Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hone's racism was made in Europe

Hone Harawira's recent confession that he would feel 'uncomfortable' if one of his seven children chose to date, let alone marry and start a family with, a Pakeha has been condemned by other politicians and by many in the media and the blogosphere. According to rather gleeful commenters at right-wing websites like Kiwiblog, Harawira's words expose him as a 'racist pig', reflect the Maori Party's 'fascism', and reveal a sickness common across Maori society. Many of the commenters at Kiwiblog have moved easily, and perhaps unconsciously, from disingenuous condemnations of Harawira's prejudices to bald statements of their own bigotry:

Well, if Hone wants to increase the chances that his daughter gets beaten, does drugs, gets involved in gangs, teenage pregnancy and shaken-baby, then Hone is doing the right thing...

Right of way is Way of Right...a lot of NZ families changed their European names to Maori names at around the same time...70s and 80s...as it was more financially beneficial to do so...and still is...based on greed.

It seems generally that Europeans have embraced the idea that ethnocentrism is a bad thing. I think other ethnic groups tend to see it as natural.


I am also unimpressed by Harawira's statement, but I'd like to think I can differentiate my reaction to his words from those of the obsessives who haunt the comments boxes of sites like Kiwiblog. I think that Harawira's attitude to inter-ethnic relationships is wrong precisely because it relies upon a couple of assumptions common to the Maori-bashers the rogue MP spends so much of his time trying to oppose.

Over the years I have engaged in many conversations - some of them friendly, some of them not so friendly - with Pakeha who disagree with my support for biculturalism and binationalism in Aotearoa. I've noticed that, whether they hail from the right or the left, or have no discernable politics, people who argue against my positions tend to resort, at some point or other in their argument, to references to the amount of 'pure blood' Maori have in their veins.

'Half of these Maori activists you see on television are part Pakeha', one friend told me a few months ago, with a look of absolute sincerity on his face. 'How can they call themselves Maori when they're not full-blooded?' Visitors to my blog and anonymous e mailers have made similar points over the years, informing me that the 'pure Maoris' of the nineteenth century no longer exist, that the people who call themselves Maori are 'really just Kiwis', and that attempts to recover stolen land, spread the Maori language, and establish institutions like wananga are both irrational and 'divisive'.

Over at Kiwiblog John Ansell, the adman responsible for the notorious 'Iwi-Kiwi' billboards that helped define Don Brash's 2005 election campaign, has used Harawira's prejudices as an excuse to dust off the old 'racial purity' argument:

When so much money is doled out to ‘Maori’ one way and another, I think people are entitled to ask this very uncomfortable question…In view of the dilution of bloodlines over the past 170 years, and the fact that many people who call themselves Maori are at least half Pakeha, is Maori actually a race? Or is it really a religion – like Catholicism?

The assumption that Maori identity is defined exclusively by blood and the argument that the only 'real' Maori are people with exclusively Maori ancestry are both hangovers from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when European intellectuals had an unhealthy obsession with notions of racial purity.

In the nineteenth century ethnographers, travel writers, and artists influenced by notions of the 'noble savage' celebrated the 'purity' of the peoples that they encountered in parts of the world which had previously been isolated from Europe. For these rather patronising outsiders, the value of 'primitive' peoples like the Polynesians lay in their lack of experience of the ways of the West. Because their genetic inferiority and static cultures were incompatible with European influences, the noble savages would be 'ruined' by exposure to European technology and to randy European sailors and colonists.

The notion of the noble savage eventually exerted a strong influence on the men who administered the territories conquered by Europeans. In the last decade of the nineteenth century Dick Seddon decided that Tuhoe should be given a certain measure of political autonomy, and be isolated from the ways of the modern world, so that their 'special character' might be maintained for the benefit of 'cultural tourists' from the West. A few years later, the viceroy of German Samoa, an ethnographer named Wilhelm Solf, decreed that both colonists and most forms of modern technology must be kept out of his domain, so that the 'splendid children' he governed could 'exist undisturbed'.

In the first decades of the twentieth century the European fascination with racial purity saw the rise of the creed of eugenics, which made the cult of the noble savage seem positively benign. Eugenics distinguished between 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' races, and called either for the assimilation or for the outright elimination of the 'unhealthier' races. Eugenicists influenced not only Hitler's European genocides, but the policies of administrators in the colonial world. In Australia, for instance, it led to attempts to 'breed the blackness' out of Aboriginal peoples, by sending their children, especially their 'half-caste' children, to live with white families who would marry them off to whites, or to other 'half-castes'. In New Zealand, eugenics was partly to blame for the less dramatic but equally racist policy of 'assimilation', which saw urbanised Maori being housed in isolation from one another and discouraged from maintaining their connections with their whanau 'back home'. It was hoped that, cut off from their roots and their traditional support networks, urbanised Maori would adopt Pakeha ways, marry good Pakeha boys and girls, and produce offspring that would 'vanish' into 'mainstream New Zealand'.

When I meet Pakeha who still define Maori by the 'purity' or otherwise of their blood, I try to point out to them the unsavoury origins and history of the assumptions they hold. I also like to ask my interlocutors whether they are prepared to define European peoples with reference to blood. Studies by geneticists show that, after millennia of intermarriage and migration, there is no such thing as a pure-blooded Frenchman, or a pure-blooded Scot, or a pure-blooded Englishman, or a pure-blooded Pole. Does this mean that anybody who defines himself or herself as Scottish, or French or Polish is deluded? Is the teaching of the French language in French schools or the Polish language in Polish schools absurd? Should we laugh at Prince Philip's claim to be English, when his bloodline lacks any trace of Englishness? Why, I like to ask my interlocutors, is it only non-Western peoples who must be defined in terms of the 'purity' of their blood?

Maori themselves have never shared the European obsession with blood. It is of course true that genealogy is vital to Maori self-definition, but Maori culture has never regarded 'purity' of genealogy as important. Long before contact with Europeans, it was normal for individual Maori to define themselves by referring to ancestors from different iwi. After intermarriage with Europeans and non-Polynesian peoples began in earnest in the nineteenth century, Maori quickly began to incorporate new bloodlines into the self-definitions they recited on marae. Having a Scottish or Spanish or 'Negro' father or mother was not a source of shame, let alone social exclusion. The outsiders who settled in Maori communities in the nineteenth century often produced children of great mana. Jacky Marmon, the famous 'Pakeha Maori' who settled amongst Ngapuhi in the Hokianga, produced children with a series of high-ranking women introduced to him by their male relatives. Today scores of Hokianga Maori are proud to cite Marmon as one of their ancestors. On the East Coast of the North Island, an entire hapu of Ngati Porou, the Paniora, celebrate their connection with the Spanish sailor and trader Jose Manuel, who took five of their ancestors as his wives in the nineteenth century. Some of the greatest Maori intellectuals, politicians, and sportspeople have celebrated the non-Maori blood that has flowed through their veins. Sir Peter Buck was proud of the Irish ancestry his father provided him, but never felt less Maori for it. The Pakeha parts of Buck Shelford's whakapapa have not stopped him being a Maori leader on and off the rugby field.

When he expresses unhappiness at the possibility that his kids might end up intermarrying and breeding with Pakeha, Hone Harawira offends the many Kiwis of all ethnicities who do not share his prejudices. More importantly, though, he unwittingly reinforces a very old, very ugly, and still surprisingly widespread Pakeha misconception about Maori identity. By implicitly endorsing the view that the children of unions between Maori and non-Maori represent some sort of diminution of Maori identity, Harawira gives a boost to the sort of racism he has spent his career trying to defeat.

116 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good comments. I think to be Maori is to identify as Maori, regardless of quantity of 'blood' in ones ancestry. However, I do get confused when some of those of mixed race (Maori and European mix in patrticular) seem to only choose to promote and identify with their Maori ancestry despite the ricjh european ancestry they also share. Is it a socio-political choice? Is it easier to find a cause if identifying more with your maori heritage and identity than European? IS it easier if you have many Maori associates and afriends to align one way more than the other? I dont know. My wife and kids are part-Maori but generally don't have much of a Maori identity due to their international upbringing and lack of contact with their Maori whanau. Regard;ess of the establishment of their identity as they grow, i will strongly support their learning and valuing of both their Maori and Eurpean roots. Hone exposes his lack of wisdom is fighting fire with fire, he only makes a bigger fire and does nothing to resolve his issues.

9:35 am  
Anonymous Edward said...

Excellent post Maps. I too continually bump into such arguments which seem, as you put it, nothing more than a hang-over from the 19th century. Such eugenic arguments are common, I suspect because many of those who hold them don't understand either culture or science. The tone of it here and in Australia, not necessarily in modern policy but in public rhetoric, is the very very ugly remnant of colonial arrogance. Unfortunately, it is probably only a matter of time before the trolls take over this comments thread..

11:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On that KB thread Ansell went on to say that unlike Maori he had an ethnicity - he was European 'all the way back'. Ha ha. Believes in multi-regional evolution does he? And his wife is alloed to be Chinese, cos they are supposed to be pure-bloods. Ha double ha! The Chinese are as mongrelised as the rest of us. Han emerged from a stew of ethnic and cultural groups. The man is a moron. Probably not worth taking remotely seriously.

11:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS What does Marty Mars think of this? Normally he is reliable on racism.

12:03 pm  
Anonymous John Ansell said...

'Moron' here.

Look, I couldn't care less about racial purity.

But when my money's being handed over to people because they're descended from the full-blooded Maori signatories of the Treaty, I want to know how Maori they really are.

And the answer, racially, is "Not very".

That's why I say Maori is a not a race, but a religion. I don't mean that as an insult, just a fact.

Tariana Turia is at least half American - but strangely chooses not to mention it when reciting her whakapapa (see further down the Kiwiblog thread).

Why?

Pita Sharples is at least half English (and is honest enough to acknowledge it).

Hone Harawira is really John Hadfield and Tipene O'Regan is Steve.

Why all the deception?

These people are 100% genuine in their identification with Maori culture, no question.

But my point is they CHOOSE to identify with one side of themselves and ignore the other.

Why?

Why are they not just as proud of their English, Scottish, Irish or American ancestry?

Again, none of this would matter, except for the small matter of the billions (and possibly trillions) of dollars non-iwi New Zealanders are expected to keep handing over from their pay packets to a small tribal elite for crimes done to them by their own Pakeha ancestors.

The vast majority of Maori see none of this money, which just makes the fraud worse.

Please respond to that point rather than just slinging your stock racist abuse.

I knew full well what I was walking into when I posted that comment, but you won't get away with calling me racist. My point is fair, so please address it.

1:57 pm  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

The problem, Maps, is that if the notion of "bloodlines" is rejected (as it probably should be) then we are left with the slippery notion of "culture" as the primary ethnic identifier.

But how is culture established? Must we be born into it? Does it require fluency in the language? Or can we simply "adopt" a cultural identity?

If it's the latter, then doesn't Mr Ansell have a point?

After all, it is quite legitimate to talk about the "culture" of Catholicism, and it is certainly possible to adopt or be "converted" to that culture.

The problem, then, is if you abandon the notion of culture as being something "in the blood", you've abandoned along with it any measurable marker of identity?

That's why I have some sympathy for Hone's position. At least genetics (as manifested in skin pigmentation) gives him something to differentiate one suitor of his daughter's hand from another.

And I suspect he also realises that stripped of the concept of race the rest of his separatist ideology will slowly but surely fall apart.

And then where would the Maori Party be?

2:23 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

So, it seems people are again confusing culture and ethnicity with 'race' and 'bloodlines'. It seems certain people are more than happy to define 'Maori' when they talk about prison populations, employment and other demographics (even beating children apparently for some right-wingers), but when it comes to cultural and ethnic identity this label is denied. Hypocrisy. Seems pretty telling to me that such cherry picking reflects the bigotry of those who hold such opinions...not naming names of course...

And as for how one identifies, it is about cultural continuity as much as genealogy. Maps pointed this out with his examples from Europe. Someone living in Italy (for example), born of Italian parents who may have Norwegian grandparents on one side of the family is still Italian. They might also like to call themselves Norwegian if they like but it would make little sense if they don't identify with that culture. At the very least they do not become non-entities, having not fulfilled the 'full blood' quota to be either.

The questions Ansell raises have been answered in the original post and in tomes upon tombs of literature (some researchers having spent their entire careers on such topics). If the froth-at-the-mouth anti-Maori brigade are too bloody lazy to read it and educate themselves, it suggests to me they're not being honest.

3:19 pm  
Blogger maps said...

As I took some trouble to try to explain, John, the vast majority of Maori don't have any problem with the non-Maori components of their ancestry, and certainly don't seek to disguise it. Hone is very much the exception, and the descendants of Jose Manuel and Jacky Marmon are the rule.

You're simply wrong when you say that Tariana Turia tries to hide the American part of her ancestry. She's quite happy to mention it, and I remember her doing so some years ago, during a debate about the pros and cons of New Zealand's military alignment with the United States. Turia does not feel that her connection with America detracts from her Maori identity, any more than Princess Te Puea felt that her German ancestors detracted from her status as a Maori leader.

John believes that the Maori who signed the Treaty of Waitangi were 'pure', in a way that contemporary Maori like Tariana Turia are not. What gave the Maori of 1840 this curious purity? Does John really think that there was not intermarriage and interbreeding between Maori and non-Maori decades before 1840? Does he not realise that there is very strong evidence that Maori are the descendants of not one but several groups of settlers from different parts of eastern Polynesia, and that they made return trips from Aotearoa to eastern Polynesia in prehistoric times, and therefore, in all likelihood, married and interbred with non-Maori centuries before the arrival of Europeans in these islands?

It's a pity that John has to try to present his own identity using notions of racial purity. The idea that he is, unlike those mongrelised Maori, some sort of 'pure' European, is just plain silly, when one considers the diverse geographical and genetic origins of Europeans. John ought to be able to acknowledge his non-European ancestors, in the same way that Maori can acknowledge their non-Maori ancestors, instead of appealing to a spurious racial purity.

Chris, you've said on various occasions that you're proud to be a member of the Trotter clan, with its long history of residence in nothern Otago. Would your feelings change if it were suddenly revealed to you that, like many Kiwis of your generation, you were adopted at birth, and that you came from (say) a Greek family which arrived in New Zealand shortly before your birth? It's a silly question, isn't it? You'd remain proud of being a Trotter, even if you also developed an interest in the Greek side of your identity.

Our ancestry is relevant to the way we understand our identity, but so is the culture (or cultures) of the family and communities we have lived in. This obsession with purity of bloodlines ought to be left to neo-Nazis and dusty Victorian ethnographers.

3:26 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

"The problem, then, is if you abandon the notion of culture as being something "in the blood", you've abandoned along with it any measurable marker of identity?"

