Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mike Butler: Waitangi no spiritual home

The trust that owns the treaty house and grounds at Waitangi is raising funds to build a museum on the site to create the New Zealand equivalent of the Washington Monument to define what New Zealand is about and what it means to be a New Zealander. Here’s what mainstream commentator Sean Plunket wrote in the Dominion Post on Saturday:
That is a lovely idea and would certainly be a lot easier for most people than trekking to Gallipoli to feel some emotional connection with the birth of the nation.
The problem is while most of us are happy to embrace Anzac Day as special, Waitangi Day and Waitangi itself are not held in the same regard. For many Kiwis, Waitangi is simply a place where politicians go once a year to be yelled at, manhandled and spat on. The treaty itself is not regarded by most New Zealanders as a founding document, rather a troublesome relic that has become the foundation stone for political correctness, white guilt and a brazen gravy train ridden by a growing cast Maori elite, lawyers and consultants.

Despite years of indoctrination of our public service and the legal recognition of the “principles of the treaty” the plain fact is New Zealanders simply aren’t buying the idea of biculturalism and are increasingly concerned at the ever more outlandish and legally convoluted claims being made by those who promote it.
….. I wish the Waitangi trustees well in their fundraising endeavours but suspect even if they are successful Waitangi will not become New Zealand’s spiritual home until all the claims have been settled, the gravy train derailed, and the treaty finally locked away in a museum where it rightly belongs.
I would add that the claims will never end until the Waitangi Tribunal is locked away, and while the naive believe the claims have substance, a close look at any claim shows that it is spun out of thin air by using the mercurial treaty principles.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Reflects my sentiments exactly. I wonder how much longer this fantasy will go on before some catalyst sparks off a backlash. We simply can't go on the way we are at present. Can't see the whole sorry mess ending well though. Bound to be a few tears.