Who's to blame for John Wanoa?
More recently, Wanoa has taken to claiming descent from a technologically sophisticated civilisation that supposedly existed on Rapa Nui and in Africa thousands of years ago. He has also suggested that the Treaty of Waitangi historians and lawyers acknowledge is a fake document. According to Wanoa, a secret, long-suppressed version of the Treaty confirms his worldview and entitles him to political and economic control over New Zealand. Wanoa currently claims to be the king of New Zealand and Britain, and has somehow attracted followers in both countries (here's a surreal statement by a supporter in Brighton).
Wanoa may soon find himself moving from prison to the Mason clinic, or some other psychiatric facility. When Clare Swinney, another New Zealand author of elaborate conspiracy theories, was committed to a psychiatric ward a few years ago, she condemned her treatment as politically motivated. In an interview with an American conspiracy theorist, Swinney described the hospital where she was treated as a 'communist' institution, and complained that the New Zealand government was attempting to brainwash her. Wanoa's supporters would probably be credulous enough to accept a similar claim from him.
John Wanoa has no more to do with Maori activism than Clare Swinney. Like Swinney, he's the victim of a subculture of conspiracy theory and paranoia that has flourished in New Zealand like some exotic and noxious weed.
[Posted by Scott Hamilton]