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Comparing Treaty policies: ACT, National, NZ First

Comparing Treaty policies - ACT, National, NZ First

Stephen Franks Sunday, 28 August 2005 Press Releases - Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

ACT wants every New Zealander to know genuine equality before the law. The government must treat us on merit alone, irrespective of skin colour or ethnicity.

The Treaty has been used to divide us, and to claim privilege. Whether the Treaty and Maori should have special status is a constitutional question. ACT will give the Treaty no

constitutional status, but ensure its gifts are reflected where they will have practical effect, in the NZ Bill of Rights, and in law, such as the Electoral Act, the Local Government Act, and the RMA.

Two parties have now caught up with our longstanding "one law for all" policy.

Dr Brash at Orewa said the Treaty cannot justify race privilege. Being a rational man he then concluded that the Maori seats and other positive discrimination must go. Not so fast says Gerry Brownlee in the grand tradition of Sir Douglas Graham and National's long line of Maori Affairs spokesmen. Forget about the logic, it is appeasement that preserves the status quo.

Mr Peters says he will end the "bro'ocracy". He has a bill to twink out legal references to the so-called principles of the Treaty. But to avoid scaring the Maori horses still hauling his rickety party along, he carefully avoids talk of the key problem.

That problem is the fake "partnership".

Without that invention the Treaty is a simple, commonsense assurance of classical English property rights, and equality of treatment under the rule of law.

The partnership was invented by judges only 20 years ago. They had to make sense of Labour's slogan laws.

Without the partnership nonsense all New Zealanders could welcome the Treaty. Article 2 should protect property owners against the cost, frustration and delay of planner interference and RMA objections.

The equal protection assurance in Article 3 would help end the parade of quotas, special consultation rights and rip-off subsidies that feeds Mr Peters' bro'ocracy.

This constitutional farce cant end while the fake partnership remains entrenched in the thousands of charters and government mission statements and official contracts and business plans.

Mr Peters campaign is only against the spurious principles. It is a fraud. He has reassured his iwi supporters that the removal will change little, because he knows the real poison is in the fake partnership, which he never talks about. The taniwhas' powers to stop builders and bulldozers flow from giving legal force to the partnership notion. Without it the 'partner's' resuscitated cultural and spiritual values would simply have to foot it with all the other religions and isms in our marketplace of ideas.

There is another reason why Peters can't mention the partnership. He was the architect of state sector apartheid as Jim Bolger's Minister of Maori affairs. He wishes that nobody could remember Ka Awatea. It was too racist even for Mr Bolger. Mr Peters got the sack.

Clearly ACT will have to lead. It is up to ACT to set out the blueprint.

ACT will not leave hundreds of historians and lawyers beavering away on fanciful new claims. The Treaty anointed call things happening after 1992 "contemporary claims. WAI 262 - the claim to ownership of native plants and animals, is a good example.

When the Waitangi Tribunal came out with an inventive new doctrine to support their finding that Maori had a claim to oil and gas, the Wilson/ Clark team simply said "forget about it".

They didn't even bother to point out the weak reasoning. They just said that it was not in the nation's interest. That was arrogant. They could have told the claimants they were going to do that years ago. But that would have been too honest.

We will stop right now the waste on claims that will never fly, because they are racist claims to privilege and no lawyer in 1840 would have understood them.

Only ACT has genuine and determined policy to put a stake through the heart of the grievance industry. Our law will once more provide for New Zealand to be one tolerant nation where we are all New Zealanders first and foremost.

* Table comparing each parties' policies attached.


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