A Newsletter for The Kumara Vine
P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand
ISSN 0114-2097 - Issue No 7/90, 15 November 1990
Toi te hapu, toi te iwi, toi te mana:
te mana wairua, te mana whenua, te mana tangata; te mana Maori.
Ka whawhai tonu ake! Ake! Ake!
E nga iwi o te motu, e nga hau e wha,
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
A farewell to Koro and a welcome to Winston:nothing has changed yet
Koro Wetere will point to many things as the achievements of his tenure as Minister of Maori Affairs.
Some of those things did move towards te tino rangatiratanga: such as MANA Enterprises, Maori ACCESS and the Runanga Iwi Act. But always there was a catch which stopped short of rangatiratanga, and always there was the Department of Maori Affairs hovering in the background talking "tuku rangatiratanga" but really doing "taku rangatiratanga".
His actual achievements can be seen in his panMaori monuments; Maori Development Corporation, Maori Language Commission, Maori Fisheries Commission, Radio Aotearoa, Manatu Maori, and Te Tira Ahu Iwi. These are monuments to his lack of faith in the iwi to control their own affairs, and to his reliance on government appointed bodies to keep control of us all. Under the reign of Cyclone Koro our colonial history repeated itself. The much vaunted Waitangi Tribunal produced recommendations which Koro and his government ignored. Old strategy, new tactic. Koro did a lot, but in the broad view he did little of lasting value. Farewell Koro.
Now we have Winston Peters. He too will need to erect his own monuments. Winston will not be interested in the iwi, except in those rare instances where the needs of iwi may coincide with his own political ambitions. Winston will be openly pan-Maori, and he will be much more careful than Koro in the construction of his controlling institutions and networks.
He will be prone to the danger of relying on the network of rumour-mongers and liars which has fed him his information and misinformation over the last six years. He seems to have learned to recognise and ignore the current crop of pretending chiefs; the ones with their mana in their wallets, along with the people's money. Sadly however I predict that he will be taken in and conned by the next generation of pretending chiefs.
Perhaps he will eventually learn that the real leaders of the Maori people are the same leaders, regardless of which party is in power, and that in Te Ao Maori party politics and personal ambition must be put aside for the good of the whole community. Perhaps he will learn too that only through service to the people will he earn his place in Maoridom.
That lesson was not learned during his years in Opposition. Winston will need a lot of years of hard work FOR the people before he will have atoned for the enormity of his sins in his drive for political popularity in the Pakeha world. Recognition as a Maori will not come without atonement, despite the many false prophets who will cling to him and proclaim his greatness, in the hope of personal gain.
In fairness I will proclaim his achievements. I see my mahi for the people as my main role in life, so if Winston does knuckle down to work for the people we could develop many points of agreement. On the other hand there is much we will disagree over, and I will continue to poke the big stick at him.
I started out by summing up the achievements of Cyclone Koro. You Winston should remember that in the final analysis you will be judged not just by me and others like me at the end of your term, but you will be judged as a Maori by the many future generations to come. You should write your script with that in mind. Your short term political achievements will be nothing beside the remembrance of what you did or did not achieve for our people; of what you did for, or did against, the iwi.
For the moment, and until you prove otherwise, I and many others of like mind still think that you're a shit. Nothing personal you understand. Good luck Winston.
"The Master said, High office filled by men of narrow views, ritual performed without reverence, the forms of mourning performed without grief - these are things I cannot bear to see!"
- The Analects of Confucius
TE PUTATARA is published monthly by TE AUTE PUBLICATIONS, P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand.
Copyright: Ross Himona, 1990
All material appearing in TE PUTATARA is copyright. Contributions are welcomed. Letters to the tea boy are also welcomed.
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A change of minister .............. 1
Fan Mail .......................... 3
Wellington Watch .................. 4
Review - Whatungarongaro .......... 7
Dispatches from the Dungeon Bar ... 8
Tena koe e hoa, tino pai, tino pai.
Great to read a bit of gossip about those eskimos in the big smoke (even though they're my whanaunga). I got to be a bit careful what I Say to you cos you might be one of those double agent fullas. Afterall anyone who's prepared to risk his own life as well as kill for tauiwi, has the potential of being re-trained.
Anyway a few issues back you asked for a nickname for your old buddy Wira. How about "Folk and Hoe Gardener" (or is it "Folk 'n' Hau").
