Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” and “Privilege”

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PERHAPS THE BEST WAY to assess the quality of the NZ Herald’s “Land of the Long White Cloud” is by studying Tom Clarke’s characterisation of James Cook. Clarke begins by making Cook a member of the British aristocracy. He gives him the accent of Hugh Laurie’s Bertie Wooster, along with most of his mannerisms. Clarke then proceeds to deliver a false description of Cook’s mission – complete with jokes about planting flags and claiming countries. All done with a smile, of course, in the interests of lightening what the series’ creators clearly believe to be a very serious matter. Even so, if you’re trying to dispel some of the myths surrounding New Zealand’s origins, then falsifying the historical record would seem to be a very peculiar way of going about it.

Because James Cook was not a member of the British aristocracy, he was a plain- speaking Yorkshireman of humble origin. Tom Clarke should, therefore, have based his accent more on the characters of Heartbeat and Last of the Summer Wine than on Jeeves & Wooster. Indeed, had Clarke bothered to read anything written by a reputable historian concerning Cook’s voyage of 1769 (Anne Salmond’s springs to mind) he would have encountered a clever, considered and compassionate man of (for his time) unusually enlightened opinions. Trouble is, satirising that sort of Englishmen would have required more of the actor than he was either able, or permitted, to give.

Clarke’s representation of Cook does, however, speak directly to the profound intellectual weakness at the heart of this so-called documentary about “white guilt”. The expression “begging the question” is often used erroneously to indicate a failure to raise the obvious and most important question/s about an issue. While LOTLWC certainly fits this description, it also conforms to the expression’s classical meaning. LOTLWC begs the question because the conclusion arrived at by the series’ makers – that “whites” are guilty – is derived entirely from their original premise – that “white guilt” exists.

It certainly explains why the makers selected the eight individuals whose opinions constitute the series’ content. Originally pitched to NZ On Air (the series’ principal funder) under the working title “After White Guilt”, the first of the six recorded episodes contains not the slightest hint that attaching the word “guilt” to New Zealanders of European origin might be in any way problematic.

LOTLWC simply assumes that the Pakeha settlement of New Zealand was a crime. (Why else use the word “guilt”?) Accordingly, New Zealand’s colonial history is presented as the work of murderers and plunderers. The descendants of these criminals – the Pakeha New Zealanders of 2019 – find themselves cast in the role of people living off the proceeds of crime: receivers of stolen goods. The suggestion, so far unspoken, but lurking just beneath the surface of the participants’ remarks, is that these crimes must be acknowledged and atoned for, and the stolen property returned to its rightful owners.

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One must assume that the participants in and the creators of LOTLWC really are as naïve and innocent of political reality as they appear. To assume otherwise casts them in the role of conscious and deliberate inciters of hatred and division between Pakeha and Maori – to the point of risking full-scale civil war. Nothing in the history of the human species suggests that people can be persuaded to part with their property, or their autonomy, without a fight. Nor does the historical record attest that such wholesale dispossession can be accomplished except in the aftermath of their complete and unalterable defeat.

“But that is exactly what we are saying!”, one can imagine LOTLWC participants expostulating. “That is what our ancestors are guilty of – and we are the beneficiaries of their crimes!”

Except, when viewed in its entirety, the history of human occupation in these islands suggests that what happened between Maori and Pakeha in the middle of the nineteenth century was far from exceptional. For the best part of 500 years, the killing of human-beings and the appropriation of the survivors’ property and autonomy, had been the norm. All the Europeans brought to the game were more effective weapons and superior tools – both of which the Maori acquired and mastered in a very short space of time.

Indeed, what distinguished the 70 years between the arrival of Cook in 1769 and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, was an astonishing escalation in warfare, killing, dispossession and dislocation – not at the hands of the Europeans, but by the indigenous people. When Cook arrived, New Zealand boasted approximately 100,000 inhabitants. By the end of the Musket Wars, in the mid-1830s, between 20,000 to 30,000 Maori had disappeared. The Europeans were impressed, but not surprised, they’d been doing the same things to one another for the best part of 3,000 years!

When the Pakeha settlers finally launched their own war of conquest in the Waikato in 1863, not only could they rely upon the 12,000 soldiers sent from Britain to support the colonial government, but also on the military support of Maori tribes unwilling to turn the clock back to the time before Cook’s arrival. They wagered on their people being strong enough to survive te riri Pakeha, the white man’s anger, and his greed, and they were right. Two-hundred-and-fifty years after Cook’s arrival, the Maori population of New Zealand is five times what it was in 1769. That is not a claim which many of the planet’s indigenous peoples can make – especially those inhabiting its temperate zones.

