Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Ihumatao Watched By Unfriendly Eyes.

Zero Tolerance: For the moment, the raw racist response to the Ihumatao Occupation amounts to not much more than an infuriated buzz. Ten thousand voices, all speaking at once, are producing only an incoherent babble. It points to the current lack of organisation and direction in the Settler Nation’s political reaction to Ihumatao. The voice of a leader has yet to assert itself above the rising racist din. This anarchic phase will not last for long.

IHUMATAO’s intersectional celebrations, derisively dubbed “Wokestock” by right-wing commentator, Matthew Hooton, are being watched by unfriendly eyes. The Settler Nation has zero tolerance for the politics of radical decolonisation.

While progressive New Zealanders were raising their glasses to Jacinda’s belated intervention on Friday evening, those responsible for preserving the status quo were setting theirs down in icy disbelief. What did the woman think she was doing? Has she no idea how badly this could end for her party?

It was ever thus. The initial rapturous eruption of “people power”, followed by the Establishment’s remorseless re-imposition of control. First: the planting of trees and a police constable singing in harmony with the crowd. Then: the fear blowing in, cold and unforgiving; blighting all the bright colours; silencing the songs.

It is always dangerous to remind the colonisers of the world they have extinguished. To offer them a glimpse of that world is more perilous still. It proves that the culture they conquered and left for dead can be brought back to life. Ihumatao has smouldered for 156 years. The effect of the mass occupation of the past week has gifted it a sudden inrush of oxygen. Now there are flames amongst the fern.

Those flames glitter in the narrowed eyes of the watchers. From the ill-educated and ill-disciplined the responses are already forthcoming. Angry posts on Facebook and Twitter, filled with the raw racism of those for whom the possession of a white skin constitutes their sole claim to superiority. Reading these, it is difficult to decide who they hate the most: Maori, or the Pakeha who support them? Whichever it is, their animosity is palpable.

For the moment, however, this raw racist response amounts to not much more than an infuriated buzz. Ten thousand voices, all speaking at once, producing only an incoherent babble. It points to the current lack of organisation and direction in the Settler Nation’s political reaction to Ihumatao. The voice of a leader has yet to assert itself above the rising racist din.

This anarchic phase will not last for long.

It will be interesting to see whether it is the Right, or the Left, which first attempts to organise the reaction to Ihumatao. The Settler State’s response to the Foreshore and Seabed crisis was led, at least initially, by the Labour leader, Helen Clark. It was she who called the organisers of the Hikoi “haters and wreckers”, and it was her Attorney General who drew up the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. This taking of the initiative by Labour, though it cost the party dearly in the Maori seats, was, almost certainly, what allowed it to retain sufficient Pakeha support to hold-off the 2004-05 challenge from National’s Don Brash.

The force of the Right’s assault on Maoridom was formidable. Brash’s Orewa Speech mobilised the most conservative elements of New Zealand’s settler society in ways not seen for decades. Had National won the general election, it was pledged to remove all reference to the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation, wind up the Treaty Settlement Process and abolish the Maori Seats.

Such was the fury inspired by the prospect of Maori enforcing their customary rights on the nation’s beaches. Only two percentage points separated the Labour and National Party Vote in 2005. New Zealand escaped an “Iwi/Kiwi” war by the skin of its teeth.

Small wonder that Labour’s Maori caucus is so conflicted. The prospect of a large and voluble land occupation developing sufficient political momentum to void the legal status of Maori land confiscated unjustly by the Crown in 1863 has clearly sent shivers up and down its collective spine. If one victim of the raupatu of the 1860s can secure the restitution of their lost land, then why not all the victims? The absolute prohibition against the return of privately held property to its original owners is all that keeps the Treaty Settlement Process alive. Do away with that prohibition, and the Settler Nation will erupt in fury.

