Green Parliamentary speech on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

The Green Party welcomes the announcement that the Aotearoa/New Zealand will finally adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  It has been our policy for many years and we are very pleased that it has happened at last. 

We consider it the minimum international standard for the protection of indigenous communities and their right to self determination.  The concept of self determination is protected in the UN Charter.  Indigenous communities are people too.

This battle has been going on for 20 years, and I would like acknowledge the Maori Party who have pressured the National Party into agreeing to adopt the Declaration.

The Declaration recognises and helps to protect the rights of Maori and it’s great that progress has at last been made

The struggle to have this declaration recognised has been a long time coming and I would like to pay tribute to all the people who have fought long and hard to see this day – including Moana Jackson, Aroha Mead, Nganeko Minhinnick to name only a few.

I would also like to pay my respects to Dr Erihapeti Rehu-Murchie, Alec Whiti-te-Ra Kaihau, and Dame Miraka Szaszy who fought for the recognition of the declaration and who are sadly no longer with us.

This is a particular achievement worthy of celebration – because John Key’s Government has been so hostile to the development of iwi and hapu rights.  We need only consider John Key’s opposition to Maori having seats in the Auckland supercity. 

National have only agreed to this because they continue to assert here at home that iwi and hapu interests remain subservient to their own, as we heard from Murray McCully this morning.

Placing restrictions or caveats on the Declaration is the wrong message to be sending, on what should be a day of celebration.  The Declaration was already watered down to meet the demands of nation States– it does not need to be watered down further by a National Government hostile to Maori interests.

One of the main objections to the signing of the Declaration, particularly by Labour has been the desire to amend the Declaration to make it consist with New Zealand domestic law.   One of the problems with this is that iwi and hapu rights under Te Tiriti do not have constitutional protection in New Zealand law, unlike in other countries.

We can see that failure in our domestic law in Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed legislation and second in National’s foreshore proposal that simply mimics Labour’s.  

But today is a good day for iwi, Maori and for all New Zealanders. Our status as one of only three countries in the world not to sign the Declaration was an ongoing source of shame for us – both in the international community and at home.

We have an obligation to act as responsible global citizens.  New Zealand’s failure to support the Declaration has left many millions of indigenous people around the world without a framework for the protection of their human rights.  New Zealand has made a small step in favour of those vulnerable communities.

The Declaration gives our country another tool to work through the issues of colonisation and create a fair society based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

55 thoughts on “Green Parliamentary speech on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

  1. Easy to generalise about these rights but today Maori are of mixed ancestry and who is a Maori is considered a matter of “cultural identity” (great for malcontents) in addition there is virtually no where in the state of New Zealand that was not at the time of the signing of the treaty in the possession of an iwi. It is also pertinent that 1n 1840 the the demographics were (something like Maori 60, 70 or 100,000 and non Maori 2000 whereas now there are 4.1million of us). Many more Pakeha are buried in NZ soil than Maori.
    ….
    “One of the main objections to the signing of the Declaration, particularly by Labour has been the desire to amend the Declaration to make it consist with New Zealand domestic law. One of the problems with this is that iwi and hapu rights under Te Tiriti do not have constitutional protection in New Zealand law, unlike in other countries.”
    .
    Ms Chen said in 2007 the then Labour Government decided not to affirm the declaration based on Crown Law advice, over concerns the whole country would be caught in the scope of the declaration.

    “They talked about the provisions on redress and compensation, again the entire country would appear to fall within the scope of the article, and the text generally takes no account of the fact that the land might be occupied or owned legitimately by others.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3604345/UN-declarations-are-obligations

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  2. Specifics?:
    DUNCAN So would it allow for instance an iwi with a customary title say in the Bay of Plenty to do a partnership deal with if you like the Chinese government who come forward with a 100 million dollars and say we want to build a number of resorts on your land, lease it to us over 100 years, would Maori with customary title and iwi be able to get away with that?

