Tuesday, December 08, 2009

(Re)defining 'tangata whenua'

Over at indymedia Justin Taua has posted his statement against Franklin E Local's wacky claims about an ancient white civilisation in New Zealand, and received the following comment from 'bluntmanz':

"Tangata Whenua" means "The People of this Land". Maori are the Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa, they were here first. There was no pre-Maori colonisation, by 'Ancient Celts' or anyone else. Ko Ngati Pakeha Ahau.

It should come as no surprise that I agree with bluntmanz that Maori are tangata whenua of Aoteaora, and that I think that arguments that a lost tribe of Celts set up shop here thousands of years ago are no more credible than Thierry Henry's claim that his handball against Ireland was accidential. [For those who have come to this page for looking for them, some of my criticisms of the pseudo-historians' arguments about an ancient white civilisation can be found by clicking here.]

I'm not sure if I completely agree, though, with bluntmanz's suggestion that Maori are tangata whenua simply because they were the first people to settle in Aotearoa. The belief that tangata whenua status derives automatically from first arrival is certainly popular across much of the political spectrum, from the liberal left to the raving racist fringes of the right.

Both the old myth of the Moriori as the pre-Maori inhabitants of Aotearoa and the newer myth of a prehistoric white civilisation have appealed to many of their proponents because, by 'proving' that Maori were not the first inhabitants of this country, they seem to deprive Maori of their tangata whenua status and scupper the work of the Waitangi Tribunal and other institutions based on the assumption of this status.

Pseudo-historians like Martin Doutre and Kerry Bolton gleefully append their strange writings about 'ancient Celtic' rock formations and canals with boasts about the momentous political implications of their work. The total failure of the pseudo-historians to convince trained scholars of their 'findings' is explained as the result of a conspiracy intended to prevent the political earthquake that acknowledgement of an ancient white civilisation would cause.

But if they are labouring to drag New Zealand to the right by sinking the Treaty of Waitangi, then the pseudo-historians are labouring in vain. All the evidence we have suggests that the ancestors of the Maori were indeed the first settlers of Aotearoa, but even if lost Celtic cities were at last discovered in the forests of Northland, then this fact wouldn't stop Maori from being considered tangata whenua.

In a very fine essay published in the February 2008 issue of the Aussie academic journal Thesis Eleven, Kai Tahu scholar Te Maire Tau showed that traditionally Maori have understood indigenity as something which derives not from first occupation of a piece of land, but rather from a series of activities, like giving names to places and phenomena, burying the dead, and burying placenta (it's no coincidence that whenua means 'afterbirth' as well as 'land' in Maori). Tau's description of the process of indigenising territory is both precise and poetic:

The act of consecrating the land was carried out by renaming the land, winds, mountains, streams and stars with the spirit (mauri) of their gods and ancestors...the early Waitaha transformed the South Island into an ancestral church that subsequent tribes were absorbed into in a dual osmosis: the conquering tribes married into the Waitaha and were themselves absorbed into the genealogy of the Waitaha.

Tau's point about indigenity might surprise some leftists, as well as the pseudo-historians of the far right, but the fact is that there have already been many Treaty settlements where a group of Maori have been recognised as tangata whenua, and offered certain resources, despite the acknowledged fact that they were not the first occupants of their rohe.

Kai Tahu, for instance, was recognised as the tangata whenua of most of the South Island and given a range of resources in one of the first major Treaty settlements in the early ’90s, yet no Kai Tahu leader has ever claimed that the iwi was the first to take possession of the southern part of the South Island. As Tau's essay points out, the Waitaha and Ngati Mamoe peoples lived in the area before Kai Tahu arrived sometime in the seventeenth century. These prior peoples were either conquered or assimilated, or both, and Kai Tahu became the tangata whenua of Murihiku.

The pseudo-historians might, of course, consider it a deplorable state of affairs that Maori and the Waitangi Tribunal define indigenity by criteria other than initial occupation, but the fact that they do shows that the discovery of the remains of a pre-Maori civilisation would not derail the Treaty process and stop Maori claiming indigenity. There would be no need for an elaborately sinister conspiracy to disguise signs of a pre-Maori people.

It is relatively easy for scholars to show that Kai Tahu are the tangata whenua of most of the South Island, because the tribe absorbed Waitaha and Kati Mamoe centuries ago. Matters are more complicated, though, when more than one group claims to be tangata whenua of a particular piece of soil.

When they studied the history of the Chatham Islands, the scholars of the Waitangi Tribunal had to contend with the claims of both the Ngati Mutunga iwi and the Moriori people to tangata whenua (or, in the Moriori language, tchakat henu) status. Ngati Mutunga acknowledged that Moriori had been the first occupants of the Chathams, but insisted that they had become the new tangata whenua when they had conquered the islands in 1835. For their part, Moriori argued that mere conquest was not enough to confer indigenity. Moriori mana and culture had not been extinguished by their subjugation at the hands of the 1835 invaders, and deserved to be recognised.

