Violating ourselves

datePosted on 00:03, May 5th, 2011 by Lew

This post is more rantish and more polemic than even my usual here, and although I’ve said all this before (it seems like hundreds of times) I feel the utter dearth of understanding of what the Treaty of Waitangi is all about — particularly among Pākehā — necessitates it being said again. Forcefully.

Danyl Mclauchlan is someone who, for the most part, gets it, and over the past few days he has put up a couple of very smart posts on the topic. Both are worth reading, and the comments to both also, if only for a view of the howling gulf which passes for understanding of Aoteatoa’s fundamental history among what is probably one of the largest, smartest, and most liberally-minded blog communities in the country. But I refer to the second, and in particular the three points which Danyl argues nullify Don Brash’s claim that Māori should be treated no differently to any other ethnic group in New Zealand:

  • Maori as a people were signatories to a treaty that was not honored.
  • Maori, their culture and language are unique to New Zealand. If we don’t try and preserve, say, the Chinese culture and language in New Zealand and it is subsumed by the dominant culture then that’s a little sad, but not a tragedy because the culture and language flourishes in other countries. But if the state doesn’t cultivate Maoritanga and it goes then it’s gone forever.
  • Maori are overrepresented in negative statistics like crime and morbidity, and it’s sometimes more effective to target these problems culturally rather than at the wider population.

The first really is the beginning and the end here. The other two are good and worthy, but rest on the utility of those particular goods (value of the culture, wellbeing of Māori people) rather than on hard principle. That permits the “One Nation” lot to argue the waffly details and ignore the fundamental point, which is this: the Treaty of Waitangi provides a settlement right to Tau Iwi, and in particular grants the Crown the right to establish government, from which all future settlement (and other legal and civil society) rights devolve. Nothing else in the factual historical record of New Zealand history grants that right. Nothing else. You take that right and you accept the terms under which it was agreed, or you leave it. Successive generations of settlers have chosen to accept it, and that’s a wonderful thing. But it is not a right which can be enjoyed without obligation.

Hobson and his lot had no rights to settle here until they were granted by the Treaty. Sure, he could have tried — but they were outnumbered 20 to one by well-armed, well-trained soldiers who’d by that point been fighting wars on land and sea for generations, who had a complex internal economy and international trade systems up and running for more than a decade, and who were swiftly becoming cognisant of the realpolitik of the day. You could argue the settlers would have prevailed in the end, and you’d probably be right — but in point of fact that’s not what happened. In any case, if Don Brash or anyone else want to go down the repugnant path of claiming swordright over Aotearoa, they’re welcome to try.

Hobson drafted the Treaty and agreed its terms on behalf of the Crown, and consequently Tau Iwi were granted by Tangata Whenua the right to settle, to implement laws and so on, under conditions stipulated in the Treaty. The opening words of Article 3, the one which Don Brash and the other “one nation” bangers love to quote is “in consideration thereof”; the deal is contingent on the agreement being honoured. One other thing. To all those folks who argue it’s a “relic”, there was no expiry date on the Treaty. It gets amended or disbanded according to the wishes of its signatories, the two parties to it, or their descendants as appropriate. And by no other means. People of today remain bound by the decisions of the governments of yesterday. On the other thread Psycho Milt makes this crystal clear.

So it’s really very simple: as Tau Iwi, if we live here in Aotearoa, we have an obligation to do our bit in ensuring the Treaty gets honoured. Because to the extent it remains unhonoured, we’re in breach of the only thing which grants us any enduring legitimacy, the only agreement which gives us a right to be here. One of the basic, fundamental principles of the English civil society which Hobson represented, and which New Zealanders continue to hold dear today is the notion of adhering to one’s agreements; acting in good faith. In fact, Hobson’s instructions were to deal with the Māori in good faith as equals.

Pākehā society, by refusing to honour the Treaty, isn’t honouring its contract with the Tangata Whenua of this land. That breach is not the breach of some airy fairy notion of being nice to the natives. This is not some set of alien strictures; it is not some Mosaic law handed down from on high, to which we must adhere for fear of divine punishment, and most certainly it is not a set of principles insisted upon by Māori in order to weaken the Pākehā bargaining position. This is Pākehā culture in its purest, most idealised form! By failing to honour the Treaty Pākehā society is in breach of its own most fundamental and hallowed principles. The economically dry parties — ACT and (lately to a much lesser extent) National — who are most strongly opposed to honouring the Treaty are doubly guilty in this regard, because they know better than anyone that reliable contracts are the foundations of good society. The responsibility of adhering to one’s agreements is at the core of their philosophy.

Well, I’m Pākehā, and even if those other pricks won’t live up to their own declared standards, I want to honour my agreements, and those of my forefathers; and those made by people from whom I’m not descended but from which my 20th-Century immigrant grandparents benefitted. This Pākehā, at least, pays his debts. I do not carry guilt for the 170-odd years of breaches to date — I carry the responsibility for making right. What form will that take? Well, that’s a wider question and one to be properly decided by society at large.

By failing to honour the Treaty Don Brash is in violation of his own stated principles as the representative of a party which believes in responsibility. By failing to honour a Treaty drawn up by Pākehā, on Pākehā terms and according to Pākehā custom, we as New Zealanders are, more than anything, violating ourselves.

L

There’s a follow-up to this post and discussion here.

110 Responses to “Violating ourselves”

  1. Bobby on May 5th, 2011 at 02:33

    Thank you Lew for presenting an argument that outlines our responsibilities as citizens in Aotearoa. Your comments reflect my most sincerest belief that as a European/Pakeha male, not born in NZ but a resident and now citizen, the Treaty is the basis for my identity as a New Zealander. It is the Treaty that gives me the right to call myself a kiwi and settle in a country alongside and in equal partnership with the original inhabitants. Recognising that Maori were here first but allowed the peaceful settlement and of Pakeha only under the terms of the Treaty is what allows me to feel pride and live an honourable life as a Pakeha and New Zealander. That is only we continue to pursue honouring the principles of the Treaty.

    When the principles of the Treaty are dishonoured, or cast as irrelevant, so is what it means to be a citizen New Zealand.

  2. Bobby on May 5th, 2011 at 02:38

    Please excuse my lack of editing before posting; I will blame the lateness of the hour and the speed of which my contribution was written!

  3. SPC on May 5th, 2011 at 03:08

    I agree with you Lew, but to some on the right the only rights to be defended are the rights of foreign corporates to invest here, the rights of corporates to be free of local or international restraint, an inter-national defence of copyright/intellectual property regime and unfettered free trade including no responsibility for the environment, resource depletion or labour standards. And otherwise flat rate taxation and user pays for delivery of services in the privately ownership dominated free market.

    In so far as Maori are concerned the best they could do under that regime is be part of it via corporate iwi – to the extent that past partial compliance of the Treaty had enabled some collective capital formulation – so that they were free to
    over-fish, participate in mining, felling native forests and impact on the waterways through over-stocking on dairy farms.

  4. BenLW on May 5th, 2011 at 12:01

    Here here! There were two other points which frustrated me immensely during the interview.
    1) When Brash says “Treat all races equally” for policy, why can’t someone say “When you treat all races equally, you get racially unequal outcomes, as shown by the past 30 years”. Danyl had a good example of anti-smoking campaigns which were targeted universally – and had virtually no affect on Maori. Then, when there was a Maori focussed campaign, smoking rates dropped for Maori. This is not racism, or ‘special rights’, it’s good policy making

    2) Brash kept referring to the words of the treaty, and Hone referred to principles. Why can’t somebody explain to Brash why we have the principles of the treaty? My (limited) understanding (could be wrong) of the issue is this – the actual text of the treaty is largely unworkable because the different translations, so the principles were developed to avoid the contradictions in the text, and to embody what the treaty “really meant”.

    Perhaps that is expecting too much from politicians to know such things ….

  5. Hugh on May 5th, 2011 at 17:38

    Given that there were pakeha living in New Zealand prior to the treaty’s signature it’s hard to argue it was the Treaty that allowed pakeha to settle here. And I’ve never seen the part of the Treaty that says pakeha should be allowed to settle. Indeed the treaty seems to treat the physical presence of pakeha in the city as a prior fact.

  6. Lew on May 5th, 2011 at 18:11

    Your usual sort of narrow, technical objection, Hugh. Of course, there was prior settlement on an ad-hoc basis, negotiated between small groups and locals. That came with few to zero political rights, usually no land or resource usage rights, and so on. It’s those rights — expressly granted by the Treaty — which are important in this context, not the bare right to occupation at the whim of a local rangatira, which nobody in Aotearoa would submit to nowadays (and nor should they).

    L

  7. Hugh on May 5th, 2011 at 19:54

    If we are talking about legal obligations I think barrow, technical terminology is appropriate, don’t you?

    I also think you are, ironically, projecting a pakeha concept of property onto the pre-treaty Maori framework. Maori law didn’t recognize property as owned by a given person so it would have had great difficulty validating the sort of expulsions you seem to feel pre-treaty pakeha were faced with.

    In fact I struggle to think of a single instance where pakeha were evicted on a whim (as opposed to because of bad behavior on their part, something that the Treaty didn’t just not prevent, it validated)

  8. Lew on May 5th, 2011 at 20:49

    Hugh,

    If I were talking about legal obligations, then yes, that would be appropriate. But the post is clearly an ethical and philosophical argument, not a legal argument. It underpins a legal argument (in fact, the legal argument upon which almost all Treaty-based law enacted since 1987 is founded.)

    Nothing ironic about this, and if you think this is a ‘gotcha’ then I’m sorry to have to disappoint you. I’ve been arguing this for years, and in the general case I do disclaim it as an Eurocentric viewpoint. You can see an example of this here.

    But in this post I’m not preaching to the converted; I’m preaching to Pākehā who need the fact that they’re in violation of their own culture’s rules explained in terms they can easily grasp and understand.

    I’m saying to those Pākehā: to accept that honouring the Treaty is right, you don’t have to be Māori, or identify with the Māori perspective, or even know or care much about Māori. You just need to have a commitment to your own cultural and philosophical traditions.

    L

  9. Simon Poole on May 5th, 2011 at 21:29

    Thank you, Lew.

    If you don’t mind, in the future I will gladly save my own breath and instead point friends and foes alike to this excellent post.

