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

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news