Claudia Orange, Healing our History, Joanna Consedine, John Robinson, Robert Consedine, Twisting the Treaty

May the best manual win

Healing our History v Twisting the Treaty

You may remember on Willie and JT’s radio show, a woman rang up bemoaning my grasp of Crown-Maori history.

She had, it seems, been to university. And knew better.

Quite what a history course at one of New Zealand’s bastions of biculturalism had to do with actual history, she didn’t say.

She did, rather tellingly, point out that, of all the authors featured in her university library, only one — Stuart Scott — would have taken issue with the world according to Jackson and Tamihere.

Which says it all about the impartiality of our state education system. I was surprised there were as many as one.

(How Scott’s excellent The Travesty of Waitangi got past the bicultural commissars is a mystery.)

I commended to her the works of half a dozen other authors that she should read for balance — a concept her professors would not have understood.

She commended to me a book by Robert and Joanna Consedine called Healing our History — The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi.

By a stroke of luck, I told her, I happened to be reading that book at the moment.

I was also reading the new bombshell volume Twisting the Treaty — A Tribal Grab for Wealth and Power.

And it occurred to me that these two books, with their oddly symmetrical titles, really serve as manuals for their respective sides of the Treaty debate.

Then Dr John Robinson, one of the authors of Twisting the Treaty as well as The Corruption of New Zealand Democracy and When Two Cultures Meet — told me that he, too, was reading Healing our History.

I asked what he thought of it. This was his reply.

(Photo, caption, and type layout by me.)

_________________________

REVIEW

by Dr John Robinson

of

HEALING OUR HISTORY —
The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi

by Robert and Joanna Consedine

This book has been referred to as the definitive Treatyists’ manual.

Reading it took me back to the last time I attended a seminar at the Treaty of Waitangi Research Unit at Victoria University, more than a decade ago.

That seminar, on the Treaty of Waitangi as presented by the Treaty bus then touring the country, took the form of a true believers’ revivalist meeting, leaving me extremely uncomfortable.

Healing our History - Claudia Orange endorsement on front

Sealing the sales of Healing our History:
praise from the Treatifarians’ patron saint Claudia.

The speaker preached the dogma, and there was no intelligent comment. That was far from a true university, where questions are asked and information is tested.

This book has the same credulous feel about it, as if preaching to the converted. But when questioned, much of the argument is seen to be specious.

________________________

Dr John Robinson on the Treaty of Waitangi Research Unity at Victoria University:

That Unit depended on the goodwill of the Waitangi Tribunal and the Crown Fisheries Trust for funding, and Director Richard Hill had to keep in their good books to assure his employment and promotion to Professor. We were all expected to join in the Church of Treaty Grievance.
________________________

This is a sad book, for Robert Consedine is a fine person, who has done much to aid people in need.

But he is credulous, and too ready to accept unquestioningly any opinion that supports the grievance thesis that:

  • Maori have been hard-treated and cheated by colonisation
  • colonisation is always the same, and always an unmitigated disaster
  • all non-Maori (but not Maori with European blood) should carry a guilt trip.

Along with that is an acceptance of the recent rewriting of the Treaty of Waitangi.

This has been transformed from a document setting up a united nation to a blueprint for separatism and partnership between two divided races — with different laws for each, and different rights.

I comment on some of the points in the book that supposedly build the case for a belief in white wrongdoing, with its severe critique of colonisation.

These illustrate the Consedines’ habit of accepting anything that suits their cause.

Colonisation

The simplistic treatment of an always-bad colonisation intermingles some five centuries of actions by different peoples, as if this was a uniform continuity, and all Europeans the same.

Thus:

“The colonial era began towards the end of the fifteenth century with the rise of European powers built on the spoils of conquest of America, Africa and Asia”

together with the claim that:

“The economic motivation behind colonisation was unchanged.”

(Pages 42 and 43.)

Here the British actions in 1840 are confounded with the horrors of other colonisations, such as Cortez in Mexico, Pizzaro in Peru, and the later Belgians in the Congo.

The Age of Enlightenment and the British fight against slavery are ignored.

That evolution of an enlightened and inclusive policy is outlined in the chapter ‘British Society at the Time of Meeting’ of  When Two Cultures Meet — The New Zealand Experience.

We should be proud of British colonisation, how it was carried out, and what was achieved.

