Friday 31 December 2021

Riding 2022's Revolutionary Tiger.

Get Ready For A Wild Ride: 2022 will be dominated by two “C” words: “Covid” and “Co-Governance”. Both are certain to spawn variants of unpredictable virulence from the original strain. But, as happened with the Pandemic, the unfolding of the Co-Governance Debate is proceeding in ways determined by the decisions of Jacinda Ardern’s Government.

2022 WILL BE a revolutionary year. The deliberative processes begun in 2021 on how best to reconfigure the New Zealand state in conformity with the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will expand and intensify throughout 2022. New Zealanders will not be able to escape the consequences of their government’s decision to set these processes in motion. Nor will that Government be able to stop what it has begun. Over the course of the next twelve months we will discover how well the people of Aotearoa-New Zealand can ride the revolutionary tiger.

Personally, I would not have unleashed the deliberations attendant upon the revolutionary He Puapua Report in the midst of a global pandemic. Profound structural and constitutional changes are, surely, best left for calmer circumstances, when the population is less distracted and agitated. Then again, revolutions could hardly have happened if the times in which they occurred were calm and devoid of social tensions. In Karl Marx’s trenchant aphorism: “Men make history – but they do not make it just as they please.”

The authors of He Puapua would have been wise to think about Marx’s words before applying their eager fingers to their collective keyboard. As the hapless King Louis XVI (1754-1793) discovered to his cost, asking the people what they want their rulers to do for them is fraught with all kinds of dangers. As any historian who has poured over the ordinary people of France’s Cahiers de doléances (Lists of Complaints) knows full well, once freed from his bottle, the Genie of Change will not be persuaded to return until the world is changed indeed.

2022, therefore, looks set to be dominated by two “C” words: “Covid” and “Co-Governance”. Both are certain to spawn variants of unpredictable virulence from the original strain. But, as happened with the Pandemic, the unfolding of the Co-Governance Debate is proceeding in ways determined by the decisions of Jacinda Ardern’s Government.

For many months now a group of distinguished Māori leaders have been formulating a detailed response to the ideas and proposals contained in He Puapua. This response, as per the Government’s wishes, will be presented to Ministers first. Only after its official receipt will the rest of the New Zealand population be asked for its view of how to best give expression to the principles of te Tiriti. You can put a ring around the prediction that the Māori and Pakeha views of how New Zealand should be governed will not be the same.

It is possible (but by no means certain) that the Māori response will be characterised by both its intellectual coherence and unmistakeable unity of purpose. If the principal Pakeha response is anything but a hot mess of outrage and anger, however, it will be a major miracle. Some Pakeha (many of them academics, public servants and, regrettably, journalists) will attempt to avoid doing the intellectual and cultural mahi inherent in the fraught processes of constitutional change by simply adopting the Māori proposals in toto. Others will decry the whole exercise as an unwanted and electorally unmandated pretext for sowing cultural division and conflict. They will not shrink from calling it treason, and branding its promoters – Māori and Pakeha – as traitors.

The great problem with the Government’s almost careless decision to foist this debate upon the nation is that, already, in the minds of just about all its participants, existential issues are at stake. Nothing less than the life, or death, of everything they hold dear is seen to turn on its outcome. Men and women will stop at very little to emerge victorious from such a struggle. History makes it chillingly clear that, if the end is a people’s survival, then all means are permissible.

What, then, is to be done? Having tossed the dragon’s teeth of co-governance into earth already ploughed-up by the divisions of Covid-19, how can Jacinda’s Government pluck from this nettle, danger, this flower, constitutional safety?

My own answer, for what it’s worth, is to make it clear that co-governance is just one more means towards the historic end that has always united the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders: a fair go for everyone.

A “revolution” that delivers co-governance to self-selecting ethnic elites, accountable to neither Māori nor Pakeha, will not stand.

This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 31 December 2021.


John Hurley said...

I'm trying to get to the bottom of what "official language" means.

The BSA no longer accepts complaints about te reo.

What I see is two paradigms.
1. We are bi-cultural and multi-cultural under a supra-something authority (like a mini UN).
2. Get ought of here: "The wise man built his house upon the rock. House upon the rock"
"The Critical Theorist post-modernist wanker built his house upon the sand...

Under the former it is O.K for supra - somethings (journalists) to push the "uglies" (Guyon Espiner ) - after all

In ten years time these things will be completely normal and there will be another battle, which the rearguard will again resist and lose. Emma Espiner

Under the latter there is an expectation that in mainstream programming te reo stays in it's lane.

