Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ansell's confusions and Act's misfortunes

In the comments thread under my previous post, Chris Trotter and senior New Zealand sociologist Dave Bedggood argue that I am too dismissive of the possibility that Act's anti-Maori campaign might win mass support.

Chris points out that anti-Maori sentiment is still common amongst Pakeha, and that it regularly emerges during the lengthy unofficial public inquiries into subjects like crime and child abuse held on talkback radio.

Dave argues that, in the wake of the global financial crisis, New Zealand's capitalist class needs to 'complete' the neo-liberal revolution which began in the mid-'80s and stalled in the late '90s, and that, since very few Kiwis favour the reprise of the privatisations and user charges for public services which marked the late '80s and early '90s, neo-liberalism has to return inside the Trojan horse of racism. Dave suggests that working class and middle class Pakeha might be inclined to overlook Act's hardline neo-liberal policies if those policies are overshadowed by the party's Maori-bashing.

I think there is a good deal of truth in what both Chris and Dave say. As this blog has related in depressing detail over the years, too many Pakeha do suffer from an almost encyclopedic ignorance of Maori culture, history, and political aspirations. And Dave is surely correct when he detects a desire amongst New Zealand's elite to return to what Roger Douglas has ominously called the 'unfinished business' of the 1980s and '90s.

I don't think, though, that Act’s current anti-Maori campaign will revive the party’s fortunes. Although there is a ready audience and a motivation for anti-Maori rhetoric, Act's sociological and ideological contradictions render it unable to deliver the anti-Maori message in a coherent way.

We can get a vivid picture of Act's incoherence by considering some of the recent statements John Ansell has made to the media, and to the readers of his on-again, off-again blog (Ansell may have resigned from Act last weekend, after his falling-out with Don Brash, but he remains, by his own admission, a supporter of the party).

In his interviews and in his rambling blog posts, Ansell advances two very different objections to Maori nationalism, and to state support for Maori culture and institutions.

On the one hand, Ansell argues that over the last century and a half intermarriage and economic development have resulted in the assimilation of Maori to the rest of New Zealand society. Maori certainly existed as a distinct ethnic group in 1840, Ansell says, but they no longer have such status. In the cosmopolitan world of the twenty-first century, Maori identity is something that comes not from whakapapa and birth and upbringing but from individual choice.

In many ways, Ansell suggests, the choice to be Maori can be compared to the choice to become a member of some religion. State support for Maori culture and Maori institutions is no better than state support for Catholicism or Islam. Ansell made a similar sort of assimilationist argument when he debated Maori nationalism on this blog last year.

Elsewhere, though, Ansell relies on a very different argument against 'Maorification'. He repeatedly criticises Maori for committing crimes, neglecting their families, and having an ungrateful attitude towards Pakeha. Ansell argues that all of these problems are connected to the state's tolerance for 'separatist' institutions like the Maori seats in parliament. Ansell's two arguments against 'Maorification' are radically contradictory. His first argument relies on the premise that Maori have ceased to exist as an ethnic group; his second argument continually finds fault with Maori as an ethnic group.

We can appreciate the contradiction in Ansell's thinking if we consider one of the most-quoted of his recent statements to the media:

[Thanks to Pakeha] Maori have gone from the Stone Age to the Space Age in 150 years, and haven't said thanks.

In this sentence, Ansell tries to finds fault with Maori, as a group, for their lack of appreciation of the contributions of Pakeha to New Zealand society. If the assimilationist argument Ansell has made so often holds true, though, how can he reasonably make this complaint? According to the assimilationist argument, Maori have been hopelessly mixed up with other Kiwis, so that it is impossible to talk about 'Pakeha' and 'Maori' as distinct ethnic groups. If this is the case, then it makes no sense to try to identify the positive achievements of modern New Zealand with Pakeha, and to withold credit for these achievements from Maori.

Ansell's talk about Maori crime rates also contradicts his assimilationist arguments. He wants to use Maori criminals as a stick to beat all Maori with, but in his assimilationist moods he claims that the only real Maori are people who have made individual decisions to embrace Maori culture. All the evidence suggests that, far from having undergone some sort of 'conversion' to Maoritanga, many Maori offenders have never had contact with the culture of their ancestors.

