Metiria Turei versus John Key (Ratana speech)

Metiria Turei continued a tradiotion of “the Māngai spent his life confronting politicians” in her prepared speech for Ratana yesterday.

In fact due to time constraints she didn’t get to make her speech but she distributed her speech notes.

Here is the part of Turei’s speech that referred to John Key.

I want to speak today about one aspect of that legacy, and that is the Māngai’s efforts to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Māngai spent his life confronting politicians and Pākehā society about the need to provide redress for past injustices and to move forward as a true partnership.

Even now, in 2015, we are still struggling to truly honour the agreement that lies at the foundation of our nation.

This came to a head last month, with the release of stage one of the Waitangi Tribunal’s inquiry into the Treaty claims of Te Paparahi o Te Raki. The decision reflected decades of scholarship and affirms what we, as tangata whenua, have always known: that the Māori text of Te Tiriti o Waitangi never ceded the tino rangatiratanga of Māori over our lands, peoples and resources.

To have this stated, once and for all, was huge. It was an enormous step forward. But the Prime Minister’s response was to knock us several steps back.

John Key had the gall to claim that NZ was settled “peacefully,” as if all Māori grievances evaporated into irrelevance on his command.

But he didn’t finish there. In an attempt to really put us in our place, John Key said Māori would have been grateful for the injection of capital early Pākehā brought with them when they settled in Aotearoa.

Māori would have been grateful. For the capital.

The Prime Minister’s warped and outrageous view of history is deeply offensive to Māori but it also undermines decades of effort by Māori and Pākehā, including even by his own Government, to address some of the historic wrongs and to encourage an understanding of Aotearoa’s true history, both the good and the bad.

While in recent times Governments have made significant progress in completing historical settlements, all too often these are undermined as Ministers resort to cynical dog-whistle tactics that play to the widespread ignorance of Te Tiriti and, in so doing, shore up their Government’s short term political goals.

Sadly, this has long term consequences for all of us, Māori and non-Māori, by entrenching prejudice and wedging us further apart.

We saw this when John Key allowed Pita Sharples to sign the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples in New York, giving the Māori Party a token win and then immediately undermining that by telling journalists the declaration would have “no practical effect.”

And therein lies the rub. John Key can’t actually abide by that declaration because that would mean acknowledging that the Māori text of Te Tiriti is the only legitimate and legally binding text. That would mean conceding that tangata whenua never ceded tino rangatiratanga. That the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson, was so quick to dismiss the Tribunal’s ruling and assert the Crown’s sovereignty, prove that National won’t do this.

I am proud that the Green Party has, for many years, held the Māori text of Te Tiriti as a core part of our party’s constitutional arrangements.

I was honoured, today, to walk on to this marae alongside Labour’s new leader Andrew Little. I am very much looking forward to working with, and getting to know Andrew better.

Our respective parties are focussed on changing the Government in 2017. The Greens are committed to creating a new Government which will be better for Māori and better for Aotearoa New Zealand.

That alternative stands in stark contrast to the current Government that believes New Zealand was settled peacefully and that our people were somehow grateful – grateful for the bloodshed, the loss of millions of hectares of land.

Grateful. For the capital.

From Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei’s Rātana speech

Interesting to see that Turei (with Greens ap;proval presumably) has chosen to start the year in attack mode.

NZ Herald reported Ratana: Turei launches stinging attack on Key

Ratana elders usually frown upon using the occasion for a political speech, but Ms Turei was unrepentant.

“This is a political event. We need to come here and front up to Maori about our Maori policy, our Treaty policy and explain ourselves. And that’s what I’m doing.”

She said Mr Key had to be taken to task for a “disgraceful way to describe New Zealand’s history”.

Green gloves are off.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is filling in for Mr Key and it was left to him to defend the PM.

Mr English said the Greens were “nasty” on occasion and it didn’t serve them well.

“John Key has developed a very positive relationship with Maori even though there isn’t very strong political support among Maori for National. He has focused on a lot of areas they want him to focus on. So I don’t think the audience will be too impressed by it.”

Time will tell whether this is blast at the past from Turei or whether it signals an intention for an aggressive approach by Greens this year.

Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  24th January 2015

    Grateful. For the injection of five thousand years of civilized thought, science, philosophy and political and legal structures and protections.

    Nah. Too much to expect. Idiot Turei.

  2. Gimp of Greenhithe

     /  24th January 2015

    The who? oh the Greens. who are they? oh thats right – sent back to the middle of nowhere. AGAIN. And boom, lets get some profile with idiotic comments to garner some press activities.

  3. FarmerPete

     /  24th January 2015

    It is great to have someone like Turei to point out to NZ just what the the Labour Greens alternative to National would look like!

  4. Brown

     /  24th January 2015

    Tubby is a fat, green loser and a fake Maori. Key doesn’t seem to stand for anything except following UN21 orders. Is there anyone you can trust nowadays? Are there any conservatives out there? Its bloody depressing.

  5. Yes lets hear more from the extremist/haters/right-wingers who would prefer Aotearoa went back to the 1950s & also get rid of any efforts to accept that Maori were here before Pakeha & have ‘rights’ under ‘Te Tiriti O Waitangi’
    Lets also stop any efforts to learn about real NZ history (not the sanitised garbage I was fed) & also having ‘Te Reo’ available in schools, so any students interested, can learn the language of this whenua !

    Oh yes & lets only listen to the ‘middle-aged white men, who know best !’ (OMG what am I saying.. “NO.. lets not do any of this”)

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  24th January 2015

      Don’t be daft. There is no connection between where your ancestors lived seven generations ago and what your rights as a citizen are. And how many ancestors do you think you have anyway going back seven generations?

      Typical Lefty dreamland fantasy talk.

      Oh, and what do you think the impact should be if some illiterate bloodthirsty chief had put his mark on a piece of paper 175 years ago that if interpreted in a certain way would disadvantage his descendents and those of all his relatives relative to other citizens?

      The answer should tell you how much weight should be given to the Treaty.

      • The only thing, I’m dreaming of is; the end of this Tory bunch of LIERS called ‘team key’ !

        I guess we can all dream of a better/brighter future !

        • To have that dream come true you need to come up with a more credible team of liars. Good luck with that.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  24th January 2015

          That’s a stupid and totally inadequate reply. Try answering my questions or just give up and admit your case is hopeless.

  6. Kittycatkin

     /  24th January 2015

    John Key sent a representative as there was an international convention at Davos. I’m sure that Miss Turei and Mr Little would have refused to go (if they’d been asked, some hope) and gone to Ratana instead-I don’t think.

    They seem to think that the Davos trip is a skiing holiday. Idiots. If THEY’D been asked 😀 , they’d have declined Ratana, you bet.

  7. Kittycatkin

     /  24th January 2015

    John Key’s needed at Davos, anyone can go to Ratana but not everyone can arrange our trade and finance.

  8. Sponge

     /  24th January 2015

    Why the hell does anyone care what happens at Ratana? The combination of worship of the bearded sky fairy and malcontent maoris who constantly rewrite history in their favour make for a pretty unappealing weekend I would have thought.

  9. Kittycatkin

     /  24th January 2015

    My brother used to go with Maori friends-it was a great weekend then. Teenage boys wouldn’t have gone otherwise.


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