Some questions about the TPP

Brendon Harre has posted about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and asks a number of questions about aspects of it.

Some questions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership

I have an open mind regarding international trade.

…broadly I am in favour of free trade reforms if the beneficiaries are spread throughout society.

I am not sure if the TPPA fits into the beneficial category for the ordinary person. I am not sure if trade and democracy are working together like they have in the past or against each other. I have some questions -not just for the supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership but also to those that oppose it.

He posts quite a bit of detail so go to his post to see that, but here are his questions.

Trans-Pacific Partnership and Chinese Free Trade Agreement

  • Would someone who is familiar with both the US based Trans-Pacific Partnership and New Zealand’s earlier trade agreement with China explain how they differ and how they fit together?
  • Does the TPPA allow the US to set the global trade rules to benefit its multinational companies?
  • When President Obama says the TPPA will allow the US to set the trade rules for our region is that true?
  • Is the TPPA the best vehicle for New Zealand to avoid being squashed by the fists of China or the United States?
  • Would the World Trade Organisation be a better instrument?
  • Are trade agreements the best tool for achieving non-trade objectives – international peace? In Europe, peace has been the driving force for ever closer unification, but that has led to a governance and economic crisis within the Euro-zone.

Sovereignty

  • Why is that one treaty between the Crown and sovereign peoples -Maori tribes, the adjudicating court is not binding on Parliament, while another treaty -the TPPA the adjudicating court is binding on Parliament?
  • In the future, if New Zealand wants to reassert Parliament’s right to sovereignty over the Investor State Dispute Settlement court -will it be able to -or will New Zealand be like Finland and find it difficult to reclaim lost aspects of sovereignty?

Investor State Dispute Settlement

  • Why do foreign owned companies need to use TPPA-like investor dispute processes against democratic countries which already have the -rule of law?
  • What are these hundreds of cases about?
  • Has the ISDS system gone rogue?
  • If the ISDS system does go rogue what can we do about it? Have an election and throw the buggers out?
  • What safeguards does the TPPA put in place to protect our Parliament and democracy, so it is unimpeded in determining the public interest?
  • Or are we on a slippery slope between democracy and corporate plutocracy?

Some good questions and fuel for discussion on the TPPA.

Details about Brendon’s questions: Some questions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Brendon has put his questions to anti-TPPA organiser Barry Coates at The Daily Blog but says he is aiming more at ‘pro-TPP people’:

I wrote an article about the TPP from a centre-left perspective that contained a series of questions. It was directed at both sides. But I mainly want answers from the pro-TPP people because they have done such a poor job answering basic questions.

I think that quite a few anti-TPP people have also done a poor job of answering basic questions too.

Is ‘socialism’ a dirty word?

Mark Dawson, editor of the Wanganui Chronicle, has written about Socialism alive and kicking. 

…here in NZ, socialism seems to be a dirty word, those tagged with it presumably having no table manners and bad body odour.

It depends entirely on how the term is used, and where – Cameron Slater tends to refer to socialism differently to Chris Trotter.

Dawson is obviously a fan of some sort of socialism.

Yet, in reality, socialism is about some sense of equality and fairness in society, some sense of the people – via a democratically elected government – having control over the economy and the services which the country provides by means of taxation, and having some counter-balance to the power of private wealth.

In other words, we might regard New Zealand as a fairly socialist country, and John Key as, at least, a fellow traveller.

It is interesting how words are used and invested with meaning, often for political ends.

Other writers in the Chronicle have noted attempts to turn “activist” into an offensive and derogatory term. It is usually done by those in power who fear they may be the targets of that activism.

Those opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been called activists as though it was a bad thing. Some of them are probably socialists, too.

Yes they are – there were socialist banners at last weekend’s Dunedin protest meeting, and on the International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand website Andrew Tait wrote a post about it – Dunedin Protests the TPPA.

“Socialist”: Someone concerned with the greater good of society, rather than their own personal gain.

Sounds great – and most people have some concern about the greater good of society, although almost everyone also have thoughts about personal gain as well.

“Activist”: Someone who takes action to change aspects of their society which they believe are wrong.

That’s fine too, if the action is reasonable and doesn’t impinge too much on the rights of others.

