Why ACT’s Treaty Referendum Bill is so dangerous and so disingenuous


ACT’s Treaty Referendum Bill is dangerous and disingenuous…

1. All citizens of New Zealand have the same political rights and duties

2. All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot

3. New Zealand is a multi-ethnic liberal democracy where discrimination based on ethnicity is illegal

…The Bill sounds good until you realise what it actually means

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.

…passing ACT’s Bill would remove that obligation to work with Māori making the Treaty meaningless.

This is a direct attack on the Treaty and the very value of our Democracy

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Let’s be very clear, what the right are arguing for here with this Treaty Principles Referendum Bill is not Democracy, but Majoritarianism.

The benchmark for morality under Majoritarianism is that 51% can vote to kill the other 49%.

Great if you are in the 51%, not so great if you are in the 49%.

A democracy worth its name understands the power structures within society and provides a democracy that actually represents the wider interests of everyone.

What ACT are doing here is stripping away Māori political rights by strangling off any obligation to work with Māori. It makes the Treaty redundant so attempts to pretend this doesn’t impact the Treaty is just a deception.

Majoritarianism is not democracy, it’s authoritarian.

Democracy uses the State to build people up, Majoritarianism demands the State punish those the Majority despise.

We need to fight for our Democracy and not the empty legitimacy of Majoritarianism.

Just because you have the numbers to do it, doesn’t make it right or just or clever or worthy of us.

It’s counter productive culture war revenge fantasies implemented for nothing more than political plunder.

David’s argument that ACT stand for tino rangatiratanga is so misplaced I wonder if David has ever met any Māori…

The Treaty: We don’t believe Treaty of Waitangi is a partnership between races – David Seymour

Over the past decade, no party has shown more courage in standing up for the freedoms of New Zealanders than Act.

There’s been the freedom of parents to choose a school that suits their children, charter schools. Our party has stood for the legal rights of licensed firearm owners, freedom of speech, the freedom of vulnerable people suffering at the end of their life to choose assisted dying, and the freedom of people to go about their business in the face of heavy-handed Covid measures.

Now in Government, we continue to stand up for New Zealanders’ rights. We are reintroducing choice in education, beating back the thickets of red tape and regulation so deadly to innovation and development, and ensuring Oranga Tamariki has the rights of each vulnerable child as its unconditional focus, among other initiatives.

In these and other examples, Act stands for the mana of the individual, the right to live life as you choose so long as you are not harming others. Put another way, Act has championed tino rangatiratanga, or self-determination.

…at a time when the Mining Industry and Trans National Corporations want to buy up NZ land and the privatisation thugs are looking to rob us blind, we need more safeguards to our sovereignty than David Seymour’s limp and brittle definition of tino rangatiratanga.

All he is doing here is reducing the concept of tino rangatiratanga into the shallow individualism of the Western tradition.

Individualism über alles is a petty trade in for what Māori already have.

David wants to downgrade Māori from citizens to consumers.

Māori communalism is as close to Kiwi socialism as we are going to get! David’s attempt to reduce tino rangatiratanga into individualism misses the Māori values where sharing and communalism is central.

All David is doing is forcing a Western Philosophical definition of the self onto Māori and then telling them to accept it!

How does replacing Māori communalism for a shallow western definition of the individual, justify dumping the Treaty Principles?

If anything, wouldn’t further atomisation of Māori culture help fray the unity and allow ACT to legislate it away?

Māori tino rangatiratanga is the sovereignty of the people, not the self interest of the individual, if this is all ACT is rolling up to Waitangi with as a justification for their race baiting referendum, good luck.

ACT’s Treaty Referendum Bill is dangerous and disingenuous.


Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.


  1. …because it’s going to reveal to the public at large that non-citizens, i.e. foreigners, have voting rights in New Zealand, something that no journalist, academic or public figure is willing to do… I wonder how it pans out? *crickets chirping*

  2. There are many possibilities for redressing the wrongs suffered by Māori since colonization, but the current treaty process is ill-conceived and divisive.

    There are plenty of fiduciary duties owed, that are not being honoured, and have not been since The Great Betrayal. NZ has in effect an elected nobility – notable only for their lack of talent and commitment to governing the country in a sensible and equitable manner.

    Corruption is particularly evident, whether it be the incredible spend of $50 million (under Labour) on investigating a cycle bridge that could have been built for $15 million, or Brownlee’s secret donor system – US lobbyists are expected to be in the open, but of course nothing Brownlee does will pass the sniff test, so it’s got to happen in the dark.

    • Shane Jones doesn’t even pretend any more. He’s just openly corrupt. At least Ardern wouldn’t allow that a’hole to be Minister of Fisheries because he was the definition of conflict of interest.

    • you are an expert at deflection from the reality that Maori have been fucked over .One example is the 1.2 million acres of land stolen in the waikato alone .Lots of white settlers made shit loads from that land .Where is the return of that property to its rightfull owners .?They got a paltry 140 million for that land which would have been worth way more when that settlement came into force .You can try to erase history all you like but in time the world is waking up to what really happened and acknowledging the real truth.I was once a racist like you until I educated myself after listening to a white supremist in our family spilling vile bullshit all night .

      • Yep, so true. A good many have historical amnesia. Or are ignorant of history. Willfully so. They see no significance in it. Or simply don’t know what they don’t know.

  3. A document nearly 200 years old being used as a form of entitlement is not achieving anything. Look at the ethnicity of Auckland for example, 1 in 5 are Chinese, do you honestly think they give a fu*k about the Treaty? 17% of the population demanding a 50% stake in state decision making is not democracy no matter how you paint it. The Treaty is gone, get used to it

  4. A form of entitlement? Really?

    As for the stats, yes, that’s the official picture but travel to the Hokianga or anywhere in Northland outside the few enclaves of prosperity, or indeed Tairawhiti, and the picture is very different.

    Chinese attitudes? You’ve got no evidence for your comments. Just a bad attitude. And remember many of the 20% that live in Akl were born here or came as young children. That fact alone, they are likely to have a different perspective to their parents.

  5. Yes, Gordon this is why our Maori Queen refused to let her people go to war as the government stole (confiscated) almost all of their land.

  6. You called it absolutely right with the political plunder comment. That’s all this is, like Brexit was for Boris Johnson. Act couldn’t give two fucks about the treaty and are using this as a way to forge a political powerbase. We see that working with all the bigots out there. That’s why this is disingenuous and dangerous. And why Luxon is such a dumb ass.

  7. The other aspect of Act’s position goes way beyond Māori bashing and warped tyranny of the majority. Essentially they want to reduce resistance to international corporate exploitation of Aotearoa NZ resources. The original TPPA trade drafts had a section on Rongoa Māori–medicines and plants–that ring fenced them. Pākehā and other tauiwi have a lot more in common with Māori interests than most understand.

      • Totally, he got a parliamentary spot, via an electorate, handed to him on a plate by the

        With his Atlas Network training Incel Dave was all set to go with what has turned out as NZ’s version of MAGA.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here