Culture is the accumulation of beliefs and way of life of any people group, usually  over generations and centuries.

Five realities I tried to introduce into the public debate in the 1987, 1990, and 1993 elections

1. Culture changes from century to century, generation to generation.

2. In any culture at any time there is both good and bad

3. A smart person, society, nation takes the best from each culture available to it and welds it into a new and better culture.

4. Every person must be free to practice their culture and beliefs provided they do not harm others.

5. In a just and thriving society all people must be equal before the law, irrespective of culture. 


"A nation is like a rope comprised of many strands. When the strands are bound together the rope is strong and useful, When they become frayed and separate the rope fails" Proverb

" A nation divided against itself cannot stand". Jesus

" Grow up tender plant for the days of your youth. Your hands to the tools of the pakeha for the welfare of your body, Your heart to the treasured possessions of your ancestors as a crown for yoiur head, Your spirit to God the creator of all things.  Sir Apirana Ngata.


Many of our problems in society now stem from 

1. A deification of indigenous (In New Zealand's case - Maori)  culture, (It is/was not all good)

2. A denigration of western culture. (It was/is not all bad)

3. A glorification of the 'me first' culture. 

4.  A denial of the creators culture which transcends all other cultures and gives us all the instructions we need for healthy, harmonious, thriving society RESPONSIBILITY (for ourselves and others), RESPECT (for ourselves and others), RESILIENCE (to cope with whatever life throws at us and get back up again), and GOOD RELATIONSHIPS (people to enjoy life with in the good times and to help us through the bad times) are essential to successful living. These things all come from the creators culture. They need to be taught from birth.

The creators culture demands that we do what is right because it is right - not because someone will bribe us if we do it!

Indigenous culture, including Maori, has a primary emphasis on loyalty to tribe and family (iwi and hapu)  and acting collectively. This has both good and bad points. A prime example was the vaccine roll out in New Zealand where many Maori and most non Maori accepted individual responsibility and got vaccinated while many Maori hung back in the shadows waiting for a collective movement - which in the end cost the taxpayer an extra  $300 million extra to partly achieve (around $1,000 per person for the maori who did not exercise their responsibility initially to get jabbed) . As Debbie Ngarewa-Packer pointed out in a Newshub nation interview November/December 2021 Maori need to be treated differently to pakeha and 'encouraged' to do what most from a western culture regard as their individual responsibility to do. Hence the KFC and grocery vouchers. Shane Jones pointed out in the same Newshub nation broadcast that this led to bribery and corruption among his people. It stops Maori, and many other indigenous people, from embracing all the benefits inherent in article 3 of The Treaty of Waitangi. A recent example (June 2024) is the reported 'bribery' at Manurewa Marae to get people completing census forms AND changing their electoral registration to the Maori Roll.  There are many other examples.

A further problem with many indigenous cultures is the faulure to accept any responsibility for their problems. A classic example was 2 news items on the same day - one  berating pakeha for the usual racism causing maori women to die younger than Pakeha - the second pointing out that Maori women smoke at twice the rate of non Maori. Give up smoking ladies and you will be healthier and wealthier and live longer to enjoy your families!  Another example - a professor from one of the Auckland universities sallied forth breathing racism in all its forms in regard to lower uptake of mammograms by Maori and Pacifica women. The interviewer actually asked an intelligent question as to "what was the racism she was talking about'. The professor finally spluttered out that it was the fact that "women had to ask for their Mammograms!" Who knew. Come on Maori and Pacifica women - take responsibility for yourself. Get over your Whakama and get your mammograms and smears.   You will be healthier and wealthier and live longer to enjoy your families!

We cannot complain about poverty among Maori and Pacifica people without also pointing out that one of the reasons is larger families - along with low paid jobs, over expensive housing, diet and budgeting issues, etc.  Most of the early British settlers in the late 1800's had a minimum of 4 and often up to 10-12 children. This part of settler culture changed over the next century to the now cultural norm for pakeha of 2-4 children enabling parents  to better look after the material needs of the ones they have.

Western culture has a primary emphasis on family, individual responsibility, and the greater good of all, irrespective of race and culture.This is why we cannot impose democracy on societies/nations organised on tribal/religious entities. One of the first countries in the world to try and impose it was New Zealand with the amazing Declaration of Independence in 1835. We never needed to have been a colony of anyone! It failed because of tribal distrust. The last one to try and fail was Afghanistan in 2021. 

