Alex Nathan, Allan Titford, Iulia Leilua, Maori TV, Mihingarangi Forbes, Mike Butler, Native Affairs, Paul Moon, Ranginui Walker, Te Roroa

How to complain to the Broadcasting Standards Authority – Mike Butler

I love it when Maori TV tries to ambush me and present me as a racist for demanding racial equality.

Each time they do this, we get a little more evidence that helps to convince honest, fair-minded Maori that their ignorant, one-eyed cousins are giving them a bad name.

Most helpfully, the radicals’ rants don’t just unsettle some of their own supporters and enrage all of ours. They also appal and convert lots of mild-mannered neutrals.

My live debate with Annette Sykes and the heckling partisan so-called ‘moderator’ Mihingarangi Forbes has opened a new front for us: a flurry of complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

One of these I’ll be posting shortly, a complaint about last Monday’s Native Affairs from a teacher.

But here now is a complaint about the previous week’s Native Affairs, from former newspaper sub-editor and author of the new book Tribes–Treaty–Money–Power, Mike Butler.

Mike is also preparing a complaint about last week’s show, but first things first.

It would be most helpful, dear readers, if you would each consider lodging your own complaint about each of the last two programmes.

Bureaucrats respond to numbers, and this state-funded racist channel needs to get the message that there is a difference between criticism and racism, and that they can’t get away with unfairly smearing people like Allan Titford, Martin Doutre and me.

Tying them up replying to numerous complaints, and having to provide redress for their bias, should help them in their quest to understand the meaning of balance. 🙂

_________________

Native Affairs BSA complaint

 

Date: May 26, 2014
To: Paora Maxwell,
Chief Executive,
Maori TV
PO Box 113-017
Newmarket
Auckland 1149

Attn Vienna.Richards@maoritelevision.com

From:   Mike Butler,
[address]
[phone number]
[email address]

 

Re:       Broadcasting Standards Authority complaint about What lies beneath

The Native Affairs item titled What lies beneath that aired on Monday, May 12, 2014, revisited the long story of Northland farmer Allan Titford who bought land at Maunganui Bluff in 1986 for $600,000 and was subjected to a squatter protest from 1987 during a Waitangi Tribunal claim for part of his land.

Titford had no interest in treaty claim matters until a group of bullying hostile protesters occupied his land and wrecked his business.

The occupation, that included two house fires, verbal abuse, stock thefts, intimidation, vandalism, trespass, cutting fences so that stock would wander, shooting stock, sabotaging Titford’s bulldozer, threatening with a gun, assault, looting, stalled a subdivision project and meant he could not refinance or repay a two-year mortgage.

Eventually, Titford sold the farm to the government for $3.225-million in 1995. Little was heard of the issue until last year when a matrimonial dispute resulted in Titford being jailed for 24 years.

One count he was found guilty of was for burning down his house.

What lies beneath is built around an interview with Alex Nathan of Te Roroa.

In the intro, presenter Mihingarangi Forbes set the scene by saying when Titford “accused the Northland iwi, Te Roroa of being greedy Maori who were after his land”, the country rallied behind him.

Te Roroa, he said, were violent terrorists who burned down his home”.

She went on to say: “Fourteen years later the truth came out – it was Allan Titford who burnt his house down – but some media and lobby groups continue to support him”.

Reporter Iulia Leilua’s 20-minute two-part feature could leave an open-minded viewer thinking that Titford was finally exposed as evil, that Te Roroa claimants were wronged innocents, and that there exists a shadowy but well-funded very right wing conspiracy out to deny Maori of rights.

This complaint shows that What lies beneath was a biased and inaccurate presentation of the Maunganui Bluff land claim issue, that included unfair treatment of protagonist Allan Titford, along with racist and derogatory treatment of his supporters.

The feature breached standards four, five, six, and seven of the broadcasting code.


1. Failed to present significant viewpoints on controversial issues

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is quite clear under Standard 4 – Controversial Issues – Viewpoints that when discussing controversial issues of public importance in news, current affairs or factual programmes, broadcasters should make reasonable efforts, or give reasonable opportunities, to present significant points of view, either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest.

 

a) Guideline 4a says significant viewpoints should be presented fairly in the context of the programme.

What lies beneath presented in the intro what Maori TV presenters considered was the mainstream view 22 years ago, after July 4, 1992, when the Titford house burned to the ground.

That view was that Northland iwi Te Roroa were “greedy Maori who were after his land”, who were also “violent terrorists who burned down his home”.

What lies beneath also outlined in the intro the current viewpoint of Maori TV presenters, that “14 years later the truth came out – it was Allan Titford who burnt his house down – but some media and lobby groups continue to support him”.

Two opposing viewpoints were presented in What lies beneath but Maori TV presented the viewpoint it disagreed with in a hostile, pejorative manner, meaning that the viewpoint was not presented fairly.

 

b) A further assessment of whether a reasonable range of views has been presented is described in guideline 4b, which asks whether the programme approaches a topic from a particular perspective.

Maori TV claims to design its programming to deliver a Maori perspective.

It appears that presenters believe that by presenting What lies beneath from the viewpoint of Te Roroa, with Titford being non-Maori they would fulfil the “Maori perspective” role of Maori TV.

However, ifLeilua had asked a few more questions, listened, and looked further, she would have quickly found that Titford’s now estranged wife has Ngapuhi ancestry, and that Ngapuhi leader the late Graham Rankin appealed to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Margaret Wilson, to help the Titford family.

Rankin’s view was that the Titfords had been unlawfully dispossessed of their farm at Maunganui Bluff, Northland. [1]

For Maori TV to argue that equating the Te Roroa claim with a Maori perspective fails to understand that part of the dispute over land at Maunganui Bluff was a clash between Te Roroa and Ngapuhi.

As a result of the Battle of Te Ikaranganui in 1825 Ngapuhi dominance over the area was achieved.

Te Roroa were allowed to stay in the area under the protection of Parore Te Awha of Ngapuhi, whose name was on the Maunganui block sale deed.

Tiopira Kinaki, the other vendor named on the 1876 sale deed, was Te Roroa.

The Titford farm and the area on it claimed by Te Roroa were included in the 1876 Maunganui block sale. [2]


2. Failed to be accurate on all points of fact

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is also clear, under Standard 5 Accuracy, that broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming is (1) accurate on all points of fact, and/or (2) does not mislead.

 

a) Forbes in the intro incorrectly said: “fourteen years later the truth came out – it was Allan Titford who burnt his house down”.

In fact the house fire occurred on July 4, 1992, which was 22 years ago, not 14 years as Forbes said.

But more importantly, Titford was found guilty of burning his house, an allegation he continues to deny, and a conviction he plans to appeal or seek a retrial on.

Therefore, the truth or falsity of the statement “Allan Titford … burnt his house down” remains unknown except to the perpetrator.

Moreover, viewers were not made aware of the existence of two sworn statements that cast reasonable doubt on Titford’s guilt regarding the arson.

Reporter Leilua was given copies of these affidavits and had all details explained to her, but there was no reference to this in the final edit.

These affidavits existed at the time of Titford’s trial, but were not introduced as evidence.

Ansell recorded footage of the actual interviews because earlier biased treatment at the hands of Maori TV prompted him to take a cameraman along, something that reporter Leilua strenuously objected to. [3]

 

b) Reporter Leilua said: “By 1876 nearly 90,000 acres of Te Roroa land had been bought by the Crown. However, Te Roroa disputed the inclusion of urupa, reserves, and the lake in the sale arguing that there had been a mistake in the survey”.

The land area quoted by Leilua was incorrect. The Maunganui block upon which the Titford farm was located, was 37,592 acres and the Waipoua block 35,300 acres giving a total of 72,892 acres, which is more than 17,000 acres short of Leilua’s sweeping guess.

Leilua was incorrect to characterize that land as solely belonging to Te Roroa. The Maunganui block was awarded to both Tiopira Kinaki of Te Roroa and Parore Te Awha of Ngapuhi.

Leilua was incorrect to imply Te Roroa at the time disputed the inclusion of urupa, reserves, and the lake. The only dispute at the time of the sale was the Alleged Improper Sale Inquiry 1876 prompted by Tiopira Kinaki when he discovered that Parore Te Awha received an extra £500.

This was nothing to do with what was included in the sale.

Leilua failed to say that the first appearance of a claim for that land, known as Manuwhetai, and another area on a neighbouring farm known as Whangaiariki, was in 1899, after both vendors and all involved in the 1876 sale had died.

Neither did she say that the claim was rejected at that time.

Leilua did not mention a special sitting of the Native Land Court investigating a claim for Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki held in Kaihu in 1939.

Neither did she mention a recommendation by Chief Judge G.P. Shepherd to parliament 1942 that:

  • The only reserve in the Maunganui block provided for in the 1876 sale was a 250-acre eel fishery reserve known as Taharoa for vendor Parore Te Awha;
  • Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki were not mentioned in the deed of sale;
  • Neither were they mentioned in the inquiry into the sale held in 1876;
  • The sale deed had a certificate to show that vendors Parore Te Awha and Tiopira Kinaki understood the terms of the sale;
  • The deed had a certificate to show no fraud had taken place;
  • A memo dated February 12, 1876, confirmed that Parore got Taharoa. [4]

Leilua did not say that nothing further was heard of this claim until 1987, after the Waitangi Tribunal was empowered to investigate claims all the way back to 1840, and when Titford began advertising sections in his coastal subdivision.

