OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: AIA and Maori Seats

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle but that's the joy of Common Law & with the existing precident it has started to impact on NZ - watch this space.

    Well of course. But that doesn't make it in any way constitutional. I'd struggle to believe that constitutions can be written by judges in the modern world. And I think parliament would as well.

    'precident' makes it sound like it's judge-made law which only happened by accident ;) Judge gives away northland to Australia through failing to notice 'not' slipped into court transcript.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Te Ata o Tu,

    A wide variation in argument over the seats. Interesting to see the language of the court of appeal, the Waitangi Tribunal, kymlicka, and, apparently, Locke all thrown in:

    So I'd just make the points that (a) its extraordinary how such discussions are dominated by both history and the Treaty, and (b) try to suggest why that makes it so difficult to debate the issues. Basically, both history and the Treaty hide the actual moral arguments behind words that gloss the vacuity, and hide the assumptions of any position they present

    For instance, has anyone read the Court of Appeal judgement (Lands 1987) bringing the principles into the common law (well, sort of), without thinking,... what? Was one of the judges going through a messy break up? What's with all the psychobabble like 'partnership', 'reciprocity'. And what on earth was a judge doing commenting on our political institutions in such language (did they use it in cases on Bill of Rights?). I mean, how helpful is it for us to know, we are supposed to be in 'partnership'? what rights spring from that?

    If you argue historically, then the history on which you base your argument is shaped by your morality (sometimes called presentist, or whiggish history). It's crap, and dooms most of our debates around the Treaty (especially given our deeply undone history e.g. the Treaty translation difficulties argument is stated without any historian having read, for instance, the translator's letters). In gross terms see Victorian history, Stalinist History etc, or the Waitangi Tribunal's inability to move beyond 'breaches of the principles of the Treaty.

    The point is not that there are wrong historical views, but that these views are used to shape contemporary politics, when everything, including our moralities are different to the historical actors on the stage at that point in our past (e.g.signing the Treaty). Its completely anachronistic to import intentions at that point to what we do today. As Lord Macaulay once wrote - when title deeds are based on history, then the motive for falsification of that history is rather big (I paraphrase, obviously)

    All this means that the Treaty arguments are massively holey in the best constitutional sense. My personal view is that since we find it, seemingly, extraordinarily difficult to say 'racism' in NZ, we can say Treaty instead, hence Treaty policy in health, in schooling, etc. and finally in Plt on the seats. Its sort of like 'equal opportunities' rather than 'sexual discrimination', with the added benefit that the arguments in the courts are so tenuous that we can inscribe any morality we wish on the Treaty at any given moment, and feel sure it supports us.

    So without the aid of either history or the Treaty, why would you have the Maori seats, or not? Or will somebody defend the treaty or historical arguments as particular and not anachronistic?

    (remembering that around 60 other countries in the world have reserved seat arrangements of some kind or another, most often on ethnic, or gender lines)

    Canterbury • Since Dec 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Stop Press: CPP's bid for AIA has been given the heave-ho. The reasons being are on the DomPost website.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • karena puhi,

    those indigenous seats (maori = this is the wrong word to use to describe us) must be done away with, immediately. They are, as all have noted to be ineffective for their major purpose which was to see all the indigenous people of aotearoa annihilated, the four iwi seats left to the friendlies to operate in that regard had been effective initially but now they seem rather ineffective in that regard.

    however if and when these seats are deleted then they have to be because they have completed their role, or that the seats are dominated by friendlies, who do not see iwi as a distinct peoples but rather as the destroyers of us savages that as was planned. hence the rise in crime, murders, infanticide etc.

    in fact it would be far better for the sake of peace in the pacific that pakeha left these shores and took those iwi seats with them we want our own parliament. its like the old saying if it do not work toss it well thats what we want to see happen. We will no more stand aside while you fella's take anymore iron sands, no more bauxite, no more theft of coal, of, oil and natural gas. Also and all those pakeha who work their whole lives to keep iwi out of there, such as teachers, principals, case managers, etc well no more. go back to england

    hi everyone I could not resist a few digs at the system as it is coming up to another illegal election and well as many of you have indicated the iwi seats should be done away with and some who do not want it anyway I have to agree, get rid of them along with this government and the british.

    whanga nui a tara • Since Jun 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Very strange response. Very strange personal opinion. Very strange person. A Kai Tahu writes and could take issue with you. This Kai Tahu ,however, doesnt bother with strange trolls. Back into the cave bubby-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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