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We Don’t Need The Treaty Of Waitangi To Close Gaps


(An Address to the North Harbour Lawyers’ Luncheon, North Shore Rowing Club, Takapuna, Auckland)


The convenor of the North Harbour Lawyers wrote and asked that today’s address be about “some quasi legal topic”.

According to a much publicised recent essay on “Psycho-Babble”, anyone who is Maori, is seriously traumatised and stressed by the transgenerational effects of colonisation.

Part of their psyche has been damaged and they are suffering from group symptoms and disorders, including mental distress, loss of culture and other negative effects of the colonial holocaust.

Fortunately these symptoms only hurt Maori when the other part of them laughs!

It’s not easy being of mixed Maori and Scots descent. The Scots part is refusing to pay any compensation for colonising Northland.

Some of you may have recently read a speech given in Waipukurau calling for an end to New Zealand’s separatist political system.

It called for the abolition of the Maori seats in Parliament because MMP now provides for the widespread representation that the First Past the Post system never could deliver.

The reason for setting up the Maori seats in the first place had nothing to do with the Treaty of Waitangi.

It was simply a way of overcoming the property qualifications required to vote when representative Government was first established here.

Maori at the time held their land in common, not individually, so they did not qualify.

The 1867 Maori Representation Act provided a practical solution by creating a separate electoral arrangement for Maori.

This system continued – even though the property qualification was eventually abolished.

It is therefore time to ask ourselves what 133 years of separate political representation has achieved for Maori and whether this system is working for the common good or actually proving divisive.

Of course the usual bunch of political tyre-kickers attack any suggestion that we question some of our race based policies.

These critics, usually, have three things in common.

1. They have usually never met a Maori.
2. They are fully qualified to comment after a week’s training on a marae.
3. They have spent their adult lives sucking hard at the State’s teat from which they refuse to be weaned.

That’s not unusual in New Zealand and certainly not in Maori politics where all manner of European commentators have no hesitation in displaying their ignorance.

But the Maori seats issue will not go away – certainly not with MMP.

For if we end up with a massive increase in the number of Maori seats established on a pro rata basis - through individuals with as little as 1/512 of Maori blood, then New Zealand will be finished as a first world country.

The separatists demand that we must all understand the Treaty of Waitangi, and ascribe to this vague, three clause document, a social and economic prototype for New Zealand’s future development.

It’s an “emperor without clothes” argument and never in our history have so many rushed to join this nudist colony bereft of intellectual apparel.

The truth is that serious moves to close the gaps in this country were made after our troops came home from the Second World War.

In the late forties, the fifties and sixties the social structure of Maori underwent radical change caused by the drift to the cities of rural Maori seeking work.

It was a time of booming commodity prices for New Zealand, a time for rapid development and there was a great demand for unskilled and semi-skilled labour.

Maori provided much of this labour – on the wharves, in the freezing works, on the roads and in the factories.

There was good money to be made, and little obvious need for advanced education or trade training.

Both Labour and National Governments of the forties, fifties and sixties had policies of public housing, education and free health care.

Concerned about the health of children they created health camps and put free milk and castor oil tablets in schools. (You took it whether you were allergic to it or not!).

There was also free dental care – as horrendous as it was!

Those post war governments tried to close the gaps – the gaps between the haves and the have nots.

Their policies focused on basic human needs and were more successful than any other country.

We sought to house our native peoples when other so-called “civilised” states like the United States, Australia and Canada left theirs in a state of destitution and misery. That is an historic fact. And what is the point?

Simply this: first, these post war governments did this without the Treaty of Waitangi, and, second New Zealand doesn’t need the Treaty of Waitangi, and all its discordant arguments, to “close the gaps”.

This Treaty based agenda is a fiction being perpetrated on the people of New Zealand now being fed a daily dose of political correctness.

It is the dogma of separate development.

What was abhorrent in South Africa in the 20th century is officially acceptable in New Zealand in the 21st.

Ironically, many of those who are supporting this dogma in New Zealand were protesters against apartheid in South Africa.

In short, if it is black it is beautiful, no matter what its evil.

It’s interesting how these people protest against the IMF but don’t say a word about African despots and genocide!

The fact is Maori and European share more in common than brown radicals and their guilt tripped white fellow travelers realise.

The Labour Alliance government and the Treaty of Waitangi industry mistakenly claim that the “GAPS” in this country exist between Maori and Non Maori when it is not a racial divide but a social and economic one.

These “GAPS’ actually exist between the haves and have nots and are not confined to race.

It is a socio-economic phenomenon and it really hit us in the eighties with the advent of Rogernomics, Ruthenasia and the huge changes in technology.

To be sure, this economic and technological revolution hurt unskilled Maori disproportionately as workplaces closed or changed.

But not because they were Maori; it was because they were not adequately skilled or appropriately educated and therefore incapable of readily adapting to change.

And, these changes caused major social and economic dislocation for many other people.

The biggest mistake the advocates of the “closing the gaps” programme make is believing that there is a large disadvantaged population in New Zealand clearly defined as “Maori”.

That is an ethnic myth. It’s about as silly and offensive as those who think that all Asians are the same.

There are actually a vast variety of so-called “Maori” people from different socio-economic, geographic and political backgrounds as diverse as those of us with a European heritage.

A single Maori ethnic identity is largely the creation of the ignorant and the bigoted as is the term “urban Maori”.

