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Tino Rangatiratanga for Tangata Whenua and New Zealanders


Danyl Strype of offers a model by which both historically dispossessed Māori and more recently dispossessed pākeha (especially since the 1980s) can come together to take back control of our lives and our corporatized commons, and live together in freedom, peace, and justice.

There is a longstanding tradition in this country of trying to manipulate pākeha New Zealanders into supporting a softened form of white supremacy, which increases the power of state-corporate entities to "normalise" minority groups. Despite the vocal minority of hot-heads on talkback radio, most "kiwis" support values of a fair go for all, supportive communities that leave nobody behind, and respect for diverse cultures ("different strokes for different folks"). Because of this, the supremacy agenda has to be concealed beneath rhetoric that appears to support these values, from Don Brash's infamous 'one law for all' speech as leader of the National Party, to the Coastal Coalition's support for "public ownership" of areas of foreshore and seabed to the "TreatyGate" and "Colourblind State" propaganda campaign by John Ansell and Louis Crimp.

Brash's 'one law' is, of course, the statute law imposed by parliament through the enforcement arms of the NZ State. It is not the first law of Aotearoa; tikanga, tangata whenua law which includes principles of kaitiakitanga, mana whenua, utu etc. Nor is the modern corpus of state law always compatible with common law, the ancient "freeman" principle that every person is free to live by their own rules, unregulated by any king, lord, or state-corporate body, providing they do no harm to others. The Coastal Coalition may have supported the NZ State in confiscation of beaches included in claims of mana whenua, but they never supported the confiscation of beaches owned by farmers through "riparian rights" under private title. Ansell and Crimp's demand for a "Colourblind" state willfully ignores the fact that the modern NZ corporate-state (euphemistically called a "nation-state") is based entirely on white (European) traditions of law and government, except for the bits they oppose like the Waitangi Tribunal, and the bits based on common law which have been selectively pruned away or buried.

That said, all is not well with modern Māori governance either. Activists like Annette Sykes frequently criticises the iwi elites represented by bodies like the Iwi Leaders Group for the many ways in which they have smoothly taken over and continued the dispossession of their own people. The irony of this is that "colourblind" white supremists like Crimp and Ansell, and the academics they reference like Elisabeth Rata, are correct that there are some Māori who are enjoying privilege and an increase in their accesss to wealth, and radicals like Sykes would agree with them. The problem is that academics like Rata, and demagogues like Ansell and Crimp, then take this a step further, claiming that anyone of Māori descent is now enjoying privelege and wealth, when it's perfectly obvious that it's not the case. What's really happened is that the same state-corporate system which concentrates wealth in the hands of 1% in pākeha society is being imposed on tangata whenua communities, with similar results.

The economic and political strucutures of modern New Zealand, which are shaped by all of the above, work overwhelmingly in favour of the owners of private property. At this point they are overwhelming a handful of white men and their wives, but it doesn't really matter what their racial background is, and the situation would be no better if they were replaced by a handful of brown men and their wives, or a handful of white or brown women and their husbands.

In contrast, a federal structure is the only way I can see to simultanously address both the desire of our First Nations, like Ngai Tūhoe, for structural recognition of their mana motuhake (autonomy/ self-determination), and the legtimate concerns of pākeha New Zealanders about becoming peons to the sort of neo-aristocracy represented by the Iwi Leaders Group. A political system which defends basic rights for everyone ("one law for all" in one sense), while facilitating dialogue and local democracy, rather than enforcing a tyranny of the majority through parliamentary supremacy. Perhaps we could use this thread to envision what the key feature of a federal democracy in Aotearoa might look like? Here are some of my ideas.

Firstly, it could be based on autonomous regions, self-governing, and self-defining, based on voluntary association, not hard territorial boundaries. For example, the hapū of Ngai Tūhoe might agree to form an autonomous region covering most of their traditional rohe in and around Te Urewera. However, Te Urewera might have multiple Tūhoe regions. Non-Tūhoe (Māori, Pākeha or otherwise) living in the vicinity of Te Urewera could choose to work within a Tūhoe regional authority, or form their own. Regional bodies could not force any tangata/ person, whānau/ family, or hapū/ community (of any race or ethnicity) living in that region to join, but to balance this, there could be no dogma of absolute "property rights" legitimizing the pollution of the environment, or anything else that impinges on the rights of neighbours, including those living in wild nature.

Naturally, this would severely prune back the powers of parliament. Just as the UN General Assembly has to work towards consensus among the independent nation-state represented, rather than having any power to give them orders, parliament could be reconstituted as a federal assembly which must work towards consensus among the autonomous regions (districts/ cities) represented. Representatives to the federal assembly could have no power to make decisions without a specific mandate from the people of their region. I suggest that representatives not have the power to "block" a decision, but must instead articulate a counter-proposal which transcends and includes the best aspects of the decision they oppose.

