Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mike Butler: Gunpoint treaty threat and other lies


Hawke's Bay elder Jerry Hapuku spoke to the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper for a Waitangi Day story this year. Maybe the excitement of being interviewed blurred the line between fact and fiction so he told a story about his ancestor, chief Te Hapuku, being forced to sign the Treaty of Waitangi at gunpoint.

That’s news to me I thought when I saw the headline, having read a lot of regional history, so I checked historian Angela Ballara’s description Te Hapuku and the treaty in her biography of him in the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ballara is a current member of the Waitangi Tribunal and her writings are very pro-Maori.

Ballara’s account shows that because Te Hapuku had signed the 1835 Declaration of the Independence in the Bay of Islands on September 25, 1838, Major Thomas Bunbury deemed it important to obtain his agreement to the treaty so visited him at the Tukituki River in Hawke's Bay.

"At first Te Hapuku refused to sign, saying that Nga Puhi were now slaves through the treaty, but Bunbury convinced him that his assent to the treaty could only increase his mana; he gave it on 24 June 1840”, Ballara wrote.

No gunpoint threat there! Ballara did write that Te Hapuku was threatened by British Resident James Busby at some time in the 1830s with a visit by a warship to stop him bullying whalers at Mahia.

“Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies”, the chorus of the old Fleetwood Mac song, could be the chorus of every Waitangi Day, as such imaginative accounts like that of Hawke's Bay elder Jerry Hapuku.

These little lies fill newspapers in early February every year, along with the turgid prose of academic treaty troughers telling us that we should keep shovelling cash to tribes despite grievances being settled. These lies include:

1. That Ngapuhi never ceded sovereignty, another lie trotted out this year, this time with the backing of a report from the hopelessly conflicted Waitangi Tribunal. Claimant logic is simple: The Waitangi Tribunal said so; the Waitangi Tribunal is official; therefore it must be true.

But the claim is a bare-faced lie: Article 1 of the treaty says the chiefs cede to the Queen of England for ever the entire Sovereignty of their country. Missionary William Colenso records the debate that shows the chiefs understood what ceding sovereignty meant. Chiefs at Kohimarama 20 years later reaffirmed their commitment to this deal.

2. “The wicked white coloniser” stole 25.2 million hectares of Maori land. This lie was incorporated into a stunt by Nga Tamatoa protesters at the 1971 Waitangi Day event.

New Zealand has 26.8-million hectares of land. Around 1.2-million hectares were confiscated during the 1860s wars (much of which was returned at the time). There is approximately 1.47 million hectares of Maori land. Everything else, being 24.13-million hectares, was sold.

Chiefs sold the land. They did not lose the land.

3. South Island tribe Ngai Tahu lost 12 billion dollars worth of assets and generously accepted as compensation $170-million.

A closer look at the facts shows that fewer than 2000 people occupied the 15 million hectare South Island in 1840, so few that the British thought it was uninhabited. Nevertheless, a handful of Ngai Tahu chiefs sold most of the South Island in 10 deals over 20 years from 1844 for a total of ₤14,750.

Between 1868 and 1995, Ngai Tahu had received five settlements of what started out as a single complaint. What is more, Ngai Tahu, like Waikato-Tainui, negotiated a top-up relativity clause, which means their latest settlement just keeps on giving. Moreover, Ngai Tahu had sold much of the South Island before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, and the treaty commitment to investigate pre-1840 sales enabled chiefs to sell the land all over again while keeping the proceeds of the earlier sales.

4. General Cameron rode into Rangioawhia, near Te Awamutu, on February 24, 1864, rounded up all the Maori, locked them into the church, set fire to it, and anybody that tried to escape was shot, and 144 Maori were burnt to death.

The truth is that for many years afterwards all the churches in the village were still standing! One wooden church had bullet holes in it from the troops' fire at armed rebels firing from within it. Other rebels were firing from inside a rush whare that caught fire - whether from their own guns or those of the troops is not known.

