The difference a macron makes in Māori

in Māori macrons can make a significant difference to what words mean and how they are pronounced.

Pronouncing vowels:

Māori has five vowel sounds but, like other Polynesian languages, each is either short or long. Short vowels are always written with ‘plain’ vowel letters.

Long vowels are almost always written with a macron over the vowel in this dictionary. The distinction between short and long vowels usually carries meaning, e.g. kēkē (armpit), kekē (to creak), keke (loan) (cake).

As shown there macrons can signify different meanings.

kēkē

1. (verb) to quack (as a duck).
Kēkē kau ana te pārera (W 1971:112). / The duck quacks.

2. (noun) armpit.
Ka kowhera te uira i roto i ngā kēkē o Tāwhaki (NM 1928:45). / The lightening burst forth from inside the armpits of Tāwhaki.

3. (noun) area under the wing of a bird at the place where the wing is attached to the body.
Ko te pōhoi taringa nō te huruhuru maheni o te kēkē o te toroa (TTT 1/9/1924:s4). / The feather ornament for the ear is of smooth feathers from under the wing of the albatross.

kekē

1. (verb) to creak.

keke

1. (loan) (noun) cake.
Ko tētehi o aua keke i waiho hei tukutuku ki ngā whanaunga, i ia wāhi, i ia wāhi o Aotearoa, o Te Waipounamu (TW 21/2/1876:72). / One of those cakes was left to be sent to relatives in each part of the North and South Islands.

http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/search?idiom=&phrase=&proverb=&loan=&keywords=keke&search=
(hat tip marty mars)

http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/dictionary-info

How to type macrons

1. Copy words with macrons and paste to where you want to use them.

2. Character maps:

Find  by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking System Tools, and then clicking Character Map. If you use this method often you might want to right click this option and pin it to your start menu or taskbar.

3. Add the Māori keyboard to your computer so you can type cahracters with macrons:

Māori Keyboard Windows 8 Installation

How do I add macrons for the Māori language in my documents? – Windows 7, Windows 8

Keyboard setup for macrons – Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Winsows 7
Typing Māori easily / Te māmā hoki o te patopato:

Useful links:

Download Māori Dictionary apps:

Kiwiblog redneckery

Waitangi Day brought out predictable grumping about the so called grievance industry at Kiwiblog, prompted by Finlayson on Treaty settlements.

The second comment was ‘kowtow':

What “real grievances”?

These things ,if they did occur ,happened years ago,they are ,”historical”, in other words ,past and have no grounds today other than in the minds of those who will benefit.(Be they the elites,lawyers or anyone else in the grievance industry.)

And it only took three comments until Godwin’s law took effect – “Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis” – Fletch:

“We are determined, however, to put right the thoroughly and accurately documented cases of hurt caused by the Crown’s wrongful actions in the past.”

How bogus is that – 100 years from now a claim for this “hurt” will be in the offing

I suffer great “hurt” for the actions of the Third Reich against my family as do millions of others but I don’t see any recompense forthcoming from the current German Government – does anybody?

Number five was MH:

Ngapuhi need as much blood money as we can give them. The day other tribes can then sue them for confiscation of lands, enslavement, and internecine genocide will be an interesting test to validate their purported claims of nationhood under the Confederation of United Tribes and their signed declaration of Independence. Is that too much to ask? When have they apologised to other tribes? One sided morality and a scam unequalled.

The answer is that it is “our business”,”our” money to deal with as we see fit, and we can’t apply todays morality on aspects of “our” culture such as utu to pre 1840 conditions. Somehow the wrongs post 1840 are more important?

What standing then for verbal contracts between Maori. Hone in the breach. No honour amongst murderers.Yet it was the acceptance by the British of lands in possession of these war criminals that has brought about the greatest grievances. Who was there to speak on these victims behalf,where were the great oral historians, their mouths choking on the remains of their enemies oral historians. Full and final,right you are.

There were some contrary views but the redneckishness dominated (although thumbs up/down were more mixed). RRM

It will never end.

Contemporary generations of Maori ™ who’ve had nothing taken from them will continue demanding that free stuff be given to them.

And my generation, who’ve NEVER taken ANYTHING from anybody, will continue to pay and pay for it all.

It will never end, filth like Tuku and the Harawiras have too much to gain from perpetuating racial hatred to let it all slip away.

I have good working and personal relationships with plenty of Maori GCs who have nothing to do with the Waitangi Shit.

