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Colonisation and widespread theft of Maori land is apparently good for them

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, June 9th, 2021 - 78 comments
Categories: racism, racism - Tags:

Paora Goldsmith, who last hit National headlines for botching up National’s alternative budget,  has again hit the headlines and for the wrong reasons.

On Saturday he said publicly that Colonialism was on balance good for Maori.  Wholesale loss of their land and other Taonga, wars, rape and pillage, and the near demise of Te Reo Maori and Te Ao Maori were balanced by other events.

Paora said this:

National’s education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says while colonisation may have been “traumatic” for Māori, overall it has had a positive effect.

Speaking to Newshub Nation on Saturday, the National MP was asked about an opinion piece from 2019 discussing colonisation in which he wrote, ‘Did the good outweigh the bad? Surely, we have to say, yes.’

Asked if he thought the good has outweighed the bad specifically for Māori, the National MP replied: “The reality is that New Zealand was isolated from the rest of the world for centuries and at some point it had to reconnect with the rest of the world. And that happened in the 19th century was always going to be a very traumatic experience.

“But with it came all sorts of wonderful things, such as literacy, such as the freedoms and democracy that have come through… I think on balance it has, yes.”

Earlier this year he suggested that the new draft history curriculum should be changed so that our kids should learn about business history and less about colonialism.  I can see why.  If our younger citizens are not taught about the horrendous effects of colonialism then they may also think that in a two sides to every argument sort of way there is indeed a benefit to colonialism.

And fancy a historian advocating that less teaching of history was a good thing.  It is almost as if he thinks there would be a political benefit for some of our population’s understanding of our history being dumbed down.

There is one group that surprisingly have not supported his views, the National Party Caucus.

From Radio New Zealand:

There was little support from within the National caucus for Goldsmith’s position.

“I don’t know that I would say that, but I do think that New Zealand today is significantly better than many other countries,” leader Judith Collins said.

She said while “most colonised people don’t feel that colonisation works well for them”, she was proud of how New Zealand had fought very hard to come together.

National MP Matt Doocey said it had to be accepted that “colonisation has had some negative impact on Māori”.

Todd Muller said it was “on balance, a very brutal time for Māori”.

Christopher Luxon was unequivocal that “colonisation was not good for Māori as we saw with breaches of the Treaty and we saw with Land Wars as well.”

Labour was more blunt.  From teaomaori.news:

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says, “He’s totally wrong. He’s a living, breathing example of why we need to teach history in New Zealand schools.”

Goldsmith’s view is under fire from the government and, more notably, dividing the opposition.

Peeni Henare called Goldsmith “koretake,” while Todd Muller said, “Was colonisation good for Māori?  I have a different opinion from Paul.”

But there was one New Zealand politician who thought that what Paora said was just fine.  Yep he who has danced with the stars and is willing to twerk with anyone:

“I think there was always going to be an impact when New Zealand reconnected with the world,” [Act leader David] Seymour said. “That’s not saying that it’s justified, it’s about balancing everything that’s happened.

“The question is on balance, has colonisation been a good thing, and the answer is yes, because New Zealand is one of the most successful societies in human history to grow up in today,” he said.

When asked how Māori dying seven years younger than non-Māori was good for them, he said it did need to be improved, but framing everything in light of colonisation was not going to solve it.

When asked what the benefits of colonisation were, he said parliamentary democracy and the court system.

If you ever wanted a clearer example of Trumpian racist dog whistling then this is it.

Shame on them.  And good on some elements of the National Party for refusing to support use of the dog whistle.

78 comments on “Colonisation and widespread theft of Maori land is apparently good for them ”

  1. KJT 1

    How anyone can think decimating a people is somehow "good for them" defies belief.

    But how anyone believes that continuing to remove opportunities for training and skilled and any jobs, from young Māori in Northland, by replacing them with immigrants, under the table jobs for the overseas students we are scamming, and temporary visa workers, while denying them opportunities to train, also defies belief.

    Another Colonisation!

    That's OK though. "They are too lazy and drug addicted to deserve decent jobs at fair pay rates".

