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Speech: Jones - Maori Party support for ETS

26 November 2009 Speech
Maori Party support for ETS deal a dreadful sell out

Speech notes of delivery in House of Representatives 25-November

There is a famous story in Te Ao Māori. It is about a kahawai, not unlike the Māori Party, and the great white shark. The great white shark said to the kahawai

“Let’s learn to live together, let’s swim in a common current, and get a feel for the environment.”

The kahawai joined the shark and they were swimming, cavorting, etc., but the shark got tired of that and said “Let’s get even closer.”

The kahawai came closer, and said “How close?”. The shark went “gulp” and said “That close.”

This is the day the great white shark has just consumed the Māori minnow. As the Māori minnow disappears down the long throat of the great white shark, we can hear the shrieks of anguish from its members.

Some of those shrieks have been brought to our attention. Supporters are leaving the Party as the real issues behind this legislation are becoming known by the wider public.

This legislation could spell the end of the party. Actually, that happened when the Māori Party entered into the tawdry deal to reward the gentrified 1 percent of New Zealand with this foul settlement in the South Island, leaving the vast majority of Māori taxpayers to bear that burden for 40, 50, or 60 years.

Does that Southern member think she will not go the way of Tūtekawa Wyllie, who pulled a similar stunt, believing that he would save the interests of the South Island Māori by going against the interests of wider Māori?

He disappeared in 1999, never to be heard of again. That road lies before that member, because of this dreadful sell-out in this House. Fortunately the amplification of their perfidy has captured the attention of the media.

The supporters of Hone Harawira have now got hold of the guillotine he brought back from France, and they are applying it to the real culprits in this wretched affair—the leadership of the party, who have taken the proud name of Māoridom into this House and debased it.

They have debased it through supporting this dangerous, anti-Māori, anti-public emissions trading legislation. That point needs to be made because the burden for bearing the costs of this wretched scheme does not fall on the gentrified elite.

It falls on the hard-working, garden variety, struggling Māori families who can ill afford to bear the burden of those expenses, whilst at the same time dough has to be found for whānau ora, for hospitals, and for education, which has been slashed.

It is bizarre. The Māori Party is willing to acquiesce and bring legislation into the House that is an embarrassment for our entire country internationally. It defeats and negates every single ethic of kaitiakitanga. How dare they stand and use those proud Māori terms in this House, whilst their actions belie that although the mouth might say something—every other element of their anatomy is doing the opposite.

That is what we have seen today. This is a very sad day not only for the country, but also for taxpayers, because it is a reversion to the terrible Muldoon days when taxpayers subsidised negative producers in the economy.

This is the day when Māori voters realise they made an egregious error when they placed their trust in that party, which has turned round and imposed $110 billion worth of bills on future generations.

Why did they think the proud legacy of Māori environmentalism, stewardship, and belief in future generations should be passed off?

Up and down the country people have viewed the emissions trading scheme as something that is largely international and hard to understand, but boy, they smell betrayal and they recognise treachery when they see it.

This bill, as a consequence of this new development, shows that that party, had it not decided to be treacherous to the interests of their own people and had stood for the legacy of Māori environmentalism, and not sold out their own people, would not be enroute to political Hawaiiki.

History must record that even if this bill does pass, it goes through an act of deceit, an act that abrogates the very reason that Māori were sent to this House. They were not sent to this House so that the people who are ruining the environment are paid to do so.

They were not sent to this House to turn their backs on struggling families, struggling youth, and communities looking for a remedy to climate change. No, they were not sent here to do that, but that is what we see today.

It was a sad development that the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process has been held ransom to, and actually lacerated as a consequence of this legislation. When society invests goodwill, and trust into the process of settling historical grievances, they want the nation to move on from that epoch and for all of us to able to absorb and stand in the face of our international competitors as equally patriotic.

Why should the Māori Party go around listening to the mischief-making lawyers and their deluded gentrified southern clients—a very narrow band who have no concern whatever for the majority of māoridom—for only their own specific agenda?

They have ruined Māori credentials of a patriotic nature. When we stand as Māori with other fellows, whether they are Pākehā, Asian, or whatever their ethnicity, we should all face equally the obligations of meeting our international duties, and not use the Treaty of Waitangi to deepen and feed the mentality of victimhood and grievance.

The whole theory and the spirit underlying the Treaty settlement process is for Aotearoa to move on, but the National Party is now keen to open that wound again.

It was keen to use simple trinkets, röria rino, pieces of gold and silver, miniscule in form to open up the prospect that that can never ever be full and final settlements.

Whenever a Government feels that it is expedient to go back and open up those historical wounds it will do it. The National Party is culpable in this matter to the shame of Doug Graham, and to the shame of Jim Bolger who took heroic steps.

Such men did not lie to Ngāi Tahu; this nonsense that there was a great conspiracy to devalue their settlement, to defraud them of their assets etc, is absolute rubbish. Dr Cullen himself arranged for an eminent QC and not a skerrick of evidence was found that such a level of larceny or *villainy might have taken place.

Doug Graham was a proud and honourable man, unlike members on that side of the House on this particular issue of using grievances as a crutch, deepening the grievance mentality that keeps that party alive

Not only are the Māori Party members abandoning the Māori Party because it does not listen to its members but they see a crisis. Unfortunately for its leadership the only member in the party who is listening at this stage to the membership is the person it is trying to sack.

But no doubt he will be back. I predict that if that party survives that man will take over that party. Then we will see a true circus. I will leave Mr Harawira and the Māori Party to the side, and I will come back to the bill.

The emissions trading legislation in the event that it does pass will not stand the test of time. It will be taken internationally as a watered down, hackneyed version of something that could have been great had there been a grand coalition. Our colleagues made multiple entreaties. They were rejected at every particular point in the process, and that is why this legislation is bad not only for the Treaty of Waitangi and for Māori but in particular it is fatal for the Māori Party which has in turn been sold out by the National Party.


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