Are we there yet? Boyd Broughton


Tena koutou e mara ma!

Ko au tetahi o nga uri no Te Hikutu. Ko Ramaroa te maunga. Ko Whirinaki te awa, me te whenua tapu. Ka nui.

I have been asked to share some humble musings, prior to this election, to hopefully shed some light on the whakaaro of Generation X, regarding one of the most interesting elections in my lifetime.

Given the incredibly powerful and unique backdrop of political history in Aotearoa, with the gains, losses and stagnancy experienced and suffered by Maori, the indigenous people of this land, in 1000 words a simple gardener like me would be unable to do justice to the many heroines, heroes, villains, visionaries and powerful fence sitters who have shaped today. This is just to let you, the reader, know that I am cognisant of the struggles that have been, and continue. Many are varied and disappointingly, some are endlessly repeated.

Historically (and by that I mean within my lifetime) I have known a government that has vilified Maori heroes, demonised Maori history, whaka-heathened our culture, glorified our perceived shortcomings and played political forceback with our ambitions. I have observed:

  1. A government that has turned a blind eye or discreetly encouraged, cultural ignorance among a particularly powerful and well resourced government organisation, who are allegedly sworn to protect and serve ALL people of Aotearoa, not just those with shiny shoes!
  2. A government who treated actual real life French terrorists, responsible for the death of one of our own people, with more dignity and respect than that afforded to the hunters of Tuhoe: in the name of terrorism!
  3. A government who placed high value on the foreign dollar, the real estate dollar, the tobacco dollar, the alcohol dollar, the Kentucky Fried dollar and the MacDollar, but have sat by, observed, reported on, drawn pretty statistical bar graphs on BUT ultimately, allowed the indigenous people in this country to lead every single, measurable, unhealthy and unwealthy statistic.
  4. Government accusations that Maori leadership, whanau, hapu and iwi should not be allowed to focus on improving Maori economic well-being, while young Maori babies are murdered by their parents/caregivers and whanau. The same rules are not applied to non-Maori leadership, whanau and communities. Why not? Why are non-Maori political parties allowed to focus on other ventures, while Maori tamariki and babies are dying by the hands of those supposed to love them?
  5. Government partners not only creating the myth of Maori privilege, but actually use the tax dollar to foster belief in it. Supporting that belief is the plethora of outlets available these days for propaganda to spread quickly and inaccurately, to an already angry younger generation, largely ignorant of issues, historical and contemporary, regarding Maori in Aotearoa and the inequalities that have lead to current situations that many of our whanau now find themselves in. It is sickening and it is proving unstoppable such is the strength of ignorance.
  6. The years of lazy governance of this land, meaning public persecutions of Maori take a very different shape for politicians, who are openly Maori, as opposed to those who are openly anti-Maori. On my observations, when a pro-Maori MP or a Maori of any stature errs, not only are they publicly condemned, but our culture, language, ethnicity and entire ethnic group are slain too. When a non-Maori MP expresses strong anti-Maori sentiment, however, their culture, language, ethnicity and ethnic group are neither publicly condemned, nor mentioned in the media frenzy that ensues. Lazy!

A slither of hope was offered with the recent condemnation of the ACT parties lazy ads, designed by infamous anti-Maori John Ansell, which were ignorant of any historical OR contemporary context by many, not just Maori. Hope! Like J.K. says, hold on to it!

This current government confuses the hell out of me! Currently, I have:

  1. A government who smiles and waves as we sell our tamariki to a potentially oil-stained future, with no state assets to base our economic well-being or growth on.
  2. A government who were both quick and vocal to pardon foreign tourists of allegations they may be terrorists. Four years later, one of our very own died under unjustified clouds of suspicion, with no such words of pardon either before OR after his death. Disgusting!
  3. A government who, with the support and inclusion of Maori, have taken a very strong stance against the tobacco industry. An industry responsible for the death of over 5000 New Zealanders and over 600 Maori. Every flippin year! Some may argue they could be stronger. I will not disagree with that argument!
  4. A government who, with the support and inclusion of Maori, have set aside time, space, ideas and resources to support the growth of te reo Maori. Some may be unhappy with the shape and form that this has taken, but none can deny that a commitment is being demanded from our government to support our language, the indigenous language of Aotearoa. I have not heard an absolute NO in response.

Like I said, this government is bloody confusing!

Election Day: Saturday November 26th, 2011.

I may be wrong, but from what I have observed this year, the level of electional (I made that word up) apathy from Maori is at an all-time low! The reasons for this deserve more analysis than I can deliver. Maybe someone more succinct may care to explain? Please, I hope I am not wrong! Prove me right whanau!

What and who will inspire me to vote for them this year?

Someone who can inspire my belief with strategies and actions, that the success and prosperity of Maori is not reliant on the failure and impoverishment of others.

Someone who can inspire not just me, but my non-Maori friends, whanau, neighbours and communities that the inclusion of things Maori is in fact a good thing and worth doing well, not just for Maori but for our entire whanau of Aotearoa.

Surely in 2011 this korero can be shared without protest and without acts of violence? Likewise this korero can be responded to without batons and without legislated acts of terrorism and suppression in reply!

Show me you have this vision.
Show me you have the associated actions.
Show me you can sing this song with the rest of our beautiful country.
You might just inspire me to place a tick next to your name and your party!

I was asked to write about the question; Are we there yet?
My reply is: Ee e hoa ma, we never left.



Are we there Yet? Series

From now until the election in November, will be releasing a series of articles that focus on the wish list of Generation Xers; their hopes, dreams, aspirations and vision for New Zealand society.

These articles are foreshadowed by almost 30 years of experimentation, especially in relation to economics and race-relations. Generation Xers follow directly after the Baby Boomers and were born between1965 and 1981.

In some ways, Xers came of age or are the children of the revolution that occurred in New Zealand society between 1984 and 1996.

In 1984, following the civil unrest of the broader protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, Maori demands for recognition of the Treaty, the Springbok Tour and the downturn in the global economy, the Fourth Labour Government came to power.


  1. Kia ora koutou, I really enjoyed this piece by Boyd Broughton. I have printed it out for my whanau to have a good read, as it is extremely well written and coincides with many things that I often ponder about.

    Well done
    Boyd and

  2. “Maybe someone more succinct may care to explain? Please, I hope I am not wrong! Prove me right whanau!”

    I’ll share what I know Boyd.
    It’s pretty good, and pretty sad.

    There is NO political party that represents our Maori Gen X aspirations,
    other than the MAORI Party.

    The maori party stands true, despite differences of opinion over the outcome during this political term.
    It represents a party, that is making plans for a COMMON future for us maori people, in ever changing world. Maori are realising their CONSERVATIVE potential, in this political environment. The last part of this CHANGE is that Maori will become more INVOLVED in our social environment.

    Be more POLITICAL,
    CONTRIBUTE to society positively through Politics,
    EXPRESS political thoughts, and feelings OPENLY.

    We are becoming, or have become middle class citizens.
    But that does not excuse US of the duty back to OUR whanau, and whanaunga katoa struggling.
    That political party hasn’t arrived yet.
    It is derived from coalition wheeling and dealing.

    A vote for MANA is a vote for the LABOUR Social Democtratic Left, unionism, welfare dependency ideals, that have failed our people for so long, based on distrust of conservation agendas.

    It’s time to find friends in UNLIKELY places.

    This is the CHANGE our people has gone through, and will continue to go through, if COMMON sense prevailed, for a COMMON future with other New Zealanders.

    The CHOICE is in “TO HAVE” a voice in Govt, or “NOT HAVE” a voice in Govt, come November 26th 2011


    E te Iwi Maori e….

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