Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Remembrance of Things Pastry

I learned today that the grievances felt by the Tuhoe people are related not to contemporary oppression but to events which occurred to their ancestors, more than a century and a half ago. I share their sense of injustice. Each time I dip a Madeleine into my tea, I am reminded that my Huguenot ancestors were oppressed by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, by which Louis XIV removed the rights given them by Henri IV. Forced to flee France to the culinary wasteland which is England, the Huguenots never again would taste delicious cake.

Feeling oppressed as I do, my immediate response is to take a walk into town, where I might find a patisserie to loot. It is only by the redistribution of brioche that such grievances can be assuaged.

From the Scott-Moncrieff translation. The painting, A Huguenot on St Bartholemew's Day, is by Sir John Everett Millais.


SR Wilson said...

A shame about the cake. But! Did they have pie?

Peter in Dundee said...

I feel your pain Paul. My ancestors were Danish vikings who wanted to invade the whole of England. They ended up stimied and living right on the Danelaw. Accordingly I will today be invading Wessex to fulfill their destinies.

HORansome said...

Ah, belittling oppressed peoples. Such a English thing to do.

Peter in Dundee said...

horansome how far back is it ok to go? can the English take back Normandy and Aquitaine? or is that too far back? How about just Calais?

Can the Scots take back Berwick and make the Tweed the border again? How about Carlisle? they already play their footy North of the border.

Or is it only brown people oppressed by the English who get to bitch endlessly? If you follow the logic to the bitter end everyone in the world gets to fight over a dry wadi in the Rift Valley.

Us Scots sing Flower of Scotland at rugby matches and such. The second verse goes thus:

Those days are past now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be that nation again.

No mention of marching on Berwick there. As long as Tuhoe have the attitude they have nobody with both dollars and sense will invest in the place so they will continue to be economically marginalised. Harsh but true.

Take it to the Waitangi Tribunal, if you lose stop bitching.

HORansome said...

You know, just because you have oppressed ancestry doesn't make it right to poke fun at other people who have not just been oppressed but are still being oppressed. Tuhoe never signed the Treaty. They never assented to having their land taken. They never agreed to be persecuted in the early part of the Twentieth century nor in October last year. They certainly have no reason to trust a system that not only failed to keep its obligations with the Maori who did sign the Treaty but has engaged in recent acts of confiscation. You might be offended by the notion that Pakeha have not just done wrong but continue to do wrong to the tangata whenua of this place but that doesn't give you any right to be poke fun at them. Yes, world history is replete with travesties of justice. That doesn't mean we have to make light of the fact, especially when doing so ignores a very real and on-going problem.

Paul said...

I wasn't mocking oppressed people but those who claim that past oppression justifies present criminal acts, I do not accept that Tuhoe are oppressed.

HORansome said...

Paul, do you actually know the history of Tuhoe, the fact that they did not sign the Treaty, that it's leaders had false accusations put against them by the police in the early Twentieth century. I hate to say this but I'm going to have to; as an immigrant to this country you have a duty to become aware of what has happened since the arrival of the Pakeha. To choose to remain ignorant and pass facetious comment upon such matters would make you little better than the fundamentalists you once took great delight in critiquing on this very blog.

I am reminded of something Nandor said at Parihaka. Having given a litany of data that did somewhat suggest that the world won't support human life in fifty years he said he would not accept such claims because he felt that such an acceptance would be disempowering. Now, if his sources are right (and that's where a lot of the dispute lies) then he has to do more than simply choose not to accept a claim; he has to argue against it. You can't simply say 'I do not accept Tuhoe are oppressed' if the evidence in the public domain indicates otherwise, and the Police raid in Ruatoki is fairly good evidence that, within the last few months, at least one oppressive act has been committed against them.

Paul said...

I have no such duty. I do not choose to remain ignorant; I do not consider historic events to be relevant. Whatever happened to Tuhoe in the past, they have the same legal responsibilities and rights as everyone else.

The raid at Ruatoki was quite reasonable. The Police were looking for armed men and for weapons in that community. How else could they have done their search?

HORansome said...

