conflicting requirements using our best understanding of specific issues to obtain an optimum balance.

Chanting politically correct rhetoric, such as ‘‘nasty, racist drivel’’, will inflame the problem rather than resolve it.

I suggest that Ohariu voters consider replacing Dunne with someone who promises to take a rational approach based on the facts as they are known.
BARRIE DAVIS, Island Bay

Hawke's Bay Today 13/3/17
MAORI LAND
Barrister Martin Williams tripped up in his haste to attack Hobson’s Pledge (“Treaty claims” HBT March 11) when some of the assertions he dressed up as facts out proved incorrect.

He claimed that “Maori were deprived of over 25 million hectares for £4000”.

However, around £4000 was paid for just 29,498ha north of Dargaville in 1876, according to an old sale and purchase agreement and correspondence I just happened to be reading.

He says that land was “taken” from Maori.

However, his legal training should have made him aware of all the sale and purchase agreements, held by Land Information NZ, that show that all but 2.67 million hectares was sold, as agreed in article 2 of the Treaty, which Mr Williams roughly paraphrases.

He says that the financial redress paid is a fraction of the value of the land.

But what was the value of unimproved land in New Zealand between a willing buyer and seller in the 19th century?

The Dargaville land sale already mentioned showed robust negotiations between a willing buyer and two sellers.

It appears he is comparing present-day developed value with unimproved 19th century value.

He should also update his knowledge on financial redress paid in Treaty settlements.

He gave a 2012 figure of $1.2 billion but the figure to December 31, 2016, shows it reached $3 billion.

If Mr Williams wants to acknowledge our history, yet appears hazy about it, what is he trying to face up to – actual history or some revised fiction?
MIKE BUTLER, Hastings

Wangagui Chronicle 13/3/17
TRUE TREATY
If H Norton read Te Tilt! o Waitangi in the Maori language and signed by 565 rangatira and then read the Littlewood Treaty draft (found 1989 and now buried in Te Papa Museum) he/ she would find that the Littlewood draft, written by Busby from Hobson's notes, is the document that Rev. Williams and his son translated into Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

There are no "principles" in Te Tiriti.

There is a preamble and 3 "Articles" and Norton could get a translation of Ko Te Tuatahi (Article first) "wakaminenga ke tuku rawa atu ki" which transcribes to "confederation, cede to" etc.

The words in Te Tiriti o Waitangi say what they mean and mean what they say. Te Tiriti is NZ's true and legitimate founding document.
MAUREEN J ANDERSON, Tauranga

Hawkes Bay Today 11/3/17
MAORI WARD CONCERN
I am very disconcerted at the suggestion that Maori wards are under consideration by the HDC.

We continually read and hear appeals to do away with racism in New Zealand , but the HDC actually seems to be considering institutionalising it!

Whatever happened to “We are now one people”?
JIM RYNIKER, Havelock North

Wanganui Chronicle 11/3/17
WHICH BATTLE?
Like Potonga Neilson, I'm not sure which battle of the Taranaki wars Bob Harris (letters, February 24) is referring to.

The colonials suffered two defeats at the hand of Titokowaru (re Ngutu o Te Manu under McDonnell, and Motuma under Whitmore).

Perhaps he's referring to the taking of Tauranga-lka Pa soon afterwards 'there, again under Whitmore, the colonials walked into an empty fortress. Several theories as to why the pa was abandoned have emerged, including (in a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black) the one that hauhau wouldn't fight killers of children!

The most likely one is that Titokowaru was caught with his pants down — with another chief's wife, leading to a revolt within his own ranks from which he never fully recovered. Naturally Whitmore would rather have won a convincing military victory than have his opponent lose the game by exposing his middle wicket.

As for General Cameron, the nickname the lame Seagull was more a term of derision used by some on his own side due to his slow but methodical approach aimed at minimising casualties; putting into practice the lessons he had learned in the Crimea and quickly learning that Alma and Sevastopol were a far cry from the New Zealand bush. This earned him more respect from his Maori opponents than from his own impatient governor.
MURRAY CRAWFORD, Wanganui

Waikato Times 10/3/17
MAORI SEATS
The Maori seats in Parliament cater for the self-interest of a separate minority in our country. Based on accident of birth, their temporary status has been extended by political parties manipulating the voting power. They represent racism and apartheid at its worst; ie, state-sponsored separatism.

The argument that Maori need a ’’’egup’’ in the governance stakes fails when there are Maori members of Parliament in all the main political parties – there by their own efforts.

The argument that the socioeconomic Maori group is monetarily disadvantaged has lapsed.

The enormous Treaty settlements have allowed corporatism with tribal groups as the shareholders.

In our multicultural society, no other ethnic group has such favoured advantage. It’s time for the Treaty intention of equality of citizenship to be fulfilled, which means it is time for the Maori parliamentary seats to be disestablished. We know this is correct/ right, but is there any politician with enough backbone to do something or even state it publicly?
PETER H WOOD, Thames

Hawke's Bay Today 10/3/17
MAORI WARD VOTE DIVISIVE
A potential referendum on Maori wards for the Hastings District Council needs to be swiftly stopped. There are many reasons both for and against Maori wards, all with merit, yet the most important reason is unlikely to be at the forefront of the debate.

Maori wards will be extremely contentious, and result in a divisive debate between proponents and opponents.

The debate has the potential to be even more divisive than the amalgamation debate, creating wounds as deep as that debate caused.

A Maori Ward referendum will take the focus of council away from the issues that the council should be prioritising. Water, keeping rates under control and freeing up land for housing are all important issues that will likely get lost if we are debating Maori wards.

The results of referendums in areas with similar demographics to Hastings have been one sided. The voters have firmly voted against Maori wards, and there has been little gained from having the referendum at the expense of a massive and unnecessary argument.

Hawke’s Bay lost several years senselessly debating amalgamation. There was never any chance of amalgamation being achieved through a referendum, and the resulting arguments have meant that any chance of building goodwill between Hastings District, Napier City and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils will likely have to wait until those who fought the amalgamation issue are out of politics.

The irony is a Maori ward referendum at the same time as a mayoral byelection will almost inevitably result in a Maori Mayor.

Maori will turn out in high numbers in a low turnout byelection. A single Maori candidate running against a group of Paheka candidates will have a huge advantage in the mayoral election.

A Maori ward referendum has the potential to create the same kind of division the unnecessary amalgamation debate did. It will take focus away from the important issues that the council should be dealing with instead. Our councillors should consider whether a Maori ward referendum is in the best interests of our district.
SIMON LUSK Havelock North

The Northern Advocate 10/3/17
ADDRESS ISSUES
I’ve seen it over and over in the business world. When a CEO doesn't know how to fix things, he/she simply changes the name, logo and uniforms.

The result is a dud because nothing improves and the CEO is soon given the heave-ho!

So deputy mayor Tania McInnes' plan to change the Far North District's name suggests that she too is devoid of note-worthy ideas.

If the vision is for "he whenua rangatira, a district of sustainable prosperity and wellbeing", she'll have to dig a little deeper.

How about starting with some plans to strengthen local education, skills training and work prospects?

Address the issues that stop business from locating in the North — work-ready people, infrastructure, law and order and the like.

So Ms McInnes, please give the window dressing a miss and focus on the tough stuff. 
GEOFF PARKER, Kamo

Wanganui Chronicle 10/3/17
DISMAY AT 'H'
I read in the Wanganui Chronicle (March 1) with dismay that 10 of Horizons councillors out of 12 voted to change the spelling of Wanganui and put the "H" into it. Councillor Wiremu Te Awe Awe and John Barrow who both live out of Wanganui, decided our spelling should be changed.

What made you 10 councillors decide it was a Maori name? It belonged to a group of people known as Waitaha, who were not Maori and arrived about 550 AD, just like the Wanganui names in the South Island, where most of them now live.

I congratulate councillors David Cotton and Bruce Gordon on their stand.
IAN BROUGHAM Tawhero

Gisborne Herald 9/3/17
STAMPED ON
I was so relieved to hear that the European Students Association at Auckland University has been closed down because the existence of such a thing has “racist overtones”. Never mind that similar organisations abound, for Maori, for Muslims, for Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Indians, the list goes on.

It is quite appropriate for a racial group to take pride in their shared identity. Except Honkies. It is totally unacceptable for Europeans to take pride in our heritage.

Kudos to the powers-that-be (Thought Police) for stamping out this blatant display of racism.

Racism is simply not tolerated in New Zealand. That said, I shall now harness my team of flying pigs to my enchanted chariot and fly off to Never-Never-Land.
ROSS CHATTERTON

Northland Age 9/3/17
OUR PRICELESS HERITAGE
Over the years various correspondents have expounded on a number of aspects of early New Zealand history, using many archaeological and obviously man-made features and artefacts to back claims of very early settlements of people that predate the coming of Maori to these shores.

Then there are those that are just as adamant in refuting anything that goes against the generally acknowledged history that has been traditionally taught in our schools for more than 100 years, starting with the great migration from Hawaiiki. (See New Zealand Skeleton in the Cupboard on U tube).

While these dissertations make for very interesting reading, and add value to the Age as journal worthy of the name, somewhere, someone is missing the point, and therein lies a real tragedy. Successive governments have deliberately impeded or blocked serious investigation of authoritative scientific investigation of sites and artefacts to prove or disprove the various theories, assumptions or beliefs of those that have conducted genuine attempts at establishing the veracity of their belief in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

A significant number of sites were catalogued in the Waipoua Forest many years ago, and the record was quickly embargoed for 75 years. However, an enlightened Minister of Conservation a few years ago lifted that embargo.

But the sites were not given the protection they deserved, and many of the recorded sites and structures have been removed or dispersed. This amounts to vandalism and desecration at its worst.

All New Zealand citizens have an inalienable right to know the real truth of our earliest times, and if it has to accommodate an unpalatable fact that our history has to be re-written, then so be it. Better late than never.

The nation has very good reason to be grateful for a small but growing number of dedicated people who, on their own initiatives, have singly or collectively devoted time and money to documenting, researching and establishing the provenance of their discoveries to the point of absolute surety.

It is then extremely disheartening to come up against the brick walls of state bureaucracy, or worse, deliberate obstruction. The weight of the findings of these dedicated people must, and eventually will prevail, and become accepted for the priceless heritage that is ours as of right.
S REILLY, Kaikohe


EQUALITY FIRST
Anahera Herbert-Graves writes of the long lines of Americans to see their constitution and declaration of independence, which are "sacred and really important"(the value of belonging, March 7).

Let us not forget that these, along with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, place the principle of equality of all people at the very top of any set of values to guide a state.

This is denied by her set of requirements for a New Zealand constitution, calling for a different place and different rights for two categories of citizens, "reaffirming the place of tangata whenua" - separate from the rest of us -in a newly devised partnership model.

The call for "the key value of tikanga" and the right to assert whakapapa (high regards for ancestors and family) is an attack on an impartial public service.

For many decades I have seen, and experienced, the manner in which some Maori favour their relatives and mates for employment when they hold any position of power.

The values of friendship and kinship can have a proper place in private life, but lead only to despotism in public life.

We must not forget that it is a constitution that is suggested here, and not a code of conduct for our personal lives.
JOHN ROBINSON, Waikanae

Gisborne Herald 8/3/17
CLOTH WOVEN FROM MANY THREADS
I read Phil Whyte’s opinion piece in the Weekender with interest.

Ours is increasingly becoming a multicultural society. However, if you prefer it as a bicultural society, you have the culture of the tangata whenua, the Maori people, and the so-called “Anglocentric” culture of the predominant grouping of later immigrants.

This is a young country, in terms of its evolution. It was made a British Crown colony in 1841. Full independence was only granted in 1931 and adopted by the New Zealand Parliament in 1947 (70 years ago). We remain part of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth). The titular head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.

My forebears came from Ireland, England and Scotland. When I was a boy, in Timaru (Te Maru), large cargo ships coming from overseas were called “home” boats. It is not too surprising that earlier, when towns sprang into life with the influx of settlers, many were given English names — Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, etc, were English heroes.

Lakes, rivers, mountains and places in New Zealand carry a mix of Maori and what might be termed Anglocentric names. Surely this is a reflection of our cultural makeup and our heritage?

I am proud of my colonist/settler forebears who had the courage to up-stakes and travel arduously to a new land of which they knew little.

Just like now, people sought a new start and wanted better things for their children.

I love my country dearly, it is a cloth woven from many threads and like all other things, will evolve as it moves forward into the future.

Heritage is a strong factor for any culture. If we were to have a massive renaming, it would seem to me a “sea change” in the way things are done and should be put to the citizens as a whole, rather than left to elected representatives. Think the recent flag exercise.

Names are just that, tools to allow communication, commerce and social interaction. If we invest them with imagined deeper meanings they become greater than they need to be, in my opinion. RON TAYLOR

Hawke's Bay Today 8/3/17
VIEWPOINTS OF MEETING FROM A PARALLEL UNIVERSE
Science tells us that subatomic particles can be in two different places at once and, when I read Bill Sutton’s take on the well-attended Hobson’s Pledge meeting in Havelock North, I am sure that he and I were not at the same meeting.

Of course Don Brash and Casey Costello gave political speeches, Bill. The whole issue surrounding the Treaty of Waitangi and the rise of Maori sovereignty and governance issues is political, whatever your view point. What on earth did you expect to hear?

And, no, the chairman did not proscribe political speeches. That would double down on silliness. What he did was say that there would be a time for questions and that people should avoid making lengthy speeches, perfectly reasonable at meetings, as you should well know. Well understood.

You are right, Bill. No one made a speech of disagreement with what was said, including your good self as the first speaker from the floor. Breathtaking.

The general thrust of the meeting was not “strongly against any government action to ensure greater Maori involvement in decisionmaking”. Wrong! That is a mischievous Trumpist twist. The general thrust of the meeting was a deep concern for unjustifiable interpretations of Treaty that are underpinning a Maori sovereign and separatist direction that would lead to a breakdown of the one law for all that is the glue holding this democracy together.

It was summed up by Captain Hobson at Waitangi in 1840 when he greeted each signatory chief with: “He iwi tahi tatou — We are now one people.” One doesn't mean two, Bill.

One citizenry, under one law, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or anything else. That’s the balanced message I heard clearly and soberly at that meeting, and I’d guess it was the one most others took from it.

Bill Sutton apparently didn’t.
ALAN RHODES, Napier

Hawkes Bay Today 8/3/17 (Text Us section)
* Could anyone tell me the English translation of the Haka? Many thanks

* Go Don Brash! You’ve hit the nail on the head. (re Hobson’s Pledge). Lets have all Nzers treated the same.

Gisborne Herald 7/3/17
BACK IMPORTANT CAUSES
Re: ‘Cursed’ by our name, February 24 story.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown’s attempt to vilify the name Poverty Bay and suggest it is a reason for lack of personal development of some of our people is both ludicrous and totally outlandish.

“Cursed” means damnable or abominable and horrendous. Using this word was an attempt to create a false presence of feelings and treatment, to seek support for Meredith’s cause.

It also showed she has no appreciation of her role and what her duties are to the community.

Meredith’s opinion was not given as a private matter and therefore should be treated with the disdain it deserves.

Councillors are elected to represent all the people of the district in a fair and unbiased manner, irrespective of each person’s race, colour, creed or what they believe in.

To make a statement like she did, in an attempt to gain a name change (obviously to part or whole Maori), is unconstitutional and well outside her mandate as a councillor. She needs to be sanctioned for that alone.

Elected people cannot form lobbying groups, as that is against the principle of “one vote — one voice”.

As for the name Poverty Bay influencing the desire of people to prosper and develop, bullpacky!

Meredith, as a councillor you have the power to dissuade and control the amount of alcohol sold here, help limit the volume of drugs grown and manufactured, and the amount of gambling, and to encourage employment in the Gisborne district — all of which are important to your constituents here. Why aren’t you leading a crusade to stop sewage entering the waterways earlier than planned, or another meaningful activity?

If you can gather 8000 people to pay $300 each into a fund to show their commitment to a name change and cover part of the cost, come back to us. Ratepayers should not be expected to ever see such expenditure.

Jim Green’s claim that the name change for the DHB and hospital cost $41,500 is scarcely believable, as these costs are continuing to occur.
MIKE CRESWELL

Elocal March 2017 edtion
'AUCKLAND ANCESTRAL CONES'
In 2014 the National government "returned- fourteen "ancestral cones' (summits of public hills in Auckland) to a newly set up authority of pale faced tribal elitists who call themselves the Tupuna Maunga Authority.

In 2015 this new rate-based Authority banned cars from driving to the top of Mount Eden and in November. 2016, it was announced that in 2017 this ban will be extended to the summits (and thereabouts) of One Tree Hill, Mount Wellington, Mount Albert, Mount Victoria and Mount Roskill. No doubt it will only be a matter of time before they start charging pedestrians for walking up to the tops of these formerly publicly owned assets.

Not content with asserting their arrogance or, if you like. "mana". by banning cars. these new cultural warriors then announced that they will also ban grazing livestock from the three summits where cattle have grazed for decades (Mt. Wellington, Mt. Richmond and Mangere Mountain) and sheep from One Tree Hill and Mount St. John.

In seeking to justify this bossy but unnecessary decision, the Maunga Authority said that it was "to protect and restore biodiversity". This is laughable as the ancestors of these people were the most environmentally destructive people ever to inhabit (temporarily) the slopes of these hills slashing and burning vegetation and leaving the hills bare as they were when the first Europeans saw them in the 1830s.

Our kids love to go there: its an annual event in spring to see the lambs in an iconic Auckland space." One mother was Quoted in media as saying. Yes, but possibly no more.

According to Cornwall Park Trust farm manager, Peter Maxwell, The livestock keep the long grass tidy and help in controlling the litter by making it easier to spot rubbish that you would not be able to see in long grass. Stock grazing also reduces fire risk."

He is in a better position to know about these things than the new tribal "owners' whose forebears slashed and burned all vegetation around these mountains during their temporary occupations for the very good reason that, since they did not own them in any meaningful sense. there was no reason to plant, grow or plan for the future.

The new and assertive Maunga Authority made these decisions without any public consultation. 'The unelected Maunga Authority haven't consulted with the people who actually use the mountain, which makes a mockery of their claims of public support. If they really do have public support. then they shouldn't be afraid of consultation." said the ACT leader. David Seymour. Mr. Seymour has called for the Government to review the legislation that allows the Authority to make decisions re accessibility.
- Excerpts from letter sent in by JOHN MCLEAN.


DEAR SIR/MADAM,
Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Conciliator, would achieve a less racist society if she encouraged every person under the age of 35 years to research, read and digest Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Littlewood final draft, hand written by Busby from Hobson’s constructed notes.

Those two documents, word for word convey the true intent between Maori and European on signing The Treaty on 6th February 1840.

It would be safe to claim that not many people younger than 35 or 40 know our nations historical document Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its true form because they have been educated to believe that 'The Treaty incorporates 'Partnerships, Protocols, Fisheries and Forestry' etc and it does not.

History is history and 'good or bad’, “fair or unfair' it is history. Dame Susan Devoy and tribal agitators are in my view, creating a more divided nation than this country has ever seen before.
MAUREEN J ANDERSON

Herald On Sunday 5/3/17 (Online Comment section)
ON MAORI IN CARE
* Let's not play into this white guilt narrative. Colonialism had many disadvantages, yes. But look around. We are no longer in the stone age. MARYANNE

* The law system isn't "fair". Racial background is always considered in judgments. MISTAR

* Everyone was abused in state care, it was not just Maori. SUE


ON `WHITE PRIDE' GROUP
* We have Pasifika groups, Maori golf tournaments/rugby teams, so why not a European Association? CAROLINE

* All ethnic groups should be entitled to have their own support association. TE AROHA

* What does "Strength through honour" have to do with being European? Makes no sense. MEREARIHI

* As long as it's a pro-"European cultural aspects" group and not an anti-"everybody else" group, I don't have a problem with it. WHAKARONGOTAI

Gisborne Herald 4/3/17
WOULD TAKE US OFF MAP
I was over at the Mount last week and a Maori fella who had been surfing got talking to me — a very pleasant chap he was, and asked where I was from. I told him I was from Turanganui a Kiwa. The conversation went something like this:

“Where the f---’s that?”

I said, “Go by way of Whakatane, Opotiki, Waioeka Gorge, Matawai, Te Karaka, Makaraka and then you are in Turanganui a Kiwa.”

He said, “You mean Gisborne. Why didn’t you say that instead?”

I said, “I know mate, we get it all the time.”

So there you have it. Gisborne it should stay, or we won’t have anyone coming here.
RAY HILL

Northern Advocate 4/3/17
DIG DEEPER
A letter by Susan Fer,,yt b in the Northern Advocate (March I) compared US President Donald Trump with Hitler. She is wide of the mark.

Do not believe all you hear and see in the media. They will only tell you what they want you to know and can make or break you! Mr Trump simply wants to make America great again.

In a recent high school address one pupil asked what makes America the greatest country in the world. One speaker replied: "Diversity and opportunity". Another stated: "Freedom and freedom'. The third speaker said America was not the greatest country any more. "We are seventh in literacy, 27th in maths, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in medium house-hold income, fourth in labour force, and fourth in exports.

America leads the world in the number of people who are Incarcerated per capita, the number of people who believe in angels, and spends more on arms than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of which are friendly."

So, here is a challenge to the media ghouls in New Zealand: Get stuck into the true history of our country. There are some 4000 sites here which could be investigated, and 105 embargoes which are not strictly PC (Political Corruption). There were races of people here before Maori. Who were they, and where are they now? Talking to the descendants of these people will give you some answers!
KEVAN G. MARKS Kaipara

Hawkes Bay Today 4/3/17
USING THE TREATY TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Two public events, Te Matatini festival and Hobson's Pledge Trust meeting.

The festival — entertainment which either appeals or doesn't. Perhaps also having an element of philosophical/political statement?

The meeting (either appeals or doesn't), a manifestation of serious concern and definitely philosophical/political reaction to the climate subversively created politically by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 and actions before, since and ongoing.

Bill Sutton (former MP) mixes his experience of the two events and concludes there is a race relations problem. I was in the capacity Havelock North audience but seated well away from and behind Bill (only recognising him as he left the venue). His lengthy contribution from the floor in question/statement time was before a roving microphone was made available hence I did not hear its content.

I guess the tenor of his comment is reflected in his Talking Point (March 2).

This essentially ignores the rationale for the Hobson's Pledge movement. It is concerned at the ongoing division of this nation into two entities by the cabal (legal, political, academic) which, by reinterpreting history (and Te Tiriti), has done nothing positive for “race relations”. Why else did Ian Wishart entitle his 2012 book The Great Divide?

The Treaty did not create a partnership but set the framework for one nation. Eight relevant books published since 1987 on my shelves (and I purchased another at the meeting) reinforced that I have been concerned by trends for decades. The first two books, 30 years ago promoted the partnership interpretation (myth) until further research alerted me to what was going on and I changed the direction of my reading.

A predictable pattern has emerged over the decades. Those who would control us must first create division. Generally there will always be divided opinions and I have no objection per se to revisionist history, for therein frequently lies the truth. But the mischief wrought by what Hobson's Pledge Trust seeks to expose is quite another matter. Perhaps only apparent mainly to those who by reason of age have escaped the “re-education” (social engineering) that has been going on for decades in the indoctrination (education) system and via government-sanctioned propaganda.
J.C. SMITH, Napier

NZ Herald 4/3/17
RACE RELATIONS STORY
As most children who are caught stealing sweets are not labelled “thugs” and sent inside for years ( and I suspect never were in New Zealand), there has to be more to the story of the Maori boy who had this happen to him than Susan Devoy has told us.

The word thug has always meant much more than a child who pinched a few sweets. Hands up those who have never helped themselves to a toffee from the Pick and Mix.
A. J. READ, Huntly.


SAD DAY FOR FREEDOM
It is a sad day for freedom of expression that the Auckland University European Students Association has withdrawn its application to be affiliated with the university. The student club is calling it quits after its members were threatened with violence and accused of racism.

Whatever the club may have tacitly stood for, it does not appear to have said anything unlawful or that could be said to be inciting hatred or violence. There are certainly plenty of examples of ethnically- based clubs at the university.

The Auckland University Students’ Association president Will Matthews said he was deeply concerned about the views and purposes of the group. He would be better to be concerned about the loss of freedom of expression of his fellow students.

