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Beehive Chat (Maori Bashing)

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  • ghwelker
    Beehive Chat Hon. Tariana Turia M.P. for Te Tai Hauauru Monday, 21 July 2003 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IPL_Current_News/message/2680 Foreshore backlash
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1 6:14 AM
      Beehive Chat

      Hon. Tariana Turia
      M.P. for Te Tai Hauauru

      Monday, 21 July 2003


      Foreshore backlash

      Tangata whenua around the country are bracing them for a wave of
      righteous anger to come crashing down on any Maori initiative, while
      any pro-Maori person who dares to speak out will automatically become
      a target.

      Our people know that sections of the public are outraged by the
      Appeal Court's reminder of what it means to be tangata whenua.

      Some New Zealanders cannot accept that our people once owned all this
      land, including the foreshore and seabed, because it is our mother,
      because our history and culture grow out of this land, and our
      ancestors passed down to us the responsibility for looking after it.
      Our title does not come from the Crown.

      We agreed to share our land, but others wanted it all. Having got
      most of it, by fair means or foul, they thought it was safe to ignore

      Iwi leaders have consistently asserted their customary ownership of
      seabed and foreshore, but most people have not wanted to know. Now
      that the Court of Appeal has said there is a case to answer, they can
      no longer dismiss us.

      So they will turn nasty. Mark my words.

      Allegations of racial privilege and separatism are just the softening
      up phase, to create a climate of opinion where personal attacks seem
      to be justified, and obsessive nit-picking criticism of Maori
      undertakings has its own strange logic.

      The real campaign is just getting under way now. With the smell of
      Trevor Moeke's blood in their nostrils, the critics have turned on
      Shannon Pakura.

      Shannon is the member of CYF's senior management team who took on the
      job of ensuring that relations between my office and the department
      remain strong. Her role was understood and accepted as being quite
      legitimate by myself, herself, the CEO, the State Services Commission
      and anyone else who mattered.

      If Shannon and I were not Maori, there would be no story.

      What is the role of the media in the situation that is developing?

      From all the information and stories flowing around, the media create
      the news by selecting some things and not others. The selection
      process is just as important as professional standards of reporting –
      accuracy, fairness and so on.

      A reporter's or editor's evaluation of what is news comes down to
      personal and cultural values, and most people do not like their
      values to be questioned.

      So our people will be expected to suffer in silence while the media
      bash up anything or anyone Maori in their efforts to impose their own
      views on us, while they personalise issues, while they chase a
      sensational sound bite or quotable quote and leave the background

      The overall effect is to destroy our people's hope and self-
      confidence. As one Maori reporter said, it's like trying to defend
      yourself with a wooden fork against a Gatling gun.

      Last Friday, the lead story in one national newspaper was that Maori
      health providers are spending millions of dollars with no checks –
      even though the two examples they referred to were closely

      Our people die ten years younger than Pakeha. Maori providers receive
      around two percent of health funding. To me, the real story is how
      mainstream providers account for poor Maori health, given that they
      get the 98 percent of the funding.

      But that story will only be told when tangata whenua have an
      effective media voice of our own. And that is why the most
      controversial story of all will be the Maori Television Service.

      Watch this space!
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