Monday 17 May 2010

Never mind the National Parks!

My what a brown nose you have-001 DPF writes about the negotiations with Tuhoe:

    “I doubt many people have an issue with the actual decision.”

Well, I’m one.  But let’s crack on.  DPF continues on with the thorny issue of the national park :

    “ No other treaty settlement has had a national park as part of it – unless it is gifted back. According to reports the Government has offered co-management of the park, which is not insignificant.”

To which Danyl at the Dim Post replies:

    “No other treaty settlement has had a national park as part of it – but no other tribe has been so violently dispossessed of their land and had it turned into a national park.”

“Violently dispossessed?”  Does this man know any history at all, I wonder?  Those two words suggest not.

Let’s look first at the direct reasons for the dispossession.  And to do that, let’s start with a story.

Imagine, if you will, that a savage murderer has been moving up the country, and he's heading your way.  He seeks refuge in your large, rambling property (which you share with extended family).  Instead of either handing him over or doing him in (in both of which you would be justified), you choose instead to join him in his savagery and plunder, heading out on expeditions of rapine and looting before coming home to hunker down in the least accessible parts of your refuge to fend off John Law, who naturally wants to put a stop to the lawlessness and brutality.

The law decides the safest option is to starve out you and your partner in crime, a strategy that meets with success—but whose perfectly justifiable results a century-and-a-half later are used to justify further pillage, this time of taxpayers apparently ignorant of the reasons for the original dispossession.

This is the short history of what happened when Tuhoe gave refuge to stone killer Te Kooti,  conspired in his genocidal killing sprees, for which you and I are now being punished for the punishment that was meted out then .

Quite apart from the issue of the national parks, does that seem in any way either fair or justified? Did Tuhoe’s behaviour not constitute some sort of reason for punishment?

While you think about that, just read in some more detail about what actually happened.

The year was 1869, and the Kooti One had gone on the run after murdering around sixty people (both Maori and non-Maori) in Poverty Bay, eventually finding support for his campaign of continuing  murder under the shelter of a supportive Tuhoe. For three years he and his Tuhoe allies waged war from the Ureweras on all around, with the full support and connivance of Tuhoe leaders, regularly crossing the Kaingaroa plains, the Urewera and surrounding districts to pillage, burn and kill.  Just one example of his blood lust was the slaughter of 64 defenceless women and children in the Ngati Kahungunu pa at Mohaka, murdered in cold blood as a “lesson” to their fathers and husbands.

Any decent government is going to put a stop to this, which is precisely what the colonial government did.

To drive him out of his lair, says the Oxford History of New Zealand, "Government forces applied a scorched earth policy so that the Tuhoe tribe could not shelter Te Kooti and the dwindling remnants of his band," following which he was driven out and 448,000 acres of Tuhoe land was confiscated as punishment, 230,600 acres of which was later returned.  (Ironically, as reward for his murders, Te Kooti himself was eventually given several acres of land in Ohiwa, BoP, in 1891! So much for justice.)

So the supposed  historic 'injustice' was the product of a tribe unwilling to live under the rule of law who knowingly harboured a mass-murderer, and who then joined him on a campaign of murder. 

“Violent dispossession”?  It looks to me like the initiation of violence went all one way.

In some circles, mere partial confiscation would be seen as being let off easily. 

If violent dispossession is to be despised, and it is, then surely the violent dispossession of people’s lives by Tuhoe and Te Kooti must be worth at least addressing, no? 

Because to talk about Tuhoe’s dispossession without any reference at all to the reasons for that dispossession is just inexcusable,  particularly when such context-dropping is used to justify scores of millions  of taxpayers dollars heading towards the wallets of the descendants of those who helped harbour the thug Te Kooti all those years ago. 

In today’s age of hand-wringing  and revisionist history however, nothing (and certainly not the facts of history) is likely to prove a barrier to today's Tuhoe 'leaders' receiving  large amounts of taxpayer largesse as a reward for living in the past -- a past which is largely a fiction of their own making.

So (to come back to where we first started), it seems popular bloggers just don't do history -- but then neither do the more mainstream media, the Government, or the Waitangi Tribunal.

Not to mention the farce of conducting a Waitangi deal with a tribe who never signed the Waitangi treaty, for an injustice that was anything but. 

If anyone’s being done like a dinner, it’s us.  We taxpayers. 

