February 07, 2024
Words matter in ACT treaty mangling
Ngāpuhi and Ngāpuhi elder Waihoroi Shortland says David Seymour’s words and actions at Waitangi shows he has a major problem interpreting anything to do with Māori.
The Act leader claimed he was drawing support from some Maori for his Treaty Principles Bill, despite a hostile reaction during the forum session and boos during his contribution to the Waitangi Day dawn service prayers.
Mr Shortland says Mr Seymour’s case is based on a mistranslation of the phrase a ratou taonga katoa, which he takes to mean everybody else’s rights.
“Maori 101 will tell you the voice of the treaty is the voice of the Crown. That’s the Crown speaking to Maori. If the Crown meant it was for everybody else, that word would not be ratou, that word would be tatou. And if the Crown intended to say ‘I will be the boss of everything,’ then that word would have been matou,” he says.
Waihoroi Shortland says Mr Seymour is showing the same difficulty interpreting what was put to him at Waitangi in any language.