In a highly significant post on NZCPR of 28 February 2021, former ACT MP Muriel Newman penned an astonishingly erudite and profound article entitled: “The Corruption of Democracy” - see HERE.
This post should be read by every thinking New Zealander as it neatly describes the hidden transfer of political and economic power from the ruling parliament, to a “co-governed” New Zealand comprising a 50/50 power share between our Maori people (16%) of the population, and everybody else (84%), by 2040. One can only imagine the disastrous social and economic outcomes which this transfer will undoubtedly bring in its wake. Dr Newman’s article instigated literally hundreds of online responses objecting to this potential constitutional disaster.
A few weeks later, 1-2 May 2021, National Party leader Judith Collins , in a speech to National Party members in Auckland, also raised the spectre of the demise of democracy in New Zealand when she quite correctly challenged the neo-Marxist Ardern government to “come clean” on their plans (very quickly denied by Minister Davis) to accord our Maori people, an ethnic minority, a full 50% governance role in the political governance of new Zealand by 2040 - as contained in two recent undisclosed reports to the Ardern government, He Puapua and Matike Mai Aotearoa. Collins was also challenging the increasing adoption of racist governance in many aspects of New Zealand’s infrastructure; local and regional authority structures, (Maori wards, Auckland Statutory Board): the new Water Services NZ superstructure board (50% Maori appointees) which centralises control of all freshwater resources in New Zealand; the total control by Maori of Child Youth and Family welfare (Oranga Tamariki); the establishment of a separate Maori Health Authority which will have veto rights over all Health NZ policies: a proposal to teach New Zealand history within a te Ao Maori framework (ably supported and recommended by New Zealander of the Year, Dame Anne Salmond OM); the co-governance of a range of other quangos and governmental authorities such as the Hauraki Gulf Management Authority and the Auckland Statutory Board; the now mandatory requirement for all teachers to undergo a course in te Reo Maori (which by definition, is based on te Ao Maori, the spiritual world view underpinning Maori culture); the capture of our New Zealand universities by Maori activism and University Administration collusion, resulting in compulsory acculturation of staff and students (which is almost certainly illegal under our Human Rights legislation) and which requires students and staff to be measured and monitored on their capability in tikanga Maori and commitment to the treaty of Waitangi. There is much more that the New Zealand public knows nothing about.
The list of compulsorily - induced Maori acculturation into an increasing number of aspects of everyday life in New Zealand is growing inexorably - yet few people seem to notice, or worse, to care.
The New Zealand constitution is unwritten and comprises legislation including the NZ Constitution Act 1986; several legal documents; common law derived from court decisions (see non-example below) and a number of “conventions”. A convention is “a way in which something is usually done - Oxford Dictionary”. A convention has no legal status and is not enforceable in law under our constitution.
The treaty of Waitangi is NOT a legal document and falls under the term “convention” in our constitution. On that matter, certain posts on the internet claiming that the treaty is a common law “partnership” resulting from a judgement in the Court of Appeal Lands case of 1987 are untrue, dishonest, and highly misleading. The fact of the matter is that in the Lands case, Justice Cook opined, in an aside (an obiter dictum) that in his view the treaty was AKIN to a partnership. He did not state the treaty to be a partnership. He later backtracked on that view (Ref: “Truth or Treaty?”, Round, D., Canterbury University Press, 1989). His “obiter dictum” was not a part of the judgement in the case and “obiter dicta” have NO LEGAL STATUS. But activists and disingenuous politicians keep referring to the treaty “partnership” as if were a done deal. PM Ardern, a neo-Marxist political novice, keeps referring to the “treaty partnership” in parliament - a clear example of her naivety in these matters. Constitutionally, a government cannot enter into a “partnership” with an element of the population it governs. Even former PM David Lange, a lawyer and senior politician, stated this fact. However, the New Zealand constitution can be amended by a simple majority in parliament, a point often made by our greatest and most esteemed intellectual, Geoffrey Palmer - who by the way proposes we have a written constitution where the treaty is entrenched - that is, it becomes supreme law and can only be amended by a 75% majority of parliament. Palmer, who opposes referenda, has already written a constitution for us!
