Hone Harawira on Q+A

It was refreshing to get up this morning and see a politician on TV saying it how it is. No spin, or PC bullshit, just straight opinion.

http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/q-hone-harawira-interviewed-guyon-espiner-2755040

GUYON Sure but you’ve got, I mean last time you were protesting about Labour’s actions, this time the Maori Party is actually in government essentially, and it’s the same result, doesn’t it show that no matter what’s tried they’re not listening to Maori?

HONE I think what it shows is that clearly the Maori Party is an independent voice, doesn’t really matter whether Labour’s in power or National’s in power, if we have something to say on behalf of Maori we will say it, regardless of our relationship with government, regardless of whoever’s in Opposition.

There was a few things I took issue with this morning with the interview. The Maori party is the voice of the people who voted for it, not all Maori, in fact more Maori did not vote for the party.

GUYON Okay, I’ve heard Ministers including Rodney Hide say look they want Chinese representation, they want Indian representation, and Maori representation on this Super City, I mean how well understood do you think that the concept of tangatawhenua is in the general population, and even in the government?

HONE First of all, Rodney Hide talking about Chinese representation and Indian representation, is just a red herring quite frankly, he’s just trying to muddy the waters.  What we’re talking about here…

GUYON But that argument though – sorry to interrupt Hone – that argument does seem reasonable to many people doesn’t it, that you have different ethnicities and that they should have different levels of representation on a council along with Maori.  I mean your argument presumably is well you have a tangatawhenua status, I’m just asking you how well do you think that that is understood?

HONE I don’t think it is very well understood, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be pushing for it.  Now this isn’t about us not supporting Pacific representation particularly, Asian or anybody else, but as the First Nation People of Aotearoa, and as the tangatawhenua, as the people who have been giving land for the settlement of Auckland for two hundred years, there’s an obligation on the Crown to recognise the right of Ngati Whatua, and Tainui, and all of the hapu and iwi around this area, representation on this council.

GUYON Is it as simple as that, is it as simple as saying…

HONE It is, actually it is that simple.

Exactly. It is that simple.

GUYON Is it as simple as saying I have certain constitutional rights because I was here before you were here?

HONE No, I don’t think it’s certain constitutional rights, because we don’t have a constitution, but…

GUYON But they are constitutional rights to have specific representation on the Auckland City Council, or to have specific Maori seats of which you hold, that is a certain constitutional right isn’t it?

HONE At the moment we have Maori seats in the national parliament, that works fabulously well because now for the first time in 150 years of parliamentary democracy in this country, we actually hear what Maori people think regardless of whether Labour’s in power or National’s in power, we finally hear what Maori people have to say.  It’s an intelligent voice and it’s an independent voice and it’s a very positive voice.  Now we think that if it can work at a national level it can certainly work at every other level.

GUYON And why don’t you think that the National Party gets it?

HONE Quite frankly I think the National Party does get it, and that’s the reason why John Key decided to buddy up with the Maori Party, I think they get it, I think that they’re under pressure from rednecks and others to try and stop it, but at the end of the day I think they get it and I wouldn’t be surprised if John Key goes along with it, on the basis that he went along with the flag.

This is where Hone pulls the first punch. National are spread too thin and trying to please everyone.

HONE We are the tangatawhenua, that gives us rights according to the Treaty, we never dreamed up the Treaty somebody else did, but it gave us rights, one of them was partnership, that partnership was never meant to be just at one level or at another level, it was governance right across the country.  Now what we’re saying here is that in the same way that the Maori Party’s presence in the House is creating a new dynamic, and a vibrant dynamic, it can happen here for Auckland, and if we genuinely want Auckland to be the Super City alongside Sydney, New York, Paris, London, Rome and everywhere else, let’s build on that dynamic, let’s give Maori those seats, that’s number one, and then I genuinely would love to see about give years down the track, us seriously consider how we are going to include the Pacific population at that Council as well.

GUYON Okay we talked a little bit about whether Pakeha are understanding the Maori world, let’s just flip this around and see what sort of attention you pay if any to the Pakeha world view.  You said in 2004 and I quote you here – ‘the only people who are going to vote me into parliament are going to be Maori, what’s Pakeha think that’s something that Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples are gonna have to deal with.’  Do you care what Pakeha think?

