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Stab in the back for Tuhoe

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, May 11th, 2010 - 67 comments
Categories: maori party, national, treaty settlements - Tags: ,

As of last week, Tuhoe thought they had a deal with the government. The centre-piece of the agreement was vesting parts of the Te Urewera National Park, the Tuhoe homeland, with Tuhoe. The land would have been continued to be administered as a national park, with public access, but it would have been owned by the people who justly own it.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson was to take the deal to Cabinet for sign off and the deal would be announced at a hui on Friday. But at the National Lower North Island conference over the weekend, the Nats realised a larger chunk of their base are hicks, anti-Maori and increasingly pissed off hicks.

What was John Key to do? The right thing by a people whose land was stolen from them? Or the thing that would best help his poll ratings? No choice. Late Sunday, Key pulled the Tuhoe deal from the Cabinet agenda.
Here is an iwi that has negotiated with the Crown in good faith and made a deal, only for National to let its short-term political interests override it. There’s no excuse. Sure, Key has a list of ‘reasons’ why returning the land to Tuhoe is a bad idea but the fact is he was all for it until the weekend when he got the hard word from the hicks.

Tariana Turia is rightly outraged. She says that by acting in bad faith, National has created a new grievance when its meant to be resolving an old one. So, what is Turia going to do about it? More empty bluster, then back to the Crown limo?

Another case of National making big promises to Maori and failing to deliver.

[on a side issue, yup Tuhoe didn’t sign the Treaty but that’s not relevant. The Crown’s actions were immoral and illegal under its own law. Redress is due, whether or not you think the Treaty matters. That’s true of all compensation claims]

67 comments on “Stab in the back for Tuhoe”

  1. Peter Wilson 1

    I’m not normally in favour of handing title over to iwi on national parks and other large areas of conservation estate, but I did think that the Urewera / Tuhoe situation is quite unique, and wouldn’t have resulted in any real practical change, aside from genuinely working to redress a pretty large and legitimate greivance.

    I bet those National Party internal polls have been heading south rapidly, hence last night’s turnaround and the frantic back-peddling on mining.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    From Stuff.co.nz

    “The park is in Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s Waiariki electorate, and he said he was outraged not only by the decision but by the way it was announced.

    “Te Urewera has been the homeland of Tuhoe for hundreds of years, before the concept of title ownership was invented in this country, even before a government arrived on the shores of this country,” he said.

    Making an announcement while negotiations were in progress was unheard of, Mr Flavell said.”

    (my italics)

    So now both ACT and the Maori Party have had the “no surprises” agreement torn up and tossed aside, by John Key.

    No surprise, really.

    • It was bad enough that the decision was made but to announce it publicly before the negotiations commenced is truely awful and shows no good faith whatsoever.

      Te Ururoa Flavell should think about coming over to Labour.

      I am well and truely gobsmacked by the decision and the way it was publicised.

      • All I can say is that if the Maori Party stay with Key after this insult they deserve what they get.How can Turia and Sharples still cowtow to Key when he has in fact said they are liars?
        The guy is a two faced con man . He says one thing to one group and another to the other . He is not to be trusted ,its time the Maori Party woke up to this fact,

  3. burt 3

    The land would have been continued to be administered as a national park, with public access…

    What public access ? Have you ever tried to spend any time in that national park without moko faced bully boys pointing guns at you ?

    How about I stand at the gates of parliament and point a firearm at every white person who tries to enter the gate – I guess you would suggest the best way to solve that was to gift parliament to me because I clearly have some claim over it…

    • Maynard J 3.1

      So your solution is to piss them off a bit more?

      How about you stand outside your old house, and point a gun at its occipuers as they walk in and out, and then some of them give you a jab in the ribs as they walk by. Will that be cool, el Burto?

      An in answer to your question, yes, I have tried to spend time in that park without moko-faced bully boys pointing guns at me, and was successful. Well that wasn’t my explicit aim, but when you phrase it that way, that is exactly what happened.

      • burt 3.1.1

        I have no issues with Tuhoe living in the park and I have no issues with them taking a stance against the govt to create a self governing state if that is what they want.

