Understanding the Treaty of Waitangi 101

Hinemoa Elder: We should all be familiar with the Treaty of Waitangi, here’s a 101

Much has been made of knowledge of the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. How many of us can recite the preamble and all the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi? I’m thinking not many, if any. How many can recall these in Te Reo Māori, and English, and talk about the differences in interpretation and the inherent cultural clashes?

To manifest a rigorous and mature capacity for fostering a strong, healthy, national identity we need to fully embrace these foundational aspects of our history. The critical thing for me is that, yes it is necessary – but not sufficient – to know the wording of each part of our Treaty.

I don’t think it is necessary to be able to recite the Treaty word for word, but understanding it better is worthwhile.


Treaty of Waitangi – Preamble

English version – British intentions were to:

  • Protect Māori interests from the encroaching British settlement;
  • Provide for British settlement; and
  • Establish a government to maintain peace and order.

Māori version – the Queen’s main promises to Māori were to:

  • Provide a government while securing tribal rangatiratanga and Māori land ownership for as long as they wished to retain it.

Te Tuatahi, article one

Ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa hoki ki hai i uru ki taua wakaminenga ka tuku rawa atu ki te Kuini o Ingarani ake tonu atu – te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua.

The chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Kawanatanga – Article 1 provides for the Government to govern, though not in isolation from other provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi. The right to govern is qualified by an obligation to protect Māori interests. This aspect of the agreement is further established within the other articles of the Treaty.

Te Tuarua, article two:  

Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu – ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa. Otiia ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa atu ka tuku ki te Kuini te hokonga o era wahi wenua e pai ai te tangata nona te Wenua – ki te ritenga o te utu e wakaritea ai e ratou ko te kai hoko e meatia nei e te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.

Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates forests fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Tino Rangatiratanga – Article 2 provides for iwi to exercise authority in respect of their own affairs. To some extent, tino rangatiratanga denoted the prerogatives of iwi/hapu in controlling their own affairs including their physical, social cultural resources, within a tribal development context. A characteristic of tino rangatiratanga is iwi autonomy.

Te Tuatoru, article three:  

Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini – Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects.

Oritetanga – Article 3 contains a provision which guarantees equality between Māori individuals and other New Zealanders. As long as socio-economic disparities remain, the provision is not fulfilled.

Additional source: Introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi

Settling highly qualified refugees in provincial towns criticised

The Government increased the number of places they were settling refugees around the country, but this has been criticised as inappropriate for some well qualified refugees who have trouble finding employment in provincial towns.

RNZ:  Refugee group unhappy with new settlement location

The ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum believes Whanganui, Timaru, Blenheim, Masterton, Levin and Christchurch might not have the support network or relevant jobs for the refugees who arrive in New Zealand.

The ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum general manager Lexy Seedhouse said many refugees who come into the country are highly qualified.

“If they’re settled in location where there aren’t highly skilled jobs available for them, then it’s not going to be of benefit to local communities, national nor region economies and it leads to a whole lot of social problems, such as unemployment, underemployment, depression and social isolation,” she said.

That should have been easy to predict.

Ms Seedhouse said while they support the government’s decision to raise the quota to 1500 refugees next year, the forum should have been consulted about where they would be placed.

Consultation would have been a good idea.

She said refugees going to places where there wasn’t the support from organisations like the forum, or from others from their country of origin can have far reaching consequences.

“For example access to interpreters, if someone needs to go to the GP, will there be people with that language capability in those new settlement regions?, we don’t know.”

“Also lots of those areas tend to be predominately white, which could lead to problems with integration, there’s not a lot of ethnic diversity in those areas,” she said.

It’s a bit like some sort of social experiment.

Chair of the forum, Ibrahim Omer who came to New Zealand as a refugee from Eritrea, can’t imagine how he would have settled in the regions, as it was hard enough in Wellington.

“I was surrounded by a lot of support and where there is a lot of employment opportunities, I struggled for years before I settled, there is a language barrier, culture shock, there’s so many things involved, it is tough,” he said.

Mr Omer said employment opportunities are some of the first things new refugees look for when arriving in the country, which will be even harder in the regions.

“We’re talking about small towns where opportunities are very limited,” he said.

Again, quite predictable. Perhaps those in charge of choosing where to settle refugees take into account their qualifications and they chances of finding relevant employment.

Increasing the number of refugees being accepted may have put pressure on officials who have to place them somewhere in the country.

Finland’s basic income trial boosted ‘wellbeing’ but not employment

New Zealand isn’t the only country trying to improve wellbeing.

