More Spin on Racism

More Spin on Racism

A recent Listener Article by Richard Harman prompted a pithy reply from John Ansell, wherein he said:

How deftly Richard Harman models the Left’s five-point Maorification strategy.

First, denigrate.

Mock anyone who champions the 80 percent of Kiwis who reject racial favouritism in poll after poll. Cast Don Brash as an ageing rock star, Waikanae as Wellington’s retirement town, and his audience as grey-haired baby boomers. Smugly assume most readers share the leftists’ distaste for my factual observation that whingeing Maori radicals have gone from the Stone Age to the Space Age in 150 years and haven’t said thanks.

Second, intimidate.

Harman didn’t tell you he spent Brash’s meeting furtively photographing every audience member’s face like a Stasi informant.

Third, invalidate.

Frame Brash’s Orewa speech as notorious. Forget that 93% of Dominion Post readers applauded it. Frame my Iwi/Kiwi billboard as controversial, despite floating voters rating it their favourite of thirteen billboards that won two campaign-of-the-year awards.

Fourth, exaggerate.

Harman cites one dissenter as evidence that the billboards were unpopular with National MPs. (Not evident to me when a clapping caucus confirmed post-election that many wouldn’t be in Parliament without them.)

Fifth, fabricate. (Remember when ‘history revision’ meant studying, not muddying?)

Trot out the party line that the chiefs retained sovereignty post-Waitangi, cunningly entitling their distant descendants to specific representation in an increasing number of pieces of legislation and regulation.

The Treaty specified nothing of the kind, of course – Cultural Marxist revisionist historians, journalists and Maori-vote-grubbing politicians did.

But Harman is right that National is looking more like an urban liberal party that’s working hard to align itself with Maori in the run-up to the election. Clearly any MPs who still represent the party’s members and principles have effectively been silenced as National and the rest of the Left test the line between [non-] partnership and [anti-] democracy.

For those who feel the need for some context to those feisty points, or who have the patience and fortitude to wade through it, click here to read Harman’s article.

Orewa Rotary Re-visited 2017 (Part 2)

Orewa Rotary Re-visited 2017 (Part 2)

14 February 2017

Governor Hobson’s Pledge – A Challenge To The Prime Minister

It’s almost exactly 14 years since I first addressed the Orewa Rotary Club, and almost exactly 13 years since I came here as Leader of the National Party to give a speech which, for a time, turned “Orewa” from a place to a date, so that people spoke of “before Orewa” or “after Orewa”, rather than north of Orewa or south of Orewa!

An odd thing happened after I spoke here 13 years ago.  As soon as I’d finished, the pundits pounced.  As pundits do. They know more than us, don’t they?  And they certainly knew what my speech would mean. They said I’d lost the plot. They said National’s ratings would plunge. They said it would be a disaster for the party.  And of course they were absolutely… wrong.

National’s poll ratings shot up: one of the biggest jumps ever.  Eighteen months later, in the 2005 election, we almost became the government. As it was, we won 21 more seats than we had had in 2002.  Our party vote was the highest in any election since 1990 and 18% higher than it had been in 2002.

I believe my speech here triggered that amazing jump in support.  I believe the people – not the pundits – knew what I was saying. They knew that it was not – and never will be – racist to call for equality. They knew what they wanted New Zealand to stand for: A fair go, a fair deal.  For everyone. Not favouritism for some.  And definitely not favouritism based on race. They wanted New Zealand to be a country where everyone shared the same air – which is the meaning of the hongi – the same rights, and the same opportunities. The people knew then – and they know now – that all racism is racist, no matter which race benefits. And they didn’t want a bar of it!  Not then. Not now.

But, 13 years on, racism still rules the roost. The push for privilege persists and our politicians still pander to it.  Inch by inch, step by step they have created islands of influence, and positions of power…for one race only. Make no mistake, our Parliament has done this, our politicians. They’ve been busy passing racist laws while dishonestly branding other people ‘racist’, using a lie to replace logic. They call the people who disagree with them a fringe. Well, we’re not a fringe.  We’re a throng. They label me a lone voice attacking the Treaty. But I’m not.

The Treaty is a wonderful stick for activists to beat the rest of us with…It’s been the basis of a self-perpetuating industry in academic and legal circles.

That’s from the Bruce Jesson Memorial lecture delivered in 2000 by…David Lange. He criticised “the preoccupation of successive governments with the Treaty of Waitangi” because, and these are his words, “the Treaty cannot be any kind of founding document, as it is sometimes said to be. It does not resolve the question of sovereignty, if only because one version of it claims one form of sovereignty and the other version claims the opposite. The Court of Appeal once, absurdly, described it as a partnership between races, but it obviously is not.”

As our increasingly dismal national day continues to show, the Treaty is no basis for nationhood. It doesn’t express the fundamental rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and it doesn’t have any unifying concept.

The Treaty itself contains no principles which can usefully guide government or courts. It is a bald agreement, anchored in its time and place, and the public interest in it is the same as the public interest in enforcing any properly-made agreement. To go further than that is to acknowledge the existence of undemocratic forms of rights, entitlements, or sovereignty.

