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Dr Muriel Newman

Re-writing History

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TreatyWaitangiLast week the Waitangi Tribunal released WAI 1040 – a report into the claim by Ngapuhi and other northern iwi that their chiefs did not cede sovereignty to the Crown when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This first stage of their inquiry began in 2010 and covers the period up to the signing of the Treaty. The second stage will consider events after February 1840.

Unsurprisingly, the Tribunal rejected established history to find in favour of the claimants, that the chiefs did not relinquish their power and authority over their people or their territories to the British in 1840.

The Tribunal asserts, “Though Britain went into the Treaty negotiation intending to acquire sovereignty, and therefore the power to make and enforce law over both Maori and Pakeha, it did not explain this to the rangatira.” The report claims Britain’s representative William Hobson and his agents explained the Treaty was granting Britain “the power to control British subjects and thereby protect Maori”, while chiefs were told they would retain their “tino rangatiratanga”, or independence and full chiefly authority.

The Tribunal argues that the chiefs consented to the Treaty on the basis that they and the governor were to be equals, each controlling their own people. How this relationship was going to work in practice, especially where the Maori and European populations intermingled was apparently going to be negotiated over time on a case-by-case basis.

The Tribunal was silent on the important matter of how and when the Crown acquired the sovereignty that it exercises today.

In response to the report, the Attorney-General and Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson stated: “There is no question that the Crown has sovereignty in New Zealand. This report doesn’t change that fact. The tribunal doesn’t reach any conclusion regarding the sovereignty the Crown exercises in New Zealand. Nor does it address the other events considered part of the Crown’s acquisition of sovereignty or how the treaty relationship should operate today.”

The Minister said that the Government would consider the report as it would any other tribunal report. Since the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal are not binding on the Crown – except in some limited instances involving ‘memorialised’ Crown land – as with any report from a Crown agency, the government can either opt to respond, or simply receive it and take no further action.

Historian Professor Paul Moon, from the Auckland University of Technology, said the most concerning aspect of the report was the way the tribunal seemed to be re-writing history with little apparent regard for evidence: “This report may serve the interests of some groups, but it distorts New Zealand history in the process, and seriously undermines the tribunal’s credibility. I was shocked by some of the statements contained in the report. This is not a concern about some trivial detail, but over the fundamental history of our country, which the tribunal has got manifestly wrong.”

Professor Moon was critical of the importance given by the tribunal to the Confederation of United Tribes’ 1835 Declaration of Independence: “The tribunal sees the declaration as some profound assertion of Maori sovereignty. However, the declaration had no international status, and was regarded by British officials at the time as ‘a silly as well as an unauthorised act’. For some inexplicable reason, the tribunal has again ignored all this evidence.”

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin, a descendent of warrior chief Hone Heke, issued a statement in response to the report, saying that it defames his famous ancestor, and that if the tribunal refuses to alter the report to reflect the testimony he provided, he would lodge a Treaty claim against the tribunal itself – “the first in Treaty history for prejudicial effect”.

Mr Rankin gave evidence at one of the Tribunal’s hearings: “When our tupuna, Hone Heke, signed the Treaty of Waitangi, he did so because he knew it was the only option in terms of having a relationship with the British Crown.  But the tribunal is now telling us that all those chiefs saw the Declaration of Independence, which a few had signed in 1835, as being the basis of their relationship with the British.  That is a lie and that is not what the tribunal was told.”

Following the release of the Tribunal’s report, it took no time at all for one iwi leader to claim that the findings of the report “demands looking with fresh eyes at Maori claims for the likes of water, oil and mineral rights”.

This is undoubtedly just a start, and we should expect that opportunists will use the Tribunal’s self-serving report to demand even greater privileges and governance rights. There will be calls for more compensation and fresh claims for Crown resources of land, water, oil, and minerals – perhaps even for private property.

But claims to the Waitangi Tribunal are not the only avenue being used by iwi to pursue power and wealth.

Treaty demands through the Office of Treaty Settlements are no longer focussed only on property and monetary payouts – they include many new constitutional concessions that are consistent with the establishment of a privileged class in New Zealand such as seats at council tables, control of beaches, changes to place-names, co-governance rights, and so on.

The Courts also, have long been a popular option – sometimes as far as the Privy Council – with some judicial decisions having a major impact on the country. One such decision was the Ngati Apa case.

To refresh your memory – in 1997, in response to their mussel farming application being rejected by the local council, eight South Island iwi made a claim to the Maori Land Court to have the foreshore and seabed of the Marlborough Sounds declared as customary Maori land. While that Court decided that it could consider the issue, the Crown appealed the case to the High Court, which ruled that the foreshore and seabed were beneficially owned by the Crown and that the Maori Land Court had no jurisdiction in that area.

The iwi appealed the case to the Court of Appeal, which in 2003, controversially overturned settled law – including the earlier 1963 Ninety Mile Beach Court of Appeal landmark judgement – to rule that the Maori Land Court did have the jurisdiction to determine the case.

Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias stated: “It may well be that any customary property will be insufficient to permit a vesting order with the consequence of fee simple title. But that does not seem to me to be a reason to prevent the applicants proceeding to establish whether any foreshore or seabed has the status of customary land. I consider that the Maori Land Court has jurisdiction to entertain the application.”

Such reversals of laws that have been established through the same Court are very rare and extremely disruptive since they throw into disarray all of the case law based on the original decision. At the time, some commentators remarked that the Court of Appeal was simply following the direction of then Attorney-General, Margaret Wilson, to develop an “indigenous law”.

A constitutional crisis followed the Appeal Court’s decision. Iwi thought the ruling meant they owned the foreshore and seabed and their claims flooded in to the Maori Land Court, not only for areas of the foreshore and seabed out to the 12 nautical mile (22.6 km) Territorial Sea limit, but some included the whole of New Zealand’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone as well.

In response, the Labour Government passed the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, which legislated for Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed. The political fallout resulted in the formation of the Maori Party, and in 2011, in cahoots with the governing National Party, Labour’s law was repealed and replaced with the Marine and Coastal Area Act, which allows for private Maori ownership and control of the foreshore and seabed.

A similar case has been winding its way through the courts, which, while it might not be as dramatic as the Ngati Apa case, because it deals with customary ownership of rivers and potentially fresh water it could nevertheless have a significant affect on New Zealand’s domestic affairs.

The case is John Hanita Paki and others v The Attorney-General. The descendants of the owners of land situated at Pouakani on the Waipapa stream, a tributary to the Waikato River, have been arguing in the courts that when their ancestors disposed of the land to the Crown in 1887, they were not advised that they owned the riverbed to the midpoint in accordance with the common law*. As a result, they claimed that the Crown had a fiduciary duty to hold the river (which has power stations nearby) for their benefit.

The Supreme Court judgement on the case, issued in late August, dismissed their appeal against the findings of a lower-court. However it has opened the door for the case to be referred to the Maori Land Court to test whether their ancestors enjoyed any customary rights to the river – a course of action that, like the foreshore and seabed case, has the potential to challenge Crown ownership.

I asked this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Judge Anthony Willy, a retired District Court Judge and former University of Canterbury Law Lecturer, to examine the Supreme Court’s ruling and outline its significance for our readers.

Judge Willy explains that the sole function of the Courts is not to dispense wisdom of assistance to society in general, but to decide the dispute which the litigants bring to it. Accordingly, he is extremely critical of the approach taken by the Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias: “She spreads herself widely over the historical and as she sees it, the social background to the claim, and makes pronouncements on a range of matters of fact and law affecting the relationship between Maori and The Crown. It is unthinkable for the Chief Justice to use her juridical views on the relationship between Maori and non Maori to seek to influence The Waitangi Tribunal or Courts in future cases by expressing sweeping views on matters which did not call for a decision on the facts before the Court.”

With regards to the claim itself, Judge Willy explains that there was a complete absence of any reliable factual basis on which the appeal could be decided, and he quotes Justice Young: “the case has an air of artificiality about it because it turns on what long dead former owners of the land in question might have thought about their rights in 1887”.

Judge Willy also highlights important comments made in the judgement about the concept of a Treaty partnership: “The Judgment is however very important in the way it deals with the notion of the Treaty creating a partnership between Maori and the Crown pointing out that the earlier cases are not authority for the creation of a partnership rather that the relationship is one of the utmost good faith and fair dealing. The comparison with a partnership in this context, does no more than illustrate the nature of the relationship between the Crown and Maori created by the Treaty. This view is undoubtedly correct and can be expected to inform the Courts in future dealings between the Crown and Maori.”

Judge Willy, of course, thoroughly investigated the Treaty partnership issue for the NZCPR last year, producing a paper Sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi, in which he makes it very clear that there is no legal basis on which the Treaty confers any form of joint sovereignty on Maori.

By issuing their report claiming that iwi did not cede sovereignty to the Crown, the Waitangi Tribunal has clearly revealed its agenda and displayed a lack of the independence expected of a Crown agency. In light of the findings of the Supreme Court, Judge Willy, and many others, that the Treaty conferred no form of joint sovereignty or partnership on Maori, it’s time that taxpayer funding to the Waitangi Tribunal was stopped. It is disgraceful that the Tribunal would deliver such arrant nonsense in a report, but it becomes unacceptable when it does so with the benefit of taxpayer funding.

*While the beds of navigable rivers are vested in the Crown, under common law, property owners with riparian rights to non-navigable waterways own the beds to the middle of the flow.


