Claudia Orange, Te Papa Treaty Debates

Dame Claudia to redefine ‘Debates’ tonight

A reader has just sent me an extraordinary email from Te Papaganda about tonight’s debate.

In fact, about the very meaning of the word ‘debates’, which Dame Claudia Orange will tonight unilaterally update.

But first, the question which prompted it:

I presume that this debate will be just that, with speakers preselected, usually two on each side, to present both sides of an issue, with the audience allowed to comment at the end, and then some fairly adjudicated decision by an independent person, as to “who won”.

Could you tell me who are the chosen ‘presenters’ in the debate, and the judges.

The young people who are particularly invited to this debate will be well aware of the rules of debate – don’t disappoint them!

And this is how the chief Te Papagandist responded:

Good morning,

I have been advised by Dr Orange that tonight she will explain the term “Debates” which can be used in various forums and can be organised in various ways.

At Te Papa it is to convey – to the public – information on which they can develop their own opinions and carry on debates with friends and family in a positive and informed manner.

Please note that there will be four young people participating in the debate and that they do not always agree.


Keri Roberts
Information Officer
Museum Of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Well, well.

It looks as thought tonight’s debate is going to be a more momentous occasion than I had realised.

Come along at 6.30pm and watch New Zealand’s foremost historian make lexicographical history.

Her freeing of the word ‘Debates’ from the constraints of precision will be a great relief to many language users, I’m sure.

Of course, many words in the Treaty of Waitangi have already undergone this process — words like taonga, which at the time of the Treaty was defined as ‘property procured by the spear’ but now means ‘anything we take a shine to’.

And the words all the people of New Zealand, found both in Hobson’s final draft (the Littlewood document) and in Hobson’s official (ie Maori) Tiriti, which now mean all the Maori people. 

And how reassuring that the four young ‘debaters’ — hand-picked no doubt by Dame Claudia for their politically approved views — do not always agree.

On the details, perhaps. But not, I confidently predict, on the main thrust of the Te Papa/Constitutional Advisory Panel Maorification agenda.

But go on, you young Claudiophiles, prove me wrong!

6 thoughts on “Dame Claudia to redefine ‘Debates’ tonight

  1. When the Colourblind Party takes power – and it could happen very soon, even in 2015, because as last year’s barnstorming national meeting campaign showed there is a groundswell of support in the oppressed white majority for a fightback against Maori Hitlerism then it will be time to put Orange and the rest of the history community on trial for treason. At the very least flush them out of all schools universities museums societies and have true patriots put in their place. Martin Doutre should be chair of Arckayology at Auckland University. Kerry Bolton could run Te Papa very well. Let European people tell the stories of a Euroepan nation. A nation with a long and glorious history.

  2. Let all people tell their stories – as equal New Zealanders. Let everyone be proud of where they came from, but let us focus first and foremost on where we’re going, not where we’ve been.

  3. Same post from another thread probably belongs here:

    Good evening all

    While I am sure JA will deliver a full report regarding the tonight’s Te Papaganda meeting I will give you a quick rundown of my reactions.

    SHOCKED would be a good way to describe my feelings as the meeting progressed, then ANGER as I realised what was going on and SORROW as I realised our young are being coached to hold false beliefs about our past. Similar to how many religious sects behave, well any religion really.

    There was no debate, yet again the audience had been hoodwinked as to what was to take place at Te Papa tonight. We had four very articulate but unfortunate young people who have had about 15 years of NZ education, our onesided curriculum has caused them to believe it is a good idea to make our whole world revolve around the TOW.

    Not that it should matter, usually it wouldn’t, but at least three of the four were of Maori descent. I wondered why it was important for them to state their race or bring race into it at all, I can only think they thought they had something to gain from it. I certainly don’t begin any chat I have about our constitution with “I am Scottish”, so why do you think they did?

    This education has also taught them to believe Maori are special in many ways and we should let them rule our country either on their own or in some partnership. They didn’t mince their words either, like Moana Jackson did the week before, no, young Julia was particularly aggressive with her racist attitudes. Saying that she found middle aged Pakeha men were the main group that reacted to her racist views with disdain.

    Young Julia had Kim Hill, the one sided compare, firmly on her side as anyone who even muttered under their breath any words which did not fit with the racist agenda was told off and even made fun of.

    Some of the posts above this (NZAS) cut a bit close to the bone in terms of their racism, and make me uncomfortable. But I tell you, when you are subjected to the unbridled racism I listened to tonight and any attempt to offer a different point of view is STAMPED OUT, it most definitely does feel like Nazi Germany.

    I said it last week I will say it again:


  4. John Ansell – Its convenient to forget the past and the injustices done to maori. Without a past we dont have a future, and as such the Laws that govern this country are promulgated from “past events” Sorry but you cant have the cake and eat it all John – share it around

    1. I do not want to forget the past Norman. I want to correct the shameful misrepresentation of that past that revisionist historians like Claudia Orange have been getting away with fabricating and presenting as fact.

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