So now we know! “Co-governance has been around and with us and utilised in New Zealand for a number of years and by and large has worked very successfully for us” - a quote from Prime Minister Ardern in 1 News, 24th March 2022 (Maiki Sherman).
Then on 25th March 2022 we have Mathew Tukaki of the National Maori Authority (NB: Not the New Zealand Maori Council) viciously attacking ACT Party leader David Seymour for DARING to raise the prospect of a referendum on the issue of co-governance, since full co-governance [equal political power sharing between iwi/Maori (16% of New Zealanders) and all other ethnicities (84%)] is the 2040 end goal of the secret He Puapua Report -which non-Maori are forbidden to discuss.
Since when has a call for a national referendum on such an important constitutional change as that proposed in the co-governance model being promoted by the Ardern government, warranted the claim by Tukaki (whoever he might be?) that a referendum represents “a dog-whistle to racists”? Silly me, again! I thought a referendum gave the people a chance to indicate their support or otherwise for an important issue. Oh dear, silly old me!
Well, Tukaki doesn’t stop there. In a report of a “discussion” on the AM show (Newshub, 31 March), Rotorua Lakes Councillor Tania Tapsell condemned the co-governed Maori Health Authority as not being in the interests of local Maori whose voices will be lost in the mega-Authority. “Nonsense”, says Tukaki, ”Iwi wants (sic) it, hapu wants (sic) it. The Maori Health Authority, etc ....”. But the next bit is the revealing bit. He said “co-governance isn’t new and has actually been happening locally for many years. It works successfully. We have managed to look after our natural resources and so on and so forth for years now. This is not new”.
And in the VUW Democracy Project’s Political Roundup (Bryce Edwards, 4 April), a series of articles on Three Waters and co-governance all report how well co-governance is working. But not one of these articles even mentions the fact that current co-governance arrangements have simply been imposed-not by public assent, and totally without public discussion or debate. How democratic is that?
Elsewhere in the “news”, David Seymour’s proposal for a referendum on the co-governance issue has been roundly rejected by the government, the mainstream media, the Maori Party, and the Greens. So much for democracy!
Why are these quotes, (Ardern, Tukaki, et al) revealing? Because they set out the strategy for ensuring that co-governance becomes the reality in 2040, by constantly repeating, emphasising and stating that “we already have co-governance; it has been around for years; and it works well, eh?”
Let’s fast-forward :
In 2040, if the Ardern government formula succeeds, the New Zealand Constitution will be changed to reflect an equal co-governance arrangement of political power-sharing between the Maori minority(16% in 2022) and the non-Maori majority (84% in 2022).One of the key arguments in favour of the co-governance of New Zealand in 2040 will be comments such as “well, we have had co-governance of virtually every state and local governing body now for over 40 years and it has worked well, so why not the Parliament as well? Remember Whatarangi Winiata proposed such a dual Parliamentary model overseen by an Upper “Treaty” House, as long ago as 2000!”.
In 2040, hundreds of thousands of young New Zealanders will have been educated (read conditioned) in the Revised Schools History curriculum. Most government and public entities will have been compulsorily co-governed (by fiat) for the preceding 20 years. Our universities and polytechnics, our national health system; courts and justice systems; water services; etc, will all be already co-governed by then. They will also have been subjected to at least 30 years of enforced inverse Maori acculturation, having been required to learn te Reo Maori at school and university and to adopt the tribally-focused Te Ao Maori “world view”, which, besides suppressing individualism, includes spiritual tenets such as according rivers and areas the status of people and believing in mana, tapu, rahui, mate atua and makutu. (You should read about these aspects of Te Ao Maori).
If current tactics continue, no public consultation or discussion will have taken place and certainly, absolutely, no referendum on changing our constitution will have taken place either. If by some chance, a public discussion has taken place,(most unlikely) we can confidently predict that any input by the public will be totally ignored, as is the custom of the Ardern government, which will if pressed, say “but we did consult you!”
