Anthony Willy

The State of Democracy in New Zealand

The State of Democracy in New Zealand


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Posted on: NZCPR.COM

Until the passing of the Resource Management Amendment Act 2017 the business of territorial local authorities was conducted by the elected representatives of the citizens living in the particular area. That is no longer the case. Henceforth councils will be required to share their statutory powers with self-selected, unelected entities. This marks the end of democratic local government in New Zealand for the obvious reason that the elected members are no longer sovereign but must take account of the wishes of the self-selected group none of whom will be required to submit to the ballot box. Given that the activities of local authorities play an increasingly important role in our lives this has the potential for far reaching consequences. No longer will the contents of the district plans which control all important aspects of; land and water use, and any activities involving discharges to the atmosphere, be arrived at with the consent and input of the occupants of the district but will become subject to the wishes of unelected group.

However, given that there seems to be increasing disinterest in local body elections one may wonder whether this is necessarily such a bad thing. Why not leave it to the professional staff and an unelected pressure group to determine what activities are, and are not allowed to take place within a district. In other words is democracy such a necessary or good thing? To answer this question it is helpful to start with three aphorisms:

  • “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton 1887.
  • “Democracy is a psychopathic expression of inferiority” – William Joyce, an American better known as Lord Haw Haw who broadcast defeatist propaganda from Berlin during to the war. He was hung as a traitor by the British at war’s end.
  • Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…” – Winston Churchill 1947.

Churchill uttered this in the aftermath of the general election in which Clement Attlee’s Labour government swept to power. It was an astonishing affirmation of the place of democracy as a political institution. Having lately been instrumental in salvaging the free world from German hegemony, Churchill was nevertheless comprehensively rejected by the United Kingdom voters. One would have expected some bitterness, or questioning of a political structure which intended to and did demolish much of the existing social norms into which he was born, and which his party represented. Not so – he continued to believe in the common sense and life experiences of the electorate in deciding who should govern the country. What then are some of the other forms about which Churchill spoke? To mention a few:

[Read more…]

Muriel Newman

Democracy Under Attack


By Dr Muriel Newman

NZCPR Weekly:

Democracy has been described as a ‘fragile flower’. Indeed it is, and it’s something we take for granted because our relatively young society has not yet experienced its collapse. But it’s that complacency along with a naive assumption that serious social disorder could never really happen here, that has created opportunities for those who seek to undermine democracy for their own personal gratification and enrichment.

The sad truth is that we have allowed those who want to subvert democracy to have a free reign.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator retired Judge and former university law lecturer Anthony Willy, outlines what’s been going on:

“Until the passing of the Resource Management Amendment Act 2017 the business of territorial local authorities was conducted by the elected representatives of the citizens living in the particular area. That is no longer the case. Henceforth councils will be required to share their statutory powers with self-selected, unelected entities. This marks the end of democratic local government in New Zealand for the obvious reason that the elected members are no longer sovereign but must take account of the wishes of the self-selected group none of whom will be required to submit to the ballot box.”

Anthony is, of course, referring to the consequences of the back-room political deal making  between the National and Maori parties earlier this year to unilaterally pass their ‘Mana Whakahono a Rohe’ agreements into law in such a way as to deny all public consultation and avoid any scrutiny by the wider public whatsoever.

By National’s own admission, the new powers that they granted are significant.  They will elevate any number of Maori tribal and family groups into positions of partnership with their local authorities for “plan-making, consenting, appointment of committees, monitoring and enforcement, bylaws, regulations and other council statutory responsibilities” – including over fresh water.

Anthony goes on to say, “Given that the activities of local authorities play an increasingly important role in our lives this has the potential for far reaching consequences. No longer will the contents of the district plans which control all important aspects of land and water use, and any activities involving discharges to the atmosphere, be arrived at with the consent and input of the occupants of the district, but they will become subject to the wishes of unelected groups.”

He further explains, “Democracy has fathered a notion of equal importance and that is the ‘Rule of Law’. This is a lawyer’s construct and little discussed or even understood by the general public. It involves the simple imperative that laws enacted by our democratically elected government will be applied equally to all irrespective of creed, colour or social circumstance. The combination of democratic government and the rule of law are the twin pillars on which all of our freedoms rest. Without the support of both pillars the house cannot stand. Absent either of these foundations, the liberties  we hold dear cannot survive and one of the competing forms of government will come back to haunt us.”

In legislating Maori tribal groups into the status of an elite ruling class that is totally unaccountable to the public, the National Party has undermined the Rule of Law in New Zealand and corrupted democracy as we know it.

It’s fair to ask, how on earth it could have got to this stage – has the nation been asleep while iwi leaders have been advancing their sovereignty agenda?

While the iwi agenda has not been secret, it has not been entirely open either. Much of their manoeuvring has been carried out under the guise of helping disadvantaged Maori. As a result, most New Zealanders have been totally unaware that a long-running and well-planned offensive has been underway.

Some, however, have been trying to raise the alarm for years.

For more than two decades, Professor Elizabeth Rata of Auckland University has warned of the threat being posed by the bicultural movement in New Zealand. She has outlined how a powerful cultural elite from within Maoridom – who were committed to subverting democracy – were positioned inside the State system, to destroy it from within.

According to Professor Rata, biculturalism arose in the seventies, driven by left wing activists who were seeking an alternative to traditional class politics.

What they found, of course, was cultural Marxism – a socialist philosophy originated by a former leader of the Italian Communist Party, Antonio Gramsci, who saw ‘culture’ as the way to win the class struggle. While the traditional battle to ‘liberate’ the working class involved taking control of the ‘economic means of production and distribution’, he focused on controlling the ‘cultural means of production’. His work inspired a literal socialist march through culture-forming institutions such as the media, universities, and churches – enlightening those within about the struggle for social justice by ‘oppressed’ groups in society, centred on race, gender, and sexuality.

Professor Rata explained that many ‘biculturalists’ moved into positions of power and influence in the education and health professions, social services, and government circles, as public servants and politicians, bringing with them their political commitment to the identity politics agenda: “Victimhood was subsequently understood as oppression by colonisation, the patriarchy, and ‘Western’ culture generally – an oppression experienced by ethnic groups, indigenous peoples, women, gays, and religious minorities rather than the capitalist exploitation of working class people.”

Over the years, New Zealanders have been deceived by the bicultural activists, who have claimed that the movement was a means to greater social justice for marginalised Maori. Yet, in reality, it has been used as a Trojan Horse to enable a rich and powerful tribal elite to grow stronger at a cost to disadvantaged Maori, who are little better off today than they were back then.

John Moore, writing on the Liberation blog run by Dr Bryce Edwards of Otago University, has called identity politics an “elitist scam” that enables the state largesse flowing to groups claiming to be marginalised, to end up in the hands of the elites who run the groups, instead of those in need: “Modern social-liberalism – in the form of identity politics – has been exposed as an elitist scam. Gender politics and tino rangatiratanga struggles were all presented as a way to alleviate the poverty, oppression and discrimination of those at the bottom of society. Instead these ideologies have acted to elevate… an elite of those from subjugated sectors of society…”

Professor Rata has also pointed out that while the agenda promoted by biculturalists occurs in the name of social justice, the path to social justice cannot be through ethnic division.

This was reinforced by former US President Barack Obama in 2006, when he said, “Ethnic-based tribal politics has to stop. It is rooted in the bankrupt idea that the goal of politics or business is to funnel as much of the pie as possible to one’s family, tribe, or circle with little regard for the public good. It stifles innovation and fractures the fabric of the society. Instead of opening businesses and engaging in commerce, people come to rely on patronage and payback as a means of advancing. Instead of unifying the country to move forward on solving problems, it divides neighbour from neighbour.”

