The doctor’s advice on special rights has gone unheeded and iwi may soon own fresh water

April 12, 2015

Breakingview today has dug up an item “from the archives of Rod Vaughan” at the National Business Review.

It is headed:

Why other Kiwis must stop fawning to the shrill cries of Maori

The article is based on the warning sounded by an academic of Maori, Irish and French descent.

He said – back in 2013 – he believes the pendulum has swung too far in redressing Maori grievances.

Dr Brian McDonnell, a senior lecturer in film studies at Massey University, says New Zealand’s “polite middle ground has become too fawning and the government too accommodating to the shrill cries of extremists”.

He told NBR ONLINE: “Maori people have certainly been marginalised in the past and there are specific wrongs to be righted, but it’s time to draw back to the centre.

“In an effort to be nice you can be seen as a soft touch, so who can blame Maori groups for asking for the stars when the government and the Auckland Council seem ready to grant power and funds while ignoring democratic processes.

“It has been the move to enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi in a written or more formalised constitution that I feel should be the ‘bridge too far’ for well-meaning, reasonable, moderate people, both Maori and Pakeha, to say ‘enough’.

“I would certainly place myself among their number and for me it is not Maori bashing to say so.

“I am part-Maori and I want success for all Maori people, but I think dependence on a Treaty-burdened constitution will not help Maori, as its advocates claim.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The best thing going for the Maori Council was hiring the grandson of a National Cabinet Minister

July 21, 2012

Dunno what to make of the contretemps over Felix Geiringer’s pay for batting for the Maori Council at its much-ballyhooed Waitangi Tribunal case.

But a day or so ago, the Maori Council (as reported here) was accusing the Ministry of Justice of being racist and trying to sabotage its water and geothermal rights case.

On Thursday morning the inquiry, which was due to start with the council delivering its closing submission, was overshadowed by the council’s barrister, Felix Geiringer, complaining about his pay rate.

Outside the hearing, council co-chair Maanu Paul said the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Service broke the agreement to pay Mr Geiringer the full lawyer’s hourly rate.

He says it wants Mr Geiringer to accept the same wages as a junior lawyer, while Crown lawyers receive $400 an hour.

Mr Paul says he believes the ministry is trying to undermine the council’s case.

If indeed this was a ploy to undermine the council’s case, it damned near worked, because Geiringer said he had seriously considered not showing up to deliver his closing submissions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Be ready to keep a straight face when taniwha become the stuff of new law on water rights

July 20, 2012

It is unusual for Alf to turn to the Human Rights Commission for help, because he is apt to regard the outfit and its work with an element of disdain.

But it might be worth checking whether it has a role to play in influencing what’s happening on the matter of water rights and ownership.

Alf especially observes something on the commission’s web-site about New Zealand being a secular state, although Easter and Christmas are observed as public holidays, Christian prayers often form a part of public ceremonials and there is a degree of statutory recognition of Maori spiritual beliefs.

The critical point (here) is that –

New Zealand is a secular State with no State religion, in which religious and democratic structures are separated. In legislation and policy, the State respects freedom of thought, conscience and religion. There are few constraints on the freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs. Matters of religion and belief are deemed to be a matter for the private, rather than public, sphere.

That’s as it should be.

Read the rest of this entry »

A victory for what? For more co-governance deals, maybe, to dilute the voice of the majority

July 19, 2012

Ooh…look where 50:50 co-governance takes our democracy.

We Nats should not be surprised at the antics of the Maori Party. But we can be damned disappointed that the buggers are claiming victory after last night’s meeting with the Prime Minister over water rights.

Victory in what?

As Alf understands it, the Maori Party wanted an apology from The Boss.

He further understands it did not get one, because Stuff reports that

…John Key stopped short of apologising for what it called ”insulting” comments about the Waitangi Tribunal.

The party met the PM and and some senior government figures at the Beehive late last night for an hour-and-a-half.

Alf is a senior figure in age terms, of course, but sad to say has not been accorded the ministerial rank he believes he has richly deserved. Hence he was not one of those involved and for immediate purposes must rely on media accounts of what happened.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brendan Burns is burbling about resource rental charges: is that because he can’t pronounce “tax”?

October 25, 2011

And if we introduce a resource rental charge on this lot, we could collect enough money to wipe out the public debt.

Alf misses the robust critiques of bad farm policy that would regularly flow from former Federated Farmers dairy leader, Lachlan McKenzie.

Lachlan stood for president of the feds, but the job went to Bruce Wills. We haven’t heard much from him since then.

But another McKenzie has popped up to tell city slickers and greenie tossers what he thinks of their silly ideas.

This one is Ian McKenzie and he has done a fair job of pouring a bucket or two of water over Labour’s water policy.

Labour’s plan is to have farmers and other large-scale water users pay a “resource rental charge”, to spare taxpayers the need to cough up $500 million for funding new irrigation schemes and for cleaning up polluted waterways.

Ha. Fancy words to avoid saying “tax”, eh?

Come to think of it, buggers like Brendan Burns – Labour’s water spokesman – probably struggle to spell and pronounce a word as long as “tax”.

Read the rest of this entry »