Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mike Butler: Panel ignores nation’s pulse

While the Constitutional Advisory Panel claims its final report, released on Thursday, is simply taking the pulse of the nation, this separatist-dominated group pushes its view on the Maori seats, the Treaty of Waitangi, and appears to have renamed the nation "Aotearoa New Zealand".

Despite receiving a large number of submissions wanting the Maori seats to go, the panel recommends against their abolition, saying “it is inappropriate for the longstanding rights of a minority to be taken away simply because the minority is outnumbered”.

The Maori Party initiated panel takes this firm stand irrespective of the nation’s heartbeat without indicating that with just 1.4 percent of the party vote in 2011, the sole reason the Maori Party is in Parliament is because of the Maori seats.

The panel uses the same reasoning to oppose a referendum on the retention or abolition of the Maori seats, recommending that Maori only should decide the future of the seats.

After ignoring the nation’s pulse on Maori seats and the decision on their future, the final report does show a subtle shift of emphasis in how the treaty is described. It has become “a foundational document” instead of the initial somewhat breathless affirmations by panel members Tipene O’Regan ("the Treaty is the foundation of our polity"), Michael Cullen (treaty a "living document"), Leonie Pihama (“the treaty is a crucial document which defines the relationship between Maori and the Crown”), and so on.

The report repeats faulty state orthodoxy on treaty interpretation by saying, on page 29, that "the Maori text of the Treaty, while giving kawanatanga (governance) to the Queen of England . . .(gave) "absolute authority for chiefs (rangatira) to be chiefs and hold sway in their territories".

The report does not say that this interpretation has only existed for the past 30 or so years, when claiming treaty breaches became a lucrative business for some. From 1840 until the grievance gravy train steamed up, the treaty was understood to agree that the Queen was sovereign and Maori were her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property.

Often overlooked is the fact that because the Treaty of Waitangi was drafted in English and translated into Maori, the clear meaning and intent of the treaty is plain as day for all to see in the English version.

There is no need to decode the Maori text and try to suppose what the 1840 chiefs may or may not have understood, even though clear evidence of their views exists in William Colenso’s eyewitness account of the treaty debate and signing.

The word “sovereignty” in Article 1 was translated into “kawanatanga” and the word “possession” in Article 2 was translated into “rangatiratanga”. Latter day treaty interpreters have put a new meaning into the word “rangatiratanga” to create the fiction that because chiefs were no longer able to carry on exercising their chiefly sovereignty that they ceded to the Queen, the treaty was breached and compensation must be paid.

As for the panel’s use of the term “Aotearoa New Zealand” throughout the report, use of the word “Aotearoa” is one of those signs that help separate the greenstone-wearers from the red-white-and-blue crowd.

The name “Aotearoa New Zealand” has been pushed into use by the bone-pendant brigade, largely since the 1990s when it became the custom to sing New Zealand's national anthem "God Defend New Zealand" in both Maori and English.

The name “New Zealand” goes back to 1645 when Dutch cartographers renamed the land “Nova Zeelandia” after the Dutch province of Zeeland. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who sighted New Zealand in 1642 called it “Staten Landt”.

British explorer James Cook anglicised the name to “New Zealand” when he mapped the coastline in 1769. The name “New Zealand” appears in the English version of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi and was transliterated into Te Tiriti, the Maori text, as “Nu Tirani”.

It is unknown whether Maori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans. The name “Aotearoa” originally referred to just the North Island.

The first documented use of the word “Aotearoa” was in New Zealand Governor George Grey’s book titled Polynesian Mythology And Ancient Traditional History Of The New Zealand Race, published in 1855.

Interesting too was the coverage given to the report's release by Radio New Zealand's Morning Report on Friday. Host Geoff Robinson interviewed the panel's co-chair, who is the treaty settlements specialist Tipene O'Regan, and said he had approached the far-left Maori rights activist Margaret Mutu, without success, for comment from the viewpoint of her Independent Iwi Constitutional Working Group. No further comment was sought.

I wondered why no comment was sought from our Independent Constitutional Review Panel. He must have been aware of our existence. We had sent them every press release.


Ray S said...

1.4% of the party vote ? bit of a joke really. Must be time for an Asian party given the numbers announced last week. Would be interesting to see how a strong party full of asians would respond to all this rubbish. Not quite the same as our present lot I'll bet.

Dave said...

1.4% of the vote and selected purely on grounds of race only. With so called Maori making up around 14% of the population and at least 7% of those eligible to vote, it seems even Maori don't support the Maori Party or Mana. Makes you laugh when the world focus is on Mandella and his lifelong fight against racism and equal rights, yet we in NZ are entrenching race based legislation and having 'cultural PC correctness' forced on us at every level. NZ will wake up one day but by then racism will be so entrenched in law it will be too late or hard to make changes.

Barry said...

I think that you are probably right, Dave - but it doesn't make me laugh, it makes me angry. We have apartheid in NZ with government-imposed racial discrimination in favour of part-maoris and of Pacific islanders. Back to the Stone Age is where we are heading, via the Third World.

If we have racial hatred and civil strife on the way to the Third World, whose side will all those part-maoris in the army and the police force be on, do you think?

Anonymous said...

It is somewhat ironic that New Zealand Politicians pride New Zealand on it's stand against apartheid and Peter Sharples has given Mandela a "Maori" farewell.
Yet he recently has been advocating
specialist privileges for Maori - in other words a form of apartheid.
Now is a very good time to remind politicians and Maori activists Honi Harawira is another who has rushed over to South Africa .... that perhaps they need to apply their principals to their own country as well.
There must be no tolerance for specialist treatment based on race.
Or we will have another 1981 for our own country!I am tired of reading reinvented history by these people who are never challenged by those who could and should be leading the way for a unified country where all are equal in law.

Anonymous said...

Equality situation in New Zealand,just like Mandela's history is presented totally one sided by politicians and the general media all over the world. There are true facts available on all these matters, but if the Truth don't suits your pocket, it is old fashioned no matter how abusive ignorance of it may be.
Equality is now a days only a commercial idea which the leaders throw around because it sounds so noble + good.
None of them knows what complete equality really means or have any intention to put it into practice.

Anonymous said...

Mandela said he fought against white oppression, then had to fight against black oppression. NZ will only progress when the Govt and media stop kowtowing to power-hungry bullies and elitists and start enforcing legal equality. It's fair, reasonable and good. Over and above that, it's up to one's own attitude to achieve a good life here in NZ.

paul scott said...

I wish to draw a vague parallel and I hope readers will go with me.
In Thailand there is a Government over 70 million people which was simply bought and paid for.
This is not so incredible to us, because we know politicians buy votes in various ways.
It worked beautifully in Thailand as all the poor rice farmers of the North East voted in the megalomaniac Thaksin Government,
in exchange for money from the South.
Approximately 400 billion baht so far,for purchased rice votes. that’s about $US 12 billion , [ National GDP $US 550 billion ]
Now the newspapers there call it the dictatorship of democracy and it is true.
The government is controlled by a criminal in exile who stole so much money from the people
That he can buy and sell large factions of the Police and MIlitary.
Enough already OK, I am back on track.

I personally hate the system we have here where Maori have 20 plus seats in Government but Asians with about the same population have only 4 seats.
We belong to Asia and Asia belongs to us.
I just want an open and fair voting system where my brothers vote is the same as mine,
Not bought or sold by tribal leaders, and I am ready to fight for it. I want my own dear wife to have a vote for the work she puts in here, but I can not get it