Tag Archives: Maori

Poisoning our food is a time worn tactic

Some of my regular readers & correspondents will be aware of my art work being exhibited recently … (having just completed my Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts degree at Putahi a Toi, Massey). For those who are interested I’m posting my work here on the site because it concerns 1080 poison. 

(As good fortune would have it by the way, my two adult children, both artists in their own right,  were also exhibiting at the same time in the Te Manawa Gallery in Palmerston North. The recent feature article from the Manawatu Standard will give you the background to their work also. We were all interviewed as a trio. Unfortunately my daughter’s work is now gone, some of hers is in the newspaper article).

The theme of my work is poison, in particular 1080 & arsenic, which encapsulates the ongoing issues we are facing today … well at least those of us who are concerned about the toxic chemicals that we are involuntarily immersed in daily. These two poisons interweave throughout our history, and are only two of 280-300 active pesticide ingredients registered for use in NZ (read Dr Meriel Watts’ The Poisoning of NZ, p19). The poisoning of our food, our water, our people. The arsenic episode began in the nineteenth century with what was known as the NZ Government’s ‘Sugar & Flour’ policy, where non-selling Māori were targeted with aid in the form of flour mills and other ‘goodies’ to entice them to sell their land. Subsequently the flour became poisoned (as has happened & is documented in other colonized nations) to the extent in the Upper Whanganui River there was a notable decrease in the Māori population.  The poisoning was also discovered & documented by  missionary Rev Richard Taylor in his journals. You can read about it in David Young’s Woven by Water. It is also of course in the oral histories of the River & was spoken about in the Treaty hearings. Tariana Turia (former politician, co-leader of the Māori Party) also wrote about this in the Taranaki Star at the passing of Sir Archie Taiaroa, from the River. Sir Archie had wanted the stories to be made known, saying that Māori were forced to rely on flora and fauna to avoid being poisoned. My great uncle from the Whanganui River died of suspected poisoning. What a damning episode to the record of a so called ‘Christian’ nation. Civilizing so called ‘savages’? It is very clear who were the savages. And so it goes on today with the systematic dropping into our environment, the deadly ecotoxin called 1080.

On this theme I created an assemblage, after the work of indigenous Australian artist Tony Albert, detailing the current poisoning of our waterways and food by the aerial 1080 program operating here in Aotearoa (NZ). In my research on that I have seen testimony of concerned Whanganui people subject to aerial drops who saw incidences of miscarriages & cancer immediately after one. Like the cancer clusters around the cell towers, the authorities of course deny all of this. Dr Peter Scanlon (late) detailed that there have been little if any studies on the effects of 1080 on the unborn. Remember the post about how two midwives advised their pregnant patients to leave town when they heard of an imminent 1080 drop? I would certainly be erring on the side of safety & leaving also were I in their position.

Returning to the assemblage it contains images I’ve used with the permission of the donor* featuring the 2018 hikoi with Emile Leaf & Alan Gurdon. The basic message is … ‘Kāti te paitini haere i ā tātou kai!’ … ‘stop poisoning our food!’ It also features the assimilation drive of the colonists who desired land & and an eventual absorption of Māori into the white race. Well documented if you search … Angela Ballara’s ‘Proud to be White’ is a good start. The newspaper archives she cites speak volumes. Wiping out an ethnic group is technically called genocide however that is well nigh a dirty word in many circles today.

Below is the final gallery version.

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Te Kaupapa Here mō te Parāoa me te Huka | The Flour and Sugar Policy – Artist: Pam Vernon, Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi

Description: Governor Grey’s 1840s policy of aid and education saw the provision of many flour mills in NZ including along the Whanganui River. Matahiwi’s Kawana mill was named after him. David Young records in Woven by Water (p 49-50) the rapid decline in population on the upper river and the alleged systematic poisoning of non-selling hapū there. The government policy therefore became known as the ‘sugar & flour policy’. Land alienation was further fast tracked via The Native Land Court, with depopulation of Māori occurring via land wars, the introduction of muskets and European diseases. Te reo Māori was banned in schools and the assimilation agenda continued into the twentieth century (the Hunn Report,1960).

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Part of the assemblage is this Biblical scripture taken from Matthew , translated it means: “…for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” referring to the secret poisoning of Māori who would not sell their lands.

There is another scripture under the visible one (second ‘page’) that quotes Isaiah 26:21, “See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer.

The image below is also part of the assemblage detailing what a former NZ Premier John Ballance had to say about Māori. He was called a ‘nation builder’.

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John Ballance, dubbed a ‘nation builder’ is renowned for his quote “the only good Māori is a dead one” currently in place of  honour outside the Whanganui District Council buildings

The work below titled ‘Ekoruhe 20:13 | Exodus 20:13’  is an installation featuring three flour bags. I was told years ago by a kuia in our home town that the flour bags marked for poisoning had a red circle on them. I’ve taken artistic license to add red circles to the bag marked ‘paraoa’ (flour), although I am unsure how the red circle originally looked.

