I look at the racist hatefest that the issue of co-governance and 3 Waters has degenerated into and then I look at the intellectual effort redesigning our Constitution would require and I honestly don’t believe that we as a culture have the maturity required to meet the challenge.
Māori would rightfully be highly dubious of any new power system that bypassed the obligations of the Treaty while those who fear Indigenous political power would strive to dilute and undermine any of the current hard fought political rights Māoridom currently have.
This is a tragedy because I believe one of the most powerful unexplored parts of the Treaty is the State’s implied obligations to protect our collective rights, be they Māori or Pakeha. Self-sovereignty is the agency of the individual – a cherished and protected value in Western Democracy, as is property rights!
I believe an Upper House with a 50-50 Māori/Pakeha split that acts like the House of Lords in overviewing legislation which impacts the Treaty would be a means of bringing both sides of the Treaty into the political partnership promised by the Treaty.
We would need to acknowledge those obligations and empower society to fulfill them, but that is a deep conversation beyond the shallow scope of the current dialogue, I just don’t believe we are anywhere near a place where we could discuss a new Constitution in good faith.
We still have an enormous amount of bridges to build to get to that space as a nation., and that fact is sadder than the passing of the Queen.