In the typically thorough report it issued in 2001, the Waitangi Tribunal decided that the Moriori should be considered the 'first indigenous people' of the islands, while Ngati Mutunga should be considered the 'second indigenous people'. The Tribunal's decision resonated beyond the small world of the Chathams: historian and commentator Michael King seized upon the concept of a 'second indigenous people', and argued, in a series of widely-circulated statements, that it could be extended to cover all Pakeha Kiwis. King was worried about race relations in New Zealand, and he believed that Pakeha needed to be granted some form of indigenity if they were to be reassured of their place in our society, and reconciled to the 'Maori renaissance' which began in the '70s.

Despite or because of his untimely and spectacular death in 2004, King's notion of a 'second indigenous people' remains influential today. It can be argued, though, that King distorted the concept when he borrowed it from the Waitangi Tribunal's report on the Chathams. The Tribunal developed the concept in the knowledge that Moriori had been scattered and partially abosorbed into Ngati Mutunga society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

After decades of enslavement, a drastic drop in population, and the failure to win back their land after emancipation, Moriori found it impossible to hold on to important elements of their culture, like their language, their religion, and some of their oral traditions. Some Moriori left their homeland; many of those who remained intermarried with Ngati Mutunga, spoke Maori as their first language and attended Maori marae. Moriori only began to reassert themselves as a separate people in the '80s.

The fact that most Moriori no longer live in the Chathams and the fact of the partial absorption of those who remained in their homeland into Ngati Mutunga culture surely influenced the Waitangi Tribunal's decision to describe Ngati Mutunga as the 'second indigenous people' of the Chathams.

Is there a real analogy between the conditions on the Chathams and those in 'mainland' New Zealand? Most Maori have neither emigrated from New Zealand nor been absorbed into Pakeha culture: King's use of a concept developed for the special conditions of the Chathams therefore seems cavalier. Even if his conlusione were flawed, though, the late historian's willingness to think creatively about the notion of indigenity, rather than mehanically associate it with first occupation of a piece of territory, should be an example to us today.

Footnote: I apologise in advance to anyone who is offended by my use of the 'Chathams', rather than the Moriori name 'Rekohu' or the Maori 'Wharekauri'. I have used 'Rekohu' on occasions in the past, but I've found that it causes confusion, because very few people know what it means.


Blogger Chris Trotter said...

I wonder, Scott, if you are aware of the extraordinary ironies contained in this posting?

You cite approvingly, Ms Tau's explanation of how Kai Tahu asserted their status as the "people of the land" following their conquest of the South Island's previous masters: the re-naming of the landscape, the incorporation of the defeated tribes' cosmology into their own cultural repertoire, etc.

Well, forgive me, but if that process describes the acquisition of legitimacy vis-a-vis the political and cultural occupation of a geographical area, then "Good God, we have bought it fair!"

The same applies to the Chathams. If the genocidal invaders of the Moriori homeland had the cheek to claim the islands "by right of conquest" (as they told the Maori Land Court) then Maori as a whole should be very thankful that their Pakeha conquerors refused to apply the ethical norms of the conquered to their own conquests!

It is chilling to read your dismissal of the Moriori's claims on the grounds that the invaders from the mainland had so utterly destroyed the indigenous culture that its descendants' rights could be unproblematically dismissed.

Put those words in the mouth of a European imperialist, Scott, and I'm sure you wouldn't treat them with such a worrying degree of respect.

In my view, we are all newcomers here. The New Zealand island chain was the last large landmass on Earth (outside Antarctica) to be settled by human-beings.

The ancestors of the Maori arrived here in the 1300s, the Pakeha in the 1700s. Both peoples have, therefore, been here less than a thousand years.

Compare that with the inhabitants of Eurasia (75,000 years) the Aboriginal peoples of Australia (50,000 years) or the native Americans (15,000 years) and our "indigeneity" begins to look ever-so-slightly aspirational.

Personally, I regard myself as a grandson of the original African "Eve", and consider all humanity to be my family.

The future, for me, is always an open question. In the words of Bertolt Brecht:

"Forward! And ask the question,
What our strength, concretely, is worth.
In famine, or in plenty:
Whose tomorrow is tomorrow?
And whose Earth is the Earth?"

10:26 am  
Blogger maps said...

I'm not sure whether I'm responsible for your chill, Chris - as a long succession of posts on this blog and several other pieces of writing (my review of Rhys Richards' study of the dendroglyphs of Rekohu last year, for instance) show, I thoroughly support the Moriori claim to be the tchakat henu of Rekohu.