The reality is that tribalism is an archaic social structure that suits the tribal elite, and no one else. Yet this is what National is supporting through massive state subsidies.

Policies enacted under the tribal ‘by Maori for Maori’ bicultural umbrella have led to separate Maori education systems, Maori university quotas, Maori health care, Maori welfare programmes, Maori housing schemes, and Maori justice programmes. There are Maori government departments and tribunals, Maori-only consultation rights, Maori-only co-governance rights, Maori-only tax rates, and Maori-only charitable status – to name but a few of a vast array of separatist privileges that now exist to support tribalism.

The problem is that the pressure for more tribal power and control is never-ending. Now the Maori Party not only wants to restructure the entire Justice System on “the basis of the Treaty of Waitangi and the foundation of partnership”, but it is also pushing “cultural competency” and a “Maori world view” across the whole of the public sector.

The education system is the latest victim, with cultural competency requirements having become compulsory from 1 July. As a result, all primary and secondary school teachers now have to “Demonstrate a commitment to a bicultural Aotearoa New Zealand” and prioritise “Maori learners as tangata whenua”.

As Professor Barend Vlaardingerbroek explained recently in an article for the NZCPR, “Passive acquiescence won’t do any more: teachers must now be personally committed to this political paradigm. This is where the new standards leave the democratic domain and enter the totalitarian realm. Bang go teachers’ rights as citizens to hold their own opinions without interference. New Zealand teachers are being deprived of a fundamental right of all citizens in a democracy – the right to disagree with ideological dicta promulgated by the political elite. This right is not about letting teachers get away with denigrating or abusing Maori kids, which falls foul of the duty of care and professional ethics. This is about hitting teachers who are actual or potential political dissenters with a stark choice: submit or vacate. And that is enforced ideological conformity – the antithesis of democracy and an infringement of teachers’ internationally acknowledged human rights.”

With there now being a critical shortage of teachers in New Zealand, one can’t help but wonder whether compulsory cultural competency requirements, that requires all teachers to not only swear an allegiance to the Maori sovereignty agenda, but to indoctrinate the children as well, is the straw that is breaking the camel’s back.

It’s all emerging as Professor Rata warned. The bicultural movement was captured by radical Maori separatists who will not stop until Maori control all governance processes – they want to return the country to Maori. “The bicultural movement in New Zealand has been a mistake – it is subverting democracy, erecting ethnic boundaries between Maori and non-Maori, and promoting a cultural elite within Maoridom.”

But she has also warned that there are two sides to biculturalism – the small elite group that are promoting it and the much larger group that is allowing it to happen.

And that’s where our fragile flower of democracy stands today.

So, what of the future and the possibility of a new government come 23 September?

The National Party has already said that if it wins sufficient support it would prefer to enter into another coalition agreement with the Maori Party after the election.

This news will have no doubt caused many former National voters to despair.

Anyone in doubt about the merits of National’s liaison with the Maori Party needs only reflect on the mess that National’s concession to the Maori Party over the foreshore and seabed has caused, whereby hundreds of Maori groups, gifted with millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to fund their opportunistic grab for New Zealand’s coastline, have lodged claims covering every square inch of our coast, many times over, forcing citizens to have to fight to protect our public rights.

Labour, it appears, would be no better as their leader Andrew Little has already said he supports Maori sovereignty. So too does the Green Party, which also wants a new constitution based on the Treaty of Waitangi.

That’s also one of the goals of Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party – to increase Maori rights and put the Treaty at the heart of all Government affairs.

At this stage the only dissenting voice is that of Winston Peters with his call for a binding referendum of all voters on the future of the Maori seats – which, of course, are the power base of the bicultural movement and their Maori sovereignty agenda.

As the election jostling continues, one can only hope that more political parties will come to recognise the crucial importance of the Rule of Law and Democracy to New Zealanders – and realise that overwhelmingly, Kiwis want to live in a country where all citizens are treated equally.

The True Vandals Belong in The Past

 The True Vandals belong in the Past

It is with interest that I note that the Tauhara track is now open to the public.

I was unwittingly involved with a vandal action cover-up by the Tuwharetoa Tribe back in 1953, when they covered all vestiges of a pre-Maori settlement from the Northern Hill prior to the first wilding Pine cuts.


“A group of concerned Taupo residents wanted the Government of the day to declare the Northern lower hill to be declared a Cultural Historical reserve, as they had found evidence that a pre-Maori settlement would be destroyed if the felling was allowed to continue.

The group that I ferried up to the top was Mr and Mrs Cavaye (ex police), Mr Jim Birnie (Spa Hotel owner), John Noble (local undertaker) Colonel Swan (Town Board member),  Captain Charles Leslie (community arts), John Vaile (forest owner), Sam Torepe (Taupo Town Board Clerk) and later, two Scientists from Victoria University.

Charles Leslie, who had seen me helping Len Lysaght’s Power Lines gang using the pole jigger sled being pulled by a Brumby that was hired from the local Pound, asked me would if I mind helping them out, by transporting them up the gully by the Dump. So my next three weekends made me part of history.

I was shown caves in the banks that had utensils like grind stones and skeletal bones, which were later classified as 100 years BC by the two scientists.

They packed them carefully into boxes, then into a Humber Super Snipe and took them away. On my third trip up Sam Torepe – who had a wooden leg – used me as a chain man to survey an area for the government to designate as a Public Reserve.

As a 15 year old, it was all a bit of an adventure.

But the preservation efforts were to no avail as two members from the Turangi tribe boasted at the local Spa Hotel bar – spending their two ten pound payments – that they fixed those “buggers” on our hill by caving everything in with spades.

Jim Birnie was furious and booted them out of the bar.

So it all came to nothing, as the fellers destroyed all remains left of the village.

So it is rather ironical that the local tribe wants to protect their Toanga from pesky vandals when they themselves made sure that part of our true history would never be known. Our history has been purposely reinvented, so the present teaching in our classrooms to our children are lies and falsehoods.

As a country, we are at the crossroads to make sure that this falsification and dishonesty does not get perpetuated. A crossroads where the greed for money and power should be removed to make us all “one happy New Zealand family.”

Bill Harding

a photo of the Waitangi Tribunal sitting in a meeting house

The Waitangi Tribunal – A Vote of No Confidence

By Reuben Chapple

Reblogged from NZCPR

a photo of the Waitangi Tribunal sitting in a meeting house

It is widely believed that Waitangi Tribunal Reports issue only after rigorous historical investigation of Treaty claims.

These findings then make their way into media reports, onto Government websites, and percolate throughout our education system as apparently authoritative, objective information.

But what if Tribunal Reports were one-eyed rewrites of New Zealand history and not worth the paper they are printed on?

According to the Waitangi Tribunal’s website:

“The Tribunal consists of a chairperson and up to 20 members that may be appointed at any one time. The chairperson may also appoint a Maori Land Court judge to the position of deputy chairperson. The total membership reflects the partnership [sic] of the Treaty of Waitangi through an approximately equal representation of Maori and Pakeha.

“Tribunal members are appointed … by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Maori Affairs in consultation with the Minister of Justice.

“Members constitute a pool from which tribunals of between three and seven members are drawn to hear claims. The term ‘Waitangi Tribunal’ is used to refer both to the total membership and to the individual Tribunals. Members are appointed to a Tribunal by direction of the chairperson and remain members until the inquiry is completed or they resign.

