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New record set in ironic racism

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 pm, April 3rd, 2012 - 100 comments
Categories: Maori Issues - Tags:

This article was referred to me by my partner, who enjoys watching me pace around our house occasionally crying out “I MEAN, SERIOUSLY?”

Furious Devonport residents are threatening to occupy a naval base in a move usually used by Maori to draw attention to disputed land.

What’s wonderful about that opening line is the way it signals ever so subtly that “Devonport residents” and “Maori” are mutually-exclusive groups of people.

What’s simultaneously tragic and hilarious is how our media are taking this all very seriously. I mean, these people have occupied this land, sometimes for generations! They have a bond to it! And now the Crown, damn them, is just trampling all over their rights by conducting a commercial transaction over a piece of non-residential, no-longer-required-by-the-Navy, doesn’t-affect-access-to-any-beaches-but-might-mean-there-are-brown-people-on-them land.

Land which, just incidentally, the buyers originally owned/occupied.

But there’s no room for any analysis or questioning of this narrative, no room to acknowledge “oh hai, one of the reasons y’all have such mighty property values might have something to do with us fucking over the indigenous people of the area”. Nope, it’s all straight-faced “this is our land, why aren’t you consulting the community!” right up to the point of threatening to occupy the land.

Why people’s heads aren’t imploding from sheer irony is baffling to me. Why the same demographic of people [warning: generalisations inbound] who elect National MPs, who buy into rhetoric about how The RMA Just Stifles Development and We Need To Deregulate The Building Industry, now have the sheer gall to say “but they [read: brown people with ideas above their station] might just build a lot of infill housing and threaten our infrastructure, honest that’s my concern!” is a testament to the massive privilege they enjoy.

You’re not the righteous little guy standing up to the big mean [brown] Goliath, residents of Devonport. (I mean come on, it’s fucking Devonport.) You are the Goliaths. I can tell, you see, by the way your whinging about “community” and “consultation” and “access to the beaches” are getting taken seriously.

‘Cause let’s be honest, if you were Ngati Whatua and you wanted to cross some failed finance company CEO’s beachfront backyard to get to ancestral shellfish grounds to provide food to your marae as you’ve done for hundreds of years? You’d probably be shit out of luck. I’m guessing.

-QoT (reposted from her blog with her permission)

Note – for more QoT goodness head over to her blog: Ideologically Impure

100 comments on “New record set in ironic racism ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    So it seems the only thing worse than a government institution moving into your suburb is a government institution moving out of your suburb.

    The situation in Masterton all so comes to mind where they may use a redundant primary school for a temporary courthouse.

  2. I reckon that Tangata Whenua are the first go to people if you want to preserve something in public ownership.

    And I have to say this.  Man am I pleased that I am a westie and not a North Shore resident.  Even their geographical description is so insipid … 

  3. Hateatea 3

    Brings back memories of the newspaper commentary when the Wai 27 ( Ngāi Tahu) report came out, then settlement negotiations announced.
    Unfortunately, Devenport doesn’t have a monopoly on this way of thinking. It just happens to be today’s example.

    • QoT 3.1

      It’s also just such a wonderful example, Hateatea – the way the news camera panned over the community meeting to show white face after white face after white face, with maybe two identifiable (and non-Polynesian) people of colour present. Spoke volumes, which the reporter sadly neglected to mention.

      • Hateatea 3.1.1

        The MSM have a lot to do with how events such as these are perceived by all the parties involved. In my experience they are very good at allowing the bastions of privilege to feel important and validated when matters pertaining to iwi are being reported. Perhaps they think that iwi members can’t read or don’t buy their papers!

        • Vicky32

          The MSM have a lot to do with how events such as these are perceived by all the parties involved.

          And yet, I am reminded of a happening in the 1990s, when for an item about pre-schooling, 3 News came to Myers Kindy, where my son was, to film the kindy for background. What a performance! I am sure the head teacher bitterly regretted giving permission. Setting up what was a one and a half minute shot when we saw it that night, took hours. First thing the woman  did, was to seat all the brown kids at the front, and all the white kids behind them, then to bring the cameras in on a very tight angle to that only the first two rows of kids on the mat were visible. The woman had to visibly and audibly suppress her urge to swear and scream when an Island child got up, ran and got my (white) son from the back row where the woman had seated him, and brought him up to sit beside her in the front row.
          How it looked to my family in Welly who saw it – was as if L., was the only white kid attending an inner-city kindergarten. Why 3 News wanted to create that impression I don’t know. For the record, of 35 kids in that morning session (ca 1991), 6 were brown… 2 Islanders, 2 Indians and 2 from the middle east!

      • CnrJoe 3.1.2

        its tv QoT, the images spoke volumes, good post

      • grumpy 3.1.3

        Funnily enough QoT, I thought “white” was a colour………………

        • QoT

          Funnily enough, grumpy, “white” when referring to race tends to get used as a default, “people of colour” has a lot of background and development as a term to describe non-white people (hey, try to spot the problem with lumping all other races together as “non-white” if you can) and the kind of people whose first reaction to racist incidents is to whinge about “white being a colour too” tend to be, well, white. And racist.

  4. hoom 4

    Grew up in the area.
    Appalled at the blatant racism.

    I do think there is some aspect of media beatup drumming up the opposition though.
    All the articles said ‘clifftop coastal land’ replete with pictures of the gun emplacements & view of Rangitoto.

    Oh noes! I don’t want them to take away that nice park.

    Except the existing park will stay a park, isn’t part of the deal.
    Ngati Whatua spokesperson said they want to formalise & make permanent the currently tenuous access from South end.

