February 24, 2013
Different rules for Māori and Pakeha
Opinion: This week I have had the misfortune to interview the mayor of Taupo Rick Cooper and John Ansell, the front man for the Treaty Gate campaign and former PR man for Don Brash and the National Party.
Mr Cooper was furious with the Tuwharetoa tribe for daring to charge competitors of the Ironman New Zealand event $40 to use Lake Taupo.
That's despite the fact that the Ironman organisers were charging $800.
According to Mr Cooper, Maori would be to blame if Taupo lost the event to another city.
I told him that stance was unacceptable and said to him "So, it's fine for the Pakeha Ironman organisers to pocket well over a million dollars but Maori, who are only asking for $56,000, are expected to give their asset – Lake Taupo – for nothing?"
That attitude is becoming too common.
Maori are expected to always share their resources for free yet there are different rules for Pakeha owners.
Tuwharetoa have been a generous tribe.
They gifted the Tongariro National Park to the nation and anyone can swim or fish for leisure on the lake.
However, if commercial operators come in they must pay a fee and just because the government pays Tuwharetoa an annual fee means absolutely nothing.
That fee is covered in their deed of settlement which is minimal.
The deed is clear that Tuwharetoa have opportunities to make money from commercial ventures on the lake.
That's not greed or separatism but just good business which clearly their mayor Mr Cooper has no idea about.
Mr Cooper's views are similar to John Ansell's. He's running the Treaty Gate project where he accuses all and sundry of telling lies over New Zealand's history and relationship with Maori.
He clearly puts little value on Maori culture and his main financial backer has been Invercargill millionaire Louis Crimp, who last year claimed most Pakeha despise Maori.
Mr Ansell constantly peddles misinformation about the Treaty of Waitangi and history. His arguments are ridiculous.
Apparently John Key, Helen Clark, Judge Sian Elias, Professor Michael King, Professor David Williams, Dr Claudia Orange, Sir Tipene O’Regan, Sir Douglas Graeme, the National, Labour, NZ First, Greens, United, ACT, Maori and Mana parties, the New Zealand judicial system, the Privy Council and the United Nations are all wrong about Maori history and there's a lie going on that Maori have been swindled. And he will expose it.
He doesn't have a chance – the more Kiwis ignore him the better this country will be.