July - September

Nelson Mail 28/9/19 
I agree with Helen Staniland's perceptive letter re. New Zealand history (September 25). I welcome more history being taught in our secondary schools (serious history cannot be a primary school subject) - but, like Staniland, I fear how the curriculum will be written. Will it be, as she says, "the unbiased, unvarnished truth . . . as far as it can be properly ascertained"? And yes, "the truth will make us free".

To me, it has sinister implications that Education Minister Chris Hipkins, when announcing his plans, blatantly stated that the new curriculum would be written after consulting with "educators, students and their parents and whanau, Pacific communities etc".

Such advisers are precisely who we do not want to have input into our school history curriculum - because then, of course, this would be be tainted and corrupted by present politically correct opinions.

The Politburo in the former Soviet Union very successfblly wrote its school history curricula (and also branched into biology curricula, by the way).

We do not want political noses poking into writing our new history curriculum. This task must be left to established and proven academic historians. Political interference here would be an abomination.

Waikato Times 28/9/19
There is discussion taking place regarding the appointment of a certain ethnic group to council. If this is to take place, then surely the opportunity should also be extended to other ethnic groups who represent a sizeable proportion of the ratepayers in the city.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 27/9/19
It’s been agonising sitting through three council meetings over the past few weeks watching democracy in inaction, elected members changing their stance in regard with what to do with 11 Mission Street.

Obfuscating, vascillating, pontificating honed to a fine art as those in the middle sought middle ground where there was none.

Mayor Greg Brownless did a good job refereeing a fiasco not of his making.

Larry Baldock, Terry Molloy, Steve Morris and a much travelling Max Mason stuck to their guns, firmly committed to 11 Mission Street being given to Otamataha Trust. Mayor Greg Brownless, Catherine Stewart and John Robson were equally firm in wanting 11 Mission Street transferred to the Elms, the entity for which Council orginially purchased 11 Mission Street for. This is true - I was on the Council that bought the property for the Elms.

Rick Curach, Bill Granger and Leanne Brown jumped from side to side depending on the motion and eventually wound up creating a bigger fiasco. Effectively they succeeded in creating a non-decision whereby 11 Mission Street will be transferred to a yet to be created entity made up of the Elms and the Otamataha Trust.

This is a shotgun marriage that will satisfy nobody and is unlikely to work. This option was not part of the consultative process.

Shameful stuff and no doubt opens the door to a judicial review.

By the way Max Mason attended the three meetings by internet from Australia. He has not applied for leave of absence and is cycling across Australia whilst being paid by ratepayers it is presumed. Shameful stuff from him too, bearing in mind his holier than thou electoral rhetoric when he stood for election.

Just like a lot seeking election now making all sorts of promises that they will never be able to keep.

At the TCC meeting (Tuesday, September 17) Council voted to defer their (earlier) decision, to gift 11 Mission St to the Otamataha Trust on legal procedural grounds.
The council will now set a new meeting date within this triennium to decide the fate of this property.

Recent information confirms that, while The Elms Foundation is not party to the gifting discussions they have endorsed their earlier resolution for 11 Mission St be transferred to them.

Congratulations to The Elms Foundation for being awarded "The 2018 Trust of the Year" by the NZ Trustee Association, for "outstanding endeavour, performance and achievement".

Chairman Ian Thomas stated, they were surprised to hear of this award since they were not aware they had been nominated. (The Weekend Sun, September 13, 2019).
MAX LEWIS, Mt Maunganui.

Northern Advocate 26/9/19
GM Tinker (18/9/19) appears to think that the so-called ‘Land Wars’ were not minor in comparison to the Musket Wars.

In the ‘Land Wars’ around 3,000 people from both sides lost their lives in a series of skirmishes over a period of 26 years (1843-1869). It was these rebelling tribes that initially breached the treaty, in particular was the Kingites planned attack on Auckland which was the reason for the military to ‘march into the Waikato’.

In comparison the Musket Wars were a series of around 3,000 battles and raids among tribal groups over 38 years (1807-1845). The wars were brutal and ruthless in which villages were burned, and prisoners enslaved, tortured, or killed and eaten after battle.

These wars decimated the Maori population, possibly from 120,000 to 70,000 (around 50,000 lives lost), leaving a harmed and struggling society.

Tinker repeats the lie of ‘equal treaty partners’, there is no wording in the Treaty that even implies a partnership, the chiefs ceded their chieftainship/sovereignty in Article 1, gained legal property rights in Article 2, and were granted the rights of British subjects in Article 3 – one cannot be a subject of the Queen/Crown and a partner at the same time.

Dominion Post 25/9/19
I am wondering what effect the Ihumatao issue will have on future efforts by Maori to develop their land resources. The situation Fletcher has found itself in, with sunk costs and no apparent means of continuing the project, must raise the risk appreciations of other commercial operators. Which companies would want to enter into a contract with an iwi holding a valid land title only to find a different group is claiming some or all of the land concerned?

Gisborne Herald 23/9/19
Bravo Anne Salmond, Sept 19 letter, also bravo Thelma Karaitiana, Sept 20 letter. However, it is easy to talk about “white supremacy, racial discrimination and degradation”. I take exception if I am included in that statement. I find it very sad when interacting with young people who have been led to believe that they have been “robbed”, looking at me with hatred. Do they realise that many of them have more Pakeha blood than Maori?

It is probably trite for me to say, but I have lost everything more than once and having a grievance about what happened years ago doesn’t help. Do the people who are using the “race card” believe that nirvana will come? It will not. Let’s get over it and realise that love is what matters.

If we are to have a fair and peaceful society, free from strife, we need to vote for the best person for the job, to council, not vote because of race or gender. Churchill said jaw-jaw is always better than war-war. Let’s do the korero with respect for one another and try to make Gisborne a great place for all of us to live together.

I’m sure whoever asked iwi to welcome the Endeavour and other tall ships is sorry.

I hope there is some money for the Captain Cook anniversary commemoration. I’d like to suggest a civic band, the City of Gisborne Highland Pipe Band and perhaps a choir. I would love streamers to throw and school children to make little flags to wave! We could have a dance group doing the Sailor’s Hornpipe, the Highland Fling and the Irish Jig.

Hopefully some money could be found for the Endeavour replicas to be erected and some given to members of the Women’s Institute to have a baking stall, perhaps dressing up, and sausage sizzles and other food and drink stalls, and music groups. Church leaders could bless the ships when they leave, as they have many young people aboard.

We haven’t been given much time but we have to do it as we are known for our hospitality.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 20/9/19
The Elms Foundation’s letter of May 20, 2019, to the Tauranga City Council stated their “position was that our first preference was to have 11 Mission Street transferred to The Elms. Our second preference was that it should go to the Otamataha Trust.”

That was never disclosed to the public, nor, I suspect, to the councillors! That was vital information that was purposely withheld to reiterate that the Elms Foundation were “neutral” on the proposed gifting of 11 Mission Street to the Otamataha Trust.

Withholding that vital information is an unacceptable breach of the council’s staff obligation to serve in the best interest of the community that employs them.

There are no winners in this sorry saga, however it proves there are council employees who have and are pushing their own agendas.

Those responsible must be terminated!

The way forward now, I believe, is for the council to keep possession of 11 Mission Street and turn it into a parking lot.
JIM SHERLOCK, Friends of The Elms Chair

As a submitter I attended the Tauranga City Council meeting [September 10] which frankly turned into a shambles.

The question of 11 Mission Street, which has nothing to do with race, is in itself simple – it is about the relationship between the Tauranga City Council and TCC Ratepayers.

Ratepayer money ($825,000) was used to buy 11 Mission Street and the people were told why. The Mayor of the day Stuart Crosby is quite clear, the intent was that 11 Mission Street was purchased to form part of The Elms estate.

This has nothing to do with the history but everything about that intention and council keeping its promise to transfer the property to The Elms.
There are three things you should never break; promises, trust, and someone’s heart.

Notwithstanding this, council reached a decision that broke all three. After some ado and confusion it voted 6 to 5 to give 11 Mission Street to the Otamataha Trust, subject to the consent of The Elms Foundation.

As for the last minute O'Malley report, Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash) puts it best –“This is how history is done now. People wait until they have a need for some history and then they customise it to suit their purposes”.

I was shocked and horrified to read in another local newspaper that Dame Susan Devoy was shooting off her mouth regarding race relations with regard to 11 Mission Street.

Is there something I have missed here or does The Dame not realise she is no longer the Race Relations Commissioner – ie her contract was not renewed!
Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to air my views.
JAN HILL, Tauranga South

Dominion Post 20/9/19 

The latest development regarding Ihumatao is disturbing to say the least. The Maori King has reportedly negotiated a deal with iwi, mana whenua, Kingitanga and the Soul supporters. They now all want the land back, and the Maori King has directed the Government to talk to Fletcher and compensate them.

If the king thinks he has done a good job getting "agreement " from all parties, that's one thing; but arrogantly demanding that the Government reimburse Fletcher for its loss is another. They've been paid for the land already.

The Government must step aside and tell iwi and mana whenua they are responsible for all of Fletcher's costs for reneging on the deal the iwi entered into. We are in 2019 now and not 1862. High time to move on and get real.
MIKE JARVIS, Paraparaumu Beach

Sunday Star Times 15/9/19
Sir Michael Cullen (‘‘Former Treasurer negotiates a pathway between two worlds’’, News, September 8) states that Maori are entitled to claim an allocation of and royalties from water because the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed their taonga.

However, in 1840 taonga meant ‘‘property acquired by the point of the spear’’. Article two of the Treaty merely restated the property rights which Maori were entitled to as British subjects. Today the word taonga has been re-interpreted as meaning ‘‘treasure’’, and is now used for the basis of claiming pretty much anything. This is one example of how the Treaty of Waitangi has been twisted and distorted to mean something that it never meant in 1840.

It was also stated that the Waitangi Tribunal has recommended the Government create a national water commission in co-governance with Maori. Co-governance is a modern-day invention not mentioned anywhere in the Treaty.

Dominion Post 14/9/19
During Question Time in the House of Representatives on Thursday, questions put by Paula Bennett to the prime minister were all answered, in her absence, by minister Kelvin Davis.

To every probing question put by Bennett in English, Davis elected to reply in Maori. Not only was this rude, but, in the absence of a translation on TV, his replies were not understandable to me and the majority of New Zealanders not fluent in Maori who chose to watch the live broadcast.

This behaviour by a senior Labour member of Parliament in response to serious questioning was disgusting.

The Speaker is also to be condemned for allowing this situation to persist for the full duration of Bennett's questions.

The Press 14/9/19
Of course New Zealand history should be a core curriculum subject. As Professor Paul Moon (September 13) points out, however: ‘‘Too often, people evoke the history of their forebears as a reason for their current circumstances.’’

The land wars period is an important part of our history but I hope the history curriculum will also cover positive aspects of early interaction between Maori and European settlers such the introduction of new fruits and vegetables, farm animals, textiles, metal cutting tools, and literacy.
DAVID W COLLINS, Governors Bay

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 13/9/19
So the Waitangi Tribunal reports that a ban on prisoner voting disproportionally hurts Maori and breaches the Treaty.

Their report implies that Maori prisoners should be treated differently to all of the others despite the current position being equally fair or unfair on all prisoners.

Another reason the Tribunal gave is the likelihood of Maori released from prison not re-enrolling to vote. That implies that prisoners of other races are more likely to register. Why should we molly-coddle Maori ex-prisoners?

Wasting time on such trivia shows that either the Waitangi Tribunal is no longer necessary, or more likely simply over resourced, and we taxpayers are suffering unnecessarily.

This type of report and a vociferous, small number of other people, allegedly representing Maori, encourages a victim mentality which I believe is a significant part of Maoridom’s problem.

Yet there are more than enough good living and sensible Maori who are working for their people, and if those had been better listened to over the last few decades Maori would be far more ahead in a social and economic sense than they are now. [abridged for length]

Debbi Thyne [The Weekend Sun, August 30] writing on 11 Mission St, asserts the issue is about trust.

She is absolutely right. Eleven Mission St was bought by Tauranga City Council, with ratepayers’ money, with the sole intent that it be added to The Elms estate.

