Andy Oakley grew up in a troubled family in a state house on the mean streets of Cannons Creek, a suburb of Porirua City approximately 22km north of Wellington. The cultural mix at his school was half European New Zealander and half Maori/Polynesian. There, everyone had an equal opportunity either to end up in prison or become the mayor.
Oakley, who dropped out of Porirua College without a qualification and became a father at age 16, became an engineer, a racing driver, and a businessman, achievements that could be the subject of a riveting biography. Instead he wrote Cannons Creek to Waitangi – Te Pakeha's treaty claim for equality.
He embraces the culture he grew up with to the extent that at his cousins wedding in Port Glasgow, Scotland, he performed the Ka Mate haka composed by war leader Te Rauparaha, who is associated with Porirua, having learned the words from the walls of the public bar at Porirua's Bottom Tavern, where he used to drink
Tariana Turia sparked his obsession with biculturalism, when, as Associate Minister of Maori Affairs in the Clark Labour government, she compared the suppression of Taranaki Maori to the 1940s Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered. Oakley, who was curious how such a dramatic even might have happened in New Zealand without him being aware of it, became driven to find out about New Zealand history.
Last year this white New Zealander of Scottish descent took a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal seeking compensation for the racial discrimination and brutal treatment that his tribe, Te Pakeha, has endured and continue to endure on a daily basis back to the treaty in 1840.
His claim prompted an interesting exchange of correspondence with the tribunal and involves discussion of race and whether race exists or is a colonial construct. He discovered his theory that there is no such thing as race “by sleeping around”. From personal experience he asks how could the offspring of a Scottish father and Maori mother qualify for rights that the father does not have.
Oakley proposes this action plan:
1. The government should acknowledge that the February 4 Busby document also known as the Littlewood treaty is the missing final English draft of the Maori text Te Tiriti o Waitangi.Cannons Creek to Waitangi – Te Pakeha's treaty claim for equality, by Andy Oakley, Tross Publishing, Wellington, 2014, has 221 pages, is paperback, is illustrated, costs $30, and is available at www.trosspublishing.co.nz or at a good bookstore near you.
2. Remove from legislation all references to the treaty and its principles.
3. Abolish race-based seats and positions in central and local government.
4. Wind up the Waitangi Tribunal.
5. Ensure that no individual or group has preferment in legislation or funding on grounds of ethnicity, race or culture.
6. No constitutional change without 75 percent support in referendum.
7. End biculturalism.
8. Repeal Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011.
9. Withdraw New Zealand from the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples because Maori are not indigenous.
10. Launch commission of inquiry to overhaul national teaching with the aim of creating an education system that enables all pupils to show mastery in morals, ethics, parenting, human relationships, mathematics, English, science.
11. Launch commission of inquiry into the false history of New Zealand as taught in the national curriculum, museums, and the flawed Treaty2U roadshow.