    Of course, I don’t think there’s anything you could write that would persuade Hugh or James otherwise, which is a shame.

  10. Lew on May 5th, 2011 at 21:57

    Thanks Simon, and welcome.

    As for James — no hope, really. He (at least, I’m pretty sure it was the same guy, by his discourse) was asked to make himself scarce from here more than a year ago. But while I might sometimes disagree with him, Hugh isn’t of the same sort.

    L

  11. Simon Poole on May 5th, 2011 at 22:14

    True. Probably unfair of me to lump the two together so quickly – I have been, err, debating with James, and saw a somewhat similar argument put forward by Hugh here. Of course, similarity of argument does not imply similarity between the posters.

    Regards,

  12. che tibby on May 5th, 2011 at 22:26

    “Hobson and his lot had no rights to settle here until they were granted by the Treaty. Sure, he could have tried — but they were outnumbered 20 to one by well-armed, well-trained soldiers who’d by that point been fighting wars on land and sea for generations”

    have you read “a show of justice”? it’s the seminal work on this topic.

    ward argues that the early settler did abide by the provisions of the treaty, but that the willingness to do so waned as their strength in numbers grew.

    it’s a great book, and required reading for anyone wanting to understand how the treaty shoudl be played out today.

    in particular, the notion that the treaty was forged between maori and pakeha is only partially true. maori also required and requested the treaty in order that the Crown could settle disputes between maori social groupings fairly and without recourse to “traditional obligation” structure.

    this worked for about 20 years, until settlers got too greedy, land sales slowed, and the land wars started to precipitate.

  13. dave brown on May 5th, 2011 at 23:04

    The important thing about this debate is that Brash can’t win more than a small racist minority on the white setter view of the Treaty, because for the big majority bread and butter issues will prevail. Capitalism creates its own gravediggers. Te Mana is not Maori Party Mk2 but a wider working class party. This reflects the realisation that Maori protest action diverted to Parliament then co-opted by the ‘one nation’- over and over again from the late 19thc to today – has to break this circuit. Maori cannot get justice without joining forces with the wider labour movement, just as that movement is dying on its backside without the most oppressed Maori acting to shock it into action. The important proviso is that this will not work thru pressure on parliament, which is no more than a shopfront for the ruling class, but has to be based on the workplaces and communities under attack. Look to the ChCh working class, the Apanui people, young casualised workers in Unite, and enraged beneficiaries as the one to stand up for this movement.

  14. Smoko joe on May 5th, 2011 at 23:49

    I would be intersted to know how you think about tino rangatiratanga – which in my pakeha-ish way i think of as many something to do with ” the way of leaders” which in turn is about autonomy over your own destiny, which clearly maori as a race have been denied thanks to the treaty’s broken promise, but which isstillavailable to maori as individuals and more today as iwi than in, say, the sixties. From there it is a small leap to don brash’s heartfelt views about the dependency statistics in which maori are represented. Hes not much different from john tamihere in that, orfrom pita and tariana making their bed with national, the party of “self-reliance”.
    What drives me mad is that brash then overlays thewhole thingwith this misguided scaremongeringthat playsto the meanestinstincts in pakehadom. Sorry about theipad typing.

  15. barry on May 6th, 2011 at 12:01

    Lew, Aside from the fact that there is very little agreement on what the treaty says (ie: which version, what sovereinty means, who didnt sign and should they be included, etc), the significant fact is that the things that Hone and Willie (Jackson) want will never be supplied.
    I could sit around and wail and moan about the fact that the Irish and The Scots (my ethnic background) were screwed by the British, but I aint going get them to take any notice and all Ill achieve is to put myself into a state of self missery.

    It is actually starting to become irrelevant what the treaty says becasue there will never be agreement from either end of the spectrum and the voting power and the money (in the form of tax money) just isnt going to be made available to fulfill the extremes of what you and Hone and Willie want.
    Even well over 100,000 maori agree with this – theyve pissed off to Ausy leaving these destructive arguements behind them – just my forbears did.

    Hone etc would better serve ‘his’ people by leading them into education and skills and to start using the resources that are available to one and all to build a better life for their children.

  16. Tiger Mountain on May 6th, 2011 at 16:05

    Great summary Lew. If the ‘sting in the tail’ of your last three paragraphs is not understood and appreciated by pākehā readers then they are at the very least in denial, and there is a good chance of them being much worse than that.

    I have an interesting old book from Government Print circa 1960 “Facsimilies of the Treaty of Waitangi” that contains the “Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand’, the original draft of the Treaty of Waitangi by Gov. Hobson and the Treaty itself as finally adopted in English and Māori (no english translation of the Māori version of course) and various notes by naval people who ferried the document around the place. And yards of photo-lithographed copies of the original signatures and moko etc. This book for some years was to be found in most NZ schools. Or more like in the principals circular filing cabinet in some areas.

    Reading this now is quite chilling as the patronising notes from the Chief Librarian CRH Taylor in 1960 and the comments from H. Hanson Turton in 1877, lay out plainly how the white establishment of their respective times saw things upon some reflection. 19thC Military backed land grabbing and 20thC assimilation almost did the ‘job’ and then improbably along came 80s neo liberalism which wreaked havoc with many communities but also lead to new opportunities–whakaora, cultural and political.

    I would rather pākeha supported honouring the treaty on informed principle, but if shaming them into it on a cultural basis (be true to your word and agreements down how many years it takes) is necessary then so be it.

  17. Hugh on May 6th, 2011 at 18:07

    I think somebody needs to set up a Treaty of Waitangi bingo sheet. “I’m Scots/Irish but you don’t see me complaining about what the English did to us” is a good one. Mentioning the Moriori’s another.

  18. Pascal's bookie on May 6th, 2011 at 19:23

    Treaty of Waitangi bingo sheet

    “They should just be grateful we even signed a treaty”

    “Eating each other”

    “Better the Brits than the French or the Germans”

    “We are all immigrants”

  19. Lew on May 6th, 2011 at 20:15

    Hugh and Bookie, bang on. Twitter isn’t all that good for a lot of things, but it’s pretty good for this sort of thing.

    Cheers,
    L

  20. Andrew W on May 6th, 2011 at 20:31

    Every time I come across these calls for the treaty “to be honoured” I go and have another look at the treaty, and every time, after reading it again, I’m left wondering what it is that the pakeha side is supposed to do to make this “honour” thing happen.

    The three clauses can be summed up as the Crown gets sovereignty over the country, Maori get the same rights as other British subjects (these days that usually is accepted as meaning other New Zealanders), and Maori get to keep their lands unless they sell them.

  21. Lew on May 6th, 2011 at 20:56

    Andrew, that’s a drastically limited reading, but let’s work with it.

    The Crown gets sovereignty — ok, they have that.

    Māori get the same rights as British citizens — has taken a long while, but we’re mostly there, at least on paper.

    Māori get to keep their lands unless they sell them — this is the thing. They didn’t legitimately sell land or keep it, for the most part.

    Lands were confiscated at gunpoint or having been left vacant by slaughter or flight; forfeited as unused because plots didn’t have wheat growing on them; occupied in bogus wars against ‘rebellion’; seized as payment for surveying services never rendered or, if rendered, never requested; sold by compliant or venal representatives without rights of disposal; and a host of other means. Most of this was done by the Crown. It’s all well documented, and for the most part acknowledged as historical fact by the Crown and other authorities. A certain amount was perpetrated by private settlers, but given that the Treaty grants the Crown right of first refusal, that’s a breach of the Treaty as well.

    So here’s a start to what Pākehā can do if they want to honour the Treaty: commit to making full and fair reparation for those practices, and commit to supporting political movements who will do so.

    L

  22. Lew on May 6th, 2011 at 21:10

    Andrew, not sufficient.

    L

  23. Andrew W on May 6th, 2011 at 21:14

    Who’s to judge?

  24. Lew on May 6th, 2011 at 21:19

    Society. A whole host of public and private sphere agencies — judicial scholars and historians; the Waitangi Tribunal and OTS, ethicists, politicians, activists, people in pubs and on blogs, and so on.

    We’re presently doing so.

    L

  25. Andrew W on May 6th, 2011 at 21:25

    Fantastic, well, I guess all us Pakeha’s can relax knowing it’s all in good hands then. Though I would have thought it was really a matter between the Crown and aggrieved Maori.

  26. Lew on May 6th, 2011 at 21:27

    Well, who’s the Crown, and where do they get their steer from?

    And do I detect the presumption that ‘aggrieved Māori’ is necessarily distinct from the other categories I named? Because I can name a good many who are both.

    L

  27. Andrew W on May 6th, 2011 at 21:32

    To any agreement there are only two parties. If some ethicists want to make a claim against Maori, they can petition for their own settlement process.

  28. Lew on May 6th, 2011 at 21:39

    Ok, fair enough. But one of those parties is Māori; and the other of those parties is the Crown, which is a representative agency representing the whole nation — including Māori. And ethicists.

    Because the Crown is a representative body, we all have a dog in this fight.

    L

  29. SPC on May 6th, 2011 at 22:53

    barry, the Scots are not the indigenous of Scotland they’re just invaders from Ireland and besides they voted for union with England (unlike the Welsh). The English are not the indigenous of England either, just invaders from Germany later conquered by Normans.

    Guess why the Scots and English call it the United Kingdon – to further suppress the British.

  30. Andrew W on May 7th, 2011 at 16:54

    Lew, in the article you state:

    Maori are overrepresented in negative statistics like crime and morbidity, and it’s sometimes more effective to target these problems culturally rather than at the wider population.

    So, to repeat a question that’s already been asked about a billion times, “what’s the solution?”

    Or, perhaps I should start with “Why does this situation exist?”

    I personally don’t believe “because the treaty hasn’t been honoured” is an accurate or productive answer.

  31. Lew on May 7th, 2011 at 22:30

    Andrew, if you read the bedamned thing, you’ll see that those three bulloets are quoted from Danyl’s post, and in the following par I argue that the latter two (one of which you quote) aren’t very strong arguments.

    Nevertheless, to answer your question with a better question: If you don’t think that the social impacts of six generations of living as second-class citizens unable to participate fully in the settler society, and yet also unable to fully realise their own society; coupled with the economic impacts of having been alienated from almost literally all their assets; in particular their land, without the benefit of its cash sale value, or the ability to use it as an economic base, or even in many cases, the ability to live on it — if you don’t think those conditions could give rise to the sort of social and economy dysfunction which exists among Māori, then what sort of conditions do you think could cause such dysfunction?

