From the editor
It was Maggie Barry’s sneering put down that really got to me. After Sonny Tau was discovered with five dead kererū at Invercargill Airport, news broke that kererū were on the menu at Maungarongo Marae in Ohakune in 2013 when two Government ministers were present and Tariana Turia.
In waded the Conservation Minister, sounding completely out of touch but maybe in touch with certain retro pockets of voters in her North Shore electorate.
She was reported to have rubbished the suggestion that eating kererū could be allowed in certain circumstances, saying “Māori ate moa as well”.
“We don’t want to eat birds to the brink of extinction, it’s not appropriate in this day and age… these are birds that are under threat. What next, eat the kiwi? I don’t think so.”
Newsflash. If kererū are under threat, then put it down to changing land use and the introduction of species like stoats and ferrets, not Māori eating them to extinction.
As our story makes clear, iwi have always been in favour of sustainable harvesting of species like kererū rather than indiscriminate hunting for sport. The minister’s remarks show complete ignorance and a lack of research on the part of her advisers. Maybe she is unaware of New Zealand history. She wouldn’t be the first.
As Tā Tipene O’Regan says, if the minister wants to apportion environmental blame she needs to develop some more cohesive arguments to defend the introduction of rabbits, possums, stoats, feral cats, leaving aside gorse and other noxious plants.
“There is no argument in support of killing birds which are endangered. Ngāi Tahu has never supported it. What we resist is the mad absolutism of western philosophy in these matters,” Tā Tipene says.
And the grandstanding of government ministers who advocate from a position of ignorance. That is no help to anyone.
nā Mark Revington
Te Rakitaunuku Tau
La Fábrica Design Studio
Pam Graham: [email protected]
Spectrum Print – Blue Star Business
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Issue 67 published September 2015
© Ngāi Tahu Publications Limited
ISSN N0. 1173/6011
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The photo of Talia Ellison at Ōtākou Marae was taken by Tony Bridge. She reckoned it should have been in the kitchen as that is her favourite place.