referendum or not
One of the ironies of David Seymour, the Act party leader who’s insisting on a referendum on “co-governance” between the crown and iwi, is that one of his own ancestors was a signatory to Te Titiri o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). That doesn’t quite make Seymour a hypocrite, and nor does it necessarily make him a disloyal descendant, instead it reveals one of the contradictions at the heart of New Zealand politics: that few politicians can agree on quite what our founding document means. At one end, Te Pāti Māori (the Māori party) and the Greens pursue the textual meaning of Te Tiriti, the Māori language version reaffirming Māori sovereignty while carving out modest powers for the crown. At the other end, Act and the National party pursue the textual meaning of the English language treaty where the chiefs who sign apparently surrender their sovereignty to Her Majesty.