Something Entirely Different: Why Co-Governance Is A Very Bad Idea.

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THE ADVOCATES OF CO-GOVERNANCE clearly believe it to be an idea whose hour has come. But, such is the temper of the times New Zealanders are living through, that co-governance is not an idea which has had to withstand very much in the way of serious interrogation. Given its potential to divide the New Zealand population, this is not only unfortunate, but also bears grim witness to this country’s intellectual timidity. An idea that could tear this country apart surely merits much closer examination?

Such an examination cannot proceed, however, without making one vital assumption. The Treaty of Waitangi must be accepted – in the face of overwhelming contemporary evidence to the contrary – as a “partnership” between the British Crown and the tangata whenua of “Aotearoa”. This is crucial. If the Treaty was not a document dedicated to the principle of partnership, then it cannot also be a document mandating the co-governance of New Zealand.

Co-governance is being presented to us as the constitutional and political expression of “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”. If, as was generally accepted for nearly a century-and-a-half, the Treaty simply documents its signatories’ voluntary cession of sovereignty to the British Crown; the latter’s reciprocal pledge to respect both the materially and culturally sustaining resources of the indigenous communities; and the Crown’s granting to these communities of the full and equal protection of British Law – then its “principles” encompass no more than the unambiguous transfer of power from a weaker party to a stronger.

Obviously, it is impossible to extract co-governance from such an arrangement. The concept has meaning only if the Treaty itself is held to encompass something entirely different.

But this assumption does not make things any easier. If the signatories to the Treaty truly believed that it made them co-governors of New Zealand, alongside the official representatives and subjects of Queen Victoria, then the subsequent development of co-governance is fraught with difficulties and dangers.

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Twelve years after the signing of the Treaty, when their numbers were roughly co-equal with those of the Māori, the subjects of Queen Victoria – manfully assisted by her official representatives – were granted a substantial measure of self-government. It did not take the Māori tribes very long to work out that they were constitutionally subsumed within this devolution of Royal authority. Bluntly, the Pakeha settlers believed themselves empowered to rule not only themselves, but Māori too. The idea of co-governance (assuming it had ever existed at all) seemed to have melted away like the morning mist.

It is possible, of course, to construe the history of the decade following the granting of self-government in 1853, and the outbreak of war between the settler government and the Māori tribes living in the territory immediately south of Auckland in 1863, as an attempt to construct a political vehicle capable of embedding the concept of co-governance in New Zealand’s nascent constitutional arrangements.

The attempt to create a Māori monarchy – the Kingitanga – made this desire for co-governance explicit. But the fate of the King Movement: military defeat and occupation, and the forfeiture of the participating tribes’ lands, forests and fisheries; makes it crystal clear what the colonial authorities thought of the co-governance concept. So, too, did the British Government, whose dispatch of more than 10,000 imperial troops, to enforce the will of the colonists, made the overpowering of the Māori proponents of co-governance inevitable.

Exposed in the course of the New Zealand Wars was the brutal political reality that, as the Romans discovered, there can be only one emperor in the empire. Duumvirs have a nasty habit of being reduced to single figures. As the heroes of the movie Highlander were fond of saying: “There can be only one.”

With the example of the 1850s and 60s in front of them, the proponents of co-governance in twenty-first century New Zealand should have no illusions about what lies ahead if the concept acquires the political solidity of the Kingitanga prior to General Cameron’s arrival.

And, thanks to the historical ignorance and constitutional naivety of the Sixth Labour Government, it is acquiring political solidity – with astonishing speed.

But, as co-governance becomes entrenched constitutionally, in the same way the ideas of the British settlers concerning the nature of the New Zealand state became entrenched in the 1850s, then its proponents need to be very clear about what is likely to happen next. The descendants of the settlers, and the inheritors of their colonial institutions – which includes the democratic political system itself – will, like the Māori before them, do all within their power to preserve the material and cultural properties by which they and their ancestors were, and are, uplifted and sustained.

In other words, they will fight.

There really is no other way the co-governance story can end.

Just as any dispassionate historian cannot avoid the conclusion that the settler government, adamant that it would not share power with the Māori, set out to provoke and prosecute a war of conquest against the only concentration of indigenous political, economic and military strength remotely capable of thwarting its plans to build a “Better Britain”, the Kingitanga; it is equally impossible to avoid the conclusion that those elements of the political class, academia, the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the news media; all the allies of the new Māori middle-class and the neo-tribal capitalists they serve; are equally aware that their plans to restore “Aotearoa” can only be imposed by dismantling “New Zealand” – and subduing all who still believe in her.

The proponents of co-governance have no genuine intention of sharing power with those who refuse to accept their understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi. Their purpose is the same as the Crown’s and the settlers’ armies that invaded the Waikato in 1863: to wield power.

Alone.

60 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll just leave this here:

    “It may require a revolution to do it, but, one day, the tino rangatiratanga flag will replace the silver fern, the Southern Cross and the Union Jack.”

