Monday, June 6, 2016

Bruce Moon: Anne Salmond and her record of performance

In swearing an oath in a court of law, one is required to tell the whole truth.  It is recognized that half the truth may be worse than no truth at all.  

So we have Anne Salmond who says that there are examples "ad infinitum" of Maori kindness to children ("Comment", 'NZ Herald', Dialogue Section, 26/5/16).  Well so be it but there is another half of the truth.  Female children who could not become warriors had little value and when deemed surplus were disposed of at birth, usually by their own mothers.  Slave and half-caste children often had a similar fate. Depressing the fontanelle or holding the nostrils together until the infant ceased to breathe were ways of doing this.

Salmond quotes selectively from the works of Joel Polack from which Paul Moon comments: 'Infanticide was said by some early European visitors be widespread ... Polack's instinctive inquisitiveness led him to find out the four main methods used ... compressing the temples, strangulation, drowning .. and suffocation,  ... the most common method.

Richard Cruise, whom Salmond also quotes selectively, found that female infanticide was frequent, observing "This barbarous act is effected by the mother pressing her finger upon the aperture in the skull of the new-born infant, and thereby causing its immediate death."

It was observed so commonly by the missionaries that even Henry Williams in a letter, casually mentioned that "Patu ... had an infant which she destroyed."

RB Hunton, writing in the New Zealand Medical Journal for 28th December 1977 states in his abstract: "The practice of abortion and infanticide in pre- and early European New Zealand is confirmed."  There is not a word of this from Salmond.

More recently the office of the Children's Commissioner issued its "Maori Parenting Report" on 29th May 2011, with the unfounded claim that missionaries introduced violence towards children.  As noted by Paul Moon again, its reliance on ancient oral histories and lullabies raises doubts about its reliability.

Perhaps therefore, having disposed brutally of unwanted children within family and associated groups the selected survivors were treated with kindness.  So that's OK then – all one big extended happy family?  But it was rather different outside - tribal warfare on a colossal scale with a third of the population dying.  Once again, Salmond has not told half the story.

On 5 September, 1821  Ngapuhi took Mauinaina pa at Tamaki with great slaughter – 2000 men,  women and children, being killed. One can easily imagine the sheer terror of their child victims, no doubt tasty morsels for the cannibal feast which followed until the victors were driven off by the smell of decaying bodies.  This is but one example.  As another, we have Te Rauparaha on one of his brutal southern raids, slashing open the belly of a pregnant woman, tearing out, cooking and eating the foetus she carried.  Salmond says nothing of this kind of behaviour.

However there is more evidence that we should treat what Salmond says very warily.  When some Ngapuhi tribesmen launched their flagrantly false claim that their tribe never ceded sovereignty, Salmond told the profoundly corrupt Waitangi Tribunal:"kawanatanga (the right to govern) granted to the crown at the time of the Treaty signing, was not a plausible stand-in for Crown sovereignty."

On 24th August 2010, I (Bruce Moon) wrote to Dame Anne, pointing out that her statement was wrong because she failed to understand that the derivation of a word is not the same as its meaning.  "Kawanatanga" was a perfectly satisfactory word for "sovereignty",  Several Maoris at Waitangi understood English and none objected to this translation.   All who spoke on it made it abundantly clear that they understood that by signing the treaty document they would become subordinates of the governor and hence a fortiori of the Queen. 

I pointed out further that several Ngapuhi chiefs who spoke at the 1860 Kohimarama conference stated emphatically that the Queen was their sovereign.

She replied haughtily that afternoon saying that "The evidence from 1840 is very powerful'"  Well, yes it is, but she chose to ignore it. 

She went on "What was said in 1860, i.e. 20 years after the event, is part of a very different period in New Zealand's history.  No professional historian would take that as definitive evidence of Maori understandings in 1840."  What remarkable nonsense when all the recorded evidence from both periods is consistent and Waka Nene who spoke at Kohimarama had also been present at Waitangi.

Yet Salmond, like the Waitangi Tribunal, is evidently happy to accept unchallenged the oral stories more than 150 years old of elderly Maoris.   What a double standard!  What a lack of objective and dispassionate sifting of the evidence we have a right to expect from a professional historian.

Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond has received high honours from those who decide such things.  It is evident that we should seriously question their judgement.

Results in History Stage One from a competent university:  Salmond, Mary Anne: C- (a bare pass but insufficient for her to proceed to the next stage.


