Hobson’s Pledge a ‘divisive group of haters’

Hobson’s Pledge, led by Don Brash, has always been controversial. The Māori Council wants them investigated, believing that an accumulation of statements and behaviour justifies a complaint being made to the Human Rights Commission. saying they are inciting racism and violence.

This is getting into tricky territory in the free speech versus hate speech debate.

Stuff: ‘Divisive group of haters’ in Hobson’s Pledge must be investigated, Māori Council says

The New Zealand Māori Council said on Wednesday it had asked the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to investigate the group, which is led by former National Party and Act leader Don Brash.

Hobson’s Pledge was formed in 2016 and campaigns against what it says is preferential treatment given to Māori.

New Zealand Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki said the council had made the move because “no one’s called them out”.

Plenty of people have criticised Brash and Hobson’s Pledge, but this may be the first time a complaint against them has been made to the HRC.

He hoped the HRC would censure the group.

He said the “accumulation” of Hobson’s Pledge’s behaviour and statements, rather than any one incident, influenced the decision to go to the HRC.

Tukaki also said Hobson’s Pledge was “nothing more than a divisive group of haters who would do nothing more than send us all back to the dark ages”.

“They may wear suits and drive around in late model expensive European cars … but they are nothing more than a gang of misfits that seek to incite hate and divide the country.

“They should be held to account,” Tukaki said.

“They’re creating an environment…in which hate is breeding and not just breeding but duplicating and replicating.”

Tukaki said the Māori Council was concerned that comments Hobson’s Pledge leaders had made in public constituted “incitement to both violence and racism, hate and the segregation of New Zealand society”.

This has a risk of creating publicity for what is  fringe group that is usually ignored.

Hobsons’ Pledge spokesman Don Brash said claims of racism were “absolutely outrageously stupid” and he was taking legal advice.

“It’s a serious accusation … not only of racism, but also of advocating violence.”

“I’m deeply saddened that the Māori Council, which used to be a group of eminent and respected people, should descend to this kind of silly name-calling.

“I have a four-year-old Korean Hyundai, for the sake of the record.”

An odd comment. Owning a particular brand of car doesn’t rule out being a racist.

Brash said if the HRC censured Hobson’s Pledge it would prove the Commission “has absolutely lost its marbles”.

“We’re in favour of a single standard of citizenship for all.”

That’s probably an impossible ideal.

He said the Māori Council was probably attacking Hobson’s Pledge because the lobby group “was actually having an impact”.

The complaint is that Hobson’s Pledge is having a bad impact – “They’re creating an environment…in which hate is breeding and not just breeding but duplicating and replicating.”

I doubt that Brash and Hobson’s Pledge are having much if any impact beyond those who already have hates about what they perceive as unequal treatment of Māori. I doubt they are breeding any more of it.

I don’t think that Brash is a hater, he’s just trying to preach to the already converted who think that non-Māori are somehow disadvantaged because attempts are being made to address disadvantages for Māori.

On taniwha it’s it’s it’s…difficult to comment diplomatically

Reporting from the Maori Council statement at the Waitangi Tribunal.

Taniwha proof of Maori water rights

Mr Geiringer said hapu and iwi which spoke at the hearing had clearly shown that the relationship they had with their water in 1840 and since was akin to the modern English concept of ownership.

“Hapu have had in 1840 a relationship for which the closest cultural equivalent within modern English concepts is one of ownership – of full-blown property rights. What I’m going to ask you to find is that one at least it seems highly likely that the same could be said of every hapu and every water resource throughout Aotearoa.”

He said Pakeha scoffed at the concept of taniwha because they did not understand it.

However, the Maori belief that taniwha were the guardians of their waterways giving them exclusive use of that water was evidence that Maori believed they ‘owned’ the water in modern English terms.

“People say ‘in this resource is my taniwha, my guardian spirit. He protects me, he protects my water resource. He’s not your taniwha so if you are going to use that resource without my permission, he will do terrible things to you’.

Phew, what can one say apart from “I think this makes Key’s option of ignoring a bit easier”.

