– John McLean
In 2014 the National government “returned” fourteen “ancestral cones” (summits of public hills in Auckland) to a newly set up authority of pale-faced tribal elitists who call themselves the Tupuna Maunga Authority.
This is bizarre as the peaks had been sold by tribes in the 19th century for valuable consideration and to “return” them 150 years later is the same as giving to the 5th and 6th generations some house or other property that one set of their ancestors might have sold in the 1850s. It’s called getting two bites of the same cherry.
However, using words like “returning” instead of “handing over” and “ancestral cones” instead of “public land atop the volcanic cones” is typical of the mischievous deceit that has become the hallmark of the Office of Treaty Settlements since the unelected and widely distrusted List M.P., Christopher Finlayson, took it over and started his war against the general public so as to favour tribes that appeal to him, including his ex-client, Ngai Tahu.
The terms of the handover stated that the new Maunga Authority, made up of largely of one-eighth and one-sixteenth non-biological “Maoris” who get well paid to attend its meetings, should hold the cones “in trust for the benefit of all Aucklanders”. It hasn’t taken them long to thumb their noses at this condition as first it was cars, then daffodils and now grazing livestock that they have banished from their new “estate” (formerly public land) and no doubt more restrictions will follow. There are also representatives of Auckland Council on the Authority but in effect it is the tribal elite that calls the shots.
One should not be too surprised at this as the whole thrust of the tribal elite’s grab for public resources seems to be motivated by not only greed but also a sneering contempt for the rest of us, and they rarely lose an opportunity to put the boot in so as to let us know who are our new masters. Practicality, restraint and the public good never seem to enter their calculations in making decisions that bit by bit deprive us of a few more of our rights and public resources.
In 2015 this new race-based Authority banned cars from driving to the top of Mount Eden and in November, 2016, it was announced that in 2017 this ban will be extended to the summits (and thereabouts) of One Tree Hill, Mount Wellington, Mount Albert, Mount Victoria and Mount Roskill. No doubt it will only be a matter of time before they start charging pedestrians for walking up to the tops of these formerly publicly owned assets.
The ones who will suffer the most from this unnecessary and self-indulgent ban will be elderly people who will no longer be able to drive to the top to get a view of their city – as Aucklanders have been free to do ever since the invention of the motor car. At the time the Authority’s chairman, Paul Majurey (a European both biologically and in looks), tried to claim that banning cars from the peaks “would make them safer for pedestrians and respect their cultural significance to local Maori”.
What cultural significance? As Peter Cresswell pointed out in his chapter in “Twisting the Treaty”, it wasn’t until the British arrived in 1840 and established some form of law and order that any Maori tribe could realistically claim that they “owned” Auckland or any part of it. “Before Europeans arrived Maori at best owned only what they used and inhabited,” wrote Mr. Cresswell. “However, in reality Maori actually owned nothing at all before Europeans arrived….When Europeans began arriving on New Zealand’s shores….Auckland was largely deserted , and Maoris living elsewhere were part of a culture that enthusiastically embraced tribalism and its concomitant warfare, slavery and cannibalism. And it was a dying culture – dying because it was unsustainable. When Europeans arrived the Maori population had flattened out at approximately 115,000 and Maori were living a subsistence lifestyle, with short life spans, a limited diet, limited food resources and constant battling over the few resources still remaining.” Many creatures that they formerly ate had been driven to extinction, e.g. frogs and all eleven species of moa.
In his book, Maori Auckland, David Simmons wrote, “When Europeans came to Auckland, they saw only a wilderness of scrub.” The reason why this vital isthmus between two oceans was empty was because it was too dangerous for any tribe to live there as it would soon be replaced by another, stronger tribe with better weapons.
In Mr. Cresswell’s words, “Kiwi Tamaki’s Waiohua tribe had spent the 17th and 18th centuries living and ‘slash and burn’ gardening around Mount Eden and One Tree Hill. These hills had everything a 17th century estate agent could dream of – they offered great defensive positions, fantastic northern slopes for kumara pits, and a delightful location between two sparkling harbours. But in a culture where ownership is held by conquest rather than by right, having everything means that you very soon have nothing – because someone else wants it….In Auckland’s war of all against all, Waiohua, Kawerau, Ngati Maru, Ngati Huarere and Ngati Whatua fought, re-fought and fought again across this narrow strip of land hung between two magnificent harbours. Ngati Paoa from Thames eventually took Mount Eden and many of Auckland’s other volcanic cones from Kiwi Tamaki, only to be ejected themselves about 1780 by Ngati Whatua….In 1818 Ngapuhi swept down from Northland with their guns, and over the next few years slaughtered or enslaved all who remained. Mount Eden and One Tree Hill remained empty. In 1835 Ngati Whatua crept timidly back to Okahu Bay and Greenhithe.”
In the words of David Simmons, “During the Ngapuhi wars Tamaki-makau-rau was almost deserted, and remained so until 1835 when Ngati Whatua returned….In March, 1840, three Ngati Whatua chiefs met Governor Hobson and signed the Treaty of Waitangi….These men saw the pakeha as a possible insurance against further raids.”
“Maori culture in 1840 did not recognise the concept of ‘right’ , and had no concept of ownership beyond the playground notion of grabbing what you can when you can,” wrote Peter Cresswell in “Twisting the Treaty”.
One of the main reasons why the chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi was to secure permanent property rights to the lands that they were currently holding rather than running the risk of being forcefully evicted (and probably killed and eaten) by a stronger tribe.
