Friday 25 May 2012

What can they do to you? Whatever they want.

Image of the four defendants in court.

You don't need to have been following the trial, or even have heard the verdict, to be able to guess which of the people in this picture were sentenced to two years six months in jail and which were sentenced to 9 months home detention.  Pakeha fears about Maori have been projected onto accused throughout the whole case. I've no reason to disbelieve that Andre, who commented on Public Address, is not who he says he is:
I was excluded from the jury for the trial along with two other jurors after being empanelled. I gave them all a rant prior to departing and am relieved they didn’t find them guilty on the main charge. They were overwhelmingly middle class white women that I left on the panel, some of whom had already told us that Tame Iti scared them etc. One of the jurors asked to be excluded because she was convinced he was guilty by how he looked. She was refused her request to leave and heard the case. Another guy asked to be excluded because he thought the whole exercise was a waste of taxpayer money and resources and he was excluded. How does that work? 


One way of communicating my range and anger over the sentences is to talk about how manifestly unjust they are on the court's own terms.  This man who beat and pretended to hang his children, received a sentence of two years 8 months.

As others have pointed out Rodney Hansen, the judge sentenced them as if the charge of being part of an organised criminal group (which the jury could not decide upon) had been proved.  He included the defendant's political views as aggravating factors stating: "Some of the participants held extreme anarchist views."  He blamed the defendants for the actions of the police - stating that they had done harm by creating divisions within Tuhoe.

The logic of the judge's sentencing was grotesque.  Justice was far from blind - it saw and was terrified of who these people were and sentenced them accordingly.


The sentence is unjust when understood inside the system of justice that colonisation brought.  But to focus on that is to ignore the larger injustice.

An art work - tuhoe never signed the fucking treaty is repeatedly scribbled in different colours on a map of New Zealand

Justice Hansen is not the first judge to exert his authority over Tuhoe people as a way of trying maintain the crown's sovereignty over Tuhoe land, unfortunately it's unlikely that he'll be the last.  He was very willing to describe the actions he'd decided people had undertaken as 'a frightening prospect undermining our democratic institutions and anathema to society'.  He talked of 'we' and 'our' and 'society' singular.  He ignored the many actions of the crown that had undermined Maori democratic institutions and that were an anathema to Maori societies.What right do Pakeha from Auckland have to talk of 'we' and 'our' when it comes to Tuhoe land?  They can't even claim the right of Kawanatanga.


Protests have been organised around the country over the next couple of days.  Come along if you can - thinking that this is wrong is meaningless without action.

PALMERSTON NORTHFriday, 25th May 2012, 1pm, Palmerston North District Court. Bring placards, banners, chants and friends.

Friday, 25th May 2012, 12pm, Wellington High Court. Bring placards, banners, chants and friends.

AUCKLAND Saturday, 26th May 2012, 2pm, Mt Eden Prison.

DUNEDIN Saturday 26th May 2012, 2pm, Dunedin District Court House.

CHRISTCHURCH Saturday 26th May 2012, 4pm, Christchurch Police Station.

* I found some comfort in Marge Piercy's The Low Road tonight - not for the first time.

** I've seen a lot of people express this idea in a way that implies that Rangi and Tame are more Maori than Emily. Sometimes this is because of lack of knowledge, but it is wrong.


LudditeJourno said...

Thanks Maia.

Remember Volckner said...

thinking that this is wrong is meaningless without action

the whole point of the trial, indeed the whole point of Te Hokowhitu-a-Tuhoe is that protest, especially white middle-class protest, delivers nothing against the NZ apartheid state.

And if you are not now convinced NZ is an apartheid state, what else would convince you? The Police's Armed Constabulary machine-gunning all of Ruatoki?

Or Taame eating Hansen's eyeballs?

If Taame is not yet Aotearoa's "Mandela" - it can only be because he has not yet bombed Church Street.

Anonymous said...

"And if you are not now convinced NZ is an apartheid state, what else would convince you?"

I was convinced as soon as I found out that there were seperate electorates set aside for one ethnic group in a proportional parliamentary system.

FACT - Apartheid is a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

I do not know how you can compare Tama Iti getting prosecuted to apartheid, frankly it is insulting and is trivialising what actually happened in South Africa.

- Chris

Acid Queen said...

Bobby, the fact that Iti was punished at all is a sign of racism.

Nothing he did should be illegal under a state that respected maori tikanga as the NZ state claims to.

BobbyD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maia said...

BobbyD - Your comments are not appropriate for this post - please don't post here again.

Brett Dale said...

Acid Queen:

How the heck is it racist? he was found guilty of illegal firearms and weapons??

It would've been a suprise if he didnt go to jail.