Of all places, a university is supposed to represent a free marketplace of ideas.
DR RICHARD KEAM, Remuera.

NZ Herald 4/3/17 (A Quick Word section)
* Regarding the Auckland University European Students Association. not all Whites' are racist and not all racists are *white° P. Aston. Pukekohe.

* What kind of double standards exist in NZ? A group of Auckland University students strongly criticised for forming a "racist" European goup when there are approved groups of Maori and Chinese students. HYLTON LE GRICE., Remuera.

* The New Zealand tax payer has already shelled out billions of dollars to Maori, so surety Maori can provide the funding for e-cigarettes if that is what they want A J PETERSEN, Kawerau.

Sunlive / Weekend Sun 3/3/17
ANOTHER DAY OF DIVISION?
Two Otorohanga College girls started a petition to have the New Zealand Wars commemorated, motivated by a story that at the Battle of Rangiaowhia women and children were locked in a church which was then burnt to the ground. A quick Google search, which it seems nobody bothered to do, shows this story to be demonstrably untrue.

A failure by teachers, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, and Prime Minister Bill English, who accepted this petition based on a falsehood, has provided iwi with $4m of taxpayer money to plan the commemorations

The unease is iwi will use this money for history revision and so to weave a new korowai of victimhood to improve their ideological interests and financial position.

The Government should be asked why the demanded Land Wars commemoration is only being discussed with and by iwi.

Of the about 3000 who died in these wars, some 1000 were British soldiers and militia. It seems their descendants are not being consulted. My forebears arrived in 1841 and some lost their lives in the Waikato and Taranaki wars. No one has approached me or my family.

If the wider public, and particularly the descendants of early settlers, are not involved and their views included then these so-called commemorations will, like Waitangi Day, become another day of ugliness and division.
R PRINCE, Welcome Bay.


SUPERFLUOUS TO REQUIREMENTS
Re: ‘Disturbing lack of accurate knowledge' (The weekend Sun, February 24). R Paterson's has grave implications for our new Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy, in how she carries out her vice-regal duties.

If, as she said in her opening address to the nation, she intends to carry out her duties to observe the unique partnership between the Crown and Maori, then her role in representing the Queen is redundant and she is superfluous to requirements.
If a subject can be a partner of the sovereign then Dame Patsy has no more official and legal standing than does the Chief of the Otahuhu chapter of the Mongrel Mob and the definitions of ‘sovereign' and ‘subject' as given in the Oxford Dictionary, are nonsense.
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

New Zealand Herald 3/3/17
JUDGE POWER
Despite the scaremongering from Susanne Ruthven and Geoffrey Palmer, who want to impose a written constitution on New Zealand, I would rather keep the status quo, where we the people have control over our lawmakers by being able to vote them out, rather than appointed judges who cannot be sacked.
GEOFF PARKER, Kamo.


UNIVERSITY CLUB

We can have Maori and other Polynesian carvings on buildings, flags, official documentation and anywhere else in our multicultural country that declares their race and place. Homosexuals flaunt their sexuality and demand normality. The symbols of various other races and groups adorn many buildings and edifices yet a group of university students who identify as Europeans and want to proudly declare their heritage with ancient Celtic designs are somehow deemed to have to be racist.

I believe the racists are the people making the complaint.
MAX WAGSTAFF, Glendowie.

Northland Age 2/3/17
AND DEFAMATORY
From the frequent reports in the media of Dame Susan Devoy's activities, it is very difficult to conclude that she realises what her official role is and how she is intending to implement it.

The speech she delivered on Waitangi Day was not only inflammatory, but also defamatory.

She reported, as fact, an unproven tale of an incident from the military actions in the Waikato that accompanied the Kingite Rebellion, accusing the colonial forces of slaughtering over 120 women and children. Unproven as it is hearsay, an oral account made by the Maori adversaries.

Recorded written versions tell a different tale, but either way it was grossly inappropriate for the occasion, and more so considering her mitigating role.
BRYAN JOHNSON Omokoroa

Taranaki Daily News 2/3/17
PRIVATE OPINION
I have enjoyed reading the many comments in your Over to You column on the future of the Maori language. I make two points:

Firstly, that the merits of the arguments are not my immediate concern, but what is worthy of note is that so much public debate and concern has resulted from one man’s opinion published only to his Facebook friends, and then publicised by one of his readers.

Secondly, that the Mayor and one of your letter writers refer to the opinion of ‘‘Councillor Chong’’, but Mr Chong, quite clearly, did not express his opinion as a Councillor, but on Facebook as a private citizen.

Are we in the modern era to be vilified in our public lives for expressing a private opinion?

Perhaps media organisations (including TV channels) need to publish - as they did in the old days - some common-sense comment by communications experts or media lawyers who can distinguish between private and public utterances before a viewpoint becomes distorted by emotion and a public identity is wrongly made the subject of public scrutiny.

Even if a private view stirs up antagonism in the more articulate segment of the community, it should be respected - in a discussion on the merits as use of our guaranteed democratic right to free speech - without introducing irrelevancies and distortions. ROBERT J SORLEY New Plymouth

Gisborne Herald 28/2/17
THERE WASN’T MUCH HERE
Cursed? No. Cook, like many educated people, did not believe in mumbo-jumbo pagan curses. His quote, though, “it afforded us no one thing we wanted”, I can well believe and have often thought similar as I stroll the current high street of Gisborne.

Be honest, there wasn’t much here! And thank goodness the British followed by the rest of the world have come and brought so much which now makes this area prosperous.

Every pine tree planted and cut, horse you ride, pig you hunt, cattle, sheep, chickens you farm, corn, pumpkin, fruit trees, grapes and wine that is grown was all brought here by people from other countries — and many ancestors of the people that so many in this city want to discredit, disname and disregard.

Life is what you make it. I don’t suppose any of the pioneering people who took a chance and brought into this area one of the above-mentioned thought of this place as “cursed”. Far from it. With their hard work, forestry, farming and winegrowing are hugely successful. Not much “poverty and deprivation” there.

Maybe the students of Kaiti School, whilst researching names, should have a little look at the origins of what is grown and bred here, and do some import-export research.

“Horrendous” name? No, young pupils of Kaiti School, “pride” and “meaning” come from within. As I said, life is what you make it.
J. STRINGFELLOW


POVERTY BAY ‘CURSE’ CLAIM A LOAD OF RUBBISH
Re: ‘Cursed’ by our name, February 24 story.

What a dramatic front-page headline.

Who on earth would have placed the “curse”? Certainly not Cook. Maori folklore tells that they indeed had this apparent power . . . did they place it on our district? What a load of rubbish.

Meredith stated that our area has the highest rate of poverty in New Zealand. Is it only a coincidence that we also have the highest ratio of Maori population?

Perhaps this would be partially remedied if some of the millions of dollars in Treaty settlement money was shared with the ordinary Maori residents? To my mind, the only ones who appear to benefit are those in high places.

Mayor Meng Foon said the name Turanganui a Kiwa might not be chosen, it was up to iwi to decide. Who gives iwi the right to make that choice? Remember, it is not only Maori who reside here.

In my opinion, along with that of some councillors, Poverty Bay must be retained — preferably with Poverty Bay coming first.

A great number of our district’s residents will agree, while a great number will disagree. That is their prerogative.

Also, some have argued that because William Gisborne never visited, our city should not be named after him.

Did the Duke of Wellington ever visit our capital? How about the Duke of Marlborough, or Canterbury, Auckland, Nelson, Palmerston, Dunedin, Otago, Stewart Island? Do all these areas, plus hundreds of other districts, cities and towns, need to revert to their original Maori names?

Councillor Wilson said the change of Taranaki for Egmont was an example of how it could work. Egmont was a mountain, not a district. Taranaki has long been identified as that area. What was New Plymouth’s Maori name? Should that be changed?

Sorry, but this is only the “thin edge of the wedge”. What will be requested by Maori in the near future? Perhaps our Mayor could give us all an idea of what else is on his “post-election schedule”.

I am certain people around our country will be pleased he is not heading their councils. Sorry Meng. You must work for all. Enough is enough.
MIKE MULROONEY

Northland Age 28/2/17
MIXED BLESSING
Once again Ms Fox displays the illogicality of her thinking and narrowness of vision she displayed in the recent Yates logo fiasco, Black Magic.

In her latest media comments, where she threatens the National Party, she argues that children in state care should be placed in the care of whanau, hapu or iwi, while acknowledging that 63 per cent of children in CYF care and 71 per cent of youths in prison are Maori. This from 14.6 per cent of the population.

She calls for the rebuilding of Oranga Tamar iki with a kaupapa perspective, but fails to see, with three generations of some iwi on state benefits and abuse figures rising, that those are the systems that have failed "We've already been assimilated and colonised once:" she claims. Ms Fox, if you had been assimilated you would be regarding yourself as a New Zealander, as all other ethnic groups do, and not as a Maori with special ethnic privileges.

We are not a bicultural or multi-cultural society. As culture is simply the way we live our lives, we are a mono-cultural society with minor ethnic variations. We all live in similar houses, dress in the same clothing styles, drive the same cars, work in the same jobs, have the same routines for everyday life and obey the same laws. Ms Fox, assimilation is not us all becoming white Europeans but being exclusively New Zealanders with pride in our unique nationality. You are a mixed blessing to your party.
BRYAN JOHNSON Omokoroa


WHY A TREATY?
There have been a few books as to why New Zealand needed a treaty. If we are to understand the treaty, we must first of all understand why it was instigated, and by whom.

About 10 years prior to the treaty the missionaries had tried to encourage the Maori to form their own government and state, but the chiefs, as always, could not agree between themselves. It became evident that New Zealand must become a British colony under British sovereignty if Maori were to survive.

In 1863,13 chiefs wrote to King William, stating in part "We are a people without possessions. We have heard that the tribe of Marian (France) is at hand coming to takeaway our land, therefore we pray thee to become our friend and guardian of these islands".

But wait a minute. What about the people that were here 1000 years in peace and still living today before the arrival of Maori? Ngati Hotu, Celts/pat-paiarehe, Waitaha, Turehu, Chinese.

Land was never owned by anyone, they all lived in peace and harmony before Maori arrived. Are these people mentioned in the treaty, the Tiriti o Waitangi, in Article the Second, to give to the chiefs, the hapu and all the people of New Zealand'?

Maori are not indigenous people Indigenous people are people whose ancestors were 'born of the land'. The Maori are a group of people like the rest of us, 'born of another land'. The Maori anived in the 1500s on a Chinese ship, not from a fleet of canoes from overseas.
IAN BROUGHAM Wanganui

Gisborne Herald 27/2/17
EUROPEAN NAME SECOND . . . LIKELY TO BE AXED LATER
Gisborne District Council has decided to consult with the public on changing to a dual name for our coastal bay. Public views are already coming in with The Gisborne Herald making the topic the question of the week for next Saturday’s paper.

However, a geographical name change is governed by strict national legislation. For example, when gazetting a double name the Maori name always goes first, as in Taranaki/Mount Egmont. As Brian Wilson astutely pointed out during the debate, this makes the dropping of the original European name very easy at a later date.

The renaming of Ward Island and Somes Island in Wellington Harbour followed the same legal course.

I wonder if you remember where Endeavour Park is? The park was established in 1969 as part of the commemoration of the Cook Bicentenary, as a permanent celebration of the seamanship of those officers and crew aboard the “Endeavour” bark who literally sailed to the other side of the world against great odds.

However, in the 1990s when the prow sculpture was placed on this previous brick post office site bearing the gazetted name of Endeavour Park, another name was hyphenated on. Twenty years later the park is now commonly called Heipipi Park.

So, no matter what European name is favoured, as dictated by law, it must be secondary to the chosen Maori name and will be the first to drop off should the name be shortened at a later date.
MARGARET THORPE

Nelson Mail 24/2/17
FREE SPEECH
Like a character from George Orwell’s, 1984, Gary Glover (February 22) claims that ‘‘it is crucial that everyone responsibly expresses our right to free speech lest hate speech laws which criminalise views and disrespectful behaviour viewed as ugly, immoral or dangerous are introduced."

In other words, don’t exercise your freedom of speech or it will be taken from you. Glover pretends to be a free speech supporter, when clearly he is not.

The purpose of the freedom of speech is to protect the offensive, the immoral, and the ugly. Or, in other words, to protect the right of people to say things that other people do not want to hear.

A society mature enough to handle that, is civilised. Those who can’t handle it are like children tossing their toys from their cot, only exceedingly more dangerous.
RICHARD WIIG, Queensland

Sunlive / Weekend Sun 24/2/17
NOT RACIST
Re: ‘Respecting the many differences' (The Weekend Sun, February 17).
Last week S Smith of Otumoetai wrote about Megan Walton “spewing racist and foul-mouthed poison at the young Muslim woman Mehpara Khan”.
Foul-mouthed it was, but it was not racist. S Smith made the common mistake of believing Muslimism is a race. It is a religion.
P HARLEN, Mount Maunganui.


DISTURBING LACK OF ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE
Plucked from virtual obscurity by then-Prime Minster John Key completely off his own bat Patsy Reddy became Governor General from September 28, 2016, just before Key rode off into the sunset. She was a Brierley Investments corporate acquisitions specialist, then spy agency reviewer then a well-paid lead negotiator for the Crown.
Her recent Waitangi Day speech was appalling mainly because it revealed a disturbing lack of accurate historical knowledge on the subject canvassed - there is for starters no English Treaty only the legitimate Tiriti o Waitangi Maori text almost certainly drafted from the English ‘Littlewood Draft' that currently gathers dust in Archives New Zealand.

Certainly neither partnership nor principles are stated in the Treaty. As Governor General Dame Patsy seems blissfully unaware that her job as the Sovereign's representative - a mainly ceremonial role - requires her to act in an impartial manner. She has no mandate from the New Zealand public to get involved in contentious political and racial issues or debates. With the Waitangi speech she clearly overstepped the mark and if her intention was to promote racial divisiveness, disharmony and discontent then she succeeded.

Separatism and race-based privilege can have no place in NZ and those in high places lending credence to this nonsense need to be reined in. Incidentally, Winston Peters' speech ‘The Treaty as it was and should be' delivered at Paihia on February 3, 2017, is much closer to reality.
R PATERSON, Matapihi.


FEARS KIWI CULTURE WILL DISAPPEAR
Re: ‘Respecting the many differences' (The Weekend Sun, February 17).
In response to the letter from S Smith concerning the young woman who insulted and assaulted the young Muslim woman. While in no way excusing that behaviour I do wonder what prompted it. Would the Muslim women been noticed had they not been wearing their hijab? S Smith said the offender was an unemployed person of no fixed abode. Are they blaming the influx of immigrants for her situation?
In my travels I have always been mindful and respectful of the culture and customs of the countries I have visited, in particular Saudi Arabia and South East Asia, and have dressed and behaved appropriately. ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do'. This quote means when visiting a foreign land, follow the customs of those who live in it.
But to many I have discussed the immigration problem with in New Zealand it is widely believed that immigrants bring their country with them and make no effort to assimilate.

Wearing the hijab, abaya and niqab invite racial abuse and I fear this will continue to happen - sadly not everyone in New Zealand embraces and respects difference. Instead they feel the New Zealand they grew up in is being overrun and that one day in the future ‘Kiwi culture' will disappear. P JEFFARES, Bethlehem.

Wanganui Chronicle 24/2/17
HISTORY RETOLD
Potonga's delusions get worse (Chronicle, February 3). To him the inter-tribal wars of pre-1840 were "mythical" — even though about a third of the population was slaughtered.

Of the Ngapuhi raid, the encyclopedia Te Ara says: "In the early 19th century ... Ngapuhi and [other tribes] raided Taranaki, armed with muskets. They defeated the Taranaki tribe and captured slaves skilled in the preparation of flax. The work of these slaves earned income for the northern tribes and enabled them to buy muskets for further expeditions."

In the 1830s, it was the Waikato who almost depopulated southern Taranaki, hundreds dying in the victors' ovens. In 1840 a few dozen lived in mortal fear of the Waikato near the Sugarloaf Islands, ready to flee there at the slightest cause for alarm, with a couple of families in the bush near Opunake.

As for the Ngati Ruanui, a principal chief of Kapiti (probably Te Rauparaha) said: "They were of the worst tribe of persons in the whole of New Zealand; renegades and people that had escaped from various tribes for thefts and every crime that could possibly be thought of." Does Tony Sole's book mention this? (Abridged)
BRUCE MOON Nelson

Dominion Post 24/2/17
ENGLISH SUCCESS
Ken Te Tau's very obvious irritation (Letters, February 23) has clouded his judgement.

English didn't "pinch" any words from other languages, especially Greek and Latin, because these languages existed fully-formed before English as a recognisable language appeared and, as it developed, words from many languages were slowly absorbed.

I recommend a perusal of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary wherein the reader will find that English is an amalgam of Germanic languages (initially), as well as Wench, Latin, Greek and a smattering of others.

Furthermore, in New Zealand at least, there is a selection of Maori words considered as part of English. This explains the unparalleled utility and success of English as an almost universal language, and also emphasises the value of colonisation, each new colonial or invading power being the driving force behind the evolution of English. Vivat Anglicus. ALLEN HEATH Woburn

Bay of Plenty Times 23/2/17
COMPULSORY TE REO A BAD IDEA
I totally agree with Gwyneth Jones ( Letters, Feb 7) regarding the suggestion that te reo should be a compulsory language in our schools. Making the language compulsory is not going to ensure that Maori culture grows stronger.

I, too, grew up in a multicultural community and went to schools where English was the main language, and other languages offered as an “extra subject”, such as French, German, and Afrikaans. Although English was not my home language, I completed my schooling in the medium of English with French as an “extra”.

At no stage was my culture jeopardised or lost in any way, as the influences from home and family were robust enough to maintain those customs, beliefs and traditions that were important.

The Maori language and culture will remain strong just as long as the family influences are continued and practised no matter whether this language is taught in schools or not. Offer te reo as an additional language, indeed, but to make it compulsory is not a good idea.
ISABEL ASHMORE, Tauranga

The Northern Advocate 23/2/17
POLITICS, NOT RACE
The Te Tai Tokerau Electorate deal between Mana and the Maori parties brought mindblowing comments from two of the central figures. Hone Harawira said the deal would bring the Maori seats back into Maori hands. I wonder whose hands he thinks they are in now? Harawira should learn that the seats are in the hands of the voters, that is what elections are all about.

It should not be hard for Kelvin Davis to appear impressive compared to Harawira but Davis’ comment that he can make a difference in a Pakeha party is as vacuous as Harawira’s. What on earth does Davis believe a Pakeha party is? Politics is about philosophies and values, and these have precious little to do with one’s race. Maori people and Pakeha people have never voted as a racial block and never will.

Interestingly the deal was signed at one of the Act party’s charter schools which will be forced to close under a Labour government. Unless Harawira supports National into government, which is unlikely, a vote for either candidate is a vote to shut down an educational opportunity that is doing more for Maoridom than anything Davis and Harawira have ever done between them.
ROBIN GRIEVE ACT Whangarei RD9 Whangarei


READING, WRITING
Former Minister of Corrections, Anne Tolley, stated in 2012: "Right now, far too many prisoners — as many as 90 per cent — can't read or write well. This is partly why they end up in prison in the first place, unable to get a job or function as members of society."

Far North mayor John Carter says, "One family of a grandfather, grandmother, five adult children, their partners and children had amassed 669 criminal charges between them.

Between the five children and their partners they have eight children, none of whom go to school". Doesn't that ring any bells with current Minister of Education, Hekia Parata?

Whatever happened to truant officers? While she plays around with gimmicks such as decile ratings, compulsory te reo, total immersion Maori schools, etc, her first priority should be to ensure that all children in New Zealand actually do attend school.

Her next responsibility is then to ensure that what they are taught will have practical applications for optimum survival in our society. It is of little value for a child to become fluent in speaking te reo when their future depends upon communicating with fellow countrymen of whom more than 85 per cent only speak and understand English. Where can they get a job?

Total immersion Maori schools may have a cultural significance to some, but for the children's sake should also include English as a compulsory additional subject. Ms Parata should be directing her efforts towards ensuring that all Kiwis attain proficiency in reading and writing — after all, isn't that her job? (abridged)
MITCH MORGAN Kaipara

Northland Age 23/2/17
GOVERNING THE GUV’NOR
Plucked from virtual obscurity by John Key completely off his own bat, Patsy Reddy became governor-general with effect from September 28, 2016,just before Key rode off into the sunset.

She was a Brierley Investments corporate acquisitions specialist, then spy agency reviewer, then a well-paid lead negotiator for the Crown.

Her recent Waitangi Day speech was appalling mainly because it revealed a disturbing lack of accurate historical knowledge on the subject canvassed —there is for starters no English Treaty, only the legitimate Tiriti o Waitangi Maori text, almost certainly drafted from the English `Littlewood Draft' that currently gathers dust in New Zealand Archives, with another copy held in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington US. Certainly neither partnership nor principles are stated in the Treaty.

As Governor-General Dame Patsy seems blissfully unaware that her job as the sovereign's representative — a mainly ceremonial role-requires her to act in an impartial manner. She has no mandate from the New Zealand public to get involved in contentious political and racial issues or debates.

With the Waitangi speech she dearly overstepped the mark, and if her intention was to promote racial divisiveness, disharmony and discontent, then she succeeded. Separatism and race-based privilege can have no place in New Zealand, and those in high places lending credence to this nonsense need to be reined in.

Incidentally, Winston Peters' speech, "The Treaty as it was and should be," delivered at Paihia on February 3, is much closer to reality.
ROB PATERSON Matapihi

Taranaki Daily News 23/2/17
CHONG ON SONG
What is all the ruckus about? I agree with Mr Chong. Over $600 million is spent on reviving the Maori Language and only a small portion of Maori can speak their own language.

So who is profiting? Who is making money while the sun shines? As a Maori that is not proficient in (Maori) I have to pay a university, a Wananga and Witt a lot of money to learn what should have been a natural gift. It will take me three, maybe four, years to learn what I should have known 50 years ago.

There are a lot of us out there but we are too shy to tell people, even amongst our kaumatua, we cannot speak our own language. We are disabled by prior governments policies and laws.

Well done Murray! The knockers need to take a good hard look at themselves and ask the question how many of my friends are illiterate in their own Maori tongue? Is Te Reo being kept alive on a respirator?

Maybe not how I would say it but you need to know the man. I would not apologise if it was me, Murray.

It is time Maori faced reality and like our iwi and other iwi throughout the country, start reviving the Maori language on the marae, halls, in schools, everywhere you can, and stop bleating.
BILL SIMPSON Waitara


EVER PC WORLD
I have no idea whether Maori is a dead language or not; my personal view is that it should be taught compulsorily in schools until perhaps the age of 11, then, a child is given the personal choice as to whether they continue to study and develop it further. I think it is important for all Kiwis to understand some basics of that part of our combined heritage, cultural and spiritual, and how this part of our society works and thinks.

What I don’t like is having it forced down our collective throats as if it must have primacy above all else, nor do I believe that a councillor should be admonished for asking a question about its value. I don’t agree with him, but as Evelyn Beatrice Hall said in her book, The Friends of Voltaire, ‘‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it’’.

This is just another sad episode in our ever increasingly PC world, where everything is ‘interpreted’, and often deliberately misinterpreted, as being racist, anti-gay, anti-specific religion or myriad other interest groups.

The latest in your paper was a letter from Liz Bridgeman titled ‘Colonial traces’; the inference that the TV advert referred to may harken back to the days of illegal land confiscation is just another step too far in the sanitised world some people want us all to live in.

It was a kid doing what kids do, nothing sinister until now.
PETER BARKER Bell Block

The New Zealand Herald 22/2/17
TREATY REDESIGN
Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump is certainly a trend-setter. Now, even our purest politician, Hone Harawira, is using the “alternative facts” formula to redesign the Treaty to include “promises of shared authority”. Talk about between-the-lines vision.
GRAHAM STEENSON, Whakatane.

Taranaki Daily News 22/2/17
FREE SPEECH
The castigation of councillor Murray Chong for saying what he thinks about te reo is typical of the namby-pambyism rampant in society today. Good on him for exercising free speech - though that doesn’t mean I concur, which I imagine will be the automatic reaction to my lauding him.