This seems like a rather bizarre comment considering the wide discipline of anthropology (especially cultural anthropology) which, to my knowledge, does not tend to consider genetics as a boundary of culture. I'm not sure it ever really did. Thus it seems a bit of a red herring.

There are many, many ways to measure/identify culture besides genetics. There is language, life ways, traditions, social structure, material culture, shared or linked worldviews, art, all of which require some form of continuity in which to survive. The 'adopt a culture' rhetoric is, for most practical reasons, a straw man. Do cultural anthropologists 'adopt a culture' when they conduct fieldwork? I'd like to see one claim they did. And if they don't, I think it highly unlikely joe bloggs from down the road will walk into a marae, having no affinity whatsoever with Maori culture, and walk out 5 minutes later claiming he's Maori.

3:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'It seems certain people are more than happy to define 'Maori' when they talk about prison populations, employment and other demographics (even beating children apparently for some right-wingers), but when it comes to cultural and ethnic identity this label is denied'

True...John Ansell might explain the this by saying that the Maori who commit high-profile crimes had 'converted' to the 'religion' of Maoriness...actually though people like the Kahui family are totally decultured - they have lost contact with their history, their marae etc ...so by John A's logic they are not Maori at all but white! What a fool...

4:09 pm  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Maps, I'm happy to accept your assurance that Tariana Turia does not hide her American ancestry. I was reacting to a transcript where she certainly did.

And please don't misunderstand me. I couldn't care less whether I'm 'pure' European or part-Maori, Pakistani and Algonquian.

In fact, as far as I can work out, my ancestry includes English, Irish, Scots and Polish - hardly one pure race.

All I was meaning is that all my forebears seem to have descended from Europe. I don't see that as a good thing or a bad thing, just a fact.

That said, I'm reasonably happy to descend from the Brits, and don't see any need to claim restitution for wrongs done to my ancestors by the Normans, Vikings and Romans.

Back then, might was right - a creed by which Maori tribes also lived, and which they can be thankful that the British in 1840 for the most part did not.

(If the Brits had used their technological power and done to the Maori what the Maori were busy doing to each other, Maori would today be as numerous as the Moriori and we wouldn't be having this discussion.)

But race is not the point. Cultural choice is not the point.

Money is.

The money that non-iwi New Zealanders (including, as I understand it, most Maori) are expected to keep paying to those who choose to be Maori, but racially are not.

If an aggrieved people voluntarily merge with their oppressors, how much money should the descendents of the oppressors have to pay to the descendents of the aggrieved?

That's the only relevant question.

I'm not saying the answer is none. But I am saying that Key's latest trade-away-the-coast-for-votes proposal suggests that he thinks the answer is 'trillions'.

And that seems grotesquely unfair.

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Keri Hulme said...

In the south of the South, there is quite a long history of intermarriage with non-Maori (one of my greatgrand parents was born to a Tai Kai Tahu woman: his father was an American who is said to have had a Tahitian parent. This was in 1831/32.)

It doesnt make southern Maori any less Maori than other tribes.

The reason Ngai Tahu whanui settled with the Crown in 1998 was simple: the Crown acknowledged serious wrong-doing to the tribe, and offered recompense for stolen lands.

"I want to know how Maori they really are."

Really? Then, read our histories and engage with us
in our own places, and find out. Flinging cheap & silly jibes about names isnt a good start.

4:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does John think Moriori are extinct?

More ignorance.

5:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Hone was talking about purity of his offspring's Maori bloodlines, but the cultural purity.

I'm Samoan, and my parents brought us up to marry Samoans too. Not because they wanted their grandkids to keep the frizzy afros, the luscious lips and beautiful flat noses, but because a Samoan partner would be practitioners of the Samoan culture and will hopefully pass on the culture to the next generation.

If it was about purity of bloodlines, then my mother would be disqualified for her german ancestry, and my father for his tongan blood.

While culture is a social construct, for Samoans (and I suspect most Polynesians), there is an element of ancestry to support a claim of membership into Samoan culture. Samoans must trace their genealogy back to a village with a common ancestor/s.

As my parents found out, not all of us kids married Samoans. But they were still happy, because the non-Samoans engaged and participated in the Samoan culture, reassuring my parents that the next generation will still be Samoan, irrespective of their mixed bloodlines.

5:38 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Once again, John, you espouse views ironically similar to those of Hone Harawira.

As I said in my post, Hone and you both seem to hold to some sort of essentialist definition of Maori that relies on 'purity' of blood. Now you advance a view of the nineteenth century as a sort of black and white morality play, in which one people is virtuous and the other villainous. Hone would agree with such a vision of our past - he'd just cast the Pakeha rather than the Maori as villains.

The truth is that history is a lot more complex than any morality play. History is not, on the whole, made by virtuous or villainous individuals, but by large-scale environmental and economic pressures.

As you note, the 1835 invasion of the Chathams by Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama was a genocidal affair, and some of the other episodes of the Musket Wars that raged between 1790 and the 1830s were almost as bad. But these wars do not tell us much about pre-contact Maori culture. Before contact, Maori warfare was a relatively small-scale affair, and slaves were taken in relatively small numbers. There was no economic basis for a large-scale slave society or massive war.

The huge slave raids of the Musket Wars period occurred because white colonists in cities like Sydney, Port Nicholson, and even San Francisco had created a market for exports of agricultural products. The conquerors of the Moriori put their subjects to work growing spuds for Pakeha, who didn't complain about their methods.

In the same way, the ruthless wars the colonists and the British Empire waged against Maori later in the nineteenth century - wars which featured massacres of civilians at places like Rangiaowhia, and outright genocide in the Ureweras, where General Whitmore's expedition tore up crops and torched villages to create mass starvation at the end of the 1860s - were motivated by economic forces, not by some inherent evil in Pakeha society. The conquest and expropriation of the Maori was our local equivalent of the enclosures of the Scottish highlands - it was motivated by profit, and was a part of the establishment of capitalism here.

There's no point out all in trying to make history into some moral lesson which demonises one or another culture. We need to understand the past and act to correct its negative legacies, and we can only do that if we get beyond silly ideas like your claim that Maori culture is somehow less authentic and less virtuous than other cultures. Like Keri, I hope you take the trouble to try to find out about Maori history and experience from Maori themselves.

5:50 pm  
Anonymous Keri H said...

Oops, I missed out an essential word: that phrase reguarding my greatgreatgrandmother should be "Tai POUTINI Kai Tahu woman" of course.

5:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward does stinky poos on the toilet.

6:13 pm  
Anonymous herb said...

Questions for John Ansell:

When did Maori start choosing to be Maori in a religious way? 1840? 1940? 2010?

Do Jews choose their culture?

If so, how can they deserve the compensation they have received for the Holocaust?

Do Samoan New Zealanders choose to be Samoans?

If so, how can they deserve the (verbal) compensation they got for racist treatment by the NZ state?

6:23 pm  
Blogger John Ansell said...

So much twisting of my words, so little time.

Basil Fawlty would be proud of Maps' logic that evil free-market capitalist white colonists were to blame for Maori shooting up and enslaving other Maori.

"I thought it was your fault, and all the time it was my fault!"

But I'm pleased he brought us back to the subject of economics, because that, in the end, is what drives the Treaty grievance industry.

Rather than respond to the various slurs (where did I say Moriori are extinct -- oops, I just responded) I'll just repeat my overriding concerns:

How much money should non-iwi New Zealanders(including Maori) be required to pay to the iwi tribal elite?

How many 'full and final settlements' are enough?

Will the grievance industry ever stop grieving (and grasping)?

To what degree should an emotional connection justify such a massive financial redistribution?

And is it fair that our obliging prime minister should be able to hand over resources that belong to all New Zealanders, to tribes who have never even claimed them?

Oh and since my accusers managed to duck the question I posed in my last comment, I'll ask it again:

If an aggrieved people voluntarily merge with their oppressors, how much money should the descendents of the oppressors have to pay to the descendents of the aggrieved?

If someone would care to answer that (rather than cast me as another Hone Harawira), I'd be grateful.

7:49 pm  
Anonymous Keri H said...

John Ansell (o, "Sensing Murder" at Poneke - I knew you rang a bell, and your fatuous comment there - well, echoes here)

-there is no such being as a 'non-iwi Maori.'

There are, regrettably, many many people of Maori descent who do not know their iwi, let alone their hapu & whanau. I've had some fascinating correspondence from the children of early converts to Mormonism in ANZ who then travelled to Utah - while Mormons are supposedly strict about whakapapa, some matters, it seems, get skewed or left out.

8:03 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Good comments Maps. Ansell is clearly a deluded right winger obsessed with money. Such people hardly read anything and wont follow Edward's or Keri's exhortations to think about genetics and also the cultural historical basis of why people identify as being a "a race"... nor will they emphasize or try to learn from Maori themselves or learn about the culture etc they are too arrogant. They want to divide - deep down they hate Maori and other (as they see them) non European races.

Hone Harawira has shot himself int the back regions, but I understand his anger - he probably wouldn't stick to that separatist policy - I can understand the desire for some people - Samoan or other - to want to "keep the race pure" but this is a misunderstanding.
It is generally understood now that "race" is not valid as a concept - in science there are "gene pools" and the reality is now very complex. (Culture is very important.)

Hitler might subscribe to the simplistic pure race view, but much as Ansell might admire that gentleman, Adolf is widely considered to have been rather off beam. Also he lost the war.

Ansell's reactions are very simplistic in tune with such 19th (early 20th) Century racists. Is he actually in the 19th or early 20th Century?

He could start by reading the Nobel prize winning scientist Bodmer's books on genetics. He points out that the difference genetically between say the inhabitants of Africa are greater than those between the differences between peoples of Europe and Africa.

But there are many scientific and sociological and other studies also (as Edward points out) showing these views of the Ansells of this world to be quite wrong.
Stupid in fact.

It is well known that Maori see themselves as a cultural group not as "pure race" (a friend of mine advanced this "dilution theory" to me when I argued about the need for Maori to keep their culture and language but he saw Maori as relatively backward with ideas such as utu etc - but these ideas or practices are more complex than the common view of them...

The British, whose technology was never that hugely more advanced (certainly their society wasn't); contrary to what Ansell claims - never looked like beating the Maori convincingly at any stage - by and large they "won" more by attrition and numbers, the old policies of divide and rule, and the illnesses Maori suffered as well as litigation, bullying, and rip offs via law courts etc after the wars - which were indeed quite brutal and divisive...

We are not apolgising to Maori enough and we are not assisting them as much as we can - we owe it to them - if I am of English descent - and I am - to that extant - I am ashamed of what my so called "great race" has done.

I recall reading a book about the really savage rip offs the European perpetrated on Maori in the South Island - the lies the Europeans told, the huge areas of land the carved up and but they falsified what they took so it didn't look so bad...Ansell's pure fore fathers no doubt. Keri and her people were badly, very badly, treated.

Fortunately many English people don't think like racists such as Ansell - relative of King Ansell the N.Z. Nazi? Same "pure" race in any case...At the very least one of those bitter beings who looks jealously at what his neighbours are getting. Why are the Smiths getting more than us ? Why are these people getting more money than me? Why am I a short arse and others are tall? Why does that bloke have bigger car? Why is that woman more beautiful than me (if the bigot in question is a woman).

Motivated by fear, jealousy, bitterness, ignorance, hate, intellectual laziness, greed for money (their God), what they call "fairness", and thus racism because of historical ignorance or simple prejudice (sometimes because of fundamentalist religious views (they have at least two gods)); these people are hate mongers. They have no love, tolerance or insight.

9:44 pm  
Blogger maps said...

John, I said at length that I was opposed to turning our history into a morality play or a comic book full of heroes and villains. How then can you honestly think that I was calling Pakeha capitalists 'evil' or making them responsible for the invasion of the Chathams? I think you are deliberately refusing a serious discussion.

The view that the enslavement of Moriori on such a large scale and for such a long time was motivated by the desire to grow spuds for the growing colonial cities (and Chathams potatoes were exported in alrge numbers to Sydney and San Francisco, as well as to Port Nicholson) and thus had as a precondition the emergence of a cash economy is hardly novel - it can be found, for instance, at the heart of Michael King's account of the conquest of the Chathams in his classic history Moriori: a People Rediscovered. Has John researched the conquest of the Chathams, or even read the work of King and others who have? It might be a good idea for him to do so before he mocks a standard historiographical point.

I tried to make the point that neither the invasion of the Chathams nor the invasions of Tuhoe Country by Pakeha were motivated by individual evil or the deficiencies of a culture. A discussion which hinges on those ideas will go nowhere and achieve nothing except pointless rancour and offense. Hone's 'white motherfuckers' comments last year and the controversy that followed show that quite clearly.

John asks a question about a people who 'voluntarily merge with their oppressors' and complains that this question has gone unanswered. Surely that is because the premise of the question - the idea that Maori have somehow 'voluntarily merged' with Pakeha - is one that other commenters here do not accept. Perhaps it'd be useful if John explained exactly what Maori did to 'voluntarily merge' with Pakeha, and when this happened.

John accused others of ducking a question, but Herb asked him some interesting questions which he hasn't answered. I'd also like to know if John thinks other ethnic groups are actually 'religions', or if Maori are unique. If John thinks that living in an industrial society and speaking English means that Maori have lost their cultural authenticity, does he also think that (to repeat Herb's examples) Kiwi Jews and Samoans are members of 'religions', not authentic cultures? Who has a real, non-'religious' culture in John's strange construction of the world?

10:15 pm  
Blogger maps said...

PS: I should clarify that reference to Jews. Obviously some Jews can be considered members of a religion, but pretty much all the ones I've known here in New Zealand have identified as members of an ethnic group defined by a history - a history dominated by dispossession oppression, like Maori history - and a set of practices.

10:22 pm  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Wow Richard, that's the wackiest attack yet! Now I'm an admirer of Hitler and a relative of a Nazi.

Sorry to disrupt your fantasy (and I don't suppose it will stop you saying it), but no and no.

And furthermore, nothing I've written suggested anything of the kind, but I don't supposed you've even bothered reading it, have you?

Now will someone please answer my question?

And Keri, you describe my tolerance (yes folks, tolerance) of those who claim there's life after death (I was defending the Sensing Murder psychics against howls of abuse from conservatives) as fatuous.

I wonder how many of your Maori friends would support your arrogance on that one?

All I'm saying about that is we should keep an open mind and consider the evidence, of which there is a great deal.

On matters Maori, I'm just saying we should ask a few questions about the people we're required to give billions of dollars to.

Since when does that make me a Nazi?

Now... will someone please answer my question?

10:27 pm  
Anonymous Keri H said...

"Maori friends"?
'Billions of dollars'?
You are a declared Nazi.
You are engaging in silly distraction tactics.
I will not respond to your stupid ignorant & vile antihuman posts again.
Heoi.

