Parihaka: the first step to improving Maori & Pakeha relations?

Gareth MorganTreaty53 Comments

This Wednesday, Thursday and Friday New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd is leading a Peace Walk from New Plymouth council offices to Parihaka. This 44km hikoi is aimed at launching a new national conversation about Maori and non-Maori’s shared history and finding ways to move forward together. The Peace Walk has arisen out of the furore around Andrew’s attempts to improve Maori representation on the New Plymouth Council, and his decision not to run for Mayor again after the backlash he faced.

The comments from Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp displayed a complete lack of understanding of New Zealanders’ obligations under the Treaty. Regardless of whether Andrew’s proposal is the best way to deal with the representation issue, the fact remains that under the Treaty local authorities must ensure Maori involvement in decision-making. To understand why requires understanding our shared past, the Treaty of Waitangi and the principles of the Treaty that have emerged from case law. Raising the understanding of these issues by the citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand is an ongoing process – that media announcers on main channels still struggle to get their heads around this, suggests there is some way yet to travel.

Taranaki has always been central to the history of the Treaty partnership. In 1860 a dispute over land sales at Waitara sparked armed conflict, which lasted 3 years. A series of conflicts were experienced over the next 21 years. Parihaka in particular has a special place in our history. Under the leadership of Te Whiti and Tohu, Maori used non-violent non-cooperation methods to protest the confiscation of land – ploughing and fencing land that was being surveyed and settled by European settlers. In 1881, 1,600 armed Europeans entered the settlement, and the inhabitants were arrested or driven away. Only very recently has this inconvenient truth become mainstream history material taught in (some of) our schools.

This particular conversation began with Andrew Judd declaring himself a ‘reformed racist’. Andrew has said:

“I’m addressing Pākehā, and I’m saying: ‘We’ve got it wrong. We’re a major part of the problem. We’ve never acknowledged it because we don’t talk about our past. But we need to talk about it in order to understand.’ If you can identify with what I’m saying, then come with me. And let’s see if together we can change this.”

This message is very similar to the address I gave at Ratana last year. I called upon Pakeha to raise their understanding of the Treaty. Understanding our history is essential to understanding and respecting our obligations today. This is a conversation the Morgan Foundation has contributed to. In the Talk Treaty project we interviewed more than 50 prominent New Zealanders, asking them about the Treaty. After all, the central idea of the Treaty is that we agreed to share this country, to look after each other, and talk through our issues.

One of the other messages that emerged from that process was the importance of language. A better appreciation of te reo by Pakeha would go a long way to bridging the divide between the Maori perspective on life in New Zealand and the perspective from the rest of us. As Nelson Mandela said when asked about his conciliatory approach to the racist South African regime and why he’d bothered to learn Afrikaans:

“If you speak to a man you speak to his head, but if you speak his language you speak to his heart”.

I encourage you to check out the Talk Treaty site, and watch some of the videos there.

I support Andrew’s attempts to continue the korero. Many Maori understand the issues, but more Pakeha have to get schooled up to ensure our opinions are informed. After all, we are all Treaty signatories, we all have a right to live here and for our cultural values to be protected and nurtured.

People can walk as little or as much of the hikoi as they like. The Peace Walk programme is:

Day one – Gather 9.30am, New Plymouth District Council then walk to Oakura Hall, with a community forum 3pm-5pm.

Day two – Gather 9.30am, Oakura Hall, then walk to Okato Hall, with a community forum 3pm-5pm

Day three – Gather 8.00am at Okato (Hempton) Hall to Parihaka.

A full breakdown of the timetable for the Peace Walk will be available on the Peace Province Initiative Facebook page. Unfortunately I am overseas during the hikoi but the Morgan Foundation will be represented by Nick Tansley on the Wednesday leg of the journey.

Parihaka: the first step to improving Maori & Pakeha relations? was last modified: June 14th, 2016 by Gareth Morgan
About the Author
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.

  • mark

    This antiquated view of New Zealand is so backward looking and a real cause of racism in NZ.

    All sectors of New Zealand society should be treated the same. All cultures ideals should be represented in our democracy. If our democratic system only elects middle aged white men then they need to be able to engage all people and make sure they govern with everyones interests.

