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Mr Brash goes to Waitangi

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, February 5th, 2019 - 32 comments
Categories: don brash, jacinda ardern, Maori Issues, Politics, racism, racism - Tags:

How Waitangi day is changing.  It used to be a place where right wing politicians feared to go.  Back in 2004 then opposition leader Don Brash followed up his infamous Orewa speech, where he talked about racial separation and the treaty grievance industry with a visit to Waitangi on Waitangi day.  Locals responded in a way which was illegal but not unexpected.

Of course he is not the only politician to have been humiliated at Waitangi.

I suspect that back then Brash was quietly pleased at the response that he received.

Fast forward to 2019 and Brash is heading back to Waitangi, this time by invitation. And apparently this time he is going to listen.  Radio New Zealand has the background:

Former National Party leader Don Brash says he’s delighted to speak at Waitangi for the first time since mud was slung in his face 15 years ago, and will speak about the economy “and I’m going to listen”.

Dr Brash fronts the group Hobson’s Pledge which opposes what it terms Māori favouritism. He said he was surprised when Ngāpuhi asked him to give a speech at the lower marae Tuesday.

His last Waitangi speech in 2004 ended with a protester hurling mud at him.

Don Brash told Morning Report he was delighted to be invited back.

He was contacted by a local, Reuben Taipari, who invited him up for a korero. He was asked to speak about economics. Unfortunately it seems that he will take far too narrow a view of what the purpose of the treaty settlements is.

“One of the points I’m going to make is Māori prosperity will not be guaranteed by Treaty settlements.

“It’s a point which I actually owe to Rob McLeod, who is a Ngāti Porou leader, that even if we take all the investments and Treaty settlements over the last 20 something years and invest that at a 5 percent, it makes minimal difference to the annual incomes of ordinary Māori.”

While he said he had never opposed Treaty settlements, they “aren’t the recipe to make ordinary Māori prosperous”.

“Too many ordinary Māori assume that once they get a Treaty settlement, everything will be rosy.”

Of all the stupid takes Brash has ever said this is one of the most stupid.  The treaty settlements are not about increasing Māori wealth, they are about addressing terrible treaty breaches and providing very modest  compensation and providing closure.

It is interesting that the feeling is now such that Brash would be invited and that he would accept the invitation.

Maybe as a nation we are moving on from the heat and intensity of previous Waitangi days. Perhaps the Waitangi Tribunal’s sterling work is having an effect. Maybe the renaissance of Māori culture and the fact it is being embraced by pakeha means that everyone is that much more chilled.

Of course political leadership is all important. One of the country’s best political leaders once did this.

Another did this.

It will be interesting to see how Don Brash is treated. I think it will be in a much more chilled way than last time.

32 comments on “Mr Brash goes to Waitangi”

  1. Chris T 1

    “It used to be a place where right wing politicians feared to go.”

    It is like some people have conveniently wiped Clark balling her eyes out and never going back from their memories.

    Edit: And last time I checked. The Queen who had a wet t-shirt thrown at her, isn’t right wing

    • mickysavage 1.1

      OK so Helen did not want to go either. My point still stands.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        I think Chris Findlayson and Doug Graham are a couple of right wingers who would be happy to attend and would be welcomed at Waitangi

    • Adrian Thornton 1.2

      “The Queen who had a wet t-shirt thrown at her, isn’t right wing”

      The Queen is the figurehead of one of the most undemocratic of any institutions imaginable…yuk.

      • DJ Ward 1.2.1

        In some ways the position was created from a progression of mini democracies. The village leader is supported by the villagers. The village leader supported a person to be the regional leader, and the regional leaders supported a person to be King. Often involving lots of bloodshed.

        Now we have this constitutional monarchy. As you pointed out without any democracy for the position. Interesting that they also have virtually no power. The upside is the position is not poisoned by politics, or cult of personality, or have the power of dictators.

        The interests of the Monarch trend towards stability which is good for normal citizens. Chaos, and revolution is bad for the monarch as they are replaced by the power hungry.

        The British model of monarchy has proven to be a not to bad version of government and unelected Kings, and Queens are a necessary evil as part of that.

        For the Treaty, if we were to abandon a signatory, what happens.
        For the Prime Minister, if we abandon the Governor General, who has the option to say no.
        If a corrupt majority passes a corrupt law, who has the power to say no.
        Who seperate from government do you petition for justice.

        Who would you give that position to. Someone that’s your puppet?

        While I agree it’s all a bit silly having a Queen she has proven to be better than the alternatives.

