Friday, June 24, 2022

John MacDonald: Christmas sales yes. Matariki sales no. Why?

Memo to Elton John: Sorry is no longer the hardest word.

Because it seems we have apologies coming out of our ears at the moment. The latest one is from retailer Babycity.

It's saying sorry for promoting a Matariki sale. Matariki, of course, is the Māori New Year which we are celebrating with the public holiday tomorrow - the first time there's ever been a Matariki holiday.

But Babycity is in hot water because it decided to have a sale and promoted it as its Matariki Sale. Not allowed - it seems.

There's been a bit of commentary around this during the week with a clear message coming through that retailers and businesses shouldn't be cashing in on Matariki.

It's even been coming from the Government - via its Ministry for Business, Innovation and
Employment (or MBIE).

But have you ever heard the Government or any of its agencies saying the same thing about Christmas, or Easter, or Anzac Day? I haven't. Sure, there are trading laws but I have never heard a government agency telling businesses they shouldn't be trying to commercialise these significant days.

Although the horse has already bolted on that front, hasn't it? I can't imagine MBIE coming out and telling retailers not to commercialise Christmas.

But Matariki is brand new and there seems to be quite a bit of zealousness around the place, which maybe we should've expected given it's the first time we've had a public holiday to celebrate the Maori New Year.

There's been the "Matariki is not for sale" campaign. It really feels to me like some sort of Matariki-police thing going on.

And that's why we've got Babycity today putting out this apology.

"We have received feedback from our lovely Babycity community that our decision to promote our sale under the name Matariki was in extremely poor taste. We sincerely apologise for being culturally insensitive and for any distress this may have caused.

"Please know that it was never our intention to offend or disrespect the sacred celebration of Matariki."

Talk about over the top. Well, that's what I think anyway. And I'm not saying that out of any disrespect towards the meaning and purpose of Matariki. I think it is brilliant that we are recognising and celebrating it in a way we never have before, as a country.

I'm saying it's over the top because do we ever get retailers and other businesses getting the same sort of pressure about having Christmas sales, or Easter sales or Anzac sales?

No we don't.

For example, Noel Leeming and Nood are a couple of places that have Anzac sales.

Sleepyhead and Farmers - they have Chinese New Year sales. Does anyone kick up a fuss
about that? Not that I've heard.

And if anyone did, do you think retailers would give in and issue heartfelt apologies like Babycity is doing today? Of course they wouldn't.

And what about Briscoes' "Long Weekend Sale". Talk about the Matariki sale you have when you're not having a Matariki sale.

Which shows how ridiculous this has all become.

John MacDonald is the Canterbury Mornings host on Newstalk ZB Christchurch. This article was first published HERE


DeeM said...

Only Maori businesses will be "culturally sensitive" enough to advertise Matariki sales....and benefit financially!
Come on John. You should know how it works by now after having "by maori, for maori" rammed down your throat for the past few years.

Now, we all have to be grateful that Maori have given us another public holiday and get bombarded with mind-numbing all-channel coverage of it. Let's put it in perspective. It's a group of stars that have been there for billions of years, are visible from anywhere on Earth at different times, and have been named a multitude of things by various past civilizations. That's it. It's not celebrating a particular person or event or miracle....and it most certainly is not unique to Maori.

This is just another sign at how out-of-control the Maori caucus has become. With Motormouth Jackson now minister for broadcasting you can expect plenty more where this came from.

I expect Chris Luxon will fully support it because the guy's as woke as they come. I wonder when he'll start wearing a greenstone pendant.

Anonymous said...

Ardern's orwellian double speak today was interesting. Saying how we are all united as one under the stars of aeotearoa. Um, shouldn't the leader of our country use our actual name of new zealand in a speech that is meant to be for all new zealanders?. If that is too colonial then where is the referendum ?

Anonymous said...

