Prime Minister’s warped view of history

Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans.

Those students who wrote about a bloody and violent settlement of Aotearoa in their NCEA exam; who wrote about the deaths of thousands of Maori and hundreds of Pakeha in land wars, about the wrongful confiscation of millions of acres of land, must think they’d got itall  terribly wrong if the PM says New Zealand was settled peacefully.

But teachers we’ve spoken with today can put their minds at rest.

The Prime Minister, in fact, was the one who would have failed last week’s NCEA level 3 history exam had he written about the peaceful and rosy settlement of New Zealand.

History teachers have told us that students of New Zealand history are taught a very different version of events; of a very unpeaceful process, one where Maori who fought against the Crown as it sought to obtain more land for settlers  were punished with the confiscation of their land or even by death.

Kids who learn about New Zealand history are taught, in fact,  that the direct source of the land wars in the 1860s was a misundertanding of the Treaty – a misunderstanding  that led to horrible bloodshed and laws, such as the New Zealand Settlement Act 1865, which legislated for the confiscation of Maori land for use by settlers.

To call that a peaceful settlement is an example of the same kind of staggering arrogance as displayed by Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott when he said last week that there was nothing but bush in Australia before the white men came along.
But John Key didn’t finish there. He said early Maori would have been grateful for the injection of capital Pakeha brought with them when they settled in Aotearoa.

Maori would have been grateful.

For the capital.

The Prime Minister’s warped view of history is an insult to all New Zealanders, especially to those who died trying to protect their land, and to Maori who are still fighting for the full settlement of past grievances today.

It is a perspective that is belies history, but is also damaging to race relations and undermining decades of efforts, including even by his own Government, to address some of the historic wrongs.

In reality, if John Key wanted to pass NCEA level 3 history he’d have needed to produce an essay much like this one.

 

 

 

 

4 Comments Posted

  1. Nope, it’s not what John Key finds it convenient to believe, it’s what he finds it convenient for us to believe. He isn’t spouting this rubbish because he believes it (he ain’t that stupid), but because he is a propagandist who wants us to believe it.

  2. There’s a sense in which John Key’s statement was actually true.

    Now it’s not true that New Zealand was settled peacefully, and I’m sure that Key akshully knows that, but that’s not quite what he said. What he said was that it was “his view” that New Zealand was settled peacefully.

    The apparent conflict disappears if you appreciate that John Key can hold a view which he knows to be false. It’s only odd for people in the “reality based community” who quaintly cling to beliefs which they believe to be true, but for Key, what matters is not the truth or falsity of the belief, but its political expedience. It would be awkward politically for him to believe in the New Zealand Wars, and he would be more comfortable politically believing that New Zealand was colonised peacefully. And because Key has a more “relaxed” attitude to belief, he simply chooses to believe in what he very well knows is false. This is what Orwell coined the term “doublethink” for.

  3. Key remains a trader… with a spelling problem. He is without excuse or discussion, one of the worst influences on New Zealand since Rogernomics and he will be remembered for that much longer than the false economies of his false economy have been squandered.

    They would have been ” grateful for the injection of capital Pakeha brought with them” ??!!

    It is a measure of the NZ press that this ideological free-market delusional insanity was not questioned immediately. It is a measure of the NZ public’s failure to understand him that he has been re-elected.

    ========================================
    OT comparison follows…
    We are in almost as much trouble as the US, where the Congress has just voted in H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191… the bill prohibits scientific experts from advising on things involving their own work… even indirectly.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/congress_must_block_these_attacks_on_independent_science_commentary-237993-1.html

    This bill would make it easier for experts with ties to corporations affected by new rules to serve on the SAB while excluding independent scientists from talking about their own research. In other words, academic scientists who know the most about a subject can’t weigh in, but experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations can.

    The rabbit hole of delusional right wing whackjobs seems to have become a black-hole for common sense.

    ============================

    They’re going to be very sorry.

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