Jan-March 18

Northern Advocate 31/3/18 
Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis seems to think that the road to success for part-Maori children is to have them become more Maori, apparently unaware that we now live in a multi-national and inclusive society.

There is a serious flaw in his reasoning, and that lies in overlooking the fact that present day part-Maori kids are no different from any other kids.

Mr Davis states that we need to ... “ensure that all of our children are supported and comfortable at school to be successful." If he really means all of our children then perhaps he should consider a child who is naturally non aggressive being coerced into making threatening gestures towards others, as in the kapa haka. Would that child feel comfortable?

There are so many different cultures in NZ that we must meld in to one that is shared by all. Accentuating only the Maori element of part-Maori children sets them apart from others, not as equals. Let them embrace their full ancestry and in doing so teach them that denying a major part of their heritage does not change reality.

Schools are intended for learning the knowledge necessary to survive in a modern world, regardless of race or ancestry, whereas culture is something that should be engendered in the home.

Unfortunately, Mr Davis, your proposed intention of imposing additional cultural indoctrination is a road leading to failure. The divisive educational policies that you espouse will only handicap children - not help them School is for education home is for culture.

Southland Times 31/3/18 
I agree with Minister Clare Curran (March 23) that the census means that the Government makes better decisions.

It's a pity, therefore, that it doesn't ask better questions. Stats NZ doesn't recognise Pakeha as an ethnicity (the only option for people like me is NZ European) so thousands of us who identify as Pakeha have to check the "Other" box and write it in.

Not only that, but they don't count us separately either. If they did, they'd find that a very large group of people are doing the same as I am and NZ Stats might then have to give us a Pakeha option — as they did anyway in the 1996 census. Then, the equivalent option was "NZ European or Pakeha".

Apparently some people objected to ticking a box that included a Maori word and so spoiled their census forms. Frankly, that's their problem; and anyway, things have changed a lot in the past 20 years. Even Auckland Council, which previously responded to complaints about this issue that it felt it had to follow the official approach of the Stats NZ, now provides this option (Pakeha/NZ European) when collecting demographic information in its surveys. As, indeed, does virtually every private polling organisation.

It's high time NZ Stats did the same, and stops its five-yearly practice of forcing people like me to describe ourselves as "Other" in our own country.

Waikato Times 31/3/18 
The Bob Brockie piece in the Times (March 26) about scientists having to go cap in hand to Maori, to get the OK before they can start their research, made disturbing reading.

It reminded me of the good old days when people like Galileo were hauled before pope and cardinals and shown the instruments of torture in order to get them to back down. Now scientists in this country just need to be shown the Treaty.

It also calls to mind the ideological repression placed on scientists during the Stalinist years in Russia.

Are Australian scientists required to get signed off by the Aboriginal population before venturing their studies into molecular biology? Are boffins in Europe consulting with the Anabaptists or Jehovah Witnesses before looking down their microscopes?

This is just too silly for words and will make us the laughing stock among the international scientific community. I can see our budding scientists already booking their flights to find intellectual freedom in more enlightened countries.

How has it all come this? This is about flexing political muscle. It's also about something called "respect creep" and acquiring brownie points by people sporting a lighter shade of pale.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 29/3/18 
Those Maori who are presently vilifying Sir Bob Jones and calling for his upoko have scant but selective knowledge of their own history.

His statements only reiterate the opinion expressed in 1940 by their internationally famous kaumatua, Sir Apirana Ngata, who in 1940 said "But for the sovereignty handed to Her Majesty ........I doubt there would be a free Maori race in New Zealand today”.
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

Dominion Post 29/3/18 
Susan Devoy's spiel (Pathway to tolerance, March 21) begins, "sharing people's (real NZ) stories of racial prejudice (leads to tolerance) and is at the heart of our anti-racism work", then rabbits on for our Race Relations Day about Soweto, Sharpeville and Anne Frank.

Well, let's look at South Africa. Kiwis never supported apartheid and they protested against it.

Perhaps it is worth recalling that under the ANC, South Africa has become a society that has largely broken down.

The ordinary citizens, apart from so-called 'political freedom' (a mirage), are far worse off under the current regime than before. They were previously better fed, better housed, better paid, had better healthcare and were safer.

Once Nelson Mandela went it became a sorry state of affairs.

White farmers and the Constitution are currently at risk.

In my view, the ill-informed Race Relations Office by its actions and preconceived mindsets creates racial tensions and racial tensions seemingly supporting race-based initiatives in this country. (abridged]

Northland Age 29/3/18 
Dr Brian McDonnell's article (Herald, March 23) regarding the Maorification of the City Rail Link is yet another wake-up call for all New Zealanders.

Auckland Council with its all-powerful IMSB seems intent on obliterating signs of our history and diversity to ensure only Maori design and language is promoted in public places.

Changing the well-known station names of Mt Eden and Britomart is part of that movement.

Maori supremacists have gained significant power in New Zealand for two main reasons.

Firstly they persuaded the Government to adopt biculturalism as a defining feature of New Zealand life and then positioned their influential supporters in the public service, academia, religious establishments and other powerful institutions.

And secondly, they have persuaded successive governments to generously settle their never-ending claims for public resources under the guise of historic and modem-day breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

This policy of appeasement has resulted in billions of dollars and significant power being transferred to elite part-Maori activists.

With dedicated Maori seats in Parliament, an education system and news media that pushes their propaganda with no opposition, the Maori supremacists have been able to push this country slowly but surely towards an apartheid state.

When will the media cease giving tacit verification to latter-day re-interpretation of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, by publishing corruptions of the document and of what was signed and agreed to by the five hundred chiefs?

There was no mention of partnership or principles but these terms are regularly used, promoted and reported by people in government and public office.

The media seems to be complicit in this. No present day alterations can alter the 'Sovereign and Subject' relationship that was understood and agreed to in 1840, if this has altered then we are no longer a Sovereign Nation and the office of Governor General is redundant as are the parliamentary protocols.

Nothing in the Treaty entitled Maori to any treatment or consideration that is not available to all New Zealanders.

Associate Minister of Education, Kelvin Davis, seems to think that the road to success for part-Maori children is to have them become more Maori, apparently unaware that we now live in a multi-national and inclusive society.

There is a serious flaw in his reasoning, and that lies in overlooking the fact that present day part-Maori kids are no different from any other kids.

Mr Davis states that we need to ".. ensure that all of our children are supported and comfortable at school to be successful."

If he really means all of our children then perhaps he should consider a child who is naturally non-aggressive being coerced into making threatening gestures towards others, as in the kapa haka. Would that child feel comfortable?

There are so many different cultures in NZ that we must meld into one that is shared by all

Accentuating only the Maori element of part- Maori children sets them apart from others, not as equals. Let them embrace their full ancestry and in doing so teach them that denying a major part of their heritage does not change reality.

Schools are Intended for learning the knowledge necessary to survive in a modern world, regardless of race or ancestry, whereas culture is something that should be engendered in the home.

Unfortunately, Mr Davis, your proposed intention of imposing additional cultural indoctrination is a road leading to failure.

The divisive educational policies that you espouse is only handicapping children — not helping them.

School is for education, home is for culture.

Bay of Plenty Times 29/3/18 
What did Queen Victoria promise New Zealand?

There is confusion about the Treaty, and what Queen Victoria promised, and what therefore was undertaken on her behalf by Governor Hobson all those years ago.

She gave Maori equal rights with British subjects.

She did not invite them into a partnership, why would she, as at the time Britain was a global power.

However, giving equal rights is something extraordinarily precious then, as it is today.

We can vote; we men and women are free to stand for election.

Being the only woman on the Western Bay of Plenty District Council my protection is that I am equal to any man around the table, as they are to me.

Why then separate Maori into one Maori ward, when they have the chance to stand in one of our three wards, and they can vote for example for four council candidates in the Kaimai Ward, which I represent.

It is fundamental for a healthy democracy that we see ourselves as New Zealanders, and that we stand together, work together, to make this a better place.

All these side issues are just confusing New Zealanders.
CR MARGARET MURRAY-BENGE Kaimai Ward councillor Western Bay

Nelson Mail 28/3/18 
Green MP Julie Anne Genter, a minister in Jacinda Ardern's government, tells a group of school pupils that 'old white men' need to make way for the next generation. The need for fresh ideas and change is a worthy topic for debate.

However, Genter's use of an ageist, racist and sexist slur drew hardly a flicker from the parents, teachers, the government or the media.

One hardly needs to wonder what the reaction would have been if one of these 'old white men' had commented on 'rich yellow businessmen' and the Auckland property market, or 'young brown women' and life on the dole. Massive double standards.

NZ Herald 28/3/18 (Short & Sweet section) 
So 68,000 people sign a petition, .015 per cent of the population, to remove Bob Jones’ knighthood. Hardly democracy in action. I wonder how many would sign a petition in support of Bob Jones? I bet it would be a lot more.
JOCK MacVICAR, Hauraki.

Northern Advocate 26/3/18 
Don’t successive governments have priorities a bit screwed up? Tainui $180 million and Ngai Tahu $170m top ups to past full and final settlements and Treaty Minister Andrew Little anticipating a $500m settlement for Ngapuhi and multiple millions to other iwi.

Many millions more for the Crown to fund 200 Maori tribal claims for exclusive rights to the entire New Zealand coastline out to the 12km limit including minerals, the right to catch marine life, including endangered dolphin and the right to impose wahi tapu excluding all other Kiwis from enjoying the benefits of our beaches.

Already reports emerge of ordinary Kiwis being harassed or denied access to beaches by iwi. These settlements are simply unsustainable. Yet the people that educate our children have to negotiate a collective agreement to get a salary attractive enough to encourage exceptional candidates into an underfunded education sector.

The cost of their claim $300m over two years. The cost of continuing to underfund the sector is a future of kids leaving school illiterate and under prepared for life.

I’m sure there are other professions that could be better funded, Pharmac and more tax money for healthcare, improving the rail network to get trucks off the roads.

Our Government keeps quoting a lack of fiscal prudence but have no issue in pandering to a minority, themselves immigrants here, rather than the tax take being invested in a better society for the future of all New Zealanders, irrespective of ethnicity.
S LEITCH Whangarei

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to donate money to Palestinians; Simon Bridges apologises for “conservative values”; Winston Peters joins in coalition with parties that oppose all that he claimed to stand for.

Who then is going to stand up for NZ’s traditional values? None of that lot, for sure.

We are in desperate need of a new party with a leader who is not afraid to take a stand against the creeping paralysis of political correctness; who is prepared to ignore the whimpering plaints from those who are offended simply because another speaks the truth; one who is unashamedly outspoken in protecting free speech; one who doesn’t run for cover when those who oppose democracy scream out accusations of “racist” or “Nazi”; one who can withstand the inevitable attacks from all of the existing parties (and media) who don’t want anyone rocking their boat; and one who wants to see NZ as a united people under common law.

Politicians, while claiming to represent the voice of the people, are no longer listening to what the people say, carrying on instead with their own pet agendas with little or no consideration of long-term consequences.

The people’s views can only be determined through binding referenda on any major issues, but our present lot of pathetic politicians are terrified at the mere thought of people-power unmasking the illusory holograms that are their political sacred cows.

New Zealand is rapidly becoming a third-world country without a vision for the future.

Perhaps we might see a true Conservative Party arising from the ashes of the old.

Bay of Plenty Times 26/3/18 

I was gobsmacked to read (March 16) of the shenanigans at the previous day’s council meeting considering the museum options. Firstly, some councillors led by Cr Baldock tried to manipulate the wording of the museum referendum to offer only the Cliff Rd site. 

I was then also gobsmacked that tangata whenua demanded their views on the siting of the museum should outrank everybody else. We then had threats of disputes with council from Buddy Mikaere if tangata whenua did not get their own way. 

If Maori are paying the $25m then I am happy for them to have a Maori museum on Cliff Rd but if, as I am sure, ratepayers are paying this should be a decision for all ratepayers. The council should not be seen to be caving in to bully-boy tactics. For God’s sake councillors, tell the tangata whenua the siting of the museum is a community decision and not theirs alone. 

With “this ongoing circus” as Mr Mikaere calls it, it makes the no museum referendum option very attractive. 

Bay of Plenty Times 24/3/18 
What a lot of nonsense is being thrown around about separate Maori wards.

I believe in the fact we are New Zealanders, and we all need to work together.

We are all equal before the law, which is what makes this country a democracy.

Why would anyone want to set up a separate Maori ward which would stretch from Waihi Beach to Maketu and expect one councillor to represent that huge geographic ward?

It could, of course, be broken into two Maori wards which would appear to be fairer, but any one of us could stand in the separate Maori ward, not just a person of Maori descent.

I think it is so sad that anyone should think Maori would be better off.

We work at council with very fine Maori who are more than capable of standing for election in a general seat.

Why should voters who happen to be Maori restrict themselves to only voting for one person. Surely Maori would want to vote on other candidates standing?

As we debate the issue of representation, we should also consider why more women are not elected. I am the only female councillor on the Western Bay of Plenty council.

Does Peter Dey (Letters, March 13) not comprehend that some Maori who are on the electoral roll for the purpose of general elections for Parliament actually want the freedom to vote for whomever they want to represent them in local body politics, no matter what their cultural preference may be? They cannot exercise that freedom of choice if there are Maori wards within a district/city council.

Dominion Post 24/3/18 
Dame Susan Devoy demonstrates her Europhobia when she tells anecdotes of racism or prejudice from Mori, Asian. Pasifilta and Muslim New Zealanders (Pathway to tolerance. March 21).

She does not mention such stories from European New Zealanders.

Do Europeans not suffer abuse?

Does Devoy subscribe to the notion that Europeans cannot attract racism or prejudice because they occupy a superior position to other races?

This entails that discrimination includes acknowledging the variation between races that is part of the evolutionary process that put us here - IQ for example.

This leads to the insidious idea that advantaging people disadvantaged by discrimination is not discrimination.

Two wrongs do not make a right, and when it occurs abuse should be addressed directly.

Devoy's excessive concern for microaggressions perceived by minority groups is inflammatory and is part of the problem.

Barrie’s letter relates to this article > https://tinyurl.com/y7dxlmcc

Gisborne Herald 22/3/18 
Is democracy lost? Almost, I believe, if Gisborne District Council goes ahead and recommends to the NZ Geographic Board a name change for our bay without holding a referendum.

Why do they ask for a feedback on issues anyway when it appears they take no notice? Herald online polls and the council’s own survey were against change. I for one would vote for a no confidence motion in the council. They have let the public down on numerous occasions.

At this stage only one councillor is worthy of my vote in the next elections. Come on Mayor and councillors, “Wake up!” Represent all your people, not a select few.

Whangarei Report 22/3/18 
Full marks to Wiremu Morgan for his great letter March 15.

The Maori nationalists that he refers to have gained significant power in New Zealand for two main reasons.

Firstly they persuaded the Government to adopt biculturalism as a defining feature of New Zealand life and then positioned their influential supporters in the public service, academia, religious establishments and other powerful institutions.

And secondly, they have persuaded successive governments to generously settle their never-ending claims for public resources under the guise of historic and modern-day breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

This policy of appeasement has resulted in billions of dollars and significant power being transferred to elite part-Maori activists.

When combined with dedicated Maori seats in Parliament, an education system and news media that pushes their propaganda, and little opposition, they have been able to push this country slowly but surely towards an apartheid state.

Dominion Post 21/3/18 
Reg Fowles (Letters, March 20) writes that I made a "mischievous comment in a column saying Maori should be grateful for the advances brought by Europeans and celebrate that on Waitangi Day".

I did not (and would not) write that. Rather, I pointed out that given there are reputedly no pure blood Maori left, none alive today would exist without their European migratory parentage.

That's indisputable but to make it clear I added one can't say mum used to go out with Peter Snell and if she'd married him instead of Dad I might have been a great athlete. Not so, I observed, as the offspring wouldn't be you but someone else.

I then suggested gratitude by Maori bringing us breakfast in bed, etc, on one thy a year. This unbelievably caused a showpony a sleepless night and thereafter, to waste her time with a ludicrous campaign.

Bay of Plenty Times 20/3/18 
Geoff Wane (Letters, March 6), in my view, does not understand the relationship between Maori and the rest of us New Zealanders.

Maori have ways special to them, like the rest of us Kiwis have ways special to us. 
My spelling of Mr Dey’s name — change to Mr Day — was so he could see the light of day with his badly designed arguments. A Kiwi saying!

You ask me to give special privilege to Maori over others but I believe in treating everyone the same and I am against race-based legislation. I believe in democracy which, in my view, Mr Wane does not.

I consult Maori through the council, who are each paid $260 a meeting, 74c per kilometre in mileage. Not bad money and paid by ratepayers who do not get special privileges.

Anyone who wants help, I am happy to do so.

Anyone who bemoans increasing Maori life expectancy by 50 years and wishes to create conditions for the destruction of racial equality has little place in this society.

Dominion Post 20/3/18 
So 67,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Sir Robert Jones be stripped of his knighthood (March 19).

Sir Ngatata Love was convicted of defrauding Maori and was sent to prison. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that Love will be stripped of his knighthood.

Jones made a mischievous comment in a column saying Maori should be grateful for the advances brought by Europeans and celebrate that on Waitangi Day.

Would one of the 67,000 people who signed the petition to remove Jones' knighthood please explain why they are not also demanding that Love lose his?
REG FOWLES Waikanae 

Waikato Times 17/3/18 
Andrew King is obviously intent on being a one-term mayor. Is he merely trying to distract us long-suffering ratepayers from going bankrupt or is he just trying to be funny? Hopefully the council has more sense than him and stops this ridiculous idea of a name change, or they could find themselves joining the mayor to the exit door.
M THOMSON, Hamilton

Here we go again. We read in the Waikato Times of March 13, that the Hamilton City Council mayor wants a council name change.

It is a well known fact that Hamilton City Council is heavily in debt already and is now proposing a hefty rate rise to cover the daily running costs. In addition, the council is also taking on a $182 million government loan for housing infrastructure, which needs to be paid back in 10 years' time.

With all this massive commitment, I find it hard to believe as a ratepayer, as to why the mayor has suddenly decided at this moment in time, to change the name of "Hamilton City Council". Surely, the cost of a council name change will not come cheap. It will cost thousands of dollars to change all council stationery, signage including vehicle fleet and a host of other items to comply with a new name.

Most Hamilton ratepayers are at their wits' end at the moment and are finding it hard to come to terms with proposed rate increases, let alone more unnecessary spending of this nature, which defies all reasons. No doubt, this proposal is a costly exercise which is not required at this moment in time.

Good grief! Is this Garden Place rearing its ugly head again, but on steroids? When the future is offering us so much challenge in terms of a rapidly degrading planet, the, "wouldn't it be nice brigade", and other apologists for the past, are trying to turn history back to have the historical name of Kirikiriroa reinstated to supplant the name Hamilton.

When the world itself is telling us that to survive the challenges of tomorrow, such as global warming, health epidemics, crop failures etc, borders must come down, humanity needs to learn to share in truth . . . not just make token gifts of charity here and there.

There is no longer room, or time, to base human authority on ethnicity or righting the wrongs of yesteryear. There is so much for mankind to do, both materially and philosophically, if existence is to allow us any tomorrows ... no time for trying to turn back history.

Hamilton to become Kirikiriroa again ... you have got to be kidding me!

Why does our mayor sit in his office thinking of all the ways to spend money the council does not have, but is in fact borrowing to run council's daily costs ?

First project, to replace the panels outside the mayor's office to better view the second project, Garden Place's remodelled garden into a car park.

Then the third project, a proposed monument to his term in office, the monumentally large theatre again to be viewed from the mayor's office. Why, and what is wrong with refurbishing the Founders Theatre?

Apart from spending money council and ratepayers can't afford, council staff are particularly busy at this time, working on the important proposed Ten Year Plan.
J SIMPSON Hamilton

Hamilton East Community Association which was registered at my home address at the request of the committee members used to have long hours of meetings to set up the East Community House.

Committee members made a unanimous decision to change the name to South East Kirikiriroa Community Association. As chairman of the Association, I agreed and it became known as SEKCA (South East Kirikiriroa Community Association). But even after 17 years still, the community says Hamilton East Community House.

About 15 years ago I was invited to a meeting on a marae in Tauranga. The speaker was the past Speaker of Parliament. There were about 100 people gathered in the marae grounds.

After the speech, we had to greet the elders of the marae, before going into the marae and having dinner. When I reached the elders, they asked me from where I am. I was very comfortable to say I am from Kirikiriroa. Everyone looked up and asked me where is it, is it in Kiribati or Chatham Island. An elderly gentleman smiled at me and told them it is Hamilton.

When the council books are in red and council's attempting to raise the rates to an unaffordable figure to balance the books, is it necessary to spend so much in changing the name and pay interest for the money spent? After all, Hamilton is part of King Country.

Northern Advocate 17/3/18 
In response to B Jones’ response (March 5) to my letter re the "facts" concerning Maori being the first nations people in New Zealand.

Jones references two documentaries' that could only be accurately described as "mockumentaries". Skeletons in the Cupboard 1 & 2 in which the host Gabi Plumm constantly says things like, "Archaeologists say these small caves were food storage areas, but I think they were the homes of the fairy people."

This continues all throughout the series to the point where one has to ask do we believe the fantasies of the mainly white narrators or the scientific facts that we have to date.

Certainly if there were any proof whatsoever to these stories it would be great but as at this point in time we have and I reiterate no, artifactual, no linguistic, no genetic, datable carbon or pollen remains to collaborate even one of these stories. What part of that is it Jones doesn't get?

He then goes on to dismiss "noted" historian Michael King as giving a sanitized version of history when in fact the professor he quotes as being the "world expert" in linguistics and ancient script, Professor Barry Fell has been discredited around the world by his peers who say, and I quote: "There are too many wildly speculative theories that fly in the face of critical examination" in his work.

Jones has to understand because someone is a professor doesn't exempt them from speculation and that any "discovery" has to be tested by others in the professional field before it can be considered as fact.

Dismissing my letter as academic mantra is like saying, let's ignore the proven science and go with the fairy tales. That's okay if you're 5 MrJones but I prefer the latest science.
R LANG Tikipunga

In October 2004 a human skull was found down by the Ruamahanga River near Masterton.

The skull was examined by forensic pathologists at Auckland Hospital and a Wellington Anthropologist who determined that the skull was that of a Caucasian female aged about 40 - 45 years old.

Carbon dating analysis and DNA testing of the skull produced a bombshell, the skull was 300 or more years old and a European female.

No northern hemisphere ships were known to have sailed in these waters before Abel Tasman and according to records there wasn't another ship until Cook's Endeavour.

This was reported in the Sunday Star Times in 2009 and also in the NZ Geographic magazine.

It seems the skulls that Noel Hilliam found were not the only pre-European settlement skulls. So who were these people and how did they get to NZ There is still a lot of "unknowns" in regard to NZ history
CHRIS ROWE Mangawhai

Bay of Plenty Times 17/3/18 
Peter Dey (Letters, February 2) mentions that local Maori have made a great sacrifice in settling for $50 million — a claim he believes is worth $500 million.

I am quite sure that had I been one of the Crown negotiators I could have validly calculated that the claim was worth something like $25 million.

This is because the parties are endeavouring to work out compensation for an injustice perpetrated by the NZ Government more than 120 years ago.

The land in dollar terms was then worth very little (notwithstanding its intrinsic value to Maori) and the increase in value since then has largely been brought about by Pakeha endeavour coupled with immigration which continues.

The difference in views will always be as wide.

It is today's taxpayers who are bearing the redress.

Further, the $50m local settlement presumably has influenced the top-ups of $370m to Ngai Tahu and Waikato. To me the top-ups are excessive.

I know they relate to formulae agreed many years ago.

However, no point in my worrying about it ... Probably a result of shrewd negotiating by those tribes at that time.

Similarly, people need to accept that the $50m is what they have agreed to and get on with their lives.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 16/3/18 
After spending nearly 20 years in the USA my wife and I arrived back in New Zealand to be surprised at how much influence Maori have on New Zealand life and culture. Neither of us are racist in any way, shape or form, but in the few short years that we have been back ‘home' we see this influence growing surprisingly quickly.

Yesterday we were pleased to see some great articles in multiple publications regarding this matter. It is clear that those who have actually read the Treaty of Waitangi see that what is happening now is clearly outside the treaty's premise.

We urge all of you who love this country to do some serious research as to the current trend and make your opinions heard. Sign the petition that is presently open to signatures that asks our government officials to say no to the creation of Maori wards.

Maori are supposed to be totally equal to Pakeha according to the Treaty, and there would be outrage if government or anyone else suggested that we needed Pakeha wards for any reason. Do what is right and speak up. Your silence is your support for something that is very dangerous for this country. (Abridged).
C STITT, Katikati

This is not an attack on you K Kawerau (The Weekend Sun, March 9), just an opinion. Growing up side by side and working alongside Maori I was taught and told such things by them, such as there was no universal Maori language, rather many dialects between tribes.

There was also no form of land ownership or borders, just a knowledge of landmarks. They fought amongst each other's tribes, taking and plundering.

They did farm but very minimal, however in later years after Europeans' arrival, farming grew amongst tribes and most of their food was from hunter-gathering. All Maori were still in the Stone Age ­­– there was no form of offshore trade and they were cut off from the rest of the world.

Your suggestions are at best a wish or want of a perfect, innocent, inventive race – clearly they were not. To suggest that those Europeans that came here were displaced, poor and had nothing is ignorant. Your ideas will only hold you back and segregate yourself with the support of the greedy and ignorant. Live in the hate-filled, false past if you wish, but do not hold me or the hundreds of thousands of other Kiwis accountable for your racism.

The Whangarei Report 15/3/18 
It would seem Robert Elliot Lang in his letter March 1 has very selective research methods. The Waipoua forest in Northland is full of stone walls and the remains of stone dwellings constructed by the Turehu people long before the arrival of Maori. Carbon-dating has verified this. Dealings with these people are documented in James Cook's writings, as is the irrigation work they created for their crops. Every NZer knows of the Moriori people, and their cave drawings have been photographed and printed.

Unfortunately since the mid 1970s there has been a move by various governments to stop museums from displaying pre-Maori artefacts, and to try to distort our true history. Any-body wanting to educate them-selves on our pre-Maori history should get a copy of the book To The Ends Of The Earth by Maxwell C. Hill for photographs and facts.

