Home > News > Archive > 20th February 2007

Two Treaty roadshows hit town

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
TE AWAMUTU Intermediate School students
TE AWAMUTU Intermediate School students, from left: Erin James, Caitlin Moorby, Carly Cable-Dixon and Armandie Scholtz check out the Treaty 2U exhibition at Selwyn Park last Thursday during a two class visit. About 300 people viewed the exhibition on Wednesday and a similar number on Thursday. It featured an interactive CD Rom, Treaty replicas, history and giveaways of posters, CDs and booklets. 051071AD

By Grant Johnston

The Treaty 2U roadshow hit Te Awamutu last week, shadowed by the One New Zealand ‘protest’ van.

The first is a Government funded education exercise (with its budget over the past two years running at $2.35 Million), the other basically three blokes in a van with some books and banners. Both carry vastly different versions of what they claim is the ‘real Treaty of Waitangi’.

The One New Zealand ‘vanguard’ comprises founding member and chairman, Ross Baker, historian and author, Martin Doutré and the first man in New Zealand to lose his land through a Treaty of Waitangi grievance claim, Allan Titford. Their real aim is to promote the document known as ‘The Littlewood Treaty’ as the final English draft of the Treaty of Waitangi. This document was found in John and Beryl Littlewood’s deceased mother’s estate in 1989 - several years after the Lange-led Labour Government introduced the Principles for Crown Action on the Treaty of Waitangi and the State-Owned Enterprises Act.

One New Zealand says while these gave Maori special rights and privileges over non-Maori, the ‘original treaty’ gave these rights to all New Zealanders. The ‘Littlewood Treaty’ is allegedly a copy of the ‘final English draft of the Treaty’, written by British resident James Busby under the direction of Governor William Hobson on February 4, 1840 two days before the Treaty’s signing by 52 Maori chiefs at Waitangi.

One New Zealand says this Treaty and the Maori Tiriti O Waitangi guarantee equality for all the people of New Zealand. They say our present day Treaty legislation is based on Busby’s February 3, 1840 rough draft, in which he omitted to mention the
‘settlers’ or the rights of Ngati Whikitoria (the family of Queen Victoria) - an oversight corrected in the February 4 version.

“Most New Zealanders want equal rights for all New Zealanders - including 80% of Maori we speak to,” Mr Baker says. “In fact a lot of Maori are less confused about the Treaty than a lot of Europeans.”

Mr Titford says they followed the official treaty exhibition last year with their own ‘touring display, but people who approached them were a lot more interested and a lot more aware of their Treaty story this year.

“We are gaining traction with ordinary New Zealanders, even if officialdom preferred that we simply went away,” Mr Doutré says.

Treaty Alternative
TREATY ALTERNATIVE: Bryan Mitchell (left) was interested to catch up with One New Zealand’s Littlewood Treaty ‘roadshow’ at Selwyn Park last Thursday, featuring (from left) Martin Doutré, Ross Baker and Allan Titford. 051071BD

He became interested in the Littlewood Treaty after he was challenged by a Maori student in 2003 to ‘tell the people about the Treaty of Waitangi”. He read Ross Baker’s book ‘From Treaty to Conspiracy’. This led to him writing his own book - ‘The Littlewood Treaty, the True English Text of the Treaty of Waitangi - Found’ and joining forces with One New Zealand.

The trio say the authenticity of the document is without doubt, although they claim the Government has never honoured an undertaking to thoroughly research this and release the findings.

Treaty of Waitangi authority, Dr Claudia Orange has expressed doubts that the “Littlewood Treaty’ is the missing English draft - stating it was more likely to be a translation of the Maori version of the Treaty into English. She has said the fact the paper on which the document was written had an 1833 watermark was inconclusive, as it could have been “paper that was hanging around the solicitor’s office and was used”.

Another acknowledged expert Treaty researcher, Dr Phil Parkinson, has concluded that the handwriting in the ‘Littlewood Treaty’ is the handwriting of James Busby.

Editor’s note: What really appears to be in contention is the actual meaning of the Maori version of the Tiriti O Waitangi. The Treaty 2U roadshow distributes copies of the Maori text and English translation (as provided by the late Professor Hugh Kawhura). The translation promoted by One New Zealand was produced, they say, by Reverend Henry Williams and his son on the evening of February 4, 1840. This includes a Maori translation of the (English draft) Treaty’s second article: “The Queen of England confi rms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes and all the people of New Zealand the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property” (virtually identical to the ‘official’ translation by Mr T.E. Young of the Native Department in 1869). The Kawhura translation of the same Maori text into English reads: “Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests and fisheries ...”