Saturday, November 7, 2009


So Hone Harawira took time off from a conference to tour Paris with his wife Hilda, so what? If Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith deems it necessary that the Tai Tokerau MP pay back some of the money given to him for the trip to the EU conference then Hone will pay it back, no problem. Does Hone Harawira need to apologise for bunking off to Paris, no. Why not? Because in the bigger scheme of things it’s not a big deal.

Does Hone Harawira need to apologise to Buddy Mikaere for the offensive email, yes I think he does. Does Hone need to apologise to anyone else for the contents of that email, no he doesn’t. The email was an exchange between him and Maori Party supporter Buddy Mikaere. If the latter deemed it necessary to hand the missive to a third party then that’s his prerogative. But the diatribe was directed at the tribal leader no one else. Should an MP of any ethnicity have written such an email, probably not.

The thing about Hone Harawira is that what you see and hear is what you get. Hone was born into activism, grew to become an activist and has matured into a veteran activist. He has dedicated his life to his people, to championing Maori issues, addressing Maori concerns and fighting what he and many others including his Maori Party colleagues consider injustices against tangatawhenua. For all his efforts the people of Te Tai Tokerau have rewarded him with their support not once but twice and two terms in parliament.

For his deeds, some would call Harawira, militant. Certainly others would call him revolutionary, you’ll even hear many of his supporters call him hero. What Harawira is, is fearless. He represents a certain breed of Maori, dedicated and focussed, passionate to the point of being articulately aggressive in his determination to promote the Maori cause. What the former St Stephen’s Maori Boy’s School pupil who grew up in Avondale Auckland is; is no hypocrite.

It is this staunchness that makes him a perfect Maori Party MP. But how staunch is the Party? Co-Leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples have a tough job on their hands, not with Harawira but with trying to balance the pressures of being in a coalition partnership with the Government. There is no doubt that Turia and Sharples would never have written or uttered the words that appeared on the Mikaere missive, the pair come from a more genteel, generous generation. But nor do they censure the passionate discourse of their people, Harawira included. So how do they appease their centre-right partners while not appearing to compromise to the point of ‘selling out’.

The Party is preparing for a disciplinary hui with the Tai Tokerau MP, no doubt there will be representatives from the wider Maori community who will insist on speaking in support of Harawira and the Party. I doubt anyone at that hui will call for his sacking and nor will Harawira resign, that would be political suicide for the Maori Party. Vacating the seat will result in a bi-election and neither the Maori Party nor Harawira will allow that to happen. As for jumping waka, that won't happen. Harawira is Maori, not a Green Party, Blue or Red Maori - just Maori.

The Maori Party and Harawira will hui, korero and discuss flax-roots kaupapa. They will remember why the Party was established and what they campaigned on. They will discuss what is of value to them and whether or not they have stayed true and loyal to the original kaupapa. They will discuss whether they have drifted off course in order to effect change as a coalition partner.

Hone Harawira is a constant reminder to the Party of their roots and sometimes it’s an uncomfortable reminder.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009



I was invited to speak at the FOMA (Federation of Maori Authorities) conference in Wellington last weekend. I lovingly refer to FOMA as the Maori Surf and Turf club because the affiliated organizations are in the main primary producers in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture. Yes culture is alive and well in the Maori business sector.

FOMA reckons it’s the largest Maori business network with a voluntary membership of Maori Incorporations, Land Trusts, Trusts Boards and Runanga, and emerging communally owned entities. It’s FOMA’s job to foster and promote the development, sound management and the economic advancement of Maori Authorities which then positively impacts on iwi.

According to its website Federation membership is open to Maori Authorities: organizations established to manage communally owned assets. In the main these are Trusts and Incorporations governed by Te Ture Whenua Maori /Maori Land Act 1993, and Trust Boards and Runanga under the Maori Trust Board Act. It’s also open to business interests that have a majority shareholding or are wholly owned by a Maori Authority. FOMA includes Treaty settlement entities and entities formed by individual statute.

What impressed me most is the collective wealth of the 50 or so groups gathered at the Duxton Hotel totals around $17 billion and growing. A significant amount of this is of course comes from Treaty Settlements. Many of iwi receive their settlement and then sit on it, watching it gain minuscule interest - but interest none the less.

Settlements completed so far: Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika: $25 million
Central North Island Forests Iwi Collective $161 million. Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu $38.6 million. Te Roroa $9.5 million. Ngati Mutunga $14.9 million. Te Arawa (Lakes) $2.7 million (plus $7.3 million to capitalise the annuity Te Arawa received from the Crown and address any remaining annuity issues). Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi $31 million. Tuwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) $10.5 million. Ngati Awa $42.39 million. Ngati Tama $14.5 million. Ngati Ruanui $41,000,000. Te Uri o Hau $15,600,000. Pouakani $2,650,000. Ngati Turangitukua $5,000,000. Ngai Tahu $170,000,000. Te Maunga $129,032. Rotoma $43,931. Waimakuku $375,000. Waikato/Tainui raupatu $170,000,000. Ngati Whakaue $5,210,000. Hauai $715,682 Ngati Rangiteaorere $760,000. Commercial Fisheries $170,000,000.

These sea and land people are by nature and bitter experience conservative risk adverse organizations. Some iwi like Waikato Tainui took bad advice and invested unwisely in Pubs and Rugby League teams, while others invested in aqua-farms are yet to see returns on their investments. But Maori are traditionally ‘long-haul’ people. They go into the future looking generations ahead and so while their investments may not pay off this week or next week, they will pay off.

This long vision approach to life doesn’t satisfy the social watch-dogs who say Maori need assistance now with poor statistics in health, housing, education, and the whole socio-political gamut of dysfunctionality. They’re right of course. Maori do need help now, and tribes are assisting their people through educational scholarships and iwi based health initiatives. There could be more assistance but to blow whole Treaty Settlements now on albeit worthwhile social woes is negligent. Settlements is for the benefit of all especially future generations. It’s the tribes’ responsibility to create generational wealth and that means investing in long term initiatives including sustainable horticultural ventures like Te Waka Kai Ora in Nga Puhi.

So back to the FOMA hui which incidentally was called ‘Future Frontiers’ and featured about 20 speakers both Maori and Pakeha including 2-degrees Mobile Communications CEO Eric Hertz, Fisher Funds Managing Director Carmel Fisher, Trevor Moeke from Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa and Mike Pratt Saatchi and Saatchi New York. The kai was fantastic, given that it was a hui for surf and turf folk it was expected the kaimoana fresh and varied and the selection of meats just as assorted.

