The Daily Blog Open Mic – 17th February 2023

Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.


Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

The Editor doesn’t moderate this blog,  3 volunteers do, they are very lenient to provide you a free speech space but if it’s just deranged abuse or putting words in bloggers mouths to have a pointless argument, we don’t bother publishing.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, Qanon lunacy, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics, 5G conspiracy theories, the virus is a bioweapon, some weird bullshit about the UN taking over the world  and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.


  1. All is not well in the the hood. Its that Paul Majurey again!
    Wearing another hat, he’s piss’n Maori off as well as pakeha with his re-enactments of Hone Heke chopping down trees on Aucklands Maunga because hes the chair of the Tupuna Maunga Authority and at the same time trying on a Zelensky kind of ‘grift’ with ratepayers cash via Auckland Council and demanding they pay up with no questions asked funding of about $12m-$13m for 2022/2023.

    No public consultation, no input from iwi and no right to miss use the Mana of the Tupuna who all these Maunga represent. Hes from Thames.

    As you will read, he’s a cunt. An arrogant cunt!

    Trouble on the maunga
    Battles over felling exotic trees on Auckland’s Tūpuna Maunga highlight an inevitable clash of strong personalities and conflicting visions – but some say they’re also a warning sign about co-governance in action.

    “Auckland’s volcanic cones,” says the entry in Te Ara, the online Encyclopaedia of NZ, “were important sites of Māori occupation. They were ideal for palisaded fortresses, and were usually ringed with terraces of housing, storage pits, and large gardens on the fertile surrounding soil.”

    This entry dates from 2007, and you can tell its age from the language. Had it been written in 2023, the words “volcanic cones” would almost certainly have been replaced by “Tūpuna Maunga”, or ancestral mountains.

    * Co-governance – it’s nothing like you think
    * Reset on the Maunga

    It’s a small difference representing a big change, says Paul Majurey (Marutūāhu), iwi leader, environmental and Treaty lawyer, businessman, property developer and chair of Tūpuna Maunga Authority, the co-governance body in charge of 14 of the tūpuna maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau

    “These aren’t volcanic cones, these aren’t parks,” Majurey says. “They are tūpuna maunga and they are very different, very special.”

    The way they are governed, as much as what they are called, needs to reflect that special status, Majurey says.

    And that’s the role of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, established in 2014 as part of Treaty settlement legislation (the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act), which returned 14 of the Tūpuna Maunga to a collective of 13 iwi and hapū across Auckland.

    Maungawhau, Mt Eden. Photo: Te Ara

    The co-governance structure of the authority involves six mana whenua appointees and six Auckland Council appointees, with a common purpose – the “cohesive long term care” of the maunga “for the common benefit of the iwi/hapū of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau and the other people of Auckland”.

    “The Authority is independent of Auckland Council and has its own decision-making powers and functions,” the authority’s website says. “Auckland Council is responsible for the routine management of the maunga under the direction of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and the authority is seen as a tangible expression of the spirit of partnership between Ngā Mana Whenua and Auckland Council.”

    The Māori appointees chose the chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, and the council appointees the deputy. Over the last eight years, with the maunga under authority control, farm animals have been removed to protect the sites, pests (particularly rabbits) controlled, and traffic restrictions have been introduced, particularly to the most sacred part, the tihi or summit. There have also been some limits on alcohol and fireworks, plus track and land upgrades and native planting.

    Shared governance has seen a big change to how the maunga are treated, Majurey says.

    But change has also brought controversy – partly around the initial plans to ban vehicles and alcohol. But mostly around trees.

    The battle over the exotics

    Relatively early on in its existence, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority made a decision to remove “pest plants and exotic tree species, and replace them with natives in more appropriate locations”.

    Removing trees which had been planted by pākehā settlers, particularly near the tihi or summit, would return the maunga closer to what they might have looked like pre-colonisation, and also reinstate line of sight between one maunga and another.

    Forest & Bird supported the switch to natives, and the native birds, lizards and insects it felt they could bring back. Contractors began felling trees on some of the Maunga in 2019, and up to 2500 trees were earmarked for removal.

    Trees partially obstruct line of sight between Ōtāhuhu Mt Richmond and other Maunga. Photo: Nikki Mandow

    But many locals loved the trees on the maunga and the wildlife they already supported. With climate change and biodiversity important issues, they argued the removal of big, historic trees before their time was a crazy decision, and they began an occupation of Ōwairaka/Mount Albert.

