November 14, 2014
Sovereignty not ceded says Tribunal
The Waitangi Tribunal says the chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840 did not cede sovereignty to the British Crown.
Its stage one report on Te Paparahi o te Raki claims was presented to Ngapuhi claimants and hapu today at Te Tii Marae in Waitangi, the place where chief debated whether to sign to document presented by Royal Navy Captain William Hobson on behalf of the British Crown.
The tribunal says while Britain went into the Treaty negotiation intending to acquire sovereignty, and therefore the power to make and enforce law over both Maori and Pakeha, it did not explain this to the rangatira,
Instead they were told it was about controlling British subjects and therefore protecting Maori.
Peter Tipene from Ngati Hine says claimants have been pressing for the report, but they realise why it took four years to produce since the original hearings on Ngapuhi understandings of the treaty and the earlier Declaration of Independence.
"Given that it deals with the constitutional basis of this country, they really wanted to get it right, they really wanted to get their analysis right, and every single word they put in that report will be pored over certainly today and for a long time to come by generations who will look at it and say here is the basis for a shift and the true partnership that was espoused in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Whakaputanga," he says.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com