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Be careful what you wish for . . .

Opinion Piece

Re: ‘Undermining democracy', January 13 story.

It is clear from this “one-sided” article, obviously sanctioned by the editor of this newspaper, that he and all the rest of the Maori ward supporters (including all members of council and their spokesperson, the deputy mayor) don't understand the meaning of the word “democracy” and its part in our legitimate political process.

It is to their everlasting shame that they should be championing this attempt to subvert law-abiding citizens' rights to be heard.

If there is anything happening in that vacant space they promote as “collective responsibility”, they should be doing their best to answer the questions that have arisen because of the council's vaguely-formed decision to back the introduction of Maori wards.

Their deliberate reluctance to expose the true intent of that decision, by not coming clean with clear answers to those of us who are asking, only adds to the confusion of what they meant when voting in council.

I'm not sure that they even knew themselves.

Here are a few facts.

Mr Wharehinga is wrong to imply that the council had a mandate to vote for the introduction of these wards.

That can only be given after there has been a vote on the matter in the (hopefully) upcoming referendum that will decide it based on a democratic vote — hardly the same as the council's and Government's misuse of their authority in an attempt to bypass the democratic process.

Second, there are important unanswered questions about the intent of the council's decision that can influence individual decision-making over which way to vote on this issue.

The most glaring examples of these are also the ones that are being deliberately left that way so that confusion remains.

For example, how many Maori wards are being proposed? One, two or five?

Will the rural wards survive?

Answers to these questions could change people's votes from the “pro” camp who support the motion, to those voting against.

Finally, it is hard to understand the agitation for guaranteed Maori wards when the current system allows Maori equal opportunity to the decision-making process.

The facts are undeniable.

Councillors Meredith Akuhata-Brown and Josh Wharehinga are living proof that they can stand successfully in urban seats traditionally dominated by Pakeha.

It only requires a repetition of others like them deciding to put their hats in the ring at election time for Maori representation to increase dramatically. I would personally unequivocally support their admission to the council table if it happened in that way. Why wouldn't l?

But that might be too hard for some!

Go figure.

  1. H Hannam says:

    Hi, can anyone tell me what a Maori ward will do for ratepayers? If it means a reduction in rates I am all for it . . . otherwise it will mean an extra cost to the ratepayer (possibly 5 extra wards).
    Anyone in Tairawhiti can put their name forward at voting time, it does not matter what colour, race or religion you are, you will get a chance to get votes from everyone in the community . . . I would actually prefer that to segregation.

    1. Norman Grey says:

      To read of the front-page “advertising” given to a petition “countering the petition circulating against the establishment of Maori wards in the Gisborne District Council,” does not show The Herald in a good light.
      I hope The Herald might also publicise where I [+ any others] might sign the Hobson’s Pledge petition which with 1626 signatures triggers a district-wide vote on this matter.
      If Aimee Milne and Maree Conaglen mean what they say – “we want to see equity” – they will be keen to ensure fair support will be given to the Hobson’s Pledge petition.
      Norman Grey

      1. Aimee says:

        Go ahead, sign Hobson’s Pledge’s racist petition, force a referendum. Cost us $65,000 unnecessarily. We’re not stopping you.
        But I think you’ll find the majority support our petition, and even if it goes to referendum, people will vote for Maori wards. Get with the times you fullas. It’s 2021!

        1. Peter Jones says:

          I won’t be signing for Hobson’s Pledge.
          If white people are that stupid without me it’s not my fault.
          Maori wards are a step closer to the communism that approaches.

        2. Ken Ovenden says:

          Hi Aimee, when you set up at the Farmers’ Market one hopes that you have both petitions available, yours and the Hobson’s Pledge one so that people have a choice and that you really show that you want to see equity, fairness and that you are being democratic.

          1. Aimee says:

            Don’t be ridiculous. The Hobson’s Pledge petition shouldn’t exist in the first place and I wish Maori didn’t have to fight so hard just for equitable representation. They’re not even asking for much. What are you so afraid of?