I think it is hoped by the likes of Paul Spoonley that this debate is done and dusted "we had that debate in the 70's".

I think we have just kicked the can down the road hoping treaty settlements etc would satisfy Mr Virtues. What a lot of people don't perceive is the extent of bureaucratic influencing of media (including Bernard Hickey's - When the Facts Change). Hegemony means none of this (repeat - none of this) has anything to do with Jacinda.

As she says about "Aotearoa": "it's just happening. [although that could be partly true as I read that it is supporters that make a Stalin out of Stalin?]

Odysseus said...

There is a third 'C' word, Climate. In the words of Brendan O'Neill, 2021 made clear "green thinking is in truth the new ideology of the ruling class, and that it has become a justification for rewinding modernity and lowering the aspirations of humankind." Another "Captain's Call", this time on agriculture, could do immense damage to our standard of living.

The postponement of the Three Waters confiscation suggests the Ardern government has cold feet about this key plank of the He Pua Pua agenda. New Zealanders are not going to tolerate the theft of their assets nor their own relegation to second class citizen status under some version of tribal feudalism dreamed up by academics. Dame Anne Salmond has recently suggested the "partnership" model foisted on the country by the Judiciary in 1987 needs re-examination and an open, honest discussion. She is correct. New Zealand is far more diverse than it was 35 years ago including a large Asian population many of whom came here to better their own lives and more importantly those of their children, and who do not wallow in "white guilt".

As for COVID, it appears the new, more infectious but less virulent Omicron variant may have entered the country. The disease can no longer be eliminated nor managed by soul-destroying lockdowns. We are going to have to learn to live with it. The government will no longer be able to rely on COVID as a distraction from failures elsewhere.

Any one of the three 'Cs' would tax the most competent government. Sadly we have no such thing; it's likely to be a very messy and fractious year ahead.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Let us hope that, in contrast to the UK Tory Government in respect of Brexit, this government - in fact the major political parties in general (by which I mean those with at least one seat in Parliament and/or some prospect of winning one some time) will begin now, if they haven't already, putting together plans and contingency plans for how they are going to tackle this project. I don't mean by this necessarily to predetermine the constitutional decisions they intend to take, but more the processes, parameters and perhaps where the red lines are likely to be. We don't want closed minds dealing with matters of this nature, but perhaps they have consciously to be kept open with figurative wedges!

I have an uneasy feeling this is going open up something, the type of which has in the past been associated with one Pandora. I wonder if this were wise?

Graham Wright said...

The partnership and principles said to be contained in the Treaty of Waitangi are fictitious, a fantasy. In the decade before 1840, the natives repeatedly asked for the protection of the British Crown – protection against other nations and each other, warring tribes.

See Ewen McQueen’s recent book “One Sun in the Sky”. Relying on the Treaty document and the diaries and written records of those present on 6 February 1840, McQueen convincingly dismisses any reservations that the signatories did not understand what they were doing. He adduces evidence that the Chiefs fully understood that they were surrendering sovereignty to the Queen in perpetuity.

Many other historians and commentators have made the same point. The Treaty document is straightforward, unambiguous and not open to reinterpretation.

In any case, the incumbent Labour Government does not have a democratic mandate to enact and introduce what will amount to a system of racial segregation analogous to Apartheid. In this matter, the people have been denied any opportunity to debate the government’s radical proposals, much less approve or deny their enactment.

Apart from resorting to an obscure United Nations declaration, the government has yet to offer any rational explanation for its precipitous moves to change New Zealand’s system of government.

The government embarks on a dangerous course that I suspect will end in blood and tears.

Tom Hunter said...

A “revolution” that delivers co-governance to self-selecting ethnic elites, accountable to neither Māori nor Pakeha, will not stand.

Why not? The revolution of 1984 did exactly that and it still stands.

From a purely partisan POV I wouldn't worry too much about the negative impact on Labour from these proposals. You're on target to lose seats in 2023 simply as a reset from the extraordinary 2020 result, but the Greens polling seems stable so I expect a Green-Labour government from 2023 on, and they'll be strong supporters of He Puapua.

Moreover, once it's locked in place the spineless National Party will learn to live with it.

Personally I think it will be a godawful piece of shit that will simply feed the Maori Royalty of which Mahuta is such a prime example and that ordinary Maori will see bugger all but trickle-down, while it will simply be an excuse for more Pakeha-bashing.