Since the last Maori died last century the only people claiming to be Maori are only part Maori, most with a very small percentage of Maori blood. Yet these are the people wrongly claiming to be the indigenous people of New Zealand. One can only presume this to be so they can try to get extra privileges that the 87 per cent of the population cannot get under falsely claimed rights. These are the people who are causing the separatism and racial disharmony we are seeing getting more and more developed today. Winstone Peters, a Northland part-Maori is right, this rubbish needs to be stopped.

Nelson Mail 16/3/18 
Wake up New Zealand! David Parker is forging ahead with Labour’s corrupt plan to make you settle their political debts by forcing the public to pay iwi for the rain.

Make no mistake, giving iwi proceeds from a water tax levied on bottlers and irrigators is the thin edge of the wedge and will undoubtedly lead to iwi receiving payment from all commercial water users, probably councils as well. No surprises on who ultimately gets to pay - Jack and Jill public. Labour’s defence of this grand larceny by citing the finding of an equally corrupt Waitangi Tribunal demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of their career politicians.

With the exception of the rubbish about Taniwha residing in the water the indicia used by the tribunal to justify iwi claims to ownership of water apply equally to every single person regardless of ethnicity and have done so since the dawn of civilisation.
KEN MILLWARD Upper Moutere,

Northland Age 15/3/18 
There has been much talk in your columns recently of our colonists being the “scum” of English society. This is far from the truth, albeit there are usually a few bad eggs in any company.

In his book, The Farthest Promised Land — English Villagers, New Zealand Immigrants of the 1870s, Victoria University Press 1981, the late Professor Rollo Arnold observed that English villages are typically round — as is Castle Combe — or long, eg. Long Melford, Long Stretton.

In the former, the squire would keep an eye on everything, the villagers pulling their forelocks and saying “Mornin’, Squire.” Residents of the latter, further from his strict eye, were of a more independent turn of mind and generally more enterprising, particularly those at the far ends of the long village street.

It is from just such long villages, indeed from their outskirts, that our typical early settlers came. Consider then the layout of many a small New Zealand town, straggling along its main street, and the explanation for it is obvious.

While, as to be expected, most of our settlers came from England, there were also considerable numbers from Scotland and Ireland, and in my own case, also from the Channel Islands, all seeking to better their positions. It is thanks to their enterprise and hard work that New Zealand has become today’s prosperous nation.

The few shirkers who added a bit of colour were typically remittance men, sons of the English aristocracy. Often the worse for drink or the gambling tables, they depended on remittances from home, told that these would cease for ever should they show themselves on their family doorsteps again.  That is the story.

It’s reported that the Mayor of Hamilton wants the name of the city changed to Kirikiriroa, a Maori word.

It is well past time for this offensive absurdity to stop.

This would be another move in the “we must honour and privilege our part-Maoris" movement, which has taken hold of our pathetically correct establishment in the last decade or more.

Honour and privilege is reserved for those who deserve honour and privilege.

For every indicator of wellbeing, of positive societal contribution, the Euro-Maoris score zero or below.

But for the commission of theft, murder etc. they score close to 100, if not above.

The time now is for all the Maori language place names to be changed to the English language.

When the Euro-Maoris begin to right all the wrongs, all the mayhem they have wrought, then we could consider giving them some kudos. Giving someone what he deserves is called justice.

NZ Herald 15/3/18 
What is it about some public servants who just don’t know how to spend taxpayers hard-earned money responsibly? On top of the Waikato DHB overspending fiasco, we now have the Hamilton mayor wanting to change his address to Kirikiriroa on a mere whim. Just imagine how much genuine good all those wasted dollars could go to, let alone the thousands more every business in Kirikiriroa will have to expend in changed stationary, signage and mapping. Thank heavens for his embarrassed councillors, it’s dead in the Waikato.

Gisborne Herald 14/3/18 
The argument over the renaming of Poverty Bay has become overheated and divisive. And it is getting us nowhere. This has come about because Gisborne District Council is guilty of stoking anger by assuming they had the right to vote among themselves before sending a request to the NZ Geographic for rubber-stamping.

Where was their mandate for this? I don’t recall the topic being discussed by any candidate during the council election.Their action was an error of judgement unworthy of a local body in a democratic country. Better to have conducted a proper district-wide referendum first and asked the people if they wanted a name change. That at least would have been a legitimate starting point.

As I am a non-New Zealander, the outcome of the name debate does not concern me, but I do feel strongly that proper processes should be followed.

Dominion Post 14/3/18 
Establishing Maori wards in local councils will do very little for the future generations of New Zealanders. It can be seen as a form of "separate development" and we as a nation violently opposed that regime and philosophy in South Africa in the 1960s and 70s.

New Zealand "today" is truly a multicultural community.

Until we can embrace today that we are all New Zealanders bringing a diversity of rich cultures to the festival table of our communities, and move forward encouraging each other to achieve, we will continue to fuel separatism, racism and criminal behaviour.

You cannot have one without the others. [abridged]
NEVEN MacEWAN Palmerston North

Waikato Times 14/3/18 
Re your front page dream-on piece, Tuesday, March 13. Wow! The muddled Mayor King's Kirikiriroa Clown-still. He said as one of his reasons: "I'm trying to promote closer relationships with iwi and I think this is sending a strong signal". Perhaps he could rename Hamilton to Mugsville. How about closer relationships with the residents? The irate ratepayers. Get real, Mr Mayor, don't go there. It will be costly, confusing and inconsiderate.

Andrew King is determined to be a one-term mayor, but does he also want to go down in history as the worst in Hamilton's history?

Not only does he intend to impose astronomical rate increases but he now want to change the city's name.

Hamilton was built by the Europeans as a military base and grew to support the farming community, also mainly European.

It is part of our history and the name should not be changed.

Any Maoris here when the British arrived, there were very few.

This was not a major settlement, that was in Ngaruawahia and further downstream.

The council should be looking at ways to save money, not more ways to spend it.
K. FOSTER Hamilton

Nelson Mail 14/3/18 
Dear Helen Clark. I don't want a political system contrived and engineered toward gender `equality'.

I believe NZ's political system works best when those most able to do the job, regardless of gender (or race or religion), are elected democratically by the people.

You forbade your MPs from voting according to their consciences and the wishes of their electorates on the ill-conceived and ineffective 'anti-smacking' bill in 2007, even though upwards of 70 per cent of the population were against it - and subsequently you were voted out of government in a landslide in 2008.

You lost sight of true democracy then and it seems you still don't really get it.

Gisborne Herald 13/3/18 
I hope all councillors in favour of the “name change” read The Gisborne Herald on Saturday. Your 13-1 vote for change absolutely staggered me and, I would suggest, half of our population at least.

The webpoll showed 71 percent against officially recognising Tairawhiti as a name for the district and only a meagre 27 percent for.

Perhaps it’s time our council recognised what the people want, not what our Mayor desires. Councillors are voted in to “hopefully” follow the wishes of the electors, not the hierarchy. All I can say to those occupying chairs in the chambers of the “ethnically designed” council building is, “change our names at your peril”. I would suggest (with one exception) that you hold on to your day jobs.

Perhaps avenues required for a “vote of no confidence” need to be quickly examined.

Pam Kay, Mary Parker, Karen Jackson, L Francis and Doreen, thanks for having the courage to put pen to paper and, also, being brave enough to sign your names rather than hide behind a nom de plume. Kevin Kennedy; I, like you was proud to represent Poverty Bay in my chosen sport.

Can we count on others to write showing their support to this increasing “groundswell”?

If the New Zealand Geographic Board gives in to the advances of Gisborne District Council and sanctions the change of name for our bay, what will they do when Maori approach them saying they want a change to the original Maori name for Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty etc etc etc?

If they give in to one, they are setting themselves up for a barrage of claims.

How on earth can 13-14 percent of New Zealand’s population receive, literally, everything they ask for?

Eamon, re your letter of March 7. Thank you so much for your succinct description of the problem we are faced with.

I enjoyed the description “cultural thievery”. How right you are!

Look at this “democracy in action” in Gisborne! We elect councillors in the belief they will do one thing but, once they get into power, they do something totally different — and we can do nothing about it until the next election.

Many ordinary people in Gisborne feel powerless against the unseen, unidentified people who actually rule our city and are never held to account.

Bay of Plenty Times 13/3/18 
Can anyone tell me why there is such an emphasis on persons who have a few drops of Maori blood running through their veins? This was brought to my attention, once again, in the Bay of Plenty Times (Nation, February 28) stating the new [National] leader is three sixteenths Maori and [Paula] Bennett’s grandmother was half Maori and neither have used their Maori heritage to rise through the ranks.

I am half Welsh but the few times I have done anything of note I have not been written up as 50 per cent Welsh.

I grew up in a community where there was about equal Maori and Pakeha. We schooled together, worked together and inter-married and they were days when we were rightly known as one people.

Northland Age 13/3/18 
MR KTJ Howearth (Letters March 8) should know full well the Treaty was initially blatantly broken while still quite new by rebel Maori tribes, ostensibly over spurious/vexatious land sale disputes and sovereignty. Both these matters were specifically dealt with in the Treaty (ARTICLES 1 & 2) which the fully informed chiefs signed up to in 1840. Everything was reconfirmed by the chiefs at the great Kohimarama conference held in 1860, attended by around 200 chiefs, being the largest and most influential Maori gathering ever held.

Where on Earth does Mr Howearth get his skewed and distorted information from? Treaty settlements to December 31, 2016 totalled $3.07 billion (itemised on Kiwi Frontline), and as we all know in the past year OTS has been very active with the taxpayers' cheque book, so the total is substantially more than this in 2018. Also, what about the huge peripheral/ancillary costs said by those in the know to easily equal this amount?

Further, remember the chiefs sold off most of New Zealand (refer Turton's Deeds) and not more than 2.5 per cent of the total New Zealand land area remained legally confiscated after 1928. So what land is Mr Howearth currently rabbiting on about? There can be no argument about the approximately 90 per cent sold. The 1926 Royal Commission, chaired by Sir William Sim, a Supreme Court judge and instigated by Apirana Ngata and Maui Pomare, found some redress was justified, and the settlements proposed by the Commission were accepted by the Taranaki, Waikato, Whakatohea (Bay of Plenty) tribes in the 1940s, presumably in full and final settlement of all grievances and claims.

Interesting that today land should be regarded as a treasure by the part-Maori descendants of those chiefs, yet true full-blooded Maori chiefs were willing sellers of land in the 19th Century, sometimes not owned by them (requiring subsequent rectification) and some pieces sold several times over — these chiefs certainly did not regard the land as taonga.

Finally, it is pleasing to see that the late Professor FM (Jock) Brookfield, who could hardly be regarded as unbiased, at least recognised that the New Zealand government does have the right to rule, although some modern day dissident backstabbers would like us to think otherwise.

Gisborne Herald 12/3/18 
Meng Foon and councillors — will you please stop this headlong rush to obliterate any signs of, or reference to, Pakeha from this region!

Paying for altered road signs means you are using our rates money for things we did not elect you to do. Stop trying to change history — this place is called Gisborne.

The “disappearance” of our Endeavour replicas is proof that someone is driving this obliteration of our history. If the Endeavour replicas were wrecked while being stored by the council, the council insurance should pay for their replacement. Why were photos of the damaged replicas initially not allowed? If they were vandalised, it should be a police matter.

Stop concentrating on changing names left, right and centre and start concentrating on things we elected you to do, like fixing the surface of Gladstone Road.

Stop spending money on “nice to haves”, concentrate on urgent necessities like a workable sewage system and an adequate water storage/supply.

Northern Advocate 10/3/18 
I must apologise to Juliet Golightly for not having any impressive degrees listed after my name (Advocate, March 3.

Apparently only professors and "qualified' academics have a monopoly on investigation, research and intellect. I hear there is now a degree available in cake decorating, so therein may lie my salvation from a life of xenophobic ignorance.

University education is invaluable in technical subjects such as mathematics and computer science but questionable on subjects reliant upon who said what in the past.

There are those who teach from ivory towers, but the real educators are those who go out and look in their search for truth.

I have had the good fortune of speaking with descendants of both the Waitaha and Patuparaiehe peoples, and also the late Noel Hilliam.

Noel was a member of the team that spent nearly a decade investigating the Waipoua Forest stone village and was present when the results of material sent for carbon dating arrived. Noel stated that the result showed those samples to be 2200 years old.

The site was promptly shut down and a 75-year embargo placed upon all documented findings. A private citizen's challenge released some of those files under the Official Information Act —just a mere handful or documents with the carbon dating results noticeable by their absence.

Michael King was a great recent historian, but, sadly, history becomes distorted with the passing of time.

Historian/anthropologist Edward Tregear (1846.1931) wrote: "The Maoris used to pay great respect to the bones of their dead, yet here and there may be found among sandhills, etc, human remains uncovered by the wind, and of these no tradition remains, as there would certainly be if the relics were those of ancestors. The natives say, "These are the bones of strangers."

So also mortuary-caves are found concerning the contents of which the Maoris make the same remark, and regard them with indifference" (The Maori Race, pp. 562-563).

Depending upon one's personal agenda, sometimes the truth can hurt.

Re. Juliet Golightly March 3. Firstly, the scientific evidence you and author Michael King subscribe to is, selectively, only from 1300 AD as you say, whereas the Waipoua Forest carbon dating is around 2000 BC.

Similar ancient stonework abounds in over 400 embargoed sites around New Zealand.

Rat remains from beneath the Taupo tephra are carbon dated at over 2000 years ago and predate remains in other Pacific islands.

Secondly, the mitochondrial DNA from "Monica Matamua" a remaining matriarch of the Patupaiarehe people is scientifically covered in the documentary Skeletons in the Cupboard available on YouTube.

Next, there were the 33,000 skeletal remains of ancient Kaipara inhabitants, disowned by Maori and ground up as fertiliser. Plus the non disclosure of carbon dating of DNA for the Wairau Bar skeletons or even for the last decades repatriated skulls and Toi moko.

Lastly, you naively refer to Maori mythology and oral history as if this is more authoritative than physical and recorded history.

Disclosures over the next couple of years covering new historical facts are going to blow your socks off. My suggestion Juliet is that you go lightly on pursuing your "Maori First" quest.
B JONES Hamilton

Rotorua Daily Post 9/3/18 
Today I visited the new library for the first time and I am afraid I fully agree with a previous writer, Pauleen Wilkinson (Letters, March 8).

If it was the council's main purpose to impress, than it has succeeded extremely well, as it is a real showcase. Is it practical? No way, if we compare the present set up with the previous library or even the temporary one, then elderly people, especially those with walking problems, will tell you that this is a step backwards.

Firstly the parking outside. On both sides of the street it made parking for three cars, whereas with a different layout there would be in total room for 18 cars. Nobody will be impressed, words fail. Then there is a long walk to the entrance. Okay I guess for young people on fine days, bad for elderly any time. Once inside there is no slot handy for returning books. I did find one on the opposite wall.

Everywhere there were notices in Maori with English underneath. Seeing only a very small percentage of residents speak only Maori, one would expect English at the top.

Then suddenly a very large TV screen sprung to life showing the mayor. Honestly, who goes to the library to see the mayor?

Gisborne Herald 9/3/18 
Re: Your March 8 editorial.

You mention poverty, violence, addiction, crime and incarceration that affects too many Maori. It is so easy to use the past to explain the present and question the future. There is only one reason so many Maori are incarcerated and that is they commit the most crime. Just read the court news printed in your paper. Check out the number of Maori and non-Maori and see for yourself.

This long-held “escape clause” so many offenders and defenders use to justify why they offend, deny, abuse and complain has nothing to do with what happened 100-200 years ago. We have all had problems in the past, but if we have any substance, we get over them by solving our problems, change our lifestyle and endeavour to exist happily in the environment we have.

Nobody forces them to misbehave.

The fact that land was confiscated is indisputable but that should not affect the Maori of today. Time has moved on, opportunities have arisen and life is so much better for all. I have countless Maori friends who have achieved far more than I and have simply “got on with life”. Maori have as much opportunity, if not more than non-Maori to make something of themselves. This excuse of “hard-done-by” carries no sway with so many.

Instead of always referring to what Maori lost (countless years ago), let us concentrate on what they can have and achieve if they are prepared to work towards their own future.

You state that Maori should have a greater say in decision making. They are already the only ethnic group specifically involved in council matters. Any approaches from non-Maori seem to be ignored. Please tell me where the fairness and balance begins, because countless members of our populace are simply left wondering.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 9/3/18 
I hope P Dey of Welcome Bay (The Weekend Sun, March 2) reads Ryan's Ruminations (page 2, The Weekend Sun, March 2). He manages to get published almost every week in some publication or other and manages to use the same theme time and time again. Do the facts not mean anything to him? Thank you Ryan Wood for giving us the facts which some of the more enlightened among us will take on board.
D THOMAS, Katikati.

Congratulations to Ryan Wood (page 2, The Weekend Sun, March 2). At long last a professional, educated reporter with integrity and intelligence who has brought before the public actual facts (not fiction or myths) concerning our most important problem facing every New Zealander today.

A country being divided. It is corruption which, if not corrected, will bring about civil disturbance never seen in this country before. This article should be compulsory reading in every school and every parent must also understand how we, the public of New Zealand, have been lied to, shafted by weasel politicians, money-grubbing part-Maori supported by, again, money-grubbing lawyers, bureaucrats and people who have no empathy of the truth or the damage their snake oil is doing.

We are one people, one law, or one anarchy. The choice is ours. Wake up people. 
W MATCHES, Bethlehem.

Congratulations are due to Ryan Wood for his excellent description of the baseless claims being touted as facts (page 2 The Weekend Sun, March 2).

I raise this issue regarding the treaty because it is so rare to read the truth about our history.

I believe there are those who would separate us and use the divide and rule principle. They are called the separatists and although small in number have done a lot of damage to New Zealand.

‘The pen is mightier than the sword' is a true statement. I hope for the day when you, dear reader, realise that you need to pick up your pen and write about your wish for our country.

Well done Ryan Wood.
K EVANS, Tauranga.

P Dey (The Weekend Sun, March 2) is quite right when he claims ‘Maori would not want to run their own affairs with their own funding'. Maori want to run their own affairs with non-Maori funding! Example: co-ownership of Mount Maunganui with Maori making decisions and ratepayers paying.

The current government is made up of many list MPs who nobody voted for ­– they mostly have no experience, what a shambles! Labour, NZ First and National party leaders and deputy leaders – five of the top seven are Maori, with Greens to still decide if their prospective co-leader is also Maori. So why do we also need Maori wards since Maori can get to the top under their own steam?

Maori simply only need to stand for a position and it's theirs, thanks to Winston Peters, who incidentally claimed prior to the election that he was doing away with race-based politics. Yeah right.
J HILL, Tauranga.

Gisborne Herald 8/3/18 
Why are they deceiving us?

I was shocked when I read the Gisborne Herald,”we have voted 13-1” so the name Poverty Bay will be changed to include another name. There is something sadly wrong when no consultation is allowed for the people who live in this area. This is our history.

Also coming into the city on the Back Ormond Road at the 50k area we have a name on one side and Gisborne on the other. They have taken liberties behind our back. How confusing for visitors.

Lets get rid of the council and the mayor. Familiarity breeds contempt. A vote of no confidence should be given to our council and a referendum should be held. We pay our taxes and rates, and we should have a say in what happens in our community.

* THE dual entranceway signs have been in place for over five years now. It was an initiative to welcome visitors to the city in both languages.
DAVE HADFIELD,Tairawhiti Roads general manager


I WAS born in Gisborne and now reside in Auckland. Visiting my parents recently, I was shocked to see that the sign depicting arrival in Gisborne had been removed. In its place was a huge sign saying Turanganui a Kiwa (what a lot to remember, let alone a GPS co-ordinate).

In discussing this with family and friends in Gisborne, no one knows who authorised the sign change. I now learn the council is applying to change the bay’s name to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay. The original sign coming into Gisborne said Gisborne, not Poverty Bay. Why has this sign been changed?

From what is being said to me, the council may find itself extinct at the next election.

What happened to: Sunny Gisborne, Golden Gisborne? Now a name I can barely spell. No one can tell me how long Kiwa was actually in the area.

After enjoying Gisborne’s hospitality, sunshine and my family, maybe we could change the name to Jacksonville? I will apply for the Mayor’s role in the next election, standing on a platform to keep the name of Gisborne.

WHO gave the permission to remove “Gisborne” from the sign at the northern entranceway to our city and replace it with “Turanganui a Kiwa”? Was it GDC? If so, how dictatorial is our council going to become?

It seems as if the only people being heard in consultation are Maori. Certainly they have a right to their opinions, ideas and culture, but so do non-Maori.

Believe me, I have absolute respect for Maori culture. There just seems to be no “balance”. I am simply trying to understand why the Mayor and council continue on the singular, race-based direction they have taken.

I have just posted a letter to the NZ Geographic Board, writing in opposition to our council’s application for a dual name of Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

It is a shame a lot more people who are opposed to this name change are not standing up to be counted. Why don’t more of you put a pen to paper?

A certain MP has also been encouraged to help us in this quest. Her view sounded very promising.

Northland Age 8/3/18 
In her weekly opinion piece in Saturday’s Herald, Lizzie Marvelly gets into a tizzie, claiming that enquiring about her ethnicity or ‘Maoriness’ is rude, and may be the result of ignorance or malice, and that it is her own business.

Wrong! Ms Marvelly, when you put on a professional writer’s hat and have your opinions published in the public media, the public have a right to know those attitudes that govern your opinions so they can judge their quality, accuracy and worthiness. Once they are published your opinions become common property. Many see your weekly column as having ethnic and sexist agendas.

As for “the deepest and most personal part of your identity,” your” iwi affinity,” consider the following anomaly.

There are no full-blooded Maori. No Maori has more than half-blood. A large number have more colonial forebears than they do Maori ancestors. By your perennial photo, your name, the public knowledge of your celebrated family and your own mention of British and Czech blood, I surmise that you are no more than one-eighth Maori.

But you seem to claim only that part of your heritage as being of any relevance, and by putting on your Maori cloak you are willing to accept the Waitangi Tribunal’s approved and Treaty settlement payouts for alleged land confiscations 160 years ago that were carried out by settlers.

Settlers comprise seven-eighths of your own forebears. Perhaps it is they who should pay. So forget the bathos and get professional.

The widespread criticism is pretty well on the mark about the recent racial bias decision by the Court of Appeal (were they in fact even looking in the right place?), effectively overturning the District Court judge’s conviction of an accused who it seems had 1.5 grams of cocaine hidden in the van.

This outcome could possibly be regarded as akin to Alice in Wonderland stuff. The police, who rightly considered that having regard to the accused’s initial behaviour an offence could or might have been committed by the accused and his associates, were then completely vindicated.

Readers need to peruse the excellent case summary, look at the police team involved in the arrest, check out the composition of the Court of Appeal, and then judge for themselves whether the court’s decision could ever withstand robust scrutiny or whether the law is again being made to look like an ass (Lex asinus).

Incredibly, the Court of Appeal didn’t appear to find any racial bias, but rather unconscious bias, so have they taken leave of their senses and objectivity while looking rather dozy in the eyes of some commentators?

Speak up, sheeple, time is rapidly running out for common sense and reality to prevail in New Zealand over the PC garbage that currently abounds.
ROB PATERSON, Mount Maunganui

In the education system, Maori culture and te reo won’t make Maori students fully competitive. In early missionary schools old ca t = cat phonics taught Maori to read and write English.

They were so keen many ended up writing letters for uneducated Pakeha sailors and labourers who were illiterate.

Many teachers in the North did their best to give te reo a boost along with song and dance. Many did their best to pass on the stories of Kupe, Rahere and Heke asking, “How much of London could I trade for these blankets?”

Legends and stories not all parents were too familiar with. Maori children’s heritage, very precious and something Pakeha children should have knowledge of. However, it just isn’t enough.

As well as Maori poets the brilliant British, Irish and Scottish poets. Beautiful Neapolitan songs, and an exciting traditional Russian song, a Welsh choir. The founding document of the United States. Pania of the Reef, but also tell the story of Denmark’s Little Mermaid.

Children in small groups with an expert maths teacher, away from a large class with its noise and distraction, will achieve more real understanding in 10 minutes. Simple tales of famous people from the world over. Cultures and mighty achievements of many as well as Maori.

Teachers with the skills to hold the attention of much smaller classes teaching to a well-balanced syllabus free of the restraints imposed by pencilpushers, who in their minds have succeeded once they escape the dreaded classroom.

I saw a school concert with haka and action songs. The parents were rapt. Then came along a spirited traditional Russian song. The tamariki loved performing it, but some Maori parents weren’t happy with it. That was real dumb.

We need the best of all cultures.
HAMIORA, Kerikeri

Taranaki Daily News 8/3/18 
I read the name Poverty Bay, wrong! Turanganui is right according to the local iwi there.

So therefore New Plymouth must be wrong and Ngamotu must be right. Or is that just the beach area?

Mt Egmont as we knew it taught at school, wrong. Then it was changed/corrected to Mt Egmont/ Taranaki, now Mt Taranaki.

Is New Zealand still New Zealand? It must be confusing for our tourists at times!

NZ Herald 8/3/18 
Last week a correspondent criticised a DNA testing firm for not showing Maori genes in a person who had some Maori ancestry. She fell into the common misunderstanding of the way inheritance works.

It is a fact that if one parent is Maori and the other Pakeha, the children will have 50 per cent Maori genetic makeup.

However, it does not necessarily work that way from then on. Someone with a Welsh grandfather, say, is not necessarily one quarter Welsh, as inheritance is not carried by mixing blood.

In fact, it is possible for the grandchildren's Welsh genes to be anything from 50 per cent down to zero.

In any event, it is simply inaccurate to state such inheritance as one quarter or one eighth of anything.

Dominion Post 7/3/18 
Recent correspondence expresses opinions about the future of to reo. That is not a matter of opinion but of fact.

There are hundreds of distinct phonemes (distinct units of sound) in world language and any baby can acquire any of them, from Cantonese tones to Khoisan clicks, but after babyhood this ability gradually disappears.

When Maori first met Pakeha, they couldn't pronounce many of the phonemes of English and in a sense couldn't hear them. Hence Elizabeth changed to Irapeta, George to Hori and William to Wiremu with no disrespect to English intended.