The brute facts of New Zealand history suggest that if its blame Maori and Pakeha are looking for, then there’s plenty to go around. Rather than apportion guilt, would it not be wiser to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and can never be again – the Maori who inhabited these islands before Cook’s arrival. Would it not, therefore, be wiser to accept, finally, that both peoples are victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt?

Which immediately raises another interesting question: Why NZ On Air felt moved to promise the makers of LOTLWC (aka “After White Guilt”) close to $140,000 of public funding? As already noted, the series is not an exploration of the way in which Pakeha have responded to a dramatic expansion in the range and depth of historical understanding in New Zealand – that would have been a very useful exercise to have supported. It is, instead, the result of taxpayers coughing-up a lot of cash for eight individuals, all subscribing to an extreme and highly tendentious interpretation of New Zealand history, to lecture them on what awful people their ancestors were, and what they should be doing to assuage their “guilt” and off-load their “privilege”.

That $140,000 question deserves an answer, especially given the fact that LOTLWC’s sponsoring institution, the New Zealand Herald, was founded in December 1863, five months after the invasion of the Waikato, for the express purpose of ensuring that the colonial government (also based in Auckland) did everything possible to extinguish the “native rebellion” and seize the “rebels’” lands. In the light of that little snippet of New Zealand history, would it not have been more appropriate for NZME to assuage its “Pakeha Guilt” out of its own pocket?

 

 

32 COMMENTS

  1. 100% correct Chris thank you for making that truthful statement.

    “Because James Cook was not a member of the British aristocracy, he was a plain- speaking Yorkshireman of humble origin”.

  2. Here is James when he was a labourer in 1725..

    https://www.captaincooksociety.com/home/detail/the-family-of-captain-james-cook

    “On October 10th 1725 she married James Cook, a day farm labourer, who had come south from the banks of the River Tweed in Roxburghshire, Scotland, following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The centre of Thornaby has moved in recent years and is now part of Stockton-on-Tees. In Stockton parish church there is a memorial to Captain James Cook and an altarpiece made of wood from the Resolution.”

  3. The increasing race based rhetoric is very unhelpful for NZ. Many of us are descended from both Maori and European backgrounds, which side of ourselves should we be hating? Chris is totally correct, both peoples represented in the 1840 TOW are now extinct cultures and genetic lines, what we have in NZ now is a synthesis of both plus a vast amount of worldwide influence both cultural and genetic. I am not responsible for the crimes (or good) of any of my ancestors.

    The left used to be about brotherhood and solidarity, not about race and other forms of identity politics.

    • +1 Ben in particular “which side of ourselves should we be hating?”

      The amount of Maori and Pakeha in the world is minuscule but still the woke want to hate that identity ad nauseam playing into the hands of the establishment like ‘The herald’ and Neoliberals.

      Actually it is more hating Pakeha, while advocating policy that disadvantages locals the most, and displaces them out of many areas of NZ.

      Couple of examples of combos of woke, incompetence and Natz help, not bothering to count the numbers properly during the census in particular Maori so the real results can’t be identified and then discussed and or remedied until it is too late.

      Pakeha with a mortgage and children on wages largest group in poverty in NZ. https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/invisible-children?rq=children

    • Originally the left and the englightnement and the progress of the last 200 years was literally about outlawing child labour and regulating powerful private capitalists (being able to raise private armies they where much more powerful back then) that’s the point when right wing free market ideology goes troppo when they try to lower wages and benefits bellow the minimum. So the government for many reasons shpuld maintain an arms gap between them and everyone else so the government is the only one with big guns.

    • Ben, we should not be hating at all. I was dreading, really dreading, reading what Chris Trotter had to say about early NZ settlers.

      In the history with which I grew up, we learned of early NZ pioneers; with the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal, and with attempts to right past wrongs, my whakapapa have been morphed into baddies; they are they no longer the enormously hard-working God-fearing pioneers, explorers, scientists, mapmakers, route finders, mappers, teachers and missionaries, that they were.

      Pioneer. Pioneer.

      Pioneer. Good word, not necessarily a soiled word; ironically perhaps, “soil” carried for them, a higher value than rubies or pearls, and most came with high ideals, and not to exploit others; they themselves had histories of systemic methodical exploitation from every corner of the northern hemisphere – and elsewhere, actually.

      For we their descendants to now be carrying a burden of guilt for non-existent sins, is as ugly as hell. I am bone weary of it.

      The evening of the Auckland Muslim vigil when Green MP’s, and at least two young Maori women, blamed the ChCh massacre on Pakeha; and announced to the world, ‘White people hate us,” what I heard was, “We hate white people.” Obviously that terminated my support of the increasingly irrelevant Green Party.