How should they have conducted their search? In the way they do it in wealthy, mostly Pakeha communities. Without reference to illegal searches and detentions. The way the law prescribes such activities. Are you being willfully ignorant as to what happened in Ruatoki or did you not happen to follow the news?

As to what happened to Tuhoe... Well, if you want to gloss over historical injustices I would recommend you do that in the safety of your homeland.

Conor Roberts said...

Paul, perhaps you would like to consider that the French revolution (not a bloodless affair by any stretch of the imagination) resulted in your beloved Huguenot ancestors acquiring a measure of political and religious freedom after centuries of on and off oppression. And the right of return laws that allowed your ancestors to return to France as fully fledged citizens should have gone some way to assuaging their gastronomical yearnings.

So to what such historical comparisons do you point to, in our fair land, to see these current contemporary grevancies as having been rectified?

In a situation where there was once oppression, it seems that unless there is genuine political and cultural reconciliation at some point (or through an ongoing process) in a whole nation or single community’s history, then we cannot simply reset the clock to zero now and say all’s fair for the future.

peter said...

I also have yet to once hear of a specific example of oppression carried out specifically against modern Tuhoe. Yes, there have been historical injustices, and attempts have, and continue to be made to address those injustices through a reasonable logical path of law,... these things are required to make sure that reparation is fair, actually goes to the people that deserve it, etc.

A bunch of ninnys running about in the bush with guns, talking up their historical injustices to the extent they don't feel FUCKING ASHAMED of the idea of seriously KILLING people, is not reasonable, rational, or frankly very helpful. Except I guess for suring up the egomania of the idiots involved. There's no justification for that. NONE.

As an aside, I would be curious to know if Tuhoe would be willing to address the various historical attacks and land grabs that were made by them against neighbouring tribes? Not that any of that would justify any unfair treatment from the English. But still if modern Tuhoe did do so, it would set a very nice president.

On an individual level, every member of Tuhoe are afforded the same rights and freedoms as anyone else. Yes, some people are born richer and more privelaged than others, have better access to education, health, opportunities, etc etc which makes a large difference. But seriously, the playing field is pretty even, lets not twist reality to justify ego.

HORansome said...

Specific example of oppression? October 2007. Police crossing the confiscation line and conducting illegal searches of the general populace of Ruatoki.

And as to whether there were plans to kill people... That has yet to be proven. Sub judice comments need not apply.

Anonymous said...

When does an event become historic? At what point can events that happened in the past be said to have no bearing on the present? Is it one generation, two? And how might different ways of recording the past, and different views about the nature of causality, affect the answer to these questions?

I think it is true to say that there is an inability in this country to agree on the answers to this, even as answers are passionately put forward by multiple groups of people. For myself, I think that when you have an example, as in Tuhoe, of a detailed oral culture confined to a limited space of interrelated people, then the people's sense of the impact of the past on their present day lives is going to be significantly different from those removed in space as well as in time from the oppressions of their ancestors.

Along with this I would also contend that the assertion we are all subject to the same law doesn't necessarily take into account the ways in which the application of that law is different to different groups and in different times. For example, the circuitous operations of the Native Land Court in the nineteenth century are evidently racist--or at least designed to contain Maori aspiration to retain their lands--to many readers of New Zealand history. The law was the same for all, but disadvantaged many Maori to the benefit of the aspirations of settlers and the State.

I contend that what has happened in our past in this country--removed in time but not in space--has a significant bearing on the present.

Within this contention, however, I think it is possible to treat groups such as "Tuhoe" with greater complexity than might otherwise be done. It seems that Tame Iti has become something of a hub for people with grudges against the state, some of which are far-fetched and threatening. But the fantastic nature of some of these grievances, the threat they pose--and Paul, your objections to this--needn't stand in opposition to the idea that people in Tuhoe country have experienced oppression that has an experiential effect on their day-to-day lives, which is what I believe to be true. One can argue that Iti has taken a wrong path without inferring thereby that Tuhoe's account of the impact of their history on their day-to-day lives is wrong.

Russell Brown said...