Spot on Dee.
Thankyou John MacDonald for drawing attention to this disturbing double standard.
Religious rules that all must adhere to have snuck into New Zealand under the guise of ‘culture’.
This is why we all now pay, through our taxes, to have roads blessed within hours of crashes ( surely must be some good overtime opportunities in that), daily prayers in government offices before routine planning meetings and prayers before eating at government events.
This dogmatic religious creep is anathema to a vibrant functional secular democracy.
It elevates one religion above all others and forces compliance which breaches our right to freedom of religion.
The high priests of this religion are selected from a small, genetically defined lineage and therefore rule with inviolable control.
New Zealanders need to see more articles such as John’s for they are glaring warning signs regarding our future.
There are no fewer than EIGHT Matariki articles in stuff today, including the top four, all of which outrank yesterday’s random ‘nothing to see here folks’ stabbing of of multiple strangers by a man running, yelling, with a large knife through suburban Auckland.
Given that we are speaking of religion, it is interesting to reflect on the overseeing police inspector’s reassuring comment within hours of the (alleged) crime that it couldn’t possibly be a hate crime because the people stabbed were of differing ages, genders and ethnicities
- Say what?
This is nonsensical. In what rule book is the term ‘hate crime’ restrained by such absurd logic? (Clearly, in ours!).
Certainly it is a rule book that would make a lot of nazis happy.
This is what we get when religious rankings are allowed to creep in and dominate the government’s thinking.
It is both disingenuous and distasteful rationalisation before the fact.
Let’s recognise it for what it is and spit it out before it poisons us all.

Anonymous said...

Chrisis pendant is quietly kept hidden currently. All will be revealed someday. Meanwhile, we just know he is woke and subject to the current Maori Training Program.

As for that group of stars. Hopefully, they will follow ta similar group that used to be domiciled in Hollywood. Seems they went woke and mostly got cancelled. Good thing too.

Anonymous said...

its a wonderful case of 'damned it you do, damned if you don't'...
if no one had bothered to advertise anything related to matariki, the woke would have picketed that the racist companies are ignoring the maori festival. if they do embrace it, you end up with the current nonsense!

the key message is this: matariki should not be commercialised, unless some of the 'commerce' is directed towards lining the right set of pockets :(

Allan said...

Three news on Friday evening showed a few venues of Matariki events but even with the no doubt carefully chosen camera angles they appeared sparsely attended.
O.K. the food outlets were well populated.
Come Saturday news I expected a rash of coverage of thousands of joyous revelers whooping it up later on Friday night. Not so much as a mention. How so? Could it be that I had nodded off and missed it or was it that in spite of all of the prime time advertising it was in fact a big flop. This bore all the trademarks of this incompetent govt. expensive, all spin and no delivery.

Geoffrey said...

I do not have a sufficient grasp of Maori to be able to interpret all of the usual prayers. But apart from the odd reference to the woodland and river gods, to suit the occasion, the prayers so fervently intoned address the Christian deities, following the form and style of Christian prayers. Even to the point of concluding with “amene”

Robert Arthur said...

Commercialisation of Matariki does not stop RNZ utilising the event and running an advert promoting the development of stroppy staunchness in young female maori. Not to foster eventual benign motherhood, but an attempt to ensure continuing forceful pressure toward the goal of maori control. In the traditon of Titewhai Harawera, Eva Rickard, Ruakawa-Tait, Ngariwa-Packer, andNanaia Mahuta.

Anonymous said...

Really...I call it'Take Away Day', even the 3 wise men new about the stars!

Anonymous said...

Matariki has many different names around the world.
In English, it is called the Pleiades (its ancient Greek name) or the Seven Sisters. The Hawaiian name is Makali'i, or 'eyes of royalty', and in Japan it is Subaru, meaning 'gathered together'. Maori do not have exclusive "rights" to these stars, and as for me and my house, "We will serve The Lord", not a pagan ideology that promises to bring peace, transform lives and honour dead ancestors, through burnt offerings and mihi. The symbolism is touching, but ironic, given the level of violence and lawlessness in this country. It's a race to the bottom for sure.

Empathic said...

What is there to celebrated about Maori astrology? It's as superstitious and invalid as European astrology. Surely there were meritorious matters worth celebrating and having another public holiday for, assuming such a holiday is desirable?