Gareth Morgan

Unbridled Racism - Our own Donald comes out trumps

Don Brash and his fellow Hard Righters just don’t get it and apparently are determined never to. The Treaty of Waitangi isn’t about race, it’s about an agreement between two societies to coexist and share the land of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

It is quite explicit in Article 2 of either of the original documents. As has been stated on numerous occasions by the Courts and the Tribunal, the principle underlying the pact was that both societies should be given a fair suck of the sav when it comes to fulfilling their aspirations.

This is not assimilation or a treaty that validates some kind of conquering by a colonial power. Our Donald seeks to trump New Zealand’s ethnic diversity and special status for Maori society with a whitewash. His doctrine holds that to be a New Zealander means to be indistinguishable from the caricature he and his fellow WASPs fit; it’s a pathetic and upsetting nonsense.

Brash is correct only insofar as we are all New Zealanders. Thereafter, because of his entrenched refusal to accept Article 2 of the Treaty, to even know what the Treaty principles are let alone acknowledge them, simply broadcasts that he denies our heritage as New Zealanders.

If one understands and accepts this history as most schoolchildren do these days, then one can only conclude his claims are thinly disguised but unbridled racism, no matter how charming his presentation of that bigotry. In that context Don Brash is the local embodiment of the conservative Religious Right that has driven the Republican Party in the US so far into the abyss.

It’s difficult to fathom why someone who had a distinguished career as a public policy technocrat could be so blind to the reality of the Treaty, so in denial that it was not a document of surrender to the values of some conquering power (the population imbalance at the time it was signed was some 40 to one so one could argue the accord saved many of the unruly British settlers at the time from a fate no better than death at the hands of upset Maori). Rather it was an agreement that both societies had the right to flourish and fulfil their aspirations – to mutually occupy this land. The British were, in other words, invited in.

Despite Donald’s denial, there is no doubt that Maoridom has special rights that no other New Zealand group does – that is precisely what Article 2 covers – rangatiratanga and property rights over natural resources and cultural treasures. Article 3 confers equal political rights to all individual New Zealanders, while Article 1 acknowledges the role of Government - whether sovereignty was ceded in 1840 or later by other means remains a matter of debate (and no doubt will be eventually determined by the Tribunal or the Courts).

Brash accepts Articles 1 and 3 possibly but refuses to accept 2 which is the acknowledgement of Maori society, and he’s completely against the principles that successive governments have acknowledged and are reflected in legislation.

The Treaty makes New Zealand unique – it is not the same as any other society whose history includes intrusion by a colonial power. The 2007 UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, further confirms the treaty principles by reiterating the rights of indigenous peoples in those societies (whether they had a treaty or not) as being different than those of subsequent settlers. Not more, but different. In essence that declaration endorses the rights of a traditional society to exist and thrive fulfilling its aspirations, subject only to the individual rights of other citizens.

And this is what so puzzling about the Brash doctrine. It seems to be rooted in a belief that what benefits Maoridom must by definition harm others. He makes no acknowledgement that a thriving Maori society, fulfilling its own aspirations, is actually positive for all New Zealanders.

Indeed he argues that’s what he wants as long as those aspirations align with those from his own Baptist-based heritage. It’s self-centred, it demonstrates a total absence of EQ on the part of our Donald, and it is about as arrogant as one can be when it comes to acknowledging the rights of Maoridom as tangata whenua, as the treaty specifically does.

The alternative, a disillusioned Maoridom, with inter-generational entrapment in poverty, poor socio-economic indicators, and an intergenerational message that they are a conquered people does nobody any good. New Zealand woke up to this in 1975, Brash remains in denial.

Maoridom is entitled to having its rights under the treaty protected. Brash calls that race-based privilege. On this issue – because he is intelligent enough to know that Article 2 acknowledges the rights of Maoridom as a society, he can only be regarded as a sick puppy, and his fellow travellers either ignorant of the treaty or equally racist as the charming Doctor. 

It is encouraging that the major political parties have reacted negatively to this latest Brash reincarnation. It looks as though his only chance politically with his race-based approach to re-writing New Zealand’s constitutional history, is to hitch his wagon to NZ First, which ironically has the same shallow appreciation of the difference between a treaty and a document of surrender.