    • McFlock 1.1

      One of the few instances where use of the word "decimating" is an understatement:

      Māori and Pākehā population figures compared

      1840 estimates range between 90,000 and 100,000 – Pākehā population was 2000

      1859 Māori and Pākehā populations were now equal, at approximately 60,000 each

      1874 Māori population had fallen to 45,470; Pākehā were now 295,946

      1878 Māori decline continues to 43,595; Pākehā population rises to 432,519

      1881 Māori population rises slightly to 44,097

      1886 another decline however, to 41,969; the Pākehā figure for 1888 is 607,380

      1891 a further decline to 41,993

      1896 the lowest point for Māori, 39,663; Pākehā numbers in 1893 reached 672,265

      • Nic the NZer 1.1.1

        The sources I can find put the cause of this population decline down to limited Maori immunity to European diseases. This implies that whenever European diseases arrived this population decline was bound to occur, regardless of the colonial govt policies.

        • McFlock

          A case could probably be made that the volume of colonial migration assisted in the spread of novel (to NZ) diseases both to and within NZ.

          • Nic the NZer

            Your arguing from your pre-conceptions there.

            • McFlock

              Not entirely.

              Firstly, some Māori survived exposure to the multitude of novel-to-them diseases. So some immune systems were better at dealing with these diseases than others.

              Secondly, many of these diseases have very different causes and symptoms. So not all of the more suited immune systems were equally immune to all novel infections.

              Thirdly, the larger the volume of new migrants, the more different novel diseases would be brought in during any given period. Also, the greater the likely dispersion of new migrants around the country.

              Putting all that together, at a lower level of migration a person who can survive measles has a greater chance after their illness of meeting someone who was not exposed to measles but is more resistant to, say, smallpox. They procreate and have little smallpox- and measles- immune kids. Sure, a parent dies if there's another outbreak of measles or smallpox, but the kids are alright.

              But at a higher level of migration, more people are exposed to a wider diversity of infections in a more narrow timeframe. Mealses-mum and smallpox-dad never meet, because mum got smallpox and dad got measles.

              I'm not saying it's the only reason, by any stretch, but there's more to the population hit from colonisation than just diseases gonna spread, no avoiding it, c'est la vie.

              • Nic the NZer

                Your still as you admit arguing from your preconceptions.

                The notion also doesn't really fit the data where the largest part of the population decline occurred with the smallest European population presence. Though estimates do indicate about 1/5 of the Maori population were killed during the Musket wars at a similar time.

                • McFlock

                  Thing about novel diseases is their biggest effects are at first exposure.

                  I'm arguing from preconceptions about how diseases spread. That doesn't make me right, but it's a bit more than just saying colonialism is bad, thefore colonialism must have made the NZ epidemics worse.

                  And all I said was that a case could be made that the volume of migration assisted the spread of those diseases. Still seems reasonable.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Oddly enough your single preconception that novel diseases have their biggest effects at initial contact leads one to conclude that this population decline was bound to occur around initial exposure at some time or another (which I suggested).

                    But you actually gave me a bunch of stuff about how the two populations should apparently be exposed one novel disease at a time (to minimise impact).

                    Meanwhile based on the European expectations, even decades later that Maori would eventually die out due to inferior immunity, we understand where contemporary thinking was. Neither side understood any ideas about population immunity or developing immunity at the time.

                    • McFlock

                      Oddly enough your single preconception that novel diseases have their biggest effects at initial contact leads one to conclude that this population decline was bound to occur around initial exposure at some time or another (which I suggested).

                      I think plan B had a similar idea: exposure is inevitable, therefore completely open borders will have no effect and lockdown is futile.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Ha, ha. Where as you would have been satisfied if Cook had first prioratised the obvious MIQ facilities looking after new immigrants in the year 1840.

                    • McFlock

                      lol nope, although it might have turned out better for Māori.

                      But the point is that a slower growth in the migrant population would have slowed the introduction and spread of 19C diseases. Fewer carriers, and fewer areas infected within NZ at any point in time.

                      Would diseases still have come? Sure. Would they have obliterated the Māori population so much? Probably not.

