Oct - December

Northland Age 28/12/17 
DIRECT LINE
Given the mirth generated by the 'Trafalgar 2017' narrative that I passed on to your readers recently, I thought perhaps they might also raise a smile at this.

Napoleon asked Lord Nelson why the British Navy was always successful. "It's because we pray before battle," Nelson told him. "But so do we," complained Napoleon. "No doubt you do," replied Nelson, "but we pray in English."
LEO LEITCH, Hamilton 
  
Bay of Plenty Times 30/12/17 
USE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE
At the time of the last local body elections to select people to fill positions on the Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District Councils and the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, some people of Maori ancestry stood for election and positions in the above organisations.

All candidates presented a written statement about their reasons for standing for selection, plus their CV.

After studying these from all candidates, I chose some candidates to fill places I could vote for. Some were of Maori ancestry chosen for what I considered their suitability, not their racial ancestry — some won an appointment too.

Much has been made of the low turnout of voters of Maori ancestry for the Western Bay of Plenty District Council. To me, these folk had equal opportunity to other voters.

So I wonder if it was from a personal choice or group influence that they decided not to vote.

The Treaty made us one people with equal rights and responsibilities.
W GOLDSMITH, Pyes Pa

Bay of Plenty Times 29/12/17 
SEPARATISM
I have followed the Maori wards debate via your newspaper with interest and would like to respond to Peter Dey (Letters, December 20).

Those who subscribe to the group Maori are New Zealanders and have the rights and representation as such, anything else is racial separatism, which in my view Mr Dey obviously supports.
GEOFF PARKER, Whangarei

Bay of Plenty Times 28/12/17 
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TREATY
I hope most people have read my last letter (Letters, December 13) with more care than Mr Dey (Letters, December 18) has done.

As I stated, the Treaty says precisely: “All the people of New Zealand”. Why would Hobson choose otherwise?

That Parliament has twisted it since does not alter that plain fact.

My understanding is the so-called “English version” written by Freeman was only the second page of the agreement signed at Waikato Heads, used merely for an overflow of signatures, and has no real constitutional significance whatever.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson


MAORI VOTERS
As a New Zealand Maori, or a descendant of a New Zealand Maori, you can enrol on the Maori electoral roll or the general electoral roll.

The type of electoral roll you are on makes no difference to which party you can vote for.

Every voter has the same list of political parties to choose from when using their party vote.

It is noted that in the 2017 elections Maori voters did not select the Maori Party.

However, the electoral roll type you choose may have an impact on your vote in a local authority or council election if your local authority has created Maori wards.

If you have chosen to go on the Maori electoral roll and your local authority decides to create a Maori ward, you would have to vote for the candidate in the Maori ward.

So, if Maori wards are introduced in any council, it is compulsory for those Maori to vote in that Maori ward. I believe this is not democracy.

They have no choice of other candidates and non-Maori have minority-elected compulsory Maori councillors in addition to existing iwi representation.

The moral of the story is: Think carefully when voting in a Maori ward poll.
R E STEPHENS, Mount Maunganui

Taranaki Daily News 28/12/17
CELTIC CLAIM
On Wednesday December 20th the Treaty of Waitangi Minister, Andrew Little, signed an agreement with eight local iwis to share the responsibility, with Government, to make Mt Egmont /Taranaki a legal personality.

He stated that it is part of a cultural redress that will create a joint Crown-iwi governance entity for the park. Where is the governance for all the rest of the people?

He hasn't been 100 days in office and he is giving more special rights over the mountain to Maori.

Taranaki was originally Taranaich (pronounced Taranach), after the Celtic chief Rua Taranaich, the Celtic god of thunder and lighting. A few thousand years ago it would had been a full blown volcano spewing forth lots of fire.

The Celts (our ancestors) lived in Taranaki about 1000 years before any arrival of Maori.

This is another made-up claim just to appease Maori. This mountain was special to our people as well but we have been left out again with any say in it.

The mountain is for everybody, not just for Maori.
IAN BROUGHAM, Wanganui


ME AND MY MOUNTAIN
I read that Taranaki iwi are a step closer to having Mt Taranaki recognised as a member of their whanau; that it will become a "legal personality".

Sigh. Where will this nonsense end? Will my mountain be a bloke or a sheila?

I was born here, spent most of my life elsewhere and am now home in my geriatricity. I have never lost my love of the sight of what I now acknowledge as Mt Taranaki, but was always Mt Egmont to me -those magical first glimpses as I returned to visit Family.

I climbed it (not him or her) 11 times. Clothed with snow or naked, it is a thing of beauty.

Nothing reflects my hometown more than my mountain, but this business of treating a mountain as a citizen is a load of hui.

Doubtless I will be deemed racist for saying so. Spare me days, as my 1860s Frankley Rd antecedents would've said.
STEVE JONES, New Plymouth
Bay of Plenty Times 27/12/17 
MAORI WARDS
Alan Armstrong’s take on council wards (Letters, December 16) leaves me somewhat bemused.

In most cases in areas like Rotorua and Tauranga City, I believe there is no justification for any ward system at all. The arrant nonsense being floated is that it is a way of ensuring minority representation of whatsoever kind (in reality Maori race-based representation) and I have advocated against wards and for that matter race-based parliamentary seats for many years.

Yes, councils by virtue of statutory compulsion have been forced to acknowledge Maori vested interests and I believe that is wrong because citizens are never consulted.

New Plymouth and its mayor got exactly what they deserved. Where necessary, simply have community boards to protect minority interests.

In my opinion, the trouble is councils are not open, transparent or honest about what they are up to, hence voters have every reason to be incensed when this try on promoting race-based privilege occurs.

Make no mistake Mr Armstrong, the numbers will be there to force a poll and I for one would be very surprised if voters do not overwhelmingly overturn the Western Bay District Council decision on Maori ward seats. (Abridged)
S PATERSON, Arataki

Bay of Plenty Times 26/12/17 
DEMOCRACY COST
I gather from Peter Dey’s comments (Letters, December 20) a vote on Maori wards does not justify $70,000 to be spent on democracy.

Maybe he can enlighten me on the cost of democracy?

Mr Dey mentions that I have been reported as saying Maori wards are divisive but fails to mention that I believe in a level playing field for all and that ethnic-based groups should not have advantages over others.

I believe Mr Dey has lost the concept of equality and with no regard for the public good.

His proposal on Maori wards is a method to allow people to rely on patronage and payback as a means of advancing.

Instead of unifying our district and country to move forward on solving our problems it divides neighbour from neighbour.

Just like the Marine and Coastal Areas Act will do.

Maybe it is time for New Zealanders and Maori alike to wake up and realise just that we are New Zealanders — nothing else.

All this division and separation are like we are in the 19th century instead of the 21st and ethnic-based tribal politics has to stop.
MIKE LALLY, Te Puke

Bay of Plenty Times 22/12/17 
MAORI WARDS
In reply to A Armstrong, (Letters, December 16), comparing Western Bay District Council case for Maori wards with what happened in New Plymouth in 2016 and how it caused division and was polarising.

That has already happened and why we are rejecting the Maori ward situation, which was decided on by our council and Maori. We, the people, were never consulted. Should we really just roll over?

In reply to your comment on minority wards, I have already written before that women also should have a ward. We are under-represented on council, too.

The rural sector should be given more votes in government elections, too. They are under-represented nationally. They own the majority of the land and contribute hugely to the country’s income, but do not have equal voting.

We could go on and on and have many more wards — where does it stop?

At the end of the day we are all one people, aren’t we?

This last election has shown that Maori are very capable of getting elected like anyone else. They do not need preferential treatment.

We, the people, were never advised or involved in this decision on Maori ward(s) so it is they who have polarised and disenfranchised us, the majority of ratepayers.

In my view, those councillors and mayor who voted for this should resign, just like the mayor in New Plymouth had to.
C HUMPHREYS, Katikati

Sunlive / Weekend Sun 22/12/17 
NOT ALL NZERS ENAMOURED
Jim Bunny's open letter (page 2, The Weekend Sun, December 15) raises a couple of points worth investigating further.

The first is, I am sure there are many more than Don who are tired of the use of Maori on what is generally accepted as an English programme. It may be hard for some people to accept but not all New Zealanders are enamoured with te reo Maori, nor are some convinced that the millions of taxpayer dollars spent in trying to preserve the language is the best use of the money.

The second point is why would “an ocker” (Jim Bunny's word) use te reo Maori when reciting the oath of allegiance rather than English or NZ Sign Language which is also an official language. I can't help thinking she had an ulterior motive. Maybe I just have a suspicious mind.
P BURRELL, Katikati.


SITE OF MASSACRE
The museum site is a massacre site that is, in fact, a grave site of treachery. See pages 190-191 of R D Crosby's ‘The Musket Wars'.

Whatever is put there, be it museum or building, should tell the story and reflect the short lives of those who were massacred there in 1828. Seven hundred lives reported lost in an intertribal utu action is substantial.
D MACKAY, Papamoa.


TE REO MORE THAN WELL-SERVED
Mr Bunny, your criticism of Dr Brash (page 2, The Weekend Sun, December 15) indicates that you did not hear the radio interview or lack the mental acuity to understand what was said. Dr Brash did not criticise te reo but only the ego trip of Guyon Espiner, who exceeded his professional duties at National Radio by speaking in a language incomprehensible to his audience without the grace to translate.

With 21 radio and two television stations, and a budget exceeding $50 million for the part-Maori 14.9 per cent of the population, te reo is more than well-served.
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

Dominion Post 22/12/17 
A PEAK FOR ALL
Well done, Craggy Range, for gifting the opportunity for thousands of locals and visitors to enjoy more of Te Mata Peak; we love your foresight

Everything you have added to Hawke's Bay has been something for us to be proud of (Putting scar on Te Mata Peak against the law, Dec 20).

Looks like this is another prospecting opportunity for those who think they are caretakers to put their hand out for compensation, while there are volunteers who gift their time and knowledge for the love of the land so more of us can enjoy the beauty it offers.

