It seems that it’s time to, once again, to talk about the Celtic New Zealand thesis and other alternative, anti-tiriti theories about Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu (New Zealand), now that John Ansell has revealed his latest crazy caper and wacky scheme (like a cheap Bond villain from the Brosnan era).

I’ve made a comment over at Ansell’s blog but I’ve had no reply there yet and I’m not expecting one. When Scott Hamilton went up against Martin Doutré, Doutré ignored my analysis of his views. Still, …

Like David Farrar, I’m going to highlight some of the salient points of Ansell’s article and, well, react to them. In truth, this is just a way to clarify my thoughts on this latest assault on living in a decent society. It’s also a great example of a conspiracy theory, what with its focus on power elites, hidden agendas and the like. Indeed, replace “Maori” (or “Māori,” as I argue it should be spelt) with “alien shape-shifting reptiles” and his article wouldn’t look out of place over at David Icke’s ((Has anyone ever written a paragraph that starts with a reference to David Farrar and then ended it with a reference to David Icke?)).

Last year I fumed to a reporter, no doubt after yet another holocaustic exaggeration by a neotribal extortionist demanding my water or flora or sky, that Maori had gone from the Stone Age to the Space Age in 150 years and had yet to say thanks.

For pointing out this irrefutable fact, I was roasted by Rosemary McLeod, disowned by Don Brash, and honoured by an anonymous brown supremacist with my very own Facebook page ‘John Ansell is a Racist F***wit’.

However, I was also contacted by a Maori friend, who gleefully trumpeted how clever his people had been to make such stellar progress, and, in the absence of my forebears, thanked me most profusely.

Two things to say here:

  1. The whole “They never apologised line” is a tad disingenuous, really, since a) it’s not as if progress belongs to any one culture, b) there was reciprocal trading of information (who taught trench warfare to who?) and c) there’s that whole “we’ll steal your land and break the treaty we signed with you” malarky (more on that shortly).
  2. Ansell trots out the whole “I have a Māori friend…” line as if that’s a “Get our of Racism” free card. It’s also the usual anonymous “friend” line which makes you think that such a person does not exist, but, as the comments then show, there are people who do claim to be Māori who agree with him, so maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s not being specific so to protect his alleged friend.

These two opposite reactions caused me to divide Maori into two broad groups, which I call Achievers and Grievers.

The Achievers I admire very much, especially those who – sadly – feel they have to escape to Australia to live the lives of equal New Zealanders.

But the Grievers I can’t abide.

They clearly descend from the ethically-flexible rebel minority who breached the Treaty in the wars of the nineteenth century, and their inflated sense of entitlement has been costing the rest of us dearly.

If you are going to talk about people who are “ethically-flexible,” then, really, you need to also talk about Ngati Pākehā, who, not at all controversially, were the people who broke the treaty between Māori and the British Crown. Ansell seems to gloss over the role of Pākehā in the breakdown of relations between the Crown and Māori, in part because it doesn’t fit his thesis of a “colourblind” state and, in part, because it seems he thinks our conventional history is a smokescreen to hide what really happened “back in the day.”

Being nice to Griever Maori can be very costly indeed – especially when the iwi elite are aided and abetted in their extortion attempts by all the other elites– the political, bureaucratic, academic, judicial, legal, and media.

Everyone but the common man (I use the term advisedly: Ansell’s view on women and their critical thinking abilities can best be summarised as “Right-thinking women think like men”) is agin you and me! Well, that seems to be the extent of his thesis.

When it comes to the whole “exortion attempts” claim Ansell makes, we really need to be comparing like with like. The acknowledged historical losses and injustices to Māori are so high that it’s hard to reconcile claims of extortion by Māori when compared to the outright theft of land and duplicity of the settler government. Claims of extortion are relative to the claim of loss, and no one seems to deny (other that Ansell and his mates) that Māori have not, in anyway, received even close to adequate compensation for their loss of land and autonomy. Indeed, iwi have been model citizens in this regard, accepting paltry apologies and little recompense, it seems, in order to allow Pākehā and Māori to forge a better society together.

Also, all this power elite talk puts Ansell into the heady mix of conspiracy rhetoric common to both the extreme left and the extreme right (the extreme right tend to be suspicious not just of big government but also big business).

We’ve had a corrupt Waitangi Tribunal refusing to pay researchers whose findings do not support their racist fantasy, and a Race Relations Commissioner who instructs councils to create special seats for one race only.

I’ve asked Ansell who these researchers are. I imagine that they are the nine researchers he mentions later on in the article ((Nine mortal researchers doomed to die? Is Ansell actually the Dark Lord Sauron? Why is this information being kept from us?)).

We’ve had historians hushing up the 1989 discovery of the final English draft of the Treaty when they realised that Hobson included “all the people of New Zealand”, not just Maori.

