Tag Archives: Waitangi Tribunal

Horowhenua District Council boss ignores pleas to turn on water supply

Learn more about the historic interactions between the Horowhenua District Council and Mr Taueki (whose supply has been cut) by reading former HDC Councilor Mrs Anne Hunt’s recent book titled ‘Man of Convictions’  (free download). Also go to this link to see a report by Marae TV and here for a recent article about Mr Taueki being charged for trespassing on his own land. You may also like to check out our Local Govt Watch pages at the main menu. Note Mr Taueki is frequently labeled ‘protester’ a word with clear overtones of dissidence … whereas, he is simply a man who is defending his own land. Since when was it a crime to defend one’s own property?
EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

From Radio NZ

A district council chief executive is keeping the water to a Māori land protester turned off despite health officials telling him it’s illegal.

David Clapperton, of Horowhenua District Council, is also resisting the demands from his own mayor, Michael Feyen – who he has had several run-ins with already – to turn the water back on.

Protester Phil Taueki has lived in a nursery building beside Lake Horowhenua for 13 years.

His long-running protest at the lake received a boost in June from a Waitangi Tribunal finding that the property rights of his iwi, Muaūpoko, were usurped at the lake and that the Crown was complicit in degrading the lake to the point that it was among the most polluted in New Zealand.

The water was cut off last November, and Mr Taueki said his attempts to reconnect it since he returned there at Easter have failed.

“Where does that leave a person like me?” he said.

He has been getting his water from an outside tap and using a bucket to flush the toilet.

When he tried to get the water reconnected in August, he was trespassed from the council offices in Levin. He has previously had at least 30 charges against him withdrawn, dismissed or quashed on appeal.

A letter released to Mr Taueki this week under the Official Information Act shows the region’s medical officer of health, Dr Rob Weir, told Mr Clapperton in late August that the council was not allowed to create an unsanitary situation, no matter what the circumstances.

READ MORE

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/340480/council-boss-ignores-pleas-to-turn-protester-s-water-on

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…

 

 

 

TPPA Updates

Bulletin #84

10 February 2016

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What an amazing protest!

Thanks to all who supported the protests, in Auckland and across the country, on 4thFebruary 2016. More than 15,000 people (some estimates put it as high as 30,000) marched down Queen St in one of the biggest protests in a decade. During the day, activists undertook rolling blockades of traffic across the city centre around the Sky City casino where the TPPA was signed. It has shaken the government and they are on the back foot. Despite the barrage of media spin in favour of the TPPA (especially in the Herald) we are winning the battle for public opinion.

What happens next?

In terms of the official process, the National Interest Analysis (a biased sell job, prepared by MFAT) has been tabled in Parliament. It’s Our Future responded calling for evidence not spin.

MFAT is holding TPP Roadshows

MFAT says: “The roadshows will present the outcomes of the TPP negotiations. Members of the public are welcome. The roadshows will also help businesses prepare to take advantage of new opportunities presented by TPP’s entry into force.  The morning session of each roadshow will provide an overview of TPP, and afternoon workshop sessions will have a more technical focus.

·        Auckland, 7 March, Rendezvous Hotel, corner Mayoral Drive and Vincent St, Auckland Central

·        Christchurch, 11 March, Rydges Hotel, 30 Latimer Square, Christchurch City

·        Dunedin, 14 March, The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin

·        Wellington, 18 March, Westpac Stadium, 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington

Registrations close on 1 March 2016. More roadshows will be held in other regional centres in the coming months. Locations are likely to include Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Whangarei. Updates will be published on this website, or you can contact tpp@mfat.govt.nz if you would like to register to be updated.”

It’s Our Future will provide fact sheets and questions for those who want to attend the meetings.

Waitangi Tribunal TPPA Urgency Hearings

The hearings will be held on 14-18 March in Wellington. Register here.

