$500,000 for a piece of wood carved by a Maori? Cue the wailing about toanga and it ?wanting to be home?

Half a million bucks for a chunk of wood carved?by a Maori…that no one knows what it even is?

The 68cm piece, resembling a mutu kaka or parrot snare, is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s Art d’Afrique et d’Oc?anie sale in Paris on June 23.

t has an estimate of NZ$322,000 to NZ$483,000.

Leading world authority on Maori and Pacific art, ethnologist and anthropologist the late Dr Roger Neich, who died in 2010, described the item in 2007 as being the most ornate he had ever seen.

He attributed the carving to the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island and to the late 18th or early 19th century. ? Read more »


If only they could hear their babies screaming

James Whakaruru: Beaten, stomped, kicked...and dead

James Whakaruru: Beaten, stomped, kicked…and dead

It seems Maori can hear bits of wood weeping…but they can’t hear their?babies screaming when they bash them to death.

Britain’s National Maritime Museum hopes a group of London-based M?ori can resolve a mystery around artefacts brought back to England by Captain James Cook.

Members of the haka group Ng?ti R?nana have been given rare access to the taonga M?ori, which are set to go on display in 2018.

Group chairman Lewis Whaitiri said they were shown ancient weapons collected in Captain Cook’s first and second voyages.

“We saw tewhatewha, kotiate, patiti and a taiaha… They were tupuna [ancestors]. You could feel the mauri when you walked in.”

“They had been stored away for so long, some of them had not seen a M?ori face or been touched by M?ori since the museum has had them so the mauri that was in that place, you could feel the taonga crying for home.

Read more »


Taking property by deceit

Stephen Franks blogs about The Historic Places Trust being able to?literally take your property on the basis of some weasel words in the?legislation.

It deserves wider attention, and so I re-post it in full.

I?ve been around the law and politics for some time. Legislation is moulded by politics. Some politicians insist on obscure language to disguise the real effect of law, to delay opponents realising how far it goes. I understand that. We live in a democracy. Democracies need politicians who act to minimise the number who want to vote them out. So a law-writing ?hand may get? an irresistible urge to obfuscate .

Until recently we had some protection?from?Parliamentary Counsel. There was a convention supporting?some?gate-keeper role in rejecting such deceit, but it seems that semi-constitutional?filter has gone.

There are less cynical and offensive ways to deceive the public, but deceptively written law is becoming ?normal?. Few lawyers in Parliament have the background to detect it, which may have something to do with selections for identity group ?reflection? instead of?established merit.

The increase may also be because the deceitful hand is not necessarily that of ?the politician. ?Officials with an agenda their elected masters won?t like have the time to hide their obfuscations deep in dense language. Politicians may not work out what they are voting for until too late.

A Bill well through the Parliamentary process ?updating? the Historic Places Trust legislation is a classic example. The 1993 Act over-rode property rights, but only for the unfortunates who happen to own?really old?places, The replacement Bill turns that limited exception into general contempt for the property rights. Now they are to be confiscated from pretty much anyone?with property that ?Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga? finds appealing. The Board can declare a place to be category 1 or 2 protected (economically seized for practical purposes) if they are satisfied of its ?significance or value in relation to? any one or more of its:

  • ?Technical accomplishment, value, or design?;
  • ?Symbolic or commemorative value?;
  • ?Community association?;
  • ?Public esteem?;
  • ?Potential for public education?;
  • ?Importance to tangata whenua?;
  • ?Extent to which it forms part of a wider ?cultural area?.

Observe that?none of those need have anything to do with history. ? Read more »

An interesting comment from Sharples on taonga

We hear a lot about taonga and how this one or that one has been destroyed or ruined or insulted, usually followed by a demand for compensation.

Maori claim the airwaves, water, and land are all taonga…and as a result they must compensated for their use.

Well Pita Sharples may well have scotched that with an interesting comment on taonga.

Sharples said treasures were never owned, and could be returned.

“There is no permanency in Maori culture about taonga,” he said.? Read more »

Treaty ‘rights’ a trap

David Round has some major concerns with the wonky?constitutional?review underway. While we complain about Fiji’s?constitutional?changes yet our own are appearing to be significantly gerrymandered by Maori:

You need kidney dialysis. But you cannot get it, because people of Maori ancestry, although less deserving of treatment on purely clinical grounds, have priority. You have paid your taxes all your life. You die.

Impossible? At present, yes – we hope. But several years ago when an elderly man in Northland was ruled ineligible for dialysis – on solely clinical grounds – the Maori Council declared elderly Maori people were “taonga” and therefore entitled to treatment under the Treaty of Waitangi, which would give them priority over non-Maori.? Read more »

Selling to foreigners the Maori way

Cactus Kate has a cracker of a post (no not the one about anal sex) about Maori selling land. You know, land, the taonga protected by the treaty. It seems that only Maori are allowed to sell land to ‘foreigners’ and only?’foreigners’ who aren’t Chinese.

Ngai Tgahu know all about asset sales so should be supporting National’s privatisation programme. Here are just two recent examples of Maori more than happy to flog off their assets to foreigners who need OIO approvals.

In?2010 they sold 1348 hectares in Kaikoura?to an American couple for 7.5 million dollars. They paid 8 million dollars so made a $500,000 loss.

In 2011?they sold 18,000 hectares of forest?to a Swiss owned family company for 22.9 million dollars. And continue to manage it.?Alf Grumble reported?it at the time on his blog noting the hypocrisy and lies of Tuku Morgan in relation to asset sales. Ngai Tahu sold this land under the euphemism of a “change in investment strategy”. National are having that same change in investment strategy selling stakes in SOE’s.

Maori and the left wing and assorted other whingers are now carping that the Mixed Ownership Model can be spiked via the Treaty of Waitangi. Cactus Kate pours them back in the bottle.

Now Maori wish to construct an argument that National’s privatisation programme cannot go ahead?because of the SOE Act due to a conflict with Treaty Principles. More taking of the piss.

Selling assets to locals and foreigners seems to be?completely?in line with Maori principles of making profit or a loss when inept, for themselves. Ngai Tahu have proven that Maori principles are to sell when it suits them.

Another example of Maori completely taking the piss for their own commercial ends.

No one need think Maori are not immune from selling their precious taonga when required. And there is nothing wrong with this, just don’t hide behind the skirt of our Queen Elizabeth and some loosely interpreted Treaty principles when the Crown wishes to do likewise to pay for things like schools, health and a legacy of years of over-spending on welfare on a feral heaving pathetic underclass.

Looks like Maori and Labour shared the dux of the class in Hypocrisy School.