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Dr Muriel Newman

The Sovereign State of Tuhoe

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UrewerasFor five days, Brussels, the capital of Belgium, was in lockdown following the horrific terror attacks in Paris by Islamic State militants, in which 130 people were killed. The Prime Minister warned of a ‘serious and imminent’ threat of co-ordinated, multiple attacks by militants. The metro and schools were closed, large events were cancelled, and people were warned to avoid crowds.

A 27-year-old Belgian man, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in a Police raid, was the mastermind behind the November 13 Paris attacks. Another leading suspect, Salah Abdeslam, also from Belgium, is the focus of a major manhunt.

The fact that the Paris terror attacks had been planned in Belgium has raised questions about why it is that the country features so strongly in Islamic extremism. Belgium is known to have provided a steady flow of fighters to ISIS – including Abaaoud – with 85 of the 130 jihadists known to have returned from Syria living in the Brussels district of Molenbeek. This commune of 100,000 people, with its large immigrant population and high levels of unemployment, has been identified as a centre of Islamic activism.

With the threat of terrorist attacks escalating globally, world leaders are anxious to better understand the factors that give rise to extremism. They want to minimise the danger of terrorism in their home countries. While these are complex issues, it appears that high levels of disadvantage in communities that are isolated from the country’s dominant culture, can create a climate of social exclusion in which radicalism can flourish.

In New Zealand, while the Islamic terror threat remains low, with known suspects under strict surveillance by Intelligence Agencies, it is important to remember that we are not immune from home-grown forms of radical extremism – as the Tuhoe police raids in 2007 showed only too clearly.

While a sophisticated propaganda war has been waged to convince the public that the events that took place in the Ureweras was simply innocent bushcraft training, the reality was that a group of radical Maori sovereignty activists had joined with environmental extremists and so-called peace campaigners, in support of the Tuhoe ‘cause’.

Thanks to the brave decision of the Dominion Post’s then Editor Tim Pankhurst to publish The Terrorism Files by investigative journalist Phil Kitchin in November 2007, New Zealanders are able to see for themselves what went on. Police surveillance revealed that a private army was being established through military-style training camps, aimed at gaining control of the Urewera National Park and securing an independent Tuhoe nation. Their strategy was to establish small squads capable of committing such extreme acts of violence that the public would think Al Qaeda was responsible. Their target was politicians – and ‘Pakeha’. They planned to use firearms, rocket launchers, Molotov cocktails and napalm.

As a result of the mounting evidence the Police launched Operation Eight, arresting 17 people and seizing guns and ammunition. But the case was thwarted by poor legislation. The Terrorism Suppression Act, under which the charges were laid, had been rushed through Parliament by the Clark Government in 2002, following the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. The warnings that the legislation would prove unworkable, turned out to be the case. While the Solicitor General concluded that the Police had a “sufficient and proper basis” for concern about the activities in the Ureweras, he nevertheless ruled that the Act could not be used, and crucial evidence was barred from court.

Over the following years, as a result of multiple court appeals, thirteen of the accused had their charges dropped for legal and technical reasons, but four were found guilty.

While the actions of the Police were later questioned, at the trial elders who lived in the area said they were afraid of what was going on and did not think the Police had over-reacted. In response to calls to apologise, the then Commissioner of Police said, “Absolutely no apology for the investigation. Absolutely no apology for the arrests. Absolutely no apology for the prosecution. And I stand by the officers. The people who were responsible for Operation Eight should, in fact, be considering an apology for the shame that they brought on the Ureweras.”

The case should remain as a stark warning to political leaders that separatism and tribalism pose a threat to society.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Rodney Hide, former leader of the ACT Party, picks up on this theme in his article Tribalism sets honey trap for welfare. He explains:

“Successive governments have pinned their hopes for Maori economic and political development on tribalism. It’s a surprising decision because tribal structure is contrary to everything we know about successful governance. Tribal structure lacks democratic transparency and accountability. It also lacks the incentive and opportunity of a firm in the market for capital and customers.”

Without a doubt, New Zealand is a tolerant society that embraces many views within a strong common culture. Yet, generations of politicians have reinforced tribalism and separatism through tax-payer funded settlements and generous government contracts. This has created the incentive for tribal leaders to not only promote sovereignty, but to also pass radical ideas on to the young. As a result, far too many tribal members are isolated from the mainstream and live on the fringes of society, where they are detached from education, suffer poor health, lack the skills needed to get a good job – and are burdened with a permanent sense of grievance.

While politicians know this was the sort of environment that gave rise to the Tuhoe rebellion, they appear loath to interfere. In fact, some are now intent on making the situation worse – as was revealed by Tuhoe tribal leaders last week when they spoke out about the agreement in their Treaty settlement, to take over control of social services, within their tribal area, which covers Ruatoki, Waimana, Waiohau, Ruatahuna and Waikaremoana.

The genesis of their plan goes back to 2011, when they were negotiating their tribal settlement. Their aim at the time was to become independent of the Government – a self-governing nation within a nation.

But instead of rejecting the idea on the basis that strengthening separatism and racial division is a backwards step for New Zealand, the government agreed and in 2012 a Service Management Plan was developed with the Ministry of Social Development to map out the path to self-rule.

Typically self-rule would involve raising taxes and using that money to fund social services in the area. But with almost 30 percent of the tribal population reliant on welfare, the funding shortfall would be massive.

So instead, Tuhoe wants taxpayer funded self rule. It is this model that is now being described as ‘mana mutuhake’ and was part of a 40 year plan agreed with the Minister of Treaty Settlements, Chris Finlayson, when negotiating their Treaty settlement. The legislation says: “The Crown acknowledges you and te mana motuhake o Tūhoe”.

Tuhoe leaders claim it’s going to be the start of the decolonisation of their people. They want existing government funding for welfare, schools, health care and housing within Te Urewera to go through the iwi. They say that will allow them to take ownership of the wellbeing of their people. They say taking control away from the Crown would create a vibrant iwi and end dependency.