Do you accept the Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that iwi share sovereignty with the Crown?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Given that we’re all subjects of the Crown, it is a complete nonsense that one racial group can share sovereignty with the Crown. Dave
There was no sharing and no “partnership” agreement of any sort whatsoever. The distortion of the Treaty’s meaning is criminal!!! Alan
Show me where it said that – ever. Murray
Sack the Tribunal! Mark
Why does this country put up with this group of self-servers? Isobel
We, the opponents are truly running out of time. There is no political party in parliament which dares to expose this gigantic web of lies and distortion and put an end to this apartheid. NO!! Instead everyone in the beehive is bending over backwards to appease these reverse racist/fascist apartheid spin doctors at the expense of the majority of NZ citizens and permanent residents.  A true parallel to how the Nazi party wormed its way into power in the 1930’s. Once they had the foot in the door it was only a matter of time to destroy political opponents one by one.What is really disturbing is that we are– like the proverbial frog– slowly cooked to death with this evil concoction of misinformation and covert control.This country has ceased to be a democracy!!!!!! (Quite a while ago) Michael
But some form of self-determination should be allowed for those Iwi that did not sign the ToW. (eg Tuhoe) Barry
Pie in the sky. Graeme
The Crown must remain as THE Sovereign authority in this land of ours. By definition here cannot be another ‘equal’ authority. John
This is just more money grabbing tactics. Bob
We will live to regret alot of these stupid decisions. Bill
The sooner we learn to be one nation the quicker we will be able to move forward for the benefit of all peoples what ever their nationality. Robert
The corrupt National Party, in their bid to stay in power have sold out the majority of New Zealanders By giving the Maori ownership of certain seabeds and foreshores. Although the British showed up uninvited on the doorstep of maori and usurped their way of life and culture, to litigate what was going through the minds of the signatures of the treaty is highly ludicrous. No one owns the land as we are only caretakers for the future generation. As such we have failed the future with the mess we have made. David
As a nation we will never move forward while looking back. Robin
The already ceded sovereignty as well as being paid out billions of dollars of taxpayers monry for something that happened in the distant past. Time the country put this behind it and joined the modern world. David
100% no to this unbelievable untruth. Monica
Absolute nonsense – but dangerous. The Prime Minister should take it seriously. Barrie
I think that at last the Waitangi Tribunal has gone much too far. It was always going to happen sooner or later. When the government is embarrassed enough, the only option is to close it down.. Hopefully not too far off. Never did I expect a NO from Chris Finlayson either. Shows something has been rubbed raw!!! Mike
Everyone in modern NZ should have equal rights, not the APARTHEID system that exists in NZ where Maori have special separate status and seats in parliament. Geoff
When is some one (Govt) going to put a stop to this divisive nonsence? Bill
I am tired of hearing Maori grievences & poverty, they have been given enough money which is in charitable trust to be able to help their own people. Jasper
It’s long past time the government stopped procrastinating & Finished this whole ridiculous situation. Alan
Another move to create apartheid rather than ‘one nation’. Kevin
The Waitangi Tribunal appears never to have worried about fatual evidence, has cost NA taxpayers about $3billion and ought to be abolished. John RL
No! – never. Let us not just get rid of these lying, revisionist, prevaricating, parasitic, racist tripe-hounds – tar and feather them and ride them out of Parliament on a rail before the rest of us wind up being second class citizens in our own country. Our leaders seem to be inflicted with the same sort of blindness and lack of resolve that is allowing Islamists to overrun Britain and other European nations. Time to wake up – we have already effectively lost one of our National Parks – we do not want to lose any more. One Nation, one Law and no racial privilege – full stop! Scott
It is well past the time when this tribunal was abolished. It is appalling that taxpayers are obliged to fund this nonsense. Rob
No. No. No. Re-writing History is a lot of fun but no way to run a country. Ann
This is arrant nonsense and the sooner we adopt binding referenda to give politicians some backbone the better. Ronmac
How the hell would we ever be able to make decisions? Billy
Absolute reversal of the truth. Brian
When Maori accepted to become British citizens They accepted to obey British laws end of story! Theodorus
If it was Yes then NZ would sink into a tribal led country then we would be a third world country. Tony
This result shows the Waitangi Tribunal is not acting as an independent Crown agency but a biased advocate for the Maori sovereignty cause. It should be scrapped! Sally
Yet another step. Robert
Bloody maori at it again. When will they be stopped. Mike
This is ridiculous and the whole claim should be dumped. Ian
No-body, apart from a few politicaly motivated cunning, greedy specimens that decend from Maori many generations ago, want any thing to do with this racist rubbish, yet the GUTLESS government that the majority elected, allow it to continue. It’s beyond my comprehension.. Allan
Maori are esquing this issue to obtain privelage I detest that. David
Somebody is trying to rewrite history.  What is a Maori ?What percentage of maori blood does one have in his veins and still consider himself a Maori? R.A.U
Such a notion defies contemporary records of what was thought at the time. In particular the 1860 Kohimarama Conference. Ditch the Tribunal. Bruce
