Who says NZ First and Labour are on opposite sides over Ihumātao? Plus the only solution moving forward

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As Kelvin Davis stood in the rain speaking to Oranga Tamariki protesters this week, they shouted abuse at him.

“Oh you have balls now”, chanted some.

The anger thrown at Māori MPs by protestors on that issue, on the Justice issue, the Health issue and the vast censorship of Māori voices in the mental health report have seen incandescent activists from across the protest spectrum attacking Labour with all the fellowship and warmth of trans activists eviscerating gender critical feminists.

There is a suggestion that Labour and NZ First are somehow not on the same page over Ihumātao. I’d suggest it’s a separation of difference that is incredibly tiny and measured in the millimetres.

The heat this latest protest has erupted from the Left of the Party occurs at a time Labour desperately need unity going into the next Election 12 months out with a National Party on a staggering 45%.

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Jacinda is not going to Ihumātao, and her language on the issue is couched very much in the centre, she is certainly not calling for some land revolution here. Her moderation has been widely criticised by almost all the major activists commenting on this issue.

The schism within Māoridom over Ihumātao is multi-faceted. On one level it is generational. Older Māori leaders who have been forced to accept the pittance paid out in compensation rather than nothing vs the younger generation whose knowledge of colonisation and the historic tragedy of land confiscation refuse point blank to accept that pittance.

The next schism is then class with those older Māori corporate Iwi who have benefited from the pittance reacting angrily at the younger and poorer class who are threatening over turning the parameters that have enriched those older Māori corporate Iwi.

Then there is a racial schism between Māori and Settler Nation NZers. The core economic plank that has built NZ is the ability to steal land off the indigenous people and prosper from that theft. Threatening to over turn the rort that protects private land rights by recognising that injustice will provoke a backlash from Cracker Kiwis who will be foaming at the mouth while screaming about the ‘Maaaaaoris’ and “One Law For All”. This is to be avoided at all costs because when white people get spooked into thinking they can be publicly racist, things like Don Brash happen.

Sweet Jesus we don’t need another Don Brash Orewa Speech moment.

With so many long standing interests and twisted manipulations that manifest in the present as outrageous social injustices against Māori, trying to solve all that before the next election seems as optimistic as hoping Donal Trump gets a standing ovation at a Feminist Vegan Folk Rock Festival.

Here is the deal that needs to be cut within a month so that this is not on the political agenda leading into the election.

The Government buys the land. Instead of building 400 homes, Fletchers builds 100 affordable housing on a tiny bit of that land while ensuring the 40 houses for the local Iwi goes ahead. The rest of the land goes into a National trust and treasured as a historically important site.

By giving the local Iwi what they negotiated for, by giving Fletchers a much smaller piece of the pie, while giving Activists most of what they want, you hopefully cauterise this wound before it starts getting infected by European NZers scaremongering about private ownership rights being over turned by Comrade Jacinda and her anti-Gun Communists.

NZ First will mock the cosmopolitan nature of this urban protest, but don’t think Labour aren’t wishing this would end just as much as Winston does. No one wants to revisit the Foreshore and Seabed meltdown.

32 COMMENTS

  1. There are many layers, and contradictions, and possible bear traps at Ihumātao. Jacinda Arden should stay away until there is a settlement reached, along the lines Martyn suggests if that is possible. Then swoop in and get some kudos that help the Govt. get reelected! It will take a political alchemist to find the settlement.

    And yes, a rejuvenated Māori Party, or a boost for the settler “dark racist kiwis”, is certainly not needed at this stage. One thing that scares a hell of a lot in this country is the spectacle of Māori and non Māori in unity around a political demand. But there is also a whole younger group, and other supporters, who see the great potential that Ihumātao showed for a future Aotearoa.

    • I’d say Arden is wise to stay away. What ever is reached is going to have detractors. Nobody is going to be happy. The whole place is awash with politicians but it is not going to be an easy situation to remedy because it is being likened to historical occupations which most people in NZ don’t know about or don’t agree on.

      You have to have an understanding of Maori culture beyond the ceremonial to get where Maori are coming from, and what the problem here and historically is.