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Description: “Kaua e patu” (do not kill), are words from the Bible, the book brought here by the missionaries. Governor Grey’s Flour and Sugar policy was said to be partly an attempt to reduce Māori ‘rebellion’ against land acquisitions, targeting areas where he hoped to acquire land. With the alleged poisoning of Māori, they were forced to use their knowledge of flora and fauna to avoid death. Used globally to this day, the destruction of indigenous food sources on colonial fronts is a time-worn tactic. Currently, another poison is being dropped into our waterways, contaminating both our water & our wild food.

The work below titled ‘E Paitini ana i te Whenua me te Wai | Poisoning the Land & the Water’ speaks for itself.

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Description: For over 50 years, 1080 poison, a class 1A ecotoxin with no antidote, banned in most countries, has been dropped regularly onto NZ soil, currently at amounts of 4,000 tonnes per annum, enough to kill 60 million people. The Government recently changed legislation so that it can drop 1080 into the waterways without a resource consent, excluding the operation from Resource Management Act protection. A retired NZ Doctor recently warned that if you die from 1080 poisoning, nobody will know because Doctors are bullied by the MOH into not testing for it.

Below is the work titled E Paitini ana i ngā Manu | Poisoning the Birds. This also speaks for itself.

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E Paitini ana i ngā Manu | Poisoning the Birds, Artist: Pam Vernon
Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi

Description: It’s claimed by DoC that 1080, a class 1A ecotoxin targets pests, however, originally an insecticide, 1080 kills all oxygen breathing animals and organisms (Dr M Watts 2010).  A 2002 Otago 1080 drop killed an estimated 10,000 non-target birds. Over 5 years, of 89 dead tagged kiwi in the Tongariro Forest, none were tested for 1080. In 1984 Brodifacoum exterminated Tawhitinui Island’s entire weka population.

The bird image is from a carved kōkako from Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui’s house, Huriwhenua, at Ranana on the Whanganui River. It’s speculated it may symbolize the raven sent forth from Noah’s ark (David Young, Woven by Water).

Finally is the work titled St Joseph’s Church & Convent at Hiruhārama. Hiruhārama is on the Whanganui River, home of the pictured Catholic mission presence and Sister Aubert.

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St Joseph’s Church & Convent at Hiruhārama . Artist: Pam Vernon
Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi

Description: Patiarero on the Whanganui River was re named Hiruhārama (Jerusalem) by missionary Reverend Richard Taylor in the 1850s, as were many other Whanganui River settlements. In 1892, Suzanne Aubert (known as Mother Mary Joseph) established the congregation of the Sisters of Compassion, a charitable and religious order, where they cared for abandoned children. Their presence is still there today.

(Thanks to the Sisters of Compassion for permission to use their photograph).
Thanks also to Rere Tihema for the use of his protest images.


The exhibition will remain up until February so if you are in the Palmerston North area over the holiday break you can see it at Te Manawa.

Link to Standard article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/lifestyle/109022748/an-artistic-family-shows-their-work-under-the-same-roof?fbclid=IwAR0H6uwgw44-6bqfcvA3thQzKQRv31Zh9_BryTCWMEloo_eYnuLWA8SVJjw


 

I acknowledge especially my kaiako at Putahi a Toi Massey from whom I’ve learned so much. My learning is a journey that’s still in progress.


And finally, a correction regarding the Standard article. This is just a misunderstanding & was not intentional. I whakapapa to the River through my father’s side (see ‘about the author’ at the main menu) … I am unsure of our marae. It could well be Patiarero  (going by my research) however the article reads as though we do come from there. Apologies.

 

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Resistance to using 1080 grows in Far North: DoC has misled the public on operations costs, consultation & perceived support

The Department of Conservation’s plan for a 1080 aerial drop in public and private forests in the Far North later this year is meeting growing resistance.

Critics say use of the poison over more than 60 years has had devastating effects on wildlife, killing indiscriminately, inflicting an “extremely cruel and inhumane death” that often takes days. Locals for Responsible Conservation also argue that it poisons water, including sources used by people.

“Poisoned animals are left to rot in the forest and waterways, and remain toxic for many, many months,” a spokesman said.

“Dropping deadly poison over our environment is not an acceptable practice, and it is not sustainable.

“There are many alternatives that contribute positively to our communities and our employment opportunities that do not risk our health and our environment.

“We support sustainable, responsible conservation that benefits local communities and respects our environment, including all creatures great and small.”

Meanwhile a reply to an Official Information Act request from Locals for Responsible Conservation, received in March, raised more questions, glossed over the risks and showed that DOC had misled the public about the cost of the operations and local support for the drop, the group said.