I have no doubt a solid but silent section of society agrees with him, just as there are doubtless many who find homosexuality disgusting; who would be glad never again to hear the words Pike River; who regard Mike Hosking as the Messiah; and who regard barking dogs as a scourge on society - which Murray Chong’s cur most certainly is.

I read recently of a skit from John Cleese’s first days in television comedy, where wealthy American ranchers on a cruise were able to choose their cut of meat for that night’s meal. They were then taken to below decks to a pen of heavily bandaged cattle. Imagine anyone laughing today at something so hilarious. Imagine the animal rights complaints.

Freedom of speech is the inherent right to say what you think without fear of societal sanction - or, as has happened here, of reprimand from an L-plate mayor and rebuke from a member of the tangata whenua that the apology lacked sincerity.
STEVE JONES New Plymouth

Bay of Plenty Times 22/2/17
COMPULSORY TE REO NOT ANSWER
I am 71 years of age and now a plastic Maori. I have forgotten a lot of te reo and struggle with some of the new kupu (words).

My family spoke Maori until I turned 5 and started school. Maori was prohibited from being spoken within the confines of the school. Te reo was to be left outside of the school boundary fence. This ruling was strictly enforced as one day my cousin and I were caught conversing in Maori and the school showed what happened when anybody contravened school orders. We both were paraded and made to bare our teeth so the teacher could rub soap into our teeth. This blunder which we made remains with me very clearly to this day.

Naturally, over the years the issue of Maori being taught in schools and being made compulsory strikes a chord with me. In hindsight during my working life, I have only seen the Maori language become of any value to my particular jobs. The first was during a military operation in Borneo when we transmitted a message without it being encrypted. The second was during the freezing work strikes in Invercargill where I was called to the court to read the court list which contained mostly Maori and Islanders. They refused to stand for the court orderly who was Pakeha and not pronouncing their names correctly. Incidentally, I had 100 per cent front up.

To conclude, I agree with the Honourable Hekia Parata: compulsion is the antithesis of motivation, if you make te reo compulsory then you could be forcing people who don’t want to learn te reo. If a person wants to do something or learn something, they will do it. There are other languages which I think would have been more beneficial in life skills.
Kia ora ano.
BILL TAARE Pyes Pa

Waikato Times 21/2/17
SEPARATISIM
I have to say how disgusted I was with NZ First when I read about the deputy leader of the party Ron Mark in the Waikato Times (February 11).

The party say they want an end to separatism in NZ but both Ron Mark and his daughter were holding positions on a trust that administered mental health services to Maori only.

That is separatism all the way. To read on in the well-informed article you see that not only did the mental health patients not receive treatment but there were serious discrepancies in expenditure.
GRAHAM CARTER, Hamilton

Northland Age 21/2/17
THE REAL TREATY
Maureen Anderson is to be commended for her letter (Dividing a Nation, February 14) advising a rather partial Race Relations Commissioner and general public to access the real treaty, but I fear it is a forlorn hope, as a predated version was established in law by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975.

This is based on the penultimate draft, as the final draft made by Hobson on February 3,1840, was missing. The Little wood draft, which resurfaced in 1989, was made by Hobson on February 4. the eve of the signing. It has been authenticated by Archives, yet not a single politician or state official has had

the social conscience and personal integrity to pursue the issue and see that the falsified version is replaced by the authentic one.

I doubt that the British would accept a politically distorted version of Magna Carta, and even Donald Trump would not have the machismo to alter the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

Hobson's final draft, which constitutes the Maori version signed by the chiefs and is the only authentic one, does not mention forests and fisheries, and uses taonga as 'property,' not as Professor Kawharu chooses to interpret it as treasures,' a term so imprecise it could have no legal standing.

This is also contrary to the definition given in 1820 by Hongi Hika at the drafting of the first Maori/ English Dictionary in Cambridge, England. I fear we shall have to wait for some conscionable politician to take up the revision, if one can be found.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa


JOIN THE DOTS
Former Minister of Corrections, Anne Tolley, stated in 2012, "Right now, far too many prisoners - as many as 90 per cent - can't read or write well. This is partly why they end up in prison in the first place, unable to get a job or function as members of society."

Recently Far North Mayor John Carter said, "One family of a grandfather, grandmother, five adult children, their partners and children had amassed 669 criminal charges between them. Between the five children and their partners they have eight children, none of whom go to school." Doesn't that ring any bells with current Minister of Education Hekia Parata? Whatever happened to truant officers? While she plays around with gimmicks such as decile ratings, compulsory te reo, total immersion Maori schools etc., her first priority should be to ensure that all children in New Zealand actually do attend school.

Her next responsibility is then to ensure that what they are taught will have practical applications for optimum survival in our society. It is of little value for a child to become fluent in speaking te reo when their future depends upon communicating with fellow countrymen of whom more than 85 per cent only speak and understand English. Where can they get a job?

Total immersion Maori schools may have a cultural significance to some, but for the children's sake should also include English as a compulsory additional subject. More than 50 per cent of prisoners are of part-Maori descent, with the majority being illiterate and thus unable to obtain meaningful employment.

We don't need new laws or rules when such already exist but are not being applied. Ms Parata should be directing her efforts toward ensuring that all Kiwis attain proficiency in reading and writing - after all, isn't that her job?
MITCH MORGAN Kaipara

Dominion Post 21/2/17
NOD TO OUR HISTORY
Nigel Roberts' opinion piece arguing that electorate by-elections should be scrapped from MMP needs a rejoinder (February 14).

The German version of MMP was designed by World War 2 allies to stop any future dictatorship coming to power, given the Nazi genocide on European and Russian civilians, and the enormous destruction wrought by all-out war.

We came to our MMP by a very different route - a royal commission, seeking a new electoral system more representative of the votes cast for each party, than was possible under First Past the Post (FPP). Hence it is not surprising that our MMP has important traces of FPP, including by-elections in electorate seats. It is an important nod to our history.

If Roberts wants to be truly helpful he should work to stop the major fault in our MMP that the royal commission recommended be changed. Namely removal of the Maori seats. But this has never happened.

Having a Maori Roll is clearly racist And it leads to Maori getting about three times the number of MPs that they would get without the Maori Roll, so undoing the main reason for our MMP, making all votes of more equal value for all those voting.
HUGH BARR Wellington Central

Nelson Mail 20/2/17 
MAORI PARTY FUTURE
By now we all know that the relationship of Maori with officialdom in New Plymouth and in parts of the Taranaki region has over recent years been at times very controversial.

So much so that in that region any discussion on important Maori issues has now become so sensitive that it is totally influenced by what is regarded as politically correct and what is not.

The latest ‘‘headliner’’ has been to do with a New Plymouth District Councillor stating his own personal view that he saw there was little future for the Maori language and as a result he has now been forced to apologise by the mayor. What nonsense!

The mayor did concede that his councillor’s comments were entirely personal and were not the official view.

Instead of seeking an apology the mayor when approached should have simply said the councillor was entitled to his own personal view.

For a long time and gradually we have become a nation where anyone making reasoned public comment, particularly on Maori issues, has to ensure such comment will be interpreted as being entirely politically correct or the individual making the comments will be castigated and publicly condemned.

If we continue down this road the important right of free speech,which as New Zealanders we rightly treasure, will be lost. Is that New Zealand ‘‘the way we want it’’ . I doubt it.
NEVILLE MALE, Stoke

Dominion Post 20/2/17
FOX ILLOGICAL
Once again Marama Fox displays the illogicality of her thinking and narrowness of vision she displayed in the recent Yates logo fiasco, Black Magic.

In her latest media comments, where she threatens the National Party, she argues that children in state care should be placed in the care of whanau, hapu or iwi while acknowledging that 63 per cent of children in CYF care and 71 per cent of youths in prison are Maori. This from 14.6 per cent of the population.

She calls for the rebuilding of Oranga Tamariki with a kaupapa perspective but fails to see, with three generations of some iwi on state benefits and abuse figures rising, that those are the systems that have failed.

"We've already been assimilated and colonised once," she claims. Marama Fox, if you had been assimilated you would be regarding yourself as a New Zealander, as all other ethnic groups do, and not as a Maori with special ethnic privileges.

We are not a bicultural or multicultural society. As culture is simply the way we live our lives, we are a mono-cultural society with minor ethnic variations. We all live in similar houses, dress in the same clothing styles, drive the same cars, work in the same jobs, have the same routines for every-day life and obey the same laws.

Assimilation is not us all becoming white Europeans but being exclusively New Zealanders with pride in our unique nationality. Marama Fox, you are a mixed blessing to your party.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa


DEAD LANGUAGE
I write in support of New Plymouth councillor Murray Chong where he states that te reo Maori is "being kept alive on a respirator". If te reo was left to its own devices, it would die out in a fairly short time.

This could not be said for many other modern languages which stand on their own merits based on their usefulness for communication throughout today's modern world.

Modern-day te reo is similar to Esperanto in that it is a largely fabricated language, in this case based on a very simple vocabulary gleaned fairly recently from various Maori regional dialects.

As a simple illustration, computer in te reo is rorohiko, which is made up of roro (noun) brain, marrow, spongy matter, and hiko (modifier) electrical, power, electronic, electric.

This is all rather desperate stuff and I shudder to think how te reo would handle describing a not uncommon everyday physics concept such as quantum entanglement.
PAUL YOUNG Lower Hutt

Bay of Plenty Times 20/2/17
MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT AFTER GOVT’S EXCESSES
It is good to have an early election while all the Government’s excesses are imprinted on our minds.

Billions of dollars have been paid in treaty settlements and apologies while simple government infrastructures like health, welfare, education, roading are suffering and while hundreds of Christchurch residents are still living in impossible conditions.

The National Government has been almost solely responsible for the housing crisis since it abrogated its responsibilities to provide housing, sold off state houses and and passed responsibility to district councils whom Bill English blamed for not providing affordable housing.

Housing is not a ratepayers responsibility but part of the mandate for which Parliament was formed.

We can remember when nature’s gifts of water, flora, foreshore, seabed were held in trusts for all New Zealanders before National gifted rights and ownership to a few.

Numerous people are paying extravagant rentals, and ordinary New Zealanders are paying to go on beaches, around lakes and up mountains and down rivers.

Cultural expression seems to go hand in hand with economic development.

Also a vote for the Greens would make Maori compulsory at school when huge iwi settlements have failed to make any improvement on their own young people’s korero — the taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay for this. Think carefully before you vote this year.
R E STEPHENS Mount Maunganui

Northern Advocate 18/2/17
HISTORICAL TRUTHS
"If you're white and you're wrong, then you're wrong; If you're black and you're wrong, you're wrong. People are people Black, blue, pink, Ten"— Bob Marley made this observation some time ago. I find it to be a most creditable utterance

One of his numerous offspring, Ziggy Marley, added to this truism a nugget of his own.

"You don't know your past, you don't know your future. How many people did that one catch? How many nations did that one catch?"

Some time ago I was invited to try to understand what was prominent in the mind and hearts of the tupuna in the years leading up to the signing of the Treaty. I followed that invitation.

For years, along many a high-way and byway, listening, reading, talking, writing and always, always learning.

I have reached a point where I understand that only they really knew, that's kind of obvious. How-ever something else, which is of no small value, comes as a reflection of the words of Mr Marley and his son.

The historically documented past indicates to us that there was indeed a period of immense blood-shed and upheaval across not just Tai Tokerau. but indeed across this whole nation. It is called the Musket Wars, and it raged for nearly 20 years, took tens of thousands of lives and wrought almighty destruction upon tangata whenua.

The return of Hongi Hika with 500 muskets from Sydney 1821 is generally accepted as being the commencement of the Musket Wars. How can it be that in this time these terrible events are pushed out of sight, and the possibility that the calamitous out-comes of these conflicts on the outlook of the tupuna as they considered Te Tiriti is studiously ignored?

I would suggest that the misbehaviour of a few drunken Pakeha in Kororareka was not the major preoccupation of the rangatira gathered at Waitangi in IMO.

We are told to utter the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Why should this dictum not apply to our awareness of the real history of this country?

To deny the holocaust does not make it any less a reality.

Cherry picking history to drive any agenda is a dangerous occupation. How many people did that one catch?
G M TINKER Whangarei

Hawkes Bay Today 18/2/17
TREATY OF WAITANGI
Dame Susan Decoy, Race Relations Commissioner, would achieve a less racist society if she encouraged every person under the age of 35 years to research, read and digest Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Littiewood final draft, hand-written by Busby from Hobson’s constructed notes.

Those two documents, word for word convey the true intent between Maori and European on signing the Treaty on February 6, 1840.

It would be safe to claim that not many people younger than 35 or 40 know our nation’s historical document Te Tiriti Waitangi in its true form because they have been educated to believe that the Treaty incorporates partnerships, protocols, fisheries and forestry etc and it does not.

History is history and good or bad, fair or unfair, it is history.

Dame Susan Devoy and tribal agitators are in my view, creating a more divided nation than this country has ever seen before.
MAUREEN J ANDERSON Tauranga

Bay Of Plenty Times 18/2/17
HARSH TREATMENT
Re Lester Steel's letter (February 15). During the second half of the 19th century until a little beyond the 1960s, primary school children were punished — usually strapped on the hand with a leather strap —for any perceived disobedience, not just speaking Maori.

You did as you were told or else. No allowance was made for any disobedience If we were told do not speak Maori, leam your spelling, learn your tables, do not dare move a muscle after the first bell at the end of playtime, and many more really ridiculous rules, and we did not obey, we, Pakeha and Maori. were strapped.

Likewise if we couldn't do our reading to the required standard, or had learning difficulties of any kind. There were no such things as autistic children or suffers of A DHD or dyslexia, either —just "dumb kids" for whom school must have been a total nightmare.

Teachers were free to strap to demand instant obedience and many did just that. Some teachers were able to get the best out of children without physical punishment and they were the ones we loved.
GAIL WEBSTER Overton

Dominion Post 18/2/17
PRICELESS ADVANTAGE
Recent political proposals to make all New Zealand children speak Maori reminded me of an incident a few years ago when I boarded a bus at a bus station in India. A well-dressed and well-educated Indian man took the seat next to me and we were soon in a lively conversation in our mutually fluent English.

An official of the bus company came aboard and made a number of announcements which I of course did not understand. As soon as he left I asked my seat neighbour what the announcements were about. He replied, ‘‘I don’t know, I’m from the next state, I don’t understand the language here.’’ He then asked me about the language situation in New Zealand, and was highly envious when told we all speak the same language, which is also the world’s No 1 international language.

New Zealand politicians would have to have rocks in their heads to advocate throwing away this priceless advantage of linguistic unity in favour of bilingualism with a tribal language that has zero zilch international value.

Individuals are of course free to study or use Maori language if they wish, but that’s no reason for the Government to use taxpayers’ money to promote it by imposing it on everybody. HUGO RUSBRIDGE Khandallah

Bay of Plenty Times 17/2/17
REFERENDUM THE WAY TO GO
Hear, hear and well done R Paterson (Letters, February 10). BIT makes enormous sense and, if it can't make it on its own, a referendum would democratically show the way so that the issue can go to bed.
B ANDERSON,Tauranga


REAL REASON
As the call goes out, in some quarters, for the compulsory teaching of Maori, te reo, it was interesting to read Hekia Parata's self-aggrandising article in the Herald on the advances in Maori education during her stewardship and find she seems against the proposition. Rodney Hide had, in an earlier article, given very cogent reasons why it is impractical and untenable. Ms Parata stated that in 2015, $400 million was given by the Government to promote te reo. That amounted then to $2800 for each speaker. Imagine that on a national education level.

The only occupations where fluency in te reo is essential for employment are in some areas of law, the media, education and tourism. These fields require much broader educational qualifications than are offered by te reo. In education, te reo seems to be a self-promoting requirement. One needs more fluent te reo teachers to teach te reo.
BRYAN JOHNSON Omokoroa

The Northern Advocate 17/2/17
READING, WRITING
Former Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley stated in 2012: “Right now, far too many prisoners — as many as 90 per cent — can’t read or write well. This is partly why they end up in prison in the first place, unable to get a job or function as members of society.”

The Northern Advocate (February 6) quotes Far North Mayor John Carter as saying: “One family of a grandfather, grandmother, five adult children, their partners and children had amassed 669 criminal charges between them. Between the five children and their partners they have eight children, none of whom go to school.”

Doesn’t that ring any bells with current Minister of Education Hekia Parata? Whatever happened to truant officers?

While she plays around with gimmicks such as decile ratings, compulsory te reo, total immersion Maori schools, etc, her first priority should be to ensure that all children in New Zealand actually do attend school.

Her next responsibility is then to ensure that what they are taught will have practical applications for optimum survival in our society.

It is of little value for a child to become fluent in speaking to reo when their future depends upon communicating with fellow countrymen of whom more than 85 per cent only speak and understand English. Where can they get a job? Total immersion Maori schools may have a cultural significance to some, but for the children's sake should also include English as a compulsory additional subject.

More than 50 per cent of prisoners are of part-Maori descent, with the majority being illiterate and thus unable to obtain meaningful employment.

We don't need new laws or rules when such already exist but are not being applied. Ms Parata should be directing her efforts towards ensuring that all Kiwis attain proficiency in reading and writing — after all, isn't that her job?
MITCH MORGAN Kaipara

Wanganui Chronicle 17/2/17
GET HISTORY RIGHT
Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner, would achieve a less racist society if she encouraged every person under the age of 40 to research, read and digest Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Littlewood final draft, hand-written by Busby from Hobson's constructed notes. 

Those two documents convey the true intent between Maori and European on signing the Treaty on February 6, 1840. 

Not many people younger than 40 know our nation's historical document Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its true form because they have been educated to believe that the Treaty incorporates partnerships, protocols, fisheries and forestry etc — and it does not. 

Good or bad, fair or unfair, history is history. 

Dame Susan and tribal agitators are creating a more divided nation than has been seen before.
MAUREEN ANDERSON Pyes Pa 

Northland Age 16/2/17
WAITANGI WARBLINGS
The Waitangi Day 2017 farce has been and gone, the spleens vented with the usual outpouring of vitriolic claptrap. It is unpleasant, unnecessary, irrelevant, nauseating and racially or ethnically divisive. Prime Minister English was right not to go to Te Tii marae on Waitangi Day, and frankly Clark and Key should never have either.

Every year proceedings lurch out of sync. Nobody has a handle on things or control of this loose cannon.

For those who want a Waitangi Day celebration, let them, in their time and at their own cost without any state input or funding. Remember Lord Bledisloe (1932) generously purchased 1000 acres including Treaty Grounds etc, and gifted this to our nation as a national memorial, so every Kiwi should be able to go there gratis and contemplate if so they wish. Current entry fees are excessive and the accompanying historical spiel jaundiced.

The new Waitangi Museum, although separate, virtually got all funding from New Zealand taxpayers.

Kiwis need to rid themselves of Waitangi Day and move forward without the associated acrimony. Waitangi Day is bad enough, but it's really the peripheral matters like the following dealt with pre-Waitangi Day that are extremely concerning.

Freshwater (iwi chairs' forum hand-holding). The government administers water, its use and allocation as guardian and trustee for all Kiwis and has made it clear no one owns the water, yet the government is acknowledging that iwi groups have rights and interests in fresh water and the parties are exploring these.

This is contradictory, as any control of water equates to ownership.

The government/local authorities or their representatives have held secret meetings (confidential), public excluded, with iwi groups to the detriment of all other Kiwis. It is a fait accompli that part-Maori interests will receive race-based and co-management preferential fresh water treatment to the detriment of everyone else.

This is wrong, and Kiwis must demand a referendum on fresh water.

Economic Forum: Minister for Economic Development Bridges and Maori Development Flavell's announcement of a Crown-Iwi Economic Taumata initiative is race-based and separatist, iwi are not economic drivers except via New Zealand taxpayers, who provide the gravy train funding.

Winston Peter's speech 'The Treaty of Waitangi as it was and should be' in Paihia on Friday February 3, 2017, available on the NZ First website, is a compulsory read for those interested in getting a balanced perspective on what Waitangi is all about.
R PATERSON Matapihi


FAR FROM NAIVE
To suggest that the chiefs did not understand the obligations and commitments of the Treaty is extremely patronising and dismissive of their forbears.

They were not naive. Maori were traditionally masters of guile and cunning. There had been regular contact of Maori with Australia and England for over 20 years before the signing of the Treaty.

Hongi Hika's visit to Cambridge in 1820 resulted in the first Maori-English dictionary by Professor Samuel Lee. Here he translated the meaning of `possessions' in Article Two of the Treaty into Maori `taonga' as 'that which is taken by the spear,' a material object and not, as has been subsequently suggested, to mean 'an intangible treasure,' such as language.

Hobson would not have presented a binding agreement in such imprecise terms. British jurisprudence would not have sanctioned such. There was therefore no affirmation to promote te reo and there was then no need, as it was the language of the time.

The full and unequivocal acceptance of regal sovereignty was confirmed by the 300 chiefs, many of whom had been initial signatories of the Treaty, at the Kohimarama Conference, in 1860 and subsequently verified by Sir Apirana Ngata.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

The Daily Post Rotorua 16/2/17
IMMERSION LEARNING AIM IN PAST

In his column “Mandatory reo” ( Rotorua Daily Post, February 6), Tommy Wilson states “. . . our mothers were punished for speaking their mothers’ tongue . . . ”

I offer the following comment.

As a young teacher I was appointed to a back-country native school, later named Maori school.

On my second morning there I was visited by an old lady who had a grandson living with her. She said to me, “You teach him the English! Never mind the Maori! If he play up I fix him!”

This attitude was common among Maori parents at the time and there are probably a few oldies around who can remember getting a clip around the ear for speaking in Maori at the dinner table!

An important aim in native schools was to have most pupils gain scholarships to enter the Maori colleges.

A prime requirement was a reasonable standard of spoken and written English.
World War II had just ended and there were years ahead of overloaded classes and a shortage of school materials.

It seemed unlikely that children would get sufficient speaking practice in class so the idea of immersion learning was adopted (only English to be spoken in the playground).

There were probably a few whacks delivered in some schools for disobedience of the rule but teachers were reluctant to use physical punishment because they knew what awaited the culprits when their parents heard about the transgressions!
HUGH WILSON, Rotorua

Wanganui Chronicle 16/2/17
TREATY INSIGHT
There have been a few books about why New Zealand needed a treaty.

If we are to understand the Treaty, we must understand why it was instigated and by whom.

About 10 years prior to the Treaty, the missionaries had tried to encourage Maori to form their own government but the chiefs could not agree between themselves and it became evident that New Zealand must become a British colony if Maori were to survive.

Maori are not indigenous people. Indigenous people are people whose ancestors were “born of the land”.

Maori are a group of people, like the rest of us, born of another land.
IAN BROUGHAM, Tawhero

Taranaki Daily News 16/2/17
LINGUISTIC JELLO
It has been interesting reading Murray Chong’s comments about money spent on Te Reo and also interesting to read the little avalanche of comments made by others about his views

What seems to have been missed in all of the reporting, is a definition of the word racist.

Here a dictionary definition: - noun 1.a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

It would be useful if you were to show in your newspaper articles how Mike Hoskings comments and Murray Chong’s comments met this definition.

In fact it would be useful that every time someone uses the words ‘‘racist’’ or ‘‘racism’’ when talking to your reporters, that they ask them to describe how the comments or action meets the dictionary definition.

The problem with allowing any individual to use the word to mean whatever they want it to mean, is that it debases the usefulness of the word, creates confusion in the listeners/readers, and has the effect of killing off any useful debate because its constant misuse is turning the word into the equivalent of linguistic jello.
BARNETT BOND, Waiheke Island

The Dominion Post 14/2/17 
TE REO SHOULD BE OPTION ONLY
I am totally opposed to the suggestion to make Maori language compulsory in our schools and colleges.

The world’s knowledge in all subjects is expanding by the hour and school pupils have so much more to learn than any previous generation. They must work hard just to keep up with subjects advantageous to their future and cannot afford the time to learn a language that has been superseded by the English language. The whole point of language is to communicate. This being the fact why would one use the restrictive Maori language when the person one is addressing can speak English? If that person does not speak English then the chances of them understanding Maori are infinitesimal.