  2. Clive Bibby says:

    Sadly, there is no possibility of that happening Norman.
    The Herald editorial team have demonstrated clearly with two front-page stories where their sympathies lie and as a result, we can expect they would be happy to disrupt any attempt to gain access to these petitions.
    We are not on a level playing field and we just have to accept that only one side is playing by the rules. However, from the feedback I have received, we will win this fight and live to enjoy at least the next six years operating as the democracy we are entitled to expect.
    May I suggest that you and any other like-minded citizen reading this who is anxious to obtain a copy of the petition form to simply email:
    and ask for a copy of the petition form to be sent via return email.
    On receipt, if you think you have more than 10 other friends who would like to add their signatures to your form (max.10 per form), print off enough forms to cover your number and when finished collecting signatures, return your forms to Mike via an email with the forms as a scanned PDF attachment.
    There is only one reason why we are forced to operate this way and it is because of concerns for the safety of persons associated with the normal “pick-up” points that would exist without the threat of intimidation or actual violence towards individuals who might be in that situation.
    Believe me, I know what some of these lame-brains are capable of.
    It isn’t a pretty sight.
    Contact me if my suggestion doesn’t bear fruit.
    In the meantime good luck.

    1. Aimee says:

      ‘Not on a level playing field’. You’re right, Maori are not on a level playing field. The establishment of Maori wards would go some way to rectifying that. Please people, do not sign Clive’s backward petition. Maori wards are the way forward.

  3. Lara says:

    Clive and Norman,
    Why are you behaving this way? Are you really so racist?
    Having Maori wards is the right thing to do to ensure equity. I bet almost every Pakeha in the region believes as I do that there is nothing to be gained by forcing a referendum. Move with the times you guys, or get out of the way of equitable progress.

  4. Clive Bibby says:

    Wish I didn’t have to bother with this but someone has to do it.
    I shouldn’t have to but I must respond to Aimee, Lara and all the other regulars who feel the need to call me a racist.
    I actually regard it as a badge of courage, especially when confident that those who actually know me (including all of my Maori friends and fellow residents in Uawa, and those I have worked with on the East Coast) will confirm that the accusation is pathetic and baseless.
    It is probably more a reflection of the frustration demonstrated by those who can’t handle the truth about race relations in this country.
    I have spent the past 40 years working my but off trying to improve the lives of the wonderfully-deserving people who live in these low-decile communities, and it has cost me a lot in time and money.
    Yet I would do it again in an instant if I had my time over because the rewards of knowing that you have done what every citizen should be required to do – make a contribution to his or her community, far outweigh any financial gain.
    I recommend my critics, before making these baseless allegations, take time to examine their own record of service and think about using the existing system to achieve their obviously sincere objectives.
    Stand for council yourselves!
    If you are so confident in your convictions that most people living within the Tairawhiti boundaries would support more Maori councillors, you shouldn’t have any difficulty (like Meredith and Josh before you) being elected.
    But please don’t waste your time and mine by shooting at phantoms that don’t exist.
    There is another way.

    1. Lara says:

      I am looking forward to reading the many letters which will be incoming from your Maori friends and colleagues. You seem very certain Maori support your stance on Maori Wards.
      When these many people write in to affirm their support of your stance, I will certainly publicly apologise for thinking you sound like a racist.

    2. Tony Lee says:

      Clive, you may have selflessly given your energy, time and money in valuable community service. Or perhaps you have been self-serving showing a dearth of empathy. Either way, it matters not a jot when considering the issue of Maori wards.

      The only thing that matters is to do the right thing now. It is unarguable that the wealth of the district has grown on the back of colonial law and the imposition of English modes of governance and administration that did not reflect Tiriti obligations.

      The establishment of Maori wards gives our community the opportunity to give real meaning to partnership. Let’s all take advantage of this opportunity.