Ratepayers and the community have every right to expect that that promise would be fulfilled.

Eleven Mission St is on private land, part of that which was originally sold by Maori, and bought and paid for in 1838 by the Church Missionary Society.

The Otamataha Trust already has major say in The Elms having 2 of the 7 Board of Trustee members aligned with it.

For the council to renege on the promise would be simply a breach of faith and a betrayal of The Elms, ratepayers and the community.

Otago Daily Times 12/9/19
THE call for the teaching of New Zealand’s history in schools, especially of the Treaty of Waitangi, could have considerable merit.

However, the History Teachers’ Association (ODT, 30.8.19) doesn’t specify which ‘‘version’’ of the Treaty it has in mind.

Gibberish such as ‘‘spirit’’, ‘‘living document’’, ‘‘principles’’ and ‘‘partnership’’ have arisen from uncertainties in meaning due to the loss of the final Treaty draft in English.

In its absence, backtranslations were attempted at various times from Maori to English.

There was also a composite ‘‘Royal Style’’ version assembled from early notes on February 5,

1840, mistakingly taken to be the final draft. Consequent discrepancies in meaning provided an invitation for adventurous assertion and opinion.

The courts and Waitangi Tribunal have had a leading role. Their early determinations have been used as precedent for increasingly extravagant claims about the Treaty, and history.

Little attempt has been made to go back to primary sources, particularly since 1989 when the final draft of February 4 was rediscovered.

This is the Mother Document of the Treaty. It removes doubt as to the latter’s meaning. No earnest historian or educator can continue to ignore its existence nor provenance.

The association could take a lead and ensure that what it seeks to impose on the young and impressionable is founded on best currentday knowledge. This will require the discarding of most of what has been on offer to date.

Dominion Post 12/9/19
In Maori Language Week I think it would be timely to acknowledge how our indigenous people acquired a written language – a tribute to our early settlers and missionaries.

When the Rev Samuel Marsden arrived in 1814, followed by Henry and William Williams, they brought the Latin alphabet with them. From 1814 missionaries tried to define sounds of the spoken language they heard. Linguist Professor Samuel Lee worked with Chief Hongi Hika at Cambridge University, in England, in 1820 to systematise a written language. The resultant phonetic spellings have been remarkably successful as Lee’s orthography continues in use with only minor changes.

It was reported by missionaries that in 1820 Maori were learning to read and write using leaves, wood or hides where there was an absence of paper.

It would be good to read of the benefits of colonisation with literacy, education and a written language when there is so much negativity.

Nelson Mail 11/9/19
"Culture breaks a vicious cycle" (Nelson Mail, September 7) is indeed encouraging. Brad Ngaronoa has discovered the strength all individuals gain from consciously identifying with his/her culture.

We must support programmes such as this.

However, we must carefully consider exactly how we go about doing this - and must be fully aware that cultures change with each generation.

When different peoples meet, their cultures mix and change.

Our children will develop their own way of looking at life, their own way of living their lives.

To have so many Maori in our prisons is unacceptable - and seems to have come about only since the 1940s, when Maori began to flock to our cities, leaving their culture behind.

The way forward is to embrace programmes such as this one, and not to introduce a shared power structure, dual nationhood, separate judicial systems etc.

The way forward is to accept the Treaty of Waitangi as it was always understood: "We are one people."

An Open Letter to Mr Dover Samuels 10/9/19
Dear Mr Samuels,

You are reported on Radio New Zealand on 3rd September as saying that “the Crown” should apologise to Maoris who had been beaten as children for speaking in Maori at school and that this “had been a deliberate policy on the part of the Crown to disempower [your] generation.” You have received support from Hon. Kelvin Davis who is reported as saying “that the issue of ... discrimination against Māori children is a significant one.”

Well now, may I say for a start that I am totally opposed to any violence towards children, having supported Sue Bradford in the “anti-smacking” referendum. However the issue which you raise has a significant past which is seldom mentioned in discussion today. There are two important facts which should be accepted right at the start.

First: in the early days of universal education, considerable efforts were made to provide appropriately for Maori children and a number of “native schools” were established.

Now a most significant development was that very many Maori parents decided that it was necessary that in these schools all instruction should be in English and no Maori was to be spoken.

Clearly these parents – in contrast to many today – understood correctly that if their children were to have the best opportunities in the modern world, it was necessary for them to be proficient in English.

Thus, at least two considerable petitions were presented to Parliament. One such was the 1876 petition of Wi Te Hakiro and 336 others that “[T]here should not be a word of Maori allowed to be spoken in the [native] school”. “The Crown”, that is the educational authorities of the day, responded positively to such clearly expressed wishes of Maori parents. It would surely be absurd to apologise today, 143 years later, because it did so!

Second: much is made by some today of the corporal punishment of children caught speaking Maori, ignoring the fact that in those less enlightened days it was applied for all breaches of school rules, not simply by Maori children but by all. There was no “discrimination against Māori children.” In my own schooldays, the cane was in frequent use irrespective of the ethnicity of its victims and no doubt some of them still feel resentment and hurt.

So – we cannot bring back the past and amend its behaviour to that which we consider appropriate today. It had its rights and wrongs as so, surely, do we. But the “deliberate policy on the part of the Crown” was to meet the wishes of Maori parents seeking the best outcome for their children, not to “disempower” your generation. I suggest that you and the Minister accept this and let it go.

Dominion Post 7/9/19 
After Dover Samuels has received his "apology" for youngsters being chastised for speaking Maori, perhaps he could devote his concerns towards reparations for those youngsters who dared to write with their left hand.

Nelson Mail 7/9/19
Is it too much to expect strictly factual reporting in our newspaper? According to Belle George (Nelson Mail, September 4), there was a "backlash over the inclusion of a Maori Santa" in last year's Santa parade.

This is a deliberate slander on the parents who objected, inferring that they were a bunch of unreasonable racists.

These parents, no doubt including the parents of Maori kids, took their kids to see Santa.

I am now long in the tooth, but not too much to remember when I attended Santa parades with the excited expectation that Santa would be there.

Last year, Santa was AWOL.

Instead, there was a person dressed up like King Neptune, which the parents and kids were told was "Hana Koko". I can imagine that every kid, including the Maori kids, quizzically exclaimed: "Huh!" Neither the costume or the title was what they had expected.

If the same Maori man had arrived dressed as Santa, as Tame Iti did once on TV, there would have been no backlash.

Santa can be played by persons of any ethnicity and perhaps gender - it's all the same to kids.

It is clear that last year's organising committee remains deluded about the cause of the backlash, unreasonably interpreting it as a racial attack. Councillor Gaile Noonan. as reported, seems to concur with that delusion. The politest adjective I can apply is "daft".
Thanks. Gaile - I now know at least one name to strike off the bewildering array of candidates. I still think an ability to accurately notice and analyse facts is essential in a councillor.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 6/9/19
I was astonished to read the letter, sent by your correspondent Robin Bell of Omanawa in the 23 August edition of the Sun.

Apart from his appalling ignorance of the aims and ambitions of Hobson's Pledge - as the single voice of reason arguing that all New Zealanders are entitled to equal citizenship - he accuses that organisation of being "distinctly anti-Maori".

I know of nothing that Hobson's Pledge has said or done, which would justify this assertion.

How he can baldly state that "Maori have not been assisted in reasserting their fundamental rights" given the multi-billion dollar Treaty settlements paid out by successive governments over the last 30 years. This beggars belief and suggests he is the true racist.

These settlements, made in some cases despite earlier settlements intended to be "full and final", have been made absolutely exclusively to Maori.

None of us, Maori or non-Maori, were there when the alleged offences were said to have occurred, so there must be a limit to the extent of which today's innocent citizens can be expected to pay in compensation for any injustice that may or may not have occurred.

I am firmly of the opinion that as soon as the present round of Treaty settlements has been finished, a line should be drawn under the past so that we can all move into the future as New Zealanders, no matter when we, or our ancestors, arrived in this beautiful country.
D J BENNETT, Bethlehem

Dominion Post 5/9/19
For someone with a knowledge of New Zealand political history it is disappointing to see Dover Samuels on RNZ repeating the overused story of Maori children being punished for speaking Maori at school.

Native Schools were set up by an 1867 act of Parliament at the request of Maori elders, who wanted their children to receive a European education which would enable them to participate and prosper in an English-speaking world.

A good knowledge of the language was obviously essential, and the intent of any punishment was for not speaking English rather than for speaking Maori.

A similar situation existed in Scotland about the same time as he attended school. Children whose only language was Gaelic were required to learn English, the only difference being that the instrument of punishment was the tawse, a leather strap.

The application of a supplejack stick to Mr Samuels’ posterior doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. He became a Cabinet minister, and my Hebridean source of information went on to become a respected journalist and author.

Rather than waste his time trying to join the Maori apology bandwagon, Mr Samuels would be better to use his mana and energy to team up with someone like Alan Duff to address the high rate of illiteracy that seems to lead so many young Maori down the path to prison.

Nelson Mail 31/8/19
It is now being suggested by some university academics that New Zealand history should be reintroduced as a school curriculum subject, as there is ‘‘too much misunderstanding and ignorance about our past’’. Most New Zealanders would support this suggestion, albeit for different reasons.

There is a large imbalance in the way our school-aged children are now being educated, which has, in particular, almost removed any recognition whatsoever of the importance and huge contribution made by those migrants from the United Kingdom, and smaller numbers of other nationalities, who laid the foundation for the way of life we know today. Those migrants, who are our forebears, endured great hardship as they settled and developed this country which we are all now part of.

This, unfortunately, has been overwhelmed and largely lost by Treaty of Waitangi issues, which for many reasons have dominated the learning of our past history.

It is time for the full, factual and balanced history of our country to be taught again without fear or favour. We owe that to our children.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 30/8/19
John Robson’s opinion piece (Private advertisement in The Weekend Sun, August 23) is a timely rebuttal of some of the misleading misinformation floating around in etherland [sic] about The Elms and particularly 11 Mission Street, Tauranga.

Robson gives a good, brief, factual summary of the historical background and the current issues.

Mr Mikaere on the other hand does nothing to enhance his self-proclaimed standing as a local historian with his inaccuracies and emotive spiels on the topic.

The position since 2006 is crystal clear – [Tauranga City Council] purchased 11 Mission Street, Tauranga using ratepayer money with the express and stated intention of gifting this property to The Elms in due course and Council has reiterated that promise and intention over the intervening years.

Just stop the twaddle and get on with what is the right thing to do and immediately Transfer 11 Mission Street to The Elms Foundation not to Otamataha Trust nor any other outfit.

Take it from me, TCC ratepayers and citizens have had enough of this council and its antics and hopefully their votes will show this come the October elections.
ROB PATERSON (Chairman Citizens Advocacy Tauranga)

What a dreadful letter from R Bell. How on earth can it be racist to want all men and women to have equal political rights, irrespective of when they or their ancestors came to New Zealand?

If she wants different political rights for people based on their ethnicity, then it is she who is the racist, not me. I want a society where every citizen has the same political rights, and that is what I will fight for whether elected as mayor or not.

She refers to my “disturbing association” with Don Brash and Hobson’s Pledge, for which he is one of the spokesmen. I agree with Hobson’s Pledge’s commitment to equal citizenship, and all New Zealanders should surely agree with that too. Article III of the Treaty of Waitangi quite explicitly guaranteed equal rights to all citizens.

But I am not a spokesperson for either Don Brash or Hobson’s Pledge. I am my own person.

R Bell asserts, condescendingly, that “Maori are unable to elect their own representatives”. But the strong representation of Maori in Parliament demonstrates conclusively that Maori are absolutely as able to get elected as anybody else.

And to suggest that Maori need “their own representatives” in local government implies that what people with a Maori ancestor need in regard to roads, water supply and libraries is somehow qualitatively different from what other New Zealanders need. And that is arrant nonsense.
MARGARET MURRAY-BENGE (Mayoral candidate Western Bay of Plenty District Council)

Once again Robin Bell is ‘on the bandwagon’ regarding race relations (The Weekend Sun, August 23).

