Gareth Morgan wasn’t the only New Zealander at Waitangi this week with strong feelings about the Treaty. David Fisher talked to several key Maori and Pakeha figures about the way ahead.

The Gareth Morgan roadshow hit Waitangi, and the Putaruru-born Welsh-descended philanthropist was ready to korero.

He was welcomed, he was feted.

Kaumatua steered him through marae protocol, the New Zealand Maori Council gave him space to speak and mothers brought their children to listen. In places, he barely moved a few steps before his hand was clasped and that striking beak of a nose was pulled into a hongi. From wharenui to cocktail party, tent to Treaty grounds, Morgan was welcomed.

The question in the book title – Are We There Yet? – is answered in speeches by Morgan. The answer, as he sees it, is “no”. “We get there when a Pakeha child can walk on to a marae and feel totally comfortable.”

[Read more] on the New Zealand Herald website.

Gareth Morgan

On many blogs which discuss the issues around Maori and the Treaty of Waitangi, you will see that Maori participants make a huge issue about anyone who speaks out in opposition to their views. The kind of thing they always come up with is that the people making opposing views are not real historians, or academics and have no peer reviewed articles so therefore their views are not to be taken as knowledgeable or serious or even as valid. In many cases they say this even though that person has spent their entire adult lives studying the issues. They are very clear on this.

But suddenly this desperate requirement for validation of the speakers credentials has been completely overturned in order to praise their new BFF, Gareth Morgan!

Gareth Morgan, in the mean time, states that he has been looking into this issue for the last 4 years. But where has he looked exactly? Going by the conclusions he has come up with, he has only looked at current Maori academic views, re-written history coming from the Waitangi Tribunal and the usual appeasing rubbish reported in the papers.

What he obviously has not done is to actually learn our real history, studied the original Treaty itself, read books written by people who lived in New Zealand at the time the treaty was signed or examined the other side of the argument for a different perspective.

In other words, Gareth Morgan has no credibility what so ever, and neither do the Maori people who have put aside their demands for ‘sound research’ in order to embrace his rhetoric, just because it is what they want to hear.

Andrew Little

The leader of the Labour Party says that we should seriously look at Maori being able to make some of their own laws. Mainly because the Waitangi Tribunal have come out with the idea that Maori did not cede sovereignty when signing the Treaty of Waitangi.

Why are people hearing this statement from the Waitangi Tribunal and believing it to be true? Why are they making decisions and proposing massive changes on a decision of a mere tribunal, and a racially biased one at that?

Mr Little – Just because the Waitangi Tribunal says something – does not make it true!

I can’t think of anything that could possibly lead our country down the road to civil war quicker than to allow Maori to make their own laws.

Consider this:

How will victims of Maori crime feel when, rather than face the full force of the law as it now stands, the perpetrators are slapped over the wrist with a wet bus ticket under some Maori interpretation of what’s wrong and what’s not?

Remember the huge outcry by the public when the Maori King’s son was let off because of who he was?

Allowing Maori to make and live under their own laws is not something New Zealanders would see as fair or just.