But we already have two legal classes of citizen, don’t we—something confirmed by Doug Graham when, as Minister in Charge of Treaty Capitulations, he told taxpayers, “The sooner we realise there are laws for one and laws for another, the better."
So one law for all is officially dead. Pita Sharples grand-standing announcement merely throws another shovelful of dirt on that particular colour-blind aspiration.
Instead, we now have another aspiration. One endorsed by your government without any conditions whatsoever, despite John Key’s insistence that the Declaration itself is “aspirational and non-binding.”
Now naturally, Hone Harawira and co have a different view. Hone has already been on radio insisting the Declaration will be used to support a gravy train of claims for other people’s property, and for truckloads of taxpayers’ money—and one suspects he speaks for many others when he says that, including those who will sit in judgement on such claims.
And Mai Chen, eager to get in on the gravy, insists the declaration will “have an impact.”
"‘Declarations … are international obligations and they do form part of the backdrop, the context within which courts do interpret, but it's not just courts its the Waitangi Tribunal and its also direct negotiations… [T]he entire country would appear to fall within the scope of the article, and [the text of the Declaration] generally takes no account of the fact that the land might be occupied or owned legitimately by others.’And the Declaration itself begins by affirming its “good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter.”
“Ms Chen said the Declaration would "shape" Maori expectations in negotiations.”
So one suspects that this government signing up to the Declaration is going to involve more than just a little “aspirational” window-dressing.
So what does it contain? It should be no surprise to find that a UN Declaration with “rights” in the title contains a welter of manufactured “rights” that do over real ones. And if it were simply an enumeration of genuine rights—rights to life, liberty, free speech, the pursuit of property and happiness—it would hardly need the modifier “rights of indigenous people” added to it, as if by virtue of their indigeneity some individuals are more endowed with rights than others.
As if to confirm that, The Declaration’s preamble talks about being “the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and States”—affirming as clearly as one could that “there are laws for one & laws for another.”
It speaks of affirming to “peoples their right to self-determination”—ignoring that such a right pertains only to individuals, not to a collective.
And the Declaration itself outlines specific “rights” which it says shall be upheld by “the States” who have affirmed it:
- “the right [of indigenous people] to freely determine their political status”
- “the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs”
- “the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture… States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for [this]”
- “the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned”
- “the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.”
- “States shall … take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children… to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.”
- “the right to establish their own media in their own languages”
- “the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.”
- “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”
- “the right … to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.
States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions…”
- “the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources”
- the right "to own use, develop or control lands and territories they have traditionally owned, occupied or used"
- “the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.”
I could go on, but I suspect you already get the point.
This is simply a whole litany of bogus “rights” with which the Hone Harawiras and Tame Itis of this country will have a field day. For them and their lawyers, this is like Christmas in April.
The affirmation of these bogus rights is John Key writing a blank cheque on taxpayers to buy the Maori Party for a generation. And just in case you think this isn’t the sound of someone putting their hand in your pocket, take a look at Article 39…
“Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.”The Declaration is nothing less than a manifesto for subsidised separatism.
As Ayn Rand said of a similar list of
“A single question added to each of the above eight clauses would make the issue clear: At whose expense? “[These so-called rights] do not grow in nature. These are man-made values—goods and services produced by men. Who is to provide them? “If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor. “Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.”Take note here that “The State” itself has no money of its own—every dollar must first be taken from others. The bogus “rights” affirmed here, to which New Zealand is now a signatory, require of taxpayers that they provide a cradle-to-grave ATM machine for whatever tribalists want, including the property of taxpayers, creating “two classes of citizenship and … giving indigenous people veto rights over laws made by Parliament,” just as Helen Clark feared it would.
One law for all is officially dead.
And parliament’s One-Law-For-All party? The party propping up a government giving tribalists more even than Helen Clark was prepared to? What about them? Fear not, punters, for fearless leader Rodney Hide says the Declaration and the secrecy with which it was announced “is not a deal-breaker."
Given what ACT supporters have already swallowed, one wonders if anything ever would be.
UPDATE 1: Good commentary here from PM of NZ:
Article 39 Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.