Arguments over the UN declaration

April 21st, 2010 at 8:15 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

MP Hone Harawira says the Government’s support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is more than just symbolism and it will be used to further claims of self-determination by iwi.

And Party leader Rodney Hide launched a stinging attack in Parliament not just on the decision to back the declaration but on Prime Minister John Key, calling him “naive in the extreme” to suggest it would have no practical effect.

It is very clear that he declaration has not status in law, and it has no legal effect.

However I would not go quite so far as to say it will have no practical effect. I am sure Iwi and others will use in advocacy on various issues, and it may have some “moral” effect – just as other non binding declarations can have some moral effect on decision making.

The UN recently reviewed NZ’s human rights records and recommended we do not introduce tasers. Now that excited the Greens and they used that to argue that we should not fully introduce them, but the Government has happily ignored the UN on this issue.

Labour leader Phil Goff said the -led Government was trying to marry together forces that were totally opposed to each other.

“What we are seeing is the impossibility of balancing out the interests between the Act Party, the Maori Party and the National Party.”

He denounced the secrecy surrounding the announcement and said the Maori Party had been “duped”.

It is no secret the ACT Party and Maori Party disagree on many issues. But one doesn’t need them to agree, just as Winston and Jim Anderton didn’t agree on much (apart from the fact they both should have been Prime Minister).

The travel plans were kept secret – and the announcement made yesterday at 4.45am in New York.

Mr Key defended the secrecy yesterday, saying he hadn’t wanted to steal Dr Sharples’ thunder.

The intention was to make this a big thing for Dr Sharples, and it is a significant win for him. However Ministers should not be doing secret overseas trips, unless to dangerous war zones.

I also regard it as bad political management that ACT found out through the media. Under “no surprises” they should have been told in confidence.

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70 Responses to “Arguments over the UN declaration”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    If it means nothing, why are we signing it?

    That is because in the future it will mean something.
    You can’t with integrity, say later that you only signed because it didn’t mean anything when people now want to change it into a signed treaty.
    Similarly you can’t argue against it’s principles when people domestically want to implement the realities of the document in our own law.

    This is common sense.

    I do not accept the Tangata Whenua bullshit for Maori or any other group.
    As far as I am concerned if you hold the citizenship you are Tangata Whenua.
    The truth is we are all colonists originally.
    You might push it that those born here are Tangata Whenua and us others are originally immigrants.
    That is just a statement of fact and should have NO bearing on our rights or responsibilities as citizens.

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  2. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    DPF – “The intention was to make this a big thing for Dr Sharples, and it is a significant win for him.”

    The way I heard it yesterday, Sharples expressed surprise that he was told to keep it secret, that he couldn’t even tell his own party. Doesn’t really stack up.

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  3. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Kaya
    Not allowed to tell his own party?
    What sort of schoolyard behaviour is this from Key?

    This is ludicrous, we should have either sent Dr Sharples with all the fanfair we could or not sent him at all.
    After we had discussed and agreed to do so.
    Not on some ashamed, hush hush schoolboy way.

    Give National a spanking at the next election.
    Give your party vote to ACT.

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  4. dad4justice (7,725 comments) says:

    kaya, National like Labour do deals behind closed doors. It’s the kiwi polLIE way. The UN is a corrupt waste of time and the Maori Party are useless greedy gits.

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  5. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    Start counting how many times you hear the word “indigenous” from now on.

    No practical effect – yeah right

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  6. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    DPF “It is very clear that the declaration has not status in law, and it has no legal effect.”

    Is it?

    In cases where the meaning of a statutory phrase is unclear there is a presumption that the phrase should be interpreted in a manner which keeps our law consistent with the declaration. So it can have an effect.

    Do not underestimate the sophistication of the legal profession.

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  7. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    That is just a statement of fact and should have NO bearing on our rights or responsibilities as citizens.

    I think facts and MikeNZ have an uneasy relationship.

    The fact is that before the arrival of Europeans, Maori were well settled as the original human inhabitants of this land. They did sign a treaty guaranteeing their land and resources ownership. And European settlers, motivated by ideas of racial superiority and pure greed deliberately ignored this treaty.

    And to matters worse for us, Maori survived to fight another day.

    I guess it’s all about who laughs last…

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  8. starboard (2,463 comments) says:

    you bastard Key…you bastards national…

    Im with you Mike…Party vote ACT ! Party vote ACT !

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  9. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    D4J – the UN is the ultimate example of the worst committee in your worst nightmare – ever. They achieve absolutely nothing worthwhile but suck billions of dollars from the productive. We are reaching a point of critical mass with bureaucracy at a local level as well as global.
    The debacle around the so called “party central” for the RWC is just one more example amongst thousands. Something has to give and soon. Someone once said the best committee ever consisted of just three men, two of whom were absent.

    MikeNZ – my biggest concern is that if our politicians keep going the way they are it is only a matter of time before someone creates a Kiwi equivalent to the British National Party. Sound far fetched? Have a good look at the rise of the BNP over the last 20 years. They used to be considered a joke, now they are almost mainstream.

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  10. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Kaya, the problem with your analysis is that a strong bureaucracy is what built the Western nations into the power we are. Your committee sounds like dictatorship, and on another thread we have Bob Black in China extolling the virtues of a communist ie communal land ownership system! What’s going on in here today?

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  11. Mr Nobody NZ (397 comments) says:

    If you can’t beat them you might as well join them, sign up to the Maori Roll. You don’t need blood links, you don’t need historical ties you just need to “feel” Maori.

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  12. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen – there is a substantial difference between a strong effective bureaucracy and an excessive and totally inept one. The UN is the latter. Bureaucracies are like cancer, they survive by growing, they can never call it quits at their optimum level. They rise and fall like nations. One of our problems is we don’t have enough real jobs left in the west. We got too clever for our own good and got all those poor people overseas to do all the dirty work. Now we are awash with bullshit, middle management consultant type jobs that are mainly irrelevant.
    Have you ever witnessed a sitting of the UN? It makes watching drying paint feel like someone slipped 4 acid tabs into your beer while you were watching a super nova explode.

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  13. adamsmith1922 (888 comments) says:

    Mai Chen interviewed on RNZ by Plunket suggested that there will be legal implications from signing the DRIP.

    Also on RNZ, Plunket reported that Sharples at the UN stated there were no conditions attached to the NZ signing the DRIP.

    Harawira sees this as scope for maori to tell us all what to do.

    Key needs to front and tell us the truth, as currently it appears Sharples & Co seem to think one thing, whilst National are saying something else

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  14. Positan (383 comments) says:

    “If you can’t beat them you might as well join them …”

    The only impossible feature as to that – who could align themselves with the continuously soaring amounts of facile bullshit advanced in support of whatever nonsense proposition is currently on the table and expected to be treated both seriously and with respect?

    As now regards the 2011 election – in embracing the Maori vote to the extent it has, and as a direct consequence, establishing that we are no longer one people, National has now lost both of my votes.

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  15. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Re Hone’s ravings DPF, rod for your own back springs to mind.

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  16. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Voting Act.

    My brother will be voting Act on the Maori roll.

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  17. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    “It is very clear that he declaration has not status in law, and it has no legal effect.”

    Actually, DPF, that’s not quite right. While international treaties are not automatically directly incorporated into domestic law when we enter into them, there are a number of “legal” – not just moral – ways they are still given effect to in domestic law and effectively change our domestic law.

    I’ll try and do a post on my blog later today or tomorrow which tries to explain that.

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  18. kowtow (7,582 comments) says:

    Add to adamsmith, Mai Chen helped draft the declaration and said these things can lead to treaties.Thin end of wedge indeed.
    Problem is most countries sign up to anything at the UN and have no intention of honouring anything. In the Anglo Saxon democracies where the rule of law counts its a different matter.
    I fear J Key is a nice guy but desperately naive…..or is the coalition out of control and just about anything goes?

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  19. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    What a crock and an insult to the average Kiwi this is.

    At a time when we’re forced to borrow $25K PER MINUTE just to pay our bills as a nation, we’re sending Pita Sharples off on a secret gravy-train excursion (complete with entourage of hangers-on no doubt) at the taxpayers’ expense, simply to sign a worthless piece of paper that JK himself admits is nothing more than symbolic and has no binding effect on government.

    Surely we have more important things to send our time and money on other than a “feel-good” trip for Pita and endorsing what is effectively a useless declaration (due to its non-binding status).

    In fact it’s worse than that — it’s more hypocrisy on the part of government.

    Why sign up to a declaration that you have absolutely no intention of implementing?

    This simply sets false expectations for Maori and produces fear and trepidation in the hearts of many non-Maori.

    It’s priming the pump for more racial disharmony within NZ.

    And the fact that it was all done “under the cover of darkness” is yet another black mark on JK’s copybook.

    To be just, democracy should be open and transparent, not something that is conducted in secrecy and covertly.

    I guess JK figured it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

    That is *NOT* how democracy or good leadership works.

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  20. Nigel (507 comments) says:

    I’m sorry ever since sideswipe showed the photo of Rodney & “The Hood” I just can’t take the guy seriously.

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  21. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @Luc Hansen: I would argue that Maori are not a distinct people. There is Maori culture, yes, and there are people who identify as Maori, but the vast majority of them, if not all, are also descended from other peoples. So the distinguishing of Maori out as a distinct people is based on identification and the creation of otherness, and that is somewhat specious. But then, I’m somebody who denies that race and culture are relevant identifiers to determine people’s characteristics and believes that race and culture are amorphous categories over time with no real meaning, so I would say that, wouldn’t I? At a static point, sure, you can identify a race and culture, but that’s the problem, the static point we’re looking at has no relevance in this day and age.

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  22. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    I should note that you might be able to make arguments for special treatment of American Indians and Aboriginals in Australia as they appear to have remained quite segregated from, and appear to have continued to, be harmed by the “other” society in many cases, but you can’t make them for Maori in NZ because there is no “other” society. And I use “might” and “appear” as I’m not wholly familiar with these situations.

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  23. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Kaya, the problem with your analysis is that a strong bureaucracy is what built the Western nations into the power we are.

    And your proof for this is?

    Your committee sounds like dictatorship,

    Um OK…. Luc, do you often get the feeling that you don’t quite get the joke?

    and on another thread we have Bob Black in China extolling the virtues of a communist ie communal land ownership system! What’s going on in here today?

    Maybe he was extolling the virtues of an autocratic system, and not neccesarily the virtues of Communism.

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  24. dave (985 comments) says:

    It is very clear that he declaration has no status in law, and it has no legal effect.

    That depends, I’m not so sure it is as clear as you make it out to be. Individual articles or clauses might become binding if they can be categorised as reflective or generative of customary international law. The US ( shortly to be the only UN member to disapprove of the UN Declaration) has stated that the articles in the declaration should not be generative of customary international law. Those like New Zealand – and shortly Canada – who have agreed to the declaration, maintain that the all articles in the declaration cannot provide a proper basis for legal actions, therefore these governments will not see this as reflecting or legally influencing any domestic laws. Those that do see it as a basis for legal actions will see it as influencing legal matters.

    I’ve blogged some of my thoughts on the declaration over here.

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  25. gee90 (92 comments) says:

    Here’s an interesting exchange from Questions in the House yesterday:

    ***

    Rahui Katene: Is there any sense of how New Zealand’s decision to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been received on an international stage?

    Hon JOHN KEY: Yes. The statement of Mr Carlos Mamani, chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is extremely positive. Mr Mamani said that in declaring its support for the declaration, “ … the Government of New Zealand has reaffirmed the principles of respect, non-discrimination and good faith enshrined in the Declaration. The Permanent Forum looks forward to continuing its engagement with the Government of New Zealand in a spirit of cooperation in order to advance the rights of indigenous peoples in New Zealand and around the world.”

    ***

    Carlos Mamani (Condori) is the representative of Bolivia. That country’s socialist government (under Evo Morales) is not only to the left of Helen Clark. It’s actually to the left of Keith Locke.

    A National Party Prime Minister quoting – with enthusiasm – one of the world’s leading radical Leftists is about as likely as John Minto endorsing Sarah Palin.

    It could never happen. But yesterday, it did.

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  26. Fletch (5,995 comments) says:

    I can see a time in the future when the UN exerts more power as a one world government, and they say “right boyos – remember all that stuff you signed that was non-binding? Well, it’s binding now…”

    As MikeNZ says, no one goes to all the expense and time of travelling over to the UN and signing a declaration that means nothing. And keeping it secret to boot. I mean for crying out loud, why couldn’t they just airmail it over, sign it, and send it back? It was obviously something that required pomp and circumstance. I can only see bad coming from this.

    I have no idea who I’d vote for in another election.

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  27. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    MikeNZ, I agree, no integrity with signing a treaty and at the same time stating you did it because there would be no practical effect to signing it — I suspect that’s what a lot of countries have done tho, no sense sticking out like a sore thumb. I don’t know what your difficulty with Tangata Whenua is — its an historical fact.

    JiveKitty, if American Indians and Aboriginals in australia have been harmed by the “other” society then surely NZ Maori might be impacted in the same way, as exempified by their overrepresentation in negative statistics–its a spectrum not two distinct groups (harmed, unharmed). OK, they live in the same towns as us, but doesn’t mean NZ is ‘culturally’ integrated.

    I’m no fan necessarily of Harawira’s rants and I think he represents a reasonably extreme view. What people seem to fail to understand from the other side though is the importance of culture to a given group of people (including ourselves!). Lets bring it back to the language of our forefathers. What many people seem to want is ‘assimilation’ of maori into the present culture (European based, largely white). What Harawira seems to call for is more ‘separatism’. Assimilation I would argue hasn’t worked and is a loss for all concerned because it simply imposes an existing system on another group without any transfer of benefits between the cultures. Complete separatism I’m against because it undermines the fact we’re all essentially the same (i.e. human), and creates potential for conflict through different legal/tax systems. I simply don’t think its workable (almost by definition) to have two distinct cultures with seperate and sovereign legal and political systems in the same country.

    The other options — biculturalism, multiculturalism, integration etc. — are in the middle. However, these terms can be generously misused to mean one of the other options. i.e. many people want multiculturalism rather than biculturalism but if you look at this carefully you would understand that multiculturalism is not possible without initial biculturalism (two is the first multi-case). What I think many people mean by multiculturalism is ‘token multiculturalism’, i.e. we celebrate cultural festivals but otherwise it is status-quo as far as the more political aspects of culture are concerned. As far as I’m concerned, ‘hybridization’ would be an awesome end result although a bit scary to consider unless you realize that it is a very gradual process.

    If indigenous cultures don’t remain as working/real cultures they are lost. What is wrong with Maori having the right to be Maori in NZ? They’ve got nowhere else to go.

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  28. Julian (20 comments) says:

    Since, we now have a new indigenous UN Declaration (non binding of course)

    We now need a new NZ Nations Declaration (non binding of course)
    Do not employ indigenous people
    Do not help indigenous people

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  29. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Actually, DPF, that’s not quite right. While international treaties are not automatically directly incorporated into domestic law when we enter into them, there are a number of “legal” – not just moral – ways they are still given effect to in domestic law and effectively change our domestic law.

    An interesting theory, but it seems to turn on the words “international treaties”. Give me a good reason (or any reason) why this declaration is an international treaty and you might get somewhere.

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  30. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    “JiveKitty, if American Indians and Aboriginals in australia have been harmed by the “other” society then surely NZ Maori might be impacted in the same way, as exempified by their overrepresentation in negative statistics–its a spectrum not two distinct groups (harmed, unharmed). OK, they live in the same towns as us, but doesn’t mean NZ is ‘culturally’ integrated.”