Leilua did not look into the evidence Te Roroa cited to support their view that Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki were left out of the sale because of a mistake in a survey.

Te Roroa claimants cited Plan 3297/8 as “proof” that Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki had been taken in error by the Crown.

Apparently unaware of Te Roroa reasoning for their claim, Leilua did not look into facts around that purported evidence.

Titford found that Plan 3297/8 was created by surveyors Barnard and Stephens for a landowner named Wi Pou, of the Ngaitu hapu, as part of a proposal to buy from the government two reserves on the south side of Maunganui Bluff.

Those reserves were to be named Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki.

Plan 3297/8 remained in government files as a record of a proposal that did not proceed.

 

c) Leilua said: “Under a National government in 1995, after rejecting numerous offers, Allan Titford finally sold his land to the Crown for five times more than he paid”.

While it is true that the sale price of $3.225-million is about 5.3 times the purchase price, Leilua did not say that the $3.225-million included 1450 head of stock valued at $750,000 and plant at $50,000.

Neither did she say that out of the $3.225-million, $1.8 million went to the National Bank and $425,000 went to other creditors.

Therefore, Titford was left with $200,000 for land he paid $600,000 for nine years earlier

Leilua collected a comment from academic Ranginui Walker who alleged Titford made “a huge profit”. Far from “a huge profit”, Titford came out $400,000 behind after working nine years for nothing and facing bullying from claimants, inaction by police, and stonewalling by the government.

 

d) Guideline 5c says news must be impartial.

The selection of sources for What lies beneath, and the extra time allowed to those supporting the theme of the feature, was far from impartial. Bias appeared in the number and frequency of comments for either Titford or Te Roroa.

For Titford, Ansell was the sole representative and featured in a single, highly selective interview. Doutré, who has supported Titford elsewhere, spoke entirely about evidence for Celtic New Zealand. Former MP Ross Meurant spoke for Titford in old footage. Newman’s single comment was neither about Titford nor Te Roroa.

For Te Roroa, claimant Alex Nathan spoke six times, Taua spoke four times, Ranginui Walker spoke twice, and Moon spoke once.

 

3. Failed to be fair

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is also clear, under Standard 6 – Fairness, that broadcasters should deal fairly with any person or organisation taking part or referred to.

The word “fair” means “treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination”.

For the purpose of guideline 6a, What lies beneath was aired on a current affairs programme, a genre that is expected to be factual.

The feature breached Standard 6 – Fairness in two ways:

 

a) Fair coverage of the Titford/Te Roroa saga would present known facts on both sides of the dispute.

Instead, after jumping to the conclusion that Titford did burn down his house, reporter Leilua recorded Nathan saying: “We knew that we were right”, and subsequent comments were collected to support this view.

Evidence that raised reasonable doubt as to whether Titford started the fire, such as two sworn statements indicating another party had admitted responsibility, was ignored.

This stacking of comments to support the pre-conceived view of both the reporter and the presenter breaches standard 6, guideline 6a, which requires fairness in a factual programme.

 

b) Apparently assuming that Titford burnt his house down and blamed Te Roroa, when reporter Leilua was given two sworn statements creating a reasonable doubt as to the accuracy of that assumption, Leilua ignored the affidavits and edited out of the final cut any reference to them by interviewee John Ansell.

This breaches standard 6, guideline 6b, which requires broadcasters to exercise care in editing programme material to ensure that the extracts used are not a distortion of the overall views expressed. [5]

 

4. Encouraged discrimination and denigration

Under Standard 7 – Discrimination and Denigration, broadcasters should not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the community on account of sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status, or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief.

The word “discrimination” refers to making “an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age”.

The word “denigration” means casting “aspersions on, decry, criticize unfairly, attack, speak ill of, speak badly of, blacken the character of, blacken the name of, give someone a bad name, sully the reputation of, or spread lies about”.

What lies beneath breaches Standard 7 because it encourages discrimination against and seeks to denigrate those who criticize the divisiveness of race-based affirmative action and treaty politics.

An encouragement to discriminate against those who criticise treaty politics and race-based affirmative action appeared in the intro to Part 2 of What lies beneath, when presenter Mihingarangi Forbes described Titford supporters as “people who were anti-treaty and anti-Maori, many of whom used their money, time, and connections to push their political agendas”.

The only evidence of support by wealthy individuals of critics of treatyism was an assertion that “rich-lister Alan Gibbs” backed the New Zealand Centre for Political Research that pushes against race-based special treatment.

