We are seeing huge changes to our government and its services under false claims about what the Treaty of Waitangi said, even assuming it's at all sensible to engage in the mental gymnastics required to apply any such treaty to circumstances far removed from the era for which it was designed. Let’s look at some of what's happening to our administration under our noses.
According to its new logo, our government now calls itself 'Te Kawanatanga O Aotearoa' with 'New Zealand Government' as a deliberately lesser postscript underneath. There appears to have been no warning about this, no opportunity for the public to consider it. It wasn't mentioned at all in Labour's election campaign. "Big deal, it's just a Maori name for government" some might say, but it's a lot more than that. It's not just adding a Maori name, it's prioritizimg that name and essentially renaming our government.
As has been the case for state services during the Ardern regime, the government’s own Maori name soon will be treated as its only name and mainstream media will fall in line because they were financially bribed to sign allegiance to Ardern's fake interpretations of the Treaty. All this Maori language foisted on a largely non-Maori population is patronizing. "You naughty children don't speak the correct language and it's time you did so take this." NZ Land Transport Agency is now exclusively referred to as 'Waka Kotahi' even though kayaks and canoes don't have number plates and the agency doesn't govern water transport at all. Our Ministry for Children is now referred to only as 'Oranga Tamariki'. Our Public Service Commission is now called 'Te Kawa Mataaho' and if you go to its web site you will see its list of government departments. In every case a new Maori name is given primacy by being written before the English name. As is the case for many of these names, no meaning of the words 'Te Kawa Mataaho' would give any clue as to that organization's role or function, making it even harder for all us naughty children to learn and remember.
Some of the new Maori names include words that derive from mispronunciation of English words. For example, the Crown Law Office is now called 'Te Tari Ture o te Karauna'. 'Karauna' will have been an easier way for Maori speakers to say 'Crown' given that Maori words do not end in a consonant, the consonant blend ‘cr’ doesn’t exist and the ‘r’ is pronounced as a rolling sound. In most cases a government 'Ministry of ...' is translated as 'Manatu...'. For non-Maori, they might now lose their job for pronouncing Maori words in English ways, but use and formalizing of Maori mispronunciations of English words is considered entirely acceptable. Similarly it seems, it's ok for Maori to refer disparagingly to 'whiteys', 'pakeha', 'evil colonists', 'vanilla lenses' and so forth but for non-Maori mentioning even many basic facts about Maori either pre-European or current is now treated as 'hate speech'. Clearly, only Maori deserve respect and sensitivity.
More importantly, our government's new self-awarded name 'Te Kawanatanga O Aotearoa' renames the country by stealth. The Ardern government may as well just start using some new flag it prefers without announcement and next week they might as well change our constitutional head of state to the Maori Kingitanga royal family without bothering to mention this to us until it’s all done.
With one or two claimed but unlikely exceptions, 'Aotearoa' was not used as a name for New Zealand until late 19th century. Prior to European mapping there was no name combining all the islands of New Zealand which did not exist as a single entity. Te Tiriti did not use ‘Aotearoa’. If adherence to Te Tiriti is considered so important then surely the Maori name it used for New Zealand should be the official term? Regardless, if we are to be given any prioritized formal name other than 'New Zealand', the people should make that decision through a vote, at the very least in a general election in which parties have made their intentions clear.
A.E. Thompson is a working, tax-paying New Zealander who speaks up about threats to our hard-fought rights, liberties, egalitarian values, rational thinking and fair treatment by the state.