How the Treaty is being twisted

My thesis is that New Zealand today is awash with fake history issuing from those seeking political advantage and material gain or personal satisfaction. You may say that I am a man with a mission and perhaps I am. Values dear to me and once, I used to think, to all New Zealanders, are truth, fairness and democracy which are under threat today.

1. It is a privilege for me, Madam Chairman, to be addressing a body with the distinguished history of the Nelson Institute.

2. I am, as you can see, an example of that variety of humanity which some choose to describe as “stale, pale and male”. That is: old, white and a man. Well, I can’t help that. Thus our Human Rights Commissioner, I understand, has used those words. Again, Green MP Julie Ann Genter, now a minister of the Crown, has suggested that “old white men” should make way for their youngers and presumably betters. Now all that is ageism, racism and sexism rolled into one. Imagine the outcry if I talked similarly about some other citizens ... but I must not stray from my subject.

3. My thesis is that New Zealand today is awash with fake history issuing from those seeking political advantage and material gain or personal satisfaction. You may say that I am a man with a mission and perhaps I am. Values dear to me and once, I used to think, to all New Zealanders, are truth, fairness and democracy which are under threat today.

4. In one talk I cannot cover everything. I have however, written a number of articles or essays on some important topics. They are free and you are welcome to use them. I will send them to any of you who would like to have them. However, I request you to bring them to the attention of other people so that authentic information spreads and checks the false material from others, however august and authoritative they may appear to be. I am handing around a clipboard and I invite you to let me have your name and email address so that I may send them to you on this understanding.

5. I have some information for you today and I invite you to accept a copy which I shall refer to.

6. The first page gives the text of the Treaty of Waitangi, omitting the preamble. The two left columns are genuine. The right hand column is a fake.

7. The middle column is the text, in the Ngapuhi dialect, of the document which was actually signed at Waitangi on 6th February 1840, the left column is Hobson’s final draft of 4th February which was translated by Henry and Edward Williams on the night of 4/5 February.

8. When these two texts were shown to senior Ngapuhi elder, Graham Rankin, in 2000, he said that what they said was exactly the same, which is true, except for their dates and the one insertion of “maori” by the Williams.

9. Before going further, let me tell you what was actually agreed that day. Please do not let your eyes glaze over expecting me to drone on. I timed myself the other day in saying it all – 27 seconds. It might take a few more today.

10. The chiefs agreed to cede sovereignty to the Queen, completely and for ever. In return, all Maoris received the rights and privileges of the people of England while the property rights of all the people of New Zealand were guaranteed. There was also a provision for the sale of Maori land, included for their protection, but it was found to be impractical and became a dead letter.

11. Did they cede sovereignty? Here are the actual recorded words, translated in most cases, of some of those who opposed signing on 5th February. All are from Ngapuhi subtribes or associates.

12. Te Kemara, chief of Ngatikawa: "Health to thee O Governor ... I shall never say 'Yes' to your staying. Were all to be on equality, then, perhaps, Te Kemara would say 'Yes; ' but for the Governor to be up and Te Kemara down ... low, small, a worm, a crawler -no, no, no.

Rewa, chief of Ngaitawake: "I will not say 'Yes' to the Governor's remaining. No, no, no; return. What! this land to become like Port Jackson."

Kawiti, chief of Ngatihine: "I will not say 'Yes' to thy sitting here. What! to be fired at in our boats and canoes by night! What! to be fired at when quietly paddling our canoes by night! I, even I, Kawiti, must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Governor said 'No'".

Tareha, chief of Ngatirehia: “We will not be ruled over. What! Thou, a foreigner, up and I down! Thou high and I, Tareha, the great chief of the Ngapuhi tribes, low! No, no; never, never.” As he spoke, Tareha waved a canoe paddle up and down for emphasis.

They were all articulate and their words show clearly that they understood that by signing they would cede sovereignty ... and all did so voluntarily within a few days.

13. By contrast the Waitangi Tribunal, in a lengthy review, stated that Ngapuhi did not cede sovereignty – the direct opposite of the truth. If they had consulted the real evidence of the day, it would all have been settled by lunchtime. This is just one instance of the fake history pronounced by this tribunal funded by taxpayer money.

14. However, back to the ToW. Hobson’s instructions were not to let anybody sign it unless he understood it. He followed these instructions to the letter. As a veteran naval officer he knew the importance of speaking plainly – often men’s lives depended in it – and he did so.

