Waitangi Day Round-up

White men all around the country want you to know that they think about Waitangi Day; I’m one of them!

Paul Moon, historian at AUT and a controversial figure when it comes to Aotearoa’s colonial history (he thinks the coming of Christianity was a good thing because it stopped the cannibalism, essentially) decides to have his cake and eat it in this somewhat bewildering New Zealand Herald article on the role of Te Tiriti O Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) today. It’s both an historical relic which has had its day and an important document here-and-now (apparently).

Talking of confused white men talking about the Treaty, Gareth Morgan’s recent book, tour and Herald articles are also equally bewildering. His Herald series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4) sets out Morgan’s vision for a bicultural Aotearoa. However, as Morgan Godfrey has argued eloquently:

[Gareth Morgan] supports “rangatiratanga”, yet he opposes “unique political rights for Māori”. This is rather contradictory because rangatiratanga is a unique political right for Māori: it is the right to our “unique” indigenous systems. Surely, for the sake of credibility if not consistency, you cannot support something in one breath and then condemn it in the next. Yet Morgan seems intellectually unfazed.

You can read more of Godfrey’s analysis here. Stephanie Rodgers also has things to say about Gareth Morgan’s views.

Gareth Morgan went to Orewa, along with Don Brash, the other day to talk about the Treaty in the place where Brash gave his famously racist, Māori-bashing speech. Only 19 people turned up, which is kind of interesting, but to my mind the real meat is Brash’s constant refrain that Māori are a “stone age people”.1 Don Brash is adamant he’s not racist, but his dialectic begs to differ.

In my “Do a good deed today” mode, I just want to put out a reminder to my readers in the media: David Rankin is not a Ngāpuhi elder. Rather, he is an old man who happens to be Ngāpuhi. He does not speak for his iwi and many in his iwi wish he would just shut up. So, when he talks about the threat of extremist Islam in Māoridom, just walk away; definitely do not report it. He’s just trying to get airtime in order to bolster his non-existent stature. He also has some fairly weird views about who came to Aotearoa first…

Why not end this round-up with some classic Pākehā racism in the form of a song. So, here’s “Puha and Pakeha”.

Hmm, racist!

Notes

  1. He also talks about the “grievance industry”, which is shades of John Ansell.

About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.