WE ARE IN the early stages of a revolution - much like the one New Zealand went through in the 1980s. Traditional leftists will, of course, object that “Rogernomics” was not a revolution. Others will insist that what New Zealanders actually experienced in 1984 was a “bureaucratic coup d’état”. Some will even claim that between 1984 and 1993 this country underwent a “counter-revolution” against the radical economic and social changes that characterised the thirty extraordinary years between the end of World War II and the mid-1970s.
Revolution, at least for me, isn’t about ideology, it’s about how decisively the revolutionaries are willing to break with the doctrines and institutions of the existing order, and how successful they are at replacing them.
By this definition, Rogernomics definitely qualifies as a revolution – albeit a revolution undertaken from the top down. Before the revolution New Zealand was an unabashedly social-democratic country. The state owned a substantial chunk of the economy and the workforce was heavily unionised. Economic regulation was heavy-handed and the domestic market heavily protected. New Zealand’s welfare state guaranteed the overwhelming majority of its citizens a job, a home, healthcare, education and generous financial support in times of adversity.
After the Rogernomics Revolution, New Zealand’s economy was proudly market-driven. State-owned enterprises were privatised and the unions reduced to a shadow of their former strength. Regulation became so light-handed that many businesses simply ignored it altogether. The domestic market welcomed the merchandise of the whole world. New Zealand’s welfare state had been (to use the language of the new regime) “downsized”.
What’s more, these changes stuck. Regardless of whether National or Labour occupied the Treasury Benches, the doctrines and institutions of the Rogernomics Revolution remained firmly in place.
In many respects, Rogernomics resembled that other great “top-down revolution” – the English Reformation. It was King Henry VIII who ploughed under the old feudal order and replaced it with a new, recognisably modern, approach to governance. His separation of the English church from Rome raises thoughts of Brexit; and his ruthless dissolution of the monasteries may count as History’s first great privatisation programme. What’s more, the King’s changes “stuck”. In spite of her best efforts, Henry’s daughter, “Bloody Mary”, could not reverse her father’s transformation of English society.
If Rogernomics represented a revolution in the way New Zealand’s economy and society was run, what may end up being called the “He Puapua Revolution” will thoroughly reshape New Zealand’s constitutional and political institutions and decisively reconfigure its culture. Like Rogernomics, He Puapua’s will be a top-down revolution: conceived and implemented by political and bureaucratic elites – with encouragement from the country’s most innovative and dynamic economic actors.
The He Puapua Revolution, like most revolutions, will be made possible by the glaring failures of the system it promises to replace. The New Zealand state, born of this nation’s colonial past, has consistently failed to serve the interests of Maori. Even when it became obvious that the country’s indigenous population was not going to disappear quietly into history, the sort of political and cultural concessions so clearly required to construct a bi-cultural nation failed to eventuate. If New Zealand is to have a peaceful and prosperous future, however, these long-delayed concessions must be made. Pakeha New Zealanders simply have no choice: the colonial state no longer possesses the power to deny Maori the co-governance they seek – except by ripping New Zealand apart.
Unsurprisingly, it was among the people charged with running the New Zealand state that this impasse first became apparent. Among its senior judges; its more perspicacious bureaucrats; its shrewdest politicians. All of them informed, it must be acknowledged, by its most radical academics. These latter, naturally, passed their insights down to their best and brightest students.
Thus was the doctrine of “Treaty Partnership” born. Thus was the “Treaty Settlement Process” launched. Thus emerged the successful iwi corporates and their dynamic business and political protégés. Thus began the necessary process of building up an ideological cadre capable of making the revolution a reality. Assembling patiently the sort of talent responsible for conceiving the revolutionary constitutional transformations set forth with such disarming candour in the He Puapua Report.
Are people marching in the street for He Puapua’s revolutionary changes? Of course not. The street demonstrations will only assemble, with ever-increasing determination, if the He Puapua Revolution fails.
This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 14 May 2021.
I await your column on pizza restaurants and child prostitution with interest.
What is good for Maaori is good for the country.
What is good for Maaori is good for the country.
Revolutions come in many guises. But He Puapua isn't about "freedom, equality and brotherhood". Its goal is the entrenchment of the privilege of the tribal elites, and race-based rule over the majority of New Zealanders. Co-governance 50-50 implies that one Maori voice is worth at least three non-Maori voices. Such a regime can only be maintained through State enforced repression which obliges the majority to accept that they are inherently second class because of their birth. I don't see this being accepted or holding in a country whose core value is fairness. To take a topical example, if Maori want a separate health system, fine. But they shouldn't then expect to have a veto over the level of care available to the rest of the population. And it should be funded on a pro rata basis.
[Personals, NZ] Middle-aged white male seeking Maori female to ensure a bright future for my children. Inquiries and test rides welcome.