Select Committee hearings

The Foreign Affairs Trade and Defence Committee of Parliament is expected to hold hearings on the TPPA in the March-April timeframe (we don’t yet know the timetable or locations for the hearings, but hopefully there will be a number of them across NZ). We are planning actions around those hearings:

·        Hold meetings in each city before the Select Committee hearings to give everyone the latest update on research and analysis

·        Debates and events are being organised in several cities

·        There may be protests linked to the hearings in some cities

·        ActionStation will be organising standard on-line submissions

Parliamentary Debate

After the Select Committee report and the government response, a combined bill covering eight pieces of legislation will be introduced to Parliament. This will need to be voted on by Parliament, but at present it looks as if the government has a majority (even without the threat of Labour MP Phil Goff voting for it). We will look at the potential for holding some big rallies around the Parliamentary vote.

General Election in 2017

The TPPA will not come into force before 2018. This means there will be a general election in New Zealand before it is actually implemented. We need opposition parties to stand firm in rejecting the TPPA, and, if we are not able to stop it, to commit to withdrawing from it in future. We will run a campaign to let political parties know that voters want a clear NO to the TPPA!

TPPA Ratifications

Even if the TPPA goes through the ratification process in New Zealand, it won’t come into force until it is ratified by countries making up 85% of the combined GDP of TPPA countries. There is opposition from almost all leading candidates for the US Presidency and the TPPA is looking shaky in Congress. The new Trudeau government in Canada has undertaken to consult properly on the TPPA and warned that they may not ratify. It is possible that the TPPA will be significantly delayed, or even never implemented.

For more details on the TPPA process, see the research paper authored by Jane Kelsey.

Take Action against the TPPA

In addition to the above actions, there are a number of campaign actions that you can take. A summary of those is on the It’s Our Future Take Action page:

·       Sign the petition to the Governor-General. Following the handover of initial signatures on a petition to the Governor-General, calling for him to withhold his assent for ratification of the TPPA, the petition has been re-launched. Please download the petition here and build pressure for him to act.

·        Sign the petition calling on the government not to ratify the TPPA. We only launched the petition a few weeks ago and it’s now up to 53,000. Please Sign Now!

·        Declare your space a TPPA Free Zone. You can declare your home, neighbourhood, community centre, school, workplace, bike or car as a TPPA Free Zone. Download signs and materials and join Facebook for ideas for action. TPPA Free Zone stickers (13cm X 10cm) are available at $35 per 100. Tony Hartnett (thartnett@ihug.co.nz) has offered to collect up orders to send to the printer.

·        Congratulations to Waiheke Local Board for becoming a TPPA Free Zone. Get involved with your Council or Local Board to declare a TPPA Free Zone.Motueka protester Greg Rzesniowiecki has been doing an amazing job in supporting Council actions, on his two year anti-TPPA roadtrip. Greg will write to all Councils in the next few days inviting them to declare their territory or region a TPPA Free Zone. There will be a new kit developed to assist activists, using the resources developed in the lobby on Waiheke, Upper Hutt and Christchurch Councils. Contact him at gregfullmoon013@gmail.com to discuss Council resolutions.

·        Target the media. The mainstream media have got away with biased reporting that has under-stated the numbers on our protests, ignored our message and disrespected protesters. Meanwhile there has been a constant barrage of government PR spin echoed by journalists. We need to build our movement on social media and through our own networks, but we also need to respond to the media with articles, letters and, where necessary, complaints.

Protest events around New Zealand

This is a partial list. Events have also taken place in many other centres including Nelson, Blenheim, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Tauranga, Hastings, Whangarei and the hikoi, cars against the TPPA and many others. Please let me know at itsourfuturenz@gmail.comif you have news and footage of events against the TPPA in your community. Information will be updated on www.itsourfuture.org.nz.

Dunedin

There was a lunchtime protest outside MP Michael Woodhouse’s office, which is on a prominent intersection. Lots of tooting in support! Workers stand to lose.

Christchurch

Catchy youtube video on the Christchurch Council action. The action resulted in the Council agreeing to hold a workshop on a  TPPA Free Zone. And Christchurch’s Josie Butler grabbed headlines in New Zealand and internationally with her well-aimed dildo thrown at Steven Joyce! In her words.

