Chief negotiater Sir Tipene O'Regan after the Ngāi Tahu bill was passed in Parliament . Image: Barry Durrant/Getty Images

The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

Don Rowe: How Ngāi Tahu turned a landmark settlement into a billion dollar iwi empire

“At the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, almost half the landmass of New Zealand was considered the rohe of the South Island’s Ngāi Tahu. Within 20 years, most of that whenua was gone. Huge tracts on which cities like Dunedin and Christchurch now stand were snapped up by the Crown in a series of inequitable land sales, pasture for settlers sent by the ill-fated New Zealand Company.

What followed was the decimation of Ngāi Tahu; a dispossession of whenua, the destruction of the reo, the seizure of land containing urupā and other sacred sites, and one of the longest and most complex legal claims in New Zealand history.

‘In a sense, the grievance of the claim became our culture,’ says Ngāi Tahu manukura Tā Tipene O’Regan, chairman of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board for more than a decade.”

The Spinoff: Can you pass NZ First’s New Zealand Values Citizenship Test?

“The Respecting New Zealand Values Bill would require refugees and migrants to sit a test showing they understood what it means to be a Kiwi. One delegate, Roger Melville from Wairarapa, said he was keen on it because the country has been filling with people ‘who aren’t really New Zealanders’.

What will the test look like? Using science and technology, we have simulated the examination. Try it.”

Jesse Mulligan: At war with angry #nzpol Twitter on the need for a capital gains tax

“What is it like to be a woman? I don’t know, but they tell me it involves a lot of being corrected, patronised and explained to by men who don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about. I endured a bit of that recently and I have to tell you, ladies, that I did not care for it.

Yes, when I spoke in favour of taxing capital on Twitter and The Project I heard from some of the dumbest people in the country. Addressing their objections on social media is a bit like yelling underwater so I decided to surface for a week then go back through them in a calm and orderly fashion. Here are the most common and loudest complaints I heard.”

Waveney Russ: Metiria Turei: Beyond politics

“Whakapapa goes forwards, and it goes backwards. This show is a lineage backwards in time, but whakapapa also goes forwards. Putting traditional works or traditional styles of works in contemporary galleries is really important. The art form is not a snapshot in time. The art form is persistent. Just today, I was reading an article on contemporary jewellery and the women who are using traditional jewellery forms and traditional materials to make contemporary work. It’s the making of it in the time that they’re in, and it’s finding new ways of showing traditional techniques and forms in modern stories. This work is a modern story about Suffrage 125 and what that actually looks like for Māori women. It’s not the good news story that other suffrage stories might tell. By showing it in a traditional Māori form of weaving, it makes that point stronger.”

Toby Manhire: Jacinda Ardern really did make a splash on the world stage

The latest international takes on the New Zealand prime minister, in the New Yorker and on the ABC, underscore the scale of her achievement at the UN in New York last week, writes Toby Manhire.

Alex Braae: Socialism is back, baby, and it doesn’t want your vote

“You’ve probably seen them on the news. If there’s an event on that has a militant looking protest taking place at it in the last few years, it’s likely at least some of those protesters are among a new generation of self-described communists, anarchists and socialists who have coalesced into a new group called Organise Aotearoa. They intend to build a movement ‘for liberation and socialism’, but have no intention of ever standing for election to make that happen.”

Hayden Donnell: Forget lower speed limits – just pedestrianise central Auckland

Auckland has erupted into furious debate over a proposal to adopt a 30km/h speed limit in the city centre. Hayden Donnell comes up with a solution sure to please everyone.

Alice Webb-Liddal: ‘Most boys don’t rape and murder’: Christina Hoff Sommers and her unique brand of feminism

“Most boys don’t rape and murder. Most boys are as horrified as we are. It’s horrific. But I hesitate to take a pathological violent criminal and use that person as an exemplar for men, because there are far more instances of goodness and heroism. It’s bigotry.

The way people will see a Muslim who commits a crime and then that criminal becomes the symbol for all Muslims. That’s bigotry. People have done that to women in the past, taken some case and generalised it. We have to stop doing that. That’s why I want a feminism that’s not only evidence based and reality based, but generous and fair to men and not implicating the average male in an atrocity. It’s not fair, it’s not reasonable, and it’s not sound.”


The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.