Page Two Boys Willie and JA are still going hammer and tongs in Truth. Last week, Willie unloaded his customary evidence-free barrage of denigration, diversion, and dodgy endorsements…
This week, I respond by tallying the insults, conceding that Willie is the superior abuser, then putting up screeds of evidence that I invite him to match…
Every column by Willie is like a gift from God, so I slipped in some questions to make sure he replies. It will be interesting to see how he avoids answering them.
My column did not appear exactly as I wrote it, so you may prefer to read it here:
Willie, let’s debate the facts.
By John Ansell
Willie Jackson: thanks for your entertaining column last week.
I particularly liked “you are just dumb and no nothing about history.” Oarsome.
Oh, and you called me a racist twelve times in two columns, then asked readers to “Remember, the big trick of racists is to call everyone else racist.”
How can I argue with such logic?
By the way, the racist accusation count between us after four columns is actually 14-0 if we include your two “rednecks”.
Add your 3 “nutcases”, 3 “stupids”, 2 “filthys”, 2 “fools”, a “madness”, a nonsensical”, a“sick”, a “silly”, a “weak” and a “like a holocaust denier”, and your margin of victory in the personal insult stakes blows out to 37-9.
Yes Willie, when it comes to name-calling as a substitute for fact-finding, you leave me for dead.
Now to those annoying facts.
Ceding sovereignty: Salmond v Ngata
You suggest that Dame Anne Salmond must be more truthful than me because she has been honoured (by Helen Clark, not royalty) and presented with a New Zealander of the Year award (by pro-Treatyist Jim Bolger).
Dame Anne is certainly a famous pro-Maori historian. Against her view that “‘kawanatanga’ was not an accurate or even plausible translation of sovereignty”, I put the word of a Maori statesman we both admire.
Sir Apirana Ngata said this about Article I:
‘These are but a few words but they indicate a complete cession. This was the transfer by the Maori Chiefs to the Queen of England forever of the Government of all their lands …
And what is a “Government”?
The English word is “Sovereignty”… the term “Government”, as used in this article of the Treaty, that is, it is the absolute authority over the people which the article transmits into the hands of the Queen and her Parliamentary Council.’
The chiefs knew they were ceding
sovereignty for a higher prize
The chiefs at Waitangi saw the value of exchanging their control of New Zealand for peace, security of property, and the membership and protection of the greatest empire on earth.
Before being won over and signing Te Tiriti, sceptical chiefs made their concerns about ceding their sovereignty clear to Hobson.
“For the Governor to be up and Te Kemara to be down – Governor high up up up, and Te Kemara down low, small, a worm, a crawler. No no no, O Governor.”
“We do not want to be tied up and trodden down… What! to be fired at when quietly paddling our canoes by night! I, even I, Kawiti, must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Governor said ‘No’… ”
At the Kohimarama Conference of 1860, 200 loyal chiefs, many of whom, like Tamati Waka Nene, had been at Waitangi 20 years earlier, passed a resolution that pledged “to do nothing inconsistent with their declared recognition of the Queen’s sovereignty, and of the union of the two races”.
By signing Te Tiriti, they saw the value of relinquishing control for a higher prize.
Ngata said confiscations were fair
punishment for rebellion
On land grievances, you say “the overwhelming wrong was against Maori.” You provide no evidence.
I again call your man Ngata:
‘Some have said these confiscations were wrong and that they contravened the Treaty of Waitangi, but the chiefs placed in the hands of the Queen of England the Sovereignty and authority to make laws.
Some sections of the Maori people violated that authority, war arose and blood was spilled. The law came into operation and land was taken in payment.
This in itself is Maori custom – revenge – plunder to avenge a wrong. It was their chiefs who ceded that right to the Queen. The confiscations cannot therefore be objected to in light of the Treaty.’
So to disagree with me, Willie, you have to also disagree with your greatest statesman.
Was Apirana Ngata a racist too?
Which meaning of a word in an 1840
treaty do you accept — 2013 or 1840?
You wheel up several Maori linguists to assure me of what I already know: that words (in this case ‘taonga’) change their meaning over time. That’s not the point.
Here are three questions I challenge you to answer:
- What evidence (not friends) have you got to back up your claim that the definition I produced of ‘taonga’ from the only dictionary current in 1840 — ‘property procured by the spear’ — a definition provided by chief Hongi Hika — is only “one of many definitions”?
- Since you admit that the word has changed its meaning, how do you justify, when talking about what the chiefs meant in 1840, using the more modern, all encompassing, highly convenient meaning of ‘treasure’?
- Even if ‘taonga’ did mean ‘treasure’ in 1840, do you really believe that those chiefs thought “their taonga” included resources like the electromagnetic spectrum that did not then exist, and which their people would play no part in developing?
A hollow holocaust
You remind us of the outrageous claim by the Waitangi Tribunal that the colonisation process has been a ‘holocaust’. If so, how come there are ten times more Maori people today than there were when the ‘holocaust’ began?
What kind of holocaust allows you to live in David Lange’s family home and drive your son to King’s College in an SUV?
You say 4% of Maori were wiped out in the wars of the 1860s, but nothing about the 40% wiped out in the pre-colonisation wars of the 1820s and 30s?
You say the Crown “engaged in a scorched earth policy… killing women and children”. I’ve searched without success for evidence. Do you have any?
You say you were “proud of the way [your] ancestors fought against the Brits”.
The name Jackson suggests that some of your ancestors were the Brits. Why, unlike Sir Peter Buck, who was equally proud of both sides of his ancestry, do so many Maori pretend they are only Maori?
A genuine holocaust
Why did you not respond to my four examples of Maori atrocities against innocents who were not at war? Since you lie with impunity about my ancestors, I’m forced to tell the truth about yours.
Here’s what your Ngati Mutunga forebears got up to in the Chathams, courtesy of an author you admire, Michael King:
‘The Morioris were taken prisoners, the women and children were bound, and many of these, together with the men, were killed and eaten … “They were laid out touching one another, the parent and the child …”
Some of the women with stakes thrust into them, were left to die in their misery … Nearly all the Morioris belonging to Waitangi were exterminated.’
Now there’s a Waitangi grievance for you.
Together New Zealand
I’m doing as you suggest and thinking about starting a single-issue party. I’d call it Together New Zealand.
And I can think of no better founding quote than that of the great Maori leader of the early twentieth century, Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck):
“Beware of separatism. The Maori can do anything the Pakeha can do, but in order to achieve this we must all be New Zealanders first – one nation, one people, closely-knit people, a people of singular contentment, a people of a sense of trust and mission, a people no longer insular.
Above all, we must all work together – work, work, work – and have a national pride and character built upon faith and love, which is our greatest heritage.”
So, as you like to say, Willie, who should readers believe?
Sir Peter Buck, Hongi Hika, Tamati Waka Nene, Sir Apirana Ngata, and me?
Or Dame Anne Salmond, Doug “Graeme”, Sir Tipene O’Regan, John Key, and you?