Consedine, an Irish Catholic, is intent on complaining loudly of the wrongs of the British in the land of his ancestors, with six sections on Ireland:

  • ‘Ireland: The Patent Figures Lied to Us’
  • ‘The [Anti-Catholic] Penal Laws’
  • ‘The Potato Famine 1845-52’
  • ‘The Creation of Northern Ireland’
  • ‘The Discrimination Continues’ and
  • ‘An Economic Issue’ (where he says that: “On the surface the Irish troubles are always presented as a religious issue, but in fact they are an economic issue.’)

The history of New Zealand and of the Treaty of Waitangi has nothing in common with the much longer and particular story of the British in Ireland.

The Consedines’ aim here is to blacken the name of the British as “the colonisers”, with stories of claimed wrongs in other places, and not to tell the real story of what British intentions were in New Zealand, of Maori hopes for peace, or of the complex events leading up to and following 1840.

Dependency

The Consedines correctly quote (their page 117) the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research Māori Economic Development, Te Ōhanga Whanaketanga Māori (2003), who say that

“While Māori households indeed receive $2.3 billion (see Table 3) in fiscal transfers, this is offset by a tax contribution of $2.4 billion from the Māori economy.”

Indeed, this is true, as according to the numbers in the table Maori households contribute more in tax than they receive in benefits and other fiscal transfers.

But taxation is for a lot more than that, for a wide range of services (hospitals, police, schools, etc.) — not only for benefits.

And that considerable range of services is NOT well supported by Maori.

The great majority of the taxes from Maori are taken straight back by benefit payments – $2.31 billion of  $2.40 billion, or 96%.

The result is that Maori provide (after benefit payments are returned to them) $92 million of general cost taxation, compared to $20,982 million from non-Maori.

Maori (10% of the population or more) provide just 0.44% of non-benefit taxes for governance and public services.

That is not a fair share.

Another way of commenting on the numbers is that Maori take back almost all of their taxation in benefits, and make a negligible contribution to the cost of government services, which they receive, and which are almost completely financed by non-Maori.

The NZIER claims that such “conclusions transform the frequently promoted myth that Maori are a drag on the New Zealand economy”.

Surely this shows the very opposite.

There are many such examples of ridiculous statements that are readily accepted and repeated until they become part of the new history.

In this, as in so many ways, the Consedines do a great disservice by failing to question such spin.

Too many ‘authorities’ get away with telling porkies, and are well paid for doing so.

Population and intertribal war

The killing by Maori of around one-third of the Maori population in the horrific intertribal warfare of 1800 to 1840 is downplayed.

“Lawyer R D Crosby estimates that between 50,000 and 60,000 Maori were killed, enslaved or forced to migrate from 1810-1840.

“However, demographer Ian Pool, on whom Crosby partly draws, points out that ‘100,000 persons would have expected to have died in that thirty year period in the ‘normal course of events’ with or without war.”

(Page 83)

Pool’s suggestion that the killing of around one-third of the population in that savage warfare in 30-40 years (with a considerable proportion in the one decade of the 1820s) had no great impact on population or life style, is simply incredible.

But if an authority figure says so, it must be true to the credulous believers.

I have dealt with this at some length in my When Two Cultures Meet — The New Zealand Experience. Not because such nonsense should be taken seriously.

And not because Pool makes any cogent argument. Or because the real point is difficult to grasp. (That the loss of one-third of men, women and children has a great impact on population both immediately and in the future.)

But because Pool has been believed without any question raised.

From an examination of the data, and many eyewitness accounts, it is easy to determine the consequences of that killing — which was a great demographic imbalance that had an impact throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century.

The cause of Maori population decline through the whole of the eighteenth century was that intertribal war. Not colonisation.

Indeed, the Treaty and assertion of British sovereignty brought an end to widespread intertribal warfare — as well as to slavery, cannibalism and female infanticide.

The desire by a number of Maori chiefs to put an end to that warfare by the introduction of a powerful central force was, in fact, a significant reason for the welcome given to the Treaty of Waitangi — and repeated at Kohimarama in 1860.

Health and life expectancy

We find Pool again in a claim that:

“In the eighteenth century Maori life expectancy equalled that of the wealthier inhabitants of Europe and ‘was well above that of countries such as Spain and Italy’.”

