OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: AIA and Maori Seats

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  • BenWilson,

    there is no "hard-fought" political rights about it.

    You don't think the land wars involved fighting?

    Um, Ben, I'm sure there were plenty of Maori who weren't down with all this women's suffrage nonsense but I don't feel much regret that they were 'forced' to accept it.

    I would feel worse about it if they had had no say in the matter at all. And I doubt that the majority against the idea was that overwhelming considering that half of Maori are women.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Don't you just love how thoroughly disobliging Maori are?

    heh. absolutely.

    i demonstrated in my thesis that maori "representative groups" (and aboriginal people) had a clearly identifiable and consistent set of demands of colonial governments from the time respective settlement/invasion onwards.

    it wasn't until the majority liberalised in the 1960s/70s that these demands started to be *listened to*.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    ben, the land wars didn't result in any rights.

    you might remember a thing called raupatu.

    i might also draw your attention to the 1967 Maori Affairs Amendment Act.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Che, you said

    the maori seats were seat up in the aftermath of the land wars, as a sop to kupapa maori.

    Which sounds very much to me like the sop was a reaction to the wars.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    Well what is for sure is that none of these issues, Maori seats or safegaurding strategic infrastructure, will ever get ironed out by Key.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    got it. "sop" and "rights" aren't the same thing.

    the only rights maori had in the aftermath of the land wars were those extended to other citizens. and these were precarious at the best of times.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    @ben: the Maori seats were possibly created in part with the intention of undercutting continued support for the Kingite movement (which, lest we forget, was in essence "we aren't represented in this pakeha parliament, so we need to form our own parallel leadership"). So it could be simultaneously a "sop" and a reaction to the wars.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1931 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    there is no "hard-fought" political rights about it.

    You don't think the land wars involved fighting?

    I'm sure they involved fighting, but Maori weren't fighting for political rights - at least not representative ones. They were fighting to protect their land.

    I suspect a better description of the process might be "now we have taken a whole heap of your land, have a couple of seats in parliament". It really didn't relate to the wars much at all, as much a way of providing representation in parliament for Maori, and (for some), as a way to push them towards European land ownership principles.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Wiremu Tamihana http://www.huia.co.nz/books/240
    There appears to be some confusion over the creation of the Maori Seats and the King movement. I found this book illuminating.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    @Kyle: yeh, point taken.
    So, not "we aren't represented in this government" but rather
    "this government doesn't represent our interests" (with maintaining control over land being one important part of those interests)
    But I'm not convinced by your characterisation of the creation of Maori seats, though. If Maori weren't fighting partly for representation, then what perceived benefit/ appeasement would this token representation bring? and secondly, the Maori seats -- which pointedly avoided the land ownership criterion placed on Pakeha voters -- could not create any incentive to change from communal land ownership; quite the reverse.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1931 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    2linger n' kyle: what merc said.

    we might need to distinguish between the land wars and the creation of the seats.

    the land wars were a direct response by the settlers to the formation of the king movement. kingites wouldn't sell land, the settlers were "a bit annoyed" by this, and forced guv. george grey to invade the waikato. after the raupatu ("land confiscations"), sporadic warfare occurred across the north island until it was finally supressed in the 1880s.

    i'd had to carefully check my history of the maori seats, but they were patronisingly extended in the the wake of the defeat of the kingites. i'm remembering that they weren't something maori were actually asking for, just something they had foisted on them.

    and despite producing some great leaders they weren't all that meaningful until MMP. which is coincidently around the time that the most vociferious opposition to them started being heard.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well to run with Wikipedia, which will do until someone has a better reference:

    The establishment of Māori seats came about in 1867 with the Māori Representation Act, drafted by Napier Member of Parliament (MP) Donald McLean... In the end the setting up of Māori seats separate from existing seats assuaged conservative opposition to the bill - conservatives had previously feared that Māori would gain the right to vote in general electorates, thereby forcing all MPs (rather than just four Māori MPs) to take notice of Māori opinion.

    Before this law came into effect, no direct prohibition on Māori voting existed, but other indirect prohibitions made it extremely difficult for Māori to exercise their theoretical electoral rights. The most significant problem involved the property qualification - in order to vote, one needed to possess a certain value of land. Māori owned a great deal of land, but they held it in common, not under individual title, and under the law, only land held under individual title could count towards the property qualification. Donald McLean explicitly intended his bill as a temporary measure, giving specific representation to Māori until they adopted European customs of land ownership. However, the Māori seats lasted far longer than the intended five years, and remain in place today.

    Ironic that at the time conservatives wanted separate Maori seats so that (relatively populous at the time) Maori couldn't have any control over general seats, but now, conservatives want to get rid of them and force Maori (now not so populous in relative terms) to vote in general seats.

