Gareth Morgan: Pakeha have to step up

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Philanthropist says Pakeha, with history of nearly exterminating Maori, need now to live up to Treaty promises

Gareth Morgan plans to challenge Pakeha over their failures to live up to the Treaty. Picture / John Borren

(NZ Herald | by David Fisher | Photo:John Borren)

Pakeha nearly “exterminated” Maori and need to make good on the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi – including compulsory te reo in all primary schools, philanthropist Gareth Morgan has said ahead of a visit to the Ratana Church today.

[pull_quote_right]I want to lay down the challenge to Pakeha New Zealand to do the right thing by the Treaty,” Dr Morgan said.[/pull_quote_right]

“Pakeha generally … think the Treaty begins and ends with breaches, claims and settlements. The Treaty is not just about that. It’s about Maori culture, language and investment having just as much right in New Zealand as our conventional ones … we’re miles from that.”

Dr Morgan – a Pakeha businessman and economist – will challenge Pakeha over what he perceives to be failures to live up to the Treaty.

His arrival this morning at Ratana Pa near Whanganui – where the church will stage its annual celebrations marking the birthday of its late founder – comes after five years of study and co-authoring of a book charting his vision of the path forward – Are We There Yet? The future of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Maori is more than the haka for the All Blacks and [Treaty] claims. It is interwoven into our being and we should be proud of it.”

He said the current negotiated settlements, which returned to Maori only 2c-3c in each dollar, were only the start of honouring the Treaty.

[pull_quote_left]They bloody near got exterminated. Certainly their culture did, with their language not being allowed in schools. It’s been amazing it’s been robust enough to survive to this point.[/pull_quote_left]

“We’ve inherited that and we have to live with the consequences of that. Too many Maori either unhealthy, poorly educated, too high in the crime statistics – there’s a huge human potential we’re not realising.”

He said small concessions were made, including using te reo place names. “We resist every step of the way [and] you bet we have a bloody row over it. Michael Laws nearly blew apart over the ‘H’ in Whanganui.

“I believe te reo should be compulsory in schools. We’ve begrudged every step of the way. I think Pakeha are very fearful, which is one thing, and they think it’s race related, which is rubbish.

“There is a resentment of Maori. That unfortunately has come about because Maori are over-represented among the socially disadvantaged.

“You see the inter-generational crap that comes down as a result of continued alienation and marginalisation of a people in their own land.”

Along with te reo in schools, Dr Morgan floated the idea of an upper House of Parliament of which half the members were Maori, with the power to send legislation back to the lower House for further consideration.

He said he wanted the Treaty enshrined in law, and for it to be part of a wider, more public, debate about New Zealand’s future.

He said the Treaty was a deal Pakeha had made at a point in history where it was the minority partner.

“Let’s remember at the time Pakeha were outnumbered 10-one. If they hadn’t come up with something reasonable, they would have got eaten. That’s the reality of it.

“Those guys all had their heads screwed on at the time. New Zealand would be better off if we lived by those principles.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. Gareth is telling lie after lie.

    1. “Pakeha nearly exterminated Maori”. Utter nonsense. There’s much more evidence that Maori nearly exterminated Maori (in the Musket Wars, the leading cause of Maori depopulation in the latter half of the 19th century because of a lack of breeding-age males, and females due to widespread female infanticide), and that Maori intended to exterminate Pakeha (assuming that “drive the Pakeha into the sea” was not referring to giving them swimming lessons).

    2. “(N)eed to make good on the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi including compulsory te reo in all primary schools”. Sheer fantasy. The intent of the Treaty (as stated in English and Maori, and in the Colonial Secretary’s instructions to Hobson) was fourfold:

    (i) for Maori to allow the British to run the country

    (ii) for the British to allow Maori to keep their possessions (taonga was defined by Hongi Hika for the dictionary current at the time as “property procured by the spear”)

    (iii) for the British to protect Maori from foreigners, unruly escaped convicts and tribes bent on revenge

    (iv) for the British to grant Maori equal membership of the world’s greatest empire.

