Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mike Butler: Special deal for Scottish NZers?

Scottish culture continues as a distinct subculture within New Zealand. It is largely invisible, but bagpipes, kilts, sporrans and dirks come out of the cupboard for weddings, funerals, and at highland games. At the risk of being abused as a Scottish New Zealander basher, I wondered how it would be if clan chiefs got a special deal from the government, and people of Scottish descent were paid cash for grievances, get rights to first refusal on government property, and have to be consulted if the government was to do anything. Here is how it would look:

Scottish New Zealanders would have a special status because they were here first.

Clan leadership is based on birthright, and clan chiefs are in a partnership with the elected New Zealand government.

Clan leaders and the government cite a covenant signed 172 years ago as the basis of the partnership. This covenant is deemed as sacred that is beyond reproach. Interpretation of the covenant is restricted to clan leaders and right-thinking people in the government.

Years later a Scottish-sympathiser judge imagined that the covenant held a series of principles that defined a partnership relationship between Scottish New Zealanders clan chiefs and the New Zealand government.

The concept of partnership was made concrete by legislating the covenant principles.

Scottish New Zealanders have their own tribunal to take complaints to. The tribunal writes up the complaint into a format that compels the government to provide financial and cultural redress. This series of written reports creates a version of New Zealand history re-written from the Scottish New Zealanders viewpoint as a victim.

Cash compensation for complaints that go back 172 years is paid to trusts controlled by clan chiefs. Ownership of mountains and sacred sites are vested in the clan elite. Compensation is being arranged for on-going use of rivers. Clan members could camp at designated camping areas at rivers while fishing.

The Government must consult chiefs on anything related to land, water, minerals, airspace, radio frequencies, foreshore, seabed, and any resource that might be discovered.

Extra resources go towards the schooling of children of Scottish New Zealanders regardless of socio-economic background. Scottish New Zealand children are believed to work best as individuals when they know that their clan is represented in the classroom. Teaching of Scottish New Zealand children must incorporate Scottish New Zealanders philosophical and spiritual beliefs.

Scottish New Zealand advisers, clan consultants, representatives, and elders, must be employed on numerous committees at national and local level in all areas of government activity including education, health, social welfare, local government, and conservation.

These Scottish New Zealanders advisors are promoted according to understanding of Scottish New Zealander customary practice and not merit or ability.

Scottish New Zealanders have designated seats in the national parliament, are pushing for separate representation in local government, and want to enshrine the 172-year-old three-paragraph covenant into a written constitution that divides the country into separate clan nations, with those separate nations, the Scottish New Zealander nation, and the 85 percent non-Scottish New Zealander majority spinning harmoniously into the future.

Would this be a blueprint for progress or recipe for resentment? This is the structure that the separatists have created since 1985. It is affirmative action and social engineering on a huge scale that will end in tears.

So what has this got to do with Scottish New Zealanders? Nothing. The Scots who came to New Zealand in the 19th century had their own grievances to do with what happened in the highland clearances. The Irish brought their own tales of woe about what the English did to them. Chinese New Zealanders continue to battle racial prejudice.

What this blog seeks to describe is a faulty social model that is being incrementally forced into the New Zealand constitutional makeup. This is a warning. If racial preference is legislated into a constitutional framework, we are on the road to civil war.


The Gantt Guy said...

Well said, Mike. As the head of my Scottish Kiwi family, I demand special recognition and funding.

Just a couple of points, though, where the analogy falls over. First, the Scots were battling for hundreds of years to get the English OUT of Scotland (and may be n the verge of achieving it, although I suspect if it happens it will end up being a warning to be careful what you wish for) before Maori ever bumped into New Zealand.

Second, the Scots never had to go crawling to the English and ask for protection to stop the clans killing and eating each other.

Apart from that, when can I expect my cheque?

Ray S said...

I to have Scots ancestry so am in line right beside The Gantt Guy.

Mike said...

Yes, as Abraham Lincoln said: "A house divided against itself cannot stand". I fear though, that these things take on a life of their own and we're already a long way down the road of no return. A few years ago it would have been inconceivable that all water would be in the sights of the treaty claimants. Not so now.

Anonymous said...

If they want a civil war they can have it.

Unlike in Northern Ireland, where one might be sitting beside a Provo in a pub and not know it, a "Maori" [sic] is readily identifiable by his/her appearance.

Simple to ask someone at gunpoint "are you a Maori first or a New Zealander?"

The problem is that the enlisted men in our small army are overwhelmingly Maori.

Will they be loyal to the Crown or their ethnic identity?

A friend who was an army officer a decade ago back bailed up some enlisted men in the gym who were wearing tino rangatiratanga T-shirts.

They protested they were off-duty and could wear what they liked.

"Get that filthy rag off your backs. You have eaten the Queen's Salt and that is seditious," they were told.

The enlisted men protested to the CO, who upheld their officer's position.

I wonder if this would still be the case?

Anonymous said...

They are really 2 very different histories.
As a Scottish-born NewZealander with Maori relatives by marriage,(who incidentally mostly share my views) I have to wonder if we would be in the situation we now are if the British had settled their wars with with Maori in much the same way Maori settled theirs with Moriori.

Maori today, whose ancestors actually lost their wars with the Brits, have all the benefits of other settlers while the Scots, who in warfare successfully sent off the Romans, the Vikings and the English, got the clearances, which result from financial privilege gained by mainly English aristocracy, the result of which today is more deer than people in the Highlands and a main highway serving the Highlands that is mostly only 12 feet wide.

Anonymous said...

I`m the yougest of my clan gee can I make a sub clan of my dads clan?!

Anonymous said...

I agree, we ae on the road to civil war

Jesse said...

Like it or not the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by the same crown and under the same legal structure that we are governed by today. It really comes down to whether you believe in the rule of law and its interpretation by an independent judiciary or not.

The analogy with the Scots is a bit silly isn't it. If the Scots had owned and occupied the whole of NZ before having the bulk of it confiscated by the english then they would indeed have some legitimate grievances, as they do in Scotland today (after all conquest is not a legitimate means of acquiring territory under international law).

The current situation is Scotland is enlightening with regards to whether the views expressed above are perhaps racially motivated or not. I assume it is to be cheered that the Scots are finally reclaiming a degree of sovereignty from England, but that partial compensation of Maori land owners for the theft of their property (not even mentioning the issue of sovereignty) raises the ire and disgust of what I assume are otherwise rational and forthright people?

Or are we to argue that the Scots in Scotland are lazy cannibals who the English should have wiped out completely while they had the chance?

Mike Butler said...

Jesse, I agree that the Scottish analogy mostly does not fit but it serves to illustrate the distortions created by applying the treatyfarian grievance settlement model to a subculture.

You are incorrect to suggest that the English confiscated "the bulk of NZ".

The first proclamation confiscating land under the New Zealand Settlements Act was made in December 1864. Over the next three years, five districts were proclaimed to be under the act: Taranaki, Waikato, Tauranga, Eastern Bay of Plenty and Mōhaka–Waikare. The total area affected was about 1.5 million acres (607,500 ha) or 6070.28 square kilometres. Since NZ’s total land area is 268,021 square kilometres, about 2.2 percent of the total land area of NZ was confiscated. A Compensation Court (mostly comprising judges of the Native Land Court) was set up to hear claims by loyal Maori for monetary compensation or the recovery of their land.

Regarding "theft of property", the Waitangi tribunal does not have a grievance category of property theft, which means those protesting to have "stolen land" returned are telling porkies.