    And if you don’t think those impacts are real, or are consequences of the Treaty being dishonoured, why should I waste my time discussing the matter with you? Such belief is simply ahistorical.

    L

  32. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 01:08

    You didn’t try answer my question with a better question, you tried to avoid answering it by attacking me.

    Having said that, I think you did inadvertently answer the question because you blame the message of hostility towards the dominant Pakeha culture that you think the “failure to honour the Treaty” has created amongst Maori. This hostility is still being passed from generation to generation – this is why you’re convinced that history still affects many young Maori negatively and their ability to succeed in society.

    History cannot be changed, current attitudes can,
    Maori parents feeding this hostility to their kids need to take responsibility for the damage they do to them, because if young people – of any race or gender – are brought up to believe they won’t succeed simply because of their race or gender, that’s the most certain way to handicap them for the rest of their lives.

    How much of those appalling statistics, of child abuse, and of other crime, is the result of the bitterness towards the wider society that has not only been passed down, but is now being re-enforced by people who say to Maori “you’ve been exploited, you won’t get a fair go, it’s not your fault, it’s because of that exploitation by the racists Pakeha society, that’s who’s to blame”?

  33. Lew on May 8th, 2011 at 08:59

    Right — so your contention is that Māori communities are dysfunctional because Māori parents tell Māori kids they can’t succeed because the white man has pressed them down; but not because the white man has actually pressed them down? That having being stripped of almost all of their cultural and economic capital nd thereby entrenched in poverty — economic and cultural — for half a dozen generations is really just a figment of the collective Māori imagination?

    Consider a history where Māori actually were given the full rights and responsibilites of British subjects following the Treaty; and in which the guarantees of kawanatanga and tino rangatiratanga were adhered to, and in which they had the advantages of owning most of the country, including virtually all of the economically productive land and the sites of what all the major cities; if they had the option to sell it for cash, or lease or farm or simply to live on it. Consider if the Māori of 1840 had been able to transfer that economic and cultural capital down through the generations to the present one. Don’t you think things would be different?

    History can’t be changed, but that’s no cause to turn a blind eye to past injustices, and make reparations for them; in fact doing so is the source of both economic and cultural repair. The economic transfer is well short of that to which they might legitimately be entitled — in most cases less than 1% of the compensation given to Pākehā landowners who lose land to Treaty claims — but it’s some small base of economic capital nonetheless. And if, as you argue, grievance derived from a history of injustice is a source of dysfunction, then doesn’t it make sense to address the grievance, and by lessening it, lessen the dysfunction?

    L

  34. Tiger Mountain on May 8th, 2011 at 09:42

    Lew @ 22.30 and 08.59 encapsulates it. These material conditions actually exist for Māori and require action. They are not some sort of generationally propagated residual negativity as Andrew W pupports.

    Māori should be damn bitter though. Ever since I found out about the treaty in detail in 1978 I have sided with Māori in solidarity. Some differences over tactics notwithstanding. I feel no guilt, do not wear a bone carving, but I do feel responsibility to explain to some and challenge others to assist our society to redress and progress. Māori have two languages and have little choice but to speak English, how many pākehā make an effort to acquire at least some fluency in Māori one of our three official languages?

    Pākehā made redundant recently may experience a small (though no doubt harsh to them) personal glimmer of alientation. Discarded, with no job through no fault of their own, ability to provide for family and participate in society substantially diminished. Mortgagee sale-no not my land! Now magnify that feeling by thousands of people and a hundred and seventy years. Might get you down a bit.

  35. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 09:55

    Right — so your contention is that Māori communities are dysfunctional because Māori parents tell Māori kids they can’t succeed because the white man has pressed them down; but not because the white man has actually pressed them down? That having being stripped of almost all of their cultural and economic capital nd thereby entrenched in poverty — economic and cultural — for half a dozen generations is really just a figment of the collective Māori imagination?

    How has the white man been pressing them down over the last 50 years? How is the wealth of my ancestors 6 generation back supposed to affect my wealth?

    The problems Maori have are current problems, Maori kids are being born today that will not do as well in school as their Pakeha peers who’re living in households with the same incomes, the problems for these kids don’t start when they become job seekers, or even when they start school, these kids start to fall short of what their peers achieve from their first years.

    We can either attribute it to nurture or nature, well I’m not interested in blaming nature, and it’s the parents who’re the first teachers.

    And if, as you argue, grievance derived from a history of injustice is a source of dysfunction, then doesn’t it make sense to address the grievance, and by lessening it, lessen the dysfunction?

    I interpret that as your argument, the differences in children of different race but the same demographic from an early age exist, and Maori poverty is more persistent from generation to generation, you attribute this to history, and argue we need to somehow fix this history, that’s perhaps part of it, but I think most of the problem is that too many Maori have the perception that the cards are stacked against them in their day to day lives because they’re Maori, and payouts to Iwi of millions or billions by the state aren’t going to change that perception.

    I have discussed racism within the family with Maori friends including ex-gang members, and I understand that in some poorer sections of that society animosity against our “honky” culture are very bitter and run very deep. How is a kid, raised with that outlook, ever going to believe he didn’t miss out on that job because he was Maori?

    We’ve as a country have been going around in circles trying to explain Maori poverty, and getting nowhere, but who ever makes the point I’m making? Who’s stood up and said too many Maori destroy their own kids confidence and expectations by telling them that society will make sure they fail?

  36. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 10:22

    Māori should be damn bitter though.

    And we can see where feeling damn bitter gets them.

    Thank you for helping to make my point.

  37. Lew on May 8th, 2011 at 10:55

    Andrew, is it being damned bitter which is the problem, or is it the fact that Pākehā still haven’t actually honoured their obligations under the Treaty, or made reparations for the wrongs committed in spite of it?

    We can agree that Māori are damned bitter, at least. The question is: whose responsibility is this? You blame Māori, inferring that they should just harden up and get over it. Perhaps so, and perhaps it would help; but that’s easier said than done, and none of it would fix the actual material disadvantages I’ve outlined. In addition, any dampening of the ire against Treaty oppression would weaken the impetus for justice which presently exists; an agenda which has been driven over the past 35 years or so by precisely the sort of consciousness you criticise. In a nutshell: without Ngā Tamatoa, there’s no Waitangi Tribunal.

    From a Pākehā perspective, the bigger point is that such an attitude locates all the responsibility for the outcomes of Treaty breaches with Māori, rather than with successive Pākehā-dominated governments who materially committed those breaches. Returning to the point of my post, that position is inconsistent with the ‘responsibility’ rhetoric and the broad ethic of keeping one’s word and paying one’s debts which Pākehā society (rightly) holds dear. Nobody — not even the most ardent Māori radicals — claims that Māori don’t need to change. But many Pākehā, even those who aren’t at all radical, seem to hold the view that they — we — have no responsibility for this state of affairs.

    Your argument on this thread encapsulates that perfectly. We are in breach of our own tikanga, and quite apart from how bad it is for Māori, that’s a damned shame for Pākeha society as well.

    L

  38. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 11:37

    The question is: whose responsibility is this?

    No, the question is: how do we change this?

    You continue to ignore that the settlement process is underway, do you seriously think that making the settlements a little more generous will make a huge difference to that bitterness?
    If my way of looking at it is right, the first step is to change that perception, and the first step to changing that perception is to recognise that it’s more perception than reality, those millions won’t do a damn thing to achieve that. If young Maori believe they’re discriminated against by other members of this society, and that belief leads them to expect to fail, how is a settlement from crown to Iwi going to lead them to believe that this perceived discrimination, on the part of members of their wider communities, no longer exists or has been reduced?

    I was watching a BBC documentary on Jane Elliot a while ago on another one of her famous “blue-eyed/brown-eyed” exercises, when the black people were asked for examples of discrimination that they’d been subjected to, the only example offered was by one lady that she had once not been served in the right customer order in a shop. Otherwise there were lots of “oh, it’s there, but it’s very subtle” type comments. Black People in Britain (and America and other countries) have similar problems to Maori, and I’m betting Maori living in Aussie also have these problems, so I don’t think it’s about honouring the treaty.

  39. Lew on May 8th, 2011 at 14:52

    A very convenient reframing which permits Pākehā to pretend that none of this is anything to do with them; to pretend that we’re all in the same situation and that Māori problems are just Māori problems. Just the sort of response one would expect from people seeking to absolve themselves of responsibility rather than accepting it. The net effect of this is to pretend Māori are the root of their own problems, as you have throught this discussion. It is a common delusion, and a very self-serving one.

    Given the past 170 years of Crown and Pākehā intransigence, and this attitude of evading responsibility and reframing the debate to permit Māori to be blamed for circumstances substantively not of their own making, there is a moral hazard in contiunued Pākehā gatekeeping of Māori aspiration. It hasn’t worked thus far, and throughout that time Crown institutions have worked predominantly in the interests of the Crown and of this notion of ‘wider society’, when (as you pointed out way upthread) ‘wider society’ has not suffered any breach.

    Because, ultimately, the question of what should be done pivots on the question of responsibility. As the party in breach of the initial Treaty agreement, the reparations made in fulfilment of that breach must be to the satisfaction of the wronged party. So the Crown’s responsibility here isn’t to do what the Crown or what Pākehā think is right — it’s permitting and equipping Māori to do what Māori think is right. That’s part of what is meant by ‘honouring the Treaty’, and it’s right there in the text they signed: tino rangatiratanga.

    So the proper and legitimate policy track here — one which is fully congruous with Pākehā society’s own philosophical and ethical norms as regards this sort of breach of agreement and absence of good faith — is not to ‘make settlements a little more generous’, it’s to address the systems of delivering reparation so they serve the needs of the people who they’re meant to serve, according to those people. Pākehā society has demonstrated comprehensively — and this discussion has been an excellent example — that it doesn’t even understand the problem, let alone the solutions.

