Seymour’s bad faith Treaty policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 20th, 2023 - 67 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, democracy under attack, national/act government, racism, racism, treaty settlements - Tags:

A small part of me wants National to win but need Act and NZ First support just to watch the mess.  It would be great entertainment.  The country would suffer, our greenhouse gas emission reduction plans would crash, unemployment and child poverty would soar, workers rights would be undermined but at least us on the left could engage in a huge amount of told ya so.

But the sensible part of my brain says that this would be a very, very bad occurrence.

The good news is that Act is in a somewhat precarious position.  Its vote is collapsing, and its nemesis NZ First is surging.

And it is getting more desperate.

Last weekend it reached deeply into its rich donor war chest and hired out the Civic Theatre in Auckland to hold a campaign event.

There was the obligatory blowing of the racist Dog whistle and farcical claims about the Treaty of Waitangi.  From Act’s accompanying press release:

“There is nothing in any of the three Treaty articles that suggests Māori should have special rights above other New Zealanders. The Treaty itself guarantees that “all the ordinary people of New Zealand…have the same rights and duties of citizenship.” All New Zealanders have a basic human right to be treated equally under the law and with equal political worth. One person, one vote.

ACT would legislate that the principles of the Treaty are based on what the Treaty actually says, in contrast with recent revisionist interpretations of the Treaty’s principles, through a Treaty Principles Act and inviting citizens to ratify it.

This is a point of view, only if you completely ignore article the Te Reo version of article 1 which ceded “Kawanatanga” and not “Tino Rangitiratanga” to the Crown.  Or article 2 of the Treaty which preserved to Māori “the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession”.  Like it or not this creates special rights for Maori.

And the text relied on by Seymour (“all the ordinary people of New Zealand…have the same rights and duties of citizenship”) does not come from the treaty.  It appears to be a translation of the Te Reo version by Hugh Kawharu in 1975.  The Maori version refers to “tangata Maori” which is clearly more specific than “ordinary people”.  I suspect that his interpretation is overly broad.

The English version of the treaty “extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects”.  It does not create rights for anyone else.

Of course none of this matters.  Act is engaged in performance art designed to rile up its base.  It does not care about the consequences of its actions.

Its proposal, to hold a referendum on whether its misguided view of the meaning of the Treaty would be a farce.  And National took a while to rule out supporting such a referendum so I suspect that this could be on the list of things to negotiate about if there is a change of Government.

The absurdity of determining the meaning of a document that has been the subject of extensive scholastic and legal analysis over the decades by popular vote is or should be very clear.  And it would invite a response from Iwi and progressives that would make the Springbok Tour protests from 1981 look like a walk in a park.

You really get the feeling that Act does not care about these potential consequences.  Seymour is clearly happy to engage in this sort of divisive rhetoric to shore up his dwindling support.

67 comments on “Seymour’s bad faith Treaty policy ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Like it or not this creates special rights for Maori.

    Which is where debate should focus. Co-governance is a nifty principle but pragmatism rules legislative implementation. I was irritated that neither leader nor moderator honed in on Maori collective rights deriving from Te Tiriti. I doubt 30 years of public education have actually worked to elucidate the point in the minds of mainstreamers.

    I haven't seen any political party address the issue adequately: thus the democracy sham. No reason to vote has showed up thus far. Red neolibs vs blue neolibs is lame team sport. TVNZ didn't use any political scientists for commentary and analysis. I presume that decision was due to academic irrelevance…

  2. Mike the Lefty 2

    If Seymour is ever questioned in depth about this policy, and unfortunately the media seldom ever bother to do this, he actually has no coherent idea of where he thinks this will lead the country.

    In other words it is just populist bluster, fishing for votes from the piously ignorant, of which there are (unfortunately) all too many.

    You hear National and ACT talking a lot about the economy, in fact that's just about all they ever talk about. Their logical theme tune would be Monty Python's "The Money Song". But you never hear them talking about a "knowledge economy". That's because their version of an efficient economy depends on the great unwashed toiling day in day out blissfully ignorant of how they are being ripped off so the corporate lords can live in luxury with tax cuts paid for by the poor.

  3. Mr Nobody 3

    Unfortunately, your belief seems to contradictory to the first-hand accounts we have from people present at the actual time.