    CHRIS Oh yes but they’d be subject to the Resource Management Act and subject to the other if you like general pieces of legislation, it’s not proposed that this would be a sort of a self governing entity once it was established, so any kind of development would be subject to the usual RMA principles.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1004/S00097.htm

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  3. Labour seem to be really fumbiling this whole issue really, they just seem to be opposing this for the sake of being in opposition at the moment. Anyone remember the PR coup when John Key supported the section 59 repeal? Labour seem to have lost all hope in regaining their core Maori voters.

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  4. Sweet!

    Crown Minerals (Protection of Public Conservation Land Listed in the Fourth Schedule) Amendment Bill (Metiria Turei)

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  5. This is a great step to giving more weight to Te Tiriti. The angst that some have over treaty settlements need to be put into perspective, too. Mark Hotchin, of Hanover Finance fame, is currently building a house for $30 million, this is more than some Iwi have received as compensation for over 150 years of injustice. Where should the outrage be?

    I just hope Key’s Government don’t go down in history as saviours of indigenous people when the signing was obviously kept a secret, so as not to frighten the horses, then supported with stating that it isn’t a binding agreement anyway. Nationals support for Maori is as sincere as Richard Seddon’s support for women’s suffrage.

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  6. “Nationals support for Maori is as sincere as Richard Seddon’s support for women’s suffrage.”
    ….
    The Greens support for Maori is full of rhetoric and platitudes but lacks specifics as in which piece of coastline and whose farm, what sort of political structure?

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  7. I too celebrate for indigenous people.
    That’s all born New Zealanders.

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  8. “Iwi have been involved in this fight against mining for decades and so we need to make sure the environmental movement and the Green Party stand alongside iwi who are fighting against the destruction of their whenua,” Ms Turei says.”

    DUNCAN So are you effectively saying here this morning that you perhaps are willing to compromise around that minerals issue because it’s quite important to Maori, well certainly the Maori I’ve spoken to.

    CHRIS Oh I think the socalled traditional reserved ones, Gerry’s already said are off the table, I’m prepared to hear what folk have to say in the course of my hui and public meetings, and then I’ll report back to the Cabinet.

    DUNCAN And if they say to you that we would like those select minerals taken out of any repeal, what do you say to that?

    CHRIS Oh as I say I’m about to embark on a number of hui, and in public meetings and then I’ll be reporting back to Cabinet, and then I’ll be able to report to you in late May.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1004/S00097.htm

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  9. Its seems that Mr Key & Co. are set to go along with anything that retains their power status, at least until 2011.. even things which seem 180degs. to their original stance on getting rid of maori seats & representation ?!
    “Kia-ora”

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  10. jh-I am a member of two treaty based organisations and both operate very well, it is surprising how most aspirations are shared and how much stronger both organisations because of it. Much of the conflict and distrust between cultures occurs when meaningful dialogue ends. There is no right system, just ones that allow for open and inclusive governance and fairness of treatment.

    Read Claudia Orange’s work, then get back to me.

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  11. jh-I am a member of two treaty based organisations and both operate very well, it is surprising how most aspirations are shared and how much stronger both organisations because of it. Much of the conflict and distrust between cultures occurs when meaningful dialogue ends. There is no right system, just ones that allow for open and inclusive governance and fairness of treatment.

    Read Claudia Orange’s work, then get back to me.
    ====
    As long as we just keep talking and generalising we will be right, however when/if a resource or use of a recourse is at issue and control or rental extracted we might not be so pally?…. Not sure what Claudia Orange says about that.

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  12. There seems to be this strange view that Maori speak with one voice and have united views. The way people refer to “the Maori say this” and the “Maori do that” is simplistic to the point of infantile. As the tanga te whenua, Maori have had basic human rights ignored for almost two centuries, their legitimacy as the first people needs to recognised as well as an ability to to determine what would be best for their future. It is all about the process being fair, not about final decisions. We may not agree to what Maori decide is best for them, and even within Maoridom there is great diversity of opinion, but to question the right to make decisions is the highest level of cultural arrogance.