Chris Kahui, Macsyna King and their close relations are perhaps the most notorious examples of the criminally-inclined Maori ‘underclass’ John Ansell decries. When Kahui and King tried to organise a tangi for their slain twins, though, their lack of contact with Maoritanga became very clear. They had no 'home' marae which could hold the tangi, and when their immediate family eventually performed the ceremony they did so with an ineptness that embarrassed other Maori (for instance, they got an old man, rather than a woman, to perform the karanga at the beginning of the powhiri that welcomed mourners).

In his blog posts and in his talks with the media, Ansell slides continually between his two contradictory arguments against ‘Maorification’; not surprisingly, he leaves many members of his audiences bewildered.

But Ansell’s contradictions are not the result of a merely personal confusion: they reflect the sociological and political divisions inside Act. As I noted in my last post, Act’s members are a mixture of well-heeled, cosmopolitan apostles of neo-liberalism, who see the world in relentlessly individualistic terms, and petty bourgeois xenophobes, who see the world in terms of reactionary racial, gender, and class stereotypes.

Ansell’s assimilationist argument against ‘Maorification’, with its utopian vision of group identities melting away amidst capitalist prosperity, belongs to the well-heeled, cosmopolitan wing of the party; his complaints about Maori group behavior, with their appeals to the traditional cliches of Pakeha rednecks, belong to the party’s angry petty bourgeois faction. Ansell is unable to make the case against ‘Maorification’ coherently because his case draws on two incompatible intellectual and social sources.

[Posted by Maps]

37 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL Ansell's latest classic -from the reply to Rosemary McLeod on his blog:

If it was down to men, Rosemary, Clarxism would have been flushed away in 2005 and Brash would now be in his sixth year as PM.

Does anyone seriously doubt that New Zealand would today be a more prosperous nation under Brash than it was under Clark – or than it’s ever going to be under the decidedly more feminine Key?

Men, being on the whole more logical and economically literate, are more likely to opt for long-term economic gain at the price of a bit of short-term pain.

Women, being more concerned about preserving their day-to-day popularity, will plump for short-term gain, and guarantee long-term misery.

10:19 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Yes, and Ansell also manages to endorse explicitly Martin Doutre's nonsense about an ancient Celtic civilisation in his latest post!

10:27 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Here's the latest from Dave B, posted in the comments at Kiwipolitico.com - I think his take on things is a bit catastrophist:

'Pablo misses the class polarisation that is going on. Whatever the personal and internal divisions on the far left and right, global crisis is actually setting the agenda.

There is no split between dry economics and social conservatives in ACT after Brash. Brash in 2004 showed that he was both. The Brash coup is about forcing unity and organisation onto a dysfunctional ACT to pull the NACT bloc (it is a bloc despite appearances) together to counter the emergence of a far left pole that can pull Labour to the left.

Why? Well it obvious that the NACT economic agenda requires massive attacks on workers. The weakness of capital in NZ explains the increasing foreign domination by Australia, US and now China. The NACTs are mere agents for this penetration via the complete deregulation of capital and labour markets.

This will inevitably revive working class resistance. Labour reflects that pressure weakly but has made some small shifts to the left to claim majority support for its economic management of capitalism. The Maori Party play for the iwi leaders to be indigenous agents for foreign capital took it far right and caused the split and formation of Mana, which despite its leaders baggage, is being forced be the class polarisation to fight on a united class line.

Now the NACTs cannot defeat Labour on CGT which is a no brainer or privatisation which has been exposed, so to regain power to push its finance capital agenda, it has to disguise its dry economics in a cocktail of reactionary, and I would say proto-fascist, attacks on various components of the working class, Maori radicals, the underclass, women as inferior, youth as immature, boat people as terrorists etc to divide and disorganise that class.

The centre of petty bourgeois and aspirant workers is not so much vacant as torn by class polarisation pulling in two directions. Usually in times of economic and social crisis whoever wins the petty bourgeois will win the class war. NZ has plenty of historic instances.

On economics alone, the left would win easily as workers are under attack and the petty bourgeois are being badly squeezed. Its only in the domain of domination of cultural politics that the right can win the swinging middle. Key did it last time with smile and wave attacks on political correctness, but he has pretty much blown his stocks here.

This time it will take a much more deliberate attempt deflect economics and mobilise the angry petty bourgeois and elements of the working class by blaming the tradition enemies of capital in the working class, the militant (Mana), the unruly (women and youth), the morally defective (underclass), the alien mob (boat people).

