Raining On The White Tribe’s Parade


WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? The people who decided it would be a good idea to take Santa out of the Nelson Santa Parade?

A South Island city (and a Wakefield settlement to boot!) filled with Pakeha New Zealanders. Who was it who decided that the Thomas Nast/Coca-Cola Santa-Claus, the one which the English-speaking world has taken to its heart for more than a century, could be replaced by a Maori chieftain in a crimson korowai, without pissing a huge number of people off?

The poor old Nelson City Council, which poured $16,000 of its rate-payers’ money into the parade, had no idea that Santa was about to be indigenised. Neither, if the outrage being expressed on talkback radio and across social media is any guide, were the thousands of Pakeha parents and grandparents whose diminutive charges wandered home with them disconsolately – having been denied their chance to cheer-on jolly old St Nick.

What sort of woke, politically-correct bubble would you have to be living in to think this was a good idea? Certainly, it is hard to imagine someone with little brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces; someone who remembers mum or dad reading them The Night Before Christmas, or watching The Miracle On 34th Street – or even Bad Santa – being so insensitive, so utterly unaware of the trouble they were about to cause.

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No, it would have to be someone for whom the Christmas Season holds no precious memories of wonder and joy. Someone who had never read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – let alone the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!

Such people are becoming more and more common in New Zealand as, with every passing census, the number of New Zealanders subscribing to Christianity – or even the Deity, himself – dwindles. Atheism is close to achieving majority status in this country and along with it the justification for purging New Zealand society of every officially recognised Pakeha religious and/or folk festival.

Not (God forbid!) the religious or folk festivals celebrated by New Zealand’s indigenous and immigrant communities. No woke atheist would dream of insulting the members of these communities by interpolating a figure from a completely different cultural milieu into their celebrations. No, it is only those unlucky enough to be born into the culture they (supposedly) share with these arrogant traducers of tradition who will find their special day out with the kids and grandkids ruined.

Perhaps the decision to introduce (unannounced and unauthorised) a Maori Santa Claus was conceived as some sort of payback for the A&P Show float featuring men and women in blackface which so outraged progressive metropolitan New Zealanders a fortnight or so ago?

“Let’s give these provincial deplorables a taste of their own medicine. See how they like it!” Was that the spirit in which the decision to disappoint thousands of eager children was taken? I hope not.

But, even if the decision to dispense with the traditional Santa Claus was taken with the most noble of progressive intentions. Even if it was undertaken as a means of giving the celebration of Christmas a uniquely New Zealand flavour, it nevertheless remains an act of the most aggressive racism.

Why? Because those who made it are guilty of either consciously or unconsciously rejecting the whole notion that the cherished traditions of a specific ethnic community should be considered sacrosanct and worthy of respect. Because the person, or persons, responsible for the decision arrogated to themselves the right to set aside the key cultural element by which a “Santa Parade” is defined: the beaming, white-haired and white-bearded old gentlemen clad in a red suit, edged with white fur, seated in a sleigh piled high with gifts and pulled through the air by flying reindeer. Absurd? Of course it’s absurd! But no more absurd than the Prophet Mohammed being carried to paradise on a flying horse. Or a god with the body of a human-being and the head of an elephant. Racism is no less racism because the contempt on display is being directed at members of one’s own tribe.

There will be consequences, of course. There always are when cultural traditions are traduced. How many little pairs of ears absorbed the angry, racially-charged comments that undoubtedly followed this indigenous interpolation of Santa Claus? How much of the good-will between Maori and Pakeha New Zealand was squandered? The metropolitan elites, who refuse to take what happened in Nelson seriously, are no doubt comforting themselves with the thought that the umbrage taken is a peculiarly “provincial” phenomenon. It is not. Pakeha racism is everywhere and those responsible for so arrogantly raining on Nelson’s Santa Parade have only made it worse.




  1. You shouldn’t have said that Mohammed going to heaven on a flying horse was absurd. Islam is entitled to believe that, just as Catholics are entitled to believe that bread and wine are turned into the body and blood of a man who ascended bodily up to heaven, all by himself, without the benefit of a horse. Don’t forget that fishes flew and forests walked and figs grew upon thorn back then.

    What were they thinking in Nelson ? They weren’t thinking at all.

    We are all programmed to be bi/multi/cultural now, Maori is PC – let’s do this – and anyone who kicks up a fuss is racist.

    But, thought should have been given to the children. Kids take all these things seriously. They do not think of Santa in terms of race, but Nelson has changed all that – and completely unnecessarily.

    • The entitlement to believe whatever you choose irrespective of evidence or manifest truth is a concept that deserves careful consideration. It operates outside of religion as well as inside. What about when it is applied to climate change science? Do you feel that people should feel free to believe what they choose about that? What about misogamy? , Any devices that excuse not addressing the truth are a route to conflict .
      D J S

      • What I’m saying David – but not very well – is that a group’s beliefs, which do not impact on others, are their business. Ergo Muslims believing that Mohammed went to heaven on a flying horse, is their business, and it is not the business of outsiders to deride others’ religious or cultural beliefs.

        Where beliefs do impinge upon others e.g. the Spanish Inquisition torturing non-Catholics, boiling them in oil and so on, to force them to convert and save their souls from eternal damnation, is going too far – as is radical Islam torturing or killing non-believers.

        Climate change science affects all of us; folk are entitled to their different beliefs, and people like me have to hope like hell that the people with power – govt and world leaders – are focused on, as you well put it, seeking truth, and acting on precisely that- and without other agendas.

        What about misogamy? That’s an interesting one. Folk who hate marriage shouldn’t be forced to embrace it, but given that some people multi marry while others never do – each to her taste; in western society we do currently have that freedom of choice.

