28 November 2012
Ngāpuhi Speaks - Pakeha Perspective
Tauiwi Treaty educators welcome independent observers report on Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu claim
Network Waitangi Whangarei spokeswoman Moea Armstrong said the independent treaty education group was honoured to be
asked to co-publish the independent observers report that was launched on November 28.
She said the Ngāpuhi evidence vindicated the work of Māori, Pakeha, and Tauīwi treaty educators over the past 40 years.
“This report clarifies for New Zealanders the truth about the treaty, which first must be heard and acknowledged by
governments and citizens if we are to move forward together as a nation.”
“We salute the speakers who brought their ancestors’ world and words into the 21st Century for us to understand, and the
commissioners of this report for their strength in upholding the mana of the covenants, and for speaking truth to power
about the inherent bias in the settlement process.”
She said the information on the evolution in the early 1800s of Te Wakaminenga o Nga Hapū o Nū Tīreni, and their
Declaration of Independence, He Wakaputanga, will come as news to most New Zealanders. “This is the history book we need
all our children to study and understand. We can’t know where we’re going as a nation without knowing where we’ve come
She said Ngāpuhi had given the Waitangi Tribunal another chance to back one treaty - to give the country the opportunity
to ‘get on the same page’ and have a real conversation together into the future. “Talking past each other, and the
outsized English version panel at Te Papa, can now go.”
“The members of the first Tribunal in 1975 could have refused to try to merge the two contradictory documents, and made
determining a primary text their first job. They didn’t, because the Act that created them instructed that they give
equal weight to both. In retrospect that was a mistake which has cost us a lot of time and energy.”
She said the report was required reading before embarking on conversations about constitutional change.
“We can now stop trying to fudge constitutional issues by clinging to the English text. It’s time to let it go as the
historical curiosity it is. It has served a nefarious purpose by wrongfully portraying the real treaty as either a
cession of sovereignty or a cession of governance. That just didn’t happen.”
“The sooner we are all on the same page, the better the debates around implementing the treaty this century will be, and
the easier we will find the constitutional change dialogue.” She said New Zealand had led the world in other major
social changes and ratifying the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was our next challenge.
“The panel’s recommendations are clear and fair. Carrying them out will bring us closer together and help us toward the
peaceful prosperity for both cultures that Te Tiriti envisaged. New Zealanders have nothing to fear from acknowledging
Te Tiriti, and everything to gain.”
“We’ve come a long way in the nearly 60 years since the first edition of ‘Ask That Mountain’ was written. If anyone is
still waiting for an answer, ‘Ngāpuhi Speaks’ is it.”