The only thing I found slightly ‘odd’ about the 3-day hui was the dearth of waiata. I counted only three waiata sung at the Duxton all on the final day at the poroporoaki. I hope we don’t become so slick at doing the business and talking the corporate-speak that we forgo or forget waiata. Waiata is what keeps us grounded in whakapapa and reminds us why we’re all doing the business.

Maori have this uncanny knack of planning ahead – generations ahead. They do this by focussing on past injustices and slowly stripping back the layers using the law, the moral high ground, activism and even humour to get to the original source of discontent. Once Maori reach the affected area it’s a build back up strategy employing both tikanga Maori and Pakeha kawa. It’s a long haul approach to life, which confounds, mystifies, and downright befuddles Pakeha and quite a few Maori too I might add.

Now take last week’s shambles over the television rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup. Everyone knows the background and then the subsequent arguments so I won’t relitigate these. Just to say that some of the arguments boarded on stupidity ie: the 10% Maori language in broadcasts means ‘…we won’t understand, what’s going on..’ 10% in TV language is about 10 words every half hour. While other arguments were ignorant ie: ‘…$3million of tax payers money going on Maori TV.’ The entire RWC campaign will run at a deficit of $32 million and climbing – half of which will be paid off with tax payer money.

For Maori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples, Maori TV’s bid was about international potential. The potential for Maori to promote its language to the world is obvious while economic spinoffs are evident. The crucial points in Sharples proposal are economic independence – sweet words to right wing capitalists. But it also proved to be the most untenable points for Ministers Brownlee and McCully. Not that these two stalwart Nats want Maori hanging off the government apron strings forever, but neither do they want iwi to make dosh out of this world cup event.

So what’s next? There’s no guarantee the IRB will accept this multi-platform tender. Infact the international rugby board could hold the country to ransom and hike up the price even further.

Maori TV stated they got crumbs out of the broadcast deal. That’s wrong of course, if they got crumbs they would have ended up with less games and no opening ceremony. What they didn’t get was exclusivity full and final. What they did get was public support on top of the already good will they have accumulated over the last five years. Maori TV deserves this good will. They have tried hard and been successful in bringing a wider Maori world to the screen. They have also brought the viewer some insightful and provocative documentaries.

But what Maori TV has failed to do is transfer this good will into bums on couches and eyes on the box. The channel averages 5 thousand viewers per night. The broadcaster's latest accounts show its $37.5 million annual income is almost entirely made up from public funding: $18.1 million from the Government and $16.3 million from Maori broadcasting agency Te Mangai Paho. It also gets about $18 million of Te Mangai Paho's $25 million contestable fund. That’s a total of around $50 million. That means Maori TV spends $10,000 per viewer each year. That’s a lot of entertainment money.

Compare the above figures to say 3News with an average viewership of about 370,000 and ONE News with 600,000, neither of these channels gets $50 million of tax payers’ money – so something is amiss. But what is it?

Could it have something to do with Maori TV’s marketing strategy – or the lack of one? Or could it have something to do with the channel’s lack of understanding of viewer habits? It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with its schedule of programmes. It peaks on days that show cases special events like ANZAC day, Waitangi day, even Sir Howard Morrison’s tangi did well ratings-wise. But the channel can’t leverage off these peaks and push the numbers across the week. Its inability to keep viewers hooked must be a reflection of its marketing strategy and its inability to predict then influence viewing patterns and habits. After 5 years of being on air 5000 viewers is pitiful, shocking.

The IRB will be taking this into consideration when it weighs up the pros and cons of the tender submissions. The money-focussed rugby group won’t want its prized world event to be a guinea pig experiment for a channel of 5000. It’s a high risk business case.

Monday, October 5, 2009


David Tua is a good boy. Good on many levels. He’s a patriotic New Zealander and Samoan. He’s a loyal and proud South Aucklander. He’s a courteous and respectful son. He’s a committed and devoted husband and father. He’s also staunchly proud of taha Maori as witnessed by his mihi post match. He’s also a good boxer because he beat Kevin Cameron in round one which was officially called seven seconds into round two.

This ‘good-boy’ will eventually win out against the shameless-shysters Kevin Barry and Martin Pugh formerly known as his Managers. The problem is, Tua’s take home purse after the court bout is over and done with will probably be empty thanks to the lengthy drawn out legal fight. The only winners in this sorry saga are Barry and Pugh who copped off with millions previous to this debacle and the lawyers fighting in the respective corners.

The problem started back in 2000 when coach Kevin Barry hired self-made Marketing Manager Martin Pugh. Within 5 years Tua lost everything. Tua trusted these two, to take care of business for him while he concentrated on core business – fighting. But things went awry when he discovered he had lost control of his $20 million earnings after wife Bina and Accountant Jennie Grant raided the offices of Tuaman Inc.

In court documents, Tua accuses Pugh of forgery and misappropriating money in all directions. Records show that Barry took $1.4 million dollars from Tuaman Inc while Pugh $1.2 million. It is also alleged Pugh sucked out hundreds of thousands of dollars furnishing his house and that payments were made to a Vanuatu registered company, Sports Tech, owned by his mate Richard Gregory aka Richard Booth. This dodgy dealer was jailed in 1995 for an insurance scam. Pugh is also alleged to have siphoned over $800,000 to his partner Sally Cross to pay off her business debts.

When Barry and Pugh appeared in Court last year to defend charges against them, some media painted a telling image; “Bleached and greased hair, gold medallions, winkle-picker brogues with white socks and shirts more suitable for a night out clubbing. If they’d wanted to portray the image of wily, slimy creatures that had crawled out from beneath boxing’s nasty underbelly, they were going the right way about it” (Investigate Magazine March 2008).

These are the men that also took Tua to Las Vegas to train for the Lennox Lewis fight. The Prince Ranch was complete with nuclear attack shelter, wild animals, including a lion and tiger, and football field sized bedrooms.

According to Brian Kennedy, an American sportswriter with two decades of experience covering boxing, says Tua's management embraced the showbiz side. "They were caught up in the Las Vegas hype, the Don King's style wafted over Martin Pugh," says Kennedy. He dressed the part, played the part, and girls were part of that."

One of those girls was Model Robin Reynolds. Remember her? She gained notoriety after a fling with pop star Robbie Williams in 2000. Reynolds was part of the Tuaman entourage during Lennox Lewis fight.

According to Robin’s whanau they tried to warn boxer David Tua that his managers were exploiting him. Reynolds' parents, Kevin and Merrilee Reynolds, told the Weekend Herald they unsuccessfully tried to contact David Tua in 2001 on their daughter's behalf after she sacked Pugh as her manager, claiming he owed her $25,000. She was disturbed by comments she overhead Pugh and Kevin Barry made about the boxer and told her father they were using Tua and joked behind his back.

