If you are a Pakeha who hates asset sales, you should rally around the Treaty
PM's water ownership claim challenged
The first submitter at the Waitangi Tribunal's urgent hearing of Maori freshwater and geothermal claims has challenged Prime Minister John Key's assertion that no-one owns the water in New Zealand's rivers and lakes.
It's a little glib of John Key to claim that 'nobody owns the water' when his Government has done more than anyone else to maintain ALL rights of management and jurisdiction over water. Key wasn't claiming nobody didn't own the water when his Government took over ECan.
Pakeha are witnessing how Maori sovereignty and the Treaty can protect their interests as the Government attempt to flog off our energy assets.
Under these circumstances, the Treaty suddenly becomes seen as the sovereignty handbrake to asset sales. Key has managed to merge Maori nationalism and those espousing economic nationalism in a manner he will find hard to separate.
Treaty rights could make a cross cultural jump as Pakeha's anger at asset sales identify with self determining sovereignty.
In his blog 'Language chauvinism, Maori nationalism and the demonisation of the ‘other’ in New Zealand', John Moore argued that groups like MANA and the current Maori movement against asset sales used language that demonized the other. Hilariously, one day after that blog, Louis Crimp, the ACT Party's largest donor had this to say about Maori, "All the white New Zealanders I've spoken to don't like the Maoris, the way they are full of crime and welfare." No mention of the language of the right by Mr Moore.
What John Moore seems to have confused is that the sense of sovereignty and anger at the 'other' is a zeitgeist not only felt by Maori, but by NZers in general as the forces of global capitalism smother our economic autonomy. The dislike of the 'other' is not as Moore suggests an example of chauvinistic xenophobia, it is the response any domestic population exhibit when their ability to economically self determine are taken from them.
'Honour the treaty' means the economic autonomy that guarantees sovereignty by holding on to our assets, and Pakeha will increasingly see the legal struggle waged by Maori as a unique gift that strengthens the Treaty and protects us all.
This is an opportunity to redefine Maori Capitalism which in turn could lead to a very NZ managed capitalism where people are the focus rather than corporate profit.
If you are a Pakeha who hates asset sales, you should rally around the Treaty.