Iwi bounce back from defeat at the ballot box to demand council voting rights without being elected

May 22, 2015

You’ve got to give Peter Moeahu full marks for gall.

His undemocratic cause was lost when the good citizens of New Plymouth went to the polls to decide if it was a good idea for their district council to have a separatist ward reserved for indigenous persons.

An overwhelming majority of those who bothered getting off their chuffs to vote made plain it was a bad idea.

But this Peter Moeahu feller sees this as a chance to push an even more provocative idea.

He is calling for New Plymouth’s council to reconsider appointing iwi representatives to influential standing committees.

This means they would get to influence council decisions without having to go through the bother of getting elected, even in a separatist ward.

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Go Gareth – there’s much to be said for letting all the people have their say on constitutional reform

January 7, 2015

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Gareth Morgan can be a know-it-all pain in the arse.

But sometimes his willingness to stick his neck out and say what needs to be said is refreshing and to be applauded.

Perhaps these occasions most often arise when his opinions coincide with Alf’s on certain matters.

This is certainly the case today, when Morgan writes in the NZ Herald about constitutional issues raised by the two language versions of the Treaty of Waitangi, the aspirations of indigenous persons, and the role of the Waitangi Tribunal.

For example:

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Want to see why Delahunty got a 2/10 mark from Trans Tasman? Just look at her Treaty thinking

December 16, 2014
And in the year 2014 this treaty will entitle your people to a 50:50 share of all governance arrangements...

And when we Pakeha become more politically enlightened, this treaty will entitle your people to a 50:50 share of all governance arrangements…

Alf hadn’t noticed a recent opinion piece by Gareth Morgan, the bloke with a dislike of moggies but – hurrah – a great urge to preserve our democracy.

Morgan was contributing to the debate over Maori representation on local councils.

More particularly, he was taking issue with New Plymouth’s (very temporary) Mayor, Andrew Judd, who had embroiled himself in a debate over whether his council should have a Maori ward and was calling for all councils to have Maori provide half of their councils.

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Willie agrees Maori are entitled to a half-share of political power, but he’ll settle for less for now

December 10, 2014

Willie Jackson has popped up in New Plymouth to confirm Alf’s suspicions that some indigenous persons in this country feel the Treaty of Waitangi entitles them to a half share of anything that’s up for grabs, especially a slice of the political action.

He can count on bumping into some craven Pakeha person who is only too willing to give away the half share of the action that Jackson is claiming.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd comes into this category. He reckons Maori should be given half the seats on his council – and on every other council in the land. Never minds what the citizens think.

Jackson obviously concurs that this is a fair go.

According to this report in the Daily News:

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Mayor Judd favours doing things by halves – and he wants all of NZ to accept his power-sharing model

November 24, 2014
And then I have this idea of reserving all council seats for the tangata whenua...

And then I have this idea of putting all council seats aside for the tangata whenua…

About two months ago, the Mayor of New Plymouth was getting kudos from the Maori Party – and no doubt from lots of other Maori leaders – for acknowledging that our indigenous persons are special and should be given special treatment.

His council had just voted for a Maori ward by seven votes to six.

But he was getting plenty of stick, too, from folks who had the temerity to be miffed at the Mayor’s tinkering with their democratic structure (and doing it on the strength of a very close vote)..

One councillor – a true democrat – had the balls to oppose the move and resigned in protest.

The mayor, Andrew Judd, showed troubling signs of being confused about what he was up to.

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Without a firm Treaty underpinning, does the colonising of NZ simply prove that might is right?

November 15, 2014

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Dunno if Alf has got a proper grasp on it, but it looks like the Treaty of Waitangi is a bit of a crock.

One mob signed it on the strength of their understanding of what it says in plain English.

The other mob signed it on the strength of their understanding of what it says in Te Reo, their lingua franca.

Trouble is, the meaning of the English version and the meaning of the Te Reo version are different.

What sort of a basis is that for establishing a comfortable relationship between Maori and the Crown, let alone the underpinning of a written Constitution?

The significance of this difference has become awkwardly apparent since the Waitangi Tribunal produced its latest report on how the colonisers treated indigenous persons in the early days.

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You shouldn’t be able to steal cake and eat it too – but maybe the Treaty says otherwise

September 13, 2014
"But you haven't given enough weight to my Treaty rights?"

“But you haven’t given enough weight to my Treaty rights?”

Someone by name of Narelle Henson can’t yet celebrate. Nor can Alf’s mates, who share her opposition to the notion that jailbirds should be able to vote in general elections.

Narelle Henson expressed her views in an article in the Waikato Times under the heading You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

She was unsympathetic with the case brought by Arthur Taylor, a bloke she reckoned had broken the law 150 times who was appealing to the law for the opportunity to choose the lawmakers.

Taylor and six other inmates hope to stop the general election, on the grounds the banning of their voting went against the Bill of Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Narelle thinks this is preposterous.

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