Open your eyes and see the gift of enjoyment.
ANDREA NAPIER Havelock North

Bay of Plenty Times 21/12/17 
PATRONISING
Peter Dey is correct ( Letters, December 20), spending $70,000 on a poll by Western Bay Council is totally unjustified.

The fault, though, does not lie with those calling for a poll, in my view, but with a mayor and some councillors who voted for a Maori ward without listening to or consulting with the community.

If they had, they would have known that a poll would be held and the proposition soundly defeated and $70,000 would have been saved.

Maori are perfectly capable of being voted in on merit, anything else is simply patronising.
RICHARD PRINCE, Welcome Bay


VOTE A MYSTERY
I am mystified why Maori wish to be treated differently in Western Bay Council representation.

Such rural councils are about roads and other services plus facilities for small communities and towns.

The key aspect of representation is geographical, not racial, nor particularly male/ female.

All community groups that include iwi have their say through their elected geographical representatives.

The effect of Maori wards would be a type of double dipping – Maori are already represented by their geographical councillor.

There is another interesting aspect.

Land designated as Maori land does not have to pay rates.

I recall from many years back that this was a significant bone of contention among European title holders.

Presumably, if Maori wards did go ahead, all Maori would feel duty-bound to pay rates on Maori land just like anyone else, notwithstanding some practical difficulties with multiple ownership.

Another point – if the council did go ahead with Maori wards there must be a mechanism whereby they can automatically lapse.

Look what happened to the Maori political party in the last election. All Maori seats went to Labour.
BILL CAPAMAGIAN, Tauranga

Taranaki Daily News 21/12/17 
GOOD GUARDIANS?
I see another local iwi was rip off by their own employees, this time Te Kahui O Taranaki for over $47,000. This is the second case in recent times.

When this sort of behaviour happens within the iwi managements how can we trust them to become part of the management and guardians of our Mt Taranaki and the Egmont National Park, I wonder? The only addiction here, is greed.
IAN MCALPINE Stratford

Northern Advocate 20/12/17 
MESSAGE LOST
Whangarei Girls' High School drama teacher Bill Walker is completely misunderstanding the message when he suggests that Don Brash "doesn't really represent mainstream Pakeha" (Advocate, December 16).

In any public poll, approximately 80-90 per cent of mainstream New Zealanders do support democracy and all citizens being subject to the same rules.

Laws and policies should not be applied according to race or any preferred ancestry mix.

When it comes to education and language, we need to look to the future.

Cultural enjoyment is largely a personal thing and needs to be balanced with the demands of the outside world.

The taxpayer should be funding the skillsets that will help our people get jobs, contribute to the economy and thrive internationally.
FIONA MACKENZIE, Whangaparaoa

The Press 20/12/17 
SEABED AND FORSHORE AGAIN
Maori supremacists have claims for control of our foreshore and seabed covering all of New Zealand's coastline before Parliament.

The rules have loosened. Unless we stand up and point out that tribal groups' claims that they have used our coast "exclusively" since 1840 are rubbish, they may get away with it.

The Maori elite will then be a giant step closer to dictating to ordinary New Zealanders where and how we can use our beaches and marine environment. Tribal groups would seek to exclude the public from the coast, citing so-called environmental or sustainability concerns. They would charge anyone they could for using their beach and marine area.

It's not about mana, but money. Most claims being made have included rights to extract minerals from the foreshore and seabed, when so many iwi have publicly opposed mining on the coast.

Maori supremacists are driven by their belief that the Treaty has given them superior rights. It's up to the rest of us who believe in equality, freedom and democracy to speak out against their dangerous agenda.

Speak up now before its too late. Write to your MP today.
DENIS SHUKER Cambridge

Dominion Post 20/12/17 
LAND GRAB
As Kiwis of every race enjoy our wonderful beaches this summer, are they aware of the legal moves to own and control New Zealand's coastline?

The Government has granted $8.45 million to Maori groups claiming customary interests in the coastline and every inch of it is now under an ownership claim.

With ownership comes control over the coastline and the right to deny access, as well as the owner-ship of valuable mineral rights.

It will cost you $110 for each objection if you want to object to a single claim, while Maori groups can receive up to a maximum of $316,750 in government assistance for each claim they make.

If this appears to be the biggest land grab in New Zealand's history, that's because it almost certainly is. It will result in closed areas of coastline, charges to use your favourite beaches or denial of access.

It will almost certainly poison the relationship between Maori and other citizens of New Zealand.

The Labour-led Government should stop this takeover of our coastline and declare that the coast of New Zealand remains in Crown ownership in perpetuity.

After all, it was a Labour government under Helen Clark that thwarted Maori claims on the foreshore and seabed the last time around. Do they have the courage?
NEIL HARRAP, Wellington

Bay of Plenty Times 19/12/17 
SPECIAL RIGHTS
Alan Armstrong (Letters, December 16) suggests a geographic ward and a Maori ward serve the same purpose. They don’t.

A geographic ward represents a community with an identifiable geographic interest. The councillors elected represent all their community, irrespective of ethnicity.

A Maori ward is the opposite, being elected by and answerable only to an ethnic group and required to promote their wants as opposed to the needs of the wider community.

Would Asian and Pasifika wards be appropriate? And don’t forget the Irish and the Dutch.

Alan Armstrong reaches for the go-to word racist to support his case but seems blinkered to the fact that racism is a group having rights, privileges, and power accorded on the basis of race that is not enjoyed by other ethnicities. This is contrary to the principles of democracy and Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi which grants equality of citizenship.

In New Plymouth, it was not the poll that was polarising, but the actions of a mayor who didn’t listen to the people and thought he could subvert democracy. Western Bay Council is like deja vu.

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

Dominion Post 19/12/17 
COLUMNIST ON MARK
Karl du Fresne nailed it with his critical comments on the Kim Hill/ Don Brash Maori language radio interview when he describes Hill as RNZ's "attack dog".

Brash didn't stand a chance in that fight, he's far too well mannered.

Of course, everyone knows Don has the old-fashioned idea that all New Zealanders are created equal. How quaint!
JAMES COOK, Thorndon

Waikato Times 19/12/17 
RACIST AGENDA
To the Mayor of the Western Bays and those of the council who voted with him to follow a racist agenda and appoint Maori Wards; when the poll in 2018 for rebuttal is counted, and there will be a poll, and your proposal is soundly defeated by a population that do not support ethnic privilege, will you gracefully resign from office for not having ascertained their needs and anticipated their wishes or will you remain, to collect your council stipend and continue to promote your own agenda?
BRYAN JOHNSON, Ornokoroa

Waikato Times 16/12/17 
HOME TRUTHS
Recent malicious attacks on Dave Witherow (ODT) on Ma¯ ori language and Sir William Gallagher on the Treaty rorting for telling it how it is and for expounding a few home truths reek of self-interest and racism.

Fortunately many of us can pick the rorters, quislings, PC brigaders, gravytrainers, idiot magnets and other charlatans a mile away. Those bozos that will not accept concrete facts instead preferring to promote untruthful rewritten history choose to be apologists treatyists and revisionists. Frankly this is anti-Kiwi behaviour with no place in New Zealand. Perhaps go find another country to destroy with their PC vitriolic abusive aspersions if this is the best they can come up with.

Incidentally Sir William only said sorry if he had offended anyone and no doubt he succumbed to pressure to do even that because basic facts outlined by him are totally correct and true. Those who oppose the frauds being perpetrated on this country are not rednecks, they are patriots who love New Zealand so get used to it "freedom of speech" has always been the cornerstone of our New Zealand democracy and honest opinions should be broadcast as of right.
ROB PATERSON, Mt Maunganui

Dominion Post 16/12/17 
BRASH REPORTING
Karl du Fresne has ft just right (Dinosaur v dominatrix: Brash gets whipping, Dec 15) in his excoriation of Kim Hill for her nasty treatment of Don Brash.

Unfortunately Brash did not have his arguments marshalled clearly, and his logic was a bit dodgy. I fear, too, he is not the most able representative of us elderly, white males.

Although he might be regarded as a dinosaur, it is just as easy to ascribe reptilian characteristics to Hill; cold, unblinking and menacing a snake in the radio.

Furthermore, Radio NZ employs more than just Hill's hissing viciousness. Witness the chirpy arrogance of Guyon Espiner, the cloying platitudes of Jim Mora, the witless gushing of Wallace Chapman and the relentless cheerfulness of Kathryn Ryan, and you have a mix made in hell.

As an elderly, white (actually brownish-pink) male I have memories of a more orderly world where radio presenters and interviewers were polite, did not push political agendas, and actually listened to what they were told.

Today, Radio Ego-land seems to be more the reality, with mature commentary and polite interviews as rare as dinosaurs.
ALLEN HEATH, Lower Hutt

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 15/12/17 
WILL YOU RESIGN?
To the Mayor of the Western Bay and those of the council who voted with him to follow a racist agenda and appoint Maori wards. When the poll in 2018 for rebuttal is counted – and there will be a poll – and your proposal is soundly defeated by a population that do not support ethnic privilege, will you gracefully resign from office for not having ascertained their needs and anticipated their wishes or will you remain, to collect your council stipend and continue to promote your own agenda?
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.


ONE STANDARD FOR ALL
P Dey in criticising Cr. Lally's Maori ward stance (The Weekend Sun, December 8) fails to understand that councillors are elected to represent all of their community, including Maori, and advocate for all.

A Maori ward is the opposite, being elected and answerable only to an ethnic group and required to promote their needs as opposed to that of the wider community.

Promoters of Maori wards should reflect on the words of Massey University academic Dr Brian McDonnell of Tuhoe descent. “We must have one standard of citizenship for all and the over-arching identity in the progressive NZ state must be unified citizenship, not class divisions based on 1840 groupings. The order in which your ancestors arrived as migrants, settlers to this country, cannot give you a constitutional status that is different from anyone else. We cannot have two types of citizenship depending on your ethnic group – one made up of people like myself who whakapapa back to iwi and hapu and those who don't. To embed this in some permanent way is intolerable. People who are born here belong to this land equally”.