      Maori should be fighting for 50% of natural assets that under the treaty they should have 50% ownership of, that over the last 30 years have not just been confiscated but sold to private interests.

      Then to determine who controls Maori interests. The left believe all Maori to be their voters, but that is not the case and to my mind the questions are:

      Should Maori have control of 50% of NZ assets held by government
      How Maori should work together to allocate and manage those resources among themselves (a separate parliament, or is the Maori votes working, because it is a hairs breath from being undermined if the political landscapes changes against them)
      How to work with European Pakeha for the other 50% of the treaty

      Under neoliberalism NZ is giving up on the treaty partnership and moving towards individualism with the natural assets sold to private ownership all around the world, so offshore corporations and private individuals are gaining full control of many of NZ assets which effects them in particular if they lose voting rights as their demographic becomes smaller and smaller.

      Look at the changing demographics and how that will eventually effect Maori. The attitudes to indigenous or poorer people in the countries that NZ is actively attracting… things in NZ could get a lot worse in the next decade for the poorer folks here if we are not just importing more people but we are also importing how they manage poverty and crime in their countries…

  2. If the government do buy it back they shouldn’t pay a cent to Fletchers over what they paid for it. The housing boom is over and Chinese are dumping their property investments here, secretly Fletchers is probably hoping for a quick getaway and a cash settlement and screwing over the government on price.

    People can’t afford Kiwibuild because in the last decade people’s incomes have gone down.

    If they do put on affordable houses for Maori, they should buy them from Bunnings type places for under $100k and can be assembled in a few months instead of the usual routs.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12231402&fbclid=IwAR3WW8BWTjmrz6elltsvxtYwD8Va6aQgw-ZBUHppPHyMmaagbSCptkN8EPI

    Not the usual developer special that takes years and costs hundreds of thousands, plus more hundreds of thousands, for an affordable home to rip off the taxpayers!

    I’d also suggest they just keep Ihumātao as a place for homeless to go to if they need it without being moved on.

    Possibly part of the attraction to some of the protesters is that they are semi homeless and getting a place to live and some hot meals and comradely, which is as attractive as the protest.

    Make it permanent there. Somewhere for anybody to go to if they need it. Keep the free meals. Make it Maori run, social housing for all.

    • Really. You are suggesting that maori should only have cheap bunnings houses worth less than a $100,000. And the homeless be encouraged to create a tent city. I am sure they believe they are more deserving than that. NZ is a rich society.

      • Yes, Joseph because I think housing MORE people QUICKLY is more important than having construction profits.

        It is typical snobbishness that means that people are now living in cars and tents because housing is now some gold plated standard of never never that is not being obtained by many people who need housing, now.

        Do you seriously think the current system of knocking down the state houses that last 50+ years to take years to replace with a few expensive houses without gardens that will last 15 years at most and probably not even that is going to work going forward?

  3. Yes Martyn see how simple that was and your not even a politician why do these people need to make things so hard when you have just come up with a good solution

    • There are 3 options about to be tabled sometime soon.

      Option 1: Crown buys it and it becomes part of the Crowns Landbank with all the protections for it to be kept in perpetuity for all NZ’ders, however opening a can of Treaty Claims.

      2: Auckland Council buys it. Same as above but for Auckland to own and administer and negotiate with Fletchers other property for housing.

      Option 3: Tanui Waikato buys it, because they can and throw more work Fletchers way in the future.

      Which option is the right option causing less political damage and less redneck backlash? Amene.

      • And if the Tainui-Waikato deal ‘wins’ out. I reckon you might see a resurgence of the Maori party? The price Labour will have to pay to get the best deal, to get them out of the shite and across the line.

    • Michelle: “… see how simple that was and your not even a politician….”

      Have you not been paying attention? The government cannot buy the land. Were it to do so, it risks undermining the private property rights of all of us. You included.

      Private property is off the table for Treaty settlements. And that’s as it should be.

  4. Sure Labour wishes it would all go away. But let’s get real, if Adern had kept her stupid mouth shut then it would be a much smaller mess than it is.
    Why say anything if you plan to do nothing?
    Stupidity- that’s why.

