Tariana Turia and abortion (updated) | Morgan Godfery | Maui Street Blog

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Tariana Turia, in perhaps the most bizarre political episode of the week, tabled an amendment seeking to appoint a raving lunatic to the Abortion Supervisory Committee. Luckily the vote failed, but what is most concerning is Turias warped take on abortion. This from Turia:

In addressing the House, Mrs Turia said the issue of abortion was central to family well-being. “The protection and preservation of whakapapa and genealogy is fundamental to the broken health of our whanau”.

I do not think abortion undermines the notion of whakapapa. Cultural values are fluid and change over time in response to changing circumstances. Maori inhabit a vastly different world and the notion of whakapapa has not remained static. Turia is allowing a very narrow interpretation of whakapapa to inform her views on what is essentially a health issue.

“I think about the precious heartbeat of every child, and I think about the comment that Ngati Whatua leader Naida Glavish once made, that there is no such thing as an unwanted mokopuna.”

This is true, but a distraction from the real issue. Abortion is about a womans right to chose. It is unwise to allow an emotive assertion to obscure objective judgement.

Turia is undoubtedly a social conservative, and an extreme one at that. It worries me when I see Maori values advancing socially conservative policy. Maori were and are pragmatists. Just because we lost some aspects of our culture and struggle to maintain others does not mean we have to hold onto to what we still have with an iron grip. Values and ideas are meant to change.

UPDATE: I take a very, very liberal view on abortion and I cannot help but state my views in no uncertain terms. Women should have the right to choose. We as a society should be ashamed that our government refuses to deconstruct the archaic procedural barriers to abortion.

About Maui Street Blog

The Maui Street Blog is the digitalcreation of rangatahi blogger Morgan Godfery, who affiliates to Ngati Awa (Te Pahipoto) as well as Tuhoe, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Hikairoa. He grew up in Kawerau, went to high school in Rotorua (Boys High) and Im currently studying law at Victoria University.

What Morgan has to say about his blog Maui Street is an attempt to address the shortage of Maori voices in the blogosphere. As an ardent reader of many left leaning blogs and an occasional visitor to some right leaning blogs I was, and continue to be, struck by the shortage of Maori bloggers and the poor coverage Maori issues receive, having said that there are a number of notable exceptions. Therefore, I believe Maui Street fills a very important niche.

Maui Street will deal, for the most part but not exclusively, with Maori political issues. I will do my best to post at the very least weekly. With study commitments and life in general my posting habits may become erratic.

2 COMMENTS

  1. (*I had to break up my comments coz it was too long! Typical of me!) …You assert that "abortion is about a womens right to choose". Personally, I don't believe abortion is simply about a womens right to choose. There are other rights involved. To begin to promote one persons 'right's' over anothers is problematic. Traditionally for Maaori an 'individuals rights' were often superseded by that of the whanau, hapu, iwi. For me, if we lived in a society where all were loved & cared for, taken in & supported, nourished & fed, included & esteemed – there would be no need for abortion. Of course that is not our reality, it's often not mine, but it is surely our goal – no matter how far we fall short of it be it as individuals or as a society. Mauri Ora e hoa.

  2. Kia ora e hoa. I appreciate your views & hope there is opportunity to discuss them here. As you have said, you hold a very, very liberal view on abortion & can not help but put them out there in no uncertain terms,… as you are free to do, particularly if it's your space! I respect that. I imagine however, the same could be said for Tariana who perhaps holds an opposing view & similarly wishes to be true to herself & that view. She also has put her view out there, maybe in less 'uncertain terms' but it is clear what she is saying. That is the respect we give one another, the right to hold opposing & differing views.

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