“Each Tribunal has to have at least one Maori member, although generally around half the members are Maori. Usually, a Tribunal has a kaumatua member and, where it is inquiring into historical matters, at least one historian [sic].”

From this information we can deduce that:

  1. The Tribunal’s underlying premise before it even hears a single claim is that the Treaty of Waitangi created an ongoing racial partnership.
  1. Tribunal members are appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Maori Affairs, so we can safely assume that both Maori and non-Maori members will be Treatyists, and likely to come to the table with strong priors rather than being impartial defenders of the public interest.
  1. It is theoretically possible for all Tribunal members hearing a particular claim to be Maori [by which I mean New Zealanders of mixed European-Maori descent who have chosen to identify monoculturally as “Maori”]. More commonly, Maori may be a majority of those hearing a particular claim.
  1. Many Maori have multiple hapu and iwi affiliations, making it quite possible for a Tribunal member hearing a particular claim to have direct links to the claimant group.

Indeed, three years into the hearing of the East Coast claim, presiding Judge Stephanie Milroy was obliged to disqualify herself, but only after lawyers for competing claimant groups pointed out that through her Ngati Porou connections, she had interests in five landblocks that were subject to the claim.

We can only speculate as to how many other instances of this kind never came to light.

This directly contravenes the legal principle that “no man shall be the judge of his own case.”

  1. Given that 50 percent of Tribunal members are Treatyist Maori and the claims process is in a broader sense between the Crown and Maori, this marginally more indirectly contravenes the legal principle that “no man shall be the judge of his own case.”

Let’s now examine how the Tribunal works:

  1. Claims are typically heard on the marae of the claimant tribe, hardly a neutral venue. Deliberations are conducted according to Maori protocol. This is likely to prove highly intimidating to non-Maori interested parties seeking to make a representation.
  1. Since the claims process is seen as being between the Crown and Maori, third parties have no automatic right to be heard. They can only be heard with permission, which the Tribunal rarely grants, particularly if opposed by the claimant group.
  1. Evidence is often given in Maori, with no requirement to provide a translation. As well as being a deliberate act of cultural arrogance, this makes it difficult for non-Maori speakers to have input into the hearing process.
  1. Oral evidence is given the same weight as written evidence and is not subject to cross-examination, since according to Maori protocol this is highly disrespectful to a kaumatua. The Tribunal justifies this by asserting that since it is a Tribunal rather than a Court, rigorous evidential standards need not apply.
  1. Claimants are legally aided to the tune of millions of dollars from taxpayers, with no requirement to pay this back if successful in achieving multi-million dollar settlements. This encourages what economists call rent-seeking behaviour, also known as “trying it on because there’s a huge upside if successful and no price paid for being wrong,” not that I can recall a single Tribunal Report finding against the claimants.
  1. Claimant groups have forced historians they have employed to go away under threat of non-payment and sanitise reports of facts that undermine their case.
  1. Those charged with presenting the Crown’s case are supine to say the least. For example, claimants who didn’t sign the Treaty, such as Tainui, Tuhoe, and Tuwharetoa, should have been immediately shown the door. Groups such as Ngai Tahu, Tainui, and Te Atiawa, who’d already received full and final settlements (some, like Ngai Tahu, several times over) legislated for in Acts of Parliament the preambles of which include the words “full and final settlement” should also have been told to talk to the hand.

The Tribunal’s recent assertion that contrary to primary source accounts of what the chiefs said on the lawn at Waitangi, Ngapuhi never ceded sovereignty to the Crown, is the latest in a long line of egregious tommyrot to exit this body via the fundament.

Who can forget the Tribunal’s “Holocaust of Taranaki” press release likening the closing down of the Parihaka Commune (in which not a single person lost their life) with the state-sponsored Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews during WWII?

Legendary media critic Brian Priestley MBE, who acted as media adviser for Ngai Tahu when that the tribe’s claim was before the Waitangi Tribunal, had this to say about the Tribunal process:

“Years ago I attended several sessions while advising the Ngai Tahu on public relations for their claims.

“It would be hard to imagine any public body less well-organised to get at the truth.

“There was no cross-examination.

“Witnesses were treating with sympathetic deference.

“The people putting the Crown’s side of things seemed equally anxious not to offend.

“In three months I don’t think I was asked a single intelligent, awkward question.

“I should have been.”

A number of reputable historians, including Keith Sorrenson, Michael Belgrave and Bill Oliver have voiced concerns that the Waitangi Tribunal has become a self-referencing echo chamber for re-writing New Zealand history.

In “The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History,” published in 2004, Victoria University historian Dr Giselle Byrnes lays damning charges against the Tribunal, describing its attempts to write history as a “noble, but ultimately flawed experiment.”

According to Dr Byrnes, the Tribunal is not writing “objective history.” Rather, the reports it produces are deeply political and overwhelmingly focused on the present, in that the Tribunal invariably judges the past by today’s standards rather than those prevailing at the time under scrutiny.

Tribunal history also has a strong Maori bias, Dr Byrnes says. Maori characters and stories are given much more emphasis and weight than Pakeha characters and stories. “The reports increasingly champion or advocate the Maori cause.”

Other academics share this unease, but reluctant to say anything publicly, Dr Byrnes points out.

“I know that many historians have felt some kind of disquiet about the sort of history the Tribunal has been producing over the past few years. They haven’t spoken out about it because most historians have liberal political leanings and they don’t want to be seen as undermining or criticising the whole process.”

Dr Byrnes also reveals significant concerns about the mass consumption of Tribunal reports by the media and general public. She believes the Tribunal should clearly state its pro-claimant bias, lest lay people reading Tribunal reports be misled.

Ngapuhi kaumatua, David Rankin, a direct descendant of Hone Heke, more recently had this to say about the Tribunal as a nursery for the re-writing of New Zealand history:

“The Tribunal makes up history as it goes along.  A growing number of New Zealand historians are pointing this out, although most of them are labelled as racist for doing so.  Facts are omitted in Tribunal reports, and evidence is shaped in some cases to fit predetermined outcomes.   The bias is so obvious, but most historians are too scared for their careers to question the tribunal’s findings.

“[T]he Tribunal … has turned out to be a body that is bringing in apartheid to New Zealand.  This sounds dramatic, until you see how it advocates for race-based access to certain areas, and race-based management policies for Crown land, and now, twin sovereignty, which constitutionally is worse than anything that happened in South Africa during the apartheid era.

“The Tribunal is a bully.  Go against it, and you will be labelled a racist or worse.”

Clearly, any thinking New Zealander should have absolutely no confidence in anything that comes out of this body.

a photo of Don Brash

Why I disagree with Gareth Morgan

Reblogged from NZCPR


a photo of Don Brash

Don Brash

In recent weeks, Gareth Morgan has written several articles for the “New Zealand Herald” promoting his book on the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for modern New Zealand.  Then a couple of days before Waitangi Day I had a call from David Fisher of the “Herald” telling me that Dr Morgan would be going to the Orewa Rotary Club to give a speech criticising what he called “ignorant Brash-think” about the Treaty.  I made some comments suggesting that I disagreed quite fundamentally with his views and they appeared in the “Herald” the following day.  Later that day, I got a phone call from one of Dr Morgan’s staff (Gareth must have been too busy to call me himself) inviting me to attend the speech and make some comments in reply.  After giving the matter some thought, I accepted the invitation and have no regrets that I did so.

