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October 2022

For several years we have been subjected to a sizeable chunk of the media happy to give a voice to those who are misrepresenting the Treaty of Waitangi, re-writing our history, and allowing ill-informed and damaging assertions to go unchallenged. One of the latest in a long line of ignorant comments concerns the Tohunga Suppression Act of 1907, for which Māori Party MP Rawiri Waititi has blamed colonisation. However, it was Māori leaders themselves who pushed for this law. For the facts, read Graham Adams well-researched commentary Did Pakeha really crush traditional Māori medicine? posted on The Platform.

Graham’s article is a sterling example of what can be done to fight against half-truths and lies published in the media.

We, the public, need to follow Graham’s example by holding the media to account when they enable twisted facts, distorted narratives and outright lies to be broadcast without challenge. Here is a list of suggested actions we can take as individuals:

  • Post a comment on the offending media’s social media page, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, for all to see.
  • Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed column.
  • Complain to the management at offending TV stations, magazines and newspapers and go as high up the ladder as you can.

Besides challenging misinformation in the media, another area where we need to become proactive concerns what exactly our children will be taught under the new NZ ‘histories’ curriculum – which will be compulsory in all schools, at all levels, from next year. Criticism of the curriculum content by those who have analysed it include that it leaves substantial gaps in our history, misrepresents the Treaty of Waitangi, and is largely focused on colonisation – of which a pejorative view is promoted.

It appears that if we want our children to form a broader understanding of our rich and varied history, we will need to be proactive in offering an alternative narrative based on factual accounts. To this end I recommend a new book by Dr John Robinson ‘Regaining a Nation – equality and democracy.’ This book is a timely reminder of the successful building of the nation of New Zealand - “a co-operative effort by so many from all parts of the world, coming together as one people”. It covers the pre-European era, the signing of the Treaty, the causes of the mid 1800’s NZ wars, economic development, and how today the misinterpretation of the Treaty is being used to destroy democracy and equality. And to add to its attraction it is easy to read. I suggest you buy copies for your children, grandchildren, other family, and friends. You can order from Tross Publishing.

Calling all people in the Bay of Plenty

Dr Alistair Reeves of Te Kohinga, a Tauranga-based Christian network, is organising a public meeting, “to help people be more informed about the Treaty, and therefore co-governance, Three Waters and the Tauranga Civic development.”

Where: Baycourt Community Centre Tauranga
When: October 31 from 7pm – 9pm

Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi will be presented by Justice Minister Kiri Allan for the Government, Antoine Coffin for Tangata Whenua (Māori), and Dr Alistair Reese for the Church.

I suggest you go along and challenge the promotion of any ideology that undermines political equality for all. For more information see press release: Three Voices At The Treaty Table: Understanding Co-governance, Three Waters And City Redevelopment

Another upcoming event that advocates a two-tiered race-based society for New Zealand is being held at Auckland University 21 - 23 November 2022. Options for “constitutional transformation to realise Māori rights in te Tiriti o Waitangi, He Whakaputanga and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” will be presented. See ‘Advancing the plan for a race-based constitution’ below for more about this and find the link to register attendance (either in person or online).

If anyone harbours the belief that co-governance is a fairer way to govern need only to look at the furore over the vote to change Playcentre Aotearoa’s constitution. A 91.75% majority vote to change the constitution has been overruled by the organisation’s Rōpū Māori (Māori Group). At least five of the six Rōpū (Group) must approve the change, but only four agreed, so the decision was overturned! See Playcentre vote overturned.

Save the trees - today is the last chance to have your say on the fate of the exotic trees on Auckland's volcanic cones - you have until 5 pm (Oct 8).  Click on the following link to make a 5 minute submission: www.savethetrees.nz

TVNZ/RNZ merger: In last month's newsletter we expressed concern that the legislation to merge TVNZ and RNZ will give the Government far greater control over public media than is currently the case. Such fears have been reiterated in submission after submission presented to the select committee dealing with this bill. You can read more about this in Willie Jackson’s new media empire causes concern’ below.  

No doubt due to the plethora of errors in the new draft combined district plan for the West Coast, the time to submit has been extended – the public now has until 28 October. For details see ‘Te Tai o Poutini submission deadline extended’ below.

This month I leave the final word to John Porter, political commentator on Bay FM, who writes that the Three Waters Reform Bill being pushed through parliament is about embedding a race-based way of running things in New Zealand. “It’s about destroying democracy. It’s about entrenching Māori co-governance as a system”.

“So, Jacinda Ardern, if you and your Māori caucus are not prepared to maintain the existence of equal rights, why will you not obtain formal accord, by means of a national referendum, to change from our current democracy to the very different Ethnocracy, controlled by the elite of a minority demographic? 

“Any halfway honest government would seek a public mandate to orchestrate such a sweeping change to a country’s democracy”.

Hear! Hear!

John’s full commentary, The Absolute Power of Veto’ is posted on the BFD. Please share with as many people as possible.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer, or if you need further information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

And please help spread the message by sharing our newsletters with anyone who may be interested. You can receive further updates by registering or joining us.

Kind regards,

Susan Short

[email protected]

Advancing the plan for a race-based constitution

Legal academic Dr Claire Charters, lead author of He Puapua and part of the steering group working to produce a draft national plan to realise the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is organising ‘The Constitutional Kōrero: Transforming New Zealand’s Constitution’ conference “to bring international thought-leaders on constitutions and Indigenous peoples together with Aotearoa-based thought-leaders to generate transformative, practical and robust options for constitutional transformation in Aotearoa”. Continue reading

Willie Jackson’s new media empire causes concern

More than 800 submissions have been received on the Government’s Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill, a law that will merge TVNZ and RNZ under a new parent group. A number of media executives, including from TVNZ and RNZ, are expressing concerns about the lack of protection for editorial independence of the proposed new public media entity - that the bill would give the Government far greater control over public media than it has at the moment. Continue reading

Te Tai o Poutini submission deadline extended

The Te Tai o Poutini Committee has extended the submission deadline for the draft combined district plan (for the Buller, Grey Westland District Councils and the West Coast Regional Council) to 28 October 2022. This is largely due to a mapping “glitch” that saw landowners on the West Coast receive a letter advising their property was affected by a newly designated site and area of significance to Māori, some of which were inaccurate.   Continue reading