I am appalled by the rubbish this Tribunal produces. In the final analysis , what actually happened? The settlers took over this country and have run it for the benefit of all our peoples since 1840. Tell these stupid Tribunal Members ( including Tim Castle) to get stuffed. Wah
There can only be one sovereign power in a country.To propose another amounts to treason for which the traditional punishment is death. Don
Sovereignty can not exist if invested in more than one body/institution/race. Our Constitution is unwritten, but it is increasingly evident that these basic principles should be be voteinto immutable law:- One law for all, one nationality, all citizens equal under the law, one vote per person, no appointment by racial status.. PLUS – in view of the ISIS movement, or any other religious body:- absolute separation of Church and State. Bill
The Tribunal is past it’s use by date and funding for it should be removed. Bob
This rubbish has to be stopped. Dayal
Just more propaganda by activists. Stui
Arrant nonsense. Graeme
The sooner the Tribunal is disbanded the better. William
It is clear from the records kept at the time the treaty was signed and the later Kohimaramara meeting that the Chiefs new full well that they were ceding Sovereignty. The Waitangi tribunal is well past it’s use by date. Graeme
Absolutely not! This nonsense must stop and the Tribunal scrapped. Helen
The claims have already commenced in relation to water matters that are the responsibility of the democratically elected Unitary Authority for East Coast. Pete
Shy are we putting up with this nonsene! its all about greed and control, and all of New Zealand should be very worried if this sort of thing is allowed to continue. Shank
Derek Quigley wrote to the Herald on this some years ago stating Maoris/The Crown not “partners” but “contracting parties.” I retain a copy of the letter but unable to date this. Rgds. Roger
What is so wrong with these be-wigged cross dressers in red and ermine robes. The conduct and the sentences handed down by these people is beyond belief. Dont start me on the previous Minister Judith Collins and her treatment of a fellow judges decision on the David Bain case, let alone her behaviour in our own Chinagate. Bail for muderers, prominent citizens protected from being known by us who can walkawy and be told to go and enjoy their day, by these all knowing bufoons. And now we have tribes rewriting history from their own point of view,regardless of what the intent was and agreed to by their own Chiefs. All because Norman Kirk added the word Principles to the end of The Treaty of Waitangi document The money that is chewed up by these idiotic claims,appeals and Lawyers is though huge, does not raise an eyebrow, that the bench is looking after all those that sit on and around it. Our people need to get with the plan and start pulling for all of us here in Kiwi not just the chosen few. I suppose we could try and find someone with a degree in millinery, so as to find a hat to wear in moments like this. Hereee’s Johnny. Wiremu
Yet another attempt to rewrite history. Tony
For goodness sake. Isn’t it time we all moved on? For over 170 years Maori have enjoyed the benefits of European settlement. Why do they always have their hand out for more? Ian’t it time they paid for sharing these benefits? Peter
Absolute bullocks! Murray
Our Chief Judge is a worry ! _ She is encouragin g further stupid claims by the Maori elite. David
The mere concept beggars belief! I’m totally fed up with misguided, politically correct do-gooders attempting to re-write history. Les
We all have to be the same with the same rights. Richard
Maori should only have the same rights as every other person in NZ. Gwenyth
Wankers Graham
As noted by others already, this is an unwarranted rewriting of history, and acceptance of such views would set an ominous trend for the future. Pieter
Here we go again. The bulk of the members of the Tribunal are nothing more than a bunch of Maori activists and Maori sympethisers. Unless this finding is wiped things are probably going to get quite nasty between non Maori and Maori Mike
No way! Peter
After many years in NZ I I became a citizen I swore allegiance to the queen and no mention was made that Maori should reign with her. Should this have been so I would not have chosen to become a kiwi. Those in power are to afraid to speak up so ‘as not to disturb the peace’. Do you think the radicals will stop doing what they are doing? I think not. Their intend is not for the good of NZ but the selfish hunger for power and money. Ido
Absolute rubbish. there are no Maori anyway – only mixed race Pakeha – Maori. Ross
The whole Treaty Legislation is nothing but a patronising political scam! Bob
Totally un-neccessary. Laurense
Of course the WT found in favour of maori .. It’s like asking the inmates to run the asylum. Kabe
The moment that queen Victoria gave Maori the same rights as British citizens, which Maori accepted they lost all right as a separate entity under law. That being the case the Maori have no claim on the right to share sovereignty with the crown. Our politicians need to accept the responsibility of government and reject all claims using documents instead of verbal grievances. John
Certainly not, the Waitangi Tribunal should have been disbanded years ago. Herb
Definitely not.  John
When will it end???? when is enough going to be enough? Rob
Absolutely never. Ian
NO NO NO ! Time to end The Tribunal and all Maori claims, Maori seats and Maori everything. They do not own the seabed or foreshore. Its time we had a Dept of European Affairs to look after OUR PEOPLE. Des
Rubbish – Maori wishing more handouts – divisive – let Maori return to a life without the advantages & lifestyle provided by Europeans – instead of this continuing sad behavior of the waitangi Tribunal let us get rid of the Tribunal and spend the money for its operations us use the finance towards efforts to make NZ a nation of ‘one people ‘. Hylton
But when will we have a Govt with the guts to put the treaty where it belongs – in the history books, not to be rewritten. Maurice
No! No! No! Ed
When will all this non’sense stop. One Nation, One People, We are all New Zeallander’s. Richard
Resoundingly NO. Paul
Another case of Finlayson allows ? David
