I’ve never met him but I have enormous admiration for Bruce Moon, a man with impressive academic credentials (Google him and see).
Now in his 90s, plainly outraged by the blatant lying about the Treaty, he is devoting his remaining years to fighting this appalling deceit that has emanated from so many quarters.
Bruce doesn’t pull his punches. Read his recent article below.
The Abuse of Human Rights
Bruce Moon 7th April 2023
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7, 16
With a little “googling” one may discover an extensive but undated[i] article entitled “Human Rights in Aotearoa” which is quite obviously a statement issued by the “Human Rights Commission”. Now, right at the start, we may surely ask why, instead of New Zealand, our country’s authentic name since 1643, one of the oldest and most widely known in the whole Pacific Ocean, the “Human Rights Commission” uses a fanciful name, used occasionally by early Maoris for one or other of the main islands? It did happen to be used in a couple of fairy tales by two colonial writers, William Pember Reeves[ii] and Stephenson Percy Smith[iii] in the 1890s. As Michael King noted, “[F]ew Maori opted for Aotearoa”.[iv] We may conclude that “Aotearoa” was a fanciful name for our country of a few colonials! Just what is this Commission, paid for by New Zealand’s taxpayers, trying to do in using this fake so prominently?
Evidently the true name of our country, “New Zealand”, sticks in this Commission’s collective throat. Why??
This Commission has five members:
- Paul Hunt, Human Rights Commissioner; English born, with dual citizenship, currently a professor of law at the University of Essex and described as “a human rights expert”.
- Meng Foon, Race Relations Commissioner; Gisborne born, former Mayor of Gisborne, who is on record as saying: “Co-governance is a way to uplift Māori, empower tangata whenua at the decision-making table and give some recognition to the tino rangatiratanga authority that exists alongside kāwanatanga governance. This is beneficial for everyone in Aotearoa, not just Māori.”[v]
Perhaps we may speculate on just what he means in saying “a way to … empower tangata whenua” but we can be certain that in talking about “the tino rangatiratanga authority that exists alongside kāwanatanga governance” he is blatantly corrupting the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi. That is strange, perhaps, for someone fluent in Maori! Readers may form their own conclusions about the speculation in his last sentence.
- Karanina Sumeo. Samoan born; in 2018 she was appointed Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner for the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.
- Paula Tesoriero; Wellington born, a paralympic cyclist and civil servant.
- Claire Charters; Professor at the University of Auckland, appointed on 6th March 2023, whose specialty is “indigenous rights”, which we discuss immediately below. As we are on record as saying:[vi] “Associate Professor Charters has used the prestigious occasion of a Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture as a soapbox to promulgate crude political rhetoric.” It should not be necessary to say more!
* * * * *
The Text of This Document
Under the heading: “What is the relationship between human rights and the Treaty of Waitangi?”, the Commission states: “The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s own unique statement of human rights. It includes both universal human rights and indigenous rights.” The Commission proceeds further to state: “The Treaty (1840) and the UDHR (1948) therefore complement each other: both govern relationships between peoples in New Zealand” and “This section is primarily concerned with the indigenous rights guaranteed under Article 2 of the Treaty, and the specific aspects of Article 1 and 3 that pertain to Māori.”
Under the heading: “New Zealand context Customary rights and rangatiratanga”, the Commission continues:
“International instruments affirm the customary rights of Indigenous peoples as central to the realisation of their human rights. In New Zealand, Māori customary rights are formed by whakapapa (genealogical connections), tikanga (the customary equivalent of law) and mātauranga (traditional knowledge). Exercised collectively, these rights and responsibilities existed prior to colonial contact and have survived – though not necessarily in their original form – into the present. Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi protects Māori rangatiratanga, which refers to chiefly authority and self-determination rooted in tikanga, and the protection of lands, forests, fisheries and other taonga or treasures.”
Oh! Yeah? This sentence is a gross distortion of what is said in Article Second, a whopper!
- Article second does not mention “Māori” explicitly but guaranteed “tino rangatiratanga” ‒ the Williams’ translation of “possession” ‒ in default of any reasonable word in the Ngapuhi dialect for the concept ‒ of “the possession of their lands, dwellings and all property” to “the chiefs and tribes” and “all the people of New Zealand” ,”tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”, accepted by all, white and brown alike at Waitangi on 5th February 1840.[vii] Let us be very clear – there is no unique grant to any one; quite specifically it granted the same rights to everyone. It was not a divisive grant. To the extent that ‘rangatiratanga’ was used, it was to make it clear that, notwithstanding the changes in tribal authority, nobody has their land or dwellings or property confiscated, i.e. they retained ownership. This underlines the fact that, unlike the usual Maori practice hitherto, the Treaty was not about conquest because of course, the impact of tribal conquest was that the conquered lost their land, dwellings and property. But it simply does not make any sense to suggest that Article Two is about retaining tribal authority.
