Sovereignty not ceded



Stuff NZ Newspapers


In reply to reply to Denis O’Rourke, Laurie Tuff and Richard Lea Clough (Letters, Jan 8), the Treaty followed 20 years of escalating intertribal warfare fuelled by muskets. The Elizabeth affair had seen Nga¯ i Tahu decimated by Te Rauparaha and Nga¯ Puhi feared similar reprisals following the raids of Hongi Hika. The protection of the British Crown, with its law, gunboats and military, as offered by Hobson at Waitangi, would bring stability while recognising the tino Rangatiratanga ( sovereignty) of Ma¯ ori over their lands, homes and treasures. The sales pitch and the three articles of the Treaty presented by Hobson at Waitangi were delivered in te reo Ma¯ ori. The first article, translated into English, reads: ‘‘The Rangatira of the meeting, and all of the Rangatira also who have not taken part in the meeting send without reservation to the Queen of England in perpetuity all of the governance of our land.’’ Sovereignty was never ceded. Some literacy in te reo Ma¯ ori is necessary to be able to understand the Treaty and what was actually said and agreed to at Waitangi. The glaring discrepancy between English and Ma¯ ori languages in the first article of the Treaty indicates that Hobson was not being honest in his presentation. Collective land ownership by Ma¯ ori excluded them from voting until after WWII, by which time they had been relieved of most of their lands. John Howes, Lincoln Axe GST Here’s an idea, let’s ditch GST and introduce a capital gains tax (CGT) instead (Ardern should break capital gains tax pledge, Jan 13). In 2019 Jacinda Ardern promised no CGT under her leadership, ‘‘not because I don’t believe in it, but because I don’t believe New Zealanders do’’. Now the country faces the costs of Covid-19. Next year voters will judge this Government on a variety of factors, especially the rising cost of living and the housing crisis. Finance Minister Grant Robertson will understand that serious economic changes need to be made if the country is to stay afloat. The average Kiwi might welcome a capital gains tax if done in conjunction with the total removal of the punishing GST tax, which has disadvantaged low and middle-income earners since GST was first introduced by a Labour government in 1984. Let’s see whether this Government has the courage to reverse outdated beliefs. Pauline Doyle, Napier Little learnt The skeleton known as Omo 1, found in Ethiopia in the 60s by Richard Leakey, is now thought to be over 230,000 years old. It might be said that in the intervening period humans have aquired a great deal of knowledge, but in so many ways learned so little. Vic Smith, Halswell (abridged) take from credit card transactions. It beggars belief that both of these charges are a percentage of the payment the consumer makes to the merchant. A transaction of $2020 is no more costly to a bank than one of $20 yet they cream off a huge windfall for each large transaction. The charge/fee ought to be to recover the cost of the service plus a small margin. That can readily be done by basing the fee on the number of transactions, not greedily on the value of those transactions. The Retail Payment System Bill before Parliament promises a set of standards for this sort of activity, but we won’t know for some time what those will be. Meantime, there’s nothing to stop banks from behaving like an ethical part of our community and quickly developing a fair payment system based on actual cost. Yeah, right! Graeme Buchanan, Wellington