    — Chris Trotter

  2. So I guess we can predict with some accuracy that if successful, Maari separatist will end up jaded against pakeha and ultimately make a lot of the mistakes that white people made.

    I guess history is truly something that can not be learnt from.

    Not even the Maaris that settled with the crown are anything like there ancestors. It’s clear that nation builders need to garner a lot of trust back, after the successes of the musket and land wars.

    I still hope that going into the climate negotiations that Maori will play a prominent role to insure their continued existence and can be somewhat redeemed. But the appearance of Maori, and inclusion into governance is now a permanent after thought. It’s like non Maori can’t wait to shove Maori aside as quickly as possible.

    I’m very pleased that any attempts by Maori to assume government responsibilities like Oranges Ramariki for instance has fallen flat.

    I can’t help but feel melancholy watching Maaris rebuild pakeha democracy knowing the ultimately, Maaris will be shoved aside into government rape pens or worse. And the sight of Maaris swearing off there own as lazy, Brown, uneducated, bare foot, drunk no good people.

    I really really do not want to watch beautiful moments with Maori and the next generation earning the right to rule only for everything to be pre determined a few decades later. That basically Maori and pakeha are a mirror image.

    Y’know be kind, be generous. Do your homework, pay your taxes, vote. These are some of the lines you would expect to hear during the rebuilding of democracy that just fall flat into a people that refuse to get off the fence and protect mother nature and refuse to protect the ones they love.

    It just doesn’t seem right and feels very melancholy that Maori will go down a dark path because pakeha are incapable of serving justice.

    I know a lot of kiwis are sick of seeing, particularly they are sick of hearing Maori spoken. But I feel that the reason Maori are a massive player now, is because Maori have always been massive players in new Zealand’s make up relative to population and demographics.

    And if you are going to govern new Zealand a hundred years after signing a treaty with them then Maori are going to play a prominent role.

    While events can be written about new Zealand with out tying Maori to it. I see no such problems in including Maori in that story.

    Said another it’s a big downer knowing that the success of Maori and pakeha living in harmony and huging trees is predetermined on restarting the student visa scam and making the poor, poorer.

    Ultimately Maori can not have a huge impact on the way white people interact with the rest of the world. And to legitimise that view Maori must be made to look and sound just like good old white folk.

    Greek democracy is ultimately a tragedy. All our favourite characters and love ones ultimately perish, suffer and end up on darker paths to which they started on. And it just saddens me that the Maori who are trying there best to do right is headed down the path of history.

    I guess this opportunity to produce wonderful visions of redemption, learning and do right by Maori has to give way to continuity with the iron laws of history.

    It just saddens me knowing that anything that Maori builds will ultimately be deployed to destroy the very image of MaoriTanga.

    • Your post is truly food for thought, Sam.
      that would be me in the picture: https://vjmpublishing.nz/?p=31531 …if I was a dude btw.
      We are commanded by our disney overlords to wait, drooling, for their happy ending where the credits roll, the formatted music plays and tay tay kisses us goodnight…yeah nah the world is not made of sugar, fortunately.

  3. Chris
    This is going to go on for the next 100 years. Let’s stop messing around. Let’s put an end to all this crap and have New Zealand governed solely by Maori – 100%. No pakeha or any other, dare I say, race group is to be involved in governing this country. In doing that, all never-ending arguments, and all these expensive never-ending settlements should be over and done with, and we can just get on with living here and making New Zealand prosperous and wealthy, like it should be. What say?

  4. AS for the ToW, let’ s read the words of Sir Apirana Ngata of his Treaty of Waitangi, an Explanation (1922): : “I am afraid the explanations have been somewhat lengthy. It could have been quite short if I had just stated, the Treaty of Waitangi created Parliament to make laws. The Treaty has given us the Maori Land Court with all 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.”
    The Kohimarama conference in 1860 showed the support of the majority of the tribes for existing “settlers” government and it should be also said that there were many Maori tribes who participated on the wars on the Government side. Which opens the question what part of Maori today really support the policy of two governments.
    And finally we all including Maori, should ask the basic question: do we really think that the ethno tribal state is better than Western type of democracy? Look around the world, look at the history of mankind, can you point to any system that worked and works better for people? The historical documents show crystal clear that when Maori embraced the European worldview, culture, lifestyle it was to their benefit. Wouldn’t it be better to accept in accordance with the UN Declaration of Human Rights that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” the colourblind policy of oneness? After all there is no difference between Maori, European, Asian, African, American children, why then should we insist and make them different because of the colour of their skin?

    • So let break down your rant. (1) the Treaty of Waitangi created Parliament to make laws. But that not was written in the treaty.
      The version of the Maori & Pakeha interpretation differ significantly when determining governance (Kawanatanga) and (Rangatiratanga) History seems quite understandably not your favorite subject.

      (2) “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.”?
      That system is still here today with subtle changes mostly gatekeepers are NZ Pakeha whom own most valuable assets in NZ and you believe that not powerful??

