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Treaty Historian to speak at Conservative Party Conference

Monday, 14 July 2014, 9:45am

MEDIA RELEASE: Professor Paul Moon, AUT University.

Media statement

Treaty Historian to speak at Conservative Party Conference

Historian and Treaty of Waitangi specialist Professor Paul Moon will be one of the keynote speakers at this weekend’s Conservative Party Conference in Auckland, with his speech scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm on Saturday 19 July.

The Conservative Party has promoted what some people regard as controversial policies, including putting an end all Treaty claims, and removing the Maori seats from Parliament.

Professor Moon has been invited by the Party’s leader, Colin Craig, to talk on the relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the politicisation of history, as the party prepares itself for the approaching General Election.

When asked whether speaking at this event revealed any political bias, Professor Moon responded: “Absolutely not. I am happy to speak to any group which invites me, regardless of their political views. And besides, my political neutrality is easily demonstrated because I do not vote.”

As for what sort of reception he will receive from the audience at the Conservative Party conference, Professor Moon is unsure. “I have some idea of what the audience may feel about Treaty issues,” he says, “but these preferences will not influence what I will be delivering to them. If some people’s feathers are ruffled in the process, then so be it.”

Professor Moon said he will reveal to the audience “some of the chaos behind the Treaty’s formation”, and will also discuss the motives behind the formation of the Maori seats.

When asked to respond to the suggestion that it might be inappropriate for an academic to speak on the Treaty at a political party conference so close to a general election, Professor Moon replied: “it could be just as inappropriate for an election to be held so close to an academic giving a speech on the Treaty.”


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