Maori seats against the Treaty of Waitangi

It seems that whatever happens in New Zealand, we are told we have to reserve some special space for Maori as part of our “treaty obligations”. The Maori Party wants to have special Maori seats on the Auckland council for example.

Many people say the Treaty of Waitangi established a “partnership” between Maori and the Crown.

But most of the people promoting these ideas don’t seem to have actually read the Treaty. The three articles of the Treaty of Waitangi are:

Article the first

The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Article the second

Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof 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; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article the third

In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

To summarise, the chiefs were to hand over all sovereignty to the Queen (Article 1), while retaining full ownership of all their lands and possessions (Article 2), and gaining the protection of the British Empire and the same rights as any other British subjects (Article 3).

Importantly, in Article 3 the Treaty established one law for all New Zealanders.

The Treaty never  suggests a partnership. In fact, it specifically precludes it, when it says the Chiefs will “cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty”.

Some people claim the Maori version was translated poorly, and the Chiefs understood this to mean something else. So, what does a literal English translation of the Maori version state?

The Chiefs of the Confederation and all the chiefs who have not joined that Confederation give absolutely to the Queen of England for ever the complete government over their land.

This is even clearer!

The Chiefs may however have had a different idea to the Crown about what this word “government” actually extended to. They may have believed the Crown would have had a more limited role and they would have had greater freedom to run their own affairs. If you believed this to be true, you could argue for a smaller government on the basis of the Treaty.

But I have never heard anyone argue for this. On the contrary, most activists appear to be socialists wanting to extend the State further, while giving special treatment to anyone with brown skin.

I am sure those who signed the Treaty would be disgusted.

We are one heavily interbred people. It is pointless to maintain a racial divide that becomes more artificial with each generation. Let’s embrace the Treaty of Waitangi instead, and have one law for all New Zealanders.

12 Responses to “Maori seats against the Treaty of Waitangi”

  1. Kiwi Polemicist Says:

    Not only are Maori seats agin the treaty, they’re undemocratic and an egregious example of reverse racism.

    It’s interesting that the census data is useless these days, because it basically asks what racial group you identify with. Genetics is irrelevant.

    http://kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/maori-seats-are-undemocratic/

  2. Mr Dennis Says:

    “Reverse racism”? What on earth is that? Racism is racism, whoever is being racist.

    I agree about the census data. Most if not all Maori have some other ancestry, meaning that anyone calling themselves Maori is choosing to remember part of their heritage and ignore the rest. And many people calling themselves Pakeha are choosing to ignore their Maori ancestry. The whole thing is pointless.

  3. Glenn Says:

    “Reverse racism” is so called because people assume that normal racism is something that white people do. When the racism is wielded against white people, therefore, it is called “reverse.” In other words, “reverse racism” is a racist term.

  4. Russell Stone on revisionist Maori history « Kiwi Polemicist Says:

    […] Maori history, although he accepts that the Treaty of Waitangi implies partnership, which is tosh. Samuel Dennis covers that […]

  5. dave Says:

    THe Maori seats are not based on the Treaty. They are based on right of indigenous first occupancy, but also reflected by an interpretation of the treaty you dont espouse, thats all. And it is protection, not partnership, that you should be focussing your cooments on.

  6. Mr Dennis Says:

    Dave, I agree that protection is supported by the treaty, while partnership is not. My point is that many people seem to think the treaty created a partnership – which it looks like we can both agree is incorrect.

    The Maori seats were based on a practical and temporary need to ensure the democratic representation of a people who were not familiar with democracy. I agree they were not based on the treaty, but on pragmatism. And partly because they are not based on the treaty, their continued existence long after that pragmatic need has disappeared contravenes the treaty.

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