    • TootingPopularFront 1.3

      “…The Queen isn’t right wing” hahahahahahahahahaha I don’t quite know what else to say…

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    I hardly think Arden has earned her place alongside Nash at this point (not to mention his 50+ years service to Labour) …so just lets keep it real and see what she actually achieves.

    As far as the eccentric nutter Brash goes…I just hope the dildo finds it’s mark.

  3. Of all the stupid takes Brash has ever said this is one of the most stupid.

    It’s not so much “the most stupid” as “the most illustrative of how he and his former constituency regard Treaty settlements.”

    To Brash (and former constituency), Treaty settlements are about “us” (Whitey) “giving” “our” (taxpayers’) money to Māori in the naive hope that it will stop them being fuck-ups dependent on Whitey’s largesse, so the settlements are therefore an outrageous waste of money. If Brash et al were to accept the actual purpose of Treaty settlements, it would be an existential threat to their identities.

    • Wayne 3.1

      Don is not inaccurate.
      Many Maori do believe the settlements will make them better off. They do, but in a more indirect sense. Scholarships, Marae improvements, etc.
      Don also bases his acceptance of settlements on breach of property rights, not shared governance of the nation.
      He is not ignorant of the issues, but he doesn’t view them in the way many do.

      • solkta 3.1.1

        He is not ignorant of the issues

        Of course he is, he is willfully ignorant.

        Just saying “Hobson said we are now one people so we are” is not an argument. When confronted with what actually happened, treaty in Maori and all that, he just won’t confront it.

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          Solkta
          Just because you don’t agree with Don does not mean he is ignorant. I know for a fact that he is very widely read on these issues.
          I happen not to agree with him on his interpretation of the Treaty, but I wouldn’t therefore say he is ignorant.

          • Poission 3.1.1.1.1

            Of course he is ignorant,his interpretation of the law requires an understanding in both english and maori,

            There are substantive cases in canada where the arguments need to be coherent in both english and french.

          • marty mars 3.1.1.1.2

            Widely read to confirm his bias. That is obvious by his conclusions. More regurgitation of ‘hate’ views, to smooth the pillow, from yesteryear and today. Heard it all before – same old shit.

          • solkta 3.1.1.1.3

            He won’t even look at the Maori version. That is the one that was signed.

            “No,no, the English version, Hodson said you know”

  4. So we’re all becoming one massive pragmatic centrists herd, the broad church where even Right wing racists nutters and Economic Overlords are welcome to share their ‘profound’ insights with only the most polite pushback.

    Could NZ politics become any more moribund.

    • tc 4.1

      Wait and see I’m sure we can do moribund soooo much better then currently.

      With a centrist ‘don’t scare them’ govt and the haters and wreckers asset strippers warming up their DP machine with a few practice laps before the next GE and deciding which puppets to drop into epsom.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    I think that the organisers for the Lower Marae have invited speakers they think will raise points of controversy.

    They invited Brash and “Bishop” Tamaki, as click bait for the press? or if we are being kind, to see what “expertise” they can bring.

    Brash has accepted. Tamaki declined but decided he would have a gathering in opposition to the Anglican Bishop’s sermon on the Upper Marae close by? (Hinted)
    He posted a statement suggesting he would “take over”. Plus he is bringing gang members with his party. (Motorbikes? For impact?) 2000 faithful.

    Some rancor is evident about tendering for funds from the Government for work inside prisons, which has gone else where.
    Kelvin Davis points out, Corrections needs help supporting the 30 000 people trying to settle back into the community, and that would be a good mission.

    Huge sums go through Destiny Church and Bishop Tamaki. He has changed some lives, though he is in many respects a fudamentalist who is extremely conservative, except when buying his own vehicles and property. IMO this is a protest.

    Yesterday there was an investiture and a lovely moment where Sir Hec Busby Jacinda Ardern and Titiwhai Harawera were seated together holding hands.

    • tc 5.1

      Tamaki is supreme unchallengeable leader, power/money hungry and refuses to respond to such allegations……that’s not a religion it’s a cult IMO complete with the subtle and not so subtle threats.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    Not too sure we should be celebrating Brash – a tired old fool whose economic knowledge has proven not to amount to a hill of beans. Better he find some other hobby – he’s not much better than Perigo. We should be looking for wiser voices that tend to go unheard, not the usual empty vessels.

  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    Maintenance of the Treaty

    The British people Raided, Stole, Enslaved, Slaughtered numerous peoples under Queen Elizabeth 1, 1553 – 1603.