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


PETITION RE MAORI WARDS
The recent decision supported by most Western Bay councillors (except Crs Mike Lally, Kevin Marsh and Margaret Murray-Benge) to vote for race-based Maori wards has predictably led to an outcry in the community.

A petition for a poll to vote on the councillors' decision has been commissioned and the 1708 signatures needed to force a poll would seem a mere formality.

Having regard to past polling history on various NZ councils' race-based issues, it is fair to assume 80 per cent of public will vote against race-based Maori wards. As there has been no formal consultation with the public and nor have their views been canvassed, this seems a clear breach of the Local Government Act. If this no vote comes to pass, those eight councillors and the mayor, swayed by vested Maori interests and wooed by waiata and warbling who enthusiastically supported this aberration, should immediately resign because such a countermand vote would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence by Western Bay electors in them. This could result in eight councillor by-elections plus a mayoral election.

Tellingly it appears no elected members ever told the public of their Maori Ward aspirations at 2016 elections, plus recent public excluded meetings/forums and hidden separatist agendas reek of underhand scheming.
R PATERSON, Matapihi.


LET’S OPPOSE SHALLOW THINKERS
The politically correct and obviously confused majority of Western Bay district councillors and mayor, who advocate racially dividing seats on council, need to join the present century and represent the people who voted them in.

A recent five-week trip to the USA in mostly country areas with many Indian reservations, and prior to that a study of Australian aborigines, makes me realise how good our relationship with our lovely Maori people really is.

Most good-hearted Kiwis have had a gutsful of the few elitist and divisive Maori who criticise and constantly ask for money. They seem to want to persist in punishing our generation and try to drive a wedge of separatism and aparthied thinking into a relationship that most of us are proud of.

I do not support our misdirected and PC Western Bay district council, who I am very sad about, a little ashamed of, and dare I say it, a little contemptuous of.

I hope my good Maori mates will see this tokenism for the insult it is. In central government 27 people with Maori blood have proved they have the ability, common sense, and the guts to achieve high office.

Let's oppose the shallow thinkers and our council and salute all New Zealanders in our modern multicultural society, regardless of race, politics, religion or skin colour and let them have a say.

Common sense and decency demand it. (Abridged).
N MAYO, Katikati


CRITICISM ‘FALSE AND MISCHIEVOUS’
I cannot let P Dey's comments (The Weekend Sun, December 8) go unanswered.

His bankrupted idea is that good business or politics is to funnel as much of the public pie as much as possible into one's family, tribe, or circle without any regard for the public good.

One has to question Mr Dey's reasoning with the welfare of our country. Does he not believe one people, one country?

Instead of unifying our country to move forward and solving our issues he prefers to divide neighbour from neighbour – for whatever reason only Mr Dey will ever know.

His criticism that Maori are not worthy of being represented by me is false and mischievous and does him no credit, as with the other treaty issues he writes about which are economical on the truth.

Having recently observed signatures being collected for a poll on Maori wards, most people want a level playing field. I also sighted a number of Maori who signed the petition.

Well Mr Dey, what mischievous and false representations are you going to make about those who signed because they want a level playing field and are also interested in the welfare of New Zealand and its people?
M LALLY, Te Puke.

Bay of Plenty Times 14/12/17 
WARDS FOR ALL COMERS
Peter Day (Opinion, December 7) claims the Treaty of Waitangi says it is only fair that Western Bay of Plenty District Council has Maori wards, but the treaty says no such thing. It is completely silent on political representation, and simply states that all New Zealanders have equal rights.

Mr Day also notes that the “Maori community has no council representatives”.

Those under 40 have no council representative either and women, who are 51 per cent of the population, only have one councillor of 12. But guess what, everyone is free to stand for election.

In Parliament, there are 29 Maori MPs out of a total of 120 MPs, several in serious leadership roles. Only seven were elected in the separatist Maori electorates, proving beyond doubt that Maori are perfectly capable of being elected if they want to be, without the need for separatist arrangements.
MARGARET MURRAY-BENGE, Bethlehem


STATUS QUO
In 2014 Tauranga City Council voted against the creation of a Maori ward in the 2016 elections. Speaking to Te Ao Maori on RNZ in November 2014, Mayor Stuart Crosby defended the move, saying “my personal view is that in due course there should and will be direct Maori representation around our council table. A number of treaty settlements are taking place alongside existing co-management and governance arrangements that ensure Maori have a voice in the creation of council policy”.

This has indeed happened. Tauranga’s council has a consulting process with 16 iwi/ hapu. The RMA provides for compulsory consultation. The Tauranga Moana Collective and Kaumatua Forum operate within the council. The council has a duty to represent the whole community without bias or prejudice.

Maori voters choosing not to vote in a Maori candidate means they are satisfied with the status quo and do not require a Maori ward. The electoral system is there for a reason.

Residents in other cities have voted against Maori wards or compulsory Maori seats and some of these voters have undoubtedly been Maori who do not want to be forced into voting for a Maori candidate – that is not a democracy.
RE STEPHENS, Mount Maunganui

Waikato Times 14/12/17 
VIEW CHALLENGED
I cannot allow Russell O Armitage's letter, Waikato Times, December 9, go unchallenged Mr Armitage was very emotionally critical of Bill Gallagher and his supporters, using words like "gross ignorance, incorrect opinions, wilfully informed and rants".

The last sentence of his letter suggests he believes that we live in a democracy and I would like to agree with him however my dictionary gives the meaning of democracy as (1) A system of government by the whole population and (2) A classless and tolerant society.

Since the advent of MMP, New Zealand surely qualifies as a democracy under the first meaning of the word but as a country we fail miserably under the second meaning.

The blatant pursuit of an even greater share of the wealth of this country by our wealthiest (privileged) citizens, think John Key, property speculators and CEOs has well and truly put a lie to New Zealand being a classless society and as for being a tolerant society, Russell Armitage's display of intolerance puts paid to that also.

Russell take note. Two people can read the same story and come away with different messages (opinions) from that story. Both opinions (beliefs) are valid to that person.
GREG BATLEY Hamilton
Bay of Plenty Times 13/12/17 
INTERPRETING TREATY’S INTENT
Peter Dey (Opinion, December 7) is correct when he identifies 1975 as the time that the Treaty of Waitangi began to be reinvented, replacing equality with partnership and special rights to Maori, based — as stated in legislation — on a definition by race.

For the first 135 years after the signing of the Treaty, it was clearly understood by all. Sir Apirana Ngata made this clear in a 1940 broadcast speech at the opening of a meeting house at Waitangi, as part of the centennial celebrations.

“Let me say one thing. Clause one of the Treaty handed over the mana and the sovereignty of New Zealand to Queen Victoria and her descendants forever. That is the outstanding fact today, that but for the sovereignty handed over to her majesty and her descendants I doubt that there would be a free Maori race in New Zealand today.”

The best way to reject racial privilege today is to return to the initial meaning of the Treaty and to return to the great principle that we are one people.
JOHN ROBINSON, Waikanae


ALL PEOPLE
Peter Dey (Opinion, December 7) claims that there is a special relationship between the Crown and Maori because the Treaty “grants Maori tino rangatiratanga over their whenua”.

If he would actually read the Treaty — which is in the Ngapuhi dialect — he would find that Article Second says, amongst other things, that the Queen guarantees to “nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o ratou wenua”.

If his knowledge of Te Reo is as good as mine, he will discover that this guarantee is to “all the people of New Zealand” — no special mention of Maori, no Aotearoa, no whenua. Interesting?

The recent revisionism of the Treaty of Waitangi Act and Court of Appeal decision is like declaring that lead is gold. They do not make it so.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson

Waikato Times 13/12/17 
NO APOLOGY NEEDED
Yes, Mr Russell O Armitage, I did notice your previous letter stating that I should keep my pen in my pocket which surprised me that you did not suggest another place to jam it.

However your letter in Saturday, December 9, demanding that all who believed with Sir William Gallagher’s views should all write in and apologise, deserves an answer.

I did not write in but my views were similar to his in aspects but as far as apologies are concerned, you can take them straight to hell.

All the experts stated there are two treaties. They are totally different in aspects but both recognised as The Treaty of Waitangi and Sir William appears to have spoken from one so he was correct.

This is something that needs sorting at government level as to why they are different, what, if, by whom and when changes were made, good luck to them in arriving at an amicable agreement.

The last part of your rant Mr Russell O Armitage about flushing out people, calling them names like red necks then blowing about being vigilant sounds like a refreshing blast from a biblical period however I didn't think democracy was around.
BRIN HITCHENS Ngaruawahia 
  
Sunday Star Times 10/12/17 
TE REO DISSENT
Alice Snedden’s thinly veiled sarcasm, personal and indeed petty attacks on both Don Brash and Sir William Gallagher (‘‘Don, it’s time to move on’’, Escape, December 3) does your newspaper no credit at all.

It would appear that any dissenting view on what in some quarters is increasingly being argued as a call for the mandatory adoption of Maori in wider society is subject to racist (yes, please do review the definition of this word!) retorts by individuals and groups who use the word as an emotive cudgel.

These are the same individuals who still talk about the ‘‘infamous’’ Orewa talk Brash gave all those years ago, labelling it as racist without taking the time to reflect on what was said and presented which, in essence, was ‘‘equality’’ in our society.

Can we please discuss these issues in a balanced fashion without resorting to lazy, reactive and often abusive personal responses.
CRAIG LEWIS, Leigh


I fail to see how an observation by Brash that no-one can understand Maori being spoken on the radio can be construed as being racist. People who speak Maori to a predominantly Pakeha audience (including parliamentarians) are probably more racist than Brash – although I think they are just showing off – and whatever message they are trying to impart is lost anyway.
GRANT OLESEN, Auckland

Bay of Plenty Times 8/12/17 
MAORI WARDS CONCERN
Sometimes in life, we have to stand up and make our views heard, and one important way to do this is to petition one's council to poll the whole community so the whole community can vote on an issue and not just nine councillors.

