Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Michael Bassett: Jacinda force feeds us Te ao Maori

Are you, like me, getting sick and tired of being told that everything about our culture is inferior to Maori, and that we should learn to live with a constant diet of Te Reo? Turn on Radio New Zealand in the morning and Susie Fergusson, Guyon Espiner and even Corin Dann do the news introductions in Maori. Try Midday Report and you get Mani Dunlop showering us with untranslated Maori phrases. “Aotearoa”, we keep being told, wrongly, is “the original name for New Zealand” when it wasn’t. As an historian who spent a decade on the Waitangi Tribunal, I abhor such crass ignorance. 
As Michael King pointed out, our country had no name in 1840 except a Dutch version of the words “New Zealand“ that had been bestowed internationally on our islands by Abel Tasman when he returned to Europe after his visit in 1642. At the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 both signatories occasionally referred to “islands” or used “Nu Tirani”. It was Sir George Grey, much derided by today’s more belligerent Maori crusaders, who first popularized the word Aotearoa in the 1850s. The Main Stream Media (MSM), however, now use it all the time, telling us it was the first name for our lands: the New Zealand Herald, TV ONE, TV3, Radio New Zealand, Stuff, you name it: belligerent ignorance keeps being forced upon us at Jacinda Ardern’s behest and partly funded by the Public Interest Journalism Fund.

Let’s reflect for a moment. During the 2020 election campaign no one from the Labour Party told us that if Jacinda was re-elected we would be flooded with Maori names, place names, new departmental names eg “The Ministry for Women Manatu Wahine”, a bulls-wool version of the Treaty they call “Te Tiriti”, assertions that Matauranga Maori is superior to western science, that lots of advertisements on TV would henceforth be in Maori, and that MSM journalists who could speak a little Maori would have their pay accelerated and their work-loads reduced. Nobody told us that henceforth European culture would be down-graded, false historical narratives would be taught to our children and called “history”, or that more and more hours of the school day would be given over to Te Reo and the peddling of demonstrable falsehoods about aspects of cultural relations. Or that no one in the Ministry of Education would lift a finger to ensure that children were told the facts, rather than codswallop. It is ridiculous to pretend that a language can be taught by sprinkling individual words into sentences in another language. At that level I could claim fluency in French!

Let me be clear. All my life I have argued for Maori to have a fair shake. I marched in the streets in 1960 against an all-white All Black team going to South Africa. Same in 1981 when the South Africans chose to send an all-white team to New Zealand. When as Minister of Internal Affairs I chaired the 1990 Commission it funded many initiatives such as building a dozen new waka to give Maori pride of place at Waitangi in the Queen’s presence on 6 February. As Minister of Local Government I supported local councils consulting Maori when issues important to them arose. I’m the first to acknowledge that Maori haven’t always been treated fairly. But I abhor the ignorance demonstrated daily by Jacinda Ardern’s government, her acolytes, ministers like Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson, and their bureaucracies in the name of “equity”. In between all his other commitments, what efforts has Education Minister Hipkins, or his CEO Iona Holsted, made to ensure that our school children are taught factually accurate information about Maori and Pakeha history? I’d award them a fail mark on what I’ve seen of the school curriculum. Same for what the Minister of Broadcasting – yes, Willie Jackson – prescribes for RNZ and TV. If those ministers and bureaucrats had to pay fines for the inaccuracies appearing on things under their control they’d be bankrupt.

If only Jacinda, her cabinet and her caucus had been better educated, or read more, they might be embarrassed by what is being done in the name of promoting Maori. Why didn’t they tell us at election time what they intended doing? Why the sudden surge of misleading pro-Maori propaganda the moment the election writs were returned? Is it now the sliding poll support for the Labour government that has led them to step up their preoccupation with Three Waters and a costly re-structuring of the health services in the name of greater control by Maori before they lose office?

