A Newsletter for The Kumara Vine
P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand

ISSN 0114-2097 - Issue No 1/90 January 1990



Putatara! Putatara!
Toi te hapu, toi te iwi, toi te mana:
te mana wairua, te man 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.




The Decent Society



Jimmy the Bolger and his National Party launched a "decent society" campaign towards the end of last year. The Nationals of course are no more decent than any other political party, and a great deal less decent than the society they would remake in their own image. But in politics image is everything; reality is an unnecessary encumbrance.

A decent society would acknowledge the right of Maori to be Maori, in Maori terms. It would acknowledge the right of Maori institutions to serve Maori interests, according to kaupapa Maori. It would acknowledge the human, social, economic and political rights of the tangata whenua, as distinct from the rights of other tangata tiriti.

A decent society would recognise and acknowledge the place of the Treaty of Waitangi as the main Constitutional document of New Zealand, in both legal and political terms. A decent society would recognise and acknowledge the fundamental INdecency of the present colonial constitutional arrangements. A decent society would not be afraid to face up to its inglorious past, and would not be afraid to put things right. A decent society would, without reservation or regret, free the tangata whenua from the bonds of European colonialism.

Will Jimmy the Bolger and the National Party go that far do you think? Do they envisage a society that decent? I think not.

In the National Party version of the decent society, they declare war on victims. Those who cannot find a place in the acquisitive and materialistic European culture of the "decent society" are labelled "under-achievers". Those who can find no paid work are "bludgers" as well. Those whose only method of protest is violence, and other anti-European behaviour, fill the prisons and mental institutions. Those who are capable of more articulate protest (in English) are "radical Maori activists". Those without other labels are "our Maori people".

So they have a place for us all in their decent society don't they? Right at the bottom.

Kia ora,

Ross Himona.





Information is Power



The National Party decent society campaign included accusations of political cronyism, made against Labour cabinet ministers. Readers may remember the accusations about Helen Clark and other ministers, concerning the awarding of lucrative government contracts.

The National Gang is not really concerned about the propriety of it all. What National really does want is its turn at the pork barrel, so its friends can have a turn at the loot. However they have raised a very interesting facet of Labour governance, without actually seeing it.

Poor old Jimmy the Bolger and his dumbfounded gang have sat and watched the whole business for over five years, and only now do they complain. Did they miss the first four golden years of consultancies, employment contracts, and public relations, advertising and research contracts?

If I were the Labour Party in 1984, I would have had an information plan ready. It would have involved the collection, collation and timely dissemination of information from all over the country, and abroad. I would have set up a network of consultancy and research companies to keep an eye on what the public servants were up to. I would have infiltrated the information industry; media, public relations and advertising.

I would have funded this private political intelligence network from the public purse, through government contracts. I would have been able to side-step the official security and intelligence system. I would even have had a Minister in charge of it all. And then I would have relied on the stupidity of National not to notice for five years. Clever eh.







"Believing is one thing, doing another. Many talk like the sea but their lives are stagnant marshes. Others raise their heads above the mountain tops, while their souls cling to the dark walls of caves."

- Kahlil Gibran



TE PUTATARA is published monthly by TE AUTE PUBLICATIONS, P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand.

Tea Boy

Ross Himona

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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The Decent Society................. 1

Information is Power............... 2

Fan Mail .......................... 3

Wellington Watch .................. 4

The Treaty vs The Constitution..... 6

Runanga Iwi Bill................... 8

A Tauiwi Weak-point................ 9

Dispatches from the Dungeon Bar ...10





Fan Mail



Te Ti-tama!

It gives me great pleasure to forward the latest missives from Cyclone Koro.

I am wondering how to get off the list also, but it is part of my Electorate Secretary's duties to see that those who are interested gain access to Ministerial Missives that clog the system ... this month it's YOU - .

Ms Jake,
Labour Party.



Kia ora, Ross.

Keep up the good work. But you are causing unnecessary distress to the iwi Moriori. Watch this in 1990, perhaps?

Nga mihi,

Michael King.



E te ti-boy, kia ora koe.

You know that Trevor Morley - Neville Baker's private detective. Well I seen him too - last year it was. He was looking for some Government papers that was supposed to be lost. My source says he never found them though. I'll let you know if I see him here again.




Kia ora koe Ross,

Nga mihi o te ra ki a koe e ko. Many thanks for sending "Te Putatara" publications to me. I have found them a great source of information and indeed fun to read. I have informed various people of your publication and hopefully you will be inundated with subscribers in the future.