He lambastes both Don Brash and Margaret Murray-Benge when he states that the Hobson’s Pledge Organisation is ‘distinctly anti-Maori’.

He states Maori have not been ‘assisted in reasserting their fundamental rights’.

In fact Maori have no more’ rights’ than any other New Zealander. The Treaty clearly states that fact. All New Zealanders are equal and under the same Sovereign and flag. We are one.

Over the past few decades Maori have had ample assistance in all areas of modern society.

Most have taken advantage of what’s on offer, a small radical minority have not, and probably never will.

It’s very clear that R Bell has never read the Waitangi Treaty, and if he has then he’s confused and has a distorted view as to what it says.
P KELLY, Te Puna

Dominion Post 27/8/19
Wellingtonians love Civic Square and have always known it as that. However, the mayor has a fixation on naming everything in Maori and we're expected to submit to his wisdom.

I note this newspaper is following the mayor's politically correct line, even though changing the names of city landmarks is resented by many citizens.

In a recent article about Civic Square, the name quickly morphed from “Te Ngakau Civic Square" to Just "Te Ngakau". Are we all expected to fall in line?

Despite a Maori name change, Tinakori Hill keeps its name. Civic Square will likewise remain the name of choice for Wellingtonions long after this mayor has been voted out.

Civic Square is descriptive, Te Ngakau is not. Until we get a better city council, let's avoid the Maori language bullying and preserve our traditional English names within the city.
NELL HARRAP, Wellington

Sunlive / Weekend Sun 23/8/19
Regarding Margaret Murray-Benge’s reply to a [Stuff.co.nz article August 9] article of what she said.

It was poorly written and I ask why do white people have to be continually portrayed in a bad light, but it is expected that part Maori be handed everything for no monetary value at all?

The world is not like that, everything costs and it’s ratepayers’ money. Another writer asks why NZ has such disharmony? If one group in a country has to continually pay and another doesn't, disharmony is inevitable!

Otamataha have no right to expect 11 Mission Street be just given to them, Reverend Brown purchased that land which was deserted at the time.

Also it was another Maori tribe that killed their people and burnt their pa to the ground, not the colonials!

The property should stay with The Elms Trust as an historic site for many reasons for all New Zealanders and what is stopping the Otamataha Trust working together with the Elms and coming to an agreement on the proposed new visitor centre?

Otago Daily Times 19/8/19
NOBODY would deny that our own history has been poorly taught by our education system and we should do better.

The problem is whose version should we teach: the heavily revised history of today or the facts as they were written down at the time?

I would like to think that a historian’s role is to find and collate ‘‘facts’’ then analyse them with learned explanations as to the context of the day and events that lead to those ‘‘facts’’.

Sadly, today’s historians tend to ignore context. They refer to actions that happened 250 years ago, which we would find find abhorrent today.

The truth is the world was different then. What offends us now may have been commonplace and acceptable then.

How we treat Captain James Cook is a case in point.

He was a naval man where discipline was strict. He had three rules to govern him. They were to protect his men, his ship and to follow orders.

When his crew were accosted by a threatening group, one about to throw a spear, he had no time to analyse cultural issues or arrange a meeting. His senior man followed orders and shot to kill.

History recognises Cook as the most enlightened explorer of his time. He is regarded for the care of his people and the fair way he treated all he encountered. His voyages paved the way for our country to be colonised by the most enlightened country in the world at the time. For 200 years, New Zealand thrived, and became the most prosperous and admired country in the world.

I think we should be very grateful for Cook and those who followed. All eight of my greatgrandparents were in New Zealand before 1876. I have nothing but admiration for their contribution to the country’s success. [Abridged]
MURRAY REID, Cambridge

JEAN Balchin (Opinion, 15.8.19) should take note of Barend Vlaardingerbroek’s quote ‘‘It’s the old story: people in the past behaving in accordance with the norms and mores of their own time and place, then being later condemned for not acting according to the norms and mores that came after them. It is a naive and absolutist approach to history that obfuscates rather than enlightens’’.

The benefits to Maori from colonisation were many: law and order, protection from foreign nations, property rights to name a few.

In just 18 years, tribal warfare reduced the Maori population from 120,000 to 70,000. Strange how we never hear about the ‘‘historical trauma’’ this surely caused.

Prof James Rutherford’s (Auckland University) research estimates that 13,000 Maori perished from disease over the period 1801-1840, less than a thousand a year. Ms Balchin is obviously blind to the medicines, hospitals, housing, clothing, blankets and medical/ surgical knowledge that the ‘‘wicked coloniser’’ also brought to New Zealand.

New Zealand wars? Or just a series of skirmishes in which the Crown/ Government quelled a few rebellious tribes who breached the Treaty? A total of 2,900 lost their lives (from both sides) over a period of 26 years.

Sunday Star Times 18/8/19
It is time for one important message to be stated loudly and clearly.

Slow and uncertain may progress have been at times, but the modern democracy in which all citizens are equal before the law is primarily an achievement of old, white, English-speaking men.

NZ Listener 18/8/19
I rarely quibble with Bill’s column but his latest jump onto the populist wagon over Ihumatao needs clarification.

In 1863 the Maori King of the day decided he no longer wanted to owe allegiance to the Crown. He followed his father on that stance, as he had earlier declared that “Waikato”” had not signed the Treaty.

In so saying he conveniently forgot that 40 or more Waikato aligned chiefs had in fact signed the Treaty at both the Waikato Heads and at Kawhia.

The Government believed Auckland was at risk, so built the Gt South Rd to Pokeno so force could be met with force if needs be.

That road was virtually indefensible so the Government built a series of redoubts from Miranda to Pokeno to prevent the infiltration via the Hunua Ranges.

The Government also demanded that all Waikato Maori living north of the Mangatawhiri river either pledge allegiance to the Crown or leave the district.

Once vacated the land at Ihumatao was then sold. It was certainly forfeited but it was not stolen or confiscated.
MURRAY REID, Cambridge

Nelson Mail 17/8/19
Like Andy Espersen (Letters, August 5), we should all hate racism.

Every one of us is descended from immigrants, and our population now comprises 213 different races. None of us has any more rights than others.

Sadly, some people of Maori descent believe that their race should be recognised as superior. They are making demands and being given extra rights.

The other 212 races enjoy their language, their culture, their religion etc and are all happy to live together as New Zealanders or Kiwis. They appreciate the advantages they have.

Things take months to change, so let's look ahead to next Waitangi Day and see if we can change to New Zealand Day and encourage us all to celebrate our freedom and our history.

Gisborne Herald 16/8/19
Re: Manu Caddie’s reply to the letter of August 10, Translation of possession.

The following is confirmed by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975: “Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates, Forests, Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession.”

The key words here are “so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession”.

As I see it this says there is an “option” — keep or sell. It is a personal choice.

From a real estate point of view, the Maori owners of the adjacent land at Ihumatao, now in dispute, did not object to the sale to Fletchers. As it is, they are to receive a parcel of land plus homes. Sounds like a good deal to me.

On the face of it the objectors are out of line and should depart immediately.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 16/8/19
On August 1 the Tauranga City Council heard 36 submissions relating to 11 Mission Street.

To me the biggest disappointment of the hearing was from Beth Bowden, representing Tauranga Historical Society.

She stated that this land, 11 Mission Street, was confiscated so it should be returned to the Maori owners.

She had never taken the time to research that 11 Mission Street is on the initial 30 acres of land sold in 1838.

In 1873 Rev Brown personally purchased 17 acres of land back from the Church. The 1,067 acres of Church land that was gifted to the Crown by the church in 1867, to form the town, was much further down the peninsula. She made the mistake of thinking that the Anglican Church’s apology was gospel.
JIM SHERLOCK, Friends of The Elms Chair

Over the past few days, my character has been poorly represented in the media [Stuff.co.nz, August 7: ‘Racist undertones in submissions on prospect of land being gifted back to Tauranga iwi’]. Words have been twisted to make it appear that I do not support nor care for our local Maori community—which could not be further away from the truth. This is not something I would ever want anybody to think of me—I have thick skin; I can let a lot of things go—but not this.

I have many close relationships with local Maori and I have personally loved and lost two dear friends, Maria Ngatai and Karena Borrell. These were two women I worked with, cared for, attended their funerals, considered very dear friends and I miss them.

In the context of ratepayer money and council owned properties, there will be debate about where ownership should sit and how to best manage properties for everybody in our community to enjoy. When I have addressed these issues in the past, and when I will need to in the future, I do so with a heart of what I feel is the best outcome for everybody involved. We are all in this together.

I stand by the fact that equality is a pillar of my leadership. I understand about privilege, and what it takes to fight harder than most for what you are passionate about—being the only woman in a room full of men is not an easy place to sit. But I’ve been there, I understand and I’ve fought hard to get where I am today. I welcome any conversation about equality, my relationship with local Maori and my views on Council owned properties with open arms, honesty and integrity.

Hawkes Bay Today 15/8/19
The status quo is the tough option and tests whether both iwi and the Government can honour a deal.

Giving land at Ihumatao “to iwi” is no solution because a process to settle grievances is already under way and rewarding a sit-in would only encourage more sit-ins.

And, by over-ruling the rights of private owner Fletcher [Residential] the Government would change the rules, making all private land subject to a Maori claim and Government intervention.

Maori affairs reporter Michael Neilson, who wrote “Four Ihumatao solutions” (HBT, August 14), fails to mention four Treaty settlements for that area.

Te Kawerau a Maki settled in 2015 receiving financial redress of $6.5 million, [1] Ngati Tamaoho’s deal worth $10.3m is awaiting legislation, [2] and the terms of negotiation for Ngati Te Ata and Te Akitai Waiohua have been signed.

Neither does he balance the “land was stolen” assertion in the photo with the fact that land in that area was confiscated as a punishment for fighting against the government.[3][4]

Neilson’s four solutions are only two solutions, being three versions of give-land-to-iwi and one of the status quo.

He didn’t consider the likely impact on other Treaty settlements of a gift of land worth $36m on top of the four other deals.

The status quo is the tough option and tests whether both iwi and the Government can honour a deal.

If they can’t, perhaps 30 years of Treaty settlements and $3.6 billion in financial redress [5] has not settled anything.

Northland Age 15/8/19
I find myself unable to reciprocate the flattering compliments of Mark O'Rourke Chamberlain (Letters, August 8) because his characterisation of my reference to the Maori All Blacks as "anti-Maori sentiment" is so patently absurd as to indicate serious disingenuousness.

The Maori All Blacks is an example of institutional racism because it gives favour to a group solely on the basis of their race. That's racism, whether it excludes one particular race or a whole bunch of different races.

Mr Chamberlain's agenda is exposed by his reference to mythical "moral imperatives of the Treaty of Waitangi" and "the woeful long-term fallout of colonisation".

I have no particular grudge against the Maori All Blacks; I find it a rather harmless bit of racism, and I have no interest in it. But I very much despise the institutional racism which is rife in our once blessed country, and which has served very successfully to raise racial tensions and even hatred.
Otago Daily Times 14/8/19
PANIA Newton’s protesters at Ihumatao are unlawfully occupying private land in a tribal protest that does not have the support of her tribe.

The police are failing to uphold the property rights of the landowner, and 480 houses are not being built at a time that Auckland is crying out for housing.

Former prime minister Helen Clark refused to give in to protesters over the seabed and foreshore issue. Jacinda Ardern has just sent the opposite message, opening the floodgates to similar protests, trashing Treaty settlements, and eroding private property rights.

These actions do not only conflict with New Zealand law but also conflict with Maori culture in the failure to demonstrate fundamental respect for the decision of their elders.

Dominion Post 14/8/19
After reading and learning about the occupation at Ihumatao, given the entrenched position and beliefs of the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) protesters and their supporters, the possible outcomes in this matter seem binary.
The SOUL supporters, who we are told include ‘‘some’’ mana whenua, are unlikely to compromise, and want the land preserved in its entirety as a reserve.

Fletcher and the iwi see merit in the housing development and its social benefits, but there is obviously a financial imperative and any reduction in the number of houses to be built would likely make it unviable.

In all probability Fletcher will walk away (whether financially compensated, or otherwise). Proceeding with the already tainted project may be just too much grief, and anyone wanting to buy a house there would fear the consequences of the ongoing unrest and loss of property values.

