How the Treaty saves us from neoliberalism you fools!

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The Treaty of Waitangi, and a Māori worldview are taking a greater role in shaping how we interact with the world

For decades, the Treaty of Waitangi has formed a part of New Zealand’s approach to trade. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta is kicking it up a notch. National Correspondent Lucy Craymer explains.

When the epochal Uruguay Round of global trade talks was happening almost four decades ago, New Zealand’s chief negotiator had a premonition.

Tim Groser reckoned the global trade arrangements being formed might – in ways he could not anticipate – come into conflict with the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1986, with a Labour Government led by David Lange in office, and vast economic and social reforms sweeping change across the nation at a breakneck speed, the modern significance of Te Tiriti was only starting to come into view.

“We could see a potential political problem arising whereby people would want to do things that we couldn’t quite foresee, in respect to the treaty,” Groser says. “We needed to avoid trade agreements getting in the way of that.”

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The negotiation brought about the biggest reform to global trade ever and led to the creation of the World Trade Organisation. A clause was included allowing New Zealand to meet its treaty obligations, even if this meant breaching the global agreement.

Groser says it went through with no controversy and little publicity, even in New Zealand.

“I don’t think a single country raised a question let alone an objection. It’s not surprising. Why would they? Countries have bigger fish to fry,” he says.

A version of this clause, which allows the government to deliver on Te Tiriti ahead of its free trade obligations, has been included in every agreement since.

Most Pakeha don’t know that the Treaty is our out clause in free trade deals.

We can side track the exploitation by global corporations using the Treaty!

For me, I love the Treaty because of the relationship of responsibility it immediately sets up between the Crown and its people. I believe the Treaty needs to be expanded to all NZers and not just Maori because it sets out the obligations of the Crown to protect the rights of its people. We deserve as a nation to entrench the Treaty as the basis of our constitution so we can force Governments to protect our rights rather than strip us of them.

Pakeha want to gloss over the theft and confiscation of indigenous lands because it’s a shameful denial of the promise of a Treaty between two peoples and when you consider the paltry compensation that has been paid back to Maori via the Waitangi Tribunal, it’s a mere $1.4 Billion.

$1.2 Billion for confiscating the majority of NZ??? What is most egregious is that some Pakeha have the audacity to claim that pathetic reparation is a ‘gravy train’.

Paul Goldsmith’s assertion that colonisation has been wonderful because Māori gained literacy is jaw dropping in its stupidity!

One of the problems with NZ politics is that we have a unicameral Parliament, that means we just have one chamber with no upper house. This means NZs Parliament is one of the most powerful Parliaments in the world. It allows for legislation to be read straight into law and is one of the reasons why the neoliberal revolution was so ruthless and impossible to reverse.

I think one solution to the Waitangi Tribunal ruling is to consider a NZ Parliament Upper House that has 50-50 representation between Maori and Pakeha. If Sovereignty was never signed away, then the Government of today has a responsibility beyond paltry compensation for past injustices , it must provide real power sharing solutions.

Having a 50-50 Upper House with the power to delay legislation that was not in the best interests of the Nation when it comes to Treaty issues would stop Government’s from fire sales of national assets and prevent things like the Foreshore and Seabed legislation from becoming law.

An Upper House would be seen as a guardian of the Treaty for the maintenance of public well being over private gain, it would show real power sharing and for Pakeha, it would represent a political body that protect their public interests as much as Maori interests.

The Treaty saves us from neoliberalism you fools!

 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. “I believe the Treaty needs to be expanded to all NZers and not just Maori because it sets out the obligations of the Crown to protect the rights of its people.”

    Does that mean my 90 year old Pakeha Parents will finally be afforded a few human rights ? They’ve suffered almost 4 years of on-going violent intimidation (requiring multiple Police visits), enforced chronic sleep deprivation & intense anti-social behaviour from their male Maori neighbour on the other side of their dividing-wall. He clearly enjoys it. My Mother in Wellington Hospital on two occasions as a direct result. No consequences for him, zero rights for them. The Powerful & Powerless.