If one believes that in a democracy we all have the right and are free to stand for election to local government, to represent our communities. We take the risk that of winning or losing, and that is the challenge we all face. Many good people have won and many good people have lost. Usually, people who work hard for their communities have a greater chance of being elected. At Western Bay, I am the only female councillor, yet we women are 51 per cent of the population, but we women have to stand and take the risk, with no special treatment. So, to set up a separate Maori ward(s) is such a retrograde step, as we are all equal, and I cannot vote for any system that takes us down the road of apartheid or patronise my neighbours by pretending they are not good enough.
MARGARET MURRAY-BENGE, Bethlehem

Waikato Times 8/12/17 
SIR WILLIAM
Good on Sir William Gallagher for telling this privilege-by-birth as it is. The original Treaty got it right, ie, we are all one people. Equal! The group who are using their interpretation of the Treaty to promote apartheid and self advantage will continue their immoral behaviour by ignoring the message and attacking the messenger.

As to Rosemary McLeod’s using the biased headlines to pursue her man-hating comments, she needs to read the book mentioned by Sir Bill. Perhaps add to that the recent ‘‘Twisting the Treaty’’! Even the letters to the editor will tell her that he speaks for many in our multicultural society. Discuss the issues not the character.
PETER H WOOD, Hamilton
Otago Daily Times 4/12/17 
SKIN COLOUR SHOULD NOT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE
THOSE who disagree with Dave Witherow, and brand him racist, are only too ready to use ageist, racist and sexist language themselves by calling him an ‘‘old white man’’, believing this devalues his opinion and gives their viewpoint weight.

Maori culture and superstitions are given special recognition and rights in legislation such as the Resource Management Act, Local Bodies Act, the Marine and Coastal Areas Act etc. No recognition is accorded to Pakeha culture and JudeoChristian beliefs.

Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi grants equality of citizenship but special recognition is not equality.

To give the Maori world view a status superior to anyone else’s world view is a denial of the democratic principle of democracy as a form of government, in which all eligible citizens are able to participate equally.

Equality used to be just that — equality. Treating everyone equally, alike.

These days it is not that at all. Equality now means discrimination disguised as ideals; it means preferential treatment for any special interest groups, especially Maori.

Promoters of these ideas are not interested in equality but rather recognition of inequality.

No person should be disadvantaged for having a different skin colour, nor should any person be advantaged for exactly the same reason.
RICHARD PRINCE, Tauranga

NZ Herald 4/12/17 
SOCIAL ENGINEERING
Jack Tame’s piece “We can do better at te reo” ( Herald on Sunday) positions him firmly in the camp of social engineers, constantly telling us what we should be thinking and doing. Unlike English (the worldwide language of business), te reo hasn’t evolved through time adopting words from other languages as appropriate. No, its promoters invent brand new ones.

I’ve heard Kiwis raised in Maorispeaking households say they can’t understand it. So if it’s not for improved communication, the force-feeding of the newly developed te reo can only be a tool for political control.

Jack has also failed to grasp the concerns of “the likes of Don Brash”. Radical tribal elites have long been saying that they are after full sovereignty. Their long-term campaign is succeeding with the taxpayer already funding many cogovernance bodies with no established objectives, no elections, no transparency and no accountability. Dr Brash is only warning us of the demise of democracy along with our equal rights, peace and prosperity.

Look through history or around the world, Jack, then tell us where tribal rule works for all.
FIONA MACKENZIE, Whangaparaoa.

NZ Herald 4/12/17 (Short & Sweet section) 
ON TE REO RADIO
Guyon Espiner would do a service and a courtesy to the vast majority of his audience who do not speak the language if he would translate the high speed message he delivers in te reo most mornings.
PETER CLAPSHAW, Parnell.

ON RAHUI
When will we have a rahui to stop the spread of myrtle rust?
BRUCE TUBB, Belmont

Waikato Times 4/12/17 
VOCAL VANITY
Our main broadcaster, Radio New Zealand, does not exist for Guyon Espiner to feed his vanity by displaying his developing language skills to the incomprehension and bemusement of 98% of the listening audience. This is a gross subversion of his role and he should be held accountable.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa

Bay of Plenty Times 2/12/17 
NOTHING SPECIAL
I question whether anybody as ignorant of the contents of the Treaty of Waitangi as Graham Cameron is fitted to be a member of any local body. Cameron claims (News: November 25) that there is a: "special relationship between the Crown and New Zealand's indigenous people set out in the Treaty of Waitangi". This is simply untrue.

What the Treaty actually granted to Maori was the same rights as the people of England —in a word; equality. No less, no more. That, and only that, is democracy. Anything else is apartheid.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson
Waikato Times 2/12/17 
SIR WILLIAM 2
As a long time former Hamiltonian I read with interest the reported comments by Sir William. Here is a man brave enough to express an opinion which is seen by some to be non PC.

The reactions to his comments would indicate to me that those who disagree have been ‘‘challenged’’ and therefore there may be some unwelcome truths in his comments.

Why else would there be such reactions?

Those with no axe to grind would read the comments and accept them for what they are and would move on. Let the matter rest.
ALLAN GOUGH, Geraldine

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 1/12/17 
MEDIA COVERAGE AT LAST
The average lethargic Kiwi should be grateful to Sir Bill Gallagher and for his speech to the Waikato institute of Directors as reported in the press. A little research can quickly verify his claims.

At last the media has seen fit to publish his claims; claims that echo the concerns of a multitude of New Zealanders relating to the Treaty and the successive governments' revisions that have seen rather dubious interpretations enshrined in law.

Alterations to national statutes, regulations and legislation, including the Treaty, have seen Maori, 15 per cent of our population, gain preferences and inordinate powers.

Sir Bill voiced concerns that the media have been reluctant to publish previously. Historically-validated articles of many contentious issues, and letters contesting ethnically-contrived amendments have been ignored.

This letter, lacking the newsworthiness of Sir Bill's speech, will doubtlessly be consigned to a PC editor's dustbin.
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.


SIR WILLIAM CORRECT
Of course Sir William Gallagher knew exactly what he was saying when he said the 1975 version of the Treaty of Waitangi was a fraud. Also, the document from which it was developed was incorrect. A man of Sir William's standing would not make such a statement without checking his facts. The only true version was that signed by Hobson on behalf of Queen Victoria and by over 500 Maori leaders. It gave Maori sovereignty to the Queen in return for British citizenship. A very good deal.
L CHRISTIE, Otumoetai.


MOMENT OF TRUTH
On November 21 I had to take part in the debate on the issue of Maori wards for the Western Bay of Plenty Council. I voted not to introduce Maori wards and now, for me, it is the moment of truth.

Unfortunately iwi have decided they are a victim of circumstance. It allows them to blame other people; lets them blame circumstance; permits them to avoid responsibility for their lives; encourages them to feel sorry for themselves, and guarantees they will stay a victim for financial gain. Ethic-based tribal politics has to stop.

Instead of opening business and being part of commerce, iwi has come to rely on patronage as payback as a means of advancing unqualified grievances and compensation. It stifles innovation and fractures the fabric of our society.

Instead of unifying the country it divides Kiwi from iwi and councillors of Western Bay (but not all) are part of the crime, as is central government.

The process was flawed by Western Bay Council. The public and ratepayers had no say on who will foot the bill. In two years' time I have to front up to the people in Te Puke who voted for me.

They will let me know if I got it wrong and I hope I have not let you down. (Abridged).
CR M LALLY, Te Puke-Maketu


NOTHING SHORT OF APARTHEID
I'm astounded that in 2017 the Western Bay of Plenty District Council is even contemplating voting for Maori wards (page 3, The Weekend Sun, November 24).

I agree with Kaimai councillor Margaret Murray-Benge that if Maori wards were voted in it would be nothing short of apartheid.

Mayor Garry Webber is saying that the district's constituency is made up of 11 iwi and 74 hapu, one of the highest ratios in NZ.

Can he please tell me then why the same ratio of Maori have not represented themselves, without having to be ‘spoon-fed' once again?

If anyone, of any race, creed or colour, wishes to be elected as a councillor or MP then we already have a perfectly fair system in place, based on merit, not on gratuitous white liberal pampering. Of course it also requires interest and energy.

I believe that one of the main reasons that some Maori haven't advanced into modern society is not their fault. It's the fault of progressive white people who are patronising them and causing complacency and stagnation. And I reckon most Maori think the same.

If only five per cent vote for Maori wards then there's a real chance they'll be introduced and that's not democratic or fair in my book. (Abridged).
P KELLY, Te Puna

New Zealand Herald 1/12/17 
COURAGEOUS
To Sir William Gallagher, well done and thank you for having the courage to speak out on the Treaty of Waitangi rorting at the Waikato business leaders' function last Friday evening. I strongly endorse what he had to say.

The only legitimate Treaty is the Maori version known as Te Tiriti o Waitangi indisputably translated into Maori from what has become known as the Littlewood English draft. They cross-translate virtually word for word.

The Maori treaty was a benign simple document, the terms of which we could all live with.

Sir William has correctly assessed the situation and has at least taken the time and trouble to research the subject.

I know other notables feel much the same as he does and they need to speak out and be counted.

Many politicians (local and national), jurists, government bureaucrats (local and national), various academics, pseudo historians, education leaders, the media and PC brigade who have driven this lunacy, all need to be held to account for the incalculable, possibly irreversible, damage they have done and continue to do to this country.
ROB PATERSON, Matapihi

Dominion Post 1/12/17 
RNZ AND TO REO
There have been grumblings lately, mainly on radio and some Internet news sites, about the apparently increasing use of the Maori language, and on National Radio in particular.

However, New Zealand has two official languages and Radio NZ is committed to bilingualism, so the organisation is following its charter.

Nevertheless, the scattered fragments of poorly enunciated and pronounced Maori seem merely lip service if the pun can be excused.

A prominent perpetrator is Guyon Espiner, who has implied in an interview that he speaks Maori to annoy listeners. This attitude is not doing Espiner, Radio NZ or the Maori language any favours, and his rapid-fire gabbling is cringe-worthy.

I suggest Radio NZ provide designated time slots in daily programmes such that some are entirely in Maori and others in English. Those of us who have no inclination to learn Maori or listen to it could switch off and on when necessary.

