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Te Mangoroa Letters to Labour and National M.P.’s

“Te Mangoroa Deliver Large Letters to Labour and National M.P.’s”

As of 1.30 pm today, Te Mangoroa, a Christchurch based community group consisting of Maori and Non-Maori, hand delivered two large letters to the two main political parties of New Zealand, Labour and National. At 12.00 pm, Te Mangoroa delivered a large letter to the office of Tim Barnett and Mahara Okeroa on Worcester St, Christchurch. At 1.15 pm, Te Mangoroa delivered another large letter to the office of Gerry Brownlee on Memorial Ave, Christchurch. The following are transcripts of the letters delivered.

Tena Koutou Te Paati Reipa

Greetings to the Labour Party

Te Mangoroa is a Christchurch community based group consisting of both Maori and Non-Maori. We would like to address you on statements that members of your party have made over the duration of 2004 in relation to Maori issues and race relations. We believe that the statements made are totally erroneous and are aimed towards playing to people’s worst fears about their Treaty partners. This type of politicking must cease, as this does not bode well for the future of this country. Given the positions of responsibility Members of Parliament are in, it is high time that your members exhibit some degree of conscientiousness concerning Treaty relationships. Please note that a similar letter has been hand delivered to the National Party.

Rt. Hon Helen Clark

24 February 2004

“New minister appointed”

“Mr Mallard will also take responsibility for general issues concerning the Treaty of Waitangi, such as the place of references to the Treaty in legislation”.

Rebuttal:

This was a bad response to Brash’s Orewa speech and National’s rise in the polls. If anything, Brash’s speech should have alluded your party to the public educational exercise needed to be taken in relation to Treaty of Waitangi issues. The future of the Treaty of Waitangi within Government policy should not rest with one man – one man who obviously lacks an appreciation of the Treaty. If the Treaty took its rightful place and was recognised as the founding document of this country, then no Act could be inconsistent with it. In the meantime however, every piece of legislation should refer to not being contradictory with the Treaty.

Mahara Okeroa

There have been no newsletters, news releases, policies or speeches posted on the website www.beehive.govt.nz for Minister and MP for Te Tai Tonga, Mahara Okeroa during his membership of the Labour/Progressive Coalition Government of 2002-2005. This begs the question, “What has he been doing?” One thing he did do was sit on the Select Committee for the Seabed and Foreshore and vote in favour of the Seabed and Foreshore Bill. The Bill reads;

“Vesting the full legal and beneficial ownership of the public foreshore and seabed in the Crown”.

Rebuttal:

Enough said.

Hon Trevor Mallard

28th July 2004 “We are all New Zealanders now” Speech to the Stout Research Centre for NZ Studies, Victoria University, Wellington

“I am an indigenous New Zealander – I come from Wainuiomata”

Rebuttal:

Indigenous as defined by Wordnet 2003, Princeton University is “originating where it is found”. My tipuna were found here in Aotearoa. We did not colonise any race of people. Your ancestors hail from overseas – not in Wainuiomata. Therefore, you are indigenous from that country from which your ancestors originate from.

“Once were warriors. Once were British”.

Rebuttal:

“Once Were Warriors” is a book written by Alan Duff, which was later adapted to a movie. It was based on the experiences of a minute portion of Maori whanau. Unfortunately the movie was seen by many as the way in which most Maori live, playing to ill-conceived stereotypes. Mallard’s reference to the movie endorsed that stereotype. Our tipuna were much more than just “warriors”. To add insult to injury, Mallard continues to denigrate Maori by contrasting one of the aspects of our past (perceived as the worst aspect by some people) to a race of people. Maybe Mallard would be better served if he wrote “Once were colonisers”.

Hon Parekura Horomia

Foreshore and Seabed Bill – First Reading Debate 6th May 2004 Speech notes

“This Bill ensures that traditional Maori rights in the foreshore and seabed are protected. It upholds the mana of Maori and tikanga Maori”.

Rebuttal:

Traditional Maori rights in the foreshore and seabed are not protected. Protection would mean that Maori still had the ability to take their ownership claim over the seabed and foreshore to the courts. Upholding the mana of Maori and tikanga Maori would have been to vote against the legislation – not for it!

John Tamihere

Speech to Waitakere Rotary Club Wednesday 19th January 2005

“We can no longer tolerate Maori merely screaming the Treaty and believing they deserve preferential entitlements”.

Rebuttal:

Maori continue to “scream” about the Treaty of Waitangi for many reasons. It was a document that was supposed to protect our people from being deprived of resources. Despite this, millions upon millions of acres was confiscated and led to the current lower socio-economic position Maori find themselves in. Your comment “preferential entitlements” was coined by Dr Don Brash, Leader of the Opposition. This created the illusion that Maori were being treated better than Non-Maori on the basis of race. However, measures put in place by your Government for Maori, were done so to address Maori dominating the negative end of the lower socio economic spectrum, which is largely due to the Treaty not being honoured.

