I find it hard to work out what is fair compensation for misdeeds suffered by Maori at the hands of my ancestors.
Given that New Zealand appears to be the only country in the world taking its colonial history seriously enough that something more than an apology is offered to those whose tribal land was confiscated by the state, some would say that the Waitangi Tribunal process provides adequate access to justice.
Others, particularly the more radical elements of tribal leadership, want more - even on top of the “full and final” agreements entered into in “good faith” by both negotiating parties. And apparently, they are legally entitled to expect bonus payments as part of their specific deals. Is that fair?
What does this mean for the settlement process and its continuing influence on future race relations in this country?
Do we have to wait until those remaining claims like the ones still being negotiated when Nga Puhi and others finally decide what it is they want and expect to get?
It would seem that many of these documents are signed knowing that they are subject to a “top up” clause that is activated once the remaining claims are settled. This clause is designed to restore relativity to the amounts received by those who settled years ago but one might be forgiven for wondering whether there is a more calculated motif behind the delay in reaching agreement on the outstanding claims.
Surely, both sides must know that the longer we wait, the longer our future includes the involvement of what has become an expensive industry of its own when we should be putting this behind us and consigning the events of the past to history.
Some of the early settlers like Ngai Tahu have made excellent use of their settlement monies, using their combined skills to enrich their tribes at a far greater rate than any compensatory “top up” would provide.
So, let’s get this protracted farce out of the way and get on with dealing to things that should concern us all.
It is clear that the Nation’s efforts need to be concentrated on sorting out the problems associated with modern injustices, particularly insufficient investments in low decile communities and industries irrespective of race or feelings of entitlement.
Yet we are spending an inordinate amount of time debating issues that are the direct result of race based policies introduced in favour of a select few.
And the reason for this improbable distraction is because the government is captured by the woke elements of society who selfishly and arrogantly believe they have a mortgage on intelligent thought whether it involves race relations, climate change or any other manner of things that control our daily lives.
Why are these elitists not able to understand that we are fortunate to live in a country where all lives matter and we are each entitled to access equal opportunities under the law - at least that is the theme underpinning the original version of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Too bad that the evidence suggests these imposters have had their day in the sun and the people are preparing to take this country back.
Hopefully a new administration will work quickly to restore the balance where individuals and communities can use their God given talents, inherited and/or state sponsored wealth to benefit those whose care is our combined responsibility.Included in that mix will be those who have decided to move on, learning from the past dual heritage towards a shared future.
Already the signs are emerging that the new order will be a reflection that the current divisive policies will not be tolerated. It was a misguided experiment that was doomed to failure before it started but unfortunately Covid got in the way. Otherwise we would not have condoned what has become a crippled economy struggling from self inflicted wounds.
Regrettably, it has not been the kiwi way. But we will emerge stronger for the experience. Let’s do it!