The feature was silent on the existence of the network of multi-millionaire neo-tribal groups known as the Iwi Leaders Group that pushes for race-based special treatment.

Denigration of those who criticise treaty politics and race-based affirmative action appeared in the title What lies beneath, which captured an implication of a sinister pervasive racist undercurrent, with those drawing attention to the divisiveness of treaty politics castigated as racist.

Smearing a person with the allegation that he or she is racist appears intended to silence debate because it is based on the assumption that no right-minded person would want to speak out for fear of being called a racist.

The denigration of critics of treatyism as racist is in itself racist.

 

Remedy sought

 

Native Affairs staff members have shown an ability to investigate complex stories while asking hard questions. So why did they not do so in this 20-minute two-part feature that aired on Monday, May 12?

Errors in this feature may be remedied by a 20-minute clip on Native Affairs that includes:

 

1. An interview with someone who knows the details of the impact of the occupation at Maunganui Bluff on the Titfords, and the background of the Te Roroa claim for Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki.

 

2. An interview with Alex Nathan that asks:

a) Is it not true that on August 7, 1987, squatters moved on to the beach part of the section in force and erected signs to frighten away any prospective buyers.

b) Is it not true that on August 16, 1987, Hughie Te Rore and Huia White told Titford that if he gave them the land they would drop their tribunal claim.

c) Is it not true that on December 5, 1987, at 1.15pm, Hughie Te Rore and Huia White arrived at the house and said that if Titford removed the buildings used by squatters they would take revenge within 24 hours and it would be nationwide news.

d) Is it not true that on January 12, 1988, a group of claimants in a green Toyota Corona shot stock in Titford’s paddock. Claimants also arranged for the Historic Places Trust to come in and make the site a sacred area.

e) Is it not true that on January 20, 1988, claimants erected a large carved pole on Titford’s land, an event that local councillors, local non-Maori, Maori Marsden, and TVNZ reporters attended.

f) Is it not true that on March 22, 1988, claimant Hugh Te Rore had Conservation Department archaeologist Leigh Johnson (Mr) visit Titford’s farm. Johnson told Titford he had permission to be there from landowner Hugh Te Rore. Johnson also told Titford that the area was from then on wahi tapu and a reserve.

 

3. An interview with Ranginui Walker that asks:

a) Is it not true that the $3.225-million the government paid for the Titford farm included 1450 head of stock valued at $750,000 and plant at $50,000?

b) Is it not true that out of the $3.225-million purchase price, $1.8 million went to the National Bank and $425,000 went to other creditors?

c) Is it not true that Titford was left with $200,000 for land he paid $600,000 for nine years earlier?

d) Do you still stand by your comments that Titford made “a huge profit” out of the sale of his farm?

 

4. An interview with historian Paul Moon that asks:

a) Is it not true that as an historian, past events and old documents are your stock in trade?

b) Therefore, based on your expertise in past events and old documents, is it not true that the only reserve in the Maunganui block provided for in the 1876 sale was a 250-acre eel fishery reserve known as Taharoa for vendor Parore Te Awha?

c) Is it not true that Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki were not mentioned in the 1876 deed of sale?

d) Is it not true that neither were mentioned in the inquiry into the sale held in 1876?

e) Is it not true that the sale deed had a certificate to show that vendors Parore Te Awha and Tiopira Kinaki understood the terms of the sale?

f) Is it not true that the deed had a certificate to show no fraud had taken place?

g) Is it not true that a memo dated February 12, 1876, confirmed that Parore got Taharoa?

h) Is it not true that the first appearance of a claim for land known as Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki was in 1899, after both vendors and all involved in the 1876 sale had died?

i) Is it not true that Plan 3297/8 was created by surveyors Barnard and Stephens for a landowner named Wi Pou, of the Ngaitu hapu, as part of a proposal to buy from the government two reserves on the south side of Maunganui Bluff. Those reserves were to be named Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki?

j) Is it not true that Plan 3297/8 remained in government files as a record of a proposal that did not proceed?

 ___________________________

[1] Graham Rankin, Letter, June 4, 2001. http://www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/AllanandSusanvsTheWaitangiTribunal.html

[2] The Sale of Maunganui-Waipoua, The Te Roroa Report 1992. http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/reports/viewchapter.asp?reportID=7df6e15e-2c4d-4dd0-9e60-50a88ffb48a9&chapter=13

[3] See John Ansell’s recorded footage of the actual interviews see https://treatygate.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/what-maori-tv-didnt-show-you/#comments

[4] Native Purposes Act 1938. http://atojs.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/atojs?a=d&d=AJHR1942-I.2.1.8.4&e=——-10–1——0–

[5] See John Ansell’s recorded footage of the actual interviews see https://treatygate.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/what-maori-tv-didnt-show-you/#comments

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Allan Titford, Mike Butler, Paul Moon

Mike Butler to Paul Moon: 6 tricky Titford questions

Allan Titford - photo of Maunganui Bluff farm

The Maunganui Bluff farm that the Titfords were forced off.
How many other wrongs make that wrong right?

