As the most important political Māori hui in 15 years closes, one simple question for Jacinda and her Minister Tracey Martin

26
19

The most important political Māori hui in 15 years over the weekend criticising the Oranga Tamariki uplift has just finished.

Here are some direct quotes from the hundreds who appeared…

“The time of forgetting about us has to be over,” – Willie Jackson Māori Caucus co-leader & Minister for Employment

“What we were hearing alarmed us even more. It was obvious that nothing less than an inquiry by Māori, with Māori, for Māori would be acceptable” –Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency Merepeka Raukawa-Tait

“We can talk about the children of those uplifted who lose their whakapapa, the children who never go home. We talk about the mothers who carry a baby inside them for nine months knowing that on the day they give birth, because they’ve had a previous baby uplifted, no matter what changes they’ve made in their lives, face that terrible moment when someone comes and takes that baby from them at birth. I don’t want to hear anymore. We need justice for our families. We need a legal system that listens to our families. We need to be able to be heard. We have a whole community, a Māori community. We know what’s best for us. We know what we need.

“We don’t need overseas caregivers coming here in this country. We know state care does not work, so why is it still happening? Because children are a commodity, because there’s a multi million dollar industry happening around our kids. Everyone in this room has a voice and we need to stand up for our tamariki. We can’t be silent anymore.” – Māori Midwives Aotearoa CEO Jean Te Huia

“We know what’s good for our whānau. Gone are the days when we continue to be hurt by the truth and comforted by a pack of lies. It is our day.” – Dame Naida Glavish

Simple question for the Prime Minister of NZ and her Minister Tracey Martin, have either of them watched the harrowing 45minute video documenting the outrageous abuse of power by the State against a young Māori mother trying to steal her new born infant yet?

To date we have been told neither of them have watched it.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Isn’t it unacceptable that the Prime Minister and Minister in charge have yet to see that video? How can they answer honestly when they haven’t seen first hand the duplicity, manipulation, out right lies of their own Government agents and the brutal math used to simply wear the mother down in the hope she collapses with exhaustion.

This policy to weaponise CYF’s uplight powers by streamlining complaints, eroding parents rights, providing no independent oversight and parents being ineligible for legal aid have created exactly what was planned, an agency with unaccountable powers suffering from middle class white saviour syndrome whose KPIs are more children taken into a State care complex that in the first 6 months of this year saw 300 children abused in that State care.

Let’s also be very clear, this is not in any way shape or form just a ‘Māori’ problem, this is unaccountable power by the State that could be used against you and me in a heart beat. This is a human rights issue that impacts every NZers rights with their children, it’s just that Māori are – once again – bearing the undiluted and most oppressive form of it.

As I have been pointing out since 2016, turning CYFs into the Ministry for Vulnerable Children was neoliberal National Party social policy that used the names of dead babies to justify these stormtrooper tactics, why the hell Labour, the Greens or NZ First are prepared to defend Oranga Tamariki for implementing deeply flawed policy is a question the Prime Minister and her Minister need to start asking themselves and it begins by watching that 45minute video.

It’s time to start defending the children taken and the families being stolen from with the same passion the Government are currently defending Civil Servants.

The Politics of Kindness demands initiative to have any meaning.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Hopefully we will see some much needed changes. I cannot speak for all our Maori people but i know mainstreaming has not worked for us and we have known this for sometime the evidence is there. We cannot carry on taking the kids at the rate it is happening the family court needs to change they are part of this problem as are the NZ police and they need to be part of the solution. Suicide numbers were up at a time when the national government cut funding and introduced austerity measures hurting the poor, Maori and PI.

    • Maori are stuck in this time warp where the police occupy the same building as the ministry for stealing babies. It’s like the time when universities housed chemistry and alchemy in the same building, such is the situation now with economic theory.

      There is a portion of the profession that seeks to report conclusions to those who are its patrons, and there is another portion who is fundamentally focused on getting things correct with the markets, human behaviour and correct with the world we see.

