2 Letters

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NZ Herald 18/7/18
HARBOUR STATUE
Move over Jesus, make way for Papa the Earth Mother. Christianity is out, primitive mythology is embraced. In the past proposals to erect a Christ figure overlooking Auckland Harbour and a cross on a hillside have been rejected. Now it seems Auckland’s mayor has set aside $1 million of ratepayers’ funds to facilitate plans to erect an image of Papatuanuku at Orakei.
V. SHERWOOD AYERS, Epsom.


LOSING THE PLOT
The Shane Jones criticism of the proposed monument was scathing and fully justified. Jones was also right when he nailed Air NZ for abandoning the regions and laid into the Fonterra executives for being out of touch. Jones is right on the money here as opposed to Phil Goff, who is losing the plot. Auckland could do a lot worse than Jones as a future mayor.
DAVE MILLER, Lake Tarawera.


SCULPTURE OF WOMAN BETTER
What a ghastly concept the proposed “pole” statue for Bastion Pt appears to be. Tourists visiting Hawaii can readily identify the big bronzes of King Kamehameha as the last Hawaiian monarch and even in our own Napier, Pania of the Reef sits elegantly on her plinth as a beautiful part of history.

Why has the idea of a recognisable traditional Maori woman standing aloft above our harbour been reduced (but not the cost) to a questionable carved kauri symbol, so abstract in design no one will know what it represents?
CORALIE VAN CAMP, Remuera.

NZ Herald 18/7/18 (Short & Sweet section)
ON POU
Can we hope that the proposed monolithic icon at Bastion Point does not display the scowling imagery of most Maori figures.
GRAHAM STEENSON, Whakatane.


If the Auckland Council feels the need to increase visitor appreciation and understanding of Maori, they might consider re-creating an authentic historic pa on Mt Wellington instead of an overlarge statue. Pa are uniquely associated with Maori, statues are not.
PATRICIA ALEY, Panmure.


Let those who want a statue on Bastion Point pay for it. Taxpayers’ money would be better spent on stopping sewage going into Auckland’s harbour.
D. MACCULLOCH, Remuera.

Dominion Post 18/7/18
CAREFUL WITH BRANDING
Several letter writers have expressed their dislike at being termed Pakeha. Those who dislike the tag have every right to express their dislike and to use a public forum in which to do it.

Fact: the word Maori did not originate from the first inhabitants of this beautiful land, but was introduced by missionaries in the early 19th century to term the above said people into one group.

We called ourselves "people of the land" or tangata whenua; wherever a village was situated the people there were of that land.

We don't necessarily like the term Maori, yet are branded with it I have a "spit's worth" of native blood in me; indeed I am more Scottish than tangata whenua, but I am branded as Maori whether I like it or not. [abridged]
RAY TAUNOA, Napier 
 
Northland Age 17/7/18
PRECIOUS LITTLE AROHA
Your correspondent Mike Rashbrooke (‘Clear as mud,’ July 12), despises the ‘colonial Brits’ from whom he’s descended.

And, while dismissing the intelligent conclusions of professor Bruce Moon, offers his own “understanding of the personal motivations and ethics of sundry [of his ancestral] European colonialists around that time”. Oh, yes, we’ll all give Mike’s understandings priority over those of Mr Moon.

Mike, your foaming at the mouth over your despicable European settler ancestors and the noble Maori savages is just so much twaddle. Indeed, too much twaddle.

The celebrated long-serving Maori parliamentarian Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan told us that there was “precious little aroha before the arrival of the missionaries”.

Fantasising doesn’t really help, Mike.
GRAEME SMITH, Hamilton


CENSORED
Mayor Goff will find no shortage of supporters for his decision to exercise pre-emotive judgment and cancel the Canadian speakers from feminist and ethnic groups who may feel vulnerable to their disclosures. On what grounds did he decide there was a threat to public safety? If someone suggested threatening protests then surely that is a case for the police?

There was a similar council cancellation recently in Nelson, where noted historian Dr Bruce Moon was booked to give a lecture on the Treaty of Waitangi in a public hall. The mayor cancelled the lecture on receiving threats from anonymous sources of disruptions that the mayor considered might endanger public safety. So decisions on freedom of speech are decided by anonymous self-appointed arbiters using illegal threats.

This power of vocal pressure groups is becoming more prevalent in the administration of Western societies.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa

NZ Listener 16/7/18
IT’S OUR WAKA TOPATOPA
In addition to Weet-Bix, another post-colonisation English word that Māori needed to adopt was helicopter ( Letters, July 14).

