Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mike Butler: Campbell Live PR job for Ngapuhi

TV3 presenter John Campbell told his audience last week that he felt slightly ashamed admitting that he didn't know much about Northland tribe Ngapuhi and their mega treaty payout expectations, so he grabbed his microphone and cameraman and went north to learn. Sadly, all he revealed little more than we already knew. Chief Ngapuhi claimant Sonny Tau was first to speak:
Campbell: How much land did Ngapuhi lose?

Tau: We lost by dubious means 2.1-million acres of land
Firstly, why did Campbell and Tau use the word “lose”? The word "lose" means "be deprived of or cease to have or retain". Both Campbell and Tau used the words “lose” or “lost” in the sense that the Maori Anglican minister used it in a sermon on Waitangi Day last year. He said: “The missionaries taught us to pray and when we opened our eyes all our land was gone”. Campbell and Tau should be a bit more honest and say Ngapuhi sold most land in the area claimed as Ngapuhi tribal district.

Tau alleges “dubious means”. What were those dubious mean? Campbell does not ask and Tau does not tell but the slur remains.
Tau: Ngapuhi in terms of an economy in the north here, Ngapuhi is really deprived. It’s at a low point in our development at this point of time. There are some people continuing to live in cowshed and tents and caravans and its just devastation in Ngapuhi itself.
Deprived? Really? The Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi is not deprived, according to its financial report for the year to June 2013, which shows a consolidated group revenue of $19.2-million – the equivalent of a medium-sized company.(1) Most income comes from fishery assets including the sale of annual catch entitlement, profits from the tribe’s fishing joint venture, and dividends from Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd. (The report says Ngapuhi charters foreign vessels.)

Other income derives from property investments, a petrol station, and a stationery shop. Operating profit is $5.2-million, after employee remuneration of $3.2-million and unspecified “other expenses” of $10.4-million. Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi is registered as a charitable trust so pays no tax on profits although it would pay and claim back GST on its commercial ventures.

Distributions included $20,000 for discretionary funding, $85,000 for scholarships, $25,000 for sponsorship, and $109,000 in hapu funding – a total of $239,000 from the $5.2-million profit.

Campbell introduces elder John Klaricich, by saying: “History is in John Klaricich, first-hand accounts of the 1860s, when the New Zealand Settlements Act was passed in Parliament with the purpose of mass land confiscation often without any compensation at all.”

Was any land confiscated in the Ngapuhi area? No!. Why does Campbell allude to land confiscations in a report on Ngapuhi if not to create the impression that Ngapuhi were subjected to mass land confiscations?

The New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 was a response to armed conflict in Taranaki and Waikato, that spread to the Bay of Plenty and down the East Coast. The Act enabled land confiscation to punish tribes that had rebelled and to deter others from joining in the rebellion. The threat of confiscation was an effective tool for the government in the 1860s and helped the government ultimately win the series of conflicts.

Why did Campbell not link the confiscations with the armed conflict? Failure to do so, and failure to specify that there were no confiscations in the Ngapuhi area meant Campbell misled his audience into thinking that Ngapuhi suffered land confiscation.

After a drive through Kaikohe showing numerous empty shops, Campbell asks Kaikohe College principal Jim Luders, who noted that 50 percent of his pupils were from welfare-dependent homes, what difference a treaty settlement would make for Ngapuhi.
Luders: “Massive, massive. It’s all about their mana. It’s all about their pride. And it’s about their ability to actually provide for their people. This is the biggest tribe in New Zealand. This is the most powerful tribe in New Zealand and we know what happened to that. We know where their land went. We know where their mana and power went. It’s time to give it back.
Top marks for generosity and enthusiasm but what happened to the land? Ngapuhi forebears sold it at agreed prices. They sold land before 1840. They had those sales investigated soon after 1840. They carried on selling land and living it up. Do you expect the purchaser of a house you sold in the past give it back to you because he has done it up and the value has increased? Me neither.

A settlement of $280-million, the amount Campbell suggested, to the mandated Tuhoronuku entity, should push Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi annual revenue over the $30-million mark, making Ngapuhi a large company. Ngapuhi are a medium sized business that is aiming to be a big business and is crying poverty to get there. Based on Ngapuhi’s current rate of distribution, how much do you think would be shared from a $280-million settlement?

How far would $280-million go if distributed among Ngapuhi’s 125,000 members, most of who live in South Auckland? Equally divided, each Ngapuhi, man, woman, and child, would get $2240, which would pay the unemployment benefit for a single person over 25 for about 11 weeks. The government may already be spending more than $12-million every week to keep jobless Ngapuhi housed and fed, and this expenditure would continue after any settlement, whatever it may be.

Campbell can ask hard questions. So why did he not ask any hard questions in this 10-minute clip that aired last Tuesday? With Ngapuhi angling for a massive handout, Campbell’s audience could expect a little more balance than the PR puff that was delivered.

