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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Editorial is nonsense

More tinny, high-pitched feed-back from the echo chamber of haters today as Farrar gets his previous blogs recycled by Fairfax:
Dom Post:
 Editorial: Water claim is nonsense

OPINION: The exact date of Maori arrival in New Zealand is a mystery, although carbon dating and Maori oral tradition point to the 13th century. About one thing, however, there is no doubt. Contrary to the impression created by the bellicose posturing of the Maori king, Maori have not ''always owned the water''.     

Scientists estimate New Zealand broke away from the Gondwana supercontinent about 85 million years ago. [...]

And thus begins yet another string of non sequiturs from a mouthpiece of the establishment espousing what is essentially just another elaboration of Pakeha Mythology. We've heard it all before in a million guises: Maori are nothing, so fuck 'em/the white man is everything, so we rule. The long format rationalisations are no less wrong, insensitive and racist.

There doesn't seem that much use in going through the editorial - or retracing Farrar's blogs (they are basically the same) - because they veer from the obtuse to the idiotic while skipping over the relevant history and facts. However all the elements of the prevailing mythology are present but can't get them any closer to answering the question: 'If Maori don't own it then when and how did the Crown get to own it?' The answer to that will be most unsatisfactory for the Pakeha mythologists because they will be searching fruitlessly in the archives for when this transfer occurred... 1840, no. 1841, no. 1842, no. 1843, no. 1844, no... We invaded the Waikato in 1863 - does that count? No.

So when did it say the Crown takes all of the water? 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867... All they can point to in the records will be discrete (and unlawful, unconstitutional) confiscations of waterways and water bodies and all of the same issues that came up with the foreshore and seabed when the general confiscation assertions in the Harbours Act etc. were gone through. The acts of thieving, rampaging governments of the past is no legitimate reason for Maori to lose the guarantee of undisturbed possession of their territories. That Pakeha act as though it is is the problem.
Dom Post:
Unfounded assertions increase the likelihood of emotion again distorting the debate. Maori have a right to state their case, but their cause is not helped by extravagant rhetoric.

It is the Pakeha newspaper making the unfounded assertions here, not Maori. They certainly haven't proved that Maori don't own water and nor have they even tried to prove that the Crown does. The Dom Post is the one using extravagant rhetoric. Do they put the Crown and Pakeha to the same test as Maori? Of course not - it is Maori that can put their case to the Crown, not the Crown putting it to Maori; it is Maori that must curtail their assertions, not the Crown or Pakeha. Maori are being told to remember their place in New Zealand - under the boot of the white man.

So they take a part of Kingi Tuheitia's speech on water and try to whip up - or dog whistle up - some old fashioned Maori bashing. That virulent weed of racism survives well in the New Zealand climate . The King's speech has not been reproduced in full online from what I can(n't) find, so we are stuck having the Pakeha media determining the words and the context of what he said - which is not helpful because they are demonstrably not neutral.


At 20/9/12 5:39 pm, Blogger Con said...

Some people say that the Dominion Post has always been a dreadful rag.

But that's not strictly true is it? Because a decade ago, it didn't even exist.

At 21/9/12 2:31 pm, Blogger Frank said...

when it came to the lanf grab, colonists were quick to foist the concept of private land ownership on Moaori' Land Titles; and trasfer of ownership.

Now that Maori have got the hang of private ownership, (some) pakeha want to change the rules of the game and insist on "collective ownership" of water?

Oh, that's rich. Never underestimate the ability of white man to change the game to suit his own benefit.

In a hundred years time, a new Waitangi Tribunal will be re-litigating this whole mess.

What was that about forgetting history?


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