Friday, May 31, 2024

Bruce Moon: Twisting the Treaty has never stopped

A headline in the “Dominion Post” for 27 May 2024 reads “Maori ready their lines of defence of Treaty rights”.  This is followed by an article by K (Guru) Gurunathan, a former Mayor of Kapiti and, we are informed, a “regular opinion contributor”.


All very well perhaps but surely it is fair to ask just what are those “Treaty rights” and why indeed do they need “defending”?  Let us refer to the officially authorised 1869 translation of the treaty by T.E. Young of the Native Department.[1]  


There, in Article The Third we have “All the rights will be given to them the same as her doings to the people of England.”  The samenotice!  Almost unprecedentedly generous surely?  Just how many native races anywhere have ever been given the same rights under a treaty as the Maoris of New Zealand, a people just emerging from a period of the utmost barbarity with nearly a third of their people slaughtered in intertribal wars, female infanticide and slavery on a massive scale?  Add to all this protection from the French of whom they were in profound fear and maybe the Spanish and Americans as well!


But there’s more!  As Hobson’s final text in English of 4th February states in Article Second: “The  Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes and to all the people of New Zealand the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property.”  Now in the Williams’ translation of this to the Ngapuhi dialect, they did have some difficulty with the word “possession”.   Unqualified possession of any object or property was a somewhat vague concept to Maoris.[2]  This was a problem to the Williams, father and son, both very competent speakers of the Ngapuhi dialect, in translating Hobson’s text overnight on 4/5th February 1840. For it they chose “tino rangatiratanga” and no objections were recorded[3]  when both texts were read at Waitangi by Hobson and Williams at the great meeting on 5th February.  Even this was a term coined by the British residents at Waitangi some few years earlier.


But now we have Gurunathan’s version:”The Crown promised to protect the unqualified exercise of chieftainship over their lands, villages and ... treasures.”  Whoa!!  

No, sir!  Not “unqualified exercise of chieftainship” but  simply “possession”

Not just “their” but specifically “of all the people of New Zealand” and “all” means “all”!

Not “treasures” but “property procured by the spear” or simply “property”!!!


And so, Mister Gurunathan, I’ve read a lot of treaty-twisting in my time but you really take some beating!  And, sadly but no doubt surely, we shall hear a lot more similar garbage from the  “thousands” (your word) gathered by their pseudo-king to promulgate such propaganda.




The Tribunal is, says  Gurunathan “the apex of a truth and reconciliation process evolved to heal the deep wounds inflicted on the psyche of Aotearoa New Zealand’s sense of nationhood”.  Wow!  Is that a flight of fancy to beat them all?


I don’t know exactly the deep wounds inflicted on the psyche of anybody by the wholesale slaughter and cannibalism of the decades before 1840 with no sense of any “nationhood”  but I can refer readers – and Mr Gurunathan if he chooses -- to the book by Paul Moon (not a relation) entitled “This Horrid Practice” (cannibalism, that is) in which he says inter alia“Allowing  ... cannibalism was part of the primitive mode of defence against the ‘almost unbearable anxiety’ experienced by all Maori communities”   and more in the same vein.[4]  Would Mr Gurunathan care to encourage today’s part-Maoris to aspire to return to that sort of Golden Age??


As for the Tribunal itself – not everybody quite agrees with Mr Gurunathan to whom it is “an apex of the truth”.  In the words of veteran newspaperman Brian Priestley who attended its hearings of the Ngai Tahu case for three months “It would be hard to imagine  any public body less well organised to get at the truth.”[5]  Jean Jackson, a senior member of Ngai Tahu herself, who wished to counter some unfounded claims on that tribe’s behalf, was denied a hearing.  An exhaustive examination of the Ngai Tahu case by Alan Everton[i][6] concludes “any settlement of Ngai Tahu’s claims based on its report will be nothing short of a fraud.”  So that is what our much-heralded Tribunal does.  And Ngai Tahu continues to benefit from a charitable, i.e. taxfree status and considerable perennial “top-ups”, so-called “relativity payments”.  And it is not the only tribe in that extremely privileged position.


So there, my friends, are just a few tales to alert you to the massive swindles you are enduring as taxpayers in many and varied a form.  Mr Gurunathan to note!


Bruce Moon



Copyright  ©

Bruce Moon is a retired computer pioneer who wrote "Real Treaty; False Treaty - The True Waitangi Story".


[1]This must surely be a better option, if we seek the truth, than that of following the Cabinet example of using a translation by Professor Sir Hugh Kawharu in which he made the flagrant blunder, surely unforgivable in a knighted professor, of using a modern meaning of “taonga”, as “treasures”, instead of the 1840 meaning of merely “property” - or indeed “property procured by the spear” according to Hongi  Hika in 1822.

[2]Refer to F.E.Maning, “Old New Zealand”, 1863, for some classic Maori practices with respect to “possession”.

[3]By Colenso who minuted the whole proceedings on the following day, Busby checking his work.

[4]Paul Moon, “This Horrid Practice”, ISBN 978-0-14-300671*8, 2008, p.151

[5]“Sunday Star Times” 30th May 2010

[6]“Ngai Tahu’s Tangled Web”, Free Radical 26-8, August-December 1996


Anonymous said...

Old Guru whats his name has been writing drivel for years and it seems the tap of ignorant rantings has lost its washer.

Anonymous said...

Guru for the apartheid Waitangi Tribunal alright.

Anonymous said...

Yes, K Gurunathan, when it comes to the ToW and the privileges of our part-Maori population, there would be few more ignorant and mischievous than him. And the 'tap' you refer to anon@7.33 is (to the uninitiated) Stuff's daily rag 'The Post' which continues to give K Guru a regular platform for his nonsense with never ever a counter opinion. If one ever needed proof of a bought media via the PIJF - there it stands. And, yes, the likes of K Guru will never be happy until we have full blown apartheid. I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing he'd return from whence he came, for while he's entitled to his opinion it's not in all our best interests and those that promote such rubbish deserve our contempt.

Anonymous said...

Regrettably notwithstanding its clarity and simplicity, this article is way to complicated and erudite for the idiots who promote the maori nonsense.

Anonymous said...

What rights maori rights are at stake?

To reconvene as a brutal stone age tribal society ?

If people want to live like that fine but NIMBY. Give them an offshore island and let them get on with it. A maori sanctuary rather than a bird sanctuary.