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Dr Bruce Moon

A Jaundiced View of History

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Thank you for your introduction, Mr Chairman and for all your hard work to ensure that I could be heard. As most of those present will know, I was denied my right to talk at the public library some little time ago. My title today I owe to Dr John Mitchell, a former colleague at the University of Canterbury, who has said graciously now that I may say what I like, so long as it’s not a hate-filled rant – I’ll have to watch that!  But I am not going to offer you my “views” or “opinions”.  I am going to offer you hard facts of history so that you can decide for yourselves.

I am a New Zealander, all of whose pioneer forebears arrived in the South Island before 1880, seeking to live in a country where one’s position in life was not determined by the happenstance of ancestry.

Though I grew up in the deep south, I have known people of Maori descent almost all my life, amongst them the Te Tau brothers who came to my eighth birthday party and their sisters, Ronga and Rua; Mick Anglem, the only half-caste in the class who sat beside me in standard five; Johnny Matthews, the last of the southern full-bloods; Rangi Ellison with whom I arranged to place a memorial to my Mother in the old Karitane cemetery in 1986. and Maurie Tate, from Turakina my undergraduate room-mate. We kept in touch for more than 60 years. None of them ever said they had a grievance against the wicked white colonials.

My thesis is that New Zealand today is awash with fake history issuing from those seeking political advantage, material gain or personal satisfaction. You may say that I am a man with a mission. In recent weeks, friends have called me both “a maverick” and “a heretic” – what my enemies call me I prefer not to know.  Values dear to me and once, I used to think, to all New Zealanders,  are truth, fairness and democracy which are under threat today – but I don’t ask you to believe me.  I ask you to believe the hard historical evidence.

In one talk I cannot cover everything. I have however, written a number of articles or essays on some important topics. They are free and you are welcome to have them.  I will send them to any of you who would like them but I request you to bring them to the attention of other people so that authentic information spreads and checks false material from other sources, however august and authoritative they may appear to be.  

I have some information for you today which I shall refer to. EndNote 1 gives the text of the Treaty of Waitangi, omitting the preamble. The two left columns are genuine.  The right hand column is a fake. The middle column is the text, in the Ngapuhi dialect, of the document which was actually signed at Waitangi on 6th February 1840, the left column is Hobson’s final draft of 4th February which was translated by Henry and Edward Williams overnight on 4/5.

When these two texts were shown to senior Ngapuhi elder, Graham Rankin, in 2000, he said that what they said was exactly the same, which is true, except for their dates and the one insertion of “maori” by the Williams.

Looking at either text as you prefer, you will see mention of “the Confederation of United Tribes”. Now this was an attempt a few years earlier to create some sort of order out of chaos by the well-meaning bur ineffectual James Busby but it never ever met and never existed except on paper. He did get a number of northern chiefs to sign a so-called “Declaration of Independence” dismissed at the time as “silly and unauthorised” and in similar terms.

Now this has not stopped it from being being milked till its dry.  Margaret Mutu calls it “immensely important” – well – maybe – as a bit of propaganda.  What is worse is that this paper tiger is now on museum display in a cabinet costing taxpayers more than $7 million, along with the original treaty document and that granting the vote to women, specifically presented for classes of children to gaze upon.  Mutu’s 2013 Robson Lecture from which I have this quotation is about as perverted a tale of the Treaty as could be imagined.  Hobson, to be doubly sure and perhaps encouraged by Busby, took care that a substantial majority of those chiefs who had signed Busby’s the declaration, did duly sign the treaty.

Now, please look again at EndNote 1. What was used as a Maori name for our country?  Any sign of “Aotearoa”?  No?  Well, it didn’t exist. Any reference to “partnership”?  Can anybody see one?  No “maybes” please!

It is only based on a remark by Robin Cooke in exceeding his brief as a judge, that the treaty provisions imply that the Queen and Maoris have “An enduring relationship of a fiduciary nature akin to a partnership”. I knew Cooke personally many years ago and he seemed a bit too earnest to be relied on.   His remark took off like a fire in dry bush.  Thus our present governor-general in her acceptance speech promised to honour this spurious “partnership”.  By dipping thus into the dirty world of politics she compromised her position as the representative of our Queen.  But do we hear any words of protest?

