Friday, November 16, 2012
Mike Butler: Review fudges two-world treaty push
The Queen is sovereign and Maori are her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property is a widespread interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi that goes back 172 years. Another interpretation that goes back about 30 years is that it confirmed Maori sovereignty over all things Maori while giving to the Crown limited power to control new settlers. Which interpretation are you familiar with?
The Constitutional Advisory Panel is reviewing the role of the Treaty within New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements without mentioning that there are two opposing views about the meaning and intent of the Treaty, one of which asserts Maori sovereignty and limits government control to non-Maori who have been written out of the treaty.
The Treaty is a three-paragraph agreement with a preamble and a post-script signed by Governor William Hobson on behalf of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and 512 chiefs at 34 locations around New Zealand between February 6 and May 21, 1840. All but 39 chiefs signed the Maori language text.
The Constitutional Advisory Panel asserts that the "accepted position" of the Treaty is "as the founding document of Government in New Zealand". The panel says "because of the differences between the two texts of the Treaty and the need to apply the treaty to changing conditions, attempts have been made to distil a set of principles from the Treaty." The panel also says "the Waitangi Tribunal has been the body responsible for defining what the Treaty means in a modern context". (1)
The panel does not specify what treaty interpretation it is using.
A check on the Waitangi Tribunal’s website reveals that the tribunal has declared that the treaty it uses confirmed Maori sovereignty over all things Maori while giving to the Crown limited power to control new settlers. The website includes former tribunal member Hugh Kawharu’s translation of the Maori Te Tiriti that, unlike the Maori and English texts also posted on that site, includes 11 footnotes that carefully redefine key words.
Herein lies the problem: The insiders of the Constitutional Advisory Panel and the Waitangi Tribunal are proceeding based on a redefined biculturalist treaty while everyone outside this select group are thinking about the historic treaty in which “the Queen is sovereign and Maori are her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property”.
The consequences of the new, redefined, biculturalist treaty are everywhere to be seen – tribalists benefiting from fisheries quota, cash and half a big fishing company, Crown forestry rentals set aside in an untaxed trust, 35 settlements totalling over $1.7-billion, top-ups for the richest tribes who pay little tax, and running costs of $170-million a year for the Waitangi Tribunal and Office of Treaty Settlements, plus $26-million a year spent by Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
But calls for Maori self-determination did not start out as a means of fleecing the government of large wads of cash and resources. The roots of separatist subversion in New Zealand may be traced back to 80 years ago, when communist parties around the world adopted a “popular front” strategy that involved organising coalitions with disaffected groups in the name of “democracy, justice and peace” as the key strategy to bring about the great communist revolution. (2)
The Communist Party of New Zealand ran in the 1935 general election on a platform that included “self-determination for the Maoris [sic] to the point of complete separation.” Here was the point at which this catch-cry first entered our national discourse.
This push started to take hold when post-war urbanisation brought numerous Maori to universities and the trade union movement. This coincided with Italian communist Antonio Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions” in which western university students were brainwashed into propagating Marxist myths without realising they were Marxist.
The mixture of Marxists and Maori studies specialists that make up the bulk of the constitutional advisory panel shows that Gramsci’s “long march” has made it to the halls of power and is about to help pass control of the country forever out of the hands of citizens of this country.
How was the Treaty transformed from “the Queen is sovereign and Maori are her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property” to a redefined biculturalist treaty that confirms “Maori sovereignty over all things Maori while giving to the Crown limited power to control new settlers”? The answer lies in the Kawharu translation of Te Tiriti.
The Treaty was drafted in English and translated into Maori. In a translation of a document from one language into another, the intent and meaning is created in the source document and this should be conveyed into the phrasing of the translation. The word “sovereignty” in Article 1 was translated into “kawanatanga” and the word “possession” in Article 2 was translated into “rangatiratanga”.
Kawharu apparently ignored the English source text, maintained that “kawanatanga” meant “government” and argued that Maori signatories would have no understanding of government in the sense of “sovereignty”. (3)
He said “rangatiratanga” meant “chieftainship” and argued that, in conjunction with the word “tino”, would emphasise to a chief the Queen's intention to give them complete control according to their customs.
Basing his translation on supposition, on what he thought the chiefs in 1840 may or may not have understood, he apparently failed to check comments made by chiefs at the February 5, 1850, discussion, and recorded by William Colenso.
For instance Te Kemara, a chief of the Ngatikawa, showed he understood that ceding sovereignty meant that the Queen and the governor would be chiefs over the chiefs when he said "but for the Governor to be up and Te Kemara down -Governor high up, up, up, and Te Kemara down low, small, a worm, a crawler -no, no, no" (4)
I wrote to Bill English as one Minister in charge of the Constitutional Advisory Panel, on September 18 this year to let him know that "New Zealand's Constitution - the conversation so far", included a fundamental error on page 9 which said: "The Treaty records an agreement that enabled the British to establish a government in New Zealand and confirmed to Maori the right to continue to exercise rangatiratanga".
I received a reply on September 26 that said my letter would be treated as a submission.
Re-definition of the words “kawanatanga” and “rangatiratanga” has created a conflicting version of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Constitutional Advisory Panel is proceeding using a version of the Treaty that confirms “Maori sovereignty over all things Maori while giving to the Crown limited power to control new settlers” while everyone outside the biculturalist inner circle happily thinks that the Treaty means “the Queen is sovereign and Maori are her subjects, with the rights of subjects, including possession of property”.
Having two conflicting versions of the Treaty creates enough reasonable doubt to make the cross-party panel of MPs who will consider Constitutional Advisory Panel recommendations to think long and hard before lurching towards any indigenous rights solution. In fact, there is enough reasonable doubt to argue that the Treaty should be kept far aware from the New Zealand constitution until the contradictions outlined are resolved.
1. NZ’s Constitution – the conversation so far http://www2.justice.govt.nz/cap-interim/documents/CAP%20-%20summary%20info%20booklet.doc, pages 52-62
2. Reuben P. Chapple, The Nature and Origins of Racial Subversion, http://www.nzcpr.com/soapbox.htm
3. Kawharu Translation, Waitangi Tribunal, http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/treaty/kawharutranslation.asp
4. William Colenso, The Authentic and genuine history of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, www.waitangi.com/colenso/colhis1.html
at 2:15 PM