How should they have conducted their search? In the way they do it in wealthy, mostly Pakeha communities. Without reference to illegal searches and detentions. The way the law prescribes such activities. Are you being willfully ignorant as to what happened in Ruatoki or did you not happen to follow the news?

I've followed the news I'm honestly not aware that the searches and detentions, such as they were, were in fact illegal. They may have been excessive, but I personally know white middle-class people who were subjected to very similar treatment, en masse, (on return from a dance party on Kawau Island, where a young man died of either overindulgence or a fall) -- they were photographed, questioned, etc. They were pissed off too.

The police would presumably argue that past experience in Ruatoki dictated their actions (two wanted men slipped out of town by hiding on a kohanga reo bus). Maybe, maybe not.

The story that's been lost in all this is that there seem to have been quite a few locals, including kaumatua, who were uneasy with, and even scared of, the self-styled "freedom fighters". I seriously doubt the situation is as cut-and-dried as you suggest.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, what happened to the cake? Did Marie Antoinette eat it?

Craig Y

Anonymous said...

Craig Y: I presume it stayed in France and the Huguenots, now in England, were unable to reach it.

HORansome said...

And I suspect things are nowhere near as neat and tidy as you seem to be making out they are.

peter said...

Horansome, go ahead and make a list of all the contemporary oppressions then.

For the sake of sanity, leave out the "Police crossing the confiscation line(?) and conducting illegal searches of the general populace of Ruatoki.", in part because:

1. They occurred after these idiots got together to fight against the 'oppression'. So I assume there must be at least one example before that.

2. There's absolutely no reason to believe the same thing wouldn't happen anywhere else in the country to any other group of people, regardless of location or race, if they were up to the stuff these guys were.

3. As far as I can tell they weren't illegal - as mentioned, most issues were the result of the terrorism laws. Same laws that apply to everyone.

I'm not saying there are not issues (although I will suggest they're unlikely to warrant the creation of a group of 'freedom fighters'), but I believe the point Paul is making is how freaking stupid it is to feel aggrieved about historical issues. Okay, if those historical issues are having a direct effect on the individual, restricting their rights, freedoms etc then that's one thing. But if not, then wtf is the real problem, seriously? Hurt feelings?

(ps I'm not peter in dundee btw. Just have the same name :D)

HORansome said...


I was going to write a fulsome reply but, when I considered things, we're coming at the 'issues' from such different directions that there isn't likely to be any fruitful dialogue between us on the topic of Tuhoe, historical grievances and the like. For example, I dispute point 2, that the same would have happened elsewhere regardless of race, creed, et al. I don't believe that to be true and I think we can point to a lot of empirical facts to support that claim, such as Maori getting prison sentences for crimes that Pakeha only get periodic detention, and so forth. So, a fundamental difference of opinion there.

You also want to look for discrete causes; I look at the situation in the way that Conor and Harvestbird do; we're not talking about one-off events whereafter things go back to normal, we're looking at a history of oppression where not enough has been done to say that everyone is now being treated equally.

Finally, you're painting a very individualistic picture, asking what effect supposed injustices have on a member of the group. I'm looking at the issue(s) from a communitarian viewpoint; for me the community is the unit we need to be measuring (for issues like these) and, in cases like the raid on Ruatoki, the community is the thing most damaged by the actions of the police.

There is a debate to be had here, but I've been reminded by close friends that the internet isn't the place to have it. No one really wins arguments on the interweb, do they? The work we would need to do to come to a common understanding of where we stand on the issues is not really viable given the nature of comment boxes on blogs.

peter said...

Truer words never said. TBH I actually agree with most of your points, and apologies if I came over a bit argumentative. I suspect much of the issue simply comes down the semiotics of words like 'oppression' rather than any serious disagreement.

jo said...

Paul its a ridiculous comparison and really it only highlights how ridiculous the rest of your argument is.

Sam Finnemore said...

" Labels: Delicious cake, Huguenots, Pastry, Tuhoe"

If I didn't know you better I'd suspect you wrote the post to fit this incredible list of tags.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Tame Iti is apparently an excellent cook..

Anonymous said...