    To be fair though, maybe 20yrs back the Navy tried to sell the area to private white guys for development & the people of Devonport fought against that too.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I just say thank gawd its not the Chinese buying this land. We’d have to put up with faux anti-racism stupidity from the RWNJs for weeks.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.2

      Yes, people in Devonport also fought the National Government who wanted to sell the land to rich developers back in the 1990’s. Just so people know, it’s only in the last 25 -30 years that Devonport has been taken over by the yuppie-types. Back in the 70’s it was a pretty dingy place, the villas were a bit run down etc, a bit like Ponsonby was before the yuppies moved in. I’ve been here since I was born so I should know something about that. And there are plenty of people in this area who are not rich and don’t vote National. We’ve owned the same property for over 58 years. It wasn’t worth anything back in the 50’s before the Harbour Bridge was built. The roads weren’t even sealed! And it still wasn’t very valuable till about 15 years ago when values started to move up much more quickly. The properties are valuable because of proximity to beaches, schools etc and because there is no available bare land for subdivisions in this area. So properties for sale are more scarce than other areas. We saved the land for future generations of all colours back in the 90’s. Please don’t tar all of us with the “rich, white, voted National” brush!

      • shreddakj 4.2.1

        My philosophy lecturer from summer school this year lives in Devonport. He’s a vegan and very liberal. I imagine you two are not representative of the general Devonport demographic though?

        • lprent

          They probably are. The canvassing I have seen shows devonport to be more like auckland central than takapuna

          • Ben Clark

            As the North Shore Labour candidate last election – we didn’t win Devonport, but have did in 2005, 2002, … This time we weren’t even close because lots of our voters went Green – so although it’s slowly trending blue with rising house prices, it’s hardly the National bastion that Takapuna and Milford are.

            QoT is missing a bit of history here. This is the same land that previous MP Wayne Mapp was almost lynched over when National tried to sell it shortly after he was first elected. Devonport is a very well-organised community (and yes, even most of the Maori have white faces) and did well to make sure that that land was added to Hauraki Reserve Marine Act (as well as not sold), so it couldn’t be developed. I would say that the complete lack of consultation on the lands removal from the Act that they fought so hard for was the motivation for most of that crowd.

            The vegan very liberal philosophy lecturer would have no better home in Auckland than Devonport – they don’t want Maori to fail to be compensated, they just don’t want an authoritarian National government telling them what to do with their community without so much as a word of consultation.

            (I will concede that also virtually every section has been subdivided, so space is at a premium and saying ‘infill housing’ is a fast way to raise hackles among many residents…)

            Yes it is horrendous the way media usually report Maori as a separate group (also recalling Iwi/Kiwi), but this isn’t Devonport v Maori, this is Devonport v Govt.

            [there are also questions of whether it’s being returned to the right hapu / iwi, but no whitey like me or the National Govt wants to get into Maori politics – best to deal with ‘them’ as one monolithic other.. 😉 ]

            • just saying

              According to the article, the controversial land (about 3 hectares) is not seabed or foreshore, so the marine reserve is unaffected. Furthermore, the land adjoins 12 odd hectares of reserve which includes access to the beach.

              I’m assuming the naval base is nothing like the reserve, is in fact buildings, and roads, so I can’t see how the neighbours could have gotten some kind of spiritual attachment to that piece of Papatuanuku. However, I would imagine it would be very attractive for locals, and particularly the nearest neighbours to extend the reserve onto the land. Property values would be enhanced.

              Who wouldn’t want a bush-reserve nearby? My home adjoins one and I’m already feeling attached after less than a year here, and am guerilla-planting endangered natives on it. But, there’s a bloody big difference between a local reserve and and old naval base. It seems pretty obvious that the residents have a huge sense of entitlement about the amenities they deserve. Twelve hectares of reserve is not enough for them.

              • Ben Clark

                The Marine Reserve is affected – there was a legal action launched by the protectors of the land the Tamaki Reserve Protection Trust on exactly that basis. The action has been withdrawn as the Government intends on changing the law so it can’t lose…

                There’s also considerable confusion as to what land is going – other media outlets draw a bigger space than the TV1 piece which just shows buildings. There’s large amounts of grass there that people from across Auckland come and use for their R&R time that may or may not be included.

                This may yet be one of those things that if there was proper consultation with the community the same deal would be agreed with very minor changes – but that’s not what has been done.

                Instead this has been sprung as a done deal on locals, including on the Trust set up to ensure the continued proper public use of this piece land.

                • just saying

                  Wow, so the land is beachfront adjoining a big reserve. Just across the bridge from Auckland city.

                  You can’t tell me there isn’t a big “Bastion Point” element in this issue. Certainly in how its being reported. The primest real estate is too good for those poor brown people, they don’t deserve views and a short walk to the beach. Isn’t there some marginal land next to the poor suburbs, well outside the city, flat, inland…?

                  • Ben Clark

                    No, I’ve found no “[t]he primest real estate is too good for those poor brown people, they don’t deserve views and a short walk to the beach. Isn’t there some marginal land next to the poor suburbs, well outside the city, flat, inland” views whatsoever. There may be some, as there are in any community, but those aren’t the loudest voices at any rate.

                    There’s a nice undeveloped coastal area on Ngataringa Rd that there’s no complaints about. The 250 navy houses across the peninsula that’s part of the deal only has raised concerns that it enables the government to get out of Navy housing, not that Maori are the recipients.

                    No this is largely about history. A large battle was fought against the last National government to keep this land in public ownership (selling to non-Maori interests). Structures were set up to protect precisely this bit of land falling out of public ownership. A new National government and… what happens?

            • QoT

              almost lynched over

              Nice choice of words there, Ben. And by “nice” I mean “oops, your ass is showing a little.”

              And sure, draw a line between “Devonport vs Maori” and “Devonport vs Government” if you like, but let’s not pretend that the story would get this much attention if it weren’t “Devonport vs Government when Government is fulfilling Treaty obligations to brown people who got fucked over so that white people could live in historic villas on the beach.”

    • Hami Shearlie 4.3

      The Navy didn’t try to sell it! They only lease it. The Nat Govt tried to sell it!

