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The dam breaks

datePosted on 09:33, June 30th, 2010 by Lew

“Where does the political correctness end?”

That’s the question from Michael Laws in response to the shocking news that local Māori are calling for “Rimutaka” to be changed to “Remutaka”. His dire predictions are coming to pass. The savage, foreign spelling of Whanganui has been coercively imposed by the forces of craven self-hating white PC liberality upon the good burghers of Wanganui — sorry, I mean Wonganewy — and now every Māori place-name in the country is going to be similarly stripped of the light patina of civilisation bestowed upon it by the linguistic touch of the God-fearing right-thinking settler.

As local councillor John Tenquist — or should that be Tinquist? — says, it’s always been that way for more than his 76 years, so that’s how it should always be:

What is wrong with the way it is? Once again we are pandering to a minority. We have some European heritage in this country and, rightly or wrongly, it has been Rimutaka for over 150 years, so if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. The locals on either side of the hill will never change the name from what they have always known.

Of course. Those old people knew what they were doing back then when they changed the name. Wouldn’t have done it without a reason. Back in those days, they knew that eating at the dining table was the final bulwark against the collapse of Western civilisation, betokened nowadays by so much more than the creeping advance of Hori-fied place names. We are losing our grip, little by little. We even have to sing the national anthem in Māori — and the Māori version first, even though they didn’t write it! Our country’s most-trusted citizen and most-decorated war hero is a Māori. We’ve got a Māori flag, a Māori All Black team, and half our goals at the World Cup were scored by a Māori! I fully expect that by the time of the 2014 World Cup we’ll be fielding a team called the All Browns. In the unlikely event that we can qualify, given the well-known lack of footballing skill possessed by those not of European extraction.

And would you look at that: Mayor Michael was right all along. Once again, spearheading this frontal assault on all that is right and proper are those bloody river Māoris and their unpronounceable names:

The story behind the area’s name is that a Maori chief, Haunuiananaia, an ancestor of the Te Ati Hau a Paparangi people of the Whanganui region, left his home in southern Taranaki to pursue his errant wife Wairaka, who had run off with a slave.
During his journey, he sat down to rest on a mountain and think about his quest. He named the mountain Remutaka – which means to sit down.

The Mairist Republic of Whanganuistan draws ever closer. And we’re supposed to call the highest peak in the Wellington region after something some savage once sat his arse on?

It’s past time for New Zealand’s downtrodden, powerless, disenfranchised white majority to rise up, and let the clarion cry be heard: “Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, we’re being repressed!


20 Responses to “The dam breaks”

  1. hori on June 30th, 2010 at 11:04

    Aotearoa is a maori country that happened to have been invaded by europeans.Maori is a language and that language deserves to be spelt right,and if you cant get to grips with that and every other thing maori then you have a problem.Either get over it or move back to europe where i’m sure you will happy amongst the whiteys over there.

  2. Lew on June 30th, 2010 at 11:09

    Seems I laid it on a bit thick.

    Hori, for my views on the h debate, see here.


  3. Scott on June 30th, 2010 at 16:50

    Because quoting Monty Python and using a “satire” tag didn’t at all give the game away…

  4. Phil Sage on June 30th, 2010 at 19:16

    Getting competitive with Danyl there Lew, well done

  5. Ag on July 1st, 2010 at 00:40

    Why is it funny that when Maori are in line to suffer worst in NZ from the global economic recession, the concessions granted them are mostly symbolic?

    It reminds me of the feminists who spent all their time complaining about pornography and gender neutral language while the feminisation of poverty was in full swing.

    Symbolic politics costs honky no money. Shame on Maori for being duped by it.

    But who cares?? Ooh look! Shane Jones had a ten dollar wank on the taxpayer!!

  6. Lew on July 1st, 2010 at 07:52

    Sigh, how many times will I have to pluck this particular canard?

    First, who thinks it’s funny?

    Second, if they want symbolic concessions, let them have symbolic concessions. How are they to reconcile non-material value with material value except by using their own cultural tools? You can’t measure this with a slide rule.

    To bring the issue into focus with a (well-used) concrete example: Instead of pursuing immediate goals of economic reconstruction in the 1970s and 1980s, Māori focused on cultural (what you would call symbolic) justice and reconstruction. They could have chosen otherwise, but how much economic equality would have made losing te reo Māori “worth it”?