  5. Europeans don’t get it because they had their land confiscated hundreds if not thousands of years ago (because they’re sophisticated). For the Maori it is almost within living memory.

    The problem is that the future hope of a new born citizen in most westernized countries is directly based on the wealth and class of their parents. Education, health, opportunities, crime, mental well being is all related to wealth.

    I wonder if we had a society in which everyone had the same level of opportunity, education, health care, and justice that the (extremely important) land issue would be slightly less fractious?

    • There is some truth to that but not a lot.
      I have two useless brothers and one who (like me) has worked and saved hard his whole life.
      We come from a VERY working class family but our parents worked hard to give us opportunities. But two entirely different results.
      So sure, there is some truth in that, but only some.

  6. Martyn, you state that “the younger generation [with] knowledge of colonisation and the historic tragedy of land confiscation refuse point blank to accept [the] pittance [in redress that has been won so far]”. However, the bigger issue is still not being addressed – that of continued colonisation (immigration) – with it’s insatiable appetite for land – and subsequent demographic marginalisation of Maori.
    While it would be nice for a deal to be cut so that Ihumatao – specifically – is not on the political agenda leading into the election. The underlying causes need to be addressed or it is curtains for Maori. A demographically marginalised indigenous minority can never attain autonomy and – dare I say it – sovereignty, via representative democracy. Revolution is the only alternative.

    • Not sure about the Revolution part, but very well to point out another nasty side effect of too much immigration. Governments now and future have got to massively reduce the inflow. Nothing against the people themselves, but as a small country we cannot accommodate their housing and other infrastructure requirements, look after our own people first! Maybe we need to have an NZ Trump tumour to make us great again.

      • When Maori realised they had lost sovereignty 20 years after the treaty due to being demographically outnumber, revolution ensued. 150 years since, only small, incremental gains have been made through representative democracy which follows the dictates of the majority. I’m not hoping for revolution but sometimes I see little alternative to being subdued and subsumed by the forces of ongoing colonisation – albeit in a different form than that of 150 years ago.

  7. If you look at the Maori Ministers faces they look like they have been told to sort it and why not they got all the votes surely they didn’t think they were gonna cruise to victory a the next election without any major issues.

  8. Almost right M. But, the government, Crown can’t buy the Whenua. It will then become problematic for ToW settlements. Past & future.

    The only way out of this is that the Auckland Council buy the Whenua, appoint a group of the stakeholders and cough up some other property to Fletchers.

    I have a proposal. Churchill park Glendowie. 40 hectares, its already zoned for medium density housing within the AUP.

    NZ’s richest man lives across the road, G Hart. I know an iwi that could broker than deal too!

    Hook us up!

  9. Nice one Martyn, pay out Fletchers and let them go elsewhere and build badly needed housing, they’re not to blame in all this. Keep this historically important land for all the people via the people buying it, pay top dollar doesn’t matter, just keep it for everyone. Awesome outcome win win.

    • GreenBus: “…pay out Fletchers…”

      I assume that you understand that it can’t be the government which buys out Fletcher.

      “Keep this historically important land for all the people via the people buying it, pay top dollar doesn’t matter, just keep it for everyone.”

      You do realise that it’s an attempted land grab on the part of the protestors, right? It was Hone Harawira let the cat out of the bag, when he was interviewed on RNZ shortly after the occupation began. We’ve been told that they do not want houses built on the land that Fletcher owns. Not so, said Harawira cheerily: of course houses can be built there! So: an attempt at a land grab. The protesters want the land back, but they don’t want to pay for it. But two wrongs don’t make a right, as my late mother frequently reminded us.