                      The philosophy of colonisation, where migrants are encouraged to come and strip resources, maximised migration. That maximised the number of carriers and the areas to which they went. That affects disease transmission.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Unfortunately your adhoc epidemioloical beliefs are baloney. In fact, regardless of the initial scale of infection, a novel disease will spread through a susceptible population until that population develops a containing level of immunity. The initial scale of infectious contact is largely irrelevant to the scale of the outbreak.

                      Apart from racial groups we can categorise populations by other criteria of course. So to highlight the nonsense your contributing, of course the fact that there was at most a few cases of Covid-19 at the wet market (a population group) has done nothing to limit the spread of Covid-19 across the world (another population group).

                      It can also be highlighted that the European level of immunity was higher at the time, the implication being thinking of NZs population as a whole now rather than two groups with distinct immunity levels, your claiming a lower level of population immunity at the introduction of these NZ novel diseases leads to smaller scale outbreaks. Again obviously complete bunk.

                    • McFlock

                      But we're not talking about one disease doing the damage, we're talking about a mixture of diseases all hitting at the same time. Heck, how many individuals got simultaneous multiple infections of the novel diseases? That's not going to help things. But one at a time, maybe that wouldn't be fatal.

                      Nor are we talking about global air travel shuttling millions around the planet in days. We're talking about folks getting off a ship and walking or using horses to get places. That affects transmission through rural communities.

                      Additionally, we're talking about people trying to fight a war while disease is spreading. That's not going to help their survival rate.

                      your claiming a lower level of population immunity at the introduction of these NZ novel diseases leads to smaller scale outbreaks.

                      No, I'm claiming that less-used networks between population centres (such as they were) slows the speed at which outbreaks spread between those centres, which buys time for a change in behaviour and even interventions (e.g. inoculation for smallpox).

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      There is a massive falacy, which I have pointed out, in your model of epidemiology. Because of a preconception about colonialism you want to construct scenarios where the primary spread of disease is from European settlers and to Maori.

                      However as I highlighted the Maori population has lower immunity than the European population. This has several implications, first a lower fraction of Europeans will be infected during an outbreak (though they clearly brought these diseases with them), following that with still fairly separate societies we can understand that Maori with European contact is less frequent than Maori to Maori contact. Understanding that it becomes clear that the bulk of infectious contacts any outbreak generates are going to be between Maori and this will ultimately be the most relevant factor in the scale of outbreak relating to novel disease introduction.

                      In other words there was going to be a substantial Maori population decline regardless of when these novel diseases were introduced to New Zealand.

                      Basically your need to introduce a particularly large scale negative colonialist force into an epidemiological model constructs a clearly nonsense model of outbreak.

                    • McFlock

                      you want to construct scenarios where the primary spread of disease is from European settlers and to Maori.

                      Nope. Just the initial case for an outbreak.

                      But it does assume that a larger number of settlers would move into a wider area than a smaller number of settlers.

                      So rather than starting an outbreak of one disease in one area, there could be multiple outbreaks of multiple diseases in multiple areas.

                      To put it another way, are you suggesting that tens of thousands of people dying in the twenty years from 1840 was the outcome of one person who arrived in 1840 with typhoid, then thousands of people turning up with dozens of diseases and moving from one end of the country to the other would not have increased that death toll?

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Well that is the nature of the exponential growth of epidemics. As should be fairly obvious given the trajectory of Covid-19 even one initial infection could generate the same outbreak scale as many simultaneous initial infections (though in Covid-19s case more initial infections can advance outbreak size by days to weeks).

                      The ultimate limiting factor for the outbreak being the size of the susceptible population and how rapidly they reach immunity, neither of which is fundamentally altered by when a novel disease is introduced.

                    • McFlock

                      Even if the scale argument holds (which relies on uninterrupted transmission between the same number of social nodes as would occur if seed nodes were more widely distributed), the key is in the delaying of the allegedly-inevitable.

                      Talking about the impact of multiple outbreaks over decades, some of those people whose deaths were delayed would have reproduced in the 'extra' (for want of a better term) time they gained in the slower impact vs the impact we saw.