A number of the groups listed as having been consulted said they had not been, while others had wrongly been cited as supportive.

http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12073542

Families with children now 53% of NZ’s staggering 41,000 homeless

This is very disturbing news. For starters 41,000 homeless is shocking beyond belief, in a land that once cared for its own. Top dollar for the real estate speculators is all that seems to matter now in Paradise as Key curries the favour of his rich friends and continues to profit from our growing indebtedness. All the while mouthing the hollow professions about building more homes … and selling off the existing housing stock from a corporation that was still making a profit. Please Kiwis, don’t vote the Nats in again. True, Labour is the lesser of two evils but Nats are more blatantly pro greed surely?

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

By Simon Collins, NZ Herald

[Photo: NZ Herald]

“More than half of New Zealand’s 41,000 homeless people are now families with children, according to new University of Otago research.

The new analysis shows that 21,797 children and their parents were in “severe housing deprivation” on Census day in 2013, up dramatically from 15,085 in the previous 2006 Census.

Surprisingly, single adults in severe housing deprivation declined from 9759 to 7763, and adults in couples and living with their adult children or parents increased from 3424 to 4898.

As the housing market gets tighter, single people have more flexibility and potentially more options open to them, whereas families with children don’t.

Dr Kate Amore

Overall numbers in severe housing deprivation rose from 28,917 in 2001 and 33,946 in 2006 (both 0.8 per cent of all New Zealanders) to 41,207 (1 per cent) in 2013.

READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11700058

TPPA “Key government regards the Treaty as an inconvenience rather than as the founding document of our nation…” Prof Jane Kelsey

Bryan Bruce, one of my favourites, an award winning documentary maker and best selling author,  updates us on Prof Jane Kelsey’s comments on TPPA ‘progress’ as it relates to Aotearoa’s founding document the Tiriti o Waitangi – visit his website, “Knowledge is Power” for further articles.
EnvirowatchRangitikei

the-full-and-final-fantasy
Te Tiriti o Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840

That Incovenient Treaty Thing Again

Bryan Bruce

Professor Jane Kelsey says that the reason why the government suddenly announced it is fast-tracking the report date for the select committee considering the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from the end of May to 4 May is now clear.

In a press statement released today she states:

“It gives the Waitangi Tribunal three rather than seven weeks to produce its urgent report on the claim brought by prominent Maori that the Agreement violates the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi”….

 

There’s no need for the Waitangi Tribunal to be rushed into making its decision.

As Professor Kelsey points out :

” The earliest the US Congress will consider implementing legislation is during the lame duck period after the presidential election in November.”

This shortened consideration process demonstrates ( if you were in any doubt) that the Key government regards the Treaty as an inconvenience rather than as the founding document of our nation.

And that is an insult to us all – because the thing that makes us unique in the world as a nation is that we are the people of the Treaty.

If we dishonour it – then who are we?

Read more: SOURCE

You can also read Jane Kelsey’s Press release here:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/…/government-seeking-to-stymie-repor…

 

 

 

Kiwis everywhere are growing their own food again

Up until the 1950s folks grew their own food as a matter of course. It was what you did. Supermarkets kind of changed that but folks are catching on to the fact that processed foods are frequently devoid of nutrients and our fresh produce is sprayed liberally with toxic chemicals bringing with them a myriad of health risks. The financial squeeze is also a motivating factor and people are getting their fingers in the soil and producing their own food for cheap.

Here are some examples of that in the North Island, one is in the far North, and another in Hawkes Bay, both beautiful warm regions for growing things. A third I noticed recently on Facebook in Palmerston North, closer to home, illustrating the wonderful value of communities getting together and growing food… and sharing. That’s how our forbears used to do it.


North Hokianga Food Co-op aiming for food security

SARAH HARRIS (stuff.co.nz)

Brother and sister Joe Thompson and Jackie Thompson are encouraging people to grow their own food and be self-sufficient.

“Brother and sister Joe Thompson and Jackie Thompson are encouraging people to grow their own food and be self-sufficient.” (Photo courtesy of Stuff.co.nz)

“North Hokianga residents are on the path to making their food pantries and larders entirely self-sufficient.

The North Hokianga Co-op aims to get residents growing their own produce and wants to build a boutique abattoir to process local meat.

Co-op organiser Jackie Thompson says the area wants to make the most of their natural resources and change attitudes towards food and where it comes from.

The Co-op held a “Kai Rangatira” day on October 10 to introduce the community to gardening methods and information. More than100 people turned out to learn about grafting, worm farms, traditional Maori medicine, honey and housing projects.

“Food comes from the supermarket, from over the counter in a package. We’re eating too much sugar and too much processed food. That is basically seen as normal….”

