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Metiria Turei’s speech prepared for Ratana

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 24th, 2015 - 88 comments
Categories: greens, john key, Maori Issues, Metiria Turei, Politics - Tags: ,


Tēnēi au e tū whakaiti nei i raro i a Ranginui, i runga i a Papatūānuku, e tītiro kau ana ki ngā maunga whakahi me ngā tini uri o Tane.

Ki Te Temepara Tapu, ki ngā whare katoa o te pā nei, tēnā koutou katoa.

Ki a koe e te Tūmuaki, e mihi kau ana ki a koe.

Tēnēi te tautoko i ngā mihi ki a koe e te Arikinui Kingi Tūheitia.

Ki a koe e te Ariki, e mihi kau ana ki a koe.

Tēnā koutou e te iwi morehu. Kua tae mai nei mātou o Te Rōpū Kākāriki ki te whakanui i te huritau o tēnēi o ngā rangatira miharo rawa atu o te motu a Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana.

Mihi mai i runga i te kaupapa e whakakōtahi nei i a tātou, arā te whakamanatanga i Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Kāore e mutu ngā mihi ki a koutou i tō manaakitanga ki a mātou I tēnēi rā.

I tēnēi wā ka huri au ki te Reo Pākehā.

It is an honour to be here today to celebrate the birthday of Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana. He left us a truly great legacy, a legacy that has benefited not just Te Iwi Morehu, not just Te Iwi Māori, but all New Zealanders.


I want to speak today about one aspect of that legacy, and that is the Māngai’s efforts to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Māngai spent his life confronting politicians and Pākehā society about the need to provide redress for past injustices and to move forward as a true partnership.

Even now, in 2015, we are still struggling to truly honour the agreement that lies at the foundation of our nation.

This came to a head last month, with the release of stage one of the Waitangi Tribunal’s inquiry into the Treaty claims of Te Paparahi o Te Raki. The decision reflected decades of scholarship and affirms what we, as tangata whenua, have always known: that the Māori text of Te Tiriti o Waitangi never ceded the tino rangatiratanga of Māori over our lands, peoples and resources.

To have this stated, once and for all, was huge. It was an enormous step forward. But the Prime Minister’s response was to knock us several steps back.

John Key had the gall to claim that NZ was settled “peacefully,” as if all Māori grievances evaporated into irrelevance on his command.

But he didn’t finish there. In an attempt to really put us in our place, John Key said Māori would have been grateful for the injection of capital early Pākehā brought with them when they settled in Aotearoa.

Māori would have been grateful. For the capital.

The Prime Minister’s warped and outrageous view of history is deeply offensive to Māori but it also undermines decades of effort by Māori and Pākehā, including even by his own Government, to address some of the historic wrongs and to encourage an understanding of Aotearoa’s true history, both the good and the bad.

While in recent times Governments have made significant progress in completing historical settlements, all too often these are undermined as Ministers resort to cynical dog-whistle tactics that play to the widespread ignorance of Te Tiriti and, in so doing, shore up their Government’s short term political goals.

Sadly, this has long term consequences for all of us, Māori and non-Māori, by entrenching prejudice and wedging us further apart.

We saw this when John Key allowed Pita Sharples to sign the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples in New York, giving the Māori Party a token win and then immediately undermining that by telling journalists the declaration would have “no practical effect.”

And therein lies the rub. John Key can’t actually abide by that declaration because that would mean acknowledging that the Māori text of Te Tiriti is the only legitimate and legally binding text. That would mean conceding that tangata whenua never ceded tino rangatiratanga. That the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson, was so quick to dismiss the Tribunal’s ruling and assert the Crown’s sovereignty, prove that National won’t do this.

I am proud that the Green Party has, for many years, held the Māori text of Te Tiriti as a core part of our party’s constitutional arrangements.

I was honoured, today, to walk on to this marae alongside Labour’s new leader Andrew Little. I am very much looking forward to working with, and getting to know Andrew better.

Our respective parties are focussed on changing the Government in 2017. The Greens are committed to creating a new Government which will be better for Māori and better for Aotearoa New Zealand.