Despite this I can be sanguine about it because I'm old enough and wealthy enough to be able to escape or ignore most of the consequences, and my kids have already made it clear to me that they see little future in this nation and are headed overseas anyway so will not be marked by their white skins.

greywarbler said...

There is an abiding thorn under Maori skin, under NZ government skin and spoiling NZ-OZ relations.
National Māori Authority chair Matthew Tukaki said in a statement on Monday "these violent thugs and criminals don't care two hoots about the community".
"In my mind, there is now only one solution left - turn the planes around and make a point to the Australian government that New Zealand is not the dumping ground for your criminals."

This has got to plague proportions. Maori and Pasifika deported may be because of either bad or minor offences. But wording in the Australian law is unreasonably wide and open to all sorts of emotional and biased opinion from the PTB in Oz:

the minister only needs to find that a foreign-born person: is or may be, or would or might be, a risk to … the health, safety or good order of the Australian community or a segment of the community … or the health or safety of an individual or individuals.

There is a lot of background in the above article. But my reading of details over time and looking at the question indicates fault on NZ side,. The concerns of the Australian government, already frequently racist, disparaging to NZs, and right-wing, have been pushed aside by NZ. And while our government has pleaded innocent it has failed to take the step that would have gone a long way to preventing Australia's draconian response. What is needed is a return to visas for Australia and NZ borders so that both countries have some control over the movements of people.

...incarceration rates for New Zealanders climbed. From 2009 to 2016, there was a 42 per cent increase in New Zealand-born prisoners in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Some experts believe this is part of a broader pattern.
The 2001 changes, Hamer argued, were in part “aimed at filtering out Pacific Island migrants” who had easy access to New Zealand citizenship and were seen to be exploiting a “back door” to Australia. Note:SBS is Special Broadcasting Service

This would be especially useful in the new Covid19 era.''This would affect this concern: ...the law has had a disproportionate impact on New Zealanders, particularly those of Maori or Pacific Island descent. In the past two years, more than 1,000 New Zealanders have been forcibly deported from Australia. And according to The New York Times, more than 60% of those who have been deported since 2015 are of Maori or Pacific Islander descent.

greywarbler said...

Profound structural and constitutional changes are, surely, best left for calmer circumstances, when the population is less distracted and agitated. Then again, revolutions could hardly have happened if the times in which they occurred were calm and devoid of social tensions ...

I think this quote from Mao follows on:
from a review of Slavoj Zizek’s new book.
As we emerge (though perhaps only temporarily) from the pandemic, other crises move center stage: outrageous inequality, climate disaster, desperate refugees, mounting tensions of a new cold war. The abiding motif of our time is relentless chaos.
Acknowledging the possibilities for new beginnings at such moments, Mao Zedong famously proclaimed “There is great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent.”...
Heaven in Disorder Paperback – by Slavoj Žižek Social Philosophy Dec.14, 2021

Phil said...

I can imagine this article would shock some ODT readers. As we know the Government is already implementing aspects of He Puapua so the consultation next year is more window dressing.

Gerrit said...

There are many more ethnicity's than just Maori and Pakeha. Surely the construct of governance cannot be just between Maori and Pakeha?

Are all the other ethnicity's lumped in with Pakeha?

The gene is way way way long gone out of the bottle (about 200 years) where is is simply a construct for governance between Pakeha and Maori.

Would you be better calling the non Maori, Tauiwi? Problem you then run into is that some Tauiwi families have been here for 200 years or more. Hardly visitors to this land.

John Hurley said...

I see here Spoonley et al are trying to make a case for control over the internet.

"Māori trust in the Government, for example, has long been tempered by the negative effects of colonisation for which Māori hold the Government accountable. "

Yeah right - seriously colonisation or current levels of migration.

“….As a consequence, the debates over matters such as the future of te reo Maori, or the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi, are often ill-informed and there is a tendency to rely on comfortable myths that derive from New Zealand's colonial past. Pakehas have an obvious investment in reproducing these myths although there are members in other groups who share a similar commitment. Some Maoris and Pacific Islanders support the dominant group's mythologies much to the consternation of activists and to the delight of conservatives. The task of increasing the awareness of New Zealanders is obviously difficult given the cornmitment of particular groups to views which correspond to vested political and economic interests. Nevertheless, it is the aim to of this book to inform, to stimulate discussion and to try and dispel some of the myths surrounding race relations in New Zealand. “

Tauiwi: Racism and ethnicity in New Zealand Paperback – January 1, 1984
by P. Spoonley (Editor), C. MacPherson (Editor), D. Pearson (Editor), C. Sedgwick (Editor)