      I don’t think there is much difficulty penetrating the parts that are concerned with classic scientific inquiry, but the problem is that’s not the face the ministry for stealing children has chosen to present.

      Not only is the Ministry for stealing children the solution to an unsolved problem it is the solution to a problem conservatives and liberals claim to be unsolvable.

      Not only does the CEO for the ministry of stealing babies claim it’s impossible to index the cost of living theories using changing tastes and bizarre interpretations that they offer. The claim is that it is impossible to permanently house wards of the state because of their intransitivity problem.

      So people concerned with scientific inquiry believe that is a bullshit conclusion, and that Iwi leaders are able to solve this problem and come up with solutions that are uniquely kiwi.

      This is all going on during the budget wellbeing process of going from a fixed notion of the “Consumer Price Index” to a cost of living measure where by instead of fixing the basket we would fix the level of functional utility the system provides to its people.

      How ever what we didn’t know, and thanks to Melanie Reid’s deep dive into the ministry for stealing children there is indeed a closeted purpose to raise taxes while decreasing benefits with out a political cost being paid for discovering the secret of the so called three card Monty parlour game.

      So the idea is to get Iwi leaders to bless the reduction in the Consumer Price Index and there for tax brackets that are being indexed and let’s include welfare payments would both go in the direction of government coffers. Effectively we would be robbing the bank on the day of making a deposit.

    • It is bad enough that these children are removed from their whanau for ever – but how traumatic for the mothers and fathers never being allowed to know where their children are.

      Colonisation at work again – SHAME.

      • Maama: “Colonisation at work again….”

        What do you mean? Do you have all the facts of each case, such that you can make judgements of any kind? I very much doubt that, given the legislation surrounding the child protection area.

        • I have more experience in this matter than I care to waste time forwarding to you, but I will share this one disgusting incident with you.
          My daughter-inlaw has spent the past 20 years trying to find her 8 other siblings – all placed in social welfare care when their mother was suffering from mental illness.
          So far she has found 3 older siblings, and the documentation provided from Social Welfare Agencies has had more information redacted making it almost impossible to make head nor tail of any of the information.
          By the time my daughter-inlaw had traced her mother, she was too late – she had passed away 2 years earlier.
          So much for “legislation surrounding the child protection area”.
          These same colonisation procedures have been introduced wherever the British Colonialists have come into contact with indigenous races – and all with the same outcomes – A B—-Y GREAT LAND GRAB.
          But I guess this is all water off a ducks back to you – the usual response is – YOU PEOPLE NEED TO MOVE ON.
          Well now we are moving on – WE WILL SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS WITHOUT THE HELP OF A CEO FROM UK, AND HER BOSSES MARTIN & ARDERN.
          Many thanks to M Bradbury and C Trotter and the other intelligent writers of the Daily Blog.
          Thank goodness their eyes are open – they saw enough of the 45 minute video to read the body language of the 3 Oranga Tamariki social workers, the HB Hospital Official and Security Officer, plus the heavy handed Police representatives, to see that what was showing was over the top.
          I can promise you, this is not an isolated incident. Remember OT records state that 3 babies per week are” uplifted” from their families.
          This is serious, it is cruel, it is unbelievable – why do you think 3 Enquiries have been ordered.
          I believe it is because people like you do not know what is happening, and if you are aware, that maybe instead of passing ignorant comments you do something constructive to support these children and their families.
          Times are tough for young families today. I was fortunate to be brought up in the 40’s when work was plentiful, wages were adequate, (mothers could stay at home to raise their children) and food and housing was affordable to all.
          I believe it is our generation who have stuffed up our society, we stood by when the 1% ers sent all our work to China, and we rubbed our hands when housing prices soared, and none of us stopped the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act.
          We now reap what we have sown.

          • Maama: “…all placed in social welfare care when their mother was suffering from mental illness.”

            What on earth has this to do with colonialism? The same thing happened to pakeha: it’s got to do with Victorian attitudes to childcare and the poor. Such attitudes were persistent and pervasive back then.