Reuters:  Finland’s basic income trial boosts happiness but not employment

Finland’s basic income scheme did not spur its unemployed recipients to work more to supplement their earnings as hoped but it did help their wellbeing, researchers said on Friday as the government announced initial findings.

The two-year trial, which ended a month ago, saw 2,000 Finns, chosen randomly from among the unemployed, become the first Europeans to be paid a regular monthly income by the state that was not reduced if they found work.

Finland — the world’s happiest country last year, according to the United Nations — is exploring alternatives to its social security model.

The trial was being watched closely by other governments who see a basic income as a way of encouraging the unemployed to take up often low-paid or temporary work without fear of losing their benefits. That could help reduce dependence on the state and cut welfare costs, especially as greater automation sees humans replaced in the workforce.

Finland’s minister of health and social affairs Pirkko Mattila said the impact on employment of the monthly pay cheque of 560 euros ($635) “seems to have been minor on the grounds of the first trial year”.

But participants in the trial were happier and healthier than the control group.

“The basic income recipients of the test group reported better wellbeing in every way (than) the comparison group,” chief researcher Olli Kangas said.

Chief economist for the trial Ohto Kanniainen said the low impact on employment was not a surprise, given that many jobless people have few skills or struggle with difficult life situations or health concerns.

“Economists have known for a long time that with unemployed people financial incentives don’t work quite the way some people would expect them to,” he added.

Giving unemployed people more money should improve their wellbeing and it should also help with improving happiness if it makes it easier for them to survive financially.

But going by this, on it’s own it isn’t a solution to unemployment.

If so then the question for a basic income is how much more money a country wants (and can afford) to give people living on benefits. The amount could make a significant difference – if they make it too generous then it’s likely more people will choose unemployment as a financially viable option, further increasing the costs.

I wonder if Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson have something like this in mind for their ‘wellbeing’ budget.

Mental health crisis -> 1 working group -> 9 working groups

Before the election Labour said there was a crisis in mental health care.

Once in Government they set up a working group to find out if there was a crisis

400 meetings across New Zealand, 5,000 submissions and a year later the working group handed a 200 page report to the Government, who said it would take a few months to respond.

Now 9 working groups have been set up to respond to the 9 ‘themes’ of the first working group.

RNZ:  Mental health working group replacement criticised

Robyn Shearer, deputy director general of mental health and addiction, said the Mental Health and Addiction Health Sector Leadership Group (HSLG) was put on hold following criticism of its make-up.

“As the ministry has adopted the hub and spoke model, the group will cease in its role.”

The hub and spoke model – which has one central hub, co-ordinated by the Ministry of Health, and nine “spokes” based on key inquiry recommendations – was first proposed in a 14 December email.

The structure was to be co-ordinated by a small co-ordination group, covering lived experience, family-whānau, Māori, Pasifika, NGOs, primary health organisations, and a DHB representative.

“This structure would also include nine working groups, dedicated to responding to each of the Inquiry report’s themes,” acting deputy director general of mental health and addiction Maree Roberts in a December said in an email to stakeholders.

The mental health inquiry hub and spoke model (source: December email to stakeholders from Ministry of Health)

The groups would “be responsible not only for feeding into advice to government, but for providing leadership and advice on implementation of changes and improvements across the health and social system”.

The email reminded readers that the government would formally respond to the inquiry in March 2019 and that the Ministry of Health was working to provide advice.

Ms Shearer, who has recently joined the Ministry of Health, said the leadership group was initially created to help the Ministry interact with key stakeholders.

“It was never intended to be the ministry’s main mechanism for feedback following the Inquiry’s report.

“The group’s primary role in this time was to assist the ministry in planning its engagement approach following the inquiry’s release.”

However, the December email from Ms Roberts outlining the group’s approach showed the it had a significant role in gathering feedback.

The first phase was to seek feedback and inform government.

The email suggested hosting small workshops with the public.

This sounds like repeating the same thing again, albeit fragmented into different groups.

Not surprisingly there have been eyebrows raised.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson raised concerns.

“Part of our feedback was you have to be really clear what it is you’re asking people, otherwise this could look like the inquiry is just carrying on. When do we stop talking and start doing?

“I kind of thought, ‘Well, you know, I did tell you!’ So it didn’t surprise me at all when they said they were going back to the drawing board.”

It did not adequately represent Māori and people who lived with mental health, he said.

Mr Robinson said the ministry made a few mistakes in the first steps because they “literally did not have the people”.

There was also confusion among those in the mental health sector about why the government needed to seek more answers when that was the whole purpose of the inquiry.