It was obvious that Dr Morgan had chosen the venue for maximum media impact, with my attendance also designed to increase the media appeal.  And there were certainly plenty of media in attendance – arguably as many media people as other audience members.  It turned out that, while we spoke at the premises used by the Orewa Rotary Club, this was not a meeting of the Orewa Rotary Club, which no doubt explains why the audience was so tiny.

Because the “debate” – really a speech by Dr Morgan and a relatively brief reply by me, followed by a small number of questions from the audience – attracted some media attention, I accepted Muriel’s invitation to write a brief piece on why I disagree with Dr Morgan.

Let me first acknowledge that Dr Morgan and I agree on some issues.  He is opposed to separate Maori electorates, Maori wards in local government (and by implication the Maori Statutory Board in Auckland) and quotas for Maori in educational institutions.  Granting any group special rights is contrary to Article 3 of the Treaty he believes, and I totally agree with that.

Having these special rights is also patronising, and implies that Maori aren’t quite competent enough to have their voices heard in the political arena, or get into some university courses, without a special leg up.  Of course that is nonsense: when I was in Parliament, there were 21 Maori in Parliament – roughly the same percentage of Maori Members of Parliament as Maori are in the wider population – only seven of them elected in the Maori electorates.  The other 14 were elected in general constituencies or were placed in a winnable position on a party’s list.  (Ironically, the person who chaired our debate in Orewa personified that fact – she was Georgina Beyer, herself Maori, who won the rural electorate of Wairarapa for the Labour Party in competition with Paul Henry.)

Similarly in Auckland: the first election of councillors after the super-city was established in 2010 saw three people of Maori descent elected – not in Maori wards but on their own merit – and again three Maori out of a total of 20 councillors meant that Maori on the Council were in roughly the same proportion as Maori in the general population.

But as explained in his recent Ngapuhi speech, Dr Morgan’s basic position seems to be that –

“.. the Treaty is whatever a reasonable person’s view of the following four taken together leads them to – not any one taken in isolation, but all taken together:

1)      Treaty of Waitangi
2)      Te Tiriti O Waitangi
3)      Principles of the Treaty
4)      Post-1975 Consensus on the Treaty.”

And I think that that is nonsense.  The so-called principles of the Treaty have often been referred to, frequently in legislation, but have never to my knowledge been fully explained, let alone agreed.  And to refer to a “post-1975 consensus on the Treaty” is again a meaningless concept – I know of no such consensus, and the whole reason for the ongoing debate is that there is no consensus about what the Treaty means, or should mean.

In one of his “Herald” articles Dr Morgan talked about Maori having a partnership with the Crown, making us, in his words, “one nation, two peoples”.  I also think this is nonsense, Lord Cooke notwithstanding.  The idea that Governor Hobson envisaged the British Crown – the representation of the most advanced country in the world at the time – forming a partnership with a disparate group of Maori chiefs who were, at that time, scarcely out of the Stone Age, is ludicrous.  Moreover, to speak of New Zealand in 2015 being “two peoples” is equally silly: the overwhelming majority of people who identify as Maori also have some non-Maori ancestors, frequently a non-Maori parent, while “non-Maori” are no longer exclusively European but embrace a very wide range of ethnicities.

So I disagree with Dr Morgan’s starting point, and as a result I disagree with many of his conclusions.

I think making the teaching of te reo compulsory in primary school, as he advocates, would be a complete waste of valuable teaching time for most New Zealand children, many of whom can’t even read and write well in English – which is not just the dominant language of New Zealand but is also the dominant language of the whole world.  Being able to read and write in English is of fundamental importance to all New Zealanders, whatever their ancestry.  And yes, there may be merits in terms of brain development in learning a second language at an early age, but if a second language is to be learnt it should be one which would be of benefit in the wider world, such as Mandarin or Spanish.  (Interestingly, I took part in a Maori TV programme a few years ago, on a panel of six people discussing whether te reo should be a compulsory subject in primary school.  Even though I was the only non-Maori on the panel, the panel voted by clear majority against making the teaching of te reo compulsory.)  Of course if resources were infinite – so that we could teach te reo without crowding out anything else in the school curriculum – then why not learn a whole bunch of languages?  But as an economist Dr Morgan should know better than most that resources are not infinite: teaching te reo would have an opportunity cost – something else would have to drop out of the curriculum.

The idea of having an Upper House with 50% of its members being Maori, which Dr Morgan also advocates, strikes me as utterly absurd, and totally at odds with any concept of democracy.

Many of our problems today stem from the way in which Te Tiriti O Waitangi – the real Treaty, which Maori chiefs signed – has been reinterpreted to suit the desires of modern-day revisionists.  But its meaning is totally unambiguous.

The first clause involved Maori chiefs ceding sovereignty to the British Crown, completely and forever.  And there can be not the slightest doubt about that.  That Maori chiefs understood that at the time is abundantly clear from the speeches made by the chiefs themselves, both those in favour of signing and those opposed to it.  This was further confirmed by a large number of chiefs at the Kohimarama Conference in 1860, and confirmed again by Sir Apirana Ngata in 1920.

The third article of the Treaty provided that all Maori – “tangata Maori, katoa o Nu Tirani” – should receive full citizenship rights – and this included the many slaves of other Maori, most being held in abject conditions and often the victims of cannibal feasts.  Today, we tend to see this clause as no big deal but in 1840 it was an extraordinary thing for the Queen’s representatives to offer – nothing similar happened for the Australian aborigines, or the American Indians.   All Maori, no matter their status, were offered the “rights and privileges of British subjects”, putting them on a par with every other British subject – not, it may be noted, ahead of other British subjects but on a par with them.

The second clause is what has caused so much angst.  Actually, the clause is redundant since all it does is guarantee the right of citizens to own private property, and British subjects have this right anyway.   But note that the guarantee was made to all the people of New Zealand – “tangata katoa o Nu Tirani” – in clear distinction to the third article which specifically applied only to Maori – and “all” means “all”.  In other words, rights of ownership were guaranteed to all New Zealanders, not just to those with one or more Maori ancestors.

There is ongoing debate about what “tino rangatiratanga” meant at the time but it is impossible to believe it meant what modern-day revisionists try to take it to mean.  Why on earth would Hobson have asked Maori chiefs to sign a Treaty involving the complete cession of sovereignty in the first clause if the second clause contradicted that first clause?

Let me say that I have always supported the payment of compensation by the Crown to any New Zealander, Maori or non-Maori, who can establish with a reasonable degree of certainty that their property has been illegally confiscated by the Crown.  There are clearly suspicions that some of the claims which have been settled in recent times have in fact been settled on several previous occasions, and that brings the settlement process into disrepute.  But in principle nobody can object to the Crown paying compensation to any New Zealander whose property has been illegally confiscated.

So in summary, I like the Treaty: it is a very simple document recording the cession of sovereignty by the Maori chiefs who signed it; extending to them in return the full rights of British subjects; and guaranteeing to all New Zealanders the right to own property.

But it does not require us all to learn te reo; it does not provide for separate Maori electorates or Maori wards; it does not give Maori a power to veto RMA resource consents; it does not give Maori any preferential rights over natural resources; and it certainly provides no basis for an Upper House with half its members being Maori.

Another Wearying and Woeful Waitangi Day

Another Wearying & Woeful Waitangi Day



There seems to be no end to the brain- or brown-washing of NZ. It just keeps coming, like a seismic wave of thoroughly well informed self-interest, ignorance and sophistry. Read the PM’s speech excerpt below.

