by Catherine Delahunty
Professor Paul Moon has a curiously negative approach to the new initiative by Te Kahui Mana Ririki to encourage Maori parents to embrace a loving tradition of child raising.
Te Kahui Mana Ririki spokesperson Anton Blank has made no romantic claims that pre European tangata whenua culture was always peaceful, but he is promoting some aspects of the history which might be helpful to Maori parents looking for a positive and uniquely Maori view of child rising.
Paul Moon today dismissed this initiative on the grounds that infanticide had occurred under some circumstances. Te Kahui Mana Ririki is championing a recall of a gentle and loving tradition in whanau towards children which was impacted by the history of the last 170 years.
I would love Paul Moon to discuss the European child raising tradition we come from and to acknowledge that many Pakeha children of my generation remember the strap and the slap, in school and at home. Our tradition was once focused around “spare the rod and spoil the child” and it was extraordinary to see the abuse including death threats Sue Bradford received when championing legal changes that would protect children from legal beatings.
The Professor might like to do a study of the violent tradition in boys schools from the Victorian era until the 1970’s and the role of the graduates of those schools in empire building and colonisation.
The place of the child in our culture remains marginal with resources being focused on privileged children and the children of beneficiaries experiencing deprivation.
Violence towards all children is abhorrent and there is a great need to invest in parental education which is culturally effective.
The Green party applauds the initiative for reaching out to Maori parents.
Academics might like to consider who benefits from their knee jerk critiques when a child protection groups are being innovative in their outreach to parents in interests of children.