“A United Nations expert on racial discrimination has been told by the South Island’s largest Maori tribe how the government breached its human rights with its seabed and foreshore legislation. Press 21.11.05”
Ngai Tahu is right, the Labour government did deny their rights when it legislated to stop maori taking their seabed and foreshore claims to court.
There are other issues here though. Important issues of national sovereignty. Why does the UN have any business meddling in New Zealand’s internal affairs? Who is this so called expert sent here to “investigate” us?
Rodolfo Stavenhagen is a Mexican professor of sociology. Currently he is UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples.
Before that he was an External Research Co-ordinator at the UN Research Institute for Social Development for the Project on Ethnic Conflict and Development.
After gaining a doctorate in sociology at the University of Paris in 1965, Dr Stavenhagen held senior posts in the Mexican Ministry of Education, the International Labour Organisation and from 1979-82 was a subdirector at UNESCO. This was around the time US President Ronald Reagan withdrew funding to the organisation for its alleged socialist and third world bias.
What are Dr Stavenhagen’s politics? In 2001 he contributed to a book
“Development in Theory and Practice: Latin American Perspectives”
This book focuses on marxism and socialist trends in the world’s most revolutionary continent. Contributors include well known marxists such as James Petras and George Novack.
Chapter titles include:
“Theories of Development: Imperialism, Dependency, or Globalization?”, “Capitalism and Imperialism in Latin America: Historical Considerations”,
“Dependence Is Dead, Long Live Dependence and the Class Struggle”, “Issues of Theory in Dependency and Marxism”, “Post-Marxism: The Retreat from Class in Latin America”,
“Marx and the Concept of Dependency”,”Capitalist and Socialist Development: Mainstream and Alternative Theory and Practice”, “Dependency, Modes of Production, and the Class Analysis of Latin America”,”Capitalist Accumulation and the Marginal Mass Thesis”, “The Transition to Socialism in Latin America”, “The Weakness of the Bourgeoisie in the National Revolution”, “The Future of Democracy in Cuba”,”State, Class, and Transition in Nicaragua”, “Revolution, Counterrevolution, and Imperialism”
Rodolfo Stavenhagen’s contribution is entitled “Between Underdevelopment and Revolution”. Would anyone like me to order them a copy?
Dr Stavenhagen’s job is to visit ethnically troubled areas and report back to the UN. I quote a recent issue of Canadian marxist magazine “The New Socialist”
“The long simmering dispute between the indigenous Secwepemc people of British Columbia’s (BC) southern interior and the Sun Peaks mega ski resort development northeast of Kamloops boiled over in August and September 2004.”
“Direct action at the site, which successfully shone a spotlight on injustice, is over. But the campaign to win Aboriginal rights is proceeding, including legal defence battles against current charges and to force both governments and corporations to comply with Aboriginal title. This campaign has involved work on fundraising as well as a focus on building the growing solidarity movement.”
“The Protection Centre has relied on both its own direct action and on building a wider network of alliances and support. They have worked with groups such as the Indigenous Network on Economics and Trade (INET) and drawn international attention to their situation. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, UN Special Raporteur for Human Rights, recently visited the center as a guest.”
The cause has won considerable support in the Canadian state, ranging from the Native Youth Movement to the radical activist left to well beyond. After visiting the area and experiencing the destruction first hand, author Naomi Klein wrote:
“Let’s be clear, this is not about a ski hill… British Columbia’s First Nations peoples have already been robbed of so much. It is the duty of all Canadians living on stolen land to join the struggle to defend what is left.”
Does any of this sound familiar?
Do we need some Mexican marxist snitch telling tales to the UN? Does NZ need that bastion of corruption, socialism and third world thuggery, the UN to tell us how to treat our own people? Why does our media give this glorified meter maid and his gang any credence at all?