Winston whines; so a written constitution calls

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.  


  1. If commentators could try not to use derogatory emotive language such as referring to Winston Peters as “ whining”, the level of discourse could be elevated, and so might everybody else and issues addressed on established facts, or efforts made to establish facts. One fact is that Peters, like him or not, has a legal degree, and has lead his own political party, and has been deputy PM, which is more than most people manage. I suggest that throwaway comments about the Treaty or about long established legal concepts such as sovereignty, aren’t particularly likely to deter the disenchanted from supporting Peters as the best of a bad bunch. He’s not a “whiner”, his speaking skills have made him one of the best Parliamentary performers, and his humour is also rather welcome in an environment of gloom and doom merchants.

    • Snow White, the only derogatory comment is when Pakeha that are ill informed about our country history start making statements that Winston isn’t a whiner!! He’s one of the best whiners in NZ/AO.

    • winnie’s a covert propagandist deflector for roger douglas’s neoliberal fascist greed fest faction who are still very much functioning in AO/NZ. 38 years and still going strong aye boys?
      He’s the Machiavellian confederate who’s job it is, is to confuse and distract and it’s clearly still working.
      Winnie? What were you and don brash talking about so intimately in that photograph at that cafe. And who was that third fellow? He looked like an all bought and paid for minion in waiting.

  2. Why don’t we drive down the middle of the road? Let’s get a car that has two steering wheels. Then two people can drive!
    Why don’t we drop all the road speed limits so no-one dies? We could remove all the parking spaces in a city so no cars can park. Then businesses would have no business no more.
    There are a lot of assumptions and spurious arguments in the above article which are just as sensible as the above suggestions.
    Maori didn’t have cars or much else of the contemporary world. They were offered equal opportunity (and cars) which some have embraced.
    Realistically, we can’t go back to 1840. Things have happened in the meantime. In fact quite a lot. And here we are sitting in Godzone looking over our shoulders and crying about the past. Maori are well interbred with all new settlers and apart from all of us being bled dry by the corporations in cahoots with the government of the day, what is the problem?
    It is the elites of any race, grasping for more and more. Kingitanga is at play here. It was divisive from the start in 1858 and has never gone away.
    And can anyone say what the outcome would be if Maori had rights over all water in NZ? For example would every person with a smidgen of Maori ancestry who is living in poverty be raised out of poverty? Or would we have very wealthy Maori corporations like Ngai Tahu, with their dairy farms money, not making any difference to the average Maori?
    Because Maori are humans their corporations will not be any more altruistic than any other human corporation.
    As for concerns of a second wave of fewer rights for Maori; if we have equal rights for all enshrined in law (which we have) then there is no issue apart from the possibility there will be fewer rights for all of us.
    The bigger danger is that while we argue, amongst all this we are being hugely undermined by the governments and corporations of the world who are actively encouraging the division of society and cancelling of cultures so they can build back better. First they need to destroy what we have and this is the only sense we can make of the current policies, including dissent over what Maori haven’t had, what they expect to have and how to get it.
    Stephen, I challenge you to write an essay that outlines the benefits accrued to Maori since 1840. No don’t bother as there is plenty written already and obviously more people should read about it or just look around and be awed by what we have.
    I can’t help feeling that whining is contagious.

        • Pope Punctilious II, you call that an argument? That the usual Pakeha clap trap BS that us indigenous folks systemically have to bare tiresomely day in day out its neverendingly but then you’ve never experience that sort of racism have you!

          • Stephan, while I appreciate satire might I suggest it’s a tad difficult to recognise in these outlandish times.

          • Accusing anything that moves as being racist again eh Stephen . . your ‘catch-all’ for anyone who says anything and doesn’t happen to be Maori.

    • You make good sense, Magit. We cannot turn the clock / calendar back to the 1840s (or even the 1950s) even if some people think that would be a good idea. And, as you note, many many Maori have intermarried with Whites. Some Maori have benefited financially and socially from participation in NZ’s “colonialist” society. They don’t all want the same things or have the same aspirations. So what if you don’t like Peters. Don’t vote for him if you don’t like him, fine. But he IS Maori. His views represent those of some Maori and also of some Pakeha. The picture is no longer a simple one if ever it was.

  3. The water *infrastructure* is not their property. If water itself was the issue that would be a whole different discussion.

      • This is the glorious disconnect racist use to justify attacking 3 waters isn’t it?

        ‘No one owns the water’ they gasp.