  5. Bob Hughes says:

    Clive, you and other readers who have read my previous article on this matter know I support Maori wards. I defend Aimee and Lara’s right to call some of your views racist.
    The very fact you needed to say that “councillors Meredith Akuhata-Brown and Josh Wharehinga are living proof Maori can be successful in winning urban seats” to me reinforces my view of the need for more Maori representation.
    I repeat from my original piece: Time’s up for Pakeha to decide what’s best for Maori. Bring on the Maori wards.

  6. Clive Bibby says:

    I’m not bothered whether they support my stance on Maori wards or not Lara, although my discussions with some of them suggest a good many do. But I know these people better than you and am confident that they appreciate my record of service in this community and do not share your baseless, pathetic allegations.
    Furthermore, I suspect that many reading this will be asking the question – is this a case of “the pot calling the kettle black”? Quite possibly!
    I rest my case.

    1. Peter Jones says:

      Good on you for standing up to these leftist scumbags Clive.
      Not to mention Meredith Akuhata-Brown, Josh Wharehinga and the rest of the GDC who are in hiding.
      I say shame on the Gisborne public for empowering this bunch of losers and leaving Clive and myself to represent each other.
      You voters got what you deserve though.
      No doubt about that.

      1. Lara says:

        Such strong language! Please do us the courtesy of unpacking your comment ‘leftist scumbags’.
        I would really like to know more about your dislike of people who do not think as you do.
        What is the dictionary definition of a leftist and why does being left of centre in terms of political thinking make some of us scumbags in your opinion?
        Please define the term scumbag too and while you are about it, I would appreciate understanding more about your knowledge of communism.
        If you are going to resort to childish insults, at least provide an explanation to back them up.
        Looking forward to an intelligent and thoughtful response from you to my queries.
        Meantime, Maori Wards rule chur!

  7. Kerry Haraki says:

    Gee Clive, I’m sure you’re happy to have helped the downtrodden of your neighbourhood, on your terms, helping them achieve what you think they need. Is it so hard to get your mind around the fact that Maori people want to help themselves to achieve the things that THEY consider important?

    Times are changing Clive. People in the wider community are waking up at last to the fact that our council has a legal Tiriti obligation of partnership that must be fulfilled.

    Why not have Maori wards to represent Maori interests in a meaningful way with real power, not just as token advisers? After all they have borne the costs of colonial settlement of their lands: colonial laws that prohibited them from competing in the economic sphere and laws forbidding their cultural rites. Gisborne/Poverty Bay/East Coast has prospered on the fact of alienation of Maori land in Te Tairawhiti.

    Let’s start to rebalance the scales.

    1. Aimee says:

      Beautifully said Kerry

    2. Kerry Haraki says:

      Nobody disputes your record of community involvement over 40 years Clive.

      As I said, times are changing.

      Why are you so threatened by an opportunity here for the wider Maori community to be part of our local council as a Tiriti partner (a legal requirement, as it happens) and be involved with policies and decisions that will affect them ?

      Why deny them a seat at the table to give meaningful input, and be able to vote on all the committees that affect the nuts and bolts of our day to day lives?

      Surely you must know that what Pakeha take for granted will be a good thing, sometimes is not a good thing for Maori, hence the need for a mechanism that takes notice of another point of view. The area of kaitiakitanga of our rivers is an example, where GDC has a dismal record of not enforcing harvesting conditions for forestry, resulting in major slash problems from our valleys all the way to the sea.

      I am baffled that a person who has your track record of working with Maori can’t see that more effective Maori representation will be a good thing.