    The idea that making sure that a certain amount of Maori are on a council apart from causing racism wont ensure that Maori decisions will get voted through anyway. I would be more open to this argument if seats represented all cultures as a % of population. But Maori alone Wow thats just plain arrogance.

    We are a multi-cultural society with many cultures not a bi cultural society of the 19th century. Dont try and apply a 200 year old document to a country where everyone should be on a level playing field. I dont think a Maoris opinion should carry any more weight than a new refugee from Syria. I say no to a racist march, and yes to inclusiveness and equality.

    • Keith Newman

      Yawn. I don;t think you’re listening with your heart Mark

      • mark

        Wake up Keith and open your mind. Stop following the politically correct and think for yourself.

    • GlutenFreeFamily

      Mark if you buy a property and don’t sell it for 200 years, does the legal title remain yours? Or can someone ignore it and take over your property because the title is 200 years old? The Treaty is a legally binding document, just like title for a property. It recognises that Maori are the first people of this land and as such have specific rights. Discarding the Treaty isn’t an option.

      • mark

        Discarding the Treaty is an obvious option. If I said to new immigrants that I should have special rights over them just because they arrived latter than me youd call me racist. But thats what Maori are telling them. Welcome to New Zealand. We have more rights than you because one of my relations arrived here before yours. Crazy logic the politically correct.

        • All New Iain

          You would benefit from learning a bit more about what happened in the mid 1800s.

        • James Marino

          Hmmm – Mark – by “special rights,” …. would you be referring to the contracts signed between Maori and the settler signatories, or is that just a term you decided as being a fair transliteration …. of the truth – for you ??.

          • jh

            A contract signed on behalf of is also on the basis of approval of.

      • Jerry Stutterd

        There’s the problem right there……maori are NOT the first people of this land.

        • James Marino

          Really – Jerry Stutterd ? it’s taken you THIS long to get here ???. I suppose we should be thankful you arrived at all !. Let’s just put your perspective beside my perspective …. and pray the twain’s shall meet. When you arrived at my beach looking for food and fresh water we did a fair trade ( or so my people thought ). Then your cuzzies arrived after having brought land from a company in England – which as it turned out was VERY naughty on THEIR part. Worse still – they hadn’t even negotiated with the landlords – US !!. Why do I refer to Maori as being the landlord ? – simply because it was Maori whom the settler representatives signed a contract ( Treaty ) with. Rightly or wrongly – you will find that history itself will confirm that indeed – it was Maori – no one else.

          • Ken Clark

            A lot of land was sold to Europeans. There are legal documents. The difficulty in some cases is did the seller have the right to sell. A hapu sells land but the iwi doesn’t want it sold or vice-versa. Land was illegal taken but not all land.

          • mark

            This is where your racism really comes out James. “Its your beach”. Wow. There it is. Somehow you believe that this country is more yours than everyones. This is why whenever people discuss their interpretation of a 200 year old document it comes down to this. That somehow because one of your ancestors arrived here before the others then somehow this entitles you to more ‘ownership’ of this land. That is arrogance dont you agree?And extremely racist!!

          • Andy Oakley

            James it’s seems you are blissfully unaware that there were no people known as Maori before about 1850, they are a recent invention.

            Check out the meaning of the word “maori” in the Herbert Williams 1915 5th Edition of “A Dictionary of the Maori Language” after all Herbert was the greatest scholar of the language.

            You behave as though the 600 or so collections of people were all the same and had some sort of unity. It is embarrassing how little some people know about our history.

          • Jerry Stutterd

            Your post contains some important innacuracies…one being that land ‘ownership’ was not even a concept for pre colonial maori…… Taonga ..or ‘property gained by the spear’ was as close as they came. The word Taonga itself has been bastardised to mean everything in existence in the last 30 years. Great tracts of land were empty in 1840…….there were only some 160,000 maori at their peak. I agree that the ‘New Zealand Company’ was somewhat naughty…..but the treaty only contained two tennets…..that maori gave sovereignty to Queen Vic ……and in return would receive the same rights as all other british subjects….that is the SAME rights……not exclusive rights to the wind …and the beach…..and the water…. the electromagnetic frequencies……..fisheries……ad nauseum. Many tribes welcomed british citizenship as it offered protection from the likes of Te Rauperaha and Te Kooti, who were still slaughtering, enslaving, and cannibalising the inhabitants of Taranaki, the upper south island, and the Chatham Islands. There is so much more to this, and many books have been written……but in my personal opinion NZ is rapidly moving towards being an apartheid state….I often hear about ‘White privilege’ …….when all I see is brown privilege…… having said that…….there is no trickle down of any of these misguided government sponsored bonanzas to the common maori……they have to make their own way, just like pakeha. I certainly haven’t been the recipient of any ‘White Privilege’ so how am I the bad guy?? Because I am white and a pakeha…..that is why……and that my friend, is the real racism in this once beautiful land.