Figures for the rebels inside vary from five to 12. In any case their bodies were recovered afterwards along with that of Sergeant McHale who had been killed by a bullet and his body dragged inside. Colonel Nixon was also killed when leading his troops.

Total casualties on both sides did not exceed about 20, thus achieving Cameron's objective of minimizing casualties by a surprise attack before dawn. The myth-makers give him no credit for that.

5. That Kereopa Te Rau, who swallowed the eyes of missionary Carl Volkner at Opotiki on March 2, 1865, was totally innocent of his murder.

Te Rau was found guilty by a properly constituted court of law and hanged the usual penalty for murder in those days. There is ample evidence in the nature of his involvement in this killing. (See Mary Tagg: "The Martyr's Crown"") Nevertheless, in June 2014, Te Rau received a statutory pardon from a craven government.

6. That there was no cannibalism of crew members of the "Harriet" wrecked near Cape Egmont, Taranaki, in 1834..

This was declared in video at the falsehood-ridden exhibition by the New Plymouth museum, exhibited in Nelson, 2013. Evidence from eyewitnesses Jackie and Betty Guard, the latter being captured, including the names of most of those slaughtered and eaten is incontrovertible.

The list could go on.

As for the tales you hear about Maori getting the strap for speaking Maori in school, as repeated by Education Minister Hekia Parata this week, what you are not told is that ALL kids were either strapped or caned when a rule was broken.

You are also not told that in the 1870s, a newly elected Maori Member of Parliament, Takamoana, sought legislation to ensure that Maori children were taught only in English.

A petition to parliament in 1877, by Wi Te Hakiro and 336 others, called for an amendment to the 1867 Native Schools Act which would require the teachers of a Native School to be ignorant of the Maori language and not permit the Maori language to be spoken at the school.

If it was merely a matter of “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies”, as the chorus of the old Fleetwood Mac song tells us, there would be not issue other than academic debates over history.

The lies are dressed up as "oral history" the Waitangi Tribunal gives precedence to such oral history which is not cross-examined, over substantial written proof - legal documents and written eye-witness accounts.

But these lies form the basis of a grievance industry that has already transferred more than $2-billion to tribal entities that largely pay no tax. These lies help claimants within universities and the government push for this transfer of wealth to continue long after all land grievances have been settled.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

According to the Waitangi Tribunal’s website, the Tribunal consists of a chairperson and up to 20 members that may be appointed at any one time. The chairperson may also appoint a Maori Land Court judge to the position of deputy chairperson. The total membership reflects the partnership [sic!] of the Treaty of Waitangi through an approximately equal representation of Maori and Pakeha.

Tribunal members are appointed for terms of up to three years by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Maori Affairs in consultation with the Minister of Justice.

Members constitute a pool from which tribunals of between three and seven members are drawn to hear claims. The term 'Waitangi Tribunal' is used to refer both to the total membership and to the individual Tribunals. Members are appointed to a Tribunal by direction of the chairperson and remain members until the inquiry is completed or they resign.

The chairperson also appoints a presiding officer for each Tribunal. To be a presiding officer, a member must have at least seven years' standing as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. Judges of the Maori Land Court, while not members of the Waitangi Tribunal, may also preside over an inquiry. Once appointed, the presiding officer manages the hearing process.

Each Tribunal has to have at least one Maori member, although generally around half the members are Maori. Usually, a Tribunal has a kaumatua member and, where it is inquiring into historical matters, at least one historian [sic].

What can we deduce from this?

1. The Tribunal’s fundamental premise before it even hears a single claim is that the Treaty of Waitangi created an ongoing racial partnership.

2. The Tribunal’s membership is around 50 percent Treatyist Maori.

2. Since members are appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Maori Affairs, of the other 50 percent or so non-Maori members, only Treatyist Pakeha are likely to be appointed.

3. Theoretically it is possible for all Tribunal members hearing a particular claim to be Maori [by which I mean New Zealanders of mixed European-Maori descent who have chosen to identify monoculturally as "Maori"]. More commonly, Maori may be a majority of those hearing a particular claim.