How can you possibly run a country as a partnership. We have to be one people with equal rights. Tony
Getting more and more an apartheid type society. How can one have a sports team, the maori All Blacks, and not call it racist. One has to be, or part be, of a certain race to get selected. The All Blacks should be the only country representatives, selected from all the people who play rugby. Owen
The Waitangi Tribunal should be immediately closed down before it causes severe racial disharmony. Laurie
Article first is quite clear in the treaty signed on 6th Feb 1840.That is the real treaty written by James Busby on 4th Feb ,and not the hoax treaty. David
This nonsense has to stop.Twisting of proven facts will not change the truth. The W.T. Is being manipulated by greed and perceived power. Robyn
What a joke….apartheid. Roy
We are writing to both John Key and Mike Sabin with regard to this matter. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as we are concerned. The Tribunal has to go, especially considering the fact that it was set up and funded by the crown. Roger
What planet are these people on. Murray
Considering the blended blood of a huge number of New Zealanders shared sovereignty would be allowing a double dip in the power base and undue influence as well. Not on I say. Alastair
I do not accept the Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that iwi share sovereignty with the Crown. Self serving greedy maori on the go still. I agree it is time to cease the tribumal funding from the tax payers pocket. Need someone with the balls to stand up and shut all this maori sovereignty crap down once and for all. Neil
The sooner we forget all this Waitangi crap and get on with being one country, all working together, the better everyone will be. Bruce
Most tribes became british citizens to get protection from the few warring tribes in the Waikato. Graeme
If the tribunal keeps re-writing NZ history to suit iwi then and the crown adopts these policies then it is fair to say APARTHEID is well on it’s way to becoming the norm in NZ. Te-Urewera and Tuhoe are an example. Kevin
What utter B/S. Tony
Absolutely no. And its about time the question of what is a maori. Too many wanna by’s are in the trough getting fat on our resources. Mostly by fraud. The definition of maori needs to be set at a proven ratio of DNA. To have a majority of something else means by my definition you cant be maori laying claim. Trevor
Distorting the facts to allow beneficial outcomes to a select minority must be curbed, it is building animosity & resentment in the general populace. I feel we have a watered down version of apartied operating in this country, is that what we want? Tracy
They are trying to change history can you imagine the British rewriting the Magnacarter. Les
If these Maori or any Maori do not wish to be bound by the treaty, then take away any benefits they received under the treaty. Roger
The waiting tribunal consists of sympathetic to the maori cause members like judge eddie dury who no doubt is influenced by his stirring activist wife and others of the entitle meant brigade. as the ad for tui suggests Full and final settlement Yeah right!!! Ban the tribunal and the wanton money wasting and try to create one people and not a racist maori run nation. Mike
Roll on Robert Mugabe. Rod
The effect of the finding will be to reinforce the willingly deluded notions of a select group who benefit directly from legal mayhem and confusion caused. A notion that will never get traction ultimately, they know this, however that is not the point. Keith
Absolutely not. It is well past time that all tax-payer funding is stopped for the so obviously biased Waitangi Tribunal. Laurie
To me the Treaty of Waitangi was a merger between two peoples with the overall authority given to the Crown. Eric
BLAME MMP, COALITION AGREEMENTS made by that power maniac John Key and we see how giving a little becomes giving heaps when greedy Maori have a sniff of the money and power pot. It is time to put a stake in the ground . William
Any person who believes that Queen Victoria would share her sovereignty with the Tribal Chiefs of New Zealand back in 1840 are idiotic. If all Waitangi Tribunal Members undergo compulsory psychiatric testing it is likely to show they are not of sound mind or judgement! Martin
 Definitely not! Jim
Time to let it go and stop milking the system. Laurel
Absolutely not! Brian
When are maori going to stop rewriting the so called treaty to suit themselves? It is just being twisted around to suit when they want rip us off some more. John
Absolutely no! This ruling is a farce, and shows how biased and just plain wrong the Waitangi Tribunal is. David
Am sick of this crap. Sam
Maori rewriting history and sanitising their ancestor barbarous behaviour. John
The entire treaty issue has gone far beyond what any reasonable person could possibly infer from the actual document. the absurdity of it all has to be far beyond any legal document dispute in NZ or possibly the world. It is, to my mind, completely bizarre! Allan
They are wrong and they know that they are wrong It is their back door trying to be the ruler of all. Johan
The time to abolish the Waitangi Tribunal is long past. We need to stop this BS immediately. Jim
With out a doubt the answer to your question is NO! David
Disband the Waitangi Tribunal… Graham
What a load of rubbish. A very strong argument and reason to disband the racist separatist Waitangi Tribunal. I believe that this time they have gone a step too far and this is supported by the Ngapuhi. Rog
It is time for the Government to stand up and abolish the Waitangi Tribunal. Steve
This nonsense is real evidence that the tribunal has outlived its purpose and jurisdiction and MUST now be abolished.If not it will be the greatest source of antagonism and disruption in the country which could lead to a type of civil war in the future. Brian
When is this nonsense going to stop it is a racist attack. Don’t we want a New Zealand society and when is John Key and his party going to show some backbone We are very tired of this dangerous nonsense. Lance
Who are the racists??? Graeme