            “…OT records state that 3 babies per week are” uplifted” from their families.”

            And you know why, right? Be honest: not all of those babies are Maori, but all of them are taken because of risk factors in their birth families. Crime, gang connections, family violence, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues. If Maori don’t want babies taken, they need to do something substantive about preventing social problems among (typically) very poor Maori.

            “….people like you…”

            Do not presume to know what I’m like. That’s impertinent on your part. In my commentary on this and other matters, I’ve stuck to the facts. Which may be more than can be said of you.

            “…..maybe instead of passing ignorant comments you do something constructive to support these children and their families.”

            Ha! Like that’d be accepted by Maori from a pakeha: more colonialism, what? Here’s the thing: I’m old. I spent much of my career in the health services. In the 70s, because I was working with Maori, I learned te reo Maori, at a time when there were still native speakers. It may not surprise you to learn that my language competence wasn’t universally applauded by Maori. And it didn’t bring any greater acceptance of preventive medicine messages, even though they were based on science, not on colonialism.

            “….in the 40’s when work was plentiful, wages were adequate, (mothers could stay at home to raise their children) and food and housing was affordable to all.”

            Lucky you. At that time, I was a younger member of a large Irish Catholic family; they were hardscrabble times for us. Then my father died when I was very young. My late mother (god bless her) was obliged to rely on welfare for a number of years, given how young we littlies were and the total absence of childcare facilities back then.

            Luckily she was well-educated and had all her marbles: she told me later that she had to work to prevent the family being split up. That was partly due to well-meaning extended family, partly to the Welfare.

            “…none of us stopped the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act.”

            Speak for yourself. Some of us tried. In the end, we were defeated by neoliberalist forces within the government of the time.

            We’re all in this together, you know. Beating contemporary pakeha about the ears for stuff in the past over which we had no control is pointless. We’re NZers too. We aren’t going anywhere: our families have intermarried with your families.

            Have a care with what you say about pakeha, and about Maori, lest you be accused of ethnic chauvinism.

  2. I didn’t agree with you criticising Ministers – Prime or otherwise – a while back for not watching the video. Everyone has to prioritise, and MP’s have aides to – oh so very conveniently – do their watching and reading for them.

    However, now that Oranga Tamariki processes are the subject of national focus, and Maori are taking ownership of the issue – or trying to – then PM Ardern, and more surprisingly MP Tracey Martin, have been ill-advised in distancing themselves from the concrete evidence of what’s happening. This is straight from the Key/English misrule book – they’ve painted themselves into a corner, but I doubt that they care- it’s not like white punters with money and influence are being affected.

    The fact that every baby or child uplifted, or murdered, or lost, or disputed, triggers a scenario which may damage a generation or two, matters little to these tricky politicians because the scenarios important to them are the political cycles, and that’s about it.

    Both need to keep an eye on their karma.

    • Snow White: “….PM Ardern, and more surprisingly MP Tracey Martin, have been ill-advised in distancing themselves from the concrete evidence of what’s happening.”

      When this issue first hit the headlines, my view was that both Ardern and Martin would be well-advised not to watch the video. It’s a priori distressing, and because of editing could only ever be a version of what actually happened. All of the footage would give a much more nuanced account; but as far as I’m aware, that hasn’t been offered to the government for viewing.

      My opinion remains the same, hui notwithstanding.The government’s job is to set policy for the whole, not just the part. And allowing emotion triggered by a video – which perforce gives a biased account – to trump evidence isn’t the wisest strategy.

      “….I doubt that they care- it’s not like white punters with money and influence are being affected.”

      This is a bit unfair. Before I accused the government of not caring about people who aren’t white, I’d like to see substantive evidence to back that up. So far, I’ve seen nothing of that sort.

      “…. every baby or child uplifted, or murdered, or lost, or disputed, triggers a scenario which may damage a generation or two, matters little to these tricky politicians because the scenarios important to them are the political cycles, and that’s about it.”

