Declaration of Indigenous Rights Down Under

On Tuesday I got to ask my first proper Question in the House. Unsurprisingly Hone Harawira asked more or less the same question. Will the Government follow the lead of Australia and change their position to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People?

The Prime Minister did a good imitation of saying nothing definite and implying that the Declaration was more or less just an aspirational text. He said they would watch to see what caveats’ the Aussies put on supporting the Declaration before they made a decision.

It may be that the Declaration is highly symbolic rather than an internal programme of action for Aotearoa/New Zealand, but the greatest symbolism is in who refuses to sign it.

It does raise the issue of why is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is being called aspirational!? Are the rights of women, people with disabilities, children etc merely aspirational or does this only apply to the Declaration on indigenous rights? If so why ??

As of this week only USA, Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand are refusing to support the Declaration. 144 countries have signed on to it and 11 have abstained while Australia has decided to show some support. The Green Party wants to know what the new Government here intends to do on this issue. After today’s display of prevarication I am not holding my breath. The key issue is that the UN Declaration acknowledges the collective self determination of indigenous peoples, which seems to have scared the hell out of both Labour and National.

Normally we would never advocate following Australia on issues of cultural justice, their record speaks for itself in all its genocidal brutality, but at least the Rudd Government has made a positive move. The UN Declaration has flaws and weaknesses but it does take a stand for indigenous collectivive self determination across the earth. 

We will just keep on asking our Prime Minister to join the ethical majority at the United Nations on this issue. After all his Government is in a Confidence and Supply agreement with a tangata whenua political party, doesn’t he owe them the recognition of their human rights?

106 thoughts on “Declaration of Indigenous Rights Down Under

  1. Please tell me Ms Delahunty, why should indigenous people get any more rights than other people? I can understand that indigenous people should get equal rights, and considering some group’s status in other nations, that is something to be aspired to – however, here in New Zealand, Maori enjoy superior rights to anyone else and if anything, we should be reviewing that. As a European Male, it seems that I get the least rights of all.

  2. I should actually make that, as a European Law-Abiding Male, it seems that I get the least rights of all.

  3. Go read the declaration to get your answer. You can tell what groups are favoured in a society by the demographics of who has the highest level of health, life span and income. In New Zealand it ain’t Maori.

  4. Valis
    If that is the case, what does the term ‘indigenous’ have to do with it?

    Further. Is it not right that you can tell which groups are favoured not by the outcomes of level of health, life span and income, but by equality of access and opportunity.

    Finally, do we not have a document that goes way beyond the aspirations of the Declaration of Indigenous Rights in the Treaty? This is a guiding document to our unwritten constitution, governs much of what we do and how we do it, and offers entrenched rights for the ‘race’ that was here before Europeans arrived (clearly, Maori are not a race indigenous to New Zealand, nor do they claim to be). If Maori would agree to termination of the reciprocal rights of the Treaty of Waitangi in exchange for adoption of the UN’s Declaration of Indigenous Rights, I think there would be a groundswell of support for such an exchange.

  5. PS. I may well be wrong, but aren’t Asians the demographic with the highest level of health, life span and income in New Zealand ?

  6. Here is a link to the plain language version of the declaration for anyone who is interested in what New Zealand plus others will not sign.

    http://www.iwgia.org/sw1592.asp

    Just love article 22, right up Valis’s alley.

    Sadly there is no mention AT ALL of the responsibilites that the indiginous people need to embrace to go with ALL those rights in the declaration.

    Two reasons that New Zealand should not sign up to that (non finalised by the way – the latest 2007 version is not agreed upon) declaration.

    1- There is absolutely no mention of other people that the indiginous people are cohabitating with. Now to enshrine rights to less then 20% of the population is one thing, BUT not acknowledging how this will affect the other 80% in quite another. The declaration divides people and while going some way to establishing rights, it stamps on other peoples rights.

    Especially article 22 where “special measures” to correct perceived anomolies are called for.

    2- Instead of actually freeing up indiginous rights it will actuially harm them. Simply becasue it does not set out responsibilities as mentioned before. There is absolutely no incentive for Maori to get off the bottom rung as article 22 keeps giving them handouts.

    No incentive at ALL.

    And for good measure another reason that Greens should not be supporting the declaration signing. There are no ecological sustainablity clauses in the declaration. The way it reads indiginous people can plunder to their hearts content their onnew resources. So if Maori want to build a nuclear power station, this declaration enables it (article 23).

  7. Well say i just yoink this from wikipedia:

    The Declaration sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues. It also “emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations”. It “prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples”, and it “promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development”.

    Eh, so i’m indigenous and unemployed, my rights are being violated by…who? Should this mystery rights violator be punished?

  8. “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination…..
    Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs….Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State”

    How anyone could sign that with the full intention to honor it is beyond me.

    For example, you can define one legal framework when it suits you, yet participate fully in, say, welfare and the other benefits of the state when that suits? How is that equal?

    No way NZ should ever sign it.

  9. spelling mistake

    their onnew resources should read “their own resources”

    Reading throught the declaration reads like a colonisers sop to the natives. I cant really believe indiginous people would want a bar of this, it is partonising in the extreme, childish in manner and down grading in outcomes.