Brash signalled in 2004 that he was the one to provide the ideological rational for this proto-fascist politics. One Law, One Nation, One People. This interprets the Treaty as a founding document for capitalist universality and therefore all those enemies of modernity who who must be excluded. So despite the apparent disarray of ACT and Mana, it is not the subjective elements of personalities and factions that in times of crisis set the agenda but the objective class struggle that to a large extent takes place behind our backs.

We are now in a period of open class struggle such as NZ has experienced before of crisis in the period before WW1 and the 1930s, and the immediate post WW2 period. Today, like in each of these former times of upheaval the forces that propelled the classes into action in NZ are largely external.'

11:06 pm  
Blogger Tarun Kumar said...

you are right... you can also find latest Admission Requirements alerts online.

6:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one can find many things online, Tarun.

8:50 am  
Blogger Sanctuary said...

"...We are now in a period of open class struggle such as NZ has experienced before of crisis in the period before WW1 and the 1930s, and the immediate post WW2 period..."

Really? Open class struggle? to paraphrase Fermi, where are they all then?

9:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I entirely agree that Mr Ansell is incoherent, selective and (perhaps willfully) uninformed about the historical background to the current state of Maori-Pakeha relations. As one example, he likes to champion the East Coast Apirana Ngata as a' good Maori", ie. one who rose to eminence without dependence on the state. In that offensive ad in the Herald, he has Don Brash bragging that he (Brash) selected Ngata's image to go on the $50 note. Yet Ngata was forced to resign as Minister of Maori Affairs in the 30s after a damning investigation into his department's misuse of public funds. Is this the type of activity that Ansell and Brash claim to celebrate? Given (the Dishonorable) Rodney Hide's own lighthearted attitude towards his Ministerial travel expenses, perhaps it is.

9:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ansell is doing the Lord's work.

11:23 am  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

There is little I would dispute in Dave B's admirably clear Marxist schema.

He is certainly correct to identify the ideologically promiscuous petty-bourgeois strata as the all-important "swing-vote" in New Zealand political history.

And, Ansell's apparent incoherence in relation to Maori-Pakeha relations is readily explained by the two audiences he is/was required to address.

The men and women who write the cheques shy away from the crude racism that plays so well on talk-back radio, and yet it is precisely this group that Act must win to lift its poll ratings.

So, like any good propagandist, Ansell simultaneously articulates two, mutually contradictory propositions, while fervently believing in both (or neither).

The key to understanding the behaviour of fascists lies in fully grasping their essential nihilism and the almost infinite capacity for cynical manipulation which it bestows.

It is the point where politics meets pathology.

1:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Ansell now try to form a new political organisation, perhaps with input from the National Front-One NZ Foundation mob?

1:52 pm  
Anonymous Meros said...

Chris: nice use of the term cynical, you've hit it on the head this time. Much applauded. Though I'm not so sure about 'essential nihilism'... it seems to make me think that you side with the "(or neither)" rather than the "both" at the end of the previous paragraph.

Or were you extrapolating from the Ansell example to fascism, in general?

2:39 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

As this blog has related in depressing detail over the years, too many Pakeha do suffer from an almost encyclopedic ignorance of Maori culture, history, and political aspirations.
.........
I couldn't agree more. As in:
1832 - Earle, A. A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand, in 1827[Pages 101-150]

