Key invited back to Waitangi but…

John  Key will be invited back to Waitangi next year and will be allowed to speak, but there is already talk of protests.

Stuff seven hours ago: Unanimous decision for John Key to return to Waitangi with full speaking rights

At a meeting at Waitangi on Saturday, the organising committee and Ngapuhi elders voted unanimously to invite Key back to Te Tii Marae with no conditions on what he can and can’t speak about.

Chair of the organising committee and NZ First MP, Pita Paraone, said even he was “surprised by the ease in which it went through”.

It’s good to see Paraone in a constructive role.

Paraone said he “couldn’t guarantee” it would be smooth sailing between now and February, but the fact Taurua was on board was significant.

“The fact Kingi led the charge on the reinstatement of powhiri for everyone, I think, carries a lot of weight.”

While Taurua agreed to support Key’s invitation, he won’t be speaking on the marae at Waitangi because of his “personal views” about the Government’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

But by 2:50 pm the he3adlin had changed to Protest warning after iwi decision to give John Key speaking rights at Waitangi and the lead paragraph is now:

A Ngapuhi elder held responsible for John Key ditching Waitangi this year has warned protests could flare up if the Prime Minister attends commemorations in February.

And later:

Kingi Taurua, a Ngapuhi elder, who earlier this year warned Key there would be riots if he turned up, said he didn’t know how far protesters would go next year.

Taurua said a lot of iwi were unhappy with him supporting Key’s invitation. While he won’t be involved in any protest, he said he also doesn’t have any control over them.

“If people don’t protest then the Government will think everything is above board. It’s not, so I think the protests should continue,” he said.

So Key will get an invitation with full speaking rights, but will anything change?

Josie Butler and her squeaky toy

Josie Butler is the Christchurch nurse who through what she shows is a squeaky toy at Steven Joyce at Waitangi. She has released a short video explaining this on Facebook.


She has also done an interview with ManaNews – EXCLUSIVE: Josie Butler tells all about dildo attack.

Can you explain the reason for you throwing the dildo at Steven Joyce?

I’m a nurse and I’m very concerned about the effects of the TPP on my patients. I believe, and I am not alone, that the TPP will have profoundly negative effects on New Zealand, socially, culturally and economically. I care deeply about my country and it’s people, and I want NZers to know that we can still avoid this outcome. This agreement has not been ratified yet.

Balanced debate on the issue has been continually shut down by the government. I think it is a shame that it takes a hard-working nurse throwing a dildo at a politician to open up this debate.

She hasn’t opened up ‘balanced debate’. Debate has been going on about the TPPA for years. If anything she polarised debate about the TPPA, and about the relevance of Waitangi on what is supposed to be the focal point of a national occasion. She has added to the circus.

When did you decide you wanted to do this, and did you act alone or with others?

I’ve been campaigning against the TPP for two years. We have been taking part in the democratic process, we’ve been to the City Council, we’ve educated people, we’ve organised numerous peaceful protests. The TPP is not good for NZ, and I will not give up working towards a healthier NZ, a stronger NZ, a fairer NZ.

So it looks like she is not interested in balanced debate, she has been a strong opponent of the TPPA for two years.

When you said “that’s for raping our sovereignty”, can you elaborate on it?

The TPPA is the rape of our tino rangitiratanga, the torture our basic human rights, and the murder of our people. We already have over 300,000 children living below the poverty line, I don’t want to live in a country where families have to choose between potentially life saving medication or feeding their children because of the increased price of medications under the TPPA.

The Government claims that the price of medications won’t go up – they will continue to be subsidised. There is no evidence that the price of medications will increase under the TPPA as far as I’m aware.

Can you detail how you got into being anti-TTPA, and what active work you’ve done around this?

I got involved through the Nurses Union. I heard the grave concerns from the medical professionals around me about the TPPA and became aware of what was at stake. Those concerns haven’t disappeared now the text is out. I’ve been active in the campaign for two years, and have organised numerous peaceful protests and actions throughout Christchurch, and have spent countless hours campaigning against this. The TPPA is not primarily a trade agreement, it is a mechanism whereby global corporations can override the sovereignty and lawful decisions of nation states.

