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
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
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
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
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
- 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
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
- tell lies - it works
- 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
- 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
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
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?
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”.
especially: “Truth or Treaty”, Round, D, Canterbury University Press,1 998 at
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.