Coddington wrong. Parliament’s encouragement of tribalism

The now controversial implications of Waitangi Day. ..

Tribalism, racism, radicalism, socialism, communism, Marxism, fascism, fanaticism, militarism, anti-Semitism, pacificism, classism, feminism, ageism – the disease of the isms underpinning history…

The lesson democracies have been over-late taking on board is that the leopard does indeed change his spots, while his essential predatory nature remains the same. Throughout human history, as fast as one ugly form of thought-control and intimidation (if not outright oppression of one particular social grouping or country) is finally fought and discredited, at least temporarily – the leopard’s spots rearrange themselves. The animal remains essentially the same.

We could use usefully ask ourselves why. And in theological terms, a productive avenue of intellectual exploration, available to all except those with minds determinedly closed to its considerable potential to make sense of the human condition – (i.e. those with the cocksure “certainties” of atheism) – the Christian recognition of a perennial battle between good and evil explains a great deal. Its acknowledged reality and consequences have underpinned much of the great writing and poetry of Western civilisation.

One of the greatest of all 20th-century writers and poets whose legacy has been deliberately withheld from our young in the now dumbed-down mis-education system in this country, long controlled by neo-Marxists within the establishment, is the brilliant G.K. Chesterton. In his epic allegorical Ballad of the White Horse, where the Saxon King Alfred defeated the invading Danes in a crucial confrontation, Alfred is warned in a vision that the defeat of the enemy does not presage permanent peace – and never will.

            “I tell you naught for your comfort

             Yea, naught for your desire

             Save that the sky grows darker yet

             And the sea rises higher.”

In other words, whatever the dark forces are that we have seen at work throughout human history, they will always be with us. Failing to recognise this fact, of the dangers of the isms, and of the ever-prevalent human tendency to follow confident leaders, has meant that in almost every  society, to a greater or lesser extent, people find themselves in the same predicament when they surrender individual authority and responsibility to a governing body.

The one obvious exception today is Switzerland, where finally, 160 years ago, the Swiss people fought for the right to govern themselves – rather than have top-down legislation imposed on them by their government without their consent – as we now have in this country. They achieved this by the movement we have launched * – by putting a temporary stop of 100 days on any legislation passed in Parliament, in order to properly scrutinise it. The consequence? Swiss Parliament respectfully acknowledges the people themselves as sovereign.  Try telling that to our self-willed, autocratic Prime Minister, John Key.

Rather than relying on the canard that the promotion and spread of pacifism will eventually ensure world peace – one of the mantras spread by the crafty, intensely ambitious, former Labour leader Helen Clark – the tough-minded and realistic Swiss adopted the Roman Si vis pacem, para bellum…If you want peace, then prepare for war… In other words, the price of democracy is eternal vigilance.

Our successive governments in recent years have well and truly let us down, and Parliament  has brought itself into disrepute. We can be in no doubt that one of the major problems throughout the world today has been the reversion to tribalism, with  its resulting evils. Whereas in Switzerland four main racial groups live in harmony, each preserving their own language,  throughout most countries of the world, e.g. the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and so on, bitter divisions and grievances, many centuries-old, cause constant warring, retaliation, the slaughter of innocent people  and endless cycles of internecine strife. Racism underpins these.

The same mindless infighting, barbarism, butchery and cannibalism in a never ending practice of utu – (revenge-seeking) –  characterised the reality of tribalism within this country, before the arrival of the British, reluctantly (in response to pressure from Maori chiefs)  persuaded the British Crown to take control to put a stop to the damage tribes were inflicting on one another. Courageous, too little honoured Christian missionaries succeeded in persuading important tribal leaders that there were better values to be taken on board that would offer a far more stable and productive way of life to their peoples.

The clear intent of signing of the Treaty of Waitangi was that from then onwards sovereignty was ceded to the British Crown. Captain William Hobson was in no doubt about this – nor were the chiefs of the day. On Hobson’s lonely grave under the Grafton Bridge in Auckland, this fact is unequivocally spelt out. The photo I took of its plaque is a reminder of the great effort this far from well individual of considerable integrity took to ensure the Maori peoples achieved as full protection as possible alongside the colonists.