Wellington

The rally for democracy and sovereignty at the Governor General Gates on 30th January delivered 4300 signatures to the Governor General’s Official Secretary, Gregory Baughen in a solemn ceremony. There was an earlier hikoi from Waitangi Park to the Governor’s gates.

News reports on the fantastic Te Papa banner drop: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/extremely-disrespectful-tpp-protesters-target-anzac-exhibition.html

A ‘not-a-rent-a-crowd’ protest of around 600 gathered at Wellington’s cenotaph beside Parliament for a rally and speeches, joining the calls against TPPA signing.

Raglan

Hundreds (about 20% of the population) jumped from Raglan footbridge in a chain bomb, or watched, and when many signed the petition to the Governor-General.

Auckland

The march organised by It’s Our Future was HUGE! It was led by kapa haka groups, followed by elders and leaders from trade unions, NGOs and political parties, with a colourful array of placards and banners. The march was load, passionate and a strong signal to the government that a majority of Kiwis are against the TPPA. Check out the analysis of on-line TPPA protest activity.

Earlier on, protesters organised by Real Choice surrounded Sky City where the TPPA was signed, with chanting and drums. There was a rolling blockade of intersections around Sky City and onto the motorway, joined in the afternoon by the Hikoi against the TPPA.

Images from these events are posted at TPPA Images. Please add your photos and videos to the page. For more photos of the event, check out these great albums:

·        TPPA Free Zone photos by Dominic Hartnett

·        TPPA Protest photos by Kina Sai

·        TPPA Blockade photos by Pati Solomona Tyrell.

·        Anti TPPA Blockade photos by Baz Mantis Photography

·        Blockade the TPPA Signing! photos by Emily from Accompany Collective.

 

With the exception of John Campbell’s interviews and possibly TVNZ’s reporting , the mainstream media coverage was insulting and patronising, trawling through hours of footage to give the impression the protesters were ill-informed.

As the Trade Ministers arrived on the preceding day, they were met with banners and an LCD screen as an ‘Unwelcome Committee’, with a Don’t Sign the TPPA message.ActionStation (New Zealand), Leadnow.ca (Canada) and SumofUs covertly projected visual protest images near the Auckland Sky Tower. The Artists Collective put on a music event, the protestival in the weekend before the signing.

Waitangi

Strong opposition convinced the Prime Minister not to attend Waitangi Day events, but other political parties took the opportunity to send a strong anti-TPPA message.

International

Our New Zealand protests were part of a global protest with events taking place across most of the 12 TPPA countries (eg. Chile takes to the streets), and 250,000 people in Germany against the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Research and Fact Sheets

Five research papers have now been published on the TPP Legal website, onParliamentary process, Investment, te Tiriti, Environment, and the Economics of the TPPA. Others on Internet/IP and Local Government will follow soon.

A simple flyer with a summary of the key facts on a double side A4 is here. Copy it and share it far and wide. ActionStation has launched a new series of Fact Sheets on different aspects of the TPPA.

Funding the campaign

We launched a Give a Little page to fund the speaker tour and ongoing campaigning. Please donate generously.

Thanks for your amazing campaigning. The past few weeks have changed politics in our country. Now it’s time for us to ramp up the pressure! Kia kaha!

Barry Coates

It’s Our Future spokesperson

itsourfuturenz@gmail.com

 

Copyright © 2016 It’s Our Future NZ, All rights reserved.

It’s Our Future: TPPA News Bulletin

Cited straight from It’s Our Future’s mail update … sign up here to receive their updates to your mailbox: http://itsourfuture.org.nz/news/
(Clearly the rumour was correct for signing of the TPPA here in NZ).