Before going further, let me tell you what was actually agreed that day. Please do not let your eyes glaze over expecting me to drone on.  I timed myself the other day in saying it all – 27 seconds.  It might take a few more today.

The chiefs agreed to cede sovereignty to the Queen, completely and for ever.  In return, all Maoris received the rights and privileges of the people of England while the property rights of all the people of New Zealand were guaranteed.  There was also a provision for the sale of Maori land, included for their protection, but it was found to be impractical and became a dead letter.

Did they cede sovereignty? Here are the actual words of some who on 5th February opposed signing, recorded by Colenso and checked by Busby at the time, albeit not published until 1890.  All are from Ngapuhi sub-tribes or allies.

Te Kemara, chief of Ngatikawa: “Health to thee O Governor … I shall never say ‘Yes’ to your staying.  Were all to be on equality, then, perhaps, Te Kemara would say ‘Yes; ‘ but for the Governor to be up and Te Kemara down … low, small, a worm, a crawler -no, no, no.

Rewa, chief of Ngaitawake: “I will not say ‘Yes’ to the Governor’s remaining.  No, no, no; return.  What! this land to become like Port Jackson.”

Kawiti, chief of Ngatihine: “I will not say ‘Yes’ to thy sitting here.  …  What! to be fired at when quietly paddling our canoes by night!  I, even I, Kawiti, must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Governor said ‘No'”.

Tareha, chief of Ngatirehia: “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, never.”  As he spoke, Tareha waved a canoe paddle up and down for emphasis.

All were articulate.  Their words show clearly that they understood that by signing they would become subordinate to the governor and hence, more so, to the Queen. They would cede sovereignty.  All did sign voluntarily in a few days.

By contrast the Waitangi Tribunal, in a lengthy review, stated that Ngapuhi did not cede sovereignty – the direct opposite of the truth.  If they had consulted the real evidence of the day, it would all have been settled by lunchtime.  This is just one instance of the fake history pronounced by this tribunal funded by taxpayer money.

However, back to the Treaty of Waitangi – Hobson’s instructions were not to let anybody sign it unless he understood it.  He followed these instructions to the letter.  As a veteran naval officer he knew the importance of speaking plainly – often men’s lives depended in it – and he did so.

Turning to recent commentators – we have Geoffrey Palmer. EndNote 2 provides an extract from his exact words as recorded in an interview with Kim Hill. He speaks of Delphic utterances and we know what they were.  The priestesses inhaled noxious gases issuing from a vent in the rocks until they were stupefied and then made utterances which were supposed to be prophecies and then everybody else fell to and tried to guess what they foretold. Is Hobson’s wording like that?  Then at Hill’s suggestion, he likens it to the Bible!

On another occasion, he said, as you can see: “it’s a document that is so vague that that is its primary problem.” Read Hobson’s plain language again. “Vague”?

More recently, Palmer has written a book advocating a written constitution – something we do not need.  I have not tried to count its Delphic utterances.

There are others like him who would have us believe that chiefs who signed it saw it as a “solemn covenant”. Thus, “Waatea news”, a Tainui propaganda sheet, reported on 12th March last, one negotiator Che Wilson, now president of the defunct Maori Party, saying that when Ngati Rangi signed it in 1840 they saw it as a sacred pact akin to a marriage.  This is no more than a negotiator’s latter-day invention.  I have yet to find any evidence for it from 1840.

So what was its real status? Hobson’s prime effort was to get as many chiefs as he could to show that they wanted British protection and he was highly successful, 540 reckoned as doing so.  They got protection from the French which most desperately wanted, they got a review of all land sales and rights for all Maoris, never before offered to a native race, let alone to their many slaves.

On 30th July 1839, Britain had nominally extended the boundaries of its New South Wales colony to include New Zealand to which Hobson was appointed Lt-Governor. More effective in real terms was Hobson’s confirmation of that sovereignty on 21st May 1840.  As TL Buick, doyen of Treaty writers said in 1914: “Britain’s sovereignty was incontestable before the world” and Sir Apirana Ngata said much the same in 1922.  Then on 16th November 1840 by Royal Charter New Zealand was established as a separate British colony with Hobson as its first governor, this being ratified on 3rd May 1841.  That is, in reality, our true founding document.  Who amongst you has ever heard of it?  Hands up, please!

