Waitangi Day 2015 – 175 years of wilful ignorance and blind privilege



175 years since Maori and Europeans signed a a Treaty aimed at allowing both cultures to live on these lonely cragged Isles at the ends of the earth.

What can we say of our near two century old country? I think it’s been 175 years of wilful ignorance from the dominant culture towards their treatment of the indigenous one.  Maori lost 90% of their land in less than a century while almost being wiped out from their contact with European settlement, that loss of economic agency and cultural identity has had a generational shockwave impact of poverty that continues to plague Maori today.

  • Life expectancy for Maori men is 72.8 years while it is 80.2 years for Pakeha males. It is 76.5 for Maori woman and 83.7 for Pakeha women
  • Prevalence of smoking within Maori are 39.7% while it is only 18.6% amongst Pakeha
  • Obesity is 76.3% amongst Maori and 60.8% amongst Pakeha.
  • Suicides per 100 000 are 23.9% for Maori men and 8.8% for Maori women and 15.4% for Pakeha men and 5.7% for Pakeha women.
  • Infant mortality per 1000 births are 7% for maori and 5.5% for Pakeha
  • Participation in early childhood is 90.9% for Maori and 98% for Pakeha
  • 60.9% of Maori leaving school have NCEA while 82.1% of Pakeha school leavers have it.
  • Only 9.1% of Maori have a University degree, 18.6% of Pakeha do,
  • Unemployment in 2012 soared amongst Maori (14.8%) while it only marginally increased for Pakeha to 5.5%
  • In 2013 Maori median weekly income was $767 while it was $863 for Pakeha.
  • The proportion of Maori who are on income tested benefits is 20% while only 6.2% for Pakeha.
  • Household over crowding impacts 2.7% of Pakeha households but impacts 11% of Maori households.
  • 86% of Pakeha households have internet access, only 68% of Maori households have it.

The moment NZ requires a national identity we break into Haka, however when challenged on the broken promises and pathetic compensation of confiscated lands suddenly it’s all “I’m not racist but” comments.

The negative egalitarianism that bites many in New Zealand will scream against Maori privilege when it’s their own cultural privilege which they can’t see. Fuelled by a racist media (check out the 150 year history the NZ Herald didn’t want to tell you) and wilful ignorance towards the treaty, its ramifications and its injustices are the result.

Some will point to modern political gains as progress, but Labour only recently pulled off the largest land confiscation NZ had ever seen with the Foreshore and Seabed theft and National privatised water (despite Maori arguing that their gifting of that water to the Government was reliant on it being for everyone and that the privatisation of hydro power stations breached that meaning Maori were owed compensation).

Gareth Morgan’s brave attempt to challenge sacred cows was largely ignored with glee by the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind. Add to this a large migrant population who have little knowledge of our history and you are left with a stillborn sense of national identity.

What do we need to do? We need to have a public broadcaster that seeks to shed light rather than heat on Treaty issues. We need constitutional changes, we need to rethink our approach of negotiating with tribes and focus more on urban trusts, we need to accept poverty irradiation as a national agenda, we need to help educate new migrants as to what our cultural identity is.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The Treaty can only live and respect its obligations when there are two willing treaty partners, Maori have been willing for 175 years, Pakeha have yet to turn up.

If we want to feel proud of our country on Waitangi Day, then we need to ensure the promises made are kept.


  1. I’m sorry but you concerns over this silly treaty thingy and the disparity between the partners are at odds with our Dear leader.

    What is most important says John is joining in a war in the Middle East, because a century of western intervention there has achieved..well, what we have now! So let’s do it all again but the same and …………changing our flag! Dear God, is this what Farrar has suggested, is that what the spin monkeys think? Has he mentioned motorway building yet??

  2. If we’re playing the blame game here, it might be an advantage for you to take out the smoking and obesity statistics. I struggle to see how they can be construed as the fault of the evil pakeha oppressor.

