Dr Muriel Newman
nzcpr.com

“Resources include flora; fauna; aquatic life; minerals and petroleum; rivers; water; and air. It also includes associated values such as biodiversity. Across all resources we support Maori having influence. Maori receive royalties for the use of particular resources such as water, petroleum and minerals.”

Vision 2040

In March 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern authorised the development of a plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration had been launched twelve years earlier by the UN but at the time Helen Clark’s Labour Government had refused to sign because the demands were too radical.

Taken literally, the Declaration would essentially give control of a nation to those who self-identify as “indigenous” – the ownership of all public and private land, all resources including fresh water, and the power to govern.

In 2008 the Maori Party made supporting the Declaration a condition of their coalition deal with John Key’s National Party. Two years later, the Declaration was secretly signed in New York. National justified their actions and placated opposition by claiming the agreement was not binding on the government, but was instead “symbolic and aspirational”. 

Former Waitangi Tribunal Chairman Sir Edward Durie expressed a more prophetic view saying, “I would rank the day that New Zealand gave support to the Declaration, as the most significant day, in advancing Maori rights, since 6th February 1840.”

Without any mandate from New Zealanders, the Ardern Labour Government has decided to turn this symbolic accord into an action plan for our country. Her ultimate goal is to elevate Maori tribal leaders to the status of a ruling aristocracy. Representing 15 percent of the population, they will exercise 50 percent of the Government’s decision-making power and control the vast economic resources that would accompany such a role.

The technical working group appointed by the Prime Minister to develop the implementation plan delivered their report He Puapua on 1 November 2019. Called Vision 2040, it provides a “roadmap” to fully enact the Declaration by 2040 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

This plan was not made public by Labour for almost a year – only appearing after the 2020 election. Furthermore, Labour made no mention of their proactive support for the UN Declaration in their election manifesto.

Jacinda Ardern, therefore, cannot claim any mandate from the electorate for the implementation of this radical agenda.

The Vision 2040 report that was ‘partially’ released under the Official Information Act by the Ministry of Maori Development – you can see our analysis HERE – contained only 36 pages of the 123-page document. We have now located the remainder of the document and posted it on our NZCPR website HERE. Before we look into the detail, let’s reflect on the bigger picture.

Essentially, since the decision was made in 2019 to enact the Declaration, Jacinda Ardern’s Government has set in motion a process that will lead to tribal control of New Zealand by 2040 and the end of democracy as we know it.

Since the Prime Minister did not seek a mandate for implementing the Declaration at the election, her strategy is clearly to progress what amounts to a radical betrayal of New Zealand democracy by stealth.

But no Prime Minister has the authority to make major fundamental constitutional changes to the way our country is governed without seeking consent from the public.

Jacinda Ardern, however, is behaving as if she believes she is above such conventions.

Governments are complex, and the changes that are being made to progress the Declaration are incremental – so as not to cause alarm. Like the boiling frog fable, the heat is now being turned up but so slowly that by the time New Zealanders wake up and realise that we are no longer a democratic nation, it will be too late.

Vision 2040
 alleges that Maori are ‘victims’ of colonisation: “Because of colonisation and a system that has been designed to undermine Maori, Maori are overrepresented in negative statistics in all key socio-economic indicators. This includes unemployment; income; health; housing; education; and criminal justice.”

They claim the ‘solution’ to “Maori” disparity is tribal control of social services – designed by Maori, directed by Maori, delivered by Maori, and funded by taxpayers.

They refer to Whanau Ora as a model, yet over the last decade, in spite of receiving upwards of $1 billion in taxpayer funding to deliver social services to disadvantaged Maori, sovereignty advocates claim Maori disparity is getting worse.

In reality, however, “Maori” disparity is a myth.

As Dr Tony Sewell, Chairman of the UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparitiesexplained last week, disadvantage is not influenced by ‘race’: “The evidence shows that geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism.”

His report, which sought to better understanding ethnic disparity in the UK, highlighted the importance of family structure:

“In many areas of investigation, including educational failure and crime, we were led upstream to family breakdown as one of the main reasons for poor outcomes. Family is also the foundation stone of success for many ethnic minorities.”      

It is the same in New Zealand – it is not race that causes social deprivation, but factors such as the breakdown of the family, educational failure, and intergenerational welfare dependency.

Vision 2040, however, seeks to perpetrate the racial disparity myth, to justify handing control of key government services to tribal groups. In areas such as child protection and health, the planning for this transformation is well advanced.

‘Biculturalism’ underpins Vision 2040 and, as a result, the whole State Sector – including the Public Service, Nurses, Teachers, and Police, is not only undergoing cultural competency and cultural safety “training” but in a growing number of instances staff are being required to swear allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi.

In the case of teachers, it is specified by the Teaching Council as a requirement for registration:

“A declaration that you are committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the learning environment and supporting the aspirations of Maori learners.”

Similar changes are being mandated by the new Public Service Act that Labour passed into law last year. Under Section 14, public service leaders are required to “support the Crown in its relationships with Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi” by “developing and maintaining the capability of the Public Service to engage with Maori and to understand Maori perspectives.”

