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THE MAORI WITH THE BIG HEART

Carl Hutchby is a very proud Maori from Aotearoa (New Zealand), I met him for the first time at the 2013 Project Access Tribal Link training; held for the 12th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - in New York City; USA.

I felt compelled to give Carl a Lokono-Arawak name in my own people's language, and it is "Firo Washina"....in English that means "Big Heart"....and you will realize why I chose this name by the end of this article.

Carl is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Clinical Director of the "Te Paepae Arahi" Trust, which translates from Maori into English as "To lead from the place of knowledge and wisdom passed down from the ancestors"; and this implies the types of services provided to the community. The trust provides free services, addressing the mental health - or alcohol and drug concerns for children, teenagers and families, whilst also working with schools, alternative education providers and also housing. The Te Paepae Arahi Trust was created as a result of ongoing trends of poor health statistics for Maori - in particular as it relates to mental health.

The story behind the story is not a happy one, however, as even despite the fact that some of the theoretically neutral legal apparatus created by the beneficiaries of the illegal Colonial annexation of Aotearoa by the still dominant settler society in New Zealand; the application of the law in this country is more often than not - quite racist in nature.

Carl gave one of thousands of examples of the kind of 'justice' a Maori person in New Zealand can expect to receive.....and this is what Carl witnessed himself: A Maori man and his girlfriend had just taken a seat in a bar, and had barely ordered their first beer - when white New Zealand policemen entered the establishment and began to verbally assault the Maori couple...for no other reason than they did not fit the profile of the 'right' kind of clientele that they obviously preferred to see at this venue. After serious and prolonged provocation the Maori man finally responded in kind - and this was the excuse the officers were waiting for; and they promptly arrested him. Later this Maori man had his day in court in front of a presiding judge who was of European descent.

On his 'day of judgement' there was one white accused defendant in front of him, and this person was charged with the theft of $1,000 New Zealand dollars. The Judge said to the white individual: "Since this is your first offence, and a criminal record may adversely effect the remainder of your life; I release you with a warning if you promise to be on your best behaviour henceforth". The Maori man was ALSO a first time offender, and he was only charged with the minor (by comparison) offence of 'using obscene language to a Police Officer' mind you....but the judge fined and convicted him, so for the balance of that Maori man's life - he will carry a criminal conviction like a proverbial ball and chain attached to his citizenship....in a country that has no clue as to what 'true justice' truly is.

Another serious problem facing Maoris in their OWN country by the descendants of those who stole it from their ancestors in the first place, is this quite disturbing state of affairs - which again - Carl has first-hand experience with as he himself is a victim of this....Maoris CANNOT traverse on now privately owned neighbouring white beachfront properties (which are actually Maori lands in any case) ...BUT those same white neighbours CAN traverse on Maori beach-front lands and the Maoris cannot prohibit THEM (the non-indigenous persons) from doing so.....what kind of perverse 'Apartheid law' is that?

However, as I said before; the de-facto state of injustice in New Zealand has not deterred Carl from sharing his big heart with others in need of a little love. Carl Hutchby has adopted and welcomed into his home over 25 indigenous children over the years, proving that you CAN rise above the hatred of the non-indigenous world and become a beacon of hope to others. These are the calibre of indigenous people that are benefitting from the Project Access training, people who are motivated by LOVE and selflessness...not by hatred, and they leave New York having completed their training with the pre-requisite knowledge of International Laws and Conventions... and the added spiritual reinforcement they needed - to continue to live a life in the service of others...and the world desperately needs more true human beings such as these.

Damon Gerard Corrie
 
Founder & President of the Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations, Co-Founder and President of the registered non-profit Caribbean Amerindian Development Organisation (CADO) - which was itself created as a direct result of 2012 Project Access Training - the motto of which is "Dedicated to the Preservation and Promotion of Amerindian Cultural Heritage, and the Hemispheric National Implementation of Internationally recognised Rights of Indigenous Peoples" He is also the CARICOM Commissioner on the Indigenous Commission for Communication Technologies in the Americas (ICCTA), a member of the Working Group on the American Draft Declaration with the Organisation of American States (OAS) since 2000; and a registered participant of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) since 2008, and Chief of the Barbados chapter of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP).

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