- Date published:
8:41 am, April 12th, 2016 - 37 comments
Categories: act, discrimination, Maori Issues, national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: don brash, muriel newman
Just when you thought it was safe to turn off the lights …
There is a crisis brewing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Allegedly a group wants to have exclusive rights to water and this will affect the rest of us. Not this company that has a sweetheart deal in Ashburton to bottle and sell 40 billion litres of water at an undisclosed cost. But Maori apparently want exclusive rights to water, or so it is said.
There is an entity called the New Zealand Centre for Political Research that makes this claim. The first two words of its title are appropriate, the third clearly not as it is anything but centrist and the last two are ridiculous given that the entity exists to scratch redneck prejudices.
And Don Brash, the man who lost the 2005 election for National has reappeared.
From Radio New Zealand:
Former ACT and National Party leader Don Brash, the man who delivered the controversial Orewa speech in 2004, arguing against special status for Māori, is back.
This time, through the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, he is telling New Zealanders to be fearful of iwi and their plans for water.
“Every New Zealander no matter when their ancestors arrived in New Zealand have a strong interest in the quality of water and we totally support that, there shouldn’t be any involvement in that decision making for people who have one particular ethnicity.”
The group, led by former ACT MP Muriel Newman, claims the government is planning to give away control of lakes and rivers to Iwi.
The campaign warns readers that it is only a matter of time before iwi begin demanding a royalty each time the tap is turned on.
The “iwi vs Kiwi” slogan has previously been slammed for being divisive, but Dr Brash said it was not his group that was dividing people.
“It’s the government perpetuating this; it’s the government saying people with Māori ancestry should have some special right to control the decision-making about water, and all we’re saying is it’s totally contrary to everything New Zealand stands for.”
So corporates are fine but Iwi should be feared. This is an unusual proposition as corporates are full of blood sucking leeches whose reason for being is to maximise private wealth whereas Maori have always thought about the collective and have been very generous and have allowed others to enjoy their Taonga.
I think Brash’s despair is misplaced. He has made the mistake of presuming that Maori will behave the same was as right wingers would in similar circumstances. I have thought for a while that these events and this rhetoric become flashpoints because the right and the rednecks think that Maori will behave like them and get all possessive over anything they have rights to. Certainly the rhetoric of the right suggests that everyone will behave in the same venal selfish way as them if given a chance. My experience of Maori however is that they are more socialist in nature and the right and the rednecks and everyone else have nothing to worry about. We just need to be respectful.
And besides the Treaty of Waitangi promised Maori that they would retain their Taonga. Rivers and lakes have to be considered Taonga and therefore preserved to Maori under the terms of the treaty.
Someone should tell Brash and Newman that Iwi rights to lakes and rivers have already been recognised. For instance Tainui has co-governance of the Waikato River.
This issue will present problems to National. Already ACT and Peter Dunne have said they will not support RMA changes. National is sandwiched between the Maori Party who want Iwi rights recognised and ACT who does not want a bar of them.
They are clearly in an awkward position where getting the changes through Parliament will require deft handling of the other parties. And judging by the NZCPS’s response the base will not be pleased.