Oddities&Endities

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blast from the Past


Maori claim British pensions
(Filed: 12/10/2006)

A campaign has been launched to earn British pension rights for the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
The claim is based on the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, the document that handed sovereignty over New Zealand to Britain, ruled at the time by Queen Victoria.
Article Three of the treaty guarantees Maori "the same rights and privileges as British subjects."
The campaign is being led by David Rankin, a direct descendant of Hone Heke - the first of dozens of Maori chiefs to sign the treaty.
Mr Rankin, leader of the Matarahurahu hapu or sub tribe, said that he would also investigate Maori entitlement to other perks of British citizenship.
"We may expand the claim to include British passports, unemployment benefits, and other entitlements," he said.
In return for British protection, the Treaty of Waitangi granted the Maori the rights of British subjects.
They were also allowed to retain control of their lands, forests, fisheries, culture and language
Daily Telegraph

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