 

  • Paul Ridley-Smith
    commented 2016-10-04 10:08:22 +1300
    Cameron Junge
    You have misunderstood some of my points: First, I absolutely accept that some NZers are more deprived than others, and that some children are born into circumstances less advantageous than others. I also believe that the State has an important role to play in redressing those inequities. What I don’t believe is that that is an issue of ethnicity. I want our Government to address those issues, irrespective of ethnicity. Equally I recognise that how you deal with them may have cultural elements (i.e. there isn’t a single solution so the help provided to one person may be different to that to another). Second, I’m pleased that you’re as confident as you are about your place in the world (because you’re a white hetero male) (i.e. you don’t have to worry about what people think of you). I’m not sure that your own confidence is as broadly shared by others as you suppose. Indeed you have judged me adversely because of my presumed status. But, whatever, I agree with you that those that aren’t white hetero males have every right to feel as confident as you in their own skin. But I don’t see anything in the Brash (or my) views on the Treaty that are against that. Yes, we obviously have a different view on how to promote and enhance all NZers prosperity and self esteem. Mine is founded on an inmate respect for the individual. If at each social interaction we treat the other person with respect, then we go a huge way to solving our problems. Yours is probably a more collectivist view? Perhaps you see Maori, women, minorities as groups that must be respected as such? If so, I understand but think it a less successful way of solving problems. It necessarily generalises that because you are Maori you think or believe X. I think that we have had significant policy failures when Governments have decided on “Maori” policies and I believe the same mistakes will be repeated if Maori leaders take over and decide that they know the right policies for Maori. Maori, like Pakeha, are not a homogeneous lot, They are as diverse as any large group and what policies will best work must be tailored accordingly. That’s why I don’t support race based programmes, but a diverse range of programmes that citizens can select irrespective of race.
  • Jonathan R Robinson
    commented 2016-10-04 09:58:35 +1300
    “Indeed he argues that’s what he wants as long as those aspirations align with those from his own Baptist-based heritage.”

    You might be interested to know that the Union of Baptist Churches of New Zealand have had a strong and positive treaty affirmation statement adopted since 2000. They are (as a group, cannot speak for every individual) strongly committed to biculturalism, and partnership with and advocacy for Tangata Whenua. The current Baptist national leader wrote this article claiming “The Treaty of Waitangi is a Gift from God” which is on the denominational website. http://tinyurl.com/hxhcb2w I could say more, but I’m sure you get the drift.

    So please don’t blame Brash’s racism on his Baptist roots.

    Nga mihi nui
  • Cameron Junge
    commented 2016-10-04 08:29:47 +1300
    Paul Smith:
    “I believe that every child is born equal, no child is entitled to any state endorsed benefit or privilege by reason of their parents (and no disadvantage either), that all NZers have an individually equal say in the governance of our country and the exploitation of our resources – whether they have been a citizen for a day or by descent going back 500 years, that the state has an obligation to assist the disadvantaged, that the more well off a duty to contribute more, that all of us have the right to religious, ethnic and cultural freedoms, that the overwhelming majority of Maori are successful but that they are disproportionately represented in some poor outcomes (eg educational achievement – and neither does, as you allege, Brash deny that), that it is wrong to categorise people and assume commonlity of views and beliefs by reason of race (we don’t do that for Pakeha) and that there is as little benefit in arguing what Article 2 of the Treaty means as there is in Americans arguing whether the 2nd Amendment (the right bear arms) does, or does not, entrench the right to carry an assault rifle to the cinema.”
    First off, wow, what a sentence!
    Secondly, your “privilege” is showing. There are many parts of our society that can prove that children aren’t born equally. Your statement ignores reality, that family socio-economic standing, ethnicity, social structure, etc all have impacts on the opportunities that a child has while growing up. Ignoring that is easy if you never have to live with it. Ignoring that is facile, and disadvantages you. Your statement sounds great – maximise personal potential! But, when the starting line for many children is far behind others, well, that’s not very equal.
    As a white hetero male, I have advantages that the majority of NZers don’t. I don’t have to worry about what other’s think of me due to the colour of my skin. I don’t have to worry about what other’s will think of me when I express who I really am. I don’t have to worry about being objectified walking down the street. Because I’m the standard. I can CHOOSE to decorate my skin, wear whatever clothing I want, dye/cut my hair and if anyone is intimidated/repulsed/etc… well, that’s the consequences of my choice.
    You choose to define Article 2 as meaningless, yet as Gareth has said, it’s part of an agreement made between 2 societies to share NZ, and it is included in our laws. Your choice to define it as meaningless depowers Maoridom while empowering your own culture. How advantageous!
    The desire of Brash, and others like yourself, to set a time limit on the Treaty, and to restrict the activities designed to balance the harm that has been historically done is insulting and obscene. The ones in power deciding when the injured have been healed enough? Yeah, that’s very equal.
  • Gareth Morgan
    commented 2016-10-04 07:16:56 +1300
    Hi Paul Smith

    I covered this in my response to Richard Wiig but in short nobody is denying we are not all New Zealanders. However that is a necessary but insufficient response to the issue being discussed here. Maori (in the group sense, or Maoridom) has a unique set of rights that you and I don’t. Read Article 2 that our predecessors signed and committed us to. And if you still don’t get it, read the Treaty principles agreed to by the Courts and Tribunal, accepted by successive governments and in over 300 pieces of regulation and legislation nowadays. If still struggling, constitute a constitutional lawyer. The unique rights of Maori are a matter of fact not debate.