      It is hard, because growing up and growing old in NZ, in the normal course of events, we have friends of all ethnicities, and suddenly I now find that there are groups of mainly young women who hate people like me, and who scare me.

      Few, if any, would have the skills and thrift and work ethic of the wahine of my whakapapa and these girls’ resentments eat away like cancers consuming energy which could be utilised constructively – if they wanted to. I do not think that they necessarily do. They have an undeserved arrogance – I know only one person who I think deserves to be arrogant – a brilliant offshore pure mathematician – but he is white, and that makes him a baddy in the closed minds of the ignorami.

      The Southern Alps are in my soul, but the people of this country are sorely testing it.

      • Snow White: “For we their descendants to now be carrying a burden of guilt for non-existent sins, is as ugly as hell. I am bone weary of it.”

        I agree entirely: my metoo moment for this year…

        “The evening of the Auckland Muslim vigil when Green MP’s, and at least two young Maori women, blamed the ChCh massacre on Pakeha; and announced to the world, ‘White people hate us,” what I heard was, “We hate white people.” Obviously that terminated my support of the increasingly irrelevant Green Party.”

        Indeed. And – further – for me, it terminally damaged Golriz Ghahraman’s credibility. On anything much, but especially on so-called “extremist” views. I’m hoping that the Greens will be gone at the next election: taking her with them.

        “…. I now find that there are groups of mainly young women who hate people like me, and who scare me.

        Few, if any, would have the skills and thrift and work ethic of the wahine of my whakapapa and these girls’ resentments eat away like cancers consuming energy which could be utilised constructively – if they wanted to.”

        Yup. Around 15 years ago, Elizabeth Rata was reported as saying this:

        “An Auckland academic has been accused of putting a damper on Maori Language Week by describing Maori immersion teaching as a major cause of ethnic division.
        ……………..
        In her report – Ethnic Ideologies in New Zealand Education: What’s Wrong with Kaupapa Maori – she described Maori initiatives such as total Maori immersion language schools, or kura kaupapa Maori, as being flawed.

        “Kaupapa Maori contributes to creating ethnic division, is anti-democratic and fundamentalist,” Dr Rata said.

        Dr Rata, a principal lecturer in the faculty of postgraduate studies and research, also claims that kaupapa Maori:

        * Is not scrutinised enough.

        * Has become too influential in government education policy.

        * Reinforces the victimhood mentality.

        * Is intellectually flawed.

        * Is scientifically flawed.”

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3580562

        At the time, given that relatively few Maori children attended kura kaupapa, I disagreed with her. Now, I think she had a point: we’re seeing the consequences all around us. Anyone in any doubt need only listen to news and current affairs programming on RNZ, along with the TV channels. Other examples include attempts to create Maori wards in local Councils, and the entire by-Maori-for-Maori campaign in respect of OT, the justice sector and in prisons. This sort of thinking is pernicious in the extreme.

        Other links to Rata which are worth a read:

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10853668

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10409060

        In the latter article – inter alia – this:
        “She does talk about her academic career, which has been outstanding. In the early 80s she was a keen secondary school teacher and promoter of our first kura kaupapa. “I was strongly motivated by education, social justice, those ideals.”

        Her PhD was in the philosophy of education, her thesis was an investigation of Maori revival and retribalisation. Which is when she realised the policies were back-firing. The results astounded her.

        “My research threw up the opposite of what I thought I’d find – that retribalisation would serve the interests of social justice – so disproving my original argument.”

        Rata discovered the emergence of what she calls “neotribal capitalism”. In other words, once Maori tribes were given back assets, they behaved just like white New Zealanders. The aggressive and adventurous grabbed the spoils, the rest remained as poor as ever.”
        And don’t we see that right now!

        “They have an undeserved arrogance…”

        That they do. Anybody who thinks that all the complaining about the evils of colonialism doesn’t bespeak arrogance, isn’t thinking it through.

        “…I know only one person who I think deserves to be arrogant – a brilliant offshore pure mathematician – but he is white, and that makes him a baddy in the closed minds of the ignorami.”

        Heh! Yup. A relative of my late mother was many years ago a well-known mathematician, famous for his work in linear algebra. Arrogance wasn’t his style, either, for all that it’d have been entirely justified.

        “The Southern Alps are in my soul, but the people of this country are sorely testing it.”

        True for me, too. I’ve remarked to a relative that I’m a NZer born and bred, spent all of my longish life here, so I’m enculturated to the environment, the quality of the light, the weather, the bush, the birds… I have as much right to be here as has anybody else, yet we pakeha are beginning to feel not entirely welcome. Even though none of what happened in the past is our responsibility in any way.