So what went wrong? Apart from the inevitable injustices which arise in the course of history, New Zealand was so successful in democratic terms that the intermarriage of Maori and European was taken for granted. That it is apparently impossible to today find any full-blooded Maori says it all. Moreover, many decades of providing special provisions to enable disadvantaged Maori to achieve parity with those of European descent throughout the trades, professions, in welfare and education were in force long before Geoffrey Palmer’s ill-fated and high-handed decision to ensure that he personally, if inadvertently, ensured the obviously fraught provision for tribal affiliations to regroup, to revisit old grievances and relitigate disputes dating back to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

It’s hard to appreciate the enormity of the damage done by Palmer’s ill-conceived, arguably arrogant and naïve initiative – no matter how well-intentioned. The consequences have not only been the setting of tribe against tribe, the undemocratic, highly questionable  functioning of the Waitangi  Tribunal and the manipulative machinations of opportunistic iwi leaders. They have paralled the encouragement of Maori radicalism promoted from the 60s onwards – with young Maori trained overseas to subvert the  democratic ideal of one law for all,  i.e. the same rights and protection under the law for every  individual, regardless of gender, race and creed.

As a democratic principle this has never been bettered. So it is no credit to commentators such as Deborah Coddington, if quoted correctly, to recently state that “one law for all” is actually “white law for all.”  Not only is this assertion mischief-making in its potential consequences,  it is  obviously, legally and historically untrue  – and utterly unfair to so many fine New Zealanders of both races who respected and  understood the intent of the treaty  – now mis-quoted and reinvented  to suit radicalized agenda and sow descent  among young Maori, for tribal advantage.  Coddington’s comparison of Maori seats to women’s toilet seats is downright ridiculous.

What has been most damaging to this country is not only that the radicalized legacy of the 60s has impoverished us in monetary terms, with taxpayers’ pockets constantly raided to settle iwi claims. These have now moved well beyond those of compensating for past injustices to today’s elasticised, reinvented, and now downright fraudulent claims. Although the Maori economy was estimated as worth as much as $37 billion  in 2010, the manipulative cry of disadvantage, and the hands-out mentality carefully fostered by politicised claims from the well-established grievance industry have caused understandable resentment nationwide. Racial divisiveness and the encouragement of social unrest are the inevitable result.

This reversion to tribalism in New Zealand today also troubles many good folk of Maori descent, recognising the sheer opportunism of iwi on the make, and concerned about the inevitable backlash against parliament’s ongoing paying of  Dane-geld to buy iwi votes.

The shocking thing about successive Labour and National governments’ irresponsible throwing of hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s dollars at various iwi – (National’s Leader John Key personally promised $200 million to one northern iwi alone on Waitangi Day in 2013 – and heavily hinted, on this recent Waitangi Day,  that he would advance another hefty payout to northern iwi) –  has been the complete lack of accountability required in return. Even more shockingly, not only are taxpayers continually required to finance claims against themselves, majority New Zealanders, but these claims are no longer properly researched and proven.  Merely alleged, they are rubberstamped by this present government, greatly assisted by the former Ngai Tahu lawyer, List-only MP Chris Finlayson,  regarded as by no means impartial in his role.

The time around, Waitangi Day brought forward the inevitable lecturing editorials and half-baked columnists’ commentaries which are not only staggeringly ill-informed and historically ignorant – but typically condescending in tone. They are followed by the usual clutch of equally ignorant or agenda-driven correspondents’ letters.

It is a brave letter writer then who, in the face of often quite deliberate intimidation or incoherent abuse, will set out to engage in public debate, to try to set out the actual facts of such a divisive and distorted issue…given often very obvious mainstream media bias.

These individuals are our real heroes. They often face ridicule, sarcasm, abuse, vindictiveness, and bullying because of their determination to write to the truth of such an important issue – one where our governments have connived at the basic corruption of either not being sufficiently concerned to acknowledge what the treaty actually said –  or don’t  want to know.

The well-informed historian Bruce Moon – not to be confused with the Auckland historian Paul Moon – recently took up the challenge to critique an article in the Nelson Mail written by a David Mitchell. Moon’s reply is  invaluable, not only in presenting a quite different perspective, but in taking issue with highly questionable “facts” in Mitchell’s article.