HONE I do care what Pakeha think, but I’m the MP for Tai Tokerau, I’m very realistic about my role in the party and that is to promote the Maori world view as often as I possibly can.  The day I stand for a general seat is the day I’m six feet under quite frankly.  I stand for a Maori seat, I stand for the seat of Tai Tokerau, the only people who are gonna vote me in are Maori, so I try to get strength out of understanding what it is that Maori want to achieve and then try to translate it into an environment that you and I can live with.

Being honest to where your roots are is a good thing. Local loyalty first, plus you can’t please everyone.

GUYON The Maori Party didn’t stand a candidate in Mt Albert, why not?

HONE Oh, actually we’re enjoying sitting on the sidelines and having a laugh at what everybody else is doing over there, making fools of themselves over the Waterview criminal bypass and a few other activities that they’ve got planned over there.

Hehe… Waterview criminal bypass.

GUYON I guess I asked the question though because do you want Pakeha to vote for you.  If you look at your electorate results, you did very well in the seats obviously but you don’t get a lot of party votes.  Do you see as part of the future of the party, Pakeha voting for the Maori Party?

HONE Oh thousands of Pakehas do, but our first obligation is to Maori.  Once we’ve cleaned out the whole seven seats, once we hold them all what will happen is a lot more Maori are gonna see what possible by us being in parliament, and they will flood back to the Maori seats, we will grow those seats to about ten, once we get to about ten, and once we are firmly entrenched as the independent Maori voice in parliament, we can then look to be all things to all people, but if we tried that now we would die tomorrow.  We have to be very clear, we  have to be very focused about being the Maori voice in parliament and providing an opportunity for the rest of the country to see how positive that can be.

10 Maori Seats… personally that is a scary thought because I do not believe in the need for race based seats, however because of the silly 5% requirement they are necessary. And yes as a Pakeha I would consider voting for The Maori Party, like The Greens they are honest about what they stand for.

GUYON Before I move on to some of the specific things you have and haven’t achieved in parliament, can I just ask you – Trevor Mallard famously said that he was an indigenous Pakeha from Wainui O Mata, do you think that Pakeha can ever be indigenous in New Zealand?

HONE And I think Pat Hohepa said just because a cat is born in a banana box doesn’t make it a banana.  I have no issues whatsoever with Trevor Mallard feeling indigenous, that’s up to him, and congratulations to him, and if he’s part and parcel of this culture such that he thinks that way that’s great, but there can only ever be one tangatawhenua, that’s Maori.  We are the bananas, he’s the cat.

Exactly. I am 5th or 6th Generation NZ (can’t remember which), I have no connections to anywhere else in the world, however, Hone is correct in stating there is only one tangatawhenua.

GUYON I’ll take your word on that.  I just want to take you through some of the things that you wanted to achieve before the election and let’s see how you’re going.  You wanted to take GST off food, you wanted to wipe taxes for those earning under $25,000 – you wanted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, I mean none of that’s got a remote chance of happening has it?

HONE We also wanted a review on the Foreshore and Seabed Act, we also wanted to try and get the Maori flag recognised, we also wanted a constitutional review and we’ve got all of them.

GUYON So you think you’re doing alright?

HONE No, we could be doing a hell of a lot better, but in terms of where things are at, and the fact that in 150 years there’s never ever been an independent Maori Party in the House.  I think we’re doing okay, you know it’s only six months, six months on after 150 years of nothing – we’re not doing too badly.

Exactly.

GUYON Tazers – you bitterly oppose those, we’ve  just heard this morning that the government’s gonna spend ten million dollars rolling out tazers and the Police Association wants a tazer in the hands of every cop in the country, is that a good thing?

HONE Did you see that cop that they tazered on TV?  He was screaming, and when he fell down he landed on a mat.  Now just imagine if they did it right here, fall on the side of that he’d crack his head open, he’d probably die.  Now is that a good thing?  You put it into the hands of every Police Officer in New Zealand and you know what a crap bunch some of them can be, do you really want to put that in the hands of people who are going to use it as standover on different populations?  It just so happens to be that those other populations are going to be Maori and Pacific Islander.

GUYON So you see that as a race issue – tazers?