    Maori are neither racially nor culturally distinct groups STILL contrasting with the “other” which is the difference. Maori are also not relatively segregated (reservations in the USA and Australia with different laws, culture, etc?). As noted, I couched my terms as I’m not wholly sure about the situation of American Indians and Australian Aboriginals and whether they could by-and-large fit these characteristics. I know Maori don’t.

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  31. NOt1tocommentoften (436 comments) says:

    Graeme – I agree with you that it would be a struggle to call this a treaty. While it may, at a stretch, fit within the very broad definition of a treaty in the Vienna convention, this is doubtful. More so because the usual hallmarks of a treaty – signature, use of language that binds – “agrees”, “shall” etc are not in it.

    But I agree with Dean that it is wrong to say that this has no legal effect. It may be used to evidence customary international law and our, albeit caveated, support may be seen as NZ’s acceptance of it as such. The threshold to avoid being bound by CIL is pretty high – something like consistent contrary statements or evidence are needed. This may well be the first step in highlighting our support for these “aspirations” as having legal status as CIL.

    JK was being disingenuous to say it had no legal standing. Or just doesn’t understand the law.

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  32. Fletch (5,995 comments) says:

    jinpy, there is nothing wrong with Maori being Maori in NZ. It’s that people like Hone would rather we all bugger off now – now that we’ve brought electricity, schooling, housing, currency, KFC, and all the other cool white man things. They would rather there be Maori rule. If that happened NZ would end up being like Zimbabwe.

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  33. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Plil Goff is right JK is a good smart operator and politician… his and his coalition partners all win with this Maori Party Nations Declaration … the Maori party win mana for their people… Act gets Nationals right wing disgruntled voters that disagree … and National gets the disillusioned Labour and Green voters that have been sitting on the fence.. making National and it’s coalition partners even stronger come next election.. a win win win for National and it’s partners.

    If Labour does not put in a effective leader in right now.. like Little.. Labours hopes of recovery are minimal to zero.. If National plays it’s cards right.. like they are under Keys.. The Maori Party will start making big inroads into Labours socialist voters.. Leaving Labour and the Greens divided in opposition out in the cold.. with around 35% of the vote. Greens with 5% and rising and Labour with 30% and falling.

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  34. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    Julian,

    Some people (perhaps yourself) already abide by your NZ (white?) nations declaration. Im guessing, but by any chance do you think that European settlers were a positive, caring and beneficial force to other groups around the world, bringing modern ideas, technology and civilisation itself, while ‘indigens’, ‘aboriginals’, and ‘natives’ such as Maori are in return simply ungrateful, barbaric types who refuse to see the good sense and tend to be lazy? If so, welcome to the superior paternalistic colonial mindset, you’re not alone… Or perhaps you subscribe to the even stronger hypothesis of the ‘inferior’ genetics of indigenous people? There’s several groups you can belong to for this one…
    [just guessing by your comments, obviously I don't know you.]

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  35. OTGO (510 comments) says:

    Every Maori I have ever known has always had another agenda other than the one that they are portraying to you at the time. Believe me when I say that this can only lead to more separation of the 2 races than what is being portrayed currently.
    From Capt Cook onwards Maori have been described as “a cunning, lazy, indolent lot”. What’s changed?

    [DPF: I suggest you should gain some more Maori friends. Your generalisations are offensive.]

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  36. NOt1tocommentoften (436 comments) says:

    OTGO – are you suggesting that all Pakeha are genuine in their statements about division and seperation? Or is it about being selfish and wanting a slice of the pie. Just wondering whether or not you think that both sides play the game or only Maori?

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  37. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “has not status in law, and it has no legal effect.”

    ….so, its a little like the flag on the harbour bridge then? Maybe no legal effect, but it sure as hell increases the level of expectation by the grievance industry.

    Just a shame Key didn’t show his colours prior to the last election

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  38. Chuck Bird (4,665 comments) says:

    Does anyone know how the number of Maori seats are calculated?

    Are the based on the percentage of people who consider themselves Maori at the latest census or the percentage of people wo register on the Maori role?

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  39. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    The Kyoto Protocol had no effect in law in NZ but look where we have ended up. ETS anyone.

    DPF, with respect even you must be wondering what these guys are really all about. Today has made it clear that opinion is against this.
    That makes smacking, ETS, now this, all under Keys watchful eye. Remember he told us that he would keep an eye on what happens and fix it if he had to. Well I suspect he is gonna be a busy fellow soon and one is left wondering how he is going to defend the no difference stance in court against people like Hone who has made it quite apparent that they are going to use this to beat the snot out of the courts, the Govt and ultimately the rest of us taxpayers.
    All this when daily, I am having people walking up to the doors of our businesses looking for work because the fat little tub from the west told them to go get a job. (More Richardson and Shipley shit. Both of them have been abject failures since they got the boot.)
    No effort to build the businesses to create the jobs.
    Over 60 jobs gone in Tauranga in the last few weeks that I know off and probably a lot more. Longer queues outside of W&I than ever. I drive right past the outfit 6 or 8 times a day.
    Total failure to grasp the real issues and contend with them.

    And the budget coming up with plans to kick the crap out of property owners.
    Even Crudd Rudd is looking good against this lot.

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  40. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Of course we can take action. Refuse to employ any Maori. That would piss them right off.

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  41. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    OTGO 11:45 am
    Every Maori I have ever known has always had another agenda other than the one that they are portraying to you at the time. Believe me when I say that this can only lead to more separation of the 2 races than what is being portrayed currently.
    From Capt Cook onwards Maori have been described as “a cunning, lazy, indolent lot”. What’s changed?