- Article second says nothing about “self-determination rooted in tikanga”.
- It says nothing about “forests and fisheries” which are only found in Freeman’s fake treaty, a discarded copy of which was used as note paper to accommodate some chiefs’ signatures in an exigency at Waikato Heads on 11th April 1840, and now, believe it or not, legislated by the “Treaty of Waitangi Act” of 1975 to be “The Treaty in English”.
- Use of “taonga” may only be in the sense which applied in 1840: “property” as defined in William Williams’ dictionary, 1844 meant chattels or ordinary possessions. These were described in 1831 by some 13 chiefs as “nothing but timber, flax, pork and potatoes”. Pork and potatoes of course were introduced by Europeans. It is a flagrant abuse of an 1840 document to use its modern meaning.
In one sentence, this “Human Rights Commission” makes four false statements about the Treaty of Waitangi, which in the first sentence of its text it states to be “the founding document of New Zealand.”
So, friends, what do you make of that: four false statements about human rights by an official Commission whose specific task is to address Human Rights??
* * * * *
But wait! Believe it or not, there is more flagrant abuse of the truth in this Commission’s document because Maoris are not indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand. And this is why. …
The generally accepted concept of indigenous peoples is that when and how they have come to be where they are and where they came from are unknown or uncertain. Typical such people are Australian aboriginals and American natives (who used to be called “Red Indians” when I was a schoolboy). The latter, for example, are presumed to have come from Asia, by a “land bridge” somewhere near Bering Strait and maybe 20,000 years ago but nobody really knows.
But the Maoris …
We know pretty well exactly where they came from: islands of Eastern Polynesian, notably Raiatea.[viii]
We know pretty well exactly when they came, from genealogies (whakapapa) – within a few decades of 1350
We know with remarkable detail how they got here: in eight canoes – and we even know their names – Takitimu, Tainui, etc.!
(This may be “matauranga” but it is confirmed by science and archaeology.)
Maoris are not indigenous on any count! The Human Rights Commission is blatantly wrong in its assumption that they are and in making its judgments accordingly.
A very substantial section of this report by the Human Rights Commission is invalidated by its false assumption that Maoris are indigenous to New Zealand.
* * * * *
The Commission and the Treaty itself.
The text commences: “The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand.” Well, constitutional lawyers might or might not accept this claim but at least it dismisses any claim to validity by modern revisionists of Busby’s paper tiger, the so-called “Declaration of Independence”, so prominently displayed in the National Library in a cabinet costing us taxpayers rather more that $7 million, along with the rat-eaten original “treaty” document and the petition for women’s suffrage.
And then we get, believe it or not(!): “It enabled subsequent migration to New Zealand and the establishment of government by the Crown.” In just what sort of dreamworld do these ‒ presumably very highly paid ‒ servants of the people of New Zealand exist? Do they not know of the extensive plans of the New Zealand Company for British settlement which would have proceeded, Treaty or no Treaty? Are they unaware that the first colonists of this enterprise had arrived in Wellington one week before Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands?
“[G]overnment by the Crown” would have proceeded in any case under the pressure of migration from Britain, treaty or no treaty, which would certainly have continued.[ix]
It is interesting (albeit futile) to speculate what might have happened then had not British sovereignty been affirmed following its widespread acceptance by Maori chiefs. There would have been many losers and many of them would have been Maoris.
And next, says this Commission: “The Preamble sets out the purpose of the Treaty: to protect Mäori rights and property,” Well, no, it doesn’t! What it actually says is “Seeing that many of Her Majesty’s subjects have already settled in the country and are constantly arriving. And that it is for their protection as well as the protection of the natives to establish a government amongst them.”[x] Let us explain this for the Commission: an aim of the Treaty was the protection of both new settlers and the Maoris! It was to be inclusive. Any suggestion of “co-governance” or anything like it is a mockery of the Treaty of Waitangi.
And then, the Commission proceeds to state: “New Zealand’s history since the signing of the Treaty has been marked by repeated failures to honour these founding promises.”
Well, that is certainly a wide and sweeping claim. It would be tedious to enumerate here the many benefits colonization brought to its Maori inhabitants, of the harmonious relationships which must have developed amongst these two people, demonstrated so positively by the scale of interbreeding to the extent that any purebred Maori today would be an extremely rare individual.
