July 3, 2015

New Zealand has a New National Human Rights Plan

This week the Human Rights Commission launched their new human rights plan.

Its current focus is:

  • how human rights issues are managed within the policy and law making processes
  • New Zealand’s growing diversity and its impacts on our society and race relations
  • issues raised in respect of inequalities and discrimination in New Zealand
  • tackling violence and abuse in New Zealand.

Oops… we seemed to have missed the consultation process! We wish HRC well in co-ordinating government, business and civil society to implement their plan.


Gospel and Te Tiriti conversation…

When:  Friday evening, 9 October and Saturday morning and afternoon, 10 October 2015

What:    Key Note speakers and workshop speakers with time for group discussion

Where:  Laidlaw College Wānanga Te Amorangi – 80 Central Park Drive, Henderson, Auckland

Who:     Christians of all denominations

This seminar is an opportunity for people of faith to consider the links between the Gospel and the Treaty, and the conversations of respect and mutual enrichment this invites us into. Christians were closely involved in the signing of the Treaty and have, therefore, a special role of guardianship for the Treaty relationship. This gathering follows last year’s hui on the Gospel and the Treaty, which recognised the bicentenary of the Gospel coming to Aotearoa New Zealand and the fact that 2015 is the 175 year anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Any further inquiries to: Ricky.Waters@manukau.ac.nz  OR wfowler@laidlaw.ac.nz


June 22, 2015

Treaty conference in Tāmaki Makaurau





He honore he kororia ki te Atua, he maungarongo ki te whenua, he whakaaro pai ki ngā tangata katoa.
E ngā mana e ngā reo e ngā karangaranga maha, he mihi rangatira tēnei ki a koutou e whai whakaaro mō te kaupapa nei “I te Tiriti ki te Whenua”. Ma tēnei kaupapa, ka whakamārama i ngā take me ngā huarahi e tukuna iho ai e te takitahi me ngā rōpū, ō rātou ahurea, ō rātou tuku ihotanga, kia mau pūmau.
Nā reira e manu taki, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

As Treaty settlements now realign the relationship between Māori and the Crown, the 175th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi provides an opportunity to reflect on its place in Aotearoa/New Zealand.This conference focuses on changing understandings of the Treaty since the Second World War and how these have influenced New Zealand policy making, institutions and communities. It assesses the impact of these developments on the current position of the Treaty and its role in the future.

This conference will benefit those working with the Treaty across all sectors including health, education, social services, law, heritage, creative arts, local and central government, iwi, environmental management, treaty settlement, the public sector and business, and those studying the recent history of the Treaty and its impact.

The event begins with a two day conference where panels of invited scholars and practitioners explore the Treaty ‘on the ground’ since World War II (to be held at Auckland War Memorial Museum 6-7 July 2015).  There will be the opportunity for extensive discussion and for the sharing of experiences and challenges. The third day is for new and emerging scholars to share their research at a colloquium (to be held at Massey University Auckland, 8 July 2015).

Speakers : include Michael Belgrave, Aroha Harris, Cybele Locke, Melissa Williams, Kim Workman, Tom Bennion, Cindy Kiro, Sharon Hawke, Te Kawehau Hoskins, Michael Dreaver, John Hutton, April Bennett, Margaret Kawharu, Peter Meihana, Maria Bargh, Cluny Macpherson, Haami Piripi, Mayor Meng Foon, Damian Skinner and Ngarimu Blair.


Check out their website Treaty on the Ground

Right of first refusal: Calling the Crown to act with honour

In 1840, Ngāti Whātua invited Governor Hobson to establish his seat of government on their land adjacent to the WaitemataHarbour. Their intention was a flourishing centre, bringing advantage to Ngāti Whātua and new settlers. Sadly, the Governors and the Government soon lost sight of working in partnership with Ngāti Whatua. Decisions were made and legislation passed that caused Ngāti Whātua huge losses of land. The injustice of what happened is well recorded in the Waitangi Tribunal’s Orakei Report. Similar processes by the Crown meant that Waikato-Tainui wrongfully lost land in South Auckland. As part of the Crown’s recompense to these iwi, they were granted right of first refusal on Crown properties in their respective territories.

What is the “right of first refusal” and what lies behind it? Put simply, a group with right of first refusal on a property has the first option to buy the property when it becomes available for sale. If they turn down that option, then the property can go on the open market. The Crown’s Settlements with any iwi are acknowledged to be very small in relation to the value of the lands originally taken. Legislation in 1992 had established that private land could not be used in the settlement of treaty claims, and often the amount of Crown land immediately available is limited. That is why a number of the Settlements include a clause stating that an iwi will have right of first refusal over Crown property before it is put on the open market.

In this year’s Budget the Government announced that it would be making Crown land available to private developers for the purpose of housing. In doing this they overlooked the iwi with right of first refusal. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Housing have since claimed that the Government has the legal right to go ahead with their proposal. This is obviously going to be tested in the Courts. However, their emphasis on being legally in the right completely ignores the issue of whether what they propose is morally right. The Courts have made it very clear that the Crown, that is the Government, is obliged to act as a Treaty partner. On this the Crown’s honour depends.