“But there are some pretty significant and far-reaching changes suggested in the inquiry report. If you want to really make those happen, you have to be quite careful.”

one thing the need to be careful about is spending too much time and money working in groups and inquiring,

 

Sideshow Don continues on Twitter, Burr explains Senate investigations

Donald Trump’s obsession with investigations into collusion and his obsession with being seen as great continue on Twitter:

Highly respected Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of Senate Intelligence, said today that, after an almost two year investigation, he saw no evidence of Russia collusion. “We don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.” Thank you!

Not only did Senator Burr’s Committee find No Collusion by the Trump Campaign and Russia, it’s important because they interviewed 200 witnesses and 300,000 pages of documents, & the Committee has direct access to intelligence information that’s Classified.

Now we find out that Adam Schiff was spending time together in Aspen with Glenn Simpson of GPS Fusion, who wrote the fake and discredited Dossier, even though Simpson was testifying before Schiff. John Solomon of

The mainstream media has refused to cover the fact that the head of the VERY important Senate Intelligence Committee, after two years of intensive study and access to Intelligence that only they could get, just stated that they have found NO COLLUSION between “Trump” & Russia….

Actually no, only one member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said “we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia” before a draft of their final report has been started, and before the Mueller investigation has concluded.

Burr: “”What I’m telling you is that I’m going to present, as best we can, the facts to you and to the American people. And you’ll have to draw your own conclusion as to whether you think that, by whatever definition, that’s collusion.”

I presume no facts have been presented to Trump yet, but he has been asserting ‘NO COLLUSION’ since the allegations and investigations began.

..It is all a GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX, developed long before the election itself, but used as an excuse by the Democrats as to why Crooked Hillary Clinton lost the Election! Someday the Fake News Media will turn honest & report that Donald J. Trump was actually a GREAT Candidate!

This relates to this from CBS News:  Richard Burr on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, 2 years on

The investigation into Russian intelligence activities by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence turned two years old, without fanfare, last month.

For almost as long, the inquiry, led by Republican Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, has been held up as the last bastion of bipartisanship in Washington.

After a parallel investigation divided the House Intelligence Committee last year, the Senate’s probe has been under intense pressure to offer a single set of findings.

Burr has spoken little about the probe he leads. But he thinks deeply about how its conclusions should be presented. And he acknowledges now that the investigation is broader, and perhaps more consequential, than it has long been thought to be.

For more than an hour, Burr detailed the committee’s work and findings to date, explained why its investigation will stretch beyond its second year, and addressed the potential of a partisan breakdown at its conclusion. He described the committee’s coordination with the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, its plans for delivering a final report, and hinted at what kinds of questions it may, at least for now, have to leave unanswered.

He made clear that the investigation is not compiling the story of one pivotal election, but of something larger, more complicated and, from a counterintelligence perspective, more nefarious. The final report may be so highly classified, he said, that a meaningful portion may not be made public at all.

Burr said he felt vindicated by his decision to empower the committee’s staff to run the investigation. He said their access to highly classified intelligence from the agencies the committee is equipped to oversee often allowed them to know in advance what they needed to elicit from a witness.

“It also gave us tremendous insight to know when somebody was lying to us,” he said, adding that the committee had “not been shy” in referring individuals for criminal prosecution.

To date, the committee has interviewed more than 200 witnesses and reviewed more than 300,000 pages of documents; it has held more than a dozen public hearings and released two interim reports.

The first, on election security, was issued last March and found that the Department of Homeland Security’s response to Russia’s incursions was “inadequate.”

The second, released in May, included the initial findings of a review of the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russia’s active measures — an unclassified version of a more comprehensive report is still forthcoming.

“We see no reason to dispute the conclusions,” of the ICA, Burr said at the time, in a simple assertion that nevertheless generated headlines for its contrast with a finding by the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority.

Their final report cited “significant intelligence tradecraft failings” in the assessment made of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s intentions. On a bipartisan basis, the Senate committee substantiated the finding that Putin had developed a “clear preference” for Donald Trump.

Burr would only say that Steele remained of interest, but out of reach.

Burr has previously said it would be impossible to assess the credibility of the dossier without understanding who Steele’s sources and sub-sources were; failing to speak directly with Steele suggests that the committee has not, itself, come to a determination of the dossier’s reliability.

Was there collusion?

For now, Burr appears to have arrived at his answer. “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” he said.

He told Fox News in September that the committee had found no “hard evidence” of collusion, though new information could still come to light.

He now doubled down, adding it was “accurate with everything we’ve accumulated since then.”