    Fancy subscribing to a declaration that makes you out to be so unable to grow as a people, that you need the UN to pat you on the head with a “there, there, it will be OK, the declaration will sort out all your problems”.

    Even though the declaration is totally unworkable without the inclusion and cooperation of the other 80% of the people.

  10. We will just keep on asking our Prime Minister to join the ethical majority at the United Nations on this issue

    Better you just accept the answer. No, we’re not trampling on the rights of most New Zealanders to favour one minority group over all others.

    End of story.

  11. You can tell what groups are favoured in a society by the demographics of who has the highest level of health, life span and income

    So, it’s got nothing to do with a certain group choosing to smoke themselves to death, then? Nothing to do with a certain group not placing much value on education, which would lead you to make better health choices, and qualify for better jobs, then?

    The answer is in the mirror. Time for a certain group to accept responsibility and get their act together.

  12. We don’t have an indigenous population, so where is the problem.

    The OED provides a definition that reads:
    ” indigenous = adjective, originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.”

    And Oxford’s Grammar Guide suggests the proper usage is “indigenous to NNNNNN”, where NNNNNN is the place of origin of the noun being referred to. As Maori whakapapa is traced back to the waka that their ancestors came to New Zealand on, they are clearly not indigenous to New Zealand, and so the declaration would not affect them in our land.

    Interestingly, the declaration does not define the term ‘indigenous peoples’, which it uses in almost every clause of the declaration, and so the ultimate authority on the meaning of English words, which has been tacitly accepted as the OED for many centuries, must surely prevail.

  13. “Maori are not a race indigenous to New Zealand, nor do they claim to be”

    Some at least do. The argument being that Maori became a distinct culture after arriving in New Zealand, developing their language, law, traditions etc. to the point that they could no longer be considered an immigrant culture.

  14. Sam,

    The argument being that Maori became a distinct culture after arriving in New Zealand, developing their language, law, traditions etc. to the point that they could no longer be considered an immigrant culture.

    By that definition we ALL are indigenous people. Once we have language, law and tradition.

    A fourth generation New Zealander of say Scottish decent would thus be an indingenous person.

    I like your thinking as that defines who we ALL are. One indigenous people.

  15. So long as we’re all one indigenous people, sign away :)

    Selt determination for us all!

    (sounds libertarian to me)

  16. Sorry claimants, but claiming and being aren’t the same. I can claim to be a billionaire but I’m not one. The definition says “originating or occurring naturally” neither apply; UNLESS the definition is applied to everyone who was BORN here, (I would think that birth would meet the test of being both an occurrence and natural) in which case I’m with Gerrit and BP, even though I personally am an immigrant!

  17. BP,
    LOL, your saying to sign away so long as we are all one indigenous people?
    Are you forgetting that it proclaims the right to employment, health, and education? I thought you were not so much for universal free provision of those? Surely employmetn atleast? :P

  18. .
    By the way Catherine, can I ask what improper questions you have asked in the house, I am intrigued!
    .

  19. Sapient

    Having a right to, and receiving, are also not the same.

    I have a right to a fair trial, but never having been arrested I have never received one. I have a right to unemployment benefit, but never having been unemployed I have never received it. There are possibly as many ‘rights’ as there are ‘bans’ the difference is only in the permission type, not the receipt.

    What fun this language is. Esperanto anyone?

    -_-

    .

  20. Born New Zealander=Tangata Whenua=indigenous. Waitangi treaty rights apply to all born New Zealanders (and to no-one else). A simple elegant way to silence institutional racism from our society.

  21. Are you forgetting that it proclaims the right to employment, health, and education?

    As you were :)

    I didn’t read all of it, but if it includes that, it sounds like a Comm#nist manifesto as well!

  22. Strings,
    The right to a fair trial relates to a freedom from unfair prosecution so that right only comes into play, as you say, in the event of prosecution or something that would normally warrent prosecution.
    On the other hand a right to employment would be a right to have employment should employment be sought and as such if an individual seeks employment and none is delivered then the right is being violated. Though one could argue that the dole is a form of employment. The better soulution would be to say that people have the right to not be discriminated against in seeking employment when that matter the would be discriminated would have no bearing on the performance of the job and that the state has no right to terminate employment without the consent of em[loyee or employer when the state is not the employer unless not doing so would incur a cost to the public.

  23. Sapient
    I agree with all of that. However, as we are limited to the current wording of the declaration, we can adhere to it by simply saying that there is no dole, but the government will enable everyone unemployed and wanting employment to exercise their right to employment by paying them, at the current unemployment rate, for undertaking 40 hours of work allocated to them by an authorised agency. The rate of pay will be minimum wage; however, the employee will be required to pay an agency fee for finding and allocating the work. No notice will be required of these employees in the event that they obtain employment elsewhere.

    Besides anything else, one result of this might be the elimination of visual pollution and grime from our pavements and other common areas, making our country a nicer place for us all to live in. Other valuable benefits might be enhancement of the visual appeal of bush areas, through appropriate husbandry, and removal of garbage and other clean waste from our non-agriculturally polluted rivers and streams.

    Fair doos?

  24. If this charter proclaims” the right to health” then I cannot see how the NZ government could sign until Maori start to give that right to their own kids.

  25. BP
    it isn’t that onerous really. I’ve dealt with employment above, education is already a right, and the declaration talks of health services (which are a right in NZ already) not ‘health’ as a physical state.