    Third, the whole opportunity cost argument is fallacious — it only works one way, and in the opposite way to that which you suggest. Symbolic concessions are not a substitute for material concessions, they’re a precondition for material concessions. Material concessions, on the other hand, tend to circumscribe symbolic and cultural concessions, since they reduce any settlement to a simple transaction. For this reason it’s crucial, if some cultural integrity is to be retained, that any material concessions are couched within an appropriate cultural framework. You might not value the maintenance of that cultural integrity, but your values are not theirs: return to the question above and answer it if you can.

    Again, a concrete example: None of the Treaty claims would have gotten off the ground without the (symbolic, at the time) recognition of the legitimacy of the Treaty, and the acknowledgement that the Crown was obliged to adhere to its principles. Part of this was recognition of the status of te reo Māori. These concessions were a precondition for all the economic concessions which have followed through the Treaty settlement process. Receiving payment of an identical value of land and money and rights without a recognition of the cultural issues also in play would have been repugnant to Māori, and even such a counterfactual is broken, because it is the existence of that cultural context which grants Treaty claims any legitimacy. Without that, they get nothing.


  7. ak on July 1st, 2010 at 10:20

    Right on Lew, reminds me of what an old kuia told me decades ago: “For me it’s not the land – it stays when they’re gone – but why do they still look at us like dirt after all these years….”

  8. Ag on July 1st, 2010 at 13:12

    Sigh, how many times will I have to pluck this particular canard?

    No longer, it appears. I’m bored of this superficial and childish bull***t masquerading as political analysis, and will find somewhere else to post.

  9. Lew on July 1st, 2010 at 13:34

    Well, Ag, you had your opportunity to improve upon it, but never did.


  10. Scott on July 1st, 2010 at 15:34

    No longer, it appears. I’m bored of this superficial and childish bull***t masquerading as political analysis, and will find somewhere else to post.

    Ag, your last comment was an exquisite example of the childish bullshit you so deplore. Good luck in your quest to find a home for your disagreeable utterances.

    I’m picking that this site will survive your departure.

  11. Pablo on July 1st, 2010 at 16:55

    Ag: Not sure why you are so upset. I thought that the tongue-in-cheek nature of the post was pretty obvious. In any event, please keep the vulgarities out of your retorts (should there be any more).

  12. Phil Sage on July 1st, 2010 at 18:58

    “Where does the political correctness end?”

    I am picking with the renaming of Remuwera. By then the job will be complete. :^)

    I note from the link that “The main finding of the report, formally delivered last weekend, was that the Crown bought too much Maori land too quickly and without regard to the inevitable plight of a Maori population left virtually landless …”

    Does anybody else regard this as the kind of patronising drivel that gives the Waitangi tribunal in particular and Maori land claims in general a bad name?

    Maori owned the land and must have been willing sellers.

  13. Lew on July 1st, 2010 at 21:42

    Maori owned the land and must have been willing sellers.

    Phil, if only. If that were so, there would be no problem (and where that was so, by and large there is no problem — such as in most of Auckland).

    Māori held land in common and in trust for future generations — “tāonga tuku iho”, the term which is now being employed to refer to those areas of the foreshore and seabed which may end up in customary title. Inalienable; owned in perpetuity. Because of this form of ownership, generally speaking no one person had the unilateral right to dispose of it. Settlers knew this, but it didn’t stop them “buying” land from people who had no authority to sell it, and in general they made only the most rudimentary efforts to ascertain that authority. They would tend to negotiate with sympathetic and frequently naïve individuals, usually of insufficient standing to make the decisions they did on behalf of their people. They bribed, threatened and coerced, collected private debts from commonly-held resources, misled sellers as to the meaning and usage of sale conditions, and so on. They exploited inter-iwi and inter-hapū divisions and factionalisation to their advantage, “buying” land which was “sold” out from under an iwi or hapū by a rival neighbouring iwi or hapū representative wanting to gain an advantage in some dispute or other.

    This is not getting into the compulsory acquisitions, confiscation on the ground that the land was said to be “underused”, or that local Māori were said to be “in rebellion”, or forfeiture of lands in fulfilment of lien (raised, usually, by the Crown for surveying services Māori neither wanted nor needed), and land confiscated on the grounds that it was uninhabited, which was often given to the soldiers who had displaced Māori from it in the first place.

    It might be worth you reading the full report before jumping to conclusions. I haven’t, so I’m not sure which of these circumstances apply in this case; but this is all copiously documented in other cases.