But I am SO FUCKING OVER THIS WAITANGI SHIT and the Maori ™ who are behind it.

David Garrett (yes, the ex-Act MP):

RRM: I totally agree with you.

BeaB: Boy, does Finlayson have you fooled! You are quite correct that he is smart and sharp..well smart and sharp enough to know that these “settlements” will never end.. No less than the government’s support partner in Parliament says so openly! “No generation can bind future generations” say Turia and Sharples…it’s in Hansard…What part of that do you not understand?

The taxes of my children and their children will be used – in small part admittedly – to make further “full and final” settlements.

It will never end unless there is either a break-away state, or a civil war.

It is common to see treaty settlements that redress past wrongs like illegal or unfair confiscations of land (much of which have been settled) confused with ongoing Treaty obligations.

Odakyu-sen:

The government should hold a referendum and ask the citizens of NZ whether or not to end the Treaty payments. Let the people decide; after all, it’s their money.

It’s common to see demands that Treaty payments end immediately, despite the fact that it’s part way through the process and would be profoundly unfair to those tribes who have not yet settled.

David Garrett again:

One of the several reasons it will never end is quite simple. The payments made thus far are a small fraction of the improved value of the land confiscated or otherwise misappropriated by successive governments. This is because no government could afford to make full compensation. That fact provides a good reason for continued and continuing claims.

If Key was serious about settling the Ngapuhi claim he would simply give them six months to decide who was negotiating on their behalf, and if the appointment was not made by then, declare there would BE no settlement…but that wouldn’t work either…See the preceding para…

It should always be remembered that the Lange government – advised by Palmer – started this crap when they extended the Waitangi Tribunal’s jurisdiction back to 1840…

Garrett is one of the more reasoned. There is some other reasonable discussion.

Paulus:

For some years since Maori began to obtain by fraud taxpayers money thanks to Palmer and Lange I have come to the idea that in reality whatever the settlements it is not all bad for New Zealand unless the assets purchased are sold overseas, and they may well be.

It is because the money injected into the part Maori economy will be used up in time as it filters into the whole economy.

Many of their ventures will go belly up due to theft and or bad investments, which may well be the same thing.
What goes around comes around, but in different hands and again is spent.

But we must take recognise David Garrett’s comments in that when the part Maori lose their money and investments they will come back to the 86% of the population for more and more and more. Will any Government now state that “Full and Final Settlement” mean what it says – get stuffed.
Doubt it.

big bruv:

Two things….

1. These “real” grievances are nothing more than bullshit. Sure some bad things might have happened years ago but deal with it and move on.
2. Anybody who thinks that these settlements are going to be full and final is a moron. Our grandkids will still be dealing with bludgers using colonisation as the excuse for all that ails Maori.

Manolo:

“Some people say they want an end to historical settlements. Most people agree. I do. Maori want them resolved as well.”

I don’t think so. The Maori elites want the gravy train to continue until the end of time.
Where else would the Stone Agers get such easy taxpayer’s money?

Manolo is a frequent anti-Maori commenter, usually calling them Stone Agers. His views aren’t particularly modern.

Steve (North Shore):

Throughout History all land has been won by conquest – so get the fuck out of my wallet.

Note that these commenters are only a small proportion of Kiwiblog participants, and as per the post David Farrar is much more moderate and understanding of Treaty realities.

igm:

Until the Treaty is destroyed, Maori forget the past, and taxpayers’ benevolence ceases to fund election bribes, the better for all concerned. I, for one, am sickened by the word “Treaty”, and its connotations and interpretations, pandering to a select few fat cats that don’t give a stuff about the plight of their over privileged iwi.

jaba protests:

imagine the mayhem if every “1st people” of every country performed like SOME (and it is only some) Maori .. it’s bad enough watching the shit fights in the Middle East and Africa over this sort of issue.
Harawira, Sykes, Mair, Smith and their ilk will never ever stop protesting and demanding compensation for something.

Scott the Christian has different views to the early Missionaries:

I agree it is hard to see the process ending. White liberal guilt is inexhaustible. While Maori are quite happy to enjoy the transfer payments from the already overburdened taxpayer. I do think some kind of conservative government that believes in our future together as a nation may be inclined to finish the settlements.
Unfortunately both Labour and National are dominated by progressives who don’t like western civilisation and accept the radical views of Maori activists.

deadrightkev:

Chris Finlayson is a traitor in my books.

