History Lessons


I SURE HOPE Kelvin Davis wasn’t a history teacher before he became a principal and then Te Tai Tokerau’s MP. Why? Because his grasp of what happened in this country between the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and today isn’t just wrong, it also has the potential to create great mischief.

The speech he delivered to the House of Representatives on Wednesday (11/5/22) is a particularly grim example of the Minister for  Māori-Crown Relations historical ignorance. In it he appeared to equate the Opposition parties with the entire Pakeha population – past and present. This was more than just racially inflammatory, it represents a dangerous distortion of reality.

Addressing the Opposition Benches, Davis declared: “They conveniently overlook the fact that their wealth, their privilege and their authority was built off the backs of other people’s misery and entrenched inequality across generations.”

This is interesting. National’s leader, Christopher Luxon, was born in 1970, and the Act leader, David Seymour, in 1983. At the ages of 52 and 39 respectively, that doesn’t leave them many generations across which to have inflicted misery and entrenched inequality! He would have been on slightly firmer ground if he had been addressing his remarks to Labour’s Roger Douglas – whose policies did indeed inflict misery and inequality. Perhaps not across generations, but certainly since 1984. Except, of course, Labour MPs don’t like to draw attention to those policies – mostly on account of the fact that their party has done so little over nearly 40 years to reverse them.

Davis did considerably better, historically, when he described to the House the fate of his ancestors at the hands of Nineteenth Century colonial authorities. The gradual consolidation of the colonial state: its laws and regulations; effectively dispossessed Davis’s forebears, leaving them destitute and demoralised.

What Davis failed to mention, however, is that the Nineteenth Century dispossession of the Māori was Crown policy. More importantly, it was a process cheered to the echo by the overwhelming majority of the burgeoning Pakeha population. Rich and poor alike understood that their future prosperity was contingent upon the immiseration of the “native” population. Meaning that it wasn’t just the ancestors of the present Opposition MPs who built their wealth and privilege off the backs of his tupuna, but also the present crop of Pakeha Labour MPs seated alongside him.

While it is certainly understandable that Davis was not anxious to castigate every Pakeha member of the House of Representatives for the crimes committed against his people by their ancestors; crimes from which they continue, as a people, to draw enormous benefits; the direction of his prosecutorial rhetoric at National and Act MPs exclusively was historically indefensible and morally obnoxious.

If Davis is unaware that the single most devastating economic and social assault upon Māori of the last 50 years occurred on the Fourth Labour Government’s watch, then he has no business being an MP – let alone the Minister of Māori-Crown Relations. Certainly he cannot have forgotten that it was the Fifth Labour Government which oversaw the passage of the Seabed and Foreshore legislation. Or, that it was a Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, who described the leading opponents of that legislation as “haters and wreckers” – preferring to meet with an excessively woolly ram than with the tangata whenua her proposed law had so outraged.

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Maybe the reckless willingness of the Sixth Labour Government to embrace the co-governance agenda of its Māori caucus is a delayed reaction to the actions of the Fourth and the Fifth. If so, then it is a very foolish reaction. Had Helen Clark and her Attorney-General not moved with speed to reverse the Court of Appeal’s overturning of what had been considered settled law, then Don Brash would, almost certainly, have won the 2005 General Election. Given that a National victory in 2005 would have meant the effective re-nullification of the Treaty and the abolition of the Māori Seats – provoking civil war – Māori and Pakeha both owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.

The depressing thing about the politics of the moment is the apparent historical amnesia of just about all its practitioners. The Settler Nation responsible for extinguishing the Treaty in the 1860s is simply not prepared to see it reinstated as New Zealand’s de facto constitution in the 2020s. The way Davis chose to deliver his thoughts to the House of Representatives: in the form of an attack on the Opposition; shows just how impossible it is to construct an argument about our history that does not inevitably boil down to the equivalent of Sir Michael Cullen’s memorable taunt: “We won. You lost. Eat that!”

The most frightening aspect of Davis’s performance is that it showed no signs that the Minister of Māori-Crown relations has the slightest idea of what will happen to that relationship if co-governance is forced upon an unwilling Pakeha nation.

Davis’s colleague, Willie Jackson, has labelled the Act leader a “useless Māori” and “a dangerous man”. But David Seymour is no more or less “useless” than those Māori iwi and hapu who saw which way the wind was blowing in the 1850s and 60s and ended up fighting alongside General Cameron’s imperial troops. As for being a dangerous man. Well, Jackson’s description can only be proven if Seymour and his party attract sufficient support to enforce the implementation of Act’s radical policies. He will be a dangerous man only because his fellow New Zealanders have made him one – by voting for him.

It’s not Seymour that poses a danger to you and your people, Willie, it’s democracy. But, then, you already knew that, didn’t you?

It’s not the Opposition that has somehow cornered all the privilege, Kelvin, nor is it the exclusive property of the 70 percent of the New Zealand population known as Pakeha. These fair-skinned Polynesians are not – and never will be – “Europeans”. Just as contemporary Māori are not – and never will be again – the Māori who inhabited these islands before colonisation. Both peoples are the victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt.

It is high time we stopped using History as a weapon, and started relying upon it as a guide.


  1. Not only the “present crop of Pakeha Labour MPs seated alongside him” but also those of northern hemisphere heritage that are a part of his own bloodline as well as let’s say Debbie Packer who i understand to be half Irish on her mothers side and then there’s good old Willy J whose Grandfather I think hails from Birmingham.