I note that Pakeha governments failed spectacularly to uphold the status of Moriori for more than one hundred and fifty years - the Native Land Court's refusal to recognise their rights in 1870 was a particularly heavy blow - and that it was only after the intervention of a predominantly Maori group of scholars from the Waitangi Tribunal that the Moriori finally received legal recognition. Thank goodness for the 'Treaty industry', eh? ;)

I think that the Tribunal had no choice but to recognise Ngati Mutunga as the second indigenous people of the Chathams, given the degree the mingling that had taken place with Moriori. I don't think there's a parrallel between the degree of mingling that took place on the islands and the situation in the North and South Island.

I agree with you that Pakeha have a right to live in New Zealand. I don't agree, though, that this right flows from Pakeha being an indigenous people, as King wanted to argue, or from Maori not really being a 'proper' indigenous people, as you seem to be arguing. It seems to me that these arguments distort history and ignore the real nature of our relationship with Maori.

I think that Pakeha have to define themselves, not by claiming a bogus indigenity or seeking to undermine the indigenity of Maori, but by recognising and taking pride in the fact that we have conducted a long and rich, if sometimes troubled, dialectic with the indigenous people of these islands.

Our identity and our culture, from the painting to McCahon to the poetry of Curnow and Smithyman, is tied up with our attempts to relate our cultural backgrounds and baggage to our surroundings in our new home, and to the people we have found there. There's nothing to be ashamed of in that, especially because Maori culture has itself evolved for the past two hundred years in a dialectic with outsiders.

12:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why not say 'Rekohu/Wharekauri/Chathams'?

2:55 pm  
Anonymous Keri Hulme said...

Chris Trotter - Te Maire Tau is an esteemed historian & write - and a male.

3:31 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

Apologies to MR Tau. It was the Maire (as in Leadbetter) that fooled me ;-)

4:37 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

Chris Trotter it was just for the record (and 'write' was meant to be 'writer', of course.)

Slightly OT - I collect 'faux ami' and include names ('Marie' which both Maori & other languages, and 'Maire'
(irish & Maori) are a couple of favourites...for English & Maori - anyone know of a longer one than "angina"?

Word verif.: oodol - what every Google believer hides in their closet

4:46 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

What relationship exists between Pakeha and Maori? It's a fraught question with a simple - but brutal - answer.

The relationship of the conqueror to the conquered.

How, given our history, could it be anything else?

I think Maori understand this better than most Pakeha - for the very simple reason that they have always been, and remain, on the receiving end of the colonial experience.

It was an unproblematic relationship for our fathers' and grandfathers' generations. Assumptions about the innate superiority of White "Civilisation" went unquestioned in the 19th and early 20th Centuries - as Bellich's latest book makes plain.

Pakeha identity confusion is a consequence the Baby Boomers' (and younger) generational experience, in which the moral blowback from Nazi genocide, the US civil rights movement, and the global decolonisation process has played a critical role.

The blythe assumptions of racial and cultural superiority that gave our forebears such cultural confidence are denied to us, and we struggle to come to terms with the racist realities of our nation's past.

But all this angst in no way diminishes the brute reality of that past - i.e. that we came here for the Maori people's land, and as soon as we acquired sufficient numerical, economic and military strength, we took it.

The Waitangi Tribunal merely polishes the tombstone of Maori sovereignty - and occasionally lays an expensive bunch of flowers on its grave.

Were it to attempt anything more ambitious, the Pakeha majority would soon recall where it had laid aside its racial self-interest - and the weapons to enforce it.

5:09 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

"The relationship of the conqueror to the conquered."

Chris Trotter - this so utterly simplistic that I can hardly keep from fucking swearing.

OK, I cant keep from swearing.

Just precisely how do you view people like me?

On one side of my lineage, a Tai Poutini girl (she was about 17 at the time) had sex with an American whaler captain (who was part Tahitian.)

On another part of whakapapa, a rakatira Kai Tahu woman united with an English seaman who became
the pilot for Dunedin waters. And a bit later, two Kai Tahu brothers married two Orkney sisters.

Where the fuck is 'conqueror & conquered' in these realities.

O, of course! In the fucking! D'y'know Kai Tahu are fairly matriarchal?

It used to be the old taunt of North Island to the South - "We fought 'em, you fucked 'em."

Yep. We did. And WE WON mate, we won.

I am not sure which century your viewpoint belongs to?
19th I think-

6:14 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

Well, good on ya mate! But I can't help thinking it's a little like the mouse boasting that he has beaten the cat - from inside its stomach.

6:22 pm  
Anonymous keri h said...

Chris T - know who is one of the 4 top businesses in the South?
And one of fastest growing iwi?
And has a rather stellar lineage in everything from sports to arts?
Some mouse, mate.

6:31 pm  
Blogger maps said...

'What relationship exists between Pakeha and Maori? The relationship of the conqueror to the conquered.'

Let's take your analysis a little further, Chris, and consider iwi who sided with Pakeha against Maori nationalists in the nineteenth century - Ngati Porou, for instance.

