Te Putatara a newsletter for the kumara vine
Issue No 2/00 - 15th February 2000 ISSN 0114-2097
"...you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?"
- Kahlil Gibran
"Te Putatara" is a webzine by Te Aute Publications, P.O.Box 408, Wellington, Aotearoa / New Zealand. Edited by Ross Nepia Himona. "Te Putatara" is published on the World Wide Web at http://maorinews.com/putatara
At that URL all the back issues of "Te Putatara" have been indexed and are searchable.
Copyright: Ross Nepia Himona. Feel free to print, copy and re-transmit but please acknowledge source.
Ki te whaiao, ki te ao-marama,
E nga iwi o te motu, e nga hau e wha
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
And let the trumpet sound,
To signal your emergence
Into the dawn light,
The broad light of day.
I sneeze, there is life!
To the people of the land, of the four winds
Greetings, greetings, I greet you all.
Julius Caesar, and an old colonial strategy
whanau, hapu and iwi: another policy construct
state destroys Rangitukia economy
parliament, parliament, what a sadsack ol' outfit you are
old minds with new programmes, or new minds with vision
closing the gaps: forty years on, what's been achieved
book review: Waitangi & Indigenous Rights by Jock Brookfield
review: Investigate magazine - constitutional research
SCAM ALERT: Ko Huiarau cult
what's new in the website
you can have your say too
I've been going on these last three months about the futility of it all - government policies and programmes in the Maori Affairs area. Doesn't matter who the government is.
I'm going to go on some more in this issue.
I've been going on about how policy-makers are focused on symptoms instead of causes. About how old minds, Maori and Pakeha, keep coming up with new programmes, when what we need is new minds with vision. About how government programmes never work. About how Treaty analysis, and disparity or gap analysis, are just part of the old unworkable paradigm, entrenched in old mindsets.
Incidentally, I'm also concerned at the level of absurdity prevalent amongst our own people, in their attempts to use Treaty analysis to justify every complaint, large and small, and at their tendency to lay the blame for their own faults as well on the non-observance of the Treaty. In the last ten years or so I have heard hundreds, perhaps thousands, of absolutely ridiculous claims about the intent of the Treaty.
The present rise of the Ko Huiarau cult and its fantasies is a perfect example of this absurdity. More about that later.
I'm concerned that this trend towards absurdity is robbing the Treaty of its political power, and dulling its potential as the basis of a constitutional document. It seems to me that the law of unintended consequences has kicked in in a big way, and that instead of elevating the Treaty through the Treaty analysis framework, we are in danger of demeaning it.
I have said that the real issues are the urgent need for constitutional reform, and the ongoing need to confront the pervading influence of the racism of White New Zealand. These are being denied and ignored in the Maori Affairs policy-making process.
I've been going on about how we need a new developmental framework, and I've suggested that we could start to find that new framework and new vision in the writings of Daniel Quinn, in which he analyses the origins and development of the present dominant world culture, its underlying premises, and its idiocies.
Quinn also shows how elements of the old tribal societies evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to more than adequately cope with the spiritual, social and economic needs of societies, whereas the younger 10,000 year old, but dominant society, is clearly not coping. More than that, it is failing abjectly, and is so obstinate and one-eyed that it seems as though it will destroy the world before it will admit to its lunacies.
I have said that it is the inbuilt attitudes and lunacies of the dominant society that are the real cause of the present inability of the two main cultures in Aotearoa / New Zealand to equitably and harmoniously co-exist. Instead, the policy focus is on closing gaps, which are symptoms rather than causes. I have said that by focusing on gaps, the real problem is re-framed from being a Pakeha problem, to become a Maori problem.
Quinn also says that it is possible, and required, that we re-shape modern society based on those old tribal principles, if the world is to survive. Of course it is not evenly remotely possible, or even desirable, to turn back the clocks of time and reconstitute the old tribal societies. It is however possible to bring forward those social and economic organising principles that were successful over hundreds of thousand of years in helping mankind live in balance with themselves, with all other species, and with the environment.
To envision and work towards a society that works, without massive destructiveness, and which works towards equity and harmony.