    Let’s go with it, using samiam’s definition of Tangata Whenua!

  26. We know from experience however that signing a document, in fact even ratifying it does not mean that we legislate in that respect. UNCROC is the perfect example. Ratified in 2003 and being breached for a further 14 years, and I might add, severely breached.

    Signing it does not necessarily directly affect New Zealand, nor does it mean we have to legislate in that respect. Only once ratified do we commit to that. However by signing we commit to fair treatment of indigenous peoples around the world! Don’t be so short sighted BP, this isn’t about us or about Maori. Its about indigenous peoples around the world.

  27. Ah Catherine – write him a ‘Dear John’ letter. He most like forgot to think when he woke up. I’ve yet to see the bugger look straight at a camera – how can he think straight then?

  28. Strings,
    Yes, I was going to add something along those lines but I had a bus to catch :P .
    I would be inclined to go with a negative income tax and make the granting of the citizens dividend dependant on the number of hours per week worked. That is; if the citizens dividuend came to X then the individual would receive X/520 for every hour worked up to a maximum of 20 hours per fortnight. For unemployed I wiould give them the option of working, and as such receiving the dividend, in things which would otherwise be uneconomical, such as cleanign the streets as you say, the pay for this would be set so that an individual working 2o hours per week and as such receiving the full dividend and receiving 20 hours pay would meet subsistance level. The workers would ahv ethe option of working more hours than this of course to earn some extra but the return would drop off sharply after the 20 hours due to the lack of addition from the dividend. This way the dole is eliminated, the streets are clean, the river banks planted, and there is no boundry between the dole and employment in terms of going from getting all this money for free to working for less :P that and there is motivation to get a job and a flat tax that due to the citizens dividend is more effective at the goals of a progressive tax than a progresive tax. :P

  29. *where I say “the pay for this would be set so that an individual working 2o hours per week” that should be “20 hours per fortnight”.
    I should really use the ‘preview’ option more, that and put some effort into spelling and formatting :P .

  30. Sapient

    Bit stuck on that, it’s a little light. Personally I’d go for 80 hours a fortnight, so we genuinely do grant them their ‘right’ of employment, but I could live with 60, so there’s time to go for alternative job interviews. I think 20 allows the work ethic to become lost, and it ceased to be real employment!

    FWIW

  31. >>ceased of course should have been ceases

    How about trying to ‘seize’ the day? (Carpe diem) Ah! A much better oral retort than a written one. :)

  32. Strings,
    Yes I feel that way also, but I was trying to take into account allowing sufficent time to seek proper employment and enabling time to take care of offspring so as to reduce the need for even more money with which to pay babysitters, etc. 40 hours a fortnight could be reasonable though it may impinge excessivly on the ability to find work and may exceed the ability of the governement/local counsels to find work for them to do.

  33. Maybe Sapient and Strings should pick up MSN. Its easier when your just talking amongst yourselves.

  34. This is where red greens will hang themselves. It is all right to phrase things in fuzzy terms but the reality is that we occupy the same territory and cultures are somewhat merged due to time , demographics and inter marriage. Eventually it will come down to conflict over territory/ resources.

  35. Absolutely agree, I am really hoping that New Zealand signs in on this. You can not ignore social injustice forever. If it isn’t this generation which sees justice it will be of the future generations who will.

  36. BP
    >No, we’re not trampling on the rights of most New Zealanders to favour one minority group over all others.

    Oh so what you are saying is: I wouldn’t mind if Indigenous people just took it on the chin, but, I WONT have a bar of people trying to impede on my right as a majority to oppress them.

    A bit hypocritical.

  37. “You can not ignore social injustice forever.”

    Less waffle more detail

    “foreshore and seabed, Maori Foreshore”?

  38. “Oh so what you are saying is: I wouldn’t mind if Indigenous people just took it on the chin, but, I WONT have a bar of people trying to impede on my right as a majority to oppress them.

    A bit hypocritical.”

    by denying their right to ownership of the foreshore , seabed and what have you.

  39. The Japanese have been in Japan for 5000 years but they aren’t the indigenous people: the Ainu people are. Try to kick them out.

  40. @jh-
    My point was more that you can not simply try to igrnore issues of social injustice and hope it will go away. I strongly support New Zealand signing up for it but even if it doesn’t the injustices will not cease to exist. As for the foreshore and seabed act that was a good example of injustice performed against the Maori (possibly more correctly to specific tribes?).

  41. Twenty years of biculturalism

    New Zealand has now had 20 years of politically-correct state biculturalism. What has it achieved? Far from resolving the social crisis confronting Maori, the process has helped widen the social gulf between rich and poor. State-organised bi-culturalism” and the Waitangi settlements process has created a small but relatively wealthy and influential Maori elite which boasts assets worth $NZ25 billion. At the same time, Maori workers, like the rest of the working class, have suffered the consequences of two decades of economic restructuring that have produced especially high levels of unemployment and poverty and gutted public welfare, education and health services. After two decades of official biculturalism Maori deprivation remains as entrenched as ever. Unemployment among Maori is officially 10 percent, twice the national average, while Maori continue to figure disproportionately in every social statistic relating to low household income, poor health, low levels of education and high levels of crime. Figures released by the Social Development Ministry show that of 18 key social indicators comparing the position of Maori with the rest of the population, six areas had recorded no change, five had “no clear trend”, while seven showed the chasm widening.

