The tangata whenua card

October 19th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A man who says the law should not apply to him because he is tangata whenua has had his bail application rejected.

Jay Maui Wallace was sentenced in June to four years and three months in prison on charges of injuring with intent to injure over an incident in which he hit a woman with a sawn-off shotgun.

Wallace applied to the High Court in July seeking to be released from prison through a habeas corpus writ, which is used in cases of unlawful detention.

Representing himself, he argued New Zealand laws could not be applied to him because he was tangata whenua and he did not recognise the court’s jurisdiction over him.

Sounds a nasty piece of work – hitting a woman with a shotgun. His attempt to play what I call the “tangata whenua” card angered me, mainly because it inflames race relations. Nothing pisses people off more by some criminal claiming the law doesn’t apply to him because of his race.

I’m a but more sanguine about it now. The argument never works, and you can’t stop people making pathetic and stupid claims. So maybe one should just fight their claims with humour.

Mr Wallace has both and non- ancestors. So maybe the Judge should tell him that the jail sentence only applies to his Pakeha cells :-)

Tags: ,

27 Responses to “The tangata whenua card”

  1. awb (302 comments) says:

    This guy is not representative of Maori at all, and shouldn’t be seen as such. He is just a sad pathetic man, ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. big bruv (13,678 comments) says:

    “The argument never works, and you can’t stop people making pathetic and stupid claims.”

    Just wait DPF, eventually the apartheid party will hold the balance of power and wankers like this guy will be able to use the tangata whenua card.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    In fact is that not what Pita Sharples wants? A system that treats Maori differently? A Maori justice system in which scumbags like this will get a slap on the wrist? Or even let off completely because their whanau will all get a say in the outcome?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. sthn.jeff (100 comments) says:

    A sawn off shot gun at that…. not many (legal) reasons I can come up with for having one!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. queenstfarmer (770 comments) says:

    I love it how he claims the law does not apply to him, and yet “applied to the High Court in July seeking to be released from prison through a habeas corpus writ“.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Other_Andy (2,562 comments) says:

    @queensfarmer

    A good example of the “whipsaw” logic used by the left and various associated groups.
    It also begs the question why it is “right” to get preferential treatment as Tangata Whenua when applying for university entrance but “wrong” when trying to get preferential treatment as Tangata Whenua in this case.
    Not even trying to define the terms “tangata whenua” or “maori” as that also seem to change depending on the person you are asking, the situation and various other socio/political considerations*.

    *warning! – lefty term either meaning absolutely nothing or vitally important whatever suits them in a given situation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Nookin (3,263 comments) says:

    If the law does not apply to him, does that mean that he no longer has the protection of the law? Can his missus’s family pound him into the middle of next week with impunity?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. redeye (638 comments) says:

    Mr Wallace has both Maori and non-Maori ancestors. So maybe the Judge should tell him that the jail sentence only applies to his Pakeha cells

    And offer to help him physically separate the white from the brown cells.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    What iwi is he to determine which whenua he is tangata to ?

    If he was manuhiri on some other iwi’s rohe and he commited the crime against a woman from that iwi then natural Maori justice would serve him right.

    If he wants to be judged my Maori law then he’d better know what exactly that entails. Might just find himself dispossesed of all his shit at the least and prolly be dead at most.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. david (2,571 comments) says:

    Presumably claiming to be unrecognisable by NZ law would also mean that Social Welfare etc would not recognise him, the DHB would not recognise him, he could speed on the highway with impunity and even without a WOF or Rego, no passport, no bank account?. No vote, no Government superannuation, no healthcare, no benefits – a “non-person” in other words. Hhhhmmmm.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. lofty (1,305 comments) says:

    @BWaV I am interested to know if you think “Maori Law” would actually deal to this character more severely than “Whitemans” law.
    And if so, what is it that Maori alternative trial & punishment would look like.

    Serious ask, as while I would rather see only 1 application of trail & punishment in NZ, if a “tribal” system actually worked in reducing offence & consequences by Maori, I would be open to giving it thought.

    Are there models from around he world where a system such as this is actually working?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. V (711 comments) says:

    Pakeha cells? Obviously someone forgot to tell nature to keep things seperated in this way.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    I have no doubt Maori law would punish him more severely lofty. Going to jail isn’t scary in the least or any form of punishment if it means you’re fed, sheltered and provided with far more opportunity on the inside than you’re likely to get on the out.