You 'learned today that the grievances of Tuhoe' are due to 'events that occurred to their ancerstors, more than a century and a half ago'?

What were these events, Paul?

Where did you 'learn' this stuff?

In 1858 Tuhoe were still largely isolated from contact with the settlers who would cause such damage later on. They were in touch with other Maori groups, of course - so are you referring to inter-iwi conflict? The musket wars? Just making stuff up? Parodying a pigshit thick radio talkback redneck? Be interesting to know.

I'm surprised that no one ahs mentioned Tame Iti's well-known story abouyt the genesis of his polticial activism. He said that he became very angry as a teenager, when he was punished for speaking Maori in school. Other key issues when Tame was a young fella were:

- the refusal to properly fund and staff schools

- a complete lack of respect for Tuhoe and Maori culture (no official acknowledgement of the language, no awareness amongst health and other social services of the culture and perspectives of Maori, funding for Pakeha cultural projects, museums etc but not for Maori cultural projects, official narratives that still demonised or patronsied Maori)

- the refusal to build a proper road to Maungapohatu, despite the fact that Tuhoe had donated land and labour power for the job, and the underfunding of the chool and other social services there, so that the community declined

- the strangling of isolated Maori blocks within Ureweras National Park by DOC bureaucrats, who refused to allow easy access to Maori owners who wanted to develop their land

- the continuing failure to address the massive and totally unjust confiscations that followed the Crown invasions - confiscations which were exacerbated by the land 'consolidation' process in the early twentieth century

- the continued 'nibbling' away at Tuhoe land through Crown 'appropriations'

- an ingrained culture of racism and violence in the police, reflected in unjust arrests and beatins (there are many stories of the way that on Friday nights the cops would park a paddy wagon outside the pub in places like Ruatoki and Ruatoria in the '70s, and proceed to start a 'riot')

- rampant anti-Maori prejudice across Pakeha society. This prejudice has been documented by Cluny MacPherson, who did a series of empirical studies of the attitudes of employers in the 1970s, and found that many of them were unprepared to hire Maori or Pacific Islanders.

Some of these injustices have been addressed - not because NZ is a such a wonderful, fair society, but because of the struggles of people like Tame Iti. A good example is kohanga reo and official recognition of the Maori language - these things are achievemts which were won due to the activism of Nga Tamatoa, the group Tame Iti helped form, and its successors. These activists faced the same sort of mockery that Paul specialises in. With his love of alw and order and British civilisation and sneering contempt for indigenous culture, Paul would have made a good special constable in 1916.

Kereopa Te Rau

Anonymous said...

Study reveals police racism
ONE News Saturday, September 25, 1999
A Maori advisor to the police says a study which highlights racist attitudes in the force will give it a clear mandate to do something about it. Victoria University's Criminology Department interviewed more than 700 officers in 1997, and found that at least two thirds of them had heard their colleagues using racist language. The study also found about 25% believe the negative attitudes of their peers are the same towards Pacific Island and Asian people. Professor Gabrielle Maxwell, who carried out the study of officers, says in a separate study of the views of Maori, many felt they were targeted by police officers because of their race.
Doctor Pita Sharples, a member of a Maori focus forum which advises the Police Commissioner, says new ventures between Maori communities and the police are now planned. Sharples says he thinks the results of the study would be similar if it was conducted in any government department. [...]

Police told to work on attitudes to Maori
NZ Herald 06.06.2000
The country's top policeman has told his staff they need to be brutally honest with themselves about the way they deal with rifts with Maori. Rob Robinson, the Acting Police Commissioner, says the police's relationship with Maori needs a lot more work. In the police internal magazine Ten One, he said police "copped some painful accusations about our attitudes and dealings with Maori" after the April 30 fatal shooting of Steve Wallace in Waitara. [...]

Taranaki report: Evidence of racism
ONE NEWS September 20, 2000
The Race Relations Conciliator has called for police in Taranaki to form a better relationship with Maori, and for the two to work together to develop protocols for managing crises in the future. Rajen Prasad's report 'Relationships in Taranaki' was prompted by concerns expressed after Steven Wallace was shot dead by a police officer in Waitara earlier this year.
He says there is evidence of institutional racism and Maori under-achievement in the region.
Prasad also wants to see a new group set up in Taranaki to lead and develop better relationships in the region. He says a 'Taranaki Group' will need to be established with credible, skilled people dedicated to developing good relationships between individuals and institutions in the region.