Again, it was those Maori tribes which rebelled against the government which committed “repeated failures to honour these founding promises”, on trivial or non-existent pretexts, and broke their pledges of loyalty to the Crown. Be it noted that Maori loyalists provided a significant force in suppressing their rebellions and the leniency with which rebels were treated afterwards.[xi]
And our critique does not even address yet the Commission’s “Introduction”!! Please be patient, dear reader!
Yes! Wait for it! We are informed that this 180-year-old relic of our first steps towards nationhood is “important as a ‘living document’,[xii] central to New Zealand’s present and future.” Well, if this is so, “All the rights will be given to [all the Maoris of New Zealand] the same as [the Queen’s] doings to the people of England.”[xiii]
What a mockery of this “living document” then are the rights, privileges and assets bestowed at an accelerating rate on our wealthy tribal corporations today and their accelerating demands for more –
control of natural water and our access to it, special hospitals, special electoral rights, tax-free status as “charities” just start the list. “The same”, said the Treaty. Recent legislators and demonstrators waving their so-called “tino rangatiratanga” flag treat the Treaty with contempt, not “honour”.
Then this Commission trots out the “obiter dicta”, i.e. casual remark, of that rather wet judge, Robin Cooke,[xiv] that “[i]t establishes a relationship “akin to partnership” between the Crown and rangatira, and confers a set of rights and obligations on each Treaty partner. Well, it didn’t but today we are subjected to lie after lie about the absurd notion that such a “partnership” exists.
As retired Judge Anthony Willy has written “as to the notion of Partnership it was and is constitutionally impossible for the Crown to enter into a partnership with her subjects”.[xv]
Any suggestion that the Treaty of Waitangi created an ongoing system of preference of Maoris in a de facto partnership is simply nonsense.
It is not less than an outrage that the Human Rights Commission continues to foster this blatant falsehood.
This introduction continues with its own line on the Treaty of Waitangi, riddled with false statements and misinterpretations, of the sort which are widely prevalent in official circles today and disastrous for the future of democracy in New Zealand,
Thus it states “there are areas of disagreement between the English and Māori texts of the Treaty”.
If one accepts that this is true and that the Treaty is a component of our constitution, then it is a profound absurdity scarcely worthy of a banana republic yet this situation has been created by the Treaty of Waitangi Act, 1975. That Act accepts Freeman’s discarded fake treaty, used, as we observe above, as notepaper for an overflow of chiefs’ signatures at Waikato Heads on 11th April 1840 when the official copy of the treaty had not arrived in time for the signing process. Yet simply nobody, that is, nobody, in officialdom of whom I am aware questions this absurdity.
The Commission continues: “Article 1 is essentially about the Crown”. This is rubbish. Article 1 actually concerns the chiefs’ cession of sovereignty, “completely and forever” to the Queen.
Then it says: “Article 2 is about rangatira” – which is quite simply more garbage. Article 2 is actually about the property rights of “all the people of New Zealand” – “tangata katoa o Nu Tirani”.
And, again it says: “Article 3 is about all citizens and residents (including Māori, Pākehā and other subsequent migrants)” – another gross misstatement. What this article actually does is confer the rights of British subjects on “tangata maori katoa”[xvi] and that is all!
This “Human Rights Commission” continues with “These rights and responsibilities include: the rights and responsibilities of the Crown to govern (Article 1 – kāwanatanga/governance)”. Once again, this is a gross misrepresentation of what the treaty actually says.
By Article 1, the chiefs actually ceded forever to the Queen, the entire sovereignty of their country.
The Human Rights Commission wording “kāwanatanga/governance” blatantly implies a false identity of meaning of these two words.
It is high time for all the people of New Zealand – tangata katoa o Nu Tirani – to get the message that translation is NOT the same as derivation, as we have pointed out on many occasions.[xvii]
By Article first, despite the many loud voices of dissenters[xviii], the chiefs ceded sovereignty “completely and forever” to the Queen – and they knew it![xix]
The next couple of lines of this statement of the Human Rights Commission are quite remarkable for the number of false statements made in such a brief piece of text, thus:
first line:”the collective rights and responsibilities of Māori, as Indigenous people, to live as Māori and to protect and develop their taonga (Article 2 – rangatiratanga/ self-determination)”
False statement 1: “Māori, as Indigenous people”. Now, despite the implication by John Key when he sneakily sent Peter Sharples to the United Nations to sign its “declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People”, in no sense are Maoris indigenous to New Zealand as we explain earlier here.