There-are Maori language radio and TV stations already for those who wish to indulge and Espiner, and his cohorts, could listen to those and learn what Maori should sound like, or otherwise shut up.
ALLEN HEATH, Woburn

Otago Daily Times 1/12/17 
DON’T FORCE LEARNING
THANK you Dave Witherow for your wonderful article (ODT, 24.11.17).

I think I am like many, many New Zealanders, including Don Brash, who are sick and tired of having Maori language forced down our throats.

It is very rude for people to speak in another language when engaged in conversation and I cannot see the point of dropping in Maori words here and there (‘‘I am going to the supermarket to get some kai’’ etc).

I am very much against any attempts to force everyone to learn the language — it is of no use to the majority of New Zealanders. [Abridged]
BRENDA ROBINSON, Andersons Bay

Bay of Plenty Times 30/11/17 
NO MAORI WARDS
I am against Maori seats as of right, this is not democracy. I believe in one man one vote, I will go as far as to say scrap the Treaty. We are one New Zealand.
KEN WHITTLE, Papamoa

Waikato Times 30/11/17 
SIR WILLIAM
The average lethargic Kiwi should be grateful to Sir Bill Gallagher and his speech to the Waikato Institute of Directors as reported in the press. A little research can quickly verify his claims.

At last the media has seen fit to publish his claims, claims that echo the concerns of a multitude of New Zealanders relating to the Treaty and the successive governments’ revisions that have seen rather dubious interpretations enshrined in law. Alterations to national statutes, regulations and legislation including the Treaty have seen Maori, 15% of our population, gain inordinate powers.

Sir Bill voiced concerns that the media have been reluctant to publish previously.

Historically validated articles of these contentious issues and letters contesting ethnically contrived amendments have been ignored.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa


SIR WILLIAM 3
What an appalling headline you produced in the Waikato Times, November 28 (‘‘Gallagher’s views ‘privileged and sad’ ’’). The Gallagher family must be the greatest benefactors in our great city. They have also provided employment for thousands of people and kept their head office and production plant in our city when they could have been relocated to almost anywhere in the world.

It is the Times that is sad using its privileged position as the local major newspaper to expose a jealousy that is unwarranted. I do not think anyone in Hamilton would believe that Sir William is privileged as the Gallagher family have worked hard to create an international empire and have at all times remained true to the city. We are all privileged to have them as part of our community.

There are many people in the community who feel the Treaty of Waitangi has been misinterpreted and is a rort, but we are not supposed to question it.

The science about climate change is far from settled and most of the political rhetoric promoted by the Greens and the others that promotes CO2 as evil seem to have limited knowledge of science.

Sir William has perhaps expressed in his speech the thoughts of many people in NZ who are never given a forum to pass public comment.

And do not forget that the charities supported by the Gallagher family do not discriminate on class, ethnicity or age.

The Waikato Times needs to publicly apologise to Sir William and the Gallagher family for its overzealous reporting.
JIM FINDLAY, Hamilton


SIR WILLIAM 4
Well done, Waikato Times, for printing Sir William Gallagher’s common sense views on climate change.

Having seen tropical fern fossils in Antarctica, and seashells in the middle of the Arizona desert, it is clear that climate change exists and is a part of time and nature. Get used to it.

Let’s have a ‘‘Common Sense’’ political party, the only requirements for membership being a desire to tell the truth, and not be an academic with no life experience trying to publish a thesis, or make a living out of scaring people to death. After all, a majority vote is no longer required to obtain a position of power – it should be quite easy. Its manifesto will be to accept, adjust and prepare for the inevitability of climate change. That would be helpful.

It is pure arrogance to think mankind can seriously affect the global climate. Sir William is right about volcanoes, never mind other natural phenomena.

In the meantime, let’s turn the electricity off for a few days and get back to ‘‘thinking’’ without the internet. I’m sure the Greens would not object.
WENDY BOOTH, Hamilton


SIR WILLIAM 5
Sir William Gallagher, well done and thank you for having the courage to speak out on the Treaty of Waitangi rorting at the Waikato business leaders function last Friday evening.

I strongly support and endorse what he had to say. The only legitimate Treaty is the Maori version known as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, indisputably translated into Maori from what has become known as the Littlewood English draft – they cross translate virtually word for word. The Maori treaty was a benign simple document, the terms of which we could all live with.

Sir William has correctly assessed the situation and has at least taken the time and trouble to research the subject. I know that other notables feel much the same as he does and they need to speak out and to stand up for what is right and be counted.

Many politicians (local and national), jurists, government bureaucrats (local and national), various academics, pseudo historians, education leaders, the media and PC Brigade who have driven this lunacy all need to be held to account for the incalculable (possibly irreversible) damage they have done and continue to do to this country.

Kiwis need eminent people like Sir William to speak up.
ROB PATERSON, Matapihi


SIR WILLIAM 6
I totally agree with Sir Bill Gallagher re the Treaty of Waitangi.

Huge wealth has been awarded for far too long to the Treaty, now 150 [sic] years old. With all their wealth, they have not been able to house their people or motivate them to work and get off the dole or out of the courts.

So where is all the money directed to? That is so sad. Talk to Maori and they say it does not get down to their struggling people.
P MORRIS, Hamilton


SIR WILLIAM 7
The vehemence of the protestations against Sir William Gallagher’s objective comments on the validity of the Treaty process is a powerful indicator of the credence of his observations. Strident and extreme verbiage is the standard tool of the precious left when they are confronted with irrefutable truths.
GRAHAM STEENSON, Whakatane


SIR WILLIAM 8
It looks like Sir William is taking a verbal scourging from some quarters, for offering his opinion on two ‘‘sacred cows’’ – the Treaty and global weather changes, ie, global warming.

It appears that the print media at least is defending his right to publish his opinions on that sound basis, ‘‘We might not agree with what he says, but we will defend unto death his right to say it.’’

Forcing the Treaty upon all Kiwis as a pseudo-religion, a sacred cow, and an unchallengeable dictate was never going to win the hearts and minds of people who are still mingling from many racial and theosophical backgrounds, in that ‘‘melting pot’’ that will eventually define all Kiwis as equal, was never a sound basis for producing that singularity demographic, ie, the true Kiwi.

Thus, Sir William is likely to face having his opinions on global warming discredited, while there will be a lot of support for his opinions regarding, the Treaty. His opponents regarding his opinions on our founding document, and the differing status of those who believe in it as such, risk their own share of ridicule if they simply trot out the omnipotent argument of racism.
DENNIS PENNEFATHER, Te Awamutu


SIR WILLIAM 9
Sir William Gallagher’s speech rightly highlights the divisiveness of granting special rights for Maori. I’m sure the offended will use the go-to words of outraged and racist to endeavour to shut the discussion down.

Maori culture and superstitions are given special recognition and rights in legislation such as the Resource Management Act, Local Bodies Act, the Marine and Coastal Areas Act, etc. No recognition is accorded to Pakeha culture and Judeo-Christian beliefs.

Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi grants equality of citizenship but special recognition is not equality. To give the Maori world view a status superior to anyone else’s world view is a denial of the democratic principle of democracy as a form of government in which all eligible citizens are able to participate equally.

Equality used to be just that; equality. Treating everyone equally, alike.

These days it is not that at all. Equality now means discrimination disguised as ideals; it means preferential treatment for special interest groups especially Maori. Promoters of these ideas are not interested in equality but rather recognition of inequality.

No person should be disadvantaged for having a different skin colour, nor should any person be advantaged for exactly the same reason.
RICHARD PRINCE, Tauranga

Otago Daily Times 30/11/17 
EXPRESSION WITHOUT FEAR
I WOULD like to congratulate Dave Witherow. Not so much on what he wrote, although that is worthy of debate, but more for the fact that he has made good use of a most valuable freedom that we have — the freedom to express ourselves without fear of imprisonment, or worse.

Where is the value of this if all we use it for is to express that which is acceptable to society or governments.

I don’t agree with all that he wrote, but I would most certainly defend his right to express his opinions.
KEN SPALL, Mosgiel


MORAL indignation oozed from Lydia Anderson’s response to Dave Witherow’s ‘‘racism’’ (ODT, 28.11.17). Methinks she has had minimal contact with urban Maori in state or rented houses whose major concern is paying bills and feeding their families.

Presumably, Ms Anderson’s ‘‘overwhelming majority’’ in support were listeners to a radio station or social media contacts?

A far bigger majority (and not just old ‘‘white men’’) support Mr Witherow’s views. In 1994, I had a task force green job at a popular school in Palmerston North with a 5050 urban country student roll. Form I and II pupils had a choice of learning Maori, French, German, Mandarin or Japanese. None chose Maori.
I. WILLIAMS, Dunedin

Bay of Plenty Times 29/11/17 
HISTORY REPEATS
Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it.

Obviously, the majority of the councillors at Western Bay District Council do not know their history by voting for Maori wards on Tuesday.

Dieu et mon droit, God and my right, or religion and inheritance, was the world order several centuries ago.

Humankind took a great leap forward in just about every way when one person, one vote became the governance of choice.

Those earlier times were not called the Dark Ages for nothing.

Introducing tribal-based unelected appointees to the council membership is in no way democratic.

Tribalism and racism are two sides of the same coin and must be rejected as a governance model.

Let us hope that a poll of ratepayers does the right thing here.
G FAULKNER, Tauranga

Dominion Post 29/11/17 
IRISH INSTRUCTION
Last week, Dame Susan Devoy, in an open response to an opinion piece in a newspaper about the use of te reo Maori, referred to the complainant's country of birth, Ireland. She is reported to have said that Irish Gaelic was a compulsory subject in all public schools, and that study at an Irish university required proficiency in Irish Gaelic.

The former is true, as Irish was given equal status with English in 1922, though the curriculum is still predominantly in English. I would assure anyone thinking of studying in Ireland that it is NOT a prerequisite of Irish universities: they require only proficiency in English.

One hopes that Dame Susan was misquoted: given her role, her statements need to be accurate.

After three generations of compulsory Irish in primary and secondary schooling one might expect more than the current three per cent who claim it as their first language. The Irish Government has indeed proclaimed Irish the official first language, but their target of 250,000 first-language speakers by 2030 (about five per cent of the likely population) says it all.

