Disturbing attack

In his attempt to push back at Peter Dey and myself (The Weekend Sun, July 5) Peter Kelly enters the murky realm of confusion himself.

I have deep respect for Peter Dey and his understanding of treaty matters. I do however speak only for myself. My motivation is not as a self-appointed spokesman on Maori issues, I learned long ago Maori are perfectly capable of doing that for themselves.

Rather it is to oppose the deeply disturbing and constant attacks by some, on Maori rights as defined both in the treaty and subsequent legislation. Don Brash and Hobsons pledge being to forefront.

As part of his push back P. Kelly quotes a part of the Native Rights Act 1865. Perhaps unwittingly but certainly ironically he omitted to mention the need for the act in question. That need is spelled out clearly.

Obfuscating settlers and their legal council were engaged in casting doubt on the legal standing of Maori in land and other matters. The act makes clear, in part "it is expedient that all such doubts be removed".

At the same time the Native Commission Act came into being. The wording may be interesting to Mr Kelly. This commission was certainly appointed along racial lines and I quote - "not less than twenty nor more than thirty five persons of the Maori race, and to such other persons of the European race, not being less than three nor more than five".

Clearly a reference to the racial difference and the need for protection. Those differences and the need for protection still exist as evidenced by current laws and the ongoing recognition

that certain elements continue to undermine the rights that were not "given" to Maori but were fought for, generation after generation.

Don Brash, the current spokesman for the so called Hobsons pledge group, is on record claiming New Zealand cannot progress under such laws, and yet here we are, admired by so many other nations and living in a modern democracy in peace and relative harmony.

Why the fear Mr Kelly?

Robin Bell, Omanawa


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