In New Zealand, political and civil debate has emerged around the way the paper He Puapua surfaced (Charters et al., 2019), and the uncertainty and ambiguity of its status. It spilled over into other political discussions, such as local council wards and the Three Waters reform initiative. Irrespective of the merits of the propositions in He Puapua, the paper focuses on a key issue affecting every New Zealander, and therefore needs to be discussed in an informed and mature manner [poisons well] so that a consensus can be reached on what would be an indigenously informed, forward-looking democracy that deals with the issues of defining our bicultural and multicultural future. How that discussion is handled is critical to ensuring or undermining broadly based vertical and horizontal societal trust, and thus cohesion. If New Zealand is to agree to any constitutional change in how its institutions govern, then the outcome of this debate, and its spill-over consequences to social cohesion, will depend on how the conversation is conducted and who participates in it. Kate Hanna should be in charge?

For example, the way some groups perceive they have been displaced from their position on the societal ladder by immigrants explains much of the political anger now being seen in the USA (Leach et al., 2007; Cox et al., 2017). This response to migration has echoes in many countries.
Right there you have a point of disagreement [data driven pol sci academic]

Making a case for Nurse Rached
Democratic societies, to a greater or lesser extent, adapted to these changes, reflecting and incorporating diverse identities and worldviews. In contrast, more authoritarian
societies use fear and force to maintain top-down control, seeing diversity as harmful to the ability to homogenise and control. Indeed it has been suggested citizens prefer strong leadership with autocratic powers when they are fearful or threatened (Davies, 2019).

The internet, new media and social cohesion In the last three decades, and especially in he past ten years, societies have had to confront the emergence of the internet and social media, and in the near future will be faced with the increasing use of virtual and manipulated realities in so-called metaverses.

John Hurley said...

Further to that report we are making progress [?]

Thus, while Aotearoa New Zealand’s social cohesion has been described as relatively strong in the recent past by a number of commentators (Tukuitonga et al., 2021), the country cannot be complacent (Gillespie, 2021). Given the extraordinary complexity of our fast-changing and diverse society, it is important to better understand the dynamics underpinning social cohesion. That is, we need to understand the degree of trust in government and our institutions (vertical trust) on one hand, and the respect and trust between different components of society (horizontal trust) on the other.

Key questions include who gets to design, build and run those institutions of control, and how variable perceptions of the system’s fairness will affect how groups relate to one another. Within the policy community, it is currently unclear whether there is a common understanding of which factors are most important in ensuring individual and communal resilience and cohesion amongst different societal groups. It is likely that the significance of different factors will vary according to social and cultural characteristics.

To summarize diversity is the inverse of social cohesion?

sumsuch said...

Knocking your head against a brickwall for decades makes you go for softer targets -- which is to say on the Left's side. Sanders saw it through and is celebrated for it. By which he's our only modern saint apart from Chomsky.

Prominent Leftists are an odd mix of ego and uncertainty about income. Indeed, how would the old Lefties have got out of poverty without mussolini-like self-belief?

I've never had a palpable logical hit from my detractors on the Left blogs but my criticism is taken as an assault on our paid guides through the swamp of plutocracy -- taken as trying to deprive them of their jobs. I wish they had the same openness to argumentation as we amateurs, we the people. Because it's annoying. And undermines the cause.

Patricia said...

Could we not have co governance and a fair go? I can’t see that they are mutually exclusive. The things I would like to see are an UBI for everyone. One similar to the universal superannuation for over 65s. Then a taxation system that really taxes the rich and one that benefits the poor. A superb education system and health system that Is free for all. Don’t tell me that this cannot be done. Of course it can. New Zealand issues its own currency and all this can be achieved because of that. Taxation does NOT run a country. And giving money to the poor does not mean it would be spent on drugs and alcohol. No body uses that argument against wage increases and the rich keeping all their money. Why not? Because everybody would say that is a ridiculous argument. Let’s build a better New Zealand for everybody.

DS said...

Obvious point - there is zero public interest in revolutionary constitutional change. This is less French Revolution, and much more the social liberal version of Rogernomics, an entirely top-down affair, driven by well-educated and insulated nutters with an agenda, and imposed on the rest of us because They Know Best.