The prime virtues of thrift, diligence, truth, justice, temperance, fortitude, self control, faith, hope, and charity, are prime requirements for a flourishing society. Far too many Maori (along with many from other indigenous cultures) have been kept in a state of victimhood and grievance and had their mana destroyed by their, so called, 'leaders'. I have seen it in many countries in the world, and I see it daily in the beggars on the streets of Auckland. It is not essential to have all the latest 'stuff''. It is vital for human dignity to be self sufficient and provide for the basic needs of ourselves and our families for food, clothing, and shelter.

Western culture in the past 50 years has become obsessed with gathering 'stuff'. The latest and greatest gadgets, the bigger and more expensive and polluting car than necessary, the bigger and flasher house than necessary, the bigger supply of clothing than necessary, etc etc. Our 'rock star economy'  has been built on greed, envy, and pride, creating a desire for things we do not need paid for in many cases with money we do not have and in the process we have severely damaged our planet. The day of reckoning will come.  

The Creators culture has two parts. Some of the Jewish leaders came to Jesus over 1900 years ago and asked him "what is the greatest commandment?" Jesus reply was "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbour as you love yourself"  Mark 12 v 30. In Matthew he said "Do to others what you would have them do to you". Matthew 7 v 12. When we have our relationships with God and each other sorted we will be in great shape individually and as a nation. The Secret of a successful Nation: Read More

In 2011 at a Candidates meeting for Auckland Central Electorate at Trades Hall I was standing for the Conservative Party. Jacinda Ardern was there for Labour and David Seymour for ACT. In response to a question as to what we would do about child poverty I made the statement "If every man and every woman chose their partner carefully, committed to each other for life, and brought up children in that nurturing, caring, and positive role modelling environment our poverty, crime, and addiction rates would drop by at least 60% and probably closer to 70%. The cost of running Government would drop by around 12-13 billion per year". It also reflects the Creators culture!!  In 2024 it still applies.




None of us chose our parents or country of birth! They are what they are.

Every person is of equal value to God as a special part of his creation, and should also be to us.

"From one man God created all the nations throughout the whole earth". Acts 17 v 26.

"You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way". Exodus 23 v 9.

"Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites and love them as you love yourself" Leviticus 19 34

"There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. You are all one in Christ." Galations 3 v 28. The way that Jesus, the creator, intended us to be and we become when we are his followers,

There is absolutely no room to abuse or demean anyone on the basis of their race (the definition of racism). It is sin!



A MEDITATION FOR MATARIKI: God merely spoke and the heavens were created. He breathed the word and all the stars were born.      (Written 3,000 years ago speaking of creation - Psalm 33 v 6) 

Written about 4,200 years ago when God is speaking to Job "Can you direct the movement of the stars - binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the sequence of the seasons or guide the lion and her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth? Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct? Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? (Job 38 v 31-36)

At Matariki let us respect the rich Maori culture - and worship the one true God who created all things for all humanity to enjoy equally. The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies show His handiwork! At creation God instructed Adam to manage the earth. This came across the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific to Aotearoa with Maori as Kaitiakitanga, and across Europe to Britain and on to New Zealand as stewardship. We can do better to fulfil the instruction together.

We must learn the difference between Co-Governance (setting the rules of life to apply to everyone equally) and Co-Management (choosing the best way to implement those rules).


The Treaty of Waitangi is a sacred covenant between Maori Chiefs and British Government and Queen Victoria. The peace that developed over 15 years from the coming of christianity and the creators culture of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation in 1814 enabled the Declaration of Independence in 1835, subsequently replaced by the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. This replaced war,  Utu, slavery, and cannibalism. The overriding principle of the Treaty of Waitangi was expressed by William Hobson to each chief who signed the Treaty - "He Iwi Tahi Tatou" (now we are one people) which is totally an outcome of the creators culture. All actions in relation to the Treaty should be judged against this principle - does it draw us together as a nation or separate us?

There are not two different Treaties. There is an English Treaty and Maori translation which is NOT materially different in meaning.


THE TREATY OF WAITANGI. Signed 6th February, 1840.

Her Majesty Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with Her Royal Favor the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment of peace and Good Order has deemed it necessary in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty's Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand and the rapid extension of Emigration both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorised to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereign authority over the whole or any part of these islands - Her Majesty therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the native population and to Her subjects has been graciously pleased to empower and to authorise me William Hobson a Captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy Consul and Lieutenant Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be or hereafter shall be ceded to Her Majesty to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions    

                                                       Article the first                                    

The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereign thereof.

                                                      Article the second                                                           

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 Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess as long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession: but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty  the exclusive right of preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

                                                       Article the third                                                            

In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects

Signed W. Hobson Lieutenant Governor.