"Robin told me they referred to him as a 'big, ugly gorilla'," Mr Reynolds said.

"Robin warned me well before the Tua thing broke that over there in the [United] States Martin Pugh and Barry had discussed Tua and they were saying what a thick dick he was, [how] he wouldn't have a clue how much money he had."

So David Tua will be back in court to battle it out against Pugh and Barry. New Zealand will be backing Tua to win this fight and so he must. If there is any justice in this world David must beat these shysters to show the world that good guys do win.

Monday, August 31, 2009


What kinds of people send death threats to Members of Parliament? What kinds of people send death threats to anyone? Is it sheer madness of mind that these people not realise that what they do is wrong? Or is it mischief making, that they know full well what they do is wrong but the anonymous notoriety gives them some sick thrill and misdirected courage? Why is it that threats like these are always anonymous?

Pillory comes with the territory for those who put themselves in the public arena. These public figures be they, celebrities, politicians or activists are targets with neon lights flashing wildly ‘hit me, kick me, whack me, spit at me.’

Activists like Sue Bradford have always been vilified. She has championed that side of society the conservative sector wishes were invisible, her work with the poor and the Unemployed Workers Union in the 70’s,80’s and 90’s, had her beaten, bashed and thrown in jail. Now her work championing the rights of children has again highlighted the rocky road Sue and her whanau travel, in the pursuit of justice. Abuse and threats aren’t just levelled at the individual they also impact on the person’s whanau and when there are children the affects can be catastrophic and long lasting. Hone Harawira’s children took numerous calls from anonymous voices threatening to ‘blow-your-Fathers- head-off’ and ‘bomb your house’. John Minto’s sons got the same messages.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe, understand or even like her politics, Sue and people like her don’t deserve threats of any kind. Of course centre-right politicians have their fair share of intimidation, bullying and terrorising. I Produced a documentary series some years ago for TVNZ called ‘Politician’s Wife’. Mary English, wife of Finance Minister Bill who was at the time of filming the Prime Minister recalled the time she received a bullet in the letter box. While Lady Thea Muldoon said all private household mail was re-directed by the Diplomatic Squad because of the overwhelming amount of threats they were receiving.

My colleagues and I received threats on a weekly basis for almost seven years. I worked for TVNZ and our programme Marae screened live on Sunday mornings. Each Monday we’d arrive at TVNZ and to the phone logs (this was in the ‘olden-days’ before text, emails, twitter, Facebook BEBO etc). Without fail there would be at least a dozen viewer calls abusing Maori. We were barraged with ‘the only good Maori is a dead Maori’, ‘get those niggers off my screen’, ‘tell me when their next hui is and I’ll drop a bomb on them – get rid of them in one hit.’ Some of these threats were laughable, some shocked us, but rather than cower, tremble and shy away, they had the reverse effect. We became bolder, stronger and more unified and determined in our drive to become more visible to give Maori more opportunities to voice issues their way on their terms.

If those that threatened Sue Bradford think she’ll cower, tremble and shy away – they can’t be more wrong. Sue is an activist,a fighter. What the threats did was validate her, authenticate her cause and probably swing previous fence sitters into her camp.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Is John Key turning into a tekoteko for his conservative ruling class bourgeoisie party, a tonotono for the monied far right, a toothless tiger, a leader without power? Is he nothing more than a puppet?

Could be!

Maori had great hopes for John Key. He wasn’t seen as the saint that would deliver Maori and middle New Zealand from all evil, but he was the ‘change’ the nation was looking for.

John Key the working class boy raised by his solo Mum in Christchurch to become a multi-millionaire, did the phoenix and pulled his party out of the depth of fiery political hell at last year’s election. How did he do it? He did an Obama and called for change. He did what no other National Party had done previously and offered an arm of support to Maori via the Maori Party. He talked about nationhood, "The Treaty envisages all New Zealanders moving forward together, with a shared commitment to the future. I share that vision. National is committed to seeing all Maori enjoying a brighter and more prosperous future." he said.

It appeared as though he was genuine about his rhetoric. He backed it up by giving the Maori Affairs portfolio to Pita Sharples bypassing long term National loyalist Georgina Te Heuheu. He even established a three-person Ministerial panel to consider the state of the law around Maori customary interests in the foreshore and seabed. GOSH! John Key even said yes to a Maori flag on the Auckland harbour bridge and agreed to have hui around the motu to decide on which one.

So you gotta ask…were these ‘acts-of-good-will’ no more than diversions, did National pre-occupy the Maori Party with other pressing issues to divert attention away from Auckland Supercity?

Did he get Hone Harawira out on the flag hui circuit so Rod-the Hide could get a free play of the Auckland sand pit?

Could have!

That’s not to minimise the importance of the work of the Ministerial panel on the seabed foreshore or the hui on flags. It’s just that each time Maori make forward strides there’s a price to pay.

So the questions need to be asked; what was the price for the portfolio, the panel and the hui? Why did he do a flip flop on the Maori Supercity seats? How genuine is the Prime Minister?

When John Key justified his Supercity argument with “We can't implement Maori seats in Auckland because we'd need to do it for the rest of the country”

What he really means is, “…in 2014, National will begin a constitutional process to abolish the Maori seats” That's what he said in September 2008. Either he or the National Cabinet remembered that Maori seats in Auckland goes against the National Government’s long term objectives.

No matter what korero or conversation he’s had with the Maori Party subsequent to September 2008, regarding seats of any kind, the current situation in Auckland is a reminder to iwi to be vigilant.

But if Rod-the-Hide and Cabinet think it’s over it’s not.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has called for a conscience vote over separate Maori seats and encouraged supportive National Party members to cross the floor. In the community Ngati Whatua is considering a second hikoi, and Tainui say they will boycott any weaker, sub-committee, statutory board, advisory commission no-teeth alternative role on offer.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Thank goodness Family Court Acting Head Judge Paul von Dadelszen called for gay, lesbian and unmarried couples to be allowed to adopt children.

My wife Nadine and I are affected by the ‘Adoption Act’ an outdated, discriminatory Act that breaches the Bill of Rights Act, the Human Rights Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We have a beautiful little girl Manawa a whangai given to us at her birth by Nadine’s sister and her partner. Now 15 months old, our little bundle was named in recognition of the generosity and purity of kindness shown to us by her birth Mummy and Daddy. Such an overwhelmingly loving and unselfish an act any human could give others to express their love.

Even though Nadine and I are married under Civil Union, it means nothing because we are Lesbian. We are not recognised as a couple under this current Adoption Law and therefore only one of us can adopt Manawa.