10:44 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I don't mind discussing with John -I just wish he'd discuss seriously, and also develop his points. He started off by saying on Kiwiblog that Maori were no longer Maori because their blood had become diluted.

After the problems implicit in this approach to defining ethnicity were pointed out he seemed to move on to two new arguments. Neither argument was expressed very clearly or developed at any length.

The first argument was that Maori had no reason to complain of past injustices and pursue Treaty claims because the British had a better culture than them in the nineteenth century and treated them quite well. Obviously I disagree with this argument. But, leaving that aside, I don't see how it's relevant to John's earlier claims that Maori don't exist any more as a real ethnicity. Even if it is true (and, as I say, I don't think it's true) it doesn't logically lend support such a claim.

John's other new argument seemed to be that by living in a modern, urbanised industrial society Maori had forsaken their Maoriness, and thus had no connection with the people who signed the Treaty in 1840.

This argument, which was not stated very clearly and hasn't been developed by John, is directly relevant to his original claim that Maori don't exist any more as an ethnicity. It is also much less unpleasant and ridiculous than John's original claim about purity of blood defining ethnic groups. But it opens a whole can of worms because it seems to imply that any people who live in a modern society lose their original culture, and have no business identifying and organising as a group. Hence Herb's and my questions about what authentic ehtnicities actually exist in twenty-first century New Zealand, under the terms of John's claim.

11:01 pm  
Anonymous Keri H said...

Scott - that last comment of your's really engages me .
It may take a day or two (or more) but I would like to respond to it - maybe in my sideway's fashion?

11:48 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Herr John

You know that your comments reflect those of the Fuhrer.

But you are of that type. You reminded me of Ansell of the NZ Nazi Party.

Your views are basically of the same kind.

You are on a Maori bashing spree.

Have you ever spoken to any Maori?

Learn something - listen to Maps
- you can leave your job advertising or whatever you do - no one here is interested in the fascist Key or Goff. (Tweedle dum and tweedle dee.)

And we are not interested in whatever money a gets or b gets - let's say there are too many people earning too much as it is...

You are promulgating racism.

Go away and sleep.

12:03 am  
Blogger maps said...

Look forward to your response, Keri.

It's interesting that John is, as far as I can tell from his blog, a passionate, high-profile proponent of changing the national flag. That fact reinforces my opposition to junking the old flag completely! Anyway John, if you're reading this, here's my take on the flag issue:
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2009/01/flying-flag-for-ignorance_21.html

12:04 am  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Hang on a minute Keri, I was being ironic, as I suspect you well know.

Whatever you may think of me, please don't call me a Nazi again.

In case you don't do irony, I am no relative of that man and have always been embarrassed by his presence in the same country.

Maps, I apologise for attaching the 'evil' to capitalist when in fact you were saying that Pakeha were not evil. Sorry, I misread that.

I don't want to reduce the 19th century to a morality play, and certainly acknowledge that the British often treated Maori appallingly.

I would also dare to introduce a bit of unfashionable balance into the discussion by advancing the theory that Maori may have benefited from the association with the colonists.

The British, for all their arrogance and notions of racial superiority (brought on, no doubt, by their undeniable technological superiority which allowed them to dominate the whole world at that time) introduced a Stone Age people to the modern world.

That's a fact, is it not?

Yes, they also brought diseases, gorse and corrupt politicians.

But surely the net result of the interaction has been positive for Maori?

After all, they fast-forwarded from the Stone Age to the Space Age in 120 years, having scored a Treaty relationship with the world's greatest superpower (unlike their American and Australian equivalents who were treated to ethnic cleansing).

Yet this positive effect is rarely if ever mentioned in discussions about matters Maori.

By 'voluntarily merged with' I mean married.

If a Maori woman marries an English man, surely the child of that union is neither Maori nor English, but Maori/English.

I'm no geneticist, but I presume the darker pigment of the Maori mum dominates and makes the child look Maori, and perhaps (I don't know) that goes some way to explain why the child might grow up identifying as Maori. I defer to others on this.

As to those who describe me as a screaming right winger obsessed with money, just remind me again which people have got their hands out?

While my comments have opened up the predictable can of worms, believe it or not I'm not trying to demean the Maori culture in any way. (I can hear your eyes rolling in their sockets from here, but so be it.)

I'm merely voicing what I suspect a lot of non-iwi-affiliated New Zealanders (that better Keri?) are silently wondering, if not steaming about.

And that is: are we being conned? Are a small group of opportunists represented by the minority (even among Maori) Maori Party overstating their ethnicity for financial gain?

Despite all the abuse heaped upon me for asking this question, I don't think it's an unfair question to ask.

If you're Maori and it was your money being taken, you'd probably be keen to know too.

(And thank you Maps for at least referring to my question, if not answering it - I didn't spot that till now).

Oh yes, herb's question...

It's become very fashionable among Maori and Pakeha to adopt Maori culture. Whether that started with the start of the Treaty industry I don't know.

I know a white woman called Jane who now insists on being called Heeni. That's her right - and no different to a Christian converting to Islam.

In suggesting that Maori are more like a faith than a race, in respect of Heeni at least I'm just telling it like it is.

A half-Maori, half-American man who chooses to live a Maori lifestyle rather than an American one presumably does so because he finds the Maori language, beliefs and rituals more emotionally satisfying.

And that's no different to the reasons why Christians convert to Islam or a white man in Stokes Valley joins the Buddhist Monastery there.

The common ingredient would seem to be a spiritual base - except perhaps for Keri.

I haven't enjoyed the abuse, but I've learned a lot from you today and thank you for having me.

12:04 am  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Hang on a minute Keri, I was being ironic, as I suspect you well know.

Whatever you may think of me, please don't call me a Nazi again.

In case you don't do irony, I am no relative of that man and have always been embarrassed by his presence in the same country.

Maps, I apologise for attaching the 'evil' to capitalist when in fact you were saying that Pakeha were not evil. Sorry, I misread that.

I don't want to reduce the 19th century to a morality play, and certainly acknowledge that the British often treated Maori appallingly.

I would also dare to introduce a bit of unfashionable balance into the discussion by advancing the theory that Maori may have benefited from the association with the colonists.

The British, for all their arrogance and notions of racial superiority (brought on, no doubt, by their undeniable technological superiority which allowed them to dominate the whole world at that time) introduced a Stone Age people to the modern world.

That's a fact, is it not?

Yes, they also brought diseases, gorse and corrupt politicians.

But surely the net result of the interaction has been positive for Maori?

After all, they fast-forwarded from the Stone Age to the Space Age in 120 years, having scored a Treaty relationship with the world's greatest superpower (unlike their American and Australian equivalents who were treated to ethnic cleansing).

Yet this positive effect is rarely if ever mentioned in discussions about matters Maori.

By 'voluntarily merged with' I mean married.

If a Maori woman marries an English man, surely the child of that union is neither Maori nor English, but Maori/English.

I'm no geneticist, but I presume the darker pigment of the Maori mum dominates and makes the child look Maori, and perhaps (I don't know) that goes some way to explain why the child might grow up identifying as Maori. I defer to others on this.

As to those who describe me as a screaming right winger obsessed with money, just remind me again which people have got their hands out?

While my comments have opened up the predictable can of worms, believe it or not I'm not trying to demean the Maori culture in any way. (I can hear your eyes rolling in their sockets from here, but so be it.)

I'm merely voicing what I suspect a lot of non-iwi-affiliated New Zealanders (that better Keri?) are silently wondering, if not steaming about.

And that is: are we being conned? Are a small group of opportunists represented by the minority (even among Maori) Maori Party overstating their ethnicity for financial gain?

Despite all the abuse heaped upon me for asking this question, I don't think it's an unfair question to ask.

If you're Maori and it was your money being taken, you'd probably be keen to know too.

(And thank you Maps for at least referring to my question, if not answering it - I didn't spot that till now).

Oh yes, herb's question...

It's become very fashionable among Maori and Pakeha to adopt Maori culture. Whether that started with the start of the Treaty industry I don't know.

I know a white woman called Jane who now insists on being called Heeni. That's her right - and no different to a Christian converting to Islam.

In suggesting that Maori are more like a faith than a race, in respect of Heeni at least I'm just telling it like it is.

A half-Maori, half-American man who chooses to live a Maori lifestyle rather than an American one presumably does so because he finds the Maori language, beliefs and rituals more emotionally satisfying.

And that's no different to the reasons why Christians convert to Islam or a white man in Stokes Valley joins the Buddhist Monastery there.

The common ingredient would seem to be a spiritual base - except perhaps for Keri.

I haven't enjoyed the abuse, but I've learned a lot from you today and thank you for having me.

12:05 am  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Hang on a minute Keri, I was being ironic, as I suspect you well know.

Whatever you may think of me, please don't call me a Nazi again.

In case you don't do irony, I am no relative of that man and have always been embarrassed by his presence in the same country.

Maps, I apologise for attaching the 'evil' to capitalist when in fact you were saying that Pakeha were not evil. Sorry, I misread that.

I don't want to reduce the 19th century to a morality play, and certainly acknowledge that the British often treated Maori appallingly.

I would also dare to introduce a bit of unfashionable balance into the discussion by advancing the theory that Maori may have benefited from the association with the colonists.

The British, for all their arrogance and notions of racial superiority (brought on, no doubt, by their undeniable technological superiority which allowed them to dominate the whole world at that time) introduced a Stone Age people to the modern world.

That's a fact, is it not?

Yes, they also brought diseases, gorse and corrupt politicians.

But surely the net result of the interaction has been positive for Maori?

After all, they fast-forwarded from the Stone Age to the Space Age in 120 years, having scored a Treaty relationship with the world's greatest superpower (unlike their American and Australian equivalents who were treated to ethnic cleansing).

Yet this positive effect is rarely if ever mentioned in discussions about matters Maori.

By 'voluntarily merged with' I mean married.

If a Maori woman marries an English man, surely the child of that union is neither Maori nor English, but Maori/English.

I'm no geneticist, but I presume the darker pigment of the Maori mum dominates and makes the child look Maori, and perhaps (I don't know) that goes some way to explain why the child might grow up identifying as Maori. I defer to others on this.

As to those who describe me as a screaming right winger obsessed with money, just remind me again which people have got their hands out?

While my comments have opened up the predictable can of worms, believe it or not I'm not trying to demean the Maori culture in any way. (I can hear your eyes rolling in their sockets from here, but so be it.)

I'm merely voicing what I suspect a lot of non-iwi-affiliated New Zealanders (that better Keri?) are silently wondering, if not steaming about.

And that is: are we being conned? Are a small group of opportunists represented by the minority (even among Maori) Maori Party overstating their ethnicity for financial gain?

Despite all the abuse heaped upon me for asking this question, I don't think it's an unfair question to ask.

If you're Maori and it was your money being taken, you'd probably be keen to know too.

(And thank you Maps for at least referring to my question, if not answering it - I didn't spot that till now).

Oh yes, herb's question...

It's become very fashionable among Maori and Pakeha to adopt Maori culture. Whether that started with the start of the Treaty industry I don't know.

I know a white woman called Jane who now insists on being called Heeni. That's her right - and no different to a Christian converting to Islam.

In suggesting that Maori are more like a faith than a race, in respect of Heeni at least I'm just telling it like it is.

A half-Maori, half-American man who chooses to live a Maori lifestyle rather than an American one presumably does so because he finds the Maori language, beliefs and rituals more emotionally satisfying.

And that's no different to the reasons why Christians convert to Islam or a white man in Stokes Valley joins the Buddhist Monastery there.

The common ingredient would seem to be a spiritual base - except perhaps for Keri.

I haven't enjoyed the abuse, but I've learned a lot from you today and thank you for having me.

12:22 am  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Apologies for the repeats. I kept getting messages that it wasn't publishing.

12:29 am  
Anonymous RedLogix said...

But it opens a whole can of worms because it seems to imply that any people who live in a modern society lose their original culture, and have no business identifying and organising as a group.

That isn't what John was saying at all...after all it is in the nature of a liberal democracy that a very wide range of people are happily permitted to identify and associate as groups.

And while unrecondite snobbery and privilege remains an unfortunate part of our world, we have at least gotten to the idea that all citizens of a society ... at least those who choose to live within it's legal norms... are equals in both legal and moral stature.

Of course genetics is beside the point; it's been obvious for a very long time that cultural identity is the crux... but of course that immediately begs the question of how one voluntary cultural association (in this case choosing to be Maori) gains primacy over all others in our society. The simple argument that 'Maori got here first' wouldn't be accepted if the English determined to apply the same reverse logic in the UK.

Indeed if every culture attempted to universally assert such a right of territorial primogeniture across the whole globe, the result would be utterly unsupportable madness everywhere.

John's argument is simple; there can be no objection to anyone identifying with whatever culture or religion of their own choice.... but it is another matter for that group to demand special legal status and economic rights... regardless of their history.

12:30 am  
Blogger maps said...

Hi John,

thanks for the response. I think that we do actually have some common ground, as well as some important differences of perspective.

I quite agree with you that Maori on the whole wanted to get access to modern technology brought by Europeans and other outsiders and raise their standard of living. This is obvious from the historical record. I also agree with you that few of us, Maori or Pakeha, would today want to go back to living in a pre-industrial society. I'm no fan of romantic primitivists and their cult of the noble savage.

I don't think the fact that Maori didn't have printing presses, flour mills, steam engines, and similar products of modernity when Europeans arrived is a judgment on them. They were a small, very geographically isolated society, or group of societies, and they developed a way of life which was suited to the environment in which they found themselves. There's no way they could have kickstarted their own industrial revolution.

The impressive achievements of the Tongans, who were much less isolated from the rest of humanity, had longer to develop, and enjoyed a wonderful environment, show that Polynesians could, if they had the opportunity and the desire, build highly complex, technologically sophisticated societies (I blogged about this at: http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/01/in-tongan-empire.html)

Where I disagree with you is over your apparent assumption that the economic development Maori wanted could only come through the expropriation of Maori land and the marginalisation of Maori in a Pakeha-dominated capitalist New Zealand. I think that Maori wanted, by and large, to trade with and mix with Pakeha and acquire many of the trappings of modernity, without surrendering their autonomy. And I don't think this desire was utopian. The de facto independent states of the Waikato Kingdom and Parihaka did a very good job of combining economic development based on modern technology with traditional Polynesian forms of social organisation - until they were invaded and destroyed.

In some ways we are seeing a revival of attempts to find a distinctively Maori path to development today. Of course these attempts are imperilled by the pressure of the ruthless world of the twenty-first century, with its wild capital flows and voracious multinational coroporations, and also by the emergence of a 'Browntable' of Maori capitalists more interested in profits than serving their people.