It is overoptimistic to expect non-te reo speakers to pronounce Maori placenames "properly". We don't have the phonemes.

A second linguistic fact is that no two languages can be spoken by the same group of people indefinitely. One will disappear at the expense of the economically stronger one. Gaulish and Gothic were replaced by Latin. Cornish, Manx were lost to English. Te reo is beautiful, euphonious and embodies Maori culture, but it is a fact that it will go extinct.

Languages can take hundreds of years to die, lingering on as ceremonial tongues such as Church Latin or marae te reo, but only one language has ever bucked the trend. That was Hebrew and that took the Holocaust, the creation of modern Israel and the intense dislike of the German origin of Yiddish, the former Jewish common vernacular. Te reo does not have those motivations.

Wanganui Chronicle 7/3/18 
With all the blah about the new National Party leader Simon Bridges not being Maori enough for some tastes, as well as his deputy Paula Bennett, I got to thinking about what makes a Maori and what makes a Kiwi.

This is relevant right now, as we are currently doing the Census. Apparently, the Census asks what ethnic group one identifies with, among which is European”.

I am of Maori descent and affiliated to Ngati Mutunga. Like many thousands of Kiwis who can trace their settler lineage back to the 19th century, I am pakeha to look at but have significant Maori roots.

I personally identify with my Irish, English and Maori whakapapa. I do not class myself as European. I was not born in Europe and, apart from holidays, I have never spent any significant time there.

Now I turn to the question of not being “Maori enough”. Some Maori do not welcome approaches from pakeha with iwi affiliation. Thankfully most do, however.

What is “Maori enough” for these observers of ethnic purity? I am conversant with te reo, I know my whakapapa back many centuries, I identify as Maori to my friends and acquaintances, although I appear pakeha. Some would say that this is not enough to be Maori.

It seems to me to be most unfair for brown-skinned Maori who have seemingly grown up in the pakeha world. They are referred to as brown on the outside but white inside by some Maori, which is a shameful comment to make by 21st century people.

Maori leaders should not lower themselves to comments such as “let’s see what Bridges and Bennett can do for Maori before we accept them”.

As this country progresses through the coming century, Kiwis need to put this dangerous racial profiling of others behind them. This country is becoming part of Asia and we need to move on from whether someone is brown enough to be a Maori or not. Bigger things are coming, folks.

Gisborne Herald 6/3/18 
I congratulate councillor Malcolm McLean on his stance against the change of name for the bay. He is the only councillor who has the gumpton to stand up against this farce. He has the kahuna’s steel. Well done Malcolm!

In the editorial of February 28, 2018 you seemed to suggest that the name Kiwa Bay would be a good option for our bay.

Looking on the internet I learn Kiwa is a mythical name for a sea god, and also can be used for sad or anxious.

Kiwa is not a very good name for our lovely, sandy, safe bay.

Northern Advocate 6/3/18 
R Lang (February 26) and J Golightly (March 3), following M King, are in denial about the existence of people in New Zealand before the Polynesian immigrants whom we now know as Maori.

Indeed, against the odds, some survive today and the evidence of their DNA is that they are not Polynesian. I refer your readers to “DNA to Rock the Nation”, available from eLocal, Pukekohe.

There exist human remains, some from the Wairau Bar, which are likewise nonPolynesian (see New Zealand Voice, December 2017), and substantial artefacts constructed by them, notably in the Waipoua Forest on which a long embargo has been placed officially. As noted ( March 2) there are no restrictions on access to existing archaeological records but that is no substitute for free and unfettered independent research of the evidence.

This can only be construed as a deliberate move to prevent investigation by genuine scholars about the real first people of New Zealand.

Northland Age 6/3/18 
Whinging from those mayors and councils who unilaterally chose to actively promote and endorse Maori wards in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Western Bay, Whakatane and previously New Plymouth is offensive and preposterous.

Any so-called large referendum costs (an exaggeration) are not caused by those seeking honesty, accountability and transparency, but by councillors who never raised the race-based Maori wards issue at the 2016 elections, never consulted with (thereby breaching the Local Government Act) nor sought submissions from their citizens on the topic, yet all the time kowtowing under the radar to vested Maori interests.

Mandatory referendums should be held on all governance and constitutional issues, which then becomes government by the people for the people. The secret ballot aspect of a referendum also takes threats, coercion and intimidation out of the equation.

This process is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared with the obscene profligate spending of local government.

All race-based hogwash should be consigned to the trash can — it has no place in New Zealand, yet just look at the inane Labour Party and Greens' current Maori policy manifestos and the recent utterances from Ms Mahuta, the Minister Local Government and Maori Development, which, incidentally, are clearly incompatible portfolios with conflicting roles.

Ms Mahuta floats raising Maori (only) incomes by about 20 per cent by 2021 over and above general wage rises, while countenancing legislation to foist elected/ unelected part-Maori representation on to local authorities and other boards. It is very easy to see where this fanaticism is heading, so deputy prime minister Peters and New Zealand First MPs stand up and be counted by railing against these aberrations and actively opposing any race-based legislative interference.

The apathetic silent and irrelevant majority of Kiwis (80 per cent) also need to get off their butts and speak out, because time is running out for common sense and reality checks. As Thomas Jefferson said "If any law is unjust a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Civil disobedience on all race-based nonsense is long overdue, because it is like a creeping cancer, making incompetence, unproductiveness and unearned entitlements the hallmarks of these abhorrent preferential racist programmes.


Having read the 'Inside an Iwi' column (The reasons why, Anahera Herbert-Graves, Northland Age February 27) I must commend Ms A H-G on her eloquence and creativity by managing to portray a discrete collection of warlike pre-Treaty tribes as an enlightened society sharing in some sort of superior social structure.

Ms A H-G states: "Prior to 1840 there was in fact a vibrant political order, that like all human polities was sometimes discordant and disputatious, but always grounded in the importance of whakapapa." I particularly liked, "a vibrant political order that ... was sometimes discordant and disputatious".

Now there is a nice way to describe Hongi Hika as he set off with his musket-bearing warriors down the coastline with the intent of exterminating any and all Maori tribes that had the misfortune to come into his sights. It would appear that the 'vibrant political order' was based upon the premise that might is right.

Did that same vibrant political order also include sanctioning the practices of slavery and cannibalism?

There is nothing to be gained in either condemning or praising the morals and social practices of those who went before us but we do have a duty to educate our present generation with the truth about past events in our nation's history. Sugar-coating reality with rhetoric is a crime against our children.

One astute old fellow who could write pretty well (and no, it wasn't Shakespeare) once wrote, "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Today we have a new name for it—fake news.

As you settle down to complete your census forms, consider this.
Once again a government agency has introduced authoritarian actions without the public being informed of these procedures or actions ratified. The exclusive question on Maori ancestry appears singularly racist. Nowhere does the Treaty sanction this.

If the statisticians consider ancestry a defining mark of 2018 New Zealand, why are all other ethnicities ignored? Is it intended to present to the world an increase in our indigenous numbers? Is it to entitle those with a small percentage of Maori blood, like Sir Tipene O’Reagan’s 1-16th, privileges denied to other ethnic groups? How many part-Maori, as they all are, will tick ‘Maori’ without also indicating the larger number, that of their non-Maori ancestors?

Whatever the reasons, the public has the right to know.

Southland Times 6/3/18 
I watched a programme on TV3 where the question was asked: was Simon Bridges Maori enough to claim to be a Maori. If he can then he will be like many of the Maori All Blacks who, if they had a bloody nose, would just about lose all their quota.

The programme didn't give a clear answer.

New Zealand Maori descendents it would seem only make up 15 per cent of the population so why should they continue to command such a dominant influence in the running of the country?

We must accept that 200 to to 300 years ago the British conned these natives. The Brits were ruthless in any country the settled. The Maori have, in the long run, come out a lot better than most native people as we have paid for the crimes of our forefathers. And paid. And paid.

How long will this go on? How much of the millions paid out in settlements have gone towards improving their race and the betterment of their people - the ones who we are told make up most of the poverty and crime statistics. Will it continue until all the shades of brown have faded completely away? ( Abridged - Editor)
JIM FISH Invercargill

Hawkes Bay Today 68/3/18 
I was impressed with Tommy Wilson’s article, “Lead our young men out of jail” ( Hawke’s Bay Today, March 5). But, perhaps, something else was missing ?

While whanau/family contact is very important — and for the Justice Department to not imprison those who pose no violent danger to the public — it’s the vigorous creation/ encouragement of new employment opportunities that would make an important impact.

And that’s in both the existing employment areas, and in the creation of new ventures — and I admit that it’s not easy to do.

Therefore, with some trepidation, may I make this suggestion to Maori leadership: that some of the significant Treaty settlement finances be directed towards urgent and wise job creation, especially in areas of high unemployment?

This would, I’d suggest, reduce incarceration, and lessen the need for more prisons.

As well it would enrich the lives of offenders, their families and especially their children’s futures.

As a Christian minister, I’m called to care about my neighbour.

So, I quote a wise, old priest: “It’s better, and cheaper, to employ someone than to incarcerate them.”

Gisborne Herald 5/3/18 
Re: Council votes for dual name, March 2 story.
Given the results of “public consultation” previously published — “. . . out of 1856 respondents, 49.46 percent opposed a dual name, 47.52 supported it and 3.02 percent were not sure” —

I would have thought by the law of averages, councillor votes should have been close to these percentages rather than 13 to 1?

Obviously public opinion meant zilch.

I am disgusted that our Mayor and councillors have voted 13 to 1 on having a dual name, and will now submit this so-called dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay to the New Zealand Geographic Board for it to be changed.

What right have you lot to do this? Especially with this having such importance for our region.

I don’t care what anybody says, this should be going to a referendum at our next local body elections. It just doesn’t sit right with me whatsoever. It stinks.

Mr Foon said the council was doing the right and honourable thing in acknowledging the history of the district, and more particularly the ocean — Turanganui a Kiwa, subsequently Poverty Bay.

Yeah right. That’s not my belief. If you were honourable Mr Foon you would be putting this to a referendum, so get off your high horse and do what’s right.
As I said in a previous letter, if this dual name goes forward say goodbye to my votes on this council. So very disappointing, to say the least.

Could Mr Wharehinga explain how 520 people who voted “no” all wanted Turanganui a Kiwa and not Poverty Bay? I’m all for a change of name but playing with statistics is an old ploy to get your way.

Why is there no discussion to change Gisborne to Turanganui a Kiwa, its original name, and the “bay” to Oneroa Bay, which is more appropriate to the sea area of our environment?

Unbelievable! Once again our council does what it likes. What was the point of asking the public our opinion when once again it is ignored. The sooner we have council elections the better!

I was born and bred in Poverty Bay. Why do we need another name? Too much PC.
BRIAN, Palmerston North

If someone asks, where are you from? My reply is Gisborne — not Poverty Bay — and if I need to clarify that further, I’d say on the East Coast of the North Island.
It’s only a name, but we should not be changing it.

Very sad bunch of councillors — it seems like they are voting for their right to hold their position.

To the Mayor, you have got your way and have control on your vision and legacy — a sad one at that.

Gisborne Herald 3/3/18 
In response to Gavin Maclean’s wonderful English language lesson wrapped up in a piece of history, I disagree that dual naming is either clumsy, or meaningless . . .

A dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay will allow us all the opportunity to use, say and hear these place names, in either language, and become used to their pronunciations. This normalisation of the Maori language into our every-day use is essential for the rest of New Zealand, and our tourists, to become used to using and understanding it.

Already we now know and are comfortable with Taranaki/Mt Egmont, Aoraki/Mt Cook, two examples of how either of these names are correct, whether together or not, and we are now comfortable using both.

As for a groundswell for change, Mr Caddie, I’m sure in your community up the Coast that feeling is prevalent and fervently fostered, whereas in Turanga/Gisborne, a rather more cosmopolitan community, there is also an equally fervent respect for the history made by one of the foremost sailors/cartographers ever known, Capt James Cook.

Dual naming of our stunning region gives equal respect to both great men (Cook and Kiwa) and their astonishing achievements.

I think Capt Cook would be having a good laugh at the turmoil his name choice is causing!

Oh yes, and as for the humble hyphen vs the pesky forward slash, as you may have already picked up . . . I’m all for the forward slash.

In my humble opinion . . .

Waikato Times 5/3/18 (also published in BoP Times 5/3/18) 
As you settle down to complete your census forms consider this. Once again a government agency has introduced authoritarian actions without the public being informed of these procedures or actions ratified.

The exclusive question on Maori ancestry appears singularly racist. Nowhere does the Treaty sanction this.

If the statisticians consider ancestry a defining mark of 2018 New Zealand why are all other ethnicities ignored? Is it intended to present to the world an increase in our indigenous numbers? Is it to entitle those with a small percentage of Maori blood, like Sir Tipene O’Regan’s 1/16th, privileges denied to other ethnic groups?

How many part-Maori, as they all are, will tick ‘‘Maori’’ without also indicating the larger number, that of their non-Maori ancestors?

Whatever the reasons the public has the right to know.

Northern Advocate 5/3/18 
Reply to R Lang February 25.

Before criticising the likes of Mitch Morgan about pre-Maori occupation, please do proper research

Start by viewing New Zealand Skeletons In The Cupboard, Parts 1 and 2 on YouTube. Then books Forbidden History, The People Before and To The Ends Of The Earth, all well researched.

Quoting Michael King's sanitised version of history as gospel shows how indoctrinated Lang has become.

Try reading research by Professor Barry Fell, our New Zealand-born world expert on linguistics and ancient scripts. Just do it, before sounding off with the academic mantra.
B JONES Hamilton

NZ Herald 5/3/18 
Full credit to National's new leader, Simon Bridges. He has already created three full-time jobs: translators for Sign, Maori and English languages.

Sunday Star Times 4/3/18 
Jim Friel (Letters, February 25) wrote, ‘‘Barrie Davis says that ‘around the time of the Treaty in 1840 Maori life expectancy was 25 to 30 years. Today it is 70 to 80’. According to the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Maori life expectancy at the time of Captain Cook’s visits was similar to that in some of the most privileged 18th century European societies.’’

But what the Encyclopedia actually says is, ‘‘Their [Maori] average life expectancy of around 28–30 years seems low. But when European explorer James Cook arrived in New Zealand, the populations of both France and Spain had a life expectancy below 30 years.’’ Not only were these European populations mostly labourers and peasants rather than privileged societies, but the Encyclopedia also agrees with my data and so supports my contention that Maori life expectancy more than doubled because Europeans arrived.
BARRIE DAVIS, Wellington

Herald on Sunday 4/3/18 
I was very shocked to read the Court of Appeal has freed a person who has been found in possession of a large amount of cocaine on the basis that police were racially biased (The police, the cocaine bust and the racism row, February 28). So-called "unconscious bias", seems to be more important to the court in this case than factual evidence. Any of us could be stopped and checked by police or authorities when they considered that an offence may have been committed. In this case they were correct and were able to prove it. Are our police being pinned down by legal professionals who have lost objectivity or am I actually missing something?
JOHN SCOTT, Birkenhead

A man busted with cocaine walked free after claims he and his friends were searched because of the colour of their skins. A defence lawyer had made this claim; a District Court judge upheld the police action and an Appeal Court judgment threw the case out. It didn't confirm the defence lawyer's claim of racial bias and cited "unconscious bias". If he was guilty penalise him accordingly. If there was anything questionable in the police actions, rap the police over the knuckles or give them a blow on the nose.
Dominion Post 3/3/18 (To the point section) 
It seems that English is not an official language of NZ. It now seems that those immigrants who wish to take up New Zealand citizenship will need to have a working knowledge of to reo Maori and/or New Zealand Sign.
GEOFF BENGE, Waikanae Beach

Weekend Sun / Sunlive letters 2/3/18 
Whinging from mayors and councils choosing to actively promote and endorse Maori wards in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Western Bay, Whakatane and previously New Plymouth is preposterous. Referendum costs are not caused by those seeking honesty, accountability and transparency but by councillors who never raised race-based ward issues at 2016 elections, never consulted with, nor sought submissions from citizens, but are kowtowing to vested Maori interests.

All race-based hogwash should be consigned to the trash can. It has no place in New Zealand, yet look at inane Labour Party and Greens Maori policy manifestos and recent utterances from Ms Mahuta, Minister of Local Government and Maori Development.

Ms Mahuta promotes raising Maori incomes by 2021 while countenancing legislation to foist elected/unelected Maori representation onto local authorities and boards. Easy to see where this is heading so Mr Peters and NZ First stand up and be counted against this aberration and actively oppose legislative interference.

The apathetic silent/irrelevant majority (80 per cent) need to get off their butts and speak out.

As Thomas Jefferson said “if any law is unjust a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Civil disobedience on race-based nonsense is long overdue. It's like a creeping cancer, making incompetency, unproductiveness and unearned entitlements hallmarks of these preferential racist programmes.
R PATERSON, Matapihi.

Northern Advocate 2/3/18 
I feel I have to reply (with all due respect) to R Lang about fairy tales.

These are stories handed down by word of mouth of myths and legends until after a long time somebody puts it in writing. Does this remind you of something?

The so-called scholars can’t have gone anywhere, I have seen the stone walls in the forest, navigational cairns at Aranga, artefacts, etc, etc.

Having known Noel Hilliam (who recently passed far too soon), and seen his “documented” findings I find hard to believe the stonewalling attitude of some.

As far as artefacts are concerned there have been several sent to the DSIR for carbondating only to be retained and the results deferred until the 2060s, this notification has been photographed and published.

Elder Maori themselves talked of the “people of the mist”, “the people who came before”, (lightskinned), many years ago (when I was a young fella) I spent some time visiting the Hokianga where I got in conversations with some of the elders who spoke quite candidly of the people of the mist.

This has nothing to do with upsetting Government or Maori, it’s about truth, which is the only way any two peoples can live in harmony, not fairy tales.

I for one have no show of waiting until the 2060s to find out, but one would wonder why I should have to.
J COBBALD Ngunguru

* EDITOR’S NOTE: Various government ministers have replied over the years that there are no restrictions on access to archaeological records re Waipoua excavations.

Northland Age 1/3/18 
KTJ Howearth (letters February 20) comes across as an apologist and treatyist sympathiser, confusing alleged Treaty breaches (if any) with the ambiguity issues surrounding the treaty created by fabricators of new zealand history. Time for another factual history lesson.

The Tiriti o Waitangi Maori version is the only legitimate Treaty indisputably translated from the final English Littlewood draft. The Treaty contains a short preamble and three simple articles, whereby chiefs ceded sovereignty, all Kiwis’ property rights were guaranteed and British citizenship granted — all spelled out in very plain English.

It was a benign document, easy for everyone to live with, but it no longer has any relevance as it’s way past the use-by date. Certainly no mention of partnerships or principles of the Treaty; that was left to latter-day idiot magnets to concoct.

The main Maori ‘tribal’ uprisings took place between 1863-1867. Some lands were confiscated (Maori were warned this would happen under the New Zealand Land Settlement Act 1863) with about 90 per cent returned later.

Now here is where Mr Howearth comes unstuck. Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796-1862), the promoter of The New Zealand Company, died in Wellington on May 10, 1862, and the second New Zealand Company finally collapsed in the mid-1850s, surrendered its charter and was dissolved in 1858.

What could these souls, who had ceased to exist, possibly have to do with 1860s Maori tribal uprisings and the alleged land grabbing myths?

In fact, let’s record that Hobson, Fitzroy and Spain actually took issue with The New Zealand Company on some pre-Treaty purchases, refusing to endorse them.

Moving on to the Kororareka spiel — yes, in the 1830s dubbed the Hell Hole of the Pacific (drinking, fighting and prostitution), but by 1840 that reputation had diminished. Kororareka changed its name to Russell, with New Zealand’s capital sited at Okiato (old Russell) (1840-1841) a short distance away.

Pre-Treaty, without sovereignty, the British had no control over anyone’s behaviour, but once they did sorted it out quick smart.

Anyway, what about Maori behaviour pre-Treaty, with inter-tribal warfare, cannibalism, the Musket Wars and Chathams slaughter of Moriori, which does not rate a mention?

Still, why should that surprise us, because they never have and never will take responsibility for their own actions. It is always someone else’s fault.

If New Zealand got the human lowlife of Europe, they did pretty well, because today, many international commentators rate New Zealand as high as third-richest country in the world on global wealth per capita, so much so we squander billions of dollars on racebased parasites for scurrilous and nebulous claims. All this progress in only 177 years, from scratch, was a stunning achievement by any nation.

Here endeth the short history lesson Mr Howearth, so please come back with something a little more challenging and more fact-based once you have cogitated and regathered your thoughts. I look forward to demolishing that stuff too.

Readers will readily perceive the issue is not about Geoff Parker’s qualifications (actually he has Sir Apirana Ngata on his side) but rather the treatyists and their ilk’s credibility or lack of credibility in goofing off about non-descript pronouncements by some law professor, who, interestingly enough, is not even named. It is fair to ask, what did Maori achieve in the 400-500 years before the most recent wave of European settlement? Maori comprised Stone Age, disparate, cannibalistic tribal groups, exterminating the moa in 100 years, deforesting areas in the South Island, and invented absolutely nothing.
ROB PATERSON, Mt Maunganui

It’s the day after Ash Wednesday; Lent has just begun. I’ve been trying to come up with positive action I can take during this season of penance and good works.

Having read today’s edition of the Free Press (aka Northland Age), I’ve decided on one piece of positive action I can take. I’m gonna desist from reading the columns of John Carter, Mike Finlayson (surely some close relation to the disastrous Chris Finlayson), Dr Fishoil, Anahera Herbert-Graves, Shane Jones and Winston Peters. And there might be others. This will certainly be positive action in regard to my mental health.
LEO LEITCH Benneydale

What we need now is a new political party starting up. With National’s new leader the party is buggered.

A new party would need to stop separatism. It would need to close down the racist/ apartheid Waitangi Tribunal and set up a royal commission that will look into any false Treaty claims.

Return the foreshore, seabed, lakes and rivers back to all the people of New Zealand. A compulsory referendum on all major issues, and make English an official language of New Zealand.

Bring out the true Treaty and have one law for all the citizens of New Zealand, where everyone has the same rights. Teach school children about our true history of our country, and bring back democracy.

NZ Herald 1/3/18 
Much is being made of new National leader Simon Bridges' Maori heritage. Yet when interviewed by John Campbell he spoke of Maori as "them" and "they".
PETER BEYER, Sandringham.

Bay of Plenty Times 1/3/18 
In your article “Petition forces referendum on wards” (BOP Times, February 15) Buddy Mikaere bemoans that “no one had been in the public arena arguing for Maori wards”.

I’m not sure who Mr Mikaere thinks should be doing the arguing but I would have thought that this was a job for Maori.

As it has reached the referendum stage, now is the time for Mr Mikaere and other supporters of Maori wards to step up and promote their stance.

It may well be a lost cause, but that is not an excuse for not trying.

If no effort is made, then the wider community will consider that Maori really don’t care.

Peter Day (Letters, February 26) and his criticism of R E Stephens’ and statements on Treaty issues beggars belief.

Mr Day’s idea of pushing the magical “white guilt” buttons to start cash flow because of injustice caused by us Kiwis.

May I remind Mr Day the life expectancy for Maori at the beginning of the early 1800s was 27 years and life expectancy for Maori is now 77 years.

The allegation that introduction of Maori wards in the Western Bay needs no consultation to us Kiwis has only caused resentment and illfeeling within the community but what you can do, Mr Day, is now have a vote on the matter because of fair like-minded Kiwis (Maori and Europeans) who have no use for separatism or race based privileges and will send a message that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable in New Zealand.

Your idea of democracy is certainly different from us Kiwis.

Instead of unifying our country, your idea to funnel as much of the public pie into one tribe or circle, stifles innovation and fractures the fabric of our society and why would you want to divide neighbour from neighbour?

Dominion Post 28/2/18 
This is a plea for common sense on the wholesale promotion of the Maori language, as has been suggested for Wellington.

Recently I received an unsolicited email setting out in brief the history of Maori people, their contributions and their grievances.

I replied saying I objected to compulsory Maori language being taught in schools. I am also tired of the interpolation of random Maori phrases in radio and television.

I received a reply from a third party, defending the first email, and adding that "most people in the debate about Maori use on Radio NZ were positive about its use".

But I wonder where the "most people" are?

Since I hear a groundswell of protest over our insidious brainwashing by way of political correctness.

The "most people" I know are afraid of publicly voicing their opinion. Of being politically incorrect. What happened to free speech?

Let's teach children to speak English correctly before we embark on a tangent away from skills they can actually use.
JO MURPHY Waikanae

The Press 28/2/18 
What nonsense from Michael Goodson re Hobson’s Pledge and Don Brash (Letters, Feb 26). The clear intent of Hobson’s Pledge is to oppose racism and support democracy – nothing more!

I find it hard to understand that there are people who don’t appreciate that citizens of any ethnicity have (or should have) equal rights in a democracy.

We all have the right to vote in local and national elections – and to stand for office if we so wish. That is democracy.

That is what Hobson’s Pledge speaks out for – opposing that small vocal group who want democracy and the right to doubledip on everything.
LAURIE TUFF, Prebbleton

It is only in Michael Goodson’s imagination that ‘‘Hobson’s Pledge is . . . nostalgic for the colonial 19th-century where the land was ripe for plunder and the tangata whenua a nuisance in the way of civilisation’s land grab’’. The primary goal of Hobson’s Pledge was equal rights for all citizens.

The resident tribes were only too eager to exchange land, largely useless to them, for the material goods of the white man. Indeed before February 1840, in the South Island alone, 179 sales of land by eager sellers were registered. With most of these sales nullified by Hobson’s proclamation of January 30, 1840, the owners then sold the land eagerly all over again.

Northern Advocate 28/2/18 
Re “Fairytales“letter from R Lang ( Advocate February 26).

You are right in that I strongly oppose the Government’s move to “officially enshrine Maori as the first and only indigenous people of New Zealand".

History is what it is, not the result of a Government decree.

As for historian Michael King, he was a very learned gentleman who interestingly enough concluded that all Pakeha had the same right to be called indigenous as Maori and disagreed that only Maori have a spiritual association with mountains, lakes and rivers.' (ref: Wikipedia, Michael King).

Mr King's dismissal of there having been earlier tangata whenua is apparently based upon his opinion that there were no traces left of earlier occupation — an understandable assumption considering the cover-up embargoes on more than 100 "no-go zone" historical sites that lay outside of his field of investigation.