As if that were not enough, Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast, first president of the New Zealand Law Society, ruled in 1877 that the Treaty of Waitangi was “a simple nullity”. It was not  even a treaty, albeit Hobson called it that from the beginning.  We may quibble about meanings but my Oxford dictionary says a treaty is “a formally concluded and ratified agreement between nations”.  Whatever our racist propagandists say today, there was never a Maori nation and certainly not one to ratify it formally.  And formally one of the principals was “Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen &c., &c”,  not the “Kuini o Ingarani”.  It could fairly be described as an informal agreement – a useful step taken in good faith along the way.

The claim by many today, Michael Cullen being one, that the Treaty of Waitangi is a “living document” is absurd.  By May 1840 it had done its job.  A decent burial with a suitably embellished gravestone would have been appropriate.

Its one enduring undertaking was its unprecedented granting of equality to all the people of New Zealand. But on 3rd May last, Mike Williams, Deputy Mayor of Western Bay District Council and two others who campaigned for Maori wards,  are headlined in the Katikati  Advertiser saying “Maori have a special place in New Zealand, a place enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi”.  Is that in the text before you? – a delusion or culpable ignorance?

The second article was actually redundant since it merely restated the property rights of British subjects. We live in an imperfect world, but with some “unders” and “overs”, until recently equality has been been honoured. But today there are more than 100 items on the statute books specifically to favour Maori interests – and we have an onslaught of tribal demands for the whole of our beaches and foreshore, a significant measure of control over our natural water and special representation on local bodies, a privilege not granted to any other racial group. Our treaty-twisters will not let it lie in peace.

One of the Williams’ problems in making their translation was in finding suitable words for concepts for which pre-European Maori language had none.

Thus for “sovereignty” they chose missionary-coined “kawanatanga”.  Of course this is composed of a maorification of “governor” with the ending meaning “-ship” but that is not the end of the matter because translation is not, repeat not, the same as derivation.  I could give you many examples but one must suffice today.  In Bislama. the common language of Vanuatu, “tumas” is derived from English “too much”, its meaning “very”; while “bagarap”, whose derivation you may guess, means “broken” so “bagarap tumas” means “very – or badly broken”.

The twisters ignore all this and claim that the chiefs only granted governorship, even to the absurd extreme of allowing the British control only over the unruly inhabitants of Kororareka! But Hobson had made it quite plain on 5th February – it was all or nothing. Again, “possession” was not a word with a ready Maori equivalent where the only rule was that might is right. The Williams chose “tino rangatiratanga” since in reality, only chiefs had any semblance of rights to property.  The twisters claim, on the contrary, that it meant “sovereignty”.  Now, in the first place, both genuine texts were read out at the 5th February Waitangi meeting and nobody said they were different.  Second, neither Hobson nor the Williams would have been such fools that Article second would contradict Article first.  Third, the twisters choose to forget that whatever Article second guaranteed, it applied to all the people of New Zealand: “tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”.

But it gets worse. The word “taonga” that the Williams chose for “property” was precisely what it meant in 1840 – chattels or ordinary possessions.  The word has an interesting history.  In 1820 while assisting Kendall and Lee of Cambridge in compiling the first Maori dictionary, Hongi Hika had defined it as “property procured by the spear – tao”.  In an appeal for protection by 13 Ngapuhi chiefs to King William in 1831, they said “We are a people without possessions.  We have nothing but timber, flax, pork and potatoes.”  And their word for “possessions” was “taonga”.  Note that two of their four taonga they owed to Europeans.   Then with the vast influx of European material goods, they needed a word for them so the meaning of “taonga” expanded rapidly.  However, in William Williams’ 1844 dictionary, it still meant only “property”.  And ever since its meaning has kept on expanding, even exploding!

Thus Hugh Kawharu displayed his knowledge of 1840 speech by translating “maori” as “ordinary people” but then proceeded to state: “As submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal concerning the Maori language have made clear, ‘taonga’ refers to all dimensions of a tribal group’s estate, material and non-material – heirlooms and wahi tapu (sacred places), ancestral lore and whakapapa (genealogies), etc.”