        Said relative is in Australia; cannot see anything wrong with returning confiscated land. They haven’t thought carefully about it: I pointed out that nobody now alive stole any land. My relative has spent many years in Oz, forgets how small NZ is, and how such things impinge on us directly, in a way that they don’t for citizens there.

        • People who are strong in peace time are typically strong in war. Eisenhower knows this. Even evil people like Stalin know that to be strong in war you have to be even stronger in peace time. Captain Cook also motivated his crew and civilians alike with floggings, rum, even the threat of death was used.

          What Captain Cook was able to do was open up the world of science and commerce to Māori and in return Māori had to trade the Māori language. The land through treaty settlements is being compensated, for that Māori have had to give up its brutal ways and allow the rule of law to govern instead. Perhaps if Māori was better in peace time than the Māori ancestors was at war perhaps Māori might not have had to sacrifice thier identity for a European one.

          • Sam: “People who are strong in peace time are typically strong in war. Eisenhower knows this. Even evil people like Stalin know that to be strong in war you have to be even stronger in peace time. Captain Cook also motivated his crew and civilians alike with floggings, rum, even the threat of death was used.”

            I’m not entirely sure what you mean here. But a couple of things: both Eisenhower and Stalin are dead, so past tense would be more appropriate. As to the characterisation of Stalin as “evil”, beware of propaganda. We now know the extent to which the western media has propagandised us, at least since WW2. Remember that Eisenhower sent US military personnel to Vietnam: was that not also evil?

            “Captain Cook also motivated his crew and civilians alike with floggings, rum, even the threat of death was used.”

            I suggest that you go read some of the excellent bio. stuff on Cook. He was a man of his times; but also – unusually for his times – a humane man in his treatment of his crew. Beware of falling into the trap of presentism.

            “What Captain Cook was able to do was open up the world of science and commerce to Māori and in return Māori had to trade the Māori language.”

            No. Enough with the revisionism. Cook made three short trips here: not nearly enough time to bring about the transformation you claim. Although his visits here were the springboard for eventual British settlement.

            Their language was always something that Maori had in their hands the tools to retain. Languages are best learned and preserved in the home; that’s open to everyone who comes here, and many people do just that. Maori could have done the same; and of course some did.

            “….perhaps Māori might not have had to sacrifice thier identity for a European one.”

            Maori and settlers set about intermarriage with enthusiasm, such that both genes and culture are thoroughly mixed. We now have a distinctive culture, a mixture of Pakeha and Maori elements. It’s a spectrum: Maori at one end, European at the other, in the middle, all the aspects of culture that we share in common.

        • D’Esterre – I strongly support the Waitangi Tribunal processes, and always will; I accept the sins of our fathers, and they have to be addressed as best they can be. It’s a shame if the off-spin of all this is that contemporary Pakeha are now being designated baddies, and worse. And I have zero English blood – and neither did my forebears, as far as I know – but I’m okay with Poms.

          Hitler elevated racial persecution into an expression of national and individual virtue, and some regard him as corrupting the souls of his own people – especially the young – probably due to his own diabolical lust for power. If what happened in Nazi Europe hasn’t taught us any lessons, then nothing will; systemic anti-white clobbering is counter-productive to community well-being, and I certainly do not believe that it was the philosophy of Maori of my parents’ generation, and nor of mine.

          Just as bad are the constant anti-immigrant diatribes, often based on convenient generalisations, which do a disservice to the overseas workers who keep some services and businesses afloat; rightly or wrongly I attribute this to our having reverted to the parochialism of the past, for some unknown reason, and this may actually be Pakeha led prejudice. God help us – and them – if this whole small country feels the same way.

          (In pre-Christian pagan times, villagers always welcomed the outlier or the stranger, for, for all they knew, he could be a god. Harrods is a bit like that too, towards scruffs – for all they know, he could be a young lord. Pity that we’re such a paranoiac bunch down here in this cold threshold land.)

          And then there are the haters, who just hate everyone different from them, and they tend to be the nouveau riche right-wingers who might be happier if their faces were not so heavily over- burdened with thick make-up constricting the flow of blood to their brains. There’s one top long-serving Nat Party functionary whose make-up totally fascinates me – but if she’s happy with it, then so be it – sooner her than me.

          Good to see you mentioning our beautiful light, we take it for granted. Visitors to the Sth of France comment on its lovely clear light, but I had stopped commenting on it to people here, as it can flummox them. Those of us whose pioneering whakapapa made positive contribution to this land, often carrying heart-breaking burdens of their own history, have the advantage of having learned that there is little that is simple, including separatism.

          Shame about the Greens. But they do owe all New Zealand an apology.

          • Snow White: “I strongly support the Waitangi Tribunal processes, and always will…”

            From the beginning, I was persuaded of the justice of this process. And my view was unchanged until I read Elizabeth Rata. I didn’t agree with her at the time the above articles were published, but I didn’t forget her. Now I think we’re seeing evidence that she was right.

