Pos­ses­sion’s in­con­ve­nient truth lurk­ing in Char­ter of 1840

Herald on Sunday - - EDITORIAL -

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

Min­gling im­mi­grants

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

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