Ansell is talking here about the Littlewood copy of the treaty draft. Note that: draft. Whilst it seems that the Littlewood copy is, indeed, an English early draft of the Tiriti o Waitangi, that doesn’t tell us anything about the ramifications of the document which was signed by the Crown and iwi leaders. The signed document is the actual treaty: the draft is just that. That there are differences between it and the final copy doesn’t mean we should privilege the draft (whose language is more suited to Ansell’s thesis) and, perhaps more importantly, we should prefer the te reo version of Tiriti o Waitangi because that is the document Māori signed, and given that, by Ansell’s argument, Māori were giving up their own sovereignty, we should take their understanding of the matter over that of the English (whose intent, one way or the other, is largely unimportant given that they were, at the time, visitors in Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu and seeking a way to legitimise their presence in the country they called “New Zealand.”

On second thoughts, appeasement is too wimpish a word for such a sustained and orchestrated con.

The only word that cuts the mustard is TREATYGATE.

Although I know I breach this principle in the title of this post, can we all just agree to stop putting “-gate” at the end of every scandal and conspiracy claim? Either that or we need to start referring to Watergate as Watergategate.

Pretend that Maori are indigenous to New Zealand, when they sailed here just before the Europeans, and suppress the mounting evidence that other races got here first.

  1. Ansell is referring to the work of such “luminaries” as Martin Doutré, Ross Wiseman, Maxwell C. Hill and all, who claim to have (sketchy) evidence of a pre-Māori in Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu. These people are not professional historians and their work has not survived peer review (of course, Ansell suspects these agencies of being in on the conspiracy, so they fact they are condemned is just more evidence that these people are right, I suspect). Indeed, I, among others, have tried locking horns with these people in the past, to no real avail (I’m usually just ignored by them: I like to think it’s because they don’t like their evidence and basic assumptions being challenged).
  • Even if Ansell, et al is right and there is good evidence that there existed a pre-Māori people who got here first and were wiped out by the Māori, this changes nothing about the treaty between the British Crown and Māori. That treaty does not rest upon Māori being the first and only people of this place but, rather, it rests upon the recognition that the Māori were here before the British and were a settled people with whom the British needed an arrangement with. The Māori could have arrived twenty years before Cook and only just laid down their first whare by the time the first British colonists arrived, fresh from Southampton, and it wouldn’t matter an iota. The existence of a pre-Māori people would not invalidate the Tiriti o Waitangi. It is a document which sets out the relationship between two peoples. Splutter all you like about the possibility someone else was here first: even if they existed, they did not sign a treaty with the British Crown.

  • Pretend at all times that Maori remain a separate race, even though they’re all now part-Pakeha.

    This just infuriates me, since it a) brings up the damned “blood quota” business and b) ignores that, for Māori and many other peoples, belonging to your ethnic group is not (just) a matter of who gave birth to who but also of a feeling of identity.

    For the last year I’ve been studying Crown-Maori history intensively with the help of nine authors who have written more than thirty books on the subject.

    As I mentioned before, I’d really like to know who these nine authors are. I suspect I can name at least four, possibly six. Doutré, Wiseman, Hill, Hilliam, Winckel and Brailsford. But who else is in on this?

    The scale of the Treatygate fraud is massive and reaches into every agency of the New Zealand state.


    I simply want the government to give us the racial equality that the Treaty promised.

    I believe that’s what a lot of Māori want as well. It’s a pity that people like Ansell want to deny it to them.

    I’ll be coming back to this issue (it’ll spur on my discussion of Maxwell C. Hill’s book “To the Ends of the Earth” at the very least) but let me end with the following question:

    Is it just me, or is the press release about Ansell’s campaign and this toxic piece by Rodney Hide about Tiriti o Waitangi somehow not linked?


    Orpheus Clinker says:

    He’s talking about John Robinson, the mathematician and amateur historian who fell out with the Crown Forestry Rental Trust over some work he did a while back. His other sources probably include the usual suspects from the NZCPR: David Round, Ross Baker, Mike Butler, Hugh Barr, and maybe Elizabeth Rata. Some are genuine outlier academics, while the likes of Baker are crusaders against government conspiracy to hide the Truth.

    I’m not sure why a government across several administrations would conspire to cost itself hundreds of millions of dollars, when there’s been for the most part stuff-all political support to be gained from doing so, but I suppose you could blame it all on Marxists* I guess.

    *Like Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley.

    Ansell has confirmed three of the researchers who have had findings rejected by the Waitangi Tribunal and, yes, Robinson is one. As Ansell < ahref="">wrote over at his blog:

    You asked: “Who are these researchers you speak of?”

    Good question. Glad you asked.

    One of the few who has had the courage to go public is Dr John Robinson.

    Dr Robinson is a PhD from MIT who was hired by Victoria University’s Waitangi Tribunal Treaty unit to prove their desired theory that Maori depopulation in the late 19th century was caused by land loss.

    What he actually found was the complete opposite.

    His meticulous research proved that land loss was not a major contributing factor to depopulation. And nor were introduced diseases.

    He found that the overwhelming cause was the loss of tens of thousands of young males in the inter-tribal genocides of the 1820s and 30s.

    This coupled with a similar shortage of females due to the widespread Maori practice of killing their baby girls at birth.

    But when Dr Robinson presented these findings to his Waitangi Tribunal paymasters, they were not happy campers.