I have said that in going along with present government policies, and in allowing ourselves to be caught up in competition amongst ourselves for scarce resources, or government handouts, we are contributing to our own demise as a strong, separate and vibrant culture in this land. In accepting the developmental policies and frameworks of government, we become part of the lunacy of the dominant culture.
We need our own vision, not a second hand vision cast among us by government. We need to promote that vision to our own people first, for there is growing evidence that the hearts and minds and souls of young educated Maori are being won over to the market-led ideology of the dominant power culture.
This has always been our biggest challenge - winning the hearts and minds and souls of our own people. It's one that we ourselves are not happy to admit, but the reality is that the Pakeha has been successfully winning them over for the last two hundred years, one by one by one, programme by programme by programme, dollar by dollar by dollar.
This is what all government Maori Affairs policy has always been about, from the 1840s, through the 1900s, and on into this century.
It removed the communal economic basis of a powerful Maori society, and created a large Maori working class (or under-class) totally dependant on the capitalist white-dominated economy. It also created a small and compliant Maori political, business and economic elite, dependant on the white polity and economy for its influence.
The so-called Maori Renaissance, and the resurgence of Maori culture these last thirty years, haven't changed that direction one bit.
"Closing the Gaps", and the tribal claims settlements, need to be seen within that overall long-term policy direction.
"Closing the gaps" doesn't aim to change the existing social and economic pecking order; just to make it more comfortable for those few whose gaps get closed.
As far as the settlements are concerned, it cost Robert Muldoon a post office at Panguru, $5000 for a project, and eventually a Damehood, to blunt the threat posed to this long-term policy by Whina Cooper. He needed to calm his own fears as well. The price has now gone up to a billion dollars or perhaps more, but the purpose is the same.
To break this imposed long-term policy cycle we ourselves need to take charge of the policy debate, and we need to create a vision of the society we want to live in. We need to tell government that that is our vision, not meekly accept their programmes, and their vision. Not become hostage to them in our squabbles and competition to gain control of a share of the money they allocate through their policies and programmes.
We need to take the policy initiative away from government. This simple assertion is actually a key issue for the much needed consititutional debate.
Democracy, which is thin indeed in Aotearoa / New Zealand, requires that policy be debated by and with the people affected by it, through the political process, instead of being imposed at the whim of whichever political party is temporarily in power; with or without the uncontested advice of bureaucratic policy advisors.
We need to force government (and all the political parties) to engage in the debate for constitutional reform, and we need to be prepared for the long haul.
We need to once again confront White New Zealand with its own debilitating racism, and never stop doing it until it goes away.
I do go on, don't I.
"It was Julius Caesar who first tried to tame the Celts, in Gaul. That brilliant opportunist saw the nature of the problem at once:
'We'll break up the petty kings and their clentships, replace them by magistrates,' he decided. 'The bigger ones we either subdue or win over to our side by flattering them or making them rich. Then we'll educate their sons - turn them into Roman gentlemen. That always does the trick.'"
- from "Sarum", a novel by Edward Rutherfurd, 1988.
whanau, hapu and iwi
another policy construct
Apart from Treaty analysis and disparity/gap analysis, much government policy in recent years has also revolved around the "iwi" as a resource delivery mechanism. So much so that the concept of an hierarchy of whanau, hapu and iwi has become embedded in the policy paradigm. It is also a concept that Maori themselves have come to believe.
Te Ohu Kaimoana / Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission has elevated the concept to almost sacrosanct status.
It seems to have been invented by the early ethnologists, anthropologists and sociologists as a simple, clean and tidy way of describing relationships and organisations that were much more fluid, and much more complex. It has been carried on by the early social anthropologists in the universities, and by their many disciples, both Maori and Pakeha.
Yet the work of the Waitangi Tribunal, notably by Eddie Durie, Angela Ballara, Roger Maaka and Alan Ward, has shown that this hierarchy is largely a post-colonial construct, often far from the reality of traditional tribal social, political and economic organisation. The tribunal's scholarship has yet to find its way into mainstream Maori discourse.
The reality is that social, political and economic organisation was quite dynamic, responding to many influences, and that hapu split or merged, new hapu were continually being formed, and new alliances and loyalties were continually being struck. The type and size of a particular grouping in a particular place at a particular time was most often determined by the food resources available at that place.