Ok, I can saymore, but just as well I can’t comment at The Standard at the moment, any perceived slight on anything Maori can get a hammering there. Nevertheless I’ll try and keep it diplomatic.

I can understand that there may have been widespread belief in taniwha in 1840. But we are living in 2012, 172 years later. Most Maori will now be either Christian or non-religious.

If Maori claims want to be taken seriously they have to get serious. I don’t know if they really deeply feel they are right about taniwha based rights, or they are trying it on, knowing that criticism of Maori culture is often severely frowned on.

But I’ll stand up and call this as I see it. We have to put a stop to this mumbo jumbo coercion. This is a taniwha too far.

Note: In the same news report from NZH it says that the Maori Council counsel has had a severe cut to his fees. On the surface this seems very unfair to the claimants.

Another unelected Maori trying to dictate

What’s in the water at the Waitangi Tribunal? Is it a tribunal, or an unelected Maori parliament?

Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul says the Maori Party’s supporters are now calling for an end to its relationship with National over the water issue.

‘Act like Maori’ – leaders to Maori Party

Maori leaders are speaking out against the Maori Party, with claims its co-leaders will not quit the Government because they have got no other jobs to go to.

A Waitangi Tribunal hearing into Maori ownership of water resources has heard evidence from iwi and hapu who are upset at the Prime Minister’s so-called dismissal of the hearing.

“They have nowhere else to go and so for them, their political life is almost at the O.K. Corral stage,” he says.

“In a Maori world, they should act like Maori – defend their mana, not the money.”

Maori Party MPs have been elected. By Maori voters. How many votes did Maanu Paul get?

Maybe he has been elected to the Maori Council. If so, who votes for that?  It’s not clear how the Maori Council Executive Committee is chosen, their website is very sparse.

The news reports says Maanu Paul is co-chairman, but that’s not what it says on their website. Maybe it’s out of date. It’s certainly incomplete.

Who is Maanu Paul speaking for? And with what mandate?

Labour – waking on water or feigning sleep?

More analysis is emerging now the initial Waitangi Tribunal and water furore has calmed down.

Water row raises complex issues

The campaign against asset sales that Labour and the Greens are running has become dangerously mixed up with Maori claims to water ownership.

The Maori Council’s bid to delay the partial privatisation of four state-owned energy companies was at first seen as a welcome new angle of attack.

But the Waitangi Tribunal hearings, where the council is seeking a finding that the share sales should be put on hold until water ownership claims are resolved, is being used as a platform for radical demands.

The focus has shifted from the asset sales programme to whether or not Maori should own water.

I suspect initial hopes that it might simply add weight to the anti-asset sales campaign will have changed to major wariness of what might happen.

While Labour always enjoys divisions between the Government and its partners, it needs to be very careful about the way it handles the water ownership fiasco.

On this issue it can’t afford to be equivocal any more than the Government can.

And it hardly needs reminding just how seriously Maori rights issues can threaten a Government.

The NZMC presumably knew exactly what they wanted to achieve. Hopefully Labour have woken up from their anti-asset obsession. Or maybe they are feigning sleep, which mightn’t be a bad way to try and ride this out.

What if the Waitangi tribunal…

…rejects the current claims? Would the Maori Council accept those rulings?

John Key has said that the Government could ignore the ruling of the Waitangi Tribunal. That’s correct, the tribunal has been ‘ignored’ before by government. As a NZ Herald editorial says:

It is well known the tribunal’s conclusions are non-binding…

But Key’s statement was seen as inflammatory. To an extent that’s correct, but there has been quite a bit of fanning of the flames – and throwing on petrol – by Key’s opponents.

But what’s the likely outcome of this claim?

The case brought to the tribunal by the Maori Council this week seems to assert not only a Treaty right to the water and riverbeds used by a hydro power plant, but also a right to keep the plant wholly in public ownership. The tribunal may be hard to convince on both counts, particularly the second.

Demands are being made that Key should respect Waitangi Tribunal and accept any ruling.

Would the Maori Council accept that ruling if it didn’t support their claims?