"Ka kohi te toi, ka whai te maramatanga."

Phyllis Tangitu,





From "The Dominion" 2/1/90



What they said to The Dom

Mr [Maanu] Paul claims six of the 13 district councils are boycotting anything to do with 1990. However Sir Graham [Latimer] says that at the last national council meeting, 85 percent supported the celebrations.

Mr Paul believes other district Maori councils, support is a lot less enthusiastic than Sir Graham claims. He says while they might not be boycotting the events, they are not offering all-out support either.

Sir Graham is happy to describe the events as a celebration ........

"......I'm quite happy to celebrate because I believe there is a lot to celebrate."

"Every Maori who participates is a kupapa...a person who goes on the other side and sucks up to them," Mr Paul says. "The fact is that all Maori iwi are suffering."


Te Putatara Comment

The Maori Council, under the presidency of Sir Graham Latimer, has become a one-man grandstand. Very few national councillors know what he does (and spends) in their name. No-one, including Sir Graham, really knows what most of the affiliated Maori Committees think. He represents only himself, and those too afraid to confront him. It's time he went.





Wellington Watch

a round-up of capital events



Public and Private Lives


The public spat between David and Naomi Lange last year raised once again the question of whether the media should or should not make public the private goings-on of MPs. Is it in the best interest of the nation for the public to know? Whose interests are served by the unwritten convention observed by MPs and parliamentary gallery journalists - the convention of silence?

Too often in New Zealand journalists do not publish, for the relationship between MP and gallery journalist has become incestuous. Politicians are of course entitled to some privacy, but only where their private lives do not infringe upon the public interest. There are at least three circumstances where the truth about the private lives of politicians must be reported by the media.

Firstly; where the private affairs of an MP have a direct bearing on affairs of state. The open warfare conducted last year between Lange's office and Douglas's office was widely reported. What was not reported was the fact that a mere speechwriter was a central figure in this warfare, and that she was having an affair with the Prime Minister. The affair, of itself, was of little interest. But the affairs of a Prime Minister are in the public interest. The influence of Margaret Pope in the affairs of the nation should have been made public, in the public interest.

Secondly; many of our politicians make public pronouncements about standards of behaviour and morality, yet in their private lives do not themselves live up to their own standards. That amounts to pure hypocrisy, and should be publicly exposed in the public interest. Like one publicly moralistic married person who is known to chase female visitors across his couch.

Thirdly; corruption and other criminal behaviour by politicians, such as conspiracy to defraud, and misuse of public funds, must be made public.

Te Putatara has been investigating the case of an MP who committed an indiscretion some time ago, and who enlisted the aid of influential friends to cover it up. This cover-up has also involved a senior member of a government department, and the misuse of public funds. One way or another, it is a case which will be published, once all the evidence is gathered.


Police Association Declares War!


The Police Association has called for front-line police to be armed. Now, let's do some analysis. The police have already shown us that they will not prosecute people who shoot Maori. Over half of all people in prisons and mental institutions are Maori. Therefore, over half of all people they plan to shoot will be Maori. And they won't be prosecuted. Right? Sounds like war to me. Ross Meurant should rejoin the police.


Ministry of Maori Affair


E hoa ma, the whisper is that things are going a bit better at the Ministry now that more staff have been taken on, and they have been given jobs they are qualified for. But the kumara vine says that it's the Chief Executive that doesn't measure up to his job description. Ka aroha.


Iwi Transition Agency


By now many of you would have been to one of Wira Gardiner's hui. From all accounts these ITA hui have been well presented, and fairly well received. When you consider that ITA was launched on 1 October 1989 without any coherent plan in place, they have done remarkably well. A corporate plan has since been drawn up, and two series of briefing hui have been completed already.

No plan? Well, it seems that the ITA Establishment Unit, which worked for three months or so before the launch, didn't actually hand over any plan. Or much of anything else! My very reliable sources tell me that as soon as it became known that Wira Gardiner was going to be General Manager, well the queue formed at the shredding machine, and heaps and heaps of files were trashed. One source commented that if you wanted to find any senior staff you had to go to the shredding machine on the seventh floor.

Te Putatara also received evidence of a plan by a few former Maori Affairs staff to bring Gardiner under their control from the moment he walked into ITA. There were some nasty little power games going on in there, I can tell you; but this plan seems to have been knocked on the head before it started. Even so, there is evidence that the old Department of Maori Affairs mentality still persists in middle management, with the old power games, and the old single-minded dedication to the advancement of their own mana, and their own careers. Not everyone, but enough to make you wary.