    The settlers did awful things as did Māori to each other and some settlers. The English did terrible things to the Irish, the Germans to the Poles, the French to the Algerians, the Belgians (who were really nasty fuckers) to the Congolese, the Hutu to the Tutsi, the Japanese to the Koreans and on and on.

    Humans are nasty, vicious and brutal when tribal groups flourish – oddly enough, it’s been democracy and trade that has solved this problem.

    None of us can change yesterday let alone 100 years ago and in Willie and Kelvin’s case they share some Pakeha heritage with the rest of us so do they share some of this blame? If not why not?

    I’ve no doubt that other insightful commenters like Stephen or COVID is Pa will be along to point out that we must never forget the past to ensure we don’t repeat those tragedies which I agree with but my counter question is to ask at what point to we question those who appear to be slaves to the past locked into a mindset of being a victim and oppressed rather than seeing all the opportunity and potential that each individual has in this amazing country?

    My parting shot is to ask who is more privileged – the white child of Scottish heritage living in a poorly insulated shitbox in Gore with an alcoholic mother on the benefit and no father to be seen or any one of Debbie, Willie, Kelvin, etc. living high on the hog on fully funded by the taxpayer?

    • Yeti The concept of privilege based on colour is another weapon being used to create divisiveness as part of the assault on western society. No matter what he says, the haters will still screw that boy from Gore, just for being white, regardless of every other sad facet of his life. Yesterday a black railway worker in the UK lost his job after having been overheard wondering privately to his family whether there was such a thing as “black privilege” in Ghana.

      You probably know who the angry haters are here and elsewhere, and of the public ones who I happen to have personal knowledge about, many, if not all, have unresolved childhood issues from within their own whanau concerning race or ethnicity – historic ambivalence or animosity.

      Stereotyping or racial profiling shouldn’t be happening anywhere, let alone in Parliament, but playing the victim
      is another effective dirty weapon globally now, dodgy, but at apparently at home in the Beehive.

    • Well put.
      How to measure maoriness/worthiness?
      A genetic test perhaps?
      Midiclorian level?
      It is as as stupid as it sounds, the whole race based co governance idea.
      Not to mention extremely divisive and dangerous.

      • if you accept the ‘out of africa’ theory, we all descend from the same single woman, therefore I am maori if I want to be..

        if you can ‘identify’ and be unquestioned as to gender surely the same must apply to race.

        • @Gargarin “if you can ‘identify’ and be unquestioned as to gender surely the same must apply to race.”

          The fashionable identity based oppressor/victim dichotomy comes from the schools of Critical Theory. While exactly the same arguments for transgenderism can be made for transracialism, the politics and ideology of Queer Theory and CRT evolved separately and they theorise liberation in exactly opposite directions.

          For Queer Theory the issue is not being able to transgress your sex, gender or sexuality (because it upholds the oppression of heteronormativity). Therefore liberation comes from de-emphasising and removing the social significance from the stable categories of sex and gender (ultimately erasing sex). In QT transgenderism is liberatory.

          For CRT being in a racial category gives insight into how the world works and the lived experience of oppression or privilege. Liberation comes from developing a critical consciousness about race and emphasising or adding social significance into it. In CRT transracialism is heretical.

          This is why you can be transgender but not transracial (intellectual games).

          For example of an academic being burned by this see Rebecca Tuvel and the Hypatia incident.

          • as you said tui ‘intellectual games’ but I see no logical reason why the theoretical constructs are different in character other than the assertion that gender is mutable but race isn’t in terms of ‘identification’ and the perceived notion that you can
            (excuse my french)
            fuck with gender but don’t fuck with race(as concepts)

            ideas that flows purely from ideological positions

            • @Gargarin “ideas that flows purely from ideological positions”

              Yes exactly that, there is no objective logical reason why the theoretical constructs are different (only internal circular logic). It is ideology and politics.

      • How to measure maoriness (ordinariness)? If your ancestors waka arrived in 1250 and your people hung around on these islands until 1769 you are maori and qualify for “indigenous privilege”. If your waka arrived after 1769 you are pakeha and qualify for “white privege”. Maori were in NZ for roughly 20 generations before Pakeha arrived. Pakeha have now been here for 10 generations. If you think about human history in thousands of years when does a wave of waka arrivals become an indigenous people?

      • This article does exactly the same as Kelvin Davis speech. This post incites mire division not recognizes an issue. Easy to pass on and move on when it wasn’t you effected.

    • If you would allow me to answer like this. Alone we are nothing.

      I actually don’t enjoy having to step over people because the replacement birth rate is heading below one across the western world. Korea has it the worst and Japan but by the end of this century Africa will have more people than China.

      It will be interesting to see how communist one party China flavours capitalism but to say that capitalism will survive the twenty first century is a risky bet.

      How is the capitalist societies supposed to grow when all the land is privatised I’m not sure.

      From a policy perspective public access to private land under personhood status as per co governance models has to be maintained for all.

      Just to try and make my point again there must be a way of providing basic security for everyone.

      The evidence clearly shows that austerity, neolibalism, privatization and deregulation hasn’t produced the types of incomes that can sustain ocean ferrying civilizations.

    • Brilliantly put Yeti.
      Notice how Maori history seems to start at 1840? None of them want to talk about the previous couple of decades of musket wars; the genocide, cannibalism and slavery. Nothing that Europeans have done in this country compares to the carnage this era wrought.

