The tangata whenua card

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 🙂

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