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Gareth Morgans Ratana Speech for the The Opportunities Party

Last time I was at Ratana I accepted the challenge to honour the Treaty of Waitangi. I now challenge Maori to help me deliver on this promise by voting for The Opportunities Party

Kia ora koutou,

My name as some of you will know is Gareth Morgan,

I was born and raised in Putaruru in the South Waikato by my mother and father Mary and Roderic Morgan who came from Cardiff, South Wales

My wife is Joanne and together we have four wonderful children and 6 grandchildren.

Having being born and bred in Putaruru my mountain is Maungatautari and my river is Te Waihou, which ran beside our place. Unfortunately I have to say it was a lot more pristine then than it is today.

I have had direct experience over recent years of how important mountains and rivers are to Maori – having been engaged with the marae of the South Waikato on the future of Maungatautari as an ecological reserve and with the Ruakawa iwi in trying to prevent the blue springs on my river, being despoiled by mass swimming.

*** ***

I would like to begin by extending my condolences to the Secretary of Ratana, Piriwiritua Rurawhe for the recent passing of his mother.

I wish to thank the people of Ratana for welcoming myself again onto your whenua. I was here two summers ago when I was on the one hand given the honour of sitting on the pi pi on the day the politicians came to Ratana, but on the other presented with the gifts that Ratana presented Michael Joseph Savage of the petition, the broken watch, the (huia) feather, the pounamu, and the potato. Of course the symbolism of that resonated and I remember the challenge you laid down to me that day - to progress the Ratana petition and get the politicians to accept the treaty principles as central to the constitution of New Zealand.

Well I’m back two years on, to report progress as well as return my own challenge to Maori assembled here today. Of course this time I come, having now formed The Opportunities political party, so my proposition has somewhat more than academic relevance. Last time we met I had just completed a book on the future of the treaty of Waitangi, this time I want to outline my political plan to give effect to some of the suggestions in that book.

Our book was called “Are We There Yet”?  in reference to the strong expectation held by Pakeha particularly, that once the settlement process winds up, then for all intents and purposes the claims are finished and we can all get back to normal, happy in the knowledge that everything to do with the treaty is now done & dusted.

As I said in 2015, I don’t have to tell this audience that nothing could be further from the truth. The enormity of the task is convincing ordinary non-Maori or as often referred to in te reo, Tau Iwi, that the treaty means far more than reaching agreed settlements over past wrongs. This task needn’t be so daunting if successive governments had done a better job communicating to Tau Iwi the work of the Courts and the Waitangi Tribunal over the last 40 years.

So much remains to be done if Maori are to make meaningful progress on the issues around rangatiratanga as referred to in Article 2 of the Treaty.

Self-determination, removal of socio-economic disadvantage and gaining a meaningful say in the governance of Aotearoa New Zealand, all remain on the “to-do” list, and I do not need to tell you that most Tau Iwi, are blissfully unaware of this.

That is the challenge my political party is prepared to take directly to pakeha and work assiduously to ensure that in the end all New Zealanders “get it”.

In 1936 Michael Joseph Savage said;

"I will give the Treaty of Waitangi every consideration and listen to your representations, and will say that the spirit of the Treaty can be found in our policy, to assist you and all your Maori People."

It is notable that no Prime Minister since Michael Joseph Savage has continued the undertaking of his statement made in 1936.

Our research suggests.

1 Your language remains marginalised, although pleasingly wider acknowledgement of its importance and value to us all, is emerging;

2 Your over-representation amongst the ranks of the socially and economically disadvantaged is unacceptable on any measure; and

3 My view is that the trinkets of political office you are gaining are an extremely poor substitute for the principle of a shared role in governance.

The Opportunities Party is soon to announce a programme of Constitutional reform. The following are those elements of that reform which are centered around the Treaty of Waitangi.

1. An Upper House

An Upper House would in effect, restore the sovereignty of Parliament and take sovereignty back from Cabinet. Typically in Western democracies the Upper House is not sovereign, it can only recommend, but in so doing it highlights to the public the risks that proposed legislation poses. It’s better we find out before the damage is done. 