However, it would be a great loss if the Maori language was allowed to die. It should be preserved as a subject of special interest for those wanting to learn it. In much the same way as other skills of the past are preserved via evening classes, weekend courses and clubs so too should Maori be available. Spending thousands of dollars to this end is justifiable whereas spending millions – even, over years, billions – trying to make it a mainstream language is definitely not.
REG FOWLES, Waikanae


DIVISIVE STANCE
Dame Susan Devoy, the Race Relations Commissioner, would achieve a less racist society if she encouraged every person under the age of 35 years to research, read and digest Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Littlewood final draft, handwritten by Busby from Hobson’s constructed notes.

Those two documents, word for word, convey the true intent between Maori and European on signing the Treaty on February 6, 1840.

It would be safe to claim that not many people younger than 35 or 40 know our nation’s historical document Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its true form because they have been educated to believe that ‘‘the Treaty’’ incorporates ‘‘Partnerships, Protocols, Fisheries and Forestry’’ etc and it does not.

History is history and ‘‘good or bad’’, ‘‘fair or unfair’’ it is history. Devoy and tribal agitators are in my view creating a more divided nation than this country has ever seen before. MAUREEN J ANDERSON, Tauranga
(This letter by Maureen was also published in The Southland Times and the Northland Age).


TE REO AS ‘TAONGA’
Would Colin Anderson (Letters, February 11) and everybody like him please note that his claim that te reo is ‘‘a taonga protected by the Treaty’’ is simply untrue? In 1840, ‘‘taonga’’ meant no more than ordinary property or chattels.

Applying any modern meaning to the Treaty is illegitimate, although many fraudulent claims on that basis have been accepted by weak and ignorant officialdom.

The prime function of language is communication and we are fortunate that English, the international language, is our native tongue. Only yesterday on television, I noted a Mexican, a Romanian and a Gambian speaking it with confidence. I have myself taught English to Tibetans, Poles, Czechs and Ni-Vanuatu people, all eager to learn it. A prime duty of our schools is to teach excellence in English.

Te reo inevitably will become an ornamental language like Latin and Gaelic, no matter how much money is poured into teaching projects. And the more time that is spent that way, the less time there will be for teaching other subjects, which the Greens and others overlook entirely.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson

The Southland Times 14/2/17
UNDERSTANDING THE TREATY
Why a treaty? There have been a few books to why New Zealand needed a treaty.
If we are to understand the treaty, we must first of all, understand why it was instigated and by whom.

About 10 years prior to the treaty the missionaries had tried to encourage the Maoris to form their own Government and state, but the chiefs as always could not agree between themselves and it became evident that New Zealand must become a British colony under British Sovereignty if Maoris were to survive.

In 1863, 13 chiefs wrote to King William stating in part ‘‘We are a people without possessions. We have heard that the tribe of Marian (France) is at hand coming to take away our land, therefore we pray thee to become our friend and guardian of these islands.’’

But wait a minute what about the people that were here 1000 years in peace and still living today before the arrival of Maori, Ngta-hotu, Celts/Pat-Paiarehe, Waitaha, Turehu and Chinese?

The land was never owned by anyone, they all lived in peace and harmony before Maori arrived.

Are these people mentioned in the treaty the Tiriti o Waitangi in article the second ’’to give to the chiefs, the hapus and all the people of New Zealand.

Maori are not indigenous people. Indigenous people are people whose ancestors were ‘born of the land’’.

The Maori are a group of people like the rest of us ‘‘born of another land’’.

The Maori arrived in the 1500s on a Chinese ship, not from a fleet of canoes from overseas.
IAN BROUGHAM (Tawhero) Wanganui

Bay of Plenty Times 14/2/17
COLONISATION
In her article (Opinion, January 10), [see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11796157 ] Rosemary McLeod leaves out several facts.

The most important being that, in 1831, 13 northern Maori chiefs sent a representative to England whose purpose was to ask the then King of England, George V, for protection by way of sending troops to New Zealand to deal with not only their cannibalism but the threat they felt from France at that time.

In writing: “can’t colonise a country with the help of guns, confiscate land and expect gratitude”, Rosemary McLeod is only stirring up the issue again. Let it go and let the Maori and Pakeha people be the “one” people and let us protect our land from the floods of immigrants which we do not have the infrastructure to cater for before our beautiful country becomes a ghetto.
GWYNETH JONES, Greerton


The Northland Age 14/2/17
CAN'T OR WON’T?
Your editorial of February 7 reveals to those of us a little late on the scene that you have previously proposed that the job seeker's allowance be paid In the Far North to only those who work for it. Despite this being a really Christian policy (vide 2 Thess 3:10), Pathetical Correctness demands avoidance of such discipline, and so, accordingly, you got no support. not even response, from relevant political ‘leaders’.

Throughout our country, the job seeker's allowance is being paid to an almost countless number of those who will not work. In my little community there are many beneficiaries. The meatworks 10 minutes' drive up the highway imports workers from the Philippines and Samoa, although the abattoir was built to provide work for local Euro-Maorl.

And there is the nob of the problem—throughout this country. the vast majorlty of those who will not work are Euro-Maorl. But PC disallows anyone from saying that publicly because PC is a form of cowardice whereby Its proponents avoid any criticism of anyone or any group likely to respond violently. So we also find that no one's allowed to criticise Muslims.

Your lengthy coverage in the same issue of a Far North challenge to inter-generational poverty also goes to some trouble to avoid pointing the finger at where the cause lies — the laziness, greed and dishonesty of so many Euro-Maori who will not work but prefer to bludge from the public purse while augmenting that revenue with criminal activities. Poverty, and unemployment, are not the cause of the crime — they are an excuse for it.

I grew up in a largish family with a solo mother in a lower socio economic suburb, in days before the unemployment benefit or the domestic purposes benefit. I and my brothers have endured unemployment at times. None of us turned to crime.

Unemployment might be a cause of relative poverty, and where it is unavoidable the job seeker's allowance is appropriate. But the relative poverty and the crime that accompanies it can be laid at the feet of those, mostly Euro- Maori, who will not work. Let them not eat. That will begin to sort 'em out.
LEO LEITCH, Benneydale


HEARSAY HISTORY
To present a speech on Waitangi Day that suggests an incident during the wars In the Waikato, where colonial troops carried out the slaughter of innocent Maori, Is scarcely likely to engender congenial relations between the Maori and Pakeha.

Inappropriate at least when the authenticity, depending on oral history, is dubious, but more Inappropriate when the speaker is Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner, whose job it is to promote good ethnic harmony. Had she referred to historical recorts of the time she might have been rnore circumspect in making such a blatantly inflammatory speech.

The ethnic bias that she has shown on many occasions during her tenure, except in the Mad Butcher fiasco, makes her grossly unsuitable for her position. I suggest, Dame Susan, that you make a complaint against yourself.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa

Herald on Sunday 12/2/17 
TE REO IS ONE OF MANY LANGUAGES KIWI CHILDREN COULD LEARN
Agree learning another language is beneficial,but requiring one language is too limiting (Why wouldn't we want bilingual kids?February 5). Give the kids a choice of languages to learn. As you note, it can be a lot of work, and learning only one specific second language spoken by atmost 680,000 people limits the number of future jobs where that language would be useful.Perhaps have an introductory exposure for all to Maori language as part of a history or sociology course (say, one term?) and then a choice of more indepth language classes in Maori and/or other languages. New Zealand needs speakers of European, Asian, African, Pacific languages to help with trade, tourism, family cohesion and culture. And maybe a dead language such as Latin to help preserve lessons of history. We need more Rosetta stones for many languages.
KATHERINE WELCH,
Whangaparaoa

Gisborne Herald 11/2/17
FORTUNATE IT WAS BRITISH WHO COLONISED AOTEAROA
Re: Not an Endeavour re-enactment, Feb 8 column.

Mr Brooking, firstly, I think your criticism of The Gisborne Herald’s presentation of news on the “Cook celebrations” was in poor taste and an effort to influence Herald commentary.

You stated that the arrival of Cook was, for many, nothing to celebrate. What a load of rubbish! It was an historical event that was the beginning of what we have today.

You said the arrival was the beginning of colonisation. Perhaps you should be grateful it was the British who led this change. What fate would have befallen the Maori race if the Dutch, Portuguese, French, Japanese etc had taken over? I hate to think.

Without colonisation Maori would have had no benefits of European knowledge and expertise, no Te Tiriti o Waitangi and certainly no Treaty settlements. Surely the hundreds of millions of dollars Maori have rightfully received have been a great help.

You also said you hoped for enhanced empathy between cultures, leading to improved race relations. That sounds good, as I get sick and tired of all this bickering.

I have said many times that I appreciate Maori have justified grievances, but there comes a time when enough is enough.

I do appreciate that several Maori were killed by Cook’s crew. However, if you had arrived in a new land and were greeted by a ferocious Maori challenge, how would you react?

Also, please remember that just like the many episodes that led to Maori deaths, there were countless occasions where Pakeha men, women and children were slaughtered.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Countless wrongs simply build hatred and a lack of forgiveness.

When will the claims of “hard done by” cease? How many years will it take before we stop complaining and just get on together in harmony?

I have lived in our beautiful country for almost 76 years. I have grown up with and worked with beautiful Maori people, and have never heard them complain about race relations. I have also never spoken to one who has benefited from a Treaty settlement.

Sorry, but enough is enough.
MIKE MULROONEY


SAME RIGHTS WE ALL HAVE
Re: Hapu independence is tino rangatiratanga, February 8 letter.

Whatever Jason Koia may claim, in 1840 “tino rangatiratanga” meant “full possession” — of land, homes and ordinary property, guaranteed to all the people of New Zealand without distinction . . . ordinary rights indeed of British subjects of the time, and that is all.

Since, by the Treaty, “tangata maori katoa” (lower case, their slaves included) became fully entitled British subjects, those were and are their rights, no more and no less — precisely the Treaty rights which Jason Koia exhorts Ngati Porou hapu representatives to inform themselves about; the same as those of everybody else.

Foreshore and seabed deals of recent years are the consequence of High Court judges breaking long-established precedent with flagrantly racist decisions.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson 

Bay of Plenty Times 11/2/17 
MAORI INDICATORS
When, over some 17 years, I studied Maori statistics for Massey University, Te Puni Kokiri and other organisations, I was keenly aware of the significant gaps in many social measures. In that setting, I was deeply concerned and prepared to recognise discrimination should I find any evidence.

I found neither "a criminal justice system that is severely prejudiced toward Maori", nor "an education system that is guilty of excluding Maori", as claimed by Grendon Boynton (Letters, January 21). 

Rather, I found a great awareness of the worrying situation and many programmes designed to provide extra aid where it was required. The gaps are largely class-based, and the consequence of history such as the significant post-war move to the cities. But not completely.

One set of policy decisions resulted in a rapid deterioration, reversing some positive trends. These were the destruction of Rogernomics made by the post-1984 Labour Government and continued since by National, which took away employment opportunities from so many working people, and the break-up of the school system by Tomorrow's Schools.

It must be emphasised that the resultant impacts are shown in the statistical measures that I was considering.
While those policies were not designed to harm Maori, that was the consequence. But the Maori Party has directed its attention
elsewhere.

Any claim that "Maori are targets” is simplistic and fails to recognise the harm done by the widespread acceptance of policies based on selfishness and inequality. We should all fight that, together and not divided by race. (Abridged)
JOHN ROBINSON (Waikanae)

Taranaki Daily News 10/2/17
REVISIONIST HISTORY
Paul Gibson may be proud of the Taranaki he deserted like most tribesmen in the pre-1840 period, terrified of the ravages of the Waikato of which he seems unaware. It was those emigres who committed genocide in the Chatham Islands.

He seems unaware likewise that Parihaka of old was the home of a nasty cult, not a haven of peace. Many people lived in mortal fear of being ‘‘maketued’’ by Te W’iti and Tohu. As Homi, son-in-law of Tohu, declared at Te W’iti’s funeral: ‘‘These men were past masters in word-painting; that is all! You have been deceived.’’

That deceit continues. Andrew Judd, who led a march there, sought to damage democracy, our precious British heritage, with misguided racist preference.

Gibson refers to unspecified ‘‘atrocities and suffering’’ in Otorohanga, referring perhaps to the foul lie that a church full of innocents was burned at Rangiaowhia. When I sent the principals of the schools there and in Te Awamutu an account of the true nature of the capture of that food-basket of the Waikato rebels, a brilliant and humane action by General Cameron, it became clear that they didn’t want to know.

Until this is recognized, ‘‘Land Wars Day’’ will be a vehicle for racist posturing and propaganda; another ‘‘Waitangi Day’’. There is a vast amount of revisionist ‘‘history’’ current in New Zealand today to which Mr Gibson appears susceptible. As Disability Rights Commissioner, he would be well advised to seek out the truth before bursting into print to tell us what we should be doing.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson

NZ Herald 10/2/17
VICE-REGAL QUESTION
In her inaugural address new Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, displayed a dubious appraisal of the Treaty and its meaning that does not fit well with the objectivity which her role requires. She has subsequently affirmed that bias in her Waitangi address.

After her initial reference to “the unique partnership between the Crown and Maori enshrined in our founding document”, I wrote to her Excellency inquiring which of the three clauses of the Treaty mentioned or implied “partnership” and how it was legally and rationally possible for a sovereign to have a partnership with a subject?

A reply from Dame Patsy’s secretary, Mr Baughen, ignored the questions. Can she not justify her statements?
BRYAN JOHNSON,
Omokoroa.

Hawke's Bay Today 10/2/17
TIME TO STUDY WHAT THE TREATY ACTUALLY PROMISED
When Dame Patsy Reddy was named Governor General, a number of people wanted to ask her, in her new capacity, to sort out some confusion around the Treaty partly caused by her predecessor, William Hobson.

This may be done through an official look at the Busby February 4 Treaty of Waitangi document held at Archives New Zealand, and a forensic analysis of the document taken as the official English text.

Analysis has been resisted since 1989, when the Busby document was found.

That analysis could resolve a contradiction mentioned in “Treaty central to our history” (HBT Weds Feb 8) when Dame Patsy wrote “the English and Maori versions seemed to promise different things”.

The Busby February 4 document, also known as the “Littlewood treaty”, has just a single word that differs from Te Tiriti, that word being the insertion of the word “maori”, yes, lower case “m” to make it clear that the treaty extended protection and rights as British subjects to the “ordinary” people of New Zealand..

In 1840, “maori” meant “ordinary”. Only later was the “M” capitalised and the word was used to refer to a distinctive group of people.

The treaty was drafted in English and translated into Maori and the Busby document is quite likely the missing final draft.

However, this particular Governor General is more of an Aotearoan New Zealander keeping a close eye on old grievances rather than the future-focused “we are now one people” type that Hobson was.
MIKE BUTLER
Hastings

Bay of Plenty Times 10/2/17
KEEP BIT NAME
I totally agree with Bryan Johnson’s summation (Letters, January 31) that the title Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is a nonsense and that Bay Institute of Technology (BIT) was the only realistic name.

As for being a gift from iwi across the region that’s a bit rich, as it is simply an imposition foisted on Bay citizens by indeterminate iwi and polytech pointy heads with no prior public consultation; coupled with an “our way or the highway” attitude. The new name is not a treasure, it is unpronounceable mouthful to many of us including those associated with this outfit who are sick and tired of the “I want it” (iwi) mentality.

Bay Institute of Technology is the only appropriate name and we should all endorse this ignoring and showing our opposition to the new name and just run with BIT.

Public pressure by ridiculing the new naming aberration should do the trick and it is the only way the public can voice their disapproval. (Abridged)
R PATERSON Matapihi

NZ Herald 9/2/17 
ATROCITY SPEECH
In her Waitangi address, Dame Susan Devoy described how a group of young Waikato school children had visited some of the sites of the great Waikato War of 1862-63. She talked of a particular atrocity where Maori civilians retreated to a church and which was then locked and burned to the ground, killing all inside.

What concerned me most was that such an accusatory diatribe (even if it was true?) could be delivered by our Race Relations Commissioner. Her office has been promoting ‘Know your History’, which is fine, but I spent hours searching many sources and nowhere could I find an account of this terrible event as she described it.
JOHN PERHAM,
Omokoroa.


HOREKE’S DAY
It was great that we were able to watch the dramatisation of the signing of the Treaty at Waitangi on Waitangi Day. As part of the re-enactment, the highly respected chiefs Tamati Waka Nene and Patuone spoke in favour of the Treaty. These two chiefs were from the Hokianga and were closely associated with the Wesleyan mission, which was in their territory.

When the treaty was taken to the Wesleyan Mission at Horeke in the Hokianga so that the local chiefs could sign it, Governor Hobson asked John Hobbs to be his interpreter. It was a much bigger signing and will be celebrated on February 12.
DOROTHY TOMLINSON,
St Heliers.


TIRITI DAY
Unruly elements of Ngapuhi continue to make such a mockery ($10,000 for media access) of what ought to be the day we celebrate the anniversary of our nationhood that it’s now well past the time that the Government stepped in to take charge of our official observances. New Prime Minister Bill English has made a start by suggesting that the official celebration be rotated among the various locations throughout New Zealand where copies of the treaty were signed.

He should now go a step further and change the name of the day to Tiriti Day to remind Kiwis that the treaty belongs to us all and it’s the document that’s important, not the site of its first signing. It’s not the sole plaything of Ngapuhi.

Naming it Tiriti Day would finally bring relevance to Hobson’s memorable utterance on 6 February 1840: “He iwi tahi tatou”.
TERRY DUNLEAVY MBE, JP,
Hauraki.


BYPASS MARAE
Negative perceptions regarding Waitangi Day celebrations at Waitangi could be solved by removing Ti Tii Marae from the proceedings. Many people do not realise the annual marae bunfight is a separate event in a different location down the road from the Treaty Grounds.

Politicians and media alike should deal with the poor behaviour by boycotting the lower marae. However, this should not stop them attending the actual Waitangi celebrations. Do not use the lack of good manners by an overly noisy few as an excuse to deprive Northland of the opportunity the Waitangi Festival gives to showcase its talent.
A. C. CRONSHAW,
Kerikeri


WAY TO SPEND THE DAY
A fantastic representation of the multicultural nature of Auckland could be seen on Monday at Mission Bay. There were hundreds of people of various ethnicities, speaking a variety of languages, taking advantage of the holiday and the weather.

What a very New Zealand way to spend and celebrate our national day.
PATRICIA JUDD,
Newmarket.

Hawke's Bay Today 9/2/17
WAITANGI CARTOON
I was disappointed to see the Waitangi cartoon in Monday’s paper just after our national celebration. It is an insult, I believe, to our forebears as well as to the people of New Zealand today.

On February 6, 1840, the earlier New Zealanders were by no means mouthing empty words

Chiefs who spoke were well aware there were serious risks in entering a partnership with the stranger newcomers. A serious risk it proved to be. The British Government was not involved in a crafty takeover bid; in fact they were not keen to be involved in a land so far from home.

Rather the purpose of the Treaty was to offer fair protection to both groups, to the earlier inhabitants and the new settlers from Europe.

Sure, there has always been some who behave badly.

Every generation has known noisy babblers, greedy asset grabbers, powerful bullies.

However, to suggest they run the show, as the cartoon implies, is a gross exaggeration.

Some of us know too little of how our country began.

Even at the worst of times Aotearoa New Zealand has seen a good number getting on with the business of acting with justice to people of other groups as well as their own, honouring different customs, building bridges sometimes towards old “enemies”. Boring? Never. Hard and sometimes dangerous? Of course.

To sneer is cheap and easy. Instead of joining the moaners who put our country down, many of us would rather take the chance to cheer the generous spirited ones who are helping move our land in 2017 towards a better future.

These guys won’t be put down. They are our heart and soul.

Today they come from many backgrounds. I for one want to encourage them and say be strong, Kia kaha kia manawa nui.

Now that is one good reason for celebrating Waitangi — every year.
JON WILLIAMS
Napier

Hawkes Bay Today 9/2/17 (Text Us section)
* I am pakeke (adult) with many beautiful Maori friends and work colleagues whom I feel for. I will never go near Waitangi again.

* What an absolute joke this year at Waitangi . . . I am sure it is an embarrassment to the Maori elders.

Bay of Plenty Times 9/2/17
HOW TO GUESS OFFENDERS’ RACE
I read your article on an unpremeditated attack on a man playing with his grandchildren in a park in Remuera (News, January 27).

The offender was described as Caucasian, with olive skin, of medium build and in his late teens or early 20s.

I remember when it became politically correct, or perhaps even forbidden, for the media to describe an offender as Maori or Polynesian.

Thus, I can now fairly safely assume that if an offender is not described as Caucasian, Indian, Asian, etc, we can take it for granted that the offender is a Maori or Polynesian.

That adequately removes the politically correct nonsense of failing to describe the race of the offender.
ROBIN BISHOP
Tauranga

The Daily Post Rotorua 9/2/17
LANGUAGE MIX
Stephanie Arthur-Worsop’s idea of adding Maori and sign languages to compulsory school subjects ( Editorial, February 2) is not a likely possibility.

Apart from the cost, lack of suitable tutors, and the mechanics of adding more subjects to the curriculum, there are learning conditions to consider. Enthusiasm is not enough to carry a student through to proficiency in speaking a new language. Learning a language that is not spoken at home and in the community, is for many, a difficult task.

A very good memory for words, which a third of the population does not have, and plenty of practice, are needed to make satisfactory progress.

Some teachers who are not specialists in the language field include Maori words and phrases when conversing with their pupils.

This relaxed way of keeping a language alive is probably a more realistic approach than making it a compulsory subject.

Perhaps the future will include a New Zealand language that is a mixture of Te Reo and English.
HUGH WILSON
Rotorua

Wanganui Chronicle 9/2/17
NATIONAL DAY
We are all equal in New Zealand, but some are more equal than others.

Once again we have our day of nationhood despoiled. It's just a day off work with nothing but the cringe factor.

What government changed it from New Zealand Day and used culture to embarrass us in front of the world?

The Prime Minister represents all New Zealanders and this ethnic divide stops now. Maori are not "victims" —they have been given every opportunity.

Up to the 1950s, you had to have half-Maori blood to be called Maori. Now it is "tick the box" at Census time for any-thing but "New Zealander". Why is this?

What do you say to exclusive non-Maori Parliamentary seats? I know it would be called "racist". Adding 140,000 words to an unwritten language shows disrespect to all other ethnicities.

Bring on a republic, then we can celebrate a truly multicultural society — that's what nationhood really is.
KEN CRAFAR
Wanganui

Northland Age 9/2/17
SELF-PROMOTION
As the call goes out, in some quarters, for the compulsory teaching of Maori, te reo, it was interesting to read Hekia Parata's self-aggrandising article in the NZ Herald on the advances in Maori education during her stewardship, and find she seems against the proposition.

Rodney Hide had, in an earlier article, given very cogent reasons why it is impractical and untenable.

Ms Parata stated that in 2015, $400 million was given by the government to promote te reo. That amounted then to $2800 for each speaker. Imagine that at a national education level.

The only occupations where fluency in te reo is essential for employment are in some areas of law, the media, education and tourism. These fields require much broader educational qualifications than are offered by te reo.

In education, te reo seems to be a self-promoting requirement. One needs more fluent te reo teachers in order to teach te reo.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa


TIPPING POINT
Now that the northern chiefs, the first signatories of the Treaty, have insulted the government, and therefore the people of New Zealand, by preventing the Prime Minister speaking on the marae, it is time for the Treaty document to be authenticated and the obligations and commitments verified.

I am sure that in pre-colonial times tikanga would not have prevented dignitaries of other iwi, apart from women, speaking on the marae. But perhaps it is a case of 'biter bit' for National, as many of their consultations with Maori on matters concerning all New Zealanders have been carried out in private, with notifications only made when decisions are virtually confirmed and the general public having no say.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

The Press 9/2/17
WAITANGI DAY RESPECT
The organisers of Waitangi Day celebrations at Te Tii Marae want a fair deal for their people. Their behaviour of abusing certain busy members of Parliament does them no favours. They want to be treated with respect and consideration but they are not showing that to some who would like to attend and celebrate the day with them.

We all, of many cultures, need to work together to arrive at results that we are all agree are best for a united and happy country. We all want the same thing for our people.
NICOLA FLUTE
South Brighton

Southland Times 9/2/17
THE MEANING OF WAITANGI DAY
Waitangi Day and the inevitable question: "What does it mean to you?"

So, what happened? 177 years ago, Maori signed a document that, in consideration of

recognition of their property rights, they accepted the sovereignty of the British Crown to protect those property rights, by the rule of law that applies to all other British subjects.

