Yes, the white man chopped down forests, but only those that survived Maori burnings

December 14, 2010

Too bad about the trees, but it's bracken fern we need.

So you thought the  British colonisers were an environmentally rapacious pack of bastards who came here in the 1800s and chopped down all the trees to grow grass for dairying and sheep farming?

Whereas the Maori are spiritually at one with nature, environmentallty protective and conservationally savvy?

This and that mysterious mauri thing make them special?

That’s what they would like us to believe.

They will tell us about their world view in which they see the environment as deriving from a spiritual connection, where everything is tied together as one, through the cosmological ordering of whakapapa.

But nah, it’s bollocks.

Sure, we chopped down more than a few trees but we put them to good use as building materials, fence posts, ship masts, and what have you, whereas it seems our indigenous brothers and sisters simply burned down forests.

Not to run sheep and cattle or to grow apples, kiwifruit and grapes.


Their curious idea of a good tuck-in was to eat fern roots.

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The complications of modern-day dam building – money must be put aside for measuring the mauri

April 13, 2010

Deep and meaningful negotiations are under way on the inevitable cultural impacts.

Just because it’s legal does not make it right.

Alf was never happy about legalising prostitution in this country, for example. Or permitting civil unions. Or letting teenagers into pubs.

Hence he is not impressed by the defence being advanced by the iwi that was given money by Meridian Energy, apparently to reverse its opposition to a West Coast hydro dam.

The iwi is saying the payment was a “legitimate” part of the resource consent process.

Of course it is. Perfectly legal.

It raises lots of questions in Alf’s mind, nevertheless.

The story is told at Stuff today –

Meridian last week revealed it had paid an unspecified sum to Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae for work it had done to assess the cultural impact of the company’s proposed Mokihinui River hydro project.
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The marvels of mauri and mingling mana

March 3, 2009

A bunch of our judges were very early risers today, so they could turn up for a ceremony of dubious worth at the new Supreme Court building in Wellington.

The Government hasn’t disclosed exactly when the poor buggers were required to get out of bed.

But a media statement from the Office of Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu tells us –

A short, simple yet moving ceremony marking the customary laying of the mauri stone took place at the front steps of the new Supreme Court early this morning.

Local Te Atiawa elders Sam and June Jackson joined with the Minister for Courts, Hon Georgina te Heuheu, and judges of the Supreme Court to conduct the ceremony in the early hours.
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