    Note the temporary measure - it was intended that Maori would get into a more traditional property ownership, and then these seats would cease to exist, or change to individual ownership, but that didn't happen, and then property ownership ceased to be the condition for voting.

    I think you're linking together the wars and representation when there wasn't such a link at the time. Yes Maori were agitating for representation, because they were getting screwed over.

    But the Waikato was invaded to subdue the King Movement, and get a whole heap of land. Waikato Maori were, by-and-large, defending themselves, though they had agitated and weren't unaware (or overly concerned to an extent) that war was coming. A lot of them had just fought in the Taranaki Wars, and knew that they could probably beat the British to a standstill.

    The direct impact of that war was the land confiscations and hounding of the King Movement into the backblocks. Maori didn't really consider Pakeha government to extend into their own, rural territories (and before the wars, this was pretty much true - see the wikipedia entries on the NZ wars), getting part of that government wasn't their goal. The participants in the Wars were still fighting for independent control of their regions, under a loose Crown oversight (and we could discuss kawanatanga/rangatiratanga here), not being sucked into the system.

    It's a case of, just because C follows A, doesn't mean A causes C. A caused B - land confiscation. C is more a product of the climate at the time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    I thought the Maori seats were more a gesture of gratitude to the kaupapa forces, than an appeasemnt or sop to Maori greivances. And particularly to Kepa and his troops- who played a considerable part in the campaigns against Titokowaru and Te Kooti.
    The Land Wars were seldom simply a "maori v pakeha" affair: intertribal alliances and greivances had a major role, and there were, at times, more maori fighting for the (pakeha) government than against it.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The Land Wars were seldom simply a "maori v pakeha" affair: intertribal alliances and greivances had a major role, and there were, at times, more maori fighting for the (pakeha) government than against it.

    Yes. But British and Colonial commanders were in charge, hence some of the shocking ambushes that they walked into. The lack of learning ability when faced with "ooh, the rebel Maori have built a brand new pa in the middle of no where, for no apparent purpose other than the fact that we're coming. Let's attack it and wander around aimlessly while they shoot us from protected firing trenches, or even ambush areas outside the pa" was quite astounding.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    <quiet voice>rob... titokowaru and te kooti were involved in fighting the settlers after the creation of the seats</quiet voice>

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "Maori didn't really consider Pakeha government to extend into their own, rural territories ..."

    Kyle I agree and for that matter so does the Treaty of Waitangi.

    "The participants in the Wars were still fighting for independent control of their regions..."

    Which was (and is) their legal entitlement.

    The Maori seats should be disbanded once Tino Rangatiratanga has been instituted.

    As Che said above the Maori seats were not of the make or wanting of Maori and were only given any real meaning under MMP.

    Soverignty is not Seccession & we should look to the UK & the Scott Parliment for a 1st world working model.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "But British and Colonial commanders were in charge, hence some of the shocking ambushes that they walked into. "

    Kyle that is not fair. Guerilla wars are never won without total saturation of troops.

    Gotta give credit where it is due rather than blame Colonial forces for falling into traps.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    Key's performance in the media just demonstrates how woefully ill-equipped for the job he really is. Challenge a position or question the detail and he falls to pieces - every time.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Blistering barnacles, Key does seem rather, ahm, "under-done". And generally under-whelming.
    He's had a very easy ride with the media until lately. The country badly needs to see how he copes with pressure- sniping, frontal assaults, feet held to the fire, etc- before handing Mr Blandus Anthropithicus the top job.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle that is not fair. Guerilla wars are never won without total saturation of troops.

    Gotta give credit where it is due rather than blame Colonial forces for falling into traps.

    I'm not clear on what you're saying here. Who needs credit?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Maori who set the ambushes

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i was confused as well. imperial and colonial commanders walking blind into traps in the land wars wasn't so much the exception as the norm.

    gate pa being the example par excellence. cameron was, without doubt, an idiot.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Oh the Maori fighting tactics were by and large very superior, and they figured out their enemy very well and led them down the garden path.

    But I was commenting on the other side's inability to learn when it happened again, and again, and again. They couldn't see that Maori were building perfect traps for them, they had to attack everything that was put in front of them.

    Maori 'rebels' were writing the script and the other side was simply reading along obediently.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    why hasn't anyone looked at how Heathrow, Gatwick and most of the other UK airports managed by BAA are owned by a Spanish company - and how this 'foreign takeover' is a non issue.

    Have you used Heathrow over tha last 15 years? It is shit. Pathetic, awful.

    BAA under invest in just about everything there, including ladders to get people off the flipping planes.

    Not really a poster child for foreign investment. I'm not against foreign, but if NZ treats its visitors at main ports of entry the same way the UK does then I think we could kiss goodbye to a fair percentage of them. And tourism *is* strategic here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    gah...

    s/against foreign/against foreign investment

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

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