There is a suggestion that the "official" version in schools (agreed only in the 1950s) is growing away from that of traditional far-west Irish-speaking communities, and becoming a middle-class urban practice. The situation is far from straightforward.
ALAN WHITE Trentham 
  
Otago Daily Times 29/11/17 
MAKING TE REO MAORI COMPULSORY NOT THE ANSWER
DAVE Witherow’s ‘‘opinion piece’’ hit the mark and although not critical enough, it has caused the pinky academics and PC brigade to come out spitting tacks.

Surprisingly, the Maori Language Act (2016) in all its unintelligible glory does exist, sponsored by none other than Te Ururoa Flavell, exMaori Party MP. This piece of separatist racebased legislation should be consigned to the trash can. Parliament hasn’t yet seen fit to deal with an English language petition to officialise English.

Modern Maori language is contrived and fabricated and bears little resemblance to traditional Maori language and place names which have always engendered respect.

Despite costing taxpayers millions of dollars annually, te reo Maori has never been embraced for obvious reasons, so the inane answer, make it mandatory and compulsory for everyone, will lead to loathing.

Further, Dame Susan Devoy, most of us live in a real world place called New Zealand, not a make believe Fantasyland styled Aotearoa. [Abridged]
ROB PATERSON, Matapihi


WHERE DOES THE TRUTH LIE?
LYDIA Anderson (ODT, 28.11.17) may not like Dave Witherow’s opinions but that does not entitle her to be loose with the truth.

Hobson’s instructions were to ‘‘frankly and unreservedly explain to the natives . . . the proposals you will make to them.’’ At the signing of the Treaty, Hobson followed his instructions to the letter and that the chiefs understood him is totally clear from their words recorded at the time.

Anderson’s claim that ‘‘chiefs were misled, through words’’ is false. It is today that we have racists grossly distorting the meaning of the Treaty for political and financial advantage.

Again, while children were beaten at school for speaking Maori, half the story is as bad as lying. Maori elders persistently sought for English only to be spoken in Maori schools and, though regrettable, all infractions led to corporal punishment.

And by the way, our country was New Zealand in 1840 — Nu Tirani in the Treaty — and it still is. ‘‘Aotearoa’’ is the imposition of just one of several names of the North Island alone.
BRUCE MOON, Nelson


NEW Zealand is heading backwards as far as treatment of the average Pakeha is concerned.

We have the Maori All Blacks and the All Blacks. Why not an allPakeha team? Simple answer — that would be racist.

We have Maori health clinics, Maori TV channels, Maori seats.

Is it not time to become one New Zealand?
D. THOMSON, Dunedin

Waikato Times 29/11/17 
SIR WILLIAM
Congratulations to Sir Bill for having a public say on his opinion of the Treaty etc. He has obviously done his homework and has similar views to many of us who deplore the ‘‘Revisionist History’’ that pervades our society with the sole intent to promote one small sector above all else.

Bill and the Gallagher family have done more for Hamilton, and New Zealand, than all of those who find his views offensive. I look forward to other prominent people with experience and a world view expressing similar concerns. We need leaders like him.

I am a little younger than Bill but can recall his family were leaders all those years ago at Whitiora Primary School.
MURRAY REID, Tuakau


SIR WILLIAM 3
Congratulations to Sir William Gallagher for having the courage to come out and talk about a problem we have all been to nervous to approach. It is about time somebody voiced what the majority of us all feel.

Maori are New Zealand settlers, and so are we all. Maori came here earlier than most but that does not give them the right to hold the rest of the country to ransom paying out these huge sums in compensation to placate the few.

The Treaty is an outdated document written in times which are long gone. I know terrible injustices probably happened to Maori in those days, but terrible injustices happened to all our ancestors. We can’t right those wrongs but we can learn from them and move on to a better life.

We are becoming more and more a multicultural and multiracial country and that is a good thing. Let us all live peacefully together in this wonderful country of ours.

None of us have ancestral lands in New Zealand. This country belongs to all of us equally. But with all these payouts to Maori we have created a cash cow for them which, of course, they will be unwilling to forgo.

It does have to stop as we now have a growing apartheid in this country. Is separatism really the way we want to go.
JEANNETTE CAVANAGH, Hamilton

Otago Daily Times 28/11/17 
WITHEROW PRACTISING 'FREE SPEECH' WHILE HE CAN
CONGRATULATIONS to Dave Witherow for his excellent piece and to those who live in the real world for supporting it.

Good to see someone with the testicular fortitude to exercise the right to free speech before we lose it completely.

He is only expressing publicly the sentiments being widely held by many New Zealanders sick and tired of this politically correct nonsense.

Watching television newsreaders salivating and exhorting themselves to overemphasise anything that sounds remotely Maori is sickening in the extreme, and shows the lengths they will go to appease these cannons of political correctness.

Hospitals, schools, universities and other institutions of learning now seem much more preoccupied with pandering to cultural sensitivity than each of them attending to their core business.

Hardly surprising their performance is so far below expectations, with ever increasing waiting lists and pupils who are barely literate.

The swift response from the Race Relations Commissioner is a marked contrast to her department's lack of action over appalling comments by former MP Hone Harawira.

Fortunately most Kiwis will not be browbeaten by this department into appeasing the cultural sensitivities of a small and vocal minority. [Abridged]
MARK MUNRO Port Chalmers


IT WAS JUST ‘OPINION’
SPOT on, Dave Witherow.
The only error ascertained was to call Maori ‘‘indigenous.’’ They are migrants as are we all — the difference being the rest of us know from where we came. [Abridged]
C. A. CRAIG, Puketi


TO Dame Susan Devoy — the sooner you are replaced as Race Relations Commissioner, the better. Dave Witherow’s article (ODT, 24.11.17) is just an opinion.
DAVE EDWARDS, Invercargill

Bay of Plenty Times 27/11/17 
WORRIES OVER MAORI WARDS
The committee of the Western Ward Residents and Ratepayers Association is concerned that Western Bay District Council is supporting a recommendation that could end up guaranteeing Maori representation on Western Bay of Plenty Council (News, November 21).

Maori already have adequate representation through the two partnership forums.

They can also stand for general ward seats as well as for community boards.

Maori are just as able to get elected to local bodies as they are to central government, where almost a quarter of MPs in this Parliament are Maori.

This includes the deputy leaders of both National and Labour, and the leader and deputy leader of New Zealand First.

We are also concerned that Maori wards are always referred to as plural.

If there were to be two Maori wards, there would need to be 14 councillors representing general wards to achieve equal representation.

That means a huge increase in costs for a council that already charges the highest rates in New Zealand.
K R HAY, Secretary,Western Ward Residents and Ratepayers Association, Waihi Beach

Bay of Plenty Times 25/11/17 
VOICES IGNORED
On Tuesday the Western Bay of Plenty District Council voted in favour of Maori Wards, unelected Maori to council.

This is not final. Many of us will push for a poll, because this is a prime example, again, of the majority not getting a say. This vote has never included the majority of the people in Western Bay.

Part of the presentation was to explain that the word "democracy" doesn't mean what the dictionary says; government by all the people, and elected representatives by the people.

Many, like me, apparently are old-fashioned and haven't got with the new movement.

The whole meeting was still, in my view, mainly all Maori rhetoric. We [two of us] who asked to speak were given all of three minutes each to give our reasoning why we were against Maori wards. There are other ways of Maori having their say to council, just like the rest of us have.

There is no need for special privileged wards and then they will expect to be paid by us, the ratepayers, for this.

When will this council ever act on behalf of all its ratepayers? (Abridged)
C HUMPHREYS, Katikati

Otago Daily Times 25/11/17 
GOOD to see Dave Witherow back in your opinion pages.

I’d also never heard of the 2016 Maori Language Act which explains why television newscasters and weather forecasters drop Maori words into their presentations, and drool over pronunciations of ‘‘Kaikowra’’.

Then there’s the millions spent painting Maori signs all over hospitals and public buildings which have virtually no Maori speakers using them.

Insanity is alive and well in Aotearoa. [Abridged]
I. WILLIAMS, Dunedin

Bay of Plenty Times 24/11/17 
COUNCIL WARD FOR WOMEN NEXT
Now that Maori have established the reasons for why they qualify for extra representation on the Western Bay District Council after the meeting on Tuesday, it now justifies that we women can have a ward too.

We would possibly be the largest number of ratepayers in the district (they don’t have the statistic for us) but given that we live the longest and, especially in Katikati, many of the village are retired people, we are under-represented on council with only one woman. We are far more discriminated against in New Zealand than Maori, for example, the pay parity issue is being argued now.

So, now separate wards are not separatism anymore, the opening is now there for us women to apply for a separate ward on the council too, without being elected.

I would like to lead the charge for a women’s ward to apply to council, we will just have to spend four days on plying the council with brainwashing musical videos and presentations to win them over, it’s that easy.

Remember everyone, we will be on the streets very soon with a petition for you to sign regarding no to a Maori ward so we qualify for a poll.
C HUMPHREYS, Katikati

Waikato Times 24/11/17 
PM’S PROMISES
How much confidence can be engendered in the public mind by the prime minister’s promise to see that ‘‘Maori and non-Maori are true partners in Aotearoa’’ when she classifies all New Zealanders as Maori and non-Maori and when the 15% take precedent over the 85% and the name of the country is given as Aotearoa and not New Zealand? There is no partnership. All New Zealanders are equal subjects of the Crown and will remain so until or if we become a republic.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa

The Press 21/11/17 (In a few words section) 
MAKING A WEEK OF IT
Not long ago we had a Maori language week – fair enough. Now I see we are to have a Maori/Dutch week. What about we have a Born In New Zealand week for all of us trueblue fair dinkum Kiwis.
MURRAY DUGGAN, Kaiapoi

NZ Herald 20/11/17 
LEVELLING THE FIELD
Our Prime Minister says she won’t rest until “Maori and non-Maori are true partners in Aotearoa”.

