KIN Editor Alan Tristram says the Treaty must be honoured. It’s the best, and probably the only, way forward for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Sure, he says, there are all sorts of problems with interpretation and wording.
But we only need to look at Australia and the US, to name two countries with huge racial problems, to realise how far we have come as a country.
Pakeha New Zealanders owe a huge debt to Maori because we’ve appropriated and used most of their land over the 200 years we’ve been around.
Now, we (Pakeha) are starting the payback. It’s a process Maori want and, I would argue, most Pakeha agree with.
The Treaty Process
The Treaty of Waitangi provides a peaceful and legal way to resolve grievances.
So look at these points about our history:
- Despite all our differences, we’ve been able to live without inter-racial bloodshed for nearly 140 years.
- Maori have been extraordinarily generous in gifting land to the Nation. Look at the National Parks, and the Hemi Matenga estate in Kapiti.
- Maori servicemen have paid a heavy price in fighting for this country. The Maori Battalion, for instance, suffered extraordinary losses during WWII.
Some writers cavil about the ‘catch up’ clauses in Treaty settlements (see earlier articles in KIN). But why shouldn’t tribes like Ngai Tahu drive a hard bargain?
That’s their right. And it’s been up to the Government side to argue otherwise if they wanted to.
My personal view is that the main opposition to Treaty settlements comes from ageing white folks who cannot come to terms with the reality of a new New Zealand.