Taranaki iwi show they don’t need a Treaty clause to get a slice of the oil action

February 28, 2012

It's much safer with good cultural advice.

It’s great to see an enterprising iwi prepared to strike its own deal with oil companies and not come bleating to the Beehive about the need for Treaty rights to be built into oil-industry legislation.

In Alf’s experience, the Maori doing the bleating on these occasions typically are lobbying for favours – they demand to be promoted to first place in the queue of buyers when state assets are sold, for example, or they want a big chunk of fishing quota handed to them on a plate, and so on…

But a South Taranaki iwi has taken its own commendable initiative and has signed a ground-breaking agreement with an oil company which – all going well – will result in jobs being offered in exchange for support.

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Don’t pull the plug on this Maori trough – let’s see if it can be adapted for Scandinavian export growth

June 29, 2010

Alf has jacked up a meeting with Pansy Wong, our Minister of Ethnic Affairs, despite his serious reservations about the need for such a portfolio.

An impulse to win a few electoral brownie points in the Tararua region has taken precedence over principle in the matter he wishes to raise with her.

He reckons the Government should put aside a bucket of money for Scandinavians (who were among the first non-Maori to move into his neck of the woods, giving rise to the naming of towns like Dannevirke and Norsewood). The objective would be to help the Scandinavians to export stuff.

Don’t ask what sort of stuff, because it seems to Alf it doesn’t matter a fat rat if it turns out they export nothing. The point essentially is to properly appropriate the money and have it targeted to help any exporter who can claim to be a Scandinavian exporter.

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