Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mike Butler: Objecting to the Maorification of NZ

Separatists described this week’s ACT Party advert featuring the headline "Fed up with pandering to Maori radicals” both “deeply offensive” and a “dog whistle back to the 19th century”. But ACT Party leader Don Brash told Radio New Zealand the ad reflected a "very deep frustration on the part of many people that successive governments, Labour and National, have been trying to appease a group of quite radical Maori, who have a view of New Zealand that is not only fundamentally different from what most New Zealanders want, but fundamentally different from any reasonable interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi."

Poles apart after 171 years of living in the same country. How have we come to this? Part of the reason is that there are two opposing interpretations of the treaty. The view Brash takes is that by the first article, tribal ancestors had transferred their chiefly authority to the Queen forever, and the second article confirmed rights of possession. The separatist view is based on the second article’s guarantee of complete ownership, the Maori phrase “tino rangatiratanga”.

The problem is that “rangatiratanga” means a range of things including “sovereignty, chieftainship, right to exercise authority, chiefly autonomy, self-determination, self-management, ownership, leadership of a social group, domain of the rangatira, and noble birth”.

In drafting the treaty, British Resident James Busby and Governor William Hobson used the phrase ‘tino rangatiratanga’ to convey “complete ownership”. Maori sovereignty proponents take ‘tino rangatiratanga’ to mean both “ownership” and “self-government”, which allows the treaty to both cede and retain sovereignty.

Some generous souls argue that the chiefs who signed the treaty had neither concept of sovereignty nor ownership since in the stone-age world they occupied, everything was tied up in a system dominated by the chief. Therefore, the word “chiefly-ness” or “rangatiratanga” could explain sovereignty and ownership.

But British sovereignty was quickly explained many times back in 1840, to chiefs deciding whether or not to sign, as “the Queen will be a chief over you”. Similarly, the chiefly ownership of and the ability to sell land was equally well understood at that stage, as was evidenced by the large areas of land already sold by chiefs to some entrepreneurial English.

The two conflicting interpretations of the treaty have co-existed for 171 years and have overlapped a much longer Maori tradition, of squabbling over land.

The treaty brought a new age for Maori that meant no longer did they have to go to war to assert land ownership claims. The struggle could continue under the auspices of British law. Chiefs could sell land, not only for financial gain, but to settle old scores or to get up the noses of other chiefs, as happened with the Waitara block. When it became apparent that the Governor would investigate land-sale disputes, there were the additional benefits of compensation, the possibility of having the land returned, so it could be sold, yet again.

And on it goes. This has pretty much been the basis of the Maori economy for the past 171 years. When the Fourth Labour Government made it possible to air grievances back to 1840, a new age dawned for the Maori land-sale grievance economy. The raft of treaty claims and settlements that appeared since then has been a part of that new age, the so-called Maori renaissance.

Various incarnations of a Maori sovereignty movement have existed for nearly 171 years, including flagpole-chopper Hone Heke, the Maori King movement, the Kotahitanga and the Kauhanganui movements. In his influential “Te Tiriti o Waitangi: He Whakamarama”, written in 1922 for a Maori audience, Sir Apirana Ngata explained that since parliament was the embodiment of chiefly authority ceded in 1840, demands for absolute Maori authority, such as the Kotahitanga and Kauhanganui movements of that time, were wishful thinking. (1)

Nevertheless, continued brooding by some disaffected Maori has kept separatist dreams alive, and these dreams have been nourished with the appearance of the Maori Party, and a National-Party-led government which officially flew the Maori separatist flag, set up the Whanau Ora Maori social services organization, signed up to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, signed away rights to the coastal area, and fast-tracked dubious treaty settlements.

Fellow-traveller separatists have infested government departments, universities, schools, as well as the news media, as was shown by the Dominion Post’s refusal to run the ACT Party advert.

Without saying Herald columnist John Roughan is a separatist, in his column “Tino rangatiratanga is more than a flag - it is the autonomy every person needs” he appeared stunned at the result of a TVNZ Close-Up poll in which of 40,000 responses, 81 percent said that they don’t think Maori have a special place in New Zealand. (2)

Roughan wrote: “Everybody knows Maori have a special place in New Zealand” and went on to call those who didn’t believe that were “deniers” who generally leave to live in Queensland. It’s a bad day for news when beliefs get in the way of facts. But, Roughan was writing an opinion piece, and he has shown that his opinion is out of step with reality.

