Those supporting Hobson's Pledge Trust are New Zealanders who want all citizens to prosper and succeed. We believe that:
- All New Zealanders should be equal before the law, irrespective of when they or their ancestors arrived in New Zealand;
- The Treaty of Waitangi is not in any meaningful sense New Zealand’s constitution;
- The Treaty did, however, establish three important points, namely that, in signing the Treaty, chiefs ceded sovereignty to the Crown; that in turn the Crown would protect the property rights of all New Zealanders; and that “nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani” (the ordinary people of New Zealand) would have the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England;
- The Treaty of Waitangi did not create a “partnership” between Maori and the Crown;
- The Treaty of Waitangi did not establish any “principles” and all references to such “principles” should be removed from legislation;
- There is no longer any need for special Maori representation in government, whether it be Maori electorates in Parliament, Independent Maori Statutory Board in Auckland, or racially based representation in other governance bodies;
- All New Zealanders have an equal interest in the quality of fresh water and in the protection of the environment;
- There is no longer any need for the Waitangi Tribunal;
- 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”;
- Policy measures intended to support those who need special assistance from government should be based on need, and not on ethnicity.
Over the last four decades, New Zealanders have seen a steady move away from the promise of Governor Hobson when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, namely that all new Zealanders would be one people. The Treaty has increasingly been interpreted to imply that those with a Maori ancestor have some kind of special constitutional status in clear violation of Article III of the treaty that all Maori would have the "rights and privileges of British subjects".
Hobson's Pledge was set up to build support for reversing this dangerous trend and affirming that all New Zealand citizens, whenever they or their ancestors arrived in this beautiful land, have equal constitutional status.
We aim to achieve this by opposing all forms of racial preference.
Unless this equality of citizenship is re-established, the future of our country is bleak: too many Maori will come to believe that their economic prosperity is best advanced by "clipping the ticket" on the activity of other citizens, while other Maori will resent being patronised because of the implication that Maori are somehow not able to stand on their own two feet without special preferences.
At the same time, those without a Maori ancestor, will become increasingly resentful at having to consult with Maori, indeed get permission from Maori, before being able to go about their lawful business.
This situation is already emerging, with resentment and anger the result.
Those supporting the Hobson's Pledge have no interest in reversing Treaty settlements which have taken place over the last 30 years, even though some of us have misgivings about the basis on which some of these were made. the settlement of historical claims is now well advanced and we believe it would be entirely counter-productive to re-open any of those settlements. Indeed, we favour the speedy resolution of remaining historical grievances.
But it is vitally important for New Zealand's future that we move forward as one people, not two people defined by ancestry. This is especially true now that, because of inter-marriage over nearly two centuries, we are no longer distinct peoples in any event.
Having a constitutional preference has done little or nothing for the well-being of most Maori. On the contrary: policies that lead some to believe that economic prosperity will be assured by a Treaty settlement, or by being able to clip the ticket on the productive activity of others, may well be harming most Maori.
What we are doing
We advance these beliefs in two ways:
First, we actively express our opposition to policies which seem certain to take us in the wrong direction. Two current examples involve the proposal to give iwi a special right to be involved in the allocation of water - something previously regarded as the exclusive province of local governments - and the amended Resource Management Act, which obliges all local governments, within thirty days of election, to invite so-called "iwi particiation agreements".
We can find nothing in the Treaty of Waitangi to justify either of those proposals.
We campaign using a website, social media, a weekly newsletter, advertising, occasional public meetings and through opportunities which present themselves, sch as when five local governments decided to establish racially-based wards in 2018. Working with concerned citizens, we were able to gather sufficient signatures so that the local governments concerned were obliged to hold ratepayer referenda on the issue, with the result that in all five districts the proposals were thrown out.
Secondly,we have made it clear that we support any political party, or parties,which are willing to make a commitment to one law for all for a fundamental part of their platform.
Our objective is that after the 2020 election a Government is formed which will commit to eliminating all traces of racial preference from New Zealand's governance.