Kiwi Life

Kiwi Life / Language

21 November 2020

9:00 AM

21 November 2020

9:00 AM

Amy Brooke

Once you have paid the Danegeld…

We seem to have ingrained in us a sense of fair play, being incensed if every possible kind of advantage is constantly given to particular individuals, or ethnic groups, over all others within a country. For this reason, the call for equality for all became Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, now supported in theory only by the New Zealand government. It was also the intent of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, presided over by the valiant Captain William Hobson, whereby all the disparate, warring, scattered Maori tribal groups yielded sovereignty to the Crown, achieving the same rights of protection and equality as European settlers.

Hobson’s famous saying, He iwi tahi tatou – We are all one people – is found on the memorial plaque of his long-neglected, lonely grave below Auckland’s busy Grafton Bridge with traffic roaring overhead and sleeping bags and poignant possessions of the homeless scattered nearby. However, thanks to our politicians, New Zealand is now an overwhelmingly racist country, noted by the Economist as having embarked upon ‘the path of ethnic favouritism’. The claims of iwi (now basically corporatised, pseudo-tribal groupings identifying as Maori) are prioritised. What has essentially been a policy of appeasement, practised by our politicians when faced with aggressive, minority groups of part-Maori extremists – in most cases far from supported by the majority – has inevitably produced a climate of resentment, in contrast to what was formerly the case in New Zealand. So little racial prejudice existed that, with intermarriage the norm, not one full-blooded Maori can be found.

Yet the primitivism of even fully tattooed faces is now reappearing. Author Olivia Pierson recently described the tattooed chin of the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, as ‘ugly and uncivilised’. Online shop Mighty Ape immediately banned Pierson’s books. Her view that facial tattoos are ‘not exactly a polished, civilised presentation for a foreign diplomat in the 21st century… especially on a female diplomat…’ are comments with which many would agree – but how many would do so publicly given the tirade of sheer nastiness assailing this brave commentator?

What is regarded by many as inherently dishonest is that those obviously predominantly European or Eurasian can claim the supposed disadvantage of Maori descent, with an absolute minimum of any Maori blood. (The Anglican church even maintains that to be Maori it is enough ‘to feel Maori’). And yet in seven generations or more since the signing of the treaty, the gradual entrenchment of Maori preferment and continual special funding – to the tune of billions of dollars – together with targeted advantage in every possible area – has been contrived. The treaty gravy train continues to gather momentum, stoked by well-lawyered, by no means morally or ethically scrupulous Maori representatives, some illegally occupying land not theirs. Incredibly enough, hundreds of claims are now lodged for ownership of all the New Zealand coastline and seabed – claims for which taxpayers are required to pay.

Anachronistically, we still have the controversial Maori-only seats in parliament, as well as the Maori Affairs Select Committees advising Parliament – not uncommonly containing relatives of part-Maori claimants – in some cases treating dismissively, even markedly rudely, well-researched historians contesting these.

Our successive governments have in reality been constantly outwitted by what Darwin would describe as the survival of the fittest – sharp-witted descendants of tribal groups who survived never-ending, internecine warfare and cannibalism in pre-European New Zealand and have since manipulated successive governments to obtain for themselves advantages over other New Zealanders. Moreover, it is very often those from wealthy, privileged backgrounds, overwhelming European in genetic inheritance, who know how to work the system.

The issue has been brought to a head recently with a father taking the University of Otago to court in regard to this whole question of basic unfairness… a claim now settled out of court. He very probably had the sympathy of the majority of the country, with his hard-working son averaging 92 per cent in his subjects, but turned down for admission to the medical school – given the weighting against those of European descent. Places there have always been highly competitive, with far more applicants than can be accommodated. Some would-be doctors have repeated the preliminary Intermediate Year even twice, to gain admission. It is now grossly unfair.

For example, in 2020 the medical school had 202 places available for first-year students entering from this preliminary year. Of these, 120 were given to those entering under special categories. 58 claimed to be Maori, 20 Pasifika, one Maori-Pasifika: 29 claimed rural category placings; 11 were granted places in a low socio-economic category; one under a new refugee category. That left 82 general entry places – a 59 per cent loading against any European, Chinese or other individuals in a system targeted against them. In other words, 79 places (39 per cent) were reserved for those tapping into this highly dubious racial claim of disadvantage. Yet a bare minimum of Maori genetic inheritance obviously does not put an individual at any disadvantage. It is a racist system regarded as basically a swindle.

With astute part-Maori activists noting that our political parties have opted for appeasement, given that more and more financial and political benefits are being continually yielded in response to their extremist demands, there is now a new call for constitutional change, and Maori co-government over this country.

We are a much less stable, happy, prosperous, far less democratic and now deeply divided country as a result of the lessons our political oligarchies have not learned. These include the fact that no country can peacefully accommodate one group of people constantly trying to get advantage over the others. Nor have they listened to Rudyard Kipling’s reminder of the result when, in one form or another, a country begins paying the Dane-Geld. i.e. embarking on the policies of appeasement: ‘For the end of that game is oppression and shame/And the nation that pays it is lost!’. Like most of the lessons great poetry once taught us, it, too, has been lost on today’s historically ill-educated, even venal politicians.

Kel Richards

The latest useful word to come out of the States is ‘skunked’, which means ‘ruined.’ The story behind it is the American belief that beer which has been exposed to the air develops a nasty smell, like a skunk. It came up in conversation when my friend expressed the view that the Victorian economy has been ‘skunked.’ So, if you’ve been struggling to find the right word to described putting citizens under house arrest and closing businesses for longer than any other Australian jurisdiction, here’s the word: the place has been ‘skunked’ by Daniel Andrews. I suspect that in twelve months from now Victoria’s economy will still be on the nose – thoroughly ‘skunked’ in fact. Contact Kel at

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