The reality is also that resources were controlled at this shifting hapu level, not at an iwi level, and that the iwi as we know it today was little more than a distant political alliance, not always constant.
And some iwi, as they are thought of today, across the areas they claim today, did not exist before colonisation, except perhaps as smaller, much more localised entities.
Rather than hapu being descended from and subordinate to a single "iwi", and descended from a single tipuna, as they are thought to be today, a great many hapu were actually multi-tribal groupings with many lines of descent, and many cross-affiliations and loyalties, shifting all the time.
The modern notion of the iwi / hapu / whanau hierarchy has become increasingly idealistic and romanticised.
This iwi construct, a modern myth, has become so embedded in policy, that many individual Maori, many whanau, and many hapu have no place in the government process, because it is an exclusionary process.
The classic example is the exclusion of urban Maori organisations, when in older times they would by now be considered to be well established hapu, despite their multi-tribal make-up. However there are also many examples in traditional rural tribal areas of groups (including hapu) being excluded because of this "official" concept of the hierarchy of Maori social, political and economic organisation.
They are also excluded because it suits certain Maori political and economic elites to foster this exclusionary myth, and in so doing to perpetuate their own power, influence, and ability to capture "iwi" resources.
As a policy construct, and from the perspective of the Crown, the concept also allows for the co-option and incorporation of those Maori elites and their "iwi" into the corporatised, capitalised dominant society. And in so doing to continue to transform Maori society into the Pakeha image, despite the Maori linguistic and cultural renaissance.
The same old 10,000 year old kaupapa.
State destroys Rangitukia economy
On Waitangi Day, out-of-town police descended upon the semi-autonomous Ngati Porou region of Rangitukia. Their helicopter spent some hours searching for all the corn crops, and spraying parts of the crops with a strange blue substance. At least one corn-cropper was also sprayed blue as he weeded his corn rows.
Then the police foot-troops moved in and removed all the blue corn plants into their large trucks. They left without paying for the corn they confiscated.
With the annual corn crop decimated by this lightning raid, the Rangitukia economy has been devastated, and the region can only look forward to another year of deprivation and poverty, thanks to the attentions of the State.
The worst thing was that the helicopter caused all sorts of reception problems for those who were trying to watch the Kapahaka Nationals on the TV.
te whare miere,
house of honeyed deceit
parliament, parliament, what a sadsack ol' outfit you are
Parliament is now into it's second sitting week for the year. The Address-in-Reply debate is presently the main business in the debating chamber, and at Question Time the National Party is trying to attack Labour over its new/old ACC policy. Boring.
The only mildly interesting happening is that new MPs are delivering their "maiden speeches".
I listened to some of the Pakeha ones. Boring. Youthful veteran MP Simon Upton lamented the lack of oratory in the House since the days of Muldoon and Lange- he's right.
But I decided to try to catch all the Maori MPs. Mita Ririnui's was a well structured, fairly formal korero - mildly interesting. Georgina Beyer was entertaining; even Wyatt Creech laughed.
John Tamihere's korero was a rambling, unstructured, cliche-ridden mishmash of street-talk and smartarse. A sign of a confused mind. Woeful really for a man with his education and reputation. He's developed the art of the politician to a fine degree; heaps of spin and no substance.
The Mana Motuhake agenda
Sandra Lee has called for elected regional Maori organisations to be set up, and for a national organisation as well. This is the old rohe potae policy of Mana Motuhake. But I can't see Labour agreeing to any separate Maori authorities in education, health, welfare, Maori affairs, or any other area.
True to form, senior Labour party member Professor Ngatata Love seems to be setting up two super-authorities within his own TPK ministry - social development and economic development.
As deputy leader of the Alliance, Sandra's also put herself on almost every cabinet committee that there is. A pretty big power play that's sure to see her outflank Dover Samuels, who's the only other Maori inside the Cabinet.
The kumara vine whispers that Sandra is pretty thick with lawyer Donna Hall. Kia tupato Sandra.
Tau Henare's Commissions
The four commissions that Tau set up to try to circumvent the bureaucracy have been de-commissioned, or will be by the end of this month. They were supposed to provide better advice than the public service. Failed.
