One of the things I as a Pākeāa have learned to understand about a Māori worldview is that the past is present in every step of today to guide tomorrow.
In a shallow 24-hour hyper consumer culture constantly binging on the ever sold current moment, it’s sometimes tough for Pakeha culture to appreciate Māori cultures wider view.
For many Māori, the grievance of yesterday has never faded and the memory of forebearers is constantly with them. Māori remembers the mass graves caused by the 1918 Influenza pandemic.
They remember 2500 Māori dying from the pandemic.
They remember how entire communities were wiped out, they remember it hit Māori 8 times worse than Pakeha.
They remember it was their own self-sufficiency that saved the most lives.
Māori remembers how the almost 100 years since then has seen their health care consistently put second.
So when Hone Harawira and Tai Tokerau border control stopped people flooding into the North as questions remained over whether or not Covid had escaped quarantine, the rest of us need to add the context of that memory and world view before we start criticising.
I for one support and celebrate his leadership on this.
What is most amusing about this entire situation is the amount of Pakeha who consider being stopped by an Indigenous checkpoint at the height of a global pandemic to be the greatest intrusion on their civil liberties Western Civilization has ever witnessed!
Thanks to the climate crisis, we are going to see more national emergencies and local resilience will be tested, we need Māori communities flexing now because there is more to come.
How many times do Pakeha need to fail Māori before we will allow Māori to protect themselves from our ‘help’?