Letters to the Editor

January 2019



SATURDAY'S HAKA A POOR SYMBOL OF MULTI-RACIAL SOCIETY

This December, world leaders, possibly including Jacinda Ardern, will gather in Morocco to sign the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. While a growing list of countries are pulling out - such as Australia, the United States, Croatia, Israel, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and Bulgaria - Ardern, in her capacity as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, won’t yet commit to withdrawing from this agreement, which is being praised by her coalition partner the Green Party. The UN Global Compact for Migration was primarily designed as result of, and to protect the lives of, people who chose to migrate to Europe en masse over the last few years. The way the UN has chosen to attempt to protect these people, is to demand that every UN member state, including New Zealand, open their borders and not only make it even easier for illegal immigrants and refugees to enter any country of their choosing, but also to fund the legal defence of these people to stay in their chosen destination country. The UN is demanding that all member states actually assist these people to illegally enter their countries, give them assistance to find work, integrate into the new country populace, and help the new country’s peoples to understand the migrant’s culture, religions, and language. Although the pact is technically non-binding, in terms of morals and integrity, non-binding often will quickly become binding. Up until recently, a refugee boat trip from Indonesia to New Zealand might have been unlikely due to the considerable risk to life involved. However, early this year an Australian Naval patrol boat intercepted a boatload of 29 Sri Lankans off the coast of Western Australia. Those on board told the Australian authorities they were bound for New Zealand. In the future, if refugees know that the New Zealand Government has signed the pact agreeing it is New Zealand’s responsibility to keep them safe and to assist them - a pact the Australian Government has not signed - the oceans could be full of unseaworthy craft jam-packed with people clinging to life and heading for our shores. It is also important to note that in recent years another arm of the UN, the United Nations Security Council, has approved NATO military interventions - justified by questionable intelligence to say the least - that have rather than helping, in fact destabilised countries and whole regions. A recent example being the 2011 ‘regime change’ in Libya that resulting in increased tyranny and further spread of the militant group ISIL, Libya’s GDP collapsing from $75 billion in 2010 to just over $41 billion in 2014, arguably causing the European refugee and migrant crisis. The United Nations has a history of fuelling and exacerbating problems. Far from actually promoting the protection of Human Rights, the UN has been party to the fostering, provoking, and dispersing of violent and tyrannical cultures around the world. Cultures that do not want to coexist in a peaceful and free manner. And now with this new agreement the UN is disregarding the rights, health, and safety of people in the destination countries - by undermining the legitimate actions of their governments to protect them from the cultural tension and civil unrest caused by unsustainable illegal immigration. At the same time the UN is endangering lives by effectively inviting already desperate people to undertake treacherous journeys to remote countries that they would rather not have to be going to in the first place. Of particular interest is how this world changing pact is being handled in New Zealand by the main political parties. Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said “It is paramount that New Zealand, a responsible international citizen, be part of the cooperative solutions initiated by the Compact.” Obviously the safety and rights of the New Zealand people, who have not been asked if they agree to open their borders up, comes a distant second to the perceived rights of refugees or migrants in the minds of the coalition partner. Although the ceremony is looming, whether New Zealand will support the pact is unknown, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) stating that the Government is currently considering its position and will make a final decision before the adoption ceremony. Lees-Galloway confirmed a decision would be made in the next few days and said there was every reason to “consider” signing it. Yet, more indecision and lack of detail by the Labour Government, despite the Compact being public since July 2018, while they have seem to have had plenty of time to comment on the JamieLee Ross saga. Long-time anti-immigration stalwart and now Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said that he is unsure of the details and interpretations “When I’m convinced of that, we will go ahead and make a decision.” Is this his polite way of saying he is more interested in having a stable coalition than the interests of New Zealanders?

This brings me to the obvious question that New Zealanders need to ask themselves; how much do the current main political parties care about the people of New Zealand when measured against how much they want to win an election? While the Greens obviously want to lose the next election by signing up to the pact, no other party appears to want to allay the fears of ordinary New Zealanders by coming out with a clear statement. And this despite their resources, their endless advisors, and their constant statements about how they will put New Zealanders first. Only one party has come out with a clear press release condemning this Compact and urging our government not to sign it, fledgling party the One New Zealand Party. We have been here 5 minutes and in these early days have few resources - in fact we all are currently either running our businesses or employed full time - yet we managed to make it abundantly clear in a press statement released on the 2nd of December that in the interests of New Zealanders our government should not sign this document. All of the above speaks volumes about the calibre and goals of the current political parties, and also why we are working overtime forming the new ‘One New Zealand Party’. We need a party with integrity to hold these people to account and to genuinely have the interests of the New Zealand people at heart.

— Andy Oakley, Author and Deputy Leader of the One New Zealand Party

MANA WHENUA GROUPS PROPOSE MĀORI NAMES OF AUCKLAND PARKS TO LOCAL BOARDS

‘Your local Auckland park could be about to gain a Māori name as local boards consult Māori groups on how to tell the “unique stories of Tāmaki Makaurau”. Brains Park, Dickey Reserve and Eastdale Reserve are just three among 99 places picked by the Whau Local Board in its first group of parks and reserves to go through the review. The Auckland Council move to add Māori names or even have them replace existing names was initiated by mana whenua - Auckland Māori who have mana and ancestral connections in some part of the region. Mana whenua groups are being asked to propose Māori names to local boards. As well as local parks, reserves and domains, the renaming programme will include 53 regional parks and cemeteries, plus libraries; council leisure centres and other community places will be added later. “The scale of the programme is significant,” council officials said in a report. “It is estimated there are more than 4100 parks and places across Tāmaki Makaurau.” The council hopes that, in line with its Māori language policy, the re-naming will foster learning of te reo Māori and the associated Auckland Māori history and values. Almost all of the 4100 parks in Auckland have been created by post 1840 settlers and councils hard work and enterprise but like the gifting(actual deed of sale ignored) of central Auckland history is being turned on its head. To change the names of parks and buildings is an insult to those people they are named for as in many cases the land was donated by those whose names the park bears or they honour contributions made by those named The Howick Local Board when considering changes of names to local parks etc would do well to remember the problems created when the ward name of Howick was going to be changed to Te Irirangi.

— Arthur Moore, Pakuranga


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