But, if Ihumatao is not returned, or at least transformed into a public space from which large scale development is excluded, then Labour’s Maori caucus’ grip on the Maori seats will be significantly – perhaps fatally – weakened.

The same may well apply to Labour’s strong support among progressive young New Zealanders. For Jacinda to gaze upon Ihumatao’s celebration of diversity and not be moved would raise all manner of doubts. It’s one thing to promise New Zealand “transformational” change, only to be thwarted by the nation’s decrepit bureaucratic machinery. Quite another, to look at the change her most fervent supporters are making – and turn away.

But, if she remains true to her vision of trailblazing a new politics of kindness, by rescuing Ihumatao, what then?

The Act Party has already put in its bid to lead the backlash. By 9 o’clock on Friday 26 July – barely two-and-a-half hours after Jacinda halted development at Ihumatao – David Seymour had released a statement to the media.

“The Prime Minister has cultivated a brand of a kinder more inclusive politics, but some things such as occupying private property are always wrong. The Prime Minister of New Zealand has just sent a message: ‘if you occupy private property, the Government will take your side instead of protecting property rights.’”

Seymour is but a scout for the main force of the Settler Nation. The National Party’s troopers will not take long to move up to the front lines if Labour is brave enough to make the next election a referendum on whether or not the fruits of colonisation remain firmly in the hands of Pakeha; or are shared out more equitably among the citizens of a new nation: The Bi-Cultural Republic of Aotearoa.

That would be an election worth voting in.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 30 July 2019.

22 comments:

Diane Gilliam-Weeks said...

The key question is - is there ever a time limit on the delivery of justice? As you said 'If one victim of the raupatu of the 1860s can secure the restitution of their lost land, then why not all the victims? The absolute prohibition against the return of privately held property to its original owners is all that keeps the Treaty Settlement Process alive.'

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I don't think anyone under thirty should be using the word "woke" even ironically. Certainly not Hooton. It makes you look well – less than woke anyway.
There seems to be a tendency amongst conservatives these days to use some words as if they should be in scare quotes. Like – intersectional – perfectly good word, certainly doesn't seem to have any controversial meaning to me but maybe they don't know what it means. It is after all a long word, but it shouldn't be hard to find out. But for some reason it scares them, along with others. Transgender for instance, climate change, misogynist. Perhaps because they come from the social sciences, which often point the finger at their............ behaviour.

Let's face it, there is no good result going to come out of this. There simply aren't any good options. Whatever the government does it's going to offend somebody, and of course they are going to make fine judgements as to how many people each option will offend and make a decision based on that probably. Just as Helen Clark did back in the day.
Because this visceral hatred of people they figure are unworthy getting "free stuff" transcends political and class lines amongst white people. They conveniently ignore corporate welfare, but that's been heavily disguised by social engineering.

Not surprising that the less than relevant David Seymour is dipping his toe into the waters here. Although to be honest, he doesn't seem particularly bright. If he was a woman, and if he was left-wing he be called a "silly little girl" – so perhaps I'll just leave it at silly little boy. I remember him saying that reusable shopping bags would kill six people year or some such some time ago. God help us, it's a long time since he did any shopping then isn't it. Perhaps he should have asked his head housemaid. Because my supermarkets have been offering leak free meat packages for years now. Very perceptive of him to come out in favour of the common man like that, if only he'd done a little research first.

David Stone said...

Gillian
I agree that the refusal to contemplate returning the actual land to the rightful owners where it can be established that the basis of transfer was unjust means that only token remedy is available and it will never satisfy.
I don't see why the same monetary compensation cannot be offered to both the original owners and the incumbent to work out what they prefer, but it would need to be at current values, recognising that we are all ultimately involved in the responsibility to our whole society so it is appropriate that we all share in the cost of redress .
This seems especially so in this situation where the present owner seems willing to sell to the state at value.
It all seems too much like Jared Kushner's "deal of the century " buying out the Palestinians for their stolen homeland.
It might be unfortunate for us that this present day forced and violent colonisation is taking place before our eyes to remind us all of the realities of the process.
D J S

Trev1 said...