Their argument, however, masks their real intentions. Taking taxpayer funding is not independence – it’s a power grab. It’s a means of gaining even greater control and authority over tribal members than they currently have, as well as securing a lucrative permanent funding base.

At present, around 5,000 tribal members are on welfare. Tribal leaders want their welfare payments paid directly to the tribe so they can make use of the money – passing some of it on to the beneficiaries and imposing new requirements on them. Whether beneficiaries will be happy to have their personal records accessed by other tribal members, remains to be seen.

But while the Tuhoe leadership wants to use some of the benefit money for job creation, a Ministry of Social Development report on the plan has identified major challenges:

“Fundamentally, it is the right of the beneficiary for state support and the obligation on the state to provide that support. The right is held by the beneficiary, who has an entitlement described in legislation. From time to time that legislation and the regulations, or the administration, may change. But under present legislation, a beneficiary’s entitlement is personal and not something that could be transferred by that person or anyone else.”

In other words, the fundamental basis of our social security legislation would need to be changed to enable an individual’s welfare payments to be directed to tribal leaders instead of a beneficiary.

The report lists a number of major hurdles associated with the concept of Tuhoe assuming control of social services – particularly their lack of skills for taking on such complex roles. It indicated that vast sums of taxpayer dollars would need to be expended on “capacity building”, to ensure they have the capability to do the job.

The challenges of getting people who live in remote areas off welfare are significant. In 2003, the Labour Government tried to tackle the problem with their “Jobs Jolt” initiative, which prevented people from moving into remote areas where there are no jobs, to live off welfare.

An article written last year, that provided a snapshot of the daily life in Ruatahuna, deep in the Urewera forest, shows how entrenched the problem is.

“A local sits smoking outside the small shop and motel that mark the entrance to a town of around 300 people. The store’s Tip Top boardings whisper of better days but the archaic petrol pumps have not run for decades and the shelves are nearly bare. There are few jobs and most of Ruatahuna’s residents rely on benefits. There is no cell phone reception and little reason for the young people to stay.”

The article describes how one resident was getting his horses ready for when the deer started roaring and a bunch of mates would come from town to go hunting. But he explained that he was unwilling to start his own commercial guiding operation taking tourists into the bush to hunt because that would interfere with his dole money. He was said to be typical of many Tuhoe – “75 per cent of whom are on some sort of benefit”.

Tuhoe’s tribal leadership not only wants to gain control of welfare funding, they also want to share control of the 15 Government schools in the area, they want more control over health and housing, and they also want to take back control of the more than 200 abused Tuhoe children in state care.

With the return of the National Park, their current land interests give Tuhoe in excess of 300,000 acres. They have identified a range of business enterprises that could create employment, including, pharmaceuticals, science and research, eco-tourism, food and technology, horticulture, agriculture, biodiversity, and culture and heritage.

In addition, they are interested in a number of social sector projects including the setting up of charter schools to “embrace tribal tikanga” and the establishment of health care centres to include mental health and addiction services.

While the aspiration of the Tuhoe leadership to end welfare dependency is laudable, their plan for an independent nation funded by taxpayers is foolish – both for them and for the government which appears to be going along with it. Instead they should be focussing on using their $170 million Treaty settlement wisely. While $15 million has already been spent building a new headquarters for the tribe, they still have considerable wealth to help encourage business enterprises in their area that will generate the jobs and create the on-going opportunity the people of their region need.

And as far as the government is concerned, it is clear they should be doing more to reduce welfare dependency and ensure better health and education outcomes in the area. But they should not forget that tribal members are New Zealanders first and foremost and deserve to be treated equally with all other Kiwis – not relegated to the rule of undemocratic tribal leaders exercising autocratic tribal controls.


Do you support the plan for taxpayer funded ‘self rule’ for Tuhoe? 