    "I was present at the great meeting at Waitangi when the celebrated treaty was signed, and also at a meeting which took place subsequently on the same subject at Hokianga. There was a great deal of talk by the natives, principally on the subject of securing their proprietary right in the land and their personal liberty.

    Everything else they were only too happy to yeild to the Queen, as they said repeatedly, because they knew they could only be saved from the rule of other nations by sitting under the shadow of the Queen of England.

    In my hearing they frequently remarked: 'Let us be one people. We had the gospel from England, let us have the law from England.' My impression at this time was that the natives perfectly understood that by signing the treaty they became British subjects, and though I lived among them more than fifteen years after that event, and often conversed with them on the subject, I never saw the slightest reasons to change my opinion.

    The natives were at the time in mortal fear of the French, and justly thought they had done a pretty good stroke of business when they placed the British Lion between themselves and the French eagle."
    ~ Rev. John Warren

    or

    "The shadow of the land goes to the Queen but the substance remains with us and we shall still get the money."
    ~ Rerawa Chief Nopera Panakareao

    While you may believe that "to hold a referendum on whether its misguided view of the meaning of the Treaty would be a farce." it seems clear that considering that so much has been written, discussed and debated around the Treaty and still there no agreement on what it actually means that a referendum is the only choice forward if New Zealand wants to pursue a forward-facing future vs one constantly looking backwards.

    [it’s a requirement here that you post links with any and every quote. Please provide links now, and acknowledge you will do this going forward. You are in premod until that happens – weka]

    • SPC 3.1

      The natives were at the time in mortal fear of the French, and justly thought they had done a pretty good stroke of business when they placed the British Lion between themselves and the French eagle.
      ~ Rev. John Warren

      The National Party of Don Brash wanted to abolish the Maori seats and so the Maori Party formed and their votes were tied in servitude to National for the next 13 years, so their seats would survive.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_P%C4%81ti_M%C4%81ori

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Brash

    • weka 3.2

      mod note.

    • Mr Nobody 3.3

      Not sure how you would like me to post links to material contained in a book however:

      Chapter 1 – The Travesty of Waitangi – Stuart C. Scott
      ISBN : 0-473-03094-2

      • weka 3.3.1

        if the quotes aren't online, it's fine to reference a book, but presumably you typed it out by hand so can also supply the page number.

        However, in this instance your first quote is available online. Google the first sentence and provide the link.

        You haven't provided a reference for the second link.

        Nor agreed to what I asked.

        In addition to the above, please now also read this post and acknowledge you have understood.

        https://thestandard.org.nz/moderation-notes-in-election-year/

        • Mr Nobody 3.3.1.1

          My humble apology for not being specific enough with the link I provided for both of the quotes I used and for not acknowledging your request. Please accept this statement as my acknowledgement and the request to comply with the "moderation notes for election year" outlined as the provided link as of today's date which I have printed a copy of for my continued reference to ensure compliance.

          Quote 1

          "I was present at the great meeting at Waitangi when the celebrated treaty was signed, and also at a meeting which took place subsequently on the same subject at Hokianga. There was a great deal of talk by the natives, principally on the subject of securing their proprietary right in the land and their personal liberty.

          Everything else they were only too happy to yeild to the Queen, as they said repeatedly, because they knew they could only be saved from the rule of other nations by sitting under the shadow of the Queen of England.

          In my hearing they frequently remarked: 'Let us be one people. We had the gospel from England, let us have the law from England.' My impression at this time was that the natives perfectly understood that by signing the treaty they became British subjects, and though I lived among them more than fifteen years after that event, and often conversed with them on the subject, I never saw the slightest reasons to change my opinion.

