May 11, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Will Gareth Morgan be the new Moses to ignite a Maori Exodus?

4 min read


Gareth Morgan is known for having an opinion, like his korero that all cats should be killed back in 2013. Well, his current korero on the state of New Zealand and the complex role of the Treaty of Waitangi is an interesting one.

  • To read the article, please click here.

article-2266439-1717EB36000005DC-964_634x447For me, it feels like Gareth has just started to learn about the history of Aotearoa. He points out a few broad concepts that many NZ History 101 students might find and writes with a birds eye view, rather than from any personal position.

There are points of paternalism, like when hesays …the reparations are just the start of the journey to restore Maori pride and self-esteem – there is much more that needs to be done.

If Gareth were to take a step outside and visit a kohanga, a kura kaupapa, a Maori land trust hui, a marae noho, watch tauira speak at a Nga Manu Korero comp or attend Te Matatini, he would see that Maori confidence is alive and well. Maori confidence has always been there.

If there is fault, I would say that mainstream New Zealand has had a difficult time in seeing itself as a recipient of the Treaty of Waitangi, and therein, distances itself from any responsibility to learn. Why bother? As Gareth says, the Crown already has sovereignty.

Or does it?

Thefour articles being written by Gareth seemintended to light a fire that has been simmering within the belly of our nation since the beginning. By pointing out the flaws of the past and then slowly building a path for the future, Gareth will probably ignite a Pakeha backlash, as well as look to stand before Maori audiences to argue his case. Could his commentary frame him as the neo-Don Brash of the 21st Century? Possibly. What I think might happen is that it wont gain traction purely because he looks like hes sitting on the fence. Just saying.

I do sense the urgency in hiskorero, like when he says:

[quote_box_center]I believe rangatiratanga can and must be addressed, but not through convoluted legal arguments over sovereignty, as currently pursued by the Waitangi Tribunal and iwi leaders.[/quote_box_center]

There is a disingenuous angle to say that he believes in rangatiratanga but not the Tribunal nor the Iwi leaders. Does this mean he will bypass orthodox conservative leadership for something broader, possibly younger and likely, more disruptive? What does he mean by rangatiratanga?

Andmore pointedly, what does Gareth Morgan actually know about Rangatiratanga?

I guess over the next few articles, we will find out.

Sothen, why does it feel like Gareth is trying to tell Maori what to do, as if he is the Great White Hope we have all been doing karakia for, and that he will help to give us back our rangatiratanga? The movie Exodus has Moses saving the Jewish people from a tyrannous Pharoah. Is this what Gareth imagines – that he is the New Zealand Moses and will move Maori into the Promised Land? Is that the direction he is suggesting with the title of his upcoming book “Are We There Yet?” (which by the way, we wrote a series also called Are We There Yet? back in 2011)

If there was a genuine concern, why not kohasome mahi arohato his local marae, volunteer to help a local land trust that could use his economic expertise (and his cat tracking abilities) or set up a forum for both sides to meet, to talk and to find common ground?

Not too long ago, Maori were brought together by Sir Hepi Te Heuheu and Te Atairangikaahu for the Hirangi Hui, awananga to discuss not only the past but also to chart a new future for Maori and for our nation. That was revolutionary.

New Zealand society seems to have abdicated that ability and responsibility to its lawyers, judges and politicians.

So then, in a reversal of advise, why can’tGareth persuade the Queen of the Commonwealth and the Prime Minister of New Zealand to pull all together allTe Tangata Tiriti for their own discussions, much like Ta Hepi did for Maori? I have seen time and again when Maori are united and weencounter a split Pakeha side. If anything, now is the time for the Unity of Tangata Tiriti, because it is well past time for New Zealand to put its cards on the table, with no surprises and to figure a plan for the future.

Once that is done, thenbring bothsides together, as envisisioned in the Treaty of Waitangi and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This could certainly open up the possibilityto come together andput forward our collective hopes, dreams, challenges and aspirations. That would be a cool legacy for Gareth andmakes way more sense to my mind.

What I guess I’m having a hard time shaking out of my head is thinking aboutGareth Morgan waking up in his million dollar mansion and coming down from up on high to free Maori, which is a bit too Exodus for me. Perhaps he wants to be seen as Gareth Moses, but for now, I would prefer he sorts his own backyard out before coming into our wharenui to tell us what to do.

So then, let’s see where this path is headed. If the kaupapa ispositive, inclusive and done with aroha, then kei te pai, good things will come. Then again, if this isit’s just another Quioxtic fantasy from an old rich white fulla, then Gareth Morgan might find that his new path is blocked by more than just a few domestic cats.


2 thoughts on “Will Gareth Morgan be the new Moses to ignite a Maori Exodus?

  1. I don’t think your headline is helpful. It seems sarcastic and provocative. Are you implying Maori are blindly looking for someone to follow? Obviously he is not the answer and you are looking for polarised response. You need to rememeber Pakeha need to have a position and an opinion on the treaty and engage in the debate positively. This is the first I have seen of this, Usually its either angry Pakeha or guilt ridden apologists, This is a practical way forward. He has attempted to remove himself from the anger and guilt and take the debate further. Nga mihi ki a ia

  2. Sounds like you just don’t like Gareth Morgan. Like if you want to discredit a man, bring up his batshit crazy sounding cat comments at the start of your piece.

    What I want to know is, if you don’t like what he is doing, is it because you don’t like him? Or do you not think he is allowed an opinion on this weighty issue. Like did you care what he thought, before he started using words like rangatiratanga.

    Regarding the History 101 students, I’m one of them and I believe I’m a minority. There is still so much ignorance out there in the NZ population that if a figureheard like Gareth wants to spread the mildly informed word then why oppose that? Most of the voting public still believe that the Mori-Ori were here first and the Maori ate them so that “fact” discredits them as indigenous peoples… The more people posting some factual info about our history the better, in my opinion.

    All that being said, I agree with you about the cool legacy stuff, I just don’t see it happening. And I also feel annoyed when rich privileged people tell me stuff that sounds like “have you tried not being poor?” But I think Gareth, at the moment is heading in the right direction. Surely you can’t think that the current format of Waitangi issues is working?

    Cheers for the interesting and thought provoking article.

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