        Well, who sold 49% of the hydro assets that triggered the legal case for water SK?

        Isn’t it funny, when we sold 49% of the hydro assets, that water suddenly gained a very clear value didn’t it? Now who sold it and triggered the legal action for ownership? Who was that SK? speak up, we all want to hear you.

        • Martyn some of us oppose privatization, irrespective of which government/party does it. Key’s crimes don’t justify the present government’s nefarious intentions.

          • Pope Punctilious I, three waters is for nationalizing our waters for all NZers jeez where do you pakeha get your idea that privatization is a good idea??? Oh that right from Liz Truss and guess how that working out for the Brits?

      • Sour Kraut There is nothing to stop you selling your rain water to eg China or giving it to them for free so that they can bottle it and sell it themselves and make lots and lots of dosh. A man in Christchurch was bottling and selling Mt Cook Air and as far as I know he didn’t have to pay for it. Politicians are well paid for selling dreams and lies so go for it but do spare the fish.

    • This won’t get by the mods. I guess you haven’t read Article 2 that still relevant since 1840, 182 years ago the founding document of NZ/AO

      Article 2 In the English text, the British Crown guaranteed to Māori the undisturbed possession of their properties, including their lands, forests, and fisheries, for as long as they wished to retain them. This text emphasises property and ownership rights.

      The Maori text which the majority of the indigenous landowners signed goes even further. learn abit of our country history before shooting off random rants.

      • I didn’t realise Iwi built all of the countries water infrastructure Stephan. Or do property rights only extend one direction?

        • This won’t get by the mods., I didn’t say they did nor did I suggest such a thing but if you want to go down that path then lets say that maori didn’t pay rates?

          • Well actually Stephan not paying rates is an option for Māori land. Though land to which exemption applies probably doesn’t benefit from water infrastructure.

            Regardless councils own infrastructure for the benefit of all race and creed, I’m not sure what switching to an inherently racist system is supposed to acheive.

            • This won’t get by the mods. ‘Well actually Stephan not paying rates is an option for Māori land.’

              This is what the racist grasp on to when they try to prove a point that Maori practice separatism. This is a fallacy as Maori land that been exempt from rates since the law was passed last year is unproductive and doesn’t receive council services and is hard to access. These lands accrued rates for years but sensibility prevailed in 2021.

              ‘Regardless councils own infrastructure for the benefit of all race and creed, I’m not sure what switching to an inherently racist system is supposed to acheive.’

              Another fallacy that Maori are practicing a racist separatist system. Unlike pakeha, Maori have been dispossessed and face systemic racism that is reflected today. This isn’t even controversial and is even evident on these TDB post with constant barrages of negative connotation towards the Maori and our culture.

    • Like the water that’s being bottled and sent overseas for next to nothing? Is that the water you mean?

  4. ” Maori were the private property owners of it all; except the bits they chose to sell”….then they sold most of it.

    In some instances, the Crown has made ‘full & final’ settlements for pieces of land up to four times.

    • Andrew, historic illiteracy is pakeha biggest fallacy when it comes to history in NZ/AO. The reasons we have compensation payout that only amount to 3% of what was effectively stolen or underhandedly fleeced is because of this fact. Do you think the successive govt just advocated treaty settlements because they choose too? Get a brain lol

      • if someone swaps a forest for a musket and a blanket…that’s business(sharp business but business) not racism….now the confiscations by the crown are a different matter.

    • Sold most of it? Considerable tracts of land were sold under false pretenses. Think of it like this, your neighbor sells me your house, I turn up and throw your arse out onto the street. Land deal completed. And if you complain about it I can always fall back on the argument that you are a typical whining Pakeha always looking for free shit and hand outs.

      See how that works?

    • Or he might take votes away from the shifty Nats, whose pitch to the electorate seems to be: a “better” status quo.

    • Agree @Boris.
      We must not let a rogue populist like Peters derail National and ACT’s tax policies.
      The only way to recover the economy from 6 years of mismanagement and neglect by Labour and the Greens, is to elect a fiscally responsible alliance between National and ACT.
      We don’t need Winsome Peters, who has become an obsolete political dinosaur.

      We cannot let long-overdue adjustments to personal tax, business tax and an overhaul of GST, to be lost in the clutter of Peters’ racism claims.