    The Green Party will always support Maori, or certain iwi, where our aspirations unite (and stand alongside them as Metiria states), but not all Maori support our views and that is why the Maori Party are currently living a yoyo existance within a National Government.

    All this nonsense and fear about what “the Maori” may take from us is just so much crap. Treaty negotiations so far have demonstrated the willingness to comprimise and respect the rights of current land owners, we have more to fear from overseas interests buying into New Zealand.

    Good lord, I cant believe the hysteria!

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  13. Thanks, Greenfly. I had to have another cuppa and lie down, I got myself in a real lather.

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  14. Sprout Says:
    “There seems to be this strange view that Maori speak with one voice and have united views”.

    Margaret Mutu

    5.
    Māori Role in Aotearoa/New Zealand
    Defined by tikanga (our laws)
    derive from a world view that we inherited from our ancestors
    rooted as much in the spiritual aspects of this world as the physical.
    based on underlying values which include
    Mana – authority, power, control, ownership, status, influence, dignity, respect all derived from the gods
    Tapu – sacredness, spiritual power or protective force
    Whanaungatanga – kinship, relationships through genealogical bonds
    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.

    6. Our tikanga determines that :
    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.
    .
    .Hmmm….

    Sprout says:
    “All this nonsense and fear about what “the Maori” may take from us is just so much crap. Treaty negotiations so far have demonstrated the willingness to comprimise and respect the rights of current land owners, we have more to fear from overseas interests buying into New Zealand.

    Good lord, I cant believe the hysteria!”
    .
    .Tarian Turia : Tribes Treaty Claims 1.5% of what was taken. Settlements can’t be full and final.
    Nati apa Treaty Claims. Our young people have taken that settlement through and because I have particular views about settlements I’ve had to remain [“ “] or I’ll put our young people off. But they have worked constructively with our government and they’ve got about
    1.5% of what was taken. TT says “no government cant expect people settlements to be full and final if justice isn’t served.”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/ckpt/2008/09/05/waatea_news

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  15. There seems to be this strange view that Maori speak with one voice and have united views. The way people refer to “the Maori say this” and the “Maori do that” is simplistic to the point of infantile.
    …..
    I was pointing out that supporting Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed doesn’t guarantee good management although some Greens (Catherine Delahunty) seem to believe that Maori can be relied on to practise “kaitiaki responsibilities” and this softener seems to play a major part in Green Party policy with regard to the foreshore and seabed. I feel that when someone (of any race) owns something they get a big head and puff their chest out.
    ……
    “As the tanga te whenua, Maori have had basic human rights ignored for almost two centuries, their legitimacy as the first people needs to recognised as well as an ability to to determine what would be best for their future”.

    pass

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  16. Perhaps jh, the ‘un-kaitiaki behaviour’ you see about you is a result of being denied kaitiaki status for so long that the practice has become debased.
    Could you imagine that once restored, it might well be honoured and followed with zeal. Or are you such a cynic?

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  17. jh-You seem to have totally missed my point! Maori shouldn’t be excluded from the process of defining what rights they may have in terms of governership or managing parts of NZ due to historical connections and past wrongs. Foreign interests have bought coastal land and then restricted access, when some iwi claim historical rights and want to enforce a mataitai, all hell breaks loose. You can’t exclude people from exploring legal rights and good and proper process just because they may do something you may not want. You say yourself “I feel that when someone (of any race) owns something they get a big head and puff their chest out”. If that is so, why just exclude Maori.

    I can lend you a spade to dig your colonial head out of the sand.

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  18. jh-You seem to have totally missed my point! Maori shouldn’t be excluded from the process of defining what rights they may have in terms of governership or managing parts of NZ due to historical connections and past wrongs.
    —–
    Looking ahead though we see two groups living throughout the whole country and that’s where reality will bite. It is disingenuous for Metiria etc to be full of copious congratulations without considering the reality that there is only one New Zealand. Will these rights entail rentals on whitebait stands?