2. A Written Constitution

The Opportunities Party is committed to having a written Constitution. Apart from New Zealand, Israel and the UK all other democratic countries have a written constitution.

Why do we need one? Because ordinary people want a central reference in plain English and plain Te Reo that summarises what the values of our community are. It will be a reference for all New Zealanders to identify with, take pride in, defend the principles of, and live our lives by.

Central to ours will be the Bill of Rights and our Human Rights Act. But as well we want included those issues that are distinctly New Zealand

  1. obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi
  2. the Constitutional rights of Nature wherein our ecosystems have the right to exist and flourish.

Honouring the treaty should be central to the unique identity of being a New Zealander. Don Brash and Winston Peters take note.

The document that defines New Zealand’s democracy – our constitution – needs to acknowledge the unique rights that Maori has in terms of the right for its society to be protected as well as its role in the determination of our country’s future. That is the only way the treaty can be said to be being honoured.

This then is a second reason for bringing back the Upper House. It will not only restore sovereignty to parliament but will defend our constitution, which has at its centre, the Treaty of Waitangi.

Equipping citizens to respect the role of the Treaty

As I’ve said there still prevails an urban myth amongst pakeha that aligns with the fiscal envelope concept. In other words after settlements end, the treaty becomes irrelevant.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is vital that young New Zealanders continue to grow up with a far stronger appreciation of its importance, than has been common in the past. It is to the credit of our education system that major efforts are being made in this regard through the schools. However, the treaty is of such importance that it behoves us to ensure that all New Zealanders feel that importance in their hearts, respect it and nurture the principles of the treaty.

To ensure New Zealanders forever empathise with our bicultural foundations, te reo Maori the other official language of our country needs to be afforded the same rights as English. That includes the requirement it be taught in all schools.

To quote Nelson Mandela, when explaining why he had learnt Afrikaans, the language of his prison guards

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

My dream would be that the two treaty signatories are equally represented in the Upper House which, while deferring to the sovereignty of parliament, the Lower House – has the ability to highlight to the public weaknesses in intended legislation, as well as the ability to refer to the Courts issues of constitutional breaches. With the Constitution firmly including the principles of the treaty, this should ensure the interests of both tangatawhenua and the other societies that make up the “New Zealanders”, are protected and nurtured. 

Finally I come to two challenges from The Opportunities Party I would like Maori to consider. 

Firstly we want and we need your party vote.

  1. We are the one party that is prepared to take this treaty conversation to non-Maori and convince them that honouring the treaty is a win-win;
  2. we are the one party that will push for a written constitution with honouring the treaty hard-coded in it;
  3. we are the one party who wants an Upper House with Maori appropriately represented in it, so that democracy Kiwistyle is restored.

Neither of the Establishment parties will do this – neither will renew the commitment that Michael Joseph Savage made to Ratana in 1936.

On behalf of TOP I am making that commitment, but for us to fulfill it we need to be in parliament, and in decent numbers. That’s why we need your help – we need your party vote.

*** ***

My second challenge is to implore you to call out the NZ First Party of Winston Peters. I do not see that party as at all empathetic to the treaty, indeed Winston regards honouring it as separatism and Maori privilege.

As a man I greatly admire, Moana Jackson has said any treaty is an agreement by separate parties so of course it’s about separate entities agreeing to coexist and have a duty of care to each other. It is a two way street, not a one way track to cultural oblivion that Mr Peters supports. His x` cat grin cannot hide the fact that NZ First is selling Maori down the river.

Indeed when I read Winston’s utterings in this area – as in many areas – all I see are the words of Don Brash. The two are black and white facsimilies of each other, both Regressive Conservatives who preach assimilation and subjugation to a British settler form of monocultural white nationalism. Surely this is evident when the newly formed Hobson Group led by Don Brash, publicly elected New Zealand First as the only party who represent their views.