“Historian” Paul Moon has never been one to let a total absence of logic get in the way of a political diatribe.

On the Littlewood document, Moon famously proclaimed that “It can’t be a treaty because it wasn’t signed”.

(Which may sound plausible to a new chum. Until we point out that no proponent of the Littlewood document has ever said it was a treaty. It was the final English draft for translation into the Maori tiriti. So of course it would not be signed.)

In his latest dereliction of his duty of balanced reporting, Moon uses Allan Titford’s conviction on personal charges to declare all of his claims of state document tampering and tribal harassment a “fallacy” .

Bit of an own goal there, Paul. By using that term, you simply remind us of your fondness for red herring fallacies, including ad hominem attacks and poisoning the well.

For example:

For years, Allan Titford and his many supporters fashioned a dystopian and blatantly racist vision of New Zealand’s future, in which avaricious Maori tribes, together with obsequious politicians, would slowly but surely trample over private property rights.

Which, of course, is exactly what the state did in forcing Titford off his Maunganui Bluff farm, despite a string of politicians from Lange to Key promising the country that no farmer would ever lose his land to a tribal claim.

Again, our resident honest journalist Mike Butler poses some tricky questions to yet another lopsided commentator.

_________________________________

Questions for Dr Paul Moon

 Historian Paul Moon asks, in alleging jailed farmer Allan Titford’s mania fed a racial rift, where was the public defence of Te Roroa people who were vilified by Titford?

Here are some questions for Moon:

  1. Did Titford not buy a freehold title farm in November 1986 and was lawfully farming and subdividing his land when dogged by a claimant protest from August 7, 1987?
  2. Did the Te Roroa Report 1992 relitigate a claim that had been rejected in 1942?
  3. Is it not true that in the Te Roroa Report, the only proof that the land called Manuwhetai on the Titford farm, and Whangaiariki on Don Harrison’s farm, was omitted from the 1876 sale, was an assertion by the Waitangi Tribunal that it was left out?
  4. Is it not true that Plan 3253 attached to the 1876 Maunganui block sale shows a single reserve, and that was 250 acres at Lake Taharoa, and the land described as Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki were not marked or mentioned?
  5. And why is the Titford-Te Roroa scrap deemed racial when Susan Cochrane (Kakarana) has fine Ngapuhi ancestry?
Allan Titford, Mike Butler, Sunday Star-Times

Mike Butler to Star-Times: 6 questions for Te Roroa

Allan Titford - SS-T - Turning back the racist tide

The Sunday Star-Times’s predictably unbalanced vilification of Titford:
no mention of his evidence against the state and Te Roroa

Former Hawkes Bay Herald-Tribune sub-editor Mike Butler, a meticulous seeker of facts, has sent the following email to Sunday Star-Times reporter Simon Day, author of the central panel of the above story from last Sunday.

The story (see link below) is predictably one-sided, and attempts to lull gullible readers into believing that because Titford has been put away for crimes against people and property, his evidence against the state and Te Roroa can be safely ignored.

Note Mike Butler’s account of recent harassment and death threats against those who speak out against the tribe.

_________________________________

Hi Simon,

I met you in Waitangi on February 5 this year. I was with John Ansell and sat in on the interview when we were kicked out of the Te Tii marae.

I researched the Allan Titford saga for the report at

http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/mike-butler-treaty-try-on-forces-farmer.html

I have some comments on your “Bittersweet vindication for iwi” story at

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9435787/Bittersweet-vindication-for-iwi

You wrote: “Last week the truth about Titford was exposed in the Whangarei District Court when he was sentenced to 24 years in prison for 39 charges including assault, sexual violation, arson and fraud.”

He certainly was sentenced to that time on those charges, but how accurate are the charges and what is the supporting evidence?

Attached is the list of charges that Titford faced. It is under a letter from Simon Power to Susan “Kakarana” (yes, you guessed it, Cochrane) on the subject of perjury and how to avoid being charged for committing it.

Look at the rape charges.

The charges allege three of sexual violation by rape — one on a day uncertain in the months of September and December 1987 at Dargaville, another on a day uncertain in 2008 at Kaitaia, and another on or about July 7, 2009, at Kaitaia.

With such vagueness on the dates, was Titford convicted of three charges of rape, or one, and if so, what evidence supported these allegations?