The statements made above having added to citizens of this country being confused and angry over the state of race relations. Please take some responsibility in this debate and base your arguments on fact – not fiction. Maybe then we could celebrate Waitangi Day rather than commiserating.

Signed

Te Mangoroa

Waitangi Day 2005

Tena Koutou Te Paati Nahinara

Greetings to the National Party

Te Mangoroa is a Christchurch community based group consisting of both Maori and Non-Maori. We would like to address you on statements that members of your party have made over the duration of 2004 in relation to Maori issues and race relations. We believe that the statements made are totally erroneous and are aimed towards playing to people’s worst fears about their Treaty partners. This type of politicking must cease, as this does not bode well for the future of this country. Given the positions of responsibility Members of Parliament are in, it is high time that your members exhibit some degree of conscientiousness concerning Treaty relationships. Please note that a similar letter has been hand delivered to the Labour Party.

Dr Don Brash

Orewa Speech – Nationhood

26th March 2004

“And fifth, the topic I will focus on today is the dangerous drift towards racial separatism in New Zealand, and the development of the now entrenched Treaty grievance industry”.

Rebuttal:

The “dangerous drift towards racial separatism in New Zealand” is being perpetuated by your party by playing the race card to win votes. Your party has been the main culprit in espousing fiction concerning race relations in this country. The “entrenched Treaty grievance industry” would not have occurred if your forbearers had honoured the Treaty. Maori do not enjoy having grievances committed against them, as you would have the public believe.

“Finally, we ask Maori to take some responsibility themselves for what is happening in their own communities”.

Rebuttal:

As you previously stated in your speech, “…a National Government will continue to fund Te Kohanga Reo, Kaupapa Maori, Wananga and Maori primary health providers”. These are examples of Maori taking responsibility for themselves for what is happening in their own communities. It is a shame that New Zealand Governments during overseas meetings, continue to take credit for “Maori” initiatives. Rubbing salt into the wound, successive governments continue to under fund these projects that have a wonderful track record in reversing negative trends within the Maori community, trends that you so publicly despise. “A culture of dependence and grievance can only be hugely destructive of the Maori people and, if left unchecked, destructive of our ability to build a prosperous nation of one people, living under one set of laws”.

Rebuttal:

Our culture is one that is being slowly rebuilt after years of colonisation have left it to rack and ruin. The coloniser has been the New Zealand Government, a system that you continue to endorse by participating within it. We did not ask to be an aggrieved people who dominate the lower socio-economic bracket. Only until Maori receive full compensation for the ills of the past, can we move forward as a country. Only Maori people can determine their own issues and solutions to those issues.

Do not comment on what is “hugely destructive to Maori”. Paternalism is insulting. We also are not one people – we are two cultures. The assimilation policies of the past have fortunately failed in this respect. Finally, the Treaty of Waitangi did not sanction one set of laws. It stated that Maori laws would apply to Maori, whilst the English had the ability to establish their own laws in this country. If we truly want a prosperous nation, then two systems need to operate simultaneously.

Gerry Brownlee

National’s Maori Affairs Spokesperson

Rebuttal:

Again, your party seem to think that you know what is best for another race of people. This is particularly ironic given that Brownlee is the MP for Ilam, an electorate dominated by rich Pakeha. Would you agree with a Maori being the Pakeha Affairs Spokesperson?

“Labour Back-Down on Foreshore” Marlborough Express 18th March 2004

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee is pleased that Labour is finally listening to the vast majority of New Zealanders who agree with National's campaign to secure Crown ownership over the foreshore and seabed…"It's still not clear whether the Government plans abandon 'customary title', a concept that gives Maori extra rights and would apply to virtually the entire coastline”.

Rebuttal:

The “vast” majority of New Zealanders remain ignorant of the issues surrounding the seabed and foreshore debate –a trend that is pleasingly being reversed. With the Crown claiming ownership over the seabed and foreshore, this strips Maori of their rights to have a property claim heard over the seabed and foreshore. This creates a new period of grievance for Maori. Customary title is nothing more than a “watered-down” right than guarantees Maori nothing. The notion that this gives Maori “extra rights” is misguided.

www.listener.co.nz March 20-26th 2004

On National Radio, National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee took up the cry. Angry at support from Anglican and Catholic bishops for ethnicity-based funding, he shouted, "They're [Maori] still at the bottom. They're still at the bottom."

Rebuttal:

Your voice during this broadcast indicates that you enjoy Maori being on the bottom. You also seem to enjoy being in a higher position of power than most. The very ethnicity-based funding that you speak out against is designed to shift Maori from the bottom. If you enjoy Maori being at the “bottom” then your party should support attempts to target the problem directly.

The statements made above having added to citizens of this country being confused and angry over the state of race relations. Please take some responsibility in this debate and base your arguments on fact – not fiction. Maybe then we could celebrate Waitangi Day rather than commiserating.

Signed

Te Mangoroa

Waitangi Day 2005

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