        • Jane

          So where are the first people Jerry? If they didn’t stay then they aren’t relevant.

      • jh

        Discarding the Treaty isn’t an option
        ……..
        the inertia of the majority is what counts. Why would the majority recognize the ownership by so few of so much?

    • Anji

      Thus speaks the voice of another Pakeha that has never bothered to find out our true history.

      • Andy Oakley

        Anji obviously you are person who wishes to imply things by catagorising me into an ethnic group and using this to insinuate some sort of lack of ability.

        When I have given you a reference to check out and your lack of understanding clearly indicates you have not bothered to research it.

        You are a perfect picture of ignorance.

        Please research the material I have offered up and come back with an intelligent response that does not include racial or ethnic insinuation so that we can treat you and your comments with some respect.

    • Te Hamua Shane Nikora

      Typical

      You are the reason a Hikoi like this is needed

      I’d call you a dick head, but I haven’t seen your head… Only your heart!

    • All New Iain

      The TOW presented the agreement of a dual governance and no signing away of the sovereignty held by maori..

      Has that been recognised?

      No. All that was recognised was the ignoring of that document and the wrongs which followed being backed by military action.

      To be still righting the wrongs made against this document is a shameful indictment of this country’s regard to the original agreement and to have people out there throughout the country with zero understanding of it’s history as highlighted recently in Taranaki is quite pathetic not to mention profoundly saddening.

      • Jerry Stutterd

        Did you ever READ a history book? Your opening statement is utter bollocks.

        • GlutenFreeFamily

          His opening statement is correct Jerry, particularly in respect of the Maori version of the Treaty, which is what Maori signed. Have you read the Treaty (English and Maori versions, because one of the issues is that they differ significantly). The definition / interpretation of “Rangatiratanga” has been a particular difficulty with the Treaty.

    • James Marino

      So – Mark … are you saying Maori HAVE no right to representation on THIS council – or not ?. You seem to be confused – because I don’t recall at ANY stage of this saga – of hearing Maori asserting ANY right to being the ONLY other race which should be represented on this council …… apart from the other persuasions already represented. Maybe you could correct me as you wish ??….
      As well – since you’re so well informed ( and educated – it would seem ) I simply cannot imagine ANY sound reason you WOULDN’T throw you full support behind the establishment of Maori representation – based purely upon your doubt that any weight would be given to Maori opinion anyway. Wouldn’t that be a win-win ???.

      • mark

        If you are going to have compulsory representation of Maori on a council simply because they belong to a certain culture then from an equalitarian sense you would do the same for all cultures within your community. While this may or may not seem democratic it would be a good way to make sure all cultures can ‘have their say’.

        What I object to is that Maori opinion should carry more weight than say a new refugee just because of their ancestry. The bizarre thing is people think this is a racist and that I am a racist for believing in equality.

        The new religion of political correctness has suggested that we need to ‘honour the Treaty’,whatever that means and that anyone who dares question the way people are interpreting this 200 year old document is a racist is exactly how religion works. No logic just hate speech and derogatory rhetoric that we arent educated and we havent seen the light yet. You dont seem to respect other peoples opinions and that they may well be ethically valid. Again religion.

  • Andrew Nathan-Nahu

    Colonisation in NZ has a dark history the benefactors being Europeans the well documented military exploits sanctioned by Colonel A.H Russell Commissioner Hawks Bay Quote; The object of the Govt must be to identify the Natives with ourselves,to become one people & to realize there expressed desire for one law, one Queen & one gospel . a policy of scorched earth was to be imposed

  • Andy Oakley

    Gareth any history of Taranaki must also include how Taranaki came to be deserted and owned by Waikato Tribes in the 1830s,

    This is the history that needs to be taught in schools, not the selected out takes which miss the point entirely.