Like Alan Duff, I use the normal plural in writing English - "Maoris" -  which should be made clear to any editor,  We may observe that Maoris and bureaucrats freely convert English words to a form of Maori all the time - "tiriti"for "treaty" for a start!  So, sauce for the goose .... ?

References are available.

Bruce Moon is a retired computer pioneer who wrote "Real Treaty; False Treaty - The True Waitangi Story".


StevoC said...

Geez, put this woman and Claudia Orange together in a room full of people and only maori would survive, the rest of us would be promptly enslaved or eaten. I can never understand how people like these two relatively intelligent women can have such distorted opinions on these matters when the evidence is so overwhelming against them, they still try to force their rubbish down our throats, when most maori don't even believe the hogwash these people spout.

paul scott said...

A gruesome read, Bruce. In your book, @ One treaty one Nation @ it did seem to appear that there was contrivance of, or actual confusion about the translations of the treaty. Certainly a straight forward document though.
When we send Geoff Palmer to Greenland, or the hovel I have prepared for him in Bangkok, his only reading allowed will be the Treaty. He gets to read it till he can understand simple straight forward language. And he never gets to come home.

Barry said...

Hear hear to Stevo C and paul scott!

Robt Mann said...

This operative has been one of the more subtle, and I fear more effective, exponents of neoRacism. Read her prolix account of Cook's arrival at Gisborne in her first book. She conveys very little of the danger in which Cook put himself. Compare the account of A C & N C Begg, 'James Cook and New Zealand' (Govt Printer 1969). This PC operative Salmond will not praise a famous brave hero.

Anonymous said...

NZ's "true and only" Treaty is the Te Reo version. This was what was presented orally to the chiefs, and this is what they agreed to. There is no English version. Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840 does not contain the words "partnership" and "principles." First open challenge to Treatyists: point to the words “partnership” and “principles" in Te Tiriti.

This nonsense is of recent invention, and originated in what we might call "The Treaty of Wellington (aka Section 9 of the State Owned Enterprises Act) 1986.” Activist judges on the Court of Appeal hearing a 1987 case involving the NZ Maori Council then took Section 9’s unclarified in the statute reference to “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” to concoct “partnership” and "principles" out of thin air.

Everything the chiefs said on the lawn at Waitangi and elsewhere, as well as the words of those who refused to sign it, make it abundantly clear they were well-aware that by signing the Treaty this would place Captain Hobson in authority over them, and that behind Hobson was Queen Victoria. Reiterated at the Kohimarama Conference of 1860.

Second open challenge to all Treatyists: produce a single primary source account recording the words of a chief who thought he was going into "partnership" or some kind of sovereignty-sharing arrangement with the Crown.

I've yet to receive any response to my two challenges above other than ad hominem remarks and evasions, and I'm not holding my breath!

Bob Culver said...

I recall that Polack noted that maori children were allowed to do as they please, however trying. I suspect the reason was that with a semi communal society somewhat like Centrepoint and the children all naked, identification of chiefs children would be fraught. Any accidental discipline of these children would have been rewarded by a cleaved skull. Safer to suffer the behaviour. Hence the modern folklore notion that child discipline was a product of colonisation.

Nathan M said...

New Zealand Herald did it's reputation no favours by publishing Anne Salmonds response to a very truthful and hard hitting article by Alan Duff. He made some very valid points about what are the reasons behind our abysmal child abuse statistics.

Nathan M

Anonymous said...

Bruce, your information is limited. Elaboration required when talking about 'female warriors'..... I suspect you can't, because to know what I mean by 'elaboration' you'd have to be Maori. Don't believe everything you read on Maori, because the truth is in the oral history passed down (not the written word of pakeha historians) which tuturu Maori keep classified and only pass down to 'chosen' ones that can continue the line of such information. It's a phenomena that sees the majority of Maori knowing their lineage back to the beginning of time. Something pakeha do not have, as their understanding of tuturu Maori culture is unfathomable.

paul scott said...

An anonymous writer at [8.47 ] can tell us that
Truth exists without elaboration, and within the reconstructed verbal New Zealand history.
And its a secret, we @ "and only pass down to 'chosen' ones ", reserved for @ the 'chosen' ones.
And @ "The majority of Maoris know their lineage back to the beginning of time," even though only the chosen ones know. So there we are, now we know, I mean now we don't know.

Anonymous [6.35 ] Bruce M. referred to some of the problems of the translations to and fro in his book @ One Nation, and as for partnerships, we can imagine what kind of partnership there would have been with the Spanish had they arrived here a century earlier.
It would have been enough for Cervantes to let the secret out.