Treaty: Three voices address three issues

Dr Alistair Reese. Photo: Supplied.

Three voices with three perspectives will be addressing how the Treaty of Waitangi affects three issues that concern Bay of Plenty residents.

The Crown, Tangata Whenua and the Church will be coming together at Baycourt on October 31 to discuss how the Te Tiriti o Waitangi influence co-governance, Three Waters and the redevelopment of Tauranga's city centre.

Representing the Crown will be Justice Ministry Kiri Allen, representing Tangata Whenua will be Antoine Coffin, with Dr Alistair Reese representing ‘the Church'.

Te Kohinga, a Tauranga-based reconciliation network is organising the free event to help improve public understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how it affects current events.

The concept of the hui is the idea of Dr Alistair Reese, whose research centres on reconciliation and Pākehā identity.

His research about Te Papa precipitated the Anglican apology to Tauranga Māori in 2018, and contributed to Council understanding of the need to reconcile the Heart of the City.

He says many struggle to understand co-governance.

'There is a lack of understanding about the implementation of the Treaty by the Crown and a variety of Councils. This is in part due to the deficit within our school curriculum. The event provides an opportunity for the public to hear and learn about the positions held by the three parties who initiated, signed and mediated the treaty - the Crown, Māori and the Church,” says Alistair.

'It is to help people be more informed about the Treaty, and therefore co-governance, Three Waters and the Tauranga Civic development.

'What position on the Treaty does the Crown hold that results in their Three Waters proposal? What position do iwi hold that has them pushing for co-governance? What position does the Church hold that motivates them to give land back to iwi?

'People won't understand co-governance unless they better understand what underpins the logic of co-governance,” says Alistair.

'Differences of opinions on these important civic issues will remain, however, it is hoped the event will contribute to a more informed public discussion. Three Waters, Co-governance, and the Downtown redevelopment have not happened in a vacuum. The common denominator is the Treaty.”

Alistair says the language of the church formed the language of the Treaty, and the idea that the Treaty was a covenant rather than a contract.

'It is historically based rather than belief based,” says Alistair.

'Unless we understand where the people in governance roles are coming from, and their decision making, we won't be able to participate in the discussion and dialogue. This will be a platform to give the Crown, tangata whenua and the church - which was a major player in the signing of the Treaty - a chance to explain why they are making these decisions.”

Justice Minister Kiritapu Allen will present the Crown's view of Te Tiriti. She is also Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Associate Minister for the Environment.

Ngāti Ranginui's Antoine Coffin will discuss tangata whenua's view of Te Tiriti and how it has informed Treaty settlements.

He is a Māori resource management specialist with expertise in Māori cultural impact and values assessment, cultural and historic heritage planning, and community engagement.

He is a co-director of a heritage and environmental consultancy working across government, local government, and private sector.

Three Voices at the Treaty Table will be held at Baycourt, Tauranga on October 31, from 7pm – 9pm.

There will be an opportunity for questions and answers from the audience. Admission is free.

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One people and one vote

Posted on 17-10-2022 09:31 | By an_alias

Sorry my grand parents fought in the world war for ALL of NZ to have democracy and one vote as one people. Not to dilute democracy where my vote is diluted by co-governance

@ an_alias

Posted on 17-10-2022 21:38 | By Yadick

Well put. Co-governance is not needed for any reason in NZ.


Posted on 17-10-2022 22:49 | By Let's get real

Most, if not all, people have absolutely no problem with who makes decisions and takes leadership.... As long as they have the credentials to support their position and opinions and have been elected properly into the role. A productive meeting requires an understanding of the matters at hand and their legal and moral ramifications for the entire community. Limited understanding of the issues at hand is currently being highlighted in Parliament with taxpayers/ratepayers funding seats at the table for people based on what they are rather than who they are.


Posted on 18-10-2022 00:23 | By morepork

I agree with your sentiments. Unfortunately my previous comments about this spin session were too strong for SunLive to print. I won't be attending, because there is no point. Neither my mind nor theirs is likely to be changed and I don't believe there is anything they can teach me about the Treaty (which I have studied extensively in English and Te Reo.) Co-governance is a sham and is derived by spinning some legislation passed in 1986 to mean more than was ever intended. It appears nowhere in the original treaty. (In fact, Article 1 cedes Rangatiratanga (rulership) to the Crown, with certain provisos). Three Waters (derived from the secret He Puapua document, which the Government is now frantically trying to bury, but secretly pursuing anyway) is a disgrace, and it is no wonder the people of NZ have pushed back so strongly against it.

Someone missing

Posted on 18-10-2022 00:24 | By Johnney

How about invite a normal non aligned kiwi for their view. Agree with an_alias.

@Let's Get Real

Posted on 18-10-2022 12:33 | By morepork

Sound common sense in an excellent post. The keyword, of course, is "elected"... Understanding (without spin) is also very important, and that is why I oppose Government backed spin sessions like this one. Today, people have the means to do their own research and think for themselves. The days when we just accepted arguments from Authority are almost over and the extensive disinformation we were fed about Covid was one of the nails in that coffin. You can't trust the Government, any more than the guy who used to knock on your door and sell you encyclopaedias...

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