What really happened at Waitangi on 6th February 1840

“ If your readers are to be better informed about what really happened at Waitangi on 6th February 1840, then they deserve something better that David Mitchell’s article in the “Mail” for 1st February last.

“For a start, he refers to the translation to Maori by Henry Williams and his son, Edward, of Hobson’s final draft in English as “hastily prepared”, implying surely that it was done sloppily.  In fact the Williams did very well, given that classic Maori lacked several words they needed.  Edward was known as an outstanding translator.[i]

“On 5th February the versions in the two languages were read out alternately, sentence by sentence by Hobson and Williams, not all one and then the other as Mitchell states.  This gave plenty of opportunities for comparison of the two to those Maoris present, Hone Heke amongst them, who were familiar with both languages.  Nobody raised any objections or said their meanings were different.  Indeed, when both were shown to Ngapuhi elder and historian, Graham Rankin, in 2000, he commented immediately that their wording was exactly the same.[ii]

“Then Hobson invited the chiefs to respond but this was not their only chance, as Mitchell says.  Hobson envisaged that they would want several days to think about it.  It was Rev. Richard Taylor who realized that the chiefs would want to get on with it then go home for a good feed.  Whether they thought the British had not provided enough for their large appetites was surely not the main issue.

Mitchell refers to Orange’s writings as the “definitive history” but if he thinks that he is sadly deluded.  In reality Orange’s work is riddled with false assumptions and claims which make it unworthy to be called history in any real sense.  Thus, because it does not appear to suit her own agenda, she makes the false claim that the Williams were incompetent translators.  She denies, against all the evidence, that Hobson’s final draft is the document from which their translation was made. (For more on Orange’s shoddy work, see “Twisting the Treaty”, pages 295ff.[iii] ─ Get it from local bookshops.)

“Mitchell then gives his own version of the detailed account of proceedings by Colenso who was present at Waitangi.  Readers would do better referring to the original at .[iv] Early in proceedings, as Colenso reports: “Suddenly Te Kemara, a chief of the Ngatikawa, arose” to express his opposition, saying “Were all to be on an equality, then, perhaps, Te Kemara would say, ‘yes;’ but for the Governor to be up and Te Kemara down – Governor high up, up, up, and Te Kemara down low, small, a worm, a crawler -no, no, no.”

“This clear declaration  to all present, surely gives the lie to current falsehoods about co-governance and  “partnership” between the chiefs and the Queen  by which more and more anti-democratic practices are being foisted upon us all.  It demolishes so-called “Maori sovereignty” today as baseless and indeed no more that a claim by racist activists for special privileges to which they are not entitled.

“Te Kemara did say that “I will not consent to thy remaining here in this country” but Mitchell alters this to “he would never agree to Hobson staying in Aotearoa”.   This is sleight of hand to introduce the false name “Aotearoa” which was never used as the name of New Zealand.  How many people know that in the Treaty the name used for the country is “Nu Tirani”, the closest old-time Maoris could manage to “New Zealand”?  It appears in the Treaty seven times (by my count).

“Te Kemara did proceed to say that his land was gone but it was not stolen, being freely sold and paid for at above the ruling rates by Busby and Williams who naturally wanted to make adequate provision for the futures of his children, which Mitchell does acknowledge.  Hobson viewed it as an important task to review all land purchases and many transactions were deemed invalid, the land being returned to the original owners who also kept whatever they had been paid for it.

“What Colenso reports, but Mitchell does not, is that Te Kemara and others who spoke against the Treaty – Rewa, Moka, Hakiro and Tareha – all lived close to French Bishop Pompallier and had been led to believe quite falsely that under the Queen’s Sovereignty they would become slaves. The truth is the exact opposite; under the Treaty, the many Maori slaves of other Maoris were released from bondage.  As Colenso reports it, Te Kemara’s performance was “mere show” and since he and all his cohorts signed the Treaty next day, this appears highly probable.  Indeed it was not Hobson who was impatient albeit, when all appeared ready, he ruled that there would be no further discussion.  In fact, he had been quite surprised at the speed of events, so much so that he appeared at the meeting on 6th wearing only civilian clothes except for his cocked hat which he had donned hastily as he left “HMS Herald”.