      I wonder if you’ve been in government, or maybe in the role of advisor to government. I haven’t, but I’ve long taken an interest in politics. A few bad eggs aside, that hasn’t been my impression. And said bad eggs tend not to last long; an ignominious departure has for the most part been their lot. Most pollies come to parliament with good intentions: they want to make the world a better place for their constituents. Or so it has seemed to me, over many years.

      When one gets to be as old as I am, it feels as if one has seen it all before. Round and round we go…. Remember that, for various reasons, we the public don’t know all of the facts about particular cases with which OT deals.

      With all news, we see and hear what the media shows and tells us. And – with the benefit of access to alternative news sources nowadays – we’d be wise to treat msm accounts with scepticism.

      As an aside: At a conference in the 90s, during the Bolger government, I recall the Government Statistician telling us that there was an ocean of data available on every aspect of NZ society. But despite that, we’d be amazed how often pollies back then put greater weight on what they heard from a constituent down at the local dairy. Wisdom of the crowds and all that, I guess…..

      See this: it’s a piece of research from the late 1990s. It was published in an environment in which it was claimed that socio-economic disparity was increasing between Maori and non-Maori. As I recall, it caused a firestorm. But as always, it’s necessary to read with an open mind; though some pollies found that very difficult. I don’t recall the government allowing Chapple’s conclusions to influence its policy direction. Another example of what the Govt. Statistician had said at that conference.

      https://www.nzcpr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Maori-Economic-Disparity-Simon-Chapple.pdf

      In the case of OT and any redesign of services, I do hope that the government is taking note of the evidence.

  3. Typical response from politicians who pretend they care – None so blind as those who do not wish to see.

    Can’t see these MP’s getting back in at the next election – Maori put them in – Maori can take them out.

  4. Yesterday on talkback radio there was a European guy who had just had his son removed from he and his wife. Partner of 8 years; because of his decade ago history of violence. It sounded just as extreme and invasive as the incident/ programme under discussion discussion here. He claimed to have had no problems with the law for at least the last 8 years duration of his present relationship.
    It seems as though the powers that be have taken the line that recidivism is so close to universal, and some families/ social groups so dysfunctional, that the only way to break the cycle of violent abuse begetting violent abuse is to remove all children and get them out. That the current generation/s is/are a lost cause and the only way to avoid the next generation following the pattern of crime and abuse is to get them out of there.
    If this is indeed behind the high handed approach that seems to be the philosophy I think it needed to be clearly acknowledged and run past the whole community.
    The real cure is to change the basic priorities of who our economy is being run for. The max GDP is not going to address the needs of society. It’s only going to serve the greed of a few. What matters is that everyone has the opportunity to participate and to contribute and be included. And valued, because everyone has the capacity to do so and to know they are of use to society, and can have some self respect.
    D J S

    • David Stone: “If this is indeed behind the high handed approach that seems to be the philosophy I think it needed to be clearly acknowledged and run past the whole community.”

      I’ve read the white paper which, as I recall, underpinned the establishment of OT. Also as far as I recall, it went out for consultation. Either those who responded didn’t understand the implications of the proposed methodology; or they approved of it, even if they now say that they didn’t.

      The problem with people giving their own accounts of how OT works is that they’ll put the best possible gloss on their own part in the interaction. Understandable: I’m guessing that we’d all do this. But for the rest of us, we’re being asked to pick a side, as it were, without our being in possession of all the facts.

      But your account here illustrates that it isn’t just Maori babies being taken from parents considered to be at risk. And a read of the white paper reveals why that’s so.

      “The real cure is to change the basic priorities of who our economy is being run for.”

      Exactly. I voted for the current lot, in the expectation that they’d do something substantive for the poorest sector of our society. And the first thing that they OUGHT to do is to raise the benefit levels by as much as the welfare working group suggested: about 50%, I think it was.