(Page 81.)

This would suggest that any Maori poor health was a consequence of colonisation.

It is false.  Life expectancy for Maori was about 25 years before colonisation.

Waitara

The considerable effort by the British to determine land ownership fairly is an important, and significant, part of our history.

The troubles were substantial, with claims by existing residents, returning freed slaves, returning warriors, and recent conquerors.

While one person would own the land, a chief might insist that traditional control should continue.

(Which, if allowed, would remove the right of the willing seller to be able to act as a free British subject who was no longer beholden to a former overlord.)

This is what happened at Waitara, where the disagreement was the consequence of a long-lasting feud among Maori.

Thus Kingi wished to overrule Teira because Rimene had some years before seduced the wife of Ihaia.

The full, complex and fascinating story is well reported in historical accounts.

I have summarised much of this in When Two Cultures Meet — The New Zealand Experience, drawing on two very informative and comprehensive historical accounts.

(Cowan New Zealand Wars and the Pioneering Period, Volumes 1 and 2, 1922 and 1923, and Wells The History of Taranaki, 1857.)

Here we find the paper-thin modern version, trimmed down so as to have become quite misleading:

“A series of events starting at Waitara in 1860, where the Crown attempted to take land that Maori leadership refused to sell, quickly led to a period know as the Land Wars.”

(Pages 93-94.)

The Crown did not “take land”. It purchased from a willing seller, Teira — who even Kingi recognised as the owner.

The rewriting of history cheapens a human story, and robs us all of a fascinating and often dramatic historical birthright.

Parihaka

The standard modern version as given by the Consedines presents Government (called the Crown) action at Parihaka in 1881 as shameful.

Yet the settlement of Parihaka under Te Whiti’s leadership was clearly illegal, as the land had been properly and legally confiscated — as punishment for rebellion.

(In accordance with both British law and in Maori culture.)

And many attempts had been made to negotiate with Te Whiti.

As with Waitara (above) and the writing of the Treaty of Waitangi (below), the full story is far more fascinating than the simplistic fabricated version, which was used by the Waitangi Tribunal to describe those events as “the pillaging of Parihaka” and an example of “the Maori holocaust”.

The one casualty was a boy whose foot was trodden on by a horse.

And far from being pacifist, there was at Parihaka a stockpile of around 250 weapons including breechloaders, Enfields, revolvers and a variety of ammunition.

A comprehensive account is given by Bruce Moon in the chapter ‘Parihaka — The Facts’ in Twisting the Treaty –A Tribal Grab for Wealth and Power.

Treaty of Waitangi, shared sovereignty

The Consedines include (in Appendix 2) Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840 in Maori, together with a translation into English, and “The Treaty of Waitangi: an English version 1840”.

The translation is by Hugh Kawharu in 1973.

It differs significantly from the many other translations in and after 1840, including that in an article by Sir Apirana Ngata in 1922.

Kawharu altered the meaning of words, which were formerly clearly understood and agreed upon by all.

There is no such thing as “an English version”. There is only one true version of the Treaty, and this is in Maori.

The “version” given is a draft prepared by Hobson’s secretary, and dismissed by Hobson before the final English draft was prepared and then translated into the Treaty.

That secretarial draft is a confusing document, and is internally inconsistent.

  • On the one hand, British law is to apply.
  • On the other, Maori are given control of “fisheries” — that are not privately owned in British law.

How could Hobson have spent several years discussing and being advised on this Treaty, and then come up with such a mess?

The answer is that he did not.

The full story is given by Bruce Moon in the chapter “Real Treaty: false Treaty, the true Waitangi Story”, in Twisting the Treaty — A Tribal Grab for Wealth and Power.

Healing our History — The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi is a lazy work, parroting the new accepted dogma of colonial guilt and blameless, hard-done-by Maori.

The reality is far more complex, richer and more interesting.

These and other important points have been treated in depth by the six authors, and the editor, who have contributed chapters to Twisting the Treaty — A Tribal Grab for Wealth and Power, which is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Healing our History, Twisting the Treaty - front covers, open

Don’t believe me or John Robinson:
read both of these books.
_________________________

Thanks to John Robinson for another valuable contribution to the debate.

If Robert and/or Joanna Consedine (or their endorser, Dame Claudia Orange, for that matter) would like to write a review of Twisting the Treaty, I’d be more than happy to run it!