E hoa, we got a permanent silly season here in Taranaki; get a load of this. We got some of Nev's disciples (or is it decipals) up here too, and like Ali, oops I mean Nev, they reckon they lost their mana, and they too trooped off to visit the fulla with the woolly wig to see if he could find it for them. Well, low and behold, the woolly wigged fulla reckons he can not only find their mana for them, he can even tell them how much their mana was worth. Neat eh. This bloke reckoned that these Mark 2 models mana was worth $20,000 each.
Well, I thought I'd try and calculate what this all meant in real terms, so I worked out that if Nev's mana was worth $85,000, then collectively these guys would come up to about Nev's armpits, then I went one step further, tangatamohio eh, and worked out which one was the legs portion and which one was the puku bit.
Well Koro's gone, and its now life with Winston. I've never been happy with most of what Winston says concerning things Maori, but at least you know what he's thinking, and I agree with his focus on Education. The differences between Koro and Winston are enormous, but unlike Koro, Winston does not require the cushion of pseudo advisors, who have done nothing for Maoridom under Koro's reign. The leech faction, who everyone seems to know, have done quite well for themselves at the expense of iwi, and no doubt they will attempt to mimi in Winston's pocket. However I have faith in Winston's ability to keep his pocket out of the way, and with a bit of luck he may be able to restrict their bladder functions, and possibly even their reproductive ability, which could be of mutual benefit to both the mimi-ee and the mimi-er.
Kia ora Ross,
Read the [attached] clipping. A male Maori born in 1987 can expect to live 67.44 years, til the year 2054. A poor old Maori male born in 1928 has got a life expectancy of only 62 years. But you can see that things are getting better. Now you know why both Labour and National have decided to raise the minimum age for superannuation from 60 to 65 years. Can't have Maori males enjoying super for too many years.
Interesting to know that you are on to the Nev Baker/Sir Norman Perry deals. Sir Norm was always able to get money from Wellington for "good works". He has been able to travel extensively, first class, to the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. Not much of the Nev Baker private purse was filtered down to the people who could really use it.
a round-up of capital events
Winston Peters, Secretary
E hoa ma, last month I told you about some con-men. And this month I'm going to tell you about the new private secretary to the new Minister of Maori Affair.
His name is Charles Begg, and he used to be part of a company called Russell William Developments Ltd. He used to be a consultant. Now Charles Begg and Co., they got paid a lot of money by their own runanga (Te Runanga O Ngati Porou) to do some work for the iwi, then they didn't come back.
You've made your first mistake Winston; you've hired a con-man.
On the trail to Wellington
Beehive Jake reports that there's a long queue of people lining up outside Winston's office with their hands out asking for moni. Some of these people are the same ones who've been running him down for the last four years. Apparently it won't do much good because Winston can't stand people who try to lick his you-know-what.
Here's another leftover scandal from the old Department of Maori Affair. Apparently Te TAI is sorting out a big housing scam which has been happening in it's Auckland office. It goes back to the old DMA days and involves some of those crooks left over from the corrupt old DMA. There's a whisper on the kumara vine that this investigation might flow over into other regions as well. Some of those crooks have been looking very sick lately. Sounds like the crooked part of that old DMA community officers network is up to its old tricks still.
One of the prime suspects is a very senior officer in Auckland. In the old DMA days he used to get community groups and sports clubs to apply to him for grants; then they used to give him some back for his boxing club eh.
The Maori Trustee
Neville "IOU" Baker is still making a lot of friends by giving out his "philanthropic grants". This is another of Neville's favourite activities left over from his old community officer days. The kumara vine reports that you can get $5000 from Neville if you ask. Don't queue up at Winston's door; go to Neville.
The kumara vine reports from the regions that some of Neville's old cronies who are still in Te TAI have been promising some philanthropic grants too.
Mr Fatman, our spy in the broom cupboard in Te TAI headquarters, reports that for some strange and weird reason the Maori Trustee staff are leaving him. Doug Hauraki, his staunch friend and deputy, has gone back to the Department of Social Welfare. They must know something.
Beehive Jake reports that Neville hasn't had much luck with Winston, but he tried hard to impress.
Maori International (MI5) and Kawa
The kumara vine dropped a copy of the MI5 Annual Report 1989-90 on my desk. E hika ma, what a hardcase!
Te Tiamana, Ta Kereama Latimer, has a big complain about their joint venture fishing company not getting any quota to fish with. This joint venture (Taima Holdings Ltd/Taima Fisheries Ltd), they bought some fishing operations in Gisborne, Nuhaka and Napier. Well now, then they applied to the Maori Fisheries Commission for some quota to fish, but they got nothing. Funny thing was, the quota went to the tangata whenua (tangata moana) instead of to MI5!! That's why Latimer is complaining! E hoa ma, he's been fighting so hard for the Treaty of Waitangi eh, he should rejoice that the Commission didn't try to stop Ngati Kahungunu fishing for their own fish eh. That's rangatiratanga.
