It can take a long time to wake that sleeping giant, the New Zealand public, but it has finally happened. The continual assaults on our long-cherished freedoms, including freedom of speech, and, incredibly, freedom to visit the sick, the dying and the needy, denied even to family family members, is unprecedented in our history and totally unacceptable in a democracy.
What, too, of the freedom for New Zealanders themselves to make the decisions about who are the most suitable immigrants to welcome among us – those who will assimilate into our society – given the well-known friction that exists when cultures clash, perhaps by new arrivals holding views antithetical to Christian values long underpinning this country – and who may expect, as of right, to be granted special privileges, and even to continue a lifestyle where women, for example, can be treated as subject to male authority?
What about the expectation New Zealanders have long held that our government will be even-handed in its treatment of all citizens, with equal rights, in law? This was indisputably the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi – that those Maori immigrants whose arrival had preceded that of our European ancestors, by also becoming subjects of the British Crown, should share the same legal rights, protection and advantages.
The scrupulous intent shown by the British Crown to establish a Pax Romana over the country had been encouraged by wise chiefs who wanted a stop put at last to the internecine warfare waged among the tribes, and the appalling practice of cannibalism, only too prevalent. By the signing of the treaty, all the inhabitants of this country gained equal protection in law, and Maori tribes, for the first time ever, gained legal title to the land and physical possessions (taonga ) they then held.
This taonga did not, of course, extend to other than tangible possessions – not to the foreshore and seabed, nor any right to the control of the country’s waterways, airwaves, and others lately invented – nor, of course to separate, multi-million dollar, taxpayer-compelled funding for television channels and the reinvention of a language understandably limited, in a far less advanced and primitive way of life.
However, these newly-invented taonga have since, incredibly enough, been opportunistically contrived by ongoing pressure from radicalized activists, too often supported by the markedly undemocratic Waitangi Tribunal.
Equal rights necessitate a balance with equal responsibilities – a balance which is now apparently forgotten by the small minority of part-Maori extremists, by no means representation of the majority of those with some Maori ancestors, who have long been pressuring our too-compliant governments to be given superior rights and extra funding for “our own people” . However, this funding, on past evidence apparently very often ends up in the hands of those paid to administer it, rather than those most in need or disadvantaged.
Is it not strange that their lot seemingly never improves, in spite of the now accumulatively hundred of millions of dollars paid out to iwi, in quasi- tribal settlements, for this purpose?
The key word here is iwi, because these now powerful corporations are by no means wedded to the interests of all needy part-Maori – but only to those related – because they relying on their membership numbers to provide them with clout when dealing with the governments of the day. The latters’ support has been too often bought by the promise of the non-existent “Maori vote”. Individual part-Maori, of course, no more vote as a collective than any other ethnic groups in our society.
It is important to remember this, because it is the powerful and immensely wealthy ones like Ngai Tahu – whose controversial third “Full and Final settlement (which of course did not turn out to out to be the case) was more than challengeable with regard to “facts” they presented – who are now supported by the hard-left Jacinda Ardern’s compromised government to gain not only co-governance of country, but greater rights over all other New Zealanders, as in the disgraceful Three Waters proposal.
© Amy Brooke
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