    Te Whero Whero from Waikato led a war party in 1831 to attack Te Ati Awa in Taranaki, he attacked the formidable pa of Pukerangiora. When the starving defenders broke and ran Waikato attacked. It is said at least 200 escapees died immediately, with Te Whero Whero killing 150 single-handedly with blows to the head. It was only when his arm grew tired and swollen he was forced to stop. Those captives with finely tattooed faces were beheaded carefully on a wooden block so their heads could be preserved. Later, dozens of slaves were dragged away, carrying the heads of their relatives to be hung as war trophies in the Waikato villages in the north. It is thought that as many as 1200 Te Ati Awa people lost their lives at Pukerangiora.

    Those that stayed behind in the pa watched the awful fate of their whanau unfold before them.

    The scene that followed was terrible, with huge numbers of the dead gutted and spit-roasted over fires. Some Waikato warriors indulged in a feast of such gluttony that they died.

    Taranaki was virtually deserted after 1830, when a large force of Taranaki fighters left the area, and after subsequent raids by Waikato fighters that meant hundreds of Taranaki people were killed and eaten, and hundreds more were driven into the Waikato as slaves.

    Maori exiles began to return. In July 1842, a party drove off settlers who had taken up land north of the Waitara River. In 1843, there was a further confrontation when a hundred men, women, and children sat in the surveyors’ path.

    In June 1844, lawyer William Spain investigated the New Zealand Company’s New Plymouth purchase, and awarded 60,500 acres (24,483ha) to the company and their settlers.
    There was an immediate Maori protest, and a group was formed to drive out the settlers.

    New Governor Robert FitzRoy rejected Spain’s recommendation and allotted to settlers a small block of 3500 acres (1416ha) around the township of New Plymouth and told them to leave their farms in the outlying areas.

    The New Zealand Company complained in London, and colonial secretary Lord Stanley disapproved. FitzRoy was recalled.

    His replacement, George Grey, was instructed to buy back for settlers the area that Spain had proposed. Missionary Samuel Ironside said that from that time New Plymouth was virtually under Maori control, and noted that “the natives had found out that by assuming a threatening attitude they could obtain any exorbitant demands”.

    United Maori opposition to land sales appeared at a large meeting of 2000 at Manawapou near Hawera in May 1854. The “land leaguers” as they were called were willing to kill to prevent land sales. Wiremu Kingi, who had sold the whole district to the New Zealand Company 15 years earlier, was by that time chief of the land league.

    One chief who wished to sell a block of his land was Maori magistrate Rawiri Waiaka, of the Puketapu hapu of Te Atiawa. As Rawiri, his brother Paora, and three other family members, were marking the boundaries of the block on August 3, 1854, a group of fellow Puketapu men acting for land league activist named Katatore, murdered them.

    A feud with murders and counter murders between those who wanted to sell and those who didn’t continued until 1860.

    Anarchy continued until March 1859, when Governor Thomas Gore Browne called a large meeting to end the fighting.

    Waitara chief Te Teira Manuka asked Gore Browne if he would buy his land. The governor said he would so long as Teira could prove his title. Wiremu Kingi verbally objected.

    Two commissioners spent 10 months investigating ownership of Te Teira Manuka’s 980-acre (396ha) block of land known as Pekapeka at Waitara. The government’s chief land purchase officer accepted the offer. A £100 deposit was paid.

    The government tried to survey some of the land in February 1860 and found the block occupied by protestors, and this was considered an act of rebellion. Martial law was declared, troops occupied part of the block and attacked Wiremu Kingi’s fortified pa there on March 17, 1860.

    Fighting between government troops, which included settler fighters and pro-government Maori, caused economic hardship, with migration all but coming to a stop and the destruction of three-quarters of farmhouses and settlements nearer the town.

    According to historian James Cowan, 196 anti-government Maori died while 64 British, colonists, and pro-government Maori died in the Taranaki fighting. Wiremu Kingi retreated to Waikato and did not submit until 1872.