HONE Well no, not so much as a race issue but I think it’s certainly an issue about torture, and I think it’s an issue about trying to deal at that end of the problem instead of back at this end.  If you want to deal with crime, you deal with the causes of crime, you deal with poverty, you deal with the opportunities that people don’t have and you create avenues for the whole country to move beyond what we are at the moment.

Exactly.

GUYON You talked about that constitutional review that you’ve secured with the support agreement, what do you hope to come out of that?

HONE Well we don’t have a constitution in this country, and I’d like to see come out of it a constitution, that’s gonna take ten years, at least ten years, then everybody in the country’s gonna want to participate, but I want to see in there clearly the status of the Treaty protected once and for all, not in this bit of legislation, but not this this this and the other thing, but that the Treaty is protected and adhered to by all level of governance in this country, that’s really what I want to see achieved, and I think it’s very easy to do.  I think all it takes is a bit of courage, a bit of vision and a bit of positivity.

Bring on the republic.

GUYON You said earlier – I mean the main thrust for the Maori Party has been though on the repeal of the Seabed and Foreshore, you called it racist legislation at the top of this interview.

HONE Absolutely, filthy racist piece of legislation, I’ll tell you why.  If this is a hundred percent of the foreshore and seabed in this country, this much of it here is owned by private New Zealanders, the Foreshore and Seabed only applies to this bit here, the bits that Maori are after, so it’s a racist piece of legislation, it doesn’t apply to the whole of the foreshore and seabed, only the bits that Maoris want, racist piece of legislation, it’s gotta go.

GUYON And what are you hoping to achieve out of this review, I mean have you got a replacement?

HONE I think at the moment the numbers in terms of the review going all round the country talking to Maori and Pakeha is 90% for repeal, 8% for partial repeal, 2% don’t repeal, so it’s to repeal.  The trick is what we put in its place and that’s gonna be the big issue and we’re gonna be running a series of wananga before legislation comes into the House, to try and identify if we got rid of this what would we rather have, so that we go to the next stage in terms of legislation with a more positive view that’s going to – one, guarantee that title to Maori – two, make it inalienable so we can’t ever sell it, so it’s not about profit for Maori, and three, so it guarantees access to all New Zealanders.  Those are the three issues really, and I think that we can all live with that one Guyon.

I do not know that much about the issue, but the whole way it was dealt with was wrong.

GUYON Would you like to lead the party one day?

HONE Ah no, because leadership of the party requires a measure of diplomacy and tact I simply don’t have the talent for.

Hehe, Hone for PM.

This is only part of the full interview check out the link at the top for the full thing. Well worth watching.

Happy 50th Auckland Harbour Bridge

Wayne McDonald, NZTA (New Zealand Transport Authority) regional director you are a moran. Today you put thousands of lives at risk, and shutdown a whole motorway in a failed attempt to stop a protest. Lucky for them the Police knew better and closed the motorway to vehicle traffic and cycles and walkers were the winners on the day.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10574283

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2436755/Protesters-block-Auckland-Harbour-Bridge

Look at the news stories, rather than news of many people coming out to celebrate a kiwi icon and vital economic link, the stories revolve around how “protestors” stormed the bridge and how much of a tosser Wayne McDonald is.

And interesting bunch these protestors were… They looked, hmm, normal… It wasn’t a protest it was people power.

Well done to Bevan Woodward and GetAcross may a permament access route for cyclists and walkers be not another 50 years away.

Three in nine months is three too many.

Today’s brutal shooting of a Police Officer doing his job is another sad chapter in the apparent increase in violence involving guns and drugs in NZ.

Kiwiblog puts it in perspective:

“Three officers have been killed in the last nine months. To put that into context, there were only three officers killed from 1991 to 2007.”

The thin blue line just got thinner, and it is unfortunate that unless a large crack down is made on gun, gangs and drugs more innocent people will be killed, and the thin blue line will become thinner, and the number of people entering the force will decline further.

Action needs to be taken now to ensure that the police are able to do their job safely and continue to protect the community.

And that action is not more laws for an underpowered police force to enforce. It is more border security. Stopping the flow of precurser drugs, stopping the flow of weapons and ammo, dealing with low end offenders, the kids with weed at school, stop them at the grass roots level, once they hit the top the only way out is through a final blazen showdown, and we have had enough of it.