Monday, November 21, 2022

Bruce Moon: Reflections of a Native

With their claws savagely embedded in the throats of most of New Zealand’s news media (so to speak) racist commentators are really having a great time distorting and rewriting the history of our once fair country of New Zealand. 

They appear to have learnt that if you tell the BIG LIE often enough and loud enough, people will come to believe it and of course once should be enough for innocent children, that is if they can be induced actually to go to school.  If statistics are to be believed for once, it appears that truancy is at a record high in New Zealand schools, highest apparently among children of part-Maori descent and lowest among Chinese.  

Now there is surely some food for thought amongst the thinking classes.

Doctor Jones

Thus we have one Dr Rhys Jones of the University of Auckland, reported by Maxine Jones in Stuff for 16th November 2022,  The good Doctor Jones is reported as saying “Modern colonial societies have really been built on the process of genocide and ecocide, and can only continue through ongoing genocide and ecocide.” Well now, that certainly sounds drastic enough from a man with a profoundly indigenous name from a small part of an island half a world away from New Zealand.  But no!  A name can be quite misleading, it appears!  Dr Jones is really, as he declares, from Ngati Kahungungu, a Maori tribe from the southeast of the North Island of New Zealand who are no more indigenous here than the Welsh are.

The BIG LIE has been hard at work here of course.  Tell us often enough and loud enough that Maoris are indigenous and we’ll believe it. In reality we know where they came from, how they got here and when, which disqualifies them on all counts.  But that, it appears, can be ignored by Dr Jones who is reported as deducing that “We have got to think not just decarbonisation but decolonisation in all this work and what that really means is committing to upholding indigenous rights and restoring indigenous sovereignty.”

That sort of looks somewhat like raw political ambition dressed up in the goody-goody aspiration of saving the planet.  Well, it does to me at any rate! 

Debbie Ngarewa_Packer MP

Ms Ngarewa-Packer, deputy leader of the Maori Party,  owes her presence in Parliament to that august institution meddling with the recommendations for MMP by the Royal Commission in which a party would be required to get a 5% share of the popular vote in order to have list members.  Ms Ngarewa-Packer is a list member of a party with a 1.2% list vote.

In “Opinion” for 14 November 2022 in the NZ Herald, having reflected on some of the consequences of the Covid pandemic, she observes that  “We really needed a Crown plan ... that would have ... addressed the systemic drivers of Māori unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and health inequities, rather than simply treading water. We needed policies that obligated Government and the private sector to employ Māori, and which ensured we had a voice at the decision-making table.”  Well, as a Maori Party member, she would say that, wouldn’t she?  Nevertheless, she goes on to say: “rather than dwelling on Crown failures, we moved forward regardless, and the Māori economy continues to go from strength to strength. In the past 20 years, the Māori economy has grown from about $16 billion to $70b. In the past decade, the Māori asset base has been growing at 10 per cent a year – much faster than the overall economy.”  It does not seem to occur to her that Maoris have plenty of resources to address “the systemic drivers of Māori unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and health inequities”. Not least are those resources owed to fat “Waitangi settlements”, that for the increasingly rich and increasingly powerful Ngai Tahu – its fifth “full and final settlement” – being termed a “fraud” and a “swindle” by careful analysts. Her piece is headlined “It’s time to break up the old boys’ network.”  Perhaps it is time for her to begin at home.  From what I hear, some of the Maori “old boys” are pretty fat cats, able to afford life styles well beyond the means of most of us!  (But that, of course, is only gossip!)

At this point Ms Ngarewa-Packer’s discourse becomes something of an oration.  “As tangata whenua, our world-view is holistic”.  She proceeds: “the absolute best thing we can do to support the Māori economy and the growth of our economic power as tangata whenua is to make practical steps towards our vision of a Te Tiriti-centric Aotearoa through constitutional transformation and an aggressive ‘Land Back’ programme.”  Whew!  That’s ambition for you, possibly even beyond Cæsar’s alleged aspirations. 

“Tangata whenua”? “People of the land”, I suppose.  Her vision may be “Tiriti-centric” but there is absolutely nothing about “tangata whenua” in the Treaty of Waitangi.  “Aotearoa” - well, if her vision is as “Tiriti-centric” as she claims, there must be quite a lot wrong with her vision or something because simply nowhere in Te Tiriti does that word occur either!!  But that same “vision” aims for “the growth of our economic power as tangata whenua ...  through constitutional transformation and an aggressive ‘Land Back’ programme.”  Well, fellow-New Zealanders, you can’t say you haven’t been warned. Put plainly, there are persons with a racist agenda in positions of power in our country whose active ambition is to deprive you of much of your birthright.