    Brash is an intelligent but bigoted man. He simply does not accept the process that has been underway since 1975 towards recognition of Maoridom’s full and ongoing rights under the treaty. Yet he accepts that there were breaches (he has to of course because the Courts established there were). He wants to deny the Maori ethnie of if its rights under Article 2. There is no logical reason for that, and indeed he calls it race-based privilege, which it isn’t – it’s simply the deal that was made. Because it was the deal, because his denial has no logic, we are left with concluding he is an unbridled racist. What other explanation can there possibly be?

    Best wishes
    G
  • Gareth Morgan
    commented 2016-10-04 07:16:22 +1300
    Hi Richard Wiig

    If you step back and view the Treaty in its entirety – te reo verion (takes precedence according to UN Declaration), English version, and the treaty principles established by Courts and the Tribunal and accepted by successive governments (Labour and National) then it seems to me that the agreement is one between two societies to share the territory and pursue fulfilment of their respective aspirations for well-being of their societies. In no way can you argue it was a “takeover”. In this context the 3 Articles can be distilled as follows. All 3 articles work together, none to the exclusion of the others.

    1. There is one supreme governing body – in contemporary terms, parliament.
    2. Maoridom (this term refers to Maori as a society, not to individual people who have Maori blood necessarily – big difference between ethnicity and race that brash hasn’t a clue on) is entitled to the full benefit of its natural resources and cultural treasures and to exert rangatiratanga (self determination). Remember in Maori cultture their is no such thing as individual property rights – that is a Western concept. Hence Maori land is a very different asset class to other land (another concept that Brash denies).
    3. This article confers the same rights on all individuals who are New Zealanders – in contemporary terms I would argue this extends to political rights, not just human rights. This clause says nothing about and does not conflict with Article 2 which covers the rights of Maori (Maoridom) as a society or ethnic group.

    You can see that taken together this does make NZ rather the unique, being a nation established as a bicultural society – tangatawhenua and the subsequent settlers. However it’s a bit a cademic anyway now since the 1970 UN Declaration confirmed this for all societies with indigenous cultures whether there’s a treaty of not.

    Now all 3 Articles have to be in operation for us to be able to say that the treaty is being honoured. You can’t for example say that parliament is sovereign so it can do what it likes – that would be a breach. Neither can you say that Article 3 says that as individuals we all have the same rights so Maori are entitled to nothing else – that’s clearly a breach of Article 2 which refers to the rights of Maori society. I realise you’re struggling with individual versus collective concepts but unless you respect that difference you really aren’t across the treaty nor the laws (and there’s many of them now) that do. Hence while I oppose separate representation in parliament and local councils for Maoridom in principle, I accept the view of successive governments that separate representation remains necessary until Article 2 is being honoured. So the task ahead is to get that Article fully honoured so as that representation becomes redundant. A written constitution should help in this regard.

    Hope that helps
    G
  • Gareth Morgan
    commented 2016-10-04 07:15:55 +1300
    Hi Ian Anderson

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information Ian but New Zealand is a signatory. We opposed for 3 years because our government thought it was cutting across claims process and settlement negotiations , and then signed. See http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5846

    Happy to help educate but really any Google search could have saved me the trouble.

    Re the Brash view on Article 2, it’s not a matter of interpretation. You need to now swat up on the Treaty principles. Brash explicitly refuses to differentiate between rights individuals who have Maori ancestry (ie; are members of the Maori race) and the treaty rights of ‘Maori’ (the collective, or Maoridom the ethnic group). To do so, as is accepted practice and underlies the incorporation of treaty principles into legislation, would destroy his argument. That is why I call him a racist, he accuses tangatawhenua of enjoying race-based privileges, when the reality is that the treaty was an agreement for mutual coexistence and rights in NZ for two peoples (or societies) to have equal rights to progress their well-being. And of course you cannot define what well-being for Maori is, only Maori can. Brash however would argue he can – arrogant man.

    Hope that helps but there’s lots you can learn just from using Google properly
  • Ian Anderson
    commented 2016-10-03 23:13:53 +1300
    It is odd that you claim the major NZ political parties agree with your interpretation of Article 2 when they don’t agree with you enough to sign up to the 2007 UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in fact voting against it. I think both Labour and National include members and have many voters that take the Don Brash view and both those parties actually try to have a bob each way. As Don Brash points out. The election after his Orewa speech the National Party saw the biggest vote for National in a long time.