So, in 2000, David Lange was concerned about the “dangers posed by the increasing entrenchment of the Treaty” especially since “its implications are profoundly undemocratic.”

Then, in 2002, Bill English, as Leader of the National Party, discussed the Treaty in a speech at the New Zealand Centre for Public Law and noted that Hobson and the missionaries took great pains to explain to Maori the decision they had to make, and the kind of sovereignty and order the British would create. Maori were prepared to cede their sovereignty because of the anticipated benefits of a common, non-segregated polity in New Zealand. The solution to the challenges that the Treaty presents to all New Zealanders lies in a single standard of citizenship for all.

What’s happened since those speeches were made?

In May 2003, Bill English committed a future National Government to the abolition of separate Maori electorates, as the 1980s Royal Commission on the Electoral System had recommended if MMP was adopted.

In 2005, believing that historical grievances would damage race relations in New Zealand if they dragged on endlessly and weren’t resolved, I committed a future National Government to resolving these grievances within six years, and also pledged to scrap Maori electorates.

John Key made similar commitments in 2008.

Tragically, we’ve been moving in exactly the wrong direction ever since.

•    The National Government has certainly sped up the resolution of historical grievances but the process still drags on, and too often involves granting not just financial redress but also so-called “co-governance”, giving unelected tribal appointees the right to have a decision-making role in local government.
•     Maori electorates – created for just five years in 1867 to give all Maori men the vote, whether they owned property or not – are still with us 150 years later.  The Government has quietly abandoned any suggestion they will be scrapped, and a Labour MP has a Bill in the Members’ ballot which would, if drawn and passed, “entrench” Maori electorates.  And this despite the fact that the need for Maori electorates to ensure Maori voices are heard in Parliament has long gone, with more than 20 MPs now identifying as Maori.
•     A Bill to amend the RMA now wending its way through Parliament would, if passed in its present form, require all local authorities, within 30 days of an election, to invite their local tribes into “iwi participation agreements”, which would entrench co-governance on a grand scale.
•     The legislation setting up the Auckland super-city said there had to be an Independent Maori Statutory Board, made up of unelected appointees, and Auckland Council chose to give the members of this unelected Board voting rights on most Council committees.
•    For several years now, the Government has been talking behind closed doors with tribal leaders about how to give them a special right, based only on tribal affiliation, to influence how fresh water is allocated, despite the Government’s long-held contention that “nobody owns water” and despite decisions about the allocation of water being traditionally the exclusive right of elected local councils.
•     In recent months, discussions have been going on, almost entirely below the radar, which are likely to lead to half of the members of the Hauraki Gulf Forum being tribal appointees.  This body has potentially far-reaching powers covering the sea area of the Hauraki Gulf and all of the extensive land catchments around it.
•     Last year, we saw the Maori king expressing the hope that by 2025 Maori would be able to “share sovereignty” in New Zealand, and nobody pointed out to him that all Maori already “share sovereignty” because all Maori adults have a vote.  But I suspect that wasn’t what he had in mind.  I suspect he was continuing the myth that Maori chiefs did not cede sovereignty when they signed the Treaty, despite overwhelming evidence that they did do so, and understood that was what they were doing, as Sir Apirana Ngata insisted in 1922 when he wrote “The Treaty of Waitangi, An Explanation”.
•     Very recently, we’ve seen Labour and the Greens saying they would make it compulsory to learn te Reo in all schools, even though I believe that learning to read and write good English would have much greater practical value for all children, including Maori children. And that’s not just because English is spoken by the vast majority of New Zealanders, but also because it is the only genuinely international language – the language in which most scientific articles are written, the language in which most international commerce is conducted and the language of international aviation.
•     Increasingly, we see unfounded claims that the Treaty involved some kind of partnership between the Maori people and the Queen, and we see this idea of partnership particularly being promoted in the education and health sectors.  Indeed, endorsing this partnership idea seems to be essential for any kind of leadership appointment in the government sector.

But as Winston Peters said in a speech in Paihia earlier this month: If no-one in the British Empire was in partnership with Queen Victoria on the 5th February 1840, how come the New Zealand Maori was one day later?

The expression partnership is either creative and legally and constitutionally wrong or had to include every New Zealander regardless of ethnic background being in partnership with the Crown.[1]

•    Last, and by all means least, the newly formed Opportunity Party is so confused by this imagined partnership that it wants to create an Upper House of Parliament, with half its members being Maori.

As I said earlier, those of us who say these developments are  totally inconsistent with any reasonable interpretation of the Treaty or the meaning of democracy are routinely abused as racists, even though what we are advocating is not only not racist it is in fact the exact opposite! We’re saying that all racism is racist.  We’re saying that no one race should have any kind of constitutional preference.  We want New Zealand to be a country where every citizen, of every colour and creed, has the same political rights, no matter when they or their ancestors came to the land we share and the country we are building together.

To call that racist is the epitome of Orwellian double-speak.

