A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Settlement of a grievance

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1103
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Settlement of a grievance    Fri 14 Dec 2012, 03:57

Resolution of conflict, really. Or perhaps better in Civilisation and Community.

This morning the radio had an interview with the chief negotiator (Tamati Kruger) for Ngai Tuhoe, who have recently settled their claim for compensation with the Crown. He had some interesting points to make about history and the past, and its influence on the present and the future.

Tuhoe never signed the Treaty of Waitangi (vesting sovereignty in the Queen of England and ensuring Maori had full possession and use of their possession and lands), so never accepted British over-rule really. The iwi (tribe) and the Crown have had a very fraught relationship over the years and the Crown negotiator, Chris Finlayson, said, “The conditions in Te Urewera, which contains some of our most deprived and isolated communities, show the very real and continued effects of the Crown’s Treaty breaches on the daily lives of Ngāi Tuhoe people in the present. Huge areas of the iwi’s land were wrongly confiscated, [in the mid-1860s] and more purchased unjustly. Military campaigns against Tuhoe prisoners and civilians were described even at the time as ‘extermination’, and the Crown employed a scorched earth policy in Tuhoe settlements in the Te Urewera.” The tribe then refused to sell or lease their land or have it surveyed, and it is a very proud and independent tribe.

The settlement involved considerable financial compensation (NZ$170 million, about £80 million) but the sticking point was the tribe’s insistence on having control/ownership over their area Te Urewera, a mountainous, isolated region and national park in the middle of the North Island. Apparently they almost reached an agreement in 1896 but the Boer War and other matters put it on the backburner.

Now they have agreed the area won’t be owned by anyone, but a new trust of Tuhoe and the Crown will manage it as a separate legal entity.
There is a tendency for people to say it is time to forget old grievances and get on with the future. He said the past is always part of us, part of our DNA and can’t be put aside, though it can be managed. He said, “The most reliable prophet is the past.” (Which may explain why Tuhoe have been surprised this settlement has been agreed on, though it is still to be ratified in April, and there is a feeling something may yet go wrong or some event happen to put in on hold again.) The interview was a very sympathetic and knowledgeable one, and the interviewer mentioned that some people involved now had grandmothers who were raped by soldiers, and other events happened just two generations ago. (Not to mention the ‘terrorist’ raids of 2007 which have left a very bitter taste.)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10833293

Back to top Go down
Vizzer
Censura
avatar

Posts : 815
Join date : 2012-05-12

PostSubject: Re: Settlement of a grievance    Fri 25 Jan 2013, 22:02

Caro wrote:
Tuhoe never signed the Treaty of Waitangi (vesting sovereignty in the Queen of England and ensuring Maori had full possession and use of their possession and lands)
They were just right not to sign it because the Treaty is legally flawed from the outset.

For example, the use of the term 'Queen of England' in the text of the Treaty simply invalidates it. That title ceased to exist in 1707 - i.e. 133 years before Waitangi. The use of it by the drafters of the Treaty, therefore, was either grossly negligent and/or absurd.

That said - at least the Crown of New Zealand is attempting to make an honourable settlement for historical deeds* with actual financial compensation. This is quite unlike the case with the Crown of the UK never seems to do so.

*events which took place before living memory - i.e. more than 120 years ago.
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1103
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: Settlement of a grievance    Sat 26 Jan 2013, 07:09

Hi Vizzer,

There has been a lot of controversy over the wording of the Treaty of Waitangi but I don’t think the title of the Queen has ever been of them. In the English version the treaty preamble begins with Her Majesty Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Further on she is just called the Queen of England or the Queen. In the Maori version she is referred to as Wikitoria te Kuini o Ingarani throughout. However I daresay New Zealanders of the time understood, as they do now, that Scotland and Ireland are not the governing force of Britain. Maybe there were difficulties in translating the whole title.

The focus of any concerns about the language of the treaty is always on the differences between the English and Maori versions, and how Maori interpreted certain words. Historian Michael King said, "The word used for sovereignty – that which the chiefs were asked to give away to the Queen of England – was rendered as ‘kawanatanga’. This was an abstraction from the kawana, itself a transliteration of ‘governor’, and hence meant literally ‘governorship’." But in earlier documents ‘mana’ had been used for sovereignty, so there has been some argument by Maori (mostly) – politicised Maori, not probably all Maori – that the chiefs were retaining sovereignty and giving away only the right to ‘governorship’. Then article two said Maori would retain ‘te tino rangatiratanga o ratou wenua kainga me o ratou taonga katoa’ – ‘the unqualified exercise of their chieftainship over their lands, villages and all their treasures’. "This was rather more than the same article offered in English: ‘full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties."...[Maori] would further argue that, in guaranteeing Maori ‘tino rangatiratanga’ the Treaty was in fact guaranteeing Maori the right to continue to manage and govern their own affairs without interference by a civil or military authority." And the word taonga [which almost all NZers would recognise now] corresponded to ‘other properties’ in the English version but it always defined now as ‘treasures’. "It would be used in the future to argue Maori rights to material and cultural resources that were in no way envisaged by the English version or by those who proposed it."