So, is what Ardern and Co doing in implementing aspects of the He Puapua report with no public debate and using urgency in parliament to stifle any discussion, unconstitutional?
By every reasonable measure, YES.
This view is strengthened by the fact that Ardern and Co had the He Puapua report as early as 2019, withheld it from their parliamentary allies, NZ First, and clearly did not allow it to be discussed as an election issue. Now that they have a majority in parliament, they can do whatever they like, including stealthily making huge constitutional changes - and they obviously intend to continue to do just that.
Leading writers Chris Trotter and Dame Anne Salmond OM both, on the same day, if not condemning democracy outright, certainly promote the “evils” of democracy as most of us understand it, proposing alternative explanations (but no realistic alternatives) to the time-worn concept of one person, one vote, majority rules. (See NZ Politics Daily, Bryce Edwards, VUW,4 May 2021)
Trotter, though admitting traditional majoritarian democracy has proved to be the” least-bad” political system throughout most of the world, concludes that this system of equality and human rights has been “captured” , yes, you guessed it, by “Old White Men” or OWMs, for their own selfish benefit and which subsequently condemns everyone else to a lower, subservient status in society. Democracy, as we know it, according to Trotter, is no more than a system which results in a hierarchical, property-owning elite of OWMs and all the rest.
Salmond, on the other hand, continues to promote her idea that all New Zealanders should adopt te Ao Maori as the new system of living our lives, suggesting that we all change our thinking to embrace the Maori spirituality framework of integrated life forms - including assigning human attributes to inanimate features such as the Wanganui (Whanganui) River (gender unknown).
She debunks Christian beliefs, as do many of her academic brethren, who hypocritically bow their heads in prayer during karakia at graduation ceremonies, then go on to abhor other belief systems, mainly Christianity. But she notably refrains from making similar comparisons to Islam and other belief systems. One wonders why? Her interpretation of te Ao Maori includes phrases like “a first burst of energy in the cosmos generated thought, memory and desire”. Hmmmm. What produced the “first burst of energy”, I wonder? Oh, sorry, scientific theory also proposes a “big bang”, but has been unable to explain what made it go “bang” in the first place? Where did the gases of the cosmos originate? What caused these gases to go “bang”, thereby giving us all life? Did someone or something light a match?
So, these august, self-proclaimed prominenti and their ilk would have us abandon democracy as we know it, in favour of some other system not dominated by OWMs - ie Old, White, Men, perhaps replacing them with old brown men, or young brown/other- hued women, or older white females, young white/brown/multi-hued females, etc?
Do these people not understand that many OWMs devoted much of their lives in the service of us all?
Do they not understand that the social structure they seek to impose on us is a traditional, hierarchically - structured, male-dominated tribal society where women must occupy a lesser role or place; where Ariki and Rangatira have all the power; and where individualism is suppressed?
By any measure, what Ardern and Co are doing by transferring political power to an ethnic minority numbering a mere 16% of the population, has to be undemocratic - except that they have that majority in parliament.
Let us look at some of the underlying implications of this major yet totally under-hand plan by the neo-Marxist Labour government under Ardern’s leadership - if it can be accorded that status. The plan is nothing short of according our Maori people a 50/50 share of political power in New Zealand by 2040.
As usual, the evasive, disingenuous Ardern government denies this agenda, saying “it has not been adopted by Cabinet yet” (see Zane Small, Newshub, 3 May 2021).
The reality, however, is that this transfer of power is already well down the track, as Small says in his post.
Specific recommendations of He Puapua, including the unconstitutional establishment of Maori wards in all local and regional authorities and the establishment of a Maori Health Authority with veto rights over all HealthNZ policies, as set out above, have already been enacted-with NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION. Child Youth and Family welfare provisions (Oranga Tamariki) are being transferred to Maori control. This transfer of political and economic control to Maori interests, according to Ardern (3 May 2021 MSN news) is required under treaty of Waitangi obligations. Her fall-back position when challenged by Judith Collins is that “Cabinet has not approved the recommendations of He Puapua”.