  2. This is scary. The rewriting of New Zealand history is scary. The ignorance of politicians is scary. The weaponising of history is scary, and wicked when done so dishonestly. I used to defend Kelvin Davis as a decent man who probably just needed media training, and I was wrong. Seems to me Kelvin’s jumped into bed with all the other racists demonising all contemporary Pakeha, and as a Parliamentarian it’s irresponsible and very unfair.

    He’s also talking nonsense. Nicola Willis’s dad was a road worker operating the stop/go sign; Collin’s folk farmers; Luxon’s something white collar professional I think; Bishop’s poppa one of the saviours of the Wellington Town Belt and everyone who ever fought to protect Wellington’s green lungs has done more for people than most politicians ever will. I don’t know if any of the exploitive inherited wealth brigade ever went into Parliament- many of the early Parliamentarians lead harsh, hard working,and challenging lives, but with a vision and a hope obviously beyond the ken of Kelvin. Few have anything handed to them on a platter.

    Davis in his criticism of the education system – and mine are probably more pungent than his – blames it for lack of achievement among Maori pupils. He doesn’t seem to realise that that immigrant children with limited language skills, and often with histories of huge deprivation and trauma, frequently ace it within the same system. He may need to broaden his outlook.

    • Right on Snow Withe.
      Kelvin Davis ( name of Welsh origin) is an ignorant whinging prick!
      All families have experienced misery and deprivation in their various histories if you care to look.
      And as a pakeha whose family has been here for close on 200 years I have no shame or guilt associated with their contribution to this beautiful country. And they have contributed much!
      If Kelvin bothered to do his job he would know how corrupt and inequitable the justice system still is in this country.
      Proceeds of Crimes Act???
      !975 Misuse of Drugs Act?
      Do ANY of you know who got Mr Asia’s cash????
      Oh but something that happened 200 years ago is all that matters to these introverted fuckwits we have abusing us for our DNA who call them selves our betters and can’t govern at all
      Labour has to go!.

      • Shona. “ Care to look “ ? “ Look”? I don’t even care to think about family history which moves me to tears when I do. And it’s history encompassing a thousand or more years of death, deprivation, starvation, and misery, not less than a couple of hundred years; tangata whenua having to leave and die far from the land of their birth, sailing to the other side of the earth, toil honestly, and have progeny spat on by an ill-educated primary school teacher with a chip on his shoulder.

        New Zealand history is incredibly interesting, and all- encompassing because of the primitive undeveloped wildness which met the early settlers, so very recently; their anecdotal and autobiographical writings reveal some heroic people, including some amazing resourceful women, and I won’t accept any of them being trivialised or trashed for political or other purposes. Politicians causing divisiveness is the opposite of what they should be doing – and Davis knows it, dangerous fool.

      • Shona. Yes, Labour has to go. This deliberate trouble making, Mallard, and now Davis, is a dirty way of governing; we have to be able to do better, and definitely say ‘no’ to all racist tactics from whatever direction.

  3. “These fair-skinned Polynesians are not – and never will be – “Europeans”. Just as contemporary Māori are not – and never will be again – the Māori who inhabited these islands before colonisation. Both peoples are the victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt.”

    Well that was well written . .

  4. The Settlers didn’t want to immiserate Maori – they just didn’t care either way.

    The Settlers wanted productive land and that could only happen under a single, clear owner that wanted (and could) get on and turn it into farmland or housing.

    The Settler Government wanted land to be productive because that land paid taxes which supported the government and paid for roads, ports and railways.

    Leaving land in collective ownership with consensus decision-making – which would never clear the forest -was never going to acceptable to the Settler Government.

    • Was going to say the same thing Ada. It nothing if not revisionist to ascribe ill motive to regular emigrees like that. Of course there were the cheats, thieves, lairs and worse, but most regular people were looking for a go in agriculture – having come from a place and history where to own land and farm it was to be King. These are the stories of many (especially rural) New Zealand families. CT knows that. But let’s be charitable, as to those forebears. Perhaps a little willful “amnesia” from CT himself, a little throwing the hapless Davis a bone, so as for a good column?

    • Hone Heke was one of the most sucessful timber dealers in Northland. He had leased a fleet of ships which flew flags of convenience.Hence the cutting down of the flag pole at Waitangi. he didn’t want to be tied to one flag and have to pay taxes upon entering Sydney Harbour. He was bilingual and educated by the Missionaries at Waimate ( the brightest pupil). He was very rich and very sucessful and didn’t hesitate to fell the forests he owned. Maori have ALWAYS fully embraced capitalism.

        • This speech sounds like he had help from this modern day te Rauparaha called Paul Majurey. He seems to be this governments go to guy for everything from RMA advice, Treaty Settlement advice, Oceans and Sea advice, Local Government advice and 3 Waters too. He’s bloody everywhere and costs Auckland ratepayers millions of dollars in legal fees!
          He has too much influence on dummies like Davis.

          • Yes but this speech could be a tactical move, part of a warming up process for example, he Puapua. Davis wouldn’t be demonising a large section of the New Zealand population without purpose.

