Both Gareth Morgan and Don Brash are missing the point about what will build national unity in New Zealand. Both look to the Treaty in different ways. Brash for its historical guarantee of equal citizenship. Morgan for a revisionist and trendy concept of a “Treaty based relationship”.
However neither recognise that the Treaty on its own cannot bear the weight of race relations in New Zealand. Honouring the Treaty is a prerequisite for true national unity or kotahitanga to be built in our land. However something even more important is needed – a renewal of the faith that led both peoples to the Treaty in the first place (refer Otago Daily Times last year).
Put simply, the Treaty without the Judeao-Christian ethical and spiritual dynamic upon which it was founded will never achieve harmony and unity in New Zealand. At best it will merely become an empty shell with its life sucked out of it. At worst it will be twisted and subverted to serve those who value their own agendas ahead of unity, and their own opinions ahead of truth.
This is certainly not what was envisaged by those who signed it “…at Waitangi on the 6th of February in the year of our Lord 1840.”
It was the influence of Christianity from both sides that brought Maori and Pakeha together to forge the Waitangi covenant. It will be a renewal of that faith among us that will see the Treaty fully honoured and true unity established in the land. We need to return to a cross based relationship. For it was at the cross of Jesus Christ that justice and reconciliation were released to do their work to the uttermost ends of the earth.