Hobson's Pledge - "we are now one people"

WilliamHobsonGovNZ_200_x_175.jpgGovernor Hobson represented Queen Victoria on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840. Hobson greeted each Chief who came forward to sign the treaty with the following pledge : “he iwi tahi tatou” – "we are now one people"(1). Hobson's pledge to the chiefs laid the foundation of New Zealand's democracy: One citizen: one vote, regardless of race, colour, religion or gender.

This pledge, "he iwi tahi tatou", that the people of New Zealand were united under the law, is enshrined in section 19(1) of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race(2).

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world ...

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. (3)

 

Sources:

(1) New Zealand History: William Hobson's Biography: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/william-hobson

(2) Prohibited grounds of discrimination: Human Rights Act 1993: Section 21(f) (race)

(3) for the full text: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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