It was the first time the chairman sounded like he was not speaking for the entirety of his committee, given the disconnect between his view of a set of facts and that of the vice chairman. (Warner declined to be interviewed for this article.)

In January, Warner said the revelation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate of Manafort’s known to have ties to Russian intelligence, was the “closest we’ve seen” to collusion.

Burr did not use the word then and would not now. Manafort, he said, “shared polling data with a former partner of an effort to do campaign services in the Ukraine.” It was a “stretch,” Burr said, to call that collusion.

He argued that the underlying motivations behind some interactions were often hard, and sometimes impossible, to determine, and that what might look like collusion could have an alternative rationale.

“There’s an awful lot of connections of all these people,” he said. “They may not be connections that are tied to 2016 elections in the United States, but just the sheer fact that they have a relationship — it may be business. It may be Russian intelligence. It may be they’re all on the payroll of Oleg Deripaska,” he said.

“I have no belief that at the end of our process, people that love Donald Trump are going to applaud what we do. And I have no belief that people that hate Donald Trump are going to reverse and say, ‘Well, you know, this clears him.’ They are solidly in one camp or the other,” he said.

“I’m speaking to what I hope is the 60 percent in the middle that are saying, ‘Give me the facts that I need to make a determination in this one particular instance — what happened.’ And that’s what our focus is,” he said.

There is also the Mueller investigation.

Burr has often voiced his awareness that his committee’s report will be tested by the special counsel’s findings. He has said he’s comforted by it, in part because Mueller, by virtue of having more and better investigative tools, may provide answers that proved elusive to his team.

But he remained evasive as to whether Mueller’s final report should itself be made public — even if it could conceivably fill in some gaps within his own probe. “I’m going to leave that up to whoever the A.G. is at the time,” he said.

No overall findings yet.

How the committee will issue its overall findings, once it arrives at them, also appears to be an open question. Burr said a formal draft had not yet been started, and he could not make a prediction about how much of it, ultimately, would be declassified.

“What I’m telling you is that I’m going to present, as best we can, the facts to you and to the American people. And you’ll have to draw your own conclusion as to whether you think that, by whatever definition, that’s collusion,” he said.

“My only advice to you is, be careful. There are a lot of false narratives out there,” he said.

It is a highly complex issue, being investigated by the Senate, by Congress, and by Mueller.  None of them have come to final conclusions, and if they do they could remain classified.

Trump, the media and any of us don’t know anywhere near the full story – and we may never know it.

Will the investigations end up doing any good? Who knows?

Was Trump a great, or as he puts it, a GREAT Candidate? Many thought he was. Many thought he was terrible. He ended up getting fewer popular votes overall than another flawed candidate, Hillary Clinton, but his campaign was good enough to win the presidency under the electoral college system. Some voters would have thought neither candidate was great and voted for the least worst.

Will Trump end up being seen as a great president? It’s far too soon to judge that. There are and will be positives and negatives, it depends on how they all add up.

Was their collusion. That is up to both evidence and interpretation. But we shouldn’t be fixated on ‘collusion’, there are other bad practices, even illegal practices, that could be proven, or disproven, or neither.

Jeff Bezos accusing National Enquirer/AMI of blackmail and extortion

Jeff Bezos, founder and major shareholder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accused ‘the top people’ at the National Enquirer/AMI of blackmail and extortion in trying to stop further investigations by the Washington, and to get Bezos to issue a statement saying they have no knowledge of AMI coverage being politically motivated or ‘influenced by political forces’.

AMI owner David Pecker has been a strong supporter of Donald Trump. In December AMI was entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice over to their role in the so-called “Catch and Kill” process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. If they have acted illegally with the alleged threats that could affect that immunity deal.

Yesterday Bezos posted No thank you, Mr. Pecker

Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

…I didn’t know much about most of that a few weeks ago when intimate texts messages from me were published in the National Enquirer. I engaged investigators to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer. As it turns out, there are now several independent investigations looking into this matter.

To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker

Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is “apoplectic” about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.

A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker’s apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.

My lawyers argued that AMI has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos, and since the photos in themselves don’t add anything newsworthy.

AMI’s claim of newsworthiness is that the photos are necessary to show Amazon shareholders that my business judgment is terrible.

Email sent Howard, Dylan (Chief Content Officer, AMI) to Martin Singer (litigation counsel for Mr. de Becker) includes:

However, in the interests of expediating this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer’s initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.

In addition to the “below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick’” — The Enquirer obtained a further nine images.

The photos are described.

It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail — and quickly.