Are they 'conquerors'? Of course not, though they in some cases benfitted from their alliance with imperialism - Ngati Porou very clearly benefitted, and managed to keep much of their land - they also suffered from the consequences of imperialism and the consolidation of capitalism in New Zealand.

Their initially-fruitful commercial efforts were battered by market forces - consider the fate of Ngati Porou dairying - many of their kids and grandkids were drawn into the low-paid end of the working class, and they were regularly called upon to die in imperialist wars fought in exotic lands.

I don't think you'd disagree with the above points about kupapa iwi. Is it such a leap to make the same points about the vast majority of Pakeha Kiwis?

The sons and daughters of the military settlers who did the grunt work of dispossessing Maori in the middle decades of the nineteenth century ended up as canon fodder and factory fodder, too. Fifty years after the battle of Rangiriri they were engaged in a General Strike that sparked a virtual class war in New Zealand's cities.

It is of course true that deep-rooted racism exists in many (though not all) Pakeha communities, and that Maori have suffered types of oppression alien to almost all Pakeha over the past one hundred and fifty years.

Nevertheless, your attempt to present Maori as conquered and Pakeha as conquerors simplifies New Zealand history and actually makes the sort of class analysis of that history that you are meant to stand for impossible.

8:07 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

Of course, Scott. But, you might just as well say that because Roman society was divided into Patricians, Equestrians and Plebians, the Empire was somehow less real, less a source of pride for all its citizens.

But this simply isn't true. In the 2nd century AD there was no prouder boast than "Civis Romanus sum". Augustus understood the enormous integrative power of imperium, so did Disraeli - and even our own King Dick Seddon.

Class division only emerged as a serious theme in New Zealand history after the imperative of maintaining racial solidarity ceased to be the central feature of colonial life.

8:25 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

Chris Trotter - your -kind of absolute- statements have totally NOT addressed my whakapapa statements. Fact is, my statements stand.

Your statements are vacuous. Especially "then Maori as a whole should be very thankful that their Pakeha conquerors (*sic*) refused to apply the ethical norms"

***whose fucking ethical norms Chris?

"of the conquered to their own conquests!"

We - in the South - majorly intermarried/interbred.
We kept the lineages going. When Pakeha arrived, our women selected the best of -an indifferent bunch- to breed with. And then we selected better people.

Your knowledge of the South - and, I'd suggest Te Ao-iwi Maori katoa- is ...... slight. And your knowledge of our politics bloody dismally poor.

Incidentally - Polynesians probably arrived here about 3-4 centuries before you suggest.

10:25 pm  
Blogger maps said...

As I say, it does seem to me that you're staking out an overly simplistic position here Chris.

While I'm not an expert on the Red Feds and the period of ferment before World War One, I do understand that, far from being Pakeha chauvinists, some of the leaders of the insurgent workers were deeply interested in Maori culture. Mark Derby tells me that he has been studying a group of Wobblies from Huntly who learnt Maori and translated their propaganda into Maori.

Further back, during the period of the Land Wars and their immediate aftermath, we have evidence of contacts between Pakeha radicals and Maori nationalists. We now know, for instance, thanks to Derby and the great Judith Binney, that Te Kooti was assisted by a group of Fenians based in the Coromandel.

Can we go back earlier, and find Pakeha workers choosing Maori culture over the culture of their bosses? In a footnote to one of the editions of Capital, Marx exults in the defection of a group of workers from the Wakefield settlement in Adelaide. Without the pressure of the enclosures to keep them in low-paid labour, they cleared off, and carved out small farms in the bush outside the fledgling settlement.

I think that many 'Pakeha Maori' who defected from the bourgeois enclaves established in these islands and joined Maori communities would also have delighted Marx.

10:33 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

Born and bred in the south, Keri. The first Trotter arrived at Waikouaiti in 1839.

Stick to the novels would be my advice. History doesn't suit you and politics even less.

10:56 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Yes Trotter is wanting his cake and wanting to eat it. He wants to be a "Marxist" or an economistic Trade Unionist, or something, or a big shot Labour person... as one of Adam's (we remember him!); descendants but also wants to cut through the complexity of NZ and world history.

The Romans also had huge class wars - struggles. Hence "Spartacus" by the US Marxist Howard Fast. Also "Coriolanus", "Julius Caesar", and much else.

Maori and Pakeha were very much involved with each other: leanrt from each other. (Still learn or ignore or berate and cooperate and argue.) There were racists and teirewere more "enlightened" others (maybe we can think of the rich farmers and land speculators etc - but maybe not all rich farmers and land owners were or are such - history is complex - more so than Trotter seems to think) but there were those who embraced, to a more or a lesser degree, the Maori (or Moriori) culture etc

Trotter seems to want it to be "conquered and conqueror" - he seems to love that power trip. This is nonsense about the "baby boomers" becoming changed cf their parents - they became more enlightened.

