Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, May 10th, 2010 - 46 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, history, human rights, International, john key, national, racism - Tags: , , , , , ,

Congratulations John on your latest speech. We especially like the line

“Let me be clear: there is no room for separatism in New Zealand.”

Very masterly, clear and unequivocal. I know you meant what you said and weren’t just dog-whistling to the racist red-necks in the audience who’re feeling spooked by us signing up to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Considering your new found taste for such politics (I know it must be fairly new because when they asked you on bfm you ‘couldn’t remember’ which side you were on during the Springbok Tour), here’s a prime opportunity to disambiguate and consolidate your position – and set that Springbok Tour question straight once and for all.


Just like the South African Government Minister of Sport has done for the wrongs done to New Zealand Maori All Blacks.  Rev Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile has officially acknowledged the past wrongs of South Africa’s forefathers and apologized for their separatist racism towards our Maori All Blacks – exactly the same separatist racism our Governments showed when they colluded with the South African Government in forbidding Maori All Blacks from playing against white Springboks. While you’re at it you could apologize for Muldoon inviting the all white Springboks Tour that ripped this country apart. These were, after all, shameful and offensive acts perpetrated by New Zealand governments against its own people.

So just apologise. We can’t rely on the aligator hunters in the NZRU to do anything with a 21st Century social conscience, so make it a formal New Zealand Government apology to our Maori All Blacks, endorsing the South African apology to them. Make it now – before you’re forced to and before it ends up just looking, well, forced and like a cynical expediency. Apologise because its the right thing to do, in solidarity with anti-separatist South Africa, which clearly has exactly the same sentiments as you expressed in your speech.

But if doing it because its the right thing doesn’t work for you, think of the great symbolism John (that’s important you know, like with DRIP, and coming back for the ANZAC Day crash funeral). Think of the opportunity to show Maori you’re not just a ‘smiling snake‘ like Hone said you were, using Maori when it suits you and completely unworthy of their trust. Think of the international exposure for the Rugby World Cup. Think of how you could show all New Zealand that you really were always opposed to the Springbok Tour.

Think of how you could prove that when you say “there is no room for separatism in New Zealand”, you actually mean it and you aren’t just a two-faced dog-whistling bigot after all.

46 comments on “Apologise ”

  1. Outofbed 1

    you don’t like him do you?

  2. Sam 2

    He could apologise for using that young girl and her family as a disposable political tool at the same time.

    About as likely.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Just for the record Sprout, I take it that you DO think there is room for separatism in NZ?

    • Ari 3.1

      I think he quite rightly takes it as a dogwhistle 😛

    • the phrase is a daft rhetorical device. literally the answer is yes, metaphorically the answer is no – we don’t have any room for the separatism we have practiced in NZ, just as we don’t have room for inegalitarianism either – but that’s not stopping its acceleration.

      but the issue is one of sincerity and intent.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        The public discourse in this area is tricky enough, without shouting down all moderate voices as ‘racist’ and ‘dogwhistling’, leaving only space for strident extremists to grab all the headlines.

        Right now we have Tuhoe and Ngapuhi making explicit claims openly claiming separate sovereignty and their right to establish independent enclave nations on lands they believe are their ‘traditional native title’. It’s a development I abhor and condemn, as it will lead inevitably lead to bloodshed. The result would be what Sri Lanka has gone through, only perhaps worse as there would be so many torn loyalties within so many families.

        At this point in time we have the Green, Labour and National party all in thrall to the notion of giving the Maori Party whatever it wants because they all need the seven entrenched seats to ever govern. This is the dream run the extremists have always wanted, and what I’m seeing is the re-emergence of the same militant Maori separatism that went undercover in the late 80’s.

        Someone tell me otherwise.

        • the sprout

          agreed, precisely why we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to dog-whistling from the highest level of the State

        • pollywog

          Tuhoe and Ngapuhi making explicit claims openly claiming separate sovereignty and their right to establish independent enclave nations on lands they believe are their ‘traditional native title’…it will lead inevitably lead to bloodshed

          What they believe IS the truth whether you believe it or not.

          So who’s gonna draw first blood ? Historically it never has been Maori and theres no reason to believe otherwise.

        • marty mars

          It won’t lead to bloodshed – it will lead to peace.