Considering partnerships are about equal contributions and advancing mutual interests, it appears that at last we have a PM who will address the race-based legal loopholes that some tribal elite enjoy to everyone else’s disadvantage.

Those who have been profiting at the expense of taxpayers and non-elite Maori will be disturbed by her statement.
FIONA MACKENZIE, Whangaparaoa.

Dominion Post 17/11/17 
TRAVESTY OVER PRAYER
It is hard to argue against the parliamentary prayer being expanded to include peoples of every faith, although it's fair to record that Buddhists, Muslims and other New Zealanders who are not followers of Jesus Christ, count their numbers in the thousands, while those of Christian faith here, count them in the hundreds of thousands.

What has the Queen done. however, to be excluded, when she represents the Crown, which is a keystone of our constitutional arrangements, including those arrangements set out in the Treaty of Waitangi?

It's fair to ask Speaker Trevor Mallard from where comes his right to make such sweeping changes. Who did he consult, apart from his Labour colleagues, true to their socialist roots, eagerly seeking the Red Dawn, who would have been all for any publicly expressed anti-faith or anti-royalist sentiment? Such actions echo an attitude all too familiar on Parliament Hill.

Hubris and arrogance characteristic of someone who deems themselves to be responsible to no-one. Not one MP raises a protest because they need to cultivate the chair's goodwill at Question Time. What a travesty of democratic process.
JOHN TERRIS, Lower Hutt

Northland Age 14/11/17 
DON'T GO THERE!
Wally Hicks' attempt to rewrite history in his letter (Catch 22) from last week needs a response.

His claims of victimhood/oppression status, based on ethnicity or cultural identity, are ridiculous, and the encouragement of people to see themselves as victims just about the worst, the most destructive thing you can do to them.

All peoples have a history of being both victim and oppressor.

An example; my Scottish ancestors were evicted from their small holdings in the appalling Highland Clearances. The dislocation, death and starvation that followed has been rightly described as genocide.

The people lost their land, their language and their loved ones - so I'm a victim, right? But the Scots are Europeans, part of Western civilisation, so that makes them oppressors, right?

On the other hand, my Maori ancestor Hongi Hika would be called a war criminal today; unprovoked attack, murder of captives and slavery. Not good.

That connection makes me an oppressor, right? But you're saying the Maori is a victim.

Look Wally, there is no future in raking over the past looking for injustice; a journey down that road is absurd, and quite possibly highly dangerous.

Wally moves on to an extraordinary attack on Christianity, and lays the blame for everything from world war to slavery at its feet. Hitler hated Christianity as well, a religion that has, at its core, the principles of forgiveness, mercy, self-responsibility and, above all, the sanctity of life and the divinity of man.

He was, on the other hand, quite fond of Islam (the so-called Religion of Peace) and its long history of offensive war and endemic cruelty.

The history of the rise of Western civilisation is well documented, it's basis in Christianity, the extraordinary rise of scientific method and the flowering of art, political freedom, the rule of law, personal property rights, philosophy and justice during the Enlightenment.

Don't tell me it isn't the most amazing progression of society in every respect - look at the millions of people from elsewhere willing to risk everything, even life itself, to get there if you need any confirmation.

Last century has some very powerful lessons for us today, as we face many of the same dangers. The Marxists and Fascists both used the promotion of victimhood and the suppression of dialogue in their hideous quest for power. Their regimes resulted in unimaginable suffering and the murder or starvation of over a hundred million innocent people.

Stalin promoted the view (just like you Wally) that someone's success must have been at the expense of another, and encouraged or facilitated the murder and imprisonment of the best farmers, the Kulaks.

These were people that were little more than peasants themselves. The result was the most appalling famine, with 6 million dead in Ukraine alone. They had signs up telling people not to eat their own children.

The tragedy was repeated later in Mao's China with the catastrophic Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. No sane person wants a rerun of that, Wally.

Unfortunately we have people today with no grasp of history, no knowledge of the roots of our civilisation, its religion or its morality and who appear to believe that their concepts of justice and liberty just arrived from nowhere.

These are the cultural Marxists, and, like Islamic fighters surrounding themselves with women and children, they have their cultivated victims arranged as cover for their real purpose - to tear down the structures of society, the family, community, freedom of speech, our concepts of justice and the Christian religion.

Islam is given a free pass despite being almost entirely at odds with the core tenets of the social justice warrior purely on the basis of its active malevolence towards Western civilisation. Please, don't go there!

If you really want to help yourself and everyone around you (to paraphrase Jordan Peterson), don't be a damned victim, take responsibility, speak the truth, try and be a better person, and try and act as if you believe that God exists.
DAVID GEORGE, Kerikeri

The Press 11/11/17 
PETERS TOOK US ALL FOR FOOLS 
I feel for Labour and the Greens now that they know for certain that Winston conned them, as he was never going to go with National as is evident with the timing of his lawsuits. 
He has made the coalition talks a farce and has taken us all for fools. 
This coalition is built not on trust and respect, but on lies, lies and more lies. Can we ever trust anything he says again? I think not. 
MAUREEN CONNELL, Richmond 

NZ Herald 11/11/17 
VOTERS IN THE DARK
Did Winston Peters mislead both Labour and National and the general pubic during post-election negotiations'? He was never going to form a government with National at the same time as taking legal proceedings against its leadership.

And what about those those who votedfor NZ First? Peters kept his supporters on both the centre right and centre left (about equal) guessing all the way to election day over which side he would support

If he had come clean to the voting public at that time that he would not be dealing with National under any circumstances then most of his centre right voters could have switched their votes to National. This would have meant NZFirsts vote would have fallen to 3.6 per cent and Nationals would have risen to 48 per cent.

NZ First would have not returned to Parliament and with the wasted votes National would have been able to form a government with the Act Party.
PHILIP 0'BRIEN, St. Heliers.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 10/11/17 
TURNCOAT NZ FIRST
Forestry Minister Shane Jones (NZ First) announced annual planting of 100 million trees over the next 10 years for DOC/Landcorp, Maori land interests (Maori preferences) and, to a lesser degree, farming interests' surplus lands. It could cost $5 per tree, totaling $500 million per annum.

In reality you can only plant for 10 hours daily, weather permitting, and only for six months of the year, so that's 18 trees per second or 27,396 trees per day. Good luck with that fiscal and economic lunacy and assumption that high demand for timber will continue.

Rational planting programmes are good, but use of an unskilled labour force, or press-ganging the unemployed beggars belief! The associated proposal to build 10,000 (5000 in Auckland) good new homes annually is unmitigated nonsense as demand is slowing and logistics show the forecast unachievable.

NZ First opposes the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary to placate fishing industry's vested interests and iwi race-based bleating, and promotes the Pike River manned entry and the Whangarei NorthPort containerisation aberration.

However most NZ First “bottom line” election promises have been jettisoned, namely citizen equality, abolishing race-based Maori seats (waived) and reducing MPs to 100. It doesn't oppose the fabricated Maori language being compulsory in all schools or ETS/carbon taxes. A complete U-turn on race-based issues.

Next election, whenever it is held, this turncoat NZ First bunch faces annihilation. (Abridged).
R PATERSON, Matapihi


DISILLUSIONED WITH WINSTON
B Johnson (The Weekend Sun, November 3) is one of thousands of people totally disillusioned with Winston Peters and the rhetoric he espoused during his political campaigning throughout New Zealand.

He has long-claimed that the 'baubles of office' held no place in his political belief system, and that he is only interested in policy that treats all New Zealand citizens as equal.

His loud proclamations about the cultural log-jam of the RMA, racially exclusive parliamentary seats, anti-smacking laws, youth crime and the travesty of the Marine and Coastal Area Act were just one big con to maintain his parliamentary salary at the expense of taxpayers.

I, personally, am reminded of the 'silver fox', someone whose integrity bends with the wind of self- gratification.
M ANDERSON, Pyes Pa.

Whangarei Report 9/11/17 
PATRONISING
I am so pleased to read that Whangarei District Council did not introduce Maori Wards for our next election.

Firstly, we must give democracy the highest level of respect, and that means only the people can say how elections will be conducted, not a few representatives.

Secondly, to do this is patronising and paternalistic. Thirdly, it builds in separation on a race basis.

I read 29 members of our new Parliament have Maori ancestry; seven from Maori electorates and 22 from the general electorate. The latter shows cohesion in our society which is surely what we all want.

We have had Maori councillors in the past and it will happen again without artificial manipulating.
ROBIN LIEFFERING, Whangarei 
  
Dominion Post 10/11/17 
MORIORI'S PLIGHT
Green MP Manama Davidson wants to create a national day of commemoration of the Crown invasion of Parihaka in 1881 - She says - “It is essential that Aotearoa honours its history,. and that we educate our children about the injustices of our past."

If so. then the history of the injustices on the Moriori in the Chatham Islands should also be honoured. During 1835 about 900 Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama, originally from Taranaki. claimed the island and killed over 260 Moriori. In breach of ti Tiriti o Waitangi 1840, they kept the rest as slaves until 1862, by which time there remained only 10 per cent of about two thousand initial Moriori.

There are other instances such as the Matawhero massacre when, on the night of November 10, 1868 Te Kooti and 100 of his followers killed about 30 Europeans and 30 Maori on the Poverty Bay flats.

I am disappointed that Parliament has drafted a biased bill that proposes a symbol of Maori grievance regarding an act by the Crown but excludes prior acts of aggression by Maori.
BARRIE DAVIS, Island Bay

Waikato Times 7/11/17 
LAND WARS TOUR
I applaud the efforts of the Waipa District Council to highlight the district's key role in the New Zealand Wars ("Tour visits Land War battle sites", Waikato Times, November 3). As heritage manager Tony Roxburgh points out, "There is a lot of healing needed between Maori and European over what happened at Rangiaowhia."

Cameron's attack on an undefended village in order to avoid a major battle will be long debated, as will the number and gender of those killed by British troops and militia.

But there is no disputing the inaccuracy of the statement made by one of the tour participants. She claims, "They (the women defenders) hopped into the church. The British locked the door and burned it - that is the holocaust." Inhabitants of the village certainly did take refuge in the Catholic church but left through a back door when the forest rangers began firing on it.