Well, maybe now, but an honest translation of an 1840 document would give the 1840 meaning.  He distorted the integrity of the treaty and those who signed it.  This is another illustration of the betrayal by the Waitangi Tribunal of public trust. Today, treaty-twisters have only to shout “taonga” and those who decide such things give them what they demand.

But note that possession of “taonga” was assured to all the people of New Zealand.  Those of us without the requisite teaspoonful of Maori blood should surely be shouting by now that their “taonga” include all property from motor vehicles and cell phones to beefburgers, none of which we owe to Maoris.

I have barely mentioned the right hand column. It was composed by Hobson’s snobbish secretary, Freeman, using words he had learnt at Eton and Oxford to send to dignitaries overseas, as he thought that Hobson’s simple wording was insufficiently grand.  One copy found its way to the Waikato Heads mission where the official version had not arrived when the meeting of chiefs was about to start.  Rev. Maunsell there improvised with a printed copy of the Treaty of Waitangi, with normal margins never intended for signing with room for only five chiefs’ assent.  He thereupon pressed Freeman’s fake into service for more, folding the two sheets together carefully with the Freeman piece as the second sheet.  When it duly got back to HQ in Waitangi the two sheets were sealed together with wax in the same order, later torn apart, pinned together and finally torn apart to go their separate ways.  Modern precise forensic examination has established this sequence beyond doubt – a single document, the second page incidental.

However, officialdom has seized on it, Freeman’s fake, and in the 1980s it was legislated to be “The Treaty in English”, a whole industry springing up with alleged explanations of why it differs so much from the real one in Maori.

Charging ahead they have producing a large coloured poster with columns two and three but not column one, which you see in EndNote 1, distributing it widely around the country.  I have seen a copy in a medical waiting room.

This is a deliberate attempt by officialdom to distort our history into what they want us to believe and to conceal the real truth from us.

Our Universities are awash with these fake stories. In an opinion piece in the Waikato Times for 1 December 2017, part-Maori Associate Professor Sandy Morrison of Waikato University, makes the flagrantly false statement that “Te Tiriti speaks of the chiefs maintaining their tino rangatiratanga (authority) over their taonga (all that they hold precious including the Māori language). The chiefs do allow the Queen to have kawanatanga, a nominal and delegated authority so that she can control her people.”  This paper refused to publish my response. 

Check this:

(i) “the chiefs” but the Treaty of Waitangi also included “all the people of New Zealand” – distortion by omitting an essential part.

(ii) “tino rangatiratanga (authority)” – false, this meant “possession”

(iii) “taonga (all that they hold precious including the Māori language)” – gross deception when only the 1840 meaning applied

(iv) “The chiefs do allow the Queen to have kawanatanga, a nominal and delegated authority so that she can control her people.”  Fancy that – a bunch of petty chiefs allowing the Queen of a great empire to accept “nominal and delegated authority” using a false meaning for “kawanatanga”!!

Thus does an associate professor deceive her students.

Actually she parrots Claudia Orange. Who amongst you has anything written by Orange? Do put it in the recycling bin because being turned into egg cartons would be the best use for it.  What Orange writes is wrong, time and time again.

I am reminded of Charles Lamb’s remark that Dickens could exclude books which were not books, such as “all the works of modern historians”.

But there is big money in reconstructing and fast forwarding history to the present. Freeman’s fake does not include “all the people of New Zealand” and promises forest and fisheries to Maori interests – neither being mentioned in the real treaty. On this basis, our politicians gave away about a half of our very valuable fishing quota to tribal interests as Nick Smith himself told me.  With a new fishing boat worth $70 million just arrived in Nelson, it will take big money to pay its crew and give a decent annual return to its owners!

But it gets even worse, with the insidious invention of “principles of the Treaty”. Thus from a handout of the “Constitutional Advisory Panel” of 2013: “The Treaty … enabled the British to establish a government in New Zealand and confirmed to Maori the right to continue to exercise rangatiratanga. … [It] influences the relationship between the Crown and Maori. … Generally legislation refers to principles of the Treaty rather than the Treaty itself. …  Treaty principles have developed because of the difference between the English and Maori texts and the need to apply the Treaty to circumstances as they arise.  The Waitangi Tribunal and the Courts have played key roles in defining the Treaty using principles to define the mutual responsibilities of the Crown and Maori.  The list of Treaty principles is not definitive and continues to evolve as the understanding of what it means to be a Treaty partner evolves.  Partnership is the most commonly referred to principle.”