  5. The deeper we (Kiwis) look into our History, the more painful, and harder questions it raises, such as, why did we allow this to happen, so on, and so on..my guess is certain Kiwis, the rich and the powerful, do not want us to examine our History too hard

    • If a Maori doesn’t represent all Maori then a Pakeha doesn’t represent all Pakeha. History is violent and racist on both sides, the winner takes all has been the norm. Do we honestly think that if Maori had been able to they wouldn’t have massacred and or enslaved the invader
      Of course they would that’s reality, they were a warrior society.
      Most settlers came here to improve their lives and to advance the lives of their children. As it is today they don’t care, or approve, of Maori taking advantage of the same opportunities.

      • Richard My various Maori whanau are all qualified professional people working here and overseas and rather well heeled. Maori do take advantage of opportunities, and always have, and approval is utterly irrelevant; Inia te Waiata and Kiri te Kanawa succeeded splendidly in the global arena without needing others’ approval. Universities have special entry categories for Maori in law and medicine, and government departments have various accelerated learning opportunities for Maori. When I was an undergrad a long time ago, Maori students were better off than the rest of us, with money from the Maori Education Foundation; I flatted with Nanaia Mahuta’s mum who was training as a physiotherapist at Otago and everybody was much more normal than they seem to be now.

      • Oh. Another John Ansell student of nu zeelind history of alternative facts.

        Tell me more…

    • Yes, well said Chris. Trying to selectively reimagine our history for political point scoring is dangerous territory. However, amongst it all I do think Kelvin Davis made some very pertinent points.

      • No he didn’t ! He had nothing of value to say if you know the History of this country.
        It was a VERY selective whinge Peter. Do some reading!

        • Shona you are missing out the bits where Chris agrees that the ancestors of Kelvin Davis got screwed over, it just happened to possibly be by some of the pakeha relatives of both sides of the house, not just one side. Kelvin Davis being a dick and selectively pointing the finger at people who weren’t even born, doesn’t mean the grievances didn’t actually happen.

          • Wheel. We all know people got screwed over, and this is politicised time and time again. My dislike of Marama Davidson dates from the damage which she did utilising the terrible Muslim murders to blacken contemporary white people and link them directly to the ‘colonials’ who are now stereotyped wholesale as malevolent evil doers, as are their descendants. Ask C is pa.

            If everybody lugged the burdens of their history around with them all the time they’d get nowhere fairly quickly. Systemically, historically, what the English did in Ireland, Scotland, the Punjab, France etc dwarfs what happened here, and it still impacts both there and here, but we have little choice but to get on and make the best of things. If I stood on street corners and whinged the way that Davis does, I’d be thought mad – that’s how it works. While the purveyors of Indigenous Studies Courses keep churning out cock-eyed malcontents, others have few choices. I wouldn’t mind a bit of this elusive ‘ white privilege.’

  6. I think it is drawing a long bow to state “rich and poor alike. . . “ were actively complicit in the “immiseration” of Māori. No evidence is provided to support this assertion. Is it not possible that many Pakeha immigrants, especially in “settled” urban areas in late 19th/early 20th centuries gave little thought to the situation of Māori, being more focussed on establishing themselves in the new land? However I agree with your final conclusion about using History as a guide rather than a weapon

  7. Chris
    The likes of Jackson and Davis sound like victims not leaders. Boohoohoo poor us. Its tiring. Clearly they are getting ready to be in opposition. Good, it’s always better to start preparing early.

    • Petit Choux. Playing the victim is the current global woke dynamic, well exemplified by the dreadful Harry and Markle duo proven to have lied about 17 times in their disgusting Oprah interview, played out as Prince Philip lay dying in hospital – which they discounted, saying it was just a “ ploy”, and then the old man died a few weeks later. Playing the victim works well as an apologia for failures or shortcomings. Toss in accusations of racism, and the result is the social divisiveness which these characters want, ‘ divide and rule’ being the name of the game. Davis trying to paint the whole of the opposition or their forebears as baddies is patently unrealistic and absurd. God knows what he teaches his vulnerable pupils, but suddenly Maori kids failing at school, is taking on another dimension after hearing him. Anything said within Parliament probably protects them from censure by the Race Relations Conciliator person

  8. “Davis did considerably better, historically, when he described to the House the fate of his ancestors at the hands of Nineteenth Century colonial authorities. The gradual consolidation of the colonial state: its laws and regulations; effectively dispossessed Davis’s forebears, leaving them destitute and demoralised.”{

    Because in losing their lands they lost their chieftainship – something that can only be restored by co-governance and or devolution of delivery via Maori providers. The latter when also involving co-governance focused on land based assets, such as water, environment and conservation seems entirely reasonable. And none of that threatens democracy.

  9. Its a pity many Pakeha NZers still don’t understand nor have many come to terms with white privilege and how they have benefitted and continue to benefit from being the majority and in a democracy majority rules.
    I see Tauranga has now become the capital of white supremacists something many NZers should be ashamed of yet we still hear the word separatisms bandied around whenever Maori ask for anything.

    • Covid is pa. What is white privilege ? Is it a legal concept ? Who has it? How do you get it ? Is it like Original Sin ? Thank you.

        • I did. I’ve been following it overseas for over seven months now. I’m interested in seeing how you see it applying here in Aotearoa New Zealand, the shades of grey. Thank you.

