Sunday, August 29, 2010
Michael Coote: Whale vetoes point the way on foreshore and seabed legislation
Destruction of the supremacy of Western civilisation in New Zealand is of course a key objective in the Maorification agenda being pandered to by the government’s foreshore and seabed legislation proposals.
Much focus has been placed on the vast physical boundaries of potential Maori claims over the foreshore and seabed.
Less attention has been given to the equally threatening additional entrenchment in law of Maori irrationalism that was foreshadowed in the Foreshore and Seabed Act (2004) consultation document issued earlier this year by Attorney-General and Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson.
Simply put, Maori irrationalism is the antithesis of Western civilisation in New Zealand.
We can look to current examples for what we can expect more of as the government seeks to legislate increase in the power and influence of Maori irrationalism over the foreshore and seabed.
A couple of stories recently published about beached whales shed light on what will proliferate under the government’s foreshore and seabed policies.
For some strange reason, coastal Maori tribes have been given a veto over scientific research being carried out on whale carcases washed up along the shoreline.
This veto is a precursor of the veto rights embedded in the government’s foreshore and seabed proposals, so how it works in practice, with actual examples concerning beached whales, is illuminating to consider.
What this veto has allowed Maori to do is impose fantasy, ignorance, superstition, obscurantism and wilful stupidity in the name of supposed Maori culture while at the same time attacking science – a core part of our Western civilisation - in the process.
Case 1: The Whakatane Veto
Early in June it was reported by APN News & Media that a dead orca – or killer whale – had washed up on Piripai Spit in Whakatane (“Whale-rider link stops orca autopsy”).
A scientific researcher, Ingrid Visser, arrived to perform an autopsy on the dead whale, including “an examination of the orca's stomach contents, a CT scan of its head and testing of blood samples, among other things.”
Pretty straightforward, one would imagine.
But no – the local Maori champions of purblind ignorance had to interfere.
The orca ended up being buried whole in a local Maori cemetery, with Ms Visser only allowed to collect a “sample of blood and a small piece of the fin for research purposes.”
So what was the problem?
Local Maori tribal fount of all wisdom, Pouroto Ngaropo, a “Ngati Awa cultural adviser”, opined that “sea creatures were spiritual guardians of the people of the land.”
Expanding on this fairy tale logic that could only be taken seriously in a madhouse – or New Zealand - Mr Ngaropo went on to clarify that, “This whale is a message that has been sent to us.”
“The last orca whale to come ashore we [Ngati Awa] know of was when Te Tahi-o-terangi rode a whale from Whakaari [Whale Island] to the mouth of the Whakatane River.”"
In case anybody missed the significance of the total coincidence of an ancient and objectively impossible Maori myth with the only factually recorded beaching of an orca on Piripai Spit in hundreds of years, we were helpfully informed by the article that “Te Tahi-o-te-rangi was a famous whale rider who, according to local legend, rode a whale-shaped taniwha called Tutarakauika to the mainland.”
And how do we know this mythical “whale-shaped taniwha” was an orca?
Apparently no evidence for answering that question was required by Whakatane’s Ngati Awa, who vetoed scientific research on the dead orca and instead believe and where necessary revise and reinvent sheer nonsense that no rational person could subscribe to in good conscience.
“Because of the whale's connection to the people of the land,” Mr Ngaropo ran on at the mouth, “it must be buried with its ancestors in the sacred urupa Opihi.”
What ancestors exactly? Long dead humans who have miraculously joined the bloodline of an orca that died in June this year?
In children we might indulge such folly, because they are likely still to believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny, and it seems wantonly cruel to disabuse them prematurely of their naïve innocence.
But there is absolutely no reason to take such arrant, deluded nonsense as truth from a grown adult, Maori or otherwise, let alone use it as the basis to veto scientific research.
But Mr Ngaporo is apparently not alone among the advocates of Stone Age revivalist hysteria in Whakatane, as the report went on to state that, “Locals remained with the whale throughout Monday and Tuesday until Mr Ngaropo performed a karakia (blessing) before it was buried at Opihi.”
Obviously Whakatane’s Ngati Awa have a lot of free time on their hands in squandering two working week days on such a charade.
These Maori irrationalists wasted their time on a self-parodying comedy over the orca, but the greater tragedy for our society as a whole is the resulting obstruction of scientific advancement.
Case 2: The Northland Veto
The craven depths of anti-Western, anti-scientific Maori irrationalism were further exposed up in Northland more recently.
APN News & Media reported in late August that a pod of 49 pilot whales stranded on Karikari Beach in the Far North had been buried without scientific analysis (“Iwi rule out autopsies on stranded pilot whales”).
Scientists wanted to autopsy the whales to help find out why they beach themselves, surely a worthy cause if ways can be discovered to reduce or prevent such occurrences.
Not so, however.
The scientists were obstructed from doing their jobs by a veto from the local Maori tribes Te Whanau Moana and Te Rorohuri, who “decided the animals would be buried without dissection or the removal of organs”.
Although scientists were told they could take DNA samples, a spokesman for the obscurantist tribes Alan Hetaraka said “we don't want [the whales] to be chopped up. It doesn't fit with our culture".
Instead, 45 of the whales were interred in an historic burial ground in sand dunes on Karikari Beach after a religious service was performed for them, and another four were buried in Maitai Bay.
Once more, Maori superstition led to a burial of dead whales with all the trappings of a solemn funeral, and scientists were stopped from collecting meaningful samples by this act of wanton destruction of evidence in the name of Maori “culture”, meaning Stone Age revivalist anti-scientific irrationalism.
Astonishingly, Mr Hetaraka was described in the report as a “former marine biologist”, although these days he has mutated into a “kaumatua” empowered to veto scientific research on whales.
Obviously taxpayers wasted their hard earned money on funding his university qualifications.
The veto-wielding Mr Hetaraka even offered some scientific explanation of why the whales stranded.
Although he “doubted the cause would ever be fully understood” he ventured that “pollution could play a part”.
Well thanks for that hypothesis, but we won’t be getting any nearer to proving it while Maori obscurantists like Mr Hetaraka stand in the way of scientific discovery.
Mr Hetaraka did do society at large a favour in putting succinctly the core issue of the culture wars that will expand with the government’s foreshore and seabed legislation when he was reported as stating “his scientist head told him to let the experts take their samples, but his cultural heart told him to bury them intact.”
Quite so – the scientist head represents educated and enlightened Western civilisation in this country, and the cultural heart the recrudescence of Maori Stone Age ignorance and superstition.
But wait – there’s more…
You bet - and you can read all about it in the government’s foreshore and seabed bill when released soon.
Supposing the government is really serious about rebalancing the relations of justice between Maori and the rest of New Zealand society, it could abolish with urgency the Maori veto over scientific research on dead whales.
But don’t hold your breath – it is far more likely that the whale veto will be expanded in all sorts of ways in the bill.
at 10:49 AM