Ground control to PM Key: the Treaty of Waitangi contains:

NO mention of any “principles”

NO mention of a “partnership”

NO mention of “forests”

NO mention of “fisheries”


Wake up and smell the parchment, Key, Finlayson, et al. The Treaty of Waitangi is no more a living document than any other Treaty. Just read the damned two-paragraph preamble, so expeditiously overlooked most everywhere, including Te Papa, our national storehouse of treaty fabrications.

Her Majesty Victoria, Queen of England in Her gracious consideration for the chiefs and people of New Zealand, and her desire to preserve to them their land and to maintain peace and order amongst them, has been pleased to appoint an officer to treat with them for the cession of the Sovereignty of their country and of the islands adjacent to the Queen. Seeing that many of Her Majesty’s subjects have already settled in the country and are constantly arriving; And that it is desirable for their protection as well as the protection of the natives to establish a government amongst them.

Her Majesty has accordingly been pleased to appoint me William Hobson a captain in the Royal Navy to be Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may now or hereafter be ceded to her Majesty and proposes to the chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the other chiefs to agree to the following articles.

Reality Check Essential

Once signed, a contract or treaty binds the signatories. End of story. Litigation on interpretation is possible. Renunciation is possible. But changing the words is not. Nor is arguing that a word scribed in a contract or treaty hundreds of years ago should be interpreted in today’s meaning. Lexical drift is a well known phenomena. It would be fatuous to pretend today that Fred Flinstone’s fifty-plus-year-old cartoon strip jingle “gay old time” meant a consorting group of homosexuals.

Critical Thinking Needed

The Treaty of Waitangi has – in and of itself – no validity in law, whether NZ law or international law. It can be part of New Zealand law ONLY by virtue of some Act of Parliament that says that any part of the Treaty applies.

The Prime Minister has pushed his agenda in his Waitangi speech at the upper marae on the Treaty grounds.

Mr Key said while the Treaty is a formal agreement, it must be interpreted over time and adapted accordingly.

He acknowledged the challenges Maori faced in the century after the Treaty was signed, as the Crown ignored many of its agreements.

“The spirit of generosity with which Maori entered into this partnership was forgotten or ignored by many over the following decades,” he said. “But the Treaty partnership we commemorate today acknowledges the bonds that have underpinned the creation of a special country.”

“The Treaty settlement process may not be to everyone’s satisfactions, but I’m a firm believer in the current process, which is addressing the wrongs done in the past to help Maori build their futures.”

“I am confident the next 25 years will deliver more promises, passion and achievements as we work together to tackle the challenges that will be thrown at us.”

What a load of codswallop!

Wake up New Zealand and smell the dozers:



The Waitangi Tribunal’s BIG LIE

The Waitangi Tribunal’s BIG LIE

The powers of the Waitangi Tribunal were massively, unnecessarily and unpatriotically extended by the Lange/Palmer government for no other reason than to try to buy the votes of Maoris at the following election. The ensuing monster that became the toy of a series of radical Maori members of the Tribunal  – types like Ranginui Walker, “Judge”  Joe Williams and Tamati Reedy – and their liberal white lackeys is now a threat not only to our economy (the higher taxes we all have to pay to fund the never-ending and ever more expensive “Treaty settlements”) but also to our rights to formerly public areas and now even to our very sovereignty as a nation.

In November, this racist, unelected, and deeply compromised, if not corrupt, Tribunal issued Stage One of its enquiry into Ngapuhi’s (Northland tribe) Treaty claim, declaring that the chiefs did NOT cede sovereignty to the Crown when they signed the Treaty in February, 1840. This is a lie. A very deliberate lie and a self-interested lie from a Tribunal that seems to see its sole function as an advocacy group for part-Maori and to extract as much as possible off the ordinary New Zealander in terms of tax dollars, public resources (e.g. the loss of the Urewera National Park to Tuhoe) and, by its new ruling, even sovereignty itself.

The Treaty of Waitangi was a very simple document and the chiefs of Northland who signed it understood its terms very well. By Article One they “cede to the Queen of England for ever the entire Sovereignty of the country”. These simple words were translated into Maori by Henry Williams, a Maori speaker, if not scholar, whom the Maoris trusted. (But the settlers didn’t!)

It is clear by the objections of some of the chiefs (quoted below) that they understood what they were signing – that they would henceforth be subject to a new and greater sovereignty and, as such, would no longer be allowed to act as independent chiefs, with their power depending on their own might and muskets. “What do we want of a Governor? We are not whites nor foreigners. We are the governor – we, the chiefs of this land of our ancestors.  Do not sign this paper. If you do, you will be reduced to the condition of slaves and be compelled to break stones on the roads. Your land will be taken from you and your dignity as chiefs will be destroyed,” said the Northland chief, Rewa at the time of signing. This hostility, which did not deter other chiefs from signing, shows that the cession of sovereignty was clearly understood and the speech is quoted here (as are those that follow) solely for the purpose of showing that the chiefs knew that they were signing away whatever sovereignty they possessed for a higher purpose, viz. the ending of the terrible inter-tribal fighting.

Another chief, Kemara of the Ngatikawa, said, ” If thou stayest as Governor, then perhaps Te Kemara will be judged and condemned. Yes, indeed, and more than that – even hang by the neck….Were we to be an equality, then perhaps Te Kemara will say yes.”  This chief also knew what the cession of sovereignty meant while his words clearly show that there was no “partnership” between the Crown and Maori as Key, Finlayson, The Tribunal and the Labour Party so erroneously claim, each for their own spurious and self-interested purposes. .

Yet another chief, Tareha, said, “No Governor for me – for us Native men. We, we only are the chiefs, the rulers. We will not be ruled over.. What, thou, a foreigner, up and I down! Thee high, and I Tareha, the great chief of the Ngatirehia tribes, low! No, no; never, never. ”

For the Tribunal and a few biased historians like Michael King and Claudia Orange to say a century and a half later that the poor, dumb chiefs didn’t know what they were doing is false, paternalist and racist.

Even though their culture was less advanced than that of the British, the chiefs were intelligent men in their own way and knew that, because of their endless bloody wars and tribal feuds, they could never choose a desperately needed superior sovereign among themselves and so they put themselves under British rule – a definite improvement to the rule of the musket which had hitherto prevailed.

In choosing the British, the chiefs showed their wisdom, if not their cunning, as in 1840 the British led the world in inventions, engineering, liberty, political stability and humane values, the United States at that time being nothing more than a hurriedly put together federation that was based on slavery while, from 1787 to the late nineteenth century, France teetered between dictatorship and rather bloody forms of republicanism.

“To turn around and now argue that Maori  signing the Treaty of Waitangi did not understand they were surrendering their sovereignty to an entity of even higher mana defies belief and history,” wrote Ian Wishart in his excellent book, The Great Divide. (Page 165)

The cession of sovereignty, which the Treaty enabled, is the very foundation of our rights and of our very existence as a modern, democratic nation (as opposed to the undemocratic, racist and feudal option that would ensue if the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation should be accepted by this feckless government). Article One of the Treaty (the cession of sovereignty) has been accepted by historians, politicians, judges and even Maori themselves for at least seven generations  and this nonsensical and false declaration by the Tribunal to the contrary should be seen for the crude, self-interested and nation-destroying fraud that it is.

Even more alarming is the refusal of the appeasing and unpatriotic National government to nip it in the bud by a declaration exposing this lie and upholding the sovereignty of our 175 year old nation.