          • Hollyhock. You are wasting your time asking those who pepper their tirades with the term ‘white privilidge’ for an explanation of this phrase because it is a very slippery thing that can’t really be defined but is increasingly useful in debates. ‘White privilidge’ is an amorphous concept that can be conveniently moulded into a rotten tomato to throw at anyone who disagrees with your argument – particularly if your own argument has shaky foundations. Most of the Green Party membership admit to having it but can’t really say how it has helped them. It seems to be easily transferable to. I am guessing the many successful Chinese and Indians must have somehow acquired this ‘white privilidge’ thing and that Pakeha living under the poverty line (the largest sector at 15% of the total NZ populatiion), must somehow have lost theirs. Hope this helps with your homework.

            • @Jason
              “It seems to be easily transferable to. I am guessing the many successful Chinese and Indians must have somehow acquired this ‘white privilege’ thing”

              Successful Chinese and Indians or any other non-white person is ‘White adjacent’ or “Acting White” (Woke TM).

              “and that Pakeha living under the poverty line must somehow have lost theirs.”

              No you don’t loose ‘white privilege’ even if homeless. The best analogy is ‘original sin’.

              Woke activism doesn’t look to socio-economics in a meaningful way, unless it is downstream of identity and reinforces the ‘oppression gradient’. Successful Indians and Chinese are inconvenient (see “An Inconvenient Minority” – Kenny Xu) so must be problematised. As are poor white people who are generally invisible.

              However don’t get it twisted, poverty among Maori is political leverage for economically well off identitatrians (Maori and Pakeha) for their own financial, political or social gain. Most low income Maori will likely see zero tangible benefit from all this Woke ’empowerment’ and navel gazing.

      • Privelidge.
        It is not something taken by force, demanded or even asked for.
        It is something given to some, by others.

        That must be a wrong statement.
        Please point out where it is wrong and correct it.

      • @HotV The idea of ‘White Privilege’ is that a white person will accrue more opportunities and not experience discrimination over their lifetime, by virtue of their skin colour.

        It’s a concept that comes from Critical Race Theory, one of several schools of Critical Theory that employ intersecting cultural versions of conflict theory. So the oppressor/oppressed dichotomy is white/Black, straight/gay, cis/trans etc. This leads to a narrowly defined identity-based equity politics and in many cases conjures identity based conflict.

        The Critical Theorists (‘Woke’ is the applied or ‘street’ version of modern CT) usually gloss over socio-economic factors. Whether you are born to a rich family or are homeless, you have White Privilege (see Opera, a multimillionaire black woman, discuss this). Further it can then be associated with many negative value judgements even morality and being a good or bad person. In that sense ‘White Privilege’ is indeed ‘original sin’. It can be continually atoned for (activism) but never forgiven. Incidentally if you are not white and are anti-Woke, especially if you are successful in life, then you are ‘White-adjacent or acting-White’. Negative associations with ‘Whiteness’ are a mobilising ploy however Woke is less interested in colour skin than it is with belief and compliance. It’s a crude religion working by divide and conquer.

        When CoP uses “WP”, it comes across as an easy pejorative. How to be a “little-bit-racist” in a socially acceptable way. The dismissal of your question where you are admonished to “do the work” is a common Woke rhetorical retort. Trying to assume a position of intellectual and (often) moral superiority in social discourse. However it’s actually a cheap bulling power play and (often) a cover because they genuinely don’t know the answer or lack confidence defending a position. In my experience most Woke people don’t know the origins or purpose of what they believe so fall under the category of ‘useful idiot’.

    • how exactly and I do mean concrete real life examples(not theoretical sociological concepts) does a homeless white pensioner enjoy white privilege compared to a state funded maori academic….do tell.

      • good question. Not part of the purview of whining well paid Maori.
        Beginning to look like arse covering for their many shortcomings.

    • Everyday in the main street of Jacinda Aderns electorate I see the pakeha street people with all their “White Trash Privelege” just shitting all over their maori compatriots. Nah, they are suffering together.

    • Bob. The Greens are much worse. If you’re a cisgender white heterosexual male, run run as fast as you can, and don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

    • This country was founded on racism colonisation is assimilation and assimilation is racism as the coloniser assumes superiority and many of you sound like true blue colonisers.

      • I thought it was founded on Maori leaders thinking that having a few pet pakeha around bringing them muskets, nails and the written word was going to be a good thing…

      • @CoP “This country was founded on racism colonisation is assimilation and assimilation is racism as the coloniser assumes superiority and many of you sound like true blue colonisers.”

        As you say colonisation = assimilation = racism, so can you cite specific examples of people in these comments being racist?

        I expect you’d admonish me to ‘do the work’ (Woke TM) so i did and here are a couple of possible examples I came up with.
        CoP – “many Pakeha NZers still don’t understand nor have many come to terms with white privilege”.
        “white privilege” is an abstract and generalising concept that negatively categorises an entire racial group.

        CoP – “I see Tauranga has now become the capital of white supremacists”
        CoP: “And Maori Party feel it is not not safe to stand candidate in Tauranga and why is that? too many white supremacist.”
        That would be the place that voted in Winston Peters and David Seymour? These White Supremacists are very slack with the whole supremacy thing or you’re being hyperbolic.

        Racism definitely exists as do idiots such as those in Nelson, this should not be tolerated. However there are also ‘useful idiots’ such as those who propagate Woke talking points conjuring social division. They have significant media, social and political influence. They frequently also have a privileged education, wealth or high incomes. If you want to understand the rise of ‘racism’ in modern politics I’d start here.