You need to remember that it was Mr Peters who championed the Treaty of Waitangi Principles Deletion Bill in 2005 – that bill was to REMOVE all treaty principles from legislation.

It seems to me Peters gets away with this anti-Treaty stuff because he is Maori – the old adage that you can’t be racist against your own race. I don’t accept that excuse. Winston has no empathy with the situation Maori finds itself in – over-represented in all the wrong economic and social indicators precisely because of the lack of recognition of its cultural values and taonga.

I cannot understand why Maori don’t stand up and call Winston out for being nothing more than an Uncle Tom, an envoy of the “Kiwi not Iwi” fringe. In no way is it in Maori’s interest to support the vicious phobic undertone of NZ First. You need to deal to him. 

So there you have it. I am trying my best to do the best thing by both pakeha and Maori to take our treaty forward and to have the treaty honoured just as the Ratana movement implored Michael Joseph Savage. This is the challenge you laid down to me two years ago.

I cannot do this without your help – you need to renounce NZ First as being anti Treaty and therefore anti- Maori, and The Opportunities Party must have your party vote so we can work with the Maori Electorate MPs who get elected to achieve our objectives with the Treaty

Thanks very much, kia ora

Showing 34 reactions

  • Dave Reid
    followed this page 2017-02-01 17:30:53 +1300
  • Tom Test
    followed this page 2017-02-01 07:41:45 +1300
  • Ngawai Robinson
    commented 2017-01-30 14:13:00 +1300
    It’s been two centuries in the making since Pakeha colonial politicians’ gamed the political system to benefit Pakeha.
    Discrimination in the context of 21st century NZ has political, social, and economic ramifications that require a strong voice of reason not silence. Yeah, its a healthy conversation TOP, made for this moment in time.

    So I applaud and appreciate what you did Gareth Morgan for speaking up at Ratana last week; reminding us that the mark of a strong relationship is how you navigate conflict as a political group. Aim for partnership not perfection. Why? The more we all agree to address our grievances publicly, the closer we will get to the kiwi lifestyle that minorities and Tangata whenua can agree with you on. All of us have to meet each other somewhere in the middle if we want to aim for an economy/constitution that benefits all New Zealanders rather than a small selection of wealthy families. Keep up the good work Gareth and TOP!
  • Mark James
    commented 2017-01-28 23:49:10 +1300
    It is complete arrogance to assume because you have a Maori ancestor that you should have more of a say what happens in NZ than say a new immigrant.

    Modern societies should be built on the principle that everyone has an equal standing in our society. If we are to have a written constitution it should start with this. The pathetic adherence to this nearly 2 century old document is mind blowing and simply unworkable. All people who want to honour this historic and archaic document want to do is give themselves power.

    I could actually live with this non sense if I thought it would help the poorest in our country but it will just make a handful better off. You talk about 40 years of honouring the Treaty. I reckon that Maori stats have gotten worse during that time not better.

    As Ive stated stop spending money on some privileged constitutional power over others and start looking at policies that help the poorest Maori. They dont care how many Maori politicians there are they just want more food and affordable houses like everyone.
  • Stephen Todd
    commented 2017-01-28 23:34:41 +1300
    Completing paragraph 2 of my previous post

    The “real problems in NZ” that you allude to can just as easily be solved, probably more easily, under a system of co-governance, in which Māori have an equal say in developing and implementing solutions that lead to outcomes that benefit all of us.
  • Stephen Todd
    commented 2017-01-28 22:40:24 +1300
    No-one’s talking about looking backwards, Mark (at a document written 177 years ago, not “centuries ago”). Some of us are simply saying that the time has come whereby we institute a system of co-governance, a partnership between the Crown and Māori, as was originally intended. Doing so would not preclude our constitution and laws from continuing to evolve / changing.

    The “real problems in NZ” that you allude to can just as easily be solved, probably more easily, under a system of co-governance, in which .

    Who says we can’t “agree about” the Treaty? The principles of the Treaty, as developed via case law, in particular, over the last 40 years, are perfectly agreeable – to people of good will.