“confirmed to Maori the right to continue to exercise rangatiratanga”:

False: it confirmed to everybody the right to possession of property.

“legislation refers to principles of the Treaty rather than the Treaty itself.”

Ignore the Treaty and invent what you like as a basis for legislation!!

“Treaty principles have developed because of the difference between the English and Maori texts”.  Start from a spurious basis – Freeman’s fake treaty and go!

“The Waitangi Tribunal and the Courts have played key roles in defining the Treaty using principles”  Thus do they corrupt the treaty and destroy its validity.  The role of courts is to interpret the law, not rewrite it.

“The list of Treaty principles is not definitive and continues to evolve as the understanding of what it means to be a Treaty partner evolves.”  What a fairy tale basis for legislation – or a constitution.

“Partnership is the most commonly referred to principle.” A bogus basis.

These may be rules for Never Land, not a modern democracy, but Peter Pan would cringe.

Bad enough? No, it gets even worse.  Look at EndNote 3 and note who the current Minister’s “In” group are.  They say “The Treaty is clear that there are two peoples in partnership, with roles and responsibilities.”  Now look again at the Treaty of Waitangi itself on your first page.  Partnership?  Where?  Again:  “Pakeha” do not really know what it means.”  That’s you.  Look at Hobson’s plain language again. Do you not know what it means?  “It is not racist … to prioritise results for Maori”.  Well, racism is discrimination on the basis of race.  So have a good look at what is in store for us if we let it happen.  There is just one word for it – “corruption”.

And now our children are to be the victims of this betrayal. On 31st May this year, the Education Gazette advertised a “workshop” for teachers to ensure that schools “enact [their] obligations as an effective Treaty Partner”!!!  What!  A false restatement of a 178-year-old preliminary agreement is to be used as a tool to brainwash teachers so that they may indoctrinate our children into their acceptance of a fake set of obligations to a favoured and ill-defined set of fellow-citizens.  Truly I feel sickened at the heart.

Well, Mister Chairman, I could many more a tale unfold to harrow up thy soul but my time is nearly up.  We are not merely awash with falsehoods; we are in a miasmatic swamp –  up to our necks.  Unless we all endeavour to arrest the spread of false history we are on a certain course for increased racial disharmony and apartheid.  Only by upholding the truth, whatever our differences, can we truly identify in future as New Zealanders.  I quote: “If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future” – Winston Churchill.

I hope I have done justice to my theme.

History’s what people are trying to hide from you “ – Hilary Mantel


1. Articles of the Treaty of Waitangi


(i) Hobson’s final draft of 4th February 1840, penned by Busby 

Article first

The chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes and the other chiefs who have not joined the confederation, cede to the Queen of England for ever the entire Sovreignty of their country.

Article Second

The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs & tribes and to all the people of New Zealand the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property.

 (Purchase provision omitted here)

Article Third

In return for the cession of the Sovreignty to the Queen, the people of New Zealand shall be protected by the Queen of England and the rights and privileges of British subjects will be granted to them.


William Hobson
Consul and Lieut. Governor

Now we the chiefs of the Confederation of United tribes of New Zealand being assembled at Waitangi, and we the other chiefs of New Zealand having understood the meaning of these articles, accept of them and agree to them all.

In witness whereof our names or marks are affixed.

Done at Waitangi on the 4th Feb. 1840.

(ii) The Treaty of Waitangi translated by Henry & Edward Williams 4-5/2/40 

Ko Te Tuatahi

Ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa hoki ki hai i uru ki taua wakaminenga ka tuku rawa atu ki  te Kuini o Ingarani ake  tonu atu-te Kawanatanga katoa o ratou wenua.

Ko Te Tuarua

Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangatira ki nga hapu-ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa.