    Claiming that Don Brash doesn’t support Article 2 is also wrong. He explicitly says he does. He agrees with his interpretation of it and you agree with yours. That is the wonderful thing about the Treaty, it is like the Bible, it can and is interpreted in many different ways.
  • Richard Wiig
    commented 2016-10-03 21:08:58 +1300
    It would help to define racism here. What exactly is racism, and how does Mr. Brash foot that bill? I bet that what Mr. Morgan means by racism is far removed from what racism actually is. People generally don’t do enough defining of the terms they use.
  • Mel Lara
    commented 2016-10-03 20:48:56 +1300
    If it smells like a racist, if it sounds like a racist, if is an opportunist like a racist, IT IS A RACIST. It’s a shame because Brash is living in fear of the unknown. What will those ‘howrrable Mawri’ do if they actually gain equality? There is nothing to his nonsense other than pure white pride and white fear all mixed into one. The privilege of having the funds and connections to potentially make Maoris’ quality of life even worse, boggles the mind. It really does.
  • Paul Ridley-Smith
    commented 2016-10-03 20:44:48 +1300
    Gareth – your labelling of Brash as racist and a Hard Righter (whatever that is) doesn’t reflect well on you. Name calling is an unsophisticated retort. My views on this are closer to Brash than yours – yet I can confidently assert I’m no racist. I believe that every child is born equal, no child is entitled to any state endorsed benefit or privilege by reason of their parents (and no disadvantage either), that all NZers have an individually equal say in the governance of our country and the exploitation of our resources – whether they have been a citizen for a day or by descent going back 500 years, that the state has an obligation to assist the disadvantaged, that the more well off a duty to contribute more, that all of us have the right to religious, ethnic and cultural freedoms, that the overwhelming majority of Maori are successful but that they are disproportionately represented in some poor outcomes (eg educational achievement – and neither does, as you allege, Brash deny that), that it is wrong to categorise people and assume commonlity of views and beliefs by reason of race (we don’t do that for Pakeha) and that there is as little benefit in arguing what Article 2 of the Treaty means as there is in Americans arguing whether the 2nd Amendment (the right bear arms) does, or does not, entrench the right to carry an assault rifle to the cinema.
    There is nothing in what I have read from Brash or Hobson’s Pledge that encourages or condones racism, as I understand it – which is to disparage or devalue a person by reason of race. Likewise, there is nothing in it that promotes a white, mono-cultural view of NZ. Rather to proudly say we are all one people is to explicitly acknowledge that all of us, whatever our race or religion etc, are entitled to be proud of who we are. I recognise that some Maori have been, and still are, subject to racist views. That needs to be called out. But having a different view on the Treaty and vision for NZ does not make him or me a racist – and by your labelling you detract from the task of identifying who the racists really are.
  • Richard Wiig
    commented 2016-10-03 20:32:31 +1300
    That isn’t true, Andrew Sheldon. Brash is combatting racism, but too many people are too blind to see it.
  • Andrew Crooks
    commented 2016-10-03 20:26:34 +1300
    It’s not racism. It’s opportunism. Brash isn’t a racist. He just sees a political opportunity to capitalize on the apprehensions of racists. Insofar as that is true, you and the left are no better. Honest politics is gone in this extortion racket. I mean he’s not assimilating Asians et al.
  • Mel Lara
    commented 2016-10-03 17:51:52 +1300
    Well done Mr. Morgan you have hit the nail on the head. When the indigenous peoples are thriving that dose not automatically mean the dominating group loses. It means It is a win win situation.
  • Richard Wiig
    commented 2016-10-03 15:58:37 +1300
    “In essence that declaration endorses the rights of a traditional society to exist and thrive fulfilling its aspirations, subject only to the individual rights of other citizens.

    “And this is what so puzzling about the Brash doctrine. It seems to be rooted in a belief that what benefits Maoridom must by definition harm others.”

    You should not be so puzzled. The problem arises in “subject only to the individual rights of other citizens”. It seems to me that you don’t really believe in the individual rights of other citizens, but Donald does. If “Maoridom” (a very racist concept) has property rights over flora and fauna, then it necessarily violates and harms individuals. Because you are such a collectivist, you fail to see that.
  • @garethmorgannz tweeted this page. 2016-10-03 13:40:25 +1300
    Maoridom is entitled to having its rights protected. Brash calls that race-based privilege, but that's just wrong http://www.garethmorgan.com/unbridled_racism_our_own_donald?recruiter_id=2
  • Gareth Morgan posted about Unbridled Racism - Our own Donald comes out trumps on Gareth Morgan's Facebook page 2016-10-03 13:40:17 +1300
    Maoridom is entitled to having its rights under Article 2 of the treaty protected. Brash calls that race-based privilege, but he is intelligent enough to know better. He is a sick puppy, and his fellow travellers either ignorant of the treaty or equally racist as the charming Doctor.

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