Get the picture? In earlier posts, I have tried to re-iterate the techniques being used by this dishonest, duplicitous and sly Ardern government, principally “argumentum ad nauseam” and “presentism”. These techniques take advantage of ordinary New Zealander’s disinterest in and/or ignorance of, how people are “conditioned” into accepting untruths and misinformation propagated by government agencies, politicians, and a totally biased, partisan media. For example, the constant and continual declaration by the Ardern government that the Treaty of Waitangi constitutes a “partnership” between the Crown and iwi/ Maori, equating to equality of political power (or co-governance), has been shown to be a complete fabrication, based as it is on an “obiter dictum” or opinion by Cooke, J., in the Court of Appeal Lands Case of 1987. Legal experts confirm that “obiter dicta” have NO legal status, but that does not deter the activists. Legal scholars such as Judge Anthony Willy and other prominent political persons such as Sir Douglas Graham and Rt Hon David Lange, have rubbished this concept as being farcical-a government cannot enter into an exclusive “partnership” with some of its’ citizens . In recent times, Distinguished Professor Anne Salmond OM, has also cast huge doubt upon such a mistruth, pointing out on at least two occasions now that Cooke, J., et al in 1987 did not understand what they were apparently promoting. And, for the discerning amongst us, Cooke claimed the Treaty to be “akin” to or “analogous of” a partnership-not a substantial fact and certainly not an equal arrangement at all. Cooke later tried to mitigate his earlier opinion, stating “the concept of partnership does not mean that every asset or resource in which Maori have some justifiable claim should be divided equally (14 NZULR 5, 1990).
(Ref: “Truth or Treaty?”, Round, D., Canterbury University Press,1998. Pp126-127).
Yet it is this myth, seized upon by a whole generation of activists, academics and politicians which now requires the New Zealand population to accept this lie and accord Maori co-equal political representation, when in fact the treaty only guaranteed the same rights as British subjects.
That is, equal rights, NOT equal representation. The Treaty of Waitangi is not a legal document either, but simply a constitutional convention. It is NOT our law!
So, here we are today, being harangued, abused and insulted by strident Maori activists such as Mathew Tukaki, John Tamihere (as usual) and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (also as usual) as “racists” for even daring to raise the issue of co-governance for discussion. How dare we ask for such a racist procedure as a referendum, in New Zealand’s democracy?
Let us pause briefly and reflect upon the introduction of ethnic co-governance arrangements in various entities in New Zealand as claimed by Ardern, Tukaki, Tamihere, Ngarewa-Packer and others.
Firstly, every example of co-governance we see has been imposed upon organisations without ANY discussion or public debate. On very rare occasions where proposals to appoint Maori representatives onto local bodies have been subject to a popular vote, they have generally been defeated on the basis that anyone can stand for election to a local authority regardless of their ethnicity -and many Maori do just that very successfully. But oh no, various councils and successive governments have unilaterally appointed unelected and unaccountable people to public bodies, with full voting rights based solely on their ethnicity, completely disregarding the democratic process of free and fair elections. And it’s not just the neo-Marxist Labour/Greens coalition either. The National Government under John Key established the Independent Maori Statutory Board comprising iwi/Maori representatives from across the Auckland region, to sit on most Auckland Council committees, with full voting rights and no accountability. And we, the people just let them do it!
Look, for a moment, at current actions by the neo-Marxist Ardern government regarding full, centralised control of education, health, welfare, justice, local authorities, water services and local body reforms. Have YOU had an opportunity to contribute your views in a public consultation process? Have YOU had the opportunity to debate the pros and cons with the proposers in an open forum? Not on your life!
Have YOU had the opportunity to view, let alone provide feedback to government, on the He Puapua, Matike Mai Aotearoa and Te Ara Paerangi: Future Pathways reports which set out vast co-governance arrangements regarding our constitution, our universities and scientific research organisations, and every other publicly funded activity in New Zealand? I bet you have not, even if you actually knew these proposals were and are being actively considered by the Ardern government. And do you, even for a moment, believe the Ardern government would take any notice of your views, let alone implement them?
Oh, and by the way, did you realise that the new Maori Health Authority will have the right of veto over all HEALTHNZ policies in the future? Bet you didn’t know about that one either, eh? And of course, nobody is raising “ the veto” in this debate. Why? Because it will blow the whole government/Maori co-governance agenda for health right out the window once people realise it is there, that’s why.
As Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers would exclaim:”Don’t mention the VETO)”
So, let us briefly summarise the tactics being employed in Ardern’s co-governance strategy, which is well on the way to achieving the goals of He Puapua, Matike Mai Aotearoa and Te Ara Paerangi :Future Pathways, in time for (if not well before) the planned 2040 constitutional change to a disproportionate, shared, political power:
- indoctrinate the people, especially our young people, that co-governance is both just and desirable
- use “argumentum ad nauseam” to drill into people, mistruths such as the treaty “partnership”
- employ confiscations and mandates-Three Waters; Centralised Polytechnics; the Health system
- disestablish the District Health Boards, resulting in a shutdown of local voices and input
-reform local government with no public discussion or debate at all
- keep reiterating that “co-governance is normal, has been around for years, and works well!”