    I’ll leave it at that, Mark, apart from the following—

    We’ve all known for decades that sufficient food is produced on this planet to feed everyone on it. We’ve also known that it cannot be distributed to where it is needed, because of “economics”. (Would you produce food without being paid for doing so, year after year?) So, saying we should fix a problem that can never be fixed, in preference to sorting out our constitutional arrangements, once and for all, is pure cant, an irrelevant diversion.
  • Mark James
    commented 2017-01-28 21:25:39 +1300
    Why dont we bring back the law that only men can vote while youre at it. We change laws and therefore our constitution as we evolve as a country. Looking backwards at a document that was written centuries ago is bizarre and whats more everyone has a different interpretation of it. Who is right? You, Gareth, Winston,Don Brash or all of them or none. Its a pointless discussion kind of like which religion is the right one or is it none of them?

    We have real problems in NZ. We produce enough food for 100million people but some our kids go to school hungry. Lets fix those problems and stop spending time and money squabbling about a historic document no one can agree about.
  • Stephen Todd
    commented 2017-01-28 15:25:48 +1300
    Just because the Treaty of Waitangi was breached, ignored, neglected – indeed, even declared a legal nullity – for 135 years, does not mean it dies, once and for all, once the Waitangi Tribunal’s work is done. The Treaty is a valid, living document, signed in good faith (or certainly should have been), whether modern-day Pākehā like it or not. Make no mistake, it is never going to go away.

    We are all captives of our history, and it is now incumbent on all of us to get on and ensure the Treaty is fully honoured. Article 2, in particular, must be fully revived and given effect to. Under this article, authority between the Crown and Māori was [is] to be shared. Given that that never happened, how it is to be made to happen, starting in the near future, is a question that will exercise – greatly – a future establishment party-TOP coalition government. (Bear in mind we are talking about TOP’s ‘Constitution’ policy here.)

