Shocking allegations of violence and threats against a New Zealand property owner have recently been brought to light in a compelling interview. Julian Batchelor, the property owner in question, was violently attacked in 2018 and was subsequently threatened in 2022 with having his house burned down. The threats came from Maori activists who claimed that the property, an old timber Victorian home turned tourist lodge, was their ancestral land. The incidents occurred following an attack on the property in 2015 by a group of local Maori men who believed the land had been stolen.
In response to these incidents, Batchelor decided to write a book exposing the Maori land rights movement and its impact on New Zealand’s society. He argues that the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, which was intended to protect Maori rights, has been twisted to create a system of “co-governance” that benefits a wealthy Maori elite at the expense of all New Zealanders. Batchelor has been actively organizing meetings across the country to raise awareness about this issue.
Batchelor’s efforts to speak out against the co-governance system have not been without challenges. For instance, his first protest meeting in the city of Whangarei was initially cancelled by the venue owners who claimed they were obligated under the co-governance treaty to exclude anti-co-governance individuals. It was only after intervention from the Free Speech Union that the ban was reversed. Despite facing resistance, Batchelor has gained widespread support and has printed 350,000 copies of his book, which he is selling for a reduced price to make it accessible to more people.
Batchelor believes that the co-governance system is backed by powerful individuals who view it as an opportunity to seize control of New Zealand. He criticizes former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whom he accuses of wanting to redistribute wealth and aligning herself with the Maori elite. Batchelor argues that this alliance has allowed the Maori to gain significant influence and power within the government.
In addition to the co-governance issue, New Zealand is also facing environmental challenges. Regional councils, which also serve as environmental enforcement agencies, are conducting aerial surveillance of farms and imposing strict regulations on winter dairy cow grazing. Farmers are being threatened with fines or even jail time for violating these regulations. Batchelor argues that these restrictions undermine private property rights and are similar to the Maori land claims.
The combination of the co-governance system and environmental restrictions has led some to fear a literal takeover of New Zealand by UN-backed environmentalists and indigenous activists. Critics argue that these groups are more interested in gaining power and money than in protecting the environment. They point to the failure of regional bureaucracies to prevent environmental damage during recent cyclones as evidence of their ineffectiveness.
Ultimately, the allegations made by Batchelor and others highlight the ongoing tension between Maori rights, private property rights, and environmental concerns in New Zealand. The co-governance system and environmental restrictions have become divisive issues, but they also provide an opportunity for dialogue and discourse about the future of the country and its values.