Aforementioned constitutional change would have zero effect on revolutionising the real economic inequalities in this country, of course. But the Left forgot economics long ago.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

'See Ewen McQueen’s recent book “One Sun in the Sky”. '

What, read a book written by a religious fanatic extreme right businessperson whose expertise is in economics – and religious economics at that? A book that I can't even find a review for, except the rather cringy publisher's one, certainly not one by a proper academic historian. Sorry life's too short. I'm having a holiday from arguing with the ignorant, the incoherent, and the racists who post here. I am spending my time in productive endeavours like watching reruns of Time Team, YouTubes about elephants being rescued from circuses, and Japanese guys who take ferry/train journeys and make little movies about what they're like.
I'd also like to know what other "historians" and "commentators have said on this matter. Names? Although to be honest I'm not likely to take much notice of "commentators".
Oh well, back to Tony Robinson.

The Barron said...

We should remember that He Puapua is a consultation paper to investigate how to implement the then National lead government decision to be a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It was an embarrassment that NZ was one of a handful of settler societies not have been signatory. Having finally made the commitment, it would have been negligent not have a discussion paper. To then decide this is a secret blue print behind Government policy is ludicrous. Various contributors have (albeit negatively) acknowledged that partnership models have increasingly become the standard, and forms of autonomous control of service delivery seen as the effective way forward.

I note that judicial decisions are blamed by some. What needs to be understood was that it was past decisions such as Prendergast's was the judicial over-reach, not the more modern corrections.

He Puapua was strangely blamed for enabling Local Government to establish Maori wards on the same basis as other wards, even though it was the original vision for the legislation when Sandra Lee was local government Minister under Clark. Various contributors to this blog saw the sky falling, but after regional consultation throughout NZ, most Councils recognized the value and Maori wards or Mana Whenua representatives have been welcomed as part of our local democracy.

Chicken Little has given way to his cousin Andrew. The Health reforms which include a measure of autonomy for Maori with service delivery. The Covid19 crisis has shown that Maori are in the best place to reach and identify Maori health needs. The early criticism has been muffled as the real world consequences of a monocultural model has been exposed. Successful health delivery for Maori benefits all.

It is unfortunate that there has been minimal education as to the role of Iwi and Hapu. Various NZ governments tried to treat traditional Maori organizations as financial corporations, other administrations dealt with them as sub-governmental bodies - as local government is. Of course, neither summarize Maori political and social organization and the relationship to the Crown and the law. We need to adjust to is something that is not defined by western ontology but is in essence about relationships and respect both within the Iwi and Hapu and in our society and governance. It is an exiting challenge in nation building.

greywarbler said...

Patricia I would like to see a financial system in a country that everyone invests in, with their hands and personal input. So nobody gets paid a benefit without doing something to help the country run. People put as much or more time into their country and areas works and doings as they put into sport which they take seriously. Take your own life seriously and make it better along with others would be the thinking. And let's have your thoughts and ideas from your clever brains.

There would be lively groups of sort of Robin Hoods (not robbing hoods) and the Merry People in every district and people coming forward to take part in group work, help with children's activities, short courses of all sorts easy to get to, and small buses that zoomed around picking up participants so people could be involved.

We have an adult childhood with retiring age people expecting someone to look out for them while the adults who are capable just diddle around like little lords and ladies. Time to grow up, or we will have greatness thrust upon us.

greywarbler said...

Graham Wright
Many other historians and commentators have made the same point. The Treaty document is straightforward, unambiguous and not open to reinterpretation.

Let's use the Treaty as a stepstool to raise our eyes and get a viewpoint over the heads of the mouldy old and young preachers of anti-culturality? We will use it as a guide, show willingness to stretch, stand staunch on some things and recognise Maori as practical people who had a society when we the taiwi came here amd we need to work together to get something that suits us all and the environment.

We have to be careful though about the extremes - the people who bring their children up with the idea there is no society and those who aren't capable of building a livable co-operative society. The rest have two fronts they have to engage on.

Alan said...

Unfortunate Chris that the ‘Principles’ of the Treaty of Waitangi were slotted in at the beginning.  Clearly the separation of powers implied in co-governance must be able to be deduced from these repeatedly quoted-but-not-defined ‘Principles’, but having read the three articles of the Treaty repeatedly I’m none the wiser about these 'Principles'.

The 1840 Treaty arose from pressure and fear. This land was not Aotearoa..that name came much later. It was a fiefdom of tribal domains, a number of which had utilised the musket in sorting out inter-tribal matters that had resulted in butchery and enslavement of large numbers of Maori in the previous decades. The steady arrival of European colonisers, both shady and other, added more culture-clash negatives to this witches’ brew.Both ethnicities wanted /needed peace and it was this need that drove the Treaty…the need for acceptable rules enshrined in common law whereby people knew where they stood, what a common citizenship meant, and how this new nation could be the single product of two major ethnicities working cooperatively as one.

