Time to rebel
by Dr Tom Johnson
I cannot adequately express the frustration and disgust I have with the current government over the way it has subverted democratic principles in its short term in office. Above all, I resent being turned into a second class citizen in my own country because I’m not Maori. I also object to the fact that my nine grandchildren are likely to live in some form of an apartheid state if the inexorable slide continues under the current government. Michael Coote’s accurate and horrendous writings on the Auckland Unitary Plan further confirm these fears.
In the space of four years, without seeking any specific mandate for these actions, the Prime Minister has:
- allowed the flying of the seditious Maori separatist flag on all public occasions
- wiped the Foreshore and Seabed Act despite considerable opposition
- surreptitiously sent Pita Sharples to New York to sign the United Nations Charter on Indigenous Rights
- appointed a biased Constitutional Review panel of predominantly Treatyists, separatists and Maori academic radicals, with the review skewed in such a way as to lead to the adoption and inclusion of a Treaty of Waitangi in all legislation.
To compound matters further, when the probable findings of the Panel are announced, the stated intention of Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is to seek inter-party approval for the panel’s recommendations and avoid an electoral vote on the issue. Yet another example of the arrogance of our politicians and their disregard for democracy. The tokenism of the consultation process for non-Maori has been starkly revealed at the so-called conversations and presentations I have attended.
There seems to be a complete disregard for the fact that all previous attempts to enshrine a Treaty in New Zealand law have floundered, despite the concerted efforts of its neoliberal bi-culturalist proponents. Most people have recognized the divisive nature of the document due to the conflict of contemporary interpretations and various ‘versions’ with the simple literal translation of the document signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840.
But let us put aside for a moment the issues of the various Treaties and just consider the interminable “petty apartheid” created by the indoctrination of cultural rites, rituals, language and name changes that non Maori have had to accept and endure for the last thirty years. All at the behest of the bi-culturalists who have successfully pushed their own political ideological agenda, without public consultation. The democratic rights of what is generally an apathetic public have been ignored. But one hopes that the efforts of an increasing number of concerned citizens over the threat of part-Maori sovereignty and the extortionist fleecing of tax payer generated funds to meet spurious Treaty claims are now being increasingly challenged. Michael Coote’s article “Racist rorts in draft Auckland Plan” should be a wake up call to all Aucklanders particularly and New Zealanders in general. It graphically illustrates how insidiously and deeply the Maori subversion of democracy has become embedded in our society. It tends to be all done under the radar and under the guise of spurious cultural and Treaty ‘rights.’
As for cultural rites and rituals, Olympian Valerie Adams said it all for me when she said that she was haka’d out. This was further endorsed by academic Dr Brian McDonnell (proud of his dual Maori and European heritage) but aware that Waiatas and Karakias were being performed ad nauseum “for everything short of the opening of a broom cupboard.” The Danish politician who objected to the haka performed by violent, eye rolling, tongue protruding, half naked Maori men recently showed that cultural sensitivity cuts both ways, but her comments received the predictable lambasting from the hyper sensitive Maori culturalists. It is interesting that the Danes with a cultural heritage that predates Maori history, includes the rape and pillage of the Vikings, but the Danes do not resort to welcoming visiting dignitaries dressed in horned helmets and brandishing broadswords.
For non Maori or 85% of the population, few things are more irritating than the obsessive culturalisation process that has imposed Maori culture on a myriad of different functions and activities. And at what cost? Despite my Irish heritage, which many part-Maori also can lay claim to, I don’t expect a rendition of an Irish jig and somebody singing “Danny Boy” to start any function I attend. So I have started my own form of passive resistance – Mahatma Gandhi style. I refuse to take part in, or watch, a Waiata, Karakia or Haka where the function is not on a Marae or the ritual has no relevance to the specific function, particularly as we live in a secular society. I have already begun by refusing to take part in the rituals performed at one government body I am associated with. I am sure that the Human Rights Act gives me that individual democratic right of choice.
The protest is not carried out lightly or with any malice because I believe all ethnic groups should be proud of their own cultural heritage. However, they should not be guilty of imposing the rituals of that heritage on other cultural groups.
If ever there was a time when all New Zealanders should regard themselves as New Zealanders first and foremost, regardless of their own culture, it is now. It is time to rebel! You can join me in my passive resistance movement, if you want to.