Saturday, 28 April 2012

Are Maori no longer indigenous to NZ?

Don on indigenous peoples

I have been listening to Don Esslemont yet again express, via his Access Manawatu programme, his views on Maori [They are no longer indigenous people, therefore have no treaty rights etc] , and those views are most interesting. His beliefs are [according to him] not unlike those of John Ansell  who was the ACT party PR man who had pushed his radical views regarding all things Maori, he was a great fan of Don Brash the ex Nats leader who hi-jacked the Act party and brought it tumbling down in a massive heap. He like Don Esslemont and Don Brash pushes the line that all people should be equal under the law. And they are correct; people should be equal under the law. But are they treated equally…now that’s a different question.

John Ansell...Acts leading light on Maori.

Of course those who would suggest that any other view is in fact supporting apartheid [White South African style] The two Don’s and John Ansell always fail to inform their listeners that the various issues being argued by Maori are not about the law itself but about the interpretation of the law and its negative effect on their situations. Important to Maori is the honouring of the law that was reached by agreement between two equal parties, the crown and Maori, in both a social and legal sense. Don E. would have us believe that since no real Maori now exist, then in his view no agreement or process should exist for governing that relationship, other than the one he subscribes to.

Don Esslemont would ask you to believe that there are no indigenous people left in New Zealand, why because Maori interbred with the settlers, and because they did, the rights that were negotiated since 1840 are now negated. I must admit that this sort of confused, childlike and prejudicial logic does little more than confuse even further any possible rational discussion on the issue. Think about it, if no Maori exist then with whom do you discuss?

In New Zealand we thankfully rejected that style of dictatorial practice, of simply ignoring what was agreed in earlier years, and changing laws accordingly to suit those who hold power. Instead we developed a more human process via the Waitangi Tribunal and that process is now the law.  Esslemont and like minded individuals should live up to their so-called trust in the present laws as they stand in New Zealand. Pandering to people’s prejudices as an excuse for halting the expansion and rejuvenation of peoples pride in their heritage is both wrong and dangerous and is a huge backward step.

My view is that Don Esslemont uses the age old technique of denying the past to justify his desire for a dictatorship. Scotland has and is using the Waitangi Tribunal model in its march toward a style of independence suitable to them. They are leaning toward, and making use of the New Zealand experience, not because it offers all the answers, but because it is attempting by peaceful means to harness the ability of correcting both past un-intentional and intentional errors [crimes] of the past. I call it the human approach.

Larry Haist wrote a very good piece entitled: “How shall we be governed”, on the last page he wrote these words: “We eventually act in ignorance according to our best judgment, in our prejudices, not knowing past, present, or future”.

These words are most apt in the case of Don Esslemont’s Radio programme for prejudice decides the human value he places on past agreements such as the Treaty of Waitangi, prejudice ignores the democratically agreed design of the Waitangi Tribunal process that is being used at present and lastly prejudice dictates his need to halt a future different to that dreamed of by Don Esslemont and those of a like mind. The public spoke in the last election and the Act party was tossed on the scrap heap of racist bigotry…

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