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Dr Muriel Newman

Crossing the Line

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21 October 2007

Crossing the Line

Earlier this month a napalm bomb was detonated in a guerrilla-style exercise in a training camp deep in the Urewera Ranges. Police say that such military-style training camps have been under surveillance for over a year.

The massive police action that followed involved more than 300 officers including members of the special tactics group and the armed offenders’ squad. They raided homes in several towns and cities around the country uncovering napalm bombs, Molotov cocktails, firearms, military-style assault weapons, ammunition, and assorted military equipment.

Seventeen people have been arrested with links to Maori sovereignty, environmental and “peace” movements. According to reports, radical activists from these groups had attended the training camps and were planning attacks on targets specific to their own interests. These attacks were being coordinated to cause maximum chaos and to stretch police resources.

The Police Commissioner explained that the police raids had been carried out because the level of threat had escalated: “There are military-style weapons involved. It was military-style activities that they were training for. There was a significant risk, and I deemed it prudent to act now rather than allow this risk to continue”.

This is not the first time such a major police action has occurred. In seventies, and again in 1987, police raided Camp David, a religious commune in Waipara after learning that weapons were being stockpiled and that sect members were involved in military-style training. The police actions are said to have prevented a Waco-Texas style siege.

Tame Iti was one of those arrested last week. A Maori sovereignty activist, Tame Iti is committed to building an independent ‘Tuhoe Nation’. Over the last three years, taxpayers have been funding his activities through the Tuhoe Hauora Trust, a government funded Maori health provider. The Wananga is also reputed to have been funding his so-called ‘bushcraft’ activities.

In an interview on TVNZ’s Closeup veteran Maori Sovereignty activist Mike Smith stated, “If there was any terrorism in Tuhoe it was state sponsored terrorism. The people there want to be self-governing. The recent declaration of Indigenous Rights says that indigenous peoples have the right to be self-governing. Self-governing includes things like issuing drivers licences, appointing your own postmen, and putting up a defence force. The public of New Zealand have nothing to worry about by going into Tuhoe. If you go into Tuhoe and behave yourself, you will be looked after. If you go there and misbehave, they will take it upon themselves to police their own area. Tame is about the protection and enhancement of Tuhoe people and Tuhoe lands”.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples referred to by Mike Smith is a radical document which blames colonisation for the oppression of indigenous people and demands self rule. In particular Article 4 states: “Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self determination have the right to autonomy or self government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions”. (To read the Declaration, click here )

In helping to mobilise the world’s indigenous peoples by supporting their campaigns for independent nationhood status, the United Nations must take responsibility for lifting the hopes and aspirations of Maori sovereignty activists. Last month New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States voted against the UN Declaration. Whether this has contributed to the escalation of paramilitary activities in the Ureweras, remains to be seen.

In the Closeup interview, when asked about ‘Tame’s Army’, Mike Smith stated: “Think about the environmental impacts coming as a result of global warming – we could see the breakdown of civil society. I don’t think it’s such a silly idea that communities look at ways of defending their resources”.

Again the United Nations has to realise that exaggerated claims that global warming is going to threaten the future of human civilisation, are now being used by extremist fringe groups to justify arming themselves and preparing for civil war.

The problem is that in 2001 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations bureaucracy charged with providing evidence that climate change is being caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases, included a serious error that wildly exaggerated the threat of global warming. As a result of the flawed ‘hockey stick’ projections, they concluded: It is likely that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year during the past thousand years. While the IPCC later corrected their error, the scaremongering genie was already out of the bottle.