Vote x 120

 *Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


Only if they fully pay for this themselves at every level and not have their gravel hand out. Joe
We are one people Allshould recieve the same asistance not a selected few. One country one people. John
The concept is so ridiculous that I do not understand why the government does not just tell them to forget it and get real. But that seems to be too hard for our present government. RICHARD
Politicians are going to continue with this sort of “special rights for Maori” nonsense until a sufficient number of citizens vote for a Party which will put an end to it. A further option is to support Independent candidates for Parliament. On a previous post it was suggested that a referendum be taken on Maori rights to our water supply. I respectfully suggest that this would be a complete waste of time. The politicians of both major Parties have no intention of listening to the peasants – it’s the vested and racially favoured interest groups which get their sympathy and attention. The brutal fact is that we are living in a pretend democracy. The concept of politicians being the servants of the people seems to have been lost – if it was ever accepted in the first place. Denis
NZ is not a federation of self-governing entities, it is a single nation! Pieter
Could have sworn i made a comment on this a few days ago – censorship much? Keefe
I seem to remember the fuss about Apartheid made by NZers back in the 1980s during the Springbok Tours. Surely this idea of self rule for Tuhoe is Apartheid by another name. Stan
NZ is becoming more apatheid every day.Frightening. Politicians very naive. Lorraine
Preposterous idea or plan If self-rule is what they want it has to be self-funding. Craig
State funding must be transparent. Education must be to lead the way for future employment. I met a guy doing PD. He fixed our mower but when asked why he did not get a job he said the Te Reo school did not teach very good English and he could not read equipment service manuals. We musts be one! Bruce
They do not need to be a separate state to start up businesses that they already have money available for. Murray
Let the iwi who have made billions from false, dreamed up claims, pay for their own welfare. Walter
This is ridiculous you cannot have separatism. Once the hand outs start as with treaty claims they will never end. Jock
Just another slush fund for the Tribal elite. Jeff
That’s crazy! Richard
They have the same opportunity as anyone else. Phil
We are one country with a mixed heritage. Seperatist policy’s like this divide and fragment our society with our tax money. Disgraceful! Stop it. Jeff
We are supposed to be one people, why would we support this kind of separatism. Bryan
Barbaric backwardness based on a tribal Stone Age societal model does not work in the modern age. Alan Duff on July 8th, ’06 in ‘Maori Under-performance’ said to continue with the collective, whanau, hapu, iwi societal model is a fatal mistake. John Key has no vision if he does not stop this madness. Monica
It sets a precedent. Soon we will be paying for all tribes to run their petty “native states”. Dave
Yes, but only if they are denied access to the taxpayer “tit”! But if I’m paying then definitely no! Brian
Surely “self-rule” requires financial independence, not dependence on taxes from another “ruler”. Jane
This the ultimate in reverse racism, what is also disturbing is that our political leaders are actually allowing this to happen at all. Peter
Like hell! Bruce
Never!!! Neil
Tuhoe leadership is dramatically unqualified to succeed in their stated goals for publically funded independence…an oxymoron at best. These attitudes will further divide our country. Jim
Absolutely not!!! What is the government thinking? Carolyn
If anything Tuhoe should use their settlement money not the tax payers, as the pay out is already taken from the public purse – we have paid them already!! Andrea
This is another attempt by the Maoris to break up our society. They have the money from Treaty payments, but they don’t have the expertise or the trained staff to implement this. They should not be funded by other New Zealanders in this action! I say they should take personal responsibility for themselves and their families and work with the systems we now have in place. John
No way. Ian
A few years ago Tuhoe were toying with fire arms, and now, today, they want a lump sum of money to promote ….??? Allan
Where is all this going to end? Sylvia
We did not unite to oppose apartheid in South Africa, only to endorse it here in New Zealand.  
Absolutely Not! The answer lies in getting those on benefits off drugs nicotine alcohol & poor diet. Then giving them support to believe in themselves and helping them into employment. Rex
NO. What more needs to be said!!! Urban
Thin edge to a wedge, then it will be another tribe then another until it will be only Pakeha tax payers left to foot the bill. Tony
The Tuhoe elite will pocket the money, the tribal members will be worse off and then the hands will be stretched-out for more Government funding. Pity, as the intention of getting people off welfare is good but the method is doomed to fail. Gary
Absolutely NOT! We are only a small nation from North Cape to the Bluff – as it is! Fragment us further? Especially not to a group of New Zealanders who happen to have some Maori ancestry. Hasn’t Finlayson given them enough money? So now they want to “self-rule” as well? Abolish the Maori seats forthwith. We are ALL New Zealanders – ALL of equal worth – regardless of what all the greedy, excessively wealthy think. No more tax free making money for the tribes that the National have helped them get. Funny, I remember “the non-negotiable demands of last century that the EEC used to make – wait for the TPP to follow suit, let alone our own tribal groups already having a go! Rod
Never. John
Self rule? – Those people couldn’t run a bath! Scott
This will create a large division them and us, not a good way to go! Diane
Absolutely ridiculous, maori can’t even run a family or feed their kids, how the hell are they going to survive once the greedy iwi get their thieving hands on the dole money. another maori disaster on the horizon and I for one don’t want to have to foot the bill. Key and Whinlayson are out of control, I’ve been a National voter for over 40 years but not anymore. stevo
Sounds like something Isis would demand. Jon
A backward step. Norm
This is the start down a slippery slope. Simon
One law for all. Paddy
They can have independence at their own cost, not at the expense of the taxpayer. Murray
Absolutely not. But then that’s common sense and both our governments lack that, especially with their constant favouring of any thing Maori. Eric
The comments here show a complete ignorance of tuhoe history among your readers,which would be laughable if it wasn’t just more of the same old colonial mentality that the tribe has suffered from since the 1860’s. Keith
An outrageous and separatist notion that must be rejected in full. Russell
Absolutely not. Look folks, time is running out here. On top of this fiasco we have got Key giving away water rights to iwi by stealth because he and his gutless fellow cabinet mates do not have the cojones to say no. The only way we can assist the politicians to grow a pair and that is by having binding referenda as the law of the country. The Conservatives are working to right their ship from damage caused by one power crazy coot and may be viable by the time the next election comes around. If not I will vote for which ever party makes binding referenda part of their manifesto, oh shock oh horror, even Winnie or the Greens. For New Zealand to have any hope in the future we must do this. Ronmac
