Friday, 14 May 2010


We fell about laughing when we read this bit in the Herald today...

Mr Kruger who is leading the negotiations with the Crown said the politics around ownership should never have surprised Mr Key. Not only did the tribe meet with him to discuss it but the PM is the also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.
That's the committee which vets proposals before it goes to a full cabinet meeting.The last time the deal was put to the committee was in mid-March, he said.
"In that proposal is ownership [of Te Urewera] - what, you're the chair and you've never heard of this before?
"We had our one go up twice and get the big tick.
"Well, either he doesn't read his minutes ... some of my marae committee members are like that. You know, when I have a hapu hui some of my uncles and aunties don't bother read the minutes they just tell me to hurry up so they can get to the biscuits and tea
It is a very fine example of a Maori put down.  However we think that Kruger  is playing a dangerous game and at the end of the day this government offers them the best chance at a decent and speedy resolution to their grieveances.

Now even Ngai Tahu didnt get all it wanted in the settlement. We, in the south, wanted Codfish Island. But there was no way that the Government of the day was going to give one of the great conservation jewels to the tribe. We got the windswept and barren Centre Island instead and incidently the Foreshore and seabed around it.

So its in Tuhoe's best interests now that they have had their bit of fun to get back to negotiating a deal with National.

Krugers comments remind me of one of the great and subtle Minsterial kneecapping I was ever party to.

This particular Minister arrived on the Marae for a meeting with the tribal elders. The Upopko ( chief ) was a wily bugger ..

Anyway he sat and listened to the Minister go on and on and on about what he wanted and what he would do and what he wouldn't do. He was on transmit only.  We were really embarrassed.

The chief just sat there and at the end of the Ministers diatribe he turned to me and gave me a subtle  wink.

Then he  stood and said to the Minister...

" Thank you for taking the time to come and visit us and tell us your thoughts. I have seen the man many times on TV and  it is nice to finally  meet the boy."

I could barely contain myself - the Minister just blithely carried on yabbering, unaware that he had been slighted.  The chief gave me another sly wink.

Poetry it was  - poetry.


JC said...

one I know was a deal between the Forest Service and an Iwi not a million miles from Tuhoe.

After the FS guy had spoken a fellow down the back of the hall got up and ranted on about "our land". When he finished, an old guy got up, coughed a couple of times and said "If that chap wants to be buried on his piece of dirt.. we'll have to bury him standing up".


adamsmith1922 said...

Subtlety is not just confined to NZ. Many years ago Dr David Owen, a medical doctor, was Foreign Secretary in a Labour Government. He visited Zambia, at that time ruled by Kenneth Kaunda. KK was asked for a view on Owen and reputedly remarked that he understood Owen was a very good doctor.

Latterly Owen was a founder of the SDP, later subsumed into the Lib-Dems