  10. Trying to think of a single “country” in history with more than 20% of its native-born population living elsewhere and more than 25% of its resident population born elsewhere…

  11. The target audience for Davis must be the hard Maori vote, because to anyone else except the settler guilt left, it is obviously a load of half truth drivel.
    As such it’s more likely to lose Labour votes than gain them.

    I’d say either a) Labour have now disappeared so far in to their own woke navel they believe an inverted reality or more likely b) this is targeted at Maori voters wavering between the Maori party and what Labours Maori caucus may give them.
    No new votes in it but plenty to scare non Maori citizens.

  12. Oh and thanks for your eloquence Chris. I could never be as polite as you when addressing these halfwits we have in our parliament.
    I am glad they find Democracy an impediment to their revisionist agenda.
    Maybe just maybe people will wake up to who they are and vote the fuckers out.
    Personally I am hoping for under 20% of the vote once everyone knows how the Ardern Government has used taxpayer funds to spread lies and falsehoods.

  13. great column and I agree whole heartedly with its premise

    What really annoys me at the moment is the people living in 202w who transport themselves back in time (metaphorically) and pass judgement on bygone generations by holding them up to the alleged moral standards of 2022.

    History/life just does not work like that. Each generation is unique with its own specific trials, tribulations, challenges and downfalls. You can’t just project todays zeitgeist onto past generations: thats like cancelling the cavemen because they weren’t driving electric cars. Its nonsense and illogical.

    The world was a very different place in the 1800’s and most people lived hard lives: if an opportunity came up for them tp make a better life for themselves they would be desperate to grab it, white, brown, white blue, you name it.

    And who could blame the,

    • That’s so true x-x and the most profound thing I have read from you. Clear water and can see the bottom. Great.

  14. basically if we get mired in who did what to who, we all lose
    the sins of the fathers are not visited upon the sons.
    yes let’s teach the facts, let’s acknowledge wrongs….but basing our whole political discourse on grievances whether maori or the frankly insane ramblings of white racists and revisionists…distracts us from the real problems facing ALL KIWIs right now today.

    • Racism is on the rise gargarin racism is a real nasty low down permeating entrenched issue see Nelson couple deliver racist pamphlet using two Maori mens names and pictures to scare Nelson locals, they want name suppression yet they said they enjoyed doing it, now that is sic! And Maori Party feel it is not not safe to stand candidate in Tauranga and why is that? too many white supremacist.

      • Hi Covid, respectfully I think you might be incorrect about racism being on the rise. Look at the rates of intermarriage for starters. In the days of old, certainly there were ignorant and vile racists however I don’t see these idiots in today’s world.

        Is it possible that the Maori Party are playing politics? Maybe, just maybe it’s because they know they won’t get much support as the local residents don’t like what they’re selling.

        It does seem quite odd given that Simon Bridges and Winston Peters have both represented Tauranga in recent times and both have Maori heritage…

      • “Maori Party feel it is not not safe to stand candidate in Tauranga”
        Just more grandstanding from the racist narcissist Waititi I suspect, covid.

      • Parliament.nz site has data on the Tauranga electorate from the 2018 census as well as 2020 election results: 19.3% Maori descent with 14,112 people (not all of voting age of course) compared to 18.5% NZ average, 16.4% ethnic group compared to 16.5% NZ.

        Maori Party won’t win it as an electorate seat, however could use it to promote their policies for party votes in the 2023 election. In 2020 they had only 0.4% of the party votes in Tauranga with just 155 votes – so thousands of untapped potential voters? Maybe Te Pati isn’t connecting with urban Maori. Does Te Pati think urban Maori that don’t support them are not ‘real’ Maori? Pretending to be afraid of Tauranga – give me a break.

      • indeed yeti name suppression is an attempt to minimise the offence and people in the area must know the names, so who exactly is suppression protecting? the perps from the ridicule of wider NZ is the only answer I can come up with.

        and just so you know yeti ex member of anti-nazi league and rock against racism when I was a callow youth

  15. I am 1/32 parts maori. Some of my ancestors did stuff to some of my other tupuna.. I am moving on.. unlike Davis, who clearly wants to continually claim victimhood that some of his ancestors did stuff to some of his other Tupuna.

    • Yep, poor old Kelvin Davis. Son of a chief, university educated, High School Principal (Go figure?) , then MP and now Deputy Pm on about $300K? Obviously angry that colonialism has stopped him from bettering himself.

      • Fantail. I’m pretty sure that Davis was a primary school principal, perhaps a smaller school incorporating intermediate, but not a secondary school teacher. It also looks as if his teaching qualification may be from one of the teachers’ colleges, which used to be separate from the universities, but may now be incorporated with them, but whose qualifications were regarded as academically lesser. When I was first a poor university student, the Training College students were paid during their training, which university students were not, apart from having bursaries or scholarships or studentships, but no regular income which supported them the way that the teachers’ college students had. I think they all have to pay for their own training now, just like nurses and everyone else does, with student loans and big debts the repayment of which provides another nice income stream for government, and “ education” a profitable business undertaking for tertiary institutions.

        Davis is Deputy Prime Minister ? I didn’t really know that, not really thought about it, but that’s not good news, especially if demonising Pakeha is government strategy.

  16. It might be high time we stopped using History as a weapon, and started relying upon it as a guide. It might also be time we started realising the guide is a totally different thing depending on whose hands it’s in.