    They also expressed frustration at the lack of information and discussion between the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and locals over the tree removal – and the fact council had approved the felling without any notification.

    Later on when tree removal at Ōwairaka (Mt Albert) became subject to legal action, court documents showed “no evidence of the authority having consulted around plans to remove all exotic trees – not even with representatives of the mana whenua iwi it purports to represent,” writes protester Yo Heta-Lensen in the NZ Herald.

    Shirley Waru has been walking amongst the exotic trees at Ōtāhuhu Mt Richmond for 30 years. Photo: Nikki Mandow

    Yo Heta-Lensen (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine) is a member of the protest group Honour the Maunga

    “The authority breaks tikanga all the time,” says another member Shirley Waru (Te Arawa), as she shows Newsroom around Ōtāhuhu Mt Richmond, the maunga where she’s been walking her dogs for 30 years. “They should let you talk.”

    Co-governance in the firing line

    Majurey is frustrated.

    “For goodness sake, it’s a couple of hundred hectares, where we wanted to achieve an outcome that reflects how the land was in the past – out of nearly half a million hectares in Auckland. And somehow that’s been described and morphed into other agendas going on. And that’s unfortunate because it detracts from what is a very important programme and principle.”

    He calls it “a clash of worldviews”, something Waru might not disagree with.

    “Tūpuna Maunga Authority argues you restore the mana and mauri of the mountain and their ancestors by taking the trees out,” Waru says. “I believe you take the mana and mauri from this community if you take trees out.”

    Newsroom’s role in this article is not to discuss the merits of either side of the tree debate, nor the arguments brought up in the court cases (there are many).

    But one unintended consequence of the Tūpuna Maunga fight over exotics has been to heighten racial tensions, and to put co-governance in the firing line.

    Some commentary gives a racist slant to the tree battles – Māori wanting to cut down Pākehā-introduced trees, Pākehā trying to save them, though of course the picture is more complex. There are non-Māori council members on the maunga authority, and Māori protesters in the Honour the Maunga group – Newsroom spoke to both.

    Paul Majurey believes co-governance, by this or another name, is part of the future of NZ. Photo: Auckland Council

    Paul Majurey talks about a “ridiculous discussion around removing exotics being somehow payback for colonialism”.

    That’s never been discussed or been in anyone’s thinking, he says.

    Honour the Maunga supporter Heta-Lensen, who is a senior lecturer at AUT University, talks about “structural shortcomings” in the co-governance model at the maunga authority.

    “Being Māori, my default position was to regard a co-governance structure as a positive step forward for our people, so it has been disappointing to discover most Māori are still left with no voice,” she writes.

    The Tūpuna Maunga Authority “is a Crown construct rather than informed by Māori cultural principles,” she says. “Thus, its practices undermine rather than support our own traditional values and practices.

    * Reset on the Maunga
    * More than a stoush over trees
    * Why urban trees are worth fighting for

    “Traditional Māori protocol [over tree removal] would have subjected such a significant decision to considerable consultation and discussion… By failing to consult, and undermining those who disagree with its proposed actions, Tūpuna Maunga Authority – enabled by Auckland Council – is acting in poor faith.”

    Waru, Heta-Lensen and the other protestors turned out to be on the side of the law in terms of the lack of consultation. Legal action about tree removal at Ōwairaka went right up to the Supreme Court, which last year ruled that affected communities, and the people of Auckland, had the right to a say on how any felling and replanting is done.

    Tree removal is largely on hold for the time being.

    ‘You should be afraid’

    Anna Radford was a key figure in the occupation at Ōwairaka (Mt Albert) in 2019. She showed Newsroom round the maunga, pointing out trees earmarked for removal.

    She says opponents don’t disagree with the overall strategy of replacing exotics with natives – it’s the speed and the timing they don’t like, and the way it was done without consultation.

    Honour the Maunga doesn’t have an official view on co-governance, she says, she says. “However, we believe Tūpuna Maunga Authority is an example of how not to do it.”

    “What you have with co-governance is an overlay of racially-charged politics. If you criticise [the authority] you are a racist.”
    – Anna Radford, Honour the Maunga

    “If you had asked me four years ago if I supported co-governance, I’d have said ‘Sure, sounds fair enough’. But what I have experienced over the last four years with Auckland’s largest co-governance body has left me with deep concerns.

