MANA Leader Hone Harawira

I’m getting hoha listening to people blaming Ngapuhi for settling their claim and then using it to fix the economic and social deprivation in the north.
Stop blaming Ngapuhi!
It was Labour’s decision to sell off state assets and privatise government services and National’s determination to continue down that track that caused the economic devastation in the north.
And it is the ongoing damage caused by those economic decisions that has led directly to the high levels of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, crime and suicide that have become the norm in many communities in Tai Tokerau.
Stop blaming Ngapuhi!
And as for that bloody settlement – what’s the rush to sign up to a settlement which is less than 3% of the value of the claim? Is there a Ngapuhi anywhere who thinks we should be settling for 3 cents in the dollar? If government wants to seriously address the issues, then up the settlement figure. And let’s be polite, let’s start with 50%.
Stop blaming Ngapuhi!
And remember, the Tribunal ruled that ‘Ngapuhi never ceded sovereignty’. That’s a massive statement which actually lifts the Ngapuhi claim to a whole different level, but Treaty Minister Chris Finlayson never mentions it, and strangely enough neither does Kelvin Davis. All they do is blame Ngapuhi for not getting their act together.
Stop blaming Ngapuhi!
And come up with a few positive suggestions – like these:
1 Create a Ngapuhi Settlement Trust and put Sonny Tau (Tuhoronuku) Pita Tipene (Kotahitanga) and Kevin Davis (Tai Tokerau MP) on it, along with some wahine from home to give the Trust credibility, focus and accountability, and then get government to put $20 million into the Trust – on account – so they can start building the capability of Ngapuhi hapu and iwi.
2 Get government to commit $50 million to regional development in Northland with reps from the Trust and the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara District Councils (remember, the economic devastation is almost exclusively the fault of the Crown, not Ngapuhi).
3 Get government to commit another $50 million to social development in Northland with reps from the Trust and MSD and a threat to throw them in jail if they don’t get quick results (government has this Place-based Initiatives agency which is supposed to do this stuff but is already building an empire of mediocrity and delay to rival MSD itself).
And remember – government bailed out a pakeha finance company to the tune of $1.2 billion – they can easily spend 10% of that to give the country’s biggest iwi a kick start.