          The natives were at the time in mortal fear of the French, and justly thought they had done a pretty good stroke of business when they placed the British Lion between themselves and the French eagle."
          ~ Rev. John Warren
          Chapter 1 – The Travesty of Waitangi – Stuart C. Scott
          ISBN : 0-473-03094-2 – Page 23

          Quote 2

          "The shadow of the land goes to the Queen but the substance remains with us and we shall still get the money."
          ~ Rerawa Chief Nopera Panakareao
          Chapter 1 – The Travesty of Waitangi – Stuart C. Scott
          ISBN : 0-473-03094-2 – Page 24

      • SPC 3.3.2

        Throughout the 1990s, in fact, media coverage of Waitangi Tribunal hearings and Treaty negotiations led to considerable anti-Treaty publicity, and a corpus of racist literature by authors such as Stuart C Scott became hugely popular in some quarters

        https://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-HilMaor-t1-body-d10-d3.html

        • SPC 3.3.2.1

          Among the latter is Batchelor’s own book – ‘Co-Governance – what it is, why it’s wrong, and why it must be stopped’. The book is a repackaging of many of the talking points he’s been making in his meetings, which roughly follow this format:

          First he tells the audience that New Zealand is at war, and sets out the goals of Te Pāti Māori. Then he cites historian Stuart C Scott on the future of Treaty settlements, saying that they will go on “ad infinitum”.

          Then citing the New Zealand Centre for Political Research he runs through how society would be affected by co-governance policies in spheres such as media, healthcare, justice, water rights and local government.

          Next, he runs through the Treaty articles and compares them to how co-governance is playing out and could play out in future, before appealing to his audience to join him in a march through Wellington later in the year calling on whomever is next in government to repeal these policies.

          His research relies heavily on the work of Stuart C Scott, particularly his 1995 work ‘The Travesty of Waitangi’.

          It’s not the most solid of citations. A bit of research into Scott finds little apart from a handful of Amazon reviews for the out-of-print book and this from Richard S Hill’s ‘Māori and the State: Crown-Māori Relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1950-2000’:

          “Throughout the 1990s, in fact, media coverage of Waitangi Tribunal hearings and Treaty negotiations led to considerable anti-Treaty publicity, and a corpus of racist literature by authors such as Stuart C Scott became hugely popular in some quarters.”

          The front cover for the book was designed by cartoonist Garrick Tremain, who was himself accused of racism following a satire of the measles epidemic in Samoa in 2019.

          That last fact may be totally by the by, but Scott is still a bit of a cherry-pick.

          https://www.newsroom.co.nz/fact-checking-the-co-governance-roadshow

        • Mr Nobody 3.3.2.2

          "and a corpus of racist literature by authors such as Stuart C Scott"

          I can't comment in regards to Stuart C Scott as a whole (I only have the one book by him), however from what I do have I would say I wouldn't agree with his perspective.

          He has some interesting source material such as the quotes I used, extracts from Newspaper articles, Letters to the editors, Political Cartoons and Legal & Waitangi Tribunal decisions etc however his conclusions and opinions I feel take a narrow view of the issue(s) he discusses.

          But as a $0.50c buy from a book fair its been value for money.

    • SPC 3.4

      "The shadow of the land goes to the Queen but the substance remains with us and we shall still get the money."
      ~ Rerawa Chief Nopera Panakareao

      https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/2018/07/na-niu-tireni-new-zealand-made/

    • mickysavage 3.5

      Can't you do better than this? Third hand comments from a European Reverend recorded in a book that has few followers apart from Julian Batchelor? How about you do something brave and argue the actual words of the treaty? Not some third hand guestimate of how an entire race was feeling?

      • James Simpson 3.5.1

        Although I don't necessarily disagree with your conclusion MS, its important to always apply the purposive “purposive approach” to interpretation. Especially with an historic document where there is clear debate over what the parties intended.

        Looking at historic recollections and records is important in working out what on earth both sides of the treaty thought they were doing.

      • Mr Nobody 3.5.2

        Can't you do better than this?

        Better than the 1st hand words of people who were actually present at the time of the signing and one who subsequently remained part of the community for a further 15 years afterwards vs arguments presented by others?

        How about you do something brave and argue the actual words of the treaty?

        And that is the problem. There is no agreement on the words. We have two text versions (arguably 3 versions) of the treaty using differing words, which hold differing meanings and that's before we even start with the emotive side of the treaty.

        As a result (in my opinion) there are realistically only 2 options available to New Zealand:
        1) The status quo. We do nothing and continue with the settlement process which is never going to end because we will never reach a point where everybody is happy and social cohesion will continue to deteriorate.

        or

        2) The leaders of this ask its citizens how they perceive the treaty and how they want to implement it (if they do) into our nation, our laws and society.