    “If this is an example of what New Zealanders can expect, you should be afraid.”

    One of the things that worries Radford most is she feels when protestors stood up against the tree felling they were labelled – both by the authority and by media – as anti-Māori or anti-treaty.

    “You can’t blame it all on co-governance, but what you have with co-governance – that you don’t have if you come out against the decisions of a company, for example – is an overlay of racially-charged politics. If you criticise [the authority] you are a racist.”

    And that’s a potential problem as New Zealand looks to bring in more co-governance structures across more organisations – Three Waters, for example, Radford says. One we should be talking about.

    “Government saying ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of’ isn’t enough; it’s belittling.”

    Majurey doesn’t agree. He says criticism of co-governance gets thrown into the tree stoush mix “because it’s sort of flavour of the month in terms of political footballs”. He believes one of the reasons Honour the Maunga are angry is they expected council representatives on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority to be on their side – and they weren’t.

    “Council members aren’t there as council, nor are we there as mana whenua – we are all there for the maunga.”

    Is co-governance the problem?

    Auckland Councillor and former Mayor Christine Fletcher was inaugural deputy chair of Tūpuna Maunga Authority for two years after it was first established in 2014, and rejoined the authority after the local government elections last year.

    She believes it lost its way because it stopped concentrating on the ‘serving the needs of the other people of Auckland’ part of its mandate. One of the problems was a strong-willed chair – Paul Majurey – moving ahead with an agenda some in the community didn’t agree with, she says.

    Christine Fletcher became an Auckland Councillor in 2010 and was on the maunga authority board 2014-2016. Photo: Getty Images

    Majurey, who also chairs Eke Panuku Development Auckland, the council’s land development agency, and is involved in private sector property development through a relationship between iwi collective Marutūāhu and developer Ockham, is certainly a controversial figure.

    He has picked up criticism outside of his work with the maunga authority. Detractors have set up a website dedicated to Majurey’s business dealings. Meanwhile, last year Eke Panuku was the subject of a PwC report into management of conflicts of interest, and Majurey has been embroiled (in his role as chair) in a years-long legal battle between Marutūāhu and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

    “Paul Majurey is a big personality and I have a high respect for his fearsome intellect and legal prowess,” Fletcher says. “But people ought not to be intimidated about asking questions and hearing deputations. People should not have had to resort to legal challenges.”

    “I believe co-governance can work, but all the parties have to understand their roles and responsibilities.”
    – Christine Fletcher, Auckland councillor

    Combined with Majurey’s leadership style, Fletcher says, have been council-appointed members on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority “who didn’t push back enough” – at least after she left the authority in 2016. (“Paul is strong-willed, but I’m strong too.”) The result was that what started as a successful operating model became controversial.

    She says the initial commitment to re-establish native trees on the maunga didn’t envisage the mass-culling of exotics, more a gradual replacement of old trees. The change from the earlier plan wasn’t well-communicated, some board members didn’t challenge the decision, and it took a Supreme Court case to reset the process, she says.

    “I believe co-governance can work, but all the parties have to understand their roles and responsibilities. None of that would have happened if the councillors were doing their job and interrogating the organisational plans. But people were frightened to ask questions.”

    Majurey doesn’t agree. His own actions, or those of other authority members, are not what’s caused the battles over the trees, he says. And the way race has been used in the dispute detracts from the good work the authority is doing to restore the maunga.

    Meanwhile, co-governance “gets thrown in for good measure as something that’s bad”.

    Does Christine Fletcher think the expensive legal battles around Tūpuna Maunga Authority indicate a fundamental problem with co-governance?

    No, she says, although she believes it has set race relations back. “Co-governance should work; it should be possible if you have a functioning board… if all parties feel they are being heard.”

    She says having a particularly strong personality on any board – in the business world as much as in the political one – doesn’t always make for good governance.

    While the two scenarios are worlds apart, Newsroom is reminded of the $115 million collapse of construction company Mainzeal, which traded while balance sheet insolvent for years. The subsequent court action found one of the factors in the failure was that directors, including former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, didn’t push back hard enough against what they were being told by fellow director, and head of Mainzeal’s parent company, Richard Yan.