That alternative stands in stark contrast to the current Government that believes New Zealand was settled peacefully and that our people were somehow grateful – grateful for the bloodshed, the loss of millions of hectares of land.

Grateful. For the capital.


The Green Party looks forward to bringing our uniquely steadfast position on Te Tiriti to a new Government.

We have constantly spoken against the dominant view on the Treaty settlement process.

This dominant view has allowed Governments to dictate all of the terms of negotiations, from the start of the process to the conclusion.

It is this dominant view that pits our people against each other through the refusal to recognise hapū and smaller sized iwi in favour of large natural groupings.

It is this dominant view that sees next to no land returned to tangata whenua, and only small amounts of financial redress.

For all of these reasons and many more, we have no faith that the current Treaty settlement process is a reflection of a genuine partnership. Indeed, this divisive process has the potential to create new breaches of Te Tiriti. They cannot be full and final when new grievances are being created with each one.

We have not voted against settlement legislation, as a show of respect to the endless amounts of work put in by generations of whānau to reach that stage. It is and should always be the decision of the people as to whether settlements go ahead.

But we will continue to speak up about an unjust process and we will always stand up for those who aren’t heard. And, in Government, we would work with Labour to build a better process that truly honours Te Tiriti.

That is why we do not accept that these settlements are as good as they need to be. Many of them are deals that the Crown has used its power to force through, and our people have had to accept them due to political constraints and the pressures of poverty and time.

We will seek a comprehensive review of the Treaty settlement process that sets out to put the power back in the hands of hapū and iwi, and that honours the generations of work that Māori have put into holding the Crown to account for its breaches. The process needs to be a true reflection of the Treaty partnership.

It is only then that we can begin to fulfil the Māngai’s vision of true justice through the honouring of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

88 comments on “Metiria Turei’s speech prepared for Ratana ”

  1. Peter W 1

    oh dear

  2. Pete George 2

    There was a significant amount of conflict, killing, oppression and culture crushing, as well as introduced lethal disease.

    But it was also relatively peaceful as far as colonisations went. There were many peaceful settlements and many Maori actively participated in commerce. There was also a lot of inter-marriage and inter-breeding.

    And one of the best examples of it being relatively peaceful was the signing of the treaty.

    So Key is sort of correct but Turei has a valid point, but whether it signals a good start to the Green year is debatable.

    An antagonistic approach is not likely to gain the Greens much political or social progress.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      But your statement Pete proves that Key was wrong. He said that New Zealand was settled peacefully which is the complete opposite to “significant amount of conflict, killing, oppression and culture crushing”. And the treaty Key was referring to was then undermined and broken.

      You can’t reconcile the two things.

      • Tom Jackson 2.1.1

        Well you can if you look at world standards. Compared to all other similar colonisations, New Zealand’s was and is characterised by being relatively peaceful and co-operative. Quite why this was, I do not know – but it’s a fact nonethless.

        Similarly, New Zealand, by world standards, doesn’t really have a race problem. That’s not an occasion for back slapping, nor does it mean that we’re let off having to solve the problems we have – they still exist, and they need to be solved.

        Part of the proof of this is that you have an indigenous politician, who is one of three leaders or co-leaders of a parliamentary party who are indigenous, who lives in a country where indigenous persons are guaranteed representation in parliament by law, speaking at a specifically indigenous religious gathering which then gets heavy play in the national media. This would not happen in a country like the US, where indigenous people are basically invisible.

        For example, I’ve had Americans ask me if I had ever met a Maori, or where the Maori live as if they were some species of endangered bird sequestered away from the rest of society.

        • mickysavage

          Compared to all other similar colonisations, New Zealand’s was and is characterised by being relatively peaceful and co-operative.

          But that is precisely the point. Saying that the colonisation of Aotearoa was OK because we treated Maori a lot better than the Australian Aboriginals were treated is not something to be proud of. And it is not evidence that New Zealand was settled peacefully, only that the settlement was not as bloody and as inhumane as in other places.

          • Tracey

            yes. it is the same argument that says we don’t have children picking through rubbish dumps so we have no poverty.