I appreciate that it is very inconvenient for today's part-Maori activists to acknowledge the existence of prior inhabitants but there have been, and still are, such people who exist. I know, because I have met and spoken with them.

The history of these people is portrayed in John Dudley Aldworth's book, Forbidden History. In this book Monica Matamua, leader of the surviving two thousand Patuparaiehe race, describes how she was told to "Sit down and shut up. You don't exist." at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing, plus Waitaha Chieftain George Connelly's chilling account of a childhood being moved from place to place to avoid being murdered by Maori.

This is true history — not a dissertation from those with vested interests nor "official historians" craving peer acceptance.

I was fortunate to spend a childhood in multi-national (not multi-cultural) NZ public schools in which Maoris, Chinese, Samoans, Indians and Pakehas were just kids who shared equally in all activities, with no thought being given to race or religion — just kids getting along together.

Today my heart saddens as I see a country embroiled in racial discord — a nation of unsuspecting people being socially indoctrinated with a 'history' of politically correct fairy tales.

Northland Age 27/2/18 
The ex-mayor of New Plymouth, Mr Andrew Judd, the born again anti-racist, has spat the dummy on learning that a majority of his constituents do not accept his racial favouring of Maori with unelected council seats, and has turned to vile invective against Don Brash and Hobson's Pledge.

It seems a stretch of logic to call a movement striving for equality for all ethnic groups racist.

He has been motivated by the misguided belief that Maori were granted special status by the Treaty. Any latter-day revisions or alterations for political expediency of the Treaty cannot alter the fact that what the Treaty stated in 1840, and what the 500 chiefs understood, accepted and signed to, was the sovereignty of the Crown, and in consequence the Westminster form of government. This acceptance was ratified by the 200 chiefs at Kohimarama in 1860, and by Sir Apirana Ngata in the 1930s.

The Treaty also applied to all New Zealanders, tangata Niu Tirani and not just tangata Maori.

For this ceding of control all Maori became equal subjects of the Queen. No more. There is no partnership, as, by its very definition, a subject cannot be partner to a sovereign.

So Mr Judd, it is you who is the racist by promoting exclusive and unwarranted privilege for Maori. This is a form of apartheid, and democratically unacceptable

Am I racist? Am I a racist if I comment on anything Maori?

Am I a racist if I question the wording of the Treaty?

Am I a racist if I disagree with current policies of the government in relation to Maori?

The answer is yes in the eyes of Maori, so let me explain what exactly a racist is.

The dictionary defines it as a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

Reading this definition, it is Maori who are the racists in New Zealand, not the majority of other races, because Maori think the country belongs to them.

Maori want us to believe they are the indigenous people of New Zealand, when their own history proves they are not, and are immigrants, just like the rest of us. There were several other races here long before Maori arrived, a fact they seem to have difficulty believing.

Maori tell us when the chiefs ceded New Zealand to the Crown a partnership was formed, when in fact no partnership was ever agreed upon, just the same rights and privileges were granted to them as every other citizen of the Crown.

So, when you point out the fact, not the fiction, you are a racist, and if this is the case I am proud to be one, because the truth needs to be told to all New Zealanders. If branding me as a racist is a cost I must pay, then so be it. I am fed up listening to the lies from our politicians who have gone over the top to appease Maori. This PC has gone overboard, and it is time for the silent majority to speak out and declare "enough is enough".

New Zealand is a country made up of a very diverse range of people and cultures, so why must we the majority continually have to cater to the wants and needs of the minority?

As Hobson said to every chief who signed the Treaty "We are now one people," so when are Maori going to accept this?

The sooner we put an end to the gravy train that is the Treaty and stop paying for the past the sooner we can move forward into the future as one nation.
PAUL. REA, NZ Seniors' Party

The first Pakeha to see Lake Omapere were, I believe, Samuel Marsden and his friend John Nicholas.

The account in Nicholas' narrative of A Voyage To New Zealand 1814-15 is amazing. It tells of their hard tramp through great puriri forests that hid the sky.

The description of the lake area and surrounding land was one of great beauty and a rich food-gathering area for Maori. They were both deeply impressed with the area. What a pity the lake levels were reduced to create farmland. The lake is too shallow now to maintain life to the end of a long, hot and dry summer.

Life in pioneer days was very hard. They were forced to cut forests to survive financially. Back-breaking work that resulted — long after their hard lives—in the wonderful world of modern New Zealand. So many New Zealanders know nothing of such efforts.

Generations of back-breaking farming work built our hospitals, schools and welfare systems of today.

Lake Omapere's depth reduction was one of many mistakes made in ignorance. Our polluted rivers and endangered lakes caused by past lack of scientific knowledge must be corrected as fast as we are able.

They made mistakes, but also got an awful lot right, thank goodness. So life goes on, and some of our modern plastic mistakes will regularly come home to roost in the future.
SAM McHARG Kerikeri

Southland Times 27/2/18 
Of course the language which most people speak in their homes in this country should have recognition as an official language.

However it's not exactly correct to assume its the same English, as for example, international students are examined in to gain entry to tertiary study in this, and other English-speaking countries.

We speak a dialect of English which the experts in linguistics have named NZE (NZ English). We speak and understand it 100 percent, but even people from the UK and the USA have to often ask us to repeat sentences because they only understand about 75 percent of the dialect of English we speak here.

So why not do the legislative job properly and name NZE as an official language of our country?

NZ Herald 27/2/18 
The police look in a van because they "sense something wrong". This is a sense they develop over years of dealing with criminals. They see a knife and search. They find 1.5g of cocaine. The judge throws the charges out because she feels they are being racist. Does that judge not live in the real world, watch Police 10/7 or Crimewatch, nor read prison statistics?
DAVE KING Avondale.

NZ Herald 27/2/18 (Short & Sweet section) 
Your correspondent Neville Cameron writes, "So the police searched a van and found 1.5kg of cocaine". The news item reports the finding of 1.5g of cocaine. The error surely merits a correction.
ROSS BOSWELL, Auckland Central.

Maori make up 15 per cent of the overall population, but half the prison population. Therefore, the reasoning goes, the system is racist. Or could it be that Maori commit most of the crime?
F. SMITH, Kohimarama.

NZ Herald 26/2/18 
Whoopee! The next time I am stopped by the police and accused of speeding, I can escape conviction by pleading in my defence that, at the time I was stopped, the police officer called me a 'bloody Pom".

So the police searched a van and found 1.5kg of cocaine. The case was dismissed as being racist. Should the police now have to return this illegally discovered cocaine?

This case illustrates the fact that the law is an ass. The driver will now have a legitimate get out of jail card, in that the police now know who he is and what he has done, and he will be able to claim that he is being targeted. He now has immunity.

Dominion Post 24/2/18 (To the Point section) 
Jones controversy and Waitangi Day, is it possible for a person to receive two knighthoods?

NZ Herald 24/2/18 (A Brief Word section) 
The proclamation by the Maunga Authorfty representative that "we do not makedecisions by public opinion" bespeaks of another time and another race.
ALEC HILL. Devonport.

Gisborne Herald 23/2/18 
Re: Letters this week — Coastal fisheries: We’ve got it wrong, and Someone who likes fishing.

Two passionate fishers writing many a true word. Ernie White comments about how good it was in the past, while Clarke Gayford remembers pollution smells while surfing and is pleased further wastewater improvements are on the way. Good on you brothers!

Actually, some serious work is being done to improve our sport as well as help our kaimoana come back. The NZ Recreational Fishing Council, a statutory government-recognised advocacy group of which I am a board member, has managed to get the Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club and many other Gisborne clubs and people to agree, subject to iwi support, to have a recreational-only marine park off Gisborne. This is what Ernie asks for and maybe Clarke could ask Jacinda to support his town of Gisborne and make it happen.

The NZ Recreational Fishing Council believes a recreational marine park out to a few miles, taking in the bay and linking with the existing marine reserve, would be very good for the local community and tourism.

There could be negotiations over the rock lobster fishery regarding commercial interests fishing within it, but certainly not allowing commercial to take undersized lobsters in winter that the public get fined for if we do the same. This is the only place with such a regime, called the “concession”. It is a gross inequity and a mandate of about 25 percent of Gisborne and Mahia fishers and clubs want it gone.

However, one problem. The National government through Anne Tolley had no success reaching a level playing field for us over many years.

The marine park concept is agreed by all our mandate except feedback from iwi has not happened so far. Is that because Maori are hoping for customary title of the coast? We should all be in partnership together to achieve something good to improve our fisheries, from rock lobsters to kina, paua, bottom species and gamefish.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 23/2/18 
Western Bay District Council hierarchy wanted to censure Norm Mayo, a Katikati Community Board member, to bring him into line because he used his initiative, voicing constructive observations on Katikati matters that didn't align with the Mayor and his cohorts' mindsets.

The January 31 meeting of the Katikati Community Board was the largest ever, with the Mayor, councillors and Norm Mayo supporters all present for the censure issue.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech in New Zealand? Why do we have so many upstarts in charge when councillors/community boards are supposed to gather information, consult, and then come up with the best economic solution? That doesn't happen anymore!

WBDC rifts emerge and with 4000-plus signatures on the petition demanding a referendum opposing Maori Wards, maybe the Mayor is under pressure.

Mr Webber forgets WBDC ratepayers foot the bill and they could vote him out at the drop of a hat if he continues on his merry way without public consultation.

Ratepayers are not so naïve to think race-based Maori Wards will cost nothing, because any change always costs and ratepayers pay the piper!

Elected members need to start listening to and consulting with WBDC ratepayers before making major decisions with less of the ‘bully boy' tactics otherwise democracy will deal to you. (Abridged).

Hawkes Bay Today 22/2/18 
I read the Talking Point in the paper on Tuesday, written by Dr Bill Sutton. He nailed it.

"There never was an actual giant, let alone an ancestor, buried on Te Mata Peak.

That story is a myth, not a historical fact." That is why, right up until the Craggy Range track was almost completely finished,we heard nothing from local iwi.

Te Mata Peak and the surrounding park are there to be enjoyed by us all.

It is important that any changes from now on must be "publicly notified".

Well over 16,000 people have so far signed the petition for the track to stay and be available to all.

Contrast the attitude of our local Maori with that of the three iwi who were gifted Mt Maunganui (Mauao) in their treaty settlement. More than a million people either walk around "The Mount" or climb it on an annual basis and everyone is encouraged to enjoy the experience and the views across the Bay of Plenty.

That is a similar iconic and famous landmark in New Zealand, steeped in cultural history, but the attitudes of those charged with protecting it are so vastly different.

Hawke's Bay Maori could learn heaps from those in the Bay of Plenty. They have moved on.

Northland Age 22/2/18 
Dear oh dear oh me, how does KTJ Howearth (Letters February 20) relate alleged Treaty breaches to my letter re ambiguity of the Treaty, Resulting from deliberate mistranslations of the terms for self-interest and pecuniary gain?

Also he has the gall to label my letters as vague after rabbiting on about some professor of law who he does not name.

According to Howearth, New Zealand got the dregs of London society. Gosh, looking around at the prosperity of the country and the billions of dollars that have lined tribal elite pockets in recent years, for the dregs of society we have not done too bad for ourselves.

New Zealand is currently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world per head of population, and all that in less than 200 years. Maori were here approximately 500 years before Europeans, and what, pray tell, did this so-called 'great' race of people achieve in that time?

NZ Herald 22/2/18 
Geoff Chapple has written an admirably clear summary of a totally unacceptable situation.

It is quite ridiculous that an anonymous organisation with no connection to Devonport can close the road access to the top of our mountain.

Mt Victoria belongs to Devonport and many of us have, in the past, spent hours of hard work there, such as planting the trees that now thrive on the lower slopes.

This debacle is entirely due to Rodney Hide's amalgamation of the cities into the unspeakable Auckland Council.

It is to be hoped this unlovely body will soon collapse and disintegrate under the weight of its increasing inefficiency.
DENYS OLDHAM, Devonport.

It was a very interesting article written by Geoff Chapple on bans on car access to our mountains.

I'm not too sure why so many people are complaining.

A detailed report on how and when to implement the vehicle ban was presented to the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority.

Now that Mt Victoria has joined the list, how long do you think it will be before allowance will be allowed — at a cost of course, with pay turnstiles.

Actually, I wouldn't mind paying for the access if the proceeds went to worthwhile causes to reduce child poverty.
DENIS JONES, Takapuna.

New Zealand Herald 22/2/18 (Short & Sweet section) 
Under the Reserves Act 1977 it is not possible to prevent public access to the Waitakere Ranges,
BRUCE TUBB, Belmont.

Dominion Post 21/2/18 
Further to Martin van Beynen's article on February 17 (Yet one more thing we expect of teachers), I also heard Guyon Espiner's interview with Secretary of Education Iona Hoisted about Maori educational under-achievement, and was horrified.

I heard the argument about the cause being some form of unconscious bias some time ago, probably arising from some educational research, but thought that it had gone the way of a number of other educational ideas.

It is almost 25 years since I was a teacher, but I have worked in education since then. From my observations and what I hear, schools have gone a very long way towards engaging all learners, including Maori, in formal education.

No doubt there are many factors that contribute to poor achievement. Poverty and deprivation must be amongst these.

But if there is a single significant factor that determines educational outcomes, I think that is it the value that individuals and families place on learning and the priority they give it.

There are many families who are poor and under-privileged but whose children do well at school and beyond. There are plentiful examples of families such as refugees who have little material wealth but whose children achieve well educationally and in life.

Perhaps the time has come for some real, meaningful research into educational achievement to be undertaken. But it would be better that it not be carried out by educationalists -certainly not the Ministry of Education.

NZ Herald 21/2/18 
When is government, even local government going to take control? The rahui put on the Waitakeres by local Maori is really just another bid for control. Access to Mt Wellington, Mt Eden, Mt Victoria has been restricted by the unelected Tupuna Maunga Authority and now the Waitakeres with a rahui.

Considering there is no cure for kauri dieback, and that it travels in moist soil nearly 22 metres a day, it must have totally permeated the whole of the Waitakeres by now and the kauri are either doomed or will become resistant.

Once Maori gain control of all these public places, how long before a fee is imposed on the public for access?

Bay of Plenty Times 19/2/18 
Peter Dey never seems to read letters properly.

He goes on about Maori voters not voting for Maori candidates.

Perhaps they choose not to — just as the 60 per cent of Maori who are on the Maori roll chose not to vote for the Maori Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs reports that about 12-13 per cent of all candidates contesting the 2001, 2004 and 2007 local government elections had some Maori ancestry.

Peter Dey’ figure is 5 per cent for that period.

BOP Regional Council has three elected members elected from their constituencies.

He ignores writers who say they have consistently voted for Maori candidates/mayors.

He ignores those who list the number of legislatively imposed consultation iwi representation on council.

He ignores every statute which requires Waitangi consultation, especially the RMA.

No other ethnic group has received the monies, land, lakes, rivers, mountains, national parks, beaches governance and titles than Maori.

No other ethnic group receives priority education — especially in subsidised scholarships — housing, hospital and health services. Just how much do you want Mr Dey?

Also, when the Crown owned New Zealand’s natural assets it never charged, fenced off, closed or denied access to anybody. Yet according to Mr Dey, it is racist to point this out.
R. E. STEPHENS Mount Maunganui

Northern Advocate 19/2/18 
A short while ago I had a conversation with one of our leading archeaologists who was adamant that no Chinese had ever set foot on our shores in pre-colonial times.

He actually got into a bit of a huff when I mentioned the author Gavin Menzies and his books of Ming Dynasty global exploration.

I believe the Chinese did reach NZ and they altered the status quo substantially.

Their boat was wrecked on Ripiro Beach on Dargaville's west coast and was discovered by Noel Hilliam shortly before his demise.

It measures about 120m long by 25m wide and is made of teak. A boat of this size had at least 1200 people aboard and as the wreck is close to shore a substantial amount of the sailors may have survived.

These survivors are the most likely candidates for the draining of all the lakes and swamps between Aranga and Dargaville as well as contendors for unique green stone work in Northland.

Now is the time for the archaeologists of Otago University to update their outdated conceptions and face the truth.

Daily Post Rotorua 19/2/18 
I have read the recent letters regarding fish conservation.

To move forward we cannot dwell in the past. If we did most Maori tribes would be alienated with one another following the atrocious battles fought in recent pre-European conflict. This is applicable in the Bay of Plenty, especially the area of the Rotorua lakes.

Anything in the 21st century, in my opinion, should be equally observed. Equality, as near as it can be, is the objective of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Conservation and replenishment of stock cannot be met unless it is shared by all. The need for a specific food is not relevant today with comparative food supplies, although it may be nice for some!

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 16/2/18 
Let's give credit where credit is due. Good on the Minister of Education and the Labour Party for taking meaningful steps to shut down the repugnant charter schools thing. Next step, get rid of the race-based total immersion schools and stop the inane headlong plunge into the adoption of the compulsory Maori language planned for all schools because this nonsense is playing havoc with Kiwi kids' learning and achievement levels.

First and foremost ensure proficiency with and fluency in our national language, English, which is acknowledged and accepted as the most dominant language worldwide.

Another positive move would be to take steps to have the Education Council correct and put right the current NZ Teachers Code, another race-orientated, unworkable aberration which is causing angst in teaching circles and loss of teachers.

On a completely different tack, the government must dismantle the private prison system which is fraught with difficulties on all fronts. After all Labour, when in opposition in 2016, flayed PPP saying it had no place in New Zealand
R PATERSON, Matapihi.

Sunday Star Times 18/2/18 
While Sir Bob Jones’ piece proposing Maori Gratitude Day was not entirely serious (News, February 18), it nevertheless covers a serious point. Maori have a lot to thank Europeans for, as indicated by their increased life expectancy.

Around the time the Treaty was signed, Maori life expectancy was 25 to 30 years; today it is 70 to 80 years.

The increase is due to the good that Europeans brought to Maori, including diet, clothes, housing and medical science. Yet all we get from the Maori elite is complaints, presumably because complaining results in Treaty payments.
BARRIE DAVIS, Wellington

Wanganui Chronicle 17/2/18 
In your editorial (February I5), you state -knighthoods are the creation of white, unelected, colonial empire-builders". Well, maybe ... But that hasn't stopped thembeing given to Steve O'Regan of remote Ngal Tahu descent and Graham Latimer of Ngapuhi, with damehoods — the female equivalent — for Whina Cooper and Tariana Turin as examples.

Dominion Post 17/2/18 (To the point section) 
Re the Bob Jones controversy and Waitangi Day, is it possible for a person to receive two knighthoods?

Peter Petterson (Feb14) "hit the nail on the head" re a country party ally for National. Labour should do the same in the Maori electorate and just have "independent Maori Labour". Both new parties could only run on the list while the major parties chase the party vote. MMP without the negotiations after the election.

NZ Herald 16/2/18 
Quietly, insidiously, the vehicle access to all the beautiful mountain top views around Auckland are being closed off by the Tupuna Maunga Authority.

How did this happen and why are we allowing it? Who gave them this authority?

Mt Victoria has 360 degree views and now only the fittest young people will be able to access it. If there was ever a protest march I would walk on this is it.

Hawkes Bay Today 16/2/18 
A walking track is not a health and safety issue (it’s up a hill — there are tracks all over the wildest of hills everywhere).

A scar on the landscape? Objectors first said that about the Golden Gate Bridge.

You can hardly see it — infinitely less of a scar than the road up the other side.

It’s a public amenity enabling people who would otherwise be unable to scale the hill to do so.

Aren’t we supposed to be encouraging people to keep fit rather than drive cars up hills?

As a visitor from the UK, I am astonished that there is any discussion of removing a facility that we would normally expect to have been there for years. Many of our hill walking tracks were made by . . . yes, sheep! And, hello, you got it for free? If I was the winery I would tell the objectors to come and commit their own vandalism so people can see who they are.

Come on, you Kiwis, sort it out — an incredulous world waits....and laughs. (Abridged)
MARTIN COWLEY, United Kingdom
Bay of Plenty Times 15/2/18 
Mr Dey (Letters, February 13) perhaps does not comprehend how creating a Maori ward may disenfranchise Maori citizens enrolled on the Maori roll and/ or the general roll.

If the referendum is successful the councillors have to investigate a “whole of district representation” review.

For example, decide how many councillors the district wants? If it is 10, plus a mayor, then the decision may be three general wards plus one Maori ward (or any other number of councillors/wards they may consider).

A person on the Maori roll will only be eligible to vote for the Maori candidate, and any Maori on the general roll will only be eligible to vote for the electoral candidate standing in the ward that they reside in.

It appears that an individual’s right of choice is compromised no matter what their cultural preference may be.

Northland Age 15/2/18 
It is interesting to read in your issue of February 1, that our rabid feminist Prime Minister is, like her equally rabid predecessor Helen Clark, bowing to Maori protocol, which forbids females speaking inside the whare. Like Muslims, today's part-Maori are considered by feminists as allies for the time being in pursuit of their objectives.

"We have failed in our partnership."

The words of the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds presages a rough and expensive time ahead for most New Zealanders, with a government that is corrupting the words of the Treaty and apologising to Maori for problems that are mostly of their own making.

Madam Prime Minister there is no partnership. We are all equal subjects under the Crown. That is what the Treaty says.

NZ Herald 15/2/18 
Again, a small minority is dictating to the huge majority with the decision to close the summit of Mt Victoria to traffic from early March. This has to be Auckland’s best scenic view, one I have been proud to show overseas visitors, especially older ones, for many years.

This privilege is about to be taken from me because by some people’s reasoning, the mountain is sacred. That being the case, so are all Auckland’s beaches. Let’s close them off. So is the whole city, let’s close it. This idea has nothing to do with guardianship but more to do with elitism. It is a sad decision for Auckland and deserves better than being accepted so as not to offend a minority.
BRYAN JENKINS, Greenhithe.

Gisborne Herald 14/2/18 
Re: Letters and article of February 9.

Matthew, I am no more racist than you. I have an opinion, and so do you.

The name at the front of a building or business shows the ownership of that entity. I guess you would be offended if the English version preceded the Maori. If you examine the hoarding outside the council building you will see that the depiction of the end result shows Gisborne District Council above the Maori interpretation. Why was that not the way the finished title was positioned?

As an aside, Josh Wharehinga disagreed with Malcom MacLean re the model endeavour ships being repaired. Josh also believed most people would not desire their return. Sorry Josh, but you quote the desires of “your people” — and did you ask more than 20 people? If we decided to place models of waka on the “poles”, would you be satisfied? When you get your consensus of opinions, make sure it is a balance of Maori and non-Maori.

Martin, re your friend’s quote “Why did Captain Cook call this place Poverty Bay?”, you know as well as I that he used the word “poverty” simply because he was unable to acquire fresh water and food.

Tokararangi, you finish saying: “. . . whanau who live in Turanganui and Ngati Porou area . . . hold fast to the treasured original name of Turanganui a Kiwa”.

I would ask all non-Maori residents of our area to hold fast to the name bestowed on our place by the first Europeans to land here. To us, perhaps, this treasured name of Poverty Bay is worth keeping. I would claim that no one anywhere in the world, takes the meaning of this title to be “destitution”, poorness, unfruitfulness, pauperism etc.

The appearance of these words is normally caused by those who do not and will not give their families the care they deserve.

Mr Foon, I don’t know what is possessing you to want to change our name of Poverty Bay. Yes, it does have a stigma with the word poverty, but it’s up to us to make changes in how we want to live. As Mike Mulrooney said, what would happen if you went to China and tried to change placenames — don’t think you’d get very far with that.

I would be so outraged if our name is to be changed. For me this should be a referendum at the next local-body elections. You can’t just go by the submissions sent in.

If this does happen, that a name change is done before the elections, you can say goodbye to my vote and the same for the rest of the councillors — such a waste of ratepayers’ money when there are other urgent matters that need attending to, like roads, footpaths and sewage overflows when it rains.

So, Mr Foon, get off your high horse and put this to a referendum.

Taranaki Daily News 14/2/18 
All kudos to Sir Bob Jones for deliberately and provocatively highlighting just how much freedom of speech is being systematically shut down in New Zealand.

He is also correct in eluding to how much of a positive English colonisation has been .

Those on the left and the PC brigade have a view of the world that is uncompromising and god forbid anyone that dares to express an alternative viewpoint.

Similarly, many great hypocrites of our time who espouse racist policies and demand breathtaking amounts of taxpayer fed funding need to take stock that their highest percentage of bloodline is in fact European.

But why let that get in the way of choosing your preferred ancestry when great swathes of money are on offer from populist politicians!

What a truly corrupt and self serving nation we have become.

It’s very sad that most of the population are too afraid to say ‘‘enough is enough’’ with all this PC nonsense.

Or they are simply unaware given that we have news media that is largely left wing sympathetic and chooses not to publish many opposing viewpoints.

Dominion Post 13/2/18 
Supposed public outrage at Bob Jones’ satire raises a dark cloud.

An undeniable truth of democracy is the blindness of many under its protection. In his book The Demon in Democracy (2016), Ryszard Legutko, a former Polish anti-communist academic, rather convincingly argues that democracy is in its final few decades. He highlights the strong similarities in communism and democracy and how easily the latter may become the former.

You need an electron microscope to find ‘hate speech’ in Jones’ column. There’s a truth – that all Maori now have some European or introduced DNA – and then flows satire that Billy T would have been grateful for.

That ‘‘tens of thousands’’ have signed a meaningless petition to strip Jones of his knighthood is the sort of mindlessness frighteningly foretold by Harvard’s Joseph Schumpeter in his 1942 epic Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. He warns of the eventual triumph of socialism over capitalism. He describes the economic and social conditions that will see this occur.

Recently published work suggests those conditions now exist. Schumpeter highlights the real danger that follows, fascism. He cogently demonstrates that far from being a product of capitalism, fascism is a product of socialism. Strikingly New Zealand today is almost described in his book.

Schumpeter says a first sign that the tide has turned is erosion of freedom of the press. NBR was quick to remove Jones’ column. The issue is not about what Bob wrote. It’s about the response of democratic New Zealand in 2018. [abridged]

The calls to remove Sir Bob Jones’ knighthood because he wrote something critical about Maori prove yet again that we never learn from history.

Because history has shown that when you remove the right to free speech, some of those affected will turn to bombs and mass murder to make their point.