So, what has some people joining the understanding between the governors and governed that has existed for thousands of years got to do with the rest of us?

Waitangi Day is a Maori day where that agreement with the Crown is reiterated where necessary and any short comings in the Crown delivering its undertaking addressed.

A day of Maori protest where warranted.

The attempt to make Waitangi Day a national New Zealand day is a misinterpretation of the event and ignores the fact that the state of New Zealand did not even exist at the time.

Even it's description as "the founding document" overstates its significance.

At the moment there is no day we can call a New Zealand day.

That will come when we have our own head of state and 25 per cent of our flag doesn't depict us as a colony of Britain.

In the meantime, Anzac Day makes more sense as the default substitute.
MERVYN CAVE
Manapouri

Dominion Post 9/2/17
LANGUAGE IN DECLINE
Persistently stating the obvious does little to advance arguments or solutions to problems, but I am going to indulge myself, stimulated by editorial comment (Maori as a core subject, February 8).

If I recall recent reports correctly, people who identify as Maori are in fact declining in their ability to speak their native language, although comparative data for other ethnic groups show their facility with that language to be increasing.

If this situation represents a lack of resolve or interest with Maori, what then is the point in trying to enforce teaching of the language to all and sundry as proposed by the Green Party?

If native speakers of a language have no apparent interest in preserving that language then it is, to mix metaphors, a dead duck and no amount of compulsion will revive it.

I prefer to see educational effort put into improving the numeracy, literacy and scientific skills of our children, and there is ample scope for that.
ALLEN HEATH
Lower Hutt

Marlborough Express 8/2/17
WAITANGI DAY
Another Waitangi Day, another debacle.

On a weekend of national unity we have had the prime minister refused permission to speak, a senior Maori politician refused entry to the Treaty grounds and the media excluded unless a payment of $10,000 was made. Just one in a long string of such occurrences; assaults, scuffles, insults and protests that are now so commonplace they have become the norm.

How long are we prepared for this state of affairs to continue, as continue they will while we allow a small group of North Island Maori determine the format of what should be a bi-cultural celebration. While they dictate who speaks and who is allowed to enter and what may be reported then nothing will change.

The Treaty and Waitangi Day are not the sole preserve of one cultural group and perhaps the time has come to recognise that and move the celebration to the nation’s capital where a programme could be organised by both Maori and Pakeha which would more properly reflect both our unity and our diversity.
DAVID GODDEN
Blenheim

The New Zealand Herald 8/2/17
LANGUAGE LACKS TEACHERS
How short is public memory, and politicians’ memories in particular. Maori language was introduced into schools about decade and a half ago but faltered as there were insufficient qualified teachers of Maori language. With the current shortage of teachers it would be far more of a stretch to teach it today. This is pure Greens and Labour gerrymandering.
JACKIE MCCABE,
R.D Kaitaia.

NZ Herald 8/2/17 (Short & Sweet section)
On Treaty Sir Apirana Ngata in his 1922 book Treaty of Waitangi ended: "The Treaty made one law for Maori and Pakeha. If you think things are wrong and bad then blame our ancestors who gave away their rights in the days when we were powerful." Why do current Maori academics, politicians and others not agree with him?
PETER SEWELL,
Campbells Bay.


On Waitangi After the behaviour of some people at Waitangi and the demands put on the media this year, take taxpayers' funds away from them until they can respect the Crown and the people who visit there.
IAN MCALPINE,
Stratford.
 
The Press 7/2/17  (Also in NZ Herald 7/2/17)
COST OF COMPULSORY MAORI
As the call goes out, in some quarters, for the compulsory teaching of Te Reo Maori, it was interesting to read Education Minister Hekia Parata’s selfaggrandising stance on the advances in Maori education during her stewardship and find she seems against the proposition. Rodney Hide had earlier given cogent reasons why it is impractical and untenable. Parata stated that in 2015, $400 million was given by the Government to promote Te Reo. That amounted then to $2800 for each speaker. Imagine that on a national education level.

The only occupations where fluency in Te Reo is essential for employment are in some areas of law, media, education and tourism. These fields require much broader educational qualifications than are offered in Te Reo.

In education Te Reo seems to be a self-promoting requirement. One needs more fluent Te Reo teachers to teach it.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa


SETTLEMENT CREATED INJUSTICE
In his article (Feb 6), Richard Tankersley states that Ngai Tahu has successfully grown its financial assets to more than $1 billion to become one of the South Island’s biggest businesses.

Its commercial performance is indeed impressive. However, Tankersley omits to mention that their commercial activities pay no income tax, yet those business activities are unrelated to their charitable purposes.

Businesses that compete with Ngai Tahu are being impacted upon through Ngai Tahu’s financial power, due to their activities being subsidised by the taxpayer, thus allowing them to generate more cash.

It is time that this injustice was righted, by amending our tax policy, thereby levelling the playing field.

Ngai Tahu does pay some income tax as a Maori authority, but the amount is trifling in comparison with the income tax otherwise payable on their other commercial activities.
DR MICHAEL GOUSMETT
Rangiora


HISTORIAN PLAYED TREATY ROLE
Richard Tankersley’s article on Ngai Tahu’s long fight for justice, culminating in its successful 1998 Treaty of Waitangi claim, does not acknowledge the key role played by the late Pakeha historian Harry C Evison.

His research and evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal was crucial to the success of the claim, as was acknowledged by Ngai Tahu leaders at the time.

The fascinating story Evison uncovered, based on carefully documented evidence, illustrates the importance of the role of historians at the fraught intersection of history, law and politics. In the ‘‘post-truth’’ era of alternative facts this is worth remembering and celebrating.
LYALL LUKEY
Kennedys Bush

The New Zealand Herald 7/2/17
TED DAWE’S WAITANGI VIEWS
If this so called award-winning author is serious about forgetting about Anzac Day then perhaps he should reflect on how he got the right to freedom of speech. It certainly wasn’t from Waitangi, it was from the men and women who fought to keep their country free from self-styled dictators in Germany, Japan and Italy.

To compare Anzac Day with Waitangi Day is like comparing a huge cruise liner with a waka.

Both days are for all New Zealanders to celebrate. Hopefully we all do just that.
G. W. VUGLAR,
Panmure

WAITANGI MEDIA BAN
Banning media from reporting events at Waitangi is in my view illogical, insane, and should maybe be considered illegal. There is no other country on earth where the occupying colonial population treat the indigenous peoples so fairly and this should be held up as an example and reported to the world. Only the media can do this and locking them out is counter productive in every way.

The Ngapuhi in the north are the largest iwi but many still seem to have a chip on their shoulders and many still live in poverty and deprivation. Ngai Tahu in the South Island by contrast run a billiondollar business including fisheries in Nelson, whale watching in Kaikoura and jet boating in Queenstown. To be fair to Ngapuhi, Northland is often overlooked as a region by the Government and they badly need something to kick start the economy up there and provide employment for their young men who roam the streets looking for trouble.

In my view a new naval base should be built at Whangarei.This would instantly provide hundreds of jobs and makes good sense in so many ways. Ninety per cent of the Navy’s deployments are north of NZ so once based there they can respond faster in time of need. The old facility at Devonport could also then be decommissioned and the valuable land used for much needed housing in Auckland.
Finally I would say that Ngapuhi must be told in no uncertain terms that unless they can guarantee free access to all media, the 2018 celebrations will be moved away from Waitangi. I feel sure that Ngai Tahu, Ngati Porou, Tainui and many other tribes will happily fill the breach and showcase events to the world.
GLEN STANTON,
Mairangi Bay.

NZ Herald 7/2/17 (Short & Sweet section)
ON WAITANGI DAY
Waitangi Day, a day for Maori poseurs to get their 15 minutes of fame. I am Maori and I do not care about the talisman treaty. Also, if anyone has any documents dating from 1837 to 1840 that show that the British Government had any intention of entering a partnership with Maori, please share them with us. The "partnership" idea is a 1980s legal fiction.
C.C. MCDOWALL,
Rotorua.

Waitangi Day needs an overhaul. Change the name to New Zealand Day. It could consist of a parade past Parliament, street parties and barbecues. Happy New Zealand Day to all. JO LOADER,
Long Bay.

Bay of Plenty Times 7/2/17
SUGGESTED VICTIMISATION
I am sorry that Bryan Johnson’s letter (Letters, February 2) on Maori solutions was abridged as it made a lot of sense and quoted some real facts regarding finance.

Also the presenters on Breakfast on TV One were spouting on about a subject that they know nothing about stating that Maori children used to be strapped for speaking Maori at school.

I attended three different schools for my education with a large proportion of Maori children attending each and that never happened at any of those schools.

We children spoke as much Maori in the playground as we did English. I still use much of the language in my everyday speech. The Maori children were reluctant to attend school and the school inspector was constantly chasing them up.

The Maori people back then were different and I still have many esteemed Maori friends. We schooled together, played together, worked together, danced together and intermarried.

We were equally paid and received the same benefits. Bryan Johnson is right when he suggests that these younger generations are living in an aura of suggested victimisation and colonial oppression and a misguided sense of entitlement. As there are no full-blooded Maori now it is time for us to pull together as New Zealanders before we are over-run by immigrants. (Abridged)
GWYNETH JONES
Greerton

Wanganui Chronicle 7/2/17
MAORI LISTENED TO
A false picture of the past can lead to unnecessary complaint and dispute — thus Potonga Neilson wrote (January 19) that an insistence on the use of English in all schools in the 1920s is "evidence indeed that ethnic cleansing was government policy in those days".

That policy was decided by Maori from discussions among chiefs and community leaders and their MPs. One such MP and government minister was the great Maori champion Sir Apirana Ngata who was acting on that consensus. The policy was the result of a desire to advance in a modern economy.

By the 1930s, the need for an opposite approach — for the protection of Maori culture —was increasingly recognised. The consensus then changed. In 1936, Ngata, who reflected much of Maori opinion, had said that if he were allowed to devise a curriculum for the schools, he would make "English first, second, third, fourth and all the rest of the subjects fifth".

Three years later in 1939 he told a conference of young Maori leaders that he had formerly opposed the teaching of Maori in schools because he had believed there was not sufficient time for pupils to learn both Maori and English. But he had come to believe "nothing was worse than for one to be with Maori features but without his own language". Far from "ethnic cleansing", the government was listening to Maori leaders.
JOHN ROBINSON
Waikanae

Northland Age 7/2/17
NO END
When will this exclusive, racist nonsense cease?

The clearing of the main highway to Kaikoura suspended for some days because of a runanga claim that it might damage a cultural site. A claim subsequently proved false.

A total of 233 pupils, teachers and parents from Raumata being shouted $700,000 by the taxpayer for a holiday around the islands under the guise of 'Exploring their Heritage'.

Tuwharetoa being granted a further $25 million, and an official apology, even though their previous $66 million forestry settlement in 2008 has lost $50 million through injudicious business practices.

Why should we, through our government, apologise for actions that occurred 140 years ago? Ridiculous!

The nonsense will cease when New Zealanders, as a whole, elect a consensual government that operates for all New Zealanders.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Northern Advocate 7/2/17
MAORI ALSO GUILTY
I read with interest an article in a weekend newspaper by Lizzie Marvelly, "Now Tell Me why We Are Cringing". I cringe as well.

Marvelly is a successful musician, writer, and activist. I am pleased to see that she is doing well. May she continue to do so.

In short, the article was about Maori selling land to the Government in the early days of settlement, and the Government on-selling it at gross profit to farmers and settlers. Well, I guess the Government had to make its money somehow.

Perhaps somebody has for-gotten to tell Marvelly that both the Labour and National governments have been paying out handsomely for "errors of judgment" over the past 30 to 40 years. This money has been invested in businesses and is no doubt returning handsome dividends, much of it tax free as they are registered as charities. This now runs into several billions of dollars, and counting!

I agree that some recompense should be made to Maori, but the taxpayer of New Zealand is not a bottomless pit.

Atrocities were committed by Maori against Maori (estimated at 40,000 killed, one third of them Patupaiarehe and Waitaha people, who have been here since the time of Christ). Patupaiarehe and Waitaha lived in peace for well over a thousand years but that changed with the arrival of Maori and their races were almost wiped out and eaten. That's why I cringe.
Kawena Hori Maaka,
(KEVAN GEORGE MARKS)
Kaipara

Dominion Post 7/2/17
FARCICAL DAY
Do all New Zealanders contribute to Waitangi Day celebrations at Waitangi via a government subsidy, i.e. through our taxes. If so, why are we being denied the pleasure of watching our national day's events held there through barricades being erected, along with a demand for thousands of dollars from our broadcasters for rights to cover the event.

Our national day has become a farce. Instead of a day celebrating our unity, it has become a day of division - a day to snob or abuse politicians - played in part to an audience. I suspect that most New Zealanders are bored by the antics of a few at Waitangi, and would prefer to celebrate good, positive parts of New Zealand with pride.

As it now appears New Zealanders are not welcome to watch or listen into the Waitangi Day events, then it surely is now time that our Government changed the focus of this day back to New Zealand Day - an occasion where the diversity of the cultures that make up our great country is celebrated with pride.
ALAN HEPPLESTON
Wilton

The New Zealand Herald 6/2/17 
MARVELLY OPINION UNHELPFUL 
Lizzie Marvelly’s opinion on Waitangi Day is a naive and inflammatory viewpoint that will not at all help us achieve our goal of relegating racism to the past. To the contrary, her article is likely to alienate non-Maori New Zealanders. 

Writing positively about Maori culture is to be welcomed. Writing a piece that is likely to make New Zealanders of non-Maori descent feel insecure about their cultural identity is not. 

The idea we need to agree collectively on what it means to be non-Maori New Zealanders is wrong. We all bring our own cultural identity to this country whether we are of Maori, European, Asian, Pacific Island or any other descent. 

I enjoy living in a beautiful country surrounded by many different cultures, especially the rich Maori culture. This doesn’t mean I need to identify with any of them, or borrow aspects of any of them, to feel comfortable with my own cultural identity. 

Lizzie’s article focuses exclusively on the negative aspects of non-Maori culture (racism, perceived identity crisis, limited exposure to Maori culture), ignores all other cultures, and is more likely to help divide rather than unite our futures. 
PHILIP COOP, 
Mission Bay. 


CHAOS KEEPS WAITANGI STUCK IN PAST
On Waitangi Day last year I picked some English friends up after their long flight from London. To unwind I suggested a walk along a beach. Long Bay was the destination and my friends were amazed and delighted at the sight and sounds of many ages and cultures all enjoying what looked like a mini snapshot of a New Zealand summer’s day. My husband joined in with a game of soccer being played by a family group from Iran.

The following day they read about the dissension in Waitangi in our newspaper. I found it hard to explain to them why this was happening. In a world facing such an uncertain future surely now is the time to celebrate diversity and our good fortune to live in such beautiful country and move forward.

I have a baby grandson being brought up in the USA. I feel concerned about his future and so do his parents. Barack Obama, when asked what advice he gave to his daughters about their future, stated simply “be useful and be kind”. The small minority who disrupt Waitangi weekend “celebrations” do not possess either of these qualities.
FRAN JONES,
Waiake.


MAORI LANGUAGE PUSH
The Greens and Labour parties suggest the Maori language become a compulsory school subject no doubt in an endeavour to secure the Maori vote. This is likely to alienate them from the mainstream where elections are won and lost.

Evidence already suggests many students fail with reading, writing and spelling skills. Maybe more time is devoted to teaching "English" instead.
P. J.EDMONDSON,
Tauranga.


TIME TO MOVE WAITANGI EVENT
The time has come for the Government to celebrate Waitangi Day somewhere other than Waitangi.

Again today, there is a huha about the "celebrations" and trying to charge TVNZ $10,000 just to film the celebrations.

This is no longer a celebration, but an occasion where radical Maori seem to come out of the woodwork and try to make a name for themselves. Abusing Government officials, rudeness, ridiculous demands ... they have to stop.

The easiest way is to celebrate this famous day somewhere neutral away from the idiots who want to make this day about themselves and not about the formation of a new country.
TRISH HEIKOOP,
Pakuranga


MARAE COVERAGE BLACKOUT
Pray that Te Tii Marae maintains their media blackout; it will save us all from being bored witless.
MARK SHLECK,
Remuera.

Wanganui Chronicle 6/2/17
TRUTH ON TREATY
It is way past time we stopped feuding among ourselves and stood together as a nation.

The latest hi-jinks at Waitangi, where the media was to be charged to broadcast our socalled “National Day”, shows how far we have moved away from each other.

Potonga’s and others’ letters in this paper also illustrate how divided we have become and how each of us is distorting/ massaging history.

It is not surprising when Maori activists/iwi can pocket millions of dollars via the Waitangi Tribunal.

New Zealand has only been an independent nation since November 1947, and before that we were a colony of Britain, which could make whatever changes it wanted to our constitution. The Treaty of Waitangi did not make us a nation, it just made us a colony subject to British law.

Anyone, including Maori, who has a problem with anything that happened before November 26, 1947, should take a case against Britain. It would be much better if all Kiwis united to get just reparations from Britain rather than fighting among ourselves.

Let’s correct Norman Kirk’s mistake and make November 26 New Zealand Day.

Where did I get this idea? Well, a great part of the inspiration was the new Prime Minister’s 2002 speech in which he outl i ned how uncontested interpretations of the Treaty of Waitangi were driving public policy and how we needed to address the Treaty issues before they destroyed us.

You can read it at — www.nzcpr.com/the-treaty-ofwaitangi- and- new- zealandcitizenship. (Abridged)
TERRY O’CONNOR
Wanganui

Waikato Times 6/2/17
GANGS SHOULD PAY UP
How about suggesting that the gangs dip into the millions they are making from drug trafficking, to pay for helping drug members ‘‘kick the P habit’’ and spare the taxpayer for a change? After all, the Waka Moemoea Trust was granted about a million dollars for this worthy cause in 2004/5. But then the Waitangi Tribunal has recommended claims of less merit.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Rotorua Daily Post 4/2/17
DEAD LANGUAGE
As a child at school in Wales, I was taught Welsh, a "dying language" they said. Living in Cornwall they were trying to keep -Cornish" alive. At college we were taught Latin, Greek and French. and I learned to speak 200 year-old French in Quebec. Great!

I could have spent much of that time learning something useful. Children need to learn to use English properly, the lack of proper teaching of this useful language is evident from looking at Facebook!

Mathematics should be taught properly. If computerised tills in supermarkets stopped working, the supermarkets would have to close their doors— none of the till girls can add or subtract sufficiently well to work without a calculator.

Boys could learn useful skills — carpentry, mechanics, etc. Girls, how to cook.

Face it, Maori is a "dead" language, if people want to learn it let them — don't make them. 
JIM ADAMS
Rotorua 
 
Elocal magazine February 2017 edition (HAURAKI GULF HIJACK)
Dear Mr Wynckel, (Editor) 
I read the article by Don Brash in the November 2016 edition of elocal. Thank you for airing opinions such as those expressed by Mr Brash. In this regard your magazine is a beacon of light in a rather cloudy atmosphere, especially if you consider the poor quality of debate on such issues in the NZ Herald.

In the Brash article he mentioned a move to change the makeup of the Hauraki Gulf Forum so that half the members are iwi appointees. I guess he was talking about the Hauraki Gulf Forum Governance Review, a copy of which I have attached. The next meeting of the Hauraki Gulf Forum is due to be held on 20th February, at which presumably it will be decided whether to adopt the recommendations of the review.

The push for the co-governance of the Hauraki Gulf and its catchment areas doesn’t stop there. The ‘Sea Change Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan’, (HGMSP), which was finally released to the public on December 6, is also being used as a vehicle to promote iwi authority over the Gulf. It appears mana whenua representatives on the spatial plan Project Steering Group (a 50/50 construct) used their influence, not to do what is necessarily best for the environment, but to secure power over the environment, and over the fishing activities of other citizens. Among other things, the Plan seeks not only to change the makeup of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, but also proposes 50/50 co-management of localised areas covering every inch of the coastline of the Hauraki Gulf and its islands, which would extend from mean high water mark out 1km. The link to the Plan is here: http://www.seachange.org.nz/Read-the-Plan/

It is rather long, but is well worth the effort to read for anyone who cares about the Hauraki Gulf, and the rights of the citizens of the region.

While the Plan is not a statutory document, according to Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith, talks are planned for early 2017 to discuss next steps for the Sea Change proposal. He is reported as saying that the Government will establish a process to formally consider the plan prior to developing and consulting on recommendations on how to implement it.

Another concerning aspect of the Plan is highlighted on a map showing an extensive number of cultural landscapes, sites, areas and activities of significance to mana whenua. (This can be found on page 31 of the Plan). This begs the question – is there an intention that these areas be scheduled as ‘sites of significance to mana whenua’, with affected landowners being obligated to consult with iwi/s for any development?

Treaty claims settlements is another path by which the co-governance model is being pursued. The HGMSP reveals that “discussions about harbours co-management and Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act customary rights are taking place in Treaty negotiations at this time for many local iwi, and this provides a unique opportunity to design and implement this innovative comanagement (sic) approach with communities.”

Just before the Christmas break, on 22nd December, a settlement document was initialled by the Crown and Hauraki iwi. You can access it here: https://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/hauraki/ This document shows an intention to set up a number of co-governance entities, based on 50:50 arrangements, but with provisions that appear to be designed to tip the balance towards iwi.

Last September I sent a question to Minister Finlayson, asking him directly whether there were any co-governance arrangements being considered for the Hauraki Gulf or any part of it, as part of Treaty settlements. The answer looks to be yes. His reply, dated 13 December, is attached.

So currently we are under a 3-pronged attack aimed at wresting the democratic control of the Hauraki Gulf from its citizens, i.e. via the Hauraki Gulf Forum Governance Review, the Sea Change Plan, and Treaty settlements. Unfortunately the public is largely unaware of these take-over bids. If they succeed, by the time the citizens become aware, I fear it will be too late.
SUSAN SHORT
Auckland

Devonport Flagstaff 27/1/17
WIDER RISKS IN CHANGING CONTROL STRUCTURE OF PUBLIC ASSETS
To ban cars on the summits of all Auckland’s Volcanic Reserves “is a positive and a bold decision”. Really?
There will always be differences of opinion on the merit of allowing cars on to some of the most scenic spots in Auckland, but to place a blanket ban on all of them is unwise and unfair. Surely wise counsel would assess each cone individually, and if, and only if, there is a genuine danger to the public, an appropriate traffic management plan devised. A blanket ban is too simplistic and will unnecessarily deprive thousands of visitors of the pleasure of visiting the summits.
But car access to these iconic places is not the real issue here.

Under the guise of ‘Treaty Settlements’, this is another edict from a new body claiming control over us all. The Tupuna Maunga Authority consists of six Council or Local Board members and six Iwi appointed representatives. (plus a non-voting government person)
This may look like a democratic example of “co-governance”, but in fact it gives effective control over the volcanic cones to Iwi, including the still publicly-owned One Tree Hill Park.

Ratepayers though, retain the privilege of paying for both the substantial running costs of the Authority and the Parks. How long before even those with limited mobility access are prevented from driving up to the summits?
The Hauraki Gulf is next in line to come under the same type of ‘power sharing structure’ as the Tupuna Maunga Authority. I refer to the ‘SEA CHANGE HAURAKI Gulf MARINE SPATIAL PLAN’ which would also give effective control to Iwi over all other users of the Hauraki Gulf: Commercial and Recreational fishers, transport operators, sailors, kayakers, swimmers, marine farmers, event organisers, to name a few.

Clearly, both the city and the Gulf need to be protected from exploitation, pollution and over-development; but the public also needs protection from an undemocratic power structure ripe for commercial self-interest, where opportunities for exploitation and the potential for corruption are immense.
Imagine the commercial value of controlling the whole Hauraki Gulf, its islands and foreshore.
D R STUBBS
Bayswater

Northland Age 2/2/17
APARTHEID
To those who feel that Gareth Morgan and his Opportunity Party could be the answer to all our woes — think again.

One of the aims of The Opportunity Party is to have an upper house in Parliament of 50 per cent Maori, and 50 per cent of the rest of us. Thus 15 per cent of the population would have 50 per cent of the power.

Of those 15 per cent of the Maori population, it would not be your everyday good Kiwi Maori — the upper house would be peopled by the radical treatyists, intent on running the country under a constitution enshrining the Treaty of Waitangi as superior law, and race-based policies would become the new laws.