Isn't that the only 'principle' of the Treaty?If the Maori bloodshed of the Musket Wars is to be ignored in the run-up to the Treaty, there is another dimension to the Treaty.

Yes the Tiriti is a Maori document with Maori meaning, but it wouldn't exist without the English document that had been put together as an offer to Maori under the stewardship of Hobson. The English creation is just that important, and the offer was for equal citizenship under one Queen's law, reinforced by Hobson's final valediction to each signatory Maori chief. 'Now we are one (people)'It is this that should be the primary foundation of this democracy. It is this which is being systematically destroyed by a government that should know better.Desmond Tutu said this:  “Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realise our need for one another.” We do not celebrate our differences with separatism, which is the path we are on.

Alan Rhodes
Alan Rhodes

David George said...

"the Government’s almost careless decision to foist this debate upon the nation"
What debate?
If the government's actions over local body electoral structure, three waters "reforms", school history curriculum and the recent gender legislation are any indication the decisions have already been made, decisions characterised by widespread public disapproval.

Co governance, as outlined in He Puapua, is fraught with great dangers and contradictions, a recipe for a dysfunctional, corrupt, Lebanon like sham of democracy. Dividing up power on the basis of race? Perhaps a few examples from history of how this has led to a free, just and prosperous society would be good. Anything reassuring? No, I didn't think so.

David George said...

Yes, the idea, the principle of "a fair go for everyone" is laudable and something we should all be supported of. The problem is that that is not what this is about, it's about power not justice.
In some ways we already have a problem; the South Island farms that were denied water rights thanks to the (spurious?) objections of iwi for example. Ultimately sold at a heavy discount to tribal interests as a consequence and subsequently fully developed once the original water rights objections miraculously evaporated. Expect to see more of this sort of thing and no legal recourse for the severely disadvantaged land owners.

It's a great shame that our media are unwilling (to put it mildly) to permit proper debate; what chance of any properly informed public debate?
A few months ago the Northland Age published an essay by respected historian and ex cabinet minister Dr. Michael Bassett on the proposed history curriculum. MZME had a fit. The essay was disappeared, Bassett was banned from their publications, Peter Jackson (N.A. editor) resigned and an appalling hit piece was published discrediting Bassett and his very valid points of criticism.

I think we should all be deeply concerned.

The "contentious" Bassett essay can be read here:

greywarbler said...

Don't go all strictly legal about the Treaty. As if everything that the British have instigated, including law, is strictly 'kosher'. They wanted Maori to agree so they wrote the wording in a suitable fashion, in Maori. Maori couldn't control the Brits and other westerners so thought a formal agreement would do it. Maori knew about trading and wanted to buy some useful western goods, axes, blankets that they didn't have access to. Guns were being used, harpoons etc - machinery and equipment that would be useful in building trading vessels.

It was going to have advantages on both sides, but it didn't include denuding themselves of land and water resources. Not in their mind, but then if they did so, only when they wanted. And the symbolic financial system, the cash society, using bits of paper rather than physical goods in trading, with all the dodges learned by a financially backed society, and its actual fundamental drive for the west, took some learning for them. We don't have a full, clear overview of the financial system ourselves even now, so Maori must have found it 'interesting' and confusing.

Neil Keating said...

Chris. As I read all this, there comes to mind the paper I sent you last year by the Kiwi/Australian anthropologist Roger Sandall (died 2013). This might be the time to review his nuanced ideas. Sorry I don't have it in electronic form.

David George said...

An excellent take on this issue from Graham Adams, here's hoping that the prediction in the last sentence comes to pass, I will be doing all I can to help ensure the ignominious and richly deserved defeat of these fools.

"Such a racialised view of the democratic process is now laced through much of this government’s legislative programme. As opposition to Three Waters continues to flare, the question of whether the public wants to venture further down the path towards an ethno-nationalist state or fight to retain a democratic-nationalist one is set to inflame political passions and debate this year.

Ardern may decide she can ride out the storm by jettisoning some of the separatist agenda. However, whether such a tactical retreat would now steady the ship of state is an open question.

There is a real and growing risk that this year even bigger waves of opposition to Ardern’s co-governance agenda will swamp her administration and she will be swept overboard at 2023’s election."

The Barron said...