But far from settling for the humdrum, they coined my favourite term, waka topatopa, an imaginative mix of transliteration and onomatopoeia and such a satisfying sound to roll off the tongue. We Pākehā need to steal it by putting it in the NZ edition of the Oxford Dictionary, and be quick about it before those Australians claim it.
ROGER CLARKE (Te Awamutu)

Otago Daily Times 13/7/18
GUARDIANS OF THE DEEP
THE forebears of today’s bornagain kaitiaki were not such great guardians of marine mammals as we are being led to believe.

Dolphin, seal and whale remains were found in middens along our east coast by University of Otago researchers (ODT, 10.7.18).

Irrational deference and delusion continues unabated.
BRUCE MASON, Ranfurly

Waikato Times 13/7/18 (Also published in Sunlive 13/7/18)
ROYAL COMMISSION ON ABUSE
A governmental Historical Abuse in State Care Royal Commission is to be set up and it will be chaired by Sir Anand Satyanand, respected lawyer, judge and former ombudsman and governorgeneral. It is expected to take three years and will doubtless cost many taxpayer dollars. Public submissions on the issues are requested.

It is to be hoped that, at its conclusion, the preponderance of Maori and Pacific Island children in state care is not blamed on colonisation and the solutions of the problems not be made entirely the Government’s responsibility. That Sir Anand’s comment, ‘‘Through truth comes joy,’’ will extend to full and frank investigation, and that the issues of parental responsibility and of differing ethnic and cultural practices be researched and reported accurately and completely.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa

NZ Herald 13/7/18
PRESSURE GROUP POWER
Mayor Goff will find no shortage of supporters for his decision to cancel the Canadian speakers’ venue from feminist and ethnic groups who may feel vulnerable to their disclosures. On what grounds did he decide there was a threat to public safety? If someone suggested threatening protests then surely that is a case for the police?

There was a similar council cancellation recently in Nelson where noted historian Dr Bruce Moon was booked to give a lecture on the Treaty of Waitangi in a public hall. The mayor cancelled the lecture on receiving threats from anonymous sources of disruptions that the mayor considered might endanger public safety. So decisions on freedom of speech are decided by anonymous self-appointed arbiters using illegal threats. This power of vocal pressure groups is becoming more prevalent in Western societies.
BRYAN JOHNSON, Omokoroa.

Dominion Post 11/7/18
CALL ME A KIWI
Joel Maxwell (9 July) writes: "I can't tell you what Pakeha means."

The problem with the term Pakeha is that it refers to everyone who is not Maori, no matter what race or ethnicity.

Being Maori means being tangata whenua and therefore holding a special status that comes with ethnic-based rights and a superior recognition of culture and belief.

The term Pakeha is not in itself derogatory, but does by definition carry a cultural inferiority. For these reasons Pakeha is an inherently racist term.

I am of European heritage, of Welsh and Scottish descent. I don't describe myself as Welsh or Scottish, nor as a Pakeha, but rather as a New Zealander or a Kiwi, because these are inclusive terms.

They include everybody who considers New Zealand home, be they of European, Asian, African or American extraction and is also inclusive of Maori.

Maxwell writes that it is Pakeha who need to have generosity of spirit. Maori also need to be reminded that generosity of spirit has to be reciprocal and that they also share this land with those whose ancestors came later.

If we don't unite as New Zealanders we will fail as a country.
RICHARD PRINCE, Tauranga

Bay of Plenty Times 9/7/18
IT’S TIME TO GET OVER RACISM AND MOVE ON
I wholeheartedly agree with the dismissal of the two salesmen regarding the voicemail message left on Narelle Newdick's phone.

I have been in the past referred to as a honky by Maori people, but that goes unaddressed.

l’m also of Irish descent and every year on March 17 it seems okay for everyone to take the mickey out of my race, and I find that racist.Its time to get over the racist thing and move on because it ain't going away.
ALAN RYAN Welcome Bay

Herald on Sunday 8/7/18
TRAIN ANNOUNCEMENTS
With Auckland motorists now experiencing eye-watering high fuel prices, the supposedly cash-strapped Auckland Transport, the main recipient of the new fuel tax, has recently announced the introduction of automated announcements in Maori on the city’s trains.

This feature wouldn’t have come cheap — with the reported difficulties the train’s Spanish manufacturer had with installing it — and demonstrates how out of touch AT is with what most people actually want from the city’s transport organisation.

While the people of NorWest Auckland cry out for train services to be extended to Kumeu/Huapai to provide an alternative to heavily congested roads, AT ignores this and chooses to waste money on train announcements.