Nevertheless, there have been some real achievements, in both cultural and economic terms, during the Maori renaissance of the last forty years. I think that, like the Waikato Kingdom and Parihaka, some of the projects of recent decades, like the kohanga reo movement, can be models for Pakeha as well as Maori Kiwis.

12:57 am  
Blogger maps said...

On the subject of identity:

I agree with you, John, that it has become fashionable, in certain middle class Pakeha circles, to claim Maori identity. There are some Pakeha who find they have Maori ancestry and experience something akin to a religious conversion.

But for the vast majority of Maori, their identity has never been a choice, and in most of the country it is still not fashionable to be Maori.

I grew up down the road from Pukekohe, a town which banned Maori from its barbers shop and one of its pubs up until the '60s, and which for decades wouldn't let them sit upstairs at its movie theatre. As recently as the '50s, there were forty different pieces of legislation which restricted Maori rights on the books. Up until 1960, for instance, it was forbidden for Maori to sit on juries that were considering charges brought against Pakeha. Pakeha, by contrast, could sit on juries considering charges brought against Maori. There are still a number of pieces of legislation which discriminate against Maori which remain on the books - the Tohunga Suppression Act is a good example.

Research by the sociologist Cluny MacPherson has found that Polynesians endure widespread discrimination in situations like job interviews. Too many schools still fail to teach Maori history and culture, and thus risk making Maori kids feel marginalised and alien. This is certainly what happened at the schools I attended.

Given all this, it's hardly surprising that Maori have had, and mostly still have, an acute sense of their own difference from Pakeha, notwithstanding the fact that they may have and may celebrate some Pakeha ancestry. For a long time, Maori haven't had the option of choosing to be Maori - they've been treated as Maori, and as different. This has begun to change in recent decades, as a result of the Maori renaissance, and it may well be that, if Maori are allowed further in from the margins of our society, if Pakeha history and culture are simultaneously recognised and dehegominised (ie respected, but not treated as an orthodoxy), and if the class divisions that encourage racism can be eroded, then a new, dual identity will begin to emerge, and perhaps even begin to supersede the old Pakeha-Maori dichotomy. The 'Pasifika' identity which has begun to link groups like Samoans and ongans living in New Zealand might offer a glimpse of the future.

The literary scholar Mark Williams has suggested that the Pakeha Maori Jacky Marmon, whom I mentioned in my post, stands as a model for a future dual identity. The historians Judith Binney and Mark Derby have revealed that in the nineteenth century some anti-imperialist Irish called themselves Aorihi, the Maori word for Irish, and refused to identify as Pakeha, even as they acknowledged their difference from Maori. They might be another model. But a new identity cannot be created artificially, ahead of time.

Redlogix: it's that word 'voluntary' which is leading you astray, in my humble opinion. A good red should have some grasp of historical materialism! You might be interested in this debate:
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-white-marxists-reach-tuhoe_11.html

1:07 am  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Maps, I agree with much of what you say and the clear way you say it.

I agree that we agree on many points. I will read your suggested links and see if they change my mind on other points. They may.

I agree that Maori have much to be proud of (especially what I read of Parihaka) and that they were often mistreated - though perhaps by the brutal standards of the age not as badly as they might have been, given the power imbalance.

I can see why many people choose to put their Maori side ahead of their European side - the closeness of whanau, for example - but simply question the degree to which they can be regarded as a distinct race for the purposes of compensation.

I would like to put right one claim you make about me. I have never said that Maori do not deserve compensation for legitimate wrongs done to them.

Tuhoe, in particular, would appear to have a strong case, though the payment would need to be balanced against the benefits they have received as citizens of New Zealand (which are all too rarely acknowledged).

I do question the amount of compensation in some cases and the distribution of it in nearly all cases.

To me, it would have been far better to apportion payment to individual Maori in the affected iwi, according to the only fair method I can think of - their percentage of Maori blood. When left to their leaders, I understand most receive nothing.

I question the need for repeated 'full and final' settlements, and I particularly question the latest proposed handover of the foreshore and seabed.

I agree with you about the ongoing racism in New Zealand, though would make the point that it is not all one-way. I have seen my Chinese relatives abused by Maori who seem to resent their presence (isolated examples of course).

I think Pakeha attitudes have improved immeasurably since the 1960s, when ads for flats routinely specified 'No Maoris or Islanders'. I agree this must have been very painful for Maori, and can understand why they would feel bitter.

Much of the credit for the change goes to people on the left of politics, whom I don't usually see eye to eye with on other matters.

Maori words are now pronounced correctly by Pakeha, though the standard for English pronunciation is much more lax.

In short, we are coming together, just as Maori are becoming more culturally confident.

I just think it would be a shame if we fell out over money. No one today was alive when the wrongs of the nineteenth century were perpetrated, and there's a limit to how much people should have to pay for the sins of their ancestors.

To reduce uncertainty, I'd like to see that limit defined.

9:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beware of fake Pakeha...

1:23 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

John asks why Maori should be compensated, today, for colonial sins of the past, and posits that it is unfair that one ethnicity be differentially treated over another. I am utterly loath to give you overly simplistic bullet points of my opinion in answer to you, but I shall do it anyway as an attempt to answer you in the hope of constructive debate. As previously mentioned, Maps has addressed questions such as you raise before and there is, quite literally, tons upon tons of literature on the topic. Alas..

1. Demographics. They exist. They are real. The media and politicians love to cite where Maori are demographically, generally being in the lower socioeconomic range. Population health, education, crime, economics. Ask any member of a DHB if there are negative trends in Maori health demographics. Now, ask yourself, in your "equal society" why such glaring disparities exist?

2. Despite frivolous and ethnocentric arguments about technology gains, Maori were largely wronged through the processes of colonialism. Pure and simple. Maori culture was crushed for most of a century through institutional racism such as policy regarding Maori language in the education system and the obvious stealing of Maori land and other breaches of the Treaty (a legal document). This is why we have a waitangi tribunal. These historical issues disenfranchised Maori, as it would anyone else in the same situation. Therefore there is a sense of justice and the writing of wrongs here. A compassionate society and a just society with the rule of law has an obligation to address these issues.

3. Indigenous status. When Europeans invaded NZ there were already people living here. Maori culture evolved in NZ and is unique to NZ. Nowhere else in the world. Maori culture is part of NZ, and Maori culture has been weakened by colonialism. Maori have a right to practice Maori culture and NZ has an obligation to protect it. This is no different to indigenous peoples of Australia, Papa New Guinea, Canada, America, Brazil, Norway (yes they have indigenous people up there who were shat on too and are now being compensated) and many, many other countries around the globe with colonial pasts. It is a world wide phenomena in the age of post-colonialism to recognize how historical mistreatment of indigenous peoples has lead to current disenfranchisement which should be compensated for.


Now, John, there you go. I've taken the time, against my better judgment, to bother simplifying the reasons why Maori should be compensated into 3 very broad points which I don't think anyone can really argue against. I feel horribly uneasy to even be having this conversation about "should be" and "shouldn't be", but, since you wouldn't take advice to read more widely and engage with Maori personally, I guess there you go.

3:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NZ is a temperate Congo.
We are all blacks as far as the bourgeoisie of the US and Europe is concerned.

3:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward man: right on.

3:53 pm  
Blogger dave said...

I don't think Hone's preference for Maori sons and daughters-in-law is racist. It could be a cultural preference or social solidarity. Either way there is a material history such as Maps has described embedded in this attitude.

Historically oppressed people should be supported unconditionally in their cultural practices, not have their sexual and other preferences interrogated. So Hone hits the white racist paranoia button, and knees jerkoff.

I think Edwards reply to Ansell is bang on. Maori are still an oppressed minority people as the vast majority are in the reserve army of labour. Their so-called iwi capitalists have to go cap in hand to successive farmers and bankers governments to get some token redress. The latest venture on the F&S pales into nothing compared with the map of private F$S ownership already in existence. I in 3 Maori in Northland are unemployed. Young Maori males share with Australian Aboriginal males the highest suicide rate in the world.

I would be more worried about Sharples wanting to fly the Tino flag over private prisons than Hone baiting the white racists. Come to that I would be more worried about the racist chauvinist sycophancy underlying the public grief for Lieutenant O'Donnell, when the official reaction to wikileaks, or better, Brad Mannings, revelations on the secret racist, imperialist war in Afghanistan, was that they risked the deaths of people like O'Donnell.

I hope that Hone can rise above the petty shite settler semi-fascism that surrounds him and voices off more on behalf of the oppressed of the world. That would give the white racists something to really rage on about.

9:37 pm  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Edward, if you could take your eyepatch off for a moment and read my comments, you'd see that I acknowledge the need to right legitimate wrongs.

Now let me ask some other questions.

Why is it that Chinese immigrants - who are protected by no Treaty and whose families have suffered the most appalling state-sponsored racism in both New Zealand and Australia (the White Australia Policy only being struck out in, from memory, 1967) - just seem to be able to get on with their lives, put their heads down, work hard, achieve success and make few demands on the state?

Why are Chinese New Zealanders not consumed with bitterness towards their former racist oppressors?

Why is there no discernible Chinese underclass in which thousands of dysfunctional Chinese families drown their grievances in alcohol and drugs, lead the world in teen pregnancies and teen suicide and regularly bash their babies to death?

Why do Chinese New Zealanders not make excuses for the evils done to their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents?

Why are Chinese children more likely to become doctors, accountants and engineers than burglars, bank robbers and long-term welfare beneficiaries?

Why?


Doubtless you're not pleased with the question, but I'd be genuinely interested to know the answer.

12:14 am  
Anonymous herb said...

Heh...weird argument from JA...

Chinese immigrants in NZ represent on the whole a privileged layer, either highly skilled workers or members of the bourgeoisie...do the math...to get in many of them effectively promised to invest millions.

So these are people who have 'gotten ahead', either by luck, skill, or corruption, or all three, as China's communist bureaucrats have converted themselves into a capitalist class...not surprising that these people do well in NZ...not surprising that their kids do well in their studies at the posh schools they attend.

No analogy between these new immigrants and Maori...they started out at opposite places. John should compare Maori and Samoans or Maori and Somali...that would be fairer...but not to his benefit...

2:30 am  
Anonymous Edward said...

No eyepatch John, but even if I did have only one eye I could still tell you keep shifting the goal posts from a mile away.
Pretty dishonest to me for you to say, no, demand "simple answers", and then turn around and claim that you never asked a question!? I was being constructive and answering your lame questions against my better judgement, pretty slimy tactics there John, though to be honest I figured you wouldn't accept evidence anyway. If you don't want people to write you off as a racist, perhaps you could start debating honestly?

Anyway..getting to your next example of comparing apples with oranges (nice to know you have a good grasp on data), you say you acknowledge righting legitimate wrongs, but then completely ignore the other two points I made. When you read through my previous post did you only see point 2? I'm sorry, I guess the other two major points didn't show up. To recap:
1. was demographics.
3. was indigenous status.
Seen as you missed them the first time maybe you should go back and have another look?

Now, I would agree with you that there has indeed been institutionalised racism against Chinese migrants in this country, and I agree that this is horrible and should be stopped. But chinese culture does not fit the other two criteria now does it? Lets have a look:

Do the demographics show chinese to generally be on the lowest rung of the socioeconomic ladder? No, no I guess they don't.

Ok, so is chinese culture indigenous to NZ? Is NZ the only place in the world it exists and always has? No, no it guess it isn't.

Hmm, ok, well how about land? Did the chineses migrants have their traditional lands stolen from them in NZ? No, no I guess they didn't have that either.

Sorry, John, the sound of your argument being shot out of the sky in a firely ball made me forget your original point! What was it again? Oh, that's right, you were just comparing two phenomena which aren't really all that comparable, trying to trick readers with an apples and oranges scenario.

Now i'm going to do something I rather enjoy. I'm going to attempt to flip your question on it's head. You ask why Chinese migrants don't end up "bank robbers", aren't "bitter" and don't "bash their babies". I assume the above criteria are how you classify Maori then? Well, no, that doesn't at all even in the slightest sound racist there John. You're just "an honest man asking some simple questions" right? Those meany lefties that call you racist are just making it up. For no good reason. At all.
....anyway, i've already answered your questions in my last post and in my urging you to read the literature (John, that's at least the third time someone has asked you to read up on what you obviously know nothing about, maybe it's time you did?). But, and here's the flipping, why do you think chinese demographics and attitudes are the way they are? And, more importantly, why are Maori demographics the way they are? Or are you arguing Maori don't exist again except as a "religion" (that's a 'fact' right John? Except that not one human scientist or theologian IN THE WORLD would agree with that statement).

Now, before getting all huffy and calling me one eyed again, perhaps you could sharpen up that reading comprehension of yours and actually absorb what people write. Afterall, I wrote it in pretty basic child-like language for you as you requested "simple answers" to complex questions.

Disclaimer: If you read an overtone of sarcasm and angry mockery in this post, it's probably because I tried in the last post to be constructive, only for you to turn around and start arguing like a creationsit at scientific conference. I don't think anyone engaging in an honest way can argue with my previous 3 points, but you seem to disregard 2 of them, leading me to believe you're not even interested in listening.

8:54 am  
Blogger Marty Mars said...

Edawrd your thoughts and writing are brilliant and you say what i would like to say - thanks for that.

I think hone was coming from a cultural perspective (poorly articulated) rather than a 'race' or 'colour' or 'blood percentage' angle. I do have a tiny bit of sympathy for his viewpoint. If we accept it takes 3 generations to rebuild a language within a whanau as a living language, and if my son came home with a person who said maori don't exist or if they do it is fake because they want money, if that person discouraged te reo and cultural practices - then I would be disappointed - but that is all. It is the same challenge facing all parents.

The question of who is maori is interesting and the start/middle and finish for me is whakapapa. Yes the geneological aspects - the lines, but also the deeper information contained within whakapapa. The other aspect that needs consideration is the tribal aspect - I am much more comfortable saying I am Ngai Tahu than maori for instance, even though Ngai Tahu are maori.

If I was born and lived in england then I would use those strands of whakapapa to provide context and connection to that place.

The amount of money paid in compensation to maori is tiny really in the big picture - I haven't noticed any tax increases due to treaty payouts. The focus on the fiscal is a red herring.

9:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what gives a pakeha like maps the right to korero about maori???

why doesn't he stick to pakeha issues???

12:03 pm  
Blogger John Ansell said...

Edward, the Chinese goldminers who came here in the 1800s were dirt poor. Ever stepped (make that stooped) inside one of their huts in Arrowtown?

You say "Maori culture evolved in NZ". Did they not colonise NZ from Hawaiiki?

In fact, did the Maori race not originated in Taiwan? (As, ironically, my wife does.)

You say "Maori culture has been weakened by colonialism." I think you need to get out more. (Or if you stay in, just switch on Maori TV.)