  8. Clive Bibby says:

    If you knew what you were talking about Kerry, you would know that in almost every instance of my involvement with my community (which has over 40 years extended far beyond the Uawa boundaries) it has been the representatives of the Maori community who have come and asked me to help them achieve what they regarded as important at the time. And in almost every one of those multimillion-dollar projects, I provided my time at no cost to them.
    I don’t know what more I could have done in order to satisfy my critics that my intentions were indeed honourable and were aimed purely at helping those less fortunate to help themselves.
    I am happy for you to talk to any of my co-workers on those many projects (even including the one at Tokomaru Bay who, mid-project, had a dramatic change of heart about my involvement) and you will find that what I am saying is 100% accurate.
    Sadly, you and others like you are examples of unfortunate individuals who are finding it difficult to reconcile your own racist perception of me and are offended that there might be people out there who have actually been working hard for the betterment of Maoridom so, in defence of your own prejudice, reach for the old, tried and proven response by labelling me racist.
    It won’t work. I don’t give a rat’s arse what you think of me or want to call me, Kerry.
    I’m more interested in fronting up to my responsibilities to my fellowmen and women – and ironically, that includes you.
    Have a good day.

    1. Mike Lally, Te Puke says:

      It looks like Clive you have some people short on ability down Gisborne way. Can’t believe the crap they are saying.

      1. Lara says:

        Kia Ora Mike,
        Welcome to the comments section in response to Clive’s missive.
        You note that in your opinion Aimee, Kerry and I are writing ‘crap’. Even young children know that when you are writing and you want to express your displeasure, you are meant to provide an explanation and an example to back up your assertions.
        So I am really looking forward to understanding what exactly is ‘crap’ about supporting equity for Maori in Te Tairawhiti?
        Maori wards all day long Tumeke!

    2. Aimee says:

      Clive, “the betterment of Maoridom” includes honouring Treaty obligations. Put your money where your mouth is.

  9. Clive Bibby says:

    You don’t need to lecture me about “ putting my money where my mouth is” Aimee.
    We should compare notes sometime. You must know what you’re talking about.
    I can say without reservation that my community work has probably cost me hundreds of thousands in lost earnings during the 40 years in residence here on the Coast and I have no regrets. Only gratitude to my wife and family who made it possible for me to make good use of the opportunity, but ironically it is the council (remember them) who have been the ones latterly denying me the opportunity to recoup some of those lost earnings from what had become a vital source of income.
    How’s that for gratitude.

    You can’t make this up but no doubt you’ll have a go.

    1. Anthony John LEE says:

      Sounds like you expect your ‘selfless’ commitment of time and money over 40 years to be rewarded either by approbation or by receiving favours. You diminish yourself by continuing to extol your own perceived virtues and good works.

  10. Geoff Parker, Whangarei says:

    Clive Bibby you are one courageous and wise man, New Zealand could do with more like you – stand strong Clive.

    Here in New Zealand, those (80%) raising concerns about issues related to biculturalism are denigrated and called “racists”.

    The irony is that it is the biculturalists who are defining people by race, AND UNDERMINING THE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL. Who are actually the racists?

    1. Lara says:

      Kia Ora Geoff,
      I am sure you accept the idea that whilst democracy is the best system we have, it is flawed. Equal representation is NOT the same thing as equitable representation.
      It is slightly interesting that it appears mainly to be white males who feel so threatened by equitable representation. What’s that about do you think?
      Nga mihi

    2. Tony Lee says:

      Hi Geoff. Was it you who wrote (in an unpublished letter sent to the Nelson Mail 3/5/19) that:

      “by their own admission Maoris arrived here by seacraft and only approximately 500 years before Europeans, further they believe that the spirits of their dead leave Cape Reinga to return to Hawaiki, how can they be ‘indigenous’?”

      Other than the more obvious inference, I find the use of the word ‘only’ in ‘only approximately 500 years’ quite interesting.