The new Act also requires employers to prioritise “greater involvement of Maori in the Public Service”. As a result, many of the new government employment opportunities are now being deliberately skewed in favour of Maori – essentially discriminating against everyone else.

Some agencies are more advanced in adopting the Vision 2040 agenda than others, and the report identifies the Children’s Commission as being “Declaration-friendly”. A glimpse at their latest report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child shows why – in fact, it highlights just how radical government organisations are becoming under the Declaration agenda:

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Children’s Convention needs to be implemented in the context of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), New Zealand’s founding document. Te Tiriti, te ao Maori (a Maori world view), the historical adoption of British laws and views of childhood, and the impact of colonisation underpin the setting in which children’s rights can be adopted and implemented in New Zealand law and practices. However, while Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Children’s Convention and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples reinforce the rights of mokopuna Maori as indigenous children, inequality of outcomes persist.”

The Commission promotes the devolution of “power and resources to Maori”:

“In order to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and better serve the needs of mokopuna Maori, the government must take drastic measures… and take into account the collective dimension of Maori cultural identity. Reforms should recognise the right of Maori to exercise their own autonomy, as defined by them, and support this to happen.”

When it comes to the ownership and control of public resources, Vision 2040 promotes “the transfer of significant powers to Maori to make bylaws and authorise activities…”

They propose “Delegating government powers across the resource management and conservation spectrum to Maori” – including all Resource Management decision-making.

With Labour planning to overhaul the Resource Management Act, it would appear highly likely that the new legislation will assign control of resource management processes to tribal groups that will be mired in vested interests.

Under Vision 2040, tribal groups want ownership of the Conservation Estate, lakes, rivers, the foreshore and seabed – in addition to what they have already received through Treaty settlements. Securing control of the resource management process will certainly facilitate such outcomes.

Vision 2040 states that when it comes to freshwater, they want “provisions to make co-governance and co-management of freshwater bodies compulsory.”

And they want to “receive royalties for the use of natural resources such as water…”

With all of this in mind, it is extremely important that we now carefully scrutinise all new legislation to ascertain whether Jacinda Ardern is indeed giving away democratic power and public resources to Maori tribal interests – without having gained a mandate from New Zealanders. 

This week’s Guest Commentator is Fiona Mackenzie, an Auckland-based communications and marketing specialist who has examined one of the bills that is currently making its way through Parliament – the Water Services Bill introduced by Local Government Minister Nania Mahuta to reform the management of freshwater, wastewater and stormwater. Fiona is appalled by what she has found:

“The Bill’s application of ‘Te Mana o te Wai’ is apartheid in nature and is very corruptible in that it secures enormous power for self-appointed Maori leaders over other New Zealanders in matters pertaining to this basic necessity. It also suggests that cultural/religious beliefs outweigh any scientific imperatives…

“The Bill even forces Regional Councils to ‘investigate’ divesting their governance authority to ‘tangata whenua’ by joint management and/or a transfer of powers or similar!!! 

“Did any of us vote for that constitutional change? There is no citizen agreement or authorisation, no requirements for responsible or fair administration, nor any safeguards against conflicts of interest or abuse of power being conferred. 

“This anti-democratic, elitist and racist Bill creates opportunities (without redress) for human rights abuses. The power given to those with some Maori ancestry appears to be unchallengeable, unaccountable, and very corruptible.”

Through this Water Services Bill and last year’s update of the National Policy Statement on Freshwater that significantly strengthened the provisions for Maori involvement in management and decision-making, Labour is well on the way to passing control of New Zealand’s freshwater to tribal leaders – a key goal of Jacinda Ardern’s Vision 2040.

Yet enabling tribal groups to manage freshwater, not only represents a serious security risk, in that an essential national resource will effectively be privatised to unaccountable Maori corporations, but it is a licence to print money – in perpetuity.

In fact, granting Maori a royalty every time the tap is turned on is recommended in Vision 2040:

“If Maori are to exercise governance power, there needs to be support for this. The Crown’s main contribution will be resourcing. There are multiple streams from which financial contributions might be sourced, including, for example, levies on resource use where Maori have a strong claim to ownership, such as water.”

Vision 2040 is a prescription for our country to be controlled by a small group claiming to represent the 15 percent of the population with Maori heritage. What is now blindingly obvious is that the Ardern government is administering that prescription in rapid doses – and bolstering the arrogance of Maori sovereignty activists who clearly believe they are now unstoppable.

They know that each day Jacinda Ardern remains in power, New Zealand moves closer to becoming the Maori nation of Aotearoa with the Treaty of Waitangi embedded into a new constitution sitting at the very top of a tikanga-based legal system and permeating every facet of our lives.

The only thing that can prevent this outcome is democracy. Despite the ‘nationalisation’ of large tracts of our media, and the increase in tribal control, New Zealanders still have the democratic power to stop politicians and reverse a slide that is now undoing nearly 200 years of nation building.

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The End of Democracy
Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman established the New Zealand Centre for Political Research as a public policy think tank in 2005 after nine years as a Member of Parliament. A former Chamber of Commerce President, her...