I was quite looking forward to my usual cup of tea and morning paper after Man of Errors and has family had left the house, but when I padded down to the kitchen I found Errors in the living room reading a book. He tells me it is a holiday called Waitangi Day. Of course I had no idea what he was talking about; there was certainly no Waitangi Day in my lifetime. The coverage of Waitangi Day in 2012 seems to suggest it is some kind of event where people can be rude to the Premier. I’m not sure why exactly.
When I was alive we lived in quite a harmonious time. The Treaty of Waitangi is something that I don’t think most Europeans even really knew about. Judge Prendergast declared it a nullity in 1877. Prendergast concluded that a treaty can only exist between two civilised parties and as New Zealand was populated by primitive barbarians and savages a proper treaty was actually impossible. Prendergast’s judgement certainly cleared up any difficulties around land title, and ushered in generations of progress for New Zealand. When I was a young man the Maori were supposed to die out, and our job was to smooth the dying pillow for them. It certainly would have been convenient.
It seems that the current government are doing some things that some Maori disagree with and that these chaps expressed it quite forcibly and it was reported quite offensively.
During the heated protests, Wi Popata screamed abuse at both the Maori and National Party politicians. With fellow protesters, he called Sharples a “nigger” and told Key to go home.
Whoever wrote this needs to be reprimanded by his editor; “home” surely needs a capital H if Mr. Popata is referring to the Old Country.
I sense I have to tread carefully around this topic with Errors. While he shakes his head over violence and taunts, he doesn’t seem in step with the majority view of New Zealand. After all this Mr. Key won most of the vote, and if he wants to take Treaty of Waitangi clauses out of things then as far as I can see he is simply logically following Prendergast, and the will of the people.
Errors tells me that Kiwi Blog is a very popular site and the “commentary” there seems exactly in accordance with Prendergast (you will have to excuse some offensive language below, I apologise):
There is a lot more of this. Some people talked about Apartheid which Errors had to explain to me. Probably Errors gave a biased account but it seems that Apartheid disadvantaged one race so I’m not sure how policies that seek to advantage one race can be called Apartheid. Actually, a lot of the commentators don’t make much sense and are very offensive. I was surprised to learn that the gentleman who allows this filth to appear under his name is also invited onto national radio programmes as a serious commentator.
To be fair to the protestors some of their complaints seem well founded, “Mr Key was challenged over deep-sea oil drilling and plans”. Good on the protestors for having a go at the government over this issue. One hundred years ago we were talking about doing this, and I find it unbelievable that we are still dragging the chain. With Maori support for drilling it is hard to see what is stopping us.
The Evening Post, 7 Feb 1912
Surely there is no debate around the idea that the industrial revolution has brought untold benefit to Europeans around the world? Get on with it and start drilling.
Actually there is much in the news lately that makes me feel that while many things have changed in New Zealand, many of the core values that built this country remain intact. The reaction to the Crafar farm sale has been illustrative.
Some people have said that we should be just as concerned about selling land to Americans, the British and Europeans but this is ridiculous. Why should we be concerned about selling our land to the Mother Country or our sisters across the sea? Free trade, China and Britain have a complicated history The culturally alien Chinese have had to be taught a few lessons about how this works. We are British, lights of civilisation and beacons to the world, and China has much to learn at our feet.