    It is also telling that the cultural renaissance and cultural correctness in the health service has coincided with deteriorating Maori health statistics, and yet people like Tariana Turia still go on about the cause of extreme Maori ill-health being cultural. In fact, the reason Maori generally have worse health statistics is because they are generally poorer. And wealthy Maori, like wealthy pakeha, don’t get the diseases of poverty. Poor pakeha, like poor Maori, do.
    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2007/06/maori-liberatio.html#more

  42. jh
    ‘New Zealand has now had 20 years of politically-correct state biculturalism. What has it achieved?’

    pfft.. kind of like one mafia henchman saying to another; “we took off one of his concrete gumboots and he still cant swim, whats the point in helping him?”

  43. “As for the foreshore and seabed act that was a good example of injustice performed against the Maori (possibly more correctly to specific tribes?).”

    ” Is this debate a new issue?

    No. Ever since 1840 Iwi and Hapu have claimed that the foreshore and seabed fall within the exercise of tino rangatiratanga because they are both part of the whenua. However the Crown has assumed that it has absolute ownership of it and there have been numerous Maori protests and court cases through the years.

    * So it’s a Treaty issue then?

    It is clearly covered as a Treaty right in Article Two which acknowledges that Iwi and Hapu have “exclusive and undisturbed possession” of lands etc.

    However the Treaty merely reaffirmed a right and authority which Maori had exercised for centuries before 1840.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0307/S00029.htm

  44. pfft.. kind of like one mafia henchman saying to another; “we took off one of his concrete gumboots and he still cant swim, whats the point in helping him?”

    Haven’t gone far enough yet, you mean?

  45. Actually in the Pubil Library I just want to know ehere something is and I have to do a double take as I look up and see the signs in English and Maori. Language is supposed to be for communication.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel
    The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have “its top in the heavens.”(וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם) However, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship and praise of God, but was dedicated to the glory of man, with a motive of making a ‘name’ for the builders: “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'” (Genesis 11:4). God, seeing what the people were doing, confounded their languages and scattered the people throughout the earth. It had been God’s original purpose for mankind to grow and fill the earth

  46. Hey Bandy – the Horse bolted right back inna baaarrnn.
    NNNaaa….yep darned if he ain’t a secret greenie….
    “What just cos he ate Grandad?”…

  47. “As for the foreshore and seabed act that was a good example of injustice performed against the Maori (possibly more correctly to specific tribes?).”

    Red Death, I presume you must enjoy the prospect of having to pay to go to the beach every summer. I, like most other New Zealanders, do not wish to do that, and that is why I somewhat supported the Foreshore and Seabed Act is to ensure that I, and other non-Maori New Zealanders could access the beach without charge like we have done for decades.

  48. What becometh of that man who inherits the sea shore alone?

    Better become a palaentologist – ah…a marine bioligist

    Bloody cold at night….always good to see the lights of Palmy ay….

  49. jh
    April 2nd, 2009 at 8:56 pm
    Twenty years of biculturalism

    An interesting and well constructed comment. Thank you.

    I did some study of Canadian Indian tribes a couple of decades back, when my children wanted to understand the place of their birth better. I distinctly remember that there were a vast number of research papers that established the ‘natives’ had LOST GROUND, in health,education, welfare and income after the government gave in to the demands of a very small number of agitators and started treating them differently.

    Perhaps it really IS time to become a Republic, through a UDI, and leave The Crown and Maoridom to negotiate a an agreement to abandon the treaty.

  50. In the absence of a “general debate” thread I wonder if anybody else would like to discuss the woe’s of child sex offenders?

    It seems that Keith Locke thinks monitoring these human vermin is a bit cruel, Keith would rather our kids were put at risk than do anything that might infringe on the rights of child rapists.

    What is this man doing in our Parliament?

  51. Excerpt from interview with Michael King:

    “After several generations of my family’s occupation of this land, my own sense of belonging to it and hence the flavour of my own culture, includes the following ingredients: a strong relationship with the natural world intensified by living by the sea, boating, fishing, tramping and camping; an engagement with the history of the land which began with my boyhood encounters with kainga, whaling and battle sites around Paramatta Harbour; a relationship with the literature of this country, especially the writing of such people as Robin Hyde, Charles Brasch, Frank Sargeson, Eric McCormick, Keith Sinclair, James K. Baxter and Janet Frame; and a relationship with Maori people, Maori writing and Maori history, which affects my view of all the preceding ingredients.

    There’s also an accumulation of other New Zealand attitudes, values and habits which accrue to one I suppose, like iron filings to a magnet. They include things like the rugby culture which every male of my age was touched by, although it’s not as much of a factor for a younger generation. Concern for the underdog, an unwillingness to be bullied or intimidated by class or status, not undertaking to do something without seeing it through, a quality that Dan Davin referred to as a “power behind the scrum that one felt was sometimes lacking in one’s more fastidious English colleagues.” It also includes having New Zealand heroes and heroines.

