(As founder of the Progeni software company, Perce Harpham, now 91, was a pioneer of the New Zealand computer industry. He is also a former Green Party candidate.)
Possibly without long-term planning the Maori hierarchy have now got themselves into legal structures and positions of authority which one would have expected to occur only if we were conquered by an external agency. In either case it is known as a coup d’etat. And the Labour Party caucus are hell-bent on completing the takeover even though it is clear that many Maori (witness Winston Peters and David Seymour) do not wish to revert to the 1830s.
In 2024 I will have lived half the time since the Treaty was signed and I can see a pattern of misrepresentation which has degraded its meaning and corrupted political parties. It is widely recognised that large donations to political parties are made to secure influence and that this corrupts the system. No amount of money will guarantee a single seat. But the Maori hierarchy can virtually guarantee the outcome for the block of Maori seats.
The seats were established in 1868 and were meant to last only five years but the power of the block, even then, meant that the seats continued. This power and the bond between the Labour Party and the Ratana Church has meant the continuation and increase in the number of the seats which again were meant to be disestablished when MMP came into being. The current Labour caucus seems to me to have sold its soul to the Maori hierarchy in order to gain or retain power.
The Labour caucus is not acting in the interests of all citizens, but instead in the self-interest of the Maori hierarchy. It is the latter who are setting the scene for the transfer of wealth and governance to them. The benefits are likely to accrue to only a few. This is not democracy.
It is interesting to note that the Pasifika people come from the Pacific Islands just as the Maori did long ago. Away back they must have common ancestors. And the Pasifika population here is about half the Maori population by number. On average our Pasifika citizens must be less well-off than their Maori brethren but, per capita, they have only half the Maori number in prison. Possibly the reason for them being better citizens is that they have not identified with the overwhelming propaganda and numerous falsehoods claiming that Maori have been deprived and treated shamefully since the Treaty was signed in 1840. The legal privileges and benefits that Maori now have, and want, are at the expense of all non-Maori.
I have two grandchildren of Maori descent who know their iwi affiliations, four of Maori descent who don’t know their iwi and two who probably don’t have any Maori ancestry. I also have four great-grandchildren, two of whom will learn their ancestry and two who have no Maori ancestry. Under Labour’s new laws they will have radically different legal entitlements in the future of our country. Some of my descendants may be entitled to exercise veto powers in the control of almost all of our country’s water assets (Three Waters legislation) or over almost all town planning decisions (RMA replacement legislation). Clearly some will have no such powers due to their non-Maori heritage.
The most recent example to become public is that, even without the unimpeachable veto rights now being put in place, we saw iwi block progress then back-flip on the Dome Valley rubbish dump issue - changing their influential position blocking the new dump for Auckland in return for a settlement of millions of dollars and substantial land when the dump is filled. The back-flip decision has reportedly been made by iwi elite without a hui for their members. This is how water resource and other decisions will be made in this country in future thanks to Labour’s new laws.
The Labour Party’s constitution (see https://www.labour.org.nz/party_info) requires that it will act in accordance with “The same basic human rights, protected by the State, [which] apply to all people regardless of race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.” It is clear that the Labour caucus is not acting in accordance with its own constitution.
The race-based policies which have been, and are, being made into law are unsanctioned by members of the Labour Party or any electoral mandate. Further, by transferring governmental and sovereign powers to an ethnic group, caucus members are all in breach of their parliamentary oath to bear true allegiance to the Crown. And do any of them really believe that Queen Victoria entered into a partnership agreement with 500 Maori chiefs on the other side of the world? Or that the said chiefs thought they were in partnership with one another when they had jointly killed some 30 percent of the Maori population in the 35 years since they first got muskets?
The Labour Caucus seem to uniformly agree that these new policies are mandated by the Treaty, yet the government will not publish the Crown Law advice they claim says this. When one considers Nania Mahuta’s duplicitous behaviour in trying to entrench the Three Waters legislation and the breaching of democratic processes in forming the legislation (tens of thousands denied a voice in select committee hearings), then the picture becomes very sinister.
We are also told that in a generic sense “co-governance” does not have to be interpreted as a threat. But with the particulars of the actual new legislation there is such a threat that even the Chief Justice has felt compelled to speak out about the need for more careful drafting and has indicated the certainty of strife to come with overwhelming burdens for the courts in trying to determine what the laws mean. As in “Alice in Wonderland” , via the Te Mana o te Wai statements, they appear to mean whatever the Maori hierarchy choose them to mean at different times and in different circumstances.
The laws and regulations are now increasingly in a mixture of Te Reo and English with no formal definitions of many words. Moreover, in a supposedly secular country, they require cognisance of Maori spirituality! The requirement to observe Tikanga is a recipe for endless confusion because it is not defined for even one iwi and there are about 150 of them.
There are now 25 MPs (20 percent) of MPs who identify as Maori. This is above the 16 percent of the populace who identify as Maori. That should be co-governance enough. But only if all elected members believe in a democratic future - which clearly the majority, if not all, of the Labour caucus do not. Labour’s racist and tribal co-governance model must be ended in favour of the Treaty obligation to provide one law for all.
For more specific detail and what needs to be done get my free book at https://perce.harpham.nz/Corruption book3circ.pdf
Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of The Dominion newspaper. He blogs at karldufresne.blogspot.co.nz.