Thousands of soldiers have died on the battlefield – in the Maori Wars and the two world wars – to uphold the sovereignty of New Zealand and, by failing to condemn this attack on our nation with the urgency and thoroughness that it deserves, John Key has shown yet again that he is seriously lacking in both patriotism and an understanding of our constitutional arrangements.

By attacking our sovereignty, our legal system and our long held rights in this deceitful manner, the Waitangi Tribunal and its ragtag bunch of members have shown that they are the enemy of every New Zealander except, of course, the tribal elite, of which so many of the Tribunal’s members are fully paid up subscribers.

At least the Germans in the two world wars and terrorists like Te Kooti were identifiable enemies whereas the members of this Tribunal are not only tolerated by our dim witted media but they are also showered with honours and high positions by governments both National and Labour. “National” and “Labour”, being two sides of the same racist coin, of course.

If the sovereignty of any other country was attacked by such a monstrous lie, there would be instant outrage. But in our heavily sedated, TV dominated society there was barely a murmur at this affront to our rights and our future.

That is the real problem and the members of the Tribunal who make these attacks on the rest of us know that, with mass-controlled thinking, an education system that is increasingly concerned with telling people what to think rather than how to think, and a government that is in permanent thrall to the tribal elite, it is not difficult for the Tribunal to disseminate its insidious lies and get away with it.

According to the Tribunal’s report, the chiefs believed that they were only giving Britain the right to govern its own settlers and to keep the peace but that Maori would continue to govern themselves. So, why didn’t they continue with their cannibalism, which meant so much to certain chiefs? And, if the Crown has not had the right to govern Maori, why are Maoris taking so much money from the Crown (taxpayer) in the form of pensions and benefits?

It is true that Treaty Minister, Christopher Whinlayson, reacted by saying that there was no question that the Crown had sovereignty in New Zealand and that the report doesn’t change that fact, but why was this potentially nation-smashing lie not knocked down immediately and permanently? Why allow the government to have time “to consider the report”?

And Whinlayson is not the best person to uphold the sovereignty of the nation as he is the biased and deeply compromised minister who undermined New Zealand’s sovereignty by forcing the nation into a “co-governance” agreement with the selfish and backward Tuhoe tribe in the Ureweras. Anything that Whinlayson says should be regarded with the utmost cynicism and one has to wonder if the reason why he said that the Crown does have sovereignty is that, to say otherwise, would be a denial of his own position as Treaty Minister and Attorney-General and so he would no longer be in a position to grant favours to his ex-client, Nga Tahu, and his other favoured tribes.

Among the more inane comments on this important  issue was that by Haami Piripi, described as a “Te Rarawa leader”, who said, “In 1840 Europeans had 5% of New Zealand’s land mass. What logic would lead you to believe Maori would cede the other 95%?” Apart from the inaccuracy of those figures (Maori own quite a lot more than 5% – more, in fact, in proportion to their numbers than other New Zealanders), the answer is that in 1840 and for a few decades thereafter New Zealand was short of a lot of things but land was not one of them. For example, there were only about 2,000 Maoris in the whole of the South Island and so it is not surprising that they sold so much of it to the government for valuable consideration so as to get the money that they needed to develop the  lands that they kept.

And, in a further dent to Mr. Piripi’s logic, the sad truth is that too many Maoris sold land for money and then drank the proceeds. By all its dodgy Treaty settlements the Waitangi Tribunal is now giving them a second bite of the cherry and in many cases they are no wiser, e.g. the purchase of expensive hospitality boxes at Hamilton’s rugby league ground out of Tainui’s Treaty settlement money so that the fat cats of that tribe can wallow in luxury while watching their favoured sport.

The current members of the Tribunal – the body that told this monstrous lie – are:
Chairperson: Wilson Isaac
Deputy Chairperson: Patrick Savage
Members: Robyn Anderson, John Baird, Angela Ballara, Tim Castle, Ronald Crosby, Miriama Evans, Aroha Harris, Richard Hill, Rawina Higgins, Sir Douglas Kidd, Hirini Moko Mead, Joanne Morris, Basil Morrison, Kihi Ngatai, Ann Parsonson, Grant Phillipson, Tamati Reedy, Tania Simpson, Monty Soutar, Paul Swain, Pou Temara, Carrie Wainwright, Keita Walker and Ranginui Walker.

Ranginui Walker, described in Twisting the Treaty as an “angry extremist” (Page 60), was formerly a member of the radical Maori activist group, Nga Tamatoa (The Young Warriors) who took inspiration from Marxist and indigenous rights groups around the world, including the gun carrying Maoist Black Panther gang.

Sir Douglas Kidd is a former National M.P. and no doubt likes the huge salary that he gets for his Tribunal membership. Tim Castle is a Wellington lawyer of European descent who is doing very nicely out of the lucrative Treaty industry. One has to wonder how he can justify being on such a mischievous and deceitful body with his membership of the law profession.

New Zealand is sliding down a slippery slope towards racism and apartheid and this lie of the Waitangi Tribunal is such a serious step on that downward path that it is incumbent on every New Zealander who cares for the future of this country to understand what it means and then tell as many people as possible of the dangers that we are facing.

Neither National nor Labour can be trusted on this issue and we have just under three years to spread the word of what is really happening to as many of our friends, relations, work colleagues, neighbours, team mates, etc, that we can. This is a war – a war for our rights, our sovereignty, our flag, our democracy – indeed for the very soul of our country. Truth must prevail over the lies of the media, of the government and of the Waitangi Tribunal. Our hard won democracy must prevail over the racism and feudalism to which the Tribunal is trying to revert us. A useful first step would be the abolition of this Tribunal which is steadily wrecking all that our ancestors and us have built in this country.

We must nail this lie as, with none of the mainstream media exposing it, it is starting to get legs. Green M.P., Catherine Delahunty, on the last day of parliament in 2014, screamed in the parliamentary chamber at the Prime Minister: “Why will not John Key accept what every high school student knows – that the chiefs did not cede sovereignty at Waitangi in 1840?” That shows how far the indoctrination of the young has gone.

For further reading on Article One of the Treaty see The Great Divide, by Ian Wishart (pages 164-194), and When Two Cultures Meet, Dr. John Robinson, Pages 101-7

Pahia Plaque

Pahia Plaque

ELECTION: NEITHER NATIONAL NOR LABOUR DESERVE A VOTE says Wellington historian and political analyst, John McLean

First published in Investigate Magazine.

Democracy becomes twisted, in fact meaningless, when the two main parties conspire together against the citizens. This is exactly what National and Labour have done by them both buying into the twin fictions that the Treaty of Waitangi had “principles”(it didn’t) and that it created a “partnership” between the Crown and Maori (it didn’t).

The Treaty was a simple document of only three Articles and does not mention “principles” or “partnership”. These were dreamt up 150 years later by the sinister combination of radical Maori, appeasing governments and senior judges indulging their own political prejudices instead of obeying their oath to apply the law.

Under the Treaty (the real treaty signed at Waitangi and not the reinvented one of the 1990s) the Maoris, through their chiefs, ceded New Zealand to Queen Victoria and in return gained the same rights as British subjects – no more and no less.

Under the real treaty there can be no superior racial rights or special funding (Whanau Ora) or race based ownership/control of public resources (e.g. the foreshore and seabed) for Maoris, part-Maoris or anyone else.The tidal wave of ever growing privileges for part-Maori (code for the very pale-faced tribal elite) could not have proceeded on the basis of the Treaty itself – only by inventing “principles” and “partnership”. Remove these two fictions and New Zealand would return to a democracy of equals. But that won’t happen so long as National and Labour see their primary role as appeasing the tribal elite rather than governing in the interests of all New Zealanders.

