The Andrew Judd Fan Club and everyday racism

Most of the racist semi-abusive letters and emails that we receive at the Greens seem to be from older people. How can I tell? Possibly it’s the handwritten letters, usually from Tauranga or Canterbury, in the formal style we were taught at school many years ago. I answer these politely as the Pākehā Te Tiriti spokesperson, under no illusion that my arguments will be well received. I comfort myself that these views will die out with an older generation, but then along comes Mike Hosking and we are right back were we started. We are back in the John Key la-la land of “peaceful settlement”.

In this fantasy country, colonisation via violence never happened and a grateful indigenous population signed away its sovereignty to a tiny group of foreigners. Majority rules, but of course anybody who works hard and wants to can get elected into local democratic institutions. Those Māori communities who want Māori seats are apparently just not very good at campaigning and if they tried harder they would be elected.

Back in reality,  Māori are grossly underrepresented in local government because, although some stand, those who vote in local elections do not vote for them very often, unless they shut up about tangata whenua rights. It ‘s also because iwi and hapu did not sign away their rangatiratanga and want a proper Te Tiriti based relationship with local Government.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd came to understand just how unfair the current system is, and he tried to take a step forward for his whole community, not just for Pākehā interests. Māori seats are not the promise of Te Tiriti but they are an interim strategy. Andrew received the toxic response of the uninformed and I have no doubt it was personal as well political. When Pākehā speak out on racism in this country we get a tiny inkling of the daily racism endured by tangata whenua. However, we need to do it and we need to use every opportunity. That is why I am in the Andrew Judd Fan Club; because challenging racism and working for a positive change in the power relationships based on Te Tiriti is the responsibility of all political leaders.

14 Comments Posted

  1. Maori/Scottish descendants arnt the only ones getting picked on. These people hate Socialists, dole bluggers, poor people, dope smokers, environmentalists, unions, elderly poor , These problems could be more easily sorted out by having a DECENT HUMAN RIGHTS BILL for NZers. WHERE IS IT?????

  2. Sadly, racism is a two way street and many Pakiha have experienced it, including me
    I am happy two of my grandchildren are fluent in Te Reo. I am happy that all my grandchildren receive education in the History of Maori. I am not happy that none of them receive tuition on the core Pakeha history (England’s).

    I am not happy that there is a small group of people who want to maintain gross separation of the treaty partners. I am not happy, that things that (supposedly) happened generations ago are constantly raised as reasons for special treatment. No one is alive that can give eye-witness testimony, and oral histories are recognised as incredibly biased to the perspective of the speaker.

    It’s time to call a halt, and declare everyone a New Zealander, and thereby give honour to Maori and Pakeha alike.

  3. Kia ora Moderator, Sorry to have posted a comment before fully proof-reading. So I have posted 2 comments -can You please post the latter (posted at 6.38pm, Tuesday May 10) rather than posted at 6.28pm)? Thank You very much, Marie

  4. “Jamie” (You wanna talk about white-washing history? In this fantasy land the maori lived in the garden of eden before evil whitey showed up. There was no slavery, cannibalism, utu, or incessant inter-tribal warfare.)

    Dear Sir,
    Please “get with” the twenty-first century and stop harking on about old stuff as an attempt to justify colonisation. That is so twentieth century – and belongs there.
    Those aspects of Human culture to which You refer – Cannibalism, Slavery, or incessant war-fare – have been practised by many, many ethnic groups – not just by Tangata whenua o Aotearoa. And as a N.Z.-born Sāmoan, I understand that Sāmoan matai (chiefs) practised cannibalism so as to absorb the most admirable traits (leadership, personal power) of enemies.
    I regard the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade or the Crusades, the 100 years war, the war of roses, the war on their own poor (creation of penal colonies and transportation) as examples of aspects of the cultures of the elites of European ethnic groups.

  5. Here’s the thing Jamie, Britain didn’t ban slavery until 1830, the USA and Dutch in the 1860’s, France still had slavery in some of its colonies in 1896, and slavery was practised in large parts of the British Empire well into the 20th century. Swaney Bean and Sweeny Todd may have been mythical, but there are many cases of cannibalism by Europeans right up til the end of 19th century.British armed forces were involved in conflict every year of the 19th century except 1883, 1890-95 and 1897-98, so not sure what your trying to say has any validity?

  6. Good point Jamie, in the absence of good knowledge of our history there’s just as little understanding of the conditions of Maori society before the Treaty as there is about the musket wars or the land wars. However the Tiriti o Waitangi wasn’t signed by the Chiefs at the point of a gun; it was signed under the watchful eye of the Missionaries (who helped to draft and translate it), the grog sellers and pimps (who didn’t want British law ruining their business). Maori were willing to give up cannibalism for trade, they were willing to give up slavery after the message of Christianity took hold, they were more reluctant to give up polygamy (though the British weren’t so determined to enforce that side of it). They wanted to give up constant inter-tribal warfare because the introduction of the musket had changed the whole game. The last inter-tribal battle in my area was in 1843, 20 years before Gray wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer to the question “I say you Waikatos, sell us some of your fertile land?” and redefined it as rebellion against the Crown.

  7. Perfectly prosed Catherine. I am getting absolutely fed up with white middle class NZ (of which I am one and sometimes ashamed to say so) and their notions that Maori have everything equal in this country. My awakening was 20 plus years ago when I undertook my first nursing qualification yet I feel more angry now than I did then as sometimes it seems like we haven’t moved forward at all, Mike Hoskings is the epitome of that.

  8. Ka rawe, Catherine. I’m definitely also part of the Judd Fan Club and so pleased that he is at least likely raising his young family to think differently & challenge systemic racism. I like to think there really is a sea change coming, as slow as it sometimes seems

  9. My life has been enriched growing up in a bicultural community, and through learning about the history of New Zealand.

    So well said, Catherine, and I really do hope these views will die out with an older generation (though of course not all of our older generation think this way!). I think fear of changing the status quo really just demonstrates that someone’s holding more power than is fair. I hope we can all work for a positive change in the power relationships based on Te Tiriti.

  10. I’m an older New Zealander, and I totally agree with you on this. We’re all in it together, and without tapping everyone’s talents how can we move forward? We have to do whatever we must to get adequate Maori representation. Yup, same for other groups in our society, but Maori first I reckon.

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