This article by Dr Newman has been a wake up call to me. I had not realised how the Maori and in particular the Tuhoe tribe are taking the piss out of the tax payers of NZ. All this tribal BS must end and for them brown folk to earn their own bread and butter. They get millions of dollars from government (e.g. the taxpayers) and sit on it whilst holding their grubby hands out for more and more. I am sick of hearing this stuff. They are a disgrace to humanity. Derek
Bloody hell – no. Unless they all live IN there own reservation, separate everything from the rest of us, supply their own power and food. Sr
I am absolutely astounded that such an arrangement can be contemplated in any way.  It appears to be another ploy for significant funding by the tribal ‘elite’. Grant
This government needs to grow some BALLS. Mark
I definately do not. What are we coming to this is absoultely a rediculous plan if ever I heard one. Just the same old same old repeditive issues. We are in the 21st century for goodness sake time to reflect what is happening in this country. The Govt needs to take stock and listen to the majority on all these important issues. Suzanne
Crazy. Barry
Never. Arthur
Absolutely NOT… NO NO NO. How bl**dy ridiculous has this government become? Seriously, what can we do to halt the craziness going on in our society? Maddi
God one Carl, your spot on, Absolutely bloody NOT. This is the most ridiculous concept for the future of New Zealand that could ever be dreamed up by idealists. Athol
NZ is a small nation and should not be split into two governments. Jim
We should all be New Zealanders, and all laws apply to everybody. Helen
We have seen enough of other failed government funded, Maori administered, projects to know the outcome. The tax-payer will eventually have to pay to clean up the mess, while the Iwi leaders escape accountability and whistle all the way to the bank. Firstly the tax-payer will pay to fund the scheme then secondly pay again to clean up and compensate the Tuhoe individuals who have been fleeced by their leaders. Tony
When will this nonsense ever END? Thomas
NO NO NO If New Zealand desires a disastrous Apartheid community, totally destroyed of any community values, similar to that of SA, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, then press ahead with simpleton separatism with undemocratic tribal autocratic rule and population enslavement to the inevitable corruption. As surely as night follows day, the system of tribal control is fatally flawed and unconscionable. Richard
Absolutely NO! There is far too much racial separatism already in NZ. We should all be treated equally – NOT on racial grounds. Heather
All New Zealanders should be treated equally. Bob
This separatism has no place in our society. Would the tribal members be any better off with ‘self rule” ? It would be the leaders of this madness that would benefit. Lynn
When will we stop the hand outs of tax payers money. Peter
The thin edge of the wedge is getting wider, we have too stop this utter nonsense!! Murray
If they want independence let them use their ‘Treaty Settlements’ to pay for their welfare, schools etc. instead of blugging on the tax payers. Ian
The decisions that are being made are as if a silent coup has taken place & the elected government is rolling out the coup leaders agenda otherwise to enact a form of apartied as is taking place is just asking for anarchy, it is hard to fathom what is happening to our country. Tracy
It’s a bad joke these people have no idea how to run a country. All it could finish up as a tax payer funded junket for a very small few. John
This country is going down a very dangerous path. Carolyn
This is crazy who suggested this ridiculous notion. Ken
Why are we allowing Apartheid to divide New Zealand? Mike
This is a Pandora’s box that would lead to more and more separation of the races. David
I say it again: As long as the voters of NZ are stupid enough to vote for political parties who consider and even endorse this nonsense things will not change and the devious insolence of these Maori leaders will not stop.The TOW rot has by now embedded itself so deep in NZ politics that only a new party with a clearcut program( and the guts) to counter these dangerous developments will help to express the will of all people opposed to this rot. Michael
One rule for all citizens of New Zealand. It is time the Government passed legislation this rule. Peter
Apartheid all over again. Peter
When voting on this proposal, I had to stop and consider the end result of both negative and positive votes. On one hand, I first thought, ok let them get on with what they ,ie Tuhoe demand and let them sink or swim, but as we all know this would never occur while the present system of funding exists with the bank account always being topped up. Secondly, I would assume that border control would be established and visa’s and work permits being required for all people identifying themselves as Tuhoe , who wanted to cross the border. I then considered , just who would control the purse strings, and the answer to that is obvious, the Maori elite, who see such funding as a personal bank account, with little reaching those who most need it . Finally, to revert to tribal type control will not succeed in today’s world as we all know and I find it ironic that these “leaders” want to impose on their people a system that failed 175 years ago. Barry
An absolutely crazy idea! William
What lunacy. How can this possibly be considered? Separatism always end in violence and strife. We need to end all racial based laws. One law for ALL New Zealanders. We should be a democracy. Separate, then taking from taxpayers…DOESN’T COMPUTE. NO NO NO. Lynette
If they want to rule themselves, they must Tax their voters – Not NZ taxpayers. Pierre
Finlayson MUST be gone! These useless, no hoping losers should be forced out of their of their forest haven and begin contributing to the NZ economy instead of bludging off the taxpayers. Why is National pandering to these (less than 50percent) Maori blooded scroungers. Carolyn
No way. Michael
Wake up people, …Chris Finlayson is past his use by date, ..I am disgusted & disappointed in the national party s attitude to the ongoing demands of maori extremeists ensconced in regional councils unelected but having a say ..Get rid of the Maori seats ..this country will become like Turkey and all the other small countries with their stupid constant fighting… ireal Maori leaders need to go overseas to see what they already have here. Take note John Key you need to stand up for all New Zealanders. Dianne
Self rule for Tuhoe should be terminated and be governed like the rest of us. Kay
Remove apartheid in NZ. One set of rules for all Kiwis. Jonathan
He iwi tatou katoa Huria
I cannot believe that a Political party that had as one of its platforms, the abolishment of racially based electorates and seats in Parliament, is now embracing joint governance with one partner having allegiance to one race. To make matters worse, the actions being taken to put this in place is remote and exclusive of the general electorate. The only recourse that seems to exist to reject such actions is the ballot box for the General Election. Michael
More evidence of the hopeless MMP system with which we ar straddled. These trade off deals are the ruination of New Zealand and bodes badly for the future. William
We are one nation one rule for all. Morris
Both Key and Finlayson and their psycophant party are the architects of a neo apartheid state that will experience all the conflict and bloodshed of overseas nations where elite minorities are given control. We need to get rid of the politicians who are causing this to happen. Tom
