Another article published in the Granny Herald which perpetuates the myth that all ills that befall Maori are the fault of the wicked white colonialists.

Really?

Seriously?

When are people going to stop being taken in by these accusations? You cannot judge the past by today’s standards. Things, life, was a whole lot different back then (1840 and the colonising years after 1840). Especially for Maori.

My comments, in italics, continue below in the article:

Government must fix Maori obesity: researchers

By Martin Johnston

Photo / Thinkstock

Photo / Thinkstock

The legacy of colonisation has predisposed Maori to having much higher rates of obesity than the total New Zealand population (how exactly? They never tell us how these things have had the effect they claim. They just make claims and idiots believe them) and the Government must do much more to address this inequity, a group of Otago University researchers say.

Citing the 2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey, they say nearly half of Maori were obese.

The same survey found that 28 per cent of the total population were obese – and nearly 60 per cent of Pasifika.

“Since European settlement and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Maori have been disadvantaged as a consequence of colonisation and repeated breaches of the Treaty …,” (again – how and where is the proof?) the researchers, Drs Reremoana Theodore, Rachael McLean and Lisa Te Morenga, say today in an commentary piece in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

“Loss of land resulted in high levels of poverty and loss of access to traditional food sources for many Maori. The Maori experience, which has been mirrored by many other indigenous groups, has resulted in: wide-scale migration into urban centres; increased consumption of cheap processed foods high in fat and sugar; reduced physical activity levels; and rising rates of obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

(loss of traditional food sources occurred because they eat them to extinction, not because of loss of land, and the land was not ‘lost’, it was sold by the chiefs who were happy for a quick buck. They land was not making them any money before they sold it! Traditional food sources for Maori – NZ has no native land mammals, so their diet consisted of seafood, birds and plants, mostly fern and kumera before the colonialists introduced other vegetables. No one stopped them going fishing, or gathering shell fish. They could still grow their own vegetables. They had hunted and eaten most edible sized birds to extinction before the Treaty was signed – so what traditional food sources did they lose access to exactly? If life in their traditional villages was so wonderful, why did they migrate to the urban centres? Cheap processed foods with high fat and sugar are relatively new in New Zealand. They certainly weren’t around in the 1800s or early 1900s, so how can you blame colonisation for Maori eating them? No one is making them eat them. No one is forcing them. It’s not just cheap processed foods either – what about their famous ‘boil-ups’ which are full of grease? No one is forcing them to be less active. They are victims of their own poor decision making, not of colonisation!)

They add that Maori tended to be channelled into working-class jobs until the 1970s and were later affected disproportionately, compared with Europeans, by structural economic changes that were accompanied by higher levels of unemployment.

(“Channelled”? Given the level of educational achievement of most Maori at that time, working-class jobs was probably all they could get. Saying that they were “channelled” is an emotive attempt at blaming the colonialists, once again, for the under achievement of Maori. Well educated Maori made much more of themselves and included some great and well known policitians such as Apiarata Ngata, long before the 1970s.)

They urge a focus on the “historically driven social determinants of obesity” to avoid blaming Maori – and their choices – for their own ill health. (of course – can’t have them taking any responsibility for themselves and their choices can we? noooo, blame the nasty colonialists and the Crown and make them pay to fix the problem, like they always do.)

The researchers lament the demise of Health Eating-Health Action and its associated anti-obesity programmes. They also support the current Government’s Whanau Ora and Healthy Families NZ schemes as a “starting point for addressing obesity”, but say much more must be done and that the Government has a treaty responsibility to work in partnership with Maori to and to ensure Maori health equity. (The Treaty is NOT a partnership agreement and if there is an article in the Treaty which makes the Government responsible for the health of Maori, then it must be still lost somewhere because having read the Treaty many times I’ve still not found it!)

“A key issue, however, with Healthy Families NZ is that it focuses on educating people … to make better choices. Evidence increasingly suggests that interventions that rely on individual agency may actually increase socioeconomic inequalities in obesity.”

The policies they propose are in line with those of public health researchers who call for sugar and fat taxes and regulations to control the marketing of unhealthy food and drink to children – ideas repeatedly rejected by the Government. (rejected for good reason – why make everyone pay for the bad choices of a few?)

The Health Ministry, in response to the article, told Radio New Zealand that the creation of the Healthy Families NZ scheme in 10 locations was intended to encourage families to choose healthy foods, be physically active, maintain a healthy weight, not to smoke and to drink only moderate amounts of alcohol. The scheme was part of the Government’s approach to promoting good health.

14 thoughts on “Government must fix Maori obesity: researchers

  1. If part-Maori people exist on takeaways and boilups and smoke and drink excessively, and do little or no exercise all of which shortens their life why should I be blamed. All of the above is self inflicted so the results are the responsibility of themselves.

  2. Why should it be the responsibility of the Government for the choices these obese people make? It’s nothing to do with anyone but themselves. There is plenty of information out there that certain foods make you fat especially if you eat enough of it. It’s not just people of Maori descent who are overweight. There are plenty of other people with the same problem. It’s all about the type of food they are eating. You don’t have to be rich to eat properly. Just growing a vegetable garden and eating plenty of vegetables and fruit would be a good start as well as being inexpensive. I suppose that would be too much trouble for many of them as laziness seems often to go with obesity.

