Mr Peters is actually attacking private property rights!
The Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Crown and the Maori land owners of New Zealand. Article 2 guaranteed Maori full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries and other properties. Maori were the private property owners of it all; except the bits they chose to sell. Article 3 rmade Maori British subjects with all the same rights and privileges, and those rights must include protection of private property. Article two made this private property guarantee stronger by recognising that private property can be collectively or individually possessed. Everything in New Zealand was recognised as Maori private property.
The Crown for many years did not honour the treaty and the Maori private property rights guaranteed within the Treaty. This left Maori without significant income assets and left to live in poverty. This is the situation for many today and it faces all of us. But some people think that Article 1 of the Treaty meant Maori gave away full sovereignty thus allowing the government to do what it liked with Maori private property, and what happened in the past is legitimate because of Article 1. But Article 1 does not create an authoritarian state where Maori private property rights exist at the whim of the Crown. (Though Maori may in practise have experienced it like this). Britain was a constitutional monarchy which is a democracy where private property rights are respected
So when Mr Peters speaks of honouring the Treaty as creating ‘inverse racism’ with Maori now ascendant over pakeha he is actually saying property rights can be stolen and not respected with proper compensation. For example the compensation to Tainui for land confiscation amounts to only 3% of the value of what was stolen. Imagine if farmers had land taken for roading and they only got 3% of the land value back. Wouldn’t that be outrageous and unjust? But Mr Peters is in effect saying this is okay. So should we do this for roading changes?
Mr Peters rails that Maori are getting more rights than Pakeha. This is simply not true. For example three waters. The Treaty of Waitangi recognises and guarantees Maori as having private property rights over water. It is only right that the government engages with Maori about their private property. Maori rights to equal treatment for their private property rights have simply been trashed by our previous governments and their courts. And the basis of this was mass immigration, without a written constitution and courts with the rights to protect them, that marginalised the Maori community.
Also I’m ignoring here the obvious significant differences between the Maori and Pakeha versions of Article 1 which clearly show Maori were not surrendering sovereign tribal authority and that co-governance rights are in the Treaty. It’s just this reading is not essential to show rights are not currently equally held.
Those who complain about Maori privilege are actually making their own rights more vulnerable. Wouldn’t the complainers efforts be better directed to the business community working hand over fist to increase immigration so they can pay lower wages and not have to pay higher tax to train and educate our own citizens? When immigration is completely open for business our New Zealand tall poppies will always be overshadowed a few taller ones from overseas (simple bell curve effect). Often people come here as a stepping stone to the lucky country with which we have open borders, and it is wealthier. And its mass immigration that is one of the factors putting pressure on our essential infrastructure like housing and health. Why isn’t Mr Peters pushing for higher taxes on businesses who are requesting and pushing for greater immigration so these businesses pay for the essential infrastructure?
Why is Mr Peters beating up on Maori who just want their property rights respected equally to others? The Treaty of Waitangi is our treaty, all New Zealanders, whether we like it or not. It is our word and for our personal integrity we must honour and respect our word. Some say it isn’t and assert they didn’t sign it. Well driving on the left hand side of the road is not something they signed either. Big trouble if you don’t respect that. And yes those who disagree can pursue a change and want to put us all through the huge cost of completely changing our current fleet of cars with the dangers of some forgetting and driving on the wrong side. Best of luck on that. But for the Treaty they will have to have a pretty good offer because Maori as the other party to the Treaty have lost so much that they will be relunctant to give it up. Current Maori just like the original signatories of the Treaty will be highly unlikely to simply surrender full sovereigtny to the Crown, for nothing. Those who want to simply rip it up and not negotiate don’t mentally to live in a democracy where you must respect others. They can go to Putin’s Russia and get conscripted. See how nice it is when somebody bullies and pushes you around.
With Winston’s whining and New Zealand society changing quite dramatically through immigration, does this raise the risk of a second wave of less rights for Maori? Who else? LGBTQ people? (Pushing down on minorities is a world trend at the moment). Now is the time to learn from the past and recognise the need to protect all peoples rights equally in New Zealand. We must urgently develop a proper constitution with a court system that can defend civil rights from the risks of tyranny by a majority who if mislead by demagogy and misinformation may make laws that violate civil and Treaty rights of New Zealanders. New Zealand has not been an equal and just society let’s make it one with a strong written constitution.