The good citizens of Hamilton (the one in the Waikato) are learning the hard way what happens when sovereignty is ceded to their indigenous neighbours.
The indigenous neighbours are rejoicing in their sovereignty and flexing their muscle.
As a consequence the Pakeha element of the neighbourhood perhaps has become subservient to the indigenous element.
This explains why (as you will learn here) some residents of Hamilton are whinging about not being consulted.
They don’t understand the conventions that are being established in tune with our Treaty arrangements and the partnership it created.
Under these arrangements governments and local authorities are expected to consult with iwi and other bodies representing our indigenous Treaty partners.
There is no obligation for our indigenous Treaty partners to do any consulting.
True, there is nothing in the Treaty that obliges governments and local authorities to consult with our indigenous people.
But we are a craven lot, we Pakeha, and we are anxious to avoid any suggestion we might be racist, so we fall all over ourselves to give our indigenous people the special treatment they crave.
This, more or less, explains why:
Fairfield and Enderley residents have questioned why they were not consulted about plans to build 70 houses and communal outdoor living spaces on Shakespeare Ave and Tennyson Rd as part of Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa’s Community Housing Project.
The first of a series of meetings was held on Wednesday night at the Enderley Community Centre with key community representatives. The project has been a seven-year development and the land for the houses was bought two weeks ago.
One resident, who has lived in the area for several years, was keen to give her opinion about the decision-making process. “There has been no communication from the Runanga. You are all making decisions for us, we are left out.”
This resident is being thoroughly unreasonable, of course.
Racist, too, probably.
She seems to have forgotten that the runanga was established in the mid 1980’s under the direction and guidance of the late Maori Queen Te Atairangikaahu and Mayor Sir Ross Jansen.
As its website tells us:
Te Rūnanga Ō Kirikiriroa Charitable Trust is an Urban Authority acknowledging the sovereign rights of mana whenua and tangata whenua of the Hamilton City area.
It is obvious that the sovereign rights of mana whenua and tangata whenua are different from the sovereign rights of other people.
And now the runanga is showing us what it means to have been accorded these rights.
The Runanga’s chief executive, Mere Balzer, presented the organisation’s vision of the project including a digital model of the houses to be built, its affordability and eligibility.
But some residents are not pleased with this vision.
They had better get used to it.
The runanga is calling the shots.
And if you you don’t like it – well, you can only lump it.
There’s a Hamilton in Canada. Perhaps they should give that a go.