Monday, October 15, 2007

New Zealand Another Bastion Of White Supremacy

Left: Police patrol in Auckland

New Zealand police arrested 17 people in a series of anti-terrorist raids across the North Island Monday, with Maori and environmental activists the main target.

In the first operation under New Zealand's Terrorism Suppression Act, police said they had information that a number of people had taken part in "military-style" training camps involving the use of firearms and other weapons.
"It was military-style activities they were training for," Police Commissioner Howard Broad said.
"Based on the information and the activity known to have taken place, I decided it was prudent that action should be taken in the interests of public safety."

Television Three said it had been told a napalm bomb had been tested. Spokespersons released few details of information obtained by police but said it was "the first time that the Terrorism Suppression Act has been considered in terms of an operation" and Prime Minister Helen Clark was kept informed of events.
Police said several firearms were seized and 17 arrests made in connection with the "training camps," which involved people harboring "a range of motivations" and from various ethnicities.

More than 300 police were involved at the peak of the operation, which included Armed Offender Squad members and officers from the elite Special Tactics Group. Media reports said campaigners from Maori sovereignty, environmental and "peace" groups were implicated.

Fairfax Media said the arrests were the culmination of months of work by a police anti-terror unit which had hundreds of hours of recordings from bugged conversations, video surveillance, and tapped cellphone calls and texts.

It is understood police had video of military-style training with live ammunition in camps deep in mountain ranges and expected to find machine guns and grenades during their raids.
"These guys are serious. They are talking of killing people," a source was quoted as telling Fairfax. The Fairfax report said investigators believed that the various groups were planning to hit targets related to their own interests but with all the hits "coordinated to cause maximum chaos and stretch police resources across the country."
Among those arrested was the renown Tame Iti, New Zealand's most prominent Maori rights campaigner.Tame Iti - the country's radical Maori face.

Left: FACING CHARGES: Tame Iti, who was among the people arrested by police in today's raids and is facing arms charges, is seen at a Waitangi Day ceremony at Waitangi's lower Marae in 2005.

Tame Iti is the country's best known Maori rights campaigner. Today the 55-year-old from Tuhoe is facing arms charges and police are looking at possible terrorism charges, following the raids. Mr Iti's lawyers deny any suggestion of terrorism activity.

Mr Iti has faced legal proceedings over shooting a New Zealand flag in January 2005. He later said it was an attempt to create a sense of what it was like during the racist land wars for the Waitangi Tribunal. "We wanted them to feel the heat and smoke, and Tuho outrage and disgust the way we have been treated for 200 years," he told the court.

Police initially ignored the incident but after it was shown on television he was charged with discharging a firearm in a public place. In June last year Judge Chris McGuire convicted and fined him. "It was designed to intimidate unnecessarily and shock. It was a stunt, it was unlawful," Justice McGuire said.

However, Mr. Iti filed to the Court of Appeals, which overturned the conviction. The Court of Appeals described Iti's protest as a "a foolhardy enterprise" and warned him not to attempt anything similar again.

Last month he went to Fiji to offer support to coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama. He did a similar feat in 2000, lending solidarity to the now convicted sedition enthusiast George Speight, meeting him as Speight held the government hostage.

Iti claims to have spent a childhood in schools banned from speaking Maori, leading him to Nga Tamatoa, one of the Maori protest movements of the 1970s. He joined the Communist Party during the 1970s and visited China.

Iti spent much of the last 20 years in Auckland working in assorted roles including as a DJ and a restaurant owner serving Maori food. He ran an art gallery and for a time sold Tuhoe passports. He also, ran unsuccessfully for Parliament on three occasions. Iti is currently a social worker for a Maori health trust in Ruatoki.

Nevertheless, the last terrorist act in New Zealand was the one executed by French Secret Service against the Rainbow Warrior. The Maori have never been implicated in any terror incursions
Following claims in the London Sunday Times that President Mitterrand had known of the bombing plan, and implicitly, therefore had authorized it, French Defense Minister Charles Hernu resigned and Admiral Pierre Lacoste, director of the DGSE, France's intelligence and covert action bureau, was sacked.

Within days Prime Minister Fabius admitted French secret service agents had bombed the Rainbow Warrior under orders. It was, said New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange, nothing more than 'a sordid act of international state-backed terrorism.'

Charged with murder and arson, on November 4th, Mafart and Prieur, just two of a much larger team of saboteurs, pleaded guilty in the High Court at Auckland to lesser charges of manslaughter and wilful damage and were each sentenced to ten years' jail. Their guilty plea ensured that the facts of the police investigation would never be made public. In June 1986, in a political deal presided over by the United Nations Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, France agreed to pay compensation of NZ$13 million (US$6.5 million) to New Zealand and 'apologize,' in return for which Mafart and Prieur would be detained at the French military base on Hao atoll for three years.

To cap it all, the two spies were both free by May 1988, after less than two years had elapsed, Mafart having been smuggled out of the country.
A historical timeline of important New Zealand events can be found -> HERE

Left: New Zealand is in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two large islands (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. In Maori, New Zealand has come to be known as Aotearoa, which is usually translated into English as The Land of the Long White Cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue, which are self-governing but in free association; Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).