On all counts, Maoris are disqualified as “indigenous people” of New Zealand. There were indeed a variety of truly indigenous people who were not Polynesians here at the time of the arrival of the Maori colonists, most of whom they slaughtered and ate, even into colonial times.[xx]
False Statement 2 “to live as Māori and to protect and develop their taonga (Article 2 – rangatiratanga/ self-determination)” – Article second says nothing of the sort. It did, however, “guarantee to … all the people of New Zealand (tangata katoa o Nu Tirani… possession (tino rangatiratanga) of … all their property (taonga).
It is “rangatiratanga”, falsely stated by the Commission to mean “self-determination” which is so actively flaunted by treaty-twisters today, often waving a flag somebody made for them, in claiming special rights of “co-governance” and other privileges which are entirely illegitimate in terms of the Treaty’s content and intent.
Again, “taonga”, which simply meant “property procured by the spear” to Hongi Hika in 1820, was simply defined in William Williams’ 1844 dictionary as “property”. Since then its meaning has exploded to include almost anything, such as the electromagnetic spectrum, undiscovered in 1840, Kawharu flagrantly broke the rules of translation in using an alleged modern meaning for “taonga” in his translation of the Treaty used in all Cabinet references to it.[xxi] It is this corruption of the 1840 meaning which the Human Rights Commission presumes in its reference to a falsely claimed right of Maoris to “develop their taonga”.
* * * * *
It would indeed be tedious to relate further the multiplicity of false statements in this document of the Human Rights Commission. We do note the following.
The Commission: “The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s own unique statement of human rights. It includes both universal human rights and indigenous rights. It belongs to, and is a source of rights for, all New Zealanders.” This is a deeply flawed claim.
The Treaty says absolutely nothing about “indigenous rights” and it is profoundly misleading, indeed mischievous of the Commission to say so.
The Treaty is not, as the Commission claims, “a source of rights for all New Zealanders.” Existing British subjects had such rights in any case. It did indeed confer those same rights on “tangata maori”, remarkable and possibly unique at that time for its generous treatment of a native people.
The Treaty of Waitangi might justly be called a remarkable document for its day. By it, in essence, the Maori chiefs ceded forever to the Queen such sovereignty as each possessed and all Maoris, their many slaves included, got the same rights as the people of England.
When Hobson formally affirmed British sovereignty over all the islands of New Zealand on 21 May 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi had done its job. Then was the time to put it to rest as a footnote to history.
Claims today by the Human Rights Commission and a multiplicity of other treaty-twisters that it is a “living document” whose words they wrench out of context and abuse by applying distortions and modern meanings or reconstructions in place of their 1840 meanings, are an insult to its memory and the far-sighted men who wrought it.
* * * * *
Recent Government announcements appear to grant even more power and influence to this Committee which, in view of the false beliefs which so clearly it holds today, can only lead to further destruction of democracy in New Zealand. Its abolition at the first opportunity to do so in our immediate future is a matter of extreme importance and urgency.
The top-of-mind word for the mangling of the original treaty document’s meaning is heartbreaking. Our egalitarian little country (geographically and in terms of population) is being carved up by elites among a people who have a maori ancestor to the detriment of our economy and social coherence. And yes, in all definitions of the word indigenous they are not indigenous, but immigrants like all Kiwis. That they arrived first does not give them power of ownership
How can we get this info out there. I returned after 7yrs in Oz to a country I didn’t feel at home in. I am 6th gen Kiwi and feel ostracized by all the non inclusive arrogant goings on. Wales for example has all signage in both languages. English is the Business Language of the world so what goes here?
Julian Batchelor’s website is a good starting point. https://www.stopcogovernance.kiwi/blog/
That is exactly how I feel whenever I return. I don’t recognize the place anymore. Like there is some collective madness and I am the only one that hasn’t drunk the Kool Aid…
Exactly, it was great to spend three months in England and not be bombarded with a language, Maori, which I have no intention of ever learning and have no affinity with.
What a refreshing read. If only it were able to made part of the school curriculum!
I would add that rights are not derived from written documents, they are derived from a recognition of the law of identity: man (in that word’s original sense, including women), meaning the thinking being with moral agency, has certain requirements in a social context for his or her moral agency to be exercised unimpeded. Those requirements are called rights. Only an initiation of force can violate a right, for example taking a person’s property against their will. The nature of property must also be understood if rights are to be upheld: if one cannot establish how one has added tradable value to the utility of a thing through one’s efforts, or is in the process of adding tradable value to the utility of a thing through one’s efforts, then it does not qualify as property. If one waves one’s arms about while saying “all this is ours”, and one does so because “this” is being held by force, or one is wanting to hold “this” by force, it is not property that one is referring to but *territory*.
Such is an understanding of the nature of authentic rights and property the so-called Human Rights Commission is clueless about.
Very well written and true.
then there was the 1883 High Court declaration that the Treaty was a ‘legal nullity’