Bezos:

Well, that got my attention. But not in the way they likely hoped. Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)

In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they’ll publish the photos, and quickly. And there’s an associated threat: They’ll keep the photos on hand and publish them in the future if we ever deviate from that lie.

These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.

From an email on Wednesday from Fine, Jon (Deputy General Counsel, AMI) to Martin Singer (Mr de Becker’s attorney)

Here are our proposed terms:

2. A public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility.

3. AM agrees not to publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos (the “Unpublished Materials”).

6. In the case of a breach of the agreement by one or more of the Bezos Parties, AM is released from its obligations under the agreement, and may publish the Unpublished Materials.

Whether that constitutes blackmail and/or extortion, or whether it will warrant legal action or investigation, will no doubt unfold.

AMI has issued a statement in response:

“American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos. Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him. Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”

Pecker is one of four AMI board members.

CNBC: National Enquirer publisher believes it ‘acted lawfully’ on Bezos story, vows to investigate matter

AMI’s assertion that it violated no laws in its reporting matters beyond the Bezos affair. In December, the tabloid publisher struck an immunity deal with federal prosecutors in connection with the $150,000 hush-money payment the supermarket tabloid gave to a Playboy model who claims she had an affair with Trump.

That agreement requires that AMI “shall commit no crimes whatsoever.” If it turns out that Bezos’ blackmail allegations are confirmed, AMI could lose its immunity.

Brett Kappel, a lawyer specializing in political finance and ethics at Akerman LLP, said AMI’s immunity deal could be at risk.

“AMI is looking at the very real possibility that it may be found to have breached the nonprosecution agreement and could be prosecuted both for the crimes that were the subject of the nonprosecution agreement and any subsequent crimes,” Kappel told CNBC.

“In addition, the lawyers involved will almost certainly face disciplinary proceedings by the New York State Bar and could be disbarred,” Kappel added.

Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein told CNBC that Bezos’ accusation “certainly sounds like extortion or blackmail.” But he cautioned that “sounding like something and actually filing charges are two different things. AMI will undoubtedly argue that their statements were simply litigation negotiation strategy.”

This raises the tensions between media and politics in the US. There is big money and big power in both politics and the media there. The whole kaboodle looks dysfunctional and a corruption of power.

Whether this latest move from Bezos lifts a scab or just adds more puss is yet to be seen.

Housing crisis >> KiwiBuild crisis >> what next?

When in opposition Labour talked up the housing crisis, even though it was a problem that grew over many years.  They promised big – 100,000 houses big. And ‘affordable’.

In Government they launched KiwiBuild and soon conceded, sort of, that new houses in places like Auckland in particular were a long way from being affordable for people who needed housing the most. But the pushed on.

However it has become apparent that KiwiBuild is growing into some sort of crisis of it’s own  a a crisis of credibility for the out of depth Minister of Housing Phil Twyford, as well as for his Government. And if it can’t appear to be at least partly fixed by next year it could become an election campaign crisis for Labour.

What should happen right now? Listener: The KiwiBuild failure should galvanise urgent action on NZ’s housing disaster

When a nation’s flagship housing policy is such a spectacular failure that it makes the New York Times, the minister in charge cannot avoid the international embarrassment.

This is the position Housing Minister Phil Twyford now finds himself in. Having arrogantly sneered at all those who dared question his strategy and timetable, he has failed to deliver on the very thing New Zealanders care most about – the urgent need for a solution to our housing crisis. This policy was central to Labour’s pitch to voters at the last election. The failure to deliver 1000 KiwiBuild homes by July – so far only 47 have been completed – is the definition of a broken promise, ameliorated only by the likelihood that few truly believed the Government would keep its word in the first place.

That the previous Government struggled to make any meaningful changes in the housing area should have indicated to Twyford that affordability was more complex than Labour, and National before it, had assumed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared the market had failed, so the Government had to step in. She was right that the market had failed, but wrong to assume that the Government would make complex problems disappear merely by becoming a property developer itself.

Perhaps she should have paid more attention to competence rather than kindness. A kind captain of a sinking ship is still in charge of a disaster.

Inevitably, it has come up against all the same obstacles private developers face. These include the high cost of land, labour and materials, restrictive regulations, local authorities’ planning rules, lack of infrastructure, the Resource Management Act and neighbourhoods where existing homeowners refuse to countenance more intensive development.

The market failure Ardern referred to will not be solved by swapping a private property developer for a state-owned one. The market failure is not ideological. This is the real world, and not the 1930s with plenty of suburban land available for state housing.

