Flyer hysteria highlights ignorance of history

Complaints by residents of Point Chevalier, Auckland, about a flyer promoting a book titled One Treaty One Nation calling for rights to be determined by citizenship and not race highlights naivete about the history of New Zealand.

One Treaty One Nation includes a chapter written by Don Brash and for that reason Don was cited in the outrage that appeared in news reports. Hobson’s Pledge was unaware of the recent distribution of the flyer until reading seeing it in the news.

A New Zealand Herald article listed objections by one complainant over mention in the flyer of slavery, casualties during the pre-1840 musket wars, Maori life expectancy, and that colonisation lifted Maori out of a “violent Stone Age existence”.

The objections reflect ignorance of our history by the complainant more than anything radical or untrue in the flyer, and evidence to back the claims is freely available.

A worrying part of the news report is that Justice Minister Andrew Little, who is overseeing a review of hate speech in the wake of the Christchurch shooting, showed a similar lack of awareness when he said he thought that the pamphlet was racist and peddled “myths about pre-European Maori society”.

ACT leader David Seymour said that there was no reason this pamphlet should be of concern to Little because "if people weren't allowed to make stupid and historically inaccurate statements, we'd have to close down Parliament."

See and

Objection to new coastal area Justice

An objection to the appointment of a Justice recently appointed to manage claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act was filed in the High Court on Friday.

The objection was that because the Justice had received instructions to act on behalf of, or provide advice to, a number of iwi, he presumably acted in the interests of iwi, therefore his impartiality on the matter was in question.

This is the latest step in a saga that goes back to 1997, when eight Marlborough tribes sought a determination on whether the foreshore and seabed of their area was Maori customary land.

An Appeal Court judgement triggered the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2004, which reaffirmed Crown ownership of the public foreshore and seabed, which was replaced by the Marine and Coastal Area Act in 2011, which enabled anyone with Maori ancestry to claim ownership of an area from the spring high tide water mark out 12 nautical miles.

Claims could be made to the High Court or direct to the Minister. There are currently 580 claims.

With costs of up to $412,000 of taxpayer money to each claimant (and none for objectors), the policy has created a new and lucrative income stream for hundreds of legal firms throughout New Zealand.

Ownership rights to the entire coastline of New Zealand are likely to be transferred to private entities, under the radar, a legacy of the deal between the Maori Party and National Party in the 2008-2017 Government. 

Treaty principles cited in liquor-licence case

A lawyer helping Hastings community leaders fighting the renewal of a bottle store's liquor licence in the suburb of Flaxmere resorted to invoking Treaty of Waitangi principles to bolster her case.

Lawyer Janet Mason argued that the Treaty principals should apply to the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act given 58 percent of the Flaxmere community was Maori. See

Because the Radio New Zealand report did not specify any particular principles invoked by her and did not provide any further details, here is one of at least 13 sets of “Treaty principles” in existence and you may let us know how these may apply in the liquor licencing case:

  • The Queen was to govern and the Maoris were to be her subjects; in return their chieftainship and possessions were to be protected, but . . . sales of land to the Crown could be negotiated.
  • Both parties had a duty ‘to act reasonably and with the utmost good faith’ towards one another.
  • The principles of the treaty do not authorise unreasonable restrictions on the right of a duly elected government to follow its chosen policy.
  • The Crown assumed a duty of protection towards Maori.
  • The Crown has a duty to remedy past breaches.
  • The Crown had an obligation to consult with Maori in the exercise of kawanatanga.

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