  5. After 1840 the Crown assumed sole right to purchase Maori lands under article 2 of the Treaty (though many Maori evidently thought the government had simply gained the first right to buy, rather than a monopoly). Massive land purchases followed. The Canterbury Purchase of 1848, for example, saw 20 million acres-nearly a third of the entire country-pass out of Maori ownership, for a paltry price of 2000 pounds and just a few small reserves for Ngai Tahu to live on.

    Although Maori often understood these purchases quite differently from the Crown and continued to use many of the lands that had supposedly been ‘SOLD’, an influx of pakeha settlers in the 1850s increasingly pushed them to the margins of colonial society. Many rangatira (chiefs) and their iwi became concerned about the impact of these transactions. They feared with trepidation that the country was slipping out of their hands piece by piece, with their own future an uncertain one, as a mere servant of the settlers.

    They understood that they would lose not just their lands but effective control. Some tribes responded by actively opposing further land sales. Many pakeha branded this response a ‘land league’ The Crown did not help matters by making even more underhanded and secretive land purchases, which gave maori more cause for concern. Ngāi Tahu made its first claim against the Crown for breach of contract in 1849.

  6. So what more do we do Stephen?

    You see my understanding is that co governance will delute the power of my vote. I will fight anyone to ensure this doesn’t happen. Because although democracy is imperfect, I believe it is the best we’ve got,

    I have always just wanted to see people well housed, well paid, with good health care and access to education. All people.

    The govt has done something to redress the wrongs in the Treaty settlement process. Like all attempts to get justice, it will never truly compensate (just like for people wrongly imprisoned a lump sum never does). Tanui now own one billion from their Treaty settlement. Nga Tahu is a very wealthy tribe (what a surprise their riches only trickle down). Maori of course can purchase any land up for sale if they have the means. A relative of mine (Maori) has found themselves a part owner off a particularly valuable bit of land in the South Island.

    One of the issues for me about cogovernance is the sneaky way Labour have gone about it eg the Rotorua Admin Bill that Tamati Coffey brought to parliament. And I am sick to death of a bull shit narrative being told eg about Tohunga Act and the omission that it was. Maori that pushed for English only in school.

    Usually if you receive a settlement in compensation for a wrong, that’s it. Full and final. Then it’s up to you to find a way to heal yourself. Not be stuck ina endless grievance cycle

    • Anker, amazingly another pakeha that just regurgitated what we as the indigenous people of this country have been enduring for nearly 182 years. Firstly Coffey, I’m assuming Bill he advocated had to do with the Fenton st debacle to be honest I’m not at all familiar with and these condescending remarks that Maori pushed for English speaking schools ‘only’ as if that a thing negates the historic context of which you clearly have no real knowledge about like the (Native Schools Act) and European colonization with Pakeha aggressiveness and racism against anything Maori.

      The Co-governance is working just fine. One only needs to look at the Rotorua lakes, Te Urewera rangers, Waikato river, Tongariro geothermal etc.. that hasn’t disenfranchised any NZers and has enhanced our country sovereignty for all NZers not just for Maori! These are private property rights which is promised under Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi that Pakeha have exclusively enjoyed from 1840 until 1975.

      The total paid out in treaty settlements since the process started in the 1980s is now just over $2 billion. It represents less than three percent of the value of land and assets stolen from Māori. (The last of the big settlements, the largest in fact, will be with Ngapuhi which is yet to start negotiations)

      And for useful comparison, never forget that John Key’s National cabinet, after a 10-minute discussion around the cabinet table, agreed to pay up to $1.7 billion to the wealthy investors in the collapsed South Canterbury Finance.

      • This is the bill I was talking about Stephen. The Auditor General stopped it.

        Well again I asked what do you want down about it? Cause really you are just telling me that you the indigenous people have had to endure this for 182 years.

        I am sorry you as an indigenous person only got 3% of the value of your land back.
        I am not sure anything can be done about that now. You must be pissed off with whoever signed on your behalf?

        It was the member for Eastern Maori that petitioned Parliament to ban the speaking of Maori in schools. He was backed a petition from roughly 300 Maori. But I guess they all got it wrong because they didn’t understand the context they were lobbying for English only in.
        And the Tohunga Act was introcuded by James Carrol (Maori )and endorsed by Dr Maui Pomare (first Maori Dr). They were concerned because people had died from charlitan Maori faith healers. A similar bill was passed later for Pakeha sham healers.

        My husband is Maori. He’s had a good life and takes responsibility for himself. Went to school, did well, worked hard, owns land, both Maori and private land. He received excellent treatment in the health system and we were the first by a long shot to get our covid jabs (I got mine with him at the marae as I could have brought covid home to him).