Crikey, you're away with the fairies here Chris, or maybe the "Woke" hobgoblins. This appears to be largely a "blue on blue" stoush between Maori. It should be dealt with as a civil case through the courts. Most onlookers find it tiresome, especially the gratuitous virtue-signalling, although there is a concern taxpayers may be fleeced yet again to buy some kind or resolution.

Rob said...

You're being divisive. The Queen and her troops colonized, get the compensation from the Crown of England not the NZ Government representing the Crown, as they get it off NZ taxpayers who pay in a higher cost of living. The settlers worked very hard along with Maori to make this country what it is today. There are no full blooded Maori they are also part settlers you call colonizers. If you want to go backwards then give all New Zealand back to Maori and then buy a piece off Maori and make this piece a separate country with no Maori treaty but equality for all.

Nick J said...

I am a settler in Aotearoa, child of a ten bob tourist. At Uni in the 70s I remember friends and flatmates joining the Maori club, expressing the stirring of a renaissance for Maori culture. Interestingly they were guided by kaumatua like Bill Nepia, Rangi Mete Kingi, real intellects, a real challenge to our settler psyche. It was a spark that lit a fire. I really hope that forty years on this latest protest heralds the next generation of the Maori renaissance..

I say the above with a caution. We are building a future, we are building a cultural identity. Neither pakeha nor Maori can be separate or culturally dominant. We will be one, our children and their progeny will carry both cultures and bloodlines. The likes Brash and the settler state are as much history as pre European tangata whenua.

John Hurley said...

I have never believed that the Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement over sovereignty. In 1860 Maori were asked who they would swear allegiance to and they chose their ethnic brethren. The wars that followed were how sovereignty was decided.

The systems of the colonist developed through trial and error. Benjamin Franklin observed that

When an Indian Child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian Ramble with them, there is no perswading him ever to return, and that this is not natural to them merely as Indians, but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.

but that is the cost of a modern economy which has a marked division of labour but supports large populations.

We are seeing "decolonisation" as when Maori decide a walking track is offensive or in the capricious nature of some local decisions.

I'm not sure "progressive" is the right word. In reviewing Professor Spoonley's Recalling Aotearoa, Andrew Sharp says:

n the light of what is good about liberal, universal citizenship and constitutionalism; in the light also of the serious practical and theoretical incoherence of discourse of rangatiratanga versus sovereignty, it is in my view better not to talk the way Fleras and Spoonley not only describe us doing, but clearly wish us to. We may of course have no choice; but then, as they would join me in insisting, might is not right. All in all, this is a good book for getting debate going.
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/003231870005200114

John Drinnan said...

The ubiquitous Mr No Name,

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"You're being divisive."
The convenient rallying cry when someone speaks out in favour of Maori. And yet Don Brash can make extremely divisive speeches, and run an extremely divisive ad campaign for an election and conservatives don't bat an eyelid.

greywarbler said...

That is scary stuff along with the menacing face, which exists in NZ, very noticeable amongst feisty old (mainly white, or should I say pink. ruddy from drink and good food) men who possibly went to uni back in the day and read about past history and how to be a capitalist. Haven't bothered with education since, old boy, know all I need to.

I feel they would revive like exotic weeds under anyone from the Brit Conservatives (my kind of fellows, and that includes the women, what!). I might be going a bit Jeeves and Wooster but when people like Don Brash, (a very clever boy at school - will go far) can cause so much enthusiasm amongst the post-settler bourgeois trash, it was a worry to me.

John Hurley said...

Easy to talk about the evils of colonisation but what about "decolonisation".Where is the "To do" list that you will (ofcourse) put your names beside?

I'm expecting to hear (any day) an announcement that Jim Bolger is giving his farm back to Maori?

