Way off beam

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

If Rob Pater­son (What a sham­bles, let­ter Novem­ber 1) wants to in­flu­ence North­land Age read­ers with ra­tio­nal ar­gu­ment he should stick to facts and not rein­vent his­tory or rely on anec­dote.

Take, for in­stance, his state­ments that only a cou­ple of thou­sand Ma¯ ori were liv­ing in the South Is­land in 1840, that Nga¯ i Tahu never signed the Treaty of Wai­tangi, that cur­rent Nga¯ i Tahu op­er­a­tions are not cre­at­ing a gen­uine Ma¯ ori econ­omy or pay­ing a mean­ing­ful tax, and that the iwi is “be­com­ing in­va­sive, like a can­cer steadily creep­ing into most South Is­land in­sti­tu­tions, race­based and priv­i­leged . . .”

Firstly, Bate­man’s 1997 New Zealand His­tor­i­cal At­las states that there is lit­tle knowl­edge of the size of the Ma¯ ori set­tling pop­u­la­tion and its rate of growth, or of the num­bers in suc­ceed­ing cen­turies. In a 1941 Master of Arts the­sis by Don­ald Rutherford, Uni­ver­sity of Otago, ti­tled The South Is­land Maori Pop­u­la­tion ,itis made clear that most quoted early pop­u­la­tion fig­ures are guess work.

Ex­pert New Zealand eth­nol­o­gist and mu­seum di­rec­tor Dr Roger Duff placed the pre-Eu­ro­pean South Is­land Ma¯ ori pop­u­la­tion at from eight to 10 thou­sand.

Se­condly, there were seven high­rank­ing south­ern chiefs who signed the Treaty of Wai­tangi in 1840, as it was seen as a con­ve­nient ar­range­ment be­tween equals, but by 1849, when the Crown be­gan de­fault­ing on the terms of a series of 10 ma­jor land pur­chases dat­ing from 1844, ear­lier sus­pi­cions of the Crown’s good faith by some of the Nga¯ i Tahu chiefs were con­firmed, and the Nga¯ i Tahu Claim, ‘Te Kere¯me,’ was born.

The Crown had un­der­taken to set aside ad­e­quate re­serves to have been ap­prox­i­mately 10 per cent of the 34.5 mil­lion acres sold – but this was never done. There were also dis­putes over bound­aries, and the Crown failed to es­tab­lish schools and hos­pi­tals, as promised. The iwi also lost its ac­cess to food-gath­er­ing re­sources, and other sa­cred places such as urupa. (See Plate 31 of the Bate­man at­las).

Nga¯ i Tahu be­came al­most de­void of land, de­pleted by dis­ease, and be­came di­vorced from the grow­ing econ­omy. As a con­se­quence Nga¯ i Tahu made its first claim against the Crown for breach of

con­tract in 1849.

Thirdly, as for Nga¯ i Tahu not cur­rently cre­at­ing a gen­uine Ma¯ ori econ­omy, Pater­son just needs to go to the iwi web­site and re­view the 2018 an­nual re­port to see the wide range of suc­cess­ful com­mer­cial in­vest­ment and char­i­ta­ble sup­port for reg­is­tered mem­bers from in­fants to the el­derly. On the iwi’s com­mer­cial suc­cess, no bet­ter ref­er­ences are the 26 pages of au­dited fi­nan­cial state­ments for the fi­nan­cial year end­ing June 2018, which is also trans­par­ently avail­able on­line.

In the win­ter 2018 is­sue of Nga¯ i Tahu’s mag­a­zine, Te Karaka, Ward Kamo re­views the iwi’s char­i­ta­ble sta­tus, and com­ments, “And yet, at the height of our re­cov­ery, and the mo­ment when we can se­ri­ously start to an­tic­i­pate de­liv­er­ing real and large-scale so­cial in­vest­ment for the iwi, we now find our­selves un­der at­tack. The at­tack is, sur­pris­ingly, led by fis­cal con­ser­va­tives who at­tribute our re­mark­able suc­cess to “not pay­ing tax”.

He adds that it seems the is­sue of cor­po­rate char­i­ties (par­tic­u­larly iwi ones) is a real bug­bear for some, so much so that it crowds out more ra­tio­nal de­bate on the is­sue of cor­po­rate taxes as a whole. Ward Kamo’s ex­ten­sive re­view of this tax is­sue is avail­able at ngaitahu.iwi.nz/our_ sto­ries/char­i­ta­ble-sta­tus-tk78/

I can’t re­sist go­ing back to an ear­lier rant by Rob Pater­son (Face facts teach­ers, Oc­to­ber 25), in which he dis­plays an ab­ject ig­no­rance of teach­ing prac­tice, pro­fes­sional com­mit­ment and the re­al­ity of teacher pol­i­tics. He was way off beam.