      (3) “The Kohimarama conference in 1860 showed the support of the majority of the tribes for existing “settlers” government and it should be also said that there were many Maori tribes who participated on the wars on the Government side. Which opens the question what part of Maori today really support the policy of two governments”.
      Again your revisionism somehow feels that you are associated with far-right elements in our country. And the Kohimarama meeting wasn’t an appeasement to a one unified system as you claim! Governor Thomas Gore Browne was the most trusted (so they thought) actors amongst the array of nefarious governors but it was also to bring a peaceful resolution to a dire situation facing Maori by Pakeha aggression and as many Maori chief that participated the same number didn’t want a bar of these negotiations. The British empire was very adapted to pitting locals against each other they were successful in understanding the nuances of their cultures and even had think tanks to further this goal and what made them tick. When in NZ they adopted the same strategy with refined efficiency and Maori also had different reasons for fighting for the crown and one of them wasn’t to subjugate their descendants to a life of poverty and hardship.

      (4) “The historical documents show crystal clear that when Maori embraced the European worldview, culture, lifestyle it was to their benefit.”
      Poverty continues to impact Māori far more than non-Māori and the knock-on effects are brutal. Māori – have got the highest suicide rate between 18 and 24. While New Zealand sits mid-table among OECD countries for suicide, the statistics for young Māori males are higher than the overall rates for men in Lithuania and South Korea – countries who lead the grim statistics. While in 2017 Lithuanian men died from suicide at a rate of 43.9 per 100,000, in 2012 Māori males aged 15-24 died at a rate of 48 per 100,000. Until the 1990s, Māori rates of home ownership lagged behind Pākehā, but were on a gradual upwards trajectory, with more than 50 percent of Māori owning a home in 1991, even as Māori and Polynesian unemployment sat around 25 percent. Unemployment rates eventually dropped, but Māori home ownership declined by nearly a third, and by 2013 was about 37 percent. Pākehā home ownership also dropped, but from a high of above 75 percent to just below 70 percent. Māori make up only 11 percent of the Auckland population, they made up 42.7 percent of those without shelter and 39.9 percent of people sleeping in temporary accommodation. While house prices, rents and living costs have rocketed over the last few decades, wages have not kept pace, pushing more Māori, typically already suffering poverty rates double the non-Māori population, further into deprivation. Nice benefits Alexandra??

      (5) Wouldn’t it be better to accept in accordance with the UN Declaration of Human Rights that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” the colourblind policy of oneness? After all there is no difference between Maori, European, Asian, African, American children, why then should we insist and make them different because of the colour of their skin?
      The irony of such an ill thought out statement just goes to show who the real separatist are given the overwhelming empirical evidence that visible even to a blindman.

      • Hi, Stephen,
        the interpretation of ToW was of Sir Apirana Ngata and as for the question of “partnership” it is worth reading in its entirety.
        Kohimarama conference showed that Maori were not unified as presented in the Ch.T.’s article, the situation was not strictly Government against all Maori. That was my point.
        The fact is undeniable that embracing European worldview, Christianity, the cultural practices and other things enormously improved Maori life. The period of 1840-1860 was given name “Golden Age” for Maori and by Maori.
        As for statistics, Lindsay Mitchell published a very instructive paper: MĀORI SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS UNDER COLONIZATION: A Picture of Progress accessible on internet. The paper shows steady progress in all parameters.
        The problem of Maori’s worse socio-economic outcomes today have bunch of reasons, most of which are common for other Non-Maori groups of population and should be targeted one by one. To change the political system to two governments state and to de facto ethno state as proposed in He Puapua is a very dangerous experiment which would lead to destruction of democracy.

        • Quoting Sir Apirana Ngata whom is also branded as a sellout (Kupapa) along with his Uncle Ropata Wahawaha can’t be taken seriously as they had their own interest that didn’t involve the betterment of other Maori apart from themselves.

          Remembering your historic literacy or there lack of suggest that you shouldn’t be taken seriously concerning NZ history. Now if we are talking 1840-1860 as the Golden Ages for Maori let examine that period with a realistic historic lens instead of waffling away as if you’re an expert.

          1840 there were 3000 if that Pakeha in New Zealand when the TOW was signed. Maori were still the Majority and own most of their lands and were strong. During this period most traded with Pakeha as they did when re-establishing European contact from 1793. Iwi in many regions continued to manage their own affairs. But what the treaty did do was signal the start of a period of mass British Immigration to New Zealand that will see Maori reduced to a Minority in their own country within two decades.

          Victorian assumptions of racial superiority, brought to these shores by many of the immigrants, contributed further to the declining relationship with Maori. In the early period of European settlement, Pakeha had been forced to tolerate Maori and their customs because they had no choice. The old order worked mostly because each party had things the others wanted that could not be gained by force. But the situation obviously changed over time.