But I presume those are Dawson’s definitions. Here’s Oxford’s take on it:

socialist

noun: A person who advocates or practises socialism

adjective: Adhering to or based on the principles of socialism

So it’s necessary to check our socialism, and that says that the term has had quite different meanings, from anarchism to social democracy.

socialism

A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.

(In Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

Here’s where the International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand stand on it.

Socialism

Capitalism is a system of crisis, exploitation and war in which production is for profit – not for human need. Although workers create society’s wealth, they have no control over its production or distribution. A new society can only be built when workers collectively seize control of that wealth and create a new state in which they will make the decisions about the economy, social life and the environment.

Workers’ Power

Only the working class has the power to create a society free from exploitation, oppression and want. Liberation can be won only through the struggles of workers themselves, organised independently of other classes and fighting for real workers’ power – a new kind of state based on democratically elected workers’ councils. China and Cuba, like the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, have nothing to do with socialism. They are repressive state capitalist regimes. We support the struggles of workers against every ruling class.

Liberation From Oppression

We fight for democratic rights. We are opposed to all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. These forms of oppression are used to divide the working class. We support the rights of all oppressed groups to organise for their own defence. All forms of liberation are essential to socialism and impossible without it.

Revolution Not Reformism

Despite the claims of the Labour party and trade union leaders, the structures of the present parliament, army, police, and judiciary cannot be taken over and used by the working class. They grew up under capitalism and are designed to protect the ruling class against workers. There is no parliamentary road to socialism.

Internationalism

Workers in every country are exploited by capitalism, so the struggle for socialism is part of a worldwide struggle. We oppose everything that divides workers of different countries, We oppose all immigration controls. We campaign for solidarity with workers in other countries. We oppose imperialism and support all genuine national liberation struggles.

Revolutionary Organisation

To achieve socialism, the most militant sections of the working class have to be organised into a revolutionary socialist party. Such a party can only be built by day-to-day activity in the mass organisations of the working class. We have to prove in practise that reformist leaders and reformist ideas are opposed to their own interests. We have to build a rank and file movement within the unions.

That’s quite different to Dawson’s slant, far more extreme, revolutionary, than “someone concerned with the greater good of society”.

And ‘activists’ can range from “someone who takes action to change aspects of their society which they believe are wrong” to “collectively seize control”, with contradictions like “we fight for democratic rights” and “there is no parliamentary road to socialism”.

I think that most people in New Zealand are status quoists rather than revolutionaries, where most battles are over which tweaks to the balance between capitalism socialism will be made.

Socialism is a dirty word only if used in a dirty context.

But socialism with all capitalism rejected is not something many Kiwis aspire to.

Most of us are even happy for international corporations to make it easy for us to find stuff on the Internet with ever cheaper and more powerful devices that only the research and development and manufacturing money of capitalists could have enable.

And most of us are happy for ‘big pharma’ to develop new antibiotics and cancer drugs with their big money. Most of us being able to survive early childhood is kinda nice. Even for socialists.

Perhaps Dawson could write his next on editorial asking if capitalism and corparation really are dirty words.

Treaty and Maori sovereignty

In a followup to yesterday’s post Korero about Te Tiriti o Waitangi here is a guest post on the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori sovereignty from Dr Scott Hamilton.

Alan Wilkinson claims that ‘It is perfectly clear that the Maori signing the Treaty knew and accepted that they would have to obey British law from that time on.’

As someone who has spent too much time in musty rooms reading nineteenth century documents, I want to ask whether Alan’s confidence in his interpretation of the intentions of the men who signed the Treaty might be misplaced.

Anyone who has studied the behaviour of the British Empire in the nineteenth century ought to be able to appreciate the difficulty of the idea that the British were very interested in imposing their laws and institutions on a small and strategically unimportant colony at the bottom of the world inhabited by a well-armed indigenous people. The British were masters of indirect rule. Even in India, the jewel in their colonial crown, they often ruled by giving local factions a large degree of autonomy.

And anyone who has read about nineteenth century Maori society is also likely to be incredulous at the idea that the proud and tooled up rangatira of Nga Puhi and so many other iwi would surrender their mana to a handful of British bureaucrats who lacked much armed backup and had repeatedly promised them that the Treaty of Waitangi wouldn’t mean a surrender of sovereignty.