Gardiner (think up a nickname for him someone!) seems to have pulled off a minor coup of his own. Very shortly after he started, he brought in his kaumatua Hirini Mead, Monita Delamere, Manuhuia Bennett and Te Makarini Te Mara as his personal advisors. With firepower like that to mind his back, his staff would have to be very stupid to try to bowl him, eh. The odd one or two will still try though. Mark my words.

Despite Gardiner's achievement to date, I don't have a lot of faith in this ITA team. After putting together reports from all the regions, I find the old management practices from the Department of Maori Affairs are still very persistent. They include; management by getting on the booze, management by doing what you know how to do instead of what you should be doing, management by wondering around doing nothing and looking very busy, management by pretending to be managing, and management by bullshit.

I reckon that despite its kaupapa, and despite my own confidence in Wira Gardiner, ITA represents a threat to iwi. There are still people in there who are collaborators, and who are there for their own personal gain, and who will sell you out, if you don't watch them very closely. There are far too many Freemason collaborators in there as well. One is too many, and there are at least five in senior positions. They will show their true colours if and when the National Party takes power. So, don't ever let ITA get the upper hand. It will always be a tool of Government, Labour or National. Its staff are Government people.

There are of course, many good and loyal iwi people in ITA but not enough of them in the right places; and not enough women.

To cap everything off it would seem that most of the budget was blown out before ITA was launched. Don't count on MANA Enterprises and MACCESS to fund your incorporated runanga.





The Treaty Of Waitangi vs the Constitution: Iwi vs Tauiwi



"The ultimate sanctions of constitutional law as against the ruling body are extra-legal - revolution, active and passive resistance, and the pressure of public opinion."

- Paton & Derham, "Jurisprudence", 1972.


In the struggle to regain te tino rangatiratanga, and to gain ground for the Treaty, the present constitutional arrangements must give ground.

For our cause to advance, not only must the Treaty be promoted, and networked into the hearts and minds of all the people of New Zealand, but the present constitutional arrangements must also be changed. The so-called Constitution is the citadel of power culture rule; it is the last bastion of the colonials.

That is the reason why Geoffrey Palmer has tried to modify the Treaty by proclaiming his five new Treaty principles. As a constitutional lawyer, he well knows that any move towards recognition of Article 2 of the Treaty automatically diminishes the already dubious legality of the present, largely unwritten, "constitution". That is also the reason why Alex Frame was selected to head the Treaty Unit of the Department of Injustice, for he too is a constitutional lawyer.

What is the Constitution?

Few New Zealanders would know that the "Constitution" doesn't actually exist. Few would know that most of their constitutional arrangements are not legally enforceable by the courts; that they are not in fact the law of the land.

In 1986 Geoffrey Palmer very quietly pushed the Constitution Act 1986 through Parliament. To quote from his book "Unbridled Power" it is, "a basic guide to the composition and powers of the institutions with which it deals." This act was one of the first moves he made to shore up the "Constitution" as it came under threat from the Treaty. What actually happened was that Parliament formally gave itself, and our other ruling institutions, the legislated right to rule. A bit like a legislative coup d'etat, eh.

One of the reasons given for the need for the Constitution Act 1986 was the incident when Sir Robert the Great refused to hand over the levers of power after the 1984 elections; tauiwi vs tauiwi. The real reason was to combat Article 2 of the Treaty; tauiwi vs iwi.

So, this so-called Constitution is little more than an agreement amongst the rulers and potential rulers about how they will rule us.

The general method of rule in New Zealand has certainly been practised for a few centuries in England, but that is no guarantee of its superiority over other forms of government, or of its suitability in Polynesia or Aotearoa. It is certainly not a justification for its imposition on the nation tribes of Aotearoa.

Nevertheless, tauiwi constitutional lawyers have access to a great body of "history", and legal and constitutional argument and philosophy to justify the claim that the Constitution does actually exist. Politicians on the other hand need only assert that it exists, for politicians dare not try to justify their existence. The truth is, that it only exists as long as the people allow it to exist. As most New Zealanders are totally ignorant about their constitutional arrangements, as well as the Treaty, we are actually ruled through our ignorance, by the power elite.

Constitutions therefore, are nothing more than instruments of power. Sometimes that power is blatantly held by a few, sometimes it is divided between upper and lower legislatures, and sometimes it is divided between central and regional governments. In New Zealand power is blatantly and alternatively held by a few in the two main political parties, with few checks and balances, and we pretend that it is held on behalf of the "people".

