Calls from Maori activist Tame Iti for self-government arrangements for the Tuhoe tribe similar to those Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have in the UK have been backed by a leader likely to negotiate the tribe’s Treaty settlement. …
“It’s one of the things which has been consistent since the 1870s: Tuhoe’s regard for their nationhood and their independence.”
However, before formal negotiations proper began the iwi had to decide what specific arrangements of self-government it would like to see, Mr Kruger said.
He said nations had existed within nation-states for hundreds of years and while other iwi – for example, Te Atiawa or Ngati Toa in Wellington – might struggle to make a compelling argument for self-government because of the large number of non-Maori in their areas, Tuhoe’s geographical isolation changed things.
The United Kingdom is certainly an example of having countries within a country. But I am unsure one can draw the analogy too far. As noted in the article, the presence of non-Maori in an area is a huge issue.
You see self rule in Scotland and Wales etc is not based on bloodlines, or ethnicity, or nationality – but simply location. An englishman living in Edinburgh has just as many rights to vote in Scottish elections, as a native Scots.
There are around 30,000 Tuhoe, and currently it seems only around 6,000 live in their traditional lands. I am unsure how many non-Tuhoe live there, but I could not imagine a situation where non-Tuhoe living there would be allowed to become second class citizens with lesser rights of representation.
It is also worth noting other differences between Scotland and Tuhoe:
- Length of self-rule – Scotland existed as a country for around 1200 years before 1707. it is unknown how long Tuhoe was a distinct tribe in NZ, but far far less
- Population – Scotland has 5 million residents and only around 6,000 Tuhoe live in their traditional lands
- Legal System – Scotland, despite being part of the UK, continued to have its own legal system