  3. The treaty did take away a major food source of maori and that was their fellow Maori. If you allow Maori to eat the wood pigeons on traditional occasions, perhaps the powers that be should also allow them to go back to cannibalism because it was traditional?

  4. “Colonisation blamed for high Maori obesity rates since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Maori have been disadvantaged because of Colonisation and breaches of the treaty. These researchers say that the government has a treaty responsibility to help Maori Health.”

    How can someone who has been born 175 years after the treaty blame their obesity on it? What a load of tripe. If the treaty wasn’t signed you would be still eating human flesh. Would that have stopped your obesity?

    What about blaming yourself for what you eat and not blame other people/ If Europeans didn’t look after you, you would have exterminated yourselves by killing one another in tribal wars. It’s about time you took responsibility for your own lives. Anyway, Maori never owned the land, they took it off the people that were living there before you arrived, then later on the chiefs sold the land to other people. These researchers should read up on the real, original history of the country for the truth.

    1. I agree with everything you said, Ian. The lies about NZ’s history should stop and the truth, as in your comment, should be told now.

    2. Your right, and if the treaty was not signed there would be no maori left at all! I sometimes wish we were all speaking French. Do they consider this, I think not…

    3. You are absolutely right, Ian. Our history has been reinvented and it never ceases to amaze me how much they are managing to tease out of the simple little Treaty which was only there to bring the Maori people under our laws and we were then all to be treated equally under the law – nothing more, nothing less. Part Maori are no more special than the rest of us and it’s time they became New Zealanders together with the rest of us instead of elevating one part of their heritage over the other part.

      Also it’s long overdue for our true history to be taught and all the racial separatist nonsense is done away with. Anyone can practice their heritage in their own time but it shouldn’t be foisted upon everyone ad nauseum like it is increasingly being done at the moment.

  5. You forgot to mention another traditional food source for Maori…..each other.
    This is nauseating BS. Always must blame anything, anyone, but not themselves.
    It is very important that that equal opportunity, NOT equal results is what is given to maori. BTW, my ancestors in the 1800s ate different foods to what I eat now. So what is the difference ? I am not aware of any 1800’s European settlers eating KFC, McDonalds, Fish & Chips etc and washing it down with a bucket of coke.

  6. Shouldn’t have stopped them eating each other!!
    Most of them only have a teaspoon of maori blood in this day and age now anyway

  7. Next thing Maori will want is for white people to go to prison for crimes Maori commit, because it’s all our fault they’re criminals.

  8. Funny how Maori are upset because four birds were accidentally shot, they’re upset because the birds are “Taonga” to them, I can’t help but wonder how upset they were when they slaughtered and ate the last Moa and countless other Fauna that were wiped out under their watch. Now they want Auckland, and given what has happened in the past, they’ll probably get it.
    Welcome to New Zimbabwe.

  9. I’m getting very concerned at how this country is going, with all this pandering to part-Maori. I can’t for the life of me understand why the Government keeps giving in to a lazy, violent, but small group of people who won’t take responsibility for themselves but blame ‘Whitey’ for everything. Not all individual part-Maori; some are hard working and have made something of their lives. But I sincerely wish the Waitangi Tribunal would be abolished and all claims STOPPED RIGHT NOW.

    To be frank, I wish colonisation had never happened when it did, and those Maoris simply died out from all their warring and cannibalism. It would’ve been no loss, and New Zealand would be a much better, safer, richer country.

  10. I totally agree with you Natasha. However, when we say ‘Maori’ remember they consist of other ancestry as well. If their ‘Maori’ side can’t help them get things together surely their other ancestry will!! I’m speaking tongue in cheek here. I’m also getting very tired of them blaming ‘colonisation’. None of the original people are here now and we are much blended together. If others hadn’t come the natives tribes would have died out through wars and disease. It’s totally ridiculous the way current Governments pander to ‘their’ every need when it has been demonstrated very clearly that anyone can get on in this country if they are prepared to take responsibility for themselves and work hard. Of course some will have bad luck but with a will they can pull themselves up and move onward and upward.

  11. Love or hate him, Cameron Slater’s blog sort-of picks up on this subject.

    80% of Maori believe the Government (that’s you and me) isn’t helping them enough

    Well down the Whale Oil blog comments section are these two gems:

    Comment One
    I will never forget the time Hone was left speechless when he was being interviewed and the subject was the number of part-Maori living in Oz. It was about how they are legally obliged to vote in postal ballots in NZ when most have not been here for years/decades. The interviewer asked why so many were in Oz and Hone said something about how they escaped persecution for a better life and mentioned that most – if not all – were doing well. The interviewer asked how can that be when there are no specific part-Maori benefits/trusts/Govt. Departments in Oz. Why are they doing well when the part-Maori here, according to Hone, are not doing well? Ohhh my, he was on the back foot. After all, if they can make a life in Oz with no help, why not here in NZ?

    Comment Two
    When I was operating a business near Sydney, I had a number of part-Maori customers. I once asked one of them whether he had thought of ever returning to NZ. He looked at me as if I was mad, and told me that the part-Maoris who remained in NZ were a bunch of wasters. I couldn’t argue with that.

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