  11. Clive Bibby says:

    Get a grip Kerry
    You, Lara, Aimee, Tony and Bob have had a field day hurling insults that are far more outrageous than anything I could dream up about your collective character.
    It would appear that you have no idea who I am or what I represent, even less about the values I hold or the nature of the commitments I have made during my time here on the Coast.
    I’m a grown up and can take the childish insults and feigned acknowledgements of my community service but I find it a bit rich that you and Tony should dismiss the motivation for my work as that of a “do-gooder”.
    I am confident that those groups who asked for and received my help over the years had no other reason for making contact than they desperately needed the assistance at a time when even their own council had told them to get lost.
    It is obvious that all of my critics have no idea what sort of commitment it takes when accepting a challenge of this magnitude, knowing that there would be no reward even if you manage to succeed against the odds.
    I have experienced enough of the hard times over the years to know that people like you with your lofty grandstanding and false modesty would have deserted the cause at the first hurdle. “Do-gooders” would be the first to chuck in the towel. The people I worked with are all made of sterner stuff – God bless them all.

    1. Tony Lee says:

      Hi there Clive
      I did not call you a do-gooder (the thought never occurred). In two comments I made about your community involvement I firstly suggested that, whatever your motives, this had no relevance to the establishment of Maori wards. Secondly, I suggested that you were doing yourself a disservice by harping on about how much you have contributed.
      Hope that clears it up.

    2. Ken Ovenden says:

      Hi Clive, well done for standing up to the endless rubbish being dished out by Kerry, Aimee, Lara and now Tony. Take note that these writers have all failed to come up with one single, valid, intelligent, note-worthy reason that supports their demands for the apartheid/racist-based set-up called “Maori Wards’. They use rather stupid comments like ”Maori Wards rule chur’, Maori Wards all day long Tumeke, put your money where your mouth is, what are you so afraid of – as their only means of response, really. If any of those lot do actually have valid reasoning we have yet to see it. Some of their writing has been described as smug, moralistic, raving and that just about sums it up. So stand tall Clive, you deserve any accolade you get.

      1. Lara says:

        Hi Ken,
        Aroha Mai for my flippant sign offs on the two comments I made on this forum last evening. I was just having a bit of fun, a joke.
        Anyhow… I profess to being a bit short of knowledge myself about local governance issues but I am long on Social justice and challenging racist chatter when I see it.
        I found this cheat sheet online and it might help some people understand the Kaupapa behind the worthy push for Maori Wards. I am sharing this because you pointed out that some of us, in your opinion, have little substance to our arguments. I disagree with you there but whatever…

        What’s the big fuss about Māori seats on councils? Annie Te One explains why embedding Māori representation in local government shouldn’t be such a big deal.

        After the next local elections, Tauranga City Council will join Wairoa District Council and Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils in being the only local governments with designated Māori wards. Debates over Māori representation in local government, whether about designated Māori seats or voting rights on committees, are ongoing. Many arguments against Māori representation are well known but confusion still exists about the whole topic. Below are some common questions and concerns, answered.

        Are local governments the Crown? Because if they aren’t, do they have obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi?

        Local governments receive their powers from the Crown and are therefore expected to uphold the governing principles and responsibilities the Crown has. This includes responsibilities to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which is referenced in important local government legislation, including section four of the Local Government Act 2002.

        Do Māori seats encourage separatism and racial inequality?

        No, designated Māori seats on local government are in fact aimed at working towards creating equality in decision-making and ensuring there is better collaboration with Māori. Māori wards and constituencies are one avenue through which councils can uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and other statutory obligations to include Māori in decision-making. Currently, only about 10% of councillors are Māori, so having Māori seats is one way we can work towards more equal representation in local government.

        But maybe if more Māori stood as candidates they’d get elected – what’s stopping them?

        Many Māori do in fact stand as candidates in local elections, but many struggle to gain a support base if they seek to champion Māori political rights. Having designated Māori seats is one way Māori voices can be sure to be heard, while still giving Māori constituencies the exact same rights as the rest of the community to cast a single vote for a candidate they prefer.

        But if you aren’t voted in by the public, you shouldn’t have a say in council decisions, should you?