Maori culture is flourishing, eagerly practised by those descended from Maori and colonist alike.

It's never been more fashionable to be Maori or want to be.

You say Maori culture has been weakened by colonisation as though colonisation is some sort of scourge like the plague, not a process (admittedly involving unfairnesses) that lifted Maori from the Stone Age to the Space Age and brought even the poorest of them a standard of living that would not have been possible had they stayed on their 1830s course.

There's no doubt colonisation has robbed Maoridom of a certain authenticity, in that they no longer enjoy their idyllic primitive lifestyle punctuated by brutal wars and invasions. (Oops, I forgot, only the English can be invaders.)

Colonisation has robbed Maori of the opportunity to die at a much earlier age than they do now, the right to travel everywhere on foot and by canoe instead of in those pesky SUVs and big steel birds.

Colonisation has visited so many contemporary irritations upon the tangata whenua, like that nasty electricity, those awful shopping malls, and the evil internet on which we are now communicating.

On behalf of my forefathers, for all of these tools of colonial oppression, my apologies.

You talk about demographics as though personal responsibility does not enter into one's socio-econonic predicament - that Maori who are poor are poor, and must remain poor, because of what happened to their forebears over 100 years ago.

Yet there are peoples throughout the world who have been treated much more harshly than Maori.

Having one's land taken off you is bad. But it's nowhere near as bad as being tortured and having your family and friends butchered, as happened to vast numbers of Cambodians.

How is it that these peoples seem to be able to put the most appalling pasts behind them and look to the future? I don't know how they do it, but they do. I suspect it's something to do with Buddhism.

Many oppressed people are dirt poor, yet feel no need to resort to orgies of violence.

It would seem to be a matter of cultural attitude and cultural expectation. I notice that Chinese parents set the bar much higher for their children than New Zealand parents tend to do. These parents make life harder for themselves, but correspondingly easier in the end for their kids.

We can resent them for their inevitable success, or we can learn from them.

Maori have been encouraged by white socialist guilt-trippers to regard themselves as hopeless victims, stripped of their 'mana' (a religious concept like wahi tapu and taniwha) which they believe prevents them from moving forward.

Buddhism, on the other hand, encourages its followers to 'let it go'. That would seem to me the more practical of the two belief systems (not that I'm practising it here).

The grievers-in-chief at the helm of the Maori Party are clearly bent on owning the whole country and won't be happy until they do.

Thanks to John Key, this may be sooner than they dared dream possible, as he seems keen to award them much of the foreshore and seabed by Christmas.

I agree with the need to right historical wrongs, but don't agree that we can only move forward as one people if the colonisers give up their sovereignty.

1:47 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

John,

Again you confuse culture with race. Maori culture did indeed evolve here. It no more evolved in Taiwan than Hawaiian culture did.

Secondly, yes, Maori culture has been damaged by colonialsim, or do the past 100 years not count John? Was Maori culture in no way whatsoever interrupted? And I do indeed get out and interact with Maori, do you John?

Next you talk about "stone ages" and "space ages". Where did you get your ideas about cultural evolution from? Age of Empires? Or was it just the 18th and 19th centuries being regurgitated yet again? Perhaps you should read some newer books, or at all in fact.

Next you try and say demographics, population statistics, are the way they are because of individual choices? So there is just something inherently bad with Maori then right John?

Next you ramble on yet again about budhists, cambodians etc etc as though you have a point? what is it? We're not in Tibet and we're not in cambodia. You seem a little obsessed. When I said rather sarcastically that you had a good grasp on data by comparing apples with oranges what exactly was this translated to inside your head? "please, keep talking about things which aren't comparible, afterall, data doesn't need to be examined carefully, but can involve anything that floats about in the mind".

So, here we are, yet again, and:

1.you still haven't absorbed what I said even though I put it in child-like language for you.

2.you still haven't covered point 1 or 3, and instead set about trying to redefine definitions (just like a creationist in a science conference).

3. You continue to confuse different issues by comparing disparate sociological and cultural phenomena from different situations.

4. You have yet again refused to heed advice and, gee, I don't know, go and read the tons upon tons of literature. For god's sake if you really were sincere you could at least good 'culture' or 'Maori' rather than drivelling on about cambodia and religion and genes.


As I said, I don't think you're honest or sincere. I think you have an axe to grind and thus aren't interested in actually listening to anyone with a different and better informed view (be it the number of social scientists or Maori on here). I think you should crawl back to your 'brain trust' NZ political research centre where no doubt the other racists, pseudoscientists and conspiracy nuts can give you a pat on the back for a good job.

2:12 pm  
Blogger maps said...

How can anyone talk about Pakeha culture and history without mentioning Maori, anon, when so much of Pakeha culture and history is determined by the relationship Pakeha have had with Maori? It'd be like talking about Maori history without talking about Pakeha, or talking about Lennon without mentioning McCartney.

I'm not saying there aren't huge areas of Maori experience and history I couldn't understand, let alone talk about. In the University of Auckland archives where I'm studying old poems by Kendrick Smithyman, there are manuscripts where Te Kooti, or one of Te Kooti's secretaries, wrote down a series of waiata back in the nineteenth century. Those manuscripts are open access, but I haven't looked at them, even though I've been fascinated by Te Kooti for a long time. It doesn't seem right. (I'm not saying that no Pakeha should ever study Te Kooti, of course. If I had Judith Binney's knowledge and contacts, then I'd feel differently about handling the waiata.)

3:27 pm  
Blogger maps said...

It's disappointing that John would try to say that Maori culture is not indigenous to these islands.

One only has to walk through the Maori Court at the Auckland War Memorial Museum to see the difference between the East Polynesian-styled artefacts produced in the early period of human habitation of Aotearoa and the massive, baroque works produced by the Maori culture that the descendants of those early settlers developed in later centuries.

It's fascinating, as well, to look at the collection of Moriori artefacts on display in Te Papa, and then compare them to the artefacts of iwi like Kai Tahu and Te Arawa which are displayed nearby. Though there are of course some similarities, the Moriori artefacts reflect the fact that the ancestors of Moriori got stuck on the Chathams before the flowering of Maori culture. You won't find any hei tiki motifs or anything made from greenstone amongst their artefacts!

Saying that Maori culture didn't emerge in Aotearoa just because Maori are Polynesians and Polynesians culture pre-existed elsewhere is like saying that Brazilian culture comes from Portugal, not Brazil, or that Tongan culture developed in the Solomons, or that Breton culture comes from southwest England, or that Hungarian culture developed in the Ob River valley. It's daft, in other words.

John should also know that the distant Taiwanese ancestors of the Polynesians have virtually nothing to do, culturally or genetically, with the Chinese (ie, Austronesian) people who dominate Taiwan today. The distant ancestors of the Polynesians live on today as the indigenous Austronesian tribes of Taiwan, who speak their own languages and practice their own cultures.

3:41 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Sorry, I meant to say 'ie, *not* Austronesian' not 'ie, Austronesian' in the penultimate sentence of that last comment.

3:43 pm  
Blogger Marty Mars said...

Notwithstanding the enjoyable edward teaching john thread - this seems to put a little context around hone's silly comment.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/audrey-young/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501219&objectid=10663990

"PART OF INTERVIEW WITH HONE HARAWIRA BY DEREK CHENG
Derek says: In the lead up to this, Hone said he did not have many Pakeha friends and talked about giving out energy, and how when he gave out energy to Maori communities, it was all positive, but when it was for non-Maori, "a lot of it is completely barren".
DC: What if one of your kids came home with a Pakeha, how would you feel about that?
HH: I wouldn't feel comfortable.
DC: Why not?
HH: I just wouldn't feel comfortable. That person will come into my house and not have a Maori expectation of how we operate. Do you know what I mean?
DC: Couldn't you teach them that?
HH: Christ, like I have time for that. I don't have time to be teaching people about that sort of stuff. We had this old Pakeha chap who died in our local community, and we brought him to our marae, and his mother came. She was really really old. And she stands up in the marae and she says,'this is wonderful. It's the first marae I've ever been to'. She must have been 80-something. I think to myself,'for God's sake'. You know what I mean? I really don't have time to be trying to teach people, aye. I've got [barely] enough time to teach my own, to teach myself. There're some people who enjoy and are good at teaching non-Maori about Maori things. I'm not, so I don't try. And I don't try to bullshit anybody that I am, either."

There is a bit more but it goes downhill from there.

It's a tough one but as you teach you also learn and society is improved so I'd prefer it if hone did make the effort.

7:03 pm  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Koutou,
I have had a blast (not to mention a few grimaces and laughs) while reading these comments. Edward - loved the sarcasm dripping from your comments, fantastic! Maps - impressive writing and well researched. I guess the only comment you made that I feel some hesitation about, is the exhortation to not moralise about the injustices of the past. In my humble opinion, as much as we can objectively rationalise colonising practices, such as the appropriation of land as founded on economics, we can not forget that the notion of 'white' superiority played a major role in the colonisation of many countries, and that black/brown bodies were seen as mere obstacles to enslave or trample over in the rush for the riches they walked on. This to me is what colonisation is built upon, with economics being a benefit of this racist ideology.

No doubt you have an incredibly clever reply to this that is beautifully crafted and objective, but then i sometimes think that perhaps being Pakeha, objectivity is an easy stance to take, when it is not our bodies that have felt the real effects of those racist policies, and the pain that goes with it.

Maps, thank you for your wonderful blog. And I would also like to say Kia ora Keri H - ka whawhai tonu matou. Po marie

Tara Kloss

11:36 pm  
Blogger dave said...

Hone has made the effort. Just go back over his 30 year record before he joined the Maori Party. Just ask the many thousands of pakeha and Maori who have been confronted by such 'radicalism' as a result.
True much of it hit a racist wall and forced activists like him to pull back into tribal territory to develop local media and networks.
Joining the MP was a tactical mistake IMO but its a mistake made under pressure to fight for the S&F. Hones relation to the corporate media is fraught with the same impossible contradiction.
When the MP comes away with almost nothing to show for its sellout to the NACTS I dare say Hone will review his tactics under pressure from his 'people'.
The global crisis will further oppress the majority of working Maori and open the road again for Maori and non-Maori workers to fight on a class basis against global finance capital. Under those conditions its up to non-Maori and Maori to prove their staunchness in action both in the class struggle and in cohabitation.

11:59 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Fair point Ruahines. I guess in some ways I am thinking about the history of my own 'tribe', or tribes, when I say that large historical forces, rather than small moral flaws, have a way of turning people into oppressors.

Some of my ancestors were Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots from the Isle of Skye who got chased off their land by English and lowland Scots, emigrated to the Mallee, a dry flat region on the edge of the Australian Outback, and ended up taking the land of the Wergaia people, who had lived there for many thousands of years.

There are examples of the tendency of the oppressed to turn into oppressors everywhere we look - Israel is a particularly tragic modern example, but in New Zealand we can consider the case of the Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama invasion of the Chathams in 1835, and the way Maori have served as footsoldiers for colonial occupations in Vietnam, Afghianistan, and a score of other places.

When people understand history as a morality play, and define themselves in terms only of the times they have been wronged, they risk becoming blind to the possibility that they will do wrong to others. Many Israeli Jews cannot recognise the oppression their state is responsible before, because they think of themselves only as a wronged people (and I don't mean to deny the terrible history of oppression against Jews, culminating in the Shoah). In much the same way, the Sinhala people of Sri Lanka remember their oppression at the hands of British colonial overlords, and refuse to accept that they have now become colonial overlords in the lands of Sri Lanka's Tamil people.

And how about the way Maori have turned Willie Apiata into a hero? Do the people of Te Kaha remember their own experience of colonialism when they welcome him home and give him a pat on the back for being an enforcer in the colonial occupation of Afghanistan and for massacring the tangata whenua of that country?

I believe we have to look at the larger forces - in particular, the complex system we call capitalism and its offshoot imperialism - to find explanations for the ability of the oppressed to become oppressors.

There's also the more practical point that nobody likes to think that their ancestors were a bunch of inherent bastards. Everyone wants to think well of at least some of their forebears. We have to create a narrative of the past which is accurate, but which avoids painting peoples in black. Focusing on forces larger than the individual can help us do this.

12:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only debates like this happened on kiwiblog. Sigh. Discussion is much harder than violent invective.

9:57 am  
Anonymous jh said...

"The huge slave raids of the Musket Wars period occurred because white colonists in cities like Sydney, Port Nicholson, and even San Francisco had created a market for exports of agricultural products. The conquerors of the Moriori put their subjects to work growing spuds for Pakeha, who didn't complain about their methods.

In the same way, the ruthless wars the colonists and the British Empire waged against Maori later in the nineteenth century - wars which featured massacres of civilians at places like Rangiaowhia, and outright genocide in the Ureweras, where General Whitmore's expedition tore up crops and torched villages to create mass starvation at the end of the 1860s - were motivated by economic forces, not by some inherent evil in Pakeha society. The conquest and expropriation of the Maori was our local equivalent of the enclosures of the Scottish highlands - it was motivated by profit, and was a part of the establishment of capitalism here. "
============
I just thought I'd check that out by a google and found this.

"Potato Wars

Some historians have suggested a more accurate name for these battles would be the Potato Wars, due to the revolution the potato brought to the Māori economy. Potatoes were introduced to Māori in 1794, becoming a key staple with better food-value for weight than kūmara (sweet potato), and easier cultivation and storage. Unlike the kūmara, potatoes were tillable by slaves and women and this freed up men to go to war. The result was a logistical revolution; potatoes effectively fuelled the long range taua that made the 'Musket Wars' so different from any fighting that had gone before. Slaves brought back from these massive raids were put to work tending potato patches, freeing up labour to create even larger taua. This can be seen in the progressive size of the war parties which started at around a hundred but within a few years were often a thousand toa (warriors) and up to two thousand. After 1832 the average size of the taua declined, until by 1836 they were as small as 120-200. The missionaries at Tauranga in 1839 recorded that 170 Ngati Haua Toa in five waka went to attack Maungatapu Pa.(Crosby P 338) As well, the duration of the raids were longer by the 1820s; it was common for men to be away for up to a year. Because potatoes are not as sensitive to temperature in the "winterless" north as kūmara, it was easy to grow a series of crops. Also American sailors had reintroduced the much larger fist-sized, American sweet potato, which quickly replaced the thumb-sized "Māori" Kūmara. The availability of the potato and its ease of growing in a wide variety of climatic and soil conditions may have led to a rise in population, putting increasing pressure on a traditional Māori tribal structure that was geared towards a very tiny increase in population, i.e., far more healthy vigorous young men in the pā to challenge for positions of leadership."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musket_Wars

10:25 am  
Anonymous jh said...

