Peters: "Treaty casts gloom over New Zealand”
"The shadow of the Treaty casts gloom over New Zealand"
Today I want to talk about one of the most serious issues facing New Zealand.
It is an issue that goes to the core of what it means to be a united country with one rule of law for all citizens.
I am referring to that historical document called the Treaty of Waitangi, which started off as a statement of quite noble intent, but is now casting a sinister shadow over the land of the long white cloud.
The Treaty of Waitangi was a vision about citizens' rights and protection as British subjects.
Although it was part of the colonising process it contained a vision of the peoples of New Zealand living in harmony.
It was what the professional motivators of today might call a joint "mission statement" prepared by the British Crown and a number of Maori leaders.
Over the past twenty years the Treaty has mutated as a result of political interference, brown radicalism and judicial activism.
Instead of binding us as the founding document of this once great nation, the Treaty now divides, polarises and separates us.
So it is entirely appropriate at this stage to ask this question.
Whose interests does the re-invented Treaty now serve?
Who gains most from the way the Treaty has stopped being the basis for shared and solid citizenship and instead become a trough for the greedy to feed from?
Who profits from the so called "Treaty principles" that are continually being re-invented to serve whatever cause or issue the Treaty Industry can dream up?
Just how does it serve the interests of ordinary Kiwis, including those who are Maori, to use the Treaty as a form of cultural blackmail to extract bounty?
The Treaty as it has become is now a source of disarray not unity. It is no longer a citizenship code - it is being purveyed as would a curse.
Future generations will look back on this period in New Zealand with astonishment.
As it has become constituted, the Treaty serves only as a grand deception - a distraction from the issues that actually affect the lives of all Kiwis.
The Treaty actually helps disguise what is really happening to New Zealand.
As long as people are distracted enough by the Treaty confusion they will not notice what is actually going on.
They will not see how the prime assets of this country are passing into foreign ownership.
They will not notice how the country's birthright has been devalued by an open door immigration policy.
The Treaty is a fact. It happened. That is not in dispute.
The Treaty is a landmark - a point of reference - a statement of values like the Magna Carta or the Gettysburg Address.
It is a uniquely New Zealand accord.
In its own way it was brilliant - even inspired - but it is not a blueprint for running New Zealand in 2004.
Had those who met in 1840 wanted to, the Treaty could have said many things.
If it was about division of the spoils it could have allocated territorial areas.
Instead it provided some basic ground rules for how our society could develop in harmony.
And until it was hijacked by a bunch of charlatans the Treaty served generations of New Zealanders very well.
The Treaty Industry is using it to drive modern New Zealand into all sorts of strange decisions.
Those who think we can solve the social and economic challenges facing us today by some mystical process of divination applied to the Treaty are deluded.
It would be like the Bank of England using the outcome of the battle of Waterloo to determine today's official cash rate.
This is absurd.
But the notion has got around that if you invoke the Treaty you are beyond challenge - beyond critical thinking - beyond rationality.
The Treaty has turned into a cargo cult for a bunch of lawyers, consultants and sundry other carpet baggers.
A milch cow of taxpayer money to be plundered relentlessly.
In short, it is on the path to becoming totally discredited.
The Treaty Industry is a bottomless pit - it will never be satisfied - because the only limitation is in the imagination of the free loaders.
For example how long before the Treaty police insist that, in accordance with Treaty principles, there must be separate automatic cash machines in the Maori language?
The Treaty is one area where New Zealand has become dangerously divorced from reality.
If Treaty principles were a source of wealth this country would be ahead of Switzerland.
Spurious principles do not generate affluence.
You cannot eat principles!
They do not create prosperity (except for a handful of Treaty high priests).
They don't help if you need a hip replacement.
Conjuring acts are OK as entertainment - but they are no substitute for reality.
This country faces significant challenges.
We do not have the time or the resources to endlessly indulge in obsessional navel gazing over the Treaty.
There are real problems to be fixed - not false ones being manufactured by the Treaty Industry.
Domestically there is no shortage of issues - as anyone who has read the recent research into child poverty in New Zealand can attest.
Internationally, New Zealand is facing major competitive challenges.
As you will be aware New Zealand is not immune to the wholesale shift of manufacturing industries to China and India.