However, regional autonomy is no excuse to discriminate against people from some neighbourhoods, or starve them of resources. Neighbourhood autonomy is no excuse to enslave workers, to stone women for adultery, to abuse children, or to bully queers. Thus, the federal assembly could have the duty of nurturing internal democracy at all levels; eg defending neighbourhoods from tyranny by the region, and defending individuals from tyranny by the neighbourhood.

Initially there may be a proliferation of micro-regions. In extreme edge cases, a hermit or eccentric community or village could declare their isolated block of land an autonomous region, and demand representation in the federal assembly. However, if decisions of that assembly are by consensus, not majority vote, and if it does not allow filibustering through "blocking", representatives from tiny regions could not game the system as one-MP-parties do in parliament today. In fact, they may bring new information and unique local perspectives into the discussions, bring about more innovative decisions.

As people got used to the new system and learned to find consensus with their neighbours, I suspect many smaller regions would voluntarily merge, or form confederations, until the federal assembly had a workable number of representatives for easily finding consensus on those matters which affect everyone in the whole country. In my experience, the work required to feed into large-scale assemblies mostly discourages the proliferation of micro-regions. With Aotearoa Indymedia for example, it was a painless process to get consensus that is was a more efficient use of our volunteer energy to have one Indymedia feeding back to the global network of IMCs, rather than one for each of the cities where we had an active group. Had we formed multiple IMCs at that stage, I think it inevitable they would have merged into a single confederation over time, simply to reduce the amount of energy consumed by administration.


There are no such things as

There are no such things as <i> legtimate concerns of pākeha New Zealanders</i> -- there are no <i>pākeha New Zealanders</i> so such claims are by definition illigitimate. 

There are those who have Mana Whenua & Whakapapa - Tangata Whenua.  There are those who do not: Tangata Hatana. Mangawaewae.  Poaka. 

Tino Rangatiratanga means complete soveriengty, government, authority by Tangata Whenua over all the Whenua of Aotearoa!  Nothing less!    

There is no place for mangawaewae in Aotearoa.


Oh true. Guess I'll just toddle off into the sea then....

Thanks for this thoughtful

Thanks for this thoughtful piece Strypey. A shame at the racist backlash. I wish Maori (and non-maori) racists would understand that the crown and the rich and powerful of NZ are not all the people who live on this land, whatever they are called. Many non-maori people who live here could easily live here with Maori or in their own (interdependent) communities without harming Maori, even helping Maori as many Pakeha want to do.

I guess the question is how do we move towards such a world? What does it take for people to envision another world and make the changes to get there?

"Tino Rangatiratanga for

"Tino Rangatiratanga for Tangata Whenua and New Zealanders"

Tangata Whenua aren't New Zealanders?

What's a "New Zealander"?

>> Tangata Whenua aren't New Zealanders? <<

A good question, with no simple answer. Brash, Ansell and Crimp would argue that every part of these islands is "New Zealand",  and every permanent resident here is a "New Zealander", ruled by a "democratic" parliament, elected as the governing body of the "nation-state of New Zealand". To me, this is not just an over-simplified view, but a propaganda statement in denial of individual and local sovereignty, and in defence of ongoing assimilation, by statute and by force (eg Operation 8 and its defence by both Labour and National governments).

In this article I use "tangata whenua" to describe those who identify primarily with an iwi/ tribe and rohe/region (eg Tūhoe no Urewera), rather than a pan-iwi "Māori" nation (as represented perhaps by the Māori Party). Tangata whenua are usually those with some Māori whakapapa, although its possible some pākeha have been formally adopted into a tangata whenua ethnicity. It should be clear that I understand the term as describing an ancestral connection to place, not race; a person born in Te Wai Pounamu of Ngapuhi parents, is not tangata whenua there, any more than I am (I was born in Ōtautahi of pākeha parents).

I understand "New Zealander" as an ethnic grouping (*not* a racial grouping). It includes people of any racial heritage who align themselves with a post-colonial nation of "New Zealand", and/or with the NZ state. It's possible that some people might consider themselves both "tangata whenua" *and* "New Zealanders". This seems counterintuitive to me, but their identification doesn't necessarily have to make sense to me to be valid, and the title of my article, as well as the model it advocates, includes them too.

For the record, I do not consider myself a New Zealander, but a pākeha born of Aotearoa. As an anarchist, I am stateless, a free human being of this Earth. The NZ state has no rights to govern me except in specific situations where I have given express consent. I see my birth certificate as my "account" with the state, by which I might choose to access some of its services, in the same way that I have an "account" with an email provider, or an "account" with Indymedia which allows me to access their services, without that in any way giving them sovereignty over my life outside of the specific constraints of those services (terms and conditions of use).

