Once were warriors…

…Now child killers.

Deborah Coddington shows us what Maori should be focussing on instead of constantly looking backwards inventing grievances:

Then we have those who don’t deserve to be called mummy. On Monday police charged Matthew Ellery with the murder of Ngaruawahia baby Serenity Jay Scott-Dinnington, found last April with appalling injuries. Ellery was Serenity’s mother’s boyfriend.

Why do these women let these mongrels into their lives? If these mothers were animals they’d fight to protect their babies from these predators.

In Once Were Warriors Jake the Muss was this country’s hero, when it should have been Beth, with her line: “You’ll never hurt my babies again, Jake.”

Unfortunately there aren’t too many Beth Heke’s around it seems.


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  • whatever happened to the ‘brown-out’..?

    [email protected]


    • Anonymous

      go back in the archive and read the post explaining what the “brown-out” entails. Attention span starting to wander again.

      • starboard

        “Attention span starting to wander again”

          “I smoke shit all day man. Nothin wrong with me” I know exact..er , what was the question..” 

  • Apolonia

    It just shows what a waste of time the anti-smacking law was. Our politicians should should have spent their time dealing with “real” child abuse.

  • Anonymous

    A saying I use most often in my life – “Look back, but don’t stare”

    A good many maori in this country need to take this on “Look back, but don’t stare”

  • Pharmachick

    As one that saw OWW in the cinema on original release (1994), I beg to differ with Ms. Coddington’s revisionist version. Jake the Mus was never “… this country’s hero..” [sic] and Ms. Coddington ought to be ashamed of herself to present it that way (especially since she was simply using it to make a point, IMHO). 

    I viscerally remember watching this movie… and I remember with perfect clarity NZ’s reaction. 

    In fact, I would argue that this movie was the very instigator of NZ starting to look at itself and its violent child abuse statistics, including breaking down barriers about discussing Maori (and other) race-based violence issues.   

    • Anonymous

      Agree to a point, it may have broken down barriers to a certain extent, but has the momentum picked up along with domestic violence stats dropped since 1994????

      I doubt it.

      • Pharmachick

        yep I agree with you. 

        OWW forced us, as Kiwis, to talk about domestic violence and its related problems, and it did this in an extreme way. 

        But you are correct, that is pretty much ALL us Kiwis have done since then – talk about it. 

        I **do** believe that acknowledging the problem is the beginning, but beyond that (and let’s face it 1994 is 18 years ago)  meaningful social and judicial reform is thoroughly lacking!

        We all can name  tiny child victims since 1994 (to my mind come: Kahui, Lillybing, Whakaruru)…  

        I know it is not helpful to inflame the conversation by naming the names above,  but perhaps it is instructive to remind everyone before they spout the latest CYFS/CYPS/Social Welfare etc dogma. 

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree Pharmachick, acknowledging the problem is a huge start and is needed, but it has been as you say, just a knitting circle yap fest.

      It seems a good many have a very short memory on this topic, one needn’t, because a week barely goes by when there is not some media attention to a wee baby being bashed etc etc….

  • If I’ve already pimped this here then – my bad. I want to give kudos to  New Zealand’s Beth of the new millennia, cherie Sweeney

  • Search N.A.R.K or Nation of Advocates for Rights of Kids. thre is a Facebook page. Or follow this link:


    A good way to get the number of “Beth’s up is out the losers: I do a Victoria Taylor award. and bouquets to the winners. Sorry to  double post when I could have got this all in one post 

  • jay cee

    the thought i had when i read ms coddingtons column was that jake the muss was never my hero and it was a bit insulting of her to say that. sadly babies will still be murdered in this country while there are children having children. shame free contraception might be the answer but this problem will just keep going round and round as no one wants make the hard decisions.

    • James Gray

      I think once were warriors is a pretty cool guy, eh kills jukeboxes and doesn’t afraid of anything

  • Exclamation Mark

    I disagree with you Pharmachick.

    I understand what Coddington is saying regarding Jake the Muss being a hero.  I was at highschool at the time OWW came out and all the Maori boys and most of the white ones wanted to be tough like Jake  – if the scene where he smashes the big thug  – the “Too much weights not enough speed work” scene – doesn’t glorify violence then I don’t know what does.  Not to mention the end when he nearly kills Uncle Bully for molesting Grace – I’ve heard countless people – ones not even prone to violence- say “Yep, I’d do the same if someone fiddled with my kids”. Many males want to be fearless hard-man that no one messes with and OWW tapped into that perfectly.

    I also recall heaps of kids at school thinking the gang in the movie – Toa – were pretty cool too.  This was my main gripe with the movie: The book made the gangs out to be total scum where as the movie made them out to be alright.  In the movie Beth says about the gang something like “They really came through for you” to Nig when he and the gang show up at Grace’s tangi – this is the exact opposite of what happens in the book – the gang wouldn’t let Nig go to the tangi – they made him stay and drink with them because “we’re your family now”.   I’d also be willing to bet that the renaissance of Maori tattooing could at least be partially traced back to this movie.

    Further more, in the second movie – What Becomes of the Broken Hearted -Beth only appears in the film for about 2 minutes and Jake redemes himself through violence by fistfighting a whole gang to save his other son Sonny.  Again, if that doesn’t glorify Jake the Muss and his use of violence I really don’t know what else could.

  • guest

    good point except that mathew ellery isn’t maori