I probably need to take issue with David's assertions regarding policy without debate. I mentioned the local government structure above. The only change was to remove the ability to petition for referenda for the development of Maori local body wards or mana whenua representatives. This was not required for the creation or development of any other wards, and returned to the original intention of the Local Government Act of the ability to establish wards on equal basis. The consultation was then left to the individual local bodies with the affected communities. The elected council representatives then voted in accordance with that consultation. Most decided on some form of Maori involvement on council. All will test their mandate in the up-coming local council elections.

The Three Water Reforms proposal came after many decades of neglect. The proposal was put forward by central Government for consultation with a very clear proviso that the status quo is not an option. Councils had a chance to investigate an alternative that would meet the equity, infrastructure, financial and environmental objectives of Three Waters. Instead, many of those that had created the problem, advocated their right to oversee further decline. As far as I have seen, no submission presented a viable alternative or showed Three Waters unable to met the objectives. Consultation goes both ways, and I felt the local bodies were hopelessly show-boating to the selfish appeal for votes in their region with no empathy or plan for the poorer local bodies unable to maintain the infrastructure. In many ways a demonstration as to why Three Waters is proposed.

I am not sure who you felt should be consulted with the school history curriculum? Certainly, the proposal had been developed in consultation with the major education bodies, this included the professional associations and the national history subject body. Educators and historians put the proposal together. There was a further period where consultation was enabled after the announcement. This is more than would happen in any other curriculum area. The history teachers that will be delivering and developing the programs have at least two degrees and are experienced professionals. To treat them as leading some sort of Vietnamese reeducation center shows the ignorance of the writers.

In regard to the 'recent gender legislation'; I am unsure of the process, but if anyone took time to look at the Labour and Green Party candidates and list, it should have been clear to the voting public that this was going to be a Government which was going to be pro-active on issues of sexual and gender identity. The voting public in some of the most historically conservative electorates massively voted for candidates and lists that included some of the most progressive politicians on sexual and gender politics.

There is certainly little evidence that the above decisions are 'characterised by widespread public disapproval'. This is a government with the largest electoral mandate in over 70 years. It is my view that more criticism can be made as to it making too few decisions rather than the few it has made.

greywarbler said...

Neal Keating 5/1 12.45 refers to deceased writer Roger Sandall.
Here is a summary of his book on cultures to give an idea of his style.

When you clearly view modernism, you might think that wanting to stay in the past has its values, and patronising criticism reflects light onto the author. Perhaps, I think there is room for discussion anyway!

D'Esterre said...

Patricia: "Could we not have co governance and a fair go?"

No. This is supposed to be a representative democracy: the notion of co-governance is the antithesis of it. Co-governance by whom, exactly?

" UBI for everyone."

If society wishes to institute such a thing, it can be implemented by the existing system: co-governance is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for it.

"...a taxation system that really taxes the rich and one that benefits the poor."

As I understand the current situation, the rich pay most of the personal tax, while the poor in particular, pay no tax. This is because of government transfers, such as WFF.

I used to be a supporter of CGT, until I read the following article. It changed my mind:

"...superb education system and health system that Is free for all."

Again: co-governance isn't necessary. But the tax take would need to be much higher than it currently is.

" money to the poor does not mean it would be spent on drugs and alcohol."

The government already does this. And - indisputably - some beneficiaries do so spend their money. Not all, of course.

A better NZ doesn't entail the concept of co-governance. People who are hanging out for that kind of revolution clearly don't have enough excitement in their lives. I've lived through Rogernomics and the '87 stock market crash: that's quite enough excitement for one lifetime, I assure you.

I've also lived long enough to know that we don't need any more upheaval of that sort: it damages many more lives than it improves. Utopia is a pipe dream. Or - put another way - one person's utopia is another's dystopia.

David George said...

Thank you, The Barron, for your considered response.
There is no real equivalence in the removal of petition and referendum rights regarding LA councils. The adjustment and creation of ward boundaries are done from time to time to allow for population change. The creation of race based wards are a fundamental change to their democratic nature. The fact that those rights were removed is tacit acknowledgement that the majority of Kiwis have the good sense to recognise the inherent dangers and divisions of institutionalising separatism. Simple as that.

As pointed out by Bassett and others there are many glaring deficiencies and distortions within the history curriculum. Chief among them was the decision to deliberately ignore the intertribal pre treaty wars. Foundational to the eventual treaty itself and probably the most significant events in our history with up to a third of the population killed (on a par with the Rwanda genocide and more total deaths than the Kiwis that lost their lives in both the world wars) airbrushed from history?