If someone who speaks out is wrong, others will use free speech to put the first speaker right.

But a lack of free speech just lets bad feelings fester and that’s a dangerous thing.
ALLAN KIRK Masterton

For 200 years New Zealand has been being colonised by Europeans with their democratic, multicultural civilisation. The impact on indigenous Maori’s tribal mono-culture has been significant. This situation is a function of the evolution of mankind and not a stigma on either group.

The colonisers brought to Maori minds the written knowledge of thousands of scholars, compiled over centuries, by means of the English language. They brought to Maori bodies food, using the agricultural practices of their homeland. They brought to Maori culture European arts and the Christian religion.

I believe it was the intent of those who prepared and signed the Treaty of Waitangi that colonisers and Maori would have equal opportunities, and that advantages would accrue equally to both as one nation. For whatever reasons, this has only occurred in part, many Maori being ‘‘left behind’’. The colonisers still have to find ways to bring about a uniform standard of living in this land.

Maori have every right to preserve what they believe is important of their culture, but this must be done in the reality of today. Their social and economic equality should not be prejudiced.

An evolutionary update of the Treaty might point the way forward.

NZ Herald 13/2/18 
The people calling for Sir Robert Jones to be stripped of the knighthood given to him by the Lange Government after he had helped them get rid of Muldoon need to understand they are producing the sort of reaction he had hoped for.

Sir Bob may talk a lot of rubbish, but it was inevitable that eventually somebody would put in a word for the colonists.

Without any outside exposure, the local populace would have no written language, no wheel, no electricity and no law.

Surely nobody would see that as a Utopian state. Perhaps old Whitey didn't do everything wrong after all.

NZ Herald 13/2/18 (Short & Sweet section) 
Bob Jones' article proved New Zealand has a skin problem. Nothing to do with colour but to do with thickness.
GREG MOIR, Kerikeri

Daily Post Rotorua 13/2/18 
Ryan Gray's response to my letter (Letters, February 9) raises some interesting points, which I would reply to as follows:

Firstly, he claims the Crown is to blame for depleted fish species as a result of the introduction of trout to the Rotorua Lakes, and that Te Arawa's petitions to the Crown were ignored for so long. Not entirely correct, as for many years now members of Te Arawa have been compensated with free trout fishing licences every season.

Then of course is the fact he chooses to ignore that many of the six species concerned have in fact been depleted over the years by Maori themselves. Just refer to many of the history books about Te Arawa and one will read about the hundreds of flax kete bags full of koura that were consumed at hui and tangi, etc. Combine this with the ongoing gathering of these native species in significant quantities under the banner of "customary and cultural practice", and one can understand why stocks have consequently been depleted.

Given the fact that our trout fisheries, which do generate considerable tourism benefits to our local economy, are managed by Fish and Game with stocks replenished regularly, which is perhaps a more appropriate method to oversee this issue.

The very fact that submissions regarding this proposed bylaw must be directed to the Te Arawa Lakes Trust reminds me of the saying of the "fox guarding the hen-house".

Northland Age 13/2/18 
I'm sure there must be some mistake It has been reported that our newly-elected government is planning to introduce legislation that officially enshrines Maori as the first and only indigenous people of New Zealand.

Does this mean that we will now have a ministry charged with the responsibility of obliterating all references to the surviving Waitaha and Patuparaiehe people, who are descended from ancestors who arrived long before the Maori set foot upon this land?

Does this herald a future of books being burnt? Internet and social media being scourged? Those making any mention of pre-Maori inhabitants being imprisoned for a `hate crime'.

Educational institutions will have to ensure that youngsters are taught to accept what they are told, and to avoid doing any independent research that might show individual thought that could cast doubts upon the official dumbing-down policies of those who know best. Ironically, such draconian legislation could be obviated by including Orwell's ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ in school curricula.

Students would soon become cognisant of what is happening, and realise that we already have a Ministry of Truth, called the Waitangi Tribunal — and we certainly don't need another one. It is only a matter of time until thinking for oneself will be a thought crime.

Northern Advocate 12/2/18 
I’m sure there must be some mistake. It has been reported that our newly elected Government is planning to introduce legislation that officially enshrines Maori as the first and only indigenous people of New Zealand.

Does this mean that we will now have a ministry charged with the responsibility of obliterating all references to the surviving Waitaha and Patuparaiehe people who are descended from ancestors who arrived long before the Maori set foot upon this land?

Does this herald a future of books being burnt? Internet and social media being scourged? Those making any mention of pre-Maori inhabitants being imprisoned for a “hate crime“?

Educational institutions will have to ensure that youngsters are taught to accept what they are told, and to avoid doing any independent research that might show individual thought that could cast doubts upon the official dumbing-down policies of those who know best.

Ironically, such draconian legislation could be obviated by including Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four in school curricula. Students would soon become cognisant of what is happening and realise that we already have a Ministry of Truth called the Waitangi Tribunal — and we certainly don't need another one. It is only a matter of time until thinking for oneself will be a "thought crime".

Dominion Post 12/2/18 
There is a new something in the air and a new mood sweeping the land. The picture on the front of February 7's paper of a happy child and bubbles at Waitangi exemplifies it.

Then there's a photo of the prime minister in charge of the barbecue. smiles from coast to coast. doling out bangers and chips (courtesy of taxpayers. no doubt — that Morrinsville farmer wasn't far off the mark in calling her a Communist).

Many of us unashamedly sweet and reasonable people have been looking forward for most of our lives to reconciliation with those who identify as Maori. That is what I saw happening.

Yes. there are anti-reconcilers among the oppressed and the oppressors at the extremes of the cultural spectrum but those few have had their teeth pulled.

A week ago the prime ministerial mother-to-be brought a smile to the whole country. There were touching scenes aplenty.

Another, earlier, pointer was seeing one-time bovver-boy Trevor Mallard nursing a baby in the Speaker's chair at Parliament while conducting the business of the House with good humour and deference to the angry Opposition.

Surely. this is the new age dawning: let there be peace in the land, and let it begin with me.

Rotorua Daily Post 12/2/18 
Re Sir Bob Jones' controversial article. It seems we are censured on the type of humour we enjoy.

Sir Robert Jones' article that has aroused the ire of the racist-sniffers will no doubt have a lot of oldies laughing out loud.

As Professor Paul Moon suggested, Sir Robert's writing was in the style known as satire.

This was often used by Roman orators to needle their opponents in a nice kind of way. The inferred message usually had a sub-meaning: "Don't be so bl — dy stuffy!"

Bay of Plenty Times 10/2/18 
Please tell Peter Dey (Letters, February 8) that retrospective legislation does not alter the truth. There is not a skerrick of evidence in the wording of the Treaty of Waitangi to support the oft-repeated but deluded notion of any "partnership" between the Government and any Maori, but that, according to Dey, is "irrelevant". Maybe he could petition Parlia ment to legislate that lead is gold and see if that works.

Hawkes Bay Today 10/2/18 
After two months of nonsense about the Te Mata Peak track, all we have heard from our civic "leaders" is a lot of waffle, buck-passing and ducking for cover.

We all know that council stuffed up on the resource consent process, but where is the leadership from our elected officials?

As a correspondent rightly pointed out yesterday, one of the councillors drove past the track site probably daily and made no comment, a number of councillors visited Craggy Range during the construction phase and "no one noticed anything"? Seriously?

I know some councillors treat the residents with disdain once they have been elected, but to pretend it was all a surprise is contemptible.

It is the same as the water poisoning crisis.

Play the blame game, pretend that they didn't know or that they misread the proposal and then the deafening silence.

During the mayoral and council election campaigns, there were grand statements about accountability, public inclusion, consultation and listening to the people, promises of better service and bringing the executive to account.

We shouldn't be surprised that was all fluff and nonsense, but I'm sure it will be trotted out again in two years' time when re-election comes around.

It is surely reasonable to expect the mayor and councillors to step up and be counted instead of playing the "three wise monkeys" game.

The solution to the track is simple and beneficial to all and the environment. Leave it now it has been cut, seek public support for a major tree planting programme on the eastern face and let nature heal the wound. The track will become a major attraction for active residents and visitors for decades to come.

The ongoing fuss over the Te Mata Peak track has reached the status of boring. It's as the old saying goes: "paralysis by analysis". In other words, way too much talk and not enough action.

Thousands of people have been flocking to the Peak to avail themselves of the wonderful walking, running, cycling, and paragliding activities, indeed getting a park there proves difficult because of its popularity.

I for one go three or four times a week to walk my dogs, enjoy the stunning views and improve my fitness and wellbeing.

It's sickening to listen to the negative diatribe, mostly, I'm sure, coming from armchair critics who have a permanent glass-half-empty outlook and who would benefit greatly from getting off the couch and joining the rest of us enjoying the park.
JANE MCPHEE Crownthorpe

Daily Post Rotorua 8/2/18 
I was pleased to note recently (Rotorua Daily Post, February 3) that the Te Arawa native fisheries is likely to have a bylaw implemented to protect the sustainability of freshwater taonga.

This is designed to protect six native species by the Te Arawa Lakes Trust on the Rotorua lakes.

I, for one, have over the years certainly enjoyed a feed of koura from my favourite lake, albeit having noticed a substantial decline in recent years.

The rationale of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust is admirable, until one reads that their future vision is along the lines of a sustainable lake, and to ensure that “our people” have appropriate access.

And then one reads that whilst there is proposed a closure of the fisheries, no, it’s doesn’t apply for customary and cultural purposes.

Let’s face it, there is no doubt that over the years Maori have contributed to the decline of all six species on the Rotorua lakes. And now they want a total ban implemented — but not for themselves.

If this recommendation is in fact implemented in July, peg it up as just another privilege for Maori.

Northland Age 8/2/18 
When Heather Du Plessis-Allan had her opinion piece printed in the Herald I was of a mind to express a contrary opinion on the teaching of te reo, but considered the futility of doing so, and having it rejected by the ethnically-agendered Herald.

Then I considered that some other organ of the media might consider it a critique worth airing.

Her opinions, as usual, are strong on sentiment and short on logic or historical knowledge.

Her previous advocacy was for commemoration of the Land Wars, where there were 4000 casualties, but she completely ignored the 50,000 Maori who slaughtered each other in the Musket Wars, that were only terminated by the Treaty. Not worth consideration?

Numero uno : On te reo she reflects on what poor teachers she had by suggesting that geography, social studies and nature study were pointless and could make room for te reo. Poor teacher or immature pupil?

Nummer zwei: Why should the government spend money on it? Ms Allan, the New Zealand taxpayer spends well in excess of $50 million a year on a language spoken by three per cent of the 14.9 per cent part-Maori population. She uses the old lie of children being punished for speaking Maori in school when a little historical research would show that the prohibition was at the direction of Maori authorities. In 1877 Wi Te Hakiro and 336 others took a petition to Parliament that Maori not be spoken in schools.

Ichi san: Her Wills and Boon' sentiments really go into overdrive when she suggests that its lack of use as international communication is unimportant, and implies that money has not the same importance as cuddling a child or visiting a beach. Then, learning Maori can be beautiful or enriching or fun and you can use it "to gossip about foreigners behind their backs." I don't believe I'm reading this in a national paper!

Numera dort: Ms Allan, if you believe that te reo is one of the few things that makes us different from Australians and Canadians, then your perception is even more limited than your sublime confidence would indicate You gave not a single, logical, reason for a limited, Stone Age language to be promoted.

PS: One does not need te reo to play the tahi, rua, torn, wha, game.

Ms Arderns only qualification is for Politics and Public relations, initially spending time as a paid Labour Party researcher for Phil Goff and her mentor Helen Clark before taking off to London where it is said that she worked as a policy adviser for Tony Blair subsequently becoming President of the International Union of Socialist Youth in 2008.

Later that year she hot footed it back to New Zealand to become a Labour list MP remaining in Parliament ever since- as relatively non descript list MP for almost 9 years only becoming an elected MP in 2016 then Deputy Leader. In reality Ms.Ardern has not held a proper real world job and has always been fraternizing with left wing politics and politicians.

A committed Socialist, Gay Rights/GayMarriage advocate, Republican, Agnostic ,Feminist plus Trade Union Pro abortion,and Carbon Tax supporter . She is also a maori separatist/race based policy sympathiser. The Labour &Greens ruinous maori policy manifestos should be viewed and read with disbelief with the following being unilaterally their way or the highway :

*Legislate to enshrine maori as the first and only indigenous peoples.

*Promote a Treaty based Constitution.

*Fund maori providers on service contracts across the public sector.

*Connive with Local Government to embed unelected maori representation on Councils.

* Retain the race based maori parliamentary seats.

* Promote maori self government with a separate maori legal system .

This week at Waitangi Ms.Ardern wasted 5 days ingratiating herself to the most troublesome tribes while inviting maori to hold Government to account when most Kiwis would think it was the other way around for tribes that still can’t agree on how to extract $millions out of NZ taxpayers.

Then suddenly we also have her inane left field statement that Treaty of Waitangi is a living document.

Well it isn’t go check out the late Justice Scalica of US Supreme Court take on this concept while “championing the meaning of words as they were written and openly mocking the notion of living documents as nothing more than an excuse for those with vested interests to improve their own ideological or financial position” How True !!

Ms.Ardern is also toying with the fanciful notion of maori freshwater rights.

Her election platform ( now modified) proposed to tax everything but the kitchen sink water (iwi initiative) land,capital gains, wealth, carbon emissions, plus reinstate death duties .As our country’s PM leading a ragtag coalition of Labour, NZFirst ,and the Greens the inevitable outcome will be a farce and a catastrophe - everyone will suffer the well to do, the middle class and the strugglers.

With the election handouts promised there must be a looming gaping fiscal gulf.

Ms Ardern has recently morphed into the more inane socialist policies like child poverty portraying it as something caused by Kiwis however if it exists then it is created by parental neglect and ignoring the tenet if you can’t feed them then don’t breed them.

There is no doubt Ms Ardern is the perfect fit for the socialist creed expounded by the Churchill truism " the main virtue of socialism (the philosophy of failure ignorance and envy) is that it promotes the equal sharing of miseries".

You cannot arrive at the truth by legislation & just because the Government wants you accept something as being the truth that does not make it so -statutory law will never make fiction into fact.

The valid criticism of Ms.Ardern & Labour doesn't seek to minimise the adverse effect that the duplicitous National Party have had on Kiwis which left plenty to be desired.

The question is when are we going to get someone at the helm who will show some concern and empathy for the whole country not just hand picked special vested interest sectors often race based.
ROB PATERSON, Mt Maunganui

Hawkes Bay Today 8/2/18 
After my letter was published in Tuesday's Hawke's Bay Today, two very interesting things happened:

A gentleman who turns 90 next birthday arrived around at my place with a $100 note as his way of promoting the Craggy Range Track and he hoped it would go towards suitable tree planting. He is very passionate about Te Mata Peak and all it has to offer.

I was also told of a respected Maori gentleman who supported my efforts and the closure of the track was not the thought of all Maori, but only by a small percentage of them.

I then found the recent comments from councillor Bayden Barber who lives in Waimarama. A large percentage of Waimarama residents would have driven past the Craggy Range Track while it was being constructed and none of them said anything until the track had been virtually completed.

Councillor Barber was one of those and should have been one of the first to have alerted the Hastings District Council to the cultural sensitivity surrounding the eastern face of Te Mata Peak. (Abridged)

Dominion Post 8/2/18 
Tangata whenua have long objected to the past European settlers' habit of trying to foist European customs on them.

However, there are many Pakeha New Zealanders who equally don't wish to have Maori customs foisted upon them.

Cultural respect should cut both ways.

The presumption that the prime minister and her partner will use a gifted name for their child, and bury its placenta at Waitangi, is probably going to cause offence to a section of Maoridom if neither gift is accepted.

It is also presumptuous of people to be stroking the pregnant PM's stomach, as seen in a photograph. This at a time when we are reading so much in the media of unwanted physical touching.

Do her the courtesy of shaking her hand as the only form of physical contact unless you are a friend, when a kiss or a hug is appropriate.

I have yet to meet a woman who thought it was OK for a stranger to stroke her pregnant belly.

And finally, let the couple do what everyone else in this country does and leave family matters to the family.
MARGARET McKAY Harbourview


Re Treaty a test of our national character (Feb 6), the arrogance continues. Every Pakeha commentator I have ever read on the subject of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi describes it as a document between Maori, who had no idea how the future would turn out, and the British, who, somehow, in 1840 knew full well how the future would play out and were simply trying to dupe Maori out of their rightfull "ownership" of all of New Zealand.

I accept many awful things were carried out in the name of the Treaty, or in spite of it, but I do not accept the implication that the British were somehow smarter than Maori and could foresee how the next 178 years would unfold.

All they were doing was what was seen to be the "right" thing in their day, and which was being repeated all through the British Empire, and other nations' empires as well.

Every people, throughout human history, has at some stage been "defeated" by an invading force.

All the current wars have very ancient strands of grievance.

They will never be gone, unless we let them go, and deal with today -which is all we have.
SUE SMITH Waikanae

Wellington aiming to be the home of te reo Maori (Feb 6) said the council had set the goal of ensuring the Maori language is "Included and prioritised" in the city.

Who originated the policy and under what mandate? What is the ultimate objective? What funding is required?

Deputy mayor Jill Day said: "We aren't going to tell Wellingtonians what the policy will be - it's important for them to tell us."

If the council doesn't know what the policy is, why is it promoting it? If the public don't want it, will it go ahead as did the Island Bay cycleway?

I disagree strongly with Day that it is "everyone's responsibility to keep the language going".

If I thought this would contribute in any significant way to improving the adverse rating of Maori by every social measure, I could support this, but I see no evidence whatsoever that this is the case.

Northern Advocate 8/2/18 
I read with interest your correspondent Ian Brougham’s letter informing us of the date we were separated from the governorship from New South Wales.

They are referred to as royal Charters /Letter Patent, ratified on 03.05.1841.

When we become a republic, or sooner, and want a New Zealand National Day, let it be the third of May.
This would not take away from the importance of Waitangi Day and the Treaty, but truly recognise our becoming a nation, albeit at the time, a colony.

As a bonus it would be a nice time for a break.

Gisborne Herald 7/2/18 
Our Mayor has jumped back on his “name change” bandwagon. No matter what he achieves in his “one-eyed” endeavour, he will not change the apparent poverty that dwells in our city.

Blaming our historic name for the predicament of some children is ridiculous. It is the failings of family structure and poor parenting that sends children to school barefoot and without food. When my late wife and I had two children at Kaiti primary, they wanted for nothing. I was the sole wage earner on $60 per week. We managed, and so did many others in the same situation. Our children were our priority. Personal wants and needs were secondary.

Meng, can you not comprehend that our name, whether you like it or not, is historical? It appears in every English atlas in the world. Turanganui a Kiwa means nothing to those in other countries. It also means nothing to 70 percent of our country’s population.

Why don’t you try to get all the other English titles for areas of our nation changed to the Maori version? You would not have a “dog’s show”.

Go to China and try changing names you did not agree with. You would probably spend the rest of your life in jail charged with sedition.

What on earth is it that drives this insatiable desire you have? Are you simply trying to build your own legacy, like John Key and his flag referendum?

Our new council building has a Maori name. The sign out front has a Maori title/translation above “Gisborne District Council”. Why is the English version subserviant to the Maori one?

Meng, you have no right to force your desires on the people of Gisborne. Where are the dissenting voices in council? Are those opposed too scared to stand up and be counted, or are they simply voiceless and too intimidated to confront?

Meng, there is only one change we need in our city and that is in our elected council. Dare I tell you whose name is at the top of the list?

Once again I am in Gisborne and Poverty Bay, as I often am visiting close family members, and my wife and I love this area and the climate. To our dismay we see that there are some who would like to change the name from Poverty Bay.

My ancestors who came to this area in 1849 would be shocked at the thought some councillors and even the editor of this fine paper seem to think it would be OK to change history. Not so. What has happened is now part of the history of this great country.

Even a compromise of both the proposed name and the existing name would never work and will be confusing to all — especially to the tourists we are trying to encourage to visit this interesting area. After all, the present name of “Poverty Bay” has been in existence since 1769 and for at least the last 100 years has been commercially known throughout many parts of the world.

I would prefer to see the cost of this change — and there will be a cost paid by all of us either in government taxes or local rates — put towards securing the railway connection to Napier, which is vital to this community for freight both in and out, and perhaps tourism in the future.

I hope the council will reconsider this matter seriously, as it is not a change for fun!

Bay of Plenty Times 7/2/18 
"We have failed in our partner-ship" — the words of the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds presages a rough and expensive time ahead for most New Zealanders with a government that is corrupting the words of the treaty and apologising to Maori for problems that are mostly of their own making.

Madam Prime Minister, there is no partnership. We are all equal subjects under the Crown. That is what the treaty says.

Dominion Post7/2/18 
It is time for the NZ Transport Agency to clarify what, in its view, is the more important consideration for the Otaki-Levin highway.

Is it the cultural significance of matters Maori?

Or is it the livelihoods, historical value and enjoyment of life to the many other people who will be affected by the motorway route?

Initially the motorway was focused on the western side of the Horowhenua District but latterly NZTA seems determined to plough through land and homes on the eastern side.

Why the change of direction from the initial plan?

It seems the agency has been totally influenced by its "Maori adviser" and tangata whenua.

What was so compelling in the Maori advice that seems to have shut down any further consideration now of the western route?

All the factors affecting the proposed route must be considered on equal terms. NZTA needs to tell us how it does that.

NZ Herald 7/2/18 
Seeing the Maori language is now widely spoken and understood, why is it necessary for you to print the English translation?
COLIN BRODIE, Manukau City.

According to a recent statement by Carter Holt Harvey Whangarel over 30 per cent of their Northland workers have literacy problems.

How can we employ people who cannot read, write or understand arithmetic?

This is the issue that the PM should be concerned with rather than more research projects on child poverty.

The PM should be raising the literacy issue with the various tribes as this is a real issue, not whether she had a great reception from Maori on Waitangi Day.
BRUCE WOODLEY, Birkenhead.

Re the Maori paragraph on front page, could not the English translation be next to it and not hidden on page 24? Secondly, Simon Wilson's description of the welcome on the upper marae was eloquent, but to say the PM's Government were in "good suits", implies possibly that their suits were not "good" before.
S. STEWART, Mairangi.

The Press 7/2/18 
It is bad enough that democracy is compromised by the dogmas of political parties, and to have one religion claiming its dogma is best is a real worry. Parliament, in order to represent all people, must not have religious dogma imposed on its thinking and should instead remove the prayer idea altogether. They could instead vow to act with integrity on behalf of all people.

NZ Herald 6/2/18 (Also in the Northland Age 6/2/18) 
Mike Hosking strangely scores Jacinda Ardern’s first 100 days very high, solely on the basis of political announcements made that only followed Labour’s election manifesto. Labour is not actually doing anything positive and it is more like 100 days of backsliding, inactivity and deferment.

However, Ardern has found the time to ingratiate herself with the Ratana clan, throw the cat among the pigeons with her industrial relations spiel and announce her pregnancy and confinement plans while endorsing Winston Peters as the surrogate stand-in PM.

She has also foolishly agreed to attend the normally acrimonious Waitangi Day celebrations this week plus spend five days kowtowing to the local Northland tribes, about what exactly?

Seriously, does that sort of stuff rate a pass mark? And when any action does eventually come it will be with the usual socialist sharing of misery all round.
ROB PATERSON, Mt Maunganui.

Hawkes Bay Today 6/2/18 
For all the Hawke's Bay Today readers avidly following this stupid debate re the Craggy Range Track debacle: I have just been reading through an online petition update, from Rebecca McNeur (13,387 for keeping the track), double that of Anna Archibald's (6623, close the track).

Rebecca makes a number of interesting points as to why the public must be consulted as they have a "legal right". This legal right comes from a major statement in the Resource Consent document that was granted to Craggy Range by the Hastings District Council. An easement was granted to the council over the walking track giving the right of way for pedestrians (general public) in perpetuity (forever).

In addition, the landowner (Craggy Range) was to maintain the track in a condition appropriate for safe public access. This was an extremely generous $300,000 concession by Craggy Range.

My point is if we, the public, allow the protesters to win, this right will be lost forever. If Craggy Range had just been allowed to continue and finish what it had intended to do, look at the pleasure — not only for locals but all our tourists —they would continue to enjoy.

For those unfamiliar with computers, to register your name with the Keep the track petition, go onto Google, type in "Craggy Range track petition", click onto the first site that comes up — "Petition Hawke's Bay Regional Council Save the Craggy Range track" — and add your name directly below the number supporting (13,387 as at 4.15pm on Sunday).

Let's stop this procrastinating and concentrate on more important issues facing council. LOU G KLINKHAMER Havelock North

Re track up Te Mata Peak: Mount Maunganui has tracks up and around it, that have thousands of people walking it each year.

Many people I know are seeing all this carry-on as a dumb power struggle. We can control you!

Proof of this is the fact that the track is being demolished to then build another. Why? And under whose control and on private land?

It's time this kind of backward thinking for control only was finished. This track would be hugely beneficial for the whole of Hawke's Bay.
JOHN PORTER Havelock North

Northland Age 6/2/18 
On February 6, the country celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, instead of our Independence Day, Queen Victoria's Royal Charter.

The Royal Charter/ letters patent, dated August 25, 1839, extended the boundaries of New South Wales to encompass "all of the islands of New Zealand" and we became a British colony.

A second Royal Charter/ letters patent, dated November 16, 1840, authorised our separation from NSW to become an international recognised British colony in our own right when it was ratified on May 3, 1841, our true founding date and the day New Zealand was born. Why is this date not celebrated?

In 1877 the court case Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington resulted in Chief Judge Prendergast ruling the Treaty of Waitangi was a "simple nullity".

The Treaty did not found New Zealand; the two royal charters/ letters patent did.

Why were they not moved to the Tohu exhibit, supposedly exhibiting our founding documents?

What's the Maori Declaration of Independence doing there? The chiefs never met, never made laws, and never claimed sovereignty. If they had, Maori sovereignty would have been recognised by Britain and the Head of State's signature would have appeared on the Treaty, making it a legal document.

Wake up New Zealanders, you are being conned.

Gisborne Herald 5/2/18 
Re: Poverty Bay renaming.