New Zealand is just another colonial, settler and genocidal state. Various aspects of its domestic counter-terrorism law, such as indefinite detention and other due process trespasses contravene human rights standards. Even though New Zealand purports and advocates universal protection of human rights, it must regrettably be concluded human rights have been eroded in that country in the name of counter-terrorism.

Indigenous People are usually the most marginalized, poor and powerless people. They are the least likely to meet justice, attain economic independence and have not dislodged the affects of colonization and its corollary, racism.

In New Zealand these oppressive traditions continue to thrive. Whereas, indigenous culture is easily lost through urbanization and assimilation - when young people move to capital cities in search of livelihood. As Maori people comprise 57 tribes, they can be seen as independent nations but consisting of a single need for liberation.

While the Maori have been advocating for recognition of indigenous voices, it is difficult for them to enjoy citizenship in a country dominated by Europeans set on their siege. Negative statistics make them over-represented as either in jail or in poor health or other such depressed conditions. These factors pose a challenge to Maori identity and invest in their assimilation.

In response to their grievances, a reconciliation tribunal was set up under the 1975 Act, which enabled treaty claims to be heard and called for compensation for past injustices. However, there is a fundamental problem with the process as the government is not obliged to act upon the recommendations made by the Tribunal.

Left: Map of New Zealand

The foreclosure of redress is exemplified by a recent case brought by the Fisheries Commission. When the case came to the International Court at The Hague, Mäoris feared that the government would introduce legislation that would not be in agreement with the position posited by the Mäori peoples. Very few avenues are available to the Maori, even when they are availed they are circumvented by the majority government.

New Zealand introduced a Royal Commission on Custody, which has been in place for twelve years. More than 50 million NZ$ dollars were spent in promoting governments to sign up to it. However, the act has decimated the Maori population as there are increasing imprisonment and deaths of Maori in custody, making it important to oppose this act. New Zealand presents a system of inequities in all important institutions for the Maori.

Maori comprise 15% of the population of New Zealand. For over a century there continued to be only four Maori seats in the parliament of New Zealand. This number was increased to five in 1996. In 2002 the number of seats grew to seven. In 2005, 21 Maori took seats in Parliament. There currently, are 121 seats in parliament. Even so, the electoral process has not rectified the ills perpetrated against the Maori. While they have representation they do not set national policy. The government agency charged with accelerating Maori development has a budget of only 500,000 NZ dollars, which is much less than the funds allocated to other government departments.

Indigenous people will remain a minority, but the indigenous have land and tribal territory and it is crucial that they assert their right to that territory and its resources - do not give it up. It is equally important that they maintain their culture and language. As it stands, many Maori carry European surnames and are educated in exclusively English language schools. This poses a detriment to the continuation of their legacy. Language is the critical factor in promoting Maori traditions. Language is the ornamental frame of a society and a namer of names is the mother of all things having the power to frame discourse.

The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman and his crew in 1642. Several of the crew were killed by the Maori and no Europeans returned to New Zealand until British explorer James Cook's voyage of 1768-71. The missionaries were the first European settlers to arrive in New Zealand. However, with increasing interest in the territory by the French, the British government sent troops with William Hobson to New Zealand to claim sovereignty and negotiate a treaty with the Maori.

Left: The Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi - However, significant differences between the Maori and English language versions of the Treaty entail there is no consensus as to what rights the Treaty gives to which groups. The British gave the Maori the copy in their language containing material variance with the English version New Zealand rests its claims.

The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on February 6, 1840. The drafting was done hastily void of legal scholarship and confusion and dispute continue to surround the translation and implementation of the treaty. Nevertheless, the treaty is regarded as New Zealand's foundational document and is also seen by the Maori as documentary evidence of their rights. Be as it may, from 1840, increasing numbers of European settlers landed in New Zealand and the Maori were resigned to their fate of European rule.

New Zealand became a British colony and the indigenous people were converted to Christianity and made subjects by abuse and ruse. In the Maori version of the treaty, for example, rangatira gave the right of governance to the British Queen while retaining sovereignty or rangatiratanga, especially over land. In the English version, Maori gave absolute sovereignty to the British Queen, that is, the right to total control of the country. Ever since 1840 the treaty has been the subject of intense fissure and contentions about its meanings and importance to New Zealand and relations between Maori and European settlers. It would appear that indigenous people don't only have to account for forked tongue but also forked documents.

For several decades after the treaty was signed different Maori municipalities fought the British, primarily over land issues, while others fought alongside the colonizers to defend their own myopic interests. During this period, often referred to as the New Zealand Wars, land was confiscated and the Native Land Court was established, essentially to extinguish Maori title to land. By the 1870s, the British had taken full control. In the same decade a judge declared that the Treaty of Waitangi was no longer valid.

So we have a people dispossessed of their land while the jails of New Zealand are disproportionately filled with Maori and other minorities. This governance is supplemented by draconian legislation such as the Terrorism Suppression Act introduced to stifle any semblance of resistance. Any agitation is therefore labeled terrorism. If the people speak up for equitable rights then it is considered racism against the colonizers and terrorism against the state.


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