The Treaty

Don Brash (The Weekend Sun, June 14) asks for evidence that Parliament passed a law making the Treaty of Waitangi a legally binding partnership. It did not have to. In 1987 the Court of Appeal ruled that the Treaty was a partnership, and Parliament accepted this. Mr Brash says that the Maori version of the Treaty does not grant Maori ownership of forests and fisheries. But the English version does. The English and Maori Treaty versions are equally official. Both versions are in the New Zealand archives, and in the Treaty of Waitangi Act.

The Treaty grants Maori permanent ownership rights over their possessions, including forests and fisheries, in return for the Pakeha right to govern.

Mr Brash says he wants political equality, but we already have it. We have elections, everybody gets one vote, the majority rules. That is political equality. What people own makes no difference. Finally Mr Brash wants to make major changes affecting Maori which they do not want. That seems like creating racial trouble not harmony.

Peter Dey, Welcome Bay




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