Throw in a few of the bleeding heart greenie liberals from the other 50 per cent to sway the balance of power, and very quickly we would be living in a country divided by race. In a word — apartheid. The definition of democracy is that we are all equal under the law regarding race religion and gender.

The democracy we currently enjoy would be a thing of the past There is much to consider in this unappealing scenario.
ROBIN BISHOP
Tauranga


DEAR MR TIMU
How about suggesting that the gangs dip into the millions they are making from drug trafficking to pay for helping drug members 'kick the P habit' and spare the taxpayer for a change? After all, the Waka Moemoea Trust was only granted about $1 million for this worthy cause in 2004/5. But then the Waitangi Tribunal has recommended claims of less merit.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Waikato Times 2/2/17
CLAIM EMBARRASSING
Marama Fox, in her recent claim of racism against Yates’ logo for their Black Magic Potting Mix, is an embarrassment to her party and an insult to all people concerned with racism, intolerance and serious, social issues. It is concerning that a person so devoid of logic is involved in our political system.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Bay of Plenty Times 2/2/17
MAORI SOLUTIONS
Grendon Boyton (Letters, January 21) reflecting on the state of the nation, states; “A financial economic system beyond the reach of most Maori.”

Yet present assets held by iwi, accrued from the settlement of claims paid by successive governments and proposed by the Waitangi Tribunal, now amount to nearly $40 billion.

Mr Boynton, what amount of that has been used to solve Maori problems?

He quotes; “an education system guilty of excluding Maori.” But Maori Affairs budget quotation in 2013/14 states; “nearly $77 million for promotion of Maori language and culture.”

The $40 million budget for promoting te reo amounts to $280 per year for each speaker.

Many of the problems of Maori, in my view, are the result of tribalism that has produced people, living in an aura of suggested victimisation and colonial oppression and a misguided sense of entitlement.

To imply that the proportion of Maori in prison is the result of innocent individuals being unjustly committed, is ludicrous in my opinion.

Finally, of all the ethnic groups in our country, why, Mr Boynton are Maori problems so extensive and unique? It is time for Maori to “genuinely care for Maori.”

Maori problems require Maori solutions. (Abridged)
BRYAN JOHNSON Omokoroa

Rotorua Daily Press 1/2/17
MOVE COLUMNS
Your columnists Tommy Wilson (aka Tommy Kapai) and Ms “Lizzie Marvellously” [Marvelly] may appeal to more readers, and be better placed, on your Te Maori page in your paper.

In my opinion there would not be too many folks impressed to read such loaded and biased dissertations, laced with innuendo and anti-social (close to racial) journalism. Why must they live in the past and write indignantly over matters beyond current reality and expect to have the past retrialled in their honour?

I feel for our country’s future wellbeing, social welfare and harmony if this is to be acceptable.

Living in the past and “paying it forward” seems to some honouring the future! I see it as creative exploitation of our country. By placing their contributions on the Te Maori page, it would reach far more interested readers — than among the reports and ruckus of our council’s current “Animal Town” antics!
T McCONCHY
Kawerau

Northland Age 31/1/17 (Also Bay of Plenty Times 31/1/17)
SELECTIVE CORRUPTION
Who gave authority for the changing of the name of the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to Toi Ohamai? In so doing they changed a title comprehended by 100 per cent of the population to words in te reo, understood by .013 per cent of the population, and a title describing concepts completely unknown to pre-European Maori.

This selective corruption of our language is obviously the result of a small clique of elitist Maori Treaty revisionists coercing compliant local and national authorities without any public consensus. It was certainly not sanctioned by the Treaty.

What kind of democracy is this? Does the public have no rights in decision-making? The mindless, racist autocrats responsible do not deserve to hold office.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Hawkes Bay Today 31/1/17
GANG LIFE CHOSEN
In reply to Rex Timu, each person on this planet has a choice concerning his/her own life, you are the one to choose to join a gang, get your face tattooed and smoke the damn P.

I can't believe you have the cheek to blame others for the choices you and others have made.

But what makes me aggro is the fact that you have not acknowledged the families who chose not to drink, join gangs or do the drugs, those who chose to work hard and choose education for the children, put them through university and watched them exceed all expectations. These people didn't whinge, whine or cry like babies when things went wrong, they just got up and got on with life.

If you don't want your life as it is, get the hell out of it and be man enough to walk in the footsteps of all those who choose to walk to the beat of their own drum.
MARGARET OSBORNE
Hastings

Hawkes Bay Today 30/1/17
DRUG PROFITS
Mr Timu. How about suggesting that the gangs dip into the millions they are making from drug trafficking, to pay for helping drug users "kick the P habit" and spare the taxpayer for a change? After all the Waka Moemoea Trust was only granted about a million dollars for this worthy cause in 2004/5. But then the Waitangi Tribunal has recommended claims of less merit.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Wanganui Chronicle 30/1/17
MAORI LANGUAGE
In reply to Potonga Neilson's nonsensical diatribe about how Maori were being ethnically cleansed by having their language banned from being spoken in schools, it was at the request of the Maori parents that their children only speak English in schools, as they themselves could see that this was the way of the future. Therefore, his claim that ethnic cleansing was government policy in those days is pure mischief.

With several petitions by Maori to place greater emphasis on how important this was to them, their wish was granted to them by the government.

I am also quite amused by the last sentence of Potonga: "... much preferable to the mythical Heaven or Hell that Pakeha rave on about." I believe that the surname Neilson is Scandinavian, and I have a feeling that he may have as much as, if not more than the accursed pakeha blood in his veins as he does of his Maori heritage. As a regular critic of all things Pakeha, perhaps he could enlighten us.
ROBIN BISHOP Tauranga

Sunday Star-Times 29/1/17
POT-SHOTS
Thanks to Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox, my stress relief and relaxation in the potting shed has come to an abrupt end (‘‘Blackface outrage at potting mix logo’’, News, January 22).

I suppose I will also have to stop reading Arabian Nights to my grandchildren. I binned Tom Sawyer some time ago and now worry if The Iliad will be the next to go.

Thanks, Marama, for your relentless search for things to be outraged by. Your homeless constituents will sleep sounder knowing you are fighting for them.
MURRAY REID, Tuakau

Bay of Plenty Times 28/1/17
NEW NATIONAL DAY
Andrew Thorpe (Letters, January 19), in my view, misses the point of a national celebration.

Particularly when he says that this (protest and grievance airing) is the healthy tradition of Waitangi Day.
Patently this is not how most New Zealanders view a celebration. New Zealand has more ethnicities than the world has countries.

They must be surprised to see our national day as one of disrespect and insults.

Political agendas should take no place on this day which did indeed used to be an awesome celebration.

A New Zealand Day could be a time for all our ethnic groups, including Maori, to come together simply to celebrate our nationhood and who we are today. (Abridged)
RE STEPHENS
Mount Maunganui

Hawke's Bay Today 28/1/17
P USERS VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN CHOICES
In reply to the article concerning the P epidemic in yesterday’s paper.

I love one-liners, they reduce everything to its essence.

The one that comes to mind re the article is, “Let he who is without fault cast the first stone.”

I have half-Rarotongan, half-Tongan, half- Maori, half- Australian, halfEuropean and half-Pakeha New Zealand grandchildren of whom I’m immensely proud.

We are all in our mixed races doing our very best to live lives that are honourable, where we love and care for each other, and hold each other accountable for our actions.

It is no one else’s fault if we get into difficulty.

We have all suffered racism, reverse racism and unfair treatment at the hands of other people.

I congratulate Rex Timu for the work he says he is doing for his people, but no one made his people take P — they did it all by themselves just like everyone else. He is obviously a man with mana. My hope is that he may stop seeing his people as victims of anything other than their own choices; that is when lasting change comes.
MARY WOODFORD
Taradale

Southland Times 28/1/17
NOT SUCH A STRANGE OPTION
I see that the head of the Mongrel Mob in the Hawkes Bay has lodged a Waitangi Tribunal claim that states that the government's racist policies towards Maori have led to the high number of Maori addicted to methamphetamine (P). And to think the waste of space that is the tribunal, will probably hear the case. We are over due for a Donald Trump politician in NZ, so maybe Garth Morgan and his Opportunity Party, is not such a strange option.
NOBBY CLARK
Otatara

Bay of Plenty Times 27/1/17
NATIONAL DAY
Leave Waitangi Day to those who wish to protest, insult people and wallow in the past.

We all need a New Zealand Day so that we can celebrate this nation and how it has evolved and progressed over the last 177 years and the many races of people that have aided that progression along the way.

No to any land war day etc, we are all very tired of that. We just want some happiness and peace in all our struggles to make our way through life.

Aussies know how to celebrate their national day — every local park has a national day celebration with flags, music and barbecues and food, an enjoyable day for all. Sounds good to me.
C HUMPHREYS
Katikati

The Press 26/1/17
NOT RACIST TO OBJECT TO RACISM
Once again we are treated to one of Chris Trotter’s Left-wing diatribes (Jan 24). It was long on emotive words, short on accuracy and common sense.

He asserts that Don Brash’s Orewa speech was ‘‘infamous’’. I think it was both refreshingly honest, sensible and clearly expressed opinions that a great many people agreed with – demonstrated by the positive public response.

I believe Brash and National would have won that election had the Labour Party not offered an incredibly expensive bribe to the students – that was infamous if anything was.

It is not racist to object to racism and that is what Brash did – as do I and as New Zealand First does.

Democracy in New Zealand is being eroded to benefit a vocal minority at the expense of the majority of citizens.
LAURIE TUFF
Prebbleton

Northland Age 26/1/17
YES, BUT...
Much of what S Reilly says (letter, January 10), is sound, but he errs on important points. It is not correct that "the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi... has the greater relevance", because there is only one treaty — in Maori.

Again, Kawharu was a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, which has pronounced many false conclusions.

He translates "taonga" as "treasures," which was entirely untrue in 1840, when it meant simply ordinary property or chattels.

Kawharu must have known that. This has been used to justify many false tribal claims.

Again he states in a footnote to his translation that "there can be no possibility of the Maori signatories having any understanding... of 'sovereignty' but the Tribunal, in arguing for the importance of the so-called Declaration of Independence, concluded that they did.

The most accurate document to convey the meaning of the Treaty is Hobson's final draft of February 4, known to officialdom by the misnomer Littlewood Treaty.

In comparing the two in 2000, senior Ngapuhi elder Graham Rankin said that their meanings were exactly the same, which, except for the word "Maori" inserted by the Williams in Article third, they are.

With Reilly's final sentence, "Would that the past could be left behind and we all together boldly face the future, united in a common cause," I am in very firm agreement.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson


EMBARRASSING
Marama Fox, in her recent claim of racism against Yates' logo for their Black Magic potting mix, is an embarrassment to her party and an insult to all people concerned with racism, intolerance and serious social issues. It is concerning that a person so devoid of logic is involved in our political system.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa


EDUCATIONAL
As one “foreigner” whose letters sometimes appear in the Northland Age, I write to inform Bill Morris (letters January 24) that from time to time, letters from Northland locals are bigoted and full of false information.

When I write it is to correct their mis-statements and inform Northland readers of the evidence-based truth.

One often-heard falsehood is that the northern chiefs did not cede sovereignty when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi. Their words recorded at the time leave not the slightest doubt that they understood that by signing they would become subordinate to the Governor and hence to the Queen. All those who spoke against doing so duly signed with the rest -news to some perhaps?

I am sure that the majority of the readers of the Northland Age, unlike Bill Morris, do not want to live in a time capsule, and welcome news and views from the rest of the world.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson


CRINGEWORTHY
I read with interest an article in a weekend newspaper by Liz Marvelly, `Now tell me why we are cringing'.

Here is why I cringe. Liz is a successful musician, writer and activist. I am pleased to see that she is doing well. May she continue to do so.

In short, the article was about Maori selling land to the government in the early days of settlement, and the government on-selling it at gross profit to farmers and settlers. Well, I guess the government had to make its money somehow.

Perhaps somebody has forgotten to tell Liz that both Labour and National governments have been paying out handsomely for "errors of judgement" over the past 30-40 years. This money has been invested in businesses, and is no doubt returning handsome dividends, much of it tax-free, as they are registered as charities. This now runs into several billions of dollars, and counting.

I agree that some recompense should be made to Maori, but the taxpayer of New Zealand is not a bottomless pit. Atrocities were committed by Maori against Maori (estimated at 40,000 killed, about one-third of the population), plus the Patupaiarehe and Waitaha people, who have been here since about the time of Jesus Christ.

Patupaiarehe and Waitaha lived in peace for well over 1000 years, but that changed with the arrival of Maori and their races were almost wiped out and eaten, and so far the few survivors that are left have not received a brass razoo. That's why I cringe. How about writing an article telling us why Liz? I look forward to reading it.
KAWENA HORI MAAKA
(Kevan George Marks) Kaipara
The Dominion Post 25/1/17
REMEMBER COLONISTS
You claim in your January 23 editorial that we should move Wellington Anniversary holiday to the middle of winter because ‘‘by then, we are cold and sick of everything’’.

Well, I’m not; I celebrate the winter solstice and its recognition of the cyclical nature of our world. What I am sick of is your perpetual negativity towards, for example, our marvellous colonial heritage.

Good things come to those who wait. The Arab Spring morphed into our winter of discontent and in 2016 we had our own spring in which nationalism and patriotism were reborn. So let us dispense with Wellington Anniversary and Waitangi Day too and have a holiday on June 21 to celebrate our wonderful country. And let us name it after the stoic colonists who brought about the birth of our nation in 1840.

On that day let us give thanks for the benefits we now reap from the nation the colonists founded and the infrastructure they and the Maori built by their own hands in conditions we would now find unacceptable.

And let us dispense also with the insulting attitude the mainstream media, including The Dominion Post, have towards the colonists and by extension their descendants.
BARRIE DAVIS
Island Bay

Waikato Times 25/1/17
TREATY MATTERS
In support of Bryan Johnson on Treaty matters, what should be added to that letter, is that the Crown and the English/ British government should also be responsible for the cost of all Treaty settlements and expenses, not the New Zealand taxpayer.
ARTHUR KANE
Hamilton

The New Zealand Herald 25/1/17
CLOSING CONES TO CARS
I agree with Ken Graham: closing off vehicle access to the summits of all of Auckland’s maunga is a disgrace. Most Aucklanders will not be aware that ownership of the beloved and admired hilltop parks in the city has now passed to Maori as part of treaty settlements, and managed under “co-governance” with the Auckland Council.

To quote from the Maunga Authority website: “The Tupuna Maunga Values and Integrated Management Plan (IMP) sets out a compelling vision for the future management of the maunga that reflects the mana whenua worldview. Understanding the Tupuna Maunga as Taonga Tuku Iho (treasures handed down the generations) encourages a sense of reverence and aroha towards these places.”

This indicates the maunga are being administered only from a Maori viewpoint [but] they are treasures for all the residents of the city, not just Maori.

One of the reasons offered for banning vehicles is pedestrian safety, yet the Auckland Council has created shared access zones for pedestrians and vehicles in Fort St and Elliott St. Why the problem? We need wider public consultation on this issue and a reconsideration of the decision of the Authority.
LEIGH MARSHALL,
Remuera.

Bay of Plenty Times 24/1/17
TE TII MARAE
I am unsure why Te Tii Marae considers itself to be of such national importance when Te Tiriti o Waitangi was actually signed over the bridge at Waitangi on the big lawn in front of the Treaty House, which is the location of official ceremonies.

A Ngapuhi kaumatua, David Rankin, who is a direct descendant of an original signatory chief, claims the marae committee insulted New Zealand’s head of state by banning him from speaking on the marae.

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand citizens hope that Bill English will uphold his comments to the Centre for Public Law in Wellington 2002, that “unless New Zealanders accept Te Tiriti o Waitangi at something much closer to its face value, we could destroy something unique”.

“Uncontested assertions, such as the inevitability of political control of everyone by Maori, is shaping government policy, judicial thinking and political debate,” he warned.
MAUREEN J ANDERSON
Pyes Pa

The New Zealand Herald 24/1/17
TRY 14TH CENTURY
Wildly varying assertions of the earliest dates of Maori and European settlement annoy me. In a recent RNZ interview, a visiting British geneticist confessed ignorance but said, “The Maori arrived when, in the 10th or 11th century?” RNZ interviewer: “I wouldn’t know, sounds about right.”

The earliest verified date is 1320, recently again confirmed by the Wairau Bar studies. That was 322 years before Tasman, 449 before Cook, and only 494 years before the Hansen family arrived to settle in the Bay of Islands in 1814. The Hansens are regarded as the first European settlers, rather than the transient sealers, whalers and missionaries before them.
BRUCE KERNOHAN,
Dargaville.

Herald on Sunday 22/1/17
100 PER CENT KIWI AND IT'S KA PAI
I am 7/8 European and 1/8 Maori. I openly admit my European ancestors took over New Zealand illegally. I also hold all 8/8 of me are better off for it, as neither people now live under the restrictions each faced a mere 200 years ago.

I wish New Zealand as a whole would let the divisive Waitangi go. The divisive, racist, apartheid Treaty of Waitangi needs to be sent to the grave where it belongs.

Colonialism for all its ills at least got us established as a developed, modern society. I admit colonialism was wrong but both my peoples would not have become a modern society any other way.
KEN MAYNARD,
Papatoetoe

Bay of Plenty Times 21/1/17
POLY GOOD NAME
Over the past 30 to 40 years, local folk have been attending the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to further their education, whether it be ex-students just out of college or the more mature needing to upskill. I was one of the latter a couple of times. The polytech served us well and everyone knew what the polytech stood for. For some reason, the name has changed to something with no credibility except to maybe 5 per cent of the population with all the costs associated with a name change.

Toi Ohamai, the new name, has no value in education and the majority of the population have no idea what it means. The Bay poly earned its deserved reputation whereas this new name means nothing. All of a sudden the institute of technology has a new direction. They sponsor a rugby sevens tournament in Rotorua and then advertise courses to study sport health and fitness.

I find this change in direction most puzzling, as I do the name change Bay Of Plenty Polytechnic was a respected name/institution earned over many years. The change of name to a Maori title in my opinion will get no respect from 95 per cent of the population.
PETER TURNER
Pyes Pa

Bay of Plenty Times 20/1/17
NO COMPRENDE
I have no doubt that Tommy Kapai is a great writer/author, and I would like to be able to read his columns week-by-week except that as time goes by there are more and more Maori words in them that I do not understand. And I find this very frustrating. I do of course have the choice of, if I really want to read his columns I could learn the Maori language, but I choose not to. I write this to express my disapproval at an “English” paper having so many non-English words in it, and without translations.
(Abridged)
GRANT DENGATE
Greerton

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 20/1/17
NEEDED: A NZ DAY FOR ALL
I came to this country from England in 1973, and throughout the last 43 years I've never understood why the focus of our National Day is almost exclusively on Maori.

For a few years the name was changed to New Zealand Day, far more appropriate because non-Maori are part of the country's history too, and should be celebrated in their cultural manner as well.

The offensive shenanigans that occur most years at Waitangi demean the Crown and its ministers, and turn the celebrations into an embarrassing farce.

Overseas visitors and new immigrants must surely shake their heads in dismay at the carry-on and lack of dignity.

Perhaps a referendum could be held on returning February 6 to New Zealand Day so we can all feel that it's our day too, and not just a Maori one.
M GUY, Otumoetai.
Northland Age 19/1/17
LONG ON MYTH
Privileged drama queen Lizzie Marvelly started off her 'columnist' career with NZME in early 2016 by displaying her ignorance on the fresh water issues (the Maori think tank version). The legal position with fresh water is crystal clear — no one owns the water, and the government administers freshwater as a fiduciary for all kiwis, no customary rights exist, the native title 'red herring' is ludicrous, and as with many other maori claims, simply looks like race-based separatist spin.

To laud part-Maori as guardians, environmentalists and conservationists, or suggest they know more about fresh water than other Kiwis, is a joke.

Furthermore, Maori were never Treaty partners, there are no Treaty principles other than what was spelt out in to Tiriti o Waitangi, and no other Treaty obligations exist.

Ms Marvelly's comments were in my opinion so skewed and flawed it was pointless even trying to address them rationally. She and her researchers need to read the 12-point fresh water Iwi Leadership Group list, illustrating the intent and stealth associated with the fatuous demands being made.

Subsequently she moved on to the 'couch casting' harassment topic (either real or perceived) within the entertainment industry, about which she and others no doubt lodged complaints at the time the harassment (if any) occurred, finally capping 2016 off with a dissertation on the flawed Mr Judd and his inane push, in cahoots with the Maori Party, for effectively legislating non-elected and race-based local authority/council representation.

Now she starts the New Year (NZ Herald January 14) off with a thinly disguised parable cum fable cum allegory about colonial land 'grabbing,' alleged atrocities and grievances, along with perceived breaches of 'the agreement' presumably referring to Tiriti o Waitangi, in tandem with the modern Waitangi Day shambles.

Lizzie needs to upgrade her brains trust think tank, because it's all playing out like a broken record. In my opinion these dissertations are rants, sparse on fact, short on reality and long on myth.

In fairness to the reading public, sections of the media need to air the valid factual criticisms of the various diatribes to see how the phobias stand up to robust scrutiny, because in my view she is not fulfilling the role as a responsible columnist or commentator with her outbursts. Oh, and 85 per cent of us, being the irrelevant majority of Kiwis, are not cringing, nor do we have any reason to do so.
ROB PATERSON
Matapihi


A CIRCUS
Waitangi has been a circus, a day of ugliness and division. Why the PM should go there to be insulted beggars belief.

With the PM now refusing to be demeaned and the office of the PM disrespected the marae elders' use of words like "cop-out" (Pita Paraone) and "Don't be a child" (Kingi Taurua) is not the way to encourage attendance.

Ritual humiliation of guests at Waitangi is hardly likely to engender sympathy or a desire to right perceived wrongs. We have seen a wet shirt thrown at the Queen, Governor-General Dame Cath Tizard spat on, Helen Clark brought to tears, mud and dildo throwing, verbal and physical assaults, and bully boy tactics.

The worst part of the ritual humiliation is reserved for the Prime Minister, who is forced to walk arm-in-aim with Titewhai Harawira, who was jailed for violently assaulting a mental health patient.

Bill English's decision is the right one, and will be supported by the vast majority of New Zealanders. Cringe-worthy, it's downright head-under the pillow embarrassing.
RICHARD PRINCE
Tauranga


POOR OLD BILL
Spare a thought for poor Bill English. All that appeasing, kowtowing and serial apologising over all those years, compromising the principles of equal citizenship to hang on to the trappings of the Beehive and they won't even let him have a word or two at Waitangi. And election year too. Oh the unfairness of it all.
G FAULKNER
Tauranga


FOR THE BEST
The decision of Bill English to avoid the hassles of Waitangi Day is the best direction for our country.

Hopefully, without his presence there will be less media, who of course focus on the shenanigans of the few who protest every year without fail.

I am quite a news junkie, but deliberately do not watch the news on February 6 because it is always the same old violence and ugliness on display from the same ungrateful people who will never be satisfied no matter what is thrown their way.

This could be a catalyst for change, as I am sure that the news has come as a shock to the organising committee.

The National Party will be represented by deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, who has suddenly and obligingly re-discovered her Maori heritage.

The lack of media will starve those protesters of oxygen, and perhaps the news could then focus on what may, for all I know, be quite a pleasant day out for many on the Treaty Grounds. It may even then become a national day for all of us instead of the current Maori Protest Day.
ROBIN BISHOP
Tauranga


ANOTHER ONE
'Land claims mandate looming large' Here we go again, another false land claim made through a false Treaty document that has been put in place to make the claims from.

The true Treaty document was put together to bring law and order to this country.

How can a group of people who were picked up from different places, at different times, and landed at different areas, who in the 1800s were given the name Maori, who were never a race of people, are able to make claims that they were here first while the descendants of the original occupiers can't make land claims on their land that was taken off them by Tuwharetoa and the Crown?

Ngati Hotu/Patupairehe lived in the Ruapehu/Taumarunui areas long before the people called Maori arrived near the battle of the five forts.

The Waitaha people also had land taken off them as well.

The Maori started to slaughter these pre-Maori people. A lot of them escaped to safe areas. This is where Pakeha Ken Mair and his people are claiming the land for themselves, and they will be getting a payout for it.