          By 1858 Settler numbers match that of Maori for the first time and with this change in the Balance of Power came the belief that Pakeha were at last in a position to assert their assume natural dominance. And please don’t get me going on the Kohimarama Conference I could go on but dude seriously you need to get some perspective and real education when quoting history. As for the He Puapua document well that your opinion have you read it?

          https://iwichairs.maori.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/He-Puapua-for-OIA-release.pdf

          http://www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document.php?wid=181&page=0&action=searchresult&method=simple

          • “Apirana Ngata made a vital contribution to the revival of the Māori race in the early twentieth century. He used his knowledge of the Pākehā world and his professional skills to assist his people to develop and farm their land while also encouraging them to preserve their culture and maintain their own identity. His intelligence, tact, persistence and political skill brought him considerable success in this mission.”
            This is from Te Ara. Of course, you can have different opinion, I just want to show that Maori in the past and in the present do not represent one entity opposed to the Government or Crown.
            And yes, I have read He Puapua and think that it really is a road to destruction of democracy. Can you give us positive examples from the past or present of countries where the tribal system brought or brings about the prosperity for all people, where it worked and works better than democracy?

            • Hahaha a quick google search and presto! Te Ara is a govt site for beginners’ that has limited in depth information pertaining to our country history. A better detailed info of our country history is the ENZB link that I provided before or individual writers with majors in history. But your notably shallow historic literacy or there lack of unfortunately means that I’m wasting my time with an amateur that thinks “Maori” didn’t know how to grow food, and “Maori” isn’t a race it a social construct for Pakeha and others to distinguish the first New Zealanders from other Polynesians. What’s also telling in your surmise is the lack of historic context surrounding Maori deprivation.

              And at this moment I don’t have other palpable examples of where has Co-governance worked but what is the alternative? In your opinion from what I gather even in the face of overwhelming evidence of Maori negative statistics is that Maori should be grateful for Pakeha benevolence?? That not what Maori want nor should they be willing to continue after 182 years of being dominated by another group of people in their own country, and there’s a real fear that if nothing is done and pakeha don’t want to compromise then the Bicentennial in 2040 will be repeating what we discussed previously which will be an indictment on our society for not taking this opportunity to make meaningful changes (Current remedies aren’t working) to an already precarious situation confronting the Indigenous people of Aotearoa. Or worse??

                • And to improve that democracy the proposal of “He Puapua” is not an attack on democracy it actually an enhancement of democracy that advocated in the documents that you clearly haven’t read.

              • Thank you for the link to ENZB. The biography of Sir Apirana Ngata in Te Ara,was written by M.P.K.Sorrenson, a renowned historian.
                There is no better alternative to democracy but it can always be improved.
                The most important way to improve any society is to improve the family, which is its basic unit. And to restore families is a process that must begin with children, so education should be improved the first.

                • I’ve just realized that I have been repeating myself! I’ve also come to the realization that you haven’t even been reading my comments that full of factual historic content. Stop bull-shiting yourself & stop wasting my fucken time amateur

                • NZ Pakeha live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress thanks to successive governments that panders to the majorities values and beliefs. Whiteness accrues privilege and status; gets itself
                  surrounded by protective pillows of resources and/or benefits of the doubt; how Whiteness repels gossip and voyeurism and instead demands dignity”
                  Whites are rarely without these “protective pillows,” and when they are, it is usually temporary and by choice. This insulated environment of racial privilege builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress.

                  For many NZ Pakeha, a single required multicultural education course taken in college, or required “cultural competency training” in their workplace, is the only time they may encounter a direct and sustained challenge to their racial
                  understandings. But even in this arena, not all multicultural courses or training
                  programs talk directly about racism, much less address white privilege It is far more the norm for these courses and programs to use racially coded language such as “urban,” “inner city,” and “disadvantaged” but to rarely use “white” or “over advantaged” or “privileged.” This racially coded language reproduces racist images and perspectives while it simultaneously reproduces the comfortable illusion that race and its problems are what “they” have, not us.

                • NZ Pakeha people overall are taught not to feel any loss over the absence of people of color in their lives and in fact, this absence is what defines their schools and neighborhoods as “good;” whites come to understand that a “good school” or “good neighborhood” is coded language for “white”

                  Although mainstream definitions of racism are typically some variation of individual “race prejudice”, which anyone of any race can have, Whiteness scholars
                  define racism as encompassing economic, political, social, and cultural structures, actions, and beliefs that systematize and perpetuate an unequal distribution of privileges, resources and power between white people and people of color.

    • Well said Alexandra. There are no examples of sustained functioning ethno-democracies – because they are not true democracies and eventually those whose rights are treated as ‘less’ than others get pissed off and change the system. A quick trip around Africa will attest to this.

  5. Under the English Westminster system of government in operation at that time in New Zealand, sovereignty was never a divided concept. Ergo the writers of the Treaty would not have drawn up, now would the crown have agreed to, such a radical constitutional upheaval. The “principles “ of the Treaty, as others have pointed out, appears to have been an innovation of Geoffrey Palmer, without these principles being defined, which is not particularly good law.

  6. Well said Chris!

    No other country has managed to sustain a system of tiered citizenship for long: South Africa expended its vast gold wealth propping up apartheid but it only lasted 42 years. This is wealth we do not have.