Will this be a unifying moment for Aotearoa New Zealand if the project is scuttled and the land granted reservation status? Absolutely not. It will only serve to create more division and polarisation, particularly if it becomes the catalyst for further land disputes. Companies will be wary of entering into any future joint ventures with Maori organisations. There are no winners in that.
MIKE JARVIS, Paraparaumu Beach

If, as the Waitangi Tribunal states, the loss of prisoners’ rights to vote would disproportionately affect Maori then the tribunal should endeavour to persuade Maori from disproportionately committing crimes.

The Press 14/8/19
There will be many New Zealanders who believe the Waitangi Tribunal does a reasonable job of redressing some historical inequities. However, its latest foray into areas where, with extremely immoderate language, it attempts to reset the law which has been adequately legislated by Parliament, is, surely, no more that a fishing expedition.

The NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 represents excellent legislation in regard to ensuring that the rights of the individual remain paramount in a civilised society.

This statute does not need to be amended to allow for serving prisoners to have the right to vote in general elections.

When a person goes to prison he or she loses many rights: the loss of exercising one’s franchise is one of those rights.

Northland Age 13/8/19
It’s a fact as well as common sense that the self-appointed Maori leaders do not want the majority of their people to succeed. If they did succeed, there would be no need for the millions and millions of dollars paid annually to Maori organisations as it is today. In fact, large amounts are doing exactly the opposite.

It is only fostering “the culture” the Maori leaders want for their own gain, so they can retain control over their people as they did in pre-European times. The Quality Inn and Sealord deals are shinning examples: $200 million of taxpayers’ money and who did this really help? Not the unemployed, uneducated and unskilled young Maori, but the same few so-called Maori leaders who can control who will benefit from it.

Tribal control is a primitive form of communism which of late has proved unworkable, but is forced on the Maori by their leaders with unlimited funding from Government.

This not only deprives the majority of this group of New Zealand citizens of their rights but also alienates them from the modern world, so they can be used over and over again by their leaders for further government funding. It is time that the government and Mr and Mrs Average Maori woke up to what is happening. They are being used to make a few of their own people rich at their expense. This must be put back into government control as stated in the Treaty of Waitangi, so that the Maori as well as all New Zealanders will benefit and not just the chosen few who have always deprived the Maori race and stopped the progress of a people.

The perennial reportage by the media of claims of institutional racism in most aspects of our national institutions, health, law enforcement, the judiciary, prison reform, education and national and local governance are non-specific.

Colonisation is still said to affect ethnic lives after 200 years but no definitive examples are given. No individuals or institutions are named, no particular instances or examples are given. The results are that new committees will be set up or promises made to correct the problems. That the disadvantaged groups have any responsibilities is not considered.

If these conditions exist then their resolution is the responsibility of government or national institutions. The only public responsibility is to pay the bill.

A ludicrous anomaly is that not one of the complainants has any less than half-colonial blood. That is historically biologically verifiable. What is also verifiable is that the government has supported their claims indisputably.

What is also true is that the media has been complicit with the complainants by sensational reporting.

That is why this opinion piece will never be presented to the public.

When will logic, honesty, professional integrity and the acceptance of our true history return?
Dominion Post 12/8/19
I must endorse the remarks made by Danny Mickleson (Letters, Aug 3).

Anyone who advocates that the best place for vulnerable Maori children is with their whanau should read the report, 24 Year Snapshot Of Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in NZ, on the For the Sake of Our Children Trust website.

This shows 58 cases of child homicide from 1990 to2014 – 35 were stated as Maori and most died at the hands of the mother’s partner, others at the hands of their mothers, relatives, caregivers or, like the Kahui twins, persons unknown! All were known to the families.

They should also see what happens when government agencies fail to take action.
The coroner said Moko Rangitoheriri was subjected to a ‘‘campaign of violence’’; the horrendous injuries this defenceless 3-year-old suffered over many days at the hands of his caregivers eventually caused his death.

It’s time these families took responsibility for these acts and did something to prevent them instead of closing ranks and pretending they never happened, and for academics to stop blaming it on colonialism.

Children are removed by Oranga Tamariki, as a spokesperson said, because they are in danger from the effects of alcohol, drugs and violence, not because they are Maori.

Taranaki Daily News 12/8/19
The claim by Ray Watembach (August 9) of ‘‘the original illegal English settlers’ policy of making Maori landless and enslaved, and [that the District Council] has never demonstrated any integrity toward the Ngati Awa victims of the settlers’ war’’ does not have a vestige of historical truth.

I wonder why such rubbish gets published. It does nothing but stir up hatred where none need exist.

Nelson Mail 12/8/19
Gary Clover accuses Andy Espersen of cherrypicking (10/8/19), yet Clover reads things into the Treaty that are not there, he wrote “A Crown-chiefs governing arrangement to control the flood of incoming European settlers was exactly what Ngapuhi and the missionaries were promised the Treaty would bring about.”

Yet the preamble of Te Tiriti clearly states ‘‘Seeing that already many of Her Majesty’s subjects have already settled in the country and are constantly arriving: And that it is desirable for their protection as well as the protection of the natives to establish a government amongst them .... ”

As for Clover’s referencing Vincent O’Malley’s book, many freelance historians rightfully question his work.

Since 1840 many statutes have been passed either at Maori’s request, to protect them, or to help them adapt to changing times. Today unfortunately these statutes have been twisted to show them in bad light.

Gisborne Herald 10/8/19
Wally Te Ua (August 8 letter) presents a very dubious argument when he chooses to base it on “Tino rangatiratanga (Maori self-determination)”, which is a perversion of the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Tino rangatiratanga” was Henry Williams’ translation of Hobson’s “possession”, in the absence of any Maori term for rights to personal property, accepted by all, Maori and others alike, at Waitangi.

It was moreover guaranteed to “tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”, that is “ALL the people of New Zealand”.

The cause of justice and fairness is not served by anybody making false claims to the contrary, with invented modern meanings today.

Waikato Times 10/8/19 
The perennial reportage by the media of claims of institutional racism in most aspects of our national institutions, health, law enforcement, the judiciary, prison reform, education and national and local governance are non-specific. Colonisation is still said to affect ethnic lives after two hundred years but no definitive examples are given.

No individuals or institutions are named, no particular instances or examples are given.

The results are that new committees will be set up or promises made to correct the problems.

Whanau Ora has a budget of millions yet its purpose and efficacy have never been confirmed. That the disadvantaged groups have any responsibility for their conditions is never questioned.

If these conditions exist then their resolution is the responsibility of government or national institutions. The only public responsibility is to pay the bill.

A ludicrous anomaly is that not one of the complainants has any less than halfcolonial blood.

That is historically biologically verifiable. What is also verifiable is that the Government has supported their claims indisputably.

What is also true is that the media has been complicit with the complainants by sensational reporting. That is why this opinion piece will never be presented to the public.

When will logic, honesty, professional integrity and the acceptance of our true history return?

Winston has done yet another wonderful job and convinced Maori to take ownership of issues that they have been demonstrating about.

These being the Oranga Tamariki response to victims of domestic violence and the Otuataua Stonefields dispute between Kiingitanga and The Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) Iwi protesters.

Given the prevalence of domestic violence victims, including women and children, three children dead in the last few days, surely the former being much more urgent than the latter.

What I find most concerning is that when I attended the last Waitangi Day celebrations where many protesters chanted and displayed protest banners, just like the Otuataua Stonefield demonstrators, there was not one protest about domestic violence.
BRIAN MAIN, Hamilton

Otago Daily Times 8/8/19
I WOULD like to add my voice to Russell Garbutt’s regarding ‘‘Hands off our Tamariki’’ (letters, 1.8.19).

I am getting more and more frustrated over what appears to be a growing division of our culture.

I believe it is time to accept that we are all Kiwis, certainly not denying the differences in our cultures, but surely after 150 years, we should be able to get along together and start to take responsibility for our own actions.

We cannot fix what occurred in the past, but there have been many settlements to amend previous wrongs.

Until we can accept that we are all one nation and start working towards moving forward, there is always going to be conflict of interest.
PIP WEBER, Abbotsford

Northland Age 8/8/19
It is surely time for the protection of at-risk Maori children be handed over to their whanau and the resolution of the drug problems be given to the gangs.

Though a lie may be told a hundred times or a thousand times, that does not make it true.

So it is with the continual claims today that the Ngapuhi tribe never ceded sovereignty.

Now, Article first of both the actual Treaty which was signed and Hobson's final draft of February 4, 1840, in English state very clearly that the chiefs cede sovereignty to the Queen completely and for ever. When senior Ngapuhi elder Graham Rankin was shown both in the year 2000 he agreed that they said exactly the same thing. This had been confirmed loud and dear at the great Kohimarama conference of 1860 when senior Ngapuhi chiefs asserted their unswerving loyalty to their sovereign, the Queen.

So how many more times are we to hear that lie amongst lies, that Ngapuhi did not cede sovereignty to the Queen?
Otago Daily Times 7/8/19
GIVEN Erik Olssen’s informed commentary (Opinion, 30.7.19) on Jean Balchin’s uninformed commentary (Opinion, 18.7.19) on Captain Cook and New Zealand history, her latest contribution to our historical/political debate, sadly, shows little sign of improvement.

While lauding the power and reach of social media (Opinion, 1.8.19), she cites numerous Ihumatao activists but staunchly ignores the wider context of the question.

Her most egregious observation, following the odd assertion that ‘‘Social media has the potential to bring people fair and balanced news coverage’’, proves just the opposite. ‘‘The livestreaming of the police slowly and inexorably creeping forward at Ihumatao in the first blush of morning, for example, reveals what is happening over there.’’

This is quite misleading. Far from the implied invasion of a brutal police force, the police have been praised by all for their restraint, low profile and nonaggressive behaviour.
DR HARRY LOVE North East Valley

Otago Daily Times 6/8/19 
IT was a relief to read cleareyed scholarship from Prof Erik Olssen (Opinion, 30.7.19) on questions surrounding Captain Cook’s arrival in New Zealand and his first encounters with Maori in Poverty Bay/Turangaanui.

One reality widely overlooked is that Cook was in command of a sailing ship just 98 feet (29m) long with a complement of 94 men, literally half a world from home, in totally unknown waters and arriving in a place where the character of its inhabitants could only be guessed at.

In these circumstances, Cook’s first and absolute priority was the security of his ship and men and any perceived hostile intentions towards them had to be met promptly.

In the Poverty Bay encounter, that led to conflict and death. It was a tragic event but it should not be used as a criterion to judge the reputation of the greatest British, and European, navigator of the 18th century.

Nelson Mail 5/8/19
‘‘Take your Pakeha hands off our tamariki.’’ I never thought I would live to hear ugly, raw, racist slogans screamed out in anger here in Aotearoa (I must admit I prefer that lovely poetic name rather than that other dull and wholly inappropriate Dutch one!).

I remember with pride our stand against apartheid. I worked in public service for a lifetime – never being forced to follow racist legislation. I greatly admired the Treaty of Waitangi, unique in the world as a written contract between European colonisers and an aboriginal population. To our shame, this contract was occasionally broken in earlier times, mostly by the Crown – but we are now (and quite successfully) negotiating redress.

The Treaty of Waitangi never envisaged two nations, two cultures, two languages, two judicial systems, two social welfare systems etc. It proudly looked ahead and declared: we are one people. We must adhere to that original intention. I hate racism.

Herald on Sunday 4/8/19
In respect to the Ihumatao dispute, it seems to me that Winston Peters and Shane Jones are the only ones speaking common sense. Government has a responsibility to protect lawful property rights and in this regard Fletcher's legitimate ownership of the land is absolutely unchallengeable in NZ law.

What we are witnessing is potentially a quite significant change to the way Maoridom has historically operated. In this case iwi are no longer the spokespeople for their land, with other people demonstrating their disagreement with the iwi view.

In the absence of overt Government support for their lawful ownership, Fletcher should simply walk away from its proposed development. They can retain the land or sell it if there is a willing buyer somewhere.

The protesters and iwi can then sit back and look at one another for as long as they feel inclined.