If Alan thinks that everyone accepted that the Treaty meant Maori had ceded sovereignty in the nineteenth century, and had agreed to follow British laws, and that it is only relatively recently that a new interpretation has developed, then he should jump on Papers Past or read Keith Sinclair’s classic book Origins of the Maori Wars, and look at what the leaders of the colonial governments of NZ were saying when they waged war against Maori in the 1860s.

Colonial Premiers like Alfred Domett, who presided over the invasion of the Waikato in 1863, absolutely despised the Treaty, and continually described it as an irrelevant document. They held this view because, according to the Maori who had set up the King Movement and other ‘rebellious’ organisations and also according to the colonial office in London, the Treaty really did allow for Maori to exercise legal authority within their rohe.

The British would hardly have inserted article 71 into the Constitution Act of 1852 if they believed that the Treaty was incompatible with Maori legal autonomy. Article 71 states quite clearly that Maori tribes may run their realms and make their own laws if the British governor or the colonial assembly agrees.

Vincent O’Malley has pointed out that in 1861, when Governor Gore Browne sided with the land-hungry settlers in the colonial assembly and prepared to start a war to suppress the de facto state the King Movement had established in the Waikato, his superiors in London rebuked him, and urged him to use article 71, and let the Kingites run their own affairs and make their own laws.

Like the American constitution, the Treaty is a document that inevitably means different things to different people at different times. It is up to us to decide what the Treaty means today.

But the question of what most Maori and the British Crown and settlers thought the Treaty meant in 1840 and for decades after is relatively easy to answer. We only have to look at what Maori and British and settlers did and said to see that they believed that the document did not extinguish all Maori sovereignty, and did not preclude the possibility of Maori making their own laws.

PS Let me just offer a link to something I wrote a couple of years back in response to Kitty’s claim that ‘Maori were not the first people here anyway’:
http://books.scoop.co.nz/2008/11/18/no-to-nazi-pseudo-history-an-open-letter/

Rapidly declining poverty

Poverty levels in New Zealand are often talked about, and disputed. What shouldn’t be disputed is a significant decline in the percentage of people living in poverty in the world over the last 200 years.

Rapid population growth meant that the number of people living in poverty increased – until recently, when that began a decline as well, although there still about a billion people living in ‘extreme poverty’.

Our World in Data has details on poverty levels.

Almost all people in pre-modern times lived in poverty. This has changed dramatically over the last few decades; more and more people have left the extreme poverty of the past behind.

In 1820, the vast majority of people lived in extreme poverty and only a tiny elite enjoyed higher standards of living. Economic growth over the last 200 years completely transformed our world, and poverty fell continuously over the last two centuries. This is even more remarkable when we consider that the population increased 7-fold over the same time (which in itself is a consequence of increasing living standards and decreasing mortality – especially of infants and children – around the world).

In a world without economic growth, an increase in the population would result in less and less income for everyone, and a 7-fold increase would have surely resulted in a world in which everyone is extremely poor. Yet, the exact opposite happened. In a time of unprecedented population growth we managed to lift more and more people out of poverty!

PovertyDecliningPercentage

Even in 1981 more than 50% of the world population lived in absolute poverty – this is now down to about 14%. This is still a large number of people, but the change is happening incredibly fast. For our present world, the data tells us that poverty is now falling more quickly than ever before in world history.

The first of the Millenium Development Goals set by the UN was to halve the population living in absolute poverty between 1990 and 2015. Rapid economic growth meant that this goal  – arguably the most important – was achieved (5 years ahead of time) in 2010.

The number of people living in extreme poverty increased until the 1970s but since then has decreased with increasing rapidity. People who oppose neoliberalism say they want to return things to how they were before the 1980s.

PovertyDecliningAbsolute

There is still a large poverty problem – about a billion people still live in extreme poverty. But if the recent trend continues this should reduce significantly and quickly

A primary reason for reduced poverty is economic growth.

In 1820 only a few places in the world achieved economic growth – and only to a rather small extent. The progress of the last 200 years was achieved as economic growth brought higher incomes to more and more people in the world.

A correlation between he relation between average income and the share of the population that lives in absolute poverty suggests that in a society with an average income around 10,000 International Dollar, absolute poverty is abolished.

