Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Treaty is About Property Rights, Not Partnership

Monday, October 8 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution


The Treaty of Waitangi never created a partnership between the Crown and Maori, ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

But it can reinstate constitutional respect for property rights for the benefit of pakeha and Maori, who have often been trampled by the same people guilty of falsifying a different role for the Treaty.

Delivering a paper to the New Zealand Law Conference in Christchurch at 2pm today, Mr Franks said there was nothing in the text of the Treaty or in the context which suggests or even justifies crown or Maori claims of partnership.

"I believe a number of judges are now embarrassed by the nonsense they unloose on us, trying to make sense of cynical waffle that politicians put in legislation. Judges in future cases may try to repair the damage.

"The Treaty gave security of property to identifiable iwi and to Maori and pakeha individuals. To New Zealanders there is now no "crown" suitable to be a Treaty partner, even if we thought that was a good idea. In democracy we are all participants in "sovereignty".

"It is hard to see how Treaty assurance of equality before the law can allow some of us to be in partnership with all of us, including themselves. We all collectively determine what the Crown can or must do.

"'He Iwi Tahi Tatou - We are now one people' cannot be twisted into any notion of constitutional partnership.

"Partnership rhetoric can help us to focus on the positive reasons why people signed the Treaty, more than the fear that was another impetus. But the partnership metaphor becomes sinister when it is used to extract so-called "principles" that justify racism. It is racist to entrench political privileges and powers according to inherited brownness and to override ordinary principles of succession to property rights.

"Without the separatist (and racist) interpretation now pedalled, the Treaty should be no more threatening to any New Zealander than the law guaranteeing property rights to everyone including once unpopular minorities like Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses or Chinese immigrants."

Stephen Franks said the New Zealand government no longer needed the Treaty as the foundation of its legitimacy.

"For at least 130 years our government has been legitimate solely because it has enjoyed the obedience of the people. So in legitimisation terms, the Treaty is now like a superseded "lifetime" driving licence. But it is a powerful statement of rule of law ideals that against the efforts of opportunist politicians and lawyers who have forgotten their heritage.

Mr Franks said that New Zealanders had to rediscover and re-establish the rationale for property rights.

"We should be building the New Zealand envisaged by Hobson and the signatories. In such a New Zealand, the government and the law are colour-blind: we are all equal under the law which upholds our property rights. Genuine respect for cultural freedom and the rule of law to restrain the government protects liberty to express our various beliefs and cultures.

"We would all benefit if Maori were supported by pakeha (and vice versa) in moving property rights back toward the classical model our forbears meant and intended when the Treaty was signed. If the Treaty was restored, Treaty tensions would reduce substantially. It would become a constitutional Taonga for us all", Stephen Franks said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits


In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders


Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>

ALSO:





 
 


Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>

ALSO:


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels