Enough already about the Maori Seat in Auckland

I have had it about up to here (indicates over top of head) with all this bullshit about Maori seats and treaty right and other such tosh as spouted by the liberal elite an maori activists ad nauseum. I include Len Brown in that description too, since he now whole-heartedly believes in having race-based separatist seats when his own council submitted to the Royal Commission against the very thought of it.

Muriel Newman has written the definitive smack-down for any lingering thoughts that fools like Dancing Len may have. It is too lengthy to post in full but it is worth the read. Here is the nub of the argument though;

The second point raised by the Maori Party, that establishing special Maori seats is consistent with current local government laws, is precisely why it is not necessary to legislate for race-based seats.

While the Local Government Act 2002 ? as well as the Resource Management Act and the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act ? already contain significant provisions requiring extensive consultation with Maori, the Local Electoral Act 2001 provides a mechanism for specifically creating reserved Maori seats. At any time, if five per cent of the eligible voting population in a local authority area sign a petition calling for Maori seats – or if the council itself votes to introduce Maori seats – a poll on the issue must be held within a specified timeframe under a well-defined process. The result of the poll is binding.

The third point raised by the Maori Party relies on the argument that the Treaty of Waitangi, creates a partnership between Maori and the Crown and that dedicated Maori seats provide recognition of their ?special status as a partner under the Treaty of Waitangi?. This interpretation originated from a Court of Appeal decision by Sir Robin Cooke in 1987, which was summarised in a later case as follows: The Treaty creates 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.[3]

The problem is that this is surely a description of the sort of relationship that should exist between the Crown and all of its subjects. If such a special relationship just applied to Maori, then the Courts would have been responsible for elevating Maori to the status of a ruling class superior to all other citizens. By definition, all other non-Maori New Zealanders would therefore have been relegated to an inferior status as second class citizens. Since that is clearly not the case, any talk of Maori having special partnership status with the Crown is just wishful thinking by Maori separatists.

Treaty activists regularly attribute special privileges to their rights under the Treaty of Waitangi. This is arrant nonsense. The Treaty has no legal standing in New Zealand law. The terms of the Treaty ? what it actually says ? are contained in three simple articles, which Sir Apirana Ngata, in his iconic booklet ?The Treaty of Waitangi? (written in Maori and translated into English), outlines as follows:

The first article states, The Chiefs assembled including Chiefs not present at the assembly hereby cede absolutely to the Queen of England for ever the government of all of their land?.

The second article states, The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes and to all the people of New Zealand the full possession of their lands, their homes and all their possessions?

The third article states, Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her Royal Protection, and imparts to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects.

In other words, under Article One, the chiefs of New Zealand ceded their sovereignty to Queen Victoria; Article Two created private property rights; and Article Three conferred on Maori the rights and privileges of British subjects, making all New Zealanders equal under the law.

Right got that? Fairly conclusive. But if you are still wanting to harp on about race based separatists seats for Auckland then you also need to look at what Michael Bassett has to say about the issue;

Constant repetition of assertions that Maori have a Treaty of Waitangi right to dedicated seats on the new Auckland Council doesn?t make them correct. It is clear that neither Tuku Morgan nor Len Brown, nor most of the other advocates of separate representation, has read the Treaty, sometimes called our founding document. It is a simple treaty of three clauses. It was written in 1840 when nothing approaching today?s concepts of democracy existed anywhere in the world.? There was no parliament, nor any councils in New Zealand. Consequently there was nothing that could be deemed an Article Two ?taonga? to be preserved on behalf of Maori. What there was in the Treaty, however, was an Article Three guarantee to Maori that the Crown would give Maori ?the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England?. In other words, when it came to politics, Maori rights would be the same as everyone else?s.

Because the Government of Edward Stafford brought in the temporary provision of four Maori seats in 1867 that gradually became a permanent feature of our electoral landscape, some have argued that they form a precedent for separate Maori representation on councils. In fact, no council in the greater Auckland area that will be the subject of the new Auckland City has had separate Maori seats, although two elections took place in the 1980s for the old Auckland Regional Authority using parliamentary boundaries. Two Maori were elected. Since the 1970s Maori have proved that they can win general seats on councils in the Auckland region. Harry Dansey, Dr Pat Hohepa, Ruth Norman, Denise Henare and Betty Wark all sat on either the Auckland City, the Regional or North Shore City councils. There have been others. Most councils have had Maori advisory councils for the last twenty years. They have worked well. Provision now exists in law for councils around the country to opt for separate Maori seats. Only one, so far as I know, has decided to do so. After all, before voting, most councillors realised that Article Three of the Treaty guarantees Maori the same rights as everyone else. Both Manukau and Waitakere cities have debated establishing separate Maori seats. Both rejected them.

And that is the argument, right there, written concisely so even rapping fools can understand it. The Question then to Len Brown is why he is now for something his own council was and still is against? There simply is no valid coherent argument in favour of race-based separatist seats for Auckland.

Perhaps it would be a good time for all to take Dr Bassett’s sensible advice and actually read the Treaty, including the dancing, prancing, rapping Mayor of Manukau.

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