Monday, August 01, 2005

Treaty of Waitangi

The right generally supports equality under the law as the prime goal in this domain meaning that the treaty is effectively repealed.
The left to an extent sees the treaty as a means to strengthen a group that includes some disadvantage people - they also see it as a way to punish children for the acts of their ancestors and reward others for the suffering of their parents.

I find the former argument more convincing.
If one wishes to deal with inequality that can be done through the taxation system but one should not help out a rich Maori (who's ancestors may have become rich as a result of the treaty) over a poor European or Asian (who's lets say had nothing to do with the treaty).It makes no moral sense.

This sort of argument should have died out after the Germans accused the Jews of being privileged and using sinful strategies like money lending to acquire wealth. There is no excuse for the law to see race as a reason for treating anyone differently form anyone else. You are not responsible for the sins of your parents and if you are not then you can’t be punished if your ancestors broke a treaty anymore than Maori can be punished for their ancestors eating previous inhabitants of land they may have occupied.

Secondly the treaty is often used to enforce high Maori culture upon us. High culture is the culture that we are TOLD is the official culture - as opposed to the culture you actually have. High culture is created and protected by a subset of society wishing to control the rest of society and as such is something to be abhorred (except where it is clearly for the public good).

There is nothing special about high Maori culture any more than there is something special about high English culture. And if it dies out then "so be it" the state should not actively protect high culture in the name of the treaty of Waitangi or on any other grounds.

Therefore in this case I am strongly on the side of the Right.


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