Lizzie Marvelly did a disgusting story painting a very one sided view of the Treaty. She also demeaned Maori by suggesting they achieved nothing but get on the booze. You have to wonder how an editor of a major newspaper could publish such rubbish. Story is here.
I have written an alternative story below. It paints the other side.
This is the story of a good Kiwi farmer. Let’s call him Joseph Smith.
Joseph’s family had been toiling living a subsistence existence with much uncertainty. The farmers had no governance structure that they all respected and they were often at war with each other. They would often lose their land to farmers who would lead raids against other farmers killing or enslaving their captives. That all changed, however, the day Joseph signed the Agreement.
The Agreement seemed like a great idea at the time because it provided a mechanism for them to settle disputes that did not involve war because they were to become British subjects and enjoy the same privileges and protections of the British settlers. They would for the first time ever be given security of property rights and be allowed to enjoy their property without fear of losing it and their lives to raiding farmers.
Signed by most of the farmers around the country, it formalised the Government’s promises of equal rights and protection like any other British subject. Even the slaves were given these rights and so the practice of keeping slaves came to an end. Many farmers were upset by this complaining of loss of mana when slaves were allowed to live as free people.
The agreement guaranteed the farmers ownership of their land for as long as they wanted to keep it.
With law and order established in the country and legal mechanisms in place, farmers were able to trade and improve their life from the previous toil of a subsistence existence and constant war. They were also able to sell their land. There was much difficulty because the city dwellers wanted to buy the land but the farmers were often unable to ascertain who owned it. Often the city dwellers had to buy the same land several times from different farmers to ensure all farmers were paid. Sometimes they had to buy the land from the farmers who were living on the land as well as the previous farmers who the current farmers had stolen it from. Read more »