4. Since many Maori have multiple hapu and iwi affiliations, it is quite possible for a Tribunal member hearing a particular claim to have direct links to the claimant group. This directly contravenes the legal principle that "no man shall be the judge of his own case."

5. Given that 50 percent of Tribunal members are Treatyist Maori and the claims process is in a broader sense between the Crown and Maori, this slightly more indirectly contravenes the legal principle that "no man shall be the judge of his own case."

Anonymous said...

Let's examine how the Tribunal works:

1. Claims are typically heard on the marae of the claimant tribe, hardly a neutral venue. Deliberations are conducted according to Maori protocol. This is likely to prove highly intimidating to non-Maori interested parties seeking to make a representation.

2. Since the claims process is seen as being between the Crown and Maori, third parties have no automatic right to be heard. They can only be heard with permission, which the Tribunal rarely grants, particularly if opposed by the claimant group.

3. Evidence is often given in Maori, with no requirement to provide a translation. As well as being a deliberate act of cultural arrogance, this makes it difficult for non-Maori speakers to have input at that point in the hearing process.

4. Oral evidence is given the same weight as written evidence, and is not subject to cross-examination, since according to Maori protocol this is highly disrespectful to a kaumatua. The Tribunal justifies this by asserting that since it is a Tribunal rather than a Court, rigorous evidential standards do not apply.

5. Claimant groups have forced historians they have employed to go away under threat of non-payment and sanitise reports of facts that undermine their case.

6. Those charged with presenting the Crown's case are supine to say the least. For example, claimants who didn't sign the Treaty, such as Tainui, Tuhoe, and Tuwharetoa, should have been told to take a walk right there. Groups such as Ngai Tahu, Tainui, and Te Atiawa, who'd already received full and final settlements (some, like Ngai Tahu, several times over) legislated for in Acts of Parliament the preambles of which include the words "full and final settlement" should also have been told to take a hike.

The Tribunal's assertion the Ngapuhi never ceded sovereignty is the latest in a long line of egregious tommyrot to come out of this body via the fundament.

Who can forget "the Holocaust of Taranaki" statement likening the closing down of the Parihaka Commune (in which not a single person lost their life) with the state-sponsored Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews during WWII?

Legendary media critic Brian Priestley MBE, who acted as media adviser for Ngai Tahu when that the tribe’s claim was before the Waitangi Tribunal, had this to say about the Tribunal process:

“Years ago I attended several sessions while advising the Ngai Tahu on public relations for their claims.

“It would be hard to imagine any public body less well-organised to get at the truth.

“There was no cross-examination.

“Witnesses were treating with sympathetic deference.

“The people putting the Crown’s side of things seemed equally anxious not to offend.

“In three months I don’t think I was asked a single intelligent, awkward question.

“I should have been.”

Here's what Ngapuhi kaumatua, David Rankin, a direct descendant of Hone Heke, had to say about the Tribunal:

“The Tribunal makes up history as it goes along. A growing number of New Zealand historians are pointing this out, although most of them are labelled as racist for doing so. Facts are omitted in Tribunal reports, and evidence is shaped in some cases to fit predetermined outcomes. The bias is so obvious, but most historians are too scared for their careers to question the tribunal’s findings.

“[T]he Tribunal … has turned out to be a body that is bringing in apartheid to New Zealand. This sounds dramatic, until you see how it advocates for race-based access to certain areas, and race-based management policies for Crown land, and now, twin sovereignty, which constitutionally is worse than anything that happened in South Africa during the apartheid era.

“The tribunal is a bully. Go against it, and you will be labelled a racist or worse.”

Thinking New Zealanders should have absolutely no confidence in this body

Anonymous said...

Amazing how presenting facts now adds up to being a racist in this country.
When will all this nonsense end?

ONZF said...

There is one part Mike has missed out, virtually the whole of the South Island was sold by the chiefs travelling to Australia before the treaty was signed. These were the sales Hobson said would be investigated after the Treaty was signed. Most if no all were disallowed without compensation.