    Nothing.. The Maori party will be the nail in the coffin for National.. they must know sooner are later the Maori Party will double cross them.. going by your history of Maori being a cunning, lazy, indolent lot” with another agenda.. it’s a cert.

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  42. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    With New Zealand signing up to the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People”, and adding that to the Maori grievance industry we already have, I can only see things getting worse for all New Zealanders. And I include Maori; this will add further fuel to fire the attitude that Maori are ‘victims’, and are owed pretty much whatever they feel they have been deprived of by the ‘unjust’ white man’s system. Watch out for the chip on the shoulder of Maoridom to grow in the form of further pushes for: – Maori sovereignty; a Maori justice system; Maori prisons; Maori welfare (already under discussion); Seabed and foreshore development rights for Maori; Maori education; et al.

    Where will it all end?
    (And I’m almost ashamed to admit I have some Maori heritage).
    Let’s be clear; this is racism pure and simple. And New Zealanders need to stand against this NOW and stop it dead in its tracks.
    The more I hear about this, the more my blood boils!
    John Key, are you listening?

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  43. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    It would appear that JK has taken his role as “the nice guy” too literally.

    Instead of standing strong and upholding the principles for which he was elected, he’s starting to bend and sway every time a little pressure comes on him to “be nice” to a certain group of people.

    Being nice is all well and good — but it’s looking as if, in this case, nice also means lacking backbone.

    Funny how we go from extreme (the iron maiden) to extreme (gutless John) isn’t it?

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  44. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Viking2 12:42 pm,

    Of course we can take action. Refuse to employ any Maori. That would piss them right off.

    You really shouldn’t say things like that. Next it will be a (non binding) requirement to have ‘x’ percent of Maori workers within your employee numbers.
    And if someone of Maori heritage were to apply for a position within your business you better have a pretty good reason to NOT take them on.
    Coming soon to a company near you …

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  45. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Scare the shit out of us why don’t ya…

    I think deep down we all know whats coming next..

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  46. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    aardvark 1:00 pm,

    … Instead of standing strong and upholding the principles for which he was elected, he’s starting to bend and sway every time a little pressure comes on him to “be nice” to a certain group of people.

    … Funny how we go from extreme (the iron maiden) to extreme (gutless John) isn’t it?

    Actually, I think Klark and Key have much in common; they both ignore and go against the express wishes of the majority of New Zealanders. And in Key’s case add to that broken election promises, and not removing ‘bad’ law brought in under the Labour coalition.

    Key just does it with a smile rather than the grimace we grew used to from Klark. I think I actually preferred Klark’s grimace – at least you knew who the enemy was.

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  47. RRM (9,427 comments) says:

    Hide famously made Key wait in the corridor outside his office before negotiating coalition agreement.

    So now Key lets Hide find news that doesn’t concern him in the papers.

    Hairless Rodent might learn something about good manners and ‘do unto others as you would have them do…’ from this??

    Rodent thinks he’s the man in this relationship. Obviously Key thinks he needs reminding that he’s the boy.

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  48. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Total waste of time (and the cost of airfares to NY). I’d much prefer they concentrate on creating some employment.

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  49. Jack5 (4,569 comments) says:

    Lucy Hansen at 8.37 posted:

    …European settlers, motivated by ideas of racial superiority and pure greed …

    Some whites may have been, but there were plenty who liked Maori. They married them, lived among them, gave Maori a written language, and passed on their own originally Middle Eastern religion, Christianity.

    Branding all these pioneers as bigots and racists is as wrong as condemning Maori because from time to time they enslaved or ate members of other iwi. Cannibals, slave owners, white land sharks, white gun runners, and pioneer farmers all should be measured by the standards of their day.

    It’s interesting that the British were initially reluctant to colonise NZ. Missionaries, through church groups in Britain, pressured them to act, citing the mayhem created, most famously at Russell, by whalers, sealers, and traders swapping muskets and rum for Maori flax and human heads, as well, of course for more mundane products, like food.

    The cold facts are that it was contact with the modern world, not mere colonialism, that caused the shock wave on Maori society. It brought firearms, booze, and diseases as well as things like the wheel, medicine, writing and reading, ships and modern boats, horse, cattle, and sheep, and advanced agriculture.

    That shock would have been much harder had the Westerners been, for example, Spaniards or Chinese. Consider what happened to the indigenous people of Easter Island, of Chile and Argentina, and of Taiwan (and these days, of Tibet and Sinkiang.)

    Perhaps the true seat of racial superiority these days is in the heads of people like Lucy who consider that it is Westerners who are invariably brutal, greedy, and morally bereft, when these are failings of individuals rather than of ethnic groups.

    The sad thing about the Maori Party and it’s collaboration with Bro. Key is that it helps drive a wedge between New Zealanders. Ultimately, however, the Maori Party and Bro. Key will fail. Intermarriage continues to bridge the racial divide, and hooray for that. Bropartheid will follow apartheid into the waste basket of history.

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  50. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Does anyone know how the number of Maori seats are calculated?

    Are the based on the percentage of people who consider themselves Maori at the latest census or the percentage of people wo register on the Maori role?

    Both. Kind of. The way it is done is fair (i.e. Maori seats and General seats all represent basically the same number of constituents). Although it’s not based on the ethnicity answer in the census, but the descent answer in the census (which is what determines eligibility for the Maori roll).

