Gary Judd KC: the Treaty of Waitangi and the Prospect of a Referendum

VIDEO: Michael Laws speaks to Gary Judd KC about the Treaty of Waitangi and the prospect of a referendum. Click here to view. Continue reading

Elizabeth Rata: Two Treaties of Waitangi: The Articles Treaty and the Principles Treaty

There are two versions of the Treaty of Waitangi.  The first is the 1840 Treaty – the ‘Articles Treaty’. The second is what I call the ‘Principles Treaty’. It dates from 1986 when the principles were first included in legislation. Astonishingly the parliamentary representatives who inserted the word ‘principles’ did not know what they meant. To include a word estranged from its meaning into legislation is an egregious political failure. At the very least, a democracy requires words to have an agreed meaning otherwise rational communication is impossible.  Autocracies that use ideologies to control how people think can dispense with accurate meaning. Democracies cannot. Continue reading

Bob Edlin: Jackson and the Treaty

Jackson and the Treaty – it seems he has forgotten what Lange said about partnership and why Clark wouldn’t sign UN declaration. Continue reading

Thomas Cranmer: Are political parties too tribal?

Assessing the impact on democracy and the escalation of polarisation Political parties play a significant role in democratic systems, including in New Zealand. They provide a means of organising political representation and facilitating the functioning of the government. However, the question arises whether political parties, with their inherent tribalism and policy conformity, are necessary for a functioning democracy. The shortcomings of political parties are apparent on an almost daily basis with elected representatives and supporters encouraged to maintain a blind support for party policies even when faced with legitimate criticism. The adversarial nature of the Westminster system makes it difficult for politicians to admit mistakes and the net effect is an exacerbation of polarisation. Continue reading

Callum Purves: A lesson in co-governance from Northern Ireland

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland. It ended a decades-long conflict between Irish Republicans and British Unionists. As a relative newcomer to New Zealand and someone who spent time working in Northern Irish politics, I have noticed political parallels between the two. Both are dealing with issues such as addressing the wrongs of the past, the politicisation of language, upholding minority rights and the best form of governance to do this. Continue reading

John Robinson: Our Choice For The Future: Equality Or Tribal Rule

John Robinson is a research scientist with two masters degrees (mathematics, physics) from the University of Auckland and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The focus of his work has been the longterm development of human society situation of Maori in New Zealand. on a finite planet (futures research) and the late 20th century social Familiarity with the lack of honesty in the Treaty process resulted in a deepening concern over the increase of racebased division. A first report on what was happening was in “The corruption of New Zealand democracy, a Treaty industry overview” (2011). Continue reading


Voting for local government should be simple. If you think that council has generally done a good job, support most incumbent candidates. Make sure to rank incumbents who generally supported the outcomes you prefer ahead of new challengers. Rank promising new challengers ahead of the few incumbents who supported things you oppose. Continue reading

Bryce Edwards: Why New Zealand’s shift to a republic will be thwarted

The death of Queen Elizabeth and the ascension to the throne of King Charles has reignited the debate on whether New Zealand should become a republic. But despite strong arguments in favour of shifting to a republic, such a move is unlikely to occur anytime soon. What will stop the republican movement from gaining ground and winning over a majority of New Zealanders to ditch the monarchy? The answer is Treaty politics. Continue reading

Gary Judd QC: Lawyers must reject co-governance and coercion

New Zealand is faced with a determined push for a momentous political change called co-governance, but really a devolution of power to an unelected tribal elite who have been described in Cabinet papers as ‘iwi/Māori’. Giving powers of veto and more, co-governance will enable iwi/Māori to impose their will on the ordinary people of New Zealand. Chris Trotter’s Co-governance: New Zealand’s own Catch-22 in LawNews (Issue 10) argues that we should surrender to coercion and avoid violent revolution. I say co-governance is wrong and surrender to coercion is wrong, but we should thank Chris Trotter and LawNews for unveiling the agenda. Continue reading

CHRIS TROTTER: Riding 2022's Revolutionary Tiger

2022 WILL BE a revolutionary year. The deliberative processes begun in 2021 on how best to reconfigure the New Zealand state in conformity with the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will expand and intensify throughout 2022. New Zealanders will not be able to escape the consequences of their government’s decision to set these processes in motion. Nor will that Government be able to stop what it has begun. Over the course of the next twelve months we will discover how well the people of Aotearoa-New Zealand can ride the revolutionary tiger. Continue reading