Manawa has two brothers 9 and 7, both outstanding sports players like their birth Mummy Nadine. The boys spoil their little sister and she returns their love with gurgles, giggles, slaps, and tantrums. She is truly a princess.

Of course I didn’t realise the Adoption Act prevented joint adoption until Manawa was about 3 months old. I applied for an Adoption with Family Lawyer Ross France from South Auckland, who informed me of the Law. I immediately thought of the legal ramifications this would have for our little girl if anything happened to either myself or Nadine. If there was no joint-adoption our little princess would need to rely on her brother’s love and their moral sibling obligation to allow her access to our estate. Dare I say it – it’s also about ownership. Manawa will be our baby legally; Nadine and I will be in the eye’s of the law equal parents. If heaven forbid anything happens to us as a married couple both of us will be guaranteed access to our daughter. It’s crucial that this law is repealed on many levels.

As far as being a unit; we are a non-smoking, non-drinking whanau a decision Nadine and I made to ensure the kids are brought up in a clean, positive and optimistic environment. We are good parents, we don’t smack or bash the kids, and we don’t swing them on the clothesline or spin them in the drier. Nadine and I go to parent teacher hui, Nadine goes on class trips and she coaches their sport teams. We are good parents.

But no!

Bishop Peter Cullinane of Palmerston North says we’re not because we’re Lesbian.
Bishop Peter Cullinane of Palmerston North said heterosexual couples provided a more suitable way for a child to be raised. "The New Zealand Catholic bishops are concerned about the rights of the adult being given priority over the rights of the child in the current debate about whether the law should change to allow homosexual and de-facto couples to adopt children," he said.

Of course gays have heard all the nonsensical arguments thrown at us by the homophobes to discredit us as parents. According to top Maori gay-basher John Tamihere, “…the kids are more likely to experience deviant sex, more likely to become gay.” Statistics proves him wrong.

Good on Gay Green MP Kevin Hague who submitted the Act as a private member's bill proposing changes to the Law. It went into the ballot at Parliament yesterday and although it may not be drawn for some time, at least it’s there. Labour Party’s Justice spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel also supports same-sex adoptions and called for a complete overhaul of the Adoption Act.

Fingers crossed for all good gay whanau.


Good on brother Tau Henare blowing the whistle on ACT Leader Rodney Hide. The National Party list MP spilled the beans on Rod’s threats. The thing about Henare is that he is the government, unlike Rod who signed up to the governing party. So if John Key calls the bluff on the 1% poll pulling party leader – Henare will still be there governing. Remember Henare’s the one that stepped out Mallard a couple of years back after the Labour MP took offence to a sly personal comment.

In addition, Henare is an Aucklander from the West. He and his whanau have contributed to the community at flaxroots via kohanga and kura. Like all other Maori in Tamakimakaurau Henare has a vested interest in the City and its future.

So Henare has plenty of fight in him and so too do Maori.

This fight isn’t over until it’s over.

The issue of mana whenua seats is about money – big money. $28 billion of assets is at stake here and there’s no way Rod wants tangatawhenua snooping around those assets. What will happen if mana-whenua representatives oppose the privatisation of previously run council services, what happens if they oppose any port of Auckland developments? Mana whenua opposition will cost the Supercity minders billions of dollars of profit, money and assets that belong to the people.

Rod’s rejection of Maori seats is about money pure and simple.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


We have lost many practices associated with customary lore which involves the spiritual realm including Makutu and that’s because we’ve lost much of the knowledge regarding that part of our holistic being.

What we consider to be traditional is now so utterly entwined in post-colonial constructs like Christianity that much of the original essence has been watered down even lost. That’s not to say Makutu doesn’t exist any longer because it does.

Makutu is when physical and psychological harm is inflicted even death through spiritual powers, bewitching and spell casting. The actual practise of Makutu isn’t restricted to Maori many cultures around the world use this and it’s known by whatever name they call it.

The Moses case isn’t the first time Makutu has appeared in a New Zealand court either. Eleven years ago, Paul Martin claimed a Makutu made him attack a friend with a crucifix. The Judge gave him a suspended sentence. In 2001, Brian Aporo claimed he was under a Makutu before he slit the throats of his two children. He was found not guilty but was ruled insane.

There was also the bizarre Makutu of River Queen the Vincent Ward movie made on the Wanganui River in 2005. A local group of Maori announced in a local newspaper that they had placed a Makutu on the film project. The group claimed the filmmakers had violated the Wanganui River, the film's location. Whether it was a result of the Makutu, or not: everything that could have gone wrong with the production did. Its star, Samantha Morton, fell sick. Maori lead actor Cliff Curtis drove his 4WD through a house while texting on his mobile, Director Vincent Ward was fired and replaced by the cinematographer and the film suffered a magnificently huge budget blowout.

In this day and age it’s difficult to judge if one’s afflicted with a Makutu. Unless you know it’s actually been placed on you via, newspaper, text, phone, twitter or facebook, or if a Tohunga (a skilled expert) identifies you’re under the influence of one - the ailment one's suffering may be nothing more than a treatable mental psychoses brought about by the stress of modern day living.

The Moses whanau and their Kaumatua (elder), an Uncle thought Janet was under a Makutu because she stole a statue from a pub. It’s hard to believe that this whanau could have thought the slab of plaster was so tapu (sacred) to cause such grief.

How could they have got it so wrong?

How could they have continued to work on something as taumaha (as heavy) and tapu (sacred) as Makutu without heeding the advice of some pretty heavy weight Tohunga and Kaumatua. There are many Tohunga whose advice they could have sought and a couple of Kaumatua did counsel the whanau, but alas to no avail.

The Pakeha Judge Simon France sentenced the Moses whanau to community service including tikanga training. Pakeha may see this as such a light sentence and some Maori too probably. But I couldn’t think of anything more shameful quite frankly. For a Kaumatua, the patriarch, the leader, the man they looked up too and his whanau to be told by a Pakeha no less to go get better tikanga. Shameful.

This whanau isn’t like the Kahui or Curtis whanau both dysfunctional units who allowed or participated in the brutal killing of their babies. The Kahui and Curtis’ were dislocated from anything Maori. They didn’t participate in hui, Marae, Kohanga, they didn’t korero (speak) Maori. So when Maori Party members went in to see the Kahui whanau, the significance of their presence was totally lost on them. Stripping the Kahui and Curtis whanau of any mana would be a complete waste of time.

The Moses whanau however appear a different lot. I don’t know them but they seem very connected to each other and to taha (things) Maori. They will feel the full impact of the sentence. Attending a tikanga programme questions their mana and quite rightly so. They have been criticised for their naivety by known and reputable Tohunga (spiritual experts) and Kaumatua from iwi around the country. These criticisms as well will be heavy shackles of great spiritual burden that not only these five but also their extended whanau will carry for a long time to come.


