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1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. Arguably, all we do in life has one common underlying motivating factor at its core: to be happy. And to be happy, we must be free – to be able to exercise our mana and achieve tino rangatiratanga. 1.2. However, if we contemplate and drill down into key areas of our lives today, we discover that at a very macro level, the power to control policy decisions in these areas is (through a series of sub-levels of financial, economic and political influence) being increasingly centralised.1 Ultimately, these mechanisms of centralising and concentrating power can be tracked back to, and equates to control by, the same relatively small group of elite banking people, their families, and corporations they own. Conversely this means a decrease of local decision-making power and ability to exercise our hapū/iwi authority. 1.3. For discussion purposes, the following provides some insight into this „power centralisation‟ phenomenon, and some examples of strategic priorities we could adopt and implement (ranging from short, medium and long-term) in order to regain our authority, and thereby our freedom. 2. THE ECONOMY AND GOVERNMENT
The centralising mechanisms 2.1. Some of the mechanisms for centralising decision-making and control in the area of the economy and Government include: a. The creation of Regional economies (like the European and African Unions, and there are plans underway to establish a Pacific regional economy); The creation of decision-making bodies like the G20 (a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies) as part of a progressive plan to establish a single world government (or „new world order‟); The World Trade Organisation; International Trade Agreements that open up countries‟ natural resources to foreign exploitation (mostly by large corporations);
E.g. By simple research we may observe the relatively small number of degrees of separation between control over these areas and certain individuals or groups. Or by the journalist‟s investigative rule of „following the money‟ or tracking who ultimately benefits, this same pattern is revealed.
Intellectual property laws that enable corporate ownership and control of everything from Flora and Fauna genetic material to indigenous traditional knowledge; etc; and Complimentary Governmental policies and laws that allow and encourage the exploitation of natural resources to feed ever increasing and unsustainable levels of consumption and development by its citizens.
Priorities/ solutions Aotearoa Constitutional Protections 2.2. Aotearoa has for several generations been in a state of constitutional crisis. The most basic of human responsibilities and rights need protecting, as do the most fundamental life-supporting aspects that are required for the natural world and humans not just to survive, but to thrive sustainably now and into the future. The values that need protecting include those already covered by: a. b. c. He Whakaputanga 1835, Te Tiriti 1840, and international instruments such as the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.
2.3. Arguably, there are at least three key underlying causal factors of a harmonious and happy society: i.e., a. the nature and degree to which people believe they enjoy (relative to others in society) an equal amount of: i. ii. b. Freedom 2.4. This should be self-explanatory, for if one isn‟t free, you‟re basically a slave (to a greater/ lesser degree). And slavery isn‟t normally associated with happiness! 2.5. To ensure citizens can maximise their freedom of choice (at a micro level, governing themselves as individuals and communities of individuals), the country as a whole /at a macro level must also be free to govern its own people as it sees fit. So the rights of the „nation state‟ or the collective right of the country‟s citizens to be sovereign over itself, must be protected (e.g. when there is a conflict of values or priorities between the Nation‟s constitution and an international trade freedom, and dignity and respect, and
protection of those natural resources necessary to sustain a quality life.
agreement). This principle is reflected in the underpinning values of the United Nations which recognise that the sovereignty of member nation States (and therefore the limitations of the UN to interfere in their domestic affairs) is paramount.2 Dignity and respect 2.6. A major factor that determines the nature and degree of dignity and respect one experiences in life is often tied to one‟s socio-economic situation: the more equal the members of a society are in socioeconomic terms, one tends to find a more harmonious society. Conversely, the more socio-economically stratified a society is (for example, with a greater gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”), the more conflict and suffering you tend to find. 2.7. From a mental perspective, this suffering now has a label: “psychosocial stress”. That is to say, the lower your social status, the more stress you live under. The impact of this „gap‟ (re dignity and respect/ socio-economic stratification/ psychosocial stress) seems to increase the more capitalism is highly valued in a society, and can be statistically tracked. For example, in countries where there is less „equality‟ among its citizens, the incidence of negative socio-economic phenomena (e.g. low life expectancy, disease, mental illness, violent crime, imprisonment, drug abuse, low educational achievement, low social capital [or the propensity for citizens to trust one another], suppression of new ideas) is higher. Conversely, in more „equal‟ countries, the incidence of positive socio-economic phenomena (e.g. higher life expectancy, physiological wellness, mental wellness, harmonious communities, higher educational achievement, high social capital, and innovative thinking and ideas) is higher. Protecting those natural resources necessary to sustain a quality life 2.8. Natural resources on the planet are finite, so current levels of consumption and “development” without end is madness. At the current rate of natural resource consumption, we would need the natural resources of several planets Earths just to sustain our world population! 2.9. Clean water, clean air, nutrient-rich soil, biodiversity of flora and fauna with natural genetic integrity (i.e. as opposed to genetically modified organisms) – especially that which provides food for society: these must all be protected. 2.10. Priority: Te Rarawa to put New Zealand constitutional transformation on our agenda as critical to the progressive realisation of happiness and freedom, and to encourage other iwi to do the same.