Partnership means entering into conversations with your partner about future developments long before they are presented as settled policy; it means working together on common concerns. Ngāti Whātua have made it very clear they are interested in being part of housing development that will benefit a wide range of people. They are committed to the welfare of Auckland city. Those of us who are not Māori might well find that solutions proposed by Ngāti Whātua are much more in line with our sense of common good than those put forward by a government situated in Wellington. Certainly, if the Government had taken seriously its Treaty partnership with Ngāti Whātua and Waikato-Tainui, some of Auckland’s housing issues would not be facing the present delays.

Dr Susan Healy

February 15, 2015

Evening with Bob Scott


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Join Bob Scott & Tāmaki Tiriti Workers to learn about his interesting life fighting for social justice. Potluck dinner and informed discussion to follow.

6.30-9pm Monday 23rd March 2015

1/5 Seymour Street, St Marys Bay

RSVP to heather.came@yahoo.co.nz

December 16, 2014

Alternatives to anti-Maori themes in news media

Recently the contributors of Treaty Blog received an email regarding a new educational resource. Called “Alternatives to anti-Maori themes in news media”, it is a media booklet created and shared by The Treaty Resource Centre. It is available both online and, by request, in hard copy.

The news media are not neutral or objective. Studies show that the news repeats and reinforces negative themes about Māori that date from the earliest days of colonisation.”

There are thirteen themes presented, flowing from ” Pākehā as the norm” to “Ignorance and Insensivity” and ” Māori success”. It reveals the negative attitudes that prevail in our current climate and offers alternative actions and statements that can be used to counter these themes.  The Treaty Resource Centre says “These negative themes present Māori interests and what Māori do as problems, or as being on the margins. They also help make Pākehā control over institutions, resources, society and culture seem right and natural. “
This is a living document. The Treaty Resource Centre encourages you to submit examples of your own. The Treaty blog authors also encourage your additions – the more information shared, the quicker we can challenge and change the current paradigms in the media and other arenas.

Go to the website to view and contribute and please share this fantastic resource widely.

December 7, 2014

What now?

 I guess most of us felt relief when the Waitangi Tribunal reported that the Māori who signed Te Tiriti did not cede sovereignty and had neither intention nor reasons to do so…

The rangatira who signed te Tiriti o Waitangi in February 1840 did not cede sovereignty to the British Crown, the Waitangi Tribunal has concluded.

The Tribunal today released its report on stage 1 of its inquiry into Te Paparahi o te Raki (the great land of the north) Treaty claims.

The report concerns the ‘meaning and effect’ of the Treaty in February 1840, when the first signings of te Tiriti took place in the Bay of Islands and the Hokianga. Stage 2 of the inquiry, which is under way, will consider events after February 1840.

‘Though Britain went into the treaty negotiation intending to acquire sovereignty, and therefore the power to make and enforce law over both Maori and Pakeha, it did not explain this to the rangatira’, the Tribunal said.

Rather, Britain ’s representative William Hobson and his agents explained the Treaty as granting Britain ‘the power to control British subjects and thereby to protect Maori’, while rangatira were told that they would retain their ‘tino rangatiratanga’, their independence and full chiefly authority.

‘The rangatira who signed te Tiriti o Waitangi in February 1840 did not cede their sovereignty to Britain ’, the Tribunal concluded. ‘That is, they did not cede authority to make and enforce law over their people or their territories.’

The rangatira did, however, agree ‘to share power and authority with Britain ’.

‘They agreed to the Governor having authority to control British subjects in New Zealand , and thereby keep the peace and protect Maori interests’, the Tribunal said.

‘The rangatira consented to the treaty on the basis that they and the Governor were to be equals, though they were to have different roles and different spheres of influence. The detail of how this relationship would work in practice, especially where the Maori and European populations intermingled, remained to be negotiated over time on a case-by-case basis.’ “

-WT press release Friday 14 November

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December 6, 2014

Mr Allbones’ Ferrets – A book review

allbonesMr Allbones’ Ferrets – an historical pastoral satirical romance, with mustelids, by Fiona Farrell, 2007.  A vintage Book, Random House, NZ.

I have just caught up with this book and it was well worth reading, although I found it quite difficult to get into. I realize that this is because it feels very alien and at times repulsive if, like me, you have had no experience of ferrets, and have always regarded mustelids as lethal predators on our birdlife. The way in was for me to enter into an alien cultural experience, the world of English Victorian village life as lived by the most impoverished people. Soon afterwards I was drawn into an equally alien world of affluent middle class scientifically-minded European gentlemen.

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November 11, 2014

Standing in this place: How do Pākehā support justice for Māori?

You are invited to attend the 2014 Quaker Lecture, Standing in this place: How do Pākehā support justice for Māori?

With David James, Jillian Wychel, Linda Wilson, Murray Short

Time: arrive 7:00 pm for a 7:30 pm start

Date: Tuesday 18 November 2014

Venue: Mt Eden Friends Meeting House, 113 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland

If you are unable to get there in the evening, there is also the opportunity to hear it at 10:30 am that morning – also in the Meeting House. Arrive 10:00 am.


Film Screening: Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka

When: Monday 10 November at 7:00pm

Where: Friends Meeting House, 113 Mt Eden Rd.

A koha will be collected.

This Paora Joseph film is being screened near to 5 November, Parihaka Day. It will be introduced by Maata Hurita Wharehoka with a Q and A session afterwards.

Tatarakihi - The Children of Parihaka

Watch the trailer here, or read on for information from the film’s website.

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