    Looking on the positive side, the Treaty was a vast success in its day, helping to end the incredibly brutal Maori musket wars, freeing their slaves and giving all Maori access to the rule of rule instead of the quick and fickle justice handed out by chiefs. In 1860 at the conference of Kohimarama Maori chiefs expressed their gratitude for the Treaty because for the first time ever they could exist in a state of peace.

    Moving on to today, if National wins the next election I sincerely hope they spring a referendum on us to abolish the Maori seats. I think this would be overwhelmingly approved, even by most Maori (as an indication a clear majority of Maori prefer to be on the main electoral roll). Note also that this was recommended by the Royal Commission in 1984, and we can now see it was a terrible mistake not to heed that advice.

    It’s time we bit the bullet and cauterize this wound in our society, lest it become a fatal infection.

    • The world is a Whiteman’s burden or in our country Pakeha burden. They want to be in control of everything from literally owning public spaces (even the way we should look, talk and dare I say feel) to mundane everyday daily life stuff. Andrew I am astound but not surprised on your historical literacy or therefore lack of. The fact that you believe that the TOW somehow stopped inter tribal warfare (Musket Wars) and freeing of slavery just goes to show that you are a typical NZ Pakeha whose ancestors visited and plundered these lands even when Maori were feeding and protecting them. The Treaty Of Waitangi has 2 versions (One in Maori One in Pakeha) that Chris Trotter a very formidable astute writer seem to have conveniently left out of his literature. The T.O.W opened the doors for European immigration it was also the cause of the NZ Wars. The fact that Maori wanted to sign these documents which they clearly didn’t understand the nuance’s of English and the writers William Hobson, James Freeman, British Resident James Busby clearly knew this was that Pakeha were committing crimes against Maori. Maori had a word for this behavior? “Te Riri Pakeha”

      • Here here. Chris is a pompous ranter who puts things forward without in a sense putting his name on them ‘this is what I believe’.

        Anyone thinking we should do away with the Maori seats is a fool – at least this gives to some Maori a semblance of some power. Despite the fact that Maori have the worst statistics for health, prison occupation, housing and many other aspects of ‘modern’ society.

        I am always surprised that the Maori caucus has not, does not appear to have pressured the government sufficiently to actually make the changes around poverty which is of course the underlining issue on the stats.

        • “the Maori caucus has not, does not appear to have pressured the government sufficiently to actually make the changes around poverty”

          Specifically, what changes would you have the government make in that respect?

      • To blame white men (and women) for all wrongs past, present and future, so fashionable today and typical for Critical Race Theory, is much easier than to search the real causes, address them and take responsibility.
        It is undeniable fact that it was the influence of Europeans that made Maori to change their destructive lifestyle of intertribal wars, slavery and cannibalism and opened for them the way to litteracy, travels, agriculture, new better food etc.
        The speaches of Maori chiefs that took about four hours before they signed the Treaty and were mostly recorded by William Colenso show very clearly, that they knew very well what they were signing.

        • Alexander the White Supremacist bigoted racist pompous ass is spewing out of your pores like you’re bleeding hatred. Here a hint try getting educated (repeated previously) in our country history instead of regurgitating echo chamber far-right memes on social media or the Victorian assumed racial superiority that was brought to our shores when your ancestors arrived. You do know that King Richard the Lion Heart was a cannibal? Or that Englishman practice cannibalism? And the Poms have brought more deaths and destruction to this planet than all Polynesian people combined.

          • Hi, Stephen. I am deeply persuaded that all people are equal. There are some who are good, some bad but most of us are both. I do not think that Europeans, Englishmen or whoever are or were better than Maori. The only difference was that European Christians missionaries came here and brought Christianity to Maori people which brought about the change. That is all. And I am persuaded that Christianity is the best way for any nations, races, ethnic groups to live in harmony.

              • Hi Alexander I’m rightfully assuming that you’re a pakeha because your narrative is typical of your groups literature composition. Please don’t let your amusing childish bigoted ego cloud your judgement and yes you’re allowed an opinion but you’re not allowed to call that opinion facts ie…”The speaches of Maori chiefs that took about four hours before they signed the Treaty and were mostly recorded by William Colenso show very clearly, that they knew very well what they were signing”??
                At the signing of the T.O.W 250 Ngapuhi Rangatira (Chief’s) signed the Maori version that differs in critical ways from the English translation that was the basis for the Crown understanding of the agreement. Whereas Crown officials saw the treaty as a cession of sovereignty, Rangatira believed their own rights and authority had been protected. There is literally books written about this but we have to take your word for it?? Historians work have been peer-reviewed opinions are just someone’s opinions usually based on ones biases and you sir are very biases.
                There’s a multitude of historians that are very formidable like Claudia Orange, Paul Moon, Vincent O’Malley, Michael King, James Belich, Keith Sinclair, Sydney Moko Meads, etc… And Bruno Isaac use Christianity to over come his demons and it worked for him but that doesn’t mean that approach works for everybody!! I get it that you don’t really understand our country history nor do you want too as you’ll quickly if committed to learning the true history, realize that your race the NZ Pakeha or Europeans & their Christian ways were committing crimes against indigenous populations worldwide. Now that a fact.