    The British raided 90 different Nations. If you look at the school map of “British Empire” you will see the extent of its Rape.

    When it Raided and Stole New Zealand, it took Maori Children, Women and Men to War. By Gun. That was in 1840. It handed the the reluctant Maori people a defective Treaty.

    The Bastard Thieving Brits have never apologised. They never do.

    Supporting the Maori is expensive. The Bill is largely paid by the low wage workers Pakeha and Maori.

    To ease the situation for Maori and the low paid workers (pakeha and Maori) I believe that a levy should be paid by the excessively wealthy New Zealanders and their Share Holders. Their Tax Rorts included.

    The burden thrown on NZ by the British Crown needs attention. It needs it now.

    Lets do it.

  8. Alan 8

    the bill is not paid largely by low paid workers, the majority of low paid workers are tax neutral or thereabouts.

  9. Enough is Enough 9

    In 2005 New Zealand First introduced the “Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill” in which all references to the treaty would be removed from New Zealand legislation.

    Winston Peters, the current Deputy Prime Minister supported the bill, which was designed to remove vague references to the Treaty from New Zealand law.

    Does Winston still hold such anti Treaty views.

  10. Anne 10

    Oh look, Don Brash is making his speech.

    From the photo it looks like he’s preaching to the converted. Not a maori in sight as far as I can tell. Well, maybe one in the front row. Why am I not surprised:

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/381801/brash-continues-speech-at-waitangi-after-protestors-calmed

  11. millsy 11

    Don Brash is right. Treaty Settlements do not bring Maori prosperity. All they have done concentrated wealth into the hands of tribal elites.

    Socialists should oppose the treaty settlement system.

    • D'Esterre 11.1

      Millsy: “Treaty Settlements do not bring Maori prosperity. All they have done concentrated wealth into the hands of tribal elites.”

      That certainly seems to be what’s happened.

      From the beginning, I viewed the Treaty settlement process as being a matter of justice, for all that the amount paid over was a fraction only of what had been lost by Maori. I still do. And at the time, I recall hearing prominent Maori defend the settlements as having to do with justice.

      However. In common with everyone who saw Treaty settlements the same way, I expected that Maori people in general would derive substantive benefits: housing, education, income support (including startup loans for businesses), healthcare and so on. Especially housing and income support. No doubt some of this has happened in some areas, but reportage on the economic situation of working class Maori today suggests that, all these years later, things are worse for the majority.

      I also accept that the Treaty settlements provide closure (as mentioned somewhere); fair enough. But in this instance, justice is a cold-eyed mistress if it doesn’t bring material benefits for the descendants of those who were wronged. The same can be said of the idea of closure.

      It may be time to rethink the concept.

      I’d add that nobody alive today was in any way responsible for the systematic Treaty breaches and large scale land confiscation and alienation in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Nor was anybody alive today involved in the NZ wars. In fact probably the majority of us aren’t even descendants of those early colonists and colonial politicians, or of the troops who fought in the wars. Nevertheless, some people – possibly many – are of the view that the Treaty settlement process holds contemporary non-Maori responsible for the sins of previous generations. Certainly, the fact that it’s taxpayer money being applied to settlements, tends to support that view. That’s the perceived effect of Treaty settlements, even if it wasn’t the original intention.

  12. Rae 12

    Brash is a silly old fart who seems to be unable to expand his thinking beyond anything that is spelled starting with a $.
    “We are all one people”, = “we are all like me”, the expectation from him (whether he even realises it or not) is that everyone will behave in the same way, they all come out of the womb with a default capitalist setting. Democracy is great, really, but it does have a negative effect for minorities, thus we need and will need forever, specific protection for Maori, but it is more tikanga Maori than actual, individual Maori people, that is the first thing he fails to recognise. We seem to want to fall all over ourselves celebrating Chinese New Year, Diwali etc but dig our toes in when it comes to anything Maori. NZ is the only home of Maori culture, we need to make sure it is not just a secondary afterthought among us. We actually all need to embrace it.
    Maori not getting wealthy off settlements. You know what, Don, NUNYA. None of your damned business. It is owed, it should be sorted, end of story.
    Te Reo, all I can say there is – Don, if ever your mission should be accomplished here in NZ, you should maybe nip off to Norway and convince them their language should not be compulsorily taught, it too is irrelevant in the wider world.