The Patupaiarehe are trying to claim their land back through the Waitangi Tribunal, which has been rejected as they are not Maori. Maori are the only ones that can claim land. This was put in place by the Labour government in the 1980s, and is still been carried on to this day by our gutless leaders and supporters, who are not interested in the truth.
IAN BROUGHAM
Wanganui

Wanganui Chronicle 19/1/17
FLAWED HISTORIES
H Norton (Chronicle, January 12) uses the false "argument from authority" to justify his wild claims. The statements of most of his so-called "renowned historians" are deeply flawed, particularly Orange, Binney, Kawharu, Belich and Keenan.

Robinson's books are not "self-published", as Norton says twice, but by Tross Publications of Khandallah, which has several excellent books to its credit.

Norton omits to say that Robinson has a doctoral degree from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his careful mathematical modelling, using all the available data, shows conclusively that the decline in Maori numbers in the early colonial period was due to the huge slaughter of breeding stock in inter-tribal warfare in pre-1840 decades — work beyond the competence of any historian I know.

I have two master's degrees, one with distinction from the University of London in computer science, and I am a past president of the Institute of IT Professionals (NZ) and Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK). I hold a Naval Reserve commission, having done much practice and instruction in navigation, both coastal and celestial.

In the work of both Robinson and myself, close attention to accuracy and the available information have been of critical importance. In our later years we have brought these skills to the study of New Zealand's history, where indeed we have been quite dismayed by the amount of false material in works by such as those listed above and likewise in the flawed conclusions of the Waitangi Tribunal and others in the press, such as Tommy Wilson and Eraka in The Latest Tainui News. Your readers will make up their own minds about who to believe.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson

Waikato Times 19/1/17
WAITANGI ‘SNUB’
Now that the northern chiefs, the first signatories of the Treaty of Waitangi, have insulted the Government and therefore the people of New Zealand by preventing the Prime Minister from speaking on the marae, it is time to review the Treaty, for the document to be authenticated and the obligations and commitments verified.

I am sure that in pre-colonial times, tikanga would not have prevented dignitaries of other iwi, apart from women, speaking on the marae.

But perhaps it is a case of "biter bit" for National, as many of their consultations with Maori on matters concerning all New Zealanders have been carried out in private with notifications only made when decisions are virtually confirmed and the general public having no say.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

The Press 19/1/17
WHAT TO DO AT WAITANGI
Despite letters to the contrary, I think it is more important to listen at Waitangi than to speak. Andrew Little has got it right. It is more important to be there and listening than to stay away because the marae – for whatever reason – says you can’t.

Waitangi is a place of protest. Politicians would be wise to listen.
TOM BROCKETT
Redwood

The Northern Advocate 19/1/17
PLAIN COWARDLY
Shame on you Susan Devoy. Did you think you were being politically correct? I think just plain cowardly. The inflammatory, racist remarks were “I’m tangata whenua and I’ll do as I like”.

Of course, a few tears and the media goes weak at the knees, and that young woman got the publicity she was seeking.

She needed to be told that it doesn’t matter where you were born, if you are going to live in this country, you have to obey the laws of this country. It’s that simple.
B G SCOTT
Hikurangi

The New Zealand Herald 19/1/17
GANG CLASH
Why do we allow gangs to exist? This week again, repugnant behaviour — gangs shooting in the streets of Whakatane at a funeral. I just can’t fathom the political will that has allowed gangs to exist, even going as far as offering police protection on this occasion. Is it a misinterpreted Treaty of Waitangi obligation?
BILL BROWN, Herne Bay
The New Zealand Herald 18/1/17
MAD BUTCHER FURORE
You published an article by Tariana Turia once again re-hashing the Mad Butcher furore but with no mention of the conversation between him and the young woman which began the whole debacle.

It was her statement that she is tangata whenua and therefore can do what she likes that has not been mentioned by Ms Turia — and suddenly we have the Race Relations Commissioner and Michelle Boag wringing hands and gnashing teeth.

Poor Peter Leitch is no doubt the villain in the eyes of Ms Turia but it needs to be taken into account that he was replying to the comment of the young woman in question — he did not suddenly come out with the bald statement “this is a white man’s island”.

Perspective needs to be put in place and Ms Turia has added fuel to the fire by writing a biased account of an incident that should never have reached the news.
ROBIN BISHOP,
Tauranga

NZ Herald 18/1/17 (Short & Sweet section)
ON WAIHEKE
Tariana Turia chooses to ignore the real key to the incident which was started by a claim to be tangata whenua. What does that imply?
D REID,
Cockle Bay

Southland Times 18/1/17
LAND CLAIMS
"Land claims mandate looming large", here we go again another false land claim made through a false treaty document that has been put in place to make the claims from.

The true treaty document was put together to bring law and order to this country. How can a group of people, who were picked up from different places, at different times, and landed in different areas, who in the 1800s were given the name Maori, who were never a race of people and are able to make claims that they were here first while the descendants of the original occupiers can't make land claims on their land that was taken from them by Tuwharetoa and the crown?

Ngati hotu/ Patupairehe lived in the Ruapehu/ Taumarunui area long before the people called Maori arrived near where the battle of the five forts was held. Also, the Waitaha people also had land taken from them as well.

The Maori started to slaughter these pre-Maori people, a lot of them escaped to safe areas, and this is where Pakeha Ken Mair and his people are claiming the land for themselves, and they will be getting a payout for it.

The Patupaiarehe are trying to claim their land back through the Treaty or Waitangi Tribunal, which has been rejected as they are not Maori. Maori are the only ones that can claim land.

This was put in place by the Labour Government in the 1980s and is still been carried on to this day by our gutless leaders and supporters who are not interested in the truth.
IAN BROUGHAM
Wanganui 
 
Northland Age 17/1/17
WHO'S CRINGING?
I also cringe at the NZ Herald article where Lizzie Marvelly writes of colonists stealing Maori land. In doing so she reviles her own forebears.

Her name and appearance suggest she is no more than a quarter Maori. No Maori can have more than half blood. So for every Hone (her words) robbed of his land, the thieving, colonist perpetrator was either John or Sean, lain or some other of her three-quarter, non-Maori ancestors. Also true of their representation in unjust government.

What I find more cringe-making is her reluctance to accept and acknowledge these relationships. Here is the attitude of victimisation, promoted by the tribalist Treaty revisionists and accepted by a compliant media.

After the Treaty, if you lost your land you at least kept your head.

Her analogies are capricious at least, with phrases like "the lawless foreign city dwellers", and gross calumnies: government retaliation resulting in wives raped, children killed and houses burned; rebel tribes' attacks on settlers in Taranaki.

For wholesale, merciless slaughter actions by Hongi Hika, Te Rauparaha, Hone Heke, Te Kooti, Te Waharoa, the Tainui in Taranaki. Lizzie, which of your ancestors took part in these actions? The 25 per cent or the 75 per cent?

Give a single, historically verifiable account where colonists, imperial forces or local militia were responsible for "the rape of women and slaughter of children". That was regular practice after a tribal battle, but not after the Treaty was signed.

In 1831, Waikato chief, Te Wherowhero, later the first Maori King, Potatau, personally clubbed 150 unarmed prisoners to death. Tribal custom.

Finally, Ms Marvelly, I find your article fanciful, inaccurate, offensive and racially divisive. I suggest that you present verifiable facts rather than emotive diatribe and cease to blame the many Maori problems on colonisation. A colonisation, incidentally, that enables you to have a half-page article and large personal photo published.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

NZ Herald 17/1/17
TREATY HISTORY
The Lizzie Marvelly commentary in the Weekend Herald, “And then tell me why we are cringing”, aptly illustrates the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. What I find cringeworthy is the way Marvelly has taken an over-the-top, distorted interpretation of our history and dressed it up as a thinly disguised “story”, thereby sidestepping the need to base her assertions on an accurate account of the truth.
SUSAN SHORT,
Meadowbank.

NZ Herald 17/1/17 (Short & Sweet section)
On history Liz Marvelly fails badly if the purpose of her "cringing" article was to provide a more balanced perspective of our nation's character. It was not a clever piece at all. Her analogies were extremely slanted and such information does her little credit.
M HARRIS
RD Wellsford

Waikato Times 17/1/17
WAITANGI INVITE
I applaud the decision by the Prime Minister not to attend the celebrations at Waitangi this upcoming Waitangi weekend.

I believe the whole country is embarrassed by the circus this event has become at Waitangi. I remember a succession of disgraceful behaviours towards authority figures over the years, ranging from a wet T-shirt being hurled at Queen Elizabeth, mud being thrown into the face of the Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Helen Clark being reduced to humiliation and tears, and a Government MP having a sex toy thrown in his face. I imagine tourists' astonishment at such antics as they appear in our media.

The other day I saw on TV news some authority figure at Waitangi apologising about the refusal to allow the current Prime Minister to speak. The apology was shallow - he followed it by launching into a tirade against the Prime Minister.

I think it is time for all politicians of whatever stripe to unite in refusing to dignify Waitangi with their presence until such time as an absolute assurance is received that this behaviour is at an end.
STEPHEN HIRST
Hamilton

Bay of Plenty Times 17/1/17
OUR DIVISIVE NATIONAL DAY
In 1973 Norman Kirk and Matiu Rata felt that the name New Zealand Day would emphasise that the day was New Zealand’s national day and for all New Zealanders, not just Maori. It would create a greater sense pride unity among all New Zealanders. After Maori protests, the National Government repealed that statute and reinstated the Waitangi Day Act in 1976.

Since then our national representatives have been subjected to a variety of insults ranging from T-shirt throwing (at the Queen, no less); pelting Ministers of the Crown with a variety of insulting materials; Prime Ministers being kept waiting up to an hour, being refused speaking rights on the marae and Helen Clark being reduced to tears. In insulting our leaders, the powhiri restrictions and other Maori protest gestures insult those whom our leaders represent — all New of and Zealanders.

Full marks to Bill English (left) for refusing to accept limitations on his participation at our so-called national celebrations. He also avoids any ancillary protest actions, the politics of which are not appropriate on our national day.

It is time to take the national celebration off the marae and back to the Treaty Grounds, which is the logical place to hold a ceremony — or even Wellington. We need to take back our history and our dignity and truly celebrate New Zealand day. (Abridged)
RE STEPHENS
Mount Maunganui

Southland Times 17/1/17
THE RIGHT PROTOCOLS
If the Prime Minister was to invite the Iwi leadership group to parliament for a hui (which has been done in the past), and said to Nga Puhi elders, "you can not speak in parliament but we will let you speak later out on the front lawn in a tent", would Nga Puhi take offence and not attend ?
NOBBY CLARK
Otatara

The New Zealand Herald 16/1/17 (Also in Bay of Plenty Times 16/1/17)
ENGLISH AND WAITANGI
Lizzie Marvelly seems to think that the country and our PM should endure the cringe that is Waitangi. Ritual humiliation of guests at Waitangi is hardly likely to engender sympathy or a desire to right perceived wrongs.

Waitangi has been a circus. Why the PM should go there to be insulted beggars belief.

For years PMs have endured having to walk arm in arm with a woman who was jailed for violently assaulting a mental health patient.

We have seen Governor-General Dame Cath Tizard spat on, Helen Clark brought to tears, mud and dildo throwing, verbal and physical assaults, and bully-boy tactics.

Now with the PM refusing to be demeaned and see the office of Prime Minister disrespected, the marae elders are using words like “cop-out” (Pita Paraone) and “Don’t be a child” (Kingi Taurua) which is hardly likely to encourage attendance.

Bill English’s decision is the right one and will be supported by the vast majority of New Zealanders. Cringe-worthy, it’s downright head-under-the-pillow embarrassing.
RICHARD PRINCE,
Welcome Bay.

Hawkes Bay Today 16/1/17 (Text Us section)
* In Fridays HBT Bruce Bisset’s column re casual racism and Waitangi — who wants to attend to sit down, shut up and listen? why would you want to even go after all the c**p that has gone on — good on Bill English for declining

Bay of Plenty Times 16/1/17
LET’S RETHINK WAITANGI DAY
I came to this country from England in 1973, and throughout the last 43 years I have never understood why the focus of our National Day is almost exclusively on Maori.

For a few years the name was changed to New Zealand Day, far more appropriate because non-Maori are part of the country’s history, too, and should be celebrating it in their cultural manner as well.

The offensive shenanigans that occur most years at Waitangi demean the Crown and its ministers and turn the celebrations into an embarrassing farce.

Visitors and new immigrants surely shake their heads in dismay at the carry-on and lack of dignity.

Perhaps a referendum could be held on returning the 6th February to New Zealand Day so that we can all feel that it’s our day, too, and not just a Maori one.
MAUREEN GUY
Otumoetai

Sunday Star-Times 15/1/17
NATIONAL DAY
Good on the prime minister for deciding not to go to Waitangi. Sadly it has not been for many years a celebration of a truly national day. It has simply become a forum for the local iwi to vocalise their local grievances. That is undoubtedly important for them but is of only passing interest to those in other parts of the country.

We really need something much more inclusive – perhaps the only way to make the day a national occasion may be to have it organised and run by some kind of Maori/Pakeha body with a truly national mandate.

Note for the new PM: Perhaps we could have a referendum about the issue).
GRAHAM WEIR,
Lower Hutt


Our PM is the highest elected official in our country and he is entitled to speak wherever he decides to speak.

Some people have attacked him for deciding not to attend the Waitangi Day celebrations. What seems to have escaped their understanding is that New Zealand is still a democracy and we continue to offer personal freedoms which many other countries have denied to their citizens. I understand that he would have been restricted in what he could say.

While I would most probably not vote for him in a general election, I respect his right to stay away from Waitangi.
JOHANN NORDBERG,
West Auckland

Wanganui Chronicle 14/1/17
MAORI WITHDRAWAL
We have seen, in recent times, a Brexit in which Britain withdraws from Europe, and I think that we are seeing at Waitangi a "Mexit”, a withdrawal of Maori from New Zealand.

Every year the Treaty of Waitangi is celebrated, not as the basis of one nation but of Maori grizzling. This year the Prime Minister is forbidden to speak.

In Potonga's view: "Maori incorporations and Treaty settlements are justt more of the same old colonial practices and assimilation and social engineering."

That seems to mean that Maori are not interested in the big, wide world but want to retreat into the bush and keep the pre-1840 way of life. It was that attitude that created the Land Wars.

What about embracing the big, wide, exciting new world? You grow in every way when you gain competence in everyday living tasks, adopt a worthy and practical set of values, hold rational beliefs and behave in an appropriate, rational and responsible manner.
TOM PITTAMS
Wanganui

Hawkes Bay Today 14/1/17 (Text 2 Ed section)
MAORI LANGUAGE

* I am so saddened to read, Judith Smith, that you feel mainstrearn and public education is failing to teach our children proper English, considering that is the first language and the Government funds that go toward it.
WILLIAM G

* Stop trying to ram Maori language down our throats. Most of us are not interested and it's of no use to many. Sick of it.

* Why can't To Karere have English captions? Not all of us can understand our native tongue.

Hawke's Bay Today 13/1/17
TAONGA ABUSED
Jacqueline Braid of Dunedin, in reprimanding Judith Smith twice for her view of te reo, ( HBT, January 3 and 10) seems unaware of the old adage that “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

She can “treat te reo with mana” if she wants to but her demand that others do so is precisely the arrogance which she claims to deplore.

And yes, our primary school children are indeed indoctrinated with the statement that “taonga” means “treasure” but nobody tells them that in 1840 that was far from the truth when it meant no more than ordinary property which, by the Treaty of Waitangi, we all were and are entitled to possess.

Its meaning changed rapidly afterwards to include the rich array of material goods which Europeans brought to New Zealand and continues to expand today to include everything anybody might desire.

Thus we have Hugh Kawharu’s statement in the notes to his dubious translation of the Treaty: “Taonga refers to all dimensions of a tribal group’s estate, material and nonmaterial — heirlooms and wahi tapu (sacred places), ancestral lore and whakapapa (genealogies), etc.”

His implication that this was meant in the Treaty of Waitangi is pure hypocrisy motivated by greed.

Indeed recently a senior Auckland professor claimed that any Maori was entitled to kill and eat our beautiful native pigeons because they were a “taonga” guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi.

This is an abuse of the meaning of the Treaty and defiance of the law which protects them but evidently Kawharu and Braid’s “appropriate usage” of te reo.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson

The New Zealand Herald 12/1/17
MARAE’S INVITATION
The Prime Minister was invited to speak on the lower marae — after the powhiri. Here is the key extract from the letter he received: “. . . a Maori representative would speak on Mr English’s behalf during the powhiri. At the end of the powhiri, there would be a forum for the Prime Minister to speak freely about politics, if he so wished.”

It is bad enough that Bill English is playing post-truth politics with divisive consequences. What really concerns me is the ease with the lazy media (not the few who published the letter online) is willing to buy the “Billshut”. Basic fact-checking was once the core skill of professional journalists.
MICHAEL SMYTHE,
Northcote Point


ENGLISH RIGHT
I am profoundly disappointed by the criticism of Bill English’s absence from the Waitangi celebrations. He has decided to do what is far more important for New Zealand’s future by participating in meaningful discussions in Europe and the UK.

Let us put what most people consider simply a public holiday in perspective and concentrate on what is far more important for all of us. The media highlighting Bill’s absence merely indicates they have nothing more important to complain about so clearly he is doing a lot right.
ROD LYONS,
Muriwai.


TAKE THE CELEBRATION AROUND
It is my understanding that after the Treaty was signed at Waitangi in 1840, it was taken around the country so that over 500 Maori leaders could add their mark to the document. Why can’t this practice be resurrected and the Prime Minister, and/or other members of Parliament, travel to a different marae every year throughout New Zealand to celebrate this special occasion? Why do a bunch of Waitangi rabble-rousers have the monopoly?
CHRISTINE PULMAN,
Te Atatu Peninsula.


NEW ZEALAND RACIST?
As to the question, is New Zealand racist, most correspondence has referred to Maori, Islanders and Asians. Having paid out a not inconsiderable sum to move my family to New Zealand some 50 years ago, I was met by the assumption that all immigrants from the UK were “ten-pound whinging Poms” and T-shirts emblazoned with “punch a Pom a day”.

There was general antagonism to Dutch immigrants — they worked too hard, got all the good jobs. But was this all racist or simply a manifestation of our neolithic background where one family group, one villager was protective and wary of any other unit?

Yes we should by now have grown up, but the sad reality is we have not. New Zealand is certainly not alone and is better than many others in this regard. Yes report and comment on it, but do not blow it all out of proportion.
JOHN SIMONS,
Orewa.


ANTIDOTES NEEDED
J. Houlahan writes of systemic racism using Maori rates of imprisonment as an example. Someone once said, “We are all at least a little racist”, and this seems true since we all extrapolate from limited experience.

So if our society is systemically racist, it is sad but what matters is how we deal with it.

Positive discrimination usually doesn’t work; for example having a quota for black medical students in some American universities led to the belief that any graduate black doctors was inferior.

However it is important that three critical professions are seen to be non-racist and non-sexist: police, education and legal. This means increasing starting salaries to a point that there are so many applicants they can be chosen by diversity without reducing entry standards.

So let’s have more male primary teachers, more Asian police and more Maori judges. It will take time.
BOB ATKINSON,
Birkdale.

The New Zealand Herald 12/1/17 (Short & Sweet section)
ON TREATY
Beyond all the sound and fury generated by those strutting and fretting on the Te Tii Marae stage, the real question is, what new parts of our democracy will the PM forsake in the February 3 discussions with neo-tribal leaders?
CHRIS LEE,
Matua.

Hawkes Bay Today 12/1/17 (Text Us section)
* PP: You are right, not all Maori are even intrested in speaking Maori and why is it so important, when Maori and pakeha are living in NZ as one anyway? Just get on and enjoy life!

* I admire Bill English for not attending Waitangi. Past leaders have been disrespected, so why would he put himself in that position?

* Since the Treaty of Waitangi is between Maori and the Queen, it should be the governor-general who attends the commemorations and not the prime minister.

Bay of Plenty Times 12/1/17
ENGLISH’S DECISION A GOOD CALL
The decision of Bill English to avoid the hassles of Waitangi Day is the best direction for our country (News, January 10).

Hopefully without his presence there will be less media, who of course focus on the shenanigans of the few who protest every year without fail. has suddenly and obligingly rediscovered her Maori heritage.

The lack of media will starve those protesters of oxygen and perhaps the news could then focus on what may, for all I know, be quite a pleasant day out for many on the treaty grounds.

It may even then become a national day for all of us instead of at present — Maori Protest Day.
ROBIN BISHOP
Tauranga


TREATY REVIEW
Now THAT the Northern chiefs, the first signatories of the treaty, have insulted the Government and therefore the people of New Zealand by preventing the Prime Minister speaking on the marae (News, January 10), it is time to review the treaty, for the document to be authenticated and the obligations and commitments verified.

I am sure that in pre-colonial times tikanga would not have prevented dignitaries of other iwi, apart from women, speaking on the marae.

But perhaps it is a case of “biter bit” for National, as many of their consultations with Maori on matters concerning all New Zealanders have been carried out in private with notifications only made when decisions are virtually confirmed and the general public having no say.
BRYAN JOHNSON
Omokoroa

Wanganui Chronicle 12/1/17
WAITANGI DAY
Well done, Prime Minister, for not attending this year’s Waitangi “celebrations”.

I am amazed at the hypocrisy of iwi crying disrespect at this decision. What respect or decency has been shown by them in recent years to dignitaries visiting Waitangi?

It’s time to make changes to our national day celebrations — rename it New Zealand Day and hold the celebrations in the grounds of Government House in Wellington.

Those attending can be assured of the respect and civility they deserve.
ROBERT ALLEN
Durie Hill

The Dominion Post 11/1/17
PM RIGHT ON WAITANGI
Congratulations to Prime Minister Bill English for standing up to the tiny handful of Maori who have refused him speaking rights on the marae.

At last New Zealanders can claim back their day, where people of all nations and colours can get together to celebrate our lives, and the harmony we can generate.

Instead of the obscenities, both verbal and physical, we could do no better than to follow the example of Porirua City, and have a glorious carnival day celebrating every citizen’s traditions, costumes, food and dance. This day shows that we can retain the core of our heritage while living a full life alongside all other New Zealanders. DELYS SAUNDERS Upper Hutt organised and run by some kind of Maori/Pakeha body with a truly national mandate. [abridged]
GRAHAM WEIR
Lower Hutt


REFRESH NATIONAL DAY
Good on the prime minister for deciding not to go to Waitangi. Sadly it has not been for many years a celebration of a truly national day.

It has simply become a forum for the local iwi to vocalise their local grievances. That is undoubtedly important for them but is of only passing interest to those in other parts of the country.

We really need something much more inclusive – perhaps the only way to make the day a national occasion may be to have it organised and run by some Maori/Pakeha body with a truly national mandate. [abridged]
GRAHAM WEIR
Lower Hutt

The New Zealand Herald 11/1/17
WAITANGI NO-SHOW AN AFFRONT
The celebration of the Treaty of Waitangi is a sacred event revered by those who value our history. It is an occasion where, as with Anzac Day, the customary presence of the Governor General as the representative of the Queen is essential. Our leaders should also be present to honour the occasion.

What should never have happened, was for any MPs, or the media, to have been permitted to cheapen the occasion by indulging their politics. For this Prime Minister to boycott what should be a totally apolitical event, because rightly or wrongly, he is not allowed to speak, could be seen as another cheap political shot, typical of what we have come to expect.
JAMES YOUNG,
Takapuna.


FAMILY ROW
The term “cringe” very aptly describes the reaction of many New Zealanders to the headlining histrionic protesters who have tended to dominate ceremonies at the Waitangi marae in recent years.

This should be the day when we all commemorate a unique event in world history.

It was after all, the very first time a potential “conquering power” had attempted to make a binding agreement with the indigenous inhabitants in the hope of ensuring peaceful co-operation and cohabitation.

Maybe we should celebrate that it has worked well enough that these disagreements over how to celebrate our national day have the feeling of an in-family fight, not a civil war?
JEANETTE GRANT,
Mt Eden.


BITER BIT
Now that the Northern Chiefs, the first signatories of the Treaty, have insulted the Government and therefore the People of New Zealand by preventing the Prime Minister speaking on the marae it is time to review the Treaty, for the document to be authenticated and the obligations and commitments verified.

