David Rankin on the Waitangi Tribunal decision

Today the Waitangi tribunal tried to rewrite law by issuing their decision that that Maori chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi did not cede sovereignty.

Shortly thereafter David Rankin of Ngapuhi issued a press release:

Iwi leader says Tribunal ignored testimony and defames his ancestor

The Ngapuhi leader David Rankin (a descendent of the nineteenth century warrior chief Hone Heke) says that the Waitangi Tribunal report on Maori sovereignty, which is released today, defames his famous ancestor.

Mr Rankin gave evidence at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing which led to this report.  His testimony included details of the oral history of the treaty signing and how the rangatira [chiefs] at the time regarded political developments that were occurring:

“When our tupuna, Hone Heke, signed the Treaty of Waitangi, he did so because he know it was the only option in terms of having a relationship with the British Crown.  But the tribunal is now telling us that all those chiefs saw the Declaration of Independence, which a few had signed in 1835, as being the basis of their relationship with the British.  That is a lie and that is not what the tribunal was told.

Mr Rankin says the Tribunal report defames the memory of Hone Heke, and of his whanau’s oral histories, and that if the tribunal refuses to alter the report to reflect the testimony he provided at the hearing, he will lodge a Treaty claim against the tribunal itself, which will be a first in Treaty history, for prejudicial effect.

On top of that Paul Moon, a notable historian has also come out saying much the same thing. 

It was reported in the NZ Herald:

A history professor has criticised a Waitangi Tribunal decision that Maori chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi did not cede sovereignty as “distorting New Zealand history”.

Treaty specialist Paul Moon said the Tribunal’s inquiry got basic historical aspects wrong.

“I was shocked by some of the statements contained in the report,” says the Auckland University of Technology professor.

“This is not a concern about some trivial detail, but over the fundamental history of our country, which the Tribunal has got manifestly wrong.”

“In particular, the Tribunal alleges that ‘Britain went into the treaty negotiation intending to acquire sovereignty, and therefore the power to make and enforce law over both Maori and Pakeha’. This is simply not true,” says Professor Moon, “and there is an overwhelming body of evidence which proves precisely the opposite.

I cannot understand how the Tribunal got this so wrong.”

I asked David Rankin for a short guest contribution regarding the decision has he has provided his thoughts below:


insult

It may surprise many New Zealanders, but a growing number of Maori are fed up with the Waitangi Tribunal, and the entire Treaty gravy train.  There is a stereotype of Maori collecting missions of dollars in settlement money and living the easy life.  The reality is very different.  Here are a few facts:

1. The Tribunal makes up history as it goes along.  A growing number of New Zealand historians are pointing this out, although most of them are labelled as racist for doing so.  Facts are omitted in Tribunal reports, and evidence is shaped in some cases to fit predetermined outcomes.   As an example, I gave evidence at a Tribunal hearing about my ancestor Hone Heke, the first chief to sign the Treaty.  However, because the oral history of our whanau did not fit with the Tribunal’s narrative, my testimony was excluded.  Yet, several radicals with little knowledge of our history had their testimony included because it fitted with the separatist agenda.  This  leads to point 2.

2.  In the 1970s, many of us hoped that the Tribunal would be an organisation that would achieve reconciliation.  It has turned out to be a body that is bringing in apartheid to New Zealand.  This sounds dramatic, until you see how it advocates for race-based access to certain areas, and race-based management policies for Crown land.

3.  Treaty settlements make tribal corporations rich, with the help of favourabole tax status and often little or no rates to pay.  So with these advantages its pretty easy to become super profitable.  But do you think the average Maori sees any benefit from this?  None at all.  I have been asked several times to be on trust boards and have been offered large sums of money to do so.  I refuse.  History will judge the kupapa (traitors) who have abandoned our people for money.

4. The tribunal is a bully.  Go against it, and you will be labelled a racist or worse.  Yet, who does it help?  Apart from a few elite Maori who have become millionaires from the process, there is no benefit to Maori overall.  Drive through Huntly or anywhere in Tuhoe and you wont find any evidence of  these multi hundred million dollar settlements.

Lets be clear.  The Tribunal exists to make lawyers, and a few elite Maori very rich.  It has deprived our people from their birthright and divided and destroyed many of our communities.  The sooner it is shut down the better.

David Hone Heke Rankin
Te Matarahurahu hapu
Ngapuhi


 

 

– NZ Herald


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