The only injustice perpetrated here is that being dealt to the taxpayers of New Zealand -- who once again will be forced to pay large amounts of money to tribalists for things we didn't do -- and to the tamariki of Tuhoe, who are being taught once again that tribalism and a focus on the imaginary grievances of the past will have a bigger payoff for them than will addressing and meeting the real challenges of the future and taking up the genuine opportunities of the present.

The whole damn thing is a disgrace.
* Figures and quotes are taken from the Oxford History of New Zealand, (pgs. 186, 187);  Penguin History of New Zealand, (pg. 219); 'Te Kooti,' NZ.History.Net; 'Te Kooti,' An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, 1966.


Renee said...

David Farrar doesn't know history because he doesn't go to places where real knowledge is to be found. He's busy cutting & pasting bits & pieces from our major newspapers' websites and posted them on his blog, without him learning anything new. As Adolf from No Minister commented on his blog, that Mr Farrar sometimes tries hard to make himself appear erudite, but actually, he's got none except cutting & pasting of others opinions.

Blair said...

Tuhoe is kind of a special case among iwi, as they never ceded sovereignty to the crown. Yes, they shouldn't have been harboring the Osama Bin Laden of his day, but neither does that mean they should get all their land taken off of them and their rights ignored.

Let's give them back their damned park.

Santi said...

Farrar is an unrepentant apologist for the National Party whose credibility is shot.

Peter Cresswell said...

@Blair: "...they never ceded sovereignty to the crown."

So as I ask in the post, where do they get off now seeking redress for an injustice that was anything but, through a treaty they never signed?

@Renee & Santi: Yes, Farrar's selling his credibility with readers for popularity (one presumes) with his party.

Which means his usefulness as a mouthpiece for them is finite.

He'd be more use to us if it were he that were banned from Parliament rather than Matthew Hooton.

Jarlsberg's Chosen said...

Not to excuse the murders or anything, but I was under the impression that the "initiation of violence" was when the government arrested Te Kooti for practising the wrong religion.

Peter Cresswell said...

@Finnegan Deuce: Te Kooti was arrested and imprisoned on the Chathams for spying, not for "practising the wrong religion."

In fact, the "religion" of which you're probably thinking, 'Ringatu,' was made up in 1867 while he was imprisoned at the Chathams to convert his fellow prisoners (who were both his former enemies and 'Pai Maririre' adherents) in order to lead them first in escape, and then on his campaign of butchery. (Ref: James Belich, 'The New Zealand Wars')

Blair said...

So as I ask in the post, where do they get off now seeking redress for an injustice that was anything but, through a treaty they never signed?

Because, as in any negotiation, a party can build upon another's best offer - which is what the Treaty was. I see nothing hypocritical in that.

LGM said...


The offer has long since expired. The parties making offer are dead. The parties who neglected to accept it, also dead.


Peter Cresswell said...

And the offer, which is long-since dead in any case, was refused as recently as Tame Iti shooting up a New Zealand flag on behalf of Tuhoe in front of the very Tribunal through which they now seek access to our wallets.

Patrick Gower said...

What no one has brought up is the capability of Tuhoe elders to manage the land.

If they can't control their own hygiene how can they control the park?

Viking said...

the park it was better before DOC came along and dispossed the Tuhoe working people of their jobs inside the park. They were employed by the forest service and the park and its facilities were always open and in good condition. Doc decided to rip everything out except for pansy trampers and tourists and sacked the very people who made the park what it was.
The sooner its back in Tuhoe control the better.
I never felt threatened and never had a vehicle tampered with before DOC.
Can't say that now.

Anti-tribalist said...

Tame Iti appears to be pregnant in that photo (where he's holding a rifle). Is that the result of his tonguing love session with John Key as shown in the photo at the top?

Dave Christian said...

Those of us who are not collectivists recognise the responsibility of the perpetrators of crimes and don't seek to arbitrarily label despised groups of people as criminals. Bigots of course look for excuses to vilify Palestinians, Muslims, Tuhoe, etc. Yes, harbouring criminals is a crime, but if you claim that ALL Tuhoe did that then you had better prove it.

Note that this is not an argument that taxpayers should have the products of their labours stolen and redistributed involuntarily - just that your argument sucks.

Miguel said...

Yes, Renee, David Farrar should be awarded a PhD from one our local journalism school for his achievement in cutting/pasting and repeating what has been published in other websites or has been reported in our local newspapers.