(Purchase provision omitted here)

Ko Te Tuatoru

Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo to wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini- Ka tia kina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata Maori, katoa o Nu Tirani ka takua ki ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

William Hobson
Consul & Lieutenant Governor

Na ko matoa ko nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga o nga hapu o Nu Tirani ka huihui nei ki Waitangi ko matou hoki ko nga Rangatira o Nu Tirani ka kite nei i te ritenga o enei kupu, ka tangohiaka wakaaetia katoatia e matou ingoa o matou tohu.

Ka Meatia tenei ki Waitangi i te ono o nga ra o Pepueri i te tau kotahi mano, e waru rau e wa te kau o to tatou Ariki.

(iii) False Treaty composed later from early rough drafts in his own style of prose by JS Freeman, Hobson’s private secretary (one of seven such)  

Article The First

The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or possess, over their respective Territories as the sole Sovereigns thereof.

Article The Second

Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession

(Purchase provision omitted here)

Article The Third

In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

[Signed] W Hobson Lieutenant Governor

(Wordy attestation follows)

The flawed statutory foundation of the legislated “Treaty of Waitangi in English”:

“Whereas on 6 February 1840 a Treaty was entered into at Waitangi between Her late Majesty Queen Victoria and the Maori people of New Zealand; And whereas the text of the Treaty in the English language differs from the text of the Treaty in the Maori language; and whereas it is desirable to make recommendations on claims relating to the practical application of the principles of the Treaty and, for that purpose, to determine its meaning and effect and whether certain matters are inconsistent with those principles.”

[Preamble, Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975]


2. G Palmer talking to Kim Hill on National Radio: 8th February 1994:

I do not think it is the historical interpretation of the Treaty that is important. Its relevance is to solving the problems and difficulties that New Zealand has now, … you can almost say there is a moral and ethical significance to this document in this society. It is a document to which you should refer when you have difficulties and need to think about them. 

K H: We have to know what was meant when it was signed….
G P: I think that overlooks the symbolism of it and its importance. Many great documents are Delphic in their utterances. Many great documents in human history do not offer up literal interpretations immediately. … Life is …complex … subtle. There are many different aspects of it and the Treaty seems capable of embracing most of them.

K H: It is odd, is it not – we could be talking about the Bible.
G P: Yes, indeed.

K H: In exactly the same way.
G P: Yes, one could and I think in many ways the Maori community does. I think Paul McHugh’s book called “The Maori Magna Carta” sums up a lot of what people think.. until you can say that the Treaty has been properly honoured, you cannot celebrate it.

G Palmer on Australian television, 6th March 1990:

“The meaning of the Treaty, in terms of its operational consequences now was far from clear. In fact, it’s a document that is so vague that that is its primary problem.”


– Democracy Action, 4 July 2018

The Prime Minister has established a new Crown/Māori Relations portfolio, “to focus on the health of the Crown/Māori relationship now and over time”.  The Minister for Crown-Maori relations – Kelvin Davis – has been touring the country, seeking advice on what such a relationship should be post Treaty Settlements.  Throughout this consultation process the general public have been side lined, with most meetings held with the Maori community.

The Minister also held meetings with representatives of a handful of organisations and interest groups.  This included a group focussing on constitutional and legal matters.  The make-up of this group points to the suspicion that the minister is looking for confirmation of a pre-determined outcome, there being next-to-no advocacy for the rights and interests of all citizens.  The group consists of: Annette Sykes, Dr Carwyn Jones, Paul Beverley, Professor Mark Hickford, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Linda Te Aho.

The following points are examples of the recommendations made by the group:

  • The Treaty is clear that there are two peoples in a partnership, with roles and responsibilities.
  • A concrete agenda/work programme should include putting partnership into practice.
  • Legislative power for the judiciary to strike down legislation and other laws that are inconsistent with the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Proprietary rights need to be defined with reference to two systems of law.
  • Maori wards don’t go far enough, as they will fail to make effective change on their own.  Other changes are also required, such as a framework over the top that defines local government in NZ and its roles and responsibilities in the Treaty/Māori space.
  • There is a large body of Pākehā opposition to the Treaty, but the problem is they do not really know what it means.  The Government needs to address this.
  • The Government needs a plan to educate communities on the benefits for communities and the nation, and that it is not racist for the government to prioritise results for Māori.

Note:  The statements in bold type here were addressed during my talk.  Pressure of time excluded more.