Waikato Times 3/8/19
Regarding Winston Peters’ comments as reported on Stuff, Thursday July 30 re: Ihumatao. 

Finally someone talking some sense regarding claims of racism and colonial damage.

All we hear these days from mostly Maori excitables are claims of racism, colonisation effects and so on.

There is not a country, culture, race or tribe in the world that hasn’t been colonised, invaded, overrun, enslaved or worse at some stage in history.

Yet there is only one of these that wallows in self pity and is always blaming someone - anyone - for their state of poverty, their high levels of incarceration, their high levels of violence especially to children

Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngati Porou) - who was an MP, a minister of the crown and represented New Zealand overseas is reputed to have said (in the late 1930s when social welfare was introduced) that "it would be the ruination of the Maori race".

In various written records his comments are summarised.

He warned about the destructive effect of welfare on Maori.

If only he could see what is happening today.

My mother praised the ten shillings that was distributed to everyone (or was it every family) at one Christmas in the 1930s.

It was a lot of money back then she said.

But Sir Apirana Ngata had much better long term vision than my mother he could see where it would all lead.

He could see the blame mentality that handouts would lead to and unfortunately he was right.
B BURKE, Hamilton

Dominion Post 3/8/19
A number of people, including former government minister Tarlana Turla and Greens Party co-leader Marama Davidson, marched on Parliament the other day protesting at the way Maori children are being taken from their families by Orange Tamariki.

Turla seems very strong in her belief that these children are better off with their own whanau or at the very least "where their whakapapa lies".

Could Turia please explain to me how this helped (among many others) the Kahui twins?

It appears to me that rather than intervene and protect these helpless little babies, whanau closed ranks after the event and protected the killer. A murderer remains free to this day.

This appears to make a mockery of Davidson's statement that "the torture and abuse at the hands of the state must stop".

Is it not a little difficult to reconcile the claims of these two with the harsh reality?

Taranaki Daily Times 2/8/19
Hate speech comes in many guises, but perhaps it is best defined by its baked-in divisiveness. The latest whipping boy is colonialism. It is blamed for everything from poverty to unemployment, child abuse and obesity. It has become an excuse that replaces personal responsibility: school absenteeism, appalling health statistics, violence and underperformance in education.

It is driving a distinct wedge between those of us with British heritage and those without.

In fact, although not perfect, it has given us an honest civil administration (priceless), a solid justice system, a democratic process among the world’s best, and, perhaps best of all, freedom from the threatened oppression by a foreign power in two world wars.

Merely pointing fingers at some admitted shortcomings is a severe distortion which sets up antagonisms that fit the hate speech framework.

Grievances seem to have metamorphosed out of context into modern garb. Two centuries ago violence, including killing, was almost a national and international sport. Possession or repossession was by conquest at all levels. Lawlessness called for harsh measures to contain it.

Modern disregard for the law and civil and social obligations cannot, and should not, be blamed on a system which shed much light in dark places.

The do-as-you-would-be-done-by principle leaves no room for shedding blame or driving societal wedges of hate. It is the worldwide single solution and we in New Zealand can provide an example if we wish to.
C PURDON, Hawera

Otago Daily Times 2/8/19
MOST people would agree with Jean Balchin in her opinion piece (ODT, 18.7.19), that ‘‘no doubt a great deal of our history is raw and discomforting, but it is nevertheless important to learn in its entirety. Education is a vital and fundamental disinfectant against biased myths and stories.’’

However, her account of history illustrates what she seeks to avoid.

She states that Captain Cook mapped the outline of ‘‘Aotearoa’’. Not according to the charts of the time. Maori did not have a commonly used name for the entire New Zealand archipelago. Aotearoa was one traditional name for the North Island alone.

It was ‘‘New Zealand’’ or the Dutch, French or Italian equivalent that Cook mapped. Up until the 1890s, it was either New Zealand or ‘‘Nu Tirani’’.

She asks how can recognition by Maori and Pakeha as ‘‘full Treaty partners’’ be achieved?

No reference to ‘‘partner’’ or ‘‘partnership’’ is to be found in the final draft of the Treaty, or the Treaty itself. The current fad for ‘‘partnership’’ is a gross misrepresentation of history and the Treaty.

As Ms Balchin observes, ‘‘as has been demonstrated ad infinitum over the centuries, crooked politicians, manipulators, and propagandists latch on to those who are ignorant of history, as they are more easily lied to’’. Righteousness can have the same effect.

Dominion Post 2/8/19
I must be a grumpy old white man but I’m struggling to empathise with the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) protesters at Ihumatao.

I understand that Pania Newton is passionate about the cause, but I’m surprised she cannot see the benefits of the Fletcher housing project, which will do more to help Maori than her plan to leave the land vacant as a reserve.

Given that Te Warena Taua supports the development, along with the Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority, then the differences with the mana whenua should have been resolved long before now, and without any need for intervention from the Government.

Surely this is a project that can be good for Maori and do something, albeit small, to help alleviate the housing shortage. Or am I being too simplistic and insensitive?
MIKE JARVIS, Paraparaumu Beach

Bay of Plenty Times 2/8/19
"Ridiculous" writes Peter Dey (Letters. July 26) regarding my calling Rawiri Puhirake a warmonger (Letters, July 20).

Dey assorts that Puhirake never attacked anybody and therefore is not a warmonger.

The definition of the word warmonger is 'one who urges or attempts to stir up war'. Attacking not required.

"Reputable historians totally disagrees with me claims Dey. Perhaps he could name them so we can evaluate how reputable they are.

I'm happy to name my sources, inter alia - the pre-eminent James Cowan. Alistair Reese's history of Tauranga recently written for the Anglican Church, Gifford and Williams 'A Centennial History of Tauranga.

Dey claims that the history written into Treaty settlements support his views. Quoting from the Ngai Te Rangi deed of settlement, "Puhirake and Ngai Te Rangi issued a series of challenges to the Crown to provoke it into fighting at specific locations”. That, in my opinion, meets the definition of warmongering.

The Press 1/8/19
Last year, before the Christchurch mosque shootings, a guest on the Jim Mora radio programme described Imams or Muslim religious leaders as terrorists.

This tirade was heard by thousands of listeners.

When I made a written complaint to RNZ about the comment I was politely told that the comment was covered by the freedom of speech and no apology was required.

Fast forward to the Christchurch District Court, where a person with psychological issues who yelled abuse outside a mosque that was heard by a dozen people at the most is given a 10-month supervision sentence.

Real racism occurs when people like Nicholas Tuapawa are treated one way while no action is taken against people who make similar racially-charged comments on the radio.

NZ Herald 1/8/19 (Short & Sweet section)
The greed of property development and the permissiveness of the Unitary Plan are causing the desecration and annihilation of our architectural and natural environments and of our Māori and Pākehā social and cultural heritage.

How on Earth can all those people get time off work to join the Ihumātao protest? They must have incredible bosses or am I missing something?

The war cry for these protesters shouldn’t be “not one more child taken by the state” but “not one more child killed by their whanau”.

Northland Age 1/8/19
Business as usual.
Having got rid of one far left cartoonist, it’s disappointing to find his replacement to be of the same ilk.

Her cartoon in the edition of July 30 certainly provoked no laughs, and tried to persuade readers that the institutional racism rampant in New Zealand is directed against part-Maori, when anyone with some perception and some honesty will tell you the contrary is clearly the case.

The cartoonist presents a row of apparently Caucasian persons as representing an unidentified district health board. That's her convincing argument that our institutional racism comes from non-Maori.

I have no doubt that I could rustle up a district health board that has part-Maori members, even perhaps a majority, despite population demographics.

But could she point me to a Ministry for non-Maori Affairs?

Could she point me to the non-Maori All Blacks?

Could she point me to a local body which has appointed unelected non-Maori to be consulted on local body decisions?

Could she point me to separate medical facilities for non-Maori?

Can she explain why part-Maori businesses are lesser taxed than non-Maori businesses?

Can she explain why the National Geographic Board, responsible for changing non-Maori place names to Maori names, has 40 per cent part-Maori membership? One could go on.

Any chance of bringing back Neville Lodge?

Bay of Plenty Times 31/7/9
One can only marvel at the success of the Black Caps, Silver Ferns and All Blacks and in many other fields of human endeavour.

They bring a sense of pride for all New Zealanders. They epitomise, we are one.

The problem is certain councils in our area do not reflect that. One council has a survey form included in the election forms which asks for ethnicity; it is optional. It lists NZ European, Indian, Chinese, Maori, Cook Island Maori and other, to name but a few. Nowhere does it simply say New Zealander.

Now they are not the exception, this form reflects many circulated by the political classes, but what happens if Maori wish to be identified as a New Zealander?

By the way. you have to show you have NZ citizenship before you get to this section, so there is no need for the public sector to gather this information unless they want to sow division.

Even though it is optional, it is the logic of division, in my view, that is so evident, It is evident in so many other government forms. We have to stop the political class forcing apart people on race and start to minimise the divisions, not entrench them.

We are one. (Abridged)
Northland Age 30/7/19
Since the apartheid Waitangi tribunal was set up through an Act of Parliament in 1975, governments have appeased Maori at the expense of our social and economic wellbeing. Especially after the treaty of Waitangi was exchanged for the five ‘made to order principles’ in 1985 and the Waitangi Tribunal took control.

With unlimited funding from government, a conspiracy was created to selectively research and re-settle the many and varied Maori claims, which in many cases had already had “full and final” settlements many times before.

Today’s Maori are not the people who signed the Treaty. They are New Zealanders, who in most cases can only claim some minute trace of Maori ancestry, the majority of their ancestry now belonging to European, the same people they claim created the injustices they have been claiming against and winning for hundreds of years.

NZ Herald 30/7/19 (Short & Sweet section)
Do any of the hundreds from around the country milling around at Ihumatao have job responsibilities in the real world?
LINDA LANG, Henderson.

Would it be possible to persuade Chris Finlayson and Sir Doug Graham, who have shown to successfully care for Maori interests, to “step into the breach” and bring the Ihumatao situation to a satisfactory close?
JIM RADICH, Hillsborough.

Fletchers had already offered to sell the land but nobody wanted to buy, not even the young lady organising the protest.
A J PETERSEN, Kawerau.

NZ Herald 29/7/19
Perhaps our Prime Minister is wiser than Fran O’Sullivan realises, having got rid of a CGT (rendered truly scary by Sir Michael Cullen), and attributed its demise to Winston — who is happy to take the credit. She could see the strong resistance to such a tax by all sectors of business, as became clear in the weeks before the decision. And a CGT would be used relentlessly as an election weapon by the Opposition, when already the ordinary public was losing its appetite for one because of the bright line test extension and foreign buyers’ ban.

So, pragmatic decision making at the very least, hardly an embarrassing failure.

Government, on behalf of society, has to choose its battles. By far the biggest one we face is climate change, and Maori rights (land, whanau ora) are looking to be recontested.

These issues will require a large expenditure of political capital to address effectively, which no doubt Ardern is marshalling her resources for.

Her style is not so much compromise as leadership through consensus. She knows that the most workable decisions result from listening to the full range of left, right, Maori, rural and urban thinking — our MMP Government.

This is a woman with enormous social and political intelligence who listens, understands, and finds the right path, all things considered.
B DARRAGH, Auckland Central.

Dominion Post 27/7/19
A key lesson that history students learn at school is the difference between fact and opinion, and they are encouraged to base their writing on the former.

Unfortunately it is a practice Vincent O'Malley has trouble with He was extensively quoted in Ihumotao dispute explained (July 26).

He claims that his Great War for New Zealand is the first full-length overview of the Waikato Wars since 1879. However, the seminal work on the wars is Cowan's The New Zealand Wars (1922).

O'Malley has strong opinions on George Grey which may be based on his self-confessed dislike of the British. Statements like "the master of deception and fraud" and "a trail of lies and deceit" are unsupported by facts. Grey worked hard to establish good relations with Maori in his terms as governor and premier.

O'Malley's statements about Rangiaowhia are also not backed by evidence, and his statement "There were no fighters there", is disputed by other historians. They state that Maori actually fired from the church and also from the whare where O'Malley claims another group was burnt alive.
ROGER CHILDS, Raumatl Beach

So the kite has been flown that the Resource Management Act be "ripped apart" and urban development be taken outside the act.