    One ‘complicating’ factor is that our electoral boundaries are drawn on the basis of ‘electoral population’ (which includes non-voters like those under 18), not just enrolled voters (this is the same for both general and Maori electorates).

    Basically, you take the number of people in the South Island represented through the General Roll. Divide that by 16 and you get the average number of people per electorate. Take the number of people of Maori descent who are represented through the Maori Roll and divide that by the number of people per electorate – this will give you the number of Maori seats (it’s rounded to the nearest whole number – at the moment there are enough Maori represented through the Maori roll for 7.25 seats, so it’s rounded down, the time before that there were enough for 6.7 seats, so it was rounded up).

    We also take the number of people in the North Island represented through the General Roll, and divide that by the average number of people per electorate to get the number of North Island electorates (it gets rounded the same way). There are always 16 South Island electorates.

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  51. backster (2,073 comments) says:

    Unless you accept that Maui fished up New Zealand on a fishing trip Maori were not indigenous, by their own history they were colonisers. New Zealand should follow the example of the United Kingdom and declare it has no indigenous people despite the Welsh and Scots antecedents having been there much longer than Maori.

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  52. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    Jack5,

    I agree with much of what you say, yes, some Maori and settler could coexist peacefully in early times (with settlers to varying degress integrating into the Maori world), yes, colonisation was going to happen, by one group or another, and yes, individuals are the origin of greed. Your point about the sharp shock of the modern world at that time is also important in my view.

    However, I think you understate the intervening time between the arrival of Europeans and the current day — history chronicles a long story of dispossession of lands, ignorance and riding roughshod over Maori culture and values, on top of this add a long history of personal and institutional racism, and essentially European settlers doing their best (as a general rule) to control all lands, resources and institutions. On top of this, Maori have had to adapt to a completely different worldview and deal with the things Western people introduced such as disease, alcohol, and an individualistic culture. You ignore the fact that these past events actually do have a generational flow-on effect to the current day and that Maori have been discriminated against by NZ people and institutions even in fairly recently times, e.g. Maori being forbidden to speak Maori in the workplace or the school.

    The only solution being offered by the ‘get over it’ crowd is for Maori to abandon their own culture and adopt the European/Western way of doing things. It is important to understand culture is part of identity, or who we are. While some Maori are brought up in a fairly typical Pakeha/European manner, others still live in small towns where Maori language and culture is stronger (yes, while still adopting modern technology). I think it comes down to what sense of identify we have. To get a good sense of this it helps if you have lived overseas in a culture significantly different to you own — I lived in Japan and found it really hard to get used to their way of doing things — while I lived there for a few years and loved it, the idea of living there for the rest of my life was too much — I realized I would really have to adopt their way of doing things otherwise I would be in rebellion — and I couldn’t imagine doing that — my culture is NZ and I feel at home here.

    Now I think many Maori feel like outsiders in the current status quo, and they don’t buy into it. Instead, some even identify with a dysfunctional culture (due to their upbringing, friends) in preference to fitting in. You can’t underestimate what a white-European dominated country we have — why else would English/British feel so comfortable in living here, or we over there doing the great kiwi OE in England? (not so many kiwis go to live in other countries I’ve noticed.) Anyway, these are my theories on it. I think the answer is to make NZ more inclusive and part of this is continued recognition of the grievances of the past (without feeling guilty about it, or using it as an excuse for failure) along with acceptance of different cultural values and ways of doing things.

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  53. Chuck Bird (4,665 comments) says:

    Every Maori I have ever known has always had another agenda other than the one that they are portraying to you at the time. Believe me when I say that this can only lead to more separation of the 2 races than what is being portrayed currently.
    From Capt Cook onwards Maori have been described as “a cunning, lazy, indolent lot”. What’s changed?

    If someone made such derogatory generalisation about homosexuals they would have demerits. I have no time for the racist Maori Party but they only represent a minority of Maori. There is a big difference between criticising the racist Maori Party and denigrating the whole race.

    BKBee, I doubt if you know many Maori. The ones I know would not hide behind a pseudonym. I suggest you either desist from making such racist remarks or have the courage to use you real full name.

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  54. Julian (20 comments) says:

    Jinpy
    Neither abides nor subscribes
    If you follow the thread, kiwis are a bit annoyed about process, declarations and the politics.

    We do not have to wait for an election to make changes.
    People can make decisions daily, which will influence the future.
    E.g. By supporting our Asian communities and businesses.
    They will then grow and become a strong political/economic power, which would never allow any indigenous group to get more than they got.

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  55. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Unless you accept that Maui fished up New Zealand on a fishing trip Maori were not indigenous, by their own history they were colonisers.

    Colony doesn’t mean what you appear to think it it means. Unless you’re arguing that New Zealand was controlled from Hawaiki for a time, then it’s never been a Maori colony, and Maori have not been colonists.

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  56. Chuck Bird (4,665 comments) says:

    Graeme, thanks for that. Unfortunately I do not think it is fair even if racist Maori seats are accepted.

    I think it would be a lot more fair if the if the seats were based on who choose to be on the Maori role rather than who was elegible to be on the role.

    Thanks again for the info.

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  57. Sideoiler (73 comments) says:

    Race based seats in parliament, just peachy.