He has no justification handing over the legitimate birth rights of all New Zealanders to a small group of Iwi elite via the corrupt Waitangi Tribunal on the basis of compensation. It is a disgrace. If there was a proper independent legal process to analyse these treaty scams based on fact none of them would pass muster.

One day this whole fraud will come back to haunt the National party.

That comment got eleven thumbs up and two down (so far). I challenged him on it: “deadrightkev – how many corrupt treaty claims do you have evidence for?” That got three up, four down.

David Garrett:

deadrightkev: I would like to think you are right…but the youngsters coming behind us are now indoctinrated from about year 6 (standard 4) in “grievanceology”…how much we owe the dispossessed brown proletariat for what “we” have done to them…in 15 or 20 years, those kids will be in positions of power…already you and I and the sensible commenters here are minority voices in the wildnerness…think what it will be like in 20 years?

Kowtow responded to my (and another) challenge:

The Ngai Tahu one qualifies.

How many times does honkey have to pay for past “injustices” when in fact the wiley Maori entered into commercial deals with their eyes wide open and have taken advantage of white guilt ever since. The whole “process’ is a sick and very expensive joke on the taxpayer with active conivance from government.

The perpetual top up clause they got is also an appalling abuse of the taxpayer.

Just an assertion with no supporting evidence.

Graham2:

“The Ngai Tahu one qualifies.”
I agree Kowtow. Perhaps PG would like to read Twisting the Treaty, The Great Divide or When two Cultures Meet for plenty more examples.

wiseowl:

Late in tonight and reading this makes my blood boil.
Finlayson would have to be one of the worst people the National Party have ever engaged for anything.He is obviously not interested in the truth (although I realise the Tribunal don’t get presented with the real facts) and has sold this country down the road.
Many of the settlements are based on mistruths and porkies.

No-one has mentioned the absolutely shocking division that is being created by having separate Race seats and representation on councils and so-called co-governance which needs to be stopped in its tracks by some brave politician.
National have actually created a timebomb for this country and when Key said on radio that the treaty was a partnership I thought what a big let down.
The treaty is NOT a bloody partnership.

Ben Dover:

The truth is Maori were not the first people of Aotearoa.

The truth according to a few. No evidence, but Ben Dover continued.

Let’s see
Rat DNA that pre dates Polynesian settlement
two distinct breed of “Native Dog”

Hmmmmm so who were they?

Kupe having red hair in polynesian records?

all sorts of references all through their oral records of the

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patupaiarehe

Patupaiarehe, also referred to as Turehu, Ngati Hotu and Urukehu (red heads), were said to live in large guarded communities.

Itstricky countered:

“Perhaps PG would like to read Twisting the Treaty, The Great Divide or When two Cultures Meet for plenty more examples.”

So, PG & Tom ask for examples of corrupt treaty claims and the best anyone can come up with is:

(a) A book labelled as being full of deliberate historical inaccuracies to try to divide the country across racial lines (not to mentioned being authored by a certified);
(b) A book written by a fully Christian conservative who promotes articles for the tin-foil hat brigade (bet ya he and Colin are good mates) and describes himself as a “professional controversialist”; or
(c) A book by an author who feeds off of people’s sky is falling self doubt suggesting that the country is going to apartheid if they don’t rush out and shout at someone. This review should be enough to give it away: The book needed editing, to tone down prose more than the message, lose silly sweeping assertions and to clean up many little infelicities and errors – I should think the author probably has a large case of small man’s disease by the sounds of it.

Right, good response fellas. I’m glad we located those corrupt treaty claims and reported them to Chris Finlayson pronto so he can take all that money back.

Newsflash! Did you know that not everything you read on Wikipedia is the truth? Similarly, did you know that anyone can publish a book? Sensational, isn’t it? I mean all my life I thought books were the source of all truth.

Time to stop picking up books that mearly reinforce your own world views. Try something different for a change.

Well, that’s certainly enough sarcasm for one night. I think I’ve lowered by humor reserves to the bottom of the barrel.

deadrightkev came back:

“deadrightkev – how many corrupt treaty claims do you have evidence for?”

I cringe every time I see Finlayson hand over millions of taxpayers hard earned money to an Iwi for grievance and I spit when I see him apologise on behalf of NZ.

I have spent a number of years researching the origins. Ngapuhi as one example were the core tribe that invited the Crown to NZ for protection twice. They signed the treaty ceding sovereignty forever at Waitangi and here they are effectively holding their hand out for 500 million? What is even more stupid is our dumb ass politicians will hand it over. More socialism from National.