The scene I have just described brings into consideration the subject of slavery, as it now exists in New Zealand. That slavery should be the custom of savage nations and cannibals, is not a cause of wonder: they are the only class of human beings it ought to remain with. Here slavery assumes its most hideous shape! Every one they can effect a seizure of in an enemy's country becomes the slave of the captors. Chiefs are never made prisoners; they either fight to the last, or are killed on the spot, and their heads are preserved (by a peculiar method) as trophies. Children are greatly prized: these they bring to their dwellings, and they remain slaves for life. Upon the number of slaves a chief can muster he takes his rank as a man of wealth and consequence in society; and the only chance these wretched beings have of being released from their miseries, is their master getting into a rage, and murdering them without further ceremony.
On entering a village, a stranger instantly discovers which portion of its inhabitants are the slaves, though both the complexion and the dresses of all are alike. The free Zealander is a joyous, good-humoured looking man, full of laughter and vivacity, and is chattering incessantly; but the slaves have invariably a squalid dejected look; they are never seen to smile, and appear literally half starved. The beauties characteristic of a New Zealander are his teeth and hair: the latter,
in particular, is his pride and study; but the slaves have their heads half shorn. The male slave is not allowed to marry; and any intercourse with a female, if discovered, is generally punished by death. Never was there a body of men so completely cut off from all society as these poor slaves; they never can count, with certainty, on a single moment of life, as the savage caprice of their master may instantly deprive them of it. If, by chance, a slave should belong to a kind and good master, an accident happening to him, or any of his family, will probably prove equally fatal to the slave, as some are generally sacrificed on the death of a chief.
Thus these poor slaves are deprived of every hope and stimulus by which all other classes and individuals are animated; no good conduct of theirs towards their master, no attachment to his person or family, no fidelity or long service can ensure kind treatment. If the slave effect his escape to his own part of the country, he is there treated with contempt; and when he dies (if a natural death), his body is dragged to the outside of the village, there to be made sport of by the children, or to furnish food for the dogs! but more frequently his fate is to receive a fatal blow in a fit of passion, and then be devoured by his brutal master! Even the female slaves who, if pretty, are frequently taken as wives by their conquerors, have not a much greater chance of happiness, all being dependent upon the caprice of their owners.
http://www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document?wid=300&page=0&action=null

12:06 am  
Anonymous jh said...

Tikanga

Funny how no ones ever written the Book of Tikanga? No doubt we would all drool in admiration?

12:13 am  
Anonymous Clinton Hughes said...

No-one 'drools in admiration'. It is just not done. Admiration speaks of an untouchable divide between that which we are keen on and ourselves. Drooling relates to anticipation of that which we expect.

1:21 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Credit to the Maori, though, jh - they stopped practising slavery decades before Europeans. Take a look at the post I made a couple of weeks ago here called 'New Zealand's Slaving History'...

1:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://tuhoe-nation-freedom-fighters.webs.com/

2:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Taylor would be excited about this new statement from the CPC

All targets and tasks set by the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010) have been fulfilled as scheduled, said a report released on Thursday by China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO).

The report was titled Assessment Report on the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010).

It said that all measures stipulated in the Action Plan had been put into practice, with all the goals achieved and tasks fulfilled in due time by the end of 2010.

In addition, the report said “35 percent of the binding targets and over 50 percent of the targets concerning the people’s livelihood had been met ahead of time or exceeded.”

In April 2009, the SCIO published the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010). It is China’s first national plan on the theme of human rights.

3:58 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

Augustus Earle spent not quite "9 Months in NZ" and also wrote (& especially illustrated - I have the facsimiles of his works which I esteem) "Savage Life & Scenes"etc.
He was writing for an established audience in the UK, and the shock/horror element down well there. Especially as the established audience wasnt looking too closely at themselves - or the nation across the Atlantic.
My tribe, Kai Tahu, had people who were enslaved by Kati Awa brought to the mainland. They were freed and their mana replenished.
Their descendants are known, respected, and contribute much to the tribe to this day.
O - and books on tikanga? Plenty of them around, especially in English.
Go acquaint yourself with some of them-

4:33 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

OOOPS!
Apologies!
A momentary lapse had me conflate Augustus Earle with G. F. Angas.
Comments apropos Earle still stand (as do my other comments & esteem for Angas's works.
Gah!
Time for a 4'o'clockses me thinks-
O- and the verification word is SO appropriate!

huphog...

4:38 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Comments apropos Earle still stand (as do my other comments & esteem for Angas's works.
.......
There are a lot of other reports from early travelers to NZ and despite the "wow factor" can you point to any which contradict Earle?

7:02 pm  
Anonymous Keri H said...

jh - heaps.

How about you go have a look?

10:25 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

One of the problems of equating the Moriori with all that is good, on account of their egalitarian and peaceful culture, and equating Maori with all that is evil, on account of those iwi who kept slaves, and the couple of iwi which invaded the Moriori homeland in 1835, is that there is a similarity between Moriori and southern Maori culture.

It'd be interesting to know about the extent of hierarchy in general, and slaveholding in particular, amongst Kai Tahu/Ngati Mamoe groups in Murihiku, especially before the coming of the outside world in the form of the whalers and sealers of Fouveaux Strait.