But there’s more!  In her next flight of rhetoric she claims:

“The reality is that we live and work on our own stolen land. We can unleash Māori excellence to a degree we can hardly yet imagine if we ensure productive and economically viable land is returned to our people.  The Crown must return land in its control to mana whenua, or settlements will never be durable. This includes conservation and local government land.”

Well, no, that just isn’t “the reality”.  On his very first day in New Zealand, Hobson issued a proclamation designed specifically to protect Maori land-holders, many of whom had eagerly sold land in their possession in return for much sought European artefacts and material goods.  179 pre-treaty sales in the South Island alone were registered in Sydney.  As chiefs Ihaia Kirikumara and Tamati Ngamotu reported, some Taranaki land was sold three times over.

90% of the land area of New Zealand was freely sold by Maori interests, A mere 4½% was confiscated from rebel tribes, largely to compensate a cash-strapped government for the costs of suppressing their rebellions.  5½% remains under Maori title today.  Much of the 90% will be held today under normal title by people of part-Maori descent.  The 4½ confiscated may be viewed as “tikanga”, the traditional Maori practice of acquiring the land of defeated tribes;  lauded today by learned judges claiming in other contexts that it merits equality with our well-tested Common Law inherited from English precedents.

Need we go on?  In 1896, Ngai Tahu were cultivating a mere 57.5 of the 45,000 acres in their possession.  As Prime Minister Ardern has said herself “roughly 80 per cent of Maori freehold land was underutilised or unproductive.” (“NZ Herald”, 2/2/20)  “The Government has earmarked $30 million to make investment in underutilised Maori-owned land easier”. Ibid, 3/2/20)  Pork barrel politics? It sure looks like it!  Figure all that out, Ms Ngarewa-Packer, and give us a credible answer!  By all means “break up the old boys’ network”, Debbie, if you can.  Just start at home!

“Every day”, she says, “our people demonstrate the economic power of Maori excellence”. Well, that is just fine!  Clearly it is in Maori hands to “address ... the systemic drivers of Māori unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and health inequities” and high time to stop bludging on the rest of us.

And so to “Marama” (not her real name)

In a quite lengthy interview with Maxine Jacobs in Stuff’s “NowNext Pou Tiaki survey”, reported on 27 April 2022, “Marama” (Rangitane, Ngati Kahungungu but of no declared European descent!), apparently experiences the “negative effects of colonisation” today, but does not acknowledge any of the colossal benefits which colonization brought to Maoris?  Did Marama never learn, or has she forgotten that prior to colonization, Maoris were a savage Stone Age society, beset by continual warfare, slavery, cannibalism, female infanticide and the crudest methods imaginable of treating the sick?  Is she unaware that about one third of the Maori population was slaughtered by other Maoris – and often eaten – between 1807 and 1837?

“Not acknowledging the Treaty of Waitangi ... [is] colonisation isn’t it?”  says Marama.  How she works that out is a real mystery since as a historical fact, the signing of the Treaty was the first tangible step towards formal colonisation of New Zealand – or Nu Tirani as the Treaty names it. “Having the new National Party leader saying that he doesn't think a Māori-led health authority is appropriate for Māori” is also “colonisation” in Marama’s book.  Blame it all on the white fellas, folk.  Don’t take any responsibility yourselves!  Would there have been any health authority at all without colonisation.  Would the principal diagnosis for sickness have continued to be the entry of a malignant atua to the vitals of the sick person and treatment devised accordingly?

Then we have “te Reo Maori kaiako and indigenous Tik Toker” Paaka Davis entering the fray.  Wow! If he’s “indigenous” he’s a rare bird indeed, evidently of mixed ancestry, as his Maori ancestors certainly were not!

With a name like “Davis” not common amongst pre-European Maoris, he may just happen to have a colonial ancestor or two but he claims to be “Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Te Whānau a Kai, Ngāti Kahungungu”.  That is indeed quite a mix of tribes but gives no inkling of where the “Davis” came from.  It may indeed have been Welsh or Jewish or, horror of horrors (!) even English!