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  19. Perhaps jh, the ‘un-kaitiaki behaviour’ you see about you is a result of being denied kaitiaki status for so long that the practice has become debased.
    Could you imagine that once restored, it might well be honoured and followed with zeal. Or are you such a cynic?
    …..
    What makes you think Iwi can manage a particular area better than a person/people with higher education in marine sciences? I suppose exclusion/ rental would be the simplest tool 4 iwi.

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  20. I suppose the iwi as kaitiaki model is best seen in the Pacific Islands, however one thing that dissapointed me about Raratonga is that the lagoon was stripped of everything and anything edible.

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  21. jh – what to stop iwi with kiatiaki rights consulting with ‘people with highher education in marine sciences, or for that matter, being those ‘people’?
    Your black and white argument comes across grey.

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  22. Do you (jh) have any idea at all of the rules that kaitiaki operated/operate under? Seems not.
    The stripping of the lagoon at Rarotonga – the result of kaitiaki management? You imply so.

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  23. As for whitebait stands … don’t get me started!

    Catch and Release (Save the Whitebait)

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  24. Did you see the TV article on climbing ropes for whitebait recently? A very simple solution to a big problem for the little fallas.

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  25. sam – Agreed – whitebait are on the ropes!

    It’s good. Whitebait face many barriers, the destruction of wetlands (too late now) being the biggest. Illegal baiting the second. Of dozens.

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  26. “Looking ahead though we see two groups living throughout the whole country and that’s where reality will bite. It is disingenuous for Metiria etc to be full of copious congratulations without considering the reality that there is only one New Zealand.”

    jh – What you seem to be saying is that there is only one New Zealand and Maori are in the minority (and some may not even be Maori) therefore they should accept their minority status and just go with the dominant culture. Open dialogue, legal rights and comprimise should not be entered into with Maori if those who have profited for generations from past wrongs suffer to any extent from any possible outcome.

    You should live in Israel.

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  27. jh – What you seem to be saying is that there is only one New Zealand and Maori are in the minority (and some may not even be Maori) therefore they should accept their minority status and just go with the dominant culture.
    ……
    What I’m saying is that the issue is mainly about real estate. You are using culture as a smoke screen; what you really mean is that Maori need (this) area returned so they can live a tribal existence.
    .

    “Open dialogue, legal rights and comprimise should not be entered into with Maori if those who have profited for generations from past wrongs suffer to any extent from any possible outcome”.
    —-
    So now you are suggesting that there is an identifiable group who (presumably) are on privately owned farms who should be moved with state compensation -but you hid it behind flowery language? Is this what the Green Party wants (or does it just want “dialogue”?

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  28. You should live in Israel

    Another place where they have a “chosen race”.

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  29. Do you (jh) have any idea at all of the rules that kaitiaki operated/operate under? Seems not.
    The stripping of the lagoon at Rarotonga – the result of kaitiaki management? You imply so.
    —–
    Point me to an academic publication (page #’s) where kaitiakitanga has been observed and evaluated.
    ..
    That’s right you can’t! :roll:

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  30. Why your desperate need for an acedemic publication, jh?
    My question was,

    Do you (jh) have any idea at all of the rules that kaitiaki operated/operate under?

    You didn’t provide any answer. I won’t do as you have done and make wild assumptions. I’ll wait for your straight answer.

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  31. jh – I tautoko greenfly, your wild assumptions and bizarre leaps of fantasy relating to our comments make it hard to have a rational conversation. Do you disagree with anything I stated as my interpretation of your views?

    “but you hid it behind flowery language” – plain English is obviously a challenge, please give an example!

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  32. There was supposed to be a statement from another member of the government, other than Pita Sharples, later in the day. John Key promised it. I haven’t seen it, or seen it reported. Does anyone have a link?

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  33. I was wondering what was meant by “indigenous”. Inevitably, Google cam up with Wikipedia which defines it thus:

    Indigenous peoples are any ethnic group who inhabit a geographic region with which they have the earliest known historical connection.

    An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage that is real or assumed- sharing cultural characteristics

    So it seems that an indigenous people is a group that shares a real or assumed set of cultural mores, and who could, in theory, trace at least one line of ancestry to one of the assumed first inhabitants of a region.

