Monday, May 3, 2021

Graham Adams: Ardern in the gun over He Puapua

A covert 20-year plan to establish Maori sovereignty is political dynamite. Graham Adams argues it represents a real threat to the Prime Minister’s reputation as open and transparent.

Judith Collins made no effort to hide the cat-with-the-cream expression on her face when she answered journalists’ questions after a National Party meeting in Auckland on Saturday. She had just delivered a speech that rolled a grenade under Jacinda Ardern — with an apparent confidence that it would go off with an almighty bang and cause an awful lot of damage to the Labour government. She looked extremely pleased with herself.

Collins had already prepared the ground last week for the grenade to have maximum impact when she described the government’s proposal to establish a Maori Health Authority as “racist separation” and “segregation”.

Her statements were met mostly with scorn by media commentators — including damning them as an act of desperation, and obviously made in the vain hope of replicating Don Brash’s lift in the polls after his Orewa speech in 2004. The Maori Party accused her of “playing to the white supremacists”.

On Saturday, having already ensured the media’s attention with her previous incendiary comments about racial separatism, Collins widened her criticisms beyond the new health authority. She warned that a Māori Health Authority was simply one step along a path towards a nation divided on racial lines — from education and health to a “a separate Māori Parliament or Upper House”.

Such a warning might have been passed off as just more “desperate racist politicking” (as Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer had described her earlier comments) if Collins didn’t happen to have in her possession the unredacted blueprint for just such a revolutionary transformation of New Zealand’s democracy.

The document — titled He Puapua: The Report of the Working Group on a Plan to Realise the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Aotearoa/New Zealand — is explosive.

Commissioned by Cabinet in 2019 and produced by Te Puni Kōkiri, it sets out a 20-year plan to bring the Declaration into effect. It envisages that by 2040 — the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi — the nation will be ruled under an equal power-sharing arrangement between Maori and non-Maori leaders.

The government had hidden the report for almost a year before a highly redacted version was released last October that offered the public only 34 of its full 123 pages. That degree of censorship should have made journalists instantly suspicious of what the government was so keen to keep hidden but it flew mostly under their radar until a complete version was published — possibly accidentally — in March.

On April 14, Act leader David Seymour held up a copy of He Puapua in Parliament before asking the Prime Minister why she hadn’t announced her government’s plans to follow its recommendations.

More specifically, Seymour wanted to know if the government would rule out the “Treaty-based constitution” the report calls for.

Ardern played dumb in response: “I’m not quite entirely sure what sits at the core of the member’s question here. We have obligations to report on New Zealand’s compliance with a number of declarations that we have historically been involved in beyond just this term of office. If the member is trying to imply that there is anything other than us complying with our obligations there, he’d be most welcome to state that clearly and frankly, because I really question what it is he is implying with this line of questioning.”

Nanaia Mahuta, who was Minister for Māori Development when she secured Cabinet approval in 2019 to develop He Puapua, then rose to her feet with a patsy question to rescue her boss from a line of questioning she was evidently not enjoying. She asked if Ardern could confirm that New Zealand had signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples under John Key’s National-led government.

The Prime Minister was very happy to agree that the Declaration had, indeed, been signed under Key but she was less keen to answer the second, almost incoherent leg of Mahuta’s question — “… can the Prime Minister also clarify the basis upon which the next steps towards working through a national plan of action [He Puapua] might well be a positive progression?”

Ardern clearly wasn’t going to clarify “the next steps towards working through a national plan of action”, given she was trying strenuously to avoid giving David Seymour any clarity at all about whether the plan was being implemented.

When Seymour pressed the Prime Minister further and asked: “Will the Government rule out establishing a Māori Parliament, as called for by the report He Puapua?”, Ardern used the classic non-committal line beloved of politicians everywhere: “Obviously, we have no intention of making such a constitutional change…”, before adding, “However, we do commit ourselves to making sure that we are upholding our obligations as Treaty partners…”

It was a textbook case of equivocation.

If Ardern looked like a cat on a hot tin roof when being questioned by Seymour, she will hardly be thrilled that Collins — and the media — have now joined the fray and are demanding answers.

The government’s critics are busy publicising aspects of the report they say have already been implemented by stealth. Top of their list is the fact that He Puapua recommends making it easier to set up Maori wards — and in February the government did just that by overturning the law that meant voters could petition to force a referendum to veto a council decision to introduce them.

