In on the Con(stitutional Advisory Panel)

There’s another Treaty Debate on tonight at Te Papa.

Treaty Debate Series 2013 – My Voice Counts

This year, we focus on the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements. Participants include two prominent lawyers and a panel of young people.

Kim Hill, 2012 International Radio Personality of the Year, chairs the second Treaty Debate of 2013. This year, we invite a panel of young people to discuss the Constitutional Review, which wraps up in late 2013. They answer the question: What are the issues you care about?

The event is introduced by Claudia Orange, Te Papa’s Treaty of Waitangi scholar, and Carwyn Jones, from the New Zealand Centre for Public Law.

The Treaty Debates are organised by Te Papa in partnership with the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington

I plan to go along to give John Ansell some moral support, perhaps I’ll assist by holding one end of his protest banner, which reads, “Enough Treaty Treachery – Treatygate – The Conning of a Country”.

The rigged panel of Griever Maori and Appeaser Pakeha charged by the National-Maori alliance with misrepresenting your desire for a Treatyfied constitution.

Ansell is right. The country is being conned.

There are no Treaty principles. There is no Treaty partnership. At least, not in the original Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi).

The third article of the Treaty guaranteed to all Māori the same rights as all other British subjects. This meant one law for all.


But there is at least one member of the Constitutional Advisory Panel who (last time I checked) doesn’t understand what “one law for all” means. She says

One-law-for-all is emotive nonsense. We have all sorts of varied laws for different categories of the population, age being the best example. Will Act, under Brash, get rid of the legal age for drinking, voting and obtaining a driver’s licence?

A libertarian friend tries to correct her woolly thinking. He says

You’re not comparing like with like. The drinking age is not a violation of one law for all. It applies equally to everyone. If there were an exemption for Maori, that would violate one law for all.

and goes on to ask

Is your article intended as an apologia for preferential treatment for Maori?

Perhaps it was intended as a job application?

A few brief words on why ageism is acceptable (in the cases to which Deborah Coddington refers) and racism is not. Law is all about discrimination. Morality is all about discrimination. We treat a man who has been found guilty of murder differently from a man who has been charged with murder and acquitted. We discriminate between the two cases. As we should. Legally (and morally), the difference between a Guilty verdict and a Not Guilty verdict is relevant to how people should be treated. In the case of age vs. race, a person’s age is morally relevant (they are deemed to be too young to give informed consent) to how they should be treated. A person’s skin colour is not.

It beggars belief that Coddington was once the Deputy Leader of the Libertarianz Party.

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

5 thoughts on “In on the Con(stitutional Advisory Panel)”

  1. “Be part of the conversation” said the propaganda piece I picked up at the door. But the event finished half an hour early and the panel did not take questions from the audience.

    New Zealand (or Aotearoa New Zealand as it is apparently now known) is on track to become an apartheid state with an apartheid constitution.

    Not “We the People …” but “We the Two Peoples …”

  2. Thanks for your support tonight, Richard. All ‘debaters’ hand-picked by Claudia as predicted, three out of the four Maori, 90% of the Constitutional discussion focused on the Treaty.

    How they can call that a debate is beyond me. Still, we troublemakers in the front row gave it back to them when they deserved it, such as when Julia somebody said there was mass rape at Parihaka.

    Good blog, by the way!

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