    • Obesity, smoking and problem gambling are the result of addictive behaviour, which is directly related (albeit not exclusively) to social oppressions such as poverty and discrimination. You shouldn’t have to struggle .. there’s plenty of conclusive research available. Oppression is not necessarily “evil” in it’s character and intent .. unless negligence and ignorance are “evil” by your definition. Keep in mind these emotive labels are symptomatic of the blame game and shed heat, not light, on the issue.

  3. “Suicides per 100 000 are 23.9% for Maori men and 8.8% for Maori women and 15.4% for Pakeha men and 5.7% for Pakeha women”

    Are you saying over 23,000 Maori men commit suicide?

  4. It’s clear that the ‘treaty’ is just an inconvenience to Key. It gets in the way of his agenda, of turning NZ into a state of America. Hence the flag change which will allow for a change in our constitutional rights, amongst many other sneaky changes. Both Maori and Pakeha need to work together to get rid of this corrupt government – for all future generations sake.

  5. Gareth Morgan siting beside little ‘Big Donny’ brash ?

    C’mon @ Mike@nz . Use your imagination for Gods sake . Think, man . Think .

    The Treaty of Waitangi is, to me as a non Maori, a metaphor . It’s a symbol of how people can get fucked over by a higher level of arsehole . In-the-know arseholes with insider knowledge well beyond the comprehension of those whom they are about to fuck on the deal . Having said that , Waitangi day is no celebration unless you like celebrating a day of shame . There’s no skankier a scum bag than those scum bags who profit from an others ignorance, unless perhaps you’re the ones profiting from another’s misfortunes. Like foreign owned Banks brokering foreign ownership deals of NZ Farm Lands. But I digress . As I do .
    How would Maori have known what was about to hit them back in the day ? How much land did Maori sell to that nice white bloke they came to like ? It was quite a bit wasn’t it ? For a few pound ? Then the likeable bloke on-sold it immediately for thousands and thousands of pounds to settlers arriving a bit later ? Isn’t that the story ? Sound familiar ? Sounds like roger douglas selling telecom, as admitted by Theresa gutting . Nothing new about arseholes huh ?

    Smart arses did it to the Australian aborigine , the North American Indian , the Inuit , the Irish and of course the Maori . Now , the neo liberals are doing [ it ] to us Kiwis et al . They’ve focused on a broader population to fuck-over , having run out of ethnic minorities to fuck over for a ‘ sweet deal for good coin’ . ( Both those sayings make me get just a little bit of sick up my throat . )

    No wonder jonky-stien’s confident to try on changing the flag . There’s no Old New Zealand left . NZ’s being sold off and Chinese-I-fied for good coin . Sweet .

    Hmmm ? I wonder how many traitors will down- vote me today ?

  6. Our “Leader” has turned this land into a land of have & have not.

    So we have now gone the opposite direction that our forefathers sent us on the journey of life with.
    That was one of a “shared wealth of this land” or Egalitarianism.

    We all today are not all getting our share of the slice of the pie are we?

    Goodbye equal rights between our races and welcome to the 1% who now own half of what the 99% do collectively.

    That is where we have all gone wrong and it will worsen until a revolution changes the imbalance that this National Government has forced onto us all.

  7. Your data showing that Maori suffer more than Pakeha would be overwhelmingly convincing if there were absolutely nothing that Maori can do about it, but is that the case? I am relatively new to NZ so I may have a wrong perspective but I understood that a person is only treated as a Maori if he choses to describe himself as such. Since the threshold to be deemed a Maori is incredibly low (having as low as 1% Maori blood?) it is almost impossible to distinguish Maori from non Maori, so a person is Maori by choice. If a Maori decided to designate himself non-Maori, am I right in saying that he would attend a Pakeha school, go on to Pakeha universities and apply on an equal footing for Pakeha jobs. If he did so he would appear in the Pakeha statistics. If he designated himself Maori he would appear in the much less favourable Maori statistics. Since this is his choice, I am not sure what you are trying to prove.