Now four syllables, to perhaps become 12 — how unwieldy. Do we really, really think Poverty Bay means we are all on the bones of our proverbial?

When I talk about Gladstone Road, do I spare a thought for a long dead English Prime Minister? No, it is a common label for a place. It doesn’t have to be filled with spiritual/heritage significance which can be elaborated on ad infinitum, on strategically placed and fashionable story boards.

You can take the horse to water . . . the bay will get called what it gets called, despite all official pronouncements. I think it’s called common usage.

If change is seen to be vital, after a, debatably, abbreviated consultation, personally I would be quite happy with Oneroa Bay or similar. I do acknowledge, however, my “aged, pale, male” status.

If only we could get so focused on child abuse, family violence, drug use and other seemingly intractable problems facing us as a caring society.

Wanganui Chronicle 5/2/18 
On February 6 the country will celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi instead of our Independence Day, Queen Victoria's Royal Charter.

The Royal Charter/Letters Patent dated August 25, 1839 extended the boundaries of New South Wales to encompass "all of the islands of New Zealand" and we became a British colony.

A second Royal Charter/letters patent dated November 16, 1840 authorised our separation from NSW to become an internationally recognised British colony in our own right when it was ratified on May 3 1841, our true founding date and the day NZ was born.

Why is this date not celebrated?

In 1877 Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington court case resulted in Chief Judge Prendergast ruling the Treaty of Waitangi was a "simple nullity".

The Treaty did not found New Zealand, the two Royal Charters/ Letters Patent did. 
Why were they not moved to the Tohu exhibit, supposedly exhibiting our founding documents?

What's the Maori "Declaration of Independence" doing there?

The chiefs never met, never made laws and never claimed sovereignty.

If they had, Maori sovereignty would have been recognised by Britain and the Head of State's signature would have appeared on the Treaty making it a "legal document". Wake up, New Zealanders. You are being conned.

NZ Herald 5/2/18 
How refreshing to read Mr Rankin’s article accepting some responsibility, on behalf of all Ngapuhi, for the lack of settlement progress.

I have whakapapa from the Muriphenua, to the North, but have watched the inability to reach consensus amongst Ngapuhi in regards who should hold the mandate issue with gathering dismay and frustration.

Rankin touches on a major cause: Where are the leaders capable of seeing what’s needed now rather than perpetually looking back and laying blame? This process does themselves and the largest numerical iwi in the land no service whatsoever.

Ngapuhi must demand, and they deserve, far better leadership, so maybe it’s time for a change of approach.

The best settlement for Ngapuhi doesn’t have to be negotiated for Ngapuhi by Ngapuhi. If it’s accepted that a substantial settlement is eventually due, why not seek the best individuals with the highest required skill sets to drive such a process, and begin it now.

Such an independent bunch will exist in the non-Ngapuhi community, and let them get on will negotiating a settlement beginning now.

So a Ngapuhi-wide settlement can be under way, leaving Ngapuhi’s disagreeing internal and divisive factions to proceed with starting to agree on how they wish to best invest the substantial sums the iwi has coming.

With luck the settlement will emerge at the same time an agreement is reached on investment and no more time will be lost. The North and its people are an undiscovered gem. Let that gem glow.
JOHN YATES, Takapuna.

Herald on Sunday 4/2/18 
Heather du Plessis-Allan's statement that "the Government actively suppressed Te Reo Maori, often by beating it out of kids at school" (Minding our language, January 28) is a gross distortion of the facts.

World War II had just ended when I was appointed to a Native, later named Maori, School.

On my second day I was visited by an elderly lady who came quickly to the point "You teach him the English, never mind the Maori. If he play up, I fix him!"

This attitude to her grandson's schooling was shared by most parents.

Young men of the Maori Battalion who survived the war were clear as to their children's future. Higher education was a priority and Native School authorities were persuaded to have more pupils gain Maori College scholarships. A reasonable standard of English was required for a scholarship.

With overloaded classes due to post-war shortages of materials and skilled personnel, authorities adopted a technique in immersion learning to improve spoken English. Many parents used the strategy at home and there are probably some characters around now who remember getting a clip over the ear for breaking the rule at dinner.

There was no dark plot to suppress Te Reo and time given to Maori culture, which included much singing and speaking the language, was dominant in the curriculum.

It is a myth we had Te Reo "beaten" out of us at school. Here is the truth of the matter from one who was at school then and I was a fluent speaker.

1.We were not beaten. We were strapped on the hand with a leather strap.

2. This was not reserved only for speaking Te Reo, but for any perceived disobedience.

3. Sir Apirana Ngata thought it wise to ask schools to insist on only English being spoken at school, as he knew that would be the language used to communicate with business and the world. He was correct.

4. Parents thought they were advantaging children by decreasing the use of Te Reo at home because they, too, could see that English was going to be essential — a great shame.

5. We were told to speak only English at school. By speaking Maori we were perceived as being disobedient so were strapped.

6. We were also strapped for bad manners, swearing, bullying, incorrect grammar, not knowing our times tables. Pakeha also were strapped for speaking Te Reo as many of us can testify.

Gisborne Herald 3/2/18 
Regarding the articles this week about the consideration of renaming the terrible name of our bay, I have a suggestion. Every time I go for a walk, drive or swim at any of the many lovely beaches we have, I say to myself and those with me, “This is beautiful”.

I suggest the bay be renamed Purota Koro/Beautiful Bay. According to the Maori dictionary online, purota means pleasant, agreeable and beautiful, and koro means bay, cove or inlet.

With tourism being a factor in an area’s economy, I believe people would be encouraged to come to a Beautiful Bay rather than a Poverty Bay. With the only place called Beautiful in the world being a mountain in the Colorado desert, we could be unique.

2018 could be a year to look forwards instead of backwards to the past.

Friday’s national TV One news interviewed Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon about Poverty Bay’s name change. He said feedback was “positive”.

To our consternation he then said “Turanganui a Kiwa” was the name being promoted but said nothing at all about it being a dual name with Poverty Bay as part of the name change. He then said Poverty Bay is “not relevant”.

So why then the public notice and Gisborne Herald articles stating a dual name is what we are voting for? This is not at all the same public choice option!

The Mayor’s personal changed statement on TVNZ was seriously misleading for the rest of New Zealand.

It is certainly not democratic, and is in fact biased. It could also be racially inclined.

The proper, democratic way to decide on this change was well put by P.J. Corrin in his letter to The Gisborne Herald yesterday. He said a name change should first be put to the public in a referendum at the next council elections.

This is a democracy and everybody is involved in an equal way.

Re: Public to have say on name change, January 27 story.

No to name change — we don’t call it Poverty Bay anyway, just Gisborne. Everyone knows where this is. Why confuse matters, and at what costs? Leave well alone.

I believe any proposed name change to Gisborne or Poverty Bay should be first put before the public in a referendum at the next council elections. After all, we are supposed to live in a democracy. Better still, leave it alone and concentrate on more important issues like getting the sewage system fixed. Don’t waste time and money as happened with the country’s flag debacle.

This article is not biased like the GDC public notice advertisement in Friday’s paper, with the wording: “. . . reclaiming the official use of Turanganui a Kiwa” alongside Poverty Bay.

The public notice also states you can have your say in person at only two places, at GDC’s 15 Fitzherbert Street offices or at Ka Pai Kaiti’s Waitangi Day event at Anzac Park. It also says you can do so online.

On the other hand, The Gisborne Herald article shows the council is actually providing more options — going to customer services at the GDC’s Te Puia Springs office, plus H.B. Williams Library or emailing namechange@gdc.govt.nz. It also says council staff will be at the Anzac Park Waitangi Day event to hand out information, answer questions and complete surveys.

The GDC public notice appears to promote the name change to Maori who would attend the Waitangi Day event in greater numbers than Pakeha. This would give GDC, by stealth, a false survey of our public opinion.

Perhaps Malcolm Maclean’s opinion is bang on. He says he is not opposed to Poverty Bay getting a dual name but would like to see the city name of Gisborne remain.

All atlases around the world read Gisborne . . . end of story.

I would have liked Ngati Oneone and Ngati Porou to also comment on the proposed name change.

Northern Advocated 3/2/18 
Although I am not surprised by the not too gradual rewrite of New Zealand history. I was surprised by your almost glowing report on Hongi Hika, January 8 "Hongi Hika taonga embody first partner-ship of Maori and Pakeha".

As with a number of Maori, Hongi Hika was taken by ship to England.

He was given lavish treatment by the aristocracy.

On his return he exchanged the extensive gifts bestowed on him in England for arms when they reached Sydney on the journey home. The sole purpose was to butcher other Maori.

Surely the question should be, in the present compensation and Treaty Settlements, what Ngapuhi should pay other tribes for the atrocities of Hongi Hika.
BOB SYRON, Whangarei

Dominion Post 3/2/18 (To the point section) 
Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard was asked why he had dropped naming Jesus in the Parliamentary Prayer. His response was "most New Zealanders are not Christians". Most New Zealanders don't speak Maori, yet the prayer is given in Maori.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 2/2/18 
I understand WBOPDC has two Maori committees representing East and West, and the members collect a generous meeting allowance for attendance.

The RMA is clear that councils must consult with Maori and the Local Government Act ensures that communities are consulted.

Whilst council members are elected from wards, their allegiance is sworn ‘to the district at large'.

Maori ward members would only promote Maori interests (as did the Maori Party in government) and would therefore fail in their ‘duty of allegiance' to the wider district's ratepayers.

My 20 years in local government saw Maori interests generously and fairly represented at the council table.

The decision to have Maori wards, made by the Mayor and seven councillors does not represent the whole district when wider consultation of ratepayers has not taken place.

Following on from my recent expose (January 26) on the PanePane Point fiasco, I note that Western Bay District Council declined the offer of a right of reply on this issue and my correct assessment of the situation – hardly surprising because council cannot defend the indefensible.

Much of the Matakana Island is general, not Maori land. Roads, wharves etc. are public domain and, of course, the beaches are for public use.

The harbour purposes for which the land was taken and paid for in 1923 still exists today and will do so for the foreseeable future. If and when the purpose for which the land was taken ceases, then land, as I understand the Public Works Act, must first be offered back to the original owners or their successors.

No other iwi/hapu, nor anyone else, have any rights whatsoever to the land, so why on earth council is talking to or negotiating with present agitators heaven only knows.

Council is unlawfully interfering with the legal rights of the original Maori owners and their successors.

The Minister of Local Government needs to step in and stop this nonsense with a declaration that Panepane Point is still needed for harbour purposes and until no longer required, no disposition of the land can be made to anyone.
R PATERSON, Matapihi.

Northern Advocate 2/2/18
A second Royal Charter/letters patent dated 16-11-1840 authorised our separation from NSW to become an international recognised British colony in our own right when it was ratified on 03-05-1841, our true founding date and the day NZ was born. Why is this date not celebrated?

In 1877 Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington court case resulted in Chief Judge Prendergast ruling the Treaty of Waitangi was a “simple nullity”.

The Treaty did not found New Zealand, the two Royal Charters/Letters Patent did. Why were they not moved to the Tohu exhibit, supposedly exhibiting our founding documents?

What’s the Maori “Declaration of Independence” doing there, the chiefs never met, never made laws and never claimed sovereignty?

If they had, Maori sovereignty would have been recognised and the Head of State’s signature would have appeared on the Treaty making it a “Legal document”. Wake up New Zealanders, you are being conned.

Northland Age 1/2/18 
So Ms Kaye, National Party education spokesperson, is hell-bent on promoting a private member's bill to make a second foreign language (choice of 10 suggested) possibly being mandatory from primary school level upwards.

Yes, this may have merit if senior students could learn foreign languages, but only if choice was limited to the most popular, namely Mandarin and Spanish, with Hindi and Indonesian on the fringes.

Forget primary, intermediate starting points— institute a pilot scheme to supply facilities at selected high schools, say in each main town and throughout the cities, provide language tutors (outside school curriculum) if available after school, early evening or even at weekends, and monitor the response. This could of course involve younger students. At least we will then get some idea where this thing is going and whether it's succeeding or just another lemon.

This approach sure beats involving every New Zealand school, by addressing major issues like the lack of teachers and the obscene costs involved.

Compulsion breeds loathing, contempt and acrimony, as we have seen with spiteful Maori language. Modern day Maori is doublespeak, contrived, and bears little resemblance to authentic traditional Maori.

Maori had no written language until about 1820. The political lunacy in forcing Maori down everyone's throat costs hundreds of millions of dollars annually, yet it is still a brain-dead aberration only kept alive by taxpayer life support. Romance languages like French, Italian, plus even German, could warrant some consideration.

This is not a technical argument but rather whether the initiatives are feasible, reasonable and economic. Could possibly make Kiwis better-qualified if languages are of practical use ie reality versus 'pie in the sky' politics.

Incidentally while on the topic, English is a relatively easy language to pickup, is a dominant global language and probably the second language to half the world's population. We should be grateful that it is our national language.

Every Kiwi needs to be conversant with and speak English fluently, but many are inarticulate and illiterate, so fix that serious problem first before embarking on other poor lingo choices involving Maori (which is of no use outside New Zealand) and foreign languages.

What a great letter penned by H Westfold (A small PC lapse, January 30). It should feature on the front page of every newspaper in the country, and be sent to every politician.

However, KTJ Howearth's vague letter (Just Versions) was a different kettle of fish. There were two things that I would like to address.

1) From their speeches it is clear that the signers (chiefs) of the treaty acknowledged they were ceding full sovereignty, so there is nothing ghostly about that.

2) Howearth hints at Contra Proferentem, which is a self-serving argument used by treatyists, a doctrine of contractual interpretation providing that, where a promise, agreement or term is ambiguous, the preferred meaning should be the one that works against the interests of the party who provided the wording.

The unfortunate reality for treatyists is that there is no ambiguity in Te Tiriti.

The only ambiguity is that introduced by 1980s re-interpretations.

So if the Contra Proferentem doctrine is used on those 1980s interpretations, the preferred meaning should be the one that works against the interests of the party who provided the wording, which would be in those cases against the interpretations provided by Hugh Kawharu and the Waitangi Tribunal.

Dominion Post 1/2/18 
Whatever your religious convictions or lack thereof, you would surely agree that the decision to exclude the name of Jesus Christ from the Parliamentary Prayer on the grounds that it is not inclusive of all New Zealanders is made to look ridiculous by the fact that it will now be a general prayer - whatever that means - prayed in te reo.

Since only speakers of to reo will understand it, this alteration can hardly be called inclusive. A strange conclusion to what seems a totally unnecessary debate. 

Te reo future about looking at past (Jan 25) by Max Harris contained several concerning errors which require correction.

As one example, Harris claimed I said that the decline in te reo is "the fault of people insisting on the right pronunciation of te reo Maori". I have never said this, and find it concerning that he has conjured up such this allegation without any evidence.

He then rejected my assertion that making an indigenous language compulsory has failed to halt the decline of such languages wherever it has been attempted in other parts of the world. To disprove me, Harris gives the example of Welsh, citing his own book in arguing that compulsion in Wales has "stalled the steep decline in the speaking of the language"

Unfortunately, Harris's claim is contrary to the evidence. Recent Welsh census figures confirm that there has been a decline both in the absolute number of Welsh speakers, and their proportion in the population of Wales as a whole.

Unfortunately, there is much else in Harris's piece that is also incorrect. Whilst his intentions may be good, sloganeering and an elastic approach to evidence is no substitute for accurate research.
PROFESSOR PAUL MOON PhD: MA (Hons). Professor of History Auckland University of Technology

Coastal News 1/2/18 
I would like add information in support of Jack Wells's great letter (Coastal News, Jan 25).

More than 580 claims have been lodged for every square centimetre of New Zealand's coastline out to the edge of the territorial sea, including all harbours and estuaries.

"The beach is more than just a place, it's part of who we are," writes journalist Kim Knight. This sentiment will resonate with the many New Zealanders who greatly value and enjoy the beaches and oceans of our beautiful country.

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

Information to oppose these opportunistic claims has been arduously compiled by the NZCPR at https://tinyurl.com/y8tqznm9 with February 26 being the close off date, so there is no time to waste.
GEOFF PARKER, Kamo Whangarei

Dominion Post 31/1/18 
Re: Warning: Column contains some Mowree (Jan 29).

I agree with Dave Armstrong's sentiments. Maori never had a written language. It is now developing into a plethora of new words and I also question where outside New Zealand would speakers of "Trio Mowree" be understood. When did Kupe order his last cup of coffee or tea? (Billboard example in Dave's column).

In my travels overseas over the years, English seems to be spoken as the universal language. I wasted my time trying to use local phrases and greetings in Japan in 1985 as I was always answered and spoken to in English. How did Jack Tame converse in Maori in New York?

I often wonder how difficult it must be for immigrants to try to learn English let alone get confused by the Maori being used by some folk who think it's the "in" thing to speak more than one language.

I consider it total ignorance to greet someone in an English-speaking country with a language not used in common by everyone. Language barriers create huge problems worldwide so why not keep it simple?
NEIL KIRBY. Camborne

Gosh, what a dag Dave Armstrong is. He's so sharp he could cut himself on his knife-edge wit.

Unfortunately. while trying to be clever he seems unaware he is using a language with a flexibility and utility so uncompromisingly good that around 20 per cent of people on this planet speak it: that's about 1.5 billion humans speaking a language he is inclined to denigrate versus around 125,000 speaking Maori. Well. you can see the weight of his argument just there.

Unfortunately, despite Daggy Dave's view that huge numbers of jobs in New Zealand require speakers of Maori.. this is only the result of enforced dualism and not for reasons of improved communication, and not always to the benefit of the smooth running of the institutions he lists. They still serve a majority that are non-Maori and speakers of English. and will continue to do so.

Also, perhaps Mr Armstrong hasn't noticed but we have to communicate with the rest of the world and are not now isolated in a cosy South Pacific backwater. Maybe he should have the courage of his convictions and write his column in Maori and see how his reader ship grows?

Armstrong’s column 29th here > https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/100921505/so-whats-this-trio-mowree-stuff-then

I have never learned Maori and the few times I have tried a few words on the marae were accompanied by hoots of derision, which prevented any further attempts.

Most of us would prefer to see the Maori language continued as a regular part of New Zealand life. However when politics and, particularly, political correctness enters into it, whatever is is ... is doomed.

Remember when the government pushed for "the Oxford voice" to be the norm. That didn't last, did it.

Many nations have tried to preserve minority languages which are the heritage of their own peoples. Welsh, Gaelic, Irish and other languages have been "Museumised" in order to preserve them. This has always failed.

Preserving Maori with the preservative of petty correctness is the surest way not to retain the language but to kill it. Letting the language live in ever-changing common use is surely the only way to preserve it.

Northland Age 30/1/18 
Your editorial (Honey works better, January 16), seems to indicate a slight PC lapse from your usual style of moderation, common sense and adherence to the traditional Judeo-Christian standards we used to have.

True, we ought all to show forbearance and restraint in how we treat the customs and cultures of groups other than our own, but it is increasingly a one-sided arrangement so far, as a great many Maori and Pasifika go: we are expected to pay a respect which they don't reciprocate.

But what I challenge is your notion that biculturalism and multiculturalism are axiomatically desirable as a policy for any and every country. We have only to look at all the EU nations to see glaring proof to the contrary: it is impossible to run a peaceful, law-abiding nation unless all its citizens accept a basic common culture and rule of law.

Yes, any group should be free to observe, internally, its own customs, rituals etc., provided they don't flout the law of the land, but no minority should be allowed to impose its own culture on the whole nation.

Here, the Pakeha culture is, basically, that of the civilised, progressive and capitalist Western World that used to be called Christendom, but is now post-Christian, alas. Its ethos has prompted all the developments, progress, discoveries and inventions of the last 500 years.

But since about 1970 onwards, all the institutions of that world, step by step, have been hijacked by wreckers who are either neo-Marxlsts or anarchists/nihilists. Just one example: our education system, from university down to pre-school, is intent on brainwashing our youngsters with such false notions as Darwinism, feminism, interfaith, and reviving the 18th Century rubbish praising 'the Noble Savage'. So we are instructed to abase ourselves to all people of non-white ethnicities, to be full of guilt and grovelling apologies, and (every time) be an inexhaustible fountain of money payments to Maori and Pasifika for all time.

We must believe that their shortcomings are never their fault, but always ours so if they don't feel like working, they have a right to a WINZ benefit, no questions asked.

Our youngsters are being taught to take up the festivals of Asian religions, plus those alleged to be ancient Maori festivals, such as Matariki, which seems to be an apocryphal one so far as the whole country was concerned. It's possible that it was observed by a few regional tribes, but we had never heard of Matariki before about 1985, so can feel considerable doubt about its real origins.

Ditto the name Aotearoa. There was no Maori name for the whole archipelago, and the Maori version of the Treaty uses the name Niu Tireni, as something like New Zealand in Maori sounds.

As well, the claim that the Treaty effected a partnership between the British Crown and the whole Maori race is a flat, preposterous lie. There's not one word that mentions or implies either Maori or shared sovereignty. The chiefs agreed that the only sovereignty would be British, and their whole race would be British subjects, with all their rights and obligations, under one law with the Brits who settled here.

Re the alleged principles of the Treaty, they have never been defined and listed. Why not? For the same reason that Maori leaders wouldn't produce a complete catalogue of all their old burial grounds and other 'holy places' in New Zealand, as a guide that would let us avoid building roads, houses etc near any of those holy places. Work it out for yourself. Why not?

As for the huge sums of public money especially granted to Maori and Pasifika, and supposed to improve their situation in general, those annual tens of millions of dollars do nothing to lessen the glaring problems, but instead worsen them, so are money down the drain, constantly.

And we hear those constant wafflings about how terrible it is that, though the Maori percentage of the whole population is 18 per cent at most, the Maori percentage of prisoners is at least 51 per cent. If they tried the simple

experiment of not killing, bashing, raping, robbing, stealing and so forth, they would find they wouldn't be imprisoned.

Something a lot more effective as an incentive to seek work, and not break the law, is not a lot of money, but metaphorically, a good kick in the a..... I mean, no more special privileges, status and soft treatment by the law, which they now enjoy.

Going back to our education system. It is now producing people, supposedly educated, who are very ignorant on many subjects, as well as brainwashed with PC fictions. However, I wonder how young science graduates feel when learning that scientific projects mustn't conflict with 'Maori science,' and Maori leaders must be consulted to give the go-ahead? For some years, most of us have known that, in this context, "consulted" means "paid."

Biculturalism and multiculturalism have been disastrous as public policy, so they have made a huge contribution to the wreck of our whole Western World. It is headed for chaos, lawlessness, civil war, and the collapse of civilisation itself, unless all the wicked nonsense is very soon halted and reversed.

As President Trump has begun that process, I like his policies, and him, so wish we had an analogous leader in New Zealand.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 26/1/18 
As a lifelong resident in the WBOPDC region I find it hard to believe the council is negotiating to transfer ownership of the multi-million dollar 200ha block at the southern tip of Matakana, Panepane Point, back to Maori.

It is a beautiful and valuable public asset, but the value is not the point. All ratepayers are part owners, in my opinion.

Our council has a huge debt, which we all must service. I would like someone, presumably our mayor, to explain how a handful of councillors and mayor can even contemplate this sort of deal without asking the real owners, the ratepayers, first.

This is unbelievable. This issue is as controversial as race-based wards.

I would expect, at the least, that the mayor and deputy mayor, explain to the public owners (who elected them) how they feel they can do this without asking the real owners first. I welcome this explanation.
N MAYO, Katikati.

How can the Western Bay District Council Mayor legally even consider agreeing to give Panepane Point back to Matakana Island Maori without even a discussion with council or notifying the Western Bay ratepayers on this consideration?

This piece of land was taken under the Public Works Act to set up the lights to guide ships into the Tauranga Harbour. How can this be legally returned to the people of the island? Land gets taken all over the country under the Public Works Act to build highways, bridges and other important public facilities. It is a necessary evil, but once this has happened surely, legally it can't be returned to previous owners because of what has been built there? Is it just because it is regarding Maori that it gets considered? No one else in NZ would even be allowed the time of day on the subject. Is this not preferential treatment once again?

There are too many major decision and rule changes happening in our WBOP council without ratepayers' consent. When it comes to major rule changes (Maori wards) or situations as mentioned above, the people should be asked in a referendum form, not just on the whim of the Mayor.
C HUMPHREYS, Katikati.

Piggy-backing onto the Mauao Historic Reserve Act 2008 fiasco we now have Matakana Island‘s Panepane Point kite-flying exercise which has nothing to do with cultural significance or grievance claims – Maori just wish to own it. It entered into their field of vision around 2011, just seven years ago.

The land area involved is 200ha and its status looks like Local Authority Reserve land that benefits all Kiwis, not just vested interests who could possibly control of both sides of the Tauranga Harbour entrance and that is contrary to the public interest.

The land was held under Native Title until 1923 when taken under the Public Works Act 1908 for harbour purposes. It was vested in the Tauranga Harbour Board and latterly WBDC who tried to circumvent the system by having a Local Act of Parliament vest Panepane Point in Maori while refusing to release Western Bay staff reports. Informal secret forums (public excluded) create done deals behind closed doors. High Court proceedings in 2011 were unsuccessful as the court held the land was still used for original purposes.

Tauranga citizens must be vigilant in opposing these scurrilous land claims and questioning why the public are never consulted and don't get any say. (Abridged). 
R PATERSON, Matapihi

R Paterson has nailed it in his letter (The Weekend Sun, January 19). Media seem not to recognise the possibility of tribal control and paying for access to all beaches which New Zealanders now regard as their natural heritage, nor that it is already happening.

Chris Finlayson's gifting of these national treasures of rivers, mountains, national parks and reserves seems not to stir up journalistic outrage. Details of iwi settlements of hundreds of millions of dollars plus lands are reported, whilst also reporting lack of funding for hospitals, roads/rail, education, housing and health. Rarely has there been any journalistic investigation into this disparity, nor of why a country should apologise for its history.

Not an eyebrow has been raised by any of our parliamentary representatives regarding Maori claims of access to every inch of NZ coast, nor that iwi receive taxpayer assistance of $400,000 to prepare claims while those wanting to defend public ownership of our beaches must pay $110 plus expenses for each claim.