Every time the government changes, there's a rash of replacements on boards and commissions, as politicians try to stack them with their mates.
Maori TV Trust
And the new Government has set up a working party of four Maori MPs to investigate the Maori broadcasting, including the Maori TV channel. The working party is due to report back to Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs next month.
They are Alliance MP Willie Jackson and Labour MPs Nanaia Mahuta, John Tamihere, and Parekura Horomia. Willie Jackson's jumping up and down trying to stop the present round of broadcasting tenders by Te Mangai Paho.
As is usual when governments change, the new government often goes duckshooting for a while, banging away at the public service and SOEs until it convinces itself that it really is in charge. And until it realises that it can't govern without the public service.
Last time round, it was New Zealand First that went duckshooting. They ended up shooting themselves in the foot because they didn't realise when the season was over.
So, months before the official duckshooting season begins, we've been watching the new government pot away at WINZ and ACC, and also at TVNZ and Timberlands. Not really good sport though - all their birds are just sitting on the water.
The way the Prime Minister's going after TVNZ makes me wonder whether there's some personal history behind it.
Cabinet Committee on Closing the Gaps
With the appointment of this new cabinet committee Prime Minister Clarke has revealed who's really running Maori Affairs, and it ain't Big Hat No Cattle Dover.
Rt Hon Helen Clark (Chair)
Hon Jim Anderton
Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Hon Steve Maharey
Hon Annette King
Hon Sandra Lee
Hon Trevor Mallard
Hon Margaret Wilson
Hon Dover Samuels
Hon Matt Robson
Hon George Hawkins
Hon Mark Gosche
Hon Laila Harré
Hon Tariana Turia
Hon Parekura Horomia
New Crown / Maori relationship process
Attorney General and Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Margaret Wilson, has put a temporary freeze on treaty negotiations to review the settlement process. John Tamihere and Willie Jackson (Ngati Taone) seemed pleased about that.
I suspect that Mahara Okeroa and Georgina Beyer (Te Ati Awa) will also support it, because they've been part of the group trying to reverse the Crown / Te Ati Awa preliminary settlement agreement (along with Big Wheel No Tractor Peter Love).
Margaret Wilson has also indicated that she's going to review the whole Crown / Maori relationship process. She said that too much is being put upon the Treaty, and that there should be other processes to develop the relationship. Can't argue with that. She's also on record as favouring constitutional reform, which could be good.
Thing to remember about Margaret Wilson is that she's one of Helen Clarke's best friends, and is probably going to be the key minister in the Maori Affairs area. Ka aroha Dover.
Who's advising Helen Clarke?
The kumara vine reported that Professor Ngatata Love went with Dover Samuels to Ngapuhi to try to sort out the Waitangi debacle. If that's so, it's a case of the blind leading the blind. Neither of them knows anything about tikanga.
E hoa ma, what you reckon about Te Puni Kokiri now? The Ministry for the Blind Leading the Blind?
It's fairly obvious with Helen Clarke's very public declaration to "close the gaps" that Ngatata Love might have had a major influence on Labour's policy-making. If he is the one advising Helen Clarke, then she urgently needs to find better advice, on both the policy and cultural sides.
Parekura Horomia was with her on Waitangi Day with Ngai Tahu. Good at building relationships and a much safer advisor on the cultural side. Not well known for his organisational and policy abilities.
And there's always her friend Margaret Wilson.
And maybe she's her own main Maori affairs advisor. I have enormous respect for her intellectual ability, and she's a breath of fresh air in an institution that is characterised by stupidity and ignorance, but in Maori affairs you need to go there in your heart. Otherwise you understand nothing.
minister for everything?
Gossip around Wellington says that the Prime Minister is the Minister for Everything; got her stamp on everything that's happening. She won't be able to keep that up for long.
Reminds me of Gough Whitlam when he came to power in Australia in 1972. For a while he was the only minister in Cabinet - he really was the Minister for Everything. Like Helen Clarke, he also set himself a 100 day goal to implement everything he could in the Labour manifesto.
The similarities don't stop there, as he was also highly intelligent and highly articulate, and an arts and culture buff.
raruraru in the Maori caucus?
