Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fridge Libraries...

Fieldtripping about Otautahi, collecting pix for our Earthquake Research. Looking for my old haunts, the corners I coned, the sites of dusty bars, flats I learnt the science and art of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Was tickled to see this community library shelf on Barbadoes Street...

My addition, 'All that is solid melts into air' by Marshall Berman., tucked alongside Alistair McLeans 'San Andreas'. I was gonna leave the George Washington that I habitually use as a bookmark for my faves but kept it for the loan, 'The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership' by John C. Maxwell, prepping for tomorrow's MANU AO Maori academic leadership wananga.

Monday, August 29, 2011

WAI 262 website

Have found this very good site that gives the history, contents, commentary, interviews and photographs of all things 'Wai 262', the huge, 23-years-in-the-preparation report that began as the flora and fauna claim but soon extended into cultural property rights and processes.

Love this picture of the kawe roimata for those who leapt from Te Reinga before the report was released...

Love too this pikitia from the 1988 ethnobotany hui at Rehua, here in Christchurch/Otautahi. Hohua Tutengaehe (centre, moustacheod) was kaumatua of CPIT when I was studying te reo there in 1994.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Maori branding no guarantee...

And lest we forget the tough world of global trade, Maori labelling is no guarantee of economic sustainability. After something like 16 years in the game, Upper Hutt company, Kia Kaha clothing, is folding into the great laundry basket of global capitalism.

Michael Campbell's much trumpeted (trumpeted here in Aotearoa/NZ) clothing label switch from Nike to Kia Kaha, and the appearance of future king William, in the threads must've given some global exposure......and it's intentions were certainly honorable:"Kia Kaha Clothing is a 100% Maori-owned company, specialising in providing high quality New Zealand- made apparel with authentic and distinctive Maori designs.

From a concept conceived in 1985, our kaupapa (concepts/ beliefs/aims) have remained the same.

Our kaupapa is simply to provide a quality-clothing brand that all New Zealanders will feel proud to wear. Proud because of the quality of product this country can produce and proud because of our unique and proud heritage as a nation.

We, the team at Kia Kaha feel very strongly about keeping New Zealand growing and believe that being New Zealand- made assists in the country's growth and development.

Our point of distinction is that we are 100% focused on the local market and what the people of Aotearoa want. Although we are pleased that overseas visitors like our clothing, designs are not altered to suit their preferences. In fact we find that they often prefer to have something to remember Aotearoa by which is made in New Zealand and which the locals wear, rather than a "touristy tee" made overseas."

But in a world awash with logo's, and some drawing on 'indigeneity', scale still secures more than niche many marketeers can bare.

Kia Kaha Clothing had a minor spat with T-shirt manufacturers over the use of Kia kaha' for a Christchurch earthquake fundraiser. Not an issue we lose sleep over in chch to be honest...
But a great shame, especially for those staff who will lose their jobs. In these times, this is a serious test to individual, whanau, and community resilience.

Maori King

With the release of the long-awaited WAI 262 claim into, among other things, intellectual property rights and culture, we have clarification on how a new IP regime might look in Aotearoa/NZ. Essentially Maori lack control of much of what goes on in the world of branding, niche marketing, and logo mash-ups. Check this new beer from Funkwerks, a US brewing company...

Apart from using NZ Rakau hops, there's precious little connection to Maori or the Kingitanga movement. And people are upset, or rather some people are upset.

Of course, such appropriation is testimony to our success in self-promotion, collective presence in the worlds media (particularly through sport) and the rather well-developed tourism sector in and around Rotorua.

Life goes on. Check this haka performance...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tahuri Whenua Hui-a-tau, AGM, Porangahau

Another great Tahuri Whenua hui, the National Vegetable Growers Collective going from strength to strength, this time spreading the word to Porangahau.

Kim taking a soil sample in her garden under the tutelage of Moana Puha.

I arrived on the Friday before with Uncle Jim Cunningham, one of our kaumatua. Hosted by Aramanu and Paora Ropiha, word was heard of 20 koura, and Aramanu baked a banana cake for morning tea. Okay, she had to bake another one (iced in the morning) bu7t these things have a way of disappearing...

Aramanu has of course been instrumental in establishing Aunty's Gardens, and she presented on that to us, including T-shirts, badges and bags.

The korero regarding Te Wheke begins with the three hearts of the Octopus, representing the foundation principles for Aunty’s Garden: Whakapapa, Tikanga/Manakitanga, Ohaoha. The eight kawai or tentacles represent the various dimensions a grower may choose to apply in relation to their whenua and produce: Mana ahua ake, Mauri, Aoturoa, Whanaungatanga, Hinengaro, Wairua, Whatumanawa, Ha, Taonga Tukuiho.

Hanui Lawrence, one of Auntys' Gardens stalwarts.

