Long discredited Waitangi Tribunal – opportunistic iwi.

The long discredited Waitangi Tribunal – manipulated by opportunist iwi.

It has to date cost New Zealanders hundreds of millions of dollars. With the Maori economy now estimated to amount to $37 billion – claims of “compensation ” needed are more than risible, more than challengeable. Many New Zealanders now find these offensive.

It is a little late in the day for Prime Minister John Key, head of a party which has been only too willing to date to accommodate extravagant, and ultimately ridiculous, Maori iwi claims to non-existent “rights”-   to suddenly raise questions about the validity of iwi claims to New Zealand’s waterways – when such extravagant demands have been only too accommodatingly acquiesced to, to  date – as with The Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

Please note that these hundreds of millions have been taken from taxpayers’ pockets. Nor has there been any process of consultation and engagement with any except reinvented “tribes” – by no means slow to scandalously exaggerate and reinvent grievances…

Quite apart from those few incidents where genuine injustices occurred, New Zealanders have been forced to settle what are not only highly doubtful, but even provably spurious claims by manipulative tribal leaders with their eye to the main chance – a process facilitated now for several decades by both Labour and National governments seeking to buy the so-called Maori vote.

The fact that many Maori also recognise that these claims are a rort, and dissociate themselves from what has become a palpably dishonest process, is to their credit. However, it has well suited both the major parties to acquiesce, with little or a mere perfunctory scrutiny of these claims ( facilitated by  Maori Affairs Select Committees not only stacked to favour any claimants but in addition, misleading Parliament into accepting that merely alleged claims are actually proven.)

The sheer dishonesty of both National and Labour conniving at the duplicity involved has been, quite simply shocking. It has also impoverished the country. Any genuinely impartial Royal Commission examining some of the most egregious of these claims would have discounted them… as should have happened to the highly flawed Ngai Tahu settlement, which is well overdue for impartial reassessment.

So, too, is the role of a List MP, never voted into Parliament, never even being endorsed by an electorate, being appointed a minister and advising such opportunistic corporate entities as these neo-tribes to deal directly with him, rather than go through the courts.

The democratic process has simply been laid aside. The fact that advice is even being taken from such a discredited body as the Waitangi Tribunal is itself open to be regarded as scandalous.

Maori have never owned the waterways, the seabed, Flora and fauna, the airwaves, with all their potential. They did not even own their land – until they were given title to it by European law…and that is all that the genuine Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed. The fact that Parliament is faced with such risibly ridiculous claims and that they should actually go as far as the courts is not only a disgrace – it is bringing New Zealand into disrepute. We have in some areas, now become a laughing stock.

Consider the figures below. That Maori tribes have received in total  so many billions of dollars in special assistance (not just in the claims listed below) by a relatively small number of taxpayers has no doubt contributed to the downward economic spiral of a poorly performing country…It has also contributed to an understandable anger and resentment among both non-Maori, and no tribal Maori, who know that  – not to put too fine a point on it – this country has been taken to the cleaners for the sake of politicians who quite simply wanted to cling on to power, and sought tribal block votes.

It is past time for this shocking state of affairs to be ended.

It is arguably also time for reverse compensation to apply… where it can be proved that those kiwi on the make suppressed historical evidence that did not support their claim, and threatened to withhold payment from historians who did not oblige them.

The most important consideration in any issue is the actual,  facts-based truth. When parliamentarians have been happy to treat this in such a cavalier fashion in recent decades amounts to political corruption.

The closer scrutiny of these claims opens a can of worms that can quite legitimately be laid at the feet of recent successive governments who had no concern for the truth of issues – but a considerable concern for their own hold on power.

The only way in future that we are realistically going to be able to control politicians – a move long overdue – is through the spreading of 100Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement – www.100days.co.nz

Amy Brooke