The only “sacred bond” Ngai Tahu has is with its bank account. Writer Bruce Moon
How much is enough?
By Roger Childs
Taxpayers will be incredulous to learn that on December 15 $370 million of their money was secretly handed over to two iwi. All credit to the Sunday Star Times for uncovering this and a big black mark against the government.
The other extraordinary element about the payments, is that they have been made on a continuing technicality.
How many people know there is a relativity clause that means Tainui and Ngai Tahu get a percentage, 17% and 16% respectively, of all other iwi settlements made by the Waitangi Tribunal?
This is Ngai Tahu’s seventh settlement!
Injustices/benefits from colonisation?
The Government and New Zealand should wear that redress earnestly, for the many injustices inflicted on Maori through colonisation which many communities are still paying for. Settlement bills have to be paid for. Stacey Kirk, Sunday Star Times, Sunday January 21 2018
This is an amazing statement which is unsubstantiated.
By colonisation Kirk presumably means from the time of the Treaty of Waitangi on. The Treaty was in fact of huge benefit to Maori as it ended inter-tribal warfare which had killed c 40,000 people; it prohibited cannibalism, torture and human sacrifice; and led to the freeing of hundreds of slaves who were mainly women. All Maori in 1840 now became British citizens.
On the 100th anniversary of the Treaty, one of the greatest of all Maori leaders, Apirana Ngata said:
Let me acknowledge first that, in the whole of the world I doubt whether any native race has been so well treated by a European people as the Maori.
British rule, colonisation and subsequent development led to huge benefits for Maori in health, housing, education, transport, economic opportunities, employment, general living standards and increased security.
As for all New Zealanders, the benefits of “civilisation” were uneven and some Maori chose not take advantage of them, but the vast majority undoubtedly made positive gains.
Did any Maori, perhaps apart from a few warlike chiefs, really want to go back to the feuding, inequality and insecurity of the violent pre-1840 era?
Time to stop the gravy train?
In recent years a number of Maori leaders have raised questions about the continuing existence of the taxpayer-funded Waitangi Tribunal and the way it operates. It looks at claims on the basis of who owned the land in 1840, and there is no concern for the fact that in the hundreds of battles during the inter-tribal wars, territory was constantly changing hands
The Tribunal is a racist authority as no non-Maori can make claims. There can be no redress for the massacres by Maori of civilians and prisoners that occurred at Wairau, Pukearuhe and Turanganui, to name a few.
There are also serious questions on where the huge financial settlements end up. Some money goes on improving marae, community facilities and educational institutions, but most goes to the Trust Boards and iwi business. Not surprising, the iwi leaders who run these enterprises have become very wealthy.
Ngai Tahu leader, Stephen (Tipene) O’Regan is reputed to earn over a million dollar a year. (He is one 16th Maori).
Tax payer money handed over to iwi by the Office of Treaty Settlements, on the advice of the Tribunal, is now in the billions and most Maori have seen very little.
When asked by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon about money going to rank and file Maori in the form of housing, health, employment and welfare, an iwi lawyer replied: It is not the role of iwi to replicate the services that should be provide by the Crown. Are they listening in London?
Could the new government step up?
With the large Ngapuhi settlement pending, Tainui and Ngai Tahu will probably have their hands out again. Lisa Tumahi from Ngai Tahu, says our economic redress continues to remain relative with all future claims settled by other iwi.
Surely it is time for the government to look at a range of issues related to the the operation of the Tribunal and the inequalities of Maori electoral representation.
The separate Maori seats in parliament served a useful purpose in the late 19th century, but today there are many part-Maori MPs serving general electorates.
Winding up the Tribunal and diverting the money saved into social spending for all New Zealanders, would be popular with the vast majority of people, regardless of their origins.
After all, as Hobson first put it in 1840 He iwi tahi tatou (We are all one people).