The worst aspect of all this is that the government’s relentless pro-Maori push is seriously damaging race relations in New Zealand. The 83 percent of our population who aren’t Maori – people like Chinese and Indians who have come here to work hard and to get ahead, not to mention the many generations of Europeans – have to watch rewards going to people on the basis of ethnicity rather than work ethic. Hard-working, talented Kiwi without a drop of Maori blood – and that’s all that most self-designated Maori possess – are passed over for promotion and a place in the sun under this government. The hermit kingdom they call “Aotearoa”, with its tightly controlled borders, has become a social laboratory aimed at facilitating a takeover of authority by a small racial minority backed up by a false narrative.

Historian Dr Michael Bassett, a Minister in the Fourth Labour Government, blogs HERE.


ross meurant said...

Hon Dr

"Factual history"?

That's what I had in mind when I penned this:

Which is a quantum leap from what you taught me a university when education was predicated on facts and reasonable deductions therefrom.

And as to the value of Maori language outside a Marae?

As the standard of NZ science and maths crashes to an extent our graduates will barely find employment abroad - beyond working in a cafe?

And even then, lack of language skills beyond Inglish in France (where they do not like Inglish) without a basic skill in a European language, - even a job in a cafe might not happen.

You also taught me Russian history.
Today I speak Russian.
Probably not going to get me job on a marae but worst case, if the Russians invade New Zealand, at least I could apply for a job as a translator.

DeeM said...

Yes, we're all sick of it Michael but I'm not sure it's going to get a whole lot better under National, who are barely scraping ahead of Labour in the polls and parrot the same Te Tiriti centric approach.

NZ is a shadow of the country it was just a few years ago. It feels a little bit third-worldish now. Shops and cafes having to close because they can't get enough staff, yet record benefit numbers. Prices sky-rocketing. Crime's escalating. People begging.

Folk seem more glass-half-empty these days. And we still have the hard-core face-mask brigade, determined to make life more miserable for themselves than they have to.

It's bloody depressing, and if it continues those that can will leave for somewhere more hopeful and upbeat because life's too short to live in a dreary place that makes you angry every time you watch the news or go for the groceries.

Robert Arthur said...

RNZ is going to get far worse. The extensive maori twaddle to date is/ was despite no specific provion for in the Cherter. The (Aotea) new Zealand Public Media Bill/Act (a short read) will specifically provide for. Wily Willie is all for. The total spend on the history curriculaum must be colossal. Simple basic courses and tectbooks as of old could have been very easily provided. and teachers would have not been faced with such a bewidering and obscure task. May be available now, but the public submissions on the history curriculum were not released. None of the msm picked up on. Reading could have provided a field day were it not for the presence of PIJFunding.

Anonymous said...

Not sure but would love to know as very hard find out how much maori language there actualy was I was taught at school when captain Cook arrived there was no written language and verbal language was very limited and not uniform amongst tribes and cook instructed missionarys to help maroi create a uniform wrtten and verbal language ?

Anonymous said...

What gets me is why Maori the front runner language Yes put in on signs but English first It’s like we have to bow down to them

Mudbayripper said...

The moment the treaty was signed and a few years later the queens charter established. The collective made up of generally pure blood Māori ceased to exist in a political sense. Democracy was established. One man one vote. Nothing could be simpler. Fast forward 182 years and despite the genetic dilution of so called Māori. What we see is a distorted illusion that many in our ruling class are taking advantage of to replace our democracy with a socialist form of control that is in line with many other western democracies that are experiencing similar processes. Maorification of the country is a just a means to an end. This process began at least 60 years ago. It will take a lot more than an election to even slow it down, let alone bring it to a halt.

Unknown said...

Last year I was in a discussion with a woman on place names in New Zealand and she became frustrated with me when I wouldn't accept her versions and she came back with " It won't be long before all you old bastards eill be dead and then it won't matter". Read into that what you will. When we first started our discussion I didn't relise that she had Moari inheritance

Anonymous said...

Why are we learning a stone age language? Māori never discovered or worked with metals and never discovered the wheel. Both of these inventions/discoveries were instrumental in elevating early cultures from Stone Age living. Why are Māori inventing new Māori words for English concepts when there are perfectly defined words for what are essentially modern concepts. Māori never had a word for library for example why do they have the need to invent a word for it ?