The Prime Minister hasn’t resiled from the Government’s commitment to deliver 100,000 houses in 10 years. But a Government that is elected for three years still promising to ratchet up house production with a goal 10 years hence when it may not be in office, is not treating the public with respect. New Zealanders, having already witnessed the debacle over tree planting, are not so easily fooled.

The Government needs to urgently do what it can to change those things over which it has control. The Opposition, having itself failed when in government to make headway on housing affordability, owes it to New Zealanders to support any reasonable legislative changes to facilitate more house building. Ratepayers, too, need to allow councils, which have more say than the Government over the availability of land for new, infill and high-density housing, to use the powers at their disposal. And we all need to accept that changes that make homes affordable may affect the value of many existing houses.

That’s a tough one.

Certainly the cost of housing is an issue that needs to be addressed, and quickly. But it appears that the Government hasn’t got the courage or the ability to do this.

The recent Demographia International Report, which compares median house prices in seven wealthy countries plus Hong Kong, reports that in Australia housing has become more affordable over the past year as prices fell due to tightening credit. Yet, alarmingly, New Zealand housing has simply become more unaffordable since this Government took office. Property here is now further out of reach than in the US, Australia and the UK. This is beyond embarrassment. This is a national disaster.

Disaster, crisis, whatever. It needs urgent attention – but does Ardern understand this?

 

Pope Francis admits of abuse of nuns, sexual slavery

The Catholic Church has struggling with huge problems due to the exposure of sexual abuse by priests over decades if not centuries.

For some time the church, and more recently Pope Francis, have been criticised for doing far too little about the problems.  But the Pope has brought up another dirty secret in the church.

BBC:  Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery

Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves.

He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.

Last November, the Catholic Church’s global organisation for nuns denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” that prevented them from speaking out.

The female congregation dissolved in 2005 under Pope Benedict was the Community of St Jean, which was based in France, Alessandro Gisotti of the Vatican press office told CBS News.

In 2013, the Community of St Jean admitted that priests had behaved “in ways that went against chastity” with several women in the order, according to the French Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix.

In a separate case in India last year, a bishop was arrested over allegations that he raped a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who headed the diocese in Jalandhar in the northern state of Punjab, has denied the accusations.

In Chile, reports of abuse of nuns carried out by priests led the Vatican to launch an investigation last year. The women were reportedly removed from the order after highlighting the abuse.

Last year, the Associated Press news agency reported cases of abuse in Italy and Africa.

Just days ago the Vatican’s women’s magazine, Women Church World, condemned the abuse, saying in some cases nuns were forced to abort priests’ children – something Catholicism forbids.

Pope Francis has admitted…

…that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves.

He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.

It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.

He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”.

Speaking to reporters while on a historic tour of the Middle East on Tuesday, the pontiff admitted that the Church had an issue, and the roots lay in society “seeing women as second class”.

He said that priests and bishops had abused nuns, but said the Church was aware of the “scandal” and was “working on it”, adding that a number of clerics had been suspended.

“It’s a path that we’ve been on,” he said.

“Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it – slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery – on the part of clerics or the founder.”

Pope Francis said sexual abuse of nuns was an ongoing problem, but happened largely in “certain congregations, predominantly new ones”.

“I think it’s still taking place because it’s not as though the moment you become aware of something it goes away.”

While shocking it isn’t surprising that nuns have also been victims of abuse.

More shocking is the Pope’s admission that “”I think it’s still taking place”.

CBS News: Pope Francis confirms priests’ abuse of nuns included “sexual slavery”

The pontiff conceded that it was a problem and said more action was needed. He insisted the will to confront the abuse is there, and stressed that the problem is not new, and that the Church has been working to address it for some time.

“It’s a path that we’ve been on. Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it — slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery — on the part of clerics or the founder,” the pope conceded.

Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press center, later confirmed to CBS News that the order of nuns dissolved under Benedict was the Community of St. Jean in France. The reason the order was dissolved had not previously been made public.

That was in 2005. Shut down due to sexual slavery. Kept secret.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

And why is the church “working on it”? More importantly, why aren’t the police working on it? Have the Catholic priests, bishops and pope learned nothing from the unravelling scourge of scandals?

The Catholic Church has lost all moral credibility.

Don Brash championing Apirana Ngata, but…

Sir Āpirana Turupa Ngata (3 July 1874 – 14 July 1950) was a prominent New Zealand politician and lawyer. He has often been described as the foremost Māori politician to have ever served in Parliament, and is also known for his work in promoting and protecting Māori culture and language. – Wikipedia

From Don Brash’s Waitangi speech:

Let me make one other point about the dangers of dependence. Many years ago, at the advent of the modern welfare state, Sir Apirana Ngata, in my opinion one of New Zealand’s greatest Maori leaders – and a man I was privileged to put on New Zealand’s $50 bank note – warned of the serious damage which the welfare state would do to Maori society.