Source: Max Roser (2016) – ‘World Poverty’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/world-poverty/

The current Purchasing Power Parity conversion factor for New Zealand is 1.47 so 10,000 international dollars equates to $NZ14,700 average income (source)

 

Social Media – Sunday

7 February 2016

Social Media Watch is an open forum similar to Open Forum where any topic can be introduced, but with a focus on New Zealand blogs and social media.

This expands on the aim for Your NZ to be a joint project with the more people contributing and the more variety the better.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

If being critical address the issues and don’t do personal abuse. Constructive and reasonably balanced criticism is more effective than general moans.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders.

Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Note that sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

If comments raise issues deserving of a full post I may use content to do a post, and may expand on it.

Open Forum – Sunday

7 February 2016

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.

Kelsey and Coates on protests

Chris Trotter has also posted Making It Stop: Taking stock of 4 February 2016, with some thoughts about the way forward at The Daily Blog.

In that he thanked anti-TPPA organisers Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates:

SOME TRIBUTES FIRST, then an apology. To Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates I can only say thank you. Demonstrations like the one I marched in yesterday don’t just happen. They are the product of hours and days and years of hard work, during which people fight not only against loneliness and fatigue, but against the insidious thought that their unceasing efforts might all be in vain.

Observing the glowing faces of Jane and Barry, as they rode down Queen Street yesterday afternoon, it was their selfless commitment to battling on, heedless of setbacks and against all odds, that brought tears to my eyes. Once again, thank you.

Both Kelsey and Coates have responded.

Barry Coates:

Thanks for the article, Chris and to TDB for the great coverage.

It’s Our Future is planning the next stages in the campaign, and we need to do it soon, because Todd McClay says their ‘selling’ of the TPPA is underway, the National Interest Statement will go into Parliament soon and their ‘roadshow’ is happening in February and March.

We have some plans underway, but would welcome ideas and debate in TDB, FB pages (TPPA Action Group, It’s Our Future, TPPA I’m Ready for Action) etc.

Our aim is to defeat the TPPA, either by not allowing it to be ratified or if that’s not possible, exiting asap. Comments also welcome to itsourfuturenz@gmail.com.

Andrew Little said yesterday Labour would not pull out of the TPPA:

Pulling out would would be um is way more difficult than it is to kind of roll off the tongue and lets pull out.

So no, we won’t pull out, but what we will do is fight tooth and nail to stop those things that are undermining New Zealanders’ democratic rights. Cause we have too. Cause we stood for that for decades and we’ll continue to do that.

Jane Kelsey:

Thanks Chris, but also we also need to recognise the great work from team Auckland, who have been tireless for several years of organising and especially Chantelle who has tried to balance work, kiddies and coordination, to the hikoi from up north, especially Reuben, and those who came from around the country who have been doing great work there.

It’s the breadth of people and places that have really hit home in opposition to the TPPA and which must serve to get unequivocal statements from Labour, NZ First and Maori Party that they will not bring the agreement into force if they are part of the government if and when that time comes.

Ben pointed out: “Have you not seen Little’s equivocal statement?”

Little’s latest statement:   Little: “we won’t pull out” of TPPA

 

TDB Current Affairs

Martyn Bradbury has been hinting at a new media venture for a while and today he revealed what it would be – a current affairs thing going up against TV One’s Seven Sharp and Three’s Story.

TDB will announce next week a new 7.01pm Current Affairs show to go head to head with Story and 7 Sharp. It starts at 7.01pm so you as the viewer can look at the right wing shit served up on Seven Sharp and the right wing crap served up on Story and quickly realise there is NOTHING intellectual going on there and you can swap over to watch us at 7.01pm.

The 4th estate have abdicated their obligations to democracy, it’s time for the 5th estate to step up and do what they can’t.

We can either blame the media or be the media.

Details next week.

I’m not sure what the thinking is behind trying to compete with two existing sort of current affairs shows. There’s more affairs in another 7 o’clock show, Shortland Street, and more viewers.

Bradbury’s Twitter profile sounds a bit manic and a bit optimistuic,

Martyn Bradbury

Martyn Bradbury

@CitizenBomber

Editor- TheDailyBlog.nz The 5th estate has an obligation & responsibility to overthrow the 4th estate for dereliction of duty. If you can’t join them, beat them.