1. Whakatupu – for the next generation.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike for another insightful piece of factual / historical journalism revealing the disgraceful bias and stupidity of Campbell. He really is a complete f#@kwit. Campbell has confirmed himself to be nothing more than another of the cheap, sell-your-soul alarmist idiots who allow themselves to be tools of NZ's social architects.

Brian said...

Why did Campbell not ask the hard questions last Tuesday on "Campbell Live"?

Very simple! If he had done so and followed the practice of being a true investigative journalist then the programme would be "Campbell Dead".It would then vanish under a torrent of racial abuse.

For further reading on our present crop of journalists; refer to Karl's Blog on "The Demise of Newspapers". Which would do well to include the rest of the N.Z. Media circus as well.

Cpt747 said...

...Thanks Mike...another accurate insight of our stupid low-life mainstream media... Campbell demonstrates the media's lies ..intellectual laziness and sheer Ignorance of the Key/Finlayson Government's tyrannical and political oligarchy. Tribalism and Racial hatred is being well supported by these racial determinists , in the form of Key/Finlayson...with support of the Undemocratic and Divisive Maori-only seats. 'Democracy Destruction' in New nearly complete...

Anonymous said...


The Waitangi Tribunal’s Muriwhenua Report, on which the proposed Ngapuhi Treaty settlement is based, is riddled with assertions in search of a supporting fact.

Facts that weaken Ngapuhi/Muriwhenua’s case are buried, glossed over, or omitted altogether.

In short, like all Waitangi Tribunal reports, it represents a marathon piece of special pleading on behalf of the claimants.

if one has only read the Tribunal’s account of events or seen news reports peddling the type of crap Campbell Live does, the catalogue of wrongs [sic] suffered by Ngapuhi seems extensive and crying out for redress.

The historical record tells a different story.

In dealing with any Treaty matter today, one should always be mindful of the prescient words of outgoing Governor-General, Lord Bledisloe in his 1922 farewell address: “In the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man is King; and he that does not know his own history is at the mercy of every lying windbag.”

Shorn of its excess verbiage, the Muriwhenua Report mythologises assorted subgroups of Rousseauian noble savages living in peace and amity with one another, who thought that in signing the Treaty of Waitangi, they were not ceding sovereignty in perpetuity to the Crown. Instead, there would be a co-governance arrangement under which the Crown would exercise authority only over Europeans, and Maori would continue to be ruled in tribal style by chiefs.

Furthermore, these noble savages were too stupid to understand what a land sale meant, believing instead that they were granting some kind of temporary occupancy right, so as to benefit economically from the presence of white men living alongside them.

In drawing these conclusions, the Tribunal has applied a number of false premises and selectively ignored the historical record.

For example, the principle applied by the Waitangi Tribunal in its Muriwhenua Report seems to be the one that says you can have your cake and eat it too. It accuses the Crown of not ensuring the Iwi’s pre-European way of life remained intact, and on the other hand not ensuring that it enjoyed all the advantages of the white man’s world. Ngapuhi were entitled to keep their old hunting and fishing grounds, and to have thousands of acres set aside too for the time it would pay to go dairy farming.

Such assertions are based on Lord Normanby’s 1839 written instructions to Captain Hobson that “The acquisition of land by the Crown for the future settlement of British subjects must be confined to such districts as the natives can alienate without distress or serious inconvenience to themselves.”

This directive was captured in the Treaty by the Article II pre-emption clause giving the Crown sole right to purchase land from Maori tribes and thus to be applied by subsequent Governors and Parliaments as they saw fit. Maori tribes were afforded the same right as any other British subject or combination of British subjects to sell land they “owned,” but were disbarred for their own protection from selling privately.

Reinterpreting the Treaty on the basis of correspondence occurring before it was signed is analogous to construing an Act of Parliament on the basis of the Select Committee Report to the House and the Parliamentary Debates that took place before it was passed and ratified. Not to put too fine a construction on it: arrant nonsense.

Anonymous said...

The Treaty of Waitangi is what its black letter clauses say that it is. There are no “principles” to be distilled out of it. To admit of this possibility is to open a Pandora’s box to anything Maori claimants might wish to demand, for as long as New Zealanders are prepared to accept European-Maori (with an ever-declining portion of Maori blood) asserting that they are “Maori.”

Another example of Tribunal revisionism is the canard that the Crown was obliged to protect the Maori way of life in its entirety. This claim is based on a pre-Treaty korero that took place at Hokianga, where Bishop Pompallier had established a Roman Catholic mission. Primed by their spiritual advisers -- who feared that the Church of England wanted them run off -- Maori Catholics asked if the Crown, as incoming sovereign, could guarantee freedom of religion. Hobson replied that all religions, including “Maori customs,” would be protected.

Freedom of religion was captured in Article II of the Treaty, which accords individual Maori “all the rights and privileges of British subjects.”