Me, Te Raetihi, Beach, Porangahau (I know the quality of the pix - genetic and temporal failings aside - failings seems lower than a year ago but I've started taking pix wqith my cheapo Smart-phone and kinda like the effects. Sorta low-res down on the rez...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Documentary, Maori Television

Kia hiwa ra!

A documentary on the issue of toxins poisoning land and people, as evidenced in the lives of sawmill workers. Joe Harawira has been a stalwart fighter for education and remediation of what is a serious environmental and societal concern in many places in Aotearoa/NZ.

Monday, August 08, 2011

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Tomorrow, August 9th, is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, which is marked annually in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982. The theme of the Day this year is 'Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future'.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' statement for the Day is below, and there is a video by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues' page with information about the Day.

This message is available online.

High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Let us ensure that development for some is not to the detriment of the human rights of others”

5 August 2011

Following is the statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People which is commemorated on 9 August:

“As we celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People this year, many of the estimated 370 million indigenous peoples around the world have lost, or are under imminent threat of losing, their ancestral lands, territories and natural resources because of unfair and unjust exploitation for the sake of ‘development.’ On this day, let us ask the crucial question: who actually benefits from this so-called development, and at what cost is such development taking place?

When indigenous communities are alienated from their lands because of development and natural resource extraction projects, they are often left to scrape an existence on the margins of society. This is certainly not a sign of development. Many such projects result in human rights violations involving forced evictions, displacement and even loss of life when social unrest and conflict over natural resources erupt. This is certainly not what we mean by development. Natural resource extraction projects such as mining are land-intensive and water-intensive and often directly affect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and territories.

All too often we see conflict between corporations, indigenous peoples and the State over development projects which are initiated without consultation or consent of the very people who are dispossessed of their land.

In Malaysia, for example, planned hydroelectric dam projects in Sarawak and Sabah have caused great concern for indigenous peoples, who are either being displaced or dispossessed of their lands. The Penan people have received threats and there are reports of harassment of the Penan by workers of logging companies. Various complaints and claims have prompted SUHAKAM, Malaysia’s human rights commission, to initiate a national inquiry on the land rights of indigenous peoples.

In India, social unrest and conflicts over land acquisition for development and mining projects have increased in recent years. Adivasis defending their ancestral lands and community forests are often subject to threats and harassment, despite the existence of constitutional protections, Supreme Court judgments and progressive national legislation requiring consent of tribal communities, and community rights over forest use. In a positive development in 2010 the Ministry of Environment and Forests in India stopped the Orissa government and Vedanta, a multinational mining company headquartered in the United Kingdom, from mining in the Niyamgiri hilltop in Kalahandi district, since such an operation would severely affect the ecology of the area and the situation of the Dongria Kondh Adivasi people living in the mountains.

Threats against anti-logging activists working to protect the Amazon forest in Brazil have been long ongoing. Recently, José Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria de Espirto, both anti-logging activists and defenders of indigenous peoples’ rights were killed in the Brazilian state of Para. My Office continues to directly monitor the impact of extractive industries and development projects in a number of other countries, including Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala and Mexico.

In many cases, extractive activities in indigenous territories are pursued by multinational companies headquartered in developed countries. Moreover, extractive industries are often present in the areas inhabited by indigenous peoples in these nations. For example, intensive oil and gas development continues in northern Alberta, Canada in the areas where the long-standing land claims by the Lubicon Lake Nation remain unresolved. In the Nordic countries, the Sami are concerned about the impact of mining, forestry and other natural resource extraction on reindeer husbandry.

Many States maintain contradictory or antiquated laws on mining and land acquisition for development. These laws must be re-assessed to determine if they are consistent with international human rights standards and principles. Such reviews must be conducted in consultation with indigenous peoples and in good faith.

Indeed, proper consultations must be conducted with indigenous peoples at all stages of the development and natural resource extraction cycle. They are entitled to full disclosure of environmental, social and human right impact assessments in a language of their choice. States should also provide financial and technical support to enable indigenous peoples to consult with corporations. When indigenous peoples consent to such projects, they should have a right to a fair share of benefits from activities on their lands. And where projects proceed without consent, mechanisms for redress are required. International and national institutions financing such projects must ensure their operational policies and guidelines are consistent with international human rights standards and principles.

On their part, extractive companies have a responsibility to respect human rights. This was affirmed in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council when adopting the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples makes explicit reference to free, prior and informed consent. It is very clear about this requirement for the “development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources”. This is further reinforced by international treaties such as ILO Convention No. 169 and in the jurisprudence of human rights treaty bodies, in particular the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The right to development is a human right for all, and indigenous peoples have the right to define and determine their own development. On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, let us ensure that development for some is not to the detriment of the human rights of others. Let us work together to ensure true development for all.” - HC11/071E

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Second cab off the rank...

