Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Mike Butler: Hut burning and tribal control

A purge of colonial buildings in the Urewera park which shows that tribal co-governors act like wolves in sheep’s clothing came to an immediate halt today courtesy of the High Court.

The ruling comes after applicant Wharenui Clyde Tuna sought to halt what he described as “the hasty destruction by fire of the hut network throughout Te Urewera”.1

“Between the burning down of the Kanohirua hut at the end of October 2022, the applicant believes between 15 and 20 huts have been burnt down by employees or contractors of the second respondent [Trustees of Tūhoe – Te Uru Taumatua],” the judgement said.

This current round of destruction began with an assurance that the huts would be replaced by “bespoke, “fit-for-purpose” structures.” 2.

But since the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre near Lake Waikaremoana was demolished in 2016, the Tūhoe tribe was accused of embarking on a "colonial purge" while positioning themselves against a neighbouring tribe over the control of Lake Waikaremoana.

Neglected maintenance, banning visits by Conservation staff, and the wholesale destruction of huts gave the appearance that a colonial purge was ongoing.

Tribal control of the Urewera park was enabled by former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson of the Key National government.

The Tuhoe tribe signed a $170-million treaty settlement on June 4, 2013, which vested the Urewera national park in a Te Urewera legal identity and protected it under new standalone legislation, governed by Tuhoe and Crown nominees. 3.

In his infinite wisdom, Finlayson set up a governance board with equal numbers of four Crown and four Tuhoe appointees and chaired by one of the Tuhoe appointees.

A Tuhoe chair gained the upper hand to Tuhoe from the start.

Worse was to come. After three years Tuhoe was intended to have six nominees on the board and the Crown three. That gave the appearance that Finlayson planned for Tuhoe to take over.

Why is this important now? “Co-governance” also known as tribal control is front and centre of the government’s agenda now.

The Ardern government is currently imposing the Three Waters reform, which, on closer inspection, is a substantial implementation of the secretive He Puapua plan for two racially divided governments in New Zealand.4

The Three Waters plan is nominally about improving water services throughout New Zealand but actually hinges on “co-governance” (tribal control).

Evidence for this was the speedy response by Waikato-Tainui chair Tuku Morgan when four mayors delivered an alternative proposal to Three Waters which left water assets in council ownership. Morgan was most concerned about power when he complained about “mayors not wanting to share power with Maoris". 5

Three Waters co-governance doesn’t pretend to be anything other than tribal control although the tribal control mechanism is buried in layers of documents and anyone who asks questions is smeared as a racist.

The entire Three Waters structure would be controlled from top to bottom by the chair of the Maori Advisory Committee that guides the water regulator Taumata Arowai, currently Tipa Mahuta, who is the sister of the current Minister in charge of Three Waters, Nanaia Mahuta. 6.

So when you think of Three Waters and co governance, remember Tuhoe’s colonial purge and be thankful that the High Court in this instance intervened.


1. High Court shuts down hut burning. Stuff, November 9, 2022.

2. Dozens of huts to be removed. Stuff, October 2, 2022.

3. Tuhoe deed of settlement summary.

4. Thomas Cranmer, Three Waters and He Puapua, November 9, 2022.

5. Our voice must be heard. Newshub, November 2, 2022.

6. Graham Adams, Sister Act, The Platform, June 10, 2022.


K said...

Wait for the arsons now. TUT clearly run it tribally.

Anonymous said...

Good job (on the Court's part), but 3 Waters is all about tribal control. Those individuals who think it's about improved water services are, sadly, deluded and they need to inform themselves better as to the attack on our democracy (and wallets) that's really underway here. It really is incredible that a very small bunch of very rich and powerful Maori can pull this rort off, all naturally for their own benefit. But then, when you have a sympathetic PM & other Minister's who are prepared to lie about the economics and justification of this sham; are prepared to turn a blind eye to the nepotism and corruption that is patently evident; and, are all aided and abetted by a compliant, bought public media who have lost sight of their purpose and ethics, it's hardly surprising.

In sum, it's full-on CORRUPTION!

Maybe that's what Aotearoa really means - after all, it certainly not how the world used to regard New Zealand?

Anonymous said...

Chris Finlayson was/is an absolute disaster. He appears to be blinded by his own sense of self-importance and the delusion that he is smarter than everyone else. (He is also a nasty little prick.) Time has shown him to be a naive twit of huge proportions, which is what many said at the time when he made his various foolish decisions (including the foreshore and seabed legislation which is going through the courts now and will result in virtually all of the coastline and the seabed out to 12 nautical miles being transferred to Customary title). It is amazing that Finlayson has the gall to tout himself as an expert on anything. John Key was a fool to trust Finlayson with the responsibility he was given.

Steve Ellis said...

Thank you " Anonymous " for your comments.

I whole heartedly agree with your view of Finlayson. He has sat in the tent with Ngi Tahu for years and been bewildered, even touched. by their mystic vision of the world.

He, along with Key , has dealt a poisoned divisive dart into what was - ( and can still be ) - an all encompassing liberal democracy here in New Zealand.

Steve Ellis

Robert Arthur said...

Shades of the Tupuna Maunga Authority in Auckland. That is more nominally co governace but as always in such situations, the maori view dominates. At the Nov 2019 hui it was openly stated that elimination of colonist associations was a goal. They began with exotic trees but even sponsored park seats were apparently in line to follow.If maori act this belligerently before they have total universal control, and when severe restraint would be very prudent, what will life be like when their takeover mission is complete?

Empathic said...

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, the non-profit organization that runs the Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields, was in co-governance with the local iwi. It's now facing bankruptcy. Sure, multiple factors contributed to the business failure but the time and cost associated with co-governance impaired the organization's functioning and probably its ability to respond to the other problems it faced.

Ngati Kahugunu have had their housing development fast-tracked by government for Napier's lowest-lying, most flood-prone area. Imagine what co-governance in council with that iwi could entail.

Finlayson was recently referring to Urewera National Park as showing us what a great thing co-governance is.