The cost to fishing, recreation and outdoor groups trying to defend the rights of the NZ public is prohibitive. If the new government does not intervene, the heritage of all New Zealanders in all its natural facets may be controlled and charged for by a selfish minority. (Abridged).
R STEPHENS, Mount Maunganui

Lizard News – January Issue 2018 
Dear Editor,
The December Lizard article was a fair reportage of the Western Bay Council's meeting, but some relevant points need clarifying.

"Bold steps" seems to suggest a degree of courage while the heading "Inclusive vote acknowledged for bravery" is a very loose use of the word 'bravery' when reflecting on the recent remembrance of Flanders' Fields and true bravery.

Flying in the face of public opinion does not constitute bravery but lack of perception and a disturbing degree of ethnic complicity.

Treaty Settlements did not include either a partnership or a change from the Westminster form of our government, national and regional.

As equal subjects under the Treaty, Maori have the same rights and obligations as all other subjects. No more no less.

If they want council representation, they must conform to the system they agreed to in 1840.

To suggest that unelected office will help to counter separatism is a ludicrous subversion of the true outcome of such a change.

Although some Maori Wards have been set up in a few areas, when the public, in all other areas, have been canvassed they have voted overwhelmingly against this form of racial privilege.

Mr Mayor, go to your constituents. Hold a poll in accordance with Section 19ZB of the Local Electoral Act 2001. Do not make a unilateral decision you may well live to regret a

Dear Editor,
I admire and cherish a free press. I love reading letters to the editor and always turn there first.

Locally, even Peter Dey, with his tired old thinking based on 177-year-old papers from people from the other side of the world, that we are not responsible for [but he would like to pretend we are] is sad and silly really, but provides a laugh for better-in-formed people.

The treaty was drawn up to stop slavery, cannibalism, tribal wars, and to provide British protection from those evils.

The politically correct and obviously confused majority of Western Bay District Councillors and Mayor, who advocate racially dividing seats on the council, need to join the present century and represent the people who voted them in. Otherwise next election they may be looking for another job. That's democracy for you!

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

Most good-hearted kiwis have had gutsful of the few elitist and divisive Maoris who criticise, constantly ask for money, and try to damage the way we are today.

They seem to want to persist in punishing our generation and try to drive a wedge of separatism and apartheid 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 to you!

In central Government recently, 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.

Northern Advocate 27/1/18 
The best test for Te Reo is to have free classes after school not during school ie in your own time and watch as few can be bothered turning up because most have better things to do.

The outcome for this simple practical test would give the Government a clear mandate to channel money into more worthwhile projects.

Hawkes Bay Today 27/1/18 
I would like to add my thanks to Craggy Range for going to the trouble and expense of building the track up the Peak.

We, out of curiosity, drove to the eastern side of the Peak to see for ourselves the new track.

From the photos in the paper we though the track was plonked slap bang on the front of the peak but had trouble to see it. The new track is actually situated in a gully to the right of the Peak.

We were amazed how many people were walking the track.

It also crossed my mind that it could be an added escape route if the peak caught fire.

The photos published in the paper were misleading. A photo showing the whole eastern face would give the public a better idea of how respectful the new track is.

The debate about the new Craggy Range walking track on the eastern face of Te Mata Peak has polarised public opinion with a vocal minority demanding its removal and a more reasoned majority requesting that it stay.

Those who claim that Craggy Range did not consult before constructing the track are misinformed. Records show that representatives from Craggy Range attended a consultation meeting with the Te Mata Peak Trust Board months before they started work on the track. No one there objected.

The argument that the track will forever be an eyesore Is not valid. Do all the other tracks on Te Mata Peak and surrounding hills stand out as eyesores? I think not.

Yes, we agree that Te Mata Peak is special and sacred but this does not mean that no one should be allowed to walk up the east face.

There are thousands of sacred places throughout the world where the public have free access, so that they can fully experience the spirituality and specialness of the area.

Examples relevant to New Zealanders are the sacred war grave sites at Gallipoli and Monte Casino where the bodies of hundreds of brave New Zealanders from different ethnic backgrounds lie.

It is not until you visit one of these sites that you experience the full spiritual feeling of them.

I suggest that the same thing applies to the Craggy Range Track. One cannot feel the true spirituality of the environment and its legends without being there. Driving past at 100km/h will not do it.
JACK THOMPSON Havelock North

Bay of Plenty Times 27/1/18 
Very well said Margaret (Letters, January 24) regarding Maori wards.

Surely the time for tokenism (in both fields) is well past. This is the 21st century.
PAMELA LEWIS Mount Maunganui

Otago Daily times 26/1/18 
FEDERATED Mountain Clubs is reported as being ‘‘comfortable’’ about the private interest Ngai Tahu gaining sovereignty over its proposed Remarkables National Park, just like at Taranaki in a Treaty settlement (ODT, 15.1.18 ).

However, there was a ‘‘full and final settlement’’ with Ngai Tahu in 1998. No national park or Remarkables handover then, despite claims to just about everything. The reason — much different histories between Taranaki and Otago.

In the absence of any lawful entitlement, why should a small minority be given veto powers over everything in this socalled ‘‘national park’’?

Nature and public enjoyment will become secondary to ‘‘cultural’’, including Ngai Tahu commercial, demands.

This is playing out right now in the Paparoa and Mt Cook national parks where Ngai Tahu, despite no legal entitlement, is determining the content of management plans.

FMC is a smallbit player. Short of legal challenge, FMC can’t hope to influence the outcome.

Promoting national park status can only lead to greatly enhanced tourism marketing, overuse and eventually degradation.

A less prominent but protective status of reserve, under true public control, would better assure the protection FMC has long championed.

NZ Herald 26/1/18 
Claire Trevett’s report on our PM’s visit to Ratana includes Jacinda’s parting statement that as Prime Minister she would look to Maoridom to “set the tone for her own style of Government”. It would be good if the PM were to repeat this publicly to all New Zealanders and inform us what exactly she has in mind. I, for one, have no idea what she means but if I start guessing then I become very nervous, as indeed I believe would many New Zealanders.

The Press 26/1/18 
The problem I have with gratuitous payments, on the sly or otherwise, is how do you tell the difference between a gratuity and a bribe? One answer (sic) is a gratuity is for a service already rendered while a bribe is for a service offered in the future. Whichever, both are a misuse of public money and a corruption of the democratic norm of informed public consent.

Coastal News 25/1/18 
Can residents, visitors, recreational/commercial participants in our beaches and fishing assets/kai moana harvesters believe....eight overlapping claims by Maori for the Whangamata Area, inclusive of its waters, coastline, beaches, islands, estuaries and harbours out to the 12 NM Limit and beyond, from Waihi Beach to Tairua.

Claiming in the High Court "Continual occupying exclusive use without interruption by others since 1840"......

If granted. this will exclude all others -- iwi and non iwi from the area's communal use.

Resources can be extracted and or used, Lake Taupo for example.

Fees are levied, the RMA Consenting process enacted, and koha is acceptable!

Today's free access to, and use by the public, is endangered by imposing lasting Waahi Tapu (Sacred) status and/or temporary rahui.

I ask, 'why not seek a benign virtue signalling a spiritual connection, as if it's exclusive to Maori — when conversely, arises exponential egregious disharmony, Maori against Maori, family against family and other NZers.

Through proffering risible fanciful evolving oral tribal mythology as the truth. and discarding published evidential historical/contemporary record, and Native Land Court Documentation circa 1860s, as another, native-born proud NZer, I say "partisan verbal tribal propaganda assurances unbind". So go figure' the end game here!
JACK WELLS, Whangamata

My name is Eddie White, of Tainui and Ngapuhi descent, and a former teacher.

I have concerns regarding the compulsory teaching of Te Reo in schools. I maintain that there are far-reaching implications which our politicians have failed to consider.

Maori pupils, generally, have lower educational achievement rates than other New Zealanders.

I feel that the time spent learning Te Reo needs to be devoted, more importantly, to 'The 3 Rs' and other core subjects to improve achievement levels and job options on leaving school, along with the ability to assist with rising costs across the board and with rental and house prices.

Meanwhile, fluency in Te Reo might provide only limited job opportunities in media or Maori unemployment which, on a percentage basis, exceeds others of our population.

It seems obvious to me that our language can be acquired at home within our whanau and Mane situations, just as many have become proficient in Te Reo.

I have admired Asian people who have retained their culture and language — there is no assistance provided by the school system to teach their children.

I wonder also how Pakeha would respond to compulsory Te Reo.

The shortage of teachers is in crisis mode due to teachers' salaries and other factors.

Where will the qualified Te reo teachers come from? Our current teaching problems will be further exacerbated.

Our politicians have lacked foresight and need to examine these problems more closely. I will be sending a copy of this letter to the Education Minister. (Abridged)
EDDIE WHITE Whangamata

Northland Age 25/1/18 
Full and final settlements? They don't exist, and never will.

Once again Ngai Tahu and Tainui received a combined $370 million as part of a special clause in their Treaty settlements arranged by Douglas Graham.

Both Tainui and Ngai Tahu iwi have the right to seek further payment every five years once an evaluation is done of the Treaty settlements over that period.

One has to wonder about the calibre of people in government looking after "our" interests, or theirs, whatever the case may be.

This is an obscene amount of money taken from a small economy.

And remember, big iwi businesses pay little tax. Tainui payed $12,000 income tax in 2016, so don't let anybody tell you it's good for the economy. And how can other businesses compete against them?

The best test for te reo is to have free classes after school, not during school, ie in your own time, and watch as few can be bothered turning up because most have better things to do.

The outcome for this simple practical test would give the government a clear mandate to channel money into more worthwhile projects.

Universal speakers of te reo = 0.00002 per cent. Universal speakers of English = 20 per cent. Therefore worldwide there are 12,000 speakers of English for each speaker of te reo.

This gives te reo an exclusive position, useful for kapa haka but scarcely useful in international communication.

Forget the euphoric verbalising of te reo by Guyon Espiner, because, as he states, his wife is Maori, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Porou, but he fails to mention the other seven-eighths, at least, of her non-Maori ancestry.

Don't be gulled by the euphonic sounds so treasured by Kim Hill. Let's get real. Language is for communication.

Early Maori realised this, and the stories of school children being punished for speaking Maori at school in the early 20th Century was at the behest of the Maori leaders and parents, and not the perversity of racist teachers.

In 1995 the Maori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Maori, estimated only 10,000 fluent adult speakers of te reo, so present day estimates of the number of speakers are possibly over-stated.

As some people call for the compulsory teaching of te reo in schools, which subject areas would they suggest being dropped to accommodate this?

Hawkes Bay Today 25/1/18 
I have been watching with interest all the texts and comments in Hawke’s Bay Today for and against Mike Wilding’s wonderful track at Craggy Range.

I see as at 5pm on Tuesday, January 23, we now have 12,606 people who have voted to “keep the track” as opposed to Anna Archibald’s lot of only 6583 wanting to “remove it”.

They obviously haven’t even looked at more damage that would be done trying to bulldoze it all away.

So far we have more then 6023 people ahead, trying to “keep the track”.

I also saw Ngahiwi’s comments about one of his ancestors, a Hinerakau of Heretaunga having jumped off the cliff by the track after being jilted by her lover Rongakako.

Wouldn’t it be nice for Maori to congratulate Craggy Range for their track (so far, only partially finished), and build a statue at the top of this track commemorating this event, like “Pania of the Reef” in Napier and the “Compass at Waitangi”.

Thousands of people visit these sites. That way everybody wins and tourists and locals alike can walk the track and pay homage to Hinerakau of Heretaunga.

Craggy Range could even offer to contribute to this statue.

The petition to “keep the track” is only going to grow bigger and bigger and we should all be thankful to Craggy Range for this very generous donation to Hawke’s Bay.

We must do all we can to promote tourism and I understand the track, like the Maraetotara falls, is already on Lonely Planet.

As I have said, let’s all work together to make this yet another attractive tourist destination and stop this procrastinating.

“United we stand, divided we fail.”

Bay of Plenty Times 25/1/18 
I take exception to Peter Dey’s description: “People signing a petition against Maori wards are amazingly voting to spend $70,000 to support an unfair voting system” (Letters, January 20).

In my opinion, the only people costing the ratepayers $70,000 are the Western Bay of Plenty councillors who voted for this as opposed to the fair system of voting for the candidates one thinks will do the best for the community.

This was totally undemocratic in my opinion, and if this was in the pipeline previously, it should have been attached to the voting forms at election time so it could be sorted once and for all.

There is no need for separate Maori wards on councils, it would add to the cost of council matters and as we are the most expensive district to reside in, let’s have some common sense.

Dominion Post 24/1/18 
How many people knew about the "relativity" clauses in the Treaty settlements for Ngai Tahu and Tainui?

These two tribes on December 15 were given a $370 million "top-up" of taxpayers' money (Sunday Star Times, Jan 21) because of the stupidity of politicians when negotiating those settlements.

The same tribes were given top-ups of nearly $140 million earlier, in 2012. These relativity payments are ongoing.

Parliament can repeal this repugnant legislation. Get rid of it, quickly.

Moreover, these payments of public money were kept secret.

Only after journalists inquired did Ngai Tahu tell its iwi about them.

Andrew Little is reported to have said that these top-ups were not publicly announced because the pre-Christmas timing wasn't right.

That deceptive behaviour is intolerable. It's a fair bet that no public announcement would have been made unless some journalists had exposed the matter.

New Zealand's progress is being seriously impeded by the grievance industry sucking billions of taxpayer dollars into the bank accounts of relatively few Maori, without these totally unacceptable extra hand-outs.

Come on, New Zealanders -voice your concern strongly over this matter. It's your money being misused. Press the government to take the necessary action now.
DEAN HALFORD, Palmerston North

Bay of Plenty Times 24/1/18 
It is not a walk in the park to put one’s name for election to a council, and many good people have stood and not made it, women included, and we are 51 per cent of the population.

Every man and woman of any ethnicity is my equal, and I know that if we have a Maori ward or wards it is telling Maori they are not good enough and not electable. This is a nonsense as we have had capable Maori representatives in the past and we will again in the future. Just as we have had more really capable women on Western Bay and at the moment we only have one.

So, I believe it is a dreadful lie to pretend that Maori are not good enough. Imagine locking Maori voters into one or two wards stretching over the extraordinarily vast distances and stopping them from voting for other positions.

There are four councillors representing the Kaimai ward, three representing Katikati Waihi Beach ward, and four representing Te Puke Maketu. No way can the system be designed to keep Maori out and separate. We are all equal.

Peter Dey (Letters, January 20) claims only 5 per cent of councillors in NZ are Maori.

The obvious reason is not, as claimed by Peter Dey, that people vote for candidates they ethnically identify with.

Rather, I believe that Maori have a lethargy about involvement and a failure to put up credible candidates.

To suggest otherwise is to demean those elected on merit. Among others, mayors Ron Mark, Georgina Beyer, councillors Ray Ahipene-Mercer, and Tauranga’s own Colin Bidois, a three-time Manukau City councillor.

The blame for spending $70,000 on a referendum is not the fault of those signing the petition but, in my opinion, lies squarely with those who failed to consult their community.

I believe consultation would have told them a petition would be called for and abandoned the idea, saving $70,000.

The organisers of this petition and those signing it are the kaitiaki of democracy.

I would like to believe that Peter Dey does believe in equality but equality cannot be achieved through inequality.

It’s time to get out of the waka of separatism paddling in a different direction and climb aboard the cruise liner of democracy and be part of a community with a common purpose.

Waikato Times 24/1/18 
I write in support of D Wilson (letters. January 19) in that the Waipa, and other councils, have got it right in not allowing race-based seats on local authority.

D Wilson censured Mr Marshall, but did highlight the greater issues involved such as the insidious growth and promotion of race-based rights and separatism in New Zealand which is a concern to a growing number of New Zealanders of all ethnic backgrounds.
B ROBERTS, Hamilton

The Press 23/1/18 
So Ngai Tahu and Tainui have received a load more from taxpayers despite past ‘‘full and final settlements’’. How much nicer it would have been to read that these recipients, with their tax-free charity situation, did not need to take up the amounts but specified that any further monies be directed to genuine Maori organisations in dire need of finance. This would have benefited all Maori, not just two tribes.
PETER HARRIS, Riccarton Park

Does the average Kiwi feel a sense of unease with the perceived inequality creeping into daily life – ongoing large Treaty payouts (in secret). This amid large restraints from hospitals, saying there’s not enough funds for procedures that one’s GP says are really needed, so the DHB refers you back to the GP. More concerning is if you are over 65, the delete button is activated. Who else feels concerned about where we are heading?

Weekend Sun 20/1/18 
It has been very interesting to read the nominations for New Zealand's best beaches in the NZ Herald series.

However, New Zealanders may not realise that all the beaches chosen will be among those being claimed by tribal groups under the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

Over 580 claims have been lodged for every square centimetre of New Zealand's coastline out to the edge of the territorial sea, including all harbours and estuaries.

"The beach is more than just a place, it's part of who we are," writes journalist Kim Knight. This sentiment will resonate with the many New Zealanders who greatly value and enjoy the beaches and oceans of our beautiful country.

The freedom to spend time on the coast without feeling merely a visitor to someone else's slice of paradise is very precious. But this freedom, until now a right, is under threat by all those claiming 'customary marine title' to our coast.

Information to oppose these opportunistic claims has been arduously compiled by the NZCPR at https://tinyurl.com/y8tqznm9 with 26th February 2018 being the close of date, so there is no time to waste.

Bay of Plenty Times 20/1/18
There is no need for Maori wards on councils. Establishing Maori wards is separatism, organised racism.

If Maori want more representation at the council, then put up candidates. 
The process is already there for any group to be represented at the council. 

Respect to Maori culture and protocol is already entrenched in council affairs. 

A Maori ward would see overrepresentation. Let’s not go there.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 19/1/18 
Usually the media does a pretty good job recording Kiwis' affinity with coastal locations over the summer season. It is therefore somewhat disappointing that journalists, reporters and editorial opinion writers choose to disregard the looming threat to our marine and coastal areas, including beaches, harbours and recreational fishing.

Alarmingly, in early 2017 at the death-knell of the six-year expiry date, nearly 600 MACA claims were filed in the High Court by Maori, many simply kite-flying and speculative, plus a similar number of claims in tandem to the Minister of Justice/Attorney General/Office of Treaty Settlements.

Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 was good legislation but National, under pressure from vested interest Maori groups, stupidly didn't agree and cobbled together poorly drafted MACA 2011 legislation which Key and Finlayson stated would result in negligible claims. Well hello, 600 applications claiming the whole NZ coastline isn't minor!

February 2018 is the deadline for Kiwis to register special interests under MACA if they don't want to toss away public rights of free access and use.

Apathetic Kiwis, you know what is happening is wrong. Stand up for your birth right and legal rights of all Kiwis. The same distrust applies to Freshwater and Wai 262 Claims lurking in the wings. Incidentally, the bloated MACA legal costs could be as high as $300 million.
R PATERSON, Matapihi.

Waikato Times 19/1/18 
Good on the Waipa District Council and all other public accountable organisations that have moved into the 21st century and will not bow to the PC driven concept of implementing special race-based seats.

As to the well-known far left socialist T John Marshall (letters, January 15) you should know better and practise impartiality and it is in fact you who is the racist advocating for special Maori seats.

Here in New Zealand we don’t need your poisonous divisive thinking and would therefore appreciate it if you would do us the favour of returning to your Mother England.
D WILSON, Hamilton

Dominion Post 19/1/18 
On Monday it was Martin Luther King Day, marking the day that he would have turned 89 years old.

It has been nearly 55 years since he gave his famed I have a dream" speech, and I wonder what his comments would be on New Zealand in the year 2018.

New Zealand, which once nearly started a civil war over the racially segregated South African rugby team now has its own racially segregated rugby team known (without a hint of irony) as the Maori All Blacks.

New Zealand, where Maori politicians have the privilege of vying for the seven Maori seats in Parliament, meaning Maori politicians make up nearly a quarter of the government, despite making up less than one sixth of the population.

New Zealand, where our publicly-funded universities have Maori admission schemes that turn away students with good grades because they aren't Maori.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character." Beautiful words. Dr King. Pity they won't come true in my lifetime.
SAM RUSSELL, Johnsonville

The Press 19/1/18 
The issue of so called racist names of dishes in a restaurant has brought up the question of ‘‘what is racism.’’

Some say we should not be too PC or sensitive. Others, myself included, that it is nasty.

The truth of the matter is that we are all racists more or less. We cannot help it. We are evolved to categorise.

Donald Trump claims he is not racist. In fact, according to him, he’s the most ‘‘unracist’’ person you could meet. Yet, he was reliably reported to have asked a staffer, where she was from? She replied ‘‘New York’’.

Trump pursued the question: ‘‘No. Where are you from?’’ Finally, the staffer said she was Korean. He continued to ask because she did not fit the preconception of Trump of who should be living in New York. She looked different. This is undeniable racism.

In fact, such behaviour has earned the term ‘‘micro-aggressive racism’’.

It means the victim, in this case, felt that she was an outsider. So we should ask the victim, shouldn’t we, whether it is racism or not. And it means of course, we should all be on our guard about our own unavoidable racism without feeling too much guilt.

Your leader about children learning a second language sounds attractive at first thought but not upon analysis. If a child spends six years learning Japanese, he is just as likely to end up working in some position where Chinese is needed – and vice versa.

Or his job-seeking is warped permanently in favour of a position where his knowledge of Hindi is required.

The fact is that in all these countries the use of English is rapidly becoming settled as the new lingua Franca, and we should accept our advantage in this and concentrate on teaching children all the other skills they will need.
JOHN BURN, Merivale

Northland Age 18/1/18 
Reluctantly, but necessarily, I take issue with your editorial of January 16. Reluctantly, because your editorials have been such a ray of sunshine in the nationwide gloom of Pathetical Correctness that shrouds every other newspaper, not to mention television and radio. I don't seek to diminish that.

Necessarily, because the issue has become too important to remain unchallenged, and I observe very few who make such a challenge.

When I made such a challenge previously, in a letter to another newspaper, my letter was suppressed.

This once-blessed country, once rightly called God's Own, was built to that point by the Christian principles and values of the European pioneers and their descendants.

It was not produced by Maori animism or any other aspect of Maori culture/tradition, which included slavery, cannibalism and genocide.

Such accomplishments as women's franchise, racial harmony and egalitarianism were exemplary outcomes of the civilisation of New Zealand by the European colonists. Until a generation or so ago, when the Northern Irishman Brian Edwards, and the ex-pat Michael Dean came to our small pond to make names for themselves by fomenting racial disharmony via television chat shows.

Since then, we've experienced Maori culture by way of the Treaty grievance trough, the exponential rise of unemployment beneficiaries, domestic purposes beneficiaries and, particularly, violent crime. On every key indicator of useful contribution to our society, Maori score zero or below.

Even the haka has become more and more aggressive, to the point of throat-slitting, and it has become so boring. Waiata, poi, might be harmless enough, but they make no contribution to our civilisation.

Even what is being passed off as traditional Maori culture, e.g. poi dances, has been sanitised.

For example, the statue of Pania of the Reef in Napier is naked from the waist up. That is how Maori women dressed and danced traditionally.

If you want to experience Maori culture today, visit McDonald's or the public bar of any suburban pub.

Forget about "nurturing Maori traditions and protocols." Long-serving and highly respected Parliamentarian Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan once famously remarked that there was precious little aroha until the missionaries arrived.

What we need to nurture is the Christian principles that have been lost in the Pathetically Correct worship of all things Maori.
LEO LEITCH Benneydale

Your editorial today (January 16) points out that to be respected one must show respect.

Your editorial then goes on to claim that there is a need to respect Maori culture.

I firmly disagree.

There is no group in our country who show less respect than the Maori. By your own criterion, they deserve no respect.

Multiculturalism has, in any case, been shown to be a disaster, to which present-day Europe attests.

Our Western civilisation has been built from Christianity. Pope Paul VI dismissed multiculturalism in his 'Evangelii Nuntiandi.'

Christianity is the only culture that will protect us all.
ALAN JONES, Invercargill

Otago Daily Times 18/1/18 

PETER Wilson (ODT 16. 1.18) wants to address Ngai Tahu values in the proposed Remarkables National Park.

But why? Aoraki/Aorangi was merely the Maori name for the clouds which often surrounded the remote peaks.

As one whose mother was born in 1899 at the very foot of the Remarkables, I believe I can claim a closer affinity with them than anybody of Ngai Tahu descent alive today.

NZ Herald 17/1/18 (Short & Sweet section) 
If all New Zealand children are to learn a second language, Maori or any other, what is to be left out to make room for it? Kapa haka maybe?
Northland Age 16/1/18 
It has been very interesting to read the nominations for New Zealand's best beaches in the NZ Herald series.

However, New Zealanders may not realise that all the beaches chosen will be among those being claimed by tribal groups under the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

Over 580 claims have been lodged for every square centimetre of New Zealand's coastline, out to the edge of the territorial sea, including all harbours and estuaries.

"The beach is more than just a place, 1928 it's part of who we are," writes journalist Kim Knight. This sentiment will resonate with the many New Zealanders who greatly value and enjoy the beaches and oceans of our beautiful country.

The freedom to spend time on the coast without feeling merely a visitor to someone else's slice of paradise is very precious. But this freedom, until now a right, is under threat by all those claiming 'customary marine title' to our coast.

Information to oppose these opportunistic claims has been arduously compiled by the NZCPR (at https://tinyurl.com/y8tqznm9), with February 26 being the close-off date, so there is no time to waste.

Bay of Plenty Times 16/1/18 
Peter Dey (Letters, January 10) says that 5 per cent of local councillors throughout New Zealand are Maori.

I don’t believe him.

That disagreement can be easily settled.

What is the source of that information?

I totally agree with C Humphreys (Letters, January 12) regarding Tommy Wilson and Peter Dey, they can criticise all they want about anyone, but when we criticise them our letters are edited.

Because some of us don’t adhere to the left-wing views it appears our opinions are not worthy of printing in full.

As most of your editorials are biased to the left, how about giving us some balance and employing someone with a real view of the world as we know it, real news not just the left-wing view.
NEIL HARVEY, Welcome Bay

Dominion Post 16/1/15 
An employer rang a talkback show, saying while prospective employees may have had excellent Te Reo skills, many had useless written English skills, couldn't write properly and couldn't spell.

Great keyboard skills don't help with note-taking, he said.

Become competent in all facets of the English language first, and then learn a second language next.