My impression was that many groups in the far south lived partly by hunting and gathering, moved often from site to site, and generated little of the surplus which is a necessary prerequisite for serious social hierarchy.

2:02 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

While we're pondering the collision of pacifism and militarism in this part of the world, we could consider the case of Parihaka as well as that of Rekohu/the Chathams.

This editorial advocating war on Te Whiti's followers has a rather exterminatory tone, and it's easier to find many similar items from the late 1870s and early '80s on Papers Past.


NATIVE DIFFICULTY.
Taranaki Herald, Volume XXVII, Issue 3139, 4 June 1879, Page 2

The Patea Stall says — The Maoris
are going to settle the native difficulties. Their evil genius is hurrying them on to their destiny. Fearing nothing, because knowing little, they are rushing forward to meet tho extinction that would have overtaken them had they fled from it...

We have before expressed ouropinion that a resistance to Maori aggression and insolence was the true 'peace policy' for the Government to follow. The policy of the Government, however, is not the present question. Whatever that, it is certain that the individual settler should teach the insulting barbirian what his place in the universe is. The colonist, while certain that victory will incline to his side, bus yet far more to fear from war than the savage.

The Maori's miserable pah and his patch of potatoes are the work of days, but the European's town, pastures, stock, fences, and commerce are the achievement of years. The object of the present trespassing of the natives on private property is no doubt to provoke resistance, to make the settlers strike the first blow, so that they might better engage the sympathy of their countrymen...

It will only be by convincing tho native that neither he, nor his gods, can exterminate us, that we shall be relieved of bis pressing offers of safe conduct out of the country. When the day arrives, let us hope that in mercy to ourselves and to him, this conviction, will be driven, somewhat roughly, into his thick head. As Mr Treagar remarked at the settlers meeting, "We cannot return the land to the Maoris, so we must return the Maoris to the land."

2:41 am  
Anonymous jh said...

Keri H says:

jh - heaps.

How about you go have a look?
....

How about you name one?

10:59 am  
Anonymous jh said...

Re KaiTahu

"The steep gorge of the Maruia River, leading up to the Lewis Pass has the Māori name of Kopi o Kaitangata, often translated as Cannibal Gorge. On long trips this was traditionally a place where one or more slaves were slaughtered to provide food for the rest of the party."

If this was true it was purely in response to the greenstone trade.

11:03 am  
Anonymous jh said...

Scott, where would you place Genghis Khan's activities and capitalism?
Ghengis and his hordes would come uninvited kill everyone, take what they wanted and leave destroying everything.

11:08 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

I don't know much about Genghis Khan, but surely he'd be associated with some pre-capitalist mode of production? Perhaps a slave mode of production, like the one that existed in ancient Rome?

Genghis Khan and his mates certainly had their hands on a substantial surplus of production, but they seem to have done it not through formally owning the means of production, but through seizing the production of others, and also by exacting tribute.

The Moriori and certain southern Maori groups generated very little surplus, and I think this was the material basis for the lack of hierarchy in their societies.

11:34 am  
Anonymous Stephen said...

jh: you could start with Sir Hirini Mead's "Living With Māori Values: An Introduction to Tikanga Māori". It uses quite big words, but I expect you'll manage.

12:17 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Thanks Stephen. It isn't the big words that bother me so much but i wonder how the concepts apply today. For example it seems strange that while the left strain for egalitarianism one faction (including the Green party) endorses a type of closed society where privilege is based on birthright?

2:01 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Stephen I recommend you read The Open Society and It's Enemies by Karl Popper. The concepts might allude you, but you'll get the words.

2:06 pm  
Anonymous Keri H said...

jh - most of my Maori library is over the other side of the hill, so I cant check on the derivation of "Kopi o kaitangata" gorge.
I will point out that pounemu wasnt traditionally transported over Lewis Pass.
Also, I am sure you can go & check out Kai Tahu sites etc. through simple googledom.
I'm not here to provide you with things you can check out for your self.
As Scott has mentioned, Southern tribes (Kai Tahu me Kati Mamoe) are a, urm, different kettle of fish to northern tribes. Even Northern tribes who settled in the South...