The sooner this tribunal is disbanded the better. Karl
Absolute rubbish just another reason to abolish the Tribunal who are self serving racists. Diane
As with all things Maori we are watching history being rewritten according to Maori rather than facts which are being discarded. Richard
Ship them all down to the Auckland Island as a new homeland. Robert
Absolute racial nonsense.  David
The Tribunal are obviously totally prejudiced. There cannot be two separate govenrments in one country. Ron
I doubt very much that any agreement would have allowed for dual sovereignty. Ralph
This is getting totally out of hand. We are all New Zealanders with the same needs and desires and no group should be given priority because of race. Fiona
Arrant nonsense indeed. Paul
Absolutely not! Richard
What!!! The Waitangi tribunal was set up for Moari and their ever growing grievances. How surprising that it went in their favor. NOT! “Grievance” A real or IMAGINARY wrong causing resentment and regarded as grounds for complaint. Gee i go for the imaginary. With the $1.4 billion that Part Moari get for race based privileges. THEY SHOULD BE ON TOP OF THE WORLD Why are they not????? Is my question. Ron
This one sided Tribunal is a farce and must be shut down before they cause more division amongst the people of New Zealand. Graeme
What utter garbage!! Disband this damnable self-serving tribunal NOW!! Tony
When the hell is all this rubbish from maori gong to stop, majority of N.Z. has had a gutsful. Graeme
Nonesense.  Very few people in nz know the history of nz.  Maoris rewriting history shows they don’t know their own history. Lorraine
NO, When will this government get some back bone and put these bloody Maoris in their place, and derail the gravy train? Athol
When did the tribunal find other than for the claimant. Jeremy
A joint arrangement such as this with the present grievance attitude of the Maori is unworkable. Charles
The maorification of New Zealand continues. The new banknotes, without consultation, will have Aoteoroa as well as New Zealand on them. Presumably the ones after that will quietly drop the New Zealand altogether, in the same way as the Egmont has now been dropped from the mountain and the english words are being dropped from the Auckland volcanoes. John
The only good thing about the decision is that it further undermines the Tribunal’s credibility. Trevor
Enough already.. This madness has to stop. Gordon
The meeting of Maori tribes at Kohimarama a decade or so after the treaty was signed, acknowledge that Queen Victoria held Sovereignty. Sir Peter Buck, years later, also acknowledged that the Crown had sovereignty. The Waitangi Tribunal must be wound up. Peter
I am becoming more angry at the way maori consider all non maori to be idiots. Frank
Definitely not. We want no part of aparthied. Monty
The Waitangi Tribunal is stacked with people who will give the Maori elite anything they want regardless of whether the claim is correct. The ordinary Maori gains nothing. Colin
Time to abolish this racist tribunal. John
The day that happens we will have civil war here. And the Maoris will reap what the rich ones are sowing! Norm
Lets get rid of all this nonsence now as its been going on for far to long and tying up courts etc and costing the taxpayers huge amounts of money Peter
Its a purely money grabbing try-0n. Peter
Lies and corruption throughout. Bruce
Have you noticed that all displays of the Treaty of Waitangi no longer include the preamble? Mitch
Yet another attempted con. Peter
Time we stopped funding this nonsense and accept history as it happened not what may have been. surely if this were the case someone would have been onto it in the last 150 years. Colin
More racist rubbish. Greg
Most so called Maori are more Pakeha than Maori, this is just a device to extract more money from the government. Edward
We are now one people. Ian
Time to end this nonsense. Maureen
Why do no major political parties follow public majority desire? If that voice states that the Waitangi Tribunal be abolished, then please make it party agenda and go to the people on that. Come on politicians, please! Perry
Getting real tired of the the Waitangi tribunal’s ridiculous decisions of trying to mis-interperate the aims of that silly treaty for the benefit of the early settlers of New Zealand. David
Why does this ancient Treaty Document have so much influence over modern NZ? Today’s people are different and modern ideas and living conditions are totally different. No one at that time could have forseen the changes in,our World. The answer of course is that claiming sovereignty enables the Maoris to present every full and final claim once again for the sixth or seventh time and drag the whole process out till the end of this century. The Treaty Lawyers will be delighted as it will guarantee their employment on huge incomes for the rest of their lives and Maoris will satisfy their lifestyle courtesy of the NZ taxpayer with endless gimme, gimme, gimme. No doubt there will be a growing number of Maoris who will see this also as an opportunity to defy police over traffic infringements, occupation of land, fishing regulations, burial grounds and the other laws which they see as not involving them so they can ignore. We call it anarchy. The big question now is, will the Government have the strength of will to at last say enough is enough?  Chris
No one can take seriously an activist tribunal that happily ignores libraries of written history and law, to promote modern, separatist notions based on oral history and wishful thinking. Chris
We are all equal in this country or so we are brainwashed to believe. No should have more rights than any one else. It is obvious in our local hospital where recovering patients of other races have to be kept awake all night while the Maoris kick up bobbsydy in the next room because one of their kin has passed away. Other people would be made to shut up and kicked out if they tried this. So much for other people’s rights. We don’t have any. Mike
