Nine years of a National Party Government pandering to separatist demands will be an issue voters will consider in next year’s general election, Auckland business manager Casey Costello said today.
Ms Costello who, with former National Party leader Don Brash, represents a new national campaign named Hobson’s Pledge, launched today, said that successive Governments have taken New Zealand further and further away from the kind of country that most New Zealanders want – one where everybody is equal before the law.
“As each chief signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Governor Hobson said ‘He iwi tahi tatou. We are now one people.’ He did not talk about partnership, or about principles”, she said.
“He did not say that unelected tribal appointees would have voting rights on local government councils nearly two centuries later.
“The Treaty which chiefs were invited to sign – and overwhelmingly did sign – guaranteed all New Zealanders the same rights and privileges. It was an extraordinarily enlightened commitment for its time”, Ms Costello said. “It happened nowhere else in the world, and we should celebrate it.”
Ms Costello, who says she feels driven to step forward for both her Ngapuhi and Anglo-Irish ancestors, made it clear that New Zealand was doomed to increasing racial resentment if we continued on our present track.
Hobson’s Pledge Trust has been established to oppose moves at central or local government level which would lock in constitutional preferences for anybody based on when their ancestors arrived in New Zealand.
“We will consider supporting any political party committed to ending such preferences”, Ms Costello said.
By Mike Butler