        I don’t have any argument against Tuhoe having mana over the land and I have no disagreement with the fact that they have occupied it for generations. My issue is the few loose cannon foot soldiers that take the law into their own hands – they are not helping the cause of their leaders and they are the ones stuffing up the relationship between Tuhoe and the rest of us.

        • Pascal's bookie

          They not saying ‘please sir’ enough for you burt?

          The relationship between Tuhoe and ‘the rest of us’ has had a lot more fractiousness on ‘the rest of us’ part than a few symbolic road blocks.
          ‘The rest of us’ should be thankful they’ve been so restrained, quite frankly.

    • just saying 3.2

      I spent a couple of years going in and out of Te Urewera National Park. Rarely met people outside my own tramping group, and when I did, those toting guns were usually Pakeha hunters.

      Get your bigotry right Bert, I assume you are trying to vilify Waimana Valley, home of Tuhoe Nation, and a tinsy part of the park. I’m guessing you’re basing your opinion on a few sensational news items featuring Tuhoe Nation.

      • burt 3.2.1

        OK sure, you are right, blocking access with firearms to a small part of the park is just fine when there is so much other land around. How silly of me to suggest blocking public roads is wrong when it is clearly not all public roads being blocked.

        Hell why did I (or anyone else) even want to go tramping in that area in the first place, I have a few trees in my own back yard and there are plenty of traffic islands in the major cities with trees on them….

    • burt 4.1


      This isn’t me in the car, but you get the idea. There are plenty of links like this one if you bother to look.

      As it is illegal to block people travelling on public roads I’m sure these people would have all been charged and public access permanently restored – yeah right !

      • just saying 4.1.1

        Have you ever been there Bert?

        • burt

          Tried to a few years ago.

          • felix

            Hands up who reckons burt would’ve had no trouble if he hadn’t gone in there already pissed off with the intention of being a shit-stirring prick?

            • just saying

              Hand up.

              Question for Bert: Why did you decide to access the park via Tuhoe Nation?

              • burt

                Well we actually had no idea that there was any issues visiting Tuhoe Nation until we were blocked access, it was a few years ago It was a surprise and a shock to us at the time, none of us were/are use to being turned around on public roads in NZ by people carrying weapons.

              • just saying

                You said earlier that you were going tramping, I thought ‘strange place to set off for a tramp’. Now you’re saying you were “visiting” Tuhoe Nation.

                I don’t believe your intentions were innocent. I think you were looking for trouble.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox

            Maybe they have had enough of gun-toting shooters trashing the park.

        • Bright Red

          hey, just saying, don’t let that kind of question get in the way of a good story.

  4. Kerry 5

    What public access ? Have you ever tried to spend any time in that national park without moko faced bully boys pointing guns at you ?

    Yes John, I have many times in fact spent time in Te Urewera. Perhaps if you were to do the same and actually meet up with some of the locals wouldn’t then base your whole argument on one youtube clip.

  5. Pascal's bookie 6

    Some music for you to cry by burt.

  6. Bright Red 7

    i’ve never had any trouble up there.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Neither. ‘cept for trolling trout fishers who stop laughing and get a bit sad faced when they see the boards and tow ropes and realise that you are not in fact planning to troll for trout in a jet boat.

      But it’s a big lake and they soon get over themselves.

  7. felix 8

    Interesting comments on the youtube channel of the uploader of that video.

    Wonder which one is burt eh?

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Dunno. That jurrassicsparks seems pretty confused though. Claims he shouldn’t be ashamed to be proud of being white, but is alos pissed off that he can’t call himself a black nigger.

      And youtube, (I think), censored him 14 (fourteen people, that’s almost eleventy!1, but way less than 9000) times for speaking out against Helen Clark. Clearly being oppressed.

  8. Sanctuary 9

    “…What public access ? Have you ever tried to spend any time in that national park without moko faced bully boys pointing guns at you ?…”

    Where are the keyboard commandos of the local branch of Stormfront when you need them? Shaven headed men of Aryan action, if you are reading this – Murapara needs you!

  9. burt 10

    Seems we all agree that there are public access issues in that area. Some of us are too scared to say that is wrong and some would rather shoot the messenger.

