Bless dear Bob, he is going to be in awful trouble for his column today:
History is littered with treaties and laws which time has made redundant, without having been formally annulled. Two such are the Treaties of Utrecht and Waitangi.
The 1704 Treaty of Utrecht ceded Gibraltar to England. The Spaniards had driven the Moors off the Rock 42 years earlier, after 700 years of occupation. In the 1980s, Spain made overtures to Britain to recover Gibraltar. Once rejected the matter was dropped, but Spain was not so idiotic to raise a literal breach of the original treaty, being an undertaking by the English that no Moor or Jew would ever reside on the Rock. Yet when Spain made this recovery approach, the governor was a Jewish Moroccan. Time had made the original anti-Moor and anti-Jewish sentiment redundant and to have raised this breach would have been farcical.
So, too, with the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1840, Maoridom comprised stone age warring tribes living simple existences. There was a strong sentiment in Victorian England, led by the churches and some parliamentarians, to protect the burgeoning empire’s native peoples, thus article two of the Treaty guaranteeing Maoridom their then economic base.
But as with the anti-Moor and anti-Jewish provision in the Treaty of Utrecht, time has made this clause redundant, with Maoridom now living a 100 per cent European-style existence, thus the constant literal exploitation of an expressed good intention 172 years ago by charlatan lawyers is an affront to common sense and honesty.
And his thoughts on the current water claim?
For example, the Mighty River Power company’s principal assets are eight hydro electric generators on the Waikato River. In 1840, the river provided eels and transport for Maori villagers in the vicinity. But today, like everyone else, Maori buy their food from supermarkets and have substituted cars for canoes. To argue that the river was vested to them in 1840 and claim water usage money is simply opportunistic twisting of the original objective. If that proposition had validity, why is it only now being raised? Why have they not claimed against the power company hitherto?
The answer is blackmail, specifically that via the threat of delay through litigation of the Government’s sale plans, this action could secure taxpayer millions in yet another bogus settlement.
His solution to the constant blackmail?
The Waitangi Treaty is redundant. It need not be formally annulled but like many other outdated laws, be simply ignored as a historic relic. Claims such as illicit land seizures can be dealt with by the courts.