  10. In the present stand off at Ihumatao, it is impossible for any of the groups of combatants not to be racist, by the very nature of the argument, so I will accept that I will be seen as racist. So will you. The main racial groups involved are: Maori – a race in itself : Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon, white and old like me, for most of those of several generations) and , increasingly , (Asian) Chinese and Indian. I suspect that all the non-Maori groups are seen as being hostile to Maori but I think it is more a dislike of the repeated wrangling that upsets them.
    I know little about Maori history and dont much care. Shouldn’t I care, knowing that the Maori had their land stolen away from them? Shouldn’t I respect the Treaty? My family’s home was bombed into oblivion in WW2, so we became refugees. Did we demand compensation? No. Do I hate Germans. Absolutely not. Did the Anglo-Saxons demand compensation from the Normans for being beaten at the Battle of Hastings? Are there still Normans alive to make demands of? What about demands on the Romans, or the British Empire for that matter.
    History is like that; a racial group of people depart from their homeland, perhaps by force and in a direction picked at random. They find a land already occupied and ,needing space attack; the occupants defend. One side loses. Does it demand compensation? Fat chance. Never in History. How do you find the means to compensate the loser when the real wealth of a nation is its land, of which the winners had none and the losers had all. That was what the fight was about.
    In NZ’s case the fight was between a Stone Age culture and a Capitally intense advanced culture. No contest. Of course the Maori were cheated and the Treaty was a hoax. but it was cheaper than fighting, at which the Maori were doing quite well (much better than the Australian Aborigines – so no Treaty for them).
    This is what upsets old codgers like me – we are called racists by people who are ignorant of History and Economics. After 150 years, isn’t there a Statue of Limitations somewhere to render the Treaty null.
    The Coalition stands to lose the next election over this (and no I dont want a National Government). I just want the left wing to take the trouble to work out why they are upsetting so many old codgers. We are not all members of the KKK.

    In the present stand off at Ihumatao, it is impossible for any of the groups of combatants not to be racist, by the very nature of the argument, so I will accept that I will be seen as racist. So will you. The main racial groups involved are: Maori – a race in itself : Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon, white and old like me, for most of those of several generations) and , increasingly , Chinese and Indian. I suspect that all the non-Maori groups are seen as being hostile to Maori but I think it is more a dislike of the repeated wrangling that upsets them.
    I know little about Maori history and dont much care. Shouldn’t I care, knowing that the Maori had their land stolen away from them? Shouldn’t I respect the Treaty? My family’s home was bombed into oblivion in WW2, so we became refugees. Did we demand compensation? No. Do I hate Germans. Absolutely not. Did the Anglo-Saxons demand compensation from the Normans for being beaten at the Battle of Hastings? Are there still Normans alive to make demands of? What about demands on the Romans, or the British Empire for that matter.
    History is like that; a racial group of people depart from their homeland, perhaps by force and in a direction picked at random. They find a land already occupied and ,needing space attack; the occupants defend. One side loses. Does it demand compensation? Fat chance. Never in History. How do you find the means to compensate the loser when the real wealth of a nation is its land, of which the winners had none and the losers had all. That was what the fight was about.
    In NZ’s case the fight was between a Stone Age culture and a Capitally intense advanced culture. No contest. Of course the Maori were cheated and the Treaty was a hoax. but it was cheaper than fighting, at which the Maori were doing quite well (much better than the Australian Aborigines – so no Treaty for them).
    This is what upsets old codgers like me – we are called racists by people who are ignorant of History and Economics. After 150 years, isn’t there a Statue of Limitations somewhere to render the Treaty null.
    The Coalition stands to lose the next election over this (and no I dont want a National Government. I just want the left wing to take the trouble to work out why they are upsetting so many old codgers. We are not all members of the KKK.