All cultures thrive on mixtures of ideas and cultures. It is how history happens. But I don't see the Maori as "conquered"; it is an authoritarian, and a limiting idea. A Kitchenerian idea. AT least it SOUNDS like it is latter day Kitchener talking. Moestache and all! I know Kitchener is dead - or I thought he was. I don't think Trotter really agrees with the way he is talking here. But it sounds as if he exults in this "conquering". I think we all know that Maori got hammered overall but we have changed and as Maps says it was always complex - we cant just go for simplistic ideas of: "I was first, you were second, bang bang your dead, findies keepsies loosies weepsies" and such childishness. Silly.

What does it mean to be "conquered"? It hardly ever really happens as such - it's a process - that involves assimilation and sometimes absorption but also the differences remain - this can be seen everywhere in the world - and it is often the "conquered" who "conquer" -their culture asserts despite the "conquest". The Mongols in India - even the British in India.

11:27 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

"Stick to the novels would be my advice. History doesn't suit you and politics even less."

This is bullshit. Novels and literature and much else are as much an appreciation of politics as anything else. Keri Hulme has a deep knowledge and insight of and into things as is seen in her writing. There are hundreds (maybe millions) of other examples - Steinbeck in the U.S., John Mulgan and Robyn Hyde in N.Z. (and many others). Even M.K. Joseph's "debate" with Curnow about his poem ('Wahrheit und Dictung') based on his reading of Joseph's "A Soldiers Tale", and there is Stead's book, and I would even say that there is a deep sense of things and the world and people in Hulme's books also, and Smithyman ("The Last Moriori"), and there is E.P. Thompson's example (it may have escaped your attention but Scott wrote about him) - his interest in poetry and history not despite he was a poet - but because he was - enhanced his sense and feeling for history and politics.

Even very "abstruse work's of literature by their "evasion" are political by what they avoid or seem to do.

11:49 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

What does "conquered" mean, Richard? It means being military confronted and defeated. It means your lands and any other significant economic resources you own being taken from you. It means the suppression of your language and culture. It means a conscious state policy of assimilation.

That's what conquered means. And that, Richard, up until the mid-to-late 1960s, describes the experience of Maori in New Zealand. If you want it in pithier terms, I suggest you ask Hone Harawira.

And, yes, history is complex. And, yes, there were massive class struggles in ancient Rome, and Victorian Britain, and Edwardian New Zealand. But the important thing for any historian to do, is keep the essential elements of the narrative as clear as possible.

Rome quelled its internal conflicts by external conquest. Victorian Britain subdued its working-class with Disraeli's "One Nation" imperialism. We squared the circle of what to do with an indigenous population that very inconsiderately refused to die, by declaring Maori to be our long-lost Aryan brothers. But, we didn't give them their land back.

Ours is a colonial nation. It was built on conquest - and that, by definition, involves conquerors and and conquered.

And, I'm sorry, your sociology (and history) is quite astray if you seriously purport to argue that the turning-away from overt racism, as a mass cultural phenomenon backed by official policy, can be located (apart from a handful of isolated instances) outside the post-war period.

As for Keri. Well, if someone, not content with ignoring the best archaeological evidence, then proceeds to argue a crude eugenicism more suited to something out of Himmler's Ahnenerbe a than progressive blog, she should really stand by to repel boarders.

Progressivism can indeed be associated with great artists(you've cited some) but great artistic expression doesn't necessarily equate with progressive thinking. Just consider the political ideas of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.

If Keri wants to evade common sense - and common courtesy - she must be prepared for the odd broadside from those she offends.

9:21 am  
Blogger maps said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:25 am  
Blogger maps said...

Once again, Chris, your argument founders upon the great rock of Ngati Porou. Not to mention Te Wahanau a Apanui. And Ngati Maniapoto.

All of these iwi avoided conquest and expropriation, through one means or another (Maniapoto had to fight a war and then negotiate; after a civil war, Ngati Porou sided with imperialism, then cleverly kept the arms they had been given and threatened to use them to defend their rohe).

You might say I'm dwelling on the exceptions, rather than the rule, but consider even the iwi who were hardest hit by invasion and expropriation. The Raupatu of 1865 did not leave Waikato landless - though it suffered huge losses, the iwi retained territory in areas like the lower Waikato, and it was able to claw some of its losses back.

Tuhoe lost their coastline after being blamed for the killing of Volkner, and later they lost chunks of their mountain heartland, but they always retained substantial pieces of collectively owned land.

Maori were not conquered and expropriated in the way that, say, the Koori peoples of southeast Australia were conquered and expropriated because of their high levels of political and military organisation, and because of the weakness of New Zealand capitalism.

The Northern War of the 1840s was a draw, the Waikato War of 1863-64 saw the defeat of Waikato but the survival of Ngati Maniapoto, who were left to run their own de facto independent state, and after the withdrawal of imperial troops from Britain's costly colony Te Kooti's war forced the Crown to arm kupapa from Ngati Porou, and thus cement that tribe's hold on its lands.