    Like i said, traditional forms of punishment were dispossession of all your belongings, a bloody good beating and cast out from the tribal areas.

    The thing is, tangata whenua only applies to ones own lands and iwi. If you’re off your lands you’re at the mercy of the iwi you committed the crime on and they’d be more likely to just kill you and possibly eat you, if you had any mana worth consuming.

    Don’t know how it works in other lands but there’s definitely still natural justice going on in other parts of Pasifika that the local cops just leave to the individual villages to sort out, and believe me, it gets sorted !

    Really can’t see Maori taking it easy on each other here, if it was left up to them to sort their own criminals out eh. But like a lot of Maori stuff, iwi, for whom the responsibility of policing their own members falls to, just defer to the pakeha system for convenience.

    I’d be all for naming and shaming this guy’s iwi so it reflects on them as opposed to Maori as a whole. Would love to see a breakdown of crime, education and employment stats based on iwi. If there was still serious rivalry and competition amongst iwi for pride and mana we probably wouldn’t hear so much generally ignorant Maori bashing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    A lovely piece of scum!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. lofty (1,305 comments) says:

    @BWaV thanks for that, the rivalry and ability to name & shame would certainly be a great 1st step in any “tribal” process I would have thought. It is easy, relatively painless and probably a bit effective.
    I say a bit, because offenders of the type described above, probably do not give a fat kiore’s arse about iwi.

    The eating bit is probably going over the top ;-)

    I wonder if the native americans have a model, as they are far more advanced in these matters than NZr’s I think.

    I may well google it and find out..after all google is our friend.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    The eating bit is probably going over the top

    if you’re gonna kill him, may as well eat him :)

    of course, if he doesn’t have any mana or possessions worth shit then he’s not even worth killing and best left to range amongst the outerlands as scavenging vermin are want to do.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. nasska (11,112 comments) says:

    Off White with an Attitude

    Very interesting….the first time I’ve read about how Maori justice can work.

    This coot might want to consider that he’d be better off banged up than barbecued.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    I’m pretty sure if he repped his iwi there’d be more direct consequence for his actions than just claiming generic Maori tangata whenua status, especially if he was on his own tribal lands. Probably wouldn’t even have made it to court.

    All i know is, if it was my sister/daughter or whatever, this guy would have been in hospital getting the shotgun pulled out of his cowardly tangata whenua ass and i’d probably be the one in court…heh

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Other_Andy (2,562 comments) says:

    @Lofty

    “Are there models from around he world where a system such as this is actually working?”

    Very close to home.
    Don’t know if it is working though…

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/10/08/1033538933046.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Imagine how quickly the wheels of natural justice would be greased if iwi funding was withheld for criminal behaviour perpetrated by iwi members or restorative repayments were made as punishment from one iwi to the other if the crimes were commited on their members or within their tribal borders ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. lofty (1,305 comments) says:

    Now you are talking BWaV.

    The link from O_A is bloody interesting on a whole lot of levels including the policemans presence and closed lips. Mind you it was 2002

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. nasska (11,112 comments) says:

    Cafe au Lait with a Shitty Liver

    Maori justice if it is iwi based relies on the perpetrator of a crime being identifiable as belonging to a certain iwi.

    Since many urban Maori haven’t a clue about their whakapapa how would they be dealt with?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Then again, we white folk have our own tradition of cannibalism, or something very like it:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2011/05/white-headhunters.html
    I don’t fancy going back to the days of the white headhunters of the South Seas…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    nah…bullshit nasska

    ALL urban Maori know exactly what iwi they’re from and where their homelands are. It’s what makes them Maori.

    Whakapapa on the other hand extends all the way back to the canoes they came here on, to which they may be ignorant of.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. dion (95 comments) says:

    Jay Wallace. You’d think he would have changed this name by deed poll by now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. rosscalverley (111 comments) says:

    Tangata whenua is people of the land. I was born here, I am tangata whenua.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. KevinH (1,194 comments) says:

    The Crown should appeal the sentence and seek a longer period of incarceration, say 6 to 8 years, to let this man know that his ridiculous claim is irrelevant and that criminals who attempt to use the tangata whenua defence are stupid.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.