- use “cancel culture’ and “critical race theory” to shut down any opposition to the strategy
- use every opportunity to promote a “kind”, “empathetic”, “loving” Prime Minister, she being the consummate actor with that degree in communication.( If you believe this nonsense, serves you right!)
- ensure the mainstream media is well-funded and controlled, to broadcast only government-friendly “news”. Dump on any posts to the contrary, and condemn social media users as extremists (except government users, of course)
- condemn anybody who dares to oppose mandates such as vaccination passports and “no jab-no job” philosophies, when a negative RAT would have been a real alternative to destroying people’s lives
- tell lies - it works extremely well
- be economical with the truth; don’t respond; pass the “buck”; claim “privacy”; refer OIA requests to the Ombudsman, Media Council or Race Relations Conciliator, (but you will be wasting your time here)
- employ dis- and misinformation as a key tactic, whilst condemning others for doing likewise
- spout “unity” but keep slyly dividing our country into minorities which, in the aggregate constitute a majority-cool, eh?
- accord priority funding grants to Maori-owned businesses before anyone else gets the chance to apply. Discover Waitomo ($2million) and Kaikoura Whalewatch ( $1.5 million) are two examples of grants made prior to the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme-STAPP even starting. (The auditor-general is investigating political favouritism in this case)
And so, the list goes on.
It is worthwhile reviewing briefly just how we got to this unbelievably stupid place, where “democracy” no longer means what most of us thought it meant. When New Zealand opted for MMP in 1993, many Kiwis thought it would be a fairer system than FPP. Minority voices would be represented in Parliament, despite 50% of all MPs not being elected and the aggregation of minorities would become the “new majority”, which is exactly what happened. Majoritarian democracy is no longer acceptable. Instead various other types of systems claiming to be “democracy” have taken over. For example, “representational” democracy much favoured by Ardern and co, requires our Parliament to faithfully reflect the social and ethnic make-up of New Zealand society. The only problem with this approach is that it does not work in practice! Our Asian population of 15-16% (2022) is hardly represented in Parliament at all, whereas our Maori population of 16% (2022) is over-represented at 26%.
Quoting Basil Fawlty again, “Don’t mention Maori over-representation!”
Why not? Because people would then see the utter hypocrisy of co-governance demands given this disproportionate level of current Maori representation. That’s why you will not see any comments.
Maori have four avenues of representation in Parliament, unlike everyone else, who have just two under MMP (either an electorate seat or a” List” appointment). The four avenues include: the seven Maori seats which are only available to Maori; the Maori Party with two members currently but in earlier years, up to eight members; being appointed as a” List” MP; and capable Maori in various electorates standing on their merits, not their ethnicity, such as Winston Peters, Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett-the latter two being accused of not being “Maori enough”! Isn’t this somewhat bizarre, especially when activists complain Maori are under-represented, hence the need to impose ethnic-based appointments to a very wide range of bodies, ie co-governance?
There are solutions if we choose to consider them, rather than go down the utterly undemocratic and ultimately disastrous route of “co-governance”:
Firstly, let us have the debate! To continue to mandate and impose race-based appointments to bodies which otherwise should be subject to free and fair elections, and to deny the people the opportunity to discuss this, is creating an ever-growing atmosphere of outright and increasing resentment and anger.
Secondly, stop perpetuating the continuous and dishonest claim that the Treaty of Waitangi constituted a “partnership” between the Crown and various Iwi in 1840. There is strong legal evidence that this claim cannot be substantiated and those continuing to claim the reverse are creating a very divided society. Let us debate the validity of this argument if there is any doubt about a mythical “partnership”.
(Again, see especially: “Truth or Treaty”, Round, D, Canterbury University Press,1 998 at pp125-127)
Thirdly, stop the enforced inverse acculturation of the entire population in te Ao Maori. By all means show our respect for Maori culture, rather than have it forcibly imposed upon us, which is what is happening. If people are invited to participate in tikanga and kawa, rather than being expected or required (as is the case in our universities for example), much more empathy and much less antipathy would be generated as a result. I know, because I have successfully instituted this approach elsewhere. Most of us would be delighted to take up invitations-but we certainly baulk when told we have to participate or else!