But even in Eastern Europe, where Constitutions had been written, set in concrete, and enforced by the power of the gun, when the people decided on revolution, the constitutions meant nothing. Governments toppled like dominoes. That is the most drastic method of changing constitutional arrangements, and not yet warranted in Aotearoa.

At the moment public opinion is building in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi. With continued education about Treaty and constitutional issues, sufficient pressure should build to force changes to New Zealand's constitutional arrangements. However, if the National Party gains power this year, and if they attempt to turn back the tide that is carrying the Treaty, as they keep threatening to do, then a higher level of pro-Treaty activity will be necessary.

Although the strategy of building "pressure of public opinion" is doing very well for the moment, Treaty activists must now prepare strategies for life under a National government. The next level of activity is "passive resistance", or preferably a form of Mahatma Gandhi's satyagraha strategy. It must be carefully formulated though, with emphasis on peaceful resistance. With Paul East as Minister for Injustice, John Banks as the Minister for Police, and with the Police Association calling for the gun, even a sneeze out of place could push a National government into all-out war.

I would leave all thought of active resistance (or revolution) to the racist Pakeha media in Auckland; and to those crazy Pakeha farmers and fishermen up in Tai Tokerau, who are armed to the gums already. Judging by the huge arsenal of weaponry amassed in Auckland to protect the Commonwealth Games from my gentle whanaunga Syd Jackson you'd think we were already at war eh!

On the other hand, a move from the public opinion strategy may not be necessary. Even National could back down from its present stance on the Treaty, if enough people force them to. The latest 1990 Commission public opinion poll shows that more than 50% of New Zealanders now support the Treaty, to a greater or lesser degree. Even another 10% or 15% support should force National to change its policy before the elections; provided they're not as bigoted and as dumb as I think they are.

Between now and the elections later this year the public opinion campaign needs to be stepped up. But it must not just focus on the Treaty of Waitangi. The time is now ripe for education about the "Constitution", and for the public to be made aware of the myth of constitutional government in New Zealand.

1990 - Treaty vs Constitution.





Runanga Iwi Bill


"E koekoe te tui, e ketekete te kaka, e kuku te kereru."

The tui chatters, the parrot screams, the pigeon coos.


The incorporated runanga introduced by the runanga iwi bill is no big deal. It is just another instrument designed to allow Government to deal with us. In this case, the incorporation of a runanga also has the benefit of causing Government to recognise the existence of the iwi.

It is a vast improvement on the Maori Trust Board because it has none of the paternalistic restrictions of that legislation. The problem is, the Government doesn't provide any resources to incorporated runanga, as it does to some Trust Boards under the Maori Trust Boards Act.

Ideally every iwi should have an incorporated runanga, an incorporated society, one or more limited liability companies, a charitable trust, a credit union, a Maori Trust Board (with some funding), and one or more Maori land incorporations (with a lot more funding). The iwi itself will remain a sovereign nation.

That way, the iwi would have a tui when it wanted to chatter, a kaka when it wanted to scream, and a kereru when it wanted to coo.

Well, what sort of a bird is this incorporated runanga?


Constitutional Law.


Under constitutional law, the bill certainly doesn't recognise te tino rangatiratanga, it doesn't actually honour the Treaty of Waitangi, and it doesn't concede that the iwi is the total Maori structure and organisation; social, economic and political. In fact, it doesn't even acknowledge the iwi as a partner to the Crown. So, although the iwi is recognised by the bill, it is definitely not recognised in terms of the "constitution". This bird is not the hokioi which the Pakeha claims is extinct; it's not going to bring us back our rangatiratanga, that's for sure.


Legal Personality.


As with all incorporating legislation, this bill allows registration of a legal personality. This is the very first time the iwi has been able to register an incorporated body, to be able to legally represent the iwi in dealings with the Pakeha world. This is the major achievement of the bill. This bird speaks a language the Pakeha might be able to understand.


The Law of Agency.


You remember in 1988 when the Department of Maori Affairs and the Crown Law Office tried to make iwi authorities "agents" of the Crown? That would have meant that the Crown, and individual Maori people, would have been the principals in the arrangement, and the iwi just a nothing, sitting in between. The bill definitely says that the incorporated runanga is not an agent of the Crown. This bird is not Long John Silver's parrot disguised as a kea.

However, there may be occasions when you want to do deals as an agency. It would then be best to use a completely Pakeha structure such as a limited liability company, or an incorporated society. Sometimes you need the pirate's parrot.


The Law of Contract.


