In This Edition: Here's Mud In Your Eye - Maori version of Treaty
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Here's Mud In Your Eye
Waitangi Day has not yet dawned and we have the spectacle of protestors at Waitangi's Te Tii marae throwing mud and clods of earth at Dr Brash.
So much for Helen Clark's assertion (Features 5 Feb) that "Communities all over New Zealand will come together in that spirit ("a more universal recognition and celebration of the diverse cultures and heritage which have contributed to building New Zealand") on Waitangi Day. They are the face of the future, and they justify our hopes for a nation which values both unity and diversity". WHERE WERE THEY?
Already there is a good case for Waitangi Day being dropped as being a day of celebration of our nationhood and adopting ANZAC Day as our day of Commemoration and Celebration.
On this day at least, we see a genuine coming together of increasing numbers of peoples of diverse ethnicity, religious and political persuasion and ages, all there to commemorate and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice given by those who left our shores wars to protect the good fortune that had come our way by taking part in two ill-conceived world wars.
Maori version of Treaty
Some question why it is only the Maori version, and more specifically the translated version by Sir Hugh Kawharu that is used at the moment in such things as the Court of Appeal. I would think that this could be explained in terms of international law. Under contra proferendum (I think, lawyers out there can correct that), when treaties are signed in both the visitor language (which it was at that time), and the indigenous language, it is the indigenous version that is recognised. Therefore, it makes complete sense that it is Sir Hugh's translation that is used.
As a person seeking to reclaim and learn my culture, I find it somewhat insulting this term of 'one citizenship'. Essentially what that calls for is one more step in the process of complete assimilation. It is due to past Government policies, and people like Don Brash that have caused me to have the need to learn my language and culture in a University as opposed to my own people. It is due to these policies and people that my father used to get the bash at school for attempting to extend his cultural knowledge. Why must we pay for the acts of our grandfathers? Because Maori are still living with the effects of those racist and oppresive thoughts.
Furthermore, many people are up in arms about the foreshore and the supposed harm that this will have should customary title be recognised. However many of these people fail to recognise that to get to that point of claim, that claimants need to fulfill so many previous obligations of process as to make it very difficult to prove. But this has hardly been mentioned over the xenophobic fear of Maori taking ownership. Why would there be a problem getting access to the beaches? It hasn't been that hard for the past 164 years.