Why, then, has her government already introduced at least two of the report’s recommendations?
Because Ardern and her government have the political majority to do so, a mandate given to her in the 2020 election, they do not need to seek the approval of the majority of New Zealanders to carry out their plans for the co-governance of New Zealand. The people of New Zealand gave them that power last year. Why consult the people when you do not have to?
Underhand? Slippery? Dishonest?
A post by Dr Michael Bassett on 4th May (NZ Politics Daily, Bryce Edwards, VUW), sets our very clearly why this issue of the underhand transfer of power to an ethnic minority in a so-called parliamentary democracy is utterly wrong. He is quite correct in claiming that He Puapua is well underway. But, like anyone challenging anything to do with Maori in New Zealand in 2021, he is inevitably branded “racist”. A 50/50 sharing of political power between an ethnic minority and everyone else is extremely unwise. For a start, this concept dismisses the widely-held maxim that in a democracy, all people are equal and have an equal say in how they are governed. Not so under He Puapua.
Well, I predict that once the full implications of just what this Ardern government is doing with this transfer of power becomes evident, all hell will break loose. Do they seriously expect the public of New Zealand to sit back calmly and simply accept that our democracy, whatever it’s faults, is consigned to the rubbish bin in favour of co-governance between an ethnic, tribal-based minority of a mere 16% , and the majority of 84%?
Imagine such a state. Or, could it possibly be that a majority of Kiwis will happily go along with it because “we are a team of five million” and we must all “be kind”. Surely the ridiculousness of this situation must evoke much anger or worse?
Perhaps not. I have wondered for many years why Kiwis do not appear to develop strong views on how they are governed and the continual poor results which spring from incompetent, dishonest politicians. One reason is that they do not know what they do not know. If political issues are not publicly debated; if information such as He Puapua is deliberately withheld from them; and if a partisan, biased media keeps fawning over the theatrical performances of a political novice, instead of raising and addressing the really big issues, how then do we the people learn about the really big stuff?
I have heard it said that Kiwis are either ignorant and/or are intellectually lazy. I would contend that with few exceptions, Kiwis are turned off by politics. Surveys consistently result in politicians receiving the lowest positive percentages in relation to honesty and integrity. Even the ubiquitous “used car salesperson” scores higher on confidence surveys.
Another reason often given why we do not take our politicians to task is that most people are too focused on family and work issues with little time to spare and no real interest in politics. Work, family and sports or leisure consume most people’s time so consequently they allow our politicians to make the important decisions for them - after all, isn’t that what democracy is supposed to deliver? How sad.
Unfortunately, these conclusions are based upon the writer’s experience, from family discussions with adult children and grandchildren. Their response is generally one of disinterest in politics.
The Covid19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown requirements showed Kiwis to be a highly compliant people-except for the rule-breakers , some 400 of whom were eventually imprisoned and/or fined, of which 48% were Maori. But is this compliant trait really one of complacency?
Most Kiwis are very tolerant and kindly people who reject notions of superiority and who do not take kindly to being told how and what to think. The withholding of important social, cultural and political agendas from the people is a cynical and underhand process of conditioning.
It is extremely stupid and most unwise of the Ardern government to embark on this type of deception. The day will come when the population says ‘enough”. At that point, I predict we will see a very, very angry response.
By any measure, this government has to be the most deceptive and dishonest we have experienced in recent times. The relaxed approach to serious politics by most New Zealanders will result in either a complete political disaster or a neo-Marxist-dominated, centralised society where individual freedoms are suppressed. This process in New Zealand has already begun, a fact which most New Zealanders either are unaware of, could not care less about, or are in agreement with.
Our lack of response can be interpreted as one or all of those factors. We will rue the day we were conned by the theatrical performances of a political novice whose on-camera image was much more important than the fundamental changes she and her colleagues were planning all along. Serves us right!
Armstrong is retired, follows politics, and writes.
Henry Armstrong is retired, follows politics, and writes.