Monday, 24 November 2014

Re-writing founding myths

Bryce Edwards has a good round-up in the National Business Review of the various opinion posts and pieces on the Waitangi Tribunal's report last week from the Te Paparahi o Te Raki Inquiry dealing with sovereignty (chocolate fish for best blog post title goes to No Right Turn for "There was no cession in New Zealand".)

It turns out though that the hysteria I had predicted (and predicated my post on) didn't eventuate. The usual suspects - Dr Paul Moon, Muriel Newman, et al, took issue with the report. But in the main we haven't seen the sort of backlash of, say, 2004. This is a good thing, as it shows perhaps we've either matured as a country, or the Tribunal's ruling was a confirmation of what was known for a while (although the Prime Minister's comments do seem to contradict this!).

The question though, is where to from here? As Morgan Godfery points the report means:
The Crown should – whether out of constitutional, political or emotional necessity – prove its de jure sovereignty.
This is an issue that has been traversed by academics such as Jock Brookfield (especially his book Waitangi and Indigenous Rights), which I suggested to Morgan as an authority on this subject.

In my view it means the acceptance of a different, and maybe uncomfortable for some, founding myth of New Zealand.

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