For their part, the Pakeha capitalists failed for decades to develop the lands they had expropriated from Maori. The Franklin district where I grew up is covered in ghost towns like Harrisville and Camerontown - the names belonged to generals from the Waikato War - which failed to retain the settlers they attracted.

The Maori political movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were expressions of the failure of Pakeha to crush Maori. As I mentioned in my post on Jose Aylwin, the politics of Ngata and other Maori leaders of the early twentieth century were rooted in a desire to preserve and develop Maori collectively owned land. Ngata was never an assimilationist.

Although Maori became part of the working class, at first as casual rural labourers and later as urbanised mostly blue collar workers, neither their culture nor their iwi lands disappeared. The Maori renaissance of the last thirty-odd years is proof of this fact, and not the product of irrational guilt on the part of white liberals, as you seem to suggest.

The puzzle for me is why as a socialist you find the idea of the continued strength of Maori society, with its emphasis on collectivism and its parcels of collectively-owned land, as a matter for regret. You should read some EP Thompson, or some of Marx's late writings on the potential for socialism to develop from traditional rural societies.

On a different subject: I think Keri would be strongly supported by many scholars when she suggests that the first settlement of Aotearoa probably took place before the fourteenth century.

The consensus at the moment seems to be the twelth century, though some experts like Doug Sutton venture a considerably earlier date. Archaeological evidence is obviously very important, but it isn't the be all and end all when determining the date of first settlement. Rat bones and pollen seeds are probably more important.

10:34 am  
Blogger maps said...

Sorry, yet another typo in that - I meant to say pollen spore, not pollen seeds.

Repeat to self ten times: 'preview is your friend, Maps!'

10:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:50 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Word of caution with the term "settlement". This has a very specific meaning.

While it is indeed true that archaeological evidence of settlement is generally agreed to have begun around the period from very late 12th to early 14th centuries (a period of 100 years - it's difficult to narrow down to years or even decades), this is specifically concerning settlement, people living here and developing lifeways.

The rat bones discovered by Richard Holdaway don't indicate settlement, Richard was clear in stating this. Instead they might indicate transient visits or alternatively a small group of individuals who may have landed but subsequently died out. At any rate there is no evidence of human settlement at this time. At best secondary evidence of a brief visit. Sutton suggested the date be pushed back perhaps as far as 200 CE, though this is based more on Pacific chronology than anything else. It was A. Anderson who developed a methodology for looking at all of the C14 dates and other evidence (i.e. material culture) who spear headed what was then called the "short history" which has become the current consensus of 'settlement'.

Anyway, just thought i'd try any clarify. It's small misunderstandings like this which Doutre et al feed on.

11:12 am  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks for that Edward. I wasn't thinking of the Holdaway rat bone dating, which I think is problematic, but of the apparent evidence that forest clearance might have begun in the twelfth century, which I think relies on non-archaeological evidence like pollen spores and seeds that rats might have nibbled.

11:27 am  
Blogger Edward said...

No worries Maps. And my mistake, I took it that you were talking about Holdaway's work and those rat-gnawed seeds with relation to settlement. As you've clarified, you're quite right about the faunal and pollen analysis indicating 12th c. And that these are perhaps better ways of determining the early period of the settlement period than strictly archaeological. The subtleties of environmental change can be picked up quickly as some of them represent temporal events (i.e. forest burning) whereas the archaeological evidence needs time to factor in its accumulation (i.e. people need to construct and then subsequently discard / abandon stuff), hence archy stuff logically should follow from environmental events related to first arrival (although enviro stuff is a kind of archy evidence).

Anyway, I'm rambling.
Sorry to make tangent to your discussion. For my part, while I think the anthropology and sociology of colonialism cannot be understated, I find divisions such as 'conquered' and 'conqueror' not very useful in defining the dynamic relationships between two peoples/cultures. It denotes that there is only a linear power relationship which flows from one and into/at the other. I'm not sure such things are historical truths in a strict cultural sense.

12:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:31 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

Chris Trotter-"of the South" - as the phrase that followed it indicates - meant of the Maori South. And yes, I knew of the Waikouaiti & further north familial links -but my interests are paticularly oriented to Kai Tahu history and Kai Tahu politics and ANZ archaeology in in general. Your interpretations of Maori-Pakeha relationships are simplistic as far as the South goes, and, as Maps and Richard Taylor have demonstrated, as far the rest the country is concerned also.

12:49 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Chris - some of what you say makes sense - but what is the point? I don't think anything Maps has said is irrelevant - it all seems to make sense to me - whether Maori were conquered (and enslaved or whatever) or not. I mean I think we understand that this power relation exists...in the main Pakeha own the purse strings* but...do we have any (more) wisdom? (More) nous? Other?