It is important to stress that we are not arguing that Maori are “privileged” in any economic sense. While a few Maori are among the wealthiest in the land, average Maori incomes are well below the average for other New Zealanders.  And of course because of that, Maori New Zealanders rightly receive a larger share of government social welfare and education budgets.  Most government spending is rightly geared to need, and not to ethnicity.

But we say that giving constitutional preferences to those with a Maori ancestor – along with ancestors of many other ethnicities too – is leading us down the road to racial conflict.

And who benefits from these unprincipled constitutional preferences?  Assuredly not most Maori. They gain absolutely nothing from such preferences, which overwhelming benefit only the Maori and Pakeha elite.  It is that elite who get the big directors’ fees, and the fees paid when consulting with Maori is a legal requirement.  It is the same elite who get to play with the millions handed out in Treaty settlements, not Maori truck drivers or freezing workers or builders or the thousands of others in the work force.

Many Maori, in professions, business and trades, resent being patronized by current policies which seem to imply that, without special privileges, they’re not good enough to make it on their own. They know they are.

They want what Governor Hobson said, as each chief signed the Treaty, to stay true today. “He iwi tahi tatoa. We are now one people.”

In 1922, Sir Apirana Ngata wrote that the second part of Article III of the Treaty, which “imparts to [all the Maori people of New Zealand] all the rights and privileges of British subjects,” was the most important part of the Treaty.  “This article,” he said, “represents the greatest benefit bestowed upon the Maori people by Her Majesty the Queen… It states that the Maori and Pakeha are equal before the law, that is they are to share the rights and privileges of British subjects.”

Those of us behind the Hobson’s Pledge Trust share the view of great leaders like Sir Apirana and Governor Hobson that New Zealanders became one people when the Treaty was signed.

We reject absolutely the notion that the Treaty created different rules and different rights for those with a Maori ancestor and those without.  We stand proudly with Martin Luther King and share his great vision:

I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

“…Judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” That’s our goal.  And I believe it is at the heart of who we are and what we want New Zealand to be. Those who built this country were determined to put rank and status and privilege behind them. They wanted this to be a land of equals, an egalitarian land where your choices and your chances didn’t depend on class or colour but on character. Yes, we’ve failed sometimes, I acknowledge that. But let’s not fail again.

We cannot abolish privilege by creating privilege.  By agreeing to do so, our politicians are creating a new injustice and poisoning our future.  I say the racism of our elite has done its dash and had its day.  We have a duty to our history and to the best dreams of our ancestors to stand for equality and demand a fair say, a shared say, with no privilege granted on the basis of race.

If you share that vision, join Hobson’s Pledge and help us spread the word.

Especially this year, when you can tell your Member of Parliament, and anybody standing for election to Parliament, that you want New Zealand to be, as Martin Luther King said, a place where every citizen, irrespective of the colour of their skin, is treated as an equal.

Ask anybody seeking your vote: Which do you support? A single standard of citizenship or race-based rights for some? If they won’t answer you or say they support race-based rights, then tell them they will not get your vote.

And challenge our Prime Minister to explain how current policy is even remotely consistent with the National Party’s longstanding commitment to equal citizenship, and to his own unambiguous statement in 2002, that “The solution to the challenges that the Treaty presents to all New Zealanders lies in a single standard of citizenship.”

Click here to go to Part 1.

[1] Speech by the Rt. Hon. Winston Peters “The Treaty of Waitangi as it was and should be,” Paihia, 3 February 2017.

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.

You Just Can’t Fix Stupid!

We just received this – but somehow I don’t think the request to be a member of 1law4all is genuine, do you?

It seems that Don Brash is being blamed for starting 1law4all. Poor man, as if he doesn’t have enough of his own problems, now he has ours too! Don was born in Wanganui. He is as indigenous as the rest of us.

Sorry Don, but it really can’t be helped. Some people out there are…well what can I say…you just can’t fix stupid. And while not all stupid people are racist, racist people are all stupid, this one certainly is!

TheDonBrashLetterJune2013 001

And it also seems that the above letter writer is not the only racist person about, unless it is the same person, who stupidly thinks 1law4all is a Don Brash come back. Check out this article written by Mana Party’s Te Hamua Nikora. (Te Hamua Nikora is the MANA Party Candidate for the Ikaroa Rawhiti By-Election. He is/was a presenter for Maori TV) It states boldly, as if it is fact, rather than racist opinion, ”

1 Law 4 All is simply a party for the Klu Klux Klan that will draw out the rednecks in the middle of the night so they can burn copies of the Treaty of Waitangi”
My knowledge of the Klu Klux Klan is pretty sketchy, but I’m pretty sure they were not working to achieve one law for all!

And a Don Brash come back? Some people really should do their research before they publish their ideas, then they wouldn’t look so silly. And for shame, Voxy and Scoop published that article of his too! Don’t editors check their sources any more?

Ok, time to get serious and take my tongue out of my cheek. Once and for all – Don Brash has nothing to do with 1Law4All. As for the references to the KKK, all I can say is that any attempt by some Maori to try and liken their very fair treatment by the colonists to the plight of the African Americans is laughable.

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