And if you haven’t grasped the hint from all my links, don’t forget to order your copy here.

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.

Regards

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!

Claudia Orange, Dr Matthew Palmer, Moana Jackson, Te Papa Treaty Debates, Treatygate

Only MY Voice Counts!: Debate A L'Orange II

Te Papa Treaty Debates - I, CLAVDIA

Empress Dame Claudia Orange,
Te Papaganda’s Chief History-Maker
and Censor of Inconvenient Truths.

Thursday night’s Maorification fest at Te Papaganda was billed as a Treaty ‘Debate’.

Its topic was ‘Finding a Place for the Treaty’.

The equivalent moots in other thought-controlled jurisdictions might have been:

  • In Fiji: ‘Finding a Place for the Military’.
  • In the Third Reich: ‘Finding a Place for Blonde Hair’.
  • In Zimbabwe: ‘Finding Farms for Freedom Fighters’.

There, like here, the dictator dictates the outcome, the debaters debate the detail.

The dictator of Te Papaganda is Empress Dame Claudia Orange.

(In calling it ‘Our Place’, she exhibits the same dry wit as the founders of the ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.’)

Te Papaganda’s whimsical website assures me that ‘My Voice Counts’. It omits the crucial rider: ‘As long as it can’t be heard.’

And boy, did the Claudiophiles work overtime to try to make sure it couldn’t be. (Without success, as you will read.)

The following is my comprehensive account of a most instructive evening.

Te Papaganda - Where History is Made

Te Papa AKA Chernobyl on Cable — the capital’s politically
correct, architecturally bereft state indoctrination facility
seemingly modelled on a nuclear power plant.

I arrived 45 minutes early to find that the Smarmy Army were already well dug in.

All the seats in the waiting area outside Soundings Theatre were full of indoctrinated undergraduates and assorted other grievers and appeasers.

As predicted, they had arrived early and in numbers to defend the Treatifarian position.

I unwrapped a wastepaper basket symbolising my ‘Place for the Treaty’, and containing 200 copies of the following helpful audience guide…

Te Papa Treaty Debate 24 Jan 2013 - handout front

Te Papa Treaty Debate 24 Jan 2013 - handout back

Our views are not welcome at ‘Our Place’.

I’d hardly had time to reach into my wicker Treaty receptacle when the Te Papaganda Cultural Safety Police pounced.

A black-shirted agent of the state strode up to me looking cross.

“Sorry, but you can’t hand out leaflets in here.”

“Why not?”

“That’s the rule. No handing out leaflets.”

“So what are those thin white papery things on the table outside the theatre?” I asked.

I pointed towards the stacks of Treatifarian mumbo-jumbo waiting to be handed out to arriving audience members.

“Ah,” he spluttered.

“Er,” he choked.

“So no one’s allowed to hand out leaflets — except some people?”

“You could say that.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Te Papa supposed to be ‘Our Place’? Our National Museum?”

“It is.”

“Funded by the nation’s taxpayers?”

“Correct.”

“In a democratic nation?”

“Yes.”

“In which we decide things by majority vote?”

“Yes.”

“So how is it that only the minority is allowed to hand out leaflets, and the majority cannot?”

“Er.”

“Leaflets which ironically advertise a debate?”

“Yes.”

“Which is a contest of ideas between two sides?”

“Yes.”

“A debate in which your side’s leaflets keep telling me that ‘My Voice Counts’?”

“Sorry, but if you want to hand out leaflets, you’ll have to do it outside.”

“So my voice only counts where Dame Claudia doesn’t have to listen to it? What do you call that?”

“I call it the rules, sir.”

And so I left the building, and started handing out the leaflets outside the door.

Waste paper basket - Finding a Place for the Treaty

My Place for the Treaty.

“Find a Place for the Treaty!” I hollered, waving my waste-Treaty basket. “Read all the arguments you won’t hear inside!”

And then, what do you know? — the cultural safety nazi came strutting up to me again.

“You can’t hand them out here either.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re still on Te Papa property.”

“I see. And where does Te Papa property end and the Free World begin?”

He wasn’t exactly sure, but thought it was about five metres into the concourse.

Te Papa - No Majority Views Beyond Orange Line

 Dame Claudia’s Cultural Safety Police
told me I was not allowed to hand out leaflets
within five metres of the building.