          • Tom Jackson

            Sigh. Take a logic class, please…

            The argument is not that the colonisation of New Zealand was “OK” as you put it, but that it should be treated with the amount of concern it merits. Treating the colonisation of New Zealand as if it were the equivalent of Australia, or the Americas, or equating it to slavery is wrong, lazy and emblematic of the childish provincialism that pervades intellectual life in this country.

            Should we solve our problems? Of course. Should we pretend they are of a level with those in other colonised countries? Of course not. Treating NZ colonisation as on par with other countries is not only wrong, it is offensive and in some cases obscene.

            We’re lucky in New Zealand in that it’s actually possible to see practical steps we might take to solve or ameliorate our problems, and to have a reasonable hope that they might actually be effective. Other countries don’t have that luxury. Some have no idea of what to do other than band aids.

            • weka

              “Treating the colonisation of New Zealand as if it were the equivalent of Australia, or the Americas,”

              Who exactly is doing that?

            • mickysavage

              Take a logic class, please…

              Sure. The meaning of “peacefully” is not involving “a significant amount of conflict, killing, oppression and culture crushing, as well as introduced lethal disease”. If Key said “realatively peacefully” you might have an argument. But he did not. As usual he said something in absolute terms. And he is clearly wrong.

        • tc

          Well relatively speaking pick an outlier and hey presto that bad behaviour is now reasonable and peaceful…..oh and hotchin is an honest bloke up against madoff etc

        • weka

          “For example, I’ve had Americans ask me if I had ever met a Maori, or where the Maori live as if they were some species of endangered bird sequestered away from the rest of society.”

          You can’t compare NZ and the US. We don’t have the reservation system here for a start. And the country is geographically much smaller.

          I think the whole we treated our natives better than others is specious and an entirely unhelpful path to go down unless one is trying to deny Māori realities. We shouldn’t be comparing colonisation of NZ to Australia or the US to see who is better, we should be looking at Māori pre-contact/post contact, their own views on this. Also the degrees of suffering, injustice and damage and the ways in which the NZ state benefited from that at the expense of Māori (and still does). Nothing to do with elsewhere.

          • Tom Jackson

            You can’t understand the colonisation of New Zealand in isolation from all of the other colonisations by European peoples over the same time period, particular cases of British colonialism.

            Yes, there are differences, but also broad similarities. Your attempt to treat New Zealand as a unique case is risible, and deserves no further response.

            • weka

              Of course if one wants to understand colonisation one looks at the broader context. But you do that to deepen understanding, not marginalise one people. Understanding colonisation is not what I was talking about. I was talking about how useless it is to compare suffering in the way Key did and is being done here. Two different things.

              Your inability to address actual points is noted though.

            • tracey

              your attempt to treat key’s statement as being merely a factual analysis of our history and not loaded with “for God’s sake let’s get this over and done with already so we can get on with capitalism” is risible.

      • tc 2.1.2

        Yup he just can’t help himself, cue more angels on the head of a pin and the indignant tone when challenged.

        If anyone can be bothered, this one is a long bow even by Peteys DP standards.

    • pete ‘relatively peaceful’ is not correct at all – Māori were treated appallingly mostly and all of the horrors that occur today in battlefields and occupations occurred back then and surprise surprise the disgusting offspring of those horrors still occur today albeit in sanitised forms for our current world.

      • Actually marty, I think “relatively peaceful” is a perfect argument for people like Pete. As long as they can point to many more-horrific and more-barbaric acts committed by colonial occupiers across the world, they imply we should just be grateful that the horrific and barbaric acts committed here weren’t as bad.

        It’s like when feminists talk about sexual violence and the gender pay gap and you suddenly can’t move for dudes screaming “but in Saudi Arabia you wouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car!!!”

    • Skinny 2.3

      Bit of a bob each way comment Pete.

      I take the position that the English, French, Dutch were well aware that colonising of natives country’s had passed it’s use by date by the time the English got down here.

      The Treaty was a con job, no one on earth would sign away their land, the way you live, your idenity etc.