Its time people removed their “we must settle any just and genuine claims of the past” tinted glasses and woke up. There simply are not any justified claims beyond the template grievance model manufactured by the WT industry. They are simply all lining up for a feed on the basis that “the other tribe got some so why shouldn’t I get some too”.

Kiwis don’t like what is going on and every poll related to Maori issues gets over 80% against. Is there a political party that will rise up against it? I wont hold my breath. Which party stands for upholding property rights?

Itstricky:

Kev, So your evidence of corrupt treaty claims comes down to an interrpretation of The Treaty that you read about in a book then…

After theses and further challenges the claims backed off.

And as usual no one is likely to have changed their mind. That’s Kiwiblog and that’s blogging- actually the comments on this thread have been relatively mild, but similar views aren’t uncommon in the real world.

As long as we have a few Maori claiming they should get much more from the Crown (all of us) there will be some non-Maori claiming that Maori have been given far too much.

 

Cartoons and killing

The cartoon issue gets even heavier, a blog post by Metiria Turei…

Does our country really hate us?

I am compelled to consider it after this week of Air NZ and the Ta Moko debacle, and yesterday’s racist cartoons and then reading this morning of Dunne’s new program to help reduce the rate of suicide among Maori and Pacifica people’s.

Yes they are connected.

Our kids saw those cartoons and saw the Air NZ story on TV. Many of our kids would have seen Campbell Live’s poll last night where 70% of people agreed that the cartoons were an accurate portrayal of Polynesian people.
How can we live safely in a country where at the slightest provocation, there is widespread agreement that Maori and Polynesian people are inherently fat, lazy bludgers: and that saying so is so obvious its all just a bit of a laugh?

It’s not safe for our kids in their own country. And so our kids respond as anyone would who lives with daily hostility against their very existence: they rebel, they leave and they kill themselves.

http://blog.greens.org.nz/2013/05/31/does-our-country-really-hate-us/

A valid point – to an extent. But this is getting very heavy.

We’ve had hating kids and killing kids by not feeding them in schools.

And now a suggestion we have hating “Maori and Pacifica people’s” which drives them to suicide.

We shouldn’t say or post or publish anything in case it offends someone and the commit suicide? Should everyone fork out and shut up?

A few people might do well to take a big breath.

Watered down Maori support?

The latest Roy Morgan poll will put the spotlight on National’s performance and how the main parties stack up, but there’s also an interesting minor party move.

Minor party support in polls is very fickle, but there could be a sign on Maori Party and Mana Party support, in the wake of water rights publicity.

  • Maori Party 1.5% – down from 2.5%
  • Mana Party ^ (signifying less than 0.5%) – down from 1.5%

Greens, NZ First and United Future have all gone up, suggesting that people dissatisified with National and Labour are moving their support, but both Maori parties have not picked any of this support up, they have lost support.

Poll results are rounded to 0.5% which equates to 4 poll respondents.

Maori+Mana support dropped from 4% (31-37 people) to 1.5% (10-16 people).

Is this a sign that support for Maori parties has been watered down after publicity on water rights, disunity and a perception some Maori are opportunists trying to get anything they can out of Government?

If nothing else it highlights the fact that Maori/Mana support has dropped from about a quarter of the 16% who identify as Maori to less than an eighth.

Dunne on Māori, water, wind and race relations

Peter Dunne in a recent address to Petone Rotary:

Māori, water and the wind

Another issue that has been exercising our minds recently and that may well be before the courts soon is that of the Māori claims on water.

While Māori do have rights with respect to water interests, they are not and never can ever be exclusive rights.

Were they to be so, the logical conclusion must be that all New Zealand’s natural resources are owned by Māori – a claim long since rejected.

As with the foreshore and seabed, natural resources like air and water belong to all New Zealanders, and it is the Crown’s responsibility to exercise that ownership equally and fairly on behalf of us all.

Where customary usage can be established we should negotiate particular settlements in each specific instance, again in a manner similar to the provisions of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

UnitedFuture long promoted the public domain solution for the foreshore and seabed, which was finally enshrined in the 2010 legislation.

The same principle ought to be followed in respect of the current water rights debate.

Threat to Race Relations

I think at this point we also need to step back a little because there is something going on here that needs to be challenged.

Since its signing in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi, our nation’s founding document, has been both honoured and dishonoured in various ways at various times.

But I would like to think we have got a little better – perhaps a lot better – in recent times at facing up to these issues.