    • swordfish, how is this a battle between maori and pakeha? it is just plain antisocial behaviour. Unless the unruly neighbour has been given preferences because he is maori, race has nothing to do with it. Sadly your attempt to make it about race shows how entrenched racism is in our society.

      • You’re the only one describing this as “a battle between maori and pakeha”

        My parents, incidentally, are not only lifelong Labour supporters but also longtime Labour activists (as were my Grandparents) … they have a proud history of marching against Springbok Tours (1960 / 76 / 81) & my Mother was one of the first Pakeha to learn Te Reo in a formal educational setting (as a teenager at a Wellington Educational Institute’s night classes in 1948).

  2. Thank-you Martyn for a thought provoking perspective. Not sure I want more politicians in Wellington though! Could we reduce the numbers in the lower house maybe.

    • Kia ora Denny
      I don’t know about your choice of language, but Martyn should look to himself before he labels his critics “fools”. The Crown (wrongly by any reasonable interpretation) claims right of sovereignty through the treaty. That claim, if warranted, would give the Crown, in the person of the monarch, complete authority over the people of Aotearoa – Maori and Pakeha. That is a power that has been egregiously abused in the past and will be abused in the future, and which constantly demeans us a people. Martyn’s assertion that our rights come from the Crown is a reprehensible assault on the spirit of democracy and mana motuhake.
      I won’t try to detail how wrong he is here, but refer anyone interested to my latest post at http://www.republican.co.nz
      Nga mihi
      Geoff

  3. Given all the above, remind me again why we should have a four year term.
    I’d rather wait till there are a few more checks in place.

    There are reasons why we shouldn’t feed animals in the zoo

  4. ‘We can side track the exploitation by global corporations using the Treaty!’

    We can if the uninformed masses keep voting for saboteurs. And that’s exactly what they do because they are lied to constantly but believe the lies.

    Anyway, it’s the job of the government to defend and promote dysfunction on the path to extinction. So that’s what they do -defend and promote dysfunction.

    • Dammit! Early morning syndrome.
      That was supposed to be:.

      ‘We can side track the exploitation by global corporations using the Treaty!’

      We can’t if the uninformed masses keep voting for saboteurs. And that’s exactly what they do, because they are lied to constantly but believe the lies.

      By the way, atmospheric CO2 is currently 420 ppm, and the combination of ‘free trade’, neoliberalism, consumerism and the remnants of tourism will push it to 423 ppm this time next years.

  5. …’the Treaty saves us from neoliberalism’…
    —————-
    I have long thought this. If our assets are invested by law into the care of the people of this country via the Treaty, greedy opportunistic neo liberal pirates and their foreign offshore mates have a much harder time flogging off our assets. It would be interesting to see if there was insider trading going on during that period of ‘restructuring’ via shares, trusts etc,… we need to open up the books for public perusal…

    —————-
    …’Pakeha want to gloss over the theft and confiscation of indigenous lands because it’s a shameful denial of the promise of a Treaty between two peoples and when you consider the paltry compensation that has been paid back to Maori via the Waitangi Tribunal, it’s a mere $1.4 Billion’… $1.2 Billion for confiscating the majority of NZ??? What is most egregious is that some Pakeha have the audacity to claim that pathetic reparation is a ‘gravy train’…

    ————–

    Indeed, and if modern inflationary figures were used relative to land productivity over a 100 year period, – all colonial descendants would be so much up to their ears in debt to the Maori Iwi’s they wouldn’t be able to pay it back for 500 years and more. Notwithstanding the fact that would never bring back the Maori lives cut short defending their lands and way of life in the 1860’s. The very least we could do is create a national monument in honor of the many who lost their lives defending their land and people and way of life.

    And its time we gave something back.