  7. Maori are no more ‘green’ than any other group, so can we drop the ‘mystical connection with the land’ horseshit, they’re like all kiwis anything, literally anything for a buck…I cite sealord…I rest my case m’lud

    secondly and more worrying for actual real every day maori should be a stand alone organisation can be defunded to the point of collapse by any future govt…with a ‘well you wanted to run it’ or ‘they can’t be trusted not to fuck up’ get out clause for future rightists….losers? once again the everyday maori in the street

    • gargarin. “ Maori are no more ‘ green’ than any other group, so can we drop the ‘ mystical connection connection with the land’ horseshit. “. This is a very ignorant and offensive statement.

      Yep, some Maori may make things up as they go along, according to my Maori whanau, but for a Polytechnic pom like you to make such an absurd assertion about another ethnicity, is barbaric.

      What’s more, some of the most sublime English music and art has been a reflection of your countrymen’s connection with the land and with the oceans, although a surface skimmer like you, would know little of such things.

      What’s more many non-Maori Kiwi have connections with the land, and they are our connections, ours, of which you know nought.

      • and your blind acceptance that maori are more ‘connected’ is blinkered.

        as for ‘polytechnic’ yup I got a degree, I was lucky as a working class kid to get an education, so I’m not gonna self flagellate on that issue.

        I grew up with all the ‘working class solidarity’ ‘strong community’ horseshit in the UK and any casual study of history shows that that’s a hollow sham too.

        the mere suggestion the a ‘pom’ (deliberatly pegorative term..but we’ll let that slide) isn’t ‘entitled’ to an opinion is just about as pathetic an argument as you can get….just for the record, been here 25yrs became a citizen as soon as I could(a passport indicates commitment to a country and gives winghing rights) I’ve paid my taxes here worked and voted….so basically you can take your argument and insert it into your fundament.

      • Snow White – OK, gagarin’s wording wasn’t ideal. I wonder if his outburst was a reaction to the revisionist propaganda we are currently bombarded with by government agencies, the media and activists. For example, some of my “superiors” at work routinely use the term “kaitiaki” to describe iwi that we engage with. They are apparently “kaitiaki” purely by dint of their Maori ancestry – yet my non-Maori friends who run an ecological restoration society are not. I have a problem with the inference made by some (and I’m not looking at you) that my lack of Maori ancestry means I have less of a connection with the land. When I get on a plane to fly to Wellington or Dunedin or wherever, I finish the flight with a sore neck. Why? Because I’ve spent most of the journey craning my neck to gaze out at the window at the shape, texture and colour of a land that fascinates me. The land that I belong to.

        • Pope Punctilious 11. All good points. Your interesting sore neck comment is multi-levelled – we who grew up in the shadow of the mountains retain a life-long spiritual connection with them – Baxter referred to the mountains crouching like tigers; Emily Bronte’s. “ Wuthering Heights “ ( which I’ve not read for decades ) would not have been written without her strong spiritual connection to the Yorkshire Moors and much analysis has been made of this; farmers may have a spiritual connection to their land and the same could be said of some of Hardy’s writings; for many New Zealanders rugby football occupies a quasi-spiritual, or spiritual place in their lives, so I don’t think persons who are not Maori can simply decide that Maori claiming a spiritual connection with the land is “ horseshit.”

          Yep on the revisionist propaganda. When working with younger Maori students I asked them what things meant, and they were ok with that, but government depts, and various activists can be almost aggressive in their handling of Maori word usage, and nothing can be queried – for obvious reasons. But Maori do query: a Maori academic in a university Indigenous Studies Dept says she does disagree with her HOD, and is able to do so because she is Maori herself and therefore cannot be accused of racism.

          I also call English friends Poms without troubling them – it’s quite affectionate sometimes – and I have no problem referring to myself as Pakeha, particularly when my preferred alternative, Caucasian, can sound a bit pretentious – but it’s all much more complicated than it was 20 years ago.

        • Pope P 11. “ …lack of Maori ancestry means …less connection with the land”, is quite a racist and nasty assertion. Unfortunately it is the sort of poppycock spouted by some activists and politicians for their own purposes, and equally unfortunately they seem to be the angry ones with whom it can be difficult to engage, which requires the patience of a saint, but I suppose that a Pope would do.

    • Don’t be silly Gagarin. Anything for a buck ? Why don’t you pluck a few of our world -acknowledged poets- Maori or Pakeha – out the air, and show how they did it for a buck – or even just one would do. Wander down and grab some ambulance volunteers or voluntary fire fighters or ladies from a knitting guild, and show how they do it for a buck. Or even just one would do.

      Women baked cakes in tins and posted them to strangers in Britain when you were eating rubbishy food well after your war was over, and there was nothing in it for them. And speaking of which war, do you really think that the New Zealanders – Maori and Pakeha – who volunteered to fight in it, did so for a buck ? Not so.