You will see that that one charge alleges that the Titfords in January 19, 1989, attempted a wool bales insurance claim.

A report by Detective Constable G.C. Smith, dated November 11, 1988, records a complaint by Titford of an attempted arson of his house on October 19, 1988, and notes that Titford had no insurance cover.

I would be very interested to see if Titford was convicted of attempted insurance fraud at a time when he had no insurance.

You wrote that it was found he had burnt down his own home in 1992, but had blamed it on local Maori to increase his claim to compensation from the government”.

You go on to say that “Te Roroa Maori hope this is a chance for their story to be told and the claims of harassment, terrorism, and sabotage exposed as lies”.

Are claims of harassment, terrorism, and sabotage actually lies?

You should ask Moengaroa Murray whether:

  1. On August 7, 1987, squatters moved on to the beach part of the section in force and erected signs to frighten away any prospective buyers.
  2. On August 16, 1987,  Hughie Te Rore and Huia White told Titford that if he gave them the land they would drop their tribunal claim.
  3. On December 5, 1987, at 1.15pm, Hughie Te Rore and Huia White arrived at the house and said that if Titford removed the buildings used by squatters they would take revenge within 24 hours and it would be nationwide news. (A vacant house on Titford’s property was burned down in the early hours of the next morning. Sue Cochrane said Titford did it.)
  4. On January 12, 1988, a group of claimants in a green Toyota Corona shot stock in Titford’s paddock. On that date, claimants also arranged for the Historic Places Trust to come in and make the site a sacred area.
  5. On January 20, 1988, claimants erected a large carved pole on Titford’s land. Local councillors, local non-Maori, Maori Marsden, and TVNZ reporters attended and dined on sheep slaughtered from Titford’s flock without Titford knowing.
  6. On March 22, 1988, claimant Hugh Te Rore had Conservation Department archaeologist Leigh Johnson (Mr) visit Titford’s farm. Johnson told Titford he had permission to be there from landowner Hugh Te Rore. Johnson also told Titford that the area was from then on wahi tapu and a reserve.

I would like to know whether Moengaroa Murray thinks these are all lies.

Just ask her the questions and see what she says and compare her reaction with those of other people you have interviewed.

If these are not lies, then the statement “claims of harassment, terrorism, and sabotage exposed as lies” is an untrue statement.

Thank you for talking to Don Harrison.

His story shows that Titford was not alone in facing harassment and pressure to sell. Other farmers north of Titford and Harrison were also forced to sell.

The Titford saga did not start out as an anti-treaty white sticking it to obstreperous Maoris.

It started out with Titford’s plan to become debt-free by developing a subdivision on his own land that was derailed by claimants who believed they had rights to that land.

Titford had a two-year mortgage at commercial rates in the late 1980s dependent upon subdividing and selling coastal sections within two years.

Claimant protest and interference prevented him from completing that project.

Titford could not afford to sell at the level Harrison sold for because he would be left with a substantial debt with no means of repaying it.

He tried solving the problem by negotiating with the government and by doing a deal with the bank to get another farm elsewhere, but he was strung along by the government and ripped off by the bank.

The final sale and purchase agreement had a clause in which he agreed not to sue the National Bank.

By 1995, when Titford finally had to sell or be sold up by the bank, he had accrued a debt to the bank of $2.2m.

Today I fielded two abusive phone calls.

Another colleague was similarly abused, and yet another had a death threat.

If this is bittersweet vindication for iwi, they have an unusual way of expressing it.

Mike Butler

Mike Butler, Te Tii Marae, Waitangi, Waitangi Day

Waitangi: where democracy gets strong armed and cold shouldered

Waitangi 2013 - marae bully in front of BMW

Marae bully standing between us and Crown car.

When I announced that I was going to Waitangi, I was warned that radical Maori would try to defeat me with “manipulation, intimidation and control”.

I’ve certainly experienced the manipulation (or as I call it: lying) when dealing with their TV reporters.

Invariably they promise one thing and do another, or completely twist what I’ve said.

Control is what the media have when slanting a story their way.

But Waitangi 2013 was my first experience of in-your-face intimidation.

Above was the face that got in my face — twice.

Waitangi 2013 - flags

Everywhere flags and posters proclaim that this is Harawira Country, where men are bullies, women are too, and prime ministers and racial equalists should be nervous.

But I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.

From what I could see, the physical Harawira influence was minimal with the absence of the Popata brothers (who last year led a march on the flag pole to tear down the New Zealand flag and replace it with the Maori sovereignty flag).

Actually, by far the majority of the people we met at Waitangi — Maori and non — were warm, friendly and hospitable.

