The spirit of fairness in the Treaty
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The spirit of fairness in the Treaty

November 22, 2019

There’s a mateship, you know, there’s a sense of love for each other and you know, with that comes a kindness, a givingness, a trust and if we can display that then as a billboard, I guess, for New Zealanders, they can say well, hey, these guys work together extremely well, why can’t the rest of us. (Translated from te reo to English.) To me the writing reveals a particular hope for this land for a way of life of two peoples working together, marrying together and living entwined. I don’t think any two people will have the same opinion about it, even if they’ve studied in-depth for the whole of their lives and that’s the beauty of it. It is what Eddie Durie has said, it’s the spirit of this relationship, not the article of the law in it. I mean we always say in New Zealand that the Treaty always speaks, it speaks today as it did 150 years ago. (Translated from te reo to English.) The life force of the Treaty continues within us. It is available to those of us who are from different lands and who have come here to this beautiful land, to settle and to work. (Translated from te reo to English.) To me the Treaty has value because the important thing about the Treaty is what is right. Like …As I say, to be ‘right’ is like the Pākehā word for ‘fairness’. So, to me if Māori too are able to achieve the heights scaled by Pākehā and we are equal: Well, that’s right and fair. (Translated from te reo to English.) We consider its English equivalent and that’s the Magna Carta. So, returning to our own Treaty ultimately there are three clauses. But in a much wider sense it has deep meaning and purpose as we seek our continued survival. Coming here I was very intrigued by the Treaty of Waitangi and its impact in this country and I wanted to understand it and because in understanding it, then I’m able to know as a recent migrant to New Zealand what my role is you know. Am I also welcome in this place, does the Treaty welcome me as a visitor to New Zealand and I got the sense that yes because of the Treaty I am welcome here.

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