      You’re sounding like just another pommie arriving here on the back of a Kiwi thinking that you know it all when in fact you know very little, and you have bad manners.

      • and southern alp your xenophobic rant doesn’t help your cause..

        my father, his father before him all his brothers and most of the aunties did the world war thing, kiwis are not unique in that.

        rubbish food well yes at times the working class diet has been restricted by economics..I suspect many kiwis have stories of ‘hard times’ too.

        and whilst I’m sure the recepients of kiwi baked goods were grateful and that they were delicious, cake didn’t stop hitler or tojo

        as for ‘Poetry’ it’s just a matter of taste and has no bearing on anything.

        and yes I love NZ, it gave me a chance I didn’t have in the UK, maybe that’s why I care about it going down the tubes..but it ain’t perfect and never was get used to it…sometimes maybe an ‘outside eye’ is needed even though it’s resented.

        lastly I’ll repeat SEALORD.

  8. Didn’t in article 2 (te Reo version) the chiefs cede their kawanatanga (governorship) to the Crown? To me this does not scream ‘co-governance’. Tino rangatiratanga allows self determination of iwi under the governance of the Crown. You are right Chris – the government is being naïve.

  9. The idea that Queen Victoria and the British Empire would sign an agreement of co-governance with a people barely out of the Stone Age is just preposterous.

    All were equal and that’s it – no more no less.

    This co-governance thing is a power grab by the Maori elite to enrich themselves and will do nothing for the working classes of any race or creed

    It’s terrifying to think that Labour support it!

    • The whole concept is dangerous bound to cause great division in NZ.
      The Labour Government caucus is Maori dominated that’s why Labour support it.

      • Jeremy. Not necessarily so. This dangerous concept could be Labour trying to keep onside with deranged Green mp’s whose identity politics would be better binned, transported to the tip, and bulldozed under. Labour needs its greens.

      • Zombi. “ If they really wanted to improve things for Maori “ , difficult as it may be, Waitangi Tribunal processes would have been sought to ensure that uber settlements trickled down to all Maori, and not kept by trusts or others feathering their own kohanga.

  10. You could do a symbolic change , replace the British Queen (crown) and create a royal Maori dynasty whose role is mainly ceremonial.

  11. Thanks for this Chris.

    Few are comfortable talking about this because its deemed ‘racist’ to oppose it. But for those of us who are wedded to democratic ideals, this new wave is really repugnant. Wrong both historically and constitutionally. The fact that it is Maori as opposed to Asians or anyone else is irrelevant in a sense, it is the principle of the thing. I want the lot of ordinary Maori to improve significantly but I will never support co Governance.

    And as was predicted from the outset, this approach is hugely divisive and can ultimately only end in one way. What makes this even more frustrating is that as we go deeper and deeper into this paradigm, there is no improvement in the lot of ordinary Maori. This whole thing is political virtue signalling.

    If they really wanted to improve things for Maori, they would have begun building houses 7 years ago.

    • Zombi I will never support co-governance either, and it is far from democratic to cede huge amounts of power to a minority of the population.

      That this minority is Maori is relevant in that unlike other ethnicities, Maori – some Maori – are claiming that the Treaty affords them this right, on ground as shaky as any earthquake, but far more damaging. A motley bunch of politicians of dubious quality trying to inflict divisiveness upon its own people based on an increasingly controversial legal document, is frankly so surreal that one has to ask if there’s another agenda here.

      It is also logistically impractical and unrealistic.

    • Zombi I will never support co-governance either, and it is far from democratic to cede huge amounts of power to a minority of the population.

      That this minority is Maori is relevant in that unlike other ethnicities, Maori – some Maori – are claiming that the Treaty affords them this right, on ground as shaky as any earthquake, but far more damaging. A motley bunch of politicians of dubious quality trying to inflict divisiveness upon its own people based on an increasingly controversial legal document, is frankly so surreal that one has to ask if there’s another agenda here.

      It is also logistically impractical and unrealistic.

  12. Reality is both Chris and Bomber
    are right
    This government have produced a crisis which can only be resolved by 1 of 2 choices, Apartheid or Democracy
    I hope that it can be resolved peacefully but there are only 2 choices

    • Apartheid meaning: The crime of apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime”. Maori don’t advocate such a thing and Democracy is the tyranny of the Majority ova the minority. Are we to continue this charade of one groups dominances ova another? Have about compromises? or is that in the too hard basket for NZ pakeha to even comprehend?