“So, readers, do read what Colenso reported – at – for a much better account than Mitchell’s story of what really happened at Waitangi.

[1]   H. Carleton, “The Life of HenryWilliams”, Auckland, 1874, p.12

[1]   M. Doutré, “The Littlewood Treaty Found”, ISBN 0-473-10140-8,2005, p. 106

[1]   J.  Robinson et al., “Twisting the Treaty”, ISBN 1-872970-33-8, 2013, p 295ff

[1]   W. Colenso, “The Authentic and Genuine History of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi”, Wellington, 1890. “

© Bruce Moon.

In response, too, to an article recently published in the Nelson Mail, with accompanying photographs, Bruce Moon’s letter (following) is one with which many New Zealanders will identify… as they will with his short introduction.

“I have sent this material as a letter to the editor of the Nelson Mail. Otago University is rapidly becoming as racist as Waikato and Auckland.”

“I congratulate the eight medical graduates pictured on page 13 of Saturday’s “Mail”. Medical degrees are always hard-earned. It is also OK that they are intrigued to have a thin line of Maori blood in their ancestry. As the same time, it should be noted that all of them have European names and white faces,  and indeed two of them are blondes.  While their distant tribal roots are all listed, it is a striking omission therefore that their predominantly European ancestry is not even mentioned! It is also pure pretence that Otago University should have held a “special Maori graduation” for these young people who are not in any real sense Maoris at all. As Waitangi Day becomes more and more racist we already have more than enough tribal activists preaching separatism, or to give it a more accurate name, apartheid. We do not need Otago University to offer them any encouragement. There is only one honest way for these graduates to describe themselves – simply as proud young New Zealanders.”

And as an example of the value of one well-informed and courageous individual standing up to be counted, this self-explanatory letter below also deserves to go on record. It reflects the perception of many understandably fed-up New Zealanders in relation to the hijacking of Waitangi Day.

“Dear Mr Mayor,

“Reports I have received indicate to me that you and your council have current matters to be worried about which are a lot more serious than your personal peccadillos.

“Most of us would have thought a few years ago that Waitangi Day was a day to celebrate our unity in diversity as a proud South Pacific nation, in somewhat the same way as Australians celebrate their national day.

“Yet is a few short years this day has degenerated into a field day for racist activists to press a claim to destroy our country’s integrity by falsely-grounded claims of Maori sovereignty.  It is profoundly to be regretted by all patriotic New Zealanders that many Councils and units within them act to give support to such divisive claims.

“We should begin by stating simply and clearly and once and for all what was actually agreed between Captain Hobson representing the Queen and Maori chiefs when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

“1. The chiefs agreed to cede sovereignty completely and for ever to the Queen (Article First).

2. All Maoris became British subjects with all their rights and privileges (Article Third).

3. All the people of New Zealand (tangata katoa o Nu Tirani) were guaranteed the right to own property. (Article Second – this also contained a provision for land sales which was soon dropped, being impractical)


 “ Yet the Auckland City Library promotes the blatantly false statement:

“The treaty contains three articles:

1.    Article 1 grants the Queen of England governorship over New Zealand.

2.    Article 2 guarantees Māori leaders their continued rangatiratanga (absolute sovereignty and self-determination) and ownership of their lands and taonga (treasures). It also specifies that Māori will sell land only to the Crown.

3.    Article 3 guarantees Māori the same rights as British subjects.

“It is false because:

1. By Article first, absolute sovereignty was yielded to the Queen.  This was Hobson’s mission.  He would not have settled for any less. All the chiefs at Waitangi knew this as their recorded statements on the day make clear.  The assembly of more that 200 chiefs at Kohimarama in 1860 affirmed that the Queen was their sovereign.  Claims to “Maori sovereignty” today are utterly lacking in validity as they always have been, since 1840.

“2. It is false to claim that Article third “guarantees Māori the same rights as British subjects” because all Maoris became subjects of the British Crown.  All Maoris today and particularly those who are descended from those who were slaves of other Maoris (which they will all know from their carefully memorised whakapapa) should be profoundly grateful that  this unique privilege was granted by the most powerful nation on earth at the time to a group of people only just emerging from Stone Age savagery – let us be honest on this point.

