Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Asking the next question

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  • Ken Sparks,

    Dear Dr Brash - why are you so annoying?

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks,

    Oh - and irrelevant?

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Susannah Shepherd,

    If you entered into a contractual arrangement and the other party decided to ignore the clauses in the contract that protected your interests, but still demanded you honour the clauses that protected their interests, would you agree and comply? If not, why not?

    Brilliant

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Susannah Shepherd, in reply to Sacha,

    Sadly, the answer of the Brashes of this world will be:
    - (on a good day) it's all too long ago and completely irrelevant
    - (on a bad day) savages can't enter into a contract

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Susannah Shepherd,

    And, on the subject of those having a bad day, I thought the best response to John Ansell's views on us silly women was from a blunt-speaking female colleague: "I might find this offensive if I wasn't laughing so fucking hard."

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Susannah Shepherd,

    I'd like to see a journalist try that one, nonetheless. Answer almost doesn't matter.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Steven Price,

    Dr Brash was finally, this morning, asked about Article 2 of the Treaty. He said it was about Maori giving up sovereignty and receiving property rights protection. The follow-ups:
    1. The thing Maori gave up was "kawanatanga". Who translates this as sovereignty? Isn't sovereignty a nearer translation to the thing they were promised they could keep - rangatiratanga?
    2. The thing that they were promised to keep rangatiratanga over wasn't just property, it includes taonga. How does he translate that?
    3. Even if we assume that Article 2 is just about Maori keeping property rights in exchange for sovereignty... why do you criticise the Foreshore and Seabed Act and Resource Management Act provisions which are trying to add a sliver of Maori property right protection into the general law?

    Oh, and by the way: do you think in general it is wise for politicians to read reports that they are criticising - even just the summaries maybe - before launching their criticisms? Do you think maybe you should have done that with Wai 262?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Susannah Shepherd,

    "I might find this offensive if I wasn't laughing so fucking hard."

    They're deeply embarrassing silly old men.
    Must be a pasture somewhere..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    Or a swamp-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks, in reply to Islander,

    Swamp? - luxury!

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Susannah Shepherd,

    And the Littlewood Treaty – it must be a contender for the highest average level of lunacy per item of correspondence to Ministers…

    Can I just say that my family has nothing to do with this particular "Littlewood Treaty". In fact I didn't even know about it until this evening. Some of the things I've uncovered in reaction to its "discovery" on google are particularly....odd....and disturbing,

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to ScottY,

    "bound by something they never saw, never signed and couldn't read"

    Ah, so you know about software EULA's then.

    I don't see why those conditions have any bearing on whether that particular document is binding. Our modern legal system has moved beyond those constraints. We have also moved beyond needing a conviction before punishment is applied (Arie), and even requiring the involvement of the legal system is optional (copyright).

    Sheesh, you retro-legalistas with all your fancy talk in a dead language need to move into the century of the fruitbat with the rest of the world.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 433 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Moz,

    By entering this room you cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty ....

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4422 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Steven Price,

    1. The thing Maori gave up was “kawanatanga”. Who translates this as sovereignty? Isn’t sovereignty a nearer translation to the thing they were promised they could keep – rangatiratanga?

    I wouldn't have thought that rangatiratanga translated particularly well as sovereignty at all.

    Hugh Kawharu's translation of the Maori text translates rangatiratanga as chieftanship, and kawanatanga as governance, which seems about right to my not particularly astute self. I had been taught, and understood the -tanga suffix in Maori was somewhat akin to the -ship suffix in English, as in leadership:

    thus the kingitanga movement would be kingi (king) + tanga (-ship) = kingship

    and kawanagtanga = kawana (a transliteration of governor) + tangi (-ship) = governorship

    and rangatiratanga = rangatira + tanga
    so if you accept the usual meaning of rangatira as chief (or chieftan), then rangatiratanga = chieftanship.

    see, for example Te Matapunenga: A Compendium of References to Concepts of Maori Customary Law

    Rangatira - Chief (male or female); wellborn, noble, from *langatila “chief of secondary status”.

    Kawanatanga - Governance, a nominalized form of kawana, from English governor, ultimately derived from Latin gubernator.

    One may ask what Maori thought they were keeping in signing something guaranteeing rangatiratanga, but what did they thing they were giving up?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    This is not backed by any research or reading on my part, but could Maori signatories have thought that the then-current role of the Chiefs and the Governor were being talked about? That is, rangatiratanga is all the stuff chiefs do and kawanatanga is what the governor does.

    You can imagine some potential for surprise when the latter turned out to mean "flogs your land".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Sacha,

    You can imagine some potential for surprise when the latter turned out to mean “flogs your land”.

    I wonder how long it'll be before Dr Brash demands Maori thank Tau Iwi for introducing them to lawyers and lawyering. (No offense intended to present company, naturally.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Space-age lawyering, naturally

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    One persuasive argument I read, and damned if I can cite it years after the fact, was that Maori knowledge of kawanatanga would have been referenced to the Bible, which had for years been taught to Maori by missionaries, and had examples like Pontius Pilate and Caesar.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 791 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    The Maori Party is radical free, now that Hone has left. Only respectable Maori leaders in it nowadays.

    Define 'respectable'. Perhaps a leader who did not lead the illegal occupation of public property to advance a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal, like Tariana Turia? I imagine she is still (rightly) proud of what she and Whanganui iwi achieved at Moutoa Gardens/Pakaitore.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 558 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sacha,

    could Maori signatories have thought that the then-current role of the Chiefs and the Governor were being talked about? That is, rangatiratanga is all the stuff chiefs do and kawanatanga is what the governor does.

    Yes, but I would note that prior to the Treaty, we wouldn't have had a governor. Comparisons with other Governors - e.g. the Governor of New South Wales, or those from history - e.g. Pilate - will have had to have been it.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    prior to the Treaty, we wouldn't have had a governor

    good point

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ken Sparks,

    Well, I initially thought of a fumerole but-
    swamp has more bitey life in it...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to B Jones,

    I’m away from my Maori library so cant quote from anything except that very useful little compendium of pamphlets published by the State Services Commission in 2006:

    “"Maori who signed had clear expectations of how the new covenant with the Crown would bring benefits. There would be a sharing of authority in the land, which would enhance the mana of the chiefs. The country would be protected from acquisition by other foreign powers. A kawana (governor) like the ones in New South Wales would control Europeans, especially European land buyers, who were causing difficulties in some areas…”

    And my, how that misunderstanding (almost certainly deliberately fostered by the missionary Henry Williams – who did the Maori translation of the Treaty, and whose 11 children gained considerable land advantages from their father’s activities) festered and pustulated…

    Pge. 17, part 1 of 5 pamphlets

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    We did, however, have a Lieutenant- Governor...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Susannah Shepherd, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Can I just say that my family has nothing to do with this particular “Littlewood Treaty”.

    I don't blame you for putting some distance between you and its proponents, although it seems there'd be no shame in a family link to the original Mr Littlewood.

    I do find it sad, though, that the tinfoil-hat brigade have had such a paradoxical effect by insisting that it's the "real" Treaty despite the absence of fairly critical features like the signatures of Messrs W. Hobson and H. Heke. In doing so, they've diminished the historical value of the document in giving some insight into the Treaty-making process.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 57 posts Report Reply

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