Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


British Government may be liable for Treaty

Academic says British Government may be liable for Treaty

A leading New Zealand Treaty specialist has called on the British Government to clarify its role in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi, claiming Britain may have breached international law by transferring its responsibilities under the Treaty to the New Zealand Government without Maori consent.

Professor Paul Moon, of AUT University, says Maori chiefs signed the agreement with representatives of the British Crown in 1840, and alleges since that time, Britain has gradually relinquished all its obligations under the Treaty without obtaining Maori approval.

"We all know the New Zealand Government has taken on the role of Britain as the other treaty partner," says Professor Moon, "but this does not necessarily eliminate Britain's obligations to the agreement."

Professor Moon wrote to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the matter and received a reply which he describes as inadequate."At stake is the potential liability for billions of dollars of compensation for Crown breaches of the Treaty, as well as the possibility that Britain's actions have violated international law," he says.

"Britain consented to be bound by the Treaty as a negotiating and contracting state, but has not performed its relations in good faith as it is required to," says Professor Moon. "In fact, Britain has not performed its treaty relations at all for several decades.From one angle, this could be interpreted as a de facto withdrawal from the Treaty."

At least two Maori hapu (sub-tribes) are believed to be preparing legal action against Britain in an international forum, in an effort to force the British Government to take responsibility for the treaty it concluded with Maori in 1840. Professor Moon has been approached by one of these groups to investigate Britain's responsibilities under the Treaty, and has been asked to testify as an expert witness.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news