Improving the 4th estate by overthrowing it seems like a novel idea. Just imagine getting all our news of Bradbury because all the alternatives have been overthrown.

Having a media that understands how great they are is one way the fanatics think that suddenly everyone will vote for their politics so we will get a proper government.

I thought The Daily Blog was supposed to be the next big thing but that was going to win the 2014 election for Internet-Mana wasn’t it? Perhaps Bradbury has learnt from what went wrong there.

Martyn Media, Whale Oil Media, I guess they could be marvellous but I’ll save judgement until I have tuned in at 7.01 pm next week. I wonder what day it will be, there’s cricket on Monday.

Little: “we won’t pull out” of TPPA

Andrew Little has caused further consternation and frustration on the left by restating that Labour won’t pull out of the TPPA, despite having sort of having said they oppose it.

Yesterday on RadioLive: Labour won’t pull out of the TPP – Little.

Mark Sainsbury: The thing that sparked all this off of course, the TPPA. Can I just get something straight from you, you’re opposed to us signing it. Does that mean if you become Prime Minister, Labour was in power, you would either pull out of the treaty as it exists, or would refuse to ratify it?

Andrew Little: Ah no, well hold on, we signed it long ago, it was a clerical exercise, it didn’t create the agreement, the agreement was already created.

Created is odd terminology. It wasn’t signed long ago, it was signed by the Trade Minister’s from all twelve participating countries in Auckland the day before.

Andrew Little:  Secondly ratification will happen over the next two years. Our Government has the numbers to do the New Zealand ratification regardless.

Mark Sainsbury: In two years time you could be Prime Minister Andrew Little.

Andrew Little: And so the question then is would we pull out of it, if it’s ratified, all the countries have ratified it would we pull out of it?

We won’t, and the reason why I am making the objection that I am making and the Labour Party is making, and indeed others are about provisions in it that cut across our sovereignty, is that I want to go back and say right there’s things in here that are wrong.

Things in here that we just shouldn’t have, and we will kick up bobsy-die about and put pressure back the way and that’s why New Zealanders are expressing a view about it it’s so important…

Mark Sainsbury: Hang on, it sounds like you’re trying to have a bob each way on this Andrew Little, on one hand you’re saying this is wrong, there’s all sorts of problems with it and things it does cover and flaws in the system, you’re against it. Will you vote against it in the House?

Andrew Little: Yeah we’ve already said um, if there’s, the legi, I mean, let’s go, we don’t get to vote on the TPPA. That’s done and dusted. There’s then legislation that covers some aspects of it that has to come to the House.

Anything in the legislation that cuts across sovereign rights we will oppose. Things that are, that support genuine free trade because we are a free trade party, we will support.

The train has left the station. So what we’re talking about now is how do we protect and preserve New Zealand’s interests under the TPP and that’s what we’re talking about.

Mark Sainsbury: But hang on, you can’t be a lion in opposition, a lamb in Government can you? I mean and it sounds like, while we’re in opposition this is dreadful, this Government sold us out, but if we’re in power we’d do the same thing.

Andrew Little: The Government sold us out on those parts of the TPPA that cut across sovereign rights in New Zealand, the rights for us to make our laws without undue influence and pressure from other interests. That’s what we’re talking about.

Yes there are other aspects that will help some exporters. There’s, you know, we’ve never shied away from that, um but lets be very clear.

The train left the station last October when Tim Groser signed off the agreement in Atlanta with the other Ministers, and what we’re dealing with no is what do we do to get ourselves in ship shape so that when Labour is next in Government and we’re dealing with other countries and big corporates from overseas breathing down our neck they won’t be surprised when we turn around and say ah-ah, this isn’t what New Zealanders want, we’ve opposed this, we’re opposed to it in principle and we’re going to fight against it and we’re going to protect New Zealand’s rights, but we’re not going to cut across um, they um you know our free trade credentials.

Mark Sainsbury: So you’re opposed to it in principle but not in practice.

Andrew Little:  Well if you want to break it down to um, if you’re desperate to have that there’s only one one you know ah one answer to this it’s either completely wrong or completely right. A six thousand agreement isn’t going to be like that.

Um and a free trade a free trade agreement that has some aspects of free trade but then has other things that have absolutely nothing to do with free trade but cut across New Zealand’s rights, I mean it doesn’t break down that simply.