    L

  40. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 18:43

    A very convenient reframing which permits Pākehā to pretend that none of this is anything to do with them

    Really, you actually think I think that Maori poverty and crime have nothing to do with me? We’re all affected by such important matters, that’s why we’re interested in them.
    What I’ve done is offer an explanation as to why this disparity has been such an intractable problem, the explanation I offer is not politically very palatable so it’s rarely mentioned, simply because it’s so, so easy for critics to counter by attacking the logic with the populist arguments that you’ve resorted to. So after failing to offer any argument as to why you think my analysis is wrong, you fall back on: “that’s just a self serving Pakeha perspective”, as if that in itself refutes what I’m saying.

    Again you resort to implying that what you see as some sort of fairer and more just settlement will somehow make things better when I’ve argued that there’s no evidence to support this claim and you’ve failed to address that as well.

    And then you make the extraordinary claim the only fair solution is to meet any settlement that the aggrieved party decides is fair. Perhaps you think this principle should be extended to other disputes in society, since it sure as hell doesn’t exist anywhere at the moment? Do you think it would be fair if an aggrieved secretary in an employment dispute gets ownership of the company if that’s what s/he think is fair?

  41. Lew on May 8th, 2011 at 19:07

    Andrew, just noting that your suggested solution, one which runs counter to the experience of those most affected by the problems in question, also happens to be the one which lets the Crown (and, into the bargain, you and me) off the hook for any sort of responsibility.

    Very convenient, and there’s an onus on you to explain why you (or any of the Pākehā institutions which have failed at this task over the past century and a bit) might have a better idea of the problem or how to solve it than those who live in it. The solutions to some of these problems which have worked — Kōhanga Reo is probably the best example) have emerged organically from within Māoridom, If you listen to anyone working within that field — of solving Māori problems — what they say is: not enough autonomy, not enough money, people who don’t know what we’re trying to do getting in our way and skewing our work in directions which serve their purposes, rather than ours. If you want to help Māori, get out of their way.

    Your choice of analogy — ridiculous hyperbole of a secretary owning the company — betrays poor faith; a view of Māori as bit-players rather than as partners; and as piss-taking troughers who’ll exploit the white man for all they can get given the chance. This, too, is a common theme. You misstate my assertion, and claim there’s no precedent for a wronged party leading the reparation systems. But in fact that the Treaty guarantees Māori the opportunity to do things of this sort for themselves (tino rangatiratanga); and in all New Zealand history, the modest demands of Māori and their willingess to settle for symbolic reparations, or tiny fractions of what they might reasonably be entitled stands in clear contrast to the Crown’s well-documented cynicism, exploitatin, and latterly their tendency to nickel-and-dime claimants rather than deal with them in good faith.

    L

  42. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 20:02

    Andrew, just noting that your suggested solution, one which runs counter to the experience of those most affected by the problems in question, also happens to be the one which lets the Crown (and, into the bargain, you and me) off the hook for any sort of responsibility.

    No, it means the two issues “honouring the treaty” and “Maori alienation” are to a large degree separate issues, if Maori were as successful and prosperous as every other ethnic group that wouldn’t change the Crowns obligation to “honour the treaty”.

    If I’ve miss read your meaning and you’re saying that my analysis makes it a Maori problem, again you’d be wrong, it would mean that it’s a problem that Maori would need to lead in trying to rectify, but Maori alienation would still be a problem for everyone.

    and there’s an onus on you to explain why you (or any of the Pākehā institutions which have failed at this task over the past century and a bit) might have a better idea of the problem or how to solve it than those who live in it.

    I’ve covered that, to suggest that Maori alienation is due to a largely groundless passed down belief that they as Maori are not given a fair go by other members of society is an easy theory to attack simply because it doesn’t fit in with what’s politically acceptable, for people who give a damn about their careers there’s not a lot to be gained in advocating it.

    The solutions to some of these problems which have worked — Kōhanga Reo is probably the best example) … If you want to help Māori, get out of their way.

    There’s nothing there I disagree with, in fact I go way further than most people in the “get out of their way” philosophy, what I’ve been arguing is entirely commensurable with that.
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/03/the_libertarian_debate.html#comment-292401

    While I still doubt the practicality of such a system, the idea behind it is all about self determination for groups and cultures that want self determination.

    Your choice of analogy — ridiculous hyperbole of a secretary owning the company — betrays poor faith; a view of Māori as bit-players rather than as partners; and as piss-taking troughers who’ll exploit the white man for all they can get given the chance. This, too, is a common theme.

    Hold your horses, all I was saying is that contrary to what YOU said:

    the reparations made in fulfilment of that breach must be to the satisfaction of the wronged party.So the Crown’s responsibility here isn’t to do what the Crown or what Pākehā think is right — it’s permitting and equipping Māori to do what Māori think is right.

    Well that sounds like a blank cheque to me, and if you think you can give Maori, or me, a blank cheque and expect some degree of refrain in taking advantage of the opportunity, please try it.

  43. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 20:05

    I’ve just had a comment not appear, had a link so may be in the spam filter.

  44. Lew on May 8th, 2011 at 20:44

    Sorry about that, Andrew — it was in spam, presumably because of the link. Hopefully future comments will go through.

    The fundamental core of our disagreement here is whether Māori alienation is consequent from the Treaty not having been honoured. As I’ve said, as far as I’m concerned this is just unarguably wrong; falsified by the historical record, and a means commonly employed by people who neither know nor really care anything about Treaty breaches to absolve themselves of any responsibility and to permit them to blame Māori for the country’s ills.

    As far as ‘getting out of the way’ goes, I believe your adherence to the doctrine in principle, but your arguments here seem to favour the opposite. You don’t accept the general Māori assessment of the why and the how of their particular plight, and you advocate a Pākehā-led course of action which explicitly favours the Crown position (‘just forget about the oppression, you’ll be better for it’). Perhaps I’ve misunderstood you, but with all respect there’s little to differentiate your discourse from the better and smarter sort of ‘bloody maaries’ reasoning which I’m talking about.

    Re the ‘blank cheque’ statement; I’d never suggest such a thing. impunity leads to poor incentives and profligacy and corruption, as much among Māori as anyone else. The point of the last par of my last comment is that Māori, for the most part unlike the Crown, and unlike most of their critics, have demonstrated recognition that there really is a partnership at work here; that they must work with rather than against society.

    L

  45. Andrew W on May 8th, 2011 at 21:39

    Thanks for rescuing that Lew.
    To put things in a slightly different way, I think you are seeing this alienation on a macro scale, The Treaty, an injustice across the whole race, whereas I’m looking at it from more of an everyday and individualist perspective. If we ask which Maori are the ones whose alienation is causing them to turn to crime domestic violence or who are are unemployed, it’s not the Maori who have an interest in the Treaty Issues, and in terms of which Maori would benefit most from what you see as more equitable settlements, I doubt these, the more alienated Maori, would benefit greatly.
    These people are at the bottom of the heap, to them it’s so easy to blame their lack of success on a perceived inequity in treatment due to their race, and once this message is passed onto young children, a symptom of which is the lesson to be staunch, the violence and frustration at what is their lot I think is explained.

    Well, I guess there’s probably not a lot more to cover.

    Cheers.

  46. jh on May 8th, 2011 at 23:43

    ACT and (lately to a much lesser extent) National — who are most strongly opposed to honouring the Treaty are doubly guilty in this regard, because they know better than anyone that reliable contracts are the foundations of good society. The responsibility of adhering to one’s agreements is at the core of their philosophy.
    ………
    “reliable contracts are the foundations of good society”

    but was the signing of the treaty a reliable contract given the circumstance under which it was signed (regarding tino rangitiratanga/kawangatanga?

    People are having great difficulty explaining how tinorangitiratanga will work; these things are always “to be worked out”. Having said that we see examples of tinorangitira tanga as when tribes claim exclusive rights to the fruits of the resources in “their rohe”.

    It seems to me that those who bang Pakeha over the head with the treaty are intellectually lazy as they never seem to think the issue through to its conclusion.

  47. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 11:17

    jh, who’s intellectually lazy? Henry Williams invented the term ‘rangatiratanga’ and applied it to an extant suite of concepts he had observed. The term (not the concepts) are a Pākehā invention, and the term was chosen for inclusion in the treaty by Pākehā — so you can’t blame Māori for your (or the Crown’s) failure to understand it.

    Notwithstanding the fact that I’m not your social studies teacher, responsible for schooling you on the basic facts of your country and society’s history: in the Treaty (which was drafted in English, then translated and for the most part signed in Māori) ‘tino rangatiratanga’ was used as the translation of ‘full exclusive and undisturbed possession’, which I think should give you a pretty clear sense of how significant it was.

    L

  48. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 11:30

    ‘tino rangatiratanga’ was used as the translation of ‘full exclusive and undisturbed possession’, which I think should give you a pretty clear sense of how significant it was.
    ……
    Let me accuse you then of grandstanding as you pass yourself off as an advocate of social justice yet you are an advocate for those such as Willie Jackson who talk about treaty settlements representing 1% with 99% to come and David Clendon who advocates for Northern coastal tribes over oil rights, all at at time when we face financial problems and resource scarcity. Your advocating an enormous Lotto win at the expense of “tauiwi” (foreigners in this land – your words).

  49. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 11:42

    “the Treaty of Waitangi provides a settlement right to Tau Iwi, and in particular grants the Crown the right to establish government, from which all future settlement (and other legal and civil society) rights devolve. Nothing else in the factual historical record of New Zealand history grants that right. Nothing else. You take that right and you accept the terms under which it was agreed, or you leave it. Successive generations of settlers have chosen to accept it, and that’s a wonderful thing. But it is not a right which can be enjoyed without obligation.”

    “Nothing else in the factual historical record of New Zealand history grants that right”.

    What about the wastelands theory. New Zealands population was low 100,000 or so . Prior to contact with Europeans they had very few food species. Only about 5% lived in the South Island.

    The question is largely academic. We are a population which has taken hold. Eradicating us or bleeding the life out of us as tenants in their country (due to accident of birth) is a greater injustice (arguably).