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  58. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    jinpy, you should know that it was actually Maori who had been pushing for some sort of treaty for decades prior to the Treaty as they were shit-scared of the French. The English did not really want anything to do with NZ as they were winding up their colonising at this time. Once the Maoris discovered that land could be sold they got into it bigtime. The more times it was sold the better, obviously.
    Maori being stopped from speaking Maori at school was an initiative from Sir Apirana Ngata and other Maori leaders who decided it was better for young Maori to assimilate with the other, more dominant, settlers of NZ.
    A lot of our history has changed a great deal in recent decades but that doesn’t make it true.

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  59. Chuck Bird (4,665 comments) says:

    For those object to John Key ignoring the majority again and creating unnecessary racial division in this country you may like to sign Muriel Newman’s online pettion.

    http://www.nzcpr.com/petition_fandsb_view.php

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  60. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Sheesh fellas, just calm down and enjoy the ride! It’s soooo funny!

    Firstly we have Labour floundering in the polls still! And National still above 50%!

    Secondly we have an odd situation whereby Labour (whom one would have normally expected to have supported this UN declaration, back then and now) NOT supporting this UN declaration and this must be pissing off a lot of the Labour left and Labour maori voters. I suspect Labour are continuing to bleed support to National over this, he he he!

    At the end of the day this is non-binding, afterall would National be foolish to have supported this if it were binding? Of course not! It’s another smart tactical move from National (did I mention that Labour is still bleeding its supporters to National)!

    As for the Maori Party, good for them, this is good mana for them (and again it bleeds Maori Roll voters away from Labour to them, brilliant)!

    Yes there are extremist’s on both left and right milking this.

    For example on the left we have hotted headed Hone Harawira’s rants and ravings in that this will open the door to the likes of Tuhoi to claim ownership of “their” land. Whatever Tuhoi – they will always be claiming “their” land irrespective of this UN declaration being signed or not. If some leaders in Tuhoi wish to continue to make dicks of themselves, well let them (frankly IMO it’s nothing but corruption and power games – imagine these fools actually running “their” lands, there would be a mass exodus thanks to their worsening economic plight if they ever had to stand on their own two feet).

    And on the extreme right we have ol’ Rodney Hide. Rodney, do us all a favour and STFU dickhead, All you’re doing is bringing more attention to the extremists on the left and right wishing for some sort of race war. Rodney, one law for all is good in theory but in NZ’s (historic) case, there have been exceptions made for Maori, so get over it you two timing tosser. Milking to one law for all to get the sort of boost that Don Brash (good fella, by the way, unfairly denigrated by Labour trash leadership), will not work. Just stick to re-winning Epsom mate, otherwise ACT are toast at the next election. By the way, I’m not anti-ACT at all, I don’t vote for them but I do like some of what they say eg David Garrett was spot-on about making money available for voluntry sterlisation (pity the extreme left shouted him down – pity also that Rodney didn’t support him on that, duh)!

    Like I say, enjoy the ride and watch Labour suffer more. ACT, tone it down, let the other extreme nutters rave all they want but stay above the fray.

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  61. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    I think it would be a lot more fair if the if the seats were based on who choose to be on the Maori role rather than who was elegible to be on the role.

    It is based on those who choose to be on the Maori roll.
    [sorry if I wasn't clear in my explanation]

    It’s just that (simplifying here) the appropriate proportion of those of Maori descent under the age of 18 is added (just as the number of non-Maori under 18 is added to the population for the general seats). If 55% of enrolled Maori eligible to be on the Maori roll are actually on it, then the population that is used to make the calculation of the number of Maori seats is 55% of the normally resident Maori descent population.

    If the proportion of Maori on the general roll increases, the number of Maori seats would go down. If the proportion of Maori on the Maori roll increases, the number of Maori seats would go up. Given that we have an optional Maori roll, this is the only fair way of working out how many Maori seats there should be.

    Think about these numbers:

    18% of New Zealanders are of Maori descent (and would be eligible for the Maori roll).
    12% of voting age NZers are of Maori ethnicity.
    10% of electorates are Maori electorates.

    These should show you that your concern is misplaced.

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  62. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Rodney, one law for all is good in theory

    No. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela thought one law was good in practice , not just in theory.

    I agree with them.

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  63. Jack5 (4,569 comments) says:

    Jinpy posted at 2.23, among many good points, this:

    …The only solution being offered by the ‘get over it’ crowd is for Maori to abandon their own culture and adopt the European/Western way of doing things.

    I’m not sure it’s entirely “European/Western” any more, but more just modern. There is a bit of convergence going on with China, Japan, India, Russia, Brazil, Western Europe, America, increasingly similar. Think of pop culture even.

    Some might say it looks more a choice for Maori of forward or back, modern society with rising living standards, or Third World life.

    As for Niggly at 3.07 with “ACT, tone it down…” This sounds like a message from within National.

    Will National keep its big lead if suddenly Joe and Jane Kiwi regard a vote for a National as a vote for the Maori Party?

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  64. Chuck Bird (4,665 comments) says:

    “And on the extreme right we have ol’ Rodney Hide”

    Right and Left is relative. If you think ACT and Rodney is on the extreme right that must be because you believe that the current National government under Key is right of centre.

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  65. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    adamsmith1922 (590) Says:
    April 21st, 2010 at 9:09 am
    Mai Chen interviewed on RNZ by Plunket suggested that there will be legal implications from signing the DRIP.