Where to begin: post-colonial

Where to begin: post-colonial nation of "New Zealand"

"New Zealand" is a racist colonial construct.  The "post-colonial" nation is Aotearoa! 


 I see my birth certificate as my "account" with the state

Look in the mirror, Waiti! You are just another oppressive Poaka, another mangawaewae.

Algérie algérienne!

Éirinn don sinn féin!

Aotearoa - Tino Whenua Maori! 

Way to troll Te Hokowhitu

I bet you're just trying to alienate people who support tino rangatiratanga o nga iwi maori, right? I smell a troll. You workin' for the man, THaT?

Please explain how  tino

Please explain how  tino rangatiratanga o nga iwi maori co-exists with the idea of "legitimate Pakeha rights".

Poaka want to know what "tino rangatiratanga o nga iwi maori" means. I have no problem explaining. 

NZ is not a legitimate state. Pakeha are not legitimate. They have no rights in Aotearoa.  Once Tino Rangatiratanga is established, once full soveringty over all Aotearoa belongs to the Tangata Whenua. Perhaps mangawaewae may petition for leave to remain  - and may be granted permission to do so - or may not.   But that decision is for Tangata Whenua to make, mangawaewae have no "rights" to any such permission! 

In any event, Poaka most certainly will never be welcome in Aotearoa.

  Te Hokowhitu-a-Tuhoe So are


Te Hokowhitu-a-Tuhoe

So are you saying all the pakeha/non-maori born in NZ have no right to be in NZ?

How do you justify this position?

I guess that there is no point even trying dialogue with you though.

  I guess that there is no


I guess that there is no point even trying dialogue with you though.

True "dialogue" is the dialogue of the deed, not of the words:  Poaka in Aoteara comit genocide every day.  All Poaka are complicit in genocide against Tangata Whenua.   If Nga Iwi Maori invaded England, took all your land, confiscated or killed your children, destroyed your religion - would you "dialogue"?  Would you say we had a "right to remain"?    Of course not!!  You Poaka would swear vengance for a thousand years.   


Mutual respect

Tēnā koe Te Hokawhitu

For better or for worse, many people living in this country understand themselves as "New Zealanders", including some of Māori whakapapa, such as Tim Wikiriwhi:

>> "New Zealand" is a racist colonial construct. <<

What gives you the right to define people's ethnicity for them? Isn't this a bit like Ansell and Crimp telling tangata whenau "you're all New Zealanders now", and saying that tino rangatiratanga is racist because its a form of apartheid?

>> The "post-colonial" nation is Aotearoa!  <<

Aotearoa is a post-colonial country, which is the home of many nations, including tangata whenua First Nations, and the "New Zealand" nation. As I've already pointed out, these are ethnic nations *not* racial nations

If you want the pākeha majority to support tino rangatiratanga/ mana motuhake - as well we should - you're going to need to show some compassion and respect for your fellow human beings. Calling people who are trying to support you "pigs", and claiming we are "foreigners" in the land of our birth does not help your cause.

Racially pure homelands are a neo-nazi wet dream.

Reply to Libz demagogue

BTW Here is my reply to that blog post by Tim Wikiriwhi

Tim, you claim you are "Māori", which is a racial claim, to a certain biological inheritance. Despite this, it's painfully clear your ethnic identification is with the European "New Zealand" aspect of your racial heritage. This is made clear by your implied claims that the bloody invasions of Taranaki land by the Armed Constabulary were a legacy of European "enlightenment". It is made clear by your claim that christian missionaries brought more loving practices to Māori, when it is accepted by NZ historians that Māori did not use violence to "discipline" their children until browbeaten into it, particularly by christian missionaries ("Spare the rod, spoil the child").

I find it supremely ironic that you seem to think (and certainly your fans here believe) that your uncritical parroting of this Eurocentric ideology holds special status, by right of the Māori portion of your biological lineage; that because it can be parroted by an "Uncle Tom" like yourself, this ideology ceases to be racist. This is not the case. If I were to say "all pākeha should be kicked out of this country", would that magically stop being racist, just because I'm racially pākeha?

I would really like to see you offer a sound intellectual basis for the delusional and ahistorical view that tangata whenua either gave permission to the NZ colonial state to take their land and assimilate them, or were militarily conquered. I would like to see any rational basis for the claim that when Taranaki iwi had 80% of their land confiscated after years of brutal pogroms by Armed Constabulary - well after the Treaty of Waitangi was in force - that this is not a causal factor in the economic disadvantage of their communities today.

Did you know that Tūhoe did not sign the Treaty of Waitangi? They were never conquered by military force under a declaration of war. The only NZ invasion forces that have crossed Tūhoe national boundaries are the armed police who periodically kidnap their political leaders, most recently in the Operation 8 raids. Under the parts of international law that ban nations from arbitrarily invading their neighbours, Tūhoe are a sovereign nation within this country. Despite this, the Tūhoe homeland, Te Urewera, was confiscated by the flick of a pen. The government of John Key, who your blog post laughably claims is pandering to Māori interests, stubbornly refuses to acknowledge this.