3. The library’s purported account of Article second contains many blatant falsehoods.  As stated above, what was guaranteed by it was guaranteed to ALL the people of New Zealand.  “Rangitiratanga” was a missionary-coined word and it is palpable nonsense to claim that it meant “absolute sovereignty and self-determination”.  Sovereignty having been ceded completely and for ever in Article first, it is absurd to make a statement contradicting it a few lines later.  Ownership of lands and property was guaranteed to all British subjects, not only chiefs – it was in fact an English common law right implicit in Article third. “Taonga” in 1840 meant simply ordinary possessions – chattels would be a better word – as dictionaries current at the time make totally clear.  It is flagrantly dishonest to claim that any asserted meaning of “taonga” today was what it meant in 1840. 

“The first duty of any library when promulgating any statement must be, as it has always been, to make available to citizens the simple and unqualified truth, insofar as librarians, as professional handlers of information can do so.

“In this important instance, the Auckland city library has defaulted utterly in its duty.


In the front of the Warkworth Library there is a display of a very large example of the so-called “Maori sovereignty” flag which is there, according to the attendant at the desk, “to celebrate Waitangi day”.  While it is not actually illegal to display this item, it represents an attempt to destroy the integral sovereignty of our nation and it must be considered as little short of sedition to do so.  It is the exact opposite of the flag which ought to be displayed “to celebrate Waitangi Day” – the national flag of New Zealand.

“Moreover, on the adjacent table are two books by one Claudia Orange.  You should be aware, if you are not already, that much of what Orange writes, particularly on the topic of the Treaty, is profoundly flawed.  If the reports I receive of her sham debates at Te Papa are correct then there appear to be grounds for wondering about the integrity of all of her activities in this area.  At the very least, by presenting examples of her writing in this way, the library, with its clear responsibilities for being truthful in what it says and implies, has made an appalling and thoroughly unprofessional choice.  I do not know whether this behaviour applies to all of your City Council libraries under some central direction but if so, then the problem you face is of even greater magnitude.

“It is not for me to direct you in how you deal with it.  I do suggest however that it is your responsibility to the citizens of Auckland and indeed to all of us to deal in full with this thoroughly unprofessional conduct within your library system.”

Yours faithfully,

Bruce Moon

“Postscript for the Mayor and Councillors of Christchurch:  It is reported in The Press for 28th January that “The Christchurch City Council wants to fly a Maori flag from the Civic Offices on Waitangi Day but it is worried it might pick the wrong one” thus upsetting the local tribe!  Its choice appears to be between the spurious “Maori sovereignty” flag, thoroughly discredited by the foregoing material or that of the so-called “United Tribes of New Zealand”.  Why the Christchurch local tribe, Kai Tahu, should want to fly this flag, purportedly that of a haphazard collection of chiefs from the remote north of “New Zealand is a mystery to me.  They were those northern chiefs who were induced by the well-meaning but misguided James Busby to sign his “Declaration of Independence” but this declaration and the Confederation of chiefs which it allegedly bound together were never worth any more than the piece of paper (or parchment maybe) it was written on.

“Moreover, the flag, another brainchild of Busby, was chosen in comic opera circumstances by chiefs who had no idea of what they were doing.  These two episodes are well described by Michael King in his “Penguin History of New Zealand”, pp 153ff and I recommend them to you as something about which you should inform yourselves before making a decision.

“In brief, both of these flags should be thoroughly discredited everywhere and the one flag which signifies the unity of our nation of which we should all be proud on Waitangi Day (and every other day) is the national flag of New Zealand.  Let this flag and no usurper of any kind fly over us to celebrate the fact that we are all citizens of New Zealand.  May it long continue to do so.”

© Bruce Moon

[i]     H. Carleton, “The Life of HenryWilliams”, Auckland, 1874, p.12

[ii]    M. Doutré, “The Littlewood Treaty Found”, ISBN 0-473-10140-8,2005, p. 106

[iii]   J.  Robinson et al., “Twisting the Treaty”, ISBN 1-872970-33-8, 2013, p 295ff

[iv]   W. Colenso, “The Authentic and Genuine History of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi”, Wellington, 1890

 * See  – The 100 Days – Claiming back New Zealand – what has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians. Amy Brooke.

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