Phillip Thompson (Letters; December 21) opines that, on signing the Treaty of Waitangi, "every one of the 500 chiefs shook Hobson´s hand, saying 'We are one'".

But no one who was there recorded any of the chiefs saying any such thing.

F.E. Manning was there. (He was later one of the first Land Court judges, who proved to be no friend of Māori and whose journals are published in How We Began, the True Story of a Pakeha Maori (ed. Simon Carr, 1996 Seascape Press) and in Old New Zealand and other Writings (ed. Alex Calder 2001 L.U. Press).

Manning recorded that before the first signing, in rebuttal to an objection (from Jacky Marmon) that "the natives would be degraded by Pakeha influence", Hobson said: "If you listen to such ignorant [objectors'] counsel, you will be stripped of all your land by a worthless class of British subjects who will consult no interest but their own and who care not how much they trample your rights."


Now, every student of post-Treaty of Waitangi history knows Hobson was also speaking in ignorance because the "worthless class of British subjects" who would strip Māori of their land turned out to be the very settlers he represented.


Cannabis far from harmless

Chester Borrows thinks it is a waste of money prosecuting cannabis dealers.

It's certain many people have tried cannabis, but what is not widely publicised is that the psychoactive THC content of today's cannabis is about 20 times more than it was in the 1960s and '70s.

Contrary to popular belief, people can and do become addicted to cannabis, and the insidious impact of dependency on this drug is a listless, do-nothing apathy that robs the user of life.

One regular user told me he was just sitting around smoking weed and felt his life was passing by. When he tried to kick the habit, it was impossible to sleep without other drugs.

Many employers have experienced the careless and disinterested attitudes of employees who may or may not turn up, may or may not actually work and cannot be relied on because they are doped up or resurfacing from being doped up.


Cannabis is far from harmless and may be a factor in many car accidents. Do we really want to send young people the message that cannabis is okay when research and experience clearly show otherwise?

It is bad enough that so many drink alcohol irresponsibly, without adding legalised recreational cannabis to the mix.

By all means let's see a medical cannabis industry established using non-psychoactive components of the plant, but please think carefully before legalising this potent drug for "fun".


Ice age no great worry

The recent climate conference in Poland said the 100-year record cold winter in North America was an anomaly.

They argued over how countries measured their emissions, not to sure how to get it right.

I have read the Earth is moving further from the sun, which might mean we are slowly heading for an ice age. Obviously our planet has done this before so it is a slow process, something we don't really have to worry about for 20,000 years.

So why are we so intent on self-flagellation as the way to alter the weather? I thought we had got past that when we stopped slaughtering virgins to appease the gods.


Not councillor's fault

Instead of "admonishing" the councillor who released the Treaty claims document, mayor Hamish McDouall should cease seeking publicity in the media as evinced by his letter (Chronicle, December 22) and instead make an apology to that councillor.

That councillor was not at the meeting where the document was discussed nor, more importantly, was the document marked in any way that it was confidential.

The accountability for the document's release lies with the creator of the document who failed to have it endorsed so recipients did not know unless they had personally received instructions to this effect and we have not been informed that they did.

So who is to be held accountable? Sadly - as in the recent example of the unauthorised payment demand made to Gold Card holders for a parking scheme - we are unlikely to ever know.

Accountability does not seem to be a part of the Whanganui District Council's day-to-day operations.


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