Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


High Commissioner Causes Concern

14 June 2005

High Commissioner Causes Concern

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

The Maori Party is deeply concerned that another High Commissioner appointed by the Labour Government is unable to comprehend the importance of their role and status as a representative of this country.

"Just last month former long-serving Labour MP Jonathan Hunt bunked an Anzac Day service at the national cenotaph because it was raining and "he didn't want to get wet" stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

"This is the same top diplomat who wanted to apply for the British pension, despite drawing a salary of over $200,000 in his role as High Commissioner".

"We now learn that Graham Kelly, New Zealand's High Commissioner to Canada has let loose with a mouthful of comments which are clearly offensive to tangata whenua, ethnic communities, conservation and environmental groups, and the international reputation of New Zealand".

In his presentation to a standing senate committee on fisheries and oceans, Mr Kelly made the following comments:

On the Maori population: "There were seven canoes that came in 740 from Hawaiki, so there are seven tribes. They all held each other's hands to stop them from sinking on the voyage. Once they got to New Zealand they started fighting and eating each other, so there have been Maori wars ever since then".

On Maori working in the fishing industry: "the skills have been taught to those people, otherwise they would have gone out in a canoe or something".

On ethnic communities" : "Our new immigrants from Asia are one of our biggest problems, with their lack of understanding of conservation and the environment. We often see them strip-mining a beach of periwinkles and having a boil up. You have to have a method by which the ethnic communities are not favoured".

On Maori exercising customary rights: "They are entitled to fish beyond the recreational limit for events like funerals or special celebrations. There will always be some who stretch that definition beyond anything that you would believe. Occasionally they are caught and they claim their rights under the treaty".

On conservation groups: "You also have to consult with the 'greenies' and environmental groups, who drive you to distraction, when you are trying to deal with this and are always in your face".

There was one statement that the Maori Party would concur with:

"The Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840 with the British Government, guaranteed them their fisheries, forests and lands. That was subsequently ignored and they lost nearly all of them".

The co-leader of the Maori Party, Tariana Turia, is calling for the immediate resignation of Graham Kelly from the High Commissioner post.

"Mr Kelly himself admits he is 'unashamedly patronising'. In the light of the findings from one of the most significant human rights bodies in the United Nations that the Foreshore and Seabed Act discriminates against Maori, these fresh comments do nothing to restore our international standing".

"The decision to ignore the UN Finding has already aggravated our position. The Prime Minister must act now, to withdraw Mr Kelly from his position, and to address the embarrassment and shame his comments have caused".

"This is a man from a trade union background who has enjoyed the support of Maori and Pacific communities to keep him in Parliament. We call for these communities to recommend to the Prime Minister, that Mr Kelly be recalled home for his inability to represent fairly the interests of all New Zealanders in the position he has been appointed to".

"Questions may also be asked as to whether Mr Kelly is in breach of his contractual obligations in making such inflammatory remarks".

"This is the problem when political parties choose their cronies to take up key international positions overseas, and when these so called representatives continue to abuse their power at the cost of the ordinary citizen".

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news