With regard to potato and the musket wars, there's another explanation in wikipadedia. Ranganui Walker also has a minimisation in his book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musket_Wars

10:28 am  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks for the references jh. The sources for my comments about the economy of the Chathams between 1835 and the abolition of slavery were King's book Moriori: A People Rediscovered and the Treaty of Waitangi's book-length 2001 report Rekohu, which is available online:
http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/reports/summary.asp?reportid=%7BDC857EB5-2849-43AE-8F86-B804058D0899%7D

In many areas of the North Island I think that the growing of potatoes for sale or trade, rather than just for domestic consumption, was necessitated by the need to acquire arms, in particular, as well as less destructive commodities offered by traders.

I think the raids on different parts of the country by Nga Puhi, after Hongi Hika returned from his trip abroad with Thomas Kendall with a large supply of new-fangled guns, forced iwi to modernise or die. Hongi slaughtered iwi who had never seen firearms before, and in the aftermath of his raids these iwi cleared huge areas for the cultivation of potatoes so they could have something to trade with or sell to Pakeha, and thereby get their own guns.

Maori therefore began to move away from a pure subsistence economy into a mixed subsistence and cash/barter economy which was reliant for its existence on Europeans, and on the primitive version of the capitalist system Europeans brought to these islands in the early nineteenth century. Eventually Maori in places like the Waikato Kingdom and (later) Parihaka worked out a way to combine traditional methods of social organisation and traditional collective ownership of land with the brave new world of the market, and the system which some scholars have called the Polynesian mode of production was born. There was a discussion about the Polynesian mode of production here:
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-white-marxists-reach-tuhoe_11.html and here:
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/04/history-necessity-and-new-zealand-wars.html

10:49 am  
Blogger pollywog said...

I feel it in the 'one drop'...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-drop_rule

...i tried the white way and it wasn't the right way

now i'm on some next level pasifikan evolutionary shit that's gonna take over the world within 2 generations

POLYNIZATION...polynesian cultural colonization

we will assimilate you.

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

mwahhhhhhhhaaaaaaahaaaaaaa

10:55 am  
Anonymous jh said...

I think your links to "the noble savage" and other ideas Europeans may have had to the debate today is spurious.
We are constantly told that past actions by Pakeha are responsible for the state of Maori today including high crime rates, life expectancy, poverty. The solution is seen as letting Maori practice Maori culture but also to give back control of their tribal rohe (Tariana Turia). The other aspect is who might benefit from (say) keeping literally to the Maori version of the treaty of Waitangi which is one basis to Maori ownership of the foreshore and seabed. With regard to the first (post colonisation stress disorder) critics such as myself are asking how past events translate through intermarriage and time and arrive intact into the present circumstance. If I'm 1/8 Maori how does theft of my land explain my (whatever) negative statistic?

11:00 am  
Anonymous jh said...

"Eventually Maori in places like the Waikato Kingdom and (later) Parihaka worked out a way to combine traditional methods of social organisation and traditional collective ownership of land with the brave new world of the market, and the system which some scholars have called the Polynesian mode of production was born"
==
As I understand it the state (and woes) of modern society (as opposed to primitive societies) is the need for a division of labour?

11:41 am  
Anonymous jh said...

"As I understand it the state (and woes) of modern society (as opposed to primitive societies) is due to the need for a division of labour?"

11:43 am  
Blogger maps said...

Are we 'constantly told' that past actions by Pakeha are responsible for Maori problems, or are we told by some informed observers that the process of colonisation is partially responsible for these problems?

I would say that there is an important difference between the two propositions. If we point to colonisation (and I would bring in the concept of imperialism), then we are pointing to a process which is far bigger than the individual worldviews and actions of ordinary nineteenth century Pakeha. We're not blaming Joe Bloggs the cow cocky from Taranaki for the plight of Maori, even if (for the sake of argument) he did happen to set up on confiscated land and hold some racist attitudes.

I've argued in this thread that it is pointless to get into explanations of history which rely on the perfidy of Joe Bloggs, or for that matter of Hone Bloggs. We have to look at larger tendencies and forces.

If anyone can be condemned as partially responsible for colonisation, it is not ordinary Pakeha but fat cats like, say, Josiah Firth and his Auckland mates, who pushed the government of their day into the invasion of the Waikato and then bought up tracts of the land that was confiscated in the wake of the war. People like Firth screwed over ordinary Pakeha, including the soldier-settlers who did much of the fighting for them, in the aftermath of the war (go and have a look at the exhibiton on at the Waikato Musuem at the moment, which documents the miserable first decades of th city of Hamilton, whose impoverished Pakeha inhabitants were neglected by a government that only acted in the interests of big landowner-speculators like Firth). As the Red Federation of Labour recognised when it sought to make an alliance with Maori during the General Strike of 1913, and as Princess Te Puea recognised when she worked with the trade union movement decades later, ordinary Pakeha had much in common with Maori.

In much the same way, ordinary people of both ethnicities have a lot in common today. Both face the buy-up of their country by multinational capital and a small local capitalist class, for instance. Pakeha are experiencing the beginnings of a new wave of colonisation, at the hands of globalised capital, as they see their worksites shifting offshore, their favourite holiday parks being turned into condos for rich Americans, and their government spending hundreds of millions on the Auckland viaduct while it closes schools and post offices in the provincial heartland.

11:56 am  
Anonymous jh said...

Your use of noble savage I don't get (in relation to comments about racial purity today). I would have thought you would find the meme in the Maori nationalist movement (if that is the correct label) as here:

Sina read a statement from Te Ata Tino Toa, companera Tia Taurere, “The Tino Rangatiratanga flag symbolises the long tradition of struggle and resistance by Maori against colonisation and the Crown sponsored theft of Maori land and resources. It is a symbol used by Maori who continue to resist the pressures of colonisation and cultural and economic genocide. Such a concept embraces the spiritual link Maori have with ‘Papatuanuku’ (Earthmother) and is a part of the international drive by indigenous peoples for self determination.”

http://uriohau.blogspot.com/2008/02/waitangi-day-kulin-nations-08.html

12:00 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Matts Says:
Are we 'constantly told' that past actions by Pakeha are responsible for Maori problems, or are we told by some informed observers that the process of colonisation is partially responsible for these problems?
.........
But the whole point of the racial purity thing is 7 Pakeha + 1 Maori ancestor = a victim of colonisation or someone who should be part owner of the foreshore and seabed.

1:00 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Hi jh,

for reasons we've discussed upthread blood isn't crucial here, and there isn't the mobility between Maori and non-Maori identity that you and John Ansell claim.

I don't follow your point about the division of labour.

I agree with you that the noble savage meme is a feature of some Maori nationalist writing and speechifying. It's also found, more surprisingly, in some Marxist writing, and even in the work of highly sophisticated Marxist scholars like Dave Bedggood (who is the 'dave' taking part in this thread).

The Maori nationalists (like Donna Awatere when she wrote Maori Sovereignty back in the early eighties) have often argued that pre-contact society was unstratified and conflict-free; Marxists often suggest the same, denying that there were breaches between chiefs and their followers (Dave explicitly argues this point in his influential book Rich and Poor in New Zealand).

Maori nationalists have tended to downplay statification and conflict in pre-contact Aotearoa because they are trying to counterpose that period to the era of oppresion and expropriation that followed it - to present it as a 'golden age' before colonisation, in other words. This is a long-standing practice amongst peoples who have been subjugated and oppressed - in a famous essay the English historian Christopher Hill pointed out that the Britons who had been conquered in 1066 developed stories of how good life had been before the arrival of the 'Norman yoke'.

Marx and Engels tended to deny that class or proto-class conflict existed in (so-called) 'primitive' societies because they wanted to counterpose those societies to feudal and capitalist orders, and thereby show that class-divided societies were not the inevitable lot of humans (there have, indeed, been some 'primitive' societies - the hunter gatherer society that the Moriori developed on the Chathams, for instance - which have been genuinely egalitarian, but it is wrong to imagine, as Marx and Engels did, that all 'primitive' societies were egalitarian).

I can understand why some Maori nationalists and some Marxists have chosen to present pre-contact Maori society as unstratified and relatively conflict-free, but I prefer the work of informed scholars to political rhetoric, and I don't believe that the fact that pre-contact Maori society was unstable and full of internal conflict in any way detracts from the justice of causes like tino rangatiratanga. As anthropologist Edward might like to comment on this subject.

3:47 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

That's right folks, that's what it looks like when someone is setting up a straw man argument. Nice work JH, and thanks for demonstrating what people should not do in a debate.

7 pakeha ancestors + 1 Maori ancestor = claim of foreshore and seabed...you see, what JH did here, as a means of education in critical thinking by doing the opposite, was to base the complexities of culture and ethnicity and modern compensation of indigenous groups upon the premise of a steriotypical Pakeha-come-Maori-when-convienient person who is out and about for nothing but greed and selfish gains. JH is trying to show us, by doing the opposite of critical thinking, that by first setting up an imaginary 'boogyman Maori' character in your head, and then extrapolating this imaginary character to an entire population and culture, one can set about knocking over said construct in an attempt to win a debate = a straw man. Very nice JH.

His/her nuggets of wisdom don't stop there however, as he/she then sets out and rehashes the exact same tired arguments we've already seen from previous commentators, while also simultaneously completely ignoring previous points (even if in very clear baby-language) including demographics (if Maori are all just white guys ripping the system off, I wonder why Maori demographics are the way the are? Must be magic!), indigenous status, and the fact that a wrong, both ethical and legal, occured. This is, of course, remember, just to show how not to argue by demonstrating the tactics of such wonderful debaters as pseudoscientists, young earth creationists, and reptillian shapeshifter conspiracy theorists.

Also note the way JH's parody (for that's all it can really be, he/she can't really be serious) invoked, yet again, the already discussed and defunct 'genetics alone' argument where genes = culture somehow (again, perhaps magic is involved?).

I've dealt with a lot of people who love to talk even though only shit seems to come out, but I never thought to educate through pretending to be one! By showing us how utterly, frustratingly, moronically, inanely lame such debater's tactics are, JH is really doing a positive thing. I really admire you. So very much. I really hope you keep talking JH, you bring such wonderful insights.

6:17 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

sorry Maps, I really should be more constructive, but this anthropologist doesn't see the point trading anything but sarcasm with JH or others who keep banging the same drum. When they're ready to address issues in an honest way, rather than playing with straw men or simply talking bollocks, I can point them in the direction of good resources to read up on so as to have an informed opinion, as i'm sure you and others on here can. Alas, I won't hold my breath.

6:27 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Hi Edward,

I understand what you're saying. It's hard for me to know how sincere anonymous/pseudonymous people making comments are. I just treat replies to them as an opportunity to think through the issues. I'm hoping Dave will give an interesting reply to the criticisms I levelled at him in my last comment here.

Another front has opened up at kiwiblog, thanks to our old mate Chris Trotter:
http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/08/trotter_on_tuhoe.html

7:17 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

Yes, I know you're right of course. I shall disengage the sarcasm and leave it to whoever wishes to continue. Afterall, I can understand that some people have legitimate questions as to why things are the way they are, that these people aren't necessarily horrible people, and that debate should be celebrated, as you say. I'm just concerned some of those on here are merely looking for somewhere to vent their bigotry.
Will look in on Chris' opinion when I get the chance.

8:15 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Edward - you are too kindly

Look that John Ansell is the biggest wanker that God ever took the trouble to shovel guts up inside of!

8:53 pm  
Blogger dave said...

Maps I think youll find that the concept of the lineage mode of production does not imply lack of conflict or social equality (though these have to be historically specific to mean anything).
The conflict or inequality say between different clans over slaves was not motivated by class but by the survival of the group.

In the case of the Maori it was colonisation that introduced class, as the conditions that existed in other parts of the Pacific for a surplus to allow the emergence of a tributary class did not exist.
Once muskets arrived the means to acquire a surplus by raids on other iwi allowed this to develop.

Second, Marx didnt promote some romantic notion of primitive communism as a justification for communism. Capitalism had its own laws of motion and future embryonic in it.

12:04 am  
Anonymous Keri H said...

Um Dave - that's why those quite ancient words
arikinui (arikiupoko in the South)
ariki
rakatira
wareware
taurekareka
-just meant people eh?

Not.

Maps, I'm trying to write a contribution that isnt ,basically, my take (heh) on my family history on your - very engaging - question.
I'll keep working on't.

1:43 am  
Blogger pollywog said...

On a side note Maps...

what do you think of David Tua sporting a t-shirt, and i've seen numerous young Samoan men also with tattoos, that say 100% SAMOAN

is it more a statement of racial purity or of support for the culture ?

8:59 am  
Anonymous jh said...

"7 pakeha ancestors + 1 Maori ancestor = claim of foreshore and seabed...you see, what JH did here, as a means of education in critical thinking by doing the opposite, was to base the complexities of culture and ethnicity and modern compensation of indigenous groups upon the premise of a steriotypical Pakeha-come-Maori-when-convienient person who is out and about for nothing but greed and selfish gains. JH is trying to show us, by doing the opposite of critical thinking, that by first setting up an imaginary 'boogyman Maori' character in your head, and then extrapolating this imaginary character to an entire population and culture, one can set about knocking over said construct in an attempt to win a debate = a straw man. Very nice JH. "
.....
in light of (say) the occupation of Brighton Pier where local Maori are claiming something based on indigenous rights and cultural practices we aren't allowed to question the make up of that population? We just swallow the kaitiakitanga arguments etc.

2:01 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Edward go argue with Roger Sandal (author of The Culture Cult

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

you can try and claim innocence jh, but at the end of the day the staw men, muddled understanding of culture, Maori, and science speaks for itself. Agenda ridden. Can't say i'm suprised though..thanks for living up to expectations.

p.s. of course there is nothing wrong with seeking more information about those who put forward claims in order to make sure everythings legit, but what you're arguing is irrelevant and comes back to the same old 'pure blood' nonsense rednecks love to spew. I'm pretty sure the processes for land claims are very complex and thorough, rather than joe blow comming in off the street, saying "hi, i'm Maori, give me some land", but i'm not suprised you think it is like that if you don't actually bother to learn how it works rather than dribble conjecture and bollocks wraped up as a honest and sincere questions.

good luck with that.

7:05 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

Oh by the way thanks for the reference. The book doesn't really look that good though so not sure if i'll bother reading it (good to know who you deem an 'authority' on the matter is though.) I am amused however that you assume an anthropologist wouldn't know about cultural relativism, and even more amused that you think anthropologists would still argue for this today in any extreme sense.
Again, go figure.

7:17 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Edward for someone who knows so much you don't seem to have much insight in to the so called "redneck" position regardless of whether it is right or whether it is wrong. I get the feeling that we are arguing past each other; we seem to have skipped a node in the argument. We are in a position akin to an abortion debate where some levels of the argument are buried in the psyche.