      Ask any tourist ( something i often do) for their honest opinion. Q. Looking around New Zealand who do you think got the better deal from the Treaty signing.?

      Not one has ever said Maori. Most of the non British are matter a fact and say ripped off. My Swiss friends snare at the British colonisation of a stone age people and do use the term Pakeha as a slur against us.

  3. JanM 3

    She’s a grand lass, that – so honest and forthright
    I’m also pleased she seems to have made the measure of Andrew Little and approves – yeah

  4. Ad 4

    Media says she didn’t deliver this speech.
    Why not?

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Apparently the event ran out of time. The speech was then distributed. Hence the headline 🙂

      • Actually the speech was distributed first, so a number of media outlets were reporting “Metiria Turei said …” even though she didn’t get to speak – even before the politicians were welcomed on in some cases!

        • weka

          Hang on, Turei didn’t actually make the speech and yet Andrea Vance claims Turei soured the day by getting political?

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            From what I recall of Twitter yesterday, journos were tweeting about Turei’s comments (and using the “soured” language) before the speeches began.

            Per Poto Williams:

            Edited to add: technically I suppose there’s an argument that because the Greens distributed her speech earlier in the day it was intended to have a political impact, but yeah. Still seems off.

            • weka

              I think Vance could have made it clear that the speech wasn’t actually made. She could also have made clear who felt Turei had soured things, apart from herself of course.

      • Tracey 4.1.2

        Also, Ratana are trying to depoliticise the day and take it back to a pure remembrance of Ratana, probably why Key didn’t diarise it 😉

        • Ad

          OK if you had the choice between skiing in Davos along with Bill Gates and every other playa in the world, or hanging out with Labour and its obscure dying cultish fan-club, which Business Class ticket would you be booking?

          • tracey

            No real understanding of Ratana then aye Ad

          • Murray Rawshark

            I’d go to Ratana. It would be a unique and valuable experience. Skiing with rich pricks and listening to their bullshit can be done anywhere.

          • Hanswurst

            Couldn’t that be said of the majority of John Key’s activities as Prime Minister? He has enough money to indulge any number of wishes that would individually be more attractive than the daily PM schedule.

  5. vto 5

    Simply reaffirms John Key’s place as one of the country’s most vile, shallow and ignorant snake oil salesmen….

    he does nothing for us, nothing

    • JanM 5.1

      But how do we make the great unwashed give a damn?

      • vto 5.1.1

        Until house prices stop rising and making everyone feel wealthy then there aint much you can do to pull heads from sand ……..

        …. and then when even that happens everyone all runs in blind panic at the same time

        it really is all quite predictable

        John Key needs a political king hit

    • Skinny 5.2

      His sidekick Treaty settlement Minister Chris Finlayson is a disingenuous nasty piece of work too. I poked a little fun at him in a bar in Wellington a couple of months back, at the time I’d heard the Ngapuhi settlement talks had broken down.

      While at the bar getting a drink Finlayson was next to me, he recognised my face from a previous encounter, we shook hands and made small talk while we waited to be served. I asked him “so Chris hows the Ngapuhi settlement progressing” he replied “slow, too bloody slow” my reply ” guess they have waited long enough, a bit more time is not going to matter, and as long as they get their share of the say they’ll be alot happier in the end”. Finlayson prattled on then said “too much say, too much bloody consultation, that’s the problem”. By his final sentence his voice was quite loud and punters in the nearby vicinity were now staring at him. I shook my head as if in disbelief grabbed my drink and headed back to my group. One of my associates was laughing asking what were you winding Finlayson up about, he looked a bit uptight. 🙂

      • vto 5.2.1

        ha ha, and the funnier thing is that these people like Finlayson imagine themselves as somehow superior to average joe bloe.. truth is they are in fact lesser beings as evidenced by;

        john key’s lies
        chris Finlayson’s behaviour there (so cheap)
        nick smith’s utter bullshit

      • Ngapuhi are notoriously fractured and can’t even agree on representatives for the Treaty process. The Government wants to deal with the tribe as a whole, not smaller hapu (even though Ngapuhi is the largest tribe). It would be awesome if Hone Harawira could unite his people somehow (and get his Mum to shut up).