    The real issue is that access is being restricted on race because legally the land is open to all. If this is not a concern to you then you need to look at the picture a bit wider than it just being an opportunity to take a few cheap shots at the way I see it.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      Keep up burt. The issue is that the land was illegally confiscated.

    • just saying 10.2

      No we don’t agree there are access “issues” in that area. However there does seem to have been a racist prick problem.

      I repeat: why did you decide to access the park via Tuhoe Nation?

      • burt 10.2.1

        Answered above. I wouldn’t even try these days, but at the time we had no idea what we were driving into. Had been around the area for a while and were wanting to check out the local settlement. Kind of what you do on a tour of the area, get some food, have a chat with the locals etc.

    • Puddleglum 10.3

      Yes, Burt, that kind of action is of concern to me.

      It is of concern because it suggests to me that some pretty deep frustration and anger has arisen amongst Tuhoe about the way they have been treated. From what I know about the context – which I admit is not as much as it should be – Tuhoe are attempting to gain some ability to control their destiny as a unique collective, an ability they had prior to colonisaton. They are not simply ‘criminal elements’ out for personal gain, a random cult wanting to isolate itself (on public land) from society or a ‘warlord’ clan.

      Yes, I wish they weren’t establishing road blocks (particularly if they use guns to intimidate – and I accept that you and others, including me, are understandably intimidated by that). But, my response is to ask ‘Why are some Tuhoe doing it – given that it is provocative and ‘extreme’ and given that they are not simply vicious criminals?’ The way to answer that question is clear: Negotiating in good faith to address the causes of this particular state of affairs. That appears to be what the current government has just abandoned.

      (BTW, ‘The Rule of Law’ can never be the final arbiter in these matters if only because the law, itself, must have legitimacy in conventional understandings of justice, fairness and general moral considerations.)

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    Doesn’t DRIP assert the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination? So why did we sign it? Sorry I forgot symbolism trumps reality.

  11. freedom 12

    humans are idiots

  12. tc 13

    Ah the rubber meets the road where greviances that have long stood are settled through a well thought out and executed process run by highly intelligent prgamatic people with the wellbeing and long term outcomes of NZ a high priority……………YEAH RIGHT !

    Sideshow John…..it’s be f’n hilarious if he wasn’t the actual PM…..showing all the subtelty and empathy we’ve come to love from our top currency trader….he simply doesn’t give an F for anything but blagging that second term.

  13. Alexandra 14

    Urewera National Park…Mining….. theres got to be more to these flip flops than just wanting to calm the horses. Perhaps one provides the solution to the other?

  14. I just heard a Tuhoe elder say that Key said to them that giving Tuhoe the Urewera National Park was “complex but doable”.

    Talk about bad faith!

    Key gets shown up by the cabinet again …

  15. Key’s behaviour according to Turia (National Radio) is “not very honourable” and “just appalling”.

  16. Jim Nald 17

    @ mickysavage

    Ok, I am trying to repeat this to convince myself:

    I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key I believe the PM John Key …………

    captcha: automatically
    (captcha is smarter than the PM … or me)

  17. Alexandra 18

    It really was too good to be true, that a settlement for return of the Urewera back to Tuhoe was a reality. Keys “not very honourable’ and “just appalling’ about face was totally predictable and according to form. Tuhoe will not take this dishonourable conduct lightly and the Maori Party will be concerned about the stakes for their mana enhancing relationship with the Nats. Key is a bigger fool than he looks if he thinks any settlement for less will now be acceptable to Tuhoe.

  18. toad 19

    Sir Te Ururoa Flavell.

    Sir Tame Iti.

    Just kidding. But presumably there is a grubby little trade-off being organised by the Nats out of public view, in an attempt to bribe a few Tuhoi leaders.

    I am confident Tuhoi will resist it. They have a strong history of that.

  19. Anne 20

    Not sure if the link’s online yet, but there was a fascinating interview with Tariana Turia on Campbell Live tonight. Not sure I would wanna be in Key’s shoes next time he faces Tariana 😀

    • Lew 20.1

      Yeah. She was rather more circumspect than in the earlier 3 News spot but she was quite genuinely pissed off.