Let's deal with crime causes, says Lashlie
INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS LTD 13 August 2001 [Abridged]

White middle-class New Zealanders need to wake up and realise that they are a part of crime in New Zealand, says the former head of Specialist Education Services in Nelson, Celia Lashlie. Mrs Lashlie, who lost her job after making comments about an angelic blond boy who would grow up to be a killer, said New Zealanders needed to stop blaming law and order problems on others such as Maori or government legislation and look at the real reasons behind crime.
Speaking in Blenheim on Saturday to top of the south justices of the peace, Mrs Lashlie said there would not have been the same reaction to her comments if she had highlighted a Maori child and not picked on a predominantly middle class Nelson. "They tell me the part I said wrong was that he was blond, not Maori, and that he was from Nelson and of course we don't have (serious crime) in Nelson."
Mrs Lashlie, also the former head of Christchurch Women's Prison, said the biggest challenge faced by offenders attempting to rejoin mainstream society was the prejudicial attitudes of those on the "outside"... there was a reluctance by middle class New Zealanders to accept them into their communities and allow them to move on, she said. "We like to think that we offer a land of equal opportunity. That's crap. That's an indulgent middle-class theory that makes us feel good about the world." [...]

Judiciary, Maori close gap
NZ Herald Wednesday March 28, 2001

The Judiciary's handling of tikanga Maori has improved significantly but judges can still do better, says the president of the Law Commission. Justice David Baragwanath's comments accompany the release today of a commission report, Maori Custom and Values in New Zealand. Tikanga Maori, in a broad sense, is the body of rules and values developed by Maori to govern themselves. While aimed specifically at the legal system, the report says New Zealanders must also make a total commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori values in law. That commitment must involve a real effort to understand what tikanga Maori is, and its importance to Maori, it says.
Justice Baragwanath said judges had to understand what those customs and values were, "and take them on board pretty smartly." The same could be said for lawyers, policy-makers and parliamentarians.

Bashings, lies by police claimed
NZ Herald Monday March 22, 2004
Some police officers make violent and racial attacks, set dogs on surrendering prisoners, falsify evidence and lie in court, say long-serving former police staff. The claims were made last night on the TV3 current affairs programme 20/20 by four former police officers. They painted a picture of police violence and brutality during the 1990s. Three of the former officers are now lawyers and include former Senior Sergeant Mike Meyrick, and Tony Grieg and Alex Hope, both former sergeants... They said regular racial attacks were made on Maori... Mr Grieg said Maori were called "niggers". The officers said when they tried to speak out they were alienated and that officers who did not share the same attitudes and culture as the rest of the force were unlikely to be promoted. [...]

Psycho Milt said...

I'm sorry - is it my poor reading comprehension that leaves me unable to discern a justification for armed insurrection in the above two comments?

peter in Dundee said...

Or that carping on about past injustices which have been addressed is actually helpful in moving forward or encourages a community to get irate about stuff that is fixed. This also engenders understandable negative reactions in officialdom since their efforts are thereby marginalised.

This is the essence of my and I suspect Paul's, points. Nobody wishes to deny that shit happened, that is shouldn't have happened but we are saying that wielding that shit as justification of inflicting more shit on other people is the sort of thing that leads to what is happening in Palestine.

Can we please not go there?

HORansome said...

And what, exactly, Peter in Dundee, has been done to address these past injustices? I mean, some work has been done, true, but enough? No.

Anonymous said...

The right-wingers return robotically to this 'armed insurrection' crap - when we're not 'excusing it', but denying it!

The real question under discussion, surely, is: are Tuhoe, and Maori in general, oppressed?

If Paul and co think they aren't, but accept they were in the past, when did they cease to be oppressed? Were they oppressed when Tame Iti was beaten for speaking is language at school and denied jobs because of his race? It'd be interesting to hear an answer.