Whether this principle is consistently enforced, however, is another matter.
The centralising mechanisms 3.1. Some of the mechanisms for centralising decision-making and control in the area of finance include: a. the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that make loans to countries which those countries then struggle to pay, while the bankers exploit the resources of those countries – bankrupting them in the process; big privately-owned central banks like the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (which is “not a government department, but is a body corporate whose finances are included in the Crown accounts”3) that control the money supply, and therefore the repetitive cycle of „boom‟/ „recession/depression‟; and The debt-based money system upon which the economy is built.4
Priorities/ Solutions A new moral economy based on abundance 3.2. We need to create, practice and protect a new culture of responsible economy and business that is based on valuing an abundance of civic, caring, social, environmental and cultural contributions of human beings, rather than market-based mentality of highly valuing only that which is scarce.5 If we made this paradigm switch, we would rediscover that the core economy is actually whānau and community – not the capitalistic, debt-driven marketplace. 3.3. One mechanism that aligns with the values of a core economy based on whānau and community (and reciprocity of one‟s contribution in society) is Timebanking. Timebanking enables members to „bank‟ hours of work done (e.g. helping to save beached whales), and then use those banked hours as a form of „credit‟ to „pay‟ other members for work they themselves need done (e.g. if they needed their lawns mowed). In this way, it‟s not money that is exchanged, but work hours. A key benefit of this mechanism is that dependence on money for one‟s survival (especially by people who are money-poor) is decreased. Contemporaneously, people re-awaken to and discover the many
See http://rbnz.govt.nz/faqs/0149175.html . See other related papers: “The Need for a True and Moral “Economy” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/112827161/The-Need-for-a-True-and-MoralEconomy and “The Place of Corporations in a new Constitution for Aotearoa” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/112293708/The-Place-of-Corporations-in-a-NewConstitution-For-Aotearoa. 5 See “The Need for a True and Moral “Economy”
valuable contributions they CAN make to society, which (put another way) demonstrates the inherent wealth we all have. Complimentary currencies 3.4. The use of local currencies / green dollars / redeemable units of exchange are also another mechanism. They can bring greater local control over our local economies and help to buffer against boom/ bust financial cycles which are tied to centrally-generated debt-based money and international exchange rate fluctuations. 3.5. Priority: Te Rarawa investigates strategies by which we can progressively transition away from a ‘capitalistic, debt-driven’ core economy to a more ‘whānau and community-based’ core economy. Banks 3.6. The New Zealand Reserve Bank plays a key role in and has great influence over the creation of financial bubbles in New Zealand, and the cycle of recessions/ depressions that New Zealanders suffer through. The mechanics of that role and the nature and degree of that influence needs to be clearly understood, so there is greater transparency and accountability of the Reserve Bank for its decisions, so solutions can be developed to improve our financial systems, and to create more financial stability for New Zealanders. 3.7. Priority: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa actively participates in a campaign to make the Reserve Bank of New Zealand transparent and accountable to New Zealanders – including calling for a comprehensive independent audit of the Bank. More ethical business practices 3.8. There are several business practices which are unsustainable but which are still accepted in today‟s market economy. For example, the compounding effect of planned obsolescence built into all products (so consumers are forced to buy more „stuff‟) is shamefully wasteful. Companies‟ externalising costs6 is basically theft and should no longer be tolerated. 3.9. Priority: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa ensures all its activities (including those of its subsidiaries and investments) comply with ethical business standards (e.g. those values mentioned in para 2.2-2.10 above), and develops a strategy to effectively
See “The Place of Corporations in a new Constitution for Aotearoa” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/112293708/The-Place-of-Corporations-in-a-NewConstitution-For-Aotearoa.
lobby central Government to ensure the enforcement of more ethical business practices nation-wide. 4. ENERGY
The centralising mechanisms 4.1. Some of the mechanisms for centralising decision-making in the area of energy production and use include: a. Domestic law and international trade agreements that enable large fossil fuel corporations like Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell to have a disproportionately and constitutionally unacceptable level of influence concerning the control and exploitation of our petroleum, minerals and other natural energy resources; and Government disinterest in, and/or systematic suppression (by those with corporate agendas) of, renewable or free energy technologies.