    There was no intention, stated or implied, to compel Maori, much less non-Maori, schoolchildren to learn te reo. The very opposite was the case…

    3. “Their language not being allowed in schools”. Gareth neglects to mention that it was the Maori chiefs themselves who pleaded with the government to educate Maori children solely in English – a farsighted decision similar to that by Lee Kuan Yew, who wanted Singaporeans to prosper in the modern world.

    4. “(N)egotiated settlements, which returned to Maori only 2c-3c in each dollar”. Gareth should know better than to cite the improved value of the land. Improved by who? By the blood, toil, tears and sweat of the settlers. Ngai Tahu got a massive amount of money considering there were only about 2000 of them in the South Island at the time. Especially considering they had signed a full and final settlement (their third) in 1944.

    5. “Too many Maori either unhealthy, poorly educated, too high in the crime statistics theres a huge human potential were not realising. WE’RE not realising? Since when is it other people’s jobs to teach Maori to be healthy, go to school and work hard, and not commit crimes? Those who say Maori violence is the fault of the British are forgetting that Maori were possibly the most violence-obsessed people on earth before the British even arrived. The haka and powhiri stand as evidence of that obsession.

    6. “Michael Laws nearly blew apart over the H in Whanganui.” As he should have, when the wishes of 80% of Wanganui citizens were ignored.

  2. I support this man statements. Though many non-Maori will argue until their faces are blue, its the truth. An agreement was signed and at nearly every turn, one partner dishonoured that agreement. I’m not sure about making Maori compulsory in mainstream schools although I do think it is a great idea. The Treaty says we were allowed to retain our language (just one of the terms that was not honoured) so to me that means Maori have the right to speak their own language, it doesn’t say everyone else has to speak it. It is and has always been an officially recognised language of
    New Zealand. Making a bilingual society would bode well for us locally and internationally. Studies say that a person who is multilingual tends to be smarter so I can’t see how it could be a bad idea. Non-Maori would argue that its not apart of their culture, which saddens me. In its entire history, until the internationally eyes are on New Zealand, Maori as a culture is seldom celebrated by non-Maori in New Zealand. That is a broad statement as I know of many Pakeha (and other cultures that make up the population of New Zealand) who have the utmost respect for the native people and the culture but unfortunately, they appear to be a small group and a good reflection of how few people I actually know. I read the statements of non-Maori in social media and I can sense the level of resentment in their comments. Plus, if you were to look up Maori in the urban dictionary, you will see that racism is alive and well in New Zealand. Ultimately I would like to see a New Zealand that genuinely embraces the Maori culture as apart of New Zealand culture which in my experience is happening in my generation and the youth who seem not to want to involve themselves in the negativity of the situation. I wouldn’t want to “make people Maori”, diversity is awesome. Why not have a truly multicultural country where, like Europe, people speak a number of language and respect and celebrate each other. All I would ask for Maori is the recognition and realisation of the promises made to them.

    • There is no mention of te reo in the treaty. The term ‘taonga’ is subjective and its meaning can and has been twisted by part Maori revisionists to mean anything and everything. Besides the quickest way to consign te reo to the dustbin of history would be to ram it down the throats of an increasingly angered, anti Maori nation.

    • More lies.

      1. “(A)t nearly every turn, one partner dishonoured that agreement.” Presumably you are not referring to Maori breaching the Treaty by taking up arms against the Queen (as Sir Apirana Ngata was honest enough to acknowledge they did). The breaches you are referring to are of an imaginary treaty, containing imaginary principles, dreamed up by Geoffrey Palmer in 1989, which should rightly be called the Treaty of Wellington.

      2. Please cite the words in the Treaty (English or Maori) that say anything about language.

      3. Maori culture would be more respected if it evolved from its obsession with violence. Most people appreciate Maori carving, poi, music, etc. But many find the haka and powhiri rude, violent and inappropriate behaviour in the 21st century when violence is supposed to be “not OK”. Maori celebrating a bygone age of cannibal warriors is like the British conducting ritual witch-burnings and hangings, drawings and quarterings. We’re over it, move on. I don’t expect to be liked for mentioning this, but someone’s got to say it.

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