    From the horses mouth, well done adam.

    I said earlier that you don’t sign something because it means nothing.
    John Key is not naive nor is he stupid.
    He and National are making deals and we are being dealt.

    Vote your party vote to ACT next time.
    Don’t moan you were warned on this blog before the election.
    What don’t you understand about 80%
    Duh.

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  66. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler 3:12 pm,

    It is based on those who choose to be on the Maori roll. [...]

    Think about these numbers:

    18% of New Zealanders are of Maori descent (and would be eligible for the Maori roll).
    12% of voting age NZers are of Maori ethnicity.
    10% of electorates are Maori electorates.

    These should show you that your concern is misplaced.

    And this is why I choose to always be on the General Roll, even though being of (part) Maori descent qualifies me for the Maori Roll if I so choose.

    I’ve always felt the Maori seats were racist, and thus by choosing to be on the General Roll I can do my bit in minimising the number of Maori seats. Just call me ‘Uncle Tom’.

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  67. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    Fletch, I don’t think Hone’s going to get his ideal world somehow, but I take your point some Maori seem to want to return to a time that has already past.
    Julian, I think it’s always a bad thing to discriminate on the basis of race and I don’t see Maori taking over important jobs left right and centre to the detriment of everybody else. They’re a lobby group that has attained some power through MMP and a prime minister wanting to move forward is all. Happy to support Asian business. As long as NZ doesn’t get taken over though eh ;)
    John.bt, don’t you mean “ it was actually ‘some’ Maori who had been pushing for some sort of treaty”. Some Maori didn’t even sign the treaty. Similarly, while British government may have been in two minds, some English had their eyes on NZ – Cook planted a flag. Maori did sell land, but hadn’t been exposed to the idea of individual private land ownership before. In many cases, land was sold by people who did not have the authority to sell it. Sometimes it was simply confiscated from warring Maori.
    I didn’t realize Ngata discouraged speaking Maori in school – it was not like he introduced the idea though was it? My wider point is that the effect of this would be a kind of shame in your own culture. Do you think Maori should speak Maori nowadays or would you recommend English only?
    Jack5, I agree that really it seems to be a ‘modern’ culture, of course heavily influenced by Western thought and particularly America in recent times. Indeed this is why I yearn for other cultures to survive (and evolve) in the onslaught of the modern consumerist world – I think we are losing our local/historical cultural aspects and moving increasingly to a kind of vacuous homogenous consumer/capitalist world (and I’m sure the French would agree). In this sense, I think mainstream NZ culture of the past had a lot going for it compared to the right-leaning individualism we seem to be heading towards these days. Perhaps I’m overstating… I don’t know what Maori think, apart from that I’m sure opinions vary widely. The reality is a lot of people seem to view this whole thing as a battle. I want Maori and Pakeha to integrate more and for NZ to pick up cultural values from Maori that I imagine they might have, like respect for the environment, less individual emphasis, viewing life less as a competitive battleground, song and dance, sharing… I want to share in the power of the haka. Anyway, I rant and I should be working … ;)

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  68. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Hmm, Rodders upset about some horis flying off to New York.
    Obviously he must believe Peter should have grabbed a mistress young enough to be his daughter and gone on the taxpayers dime to London.

    Maori voting ACT, LOL, I know one of those types, he was one of the first to register with the iwi in case there was a chance to do a bit of troughing.

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  69. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    May as well sign up on the bloody Maori roll if this is the best our politicians have to offer, grats to the Maori party they are behaving more and more like the seniors of the coalition.

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  70. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    @GE:

    Extract from New Zealand Law Commission A New Zealand Guide to International Law and its Sources (NZLC R34, Wellington, 1996):

    “WHAT IS A TREATY?
    18 A treaty is an international agreement between two or more states or other international persons, governed by international law. (“Other international persons” include bodies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the South Pacific Commission.)
    19 An international agreement can have a variety of names:
    • Treaty is the generic term, but is generally confined to major agreements of political importance (eg, treaties of alliance, treaties of friendship and the Antarctic Treaty) but also found elsewhere (as in treaties of extradition).
    • Agreement is by far the most common title, as in agreements regulating trade, air transport, fisheries, and visa abolition; it features especially in bilateral agreements (ie, agreements between two states).
    • Exchanges of notes (or letters) constituting an agreement make up a large proportion of the agreement category. As the title indicates, there are two documents rather than just one; the second document responds to the agreement proposed in the first and accepts it. They are usually bilateral.
    • Convention is the word commonly used for multilateral treaties (ie, those which are open to acceptance by a large number or even all states). This usage is especially common in the United Nations and its specialised agencies. A framework convention is one which establishes its own institutional and decision-making framework for interpreting, developing and implementing its provisions.2
    • Protocol is commonly used for an agreement supplementary to a principal treaty. It might be drawn up at the same time as the principal instrument or later.
    20 Other names are used from time to time, such as charter or constitution (for major international organisations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation and the Organisation of African Unity); declaration; covenant (particularly for major docu¬ments such as the constitution of the League of Nations and the human rights instruments adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1966); instrument; and regulations (particularly for supplementary instruments such as those adopted by the World Health Assembly or the International Telecommunications Conference).
    21 Adjectives are sometimes also added, such as additional, special, supplementary and intergovernmental. The name of the place where a treaty is signed might also be a part of the title (as in the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation).”

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