Just as well the Maori Fisheries Commission knows all about te kawa o te moana, because MI5 doesn't eh.
The next thing he complains about is the $400,000 loan MI5 got from the Maori Development Corporation. One of the easiest rules to understand in business is, if you don't like a deal, don't do it - it's useless complaining afterwards eh. This loan was to help pay for a million dollar fishing vessel for the Chatham Islands. MI5 has set up a joint venture with Te Runanga O Wharekauri Rekohu Inc. Apparently the MDC wouldn't give them a special deal with lower interest rates.
I feel sorry for Te Iwi O Wharekauri Rekohu, but you ought to know that your joint venture partner has got absolutely no record of success in business, so you'd better make sure that you keep tight control on them. Just as well you've got your man Maui Pomare in there to keep an eye on them - make sure they don't ignore your kawa too.
What about the financial report for MI5? Since MI5 started up, shareholders have paid in $704,680 and there is $588,455 of shareholders funds left as at 31/3/1990. This is a loss of $116,225 over the period of MI5's existence. They have made a profit of $60,329.00 for the year to 31 March 1990, but when you put this alongside total losses over the years, the picture is not good. It's very murky.
Most of this $60,329 profit for 1989/90 has come from a few very lucrative consultancy contracts, which are not likely to be repeated in the present financial year. MI5 will need to find some income from somewhere. Their tourism projects have come to nothing. Will their income be in fishing?
They have invested $325,000 in their joint venture fishing company. At the moment the fishing industry is in decline, and unless this joint venture company can get some guaranteed Maori quota they might not have any fish to catch. I can't see Ngati Kahungunu giving away their rangatiratanga to MI5 Fish Ltd, so maybe those processing operations in Gisborne, Nuhaka and Napier will have to rely on Chatham Islands fish. With a million dollar fishing vessel to pay off as well, that $325,000 "asset" MI5 has invested in fishing could very easily turn into a "liability".
Over the next two critical years MI5 will need some very astute management just to survive, let alone start making a profit, and paying dividends to shareholders. They should start by changing the chairman.
Bank of New Zealand
Aue taukuri e, here we go again! The People's Bank has given away some more money to hard up millionaire crooks in Australia. Here's the record so far:
New Zealand $1,300,000,000
Handouts by NZ Government to save the BNZ from bankruptcy:
New Zealand $600,000,000
Will there be more to come? Yes.
This scandal is so big it's hard to believe. The crooks in the BNZ gave away $4.1 billion to a whole bunch of other crooks, and then the crooks in government gave away $1.22 billion of taxpayers' money to the crooks in the BNZ to cover up all that thieving.
And those Pakeha have the cheek to accuse us of mismanagement!
I closed my BNZ accounts long ago.
The Constitution Room
At the National Archives in Wellington (the old Government Print office on Molesworth Street) they have a new Constitution Room. In it are the originals of the 1935 Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Waitangi, the Minute Book of the Kohimarama Conference July 1860, and other documents related to constitutional development.
The Treaty is water damaged and rat-chewed, but well restored. When in Wellington make sure you visit our Treaty. It lies there, and calls for you to come; and to tangi.
Nga Kupu Korero
At the National Library in Wellington is an exhibition about the signatories to the Treaty. There are photos of some of the signatories, as well as some taonga associated with them. Well worth a visit.
A certain thespian gentleman from Tikitiki seems much addicted to travelling. Before the elections he spent some time in Germany making a film; then on his return to Aotearoa he went on the campaign trail for Mana Motuhake. Now our European branch of the kumara vine (the grapevine) reports that he has turned up in Paris at an indigenous film festival. I wonder if the real reason for this trip has anything to do with someone he may have met in Germany last time he was there?
Our German spy Sylvia assures us that she is very close to Vi Kuki now, so she can keep an eye on him for us. She might become a double agent though; that Vi Kuki can be wery persuasive.
Rangi & Helen
From Tamaki Makaurau the kumara vine reports that our old friends (and Neville's old friends) Rangi Whakaruru and Helen Kotua are back on their feet and running a busy house in Auckland. This is a house of some repute I am given to understand; you understand.
a story of now about people like us
a play by Te Roopu He Ara Hou. Directed by Roma Potiki and John Anderson.
This work from the creative minds of Roma Potiki and her group is one of the finest theatre works I have seen. And what's more, it is Maori.