    As an initial suggestion, I think a Legislative Council – or [Chris Trotter’s?] ‘Treaty House’ – would be an excellent starting point. Unlike Katharine Moody, below, however, I would advocate a dual Māori / Pākehā council, comprising 40 seats – 20 each. I do agree with Katharine, though, that it should have delaying powers [House of Lords] – it should not be as obstructive as the Australian Senate has the power to be – and that the Māori members should be chosen in accordance with their own procedures. (The Māori seats in parliament would also remain – one reason being that the advent of a dual Māori / Pākehā upper house should not preclude Māori from being able to continue to democratically elect their own electorate MPs.) The Pākehā members would, of course, be elected by STV – I would imagine from four 5-seat constituencies. (Sorry, I had to get that one in.)
  • Seann Paurini
    commented 2017-01-28 14:54:37 +1300
    I hope language just happens & isn’t formally made compulsory under compulsory schooling. English & TRM should just occur when baby is born. Idealistic? Yes. And possible.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2017-01-28 14:47:01 +1300
    I respect your difference of opinion, Colin. But please, don’t call other people morons just because they might not see things your way. Thanks.
    For the record, I wasn’t questioning Te Reo’s value or culture, only its suitability to be a full replacement for English in the modern world, where many new ideas and concepts and words and phrases are written and coined in English. That’s why I wouldn’t want the Maori language to be compulsory in school, however, I would absolutely encourage people to learn it if they were interested in the values and culture behind it.
    I agree with you that the ToW puts New Zealand in a much better position with regards to first nation plights, compared to America or Australia, and I’m proud of that (one of many reasons why NZ was always my first choice when I decided to emigrate). I just don’t see the need to drag it out indefinitely and arbitrarily – I’d rather see the principles and ideas absorbed in a future constitution that works for all New Zealanders, no matter if your ancestors have lived here for 800 years or if you’re a newcomer like me.
    As for the blending of immigrants, we’re in agreement there, too, and that’s what I’d like to see – a blend, not keeping cultures separate by having different rules and regulations for them and thus forcing people to choose a side, when we should be able to enjoy the best of many worlds in this great country. Multicultural by choice rather than bicultural by decree. Hope that makes it a bit clearer.
  • Seann Paurini
    commented 2017-01-28 14:42:05 +1300
    Agreed, deal with issues immediately – that’s what a significant portion of the population probably want. The historical & cultural artefacts & challenges still matter but they’re v big picture & as long as folk are up front & willing to engage, these can be resolved. If we focus immediately on crucial bread & butter issues – many of the problems will likely dissipate. We’re still so lucky in NZ – everything we need is here. The extreme greed in NZ is recent – what 30 years? Inequality is noticeably more obvious in the last 5 years? Identify the sources of those, destroy them, look to the best of history & the best of the present in creating the future?
  • Colin Gilbertson
    commented 2017-01-28 14:10:25 +1300
    Excellent speech, Gareth. And oh so accurate re Uncle T Peters – the media are always going to pick on something to emphasise for headlines. Disappointing to read some of the comments here though (esp. Mark James & Oliver Krollman). As a pakeha living in West Island for 5 years (Oz mokopuna) the plight of first nation people here highlights the huge advantage Aotearoa has with the Treaty as offering a start on a path to redressing colonisation. As I see it, a desirable future for NZ would entail a genuine bicultural nation (with English and Maori language compulsory in schools) which of course would welcome multicultural immigrants. For heavens’ sake, what makes NZ & Kiwis unique IS Maori blended with other immigrants. When I listen to One Nation morons here questioning the value of indigenous language and culture I wonder where they think their identity comes from and how they would enjoy being forbidden to speak their language or denied the right to their heritage…. We could, and should, do it so much better than the Aussies. Kia kaha, Gareth.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2017-01-28 14:04:18 +1300
    Thanks for your support, James.
    As for Te Reo, I wouldn’t want to make New Zealand a dual-language country, like the use of English and French in Canada. These languages both have a European background based on similar history, are spoken in many different parts of the world, and have evolved to a state where their grammar, syntax and vocabulary is up to the task of writing up complex documents, like constitutions, laws, rules and regulations and other legalese. Te Reo comes from a different background and set of values, and it is local to the Pacific Islands region. It describes complex concepts in a single word that you’d need a whole paragraph for in English, and the opposite is also true. Let’s preserve it, teach it, speak it and use it where it is the appropriate language to use, and yes, I’m interested in learning more of it (and probably will) – but not as a 1:1 replacement for English in a technology-driven, globally connected 21st century world. Trying to make Te Reo fit for that would take its soul away, in my opinion.
  • Mark James
    commented 2017-01-28 13:15:29 +1300
    Great comment from Oliver Krollman an immigrant. Really sums up my sentiments and the stupidity of this new religion of honouring a document produced a couple of centuries ago.

    Lets get on with developing policy and start channeling money to help the poor many of whom are Maori now. The problem with politics in NZ and what I thought this party is about is that we know whats wrong now so lets fix it now.

    While I cant stand Donald Trump his immediate and decisive action is what we need to tackle our problems here now.
  • John Hurley
    commented 2017-01-28 13:04:00 +1300
    Considering Johnathon Haidts moral Foundations theory: 1) Care/harm: This foundation is related to our long evolution as mammals with attachment systems and an ability to feel (and dislike) the pain of others. It underlies virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance.
    2) Fairness/cheating: This foundation is related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. It generates ideas of justice, rights, and autonomy. [Note: In our original conception, Fairness included concerns about equality, which are more strongly endorsed by political liberals. However, as we reformulated the theory in 2011 based on new data, we emphasize proportionality, which is endorsed by everyone, but is more strongly endorsed by conservatives]
    3) Loyalty/betrayal: This foundation is related to our long history as tribal creatures able to form shifting coalitions. It underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it’s “one for all, and all for one.”
    4) Authority/subversion: This foundation was shaped by our long primate history of hierarchical social interactions. It underlies virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.
    5) Sanctity/degradation: This foundation was shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. It underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions).

