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


Harawira: Dog Control mendment Bill

Dog Control (Cancellation of Micro-Chipping Requirements) Amendment Bill

Hone Harawira, Member for Te Tai Tokerau

Wed 17 May 2006

Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Maori Party, I would be happy to support any Bill that would put a stop to this micro-chipping dogs mania sweeping through the House. Unfortunately though, I don’t think this Bill will achieve that.

As Jane Clifton recently noted, the debacle around microchipping has been a regular dog’s breakfast - with National and United Future begging for scraps with their various amendments and exemptions, Labour howling at the moon over their ‘one law for dogs’; and even the normally serene Greens seem to have been caught up in it as well.

Indeed the frenzy and ferocity of the debate reminds me of that song ‘who let the dogs out’ - a Caribbean reference to disrespectful men who hit on women; and now a Kiwi reference to disrespectful politicians who hit on poor defenceless dumb dogs.

Well - the Maori Party won’t be a party to this madness, because we’ve been here before, and I refer here to the infamous Dog Registration Act of the late 1800’s.

As the member for Tai Tokerau, the history of the Dog Tax - and its forceful imposition in the Hokianga, is etched on our tribal memory.

The Hokianga County Council decided to impose a dog tax of two shillings and six pence, per dog, per owner.

The people of Waima refused to pay; their dogs were their own affair, not the property of government or council. They were threatened with arrest; they were even threatened with banishment from their homelands - over a dog tax!!

The people eventually marched on the County headquarters in Rawene to make their case, and government responded with its usual overdose of power, by dispatching 120 soldiers, two field guns, two maxims and a gunboat to deal to the natives.

A little bit like a politician who in 2003 misread the feelings of the natives, tried to stop a hikoi of 40,000 by calling everyone haters-and-wreckers, and then, when she realised she had failed, closeted herself away with a daggy old sheep she called Shrek; and then overdosing her response by ramming through the Foreshore and Seabed Act from which was born the Maori Party who rise every day to remind her of the foolishness of her ways.

In the midst of the Dog Tax War, my whanaunga Hone Heke, left parliament and headed home to help defuse the situation.

Yet it was all in vain.

The people were arrested, imprisoned in Mt Eden for treason, the Dog Tax remained, and government stopped Hone Heke’s parliamentary pay while he was away, even though Premier Dick Seddon said that he “could recognise the patriotic and pure motives that prompted him [Hone Heke], and the interest he had in his race”.

I have gone back to that incident in Hokianga, because I know that in another hundred years, people are going to look back at this microchipping lunacy, and wonder what on earth was going through our minds that we could spend so much time trying to keep tabs on dogs, while hundreds of thousands of our own citizens were living below the poverty line.

I can see the Federated Farmers marching against this madness, just like my tupuna did one hundred years ago; I can see local councils doing everything they can to not comply with this stupidity, just as the Waima police refused to collect the dog tax of 1898; and unless some sanity prevails in this House, I can see some poor bugger ending up in jail to satisfy the cravings of some lunatic for whom microchipping dogs has a higher priority than the health of the nation's humans.

This proposed micro-chipping mess is like the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.

Microchipping dogs is a DUMB idea anyway, but trying to identify the “dangerous and menacing” ones so that you only microchip them is even DUMBER.

I know that Mr Parekura Horomia can identify with the following story …

I can just see it now … some poor, weedy little dog control officer knocking on the gate of the local pad, and saying “Excuse me sir, but I’ve come to see whether your dogs are dangerous and menacing, in line with government’s requirement that they be microchipped.”

“Who the #$&%^&(!!! do you think you are you little nerd !!! Get outta here before I microchip you, you #$&%^&(!!! little creep”.

Dogman races off to change his pants, and summons up the courage to get the local cop to come along for protection - like the cops have got the time for this silliness. Next day they turn up, to one of two scenarios:

1 Nobody’s there because they’ve moved the dogs somewhere else, or

2 The whole street is there with every dog they can get their hands on, and all spoiling for a fight.

Mr Speaker - YES the Maori Party wants a healthy society where the public are not threatened by dangerous and menacing dogs, and YES we will support this Bill to First Reading to try to generate some light on this sad affair.

But, out of respect to Hone Heke and his whanaunga who stood against this madness in 1898, the Maori Party would urge this House to oppose this madness in 2006.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election