By Dr Muriel Newman
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This was sent in to us.
MONEY NOT MANA
By Dr Muriel Newman
By Dr Muriel Newman
The report by Fairfax media that Crown negotiators working for Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson on the Treaty settlement process have picked up million dollar fees shows the Treaty of Waitangi grievance industry has become an insatiable gravy train not just for the iwi elite, but also for ex-politicians and the ‘in’ crowd.
The 14-strong negotiating team has been paid a total of $5.5 million. Michael Dreaver, an Auckland consultant was the highest earner at $1.5m, followed by Ross Philipson, formerly of the Ministry of Economic Development, who made just over $1m. Former Members of Parliament include justice minister Sir Douglas Graham (who was found guilty last year of making misleading statements while a director of Lombard Finance) who earned $186,901, former MP and iwi chairs forum member Tukoroirangi Morgan who received $439,085, and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, who earned $29,912.
A similar decision to charge some lake users was made by Ngai Tahu a few years ago. Lake Ellesmere was included in their 1998 Treaty settlement, and at the time, assurances were given by the iwi and the Government that nothing would change regarding the public’s right to use the lake. In spite of those assurances an 8 percent levy on the earnings of commercial eel fishermen was imposed in 2009, and while recreational users of the lake have not been levied as yet, many fear that in time they too will be required to pay this ‘iwi tax’. Locals believe this levy is just the start. They say fishermen and boaties in other parts of the country should prepare for similar taxes being imposed wherever riverbeds, lakebeds and foreshore areas have been included in Treaty deals. They say that mooring buoys, jetties and bridges will soon be fair game for an iwi tax.
In response to complaints about the iwi tax, the Minister of Fisheries said there was nothing he could do, that it was a private matter between the public and the iwi. And there’s the rub – once these deals are done and public assets are given to private iwi corporations, the government washes its hands of any further involvement – they are “private” deals, involving what were public assets.
The problem is that our Members of Parliament have for a long time now adopted a policy of appeasement – they have caved in to pressure from Treaty activists. New Zealanders, who once enjoyed free and unfettered access to our rivers, lakes, and the coast, need to realise that unless public pressure forces our politicians to change course and stand up for the public interest, these spaces will no longer be available free of charge to all New Zealanders in the future.
I have said this before and I will say it again – public opinion matters. The public are being treated like sheep because we don’t speak out strongly enough. Through these newsletters, the New Zealand Centre for Political Research addresses public policy issues of concern and those readers who forward them on to their networks are helping us to inform the wider public and increase awareness so that collectively we can stand up to the rorts and hold the government to account.
Fiona explains that when the Ministry of Education found that schools had difficulty implementing Treaty of Waitangi principles, they published a curriculum update to provide ‘guidance’: “The Ministry’s Update is very disturbing because it goes way beyond the teaching of Maori content. It is a blatant attempt to change and control the behaviour of schools, teachers and students, to promote the ‘Maori world view’ and to elevate ‘Maori’ to a superior status not afforded anyone else.”
Fiona ends her article What’s going on in our schoolsFor all the sake of New Zealanders, it is time to end this crusade for Maori domination. We need to face reality and go forward as one united country. While we should definitely celebrate our many cultures, it is vital to the health of our nation that we operate equally under the same rights and obligations. If we persist in trying to revert to 1840 tribalism, re-write history and make economic slaves of those with no Maori ancestry, our problems will only magnify and our futures will become very bleak.” To read Fiona’s article click HERE.