    In the present stand off at Ihumatao, it is impossible for any of the groups of combatants not to be racist, by the very nature of the argument, so I will accept that I will be seen as racist. So will you. The main racial groups involved are: Maori – a race in itself : Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon, white and old like me, for most of those of several generations) and , increasingly , Chinese and Indian. I suspect that all the non-Maori groups are seen as being hostile to Maori but I think it is more a dislike of the repeated wrangling that upsets them.
    I know little about Maori history and dont much care. Shouldn’t I care, knowing that the Maori had their land stolen away from them? Shouldn’t I respect the Treaty? My family’s home was bombed into oblivion in WW2, so we became refugees. Did we demand compensation? No. Do I hate Germans. Absolutely not. Did the Anglo-Saxons demand compensation from the Normans for being beaten at the Battle of Hastings? Are there still Normans alive to make demands of? What about demands on the Romans, or the British Empire for that matter.
    History is like that; a racial group of people depart from their homeland, perhaps by force and in a direction picked at random. They find a land already occupied and ,needing space attack; the occupants defend. One side loses. Does it demand compensation? Fat chance. Never in History. How do you find the means to compensate the loser when the real wealth of a nation is its land, of which the winners had none and the losers had all. That was what the fight was about.
    In NZ’s case the fight was between a Stone Age culture and a Capitally intense advanced culture. No contest. Of course the Maori were cheated and the Treaty was a hoax. but it was cheaper than fighting, at which the Maori were doing quite well (much better than the Australian Aborigines – so no Treaty for them).
    This is what upsets old codgers like me – we are called racists by people who are ignorant of History and Economics. After 150 years, isn’t there a Statue of Limitations somewhere to render the Treaty null.
    The Coalition stands to lose the next election over this (and no I dont want a National Government. I just want the left wing to take the trouble to work out why they are upsetting so many old codgers. We are not all members of the KKK.

    In the present stand off at Ihumatao, it is impossible for any of the groups of combatants not to be racist, by the very nature of the argument, so I will accept that I will be seen as racist. So will you. The main racial groups involved are: Maori – a race in itself : Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon, white and old like me, for most of those of several generations) and , increasingly , Chinese and Indian. I suspect that all the non-Maori groups are seen as being hostile to Maori but I think it is more a dislike of the repeated wrangling that upsets them.
    I know little about Maori history and dont much care. Shouldn’t I care, knowing that the Maori had their land stolen away from them? Shouldn’t I respect the Treaty? My family’s home was bombed into oblivion in WW2, so we became refugees. Did we demand compensation? No. Do I hate Germans. Absolutely not. Did the Anglo-Saxons demand compensation from the Normans for being beaten at the Battle of Hastings? Are there still Normans alive to make demands of? What about demands on the Romans, or the British Empire for that matter.
    History is like that; a racial group of people depart from their homeland, perhaps by force and in a direction picked at random. They find a land already occupied and ,needing space attack; the occupants defend. One side loses. Does it demand compensation? Fat chance. Never in History. How do you find the means to compensate the loser when the real wealth of a nation is its land, of which the winners had none and the losers had all. That was what the fight was about.
    In NZ’s case the fight was between a Stone Age culture and a Capitally intense advanced culture. No contest. Of course the Maori were cheated and the Treaty was a hoax. but it was cheaper than fighting, at which the Maori were doing quite well (much better than the Australian Aborigines – so no Treaty for them).
    This is what upsets old codgers like me – we are called racists by people who are ignorant of History and Economics. After 150 years, isn’t there a Statue of Limitations somewhere to render the Treaty null.
    The Coalition stands to lose the next election over this (and no I dont want a National Government. I just want the left wing to take the trouble to work out why they are upsetting so many old codgers. We are not all members of the KKK.

  11. Dennis. In my view going through the settlement process and paying some compensation is a good way to start some healing and awareness of the land acquisitions in our young history. Bastion point was the big starter but there have been plenty of others and Ihumātao is the latest. There are always those who will have extreme views on both sides of these arguments and will never be happy. We know the compensation paid is nowhere near today’s value of these land areas but it’s not supposed to be. You make some good points in my view. Most countries in Europe have been conquered and colonised many times over and many in a lot more ruthless fashion than happened here taking into account our violent history. What would our world and cites look like today if immigration was stifled. Would NewYork have developed the same way without the Irish and immigrants from dozens of other countries. Of course not. The difference is that the American Indians didn’t get the same opportunities to preserve their cultural past as has happened here. As for the infrastructure it will get built and like everywhere else there will be growing pains.

