Waitangi: Fact and Fiction

As each of the chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, our first governor, William Hobson, greeted each of them with the phrase “He Iwi Tahi Tatou” - we are one people.

Despite the way it’s treated, New Zealand’s history was never a case of oppressive white settlers coming in and brutalising the natives, stealing their land and forcing them into near extinction. Instead it was the case of two peoples coming together voluntarily through a treaty, followed by a brief period of instability as a small minority of native fanatics rebelled against the white and pro-white majority.

There was no great die-off due to unfamiliar diseases, as the Maori had been already exposed to Europeans for decades. The natives were not tricked into giving away their land for beads or blankets; the lands that were confiscated were taken only from terrorist-supporting tribes, while the rest of the land was purchased fair and square.

The mainstream narrative of Maori victimhood is condescending and false. Maori had been visiting the British colonies in Australia and Norfolk Island for many years, and some had been to England as early as 1806. The chief Hongi Hika had been personally gifted a full suit of armour and some muskets by King George IV.

They had been trading with whalers, sealers, explorers, missionaries and other visitors for decades. Many of the chiefs spoke English and many of them had been taught to read and write, and the words in the treaty made as much sense to them then as they do to us now.

The English version may even have made more sense to some of them than the Maori version did, as the Te Reo version of the treaty was in the Nga Puhi dialect. This tongue varied from the forms spoken by many of the other tribes, while the English was standard, and in a form likely to have been learnt by the more educated chiefs.

The Maori had encouraged settlement of white men. They wanted access to our medicine, weapons, religion, culture, trade, and rule of law. Most of them were pleased with what they got in exchange for signing the treaty.

The Maori were generally optimistic about their future as a people, at peace with their past and their relationship to the white population, and genuinely grateful for the advances brought about through colonisation.

Loyal Wanganui Maori with the flag presented to them after their victory against rebels at Moutoa Island

Loyal Wanganui Maori with the flag presented to them after their victory against rebels at Moutoa Island

At a conference of native chiefs held in Auckland in 1860, the chief Hoani Wiremu Hipangoa told the Governor, Thomas Gore Browne, of his wishes:

Let the Laws be made known in every place that all men may honour them. I want you to prepare a Law for me now. I want to see the Maori and the Pakeha united, that their goodness may be united.”

At the time, a handful of Waikato, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay tribes were causing trouble, and the Maori King Movement was being formed. Despite these few rebels, the majority of the Maori were still committed to the treaty, to white colonisation, and to white laws.

Tatau Ngatai, chief of the Ngaiterangi, greeted the then Governor General, Lord Bledisloe, at a meeting about the Waitangi treaty grounds in 1932 by saying:

May the fruits of the treaty be manifested to the people, both European and Maori, so that we may live in the future in fullest amity in the Empire to which we all belong, and which we all love. Will you convey to the King the loyalty of the Maori people to him and to you as his representative. Kia Ora!”

As a final example of earlier Maori feelings, Hoani Parata said at the 1948 Dunedin centenary celebrations that:

It is with deep gratitude that the Maori people recall that through the courage and faith of your ancestors, this land, which the Maori have occupied for 800 years, came under the British Crown… We reaffirm our loyalty to the King and may we be permitted to march forward with our pakeha comrades to take our share in the future development of Otago.”

Sir Apirana Ngata’s words from 1940, the centenary of the Treaty of Waitangi, are representative of the traditional loyal Maori.

Clause 1 of the Treaty handed over the mana and the sovereignty of New Zealand to Queen Victoria and her descendants forever. That is the outstanding fact today. That but for the shield of sovereignty handed over to Her Majesty and her descendants, I doubt whether there would be a free Maori race in New Zealand today.

Let me acknowledge further that in the whole of the world I doubt whether any native race has been so well treated by a European people as the Maori of New Zealand.”

And he was surely right. The Australian Aboriginals weren’t counted in the nation’s population until after a referendum passed in 1967, while Maori males had full voting rights twelve years before all white men.

The American Indians were nearly wiped out, and forced into reservations, while the Maori population today is about eight times larger than it was before the Treaty, and many or most Maori are well-integrated into our society, such as it is.

The New Zealand governments, right wing and left, old and new, National and Labour, have all bent over backwards to accommodate the Maori, and this has generally kept them happy. Only recently have shadowy figures been fomenting discontent amongst the Maori, to use them as a weapon in the culture war against white New Zealanders.

These days, Waitangi Day is an opportunity for anti-whites and other leftists to pour false moral scorn upon us and our ancestors. There have been a number of prominent protests, and every year we are treated to rubbish from the press for weeks in either direction of the day.

In 1990, a Maori named Henearoahuea Tepou threw a t-shirt at the Queen. The notorious activist Tame Iti fired a shotgun at a New Zealand flag at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing in 2005.

In 2004, Don Brash was pelted with mud at Te Tii Marae, and yesterday Don Brash was heckled through much of his speech at the same place. In 2009, John Key and Pita Sharples were both assaulted by nephews of Hone Harawira, and in 2012 a mob raised the modern Maori flag Tino Rangatiratanga at the treaty grounds’ flagpole.

Though I am a proud white man, I have no hard feelings against the Maori. They too are New Zealanders, and their ancestors have fought and died alongside my own.

If the negative influences turning the Maori community against the white could be shaken off, just as those forces that are destroying our own culture must be shaken off, and the two New Zealand peoples could be brought back together into an alliance for the defence of our country, we would all be stronger and better off.