Do you accept the Waitangi Tribunals finding that iwi share sovereignty with the Crown? To do this would in effect, divide us into two nations living in the same land and place the present judicial system into disarray. How could we judge between Maori and Non Maori in a Civil or Criminal case; when each side has a totally different set of laws? The more I see of what is happening in New Zealand a picture daily of more separate divisions between Maori and Non Maori being created. Allowing the introduction of an apartheid system, which in time, will destroy us all. We have therefore only two paths open to us, either we dismantle the Waitangi Tribunal, and return to accept that we are ALL treated as citizens under New Zealand law. Or we accept, the finality of having to divide the nation…in plain words agree to a Partition with all its inherent difficulties and problems, which will arise from such a division. I can do no better than to refer to the words of Abraham Lincoln on the outbreak of the American Civil War. %u201CI believe this Government cannot endure permanently %u2018Half slave and half free%u2019. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become one thing or the other. Brian
Re-writing history – unopposed ! Michael
This is all too ridiculous and I just wish that at the age of 75yrs the issues between Maori and soverienty were over with before I die. Jeff
I do not accept that any person or entity other than the Crown has sovereignty in New Zealand. To entertain such a notion is to redefine what is meant by the term “sovereignty”. It is both highly regrettable and ridiculous, but not surprising that the Waitangi Tribunal with its partisan membership and biased views should come out with such a report which frankly seeks to reinterpret historical fact with a series of contorted opinions. In my view, having the Waitangi Tribunal pronounce on such an issue is akin to asking a drunk whether they would like another drink; another analogy would be to ask an accountant to audit their own work; both would have predictable outcomes and are equally absurd! Perhaps it might be more just were the Waitangi Tribunal to be funded by its supporters just as political parties are; it is a political organisation with its own agenda, is it not? Peter
Just one awful gravy train, one group of NZers working there tails off while this appalling is bleeding the Country and tearing it apart. Alan
The Waitangi Tribunal is a biased untruthful organization making claims of statements and events that happened over 150 years ago that no one can verify. they have a credibility rating of zero. Get rid of them! Albie
This parlous state is a result of spineless appeasement and concessions from successive governments and highlights how weak our current Prime Minister is – He wants to avoid the Hikoi from hell and leave the problem to somebody else. Tom
Distortion for extortion – its time for he Waitangi Tribunal to be abolished. The courts are the avenues for litigants who feel aggrieved. The judiciary need to cease trying to be historians and social justice administrators. I thought the law is made by Parliament and enforced by NZ Police and the courts in NZ. Stan
The recently discovered original English treaty from which the first Maori version was translated and which the Chiefs signed knowing what they were signing, makes it absolutely clear that they were accepting the Sovereignty of the Crown and equal with all New Zealanders. Walter
Our children are no longer required to learn true NZ history. It (history) is being constantly reinterpreted and rewritten (mainly to survive in politics) and to say something contrary to Maori is now construed outright racism. It seems only Maori can judge and proclaim what is the truth, any other view is an oppression to them. What do Maori leaders actually NEED to achieve in the end? Gain sovereign rule over all of NZ? Drive away all Pakeha? What about the new immigrants that is a rapidly growing political voting block? Will Maori say that their future votes will carry a lot more weight than all other ethnic groups combined because they were one of the earliest NZ settlers i.e. they can veto anything not favourable to Maori?  AN
This yet another sinister attempt by the radical element to sabotage the freedoms of all New zealanders. The Treaty of Waitangi is an open sore,, with huge amounts of cash being applied to “heal’ what now appears to be an incurable condition. The races are being torn apart, instead of being brought together and Government needs to harden up and stop pandering to this disgraceful situation. Donald
What a crock of crap! Steve
Never in a million years, sovereignty belongs to the ENGLISH and not the maori, the English have made New Zealand what it is today. The maori would still be killing each other and eating them. Frank
Of course not all smoke mirrors Barry
Get rid of the Waitangi tribunal they are corrupt and self serving throw them out with the garbage. Steve
No, the real maori of the time ceeded sovereignty to the British crown, if they did not, then why are we paying appeasement money by the billions? James
The third article of the Treaty gives the lie to this absurdity viz it made the iwi British SUBJECTS ie under the sovereignty of the Crown. You cant have it both ways. If they didn’t cede sovereignty they have never been British subjects and the whole basis of the tribunal in Law melts away. And therefore treaty would have always been a ‘legal nullity’. David
The Tribunal needs to read the real history instead of making it up as they go along. are they afraid the gravy train is about to stop? Judith
Not in a thousand years. Carl
In George Orwell’s book 1984 there was a whole government department whose job it was to rewrite history. Are we there yet? Alan
Modern Maori cannot possibly know what their ancestors were thinking. We know how Britain dealt with colonies and they would not have entertained any idea that the natives of a land would “share” sovereignty with Britain. Andrea
It is just more seperatist bullshit. Any Maori who thinks they are hard done by should go and ask a Tasmanian Aborigine what that means. No, wait. Tassie Abos are extinct as a direct result of the Government policy of the day. Kerry
The waitangi tribunal is way past it’s use by date. John