Just look at the "success" of the so-called Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas legislation that not only bypassed the RMA but trampled people's democratic rights.

It created monstrosities like the Shelly Bay development, now mired in the courts with little prospect of proceeding Environment Minister David Parker declares he wants to cut complexity, reduce compliance costs and better protect the environment and who wouldn't want this?

Trouble is, that development is a invariably a complex issue with many conflicting interests, particularly the basic dichotomy between "progress", or development, and the environment.

We see this being played out in the battle over the development of "affordable housing" at the Ihumatao block in Auckland.

That dispute has at its centre the added incendiary ingredient of conflicting Maori interests and rights.

The problem with all development is that, once it is consented, it is there forever. It can't be undone. No-one likes the time and cost of the consenting process, but if legitimate rights and interests are not addressed in a democratic process, there will be trouble down the track.

Bay of Plenty Times 27/7/19
Tommy Wilson's repudiation of Cook's -discoveries" (Opinion. July 19) requires a response. “Discovery” implies the act of disclosure. A discovery which only remains known to the discoverer cannot in truth be termed a "discovery”.

The voyages of Columbus, Magellan, Tasman, and Cook brought to the knowledge of the Europeans and others including the Polynesians — of a world, peoples and lands. previously unknown to them.

The exploratory voyages of the Europeans stemmed from the 17th century period of "Enlightenment” with increasing scientific inquiries from the like of Galileo, Newton. Copernicus, Descartes and others.

A major aim of Cook's voyage was to extend this knowledge through tracking the path of the eclipse of Venus across the sun.

The voyages and discoveries of the Polynesians - and of the Australian Aborigines were of limited extent, remained known only to them and were only recorded in verbal memory unlike the Europeans with written texts.

The Press 26/7/19
Donna Miles-Mojab (July 25) informs us of our often unconscious racial bigotry and justly states we should call out the likes of Donald Trump and our own hidden biases.

I am curious however.

How is it that "white flight" from local schools results in the "lowering of educational outcomes for Maori and Pacific people"?

If racism is an unjustified bigotry, how is it that the absence of white faces in and of itself results in brown folk doing less well in school? Do Pakeha stuff educational money or the best teachers in a bag and make off with them?

Please, enlighten me. We have heard a great deal about racism following the Mosque shootings. Indeed, the emphasis on it has been at times quite shrill and, while there is a great deal of work to be done in this regard, looking back from where we have come historically gives me hope for the future.

In emphasising race and our unconscious bigotries, the very conscious biases of dogma and culture barely rate a mention. I doubt the people killed in the mosque massacres were targeted solely because of the colour of their skin (as though they were the only brown people in the country).

To ignore the part history, culture, religion and tradition play is to ignore key elements of our fears.

If race were the sole cause of statistical issues such as Maori and Pasifika over representation in crime and health statistics or underachievement educationally, then painting people white or brown would solve the problem.

Northland Age 25/7/19
Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter, dated July 30, 1839, claimed sovereignty, placing New Zealand under the dependency of the New South Wales government on January 30, 1840 by extending its boundaries to include all the islands of New Zealand.

The Treaty of Waitangi, dated February 6, 1840, was solely to ask tangata Maori to give up their individual kawanatanga/ governments to the Queen. Over 500 tangata Maori chiefs, representing approximately 75,000 of their people, signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and all the people in New Zealand came under the dependency and laws of New South Wales.

These laws not only protected the people of England, but also this primitive race of people, constantly at war, from extinction by giving them the same rights and protection as the people of England.

The treaty of Waitangi had nothing to do with New Zealand’s political, legal or justice systems. On November 16, 1840, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/letters patent made New Zealand into a British colony, on May 3, 1841, with its own governor and constitution to form a government to set up New Zealand’s political, legal and justice systems, irrespective of race, colour or creed, but under the watchful eye of Great Britain.

Therefore, there cannot be a claim by Maori against the New Zealand government/Crown using the Treaty of Waitangi of Waitangi, as the treaty had nothing to do with New Zealand’s laws enacted by the government of New Zealand.

The Treaty of Waitangi is being used fraudulently by the Waitangi Tribunal to claim against the people of New Zealand, “If there are alleged breaches of the law, not the apartheid Waitangi Tribunal,” as One New Zealand Foundation researcher Ross Baker quotes in his book New Zealand’s Forbidden History.

Iwi refuse to accept any social or moral responsibility for the many problems inherent to Maori, always blaming someone else. But their latest actions are the epitome of idiocy.

Climate change iwi leader Mike Smith is taking legal action against the Government for failing in their duty under the Treaty of Waitangi to protect Maori from the “catastrophic effects” of climate change. When will a paternally indulgent government final cry “Enough?”

Otago Daily Times 24/7/19
IN replying to Maurice Prendergast (letters, 22.7.19), Kate Wilson speaks of giving ‘‘meaning to the Treaty of Waitangi, to work with manawhenua as a partner’’, but the Treaty says absolutely nothing about ‘‘partnership’’.

It is a modern absurdity, no matter how many people may claim that it is not.

Dominion Post 24/7/19
Prejudice exists in all societies but it is nonsense to say that there is "systematic racism"(July 20).

There are no instructions to Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) caregivers to treat Maori children with any less care than those of other racial backgrounds.

Many of the decision-makers are Maori.

Without knowing the full background to any case brought before the organisation no-one can make a judgment.

I certainly would not like the job of making decisions for any of these vulnerable children's future.

If Maori are over-represented in "child removal" cases there are reasons other than institutional or systematic racism.

Rotorua Daily Post 23/7/19
I see $2.4 million is to be spent on Kaingaroa Village (News. July 12). At the end of the New Zealand Forest Service days this nice, neat. well-looked-after village was given to the locals to live in.

Apart from a few locals who have looked after their homes and tried to keep it neat the rest of the village was wrecked. Houses and other buildings were vandalised or burnt down, the golf dub burnt down. single men's camp —which would have made a great school camp or hunting fishing lodge — wrecked.

I lived in the village in the 1960s and it was a nice place. What a waste.

Dominion Post 23/7/19
I read the article (‘Systemic racism’ in child protection, July 20) about (mainly) Ma¯ ori children being ‘‘taken into care’’, and listened to Tariana Turia on Q+A recently, and all I felt was grief. And I have no doubt that Oranga Tamariki, that most vilified organisation, grieves at what it thinks it has to do.

The problem seems hopeless. Always the same cry, ‘‘We need help!’’ More and more babies being born into situations of great need. And that seems to suggest something that I think maybe is being overlooked. Contraception.

Otago Daily Times 22/7/19
I NOTE that Dunedin city councillor Kate Wilson plans to seek election to the Otago Regional Council.

Given her declared intentions, I’d like to ask her whether (if elected) she will support the current council’s decision to appoint failed candidates to committee membership (with full voting rights) based solely and selectively on that candidate’s race.

[KATE WILSON replies: 
‘‘I fully respect the need to give meaning to the Treaty of Waitangi, to work with manawhenua as a partner and to ensure they have a voice in consultation and decision making. It is not only morally right — it is the legal thing to do.

‘‘Being a member of the Maori Participation Working Party will be one of the most constructive committees I have been on in council.

‘‘I certainly hope that the Otago Regional Council will not only continue to ensure representation from Kai Tahu, but look at other ways to involve them to ensure all our (as residents of Otago) commitments under the Treaty are met.

‘‘Appointments are regularly made to supplement voting in community groups and other electoral bodies to ensure best governance.’’]

Nelson Mail 22/7/19
So far there are four candidates for mayor in Nelson. Is there one of them willing to tell it like it is?

The system of local government has been corrupted, with councillors muzzled when they should be speaking out, and important information withheld by staff not only from the public, but from councillors and the media.

New Zealand democracy is under threat, with access to information now restricted to the unelected staff of councils. Powerful lobby groups now hold inordinate power through their connections with council staff. The system needs exposure. But which of our mayoral and council candidates has the courage to stand up for democracy?

Otago Daily Times 20/7/19
I see that Ngai Tahu has imposed a rahui over Lake Wakatipu for fishing (ODT, 9.7.19). The tribe has previously not offered any legal basis for such prohibitions, despite prompting from myself.

Mana entails the enhancement of status through power and control over others. It used to be achieved through enslavement and/or death. It appears that induced cultural cringe is intended to achieve the same end.

Does this latest projection of power now mean that Fish and Game licence holders must go into self-abasing deference and not exercise their lawful entitlements?

Dominion Post 20/7/19
Maori want the freedom to deal with their problems using laws more suited to their culture. If this wish is granted, surely the Government should also agree that other ethnic groups within New Zealand have their own laws.

The word chaos is synonymous to a multicultural society, with each cultural sect using its own set of laws to deal with problems specific to its own cultural history.

For instance, when a person in one culture commits a crime against a person with a different ethnicity, whose law would a court use to deal out justice?

All people in all cultures need a roof over their heads, a job providing enough money to cover domestic necessities and a social service that helps those who can’t help themselves. Surely the Government should focus on working with education and commerce to achieve these goals.

History tells us that it’s the differences between cultures that caused the most grief. Culturally based laws will only allow these differences to fester.

Surely, over time, people should work together so these differences fade away, leaving a society that can live in harmony under one set of laws.

(To the point section)
Both Cook and Kupe were the leading explorers of their societies at their respective times, albeit with vastly different technologies. If Cook is vilified for the subsequent colonisation of New Zealand and the associated Land Wars, then Kupe should be equally vilified for intertribal wars culminating in the Musket Wars. Those that desecrate Cook’s memorial and decry celebration of his arrival are in denial of the real world. This is no way to advance New Zealand as a nation.

The Press 20/7/19
Your writer Glenn McConnell says ‘‘get real, this country is racist to the core’’ (July 16).

In his very last paragraph he states ‘‘we need to do something about this’’.

Well Glenn, at the risk of me being called a ‘racist’, let’s make a start. We all have to live in this wonderful country and we are all entitled to enjoy it.

The majority of white New Zealanders, although they don’t admit it, are ever hopeful that things will change but until Maori improve their standards, nothing will. Statistics don’t lie and show that Maori are badly represented in many facets of New Zealand life. 

Crime, gang representation, drug distribution, jails, child welfare etc, it just doesn’t look good.

Let’s face it, white New Zealanders are not perfect either.

But until Maori are prepared to raise the bar, then it is extremely difficult to accept the status quo as it is.

This present Government knows the problems and is spending millions in the hope that this can change.

I do too!

So by pointing out the true facts of the matter Glenn, am I racist or just telling the truth?
GARY BLAIR, Redcliffs

Waikato Times 20/7/19
Current thinking being what it is, I find myself totally confused. Which of the following statements is racist: "Te reo should be made compulsory in schools" or "Te reo should NOT be made compulsory in schools"?

Bay of Plenty Times 20/7/19
I don't agree with Buddy Mikaere (Opinion, July 3) when he says that some view General Cameron as the villain in the battle of Gate Pa.

Bay of Plenty was a battleground, with the Thames tribes, Ngapuhi, Waikato and the Arawa all taking part.

In 1842, Major Bunbury was sent to Tauranga with a view to curbing the Arawa tribes. In 1845, peace was inaugurated. and a stone inscribed "Te Mau nga rongo 1845" ( the peacemaking) was set up at Maketu. After several hundred years, peace reigned throughout the Bay of Plenty. During the 1840s and 1850s, Ngaiterangi took advantage of new trade and agricultural opportunities. By the late 1850s, they owned numerous coastal vessels and supplied Auckland with vegetables and other produce.

Unfortunately, this prosperity was sacrificed when in 1864 the Ngaitermgi Chief Rawiri Puhirake taunted the British demanding they come and tight him. He even built a road for the British. He subsequently moved to Gate Pa where he got his wish, repelling the British.

The next battle Te Ranga was for Puhirake and Maori a crushing defeat. This re-established peace in Tauranga and signalled the end of the NZ Wars.

The warmongering of Rawiri Puhirake was responsible for the land loss.

