By Trevor Ammundsen
To Move Ahead We Must Stop!
It’s a strong title but what it means is - for this country to move ahead, first we must stop! We must stop the injustice that has become increasingly prevalent, injustice that comes from racist government policies and directives. Let me give an example.
Whitianga has two General Practice Medical providers. One of them is the Te Korowai clinic in Coghill Road who were set up to offer a good service to Māori but also to be available to all people. Yet recently a letter from Tammy Dehar, CEO, was sent out stating that “… keep any new enrolments, from this point of time, restricted to those of our high needs whanau”. It is unclear whether this means some whanau who are high needs, or all whanau are high needs, but despite the interpretation it is still a medical policy based upon racist policies, not Hippocratic Oaths. To clarify Tammy goes on to describe Whanau as “…. being Māori, Pacific…”. Is this justice for a non- Māori in urgent need of medical care? Simple answer is no, it is injustice!
We have Government funded medical services that feel the pressure to re-word their web sites to have it worded in Māori as if it could be prerequisite for funding. At a time when Government over spending is driving up our kid’s mortgage rates our medical outposts are pressured to spend significant taxpayer money on changes that will possibly benefit 3.7% of the population, the 3.7% who will understand it. Furthermore, when it comes to a new employment position, if there are two similar applicants, the staff hired should be Māori unless there is no other option. Government policy seems to be that your health care is to be provided by those of Maori descent, not those who are most competent and best trained. Is this justice?
I fully understand the historic injustices that have been levied on our Māori citizens, influenzas, alcohol, weapons, land theft and so on. The Māori people were not given justice for many years and suffered accordingly. The rectification of these injustices commenced in the seventies with the Raglan Golf Course Claim and has steadily progressed since that time. The Waitangi Treaty Claims process was set up fifty years ago to manage the consideration of claims and the bringing of justice and has been quite successful. Apart from the Ngapuhi up north, who continue to argue with themselves, most round one treaty claims have been settled. It is time this process stopped.
John Key stated in the 2008 election that the Waitangi Treaty Claims process would be closed by his Government by 2014. Did he lie to us, or did I just misunderstand him? It is one of the reasons I voted for him, as I see this issue is being like the lolly jar our grandkids droll over. While the lolly jar is still on the table and open there is always a grandee that will reach over and shove his/her hand in. It is only when Poppa takes the lolly jar off the table, puts the lid on and places it on the top shelf, that the grandees start concentrating on something else. The Waitangi Treaty Claims process has become a lolly jar that must be treated in the same way. The lid must go on and the jar must go on the top shelf.
We cannot compound injustice with more injustice, else we get nowhere. We already have the situation where the Māori elite are focusing on control of water. I suppose the air will be the next life force over which this elite wish to claim ownership. Enough is enough. No more injustice, to move ahead as a nation we must stop this!