Tuhoe , the treaty and the politics of separatism – principles be buggered, it’s winning power and holding it that matters

Good one, Boss.

Yep. Alf approves of Prime Minister John Key drawing a line in the sand – at long bloody last – on iwi treaty demands.

He has ruled out Tuhoe owning the Te Urewera National Park as part of its treaty settlement.

Treaty settlement? The buggers didn’t sign the treaty and were proud of it.

It is astonishing, therefore, that Tuhoe’s outlandish request for negotiations wasn’t laughed out of the Beehive from the outset.


The negotiations got under way nevertheless, but now Tuhoe have been told there are limits to what the Government will concede.

Mr Key yesterday told Tuhoe negotiators that transferring ownership of the 212,672ha Te Urewera national park to the iwi was not acceptable to the Government.

He also broke from usual practice by announcing the decision publicly, saying the matter had to be cleared up following a series of media stories about the possibility of the transfer happening.

The decision has come as a blow to Tuhoe, which was expecting the ownership transfer in a second settlement offer from the Crown.

Tuhoe’s chief negotiator, Tamati Kruger, was sounding decidedly pissed off about what the PM said.

He wailed about an “eleventh hour” decision to pull the proposal having been prompted by “a failure of nerve and loss of resolve”.

And guess what the race-based and race-focussed Maori Party had to say?

Last night the Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, said: “As a Maori Party leader I’m tired of the politics of race being brought into the equation – this is an issue of leadership and justice.

“Tuhoe have behaved with honour right throughout the negotiation process. I question what we see happening here.”

The PM denies the announcement was made because of unease about the potential public reaction to such a move. His main concern was about the precedent it would set.

It was a major departure from the usual practices in dealing with substantial lands in settlements and would have been the first time such a significant piece of the Conservation estate had been handed over to an iwi.

Mr Key acknowledged that it was a strong wish of Tuhoe’s and that they were willing to guarantee public access and ensure it was managed in a way akin to a national park.

“We understand that. But it’s also been a long-held view from the Government that that would be very challenging – and they were always aware it would be very challenging.”

Alf applauds his boldness, even though – as the Herald muses – the decision will imperil the Government’s chances of reaching a timely settlement with Tuhoe.

Ownership of the area was one of its “bottom lines” and one of the main reasons it rejected the Crown’s first settlement offer.

They can now go and look for a new bottom line.

Dunno if the PM had visited the Not PC blog site earlier in the day.

If so he would have read some good stuff.

An item headed “There is no room for separatism in New Zealand” [updated] recalled how John Key had told concerned National Party members over the weekend

“it is important for us to reaffirm to our membership … what we’re doing and what our core fundamental beliefs are.”

The author of the Not PC post went on to say –

Being naturally curious to know what those fundamental beliefs might be, I read on, discovering that the only principle on offer to be the blunt statement: “there is no room for separatism in New Zealand.”

Reflect on that for a moment. The New Zealand Prime Minister has just announced that one of his party’s fundamental beliefs is there is no room for separatism in New Zealand, while presiding over a government that is propped up by a race-based party who sits on race-based seats—a government that administers a Maori Affairs department; a taxpayer-funded Maori television station; sundry taxpayer-funded Maori radio stations; a “whanau-based” welfare system; “TeachNZ” scholarships for Maori students; Maori quotas in the civil service; Maori quotas in education and training; compulsory Treaty studies in schools; veto power over private developments vested in iwi planning authorities; the bogus concepts of “kaitiakitanga,” “mauri,” and “Treaty Principles” contaminating NZ’s laws; millions of dollars given to Maori “community organisations” for things they don’t do; hundreds of millions of dollars given to tribalists for things we didn’t do; and the official abandonment of “one law for all.”

Nope. No separatism here at all.

Irony is too small a word to use to describe this gap between what was said by National’s leader and what is being done in his name.

The item concluded there was only one fundamental belief of the National Party: staying in power.

Of course. That’s why Alf is a party member.

But the bothersome bit about Not PC’s conclusion is that because we have no idea what we are in power for, we are easy prey to anyone who actually does have principles, however bad.

Alf will sleep on this. There is much to ponder.

If he has to start thinking in terms of principles, he will soon find himself on the slippery slope that ends with some smart-arse accusing him of being a dissembler or – good grief – a hypocritic bastard.

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One Response to Tuhoe , the treaty and the politics of separatism – principles be buggered, it’s winning power and holding it that matters

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