It’s Our Future: TPPA News Bulletin #80

17 December 2015

In this Bulletin:

NZ to host TPPA signing on 4 February 2016
Poll shows Kiwis against the TPPA
TPPA looking shaky offshore
Treaty of Waitangi challenge continues
Groser buys more time on OIA
Local Government resolutions
The Trade and Climate Change nexus
And Good Riddance Groser!
And there are lots of ways to take action – Sign a petition to the Governor-General; declare your place a TPPA Free Zone; tell Labour you want them to be clear about opposing the TPPA; planning for the regional tour; say good riddance to Tim Groser; and prepare for anti-signing action on 4 February.

TPPA Latest

National government plans to host TPPA signing on 4 Feb

The NZ government has offered to host a ministerial meeting of all 12 countries to sign the deal. We believe that will happen on 4th February next year. The government is hiding behind the same old secrecy, but Fran O’Sullivan says it is in Auckland. Put the date in your diary. More details about actions to come!

Kiwis against the TPPA

In successive polls, Kiwis have rejected the TPPA. A stunning TV3 Reid Research poll revealed that a majority of NZ voters reject the TPPA. The coverage said that 52% rejected the TPPA (some people didn’t have an opinion, and the rejection was over 60% of those who expressed an opinion). 73% of Labour supporters were against it (is Andrew Little listening?), 84% Greens and 87% NZ First. Even 23% of National Party supporters were against the TPPA. That’s an amazing result especially as it came after a month of media carrying the government’s PR and spin while we couldn’t see the final text. Then last week, 97.5% voted no to TPPA in an online referendum run by the people’s ‘Real Choice’.

TPPA looking shaky

The TPPA is looking very shaky in the US – it is being opposed by senior Republicans and Democrats, including some of those who voted for Fast Track Authority for the President. It is also opposed by front-running political candidates from both parties. As a result, the vote may be postponed until after the US elections (in November 2016), they might try to re-open negotiations or it may never be approved. It is important to know that there are still many ways that this agreement can be defeated.

Waitangi Tribunal challenge set for March 2016

The Waitangi Tribunal has granted an urgent hearing on the TPPA in mid-March. It will focus on 2 questions: does the Treaty of Waitangi exception really protect Maori as the government says it does, tested against several scenarios; and what process should the Crown be adopting with its Treaty partner in relation to the TPPA.

Gear up for the submissions process

If the government signs, the TPPA will be sent to a Parliamentary Select Committee for review. The government can ignore what the committee says but it is still a really important way to send a message to both National and Labour. The committee doesn’t have to call for submissions but it will. It may also hold hearings around the country if there is enough demand. We are already preparing guides for submissions, Again, watch this space.

Groser fobs off Official Information Act obligations

The High Court ordered Trade Minister Groser to revisit his refusal to release TPPA documents under the Official Information Act. He waited to the last possible minute to say he wasn’t going to appeal, but couldn’t decide what if anything he would release until 5 February 2016 – the day after he aims to sign the deal. The Court recognised this was really frustrating but didn’t have enough basis to order the Minister to act more promptly, So the cat and mouse game of secrecy continues.

Local Government Action

TPP Action in Dunedin on the 14th December and both Upper Hutt and Porirua on the 16th December addressed the respective Councils in regard to the Greater Wellington Regional Council decision of 4th November and following the 18thNovember letter to all Councils. Jen Olsen with the support of Sir Alan Marks (Wise Response) and Stuart Mathieson and a few more in the public gallery spoke to the Dunedin meeting. Here is the news story from the Otago Daily Times.

The Trade and Climate Change nexus

As expected, the Paris Agreement on climate change was signed without any clauses to stop climate actions from being blocked by trade agreements like TPPA. The contrast between the two agreements demonstrates the real priorities of government and big business. The Paris Agreement on climate change has 31 pages, and its actions are largely voluntary and non-binding. The TPPA has 6194 pages and contains thousands of binding and enforceable provisions. The result? Trade rules as this article shows.
There was a meeting of international trade and climate campaigners on Paris, together with Naomi Klein, to coordinate strategies and build a longer term campaign for transformational change. More on the global campaign to come later.