          • RedLogix

            It won’t lead to bloodshed it will lead to peace.

            So when your local iwi send you a letter demanding you pay rent on property that you believe you have freehold title to…how do you imagine that will lead to peace?

            • pollywog

              Thats hardly likely to happen. If anything, Maori will legitimately demand a percentage of your rates bill from local gov’t.

              • RedLogix

                Thats hardly likely to happen

                Why not? If the iwi is given ‘full native title’, something you appear to fully support, then the old Crown freehold title must lapse and be confiscated off the current owners. Is this what you are asking for?

                If anything, Maori will legitimately demand a percentage of your rates bill from local gov’t.

                Which is essentially the same thing as demanding rent is it not? Besides what percentage do you have in mind? 5% or 50%?

                Besides, what Local Authority? It would be gone also.

              • nzfp

                “Which is essentially the same thing as demanding rent is it not”

                No it’s a tax, specifically a tax on the improvements of your dwelling. A better solution would be a tax on the land which is distributed equitably between Maori and the state. Or even better a land tax distributed equitably to everybody in the form of a Guaranteed National Income.

            • marty mars

              When they send the letter – pay up or leave. No bloodshed there.

              Equality for all.

              Freedom for all.

              Respect for all.

              Why is that so hard to accept?

              • RedLogix

                You delude yourself if you imagine that 3.5m non-Maori New Zealanders will accept that.

                Or that they will simply leave.

              • Who’s going to be fighting who? Is my right arm going to cut my left arm off?

                Are you sure that you are not just amping up the fear for your own survivalist fantasy?

                Can you remember what one of the points of this post is? You know about how maori were treated like scum here – for just being maori.

                captcha – sad – indeed

              • RedLogix

                Is my right arm going to cut my left arm off?

                Sorry, I’ve lost your point here. Are you implying that the iwi ‘rates/rent/tax’ demand invoice I pay will simply be recycled into my own bank account? I don’t think that is what you have in mind. Or are you implying that because most of us have some genetic percentage of Maori in us that we all get signed up as members of some iwi or another (placed of course at some position in the whakapapa pecking order) and kowtow to our new, unelected tribal masters?

                Or what? Exactly.

                Are you sure that you are not just amping up the fear for your own survivalist fantasy?

                Cripes what are you imagining here? That those Maori who decide to take up arms in order to press their iwi claims would suffer anything other than the same fate as the Tamil militants?

                Or that the 85% of the population who are on the other side of the equation will meekly pay over the new tax to iwi (who are privately held corporations after all) and cheerfully, passively accept their new status as ‘whitey scum’. If that is what you wish for then come out and say so honestly.

                I’m only asking these questions because I hear so much vague pious clap talked around this question, with very little examination of the actual, exact consequences of what people are asking for.

              • Try reading the first sentence and that will provide context for the second sentence.

                The fact is that this thread was about how poorly maori have been treated and you pop up talking about how poorly non-maori may be treated in the future – based upon what? You have no evidence, just fear. You talk about bloodshed – and then compare maori with Tamils, also implying that maori would get the same treatment.

                I never identify anyone as ‘whitey scum’ – get over it.

                Here’s an actual – if Te Urewera is given back to Tuhoe – who loses? How many private owners get shafted? Is the land protected less? Do you think brownlee will get his mining rigs in there? If trampers and visitors want to visit they still can. If an iwi member wants to visit they still can.

                What is the big bogey man on this one again RL?

              • Retorical question now RL with the cowardly gnats taking Te Urewera off the table.

                I predict a bit of bother about this.

              • RedLogix

                Who’s going to be fighting who? Is my right arm going to cut my left arm off?

                Oh now I understand…we are ‘all one people’ when it suits your argument.

                The fact is that this thread was about how poorly maori have been treated and you pop up talking about how poorly non-maori may be treated in the future based upon what?

                Well right now we have Ngapuhi arguing to nullify the Treaty and the full restoration of their ownership and right to rule much of Northland including it would seem the city of Whangarei. (Map). How do you see that working?

                And why on earth do would any other iwi not settle for any less? One can only assume if Tuhoe or Ngapuhi attained full vested title that mana alone would require all the other iwi demand the same…existing settlements be damned. How strange that you to accuse me of scaremonegering when all I am doing is repeating the exact claims being made as we speak.