My work­ing ca­reer com­prised 19 years as a pri­mary teacher, 12 years in se­condary and nearly 14 years as

cor­po­rate man­ager of the NZ Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute. I was pres­i­dent of the Man­gonui Branch NZEI and rep­re­sented North­land se­condary teach­ers for four years on the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive of the Post Pri­mary Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

There were times dur­ing those 45 years that if it hadn’t been for the to­tal ded­i­ca­tion of pri­mary and se­condary teach­ers to their work with pupils that the safety and ef­fi­cacy of pub­lic sec­tor ed­u­ca­tion would have been se­ri­ously threat­ened. This was par­tic­u­larly so in the tran­si­tion to To­mor­row’s Schools.

Teach­ers are far from de­serv­ing Rob Pater­son’s ill-in­formed slag­ging.


KERIK­ERI The Min­is­ter of Jus­tice pro­poses to in­tro­duce a gov­ern­ment Bill to re­move women and the un­born from the pro­tec­tion of the Crimes Act. This is an un­prece­dented at­tack on the right to life of the un­born. The Crimes Act Part VIII, Crimes against the Per­son, pro­vides le­gal pro­tec­tion for the lives of ev­ery hu­man be­ing from im­plan­ta­tion to nat­u­ral death. The Act recog­nises that abor­tion is vi­o­lence against women and the un­born, and that it is a se­ri­ous crime to kill an un­born child by abor­tion.

The Min­is­ter seeks to make killing of the un­born a re­pro­duc­tive health choice for women. It would no longer be a crime to kill an un­born child up to birth, and the state would have no in­ter­est in pro­tect­ing lives in the first nine months of life.

The Min­is­ter has a se­ri­ous duty to tell the na­tion why he con­sid­ers that his opin­ion, de­void of ev­i­dence, should over­ride the con­clu­sions of a Royal Com­mis­sion es­tab­lished by the Right Hon Bill Rowl­ing, Prime Min­is­ter of the third Labour gov­ern­ment. The Min­is­ter ad­vised Right to Life in March that he did not con­sider the re­port of the Royal Com­mis­sion rel­e­vant to­day, hav­ing been writ­ten in 1975.

The Min­is­ter of Jus­tice is not serv­ing the best in­ter­ests of women and the un­born by ig­nor­ing the find­ings of the Royal Com­mis­sion on Con­tra­cep­tion, Ster­il­i­sa­tion and Abor­tion, which made the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions in its re­port to Par­lia­ment in 1977:

“The un­born child, as one of the weak­est, the most vul­ner­a­ble and most de­fence­less forms of hu­man­ity, should re­ceive pro­tec­tion. From a bi­o­log­i­cal point of view there is no ar­gu­ment as to when life be­gins. Ev­i­dence was given to us by em­i­nent sci­en­tists from all over the world. None of them sug­gested that hu­man life be­gins at any other time than at con­cep­tion.

“From im­plan­ta­tion to birth, changes which take place in the un­born child are of a de­vel­op­men­tal na­ture only. There are no changes of a qual­i­ta­tive na­ture. The three events sug­gested as be­ing of sig­nif­i­cance, namely quick­en­ing, vi­a­bil­ity and brain de­vel­op­ment, are no more than stages in that de­vel­op­ment, and are not in­dica­tive of any qual­i­ta­tive changes in the de­vel­op­ing foe­tus which would make it non-hu­man.”

In re­ject­ing the ar­gu­ment that some de­gree of de­vel­op­ment should be reached be­fore the un­born child be ac­corded sta­tus, the Com­mis­sion said, “If some stage of phys­i­cal or men­tal de­vel­op­ment has to be ac­cepted as in­di­cat­ing whether or not hu­man life is in be­ing, so a stage may be reached at the other end of life where a per­son who has be­come se­nile or has lost con­scious­ness may be dis­posed of.”

The Com­mis­sion re­jected abor­tion at the re­quest of the mother, as it would then ac­cord to the un­born child only that sta­tus which the in­di­vid­ual woman chose

The Com­mis­sion recog­nised that abor­tion was vi­o­lence against women and the un­born, and sup­ported re­ten­tion of Sec­tion 182, Killing of Un­born Child, in the Crimes Act, stat­ing that it was nec­es­sary to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween homi­cide and abor­tion.

Right to Life asks the Min­is­ter ‘What ev­i­dence do you have that the find­ings of the Royal Com­mis­sion were wrong or are not rel­e­vant in 2018?’

Does the ill-in­formed opin­ion of the Min­is­ter now over­ride jus­tice? If the Min­is­ter suc­ceeds in ac­cep­tance of the killing of the un­born as a health is­sue of choice, it will soon be­come a duty to ter­mi­nate the life of the un­born deemed un­wanted by the state.


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