8:49 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

You lot seem to see a legitimate Maori world wherein which we stand; one which we don't recognise and by our presence, our numbers and industrial economy don't allow to flourish? We see a Pakeha world and Maori as integrated. Maori who want to make the world as it is more of a Maori world are (to us) being square pegs in round holes.
With regard to "racial purity" it isn't a "hangovers from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when European intellectuals had an unhealthy obsession with notions of racial purity" as Matts says but more about questioning a (perceived) legitimacy to belong in that "Maori world" and for example own a particular grievance or general grievance about being colonised.

9:29 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

dave said...

Hone has made the effort. Just go back over his 30 year record before he joined the Maori Party
........
He tells pokies too:
At easter 1998 Harawira gave a history of Maori struggle to the Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference in Sydney;
The Maori population was about 1 million when the Europeans came. We had a stable society with our own social controls, our own conservation methods, our own rules of behaviour towards one another.

When Pakehas (white people) came, they brought crime and diseases which almost wiped us out. The population dropped to 40,000 between 1800 and 1900. More died from disease than the big wars we had with the Pakehas. The population is now around 500,000-600,000.
http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2007/08/hone-harawira-beefsteak-radical.html

9:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Maori who want to make the world as it is more of a Maori world are (to us) being square pegs in round holes.'

So what man? In a democratic soiety people can live how they want. Can't you live and let live? Is it really gonna rock your world if a marae goes up in your neighbourhood?

11:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS there is a Samoan-langauge school in my neighbourhood. Are you against state funding for that too, or just maori? and whose god said that we have to use English in all our schools etc? Maori was spoken here first. If Maori want their kids to study in Maori then why is that bad with you?

11:41 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

So what man? In a democratic soiety people can live how they want. Can't you live and let live? Is it really gonna rock your world if a marae goes up in your neighbourhood?
.....
Not at all but if an iwi name goes up on the beach that's another story as it comes with a mindshift; we are no longer free in our own backyard but in someone else's. [the crown = the NZ people].

8:36 am  
Anonymous jh said...

Maori was spoken here first. If Maori want their kids to study in Maori then why is that bad with you?
...........
I don't see a language as having rights as it was "here first". Language is a vehicle for communication but it is used as a political tool (IMHO). I don't mind if kids get taught in Maori but I object to making Maori compulsory if only because there is so much to learn and so little time and an opportunity cost (eg Mandarin). One other reason is the perception that there are nasties pushing Maori language and culture (refer Richard above. Helen Clark's "haters and wreckers") I'd like to see an international language developed. Esperanto was developed with that purpose; it takes 20 minutes to learn the grammar and then all you need to learn is the vocabulary.

8:52 am  
Blogger maps said...

I dunno jh, I'm probably revealing my lack of skills as a linguist here, but isn't a bit, well, sadistic, to ask schoolkids to learn Mandarin? At least when I took French in third form I could guess some of the words, because of their resemblance to their counterparts in English!

And isn't Maori an international language? I keep telling myself that if I could only learn Maori, I'd have half a dozen other languages - Cook Island Maori, Tahitian, Rapan, Moriori, Hawaiian, and several others - pretty well covered, and I'd have a way into Tongan and Samoa and a score of other tongues outside the Eastern Polynesian family that includes Maori.

3:08 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

"Chris, you've said on various occasions that you're proud to be a member of the Trotter clan, with its long history of residence in nothern Otago. Would your feelings change if it were suddenly revealed to you that, like many Kiwis of your generation, you were adopted at birth, and that you came from (say) a Greek family which arrived in New Zealand shortly before your birth? It's a silly question, isn't it? You'd remain proud of being a Trotter, even if you also developed an interest in the Greek side of your identity."
=====
No problem with that but if you identify with the issues of the Trotter Clan you have a civic responsibility to be open sensible and even handed. Michael King uses the colonisation of the Chatams to make this point:

The point in raising the Chathams experience is not to use it as a stick with which to beat Maori—especially in view of what I have been saying about not visiting the sins of the fathers, or mothers, onto subsequent generations. I draw attention to it in the spirit of a historian who says, Take care. The evidence of history is unanimous on only one point. It shows us that no race or culture is inherently superior or inferior to another; and we all have skeletons in our ancestral closets that represent instances of behaviour of which we cannot be wholly proud by today's standards of ethics and morality.

Ranganui Walker refers to it as:
““The discovery of the Chatam Islands by Captain Broughton in 1791 had devistating consequences for the Moriori. European diseases such as measles and influenza reduced the population by a fifth. The extermination of the seals by European hunters cut off the basic food supply of the Moriori causing a further decline in numbers. Then in 1835, Taranaki tribes displaced by the musket wars of the previous decade invaded the Chatam Islands in search of land for themselves. The Moriori population at the time was estimated at 1,663; the invaders killed a futher 226 Moriori. The cumulative impact of these events demoralised the Moriori.” …
The myth of the Moriori is essentially ideological in the sense of being a false consciousness as a solution in the mind to conflict generated by the coloniser’s expropriation of Maori land. According to the myth, the Maori, as a superior and more warlike people, expropriated the land from the Moriori. Therefore Pakeha expropriation of the same land on the basis of their superior civilization was in accordance with the principle of the survival of the fittest. For that reason the false myth of the Moriori has been one of New Zealand’s most enduring myths. Pakeha need the myth for the endorsement of colonisation and Pakeha dominance.”


You (Matts) seem to be saying capitalism arrived with Europeans causing a market economy for potatoes which meant a need for slaves.

9:00 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

To repeat a point the "how much Maori blood has he got anyway" type comment has nothing at all to do with eugenics or noble savage but is born out of todays issues in particular intergenerational liability for past wrongs or compensations where a person identifies as Maori but has ancestry from both groups ( victim and perpetrator).

9:12 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

You're still banging the same drum jh. This is what I was accusing you of. Genetics is only one small piece of a wider part of culture and identity, yet despite this, you and others continue to try and use it as a battering ram of sorts. Why? And I think it is indeed the kind of argument which comes from yesteryear.

As already discussed, genealogies (genetic relatedness or hereditary) may well be a requisite of 'Maoriness', but it isn't the only or even the most important factor. There is cultural continuity, practice, and identity which may involve life ways, traditions, language, social organisation, material culture, and art, to name but a few.

I reject your notion that there is a widespread problem of Pakeha gobbling up land and money because of being '1/8th Maori' and not being a part of Maori culture. This is where I accused you of straw man arguments. Where is your evidence of such widespread corruption? And please, don't confuse real evidence with anecdotal evidence. To get scholarships (most of which are funded by trusts rather than the tax payer but don't let that detail stop you) for example, many candidates need to prove whakapapa and other cultural ties. The days are gone when someone who lived and identified as Maori but had one Pakeha parent had to vote on the general electorate rather than the Maori. Modernity, ethics, and common sense put a stop to such 'blood percentage' qualifications, and rightly so. So I think you'll find, if you bothered to listen, that your blood percentage arguments are indeed silly, a tad racist, and very, very much outdated.

This isn't even taking into consideration the 3 broad points I made earlier on this tread. What about Maori demographics? Do many Maori live in Northland or not, according to you jh? Is there far to many Maori in our prisons or not, according to you jh? What do DHB's have to say about population health with regard to Maori jh? What about education? Are all of these figures and all of these experts wrong jh? Are you right? Should we be dragging Maori off the street to blood test them for 'purity', whenever a claim is lodged jh?

11:23 am  
Anonymous Edward said...

cont..

It seems to me you are merely arguing the point jh. Like Ansell, I suspect you have an axe to grind or simply aren't interested in actually learning or understanding. I can't come up with any other explanation, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt if you can explain yourself. You seem to have ignored the three large elephant in the room points I made as well as points I made about culture earlier. How often do you think anthropologists, sociologists, and archaeologists take blood samples to do DNA work to figure out if a group is a culture or not? Does one go to France, record what one sees, then go to England and record the differences, only to find out that they are not two different cultures but one because they share genes? Without human bodies and blood, how can archaeologists do their work? How can linguists? Cultural Anthropologists? Sociologists? Psychologists? Geographers?

You see jh, it isn't that we don't understand what you're arguing, it's that we understand it all too well. Scholarship and society have moved on from the era which you get your ideas about culture and race from. You have slipped into the indefensible position of trying to deny that Maori even exist, and that culture cannot survive without 'genetic purity' to sustain it. In my experience, when people start trying to argue that another people do not even exist, it's because they don't actually have a well considered argument and so rely upon trying to redefine widely established and well defined phenomena. And In my experience, when people argue that another group doesn't exist based upon such flimsy arguments, it's because they simply wish that said other group did not exist.

You can try and wrap this up and hide it in articulate prose, an appeal to sincerity, and whatever other tools on hand to 'pretty up' your bigotry, but at the end of the day that's all it appears to be to me. Like I said, explain your position by all means though. Maybe we're just "talking past each other"? Or maybe not.

11:23 am  
Anonymous jh said...

"How often do you think anthropologists, sociologists, and archaeologists take blood samples to do DNA work to figure out if a group is a culture or not?"
.....
I accept that, as when archaeologists found moa hunting Maori merging with the classic Maori culture at the Wairau bar.
Those Maori, however lived in isolation. If todays NZ was dug up what would archeologists conclude?

Two key factors seem to be what one understands (contemporary) Maori culture to be (who, what, where) and how it might function were it operationalised ("we can't live in your culture"). Maps talks about a "Polynesian economy". This latter idea seems to be part of a strong meme shared by (I think) anarchists, anti capitalists and the Green Party? If you believe there is a better "Maori way" and that it will mesh and improve the well being of everyone your more likely to support Maori Nationalism "and all that". If you perceive Maori culture as a relic of the past [in the same way Europeans may think of their ancestors such as the Picts] trying to impose it self on an industrial society, then you'll perceive Maori nationalists as square pegs trying to fit in round holes.

9:41 am  
Anonymous Edward said...

What if you see Maori culture neither as a relic of the past or as the shiny beacon of the future for everyone, but simply as a unique culture which has evolved and continues to evolve and has an intrinsic worth which should be celebrated and it's members entitled the right to practice it and help it flourish? I don't buy into the idea that a culture's existence needs to be qualified by economic terms. This sounds like economic determinism which the neo liberal politicians love, whereby everything which does not directly and obviously contribute in a monetary sense should be left by the wayside. A 'goodbye arts and culture' approach. The problem with such approaches is it ends up serving the economy rather than society, and that's only if you accept the premise to begin with.

At any rate, archaeologists were put in that group as, like the other disciplines I noted, they study culture or at least acknowledge the role of culture. My point was that culture does exist outside of genes. This is basically what everyone has been pointing out to you from the original post to demographics to history etc. while also trying to show why blood percentage arguments don't hold water anymore, especially by themselves. The same flawed logic was applied here and in Australia where policy tried to 'breed the aboriginal out' and where early NZ'ers thought of Maori as 'dying out' and something to be pitied. Only in the c.1980's did people start to realise Maori culture (as with Australian aboriginal cultures) was not dead. You are still trying to use this faulty logic today, but seem to be careening off in different tangents every few posts or so. Again, in my experience when someone can't even stick to a cohesive argument it is because they don't have anything substantial to argue.

Finally, it is getting pretty frustrating the way you just continue to ignore valid points. You just roll right on and shift the goal posts to some other tangent. You haven't addressed: why the demographics are the way they are; why colonial countries around the globe increasingly acknowledge indigenous rights; why there is cultural continuity of Maori culture if Maori don't exist; why human scientists such as anthropologists, sociologists, linguists, and even psychologists readily acknowledge culture and that health care professionals including clinical psychologists and medical practitioners will often work within cultural frameworks with clients from a particular culture.

These are just a few of the points made which you've chosen to ignore in your very questionable quest to seemingly argue that Maori don't exist, that Maori are compensated too much (if Maori even exist), that culture relies upon exclusivity in the gene pool, and that Maori culture does not contribute to the economy (if Maori exist).

very odd.

10:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ansell and his ilk are motivated by fear and resentment at what they see as unfair advantages that Maori enjoy. Hence his lies about "billions or trillions" of compensation.

The Treaty is a contract that New Zealand governments chose to break, and the recent negotiated settlements are for a tiny fraction of the losses including millions of acres. Most of the land that could have been returned is now privately owned, hence the attractiveness of fisheries, forests and the remaining two thirds of the foreshore that isn't already in private hands.

Maori actually belong to both parties to the Treaty, inconvenient though that might be for black-and-white thinkers whose tiny minds prefer an us-and-them situation. The government thus acts on behalf of all New Zealanders including Maori and then has extra obligations to Maori under the Treaty our ancestors signed.

If Ansell and his merry band of ninnies have widespread evidence of people pretending to be Maori to secure access to settlements, post it by all means. There's more than enough evidence of Maori disadvantage, and well-established impacts on colonised indigenous people all over the world.

And yet global entrepreneurship studies find Maori to be one of the most enterprising cultures, following in the footsteps of their ancestors who traded so astutely across the Tasman and Pacific.

One has to wonder just what it is Ansell and his buddies fear so much. That their own inadequacies might be shown up?

7:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow- these comments go on forever. Haven't read all the comments.

Fairplay to John for coming on here and having a frank discussion.

As someone British how does he feel with the situation regarding the Welsh and Scottish?

Isn't there a policy of some kind of restitution there or admission of responsibility towards the protection of the minority cultures by the former oppressor?

You claim there is no comparison to Britain- surely this is it?

6:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing thread really.

Would like to respond further to the quite dishonest diversion about questions about Chinese migrants.

It is an interesting and answerable question.

The Chinese have a 5000 year history of culture. And a massive homeland of their own. Their culture is not competing for space in it's own homeland as they become the second largest economy in the world this year.

You mention Maori TV as part of the vibrancy. Yet this like Welsh initiatives is a government sponsored initiative based on race and in part because of the wrongs done in the past.

I may have to do some research on the Welsh now! Not just by watching Torchwood. yikes.

As for the Chinese propensity to bear a grudge, commit crime or be socially dysfunctional it is true this doesn't represent itself in the same way as Maori. It represents itself differently.

Just as there are most definitely Maori who suceed there are Chinese would buck you're generalisation of scholarly over achievement and quiet family dedication.

You can not argue that New Zealand's Chinese community hasn't got issues of it's own- the most publicised ones relate to the isolation of students, gambling and kidnapping.

