Maori Money: A giant awakes?

Iwi corporates, estimated to be worth $37 billion in 2010, are changing the rules of New Zealand’s economy and politics. Maori capital has been criticised from the red-neck right as rent-seekers, from the pseudo-left as an iwi aristocracy, and from within Maoridom itself. But in two major battles this year, Maoridom’s elite weighed in on the side of the working class.

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Free Taame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara!

Free Taame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara!

Taame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara have been sentenced to 2 and a-half years jail for possession of unlicensed firearms and Molotov cocktails. Urs Signer and Emily Bailey’s adjurned sentencing – and the suggestion of home detention – suggests further injustice to come.

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War to the knife: Meat workers fight back

Multi-millionaire Kiwi capitalists the Talley family have launched an attack on freezing workers they employ at AFFCO plants in the North Island. Talley’s control a huge chunk of New Zealand’s food production and make fat profits. The freezing workers they employ are willing to fight for the right to a union contract. And that’s why they are under attack.

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AFFCO Workers Stand Strong in Te Puke

 “We’re gonna march, march, march to victory!

  We’re gonna fight right to the end!

  For workers’ rights, and freedom! Aue!

 Ake, ake, kia kaha e!”

new take on the folk song dedicated to the Māori Battalion echoed through the streets of Te Puke on Saturday as over 500 locked-out meat workers, whānau and supporters made their way through the town to cheer the workers and build support for their cause.

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Justice for the Urewera Four!

The most expensive case in New Zealand history, and for what? Millions of dollars have been spent on a vindictive and farcical prosecution, at the cost of untold stress, emotional harm and upset for the people of Tuhoe. In February we called the treatment of the Urewera Four an “anti-democratic outrage”, and stand by that today. The police case continued for reasons of malice and political mischief – there were gains to be made in creating a ‘terror’ threat. Tuhoe, yet again, have borne the burden for that.

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Crafar Farm Sale: whose land is it anyway?

John Key’s phrase “tenants in our own land” has become a political cliche, picked up by almost all parties commenting on the Crafar farms sale. Echoing Key, on January 27th the Dominion Post quoted David Shearer describing the sale of the farms to Chinese business interests as ”open[ing] the way for more New Zealanders to become tenants in their own land”. Shearer, who has had nothing supportive to say about the Maritime Union’s campaign at Ports of Auckland, has been vocal in his opposition to the sale. The Greens pitched in too, describing the sale as “short-sighted”, while for Winston Peters, predictably, it is “treasonous.”

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Drop the charges, and free the Urewera Four!

The International Socialist Organisation offers its solidarity to Tame Iti, Emily Bailey, Te Rangikaiwhira Kemara and Urs Signer. We support Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe, and offer our solidarity to all the people of Tuhoe. This is just the latest in a series of raids, attacks and confiscations carried out by the state in Tuhoe land.

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Te Reo Rangatira: The struggle for Maori language

Language is the lifeblood of culture. The struggle for Māori language is an essential part of the struggle for rangatiranga – Māori self determination – just as the struggle to suppress the language was an essential part of the colonisation of Aotearoa.

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From Land Wars to Union Battles!

Ka whawhai tonu matou, Ake! Ake! Ake!: Rewi Maniapoto’s words from the Waikato Wars of the 1860s rang through the twentieth century and into our own. Maori resistance to colonisation and land theft has never ended and the Maori struggle for self-determination has continued across the generations.

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Mana and working class consciousness

On April 30 this year, a new political party was formed by former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira – Te Mana Party. It was formed from a left split, as Harawira was expelled for opposing his party’s support for the National Government. Mana immediately drew support from veteran activist and lawyer Annette Sykes and Unite Union leaders John Minto, Mike Treen, and Matt McCarten. It has also received support from CTU vice-president Syd Keepa, Ngati Kahu leader Professor Margaret Mutu and former Green Mps Nandor Tanczos and Sue Bradford. It’s clear from the policies Hone has so far offered that he is determined to broaden his support beyond his te Tai Tokerau electorate by appealing explicitly to the working class.

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