  5. bad12 5

    The good people of the Shore should in fact take a moment to reflect,if they all now feel such a deep attachment to the land after how long?,one,two decades of occupation can they all for a moment not begin to understand the Ngati Whatua kaitiaki over this piece of land,

    After-all Ngati Whatua had an occupation of mere hundreds of years befor their eviction,

    Really we dont want to stoop to the usual derogatory reaction we usually explode into on such occasions but we get the distinct impression that should one of these concerned citizens see a Maori walking up ”their” street they would probably bolt for the phone to call the cops,

    For gods sake are they all really that brain dead, wont one of them at least FUCKING WAKE UP FROM ZOMBIELAND and ask Ngati Whatua to meet with them to discuss their mutual love of that particular piece of land,

    Damn,at the very least they all will get a free feed…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Ngati Whatua were evicted a lot earlier than that.The earliest European settlers found the isthmus mostly deserted as a result of the Musket Wars.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Indeed,but then the Colonizers had learned earlier on that moonshine,muskets and bibles was a far more economic means of removing obstacles than having to import the King,s own all the way from dear old England,(or anywhere else for that matter),

        After discovering the various inter-generational conflicts existing between various tribes it wasnt unheard of for the Colonials to arrange shipping of one taua into the opposition tribes territory complete with musketry in order for them to continue old disputes and (presumably)to foster the removal of a particular group off of a particular piece of land,

        While it was a matter of sticks and stones the status quo among the combatants remained the same but once fire-arms were introduced in many cases of historical differences favoring (on purpose?),the better arming of one side over another then the more ”clever operators” among the colonial hierarchy while also gaining financially from supplying the arms,(to both sides),could also gain in the form of assets in having one side in such a conflict force another off of a desired piece of real estate…

  6. Uturn 6

    Claims in media reporting that locals are “ashamed” of Ngati Whatua reveal the attitude of the Superior Man. That we believe we have the stature, the importance, that social organisation and economic ascendency somehow gives us the moral right to be ashamed, shows us who we are. It’s hard to see our own behaviour when we have not experienced either great shifts in personal fortunes or else possess a useful dose of cultural self-awareness. Neither of which is encouraged within our culture; we prefer to use people for our own ends. We think we are so powerful that our cobbled together vocally active groups have the extra-legal right to give maori – or any race we feel is powerless – autonomy in their own affairs, but only if they please us with their plans.

    The clash of culture, reality, ignorance and law in this issue can get confusing and, perhaps unintentionally, exacerbates racial relations. Activists and residents in Narrow Neck/Devonport are not owed a duty of care by maori to allow the undisturbed continuation of the idyllic lives they now lead simply because they have worked together in the past. Reality says otherwise: it’s every man for himself these days, competition and accumulation, legal might is right – haven’t you noticed? That a spokesman for maori says they will take some care is a generous gift of goodwill, forgiveness and deference to the spirit of The Treaty, exhibiting a greater understanding of the issues. When it comes to pakeha having to deal in the spirit of the Treaty, nine times out of ten we first try to change the law and cite what is good for the economy, to weasel out. Then we make tourism TV ads about how maori are our best mates. Only when snookered by our long-term political ambitions do we change course. So on the one hand, we have pakeha asking maori to be mates since they’ve worked together in the past, in the spirit of modern reality, while trying their best to backstab them with the law, then when that doesn’t work demanding they attend to the spirit of the Treaty, as an attack line? It’s plain as day.

    Pakeha assume they are superior in all things, they have never taken a universal cultural fall even after the almost complete collapse of the Empire that once called NZ a colony. Undoubtedly, pakeha up to this time possesses the power to control maori influence legally. To be racist, you need to have the power to discriminate.

    It would be an understatement to say maori are sensitive to the principle of discrimination. In this issue they wish to act honourably. Perhaps their sensitivity is wasted on us. Activists might believe they helped out altruistically, but now their words imply they want payment, payment in maori autonomy. Instead of facing the truth that pure altruism does not exist, and ignoring all historical contexts, they feel betrayal. Casting it all aside with pseudo-Christian sentiment, they say two wrongs do not make a right. How offensive. They say that if they hadn’t helped a few years ago, maori wouldn’t have the option of possessing that land now… wouldn’t have the option to be owed that which they are already owed.

    Maori don’t need to earn what is already theirs. That is a cultural blindness we have: The person or people owed, who has already paid many times over, far past what is fair, cruel and excessive; not just in loss of material property and locality, but the legacy of spiritual and emotional wounds; must still pay us in autonomy to receive what we call a settlement. Our cultural reasoning is that since they have not collected their debt earlier, even if the debtor has actively stopped them collecting, means they are inferior. Treating a race as inferior, is racism.

    Saying maori will build “cheap” infill housing without any proof, and in associating cheap with maori from our point of view, we are saying they are inferior people. We claim they are inferior by being cheap, because in our culture, expressions of wealth is all that matters. Our culture claims the rich man is also the moral man; our god rewards “good” deeds with wealth. We are a nasty bunch. We make fools of ourselves by thinking maori can’t see it. We are like children, imagining we are invisible by holding our hands over our eyes. Not only are we fools, we have been fools for a long time after maori used our own techniques to tell us we were.

    Whatever maori organisation ends up with title over the land in question – and becasue they appear to recognise existing legislation – they have within existing legal parameters, rights and agreements, the choice of its disposal. As Finlayson says, returning land to maori in the way it has been and annoying a few locals, is nowhere near the level of outrage maori has suffered. Europeans turned up here, enforcing our condescending will like the barbarian invaders we were – a trend that continues. We are lucky that thanks to our laws, there is nothing maori can do to that land that will perpetrate the kind of evil to the local community that we did to them.

    The only bright side to this sad picture, is that racism is not a terminal disease if we choose to stop it. How’s about, just once, pakeha at street level be the first to act in the Spirit of the treaty?

    • Ben Clark 6.1

      locals are “ashamed” of Ngati Whatua
      Link please? I’ve neither heard this, nor does it ring true.

        • Ben Clark

          Oo, that’s some nasty editing. I wonder what he said in the second half of his sentence?

          I can assure you that locals feeling ashamed of Ngati Whatua is not the predominate feeling. Locals want to compensate for those grievances, but they’d also like to be part of the process.