The more they ask the more they get and the Government just keep on giving thanks to the Idiot Finlayson who seems to think that every treaty claim is valid and the government must apollogise, what utter crap. History is being rewritten to appease the maori and give them whatever want. This must stop and every one in NZ must be treated equally, where is our race relations/ news media on these issues – nowhere to be seen or heard makes you wonder- because they are both being cleansed out to support these radical maori and there wishes. Bryan
‘Tis the thin edge of the wedge. Bruce
Once again the nz government is showing that it is the biggest instigator of racial tension in NZ. Aaron
Definatley NOT. What on earth do our so called politicians think they are doing? I for one, can surely see some changes coming up in the next election!! this situation is absolutely ludicrous and someone needs to be held accountable …God help us. Bruce
Not taxpayer funded. K
It is wrong in principle, divisive and dangerous – the thiin edge of the wedge socially, politically, economicly. Bill
Maoris cannot manage large sums of money as proved by the number of tribes that have frittered away their Treaty settlements ending in bankruptcy. The money is grabbed by the controllers and misused for other purposes. Europeans in the Waikaremoana area are in a minority which is the way Maoris have taken control of local body government. Their non elected representatives on local government will try to take control of councils bit by bit. As for the tax payer paying for their hallucinations in self government, well why should we when few of them work? It’s like the Treaty Settlements and a further case of gimme, gimme, gimme. Chris
Definitely not taxpayer funding. Barbara
Apatheid NZ Style. Roger
If this sort of nonsense becomes law then we have a divided society and country based on race .ie Apartheid. Brian
We should all be subjects of one nation, all treated as one. Bruce
If they want self-rule then they should pay for it themselves or forget it. Just another benefit scam and a way for the fat cats at the top to get their hands on the benefits of the tribal serfs. Liz
‘Self rule’ means paying your own bills….. now that I’d be all for! Barend
We are meant to be “one people” yeah right. Noel
It seems like some of the foolishness involved in South Pacific and African lands where it is all power to the tribal chieftains and little opportunity for individuals’ aspirations to take flight. Brian
The money would never find its way past the tribal leaders to those who were entitled to it. Andrew
No way, let the 2yoys go to hell. James
Like hell. Sheena
One nation. One rule of law for all. Any politician who thinks differently will not get my vote. Nick Smith will only damage the National party. Angus
NO WAY !! One country, one Government. Nigel
Definitely NOT we taxpayers support them now with benefits and 170 million Treaty payments, where does it end. If they want their own area they should support it themselves. Paul
Treaty makes us all New Zealanders. Cannot have seperate nations without breaching Treaty. If Tuhou wanted to stay on own land and defer to their chiefs then fine but don’t expect the rest of us to pay for it. Terry
Another nonsense, the concept of which is fraught with irreverasble mis-appliable potential. Jim
Give then the choice of the current system, or their own sovereignty accompanied by them having to raise their own taxes. John
Institutionalised racism, should have no place in a democratic society. Mark
Definitely NO, NO, NO. We are a sovereign nation within the Commonwealtth, with Queen Elizabeth as our Sovereign. Any hint of separation is an act of treason and should be treated as such. A sense of grievance comes from the treacherous changing of the wording of the terribly malaligned treaty to suit new and ongoing demands and false claims. Charges of treason have to be brought against anyone pushing for separation. Another problem is that the billions of dollars given in settlements so far has not benefitted any Maori except the elite who spend it on lavish lifestyles. There should be a condition attached to every payment from government to Maori that they use it to help Maori families, especially children.. It is like taking double payment, receiving multi millions of dollars then expecting the long suffering taxpayers to keep funding social services for Maori. CM
We are all supposed to be kiwis and, I thought, equal under law. We pay far too much in taxes and the government spends too much on non-productive vote buying scams. Can we please get real??? Peter
Oh Pul-eeeze !!!! And when will they reinvent the wheel? Or is that next week’s bright idea? When, pray, will all New Zealanders make a real BIG effort to work for the common good, feed the children, learn to read and write and get a job….? Just get on with living in harmony with the neighbours?. Is that too much to expect? Or is that too much to ask now the cat has been let out of the bag? Funded by Settlement and the taxpayers, of course. What sort of cloud cuckoo country produces such weird ideas? Maggie
Sanctuary city? John
Absolutely not ever! Jim
Is this country supposed to be ONE nation or what ?. Without European support , Maori would still be living in a grass hut and fighting their neighbours for a living. John
What sort of PC rubbish is this. Karl
Just more stupidity John
You cannot be serious!!! A minority of these people are “terrorists” who will stop at nothing – I mean nothing – to achieve their aims. Go read the court transcripts of the Panckhurst trial, and acquittal. Andrew
This plan is so fundamentally flawed that any sane New Zealander must wonder why it has gained even a modicum of support from our government. Peter
They are NZers like the rest of us and must come under the control of central govt. and therefore follow the laws of NZ. They are not a separate nation but one small group of the Maori population. Rog
The more you give the more they want. John
What sort of chance is there for meaningful employment.? Pauline
Absolutely “no”! This whole idea is yet another attempt for Maori to get yet more government money. If the government allows this to go ahead It could be seen as “reverse racism” – certainly anti-democracy. Unfortunately the Treaty Minister is too benevolent towards Maori, seemingly giving them everything they want, and telling the public after the deal is done.. One thing that needs to be attended to urgently is removing the charitable status of Maori tribal corporations. Very little of their earnings is given to their people, and the corporations have an unfair commercial advantage over other businesses that have to pay full tax rates. Does any government have the willpower to tackle this issue? Laurence
New Zealand is fast becoming a divided country and Maori greed is the problem, Also the Govt needs to stand up to the Maori and abolish the Treaty negoiations as there will never be an end to it. Wayne
Absolutely ridiculous. Martin
But might as well say yes because they’re going to get it anyway. Ron
Government appeasement is destroying this nation that once led the world regarding equal rights for all. Maorification is synonymous with self-destruction. Mitch
Racism again by Chris Nga Tahu Finlayson Greg
Another long-term rort. Sets an extraordinarily bad precedent, aided and abetted by the nasty and horribly biased little Finlayson. Any long-term arrangements for sharing money or resources or receiving grants given to Maori should not take place to begin with. If they are short-term for some sound reason (which escapes me,) then they should be capped after a maximum period of say 10 years, otherwise and enduring place at the trough will remain! Frank