Analysis of the TPPA text

Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates are coordinating a series of research papers, revealing the details buried in 6000+ pages of the TPPA text. These research papers are authored by leading academics or experts, peer reviewed and referenced. They are a credible source of information. Be warned, they are not light reading! Short advocacy papers will be prepared by Action Station on the basis of the research, for release in January. See the release of the first papers here.

A guide to the TPPA’s processes: The first expert paper from Jane Kelseyexplains the processes in NZ and the US if the TPPA is signed, how the US can pressure other countries to make more concessions, what has to happen before the agreement can come into force, and how its processes can fetter our regulatory sovereignty.

Legal analysis of investment chapter: The expert paper on investment by Amokura Kawharu provides a technical assessment of the chapter and how it increases the risks New Zealand faces under the TPPA.
Research papers on Labour, the Environment, Local Government, Economics, Internet/E-commerce, Health, Public services, Finance and te Tiriti are underway and will follow in December/January.

Good Riddance Groser

The Minister of Trade has sold us out in the TPPA negotiations (and in climate negotiations). As a reward, has been posted to an important diplomatic post in Washington. Gordon Campbell’s article here suggests we will be a diplomatic disaster in the role.

Take Action!

Petition to the Governor-General

A petition has been launched to request that Governor-General commands the government to hold a binding referendum on the TPPA. It is clear that a majority of the population of our country don’t want the TPPA – we need to keep up the pressure for a referendum of the most important issue facing our country (not the flag!). Sign on to the petition. There is a full explanation of the petition and resource materials here.

TPPA Free Zones

Declare your home a TPPA Free Zone, or get your workplace to do so, your community centre, marae, youth centre, sports club, or wherever. This has been a powerful way to build a movement in past campaigns against nukes, the MAI etc. Download the logo here.

Pressure on Labour

A strong opposition to the TPPA needs the largest opposition party to be active and consistent. See Jane Kelsey’s open letter to Andrew Little here explaining how the TPPA abjectly fails ALL of Labour’s five tests and click here for information on how to contact your Labour MP. We are planning a postcard campaign in the New Year to ensure that Labour doesn’t vote for the TPPA in the Select Committee and in Parliament.

“Stop the Signing” Tour

We have plans for a speaking tour in the 10 days leading up to their proposed signing on 4 Feb with Jane Kelsey, Barry Coates, and hopefully a leading activist from the US. We will be in touch with local organisers and send out details as soon as details are settled.  The dates are likely to be in the period 25-31 January in major cities.

Summer of Campaigning

I hope you’re able to take action at beaches, in parks, at events, and in your communities over the summer. Look out for the next Bulletin after the New Year with more actions to come to build a strong voice across our country against the TPPA. Have a great Xmas and New Year!
Send any suggestions or feedback to me at barrycoatesnz@yahoo.com and please let me know if you can help out with our planned website re-vamp and design of campaign actions.
TPPA – it’s not over. Don’t sign!

TPPA in the News

Petition to the Governor-Generalhttp://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1512/S00191/tppa-free-and-action-groups-petition-the-governor-general.htm

Real Choice results of the referendumhttp://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1512/S00085/new-zealanders-vote-no-to-the-tppa.htm and then they took the results into Parliament
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1512/S00127/question-time-interrupted-by-democracy.htm

Senior Republicans change their minds on the TPPAhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mcconnell-warns-that-trade-deal-cant-pass-congress-before-2016-elections/2015/12/10/b8151f26-9f66-11e5-8728-1af6af208198_story.html

Or are the Republicans just trying to get a better deal through side letters?https://ourfuture.org/20151214/dont-be-misled-tpp-still-coming-full-steam

There are huge pay-offs involved http://www.mintpressnews.com/211853-2/211853/

As if the TPPA isn’t bad enough, leaked documents from the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations reveal a further push to undermine democratic rightshttp://www.world-psi.org/en/great-climate-change-swindle

And the WTO ruled against the US rights to use country of origin consumer labelling for meat products http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/wto-orders-sanctions-unle_b_8748594.html