        • SPC 3.5.2.1

          So an advocacy for ACT policy, populism and the fingers to the UN on indigenous rights.

          But remember when the boomers die and the majority do not own property, there will be all sorts of taxation – stamp duty, estate tax, wealth tax, land tax until there is funding for income related state housing for every retired worker.

          • Mr Nobody 3.5.2.1.1

            In regards to their Treaty Policy yes.

            Unfortunately we can't pick and choose policies and we have a "Take or Leave it all approach". I sometime think it would be be nice that instead of having list vote we got a policy vote so you could vote for your local electorate MP and then the Policies you agree with.

            Eg I might vote for Acts Treaty Policy, Greens Wealth Tax Policy, Nationals Crime Policy etc. Then those votes get distributed to the party whose policy it is and we the voters end up with representatives who a) have a direct interest in their local community and ones whose policy are most important to the electorate.

            Nice to dream.

        • mickysavage 3.5.2.2

          But your analysis does not involve even the most cursory examination of the words of the treaty, rather it relies on something someone who I have never heard of said.

          • Mr Nobody 3.5.2.2.1

            "your analysis does not involve even the most cursory examination of the words of the treaty"

            No because there isn't agreement on what those in the treaty me and that'd the problem.

            The were still debating the meaning of the words behind the treaty 183 years after it was signed and Gawd only knows how many books, academic papers etc written by people far more learned than myself indicates

            a) The treaty is worthless because there isn't agreement about what it means

            b) Nothing I say about the text of the treaty has likely not already been said

            c) It is time for New Zealanders to decide its path forward and whether that path will be forward looking and rearward facing.

    • Peter Wilson 3.6

      Please provide some details on your source Stuart C Scott as I can find nothing which establishes any form of credibility as a commentator on this subject

      • Mr Nobody 3.6.1

        The quotes made are by Rev. John Warren and Rerawa Chief Nopera Panakareao and published in a book written by Scott.

        Rev John Warren was English Missionary present at the signing of the treaty. A summary of his life can be found in his obituary here.

        Rerawa Chief Nopera Panakareoa was also present at the signing. I haven't been able to find out much about him other than this.

  4. Mr Nobody 4

    Might I also add:

    "There is simply no one correct interpretation of the treaty"

    ~The Treaty of Waitangi Education Series – Book 1 – The Story of the Treaty
    – State Services Commission 2006 – ISBN 0-478-24477-0

  5. LawfulN 5

    This post ignores the common principle in moral philosophy that fundamentally unjust agreements cannot be enforced. To wit, article 2 allows Māori undisturbed possession of their properties, which at the time included other Māori. Insofar as 'properties' includes ownership of people, it cannot and should not be enforced.

    Similarly, anything else in article 1 or 2 that is fundamentally unjust should be null and void. ACT is claiming that race-based rights are fundamentally unjust. Whether that is true or not in the context of the Treaty is an open question and would involve tortuous argument to prove one way or the other. But it is not a question that cannot be answered by pointing to the text of the Treaty – to do so is question begging, and virtually everyone who defends the Treaty makes this same error.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Que?

      The rights attach to Maori status as indigenous people not because of the colour of their skin.

      I take it you also think that it is morally unjust that Maori die 7 years earlier to Pakeha?

      • LawfulN 5.1.1

        The idea that there are special rights that attach to people because they are indigenous is exactly what is in dispute. You'll won't convince the other side if you just assert that they are nothing to worry about.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          Exactly what are these worries in reality? That racial bigotry will get a bad name? Because that is exactly what Act and you sound like to me.

          Insofar as 'properties' includes ownership of people, it cannot and should not be enforced.

          The treaty doesn't grant many 'special rights'. Even in the English version…

          It affirmed the rights that Maori already had prior to the treaty like having a affinity and duty to the preservation of their land and country, and specifically their land.

          Of course the later greed of settlers and some really bad laws removed most of that. Not to mention the punitive seizing of land by the crown against iwi and hapu involved in all side during the NZ land wars.

          Removed some like being able to have a foreign policy and to mount a defence against invaders.

          And in addition granted the same rights to Moari as British citizens had. Which incidentally is where the property rights came from. But it also gave them the obligations of British citizens.

          That means that things like slavery got outlawed, exactly as they did with all of the British citizens in the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. And the British citizens who still had slaves offshore in 1840, including in NZ.