  12. Mana whenua re-occupying Ihumatao say it is not a Treaty of Waitangi issue and neither is it a race issue.
    Because New Zealanders are not taught the history of their own country in the state education system, many are unaware about the true causes of the New Zealand wars which in the first instance were fought over sovereignty – not land or race. So quite a few Maori supported the British crown, and a smaller number of Pakeha supported te rangatiratanga. A little known fact is that those Pakeha “rebels” who threw in their lot with the Maori nationalist cause also had their lands confiscated in the raupatu.
    At Ihumatao the particular issue is whether 32 hectares of unjustly confiscated land should be restored to mana whenua as a memorial reserve, but at a deeper level British sovereignty is being contested by rangatiratanga, colonialism by mana motuhake, neo-liberalism by manaakitanga, divide and rule multiculturalism by kotahitanga, destructive exploitation of natural resources by tiakitanga.
    In all this the colonial regime is on a hiding to nothing. Around the struggle at Ihumatao, people of every age, faith and race are rejecting race sovereignty, colonialism and neo-liberal capitalism. They are embracing rangatiratanga, kotahitanga, mana motuhake, manaakitanga and tiakitanga.
    Sure there are people like Dennis Dorney (four by my count) who declare that they are not interested in our history and seem not to be interested in our present or the future towards which we are advancing. But whatever he might think, Dennis is not representative of our people. He is, by his own account, a first generation British immigrant who has made no attempt to understand what we are about. He is not unique in that respect, but still exceptional.

  13. Great informative comment Geoff however I feel you’re assuming a bit too much. The Mana Whenua who originally re occupied the land a week or so ago, may not see it as a Racial or a Waitangi issue, but I would suggest many who have followed them there do. In my opinion Your Informative history lesson describes a situation too complicated and removed for most, who see it simply as an opportunity to renegotiate Ihumātao because the land was sold privately before the Waitangi settlements took place. How do we know how individuals think or whether they have as thorough knowledge of our history as you. I personally doubt it.

  14. Surely the crunch is “Who is going to pay Fletchers for the land they legally bought and the money spent on it so far “

  15. Fletchers spent f-all.. if they and the government look towards a win win situation.. coronation gardens or market cove.. both in Mangere catchemnt ( both tits up because of developers stupidity) are available..or face a PR cockup that will ensure Fletchers never are considered for any government contract.. at all.

    • John Lennon: “Fletchers spent f-all.”

      That won’t be so: Fletcher has a consent to build. That would have cost it megabucks.

      “….they and the government look towards a win win situation….”

      Do you not understand? The government cannot get involved in this situation: the land is privately-owned.

      Many of you appear to see the government as having the solution here. It doesn’t. It cannot intervene without putting at risk the private property rights of all NZ citizens. Maori included.

  16. ” The Government buys the land. Instead of building 400 homes, Fletchers builds 100 affordable housing on a tiny bit of that land while ensuring the 40 houses for the local Iwi goes ahead. The rest of the land goes into a National trust and treasured as a historically important site ”

    Yeah Bomber that would seem to be the best outcome unless someone else has a better one.
    Grant will have too dip into the ” rainy day fund ” to clean this up before it starts to get real nasty and voter’s leave the Labour party for some one else.
    Who i have no idea but Bridges will roll out the welcome mat.

    The government will cop it either way but it cannot drag on as long as Motua gardens did with the Bolger governments and local councils hands off approach.

    Welcome to government Jacinda , Grant , Kelvin and James.

  17. Geoff Fischer, the reason that I am not interested in Maori history is that I know enough to make up my own mind. Advanced culture finds a Stone Age culture inhabiting a nice piece of real estate, covets it and takes possession of it. What’s new? This has happened hundreds of times in world history. I have admitted that the Maori were cheated but it is an unchangeable fact. The belief that a losing people can get compensation from the victors is just nonsense. History, which you say I am not interested in, is on my side.
    My lack of interest in Maori history should not be construed as apathy. I am appalled at the way the Palestinians have been abused by the Jewish people but what can I do (other than boycott Israeli produce, which I do), so I have to shrug it off. Maori ditto. This does not mean that I have no interest in New Zealand’s future. A few elections ago I stood for parliament in NZ for a small party. When I lived in Australia I stood 5 times for the Australian Democrats. Am I interested in NZ’s future? Yes. Maori past? No.
    You say that because I am a newcomer I do not represent the NZ people. Perhaps, in that case, I can get a refund of the taxes I have paid Maori by way of compensation. I can see that you give your share with a light heart, Geoff. I give taxes reluctantly to address a wrong that happened long before I migrated here and is owed to people long since dead.

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