15. Turning to recent commentators – we have Geoffrey Palmer. On the sheets I have given you is an extract from his exact words as recorded in an interview with Kim Hill. He speaks of Delphic utterances and we know what they were. The priestesses inhaled noxious gases issuing from a vent in the rocks until they were stupefied and then made utterances which were supposed to be prophecies and then everybody else fell to and tried to guess what they foretold. Is the ToW like that? Then at Hill’s suggestion, he likens it to the Bible – what an absurdity!

On another occasion, Palmer said, as you can see: “it’s a document that is so vague that that is its primary problem.” - Pure nonsense, I suggest.

More recently, he has written a book advocating a written constitution for us – something we do not need. I have not tried to count its Delphic utterances.

16. There are others like him who would have us believe that chiefs who signed it saw it as a “solemn covenant”. Thus, “Waatea news”, a Tainui propaganda sheet, reported on 12th March last, one negotiator Che Wilson, now president of the defunct Maori Party, saying that when Ngati Rangi signed the ToW in 1840 they saw it as a sacred pact akin to a marriage. This is no more than a negotiator’s latter-day invention. I have yet to find any evidence for it from 1840.

17. So what was its real status? Hobson desired to get as many chiefs as he could to accept its provisions. In this he was highly successful, 540 reckoned as doing do. They got protection from the French which most desperately wanted, they got a review of all land sales and rights and privileges for all Maoris, never before offered to a native race, let alone to those natives’ many slaves.

18. On 30th July 1839, Britain had nominally extended the boundaries of its New South Wales colony to include New Zealand to which Hobson was appointed Lt-Governor. More effective in real terms was Hobson’s confirmation of that sovereignty on 21st May 1840. As TL Buick, doyen of Treaty writers said in 1914: “Britain’s sovereignty was incontestable before the world” and Sir Apirana Ngata said much the same in 1922. Then on 16th November 1840 by Royal Charter New Zealand was established as a separate British colony with Hobson as its first governor, this being ratified and receiving international acceptance on 3rd May 1841. It could accurately be considered to be our true founding document. Who amongst you has ever heard of it? Hands up, please!

19. As if that were not enough, Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast, first president of the New Zealand Law Society ruled in 1877 that the ToW was “a simple nullity”. It was not even a treaty albeit Hobson called it that from the beginning. What the OED says is that a treaty is a “Formally concluded and ratified agreement between nations”. Whatever our racist propagandists say today, there was never a Maori nation and certainly not one to ratify it formally. It could fairly be called perhaps a general agreement but not a treaty.

20. The claim by many today, Michael Cullen being one, that the ToW is a “living document” is an absurdity. By May 1840 when it had done its job it should have received a decent burial with a suitably embellished gravestone.

21. The one enduring undertaking made in the ToW was its unprecedented granting of equality to all the people of New Zealand. Its second article was actually redundant since it merely restated the property rights of British subjects. While we live in an imperfect world, over the decades that provision has been very largely honoured, indeed there have been instances of greater privileges for Maoris. Only today has that become an onslaught with tribal demands for the whole of our beaches and foreshore, a significant measure of control over our natural water and special representation on local bodies, a privilege not granted to any other racial group.

22. However, our treaty-twisters will not let it lie in peace. One of the Williams’ problems in making their translation was in finding suitable words for concepts for which the pre-European Maori language had none.

Thus for “sovereignty” they chose missionary-coined “kawanatanga”. Of course this is composed of a maorification of “governor” with the ending meaning “-ship” but that is not the end of the matter because derivation is not, repeat not, the same as translation. Thus English “demand” is derived from French “demand” which means “ask”. English “gangway” is derived from Norwegian “gangvei” whose meaning is “footpath”, while “stool” is derived from “stol”, a chair, and “murky” from “mørke", meaning "dark”. Bislama “tumas” is derived from English “too much”, its meaning “very”; while “bagarap” whose derivation you may guess means “broken” so “bagarup tumas” means “badly broken”.

23. The twisters ignore all this and claim that the chiefs only granted governorship, even to the absurd extreme of allowing the British to have control only over the unruly Kororareka settlers! But Hobson had made it quite plain on 5th February – it was all or nothing. Again, “possession” was not a word with a ready Maori equivalent where the only rule was that might is right. The Williams chose “rangatiratanga” since in reality, only chiefs had any semblance of rights to property. The twisters claim, on the contrary, that it meant “sovereignty”. Now, in the first place, both genuine texts were read out at the 5th February Waitangi meeting and nobody said they were different. Second, neither Hobson nor the Williams would have been such fools that Article second would contradict Article first. Third, the twisters choose to forget that whatever Article second guaranteed, it applied to all the people of New Zealand: “tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”. Paul Moon, not a relation, argues that in 1840 “New Zealanders” meant Maoris. Well maybe, but the Treaty said “all the people of New Zealand” meaning precisely that.