Fourthly, not all Maori subscribe to the co-governance strategy, or to the inverse acculturation being imposed on the New Zealand population.
Maori culture is precious, but risks being demeaned by inappropriate mis- and over-use by non-Maori. Strangely, this does not appear to have occurred to the activists, the politicians, or the biased media, nor to many Maori themselves.
Fifthly, stop accusing today’s non-Maori of being personally responsible for the claimed results of “colonisation” of 200 years ago. There is now plenty of verifiable, valid and empirical evidence to show that the sad predicament in which many Maori found themselves in the 19th and early 20th centuries was almost entirely due to the results of the Musket Wars of the early 1800s.
The Maori population was reduced by 40% directly attributable to these Wars, by Maori upon their fellow-Maori. The “colonisers” hadn’t even arrived at this stage! Displacement, land loss, and poor living conditions such as sanitation, food, clothing, and co-generational living arrangements all contributed to the morbidity of Maori, as recorded by Maori MPs Apirana Ngata, Maui Pomare, Peter Buck, and James Carroll, who collectively set about improving Maori health-and they succeeded. Research by medical scholars such as Laurie Gluckman (1976) and more recently Dr Lawrie Knight (REF: Fact Check: Maori Health Statistics Pae Ora Submission”, online) clearly negate the claims that “colonisation devastated Maori”-a convenient and insulting label. It can be argued that colonisation actually saved the Maori race as such from virtual extinction, a subject I will elaborate upon, with compelling evidence, in my next essay.
And finally, let us consider the positives. In New Zealand today, preferential treatment over a vast series of opportunities is accorded Maori, especially the young. Some 30% of our medical students are Maori. Preferential entry into Medical School and a whole host of other careers are wide open. As stated above, two Maori-owned tourism ventures were given millions of dollars of government support from the STAPP fund, before any other applications were even considered, such is current government preference.
Maori excel at sports, especially rugby and league. Our most beautiful, internationally exalted soprano, my absolute favorite, is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Our Governor-General is part-Maori. Whole services such as Child, Youth and Family (Oranga Tamariki) are now operated entirely by Maori. But also, many Maori object to being considered to always be in need of “special treatment”, when they are perfectly capable of achieving outstanding life skills themselves. They do not need this “special treatment” to succeed - it is actually insulting, they tell me. And, not all Pakeha are “symptomatic racist bastards” as Tamihere loves to call us. Just look at the degree of inter-marriage since colonial days. Some of us obviously like each other!
By 2040, the demographic make-up of New Zealand will, I predict, have changed considerably. Our Asian population alone will be at least 30% and possibly much higher by then. Our Pasifika population likewise will have increased notably too, as will a host of other ethnicities. It could well be that people claiming Maori descent in 2040 comprise less than 15%. Will the rest of New Zealand accept equal power-sharing such as is being promoted in 2022? Not bloody likely!
In conclusion, Ardern’s strategy of co-governance is undemocratic, hugely and undeniably divisive, and potentially disastrous. Her government’s adherence to the techniques of dis-and misinformation, obfuscation, and hypocrisy, following her Socialist/Marxist ideology, conflicts with the carefully crafted image of “be kind” and “we are a team of five million” and “we are all in this waka together” which we see every day. Does Putin foster something similar in Russia whilst trying to destroy Ukraine?
(Postscript: The year is 2040. New Zealanders have just been advised that our constitution has been “altered” by political mandate and that a dual Parliamentary system is to be instituted, overseen by an Upper “Treaty House”. These changes were not open to a referendum of the people because such a referendum was deemed to be “racist”. An extremely old veteran, in poor health with a heart condition, carrying a small bag, is seen shuffling towards the forecourt of Parliament. In the bag are this old person’s national awards and decorations, military service medals, degrees, diplomas and other achievement certificates, all bearing the title “New Zealand” - an impressive record of service to New Zealand over a lifetime. He pauses and sets fire to the bag, whilst shaking and shedding tears. The Parliament Security Service descends upon the old veteran, violently pinning him to the ground. “What the hell are you doing, old fart? Don’t you know Trev has these sprinklers loaded with dairy effluent now, to deter bloody protesters!” The old veteran, tears in his eyes, looks up towards Parliament saying- “I gave my life to my country, defending what I thought was “democracy”. What a terrible waste!” He shudders and passes away.)
Henry Armstrong is retired, follows politics, and writes.