On the occasions that the Treaty has been breached in word, deed or spirit, it has often been the Pākehā at fault, as evidenced by the much needed and very important Treaty settlements process of recent years.

In recent months, however, I believe we are seeing greed and opportunism and an attempt to cash-in, coming from some sections of Māori leadership, and none of it does credit to them.

In an age when we are righting wrongs of the past; in an age where Pākehā New Zealanders, I think, generally acknowledge the transgressions of their predecessors and with goodwill, want to see them put right, aspects of recent developments are very concerning.

Greed, it would seem, is not just a white man’s sin.

Māori leadership would do well to consider the implications of some of their particularly unreasonable demands around water – and now it would appear, coming further in from the fringes, the wind.

There is a well of goodwill in New Zealand among non-Māori and Māori alike.

Most New Zealanders genuinely want to understand, and then engage in and resolve issues around the Treaty of Waitangi.

But it is not a bottomless well of goodwill on either side.

Greed and opportunistic resource grabs are neither ethical nor smart, and will come at considerable cost to social harmony in this country that we all have to share today.

Sadly, it is once more a case of the extremists at either end of the argument who risk destroying the capacity of the rest of us to reach balanced, fair and enduring solutions, that the vast majority of us can live with.

A Maori speaks on Maori, kings and things

From a comment on Kiwiblog:

Lloyd (39) Says:
September 20th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

If the so-called Maori king speaks, please note:
1) He is NOT the king of all Maori (and neither were any of his predecessors)
2) He is not offering a pan-Maori opinion
3) He is not the spokesman for all Maori

The same goes for David Rankin of Ngapuhi (the one who tried to claim the wind).

Ditto Margaret Mutu and other assorted self-appointed spokespeople.

Those who spew racist invective at any Maori pronouncement (especially some who react to this blog) should be aware that we do not speak with one voice, and nor do we want to.

Just because some nutbar jumps up and makes a stupid claim does not mean that we all espouse the same view.

In the same way, we do not assume that because you are of European descent, you are a clone of John Banks, Pastor Terry Jones (the guy who burnt the Koran), Stewart Murray Wilson or Ewan MacDonald. When I hear a European (yes, I use this to avoid offending those who don’t like ‘Pakeha’ as a title) speak, I do not automatically conflate them with the worst of the trash in my previous sentence. Do you?

The idiot outpourings of self-appointed speakers for so-called radicals embarass us as much as they embarass most of the rest of this country. However, when you react to demonise all Maori (and those who use the phrase ‘Hori’ in their invective are especially loathsome) for what some twat says, it undoes the good work so many of us are striving to do.

He ain’t my king, just as he ain’t yours.

Understand?

Dunne: Maori and water rights

Peter Dunne quoted:

While Maori do have rights with respect to water interests, they are not, nor can ever be, exclusive rights. Were they to be so, the logical conclusion must be that all New Zealand’s natural resources are owned by Maori, a claim that has long been rejected.

As with the foreshore and seabed, natural resources like air and water belong to all New Zealanders, and it is the Crown’s responsibility to exercise that ownership equally and fairly on our behalf.

Where customary usage can be established, then it would be appropriate to negotiate a particular settlement in each instance, again in a manner similar to the provisions of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

UnitedFuture long promoted the public domain solution for the foreshore and seabed, which was finally enshrined in the 2010 legislation. The same principle ought to be followed in respect of the current water rights debate.

Unity and confusion over water

Amongst the claims of unity amongst Maori there is still plenty of confusion.

Confusion about what unified Maori will ask for.

And confusion over what water rights and ownership means. There have been a number of attempts to define that in the past and it’s still not clear.

Call for recognition of Maori water unity

There should be recognition of the precarious position of Maori unity over water, a central figure says.

Waikato-Tainui’s Tom Roa has welcomed more than 60 heads of tribes to the Iwi Chair’s Forum today at Turangawaewae Marae.

The meeting resolved that:
* Proprietary rights in water must be settled before the sale of shares in Mighty River Power
* A group should be set up to choose negotiators to deal with the Crown
* If those negotiations fail iwi support a New Zealand Maori Council court challenge.

But what are ‘Proprietary rights in water?

Mr Roa said discussions with Watercare had been promising.

Asked if that was still the case, given King Tuheitia’s stance that the tribe had always owned the water, Mr Roa said: “I hate that word ownership because when I own something, it means exclusively and it’s a commodity that I can buy, that I can sell. That’s what ownership is but my Maori mind says ‘I belong to the water and the water belongs to me.”

