Treaty ‘rights’ a trap

David Round has some major concerns with the wonky?constitutional?review underway. While we complain about Fiji’s?constitutional?changes yet our own are appearing to be significantly gerrymandered by Maori:

You need kidney dialysis. But you cannot get it, because people of Maori ancestry, although less deserving of treatment on purely clinical grounds, have priority. You have paid your taxes all your life. You die.

Impossible? At present, yes – we hope. But several years ago when an elderly man in Northland was ruled ineligible for dialysis – on solely clinical grounds – the Maori Council declared elderly Maori people were “taonga” and therefore entitled to treatment under the Treaty of Waitangi, which would give them priority over non-Maori.?

If, then, we were saddled with a written constitution which referred to the Treaty and its alleged “principles”, we could easily have racial discrimination in health care.

Why should that surprise us? The Treaty’s words are now twisted to mean their exact opposite. The Treaty said Maori and settler were to be equals under the Queen’s government. In Captain Hobson’s words, “Now we are one people”. But by the modern “principles”, “Maori” are not the Queen’s subjects but her “partners” in governing New Zealand.

The “taonga” Maori were promised are now not just their physical property – what the word undoubtedly meant in 1840 – but anything Maori might take a fancy to.

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