< August 2018 newsletter


Ports of Auckland defends the peddling of a myth

The new memorial plaque on the Ports of Auckland frontage, Quay St, states "Te Kawau gifted 3000 acres to establish the City of Auckland." It replaces a plaque which referred to a purchase rather than a gift.

Factual evidence shows that there is no doubt the land was sold. In an attempt to set the record straight, several of our members have contacted the CEO of Ports of Auckland, Tony Gibson, requesting that the plaque be corrected to reflect the facts.

Ports of Auckland (POA) has finally replied, stating they are happy with the wording on the plaque and do not intend to change it, the justification being that “There were different interpretations of the ‘sale’ or ‘gift’ of land at the time, which are best summed up in the report on the Ōrākei Claim by the Waitangi Tribunal”, referring to the extract available HERE.

POA is making the mistake of unquestioningly accepting the history produced by the Waitangi Tribunal as fact. They are disregarding the disquiet expressed by many historians about the sort of history the tribunal has been producing. Dr Michael Bassett, who was closely involved as a member of the Tribunal for 10yrs, accused his fellow tribunal members of bias, and using "inventive arguments". Other historians who have publicly questioned the integrity of the history produced by the Waitangi Tribunal include Dr John Robinson, Dr Michael Bassett, Keith Sorrenson, Michael Belgrave, Bill Oliver, Bruce Moon, and Dr Giselle Byrnes. According to Dr Byrnes, other academics are also concerned but are reluctant to say anything publicly.

POA is also disregarding the text of the original the Deed of Purchase of 3,000 acres for the site of Auckland, which clearly states that Ngati Whatua “consented to give up and to sell a portion of land to the Queen of England for ever and ever for whatever purpose her majesty may seem right.”

When a biased report, such as the Ōrākei Claim by the Waitangi Tribunal, takes precedence over a legal document, such as a deed of purchase, we are indeed on a slippery slope.

At our last working group meeting it was agreed to keep lobbying POA – anyone who has not already done so are urged to also contact the CEO, Tony Gibson. His email address is: gibsont@poal.co.nz

Further reading:

  • Bruce Moon on Our Reversion to Tribalism
  • ‘The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History’, by Dr Giselle Byrnes
  • ‘Historical Frictions: Maori Claims and Reinvented Histories’, by Michael Belgrave

Go back to the August 2018 newsletter


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