        Ngapuhi led the way in establishing Te Tiriti, it seems they will be the last to negotiate a settlement arising from its wrongs. Northland has some of the most deprived communities in NZ, the onus is on both tribal leaders and Government to reach a settlement and build a future.

  6. millsy 6

    She would have been better off attacking the tribal elites and the fact that they have raked in the lions share of the settlement money while ordinary Maori are still worse off.

    She could have also attacked the handing back of beaches and parks to iwi who have restricted access:

    90 Mile Beach
    Te Urewera Park
    Auckland volcanic cones.

    • weka 6.1

      I’d like you to provide proof that iwi have restricted access to those three places and that there was free access before. Thanks.

      • millsy 6.1.1

        Well, for a start, Tuhoe have kicked all the hunters out of the Ureweras.

        Not blaming Tuhoe, but the government for letting them have it in the first place.

        • weka

          I asked for proof millsy. Or even just some evidence. If Tuhoe have kicked all the hunters out of the Ureweras I’m sure there will have been some media coverage.

          • weka

            Right, because I can’t be bothered with this drawing out, here’s what I’ve found out. This is from the internet, so don’t take it as gospel, but it looks like a good summary thus far. I’ll post the links at the end.

            1. Tūhoe and the Crown have formed a group to co-manage Te Urewera.

            2. That group (note, not just Tūhoe) have suspended the old DOC hunting permits.

            3. There is no access restriction. There is a restriction on shooting live animals. Anyone can still enter the area and walk, fish, and generally hang out in the bush, just like before.

            4. The hunting restriction applies to all humans including Tūhoe.

            5. The group had hoped to have the new permit system sorted by the end of 2014. It didn’t. I thought I saw something about interim permits over the summer but can’t find it now. I’m sure that anyone wanting to know can contact Tūhoe or the local hunting associations. DOC might know too.

            6. Any misrepresentation of Tūhoe locking people out of the park is blatant racism. I understand the anxiety that some people feel around these issues, but the solution to that is to educate oneself.

            7. If you are worried about Māori restricting Pākehā access to anything or anywhere, I suggest you start making good relationships with your local iwi/hapū. Myself, I’ve found Māori to be generous about access, and far less likely to ‘lock’ things up than rich or white people, esp farms in overseas or corportate ownership.

            This comment on the Stuff article was useful,

            “At least Tuhoe are still allowing access up to the lake and for trampers, they probably dont have to. ”

            Yes they do have to, according to the Te Urewera Act 2014. Anyone can walk up to and enter Te Urewera and explore, in the same way as they might any National Park. That right is guaranteed in the law, under similar provisions as the National Parks Act, and it was one of the fundamental criteria for this arrangement.

            Tuhoe also haven’t been “given” the land. Under the law, it becomes its own entity that’s “owned” by nobody. They’ve been given co-management of land, via representation on the Board.

            Hunting was never a guaranteed right in National Parks (unlike access), but it’s often allowed with permits. The main thing that’s changed here is who issues the permits. To me it looks as likely that this could be an administrative hiccup as anything else, since the law states quite clearly that only Board-issued permits are valid (so old permits aren’t), and the Board evidently doesn’t have its permit system up and running yet.

            I’d give them a chance to get things sorted, and we can see what actually comes of it before making assumptions that it’s a giant Tuhoe-fuelled conspiracy against the hunters and public of New Zealand. Hopefully it gets sorted soon, though.






            • Maggy Wassilieff

              The Governing Board of Te Urewera asked the public to give them a few months to sort out hunting permits. (perhaps DoC’s previous system needed updating?)

              It now seems that hunting permits are once again available:

            • greywarshark

              I put in a comment at 12.39 Millsy and it’s gone down to 6.3. So I haven’t pressed the right button or something.
              I think that the matter should be looked at more widely than just what the legislation states, though that is of major importance.

              • weka

                From the quick look today, and from posting on this in the past, the legistlation allows Tūhoe to look at things more widely than before (when it was the culture of DOC that prevailed).

                Having said that, there is no access issue.