THEY can waste enough money now with out giving them more just some more gravy train. Russell
In November of 2002 a copy of martin Doutre’s book, “Ancien Celtic New Zealand”, was sent to The Hague; later Maori made Application to The Hague for indigenous status in New Zealand and intellectual rights to their culture. The Hague refused both. Is the above the reason signing of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People could not first be debated in Parliamant but was done in secrecy between Hons. Key and Sharples without proof of indigeniety presented? Email, john.key@parliament.govt.nz an Official Information Act request for hard, documented evidence Maoris are indigenous to NZ and find out for yourself. George
It would be an unmitigated disaster. Once again we would see the people at the top misappropriating the money for their own use. They would soon run out and need a top-up from the Government. The better move would be to compel all of those on benefits to move to where the work is, rather than sitting around doing nothing but with their hands held out!! Helen
What a complete farce. Are our elected representatives and paid employees suffering from some mental disease? Findlayson should be tried for treason. Denis
I see it as only the thin end of a wedge to be used against our increasingly marginalised majority. Cyril
Use their treaty settlement money! Donald
But I would support it if Tuhoe wanted total independence from the rest of New Zealand! And that such independence was a complete and final separation. ###With a written codicil that the rest of us in New Zealand have no financial or welfare or any other obligations whatsoever to help or maintain the tribe of Tuhoe.### Any agreement by National to give Tuhoe control over welfare or any other financial benefit would be an insult to the rest of the population. If this is written into law, it should be brought before the United Nations as an apartheid discrimination practice. Which is contrary to the principles endorsed by the United Nations in giving all people the same equal rights. Brian
Self rule, yes; taxpayer funded, no! Barry
This proposal is totally racist and will certainly contributeto increased racial segregation favouring Maori over democratic New Zealanders. Malcolm
Just another example of Government weakness when faced with radical Maori demands. Will not help the average Maori one iota. Sylvia
How long will I/we allow our politicians to continue funding tribalism and apartheid ? How long will the productive allow the plundering to continue with this ancient war against the West ? Will it take a global collapse of the world’s monetary system to bring Justice and sanity into play ? I often wonder if our politicians fear having to deal with a civil war among us if the gravy train is stopped. They cannot make poor men rich by making rich men poor. If they continue they will kill the incentive of the productive even more. The decentralisation process of a free market is the most just redistribution process of earned wealth for all who make an effort. Do you hear me crony socialists? Don
We are all one people. No self rule. Ian
I’m tempted to say yes, because we all know what will happen. Geoff
Would be the begining of the end! Brian
Apartheid did not work in South Africa, why introduce it here. Bryan
Self rule will actually mean rule by a few elite over the rest of the tribe….. that cannot be acceptable in a New Zealand that purports to be a democratic country where the individual has rights and where there is one law for all. Martin
NO! How many times do the majority of nzers have to say that they don’t want special priveleges for any specific group or race. Anthony
How about cross crediting some funds from the Treaty Pay-outs? Warren
Absolutely NOT! Steve
Absolutely not! One country, one people, one set of rules! Jacky
You must be joking! If they want to be separate fine with me but they have to fund everything themselves! To even suggest this is an insult to other New Zealanders! Barbara
They’ll next want a separate army … Rob
Simple solution. Cut off any government benefits to that region and say OK you are on your own. No health services, roading, and all the other tax payer advantages of living in NZ. Create your own system.I think that would see an end to this nonsense really quickly. Peter
Thin end of the wedge, even if it was workable. Stuart
We are one people as NZers. John
Maybe the government would be better advised to put the monies they are considering for self rule for the Tuhoe into the NZ red meat industry supporting MIE – NEWCO to restructure this industry and stop the take over of Silverfern farms by the Chinese – enabling the New Zealand farmers to maintain ownership of our National industry – which happens to be the second largest earner for New Zealand – WITH HUGE FLOW ON EFFECTS FOR NEW ZELANDERS AND THE NEW ZEALAND ECONOMY – unlike the Tuhoe group. However the Chinese and the Tuhoe both have one thing in common. The first step is only the beginning of consummate greed. Judfe
It is high time the Tuhoe learnt that if you want something, work to earn it like the rest of us!! Chris
We will never have a one people cpountry if Tuhoe are allowed to have a separate state, which tribe will be next. A definite no to this idea. Ross
Finlayson and Smith should be told by Key to pull there heads in and stop pandering to potential terrorist nursary in our midst. David
Chris Finlayson is the master of appeasement to the detriment of democracy. Barbara
Absolutely not, they don’t have the brains to control it, and there will be ripoffs for the benefit of a few. Graeme
Does this stupidity even deserve a comment? Pavel
They have already had money from the treaty settlement and now they want another bite of the cherry. John
For goodness sake what next! Rick
Never. Richard
Race based politics have no place in any democracy and certainly not NZ. We are one nation, seperatisim has no place here. Wayne
Apart from NZ First and ACT, every NZ political party believes that Maori are superior to all other New Zealanders. It must be close to reaching the point of no return. Then watch the emigration figures from NZ to Australia rise. John
New Zealand is supposed to be one united country. Such pockets becoming independent is damned ridiculous and such moves should be strongly rejected. Graeme
Separatism will not profit anyone – least of all those who wish to be separate. Jack
Hey, come on, Tuhoe! If you want to run your own ship that’s fine. I applaud. But you want to do it by spending my money? While there are some exceptions, so far iwi do not have a good record of creating jobs and getting people off welfare, so if you want help I’d like to see you get it but not under iwi mismanagement. Robin
My answer is a BIG, FAT NO !!! We are ALL New Zealanders, there is no us and them. One people, one nation. Simple. Diana
Hardly self-rule if you have to rely on “the enemy” for financial support… Andy
Tribalism is out of date and does not fit with the inclusive universe of the modern world. Barry
Idea farcical, Finlayson will probably do it. NZ should be ONE NATION >> ONE PEOPLE. Kabe
A further step towards racism if not apartheid. Peter
Absolutely not, they already have a massive hand-out from the government, they should be required to use that to sort out their unemployment (and ‘unemployable’) problem. Terry
If they want independence that means no payments from taxpayers for that would mean that they are then dependent on us – a mockery in abuse of terms. Bruce
Good God whatever happened to one country one people??? Margaret
