Waatea News Column: The Treaty Principles Referendum Bill is a Right Wing Trojan Horse


The Treaty Principles Referendum Bill is nothing more than a Right Wing Trojan Horse that will damage the Treaty.

Lord Cooke’s ruling in 1987 was an attempt to create a framework that gave the Treaty meaning. He ruled, “the Treaty created an enduring relationship of a fiduciary nature akin to a partnership, each party accepting a positive duty to act in good faith, fairly, reasonably and honourably towards the other”, and this has been the framework for co-operation for almost 4 decades.

It creates the obligation to work with Māori, revoking it as ACT wants would mean there is no obligation to work with Māori, so while the Right argue the Treaty Principles Referendum Bill doesn’t impact the Treaty, they are being purposely deceptive in how that will actually operate.

The Right claim this Treaty Principles Referendum Bill is really about standing up for democracy and equality and won’t impact the Treaty, when THAT’S. JUST. NOT. TRUE!

If implemented, this would eliminate any obligation to work with Māori which would make the Treaty meaningless.

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The Right want to pretend this Treaty Principles Referendum Bill is about democracy, when really it’s about cementing into place a 19th Century White Settler Privilege that freezes the Treaty in time and amputates future obligations.

Pretending this isn’t a direct assault on the Treaty is simply not true.


First published on Waatea News.


  1. Lord Cooke did not say the Treaty CREATED a “partnership” only that the responsibilities of the signatories to each other, ie. the Crown and the Maori chiefs, was “akin to a partnership”.

  2. What does ACT and its sponsors stand for? First up the privatisation of any state assets and operations, any remaining public utilities etc. Why? To make money out of you and me.

    Why attack the Tiriti? Because it stands in the way of privatising public resources.

    This is an asset grab dressed up as “equality under the law” and “one man one vote” etc.

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