    During 1865, a total of 485,469ha of Taranaki land were confiscated under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863. This aimed to settle trained soldiers upon confiscated land so as to bring peace to disaffected areas.

    Amid the chaos of sporadic fighting and the seizure of land arose a cult known as Pai Marire that blended Christianity and Maori spirituality that promised deliverance that was mostly interpreted as deliverance of land. But some high-profile beheadings by these “good and peaceful” Pai Marire, and the use of these heads in religious rites, meant this new religion very quickly became synonymous with violence. Settlers called them “hauhaus” because of the Pai Marire battle chant.

    Te Whiti followed Pai Marire and fought in the Hauhau attack on Sentry Hill in northern Taranaki in 1864. Pai Marire founder Te Ua Haumene consecrated Te Whiti and Tohu Kakahi in 1865 to carry on his religious work.

    Te Whiti and Tohu founded Parihaka village in 1867.

    The basic history set out above shows why settlers living in Taranaki during the 1860s had a very different view of Te Whiti and what was going on at Parihaka.

    • Jerry Stutterd

      I’m reading this book right now……. interesting how a word like taonga has been twisted from it’s original meaning ‘Property gained by the spear’ to everything, including airwaves and the wind.

      • James Marino

        Yep – totally clueless …. lol !!!.

    • Natalie Lloyd

      Andy could you please provide your source/reference the materials you’ve quoted from? Assuming it is quoted rather than paraphrased, or is it?
      Thanks – interested in reading it.

      • Andy Oakley

        Apart from some info I have gleaned almost all of this was written by Mike Butler who is a wonderful source of information pertaining to what really happened in New Zealand. He is very good at weeding out the unnecessary.

        What is important though is not who wrote it but that it is a true representation of what happened.

        And it is.

        • Andy Oakley

          Article two of Te Tiriti o Waitangi promised property rights to all New Zealanders and it is clear in the historical account that although many settlers fairly bought their land in Taranaki it was taken from under their noses, some travelling half way around the world to get here.

          No Treaty claims for them though…………..nothing.

  • Marty Smith

    Am wondering if focusing on finding ways to move forward together is the best use of everyone’s intelligence.
    Am primarily interested in a process that’s free from blame, one which builds compassion for all.

    I take it that’s the focus of the march, for us together to find a way forward. As a pakeha, I increasingly recognise and understand why there are historic issues caused by our ancestors.

    May we work inside the intention of the planned korero during the march as being a rich start to find the ways to move together. I suggest let’s have that as our primary commitment and to do so with compassion and guard against our tendencies to want to blame each other. Isn’t this what can make the difference to forge togetherness . . .

  • Mike Finlayson

    People that say we should ‘discard the Treaty’ are really asking us to discard law. What do they think the Treaty is? Some irrelevant piece of paper from long ago? Would they say the same about the Magna Carta, the 1688 Bill of Rights, the NZ Constitution Act? all of which are part and parcel of what makes law relevant in NZ today. You can either have Rule of Law or Rule of the Jungle, I know which one I favour but it seems that some commentators don’t even grasp this principle. We may content that it seems unfair from today’s perspective as Pakeha but if you sign a contract any change cannot be unilaterally enforced without breaking that contract. Arohanui

    • mark

      wasnt there a law that women couldnt vote??

      • GlutenFreeFamily

        Yes, and we changed that law through parliament. To change the Treaty, as it is a contract between two groups, those groups would need to agree to change it.

        • mark

          I think youll find that in New Zealand law can be changed with a majority in the house. Your arguments are weak.

          • GlutenFreeFamily

            Hi Mark, the Treaty is a contract document between the signatories. So that is different to a law passed by parliament, which can be passed by a vote. To change a contract between 2 or more parties you need both parties to sign off on it. Until that happens, it is a legal contract, whether you like it or not, that is the status. It is not ‘my arguments’ that you have difficulty with, it is the legal framework of our country.

          • mark

            Again you need to check the constitution for your answers. One thing our constitution allows is that parliament is sovereign. A majority vote in parliament can pass and amend any law. This is our constitutional framework and how laws are made. You may have noticed this when Labour put into law that Maori could not contest the ownership of foreshore and seabed. Many saw this as a breach of the Treaty but as mentioned a majority vote in parliament wins. That is your legal framework!!!