So what I am talking about and what Labour is talking about is doing those things that are going to allow us to protect and preserve ourselves against the worst aspect of the TPPA that are nothing to do with free trade.

Mark Sainsbury:  So you want to fix it, but what I’m just saying, what you’re telling us today here is despite your public opposition to it right now, if Labour was in power, you are Prime Minister, you would not pull New Zealand out of that agreement.

Andrew Little:  Pulling out would would be um is way more difficult than it is to kind of roll off the tongue and lets pull out.

So no, we won’t pull out, but what we will do is fight tooth and nail to stop those things that are undermining New Zealanders’ democratic rights. Cause we have too. Cause we stood for that for decades and we’ll continue to do that.

That’s quite a muddled interview with only vague assurances of protecting rights but stating Labour won’t pull out of the TPPA.

Trying to sound tough while conceding there’s not actually much if anything Labour would actually do.

The clearest thing he said was ‘um’.

Add to this a couple of Little’s responses to a Q & A at Stuff on Thursday:

In what situations do you see New Zealand utilizing the exit clause?

Should the agreement be ratified over the next two years, any question of leaving the TPPA would be a huge call. It is not something that I am contemplating. That’s why I’ve been saying I want the next Labour government to be in a position with a mandate from New Zealanders to re-address the things that cut across our citizens’ rights.

That says much the same thing.

Do you believe the TPP will be amended by the US and become even more draconian for NZ to push it through congress?

Talking to US administration officials and politicians at the end of last year, it was made clear to me that there is no more negotiation, and that the deal is as it is now. Under the US fast track law, there is no scope for individual representatives and senators to pull apart specific clauses and chapters. But in reality, with American politics who would know?

So while Little claims a Labour led government would try and negotiate changes he says here “there is no more negotiation”.

Um.

Labour have backed themselves into a corner on the TPPA and all Little can do is squirm.

 

Korero about Te Tiriti o Waitangi

From

Morena Aotearoa. Let’s have a korero about Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

First off, can everyone please stop calling it the Treaty of Waitangi.That refers to an unsigned English translation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is an agreement in Te Reo Māori which guarantees kawanatanga to the British and Tino Rangatiratanga to Māori.

Kawanatanga is a transliteration of governor taken from the reference to kawana in the Māori translation of the bible in reference to the Roman governors in place throughout the occupied territories of the Roman Empire. These roles were peace keeping more than anything.

At the time, the main thrust of the Māori request for intervention by the British was to provide policing over the lawless hordes of Pākehā who had settled in the North. Local Māori had become increasingly nervous about imposing Tikanga over the immigrants.

Tino Rangatiratanga refers to the absolute right of Māori to control their own affairs over their home territories, people, & resources.

Read together, Kawanatanga & Tino Rangatiratanga set up a dual governing arrangement with Māori & British responsible for their own people.

And this is how it operated for about a decade after the signing nationally, and for another 60-70 years in other parts of the country.

Te Rohe Pōtae, for instance, remained largely self governing until the late 19th, early 20th century.

This is useful, I’ve learnt something from it.

Self government and responsibility for one’s own people becomes tricky where and when extensive integration has occurred.

Under TToW, Māori never ceded sovereignty. This is not an opinion but a matter of law as determined by the Waitangi Tribunal.

But while Māori sovereignty remains intact, the practice of sovereignty has been usurped by the Crown primarily through occupation & force.

We are seeing Māori start to reclaim their sovereign practice through a range of activities that give expression to Tino Rangatiratanga.

And the more these progress, the more Pākehā NZ will have to become comfortable with models of dual sovereignty so common elsewhere.

And finally, the principles of the Treaty, as 1st laid down in the 1987 Lands Case, provide a good framework for the Māori-Crown relationship.

Principles such as partnership, consultation, active protection, the right to development, and so on form the basis of Crown engagement and provide a legal framework for assessing breaches of Te Tiriti by the Crown. Which is why the Waitangi Tribunal performs an important function in NZ society as the arbiter of that relationship and the adherence of both parties to Te Tiriti and its principles.

Hope you found some of that enlightening, and provides some ideas for reflection as we recognise today the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Certainly some ideas for reflection there.

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