The NZ State has no legitimate authority to declare Te Urewera a region under their government, for the same reason that Australia can't declare this country to be a state under their federal government. Our consitutional arrangements (written or unwritten) must change to acknowledge this reality, whether it suits the current ruling elites (both pākeha *and* Māori), or not.

<i>What gives you the right

<i>What gives you the right to define people's ethnicity for them?<i>

What's that to do with anything?

it is a matter of simple historical fact that New Zealand is a European colonist society.

it is a matter of simple contemporary fact that New Zealand is racist: look at the crime and prison statistics, or look at the treatement handed out to political prisoners - Tāme Mandela Kai Whatu and Rangi Kereopa Te Rau  - compared with mangawaewae Urs Signer and Emily Bailey.

It is a simple truism that Tino Rangatiratanga - by definition - deligitimates any and all Poaka claims to Te Whenua.  Whether you are permitted to remain or not is not a question for me or you - it is a quetion to be decided by those who Whakapapa to Te Whenua once Tino Rangatiratanga has been established.  

For a start: this question cannot even be formulated correctly, let alone discused, in Ingarihi, but only in Te Reo.  

But what we can render into Ingarihi is this: Tino Rangatiratanga, Mana Motuhake is fundamentally incompatible with a Poaka majority - and there is a thousand years of tikanga, ture, whakawātanga bearing witness to that fact!    The single thing most constructive thing Poaka can to do support Mana Motuhake is the same as it was in 1840 or 1642: leave.

You call Pakeha "poaka" yet...

you seem to be pig-ignorant. You're presumedly Tuhoe? Then don't tell me about anything other than what relates to Tuhoe. You don't tell me who I am because you aren't of my people. You don't define who is and isn't Maori any more than you have the ability to define what is and isn't tino rangatiratanga. I'll listen to you harp on about te mana motuhake o tuhoe, sure, but te tino rangatiratanga o nga iwi maori? Methinks you forget yourself while you're crusading.

E hoa, no Taranaki a Emily -

E hoa, no Taranaki a Emily - he tangata whenua. Check your facts first.

He aha te take? He aha te wetekanga?

it is a matter of simple historical fact that New Zealand is a European colonist society.

Ae, ka tika.

it is a matter of simple contemporary fact that New Zealand is racist

Ae, ka tika, engari, ehara taua i te kaupapa o ngā tangata pākeha katoa. Ehara i te pai, ki ōku nei whakaaro, te kōaro o te kawanatanga, o ētahi o ngā iwi pākeha hoki.

look at the treatement handed out to political prisoners - Tāme Mandela Kai Whatu and Rangi Kereopa Te Rau  - compared with mangawaewae Urs Signer and Emily Bailey.

Kia tūpato e hoa. He tangata whenua nō Parihaka a Emily. Ka tangi tonu tōna tangata hei te tūkino nui. Ko Urs te matua o tētahi tamariki o Parihaka. E ako ana i Te Reo. Ka mau te wehi o tōna tautoko o te take o Tino Rangatiratanga. Ka awhinatia to take e tōna hokinga ki Europe? Kia pōturi te whakatau.

this question cannot even be formulated correctly, let alone discused, in Ingarihi, but only in Te Reo. 

Ne rā? Noreira, kōrero mai.

The single thing most constructive thing Poaka can to do support Mana Motuhake is the same as it was in 1840 or 1642: leave.

Kua kīia, ko te whenua iwi-kotahi-anake, ko te pohewa o te rōpu Neo-nazi. Ko tōku kāinga ngā motu o Britain? Kaore. Kaore ōku whānau ki reira. Kaore ōku hoa ki reira. Kei kōnei tātou, kei Aotearoa.

I whānau ahau i Ōtautahi. Ko Te Tiki o Kahukura te maunga, ko Waimairiiri te puna matauranga. Ahakoa, he pākeha ōku tīpuna, nō te whenua o Te Wai Pounamu tōku tinana, nō Aotearoa tōku wairua.

Na te Tiriti o Waitangi, ka puta mai te kawanatanga o "New Zealand", kia whakatau te mana motuhake o ngā kāinga pākeha ki a rātou. Na taua kawanatanga te hē nei; i whakatauria e te Tiriti, te rangatiranga o ngā motu katoa, me ngā tangata katoa, ki taua kawanatanga. Ehara i te tika. Kei a tangata whenua tonu, tō koutou mana, ā, kei ngā tangata pākeha tonu to mātou mana. Kei a ia tangata, ia whānau, ia kāinga, ia hapū, ia iwi, te mana o tātou katoa.

He aha ōu whakaaro, e hoa?