Sentiments like “tino rangatiratanga is the autonomy every person needs" help massage the separatist dream into the subconscious of readers and viewers who would otherwise reject the notion of dual government or Maori-governed areas.

Ad man John Ansell created the "Fed up with pandering to Maori radicals” for the ACT Party. He had created two much more lively adverts that popularity sensitive ACT MPs rejected, causing ructions within the party, according to the New Zealand Herald. (3) Ansell has since quit his role as ACT Party creative director, after he attacked "white cowards" for not standing up against the "Maorification" of the country.

Even so the milder published advert sparked howls of outrage from two of the pandered-to Maori radicals. The "dog whistle" outburst came from the retired professor Ranginui Walker, who was a member of Maori activist group Nga Tamatoa, and the "deeply offensive" comment was from Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia. Both try to present their extreme views as mainstream.

1. Claudia Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi, Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 1987, p229.
2. John Roughan, “Tino rangatiratanga is more than a flag - it is the autonomy every person needs”,
3. David Fisher, “Act ad man quits after blasting 'apartheid”,


R Cressy Own_Up_Dude said...

Don Brash is out there bravely running in to withering fire to save us from maorification with the support of his 1.8% of the voters, he will certainly need his fortress Epson to hide in and fire from.

One small point he may have over looked is the one that the radicals would only have power to act if people support them. With out an injustice or unfairness to base their claims on no radical would last. This is also their weakness.

The Taliban came into being when America abandoned Afghanistan after they achieved their aims of harming Russa. The terrible things that happened after gave the Taliban their base. America now fights them but has resurrected the war lords and enhanced the economic misery only alleviated by selling heroin to the English. The reasons for the Taliban existence have not been removed so neither has the Taliban.

From this I would say that a fair and equal New Zealand has never existed because if it had these radicals would not have any support.

So in that is a plan. Stop whinning about Maorification and work on Fairification and equalification with a drop of Justiceifactaion.

From Epson I'm sure John and Don will fight for the removal of zoning on schools and put the power of education back into the hands of the children and parents (ACT's old policy) so that Maori who are poor can get the same access to education as their epson constituents

With tax I'm sure Don would fight too for fairness so that some young maori on a minimum wage does not pay more tax than Mutt Lange and his money losing farms.

And as for the minimum wage I'm sure Don would make home ownership affordable, after he has removed the minimum wage, by breaking the privileges that the landholding gentry have when it comes to no land, capital or capital gains tax.

Continuing the tax theme I'm sure Don would also agree that just because a group is based on religion they should not be able to operate as tax free entities, race is not much different than religion of course

Then the small injustice that Douglas Myers can live in London,have a title and millions of dollars for running a virtual drug cartel but many young Maori sit in jail because they sold or used some cannabis.

Of course they sit in those jails because justice is dispensed according to wealth and connections.

These problems of poor education, unfair tax and justice systems, poverty and low pay do not just affect Maori but they effect them more because they are by proportion more likely to be in the poorer group.

And for that other problem that Don has, the 1.8%, the reason the rest of us whitey's don't support Don is not that that Maorification is not of concern to us it's just that we are trying to live and honestly if it is rule by white oligarchs or white oligarchs with Maori names there is really no difference. The only ones who notice are the white oligarchs who see their opportunities to screw us over diminish, that must be the 1.8%.

Mike Butler said...

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples defined “tino rangatiratanga” as “the right to be Maori” in his debate with Don Brash on Maori TV over the “fed-up” advert. His redefinition of the term differs from all dictionary definitions and has nothing to do with the text of the Treaty of Waitangi. Brash was careful in describing Sharples as a radical by defining a radical as “someone who wants to change the constitution of the country by granting special rights to some people.” Sharples defined “privilege” as having choices, or options in your life” whereas the usual meaning, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, is “special advantage or benefit”. At the close of the debate, Sharples illustrated the Maori Party strategy of presenting radical beliefs as acclaimed mainstream progressiveness by alleging that Brash was the separatist and the Maori Party was inclusive. If you haven’t watched the debate, go to

Rob Newcombe said...

