Bruce Moon never seeks to diss, demean or dismiss Maori culture or intelligence, he merely patiently and fastidiously corrects the misinformation that people like Mike Rashbrooke try to propagate and regurgitate ('Clear as mud', July 12).

With regard to the claims that Ngapuhi chiefs did not cede sovereignty, the overwhelming and indisputable evidence was that they did just that — we have their speeches at Waitangi, Colenso's recordings, Reverend John Warren's recordings, and the fact that tribal warfare, slavery, female infanticide and cannibalism ceased.

Further we have Hobson's words to the chiefs before they signed: "you yourselves have often asked the King of England to extend his protection unto you. Her Majesty now offers you that protection in this treaty ... But as the law of England gives no civil powers to her Majesty out of her domain, her efforts to do you good will be futile unless you consent" — and, after robust debate, consent they did.

Anyway, it was irrelevant as British sovereignty was acquired in so many other ways.

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Finally, it defies logic to believe that, arguably, the greatest empire of the 19th century with the utmost reluctance sailed halfway around the world to go into a 'partnership' with a menagerie of warring Maori chiefs who were begging for protection.

The British did not do partnerships at that time and there is absolutely no shred of evidence they did.

Like many of his ilk, Mr Rashbrooke appears to place a lot of misplaced faith in the findings of the discredited lamentable controversial Waitangi Tribunal (WT). A Ngapuhi elder recently had this to say about the WT — "The Tribunal makes up and fabricates history as it goes along. It has turned out to be a body that is bringing about apartheid in New Zealand. The Tribunal is a bully. Go against it, and you will be labelled a racist or worse. It seems the Tribunal exists to make some lawyers, and a few elite Maori, very rich."

Brian Priestley MBE said about the WT: "It would be hard to imagine any public body less well-organised to get at the truth".

Dr Michael Bassett CNZM QSO, a respected noted political historian who was on the WT for 10 years, said "what you have been dealing with for the last 30 years are some very inventive people stretching the wording of the Treaty so far it is falling apart because of the games that are being played with it" (National Business Review, March 2005).

Tribunal history shows/demonstrates a strong unacceptable race-based Maori bias. Dr Byrnes says Maori characters and stories are given significantly more emphasis and weight than Pakeha characters and stories.

"The reports increasingly champion or advocate the Maori cause." Other historians — including Keith Sorrenson, Michael Belgrave and Bill Oliver — have raised similar concerns.

As a former Waitangi Tribunal researcher, Dr John Robinson, now a noted commentator, was forced to 'rejig' his findings, which were not what his state masters wanted to hear, in order to get paid. Any outfit that seeks to be applicant, judge and jury deserves all the criticism it gets and the immeasurable conflicts of interest involved nullify all the WT decisions.

Many public polls and referendums clearly show that Mr. Rashbrooke's claim to be 'thinking like a New Zealander', is clearly out of step with what the vast majority of New Zealanders think, so perhaps he falls into another category?

GEOFF PARKER
Kamo