And what of the evidence provided above for ongoing racist attitudes in the police? Shit, the police are not exactly looking squeaky clean as it is, are they, with the revelations of rape culture and ingrained sexism? Still Puald efends them.

Peter in Dundee said...

Read the litany posted above. Do police still sit in vans at closing time in Ruatoria? No. then why carp about it? It is that sort of thing which betrays a victim mentality that Paul and I object to.

In addition I have hear/read claims that the police did this in many places, not just in Tuhoe country. This highlights another feature, the claim that Tuhoe are special, so special that something which happened to other people is apparently a greater affront when it happens to Tuhoe.

I am NOT denying that they have valid grievances, I am critiquing their campaign. Your failure to see that is interesting.

Psycho Milt said...

The right-wingers return robotically to this 'armed insurrection' crap - when we're not 'excusing it', but denying it!

As has been pointed out several times, we don't know yet whether these guys were planning armed insurrection or not. At this point, "denying it" has no more validity than declaring them guilty.

The real question under discussion, surely, is: are Tuhoe, and Maori in general, oppressed?

When did it get to be the real question under discussion? It's of little relevance, unless it's being offered as a justification for playing at terrorists - which, apparently, it's not.

And "right wing?" According to the right-wingers on Kiwiblog, I'm a commie. I wish the nation's ideologues would reach some sort of definitive conclusion on this matter.

HORansome said...

Psycho Milt, welcome to the world of critical thinking. Check your coat at the door.

1. There is validity in denying the alleged terrorist acts because, in this country, we assume innocence until proven otherwise. That's just the way the system work.

2. The oppression of Tuhoe is being offered mostly as a critique of Paul's superficial and offensive treatment of the matter in the body of his post; Paul denies Tuhoe suffers oppression now and some of us are pointing out that this is, in fact, not true. The link between oppression and the justification for conspiring to forment revolt, is a different matter.

(An aside; moving from critical thinking to ethics here - I, for one, think that there are plenty of cases you can manufacture that justifies 'insurrection' based upon a history of oppression and it matters not one whit whether your government is democratic or facist; if systemic abuses continue despite the will of the people to do otherwise then democracy ain't working for you).

Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago, before the revelations of Louise Nicholas and so many others, those who alleged endemic sexism in the police force were being told to get a grip and realise how much things had chnaged in enlightened NZ. Stop carping about the past, in other words. We hear the same thing here re anti-Polynesian racism in the polcie, in spite of the sort of data cited above to prove that it is an ongoing problem, not something decades in the past.

Anonymous said...

'there are plenty of cases you can manufacture that justifies 'insurrection' based upon a history of oppression and it matters not one whit whether your government is democratic or facist'

Absolutely. A democratic government can oppress minorities, commit atrocities, and even perpetrate genocide.

A good example of this is Australia.

Hands up who thinks Australia was a dictatorship in 1928?

That was the year of the 'Coniston massacres', when Australian police slaughtered at leats a hundred Aboriginals in a series of punitive expeditions in central Australia. Two years earlier there had been another massacre in Forrest River, in Western Australia.

These sorts of massacres - and I've only mentioned two of many - were complemented by other less dramatic but better-known genocidal policies, like the theft of children, the denial of citizenship to Aboriginals, the repression of Aboriginal culture, and the use of a pass system to restrict Aboriginal movements.

I doubt that even conservative New Zealanders would dispute that Aboriginals were subjected to genocidal policies by a succession Australian governments, and that they remained oppressed today.

When it comes to New Zealand, though, we suddenly develop a blind spot. It can be argued that the treatment of Maori was less barbaric than the treatment of Aboriginals - in my opinion that was because Maori presented much more organised and stronger opposition to colonisation, not because white New Zealanders were nicer people. Even allowing for that difference, though, there are so many parrallels.

If you read about the raids of the 1920s in Australia, and then compare them to the raids on Tuhoe Country in 1865-72, then you can't help but see so many similarities: the mixture of white paramiliataries and state forces, the punitive killing of innocents as part of a regime collective punishment, the deliberate destruction of food resources to cause extra deaths.