Once again the kumara vine whispers that even though we now have a large number of Maori MPs in the government, they're a divided lot. I don't think we can expect this lot to provide any clear advice to Helen Clarke and the rest of cabinet. They've got the balace of power in Government, but it's doubtful that they'll be able to use it effectivey.
Maori Affairs and "Closing the Gaps" will prove to be Helen Clarke's achilles heel, and possibly her undoing as a Prime Minister.
Mita Ririnui's speech
John Tamihere's speech
old minds with new programmes
or new minds with vision
Watching and listening to President Clinton deliver his state of the union address on 28th January, I was struck by the vast difference between the policy-makers of Clinton's government, and those of the incoming Labour/Alliance coalition government.
When you compare the Clinton address with the NZ Speech from the Throne the difference stands out in stark relief. And the difference lies in the ability of Clinton's policy-makers to formulate and articulate a strong clear vision within which their policy, and their long and short-term programme proposals, are set.
By contrast the presentation of the coalition government's policy was belaboured and pedestrian, and focused on the detail of the programmes themselves, without presenting a strong clear vision. No doubt this was partly because of the archaic convention requiring the Governor General to present the Government's policy speech.
Even so, the coalition government does not seem to have much of a vision. Nothing to be inspired about. But then, we haven't had much vision in Government since the days of Norman Kirk.
In Maori Affairs policy, "Closing the Gaps" ain't much of a vision either. I think we need some poets as policy-makers, instead of the technocrats.
Admissions of Maori males to mental institutions have increased alarmingly in recent years.
There is some evidence to show that a racially prejudiced judicial system is much more likely to commit Maori males to prison than Pakeha males, for the same offences. This is based largely on an innate fear of the Maori male. Is this also happening in the case of mental illness?
The massive rise in substance abuse since the Vietnam War, particularly the wacky backy, can account for some of that increase, but the Pakeha is into that as well, and they ain't locking him away in the same numbers.
The misuse of psychiatry as a form of social and political control and oppression is a well documented practice in some overseas countries. Is it happening here? It's one of those frightening questions.
forty years on,
what's been achieved
Forty years ago, in 1960, two books were published, both of which highlighted the condition of the Maori people in New Zealand society. I remember them both very well, for they came at an age when I was becoming politically aware. My father and I read them, and discussed them in depth.
One was the Hunn Report, the report on Department of Maori Affairs by J.K.(Jack) Hunn, Deputy Chairman of the Public Service Commission and Acting Secretary for Maori Affairs. It was thought to be a thorough analysis of the social and economic position of Maori. Hunn soon after became Secretary for Maori Affairs.
The other was "The Fern and The Tiki", an American view of New Zealand's national character, social attitudes and race relations, by a visiting American, Professor David F.Ausubel. His observations were thoroughly ridiculed by most of Pakeha society.
The Hunn Report analysed the areas of Maori health, education, employment, crime, housing, hostels, and land administration. It made several recommendations for Maori Affairs programmes, many of which were implemented. In effect, although he didn't use the jargon of today's gap analysis policy-speak, Jack Hunn had identified a series of disparities or gaps, and had recommended programmes aimed at "closing the gaps".
Forty years on, despite the analysis and despite the programmes, the so-called gaps are still there. In fact, I would say that the ordinary Maori, my unemployed and poverty-stricken whanaunga at the marae, and my equally poor whanaunga in the dormitory suburbs in the cities, are much worse off than we were in 1960.
In "The Fern and The Tiki", David Ausubel made many biting comments about the national identity and social attitudes of New Zealanders (mainly white New Zealanders). His most stinging comments were about the underlying deep-seated racism in New Zealand society, and the almost total denial of its existence by white New Zealand. He exposed the self-serving myth that New Zealand was a world-leading model of race relations.
Forty years ago, New Zealand hotly denied that deep-seated racism was the real cause of the disparity between the races, and they mostly believed and proclaimed that we Maori were good-for-nothing, lazy, guitar-playing, happy-go-lucky, irresponsible natives. And, that second class, or worse, was the destiny we were building for ourselves.
Forty years on, nothing much has changed. We have laws against racial discrimination. The visible racism has been pushed underground, and the practice of racial discrimination has become more sophisticated. And we all know that the beliefs have not changed, and that in the privacy of their homes, and in whites-only gathering places, the talk has not changed either.
