Friday, December 9, 2011
Mike Butler: Whistle blown on government separatist corruption
Robinson is an academic with impeccable credentials – a university lecturer and interdisciplinary research scientist with MSc degrees in maths and physics from Auckland University, and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has researched Maori issues for Massey University, the Royal Commission on Social Policy, the Ministry of Maori Affairs, for the Treaty of Waitangi Unit at the Department of Justice, Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development), the Treaty of Waitangi Research Unit at Victoria University, and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
A big-government baby boomer who cut his political teeth in the 1960s, he has demonstrated for civil rights for blacks in the United States, for equal pay for women in New Zealand, has apologized for Maori gangs, and regards Rogernomics as the scourge of the tangata whenua. Yes, on social issues Robinson lives on the Left.
This book seriously calls into doubt treaty grievance assumptions that colonisation and land loss sent the Maori population into cataclysmic decline, from 100,000 healthy, happy noble savages in 1840 to 47,330 woebegone victims of colonisation in 1874.
His analysis of Maori demographic and land information for the northern South Island for the Crown Forestry Rental Trust in 2000 led him to conclude that there was no link between land loss and population decline. Instead, the blame should be firmly placed on the 1800-1842 intertribal wars that reduced the Maori population by 40 percent, from 120,000 to 70,000, plus ongoing female infanticide “daughter slaughter”.
Robinson provides demographic evidence to show that the Maori population actually began to recover as British settlement widened during the 19th century. Yes, colonisation helped save Maori from themselves – which means there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for the raft of ongoing and multiple treaty settlements that reached the lofty total of $2.5-billion this year.
Starting with 1857-58 census data that confirmed a Maori population of 56,061, Robinson created demographic models from age and gender ratios, as well as fertility rates, to show that the population in 1840 was most likely 70,000. This contrasts with the grievance merchants, who claim that colonisation brought a cataclysmic population decline. The grievance industry needs to assume an 1840 Maori population of 100,000.
Robinson argues that if there had been such a shocking decline in the Maori population of 43,939, in 17 years from 1840 to 1857, it would have been reported at the time, and there are no such reports. But there were many reports and widespread evidence of the murder and cannibalism that took place from 1800 to 1842.
Nineteenth century Maori demographics form part of Robinson’s hard-hitting political statement, which is no dry academic paper. He makes a number of valid points:
1. That after the treaty was signed, British troops brought peace, yet that “magnificent achievement” has been abused as a basis for grievance payments to the “descendents of killers”, the victors of the 1800-1842 wars. The descendents of the slain, slaves, and dispossessed have been ignored.
2. The Treaty of Waitangi is a contradictory, transitory, 19th century document that must be firmly set aside when determining policy for the 21st century.
3. The use of undefined and often untranslated terms such as “tikanga” and “wahi tapu” in legislation, terms that can be selectively interpreted by claimants only, means the text of the Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act is impossible to understand. I would add that the use of such undefined terms simply creates a legal environment in which lawyered-up part-Maori can loot the public coffers. Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson should hang his well-educated head in shame.
4. Historical accounts are reinvented, omitted, or rewritten behind closed doors, to suit political aims.
5. “Maori for Maori” programmes lead to a drop in standards. At Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development), Robinson observed a Maori approach to welfare provision and saw people sitting around drinking cups of tea with children playing around. When he commented that there was no evidence of work being done, a complaint was made that his presence made them feel uncomfortable. Since western standards were deemed not to apply to indigenous efforts, after one day he was off the job.
Robinson gives an insight into how the treaty grievance bureaucracy operates. He saw two young lawyers representing the Crown against a roomful of courtroom hardened claimant lawyers – hardly a level playing field. Imagine the uproar if the representation was the other way around.
Robinson the research scientist stated: “The true story of Maori in the 19th century will only become clear when the insistence on catastrophe is dropped and researchers are permitted to tell the story of the data and to present an honest picture”.
“The Corruption of New Zealand Democracy – a treaty overview”, by John Robinson, may be bought from Tross Publishing, Wellington, email@example.com .
at 11:17 AM