Brian McDonnell is going to be in big trouble…for speaking his mind…something one must not do on issues Maori:

Ms Turia says section nine of the 1986 State-Owned Enterprise Act created a “pathway to nationhood”, but that pathway was already well established, built from a thousand different components, historical events large and small.

If section nine were changed by Parliament, that would be just another step in the constantly shifting pathway. She claims that one sentence of law formed a “prescription for a relationship which is central to our constitution”, that it is an “exquisite blueprint for a nation in which kawanatanga and rangatiratanga sit alongside each other”.

Tariana Turia explained and Brian McDonnell summarised her position which he then goes on to examine:

I agree that it is easy and understandable for members of any minority to feel vulnerable, defensive and even angry. However, instead of being seen as an object of historical study or as a source document for assisting contemporary formulations of ethnic relations, the Treaty has instead in recent decades been raised to an altogether higher status by some Maori activists and Pakeha sympathisers whom I (only semi-facetiously) term as “Treatifarians”.

These people would like it to be seen virtually as a sacred text and adopted unmodified as the pre-eminent foundation document of our nation: a compendium of Magna Carta, the Provisions of Oxford, the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Treatifarians approach the Treaty as Holy Writ to be subjected to exegesis by a high priesthood.

The Treaty, they assert, can help “unwrite” subsequent history and reinstate Maori back to the level of equality of power enjoyed in 1840. This project creates a redemptive history in which the elevated Treaty performs an almost messianic function: To save the country’s present-day population from the wrongs of its colonial past. Such wrongs are inarguably very real, especially in the loss of land, and I am all for specific cases being addressed fairly. But the process must not resemble a cargo cult.

That is pretty accurate at the point at which this nation has arrived and why people like Paul Holmes have had enough and are saying so, rather loudly.

One alternative view to this, conveyed somewhat intemperately by Paul Holmes in his recent Herald column, sees a need for Maori people to take more personal responsibility for their own present situation, and for improving the lot of themselves and their children. This involves Maori people putting the distant past behind them, clearing up genuine grievances, but eventually getting beyond grievance mode. It asks for the reality of the irreversible blending of ethnic groups to be acknowledged, instead of perpetuating the illogical and unhelpful ethnic essentialism which the Treaty as commonly formulated represents.

The two groups that met at Waitangi in 1840 no longer are separate. After 172 years of change, intermarriage, admixtures, merging, and the continual addition of new elements, there are no longer in New Zealand’s population two clear partners to the Treaty.

There are hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who blend a Maori ethnicity with something different: European, Asian, Pasifika. Ms Turia is one of them, as am I. When there is intermarriage, it is a bridge between ethnic groups, not a process in which one identity is sucked and absorbed into the other until it disappears.

People of goodwill are at the very least bemused by this continuing chain of events.

Even sympathetic, liberal and moderate people are getting fed up and do not want this to indefinitely be the tenor of New Zealand life.

The creation of treatifarians and the broracracy is now at a critical junction…we either continue forward creating a situation haves and have nots in Maoridom perpetrated the preference by government in dealing with formal iwi goupings or as the treaty grievance process winds up we find another way forward that brings all Maori into the fold of contributing citizens.Related articles.

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  • Pete George

    An excellent speaking of his mind in my opinion – sadly it could only be said by someone with a bit of Maori in their heritage.

    To some it seems like the ToW has become a bit of an open template for “we now deserve anything we care to interpret”.

  • IWI – I Want It

    • Greg M

      WHANAU = Want Heaps And Never Any Use

  • Dr Wang

    How did the muddled thinkers who run the Herald allow an article of such clear wisdom to be published?

  • Mr3915

    Tariana, Hatfield, the Maori branch of the NZLP and many others including sycophantic limp Dick elitists do not give a pinch of goatshit about “haves and havenots, Maori culture is predicated on such rubbish.
    Chiefs, warriors, male dominance, tribal warfare and slavery are clear signboards to that.

  • Gravedodger

    That was from Gravedodger

  • Pingback: The deconstruction of treatifarians. | Dark Brightness()

  • Kim Arnold

    well said from a bit of a cosmopolitan new zealand…Maori among it. I am someone who knows his whakapapa, but have never been hamstrung by stuff that happened to my ancestors 160 years ago…recent thieving of my maori land shares by other maori family members…well that is an issue to me

  • Allan

    Enough is enough, stop the ridiculous claims, the Maori are immigrants like the rest of us and not an indigenous race and have no more claim to the land, water or air than the rest of us.  I am getting sick and tired of their constant rewriting of history and them looking at the past through rose tinted glasses.  Their so called culture is littered with atrocities and horrific war amongst the tribes. The sooner they start looking forward instead of back the better for NZ as a whole.

  • Kimbo

    “Treatifarians” – almost as good as the faux PAWG (“Pakehas awash with guilt”) which was about the only funny and memorable thing from that awful sitcom Billy T (the greatest race-relations commentator and philosopher this country every produced!) did just before he died.

    Incidentally, Brian McDonnell’s piece was brilliant. Best pragmatic, sane, calm piece of commentary on the Treaty/NZ race relations I’ve heard in ages.

  • Alex

    What we from the centre-right need to do is play this issue a lot smarter.  Instead of lurching into the “bloody Maori” routine, we need to be politely but insistently asking “so what does it all mean Turia/Harawira when you say you want to make the Treaty the centre of our constitutional set up”.   Turia and Harawira and co are clever: they know they can beguile the liberal elite Pakeha with such words  “exquisite blueprint for a nation in which kawanatanga and rangatiratanga sit alongside each other”.  Just poetry — it quite numbs the critical faculties.  We need to know what they want, how it will be carried out and when they want it carried out.  We need to be asking them how it sits with “one person, one vote” and equality before the law. 

  • MSR

     I had the pleasure to take a couple of media papers under Brian McDonnell a few years ago at Massey. He was the best lecturer I have ever come across by a long shot. He had the ability to simplify things and get his message across in a calm yet interesting manner.If the herald had any sense they would make him a regular columnist on all matters, as his breadth of knowledge and wisdom on many subjects would entice many readers back to the paper.