The Press 19/7/19
A F Jenks’ clear thinking (July 18) was a pleasure to read. Of course it is not the concept of racism that is the source of trouble, for what is the Waitangi Tribunal if not racist?

Comedians making fun of their own race are not racist either, we all just ‘‘spray, and walk away’’.

The unrecognised real factor in all racist trouble-making is malice, race is just the vehicle on which it often travels.

We must learn to recognise malice instead of confusing ourselves with its many secondary modes of getting about.

The Press 18/7/19
There are obvious character traits among our children which we recognise while loving them equally. Should parents then be vilified by merely noting their children’s differing characters and traits? Obviously that’s patent nonsense. I brought up a Maori son and a Pakeha son, who both were loved and loved me, and called me ‘‘Dad’’. Non-judgmentally, I easily noted their racial and thus motivational characteristics, and sought their wellbeing accordingly.

That was love, not racism, which charge today is made mischievously against anyone who dares to speak about another race, no matter how helpfully. These opportunistic accusers divide us where no division should exist. Their reckless charges should be refuted and rejected.
A F JENKS, Nelson

Dominion Post 18/7/19
Racism is a word that slips too easily off the tongue and pen. So it was with Glenn McConnell’s July 16 column. Glenn seemed to be suggesting that any critical comment about Maori or less than positive historical observations were racist. He referred to Don Brash’s accurate statement about pre-Treaty Maori being cannibals as ‘‘incredibly inflammatory’’.

However, as every New Zealand historian knows, cannibalism was an element of Maori tikanga before 1840, and in the hundreds of intertribal battles, warriors knew that if they were killed or defeated, they were likely to be eaten. As for the women, they might suffer the same fate or, at best, be abducted or enslaved. This was the way it was.

The vast majority of Maori people today also have European/British forebears. We New Zealanders are all mongrels of mixed origins as every person who has had their DNA investigated, knows.

All citizens in the country need to think of themselves and others first as New Zealanders, not Chinese, Tongans, Samoans, Maori, South African. People can still identify with ethnic cultural groups, but fundamentally we are all Kiwis. There were no ethnic issues when it came to supporting the Black Caps.
ROGER CHILDS, Raumati Beach

Before Glenn McConnell (Get real, this country is racist to the core, July 16) devotes any more energy to berating himself, and every other Aotearoa-New Zealand resident, for being ‘‘racist to the core’’, maybe he should ask himself where ‘‘racism’’ originates.

Most people realise, early in their lives, that humans everywhere are inclined to be ‘‘racist’’, in that they prefer to associate with their ‘‘own kind’’, however that is defined. Other modern animal species are similarly inclined.

Similar behaviour would have been selected for, in the evolving genes of Homo sapiens, during the millions of years when our ancestors shared this planet with up to 10 other species of the genus Homo. During these years, ‘‘our kind’’ of human gradually out-competed all the others.

Almost certainly, our incipient fear of and hostility towards ‘‘other types’’ originated back then, perhaps even earlier. It will take more than a few newspaper columns, editorials and letters to overcome that.

Dominion Post 17/7/19
I and many maritime history enthusiasts are sick of some people decrying James Cook’s role in the making of New Zealand and continued attempts to write him out of our history. He is internationally regarded as one of the world’s greatest explorers, navigators and seamen in history. He encouraged scientific research and was an enlightened captain, for his time.

If Cook had not ‘‘discovered’’ New Zealand, most of we non-Maori Kiwi citizens would not be here, or would be of French, Dutch or other European origin. Whatever his human faults he brought European civilisation and technology to Aotearoa and we do not have to apologise for that.
TIM SKINNER, president, Maritime Friends of Wellington

Glenn McConnell argues (Get real, this country is racist to the core, July 16) that ‘‘New Zealand was and is racist. Fact’’.

His argument is that New Zealand is racist because of the fact that there are lots of individuals in New Zealand who think less of, and discriminate against, other people based on their race, and who dispute historic racial injustices.

There’s no denying that fact – it’s the same the world over – and I’m left wondering whether we would be better off de-emphasising rather than fixating on race. Many believe, for instance, that each individual with Maori ancestry should connect as deeply as possible with his or her Maori roots and culture. But isn’t that notion pretty close to racial stereotyping? Is a Maori woman necessarily less happy, authentic and ‘‘whole’’ because she prefers astrophysics and singing opera to te reo and kapa haka?

I know a number of Maori and people of other races who don’t self-identify racially, yet seem satisfactorily fulfilled.

I suspect New Zealanders would be better off overall if we viewed each other less through a racial lens and more as individuals, each with our own unique, shifting mix of interests and perspectives.

Northland Age 16/7/19
The proud people of New Zealand have to put up with smear of 'racist,’ which they are demonstrably not.

According to propaganda against New Zealand, the whites are supposed to hate Maori.

This is also a complete fabrication.

The whole history of New Zealand is being twisted and distorted to misrepresent the past and the contemporary scene involving a great people — New Zealanders.

Maori have the same rights as other New Zealanders, plus some additional rights, to promote revolutionary antagonism to the whites. The communist programme continues.

The other reason communists make the completely false allegation that the Maori has no rights, or 'national' rights, is that the Maori must be kept from ever being satisfied.

Communists aim always to put forward the non-negotiable demand. That is, the party must never become 'reformist,' except when it is impossible to do otherwise, as in the case of the practicalities of trade union work.

Hence the claim for 'national' rights for Maori is interpreted as being the return of New Zealand to the Maori, that is, complete sovereignty to the Maori.

Whanau is the word now being presented in the media. What's wrong with the former word whamily?

NZ Herald 15/7/19
Oranga Tamarild does not uplift infants because they are Maori. They uplift infants and vulnerable children of any race, colour. creed because they are deemed to be at high risk of abuse or neglect.

Dominion Post 15/7/19
Jody O'Callaghan's article (Support to stop Cook event, July 11) details sources of funds for Tula 250 celebrating James Cook's first visit to Aotearoa in 1769-70. Apparently, some of taxpayers' $18.5 million will cover the voyage of an Endeavour replica from England to New Zealand.

A British newspaper reveals that Cook's fame was celebrated in Whitby a week ago, but no mention was made of contributions by British taxpayers towards the Endeavour voyage.

It would be appropriate since Cook's voyages were made for the British Admiralty. Also, O'Callaghan states that Tina Ngata is opposed to Tula 250, especially the re-enactment of Cook's stopovers, because, she claims, "they came here, they killed our people and claimed our land, and we're still reeling from that".

It's ironic that the writings of Cook (and crew) should now be used against him, when back then his findings were vital to the Age of Discovery.

If, as scientific evidence suggests, these islands were inhabited before the 13th-century migrations, Maori oral history has little to say about inflictions they made on those inhabitants.
Unfortunately, the "originals" haven't survived to complain about perceived grievances.

Dominion Post 13/7/19
Very well said, Karl du Fresne, so good to see someone show (and support it with facts) that Maori (and other ethnic groups) can succeed in spite of the constant rhetoric about how they suffer under 150 years of colonialism (Remedy in Maori hands on electoral influence, July 11).

Our Parliament must be one of the most racial and gender diverse in the world which couldn’t happen if we were as racist, homophobic, anti-Muslim, xenophobic society as some commentators make out.

Opportunities exist for all to partake in central and local government; racism and prejudice have very little to do with it.
GRAHAM DICK, Masterton

Nelson Mail 13/7/19
That's A Bit Racist, currently showing on TV, misses the point a bit. We bandy about the word "racist" or "racism" an awful lot these days, but it seems to me that those who most bring out the race card don't know where the sentiment comes from.

We are not generally anti-race or anti-skin colour. We are anti-behaviour.

The young Maori bloke who complained about the older woman who clutched her handbag more tightly at the sight of him undoubtedly had tattoos and dreads. A similarly decorated white boy would have evoked the same reaction.

It's said that we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover- but of course we do. A couple of months ago, an ex-prisoner (white) was complaining that prejudice was preventing him from getting a job, but he had DEVAST8 tattooed right across his face. Duh!

Dominion Post 12/7/19
I am disappointed that the management of my alma mater, Victoria University of Wellington, wants to de-emphasise the name Victoria.

Queen Victoria was one of the greatest, most famous of monarchs and presided over the greatest of empires. Her government was responsible for colonising New Zealand which laid the foundations of the nation we now enjoy. Her name should be jealously retained to remind us of the origin of the values that make our country so good.

The proposed full name, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington, does not address the professed problem: that the current name is not intuitive and memorable.

The Maori name will not be intuitive and memorable, especially for prospective or international students.

It will still create confusion and furthermore reduce prestige when translated as ‘‘the hitching post of your canoe’’, especially when mentioned first as intended.

The proposed rebranding is influenced by Anglophobic political correctness and is an attempt to work around a ministerial decision.

We should promote Victoria University of Wellington for the apt brand recognition it already has, in large part due to association with the archetypal female ruler, Queen Victoria.

Why has Victoria University of Wellington dropped the lion and crowns from its new coat of arms?

Not, I sincerely hope, as an attempt to deny the undeniable Anglo-Celtic aspect of VUW’s heritage. By introducing the date 1897, it must now tell, not show, thus rendering its new ‘‘logo’’ a cheap compromise.

But maybe that’s just as well. Otherwise I might have mistaken this nasty shield for that of a private training enterprise.

Hawkes Bay Today 12/7/19
I recently listened to the selection of the All Blacks team — open to all New Zealanders. A short time later the Maori All Blacks team was announced. Selection only to Maori or Pacific Islanders.

Many of our national sports teams are divided by race. All other countries have only one national team for their respective sports.

Please New Zealand get this right and do not go down the path like South Africa did with Apartheid.

Everybody should have an equal chance to get into one only national team of their respective sports, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 12/7/18 
Mr Dey’s attack on Tony Fellingham (The Weekend Sun, June 14) justifiably got robust rebuttals from Don Brash and Richard Prince (The Weekend Sun, June 21).

Everyone knows there is no English treaty and the only legitimate treaty is the Maori version taken from what is irrefutably the final English draft aka the Littlewood draft.

Sovereignty was ceded, all peoples of New Zealand guaranteed possession of their property and British citizenship granted - anything else claimed simply doesn’t pass the sniff test.

No mention of fisheries, forests and there’s certainly no reference to principles nor partnerships which are modern-day creative ‘legal’ fictions not in accordance with the truth or facts.

Strangely Mr Dey persists in deluding himself with unmitigated misleading nonsense when a reality check might do the trick and focus him.

Anyone that doesn’t want equality is encouraged to surrender their passports and move on, assuming always they can find another country to take them. In other words, take a hike because most Kiwis are sick and tired of the unfounded entitlement whinging. (abridged – editor)

Southland Times 11/7/19
Martin van Beynen, near the end of his opinion article (‘‘Don’t look back in anger – or pride’’, July 6), asks the question, ‘‘But what would Maori have done if they found the most fertile and pleasant lands of New Zealand were already occupied by a peaceful people?’’

We have an example of what they would have done by looking at what Maori did to the Moriori of Rekohu, otherwise known as the Chatham Islands. When Maori invaded those islands they killed, ate, enslaved.

The Chatham Islands were also forbidden to marry members of their own group and were belittled and humiliated for being Moriori.

If Maori want the Government to make amends for New Zealand’s colonial past then Maori should make amends for their own behaviour towards the Moriori (with the same high-profile exposure and financial compensation). Even better: Maori should ask Moriori for forgiveness. That would go a long way towards restoring Moriori mana.

NZ Herald 11/7/19
The Waitangi Tribunal recently concluded the poor health outcomes of Maori versus Europeans is a manifestation of inadequate Maori-health related spending and the need for a Maori primary health authority (Herald, July 5). However, it is doubtful if these will appreciably address the problem.

Over the past 50 years, there have been numerous developments in health care, but one of the most important and least heralded is the importance of lifestyle in determining our health. Where approximately 20 per cent of premature deaths are due to bad luck and or bad genes, 80 per cent are lifestyle related, eg. smoking, diet and exercise. Lifestyle related health problems absorb an enormous proportion of the health care budget, but our ability to reverse or even ameliorate the ravages of an unhealthy lifestyle are limited.