  13. The world is a Whiteman’s burden or in our country Pakeha burden. They want to be in control of everything from literally owning public spaces (even the way we should look, talk and dare I say feel) to mundane everyday daily life stuff. Andrew I am astound but not surprised on your historical literacy or therefore lack of. The fact that you believe that the TOW somehow stopped inter tribal warfare (Musket Wars) and freeing of slavery just goes to show that you are a typical NZ Pakeha whose ancestors visited and plundered these lands even when Maori were feeding and protecting them. The Treaty Of Waitangi has 2 versions (One in Maori One in Pakeha) that Chris Trotter a very formidable astute writer seem to have conveniently left out of his literature. The T.O.W opened the doors for European immigration it was also the cause of the NZ Wars. The fact that Maori wanted to sign these documents (5 years earlier they had sign the Declaration of Independence) which they clearly didn’t understand the nuance’s of English and the writers William Hobson, James Freeman, British Resident James Busby clearly knew this was that Pakeha were committing crimes against Maori. Maori had a saying for this behavior? “Te Riri Pakeha”

    He Puapua is been advocated by Maori academics and some politicians, UNWGIP and will be supported by Maori generally once they become fully aware of its implications is a testament to the systemic failures of Westminster systems that affect indigenous populations here and in Australia, Canada, USA, etc.. The Fact that Pakeha egged on by a Winston type politicians believe that they’re somehow victims to Maori aspirations and want to undo Years of tested & proven case law surrounding the TOW is indicative of their own failings in not recognizing the attitude’s pasted down by their ancestors Victorian supremacist roots that had graced this country on masse after 1840.

    The NZ Pakeha are a funny bunch of Europeans they IMO like to think of themselves in a nostalgic fashion but dig deeper beneath the veneer and you start to find a whole can of worms that has been wriggling in the dark for eternity.

  14. Matthew Campbell, There may be another way to resolve this government induced crisis, and that is to dispense with the government which engineered it. The alternatives may be bleak, but the long-term future of New Zealand will be bleaker if democracy is jettisoned in favour of apartheid.

  15. It’s all gas and wind and goes nowhere good politically.

    If Labour doesn’t have a ball sack large enough to take on the middle class property owning rort then they are hardly going to attempt to blow up our democracy and introduce a form of apartheid.

    I vote left and would leave Labour in a heartbeat if they ever got serious about this idea, and frankly I would consider holding my nose and voting ACT in order to kick this idea so far into the margins it wouldn’t re-emerge as a political issue for a hundred years.

    Best not to go here, better to spend the political energy on solving the real problems that the poor and working class suffer from rather than risk kicking off the trumpification of NZ politics for which Jacinda and Robertson will never be forgiven.

    S

  16. A writer of note once said: “Democracy is the right to have what you don’t want to have.”
    well yeah but I don’t understand why the obsession with such an old concept, really. Democracy is dead, any technocrat will tell you that.

  17. The British state could not have incorporated Aotearoa into its global empire without the help of Maori. The Treaty of Waitangi was formulated in recognition of this reality. Then, without the help of “friendly Maori”, the kupapa, British forces would not have prevailed in the wars of the 1860s and 1870s.
    Friendly Maori remained useful to colonialism through the twentieth century, fighting Britain’s wars in Africa and Europe and Malaysia, and America’s wars in Korea and Vietnam.
    What has changed now? Well, the role assigned to Maori in the preservation of the colonialist order is now more critical than at any other time since 1860. That is what co-governance is all about. As the brainchild of the colonialist party par excellence, the NZLP, cogovernance is intended to combine the power of the European establishment and the mana of Maori elites as a bulwark against the rise of populist and nationalist sentiment among the peoples of Aotearoa.
    The problem, as Chris Trotter realizes, is that it won’t work. The cogovernance system will swiftly come to be seen for what it is – a vain attempt to prolong the era of colonialism at the expense of working class Maori and Pakeha rather than a genuine expression of rangatiratanga.
    Trotter is mortified, because he sees the entire colonialist project jeopardized by the ill-judged cogovernance proposals. Ultimately, however, it will make little difference. The struggle between colonialism and rangatiratanga may be more bitter, divisive and possibly violent if a significant portion of Maori choose to throw in their lot with colonialist cogovernance but the ultimate outcome will be the unchanged. Cogovernance or no cogovernance, colonialism has a distinctly limited future in our motu.

  18. I wonder if the significant percentage of immigrants from India, or China (two large groups) could be thought of as ‘colonialists’ in the future of the motu.

    • Immigration is a tool of colonialism. Sir Julius Vogel, who initiated the colonial regime’s policy of mass immigration, described it as the only alternative to a war of extermination against Maori, and to this day the colonial regime uses mass immigration in an effort (which will ultimately prove futile) to suppress and overwhelm Maori and the tangata motu of Aotearoa.
      However that does not mean that all immigrants are colonialist in attitude, intention or effect. Some choose not to recognise the British claim to sovereignty over Aotearoa, or to give their allegiance to the British monarch. So those cannot be described as colonialist, regardless of their country of origin.

  19. You stole my picture and used it at the top of this article without my permission. Probably not a good look for someone lecturing us about rights and obligations.

  20. Immigration lowers wages and disrupts social cohesion – both good for the ruling classes whose aim is enrichment and power. This is about greed not culture (per se). They are equal opportunity abusers. They are as happy for racists to attack immigrants as they are for the left to label anti immigration policy as racist.

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