Maori don’t want a Kermadec sanctuary

Kermadec Island

In this day and age of natural exploitation it comes as a breath of fresh air when the New Zealand government proposes that the Kermadec region become a sanctuary free of fishing and mining. But what is nature’s gain and a good precedent for other countries to follow, is loss for Maori it seems. Once again we see the selfishness of some Maori who are only interested in their own commercial gain even at the expense of the rest of New Zealand and in this case the whole world.

The Kermadec Islands and Maritime boundary contain some of the most pristine marine environments on planet Earth. There is a huge variety of fish species and other wildlife including: whales, dolphins, sharks, birds, turtles, and coral. There are also lifeforms that do not need sunlight and thrive on hydro-thermal vents. It is also possible that there are thousands of undiscovered species here. Located about 1000 km northeast of the North Island, the islands stretch for 250km which are really five emergent peaks of undersea volcanoes and some smaller islets. Within this proposed sanctuary is the Kermadec-Tonga Trench the second deepest trench on the planet at about 10,882 metres (35,702 ft) deep. The protected area will comprise a whopping 620,000 square kilometres.

kermadec-sanctuaryBut New Zealand’s environmental goodwill is opposed by Maori interests once again. Only this year did New Zealand citizens contribute money to buy back a private beach inside Abel Tasman National Park to make it part of the park for all to enjoy and to preserve. Local Maori opposed this too and rightfully lost. They seem only interested in commercial gain and at any price. Thankfully on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, the New Zealand government seems resolute and are not bending toward the will of these Maori opportunists. The Māori Fisheries Trust say it is a Treaty of Waitangi issue and they say the treaty gives iwi fishing rights in this area. Prime Minister John Key said:

“At the core of their belief, they believe they should be entitled to fish there even though they haven’t; they believe they should. We believe it should be a sanctuary where they shouldn’t fish.

The Government believes that Maori will still be able to catch fish here however, because the fish are mostly migratory and can be caught outside this boundary. This admission shows that the sanctuary would help fishing outside this zone because it gives them a chance to recover from over-fishing in other areas. There doesn’t seem to be any excuse or good reason to give Maori exclusive rights to this area.

Dr Brian McDonnell says one standard of citizenship for all

Dr Brian McDonnell says one standard of citizenship for all

A New Zealand academic of Maori, Irish and French descent believes the pendulum has swung too far in redressing Maori grievances.

Dr Brian McDonnell, a senior lecturer in film studies at Massey University, says New Zealand’s “polite middle ground has become too fawning and the government too accommodating to the shrill cries of extremists”.

He told NBR ONLINE:

“Maori people have certainly been marginalised in the past and there are specific wrongs to be righted, but it’s time to draw back to the centre.

“In an effort to be nice you can be seen as a soft touch, so who can blame Maori groups for asking for the stars when the government and the Auckland Council seem ready to grant power and funds while ignoring democratic processes.

“It has been the move to enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi in a written or more formalised constitution that I feel should be the ‘bridge too far’ for well-meaning, reasonable, moderate people, both Maori and Pakeha, to say ‘enough’.

“I would certainly place myself among their number and for me it is not Maori bashing to say so.

“I am part-Maori and I want success for all Maori people, but I think dependence on a Treaty-burdened constitution will not help Maori, as its advocates claim.”

Dr McDonnell believes such a constitution will trap Maori in a “suffocating self-definition as in need of special pleading and a special status”.

“True equality comes with being treated as responsible adults who shoulder responsibilities as well as crying out for rights.

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Kapiti News Article 22/6/16

Kapiti News
From the Kapiti News 22/6/16
(All New Zealanders should read this)

In his June 15 letter, entitled “Confusing”, Fred Te Maro made a number of errors that require correction. He labelled me as being anti Maori. This is completely untrue, I am most definitely pro Maori. I am standing up for the ones who have no voice, the ones I grew up with in Cannons Creek and are forgotten in the money scramble they call Treaty settlements.

But I am anti Maori leaders. They have done nothing for their people except create an atmosphere of entitlement based around false interpretations of our history and Fred’s letter is the perfect example of it. He starts out by painting a dark picture of colonisation and calls his people victims, yet they have come from the Stone Age to the space age in a little over 150 years. They have a preferential status in New Zealand and more than equal opportunity to be whatever they want to be. Something unheard of before colonisation.

However, Fred tells his people this is what it feels like to be a victim. He then states that because initially only individual land owners could vote, this dispossessed Maori of their land. However, voting was something no Maori was able to do before colonisation. He forgot to mention or doesn’t know that greedy chiefs had sold over two thirds of New Zealand’s land mass to speculators before 1840. It was the colonisers land courts which nullified these deeds and returned the land to the chiefs, incidentally without them having to give back the purchase price.

Post the Treaty the chiefs promptly set about selling it all over again. Only about four percent of the land in New Zealand was confiscated because of acts of war, most of which was soon returned. Maori chiefs sold the rest. He forgot to mention that in 1853 European men and all women who didn’t own land could not vote either, not just Maori. He also forgot to mention that in 1867 all Maori men aged 21 or over were eligible to vote, Maori men achieved universal suffrage 12 years before European men. I don’t hear European men crying out as victims though.

Wi Parata was claiming back land gifted to the Anglican Church, not the Crown. He was using the Treaty as a means to try to get it back and quite rightly he was told the Treaty was a legal nullity, which it remains today. The Treaty has no independent legal status and the government are not legally bound to do any-thing because of the Treaty. It chooses to, usually in return for Maori votes, this is scandalous.

Fred has the opportunity to read the same history as me, be positive and encourage his people to be proud of their achievements. He can project himself as a role model, particularly for the poor that need his obvious standing in the community. Alas, he prefers to look at the dark side, project it through our papers and hold his hand out because of the apparent “many breaches”, thinking that this will help his people. Statistics show it hasn’t in the past, it won’t in the future and his people will continue to be the major part our underclass if their leaders do not change their dark and greedy sense of entitlement.

Until they do I stand as an advocate for positive Maori who are proud of their achievements, don’t have their hand out and love their country, many of whom are my friends and family.
ANDY OAKLEY
Raumati Beach