It's difficult to argue, given the spurious and strongly disputed errors and exaggerations used as justification, that the moves to remove both health and water supply from direct democratic control were not a consequence of a predetermined commitment to He Pupua. Not only that but the decision to keep the whole thing hidden from the voters is, again, acknowledgement of their widespread unpopularity. A direct betrayal of the people, of democratic principles and of the NZ first partner that foolishly put Labour into power in the first place.

The recent gender legislation submissions were overwhelmingly opposed (strongly by women and feminists) there arguments were cynically ignored. There was no mandate, implicit or explicit, for those changes.

David George said...

PS: The Barron, I strongly suggest you read the essay by Graham Adams for a very clear and informed take on what is occurring.

David George said...

For those that may have missed it here is a link to Dr Elizabeth Rata's excellent essay on the He Puapua co governance proposal.

"With the sudden emergence into our political life of the revolutionary report He Puapua, it is clear New Zealanders are at a crossroads. We will have to decide whether we want our future to be that of an ethno-nationalist state or a democratic-nationalist one."

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"As pointed out by Bassett and others there are many glaring deficiencies and distortions within the history curriculum. Chief among them was the decision to deliberately ignore the intertribal pre treaty wars."
Which others? Historians? Or "commentators"? Because Bassett is almost a laughingstock at the moment having let his ideology overturn any tendency towards objectivity. I remember him from a couple of Waitangi Tribunal meetings. His ignorance about Maoridom was if not legendary then certainly let's say – present and constant.

The Barron said...

I will give a very brief response David.

The Local Government Act allowed for Maori wards, but had a provision that a petition could ask for a referendum that could prevent the establishment. This was never seen as a long term option. These referenda were characterized by poor turnout. The result was that a small minority of the local body could hold this up. The removal of this provision still requires public consultation and the vote of the Council. The Councilors are then answerable to the electorate at the local body elections. We may differ on this David, but I see this as a more democratic and equal process.

I have stated that we should trust the professional nature of the History teachers in the delivery of the new curriculum. It is my understanding that there is flexibility in the school and regional modeling of the local and national history, and I am unaware of any ban on relevant historical events.

3 Waters is about reform of water infrastructure. Iwi and hapu have an interest in water and are included in the governance, but this is not the main thrust of the reforms. It is to take from Council funding, short-term and limited boundary interests and take a wider look at how to manage and fund the infrastructure. The role of Maori is incidental to the changes and I find it strange that anyone would see He Puapua as the catalyst rather than unsustainable infrastructural decline.

Finally the gender issues. As you note, there were submissions. A select committee considered these and Parliament passed the legislation. I see no procedural problem. I do think that if we did not live in the time of Covid19 a greater public debate could have informed the process and legislation.

John Hurley said...

“In the history of the world, increased recognition of differences between groups has led more often to conflict and violence than to peaceful cooperation and sharing. America is now making a dangerous gamble on the opposite result"

We are constantly reminded that we kept Chinese out of NZ, but seriously, individuals aside would either ethnic group have welcomed a multiethnic state? This is the lie on which Aotearoa is founded. Ethnicity is the movie that is going on around you; it's a Truman Show but made with popular consent. I know who I am by knowing who I am not. My ancestors bones are not in Asia; ancient is as relevant as ever when it comes to identity. Listen to NZ Chinese relate their emotions when they return to "their village".

When dominant ethnic groups are strong they welcome newcomers; when it comes to an ethnicless society (hotel lobby) they don't. In the latter case the media and public service become supranational with a license to lie ("a good brand takes reality and alters it just a little").

In NZ we have had our patriotism destroyed thanks to the deliberate policies (NZ Wars Documentary Series was designed to "break the colonial narrative"; "NZ On Air was fanatically supportive".

Listen to Neil Oliver

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Listen to Neil Oliver"

Hahahahaha! Oliver has joined the ranks of the antivax crazies. Or perhaps it's just general crazies.

sumsuch said...

Neil Oliver, the Scots TV historian? He described how poor my people were back in the 20th century, not sure how they compared to the Irish but pretty bad. Yet, having such success on TV, despite his series persuading me for Scots independence, he pricked up for the union.

sumsuch said...

I'm sure Chris is ahead of the game as he often is. Not sure about this since this govt is vera reluctant to look after even our neediest -- Focus
Fkn Groups.

My prob with my mental sibs is I don't have the facts at the tips of my fingers, nor the endless energy from their sources in Amerika.