No way, Nehe

Nehe Milner-Skudder and Duncan Garner are having a stoush about Nelson’s Maori Santa.

Sigh. Why does everything come down to colonisation? Isn’t Milner-Skudder a Maori guy who has done EXTREMELY WELL as a result of it?

Stuff reports, but the article was written by Duncan Garner: quote.

Nehe, far too much drama in the over-reaction. It’s a Santa parade, and some over-zealous PC freak from the council overthought it. Everyone was too clever and forgot about the little kids wanting to see Santa. That’s the main game, right? But no, someone gave someone a wide brief and was captured by their own delusions.

They got a Willie Apiata-looking bloke who looked like the welcoming party at the foyer of TVNZ. Or Work and Income. Or the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Or indeed the Ministry of Dumb Ideas.

All they wanted was Santa.

Santa is for kids, Nehe. They want to see Santa at the Santa parade. Bit like seeing animals at the zoo, I suppose. Kids left dazed and confused, and some were  crying. end quote.

Everyone jumping on the bandwagon here misses the point. The race of the man playing Santa doesn’t matter. It is the attire that matters. quote.

Anyway, so it goes like this. I see Santa dressed as a middle-aged Māori man in the Nelson Santa Parade. No Santa uniform. So I say: “Māori don’t own everything.”

But Nehe, or whoever writes his stuff, went into breathless meltdown, but not before I’d said this: “What a complete hoax and what a joke. Who was the person behind this?

“You need to have a beard to have Santa, you need to have a Santa suit on. And sorry, turning up with a korowai? You got this so wrong, Nelson. You couldn’t have been more wrong.

“The kids weren’t there to see a Māori Santa. Santa’s very different to Māori – Māori don’t have to own everything. Santa is Santa, and Santa’s not broken.”

Fair? end quote.

I’ve been to Christmas parties where Santa was a Maori guy… but he still wore a red suit and had a white beard.. quote.

Oh come on, Nehe, find a real cause or issue to get so upset about. Try criticising your fellow Super Rugby players for abusing strippers, bashing members of the public, or urinating in public. But if it’s easier to stay silent on those issues like you all do, then back the cops over their exclusion from Pride or maybe take a stand on child abuse or the stubbornly high rates of Māori still smoking.

But then Santa becomes linked to colonisation and Nehe thinks, yes, Garner, take that! He writes: “Of course we don’t own everything, it was taken at colonisation… end quote.

Sigh. That old colonisation thing again, huh? quote.

Nehe, colonisation and blaming the white guy for those obvious crimes and theft against your people are being addressed. They have been for 30 years. It’s not perfect by any means. And, yes, too many Pākehā have failed to show an interest in Māoridom, but that’s changing. This is about Santa, though, not an essay to impress diplomats at the UN book awards. end quote.

You will get it in the neck for this, Duncan, but good on you for saying it. We have been trying to redress the wrongs against Maori now for decades, but we still never seem to move forward. People like me who were not even born here have been paying taxes for decades to redress these wrongs, and still it is not enough. It is never enough. Can’t we just acknowledge that we have tried? Just once maybe?

The thing that grates the most for me here is that Milner-Skudder is a very successful rugby player, one of many Maori who has benefited from the systems introduced by those mean, evil, nasty white men – competitive sport. Milner-Skudder is a wealthy man because of it.

We always have to claim that we are oppressed, don’t we, Nehe? Even when, in your case, you are clearly not oppressed at all.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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