The policies and programmes of the Hunn Report didn't work. The policies and programmes of the following generations of Maori Affairs policy-makers didn't work. All the disparity analysis of the last 10 to 15 years proves that.
The so-called Maori Renaissance contains within itself a paradox. It is that even though there is a wide resurgence of Maori culture, and an increasing number of Maori joining the ranks of the various elites, there is at the same time great social deterioration in the mass of Maori society. This, at the end of the twentieth century, after forty plus years of declared intention to "close the gaps".
The policies and programmes of the present Te Puni Kokiri, and the Labour/Alliance government, won't work. "Closing the Gaps" policy doesn't work; not in 1960, not since, and not in 2000.
For the deep-seated, underlying racism of New Zealand society was one of major causes of the gaps in 1960, and it remains so in 2000. Racism equals disparities, or gaps.
Racism wasn't accepted as a major cause in 1960, nor is it today in 2000.
For a time in the 1980s, racism, or institutional racism, was officially recognised, but its existence was paid only lip service. It became buried under a flurry of "Treaty Analysis" and "Disparity Analysis". By focusing on Treaty and Gaps, white society, and its governments, have once again able to create a Maori problem, and to deeply bury the frightening thought that THEIR racism is the real cause of OUR disparities or gaps.
Unfortunately, as a result of policies aimed at recruiting and retaining more Maori in the public service, they have been helped in this policy delusion-making by new generations of well-meaning Maori policy-makers.
And in the policy-making process we remain burdened with old minds and their new programmes. Where are the new minds with vision? Find me some tough-minded policy-making poets. We desperately need them.
I reckon they should appoint a poet to be CEO of Te Puni Kokiri.
"Waitangi & Indigenous Rights: Revolution, Law & Legitimation"
F.M.(Jock) Brookfield, Auckland University Press, 1999.
If you want to be informed about the constitutional debate, you've got no alternative but to put in the hard yards reading your way through the whole legal and political morass that is constitutional law and process.
In this important book Professor Jock Brookfield develops the theme that the the seizure of power by the British Crown, and by settler governments, was a revolutionary process, and that Maori efforts since then can be seen as counter-revolutionary. He goes on to show that revolutions become legitimated by the passage of time and by practice, and eventually accepted.
Maori of course have never accepted that the New Zealand consitutional arrangements are legitimate, although most of Pakeha New Zealand did so long ago.
In Part 1 of the book, Professor Brookfield covers the theory and history of courts, constitutions and revolutions, legitimacy and revolution, and revolutionary ideology and colonisation. For the layman, this is a long hard read.
Part 2 focuses on the development of the constitutional arrangements of Aotearoa New Zealand, and covers the Treaty of Waitangi, and the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary to-ing and fro-ing between Pakeha and Maori between 1840 and 1986. It ends with Professor Brookfield's conclusions that we are in need of constitutional reform that includes the recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi and provides for the place of Maori in the constitution.
He states that this itself will be revolutionary, and that it needs to be a "quiet revolution".
Politicians, judges and constitutional lawyers are for the most part extremely conservative and reluctant to contemplate any changes to our constitutional arrangements. Against this establishment view Professor Brookfield might be seen to be quite radical. However he probably sees himself as quite conservative.
Maori and other constitutional activists, such as Moana Jackson, Annette
Sykes and Jane Kelsey might see Professor Brookfield as very conservative.
Whatever your point of view, I think this book is an important contribution to the constitutional debate. If we are to effectively engage the establishment in a constitutional debate we need to have all points of view clearly stated and in the public domain. And although constitutions are essentially political documents, we need more books like this to help de-mystify the legal minefields around constitutional matters.
Investigate Magazine, February 2000
Howling at the Moon Magazines Ltd
This is a new monthly magazine published by investigative journalist Iam Wishart.
In this first issue he raises some very interesting and quite radical challenges to the legitimacy of the New Zealand taxation system. That in itself got Dalvanius quite excited in an email he sent out to his large mail list.