    “”Hobson and his lot had no rights to settle here until they were granted by the Treaty. Sure, he could have tried — but they were outnumbered 20 to one by well-armed, well-trained soldiers who’d by that point been fighting wars on land and sea for generations, who had a complex internal economy and international trade systems up and running for more than a decade, and who were swiftly becoming cognisant of the realpolitik of the day. You could argue the settlers would have prevailed in the end, and you’d probably be right — but in point of fact that’s not what happened. In any case, if Don Brash or anyone else want to go down the repugnant path of claiming swordright over Aotearoa, they’re welcome to try. ”

    The settlement of NZ didn’t depend on Hobson signing a treaty. Hobson didn’t knock on the door and ask: “is it o.k if we colonise this place?” ships were on the water. It was being colonised in a private capacity. Maori were disunited and the fighting experience they had was against each other, issues still hot on their minds. Whats more they were ignorant of the scale of the immigration that was ahead. The treaty was at the behest of the British government who were thinking “we better do this right”, however, it was premature and naive to expect an agreement on soveriegnty when there were only about 2000 Europeans and 100,000 Maori.
    There was no agreement on sovereignty because there can be no agreement without full understanding. To get around the two versions Hone and the Greens use the contra preferendum rule which is onerous to Pakeha. Anything less than full chieftanship over tribal territories is arbitary.

  50. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 12:14

    jh, come off it. Read my discussion with Andrew; I’m suggesting nothing of the sort. What I’m suggesting is a solution negotiated in good faith by the Crown and Pākehā (who, to date, have by and large not shown good faith) and Māori (who, given the circumstances, generally have). Scaremongering about ‘tenants in their country’ is just disingenuous, and is a clear example of the poor faith I’m referring to. No such thing has ever been on the table as far as Māori are concerned — however ‘tenants’ is exactly what Māori have been reduced to by successive generations of Crown policy.

    With your last par (I assume it’s yours, although it’s surrounded by quotes) you’re just rehashing the idiotic swordright counterfactual. The fact is the British did not colonise NZ by force; they did so by Treaty, and throughout our history much has been made of this ‘kinder, gentler’ approach. It is unjust to make mileage out of the Treaty if you’re not prepared to honour it. The appeal to ‘contra proferentem’ aren’t absolute; contra proferentem is clearly established as a tenet of international Treaty law (very much like contract law), and serves as a starting point for a negotiated civil society solution. That’s not arbitrary, that’s how these things work in real life.

    The only absolutists here are those who, having not bothered to understand what the Treaty is, what it means, how it came about, or what happened afterwards insist we should just scrap it because it’s unworkable.

    L

  51. Andrew W on May 9th, 2011 at 13:05

    Lew, the discussion still leaves much unanswered as to what you actually think needs to be done for the Crown to “honour the treaty”. Many Pakeha see a never ending demand for more wealth transfer to Maori. A transfer that’s going to happen when hell freezes over.

  52. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 13:17

    Andrew, the post isn’t about what should be done — as if I could resolve that question in a blog post banged out between Survivor and bedtime. As I said in the actual post:

    What form will that take? Well, that’s a wider question and one to be properly decided by society at large.

    That civil society process is ongoing. But what I want more than anything, and what the post is about, is for Pākehā to act in good faith and according to their own stated principles. If not for the good of Māori, then at least for the sake of our own cultural integrity.

    L

  53. Andrew W on May 9th, 2011 at 13:32

    I think the only reality in demanding that “the treaty be honoured” is a never ending series of demands, there will never be a resolution adequate for people with your view on the matter because there will always be the expectation of getting just a few more concessions.
    For this reason I think it is you, and people who support this never ending process, who are the ones not acting in good faith. The whole process has become more one of extortion than of trying to actually get to a final resolution.
    You pay an extortionist in the hope that they’ll leave you alone, but inevitably they’ll just keep coming back for more.

    As long as those who demand that “the treaty be honoured” refuse to define what they actually mean by that, I will have nothing but contempt for them and their duplicity.

  54. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 13:34

    What form will that take? Well, that’s a wider question and one to be properly decided by society at large.

    as I said grandstanding. Herd Pakeha to the cliff tell them they have to do the honourable thing and jump, but no one can see the bottom of the cliff.

    Kevin Hague has that problem too:

    I want to acknowledge that actually we are asking people to do something (and we are doing it too) quite different from what we usually ask with our policy. Normally we have a very clear idea of the outcome we are seeking, and establish a policy to reflect how we will get there.

    But the Treaty is different. The words all have the potential to sound pretty hammy, but fundamentally the outcome being sought is a process: the process of absolute good faith negotiation, in which we Pakeha engage from a position of honour – acting ethically and morally.

    That process involves courage because we don’t know the outcome (and because we know we have it pretty sweet just how things are, let’s be honest). It is pretty scary, but it’s also pretty damn exciting!

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/05/03/my-speech-at-blackball-2010/

  55. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 13:44

    Lew, in your opinion, was sovereignty agreed upon in the treaty in good faith?

  56. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 14:23

    Andrew, those of us calling for the agreement be honoured by those who proposed and drafted it — honoured to their own standards — are acting in bad faith, while those failing to do so aren’t? Black is white, water flows uphill. This is an aimless discussion.

    jh, no, ‘sovereignty’ was not ceded; ‘kawanatanga’ (~ ‘governance’) was, in the Māori version, which is the legitimate version under the doctrine of contra proferentem. Seriously, chap, this is Treaty 101.

    L

  57. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 14:39

    jh, no, ‘sovereignty’ was not ceded; ‘kawanatanga’ (~ ‘governance’) was, in the Māori version, which is the legitimate version under the doctrine of contra proferentem. Seriously, chap, this is Treaty 101.
    ….
    So what does the Maori version mean. Leaving out governance, it seems to mean Keeping things as they were in 1840, in terms of tribes maintaining territorial rites and rite to resources minus what was legitimately bough and is in the private hands of “tauiwi”. As Chris Trotter pointed out: “For who can dispute that, at one time, the entire geographical entity we call New Zealand was the property of Maori collectivities?
    And, if they have a customary right to New Zealand’s beaches, then why not its rivers, estuaries, swamps, lakes, forests and everything else? ”

    You seem to be suggesting we can negotiate a win-win.

  58. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 14:44

    With your last par (I assume it’s yours, although it’s surrounded by quotes) you’re just rehashing the idiotic swordright counterfactual. The fact is the British did not colonise NZ by force; they did so by Treaty, and throughout our history much has been made of this ‘kinder, gentler’ approach..
    …….
    If the British colonised NZ by treaty, why is it that the main issue tinorangitiratanga is yet to be realised. Can it be said that we colonised by treaty when in fact we have only paid lip service to that treaty. When Maori started to resist colonisation they were too weakened and out numbered.

  59. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 15:00

    Having done the dirty bit already why would we put ourselves willingly in a disadvantageous position such as recognising the territory we occupy as belonging to Iwi (by birth right). The point being we are fish in the same goldfish bowl. It isn’t as though we are excluding Maori, we are offering them the same rights as we have (other than claim the goldfishbowl as theirs).

  60. Andrew W on May 9th, 2011 at 17:18

    Andrew, those of us calling for the agreement be honoured by those who proposed and drafted it — honoured to their own standards — are acting in bad faith, while those failing to do so aren’t?

    You demand that “the treaty be honoured” but refuse to define what that means, so yes, I think that means acting in bad faith.

    Is there some law of nature that says that this group, or that group cannot act in bad faith because of injustices to their ancestors? No! And perhaps that’s why it’s so easy for them to do so, they think it’s somehow impossible. “Maori are the victims so they can’t be acting badly” is what you’re saying, and it’s logical nonsense.

    Ya know, those who’re most corrupt often don’t recognise their own corruption, because in their eyes them being corrupt is just impossible – like water flowing up hill.

  61. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 17:57

    Andrew, you can’t be serious. The Crown wrote the damned Treaty! Even by the most generous reading, they haven’t come close to honouring the plain English text of it. Their own text!

    Holding the Crown and Pākehā society accountable to their own standards doesn’t impose a responsibility on me or Māori or anyone else to lay out an end-to-end prescriptive solution; part of the responsibility of the agreement — you could say the biggest part — is being honest with oneself about what the agreement meant, what expectations arose from it, and whether those expectations have been met.

    The utter lack of cognisance that there’s even a difference between the Treaty agreement and the actuality which followed it is ilustrative of the lack of intellectual honesty and good faith which I’m complaining about.

    I say again: in the absence of even a bare acknowledgement of wrongdoing, the discussion is futile and my argument is utterly proven.

    L

  62. Andrew W on May 9th, 2011 at 18:08

    The utter lack of cognisance that there’s even a difference between the Treaty agreement and the actuality which followed it is ilustrative of the lack of intellectual honesty and good faith which I’m complaining about.

    Is that a reference to my comments?

    If so, how can you claim you yourself are exercising intellectual honesty when you make that comment immediately after I’ve said: “Is there some law of nature that says that this group, or that group cannot act in bad faith because of injustices to their ancestors?”

  63. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 18:57

    Andrew, I’ve addressed this several times. Of course Māori could act in bad faith, and in some cases they have. But given the circumstances, there’s no meaningful equivalence between a couple of isolated excesses and a huge amount of compromise, forgiveness and acceptance on the Māori side; and 150 years of outright theft, trickery, legal and illegal exploitation — followed by a couple of decades of grudging, reluctant recognition on the Pākehā side.

    Māori would be justified in giving up on the system which has served them so poorly — but as a matter of fact they haven’t, and that speaks to incredibly good faith on their part.

    L

  64. Tiger Mountain on May 9th, 2011 at 19:03

    @ JH and Andrew:
    Lew has been way too accommodating with the pair of you for my reading pleasure. At the most basic level…
    • Cause and effect (albeit complex) applies with the treaty and post colonial situation of this country. Have you investigated other colonised societies?
    • Do some research of your own rather than pushing subjective views and semantics on an issue you seem underprepared for.

  65. Andrew W on May 9th, 2011 at 20:19

    Tiger Mountain, I didn’t realise the purpose of this discussion was to fulfill your reading pleasure.

    Lew, obviously one of my concerns, and I think a concern of a lot of people, is that the treaty will never “be honoured” to the satisfaction of aggrieved Maori, and so think that it’ll just be a never ending process.

    If you think that this fear is unreasonable, you must have a reason why, so why do you think we can have confidence that the treaty can “be honoured” to the satisfaction of aggrieved Maori?

  66. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 20:45

    Andrew, I have to say I am beginning to tire of the constant rehashing of what are essentially the same core arguments.

    The presumption that Māori will never be satisfied is a pretty common reflection of Pākehā bad faith onto Māori.

