Labour Must Uphold The Rule Of Law

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WHEN DAILY BLOG Editor, Martyn Bradbury, says Labour’s lucky the country’s currently distracted by the Covid-19 Delta Variant, he’s right. Were New Zealand safe and out of Lockdown, it would be in the midst of a dangerously divisive row about Oranga Tamariki, the Judiciary, Race, and the Rule of Law.

Given that the matters at the heart of this controversy are sub judice (i.e. under the authority of the court) I shall forbear from discussing the particular case in question. What must be discussed, however, is the direction in which Māori-Pakeha relations are travelling, and exactly what it would take for this government to intervene.

There is only so much a judicial system, or any other important part of the state apparatus, will stand before it moves to defend itself. Judges and lawyers cannot be expected to turn a blind eye to egregious breaches of legal norms. As Officers of the Court, it is their sworn duty to uphold the law. They cannot be asked to treat one category of citizen better or worse than another, nor are they permitted to stand back and see injustice done without taking steps to prevent it.

Attempts to racialise New Zealand’s courts are bound to provoke significant public disquiet. So, too, will any attempt by the Crown to influence the outcome of trials, or civil cases, by exerting unwarranted pressure on judicial officers. Any government made aware of such behaviour has a duty to act decisively to uphold the Rule of Law. Those responsible must be held to account for their actions.

Though the mere mention of the He Puapua Report will elicit the usual protests from the usual suspects, the events highlighted by The Daily Blog’s editor raise vital issues about what inferences the Crown is allowing and/or encouraging Māori to draw from its recommendations.

Any failure to uphold the equal application of the laws, on the grounds that a separate Māori justice system will soon replace the long-established principle of “one law for all”, will be taken as proof that this government intends to change profoundly the constitutional and judicial arrangements of the New Zealand state.

Such a fundamental change to the manner in which justice is administered in New Zealand, especially one predicated on ethnic and cultural considerations, could have no legitimacy without having first secured the endorsement, by way of referendum, of a majority of New Zealand citizens

To suggest that the articles of the Treaty of Waitangi in some way obviate the Crown’s need to obtain the consent of the New Zealand electorate before changing the way justice is administered, and by whom, is tantamount to suggesting that the Treaty legally entitles the Crown to extinguish democracy in the Realm of New Zealand without reference to its citizens and in defiance of its laws.

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Such action would constitute a declaration of war upon the people of this country. Any government participating in such an open attack on the civil and political rights of its citizens would immediately identify itself as their enemy, and forfeit all claims to their continuing loyalty. It would be responsible for unleashing civil war upon New Zealand.

The Labour Government’s silence on these matters is indefensible. A clear statement of its determination to uphold the Rule of Law and protect the democratic rights of all New Zealanders is long overdue.

27 COMMENTS

  1. There has never been an equal application of the law in this country. As for Maori Pakeha relations these have come to the fore moreso now cause many Maori including myself are sick and tired of playing second fiddle in our own country. We pay taxes we made huge sacrifices in two wars but despite this we continue to be treated like second class citizens. And you Chris would not know what it feels like cause you have never walked in our shoes. To make matters worse we have politicians and wealthy Pakeha people inciting racism. These people are using their voice, power and money to send the wrong messages to the already splintered groups in our communities. And who has benefitted the most from the monocultural system in our country.

    • “To make matters worse we have politicians and wealthy Pakeha people inciting racism. These people are using their voice, power and money to send the wrong messages to the already splintered groups in our communities. And who has benefitted the most from the monocultural system in our country.”

      Woke academics on the Taxpayers payroll, employees with jobs in all business cultures and beneficiaries biting the hand that feeds them should give thanks every day for the benefits of our modern economic strength & welfare advancement, irrespective of their ethnicity.

      However we are much more multicultural than you acknowledge & the first half of your comment ignores our shared history and the sacrifices & efforts made by all NZdrs to get us to where we are today.

      • However we are much more multicultural than you acknowledge & the first half of your comment ignores our shared history and the sacrifices & efforts made by all NZdrs to get us to where we are today.

