Monday, January 29, 2024

Geoff Parker: Crown – Maori Partnership?

Some in New Zealand’s society today believe there is a Crown / Maori Partnership.

Lets go back to the time Te Tiriti was signed by the chiefs and Governor Hobson who was acting for the Queen of England.

It is agreed by those on both sides of the current debate that Article 3 of the treaty gave to Maori the rights and privileges of British subjects. This placed Maori signatories under the political control of the Queen therefore it is constitutionally impossible for the Queen to enter into a partnership with any of it's subjects.

To clarify the "Crown" in 1840 meant Governor William Hobson representing the British Government and the Queen.

The chief’s speeches on February the 5th 1840, prior to signing on the 6th, all indicate that they acknowledged that they would be below the Queen, and ‘partnership’ was not mentioned at all.

The word “partnership” does not appear anywhere in the Treaty/s or later translations. Nor does any other word that might be regarded as a synonym of “partnership”. And that’s true whether we’re talking about the English-language draft (Busby 4th final draft) from which the Treaty was translated into Maori, the Maori language version of the Treaty (Te Tiriti), or the so-called ‘official English version of the Treaty’ (bogus Freeman document). The word simply does not appear. (H/T Don Brash for this paragraph – Italics my additions)

Further, there was no mention of a ‘partnership’ at the four week 1860 Kohimarama Conference where approximately 200 chiefs from all over New Zealand attended. In fact several of the chief speeches stated clearly that the Queen would be above them.

The partnership myth entered the public square through an erroneous decision of the Court of Appeal in a 1987 case involving the New Zealand Maori Council. It is founded upon what researcher, Alan Everton describes as: “nothing more than the opinion of five judges, who combined a lamentable ignorance of New Zealand history with a willingness to ignore the constitutional principle that they were appointed to apply the law, not make it.” (H/T Peter Hemmingson for this paragraph)

In that 1987 case the Court of Appeal used the word 'partners' interchangeably with the word 'parties', and spoke also of a relationship ‘AKIN to’ a 'partnership'.

The Crown has a fiduciary obligation to all citizens (not just maori) but that does not make the citizens partners.

In a speech at Warkworth Winston Peters said “It is truly staggering that a claim of partnership for Māori is being made based on the Treaty of Waitangi, when Queen Victoria was not in partnership with anyone, in the UK, or the British Empire, on the day before the 6th of February 1840, or the day after.”

Former Prime Minister David Lange quipped that he didn’t really believe Queen Victoria had signed a Treaty of equality and partnership with “500 thumbprints”

In closing, it defies logic to believe that, arguably, the Greatest Empire in the 1800s sailed half way around the world to go into a ‘partnership’ with a menagerie of warring chiefs who in 1831 wrote to King William and asked for protection, and yet fought the Zulu Nation costing thousands of lives to rule over them.


Geoff Parker is a passionate advocate for equal rights and a colour blind society.


Anonymous said...

Why do Politicians, the Crown, the Courts and the media keep claiming a “Partnership” when there was no united Maori authority or ‘all-over’ entity with the power to take on a Partnership?

Maori were simply individual, scattered fighting tribes in no way equal to the status of a sovereign country under unified rule.

Who really believes, except for those mentioned above, that the most powerful nation in the world at the time would contemplate a partnership with some uncivilized natives, constantly at war with each other at the bottom of the world?

Then we have the 1985 Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act to hear claims dating back to 1840.

This Act stated “Any claim that was or is, inconsistent with the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”?

This was the first time the “Principles” of the Treaty had ever been mentioned and while they had never been debated by the public or defined, reference to them started appearing in many Acts of Parliament once the 1985 Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act was passed.

Anonymous said...

Well put.

Please send to every politician and Maori King. Please also send to every MSM outlet.

I have my doubts as to who will be courteous enough to even acknowledge. However for those who want to know, this is excellent ‘ sound bite’ material.

Good luck in the face of colour branded dogmatism.

Anonymous said...

Well said, I just wish that the msm in this country would tell the truth instead of the lies about partnership and not ceding sovereignty.
Seymour is correct that we need to have a debate and a referendum on the issue.

Peter said...

Yes, it's very worthy of mentioning Geoff, for the likes of our PM and his colleagues (eg. Erica Stanford, et al), are all too quick to prattle on about our (non-existent) "Treaty Partners." And for those who are most vocal about it and see their gravy train petering out, they are most certainly NOT, NOR EVER HAVE BEEN, anything close to the Crown's partners - for partnerships typically involve equal input for equal benefit and reward. In regard to those vocal opportunistic Maori, let's ask them what they have done, other than just claim grievance, demand and take - with it never, ever being enough?

David Lange called it correctly. It's truly pitiful so few politicians have the intestinal fortitude to call it for what it is - just another rort.

Empathic said...

Indeed. And as for the claim that Maori didn't cede sovereignty, well there was no sovereignty to cede.

There is a contradiction in Te Tiriti between the Maori signatories giving the right of governance to the Crown while maintaining rangatiratanga or chieftainship over their own people, the lands and resources they happened to control in 1840. But the invented idea of 'partnership' to explain that contradiction has little merit or historical evidence in support. There are better explanations.