      Key got caught on the hop, playing managerial rank-pulling games — where you say “we believe this” with the signal being that the subordinates need to fall into line — and she didn’t fall into line.

      See whether anything much comes from it, though.


    • gobsmacked 20.2

      Yes, but the interview was a good illustration of how useless mainstream TV has become.

      JC asked if the deal with National will survive (I paraphrase), Tariana is non-commital, so what does JC do next?

      a) Try and pin her down, or
      b) Finish the interview and quickly move on to some trivial item of no consequence

      No prizes for guessing it was b). Could have been a huge story. They blew it.

      Jeremy Paxman, fancy a job in NZ? We need you.

  20. Alexandra 21

    I missed the very beginning and end of the interview. What I did get was Tariana talking about the history of Tuhoe and thinking NZrs were fair minded people. She made no reference to John Key misleading Tuhoe negotiators, so Im thinking she is doing what she is becoming renouned for…maintaining the relationship at all cost. Instead at blaming the opportunistic rhetoric of JK, she is blaming all the bad people that prevented Mr Nice guy from doing the right thing.

  21. Carol 22

    No Turia said at the beginning that she told Key she wasn’t happy with his decision. Campbell put to her that Key had said she (Turia) was OK about the decision. She said that was his perception then, but she wasn’t happy because Tuhoe had been led to believe it was a done deal til Key pulled the plug.

  22. millsy 23

    Nice to see a left wing site advocate handing over a prime treasured jewel in the conservation estate to private ownership (Tuhoe = private enterprise), which will almost certainly charge people exorbitant rates to access.

    A real left wing site would have supported John Key’s decision to keep the Urewera National Park in public hands forever, for the benefit of ALL NEW ZEALANDERS regardless of colour, and not hand it over to an elite iwi group who will lie and cheat to get their filthy hands on it, and then when they safely have it, start locking out regular New Zealanders and charging a small fortune to even breath its air.

    Look at Mt Tawarewa.

    We have a kiwi tradition of outdoor recreation (though I would rather shoot game with a camera than a .303), which is steadily being enroached upon by a corporate elite on one side, and an iwi elite on the other, who seem to have the left under some sort of spell.

    Good on John Key for standing for the kiwi traditions and telling the iwi elite where to go, and that there will be no privatisation of that great area.

    • NickS 23.1

      What the f*ck?

      Is adult illiteracy really that bad in NZ? Because I could have sworn the deal in discussion was that the land that was to be given back would be under Tuhoe ownership, but that it would still be accessible to the public. and would remain a part of the Te Urewera National Park. i.e. Tuhoe had no interest in changing the use of the land, and besides that, other parts of the treaty settlement likely include commercial pine plantations on land taken from Tuhoe, that they’ve blockaded access to in the past in rightful protest.

      And given such an agreement would likely be legally binding, how the hell you’d end up with the situation at Mt Tarawera, which isn’t part of the National and Forest Park system, is beyond me.

      • millsy 23.1.1

        Yes, it would be accessible to the public – for a fee of course. New Zealanders would be priced out of the conservation jewel. Of course, its acceptable to the left, as long as the person clipping the ticket is brown. The crashing sound you are hearing are Norm Kirk, Walter Nash, Peter Fraser and Mickey Savage turning in their graves.

        • NickS

          Hah, banned.

          Though I’d have banned you for longer personally, since you’ve ignored the fact the the situation with Tarawera is quite different to Te Urewera given one’s private property, where as the other is part of the National Park service. Something which is so fucking obvious that it requires either intense stupidity or, you being a troll and ignoring it just to raise the hackles.

          [lprent: Up to that comment he’d argued his points well within the limits. Then got that comment which was well over the bounds and was simply a flame starter. However his previous comments were why he got a relatively minor ban – enough to remind him that it isn’t the sewer, we have limits, and over-reactive moderators when people go over them. ]

  23. Alexandra 24

    Thanks Carol. I stand corrected. FFS Millsy do you understand any of the history of the Urewera National Park? Does the notion of justice completely escape you? The issue has nothing to do with colour. Tuhoe were subjected to terrible cruelty by the state including being robbed of their precious land. Righting that wrong is the interest of “ALL NEW ZEALANDERS.”