24. One David James who purported to explain the meaning of the treaty in Nelson gave a handout of the 1869 official translation but inserted after those words “i.e. Maori” - clearly misleading his readers, deliberately I suggest. Nevertheless, what he said was accepted hook, line and sinker by the local Quakers. This sort of thing goes on all around the country. Thus a so-called “Network Waitangi” led by an English migrant, Bruce Bryant, gets at new immigrants in a similar way.

25. But is gets worse. The word “taonga” that the Williams chose for “property” was precisely what it meant in 1840 – chattels or ordinary possessions. The word has an interesting history. In 1820 while assisting Kendall and Lee of Cambridge in compiling the first Maori dictionary, Hongi Hika had defined it as “property procured by the spear – tao”. In an appeal for protection by 13 Ngapuhi chiefs to King William in 1831, they said “We are a people without possessions. We have nothing but timber, flax, pork and potatoes.” And their word for “possessions” was “taonga”. Note that two of their four taonga they owed to Europeans. Then with the vast influx of European material goods, they needed a word for them so the meaning of “taonga” expanded rapidly. However, in William Williams’ 1844 dictionary, it still meant only “property”. But ever since its meaning has kept on expanding, even exploding!

Thus Hugh Kawharu displayed his knowledge of 1840 Maori lingo by translating “maori” as “ordinary people” but then proceeded to state: “As submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal concerning the Maori language have made clear, ‘taonga’ refers to all dimensions of a tribal group’s estate, material and non-material – heirlooms and wahi tapu (sacred places), ancestral lore and whakapapa (genealogies), etc.”

Well, maybe now, but why in translating an 1840 document, did he not give the 1840 meaning of this word? He distorted the integrity of the treaty and those who signed it. What he said is another illustration of the betrayal by the Waitangi Tribunal of public trust in it. Today, treaty-twisters have only to shout “taonga” and those who decide such things give in weakly to their demands.

But note that possession of ‘taonga’ was assured to all the people of New Zealand. New Zealanders without the requisite teaspoonful of Maori blood should surely be shouting by now that their “taonga” include all property from motor vehicles and cell phones to beefburgers, none of which we owe to Maoris.

26. I have barely mentioned the right hand column. It was composed by Hobson’s snobbish secretary, Freeman, using words he had learnt at Eton and Oxford to send to dignitaries overseas, as he thought that Hobson’s simple wording was insufficiently grand. One copy found its way to the Waikato Heads mission where the official version had not arrived when the meeting of chiefs was about to start. Rev. Maunsell there improvised with a printed copy of the ToW, with normal margins never intended for signing with room for only five chiefs’ assent. He thereupon pressed Freeman’s fake into service for more, folding the two sheets together carefully with the Freeman piece as the second sheet. When it duly got back to HQ in Waitangi the two sheets were sealed together with wax in the same order, later torn apart, pinned together and finally torn apart to go their separate ways. Modern precise forensic examination has established this sequence beyond any doubt – a single document, the second page a fake.

However, officialdom has seized on that, Freeman’s fake, and in the 1980s it was legislated to be “The Treaty in English”, a whole industry springing up with alleged explanations of why it differs so much from the real one in Maori.

Charging ahead they have producing a large coloured poster with columns two and three of what you see on your sheet, distributing it widely around the country. For instance, I have seen a copy in a medical waiting room.

This is a deliberate attempt by officialdom to distort our history into what they want us to believe and to conceal the real truth from us.

27. Our Universities are awash with these fake stories. Thus in an opinion piece in the Waikato Times for 1 December 2017, part-Maori Associate Professor Sandy Morrison of Waikato University, perhaps our most racist, makes the flagrantly false statement that “Te Tiriti speaks of the chiefs maintaining their tino rangatiratanga (authority) over their taonga (all that they hold precious including the Māori language). The chiefs do allow the Queen to have kawanatanga, a nominal and delegated authority so that she can control her people.” This racist paper refused to publish my response.

Check this:

(i) “the chiefs” but the ToW also included “all the people of New Zealand” - misleading by omitting an essential part.
(ii) “tino rangatiratanga (authority)” - false, this meant “possession”
(iii) “taonga” (all that they hold precious including the Māori language) – gross deception when only the 1840 meaning applied
(iv) “The chiefs do allow the Queen to have kawanatanga, a nominal and delegated authority so that she can control her people.” Fancy that – a bunch of petty chiefs “allowing” the Queen of a great empire to accept “nominal and delegated authority” with a false meaning for “kawanatanga” for good measure!!

