Waitangi Day 2018 – How Te Reo posturing is becoming empty middle class wank

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I make this following criticism of Te Reo posturing as some one who can’t personally speak Māori (I mangle the english language badly enough and I don’t want to mutilate that beautiful tongue) and who enrolled his daughter into a Te Reo immersion class because as a New Zealander, the treasure of Te Reo is a gift that is part of her birth right.

Here she is in last years Kapa Haka performance…

…so those things noted, for me the current level of Te Reo posturing from smug pronunciation on Radio New Zealand to Macron policing to Millennial’s swamping introduction to Te Reo classes as an aesthetic seems to miss the point and starts becoming middle class wank.

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Is it good enough in 2018 to champion Te Reo when the structural injustice of colonialism is so prevalent and apparent?

Māori are 380% more likely to be convicted of a crime, 200% more likely to die from heart disease & suicide. Māori are paid 18% less and 34% leave school without a qualification. Māori at 15% of the population make up over 50% of the 10 000 prison population. They are arrested at a higher percentage, feature in the worst education and social stats and make up a huge proportion of those living in poverty.

After losing 95% of their land and economic base in less than a century and overcoming almost being wiped out by disease and muskets, Māori have been cheated by the Treaty.

I believe that the majority of white New Zealanders live in a constant state of wilful ignorance when it comes to racism in this country. The facts of how racist our system really is are glaring in the statistical outcomes, and have come under investigation by the UN but still we have the Don Brash’s of this country screaming Māori privilege.

The NZ Herald’s first editorial ever was calling on white settlers to go to war with Māori and remember their attempt to promote ‘non conflict Waitangi Day news’…

…it took 136 years to get an apology for Parihaka, who will apologise for the racist failures of NZ since the Treaty?

Knowing your Te Reo is simply cultural appropriation if it isn’t coupled with the same level of effort in cementing into place the power dynamics laid out in the Treaty

For me, I love the Treaty because of the relationship of responsibility it immediately sets up between the Crown and its people. I believe the sense of ownership in the Treaty needs to be expanded to all NZers and not just Māori because it sets out the obligations of the Crown to protect the rights of its people. We deserve as a nation to entrench the Treaty as the basis of our constitution so we can force Governments to protect our rights rather than strip us of them.

Pakeha want to gloss over the theft and confiscation of indigenous lands because it’s a shameful denial of the promise of a Treaty between two peoples and when you consider the paltry compensation that has been paid back to Maori via the Waitangi Tribunal, it’s a mere $1.4 Billion.

$1.4 Billion for confiscating the majority of NZ??? What is most egregious is that some Pakeha have the audacity to claim that pathetic reparation is a ‘gravy train’.

Hilariously enough, NZ is up for $6.8billion in damages from the Kim Dotcom case and if successful would mean he gets paid back over 4 times as much as has been paid out for the entire confiscation of the country.

We should be thankful that Māori have been so generous in their forgiveness of this atrocity. Watch the fury of pakeha having to mow their berms to appreciate how one sided our preciousness of ownership is in this country.

What does actual power sharing look like and how can Pakeha feel empowered rather than resentful?

One of the problems with NZ politics is that we have a unicameral Parliament, that means we just have one chamber with no upper house. This means NZs Parliament is one of the most powerful Parliaments in the world. It allows for legislation to be read straight into law and is one of the reasons why the neoliberal revolution was so ruthless and impossible to reverse.

I think one solution to the Waitangi Tribunal ruling is to consider a NZ Parliament Upper House that has 50-50 representation between Maori and Pakeha. If Sovereignty was never signed away, then the Government of today has a responsibility beyond paltry compensation for past injustices , it must provide real power sharing solutions.

Having a 50-50 Upper House with the power to delay legislation that was not in the best interests of the Nation when it comes to Treaty issues would stop Government’s from fire sales of national assets, prevent things like the Foreshore and Seabed legislation from becoming law and prevent water rights from benefitting corporations.

An Upper House would be seen as a guardian of the Treaty for the maintenance of public well being over private gain, it would show real power sharing and for Pakeha, it would represent a political body that protect their public interests as much as Māori interests.

Speaking Te Reo without also committing to actual political power seems to me to be middle class wank.

 

15 COMMENTS

  1. How many times do I have to point out that in countries that have a second House of Representatives that they have been put there specifically to prevent change.In particular, in the U.S., the Founding Fathers constructed the Senate to protect the rights of the Land Owners[ today the One percent], and it has been extremely successful in doing so, creating the greatest inequality in the Western World. And of course we have Martyn’s favourite Upper House- the House of Lords in the U.K.Will we go the whole hog and introduce Peerages? Lord Willie Nelson? Baron Shane Jones? Earl Gerry Brownlee ? His Royal highness John Key, Prince of Parnell?
    And the completely undemocratic idea of giving Maori half of the Representatives. Each Maori would have effectively three votes to the one vote of the rest of the population.We solve the problems of Maori by effectively disenfranchising the rest of the population .Never in the history of the planet have a population voted to disenfranchise itself! If we did that we would fully deserve every negative consequence from our absolutely unequalled stupidity!!!

    • What you are missing is that iwi are not simply sub-populations in this country. When Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Reo version) is read in the context of the Declaration of Independence, it becomes clear the agreements they entered into, undefeated by any European power, were made as a network of sovereign First Nations (United Tribes of Aotearoa). Te Tiriti granted Pākeha the right to set up a system of self-rule, not the absolute sovereignty that parliament currently claims.

