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NZ on track to become a Maori sovereign nation

NZ on track to become a Maori sovereign nation

Speech to the Whangarei Electorate Committee ACT New Zealand, Monday 20 June 2005

New Zealand is well on track to becoming a Maori sovereign nation.

Events of the last week have exposed the fact that the laws and regulations to ensure that Maori have precedence over non-Maori are now so advanced and deeply entrenched that without a massive upheaval, we could be on track to becoming a new South Africa.

The changes have been introduced incrementally - so as not to unduly alert and upset New Zealand’s sleeping majority - but they are in place. Whether it’s privileged health care status where Maori pay less for health care and get priority on waiting lists. Or special education quotas and funding for Maori institutions, grants for private housing and preferred assistance for state houses, or exclusive constitutional entitlements at local body level, Maori rights are now running rampant over those of non-Maori.

The spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi has been hijacked by these radical Maori who are not satisfied with the equality under the law that the Treaty intended, but are demanding special privileges that put them into positions of power.

Their progress in achieving their goal has been exposed over the renaming of Whangarei’s major landmarks, Mount Parahaki and the Hatea River.

The process involved in changing the name of a landmark is meant to be a democratic one: the local council investigates the validity of proposals and if they have merit, they are then referred to the New Zealand Geographic Board. The Board carries out its own examination and calls for public submissions.

In the case of Mt Parahaki and the Hatea River, the earliest official records from maps and Maori Land Court title deeds show that they were spelt back then as they are today. Not only did the council ignore this basic fact, but in spite of these landmarks being public reserves, they failed to consult with the public effectively colluding with the applicants.

There is now mounting concern that the name change proposal is simply part of a larger agenda by the applicants, who just a few months ago lodged their third Treaty of Waitangi land claim for effectively the whole of the city and most of the surrounds. Clearly they have a huge vested interest in having the name of the mountain and river changed, since, if they are successful and their version of the history of Whangarei becomes the ‘official’ one, then their case for a more lucrative settlement is significantly strengthened.

In a suprising move, the New Zealand Geographic Board advertised the re- naming of Mount Parahaki as a “Spelling correction from Mount Parahaki”; advertising a re-naming as a spelling correction is technically false advertising since it sends a re-assuring signal to the public that the name change is simply correcting an error, instead of alerting them to the fact that a potentially controversial new name – in this case one with an entirely different meaning that re- writes the history of our mountain and district - is being proposed.

The citizens’ referendum that I held resulted in 94 percent of the more than 2,200 local respondents opposing a name change. Being a believer in the democratic process, I encouraged everyone with a strong opinion to send in a submission to the Geographic Board. I needn’t have bothered as all indications point to the fact that the name change is a ‘done deal’.

At the public meeting held to discuss the issue in May, which was attended by 250

concerned residents, the proposer of the name change told me that his proposal was going to be successful. He said that it didn’t matter what I or anyone else did, the name change was going to go ahead. What is especially concerning is that the evidence that shows that Mt Parahaki has never been called anything else appears to be immaterial. Further, while the Geographic Board visited Whangarei to consult with eleven local Maori groups according to newspaper reports, to my knowledge no one who opposed the proposal was given an opportunity to present their case, ignoring the views of the majority of Whangarei residents.

This is surely a case where the process has been pre-determined. There can be no other explanation for the fact that the Board has recommended that name change should go ahead. This issue shows more blatantly than anything else that I have seen that the Maori sovereignty agenda is now being enacted not only nationally but at local body level as well. It will only be a matter of time before the name of Wiangaree is changed to “Te Renga Paraoa” and New Zealand becomes “Aotearoa”.

Here in Whangarei, the voice of 94 percent of locals has been ignored firstly by their council and secondly by a government agency. The matter may be referred to the Minister of Land Information but given that the Labour Government has been largely responsible for introducing special privileges for Maori – assisted to some degree by previous National Governments – I have no confidence that he would take an objective position.

Unless there is a change in government to one with the courage to tackle this problem head on, I worry about the very future of New Zealand. Last month, after witnessing the intimidatory tactics of many of the supporters of the name change proposal who attended the public meeting I wrote a column (see www.murielnewman.co.nz) “The Underbelly of Radical Maori Intimidation”. I came away extremely disturbed and worried for our future after recognising how powerful elite groups of radical Maori have become. Their separatist agenda has gone further that I realised. Change must occur swiftly.

The root of their power is the Treaty of Waitangi. From being an agreement which ensured Maori chiefs ceded sovereignty to the Queen, introduced private property rights and established the protection of the rule of law for all citizens equally, activists have re-invented history claiming it to be a living document that created a partnership between Maori and the Crown. The widespread indoctrination of this two-world view is now dividing the country to the extent where I now believe that it is time to look at dis-establishing the Treaty process.


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