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Dr Muriel Newman

A Radical Agenda

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“We have no problem with Pakeha living on our lands, we invited them there. But the problems we have is when they basically ignore us and trample all over us, at which time we say okay enough’s enough, we want all of our land back. You people can stay on it but so long as you acknowledge that we are the mana whenua and when we say to you that this is right and that is not right, that you listen to what we say”. Margaret Mutu.[1]

Earlier this month Wikatana and John Popata, the two brothers who assaulted the Prime Minister at Waitangi Day last year, began an occupation on privately owned land in the coastal settlement of Taipa in the Far North. They say their presence there is designed to damage the value of a property that had been put up for sale to the point where it cannot be sold. They plan to stay there, with their dogs and mates, until all of the “stolen” land in the area is given back to their Ngati Kahu iwi at no cost.

Their long-term aim – for which they have the full backing of their elders – is to reclaim all privately owned land in the area for the iwi. In fact, the Ngati Kahu chief negotiator, Margaret Mutu, has gone so far as to publicly assert that because they are the “mana whenua”, private property owners in the area must do whatever Maori tell them to do.

In other words, Margaret Mutu – who holds a position of respect as a Professor of Maori Studies at Auckland University – is calling for the supremacy of Maori over non-Maori. By proposing that Pakeha become servants to Maori, Margaret Mutu is essentially promoting “apartheid” and in doing so is abusing the respect demanded by her academic position. She should not only be removed, but the Race Relations Commissioner should be investigating her racist calls.

This situation, where a whole community (which includes many retired pensioners) is being intimidated by radical Maori bullies – who have stated that they intend to destroy the value of their properties – is completely unacceptible. Instead of pandering to such radicals by officially recognising the tino rangatiratanga flag, John Key and his Government should be drawing a line in the sand and sending out a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

In the NZCPR’s new blog Breaking Views (located on the homepage) author and historian Mike Butler concludes his article Mr Key and the flag of disintegration with the observation that “Mr Key’s unilateral decision on the flag is one example of how the current prime minister can make sudden changes that circumvent the process of representative democracy and which hugely promote the agenda of a tiny minority. By helping advance Maori sovereignty goals, Mr Key is giving approval to the increased disintegration of New Zealand society.”

In other words, while successive governments have enacted policies designed to appease Maori demands, they usually turn a blind eye to the radical agenda of Maori sovereignty activists. Not only will the decision by John Key to give official recognition to their flag on Waitangi Day be interpreted as a stamp of approval for the objectives of their movement, but the Prime Minister is ignoring the legitimate concerns and fears of mainstream New Zealand.

This country is already well advanced on the dangerous path towards Maori sovereignty. The bicultural project, enacted in the 1980s enabled Maori activists to infiltrate influential positions within the government service, through the creation of racial categories within state institutions.[2] In spite of intermarriage over the years having blurred racial boundaries to the point where such classification is largely meaningless, the fact remains that claims of Maori ancestry now attracts substantial political and economic power. Nowadays however, with New Zealand being a multiracial society and New Zealanders increasingly wanting recognition – not for being of British, Maori, Asian, or some other heritage – but for being a New Zealander, biculturalism can be seen to be a stumbling block in the development of national pride and as such has gone well past its “use-by” date.

Then there is the on-going indoctrination of children: Dr Elizabeth Rata, Associate Professor of Education at Auckland University is particularly scathing about kaupapa Maori education with its “tino rangatiratanga political purpose”, describing it as “subversive” and “destabilising”.[3] Maori propaganda is also now firmly entrenched in the new primary and secondary school education curriculum, despite attempts to have it removed – it was dumped from the draft curriculum but was reinstated after intense political pressure from vested interest groups. The mythical Treaty of Waitangi “partnership” concept now plays a key role in official education policy.

History has shown us that as governments make concessions to Maori rights activists their appetite for further reform grows. Not satisfied with past full and final Treaty settlements, they keep inventing new reasons to come back for new claims. The current demand for a slice of the estimated $350 million electromagnetic spectrum is a case in point. While there is no conceivable case for Maori to claim that spectrum is a treasured “toanga” protected under Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori have broadened their statement of claim to cover all such eventualities: “where any property or part of the universe has, or may have, value as an economic asset, the Crown has no authority under the Treaty to possess, alienate, or otherwise treat it as its own property without recognising the prior claim of Maori rangatiratanga”.[4]

While this argument found sympathy with the biased Waitangi Tribunal who decided that Maori were entitled to a share of spectrum resources, when the Tribunal similarly found in favour of Maori claims to oil and gas reserves, then Prime Minister Helen Clark wasted no time at all in quashing the idea with a ruling that it was not in the ‘national interest’.

