Sunday, August 19, 2012
Mike Butler: Treatygate campaign causes stir
The Otago University student magazine Critic obtained documents from controversial race campaigner Louis Crimp, setting out Ansell’s plan for a $2-million campaign aiming to make New Zealand a 'colourblind' (racially neutral) state. An article in Critic prompted coverage by TV3, the National Business Review, the Southland Times, TVNZ’s Te Karere programme, as well as reactions from commentators and bloggers.
For those who may not know, Ansell was the ad man who created the National Party's very nearly successful "Iwi/Kiwi" billboard campaign of 2005. His Treatygate campaign is the latest in a series of initiatives spanning nearly 20 years.
The ACT Party in Parliament pushed one-law-for-all from 1996, Canterbury University constitutional law expert David Round thoroughly investigated the subject his 1998 “Truth or Treaty” book, and Don Brash brought the issue to the wider public with his nationhood speech in 2004.
This website, the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, has been campaigning on equal rights ever since it started in 2005. One of the very first newsletters NZCPR founder Muriel Newman ever wrote called for public interest in a citizens’ initiated referendum to abolish the Maori seats.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson called Ansell's Treatygate campaign "nuts". But in his rush to get through the pile of settlements to meet National Party objectives, the Minister seems unaware that major claims were settled before 1960.
New Zealand's Maori-Crown history has been twisted, as Ansell says. With 2034 claims lodged by 2009 but only 11 claims brought to parliament in 1920, it is clear that
money has become the motivator.
The scale of over-stated claims is apparent in Ngai Tahu's behaviour over a grievance that has been settled five times, in 1867, 1906, 1944, 1973, and 1998, with top-ups once total settlements go over $1-billion in 1994 dollars.
Investigation of grievances back to 1840 was deliberately set up in a way that prevents non-politicians from having any say, to avoid the risk of being outvoted. Once a settlement deed is signed, it is legally binding, and the subsequent parliamentary process is rubber-stamping.
Here are links to articles and comments on the Treatygate campaign:
Critic, August 12, 2012. http://www.critic.co.nz/news/article/2271/treatygate
Southland Times, August 15, 2012. http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/7478941/Crimp-backs-racial-equality-drive?comment_msg=posted#post_comment
TV3 website August 14, 2012. http://www.3news.co.nz/ACT-ad-man-launches-Treatygate-campaign/tabid/1607/articleID/265309/Default.aspx
Te Karere interview, August 14, 2012 http://tvnz.co.nz/te-karere/2012-08-14-video-5023986
Rod Vaughan’s report in NBR, August 14, 2012. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/ad-man-ansell-unveils-treatygate-and-declares-war-racial-favouritism-?page=1#comment-509680
Chris Trotter’s Dominion Post column, August 17, 2012. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/chris-trotter/7493861/Will-this-election-include-a-campaign-on-race
Sunday Star Times, August 19, 2012. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7505455/Ad-mans-race-referendum-allies
at 12:02 PM