    The total effect for me of all those ingredients is that this country and its experience and its traditions are in my bones. I have no other home, no other place where I want to live or could live with the same sense of belonging and enrichment. And it’s been intensified, I suppose, by not just living here and experiencing those things, but by other events and sets of circumstances such as travelling overseas, where one very soon gets the feeling that you have a sense of affinity with places like Europe and the United Kingdom, but you don’t actually feel at home there. Also, while travelling, there’s that absence of New Zealand voices and viewpoints and sense of humour that again you’re most aware of when you haven’t got it all around you.

    Another factor, I have to say, that intensified my identification with New Zealand was my encounters with people such at the Te Ahi Kaa group, who would insist that I and my people are tauiwi or foreigners in this land. I’ve also mentioned in that millennium piece Doug Graham’s comments about lakes, mountains and rivers and his suggestion that Maori people have spiritual feelings for them but Pakeha people don’t, a view I wholly reject. Now all these things have contributed to or intensified that feeling I have that my culture is not European. It’s something different, it’s Pakeha, and it’s something which I now would define, as I say, as a second New Zealand indigenous culture.”
    https://education.waikato.ac.nz/research/project/item.php?id=118

  52. the bioneer

    I’m saying that we should all be treated equally, especially in terms of democratic process.

    Appointing people directly? One from each tribe? WTF? How about letting Asians appoint someone too? How about Pacific Islanders? Indians? Muslims? In fact, just scrap the elections altogether and let political elites appoint their own lackeys.

    There’s a name for that….

  53. BB
    I heard him on the radio this morning, and have to agree with you, this man needs to sit for a week with the family of a child who has just been abducted, raped and left for dead, as I did back in 1990.

    If homosexuality is a natural thing, and I am prepared to believe it is, then paedophilia probably is as well. However, while I am happy to have consenting adult homosexuals enjoy their sexuality together, I can not, in any way whatsoever, agree to paedophiles having their sexual needs satisfied.

    Like someone born with another crippling mental or physical aberration, I believe anyone (note, I do not believe this is an illness restricted to males,) discovered to suffer from paedophilia should be treated and, if possible, cured. Whether this is done through an enforced controlled release of drugs into their system, or changes to their physical structure, is beyond my medical understanding to prescribe, but I do think it is incumbent on a civilised society to take this action to relieve itself of the suffering this illness causes.

    IN the same way that someone with the terrible affliction of homicidal mania is incarcerated away from society, so that it does not suffer the affliction this mental disease can exert, so too we must deal with the affliction of paedophilia. Perhaps one day medical science will have progressed to the point where we are able to perform surgery to cure both of these afflictions. Until then, we must protect ourselves from them totally.

  54. It is half-past Referendum O’clock. We were all adopted by Maori anyway (will try and find the link). New Zealand needs to get rid of it’s Racial Discrimination Policy – no endless permutations of New Zealanders – just Kiwi’s and that’s all.
    Those wishing to charge for the use of the Foreshore, will, of course, have to Pay to get back on dry Land….
    Child Offenders are proof that we must have Rehabilitation – the alternative is unacceptable. Yes they are Criminals, whose Primary Problem is a Mental Illness.
    Michael King left Graham Billing off his list – “The Chambered Nautilus” being widely held to be ‘the Great New Zealand Novel’.

  55. It seems that Keith Locke thinks monitoring these human vermin is a bit cruel, Keith would rather our kids were put at risk than do anything that might infringe on the rights of child rapists.

    Not at all. Because we supported the intent behind the proposed change, the Greens gave leave in the House along with all other Parties for this technical change to be debated and passed in all stages. This was based on the info available at the time. Then in the House, the government’s own Attorney General said that there were serious Bill of Rights issues with the proposed change and that there were at least two other ways the issue could be dealt with. So we changed our vote and voted against.

    The Greens have no issue at all with the intent of this bill. We have a great issue that the Nats are so unorganised that they can’t manage a proper process and instead try to slip things by expecting no one to notice. If you need to fix a flaw in law, the worst thing to do is avoid public scrutiny an rush it through. That usually causes more problems that someone else needs to fix later. Why not just do it right the first time.

  56. Valis

    What utter hypocrisy.

    The Greens are quite happy to support legislation that is rammed through he house when it suits you (the EFA).

    The fact is that the Greens (and Keith Locke in particular) care more about child rapists than you do about the safety of our kids.

  57. It’s a kind of back engineered Enghineering job Bro; you start with the Hardest problems, and clean up the house from the inside out …

  58. Of course you know that is not true about Keith, big bro, who was happy to vote for the bill based on the info in hand when the decision was made. You just need to get your little character assassinations in don’t you.

    As for the EFA, there is just no comparison on process. A normal full process was followed with select committee and no urgency taken to pass it. Certainly there was no “trust us” from the govt, only to find they left out the one thing other Parties would object to. The Nats are either duplicitous or incompetent.

  59. Hey lookie the quote; Classic!

    Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause
    you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517

    Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do
    ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12

    Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that
    which he desires for himself. Sunnah

    Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.:
    Udana Varga 5:18

    Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the
    entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a
    Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23

    Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.: T’ai Shag Kan Ying P’ien

    Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto
    another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

    The verdict is in – there are no truly ‘religeous’ wars.

  60. I just wanted to come back to the argument jh made concerning Maori health. Prof Tony Blakely has led a really important research programme that examines the disparities between maori and non-Maori health. These do show a strong correlation with socio-economic status. For example, gaps in health status widened during the 80s and 90s, following the widening gap during that period of the SES of rich and poor, and then appear to have closed somewhat during the years of the Clark-led Government.