          This was a pretty major topic raised during the signing of the treaty as contemporary accounts made clear.

          Basically you appear to be a dimwitted horses arse to even bring that up.

          Clearly totally ignorant of the laws of this country or its history.

          • LawfulN 5.1.1.1.1

            Sorry Lynn. I've long since learned not to take anything you say seriously. You're all bluster and no brains (you brag about having an MBA… lol).

            • SPC 5.1.1.1.1.1

              What do you say about DPF on Kiwiblog,

              the sun shines on the path behind you where we walk

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah right, and I notice that you didn't dispute any of the points I raised about your level of ignorance about the Treaty, history, basic law in this country or that I think that you are a just a simple-minded racist and Act is a party pandering to them.

              Like my education, work experience, computing and web knowledge, and very long family settlement history here – these are just facts.

              You may not like them. But like your bigotry and stupidity that is your burden to bear. I don't have to pander to it.

    • AB 5.2

      anything … that is fundamentally unjust should be null and void.

      If protecting some special rights for an indigenous people is fundamentally unjust, was not their prior colonisation and dispossession by people from another place also "fundamentally unjust"? So does this mean that all of us of European descent have to leave, even though such an expulsion might itself be fundamentally unjust because the prior fundamental injustice takes priority over the latter one?

      History is littered with fundamental injustices. The Treaty, and our contemporary attempts to recognise it, is a way of reaching an accommodation with the tides of history. Without it, we lapse into either your sort of purist fundamentalism, or that of the Maori nationalists. If that happens, it all ends in violence and the failure of the New Zealand project.

    • SPC 5.3

      What has moral philosophy to do with law?

      Women were not allowed to vote at the time, Nor those men who did not own property. And yet there was law over all. Women were effectively the property of their husbands, in some matters.

      This post ignores the common principle in moral philosophy that fundamentally unjust agreements cannot be enforced

      The Treaty of Waitangi, 1840, outlawed the taking of slaves, and made all Māori British citizens, but did not affect pre-Treaty arrangements. A principle of law is that existing arrangements cannot be undone – why new taxes are not backdated etc.

      And yet the New Zealand parliament passed laws (without he consent of the Treaty partner) enabling the appropriation of Maori land and enforced this.

      You mention ACT and thus make a joke of your intellectual credentials.

      ACT is claiming that race-based rights are fundamentally unjust. Whether that is true or not in the context of the Treaty is an open question and would involve tortuous argument to prove one way or the other.

      Neither the Treaty, nor indigenous rights (UNDRIP) are race based issues.

  6. lprent 6

    It is getting increasingly different hard to see a difference between David Seymour and Winston Peters except that Peters has ministerial experience.

    The difference between Act and NZF policy appears to be solely about who gets taxed and how what parts of the public social systems are allowed to remain.

    Plus of course public NZ First support rises towards an election while that of Act scampers away.

  7. Ad 7

    This is s big reason why I will vote to ensure Labour forms the ground leading to the 2040 bicentennial.

    I am not afraid of his debate, but the protester encampment at Parliament last year after a year of super -rational governance, shows that the nut jobs will gather in fearsome crowds for a Treaty referendum. It will break more of our society permanently.

    I do not trust any party other than Labour to suppress latent civic rebellion.

    • SPC 7.1

      The combination of home ownership inequality, the most unfair tax regime (regressive GST without tax on assets/wealth/land banking/property trading/windfall profits tax on monopolies) in the OECD and adoption of ACT policy (imprisonment and alienation) and Mitchell's return to a fear/respect authority regime establishment – well it's all indicative of class war.

      In the USA it's the old white supremacism order, going nationwide via the GOP's decision in the 70's to rebuild in the south – current form red MAGA cap populist (post Tea Party anti-government libertarianism promoted by Charles Koch). It's based on the right wing politics of South America.

      The decision of NACT to go this way – will have social-political consequences (1975 super issue and anti-unionism – had economic consequences, loss of ownership of banking/finance sector and low worker productivity) as per 1970's-1980's Mestizo vs the gated community junta South America.

      • Michael P 7.1.1

        "…the most unfair tax regime…"

        Yep and Labor has had a majority Government where they could have implemented proper changes to make our tax system fairer.