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora Chris
You are mistaken here. There is no "settler nation" as such. If there was such a thing, it would be supporting the re-occupation of Ihumatao by the tangata whenua.
At Ihumatao a faith-based popular movement is confronting a tired colonial regime which has run out of ideas, courage and conviction. Many police officers have refused to go to Ihumatao. Many of those who are there on the front line have made it explicitly clear that their sympathies are with the people, and not with the New Zealand government. They crossed the lines to give us that message.
We know that it is a fluid situation, and that the balance of forces and the inherent possibilities change day by day. But the korero on the marae atea at Ihumatao is that this is not "just another Maori land claim". This is something different. As more than one kaikorero put it "He timatanga hou".
Unable to find a sufficient number of New Zealanders to maintain its centuries long occupation of Ihumatao, the regime recruited First Security to provide backup for the New Zealand Police, and First Security in turn has been obliged to rely on a force consisting entirely of recent Indian migrants. That force, however, has yet to be fully tested. If or when it is, it will be found wanting. The forces of the regime are only there because they want or need a salary. Unlike the tangata whenua, they have no heart for the struggle and no conviction that they are doing the right thing.
This is not evidence of the "fury of the settler nation". It is evidence that the Realm of New Zealand, like any colonial regime, can only sustain itself economically, politically and militarily through a constant influx of foreign labour, foreign capital and foreign fighters.
The regime relies on the doctrine of "multiculturalism" as its tool for the political manipulation and economic exploitation of both native peoples and migrant workers, but it is an intrinsically flawed instrument which will break in the regime's hands.
Thus Don Brash has failed. There can be no "leader of the settler nation" capable of holding back the liberation of our people, both Maori and Pakeha. Our rangatira are competent, the kaupapa is strong, and the kotahitanga has been blessed by Ihoa o nga mano.
There are only five "unfriendly eyes" of which we need to beware, and they, in the end, will be powerless against us.
Kia kaha.

Ian said...

To whip up an expectation for “transformational” change by a “transformational” government and then to strangle or postpone that change to placate NZF is bound to lead to excited supporters looking around for another cause get behind. The teachers and nurses have been placated, along comes Ihumatao. From Labour's point of view, it's a pity that the French haven't resumed nuclear testing in the Pacific. Foreign causes are better for domestic harmony.

Of course with MMP, losing Maori seats is embarrassing but it is the number of party votes that Labour would lose if Maori voters switch their party vote that really matters.

David Stone, a reason why monetary compensation cannot be offered to both the original owners and the incumbent to work out what they prefer at current values is the idea being unpopular with taxpayers. From what people say about treaty settlements the total value is in the region of $50-$100 billion, the total NZ government tax take is $70 billion per year. It is doable over perhaps several decades using say a temporary land tax with the revenue ringfenced for settling these claims. I can't imagine such a tax being popular with landowners. I'd be happy to hear of a more voter-friendly way of funding it all.

Rob, it wasn't the Queen and her troops who got the confiscated land (except for some troops who retired in NZ and became New Zealanders). Basically, it is the NZ government who benefited from selling off confiscated land (like lots of colonial governments around the world they kept their taxes low by using revenue from selling confiscated land) and the New Zealanders who bought that land also benefitted (they would have had to pay more if it had been bought from willing Maori sellers).

Guerilla Surgeon said...

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/israel-folaus-cousin-let-go-from-teaching-job-at-prestigious-catholic-school/ar-AAFbnWV?ocid=spartandhp
OT But... but ... freedom of speech :)

Geoff Fischer said...

