Way off beam
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.
KEN ORR RIGHT TO LIFE