6:48 pm  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Tena koutou katoa. My name is Roimata and I have no shame putting my name to my comment, or showing up to face any of you gutless wonders here on this page. Te Reo Maori is a beautiful language, Kapa Haka is our way of performing that pride in our culture, history and strength! How do any of you celebrate your culture, by slagging off everyone else's? It must be hard pointing the finger at ONE, for the passionate stance he takes for everything his people have asked of him to do for them, speak for them, stand strong and proud for them, wear the flak for them and fight for them! How many of you can say that the MP's you've ever voted for have fought for you all the way and worn it. If at least all we can bag Hone for is swearing, big deal! Cast the first stone you lot! Considering how much you have all bagged Maori on here, rapists, babyshakers etc, sounds like he simply VOICED what you all were thinking and you took a cheap shot at him for that. No hiding behind a BLOG that man! Finally you must all feel so proud of yourselves for trying to belittle a culture, whose people were here long before you and yours and tried to extinguish every light and love of all they hold dear! Hitler tried to do the same thing...they called it GENOCIDE back then, what do you armchair critics call it now I wonder??

3:41 am  
Blogger maps said...

Kia ora Roimata,

who are you addressing your comments to? In the long discussion here there are starkly different viewpoints. If you look at what I say and what many others (Edward, Keri, Richard, Dave) say, you'll see we're defending Maori from the racist attacks of folks like John Ansell. There are also a variety of views on what Hone said.
It's wrong to assume everyone commenting here is non-Maori, as well.

Nga Mihi

9:02 am  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Tena koe Maps

I never assumed anything of the sort. I am not so silly as to think that most of these comments are in line with the article above or part of a deep-seated hate campaign for Maori in general, nor am I inclined to think that most of the supportive statements were written by both Maori/Non Maori alike. But if you read my comment and understand what my point is and it is a very clear point to understand, there is no need for you to question my angle and approach. I read all of the korero on here as you have done. I don't need to congratulate those for their supportive comments because there's no need. E hara to kumara e korero mo tona ake reka. But I will hammer those who have nothing better to do than use their uneducated, misguided, deep seated racial pokokohua attitude to slag off a man; whose people chose him for his passion & belief in hispeople, his culture, his language and his whakapapa. Afer years and years of hearing Govt, Media, and everyday racist, crap attitudes degrade Maori, NOW we have someone who promotes us as a positive people and gives a little ribbing back to the finger-pointers, he gets hammered for it!!!! It is a shame that one such as yourself who supports all that is Pro-Maori, was the one to misunderstand my target audience and comment as you have, when the point of my korero is so blatantly clear.

12:33 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Kia ora Roimata,

if you look through this blog you'll find dozens of posts opposing racism against Maori. I'm keen on Hone when he supports a land occupation or slags off Don Brash, but I just don't like his opposition to intermarriage between Pakeha and Maori. In my post I suggested that it actually flies in the face of Maori culture and history, and smcks of European definitions of race: what do you think of this point?

1:04 pm  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Tena ano hoki koe Maps
It is an interesting point indeed, for you! But you don’t see my culture the way many people on here see it, they see Maori culture as a commodity; Waitangi Day – public holiday, Treaty of Waitangi, historical place where Captain somebody or rather landed, near that awesome Golf green up North. The Haka – the All Blacks challenge dance. John Ansell says that Hone Harawira is John Hadfield therefore making him less Maori. Why is that, because someone told Ansell that’s what it translates into? Brilliant deduction my Dear Watson. What would his argument be if there was no translation to speak of, believe me he’d find something else to have a go at. There’s talk on your blog of hard-earned taxpayer money going to Maori, claiming Treaty ancestoral rights. For a redneck perspective, that’s all they would see Maps. That’s it in a nutshell. For Maori that's not the point, it never has been. To go forward in life, you need to know where you've come from. It doesn't matter how foreign blood ties in with our bloodlines, what matters to OUR people is that we can whakapapa back to our ancestors. Our language, history, culture is what is important to us, our tupuna (ancestors) and the kiatiaki (Opo the Dolphin, the 2 stingray that protect the Hokianga, the story of Paikea) passed down through stories, beliefs, tradition and songs. Maori women don't cut our hair when we're pregnant, or cut our nails at night, bury them when you do cut them, don't sweep at night, tangohia o hu before you enter anyone's home, say karakia before every meal, before you cut flax and we hold our funeral over 3 days. These are just some of the things we hold sacred in our culture Maps. Wash yourself when you leave a cemetary, learn your mountain, river, Marae, Iwi, Hapu before you turn the age of 3. When you get up to speak, you give everyone your pepeha and whakapapa before anything else, so everyone knows who you are, who your parents are and where you hail from. Those things are precious to my people though no doubt by now some of your readers will be scoffing at it. To try and explain it to one who doesn't want to recognise or learn our ways and maintain them in our home in order to retain them for our future generations and to retain, maintain and sustain what is important, is what Hone meant. Go back and look to old footage of Waitangi, Hone and the Harawira whanau have never had an issue with Non Maori who have accepted being Maori with an open mind and heart. But when you walk in with a "typical dole bludger, shaken baby killer attitude" naturally you're going to get labeled a redneck as an open form of defense (and that term is just as open to plastic Maori as it is to ignorant Non Maori) Not every apple is a bad apple Maps, so you have to stop hanging the crap label on Maori as a people, as a culture. As for you and every other Media angle out there pertaining to this whole "intermarriage situation", Hone never said anything about marriage. Again a massive media spin on what was actually said. How would feel if one of your children came home with a pakeha? "I would feel uncomfortable about it." But let’s be honest here Maps, who wouldn’t? If you took some random people and put them together, you would find the least likely of partnerships, a Mormon with an atheist, a former ex con with a goody two shoes, half of those families would do all they can to get rid of the newest addition, often considered the weak link in their strong chain, while smiling in the face of humanity and dropping coins into the race relations charity bucket. Again, I will resurrect the same clear point that I've noted from the start....knock a man for the delivery perhaps, but don’t dog a man for voicing what others hides, deep-seated racial tension and anger. He simply voiced what most people think, better to know a politician's mind than try to guess at it, regardless of whether you like the politician. At least he's honest and full frontal.

1:20 am  
Blogger maps said...

Very interesting comment Roimata, though I don't agree with everything you say. Do you mind if I make it a guest post so other people can read and respond to it?
Btw, do you know the Ramekas who used to go to Drury School back in the '80s? I remember a Daniella Rameka, whose Mum taught me in Standard One...

1:32 am  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Ano hoki koe Maps

That's the beauty of it all...understanding that your point of view won't necessarily agree with all & sundry, while insisting on making a point.... The clincher is being able to make an INFORMED decision based on all facts, research and korero made available to you...and not being restricted by racial tunnel vision. As for the man in question, perhaps I know his mind a little better than you, simply because I've taken the time to look at the mind as opposed to the man (solely).

As for your query about the Rameka whanau, no I can't say that I know of a Danielle, but it is a strong name and my branch hails from Matakana Island/ Rangiwaia in Tauranga Moana, so like most tree's, completely extensive! I however came by the name as a default one might say, my step grandfather's surname was Rameka, he married my grandmother from Up North and she raised me from birth. Though my parents are loved in my eyes, my loyalty remains with her 26 years after her passing and I keep the name she gave me.

3:17 am  
Blogger maps said...

Kia ora Rameka,

did you see this post I put up a couple of days ago about racism against Maori in the north?
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/11/
dargavilles-media-should-honour-towns.html

If Hone wants to get his teeth into a racist ratbag maybe he could have a go at the guy I'm criticisng?

Northland is a great region: I wish I spent more time up there.
Whereabouts did you grow up specifically? The Hokianga and the west coast in general are the parts I know the best. I'd love to get back to Whangape/Herekino...

11:07 am  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Ano raa e Scott

Touche on the surname bit...Never been called "Rameka" before, feels weird to hear it now.

As for Hilliam, there is no reason to give credence to this fool. It's obvious that his clarity of truth, or lack thereof will be the reason this man hangs himself. Rose Stirling is obviously part of the gutter jounalism trow, that doesn't allow for research, evidence and fact to back up one's article BEFORE it goes to print. Apparently speculation and assumption pays the bills and get the attention also! No I wouldn't pay heed to either of these morons. They feed off each other and that will be to their own detriment, I can promise you.

The sad thing is that one of your bloggers got it right when they asked if Dargaville knew they were the butt of that particular joke.

Good publicity, bad publicity Scott....it's still PUBLICITY, don't give them fuel.

It appears that I may be an excellent case in point, as a few of "Hone's Anti Debate team" have toned it down a little since I came on board. Perhaps they're having an alternative moment in profound logic, or they haven't been on here for ages!!! Either way, it doesn't matter. I don't need to slag off a culture outside my own to get my point across, I happily promote who we are and all that it stands for to the hilt, which must annoy the hell out of those who have no culture to speak of.

I grew up in the gorgeous Bay of Islands, but spent a few years with my father and his family further North. Te Kao, Whangape, Herekino & Hokianga are just some of the most beautiful places in Muriwhenua and if you get the chance to get back to spend a few days Scott, do it! You'd be amazed at how refreshed and relaxed you are when you come away to return to the rat-race.

3:28 pm  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Ano raa e Scott

Touche on the surname bit...Never been called "Rameka" before, feels weird to hear it now.

As for Hilliam, there is no reason to give credence to this fool. It's obvious that his clarity of truth, or lack thereof will be the reason this man hangs himself. Rose Stirling is obviously part of the gutter jounalism trow, that doesn't allow for research, evidence and fact to back up one's article BEFORE it goes to print. Apparently speculation and assumption pays the bills and get the attention also! No I wouldn't pay heed to either of these morons. They feed off each other and that will be to their own detriment, I can promise you.

The sad thing is that one of your bloggers got it right when they asked if Dargaville knew they were the butt of that particular joke.

Good publicity, bad publicity Scott....it's still PUBLICITY, don't give them fuel.

It appears that I may be an excellent case in point, as a few of "Hone's Anti Debate team" have toned it down a little since I came on board. Perhaps they're having an alternative moment in profound logic, or they haven't been on here for ages!!! Either way, it doesn't matter. I don't need to slag off a culture outside my own to get my point across, I happily promote who we are and all that it stands for to the hilt, which must annoy the hell out of those who have no culture to speak of.

I grew up in the gorgeous Bay of Islands, but spent a few years with my father and his family further North. Te Kao, Whangape, Herekino & Hokianga are just some of the most beautiful places in Muriwhenua and if you get the chance to get back to spend a few days Scott, do it! You'd be amazed at how refreshed and relaxed you are when you come away to return to the rat-race.

3:28 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Kia ora Roimata,

whilst I agree there's always the danger of making fools like Hilliam seem more important than they are, the fact remains that a section of the population gets sucked in by them, and it's necessary to educate those people in the real history of these islands.

Hilliam actually had a foothold in Dargy museum and was desecrating a Maori artefact there until a few of us piled in last year and got the issue into the media and encouraged complaints.

Some other anti-Maori pseudo-historians have actually shut up shop after being 'outed' and exposed: Rosanne Hawarden, an Afrikaaner immigrant and Christchurch socialite, was running a website which attacked South Island Maori and accused them of a conspiracy, but after she was exposed on this blog she cut out their activities.

Somebody with Hone's profile could do a good job of criticising anti-Maori pseudo-history, which is sadly probably growing in strength at the moment.

I've archived some of the exposes of pseudo-historians which have appeared on this blog at this page:
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.
com/2009/01/pseudo-history-countering-cranks.html

Me rongo,
Scott

12:04 am  
Anonymous Roimata Rameka said...

Tena koe Scott

I hear you and I do believe that we will agree to disagree with regard to Hilliam. I don't care to read about those who stir the pot, with lies and hallucinagenic illusions just to to be heard, to score brownie points, or simply because they have visions of grandeur where the word "genocide" is concerned. Thank you but I think I'll pass.

I know that Hone doesn't even bother with uneducated & misguided fools like Hilliam, he is of the same mind, as a former Media CEO himself, he knows the art of rhetoric and how Media flames can simply ignite that use of creative language to further a cause, even if the cause doesn't exist.

So this time my friend, I will further decline your offers. To acknowledge an invisible man gives rise to the faith that he may in fact exist and to me, Hilliam doesn't exist.

There are too many issues on the Round table to care one iota about him.

Heoi ano

Na
Roimata Rameka

11:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Anonymous, the figure paid out in compensation to Maori so far is 37 Billion Dollars. Mr Ansell is not lying at all. $37 Billion is a lot of money, is it not? Doesn't it make you wonder what the tribal elite are doing with it all when there are so many poor and under-priviledged Maori? After all, they claimed it in recompense for the wrongs done to their whole tribe, not just the chiefs. I may be wrong, but I didn't think that the money paid in compensation was to only help the tribal elite become rich fatcats. I thought it was to help right the wrongs done to the whole tribe, and therefore should benefit the whole tribe. Am I wrong?

10:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also like to point out to everyone here that disagreeing with the actions of some members of a race, does not make you a racist. Disliking some aspects of a race's culture does not make you a racist. Everyone is entitled to their own likes, dislikes and opinions, none of which makes one a racist. It's a sad myth, that has been deliberately perpetuated in this country, that if you make one negative comment and have the word Maori in the same sentence, you must be a racist. This is nonsense. It has cause too many people to remain silent on issues that are important, because they fear being branded racist. Too many things have gone unchallenged in the name of that fear.

10:01 am  
Blogger Richard said...

"$37 Billion is a lot of money, is it not? Doesn't it make you wonder what the tribal elite are doing with it all when there are so many poor and under-privileged Maori? "

A lot of money? Not necessarily. how and what do you compare it to? It sounds like peanuts to me as indeed many members of the tribe need to be recompensed. Maybe they deserve 100 billion billion dollars, who knows? Maybe they deserve and meed more. Maybe we need to keep paying them forever. It is arguable. Relative.

But what would be the total earnings over time (by farmers and Tories & others with an easy ride running sheep and cattle and and big banks and ripping people off) since Maori were dispossessed of the rich lands they were on (and used for more productively and usefully than Pakeha have since who have destroyed the environment). And how do you evaluate the huge social-economic changes (mostly for the worse for Maori and Pakeha workers) and much else?

You cant regulate what they do with it. It has to be paid to trust or whatever then it is up to Maori who they use it.

Give us a summation of your yearly income and we can all tell you what you can and cant spend it on.

Maori were massively ripped off by Pakeha, this well known and they will only ever get a fraction of fraction of what is owed them.

In fact it isn't only money they want.

3:29 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Anon, where on earth did you get that figure of thirty-seven billion dollars as the sum of the value of Treaty settlements so far? The real figure is close to seven hundred and fifty million - ie, half the money spent on the South Canterbury Finance bailout. How about some informed discussion?

9:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Half the maoris I know are theiving mongrels

4:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's who accepts you as a child that defines your bloodlines not the blood in you. Pakeha are not bloody likely to pick the brown one even if he/she has half their blood. Maori will accept you no matter what your colour.

2:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya Hone! Racism has pushed you to this view and now they call you the racist hahaha but then Maori wouldn't expect any less of slippery pakeha, soo translucent lmao

2:22 am  

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