    However, the research shows that socioeconomic status (and other variables analysed) do not account for all of the difference – a major contributor to the gap in health outcomes is institutional racism. For example there are quite a number of studies that show inequitable access to important health services.

    I don’t think we could really say that New Zealand has been a bicultural society over the past two decades. Rather there has been an increased, but still fluctuating, (maybe peaked in 1990 actually) Pakeha appreciation of the importance of biculturalism and honouring the Treaty of Waitangi. This has probably been too thin and patchy to measure effects in big picture studies like Blakeley’s, but at a more local level there are many examples of improved maori health outcomes from taking Maori culture and values seriously in the provision of health services, and from taking Treaty-based approaches to improving Maori health.

  61. Hey although 4 countries did vote against UNDRIP it is incorrect to state that four countries did not support it when 11 did not vote. THose 11 did not formally support it either. Please be accurate.

  62. A separate justice system based on race? What is this, Apartheid? Nazi?
    I think some members of the Green Party should resign and go to the Brown Party.
    Please.

  63. >>A separate justice system based on race?

    Hilarious, eh. After all, it worked so well in South Africa.

    Real mo@nbat stuff.

    What happens when there is white-on-Maori trials? Or Maori-on-white? Where does that get heard? How will you determine what a Maori is? If there are different levels of punishment, what’s to stop anyone going for the most lenient? How about a separate court for Asians? Pacific Islanders? Jews? How about Sharia law?

  64. Kevin Hague how do you explain this (the strong kinship and self reliant values of the Chinese family model may explain it):

    Asians have lowest mortality rates in elderly
    Wednesday, 18 February 2009, 10:15 am
    Press Release: University of Otago

    Wednesday 18 February 2009

    Asians have lowest mortality rates in elderly

    A study by the University of Otago, Wellington has revealed that Asians, around 10% of the population, have the lowest mortality rates in those over 65 years. Those with the highest mortality levels in old age are Maori and Pacific people.

    The study into ethnic inequalities in mortality among the elderly by Dr Santosh Jatrana and Professor Tony Blakely has recently been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health and reveals for the first time significant disparities in old age mortality rates between Maori, Pacific, Asians and those of other ethnic origins.
    / /
    These results mirror studies in the US which show lower death rates for Asians than Caucasian Americans, although Asians have the most advantaged socio-economic composition of all ethnic groups studied in the USA. This is in contrast to New Zealand, where Asians are in lower socio-economic groups on average.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0902/S00069.htm

  65. I wonder about Prof Tony Blakely’s partiallity:

    ““Those structural reforms in the 1980s and 1990s were quite devastating for one group in our society, particularly for Maori and also for Pacific people. We don’t want to repeat that. If we are gong to move into a recession, possibly in the next we while, we have to learn from the past and not just respond to emergencies by implementing polices that whack one group,” Mr Blakely says.”

  66. JH wrote:

    > I wonder about Prof Tony Blakely’s partiallity:

    >““Those structural reforms in the 1980s and 1990s were quite devastating for one group in our society…” Mr Blakely says.”

    If that’s what he found when researching the matter, why shouldn’t he say it?

  67. “Those structural reforms in the 1980s and 1990s were quite devastating for one group in our society, particularly for Maori and also for Pacific people. We don’t want to repeat that.”

    The structural reforms were only devastating because Maori and Pacific Islanders were dominant in the tea making jobs that had been perpetuated by governments of both colours since the end of the Second World War – when those tea making jobs came to an end, the Maori and Pacific Islanders lost their jobs.

    I don’t think we will see a batch of reforms like what we saw in the 1980s and 1990s ever again, simply because politicians in New Zealand have largely learnt their lesson – it will take years before a Think Big scheme comes along.

  68. “If that’s what he found when researching the matter, why shouldn’t he say it?”

    it seems to me that (perhaps) he is criticising economic policy… and i hear the same sort of thread from Sue bradfrod. Maori weren’t the only ones affected by the economic reforms.

    what I’m saying is that interpretation of social research is to be taken like advice from a fund manager. I’m sceptical until I see a clear mechanism and a range of opinion (balance).

  69. The economic reforms may have provided a clear mechanism initially but not for the period after when we reached full employment.

    Ministry of social Development report:

    “A range of factors affects health outcomes, including genetic predisposition, behaviour, the environment and the availability of health services. Increasing attention is also being paid to the role of socio-economic inequalities in influencing health. There is much evidence that those with low incomes, poor housing and few qualifications have disproportionately poorer health1.”

    “The young adolescent birth rate has been declining in New Zealand but is still relatively high. There are significant ethnic differences, with Maori having a higher rate of under 18 births than non-Maori, although these differences are reducing. New Zealand is currently ranked third among OECD countries for teenage birth rates.”
    http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/2001/health/health.shtml

    “This has probably been too thin and patchy to measure effects in big picture studies like Blakeley’s, but at a more local level there are many examples of improved maori health outcomes from taking Maori culture and values seriously in the provision of health services, and from taking Treaty-based approaches to improving Maori health.”

    you mean self esteem is enhanced by promulgating the idea that “you are tangata whenua (this is your country), more of its natural resources should be yours and tino rangitiratanga will mean new changes in the wind (freedom from the oppressing Pakeha system) or “you’re special”? Perhaps the motivated health providers make a difference. What exactly is the mechanism here?