Priorities/ Solutions Renewable, free energy 4.2. Renewable and free energy technology has been available since the late 19th Century. However, such technology has – and continues to be – suppressed by interests (e.g. major energy companies) who benefit from society‟s dependence on fossil fuels. When a critical mass of society knows about and is using more renewable and free energy technology, we will be free of the need to use „dirty‟, unsustainable, harmful fossil fuels. This will help tremendously with healing the environment and its ecosystems which are necessary to sustain all life on the planet. 4.3. Priority: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa develops and implements a strategy whereby all of Te Rarawa living locally are able to access clean, renewable and/or free energy. 5. FOOD/ WATER
The centralising mechanisms 5.1. Some of the mechanisms for centralising decision-making in the area of food and water include: a. b. the World Food Organisation; the World Intellectual Property Organisation that influences international policy-making concerning the marketability and commodification of foods; and
big corporations like Monsanto who have a disproportionately and constitutionally unacceptable level of influence concerning the control (including terminator seed technology, chemical use, etc) and exploitation of our food resources.
Priorities/ Solutions Food and Water security 5.2. Ref the constitutional transformation kōrero above, para 2.2-210. 5.3. The natural genetic integrity of all Flora and Fauna must be protected, as must the right of all people to nutritious food and clean water. Many communities around the world are declaring themselves to be agriculture and horticultural „free zones‟, where food is organically produced and no Genetically Modified Organisms or agricultural or horticulture chemicals are allowed to enter. 5.4. Priority: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa develops and implements a strategy to protect food and water security for all, including protection of the natural genetic integrity of all Flora and Fauna. 6. HEALTH
The centralising mechanisms 6.1. Some of the mechanisms for centralising decision-making in the area of health include: a. b. c. the World Health Organisation; big Pharmaceutical companies; and Government disinterest in, and/or systematic suppression (by those with corporate agendas) of, natural health technologies.
Priorities/ Solutions Holistic, natural prevention is better than cure 6.2. Ref the constitutional transformation kōrero above, para 2.2-210. 6.3. Stress is a primary cause of many social ills, including chronic ill-health conditions like heart disease and cancer (ref para 2.7 above). One of the reasons why is because when a person is stressed, their energy is directed to those parts of their body that they need to instinctively react to stress by either „fighting‟ or taking „flight‟ (e.g. muscles, certain parts of their brain, certain bodily organs…). Conversely, this means other aspects of the body (e.g. immune system, certain organs, cells in the body, certain parts of the brain…) are deprived to a greater or lesser degree of life-giving energy. The cumulative effect over time is chronic ill health.
6.4. Age-old wisdom teaches us that a major cause of stress is one‟s mental and emotional state, and our attitude towards the so-called pressures of life. In other words, much of our stress stems from and is created in the mind rather than from/ by external factors. One antidote is to strengthen one‟s mind, higher thinking faculties and raise one‟s consciousness through proven meditation methods and other practices. One of the most widely-researched techniques in the world is Transcendental meditation. It has scientifically and demonstrably proven that when regularly practiced, Transcendental meditation has significant and positive health benefits with respect to cancer, diabetes, drug addictions, heart disease, mental disorders, physical injuries, biological age and increased life expectancy, etc. 6.5. In calming the mind, Transcendental meditation also improves the more coherent and orderly function of the brain, meaning increased mental clarity, improved learning ability, higher IQ, more mature emotional states, greater ability for moral reasoning, and so on. 6.6. Of course, there are other natural and well-established traditional practices (e.g. rongoa Māori, acupuncture, mirimiri, homeopathy, colonic treatment) which are also proven to have effective health benefits. And diet plays a huge role in wellbeing as well. This is not to say we should do away with mainstream Western medicine altogether. However, the suggestion is that we consider other remedies and preventative practices more aligned with the holistic Māori models of total and integrated „wairua/hinengaro/tinana‟ wellbeing and improved health. 6.7. Priority: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa develops a comprehensive health strategy which honestly explores and addresses (1) the root causes of wellbeing/ ill-health, as well as (2) remedies (both preventative and reactive) that reflect a true Māori model of integrated ‘wairua/hinengaro/tinana’ wellbeing. 7. EDUCATION SYSTEMS
The centralising mechanisms 7.1. Some of the mechanisms for centralising decision-making in the area of education include policies driven and enforced by Governments. 7.2. These policies largely indoctrinate children to believe that their value as human beings is largely a factor of the degree to which they can contribute to the market economy by getting a job, being a good consumer, and reacting in a predictable and controlled manner to people in authority. Priorities/ Solutions „Higher Learning‟ education
7.3. Education should be about developing the Self and our higher thinking faculties; encouraging divergent, innovative thinking; freedom of thought; and consciousness and awareness-raising. It should also be about exploring and discovering peoples‟ interests, passions and gifts so that they can employ these to make a meaningful contribution to society as a whole, rather than just readying them like compliant robots to participate in the capitalist market economy. 7.4. Priority: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa: a. boldly evaluates what the purpose of education should be in alignment with our full range of iwi aspirations and imperatives (especially our hapū/iwi social, cultural, spiritual and environmental ones); and develops and implements a comprehensive education strategy based on the findings and recommendations of that evaluation.
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