When the new Coalition Government was announced little more than three weeks ago, those of us who believe that a democracy where every citizen has equal political rights is the only way to a secure and harmonious future were elated.
It promised to reverse so many of the measures which the Labour Government had put in place to undermine our democracy:
· Co-governance in the delivery of public services is out;
· Government contracts are to be awarded based on value, without racial discrimination;
· All public services are to be prioritized on the basis of need, not race;
· Where councils have established, or voted to establish, Maori wards without a referendum of ratepayers, such referenda must be held;
· The Maori Health Authority is to be disestablished;
· The principles of liberal democracy must be upheld, including equal citizenship and Parliamentary sovereignty;
· Public service departments and Crown Entities must communicate primarily in English, except where those entities relate specifically to Maori, and much more.
But since the Coalition Government was formed, it has become very obvious that they will require plenty of support from those of us who believe in those commitments.
This was glaringly obvious at the swearing in of Members of Parliament on 5 December when Maori Party MPs made a mockery of the whole normally-solemn process by prancing around, doing a haka, and generally causing a commotion, aided and abetted by supporters in the gallery. They used an insulting word for “Charles” when swearing loyalty to the King in te reo, and indeed promised in advance to make a mockery of the whole ceremony by issuing a press release four days earlier. In that press release, they stated:
“There is no honour in the Crown. It is tainted with the blood of indigenous nations, and its throne sits at the apex of global white supremacy.
“To the sovereign of England, we say history will judge whether you have the moral capacity to shoulder responsibility for your family’s heinous legacy. It is beyond you to restore its honour – the harm caused by your Crown is now intergenerational and irreparable. Indigenous blood stains the throne you sit on.
“We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon.
“Te Pati Maori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We will continue to do our best by you, in accordance to our tikanga, amongst the monsters whose portraits still hang on the walls of Parliament.”
Given their obvious contempt for the Crown and for Parliament, it is very doubtful in my view whether they should have been permitted to take their seats in Parliament.
And too many of the media have been aiding and abetting these treasonous clowns. When the Maori Party decided at short notice to whip up protests around some of our major cities, the New Zealand Herald obligingly provided details about where protestors should meet. Winston Peters has accused the media of taking bribes from the Labour Government in the form of hand-outs from the Public Interest Journalism Fund – grants which were made available on the specific condition that the media which received such largesse must promote the falsehood that the Treaty of Waitangi promised a partnership between Maori and the rest of us. On this, Mr Peters was completely correct.
The new Government is also up against a bureaucracy which is too often intensely hostile.
Less than 10 days after the Government had made it clear that they wanted government departments to communicate primarily in English, I noticed a large newspaper ad advising that the Met Service was seeking a Pou Arahi. Readers of the ad were advised that the Pou Arahi could be based in either Poneke or Tamaki Makaurau.
“The Pou Arahi will be responsible for leading out the Rautaki Maori development and delivery of our strategic vision. You’ll also lead the national development of key Maori partnerships with a focus on building regional relationships and national networks through engagement with iwi and Maori communities.
“We are searching for an accomplished senior leader with a track record of developing strategies and implementing programmes that demonstrate a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Ao Maori within a commercial organisation.
“Ideally you will bring proven experience leading at an executive level in commercial or state-owned enterprises where partnerships with Maori communities, iwi, hapu and key Maori organisations are prioritised. Your competency in te reo Maori and tikanga Maori will make articulating perspectives around te ao Maori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi come naturally to you. You will have experience engaging strategically with iwi and Maori organisations, whanau, hapu and iwi, building trust and relevance with Maori.”
I admit that when I first saw that ad I wondered whether it was a hoax, designed to get a rise out of some new Government minister. But I think it was genuine, though I haven’t the slightest idea what a Pou Arahi might be, nor why being able to relate particularly to whanau, hapu and iwi might be relevant to forecasting the weather.
And of course, behind all this nonsense looms the mighty Waitangi Tribunal, which recently took 2000 pages to “prove” that Ngapuhi chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi didn’t really cede sovereignty at all – and that despite the clear words of Maori chiefs at the time, the even clearer consensus at the conference of chiefs at Kohimarama in 1860, and the considered opinion of the greatest Maori leader since 1840, namely Sir Apirana Ngata, that sovereignty was indeed ceded.
Moreover, for well over a century Maori have behaved as if sovereignty was ceded in 1840 – serving in the armed services, serving in the police, employed by the state as teachers, content to receive benefits from the state, and so on. And of course serving in Parliament as elected Members, to the point where today eight of the 20 members of the Cabinet – 40% - are of Maori descent.
But plenty of Maori radicals and their indoctrinated supporters in the public service and the education sector believe that Maori are indigenous (they are clearly not by the usual meaning of that word) and agreed only to be in partnership with the Crown in 1840, as if Queen Victoria, head of the mightiest empire the world had seen to date, might have been willing to enter into partnership with 500 largely illiterate Maori chiefs whom she had never met.
In one sense whether sovereignty was ceded or not in 1840 is of second order importance. The reality is that New Zealand has no future at all if some of us are, by the accident of birth, entitled to a superior constitutional status. That is what David Seymour’s proposed Treaty Principles Bill is really about: do we want to be a country where all citizens have equal rights or do we not? It is imperative that that question is put to our Parliament and given an unambiguous answer.
19 December 2023