Ngāpuhi did not cede sovereignty – report

Press Release – Joint Press Release
The commissioners of a ground-breaking independent report on the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi say the report will shatter forever the myths surrounding the treaty.

It is the first time such a report has been commissioned and published to stand alongside a Waitangi Tribunal report based on the same evidence.

The report was commissioned by Titewhai Harawira and Nuki Aldridge on behalf of the Kuia and Kaumātua of Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu. It contains several recommendations made by the panel to address its findings.

The evidence was given over five weeks at the initial Ngāpuhi claim hearings in 2010 and 2011. Particularly significant were the statements by the Ngāpuhi speakers on the meaning and intentions of He Wakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nū Tīreni 1835, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840.

The report makes clear that Ngāpuhi did not sign away their sovereignty to the British Crown. It is also clear from the evidence presented in the report that Ngāpuhi did not cede governance to the Crown either. It says the evidence shows the rangatira wanted the Crown to provide a Governor who would take charge of its unruly British subjects living here.

From 2006, Kuia and Kaumātua had voiced concerns about the independence of the Waitangi Tribunal process, but the Government had not responded to requests for an international forum to hear evidence on the two founding documents.

They had then decided to commission an independent report on the hearings. Limited funds had meant that an international observer was not an option, so expertise was sought within New Zealand.

Three panel members were chosen to write the report. They are Susan Healy, Ingrid Huygens, and Takawai Murphy. With the addition of a kaitiaki from the north, Hōri Parata, the group consisted of two Māori and two Pākeha. (Editors: biographies attached).
Mrs Harawira said, “The declaration and the treaty were the result of the friendship that Ngāpuhi rangatira had with British royalty that began in 1820 with the visit by Hongi Hika and Waikato. Ngāpuhi had a dialogue that started with King George, and continued with King William and Queen Victoria. We want to be able to continue that dialogue.”

As a result of the relationship that had been established and that was recognised in He Wakaputanga, a Governor was called for by Te Wakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Nū Tīreni to exert British authority over British subjects living here without regard to either Māori or British law.

“He was to work alongside the rangatira here – never to have authority over them,” she said. “They agreed to allow a governor, appointed by themselves and acting under their authority, to exercise British control over new migrants living in their rohe – nothing more and nothing less.”

“We have had to fight a long and arduous battle to raise the profile of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to have the promises made in Te Tiriti redeemed. We have seen the comings and goings of many Prime Ministers – they are now gone, but for us our battle continues. The Ngāpuhi Nation is firm in its belief that our tūpuna did not cede sovereignty.”

Report commissioner Nuki Aldridge said the report was a response to the wishes of Kaumātua for an independent exercise to be undertaken by people chosen by them, just as the Tribunal members are chosen by the Government.

He said however that he expected the Tribunal would reach the same conclusion as the independent observers: that there is only one authentic treaty, which confirms the statements made in He Wakaputanga. “Te Tiriti was intended to foster peaceful prosperity for both cultures and remains so for the future when implemented as intended.”

He said the report would be popular reading among Ngāpuhi and the Crown this summer. It would bring a sharper focus to Waitangi in February because the knowledge shared by those giving evidence was a powerful and unifying force, at a time when it was most needed.

Mr Aldridge also commented on the need for fair process in the hearing of treaty claims: “In a treaty debate, you would think it reasonable that the rules of engagement are promulgated in equity by both parties. But it is inequitable where one party to a treaty makes the rules and has access to wealth to prosecute their evidence, while the other party is directed on how and when the resources are available.”

“The availability or the lack of resources then controls the outcome. The story will be tainted by the rules and regulations that are imposed. The imposed rules and regulations also control the outcome and of course will show bias in favour of the system that has imposed its rules and regulations. This is why Ngāpuhi needed an independent report.”

“Those who fail to assert their rights have none. In this report the voices of Ngāpuhi are heard again asserting our rights, and we expect a decent response,” he said. “When will tāngata whenua get the opportunity to be part of the decision making process?”