For story-telling about the TPPA’s health impacts in New Zealand, see Erik Monasterio’s address to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialistshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdNK1pBTVig

How our waterways are polluted – Crown concedes it failed to protect Lake Horowhenua

Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ
Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ

An article in the Manawatu Standard reports on a Waitangi Tribunal Hearing that began in Levin today, 5th October 2015

A visit to the Horowhenua district earlier this year led me to discover the shocking history of this lake, in particular, the way the owners, the Muaupoko Iwi have been treated throughout the whole process. (Lake Horowhenua is near Levin). Download and read the whole history of the Lake and how it was incrementally taken over, a long but essential read to understand the background of this story:

“In the beginning.. Not content with the land they lived on, it wasn’t long before the settlers of Levin coveted the lake as well. Lake Horowhenua belongs to Mua-Upoko who had been forced to watch helplessly as ancestral lands, placed in ordinary property titles, disappeared through scurrilous means. A Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry had ferreted out fraudulent activities, not only by those purporting to represent the tribe but by Central Government itself…”       Read more here.

Untitled
The polluted Lake Horowhenua

Stories like this one are not rare in our indigenous histories … they are just generally unreported in mainstream media. It is also the typical scenario where the costs of preventing environmental damage are ignored in favour of short term profits. The lake has seen decades of pollution (1950s-70s) in the form of human sewage that completely polluted both the food sources and the livelihood of Muaupoko and caused many to leave. Then there has been the surrounding farming and agricultural runoff. Muaupoko who have endeavoured to keep the lake clean have been vilified and maligned as being not the true owners. The official history in fact, also borne out by today’s article in the Standard, reveals their ownership has been whittled away from them incrementally by convoluted land laws and processes, and “left with “a mere sliver” of the 50,000 acres it once had”, again typical in our histories. The lake’s kaitiaki, Phil Taueki has been involved in an ongoing uphill battle in that respect with locals, Council and Police in his efforts to stop ongoing pollution. He featured recently on Kaitiaki Wars (available on demand) and also in this news item from Marae TV on the history and on the Horowhenua District Council’s stance. Taueki states that the lake, “… a prized taonga” has been “turned into the town’s toilet…”

The lake is now so polluted (video)*  it was dubbed in a 2014 Listener article as the ‘Lake of shame’.  It is not safe to drink or to swim in.  A National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist reported in 2012 that the “water in Lake Horowhenua is so toxic that it could kill a small child.” There were plans this year (2015) for swimmers to commemorate ANZAC by crossing the lake (once the training venue for Lord General Freyberg before WWI) however the cost to clean it up was $2.886 million, clearly not a priority. The non priority status of this issue is reflected in the tight time frame given it by the Crown for this hearing, a fact highlighted by Land Claim lawyer Leo Watson.

EnvirowatchRangitikei


Crown Concedes it Failed to Protect Lake Horowhenua from Pollution

By NICHOLAS MCBRIDE “The Crown has conceded it failed to protect Lake Horowhenua from pollution, breached the Treaty of Waitangi on multiple occasions and left the Muaupoko iwi virtually landless.

The Waitangi Tribunal hearing opened at the Horowhenua Events Centre in Levin on Monday, with 22 claims looking at Lake Horowhenua, Hokio Stream and the Horowhenua land block.

“We believe this will be one of the most profound hearings we will have in this district,” Judge Caren Fox said on the opening morning of the tribunal.

In its written submission, released before the hearing, the Crown acknowledged that  the Muaupoko iwi had “well-founded grievances”.

It breached the Treaty of Waitangi  and this allowed Lake Horowhenua to become polluted…

In the opening submissions for claimants, lawyer Leo Watson, speaking on the Hokio A land claim and Horowhenua Lake claim, said the Crown had perpetrated wrongs against Muaupoko, causing “profound generational impacts”….

the Crown had not acted in good faith, not talked with Muaupoko and had failed to protect the lake.

It had also been left with “a mere sliver” of the 50,000 acres it once had.”

Read the article here

* Lake image and video courtesy of Nick Simmons YT Channel

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.