Now therefore we the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in congress at Victoria in Waitangi and we the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand  claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof in witness of which we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and dates respectively specified.

Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.  


The Declaration of Independence - 1835.

The English text was drafted by British Resident James Busby with the help of missionary Henry Williams. It was then translated into te reo Maori by Henry Williams and written out by Eruera Pare Hongi. 34 northern chiefs signed on the 28th October, 1835 and it was sent to the King. It was formally acknowledged by the Crown  in May 1836. By the 22nd July 1839 another 18 chiefs had signed including Te Hapuku of Hawke's Bay, and Te Wherowhero, the Waikato Tainui Ariki who became the first Maori king in 1858.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE -  28th October, 1835   (He Whakaputanga)

Article One. We, the hereditary chiefs and heads of the tribes of the Northern parts of New Zealand, being assembled at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, on this 28th day of October, 1835, declare the Independence of our country, which is hereby constituted and declared to be an Independent State, under the designation of The United Tribes of New Zealand.

Article Two. All sovereign power and authority within the territories of the United Tribes of New Zealand is hereby declared to reside entirely and exclusively in the hereditary chiefs and heads of tribes in their collective capacity, who also declare that they will not permit any legislative authority separate from themselves in their collective capacity to exist, nor any function of government to be exercised within the said territories, unless by persons appointed by them, and acting under the authority of laws regularly enacted by them in Congress assembled.

Article Three. The hereditary chiefs and heads of tribes agree to meet in Congress at Waitangi in the autumn of each year, for the purpose of framing laws for the dispensation of justice, the preservation of peace and good order, and the regulation of trade; and they cordially invite the Southern tribes to lay aside their private animosities and to consult the safety and welfare of our common country, by joining the Confederation of the United Tribes.

Article Four. They also agree to send a copy of this Declaration to His Majesty, the King of England, to thank him for his acknowledgement of their flag; and in return for the friendship and protection they have shown, and are prepared to show, to such of his subjects as have settled in their country, or resorted to its shores for the purposes of trade, they entreat that he will continue to be the parent of their infant State, and that he will become its Protector from all attempts upon its independence.

Agreed to unanimously on this 28 day of October, 1835, in the presence of His Britannic Majesty’s Resident.

(Here follows the signatures or marks of thirty-five Hereditary chiefs or Heads of tribes, which form a fair representation of the tribes of New Zealand from the North Cape to the latitude of the River Thames.)

English witnesses:
(Signed) Henry Williams, Missionary, C.M.S.
George Clarke, C.M.S.
James R. Clendon, Merchant.
Gilbert Mair, Merchant.

I certify that the above is a correct copy of the Declaration of the Chiefs, according to the translation of Missionaries who have resided ten years and upwards in the country; and it is transmitted to His Most Gracious Majesty the King of England, at the unanimous request of the chiefs.

(Signed) JAMES BUSBY, British Resident at New Zealand.


Missionary Henry Williams was well respected by  Maori having spent many years seeking their welfare and assisting in the understanding of British ways (and the ways of God). His use of language is very explicit.


DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. It asserted that sovereign power and authority in the land (KO TE KINGITANGA KO TO MANA I TE WHENUA) resided with Te Whakaminenga, the Confederation of United Tribes who were to meet at Waitangi each year to make laws. It specified that no foreigner could make laws.  


TREATY OF WAITANGI. (Taken from Professor Hugh Kawharu's translation for Waitangi Day 2021).

Article one: The Chiefs (Rangatira) conceded Kawanatanga (Governorship) over their land.

Article Two: the Queen of England guaranteed the Chiefs, subtribes, and all the people of New Zealand chieftainship (Rangatiratanga) over their lands villages, and all their treasures, until such time as they wished to sell.

Article Three: Maori received the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England.


The Treaty of Waitangi did not guarantee Maori posession and chieftainship of their lands and treasures for all time - it was until such time as they wished to sell. Article 3 of the Treaty then became active bringing individual ownership under British Law of land, and 'Crown ownership' (guardianship) for seabed, foreshore, lakes, and rivers which were not on unsold maori land.

It is claimed by some that 'maori lost their lands or had their lands stolen'. I have yet to meet anyone who has gone through a list of all those who  claim Maori heritage and compared it with the Land Register to ascertain how much land is owned by Maori under Article 3 which enables them to buy and sell as they wish and reap the rewards of their labours - the same as every other New Zealander.

Last figures I have (from Jacinda Adern) is that there is till around 1.2 million hectares of land in Maori tribal ownership of which 75-80% is unused or underused owing to the problems of multiple ownership.




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