The only useful announcements made on the trains come from the crew — ironically AT and train operator Transdev want to remove them.
G SINCLAIR, Taupaki

Weekend Sun / Sunlive 6/7/18
WE ARE ALL NEW ZEALANDERS
It should be obvious to even the least mentally astute politician, public official or local councillor that, as indicated by the results of the five recent regional polls on establishing Maori wards, the majority of the population is against racially-based and biased legislation, yet governments seem to favour a Maori-slanted agenda. The same results have been shown in all other areas where similar polls were taken.

Surely the terms and concepts of Maori and Pakeha are anachronistic and we are all now New Zealanders, with equal rights and responsibilities. The idea that a person with one-eighth Maori ancestry should have privilege over one without Maori blood is absurd.

A census of seven million people world-wide found only one 33-year-old woman with exclusive Maori DNA. One can therefore dismiss the idea of full-blooded Maori.

Any legislation, government-approved schemes or national organisations that give exclusive advantage or special treatment to Maori are undemocratic and untenable. What other Western democracy is so ethnically divisive? Our claims to exclusivity should be that we are New Zealanders.

It is also time for the media to become objective in its reportage of ethnic issues and present fairly all points of view. (Abridged).
B JOHNSON, Omokoroa

Dominion Post 5/7/18
WHAT IF FUN WAS POKED AT MAORI?
Joel Maxwell says that Europeans who cannot take a joke about themselves or their world are racist (July 2). That can be debunked by turning it around and poking fun at Maoridom — writing Maori as Mouldy, say—and calling those Maori who complain about it racist.

Perhaps they are, but it could also be that they just don't like having the mickey taken out of the way they pronounce te reo. A bit sensitive perhaps, but not necessarily racist.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander and Maxwell's association of humour and racism is not credible either way.

We despise in others that which we most fear in ourselves. Maxwell sees racism everywhere and calls Europeans who "flinch at humour at their expense" racists, bigots and rednecks "living in the gutter," and villains, "like the gorgon".

This is hateful stuff and possibly due to conflation of his own feelings with his percep-tion of others. What he sees as their "strange, angry preoccu-pation with their own resent-ment" could come from him.
BARRIE DAVIS, Island Bay

Taranaki Daily News 2/7/18
NO JUSTICE IN SPECIAL TREATMENT
Did I really read this correctly? In the Thursday Taranaki Daily News it was reported that Murray Bidois was convicted on seven counts of obtaining $66,000 from the Ministry of Social Development by deception.

No reparation was sought and he was given a 5-month home detention sentence.

But, and this is what astounds me, this was deferred until July 2 so that he could attend a ceremony at Waitara Marae "because he is an important person in the community"

Is this really punishment for blatant dishonesty and who cares how important he may be, he should be treated as any other criminal. Shame on him and our justice system.
MARGARET BROWN, New Plymouth

Marlborough Express 2/7/18
OUR ANTHEM HOLDS MEANING
No-one I know has any desire to ditch our anthem because some foreigner made a mess of singing it. To compare it to a dirge [June 29 in the Marlborough Express] is not displaying much sense.

New Zealand is, and its people are, far from dead.

A relic is an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest, so yes, our anthem is just that.

It is sung, for example at occasions which celebrate the lives and sacrifices of all the young men who left our shores to defend our freedom. It is not necessary to be religious to show empathy and goodwill to our fellow beings.

The meanings of the Maori "version" of our anthem bear no relation whatsoever to the original.

In fact it would be interesting to print the Maori version in your newspaper, for the edification of your readers.

The word "clunky" is derogatory and the words are the result of being written in a time when life was a bit more lyrical and are therefore totally appropriate.

Perhaps you would like to see operas and Shakespeare's works rewritten.

Finally, for your edification, the triple star referred to in our anthem is the set of three islands which comprise New Zealand.
DENIS WATERS, Picton

Wanganui Chronicle 2/7/18
AGAINST ‘H’
I congratulate David Cotton for voting against putting the ‘H’ in the spelling of Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council.

Here is the letter I sent the regional council, which was totally rejected: "I read in the paper (May 24) you are debating whether to insert the "H" in Wanganui.

"At the time, I wrote to all Wanganui District councillors, the New Zealand Geographic Board and the Minister of Land Information, Louise Upston, that there is no ‘H' in Wanganui.

"I sent a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi document which 14 Wanganui chiefs signed on May23 and May 31,1840, signing it as 'chiefs of Wanganui'. There are six Wanganui places in the South Island spelt without the ‘H’.

The Wanganui Maori chiefs accepted this pronunciation and spelling in 1840, so who are you to change it 178 years later?"
lAN BROUGHAM Tawhero 


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