Hone Harawira's Tokerau Times
hone.harawira @ parliament.govt.nz
Well folks, we’re nearly half way through 2006 and it’s been full on. We’ve just had a 3 week recess from Wellington; and I got to spend time with the whanau; get shattered doing a 25 km waka ama haul when I thought I was only going around the bay; got across to the powhiri for the Maori Battalion Reunion in Omapere; spoke at the National Aukati Kai Paipa Hui in Turangawaewae; and attended a couple of really cool weddings – Reuben Porter and Heeni Hoterene @ Ahipara, and Witi Ashby and Di Grennell @ Whangarei – choice to see Tariana come up to Di and Witi’s wedding too.
I also toured through Tai Tokerau and Tainui, updating everyone on Party bizo. Numbers were down, and I copped a bit of flak for not letting people know earlier, so I’m gettin’ “out on the road again” after our next session ends at the end of May. The main points I raised on tour were our work in parliament over the first 6 months, and some of the issues we’re dealing with. Here it is ...
Each of us has got 2 electorates.
Hone Harawira Pita Sharples
TAI TOKERAU / TAINUI TAMAKI / IKAROA Tariana Turia Te Ururoa Flavell
TAI HAUAURU / PONEKE WAIARIKI / WAIPONAMU
We each sit on 2 Select Committees too.
Maori Affairs / Regulations Pita
Health / Parliament Tariana
Education / Business Te Ururoa
Finance & Expenditure / Privileges Hone
ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
The first words spoken in our Parliament were Maori; there is more Maori spoken in last 6 months than in the last 6 years; we always mihi to the speaker and to the house; and we are calling for “simultaneous translation” so we don’t lose the momentum of our speeches.
All 3 of our maiden speeches rated in top 10; we have spoken on every issue coming before the House; we are the only Party to highlight Maori rights and Maori interests; and we been rated by political commentators as the hardest working MPs in the House.
We discuss every issue coming before the House; we try hard to reach a common view; we’re confident enough of our strength that we can accept differences within caucus; we share speaking opportunities in the House; we each speak at least 3-5 times each per week; each of us speaks more than all other Maori MPs put together.
We also treat all MPs with respect – even if their views differ from ours; we stay right away from the personality attacks; and we share ideas with the other Maori MPs, even though we know that they have to put their Party Loyalty before their Taha Maori.
As part of our plan of action, we have each taken on specific issues to champion. Tariana is working on the Repeal of the Foreshore & Seabed Act, Pita is looking at a proposal to Entrench the Maori seats, Te Ururoa’s kaupapa is a Review of the Treaty Settlements process, and my major issue is The Treaty and Constitutional Change.
Some of the other issues we’re workin’ on are Whanau Development (Tariana), Review of Tikanga Maori (Pita), Simultaneous Translation (Te Ururoa) and of course, my own personal favourite – A Ban on the Production and Sale of Tobacco.
Because we aren’t in government, if we want to get any legislation through, we have to draft Private Members Bills, put them in the ballot and wait for the draw, and then we have to mirimiri enough votes to get our Bill through the various stages. Our Bill to Repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act is ready to go, and I am hoping to have my Tobacco Bill ready to go before the end of the year.
THE “REPEAL THE FORESHORE ACT” BILL
The Bill has been drafted, we’ve run it past our branches all round the country, and we’ll be deciding soon when we put it into the ballot. The aim of the Bill is to repeal the Act and allow the Courts to decide the validity of Maori claims. We’re not trying to establish new principles of land ownership though; we’ll leave that bugger for another day.
When I talked to everyone about pushing it through the House though, everyone was keen as, but when I told them we would need National’s support, there was a deathly silence everywhere I went. It’s tough when you know what you want to do but you shudder thinking about what you got to do to make it happen. Still ... that’s politix
I am proposing putting in a Private Members Bill to Ban the Production and Sale of Tobacco in Aotearoa, but it’s not aimed at smokers. It took me 25 years to stop, so I don’t plan on making it any harder for those who are as addicted as I was. This is about Targeting the Tobacco Companies who are making billions while they kill us.
Tobacco kills more Maori than anything else – not drugs, not violence, not drinking and driving, not even old age. Tobacco kills 30% of Maori, nearly half of us still smoke, and we have higher rates of lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory infections because of it.
Tobacco Companies are owned by people who have no conscience about selling a product that kills our people, and in fact, one Tobacco Exec is quoted as saying to a US Senate Committee - We don't smoke this shit - we sell it. We reserve the right to smoke it, to the young, the poor, the black and the stupid!!!