Apart from the several accounts describing the incident by both Maori and Pakeha observers, there is no mention of burning a church.

There were two churches in the village at that time, the Anglican church still stands today and paintings of the village made long after the battle clearly show two churches. In fact, the Catholic church burned down in an accidental fire some 20 years after the battle.

Historians and locals will always debate what happened at Rangiaowhia but one thing they can be sure of is that burning innocent people in a church is not part of the story.
HUGH BARR Hamilton

NZ Herald 6/11/17 
ON BILINGUAL TV
While I applaud Tamati Coffey with his bilingual approach to his interesting programme of families moving from Auckland to the provinces, his suggestion that a bi-cultural approach to programme formulation be viewed on mainstream television, I am not a supporter of.

We already have a well established Maori language channel where many programmes are presented in English and/or Maori. Surely that is the facility where a bilingual approach is relevant.
ESTHER BOWDEN, Flagstaff

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 3/11/17 
REFLECTING ON PM’S LEANINGS
Now the tooth fairy glitter and stardust has finally settled and reality starts to kick in, it's worth reflecting on Ms Ardern's left wing/socialist, republican, agnostic, feminist and carbon emission tax leanings plus her undoubted Maori separatist and treatyist sympathies – scary stuff.

In addition, her obsession with ‘child poverty' is alarming. If she thinks just throwing money at this perceived ‘bogey' will work she is batty. She has not sought to address the real cause or reason for this child poverty misnomer or correctly identified those responsible, namely the breeders – it is a parenting failure and neglect, not lack of money.

Perhaps look at the Singapore model and philosophy. This type of political insanity is defined as making the same mistakes over and over again yet expecting different results. It's typical socialism, namely the philosophy of failure ignorance and envy while promoting the equal sharing of miseries.

From the total cabinet of 20 it looks like around 14 might be competent and it's revealing and concerning to see those who were appointed to the race-based Maori portfolios – it does not inspire any confidence.

Frankly anyone who can't see the trees for forest shouldn't be running this country.
R PATERSON, Matapihi.


BROKEN PROMISE
Mr Peters, I voted for you and your party because of your unequivocal, bottom-line promise to hold a referendum on the retention of the Maori seats. I have supported you for the past 15 years and regularly sent you letters of this support. 

You have broken that promise and betrayed the trust of a great many New Zealanders. 

The integrity you have displayed with your ‘bottom line' confirms the observation of the noted American poet and satirist that: "A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man." You also seem to confirm claims made by your most virulent critics. But then my opinion will not disturb you nor as it seems will the opinions of anyone else.
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

Wanganui Chronicle 3/11/17 
MAORI SEATS
Winston has not started too well; he has backed down on his pledge for a referendum on the Maori seats. They should not exist in a MMP governance system, just as there should be no Maori electoral roll.

A Maori party, by all means - but compete like other parties have to do. It would give them a better chance of being a political power.

There is a plus in Winston's decision: we have got rid of Christopher Finlayson, maybe too late. He has done a lot of damage with his interpretation of the treaty - with the help, of course, of the principles needlessly added to the Treaty by Geoffrey Palmer.

No, we have an unelected group of Maori elite with all the powers of an upper house to slow and stall any local or national government initiative, with every little Maori group demanding and being allowed a say.

A plus in Winston is that he appears to be one of the only politicians who recognises that dog and horse racing are a support arm of a very large industry that also has a large export component. Most politicians, in their ignorance, think it is just another form of gambling.

This industry is taxed heavily at its base, the goose that lays the golden egg. Don't tax the goose; tax the egg. This grows the goose and the size of the egg.

Lower, or preferably cut out, turnover tax.
G R SCOWN
Wanganui

SIR WINSTON
I hope that those who cast their party vote in the Wanganui electorate for NZ First are now reflecting on their decision.

Did you hear him rant on about the failure of capitalism (don't blame him, he said)? But the same capitalism pays our pensions.

But worse may be to come, despite his perceived failure of capitalism.

My pick is that Winston has done a deal under the table with Jacinda to get a knighthood and to be the next NZ Governor General when Dame Patsy's term is over.

The two fit together, and that's about as close to the "kingship" as he can aspire to be.
DAVID BENNETT
Wanganui

NZ Herald 1/11/17 
NEW ZEALAND WARS
Charlotte MacDonald in her dialogue article gives a face to the British soldiers that were a part of the New Zealand Wars.

My concern is why the commemoration is only, it seems, organised by iwi without any other involvement. Iwi have been funded $4 million with no accountability as to how the money is spent.

Of the approximately 3000 who died in these wars, some 1000 were British soldiers and militia. 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.

Making 1845 the starting point for events to commemorate conveniently rules out the holocaust that was the Musket Wars, the invasion of the Chathams and the genocide of the Moriori and Te Rauparaha's bloody rampage through the South Island.

It seems the only part of New Zealand history Maori want commemorated is where history can be revised and so weave a new korowai of victimhood to improve their ideological interests and financial position.

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

Otago Daily Times 1/11/17 
INSIGHT ON THE TREATY
ON page 23 of the ODT (17.10.17), your "Today in History" section made an 1877 reference to (and depicted a photograph of) New Zealand's then Chief Justice, Sir James Prendergast Of greater interest to me was Sir James Prendergast's insightful comment that the Treaty of Waitangi be declared a -worthless document and a nullity". Speaking as one Prendergast to another, I'd have to say, "I like your thinking".
MAURICE PRENDERGAST Wingatui

Northern Advocate 31/10/17 
Following on from the Whangarei District Council’s discussion about separate Maori wards, I have a question.

When councils consult with hapu representatives, do they really get a handle on what all Maori people think? No matter what Councils or Government do in their name, some people of Maori descent, whom I know, claim they’ve never been asked for their opinion. While they enjoy their culture, marae-time and whanau, they say they have no interest in being separated out as citizens.

Maybe it’s time for the do-gooder separatists to stop imposing the tribal leaders’ wishes on the people. Instead, go direct to the people and listen to them. They might find that Maori want what everybody else wants – a home, supportive family, a job, an education and opportunities for their kids.

Looking around the world, separatism has never solved any problems, only created them. So the Whangarei District Councillors have made the right call in not pushing through Maori Wards.
FIONA MACKENZIE, Whangaparaoa

Northern Advocate 30/10/17 
WARD DECISION
It was with relief that I read Whangarei District Councillors had decided against introducing separatist Maori Wards (Advocate 27/10/17).

I say ‘relief’ because we ratepayers have been saved. A great deal of effort and personal expense goes into creating a petition which would force Council to ask for the public’s opinion in a binding referendum – and that too would impose significant costs on ratepayers.

But rest assured that if the Councillors had voted for separatism, there would have been a petition. Fearing the increasing racism in government these days, people were gearing up to get a petition underway if it was needed.

Mayor Mai is correct in saying that poll results around the country show great opposition to race-based Wards. Approx 75-85% of people want us all to be united, not separated by our ancestry. Results can be seen on this website: http://tinyurl.com/k8zjdu3

It’s time to give those with Maori ancestry some credit that they can live well and achieve on their own merits in the 21st century. We need only look at our government to see the many voted in on the general electoral roll.

Congratulations to all those councillors who opposed any further undermining of our tried and true democratic system.
GEOFF PARKER, Kamo

The Press 31/10/17 
REWRITING LAND-WAR HISTORY
"The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it," wrote Oscar Wilde. We are about to hear a lot from the likes of revisionist modern historians (Belich, Orange, etc). Maori were heroes, the settlers were bad. Put your trust in historians of the time (Cowan, Gorst, Firth, etc), many of whom actually talked to people on both sides who had experienced skirmishes. They have a very different tale to tell.
BRUCE THOMAS Halswell

Waikato Times 31/10/17 
BROKEN PROMISE
Mr Peters, I voted for you and your party because of your unequivocal, bottom-line promise to hold a referendum on the retention of the Maori seats.

I have supported you for the past 15 years and regularly sent you letters of this support.

You have broken that promise and betrayed the trust of a great many New Zealanders.

The Integrity you have displayed with your "bottom line" confirms the observation of the noted American poet and satirist that "A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man."

You also seem to confirm claims made by your most virulent critics.

But then my opinion will not disturb you nor, as it seems, will the opinions of anyone else.
BRYAN JOHNSON Omokoroa

Gisborne Herald 30/10/17 
TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB
All my life I have believed in democracy, until this last election that is. The way in which this present government has been formed makes me feel very uneasy.

I recently read a quote that goes: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch.” Given the present circumstances, this has a ring of truth about it.

I am in my twilight years, and until about nine years ago was a staunch Labour voter. Nowadays, I sit slightly right of centre.
A. CROSBY

NZ Herald 30/10/17 
MAORI WARDS CALL CORRECT
Following on from the Whangarei District Council's discussion about separate Maori wards, I have a question. When councils consult with hapu representatives, do they really get a handle on what all Maori people think?

No matter what councils or Government do in their name, some people of Maori descent, whom I know, claim they've never been asked their opinion. While they enjoy their Maori culture, marae time and whanau, they say they have no interest in being separated out as citizens.

Maybe its time for the do-gooder separatists to stop imposing the tribal leaders' wishes on the people. Instead, go direct to the people and listen to them. They might find that Maori want what everybody wants — a home, supportive family, a job, an education and opportunities for their kids.

Whangarei District Councillors made the right call in not pushing through Maori wards. 
FIONA MACKENZIE, Whangaparaoa.

The Press 28/10/17 
SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS
Democracy is dying around the world because colonialism has gone. Instead of elections being about theoretical values and social institutions, it is about who wants power the most. And who is prepared to spend the most to get it.
SIMON ROLLESTON, Bromley

NZ Herald 28/10/17 
ASIAN ABSENCE
It’s pleasing to note Pacific and Maori ministers stand out In coalition rank, it show commitment to minorities. I wonder, though, where are it’s Chinese and Indian ministers? These minorities now have almost the same populations in New Zealand as the Maori and Pacific communities combined. Surely they deserve to have representation as well. MICHAEL DAWSON, Manukau.