No way. The government is far too soft when dealing with Maori radicals. The brakes must be put on now to any more funding for Maori radicals. Frank
How can they have independent self governance while depending fully on taxpayer benefits? Given how the tribal system works I can’t see how that can be democratic. Vaughan
It is contrary to the common good. Ken
The overall plan from most tribes is self-rule, we can look back in their history and see how that didn’t work. If it wasn’t for the European intervention they would still be killing each other. David
I strongly object to taxpayer funded benefits being directed to ANY one group of New Zealanders selected on a purely racial basis. William
More Rubbish from useless politicians. Peter
Interesting how Maori leaders promise success & prosperity for ‘their people’ provided every-body else pays for it. Never is there any personal effort or initiative involved, apart from promotion of violence. The truth of the matter has always been, so long as the stupid Pakeha keep handing out the lollies, the cunning maori will keep asking for more, Sad really, that after 200 years, civilized society is still unacceptable to these people, mainly because Socialism does not promote personal responsibility. This is why I always describe this government as the National branch of the Labour Party. WAKE UP NZ.. A.G.R.
Tuhoe couldn’t run a cold bath let alone a country. Peter
Creating another state? Mark
Ridiculous idea. KEVIN
It would be a disaster to give Tuhoe taxpayer money. The radicals among them have not changed their attitude or some of their actions. Barbara
They have enough money in the government coffers now let, alone having it to play with. John
It’s their choice to live in this environment. Not to many of us have the land capacity that Tuhoe has and still they expect the tax payer to contribute more. They don’t play by the rules the rest of us have to abide by. .They just want a hand out They still want the people who have paid them over many years to increase that contribution even further. The answer is no, its not going to happen under my watch. Show some good form or else drop by the wayside. Ross
Is this New Zealand’s simmering ISIS? Think about all the ‘total immersion’ Kura schools quietly developing throughout NZ! Stuart
One nz only good for one good for all. Ray
Self rule paid for by someone else? What a great deal. Maybe we all can get some of that action… Mark
Other tribes would be next and corruption would soon rule. Ian
All NZerrs must be under the same rule of Law., otherwise chaos will rule. John
Brainless. Bruce
It would be detrimental to the individuals. David
If Tuhoe want to be independent that means funding themselves by working to pay their way. Not taxpayers keeping the gravy train running so they have more freedom to do what they want. They need to learn being independent comes at a price.If taxpayers are paying – they are not being independent.They need to decide what they want. But the government has got to stop cowtowing to all these demands and showing some strong leadership. Pandering is not helping anyone. Gail
More outrageous nonsense from the mentally ill! G
Never in a million years! Rodney
Is this the beginning of the end? Ngai Tahu might be next and then the Christmas Grinch, Dame Susan, will press for a name-change for the ol’ home town of Christ-church! Nothing surprises. And MMP is such a fair system, isn’t it? Paul
Never Never !! Let them continue in their own never never land. Terry
If this goes ahead, I see another civil war in the not too distant future. Lesley
Absolutely not. This current government and Chris Finlayson should have the guts to tell Tuhoe to go and get lost. They say that they have grandiose plans but what would happen is the money would go straight into the coffers of the so called elite and the ordinary Maori wouldn’t get a cent..A nation within a nation would not work, in fact it would be a disaster. Mike
We should never ever support this sort of thing. The elite Maori IWI will take a large portion for them selves leaving those the bottom of the heap even worse off than they are now. If this lot get it the rest of the IWI will follow close behind. Colin
Your article says it all! Susan
Cancer starts as a small group of cells operating independently of the common good oops of the body – rogue cells. An apt comparison with this situation. Keith
This is a ridiculous idea. Before becoming an ‘independent nation” its members would have to abandon their existing citizenship and by that act, all rights of that citizenship. This would leave no basis for the new nation’s funding demands. Daft for the people directly affected and depressingly short-sighted self-serving lunacy on the part of HM’s New Zealand Government. Geoffrey
Never ever. Clark
Just another way for iwi leaders to feather their own nests. Brent
If they truly want self rule then here is a suggestion! Fence them off from the rest of New Zealand! If they want to enter New Zealand they will need to apply for a visa! No electricity, no health care , no education, no protection from our police force etc etc. Within weeks they will be pleading to be part of New Zealand again!!!!!!!!!!!! What a load of racist nonsense!!!!!!!! Andy
If they are so desperate for self rule the should be seperate state with their own pasport, funding their own border police and needing a visa to visit the other parts of NZ. Al without funding help from NZ. Pay your own way my friend Johan
No way. What are we doing to this country? Pure separatism. The National goverment should be ashamed of itself. We are all one people of New Zealand. I’m appalled at learning about this. Kerin
Dangerous. Ian
Absolutely NO. I have never heard anything so ridiculous. To generalise, I believe they have never been able to manage their own affairs, they have no driving force, not interested in progressing, live in the past, not educated to a standard to enable self. Determination, they should prove they can do it by starting to try..but they don’t, they won’t because they do not like being guided or any suggestions or ideas being promoted by Pakeha..they won’t listen and want to do it their way..but do not have the skills and with their attitude won’t allow them to change and do so..in their eyes, it’s still them and us..they want their own way but the benefits of the modern progressive society that the Kiwi way is..as the anthem says..God defend NZ. Audrey
This will increase the reverse apartheid this government is encouraging. Brian
Absolutely not. Kate
One nation, one set of rules for all! Brian
Separatism will lead to violence, of that htere is no doubt. within the tribe, or between the tribe and the rest of us. Some time in the future, the taxpayers will cut off subsidising their tribe, what then? Hone
This must never be allowed,as it could very easily turn to civil war,plus how will anyone living there that are not Tuhoe tribal members be assured that they will be treated fairly. Bryan
Waste of money. Will never work and will cause us more financial stress to remedy the ensuing cockup! Roy
Lunacy. It’ll be snouts in the trough, gravy train for the top fingers-in-the-till folk, and misery and poverty for those of the iwi who are bottom in social status. This is a fundamental principle, rule, law, everywhere in the world; these folk shall be no better. Leo
Absolutely NOT! A more objectionable use of my tax dollars can not be conceived. They now have plenty of their own money and resources to improve their tribal lot, so let’s see some progress of their own. There should be NO taxpayers benefits or support for their plans. Gordon