The incorporated runanga is able to enter into contractual agreements with the Crown, as a principal. In fact this is the only way the Crown can do business with an incorporated runanga. When you want to force the Crown into a clearly specified agreement by which the Crown will be legally bound, this incorporated runanga is the one to use. In the past, it was impossible to tie the Department of Maori Affairs down to a fair and legally binding contract.

And that is the problem. Few Government departments know how to negotiate fair contracts. They still like to hold the whip hand, so you should always use a very good contracts lawyer. This bird is not an eagle soaring high above all the problems of the world (and you will need to hire a legal eagle occasionally).


The Requirement for Charters.


In the December 1989 edition I pointed out the need to carefully write charters. These should make it perfectly clear that the incorporated runanga is not the iwi, but a body which may represent the iwi in certain roles, and under certain circumstances.

The strength of this bill is that those iwi with highly creative charter writers should be able to craft a bird from their incorporated runanga which will koekoe like a tui, ketekete like a kaka, and kuku like a kereru - in both Maori and English. It's not the most beautiful of birds, and it's neither completely indigenous nor completely exotic, but it will do the job for a year or two. And don't let tauiwi con you into believing that it's a genuine kiwi.

- na he kaka waha nui.





A Tauiwi Weak-point



Although Government still pretends to have some control over the economy, it has very little. As a result of deregulation since 1984 the economy has been opened up to the influences of the global economy, totally beyond the influence of the NZ Government. Recent events in the banking and financial sectors show that our financial system is very vulnerable to manipulation and attack, not only from overseas investors and speculators, but also from within.

We have seen that the "Constitution" is a colonial citadel, and a vulnerable point, which should be attacked. The national economy is another vital yet vulnerable installation, especially to those who benefit most from it.

Now, tauiwi is in need of a sharp shock to make him realise that if his stay in New Zealand is to be prosperous and settled, he really needs to accommodate Maori needs. If he could be shown, quite dramatically, that Maori have the ability to destroy that prosperity, his greed, if not his sense of justice, might force him around. Paradoxically, the very drive for individualism and self-interest which swept away the regulated economy, has also made their beloved economy very vulnerable. The resultant free market depends for its stability on the goodwill and confidence of most members and groups of society, including Maori people.

What would happen, say, if Maori people all over the country suddenly started drawing their money out of the BNZ? Do you think it might cause a run on the wonky old People's Bank?

What would happen if overseas investors saw NZ as an unstable country?





Dispatches from the Dungeon Bar



"There is only one means of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender, and that is extermination. There is only one way to control a territory that harbours resistance, and that is to turn it into a desert. Where these means cannot, for whatever reason, be used, the war is lost."

- Robert Taber, "The War of the Flea", 1965.


Kia kaha, e hoa ma, Te Aka o te Kumara, Ngati Dungeon, me Ngati Jake. Though the Maori Trustee may have sent his tauiwi detective Morley to battle the forces of the kumara vine, the Dungeon, and the secret Jake network, he will not triumph. Would he exterminate the unseen networks, which are without leaders and without apparent form? Would he turn into desert a territory which exists only within the hearts and minds of the networks? Methinks that like Don Quixote and his windymills, he joins battle only with the kehua within himself? Kia tupato!

This War of the Dungeon is getting exciting eh? Well, someone has to liven things up here at Te Upoko O Te Ika. It would be dead boring without Neville Baker and his Pakeha detective eh. I might be tempted to turn to drink if the defective wasn't around to keep me on my mettle.

E hoa ma, I shall have to call on you for tactical advice though. My manual on guerrilla warfare (The War of the Flea), it tells me that I should swat the Pakeha defective like a blowfly, but Jake Junior says we should play with him like a cat and mouse. Koha is the name of the cat. My old mentor from the military, General Jake, he reckons the very best way is to buy him, and put him to work against his own client. But that's not a practical idea eh, unless we win the Looto. Or come into some Public funding!

Fellow strategists, what do you reckon we should do about the defective? Send your suggestions to our secret campaign manager; Comrade Jake, c/- Minister of Maori Affairs, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

A word to the wise though. We can't call on the awesome powers of Cyclone Koro and Tawhiri Tamati this time for this battle. Tamati has retired from the fray; and I don't think Koro has much time left you know, before his boat gets called in.

Well, until we hear from you, we'll wait it out in the trenches. Send reinforcements - make mine an orange.






Pig Hunting
Deer Stalking
Trout Fishing

Contact: Noel Himona

P.O.Box 351
Tel: (0724) 23-729






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