        Yeah, I would argue that Pakeha in this country have had a much, much easier journey and Maori – yet Maori were the indigenous people and the Maori translation of Te Titiri o Waitangi does NOT cede sovereignty to the Crown. This is not to say that there are many Pakeha in Aotearoa New Zealand who are negatively impacted by a range of government policies – however this is disproportionately (to a massive degree) an issue for Maori here.

        • “…the Treaty of Waitangi created Parliament to make laws. The Treaty has given us the Maori Land Court with all of its activities. The Treaty confirmed Government purchases of lands which is still being done and it also confirmed past confiscations. The Treaty sanctioned the levying of rates and taxes on Maori lands, it made the one law for the Maori and the Pakeha. If you think these things are wrong and bad then blame our ancestors who gave away their rights in the days when they were powerful.”

          Sir Apirana Ngata 1922

    • Michelle: “There has never been an equal application of the law in this country.”

      If you’re making claims of this sort, it’s incumbent upon you to produce evidence. Otherwise, we’re justified in concluding that this is just another of your resentful rants.

      “As for Maori Pakeha relations these have come to the fore moreso now cause many Maori including myself are sick and tired of playing second fiddle in our own country.”

      What do you mean by “Maori:Pakeha relations”? Are you talking about negativity? If you are, again, it’s incumbent upon you to produce evidence. Given how much intermarriage there has been over many years (including in my own family), this sounds implausible.

      Remember that NZ is all citizens’ country. I was born here: it’s my country too, as it is for all migrants who choose to make NZ their home. This is an ineluctable fact.

      “We pay taxes we made huge sacrifices in two wars but despite this we continue to be treated like second class citizens.”

      Note that it wasn’t “we”, it was our ancestors. You personally had nothing to do with it: you weren’t there. Neither was I. Again: you make this claim about how Maori are treated. Produce the evidence.

      “….we have politicians and wealthy Pakeha people inciting racism.”

      Note that individual people cannot be racist: that’s the preserve of governments. So what do you mean by this? And to whom do you refer? Have some courage and name them.

      “And who has benefitted the most from the monocultural system in our country.”

      NZ isn’t monocultural. You’d know this if you’d been overseas to countries where societies actually are monocultural.

    • Covid is Pa – look at Afghanistan and see how time and again anti-colonialist freedom movements have devolved into totalitarian states far more oppressive than what they replaced. Talk with folk who visited Afghanistan in the 60’s and 70’s, and ask how such a trajectory was possible, and whether New Zealand extremists of any ilk are progressive or destructive of our own society which still protects basic freedoms, and enshrines them in law – and whether divisiveness is compatible with healthy living – or has another agenda.

  2. Turning a blind eye is the NORM in NZ.

    Just examine the Local Government Acts and note that NOT ONE council in the country complies with section 10. If they did we would not be in quite the awful mess we are in now.

    But even TDB turns a blind eye to it all and focuses on symptoms instead of causes.

  3. Chris
    I think the answer lies in your headline. LAW not LAWS. I think this will an area of contention, if not huge trouble, unless there is always one law system for all New Zealanders. Two law systems will break New Zealand apart.

  4. There is much, much uncomfortable truth in this and represents a fundamental precipice upon which New Zealand currently finds itself.

    Calling anyone “racist” who doesn’t buy the radical reinterpretation of the Treaty and critical race theory of woke Left doesn’t help, nor continually embracing a damaging and simplistic victim-only narrative, especially when the far majority of Maori have equal or more Pakeha blood.

    It’s ugly like the “you’re all lazy solo moms” and constant complaints about the Treaty gravy train by the Right. But guess who’s in power right now and re-writing the curriculum and laws?

    • But of course just calling everyone woke as though that answers everything and makes it unnecessary to make any cogent argument cause ya know “woke” says it all is fine for the racists?

      • Spikeyboy: the term “woke” is shorthand for a number of attitudes and perspectives. On the other hand, “racist” means just that and nothing else.

  5. Agree 100%. The implications of He PuaPua may be receiving more attention off shore than here. Govt certainly has no mandate to try to establish an apartheid regime which would in fact negate the Treaty.

    • “The implications of He PuaPua may be receiving more attention off shore than here.”

      Interesting. The silence of the local msm has been mostly deafening. Even those who’ve paid attention to it have, from what I’ve seen, understated the profound constitutional implications. Possibly because they haven’t actually read it.