So Labour MP Trevor Mallard thinks the whanau of five in the Janet Moses High Court case, escaped prison because they were Maori.

"I am certain that a Pakeha exorcism that resulted in torture and death would result in a prison term - albeit not necessarily a long one.

The fact that they weren’t sent to prison because they are Maori just doesn’t seem right to me."

He’s so wrong. The Moses whanau were lucky to have escaped jail given all the statistics regarding Maori and sentencing.

Relative to numbers in the general population, we Maori are over-represented at every stage of the criminal justice process. We are 12.5% of the general population aged 15 and over, but 42% of all criminal apprehensions are Maori. Our men make up 50% of prison numbers and sadly our women make up about 60% of the female prison population.

So no, this whanau didn’t get slapped with a by-pass-jail-because-you’re-tangatawhenua ticket.

But Mr Mallard likes to slap around the odd Maori. Remember a couple of years back in 2007 he cuffed Tau Henare after the National backbencher teased the then Cabinet Minister about his love-life. The boys took the argument outside, Mallard whacked Henare and the pair had to be prised apart.

A few years before that Mallard tried to pass himself off as tangatawhenua. In a speech he made as Race Relations Minister in 2004 he reckoned, "Maori and Pakeha are both indigenous people to New Zealand now.”I regard myself as an indigenous New Zealander – I come from Wainuiomata."

Yes Mr Mallard certainly is pro-Maori…yeah right!

Friday, August 14, 2009


This would have been a marriage made in Sponsorship Hell.

Crow wants to legitimise his Porn Business by giving to a very worthy cause, a cause in need of more support and if Breast Cancer Foundation accepted the $7500 then it would have been a great PR job for Crow and Boobs on Bikes.

New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation made the right decision to distance themselves from the boo-boo King.

You know that Crow's offer wasn’t a legitimate act of support because when the foundation turned him down he spat the dummie in an email:
".....a perfectly legal and valid source. What right do you, or anyone else in your organisation, have to turn down funding much needed by the women of this country?

If that wasn't enough Daddy Pornster then got in a real tangle and wrote:"Is the Foundation so flush with cash that it does not need money to help New Zealand women combat and/or live with this horrible disease? If it is, that is wonderful – I look forward to soon learning that all New Zealand women are eligible for unlimited free screening and treatment for breast cancer."

If he was legitimate – about giving to the cause he should have made several donations anonymously and then devised a strategy to support aspects of the Foundation without compromising the Foundations aims and objections.

It got the highest number of blog feedback comments in the website over 220 comments.


Good ole Sir Doug Graham he’s a character. The former Treaty Settlements Minister reckons he’s worked hard he deserves his perks – and when he’s too hobbly and wobbly to travel he’ll take the cash - you gotta love him.

Ian Shearer former National MP from 1975 to 1984 referred to the bad old days when there were no electorate offices and the wives had to take all the calls and play secretary as one of the reasons for protecting perks… by rights then it’s the wives that should get the travel allowances. But what happens to the poor ole missus if there’s a divorce! Oh! No more perk - just RSI from note taking all them years back. Even if they’re not divorced it doesn’t mean the hubby will take the spouse along on an overseas trip. It apepars as though the poor ole missus misses out al'round.

But Rodney Hide’s right - which is very rare for the little man. Perks of Parliament are part of a by-gone era and not relevant now it was bestowed by Cabinet not an Independent Body and the real value or impact on tax payers was not fully realised and should now be scrapped.

So scrapping subsidies, purging perks, will also eliminate the likes of Taito Field from receiving his perks.


The Tongan Government brought a heap of junk. It knowingly bought the Ferry Princess Ashika a rusty bucket of disaster waiting to sink, that’s according to the Fijian Government.

According to the Fijian Government, it de-registered Princess Ashika in May this year, a month before it was sold to Tonga. Fiji carried out a sea-worthiness survey of the ship, prohibited the vessel from servicing within Fiji waters and approved it, for one last trip between Levuka to Suva. Presumably this final voyage was to be its death march. But rather than scrapping the vessel it was instead sold in a private deal (so the Fijian Governments says) to Tonga in June-July.

Tongatapu is a tiny nation made up of 169 Islands 39 of which are populated. They are King and God faring people they are a poor nation. But its monarchy are hugely wealthy.

Princess Pilolevu, 54, became a multi-millionaire by helping herself to a sovereign asset, Tongasat. She effectively holds the right to geostationary satellite orbits.

Prince Tupouto'a, 56, has linked up with Tongan-Indo-Fijian businessmen brothers, Joe and Soane Ramanlal, and taken over electricity generation and the mobile phone company. He already has a brewery and according to insiders is now looking to seize Tongasat from his sister.

Tonga tapu is a kingdom of have’s and have not’s.

I grew up in Tonga. My father built the Queen Salote Wharf in 1963-66 in Nukualofa. I still have whanau ties in the Kingdom. So the Ferry Princess Ashika tragedy is very close to my heart.

My friend and a great Photographer John Miller from Auckland put it in perspective for me by comparing the magnitude of tragedy in terms of scale; if it happened in NZ relative to our population of 1.4 million we would have lost 3,400 people and of that number 1,462 would have been women and children. In this Tongan tragedy 33 women and 10 children aboard were aboard and none of them survived.

There were 119 presumed on board although 149 names appear on the manifest and some of these names are duplicated. 54 men were rescued. 2 bodies recovered, one of them Vaefetu'u Mahe - she was 22, but her 3 year old baby and husband are presumed drowned. The other is Daniel Macmillan a Brit living in NZ for the past 5 years.

NZ, Australia and Japan will contribute to a new ferry. Independent inquiry ordered, likely to get NZ help. Royal commission of inquiry will publish findings end of November.

There’s a march and memorial service for the victims of the Princess Ashika to be held on the wharf near the Maritime Museum here in Auckland 10am, August 23. Flowers will be placed in the water. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The nation mourns the loss of another little soul this week. A two year-old killed in Kaitaia in the weekend. The baby was Maori and she was allegedly killed by her Mum also Maori.

