Monday, May 26, 2014

Bruce Moon: Gross errors in 'guilt guru' claims

Wanganui's Rowan Partnership, which is a member of Network Waitangi, claims "a solid reputation" based on "hundreds of workshops" for people in workplaces such as local government and hospitals.

This post, which is the second part of a series on guilt gurus, exposes gross errors in the Network's Waitangi booklet handed out at seminars.

The booklet starts by quoting Sir Eddie Durie, who is co-chair of the Maori Council and was the first Maori appointed as a Justice of the High Court of New Zealand. Durie said: "It is the treaty which gives Pakeha the right to be here. Without the treaty there would be no lawful authority for the Pakeha presence."

Now this is pure nonsense. Note that Durie uses the derogatory word "pakeha" (sometimes meaning "village flea") which presumably includes his own predominantly white ancestors. There is simply nothing in the pre-treaty anarchy in New Zealand which denies the right of anybody to be here and, so far as I know, this has never been an issue in the past. It could be put another way: there was no "lawful authority" for anybody, Maori or otherwise, to be here in pre-treaty days. There were just no laws about it.

Durie goes on to say "we as Maori must never challenge ... the rights of pakeha to be here". But he writes as if Maoris and what he calls "pakeha" are today two separate races as in 1840, apart from a few half-castes. In reality, all people today with Maori ancestry have some "pakeha" ancestry (and I know of no exceptions) and some of those who claim to be Maoris are almost entirely of European ancestry. (Ngai Tahu's Sir Tipene aka Steve O'Regan would be one, in fact he had a foreign-born father which does not qualify him in my opinion to be takata wenua, (1) as I am. (As a southerner, I use southern spelling of Maori words.) Tariana Turia would be another and so, I understand, is voluble Wanganui writer, "Potonga" Neilson.)

Says Rowan: "From the very first contacts, introduction of European communicable diseases. Maori population begins to decline." Now wouldn't you say this is a clear enough suggestion that those diseases (and yes, their were some!) were the cause, or at least, the main cause of that decline?

In fact this is entirely false. Decline of Maori population was not, repeat not, a consequence of the introduction of diseases but from the wholesale slaughter of Maori by Maori in the "Musket wars" (2) which served to intensify existing inter-tribal warfare - and sometimes intra-tribal warfare, as was the case amongst Ngapuhi as well as the Kai Huaka (Eat Relation) "feud" amongst Kai Tahu.(3)

Rowan mention the visit of Hongi Hika and Thomas Kendall to Britain, saying rather blandly that it led "to (a) 1821-1837 main Musket Wars between tribes launched by Hongi". In fact Hongi launched the Musket wars in 1807 and there had been about 215 battles with Maoris fighting Maoris before 1820. (4) It was Hongi, not Kendall, who swapped gifts he had received in England for several hundred muskets when he got back as far as Sydney.

Rowan does mention correctly the compilation of the first Maori dictionary as a result of this visit. (Note that it is a pity that the modern grievance industry racists and their well-paid lawyers do not take more account of Lee's dictionary, in particular, Hongi's definition of taonga: "Property procured by the spear". Instead they corrupt the treaty's meaning by claiming the modern meaning of words applied in 1840 so that anything their greedy eyes alight on is now alleged to be taonga - the electromagnetic spectrum, water, an old man for whom they demanded preferential hospital treatment and so on almost indefinitely.)

Next Rowan say "1831, Northern rangatira write via missionaries to the King of England, and seek for him to control his people here." Now a letter was sent in the names of 13 northern chiefs but there is more to it than this. It says, inter alia "We are people without possessions (taonga in the Maori text) We have nothing but timber, flax, pork and potatoes. ... We have heard that the tribe of Marian [the French] is at hand, coming to take way our land." These were important parts of the letter which Rowan ignore. (Note that of their taonga the British provided pork and potatoes!)

When Rowan discuss the Treaty of Waitangi, they start with what they claim is the "English draft of the Treaty of Waitangi" which is in fact one of seven variant false treaties in English composed after the event by Hobson's secretary, James Stuart Freeman, to send to dignitaries overseas. This was instead of Hobson's simple final draft in English in accordance with his instructions from the Colonial Office to use wording the Maori chiefs would understand.