                      Some of those offspring might have had better immunity than their parent(s).

                      So the overall population impact could have been less, even in the extended timeframe, no?

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      While I had observed a rather weird understanding of immunity as basically a hereditary property, it didn't yet seem worth raising that this is not how immunity works at all.

                      Of course by the same token the Maori populations immune system strength might just as likely been lower when the disease arrived. Humans have not been observed to develop immunity to novel diseases prior to their introduction to my knowledge.

                    • McFlock

                      Hey, I'm no immunologist. If one person has barely a symptom of a disease while another dies, I have no idea whether that's entirely down to some environmental factor or simply genetics.

                      But that's irrelevant to the idea that slowing down decades-long outbreaks provides more time for people to have kids before they die, even if exactly the same people eventually get it and die anyway (which, again, requires better connections across the population if only one person brings in the novel disease rather than hundreds of people with multiple points of entry and final destinations in the population network).

      • Foreign Waka 1.1.2

        It is my take that privilege has nothing to do with race but it is now used to divide and conquer. I know plenty of non Maori who struggle every day.

        NZ has been settled by people from all over the world and the 2018 census shows 71.8% European (Europe as in British, Polish, Italian, Greek, etc. the area that comprises 35 languages and at least as many cultures???), Maori 16.5%, Asian 15.3 etc..16.5% Maori are 825,000 people. In 1840 NZ there were 70-90 000. So if we talk number these are the stats.

        Meanwhile…..as in today, right now, the future in the making:

        The latest in low wage structure in NZ – nurses work for a pittance, women still get paid less then men, homelessness is so bad it defies believe, we have criminals repatriated from AUS and have a growing and huge gang problem that goes hand in hand with major drug issues, the elderly are a forgotten lot – like let them die?, wages are far too low generally, housing is not getting any better…….there are no new jobs created and the ones that are there are in rural areas that are not easy accessed by city dwellers. We pay tax payer money to the rich and the gangs and are surprised that the poor have not enough, the essential workers are not getting any meaningful remuneration.

        I am very much for it to teach language and history in schools, but for god sake lets focus on the now before we end up like Columbia.

        • McFlock

          Funny how so many social, economic, and health indicators have heavy skews along various ethnic groupings though, innit. and almost all in one direction.

          To address the now, we need to figure out how we got here. Is gang membership tied along socioeconomic lines? Is deprivation skewed along ethnic lines? Why might that be, looking at our history?

          Focusing on the now and pretending the past is irrelevant to the now is a quick way to fail at solving any of our problems.

          • Foreign Waka

            Yes, but there is remembering and learning and there is wallowing in those memories until nothing get done anymore and opportunity for the likes of gangs arrive. And by and by, nothing and I am adamant on this, nothing justifies gangs taking over a state. It would cease to be a governed by the rule of law and this means anarchy.

            • McFlock

              If the state or existing community structure fails to maintain a supremacy in social structures and economic activity, other organisations will flourish.

              That's not a statement about justification. It's a statement similar to saying an apple that falls out of a tree will fall towards the ground.

              So then we have to ask what socioeconomic void gangs filled. That might give us a clue as to how to replace them.

    • Gosman 1.2

      Interestingly the biggest fall in Maori population was between 1840 and 1859 (That is if the 1840 figure is to be believed). This would suggest it was less the direct impact of colonisation but other effects that would probably have occurred regardless that caused the initial decline.

      • Foreign Waka 1.2.1

        Perhaps this?


        The Northern War that followed Hone Heke's fourth and final assault on the British flagstaff at Kororareka in March 1845 provoked a different reaction from the British. This was the first serious challenge to the Crown since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Its opening shots marked the beginning of the wider North Island conflicts that are often referred to as the New Zealand Wars.

        • Gosman

          Ummm… the Northern War was a mere sideshow and certainly did not lead to massive loss of life for anyone and did not kick off a long term decline in the Maori population in the area.

          The northern part of NZ suffered from a lack of attention by the Crown from the moment the capital moved to Auckland. It is actually a good example of what may well have happened without the concerted colonisation effort that occurred.