  70. Cont:
    Most Maori have, unlike most of the left, worked out that they would not be any better off with iwi ownership of the foreshore. After all, the call for iwi ownership of the foreshore is not a call for resources to be given to Maori in state houses in Porirua, Wainoni or South Auckland. In fact it is a further corporatisation of land, which is what has happened with Ngai Tahu land ownership in the South Island.

  71. Note Pita Sharples commented that Meturia Turies support for a Maori (parallel ) justice system was just for her own political purposes… to appeal to the members in the Green Cave?

  72. “john-ston Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I should actually make that, as a European Law-Abiding Male, it seems that I get the least rights of all.”

    What a joke. As a Pakeha male, you don’t need your rights declared to you. You inherit them automatically at birth. They are built into the system for you, it’s all rather convenient, actually. Perhaps you should look up a few of those ugly little words: ‘patriarchy’ and ‘institutionalised rascism’ (not that I mean to imply that they go hand in hand, though they are similar forms of oppression).

    If you have critical thinking skills, it can be quite enlightening to know what they mean and the implication it has in a multicultural society that inherited its legal and political system from Britain.

    Need I even mention te tiriti o waitangi? The struggle is not over yet – the current day is no time for complacency for indigenous rights.

  73. > New Zealand has now had 20 years of politically-correct state biculturalism. What has it achieved?

    A little over twenty years ago I was called a ‘nigger-lover’ in the streets of Christchurch.

    A Maori I worked with was told he was a ‘White man’ because he was a good worker.

    This was not considered particularly offensive. I was frequently stunned by the casual racism I encountered when I got back from Britain – not known for embracing diversity itself at that time. People, who in all other respects were decent, kind, liberal people, would come out with the most appallingly racist statements which would elicit almost no response or comment.

    I personally think we’d have been better off without the Friedmaniacs of the 80’s and 90’s who performed so many economic miracles, but even so I think we’ve achieved a lot. At least we are developing a unique identity – not just some pseudo Britain sort of Australia thing.

  74. freyaeng Says:
    As a Pakeha male, you don’t need your rights declared to you. You inherit them automatically at birth. They are built into the system for you, it’s all rather convenient, actually. Perhaps you should look up a few of those ugly little words: ‘patriarchy’ and ‘institutionalised rascism’ (not that I mean to imply that they go hand in hand, though they are similar forms of oppression).

    If you have critical thinking skills, it can be quite enlightening to know what they mean and the implication it has in a multicultural society that inherited its legal and political system from Britain.
    ……………..
    Your first paragraph doesn’t look like critical thinking to me; more a sort of suggestive emotionally charged diatribe.

  75. Again it is demonstrated that Greens/lefties have absolutely no idea what “rights” actually means.

    People in their private and business lives have a perfect right to discriminate for and against whoever they wish, and nobody else’s rights are harmed by this.

    The state, by contrast, must not discriminate. But then, there is little point in it passing a law to say that it itself shall not discriminate; it simply needs to implement not discriminatory policies.

  76. freyaeng

    Only white males get a free ride, and everyone else is oppressed.

    So 1960s.

    Let us know when you make the move into this century.

    If you’re Maori in NZ in 2009, they can’t hand it to you on a plate fast enough. If you’re a female, you do better in school – education is oriented around you. If you’re a male and you go through a divorce, you aren’t getting custody of your kids.

  77. >>Need I even mention te tiriti o waitangi?

    No. It’s very boring.

    The colonists won in 1850. History cannot be changed. Accept it and move on.

  78. Ang on a minute!!

    “A study by the University of Otago, Wellington has revealed that Asians, around 10% of the population, have the lowest mortality rates in those over 65 years.”

    Ave I got this rite? Fewer Asian people over 65 than those of similar age of other ethnicities!

    OK. SO somewhere here in NZ there are thousands of Asians over 65 years old WHO ARE NOT DYING!

    Please sir. Can I be Asian sir, I don’t want to die sir!!

    And it’s not April Fools day for another 51 weeks!!!!

  79. “What a joke. As a Pakeha male, you don’t need your rights declared to you. You inherit them automatically at birth. They are built into the system for you, it’s all rather convenient, actually. Perhaps you should look up a few of those ugly little words: ‘patriarchy’ and ‘institutionalised rascism’ (not that I mean to imply that they go hand in hand, though they are similar forms of oppression).”

    Let me begin with University. Maori and Pacific Islanders get special programmes for them; a European doesn’t get any special programmes for them. Maori, Pacific Islanders and women get quotas; a European male is thus forced to work extra harder to be able to get into University. Maori and Pacific Islanders have special scholarships, Europeans don’t. The AUSA has a Women’s Officer; what about the Men’s Officer?

    If a Maori were to set up their own “Maori group” then it is accepted as normal; if a European were to set up their own “European group” then it would be deemed racist. Likewise a women’s group is deemed acceptable; a men’s group would be considered sexist.

  80. How about we afford ALL NZ’ers the same rights? Too Hard? Unjust?
    The alternatives are worse. How about we start by having such a thing as a NZ’er – I don’t want any noofy calling Me a Pakeha – but I’m not Maori either – can Banksie help the rest of us who just wanna be Kiwi’s.