    • Crikey.

      You’re new to NZ by your own admission, so I’ll give you leeway for that. Maybe you’re in Auckland and you haven’t seen much of the rest of the country yet.

      There are still a fair few communities in NZ where Maori is the first language spoken as children grow up. There are plenty of communities, often small rural communities, where you can go into the Four Square and hear Maori spoken every day.

      There are plenty of Maori who look clearly like Maori. There are plenty of Maori who may not initially look like Maori but they are and they have Maori values, customs and culture. There are plenty of people who have names easily identified as Maori.

      NZ has a long history of disregarding the Treaty, of stealing Maori land, dismissing Maori culture, even forcing Maori to speak English and punishing them for speaking Maori.

      Its a history common to all colonised people the world over. It rarely ends well for them. It is to their credit that Maori managed to wrangle a Treaty out of their colonisers. Its a legal document, one which must be honoured.

    • You know, I find your perspective very interesting. I have written two lengthy posts in response and deleted both of these because I feel afraid of saying what I really think. Why? Because I was born and brought up here, educated and indoctrinated to whatever the current thinking is around disadvantaged Maori and how it relates to the Treaty. Many New Zealanders refuse to even discuss it for fear of being accused of racist.

      I have lived abroad for over 2 decades and this has given me the freedom to see similar patterns in populations where issues of race and colonialism are not a factor. I can’t comment on or discuss them in NZ because it is heresy and does not fit into the narrative that has been constructed around the Treaty.

      So, my foreign friend, keep asking your questions, even if you get criticised. It gives us all pause for thought, and a different perspective which we can learn from.

      On this occasion though, it wouldn’t hurt to attend one of the many free Treaty awareness courses around and learn a bit more about the topic.

      Good luck!!

  8. Had reason to look at Tv3 last night and was disgusted to hear a painted bimbo referring to our popular and successful PM by his surname, only to be followed by reference to Union Andy (the one even Waitangi attendees ignored) being given the courtesy of “Andrew”. Is it a prerequisite for MSM employment to display ignorance and discourtesy to the PM by referring to him in such fashion. Do these losers not realise the advertisers that keep them in a job have their products supported by those they demean, not the left-wing leeches they are loyal to?

  9. Two things.
    One:finding a solution to the generation of that litany of bad statistics that describe elements of Maori life will never be achieved without Maori participation, or probably without consideration of all aspects of New Zealand life. Each of us will, perhaps have to come to terms with our own shortcomings and our own responsibility – usually a good start in the analysis of any social question. And two: any solution, if there is indeed such a wondrous thing, is going to be far more complex and multi-faceted than simplistic blame allocation – in any direction.

    Pretty much any bumper-sticker-type criticism or road-map in this context quickly lends itself to a reductio-ad-absurdum debunking. The reality is that there is only one source of state, or any other authority in the world and it is simply the exercise of that authority. Think back to the inception of any authority at all, you will see that this is true. It is an extremely uncomfortable truth but a truth nevertheless.

    Thus the Treaty must be seen today as an iconic symbol of good intentions, whatever the mens rea of the contemporary participants. It is a demonstrable fact is that neither party had the authority to impose anything on anybody other than themselves, prior to the establishment of a common law, no matter who signed or why.

    This doesn’t mean that a Treaty can’t be interpreted to form a basis for decisions of government a posteriori , but this is purely in the hand of the decision makers.

    As a consequence, to attempt to work out what the signators had in mind, or why they signed etc is entirely irrelevant. It is also irrelevant to try to establish relative power or authority constructs or financial entitlement using the Treaty as justification. What is not irrelevant is what if anything we as a nation choose to make of the Treaty today.

    Some interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi can be a major element of our current law, if we wish it to be so. But that, inevitably transitory choice is a decision for the people of 2015, (and again for each subsequent generation), not the people of 1840, however venerable and wise. Or however insular and callow, for that matter.

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