It’s a nonsensical suggestion. those who identify as Maori are citizens in the same legal and political sense as all other New Zealanders: we are all subject to the sovereignty and authority of the Crown. Graham
Yet another attempt to re-write our history!! No doubt this nonsense will appear in all our schools in order that “guilt” can be felt by future generations, and more and more concessions granted to appease the activists. Andrew
It’s an abused gravy train that should be shut down with redress. Rowan
Bloody Hell NO! … and is it not time that the Government of this country brought this embarrassing pantomime to a full and final closure? This farce does nothing for the people of this country, other than to divide them, … and the fiscal cost to all New Zealanders is horrific! When are our leaders going to grow some balls!? Charles
Re-writing history is foolish. It has been tried in Russia and is failing in Zimbabwe and many other places and it, well, fails to help resolve anything. RAY
How much longer do we have to put up with imaginary Treaty claims? Maori have been given education and priviledges but still want more and will go on until we have a Government strong enough to put an end to it. Mary
More rubbish to squeeze money from the Government. I’m sick of this, and bloody angry that the PC brigade allow this crap. This stuff needs to be permanently stopped. Kevin
No! No! No! No! No! These AVARICIOUS RACISTS signed a treaty that quite clearly states that they cede to the sovereignty of Queen Victoria (AKA “The Crown”). As much as these AVARICIOUS RACIST MOARI want to have both, they need to make up their minds. If they want their own sovereignty then that’s good – we will simply finish the job the British started. Otherwise, cease your WHINGING, curb your AVARICE and learn to live with yourself. Enough is enough. Mark
Maori mythology again???? NZ one country – one people. Elizabeth
The Waitangi Tribunal’s findings are not binding on the government and theiy are becoming an embarrassment with their flawed assessments and motive. Time to disband them. Sue
Definitely NOT. This is another lie on behalf of a minority group of Maori, greedy to take over ownership of our nation. Shared sovereignty was never intended. The treaty should be shelved and consigned to history. The wording has been changed so many times it is an unreliable document.. The Waitangi Tribunal is past its use by date. Close it down now and save the taxpayer’s funds which is under siege yet again. Cecelia
What actually constitutes ‘being Maori’ anyway??? Are not most ‘maori’ now far more European than maori these days to say they more rights than anyone else. Division by these radical groups only causes resentment and not unity! It is about time the Tribunal was closed and we moved forward as 1 people! James
This is a gross misinterpretation of the Treaty (in English or in Te REo Maori) and shows how biased the present tribunal has become. John
The very idea is total hogwash. Peter
Not only should the Waitangi tribunal be abolished but that clearly biased and politically motivated Chief Justice should be sacked! Alan
Sovereignty is not shared any more than chieftainship is shared. Mark
This is a racist rewriting of history, and an excellent reason to scrap the tribunal. Gavin
A King or Queen, ie, the Crown, does not share control over a territory to others as equals. A King or Queen is always the supreme ruler unless they have abdicated or are banished. Errol
Did someone crack a joke? Dave
The insane gravy train breaks yet new speed records as it charges into the bottomless abys. I feel really greatly disadvantaged by my ethnicity and my irrelevant millennia of cultural ancestry that built cities and grew empires that spread worldwide and invented and built so many things and left so many artifacts throughout thousands of years and having many written languages; which so clearly disadvantages me today as I am mere infidel/pakeha/second class. When are claims going to be made for historic rights to the moon and suitable financial compensation to that as surely that must be a venerated holy object that predates any other culture on the planet and was appropriate compensation made for the invasion of holy celestial artifacts? I’d like blatant racism to be arrested now please and the government to actually represent the people they purport to represent as their civil servants that are richly and far too over-rewarded; their super-salaried egos are an obstruction to the execution of pragmatism and social morality that should translate to equal opportunities and equal rights. rather than the apartheid that is evident. Zoran
Due to evolution, modern day Part Maori are a different race from the Maori who signed the Treay of Waitangi. Therefore, they have no rights to make any claims using the Treaty as a basis for their claims. John
Out of hand the blatant lies a greed of a minority who are very vocal. Warren
When is this arrant nonsense going to stop. Politicians lack the intestinal fortitude to really define exactly who the first settlers in this country were. John
..at last the Truth is showing up….the w.tribunal are as corrupt as hell !!!! with help of low-life politicians….!! Chris
It is another Maori twist of facts to suit Themselves, it makes me sick Graeme
What does it take for this bias tribunal to be shut down…..we need a politician with the guts to speak out against this joke of a tribunal. Lyn
What an outrageous assertion. Funding for the Waitangi Tribunal should cut at the next budget and the agency disbanded. John
Words almost fail me when it comes to the tribunal’s latest report. They have become a mouthpiece for the Maori sovereignty movement and should be shut down. Wendy
When will the government act and shut them down? Ray
It has always seemed wrong that the treaty gravy train is taxpayer funded. Giving taxpayer funding encourages demands. But now they are becoming so outrageous, maybe the country will wake up about what is going on. Graeme
No way can the tribunal’s finding be considered acceptable. They are just a mouthpiece for the Maori sovereignty movement. Kath