Bucket of Racial Swill

By– Reuben P. Chapple

It needs to be pointed out loudly and often that Maori language classes are nothing more than propaganda outlets for the Maori Sovereignty movement. Their purpose is to indoctrinate young, impressionable minds with the racist “One country, two peoples” mantra of the biculturalists.

The self-interested, the ill-informed, and the brainwashed have combined to mislead the New Zealand public towards “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” and “the Treaty is a ‘living document”  as though its simple black letter clauses mean something other than what those who signed it 1840 had in mind at the time.

Article II guarantees to Maori signatories “… the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties … “  In the Maori version the word “properties” becomes “taonga.”  Today that word has come to mean treasures, both tangible and intangible, including language and culture.

This blatant try-on would have astonished Sir Apirana Ngata.  In his 1922 explanation of the Treaty, Ngata described “taonga” as applying to “this canoe, that taiaha, that kumara pit, that cultivation.”  Not once did he hint that taonga included intangibles as claimed today by today’s race-hustlers and their liberal enablers.

Ngata was well-fluent in the Maori language and his explanation was consistent with Kendall and Lee’s 1820 vocabulary, the Williams 1844 dictionary, and Frederick Maning’s personal account of pre-Treaty New Zealand. Had anyone bothered to check these texts, they would have learnt that “taonga” meant goods, property, things, chattels, or in legal terms “personalty” [personal property].

F.E.(Frederick) Maning settled in Northland in 1833.  He fathered four children to the sister of a Maori chief and later became a Judge of the Native Land Court.  In his book Old New Zealand, Maning translates “taonga” as “Goods; property.”

Some years ago, researcher, Dennis Hampton, wrote to Auckland University’s Professor Andrew Sharp about this matter.  In his book Justice and the Maori, Professor Sharp had observed that in 1840 the Maori language “was clearly not under threat, so how could it have been in anyone’s mind as a thing needing protection?”  He expressed even greater doubt about ‘Maori cultural values.’

Replying to Mr Hampton, Professor Sharp said “[E]ven if taonga could mean things such as language and culture, it was not being used that way in 1840.  I entirely agree with you that what was being thought of was property, and the kind of property that could be held exclusively.”

The point of entry into the public square for the taonga myth appears to have been former Waitangi Tribunal member, Sir Hugh Kawharu’s back-translation into English of the Maori Treaty text, in which “taonga” in Article II was deliberately misrepresented as meaning “treasures.”

What David Round refers to as a “portmanteau word” soon became a kete for anything Maori activists wanted to lay claim to in subsequent Waitangi Tribunal hearings.  The Tribunal’s  Kaituna River Report (1984) stated that “ratou taonga katoa” meant “all things highly prized.”

The Tribunal concluded in its Manukau Report (1985) that “Taonga” refers to more than physical objects of tangible value.  “A river may be a taonga as a valuable resource.  Its ‘mauri’ of ‘life-force’ is another taonga.”

Since the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 confers upon the Tribunal sole authority to determine the Treaty’s meaning and intent, it didn’t take long for word to get around.  In 1987 Parliament passed the Maori Language Act.  Its preamble stated: “Whereas in the Treaty of Waitangi the Crown confirmed and guaranteed to the Maori people, among other things, all their taonga: And whereas the Maori language is one such taonga:”

Over the years the taonga/intangibles myth made its way into a number of law reports. For example, in a 1994 case, NZ Maori Council v Attorney-General, it was stated that the Maori language is “a highly prized property or treasure (taonga) of Maori.”

This nonsense has now spread to government departments and local authorities.  The Ministry of Education, Statement of Intent, 2008 – 2013 asserts: “The Government recognises the Maori language as a taonga guaranteed to Maori by the Treaty of Waitangi.”  In its sustainability policy, the Christchurch City Council talks of responsibilities “to take care of places, natural resources and other taonga (both tangible and intangible).”

Even Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia’s definition contains this tommyrot: “A taonga in Maori culture is a treasured thing, whether tangible or intangible. … Intangible examples may include language, spiritual beliefs and radio frequencies.”  Those who compiled this entry have drawn heavily on Waitangi Tribunal reports.

Parliament needs to look beyond the pro-claimant bias of the Waitangi Tribunal and legislate for the Treaty of Waitangi to be interpreted on the basis of the meaning its 1840 signatories gave to its black letter words at the time.

On the subject of the Maori language, I’m with visiting AFS scholar, David Ausebel, who in 1962 wrote: “The future of the Maori language and culture lies not with the intervening European, but in the Maori home, and in the habits and usages of the Maori parents.”

In the 1930s, my grandparents were sole charge teachers at a small Native School in the Bay of Plenty. I once asked my grandmother if it was (as claimed by racial activists) ever official policy that Maori children be beaten for speaking Maori in the classroom or the schoolyard. “Not that I know of,” I was told. “Our children were coming to school from a home environment in which Maori was the first language and English infrequently spoken. The only way to bring these children into the learning environment was for the older children to use Maori with the younger ones to help them learn English.”

Inspectors came by several times a year and frequently complimented my grandparents on their teaching methods. The push to eradicate the Maori language from the school environment came not from the wicked Pakeha, but from the Maori parents, who would buttonhole my grandparents at the school gate or out and about in the community with: “I hope you aren’t letting those kids of mine speak Maori at school. I want them to learn properly how to speak the English.”

Sensible parents, since Maori as originally spoken has no words for the technological or economic concepts needed to get ahead in the modern world.

The fact that succeeding generation of Maori parents chose (for very valid reasons) not to teach the Maori language to their children is no justification for today: [a] compelling me to pay for its revival; and forcing my kids’ noses into a bucket of racial swill.

While the Maori language and culture may be a very great treasure to those who value it, to those who do not, it is not.

End of story, really.


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