Saturday 6 February 2010

Waitangi Day discussion: Hone Harawira

Hone Harawira, Maori Party MP for Tai Tokerau
1) After almost three decades of Treaty of Waitangi settlements, of “biculturalism” and “partnership” between Maori and the Crown, Maori remain at the bottom of all social statistics, such as income, employment and life expectancy. Why is this? And what can be done about it? A few reasons why government(s) continue to triumph in the war against TINO RANGATIRATANGA are (1) they co-opt the phraseology and water it down or (2) they make out like they accept the idea, they include it in their “thinking”, and then they drown it in their bureaucratic cesspit and (3) they co-opt the people. A few reasons why we are losing the battle are (1) because it’s hard to fight a big government when you don’t have genuine unity (2) because Maori have become sooooo educated that we think the pakeha way is the only way and that when the pakeha government says something should be done a certain way we think a victory is when we’ve changed a few of their words and (3) all this IWI business has got too many Maori running around looking after only their own little patch, and forgetting the basic tenet that “no-one is free until everyone is free.” 2) A huge amount of land stolen from Maori is now in private hands, but Treaty settlements only involve Crown land. Despite this, both National and Labour MPs have condemned the on-going occupation of privately owned land by members of Ngati Kahu in Taipa, Northland. What are your views on this protest? Should privately owned land be part of Treaty settlements? I support the protest because justice isn’t served by simply returning one wheel of a stolen car (and to date, settlements are running at about 5% of the value of the claims). Where land was taken improperly and is now in private hands, government(s) should take steps to ensure either that land is returned, or suitable compensation is arranged. See the answers above for why we don’t get justice.

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