Guest Author: Dr Muriel Newman.
Parliament has not even been sworn in, but already the Greens, the Maori Party, and Labour, are demonstrating levels of radicalism and hate not seen in our House of Representatives before.
Their target is the new government – and their supporters.
Is this extremism going to be their modus operandi for the next three years?
When Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick chanted “From the river to the sea” at a recent rally for Gaza, the crowd responded, “Palestine will be free”.
The words of this battle cry can be found in the constitution of Hamas – the terrorist group that controls Gaza and which launched the attack on Israel killing more than 1000 civilians and capturing hundreds of hostages: “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
The expression from the river to the sea refers to the land between the Jordan River bordering the east of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea to the west – and is commonly understood to stand for the complete annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people.
In Britain, when a Labour MP used a similar expression at a pro-Palestine rally, the Labour Party leader condemned the comments as “deeply offensive” and suspended him.
In contrast, not only was Chloe Swarbrick not suspended, but a Green Party co-leader, Marama Davidson, was egging her on!
This incident is indicative of the radicalisation of the Greens. They have morphed from a Party of environmentalism to one of extremism.
Even the other co-leader James Shaw, who has long cultivated an image of moderation and reasonableness, has now revealed he’s just as radical as the rest by promising “violence” and “wide scale social disruption” if the new government goes ahead with the ACT Party’s proposed referendum on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Marama Davidson elevated the rhetoric by threatening the new government: “Just try and come for the Treaty, just try”. She warned the Greens will do everything they can to incite public opposition and resistance: “There is going to be community-led resistance and movement that the Greens will absolutely amplify.”
Not to be outdone, the Maori Party president John Tamihere claimed, “all hell would break loose” if the government tries to introduce the referendum with “well-organised” protest action: “That protest will be significant… there will be days of national Maori action and they’ll close down Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington.”
He described the referendum as a ‘clarion call’ for protest action around the country: “Even conservative Maori who voted for National would come out with us.”
The rhetoric from the Labour Party was even more menacing, with former Minister Willie Jackson making inflammatory threats that Maori would ‘go to war’ over the referendum: “If there’s a referendum I’ll stay around for as long as it takes to fight that, and to stop that. I’m amongst people who will go to war for this, war against Seymour and his mates”.
And on TVNZ’s Q&A, he warned, “Let me tell you now, if they try and push that through it’ll be 81 Springbok Tour, civil unrest times five, times ten.”
Prior to being repealed in 2007 by the then Labour Government, such comments would likely have qualified as sedition under Section 81 of the Crimes Act 1961:
“A seditious intention is an intention to bring into hatred or contempt, or to excite disaffection against, the Government of New Zealand; or to incite, procure, or encourage violence, lawlessness, or disorder; or to incite, procure, or encourage the commission of any offence that is prejudicial to the public safety or to the maintenance of public order; or or to excite such hostility or ill will between different classes of persons as may endanger the public safety.”
Isn’t all of this exactly what Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party are doing?
So, what is it that’s giving rise to such orchestrated fearmongering?
The ACT Party has proposed a referendum to clarify the meaning of the “principles” of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Even though the Treaty of Waitangi doesn’t actually have any principles, dozens have been invented by the judiciary, the Waitangi Tribunal, academia, and the civil service to embed a wide variety of race-based privileges into our legislative and regulatory framework.
Former Labour Government Minister, Dr Michael Bassett, outlines the process:
“Over the last twenty years the tribal elites began inventing arguments that under the Treaty of Waitangi Maori were entitled to more and more from the taxpayer. A growth industry in Treaty fiction emerged. Before long, a 1987 Court declaration that the Treaty of Waitangi was ‘something akin to a partnership’ between Maori and the Crown developed into a call for a 50-50 split in governance over all resources, despite Maori numbering barely 17% of the population.
“The Ardern-Hipkins government with its big numbers of Maori in the Labour caucus bought into the tribal elites’ argument that special assistance, to be enjoyed by no other ethnicity, should be delivered to Maori.”
We all know what happened next – using the invented ‘partnership’ principle as justification, Labour’s secretive He Puapua plan for tribal control was steamrolled across the country.
If the Treaty principles currently in place were replaced with ones based on equal rights and the Rule of Law, Maori privilege, and the various income streams that flow from it, would be threatened. That’s why opposition party rhetoric is so explosive – they want to prevent the new government from taking away the lucrative arrangements that have been put in place.
ACT’s proposed referendum would define three principles – based on the original three articles of the Treaty – in a Treaty Principles Act, with the public then asked to support or oppose the law change.
The first principles would be along the lines of, “The New Zealand Government has the right to govern New Zealand”. The second, “The New Zealand Government will protect all New Zealanders’ authority over their land and other property”. And the third, “All New Zealanders are equal under the law, with the same rights and duties”.
