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Fact-checking Waitangi Tribunal claims on Treaty of Waitangi

Summarised by Centrist

Dr Lawrie Knight offers a fact-check on the Waitangi Tribunal’s claims regarding the Treaty of Waitangi. He examines the historical records. In 1840, the decision to sign the treaty was based on oral speeches by chiefs, of which Knight provides a concise summary. Readers may weigh for themselves what they would have understood and intended at the time. 

These speeches reveal that many chiefs understood that signing the treaty would result in a loss of authority and power to the Crown. This is especially apparent in the speeches by the chiefs that were suspicious of the Treaty. For example, Te Kemara, chief of the Ngatikawa famously remarked: 

“If thou stayest as Governor, then, perhaps, Te Kemara will be judged and condemned. Yes indeed, and more than that – even hung by the neck. No, no, no: I shall never say yes to your staying. Were all to be on equality, then perhaps, Te Kemara would say “Yes”, but for the Governor to be up and Te Kamara down – Governor high, up, up, up and Te Kamara down, low, small, a worm, a crawler – No, no, no.”

Read more over at Breakingviewsnz

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