The partnership interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi is manifesting in a myriad of ways. The recent unlawful closure of the road to the North Cape by Ngati Kuri, with the collaboration of government agencies including the Department of Conservation, the NZ Police and the NZ Transport Agency, is but another example.
You may well ask how a group of citizens can take it upon themselves to break the law - including physically threatening MP Matt King - and garner the assistance of government agencies to do so. This can be explained by the insidious incorporation of the treaty principles which have been brokered into government legislation, with far-reaching consequences for all sectors and levels of government activity - the result of a constitutional partnership marching through government sectors.
This is clearly demonstrated by the way in which the Treaty principles have been adopted by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) - the Crown entity which is tasked with promoting safe and functional transport by land, and administering the New Zealand state highway network - but now also another avenue for the incorporation of tribal authority into government institutions and processes.
NZTA has developed a strategy to work together with Māori which includes recognising and respecting “the individual autonomy and authority of Māori”.
“The Transport Agency recognises and respects Te Tiriti o Waitangi and will work with Māori to build strong, meaningful and enduring relationships to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Te Ara Kotahi (our Māori Strategy) provides strategic direction to the Transport Agency on how we work with and respond to Māori as the Crown’s Treaty partner, and what this means for how we do business”.
NZTA VOWS TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT THE MĀORI ECONOMY
Working in partnership with Māori includes supporting the Māori economy by exploring opportunities to partner with Māori in transport investments.
- “The Transport Agency’s investment decision making framework and guidance demonstrate a partnership approach with iwi”.
- “Develop iwi project agreements and MOU templates”.
- “Understand what Māori businesses exist”.
- “Develop and implement a Social Procurement Framework that provides for Māori participation”.
And much more – please read the Maori Strategy on the NZTA website here.
For an understanding on how the insidious subversion of our democratic principles has come about, please read Professor Elizabeth Rata’s ‘Marching through the Institutions’: The Neotribal Elite and the Treaty of Waitangi’
Also, NZ Herald article (7 Nov. 2006) Tough talker on tribal issues
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