    Of course, one could go on an on. What is a region? What happens if earlier settlement attempts are subsequently discovered? Does the ancestry have to trace back to just the first group of settlers or would related settlers who arrived months or years later be good enough?

    It all seems a bit woolly to me. What makes the rights of so-called indigenous peoples different from other groups (real or assumed)? The actual declaration has this to say:

    Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,

    Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust

    So, fairly early on, the declaration says that indigenous peoples should be treated the same as any other humans being, and have no special rights. However, it then goes on to say,

    Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

    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, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

    So now the declaration appears to do an about face and says that indigenous peoples should be treated differently from other people within a nation or region; that they have the right that any other individual or group within that region doesn’t have, the right to self determination. If it is not saying that then it must be implying that any group of people have the right to self-determination, if they so wish.

    Now, I’m not necessarily against self determination of any group, but is that what the declaration implies? How does the Green Party interpret the declaration? Are they saying that a group of people that can trace ancestry and culture back to some arbitrary time in this country, should have different rights from other New Zealanders? Or do they support the ideas in the declaration for everyone?

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  34. Do you (jh) have any idea at all of the rules that kaitiaki operated/operate under?
    ….
    No I don’t know the details but I believe it is hype.

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  35. jh – What you seem to be saying is that there is only one New Zealand and Maori are in the minority (and some may not even be Maori) therefore they should accept their minority status and just go with the dominant culture.
    ……….
    An example of heading away from the dominant culture would be when people give long speeches in Maori at a graduation ceremony under the presumption that those who don’t understand are in the wrong?

    “Open dialogue, legal rights and compromise should not be entered into with Maori if those who have profited for generations from past wrongs suffer to any extent from any possible outcome.”
    ……..
    First lets talk about who will suffer and how, otherwise it is all hot air.

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  36. Michael King:
    “In the new edition of Being Pakeha, I go on to say that, as another indication of how far Pakeha culture has become indigenous, it is only right to see the macrocarpa and the wooden church as being as much emblematic of the New Zealand landscape and human occupation of it, as the meeting house and the cabbage tree. ”
    http://sof.org.nz/origins.htm

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  37. Rata, E. and Openshaw, R. (eds.) Public Policy and Ethnicity, The Politics of Ethnic Boundary-Making. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Nov 2006 publication.

    H/B ISBN 0-230-00338-9, NZ$79.95 (November 2006) Palgrave Macmillan Publishers UK Limited

    Public Policy and Ethnicity is a response to the growing concern in many democracies that ethnicity has become institutionalised as a political category. The book draws on a number of international studies, including New Zealand, to show that this process of public policymaking creates permanent divisions and boundaries. These artificial boundaries are fundamentally at odds with the social fluidity of modern societies and actually undermine the conditions required to promote social justice.
    hear! hear!

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  38. jh – if, as you concede, you don’t know much, if anything at all, about the kaitiaki process, how is it you present yourself as a valid critic of it?
    You are blowing.

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  39. jh – if, as you concede, you don’t know much, if anything at all, about the kaitiaki process, how is it you present yourself as a valid critic of it?
    You are blowing.
    ….
    you are asking me to take it on trust; you can’t present any evidence. What your claiming is that a group of Maori would provide better environmental care of any particular ecosystem than a group of Dutch, Chinese or Pekinese who had a stake in a particular area (presumably because of skills handed down over the centuries). :roll:

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  40. jh
    I’m not asking you to take anything on trust and I’m not claiming anything regarding Maori environmental care.
    I’m asking you to back your opposition to kiatiakitanga with some substance. You have as much of that as you have knowledge of kaitiaki and their works.

    None.

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  41. “I’m asking you to back your opposition to kiatiakitanga with some substance”

    shouldn’t you go first as it’s you who knows about it?