Aren't we all in the same sinking (or leaky) boat?

* well this Pakeha doesn't - I wish I did a hold of the golden eggs...maybe I need a suit and then I could join Labour and become a rich MP and travel about a bit.

12:20 am  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

All I can say - Labour Party or Nat (not much diff...both on a good wicket) or Union Official or Adviser to Big Shots, or like wily old FOL Skinner was - it's all right for some!

12:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Midrash Rabba and various other sources in the Rabbinic literature, basd on very careful textual analysis, say that there were numerous cycles of creation and destruction. The one we are living in is just the latest. And the materials usd in the previous creations were recycled.

12:04 pm  
Blogger TIDAL ELECTRIC said...

NA ATUA E WA AOTEA LTD 426/2 Tapora Street Auckland Central CBD Waterfront 1010 Dear Maps Here I am back again stronger as an OX someone said after all I am 8th August so if you got any heads to crack then I have no problems crushing them one by one. So you can now see WA meaning The beginning and the end of NOA...Time and space. According to all the crap Corruption and 1080 poisoning DOC animal and bird killers in this country caused by white DNA (I) Chromosome Blood line Pakeha this defines clearly without a doubt under a LITMUS TEST I conduct in front of your individual selves who is wreeking with the most ADHOC HAVOC laws in this land other than GODS LAW under Tikanga Maori LORE or MOAI'S LORE spiritual stuff . Now look at the stupid pakeha making fun of Jesus and Mary in Parnell Auckland Catholic Church. And when you go and have a look at my website http://picasaweb.google.com/tidalelectric you can read all about the (Y) DNA Chromosome INDIGENOUS people and the Historic significance betw3een the two races. AND then I can chek a piece of BLOOD to see if you are a PEDIGREE from the REAL MONGREL MOB of White Punu Pakeha (I) Chromosomes INVADERS starting from you the live white named surnames persons and a bit of your blood and BINGO you have the answer on the DNA Screen right in front of your eyes . I will show you where you come from when I get it all set up. NO MORE STUPID MYTHS anymore. Just a simple Blood Test and a REAL NAME attached to your person and it should READ... (Y) for YES your a NATIVE of the Land or (I) ...I don’t think so!!! AND if you are a PIRATE with a name like HELLEN CLARK then her blood should be a clear (I) DNA Blood Group. In other words a ROGUE CHROMOSOME ZOMBI and she has been EXPORTED already thank goodness others to follow her to where the HIVE of the CORRUPTION IS in the MONY TROUGH... And when you get a SHANE JONES DNA you get another PIRATE but this time its got an INFUSION BY RAPE into a MAORI Woman WHOSE HUSBAND PROBABLY GOT shot BY HIS ancestors FOR HER blood AND HIS blood suckin Mongrel ANCESTORS who did this to my WANOA Bloodlines too. The ROGAN English PIRATES RAPED my Grand Mother of our GENES then BUGGERED OFF and never want to know us right till this very day is DROP KICK PAKEHA FUCKIN my GRAND MOTHER so now they RULE MY LANDS at East Cape with the COSGROVES another SCOTTISH Mongrel who hasn't even had the decency to come and see my family. ANOTHER FUKING DROP KICK White man POKED his DIK in and then Fuked off and left his WHITE (I) SPERM in her LIKE CHARLIE GOLDSMITH married 6 times in 2 years in the Births and deaths that is now destroyed but I got the records to STRING THEM UP to a TREE and let HONE HARAWIRA SHOOT THE BASTARDS. To continue John Wanoa

12:24 pm  
Blogger TIDAL ELECTRIC said...


