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Hamish McKenzie - student, London, Ontario

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Son of something else

Brash's promise to remove references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi from 39 laws and further promises to dismantle a number of Maori institutions is atavism. Such moves would almost completely undo the carefully evolved processes and progresses of governments (National ones included) over the past decades.

Brash's ideas would take us back to the '50s; the 1850s. 150 years ago a similar rash of Brashites pressured a newly-formed settler government (and wielded influence from within it) to trample on Maori rights and the freshly-minted Treaty of Waitangi in order to grab more land for settlements. Maori were getting in the way of "progress" even then, it seems, and so the government set about dividing their lands, fighting wars, and enacting confiscations to appease the majority white settlers.

Didn't it work out well?

Brash is a fully-blown treaty denier. His ideas completely ignore the nuances of New Zealand's history. They are an insult to those who consider themselves intelligent New Zealanders. But what can we expect from someone who has admitted to not having read Michael King's History of New Zealand, Claudia Orange's Treaty of Waitangi, or even James Belich's The New Zealand Wars? The truth is, this man, like the many who share his views on such issues, has no idea what he is talking about.

If this guy somehow does make it to Prime Minister, I hope he can find some money in the budget to pay for some history lessons.