  81. Maori and Pacific Islanders have special scholarships, Europeans don’t.

    yup yup, last year i was looking at scholarships and there were only three availible to a white male psych student; one was rhodes, one was another shared one, and one was a psych specific one, though a very small amount. If I was female i would of have had many many more availible to me and if i used my maori lineage I would of had even more availible, esspecially in psych. lol. ohwel, to be a white male and ahve it all handed to you…

  82. @MArk-
    Although there are numerous ways of looking at the concept pakeha. For instance one view looks at how the way the ehtnic group pakeha is defined makes it an indigenous group to NZ.

  83. Jonathan Koea hates “moaning Maori” studies implying his race are all victims.

    Koea, a hugely respected oncology surgeon in Auckland, says people have to take some responsibility for their own health.

    “You can’t force people to stop smoking unless they want to. You can’t force people to change their diet unless they want to.

    “People do need to change the way they see themselves and the way they behave.”

    His own research shows Maori men account for four out of 10 cases of gallbladder cancer – an unusual but deadly condition associated with chronic gallstones.

    He says the health system has “some responsibility” to bear. After all, Maori are not getting surgery for gallstones at the same rate as non-Maori and their consequent rates of cancer are high.

    In a system where the squeaky wheel often gets the oil, Maori are missing out, says Koea, by failing to insist on better care.

    They are also less likely to have health insurance, allowing a fast-track diagnosis and referral into the public system
    http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pr161206.htm

  84. The researchers
    are aware that their data, alone, do not yield cause and
    effect but the interpretation they favour is plausible—
    ie, racism contributes importantly to socioeconomic
    deprivation, and together these play a major role
    in causing health inequalities. There are alternative
    interpretations—eg, that Māoris who have poor health are
    more sensitive to perceived racism; that the findings arise
    from a lack of cross-cultural validity of the questionnaire
    or other artifacts; and that other risk factors that are
    associated with racism and socioeconomic deprivation
    are the causes of these inequalities (eg, smoking, lack of
    physical activity, obesity, depression/anxiety). Bramley
    and colleagues5 showed that smoking prevalence was
    48·6% in Māori and 23·9% in European New Zealanders,
    and Māori were worse off in several other potential risk
    factors. Although Harris and colleagues’ attempt to find
    the “independent” effects of variables, such as racism and
    deprivation, is easy from a statistical point of view, it is
    problematic in a biological causal model. Their statistical
    model contains few variables. The model could include
    a fuller range of factors that are likely to be associated
    with the four outcomes. It would be a mistake, however,
    to conclude as a result of further analyses that the other
    risk factors (eg, smoking) are necessarily confounding
    factors, or that racism and socioeconomic deprivation are
    innocent. It is equally, if not more, likely that these other
    factors are on the causal pathway whereby racism and
    socioeconomic deprivation lead to the accumulation of
    intermediate risk factors, and the health effects are caused
    by joint direct and indirect effects. The complexity of the
    issues and the debates, in relation to understanding cause
    and effect, has been discussed elsewhere.9
    Racism can cause death and despair in ways that
    are, with the exception of disease epidemics, almost
    unparalleled in human history, as in the effects of slavery
    and colonisation, and more recently the massacres in Nazi
    Germany, Bosnia, Serbia, and Rwanda. Antiracism activity
    sits squarely in the wider arena of the struggle against
    oppression. The health-care and research professions
    must participate in this struggle, and in publishing the
    paper by Harris and colleagues The Lancet is making its
    contribution.

  85. Maori and Chinese should work together to advance their political agendas, says a high profile Maori academic and activist.

    “We are both oppressed and discriminated against.”

    She said the two peoples should “sit down and start discussing the best way through this for our country. Chinese by and large have been able to work their way through from being poverty-stricken… so badly oppressed, and they’re now very, very successful businessmen [sic],

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10458575

    I wonder what their secret is??? :wink:

  86. Uh-huh. So whitey says it, and it’s racism, but if the Chinese say it, it’s valid?

    I’ll save Mutu and co all a lot of time….

    Value education, work hard.

    The Chinese will tell you the same thing….

  87. “Perhaps you should look up a few of those ugly little words: ‘patriarchy’ and ‘institutionalised rascism’ (not that I mean to imply that they go hand in hand, though they are similar forms of oppression).”

    Here’s agood example of what your alluding too:

    Mana – authority, power, control, ownership, status, influence, dignity, respect all derived from the gods

    Kaitiakitanga – inherited responsibilities to take care of all our natural resources including our lands, waters, seas and other taonga
    Rangatiratanga – chieftainship including sovereignty, rights of self-determination, self government, authority and power to make decisions and own and control resources.
    We are tangata whenua – we are the hosts for all who visit this country (and hence need to determine immigration policy)
    We have a duty of manaaki manuhiri – we are obliged to look after our guests and ensure they are well-treated and respected.
    And if they decide to stay then they need a good understanding of our tikanga so that we can all live here in harmony.
    We also need a good understanding of our guest’s tikanga so that we know how to look after them properly.
    Pākehā settlement and introduced legal system has not and can not change these fundamental values and principles but it has made it very difficult for us to carry out our responsibilities.

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