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  42. But I’ll have a pop:

    “Kaitiakitanga

    The assistants of the gods are kaitiaki. They can be spirits, like the taniwha who take care of the waterways, or the spirits of dead ancestors, and they can be living creatures like trees, animals and human beings. The role of the assistants of the gods is called kaitiakitanga. As we saw earlier in this text, the Tawhito are the protectors of the creatures of the earth. Thus the person or the community who holds the mana whenua of a land is responsible for it.

    This responsibility consists namely in:
    1. restoring the mana of the people, i.e. assuring the actualisation of their primary tapu by helping them to develop their potential. The full mana of the Maori is directly related to their role of kaitiaki;
    2. assuring the sustainability and the long term use of their taonga which encompass all the natural resources of their land;
    3. protecting the fragile elements of their ecosystems;
    4. replenishing and assuring the provisions of kaimoana (seafood) and all the other sources of kai (food) for the future generations;
    5. planning and supervising all commercial developments with the iwi and the rangatira, those leaders who favour harmony within their community and hold its members together “so they move as one, like a shoal”;
    6. developing educational programs to explain the interrelations between all the elements of their living taonga (lands, seabeds, foreshores, water, air, animals and human beings) and to help people understand how the imbalance or destruction of one element can seriously affect all the others.

    The kaitiaki must make sure that the mauri or vital principle of their taonga is healthy and strong. Living in a particular geographic area for centuries allowed the tangata whenua to compile a huge variety and quantity of detailed knowledge related to the land, its resources and its inhabitants. That knowledge has been transmitted to their grand children (mokopuna) by the grand parents (tipuna) along the generations. It allows a rigorous evaluation of the mauri of their ancestral lands. For example, during the construction of a shellfish cannery along the long shore of the Ninety Mile Beach, the kaumatua, on discovering that the shellfishes would be canned and sold, gathered, discussed and came to the conclusion that the mauri of the shellfish would depart from Ninety Mile Beach. There would not be any left within fifteen or twenty years. Their predictions proved to be perfectly accurate :roll: .

    To sustain their mana, the tangata whenua must play their role of kaitiaki and do everything they can to preserve the mauri of their land. This includes restoring it to its original state if it has been altered by bad use.”
    http://www.kaitiakitanga.net/stories/origins%20research.htm

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  43. And so it was the local maori who strip mined the pippi off my local beach when I was a child. By taking, not just ‘a feed’, but many sackfulls a day untill they were gone.
    40 years later the pippi are back, I’m glad to say.
    But now it’s the mussels and crays out off the shore that are being raped… by, you guessed it, the local maori.
    They don’t give a rat’s about Kaitiakitanga, all they care about is Kai and Mammon.

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  44. So some of them are now in a hurry. Where? Are they the same ones who had the oil nationalised under them? Does anyone know if pakeha ex-owners of nationalised oil were compensated under the table?

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  45. jh – humour me please – how does your 10:50 cut and paste demonstrate your opposition to kiatiakitanga?

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  46. Samiam,

    The basic mistake you (and others posting here) are making is assuming that certain ethnic groups are better or worse at sustainably using resources.

    I believe that unsustainable use of resources is a problem faced by all human societies. The developed nations of the world are particularly bad at using resources sustainably, but the fact these nations are predominantly of European descent is beside the point, its just that technology is allowing these countries to exploit resources at a rate not possible before.

    To list just a handful of examples of unsustainable resource use:

    * Many early neolithic societies in the Near East collapsed because of soil degradation

    * The inhabitants of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) cut down all the trees (effectively stranding themselves on the island).

    * The Dodo became extinct following the arrival of Europeans on Mauritius

    * Some people believe the Australian mega fauna were hunted to extinction

    * The Moa was hunted to extinction in New Zealand

    * The Maui gas field is almost depleted after just 30 years

    And the list could go on to fill a whole book. The problem affects all humans, not just specific ethnic groups.

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  47. samiuela – those societies who have lived in a particular geographical region for extended periods of time without destroying the environment around them are examples of groups that are better at using resources. You cited some that are worse, so it stands to reason that there is a hierarchy with a top and bottom. Looking for the good performers and adopting their practices where appropriate seems a very good idea to me. Sustainable resource management is not a new concept, we don’t have to invent it at this point in time, others have gone before us. Let’s learn from them. An example, if you are needing one, might be the sabbatical fallow process used by Amish (and other) farmers.