Then, as he acknowledges, the Maori asset base was $68 billion in 2018 and “could reach $100 b[illion] by 2030.”  That’s not bad in anybody’s language but is Davis really so deluded that he thinks it could have reached anywhere near such figures without the enormous benefits colonization has brought to part-Maori New Zealanders?  Next he says “Our colony state is too well-supported by the pillars of capitalism, so much so that capitalism has now overridden tikanga Māori.” Some people are certainly hard to please!  May I remind Mr Davis that amongst other things, tikanga included (or includes) precise rituals for the dismemberment and cooking of human bodies for a cannibal feast as described fully in Michael King’s notable book “Moriori”?

And Dr Rawiri Tinirau enters the fray

The next to speak up is one Rawiri Tinirau whose ancestry, he states, includes Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Rangi, Ngā Rauru Kītahi, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maru. That’s the impressive number of eight tribes but once again gives not a mention of any European ancestry.

Now, as a matter of fact, one Dr Stapleton of Auckland did an exhaustive survey of Maori blood groups in 1959-60 and the only people he found of solely Maori descent were a group of Tuhoe, deep in the wilds of the Urewera.  That’s odd in Dr Tinirau, a man who is clearly much interested in such things and is, presumably, the beneficiary of a full European medical education.

Anyway, he has done a survey of Maori experiences of racism.  Now racism is certainly one of the least attractive aspects of human behaviour which we cannot examine in depth here but have Maoris experienced it to any greater degree than any other recognizable ethnic group – Chinese or Indian or Tongans or Samoans perhaps?  There was indeed a phase in the not-so-recent past when many New Zealanders seemed to have a hate of English migrants - “Pommy go home” was not an uncommon remark in a few public bars.

As for my own experience as a Southerner living in a part of New Zealand with relatively few part-Maori neighbours, I have had friends amongst them all my life.  I even knew old Johnny Matthews, the last of the southern full-bloods, and my observation is that today people of Maori descent are well integrated into the community which is entirely appropriate by any yardstick. Never once have I ever heard complaints from them of unfair treatment by wicked colonials.

So I say, beware, all New Zealanders, of the vocal minority of part-Maoris amongst us who have done very well from “Treaty settlements”, more than one of which of very dubious validity, people who use false associations of colonization as a stick with which to beat us and loud and repeated emphasis on “Aotearoa” an utterly fake name for our country whose proud name has been New Zealand for not far short of 400 years.

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


Anonymous said...

Like you I am so bored and fed up with all this whinging about colonisation. The first thing i think of is the profound ignorance of many of the whingers, their mental state so limited that they are just not capable of making the leap from subsistence (which they themselves have never known) to the complexity of modern society.

Then I think a lot about DNA. What makes Maori different from almost all of the rest of humanity (Australian aborigines excepted?) is their 400-year isolation in circumstances of extreme violence. Who knows how this culture of warfare developed as they had vast amounts of space, and the fish and bird life were across the land. But they must have lived in constant terror of invasion, always on the look -out for a raiding party who would slaughter all the warriors, eat many and take the rest as slaves. No wonder they developed a rancorous outlook, which natural selection has settled in their genes, and which has shaped their present discontent. All of us have emerged from harsh societies where we risked burning at the stake, grinding under the heel of the 'laird' and so on, but it seems most of us have emerged a bit less disgruntled. Willy Jackson says, 'Democracy doesn't work for Maori'. He may be right, but they'll just have to learn it like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I find the anger of the ‘indigenous ‘ New Zealanders so exhausting. My own ‘colonial’ ancestors have no record of the alleged greed and violence shouted by the angry - quite the opposite. Like both Bruce and Anonymous I too am bored and fed up with all this whinging about colonistsation.

For the record I am proud of my ancestors who came to NZ from half way round the world in sailing ships with the courage to survive and create a new life. I am proud they helped create a society where brutality was not the norm but being a New Zealander was.

All settlers to NZ bring value. Let’s celebrate.

Anonymous said...

I often wonder what these tossers of so called Maori elite think when they look in the mirror and see a predominantly pakeha face looking back at them . It must be the ngati pommy part of themselves. What do they think in the wee small hours when no one is watching .Who do they think they are kidding.They most certainly do not fool me or the vast majority of Maori folk who are perfectly happy with their lives and what so colonialism has brought them. They know they are better off this way than living as just ordinary ,low ranking members of the tribe .