        • Anker, There’s a few historic interpretation that I find troubling with your narrative. Firstly lets examine the banning of Maori speaking at schools?

          ” Eastern Maori that petitioned Parliament to ban the speaking of Maori in schools. He was backed a petition from roughly 300 Maori.”

          The context that you’ve discribe doesn’t include historic factors at the time and the pressures on Maori society. To actually believe that Maori sort their own demise, ‘remember language is an important part of a cultures wellbeing’ to simply say that Maori sign away on a piece of paper is lazy research and you haven’t included the ‘Native Schools Act’ among other events of the time.

          ‘And the Tohunga Act was introcuded by James Carrol (Maori )and endorsed by Dr Maui Pomare (first Maori Dr). They were concerned because people had died from charlitan Maori faith healers.’

          Another revisionist fallacy without historic context. This act specifically targeted ‘Rua Kenana’ because the govt of the time was somehow afraid of his movement (told his people not to go to war against the Boers in SA and later WW1) as he advocated for sovereignty for his followers the ‘Ihiraira’ that built a community in the heart of the Te Urewera of Tuhoe. Buck Carroll a rare Maori politician and a crown loyalist along with Apirana Ngata advocated for the Tohunga suppression act and Dr Maui Pomare backed it with his expertise that he gained from the American Medical Missionary College at Chicago and graduated MD in 1899. No doubt that Maori couldn’t practice their old beliefs in an ever changing society and Rua Kenana also agreed with this concept which is why he moved to create a community in the middle of nowhere to isolate them from diseases that were brought to them when his people visited schools and military facilities.

          There a host of assumptions and misleading narrative that aren’t discussed in its entirety and is difficult because of many factors but I’d advise you to research our country history properly then you’ll be able to make an informed opinion? And being a shareholder in Maoriland isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. There is just to many owners unless you hold free-hold land which is subjected to the law and at the end of the day your abilities are severely waterdown when trying to achieve what you want. But Pakeha ownership now that has real leverage. I’ll leave a link at the bottom if you’re interested in learning our country’s history warts and all have a good one.

      • South Canterbury Finance was in an insurance scheme which covered investors so the government of tye day did not have a choice .9 other Finance Companies were covered as well but SCF was the largest .If the payout had not happened many businesses would have gone under and all South Island people would have been hurt including the Maori.
        Maori were invaded and beaten by force and religion the treaty stopped a continuous lose of life which could have led to annialation. It may be time to stop looking back and plan to go forward now they are treated more equally.

        • Trevor, historic revisionism seem to be a thing for Pakeha that clearly haven’t studied or even care to examine our country history. The point that you made that the treaty stop Maori being beaten up by force is fake-news and negates any semblance to Europeans beating each other up. I’ll leave a link so you can come up with a better argument that what you’ve written.

      • Thank you Stephen for all your comments. You’re a hero of knowledge and history and doing a great job.

      • If the Urewera settlement is the gold standard for co governance then NZ is in big trouble. For 18 months the park was closed , they wanted a direct line to Kelvin ,and now they are burning down all the back country huts and getting $10m to replace them. Pest eradication is now non existent.He Pua pua demands that maori customs are enshrined in law. In Iran people are dying fighting customs that are enshrined in law

  7. If you really believe that 85% of the population agree that they and all their descendants will be legally and politically 2nd class citizens then have a binding referendum to say so
    Otherwise give up on the idea that the first group of immigrants have special rights over subsequent ones

  8. A very good article until you compared Maori to LGBTQ. There is physical evidence that people are Maori but nothing that can be measured (Blood, DNA, chemicals, etc)will show sexual orientation. We live in a free society so if enough people decide a behavior is acceptable then we need to accept their choice but the choice over sexual orientation is no different from a personal choice over religion. You cannot measure a person’s religion (although certain lifestyle choices can allow us to make an accurate guess) & it is totally wrong to force religion on anyone.
    I guess my main point is that Maori have a solid evidence-based basis for their treaty rights while LGBTQ people deserve to be treated fairly because they have the same right to live as the rest of us.

  9. Winston the wordsmith, looking at ways to divide and conquer, a well known political technique.
    Always looking for angles to get him back in coalitions of disruption.

  10. Hardly wheel, you don’t know jack shit about co-governance and treaty settlements in the past. You seem also to be preoccupied with Finlayson, he’s looking for a bf too..

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