          • ropata:rorschach

            Here, LMGTFY. Yep, millsy is right.

            I have personal experience of Tuhoe’s bad attitude, having previously holidayed there in a beautiful spot in the Waimana Valley. Tuhoe were resentful and set up threatening road blocks. I don’t know if anyone goes there any more, or if it’s even maintained anywhere near DOC standards. My brother was hunting there once when a local showed up on horseback and took his rifle at gunpoint.

            Others let their dogs run around in endangered bird areas, pester campers, and young guys hoon around on noisy souped up quad bikes. Way to wreck a peaceful campground.

            I agree with Truth Will Out’s comment below…

            My understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi is that Maori believed they were agreeing to *share it with us* when they signed it. A very noble intention. […] Sharing is only complicated for and by the greedy.

    • back to this eh millsy – how’s the protests against all the non-iwi restricting access going – nah – just more of this grizzled old rubbish eh

      • vto 6.2.1

        Agreed, access restriction by anyone is a growing problem – one which sees me get into some decent ding-dongs out in the non-urban areas ……

        Access needs to be expanded, not restricted as is currently happening.

        • There needs to be restricted access to marine reserves, or Rahui status applied to areas in need of environmental protection. I totally respect that the crater of Mt Eden/Maungawhau and places like Cape Reinga have spiritual and historic significance and must not be abused.

          But I can’t stomach any group that seeks to create a separate nation inside NZ, or extort peaceful visitors of our world heritage national parks.

    • greywarshark 6.3

      @ millsy
      Can you maintain a reasoned attitude to this matter of access? Any area can suffer from overuse – many tourist spots around the world have prevented free access to sensitive areas. Overuse syndrome can damage or detract from the amenity.

      Then special or sacred areas may have special controls. Churches may not be open all the time. Business premises will not let you into every part of their building, and lock you out when they choose. It is their wish and desire to control who comes into their place.

      There is the aspect of safety and respect of other people’s rights to have. hold and enjoy a location that is theirs. Hopefully there will be negotiated rights to visit these places you list. In the case of Tuhoe, they have been invaded by the country’s local defence forces, harrassed, and humiliated. Many hunters will be of the same ilk, may I say, and perhaps they are concerned more now for their own safety. There is the sort likely to shoot someone if they see the whites of their eyes, when they are hunting in no-go areas! Probably the response of such a shooter would be to say I’m sorry, it was an accident, before they slouch away.

      Don’t unfairly criticise Metiria, it seems she is a good polly and one to respect.

  7. saveNZ 7

    John Key said Māori would have been grateful for the injection of capital early Pākehā brought with them when they settled in Aotearoa.
    shows just how morally and culturally offensive our PM is.
    Being part of the 50 million+ dollar club, currency speculator and part of the overlord club of 99% of the world’s assets by 1% of the world’s population (predicted by next year). That is his attitude.
    Not sure how a person like that can tackle local and world’s problems do you?
    But Maori should wake up, because being in partnership with National is making the same mistakes and compromises.
    i.e. John Key allowed Pita Sharples to sign the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples in New York, giving the Māori Party a token win and then immediately undermining that by telling journalists the declaration would have “no practical effect.”
    Hmmm signing an agreement but saying is is meaningless and has no practical effect…. sounds familiar…..
    National Foreign Policy – just invade other people’s countries “cos we have to fit in!” i.e. be part of the bully squad.
    Someone should tell JK money does not solve problems and wars are real, especially to those that are the victims of them and have to fight in them.
    Not start or escalate them, from the safety from a mansion in Parnell and Hawaii.
    Maybe that is why terrorism is such a big issue for world leaders, the fear that there are more ramifications from their simple minded decisions, than they first thought.

    • Truth Will Out 7.1


      • Macro 7.1.1

        Being part of the 50 million+ dollar club, currency speculator and part of the overlord club of 99% of the world’s assets by 1% of the world’s population (predicted by next year). That is his attitude.
        Not sure how a person like that can tackle local and world’s problems do you?