  17. The past grievance, wrong, grows to rancour and perhaps bitterness and can never be righted.
    Does that become official history? What about someone else’s experiences and the results of the same happenings – does that over-ride the offiicial history? What can be done now to get a satisfactory balance?
    Someone standing in Parliament and decflaiming something – is that something true or relevant to the matter?
    Marama Davidson and group – concentrating on historic wrongs, some, but is that the matter of importance now? We have to stop getting sidetracked and think what is best and fair to do, now. Negotiate, discuss, come to a sensible agreement, beyond law and beyond recompense to the last penny, the last satisfaction of final decision. Go beyond squabbling, it is so demeaning to the people saying they want respect.

    Makes me think of George Gershwin’s It ain’t necessarily so written 1935 which raises questions about
    understandings from the Bible. The years following led to a lot more questioning. History is what we can agree that it is and agreement and desire for goodwill and good and prosperous community for all would be the back-up vision to work towards for the thoughtful.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuINOmsVAMA – Darin

  18. You could have responded to anyone here, anyone, and there are plenty here mate, that are unhappy with your beloved govt and your adored Jacinda. Read what they say. The fact that you selectively keep picking on me and Bob and Xray and a few others proves that you are a professional TROLL. It’s dirty politics practiced by this labour govt in the form of Bert. Much like the bots they use to spy on kiwis using social media, to help shape their PR campaigns and their policies. Hope they pay you plenty so it’s worth your time. What do Labour pay these days for ‘online consulting’ ie. to troll people ..300k…500k a year? Sadly it’s yet another bad investment because you have already failed..it’s pretty obvious that Labour is toast already. Give up Bert. Have a cold beer.

  19. From what’s in the Herald, it looks as if Davis is castigating the opposition by claiming to know what was in the mind of one of his ancestors, a Pomare, when he signed the Treaty, and disadvantaged his family by doing so. Other Pomares haven’t been disadvantaged. Kelvin may only have Teachers’ College Diploma, but the Pomares have in fact achieved much more than Kelvin has. The late Eru Pomare , a close family friend, was Professor of Medicine at OU’s Wellington Medical School; talented, diligent, very hard working, and dropped dead walking the Milford Track aged just 53. Maui Pomare further back was another highly esteemed and successful leader. Davis is being too selective in ignoring successful members of his whanau, and he disrespects them in doing so to wallop the whole opposition on possibly shaky ground. Shame.

    • psychic connection and telepathy across the temporal barrier is truly an amazing gift…or
      he’s just fulla shite.

  20. “Both peoples are the victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt”
    as well as
    “the single most devastating economic and social assault upon Māori of the last 50 years occurred on the Fourth Labour Government’s watch” and “their party has done so little over nearly 40 years to reverse them”

    How to reconcile these two statements? If it’s too vast for blame why does anything need to be reversed?
    Chris, you need to distinguish personal responsibility, which I agree would be ridiculous and ahistorical, from the collective responsibility to create a more just society. This distinction reconciles both the absence of personal blame and the need for corrective political action.
    You should know that the bevy of strange right-wing commenters you have attracted are pretty much unable to conceive of responsibility in anything other than its personal form. You are only encouraging them more with your own internal contradictions.

  21. Davis, a fine Welsh name that; so some of ancestors exploited & persecuted some of his other ancestors in ways similar to how my English ancestors treated my Scottish ancestors. Maybe if he made peace with the troublesome shadows within him he would be a much more positive & effective MP.

    • AK47. Hmm. The history and legends and mythology of the Welsh are something Mr Davis could benefit from. It’s a beautiful country, still much unspoiled, and it’s true that their men and their boys are fine singers…better than their rugby players. Misty days in my green little valley I sometimes tell myself I’m in Wales, tho’ I only ever went there once, a long time ago.

  22. I have just spent around 45 minutes reading the 101 comments on this thread and I’m thinking what a bunch of arrogant ignorant know it all ‘would be’ humans.
    In my 81 years I have never read so much character thrashing – so Davis may have said something that you do not agree with, but do you all have to be so vicious with your comments?
    101 comments and all nasty and negative.
    Is there anyone amongst the lot of you who have ever done anything kind or positive for those who may be struggling?
    Were any of you around in the 50’s and 60’s when the daily newspapers were running ads for Rental Accomodation Available and Situations Vacant that read “Maoris Need Not Apply”, and if you were did you voice your indignation at this repugnant behaviour?
    Of course not – NZ’ers were telling the world that we were living in “RACIAL HARMONY”.
    At 9 and 10 years of age I was proud of my 1/4 Maori heritage but one teacher would snarl every day as often as he could “OK Maori Girl what is the answer”? He knew that I wouldn’t be able to answer the questions, but he tried consistently to shame me and break me down. No need for me to tell you what it was like in the playground.
    Right now I am experiencing that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I remember those horrific 2 years at Kohimarama Primary School, and I’m thinking about Matthew Tutaki who broke down on RNZ a couple of days ago when telling Lloyd of the consistent daily racial slurs and attacks he receives from faceless keyboard warriors – people who are too gutless to sit down and talk to him face to face.
    And why the insults – simply because Matthew is trying to help other Maori to do well in this country.
    So in the past 70 years has racial discrimination disappeared. HELL NO – it is still alive and well.
    15th March 2019 FB was inundated with the message.”WE ARE NOT LIKE THIS”. BS – YES YOU ARE.
    I challenge the lot of you – see if you can SHUT THE F..K UP, see if you can write something positive, or do a kind deed to someone who may be struggling. Stop wasting your life banging out hatefulness – try and be kind – it is easier to be nice than nasty. See if you can practice what you preach to your children and your grandchildren – I am sure they would be disgusted with your attempts of character assassinations. Is it any wonder that NZ schools have a terrible reputation with bullying.
    As Tawhiao said, He aha te mea nui o te ao? He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

    • Maama. The thing about Davis is that he’s a political leader, he’s well paid to be a leader, and with that position and money come responsibilities. There are people silly enough or eager to seize upon his narrative of the white majority of New Zealanders being bad “ colonialists” as true, when it is not true. It’s racist, inflammatory, and socially irresponsible. Being kind to somebody who is stirring against others, unfortunately won’t stop him.

      If I remember correctly, I think Tukaki has previously showed off about leaving a good private school, St Pat’s Silverstream, with zilch qualifications or achievements. Many would give their eye teeth for tamariki and mokopuna to have the sort of advantages and privileges which Matthew seems to have had but seems to me to perhaps be a bit churlish about now. If I’m right, I think that Matthew is another bloke who perhaps feeds the narrative of the New Zealand police being a racist enemy out to target Maori – he was one of four I think I identified as such, at the time young Constable Matthew Hunt was shot down in cold blood during a routine traffic stop, leaving his single mother mum without her only son.

      Again, with leadership comes responsibilities, and there’s a difference between people who claim leadership, and Joe Blogg on talkback radio, and they need to be cognisant of that, and if they’re not, they need reminders.

      Tutaki, a middle aged man, complained to the Dom-Post about a woman allegedly making a racist comment to him in downtown Wellington; he recounted how he turned and shouted at her. I think the police received no complaint from Tutaki about this, just the newspaper, but the alleged offender would almost certainly have been recorded on cctv, and the alleged offender could have been dealt with in a more edifying manner than having a big man shouting at a woman in a public space which can be frightening for others. Stuff happens every day everywhere, bigger stuff, but not everybody tells the newspapers, or even thinks of it.

      Everyone’s a ‘victim’ now, it’s the political currency. Many New Zealand women experience bad things, horrific things, some of which can damage and haunt forever. You don’t really know what you don’t know about people you don’t know, but some may be very ok people.

      “Is there anyone amongst the lot of you who have ever done anything kind or positive for those who may be struggling?”
      – Yes, and as most of the people here are far more concerned with class issues regardless of race so that number may be FAR higher than you or I think.

      “Were any of you around in the 50’s and 60’s”
      – I imagine many here were not born then and for those that were, and were old enough, yes I believe some of them did speak up. The older crowd have a good record of calling balls and strikes without fear or favour and being brave enough to express ‘unpopular’ views for the time.

      “NZ’ers were telling the world that we were living in “RACIAL HARMONY”. ABSOLUTE BS.”
      – Yes I agree it was a BS belief

      “101 comments and all nasty and negative.”
      – No you are being hyperbolic

      “but he tried consistently to shame me and break me down. No need for me to tell you what it was like in the playground.”
      – I am truely sorry you went through that, I was also bullied, physically and verbally for most of my schooling.
      However the world is changing. Following the lead of elitist woke ideology emanating from the US, anything associated with ‘whiteness’ (or male, cis and heteronormativity) is subtly and actively denigrated in popular culture in alignment with Critical Theory ideology such as outlined in Paulo Freire – ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ and Marcuse’s – ‘Repressive Tolerance’. 

      Small but not isolated examples of impacts on children and young people, far more recently than bullying you (or I) experienced.
      1: In the US students under 10yo with below average writing and numeracy skills being taught to play act in ‘social justice’ protests.
      2: In the UK hundreds of girls from working class white and immigrant backgrounds sexually abused by organised gangs over many years (see Rotheram grooming gangs) while heath workers, social workers, police and local politicians failed to act for fear of being stigmatised as racist.
      3: Closer to home the “Moana” case and institutional racism in Oranga Tamariki which has been covered on TDB but few other places. On a more trivial personal level about half the the Pakeha families with kids I know have had incidents where their child/children expressed shame at being white.

      This is not progress, this is divide and conquer.

      “And why the insults – simply because Matthew is trying to help other Maori to do well in this country.”
      – Or perhaps people like Prof Garth Cooper, who has done more than most to help Maori do well in this country and still had his career and reputation threatened with ruin by people and institutions FAR more powerful and influential than idiots online or comments on a blog post, because he very gently and respectfully expressed unfashionable non-woke views.

      “As Tawhiao said, He aha te mea nui o te ao? He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.”
      – Agree 110% but what you fail or don’t care to notice is that ideology is STILL trumping people. Apparently the contemporary discourse just sounds more palatable to you now than in decades past.

      In addition you are engaging in rhetorical ploys of
      – Treating long past anecdotes, although truly horrendous, as representative of society today (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB9KVYAdYwg).
      – Treating personal feelings and outrage as argumentation. You feelings ABSOLUTELY DO matter but that is no excuse to propagate a system that creates conflict. Woke ideology (ironically created by white men) is not working class values, it is not Maori values, it is pseudo-intellectualism and virtue theatre by a cultural elite and a tool to maintain power by divide and conquer. THAT is what most comments are pushing back on HERE and making fun of.

Lastly I’m not going to say I endorse every comment above but perhaps re-read you own comment and ask if it is “vicious” or “nasty and negative.” In response to people that “may have said something that you do not agree with”


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