In the last weekend of July I saw many things and talked to many people at Ihumatao, but there was one experience which affected me most deeply, and it was not at all what I might have expected.
A man in his mid-thirties, well-built and of rather handsome appearance dressed in suit and tie. With him an attractive woman and four young children, all beautifully presented. As I passed by I saw one of the children turn to the man and ask him in a tone of curiosity and hope "When will the world be a better place?".
I was so struck by the question that I stopped to listen to the conversation which followed between father and daughter. It was warm and respectful on both sides. I thought to myself that if parents and children need to have such discussions, then there is no way that it could have been done better. But why in the name of God should it be necessary?
I introduced myself to the man. His name was Joseph. (His real name, because for reasons that may become apparent, I have to use his real name here). He is a concrete layer.
As we talked, I could see that life is not easy for this man and his family. He is doing all the right things. He is the father of a conventional model family, but he struggles to achieve the things that a model family is meant to have in a model European society. A secure and adequate income and all that goes with that: a home of their own; adequate, wholesome food; warmth and time to share as a family.
There was no bitterness, no anger and no rancour in him. It is possible to suffer well, and Joseph does suffer well, but still he suffers.
So in Joseph I saw the face of both hope and suffering in our motu.
Suffering does not just afflict the down-and-outs, the unemployed, the meth users, the victims and perpetrators of crime and violence. Suffering is deeply affecting the lives of te whanau tapu of which Joseph, his wife and children are a manifestation.
So the message that came to me at Ihumatao, the message that I would send on to Jacinda Ardern and all who have the power to change things for the better, is, "I te ingoa o Ihoa a nga mano, do something to make this land of God a more just, fair and joyful place. Question everything that you and your party now holds to be true. Go down among the good people of this land. Listen to the voices of the children and the parents. Do not forsake them."

greywarbler said...

a few comments to the all-knowing purveyors of superior wisdom. You look at history to obfuscate not illuminate the solution to problems.

John Hurley - Concerning what we do as de-colonisation - We recognise the Treaty. We attempt to make good some of the past theft of Maori land.
We learn some te reo, or a lot, we recognise the principles that Maori have thought and adopted like kaitiakitanga, we try to limit the acquisitiveness and class snobbery which capitalism drives, we respect the culture of Maori even when it means giving up something, we understand that the cult of individualism is going wrong for us, and it boils down to every body being on their own and being prepared to do everybody else down if they can, and the Maori way has better results given a chance and encourages cohesiveness. There is a lot more to de-colonisation than land ownership, though that is both practical and symbolic to pakeha and Maori.

Ian - 'To whip up an expectation for “transformational” change by a “transformational” government and then to strangle or postpone that change to placate NZF is bound to lead to excited supporters looking around for another cause get behind.'
This matter isn't a 'cause' it is about wanting change from government enabling change in the way we live our lives; it is not some freaky idea that people chase like 'tune in and drop out' or something. It is an attempt to change the culture, especially of neo liberalism which believes in flexibility for the people and rigid following of advantage and money for its leading proponents.

Geoff Fischer has made a notable point:
'Unable to find a sufficient number of New Zealanders to maintain its centuries long occupation of Ihumatao, the regime recruited First Security to provide backup for the New Zealand Police, and First Security in turn has been obliged to rely on a force consisting entirely of recent Indian migrants. That force, however, has yet to be fully tested. If or when it is, it will be found wanting. The forces of the regime are only there because they want or need a salary. Unlike the tangata whenua, they have no heart for the struggle and no conviction that they are doing the right thing.'

It sounds more hopeful than Chris's concern about outcomes from his observation of social media:
'From the ill-educated and ill-disciplined the responses are already forthcoming. Angry posts on Facebook and Twitter, filled with the raw racism of those for whom the possession of a white skin constitutes their sole claim to superiority. Reading these, it is difficult to decide who they hate the most: Maori, or the Pakeha who support them? Whichever it is, their animosity is palpable.'