      Of course they’ve done bugger-all. It infuriates me that they’ve been too pusillanimous to act on principle: not a chance that they’ll get my vote next time around. I’ve had it up to here with Ardern poncing around in NZ and overseas, allowing the msm to fawn over her, instead of rolling up her sleeves and taking concrete steps to fix the broken part of our society. When she first became leader of the Labour party, I thought her a show pony. My view hasn’t changed. Faugh!

  5. D’Esterre, I too didn’t see why govt ministers should watch this video- for several reasons, including yours.

    The issue has mushroomed so much now – which I think is good, it’s a huge issue, affecting our most precious and valuable wee people – that I now think that the video, edited or pruned or whatever it may be, needs to be seen to see (a) the type of pressure this lass was subjected to, regardless of her history and (b) importantly, that ministers see what people are responding to, what has triggered us off.

    Even if it is an incomplete story, they should know precisely what people are responding to, which they won’t if they don’t view it, and if they did view it, or if they had viewed it, then they may have been able to come up with one or two reasonable responses, but they have chosen not to give themselves even that opportunity.

    I’ve worked on fixed term contract for a quasi govt dept and initiated research for a govt dept, and however much research data the Govt statistician said was available, it may not be as extensive as he said, or up to date. And I’m dubious about the quality of some research too, but that’s a separate issue.

    Ok, I shouldn’t imply that the govt doesn’t care about non-white people, but I know enough to support 100% the effects of colonisation on NZ Maori: it was and is real. It is documented. In academia – law – books – not just Wikipedia. People get fed up hearing about it, and hearing it used as an excuse – I do – but the Waitangi Tribunal exists to address precisely those issues of justice for the Maori.

    That doesn’t mean that I like being referred to as a stealing whitey, or having colonialists’ eyes either – that’s all unhelpful crap. Many NZ’ers have family histories which stretch back years over oceans of tears – another reason why we’re such a violent bullying society, but that’s a separate issue too.

    And whatever the reason large groups of very disadvantaged people exist in NZ – even if it’s all their own fault, or they are druggies, or monster gangs, or idiots, some babies are being born into environments
    which damage them, and that needs to be addressed, and everyone relevant listened to.

    And we may over-simplify the causes of poverty – they’re multiple; I don’t know enough, but I know some small dairy farms were stuffed by Fonterra, and the whole work scene, particularly since The Employment Contacts Act can be very insecure and unpredictable.

    And it has suited govts to blame the poor and unemployed for their own lot:

    “I don’t believe all this nonsense about unemployment. Why, only last week we wanted a man to weed the garden and we simply couldn’t get one. They don’t want to work, that’s what it is.” Bill English ? Nope.
    George Orwell 1937 ‘The Road to Wigan Pier.’

    Round and round we go.

    This week I am cynical about politicians and many things – I am being bullied by a neighbour – next week I may see some of them in a better light than I do now, and that would be very nice indeed.

    (The neighbour is white- with mean colonialist eyes.)

  6. D’Esterre, I too didn’t see why govt ministers should watch this video- for several reasons, including yours.

    The issue has mushroomed so much now – which I think is good, it’s a huge issue, affecting our most precious and valuable wee people – that I now think that the video, edited or pruned or whatever it may be, needs to be seen to see (a) the type of pressure this lass was subjected to, regardless of her history and (b) importantly, that ministers see what people are responding to, what has triggered us off.

    Even if it is an incomplete story, they should know precisely what people are responding to, which they won’t if they don’t view it, and if they did view it, or if they had viewed it, then they may have been able to come up with one or two reasonable responses, but they have chosen not to give themselves even that opportunity.

    I’ve worked on fixed term contract for a quasi govt dept and initiated research for a govt dept, and however much research data the Govt statistician said was available, it may not be as extensive as he said, or up to date. And I’m dubious about the quality of some research too, but that’s a separate issue.

    Ok, I shouldn’t imply that the govt doesn’t care about non-white people, but I know enough to support 100% the effects of colonisation on NZ Maori: it was and is real. It is documented. In academia – law – books – not just Wikipedia. People get fed up hearing about it, and hearing it used as an excuse – I do – but the Waitangi Tribunal exists to address precisely those issues of justice for the Maori.