Background on Panel members

The Independent Observers were selected for their experience in research and education work related to the treaty, and their independence from government direction.

Susan Healy is a Pākehā of Irish, British and Cornish ancestry. She has a PhD in Māori Studies from the University of Auckland, her dissertation being The nature of the relationship of the Crown in New Zealand with Iwi Māori (2006). She has since done research into the literature on tuku whenua as customary land allocation.
Ingrid Huygens is a Pākehā of Dutch ancestry, and a researcher in cultural relations, community psychology and social change. Her PhD from University of Waikato investigated Processes of Pakeha change in response to the Treaty of Waitangi (2007). She is currently national coordinator of Tāngata Tiriti – Treaty People, an independent Treaty education programme for students, organisations and new migrant communities.

Takawai Murphy, Ngāti Manawa, Murupara, B.Ed., has taught in primary, secondary, tertiary and adult education. During the last 20 years he has facilitated the Te Pūmaomao Nationhood-Building course with wife Chris, both in Aotearoa-New Zealand and overseas. He is also a decolonisation and Treaty of Waitangi educator and researcher.

Throughout the hearing Hori Parata acted as support and cultural advisor for the panel.

Hōri Temoanaroa Parata is of Ngātiwai descent with links to Te Waiariki, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Maru, Tainui, Whānau a Apanui, Raukawa, Ngāti Koata, and Moriori. He holds an M.A. in Indigenous Studies from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi, and is currently completing a PhD on kaitiakitanga. Over a period of 25 years, he developed the Ngātiwai Trust Board’s resource management unit, and now acts as their kaumatua in many arenas, including the Wai 262 Flora and Fauna claim.

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1 comment:

  1. RPC, 11. January 2013, 16:03

    The Waitangi Tribunal’s recent finding that Northland’s Ngapuhi tribes did not cede sovereignty to the Crown by signing the Treaty of Waitangi is arrant nonsense that deserves to be mercilessly deconstructed.

    It appears the Tribunal uncritically accepted Ngapuhi’s assertion their ancestors believed Governor Hobson’s authority would apply only to white settlers, and that Maori would continue to be ruled, tribal-style, by their chiefs.

    These claims are not borne out by the historical record.

    As outgoing Governor-General, Lord Bledisloe, observed in his 1922 farewell address: “In the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man is King, and he that does not know his own history is at the mercy of every lying windbag.”

    Ngapuhi was the first tribe to obtain muskets after Hongi Hika returned home from England in 1821 with a large quantity of firearms, powder and shot. These weapons were used by Ngapuhi to overrun much of the North Island in the first of the Musket Wars. A destructive arms race ensued and thousands of Maori died as other tribes acquired European weapons of their own.

    Maori had no national consciousness before the Treaty was signed, seeing themselves as belonging to separate iwi. With the coming of the musket, the various tribes possessed for the first time weapons of mass extermination with which to be revenged upon traditional enemies. The farsighted among Maori soon came to see the only way out of this ever-escalating cycle of violence was outside intervention.

    The first English missionaries had visited the Bay of Islands in 1814. Missionaries dwelt permanently among Ngapuhi from 1821 onward and explained to their converts how British governance worked. Young Ngapuhi men had travelled to British colonies all over the world in British ships, observed British sovereignty in operation, and returned to tell the tale.

    On 5 February 1840, the Reverend Henry Williams (a fluent Maori speaker) first read the Treaty in Maori to leading Ngapuhi chiefs assembled at Waitangi for this purpose. Hours of discussion and clause by clause explanations from Reverend Williams and Governor Hobson followed.

    Reverend Williams said later: “We gave them [the chiefs] but one version, explaining clause by clause, showing the advantage to them of being taken under the fostering care of the British Government, by which act they would become one people with the English, in the suppression of wars, and of every lawless act; under one Sovereign, and one Law, human and divine [italics added throughout].”