        Local governments already appoint, and pay, numerous experts who are not councillors to sit on committees and sub-committees. This is to ensure the decisions they make are well informed by experts in different fields. When the first forms of British-informed local government were set up in Wellington in the 1840s, they had surveyors (who were not councillors) present at all council meetings to help develop the city plans. Mana whenua have expertise over their lands and resources that is essential to council decision-making and will make for better-informed decisions that benefit the entire community.

        Māori need to win a seat based on their own merit, not through a designated Māori seat.

        Being elected to a Māori seat is Māori winning a seat based on their own merit.

        Mana whenua can be involved for pōwhiri and ceremony, but not with actual decision-making.

        Yes, mana whenua can and should be involved in council ceremonies, if they want to, but simply inviting Māori to open events is not the same as a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership. It also ignores the fact pōwhiri and ceremonies are part of wider Māori political practices that in many instances open the floor for political discussion and debate.

        Giving Māori a voice on councils will give them more say than other members of the public, won’t it?

        Māori are underrepresented in local government politics, so a concern they will have too much say is overstated. More importantly, though, Māori perspectives are not in opposition to the rest of the community; Māori voices come from the public and are good for everyone.

        Māori are only 3% of the population in our city and that is too few to warrant a Māori seat.

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi is not based on population. Partnership is not dependent on population. In fact, during the debates over Māori seats in Auckland in 2009, the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance argued that even if the Māori population were to decrease, Māori representation would be even more important to ensure Māori perspectives are maintained in local decision-making.

        But Te Tiriti o Waitangi doesn’t say anything about Māori representation in local government.

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi is explicit that Māori tino rangatiratanga is reaffirmed. This means Māori have the right to be directly involved in the governance of natural resources and other matters in Aotearoa. Tools such as Māori seats, or voting rights on council committees and sub-committees, are one way of working toward tino rangatiratanga. Te Tiriti is also essentially about partnership, which can begin to be met through guaranteed Māori representation.

        Local government is doing enough already, with mana whenua consulted on numerous issues.

        Many local governments are engaging with Māori in various ways, but, with no accountability measures on what ‘consultation’ actually means, engagement does not always result in Māori voices being clearly taken into account. Mana whenua knowledge is essential and specific expertise, and needs to be treated as such. This can be acknowledged through paid positions, voting rights and guaranteed Māori seats, all of which demonstrate the value of Māori knowledge.

        Dr Annie Te One (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Mutunga) is a lecturer in Te Kawa a Māui/School of Māori Studies at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.

        1. Ken Ovenden says:

          Hi Lara, I think you have just wasted your time with that cheat sheet as it resembles a CV for a political appointment rather than a factual explanation. Once again we read the words “racist” used, meaning that anyone with a viewpoint other than yours must fit into that space [noting the racist chatter comment] and this is where the real problem is. The drive for Maori Wards is not being driven by local Maori leaders as not one has made any comment to date in the press – it is all coming from radical activists. Racism is there alright but it does not come from where you think it does, LOL.

          1. Tony Lee says:

            Maori leaders and leadership groups made their positions known through the submission process. Your reference to the press merely distracts from the truth and in my mind, is just a tad mischievous. The following is a selection of the groups or individuals that made submissions in favour of Maori constituencies:

            1. Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust
            2. Hikurangi Takiwa Trust
            3. Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Horouta Wananga, Board of Trustees
            4. Te Whanau a Hinekehu, the Kariaka Pa – Ngati Porou Marae Comm.
            5. Ngati Oneone
            6. Rongowhakata Iwi Trust
            7. Te Papatipu o Uepohatu
            8. Tui Aroha Warmenhoven
            9. Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou

            Ken, you can download and read all submissions by searching GDC meetings of 19th and 23rd November, 2020. They provide remarkable insight.

