Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tom Johnson: Waitangi Day Sedition

It is very difficult as a European New Zealander to have any feeling of national pride or even a sense of identity on Waitangi day, which is in direct contrast with Aussies across the ditch and their festivities on Australia Day. With the Maori “Tino rangatiratanga flag” at the masthead, a symbol of separatism and Maori sovereignty, the almost inevitable demonstrations, and then a seditious call for revolution as the ultimate solution for Maori grievances, Waitangi Day this year was little different to all its predecessors. I couldn’t help but reflect on how different that was from watching the New Zealand Sevens team demolish England in the final of the Sevens in Wellington the previous day. That did give me a sense of pride in New Zealand and our traditions of sporting achievement in rugby our national game. Despite the team being predominantly Polynesian, a reflection on the realities of New Zealand’s changing demographics there was still a commonality of identity and a sense of pride in achievement that we could all share.

Mike Butler’s claim that our so-called national day has become a Maori culture day and that we should move on is timely. For forty years New Zealanders have been served a diet of victimization, strife and oppression to Maori by “Pakeha” according to the revisionist historians and academics like Scott (1975) Simpson (1979) and academics like Kelsey (1984) to name a few. Fortunately this distorted view of history is now being challenged by many academics from a range of different disciplines.

As a product of the World War 2 post colonial period in New Zealand I am still grateful for the values and beliefs instilled in me during that period. There was a sense of nationhood, a pride in New Zealand – the work ethic was ingrained after years of deprivation and hardship – there was no such thing as a free lunch. The egalitarian nature of our society engendered respect for one another, cooperation, equality and an encouragement for individuality to succeed. It was very different to the welfare-sated, socially dysfunctional society of today. These amateur, supposedly masculine, middle-class values of post colonial New Zealand came in for repeated criticism from feminists, sociologist and other academics during the period of the politics of identity. It was as though this culture was something akin to the onset of the bubonic plague.

It has been the changing interpretation of the Treaty from the 1970s onwards and the acquiescence and ineptitude of successive governments that has seen the continued march of culturalism through our government institutions and the validation of the “grievance mentality” of that powerful faction of Maoridom that benefits most from historical reparations. It alarms me to see the way democracy has been subverted in the manner that governments have lost control of policy formulation and execution in relation to the Treaty.

There has been a shift from claims based on reparations for “past wrongs” to one based on entitlement based on Treaty partnership. Another example of how the words of an Appellate Judge can be construed to meet your own hegemonic aspirations.

No wonder I despair over the future of New Zealand for my grand children. Democracy has gone out the window – subverted by the demands of the ethnic fundamentalists. In spite of claims by politicians that Maori sovereignty will never see the light of day, this has to be viewed with some skepticism based on past performance by successive governments. The push for two separate political organizations based on race is the objective - A Maori one to look after all Maori affairs and the Crown to look after the rest. It shouldn’t sound fanciful because Pita Sharples espoused these views in his recent address to the World Christian Gathering.

When seditious threats of revolution are made at Waitangi Day celebrations one will only have to watch the lack of any action from that waste of space and money the Race Relations conciliator Joris de Bres to confirm my despondency over New Zealand’s deteriorating race relations.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well written Tom
I have emailed every MP. There is no excuse to ram such a bill through Parliament in urgency. This is disgraceful.
Deborah Greenwood

Anonymous said...

Well said Tom.Reflects what so many of us think.And today we read of Key having special talks with Maori over buying state asstes.
Just appalling.

Don McKenzie said...

The quicker we get Binding Referenda (Swiss style) as a feature of our Electoral process the better.

Anonymous said...

Didnt you notice on that special day at the sevens in Wellington, everyone was pissed!