  8. weka 8

    Dave Kenney’s response to Andrea Vance,

    For a Maori woman to express disappointment, in a Maori setting, regarding the negative effects that the Prime Minister’s comments will have on the relationship between Pakeha and Maori was fully justified. Te Ururoa Flavell was a bit perplexed about the fuss, “…to suggest that people don’t talk about politics here seems to be a huge contradiction – the whole day is taken up with political discussion on behalf of the parties.”


    • Sacha 8.1

      If the gaggle of gallery journos attending had read the speech, perhaps it was their own under-educated bubble that was “soured”? Can’t have been everyone else there who never heard it delivered.

      Wish media outlets would make sure their people made the effort to understand tikanga before opining about it. So unprofessional.

  9. Truth Will Out 9

    The problem with the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument a lot of people are using in this debate (and others) is their reliance on the presumption that evil was and is necessary in the first place. Without wishing to oversimplify the issue(s) surrounding eurpean colonisation of this country, it appears to me the fundamental error in thinking that most thinly disguised racists are using to prop up their increasingly breathless argument(s), is the belief that “they sold it to us”. In my view this is deliberately simplistic. My understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi is that Maori believed they were agreeing to *share it with us* when they signed it. A very noble intention. If only the intentions of those who now seek to rewrite history were so honourable and/or noble. Clearly that is not the case. Sharing is only complicated for and by the greedy.

    • Treetop 9.1

      What about the Iwi’s which did not sign?

      Some research comparing those who did sign and those who did not sign would interest me.

      Not sure what I would compare, land ownership would be high on the list.

  10. Heartbleeding Liberal 10

    There is a school of thought that says that the treaty was signed to pacify Maori militarily (as they out-numbered the British at that time). The plan was to eventually outnumber them, but until then, use the treaty to keep them content and use the preemption clause to deprive them of all their land and wealth. There is some evidence to support this, for example in the written exchanges between the representatives of the Queen and the colonial office.

    • tracey 10.1

      there is also written correspondence denying the Treaty was a dupe of the kind you describe, so back to square one which is a treaty establishing a partnership arrangement between a large group and a much smaller group, and since the small group got more power and went on to become the large group conveniently wishes the Treaty never existed.

    • Murray Rawshark 10.2

      I have a lot of sympathy for the view that the theory was designed as a fraud. I suspect pakeha administrations never really thought they’d have to honour any of it. For a long time they didn’t. I read somewhere that the poms couldn’t afford the troops because they were busy in China and other places.

      As far as colonisation goes, they were all evil. The main effect, whether in Aotearoa, Australia, or Turtle Island, was to dispossess a sovereign people and destroy their economic base. The rest was just operational detail.

      • Heartbleeding Liberal 10.2.1

        It cost a lot to send troops to a little unknown corner of the world. The abuse of the preemption clause further lays credence to the theory that the treaty was malicious, for example, a Maori chief (Te Whiti O Rongomai) had his territory ransacked (at the time the most prosperous Maori region in the country) because he recognized that the land was being sold at fire-sale prices and urged Maori to resist selling. The colonizers equated this to treason and imprisoned him. People today laugh at Maori for selling their land for the equivalent of nothing, what they do not know is that it was essentially a crime to resist.

  11. Jay 11

    Maori certainly were grateful for the capital injected by early visitors and settlers, it’s an historical fact. Read Trevor Bentleys book “pakeha Maori”, Judge Frederick Mannings “Old Nz”, or even Dr Kings Penguin History of Nz

    “Having” a pakeha was a huge asset to the tribe, particularly if he was a trader, and many were elevated to chiefly status. There was great competition among tribes to acquire one.

    Metal implements, tobacco, clothing, but most of all guns were hot trade items, and were very eagerly sought after, buying them mainly with flax and dried heads.

    We might like to imagine that naive Maori were ripped off by cunning pakeha, in fact Maori were highly regarded and respected by most early visitors, and there is an awful lot of evidence of that if you care to read about it. Yes some were ripped off, as many pakeha were ripped off by Maori.

    Pakeha brought good and bad things, but change was inevitable. The coming of the pakeha brought education, health care, abolished slavery, and eventually ended centuries of tribal warfare.

