Monday, June 27, 2016

Bruce Moon: False Claims About Water


Two Victoria University academics are reported as claiming that three bottom lines - outlined in a Cabinet paper on water in May 2016 - breaches the Treaty of Waitangi. The three options are: “nobody owns freshwater”; “no national settlement favouring iwi/hapu over other uses”; and “Allocation determined catchment by catchment based on resource availability, efficiency of use, good industry practice and a positive contribution to regional economic development”.

Their claims are blatantly false.

There is much activity within New Zealand by people making false claims about the treaty and seeking to pervert its meaning by ignoring the evidence of its day and the meanings of its words.  It is of paramount importance now and henceforth that these people be discredited.  Despite the claims of Geoffrey Palmer and others, the Treaty is a succinct and straightforward document.

There is only one Treaty, in the Ngapuhi dialect of the Maori language of the day.  It was translated by the Williams, father and son, from Hobson's final draft of 4th February.  It has three articles.

By the first, the chiefs ceded sovereignty completely and for ever to the Queen. In consequence, all Maoris became British subjects.

By the third all Maoris were granted the same rights as the people of England – no less but no more – a magnificent gift not bestowed on native peoples elsewhere.

The second article (excepting a statement concerning the sale of Maori land inserted for their protection) guaranteed the possession of their land and property to the chiefs, families and all the people of New Zealand.  Unequivocally, all the people were guaranteed the same rights whoever they were.  This article was actually redundant since the third article implied it.

Nowhere within the treaty do the words "Aotearoa" and "iwi" occur.  Neither was in common usage if at all.

One of the academics, Maria Bargh, is reported as saying "water is owned in Aotearoa.  It is owned by Maori according to tikanga Maori."  First note her flawed use of the anachronistic word "Aotearoa" which shows her lack of objectivity.  Second, whatever "tikanga Maori" may have been it was superseded for ever by the transfer of sovereignty and from that point, English common law as administered in New South Wales applied – New Zealand initially being an extension of that colony.

Bargh then makes the unsubstantiated claim that even under common law, the statement that nobody owns water is a gross oversimplification.

Then she quotes the Waitangi Tribunal assertion that there are Maori "proprietary rights in water".  It is abundantly clear that  this tribunal is profoundly corrupt, invariably supporting tribal claimants, its "finding" that Ngapuhi never ceded sovereignty being just one example of a blatant falsehood which flies in the face of the evidence.  Its opinion on water is worthless and damaging.

Then she quotes a 2013 Supreme Court ruling to support her claim.  However, rulings of this court are far from sound.  There are other rulings of courts in New Zealand which demonstrate incompetence or flagrant bias or both.  The Court of Appeal 2003 decision in the foreshore and seabed case is a glaring example which ignores precedent and practice.

Parliament, as New Zealand's paramount court must assert its precedence and correct these flawed abuses of justice.

She then goes on to deny the commonsense and practicality of water management by catchment, the sound practice of the superseded catchment boards,  in favour of "hapu and iwi".  This is a barefaced  and indeed racist claim for special privileges for certain unconstitutional pressure groups within the country.

In short, Bargh and her associate, Carwyn Jones, who is not quoted, have fabricated a story to support a conclusion they want to reach, a blatant example of racism which must be peremptorily dismissed.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is long past time that these ever-continuing wrangles over the meaning of the Treaty ought be put to rest. The longer that this open wound in our history is allowed to fester, the harder it is to reconcile a solution.

To me, that the First Article cedes "complete sovereignty of their country" is very clear, as it would have been to those who drafted the wording back on 4th February 1840. Likewise, Article 2 "guarantees to the chiefs & tribes and to all the people of New Zealand the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property" (emphasis is mine) is a very clear guarantee relating to the lands owned by the chiefs and tribes AND anyone else to whom legally transferred ownership was given. Even "the unqualified exercise of their chieftainship over their lands" is clear and acceptable. Extending this to "their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries" is fine with me. The issue falls to the interpretation of what were their lands, ...). I see no basis, either in Maori Law (if there was any) or English Law, for concluding that the water flowing over their lands is contemplated as being owned.

It is clear to me that some Maori were wronged in past land deals, and those wrongs need to be put right, but I find no room for ambiguity in these words - Maori ownership rights relate to their lands, not those owned by other people. That some find ambiguity in the wording of the Treaty is the point that needs to be dealt with and decided on.

paul scott said...

Academic institutions all over the world are losing credibility because of absurd regressive dogma [ progressive politics], which is increasingly authoritarian .
The appearance of sickly ideology in academia is not new, and occurs at the highest level. In the 1970’s Socio-biologist Edward Wilson received scorn for discovering simple truths about genetic reality within life forms. It did not suit the preferred belief systems of the Marxists and left wing academics.
Many people think now, that Universities could be for training in work fit qualifications. Maths and Physics and Geography, and preparing Engineers, Physicians and so on.
Universities in a social “science” context are less than useless. In fact we could easily drop all social curricula entirely, especially political science rubbish.
This is why Brexit was so important. It spells the rise of revulsion against perverse structures which produce freakish unreal nonsense.
Sane New Zealanders know that water does not belong to a preferred politically preferred race. The people who say it does should not be supported by the taxpayer.
Our own Government is letting us down, but there is something we can do.
We can find and elect people who will stand up to this academic and racist insanity, and withdraw support for meaningless academic grandstanding.
Fantasy drivel about ownership of water, can be written at the author’s expense, and drown unread in the outflow of sewerage.


Anonymous said...

Many nations had open wounds of political struggles inisiated by Britian in past. To heal that: wrong(bugs) had to be cleared, past needed to be fully left behind & a solid NEW future has to be embraced.Then & only then will all be able to take hands together & supercede their past-rise in unity above the hot potato left in their hands by Britian/UK's intervention.
Therfore NZ needs to step away from UK bury the past(treaty) & embrace the future.

NZ started off good; but as long as NZ paddles around in the mud of the past(treaty & each man's version of it)the 'wound' shall remain infected & only creates other wounds/ struggles.

ONZF said...

We overlook the fact the treaty was only an agreement to give Britain sovereignty over all the Islands of New Zealand under the dependency of New South Wales and tangata Maori the same rights as the people of England, but only for 12 months (21 May 1840 until the 3 May 1841.

Queen Victoria's Royal Charter/ Letters Patent dated the 16 November 1841 separated New Zealand from New South Wales on the 3 May 1841 and New Zealand became an independent British Colony with its own Governor and Constitution to form a government to make laws with courts and judges to enforce those laws under one flag and irrespective of race, colour or Creed.

Queen Victoria's Royal Charter was OUR 'true' Founding Document and 'first' Constitution.

Queen Victoria and/or Lt. Governor Hobson did not have the power, authority or instructions to give tangata Maori any special rights in the Treaty not enjoyed by all the people of New Zealand and, NONE WERE GIVEN!

It's time the Treaty was filed away as it was after it was signed in 1840 and we used Queen Victoria's Royal Charter/Letters Patent as our 'true' Founding Document and 'first' Constitution.

5th generation Kiwi said...

People all over the world are starting to wake up to the left wing radical pc do gooders. The whole treaty issue is just another example how we the majority are being taken on a ride of lies and race or minority privilege or theft, call it what you like. Eventually we will have a strong political movement based on a treatyexit . It's time now