    We think there are several other very good candidates for “foundationhood,” especially:

    6) Liberty/oppression: This foundation is about the feelings of reactance and resentment people feel toward those who dominate them and restrict their liberty. Its intuitions are often in tension with those of the authority foundation. The hatred of bullies and dominators motivates people to come together, in solidarity, to oppose or take down the oppressor. We report some preliminary work on this potential foundation in this paper, on the psychology of libertarianism and liberty. Liberals are strong on the first two but weak on the others; conservatives are even across them all. These are universal (across cultures). So where do we think the Treaty would sit?. Some would say “fairness” others may disagree saying it is an accident of history. the other 3 values , however , suggest a tunnelling under and collapsing of society? Haidt maintains that liberals and conservatives need each other (like yin and yang) – he also suggests that conservatives are better judges of human nature. You can apply the same analysis to the flag debate.
  • Floyd Rudolph
    commented 2017-01-28 11:56:43 +1300
    When my father was 5 years old in 1940 the pakeha teachers punished all the Maori kids for speaking te reo at school. Can you imagine the long term effects ? Although tangata Maori hold terrible stats. Step back in history to understand the many reasons why tangata whenua dominate the stats. Te Tiriti O Waitangi is studied by global indigenous races because it’s a living document designed to help cultures adjust and cooperate. Tena koe Gareth, the wairua of your speech is a catalyst for genuine discussions. Nga mihi Koutou.
  • Mark James
    commented 2017-01-28 11:03:56 +1300
    I am a TOP supporter but think the Treaty is a ridiculous topic to get caught on. The idea of its relevance in 2017 is bizarre.
    The heart of any constitution is that all people should be treated equally no matter their race religion dna or where they originated. It may seem simplistic and it is. The fact that Don Brash was touted as a racist for saying this shows the warped world we live in.
    If I wanted to apply different laws to new immigrants and refugees people would label this as racist. But thats what the Treaty or its modern interpretation tells NZ. That because of someones parents then different laws should be applied to them It creates division and racism.
    Im not denying Maori were not systematically ripped off over the last couple of centuries and went from owning everything to nothing but this bizarre construct we are creating to ‘honour’ something that was written lifetimes ago is wrong. Lets address the statistics where Maori lag and invest the billions needed to improve their lives. I guarantee that a few hundred million distributed to a small number of mainly rural Maori and creating a bunch of rules that ‘honour the Treaty’ will not change the terrible stats that Maori seem to hold.