            20 248 Electoral Decisions Maori Wards (170 KB)
            20 248 X1 Attachment Electoral Decisions Timetable (1.2 MB)
            20 248 X2 Attachment Maori Wards Presentation (1.6 MB)
            20 248 X3 Attachment Rohenga Maori Maori Wards Booklet (1.6 MB)
            20 248 X4 Attachment Online Submissions (346 KB)
            20 248 X5 Attachment Formal Submissions (4 MB)
            20 374 Maori Wards Submissions (206 KB)
            20 374 X1 Attachment Maori Wards Booklet (1.7 MB)
            20 374 X2 Attachment Formal Submissions (2.4 MB)
            20 374 X3 Attachment TRONPnui Submission Selwyn Parata (204 KB)
            20 374 X4 Attachment Submission Feedback Breakdown (193 KB)

          2. Ken Ovenden says:

            Hi Tony, please read properly and not jump to conclusions. I clearly stated ”in the press”, not submissions to the GDC, thanks

          3. Ken Ovenden says:

            Hi Tony, to clarify my statement the intention was let’s hear from the leaders, the ones with the “mana” of their positions as to their individual stands and ideas on the issue being discussed by using the press as a forum. I’m sure some of those submissions were professionally prepared and the people they’re meant to be on behalf of haven’t even read them.

        2. H Hannam says:

          Time to get rid of the Treaty of Waitangi… time for New Zealand to be one! We have a multitude of different people in this country ..it belongs to all of us ..stop with the racism speeches please ..there’s more to do than throw insults at each other!

          1. Kerry Haraki says:

            Chief Justice Eddie Durie:
            We [Maori] must not forget that the Treaty is not just a Bill of Rights for Maori. It is a Bill of Rights for Pakeha too. It is the Treaty that gives Pakeha the right to be here. Without the Treaty there would be no lawful authority for the Pakeha presence in this part of the South Pacific … We must remember that if we are the Tangata Whenua, the original people, then the Pakeha are the Tangata Tiriti, those who belong to the land by right of that Treaty. (Durie, quoted in Borrows 2019, p. 45).

          2. Tony Lee says:

            A treaty is a formal agreement between parties – often sovereign countries. Please excuse my lack of legal expertise if this definition isn’t sufficiently precise but ‘formal agreement’ could be a useful working definition.

            I’d suggest to H Hannam that if a treaty is to be revised in any way it would require a negotiated agreement between parties to the treaty. So, the conclusion I’m drawing is that by saying ‘get rid of’ that you want the New Zealand government to unilaterally break the treaty. I’d hope that only a very small number of people would hold a similar view.

  12. Clive Bibby says:

    Hardly harping on about my contributions Tony.
    In every instance where I have decided to reply to your deliberate attempts to denigrate my efforts, I have simply mentioned them as a matter of record in the context of the times. You and others have throughout this discussion (as you have done in almost every other reply to my columns over the years) never had the guts to debate my record compared to your own but simply sneered from the sidelines, challenging the authenticity of my association with the people I have worked with, come to love and respect. That fact would suggest that it is you who is doing yourself a disservice.
    But whatever, you should try it some time. It helps to get things in perspective.
    Hope that clears it up. Have a good day.

    1. Tony Lee says:

      Here’s the thing Clive, as I’ve said, in my opinion whatever you have done for whatever motives has no relevance to this issue. If I’m not mistaken, you were the one who first raised the matter of your community contribution. In relation to the issue under discussion, I’m thinking, “so what!”

  13. Clive Bibby says:

    Oh it is very relevant Tony when assessing the credibility of those who chose to defame me with their repeated accusations labelling me either directly or by association as a racist.
    You and others have called into question my community service and I have no choice but to defend my reputation. I would expect anybody, including you, to respond in similar fashion if the boot was on the other foot.
    But I suspect you wouldn’t because you can’t!
    You are a hypocrite Tony but, sadly, you are not alone!

    1. Kerry Haraki says:

      We’re discussing the proposal to establish Maori wards on the GDC, not who’s done what when. We’re looking to the future here.

      1. G R Webb says:

        Pity as I doubt that a ward that is elected by persons who only get there based on their race is looking towards the future.