Will you stand with me at Waitangi?
If we want the same rights for “all the people of New Zealand” (a promise contained in the words of both the Maori Tiriti and Hobson’s recently-discovered but state-suppressed final English draft), the proper place to demand those rights is the place where those words were signed.
In the cradle of our democracy, Waitangi.
And the right day to make that demand must surely be the day of the Treaty commemoration.
And so, next Tuesday the 5th of February (the day when all the political events happen), I plan to exercise my right as a citizen of a supposedly free and democratic New Zealand to assert my rights on the Treaty House lawn.
Will anyone be there to listen? I don’t know.
But for my own peace of mind, I need to know that I made the effort to stand up for the nation that my forefathers built.
I intend to spell out precisely how the Treaty has been twisted by the forces of self-interest over the past 40 years.
And I will assert my right to be treated equally — a democratic right confirmed by the Treaty.
Whether my government will ever give me that right, I don’t know.
Whether John Key will ever agree to run New Zealand as a democracy, I don’t know.
But over the next two years, I’m going to give him every encouragement. 🙂
Hobson and friend at Okiato, where he and Busby
wrote the final English Treaty draft, lost for 149
years, found in 1989, then hushed up by the state.
Last year, I visited Russell, Okiato, Paihia and Waitangi to see for myself where the events of 1840 happened.
Events like the writing of Hobson’s draft at the home of US Consul James Reddy Clendon at Okiato.
At the church in Russell, pointing to evidence that at
least one chief understood Maori were ceding sovereignty.
And places like the memorial in the Russell churchyard to the great Ngapuhi chief Tamati Waka Nene, “the first to welcome the Queen’s sovereignty in New Zealand.”
(Contrast that with the claim of today’s Ngapuhi that Nene and his fellow chiefs did not surrender their sovereignty.)
This year, knowing a bit more than I did then, I’m going back to shoot a video in those places, record what really happened (not the official state fantasy), and put it on You Tube.
So: who wants to come with me?
(Time on Tuesday to be advised.)