Thus does an associate professor fail to teach her students our true history.

28. Actually she parrots Claudia Orange. Who amongst you has anything written by Orange? Do put it in the recycling bin because being turned into egg cartons would be the best use for it. What Orange writes is wrong, time and time again. 

29. But there is big money in reconstructing and fast forwarding history to the present. Freeman’s fake does not include “all the people of New Zealand” and promises forest and fisheries to Maori interests – neither being mentioned in the real treaty. On this basis, our politicians gave away about a half of our very valuable fishing quota to tribal interests as Nick Smith himself told me. Is this OK with you – all fair and above board? Be the judges but do not leave it there.

30. But it gets worse, with claims everywhere for provisions which are nowhere in any treaty document, fake or otherwise. The most blatant of these is “partnership” based on a remark by Robin Cooke in exceeding his brief as a judge, that the treaty provisions imply that the Queen and Maoris have “An enduring relationship of a fiduciary nature akin to a partnership”. I knew Cooke personally many years ago, a somewhat highly strung man who may be likened to King James: “learned in everything, wise in nothing”. His remark took off like a fire in dry bush. Thus our present governor-general in her acceptance speech promised to honour this spurious “partnership”. Not only that but by dipping into the dirty world of politics she compromised her position as the representative of our Queen. But do we hear any words of protest? That is where we New Zealanders are today.

31. But it gets even worse, with the insidious introduction of “principles of the Treaty”. Thus from a handout of the “Constitutional Advisory Panel” of 2013: “The Treaty ... enabled the British to establish a government in New Zealand and confirmed to Maori the right to continue to exercise rangatiratanga. ... [It] influences the relationship between the Crown and Maori. ... Generally legislation refers to principles of the Treaty rather than the Treaty itself. ... Treaty principles have developed because of the difference between the English and Maori texts and the need to apply the Treaty to circumstances as they arise. The Waitangi Tribunal and the Courts have played key roles in defining the Treaty using principles to define the mutual responsibilities of the Crown and Maori. The list of Treaty principles is not definitive and continues to evolve as the understanding of what it means to be a Treaty partner evolves. Partnership is the most commonly referred to principle.”

32. “confirmed to Maori the right to continue to exercise rangatiratanga”:

False: it confirmed to everybody the right to possession of property.

“legislation refers to principles of the Treaty rather than the Treaty itself.”

Ignore the Treaty and invent what you like as a basis for legislation!!

“Treaty principles have developed because of the difference between the English and Maori texts”. This relies on a spurious basis - Freeman’s fake treaty.

“The Waitangi Tribunal and the Courts have played key roles in defining the Treaty using principles” Thus do they corrupt the treaty and destroy its validity. The role of courts is to interpret the law, not rewrite it.

“The list of Treaty principles is not definitive and continues to evolve as the understanding of what it means to be a Treaty partner evolves.” What a fairy tale basis for legislation.

“Partnership is the most commonly referred to principle.” A bogus basis.

33. The foregoing may be rules for Never Land, not a modern democracy but they would surely make Peter Pan cringe. Will you do something about it for the sake of our children and their children and the integrity of our country?

34. Well, madam chairman, I could many more a tale unfold to harrow up thy soul but my time is nearly up. First may I state briefly that Parihaka was not a haven of peace but the centre of a rather nasty cult based on the Hau Hau religion and no atrocities were committed by the British there. The tenets of the Hau Hau are stated on the document I have given you. I have sent them to several high churchmen including the Nelson bishop who refuses to answer my question whether they are anathema to his church.

Again, the claim by author O’Malley in the very middle-class “Listener” and by many others that a church full of women and children was burnt to the ground at Rangiaowhia is a foul lie. It is the basis for a recent petition for a so-called “Land Wars Day” by schoolchildren deceived by it, accepted by our ignorant politicians and now imposed on us.

We are not merely awash with falsehoods; we are in a miasmatic swamp - up to our necks. Unless we all endeavour to arrest the spread of false history we are on a course for increased racial disharmony and apartheid. Only by upholding the truth, whatever our differences, can we truly identify in future as New Zealanders. I quote: “If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future” - Winston Churchill.

I hope I have done justice to my theme.
By Bruce Moon, intended for the Nelson Institute on April 8, 2018, but stopped at last minute.