    While this will not be a deal breaker as far as voting for TOP goes it certainly goes against my core philosophy. Logic should be our guide and pragmatic policy should be the tool.
  • John Hurley
    followed this page 2017-01-27 19:00:43 +1300
  • Barb Nixon Mackay
    followed this page 2017-01-27 15:51:51 +1300
  • Gary Walls-Renwick
    commented 2017-01-25 15:49:00 +1300
    Amazing Gareth- Congratulations.What intestinal fortitude you have.As a pakeha today,after your Ratana speech, I feel refreshed and like a load has been taken off my shoulders.You are correct and we need pakeha to stand strong with openness and truth re treaty and social,economic and political inequality of Maori.We desperately need your conversation for Establishment Parties to recognize this. You are making a difference .Thank you and TOP workers.
  • Floyd Rudolph
    commented 2017-01-25 13:42:17 +1300
    Tena koe Gareth, pai rawe to whai korero . Kiwis and tau iwi in general are totally oblivious to the Tiriti o a Waitangi te reo and tangata Maori ( here in Aotearoa since 500AD) NZ Governments and NZ Education has been poor to tautoko te reo and now NZ is still predominantly a one language culture. 2011 during the Christchurch quakes. To support childcare centres, kindergarten and schools in my local areas. I have been a volunteer playing waiata, karakia and kids songs. Babies and young children are experiencing te reo and tikanga in true Maori style. Nga mihi Gareth thank you for standing in a position of clarity regarding a fair cooperation under the Tiriti o a Waitangi.
  • Thomas Curtis
    commented 2017-01-25 10:47:49 +1300
    Spellcheck
    paepae: bench at the front of the meeting house, front row of seats
    kupu.maori.nz/kupu/paepae
    paepae. paepae: bench at the front of the meeting house, front row of seats. Ka noho ngā kaikōrero ki te paepae whaikōrero ai. The main speakers sit on the …
  • David George
    commented 2017-01-25 09:30:34 +1300
    Ae, hikoi tuatahi… he korero pai. Me he weremana he takata whenua, he mana whenua ki hea? Na te mea he kaupapa tika, he kaupapa pai. Ka tu tonu koe e Gareth. Te TOP? Te Ope Pai. Ka mutu.
  • Garry Gelding
    commented 2017-01-25 09:24:50 +1300
    I generally feel pretty refreshed and positive with what TOP is doing, but the personal attacks give other people, and particularly the media, irrelevant things to latch onto, diluting more important messages. Like every new headline this morning has been about the attack on Winnie, almost nothing about the content of your speech – except for one fairly critical opinion piece from Maori TV.
    http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/politics/outspoken-businessman-visits-ratana-pa
  • Pipi Barton
    commented 2017-01-25 01:24:51 +1300
    Gareth I really respect what you are doing, at any time, anywhere in this country discussion around the Treaty can be contentious, its a polarizing topic, yet it needn’t be. Sadly as a nation we are so misinformed about the Treaty and its significance to all of us, Maori and Pakeha. I like what you have said today but sadly your message was lost in the media hype around your comments about NZ First and Winston’s response. I think you need to develop a poker face Mr Morgan and learn to keep your emotions under control, otherwise you risk losing really important messages to the media circus. Keep up the good work, I like what I see so far.
  • John Hyndman
    commented 2017-01-24 21:26:30 +1300
    Well done Gareth. Brilliant speech. I listened to Winston Peters on National Radio this evening. You well and truly ruffled his feathers!! You are certainly raising the profile of TOP but in doing so you will attract the ire of big political guns such as Brash and Peters. Good on you. I admire your pluck.
  • Seann Paurini
    commented 2017-01-24 19:39:39 +1300
    Fully agree Tiaria. It was the first real Maori speech on the significance of the ToW I’ve heard. No obfuscation, no bureaucratese, no “airs & graces” – very good sign.
  • Tiaria Fletcher
    commented 2017-01-24 18:58:14 +1300
    Gareth you’re the only one who has ever come close to having ideas and policies with the potential to realising Maori aspirations and then recognising that what is achieved for Maori benefits everyone. I agree about NZ First being anti Maori – that is the platform Peters built his party on.
  • Seann Paurini
    commented 2017-01-24 16:15:42 +1300
    I commend Gareth for what he said today, brave & real. Good on you Gareth. Full support.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2017-01-24 16:15:00 +1300
    Being an immigrant myself, the upcoming TOP 4 policy (constitution) might be the one I’m going to struggle with. I’m a New Zealander now, and I’d like to see all of us as being New Zealanders, first and foremost. A treaty from 1840 that was badly translated and often misunderstood, a commitment made in 1936 … don’t we have to question and triple-check if these are still applicable and suitable in the year 2017? Many constitutions have had amendments added to them over the decades and centuries, as the world evolved … wouldn’t we have to make sure that ours wasn’t based on a historic treaty just for the sake of honouring that treaty at all cost? Shouldn’t we have a constitution that works for all New Zealanders – Maori, Pakeha, Asians, Europeans, you name it – while at the same time allowing us to preserve our traditions and ways of life, if we desire to do so, and as long as these don’t violate any New Zealander’s rights under the new constitution? Shouldn’t we have just one electoral roll and elect New Zealanders, not Maori and generals? Or is this too simplistic? As kind of an outsider and late immigrant to NZ I’m just worried that the old Maori and Pakeha rivalry is keeping us being stuck in old ways.