    That doesn’t mean that I like being referred to as a stealing whitey, or having colonialists’ eyes either – that’s all unhelpful crap. Many NZ’ers have family histories which stretch back years over oceans of tears – another reason why we’re such a violent bullying society, but that’s a separate issue too.

    And whatever the reason large groups of very disadvantaged people exist in NZ – even if it’s all their own fault, or they are druggies, or monster gangs, or idiots, some babies are being born into environments
    which damage them, and that needs to be addressed, and everyone relevant listened to.

    And we may over-simplify the causes of poverty – they’re multiple; I don’t know enough, but I know some small dairy farms were stuffed by Fonterra, and the whole work scene, particularly since The Employment Contacts Act can be very insecure and unpredictable.

    And it has suited govts to blame the poor and unemployed for their own lot:

    “I don’t believe all this nonsense about unemployment. Why, only last week we wanted a man to weed the garden and we simply couldn’t get one. They don’t want to work, that’s what it is.” Bill English ? Nope.
    George Orwell 1937 ‘The Road to Wigan Pier.’

    Round and round we go.

    This week I am cynical about politicians and many things – I am being bullied by a neighbour – next week I may see some of them in a better light than I do now, and that would be very nice indeed.

    (The neighbour is white- with mean colonialist eyes.)

    • Snow White: “The issue has mushroomed so much now….that I now think that the video, edited or pruned or whatever it may be, needs to be seen to see (a) the type of pressure this lass was subjected to, regardless of her history and (b) importantly, that ministers see what people are responding to, what has triggered us off.”

      I often agree with your comments; and at one level, I agree with what you say here. However, I’m concerned at the possibility of emotion and misrepresentation overriding what OT does and why.

      I’ve read the White Paper that underpins OT’s establishment. The intention is to prevent harm to children by taking account of the risk factors known to cause that harm, and to remove children from the environment before they can be harmed. While uplifting newborns appears callous and uncaring to the rest of us, the government at the time was of the view that prevention was preferable to removing already-damaged babies and children. And certainly preferable to having to deal with deaths, when everybody blames OT. As we know. The young woman in that video (having her second child removed) was 19, and the father was 17. I can understand OT’s pessimism regarding the potential durability of their relationship.

      “…however much research data the Govt statistician said was available…”

      In fairness to the Govt Statistician, it was census data to which he was referring, not research. That link I posted above was a very good piece of work, though; it certainly changed my mind. Up to that point, I’d believed the trope about Maori disparity: that piece woke me up to the fact that class is the operative factor, not ethnicity or skin colour.

      “That doesn’t mean that I like being referred to as a stealing whitey, or having colonialists’ eyes either – that’s all unhelpful crap.”

      Absolutely agree. The colonialism accusation is – to put it bluntly – complete bollocks. NZ’s first parliament was established in 1854; the 1867 Maori Representation Act Act established the Maori electoral seats. Although NZ didn’t pro forma become self-governing till 1907, this country hasn’t been a colony since around the signing of the Treaty. Technically, the colonists were the people who arrived before 1840; that lets out my ancestors.

      In any event. I am of Irish, Scots and English descent: all peoples which were comprehensively colonised. That has a considerable amount to do with why people from the UK went to other countries at various stages in their history.

      Moving from country to country is part of the human condition; the world would look mighty strange, had that never happened. All humans have colonised some landmass or other. It’s only luck that, when the first Polynesians arrived in NZ, there was nobody else here before them.

      I’d add that those Maori who use the term “colonialism” aren’t clear as to what they mean, or what they expect to be different.

      The “whitey” epithet is as offensive as any other racial characterisation. There’s nothing wrong with being white. None of us has any control over our skin colour.