National’s notorious Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011, which stole the beaches off the public so that they can be handed out to Christopher Finlayson’s ex-client, Ngai Tahu, and his other tribal mates in return for Maori Party support in Parliament, has been described in the top selling book, Twisting the Treaty, as “the greatest swindle in New Zealand history”(page 8).

Once a tribe is granted part of the coast it can declare whole areas of its new domain (usually the best fishing grounds and surf breaks) “wahi tapu”, forbidding the public to step on to these formerly publicly owned beaches with a $5,000 fine on anyone who does so.

The passing of this Act by National – stealing off the many (the whole public of New Zealand) in order to enrich the few (the tribal elite) – was a violation of the principle on which the National Party was founded in the 1930s, viz. to represent the rights of all New Zealanders in contrast to the then class based Labour Party, which then represented only the working class. And a party that is in betrayal of its founding principle is undeserving of a vote by its traditional supporters.

The U-turn that John Key made in getting into bed with the racist Maori Party, itself in permanent violation of Article 1 of the U.N.’s International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, is a betrayal of National’s founding principle and the words “twenty pieces of silver” spring readily to mind.

Writing in the Dominion on 14th December, 2004, Gerry Brownlee, the then deputy leader of National, stated, “National will ensure the beaches and lakes remain in Crown ownership for all New Zealanders, require all Treaty claims to be settled by 2010, treat people on the basis of need rather than race, end the rorts associated with ïwi consultation, and wind up separate Maori electorates in line with the recommendations from the 1987 Royal Commission on MMP.”

If you’ve managed to stop laughing please note that in 2011 Brownlee voted to take the beaches out of Crown ownership (the Marine and Coastal Area Act), National treats people on the basis of race rather than need (e.g. Whanau Ora), the rorts associated with iwi consultation have sky-rocketed under National, the abolition of the Maori seats in Parliament has given way to Key’s perceived need to appease the Maori Party, while Treaty claims have continued way beyond 2010 with Finlayson cheating the taxpayer by ever more imaginative means, including throwing in an extra $10 million to Ngati Toa “for the loss of their maritime empire over Cook Strait” (code for Te Rauparaha’s right to take his war canoes across the strait to kill, cook and eat the tribes of Marlborough. In other words a taxpayer funded reward for cannibalism and one that even the usually biased Waitangi Tribunal refused to recommend. It was a deal reached by Finlayson in secret with Ngati Toa’s tribal leaders without any input from the public who have to fund it.

So, why vote for a party that makes promises to the public and then breaks them, betraying in the process both the ordinary people of New Zealand as well as National’s founding principle?

Labour also promotes separatist policies that reward people on the basis of race rather than need, e.g. the Clark government’s throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at part-Maoris by its racist “Closing the Gaps” policy. Yes, it is good to close gaps but not to people of only one race while ignoring the poor of other races.

Furthermore, it was Labour that introduced the fictitious “principles” of the Treaty, under which we have lost so many of our rights to the tribal elite.

Labour pioneered the undemocratic cancer of special race based positions on local councils when it rammed through the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001, creating three Maori wards on the council against the wishes of the local community. And by its Public Health and Disability Act 2000, with clauses giving preference to part-Maoris, Labour introduced racism to the health sector.

So, with this level of collusion between National and Labour, why would anyone with decent, democratic and non-racist instincts vote for either of these two parties which are undermining not only our democracy but also our sovereignty (the ever increasing “co-governance agreements” with the tribal elite), our economy (the debilitating effects of endless and expensive Treaty settlements), and our children’s future? In this land that was built by the sweat and labour of the pioneers anyone who is not part-Maori is increasingly becoming a second class citizen.

If you want all this racism and loss of rights to continue, then give your vote to National or Labour (or the Greens or United Future which also support race based privileges).

If you wish to see an end to this never ending avalanche of public resources and rights being handed over to the tribal elite and the continuing Maorification of New Zealand at the expense of all other cultures, then there are other parties to vote for – parties like NZ First, ACT, the Conservatives and 1 Law 4 All, that do not buy into the lies of “principles” and “partnership”.

For the sake of ours and future generations it is time for the notoriously apathetic voters of New Zealand to start thinking more seriously and more broadly about this, the most serious issue affecting our future. It’s time to think beyond the slogans and false promises of the mainstream parties. The slogans are dreamt up by highly paid advertising gurus while – as we saw with Gerry Brownlee’s deceit – the promises are not kept.

Apathy and a “she’ll be right” attitude are no longer options. In the words of G. K. Chesterton, ”A tired democracy becomes a dictatorship”.

An election is the only chance to change things but, if the voters let the TV talking heads and other media manipulators tell them how to vote by means of carefully contrived polls, selective presentation of news and an obsession with such trivialities as John Key’s smile, then there is little reason to go to all the trouble and expense of having an election.

Democracy – and the concomitant protection of our hard won freedoms and sovereignty that it should entail – can only work if people approach an election, the parties and the issues with an open and honest mind untrammelled by past party loyalties. People who are more loyal to a political party than to the long term good of their country are not much more than traitors.

This election is probably the last chance to stem the flow of racist legislation, of the Maorification of New Zealand, of undermining the sovereignty of our country by Finlayson’s “co-governance agreements” with chosen tribes like the backward and not very patriotic Tuhoe crowd.

If we allow ourselves to be so easily swayed by an irresponsible and shallow thinking media, then we should not complain when some thuggish Maori warden orders us off the beach or our Maori neighbour’s child gets preference in university placement and fees or unelected iwi councillors increase the rates.

Only by an open minded and genuine exercise of democracy can we fix this country up. This is the one election when neither National nor Labour deserve the votes of people who believe in democracy, the preservation of our ancient freedoms, racial equality, national unity and one sovereignty uncontaminated by “co-governance agreements” with the unelected tribal elite. Up to you.

Mike Butler: Jamie Whyte and treaty settlements

reblogged from NZCPR – Breaking Views


Act Party leader Jamie Whyte is only partly correct to say that the reparations made to iwi by the Waitangi Tribunal are recognition of property rights. After his excellent analysis of the place of race in law delivered in a speech at Waikato this week, he could subject treaty settlements to his incisive accurate thought.

To what extent are treaty settlements to do with property rights? Working for the Waitangi Tribunal, historian Professor Alan Ward analysed the 650 or so historical claims lodged between 1985 and 1997, and, sorted them to match the tribunal’s interpretation of the treaty and the 1986 treaty principles.

Ward’s seven categories were:

1. The “loss of rangatiratanga”, which includes the loss of resources, and the exclusion of Maori from the decision-making institutions.

2. Purchases under the native land acts, which extended well into the 20th century, particularly the “individualisation of title”, which the colonial government promoted partly to prompt Maori to develop their land.

3. Crown purchases from 1840 to 1865, which were manipulative and denied or discouraged Maori leasehold and joint venture arrangements and the coexistence of aboriginal title rights.

4. Confiscation or forced cession after military occupation, in particular districts, although the area of land and the number of people affected were much less than were subject to land purchasing.

5. The colonial government’s failure to ensure that adequate reserves of land remained in Maori ownership, or in trust, to fund Maori welfare.

6. The loss of ownership or control of rights in foreshores and inland waterways.

7. Public works takings disproportionately imposed upon Maori land, the rating of Maori land, and the good and bad consequences of development schemes.

Land sales and purchases is the most obvious property rights category of claims under the treaty. Land changed hands between individual chiefs and settlers before the treaty was signed, mostly between government land purchase officers and chiefs from 1840 to 1865, and via the Native Land Court from 1865.