And cue racists:

Manolo (650) Vote: 22 3 Says: August 11th, 2009 at 10:40 am
“The next issue is why are Maori killing their kids at such an incredible rate?”
That is indeed the key question. I look forward to extreme caution, concern and hand-wringing before a sensible answer is provided.
Be aware the PC brigade will be ready to shout “racist” to any opinion that contradicts its rose-tinted glasses view of the world.
big bruv (4198) Vote: 18 7 Says: August 11th, 2009 at 11:24 am
Perhaps we should learn from the Aussie’s, John Howard was brave enough to do something about child abuse in Aboriginal communities so why is John Key dragging the chain. I don’t give a shit who it offends culturally, I don’t give a shit how much damage it does to the “mana” (what a stupid fucking word that is) of the Maori party, clearly Sharples, and co are a waste of space and apologists for killers, Key needs to do something about it TODAY. Send in CYFS and remove every single child they deem to be a risk, I want EVERY SINGLE Maori beneficiary family to have to prove why they should be allowed to keep their kids, if you do not pass the test or CYFS think that the family environment might be dangerous for the kids then they are removed. Do not worry about a lack of resources, there would be thousands and thousands of good kiwi families who would help house, feed and care for these kids if only we had a PM brave enough to do something about it, hell, I would take some of them myself if that is what is needed. Beneficiary lowlife would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were able to provide a safe environment for these kids before they were returned.
Why are our fucking pathetic media not going after her family, where was the concern from her family for this poor little kiddie, when will Maori stop making excuses for their killers?
It seems that if you are Maori the your family will excuse you of anything. Will we hear from the apartheid party?…..I doubt it
Will we hear from the Greens who seemingly exist to make excuses for Maori….I doubt it. Will this happen again next month, and the month after that……you fucking bet it will.

Read the right wing blogs or don’t…but you get the general gist of the attacks. All Maori are baby bashers and killers.

We as in, us Maori know full well we lead the statistics in, Neonaticide (child killed in the first month of life), Infanticide (child killed in the first year of life), Filicide (child killed by a member of their own family), Fatal child abuse, ‘battered baby’ or non-accidental injury, Family breakdown (child killed by a parent estranged from the other parent), Fatal sexual assault (child killed after being sexually assaulted). We don’t shirk or shrink from any of the facts as they are. We know that Maori boys are six times and Maori girls three times more likely than non-Maori to be seriously assaulted.

What the bagging-bloggers don’t know or want to know is that Maori community groups are working hard to address the issue. A couple of outstanding initiatives are Wraparound from Waipareira Trust and Amokura Family Violence Prevention Strategy.

Amokura is an integrated community-based, initiative to address family violence in Tai Tokerau (Northland). The initiative is led by the Tai Tokerau Iwi Chief Executives Consortium which is made up of the Chief Executives of seven iwi (tribal) authorities. The initiative consists of four project areas that provide a whole of population approach to addressing family violence prevention and early intervention: research, education and promotion, professional development and training, and advocacy.

Waipareira Trust has the Wraparound Service which focuses on building stronger relationships in an effort to improve relationships with rangatahi, whanau and other agencies. These relationships produce good outcomes with tangible reduction rates in youth offending in South Auckland. Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust along with Manukau Urban Maori Authority is one of the founding members of the Mangere Youth Providers Forum who meet monthly to discuss issues in Mangere. The meetings are a focal point for government and community agencies that attend to present and discuss common themes. The forum is an opportunity to improve relationships and strengthen networks. Tamaki ki Raro Trust, Genesis, Housing New Zealand, Mangere East Family Service Centre, Work and Income, Counties Manukau Sports Foundation, Department of Corrections, Police Youth Aid and Counties Manukau District Health Board are a number of government and community agencies that attend the Forum.

At last year's elections, the Maori Party campaigned on its Whanau Ora policy and last month established a Taskforce that will construct an evidence-based framework that will lead to: strengthening whanau capabilities, integrating approaches to whanau wellbeing, collaborating relationships between state agencies in relation to whanau services, establishing relationships between government and community agencies that are broader than contractual and improving cost-effectiveness and value for money.

What this all means is that Maori are exhausting all avenues from policy and bureaucracy level to front line practical to address this very real concern.

We know that with every baby dying has long lasting ramifications for us as a people, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

We aren't sitting on our hands doing nothing. So for all you bagging-bloggers yes you're either ignorant or racist or both.

Monday, August 10, 2009



A Mother’s Response to ‘Child’s Play No More’ by Gary Robertson, Herald on Sunday 09 August

I had a good giggle reading the above article, because Robertson could have been writing about my son’s team.

I’m a Rugby and Rugby League Mum.

I have two boys a 7 year-old who plays Rugby for Auckland club Ponsonby Ponies, while the 9 year old plays Rugby League for Ponsonby Pirates.

Why are the boys, who are close in age playing two different codes you ask? That’s another blog.

You have to take your hat off to the volunteer coach - always a parent who’s passionate about doing good for their kid and so when the team needs a minder, you cheer a sigh of relief when someone else’s hand goes up. But what happens when the volunteer coach becomes a vexatious megalomaniac? What happens when according to Bruce McFadden Canterbury Chairman of the Metro Junior Board “…coaches’ egos get higher and higher...they want to win at all costs?”

I gotta coach like that. A volunteer father ego-coach, who sends on average two emails a week, expounding his own virtues, detailing his rationale for game plans and training methods and rounding off the missive with an ode to his own passion for the kids and the game. I find it weird! That’s self-gratification. But how else is a volunteer coach meant to get accolades?

SPARC; New Zealand’s parent body for sport and recreation reckons about 500,000 volunteers exist. They admit it’s an estimation because it’s difficult for them to confirm actual numbers. SPARC go on to state that volunteers usually take on the role mainly for altruistic reasons. But the number of ego-coaches popping up particularly in Rugby and Rugby League would contradict this. So what is the motivation for taking on a role that can at times see them abused by players and parents alike, used as unpaid slaves by clubs (SPARC notes) and often have them forking out cash from their own pockets to make up fees and regularly double as taxi driver for kids who aren’t mobile or whose parents who aren’t motivated? Ego of course. Whether it be for ‘the-love-of-my-kid’, ‘the-passion-for-the-game’ or ‘I’m-a-better-than-Graham-Henry-coach’ it’s all about ego.

The thing is, we’re seeing more of the ‘I’m-a-better-than-Graham-Henry’ coach particularly in rugby and rugby league. According to McFadden they’re someone who over-coaches; someone who sends on the strongest players for the full duration of the game, ahead of boys with lesser skills. Often these sidelined-boys see a paltry 10 minutes of paddock time this inspite of rugby rules stating all juniors must play at least half a game. McFadden also reckons over-coaching coaches are usually found in the cities. He’s wrong of course, ego-coaches are everywhere, city and country, here and overseas according to East Coast Cam Kilgour a rugby development officer in Canterbury and Queensland. So why are these ego-coaches allowed to remain? It’s because they’re volunteers and sports of all types are desperate for coaches.
The ‘I’m-a-better-than-Graham-Henry’ ego-coach are allowed to flourish under the current volunteer environment. They’re given a captive audience – the kids and their parents, a clipboard that marks their position of authority and when you get 10 to 15 little tykes doing what they’re told (as best they can) what a ‘mana’ buzz that is.