I am sure that in pre-colonial times tikanga would not have prevented dignitaries of other iwi, apart from women, speaking on the marae. But perhaps it is a case of “biter bit” for National, as many of their consultations with Maori on matters concerning all New Zealanders have been carried out in private with notifications only made when decisions are virtually confirmed and the public having no say.
BRYAN JOHNSON,
Omokoroa.


ENGLISH RIGHT
At last we have a leader willing to tell the Waitangi Maori what to do with their Waitangi Day festivities.

Mr English is quite right to insist that the office of Prime Minister is deserving of respect and since this has not been forthcoming, he is correct to refuse to attend the ceremonies.

I hope he will maintain that stance and make no concessions, no matter what the Maori say. I have never rated him very highly. It seems I did him less than justice.
GERALDINE TAYLOR,
Remuera.


QUEEN ENDURED IT
Prime Minister Bill English has made a sensible decision not to attend the Waitangi Day event on the marae.

We went there in 1991, it was very hot, and with other invited guests we stood in blazing sun for hours listening to speeches in Maori.

I asked a senior diplomat how The Queen had coped in 1990, when it was equally hot and she was draped in a feather cloak and had to sit for hours listening to speeches. The diplomat’s reply was, “Waitangi Day 1990 is deeply etched in The Queen’s memory”.
RACHEL LEWIS,
Takapuna.

The New Zealand Herald 11/1/17 (Short & Sweet section)
ON WAITANGI DAY

* On Waitangi Day Mr English has exhibited the strength and good sense we hope will be his enduring form.
GRAHAM STEENSON,
Whakatane.

* It is opportune to advise that as Bill will not be going to Waitangi, neither will I.
REG DEMPSTER,
Albany.

* Good on English for standing up to the Waitangi bullying. Why should any person go up there to be abused?
A. N CHRISTIE,
Rotorua.

* Good on Bill English for refusing to be disrespected by a bunch of professional Maori stirrers at Waitangi.
FIONA ALLEN,
Papatoetoe.

* The Leader of our country insulted. Is this the racist flag being flown yet again by the elders of Maoridom?
ROBERTA GRAY,
Epsom.

Wanganui Chronicle 11/1/17
ENGLISH ONLY
I must reply to just one part of the letter by Potonga Neilson in which he states that his father and cousins were told they were not allowed to speak Maori at school. It was the Maori parents themselves who wished their children to learn to speak the English language to set them up for the future.

After the Native Schools system had been established in the 1870s, a number of prominent Maori sought through Parliament to place greater emphasis on the teaching of English in the schools.

Takamoana, a newly elected Maori MP, sought legislation to ensure that Maori children were taught only in English. A number of petitions in a similar vein were also taken to Parliament by Maori. One such petition in 1877 by Wi Te Hakiro and 336 others called for an amendment to the 1867 Native Schools Act which would require the teachers of a Native School to forbid the Maori language to be spoken at the school.

Further from this petition: “There should also be a general playground for the European and Maori children together. There should not be a word of Maori allowed to be spoken in the school, and the master, his wife and children should be persons altogether ignorant of the Maori language.”

This clarifies why the father and cousins of Potonga were not allowed to speak Maori in school — their teacher was not “porangi”, he was simply obeying the law which was at the request of the Maori people.
ROBIN BISHOP
Tauranga

MAORI NUMBERS
Historian James Rutherford (University of Auckland library) has written that between 1801 and 1840 about 42,000 Maori lost their lives in the musket wars (Maori against Maori), and in that same period only 13,000 died from diseases and other causes.

Therefore, disease was hardly the “the biggest impact on Maori numbers” as H Norton claims (Letters, January 10).

Dr John Robinson’s research establishes that if Maori had not practised female infanticide, their numbers would have been in a far better state to withstand the effects of disease and tribal warfare.

Maori could not stay isolated in an exploring world, therefore exposure to disease that they had little or no resistance to was inevitable.

Norton and his fellow anti-colonisation travellers seem to forget that colonisation also brought medicines, medical knowledge, surgery, blankets, clothing, housing and through agriculture a more reliable source of nutrition.
GEOFFREY T PARKER
Whangarei


WILD CLAIMS
Most of your readers will have long since dismissed the wild claims of H Norton and P Neilson as rubbish. Here are some of the latest ( January 10):

Example 1: Neilson: In early February 1840, the vast majority of the “natives” of Taranaki were living on, and gaining sustenance from, their ancestral lands.

The facts: South Taranaki was virtually deserted. A couple of families were living in the bush near Opunake and a few more near the islands off New Plymouth to which they were ready to flee at the least sign of Waikato marauders.

Example 2: Norton: “The actual confiscations covered the whole [of Taranaki] (even unto the mountain top).”

The facts: Most land was bought from chiefs who were willing sellers, some three times over. Confiscations, to pay in small part for the cost of quelling rebellions, were a small part of the total.

Example 3: Norton: “The biggest impact on Maori numbers was f r om European introduced diseases.”

The facts: The biggest impact was the wholesale slaughter in the inter-Maori musket wars.

Read John Robinson. He may be relied on.
BRUCE MOON
Nelson

The Daily Post Rotorua 11/1/17
ENGLISH NOT THE SPOILT CHILD
Under the headline “English’s choice questioned” ( Rotorua Daily Post, January 10) a Ngapuhi kaumatua says Prime Minister English should “not be a spoilt child”, referring to Mr English’s decision to celebrate Waitangi Day elsewhere.

Who is the spoilt child here? Certainly not Mr English.

I ask you — if there is to be a large celebration, and the Prime Minister is not permitted to speak, and with missiles flying right and left would you attend? Not likely.
A N CHRISTIE
Rotorua

The New Zealand Herald 10/1/17
WHITE MAN’S ISLAND ALSO
David Cooke of Pt Chevalier has gone off half-cocked like so many other correspondents. What he and others have done is to make false allegations about Sir Peter Leitch.

Missing out the last word “also” from Leitch’s sentence completely changes its meaning. Whether Bridger was so much into victimhood that she could not wait for the end of the sentence, or whether she had some other motive based on her tangata whenua hubris is anyone’s guess. Her statement could be interpreted as provocative if not racist.

Perhaps we should have more emphasis on teaching English to our people. To explain the meaning of this exchange (to those who have difficulty with their comprehension of plain English); Bridger’s statement was implying that her birthrights gave her carte-blanche to do what she liked, Leitch’s comment (ending in the word “also”) was a “me too” statement. No offence intended.
H W
Hamilton.


MEANING OF RACISM
Your Weekend Herald editorial certainly does raise some questions. How a person who has minimal descendancy from a certain random immigrant can claim to be indigenous, and other immigrants are not is one question.

Another is how you can state that an indigenous minority claiming special rights and status is not racism, and this does not hurt the majority.

The word democracy comes from the Greek, meaning “people power” and the implication of that is equality.

Many many wars and revolutions have been fought over just this question of privilege and special rights, and yet you state there is no hurt to the majority. Nothing surely is farther from the truth.
G F
Tauranga.

Northland Age 10/1/17
AVARICIOUS IWI
John Key's assurances that Maori exercising their hereditary rights under the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and to their fisheries' ownership, would not inhibit the freedom of fellow New Zealanders have gone badly astray with the sheer avarice of Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia and Rangitane o Wairau acting as Te Tau Fisheries and Te Ohu Kaimoana in their opposition to the establishment of national marine parks.

How far can Chris Finlayson stretch the bounds of "full and final settlements"? The legendary tangata whenua's spiritual connection to and protection of our natural resources seems to have been replaced by a more practical taonga, a financial one.

It is to be hoped that these disputes do not disturb the festive season's enjoyment of the former prime minister, who supported Maori fishing rights and the `foreshore' debacle, or Environment Minister Nick Smith, who has to clear them up.
B J
Omokoroa


A CLEAR PATH TO THE FUTURE
The opinion piece that appeared in the Northland Age on Thursday, December 15 was one of the most insightful ever printed in that journal. It should be prescribed reading for every New Zealander. Its author, Casey Costello, provides a clear path for New Zealanders, of whatever background and ethnicity, to take the country forward into the future.

By coincidence, just two days before, a number of Far North District councillors and community board. members attended a workshop at Waitangi to learn about the `special' relationship accorded to our Maori citizens in local government. This is prescribed under the Local Government Act (and others), but actually is not there in the Treaty.

It is generally accepted that it is the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi that has the greater relevance. An English translation of that, made by Sir Hugh Kawharu, a former tribunal member, is therefore an impeccable authority. Article the Third: `For this arrangement therefore concerning the Government of Queen, the Queen of England will protect all the ordinary people of New Zealand, will give them the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England.' Nothing more and nothing less.

As a nation we are all ill-served by those who would read into the Treaty meanings that don't exist. There are no Treaty "principles" and no "partners". There are clauses (articles) and parties to a contract that bind both equally.

Would that the past could be left behind and we all together boldly face the future, united in a common cause.
S R
Kaikohe

Bay of Plenty Times 10/1/17
LETTERS SCHOLARSHIP A LASTING LEGACY
They are just 16 words but I am very heartened indeed by the words of Tommy Wilson in your article about a scholarship to be created in memory of the late Awanui Black (News, January 7).

The 16 words Tommy uttered are, “We have to go forward, we can’t keep going back and being in grievance mode forever.”

As I look at the huge strides Maori have made since colonisation, to go forward and embrace the modern world makes much more sense than to be forever looking back.

In choosing a scholarship to remember his friend, he is acknowledging that the key to success is in education — as many accomplished Maori have already proven!

The best educational outcomes are the result of parental interest, encouragement and involvement in their child’s achievements, regardless of their economic circumstances.

We can all choose to be as successful as we wish and I applaud Tommy for his enlightened stance on this issue.
R B
Tauranga

NZ Herald 9/1/17

BENIGN RACISM HURTS TOO
With reference to your editorial ( Weekend Herald), I and many others would disagree with your assertion that “racism is not an indigenous minority claiming special rights and status”.

Your viewpoint depends upon the definition of “racism”. To grant special rights, status and benefits to one group based on racial origin or ethnicity is certainly an addendum to the divisive spirit of that attitude.

And do you really want to re-open the can of worms that is determination of a person’s eligibility to those special privileges based on their blood percentage or DNA?

Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways — a colourblind society and earmarking certain racial groups for special treatment.

Finally, yes that benign racism does hurt the majority — at the least in the form of public revenue used for that purpose.

Iwi have been, and continue to be, paid handsomely for any past real or perceived wrongdoing, and should be using those resources to uplift “their” people instead of enriching a few tribal elite.

That gravy train has apparently no intention of terminating its journey any time soon.
C M
Kaitaia


OFFENSIVE COMMENTS
I would like to ask Dame Susan Devoy and your reporter Paul Little how Sir Peter Leitch’s comments about white men living on Waiheke Island also is classified as racist, but Lara Bridgers’ comment about being tangata whenua and she can do what she likes is not.

This implies that she and other tangata whenua do not have to obey the laws of this country as the rest of us New Zealanders do.

I find this attitude if not racist then certainly very offensive to other Kiwis of all races.
J L
Drury

Daily Post Rotorua 9/1/17
RACIAL MIX
We have the positive lesson of the "war of words" between Sir Peter Leitch and an Auckland woman to thank and remind us daily that the "pot of coffee-coloured people" needs a lot more stirring in Aotearoa be-fore Kiwis may claim we are one people.

That all it took was a virulent social media reaction having this issue erupt on to the sur-face of our social conscience and that Lara has subsequently de-leted her posting is testimony to this. We certainly have more work to do.
J G
Rotorua

NZ Herald 7/1/17
RICH MAN'S ISLAND
Enough already of the ongoing saga of a silly comment by Sir Peter Leitch on Waiheke after a wine-tasting session which may have left him and the offended one in a loose-lipped state.

If Sir Peter had had his wits about him he should have used the word rich instead of white.

May have offended the poor, but at least we would have been spared Michelle Boag and Dame Susan Devoy getting in on the act and making the issue really cringe-worthy.
C V C
Remuera.

NZ Herald 7/1/17 (A quick word section)
* The reaction to Sir Peter Leitch's 'White man island' and Michelle Boags comment suggests it is time to get over yourself and stop being so precious.

What about when we, the majority, get called honky, colonials or Pakeha and worse?
C H
Katikati.

* I think it is a good thing Dame Susan Devoy is seeking a reconciliation meeting between Lara Bridger and Sir Peter Leitch, I doubt she will succeed in extracting an apology from Ms Bridger.
K V D W
Maungaturoto.

Wanganui Chronicle 6/1/17 

REAL HISTORY 
Potonga Neilson’s twisted truth of the real history of the Taranaki tribes (letters, January 3) beggars belief and then resorts to “ethnic cleansing” as a justification to make the confusion complete. 

Does he understand what ethnic cleansing is? The Jews in World War II? The cleansing in the Middle East and Africa as is practised today on tribes? 

Did Maori ever suffer such atrocities? 

Mr Neilson, you conveniently left out the issue of the injustice dished out to the Moriori by the Taranaki tribes. 

What redress have they been given? 

The commemoration of the land wars will be a commercial operation. 

Once the Treaty was signed one honoured the agreement. Tribes had to stop taking slaves, killing other tribes, otherwise suffer the consequences and your land will be taken from you also.
 

You have omitted that the land was given back at some later dates. (Abridged.) 
M L 
Te Puke 


RACIST NONSENSE 
The claim by Potonga Neilson (letters, January 4) that for Europeans a policy of “ethnic cleansing” is “in their genes” and that “exactly the same process was implemented in every country that was colonised by Europeans” is offensively racist and historical nonsense. 

Great efforts were made by the British after 1840 to bring an improved form of government to all the people of New Zealand. 

After the horrendous intertribal wars of the previous decades, the Maori population was in freefall, due to a catastrophic shortage of young people and women. That is shown in all the available data. 

Colonisation brought an end to those wars, a process that was desired and taken up with enthusiasm by Maori across the country. 

Slaves were freed and peace treaties allowed the resettlement of deserted lands such as the Auckland peninsula. 

Then started a long, steady recovery, and within 50 years the precipitous decline in Maori numbers had ended and a period of population increase commenced. That turnaround, from population decline forced by pre-Treaty wars to healthy growth, is the very opposite of “ethnic cleansing”. 

The story is of considerable co-operative efforts by many New Zealanders — of all ethnic backgrounds — to seek solutions to the problems they faced and to come together as one people. 
JOHN ROBINSON 
Waikanae 

NZ Herald 6/1/17
PREFERRED VERSION
Think I will go with the Mad Butcher’s version of events. He ain’t racist, he has supported the South Auckland community and the Warriors, who have a huge Polynesian contingent, through thick and thin. The apparent statement from someone saying she was born on the island and was TW, and therefore she could do what she liked, probably got the flippant response it deserved. Get over it.
R. P
Tauranga.


FINE RESPONSE
Huge kudos to Dame Susan Devoy for her support of the Mad Butcher. “He is the least racist person I know.” What a triumph for good ol’ Kiwi common sense, an antidote to the all too common political correctness as well as the oft-heard hardline views of both rednecks and (reverse?) racists alike. Dame Susan’s undoubted mana, coupled with these forthright views, is a refreshingly fine example of our publicly appointed human rights guardian doing a mighty fine job.
L M
Puhoi.

NZ Herald 6/1/17 (Short & Sweet section)
ON REMARK
I would like Lara Bridger to know I am upset by her racist remark that because she is tangata whenua she can do as she likes when Sir Peter Leitch, in a lighthearted way, advised her not to drink too much as there were police about.
F. C
Castor Bay.

Hawkes Bay Today 6/1/17
MAKE IT OFFICIAL
In reply to your correspondent Judith Smith, who writes about the appropriate use of both the English and Maori languages —she is, of course, correct. In saying that, how many of you are aware that New Zealand has only two official languages—and English is not one of them?

The two official languages are Maori and Sign Language. English has never been legislated as an official language. It is only a de facto official language.

I checked this fact with my local MP, Simon Bridges, who verified it and suggested I begin a petition to correct this anomaly. The Clerk of the House has approved the wording of my petition.

I feel it is very important to change the status of English from being simply a de facto official language to give it the place it deserves as as the legally prescribed official language of our country. If any of you would like to help me with my petition, you can contact me on 027-233-1595 and I will either forward you a petition form online or post it to you. Every signature for the petition is appreciated.
ROBIN BISHOP 
Tauranga

Hawkes Bay Today 6/1/17 (Text Us section)
* Judith Smith, WELL DONE, alot of us are annoyed & tired of maori language used where it is not required. I bet alot of Maori are not even interested in speaking Maori!
PP

* Re keeping Te Reo a treasure, yes and what about the English language some people can't even speak that well

Gisborne Herald 5/1/17 
TAIRAWHITI UNKNOWN 
I am frustrated with the bickering about “who was here first” and “our district was called Turanga/Tairawhiti.” 

Well, “Maori” answers the first question. Turanga is the name bestowed on us by the early Maori settlers. 

Tairawhiti extends from East Cape to Hawke’s Bay. Poverty Bay defines our area more precisely. Nobody from overseas knows of Tairawhiti. Sorry, but that’s a fact. Why don’t we refer to our district as Poverty Bay, where European New Zealand began. Tourism experts could surely use this to bring tourists in. If they wish to learn of our heritage why not start at the beginning of an era they can understand. 
M M
Gisborne

Northland Age 5/1/17
YOU CHOOSE
John Bassett writes an excellent letter about the speech by Casey Costello, of Hobson's Pledge (first I am a New Zealander, December 15). In a nutshell, Casey's speech tells us that we live in a wonderful country in which we are all personally responsible for the outcomes of our actions. We can all choose to be as successful as we wish, and surely the key to success is a decent education —as many accomplished Maori have already proved.

Could it be that Maori have selective hearing in that they have the answer to their own problems but fail to heed the obvious — a successful life begins with a successful education and that is freely available to all of us in New Zealand? Sadly, recent statistics show that up to 60 per cent of Maori children are denied this opportunity, as many do not attend school regularly, thus minimising their chances of future employment. The best educational outcomes are the result of parental interest and involvement in their child's achievements, regardless of their economic circumstances.

I applaud Don Brash's working group Hobson's Pledge, which aims to combat the ongoing separatism taking place with governmental approval — recent government approvals being the Resource Management Act favouring Maori, the bid by the Iwi Leaders Group to control our fresh water, and the most recent — and most ridiculous — the Wine and Spirits Amendment Bill, that allows Maori special rights to control the future names of wine.

As John Bassett wisely says, united we win, divided we fall, so let's all be united as one, New Zealand first, for our children and generations to come.
R B
Tauranga


THE DEPARTURE
Amid the bouquets and brickbats that have accompanied the retirement of John Key, those who have been most effusive in praise of his personal qualities and political acumen have not reflected on some aspects of his leadership that are not so laudatory.

His broken electoral promise to remove the Maori electoral seats, his delegating decision-making on unpopular issues such as the RMA and the iwi water issue, his reluctance to accept that the population comprehensively rejected non-elected Maori being appointed to councils, his unequivocal acceptance of most Waitangi Tribunal directives, valid or not, his silence on the spurious claim that the Treaty represents a partnership of the Crown with Maori, the adoption of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, giving much of the control of our coastline to iwi, his placing the Maori Party, with 1.5 per cent of the electoral vote, above the needs of the whole population.

He has shown his consummate ability in handling difficult problems by ignoring their existence. A Teflon Man indeed. But no doubt his successor will continue his party's' racist policies.
B J
Omokoroa

The Northern Advocate 5/1/17
FALSE DOCUMENT
I was surprised that Jeremy Ashford’s vague letter (20/12/16) was published and I am sure many others welcome Mitch Morgan’s rational, well-written “utterances”.

To understand the wording of Te Tiriti o Waitangi which almost 500 chiefs signed, read the Littlewood Treaty (draft) here http://tinyurl.com/hs4o4rv.

Except for four-word variations (one being the date) it is the closest English version; no knowledge of Maori language is needed.

I suspect the “English mistranslation” that Ashford quotes is what is now known as the “Official” English Treaty — see http://tinyurl.com/zykcall.

This document was a draft that James Busby created on February 3, 1840 and was discarded — see http://tinyurl.com/huwrqbo.

James Freeman (Hobson’s secretary) reworked this discarded draft and on February 8, 1840 he sent his version to the New South Wales Governor Sir George Gipps.

He sent a further “certified copy” composite version, with three printed Maori copies, to Gipps on February 21. In its grandiose language it includes the words “pre-emption”, “Lands and Estates Forests and Fisheries”. Although dated February 6, 1840 the only version signed that day was the Maori version.

Somehow in April 1840 a copy of this false version found its way to Port Waikato and Manukau where it was used as an overflow for 39 chiefs’ signatures because the Maori version was full.

Research now shows this copy was folded and later pinned and waxed behind the Maori language version.

In short, it is not a mistranslation as Ashford states, it is a false document.
GEOFF PARKER
Kamo, Whangarei

NZ Herald 5/1/17
EQUALLY OFFENDED
So Lara Bridger is offended by Sir Peter Leitch’s Waiheke Island remark. I am equally offended by her remark that as Tangata Whenua she can do as she likes. Leitch’s rejoinder that “Waiheke is a white man’s island also” is perfectly acceptable when faced by her claim to racial superiority. Well done to Sir Peter for pointing out the need for equality.
R P
Tauranga.


TALL POPPY?
Here we go again, a man makes a comment “as a joke” and it makes front page. A man who has possibly done more for Maoridom than anyone I know in the world of sport in particular. His comment was, I’m sure, in retaliation to the statement she made. Come on Herald, get a life, this sort of thing creates ill feeling and it is going on on “both” sides of the fence, or is it tall poppy syndrome? would you publish anything on the front page if Maori declared it tapu? Give it a rest.
J C,
Ngunguru.


WORDS FAIL
If “Billy T” had made those same remarks, would the woman have carried on in the same way? I doubt it. God almighty, are we that precious about what is said? Sir Peter with his Maori granddaughter with him and this woman still can’t see the wood for the trees. And as for the photo of the offended woman, words fail me. This family needs to get a life.
B H
Algies Bay.

Hawke's Bay Today 5/1/17 (Text Us section)
* Can't understand why people want to change the name of Blackhead Beach that's part of Captain Cooks history & that's what I've called it for 50yrs can't pronounce or spell the suggested name.
IC

* Re renaming places with black and n***** in them what about places with white in them. A blackboard had to change to a chalkboard but a whiteboard is ok.

Marlborough Express 3/1/17
STREET SIGNS
I read in today’s paper that the ‘council’ is going to consider English/Maori street signs for Marlborough. Unbelievable!

For Pete’s sake, surely we can trust our elected representatives to spend our hard-earned rates money on more constructive and beneficial projects than the result of Cynthia Brooks having a sleepless night.

Something simple like earthquake recovery and potable water for our important provincial towns would be good.

And to rub salt into the wound the council proposals will be submitted to the local iwi for consideration and response, before any action.

Hang on a minute mate! What happened to the people who will be paying for this fanciful notion, and just happen to be in the vast majority, the ratepayers!

Are we not included in this decision? Where is democracy? A referendum would be the only way to make the decision a fair one. I wonder if our new, dedicated to Marlborough Mayor Leggett will see the light?
D W Picton

Wanganui Chronicle 3/1/17
VICTIM OF WHAT?
Potonga Neilson (Wanganui Chronicle December 30) seems to think he is a victim and speaks on behalf of the tribes of Taranaki. But a victim of what?

Mr Neilson, remaining a victim of circumstance is what people choose and it's not something forced upon them. It is a choice you have made. It allows you to blame other people and encourages you to avoid responsibility for your own life and feel sorry for your self and guarantees you will remain a perceived victim of some injustice.

Remember the potato famine in Ireland 1845 and the brutality of the English towards the Irish people, who left Ireland in droves to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or face starvation? These Irish people were victims of circumstance but chose not to remain a victim of circumstance.

Maori corporations registered as charitable trusts pay no tax — a special privilege not available to others. We again see millions of dollars going to resurrect the Maori language. We see unelected Maori appointed to councils not available to others. We see massive Treaty settlements and most unjustified.

I also note the Maori chiefs in Taranaki sold land, some of it three times over, to settlers and the purchasers were then forced to give it back to the tribes. Who became the victim then?
M L
Te Puke