And so, from behind an imaginary Orange line, I resumed dispensing my leaflets.

Most people accepted them too. Including one of that evening’s ‘debaters’, Moana Jackson, and Constitutional Advisory Panel co-chair Dr John Burrowes.

Eye patch - Sir Tipene O'Regan

Sir Tipene O’Regan did not.

Eye patch - Geoffrey Palmer

Sir Geoffrey Palmer did not.

“But you’re in it, Sir Geoffrey!” I called after him hopefully. But to no avail.

Eye patch - Joris de Bres

Racist Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres was more accepting. He actually asked me for one afterwards.

Perhaps I will soon be featuring in one of his reports. Favourably, I trust. 🙂

Several times — not necessarily by accident — I intruded into the Exclusion Zone, and was revisited by my increasingly exasperated black-shirted nemesis.

I was joined in due course by Digby Paape. Digby for a time actually managed to penetrate the interior of the Bastion of Bias, handing out many leaflets before also being frogmarched from the building.

In the end, the blackshirt confessed that he agreed with us. To spare him certain summary dismissal, I won’t identify him further.

He allowed us into the ‘Debate’, but only after we’d surrendered our remaining pamphlets at the coat check.

Now to the ‘Debate’ itself, which could be summarised thus:

Te Papa Treaty Debate - Debate A L'Orange II - Ditch Treaty - Entrench Treaty

By a remarkable coincidence, all the ‘debaters’ managed
to find a place for the Treaty. From left: Moana Jackson,
Carwyn Jones, Dame Claudia Orange, Dr Matthew Palmer.

 Yes, it was every bit as one-sided as I predicted in the previous post.

The positions of the two main ‘debaters’ boiled down to…

Dr Matthew Palmer:

  • Treat the Treaty as a safety valve, so Maori don’t start a war. (Or in other words, keep appeasing the bullies.)
  • Put the Treaty into law.
  • Abolish the Waitangi Tribunal.
  • Let judges decide Treaty claims.

He actually said the words, “The Pakeha majority have nothing to fear”.

Why?

Because judges can be trusted to be fair.

That would be judges like ‘Chief Injustice’ Dame Sian Elias, who helped overturn over a century of settled law to allow Ngati Apa to claim against the Crown.

The same Dame Sian who is on record as saying that she considers it her right to strike down any law she does not agree with.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pin my hopes on Parliament any day.

Eye patch - Sian Elias

Dame Sian Elias. Matthew Palmer
thinks we should trust judges like her.

Moana Jackson:

From the midst of a remorseless stream of pseudo-religio-academo-bureaucro-babble, I was able to discern three coherent statements:

  • Maori had developed a clear system of law before the British arrived.

(Correct. It was so clear it could be boiled down to three words: might is right.)

  • Maori did not give up sovereignty.

(Rubbish. Transcripts of the chiefs’ speeches at Waitangi show that they knew perfectly well they were handing power to the Governor, in exchange for the protection of the world’s largest empire.)

  • Jackson wants a written constitution like Bolivia’s, which is based on Pachamama, the equivalent of Papatuanuku.

(He forgot to mention the other attraction of the Bolivian constitution: that all people are equal, but indigenous people are more equal than others.)

Bolivian President Evo Morales with constitution

Indigenous President Evo Morales and his pro-indigenous
Bolivian Constitution. (In Bolivia, 85% are indigenous. In New
Zealand, 15% claim to be, while simultaneously claiming to
have sailed here from the other side of the Pacific.)

I had predicted that this would be a very ‘agreeable’ ‘debate’ — as in one in which the ‘debaters’ were ‘able’ to ‘agree’ on pretty much everything.

Matthew Palmer said as much to Moana Jackson when he detected “an intimate distance between our perspectives”.

(I think that’s universityspeak for “This was no debate at all”.)

And of course it was never going to be.

Question time – sort of

But in a radical departure from previous Treaty ‘Debates’, Dame Claudia flagged at the start that she was going to allow questions from the floor.

When the time came, rather than wait to be presented with a microphone, Digby Paape announced that he was ready and raring to go with a question, and was happy to do it without a mic.

Faced with this fait accompli, Empress Claudia had little option but to let him fire away.

Digby began with a personal observation not strictly within the definition of a question.