A British High Court Judge recently found that Al Gore was scaremongering in his film “An Inconvenient Truth”, ruling that the film was unfit to be shown to school children without suitable warnings. In his judgement he describes how Al Gore “promotes an apocalyptic vision” and concludes that “the Armageddon scenario he predicts is not in line with scientific consensus”. (To read the Judgement click here and to support a petition to introduce into New Zealand’s Education Act an amendment that would protect children from political indoctrination[i] click here )

The United Nation’s IPCC and Al Gore have just been awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The US based Heartland Institute believes they don’t deserve this recognition: “Mr. Gore is an environmental alarmist whose views have been repeatedly contradicted by scientists, economists, and policy experts. The IPCC, like other United Nations’ bureaucracies, also has difficulty telling the truth. While it claims to represent the ‘consensus’ of thousands of scientists, its reports reflect the views of a small cabal of ideologically driven government scientists. Actual surveys of scientists reveal the IPCC expresses the views of a minority of the scientific community”. (To read the article click here ).

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is Dr Vincent Gray a New Zealand scientist who has been an IPCC expert reviewer from the beginning. In an article ‘IPCC Wins the Nobel Prize for Peace’, Dr Gray concludes:

“There is widespread panic because the globe is not warning, so the phrase ‘global warming’ is no longer used by the scientists, the Governments or the journalists. Instead you must use ‘Climate Change’. Every last drought, flood, hurricane, ice melt, heat wave, is assailed by hordes of Reporters andscientists asserting that it is ‘unprecedented’, and caused by ‘Climate Change’…. The absence of ‘global warming’ is just a beginning. The reputation of the IPCC as a promoter of Peace, let aloneScienceis sure to decline but much harm may have been done to the world economy before this happens”. To read Dr Gray’s article, click here

Last week’s police action should serve as a wake-up call. It has provided an insight into the anti-establishment movement in New Zealand. We know we have extremists in our midst – as do all societies – but it has been enlightening to see the entire spectrum of discontent.

One only has to look at the Green and Maori parties to see extremists at work. Parliament’s Green Party, with MPs from radical activist backgrounds, embraces Maori sovereignty, extreme environmentalism, and militant social justice. It has become a ‘home’ for the minority of New Zealanders who are hard core supporters of political radicalism.

Unfortunately the power of the Green brand also appeals to a largely well-to-do middle class demographic who are attract by the Green Party’s ‘concern’ for the environment but naively do not recognise its extremism.

One should not forget that the local Green movement is also supported by international activist groups like Greenpeace, who are experts at the public relations game of winning mainstream support for their causes. They exaggerate with straight faces, write compassionate-sounding letters to newspapers to ‘humanise’ issues, and present themselves as victims when they are in fact perpetrators. Put simply, they have mastered the art of appearing honest, sincere, and community spirited, while advancing extreme agendas.

The Maori Party too is extreme, but unlike the Greens is more candid about its radicalism. It doesn’t hide behind an international brand, although it does use the United Nations to add respectability and weight to its racist cause based on historic grievances.

Ironically, the Maori Party has a Parliamentary mandate only because of what some would say is an act of racism – the Maori seats. Incredibly, all of the other political parties have conveniently turned a blind eye to this irony, knowing that one day they may need their support in a Parliament where single votes count.

Perhaps the uprising in the Ureweras is the wake-up call that middle New Zealand needs. Maybe it’s time to recognise that our society is not as benign as we would like to believe and that there are now radicals living amongst us who intend to do us harm. What we have to decide is how strongly we want our Police to patrol the line that divides our precious right to free speech and lawful protest, from the actions of those extremists who seek to impose their will on the majority by taking the law into their own hands.

The police believe that the line has been crossed by setting up military style training camps and making bombs. That is why they moved in. In reality, the trial of the Ureweras will less about the actions of dissidents and more about the credibility of the New Zealand Police – whether they foiled a genuine terrorist plot or whether they over-reacted. New Zealanders will be the judge.

This week’s poll asks: Do you believe that radical dissidents pose a real threat to New Zealand? Go to Poll

[i] The conclusion reached by the Judge that the film was not scientific and contained serious inaccuracies, prompted me to write to the Chairman of the Academy Awards to suggest that they rescind the Oscar awarded to An Inconvenient Truth for the Best Documentary, since it is clearly not a factual presentation. To view details including the Academy’s response click here

Reader’s comments will be posted on the NZCPR Forum page click to view .