Hone Harawira is RIGHT in what he said to the TV NEWS He meant it then said sorry but it STICKS LIKE MUD. Pakeha you have a bad history and so its spilling out all over the where in FRAUD CASES and the BANKS $2billion dollar fraud caught out don't want to go to court to pay full costs. And so on it goes right thru the country and this is no BULLSHIT Its true!!! Pakeha have left a long trail of destruction on our people just to settle on a foreign land last here first to go so to speak. Now because SHANE JONES has a mixture of his ROGUE (I) Chromosomes mixed up and FORCED into our (Y) Chromosomes this makes him only part way up the scale of DNA Strength because he is on the WHITE FATHERS COCK (I)SPERM Monarchy which is somewhere in Britain so its easy for me to show this up on the SPERM DNA METER and you can see the poor old helpless mama mia Mother(Y)SPERM DNA swimming in the breeze waiting for a (I) OX to come and BEAT THE SHIT'N Day lites OUT OF the WHITE MAN JONES and COSGROVE and ROGAN COCKUP RAPIST(I)DNA TAINTED Blood Stains and until they come and say sorry and FIX up their FUCKUP then the HURT keeps on keeping on for another 166 years like they just DID here to SCATTER all our NATIVE PACIFIC PEOPLE. Look who is doing all the FRAUD. MOST of who are PAKEHA and look who they put in jail MOSTLY MAORI and so what of the MORIORI. Well their story is yet extended to RA'PANUI Easter Island and our HISTORIC MO'AI GOD STATUES. This separates the Myths from the REAL TRUTH so you go and read where in the world the MOAI is sitting in the POWERFUL COUNTRIES in particular BRUSSELS EU PARLIAMENT, LONDON, FRANCE, SINGAPORE, JAPAN, USA, NEW ZEALAND, GERMANY, RUSSIA, CHILE, and MOAI is hidden in other countries TOO. WHY!!! Because they STOLE THE MANA from us the WA NOA People of the Pacific. Now you see you don't have to look any further So that means all the Historians Waitangi Tribunal Crown and New Zealand Government and BRITISH CROWN and CITY OF LONDON BANKS and QUEEN ELIZABETH11 are CAUGHT IN FRAUD ACTS OF PARLIAMENT RIGHT HERE before they BUGGER OFF like the proverbial bastards of Whiteman do and the EU PARLIAMENT dissolves their BRITISH PARLIAMENT with their FRAUD. NO They won't get away with it, not this time I been tracking them and NO ONE SAW THIS ONE COMING because they are too wrapped up in MAORI and MORIORI . The problem has always been in BRITAIN where the WHITE NGANGARA (I) SPERMS CAME FROM. Unfortunately I couldn't explain it any other way. NOW Prove me wrong and go and do some more research on your articles and don't disturb OXES! They can KICKASS badass. You need to have lots of (Y) Chromosomes and a dab of (K) Chromosomes, KICKOUT...DNA Dumb nutters all of you....I am really a happy chappy no stress or anger just plain as reporting what is the Sovereign Truth as I see it from a MOAI point of view. He goes back 300AD and beyond and it was definitely carved by my ancestors back from RAPANUI (Easter Island) to WA'NOA HAPU. To continue John Wanoa

12:27 pm  
Blogger TIDAL ELECTRIC said...


WHANAU Peoples of the Land in OPOA ROHE (District TapuTapuatea Marae WANOA WHENUA RA'IATEA ISLAND in TAHITI, no ifs or buts. The WANOA TRIBES HAPU are coming back to WAIAPU ROHE on their WANOA LAND at TE PITO O TE WHENUA (Te Pito) at the East Cape North Island New Zealand do the CLAIMS the same is found on RAPANUI ISLAND TE PITO O TE HENUA (Te Pito Henua.This matches the History to my people on this Land and Super Natural Tohunga (Priest Levitation) Nothing to do with Ngati Porou myths. This is the Real MOAI GOD up from the Heavens now talking it up. Its time to reveal all to the world on my website. You can draw your own conclusions from there I am sorry to say I have no qualms or arguments with anyone, Its a done deal to the United Nations and new European Union Parliament and their FRAUD LISBON TREATY and PAKARU (Broken Climate Change FRAUD TREATY. So to all you commentors have a happy new start to NEW YEAR and look to the future for some big changes . Watch this space and energy shares going out soon Thank you Maps I hope you understand what is going on in the SUPER POWERS outside of here. You are all sitting DUCKS as far as the Corporate THUGS and EU , UN is concerned and CHINA may help Maori retain their HISTORY and BONES URUPA like the PAKEHA DUG UP 180 plus MAORI MORIORI BONES and THREW THEM in a REEFER CONTAINER and then notified the BAD TAINUI SAUL ROBERTS a year later what they had done is the BIGGEST CRIME to date in todays times the WHITE NGANGARA MAGGOTS BASTARDS GEOLOGISTS (I) NDA SPERMS NAMED CROWN AGENTS are still doing exactly the same as what their WHITE ANCESTORS did in 1840 DUG UP OUR TUPUNA (Ancestors in our own land to make way for roads and an Airport. CAN I NOW go to England and DIG 180 of their TUPUNA OUT and throw them into a 40 foot CONTAINER. This is what we are BILLING these Named Persons and their ROGUE CROWN before it dissaperas next year. I am warning you before they RUN AWAY without you witnessing what I say is TRUE INTENTIONS to BILL THEM NOW for this DESECRATION HELEN CLARK and MICHAEL CULLEN PAREKURA HOROMIA and SAUL ROBERTS and JOHN KEY No exceptions and I will KEEP NAMING them all for TRIAL. The PUBLIC of New Zealand has a RIGHT to know all this. And I stress its not me the enemy. Its the CROWN against the PUBLIC. Now you gonna PAY UP to the ROGUE Auckland Super City PERK BUSTER RODNEY HIDE before he splits his Tarau (Pants) and wet himself for fear of expulsion for his FRAUD ACT. It dosn't aways happen in America, Its happening right here in New Zealand John Wanoa MOAI Soldiers Wanabees picasaweb.google.com/tidalelectric

12:30 pm  

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