The and spirit of the treaty and
The uncertainty of the meaning is very problematic when it comes to The Treaty of Waitangi. This uncertainty has stemmed from the translation of the M?ori and English text of the treaty, which has led to different understandings. Therefore, using the “principles” of the treaty is the best way to help people understand the intention and spirit of the treaty and to also help relate it to circumstances of the present day.
Currently, the Treaty has not been enacted as a statute or law in New Zealand. The question of whether it should become superior law, so that no other statute can override its contents remains with an unknown answer, with many arguments for and against this question.If the treaty were to be given the status of superior law, “judiciary would be able to overrule both the other branches of government – parliament and the executive – in relation to the treaty of Waitangi” p.338.
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In my opinion, the title of superior law would give the Treaty too much power, considering the lack of understanding within its context. For example, the English to M?ori translation. Within the first article of the Treaty, significant use of the word Sovereignty is used, which was first written in the English language version of the treaty. Sovereignty exercises power and there is no one on top. On the contrary, sovereignty was translated to,” kawanatanga” for the M?ori translation, which means Government. Government is something that can be set up and controlled.
Sovereignty was regarded uncommendable. If the article recognizes that the British government is going to be the sovereign at this point. M?ori seizes to be sovereign. In my opinion, the Treaty should not be given any further status than it currently has.
This is due to the effects it has on people, the relationships it has ruined, and, the uncertainty behind The Treaty.Another reason as to why I believe the Treaty should not become superior law lays within the English version in the second article. “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”. Whereas translated into the M?ori version the word rangatiratanga is used, meaning sovereignty of lands. The Treaty of Waitangi, to me, seems illegitimate due to the cause of translation issues. The agreement was not signed on the pure basis of a fair agreement but signed on two completely different agreements and terms.
You can argue that this uncertainty that comes with the treaty, can, in fact, be helped through giving the Treaty a higher status in the legal system. Not by making it supreme law as this would give the Treaty too much power in one instance. But rather make the Treaty ordinary law. “This issue of uncertainty is crucial to identify” p.
313 when considering changing policy or law, especially when it revolves around such an emotional subject. This is even more reason to seek ways to, if not fix the problem of uncertainty, but at least make it better. It is expected that “over time more certainty about the general meaning of the Treaty then the judiciary currently has” p.343 will be established. As time goes on, a full certainty of the context of the Treaty will be present if it is given higher status than it currently has.