  14. Phil Sage on July 1st, 2010 at 22:09

    To me the Waitangi Tribunal exists to right the genuine wrongs that you refer to. That is not what the news article suggests though. It does not exist to ratchet up the price for land knowingly sold by a tribe with the patronising justification that they made a bad historic decision. I will endeavour to read the full report but not today.

  15. Lew on July 1st, 2010 at 22:29

    The point is that almost any sale of land was likely illegitimate to some extent or another. The Waitangi Tribunal exists to determine the extent of that illegitimacy — the extent to which those wrongs were committed — and to right them to the mutual satisfaction of crown and iwi.


  16. Phil Sage on July 1st, 2010 at 23:24

    A quick scan of the introduction suggests a 12 year period of leasehold from the early 1840’s to the early 1850’s followed by sale to the crown during the 1850’s.

    This strongly suggests to me that Maori knew what they were doing and duly appointed people sold the land.

    The best the tribunal report can come up with is a hui where Governor Grey suggested to the locals that they would have a better future with European involvement and crown purchase of their land. So he made a sales pitch. And on that basis the Waitangi Tribunal produces a sympathetic report full of patronising drivel.

  17. Lew on July 2nd, 2010 at 07:41

    Phil, are we referring to the same documents?

    15.1.2 Tribunal findings
    We find that :
    – The Crown did not exercise in good faith its legal right to control all transactions in customary land between British subjects and Māori. We have found no evidence that the Crown explained to Māori that its control of land transactions would include leases, or that Māori really understood pre-emption at all. Nor was there a ‘law and order’ imperative that gave legitimacy to the exercise of such a power.
    – Making leases illegal so that Māori had no alternative to sale if they wanted the benefits of settlement was neither fair nor reasonable. The Native Land Purchase Ordinance 1846, and the pressure it put on Māori, represented an unwarranted interference in te tino rangatiratanga (full chiefly authority), undermining Māori capacity to engage with settlement on equal terms and on a self-sustaining basis. The Crown’s opposition to settlers leasing land directly from Māori occasioned the loss of a major opportunity for Māori to participate in the colonial economy on an equal footing from the outset. This breached the article 2 guarantee of te tino rangatiratanga.

    Those are the first two key findings. Further:

    In the 1850s, the Crown and its officers knew and understood the tenets of good purchasing. Getting agreement before purchase on area, boundaries, interest holders, shares, and price is the sensible, reasonable, and fair way of making sure that there is informed consent. The Crown did not conduct its purchasing activities in this inquiry district in accordance with these tenets.


    With the possible exception of the Castlepoint purchase, the Crown did not conduct a proper investigation of rights before embarking upon purchase. There were no hui on the land in question where interest holders could openly debate who owned what and in what proportion. There were no surveys to show clearly what land was being sold and what reserved. There was therefore no informed consent, and later payments and adjustments of boundaries did not remove the prejudice that flowed from this want of good process.
    We are particularly critical of the Crown’s practice of making initial payments to favoured rangatira away from the eyes of other leaders and resident hapū. These payments were effectively deducted from the tribal patrimony without community knowledge or consent. This was a deliberate strategy on the part of the Crown to predispose persons of influence to their way of thinking. Nor did later settlements negotiated with those who were at first ignored mitigate the prejudice.


    Accordingly, we find that the Crown’s abandonment of good purchasing practice in the Wairarapa purchases we have described undermined the capacity of Māori to make informed community decisions. This was a diminution of te tino rangatiratanga, and breached the Treaty.
    The practices described, which were adopted by McLean and continued by his successors, were the antithesis of what was required – that is, a process that provided for free, willing, and informed consent, a fundamental requirement of article 2 of the Treaty. They therefore breached article 2, the Crown’s duty to act in good faith, and the principle of active protection.

    That’s from the summary of Chapter 3A — Crown Purchasing Policy and Practice in the Key Findings and Recommendations document.

    Looks like it proceeded precisely according to the standard operating procedures I described in my comment above. But there are none so blind, etc.


  18. ak on July 2nd, 2010 at 11:04

    (talk about a touche Lew – more of an evisceration. Looks like “exit Sage right” to me….)

  19. […] of cultural battle, they claim to have been victimised. And they go on and on about it. “Help, help, we’re being repressed!” Nobody likes a whinger or someone who talks a big game but can’t play, especially in […]

  20. […] For your information, this is New Zealand, this is how we do. I understand you feel as if your colonial superiority is under siege, but how’s this: we won’t tell you how to represent your culture, and you don’t […]

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