          • GlutenFreeFamily

            Mark, NZ does not have ‘1’ constitutional document (as the USA does, for example) but a number of docs that together, are taken to be ‘constitutional’ for our country. These include the Treaty and the Bill of Rights, among others. The successful challenging of the SOE Act demonstrated that Parliament cannot simple ignore treaty rights.

            Anyway, with respect to the debate about the legal status of the Treaty, I thought it would be useful to check the official position, as others have of course been addressing this question.
            Here it is for you:

            The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, as an agreement between the British Crown and a large number of the Maori of New Zealand. Today the Treaty is widely accepted to be a constitutional document, which establishes and guides relationships between the Crown in New Zealand (as embodied by our government) and Maori. The Treaty of Waitangi had at its heart a promise to protect a living Maori culture; to enable Maori to continue to live in New Zealand as Maori, while at the same time conferring on the Crown the right to govern in the interests of all New Zealanders. This means that the Treaty relationships between the Government and Maori are ongoing and dynamic.

            Although there are limits on the extent to which Treaty rights can be argued in the courts system, as indicated above, the Waitangi Tribunal provides a forum for the hearing of historical and contemporary grievances regarding breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. Under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, any Maori may take a claim to the Tribunal that he or she (or the group to which he or she belongs) has been prejudicially affected by any legislation, policy or practice of the Crown since 1840. The Tribunal has the power to make recommendations to the Government. These recommendations are non-binding except in relation to particular assets, including forestry assets and other assets, owned or formerly owned by State Owned Enterprises and certain other state institutions. There is also evolving jurisprudence to suggest that where relevant, Treaty principles could guide the actions of executive government and permeate domestic statutes without express incorporation. In addition, New Zealand is to some degree under an international obligation to maintain some of the rights ascribed to the Treaty, as Parliament has incorporated into domestic law the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which upholds the individual and group rights of minorities. Article III Treaty of Waitangi rights (the right to equality before the law) are largely protected under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and Human Rights Act.The status of the Treaty in New Zealand law is, however, less than settled. The orthodox view is that where legislation makes no reference to the Treaty, then Treaty rights are unenforceable. Where the Treaty is referred to expressly in statute, the current approach of the courts has been to give effect to the reference. There are a number of statutes which contain references of this type. Source: http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/n/the-new-zealand-legal-system/the-treaty-of-waitangi

          • mark

            Im glad you discovered what our constitution is but the overarching and final say on any constitutional matter is not left up to any court or judge it comes down to a vote in parliament. That is what happened in my example I gave you with the foreshore and seabed. Helen Clark passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 before it could go back to Maori land court. This was seen as a breach of Treaty and probably stamped on common law property rights. However this is our constitutional system. While it perhaps lacks the checks and balances of other constitutions it is simply the way it works.

            Actually to be fair there was a case today where National vetoed the paid parental bill even though the numbers we in the house. This does seem undemocratic.

            However apart from this quirk of our constitution the government of the day can amend the law whenever it desires. It is not constrained by anything!! I have shown if politically unpalatable it will shut a treaty claim down in a heartbeat and that was Labour!!!

            I think your assertion is that the government SHOULD honour the Treaty not that it is somehow bound by our constitution. This is an important distinction.

      • Mike Finlayson

        Voting rights have changed since the inception of democracy. NZ has the proud history of being the first country to give women the vote in 1983. Both Andy and Mark are mistaken to think that NZ has a Constitution. We do not. Andy seems unaware of the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the fact that the Treaty gave certain rights to the Crown. Pertaining to Sovereignty Andy you need to realise that it is the Maori version that must be accepted and in that version there was no ceding of Sovereignty. The Crown established it’s rights in NZ by way of the Treaty. To say the Treaty has no place in law demonstrates a lack of understanding of the process of establishing Crown rights in NZ.

    • GlutenFreeFamily

      Thanks Mike, that was the point I am trying to make. You can’t just ‘set aside’ a legal contract, whether you like it or not. Both parties to the contract would need to agree to do so, and to agree on what, if anything, replaces it. Until then the TOW stands as a legal contract and constitutional foundation for our country. Period.

      • Andy Oakley

        You are incorrect.