            The settlement process is justice in action – no doubt about it – but clearly we must face up to the unintended consequences: so many years after the first settlements, why is it that working-class Maori haven’t benefited? That was taxpayers’ money applied to those settlements: if the iwi are as wealthy as is claimed, who is getting the largesse? And if they aren’t: where has all that money gone? Again: taxpayers’ money: governments ought to be asking these questions, are derelict in their duty if they aren’t.

            Elizabeth Rata has drawn our attention to something that – it seems – many NZers don’t want to acknowledge. Maori are just as likely to fall victim to the temptation to rapaciousness as the rest of us. Neoliberalism was in full swing at the time the settlement process kicked off: in virtue of what would anyone suppose that it wouldn’t influence the behaviour of the iwi?

            Contrary to what earnest young journos were saying at the time when it was in the news, it was clear that the dispute at Ihumatao was one of class: the poor Maori up against the wealthy in the tribal elite. It was certainly not the old versus the young, as was claimed: all one had to do to see that was to look at the TV coverage. This is of a piece with what Rata has pointed out.

            “I accept the sins of our fathers…”

            Not my fathers. Probably not yours, either. And even if they had been your or my ancestors, we carry no culpability for what they did. We weren’t alive at the time.

            “And I have zero English blood – and neither did my forebears, as far as I know…”

            I do (so secretly pleased that the Poms whupped the ABs last night…). Though in truth most of my ancestry is Irish and Scottish. Nevertheless, I have connections to the west riding of Yorkshire: a beautiful part of the world. That stupendously clever fellow, James Cook, came from the north riding.

            As an aside, I note this from the Wiki article about Cook: “…his father’s employer, Thomas Skottowe, paid for him to attend the local school.” Obviously, Skottowe saw something in him: it was most unusual for children from his social class at that time to have the opportunity of education. His father was illiterate.

            That name – Skottowe – is in my family tree, though to the best of my knowledge, we had no connection at all with Cook or his family.

            My Irish – and to a lesser extent Scottish – ancestors were as much victims of the British Empire as the unfortunate indigenes of the various colonised countries.

            “….systemic anti-white clobbering is counter-productive to community well-being….”

            That it is. And the fact that it’s happening is rather a vindication of what Rata said about kura kaupapa.

            “Just as bad are the constant anti-immigrant diatribes…”

            That which I’ve seen and heard in recent times is increasingly coming from Maori. Seen it on this site, even.

            “…villagers always welcomed the outlier or the stranger, for, for all they knew, he could be a god.”

            I believe that’s how the Hawai’ians saw Cook: as a deity. Read that somewhere. We’ve heard recently a lot of revisionism from local Maori as to the reasons for his death at the hands of the Hawai’ians.

            “…our beautiful light…”

            Yes indeed. To fully appreciate it, it’s necessary to go to other countries. When we were in Ireland some years ago, I noticed the physical similarities between parts of southwest Ireland, and south Taranaki – and the Wanganui area. Except for the light…. We here are fortunate to have this environment: small wonder my Irish ancestors felt at home where they settled.

  4. “For the best part of 500 years, the killing of human-beings and the appropriation of the survivors’ property and autonomy, had been the norm.”

    Try 50,000 years! Until, with some obvious terrible exceptions, 1945.

    • True enough, Matthew, but you are neglecting the restricted context. I was talking about “these islands” – New Zealand – inhabited by human-beings for barely 500 years in 1769.

    • Matthew Hooton: “Try 50,000 years! Until, with some obvious terrible exceptions, 1945.”

      I read Chris Trotter’s “500 years” as being a reference to the history of Maori settlement in NZ prior to the arrival of Europeans, not of human history in general.

      I think that my interpretation is correct. Though of course you’re also correct regarding 50,000 years. Probably even longer, in truth, given the rise of language (and therefore the evolution of modern humans) dates back to around 200,000 years ago.

    • don’t worry the neoliberals and woke, have their eyes set on promoting policy with plenty of richer people to replace Land of the Wrong White Crowd…. For the woke it is about being anti white for the neoliberals it is all about the money, that is why they are so in tune with each other as we see follow the money!

      China has overtaken the US as being the country with the most people in the top 10% of global wealth distribution.

      India was the region with the biggest year-on-year increase in total wealth, up 5.2 per cent.

      (NZ immigration closing most of their immigration visa centres around the world, apart Beijing and Mumbai, why special variation for the two countries growing richer by the day but with questionable corruption/gender/human rights/racism levels?)

