Treaty Principles Bill: Painting over the Treaty with words

“While the Treaty technically can’t be edited, the Treaty Principles Bill could profoundly alter its practical application,” writes Melanie Nelson.

What’s the big deal about the coalition government’s proposed Treaty principles? Melanie Nelson, a licensed Māori language translator/interpreter, explains why the changes set out in the proposed bill matter.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the founding document of our nation and the very reason that I, as Pākehā, belong in this beautiful land. And yet, the coalition government appears to be undermining it.

They claim they’re simply “clarifying” the principles, not changing the actual Treaty. However, the proposed principles rely on multiple erroneous interpretations, distorting the text and essence of Te Tiriti and the English-language Treaty.

The detail of what Act has proposed can be hard to decipher for those who are unfamiliar with either te reo Māori or Te Tiriti.

Here’s an explanation of some of the core issues that underlie the proposed “Treaty principles” rewrite.

Read the full analysis here on E-Tangata