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Treaty of Waitangi


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I attended the first day of a day and half workshop on the Treaty Of Waitangi today. Personally I was looking forward to this workshop, as I have no previous experience or learning about the Treaty, and am interested in it from the perspective of an Australian who does not have a similar document in a history of relations between European and indigenous Australians.

I learned about the importance of the 1835 Declaration of independence in helping to formally establish Maori soverienty in New Zealand in the eyes of Europeans at least. Then we jumped to the 1840 Treaty and took a close look at the wording and interpretations, helping to see the gains and losses at stake..

While I'm sure it wasn't the intention of the workshop presenters, the contradiction of motives and outcomes between these two documents really strikes me. After looking more at the resulting conflicts post treaty, and the remaining hard feelings, I looked back at the Declaration of Independence and find myself asking why the Treaty should be considered of more importance than the Declaration. Is it more simply and easily caters to today's European majority?

The cultural aggression of the Europeans then and now is something I find myself thinking more about in all this. The Treaty, a document that was initiated by the British and sustained today by mostly European institutions could even be looked at as an aggressive element that fails to take into account what is really at stake, and even with the so called best of intentions, is inevitably enacted aggressively and in poor faith due to its origins.

I would prefer more status given to the Declaration. It was a document seemingly more in the interests of Maori represented by the United Tribes of the North, and is a clearer statement in favor of the interests of Maori. It would be interesting then to think about what a Treaty would look like coming more from the Maori and not the British perspective...

But in all, this is probably not a very helpful tact to take.. I'm looking forward to day two.


2 Responses to “Treaty of Waitangi”

  1. Anonymous Chris 

    Challenging stuff Leigh.
    You might find this interesting.
    "all that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome." -- Katherine Wilson Sheppard
    Womens suffrage
    What a woman.

  2. Blogger alexanderhayes 

    Nice clean lines Leigh. What's ahppening to your loaded API ?

    Ps. getting some strange crossed lines trying to get you on Skype ....please send me your Skype addie. to my email

    re: 2006 Mobile projects at CLI

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