    This nation was/is based on deceit, theft , land grabs and enforced wars for material gain. Fact. The idea of the upper house is a necessity. We just cannot trust the system we have now as they ( current political crop and the future ones ) wield far too much power to do whatever the fuck they please and ignore our wishes in the process. Such as the prodigy’s of Roger Douglas have done ( and are still doing ) for 36 years.

    Here’s one I often use, says it all.

    Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning
    https://youtu.be/ejorQVy3m8E?t=7

    Its time to start acting like a community instead of a bunch of rats climbing all over the top of each other.

  6. I immediately thought of Mr T.
    “How the Treaty saves us from neoliberalism you fools!”
    Well, it doesn’t. And it didn’t. Nothing did, will or could under present circumstances.
    If we stood up and said ” Oi? You’s? If you come here to take our stuff and things we’ll read you a passage out from our treaty! That’ll learn ya. ”
    Then? When our invaders stopped rolling about in hysterical laughter they’d dispatch a Wart Hog to vaporise our arses with cannon fire. Or they’d simply buy our country then deport us to the Easter Islands.
    The Treaty, like all documents is only as viable and binding as the fire power behind it. Look around? Do you see fire power? With the utmost respect for the intentions of The Treaty, it’s meaningless because we, like it, have no teeth. If the Russians said ” Here’s our treaty. If you fuck around with us we’ll bomb you flatter than judith collin’s feet. The mothafuckin ‘mericans? If they said here’s our goddamn treaty assholes, obey or you’re gonna be radioactive dust particles y’all muthafuckers are all gonna be breathin’ in.”
    We AO/NZ’ers? We’d say, like ” Hey!? Stop that! Stop that or we’ll say “Stop That” again. And if you don’t stop that. We’ll form a committee then we’ll march in peaceful protest then we’ll have a flea market to make funds to apply for a document to explain why stuff and things an’ that to the local MP when he/she wakes up and pops the empty wine bottles into recycle bin.
    Imagine we kiwis asking, in the nicest possible way, please sir and madam? Please, no more neoliberalism? We’re older now by more than 34 years and we’re sad and in poor health and we’d quite like some of our assets and amenities back to provide for us tax payers who paid for them…? Really sorry an’ that but I’m old and cold and can only afford sausages once a week and that power bill? I mean, ha, it’s a bit high isn’t it don’t you think? And I do have the cancer. I live in Invercargill and the doctors down here couldn’t see me urgently so I had to go on a waiting list and by then it was too late, an’ that. Bit sad really. I’ll worry about my dog for when I’m gone, she’s a good dog too. Hard to feed her now though I suppose because my rents so high now a days. I’d like to see my brother who lives in Christchurch but I can’t afford to fly and the bus isn’t for me with my colostomy bag. I liked the train back in the day? It was really lovely to ride in and cheap too. It had a cafe and everything. Nice cup of tea with the other passengers and we’d always find something to chat about as the scenery went past…
    Neoliberalism’s a fucking swindle, call it what it is and no treaty no matter who wrote it, lied to whom on it or now uses it to placate fucking scum who steal from us daily by claiming it seemed like a good idea at the time. The only way to get rid of neoliberalism is if we AO/NZ’ers grew a pair of big hairy balls and ran fucking neoliberalism out of our country and put the traitorous cunts who scammed us in prison.
    @ Maori? @ Non-Maori? We’re not enemies? We’re human beings first and foremost and different skin colours and different cultural beliefs later. Lets focus on the now and later, when we can afford rents we sort out the colonialism thing but until then the friction the Treaty and other historical events are merely being used to divide us and disperse us by THEIR fucking MSM.
    What the proponents of ‘neoliberalism’ did was to invent a scam, called it a fancy name, stuck a few lies and logical fallacies to it then used it to fuck us without the kissing!
    That’s got to stop! How, I hear you ask? Purge AO/NZ of the foreign banksters then find roger douglas and as many of his cronies as we can before they fly off to their off-shore mansions and put the bastards in jail. Like they do to us! Never mind this fiddly, flaky fucking around!
    The narrative must change from passive to aggressive and not towards each other but against the Thems.

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