6:07 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Edward Ashby pointed me in the direction of Patrick Vinton Kirch, who is one of the major figures in contemporary Pacific archaeology, and Kirch's book The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms is a fascinating read. Kirch creates a series of charts which show the distance between the least and most hierarchical Polynesian soceties. Tonga and Hawa'ii were exceedingly hierarchical; at the other end of the spectrum were Rekohu/the Chathams, Pukapuka, Takuu, and Murihiku (the south of the South Island). The Maori of the north of Aotearoa are positioned midway on Kirch's stratification spectrum.

It's significant, I think, that the peoples of Murihiku and Rekohu were hunter gatherers - crops like kumara simply didn't grow in their rohe - and that Pukapuka and Takuu are very small islands with relatively few resources. I do think that the lack of a large productive surplus in these societies drastically reduced the possibility of an elite existing - there was nothing for an elite to appropriate.

Kirch talks about a tendency towards technological complexity and social stratification amongst the Polynesian peoples, but he emphasises that the physical environment could act as a break on that tendency. He also cautions against assuming that societies which are the most productive are automatically the most stratified.

Kirch argues that some of the most stratified societies were relatively poor societies which waged war on neighbouring, wealthier realms. A martial culture increased stratification. In his book The Wet and the Dry Kirch studies the two kingdoms which existed side by side on the island of Futuna, which is nowadays a French possession. One of the kingdoms was comparatively wealthy, because it sat on the wet side of the island, and was able to make extensive use of irrigation. The other kingdom was drier, more warlike, and more stratified...

6:36 pm  
Blogger Marty Mars said...

"I do think that the lack of a large productive surplus in these societies drastically reduced the possibility of an elite existing - there was nothing for an elite to appropriate."

Atholl Anderson in 1980 (Towards an explanation of protohistoric social and settlement patterns amongst the southern Ngāi Tahu, in N.Z. Journal of Archaeology, vol 2), identified strong social stratification within Southern Māori, which he considered 'exceptional' for a tribal society based upon hunting, fishing and gathering, and he notes that the only other examples of this occur where, “food is abundant” (Anderson, 1980, pg 48), which he argues was not the case for Southern Māori.

Down south this stratification sat alongside multi-hapu residence which reinforced kin relationships and an exchange system that created obligations over and beyond the goods themselves. So descent from shared ancestors created strong kin bonds and also was divisive as each group sought increased mana.

As an aside - I was looking into this because I wanted to research how the traditional social structures of Southern Māori have evolved to respond to threats (earthquakes) today.

9:38 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks very much for that, Marty. What Anderson says seem to go against what I read in Kirch. But Kirch was only giving a very broad outline of Polynesian societies, and he has never actually worked specifically on Maori society.

I suppose the puzzle is: why was Moriori society, which had a similar material base to Murihiku society, so egalitarian? We know that the ancestors of the Moriori came from the north of the South Island to Rekohu around about the fifteenth century, but it doesn't seem like they brought an egalitarian archaic Maori social system with them, because Doug Sutton's excavations of grave sites on the Chathams reveal that the oldest sets of graves showed distinctions between chiefs and commoners, whereas the newer graves did not. And the Moriori were, like the people of Murihiku, divided into diverse kin groups. Perhaps the smallness of their island created greater shortages of goods than the people of Murihiku experienced, and necessitated practices like pacifism? Or am I thinking too much like a functionalist?

11:05 am  
Blogger Steve Julian said...

NZ is like Canada, where there is a dislike for the Native population. Sure there are some that appreciate the struggle they have had, but would they want the Native to marry their daughters or sons? The main stream population is conflicted, wanting to seem like "good christian folk" and yet their view on Natives is anything but charitable. There is view, your okay as long as I don't see or hear you. Go to any online news article that has anything to do with Natives (Maori or Indians) and look at the comments of readers, the majority of people despise and hate Indigenous people. Yet lot of these will not publicly say it. You will see that the governments are leaning more and more to the political right. They know that people are intolerant and that they can win them over with the negativity and blame the Native rhetoric.

5:08 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

Mr Julian is right in a lot of ways - I try to avoid the comments section of most articles about indigenous issues (this blog aside). But I think there are still a lot of good people out there who are genuinely trying to understand the issues - they may just be getting lost in the cross-fire. The misunderstnading is very widespread though..

2:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is essential that we have to act responsibly in whatever we do, particularly, if we are in a position of power. There maybe some situations where it is beyond your direct control and you rely on others to ensure that it adheres to good standard and acceptable practice.

So get over it.

12:13 am  

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