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi has no independent legal status, a simple Google will verify this.

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi is not a contract as although it was instigated by the Crown there is no legal definition of the other party.

        In 1840 there was no united anything in New Zealand, simply 600 or so independent groups, none of which were known as Maori.

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi is aimed at all the people of New Zealand, because it states it “ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi is not part of our constitution.

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi is merely a permission slip so that the Crown could democratically instigate a government in New Zealand. One where property rights were protected and that all the people had equal rights.

        Equal rights are the corner stone of every democratic country.

        Maori people are not mentioned in the Te Tiriti o Waitangi and that is because the word did not refer to “people until about 1850. “maori” simply meant “ordinary” in 1840.

        • GlutenFreeFamily

          Yes Andy, agree that many tribes independently signed the Treaty, that is fact. A lot of work went into taking the Treaty around the country to get as many tribal signatures as possible. It is worth noting though that some tribes have never signed the Treaty.
          Remember also that democracies around the world have signed the UN Charter with respect to the specific rights and protections for Indigenous Peoples. This indicates UN-level agreement that such people do, in fact, have particular/specific rights and protections by virtue of being indigenous.
          In terms of its legal status, I quote:

          http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/n/the-new-zealand-legal-system/the-treaty-of-waitangi

          The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, as an agreement between the British Crown and a large number of the Maori of New Zealand. Today the Treaty is widely accepted to be a constitutional document, which establishes and guides relationships between the Crown in New Zealand (as embodied by our government) and Maori. The Treaty of Waitangi had at its heart a promise to protect a living Maori culture; to enable Maori to continue to live in New Zealand as Maori, while at the same time conferring on the Crown the right to govern in the interests of all New Zealanders. This means that the Treaty relationships between the Government and Maori are ongoing and dynamic.

          The status of the Treaty in New Zealand law is, however, less than settled. The orthodox view is that where legislation makes no reference to the Treaty, then Treaty rights are unenforceable. Where the Treaty is referred to expressly in statute, the current approach of the courts has been to give effect to the reference. There are a number of statutes which contain references of this type.

          There is also evolving jurisprudence to suggest that where relevant, Treaty principles could guide the actions of executive government and permeate domestic statutes without express incorporation. In addition, New Zealand is to some degree under an international obligation to maintain some of the rights ascribed to the Treaty, as Parliament has incorporated into domestic law the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which upholds the individual and group rights of minorities. Article III Treaty of Waitangi rights (the right to equality before the law) are largely protected under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and Human Rights Act.

          Although there are limits on the extent to which Treaty rights can be argued in the courts system, as indicated above, the Waitangi Tribunal provides a forum for the hearing of historical and contemporary grievances regarding breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. Under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, any Maori may take a claim to the Tribunal that he or she (or the group to which he or she belongs) has been prejudicially affected by any legislation, policy or practice of the Crown since 1840. The Tribunal has the power to make recommendations to the Government. These recommendations are non-binding except in relation to particular assets, including forestry assets and other assets, owned or formerly owned by State Owned Enterprises and certain other state institutions.

    • Andy Oakley

      Te Tiriti o Waitangi can be resigned to the history books as it serves no useful function today.

      Article First is the cessation of sovereignty to the Crown. The Crown or now the New Zealand Parliament has sovereignty…. Article First serves no purpose.

      Article Second is the guarantee of property rights to all the people of New Zealand. The Law takes care of this function in New Zealand now… Article Two serves no useful purpose.

      Article Third is the promise of protection and equal rights. This is a function of the government including our police, armed forces etc…. Article Three serves no useful purpose.

      Sure when you had none of those things the Treaty was useful, now we have those things the treaty serves no useful purpose.

      • John Gillespie

        Your argument is flawed, on 2 grounds. Parliament is not the sole interpreter of the Law: the judiciary, in the shape of the Court of Appeal, has upheld the importance of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, as per the case NZ Maori Council vs Attorney-General. Parliament enacted the outcome of that case in legislation, viz. Treaty of Waitangi (State-Owned Enterprises) Act 1988. Thus the ToW principles are doubly important, at least to these 2 pillars of the consititution of NZ.