          • Uturn

            What you’re telling me is that the opinion of one man did not reflect the overall tone of the meeting and the comments of the other people? By looking at the news article, clearly that isn’t so. Owning the not so nice side of society, as well as the good, is what part of this issue is about.

            Now I would imagine that since that one man is clearly identifiable, anyone could find out who he is and find out his affiliations, so before you go saying he’s just a random nobody, be careful. It is beyond plausibility that his views could exist in a vacuum. Like any man, he is a certain kind of victim of his own culture. Though his racism – and the more sophisticated rhetoric of the others – is clear, his motivation is not. I would hope it is the kind of necessary ignorance all of us possess at some point; the kind of ignorance that leads to awareness.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Um, unless you have access to all the footage from the meeting you have no way of knowing what narrative you are being presented with – this is a “story” – a news story. Not a report.

              It seems that there are some false impressions among the protesters – I wonder where they came by those notions…

              • Uturn

                I see, so nothing to see here, nothing can be proved, everyone move along. Is that it? Pathetic. If you believe a great injustice has been propagated by tvnz, lay a complaint with the BSA, then everything will see the light of day. Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re not really that interested, eh.

  7. Jono 7

    Super ironic as the good burghers of Devonport are more than happy to use claims of ancestral Maori ownership, and supporting treaty claims to try and stymie development they disagree with.

  8. Ant 8

    The rightful owners have a small percentage of their land back, outraged Devonport residents can suck on it.

  9. vto 9

    Well fuck me and fucking this and fucking that. Here are some well of people who are unhappy. Fuck them for being white and fucking rich.

    QoT, your post does nothing except the very thing you are complaining about i.e. be racist and bigotted. Try holding a mirror up to yourself. Try analysing with some credibility the thing they are saying. Irony? You betcha – just not quite in the place you assume. All you have done is assumptions, not a thing else.

    What a piece of fucking shit that post is.

    • QoT 9.1

      Oops, you’re right, vto. I’ve been unladylike and now none of the handsome boys will dance with me at the Harvest Ball.

      • You are funny 9.1.1

        Haha. I’d dance with you at the harvest ball. I might even let you hold my hand if you play your cards right. haha.

        In all seriousness tho, that was a funny retort.

    • you’re ranting vto

      Brillant post as usual QoT – thanks. As far as I can tell none of the fears are based on a reality of what tangata whenua may do. It is great to have a strong light shone on this.

      • QoT 9.2.1

        Thanks marty!

      • vto 9.2.2

        Sorry? Who’s ranting?

        And on what pray tell is this light being shone?

        see if you can be specific. and try backing it up with some reason and evidence..

        because QoT is lost at sea, as shown by the very first line in her post, let alone her pathetic replies to those who wasted time in commenting.

        the bigot extraordinaire

        • QoT

          as shown by the very first line in her post,

          No, really, do go on. I’m dying to see where this goes.

          • vto

            QoT I have already commented in kind on your post and pointed out its substantial and fundamental weaknesses (all you have to do is pull out the swear words – can you communicate like that?). To which you have given no further comment other than some smart reference as to whether you care or not..

            In addition I have suggested that you have given nobody who has commented during the day any respect by posting anything other than a smart-arse response. But do feel free to prove this particular matter incorrect too.

            So its your turn. Say something worth reading.

            • Hateatea

              Neither QoT nor anyone else should need to take your posts and edit out the obscenities in order to ascertain what you might be trying to say. You are the person who needs to exercise moderation if you wish to be taken seriously.
              Up to now I have given you the benefit of the doubt on iwi issues. That goodwill is  fast eroding. (Not that I expect my viewpoint to be given great value)

            • QoT

              Nah, still your turn, vto. Go ahead and explain why I’m “lost at sea” and what the fuck my first sentence has to do with it. Fuck fuckity fuck, cockbag.

            • Anna

              When did you do that? When you said you didn’t like swear words? That’s not really a critique or analysis of strengths and limitations though is it? It’s just outlining that you don’t like swear words. Neither do I, but I take personal responsibility and not read stuff that I find offensive (or try to take the moral high-ground feigning faux offense).

              Clearly, QoT has said something worth reading. I found it interesting and funny. Obviously, you didn’t – so why aren’t you just honest about that instead of trying to take the “I know you are, but what am I” line (re: Lacanian mirrors etc whereby you may have missed the “fundamental” issue (or material point) about, you know, becoming self-aware which is pretty much a core sub-text to QoT’s original post).

              Just saying, blah, blah and even though I don’t particularly like swearing in dialogue, I did find the term “cockbag” very funny.

          • Uturn

            He likes to go the long way round to illustrate his belief that rich people should be able to do as they please. Yesterday it was culling pesky sharks that ruined his day out, today inconvenient maori historical claims. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe damn bloggers who don’t know their place.

        • marty mars

          lucky for you that you don’t have a moderator on your six for attacking a guestposter

          [lprent: I looked at it earlier. Decided that the comments had stayed surprisingly on topic through the post. That either QoT or vto or both were channelling Felix playing with his food and I’d be interested on where that wound up.

          Just for the record, I agree with Ben. The crowd over at Devonport are going to be less likely to be pissed with Ngati Whatua than they are with the government for doing this crap to them again. I know quite a few from over there.

          The Ngati Whatua will be really pleased to gain that asset, and they are bloody unlikely to sell anything there. Whatever happens will be done on leaseholds or rentals. But they will be excellent neighbors. I know quite a few of them as well.

          Be pleased that the government no longer will control that land and that there are new neighbors. ]

          • vto

            Perhaps it is luck marty mars.

            Or perhaps it is because what has been said has merit.

            • marty mars

              oh – well maybe we will get a guestpost from you oneday – should get lots of views and comments and hopefully won’t attract ranters who say things like

              let alone her pathetic replies to those who wasted time in commenting.

