Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Treaty of Waitangi 101


This post is primarily for Kiwis who haven’t bothered to understand the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We Pakeha were guilty of ignoring the Treaty for more than a hundred years, and it is only in recent decades that an attempt has been made to redress some of the wrongs committed by the crown over many generations. We still have a long way to go, and it’s often a case of two steps forward and one step back.

Too many Pakeha have made no attempt to understand what the treaty means to Māori and to us as a nation, and in essence, want Māori to “integrate” by abandoning all that is sacred and unique about their culture and become “brown Pakeha”. They don’t want Te Reo (the Māori language) taught in schools, nor the preservation of customary rights, and especially not the partial restoration of land and and the payment of compensation for all that was confiscated from Māori after the Land Wars in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Understanding the spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi is not really too difficult – it consists of three articles. Most of us understand understand Articles I and III, but for many Pakeha and for successive governments we have failed to honour Article II. It’s time this was redressed. The video clip below explains the basic principles of the three articles.

Now that wasn’t too difficult was it?

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

4 thoughts on “Treaty of Waitangi 101

  1. Very interesting – top level down treatment Barry. We sort of grappled with that on a small scale when we brought our constitution back to Canada (it was originally a part of Britain). Quebec would only take part if they were given rights as a distinct society – i.e. co-creators.To be honest with you the best we could come up with was to have a single Constitution that allowed Quebec to make exceptions if the issue was directly related to their society. The exceptions were not delineated. It is clumsy and we’ve been dancing around it ever since – but at least we have a constitution of some sort.

    When I think of co-creating I think of two possible options when there is a conflict. The first is for one of the two to concede. The second is for some sort of compromise that is a combination of the two to be worked out. That satisfies no one.

    The concept of co-creating sounds very noble and enticing Barry and I am not sure it is a workable idea. Scriptures all say that man can only have one Master. I think the same applies to creating a ruling system.

    • We’ll never know if it’s workable or not unless we try. NZ has been at the forefront of social experiments for 150 years. There’s no reason why we should stop experimenting now.

  2. I like that, co-creating, two cultures, equal authority. Thank you for sharing. I hope you can make it work!

    • Not all Pakeha are amenable to the idea of co-creation, which to some degree is understandable from their position of privilege (in the sense of culture, not wealth). Māori have been patient for 150 years waiting for us to see the light. Now that it’s beginning to dawn, I pray that their patience will continue as we begin a new journey.

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