  5. I wonder if the NZH / NZ On Air and all the rest of the great and good are going to do a series on the harm done to Māori by neoliberalism since 1984? There’s no shortage of facts and figures to go on there.

    I doubt it.

    Or, even to take a close look at the early NZ Herald (as another points out) and the lawyer-speculator-politicians of the 1860s and their ties to the Auckland establishment of today? No shortage of background there either.

    I doubt it, once again.

    Instead, they blame a bloke who lived 250 years ago.

    And at the other extreme in terms of lack of concreteness, they also blame your average ordinary Pakeha who is just trying to get by, like most Maori, in meaninglessly general and unspecific terms.

    An opportunity lost, I think.

    • I don’t think we should be getting into cataloging this is that as if when can stack up a pile of paper and compare it to another pile of paper. I just don’t think it works like that. I think Mike Bush is doing a good job as Police Commisioner. He’s apologised to Tuhoe, understands unconscious bias, promoted Māori higher up the ranks and Y’know I think people like that will do a lot more good than buying into some great big whinge about colonisation because no one will get any sympathy from me if they stick up for colonisation.

    • Chris Harris: “I wonder if the NZH / NZ On Air and all the rest of the great and good are going to do a series on the harm done to Māori by neoliberalism since 1984? There’s no shortage of facts and figures to go on there.”

      You’ve nailed it here! I and a number of other commenters on this site have repeatedly pointed out the disastrous effects of neoliberalism (along with the arrival of drugs and the swingeing benefit cuts of the early 1990s) on Maori society.

      It would be good if – instead of blaming pakeha for things in which none of us now alive had any involvement – those who make TV programmes and documentaries took a more critical look at neoliberalism’s culpability for the dire state of contemporary working class society.

      Surely not too much to hope for.

    • Chris – “Instead, they blame a bloke who lived 250 years ago.”

      Wrong bloke. The bloke I’d be looking at blaming is called Roger D, and I want him to live forever, on and on, compos mentis, on and on, and on, alive for as long as poss, compos mentis. Roger K was no better, but he got away – this one can stay – don’t matter if the body stops standing up, just keep him going.

  6. … { That $140,000 question deserves an answer, especially given the fact that LOTLWC’s sponsoring institution, the New Zealand Herald, was founded in December 1863, five months after the invasion of the Waikato, for the express purpose of ensuring that the colonial government (also based in Auckland) did everything possible to extinguish the “native rebellion” and seize the “rebels’” lands. In the light of that little snippet of New Zealand history, would it not have been more appropriate for NZME to assuage its “Pakeha Guilt” out of its own pocket? }…..

    ROFL !!!!

  7. I suffer no “pakeha guilt”, colonialism worked out fine for me and mine including my ancestors. I guess it comes down to “might is right”and the winner takes all, as throughout history has always been the case..

  8. “…NZ Herald’s “Land of the Long White Cloud”…”

    I’d never heard of this. Though in my view the Herald is a dreadful little rag: anything it’s involved with is bound to be pants.

    “….if you’re trying to dispel some of the myths surrounding New Zealand’s origins, then falsifying the historical record would seem to be a very peculiar way of going about it.”

    And sure enough: pants. The kindest interpretation is that it was intended to be satire.

    “…the profound intellectual weakness at the heart of this so-called documentary about “white guilt”……LOTLWC begs the question because the conclusion arrived at by the series’ makers – that “whites” are guilty – is derived entirely from their original premise – that “white guilt” exists.”

    Exactly. The notion is a fiction, as is so-called “white privilege”. We have seen a great deal too much talk of both, in other posts on this blogsite. For the life of me, I fail to understand why any pakeha at all would even think this, let alone write about it in all seriousness.

    As you say here: profound intellectual weakness. It’s just possibly understandable from the woke left, who’ve tied themselves up in the knots of identity politics. But not from anyone else.

  9. I am a first generation Kiwi, born to English immigrant parents who came here in the early 50s/60s. Dad before Mum and they met here. They were both well-meaning and hard-working and no doubt saw themselves as helping to ‘build’ New Zealand, though still retained some interest in their homeland and went back for holidays, as did we children. My mother did a lot of work with Pasifika communities in New Lynn in the early 70s. I am by no means ‘privileged’ by the colour of my skin and in fact there is a sort of reverse racism in Social Welfare policies which makes that assumption. I often say that if ‘tangata whenua’ want me to leave NZ, though I am not personally responsible for 250 years of colonisation and I consider myself a NZer(by birth), then gladly I will ‘repatriate’ myself to the England of my parents – if they’re paying, because I am an impoverished Pakeha beneficiary.

    • arbeitslos: “I am by no means ‘privileged’ by the colour of my skin and in fact there is a sort of reverse racism in Social Welfare policies which makes that assumption.”