    It is true that given the Crown and Pākehā society’s intransigence and failure to honour the Treaty this far, Māori by and large have not been satisfied, and should the present state of affairs not improve, it’s possible that they will never be satisfied. But in cases where genuine and enduring settlement has been reached by full and good-faith negotiation, Māori have shown few tendencies toward piss-taking, exploitation or relitigation. This is a matter of accepted fact among those who know this field of work, including the Crown agencies such as OTS who are responsible for finalising the settlements.

    As I’ve said: Māori have not in fact shown substantial bad faith, and the common imputation of Pākehā bad faith to Māori is just another weak excuse deployed by people who refuse to take responsibility for their own side’s misdeeds.

    L

  67. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 20:50

    Holding the Crown and Pākehā society accountable to their own standards doesn’t impose a responsibility on me or Māori or anyone else to lay out an end-to-end prescriptive solution; part of the responsibility of the agreement — you could say the biggest part — is being honest with oneself about what the agreement meant, what expectations arose from it, and whether those expectations have been met.
    ….
    Andrew, the post isn’t about what should be done — as if I could resolve that question in a blog post banged out between Survivor and bedtime. As I said in the actual post:

    What form will that take? Well, that’s a wider question and one to be properly decided by society at large.

    That civil society process is ongoing. But what I want more than anything, and what the post is about, is for Pākehā to act in good faith and according to their own stated principles. If not for the good of Māori, then at least for the sake of our own cultural integrity.
    …..
    I suppose you are saying you want Pakeha to do everything they reasonably can? Does that, however include the possibility of saying “No” to protect the interests of Non Maori given the broad nature of the treaty as in ‘full exclusive and undisturbed possession’ of lands we both call home??

  68. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 21:02

    in cases where genuine and enduring settlement has been reached by full and good-faith negotiation, Māori have shown few tendencies toward piss-taking, exploitation or relitigation. This is a matter of accepted fact among those who know this field of work, including the Crown agencies such as OTS who are responsible for finalising the settlements.

    You might expect someone to collate and communicate that sort of thing. In the meantime we have prominent people like Tariana Turia saying her tribe has only recieved 1.5% of what they are owed and the Crown shouldn’t expect future generations not to come back for more and Margaret Mutu saying her tribes territory runs to Tahiti and they will fight to the death for it. These seem to be the tip of the iceberg.

  69. Lew on May 9th, 2011 at 21:23

    jh, yes, it does include the right to say no — but as long as that remains the default position, you’ll find that people faced with such intransigence will resort to intransigence of their own.

    As I said way, way upthread: it was the radicals of the 1970s who kicked this tino rangatira movement off; they recognised that playing nice wasn’t working, so they stopped playing nice.

    L

  70. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 21:39

    in cases where genuine and enduring settlement has been reached by full and good-faith negotiation, Māori have shown few tendencies toward piss-taking, exploitation or relitigation. This is a matter of accepted fact among those who know this field of work, including the Crown agencies such as OTS who are responsible for finalising the settlements.

    let’s not forget the timing: “standing tall” Maori nationalist movement etc. The amount of noise generated would help foster the impression that Maori will never be satisfied.

  71. jh on May 9th, 2011 at 23:02

    Many Years ago North and South had an article titled “What do Maoris Want?”. I’m not sure we are much further ahead in answering that until someone polls Maori.

  72. Andrew W on May 9th, 2011 at 23:52

    Lew, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that your reply gives me no confidence that Maori won’t continue to find new grievances and new resources to claim. And if that’s the case, and if as you believe, the failure “to honour the treaty” is the reason Maori are over represented in the negative statistics and under represented in the positive statistics, I guess we will be seeing this situation continue for many more generations.

    That, I think, is the inevitable tragedy, generations more children who don’t succeed because they’re brought up being told the lie that they can’t succeed because society won’t let them, and this continues because of our determination to refuse to even acknowledge that this is happening in so many households. It’s a message we refuse to acknowledge exists simply because it’s too much of a political hot potato so what do we do? We take the politically easy option of pushing this nonsense that if only “the treaty were honoured” everything would be better.

    Rather than tell me that’s all been said already, think of this comment as my summing up. I feel for these kids, but then kids usually are the first victims of political power games.

  73. Kiwi in UK on May 10th, 2011 at 08:50

    Lew,

    Bravo. These are strongs words this Pakeha living in the UK is very happy to see.

  74. Lew on May 10th, 2011 at 09:07

    Andrew, so to recap:

    Despite not understanding the history or significance of the Treaty, the extent of historical breaches of it, the economic and social implications of those breaches, and the existing state of law and custom around them; and despite claiming to want to ‘get out of their way’ you presume to know better than Māori about their fundamental problem. In response you advocate a Pākehā-centric approach of the sort which, having been tried for the first 150 years of post-Treaty history, is regarded by Māori as worsening the problem; a response which meets what you think are their needs, rather than what they think are their needs. Ultimately, you favour a response which permits you to absolve yourself, the Crown and Pākehā culture in general of the many and documented historical breaches, — and permits you to blame Māori for their ongoing dysfunction, rather than taking responsibility for making right the wrongs committed. Moreover, a response which allows you to claim that it is an act of bad faith by Māori to insist that the black-letter law of a Treaty devised and written down by Pākehā to serve Pākehā interests be interpreted according to Pākehā standards of rigour. A response, in other words, which serves your needs, rather than the needs of Māori.

    You have exhaustively proven my point. Your entire line of reasoning is a disgrace to the traditions of a enlightenment liberalism, to justice and the ideal of a fair go, of word being a person’s bond, the imperatives of holding oneself to high moral and ethical standards, and owning up to one’s misdeeds. It is fundamentally a testament to the atrophy of these characteristics in Pākehā culture. As a society we should mourn the loss of these qualities, and adherents of this mean and gutless view should be ashamed of themselves.

    L

  75. Andrew W on May 10th, 2011 at 10:04

    I wasn’t going to comment again, but given yourwrong on every point, how can I not?

    Despite not understanding the history or significance of the Treaty, the extent of historical breaches of it, the economic and social implications of those breaches, and the existing state of law and custom around them;

    This discussion hasn’t even covered my knowledge or lack of knowledge of confiscations and the wars.

    you presume to know better than Māori about their fundamental problem.

    It’s a question of dirty laundry, and though my knowledge is second hand, it’s from Maori who were brought up in these households.

    In response you advocate a Pākehā-centric approach of the sort which, having been tried for the first 150 years of post-Treaty history, is regarded by Māori as worsening the problem;

    It’s not a Pakeha-centric approach, it’s an approach very much Maori centred, Maori are open about the high rate of domestic problems that happen in their households, what they’re embarrassed about and don’t talk about in public is that the bitterness is from a conviction of alienation and that alienation has a racist core, we only occasionally see this on display when loose cannons like Hone have melt downs. As I said it’s dirty laundry, not something for the Pakeha to know.
    As for this “having been tried”, it’s an issue that’s never even been addressed, too easy too blame someone else, anything else.

    a response which meets what you think are their needs, rather than what they think are their needs.

    You know, throughout this whole discussion you’ve never addressed this theory, you’ve continually dodged around it.

    ******************
    Lew, in many of the Maori households kids are taught to believe society will discriminate against them simply because they’re Maori, not surprisingly, these are kids grow up to be antisocial.
    ******************

    How about you actually address that, deny it if you want, but how about you actually address it directly for a change.

    I could run through the rest of your comment, but all it amounts to is an assumption that anything I say can be dismissed because I’m a Pakeha who disagrees with you.

  76. Danielle on May 10th, 2011 at 10:11

    Andrew, the depth of your ignorance is so obvious. You’re appealing to (dubious) authority and your ahistorical approach is just plain unconvincing. Stop digging, because “I know some Maori dudes who agree with me” is not actually a well constructed argument.

  77. jh on May 10th, 2011 at 10:37

    You have exhaustively proven my point. Your entire line of reasoning is a disgrace to the traditions of a enlightenment liberalism, to justice and the ideal of a fair go, of word being a person’s bond, the imperatives of holding oneself to high moral and ethical standards, and owning up to one’s misdeeds. It is fundamentally a testament to the atrophy of these characteristics in Pākehā culture. As a society we should mourn the loss of these qualities, and adherents of this mean and gutless view should be ashamed of themselves.
    …..
    Unfortunately things are never black and white are they :

    “Without a draft document prepared by lawyers or Colonial Office officials, Hobson was forced to write his own treaty with the help of his secretary, James Freeman, and British Resident James Busby, neither of whom was a lawyer. / /. The entire treaty was prepared in four days.[4] ” Wikipedia

    Nevertheless our word is our word even if it is someone else’s word made on our behalf (and not made in good faith) stipulating prescriptions on a population of vastly different demographics and circumstance.
    etc

  78. jh on May 10th, 2011 at 11:23

    That’s why, he [Andrew Sharp] says, he doesn’t like the Treaty much, because it doesn’t mean anything until you get down to details and clarify your meanings, and once you do, you’re in trouble because whatever you do there’s going to be disagreement. And it’s the same with this [foreshore and seabed]. It was a debate where meanings were uncontrolled – anything could happen, anything could be said, all of this might seem somehow to be relevant to what was
    at issue, but none of it was.

    He says we New Zealanders do a pretty poor job of isolating, clarifying and writing about precisely what it is we’re arguing about. And because we don’t analyse and understand those arguments, we don’t actually see the consequences of our arguments. He gives the example of the way the debate took
    shape in the mid-1970s about reparation for past wrongs:

    It was assumed – far too easily I think – that there was some substance in the argument. There wasn’t any substance at all. What there is, is an emotional commitment to repairing the past, doing something about it. But the moment you think about that » that justice requires putting back people in the
    position they would have been in if the wrong hadn’t been done, compensating them in such a way that they’re now capable of competing in the way that they would have been [able to] – the minute you begin to phrase it specifically in one of those ways
    or otherwise, then you’ll see that intellectually; the task’s totally impossible. You cant put people back in the position that they would have been in had the wrong not been done.
    Why not? Because, he says, so much has happened since the wrong took place. History could have taken people in so many different directions, depending on what happened next and what happened after that and so on, that we just can’t say what position they would have been in today if the wrong had not happened. It would depend on ‘external accidents, their own effort, luck, all sorts of stuff like that. If you are thinking about
    compensation that we could make in the present, it’s impossible for those reasons to calculate what that would be”
    Civil War & Other Optomistic Predictions (David Slack)

  79. jh on May 10th, 2011 at 11:52

    Your entire line of reasoning is a disgrace to the traditions of a enlightenment liberalism, to justice and the ideal of a fair go, of word being a person’s bond, the imperatives of holding oneself to high moral and ethical standards, and owning up to one’s misdeeds. It is fundamentally a testament to the atrophy of these characteristics in Pākehā culture. As a society we should mourn the loss of these qualities, and adherents of this mean and gutless view should be ashamed of themselves.
    ….
    Is that the paradigm with which you attack every issue?

