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Entry 1115, on 2009-11-09 at 21:53:35 (Rating 5, Politics)
I often wonder what lies beneath the surface of some of our politicians' and political organisations' belief systems. Most public figures make an effort to appear reasonable on the surface and its only in times of stress that their true feelings become apparent. I have just seen a classic example of this phenomenon in the extreme rantings of the Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.
After being caught and criticised for wasting time on a taxpayer funded work trip to Europe he obviously thought the best form of defence is attack. In reply to an email from Buddy Mikaere, who runs a consulting company, Harawira said: "Gee Buddy, do you believe that white man bullshit too do you? White motherfuckers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit."
Many people are demanding an apology but the former Labour minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels "defended" him and said an apology would be hypocritical. He has a point because clearly if Harawira did apologise he wouldn't really mean it and would continue to have this resentful attitude. Samuels says many other Maori Party MPs believe the same thing. And this is a party that National have teamed up with to form our government?
But another question is, does Harawira also have a point? Well in a way he does. So called "white men" have taken over control of the country and in many instances Maori have been ripped off. But at the same time Maori have benefitted greatly from this situation. Harawira thinks he can take a trip to Europe as a New Zealand politician but not follow the "white man's rules" apparently. Well if he is going to reject European culture he should revert to the stone age, put on his grass skirt, and paddle his canoe to Europe. Surely he is going to reject the "white man's" culture he should do it completely.
My point here is that Maori did live in the stone age, they did practice cannibalism, and they didn't even know Europe existed let alone have the means to get there, before European imperialism "raped their lands and ripped them off". The life expectancy of Maori has more than doubled in that period. Shouldn't these positive facts also be part of any consideration of the effects of colonisation?
Some Maori would respond by saying that they would have progressed to greater levels of technology on their own. Well based on other cultures at that stage I would say maybe given a few tens of thousands of years they might have got to where they are now, but I suspect not. So that line of reasoning really just doesn't make sense.
Few people would argue against the fact that there have been situations where native people have been treated terribly by "superior" cultures who have colonised their lands, but using some instances of unfair behaviour as an excuse to reject the inconvenient parts of modern society while fully embracing the advantages of it is just the height of hypocrisy and dishonesty.
But we should thank Harawira for one thing: now that the thin veil of civility over extreme Maori views has been lifted we can see what they really think. Hopefully the Maori Party will suffer because of this revelation of its extremist nature and we won't ever see it in a position of power again.
Comment 1 (2867) by Jim on 2011-03-04 at 10:42:59:
I'm impressed - this sort of intelligent reasoning is often nonsensically dismissed as "right-wing."
In every discernible way, Maori have benefited hugely from European settlement. It stabilised their formerly murderous and rapacious inter-tribal relations, affording them individual protections that were unknown prior to "the coming of the white man." Maori were cannibals - human flesh a consistent source of necessary protein - acquired either by battle or from slaves captured and retained as cattle. When shrunken heads became a currency of exchange, they slaughtered thousands of other Maori solely to meet demand. Many were first tattooed especially to meet that market
Maori have re-written their own history so many times it's now meaninglessness. Once they proudly claimed to have voyaged here in ocean-going canoes from "Hawaiiki" - now they claim to be tangata whenua "people of the land" - to have been here for all time - despite clear scientific evidence to the contrary.
Maori claim to have always been conservationists but their past actions indicate quite the opposite. They hunted the moa into extinction - and then the huia, when its feathers became popular on English ladies' hats. It seems that they've always been natural exploiters of resources and opportunity, and are no different today.
Maori have manipulated THREE "full and final settlements" of the Treaty of Waitangi - the 1985 one after Sir Apirana Ngata's 1948 observation following the second settlement that that it had indeed been "most generous."
Maori have the only race-based party in NZ's parliament. One really has to wonder how the interests of Maori NZers differ from the interests of non-Maori NZers - and wonder even more why the only word to describe non-Maori NZers is itself a Maori word!
Comparative to their numbers, few Maori have "succeeded" - proportionately, many more are recipients of welfare than other races in NZ. Many actively exploit welfare - it was reported recently how one Maori solo mother who commenced "support" with three dependent children, now has six children.
Given the wearisome annual nonsense and chest-beating posturing as to their "deprivation" and their "special circumstances" - frankly, I think it'd be best if it was decided to tear up the Treaty and let Maori as a race find out how much they've managed to screw out of the system for so long - how much they've been exploited by the vacuum of a continually whining, grievance-inciting leadership - and how cushily they've been able to be sustained, so unfairly, up 'til now.
Comment 2 (2868) by OJB on 2011-03-04 at 21:47:43:
This is one area where I differ from traditional "left" views but there are many others as well which I won't go into here. That's why labels like "left" and "right" are misleading.
I probably don't have quite as extreme a view on the subject of Maori privileges as you, but I think we both find the uneven treatment of different groups based on race is objectionable.
I don't think the Treaty is really the problem because many of the issues we currently face aren't even mentioned there. I also don't think it's fair to quote anecdotes like the one above although the stats certainly back up Maori underachievement and welfare dependence.
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