Saturday, November 21, 2015


Last night the Veteran and Mrs Veteran attended a function in Keri2.   Met up with an old acquaintance of mine, Wallace Te Ahuru, who is the Corporate Services Manager at the Waitangi National Trust.

Got to taking about the new $9.5m museum and resource centre being developed adjacent to the entrance building leading onto the Treaty House grounds and was gratified to hear the construction was on time and on budget.  

Some of you may be aware it is the wish of the Waitangi National Trust Board that the original Treaty document is bought back to Waitangi and displayed in the new facility which has been designed to provide for such an eventuality.

The proposal is being opposed by fuddy-duddy bureaucrats from Archives New Zealand who believe they have a god given right to have and to hold the Treaty document in perpetuity.    It is currently 'housed' in the Constitution Room at Archives House and of course, everyone knows exactly where that is and how to get there.  

I disagree.  The Treaty document belongs at Waitangi.    It should be displayed at Waitangi.   It's time to bring the 'Treaty' home.


Noel said...

Nah it's free to see at Wellington.
Seriously though down there it doesn't stand alone but in context with other historical documents.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... displayed in the 'Constitution Room'. Aptly named for a country that doesn't have a constitution.

Any idea of how many people visit the Constitution Room each year compared with Waitangi?

The Realist said...

It's time to burn the bloody thing

Barry said...

I agree with Realist!

Noel said...

"Any idea of how many people visit the Constitution Room each year compared with Waitangi"

When entry is free around 46,000 visit Waitangi. Looking for the other.

Anonymous said...

You might want to get the correct version as well.

pdm said...

While I wouldn't go as far as burning it I think the Treaty has had it's day and I don't really care where the original is stored.

Noel said...

"It's time to burn the bloody thing"
Visions of a redneck standing over a fire proof, axe proof presentation stand with a can of petrol ...YMMD

The Veteran said...

Noel ... you're out on the numbers ... my advice re Waitangi is 100,000+. Kids <18 free. Archives NZ visitor numbers are only a fraction of that and many are researchers

The Waitangi National Trust is not funded by government. Income is derived from visitors, investments and lease arrangements. My Golf Club (Waitangi) is situated on Trust land and the Trust gets a fair wack out of us.

Archives NZ is 100% taxpayer funded. It's not 'free'.

The Veteran said...

To all ... we're talking about the Treaty document and not the Waitangi Tribunal ... huge difference. I agree the latter has just about reached the end of its useful life and should now be wound down.

The Treaty document is, whether you like it or not, part of our history and should be displayed for all to see.

jaspa said...

According to Labour, the current move (300m up the road) is costing us $7 million. And the document has been deemed by Archives New Zealand chief archivist Marilyn Little "too delicate" to be moved to Northland. Would a replica not suffice?

The Veteran said...

jaspa ... and you believe Labour? The cost of the extensions is being funded by the LGB. I guess if you take Labour's view then every LGB grant comes from 'us'. Of course Archives NZ would say that. It's not in their interest to say otherwise. Does anyone really believe today's technology is not up to that. Finally, I see that Labour's Kelvin Davis supports the move. As much as I despise that man ... this time he's got it right.

p.s. The Trust Board is Chaired by NZ First MP Peter Paraone and includes sometime National Deputy PM Don Mackinnon. I am also aware that Jenny Shipley, our first female PM, has endorsed the call.

Noel said...

I remember accompanying a school trip to Wellington. The Archives and the Treaty were visited along with Te Papa and what one 12 year old claimed was the "hot air" building.

My numbers were for the free days over from Waitangi Trust press releases.
Older stats suggested 140,000 per annum but that dropped after the introduction of a fee for NZ residents so your per annum figure maybe correct.

jaspa said...

Mr Veteran,

No I do not necessarily believe Labour on anything; in this case it may be a worst-case-scenario sum, which is what an opposition party would normally provide (which is why I accredited the sum to Labour). It has been at least 3-4 mil so far, so they may not be wrong. And I don't really care what any Labour member, past or present, thinks about it. I just think it is an unnecessary expense. And I really don't know about the technology - if someone who does thinks it is possible I am prepared to reconsider my opinion.

Regards, jaspa

The Veteran said...

Jaspa .. as I said in my post the figure is $9.5m made up of LGB funding plus Trust monies.
So, if it's is non-public monies, what's the beef? Tourist dollars (international and national) are a major component of the BoI economy and any boost to that has to be welcomed.

Anonymous said...

All South Islanders find themselves in Wellington at one time or another. Some even manage to get to Auckland. Very few get to Northland, if you want to reverse engineer that think Auckland/Invercargill.

What exactly do you have against us mainlanders that you wish to make life so difficult for us. Te Papa was was put in Wellington for a very good reason.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Noel said...

"Any boost has to be welcome"
So the return of our founding document is to increase the tourist spend?
Geez have we become that mercenary?

Howie said...

This is a dumb idea. How much would it cost someone from Dunedin or Invercargill to go and see the nation's founding document? Poorly thought through and a waste of money. It will no doubt become National Party policy on that basis alone.

Psycho Milt said...

I see any mention of te Tiriti still guarantees racist nutbars will comment.

Veteran - as you say, Archives NZ is 100% taxpayer funded. It's funded for the purpose of storing, preserving and making available important documents from the country's history. There basically isn't any document that fits that criterion better than the country's founding document, so it isn't obvious why it should be handed over to an organisation that isn't tasked with or has any expertise in storing and preserving historic documents.

The Veteran said...

Gueez ... some really weird comments here. Howie confirms his village idiot status when he ignores the fact that right now the only two parliamentarians right now supporting the move come from Labour and NZ First. PM (whose comments I respect) ... the Museum extension has been specifically designed to accommodate the document under the controlled conditions necessary for its preservation. Noel ... the tourist dollars bit was essentially a throwaway remark stating the obvious that Paihia/Waitangi is essentially a tourist town. Rupert .. following your logic we should move everything to Wellington ... MOTAT, Warbirds, Rugby Museum etc.

I do regret that it is increasingly impossible to have an intelligent conversation about anything connected with the Treaty.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Adolf is a BOI born Kiwi who can trace his whakapapa back three hundred years.

On this occasion I'm inclined to leave the document where it is, if only on the grounds that at Waitangi it would be too easy for Barry and The Realist to burn the bloody thing.

I'd be interested to know exactly what the Wellingtonians consider is necessary to preserve the treaty. Have they painted it with some secret archival concoction to ward of evil document demons?

JC said...

I think the most important thing is as many people as possible see the document. It should be ringed with at least a half dozen expert reports stating this is the Treaty Document and is completely unaltered.

They should note that there are no "Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi" document or addendum.. these were made up many years later by scoundrels looking to make money from the historic event.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I'm afraid I see the toys coming out of the pram.

Rule One...Veteran is always right.

Rule two.......When he is caught in Flagrente Delecto refer to rule one.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Noel said...

"... the Museum extension has been specifically designed to accommodate the document under the controlled conditions necessary for its preservation."

Oh so it going to occur regardless?

"I do regret that it is increasingly impossible to have an intelligent conversation about anything connected with the Treaty."

Wouldn't matter what category the conversation was in, it's of no consequence if the building has been planned to "accommodate the document".

Maybe any conversations should have been conducted before any plans were drawn up?

Anonymous said...

The figure of $7 million to move the Treaty 100 metres across the road from Archives NZ comes straight from the National govt's cabinet paper announcing the move to the Natioanl Library. This policy is a National govt policy entirely funded by taxpayers money. The reason you say it came from Labour is because they voiced their opposition to such a blatant waste of taxpayer money.