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The Treaty of Waitangi, an explanation; Te Tiriti o Waitangi, he whakamarama.

Confiscated Lands

[ko te tohutoro i roto i te reo Māori]

Confiscated Lands

In conclusion I would just like to say a word about the lands that were confiscated by past Governments. Some have said that these confiscations were wrong and that they contravened the articles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Government placed in the hands of the Queen of England, the sovereignty and the authority to make laws. Some sections of the Maori people violated that authority. War arose from this and blood was spilled. The law came into operation and land was taken in payment. This it self is a Maori custom—revenge, plunder to avenge a wrong. It was their own chiefs who ceded that right to the Queen. The confiscations cannot therefore be objected to in the light of the Treaty.

The objections should be made in the light of the suffering of some of the tribes by reason of the confiscation of their lands. The wrongs were done by others while lands belonging to others were confiscated. Consequently many tribes suffered through having no lands. Some tribes were too severely punished. It was from these objections that earnest supplications were made to Ministers or by way of petitions to Parliament. While the Government could not defend itself under the provisions of the Treaty, Governments have used the Treaty as a shield against these supplications and claims.

So my friend Bennett, will you please pass on to the dear old lady the answer to her short questions. I am afraid the explanations have been somewhat lengthy. It could have been quite short if I had just stated, the Treaty of Waitangi created Parliament to make laws. The Treaty has given us the Maori Land Court with all its activities. The Treaty confirmed Government purchases of lands which is still being done and it also confirmed past confiscations. The Treaty sanctioned the levying of page 16rates and taxes on Maori lands, it made the one law for the Maori and the Pakeha. If you think these things are wrong and bad then blame our ancestors who gave away their rights in the days when they were powerful.