A purchase means acquisition of something, in this case land, by paying for it, and a sale is the exchange of a commodity, in this case land, for things or money.

The New Zealand Company paid for the Port Nicholson block in 1839 with 120 muskets and 21 kegs of powder, as well as a collection of iron pots, soap, axes, fish hooks, shirts and other clothing (including red night caps), slates and pencils, looking glasses, beads, umbrellas, sealing wax, and 144 jews harps.

A handful of Ngai Tahu chiefs sold most of the 15,121,483ha South Island in 10 deals over 20 years from 1844 for a total of ₤14,750 which is $1.6-million today. Government agents had purchased from chiefs by the end of 1842 land in Auckland totalling 92,000ha the price being £4196 that is more than $472,000 in 2014. Bear in mind the land was undeveloped – wild, marshy. Roads were required. Settler money and labour transformed the landscape into farms and towns and land values increased as the economy grew.

Claimants would like everyone to believe that the land was stolen but it was sold.

New Zealand has 26.8-million hectares of land. A total of 1.2-million hectares were confiscated during the 1860s wars (much of which was returned at the time). Approximately 1.47 million hectares remains as Maori land (including customary land). Therefore, successive governments bought 24.13-million hectares.

If chiefs were clear about the land they owned 174 years ago and were happy to exchange it for money and things back then, it becomes clear that complaints about land sales are more demands for more money rather than any actual breach of property rights.

Moreover, any restrictions by the colonial government on chiefs regarding land sales, as current treaty claimants appear to prefer, would have been an infringement of the property rights of the land-owning chiefs.

Confiscations involved property but were arguably not a breach of a property right but were a consequence of tribes breaching the law, or the treaty, by taking up arms against the government. A confiscation would be a breach if those who had had their land taken had breached neither the law nor the treaty. Waitangi Tribunal reports put much effort into arguing that tribes had not rebelled when clearly some had.

In English law, confiscation embraces forfeiture of goods and escheat of lands for crime or in default of heirs. In the United States among the “war measures” during the American Civil War, acts were passed in 1861 and 1862 confiscating property used for “insurrectionary purposes” and the property of those engaged in rebellion. The law allowing for confiscations in New Zealand, the New Zealand Settlements Act, was passed in 1863.

Armed conflict with dissident tribes had been going on for nine years before the confiscations became legal and continued a further nine years until February 14, 1872. The certainty of land confiscation was a decisive factor in the government defeating rebellious tribes in the 1860s.

A commission chaired by Supreme Court Judge William Sim was set up in 1926 to consider whether confiscations in Taranaki, Waikato, Tauranga, Whakatane, Opotiki, Urewera, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay exceeded in quantity what was fair and just. At that stage the inquiry was not linked to Treaty of Waitangi obligations because the government held that Maori who fought against the government had repudiated the treaty.

That commission recommended a ₤5000 annual payment to Taranaki tribes for land unjustly confiscated. Sim found that confiscations in Waikato were excessive and recommended an annual payment of £3000. Waikato initially wanted the land returned, but received annual payments from that year, although they became intermittent during the 1930s.

The 1944 Taranaki Maori Claims Settlement Act was intended as a final settlement of claims in that area. The Taranaki Maori Trust Board had received a ₤5000 annuity since the Sim commission recommendation, plus a £300 lump sum payment for loss of property at Parihaka in 1881. The 1944 Act described it as a “full settlement and discharge of the aforesaid claims”.

The Waikato-Maniapoto Maori Claims Settlement Act 1946 was a final settlement of grievances over the confiscation of Maori lands in the Waikato and provided for the establishment of the Tainui Maori Trust Board to receive ₤5000 a year in perpetuity plus a further ₤5000 and £1000 a year for 45 years, to cover arrears since 1936, when negotiations with the Labour government began.

The 1985 amendment to the Treaty of Waitangi Act that allowed further claims all the way back to 1840 enabled tribes to re-open all old claims to get more money. In the latest round of settlements since 1989, Waikato tribes have so far received or agreed to receive $322-million which is a far cry from the $170-million amount of the Waikato-Tainui 1995 settlement. Taranaki tribes have received or agreed to a total of $255.5-million.

Therefore it is clear that in the categories of land sales and land confiscations, there is much more to treaty settlements than simply property rights, which the current Act Party enthusiastically supports.

The so-called “loss of rangatiratanga” is a conjured-up grievance that owes its existence to the redefined terms of the revised Treaty of Waitangi.

As a philosopher, Jamie Whyte would be familiar with the importance of definition of terms. In philosophy there is a concept known as redefinition, either high or low. It is the manoeuvre of redefining a term more or less tightly, so that an apparently false statement is made true if interpreted in the new way. This is pretty much what has been done with the Treaty of Waitangi and it is all to do with two words – “kawanatanga” and “rangatiratanga”.

As you know, the treaty was drafted in English and translated into Maori. Therefore, the meaning of the treaty is clear in both the source English text and in the Maori text. The word “sovereignty” in English was translated as “kawanatanga” and “ownership” as “rangatiratanga”.

Up to the late 1980s there was simply no question that the treaty was a simple three-article agreement with a preamble and a postscript that says is that the Queen is sovereign and Maori are her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property.

Then a Waitangi Tribunal member who was also an Auckland claimant retranslated the treaty and changed the meaning of those two words so that “kawanatanga” meant “governance” and “rangatiratanga” meant “unqualified exercise of the chieftainship”.

That illustrious tribunal member, the late Sir Hugh Kawharu, argued that “there could be no possibility of the Maori signatories having any understanding of government in the sense of sovereignty”, and “‘unqualified exercise of the chieftainship’ would emphasise to a chief the Queen’s intention to give them complete control according to their customs”.

In this way was born the “yeah but . . .” interpretation of the treaty and New Zealand history in which 20th century claimants could say that what the 19th century chiefs really meant when they were signing the treaty was that the British governor could govern British settlers while the chiefs could carry on being chiefs.

That created the concept that the wicked white coloniser denied chiefs the right to practise their “rangatiratanga”. If chiefs were denied their rights to be chiefs then compensation is in order. Therefore every Waitangi Tribunal land report includes lengthy sections on “loss of rangatiratanga”.

The argument may be easily disproved by looking at accounts written at the time to see what the chiefs actually said during the debate on the treaty on February 5, 1840. Missionary William Colenso left a written record of that debate.

Colenso described how chief Tareha understood that, by consenting to a governor, he would be giving up his sovereignty to a higher law. He said: “No Governor for me – for us native men. We, we only are the chiefs, ruler. We will not be ruled over. What! Thou a foreigner, up, and I down? Thou high, and I, Tareha, the great chief of the Ngapuhi tribes, low? No, no; never.”

Adequacy of reserves, control of foreshores and inland waterways, and public works takings are further areas that should be exposed to the bright light of reason. There is much more to treaty settlements than recognition of property rights.

The treaty settlement process long ago departed from seeking truth and reconciliation. The Waitangi Tribunal has given up any semblance of balanced inquiries and simply advocates for claimants. Evidence is not tested.

In the absence of quantified actual loss, the Office of Treaty Settlements has decided to give dollars to every tribe asking, calculating the amount paid by current tribal membership and the difference between land claimed in 1840 and the area of land owned by the tribe today.

Few want to discuss the issues involved and anyone who does is called a racist. It is heartening to see Act’s Jamie Whyte putting his head above the parapet on treaty politics.

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