It has been squirreled away from the prying eyes of tribal members in a network of Trust funds for the benefit of the iwi elite. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Estimates put the total value of assets handed over to the same few at over $50 billion. And it doesn’t stop there. These Trust funds pay no tax. The iwi leaders are now very wealthy, very powerful and very adept at prising even more out of the system that has made them so rich.
Imagine if that money had been used to benefit all tribal members. There might be no more Maori poverty, no more poor health statistics, no more education under-performance. But, as it is, these statistics get steadily worse. This suits the wealthy iwi elite very nicely because these statistics are the rod they use to beat New Zealand governments into submission.
The blackmailer becomes good at his art through constant practice, yet it is well accepted that giving in to blackmail achieves nothing because the blackmailer always comes back for more. As one of them said, ‘no amount of money can compensate us for the hurt we have suffered’. This is true, so don’t bother. It is nothing but a pointless waste of our money.
As a result of this long drawn out process of corporate welfare for an elite few huge resentment has built up on both side of the racial divide. New Zealanders understand it is impossible to compensate for the supposed ‘wrongs of the past’ without creating further wrongs today and these there are aplenty. The same elites seek ever more power through an apartheid system of co-governance.
Not all Kiwis are taking this lying down. Winston Peters in his Waitangi Day address this year, unreported in the mainstream media, had this to say
The expression partnership is either creative and legally and constitutionally wrong or had to include every New Zealander regardless of ethnic background being in partnership with the Crown.
It doesn’t and that’s why the convenient use of the phrase is behind so many unworthy claims.
That unfortunate term has created legal chaos with activist judges, bureaucratic meddlers, treaty lawyers and a “Treaty Industry” taking advantage of the void it opened.
It has created an insidious culture of division and parallel systems which we grapple with today.
Meanwhile, the employment, education, housing and health needs of Maori have been sidelined while a self-appointed elite propagate their own narrow cause using Maori numbers to justify their manufactured claims and demands.
This is not a subject we can develop further this evening, suffice to say that it has aspects of grave uncertainty and purposelessness which concerned so many Maori, up here in particular, on the eve of the Treaty of Waitangi being signed.
This revisionist thinking has now seen all manner of opportunists demanding “constitutional reforms” to establish all manner of separatist policy.
The fundamental purpose of politics is to expand people’s happiness and that aspiration should be colour blind and based on need.
Some claim to want to restore sovereignty for Maori taking it from Parliament when that very objective is the antithesis of the Treaty of Waitangi itself.
That is the view of the greatest Maori legal mind and political performer, Sir Apirana Ngata.
These revisionists want to plunge us back into the turmoil of pre-treaty New Zealand.
The way forward for Māori, just as it is for non-Māori, and indeed people all over the world, is the best of First World education standards, First World health, First World housing, and First World employment and incomes.
If we strive to deliver those objectives we will deliver something real and enduring for the whole Maori population and not just the few and very few.
These objectives cannot be found in fabled principles or absurd calls for dual governance.
Who benefits from these unprincipled constitutional preferences? Assuredly not most Maori. They gain absolutely nothing from such preferences, which overwhelming benefit only the Maori and Pakeha elite.
It is that elite who get the big directors’ fees, and the fees paid when consulting with Maori is a legal requirement. It is the same elite who get to play with the millions handed out in Treaty settlements, not Maori truck drivers or freezing workers or builders or the thousands of others in the work force.
Many Maori, in professions, business and trades, resent being patronized by current policies which seem to imply that, without special privileges, they’re not good enough to make it on their own. They know they are.
They want what Governor Hobson said, as each chief signed the Treaty, to stay true today. “He iwi tahi tatoa. We are now one people”.