In the 1860s, one of the leaders of the Heretaunga and Kahungunu people, Hori Ropiha, was concerned with the rapid land loss, hence the loss of economic and social development potential.
He decided to meet the Treaty Partner, the Crown, face to face. The story unfolds that he met the provincial governor in Napier, who said the Crown resided in Wellington. He visited the Colonial Office in Wellington, who said the Crown authority was through Parliament. He went to Parliament, who advised him that the Crown was represented by the Governor General.
The Governor General’s office informed Hori that his authority came from England, through the Queen of England. Hori Ropiha booked passage on a ship, and in London visited Buckingham Palace and was told that the British Parliament was the Office of the Crown. From Parliament at Westminster he was again deflected to the Colonial Office, who referred him back to New Zealand to the Colonial Offices where he was first directed on this merry-go-round.
Today the Treaty Claimants face the same vexing question. Who speaks for Pakeha? Who speaks for the Crown?
Claimants must lodge a claim through the Waitangi Tribunal, who make recommendations to Parliament … are then referred to the Office of Treaty Settlements … who then refers them to the Crown Forest Rental Trust, and this merry-go-round rotates frequently … before negotiations can proceed with the Minister of Treaty Settlement and his various agencies – such as government, regional and local authorities – who then will refer it to the Crown Law Office … before it goes before Cabinet … prior to it being referred to the whole of Parliament for approval … before being signed off by the Governor General.
Parliament then assigns one or more of its agencies to oversee and manage the transfer of settlement assets, by one nameless junior clerk.
Aue te hoha! Bugger!
My question is who speaks for Pakeha? Will that person please stand up?