CAP No evidence to support claim.

Constitutional Advisory Panel,
c/- Ministry of Justice,
Wellington 6011


The following is stated on page 47 of the booklet produced by the Constitutional Advisory Panel, “As tangata whenua, Māori have a close and direct concern with the management of natural resources“. Where is the Constitutional Advisory Panel’s evidence to support this claim?

Even one of the Panelist, Dr Ranginui Walker does not believe Maori were the tanagata whenua when he stated on page 18 of the “1986 New Zealand Book of Events”, “The traditions are quite clear: wherever crew disembarked there were already tangata whenua (prior inhabitants). The canoe ancestors of the 14th century merged with these tangata whenua tribes.

The Hon John Key, Christopher Finlayson and Pita Sharples have all confirmed under the Official Information Act that Government does not have a definition of the Indigenous People or tangata whenua of New Zealand.

Maori tradition also makes it perfectly clear that the tangata whenua were light skinned with fair or reddish hair and in some cases, blue eyes. The Te Arawa tribes that moved to Rotorua and Taupo tell of people already inhabiting these areas. These people were called Ngati Hotu and were described by Te Arawa as, “of non-Maori appearance, having reddish hair and pale skin”. Other names given to the tangata whenua were Patupaiarehe or Turehu. Maori traditions tell of these friendly, peaceful and law abiding people teaching Maori many of their skills and cultures before they either “merged with the canoe people of the 14 century” or were exterminated by the tangata maori as were the Moriori on the Chatham Islands.

If the canoe people of the 14 century merged with the tangata whenua to become tangata maori, then the tangata maori that merged with the Pakeha have fulfilled their ancestors wishes that signed the Tiriti o Waitangi on the 6th February 1840 with a handshake from Governor Hobson and the words, “He iwi tahi tatou – We are now one peopleNation“.

While tangata maori brought very little to the shores of New Zealand, the Pakeha people brought and shared most of the commodities and skills we take for granted today. Now that today’s Maori have gained the skills and commodities of the Pakeha, they want to take back the natural resources they took from the tangata whenua. Natural resources belong to all the people of New Zealand and must be held in trust by the Crown for all to share – The Law of Nature. “By the law of nature these things are common to mankind –the air, running water, the sea and consequently the shores of the sea” – Institutes of Justinian 500AD

With the tangata maori merging with the tangata whenua, the majority of tangata maori merging with the Pakeha, the signing of the Tiriti o Waitangi and the continuing laws of the land, we have all become New Zealand Citizens under one flag and one law, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

He iwi tahi tatou – We are now one people/Nation

Before Maori can be recognised as the tangata whenua of New Zealand in our Constitution, we must have document forensic evidence. What documented forensic evidence does the Constitution Advisory Panel have to substantiate this claim?

Our Constitution must make no distinction between race, colour or creed. Intercourse between the races over the last 172 years has made us all one people/Nation – New Zealanders!

Yours sincerely,


Ross Baker

Researcher, One New Zealand Foundation Inc.

This letter will appear on our website,