Friday, February 11, 2005



Trying to kill the Treaty

Winston Peter's Treaty Principles Deletion Bill, which would remove all references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation, has been drawn from the ballot and will be put before the House. Predictably, National has announced its enthusiastic support, but they simply don't have the votes to push it through, and I fully expect the Bill to fall at its first reading. Which IMHO is a damn good thing. As I've explained before, "Treaty clauses" referring to the principles are the only thing that gives the bargain underlying the Treaty of Waitangi legal force. If they are removed, then effectively so is the Treaty.

The Dead White Males who support Peters and Brash - the ones who look back nostalgicly to the 50's, when New Zealand society resembled the present National caucus, with Maori and women seated firmly at the back of the room and ignored - probably see that as a wonderful thing. The rest of us - those who realise that Maori are not just going to shut up or go away - ought to be horrified.

5 comments:

Don't you mean 'undead' white males? Am I the only one who's noticed that Don Brash and Stephen Franks both bear an uncanny resemblance to Murnau's classic vampire movie, Nosferatu (1922)?

Craig

Posted by Anonymous : 2/11/2005 11:20:00 AM

The Treaty clauses are only one means of giving The Treaty legal force. In my view, they're not the best way. Nevertheless, to remove the clauses without any moves to a constitutional settlement for the Treaty makes little sense IMHO. National and NZ First would do better to promote their view point on the Treaty by way of an alternative constitutional forum to the constitutional inquiry.

Posted by Lewis : 2/11/2005 04:47:00 PM

Or by promoting a bill to provide greater legal clarity by defining those principles in statute (which would incidently allow them to lead the debate and position them as constitution-builders rather than wreckers). But instead, they seem to be trying to pretend that the whole Treaty thing never happened...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/11/2005 10:45:00 PM

“..with Maori and women seated firmly at the back of the room”

And when, in 2004, a women (Corrections Officer) tries to stay at the front of the room, she is abused for being culturally insensitive. It’s hard to sort anything as complex as this out when the parties concerned cannot act from a principle based viewpoint, and instead act out of P.C.

“The rest of us - those who realise that Maori are not just going to shut up or go away - ought to be horrified. “

That sounds a bit harsh. I’m not expecting the Maori to shutup or go away. I’m expecting them to come to the table and work out a settlement, one that respects my heritage in this country, and work to create a New Zealand that the rest of the world can admire.

Posted by Tyrone : 2/19/2005 11:51:00 PM

How would a removal of treaty principles from the law books force maori and women out of parliment?

Im tempted to be sarcastic but my best guess is that you think there is prejudice against them so you need to provide prejudice in their favour. One has to wonder why you dont jsut deal with the problem that you percieve as opposed to some odd attempt to create an equal and opposite problem. for example if women are not allowed in parliment because parties never promote women (as is obvious from our lack of female priministers) then the answer is to create and enforce anti discrimination laws not to enshrine the rights of women to the foreshore in the law. The latter would be a rather inefficient way of approaching the problem.

> But instead, they seem to be trying to pretend that the whole Treaty thing never happened...

most conservatives (that I know) just don't want to be bothered by race/high culture based policies anymore or even the potential for such policies (and they dont trust you not to create them).

I have this image of people having DNA tests to decide their status under the law.

Posted by Genius : 2/20/2005 01:51:00 AM