I think this is the repsonse of the people the USA have dubbed 'white trash'; the people who struggle to stay in the middle of the sandwich, who consider they are above the bottom layer, but struggle precariously, knowing that they may never progress to the top with material goods and respect and satisfaction. They live with incipient anger and resentment, a powerful energy source that descends like lightning. (If we admitted how much anger is part of our psyche and turned it into working machinery making electricity, we could have people-power-up programs when the power goes out. Then discussions about why and how we are such as here, could result in useful and novel outcomes to meet the novel challenges we face.)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

“the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage. They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white.” W.E.B. Du Bois

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." Lyndon Baines Johnson

"I think this is the repsonse of the people the USA have dubbed 'white trash'"

The problem is, they never used to be white trash. See what you like about Fordism, it did provide people in the US – and most everywhere else for that matter – with decently paid jobs, and some form of medical insurance which gave them a middle-class lifestyle. That's why there is so much confusion in the US over what the working class actually is. And now it's been taken away from them. And while they might blame the "elites" they also lash out at other people they see as taking their jobs. Not the people in China and Vietnam and India who have actually taken their jobs, but people who have migrated to the US to do jobs that Americans themselves won't do (AT THE WAGES THEY ARE OFFERING). And instead of lashing out at the people who are employing them on starvation wages, who are part of the elite, they prefer to lash out at the – generally brown – people that are taking the jobs. And of course they are cynically manipulated by Republicans in general and Trump in particular who want to keep them in the state of inchoate anger because it suits their purposes. These are the people however who have always had the capacity to be deplorable. These are the people that through things and screamed at Martin Luther King when he marched through Chicago's suburbs. These are the people that in general kept black people out of trade unions. They might be the meat in the sandwich, but they can also be right bastards.

Charles E said...

Oh dear what a lot of irrelevant dreaming of the revolution there is above. Only Nick J speaks sense I think.
You really need to wake up to the fact that 95% of the country have absolutely no interest or time for this inter Maori stouch up north somewhere. They know these facts matter more to them:
1. All born here in New Zealand are 100% people of the land, people of this land and no other. None are 'settlers'. All are indigenous. Native New Zealanders.
2. Maori are bicultural, both culturally, and increasingly irrelevantly, racially. Culture is what counts, not race, which really has no meaning. The average person with Maori ancestors probably has more actual settler ancestors from the 1800s than the average New Zealander. Not that it matters;
3. The largest landowner in NZ is the State, or Crown or the people, as you like. Then Maori tribes. Then a huge number of unconnected individuals of all different types and stripes.
4. The vast majority support the rule of law, democratic governance & our common cultural inheritance which is predominantly of Judeo-Christian origin. Land law is fully supported by these people.
5. It works: All of the above.
6. Those that think it does not and revolution is at hand are a loud but tiny tiny irrelevant minority of resentful unhappy folk. Plus a few happy ones who love a good argument.

Geoff Fischer said...

Charles E wrote:
"95% of the country have absolutely no interest or time for this..."
What is the source of this statistic?
"All born here in New Zealand are 100% people of the land, people of this land and no other. None are 'settlers'."
Are you offering "born here" as the definition of "people of the land"? Or are you implying something more than that?
"All are indigenous. Native New Zealanders"
That is of course literally true by dictionary definition.
"Maori are bicultural"
That is questionable. Maori culture has evolved under the influence of European culture, but not all Maori will feel themselves to be "bicultural". If people don't feel themselves to be bicultural, you are hard put to call them that.
"Culture is what counts, not race.."
That is a normative rather than positive statement (which is not to say that I disagree). For better or for worse, and despite what some liberals try to argue, the the concept of race does have meaning and it is socially significant.
"the State, or Crown or the people"
These terms are not synonymous. Awareness of the distinctions is necessary understanding the workings of any political system.
"The vast majority support the rule of law... "
That is actually questionable. Much recent New Zealand legislation, enacted by a parliament which is presumed to represent the majority, goes against the rule of law. (I presume you understand the distinction between "laws" and "the rule of law").
"..democratic governance.."
What do you mean by democratic governance? Are you suggesting that the vast majority oppose having sovereignty vested in a hereditary un-elected monarch? Or are you prepared to acknowledge that attitudes towards "democratic governance" in New Zealand are rather more complex, compromised, and if you like more pragmatic than you have suggested here?
"& our common cultural inheritance.."
"Our cultural inheritance" is complex, contradictory, and conflict-ridden. "The vast majority" probably could not agree on what it is, let alone "support" it.
Charles, I am not disagreeing with everything you say, but if you wish to play a constructive role in this debate it will help if you put greater effort into explaining and substantiating your claims.