    But back to the original point. Like it or not John Key is dead right in what he says.

    • weka 11.1

      Māori already had education and health care systems. What should have happened was a melding of the best of the various cultures involved, instead of intentional suppression of Māori systems as a means of control and attempted enforced assimilation.

      Pity Pākehā haven’t given up the warfare.

  12. Heartbleeding Liberal 12

    “Yes some were ripped off, as many pakeha were ripped off by Maori.”

    False equivalence.

  13. fisiani 13

    Engage respectfully, without personal attacks what part of that was Metiria’s comment fits that description.

  14. Jay 14

    The fact remains, Key is right in what he says. Maori were not only grateful, but eager to acquire the goods brought to nz by pakeha. Prior to 1800, health care was ineffective and old age was attained at about thirty. Life was extraordinarily hard, particularly for poor tribes, common people, and especially slaves who might be murdered and eaten without notice. There was no nation as such, nz consisted of a great many tribes who were more-or-less perpetually at war with one another.

    A large proportion of the forest was gone by the time Cook arrived, a number of species of bird were extinct, and there were no seals left in the entire north island and most of the south. All the easy meat was gone, making the consumption of human flesh a necessary evil

    During the musket wars, which were almost entirely fought by Maori, ten times as many Maori were killed than were killed during the land wars, and during the land wars as many Maori fought for the government as against it.

    All these facts are conveniently forgotten so that pakeha can feel guilty, and Maori can feel anger and resentment, basically because their white ancestors ripped off their brown ones.

    Woe betide anyone suggesting a view other than that the colonisation of nz was an atrocity committed by the British, followed by the nz government, on an unwilling and blameless Maori race who up until the 18th century had been living in utopia.

    If Maori hadn’t wanted pakeha and the commerce they brought, they would have easily pitched the lot of them into the sea, since even by 1840 there was only a handful living here, and Maori were an extraordinarily warlike race.

    So bottom line, John Key is stating a fact. To deny it is totally absurd and in my opinion insulting to the memory of early nzers, pakeha and Maori alike.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      I guess stupid self important culturally desolate colonialism like yours never dies. Go find some grateful savages to tame.

    • mickysavage 14.2

      Ever heard of the land wars? Settlement is not something that ended the day the treaty was signed.

      • You_Fool 14.2.1

        BUt the maori killed more of their own than the british/NZ government!!! That makes John Key and his fanbois right, didn’t you know?

    • Murray Rawshark 14.3

      Facts? Don’t make me laugh. Let’s have a look at some of your facts.

      1. Prior to 1800, health care was ineffective and old age was attained at about thirty.

      Life expectancy in Britain around 1800 was about 40 years.

      2. Life was extraordinarily hard, particularly for poor tribes, common people, and especially slaves who might be murdered and eaten without notice.

      They didn’t send kids down mines to die. Life was probably at least as hard for the English workers.

      3. A large proportion of the forest was gone by the time Cook arrived,

      Hence the industry in kauri logs. Sigh.

      4. and there were no seals left in the entire north island and most of the south

      then European and American sealers got rid of what was left

      Try a bit more honesty, please.

  15. Naki man 15

    Metiria really lost the plot with her personal attack, turning the greens into the nasty party will end in tears

    • Murray Rawshark 15.1

      Nope. Speaking the truth will gain the Greens more respect. You’re right about nasty parties though. NAct causes many tears throughout the land.

  16. Jay 16

    Honesty? I’m stating facts, honesty doesn’t come into it. By 1840 Maori had reduced forest cover from about 85% of the land, to about 55%, mostly through burn-offs that took place over centuries.

    If you think life in the stone age was better for humans than the industrial age was then that’s fine, but consider this, at least workers weren’t killed and eaten by the factory owners.

    Yes health care was poor in Britain in 1800, but Maori still benefitted from the huge medical advances made since then.

    The fact remains though, Maori welcomed commerce with pakeha. It’s irrefutable however much that idea bothers you

    • framu 16.1

      youve used capital, goods and commerce for the same thing jay

      key used the word capital

      which one are you talking about?

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