This document of Freeman's is composed of fragments of his own initial draft material rejected by Hobson for its unsuitable wording with some of Busby's penultimate draft of 3rd February 1840. It includes the words "lands estates forests fisheries" which do not occur in the treaty and which certainly would if the treaty had been translated from it.

Again, it omits from Article second the guarantee to all the people of New Zealand of the real treaty. It is not and cannot be either a draft or a translation of the real Treaty of Waitangi albeit officialdom in this country makes every endeavour to present it as "The Treaty of Waitangi in English" - an apparently deliberate and calculated effort to mislead the people of New Zealand. Rowan simply follow this party line. This is far from trivial as massive amounts of the fishery and forestry resources of the people of New Zealand have been given to Maori tribal bodies on the strength of these words in a bogus document.

At this point, Rowan provides the actual Maori text of the Treaty. It should be clear, even to those with very little knowledge of the Ngapuhi dialect, that in Article third (Ko te Tuatoru) all the Maori people of New Zealand (tangata Maori, katoa o Nu Tirani) are granted the full rights of the people of England. Note that it was unnecessary to grant these rights to British settlers who possessed them already. (This is the only point in the articles of the treaty where the word "Maori" appears and New Zealand is called "Nu Tirani" and not Aotearoa which was never used in those days.)

It should be noted also that in Article second (Ko te Tuarua), the property rights of all the people of New Zealand (tangata katoa o Nu Tirani) are guaranteed. There is no distinction - the rights of all of us are equal. That Maori interests have been granted huge assets in the basis of Freeman's false treaty when the real treaty does not grant them anything more than the entitlement of other New Zealanders, is a colossal confidence trick imposed on us by successive governments in which we as electors reposed our trust.

However, back to Rowan. Their next step is to present "A Translation of Te Tiriti made by order of the Legislative Council in 1869" which was made by T.E. Young of the Native Department. They interpose the alleged Maori equivalents of some words including what was flagrantly wrong in 1840 "taonga = what is precious" and also after "all the People of New Zealand" they insert "[ie Maori]". I cannot interpret this as anything other than a deliberate attempt to mislead people on a vital point, fudging the quite distinct wording in the two articles by writing everybody but Maoris out of the rights guaranteed by Article second.

If this is what they are "constantly told is [their] impartial approach" then they have successfully misled people in local government and hospitals about a critical component of the Treaty of Waitangi for a very long time.

The Rowan Partnership's next step is to present a list of what they call "Examples of breaches of the treaty guarantees of Te Ao Maori". Under the heading "Erosion of power and authority" they list several items thus:

1. Rowan complains that the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 meant that "Maori without individual land titles (meaning almost all of them) had no vote."

Now at that time this was the practice in Britain and most other countries and it was true for most of the settlers as well. When it was recognized that most Maori men did hold land under native title, the vote was extended to all Maori adult men when many settlers remained without a vote. Thus, for a time, Maori men had a universal franchise but non-Maori men did not. Rowan choose to ignore this.

2. Rowan: "Native Lands Act, 1862, which individualised Maori land titles, also undermined the collective rights of the hapu over their territory."

Yes indeed, the Native Lands Act, 1862 did seek to bring Maori landholding under the very much simpler British system. It was fair to Maoris and facilitated their buying and selling land subsequently. It did indeed "undermine the collective rights of the hapu" but Rowan seem to think they should have had it both ways!

3. Say Rowan "When Maori got the vote in 1867, their votes were channelled into the four token Maori seats, preventing them from exercising influence in general seats."

Yes, four Maori seats were established in 1867 and they should have been abolished years ago. They ranked equally with other seats in the House and were at times occupied by a number of very distinguished Maoris, Sir Apirana Ngata being one of them. It would have been quite improper for those voting as Maoris to "exercise influence in general seats" which would have amounted to "double dipping". However, half-castes had the choice of voting in either general or Maori seats then and for many years afterwards. The distinguished half-caste MP Sir James Carroll held a general seat for many years and was twice acting Prime Minister. As there were increasing numbers of them they could have had a "Maori influence" in general seats, had they chosen. They still can. So what is Rowan complaining about?

4. Rowan again: "Chief Justice James Prendergast's 1877 dismissal of the Treaty as a 'legal nullity' effectively broke its promises and guarantees for a century."