    • Hateatea 9.3

      Gee, vto, did you get out of bed in a bad mood this morning? Whatever you think of QoT’s post, I see no need for the language in the first two and last sentences.
      If you want to come up with concrete examples in the post by QoT that you have issue with, quote them and then give your analysis of the error. Your post, as it stands, is just vitriolic and reflects poorly on you

      • vto 9.3.1

        Hateatea, as explained it was a response in kind. A reflection like a mirror to her own vitriol.

        • Hateatea

          Sorry, vto, I must have missed the bit where QoT ranted as you did. Perhaps if you could reply using the exact quotes of QoT’s that you define as a rant that might help me understand

          • vto

            Look, sorry if I have upset your sensibilities but that’s it for me. The post is riddled with racism, assumptions with no evidence (even admitted in the last stupid sentence), and just outright bigotry (paragraphs 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, & 8).

            It is like the people at this meeting make QoT’s skin crawl. Can you not smell her vitriol? And that reflects on her.

            That was what I was trying to expose in her post with my various comments of various shades.


            • Hateatea

              QoT has blogged her opinions on the recorded statements of members of the Devonport community vis a vis the purchase by Ngāti Whātua of part of their ancestral land from the Crown.
              That they are HER opinions and impressions is clear and that she finds the publicly expressed opinions of members of the Devonport community very distasteful is obvious.
              She admits to generalising about what some of the thought processes might be but is that any worse than what has been bandied around in the opposition to Ngāti Whātua? She owns her opinions and her biases. Has the Devonport community been as honest?
              Last but not least, vto, how about you holding the mirror up to yourself? Your response to QoT’s post has been, in my opinion, just a little over the top

              • QoT

                Thanks, Hateatea. Unfortunately for vto, I’m ~totally over~ even trying to engage seriously with people whose immediate “counter-argument” against me is YOU SAID BAD WORDS, BAD GIRL.

                The irony feels especially strong since I’ve just watched an episode of Almighty Johnsons, a show whose awesomeness I ascribe in part to their very Kiwi casualness about naughty words.

                • lprent

                  Never underestimate the power of BAD WORDS.

                  Peiodically I or others will decide that the appropiate course of action for certain behavioural repairs is to deliberately wind someone up, which happens every so often. Typically it happens to people newish to the net who haven’t figured out why people tend to be moderately polite in a robust argument kind of way – ie noisy, impolite, argumentative, rude etc – but always willing to let the other person have their say before they slice them off at the knees… But some people think that they can just play noisy dominance games and fail to do their share of the arguing.

                  It isn’t worth merely shunning or banning them. They will just come back with the same crap later because they don’t learn from it. So I or someone else will demonstrate the net version of the “bigger shark” technique. That there is always a bigger shark, that what people dish out has been done many times before, it is painful being on the receiving end, that there is an art form in doing it effectively, and they don’t have it.

                  Usually takes about 5-10 comments to shift someone from sneering to apoplexy. Usually the trigger that does the phase change is a few well chosen BAD words at the right point in the conversation with aspersions on their character. Remarkably effective wee words when you need them.

                  And incidentally it worked a treat on me in about 1986

                  • QoT

                    I love the power of bad words, personally. Wait, you probably knew that already. 😛

                    And I don’t shun, as a rule. I just take the piss until something else comes along to play with.

                    • vto

                      You are full of it QoT.

                    • QoT

                      Yes. I am amazingly full of awesomeness, and self-confidence. Yet sadly unfull of giving-a-fuck about people who buy into shaming tactics playing on society’s expectations of women’s behaviour. Sadly.

                    • vto

                      Are you ever going to move on from shallow assumptions? Where have I tried “shaming” you? And where have I referred to “society’s expectations of women”? Nowhere. You wanna try reading and thinking a little closer instead of just instantly dumping your prejudices all over the place – it just stinks the place up..

                      Here is an anecdote – last year a young man was going ballistic in a carpark at a man who had, apparently, done some bad driving. There were young familes and elderley around. The young man was ranting and screaming out of control banging on his windscreen and trying to yank his door open. With people getting nervous I stepped into the scene to try and break the madness and the only way appeared to be to act in the same mad manner. So I did. And it worked. The madman stopped, looked up, ranted and abused me too of course and then stormed off. This is the same situation as you and your post imo.

                      As to the post, I have read the article and watched the vid. The things you claim are there simply don’t exist. This is supported by the fact that your post quotes nobody and points to no evidence. As I have said several times now – all you have are assumptions. You even admit it yourself. What I do see is an issue custom made for someone with predetermined ideas to go dump their vitriol and biases in.

                      Can you point to one person or statement in the article or vid which is racist?

                      Can you point to how and why “mighty property values” in surrounding streets are relevant to the story?

                      What leads you to the statement “Brown people acting above their station”?

                      Why the reference to “failed finance company ceo’s”? Was there one of them there? What did he say?

                      I raised these types with marty mars above and asked for reasons and specifics. He didn’t and instead concentrated on me as usual and my first “break the madman” fucked comment. So now I challenge you…

                      Back up those claims and assumptions you have dumped here with reason and specific detail and evidence. Because now 24 hours later they are still lacking.

                      (and I am just going to get ahead of you here to ask you to note that my points do not concern the actual situation in Devonport, that has not been my point, but instead it has been the manner of how you have gone about making your points on that situation.)

                      Over and almost out for easter and its eggs.

                    • vto

                      Oh, no answers I see…

                      And nowhere else in this entire post and thread is there any link evidenced between your shallow prejudices and the words and acts of the people you berate.


                      Assumptions are all there have been.

                      Oh, and a few taggers-on who hold similar predetermined ideas based on the colour of a group of people’s skin.

                      I’m going back to the boondox – at least its honest.

                    • QoT

                      Dude, I was doing this thing called “not feeding the troll.” But thanks for the bonus giggles:

                      Oh, and a few taggers-on who hold similar predetermined ideas based on the colour of a group of people’s skin.

                      Yes, yes, the poor whiteys of Devonport, that most oppressed of groups.

