$8m budgeted for coastal claims

This year’s New Zealand Budget shows that over $8 million, or 17 percent of the total allocation for Vote Treaty Negotiations, has been earmarked for determining customary interests in the marine and coastal area over the next year.

The money goes to iwi-hapu-whanau applicants while non-iwi-hapu-whanau objectors must stump up $110 of their own money to file a notice in the High Court.

There is no fund or support from the Crown for objections even though such objections may be in the public interest.

The $8-million mentioned above is in addition to more than $33 million, or 67 percent of the Vote, for handling historical Treaty claims, as well as for handling the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011.

This year’s Budget also includes a five-year appropriation, to 2021, of $1.4 billion, for the payment of financial redress to claimant groups, and for the payment of interest on settlement redress. See https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2017/by/dept/justice.htm

Hobson’s Pledge says that wherever it can be reasonably established that the Crown unlawfully confiscated property from any individual or group, compensation should be paid, provided however that any such compensation should be “full and final”.

But many of the historical claims currently being dealt with don’t involve land confiscation, and the Marine and Coastal Area Act opens a new income stream for claimants and their legal representatives.

Hobson’s Pledge also says that funding iwi-hapu-whanau applicants alone is at odds with a society in which rights are based on citizenship, not ethnicity.

Fake history more dangerous than fake news

Fake history is more dangerous than fake news, according to an article posted recently on the website of the conservative think tank the Witherspoon Institute, in Princeton, United States.

The article, by William Jeynes, says that fake history promotes false narratives, twists the facts, or omits certain key facts altogether. And it is this fake history that has established the foundation for fake news. See http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2017/05/19322/ .

New Zealand observers of Treaty politics know full well that the Treaty settlement industry is built on a fake history largely fostered by the Waitangi Tribunal.

The repetition of half-truths and historical inaccuracies does nothing but serve to perpetuate a separatist divide upon an often-erroneous belief that injustices have occurred.

This fake history has enabled a new orthodoxy in which chiefs didn't cede sovereignty through signing the Treaty of Waitangi and instead expected a partnership. This history has recreated 1860s tribal rebels as heroic freedom fighters resisting colonial oppression.

History and fake history collided when Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy in February repeated an old wives' tale about women and children being burnt to death in a church at Rangiaowhia in 1864.

When challenged with evidence that the church that was supposed to have been burned remained standing for years after the alleged incident, Dame Susan refused to retract her statement. See http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/147967-under-fire-incorrect-history-lesson.html