For a number of educational, social, economic and cultural reasons different subgroups in New Zealand have markedly different rates of unhealthy lifestyles, and there is also a direct correlation between these rates of unhealthy lifestyle and poor health outcomes. The key to improving health outcomes for Maori is to address their high frequency of unhealthy lifestyle factors and not putting more money into Maori directed primary health care.

Northland Age 11/7/19
Apparently, when you are on a roll, just go for the quaddie, particularly if you are encouraged to do so by the dysfunctional biased Waitangi Tribunal and other associated whackos operating for 40-plus years while wasting billions of dollars.

So far we have had Justice Minister Little’s Criminal Justice/Imprisonment (offenders only) Summit, mental health reports ad nauseam , the three tiers of planned enquiries on child protection/ wellbeing/taking, and now, to top it off, a proposed unhealthiness symposium regarding part-Maori/Pasifika. Meanwhile the upcoming Christchurch Royal Commission will duplicate everything at huge cost, while the Pike River re-entry lunacy has gone deathly quiet, steadily chewing its way through its $35 million budget.

Please keep reminding us how does all this hogwash get a life of its own? Squillions plucked from taxpayers and community resources, when spending money on these ideological aberrations is not the answer — they are social issues about people taking personal responsibility for their own actions, behaviour and lifestyle choices, and no amount of money will assist or fix the ills.

Therefore pillaging taxpayers and troughing out at their expense is not only unacceptable but quite useless.

Pre -1840, the Maori lifespan (excluding tribal slaughtering and cannibalism) was, it seems, at least as good, if not better than, their fellow time travellers’. As I recall, recent Otago University and Gluckman assessments indicate that present day part-Maori who adopt the same lifestyles as their fellow Kiwis will have the same good health and life expectations as them, and I agree with that conclusion.
Let’s kick this race-based garbage to touch, and stop people coming up with individual separatist skewed calculations on cherry-picked numbers without facing reality — which are bad personal choices and failure to take responsibility for one’s own actions being the real causes. There are no so-called breaches of the Treaty, certainly nothing in the Treaty at all on these subject matters, and in fact nothing at all anywhere else either.

Also, please stop only using fabricated, inappropriate reo appellations for everything when common English usage names should be paramount, so that 85 per cent of the population know exactly what the topics/issues under discussion are — which, after all, concerns every Kiwi one way or another, not just Maori.
ROB PATERSON, Mount Maunganui

Most of us must be wondering at a great many preposterous statements by the Waitangi Tribunal and Maori politicians, in never-ending claims for yet more public money to be entrusted to Maori leaders to correct alleged injustices to their whole race.

As with all social problems, throwing money at them is rarely going to reduce them, and is very likely to have no effect, or more likely make them worse.

We naturally feel sceptical about the idea of a separate Maori health system, after seeing a good deal about what has happened to such money granted to Maori health trusts in recent years.

Perhaps the Tribunal would like its proposed system to be exempt from auditing, or to have only Maori auditors. At any rate, those never-defined principles of the Treaty seem to be just anything the Tribunal says they are.

Insufficient government funding is not the reason that Maori health and lifespans are not as good as non-Maori. For the last 65 years we have been made aware of the things that cause cardiovascular disease, respiratory complaints and cancer, plus obesity.

Generally, the non-Maori population has heeded the warnings, so that its rate of heart and lung complaints has fallen noticeably, but the Maori population and Pasifika have ignored the warnings against tobacco, alcohol, sugar, fat and so forth. However, they are always ready to blame the rest of us for their bad health: we shouldn’t have introduced those things to the country.

Well, those people were very willing to consume them, and still are.

About blaming others, I recall that one woman had actually had legal aid approved so she could sue a tobacco company for damages after smoking its cigarettes for many years, and getting a terminal illness. Fortunately she died before the case could go ahead, but most people thought the approval of legal aid had been ludicrous.

No matter how much money goes toward health, people are going to be unhealthy if they refuse to look after their own individual health. Certainly some illnesses are not the fault of their sufferers, but many others are.

I myself have Type 2 diabetes. I have been told what the causes are, and there was no history of it in my extended family. I have nobody but myself to blame for doing what caused it.

“It won’t happen to me” is what so many people think when they are warned.
H WESTFOLD, Wellington

At the last election NZ First was voted into office on the promise of removing racist legislation and government special treatment of Maori, and honouring democratic principles of equality. Winston Peters’ “bottom line” was to see the Maori Party dissolved.

If it had not been for those promises the party would not have received enough support to be returned to power.

Not only did Winston Peters renege on those promises, but he subsequently signed up with the UN Accord on Immigration, which had been rejected by most Western countries, which threatens our national identity and puts our autonomy at risk.

It is high time that the party honoured its promises, starting with the dissolution of the racially divisive Waitangi Tribunal, an exclusive appeal court available only to one of the country’s 231 ethnic groups.

This current opposition to the Canterbury Regional Council’s Bill is a beginning. Let it not be the end.

Gisborne Herald 10/7/ 19 
I watched the TV1 programme “That’s A Bit Racist” on Sunday night, with the hope that I might learn something.

One segment asked the public, at random in the street, if they knew who was on the $5 note and then asked who was on the $50 note. Predictably, more people knew who Sir Edmund Hillary was.

But wait there’s more — not many even knew who Sir Apirana Ngata was, let alone what his claims to fame were. Quod Erat Demonstrandum — racism at work! They could have asked about Sir Ernest Rutherford, or Kate Shepherd to even things out a little.

Another segment compared the total sum spent on Treaty settlements with two other areas of spending. The settlement figure was the least of the three and we could all draw our own conclusions from that — really? Selective use of statistics can tell you what you want to hear, ask any politician.

We were also treated to infantile clips from a supposed children’s TV programme, where the male presenter used simplistic overtly racist stereotypes, in a hammy, overdone way. Real “pat you on the head”, patronising stuff, I thought.

Historical clips of Bastion Point, 1978 and the ’70s overstayers raids were included. I think it fair to say we have moved on a bit from then.

A lot of good, relevant points were made, which were food for thought and highlighted the real need for improvement.

I thought the programme spoilt its impact by silliness. I was left with the feeling that racism is exclusive, to those of a paler hue, rather than a less attractive characteristic of homo sapiens as a species.

Another episode shows this coming Sunday, so see what you think.

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 5/7/19
Both Robin Bell and Peter Dey have obviously misinterpreted and misunderstood what’s written in The Treaty of Waitangi.

Or are they just being mischievous and pretentious?

And Mr Bell has the gall to accuse Messrs Brash and Prince of obfuscation?

Have either R Bell or P Dey ever read the Treaty? Or have they both just dreamt up their versions of it.

Don Brash is correct in saying there is ‘no Act of Parliament’ that gives Maori a ‘partnership of equality’.

They are principles of the Treaty only and are fully acknowledged in many areas.

There certainly are no race based privileges for Maori over any other New Zealander in the Treaty.

The Native Rights Act of 1865, was written into Law and confirmed what was promised in the Treaty. The Law stated that Maori are deemed to be natural born subjects of the Crown, and confirmed the Treaty promise of 1840 that Maori are to be given the same status as other British subjects i.e. rights and privileges. And given the same protection (which they asked for), of the Crown.

Maori are given the same Human Rights as any other New Zealander.

Over the years Maori have been given plenty of ‘special privileges’, including Maori Seats in Parliament and places on councils. Others have been ‘invented’ because of political manipulation.

It’s time people like Robin Bell and Peter Dey realise that we are all New Zealanders. There’s no room for segregation or race-based privileges, if this Nation is to move forward.

All New Zealanders have the same ability to exercise self-determination.

Equality of opportunity doesn’t always end in equality of outcome.

So, Robin Bell and Peter Dey, please stop attempting to put your own slant on all things Maori.

You are both guilty of obfuscation.

Northland Age 4/7/19
In 1975 the government enacted the Treaty of Waitangi Act that created the Waitangi tribunal to hear claims that may occur after 1975. Most claims before this time had been “fully and finally settled,” or “rejected,” by court inquiries and Parliament.

The Act was amended in 1985 to allow claims to date back to 1840. In most cases these had already been fully and finally settled, or rejected.

This Act breaches English law, and the Magna Carta, as it only allows a New Zealand citizen who can claim a minute trace of tangata Maori ancestry to lodge a claim or participate. Non-Maori cannot lodge a claim, participate, or appeal a recommendation by the tribunal to the government, which in most cases is misled by the Select Committee and Parliament accepts the Bill without further investigation.

A past chairman of the tribunal, Chief Judge Eddie Durie, admitted in the ‘NZ Herald’ dated November 17, 1999, that researchers fabricate and modify evidence, omit evidence not helpful to the claim, and in some cases were not paid unless they changed their research to support the claim.

Some claims that were investigated by the court in the 1930s through 1940s, such as the Te Roroa claim that was rejected by Chief Judge Shepherd and Parliament, have been recommended and settled without one document of evidence.

In fact the Minister of Justice, Hon Doug Graham, acknowledged this when he signed the Deed of Sale, stating the Te Roroa claim was only an “alleged” claim, but it proceeded, costing the taxpayers in excess of $30 million and the people who could claim a minute trace of Te Roroa ancestry laughed all the way to the bank.

In fact Maori today, with their reheard claims, have accumulated in excess of $40 billion thanks to weak governments and gullible taxpayers.

Queen Victoria did not have the power or authority (jurisdiction) to give Maori any special rights in te Tiriti o Waitangi not already enjoyed by the people of England under English law.

Dominion Post 4/7/19
Waitangi Tribunal claimant Lady Tureiti Moxon wants the Government to apologise for failing Maori in the health system.

"It's our people dying of preventable diseases who are the worst-off In this country, in a democratic society that's supposed to look after everybody," she said. "They've failed us constantly."

The tribunal has just released its stage one report from the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry. It found multiple Treaty breaches and serious failings by the Crown to fix Maori health inequities.

In its final statement the tribunal asked the Crown to acknowledge its overall failure to improve Maori health outcomes since implementing major reforms nearly 20 years ago.

"We are willing to participate in this process and look to the Ministry of Health and the Government to demonstrate their commitment by engaging in this process and providing appropriate funding, and leadership from the Minister of Health and the Director-General of Health," it said.

"We need to be in control of our own destiny," said Moxon. "The system is broken. It's time for Maori to be given the opportunity to do it for ourselves. The issue is whether or not the Crown wants to play ball."

You are well able to be in control of your own destiny and look to your leadership for the opportunity to do it for yourselves; the failures are yours to own. The reality is that despite having dose to $40 billion in assets it is the failure and selfishness of Maori leadership to provide for their own people at a grassroots level that is the problem. Let's have some transparency with regards to money spent on their own health initiatives.

Northland Age 2/7/19
The media report of the te reo name for the baggage claim at Kerikeri airport ie. Peke Kokotaho (bag, testicles, scrotum) might be slightly amusing to boys in the fourth form, but is quite incomprehensible to non-te reo speakers, and will probably need explaining to the three per cent who are te reo speakers.

As ethnically whimsical signage it shows the difficulty of translating from a language known by 20 per cent universally to a primitive one. To accommodate a small ethnic group, 15 per cent, government, by reverting from English to te reo signage for national institutions, is treading further down the path to confusion and inequality.

Surely $500 million a year is enough to promote te reo. When will the government give the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the appropriation of their language? 

The 1975 Treaty of Waitangi Act and its amendments that created the apartheid Waitangi Tribunal is a sham, allowed by weak governments over the years that have no idea of the Treaty of Waitangi's purpose and/or its history.

They have been hoodwinked by a few in Maori who are prepared to distort, destroy and twist the Treaty and its translations to satisfy a greed that can never be satisfied until a strong government brings them into line.

These people never seem to ask the question, who are their real ancestors?

Most have more of the ancestry that did all they could to help these people from extinction, but completely overlook this fact for the almighty dollar and land they had sold many times over at the taxpayer's expense.

The time has come when Sir Apirana Ngata's advice should be taken very seriously: "Let me issue a word of warning to those who are in the habit of bandying the name of the Treaty around to be very careful lest it be made the means of incuring certain liabilities under the law which we do not know now and which are being borne only by the Pakeha."