Read more:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/72995508/north-hokianga-food-coop-aiming-for-food-security


Aunty’s Garden

Published on Oct 9, 2015 (video at Tim Whittaker’s channel on Youtube)

“This is a short clip of Auntys Garden in Hastings. An amazing place to get fresh vegetables. Price = koha ..”

http://www.tim.co.nz
http://www.photodrone.co.nz

Posted on Facebook comments explain that the garden is  at “Waipatu Marae just before Whakatu in Hastings. It is a community garden that any one can get produce from. Payment is in form of a koha. Anyone is also welcome to go and help in the garden..”


Finally the Crewe Community Garden in Palmerston North have as their vision: “… to create a vibrant community hub whereradishes-788554_1280 neighbours are collectively involved in various sustainable living initiatives that provide healthy food, encourage social connections, and reduce family food budgets. A community garden achieves many of the goals that the group have.”

They also have a blog spot with the same name here
(Palmerston North (aka Palmy) is in the lower / central North Island.)
Check them out here on Facebook
There are many more of these ventures around the country, these are just three … really inspiring.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

Water Wars in ‘Clean Green’ NZ?

Most people who subscribe to truth sites similar to this one will be aware that water is becoming the new ‘gold’. This was ‘prophesied’ in a sense by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke in their book called ‘Blue Gold the Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water’ (2001), a very interesting and informative read. (The documentary of the same name is on YouTube.)

Here in NZ recent news items have questioned ‘who owns our water?’  ‘Nobody’, says the current PM John Key …  and yet a Hawkes Bay bottling plant (Chinese owned) has been sold pretty cheap rights to bottle and export 900 million liters per year. While locals who wish to water their orchards are required to pay for it.  Read the explanations for this and to the average citizen they sound like gobbledy gook … citing the Resource Management Act (RMA) and spun in legal rhetoric most of us can’t understand. This is the way of big business.

NZ’s Maori King, King Tuheitia says Maori “have always owned the water.”  In August 2012, the Waitangi Tribunal found that Māori still have residual proprietary rights in water and the Crown would breach the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi if it went ahead with the sale of State owned power company share sales. Maori customary title, according to the 2003 “Ngati Apa” decision of the Court of Appeal, must be lawfully extinguished before it can be regarded as ceasing to exist. Customary rights, although not ownership in a Lockean sense, says the NZ Herald, still represent more than the relegation of Maori to being non-owners of non-ownable water. Indeed, when acquiring the land for the Crown, the Queen solemnly agreed for Maori to retain “full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess…”

Still it appears perfectly legal in the case of Hawke’s Bay, for the local council there to sell an offshore corporation the rights to extract large quantities, even though, as John Key argues, nobody owns it.

For the purposes of introduction here, water and one’s right to it is becoming somewhat complicated.  There are places on the planet where the powers that be have integrated into law the prohibition of collecting it for personal consumption. As insane as this may sound it is factually true. As always, follow the money trail.

Corporations are seeking to privatise our water commons for a profit (and yes it was always considered one’s right to water is sacrosanct). Exemplifying their typical avarice for more and more profits, they seek to gobble up all the water resources and rights to them it seems, and sell them back to us at exorbitant prices.

The company Nestlé is guilty of this. Whilst its chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe  proclaims water is a human right, the company is busily selling off drought-stricken California’s water. Nestle owns 70% of the world’s bottled water brands.

This is the way of corporations. They are seldom for the people and always for their shareholders. Separate entities with legal personhood they manage to do just about anything their shareholders wish for them to do whilst escaping accountability for any damage they incur.

A few years back in Cochabamba Bolivia, a large corporation had privatised the water and was charging around half the income of the poor to buy it off them. So oppressive did this become it ended up with riots and even loss of life to oust the corporation and return to the previous status quo.  If there is anything you should learn on this site it is that corporations are not generally kindly companies that wish to help people. (Please watch ‘The Corporation’ movie).  Any intimation from them that they wish you well is generally just rhetoric to appease you or persuade you you to buy.  This attack on the rights of people to drink the essence of life, (and it is well established that water is essential to life itself) is a huge attack on our ultimate freedoms. Fifty years ago this line of thinking would be unheard of … unthinkable. As I’ve pointed out often here, fifty years ago most households had their own water tanks to collect rainwater. That was standard practice. And yet, today it is being put to us as being right and proper that we should not be collecting it at all. We have been seriously duped by little increments that corporations can, but not we the people. Lest I be misunderstood here, I am not against water conservation. I simply believe, like most ordinary folks, that water should not be virtually given to corporations to profiteer with, at the expense of locals who need it for day to day survival.

Welcome then to the water wars. And I’ve not even touched on water pollution and our health. In the meantime, be sure to stand up for water rights wherever they are being quietly, or not so quietly, whittled away. Next we will be charged for the air we breathe. Such is life in the twenty first century. If the water wars are new to you begin by watching the documentary Blue Gold.