It is not just the theme and the actors and the theatre that are Maori; but the kaupapa of the play, its internal structure and its presentation are totally Maori. Gone is the structure of the European play with its one, two or three acts and rigid adherence to linear European time. This play is presented as a single act, switching between future, past, distant past and present, with each event linked to the one before and to the one after, but in which the passage of time is coincidental. Time on this stage becomes Maori, telescoped into a single event. Linear time is relevant only in the passing of the seasons and of the generations.
The story itself is about the breaking down of the whanau; a broken marriage and children striking out in their own independent and sometimes destructive directions. The mother finds relief in a wine bottle, the brother and his friends seek their solace in glue, and the sister seeks hers in love. The father continues on with his old life. All the while there is the influence of the ever present bird-gods who struggle among themselves to guide the unfolding of events.
When catastrophe strikes it is the gods too who know what to do. Events are guided into the honoured, trusted and comfortable rituals passed down to us by our tipuna to ease us through those times. Order is created out of chaos and life goes on; the future unfolds within the certainty of the Maori vision of oneness across time and space, spiritual and physical.
This is a powerful play, powerfully danced and acted.
There was none more powerful and professional than Roma Potiki as Ruby, the mother of Wiki and Dean. Lizzie Pengelly in the multiple roles of Ruru, Rose and Ra is the find of the season and in Wellington we look forward to much more from this new actor. Lionel Cullinan as Dean was impressive. The choreography of the bird-gods was inspired. Wiremu Grace as Huia, the leader of the gods, gave a masterly performance.
The striking thing about the acting and dancing of all ten actors was that the casting was done so well, and that the play had been workshopped and rehearsed to such a high standard, that there were none of the usual flaws we come to expect in emerging theatre. Amazingly this magnificent presentation came from a new group of Theatre Maori called He Ara Hou. On the evidence of this first play I will certainly be lining up for every one of their future works.
I have watched a lot of good Maori theatre in the last two years. This was the best. The performance was deep without being heavy; it was stark in showing our flaws but subtle, loving, understanding, non-judgmental. To the actors, and especially to Roma and John; kia kaha.
Dispatches from the Dungeon
Paikare e hoa ma, even though I've been out of town again most of the time I've heard some interesting things from the Dungeon. I've now got my spies down there covering it while I'm out of town. That way my sources don't get punished for talking to me.
Things got so paranoid here in Te Whanganui-A-Tara that people wouldn't talk to me in public in case they got accused of being my spy. This happens every now and again eh. Some young people are still wary about talking to me in the Dungeon in case they get interrogated by a private detective. It's one year since Warwick Crooks and Neville Baker terrorised the staff by getting their Pakeha detective to do their dirty work, but they're still wary of Neville the Heavy.
You remember Warwick Crooks eh? He was the DMA Drunk-in-Residence. He's long gone but the kumara vine reckons his role as Drunk-in-Residence has been taken over by Ngahana Hartley. Apparently Hana is much given to drunking it up in his office and doing the hula on top of his desk! Then staggering off to the Dungeon.
Our mate Neville is doing a pretty good imitation of Drunk-in-Residence too. He always was a heavy drinker, especially under stress. At the party to celebrate Te TAI's first birthday Neville got so haurangi ... i ruaki ia ... all over himself. Then he said some unkind things to some of his colleagues.
E hika ma, you know what, the Dungeon has now got a Romeo-in-Residence! This short, dark and handsome, recently separated tane is having himself a ball chasing and being chased around Te TAI HQ, and around the Dungeon. The kumara vine reports that he's having a ball all around the country too. You know what? He stayed a night at a hotel in one provincial city, then the next day after he returned to Te TAI HQ, you know what he did? He sent a fax from Te TAI to the hotel and it was a love letter! True e hoa ma! It was a love letter to the manageress, and after she got it from her office staff, she gave it to her husband. Now her husband has got his meat cleaver waiting for Romeo's next visit.
Would you like to know his name?
Kaitoa, Winston's waka is starting to leak already. Rough justice eh, but he has to expect it since he was the one who encouraged Koro's waka to leak so much. Firstly the bad news for iwi. As many have predicted Winston's plan is to set up regional boards (about 10) and to appoint his, and other MP's people to the boards. They will be serviced by regional offices of a new department or ministry created from the remnants of Manatu Maori and Te TAI. The good news is that at long last the crooks and incompetents in DMA/Te TAI will probably be dumped. With a bit of luck the rapists and sexual harassers will get turfed out as well.
Doesn't sound good for iwi authorities but if you have strengthened your iwi then you will be strong enough to impose your will upon the regional boards.