Labour made no mention of such a law change in its election manifesto but Ardern pushed the Maori wards legislation through Parliament under urgency, allowing less than 48 hours for public submissions to be made.

He Puapua also calls for a Maori-centric version of New Zealand’s history in schools (which is in train); public education programmes, including conscious and subconscious bias training to deal with structural racism (which is already promoted by the Public Service Commission); and exempting some Māori land from rates (the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021 was passed in April), among other measures.

Opponents believe these moves are confirmation that He Puapua is functioning as an undeclared government manifesto.

They have also identified Ardern’s reluctance last year to condemn the Maori checkpoints set up without legal authority — allegedly to protect the self-proclaimed “borders” of predominantly Maori areas from Covid — as yet more evidence of a separatist agenda they believe she and her government had already secretly endorsed.

Similarly, the Ihumatao settlement last December when protesters forced Fletcher Building to sell 33 hectares to the government for $30 million is being cited as an example of the same agenda, particularly since the deal was made explicitly outside the Treaty of Waitangi process.

Overall, the impression that Ardern is intent on subverting the nation’s institutions and constitutional arrangements by stealth will risk severely damaging her political reputation, given that she has long trumpeted the virtues of openness and transparency.

On Sunday, Collins put out a press release that drove home that charge: “He Puapua has never been publicly announced but a number of recommendations, such as the Maori Health Authority and Maori council wards, have been implemented already without any acknowledgement from Ardern that they are part of a wider plan…

“The Prime Minister needs to explain why Labour has been busy implementing He Puapua’s recommendations one by one without sharing this wider plan with New Zealanders.

“National’s position is clear. We will not accept the implementation of two systems by stealth.”

For Ardern, the hot tin roof just got hotter.

Graham Adams is a journalist, columnist and reviewer who has written for many of the country’s media outlets including Metro, North & South, Noted, The Spinoff and Newsroom. this article was first published by the Democracy Project HERE.


Phil said...

The media seem to be either burying this story or attacking Judith Collins. It seems there is no way to get this in front of the public unless someone with deep pockets does a mail out to every house in the country.

Jacinda seems to be shifting her position on China today, I assume to create a big story.

Don said...

I cannot understand why the interests of 15% of the population are attracting so much action to the detriment of the other 85%. We should be moving forward not dwelling on past mistakes and twisting a spurious "foundation document" for purposes that its signees never envisaged nor intended. Millions continue to fall into the hands of a small elite while the ordinary Maori are being used as pawns though seeing merely token benefits from those millions .Te Reo is being forced upon the country at every opportunity and plans are afoot to indoctrinate our young with false history. What is the purpose of this agenda?

Phil said...

Great to read that ACT are coming out with more information per the Bassett, Brash, Hyde website today. As fast as the denials come and media try and kill this story, ACT have uncovered more highly damning evidence on what the Government is up to related to a UN submission just last August. It feels like the biggest scandal in our living memory with the Government half way through implementing a road map to destroy our democracy and denying they have even discussed it. We had an election just a few months ago and not a word mentioned on this.

KP said...

Don't waste your life working for Maoris, Australia still welcomes hard-working Kiwis. None of that racist shit from minority groups yet either.

Unknown said...

Mike says. Far bigger than health and wards. Control, ownership of all things natural physical is the objective. The abuse of law and the consultative procedures relating to District and Regional plans has been horrendous.

Anonymous said...

Everyone not Maori, should be very concerned at this incredibly left leaning, worse than communist government, particularly its leaders actions.30% of the population are Asian, yet what rights do they have ?
IWI pay no tax, or rates on Maori land, they have huge cash reserves from supposedly " final " treaty settlements, which they are not spending on their own people. They still have their hands out for more. They continue to aquire and operate new business's,again paying no tax. They filter and sanitise their own history, denying that less than 200 years ago, they were cannibals eating each other. What have they done to improve NZ ? Provide electricity, roading and other infrastructure, education, hospitals, Libraries ? the list goes on, with the answer still being ZERO! They actually despise the white Europeans, to the point, where we have reverse racism. Yet they claim you can only be racist if you are white! Why the hell are we being forced to accept the Maori language and having everything renamed ? The Maori language is an exercise in futility, nobody else in the world speaks it, so why are our children forced to learn it ? The majority need to get behind the opposition, whether that be ACT or National, this current Labour lot are selling everybody down the river for their own purposes and it needs to stop now !