In this area, as in so many others, New Zealand First is the only party that is doing anything to alert New Zealanders to what is happening.
Because this shift in industry location is a global trend that has immense implications.
That outsourcing movement is already costing New Zealanders their jobs.
The closure of Interlock Industries in Miramar in Wellington was recently announced.
This company was a showpiece of New Zealand manufacturing.
This will affect hundreds of workers and demonstrated the threat to New Zealand livelihoods from poorly paid labour in India and China.
Go and talk to the people who have lost their jobs at Interlock about the Treaty.
You might get a rude response!
The Treaty will not help their plight or anyone else facing a real problem.
And when it comes to downsizing and redundancy, typically it will be Maori who are most vulnerable.
The latest manifestation of willful misreading and misunderstanding of the Treaty is how it is being injected into the foreshore and seabed issue.
For the Treaty Industry this issue has been like discovering an oil field!
The proponents of the Treaty is All school of thinking have it that the seabed and foreshore legislation is a breach of the Treaty.
And that the legislation amounts to a confiscation of customary property rights.
How can that be?
The Treaty was not about property rights.
I repeat - it was about citizenship.
But of course the Treaty gurus are not going to let the facts get in the way.
People are being invited to make up the most spurious and outrageous claims via the Treaty while others rave about civil war and racial strife.
And the last people who are going get any real benefit from this are Maori.
It is no exaggeration to say that many Maori - along with other New Zealanders - have been seduced by Treaty talk into believing it is a road back to a golden age of innocence.
This way of thinking is delusional and is blinding many Kiwis to what is being perpetrated on them here and now.
In fact, the infatuation with Treaty principles proved a wonderful distraction while Labour and National pursued scorched earth economic policies - that inflicted immense damage on this country - and Maori were among its principle victims.
The so called Treaty principles have not been defined because they cannot be.
Whenever you try and determine exactly what "Treaty principles' are they vanish like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
There is nothing there - it's a facade and it simply will not take the superstructure of invention that is being piled on it.
The indefinable - so called - Treaty principles are an invention - bogus!
And National and Labour have been sowing these dragon's teeth for years.
They both stand indicted - and whatever Don Brash now claims, the fact is that his party is responsible for much of the damage that has arisen from the distortion of the Treaty.
New Zealand First says:
- It's time to stop fouling our nest
- It's time to say we have had enough of trumped up nonsense
- It's time to say enough of the blatant dishonesty that now surrounds the Treaty
We are the only party that has held to a sustained campaign to rid New Zealand of the pestilence of Treaty "principles'.
Six months ago the Prime Minister asked us if we would consider taking part in a commission of inquiry into the Treaty of Waitangi and its relevance today.
We told her it had to be separate from the foreshore and seabed problem for which we have provided the solution.
The solution was vesting ownership in the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders and customary use, whether for Maori or non-Maori, dealt with under the umbrella of Crown ownership. This process is now underway and we hope the legislation will be passed before the end of the year.
Unfortunately there has been little progress over six months towards a commission of inquiry for the Treaty.
The Government has not given us any reason for this but we are not prepared to let this important matter quietly fade away.
New Zealand First is on the verge of releasing a new Treaty policy that will go direct to the heart of the problem and will end the Treaty industry - "by lunchtime" so to speak.
We have already prepared the first part of the legislation in the form of a private members Bill and this will be publicly released next week.
We are also not satisfied with the Treaty claims procedures or the Waitangi Tribunal as it is now constituted. It has gone way past its prescribed jurisdiction as an impartial body making recommendations on behalf of Maori.
Waitangi Tribunal reports are now full of psycho-babble, mysticism and mythology.
Instead of solving the problem, the Tribunal is now an active partner in the Treaty industry and happily rides the gravy train with its fellow Treaty travellers.
Let me give this warning. The day is coming when all this will stop.
Genuine and justified Treaty claims will be honoured and dealt with in a genuine and expeditious manner. Ordinary Maori whose heritage was taken from them will receive fair recompense.
The Treaty travellers will be kicked off their gravy train. Their day is over.
Do not believe the rhetoric from other parties on this issue because that is what it is - just talk. 2005 will be the year the Treaty of Waitangi gravy train is derailed.
We promise you that.