How is it, when Taraina Turia's Father is American, as admitted on her website, Peter (now Maori named Pita) Sharples's Father came from Bolton or is it Bradford and Harawira is actually Hatfield, that these very part Maori radicals get away with so much?
They are not racists as such, but very clever radicals exploiting the weakness of our very weak, self serving, slime ball politicians.
In 1947, the Maori Act was abolished after so many years of integration and in Michael King's history of New Zealand, there has not been a full blooded Maori for over 80 years.
Non of these radicals would have passed the Maori Act test that stated to be Maori, you had to be over 50% Maori.
The problem with this privileged apartheid for Maori push by the radicals, is not just for the country as a whole but for young Maori, because as capable as any youngsters, many are brain washed into believing they live as victims of society.
John Key promised no more race based seats yet sits in the pocket of the Maori party to the detriment of Pakeha.
I once read a statement by Annette Sykes, one of Harawira's cohorts who famously said "My Father's Irish but I'm Maori", her Mother in no way could be full Blooded Maori, so in effect, she is like many radicals, more European that Maori.
If we are to be subjected to this appalling apartheid scam, perhaps the Maori Act should be reinstated because most these radicals would then vanish.
John Key has become Judas Key, handing over the nation's wealth and country, its fairminded liberties, in return for his 40 pieces of silver power via the Maori Party.
He should actually face the courts for trampling on the Human Rights of us Non Maori rights to fair citizenship, but as just another self serving Political hack, there is no come back or justice for us.
My vote will go to Brash although my wish is is that he would rename Act as the Non-Maori Party,to encompass us all non Maori from all corners of the Earth, to give power back to the majority and not to the insane greedy Maori radical parties.
This is why Hone Hatfield, oops sorry, Harawira and the Maori Party, pretended to fall out, the acting was amateurish, Harawira's tears impossible, the guy is not that advanced, yet he achieved the end game, a new radical Maori party, pretending to care for the under privileged, yet achieving the main gaol, that is more list seats, added to the already Maori seats and hey presto, more Maori MPs to push for more power for privileged separatism.
Very clever manoeuvring, lost on many.
The North and South Magazine once did an article on why so many of us jump the ditch to OZ and not surprising many left because of what is termed the "Maori problem", not racism just the almost unstoppable tide of Maori-isation.
Who can blame the best and brightest for leaving when our country is being destroyed?
Good luck to you Don Brash, you say it as it is, something Labour and National hacks either can't see, or are too cowardly to acknowledge.

John C said...

From ACT Party: Sunday: Fed up with the Maorification of Everything? (original wording of Ansell ad before it was toned down)

From ACT Party: Wednesday: What ACT needs is more Maorification of the ACT Party (my spin on Brash's words according to this morning's Herald).

Anonymous said...

Roughan thinks tino rangitiratanga (and "Maori culture") is something you buy at the health food store.

Anonymous said...

Maori have greater wealth than the total wealth of NZ stock exchange by 30 Billion. Stop our bleeding. Get rid of treaty rubbish. Enough is far to much already.

Anonymous said...

As a member of a family with lots of maori DNA in it, but no maori tribalism, it is clear that the way to a better life is to leave tribalism behind. The debate on tribalism vs modern cultures is what it is all about. If we are going to be run on tribilistic lines, then who/what the tribe is, needs definition. Is it based on race? And if so how is race defined? by DNA, or challengable family history?(we all know that "fence jumping" is/was commonplace in all societies), so DNA testing is the only sure way. At what level of DNA is one defined to belong to a specific tribe?
Tribalism is a relic of past ages, and always leads to separatism and "war" in various forms. In modern times we truly can live as one people, and we can handle the underpriveledged/poor upbringing issues on the basis of need, not race......all it needs is intelligence, education, good parenting and less greed. Maybe the intelligence isn't sufficient in NZ.....

Argus said...

It's simply human nature to want freebies, and politics is a tool for greater leverage.

We need to change our systems—in NZ we don't have democracy, we have 'democratically' elected dictatorships.

Unfortunately what we've got now is a flea in the middle of the see-saw running backwards and forwards tipping the elephant at each end as the flea wishes. Not good.

We need objectivity and rationality, instead we have politics. Get used to it.