That’s fairly standard anti-TPPA rhetoric which is not backed by facts.

Can you describe what the fallout has been like since this? (Good,bad, supportive, ugly, and examples)

The overwhelming support and Aroha from around the world has been amazing. Now that the world is having the conversation about the TPPA maybe we can all do something about it.

If she thinks her squeaky toy throwing has initiated a ‘conversation about the TPPA’ around the world she is overestimating the effect of her actions somewhat.

Did you expect it to gain this much attention?

The aim was to gain awareness about the atrocity that is the TPPA

Most of the attention was on the farce of Waitangi being famous for taking cheap shots at politicians. Some people like what it is, especially political activists and media, but most New Zealanders can’t be bothered with it.



That doesn’t look much like a balanced debate salute.


The clenched fist salute has been used by many in the past, including black power, white power, Anders Breivik and socialists.

Butler has been organising anti-TPPA protests for some time. She attended the Auckland protest last Thursday.

A year ago on Facebook she posted this on a Te Matatini Festival kapa haka page:

Kia ora whanau, my name is Josie, I’m a nurse from Otautahi, and I am messaging you all to ask for your help. The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is a free trade agreement due to be signed by our government very soon, and if it goes through it will have dire consequences for Aotearoa. Prescription medications will cost a lot more money, foreign investors will be given more rights to buy up NZ, our cultural heritage can be trademarked and copyright by the highest bidder, and foreign corporations will be able to sue the NZ government if we do not meet their demands.

We are organising a National Day of Action on the 7th of March to stand up against the atrocity, and to show our government that this is not something that New Zealand wants to be a part of. The Christchurch protest will go down Riccarton Road, and finish at Deans Ave/Riccarton Road (right in front of Hagley Park).
Te Matatini is on this date at Hagley Park.

I am messaging you all to ask if any of the kapa haka groups would be interested in meeting our protest at Deans Ave/Riccarton Road and helping us complete our stand with a haka at approximately 2pm on 7.3.15. I want you to be able to tell your mokopuna one day that the reason they can afford essential and vital health care and medicines is because you stood up for their basic human rights.

He waka eke noa. Arohanui.

Not very balanced. And not very accurate – eg “Prescription medications will cost a lot more money” – as this was a long time before the TPP agreement was reached and it became known what it would actually mean.

But as with other protesters Butler is continuing the same claims of fear of serious effects despite them not being realised in the agreement.



Too many Maori, not enough chiefs

Breakfast has just had two contradictory items on the continuing mess at Waitangi.

First they interviewed Manu Paul who slammed John Key for trying to bring talk about the TPPA to Waitangi.

They have followed that with “former politician” Hone Harawira slamming Key for not coming to Waitangi to discuss the TPPA in the political debate tent he is organising.

Paul criticised Key for poor communication. The problem is who the hell should key communicate with?

Some say Key should talk to Maori about their issues. Others say they would have done everything the could to stop Key from talking there.

Too many Maori and not enough chiefs?

Wise words from Winston 0n Waitangi

Some wise words from Winston Peters on the Waitangi mess:

Winston Peters: The reality is that it’s very sad that regardless of who the Prime Minister is we are not as a country treating them with the dignity of their office on a national occasion like this, and it’s seriously disappointing from both a Maori perspective and also a New Zealand wide perspective.

Guyon Espiner: You think it has been handled in a way that’s disrespectful already?

Winston Peters: Well the reality is that Ngāpuhi is there as hosts on behalf of the whole nation in a sense that this is where the setting is established.

And you know you’ve got three hundred sixty four other days a year to argue these things on your national day to turn it into a major complaint, maybe rightfully so but not on that occasion, with the Government, is disappointing in terms of our international perspective, our image internationally, and also the growing of a culture where we actually treat similar things that have resulted from the unity of people over a long period of time.

