I agree with Shane Jones…

 

Stuff reports: quote:

NZ First MP Shane Jones has savaged a proposal for a giant statue of Papatūānuku at Bastion Point, saying it is laughable Aucklanders are forking out for the work.

Auckland Council has earmarked $1 million in its budget for the project, but Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Trust deputy chairman spokesman Ngarimu Blair says the idea is unformed and it is “early days”.

“We would need to see a full proposal and consider this in a wider context before deciding to take the idea any further,” he said. end quote.

In other words, it is a million dollars now. It will be several million before the idea even gets off the ground. Quote:

Stuff understands the idea for the statue, or pou, has been under discussion for 18 months by the Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Reserves Board, which is chaired by the iwi, includes Auckland councillor Desley​ Simpson and co-manages the Bastion Point land.

But Jones, who is also Regional Economic Development Minister and Associate Finance Minister, ripped into the idea during an interview with Stuff on Monday.

“The notion that the ratepayers of Auckland should foot the costs for this cultural mimicry promoted by the Ōrākei hapū is risible,” Jones said.

“We need to bear in mind that the Maoris up at Ōrākei do not have an exclusive rights to promote a statue in the form of the earth goddess on behalf of anyone other than themselves.

“If they want it for themselves then they should spend their own money and not misrepresent the broader Maori community that a statue, in the form of Christ the Redeemer out of Brazil, is an appropriate expression of Maori identity, or indeed New Zealand identity.”

Jones said he was speaking out on the proposal because “significant numbers of Māori” – both Auckland ratepayers and those from the north – were aghast at the proposal, which Jones said had been put up “in the form of a cultural hot air balloon without any consultation,without any mandate and without a sliver of support.

“If such a pretentious gesture is their long-term ambition then pay for it yourselves.”

Meanwhile, Ngāti Whātua was trying to slow down talk of plans for the statue on its land at Bastion Point. End quote.

Suddenly, we seem to be in the midst of the Maorification of everything. I have absolutely no problem with Maori culture and heritage being a part of our life, as it always was. But suddenly, we are being overrun. We are not, of course, the numbers haven’t changed. But now every event, every thought, every process, is Maorified. And, I have to say, that most of the Maori people I know are as uninterested in all of it as everyone else. Quote:

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff had enthusiastically backed the idea of a statue of earth mother Papatuanuku on land above the Waitemata Harbour.

“The pou has the potential to be an iconic symbol of Auckland. It will reflect the unique culture and identity of our city and be enjoyed equally by Maori, the wider community and international visitors to our region,” Goff said. End quote.

Just wasting more ratepayers money, Phil. You are good at that. You are good at turning it away too, from people who want to hold events in council venues. Quote:

Jones said he was “astounded” Auckland Council had “spare change to give to Maoridom’s richest hapū” when the Government was supporting the city council’s ability to raise money through a regional fuel tax.

“The word Papatūānuku means earth goddess, what are they thinking erecting some massive planet? I would say to you, culturally speaking, their thinking is off the planet,” Jones said.End quote.

I love the way councils just keep pushing up rates like the world is about to end, and then spend our hard earned money on fluff pieces like this. No offence intended, but gee. Quote:

The iwi, and others across Auckland have their eyes firmly on the tourism opportunities in 2021, when the city hosts the America’s Cup, the APEC leaders meeting, and the national Kapa haka finals.

[Nairimu] Blair said, for Ngāti Whātua, it was an investment decision, and whatever happened on its land may also include other elements such as a visitor centre, or cultural centre. End quote.

 I think councils should be more responsible with ratepayers money, and I am not alone in thinking that. Quote:

Another early opponent of the idea was National’s Helensville MP Chris Penk.

“Please, please, please sort out the basic infrastructure in the West and Northwest (and elsewhere too … but start with my patch) before talking about statues!” he wrote in a Facebook post. End quote.

I agree with Shane Jones on this. I think I need a lie down.

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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