So let’s stop pussyfooting round on this one. It’s time we put an end to the bastards who’ve been killing our people.
There are a number of ways we can do this. Petition, referendum, legal action, and legislation. People have been in touch to offer their support, and that’s been great because we’re gonna need all the help we can get.
It’s choice to see that a TV3 poll showing 52% of Kiwis are already in favour of getting tobacco out of Aotearoa.
Te Ururoa’s overseas at the moment, and we missed him when the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act came up in the House for its first reading. We issued a statement setting out our position, and I include it here.
Letter from Maori Party Members of Parliament
The Treaty settlements process has been a contentious issue ever since Maori rejected the Government’s offer to settle all claims for a billion dollars. Since then however, some iwi have settled, and other claimants are currently at various stages of the settlement process.
Since 1992, nearly twenty claims have been settled for about $735 million. A further $100 million is on the table for claims currently under negotiation, and $304 million has been set aside to complete the balance of claims.
But ever since the settlement process began, claimants and lawyers have been expressing grave concerns about the process itself, the terms of settlement, the amount set aside for settlement, and the agency managing the settlements. It is because of the seriousness and the breadth of those concerns that the Maori Party is considering a call: “That all Treaty settlements be suspended until there has been a full review of the Treaty Settlement process”.
So we are writing to all claimant groups to ask them to consider some of the concerns that have come to us over the past few months. We list those concerns here.
Settlements: The Treaty settlement process should be agreed to by both parties, but the Crown has set all terms of settlement.
Waitangi Tribunal: The Crown set up the Tribunal to consider Treaty claims, but Tribunal hearings are often long and costly affairs, and the Crown refuses to be bound by Tribunal rulings. Because of that, claimant groups are being pressured into direct negotiations with the Crown.
Quantum - $1.3billion: Govt said the country could only afford $1billion for Treaty settlements, but the 2005 Budget listed a surplus of $7billion. Government’s settlement offer of $1.3 billion is insultingly low.
Appointment of Negotiators: People were chosen to represent claims for valid reasons, but the Crown insists on approving who can represent claims. It is inappropriate for one party to determine who has the right to represent the other party in a settlement process.
Value of Settlements: The Crown is settling at about 2% of the real value of claims, and Maori are being forced to accept far less than their claims are worth.
Settlement Groups: The Crown is insisting on dealing with “large natural groupings”, which means that smaller claims are being denied due process, and those in a collective are not told what the value of their settlement is.
Settlement Entities: The Crown is insisting on settlement entities which suit Crown plans, even when those entities do not reflect traditional structures, and even when hapu and iwi are left out of those entities.
Full and Final: The Crown is insisting that all settlements be “full and final”, but their lack of commitment to fair and equitable settlements means that future generations will revisit the claims being signed off by this generation.
We know that claimant groups want to settle grievances so they can move on, but we also know that signing off on unfair settlements means forcing future generations to deal with that which we could not finish, and making it hard for them by accepting that our settlements were “full and final”. So we believe it is time for us all to reflect on the settlement process and the concerns raised above.
It is not our intention to oppose Treaty settlements at this point, but to signal our very clear disquiet with the process, the terms, the quantum, and the agency managing Treaty settlements.
The Arawa Lakes Settlement is currently before the House. We hope that we can get your views before this Bill comes up for its final reading in a few months time.
We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your views, and we would also appreciate written feedback by Friday 30th of June 2006, to help us firm up our position on the Treaty settlement process.
THE MAORI OPTION
THE MAORI ROLL
- From 2 April to 2 August 2006, Maori will decide how many seats they will have in the House, through the Maori Electoral Option.
- In the past, many Maori switched to the General Roll because LABOUR not only dominated the Maori Seats, they also dominated Maori growth.
- That changed with the birth of the MAORI PARTY.
- Maori are now showing huge interest in the affairs of their nation.
This is your chance to be part of that change.
Switch to the Maori Roll, and increase the Maori Seats, so that:
- We can better “defend Maori rights and advance Maori interests”.
- We can make the
changes that you want and your mokopuna deserve.
- We can give the Treaty the mana it deserves.
- We will have more power to negotiate with others.
More Maori Seats means
More Maori in the House!!
More Maori Seats means
More Mana in the
USE IT OR LOSE IT!!
SWITCH TO THE MAORI ROLL!!
LISTEN TO PARLIAMENT 882 AM
When parliament sits - Tue, Wed, Thu, 2-10pm, switch on to 882AM / http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/live/parliament
Most of it is crap, but whenever the Maori Party speaks, it’s always worth listening to!
That’s me for now. Sorry it’s been so late getting into these newsletters, but we’re away now...