Guyon Espiner: What’s the solution because you’ll remember well Helen Clark as Prime Minister, she stayed away didn’t she from Te Tii Marae for exactly this reason. I guess she was concerned that the Ngāpuhi elders who were organising it couldn’t get their act together was her view on it so she stayed away. Do you think that is the approach that should be taken?

Winston Peters: Well it’s actually worse than that. Before she became the Prime Minister there was the disgraceful incidence inside the meeting house at the lower marae where Titiwhai Harawira attacked her right to speak on behalf of the Labour Party. And you know things just descended from there.

So frankly, how shall I put it, I would have thought that this from a Ngāpuhi point of view is most unacceptable.

You will not see this happening down in Ngai Tahu in the South Island.  You will not see it happening in Ngāti Porou in Gisborne. You won’t see it happening in Rotorua.

So why on earth is Ngāpuhi putting up with this in Northland?

That’s the real issue and sooner or later they are going to have to address that question.

Guyon Espiner: It’s a little confusing isn’t it because they’re saying “look we’re inviting the Prime Minister to Te Tii Marae but we’ll try to block him from getting there and we’re in doubt about whether to let him speak and if he does speak we don’t want him to speak about politics”. It’s a bit of a mess.

Winston Peters: Well I don’t know how I could add anything more to it. It is a total utter mess and it’s been a mess for a long time. Sometimes it’s gone more smoothly than others but for over thirty five years that’s what we’ve put up with up north

And one of these days Ngāpuhi leaders are going to have to come to their senses and say this is not the image we want, we’re the biggest iwi in the country, this is not good for either Maoridom or any economic or social advancements or opportunities we might have, and it’s not good for our country.

But that day sadly in 2016 may not have arrived.

I, and I think a lot of Maori and Pakeha, will agree with Peters what Peters says here, and are as saddened as he sounds about the mess that Waitangi too often becomes.

And today it got even messier with John Key eventually pulling out of any visit to Waitangi this year.

Transcript from Radio NZ Winston Peters backs Key’s decision to attend Waitangi.

I wonder if Peters now backs Key’s decision to withdraw from a Waitangi visit.

Key (and Shearer) on Waitangi’s headline-seekers

From John Key’s Waitangi Day speech.

But while the outlook for Maori and Maori-Crown relations are mostly positive, there remains a small but vocal few who are sometimes apparently unable or unwilling to see the world through any lens other than that of Maori disadvantage.

They seem from their public demeanour to be permanently aggrieved, and rarely constructive.

Those headline-seekers know they will get much more attention by being flamboyant and negative than they will by being considered and positive. 

The problem is that sometimes their diversions – including here at Waitangi – are not only distracting, but they can contribute to putting at risk the  public consensus  that exists towards the process of settling legitimate Maori grievances.

It is that consensus that also allows us, in government, to be innovative about ideas that, for example, might lift Maori educational achievement and economic participation.     

Public goodwill should not be taken for granted.

It needs to be treated with respect. It is short-sighted and counter-productive of activists to use tactics and language which have the effect of eroding public support for initiatives aimed at turning around the very situation that the activists are complaining about.

A 3News item about this followed reporting on Key’s exit from Waitangi with a quote from David Shearer with the implication it referred to this part of the speech.

Look, if you’re going to say these sorts of things, fair enough, and we all feel that way, but do it down on the marae, where those people are, not as you’re about to get on a plane and fly out of here.

This has immediately caused some consternation amongst some:

6 February 2013 at 6:21 pm

Did I hear Shearer on 3 News saying “we all agree……” re Key’s Waitangi comments about activists ?

Jilly Bee

You did North, and so did I. Ye gods, what is he going to say next.

There is likely to be another onslaught of Shearer bashing at The Standard now.

But Key’s views will be shared by many around New Zealand, and are likely shared by more than a few who were at Waitangi as well.

A lot of people are fed up with a few attention seekers attracting much of the media attention, overshadowing much of what goes on far more respectfully at Waitangi.