        They got their report back about one unfair aspect of the system (the very wealthy paying less than 10% income tax) but then categorically stated they are going to do nothing about it. What a staggering missed opportunity.

        A politician who actually cares and has the will to do the right thing is needed. We don't need capital gains taxes, wealth taxes, etc in order to implement huge change for more fairness. All that needs to be done is to define 'income' correctly to include all income. If someone buys and sells houses then the capital gains are income and should have income tax applied, It is disgustingly unfair to apply income tax to a minimum wage workers hard earned hourly pay and then try and say that unearned income from doing nothing other than having capital is not really income…

        If it is money coming in then it should be treated as income because that is what it is..

        At the same time get rid of any and all loopholes, exemptions, etc. I don’t subscribe to wanting to tax the rich more, I just want a fair system which will mean those with more pay their fair share

        Then eventually the tax burden can and should be shifted completely away from work and towards unearned income and wealth.

      • Michael P 7.1.2

        "Old white supremacism…" was a Democratic party thing wasn't it?

        • SPC 7.1.2.1

          In the beginning (it was a long time ago), Joseph Biden was going to the funeral of a Senate colleague – and it was a KKK gathering. By the time he became VP he had attended funerals of those across the aisle – also KKK gatherings.

          It was JFK and his brother that wot done it. The Voting Rights Act 1963 and those civil rights lawyers that lost the Democratic Party the old south.

          The GOP of Nixon (and Hoover tbh) had to find fellow crooks to work with.

  8. observer 8

    Calling for a referendum to "solve" an issue is usually (not always) a publicity stunt.

    The obvious question is: what do the losers do afterwards?

    Last night both National and Labour leaders said they favoured a flag change. But hang on, didn't we have a referendum?

    Many people oppose MMP and want it changed. But hang on, didn't we have a referendum in 1993 and again in 2011?

    Many people think our cannabis laws should change. But hang on, didn't we have a referendum in 2020?

    And so on.

    The Treaty would not go away. Maori would not go away. Nothing would be "solved" because opinions don't go away.

    (Of course Seymour knows this, and he also knows that a National PM is never going to agree to it anyway. Never mind dividing the country, it would divide even the National party. Political suicide).

    • James Simpson 8.1

      You make a very good point. And to add to that, this issue never goes away.

      I don't see a middle ground between the two opposing views. It doesn't matter what the courts say, what academics say or what humble bloggers say.

      Some people are fundamentally opposed to the concept of seperate indigenous rights.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        What I tend to find amusing in a dark humour way is that the same people are usually opposed to anyone apart from themselves of having any real rights at all when push comes to shove.

        That point is always when you point out a basic structural societal inequity, like the pay equity between genders, mortality rates amongst demographic sectors, etc etc – then point out that their concerns are usually about making things better for themselves.

        FFS: the most hilarious one I ran across was a guy who seemed to think that women in our society had a life expectancy a years more than him was a cause for concern (actually an involved conspiracy theory) and should be urgently addressed. While the much lower life expectancy of Maori wasn't a problem because "they did it to themselves".

        Needless to say he was overweight, took little exercise, smoked and was a conspicuous drinker. He really didn't like it when I pointed out how he didn't meet his own criteria as a worthy recipient of societal help to remove this life expectancy discrimination.

    • Michael P 8.2

      Maybe have a referendum and anything that is proposed going forward as the agreed principles, meaning, etc needs to be agreed to and signed off by Iwi?

    • Mike the Lefty 8.3

      If there was a referendum on the Treaty of Waitangi, you can guarantee that Seymour will make sure the questions will be worded so ambiguously that he will claim it as a mandate to do anything he likes.

    • Michael P 8.4

      "what do the losers do afterwards?…"

      They accept the fact that they lost and we carry on.

      Democracy (such democracy that we have) only works with the consent of the losers (the minority). Anybody who won't accept a referendum result that they lose doesn't believe in democracy.

      • observer 8.4.1

        Missing the point. People (mostly) accept election results because we all get another vote 3 years later. But we can't rewrite the Treaty every 3 years.

        Do you seriously believe the likes of Hobson's Pledge, the assorted critics of (ill-defined) co-governance, NZ First, ACT, the itch-scratchers … would suddenly say "OK, we had the referendum, lost 55-45 and so we will go away now!".