      Indeed. I have been obliged to point out to commenters on this site that the colour of one’s skin entails nothing about privilege. To claim otherwise is a loaded assertion of the most egregious sort. It must be challenged. And you’re right about that implicit assumption underpinning Social Welfare policies. And it also needs to be challenged.

      “…if ‘tangata whenua’ want me to leave NZ, though I am not personally responsible for 250 years of colonisation and I consider myself a NZer(by birth), then gladly I will ‘repatriate’ myself to the England of my parents – if they’re paying…”

      In truth, I don’t think that this is what most Maori want: or if they do, they haven’t thought the issue through. That option isn’t available to most of us, though I’d quite understand if some people who were able to, did just that. And yes: were there to be demands that pakeha decamp, the tangata whenua ought properly to pay the cost of that.

      I’d add that this sort of thing isn’t unknown: for those of you too young to know about it, read what Idi Amin did in Uganda:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idi_Amin#Persecution_of_ethnic_and_political_groups

      ” We are determined to make the ordinary Ugandan master of his own destiny and, above all, to see that he enjoys the wealth of his country. Our deliberate policy is to transfer the economic control of Uganda into the hands of Ugandans, for the first time in our country’s history.
      — Idi Amin on the persecution of minorities[39]

      In August 1972, Amin declared what he called an “economic war”, a set of policies that included the expropriation of properties owned by Asians and Europeans. Uganda’s 80,000 Asians were mostly from the Indian subcontinent and born in the country, their ancestors having come to Uganda in search of prosperity when India was still a British colony.[40] Many owned businesses, including large-scale enterprises, which formed the backbone of the Ugandan economy.[41][42][43]

      On 4 August 1972, Amin issued a decree ordering the expulsion of the 50,000 Asians who were British passport holders. This was later amended to include all 60,000 Asians who were not Ugandan citizens. Around 30,000 Ugandan Asians emigrated to the UK. Others went to Commonwealth countries such as Australia, South Africa, Canada, and Fiji, or to India, Kenya, Pakistan, Sweden, Tanzania, and the United States.[41][42][43] Amin expropriated businesses and properties belonging to the Asians and the Europeans and handed them over to his supporters. The businesses were mismanaged, and industries collapsed from lack of maintenance. This proved disastrous for the already declining economy.”

      I vividly remember this awful episode: some of those expelled Indians came to NZ. Similar policies in Zimbabwe and recently in South Africa have been similarly unsuccessful.

  10. Thanks, Chris.

    Does anyone have any fact-based idea about what the end in mind is for the ‘woke’ people?

    Imagine: guilt-stricken people, born in this country, even call it ‘home’; who have rarely stolen anything more than a parking space, being asked to repent! atone! (I wonder how much ‘atone’ costs?)

    And can we please ask that our atonements get given to people who aren’t forever telling stories around ‘oppression’ ‘prejudice’ etc? It doesn’t seem to get the kids ready to go out in the world and thrive – no matter how many targetted programmes are put in place for the people/by the people.

    It’s not about the money… winning Lotto won’t make you a financial whizz overnight. That takes Work and at least some acceptance and borrowing of Other People’s (all of us ‘non-Maori’ of any colour or ethnicity) Cultures and values. Go on. Try it. Most of us don’t start screeching ‘cultural appropriation’ if you do.

    Until then – wakey wakey! There’s an undisclosed narrative running here.

  11. There are people who say it is all about race and change is necessary. They are generally either multi-culturalist or bi-culturalist, left wing and progressive.
    Then there are people who say race is irrelevant and change is not needed. They tend to be implicitly British mono-culturalists, right-wing and protagonists of global capitalism (although you will find at least one on this thread who describes himself as a “leftist”).
    We do not accept the proposition that it is all about race. Not least because our true history does not support such an interpretation. But also because except by a miracle of God, Maori will not be liberated without the support of Pakeha, and, less obviously, Pakeha can not be liberated except through te rangatiratanga.
    Neither can we accept the proposition that change is not needed and that global capitalism and “a modern representative democracy” gives us the best of all possible worlds.
    Every day in every town and village, farm and factory we have confirmation that this is not the case.
    So there is a litmus test, which has nothing to do with “white privilege” or “white guilt” but is based on this simple question “Do you or do you not support the British Crown as the sovereign authority in Aotearoa?”.
    We did not invent this test. The Crown did in 1863. The Crown continues to use this test to control access to citizenship and to restrict the membership of its parliament.
    But we also can see the paper change from red to blue or blue to red. We know that those who refuse allegiance to the British Crown or to any other foreign power are one with us.
    For us, they pass the test even though it was not us that put them to the test.
    The people who say it is all about race and white guilt are almost without exception those who follow the Crown, and avert their eyes from its horrific legacy of blood guilt, while thumping the tub for “multi-culturalism” or “bi-culturalism”.
    We have only one culture. In other words we have cultural integrity.
    We are open, we are inclusive, and we are accepting of difference, not despite holding so tightly to our culture, but because those values are an essential element of our culture.
    So let’s have an end to the nonsense.
    Are we for the Crown and British race sovereignty, the divide and rule policies of colonialism, or are we for rangatiratanga and kotahitanga?