Technology may change in the future, but in the mean time written English skills are a prerequisite.

NZ Herald 16/1/18 (Short & Sweet section)
Should children learn a second language? No, not until they've mastered English. There's a lot of room for improvement.

Bay of Plenty Times 15/1/18 
I understand Western Bay of Plenty District Council has two Maori committees representing East and West and the members collect a generous meeting allowance for attendance.

The RMA is clear councils must consult with Maori and the Local Government Act ensures communities are consulted.

Whilst council members are elected from wards, their allegiance is sworn “to the district at large”. Maori ward members would only promote Maori interests and would therefore fail in their “duty of allegiance” to the wider district’s ratepayers.

In spite of Tommy Wilson’s emotive and abusive comments (BOP Times, January 1) about “letter writers” who do not hold his view, my 20 years in Local Government saw Maori interests generously and fairly represented at the council table.

The decision to have Maori wards, made by the Mayor and seven councillors, does not represent the whole district, when wider consultation of ratepayers has not taken place.

Question for Peter Dey.

Hi Peter, following your logic, do you think together we should also logically ask the Auckland city council to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for Asians?

This would seem to be in keeping with your logic.

I assume being only part Asian would be all right, because that seems to be the rule for Maori.

Please advise, so I can help you with this.
NORM MAYO, Katikati

Nelson Mail 12/1/18 
In a democracy, we expect to have the same rights and privileges as every other citizen.

Equality before the law is one of the basic tenets of the democratic system. It is one of the guarantees of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Over recent years, whenever people like Don Brash, Karl du Fresne or others comment on special privilege, and ask for equal treatment for all citizens, they get called racist.

Asking for equality is not racist, but asking for special rights, privileges and benefits based on one’s ethnicity is.

Governments putting such injustice into law is criminal.

How is it that intelligent people can see the travesty of showing partiality to one child in a family and call it bad parenting, but can justify doing the same thing to the people of our country, and say it’s ok? It’s not ok.

Bay of Plenty Times 12/1/18 
Proponents of Maori wards, such as Peter Dey, in my opinion show little understanding of the role of councillors. Councillors are elected to represent all of the community, including Maori, and advocate on behalf of all.

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

The role of the council is to provide services for the community such as sewerage, water, roads, libraries, playing fields.

Do Maori turn on the tap or flush the toilet differently?

Peter Dey may care to enlighten us as to what skills a Maori ward councillor would bring to the table that would benefit all of the community.

I want councillors elected on merit, to consider all viewpoints, and not be beholden to sectional, ethnic interests. (Abridged)

In response to Peter Dey (Letters, January 10). If Maori are so discriminated against, how come you and Tommy Wilson get everything printed in the Bay of Plenty newspaper and the rest of us don’t?

Plus, as the two of you have a lot to say for yourself and Maori why are you not standing for council?

To be elected you actually have to stand and run the race, it’s called democracy. A bit of effort and common sense is required.

Why should ratepayers’ hard-earned money be given to someone who is looking for what is, in my view, the effortless way in?

I believe the WBOP council has shown we have too many like that in there now.

I have never seen so many, in my opinion, weak, gutless sheep [councillors] as was at the public Maori ward council meeting in November, I think they had obviously been beaten into submission as to how they should vote.

One thing we do not need is weak-kneed councillors who do not know the will of the people that they were elected by.

I agree with Mike Lally’s assessment when speaking on Rotorua.

When I lived there I voted for Trevor Maxwell because he was a sound councillor and that’s why I voted for him, not because he was Maori.

Dominion Post 12/1/18 
Gary Taylor, how many times have you walked any of the Te Mata Peak tracks to simply enjoy and admire the views, the birds and soak up the beauty and serenity of our Giant (Te Mata substitute, Jan 10).

Give Craggy Range a chance to finish what it started, to add more beauty to the eastern side of the peak and maybe a viewing platform, to tell the legend (story) of the Sleeping Giant.

Wake up to the majority of us – more than 9000 have asked to keep the track where it is; why add another track when this is not yet finished.

If a tree was cut down by mistake, no one can return it to what it was.

Craggy Range had consent and believed it had complied with the rules.

The majority support the track on the eastern side to remain. Why is everyone wasting money and time being negative? Enjoy what is now here, support Craggy Range, rather than destroy our passion.
ANDREA NAPIER, Havelock North

Taranaki Daily News 11/1/18 
Recently a local person claimed that the Government had a responsibility for ‘‘indigenous’’ people and climate change due to the content of The Treaty of Waitangi. It was as if this were a special consideration. Part of the story related to Oakura Pa.

According to Maori oral history, when the great Kurahaupo waka landed at Oakura beach around the time of the Great Migration some 600 years ago, they were welcomed there onto the beach by the local people. It was said that the Pa there was at the time recognised as a special education venue, as per a ‘‘university’’. This was 600 years give or take, ago. Would that not have been an individual decision to build there, an act which preceded the Treaty by just a bit?

There has been substantial time in between in which a decision could have been made to move with the impending doom of climate change upon us? We all have responsibility to choose to stay near the beach or not.

Surely this is a matter for people not a remote government policy or specious claim.
DAVID PAYNE, New Plymouth

Northland Age 11/1/18 
Judge Eddie Durie, chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal, says (‘Checkpoint’, January 8, 2014) that the Tribunal "has a role in promoting unity by interpreting the Treaty".

No, sir! I can do so in one sentence: the chiefs ceded sovereignty completely and forever to the Queen, all Maori, even their many slaves, got the rights of the people of England, and the property rights of all the people of New Zealand were guaranteed.

The Tribunal, who supported the brazen Ngapuhi claim that they never ceded sovereignty, are the last people I'd ask to "interpret" it. Moreover, when Hobson, backed by about 500 chiefs, declared British sovereignty over our islands in May 1840, fully in accordance with international law, the Treaty had done its job.

It is high time that it was returned to 1840 where it belongs, and left there forever.

I heard on radio that a woman had criticised someone for selling golliwogs, and said that it was offensive and racist.

What a load of rubbish. Showing off and selling golliwogs have nothing to do with black people. They were originally made to represent the blackened figures of chimney sweeps in 19th century England.

I say to the person who is selling these golliwogs, keep selling them, and I hope people will support you and buy them. Don't listen to this idiot

Bay of Plenty Times 11/1/18 
The 2013 Maori Electoral Option has now closed.

It gave New Zealanders of Maori descent the opportunity to choose whether they want to be on the Maori electoral roll or the general electoral roll when they vote in the next two general elections.

That means that those Maori are stuck on that roll for that time.

If Maori wards are introduced in any council or local authority, it is compulsory for those Maori on the Maori electorate roll to vote for a candidate in that ward.

I do not believe that this is democratic for Maori. I am sorry if Alan Armstrong (Letters, January 3), who seems to me like he wants to return to the dark ages, disagrees.

Nowhere does Parliament insist that Maori vote for Maori. They have an electoral choice in a general election.

My letter was intended to be informative, not controversial. My argument was not that wards are undemocratic but that Maori wards, in the context of the electoral rules referred to in my letter, are undemocratic for some Maori, not to mention the electorate at large, in the long run.

I still believe that both Maori and non-Maori should think carefully when taking part in a referendum on a Maori ward and also consider how much representation iwi already have on councils and local authorities without (also undemocratic) a compulsory, in effect, non-elected seat.
R E STEPHENS, Mount Maunganui

Nelson Mail 10/1/18 
Gary Clover might believe he’s dishing it out but transparently, he’s doing anything but. He denigrated Don Brash and Karl du Fresne, hinted at implied ‘‘racism’’ and labelled those men and myself ‘‘curmudgeons’’.

But when I, with transparent justification, described his outlook as ‘‘wilfully blind and warped’’ hypocritically he demands ‘‘his facts be attacked but not his person.’’ Such emptiness of posture is called ‘‘galloping nonfunctionality.’’

Clover’s overblown response addressed little of what I’d submitted, postulating instead nonsense like, ‘‘as usual, (Cable’s) letter had not one iota of fact.’’ Well, overlooking the selective absorption of those with established fixations, I’d suggest my letter did render ascertainable facts and that others would’ve easily noted them. For instance, as Maori had no written language prior to the ‘‘white man’s arrival,’’ it pretty well guaranteed minor translational variations in Treaty documents.

But irrespective of translational differences and the almost constant obviations of today’s university-spawned academics- there can be little doubt that, in 1840, every Maori signatory was well aware of the thrust of to what they were committing.

Bay of Plenty Times 9/1/18
Peter Dey argues (Letters, January 4) that Maori wards are needed to ensure Maori are adequately represented in local government because, he claims, “in elections people vote for candidates that are most like themselves”.

In that situation, with 80 per cent of the electorates being non-Maori, Maori don’t get elected, he claims.

Then explain why of nearly 30 Maori in Parliament of 120 MPs, only seven of them are elected in the seven Maori electorates? How come we have a fabulous Maori MP representing Tauranga?

The wonderful thing about New Zealand’s democracy is we are all equal and I, for one, am grateful we live in a democracy where we are all, men and women, free to stand for local government.

Northland Age 9/1/18 
The NZ Herald has done a great job of recording Kiwis' cultural affiliation with the coast over the summer break.

So it's unfortunate that the media ignores the massive threat to public control of our beaches, harbours, marinas and favourite fishing spots.

Approximately 580 coastal claims were lodged in 2017, covering every centimetre of our beloved coastline, and 22km out to sea.

This situation is so different to that described by PM Key in 2011 when he pushed through the relevant legislation, saying there'd only ever be a handful of claims.

Kiwis need to formally register their interest in their special parts of the coast with the High Court (by February 2018), or with the Attorney-General, if they don't want to risk losing any public rights of free access or use.

In the one case already ruled on by the High Court, the judge disregarded the Crown's public interest because no individuals or groups had registered their private interest in opposing the claim.

In the other claim already decided on by the previous Attorney-General, behind closed doors, he simply disregarded the last 170 years of history.

Never before the entry of Chris Finlayson into the field of Treaty settlements, has so much been given by so many to so few.

New Zealand Herald 9/1/18 (Short & Sweet section)
I heard on radio a person criticised for selling golliwogs. It was said to be racist. Golliwogs have nothing to do with black people, they were originally made to represent the blackened figures of chimney sweeps in 19th-century England.

New Zealand Herald 8/1/18 
The Herald has done a great job of recording Kiwis’ cultural affiliation with the coast over the summer break. So it’s unfortunate that the media ignores the massive threat to public control of our beaches, harbours, marinas and favourite fishing spots. Approximately 580 coastal claims were lodged in 2017, covering every centimetre of our beloved coastline, and 22kms out to sea.

This situation is so different to that described by PM Key in 2011 when he pushed through the relevant legislation, saying there’d only ever be a handful of claims.

Kiwis need to formally register their “interest” in their special parts of the coast with the High Court (by February 2018) or with the Attorney General if they don’t want to risk losing any public rights of free access or use.

In the one case already ruled on by the High Court, the judge disregarded the Crown’s public interest because no individuals or groups had registered their private interest in opposing the claim.
FIONA MACKENZIE, Whangaparaoa.

Nelson Mail 8/1/18 
Gary Clover is at it again (January 1) with his distortion of Hobson’s simple and noble message: ‘‘He iwi tahi tatou’’ - ‘‘We are one people now’’.

He also continues to twist the Treaty with the spurious but oftrepeated nonsense that there is a ‘‘partnership’’ between the Crown and any Maori.

Oddly enough it is his ‘‘elderly white male curmudgeons’’ who respect the truth and state what the Treaty really said.

In brief, the chiefs ceded sovereignty completely and for ever to the Queen, all Maoris including their many slaves were granted the rights of the people of England and the property rights of all (repeat all) the people of New Zealand were guaranteed.

When Hobson, assured by the backing of more than 500 chiefs, declared the Queen’s sovereignty over the islands of New Zealand in May 1840, the Treaty had done its work.

Instead of being subjected to Clover’s ‘‘wilful blindness to the Treaty’s full meaning’’ it is high time it was returned to 1840 where it belongs and allowed to rest there.

Bay of Plenty Times 8/1/18 
In regard to Alan Armstrong’s letter about minorities like Maori missing out (Letters, January 3).

As I said in a previous letter (Letters, December 29), Maori are New Zealanders and have the rights and representation as such, so they are not a minority unless they choose to be, which is separatism.

Democracy is based on the simple principle that all citizens must be treated the same under the law.

Every individual has the same rights and indeed has the same responsibilities under the law. Within society, people may share common views and interests with others, be those cultural, religious, ethnic, social or perhaps sporting. All such groupings are basically tribal in nature.

But forming such groupings, call them what you may, does not give the members collectively any special rights under the law.

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

Otago Daily Times 8/1/18 
I FULLY endorse Bruce Moon’s letter (ODT, 4.1.18) and his assertion there was no ‘‘f’’ in precolonial Maori language. Nor should there be now.

In association with Hongi Hika during the early 19th century, Prof Samuel Lee established a definitive orthography of written Maori, based on the then normal spoken usage by northern Maori.

To best capture the most authentic pronunciation of the time he used only 13 of the 26 letters available from the English alphabet. They were A, E, H, I, K, M, N, O, P, R, T, U and W, together with the two compound consonants NG and WH. He did not include an ‘‘f’’, so it can reasonably be concluded that early Maori did not have an ‘‘f’’ sound in their vocabulary.

Further, during one of his regular radio broadcasts during the 1950’60s, Maori language commissioner, historian and broadcaster Kingi Ihaka stated quite categorically there was no ‘‘f’’ in Maori.

Under hints on pronunciation in Maori Place Names, published by A. H. and A. W. Reed (1951), the author stated that the two compound consonants NG and WH were the two stumbling blocks in correct pronunciation. He wrote that WH is usually pronounced as ‘‘F’’, which is not the correct sound.

It is an aspirated sound. That means Maori words containing WH should be pronounced with the H first, followed by the W, as in ‘‘when’’, ‘‘why’’ and ‘‘which’’ etc if spoken correctly, but in lazy New Zealandspeak reduced to ‘‘wen’’, ‘‘wy’’ and ‘‘witch’’.

Try it sometime; you’ll be amazed how rich the words sound pronounced as Lee interpreted them.

A VERY big thankyou to Bruce Moon for his letter (ODT, 4.1.18). He has managed to put so concisely my muddled thoughts asking why written Maori has to be uniform when it had such a chequered history.

As children in Nelson in the ’40s we learnt about the differences in various parts of the country. The one I remember best was kowhai, pronounced with straight ‘‘w’’, where cousins from further north used an ‘‘f’’.

We appreciate that many countries have a great number of dialects that cause no grief. Surely as New Zealanders we can be as adaptable.
DIANE ISAACS, Musselburgh

Bay of Plenty Times 6/1/18 
Peter Dey’s letter January 4) and his explanation that the electoral system is biased and his sense of wrong against Maori with under representations on councils has shortcomings.

Let’s take a look at Rotorua Lakes Council.

Three Maori elected as councillors, one Indian elected, and six white councillors out of 10 with a mayor sympathetic to the Maori cause.

There is plenty of rhetoric about how bad democracy is but short on facts.

How did Maori and an Indian get elected in Rotorua? Please explain.

Where was the anti-Maori bias? Though it is all very well for us to have our varying views on matters but at the end of the day it still has to be based on the facts available.

The mention of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council as a success story on Maori wards becomes another story and I believe it does little credit to those who perpetrated the process from behind the scenes.

There was no vote taken of ratepayers who foot the bill, or their opinions solicited at the time and was permitted to slip through and in my view, councillors who voted for it does them no credit. So much for democracy.

The Press 6/1/18 
Your correspondent Tom Van Meurs continues with his suspect little thesis that Jews are not Jews, just a type of Eastern European (Letters, Jan 1 and 3).

Logically then I guess he must think Maori are not Maori, just Pakeha with a few Maori ancestors.

He needs to realise that race does not actually exist, so it does not matter. It is an invention, of old thinking; thinking with one’s blood. Only culture exists, and it matters.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 5/1/18 
With the silly season ‘gongs' dished out yet again, it's pertinent to reflect on something the last Labour Government got pretty right, namely the abolition of knighthoods and damehoods doled out to the rich and famous then inexplicably reinstated by Key's National Government in 2009.

Those honoured this New Year include the obligatory Maori services group, fashion designer, ex- politicians (three), ex-rugby player, children's storyteller and yet another lawyer, topping the list. Everything usually awarded for services to XYZ (i.e. self-interests).

New Zealand's honours system should not embrace this anachronistic medieval British royal honours system to decorate those who have been more than amply rewarded for their careers, sports and pastimes. People who perform selfless acts, volunteers and whose sole motivation is to help others should be recognised, but that is not a factor in many cases and rarely so with politicians, business leaders, professionals and sportspeople.

If we must reward for services then simply dish out the relatively benign and meaningless NZ Order of Merit honours (often also undeserved) and everyone should be reasonably happy.

I readily accept that many Kiwis generously give their time and services gratis for very good causes and, of course, it's appropriate that this unselfish altruism be recognised in some way.
R PATERSON, Mataphi.

How about a 2018 resolution that has direct democracy as its aim?

I raise this because our media is telling us the wishes of local politicians and ignoring the 100,000 people of Tauranga city who have no say, but have to pay.

For example: a new $5m visitor centre, $50m museum, $40m library, $80m admin block, $30m car park, 15th Ave upgrade, water system, $2m per annum staff rent and more.

Free: chronic water shortage, traffic gridlock, impossible parking and more.

Democracy means rule by the people. It does not mean electing average people who become dictators.

To Tauranga City Council a new 2018 resolution. To install an electronic voting system which will enable all 100,000 Tauranga voters to express their binding votes on all major issues.
K EVANS, Tauranga.

In his recent letter in The Weekend Sun (December 22) on appointing Maori wards, R Bell, Omanawa states that “it takes nothing away from non-Maori.” He apparently considers that the subversion of the process of seeking office, as practised in all democratic countries, for racist advantage, to be acceptable. He also misplaces the source of inflaming passions to councillors M Lally and M Murray-Benge rather than the mayor and his complicit councillors. He fails to explain why, if Maori are not capable of 'running for office', anyone would trust them to make decisions on councils. His phrase "in a completely non-contextual way" is an absolute non sequitur. He's trying too hard.
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

R Bell (The Weekend Sun, December 22) on promoting Maori wards claims that I misrepresented Dr Brian McDonnell by not repeating the “full text”. I am sure the editor of The Weekend Sun thinks my letters are terrific but a 1200 word letter would be a bridge too far. Bell finds that Dr O'Donnell said “Maori people have been marginalised in the past, and there are specific wrongs to be righted.” Bell claims political marginalisation is one of those wrongs and thereby claims by inference that that is McDonnell's viewpoint. Talk about quoting out of context. Bell doesn't even complete O'Donnell's sentence and puts a full stop after righted. The rest of the sentence reads “but it is time to draw back to the centre.”

O'Donnell's next paragraph “In an effort to be nice you can be seen as a soft touch, so who can blame Maori groups for asking for the stars when Government and the Auckland Council seem ready to grant power and funds while ignoring democratic processes.” Western Bay Council take note.

To misrepresent Dr O'Donnell's views is disrespectful to both O'Donnell and to The Weekend Sun readers.
R PRINCE, Welcome Bay.

I wonder, do people who support Maori wards not see what the antis are on about?

Anybody who wants to be involved in the running of the city or town simply has to stand for election. We live in a so-called democracy so let's keep things democratic.

It has been clearly demonstrated with MMP how useless and hard to get rid of unelected people can be. We do not want or need unelected people, no matter who they are or where they are from, negatively influencing our daily lives.

I bet very few would object to Maori wards if they were elected officials. Remember, you cannot get rid of unelected people no matter how badly they perform.

A city or town council isn't in place to right real or perceived wrongs of the past: that's the government's job. A council is elected to run a city for the ratepayers in the main, and at a secondary level for others who live in the district.

Councils were not around when any wrongs were carried out in the past so they should not be expected to spend their elected terms beating their breast about the past. We deserve an elected council who will run a city efficiently and cost-effectively and, when possible, profitably. I know I am a dreamer.
A BOURNE, Bethlehem.

Nelson Mail 5/1/18 
Gary Clover's bizarre suggestion that Karl du Fresne and Don Brash are somehow "deserving of the "r" label" (PC dutifully pandered-to), illustrates how "willfully blind" and warped is his outlook.

Du Fresne's and Brash's views have always been fair and balanced - addressing nothing more than unfair actuality -whereas, to 99 per cent of listeners, Espiner's te-reo splurge was over-the-top and undeniably incomprehensible.

It was PC-grandstanding or, in plain language, just Espiner showing-off.

Hypocritically, given its protestations, Clover's letter conveyed solid implications of "r" in referring to "elderly white male curmudgeons." In similar context, I'd ask, would "elderly Maori curmudgeons" have been remotely acceptable?

In 1840, Maori/English translation was very much in its infancy. Just a few years earlier, Maori had completely lacked any written language capability, so some misunderstanding as to which Treaty version meant what, has eventuated.

We've come a long way in 177 years- government having acceded three "full and final" settlements of Maori "grievances"- yet today. even more so than just 20 years ago, where is the overwhelming evidence that "we're becoming one nation." 
Mr Clover's outlook would surely benefit from reading Stuart Scott's well-researched book, "The Travesty of Waitangi." Not that it'll change anything, but he might absorb more relevant facts.

Bay of Plenty Times 5/1/18 
Once again we have the likes of Peter Dey and Tommy Wilson giving us a lecture about Maori.

The billions of dollars doled out to tribes and other causes should ensure Maori can look after themselves without wanting more.

If anyone wants to learn te reo for instance, good on them — but let Maori fund it, not force it on the rest of us who could not care less.

My own iwi, for instance, was given millions; I understand it was all gone in three years. Who benefited? How long before their hand is out for more? (Abridged) 
NEIL HARVEY, Welcome Bay

Taranaki Daily News 5/1/18 
Mr Moeahu, sorry for being a concerned "public nuisance", in asking questions to gather knowledge, especially about our mountain, Mt Egmont/Taranaki.

I wrote to you, without reply. I am not a very good reader, but have read a lot on the local mountain. I have read all the written material I have located on the maunga, which is in fact very little, and researched on Google as suggested by you.

I enjoy Dr Dennis Ngawhare's articles in the local newspaper. I am not fluent in reading the Maori language so I may have missed some reading material.

Ever since January 1770, when James Cook sighted Mt Egmont/ Taranaki, almost 250 years ago, Europeans have been writing about Mt Egmont/Taranaki.

It has only been in the past few years I have read anywhere that Mt Taranaki has been referenced as having a personal personality or a personality status with the Taranaki iwi or Europeans.

My experiences with Mt Taranaki over the years have taught me the maunga/mountain has huge powers and strengths which belittles any human-beings.

In the 250 years of writing, I have found no reference to the Maori/iwi protocol required for either Maori or Europeans wishing to venture on the slopes of Mt Taranaki.

I am hopeful, that by giving the mountain a legal personality and ancestor status, the local iwi can come to some agreement on a written Mt Taranaki protocol for all park-users to adhere to.

Northland Age 4/1/18 
The real threat to democracy and social equality in New Zealand is not the rabid acquisitiveness of the Treaty revisionists, the exclusive favouritism of Maori by successive governments, the redefining of official statutes and documents, nor the lack of an objective media that is willing to publish all points of view.

The threat comes from the 85 per centers, the average, apathetic Kiwi who will only wake up too late to the moribund state of the nation, a state which was neither considered nor sanctioned by those signing the Treaty, and will only be able to reflect with regret the racist legacy he has left to his children.

With the silly season 'gongs dished out yet again, it's pertinent to reflect on something the last Labour Government got pretty right, namely the abolition of knighthoods and damehoods, regularly doled out to the rich and famous then subsequently inexplicably reinstated by Key's National Government in 2009.

Those honoured this New Year include the obligatory services to Maori group (race-based awards, and way out of all proportion to the alleged part-Maori 15 per cent of the whole population), a fashion designer, ex-politicians (three), an ex-rugby player, a children's storyteller and yet another lawyer topping the list.

Everything is usually awarded for services to XYZ (ie basically self-interests).

New Zealand's honours system should not embrace this anachronistic medieval British royal honours system simply to decorate those who have already been more than amply rewarded for their careers, sports indulgences and pastimes.

People like volunteers, who perform selfless acts, and whose sole motivation is to help others, should be recognised, but that is not a factor in many cases, and rarely so with politicians, business leaders, professionals and sportspeople.

If we must bestow awards for services rendered then simply dish out the relatively benign and meaningless NZ Order of Merit honours (often also undeserved), and everyone should be reasonably happy.

I readily accept that many Kiwis generously give their time and services gratis for very good causes, and of course it's appropriate that this unselfish altruism be recognised in some tangible way.

Bay of Plenty Times 4/1/18 
I read with interest the bio (News, December 30) on Colin Bidois, and he is deserving of the honour he has received.

One thing that stood out for me among his many achievements was being elected to three terms as a Manukau city councillor, clearly demonstrating that quality Maori candidates are perfectly capable of being elected on merit without the need to be the patronised with Maori wards.

Otago Daily Times 4/1/18 
MAY I remind readers there is no ‘‘correct Maori spelling’’ of anything, as there was no written Maori language. It is purely a product of British, largely missionary, scholars who wrote down what they heard.

Cotranslator of the Treaty of Waitangi Edward Williams was considered a scholar ‘‘without peer’’ in it.

Perhaps Sir Tipene O’Regan, who has given his opinion on the spelling of the Queenstown lake’s name, has not noticed that there is no ‘‘wh’’ in the Treaty? The word for land is ‘‘wenua’’.

Hone Heke, who could read and write, spelt the far northern city’s name ‘‘Wangaree’’.

Maori women with tattooed lips could not even say an ‘‘f’’ sound.

All the ‘‘wh’’ pronounced ‘‘f’’, as in the distorted name of Wanganui, are a recent fad.

He could go further and replace the southern ‘‘k’’, as in ‘‘Kai Tahu’’ which most southerners prefer, by the northern ‘‘ng’’, giving ‘‘Whangatipoo’’.

Alternatively, as final vowels were virtually silent in the South — the Otago Heads village being the ‘‘kaik’’, not ‘‘kainga’’ — he could simply lop it off to give us ‘‘Wakatip’’.

The possibilities are almost endless.

Maybe, after all, it would be better to stay with what we have.

Northland Age 28/12/17 
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