      “And we may over-simplify the causes of poverty……..And it has suited govts to blame the poor and unemployed for their own lot”

      Neoliberalism in the shape of Rogernomics has a hell of a lot to answer for, with regard to contemporary poverty. And in fairness, it’s neoliberals who blame the poor for their lot. The problem here is the grip that neoliberalist ideas have on the country, and – regrettably – of its governments, since 1984. What should have happened when the Clark govt came to power was the reversal of Rogernomics – and especially Ruthanasia – such that benefit levels went back to what they had been in the late 1980s. It is to Clark’s shame that that didn’t happen. Many of us have never forgiven her for that dereliction.

      “The neighbour is white- with mean colonialist eyes.”

      Heh! Poking the borax, I see.

      • D’Esterre, the truly scary thing about neo-liberalism is that it is all my adult children know, it is what they have grown up with, whereas I, and I assume you – are old enough to know that there was a time in NZ when our social fabric was very different from what it is now.
        (One of them worked as an adviser to Helen Clark – didn’t like her, left the country and never came back.)

        Michelle has rightly drawn attention to our homelessness situation and it is bloody disgraceful. I don’t care if it’s a global phenomenon, we are not a poor country, we have a small population, and it shouldn’t be happening.

        I did Public Law at VU as a mature student, and was better versed than I am now in Treaty issues, but there is a body of respectable academic research into the effects of colonisation – and not just in NZ – and it is fairly sobering, and it is being addressed.

        Having said that, using it as an excuse to clobber today’s Pakeha is hitting below the belt, and creates unnecessary divisiveness, which achieves zilch.

        I have one Maori in-law, and a part-Maori and part-Pacifica adopted nephew and niece – and my Ma was
        highly suspicious of another in-law owning Chatham Island land, but the thing here is, that many families are all sorts of mixes now, and it is no good for our children and young people growing up, if Pakeha are being labelled baddies – we need them all to feel good about themselves and about their whanau, and not being fed racist bilge.

        (That being said, I’m ever so slightly anti-Scot – with apologies to Sam, who always sounds a decent sort of chappie, and probably not connected to the clan into which I married – or to my neighbour.)

        • Snow White: “….it is all my adult children know, it is what they have grown up with…”

          True enough. As with you, I remember the time before Rogernomics; I’ve done a bit of re-education hereabouts, I must say.

          “….our homelessness situation and it is bloody disgraceful. I don’t care if it’s a global phenomenon, we are not a poor country, we have a small population, and it shouldn’t be happening.”

          Couldn’t agree more. I’m not a fan of laying blame, but we’ve had the Clark and now the Ardern governments since the dark days of the 90s. They could – and should – have taken concrete steps to fix the problems. We have a pretty good handle on what those problems are, yet they’ve done bugger-all. I blame both governments: a pox on them!

          “….there is a body of respectable academic research into the effects of colonisation…”

          Indeed. However, my view nowadays is that nobody can do anything about what’s past. Surely nobody is suggesting decolonisation? How would that even work?

          And I’d argue that neoliberalism is what’s done real damage to the poorest – Maori included – over the past 30 years or so. On the other hand, it’s served much of the middle classes – Maori included – reasonably well.

          “….using it as an excuse to clobber today’s Pakeha is hitting below the belt, and creates unnecessary divisiveness, which achieves zilch.”

          Exactly. Pointless; and likely to have the opposite effect to that intended.

          “I have one Maori in-law, and a part-Maori and part-Pacifica adopted nephew and niece…”

          Yup. There are also Maori in my extended family. I suspect that there aren’t many pakeha and other families which don’t have a level of intermarriage with Maori.

          “….it is no good for our children and young people growing up, if Pakeha are being labelled baddies…”

          No, it isn’t. Especially when they’re being so labelled for stuff done in the past with which they had no involvement. It’s almost guaranteed to engender hostility rather than sympathy with the Maori cause.

          “…with apologies to Sam…”

          Hmm…he isn’t from one of those reiver families, is he? They were the bandits of the Borders, centuries ago. We know somebody who is a descendant of a reiver family. Ye cannae trust a one of ’em! my Scots great-grandfather would have said…

Comments are closed.