Waitangi Treaty attack prompts iwi to write to King Charles


One Northland iwi, Ngāti Kahu, has drafted a letter to King Charles III concerning Te Tiriti O Waitangi .

They want him to stop the “violent attack” on the Treaty presented by the ACT Party’s Treaty Principals Bill.

Urgent hearing

Iwi chairperson Professor Makere Mutu presented evidence at an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing into the Bill.

She and other expert witnesses presented their concerns about the ACT Party’s interpretation of the Treaty Articles in its Democracy or Co-Government Policy Paper.

ACT’s translation is “nonsensical” Mutu said.

“Which tells me either that the person has absolutely no understanding of the reo at all or is so disparaging of the reo that they think nothing of doing … gratuitous violence to our language …”.

Tribunal agrees

Tribunal panel member Monty Soutar agrees.

It is “just not possible to draw that English translation from the Māori that’s there” he said.

Te reo Māori expert and Ngāpuhi historian Hone Sadler also agrees.

“This cutting and pasting exercise … demeans, debases and trivialises our founding document as a nation and disparages and denigrates Ngāpuhi, the guardian of these sacred covenants” he told the Tribunal.

ACT’s idea

Seymour reject’s Sadler’s view.

People say the Treaty “requires us to be divided by a partnership between races, rather than a compact that gives us the same rights, duties and then gives us – all of us – the right to self-determine” he says.

ACT says the Treaty redefined:

• Article 1: “Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou whenua” – the NZ Government has the right to govern all New Zealanders

• Article 2: “Ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou whenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa” – the NZ government will honour all New Zealanders in the chieftainship of their land and all their property

• Article 3: “A ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi” – all New Zealanders are equal under the law with the same rights and duties.

Disgracing the Crown

Mutu told the Tribunal the government is disgracing the Crown with its actions.

The late Queen knew how to exercise her own rule of law in this country that upheld the mana and the tino rangatiratanga of our people, she said.

“We still look to King Charles …  to stop the lawless behaviour of the Pākēhas. And that’s all we’re dealing with here ….”

She said ACT’s plans could change the Treaty so iwi might be unable to pursue their historical claims.


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