In 1865 Tuhoe population was around 40,000; at the beginning of the twentieth century it was as low as 7,000.

Two major causes of this decline were the famines created by the invaders in the 1860s and 1870s, and the introduction of diseases by Europeans who were told to keep away from Tuhoe Country, but pushed into the area - as soldiers, trader, police, and even farmers - nevertheless.

And in more recent years the repression of Aborioginal culture has parrallels in the campaign to destroy the Maori language which was only stopped after the protests of Tame Iti and others of his generation; the shocking treatment of Aboriginals by police is clearly parralleled, if you only look at the evidence, by police attitudes to Maori in this country.

I think it is reasonable to say that Tuhoe suffered from genocidal state policies in the nineteenth century, and continued oppression in myriad ways in the twentieth. I see no evidence that key parts of this oppression, like ill-treatment from the police, have ended.

In my book, Pakeha who deny these events are no better than the latter-day anti-semites who deny the Holocaust of the Jewish people. They fly in the face of historical truth and are an obstacle for reconciliation and progress. That's why it's important to confront their lies and mockery on sites like this.

Kereopa Te Rau

woppo said...

According to the right-wingers on Kiwiblog, I'm a commie. I wish the nation's ideologues would reach some sort of definitive conclusion on this matter.

Hoping to catch your reflection in the sewer, Milt? Best you make up your own mind on these issues.

Psycho Milt said...

There is validity in denying the alleged terrorist acts because, in this country, we assume innocence until proven otherwise.

I see a difference between the presumption of innocence, and denying that they may be guilty. The first allows for the possibility that a court will find them guilty, the second doesn't.

The oppression of Tuhoe is being offered mostly as a critique of Paul's superficial and offensive treatment of the matter in the body of his post;

That may be, but the point of his post apears to be that past injustice doesn't justify present-day violence. If we're pointing out the injustice referred to isn't only in the past, there's an issue left hanging.

...there are plenty of cases you can manufacture that justifies 'insurrection' based upon a history of oppression and it matters not one whit whether your government is democratic or facist;

I agree, I just don't accept such a case exists for present-day Tuhoe.

Peter in Dundee said...

Two major causes of this decline were the famines created by the invaders in the 1860s and 1870s, and the introduction of diseases by Europeans who were told to keep away from Tuhoe Country, but pushed into the area - as soldiers, trader, police, and even farmers - nevertheless.


I think it is reasonable to say that Tuhoe suffered from genocidal state policies in the nineteenth century,

the second passage contradicts the first. If it was genocidal state repression then who told them to stay away? If you read King's Penguin History of NZ you will find that the problem was that central govt was too weak to control the colonists. The media of the time were full of white angst about the apparently terminal decline of a noble and admirable people (Maori in general) and the discussions were about how to best ease their passing.

You cannot make a case of genocidal state policies out of that. To try and do so betrays a victim mentality, the sort of thing I have been pointing out is absolutely not helpful to Tuhoe.

Anonymous said...

Utter nonsense Peter. There were only a negligible number of colonists in Tuhoe Country - even today, the area is majority Maori.
That's why I said 'even farmers' - to emphasise that there were only a small number of Pakeha farmers who came in.

You are thinking of other areas, like the Taranaki, where colonists were a force to rival the state (not that the state gets off scot-free there!). No way was there some sort of powerful settlers' lobby in Tuhoe Country that over-rode the state.

It was the state that invaded the area, with the help of paramilitary forces - for example, the League of Frontiersmen - subordinated to the state, that invaded Tuhoe Country. Do you really believe that it was hordes of small farmers off the boat from the UK that stormed into the Ureweras armed to the teeth from 1865-72?

What is not helpful to Tuhoe is the continued denial of historical fact by people unable to accept that the New Zealand government followed policies that were genocidal. It's no wonder that Tuhoe get annoyed, and race relations get damaged, when Pakeha tell them they have a 'victim mentality' when they refer to events and government policy of the past. Imagine how warm relations between Jewish and German people would be if the Germans and their governments had not even acknowledged the Holocaust.

Kereopa Te Rau