    They told him he would not be paid until he changed his findings to suit their agenda of always blaming the Pakeha.

    And to his shame, in order to feed his family, that’s what he did.

    But once he was retired and could no longer be persecuted for his whistleblowing, he confessed all in the stunning book The Corruption of New Zealand Democracy – A Treaty Overview.

    Another who has alluded to researchers being ‘got at’ is Dr Giselle Byrnes, a VUW historian.

    Dr Byrnes is quoted in a newspaper article as saying, in the measured style of an academic:

    “There are a lot of people who work in the treaty claims process… who perhaps might share some concerns about the way history is used, but they are not in a position to voice those concerns.”

    But the biggest fish to confess to the dodginess of Tribunal research is none other than former Tribunal chair Sir Edward Durie himself.

    A 17 November 1999 Herald article headed RESEARCHERS “PRESSURED TO CHANGE FINDINGS”, reports Sir Edward as admitting that some groups had required commissioned researchers to remove material unhelpful to the claimant’s cases or amend their conclusions.

    Sometimes this was a condition of the researchers being paid.

    Some also presented biased claims, omitting evidence against their evidence that should be presented.

    “There are also complaints from researchers of instructions not to consult with certain persons or only those approved by the groups,” Sir Edward is reported as saying with unusual candour.

    So, one disgruntled writer, one actual historian whose vague claim could be suggesting all sorts of thing and a former Chair just admitting to what we already know goes on in court cases, which is that each side presents their clients in the best possible light.

    As for the claim of conspiracy: I agree. It’s hard to see why National (especially National a few terms ago) and Labour would work together when, if this was true, it’s presumably a good vote getter (probably better for National, once again “back in the day”).

    Also: “Blame it on the Marxists” is my favourite “Jackson Five” song.

    Although I should also point out that his original claim was about these researchers being refused to be paid: Robinson was paid (but by another organisation), there’s no mention of Byrnes not being paid and the comments by Durie indicate people were paid (but maybe paid to be less than exhaustive researchers). So he hasn’t really made a case for researchers not being paid but, rather, researchers being paid on condition that their findings fit a particular view (and he hasn’t even really made the case that this view is perverted: it might well be the case that some of the mentioned researchers produced sub-standard material or, due to a lack of access, come to conclusions which were out of line with the broader historical narrative).

    helenalex says:

    There seems to be a misunderstanding of how historians fit into the Tribunal process. Essentially there are three kinds:
    1) those who work for the claimants (usually via the Crown Forestry Rental Trust) or the Crown, and are supposed to come up with stuff which supports their side’s case. They are also supposed to produce proper supported-by-the-evidence history, but this wouldn’t necessarily preclude leaving things out which don’t support their side’s case. What they’re doing isn’t unbiased history, but it’s generally not factually inaccurate.
    2) those who are employed or contracted directly by the Tribunal to research and write historical accounts of particular issues. They are supposed to come to conclusions based purely on the evidence, regardless of who it supports. Generally this work supports the claimants, because the Crown did do a lot of things wrong, but sometimes it finds the Crown did pretty well.
    3) those who also work for the Tribunal and put together the actual Waitangi Tribunal reports, which make a formal statement on whether the Crown has breached the Treaty or not. These are usually based on the work done by the first two types of Treaty historian and include a *lot* of evidence. Sometimes they find that the Crown has not breached the Treaty at all, and in one case they found that Maori (Te Kooti, specifically) had breached the Treaty.
    It’s important to realize that the first two types of historian have their work cross examined by lawyers for the claimants and for the Crown, in public hearings. So if someone’s research isn’t based on any real evidence, or even if it’s a bit borderline, they generally get torn to pieces on the stand. They will still get paid, but it’s not a pleasant experience, and even the threat of this happening is enough to motivate historians to make sure they can back up everything they’ve written.

    Excellent points. Do you know anything about John Robinson and his work (The Corruption of New Zealand Democracy — A Treaty Overview)? He claims he was forced to change his findings about what caused the decline of the Māori population between the 1800s and the 1840s (but it sounds more like his work was questioned because it didn’t fit with what else we know).

    helenalex says:

    I also think it’s interesting (ie not remotely surprising) that people are scandalised that iwi hire historians to present their side of things but don’t know or mind that the Crown does exactly the same thing.

    Glenn says:

    Hi Matthew, i just wanted to say a quick thanks for all of the effort you are putting in regards the “Treatygate” & “Colourblind NZ” campaigns being run by John Ansell. I am sure your incredible intelligence & knowledge is helping people to get a clearer picture of what it is all about. I find myself completely fascinated by the whole thing & i am not sure why. I find it quite alarming the amount of people who are regularly using the terms “White race” & “European race” in a manner that indicates some sort of superiority. In the end i believe that these people will unwittingly scuttle the campaign by John Ansell. I doubt you are being paid, so hopefully the odd gesture will keep your spirits up. So, thanks & keep up the good work.

    Thanks, Glenn. I’m certainly not getting any kind of material reward for my work here, so the odd gesture really is appreciated.