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  48. @ samuela. Yes indeedo, At last someone get’s the point I’m trying to make
    It’s not my basic mistake, it’s my whole point
    Just as you said, Maori are no better or worse than others. Europeans have been worse only due to our ‘superior’ technology.
    But Maori seem to believe they are better and that they should be the stewards or guardians above others. On the basis of race! The Greenz appear to champion this cause!
    Whether it’s some kind of nod to ‘The Noble Savage’ or some form of ‘coloniser’s guilt’ I don’t know.
    The Greenz should not be championing the cause of any race, or group above, or below, others.
    The Greenz should be championing the environment.

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  49. jh – humour me please – how does your 10:50 cut and paste demonstrate your opposition to kiatiakitanga?

    My “opposition to kaitiakitanga”
    1. I see it as an excuse to give Maori control of areas at present under the control of the representatives of the general population
    It is alleged that:
    .
    Living in a particular geographic area for centuries allowed the tangata whenua to compile a huge variety and quantity of detailed knowledge related to the land, its resources and its inhabitants. That knowledge has been transmitted to their grand children (mokopuna) by the grand parents (tipuna) along the generations. It allows a rigorous evaluation of the mauri of their ancestral lands
    .
    and hence we are lead to believe that Maori are the experts.
    .
    It is also alleged that Maori behaviour (culture) is constant and predictable with beliefs such as:
    .
    The assistants of the gods are kaitiaki. They can be spirits, like the taniwha who take care of the waterways, or the spirits of dead ancestors, and they can be living creatures like trees, animals and human beings. The role of the assistants of the gods is called kaitiakitanga. ……the Tawhito are the protectors of the creatures of the earth. Thus the person or the community who holds the mana whenua of a land is responsible for it.
    .
    ……….
    1.Maori were responsible for the fastest mass extinctions of a megafauna in the history of human expansion*. It is alleged that “they would have learned from” this [Tipene Oregan] however that seems unlikely to me unless they all got together and said “let’s do [this] in future”. Early Europeans report that Maori knew nothing of the Moa.
    2. We shouldn’t confuse lack of technology with conservation. Maori didn’t have goats (for instance) and so didn’t face the challenges of other early humans.
    3. The pacific Islands had bouts of over population (and resulting war and famine and need for more migration) but the lack of food species (potato, wheat, pigs, sheep) meant Moari population could never grow beyond a certain level (on average Maori lived into their thirties (?), this is relevant because fewer people mean a smaller footprint.
    4. Maori had a martial culture which is more representative of steal and plunder than stay put and conserve.

    I’m not saying Maori didn’t love the environment or weren’t intimately acquainted with it, but so are many of the non Maori population but what is alleged by the practise of kaitiakitanga is an exceptional and predictable behaviour by (said) group.
    .
    Ref

    *”… human hunting and habitat destruction drove the eleven species of moa to extinction less than 100 years after Polynesian settlement of New Zealand …”

    R. N. Holdaway & C. Jacomb, Rapid Extinction of the Moas (Aves: Dinornithiformes): Model, Test, and Implications, Science, March 24 2000

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  50. …work through the issues of colonisation and create a fair society based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    These are mutually exclusive goals.

    Working through the issues of colonisation is laudable.

    Accepting the Tiriti is damaging. The Tiriti itself is one of the legacies of colonisation and simply continues the tradition of false promises that colonisation brought.

    Unless you treat all people the same you will simply continue past wrongs and usually amplify them. Why should an “indigenous” person have the right to self determination if I myself don’t?

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  51. It makes me laugh that John Key sees this declaration as being of no consequence.

    He is trapped in a mindset that believes financial and corporate power are the only real drivers.

    He seems totally incapable of realising that “moral” victories such as this declaration tear at the fabric of unity indefinitely. We don’t all have the miserable dollar as our God.

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