In another article Wishart also reports on some very radical views about the legitimacy of the New Zealand Constitution. The article draws on research being done mainly in Australia and Canada which points to a view that in all of the three former Dominions the consitutional arrangements have not been properly and legally confirmed. In essence the research shows that all existing legislatures and their accumulated legislation are not constitutionally valid.
This is indeed revolutionary stuff, and important research that Maori should develop.
I warmed to this article when it showed that the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, Maori and Pakeha, have never been asked to empower the government to do anything, and that whereas sovereignty should remain with the people, in this country it does not. In fact as part of the revolutionary process, the legislature removed sovereignty from Britain and asssumed that that sovereignty would remain with Parliament, and not with the people.
To this day sovereignty remains in Parliament, and it ought to be taken from them by the people.
I've been watching Ko Huiarau for years, and getting reports from all around the motu, as they've moved into various hapu, and started spinning their fabulous fantasies.
Ko Huiarau is a cult, a con, and an enormous scam.
They claim to be in the business of tino-rangatiratanga, or sovereignty, but they most definitely are not.
In the beginning it seemed to be mostly the guy who calls himself Ko Te Riria V, and his advisor David Simmons, and they slowly gathered around them gullible people from all over the motu, including a couple from my hapu. Some of their claims came to light in the book "Maori Tattoo" that the two of them collaborated in writing.
They claimed that Ko Te Riria V was descended from Ko Te Riria Waikato (Tairea) Whakaherehere, whom they claimed was the paramount chief of the United Tribes of New Zealand. They claimed also that in 1988 Ko Te Riria V inherited the mantle of paramount chief of the United Tribes of New Zealand (Te Ariki Taiopuru Ko Huiarau).
What alerted me in the first place to their nonsense was their false claim that this fabulous Ko Te Riria Waikato was the Waikato who signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 24 June 1840. But it was actually Hoani Waikato from our iwi, Ngai Te Whatuiapiti, who signed it in the company of his whanaunga Te Hapuku and Harawira Mahikai.
Over more recent years Mary Forbes has come to prominence. Mary Forbes is sometimes described as 'the only tikanga Maori lawyer' and a fully qualified lawyer who spent 7 years studying to gain her qualification. However the NZ Law Society don't have her registered. Could be from overseas perhaps. Maybe.
At this time my only other information about Mary Forbes is that in the late 80s or early 90s she was employed by the now defunct Tamaki Maori Development Authority in Auckland. At that time she didn't show much interest at all in matters Maori. She had at that time a Pakeha tane. I understand that they might now be married.
It was this Pakeha fellow who introduced Piri Tomlins to the Tamaki Authority. Piri is a whanaunga of mine who lives in Australia. He's an accomplished con-man and crook. He makes the most outrageous claims I've ever heard, before Ko Huiarau, and he's very successful at parting people from their cash. A real artist. At that time he took Tamaki for $10,000.00.
A list of Ko Huiarau's fantastic claims, extracted from their "archives" is at http://maorinews.com/scams/kohuiarau.htm .
They have recently held elections for their "Parliament" which is meeting sometime early in March, in Auckland. I believe.
There is apparently a wananga coming up on 18th February which is only for those who have been elected to the actual parliament. However they are being promised a salary of $88,000, of which $20,000 is to be spent on a secretary. I believe that the members who were elected to the various rohe will get a salary of $48,000 - or so the story goes.
They seem to show up whenever a hapu or other group is preparing a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, or whenever there might be money around. One of their methods is to select a "mark", tell him that his tipuna was a leading rangatira in the old Ko Huiarau, and convince him that he is now the big cheese, inheriting the mana from his tipuna.
Then they fill the "marks" head with all their false historical rubbish. And promises of riches to come for the people. They make outrageous claims about the amount of funding they can access from offshore. We have checked with some of their supposed funders, who have never heard of them.
This bears all the hallmarks of the big con. The bigger and more outrageous the lies, the bigger and more outrageous the con.
Our people always fall for the con artist. It's a combination of ignorance and greed, the promise of mana and riches, or of being involved in saving the people. People just want to believe, and they get taken every time. I've known some highly educated people who should know better get taken by con-men (and women).
When they get hold of this they'll make all sorts of counter-claims, they'll attempt to discredit me, and maybe issue a few threats. That should flush them out.
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