The ability to manage and control some of the resources which presently and in the future are directed towards Maori while aiming at doing a better, fairer job than the current state funded and organised system seems fair enough. For "Odysseus said" and other moaners to generate mistrust apprehension and fear among citizens and the more recent arriving settlers is foolish The sense of fairness about the redressing of past and current wrongs is widely held among European- New Zealand born citizens- who have had often a fairly decent experience of Pakeha- Maori interactions within the country. The young have had fewer actual experiences But if they went to half decent colleges- have had a much better but often brief education about- Maori, British and Colonial takeover (events around the Treaty) and the impact on Maori even today- than their older - say 50 years plus kiwi elders. The really concerned group are the recent non Maori settlers- with no long term view and no "Buy In" to the process of Treaty actions. Which are effectively directed at trying to sort out and improve Maori access to the resources and opportunities they have been denied since the treaty was effectively ignored by the Euro dominated settler governments from the 1850s until things started changing with recent governments.
He Puapua is a REVOLUTION, absolutely Chris and like most revolutions it won't end without a fight. The majority of non-Maori will not accept 15% of the population taking a minimum of 50% power. It sounds to me that with the VETO on health spending, Maori will be in control. NZ will become an ethnocratic dictatorship. Maori tikanga will supersede Common Law. There are already signs that non-Maori are refusing to be forced into accepting Te Ao Maori, and so should we have the right to object
New Zealand was an unabashedly social-democratic country. The state owned a substantial chunk of the economy and the workforce was heavily unionised. Economic regulation was heavy-handed and the domestic market heavily protected. New Zealand’s welfare state guaranteed the overwhelming majority of its citizens a job, a home, healthcare, education and generous financial support in times of adversity.
The market can do that also Chris. But what Labour did was start unfettered people flows. The economy expanded on migration. That’s my argument against unions as the solution. Plus it is the unions who now carry that Blairite ideology for open borders.
The New Zealand state, born of this nation’s colonial past, has consistently failed to serve the interests of Maori.
Isn’t it weird that those Maori only need one ancestor? Anyway David Goodhart reaches a different conclusion in this article.
Webbs acknowledge that a climate of empathy with iwi Maori has become the norm in corporate Aotearoa. End of item.
As Distinguished and highly paid Spoonley says “Pakeha will loose hegemony” – how did that happen in a democracy. Thanks journalism.
Or maybe it isn’t a democracy without a free academy and press?
The reason I'm opposed to unions Chris - (and I don't mean union as uniting behind a common cause) is the bad actor factor.
In an MFAT speech Goff explains why he wasn't "having a bar" of Lauren Southern & Stephan Molyneau: "everything we are doing is right; everything they are doing is wrong"
A couple of days ago in a motel. A co-worker comes in as we are off down the road to have dinner. on TV "Isn't he [Biden] a breath of fresh air compared to that other idiot". I didn't say anything, just bit my tongue and agreed, because people like him don't have a clue about the core of the argument.
In the morning I listened to sacrilisations of all things Maori on RNZ and during the day I wandered around Waimate photographing old buildings and the churches which dominate(d) a fairly small but unchanged town. The reason people don't have a clue is because the "progressive" left abondondent Enlightenment thinking and sees everything as being about race, gender and identity. Killing the argument is primary (not countering it) because when you pin them down at source they cannot argue.
I wasted time on Twitter
Kotahi Tāne Huna
English comprehension problems?
I have nothing but derision & contempt for your crybaby talking points. Had they any currency you'd be able to wield them in the High Court.
That you won't reflects the fact that you're gutless as well as wrong.
It turns out he isn't even Maori. Just your Antifa/ Valerie Morse type/ bad actor/ militant unionist/Phil Goff type.
What is good for Maaori is good for the country.
Is Brahamanism good. Gosh those Hindu were right after all. Maybe slavery should be revisited (on second thoughts)!!!??
Often thought you were contradictory -- covered by 'development'. But just on my hazy recent remembration didn't you say something opposite-sort the other day? I'm not a professional of political opinions, thankfully.
Bit of a shit to always have to spurt something, when the immediate things get in the way of the important things. In this most important of times, for our children and grandchildren.
Judith Collins may have misjudged the mood of the nation.
Even if the majority are not inclined to support the un"He Puapua" constitutional blueprint, it would appear that they do not feel all that threatened by it, and desire a change that will finally take Aotearoa out of the era of colonialist rule.
There is a growing awareness of the danger colonialism presents to our unity as a people and our economic security.
The time for Orewa-style reaction has well and truly passed. We now need to attend to the kind of independent, truly democratic and inclusive state that will replace the colonial regime.
For the 15% or less of anyone in this country to say that NZ is in the grip of colonialism and white privilege, so let's push for a revolution and eliminate everything that has come from it, is about as stupid as the 6.6% of the Chinese population( who are actual members of the CCP ), saying let's eliminate all that the other 93.4% stand for in our great country....The Chinese have been there, done that..& learnt some very big lessons on the way. & just think for a moment of the huge human tragedy of Pol Pot...who had the idea that eliminating academics, teachers etc would make the country great.What should be on the minds of all rational thinking Kiwis right now is what is the real purpose of Jacinda going down the winding Hansel & Gretel pathway, sprinkling seeds of division among the greater population. I can assure you its not for the betterment of all of us, maori included..its about the power that comes from dividing a country and levelling off all standards in the true left wing socialist manner.
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