Informed modern opinion agrees that it is a nullity but it is really an "academic point". See David Round's chapter in "Twisting the Treaty".(5) It is nonsense to claim that this "effectively broke its promises and guarantees for a century". By the treaty, the chiefs - well more that 500 of them - ceded sovereignty completely and forever and in return all Maoris (including slaves of other Maoris) received the full rights of citizenship. This has never been revoked nor has it even been suggested. The treaty was a "done deal" on 1840; it is not a "living document".

Rowan's next heading is "Erosion of economic base" and five items follow.

1. "Crown keeping 'surplus land' from pre-treaty sales instead of returning it to hapu"

Hobson undertook a review of all pre-Treaty land sales and much was returned to the Maori sellers. Many Maoris subsequently sold land that they were not entitled to sell and in many cases the same land was bought several times over. I do not know of a case where those who received payments for returned land or that to which they were not entitled returned the money. Maoris were quite as clever at making dubious land deals as Europeans - not a mention by Rowan!

2. Rowan: "Ngai Tahu purchases: Crown failure to make adequate reserves for Ngai Tahu, compounded by setting low prices for the land and using threats to get Ngai Tahu agreement."

Here Rowan can only have looked into the recent lengthy catalogue of Ngai Tahu's alleged complaints including the discredited lie that threats were made to make them sell.

Having already had four "full and final settlements", the fourth of which was fully accepted by them, including Southern Maori MP, Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan, Ngai Tahu tried again before the Waitangi Tribunal. Alan Everton has studied the proceedings of the Tribunal and its conclusions and has assessed them as "nothing short of a fraud". (6) Yet in 1997 Ngai Tahu got a huge settlement of taxpayer money and other assets and continue to claim that they "settled cheaply". Rowan flagrantly choose to neglect the repeated occasions on which "the Crown" - i.e. "we taxpayers" - have paid up to meet the never-ending Ngai Tahu complaints.

3. Rowan: "Land confiscations during and after the wars of the 1860s"

Yes, there were land confiscations after the tribal rebellions of the 1860s. Governor Grey had warned them in advance that this would occur and as it was fully in accordance with earlier Maori custom (tikanga) they would certainly have understood what he said. The proceeds of the confiscations were used in part payment for the considerable cost of the rebellions and destruction of settler property, 177 settler farms being destroyed by the rebels in 12½ months in Taranaki in 1860/1 alone and lives lost. (7) Much of the confiscated land was returned subsequently for which the recipients ought to have been very thankful. So Rowan's claim of "Land confiscations" being an example of breaches of treaty guarantees is entirely unfounded. The exact opposite was truth. It was the rebel tribes who broke the Treaty agreement by their acts of rebellion.

4. Rowan: "Individualisation of shares in Maori land through the Native Land Court, overriding hapu authority, with constant pressure on individual owners to sell."

This is simply a repetition of Rowan's bleat in item 2 of the previous section.

5. Rowan again: "Discrimination against Maori landowners in the Public Works Acts, making Maori land cheaper and easier than general land to take for roads, railways, defence, scenic reserves etc etc."

This is a broad accusation that would take more space than we have here to examine adequately. It is certainly necessary to acquire private land for these purposes and some of it will be land belonging to Maoris. However Maori voices are heeded. Quite recently the course of a main road was diverted with considerable expense and delay because certain Maori claimed that its intended course would upset a local taniwha - craven deference to pagan mumbo-jumbo.

In one situation that concerned me personally, ratepayers were being assessed for the costs of a sewerage scheme. Several properties were identified as being Maori land. No rates had been paid on these properties for many years and no owners or their heirs could be traced. Yet because this was Maori land the council was unable to sell it and use the proceeds to offset the unpaid rates. Costs for the rest of us were higher in consequence. This was clear discrimination in favour of Maori owners.

Rowan alleges "erosion of cultural identity"

1. Rowan complains of the "general colonising attitude that European ways were naturally best, and shaping laws and institutions to fit them, to the exclusion of tikanga maori". Now the treaty says nothing about culture - treaties never do. So to claim that "a colonising attitude" to it breaches the treaty is nonsense.