Any suggestion that there is a separate, ethnic, class which abuses their children and sits around cashing social welfare payments while awaiting Treaty handouts is a gross insult to a significant proportion of this country’s population.

There is no such class of people, only an unfortunate perception of such a class.

There ARE problems which affect many Maori particularly in rural areas with low education and literacy achievement, unemployment and poor standards of health and housing.

That goes for many Europeans as well.

Governments should respond to these problems by improving living standards, housing, health, education, and employment opportunities but for that to happen many Maori and Europeans in this country need to wake up to their own responsibilities.

That said, lack of decent paid work is the biggest single issue affecting these people and to suggest that only the Treaty is a basis for solutions is a dangerous myth.

Settlements achieved through the Treaty of Waitangi industry and targeted programmes are not reaching the bottom of the social and industrial scrapheap.

The people responsible for this are not just stupid and misguided politicians but include commentators who give a cacophony of consent to such mindless policies.

To suggest that cheap access to the radio spectrum and other Treaty settlements will solve these problems is absolute nonsense.

The benefits of these claims are being captured by those from the top of the heap claiming to act for Maori at the bottom of it.


The Treaty industry is also beneficial for certain members of the legal profession – it’s replacing the loss of your conveyancing monopoly.

I have documents in my possession that show how some poor Maori are being approached to sign applications for legal aid to pursue Treaty claims.

They are told to sign a form. They have no idea what it is about but they are broke and therefore comply with one of the requirements for granting legal aid.

The Waitangi process is New Zealand’s fastest growing industry.

Large sums of money are involved in all sorts of applications. In this case $75 thousand, just for starters.

How widespread is this? How much money is involved?

Taxpayers, whatever their racial background, are entitled to know how their money is being spent.


The Treaty trippers have now targeted our television screens.

A draft charter has been released for TVNZ and it addresses Maori issues twelve times in three pages.

It’s clear Television New Zealand is not going to remain a Crown entity – it is fast becoming a political entity.

By this charter a disgruntled Maori will be able to take TVNZ to court for all manner of things.

Will TV producers have to submit their ideas to some Treaty thought police for approval?

Who is driving this separatist programme?


Another form of political correctness has spread to medical research.

The forty million dollar research budget of the Health Research Council has been captured by the Treaty police.

The Health Research Council is the major government-funded agency responsible for purchasing and co-ordinating health research and fostering the health research workforce in this country.

It buys a wide range of health research including biomedical, clinical, public health, Maori and Pacific Islands research.

Throughout history, the benefits of medicine were supposed to have been universal and have nothing to do with race, colour or creed.

Medical research is supposed to be carried out for the good of ALL humanity.

That noble concept has just been changed this year, courtesy of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Attached to this speech is the investment strategy where those engaged in medical research are now told that all research proposals will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate their responsiveness to Maori.

It is clear that the approval process will be loaded in favour of applications that meet the approval of Maori.

It is wrong that a racially selected part of the population should have a special input into medical research. It is institutionalised social engineering gone mad.

There ARE some pressing Maori health issues – disproportionate to the Maori people - such as Hepatitis B and the diabetes explosion – and these must be addressed.

It is entirely appropriate to consult Maori about dealing with delivery problems but the idea of involving ALL medical research as a Treaty issue is bizarre.

Many countries have to deal with minority health problems but generally medical research has nothing to do with race.

Disease is not colour blind, but medicine should be.

The Health Research Council has told the world that we are stupid and that we are prepared to lose valued scientists who will simply leave this increasingly separatist state.

So, who is driving this Treaty agenda to the extent that it is now an integral part of medical research.

Since returning to Government Labour has again promoted separatist measures such as:

1. Separate Maori representation on the new Health Boards.

2. Legislation before Parliament to set up separate Maori seats on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

3. Writing a separate Treaty of Waitangi clause in the Singapore Free Trade Agreement. ( As did National)


There is no doubt we have prejudice in New Zealand. Like many other countries we have been prone to all manner of prejudice and discrimination.

For many years, until after World War Two, many Maori were second class citizens - treated differently to Europeans in areas such as education, housing, health and social welfare and the continual problem of land alienation.

But, with effort post war Governments made major improvements.

Recent governments have been full of meaningless phrases like “closing the gaps”. Another is “capacity building” whatever that means.

The newest recruit of the politically correct is the term “urban Maori”. Yet there is no such species.

Maori relate back to tribe – to origin and ancestry. They know precisely who ethnically they are.

If you can’t or don’t do that how Maori are you?

Why then in the name of many of these people – Maori in appearance only – are all these social and economic policies being concocted?

They are not working. They will not work. And if persisted with we will become a bitter and divided nation with separate systems for Maori and non-Maori.

The gaps that have to be closed in this country are not the gaps between races. They are the gaps between social and economic classes and yet class was something this country’s founders fought against.

We are mistaking an economic problem for a racial one.

People who define themselves as Maori will not progress by getting caught up in the Treaty industry and looking backwards into the future.

New Zealand will not progress until we eliminate the ethnic nonsense and separate development that successive recent National and Labour Governments have become obsessed with.

There is an old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. To continue along our present path of separate development is to go to hell – with the best of intentions.

We have to create wealth by increasing our exports, by creating a sound savings base for investment and by investing in research and development.

We need more trade skills and more scientists. We need to process more of our produce, and we need to invest more in technology.

Such a plan can restore New Zealand to its rightful place as a prosperous nation and as a world leader in social development.

That is one way we can truly close the gaps.


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