It’s clearly only a small minority who cause the trouble.

Note the Israeli flag there. I thought the Palestinians would have been more popular among Hone’s mob than the Red Sea Pedestrians.

Waitangi 2013 - at gate of Te Tii Marae

The Lower (Te Tii) Marae. See the red-roofed shelter at right?

Simon Day, Fairfax - side on

That’s where Simon Day from Fairfax (above) thought he could interview me without us being molested.

I wasn’t so sure.

Waitangi 2013 - Simon Day, Fairfax

“In here’ll be fine,” says Simon, pointing to the marae gate.

To me, it didn’t feel that respectful, given what the members were likely to overhear me saying about matters they held dear.

But Simon and his photographer were insistent.

And so we conducted our interview on a bench inside Te Tii Marae.

After a few minutes, a large and very angry man sitting nearby decided he’d heard enough.

Of the words he said to me, only the word ‘racist’ is printable.

I got the hint. Even Simon got the hint. We continued the interview outside.

His story appeared later that day.

Simon’s photographer took some shots of me looking proud and defiant in my silver fern shirt, with a view to using them in a Sunday Star-Times feature.

Somehow the planned longer interview didn’t quite happen.

(I guess Simon and co. were too busy tailing Titewhai. Or maybe his editor wasn’t keen to give space to such controversial causes as racial equality and  democracy.)

Waitangi 2013 - Patrick Gower and throng outside Te Tii Marae

Tite-whai are we waiting??

One News’s Patrick Gower and throng waiting for Queen Harawira to win the Battle of the Hands.

John Key was kept waiting forty minutes while Hell’s Granny bullied her way into the prime prime ministerial hand-holding position — and of course, so was everyone else.

Why we indulge this former violent jailbird and her violent family, I’ll never know.

Waitangi 2013 - Nat MPs

The Nats were out in force.

Not all my old friends from the good old days were this happy to see me. Welfare minister Paula Bennett, a person I don’t know, and prolific author/MP Paul Goldsmith.

There was much fawning over Finlayson, but I couldn’t get close enough to his entourage to capture it.

Waitangi 2013 - Katrina Shanks MP

Former National Party HQ accountant-turned-MP Katrina Shanks.

Waitangi 2013 - Hekia Parata

Minister of Edu-chaos Hekia Parata (in bright blue) banters with some school students.

Waitangi 2013 - Mike Butler leaning on rolled-up Treatygate banner

Mike Butler trying to look inconspicuous, with a Treatygate banner disguised as a roll of wallpaper.

He’d wisely advised me to leave the other banner — attached to long, fat conspicuous pipes — in the car.

Waitangi 2013 - Mike Butler walking with rolled-up banner

Mike makes his move.

Waitangi 2013 - Mike Butler with banner

Loitering with intent to unfurl banner when Key arrives.

We knew if we did it sooner, we’d get it confiscated (legally or illegally).

Waitangi 2013 - cameraman outside Te Tii Marae

Being studiously ignored by One News cameraman.

Waitangi 2013 - 3 News camera raised outside Te Tii Marae

Being studiously ignored by 3 News cameraman.

Our protest

When Key finally arrived at the lower marae, Mike and I had installed ourselves immediately behind the One News and 3 News crews and Simon Day from Fairfax, and as close as we could get to the police line.

As Key got out, we raised the Treatygate banner above our heads.

I yelled as loudly as I could — more or less directly into the media microphones — “When are you going to start running the country as a democracy, John? Tell the truth about the Treaty! One law for all!”

He looked over. The news crews didn’t.

He went through the gate. So did they.

To our surprise, ours was the only protest of any kind at Waitangi this year. But the media didn’t want to know.

We were too busy doing it to film it. They were clearly under instructions to ignore it.

 Waitangi 2013 - Patrick Gower, One News CU

Being studiously ignored by Patrick Gower.

Waitangi 2013 - marae bully

Being studiously monitored by marae thug. Ever since evicting me from the marae, he was watching my every move.

Waitangi 2013 - Mike Butler & marae bully

Being studiously smirked at by Mike Butler, who knows it’s not really him I’m snapping.

Waitangi 2013 - PM's press secretary Kevin Taylor outside car

The PM’s Press Chief Kevin Taylor waiting beside the PM’s Beamer while the PM is entertained by Titewhai and friends.

I’d forgotten to apply sunscreen, so by the time our 2-3 hour wait for Key to emerge from the marae was over, I really was a redneck.

Waitangi 2013 - marae bully ECU

A large and not-so-red neck. The marae bully, just before he turned and tore at our banner like a frenzied mako.

Size-wise, this was how he looked to me…

Waitangi 2013 - marae bully ECU2

Mike and I differed on how to respond.