All clubs must give their volunteers coaching support in the way of manuals and training clinics. But it’s not enough, in fact like the old adage says; a little bit of information can be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. So what’s the answer? Are we staring down the barrel of paid coaches for juniors?

My two boys (inspite one of them being a league player), participated in the Pat Lam Rugby Academy in the July holiday break. The Academy was for 7 to17 year olds. Each day involved interactive coaching and one on one tuition. The coaches included the Auckland Blues Coach Pat Lam and several others who were obviously experienced in handling juniors and age restricted players. Several former All Blacks were on call, with the highlight for my boys - performing the haka with Buck Shelford. The Academy was a seven hour, week long experience. It cost us $110 (food not supplied). Money well spent I thought especially considering our 7 year-old was named Academy’s Most Outstanding Player. Even if our boy didn’t get the top prize, we still would have thought it money well spent because our kids were being taught good skills by professional coaches. I for one would pay for a good coach who just gets on with the job of coaching who has outputs to meet which includes developing age appropriate skills and techniques.

In fact part of our club fees should be given to pay for these coaches. This would mean coaches would have to undergo an interview process to ensure they have the right credentials as set by the NZRFU. Pay to coach would ensure good volunteers are paid while establishing a filtering system to minimise ego-coaches being let loose on the kids.

In the meanwhile we continue to endure ego-coach emails over analysing game plans and psycho-scrutinising of breakdowns. In the meanwhile like the rest of the parents I too shall mumble from the sideline behind a raised hand, ‘It’s only for the season, we’ll get a better coach next year, but for the grace of god it’s not me!”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


A leopard never changes its spots and so it seems National Party grassroot supporters can't shake the shackles of conservatism, class and culture. A travesty occurred in the weekend when the National Party failed to elect Sir Wira Gardiner as Party President.

700 supporters converged on Christchurch to choose a replacement for Judy Kirk. Alas blue supporters stayed true to form and voted in Peter Goodfellow.

Goodfellow from old-farming money represents the quintessential nat voter, a conformist, a conventionalist and a capitalist.

It was an opportunity gone begging for the Party to increase numbers by attracting numbers from the centre both Pakeha and Maori. But no it seems the back-room fire-stokers want a return to the right of the not too distant old days.

Prime Minister John Key is a kean supporter of Sir Wira - after all the former Army Lieutenant Colonel from Ngati Awa assisted the Government in its coalition with the Maori Party. John Key the pragmatist sees the bigger nation-hood picture that includes Maori as an integral part of the country's future. But New Zealanders don't like change, especially conservatives who hold fast to the status-quo, they have more to lose. So when the opportunity arose for the nat-roots to revert back to type they hurriedly did so.

National may rue the day they turned their back on a bold new frontier that includes both signatories to the Treaty. Middle New Zealand is after change the nat-roots should have riden the wave of change. An opportunity gone begging.

Friday, July 31, 2009


There will soon be one flag that represents them all.

All of Maoridom that is.

The Maori Party has invited iwi to 21 hui across the country to vote for one of the four flags on offer. Hui started in the far north in Kaitaia and will finish in Dunedin the middle of August. The results of each hui along with any written submissions will be presented by the Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples to Prime Minister John Key later in the year. The most popular flag will legitimately fly high on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, at Parliament House and anywhere else and on occasions Maori deem important, significant and worthy starting with Waitangi Day 2010.

But not all Maori are united in the one flag for all notion. Most noticeably vocal in their opposition is the opposition. Labour MP’s and cousins Shane Jones and Kelvin Davis make up the Tai Tokerau trio along with their maverick whanaunga, Maori Party’s Hone Harawira. If they were All Blacks they would form an impressive front row. They are fearless in their drive to succeed, they can be intimidating particularly when debating race, poverty and justice and of course they are physical heavy weights. Not all brawn without brain, their collective minds are outstanding, each one an astute community leader and shrewd politician, even Davis who’s only been in Parliament eight months is holding his own. While they may cringe at being described metrosexual they do have a softer, feminine side. All three sons have no hesitation in showing their passion for their people and their love of whanau.

On the flag issue however, the line is drawn. Mr Jones says the whole exercise reeks of shallowness and insularity that the debate should be about a national flag for all New Zealanders. While Mr Davis quizzed the Minister of Maori Affairs in the House earlier stating that, with 400 to 500 Maori joining the dole queue each week, would it not be better to hold 21 hui on job creation or educational underachievement instead?

The two Labour MP’s brought up relevant points. Mr Jones speaks of collectivism, inclusiveness while Mr Davis makes legitimate references to the economy and education. What is of interest is not what they said but rather that these two centre-lefties, rurals from struggling working class backgrounds had the audacity to deny what they know to be true and correct for Maori. Pita Sharples says these flags are beacons of hope; a signature flying high, telling the world who we are. “There is probably no stronger picture of this in my mind than that incredible sight of the flags proceeding down Lambton Quay in the Hikoi of 5 May 2004.” Says the MP.

There’s nothing these Labour boys can do about the hui or the outcome. Well actually they can go along and vote for their flag of choice, it may very well tip the balance.

The issue for them is not the hui or the flag but the Maori Party’s position as coalition partner with the National Government. These Maori Labour MP’s just don’t like being in opposition – who does?

The last flag or haki hui is in Dunedin 13 August. Let’s see what the people come up with.


Friday July 31, 2009
5:54PM NZT
An apology from the Crown and an historic statement of forgiveness were exchanged on Thursday night after Parliament passed legislation enacting a Treaty settlement covering the wider Wellington region.

Prime Minister John Key read the Crown apology and said the statement of forgiveness, the first to be delivered formally by iwi to the Crown, marked a new phase in relationships.

The apology says the Crown is "deeply sorry it has not always lived up to its Treaty of Waitangi obligations and its principles" in its dealings with Taranaki Whanui ke Te Upoko o Te Ika.

The statement of forgiveness was delivered by former governor-general Sir Paul Reeves, a trustee and chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.

It says the Crown is forgiven "for its breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles ... and for its failure to protect our interests in the acquisition and administration of our lands."

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said the enactment of the legislation was the final stage in the settlement of Taranaki Whanui ke Te Upoko o Te Ika's historical claims.

The claims relate to breaches by the Crown of its obligations under the Treaty, particularly the Crown's dealings over and acquisition of the Port Nicholson Block, and its long delays in ensuring there was appropriate administration of reserved lands.

