The document ‘He Puapua’ is apparently, the roadmap for the implementation of ‘The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (UNDRIP) into New Zealand Law by the Year 2040.
This implies that He Puapua should reflect the principles of UNDRIP. However, as I read both documents, it becomes apparent that this is not entirely the case. He Puapua, is using UNDRIP as a disguise, it is obviously a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Here is the Nub:
Article 46 Of UNDRIP
- “The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith.”
The He Puapua document clearly contravenes UNDRIP, since these principles have been violated.
To justify this statement, I posit that:
In the section, VISION 2040 FOR DECLARATION REALISATION of He Puapua:
Section 2. Participation in kawanatanga Karauna,
- “Maori will have a meaningful, and sometimes, dominant voice in resource management decisions”.
The word “dominant” makes a mockery of the principles of democracy, equality and non-discrimination.
This one word sums up the key objective of He Puapua, namely: “Dominance over the entire population of New Zealand”.
That is not democratic. That is not equal and that is not non-discriminatory, for starters.
In He Puapua - VISION 2040 FOR DECLARATION REALISATION
Within the topic of ‘EQUITY’, it is stated:
- “All Maori will enjoy equity in opportunity and outcomes...”
Does this mean that the current lowered entry level and reserved places exclusively for Maori in Medical School will be rescinded? I doubt it, and if it is to be retained then the principles of equality and non-discriminatory will again have been violated.
He Puapua - TE TIRITI / RANGITIRATANGA FRAMEWORK
Item 14. “The rangatiratanga sphere reflects Maori governance over people and places.”
Does “governance over people” infer over all other New Zealanders?
I am inclined to take it as such, since the reach of the power that Maori seek over lands and resources currently vested in the Crown, would extend to all stakeholders.
Where are the principles of democracy or equality in this?
Item 15. “Maori remain a minority with their rights vulnerable to the majority”
In all true democracies around the world, the voices of the majority determine the outcomes.
The majority is not always determined by race, it is determined by the issue. The make-up of majorities and minorities are fluid as the issues change, so race is nothing more than one of the many elements that go into this melting pot. Right now, gender groups, human rights groups or environmental groups participate in democracy and those in the minority accept the outcome, if they are truly democratic.
Indeed, Maori are a minority, I am glad that they acknowledge that, and their agenda, not their rights, is vulnerable to the majority. Their rights are enshrined in the Treaty and in the Constitution, and if the truth be known, they presently enjoy more rights than other New Zealand citizens under our present race-based laws.
The above reference in He Puapua is a declaration that Maori are resentful of democracy, and that comes as no surprise, since feudalism with its inherent privileges for the Ariki, was the norm for them before the Treaty.
Today, it is the descendants of those Ariki who seek power, and democracy does not fit with their designs.
The terminologies used in He Puapua are open to a variety of interpretations.
My own interpretations are influenced by the themes that run through the He Puapua document, for example:
He Puapua – ENGAGEMENT page vii:
Item 23. “Public engagement and a strong public education campaign will be necessary to reach Vision 2040.”
Does “engagement” mean consultation or presentation?
Will “engagement” simply be be between Maori and a government that has removed the legitimate referenda on Maori wards within councils, or will engagement mean the call for submissions, or public meetings where the public have a voice.
On a matter of such import, true democracy would require a binding public referendum, but that avenue has been blocked already, so the implementation of He Puapua, as it stands, would certainly not comply with the principles of democracy and good governance.
I note that the authors of He Puapua have not ventured to include referenda as part of engagement. Funny that!
Woops! A referendum is a democratic mechanism.
Does “public education” mean propaganda?
After all, what was all that noise about ‘partnership with the Crown’ or ‘not ceding sovereignty’ or ‘burning Maori women and children in the church at Rangiaowhia’.
Why would I possibly suspect that Maori Sovereignty proponents would use propaganda?
Why would I consider that the UNDRIP principle of ‘good faith’ is at risk in He Puapua?
THE ROADMAP TO DECLARATION CONSISTENCY
“In suggesting steps, we have sought to find a balance between providing concrete examples while not pre-determining matters that should be informed by a participatory engagement process, and/or are best determined by Maori through the exercise of rangatiratanga”.
Once again here is the presumption that Maori regard the non-Maori perspective as irrelevant or of lower significance than the Maori perspective. This does not accept that non-Maori are equal to Maori.
It assumes that Maori will hold the dominant view and power over decision-making.
This is just one more example that the UNDRIP principle of equality will not apply.
Under TIME FRAMES – TO 2021
It is stated in bullet-point #4:
- “The government will have initiated a public education campaign to give all New Zealanders the tools to have informed discussions about our constitutional arrangements, and set up a process for the Crown to determine how it should partner with Maori in a Tiriti-based constitution.”
In consideration of the track record of the Ardern Government, plus the Maori Sovereignty Brigade to date; the public education campaign would be loaded in favour of the Maori Sovereignty agenda.
The tools to have informed discussions would be constrained by the proposed ‘Hate Speech Laws’.
The process for the Crown to determine how it should partner with Maori, would be a back-room deal, and any public information, whilst it is in progress, would likely have to be requested under the “Official Information Act’ and it would probably be incomplete and heavily redacted.
In view of how the He Puapua Document has eventually arrived in the public domain, this is not an unlikely scenario. It hardly meets the UNDRIP principles of ‘good governance’ or ‘good faith’.
In He Puapua under IMMEDIATE STEPS: A GOVERNANCE ROPU
Item 29 it mentions:
As an immediate action, we recommend the establishment of a high-level co-governance body comprised of equal numbers of government ministers and Maori representatives...
This section gives 50% of governance to 15% of the population, and even if this is just a transition step, the final fait accompli is still 50% of governance to 15% of the population.
Where has the element of ’One man - One vote’ that typifies democracy gone?
Basic arithmetic shows:
- The voting power for a Maori is 5.66 times greater than that of a non-Maori.
To hell with that!
History shows that wars have been fought for the right of ‘One
man – One vote’.
So! Is this the remedy for what is claimed in He Puapua about Maori rights being vulnerable to the majority?
Does this satisfy the UNDRIP principle of democratic?
Referring back to UNDRIP - PREAMBLE:
Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples...
What has been proposed in Item 29 above is, in the mind of any sane, honest person, not making “indigenous peoples equal to all other peoples”, it is raising them to a superior position of dominance over the general public.
Does that sound like democracy, or like feudalism?
We are supposed to have advanced since pre-1840 feudalism.
The apparent discrepancies between the UNDRIP and the He Puapua Declaration indicates that the token non-Maori ‘legal eagles’ appointed to the DWG, have obviously had their democratic and legal learnings warped, in that the Maori perspectives and objectives are apparently the only perspectives considered, Ie: the non-Maori perspective was either disregarded, or not raised.
Perhaps their payment was linked to their responses. This type of intimidation is not new.
Race relations and democracy in this country are at an all-time low and the He Puapua proposals could prove to be the spark that we all fear.
Jacinda! The ball is in your court!
Tony Sayers is a retired school-teacher, trained at Ardmore Teachers’ College, and has held the position of school Principal in Australia and New Zealand. His teaching experience spans new entrants level to 6th Form, in primary and secondary subjects including: Graphics, Design-Technology, Mathematics, Science, English and Physical Education. In addition to teaching, he has worked in a variety of other areas including Law Enforcement, Engineering, Maritime and Union sectors.