    • Geoff Fischer: I’ve read and reread your comment; for the most part, it’s baffling. I’m guessing that other commenters here are of the same view: hence the lack of response.

      In truth, most of it comes across as if you’d read the McGillicuddy Serious Party manifesto and didn’t get the joke.

      If you’re talking about what existed before settlement, then I can only reiterate earlier points made about the clan-based quasi-feudalism which prevailed at that time; this sort of governing arrangement wouldn’t be acceptable to most Maori, let alone anyone else living here

      However. Some comments in response to those parts of which I can make some sense.

      “…. that global capitalism and “a modern representative democracy” gives us the best of all possible worlds.”

      I can’t recall anybody suggesting that. Global capitalism and a modern representative democracy is what we have: the perfect system of government doesn’t exist. But have a care if you’re suggesting that it be overturned: the unintended consequences will white-ant the best of intentions. Take a look at post-colonial Africa – in particular, but not exclusively, Uganda, Zimbabwe, modern-day South Africa – if you would see the disastrous consequences of attempting to overturn political and economic arrangements. Cambodia under Pol Pot is possibly the salient example.

      “The people who say it is all about race and white guilt are almost without exception those who follow the Crown….”

      That’ll include sundry Maori, then, will it? Including some who’ve shot their mouths off on this blogsite in the recent past.

      “….and avert their eyes from its horrific legacy of blood guilt…”

      Haven’t you just got through telling us that it isn’t about white guilt? But the Crown in the 19th century was white, at least until the Maori seats were instituted. In any event, what happened in the 19th century cannot be reversed. Do you not understand? Iacta aula est: the die is cast. Some of us know the history of British settlement in NZ: most people know little to nothing. What do you want? That they should know the full awfulness of what’s happened in the country since Tasman’s visit? That’ll include the Boyd massacre in the very early 19th century, and the Musket Wars, also in the early years of the 19th century; not just the Land Wars and the confiscations. Or Parihaka – though that didn’t involve deaths. How do you want them to feel about it? What do you want them to do? Just remember the law of unintended consequences.

      “….thumping the tub for “multi-culturalism” or “bi-culturalism”.”

      Casting my mind back to the 1990s and the first of the Treaty settlements, I believe that it was Maori who were keen on bi- or multi-culturalism. What I’ve learned in the intervening years is that such things cannot be forced upon people, just because others think that it’s a good idea. Folk will adopt aspects of other cultures or not, depending upon said aspects’ utility – or otherwise – to them.

      “We are open, we are inclusive, and we are accepting of difference, not despite holding so tightly to our culture, but because those values are an essential element of our culture.”

      Who is this “we”? To which culture do you refer?

      “Are we for the Crown and British race sovereignty, the divide and rule policies of colonialism, or are we for rangatiratanga and kotahitanga?”

      What? Again: we don’t have “the Crown”, actually – not in the 19th century sense. We have the current government; the latest iteration of an unbroken line since the 19th century. That’s all. This is revisionism on your part: we surely don’t have colonialism. If by “rangatiratanga” and “kotahitanga” you mean governing arrangements that are exclusively by-Maori (which is what I deduce from this and other comments of yours), you’re advocating fascism. That’s what fascism looks like, at least in part. Fascism isn’t the exclusive domain of white folks – as some people here seem to believe.

  12. So what is happening with Ihumatao now, just a question, Jacinda Dear? Initially it was to be resolved within two weeks, as I remember, some nice talking and sorting out, I presume. Now it seems to have been going on for months.

    • Marc: “So what is happening with Ihumatao now, just a question, Jacinda Dear?”

      Just a guess: the government has realised the sheer folly of Jacinda’s stepping – in any way at all – into that dispute.

      Now it’s trying to extricate itself from the unintended consequences.

      It has raised false hopes that it will buy the land and gift it or sell it to the local Maori. But it knows now – if not earlier – that it cannot do this without putting at risk the private property rights of all of us, Maori included.

      In this regard, it has already been put on notice by Iwi leaders, who have said that all treaty settlements to date will be reopened, if the government were to buy the land and then gift it or sell it to the local Iwi.

      See the wriggling mess over there? That’s the can of worms Jacinda has inadvertently opened.

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