  • Tiaria Fletcher

    Andrew Judd articulates a way forward that is all about “Kotahitanga – In Unity” and he articulates it simply by his actions and his heart. This is exciting stuff for a country that was forged through the mis-treatment and gross theft against Maori. Why is there the constant narrative of “Maori are over-privileged” – this makes no sense, we are the poorest of the poor and on every negative statistic Maori are failing at rates far exceeding other races. And as for the accusations that Maori are racist – indigenous peoples including Maori are never racist – why, because we don’t have the power, the population or the wealth, within the country to assert a racist doctrine, but we do have the right to assert our sovereignty in this land – Aotearoa! This I believe lies at the nub of discontent from those unwilling to embrace Judd’s extraordinary transformation and his gentle and thoughtful commitment to an ongoing journey of challenge and discovery. As Andrew says – at least let’s talk with one another….it’s time.

  • Duncan Cairncross

    It is TOO LATE to fix the original victims – they are long dead!

    You can’t go back into the past or you just make new victims – even the Romans understood that!

    Saying that the current situation is not fair and not just

    The only way to fix this is to raise the current “poor” – make them all better off – not just one race or another,
    ALL of our poor people

    Gareth’s UBI would be one way of moving in that direction – but there should be a progressive tax on wealth to help fund more for the bottom

  • Ray

    I think Andrew Judd has now got onto the right track. Engaging in discussion about the past, present and future is a good idea. Having representative seats based on ethnicity is not.
    How can the Treaty require Local Government to ensure Maori representation when it only deals with the rights of the crown, citizenship and what could loosely be termed property rights in 3 short statements. Parliament may have required Local Government to look to Maori representation but Parliament could equally decide to say nothing on this. The Treaty is not involved.

  • Kate Frykberg

    Good on you Gareth for this post. Who benefits most from the Treaty of Waitangi? It is those of us who are not Māori. It is through the Treaty that we have a right to be here and to share this land. The very least we can do is to learn our history, attempt to pronounce Māori words correctly and ensure we hold up our end of the Treaty by sharing power – as Andrew Judd is trying to do.

  • Jane

    Mark, your comment illustrates exactly why this discussion is needed. What you are not getting is that Maori are tangata whenua, the indigenous people of this land. They were here first, well before European. That gives them peculiar rights above other ethnicities. Everyone to arrive in this land after them is an immigrant who can trace their family history back to another land. Maori family history uniquely remains here, until legendary Hawaiki many centuries ago. Surely you would view ethnic Chinese to have special rights in China, Samoans to have special rights in Samoa, English to have special rights in England? Because they are the tangata whenua of their lands.

    I’m like Andrew Judd. I’m a reformed racist. I used to roll my eyes at Maori activists, that was until I started associating with Maori at my church and got to know them on a personal level. And then I had the privilege of meeting Eva Rickard, one of those activists I had scorned. She was a woman of great integrity and commanded my respect. Hearing her story brought about a change of heart and viewpoint. My eyes were opened. I totally support special recognition for Maori now. It is arrogance and ignorance to deny it.

    • Andy Oakley

      Jane, that’s correct you are like Andrew Judd a racist and a firm believer in Apartheid.

      You have just confirmed in your post that you believe “Maori” are separate i.e. tangata whenua.

      You have confirmed that these separate people have a different race or ethnicity (same thing) than others who arrived after them.

      You have confirmed that because of these two things that gives them peculiar rights above all other ethnicity.

      Can you not see that these ideas of yours are sickening, giving out extra rights for no other reason than who your father or mother was.

      Apartheid means a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

      By not getting the same rights as Maori effectively every other ethnicity is being discriminated against.

      You are not a reformed racist at all, you have become one but are completely unaware of it.

      You are a perfect example of how indoctrination works.

    • mark

      So I can go back to Scotland and England and I should have special rights there? I cant even live there. So youre telling me the country I was born in that I am less of a citizen as my neighbour who may have a distant relation was here before me has more claim to New Zealand? Your argument has no logic.

      This is the religion of political correctness. Like any religion it has a warped logic built on someones beliefs.

      As Ive argued before if I was to tell new immigrants that I deserved special rights because my ancestors arrived here before them youd call me an absolute racist and Id agree but this is your argument.

      Try thinking rather than following!!!!!