                You talk about bloodshed and then compare maori with Tamils, also implying that maori would get the same treatment.

                I am simply making the obvious parallel here. Whereas I am certain neither of us wishes for bloodshed; unwise actions do have logical and sometimes inescapable consequences.

                I predict a bit of bother about this.

                Yes. One way or another. We get bother if the Crown asserts it’s sovereignty over NZ, or we get bother if the iwi all start lining up to claim their own petty bantustan enclave ‘nations’.

                In the meantime the Chinese will simply move in and evict the squabbling idiots bickering over the ruins of what was once this nation. Then we will all know what it’s like to be treated as second, third or fourth class citizens.

              • “In the meantime the Chinese will simply move in and evict the squabbling idiots bickering over the ruins of what was once this nation. Then we will all know what it’s like to be treated as second, third or fourth class citizens.”

                Maori already know – thus the point of the post.

              • RedLogix

                Maori already know … and not lost on me either marty.

                But in what world do you imagine that tearing this nation apart on the sacrificial altar of the god of wrongs committed generations ago, will actually be of any benefit to anyone in this land, brown or white?

                In the final analysis most past injustices writ sufficiently large cannot be made whole. In the years 1800-1840 warring iwi and hapu indulged in the most extraordinary genocide, murdering almost 40% of their own population in a series of brutal wars. They can never make that right, it is an injustice no amount of recrimination and reparation can ever heal.

                Equally none of the nations of the world cannot wipe away the same brutal horrors that have stained human history…all we can do is remember and strive to learn not to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

              • “… tearing this nation apart on the sacrificial altar of the god of wrongs committed generations ago.”

                It is already happening. The ‘nation’ is torn.

                I’m not talking about going backwards to the past, I’m talking about moving forwards into the future. And that future can never be the same as the past.

                It would be nice to imagine that these historical grievences are it – but they aren’t – it is still happening today, maori are still disregarded and treated as 2nd, 3rd, 4th and less in this country today – within the last hour, a minute ago.

  4. New Zealand could be “rocked constitutionally” in a Waitangi Tribunal hearing starting today with the country’s largest tribe, Ngapuhi, arguing they never ceded sovereignty to the Crown.

    The Northland iwi of 122,000 people will argue it was and still is a self-governing state within New Zealand.

    It is the first time that the standing of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi has been measured against the 1835 Declaration of Independence created by 34 northern chiefs of the Confederation of United Tribes. “We didn’t cede our sovereignty, and if we did, we didn’t do it to become paupers in our own land,” Haami Piripi, chairman of the Kaitaia-based Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, said.


    I’d say he better start making some room cos thats what i been talking about…

  5. New Zealand could prove to be built on a fairytale.

    indeed… cos i’m sure theres not many who know this

    The independence of New Zealand is a matter of continued academic and social debate. New Zealand has no fixed date of independence, instead independence came about as a result of New Zealand’s evolving constitutional status.


  6. Looks like fairytale NZ could be dealt a knockout one two blow with tuhoe in reparations negotiations as well

    authorities falsely accused TÅ«hoe of involvement in the killing of missionary Karl Volkner in the Volkner Incident and confiscated the iwi’s fertile lands. TÅ«hoe lost 5700ha of land on its northern border from a total of 181,000ha of land confiscated by the Grey government from TÅ«hoe, Te Whakatōhea and Ngāti Awa. The Crown took TÅ«hoe’s only substantial flat, fertile land and their only access to the coast. The TÅ«hoe people retained only harsh, more difficult land, setting the scene for later famines


    …and The declaration of indigenous rights only strengthens the case for Tuhoe autonomy as well given they never signed the treaty so are due not just some serious apologies but some massive compensation.

  7. Joe Bloggs 7

    having looked at one side of the coin let’s inspect the other side:

    In the 39 years since the ’81 Springbok Tour of NZ, Labour has been in government for 15 years.

    Despite apologising for a variety of topical and historical issues, and despite being keen rugby supporters (evidenced by 2004’s high speed motorcade from Waimate to Chch get to a rugby game) Labour did not offer an apology to the Maori All Blacks.

    So how about an apology from Phil Goff for Labour’s failure to apologise?