    As for Tarawera, ALL NEW ZEALANDERS have access Tarawera through guided tours. Why? the restriction? because if the sensitivity of the environment to erosion, and safety concerns. The mountain needs protection from excessive use and distruction. The fee for visits is reasonable and helps maintain the Mountain and its surrounds. The mountain was given back the people who inhabited the mountain before its eruption. Back to its true owners.

    • millsy 24.1

      Blow it our your ass Alexandra. I dont give a crap what happened to Tuhoe, what is important that people like you think that it is acceptable for a National Park to be privatised, and the Maori elite putting up the barriers and keeping the honkies out.

      It is New Zealanders birth right to enjoy our national parks, and no filthy little iwi brown table darkie in a suit is going to stop that.

      [lprent: Ban one week for acting like an ignorant troll from the sewer who brings little to the debate. That just walked over the line of constructive debate. ]

      • millsy 24.1.1

        Before the europeans came, Maori saw themselves as gaurdians of the land, they didnt see themselves as ‘owners’. Of course then it comes to profit, they will see themselves as owners.

        This is the thin edge of it people. Once Tuhoe get their filthy little mitts on the Urewras, NO NATIONAL PARK IS SAFE.

        First the beaches then, the mountains. If you want to have a picnic in the outdoors, you will have to go begging to Matua Tame Iti for permission to even take a photograph.

        • RedLogix


          At the core I understand why you are so concerned, angry even. But cut the racist crap…it’s wrong and hugely counterproductive.

  24. Akldnut 25

    Millsy your’e a fuckwit who belongs in the mountains somewhere in Tennessee along with all the other hillbillies.

    Whats important to you is to keep the filthy little iwi brown table darkie and his filthy little mitts off anything at all. Fuckwit

    You mention birthright, under this system that was imposed on them (they didn’t sign the treaty) Te Urueras belong to them. Fuckwit

    It was stolen off them by cunts like you. Fuckwit

    With racist ramblings like that, how do you walk amongst the rest of us during the day or even manage to sleep at night. Aren’t you a little scared the darkies will get you. Fuckwit

    Captcha: there – thats off my chest I feel much better now but you’re still a fucking wanker.

    Kia ora Fuckwit

  25. Akldnut 26

    And it’s guardians of the land, use your spellchecker. Fuckwit

    • Marty G 26.1

      ok, akldnut. that’s enough

    • pollywog 26.2

      haha…shot cuz

      i was feeling like you yesterday so headed over to kkkiwiblog to light up a few cracka asses and head them off before they got a full head of steam up…worked a treat 🙂

      but OMG !!!… didn’t Tari look angry on Campbell live tonight and you gotta love the flicker of a smile when she sidetracked John into avoiding answering if it was the deal breaker.

      and i preferred her when she was carrying the extra weight. Shes looking kinda gaunt and not in a nice way like Whina Cooper did.

      captcha : argument…you’re not going to get one from me here. nuff said…

      ‘smile and wave’ really is clueless !

  26. Zaphod Beeblebrox 27

    ACT will disintegrate as they are turning into the Sensible Sentencing Trust. Unless they can win by themselves (highly unlikely given the polls) the only chance for National next election will to be in permanent coalition with the Maori Party. Tariana won’t go anywhere else now she has Whanau Ora.

    Maori voters need to remember this- a vote for the MP will be a vote for Key!

  27. childrenofthemist 28

    Kia ora people, please don’t base your views on tuhoe from what you see in the media. As you know the media is distorted and one sided at the best of times. As for this whole saga with te urewera, i say the crown needs to restore justice to the tuhoe people and give back the land they unlawfully confiscated from them, it is quite a simple concept, they took what did not belong to them from the tuhoe people and now are refusing to give it back, regardless of the fact that tuhoe would maintain access for all new zealanders to te urewera country. At the end of the day we are all human beings and i want to believe that we all know right from wrong, dig beneath the surface of this issue and you will discover the truth and be able to form a well advised opinion on what is really going on here. Let this not be a “race card” debate, let’s get educated on NZ’s history so we can right the wrongs and move towards a brighter future together.
    Nga Tamariki o te kohu – Children of the mist

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