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UN Waitangi recommendation based on ignorance

05 April 2006

UN Waitangi recommendation based on ignorance – academic

AUT principal Lecturer and Treaty of Waitangi expert Dr. Paul Moon says that recommendation by UN agent Rodolfo Stavenhagen that the Treaty of Waitangi be entrenched in law is based on profound ignorance.

‘The suggestion that the Treaty could become entrenched in law is utterly ridiculous’, says Dr. Moon. ‘Treaties in the 1840s were never intended to be laws, and the wording of the Waitangi Treaty excludes any chance of it becoming a statute because of the poorly-worded nature of its text. A first-year law student could point that out to Mr. Stavenhagen.

Dr. Moon, who is one of the foremost experts on the formation of the Treaty of Waitangi, said the UN representative’s suggestions regarding the Treaty are alarming: ‘I have grave concerns about the credentials of any so-called expert who can make such irrational recommendations. He has demonstrated little knowledge about New Zealand’s constitutional history, and even less awareness of international law’.

ENDS

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