    • felix 7.1

      A public apology by the PM is on behalf of New Zealand. Its not the National party saying sorry, its all of us.

      You want the opposition leader to make an apology? Probably would if asked but as he isn’t charged with speaking on behalf of the country it wouldn’t mean much.

    • Anne 7.2

      Joe Bloggs
      Learn to count little boy. Labour was in power for just over half the time. Your attempt to be smart is so feeble it says much more about your lack of cognisant power (oops… that’s too big a word for you) brains and lack of wit.

      • Joe Bloggs 7.2.1

        my bad – should have read:

        In the 29 years since the ‘81 Springbok Tour of NZ, Labour was in government for 15 years or more than half of the time that has elapsed since the Springbok Tour.

        Despite dominating NZ politics for that time, successive Labour Government Prime Ministers repeatedly failed to apologise to the Maori All Blacks.

        Frankly Anne, it doesn’t paint Labour in any better light.

        Incidentally I’m surprised at the patronising and sexist attitude that you display – I’ve never revealed my gender to you, nor my size. Speaks volumes about your diversophobic attitudes.

        • felix

          Diversophobic. Nice word.

          As I said above, when PMs apologise it’s for ALL of us, not for any political party.

          For the sake of example, the previous Labour PM apologised to NZ soldiers for the way they were treated on returning home from service in Vietnam. Are you going to insist that Key apologise on behalf of the National party for not doing the same?

          Of course not. And rightly not.

        • Zorr

          I never quite follow this line of argument:
          “Because this group of people didn’t do anything about Issue X that makes it fine for this other group of people to not do it as well”

          I would have thought that if something was worth doing, then it should be considered worth doing by all and everyone be equally damned who doesn’t. Personally Joe, you are correct in this and both sides should be slapped.

  8. just saying 8

    Sounds like it’s time for a bipartisan accord -that neither of the main parties will work with NZ first no matter the result of the next election.

  9. Imagine you have worked your guts out to make the team – the all blacks, to be considered a hero, to be accepted by all who own everything and have all the power. You have accepted that sport is the great equaliser, that sport makes you feel accepted in this country of your ancestors. And then they say you can’t go, you aren’t white, you are maori and you think about the land and your whanau and your mates at the club and the little boys that come up and want to just be near you, and you think about the farm and your kids and you drop your head and walk on.

    A lot of apologies are needed but real ones please not fake ones.

    Equality for all.

    Freedom for all.

    Respect for all.

  10. Jim Nald 10

    Hey Sprout
    Key’s “there is no room for separatism in New Zealand’ might seem innocuous but does show another side of Nats’ not-so-subtle, nuanced nudge-nudge-wink-wink, coded, dogwhistling modus operandi that reveals its Iwi/Kiwi thinking as being at best, dormant, and at worst, alive and kicking.

  11. prism 11

    pollywog Every time there is a large shift in power and systems there are losses. Owning up to past and present errors and illegal behaviour by NZ pakeha against Maori and redressing these and changing to positive, collaborative ways with some autonomy would I think have excellent result.
    But I get the feeling that you think self-government of tribal rohe would be the right move to make.

    Are you thinking that it would be a good thing to have a splintered country where local elites hold sway in defined areas. This would not be good if it happened with pakeha or Maori. Look at Canterbury where pakeha are trying a local dictatorship with doubtful integrity. There would be no guarantee that the actions and approaches of locals in a self-governing area would result in better conditions for the local iwi/hapu.

    In fact they might diminish, money could be lost or defrauded from the iwi, lip service given to old traditions and kawa while modern, hard, vice-oriented pursuits took place behind that camouflage. A USA crime western book I was reading recently had the criminal fleeing to the Indian lands where government laws did not apply, and the indigenous people didn’t have the means or method to deal with the degenerates of their own or the white society.

    By the way – interesting book on a Tuhoe Maori leader who has not been properly recognised and remembered. Review on Nat Radio 9.45am
    Jeffrey Paparoa Holma’s new book ‘Best of Both Worlds – The story of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau’ examines the relationship of two well known New Zealands. (duration: 17′06″)

    • pollywog 11.1

      then the old Crown freehold title must lapse and be confiscated off the current owners. Is this what you are asking for?

      Give Maori some credit, they’re not all foolish extremists demanding all confiscated land back cos that’ll never happen and they know it.

