The Māori Party, the National Party former allies, is pushing for the pledge every MP has to make to the Queen to be changed to acknowledge the Treaty of Waitangi.
The two co-leaders of the party spoke minutes after officially becoming members of Parliament and confirmed they would put forward a member’s bill to change the oath or affirmation so it acknowledged the Treaty.
The problem with this, asides from the fact the Treaty is itself a contract between Maori chiefs and the Crown, is people confuse the ‘Queen’ for the royal family. They see the Union Jack and they are triggered red.
I wrote about this in 2015, in relation to the TPPA constitutionalism and the flag, only to find my self temporarily in the midst of a media storm. One where I was largely misquoted, or my text taken out of context. As every journalist, bar one exception, who cited me, failed to actually interview me before selectively cheery picking my words and misquoting them. Regardless I succeed in my goal of having the issue of the TPPA constitutional become a talking point and in making people asks the question; What exactly does it mean when you use the word ‘the Crown’?
I write now, as I wrote then, swearing a oath to the Queen/King is searing an oath to the Crown. And swearing an oath to the ‘Crown’ is not about swearing an oath to inbreed corgi lovers. The Crown is not the royal family it is the authority upon which Westminster democracy is based as drawn from the Magna Carta. Which in New Zealand’s case relates to Article 29 the right for justice for all. Its a declaration that we are all equal, regardless of our social status, in the eyes of the law.
Remove it with out addressing that powerful check and balance against abuse of state you get a 1987 Fiji style republic. Which in Fiji case was Fijian nationalism which served a few paramount chiefs (Taukie) and their mining company buddies at a cost to every one else including non aristocratic indigenous citizens.
Their is excellent article ‘Magna Carta Legacy: The Parliament and the Constitution in Fiji’ which address the importance of the Magna Carta and it role of protecting democracy. It also offers commentary of how constitution can be changed in way that is fair to all. Or alternatively what happens if your constitution model excludes the core points (Article 29) upon which Commonwealth law and the Magna Carta is built upon. It looks at how Fiji democracy got broken and how its now healing (healing but not yet healed).
In 2013 the New Zealand Constitutional Review was held (including panellists from John Keys Flag debate and other National party cronys and Maori conservative nationalist who favour the power of the treaty coming from the chiefs). It made not one mention of the Magna Carta.
Marama Broughton’s paper to the Māori Law Review symposium on the Treaty of Waitangi and the constitution.(12 June 2013) also noted “The Constitutional Advisory Panel terms of reference seem to exclude a constitutional model based on these relationships and the development of a tikanga-based constitution”.
Meaning as in the Fiji experience the advised constitutional panel favoured the chiefs but not the folks at the bottom reinforcing my point if we replace a constitution with out the checks and balance of article 29 where designing a system that favours the elite. Which was acore issue of the Ihumato protest and the protest which have arisen out of the temporarily shelved Maori Land Court Review Bill.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
There has increasingly being a the push for republicanism. This has being driven from may quarters including the National party’s republican movement, Maori nationalism, to the recent attempts by US style ‘freeman’ sovereignty movement to subvert the 1835 indigenous Maori sovereignty movement (the later based on the Magana Carta), all are steered at their roots by pro corporate lobby groups or those lobbying for the US based Pacific Reset agenda. A policy of corporate led globalism.
The argument to dispose of the oath and the Crown is simply a case of Brown washing, where just like green-washing, it is a case of neoliberalism hijacking genuine issues and using them as Trojan horse – to win support for a system which would place trade deals like the TPPA above our own laws of the land. It in fact sanctions a new wave of corporate colonialism. This in fact one of the reasons why Professor Jane Kelsey warned we need to keep an eye on the review and look not just at headlines but pay attention to the fine print. It was a review which the Key government refused to release-the governments response to the advisory panel recommendations when asked to do so by the Civil Liberties Union (twice).
Mean while in 2017 the Canada the Inuit Indians managed to temporarily defang the TPPA’s draconian ISSD clauses (as around the world in Commonwealth countries TPPA style deals were recognised as largely unconstitutional), citing it as unconstitutional based on Commonwealth legislation based upon the founding document of Westminster law the Magna Carta. That funny bit of 801 year old paper which takes the Crown away from inbreed corgi fans and makes it the property of all the people.
And thus when you swear that oath its not to the Queen, who at best is a symbol (I say keep the monarchy but replace them with a royal family of hamsters – it would certainly be cheaper), your swearing it to all the people of New Zealand. Making it so in the eyes of the law we are all equal.