An absolutely insane idea that will simply put power over people in unelected hands. So many people don’t seem to see what this is-a grab for power. Roger
Tribalism is the cause of all the present in the World conflicts. Bryan
This would be the start of the end of n.z. as we know and love it.  Also it would make us the drug capital of the pacific. Don
Why should they have self rule in a small country of New Zealand. Tax’s payers money should not be used. There is one Law and one rule for all New Zealanders. To much of this Maori bull shit. Put a stop to it and for the country to pull together as one people. This would help New Zealand better. It the fresh water now this shit. What next ??. Robert
Absolutely bloody NOT. This is the most ridiculous concept for the future of New Zealand that could ever be dreamed up by idealists. Carl
What bollocks!!!!! Eric
What claptrap lunacy. This will never work. Just another excuse for a social welfare money grab. If they want independence then cut them free and let them survive on their own without us paying for this wacky experiment. Tony
What next? Mary
Absolutely no way. What sort of idiots are running this country? A total lack of common sense appears to be endemic among our politicians. Are the really that stupid or just a bunch of gutless whips ? Steve
It’s insane. Separatism always ends in catastrophic social strife. Of course, the Maori way is: “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is my own.” No surprises, then. Graham
The thin end of the wedge to a race based society. Isn’t it odd that a lot of Tuhoe protested against appartied in South Africa! Isn’t appartied just another word for separate development based on race? Bruce
Just another case of ole whitey being taken to the cleaners by the bros. Tina
It seems that the gov’t want to set up a native reservation like they have in the US where the leaders have control over vasts amounts of tax payers money and live extremely well while the tribal members will be dirt poor. Development and progress will be non existent. Don
Frightening! When will the govt learn? Mary
Don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This is insane! Neil
What I initiatives have they described or shown whilst on their existing benefits I wonder. Colin
Tribalism is an archaic form of social organisation. Every country in the world that hangs onto this system seems to be impoverished or run by tribal warlords. Willy
This would be exactly the same principle as the erstwhile “Bantustans” in old Apartheid South Africa, But then NZ still practices APARTHEID with separate Maori seats in Parliament anyway. Geoff
We have enough separatism already. Chris
Already too much racially funded hypocracy in NZ Steve
Do we need an African situation? Sandra
Emphatically NO! Michael
This is just the start of things to come. What we are seeing is the planting of a seed. How that seed grows and what it grows into should be of concern to all New Zealanders. I fear, history will be repeated. Darryl
Stupid in the extreme. Peter
Absolutely not!. It is another way to get their hands on yet more tax-funded money. Lorna
It’s time a new political party was formed that would have the guts to stand up and say NO to all Maori treaty settlements, no exceptions, just say NO. Leonie
Not a chance, We can’t have different rules for different areas within one country. Self-rule just another step in the route twoards apartheid. Dave
The law of the land and everything else must apply to everyone. Maori shouldn’t have any exemptions. Kevin
Racism. Racism. Racism. More and more of it every week. Surely we are now one of the most racially legislated countries in the world and yet we till see the Maori people over-represented in every negative statistic. Get over it. We are one. Help those that need help irrespective of ethnicity, religion etc etc. Mike
We are all the same and one country. If they seperate then they should pay not us. Richard
Hell! Never, this Govt. is certifiable, let us send them to fight the isis to receive a close haircut. Robert
When is the government going to stop giving Maoris preferential treatment in New Zealand? The Maoris tend to abuse the Treaty of Waitangi Agreement by demanding more and more, of either money, rights, land, water rights demands. When is the government going to have some back-bone and say enough is enough, no more demands, no more settlements using the Treaty of Watangi as the Maori “staging post”. Dawson
The National Party and Iwi continue to destroy the country and the tribal [failed] Maori allow them to steal more of our hard earned money. Lance
Let stay like others in the ‘main stream’ and get off their bottoms. Hylton
Water is a not for sale. It is the right of all to use water. It has NEVER, since the beginning of time, been owned by anyone– and certainly the maori do not have the right to expect– once again, to be treated as if this is another entitlement due to them. Water has sustained the planet earth since the beginning of time, and ownership is not an option for the maort or anyone else!! Jenny
See Muriel’s comments so eloquently put. Wah
One nation, one set of rules for all, this is all really tiresome and boring frankly. Barry
Absolutely NO. David
This is more Gravy Train , next they will want their own police then they will close of their borders, then their own parliament Colin
Very scary. Terry
I just can’t understand why government would even consider this. All NZ citizens should be treated equally. Elaine
…..Finlayson ‘The Traitor of all New Zealanders…..!!!!! Unelected arrogant zombie…..Wake Up NZ.!!!! Christopher
The Lord helps those who help themselves is quite an ambiguous statement. One interpretation is that the individual accepts the challenge and assumes personal personal responsibility for change, the other is to wear the Teflon coat, deny that responsibility and become a user and a loser thanks to Chris Finlayson – and what’s in it for him? Sam
Why should tax payers support %15 of the population who cannot ever be equal to the rest of us. Jim
This is ludicrous. Everywhere I hear whanau from maoris,yet they don’t practice what they preach. No,they forever have their hand out,but will tax you for as much as they can get if they get control of their fantastic demands. Sick of this shit Bob
No, this is beyond absurd. John
Capt William Hobson said after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi: “Now we are one people”. Some 155 years, it is a shame that some people still think in the plural. Kevan
More racism from the govt. John
Never. Hone
God help New Zealand. Nelson
More racial division by a sick PC govt and nation of whimps. Ian
Absolutely not – let them use their tribunal payout -, they donot deserve any more govt. monies, and no benefit should go to the supposed leaders, that payment is for the individual only. Elayne
Tribalism has no position in democracy, the Iwi elite will grow in wealth and the poor will fail socially and economically. Tom
It is preposterous they want to rule and yet still remain funded by the government. More preposterous that the go ernmdnt is considering it. Bev
This is an extremely stupid idea. Why are government ministers pandering to iwi to such an extent? It is embarrassing. Pamela
Good grief – what next! John
The whole separatist concept is reprehensible. Michael
No, no, no! Tuhoe should not be given special rights to control welfare and other social services. That is a role for government. I do not have a problem with them contracting services like many other organisations do – if they have the appropriate capability – but to allow them to become equal to the government is totally unacceptable. Brian
Chris Finlayson is a disgrace to have agreed to this ridiculous scheme. It must not go ahead. Graham