Of course settlers thought that their ways were the best. All people with pride would say the same. Maori had a savage Stone Age culture that had numerous attributes admired by settlers, but it did have a rigid caste system with slaves living in abject conditions at the bottom. As Robinson points out, even as late as the 1880s, "in some regions, the violent ways of dispute settlement of traditional Maori culture survived." (8) He quotes Ward: "the activities of taua muru - armed parties seeking retributive plunder - were a subject of constant criticism by magistrates in every district".(9)

British culture and society had certainly evolved past this point.

2. Rowan complains that "from 1886, English as the only language used in schools, and frequent punishment of children speaking Maori even outside the classroom"

But it was pressure from Maori leaders who wanted Maori children well-prepared for an English-language culture which led to English being used exclusively as the teaching language for Maori pupils. Corporal punishment was used indiscriminately against all children for perceived breaking of the rules, not especially Maoris, and it was still true in my schooldays. I am totally against violence in any shape or form to children but that was how it was in those days. (10) We should be careful in using modern standards of practice in judging former times. Few voices are raised today over the savagery of pre-treaty Maoris.

3. Rowan objects to the: "Suppression of Tohunga Act, 1907 for outlawing traditional expertise, healing and spirituality but it was sponsored by Sir Maui Pomare, a doctor, and strongly supported by fellow Maori MPs Sir James Carroll, Sir Apirana Ngata and Hone Heke Ngapua, and by Sir Peter Buck. The Tohunga Suppression Act sought to prevent extortion by self-styled tohungas and introduce hygiene to Maori dwellings. (11)

4. Rowan complains that as Maori moved to towns in the 1950s and 1960s, Maori Affairs housing was scattered thinly among other new houses, to prevent "Maori ghettoes and promote assimilation by creating nuclear families."

Whether the alleged "pepper-potting" was right or wrong could be argued. That the Crown provided government housing should hardly be regarded in a negative light. In any case, Maoris were under no compulsion to use this housing. They could have gone elsewhere, even back to where they came from, if they thought it was a better deal.

Contrary to claims by a Rowan principal, what I write is not nitpicking. The Rowan Partnership "workshop" handout is nothing but a flagrant and colossal piece of propaganda. One might well ask what are the motives behind it?

These strong indications that there are many gurus in New Zealand making this kind of perverted presentation at "treaty workshops" ought to be a matter of profound concern to most New Zealanders. If they do not alert themselves to this and take suitable steps to counter it then they will soon find themselves to be second-class citizens in an apartheid society. This is a fair warning!

1. When one of the locals in the film "Hiruharama" was asked to define takata wenua, what he said applies to me exactly. Note also that as a southerner, I use southern spelling of Maori words.
2. J. Robinson, When Two Cultures Meet, Tross Publishing, 2012.
3. F. E. Maning, Old New Zealand, 1887
4. J. Robinson, (op.cit)
5. David Round, The Law Made Simple, Twisting the Treaty, Tross Publishing, 2013.
6. A. Everton, Ngai Tahu's Tangled Web, Free Radical Nos. 26, 27 & 28, August, October and December 1997
7. W. I. Grayling. The War in Taranaki, 1862
8. J. Robinson, (op.cit), p.199
9. A.D. Ward, NZ Journal of History, vol. 1, no.2
10. As teachers in a mission school in Vanuatu in the 1990s, my wife and I had to take a very firm stand, not without its risks, against physical violence to the children by the local teachers. This started a move for improvement which led to vastly better behaviour in educational institutions throughout the country, as we observed when visiting some ten or so years later.
11. Pomare was not particularly concerned about the loss of Maori cultural identity, and sponsored the Tohunga Suppression Act of 1907 which led to loss of many oral traditions. While Pomare and Ngata agreed on the need to modernise Maori living conditions, Pomare did not share Ngata's drive to preserve and protect traditional Maori culture and arts - instead he believed that, eventually, Pakeha and Maori would merge to form a single culture incorporating the best aspects of both (a common ideal of his). (Wikipedia)

1 comment:

Laurie said...

I read that the translation for pakeha is village flea, which is correct.However, another nasty translation is Village Sperm. There in only one translation for sperm in my Maori dictionary "Keha". If any derogatory term was used to describe a part Maori person it would be gone overnight. Much like the word Maoris, it must now be Maori. A bit of snobbery I suggest. Laurie..