The original three articles of the Treaty of Waitangi are eloquently described by Sir Apirana Ngata in his 1922 explanation of the Maori version of the Treaty – copies available from the NZCPR HERE.
So, the battle to regain democratic control of our country has now begun.
Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party are determined to prevent the new National-led government from even considering a referendum since it would not only jeopardise the privileges secured for the tribal elite, but it would also undermine their own power-base, which depends on the continued categorisation of Maori as victims of a tyrannical majority.
Fortunately, most Maori do not buy into the agenda of these radical separatists.
Most Maori have the same aspirations as everyone else. They want to build a better life and a brighter future for themselves and their families. And its long past time that we stopped isolating them through separate race-based laws and practices and began treating them as the equals they are.
That was a recommendation made back in 1960 when Sir Jack Hunn, the Deputy Chaiman of the Public Service, published his landmark report into Maori Affairs which recommended the phasing out of separate statutes for Maori:
“Differentiation between Maoris and Europeans in statute law should be reviewed at intervals and gradually eliminated”.
The report also noted that Maori disadvantage was socio-economic, not race-based:
“Such discrimination as may exist is obviously not racial but social and applies between different groups of society, whether Maori or European”.
Equality was also the recommendation made by the 1986 Royal Commission into the electoral system, which suggested that if MMP was introduced, there should be a common electoral roll and no race-based differentiation. They argued that Maori would receive more effective government if they were part of the mainstream of society.
They also warned the Maori seats would create a disproportionate over-representation of Maori in Parliament if they were not removed, and they were clearly worried about the consequences:
“Nor do we think it appropriate that any minority group should have the power of veto in the legislation of a democratic nation.”
They would no doubt have been horrified to witness the introduction of a new Apartheid-style health system that prioritises patients on the basis of race instead of clinical need, which is clearly the result of a minority group holding disproportionate power and a right of veto.
Given successive governments have lacked the courage to do what’s right for the country and remove the Maori seats, has MMP delivered the over-representation of Maori in this 10th Parliament that the Royal Commission warned about?
The unequivocal answer is “yes”.
David Farrar of Curia Market Research has done the analysis. Of the 122 MPs elected to Parliament, 33 are Maori. While Maori make up only 13.7 percent of the adult population, their representation in Parliament is almost double at 27 percent (more than half-way towards their 50:50 He Puapua goal).
With non-Maori significantly underrepresented in Parliament, it is now time our electoral law was reformed to rectify this imbalance. If the Maori seats were removed, Maori would still make up more than 20 percent of Parliament, so claims there would be an underrepresentation if the reserved seats were abolished are unwarranted.
Furthermore, while 18 of the Maori MPs are list Members, the fact that 8 won general seats while 7 won Maori seats invalidates claims that the ‘system’ is hostile to Maori.
Of the six parties in Parliament, five have a greater proportion of Maori MPs than the adult population.
Labour has nine Maori MPs out of 34 (26 percent), with seven from the list, one from a general seat, and one from a Maori seat. The Greens have six Maori MPs out of 15 (40 percent), with five from the list, and one from a general seat. And the Maori Party has six Maori MPs out of six (100 percent), with all six from Maori seats.
National has five Maori MPs out of 48 (10 percent), with all five from general seats. New Zealand First has four Maori MPs out of eight (50 percent), all list MPs. And ACT has three Maori MPs out of 11 (27 percent) with two from the list, and one from a general seat.
Opposition parties aren’t just threatening to incite violence over the referendum either, but over any law change that would undermine the iwi power base.
The co-leader of the Maori Party Debbie Ngarewa-Packer claimed there would an “uprising of the hikoi of all hikois”, if National attempts to fix their Marine and Coastal Area Act, even though it has now been re-engineered by the Court of Appeal to ensure that virtually the entire coastline and Territorial Sea end up under tribal control.
Given the law will now deliver the exact opposite of what Parliament intended when it was passed in 2011, the new government must, as a matter of urgency, restore a law that upholds the public interest and the birthright of every New Zealander to enjoy free and unfettered access to our coast.
In reality, the threats of violence and civil unrest that are being issued by MPs are a last-ditch attempt to protect the separatist power-base that’s been established over the last six years within the public service and the private sector.
They are desperate to prevent the new government from exercising the mandate they have been given by voters to restore democracy and remove all traces of tribal rule and He Puapua from our statutes. Attempting to intimidate and bully the new Prime Minister – and the public – into submission is their strategy.
Let’s hope democracy and our right to live in a country where the big issues can be tackled through the ballot box prevails.
(Republished with permission)
Dr. Muriel Newman is the Founder and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research. It was formed as a public policy think tank in 2005. Dr. Newman was a Member of Parliament for nine years and is a former Chamber of Commerce President. She has a background in business and education. Full article can be found at New Zealand Centre for Political Research.