He believed that readily available welfare would erode the proud tradition of independence which most Maori had. And I believe his warning has been amply borne out, with a disproportionately high proportion of those on the unemployment benefit, and on the single parent benefit, being Maori.

Decades after he gave that warning, when I was Governor of the Reserve Bank, I met with a prominent kuia at her request. She wanted to talk about Maori unemployment. After a very long discussion, I finally asked her what she would want me to do if by some chance I found myself in the position of a benevolent dictator. Without hesitating she replied “Abolish the dole with effect from the first of January”.

I thought at first she was joking, and asked her to explain herself.

She said that “Unfortunately too many of my people don’t have many skills. They can’t live well on the dole but with three or four of them in the same house all getting the dole, and a few under the table cash jobs, they can live adequately on the dole, and that’s a disaster.”

She was deadly serious, and in a sense was simply echoing what Sir Apirana Ngata said 80 years ago.

Scott Hamilton (via @SikotiHamiltonR):


During his speech at Te Tii, Don Brash invoked Apirana Ngata. For Brash & other conservative Pakeha, Ngata has long been a talisman. They see the famous leader as an advocate of assimilation & opponent of statism & race-based policies. But how accurate is such a view?

Again & again, Brash has insisted that Ngata opposed state funding for Maori-specific projects. It seems that Brash has never heard of the ambitious Native Lands Development Schemes, which Ngata created & monitored after he became a minister in the Forbes government elected in 1928.

 

For decades Ngata had been trying to consolidate Maori land holdings. After winning his cabinet post in 1928, he was able to acquire govt funds to pay for the development of consolidated Maori land. One iwi after joined his schemes. Weeds were pulled, fences built, stock bought

From the beginning, many Pakeha politicians were suspicious of Ngata’s land development schemes. They complained of money being aimed at Maori. Ngata pointed out, in response, that for many decades Pakeha farmers had enjoyed subsidies & infrastructure spending denied to Maori.

The land schemes were just one part of Ngata’s quest to revitalise a nation devastated by war & land theft. He also worked hard to restore his people’s culture, founding a school for carvers & teaching dance to young people.

How would he feel about Brash’s denigration of haka?

Brash & other Pakeha conservatives have praised intermarriage, which they see as diluting Maori identity & thereby bringing them into the ‘mainstream’ of NZ, aka Pakeha, society. Ngata didn’t share their enthusiasm. Fascinated by eugenics, he wanted to keep Maori marrying Maori.

Brash & his ilk have a record of denigrating pre-Christian Maori spirituality, & of wanting it kept out of public ceremonies & off public sites. Ngata felt differently. As Ranginui Walker’s biography shows, he believed in the old gods & spirits, & awaited their signals.

Ngata talked of the ‘amalgamation of the races’ in NZ, by which he meant the entry of Maori into the institutions of the colonial state, & a role for them in governing that state. But he did not take this position because of the sort of fondness for colonialism Brash evinces.

Ngata accepted the NZ colonial state & opposed Maori separatism only because he believed the defeats in the wars of the 19th Century irreversible. When he became minister responsible for NZ’s Pacific colonies, he argued loudly against attempts to Westernise Niueans & Samoans.

In his speech at Te Tii, Brash presented colonialism & Westernisation as unqualified goods, & conditions for technological & material progress. But Ngata fought against attempts to export capitalism to Samoa, Niue, the Cooks, & defended those islands’ traditional economies.

If Brash wants to find precedents for his views in, then he should look not to Ngata but to the men who destroyed Ngata’s land development schemes. In 1932 papers condemned the scheme as separatist; in 1934 an all-Pakeha commission agreed. Ngata resigned from cabinet.

Last year, during an interview with Kim Hill, Brash invoked the myth of Moriori as a pre-Maori people. He was swiftly rebuked by Hill. Shouldn’t our journalists behave the same way when Brash egregiously misrepresents the facts about Apirana Ngata’s life & opinions?


It was actually December 2017: A play-by-play of Kim Hill’s medium rare roasting of Don Brash

“You see Māori as just another ethnic group?”

“Of course. Why are they not?”

“Because they’re tangata whenua.”

Don Brash disagrees with this, and brings up the Moriori, because at this point in every argument of this kind, where the racism is about as thinly veiled as a bride at her fifth wedding, someone brings up the Moriori, and every right-minded person listening to this screams at whatever listening device they’ve had to hear it from because that is a bullshit addition to every argument of this kind, and is intended not to continue the argument but to send it off the rails entirely.