“Most of that was drivel”

“I thought most of that was drivel,” said Digby.

“Hear, hear!” said I, spluttering.

He was asked if he had a question. His question to Moana Jackson was: “What is a Maori, and do you want an apartheid state?”

Howls of derision rained down upon Paape’s pate, as Jackson (clearly a long way from being entirely Maori himself) cleverly managed to make it sound desperately unfair to judge one’s Maoriness (for compensation purposes) by the degree to which one is actually Maori.

“How convenient!” I chimed in.

The invisible hand

I kept my hand in the air for the duration of question time, as the microphone was directed by Her Majesty from one Claudiophile to another.

Like Appeaser-General Finlayson at a recent Orewa School meeting, when I had kept my arm up for minutes on end, the Great Dame did not seem to find my raised limb at all easy to detect.

(Note to self: next week, wear fluorescent sleeves.)

Interjections

Feeling ignored and unloved, I had no option but to take matters into my own hands — or rather larynx — with the following spontaneous enquiries:

  • “When are you going to run a two-sided debate!?”
  • “Why won’t you listen to 80% of the people!?”

and that most abhorrent of questions (judging by the crescendo of howls from the Treatifarians):

  • “What about racial equality!?”

(Boy, did that concept set them off.)

Support from the team

John Robinson made the mistake of generously giving Dame Claudia a copy of his book, When Two Cultures Meet — The New Zealand Experience.

From then on he was a marked man, and his attempts to ask official questions proved as fruitless as mine.

But two other gentlemen of our acquaintance did manage to get their hands on the holy roving mic, doubtless because Dame Claudia had not yet learned to associate their faces with trouble.

Owen Stuart:

  • “I’m a fifth generation New Zealander. How many generations will we have to live here before we are recognised as equal?” (Or words to that effect. Feel free to amend Owen.)

Andy Oakley:

  • “Mr Jackson, how do you propose a race-based sovereignty will work in a multicultural society?”

These questions produced the usual meaningless, meandering responses designed to put the audience off the scent.

In my case, they worked. I can’t remember what they said, except that it was crap.

Opposing views censored

If you heard the broadcast of the ‘Debate’ on National Radio today, you would not have heard any of our comments. Predictably, they edited out question time to present an image of unanimity.

I went into the ‘Debate’ thinking that Dame Claudia was a nice enough person, albeit a chronic exaggerator/minimiser. I left realising that she is also a smarmy and devious manipulator.

A bully, really.

Te Papa - For Your Cultural Safety

Soundings Theatre, venue for the Te Papa Treaty ‘Debates’.

As we staggered out, punchdrunk by the disgraceful sham we had witnessed, I spotted Professor John Burrowes milling around in the foyer.

So I took the opportunity to ask him whether his Constitutional Advisory Panel would actually be holding any public meetings before reporting back on the will of the public.

Almost certainly?

He replied, “Almost certainly.”

Almost certainly?

A panel which has said it wants to gauge the views of as many members of the public as possible, is almost certainly going to allow the public to meet it?

Hmmm.

I’ve heard good things about Professor Burrowes. He was, by all accounts, a brilliant lecturer. He seems very decent and friendly.

Perhaps ironically, he and Don Brash were close childhood friends.

Eye patch - Prof John Burrows

So I’d really like to remove his eye patch, I really would.

But I’m reminded that I put it on him after reading so many fishy things about the Panel, and after the Panel’s secretariat said he’d try to get back to me when I called him mid-last year.

I’m still waiting.

And now he is almost certainly going to subject his Panel to the scrutiny of the public.

I think we’re going to have to organised one of those public meetings, don’t you?

Constitutional Review ‘Debate’
this Thursday 31 January

Meanwhile, we have another Te Papa Treaty ‘Debate’ this coming Thursday — about the Constitutional Review.

I urge you Wellingtons to be there, and again make your voices count.

Claudia Orange, Te Papa Treaty Debates, Treatygate

Te Papa Treaty 'Debate' tonight – let's give them one!

Te Papa Treaty Debates - Finding a Place For The Bogus Official Treaty

The publicity for tonight’s Te Papa Treaty ‘Debate’ says “My Voice Counts”.

So I’m going to take them at their word. I hope you will too.

Let’s show Dame Claudia Orange and the rest of the one-eyed, Maorified elite that we will not tolerate sham public ‘debates’ in which the public’s views are not tolerated.