Therefore, since any ownership other than by right in law is no ownership at all, it is deceitful for the Government to have stated that they were “returning ancestral cones” to this new tribal authority, made up of these various tribes. Even though they were not properly owned by pre-1840 Maori, the government of the day nevertheless paid local tribes for them with good money in the 19th century, thus making it doubly wrong that they should be “returned” six generations later to a small and greedy group with far more European blood in them than Maori.
Not content with asserting their arrogance or, if you like, “mana”, by banning cars, these new cultural warriors then announced that they will also ban grazing livestock from the three summits where cattle have grazed for decades (Mt. Wellington, Mt. Richmond and Mangere Mountain) and sheep from One Tree Hill and Mount St. John.
In seeking to justify this bossy but unnecessary decision, the Maunga Authority said that it was “to protect and restore biodiversity”. This is laughable as the ancestors of these people were the most environmentally destructive people ever to inhabit (temporarily) the slopes of these hills – slashing and burning vegetation and leaving the hills bare – as they were when the first Europeans saw them in the 1830s.
In the words of a Remuera mother, Michelle Noma, “Our kids love to go there; it’s an annual event in spring to see the lambs in an iconic Auckland space.” Yes, but no more.
According to Cornwall Park Trust farm manager, Peter Maxwell, “The livestock keep the long grass tidy and help in controlling the litter by making it easier to spot rubbish that you would not be able to see in long grass. Stock grazing also reduces fire risk.” He is in a better position to know about these things than the new tribal “owners” whose forebears slashed and burned all vegetation around these mountains during their temporary occupations for the very good reason that, since they did not own them in any meaningful sense, there was no reason to hoe, grow or plan for the future.
Other instances of the Authority acting narrowly and racistly rather than for the benefit of all Aucklanders is their locking of the gates to Mount Eden, thus preventing people from going up there to watch the sunrise and sunset, and their banning of daffodils on Mount Hobson.
In the words of Andrew Paul of Orakei in a letter to the New Zealand Herald in March, 2016, “Mount Hobson is one of the jewels of Auckland’s parks. For some 40 to 50 years in the spring, the daffodils on the northern slopes formed a beautiful field of remembrance for the casualties of World War II. On the mountain yesterday morning I was told that local iwi had forbidden the daffodils to be replenished by a team of volunteers, many of them schoolchildren. The bulbs were to be provided by the city. The iwi does not want the daffodils on the mountain and has had the commemorative plaque removed”.
After all, daffodils are flowers from England and, as such, are anathema to these new cultural imperialists. This insult to the war dead is a repeat of what Ngai Tahu did when they were given a park in Greymouth as part of their over-generous and undeserved Treaty settlement that was negotiated for them by their lawyer, the crafty Christopher Finlayson. There were some commemorative gates that had been in the park for seventy years in honour of the dead of the First World War and the first thing Ngai Tahu did was to remove them. This contempt for the nation’s war dead seems to be a feature of the new tribal elite which shows such a deep-seated hatred of the hand that is forever feeding it with taxpayer dollars.
The new and assertive Maunga Authority made these decisions without any public consultation. After all, under tribalism (both old and new) those who don’t have power don’t count. “The unelected Maunga Authority haven’t consulted with the people who actually use the mountain, which makes a mockery of their claims of public support. If they really do have public support, then they shouldn’t be afraid of consultation,” said the ACT leader, David Seymour. Mr. Seymour has called for the Government to review the legislation that allows the Authority to make decisions re accessibility.
Since they have breached the condition on which they received this undeserved gift of so many iconic public places “to be held in trust for the benefit of all Aucklanders”, the Maunga Authority has shown that they are unworthy to govern these formerly public places. By banning cars which discriminates against the elderly, they are NOT holding their new estate “for the benefit of all Aucklanders”. These fourteen hilltops should be returned to the public forthwith.
A further odious aspect of this act of theft from the public is that it is just another step by this National government, under the malign influence of Treaty Minister Finlayson, to create an apartheid like New Zealand where one group of people – the tribal elite – have superior rights to other New Zealanders.
Tribalism, which is putting the tribe ahead of the public good, is what this new Tupuna Maunga Authority is all about. In 1840 the chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi to bring an end to tribalism, that was destroying Maori society and which during the recent Musket Wars had been responsible for killing approximately one third of the Maori population. Finlayson, for what appear to be devious, if not perverted, reasons, is trying to re-create tribalism by his sovereignty-smashing “co-governance” agreements, of which the creation of this Maunga Authority is an example.
Both Finlayson and Paul Majurey, chair of this new Authority, are rich lawyers who have made a lot of money for themselves out of the Treaty industry, which is all about shafting the general public so as to secure special race-based rights, resources and funding for those New Zealanders of a particular bloodline – part-Maoris. Shades of apartheid South Africa. That’s what the Treaty industry is all about – enriching the fat cats of the tribal elite while doing next to nothing for those part-Maoris who are at the bottom of the socio-economic heap. (The term “part-Maoris” is used in the interests of accuracy since there are no longer any full blooded Maoris and apparently not even any half-bloods either.)
First it was the loss of the foreshore and seabed, then the Urewera National Park and now Auckland’s iconic hill tops – all long held public commons that have been swiped from the rest of us for no other reason than National’s need to buy the Parliamentary votes of the race-based and separatist Maori Party.
In the words of NZ First M.P., Richard Prosser, “National appears hellbent on splitting this country down the middle, creating apartheid where once there was harmony, and entrenching for generations to come a mentality of antagonism and division which carves New Zealand up along racial lines, with privilege based on ethnicity and massive handouts of public wealth to an elite few possessed of an ever dwindling percentage of Maori blood.” This is not what our servicemen gave their lives for in two world wars.