We tussled with the bully for a while. But as a landlord, Mike was triggered by memories of close encounters with similar-looking characters.

He knew the guy’s violence would only escalate into a major assault.

I, meanwhile, thought this was just what we needed if we were to get news coverage.

(The media’s obsession with a noxious octogenarian confirmed that they’re only interested in confrontation, not information. The only way we could have led was if we’d bled.)

Once the thug had prevented the Treatygate banner from being seen by the cameras as Key exited the marae, he wandered away, mission accomplished.

Next year, we’ll need reinforcements.

Waitangi 2013 - John Key at Te Tii Marae

Two or three hours after he went in, Key emerges from Te Tii Marae.

Waitangi 2013 - Mike Butler & Willy Jackson

I introduced myself to Willie Jackson. Mike asks him a curly one.

Behind is the SUV of John Tamihere, who turns up briefly, but has to dash off before Willie can properly introduce us.

Jackson’s attitude is basically, “You’re racists, but no hard feelings.” He speaks surprisingly highly of Don Brash as a gentleman.

I think Willie is the most outspoken racist in New Zealand. He says he can’t be because he’s not in a position of power.

I don’t know what he calls that radio show!

 Waitangi 2013 - Treaty House - JA, Claudia Orange

Outside the Treaty House.

See that lady behind me on the porch — the one on the left — doesn’t she look familiar?

Waitangi 2013 - Dame Claudia Orange and friend

Why yes, it’s our old Te Papa Treaty ‘Debate’ organiser, Dame Claudia Orange — with appropriate orange badge — and appropriate friend.

Waitangi 2013 - Naval rifle firing

A naval firing squad missing Dame Claudia by miles.

Waitangi 2013 - Navy flag ceremony

A flag ceremony. I think it may have been called Beating the Retreat — which would have been apt.

Waitangi 2013 - naval ship on lawn

A naval frigate runs aground on the Treaty House lawn.

Not far from here, Mike videoed me making my speech, as well as an impromptu narrated sweep of the Bay to show where the Treaty was drafted, translated and signed.

It was my first experience of the Waitangi commemoration. I’m pleased I went. I’d expected more trouble, and hoped for more media interest.

I guess democracy and racial equality just aren’t big enough issues compared with the momentous issue of who will hold the PM’s hand. 🙂

Thanks to Mike Butler for immediately putting up his hand to accompany me, and for paying for our motel.

Thanks to Vinny Eastwood for lending me his camera.

Thanks to the wonderful couple who put me up in Auckland on the way there and back.

And thanks to all of you who will, I hope, volunteer to come with me next year!

Mike Butler, Treatygate

473 chiefs signed Treaty that didn't mention water

Mike Butler is one of the experts who have been stocking my brain with Treaty facts for the past year.

This is Mike’s letter in today’s Dominion Post.

He reveals that the Maori Tiriti o Waitangi, which Hobson said was the only true Treaty — and which 473 out of 512 chiefs signed — made no mention of Maori owning fisheries or water.

In fact, Article 2 of the Tiriti — the article that talked about guaranteeing possessions — did not even use the word Maori.

It said that possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property was guaranteed to the chiefs and the tribes and to all the people of New Zealand.

The claim for water rights is a current invention conjured up by the Maori Council and the Waitangi Tribunal.

More evidence that it’s time the Treaty gravy train was sent on a one-way express journey from Wai-tangi to Tangi-wai.

Chris Finlayson, Mike Butler, Ngai Tahu, Treatygate

Runaway gravy train: 11 claims by 1920, over 2000 now

The Dominion Post has published this excellent  letter from author and journalist Mike Butler.

Mike is one of a team of researchers who’ve been advising me on Treaty issues for the past year.

His file of all Treaty settlements since 1989 on Muriel Newman’s NZCPR site is the most comprehensive I’ve seen.

In supporting my Colourblind State referendum, Mike points out that

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson calls Mr Ansell’s campaign “nuts”, but in his rush to get through a pile of settlements, he seems unaware that major claims were settled before 1960.

and that

With 2034 claims lodged by 2009 but only 11 claims brought to Parliament in 1920, it’s clear that now money is the motivator.

Ngai Tahu’s ongoing rort

  • 1867 — Ngai Tahu Full and Final Settlement 1
  • 1906 — Ngai Tahu Full and Final Settlement 2
  • 1944 — Ngai Tahu Full and Final Settlement 3
  • 1973 — Ngai Tahu Full and Final Settlement 4
  • 1998 — Ngai Tahu Full and Final Settlement 5
  • 2012 — Ngai Tahu Not So Full and Final 17% Top-up.

Thanks Mike for all your great work and support.