                      A final note: when a person’s post clearly notes that they are making generalisations, you probably won’t do too well attacking them for making generalisations (that is, after your first pathetic “naughty girl, using bad language!” attempts fail abysmally.)

                    • vto

                      Ok dudette, I’m going to leave it for now, despite my points being ignored. And I do not consider my points through this thread as trolling. The mods would have hauled me up if I had been out of line and trolled.

                      I am going to wait another time to take up these issues which are prevalent in certain mindsets (as are the mindsets you point to tho do not prove in the particular instance)..

                      And thanks for the admission (noted in the original thread) of generalisations. That has been one of my points. Assumptions etc. That is one of the reasons I have called the post useless. I mean, seriously, perhaps I should pen a similar polemic myself.

                      Anyways, you are clearly strong willed and have strong opinions. The world needs all types so good for you. Just realise that counter-weights exist to keep the world in equilibrium.

                      Now, back to the boondox and fresh sea-run trout for lunch.


  10. freedom 10

    Has anyone asked Ngati Whatua what they plan to do with the land after the Navy lease term?

    Seems that people don’t usually hand over $14 million dollars for some land without a plan.
    Some clear facts in this story would be useful?

    How much is the Navy lease costing the taxpayer?
    small details like that would be nice to know.

    and as it appears nothing at the site will even change for approximately 15 years, aren’t there bigger fish that need frying.

    • QoT 10.1

      Why does it matter? Sure, the usual laws around permits and resource management etc should apply to Ngati Whatua as they apply to all landowners, but do you really believe, as your comment kinda implies, that righting historical injustices should only take place if the people who’ve been injured by that injustice promise to keep doing things the way their oppressors like?

      • clandestino 10.1.1

        I hope you’ll be stoked when that beautiful public park is turned into millionaires row when/if the lure of filthy lucre proves too much to resist.

        So-fucking-short-term-ism. The least we could expect is it to be legislated against.

        But I’m a racist what would I know.

        • QoT

          Did you leave this on the wrong post? Because I’d hate to think you just read my comment, which clearly indicated that usual practice around development should apply to Ngati Whatua landowners just like it does to everyone else, and then embarrassed yourself by exposing your lack of comprehension to the world, with a little MartyrCard swiped in for good measure.

        • Hateatea

          ‘I hope you’ll be stoked when that beautiful public park is turned into millionaires row when/if the lure of filthy lucre proves too much to resist.’
          Have you not read all the discussion regarding the fact that the land involved is the Naval Base, not parks and reserves?
          If you have and you still posted the above then yes, you have identified yourself as a racist

      • freedom 10.1.2

        “as your comment kinda implies ……to keep doing things the way their oppressors like?”

        I said nothing of the sort your majesty, i asked a couple of questions, clearly and simply. I offered no opinion either way except that there are many serious problems in NZ today ( yes land claims being high on the list) and i do not think stressing out over who gets to profit from the next habitat for millionaires is all that important.

        As was stated the Navy have decided to keep the status quo and lease the land for another 15 years. There should be ample time for debate on what the community feels it needs and what the Iwi want to see happen. Everyone getting their panties in a wad is not going to help.

        one other thing, your baseless assumption that my question pertaining to the unknown use of the land by Ngati Whatua was focused on resource consents and planning permissions only exposes your own prejudices and narrow mindset. Did you even consider that my question can just as easily be referencing the possibility that Ngati Whatua may have great plans to return the area to as natural a habitat as possible and open the land for all New Zealanders to enjoy? Didn’t think so.

        • QoT

          Ok, freedom, simple question: why does it matter what Ngati Whatua plan to do with the land, as long as it’s within the law? It’s their land. They are being returned a small piece of it which was never meant to be permanently removed from them. Asking “but what are they going to do with it” is a question which implies their intentions have any relevance to the Crown doing the right thing.

          And if the protesting residents of Devonport are generally of the view that “oh well, as long as they’re doing nice, white-people-approved things with it, we’re okay with them owning the land” then … oops, I appear to have stood in some vast pile of racial and class privilege.

          • freedom

            Misquoting someone is not to be taken lightly correct? You have often commented on that very topic. Look at what you just quoted. Now look at what i actually wrote. Now go back and read it all again and take your baseless accusations somewhere else. My original post has nothing but your garden variety devil’s advocate questions from someone wanting to hear from both sides. Nothing more.

            I can see you have had a few heated exchanges during the day but that is no reason to fling your handbag at anyone who walks into the room. Sweet dreams.

            • Adele

              “Did you even consider that my question can just as easily be referencing the possibility that Ngati Whatua may have great plans to return the area to as natural a habitat as possible and open the land for all New Zealanders to enjoy? “

              Why should Ngāti Whatua or any Iwi for that matter go out of there way to purchase land back (that they previously ‘owned’) using money they have fought 170 years to get to then simply return it to a natural habitat for all New Zealanders to enjoy.

              I personally think they should build huge tall apartment blocks onsite – let’s call it a Maoritropolis. A gated community to keep the hypocritical New Zealander out.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                That’s the guts of it: questions as to Ngati Whatua’s intentions are irrelevant. It’s none of anyone else’s business. The neighbour’s house is up for sale. Do I have a right to question potential buyers about their intentions, and reject the ones of which I disapprove, or would that in fact make me a nosy and un-neighbourly nuisance?

                Ngati Whatua will have to comply with the RMA like everyone else. That’s all.

                • freedom

                  please do not put words into my mouth as that is the sort of thinking that causes conflict. A person has a right to ask questions, it is called seeking knowledge. Using that knowledge to inflict your own judgement or prejudices is an entirely different affair and is a tryst i was not party to.

                  Using your own example, You most certainly can ask what a prospective neighbour plans to do after they buy the place next door. People do it every day. If the person buying your neighbor’s house is a known representative of a large commercial entity and if you personally believe the purchase may alter the purpose/function of the property it allows you to plan ahead and make any adjustments to your own life plans that you decide are required once you have that information. Again something people do everyday.

                  Acting on that knowledge to suppress the actions of another is when all your comments about rejecting plans and denial of rights came into play and my comments had no such content.

