Parihaka not Parahaki
Parihaka not Parahaki
“It’s an outrage there’s such a lack of will and cultural understanding when it comes to working with Maori in the general community of Whangarei."
That’s what Tai Tokerau candidate, Hone Harawira says about the recent abuse on kaumatua at the recent public meeting to discuss the Parihaka spelling mistake.
The public meeting attracted about 100 people, about one third of the audience was Maori. The issue surrounds the Whangarei District Counci's decision to correct the spelling mistake of the local landmark currently known at Mt. Parahaki. Act MP, Muriel Newman called the meeting, and attracted mainly Act members.
Maori Party members at the meeting were not impressed that a kaumatua was jeered at and talked down with rude comments while he was saying the opening prayer in Maori.
Their disappointment spread when the Pakeha rudely interrupted people speaking Maori, and shouted people down when they stood in support of the spelling correction. Members reported that kaumatua were shown definite lack of respect.
“What kind of community is Muriel Newman and the Act Party trying to build?” Hone Harawira asked.
“She is accusing Maori of being favouritised by the Whangarei District Council, because the spelling of a word is being corrected.”
Muriel Newman has a personal definition for political correctness that sites the minority imposing their will on the majority.
“Muriel Newman’s latest ploy of sneaky campaigning, and misinforming the public has had a negative effect on her ratings among Maori,” says Harawira.
“She inadvertently increased our membership, by encouraging such bad behaviour in a public arena.
“It is sad that correcting a spelling mistake, is being dismissed as being ‘politically correct’ in a negative way.
“It is a disgrace to race relations in Aotearoa that in the year 2005 the use of the Maori language in public forums is shouted down.
“For the sake of a spelling mistake our repositories of knowledge should not get the bash,” he says.
Mr Harawira says that Muriel Newman has done good job in uniting Maori to address this matter.