Essentially this ruling by Helen Clark, which was backed up by the Attorney General Margaret Wilson, means that grasping claims for public good resources like the spectrum, air, rivers, the foreshore and seabed, and the conservation estate, could all be rejected by a Prime Minister using the ‘national interest’ argument – should they choose to do so. At the present time, however, exercising constraint appears far from our Prime Minister’s mind as National continues to adopt Maori Party policy: inserting dangerously ill-defined Treaty principles into legislation, introducing race-based initiatives into the justice system, and committing an astonishing $1 billion of taxpayer’s money to progress the Whanau Ora programme, which will segregate the delivery of social programmes along racial lines.

In this week’s NZCPR Guest Editorial, “National has no mandate for promoting racial separatism”, Treaty expert and law lecturer David Round challenges the National Party for pushing the country down a racist path:

“The Prime Minister and National Party have absolutely no popular mandate for promoting Maori sovereignty or racial separatism. National went into the election, as I recall, still with an official policy of abolishing the Maori seats. We all recognised that that was unlikely to happen; obviously, that policy had to be put on the back burner. Nevertheless, people voted for National under the distinct impression that they were voting for a party opposed to racial separatism; for a party, indeed, still sympathetic to Dr Brash’s Orewa speech. That trust in the Party has been betrayed”.

David believes “We are building our own funeral pyre”. He is right. Voters expected constraint from National but instead are witnessing a shocking escalation in racial initiatives, with more in the pipeline.

Of particular concern is the future of the foreshore and seabed. If National goes along with the demands of the Maori Party and grants customary title to Maori – it will only be a matter of time before free access to our beaches and the sea will be compromised, as well as hefty charges and levies being imposed on all commercial maritime operations.

Then there is the forthcoming “constitutional issues” inquiry, which was part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between National and the Maori Party. The Maori Party has long campaigned on enshrining the Treaty of Waitangi into a New Zealand constitution. However, indigenous constitutions can pose very real dangers to modern societies – as the citizens of Bolivia discovered last year, when private property was nationalised by their new constitution![5]

Not only has the Human Rights Commission already started campaigning on giving the Treaty of Waitangi constitutional status – through its report on “The Status of Human Rights and the Treaty” (on which it is accepting submissions) – but it is also searching for new ways to push the Treaty partnerships concept “in central and local government, business, resource management, and environmental protection, in order to improve economic, social and cultural outcomes for all New Zealanders”.[6]

Hidden somewhere in the shadows of the Beehive is the Maori Party’s demand for National to ratify the radical United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – a treaty that even Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark refused to sign because of the dangers it posed to the stability of New Zealand. As a starter, under this treaty all land, private and public, would revert to the ownership of the “indigenous” people. But while National has justified their consideration of signing the treaty on the basis that it is not binding, that fact would get lost in clamour, as radicals who share the view of Maori Party Member of Parliament Hone Harawira – that white New Zealanders have ripped off Maori for generations – decide to take the land back. This would usher in the total degradation of race relations in New Zealand, with protests like the one at Taipa becoming common place.

National has a responsibility to the silent majority of New Zealanders – who no longer speak openly about matters of race for fear of being labelled racists – to reassess the dangerous game they are playing. They are implementing racist policies in order to hold onto the support of the Maori Party – just so they don’t need to rely on ACT. But each time they cede to the demands of the sovereignty activists in the Maori Party, they are taking us all a step closer to their ultimate goal of Maori supremacy – and that is an ugly place to be.

I will leave the final chilling words to a long-time campaigner for tribal sovereignty, Whatarangi Winiata, the President of the Maori Party (which thanks to National is now in government): “Failure by our nation to take steps… to change the management of our affairs and ways of governing ourselves, will create the circumstances where the fury of tino rangatiratanga will produce the true believers, namely, those who will die for the cause”.[3]


1.RadioNZ, Protestors plan to build on occupied land
2.Elizabeth Rata, Brokerage Politics and the Rise of Neotribal Capitalism , NZ Political Review, Spring 2004
3.Elizabeth Rata, Belonging to New Zealand , Teachers Refresher Course Conference, Wellington 2007 4.Waitangi Tribunal, Radio Spectrum Management and Development Final Report
5.RadioNZ, Indigenous Constitutions: Bolivia today, Aotearoa tomorrow?
6.Human Rights Commission, Status of human rights and the Treaty