            • QoT

              fling your handbag

              Aw, lookit that. Racist and misogynist. But those things so rarely go hand-in-hand!

  11. hoom 11

    I believe the area in question is this
    Park access from South East end of Narrow Neck beach in top of pic.
    Currently tenous access to the park from South end to be formalised in this deal.
    Not sure about the status of the triangular bit in the north, used to be Navy buildings there but is now open space so it might not be included.
    Sports ground & park/gun emplacements specifically excluded from the deal.
    Original issue in the 90s was they were going to sell the entire block including the clifftop by my recollection.
    My interest was in the clifftop bit with gun emplacements that is now a park.
    I really don’t care about the rest as long as that park remains.
    Using it for a Treaty settlement seems like a pretty good use in my opinion.

    Edit: PDF map from DoC
    So the triangle bit is actually separate, under Auckland Council O_o

  12. Hami Shearlie 12

    What I want to know is why Ngati Whatua fought with the local residents to have the land included in the Marine Park in the 90’s , but now they are going back on this and want the land for themselves? No-one objects to land being handed back down in Ngataringa Bay for instance. But Narrow Neck is different. Devonport people want it preserved for everyone to use in perpetuity! Why is that so wrong? There are of course, questions about which tribe did indeed use that land all those years ago, was it just Ngati Whatua or did others use it too? Seems to be quite a complex issue!

    Ngati Whatua claim it’s not the coastal land they are buying. But the point is that this “strip” of land designated for a public walkway is all very well, but what happens when the cliff erodes(living here for over 50 years I know it happens all the time) and half of it ends up on the beach below? I know someone living on the sandstone clifftop at Narrow Neck, who woke up one day after heavy rain to discover that half his section had disappeared- just how wide will the public access be when(not if) that happens?Or will it completely disappear over time?

    • QoT 12.1

      But Narrow Neck is different. Devonport people want it preserved for everyone locals, who happen to be predominantly white and privileged to use in perpetuity!


      • Hami Shearlie 12.1.1

        People can’t help if if they’re born white! Besides, I know plenty of Maori people who live here and are locals too! And many people who live here are not rich. It’s a real mixture. From what I’ve read, the land was sold by the Maoris in the 1800’s. But maybe others will know more about that aspect of things.

        • Anna

          Seriously – is that the line you’re taking? White people are victim of the arbitrary circumstances of birth? I don’t even know how that is relevant to any of the discussion, except may to lay claim to some form of inverted victim status.

          If you really want to know more on the subject, you could try a few books in the rather large volumes of material focusing on NZ history. I suggest you start with Belich (I quite like his writing style) and Ranginui Walker focuses on Ngati Whatua in his Kawhai work (this might be a bit too “radical” for your tastes though). There’s also the Orakei Report which is on the history of Ngati Whatua and their claim to the Waitangi Tribunal.

          • Hami Shearlie

            Anna, if you’re happy for the Govt to change the law any time they like, to placate certain groups then that’s fine for you ! I’m not OK with that. Not for Warner Bros, The Chinese Govt for Crafar Farms and not for Ngati Whatua either. This battle was fought in the 90’s with Ngati Whatua alongside the people of this region. Why are the tribe now doing a flip-flop?

            • Anna

              I don’t think Ngati Whatua have flip-flopped. As said in my earlier post: I think some people are assuming common interests across the board. If you want to know why Ngati Whatua have changed their minds (in your view – I don’t think they have) then why don’t you engage in dialogue with them and ask? Or is that approach too personal and sensible?

              As for the Government changing the law – I actually laughed out loud at your comments. I guess a “nuanced approach” in discussion is not your strong point – so let me make this clear: Maori know all about how legislation is changed at a whim (usually at the whim of people who look like the Devonport demographic) because their sense of entitlement is never-ending. The theme of my comment was writ large as a “welcome to the world of Maori”.

        • QoT

          People can’t help if if they’re born white!

          Hark! The cry of the privileged!

          • Hateatea

            One of the things that I have come to realise is that the dominant culture don’t even realise (most of them) how their view and sense of entitlement is shaped by their sense of class, place, ethnicity etc until an issue like this comes along, right on their doorstep and threatens <b>their</b> status quo.
            Yes folks, racism is alive and well in Devonport, sad though it is. All those who say they don’t see or hear it are missing the subtext that all minorities get used to hearing. Keep to your place, don’t rock the boat,be grateful, be humble but will you bring some seafood and the guitar when you come to the school barbeque

            • Hami Shearlie

              You don’t seem to know that many Pacific Islanders and Asians and other races come over to Narrow Neck for picnics and days out. The beach is not just used by local people. The beach is shared by many, many different groups of people. You seem to be unaware of this.

              • QoT

                And those Pacific Islanders and Asians also benefit from the property values which are buffered by those parks and beaches … oh wait, no.

                You know, Hami, I’m going to throw you a bone here. No one ever comes out looking good by saying “I’m not racist, some of my best friends are black!” And that’s exactly what you’re doing here.

              • Hateatea

                ‘You don’t seem to know that many Pacific Islanders and Asians and other races come over to Narrow Neck for picnics and days out. The beach is not just used by local people. The beach is shared by many, many different groups of people. You seem to be unaware of this.’
                And the relevance of this is what??
                No ones access to the beach is threatened, in fact, I read several references that it would be improved. The Navy are to continue to lease the land for at least 15 more years. Will someone please tell me, <b> what is the real problem</b>?
                QoT and some others seem to agree with me that bigotry is at the root of the problem but noone who differs has given any other substantiated proof as to an alternative reason for the opposiition to what would seem to be a good investment for Ngāti Whātua, a pragmatic decision for the Crown and certainty for the community

      • Hami Shearlie 12.1.2

        Can’t understand why Anna says”Devonport residents should be ashamed, but alas they won’t be”! We fought to stop the National Party selling the land to rich “white” developers in the 90’s so everyone could enjoy it in future years. It’s not the fact that the buyers are Maori, it’s the fact that the Govt is changing the law to get around the Marine Park status of the land that the people here fought for (including Ngati Whatua). We can’t understand why they(Ngati Whatua) fought with all of us to have this land included in the Marine Park and now they’re going back on that and want ownership for themselves.

