My Grey Power meeting in the River City made the front page of Saturday’s Wanganui Chronicle. I appreciate the largely favourable coverage, but not all of it was accurate.
Political activist John Ansell railed against Treaty of Waitangi settlements when his caravan swung through Wanganui yesterday.
He was guest speaker at a meeting organised by Grey Power Wanganui and for the best part of two hours he held an audience of about 150 in his thrall as he criticised Treaty of Waitangi settlements, the racial divide, elitism that promoted it and the settlement gravy train that continued to roll on.
Not a biggie, but the venue’s count was 170-180.
At the nub of his debate was whether or not New Zealanders should have rights decided on race or colour.
“I’m not anti-Maori, and I can say that until I’m blue in the face but you’ll never read about that in the newspaper,” he said.
Well that worked! — a cheeky dare in the grand tradition of Monty Python’s “I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song On the Radio”.
He is soon to constitute a party called Together NZ which will have as its mantra “one land, one law”.
Er, no. I said the organisation could become a party.
He told the audience about legal aid costs racked up by those acting for Treaty claimants, saying that since 2006 $79 million had been paid in legal aid.
“Those claimants have won $1.6 billion in the courts but haven’t been required to repay a bit of that legal aid,” he said.
I also told them that, according to a friend who used to work at the Legal Services Board, there are only three classes of legal aid applicant who don’t have to repay one cent of their aid…
Now I don’t have any issue with victims of domestic violence not having to repay their legal aid — though I’m not sure why that doesn’t extend to victims of all violence.
I’m less sure about accused criminals, though I suppose if they’re found guilty they get punished in other ways.
But do we really think it’s fair that Treaty claimants — who have collectively become billionaires thanks to court judgements in only seven years (if you can call the Waitangi Tribunal a court) — don’t even have to refund us taxpayers as little as five percent of their winnings?
Of all the injustices connected with the Treaty gravy train, this legal aid rort is surely one of the most sickening.
Mr Ansell said Maori willingly sold land to Pakeha and that most claims had been settled by 1947.
Yet several tribes continued to have settlements “finalised”. He said Ngai Tahu had had five “final” settlements, Tainui four and Taranaki five.
Not correct about Taranaki. What I said was that the British paid for the province five times, because different chiefs tricked them into believing that they owned the land when they didn’t.
Thus the British bent over backwards to do the right thing, even when the Maori were hell-bent on deceiving them.
He said those claims had been settled around the wrong Treaty because the final document was one that was inclusive of all races.
That’s right. Both Hobson’s final English draft and the Maori Tiriti into which it was translated guaranteed private property rights to “the chiefs and tribes and all the people of New Zealand.”
He also argued only a handful of chiefs signed the document…
…and that the signature of Governor Hobson appearing on the Treaty was a forgery.
No, I was talking here about the Treaty display at Te Papa.
I said it’s bad enough that our national museum pretends, like the rest of the Treatygaters, that the pompous Freeman ‘Royal Style’ document is the ‘official Treaty in English’.
But what’s worse, they’ve even doctored the signature on their display to make it look as though Hobson was in full control of his faculties when he was induced by his incompetent secretary to sign that false (now ‘official’) document.
The signature on the Te Papa display below is not the real one. (You can see that a bit further down.)
This signature you’re about to see was lifted by Te Papa from the only document that Hobson said was the legitimate Treaty — the Maori Tiriti o Waitangi, signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840.
That’s a pretty robust signature, I’m sure you’ll agree. The only trouble is, it never appeared with those words. It’s a Te Papaganda fake.
Below is what their display should look like.
This is my version, where I’ve changed Te Papa’s doctored version back to what it should have been.
Yes, this wonky, cack-handed, childlike scrawl was how our governor signed what the Treatygaters say was the ‘official Treaty in English’.
And why was his handwriting so spidery?
Because he’d just suffered a stroke.
Hobson had been induced to sign this flowery document in his sickbed by his pompous secretary James Freeman — the document’s author.
Why? Because Freeman was trying to make a name for himself by getting his own composition accepted as the real Treaty.
And he had a little luck. The version he sent to Rev Maunsell at the Church Mission Society station at Kawhia got used as overflow paper when the Maori Tiriti didn’t arrive for a major signing at Waikato Heads.
That accident of fate is what enables the Treatygaters to point to an English document containing Maori signatures and say: “Aha! The official English Treaty!”
(Even though Hobson had made it clear that there was no official English Treaty — only the Maori one.)
That is why this bogus document is now enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi Act, and why the Waitangi Tribunal can make all sorts of absurd claims about its false contents.
But of course this false Freeman document bears little resemblance to the Maori Tiriti from which the Treatygaters say it was translated.
This anomaly puzzled genuine historians for 149 years — until Hobson’s missing final English draft was discovered by the descendants of Treaty-era lawyer Henry Littlewood in 1989. Then the pieces fell into place.
That Littlewood draft was a perfect match for the Maori Tiriti.
It had been written before it — on 4 February, 1840 — the day when everyone agrees the final draft was written.
It was written in the hand of James Busby, the man everyone agrees had penned the final draft for Hobson.
In other words, the Maori Tiriti was a translation of the final draft. (And the Freeman document was just another of many rejected drafts.)
The only thing the Treatygaters like Dame Claudia Orange have ever been able to do to discredit this draft was claim that Busby — a seasoned British administrator — must have got the date wrong!
But back to Te Papa’s forged display of Freeman’s so-called ‘official Treaty in English’.
Naturally, that bastion of historical revisionism, disgracefully masquerading as ‘Our Place’, doesn’t want us to know that Hobson signed Dame Claudia’s favourite document under duress.
So they doctored their depiction of it.
If that’s not corrupt, I don’t know what is.