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2021: Fighting for the very soul of New Zealand

What a year 2021 has been! For many people, especially those of us who endured the near-four-month lockdown in Auckland and for the many more throughout the country hugely impacted by that lockdown, it has been a truly awful year.


2021 has also brought the realization that we are fighting for the very soul of New Zealand.


Are we to be a country where every person, regardless of when they or their ancestors came to New Zealand, has equal political rights, as Article III of the Treaty of Waitangi unambiguously promised?


Or are we to become a nation permanently divided by race, with those who chance to have one or more Maori ancestors (always with ancestors of other ethnicities too of course) having forever a preferred constitutional status?


What brought this issue to the attention of all New Zealanders was the release in April of the He Puapua document, prepared during 2019 at the request of the Labour-New Zealand First Government but not released to the public – or even apparently to the New Zealand First part of the Government – until after the 2020 election.


What that document makes crystal clear is that its authors envisage a “co-governed” New Zealand. Those with some Maori ancestry would have a perpetually privileged status, with their own chamber in a three chamber Parliament – one for those who chance to have some Maori ancestry, one for the rest of us, and a third joint chamber, with a Maori veto, for negotiation between the two divided “partners”.


The Prime Minister denies that this document reflects her Government’s policy, but she has to be telling us less than the whole truth because almost every aspect of her Government’s policy platform this year has reflected the thinking behind He Puapua:


- The plan to confiscate the Three Waters assets of all the local bodies in the country and place them into four enormous entities, drawn along tribal boundaries, and controlled by an equal number of tribal appointees as local body representatives.


- The plan to create two separate health systems, one for those with a Maori ancestor and one for all the rest of us – though with both systems funded by the general taxpayer.


- The removal of the right of ratepayers to have a say about whether they want race-based wards – with legislation passed under urgency to minimize the time ratepayers had to express their views on the matter.


- With moves afoot to give those with a Maori ancestor permanent representation on Environment Canterbury, and plans to create separate Maori wards in Auckland, where there is already an Independent Maori Statutory Board with strong representation on most Auckland Council committees.


- The constant reference to the name of our country in all government documents as Aotearoa, or Aotearoa New Zealand, despite most New Zealanders not wanting any name for our country but New Zealand (as established by a scientific opinion poll), and the ever more frequent use of Maori words in government communications and on taxpayer-funded media, often without any translation – and this despite the fact that only a tiny minority of New Zealanders speak the Maori language.


- The bribery of the media to promote a particular re-interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi.


And it is that interpretation of the Treaty which lies at the heart of the issue.


Did the Treaty involve Maori chiefs surrendering sovereignty in return for being guaranteed their property rights and political equality with all “British subjects”, or did it involve no surrender of sovereignty but instead the promise of some kind of partnership with the head of the mightiest empire the world had seen to that date?


Speeches made by chiefs at the time, and again at Kohimarama in 1860, make it quite clear which of those two interpretations was understood at the time. And indeed, that is the interpretation which prevailed for nearly the next century and a half.


More importantly, it is the only interpretation which is consistent with a peaceful future, where all citizens have equal political rights without any preference based on race, as politicians as different as David Lange, Winston Peters and David Seymour have made clear.

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115 Comments


A recommendation for tribal rule ("co-governance") of the Greater Hauraki Gulf region & surrounds - Auckland, Coromandel, Thames, Waikato (sea, soil & sky) is being voted on by the Hauraki Gulf Forum on 28th Feb. Time to let Councillors know how you feel about that!

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mark. wahlberg
mark. wahlberg
Dec 30, 2021

LIVING IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF REASON.

"Manawatū was forever changed on May 11 when 500 people from 12 marae, hapū and iwi staunchly marched to the council building. They demanded a seat at the table and they succeeded. Sinead Gill celebrates their triumph."


https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/300487590/manawat-standard-newsmakers-of-the-year-te-ktui-reo-taumata

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Michael
Michael
Dec 29, 2021

Don Brash asserts that it is the interpretation of the Treaty which lies at the heart of the issue.


Since 1975 the Waitangi Tribunal has the exclusive authority to determine the meaning and effect of the Treaty. It can decide on issues raised by the differences between the Māori and English texts of the Treaty. It can only recommend to the government as its rulings are not binding.


Don then gives his own interpretation of the Treaty. While everybody is entitled to their own views, should there be an authority on the interpretation of it for the purpose of settling claims, and if so who should it be? Should it be the government of the day, binding referendums, online foru…


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Michael
Michael
Dec 29, 2021
Replying to

The version signed at Waitangi and copied to London in 1840 is the official treaty, and legally there is only one treaty. The documents found in the basement of Government Buildings in Wellington were in a poor state and conservation treatment has been carried out over many years up until the 1980s. The refurbished document is now on display in the National Archives.


BTW, who are these "militant maori 'elite'" ? The Waitangi Tribunal, the Maori party, or the CEO and trustees of the iwi boards?

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matthew campbell
matthew campbell
Dec 29, 2021

There is a huge difference between financial and political apartheid

1 Financial apartheid is set up by factors the individual and society can control. Political is based on ethnicity which is totally outside both the individuals and societies control

2 Financial apartheid rises and falls with generations. Political apartheid is guaranteed to to hit every generation in perpetuity unless they breed with the dominant ethnic group

3 Finacial apartheid is under attack worldwide. Political apartheid is supported by the Woke, media and most politicians worldwide. Unlike in the 1980's when South Africa was a pariah state for exactly the same

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Rave Dout
Rave Dout
Dec 29, 2021

It is always interesting how the media portrays news of say access being denied to a beach over Maori land whereas a wealthy overseas "investor" who buys a large block of coastal land and denies access to the coast does not receive the same negative scrutiny. There is also an imbalance in our society where money and wealth have a greater influence on our democratic process. It seems the same group is now worried about Maori having a seat at the table. How many times is it written, "do not aggravate big business" because to an extent their existence relies on political party donations from this group? There is no difference between economic and political apartheid when the wealthy hav…

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Max Ritchie
Max Ritchie
Dec 29, 2021
Replying to

Rave: none of the owners in the Herald article are foreigners. Not sure what your point is re Mt Tauhara which doesn’t appear to be a beach. Are you saying visitors can access any Maori land but not some owned by non-Maori New Zealanders? I think you’ll find that’s not actually the case. My neighbour is Maori. I can access his land and he mine but you can’t access either without our permission (and I can’t see why we’d give it).

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