The Taranaki Whanui ke Te Upoko o Te Ika is a collective comprising people from a number of Taranaki iwi whose ancestors migrated to Wellington in the 1820s and 1830s and signed the Port Nicholson Block Deed of Purchase in 1839.

The settlement provides commercial and cultural redress, a $25 million financial package, and the vesting of various culturally significant sites around the Port Nicholson area.

The cultural redress package includes the transfer of three islands in Wellington Harbour, with public access rights preserved.

The police shot Rob Mokaraka. In the chest….kaaaapaow! But he didn’t die – thank the lord!

Rob Mokaraka, 36, was shot in the chest outside his home in Pt Chevalier on Monday after allegedly lunging at police with knives and a meat cleaver.

The Actor got a bedside hearing at Auckland Hospital Wednesday night where Police charged him with possession of an offensive weapon and assault with a weapon. He’s been remanded on bail to appear on August 19.

What’s with the Police?

Why did this officer have a firearm in his vehicle and not a taser?

Is it easier for the police to sign-out guns than it is tasers? Why aren’t tasers standard issue in police cars? Why did the police feel the need to shoot him?

According to a witness police tried to negotiate with Mokaraka for more than 15 minutes before he was finally shot in the chest. "All of us who saw it think he must have been trying for suicide by cop." Commented the witness.

The police then went on an impressive public relations and media drive, which basically transferred blame for the situation squarely on Mokaraka. Every radio news service ran the police account of events as its lead (except Maori Media on Waatea Radio who have a unique, anomalous definition of what’s news). Even television midday and six o’clock news ran Detective Superintendent Rod Drew detailing Mokaraka’s ‘odd’ behaviour.

What the police did and what the media allowed them to do; was divert public attention away from the actual shooting.

We are now left with the impression that this sad, bad, mad man Mokaraka got what he deserved.

But did he?

Yes we understand and sympathise with police when they tell us they feared for their safety. But fearful enough to shoot him in the chest? Well apparently yes?

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified of the incident and a police investigation is under way. They will find in favour of the police. This Authority formerly known as the Police Complaints Authority has never found police at fault and they won’t in this case either.

Firstly nga mihi ki a koutou katoa mo te wiki o te reo Maori. I hope you all had a most fantastic week speaking Maori here, there and everywhere. Ka pai, ka mau te wehi, tumeke! Fantastic…

Each year’s there’s a theme so for 2009 it’s Te Reo i te Hapori - Maori Language in the Community. According to Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Maori the Maori Language Commission, the theme invites us “To help te reo to live and grow in our communities.” It sounds kind of desperate like they’re pleading us to let a struggling plant have its chance to stand in the sun and rain. Or worse they’re imploring us civilised human beings show compassion towards an alien species on the brink of extinction.

Well the Language Commission is right. Te reo Maori may as well be an alien species because it is in danger of extinction along with every other world wide indigenous language.

According to the UNESSCO approximately 600 languages have disappeared in the last century and they continue to disappear at a rate of one language every two weeks. Up to 90 percent of the world’s languages are likely to disappear before the end of this century if current trends are allowed to continue.

So why are the languages dying? Each case will differ according to their region and the environment in which it’s found. Here in Aotearoa/New Zealand, it could be attributed to the low prioritising of the language by the Ministry of Education at the Primary and Secondary School levels. Or the enemy could be nothing more than complacency says Maori Language Commissioner Erima Henare. We have Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa, Wharekura and Tertiary Institutions have a myriad of courses to do with both te reo and culture. There’s also Maori Television and on Sky 59 the 100% Te Reo Channel.

So what more do Maori want? The answer to that is: it’s the country that needs a lot more. Only 4% of us speak Maori to a fluent level, 130,485 are Maori and about 30,042 non-Maori. I’m really impressed with the latter figure it’s more than what I thought. But for all those who say te reo can’t get us export business in Asia or the Middle east or Europe – you’re wrong it can.

Language is all about identity, connection and expectation. We are defined by who we are by blood and history and regardless of what you think this contributes to our present shape. How we perceive ourselves is how we relate to others. International business may be ruthless but it also relies on contextual empathy and understanding of the people and environment. Being bi-lingual or multi-lingual especially if one of those languages is of your homeland affords you an insight into other peoples lives.

I hope that one day we will never have Maori Language Week. I hope that one day te reo Maori is spoken by all and sundry on the streets, at work, in bars, clubs and definitely in the home by all New Zealanders.

Te reo Maori mo koutou, mo ratou, mo tatou.
Maori language; for you, for them, for us all.
What a big week for Maori. We’ve seen a Maori man shot by police, a Maori Radical Group hold up Court proceedings, an apology by the Crown to Taranaki ki Whanui which reciprocated a statement of forgiveness and it’s Maori Language Week.


The High Court hearing bribery and perversion of justice charges in the former MP Taito Phillip Field trial was adjourned by Judge Rodney Hansen when he was interrupted by Te Tai Tokerau Kaumatua Tass Davis on Thursday. Justice Hansen immediately called for an adjournment, and when he returned 45 minutes later he warned people in the public gallery they would be removed if they interrupted again.

Times have changed.

Ten years ago even five years ago this lot would have been arrested, charged with public nuisance and causing obstruction fined and barred from the High Court (unless they’re appearing in the dock being charged with some offence).

Leading the protest group Mauri Nation State Hapu is Davis a 75-year-old former Auckland police constable. He claims to represent "rangatira of the land."

The group returned to the High Court today with a larger more ‘intimating’ group of black-t shirt wearing rangatahi youth. One of the protesters was apparently warned repeatedly by police to stop filming in the courthouse lobby but refused. Group spokesperson Tane Rakau told a court official to go back to China and claimed the group's members were able to film because they were tangata whenua. Why the police didn’t throw them out of the court house is unfathomable.

Davis reckons they’re embarking on a "non-violent campaign" aimed at illustrating "frustrations ... borne out of a legacy of 160 years of colonial oppression". Davis says the Government need to enter into serious discussions over demands for Maori self-determination.

The Mauri Nation State Hapu group had already carried out two protest practice runs. A 22-strong group of "mainly elderly with walking sticks" had marched past the homes of two judges in Auckland. The group stood outside the homes, then moved on. Some motorists honked, but Davis reckons the judges didn't realise they were there.

Black t-shirt wearing rangatahi causing mayhem is a big step up from 70-plus year old Kaumatua limping down leafy suburban lanes. If they’re going to use intimidating methods to put their case across, no one will support them.

On the one hand they support Taito Phillip Field and afford him tangata whenua status and then one of their group abuse an Asian Court worker!

This lot's seriously confused.