Thursday, 16 March 2017

New Zealand show Cymru how to protect heritage and beliefs.

There were to stories Yesterday ine from Wales and the other from the opposite end of the Wprld which are somewhat connected.

A New Zealand river revered by Maori has been recognised by parliament as a "legal person", in a move believed to be a world first.
Under legislation passed Wednesday that combines Western legal precedent with Maori mysticism, the Whanganui river has been formally declared a living entity.
"(It) will have its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person," Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said.
"The approach of granting legal personality to a river is unique."
The river, known by Maori as Te Awa Tupua, is the third longest in New Zealand.
Finlayson said the local Maori iwi, or tribe, had been fighting to assert their rights over the river since the 1870s, in New Zealand's longest-running legal dispute.
"This legislation recognises the deep spiritual connection between the Whanganui iwi and its ancestral river," he said.
It deems the river a single living being "from the mountains to the sea, incorporating its tributaries and all its physical and metaphysical elements".
In practical terms, it means the river can be represented at legal proceedings with two lawyers protecting its interests, one from the iwi the other from the government.
The iwi also received an NZ$80 million ($56 million) settlement from the government after their marathon legal battle, as well as $30 million to improve the river's health.
So a Parliament  largely composed of Non-Indigenous  members recognized  the ancient culture and belief of the Maori and acted accordingly.
However A bid in the assembly to protect historic place names in planning law has failed after AMs voted against it.
It follows a row where the Grade I-listed Plas Glynllifon near Caernarfon was referred to as Wynnborn mansion in online marketing material.
Welsh ministers had refused to support Plaid Cymru AM Dai Lloyd's attempt to introduce a bill that would protect the names of houses and farms, fields, natural features and landscapes.
Mr Lloyd said there had been strong support for his proposed bill from external organisations.
But the Welsh Government's Ken Skates said the proposals were not feasible.
All the opposition groups - Plaid Cymru, UKIP and the Conservatives - supported the proposal, but with Labour opposed AMs voted 28 against to 25 for.
Mr Lloyd's bill would have deployed a range of measures to protect names, including establishing a system where people who want to change a historic name must seek consent to do so, and a general prohibition on changing a historical place name.
The proposal had followed a series of rows over changes to names over the years, including a dispute where the Grade I-listed Plas Glynllifon near Caernarfon was referred to as Wynnborn mansion in online marketing material.
Mr Lloyd had won an assembly ballot to introduce the law earlier this year.
During a debate on the bill Mr Skates, Welsh Government culture secretary, told AMs: 
"I do not see how any system of general consent or control for changes can be feasible or affordable."
He explained that, from May, Wales will have the only "statutory list of historic place names" and that in guidance set to be issued, public bodies will be directed to take account of the list when considering the name of streets, properties and other places.
"I struggle to see what the legislation that the member proposes will achieve beyond the actions that we are already taking," he said.
"Although I cannot support this motion I believe the ground breaking measures that we are about to introduce are vital steps in appreciating and valuing this precious inheritance", he said, adding this was where "our energies and our resources should be directed".
 Mr Skates's intervention prompted an angry response from Mr Lloyd, who told the minister that it was Plaid Cymru amendments to a previous assembly law that had "got you to the position of having the register that you have today".
"The fact is there is no statutory protection for our historic place names, be they of any language - English, Anglo Saxon, Viking, Latin, Old Welsh, New Welsh, Norse, Flemish, the rich smorgasbord of our history is going down the tube."
He added: "We're talking history of nation here. Pride in the history of that nation, pride that deserves to be enshrined in law."
Former Plaid Cymru leader and independent AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas voted with Labour and against the bill in Wednesday's vote.
Why did Labour block this? I suspect it simply that they could not bear to give "The Nats" a victory,
This was a golden chance to recognise our History and Culture by preserving  the  ancient names of places in Wales and "Welsh" Labour stopped it.
How shameful is it that the Legislature  in New Zealand recognises the cultural beliefs of its Indigenous people whilst our own seems content to see the historic place names of Cymru disappear.

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