Asked if a lot of Maori would be confused by the ownership debate, he said: “Absolutely.”

It isn’t just Maori who are confued. But some seem more certain:

Yesterday, Te Rarawa’s Haami Piripi said he supported both the Iwi Leaders Group and the Maori Council. But it was clear the ILG with the government hadn’t yet achieved the aspirations around water management and kaitiakitanga for Maori.

He said Maori owned water: “We do own the water. We own it because we had a ture [law] here before the Pakeha got here.”

But we still don’t seem to have any clear consensus about what sort of ownership is being claimed.

But it’s clear from some what the intent is, Haami Piripi:

The sell-down of Mighty River Power was an opportunity to get movement on both rights and ownership, he said.

“My experience has been in this situation there’s only one way we can get a government to listen to us and that’s to threaten it…we have to be able to use that leverage …to make sure we get some more gains.”

I think that sentiment is what is escalating this – there’s a clear impression that some Maori (just some) are simply opportunists intent on using the current situation to extort what they can. I may be interpreting that incorrectly but it’s how many people see it.

Once Maori are settled on their unity they need to unify their motives and clarify what they are seeking in water rights.

One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot of water to flow under this yet, and we somehow need to bridge the divides.

Water not Maori versus Government

Some seem to see the water issue as Maori versus Government, with the complication of asset sales and shares thrown into the mix.

I think we need to distil the water from other distractions and deal with it on it’s own. And include everyone in the discussion, not just Maori interests and Government.

I understand that water, including rights, management and to some, ownership, are very important to many Maori. That applies equally to many other New Zealanders too.

Maori, as individuals or groups or combined forces, have a right to claim what they think is due to them. They can use our politicial system, they can have hui, they can use social media, they can use any means available to promote their claims.

But this is not just a matter of Maori challenging and lobbying the Government. Water is a worldwide resource that is vital to our existence. It is a fundamental neccesity that falls, flows, accumulates and evaporates. Some of it can be contained, but it can come from anywhere, and go anywhere.

How water is managed, controlled, used and if it’s possible, owned in New Zealand is important to all New Zealanders, so all New Zealanders need to be able to be discuss how this happens.

It’s not just an issue between Maori and Government.

See: Water Rights For All

Maori Water King beheads Queen?

Are Maori effectively becoming New Zealand’s upper house, with a post-parliament say on anything that interests them?

On paper Queen Elizabeth is the highest authority in the country. But that monarchy is old and toothless.

The Maori King has orchestrated something potentially far more powerful here than Liz from the other side of the world.

Maori have had a very successful hui on water rights.

Hui calls for new deal on Maori rights

As momentum behind the water issue grows today’s gathering turned into a hui of national proportions.

As well as Maori leaders, groups including Kohanga Reo and Maori incorporations are represented, and all political parties except National.

Maori deliver crystal clear message on water

The king’s hui brought together the A-listers of Maoridom, but that wasn’t the inspired bit.

In Ngati Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana’s words, the B-listers, the C-listers and even the Z-listers were invited and their voices heard. So were women, urban Maori, and groups such as the Maori Women’s Welfare League.

That is what set it apart from any other forum in recent years.

Maori speak as one on water rights

A 1000-strong gathering of Maoridom has voted to boycott the Government’s fast-track consultation over asset sales and agreed to a united front on Maori water rights.

Maori representing some of the country’s biggest and smallest tribes descended on Ngaruawahia’s Turangawaewae Marae for the gathering – a show of strength after the Government rejected a Waitangi Tribunal call for a national hui on water.

The hui, convened by Maoridom’s King Tuheitia, overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling on the Government to halt the sale of power company shares until it had thrashed out a framework recognising Maori proprietary rights in water.

They believe they have the Treaty of Waitangi on their side, and they will use all the legal means they can to achieve their aims.

Good on them. They want to achieve something, they have extensive networks, they have gathered together and are combining the strength of many voices.

This will put a lot of pressure on Government, and it puts severe strain on National’s proposed asset share floats. Maori groups are using the system. Very successfuly here by the look of it.

But it raises questions about how our democracy works.

National campaigned extensively on their asset policy. They won an election. They put their policy through the parliamentary process. They got sufficient votes and their policy passed into law.

And now that law is being challenged. It is being challenged very strongly.

Is this how our democracy should work? Is it a fault in our democratic process, or a fair post legislation legal challenge?

Or have National just bungled their policy? It will be interesting to see what their next move is.

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