    • D'Esterre 12.1

      Rae: “We are all one people”, = “we are all like me”, the expectation from him (whether he even realises it or not) is that everyone will behave in the same way…”

      I think that you may be putting words (so to speak) into Brash’s mouth. That isn’t the take home message I’ve got from listening to him and reading his articles. Although every civilised society which operates under the rule of law expects a certain minimum standard of behaviour from its citizens.

      “We seem to want to fall all over ourselves celebrating Chinese New Year, Diwali etc but dig our toes in when it comes to anything Maori.”

      Speak for yourself. That certainly doesn’t apply to all of us. In my case, when it comes to the festivals and the like of other cultures, I’m an equal opportunities curmudgeon. I’ve lived long enough to feel that I’ve seen and heard it all before. Nowadays, I prefer to stick to my own culture: perfectly permissible in a democracy such as this.

      “Maori not getting wealthy off settlements. You know what, Don, NUNYA. None of your damned business. It is owed, it should be sorted, end of story.”

      This doesn’t stand up as an argument against Brash’s view. He’s right, and it is indeed our business. All of our business; it’s taxpayer money being used for settlements, after all. Redress is owed, right enough, but we should all be concerned if the benefits aren’t percolating down to ordinary Maori. It was never intended – at least by governments – that only the elites would get fat on settlements.

      “Te Reo, all I can say there is – Don, if ever your mission should be accomplished here in NZ, you should maybe nip off to Norway and convince them their language should not be compulsorily taught, it too is irrelevant in the wider world.”

      This isn’t a commensurate example. In Norway, it would be Sami. Although, as it happens, there is still a population of native speakers there, at least of some Sami languages.

      The problem NZ faces with te reo is that there are apparently almost no native speakers left, except possibly for some older people. To be sure, there are some young people who are bilingual (as in my extended family), but that isn’t the same as being a native speaker. If any language is to survive, it needs native speakers.

      In general, I agree with Brash , though not for the same reasons: even if we as a nation had the resources to do it (and we don’t), obliging schools to teach te reo won’t save the language. Ireland has already tried to preserve Irish by this means; it has failed there, too. Irish as a native language is in decline; it’s becoming the second language of urban liberals.

      If Maori wish to revive te reo, it’s up to them to do it. It’s their language and heritage, after all. And the only way to do it is to use the language exclusively in the home. Parents need to bring their children up in an exclusively te reo-speaking environment until they are about ready for school. Such children, who hear only te reo in their environment and learn to speak it as their first language, will be native speakers. And they are the ones who will save the language.

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    People who don’t understand racism are having a polluting effect on our culture. For example: https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/s-may

    “The university’s alumni magazine, Ingenio, printed an opinion piece written by Professor Stephen May about the benefits of bi-and-multi-lingualism. The article contained a sentence which described the objections by some, including Hobson’s Pledge members: “The tirade was led by Don Brash, in his role as spokesperson for Hobson’s Pledge, a racist and militantly anti-Māori lobby group.””

    “In its latest issue, Ingenio printed a retraction stating the sentence in its August issue “was incorrect and should not have appeared in the article”. Dr Brash said he was satisfied with the university’s apology. He said the Hobson’s Pledge group lobbies for the same political rights for everybody.” https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/369368/hobson-s-pledge-receives-apology-we-are-not-racist-and-we-are-not-anti-maori

    A university professor who has not only failed to learn the dictionary meaning of racism before mouthing off, but also seems unable to grasp the meaning of militant, is a joke. Brash has not hired military employees for his lobby group, nor have they formed a private militia.

    “Hobson greeted each Chief who came forward to sign the treaty with the following pledge : “he iwi tahi tatou” – “we are now one people”. Hobson’s pledge to the chiefs laid the foundation of New Zealand’s democracy: One citizen: one vote, regardless of race, colour, religion or gender.” https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/hobson_s_pledge

    Hobson seems to have intended his pledge to operate as a psychological frame, to induce a sense of oneness. Such holism may seem ephemeral, but it did serve to counter the prevailing impression of two races in one country. Allowing the latter framing to dictate the outcome would have given dualism primacy over holism.

    Since sovereignty and the law are holistic, and since they created the state as monolith, Hobson’s pledge was sensible. However it cannot be denied that the principle of tribal sovereignty was included in the version Maori chiefs signed. You can identify it in the second article of Te Tiriti: https://teara.govt.nz/en/document/4216/the-three-articles-of-the-treaty-of-waitangi

    Reading below, you can also see that the principle is not identifiable as such in the English version. The second article there refers only to possession. It fails to specify rulership. Consequently the partnership it purports to create is more illusory than real. The folks in the lobby group seem not to comprehend this!

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