This article was published by the Australian media but there is no way the New Zealand media would publish it:
Waitangi Day versus Independence Day.

Most people think the Treaty of Waitangi was New Zealand’s Founding Document, but the treaty was only an agreement between Queen Victoria and 512 Maori chiefs where the chiefs gave up their territories and governments to Britain in return for Maori becoming British Subjects with the same rights as the people of England. This allowed New South Wales to extend its boundaries to encompass all the Islands of New Zealand under one flag and one law, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

Our true Founding Document and first Constitution was Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/Letters Patent dated the 16 November 1840, which was enacted on the 3 May 1841. This Royal Charter separated New Zealand from New South Wales and New Zealand became an Independent British Colony with a Governor and a Constitution to form a legal Government to make laws with Courts and Judges to enforce those Laws. Unfortunately, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/Letters Patent sits in Archives New Zealand, Wellington gathering dust, completely ignored by governments and our professional historians.

While Waitangi Day February 6th must be remembered as an important day in our history, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/Letters Patent was our true Founding Document and May 3rd is New Zealand’s Independence Day, the day all New Zealanders must celebrate as the day New Zealand became One People, One Nation, irrespective of race, colour or creed.
Ross Baker. ONZF


Allan said...

I agree. Nonsense, obfuscation and it just carries on. never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

ONZF said...

The Waitangi Tribunal
The alleged Treaty of Waitangi claims have nothing to do with the Treaty of Waitangi, they were
alleged breaches of New Zealand Laws and therefore should have been heard in a Court of Law
as most where in the 1930’s & 40’s and were “fully and finally settled or rejected”. Since the
1975 Treaty of Waitangi Act which created the Waitangi Tribunal; the hearing of these claims
have breached the Magna Carta, the Treaty of Waitangi, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/Letters
Patent and the Human Rights Act. Any alleged claim should have been heard in a Court of Law
and under Court procedure where the claimants could be cross-examined which would have
sorted out fact from fiction and would never have allowed the false claims such as the Te Roroa
Treaty of Waitangi claim and many others to proceed based on distorted, manufactured and
false evidence.

Ross Baker, ONZF.

Peter said...

Nice to see comments about the low population of the South Island. Anthropologists confirm that Maori in the South Island were very small and transient groups. Quite simply the climate was not conducive to settlement. Today we have the very powerful and rich Ngai Tahu with vast tracts of valueable land and rights. What are they doing with this wealth and power? Building a powerful empire for themselves; yet not investing in the social welfare of the Ngai Tahu descendants. Examples that come to mind;
1. Opting out of building a hostel for students at Otago Polytechnic/University - not profitable enough.
2. Selling their fishery rights to the Chinese, rather than fishing themselves.
In the meantime the New Zealand taxpayer provides more money for the health, education and well- being of these people.

It is a take, take, take situation. Yet they claim that is what the British colonists did to them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all school boys (not girls) got the strap for transgressions During my 1955 school year in Kaikohe my teacher, Mr. H.H.Rankin (Hone Heke Rankin) gave me 6 , and on the last day of school he made all boys strap him, the same number from each of us that we had received from him!

Ali Mac said...

Mike Butler's account of the truth about the Treaty of Waitangi makes one angry and riled.
Butler reports of the lies, told with brazenness by the professing "elder"; Hapuku; that some chiefs were made to sign at gunpoint.
Due to the deceit at tribunal hearings, the intentional mafia set ups; and the consequential theft of public money for " settlements" this Maori rort and roaring trade of monetary theft, is adding to the overseas debt burden of New Zealand. Principal and interest instalments must be nearly as big as the entire revenue from agriculture.
What will stop it is the coming debt crash. The debt crash will be world wide but it will strike in NZ with huge force. Banks will close. There will be no more money for the mafia tribunal to steal. None! No overseas banks will loan national and labour any more money; there will be a total currency crash. Oh well. tribunal members and iwi can live off their savings. It ought to last them for at least a century, if each one can exist on 200K per annum.