      A 50-50 share of an upper house would be one way to correct the historical injustice that occurred when the that system of Pākeha self-rule arbitrarily imposed its authority on iwi (illegally according to international law). But there are other ways, such as a federal democracy approach, as I have described elsewhere:
      https://www.coactivate.org/projects/disintermedia/tino-rangatiratanga-for-tangata-whenua-and-new-zealanders

  2. I have great faith in Maori

    I believe that if they were treated equally and not pandered to by well-meaning middle class liberals, they would do just fine.

    In so many ways we get what we expect in this world. If you treat Maori (or any other group for that matter – it’s not a racial thing) like they’re failures, then failures they will become.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    • However part of the “responsibility” narrative is also to make amends for past wrongs. Only a complete arsehole would kick someone into the gutter then tell him to pull himself up by his bootstraps.

  3. Wish it was that easy Bomber. If you want to understand another culture or nation the subtleties of their thinking is encapsulated in their language. Think the term turangawaewae, now give it an English equivalence.

    In the middle class learning anything, computers, law, whatever they always play to their advantage. And never forget political correctness grew out of middle class obsessions…in short if the middle class are doing something be very suspicious, and be careful not to allow them to steal a march.

    Should we aim for bilingualism? My take is that education on both languages and histories is needed to create mutual respect. So many of us have blood and marriages across both traditions. Now we are importing new “Kiwis” in record numbers they too need to understand the European and Maori tradition that still needs to be resolved to create one people, and how they must add their traditions to ours. Not easy but language is a good place to start.

  4. Martyn

    Your heart seems to want to return Aotearoa to the Maori Tribes prior to Tasman (Explorer) and Cook (Explorer / Proclaimer on behalf of England’s Crown).

    Going by your statements it would require you returning 95% of the land mass. Not to mention the shore and sea.

    Between Cook’s 1769 Proclamations and this year of 2018, there has been very extensive intermarriage of various sorts, between Maori and non Maori of many nationalities. Ref: Angela Wanhalla “Matters of the Heart”.

    Which is to say in my opinion, that Maori and Pakeha are inevitably closely bonded. Neither Maori nor Pakeha should be subject to neglect, to abuse, to violence or to poverty. Each should be justly and generously treated.

    The massive conquests of Britain – brutal and totally immoral – are sickening. As far as I know they have never apologised for their cowardly use of weapons unavailable to colonies they plundered and murdered.

    Queen Elizabeth the First’s involvement in the Slave trade is unbelievably ruthless and despicable. But that does not excuse Queen Victoria for her blind eyes. Head of the Church and Head of the Crown. England is responsible for several hundred years of criminal acquisition.

    Just ask the Aborigines of Australia. Or the good people of India.

    The only good thing that arises from colonisation is that no one can be an Elite. The whole population has to be a democracy. So you cannot put the Pakeha ahead of the Maori. You likewise cannot put the Maori above the Pakeha.

    The only people who do not understand this are the Capitalists who think they are God’s gifts to themselves. When mostly they are just aggressive greedy, little useless narcissists. Rubbish basically.

    • I can not speak for Martyn Bradbury or the British monarchy but neither have the desire to govern Aotearoa-New Zealand. What assisted Aoteroa-New Zealand to develop into the modern era could not possibly carry on in the space age. So it’s taxing to convince poor farmers of the wight limits involved in carrying weapons into outer space and why it’s far to costly to destroy billion dollar payloads designed to connect us all through mass communication.

      Changing individual habits to better reflect Aotearoa-New Zealand’s changing society must be reflected in her communities, public housing, health & education, the military/security/law services, savings plan, roads, airports, sea ports, logistics and transforming her mass productivity into high tech productivity suitable for the space age. If we are not reaching for these things so that we are number one then why would any one want to govern us.

      Schools must be integrated in order to allow for students of different backgrounds to learn together and ethnic public housing policy must allow for more racial integration and in turn Kaupapa Māori must restrict dialects in order for Te Reo to be integrated into the education system and taught to a standard and then taught to higher standards for those wishing to peruse it. And we must double down on the educations systems campaign against littering and better environment practices and fines/taxes be imposed on vandals or vandals might overwhelm the economy. Other campaigns most follow on from water conservation to no smoking and being courteous to the Māori culture and other cultures.

      Due to the large numbers of kiwi woman who go unmarried and single with out children – men must be encouraged to date highly educated woman and match making agencies must be set up to promote men and woman graduates. And tax breaks and housing priorities and child care priorities must be given to single mother graduates with 2 or more children and a reversal of producing kiwi children in poverty traps. These incentives should increase New Zealand’s birth rate and decrease reliance on economic migrants.

      And ruthlessly crush corruption. The burden of proof must fall on any civil servant who’s spending is outside there salary and watchdogs must be adequately resourced with out the burden of private interests and outsourcing of government services. Public links with the private sector should be maintained through publicly elected officials who’s financial records are made available for scrutiny for the appropriate watchdog to audit and definitely not self managed.

      Taking Aotearoa-New Zealand into the space age means constant transformation and mutation from welfare dependency to asset enhancement that restricts the flow of subsidies for consumption so that every one plays apart in the welfare of Aotearoa-New Zealand herself.

      In just under one generation New Zealand must transform into a society suited for the space age. New Zealand’s success is closely linked with the 9th floor of the beehive and all this must be owned on the 9th floor. With over one hundred years of governance its legacy will be one that is remembered in the hearts of all kiwis.

  5. Learning the language is integral to understanding the culture, which in turn leads to breaking down the walls of ‘otherness’.

  6. Clearly Martyn, you have not seen and / or seriously considered and learned from the two highly significant and important NZ historic documentaries about the lies and secrets of NZ’s history —
    —— ” SKELETONS IN THE CUPBOARD ” ——

    I would put the link up but I already submitted it. Both can be googled or seen on Youtube. Highly recommended for the open – minded.

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