Again, the Tribunal starts out by reinterpreting the Treaty for the benefit of the claimants on the basis of prior discussions, rather than its black letter clauses. In concluding the Crown was obliged to “protect the Maori way of life,” the Tribunal wilfully disconnects the Hokianga discussion from the context in which it occurred, so as to give it an unintended wider meaning considerably more favourable not just to Ngapuhi/Muriwhenua, but to any and all Treaty claimants.

When it came to selling land, Ngapuhi/Muriwhena chiefs were clearly cognisant of the difference between a permanent alienation and a temporary occupancy right.

They knew full well that if one sold a pig or a bundle of flax to a ship’s captain or trader, accepting the trade goods offered in exchange meant it was gone for good.

They were also well aware that a customs or berthage charge levied by them against a ship anchoring at the Bay of islands conveyed just a temporary occupancy right, and that each time the ship departed and returned, a fresh impost became payable.

The Tribunal itself admits that the permanent nature of pre-Treaty land sales was recorded in deeds, all written in Maori, and all stressing the permanency of the alienation. It then does its unsuccessful best to argue this down.

Historically, Ngapuhi/Muriwhenua had raised issues about a handful of specific land sales, all long since resolved by the Courts.

These mostly related to disputes about the actual boundaries of the land sold and the exclusion of areas it was claimed well after the sale were not intended to be included.

It is only since the Tribunal was created and empowered to measure the actions of past white settler governments against a modern-day set of Tribunal-fabricated “principles,” which they had never heard of, and would have dismissed as absurd if they had, that a claim of the magnitude of the one submitted by Ngapuhi/Muriwhenua could achieve any oxygen.

As Richard Prebble always said: “If you haven’t known about a claim for 150 years, it’s probably because it doesn’t exist.”

John Key effectively admitting the full Ngapuhi/Muriwhenua claim as set out in the Muriwhenua Report -- without this matter being debated in Parliament -- is likely to have far-reaching Constitutional implications in terms of the co-governance agenda of Maori Sovereignty activists.

Profound stupidity indeed!

Dave said...

The real scary thing is that Campbells distorted, naive, ignorant view is now shared by many New Zealanders. Without exception over the last 40 years our education facility's including the journalism school that John Campbell attended have been preaching the PC version of our history. The public actually believe this BS. The socialists and greedy extortionists must be smiling in la la land at the unbelievable success they had had duping a complacent NZ population.

Unknown said...

Great piece Mike. Thanks for the history lesson and the time it took to research it. I have forwarded it on to TV3 news and asked for a response as I could not have put the case more eloquently. If I get one I will forward it on.

Max said...

What a disgrace that Campbell gets away with this. Lodge complaint to BSA?

ron melville said...

As someone living in the rural area around Kaikohe my complaint about the Campbell incursion into Kaikohe was the fact that he drove down Broadway from south to north but only started filming from the Routley Ave intersection, thats where there are the empty shops, vacant sections, the ramshackle Kaikohe Hotel building, now owned by Ngapuhi. Had they turned their camera on at the top of Broadway they'd have seen vibrant and busy shops and with crowds of people going about their business. Campbell later turned his attention to the old Kaikohe Dairy Company (now in private ownership) as evidence of a collapsing local economy. It was only evidence of Campbells lack of rural knowledge. He doesn't seem to know that all those local factories closed when they amalgamated into larger entities. I though the Campbell program rather ingenuous.

Anonymous said...

my reply to all those who claim their land was stolen is ,why did every tribe in NZ need dozens of fortified pa & now they dont, you never never hear from Maori what they have gained from the comming of the pakeha i suppose because its far too big to get their head around !!!

Peter Pearson said...

Ngapuhi were scared shitless of other Maori tribes exacting revenge for Ngapuhi's terrorist ravages prior to 1840. Hongi Hika begged King George IV, other Ngapuhi begged King William IV, and finally, Victoria's administration succumbed to Ngapuhi's entreaties for protection.
Britain did not want N.Z. - she had the vast Australia. The only thing N.Z. had that was of any use, was tall, straight kauri trees for masts. Any ship could sail to Horeke on the Hokianga harbour and buy as many of these trees as they wanted.
Anything Ngapuhi 'lost' was what they had SOLD.
Then Hone Heke realised he had nothing left, he took up the spear against the European. He lost that war because there were more Maori fighting for the Brits than against them. The final battle occurred at Omapere a mile or two south of Okaihau.
If Ngapuhi get anything now, it will be due to the devious cretins Key and Findlayson.

Anonymous said...

May I quote that all time best philosopher Billy Joel?

"Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you."
I rest my case. RayInDunedin

ronmelville said...

Peter Pearson, you forgot about the battles of Te Ahuahu, Ohaeawai and Ruapekapeka. All came after Omapere (more correctly Puketutu) and all involved British troops.