Thanks to Papa Tuanuku for this commentry
If you divide the forest money among the members of the iwi involved, it comes to $4000 each for the loss of their lands in the 1800s and 1900s. Compare that to Alan Titford who got well over $1m for compensation for a farm in the 1990s.
Ironically, the plane money some iwi are spending to get to the signing will eat into each person's entitlement. Imagine getting $4000 compo and spending a grand of it flying to a hotel to perform at the compo ceremony in Wgtn!
Where is all the justice money going?
But will the mokopuna of the lands grab lands get social and economic equality now that their $4000 compo is being given to a new corporate iwi structure? Are they even represented in the tribal mandating processes?
Meanwhile, the mokopuna of the 1800s land grabbers are spending $2 building new prisons for every $1 they spend on 'land' justice. Well, we have 4 brand new prisons and a zillion dollars maintaining and staffing them, and paying for the cops to gather up the mokopuna of the lands in question.
So who is (still) getting rich off Maori misery?
Two arms of justice have sped up in the last 10 years. Prisons have been fast tracked, who would have thought ten years ago that Ngawha, Manurewa and Meremere would have their own prisons?
The other 'sped up' justice is in the lands. It coincides with the rise of the Maori Party. Suddenly, Micheal Cullen wants to settle 30 year old land claims. Hence the forest stuff going on. Don't believe the hype about this whole thing being sped up, like he's doing a favour returning a portion of the stolen goods.
We've waited a long time for these crumbs, and they government has spent $30 million on negotiations thus far. In my book, spending $30 million on discussions when our people are hungry is immoral. What do you think?
If the government successfully uses this forest deal as a means to undermine the Maori Party, and by extension an independent Maori voice, then we have been complicit in the demise of our ability to advocate staunchly for the mokopuna who do not yet have a voice.
Where does Tane fit into this?
We are the mokopuna of Tane Mahuta. Who the hell came up with the name Treelords, turning the relationship with the tree god back to front? It's this sort of thinking that has got the world on an environmental edge, thinking that we have domain over the lands. The name is offensive, so we need to challenge those that use it.
What shall we do?
We need to stand on issues this:
- discuss and think honestly about what is on offer here? What is the motivation for the 'leadership' to be coming on masse to Wgtn? Whose agendas is this? How cheap ARE the Maori seats?
- Help in the contribution to honest, forthright, staunch nation building korero.
- Tautoko the Maori that challenge this whole thing. If there are Maori opposed to this, at least someone is being staunch to the legacy of the tupuna.Think about the opportunity costs - if it means that our 'leaders' should spend their time undermining other Maori like Shane Jones and Api Mahuika have been doing, what is the psychological cost of these deals?