  80. Andrew W on May 10th, 2011 at 12:46

    Danielle, if me being ignorant about some issue was the problem, Lew would be firing lots of links and quotes at me to demonstrate that ignorance. This issue is about denialism, someone is rationalising because the reality doesn’t suit their beliefs. I think it’s Lew, he’s taken a very conventional leftist position of pandering to those he sees as the oppressed and blaming those he sees as the oppressors.

    The conventional right wing position to this is that the oppressed are stupid or lazy, or it’s nature, in his last comment Lew obviously tried to depict that as my position he constructed a pile of strawmen, claiming I was making arguments that I hadn’t made he did this because arguing against those conventional arguments is what suits his left of center ideology.

    But the point I’m making is that (to repeat it): in many of the Maori households kids are taught to believe society will discriminate against them simply because they’re Maori, not surprisingly, these are kids that grow up to be antisocial.

    Now that’s not a simple “blame the Maori” nothing can be done argument, the next step is; how can we break this cycle, how can we get Maori to bring up their kids installing in those kids a belief that they can succeed and that the cards are not stacked against them because of their race?

    Lews answer seems to be “honour the treaty, honour the treaty!” ignoring that it’s an impossibility, it was only possible in 1840, it’s not possible in 2011, and compensation is not “honour the treaty, honour the treaty!”

  81. Andrew W on May 10th, 2011 at 13:00

    Oh and Danielle, I never said “I know some Maori dudes who agree with me” I was saying “some Maori dudes I know have told me that hostility to Pakeha and this Pakeha culture were rampant and that they grew up being told that as Maori they would be discriminated against by those Pakeha and that Pakeha culture”. I know enough about psychology to know how damaging a belief that injustice reigns can be.

  82. Marty on May 10th, 2011 at 15:06

    Surely Che has the more correct version of Pakeha principles regarding international law?

    These are abide by a treaty unless you don’t really have to and there is no one to make you.

  83. Danielle on May 10th, 2011 at 18:07

    Andrew, you’re just being wilfully obtuse: your argument boils down to “some Maori dudes told me this and so therefore objective facts mean nothing”. Maori ARE discriminated against because they’re Maori. They have been since the nineteenth century. They continue to be in the twenty-first. It’s not because they’re psychologically damaged by their antisocial upbringings, or whatever ludicrous bootstraps-ism you’re touting at the moment.

  84. Andrew W on May 10th, 2011 at 18:48

    “Maori ARE discriminated against because they’re Maori.”

    Technically everyone can legitimately claim to have been discriminated against, but I think my meaning is clear, when children are raised to expect that they’re always going to be victims of discrimination they are going to be damaged in their ability to do well in society.

    Now, not all Maori kids are raised to believe this, and as a result the kids from families that don’t hold this conviction do far better, they’re more positive when dealing with the rest of society, they stand out as having a very different and healthier outlook on society. I have them as family and have met and mixed with enough to make that judgment.

  85. Lew on May 10th, 2011 at 21:35

    Andrew, this sort of bollocks false equivalence seems to be all you trade in. ‘Māori aren’t discriminated against because everyone is sort of discriminated against’; this ties in with your ‘Māori aren’t dysfunctional because they had fifty million acres of their land stolen and were actively repressed for 150 years, then 20-some years being more subtly repressed; they’re dysfunctional because they can’t just pretend it never happened in order to make life easy for us Pākehā who call the shots.’

    Since you mentioned straw men, I’ll make one last point, just for the record: your fundamental counterargument is that honouring the Treaty is impossible since it’s nbo longer 1840. This is about as credible as Hilary Calvert’s assertion that Māori couldn’t have exercised control over the foreshores and seabeds since nobody can hold their breath for 170 years — an almost dadaist commitment to boneheaded literalism which, itself, suggests an unwillingness to address the topic in any sensible manner. I’m not, nor is anyone, calling for the 50 million acres to be given back. Perfect reparation isn’t possible, and I addressed this in the original post with the following:

    To all those folks who argue it’s a “relic”, there was no expiry date on the Treaty. It gets amended or disbanded according to the wishes of its signatories, the two parties to it, or their descendants as appropriate. And by no other means.

    That’s how Treaties, as intergenerational contracts, work in terms of the principles of the British tradition from which this one emerged. Since it’s patently impossible to make perfect reparation, the responsibility of the party in breach is not to do exactly that — the responsibility is to find a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution. This need not, and usually will not, be a solution which makes either side perfectly happy. But contra all the complaints about Māori never being satisfied, the complaints about how such a solution is impossible all come from Pākehā, who make up stupid shit like what you’ve made up because they’d rather the status quo which serves their own needs.

    There’s clearly no getting through to you — you have your anecdotes and your ‘I reckon because I talked to some Māoris’, and no amount of expert research or calm reason will break that down. All the honourable rhetoric of Pākehā societies aside, it looks like Marty’s assessment is closer to the actual facts. And as I say: this discussion has been a case in point.

    L

  86. Andrew W on May 10th, 2011 at 23:37

    subtly repressed

    It’s always phrased that way isn’t it? Those claiming discrimination or repression these days can’t find actual examples to sight so they just label it as “subtle”, in fact it’s so subtle those other Maori I mentioned, the ones who aren’t brought up expecting to face discrimination, don’t even notice it’s there.

    It would be refreshing if you actually had the honesty to address the points I raise but you don’t, instead you paraphrase my words to change the meaning, and then resort to nonsense analogies.

    Lew, in many of the Maori households kids are taught to believe society will discriminate against them simply because they’re Maori, not surprisingly, these are kids that grow up to be antisocial.
    ******************

    How about you actually address that, deny it if you want, but how about you actually address it directly for a change.

    Still can’t address such a simple question.

    There’s clearly no getting through to you

    Ditto

    no amount of expert research or calm reason will break that down.

    You haven’t presented any expert research, and your reasoning is only to serve long held beliefs.

  87. Lew on May 10th, 2011 at 23:42

    There really are none so blind.

    L

  88. Andrew W on May 11th, 2011 at 00:29

    Lew on May 8th, 2011 at 20:44: “The fundamental core of our disagreement here is whether Māori alienation is consequent from the Treaty not having been honoured.”

    That’s correct, to me though, wouldn’t the alienation from “not honouring the treaty” be amongst those Maori who are more concerned with those past injustices and who would be the ones most to demonstrate their anger? In fact, the typical response of a people who’re deeply affected by historic injustices is to wage organised campaigns, it would be those at the top of Maori society doing the organising. And we do see that!
    But that’s not the alienation we’re discussing, what we’re actually talking about is the unfavourable Maori statistics that represent the lives of the poorest Maori, those who’re least likely to benefit from compensation, or have expectations of benefiting from that compensation.

  89. Andrew W on May 11th, 2011 at 00:38

    You’ll always have that bell curve, the question is; Why has the bottom fallen so far, and why have so few of the people in those families that are there been unable to climb up?

    I was going to fire a Friedrich von Schiller quote back at you, but you seem a bit up tight at the moment.

  90. Phil Sage on May 11th, 2011 at 00:41

    Lew – I think you are scared to address Andrews point. You either deny that defeatist expectation of racism exists in Maori homes and go against all kinds of social research indicating that aspirational homes bring up aspirational kids or you agree with his point and accept that there is a wider and more difficult issue to addres in overcoming Maori underperformance.

    What Andrew is saying is simply that no amount of compensation for perceived or actual wrongs will overcome the defeatism.

    The other commentators on this thread seem to be piling in with sickly liberal guilt, which will do nothing to address the issues.

  91. Andrew W on May 11th, 2011 at 08:04

    Thanks Phil, well put.

  92. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 08:19

    Some people are saying that satisfying the treaty will need “a lot of forgiveness by Maori”, which is an admission that it isn’t possible (after all our population is 40 times greater than then).

    This is a debate where one side (Lews) is playing with more players. The missing players (other side) are the specific demands of Maori. Without that those are just a piece of elastic. Let Lew and friends help chase a farmer off a farm, stand on the local beach in solidarity or be seen as channeling oil revenues to those with ancestral links while poor whites Asians and Pacific people adopt a lower standard of living.

  93. Lew on May 11th, 2011 at 08:52

    And what I’m saying is (1) that’s based on an assumption of bad faith and isn’t shown by the evidence; and (2) regardless of whether it makes a blind bit of difference or not, the Crown still has a responsibility to right its wrongs. Whitey pays his bills. When he breaks his contracts, he makes right with those he wronged. Or does he?

    It’s absurd to suggest that I’m scared to address the ‘defeatism’ argument. In fact, I’ve given it considerably more credence than it deserves. Let me quote myself in full, from upthread:

    so your contention is that Māori communities are dysfunctional because Māori parents tell Māori kids they can’t succeed because the white man has pressed them down; but not because the white man has actually pressed them down? That having being stripped of almost all of their cultural and economic capital nd thereby entrenched in poverty — economic and cultural — for half a dozen generations is really just a figment of the collective Māori imagination?

    Consider a history where Māori actually were given the full rights and responsibilites of British subjects following the Treaty; and in which the guarantees of kawanatanga and tino rangatiratanga were adhered to, and in which they had the advantages of owning most of the country, including virtually all of the economically productive land and the sites of what all the major cities; if they had the option to sell it for cash, or lease or farm or simply to live on it. Consider if the Māori of 1840 had been able to transfer that economic and cultural capital down through the generations to the present one. Don’t you think things would be different?