Unknown said...

My question is that I understand that Maoris are NOT indigenous and they have many time claims chary sailing here form hawaii.
If this is case the UN ruling does not apply

Anonymous said...

“Maori” do what Maori want. The Government give tribes land they want, and keep spending until everyone with Maori ancestry has the same living standard as everyone else. No personal effort or responsibility is required on the part of those with Maori ancestry.

Thomas said...

this He Puapua issue is a revelation of Labour Ardern Tyranny and stealth. It has to be fought seriously and the true agenda put in front of the greater NZ ( not Aotearoan ) public. It has shown the true mettle of the NZ media riddled with radicals and leftists. The contents of this declaration is just outrageous and breathtaking.
One of the reasons it has enjoyed flying under the radar and for no objections is the solid reason that the minute you dispute any of this radical rubbish you are immediately branded a racist. These radicals dont know the true meaning of the word racist.
This Vision 2040 is so damaging and serious it calls for a snap election if Ardern does not refute the moves to date and the plan. I think a nationwide mail drop is in order and I would front with a donation immediately for it. If we lose this battle I will migrate to Aussi and keep in touch with my family from time to time. I think National and Act have to have a battle plan, sort leadership issues smartly and fight this erosion of our heritage and democratic rights from a position of strength. We cant let this erosion continue till the next election as too much damage will be done by then.

Mary-Ann said...

What all people that oppose governments is doing, should keep firing emails to Adern and associated departments to express their disgust of dishonesty and the sneaky way they are pushing things thru. Then also email a copy to opposition like national and act as they are the onces that are trying to hold government to account and we need to let them know we support them. I have lost count of the emails I have send to various government departments especially labour. I definitely know who not to vote for next election not that I voted for labour in the last election anyway.
I am a registered nurse and still working and the recent wage freeze what can I say we are going to lose a lot of nurses, teachers and who knows other state workers to go and work overseas. This government is unreal. He Paupau is a disaster in the making and needs to stop as Don stated 15% of all New Zealand’s citizens and permanent residence dictating the government what to do and labour are actually entertaining it. As said I have send emails to various government departments and will continue to do so.

Vic said...

This He Puapua plan of Labour is absolutely undemocratic. Don infers that approximately 15% of the population is Maori, but I disagree, its probably far less! 'Maori' frequently lay claim to their ancestral ties to various Iwi, Hapu etc, but deliberately omit their ancestry to their other culture, be it European, Asian or middle eastern, despite their surnames being obviously from those cultures. One only has to listen to our TV1, 2, 3 and Prime news channels and Stuff newspapers to notice that almost everything reported has a Maori name added and not only for towns and cities. Is this a Government directive? And now it has been announced that once all existing Passport renewal stocks are used up, the new Passports will have Maori language above English on the covers. I have dual nationality. This insult to my heritage and my ancestors may mean me not renewing my NZ passport.

Anonymous said...

How many have noticed the change to NZ paper money notes?
Aotearoa now appearing below New Zealand.
How long before it appears above New Zealand?
And all these Maori folk
Most of them have as many 'white' genes as I do

Doug Longmire said...


1/ He Puapua This plan spells out the destruction of Western democracy in New Zealand by 2040.
Specifically – abolishing our government voted by the general population with a racist separatist system where the government is spilt on racial lines - HALF the government to be Maori (15% of the population), and the other half (representing 85% of the population) is voted in.

2/ Recent Court ruling that the entire seabed and foreshore, reaching out 12 miles to sea, is likely to be totally controlled by Maori.

3/ Recent recommendations to the government that DoC hand over total control of all wildlife/preservation/hunting and fishing ownership/administration to Maori.

4/ Health system:- Abolition of DHB’s, replaced by four Area Health Boards, plus one Maori Health Authority, which will have power of veto over all health funding and policy decisions in New Zealand.

This has all come to light recently. This is the Comrade Ardern plan for the destruction of our society, and it is happening now.
The plan is clear:- Maori will control our parliament , our health system, all our coastline and fisheries, and all our native bush and forests. Nothing left.