      “Govt certainly has no mandate to try to establish an apartheid regime which would in fact negate the Treaty.”

      Exactly. And an apartheid regime is a priori undemocratic: there’s no wriggling round this fact.

      • D’ Esterre. As a dedicated boycotter of Stuff and television, I learn contemporary largely piecemeal, and online. However the political issues of He PuaPua are being discussed especially in Australia, and not at a particularly high level, and possibly mainly as an anti- Ardern agenda from grumpy olds. I get personal email info which I don’t always read, and I don’t know if I want to, and my reply is that various separatist proposals simply won’t happen, because of the constitutional implications, which are massive.

        I doubt some of the separatists even begin to realise this, or if they do, they are deliberately agitating to serve their own political ambitions, unfortunately, and are peddling misinformation which is untrue, unfair, mean, and socially disruptive. I hope that’s all there is to it. God save us from anybody who considers himself a fire brand – I like to think that we’ve evolved past crude hotheadedness which obstructs – and which belongs in the past.Kia kaha.

        • Snow White: “However the political issues of He PuaPua are being discussed especially in Australia, and not at a particularly high level…”

          That’s interesting. I haven’t heard that from family in Oz, but it may not be a topic in their social circle. There are a number of political blogsites over there, though the ones I’ve looked at require subscriber access. I’d hope that discussion of it is a bit more widespread, but maybe not: as I recall, they’re more focused on internal politics. Reminds me of what we saw in the US, many years ago.

          “…various separatist proposals simply won’t happen, because of the constitutional implications, which are massive.”

          Unfortunately, we already have the Maori electoral system. And the proposed Maori health authority, which is to have veto power over vote:health spending proposals. It looks as if this government either doesn’t understand the implications of what it’s doing, or – more worryingly – it believes that it’s obliged by the Treaty to do this stuff. It isn’t. But even if the Treaty had principles and partnership requirements up the wazoo, the government cannot do this without seriously eroding democracy. NZ already teeters on the edge of losing democracy. Further changes à la He Puapua will make matters worse.

  6. Chris maaate. I don’t think you should attribute the entire blame on the ToW. It’s them bloody crafty Labour wokester pollys misleading ya’ll by implying its the Mowrees Treaty that is the cause of the pakehas pain and anxiety.

    It’s more than likely good ole fashioned fuckwittedness. That all.

  7. The case in question stemmed from a personal vendetta by a social worker. Race was merely the conduit.
    The law is the law is the law.

  8. “Such a fundamental change to the manner in which justice is administered in New Zealand, especially one predicated on ethnic and cultural considerations, could have no legitimacy without having first secured the endorsement, by way of referendum, of a majority of New Zealand citizens.”

    It could have no legitimacy, full stop. Not if NZ still thinks itself a democracy.

    • D’Esterre It would also be logistically impractical. This country will be Chinese by attrition within our grandchildren’s time, utility services are becoming dominated by the Indian community, add Muslim refugees , Pacifica persons with specific residency rights, and spouses of assorted mixes, and good luck with all that.

  9. Pip, I agree with your comment above.

    However, we already have the separatist Maori electoral system, and the proposed Maori health authority, which is to have the power of veto over vote:health spending.

    This piece is worth a read, if you haven’t yet seen it:
    https://democracyproject.nz/2021/06/30/elizabeth-rata-ethno-nationalism-or-democratic-nationalism-which-way-ahead-for-new-zealand/

    Rata notes the following: “Contemporary and historical examples should make us very wary of a path that replaces the individual citizen with the ethnic person as the political subject.

    Interestingly those examples show the role of small well-educated elites in pushing through radical change. ”

    That’s certainly true of both He Puapua and its predecessor, Matike Mai. And it appears that a small, well-educated group of activists has somehow got the ear of this government. This should worry all NZers a great deal more than it appears to do at present.

    • D’Esterre. Thank you. I am reading Elizabeth Rata now, and note that you have referenced her previously.
      Very sobering reading.

  10. Most of Aotearoa/NZ was illegally and violently confiscated from Māori, such crimes might be easy for middle class Pākeha to wallpaper over and forget, but an entire race was subjugated, displaced, and had their wealth stolen. Māori should be allowed a few grudging concessions with being accused of treason or whatever bullshit

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