The He Puapua transformation

He Puapua is a report which was commissioned in 2019 by Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development) to guide the Government application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This divisive and highly controversial report, which proposes a comprehensive change to New Zealand governance, was kept secret until 2021. This is an excerpt from “He Puapua, Blueprint for breaking up New Zealand”, John Robinson 2021, published by Tross Publishing.

The extent of the intended constitutional transformation is made plain in He Puapua by a descriptive chart, with its origins clearly stated: “Drawing on the report Matike Mai Aotearoa [to an inter-tribal group, the Iwi Chairs’ Forum], the He Puapua Declaration Working Group has adopted a Tiriti model [a ‘Te Tiriti/Rangatiratanga Framework’] based round ‘spheres of authority’.”  Note that this Tiriti is not the original Treaty of Waitangi, but quite the opposite, today’s reinvention. 

Here, New Zealand is broken apart; there is no pretence of inclusivity or unity.  “The [separated] Rangatiratanga sphere reflects Maori governance over people and places”, where Maori have complete control and autonomy.  “The Kawangatanga sphere represents Crown governance” – meaning, of course, the elected government, the place for all New Zealanders, including Maori – as they insist, “Maori must be able to participate in Crown governance”, and there is no thought of withdrawing from voting for the national Parliament, but rather an insistence on preserving Maori seats within this common domain.  “There is a large ‘joint sphere’ where Maori and the Crown share governance over issues of mutual concern”; that is the two parties in this divided nation, this proposed apartheid system, meet to negotiate, with an effective Maori veto. 

In the left side of the diagram (pictured above) which is intended to depict the situation in 2019, the size of the Maori (completely separate) sphere of authority relative to the Crown sphere (the rest of us) is far less than the fraction of Maori in the population.  This is a representation of yesterday’s ‘partnership’, of two partially separated people, with most of the power in the hands of all New Zealanders – which of course, includes Maori.

New Zealand, is now, in 2021, in a transition to a new, proposed government structure.  This is well under way, with many actions described in my book. 

The goal is portrayed, for 2040, in the right-hand section of the chart.  This is a depiction of a proposal made in a 2000 ‘Building the Constitution’ conference’ for two parliaments (the Tikanga Maori House for Maori and the Tikanga Pakeha House for others) overseen by a Treaty of Waitangi House for Maori and Pakeha, where there would be a Maori veto (see Chapter 8).  This was not accepted by other delegates, but Maori leaders have chosen not to listen to other New Zealanders, and not to join in dialogue, but to turn away, with no pretence of being inclusive, and develop their own form of apartheid.

The meaning is clear.  A great part of New Zealand is to come under complete Maori control (a “Maori sphere of authority”, with “Maori governance over people and places”).  Apartheid will be complete.  This is what the Maori elite and their followers believe they will get; they will become angry if others insist otherwise, and in their tikanga (which is now recognised by the government), anger demands satisfaction, recompense for perceived wrongs by utu.  The elite of the kingitanga is seeking revenge, utu, for their defeat in the nineteenth century.  This will not help struggling Maori, who benefit rather from Crown welfare and employment.

This is not an equal division of the country between the 14% Maori and the rest.  As well as being in complete control of their extensive separate (rangatiratanga) domain, Maori would have considerable power over the part allotted to all others.  In the common (kawangatanga) sphere: “The Crown resiles some of its power in agreed areas to make space for rangatiratanga, for defined Maori interests.  The public service is bicultural and understands the ways in which it must support rangatiratanga.”  The considerable power of iwi in the common public sphere (kawangatanga) – separate from and additional to that of all other New Zealanders – is being increased now, following the guidelines set out in He Puapua: in law (chapter 9), representation (chapter 10), education (chapter 11), healthcare (chapter 12) and water (chapter 13).  The proposal gives the iwi leadership around three-quarters of the power together with a veto in the joint sphere.  Everyone else will be disenfranchised.  This is a blueprint for the complete rule of New Zealand by a determined minority.

This is tomorrow’s promised future.  This is what He Puapua is telling us.

I would like to present a third vision for New Zealand, which would demand a complete unravelling of the He Puapua tsunami transformation.

In this vision, all New Zealanders would be living together harmoniously; no New Zealand citizen would be judged, and classified, by the colour of their skin or claims of ancestry, of inherited special rights (which is the very definition of an indigenous people).  We would no longer be divided.

There is no mention of, or intention for, equality in either Matike Mai Aotearoa or He Puapua.  “The Terms of Reference [for Matike Mai Aotearoa] did not ask the Working Group to consider such questions as ‘How might the Treaty fit within the current Westminster constitutional system’ but rather required it to seek advice on a different type of constitutionalism that is based upon He Whakaputanga [the 1835 letter from Northern chiefs to the British Crown, headed by James Busby as a “Declaration of Independence”, proposed an inter-tribal coalition, which failed] and Te Tiriti. For that reason, this Report uses the term ‘constitutional transformation’ rather than ‘constitutional change’.”  They are insisting on imposing a primitive tribal system, which had self-destructed in the Musket Wars, on a modern developed nation.  The Treaty of Waitangi, bringing the Westminster constitutional system, was an essential part of the great Maori cultural transformation, yet the aim is to return to a way of life which had broken apart in countrywide inter-tribal warfare.

This ‘complete constitutional transformation’ is intended to be permanent.  The intention of the He Puapua arrangements is that, once they are put into place, they will be final and can never be changed.  We will never overturn this revolutionary transformation and get back a unitary country without a counter-revolution, which would demand a determined united campaign by the majority of New Zealanders – which, sadly, is now not within sight.

We have lost so much, and the worst has yet to come.  In a few years from now, when the revolution is triumphant and our traditional system of government is destroyed, New Zealanders will wake up and realise that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

John Robinson has an MSc in maths and physics and a PhD from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. has lectured and worked as a research scientist.