        • Hi Snow White
          My perhaps obscure reference to misogamy was spell-check’s interpretation of my attempt to spell misogyny , not proof read. Sorry. My point being that a misogynist presumably must believe that he is superior in some sense to all women.
          The use of the word “belief” in common parlance is curious in itself because it is used to identify an idea or narrative for which there is no tangible evidence. If there is clear evidence then it is a “fact”. But I can’t “believe” anything that is supported only by assertion without evidence , whoever is making the assertion , and it troubles me that many people do.
          With many/most christians and other religious people though, including clergy, I don’t think that all the miracles are taken as fact , but as parables . Associated probably with identities that did exist, but without the magical powers that parable attributes to them. For most I think it is the message conveyed that matters , and where that is a guide to decent behaviour as it mostly is, it serves a good purpose. But that is not always the case.
          It’s a fascinating topic and a curious aspect of human existence.
          Cheers D J S

          • I agree with every word you say David – you must be a remarkable man. Flying horses, miracles, and idiosyncratic beliefs, are totally relevant to the times at which they were evolved, and often fascinating, and sometimes necessary for those times eg. the Christian gospels.

            My favorite myth is why the great god Hercules named a staggering beautiful part of the s/w Italian coast, Amalfi. It is hugely touching.

            And from Italy also came the ban on Catholics eating meat on Fridays. Formerly a mortal sin, sending Catholics straight to hell if they died without confessing it, this sin was apparently constructed to protect the Italian fishing industry.

            Our dreadful woman hating/abuse rates in NZ are part of a v sick society – as reflected by our totally tragic mental health stats.

            The women of my generation stayed with their violent abusive husbands; we didn’t know how to get out, but it permanently blighted mine, and therefore my children’s lives.

            Yes, it is the messages which are important, and while I support all the great world religions, it sometimes concerns me that we have law makers holding beliefs which defy both science and reason.

            Patriarchal Christianity has played a well-documented role in the development of misogyny in Western society, but I have no intention of getting into that now.

            • One really worthwhile effect of the introduction of the DPB as a viable income for a single woman w not sufficiently acknowledged was that it enabled women trapped in an unacceptable relationship to escape with the kids and have a means of survival.
              Thanks for the comment. You too.
              D J S

              • Survival’s not good enough David – not for the children for a start.

                And getting out means many women are still not safe.

                Back in 1991/2, Ildiko Matskassy, a workmate, was murdered, and tossed into Wellington Harbour. I annoyed a police officer the day of her funeral, by saying her husband wouldn’t need a very good lawyer to get off a murder charge. He got off.

                I know more facts I won’t say, but she was garroted the night she told her husband that she was leaving him.

                Just went online to check the spelling of her surname, and saw that her son has been murdered too.

                The terrible irony, is one of the reasons she wanted out, was that her husband was involving her primary school son in shoplifting to order. She was demonised at his trial. She deserved better. Her husband was investigated twice for arson – once for a failed restaurant in Courtney Place, and once for a flat in Queen St, Mt Victoria. He got off every time, and he shot through to Australia. A good looking man.

                Recently, a member of the Hungarian community told me her husband had killed his first wife back in Hungary too.Even worse, this lady told me that Ildiko’s children knew the truth of what happened the night that she died.

                The shame in being a survivor of male violence is pretty massive. A psychologist,
                maybe Segilman, used the concept of “learned helplessness” to describe why even strong women stay.

                The best option is for men to rethink what constitutes being a real man.

                How did we get to here ?

  2. “Pakeha racism is everywhere…”

    Prejudice isn’t racism; many years ago, when I was young, we knew the difference. It’s unfortunate that the definition of the term “racism” has been generalised out, almost to the point of meaninglessness. A reductio ad absurdum even: things I say or believe that you don’t like. Or vice versa…

    In my view, the removal of Santa from the Nelson parade was an egregious insult to my heritage and culture. The fact of the tradition’s European origins is irrelevant to concerns about “racism”.

    I am pakeha. My heritage is as important as any other to the makeup of this country. I’d be obliged if the woke left – or whoever it was made this decision – would keep their possibly well-meaning (but certainly wrongheaded) hands off the icons of my culture.

    And enough with the furphy that Coca Cola designed the modern Santa: it’s bollocks, as all good Europeans well know. And even were there truth in that claim, really it’s irrelevant.

    • D’esterre;

      Hear; here. Well said.

      Although before Americanization, I think Europe called him St Nicholas.


      • Iain McLean: “Although before Americanization, I think Europe called him St Nicholas.”

        That they did. Also his sidekick Schwartz Peter: parents would tell their children that if they were naughty, Schwartz Peter would get them. Although what he’d do was unspecified: the threat was enough to ensure good behaviour!

  3. A lot of parents cannot afford to have Santa come round, or even have an address for delivery. Perhaps we should spend more time worrying about that. Though I guess it would kill the old retirement nest egg…

    • Millsy I doubt there’s a town in NZ where there are not collection points for toys and gifts for needy kids. That is one of the beauties of Christmas, the reaching out to others at grass roots level – the donations of food – permanently at some supermarkets- the community dinners – albeit sometimes gate-crashed by tour operators – but that’s ok too.

      The Sallies in particular work jolly hard to help families. And they do worry. And they put their money where their mouth is the rest of the year too- as do maraes – the V de P – City Missions – Rotary.

      Please don’t judge others and their ” retirement nest eggs” when there are all sorts of good people out there doing things for others – and the widow’s mite carries its own joy.

      It’s not about money and expensive gifts or yobs in singlets at barbecues, it’s about a time of hope, and we do need these sort of symbols – even if that’s all it is.

  4. Them Mowreees are trying to take over the place and change the way we live our lives and our culture too! Who do they think they are!

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