Friday, 13 April 2018

Doing the right thing on two counts

Wheeler’s Corner
“Connecting Citizens Who Care“. Every Monday at 4 pm on Access Manawatu 999AM” Join Peter’s blog  

 16 15th April 2018

1Is the Salvation Army grotesque? What about the Anglicans, Presbyterians or even the Roman Catholic’s and maybe even the Methodists are they all grotesque?

 Well according to a well-known local ‘Hobson’s Pledge’ representative it’s possible that they are…especially if they support the formation of Mäori Wards.

The movement toward Maori Wards here in Palmerston North and the Manawatu is growing daily as those whom understand the real state of affairs that exists within local government. [12 out of our 15 Councillor’s do]

Even local Government NZ [LGNZ] has now recognised that the present law contains an inbuilt and not so hidden racism and has requested that the Government remove the word Māori from the rules relating to the process for deciding on Wards.

Local Government NZ clearly accepts that this depressing of real representation by Maori. After all Wards have been created to protect and ensure that the voices of our rural communities are heard, and we ensure that Mäori are represented in Parliament by allocating a small percentage of electorate seats in Parliament. Why should we not do the same in local body elections?

If you fear a Mäori take over don’t…just look back over the last 100 plus years have Māori ever become the majority? Your fears are unfounded.

This from the Manawatu Standard:

The Salvation Army is urging people to vote for Māori wards in Palmerston North and Manawatū.
Although the army says the wards will help its mission to care for those less well off, an opponent of the wards says there is no link between their existence and improving living standards for Māori.
Palmerston North City and Manawatū District councils have both voted to have Māori wards, but their decisions could be overthrown in upcoming binding referendums.
The referendums were required after both councils were given petitions containing signatures from 5 per cent of voters.

Salvation Army social policy and parliamentary unit director Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hutson said Māori wards would give a voice to a community the army deals with out of proportion to its size.
"What we see is an unequal system at the moment, where Māori are under-represented in councils and over-represented in some of the worst hardship figures.

"We don't want to just be an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

"We feel an obligation to see that people who are disadvantaged have a voice somewhere."
Some council’s had rural wards to ensure people outside urban areas had their voices heard, and the same needed to happen for Māori, Hutson said.

Māori voted on to councils possibly did not speak as openly about Māori issues, he said.
"The reality is that Māori representation needs to occur now.
"It adds one more voice to the table that is currently missing."

Māori wards opponent Don Esslemont, who is backed by national group Hobson's Pledge, said Hutson's logic was "grotesque".
"I'm sorry the Salvation Army decided to support this nonsense, but it's nonsense."
There was no argument Māori are over-represented in areas like poverty. Esslemont said that was "deplorable", but there was no proof Māori wards were the solution.
"The claim by the politically correct is that these unfortunate statistics are the result of discrimination or racism.
"The implication of what [Hutson] has said is that, somehow... this would be averted if we granted a couple of part-Māori seats on council.
"What [Māori wards] will do is increase the financial and career options for the people pushing this line."

The ugly comments by Don Esslemont sadly shows and proves clearly his anti-Māori attitude because of his use of the racist term ‘Part-Mäori’ he also failed, just as ‘Hobson’s Pledge’ has since its birth, to demonstrate any willingness to move toward sharing a fraction of local government power to the other key group that was involved in the birth of our nation.

To suggest that the Salvation Army is grotesque is beyond intelligent adult belief. That statement tells us more about Esslemont and his deep seated thought processes which are simply being outstripped in this day and age. Anyone below the age of fifty must treat his comments as comming from someone living in the dark ages of ignorance and fear.
A second group with membership in the thousands [Action Station] is now recommending a YES vote for Māori wards. Here is what they said: 

" We’re saying yes to Māori representation"

We are a community that values fairness and inclusion and recognise the unique contribution of Māori to our communities.
That’s why we are supporting local groups in Manawatū, Kaikōura, Whakatāne, Western Bay of Plenty and Palmerston North to increase Māori representation on local Councils.

Right now, Don Brash, Hobson’s Pledge and a handful of anonymous backers are using fear and the politics of the past to put up barriers to community participation for Māori by stopping the establishment of Māori wards.

Māori wards are areas where people who choose to go on the Māori electoral roll can vote for Māori Councillors to represent them. Like people voting in general wards, people on the Māori electoral role still only get one vote.
Currently, Māori are not well-represented in local government and because of that we are missing out on what could be a thriving decision-making partnership. One way to fix this is to establish specific Māori wards.
Communities in these five areas will vote on whether or not to establish Māori wards in May. We are supporting local groups with flyers, an educational website and social media campaigning to encourage a yes vote.

2.Fighting other peoples wars, will we too end up with this shameful history...

The Chief Ombudsman released their decision on the release and withholding of information around Operation Burnham the other day. At the time, I focused on the surprising news that a foreign country was deciding who kiwi soldiers were allowed to shoot - something which now seems to be part of the formal inquiry. 

But there was also another surprise in the report: a formal finding that NZDF had lied to the New Zealand public. Here's what the Ombudsman had to say about the release of information about Operation Burnham's location:

[A] key plank of NZDF’s rebuttal of Hit & Run was that the authors were wrong about the location of the operation, and appeared ‘to have confused interviews, stories and anecdotes from locals’ from one operation with another operation. 

NZDF’s rebuttal suggested that there was no connection between the account of events in the book and the operation that did take place.
Having reviewed information about the location of the Operation, I formed the provisional opinion that the information NZDF had publicly released did not fully reflect the information NZDF held on this issue, particularly in relation to the photos of buildings in
Hit & Run. NZDF agreed to consider releasing some more information on this topic.
[Emphasis added]
Or to put it another way, they were telling the public that Hager and Stephenson were wrong, while they held and kept secret information showing that they were in fact right. No wonder the Chief of Defence Force resigned. 

This sort of systematic, calculated deceit is absolutely unacceptable in a public agency in a democratic state, and it makes you wonder whether NZDF thinks they are at war with us, their bosses. 
But while Lt General Keating fronted the briefings which deceived the public, other defence staff must have been involved in designing these lies. They need to be held to account for their actions too.
Posted by Idiot/Savant at 4/12/2018 11:26:00 AM

It's great to see NZ do the honourable thing and at last order this much needed enquiry, while no doubt we will have to wait a year before any charges [should they be needed] can be laid. The Defence Force needs to uphold its honour. This is a wonderful ANZAC day gift to the nation.  

Peter J Wheeler

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