      There’ll probably be some horsetrading in conservation areas with an iwi toll and creation of economic protection zones that exempt maori from tax and rent/rates while providing more freedom for maori to develop intitatives outside standing govt legislation.

      Not saying it’ll all be brothels and casinos like native americans but maybe more like the ‘export processing zones’ in asia. Most probably there’ll be partnerships like the latest geo thermal power station in Taupo.

      But whatever, negotiations for redress in traditional rohe will probably be between maori local bodies and regional local bodies. it’s not like some hori’s gonna turn up with a gun and force you off the land like zimbabwe. iwi wont stand for vigilantes any more than the rest of NZ.

      Jeez you’re a scaremongerer RL. At most it’s just sabre rattling at the mo. it’s when the republican debate really starts getting traction that there’ll be blood in the streets and most likely it’ll be the rednecks who start it hoping to incite racial violence.

      By then i would hope Pasifikan non violent protest like what the Samoans did back in the day and the spirit of Parihaka and Rua Kenana will take hold.

      captcha :entitles, which i forgot to enter so backtracked and now it’s countys 🙂

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        Jeez you’re a scaremongerer RL. At most it’s just sabre rattling at the mo

        Another ‘shutdown the debate’ tactic. I’m asking fair questions. You are the ones making very large and sweeping claims about the primacy of native land title and Maori sovereignty. Fine you are entitled to do so, but I am equally entitled to put such claims to scrutiny and to ask exactly what you have in mind and exactly how this might work in practise.

        For instance. Imagine we give Northland to Nga Puhi. And it is set up as an independent nation exactly as is being demanded. What would be the citizenship status of non-Nga Puhi people living in this new country?

        You cannot push this agenda and pretend that it might not have some very profound implications on the ground for all New Zealanders. You will not right the wrongs of the past, by creating a whole lot of new ones in the present.

        • pollywog

          I’ve given examples of how it might work in practise and they’re pretty much straight of the top of the dome.

          of course theres profound implications but they need not neccessarily all be profoundly negative ones which you seem prone to highlight.

          as for citzenship in Ngapuhi i imagine they’ll still be NZer’s with Ngapuhi descendents having dual citizenship with more freedoms and less constraints.

          Dunno, how exactly does england, ireland, scotland and wales fit into the UK citizenship thing. How do they resolve sovereignty issues ?

          • nzfp

            “as for citzenship in Ngapuhi i imagine they’ll still be NZer’s with Ngapuhi descendents having dual citizenship with more freedoms and less constraints.”

            Or it could be the same as the Cook Islands and Tokelau and any other New Zealand protectorates. The new protectorate would just be called Te Tai Tokerau, alongside Tokelau and the Cook Islands.

  12. Alexandra 12

    I have mixed views on the issue of an apology to Maori Rugby players partly because I believe the greatest injustice lies in our determination to have sporting contact with SA and because Maori Rugby did not take a stand against the apartheid. Indeed, I was chastised for protesting in Hamilton by an uncle, a former Maori All Black. If an apology is in order it should be directed to all the people who suffered under apartheid. The Government should acknowledge its indifference to the racist regime including the effect that indifference caused on Maori players, and the decision to go ahead with the 1981 tour which ripped families apart here.

    • the sprout 12.1

      good point.
      then again, an apology could still be ‘aspirational’ in terms of acknowledging where we don’t want to go again, and in counter-defining where we do want to head.

  13. nzfp 13

    Alexandra makes a very good point which I agree with, “an apology […] should be directed to all the people who suffered under apartheid”. However, should this new found social conscience be limited to South Africa? There are other peoples suffering under “apartheid” and “racist regime[s]” where both Labour and National governments have turned a blind eye to modern sporting, cultural and commercial relations. If it’s acceptable to abhor South African “apartheid” and “racism” shouldn’t we be consistent in condemning any “apartheid” and “racist” states that attempt commercial, cultural or sporting exchanges with us?

  14. Ed 14

    Should John Key apologise for New Zealand sending a racially selected rugby team to South Africa?

    The reality is that this is just another sound-bite to Smile and Wave – it sounds good but does not have to mean anything in any particular situation. Such pablums are at the heart of all National plans and policies – they can be used to justify anything.

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