Te Ururoa Flavell holds Press Conference on PM’s suggestion that Tuhoe are cannibals and on the break down of negotiations

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A press conference was held today at the electorate office of Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell regardingthe Prime Minister’s statement about Tuhoe today which has placed relations with the Tribe in further jeopardy.

The Stuff reported that Prime Minister John Key joked this morning that if he had a meal with Tuhoe he would have been on the menu – taken by some to be a suggestion they were cannibals.

Speaking at the launch of the Government’s Budget tourism package, Mr Key said he had earlier this week had dinner with Ngati Porou representatives.

As I said, the good news was that I was having dinner with Ngati Porou as opposed to their neighbouring iwi, which is Tuhoe, in which case I would have been the dinner,” he said to the audience of about 200 from the tourism sector.

Mr Flavell spoke of the inappropriate nature of the above comments considering the negotiations breakdown between Tuhoe and the Crown. In particular the point was made that considering the fact that senior Cabinet members had known and been accepting of the hand over of Te Urewera, it was unfair and unjust that the PM had taken these agreements of the table unilaterally.

TangataWhenua.com was at the news conference today and the video is now available:

5 COMMENTS

  1. Gee, I never for a moment thought Key was being racist. Has Maori lost their sense of humour, or ability to laugh at themselves?

    A toungue in cheek comment could easily be seen as a mark of respect for Tuhoe' steadfast stance for independence and their strong unbending resolve and abilites in negotiation.(Good on them)

    Still,I remember when the great Billy T James was blasted by Maori who obviously viewed some of his jokes through the same lens many view Key's.

    No doubt someone will see this is supporting rednecks, its not, but it depends on how insecure you are I guess

    na

    Piripi

  2. Kia ora, Annette,

    You have expressed what I believe is true re the Treaty Settlements. The Crown is punishing the troublesome and uppity natives and rewarding the compliant!

    Same ole, same ole.

  3. This is just part of a much wider attack on Maori Rights. The Crown last year refused the peoples of Upper Whanganui their request to ringfence their National Park from being part of a process of block offers of conservation lands to potential exploiters of the coal and gas mining industry. They also refused a request to exclude the Tongariro National Park made not by the Tuwharetoa Trust Board but by the hapu who live at the base of their maunga and who are concerned by the fact that this national icon is at risk of exploitation by oil companies.

    This is one of the key planks of the National Party policy who have also now decided no one owns the foreshore and seabed and notwithstanding that are reserving to the government the right to allocate access rights of oil exploration for land under the sea beyond the 12 mile limit.

    While there is no doubt sympathy with the Tuhoe Position for return of Te Urewera there also needs to be a huge number of questions asked as to why Tuhoe is only being offered a settlment of 81 million dollars in compensation while Ngai Tahu got 170 million ( without suffering raupatu) and an estimated further 100 million dollars by virtue of the Fisheries Settlement and allocation of aquaculture rights. We all know that Tainui got 170 million for Raupatu; 50 million dollars for the endowment college; 50 million dollars for the river and at least another 50 million dollars from fisheries settlements and forest settlements.

    There is a huge injustice being instigated here by a Crown who refuses to be even handed in their approach to Treaty Settlements; who seems to privileging the good "Maori", while actively discriminating ( and his remarks were racist) against those hapu and iwi who have resisted the Crown. The Maori Party needs to confront this wider issue if they seriously want to do something about things

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