Unknown said...

How about Nga Puhi? They slaughtered every single Ngati Whatua or Ngati Paoa they could find in Tamaki Makaura, during the 1820s. Will they be held to account?

Charles E said...

Geoff, I am speaking from my experience, my impressions, my judgement from living here 63 years and all of the people I have ever met and engaged with.
So on the numbers thing, I maintain that probably only 5-10% of Kiwis are the slightest bit interested in these political handbaggings that fascinate the loud few, like us. This figure is not from Stats NZ. No it is from a more reliable source. Observation.
And as for my thesis? The key one I have is that as it is clearly culture than counts in this world not race, there is a huge stubborn elephant sitting quietly in the room called New Zealand. And that is that although we are constantly told NZ is a bicultural nation, it is not, and cannot be under current 'rules'. The current rule that offends most is that to be Maori you must have a racial connection, be it ever so tiny. Therefore the vast majority cannot be admitted to that club, ever. Whereas all can, in its broadest definition, be Pakeha. That is not going to work in favour of biculturalism. Why? Well the enormous majority just quietly have no interest in that other race based culture, that is why. At the same time they observe that this rule means all Maori can be Pakeha too so that should unite us.. And guess what? It DOES! This country is overwhelmingly united by a common culture, and it is a culture that is reasonable, humane and civilised. The divisions are there but pretty superficial and when it comes to cultures, we are flat out blending them as from the start we have done. So NZ culture is a blend in practice and not ‘bi’ at all.
But division is risked if the very small activist Maori etho nationalists, and their far left supporters keep trying to impose another culture on the rest of us who not only cannot be otherwise and either do not want to be or are just not interested. There’s ya 95% I maintain.

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora Charles
You acknowledge that there is nothing scientific about your "95%" statement, but if we are to have a constructive dialogue then both words and numbers should have clear unambiguous and correct meaning. You seem to have a cavalier attitude to the need for numbers to be correct in order to be meaningful, and we can leave it at that since everyone reading this thread will now understand that you use numbers in this way.
You also repeat your claim that "it is clearly culture than counts in this world not race" when others would argue that culture and race are both relevant, in other words that both can "count" in certain given situations. While I cannot accept your claim as a statement of fact, I can accept it as representing your own personal point of view.
You then go ont to write that "The current rule that offends most is that to be Maori you must have a racial connection, be it ever so tiny." Which seems to imply that race does count, and that the distinction, as well as the association, between race and culture is important.
The truth is that Pakeha have been absorbed or incorporated into Maori Culture from the late eighteenth (sic) century. There was a "Pakeha Maori" (not Pakeha/Maori) category of Pakeha from the earlist years of contact, and there still are tens of thousands of Pakeha who fit easily into local Maori communities. Maori culture has always been open and accepting which is one of the reasons why there has been so much intermarriage between Maori and Pakeha. From my personal experience Maori culture is much more accepting of racial and cultural difference than the colonial system (which tends to exploit racial and cultural differences, rather transcending them). At the same time Maori have been quick to protect their land, culture and sovereignty from external threat, which may give rise to the totally false impression that Maori culture is unwelcoming of difference.
So what you are saying here about Maori exclusionism is false, and far more dangerously misleading than the "5%", "10%" and "95%" statistics which you bandy about. If all your statements are based on observation as you claim, I suggest that you need to observe more clearly, deeply and widely before forming and stating opinions of this sort.