Im pretty sure if that racist skinhead Kyle Chapman had illegal firearms, and weapons, had video of his group out shooting in the woods, he would be in jail.

Maia said...

Brett - I don't think you understand either the case or the Arms Act. Please don't comment on this thread again.

rangi.abraham said...

"FACT - Apartheid is a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race"

Bullshit, apartheid is not segregation on its own or it would be called segregation. It is an issue of power and domination, white interests imposed on the black population, which exists here in Aotearoa inspite of the mechanisms like maori seats that are suppose to address that power imbalance

Maia said...

Thanks Rangi. I had somehow missed Chris's comment.

Pro-tip - if you can't even get the letters right in Tame Iti's name you're demonstrating the wrong-ness of your implication that NZ is an apartheid state that benefits Maori (although there are other things that should tip you off). In systems of power it is the dominated who are forced to learn about those who dominate them not hte other way round.

Hypocrites said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

in answer to Brett above- you have just proven that the state is racist because "racist Kyle Chapman" is running round in the bush, he is actively recruiting white supremists, he is photographed with weapons, camo gear and balaclavas. He does hold "survivalist" and bush training camps. All of this is documented on by Chapman himself and his friends who have openly racist and highly political views. These are the exact reasons that the police/state said they entered the Urewera. What has happened to Chapman? Nothing except tv stations have done stories on it. In fact Marc Ellis, the man who set off explosives on Rangitoto with no lawful purpose save advertising, went to participate and train with Chapman in Nth Cant'y. Ellis is more of a risk than Tame and the other defendants

Anonymous said...

If Chapman also has illegal firearms and weapons he has to go to jail.

Rakau said...

Anonymous, why do you and others always have to equate apartheid with Maori electorate seats? Not providing forms of representation for Maori is a form of reverse apartheid. It serves to separate us from being Maori. If I want to push Maori issues in a mainstream political party or in a general electorate I would never get a look in. Your idea of democracy would have Maori forever destined to have their ideas, desires, beliefs, politics, culture and language suppressed. Great democracy!

stargazer said...

@ Hypocrites: please direct any comments on moderation to the email address given above the comments box. we do not discuss moderations in threads.

Acid Queen said...

The Arms Act is a tool of injustice. It is applied selectively, pakeha can run around with guns all they want, not just Kyle Chapman but thousands of farmers hunters and rednecks. But if a Maori gets a gun the white state's heart fills with panic as they remember the legacy of Te Kooti and Hone Heke and they immediately send in the pigs.

Kim McBreen said...

The funny thing is, the Maori electoral seats were a form of apartheid--to silo Maori representation. From wiki: "...the setting up of Māori electorates separate from existing electorates assuaged conservative opposition to the [1867 Maori Representation] bill - conservatives had previously feared that Māori would gain the right to vote in general electorates, thereby forcing all MPs (rather than just four Māori MPs) to take notice of Māori opinion."

Maori representation, regardless of population, was restricted to these 4 seats for over 100 years. Maori could not vote in general seats until 1976.

For some reason, people like Chris are only concerned now that Maori have a choice.

My apologies that this is a bit of a derail from a really important post, but I think it's history that lots of non-Maori NZers don't know.

Chris Miller said...

I was about to make the same point, Kim. When those seats were set up, Māori were a much bigger proportion of the population. Unfortunately land wars, legalised discrimination and oppression, social policy that only recognised them when they became Pakeha-ised (eg living in what we consider a nuclear family unit in an urban area, rather than with the support of whanau in their historic homes), child protective services that essentially stole their tamariki with little to no provocation (I personally know some people who only re-found their families very recently), all caused Māori numbers to dwindle while Pakeha numbers grew. North Island tribes like Tuhoe were also the worst affected by the land wars and by laws against protest - the South Island had largely already been confiscated under the justification that it wasn't "being used" because the tribes here tended to move around throughout the year.

I find it extremely hard to study New Zealand history, whether that be general history or focused on social policy, without ending up more and more sympathetic to Māori. Just because we didn't have outright slavery like the US and didn't classify them as native fauna like Australia doesn't mean anything we did was right.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows anything about the justice system knows that white people don't go to prison for owning guns. They especially don't go to prison when that is the only crime they've been convicted of (i.e. it might be an aggravating factor in a more serious crime like robbery or drug manufacturer or something). This is proven by the fact the two people of colour in this case were the two that got custodial sentences. It is also proven by the inconsistencies you report with Kyle Chapman.

Basically the court had to justify the millions of taxpayer dollars they spent on this farce of a trial/prosecution. Getting a tangible outcome like a prison sentence is the way to justify that in the crown's eyes. It's disgusting.

Anonymous said...
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