The Treaty and National

We need to write to the Leader of the Opposition and express our disappointment.

A few days ago, National MP Joseph Mooney tweeted that the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed tino rangatiratanga (self-determination, sovereignty, independence, autonomy) to all the people of New Zealand.

He even quoted Professor Hugh Kawharu’s translation of the Māori version of the Treaty which is published on the Waitangi Tribunal’s website.

Have a look at his tweets and see if you think anything is wrong with what he said:

As tends to happen on Twitter, a small mob of professionally outraged people piled in to tell him he was wrong, stupid, and a “white supremacist”.

What should have been just another case of a pointless skirmish online, turned into something bigger, however. The perpetually online mainstream journalists spotted the interaction and decided the tweets were a cancel-worthy crime. They went to National Party leader Christopher Luxon with their disapproval and asked for his comment.

Now, if you recently saw how Marama Davidson was defended by her party, and by the Prime Minister, for her vile comments about ‘cis, white men’ committing all the violence in the world, you might expect that Luxon and National would be even more voracious in their defence of their MP given all he did was quote the Treaty from the Waitangi Tribunal website. Unfortunately, that is not how it played out.

Christopher Luxon waited for one of the few buses in Wellington that actually run on time and chucked his spokesperson for Treaty Negotiations under it. Sure, he said he still had confidence in Mooney, but he also said, “I think Joseph got it wrong on this occasion”. Got what wrong, Christopher? What part of what Joseph Mooney tweeted was wrong?

Of course, the media have made a song and a dance about it, trotting out academics to castigate the poor man. They even took to reporting on the criticism he was receiving on Twitter (they published the below tweet). Newshub and Stuff both quoted an academic who claimed that (shock horror!) Joseph Mooney appeared to be echoing Dr Don Brash!

Where is National’s backbone? Are they going to stand for anything remotely different to the co-governance narrative Labour is doubling down on?

New Zealanders are entitled to be able to have discussions about the Treaty and its implications for everyone without the media being bullies and strong-arming political parties. Political parties need to be resilient enough to not dance to the media’s every tune.

At the moment, Kiwis are faced with more divisive co-governance policies and unequal democracy no matter what happens at the election in October. We need to show National and Luxon how many votes are up for grabs for a party that stands up for democracy and equality.

We haven’t put together a fancy website for this as we just want to get feedback to National as soon as possible, so we are just asking that you send an email to Christopher Luxon and Party President Sylvia Wood letting them know that you support Joseph Mooney and find their lack of support for him appalling. Call on them to show leadership and stand up to those who steamroll debates about the Treaty.

Click here to send an email to Christopher and Sylvia.

We will be writing to National ourselves to urge them to show some courage and speak up for an equal and unified New Zealand.