Okay, now the Japanese Central Bank has intervened in the yen.

"Japan is just in the process of recovering from a natural disaster, so these currency moves are certain to have a negative impact on the economy and financial markets," Noda told reporters. "As a result, we conducted current market intervention."

What is it about Aotearoa/New Zealand that leads us to take our hands of the handle? To stretch the metaphor, are we the ones being doubled with the Pakeha cyclist who now places his hands over his eyes?

This must date from WW2...

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

'But what is to be done.'

With those fateful words, Lenin (who knew exactly what was to be done) simply done it.

NZ Inc., as an exporting economy, is suffering an over-valued dollar, as the Swiss are likewise with their overvalued franc. For NZ, there is nothing to be done, John Key repeatedly asserting that it is what it is: good for imports, bad for exports.

Eminently practical people (as their neutral stance in WW2 shows), the Swiss National Bank said the currency is “massively overvalued at present” and that its strength “is threatening the development of the economy and increasing the downside risks to price stability in Switzerland.”

“The SNB will not tolerate a continual tightening of monetary conditions and is therefore taking measures against the strong Swiss franc."

They cut their key lending rate to zero.

But the Swiss were neutral, not neutered.

It is difficult to see a way forward for Maori in this climate. The cost of living is crippling whanau, wages remain moribund, and while companies such as Miraka Ltd. can look forward to at least paying back the loans, we are entering a period of massive global deleveraging.

Lenin (as tupapaku)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Background to Maori experiences of earthquakes

The city of Christchurch, New Zealand, (Otautahi being its Maori name) experienced a series of earthquakes beginning on September 4th, 2010, with 7.1 magnitude quake that resulted in no deaths but significant damage to many buildings. It was a smaller (M 6.3) but shallower and therefore more severe quake on February 22nd, 2011, that was the most damaging, killing 181 people and causing widespread destruction in the CBD as well as significant damage to thousands of residential properties in some areas. Another M 6.3 quake on June 13th led to just one related death but wrought further structural damage but provoked considerable fear and distress to many residents. Between these major quakes, and following the June 13th event, were thousands of aftershocks, several over magnitude 5.0, a ‘seismic event’ in the words of geologists whose esoteric work became very familiar to many concerned citizens.

As settlers of a geologically active country, both Maori and Pakeha (the descendents of European, primarily British, settlers) are reasonably aware of earthquake risk, with a 1931 disaster being the most significant occurrence (though no longer in the living memory of most) that resulted in 256 deaths, many from the resulting fires in the primarily wooden city. A major volcanic eruption (Tarawera) near Taupō occurred about 200 AD, incinerating an area of approximately 20,000 square kilometres (McSaveney, Stewart, and Leonard 2011). New Zealand was not settled by Maori at this time; dating of the event is from the observations around the world.

Rangitoto, located adjacent to New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, this is the youngest and largest of that region’s volcanic cones. Māori living there would have witnessed its formation, as dating methods show the eruption occurred around 1400 AD. Stone tools have been found under ash deposits, and footprints found within the ash.

Remains of lava eruption on Rangitoto. Auckland city in the background

Archaeological evidence has revealed artefacts on and around Mt Taranaki between ash deposits from eruptions that took place around 1450, 1500 and 1655. Local Māori oral history speaks of a settlement destroyed in one eruption.

White Island (Whakaari) is New Zealand’s most active volcano, constantly venting steam and gases, and features in local Maori histories. Sulfur deposits were once mined until a collapsing crater wall killed 11 miners in 1914 (ibid.).

There was a significant eruption of Mt Tarawera around 1314 AD, depositing ash over a wide area. However, Tarawera is better known for its 1886 eruption. The official death toll was 150, although the number was more likely between 108 and 120 people (McSaveney, Stewart, and Leonard 2011). Local Maori communities suffered, and the event is also notable for indicators (in the days before Mt Tarawera erupted there was an increase in hot spring activity) and an omen with Māori and Pākehā tourists reporting a phantom Māori war canoe sailing across Lake Tarawera, and surges in the water.

Hinemihi meeting house at Te Wairoa, after the Mt Tarawera eruption of 10 June 1886. Photograph taken circa 1886 by Edmund Wheeler and Son.

These histories form an important back drop to this research, but they are just the starting point for the range of Maori perspectives (plural). The ‘seismic event’ of geology is leading to seismic changes in many areas, not least among affected Maori whanau, kura (schools), organisations, and businesses. Many businesses have either closed or have lost customers, unemployment increased, schools have reported rolls dropping by up to 20%, domestic violence, gambling, and drinking have all increased, and people are reporting levels of stress and insecurity.

The networks of economic, social, and cultural support form the primary focus of our research. You can keep up with progress on this important research through our 'Conversations at Lincoln' page. 
Simon Lambert

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