This renders Kim Hill briefly speechless, she cuts the interview off with the most curt and savage:

“If only Sir Michael King were here today, thank you for your time, Dr Don Brash.”


Apirana Ngata (1874–1950), of Ngāti Porou, was born at Te Araroa on the East Coast. He graduated from Te Aute College, and later completed an MA and a law degree. He was the first Māori to complete a degree at a New Zealand University. He returned to the East Coast and became involved in improving Māori social and economic conditions. – NZ History

Sir Āpirana Turupa Ngata (3 July 1874 – 14 July 1950) was a prominent New Zealand politician and lawyer. He has often been described as the foremost Māori politician to have ever served in Parliament, and is also known for his work in promoting and protecting Māori culture and language. – Wikipedia

 

Ngāpuhi split over treaty negotiations

One of the biggest Treaty of Waitangi settlements has been one of the longest to get into negotiations, and the hardest to resolve.

One hapū, Ngāti Hine, want to split off from Ngāpuhi and do a separate deal. This may be the only way of making things happen.

RNZ in December – Ngāpuhi vote: Minister forced back to the drawing board

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little will be forced to go back to the drawing board after Ngāpuhi overwhelmingly rejected a mandate for its Treaty settlement.

Final voting results released yesterday confirmed the evolved Ngāpuhi treaty settlement mandate failed to win the vote of its people.

In November, the vote on the Evolved Mandate to move its Treaty negotiation forward was sent out to the people of Ngāpuhi.

The question of who should negotiate with the Crown has divided Ngāpuhi – some have sided with the group originally chosen – Tuhoronuku – and others have backed the hapu-based grouping, Te Kotahitanga.

It was a resounding kāhore (no) from the people of Ngāpuhi – with 73 hapū rejecting the mandate and 31 in support.The individual vote was 51 percent in favour and 48 percent against – but a threshold of 75 percent was needed to get the mandate over the line.

Mr Little said he was disappointed but the best thing right now was to “take bit of a breather”, and he was not giving up.

Wayne (presumably Mapp) commented on this recently:

Ngapuhi took a claim to the Waiting tribune on the meaning of the 1835 Declaration of Independence, and its relation to the Treaty of Waitangi. The Tribunal gave it some credence and stated Ngapuhi didn’t surrender sovereignty. But in practical terms what does that mean today? I can’t see the government going beyond the Tuhoe settlement in giving local governance powers.

The government should recognise Ngati Hine as a seperate entity if they want to settle the collective Ngapuhi claim. Some might say Ngati Hine is a hapu, but it is a hapu of 20,000 people, one third of Ngapuhi. Not sure why the government is being so obstinate about this.

https://yournz.org/2019/02/05/the-articles-of-the-treaty-of-waitangi/#comment-346234

RNZ:  Ngāti Hine wants to formally split off from Ngāpuhi Treaty talks

Ngāti Hine hapū have told the Treaty Negotiations Minister they want to formally split off from the Ngāpuhi talks that have been ongoing for more than a decade.

Chairperson for Ngāti Hine, Pita Tipene, met with Mr Little on Sunday, and told him that Ngāti Hine had decided it would be seeking its own mandate.

“We’re clear about what we put to him,” Mr Tipene said.

“I think it’s been a long time coming. Certainly Ngāti Hine has always been true to its own vision statement but we’ve changed our tack now.”

He said that view had come about from a number of hui among the nine hapū in the last months, with one meeting as recently as 12 January.

“That doesn’t mean that we’ve closed off all doors to working with our neighbours on overlapping claims,” Mr Tipene said.

He said Mr Little has been canvassing a number of people about a way forward for Ngāpuhi, given the vote on the Tūhono proposal that “ended up in complete failure” at the end of last year.

But Mr Tipene said “Ngāti Hine is now very, very clear that we will be seeking our own mandate.”

Mr Little confirmed the exchange took place.

“He said that … well it seemed to be without an awareness of what it takes to shut down the current mandate – which is really a name only – and to establish a whole new mandate or a bunch of mandates,” he said.

Mr Little said he made it clear to Mr Tipene that although he has an open mind as to how things happen from here, the Crown’s position is that Ngāpuhi must work “or at least move” together.

“There needs to be coordination and cohesion. It doesn’t make sense for the Crown to be drawn in to a multiplicity of negotiations where nothing can settle or reach agreement,” he said.

But nothing is looking like being agreed on let alone or settled with Ngāpuhi  as a whole.