Te Papa is “Our Place”. So let’s have “Our Say”!

The ‘Debate’ is in Soundings Theatre on Level 2 and runs from 6.30 – 8.00pm.

The theatre is likely to be packed, so I suggest you get there early.

Claudia Orange, Te Papa Treaty Debates, Treatygate

Te Papa ‘Debate’ tonight – let’s give them one!

Te Papa Treaty Debates - Finding a Place For The Bogus Official Treaty

The publicity for tonight’s Te Papa Treaty ‘Debate’ says “My Voice Counts”.

So I’m going to take them at their word. I hope you will too.

Let’s show Dame Claudia Orange and the rest of the one-eyed, Maorified elite that we will not tolerate sham public ‘debates’ in which the public’s views are not tolerated.

Te Papa is “Our Place”. So let’s have “Our Say”!

The ‘Debate’ is in Soundings Theatre on Level 2 and runs from 6.30 – 8.00pm.

The theatre is likely to be packed, so I suggest you get there early.

Claudia Orange, Moana Jackson, Te Papa Treaty Debates, Treatygate

Make January 24th a debate to remember

Te Papa Treaty Debates - Debate a l'Orange

Dame Claudia's Te Papa Treaty ‘Debate’, 2012.
On Thursday, let’s give her the debate she’s been missing!

For some time now, Dame Claudia Orange, that most inventive in-house historian of the bicultural bastion Te Papa, has been staging what she amusingly promotes as ‘Debates’ about the Treaty.

Now call me old-fashioned, but in my dictionary a debate is defined as a two-sided affair.

I’m not sure what dictionary Dame Claudia uses.

But in that curious volume, a debate seems to mean:

“Several members of the affirmative, no members of the negative — and no noise from the audience please!”

I took the above photo at last February's ‘debate’. I forget who the guy on the left was.

The others were:

Dame Claudia, Nin Tomas of Auckland Uni (crypto-communist advocate of the Bolivian constitution), Muriwhenua advocate Claudia Geiringer, and Dr John Burrowes, the Great White Hope of the Constitutional Advisory Panel, who seems to be proving pretty hopeless.

Anyway, 'tis the season for two more of these very agreeable ‘Debates’. (Debates, that is, where all the debaters are always able to agree. On everything.)

The first two to agree, as you can see below, will be constitutional lawyer Moana Jackson and Matthew Palmer, son of the inventor of the 'principles' of the Treaty. (Or, as we really ought to call it, the Treaty of Wellington.)

Te Papa Treaty Debate promo - Moana Jackson 24 Jan 13

What place would you find for the Treaty?
Make your voice count!

Now I hate to spoil a good love-in. But I think it’s time these Te Papa Treaty 'Debates' were more like, well… debates. (As defined by my dictionary, not Claudia's.)

And so, honest Wellingtonians, I suggest we form ourselves into the Negative team that's been missing in action all these years.

My dictionary doesn’t stipulate a maximum number of members, but somewhere between 50 and 100 would be ideal. Bring all your like-minded friends.

After all, Te Papa, we are told is “Our Place”. And “My Voice” — so the Constitutional Advisory Panel and Dame Claudia tell us — “Counts”. (As, it stands to reason, does Yours.)

What fair-minded public representatives we have!

And now they’re inviting us to a debate — about “Finding a Place for the Treaty”.

Inexplicably, they don’t say why we should necessarily find a place for the Treaty at all.

But, as it happens, I have one in mind — certainly for the piece of paper that Dame Claudia refers to as the “official” Treaty.

(As opposed to Hobson's final English draft, found in 1989, which the great dame strangely refuses to even mention in her updated and supposedly definitive tome The Treaty of Waitangi.)

So. If you have a place you'd like to put the Treaty, come and join me at “Our Place” next Thursday evening, January 24th at 6.30pm.

I'll be the one handing out Treatygate information sheets, and possibly waving a placard or two.

Te Papa Treaty Debate promo - Claudia Orange 31 Jan 2013

You too can review the Review.
Make your voice count!

If you enjoy next Thursday's ‘Debate’, you may want to come along to this next one a week later on January 31st.

As you know, the Constitutional Advisory Panel is very keen to hear your views on the place of the Treaty.

Let’s make sure they do.