Treaty Property Rights

NZPA reports today that Winston Peters has said “The treaty was not about property rights. . . it was about citizenship”.

Umm has he read the Treaty lately?

Peters is right that the Treaty is about citizenship (Article III). But it most certainly is also about propery rights (Article II). What it is not, and should not be about, is special seats on local bodies, affirmative action, spiritual myth recognition, preferential treatment in health and education etc.

The English version of the Treaty says “Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession.”

If that is not about property rights, I don’t know what the hell is. Peters, once again, is wrong.

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