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Who is Julian Batchelor of “Stop Co-Governance”?

In brief

  • “Stop Co-Governance” is a roadshow organised by Julian Batchelor. 
  • Batchelor is accused of racism for his call to end “race-based” co governance legislation. 
  • But Batchelor says it’s the Government and elite Māori who are racist against non-Māori. 

Who is Julian Batchelor? 

Julian Batchelor is a former school principal, real estate agent and director of a Christian charitable organisation. He is currently touring New Zealand as organiser of Stop Co-governance. The roadshow is travelling to dozens of communities to rally Kiwis against co-governance measures. 

A property dispute in 2015 in the Northland community of Rawhiti found Batchelor at odds with local iwi over his plans to develop the site. Local iwi said his property was sacred. In Batchelor’s view the local iwi were attempting to use co-governance measures through the consent process to take control of his property. It spurred him to investigate the issue further, which gave rise to his anti co-governance activities. 

Julian Batchelor, Organizer of 'Stop Co-Governance,' Key Figure in New Zealand Politics and Treaty of Waitangi Debate
Does simply having a different understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi qualify Julian Batchelor as being racist?

What is Batchelor saying? 

Batchelor says New Zealand is “at war” and “a coup by stealth is in progress”. He admits it’s strong language, but says many are naive while a group of about a thousand elite Māori leverage various co-governance measures to enrich themselves and further their own interests. He points to te Pāti Māori in particular. 

He defines co-governance as “code for takeover of New Zealand by tribal companies and their representatives, the end of democracy, the installation of apartheid and separatism into everyday life, the final endgame being the installation of tribal rule”.

He discusses the infiltration of anti-democratic co-governance legislation into water, resource management, health, education and more. 

Batchelor wants “race based” legislation repealed. A Royal Commission to investigate Treaty of Waitangi “fraud and corruption” and for Kiwis to “vote for the party that will completely outlaw co-governance”. 

He argues the Treaty of Waitangi has been misrepresented and singles out the Public Interest Journalist Fund as being instrumental in pushing co-governance in the media.

Is Batchelor racist? 

Batchelor takes pains to point out he is not blaming all Māori for his problems with co-governance. He points out there are dozens of cultures in New Zealand and many, if not most, Māori who will not benefit from co-governance and race based legislation. 

Yet he is regularly described as a racist by his critics. 

That’s nothing new as many on the right are routinely smeared as racists for opposing leftists policies favouring Māori based on race. 

Hobson’s Pledge has written about weaponized accusations of racism against critics of leftwing policies. 

Batchelor says the Government and elite Māori are the ones guilty of racism and pushing many Māori to be racist against non-Māori. 

Batchelor’s meetings have become the focus of protests. Batchelor says pro co-governance activists work to shut down bookings of public halls where his meetings are held. Activists and their allies often turn up to heckle Batchelor. Bouncers screen attendees in attempts to keep them out. While there’s been no violence, police have attended some of the events.

Bachelor wonders what would happen if hecklers were loudly interrupting an event on a marae. 

You decide

Batchelor’s work boils down to a different interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi. Voters need to decide whether co-governance is the threat Batchelor says it is, based on facts, and not distracted by accusations of racism.

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