Possession’s inconvenient truth lurking in Charter of 1840
In response to Bryan Johnson and Neil Denby’s correspondence (Letters, September 30 and October 7, respectively). An inconvenient truth regarding the Charter of 1840 is it incorporated article 2 of the Treaty into law. Paraphrased, it provided that nothing in the Charter is to affect Ma¯ ori property rights of “occupation or enjoyment”.
This corresponds with the full exclusive and undisturbed possession guaranteed in the Treaty. In R v Symonds, Justice Chapman briefly contemplated the association in the following way, “. . . whatever . . . the Treaty of Waitangi, confirmed by the Charter of the Colony, does not assert . . . anything new or unsettled”. He proposed a modified native title, a “technical seisin” in fee, qualified by the pre-emptive right.
Successive settler governments could not acknowledge the Charter, and then summarily extinguish the rights conferred to Ma¯ ori. Better to sweep it under the carpet and ignore it. The notorious Simple Nullify decision reduced Ma¯ ori property rights to merely occupation rights, subject to the grace and favour of the Crown. Thus, a qualified fee simple title was changed to a usufructuary right, the injustice is manifest.
I am sure Hobson’s Pledge would agree that Hobson’s choice of honouring the Treaty principle above was a Clayton’s choice, by its confirmation in the Charter and the legal principle “the Queen is the only source of title” (R v Symonds, 1847). Gary Smallman, Manurewa
Taking care of your own
Paul Little’s open letter to migrants (HoS, October 7) was so Paul Little — as always, a negative, bitter person.
Why isn’t he questioning the iwi leaders of all the tribes as to why the billions of dollars they have had is not reaching their people at the bottom of the hierarchy?
But of course that’s what tribalism is all about — the chiefs not the indians.
We learn that at school, always take care of your own and all will be well.
Well, the Ma¯ ori chiefs are not taking care of their own, or even encouraging them to stand strong.
I have been a volunteer helper in schools with reading for many years, I won’t go into detail but I think I’ve got a very good grasp about life in NZ.
Unfortunately life is like a lottery, when you’re born, no matter what colour, creed, rich or poor, or nationality you are, if you don’t get parents who love you like chocolate and think like winners, you’re doomed.
But there is a light lurking, if you get a wonderful teacher, and I’ve met many wonderful teachers, if you listen and learn you might just make it. Susan Lawrence, Kohimarama
Slow trains to airport
As a regular commuter to Wellington, I was actually excited at the thought of catching a tram to the airport — better than driving and paying high parking fees. However, having read the reports that it’s now going to basically be a long, slow crawl at less than 30km/h along city streets, give me the rapid train any day. I hope Jacinda and co are hearing this. Rob Askew, Takapuna
I fully agree with the comments made by Brian Main (Letters, October 7). When people immigrate they should adapt to the lifestyle of that country and should integrate into the society of that country.
But they also should keep their culture alive at home by teaching their culture to children and taking part in cultural events.
I used to encourage immigrant communities to take part in cultural events so that New Zealanders who attend these events will come to know more about their culture.
Just by keeping in contact with the people from their country alone is not going to help them to adapt to the lifestyle of the country they have immigrated into.
Mix and mingle with all the people — this is what you need. Mano Manoharan, Hamilton