    Majurey says any criticism of the co-governance model is “unfortunate and negative, and insulting in a way” because it undermines the council involvement.

    “All these decisions are by the authority, not by mana whenua, and certainly not by me. But you get these brickbats thrown around: ‘This is mana whenua, this is payback time’.”

    Co-governance is a dirty word at the moment, he says, but that’s not the first time that’s happened with other ideas that later became mainstream. ‘Treaty settlements’ got a bad rap for a while and then became totally accepted, ‘closing the gaps’ was a political football, but was no less appropriate as a programme.

    “I see this as a moment in time and we are on that path of which co-governance is a part. I think things are changing – and in a good way. Whether it’s 10, whether it’s 20 years I think co-governance will be well-received, well-accepted.”

    • wow Denny the ultimate defender of Maori rights and taonga – you are an ultimate team all on your own, hope others will have joined you. You are needed, the hegemony of power and wealth and class ambitions ruining western society is a hard aspiration to resist – there is a desire to go to Harvard.

  2. When we finally go whacko and stop trying to find sanity and real humanity and goodness – perhaps we might find an alternative life and lack of purpose?

    In 1986, Charlie Pickering’s dad, Ron, was pushed into a pool by his best friend, Richard. What followed was an all-out water pistol ambush in a five-star restaurant and then ten years of tit-for-tat payback and near fatal high jinks that eventually involved the State Emergency Service. When maturity is the first casualty of war, things tend to escalate.

    Impractical Jokes is the true story of two seemingly responsible middle-aged men who opted out of having a mid-life crisis and instead gave themselves permission to be silly. It is also the tale of how Charlie finally learned something from his dad – that being grown-up shouldn’t mean losing your sense of humour – a lesson he lives to the full as one of Australia’s leading comedians.

    Charlie Pickering – Impractical Jokes (ongoing Practical Joke ‘War’)

    and Hella Nation charts Wright’s deeply personal journey, from his stark but sympathetic portrayals of sex workers in Porn Valley to his raw portrait of a Hollywood uber-agent turned war documentarian and hero of America’s far right. Along the way he meets runaway teens in Hollywood earning corporate dollars as skateboard pitchmen, radical anarchists plotting the overthrow of capitalism from tree-sits in the Oregon rainforest and young American troops on the hunt for terrorists in the combat zones of the Middle East. His subjects are people for whom The American Dream is either just out of grasp, or something they have chosen to reject altogether.

    Sometimes frightening, usually profane, and often darkly comic, Hella Nation is Wright’s meticulously observed tour of the jagged edges of all those other Americas hiding in plain sight.
    Book – Evan Wright – Hella Nation (In Search of Lost Tribes of America)

  3. A somnolent government and warped regional councils need to act to prevent the slash, one of the things that an interested townie is aware of wo=hich is harassing country folk in Tolaga Bay and elsewhere. Jobs should be done properly, better housekeeping done with the after effects.
    Clear-fell harvesting of pine forests on steep erosion-prone land has been identified as a key source of this phenomenon.

    So we need to ask why we harvest pine forests on such fragile land, and what needs to change to prevent erosion debris and slash being washed from harvested land.
    Pine was a solution
    Ironically, most of these pine forests were planted as a solution to soil erosion that had resulted from the clearing of native forests to create hill country pastoral farms.
    The clearing of native forests happened in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the consequences – erosion, flooding and floodplains covered in silt and rocks – only became apparent decades later.

    Research has shown that pastoral farming on our most erosion-susceptible soils is not sustainable. The productivity of the land is being degraded by loss of soil and large areas have been buried with sediment eroded from hill country farms upstream.

  4. How to debate so we can get where it’s a good place to go! Please read/listen to this fellow talk quietly about how we can argue with each other to effective ends.

    Bo Seo transferred from Korea – had to align his ideas with a new language and find how to put his ideas forward, get reasoned debate about them and appreciate the best result from combining ideas with others respecting truths. 11.50m How to Argue : Why You’re losing your arguments.
    Train for any argument with Harvard’s former debate coach | Bo Seo 2.34m Why Bo Seo Started Debating

  5. Can anyone advise Radionz or the leaner RNZ, if there is anything else happening ion NZ/Ao besides C. Gabrielle? It is a mistake to encourage us all in the belief that we can only cope with one disaster at a time; these are difficult times!


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