    History can’t be changed, but that’s no cause to turn a blind eye to past injustices, and make reparations for them; in fact doing so is the source of both economic and cultural repair. The economic transfer is well short of that to which they might legitimately be entitled — in most cases less than 1% of the compensation given to Pākehā landowners who lose land to Treaty claims — but it’s some small base of economic capital nonetheless. And if, as you argue, grievance derived from a history of injustice is a source of dysfunction, then doesn’t it make sense to address the grievance, and by lessening it, lessen the dysfunction?

    Address the material problems in material ways and the cultural problems in cultural ways, and we will address both the material dysfunction and the cultural
    grievance.

    jh, nobody is talking about running white farmers off their farms. I’m talking about mutually satisfactory outcomes and I have been throughout, and yours is a capricious misreading of my position.

    For another thing, while ultimately in the world of realpolitik it is a numbers game, and being more numerous Pākehā can and have ridden roughshod over the rump of Māoridom which escaped extermination through the latter half of the 19th Century. They can just flip the bird and say ‘we’ll do as we please’, but my argument is that doing so runs counter to our own stated values, and to retain our own Pākehā integrity we should do otherwise.

    Since you classical liberal types seem happy to ignore or elide the responsibility to honour contracts which you otherwise hold dear, let’s try another tack: this is fundamentally a matter of victim’s rights. get the Sensible Sentencing Trust up in here.

    I thought the original post was pretty simple, and to be honest I’ve argued it dozens of times and never struck this degree of obduracy. A lot of the ‘waffly detail’ which I mentioned in the post has been dragged into it, largely on the basis that I’m expected to ‘prove’ certain assertions which, among anyone who knows anything about the field, are common knowledge: such as the assertion that Māori had their land stolen in breach of the Treaty. So I’ve laid out my case in clearer terms, in a separate post.

    L

  94. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 09:18

    Lew when you say “Maori had their land stolen”,what do you mean. Do you mean territory (as in offshore and wasteland?). If you talk about Canterbury (for instance) the census showed 500 Maori living here at time of colonisation. The land was bought from Ngai tahu cheaply and as the terms were broken there have been a couple of resettlements. When pakeha arrived they bought sheep and exported wool. It cost as much as the average mans weekly working wage to buy one sheep and you had to prove you had the money to stock a run before you could take out a lease but runholders became billionaires. The West coast block was bought for 300 pounds (although James Mackie had 400 available) and the Greenstone areas were set aside for Maori. Following that gold was discovered and 12million pounds of gold exported.
    I’m not sure about the rest of the country except for Taranki and Waikato.

  95. Lew on May 11th, 2011 at 09:23

    jh, you don’t know your own history, and that’s half my point. As I’ve said before I’m not here to be your year 11 social studies teacher.

    Read Walker, King, Kawharu for a kickoff; and although I haven’t read it I understand Richard Boast’s “Buying the Land, Selling the Land” is a good survey.

    L

  96. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 09:30

    Māori had their land stolen in breach of the Treaty.
    …..
    To compare with the rest of the modern world. If I emigrate to the U.K I become a citizen. If it is invaded by France I fight to defend it. If I emigrate to Aotearoa, it isn’t my country, unless I have a bloodline to someone with manawhenua (although I own my house and am part of a collective municipality).

  97. [...] May 10th, 2011 by Lew A long and largely futile discussion has been running in response to my latest post about the Treaty, and the responsibility that Pākehā have to honour it, according to our own [...]

  98. Andrew W on May 11th, 2011 at 09:37

    Lew, the points you reiterate in your above comment have been addressed by me throughout this thread and are again addressed by Phil in his comment:
    “What Andrew is saying is simply that no amount of compensation for perceived or actual wrongs will overcome the defeatism.”

    Why is that such a hard point for you to reply to? Answer, you’re compelled to tie everything back to the treaty and ignore the fact that while todays problems are likely in part to be attributable to the failure to properly honour the treaty, they will not be solved by any realistic amount of compensation. This same defeatist attitude is common amongst minorities in other societies, societies with very different histories to New Zealand.

    Perhaps a new way of looking at it would be to take the black population in Britain as a working example, ask what would need to be done to overcome the defeatism that exists there?, and then transfer the problem back to NZ.

    I think your history with this issue of Maori under-performance and the treaty is so long an so personal you’re not able to take a step back and look objectively at any idea that doesn’t fit with your preconceptions, as an example, you say: “I’ve given it considerably more credence than it deserves. Let me quote myself in full, from upthread:”

    “than it deserves”??? What a blatent giveaway that you’ve given it NO credence!

    And then we get a block-quote that is nothing but a rationalisation to support what you’ve already decided, the whole thing is littered with sarcasm and misrepresentations.

  99. Lew on May 11th, 2011 at 09:45

    Andrew, it’s not hard to respond to — it’s just utter bollocks. It’s so vague it’s not readily falsifiable, it’s not based on any meaningful sort of evidence; it rests on a presumption of bad faith and an invented, falsely attributed ‘bludger’ mentality which dismisses the actual and substantive causes of the alienation which I’ve gone over in detail. In the rare cases where meaningful reparation has been made there’s evidence to counter it. It’s simply an ‘I reckon’ from someone who – by your own admission — doesn’t know the field.

    Sarcasm is all it deserves — it’s simply a ridiculous proposition. You think Māori are dysfunctional because they don’t have the right attitude, not because of the material and cultural circumstances of their existence which have been enforced upon them by Pākehā society. You’re simply arguing mind over matter. I expect you also think that the Wellington College First XV can’t beat the All Blacks because they don’t want it — not because they’re schoolkids who are smaller, slower, not as well equipped, coached or supported as the best team in the world.

    L

  100. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 09:46

    A quote from Bullshit, Backlash, and Bleeding Hearts. By David Slack:

    “Time for some expert help here. The first lecturer I had at law school who taught our class anything Treaty-related was Alex Frame. [ ….]
    People sometimes ask me, ‘How do I see the Treaty. How should we think of the Treaty?’ I’ve always said that the first article of the Treaty – the kawanatanga part – is very strong – much stronger than some Maori are prepared to concede, and the second article, which guarantees rangatiratanga is also very strong – much stronger than many Pakeha are prepared to concede. So how can we have these two strong articles sitting there? I’m tempted sometimes by this idea. In a way both sides gambled. The Crown gambled. Why was it prepared to sign up to Article II? Well, in a sense the Crown gambled that there would be assimilation. And therefore if there was assimilation, as you will see. Article II would become increasingly unimportant. On the other hand, Maori gambled. After all, why did Maori sign up for Article I – and by the way, don’t go for these readings that say Article I was only giving the Queen power over Pakeha. The most elementary reading of the Maori version of the first article shows that that is completely untenable. It gives the Queen te Kawanatanga katoa – all – of the kawanatanga; o ratou wenua – of their lands. Now, which lands is that? That’s the lands of the chiefs. That’s all it can be -have a look at the structure and I challenge anyone to show me an even faintly tenable reading which can dispute that it’s all the territory of New Zealand.
    So why did Maori sign up to that? Well, I think they gambled. I think they gambled that the demographics in New Zealand would stay, not exactly as they were in 1840, but would stay approximately such that there would be a preponderance of Maori and that the newcomers would be relatively few. I know there is a reference in the preamble to others coming, but I think the gamble was that if the demographics stayed favourable to Maori then this kawanatanga thing would be a really abstract sort of notion in the background.”

  101. Lew on May 11th, 2011 at 09:49

    The irony of quoting David Slack here is that his overarching argument in that book is very similar to mine: that this Treaty is for Pākehā as well, and that we have a responsibility to understand it and act upon it in good faith.

    L

  102. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 08:59

    Consider a history where Māori actually were given the full rights and responsibilites of British subjects following the Treaty; and in which the guarantees of kawanatanga and tino rangatiratanga were adhered to, and in which they had the advantages of owning most of the country, including virtually all of the economically productive land and the sites of what all the major cities; if they had the option to sell it for cash, or lease or farm or simply to live on it. Consider if the Māori of 1840 had been able to transfer that economic and cultural capital down through the generations to the present one. Don’t you think things would be different?

    But they did have that option and it was sold.

  103. Lew on May 11th, 2011 at 09:03

    jh, you really just don’t have a clue.

    I’m out.

    L

  104. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 09:04

    as for Maori being unable to prosper in our society, the same applies to all peoples who have passed from a primitive state to an industrial society based around the division of labour.

  105. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 09:42

    “The irony of quoting David Slack here is that his overarching argument in that book is very similar to mine: that this Treaty is for Pākehā as well, and that we have a responsibility to understand it and act upon it in good faith.”
    …..
    I’d say his approach is a lot more measured.

  106. jh on May 11th, 2011 at 09:53

    jh, you don’t know your own history, and that’s half my point. As I’ve said before I’m not here to be your year 11 social studies teacher.

    Read Walker, King, Kawharu for a kickoff; and although I haven’t read it I understand Richard Boast’s “Buying the Land, Selling the Land” is a good survey.
    …..
    I read King and others and I don’t recall the “all the land was stolen” meme; bought cheaply but value added, yes.
    I’ve read parts of Walker, he talks about “the Chatams myth”.

  107. Andrew W on May 11th, 2011 at 12:20

    “It’s so vague it’s not readily falsifiable,”

    I guess all that the participants in this debate have to say has been said, it would have been nice to have had a wider set of opinions to work with so I’m a bit disappointed that more people didn’t get involved.

    I think a survey of race attitudes and experiences would give us some useful data.
    I’ve tried to find information on the web but there seems to be nothing there, there’s lots blaming Maori problems on Pakeha racism, but a void as to what form this current racism takes, lots of sighting those statistic as proof of racism but no explanation other than “honour the treaty” stuff.

    Even going offshore I found no surveys available on the attitudes of poorly performing minority populations towards the dominant culture, perhaps this sort of material exists but just isn’t on the net. It’s absence I think is just extraordinary, and is I think indicative of a blind spot that exists, the assumption that it’s only the racial attitudes of the dominant majority that needs to be considered.

    Thanks for the discussion Lew, and no hard feelings, on my part at least.

  108. [...] to Chris Posted on 22:37, May 12th, 2011 by Lew Chris Trotter has written a response to the previous discussions regarding the Treaty, titled Talking Past Each Other. I would usually respond there, [...]

  109. [...] while materially ignoring the requirement to actually render those services. (More on this theme here). Secondly, it’s more of the same selective history we’ve come to expect: our history [...]

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