        Some people commenting here are obviously not from the area and don’t know the history of this case in the 90’s. But all people in Auckland and NZ should be worried about this. Because this Govt is quite happy to change the law to kowtow to certain groups, whether it’s Warner Brothers, the Chinese Govt or Ngati Whatua. This behaviour from the Nats is something we should all be concerned about. Who will they be bowing and scraping to next? And which other reserves have they got their eyes on to flog off to one of their interest groups?

        • Anna

          Keep telling yourself that if it gives you comfort, Hami Shearlie. I think it’s a cover for what QoT has identified: “ironic racism”.

          Maori know all about law changes, Hami. You may or may not be aware of the Foreshore and Seabed Act (now Takutai Moana Bill) and many other, and various pieces of legislation which have eroded Maori rights under the guise of national interest and/or race relations. It’s one of the reasons why the Waitangi Tribunal was set up, albeit chronically underfunded, and seen the construction of the Office of Treaty settlements – to try to settle as fast as possible – thus, trying to rewrite core principles of the Treaty.

          Primarily, the NZ Govt has changed laws to “kowtow” to people who look remarkably similar to the Devonport demogragphic. (You know – those people who just happened to be victims of being “born white”).

          Re: Ngati Whatua interests

          Maybe you should check “when” this agreement between the Government and Ngati Whatua was reached in relation to this piece of land (and Ngati Whatua having first right to purchase). Ngati Whatua may have shared common interests with you regarding stopping the land being sold to developers, but this does not equate to having shared interests with people across the board. This seems to be a common assumption along the good Maori (when they agree with “us”) and bad Maori (when they don’t agree with “us) dichotomy in operation with regard to Maori issues.

          As I didn’t vote for National (and never will) I don’t take any responsibility for what they will or won’t do.

          • Hateatea

            Will someone please give me a link to the bit where it changes things for the Marine Reserve? This has been mentioned but I don’t remember seeing it in the news reports

          • Hateatea

            Yes, the Crown is reported to have first breached its 1998 Ngāi Tahu Settlement the day after it was signed into law!!
            Iwi have always been victims of the Crown changing the laws to enable them to do what they want, that is why there are so many Treaty claims and why there will inevitably be more

            • QoT

              Let me just clarify my understanding: you think it’s a “flip-flop” that a tribal group would oppose development on their ancestral lands outside their control, and are now re-assuming ownership of said ancestral lands and might, maybe, against their own statements to date possibly develop it?

              Because that’s only a flip-flop when you want it to be, i.e. when you decide to ascribe motives to Ngati Whatua’s actions in the 90s (they wanted to save the land so Devonport residents could walk their dogs on the beach! No other reason!) which conveniently “clash” with something entirely made up in your own head.

          • Hateatea

            I found this with the help of google //www.nzherald.co.nz/devonport/news/article.cfm?l_id=388&objectid=10385957
            It would seem that Ngāti Whātua are taking up options available to them under their settlement. No flip flop, well signalled, just finally being enacted.
            It still would not seem to affect the <b>Marine</b> Reserve, nor the Park. I remain puzzled

  13. Anna 13

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed QoT’s original post, replies and the comments of posters like Uturn. Yes, I’ve watched this with a particular sense of irony and it’s lucky my humour falls within the gallows auspice because the hypocrisy over this issue knows no bounds. Devenport residents should be ashamed, but alas, they won’t be. One would have to be self-aware for that and reduce their sense of entitlement.

  14. Adam 14

    Chris Finlayson described contributions to the debate by opponents (which I took to be mainly Chris Darby and the local giveaway) as “porkies”. From the tenor of the comments, we can see those porkies have confused debate to the point a lot of people can’t grasp the land in question (3.2ha, which included pretty much just the bits the navy has developed with training facilities, but not the sports field or the open space on the clifftop).
    It’s about a change in landlord. Ngati Whatua take money from its settlement and buys the land, with the existing leases which include renewal rights for 150 years. The Navy says it’s not moving, and unless some future government makes it financially impossible to stay on (maybe a third term John Key or first term Bill English govt!) it’s likely to remain.
    It means Ngati Whatua gets immediate cash flow, which has to be balanced against whether it could have made more by investing the $13m elsewhere. Maybe it could, but it also wants to ensure it has a symbolic footprint across the city.
    Everyone in Devonport seems to have suddenly become an expert in Maori history of the region pre-1840. Okay, so Patuone is buried over there because he went to live on land held by his Ngati Paoa wife. Don’t sweat it. Other members of the Tamaki Collective were there at the public meeting in a show of support for Whatua/Finlayson. There is only so much Crown-owned land in the region, so the collective is trying to be pragmatic about making sure everyone can get a settlement that works economically.
    It would be a concern if Labour MPs or candidates weighed into an issue in an electorate it can’t win, and where its vote has, as Ben Clark pointed out, leaked over to the Greens. If Finlayson is right and the opposition is fueled by lies, let him deal with it. And since everyone is suddenly a legal expert as well, check the bit in the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Act that allows land in the park to come out for treaty settlements.
    Labour needs to win back Maori support if it is to become Government again. The anti-Maori elements in team Goff (who of course gave the party no-team Shearer) are part of the reason Labour hasn’t come up with a strategy to stop that vote going to nga hau e wha. The incompetent handling of the treaty portfolio by Margaret Wilson and her immediate successor (can’t even remember the wally’s name – Mark Burton perhaps), not to mention the foreshore and seabed debacle, makes Maori think Labour is anti-settlements. National are given the credit, even though the Waitangi Tribunal was a Labour initiative (and spared Muldoon’s ax because he believed it was a “toothless tiger), opening it to historical claims a Labour initiative, and there have been significant settlements on Labour’s watch.

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  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
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