Indeed. In the last couple of decades we have had fusses over who might own the seabeds and foreshore, and now there is some legal action about whether Maori own water. Our government says no one owns our water – while giving the rights to it to anyone they fancy.

The possibility of New Zealand changing to a republic is going to stumble on the fact that Maori feel the Treaty was definitely with the Queen, and is still between Maori chiefs and the Monarch. So without a monarch there would need to redefinitions somewhere. Lots of NZers feel we would be better off without a treaty and talk about a grievance industry but I am certainly not one of them. It has been more honoured in the breach over the decades but has been very useful for redressing some of the very real disadvantages Maori people suffered when their land was compulsorily taken off them after the wars. It is referred to very frequently here.

Cheers, Caro. (Sorry this is so long, and mostly not about your concern.)
Back to top Go down
Vizzer
Censura
avatar

Posts : 815
Join date : 2012-05-12

PostSubject: Re: Settlement of a grievance    Sat 26 Jan 2013, 11:15

hi Caro

the Maori word 'Ingarani' does raise intriguing questions.

It could be that this was the then Maori term for the UK. In other words the Maori term for 'England' and the Maori term for 'Britain' was the same. In much the same way as in the Cantonese language, the Chinese inhabitants of Hong Kong etc use the word 'Ying-guo' to mean 'Britain' while they use the word 'Yingalan' for England. And it doesn't take a lingustic genius to work out that both the words 'Ying-guo' and 'Yingalan' are based on the word 'England'. It's highly likely that the word 'Ying-guo' originally had a dual purpose.

Similarly it could be that there simply was no use of the term 'Kingatanga Kotahi o Piritene Nui me Airangi' (United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland) in the Maori language in 1840. The word 'Ingarani' was probably multi-purpose. The main thing is that at least the Maori text of the Treaty is consistent in its usage. Not so the English-language version. And this casual conflation of 'England' with the UK is even more remarkable when one considers that the main drafters of the Treaty, William Hobson and James Busby were Irish and Scottish respectively.

It seems to me (living in the UK) that far too much is made of the Treaty of Waitingi as a historical document. As you point out, the differences in the texts and the different interpretations in translation are not insignificant. It is difficult, however, to see how the Treaty of itself should be taken as being some sort of obstacle to New Zealand becoming a commonwealth. For example the idea that all non-Maori inhabitants of New Zealand are only allowed to be there courtesy of the Crown and the Treaty of Waitangi seems to be a quaintly ruritanian concept to say the least. We have a similar phenomenon in the UK were some unionists suggest that Scotland and England can not become independent countries because that means that all non-Scots will have to leave Scotland and all non-English will have to leave England. It's just so much silly scare-mongering with not-to-mention unsavoury 'racial' undertones.

Similarly in New Zealand there were many non-Maori inhabitants living there well before the Treaty in 1840. James Busby, himself, was one of them.
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1103
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: Settlement of a grievance    Sat 26 Jan 2013, 20:05

Hello Vizzer,

The European takeover of Aoteoroa (not that it was ever called than in pre-European times, names were more local) was not by conquest, and thus the Treaty (and a previous treaty too) gave the English/British validity for their rule. Without it they would struggle to insist on a legal right to govern.

There weren't MANY Europeans pre-treaty. I think about 2000 - Maori chiefs welcomed Europeans for their trading help but assumed Maori would always be in the majority (though a few Maori did sound out warnings of what might - and did - happen). The European population would have grown anyway - the NZ company was already recruiting in Britain, and I think wanted to get set up before the Treaty so they could be more cavalier in their business.

At any rate without the treaty there wouldn't have been any redress in the 1970s. The South Island trbe, Ngai Tahu, were awarded $170 million, though their losses over the years was estimated at about 20 billion dollars. I see that the money given was considered the right amount to allow Ngai Tahu to build on, and that has happened. Ngai Tahu assets are now around $800 milions, so they have done well with their money, though not without some controversy and in-fighting. Ngai Tahu have first dibs on any government property that comes up (un-used schools etc) at market price.

http://www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz/About-Ngai-Tahu/Settlement/Settlement-Offer/Economic-Security.php

There won't be a time (at least in the foreseeable future) where Pakeha have to leave NZ and a republic (ghastly thought to me anyway, with a president dependent on how a generally not very well informed public feel on a particular day) would be worked through if need be. But nobody is in a hurry for this. It's one of those things that is assumed will happen one day, but we won't think about it today, please.

Having the treaty considered important allows those concerns about who can live or govern here a basis in a written document, which comes and goes in its importance but right now is strong, and has certainly helped with a Maori renaissance in the last three decades and brought a much stronger Maori presence to our government and cultural life. It's no longer possible to do any large project without Maori input; even here with very few political Maori - few Maori at all in fact - our local museum ensures it has Maori input for its operations and projects.

The Treaty of Waitangi is very important to Maori and Pakeha understand that, if they don't all accept it.
Back to top Go down
 

Settlement of a grievance

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: War and Conflict-