        Of course they wouldn't. They would barely pause for breath.

        And on the other side, even the huge hikoi on foreshore and seabed would be dwarfed by the protests … it would be 1981, multiplied.

        It is frankly naive to think anything else would happen.

  9. AB 9

    At one level, Seymour is just trying to hoover up any votes he can from the margins. At another level, it all makes sense ideologically. Maori collective ownership and Maori tribal structures potentially mean resources (natural and human) that are outside the reach of the free market. Any resources outside the market are a double problem for him and his backers: first as a lost opportunity for private profit, and second as a potential source of ideological contagion in the form of a successful non-market approach to sustainable common resource management.

  10. Thinker 10

    Let's put aside the matter of The Treaty and what it says/means and doesn't say/mean, for a moment.

    It's a fact that Maori were established in this country before Tasman or Cook. In their own way, we could say they had a thriving society by 1769. That does make them indigenous.

    And (let's put aside the word 'colonisation' and what it means/doesn't mean) Maori are below par in most of the "good" statistics and above par in most of the "bad" statistics. In my opinion, it is this that is driving disharmony, to the extent that it exists, and The Treaty debate is symbolic of those issues.

    In other words, we are where we are. None of us can go back to either 1840 or 1769 and change things but we can recognise where the wheels fell off and do our best to put them back on again, as partners, because it is the right thing to do, regardless of words on a paper.

    In his famous speech, John F Kennedy said "I'm not talking about a Pax Americana". Not being a student of Latin, I knew the phrase long before I understood what it means. It means that peace based on someone having the power to dictate the extent to which others can or can't have equality is not at all true peace and, in consequence, equality can never happen.

    Treaty wordsmithing issues aside, New Zealand is a partner in the United Nations and the UN declaration on indigenous rights is enough to tell us to move away from the "Pax Queen Victoria" model and towards a true partnership model.

    • Charlotte Rust 10.1

      Truly brilliant summation, thankyou and I couldn’t agree more.

      I trust Māori to be custodians of this land and resources more than I trust ACT (and National) and its sponsors. Frankly I don’t think there would be much left for us ordinary pakeha citizens if Seymour let rip.

  11. adam 11

    It must be so hard being a profit-oriented parasite, offering up a uncaring utopia of bureaucratic purity.

    BUT THEN

    They are trying to buy an election, and then… people like mickey savage point out things like facts.

    • Gosman 11.1

      Hardly facts. He misquotes a key element of Article 3 of the Treaty.

    • Michael P 11.2

      "…It must be so hard being a profit-oriented parasite…"

      Isn't anybody who starts / runs a business and anyone who works for pay profit oriented? without profit there would be no businesses and no work.

      • adam 11.2.1

        As I'm no devotee of liberalism, can I offer some suggestions for reading Micheal P.

        Marx, because you know, even as a Christian I see value in his analysis.

        Marlynn Wering, does a lot of bloody great work on economics and work.

        Malcolm X, because you seemed to have missed the difference between a parasite and person with a moral code.

        Dorothy Day, because everyday we should cherish our servants of God.

        Kropotkin and Bookchin, more economic models – outside the ideology of Liberalism.

  12. Gosman 12

    Article 3 states "rights and duties" not "rights and privileges". It is an important distinction. What do you think these "duties" Maori took upon were?

    • Incognito 12.1

      Sigh

      Scroll down to The Treaty – Original English version.

      Learn to read before you comment here.

    • adam 12.2

      Come on Gossy, stop spouting bullshit lines from a very bad faith actor in NZ politics.

      Or is that your new normal – pick the worst bad faith actor and quote to your little hearts content?

      As a immigrant you have the responsibility to sort your shit out about the treaty before you come here, and if you don't like it – don't come. Rather than go I like the land, I think I'll steal it for myself. Because you know it is the same shit, different packaging.

  13. Incognito 13

    If an agreement were to be changed, both (assuming two) partners would have an equal say and it would be by mutual agreement only. Any other way would be fundamentally wrong. Any referendum – given that dealing with the issue is too hard for some wannabe Government politicians – would have to be put to voters on both the general and Māori electoral rolls. Only then can the result be accepted as ‘both peoples have spoken’.

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  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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