    The subsequent observations of the chiefs were translated into English by the Reverend Williams and recorded for posterity by Government Printer, William Colenso. It is quite clear that all the chiefs, both for and against, had a clear understanding that their acceptance of Governor Hobson would place Queen Victoria and the Governor in authority over them.

    Te Kemara (Ngati Kawa) spoke first, observing that the effect of signing the Treaty would be for “the Governor to be up, and Te Kemara down.” Under the Governor, he could be “tried and condemned” and even “hung by the neck” should he behave badly enough.

    Te Kemara later admitted French Roman Catholic Bishop Pompallier (fearing expulsion by the Protestant English should British Sovereignty prevail) had put him up to it, telling him if he signed the Treaty, “he would be made a slave.”
    Next was Rewa (Ngati Taweke), who asked why Maori needed a Governor: “This country is ours … we are the Governor.” Like Te Kemara, Rewa saw that chiefly authority would be trumped by that of Hobson: “[Authority over] Your land will be taken from you and your dignity as chiefs will be destroyed.”

    Moka (Patukeha) then stood up. “Let the governor return to his own country. Let us remain where we are [as sovereign powers in the land].”

    Tamati Pukututu (Te Uri-o-Te-Hawato) was the first to speak in favour of Hobson: “Sit, Governor, sit, for me, for us. Remain here, a father for us.”

    Matiu (Uri-o-Ngongo) stood next and reiterated what the previous speaker had said: “Do not go back, but sit here, a Governor, a father for us.”

    Kawiti (Ngati Hine) also spoke against the Governor: “We do not want to be tied up and trodden down. We are free. Let the missionaries remain, but, as for thee, return to thine own country.” He warned his fellow chiefs acceptance of Hobson meant the Governor would be able to order: “Kawiti must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Governor said ‘No.’”

    Pumuka (Te Roroa) stood up next. To the chiefs, he said: “I will have this man a foster-father for me.” To the Governor: “I wish to have two fathers – thou and Busby, and the missionaries.”

    Warerahi (Ngaitawake), rose to address his fellow chiefs: “Is it not good to be in peace? We will have this man as our Governor” and “Say to this man of the Queen, Go back! No, no.”

    Hakiro (Ngatinanenane) was another who rejected the idea of a Governor: “We are not thy people. We are free. We will not have a Governor.”

    Tareha (Ngatirehia) rose after and told Hobson: “We, we only are the chiefs, rulers. We will not be ruled over.” Never would he accept “the Governor up high” and Tareha “down, under, beneath!”

    Rawiri (Ngatitautahi) stood to greet the Governor in English as his “Father,” saying, “Stay here, O Governor! … that we may be in peace.”

    Hone Heke (Matarahurahu) reiterated what previous speakers in favour of Hobson had said: “Remain, Governor, a father for us.”

    Hakitara (Te Rarawa), also stood up for the Governor, though most of his words were drowned out by side conversations taking place after Heke had spoken.

    Tamati Waka Nene (Ngatihao) then told Hobson: “[R]emain for us – a father, a judge, a peacemaker. Stay thou, our friend, our father, our Governor.”

    Eruera Maehe Patuone, Tamati Waka Nene’s older brother, spoke next, saying: “Remain here with us, to be a father for us, that the French have us not.”

    Te Kemara (who’d spoken first) here jumped up again, saying to the Governor: “Go away; return to thine own land.” To the chiefs, he said: “Let us all be alike [in rank, in power].” Then in an abrupt about-face he told Hobson: “O Governor! remain. But, the Governor up! Te Kemara down, low, flat! No, no, no.”

    Anyone who has read these eyewitness accounts of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and continues to believe Maori didn’t know what they were signing needs to go away and boil their head to clear their thoughts.

    The Waitangi Tribunal, with its claimant-biased historical revisionism and complete disregard for the truth, is increasingly demonstrating its irrelevance.

    The time is long overdue for ordinary New Zealanders of ALL RACES to reclaim our country from the self-serving, lying Treatyist windbags who have taken it over; and who need to be taught they tread on us at their peril!

     

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