          • Foreign Waka

            I think that, following the pattern of other colonization, in many instances it was illnesses like the measles and the flu that killed the population as they did not have any resistance to the introduced viruses. Wars certainly would have decimated the indigenous population.

            • KJT

              The other introduced European disease, muskets, also had a large effect.

              Making the tribal version of"away matches" infinitely more deadly.

              Another ,"benefit" of "modernity". More effective ways of killing people.

  2. Ad 2

    Bringing Collins on RNZ this morning to run defence was cringey.

    Contrast that with PM gaining another 1 million vaccines and commenting on our part in a big international crime bust was golden.

  3. GreenBus 3

    National is the gift that just keeps giving. It's great that we all continue to see just how toxic this party is. So many individuals are just racist rednecks, perverts and sexual deviants, entitled, born to rule wannabe economic leaders of Aotearoa. I'm starting to feel a little sorry for those that are left over, with the constant flogging by the media into the dark side of most of them. What is disturbing is the 30% of voters that stubbornly think this is a political party worth voting for. How bad do they have to be before the sleepy hobbits of NZ wake up to the awful culture and sick weirdo's in opposition? If anyone's not sure what white privilege looks like then look no further than the current Natzo party. The consistent Maori bashing and putdowns is pure redneck pandering by a desperate and clueless mob of paleface losers. Well the old rednecks are fading away slowly, being replaced by younger more educated and socially aware generations who don't want any part of the culture wars National are promoting. The way forward for NZ is with Maori and not put the boot in. Grow up National party and get over yourself.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      If our younger citizens are not taught about the horrendous effects of colonialism then they may also think that in a two sides to every argument sort of way there is indeed a benefit to colonialism.

      Clearly mickey is claiming here that the arrival of modernity was of zero benefit to Maori – but is anyone here then prepared to detail exactly what is meant by 'decolonisation' in the light of this argument?

      • Ad 3.1.1

        OK I'll give it a start.

        Land and compensation. The completion of the Waitangi historical claims. Plenty of stops and starts particularly in the muriwhenua claims, but completing the historic ones would be a start. A mandate for speed and more cash would stop whole generations dying during negotiations.

        Language. Enough money and programmes to ensure that the language stops declining. Better than it was in terms of phrases and greetings, and the Kapa Haka champs are great, but still a wee way to go if the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce reception is anything to go by. Actual daily usage needs to be published annually.

        Kaitiakitanga. Next would be a clearer and more settled place for Maori in the RMA replacement legislation. That would stop a reasonable amount of bullshit and carryon if there were simply geographically mandated groups and consent criteria templates.

        Forest. Then there would be a settled place for Maori in the conservation legislation – particularly as it relates to management of national parks. Clearer than it is. We are fully held up in the Kermadecs with rapacious Maori-led fishing groups, and no advance on other national park proposals. The ad-hocery is mindbending.

        Rivers. Then there's fresh water allocation and the management of rivers. Ain't no way anyone can tell me either Regional Councils or Fish and Game have protected our rivers. And big dairy just sucks out what it wants. Given how bad it is I'd be happy if Maori were mandated and funded to do a lot more there.

        Those headline topics are in the Treaty.

        What that leads towards is something like a clearer constitutional place for Maori that's better than the Maori seats (insert appropriate governance word). A government with some heft would be aiming for that to be in place for 2040's bicentennial.

        There's the usual policy areas that Maori dominate for all the wrong reasons like health, education, crime, drugs, housing, and child abuse. All demonstrate colonisation damage which the late 1980s and mid 1990s made worse.

        Modernity has its discontents, and the colonised of the earth are among them.

        • Fish & Game has protected some of our rivers by getting water conservation orders and generally looking out for them. Check the facts on that.

          At the moment F & G is subject to an attempt by the government to take over its functions, so it will be much less effective as an independent voice for waterways. Many anglers and hunters are unhappy with this and want a poll taken of licence holders.

          One proposal is for government appointments to F & G councils, as well as the minister having a power to "instruct " F & G. No doubt government policy (dollars) will come first, with the environment suffering as usual.

          • Ad

            Next we'll have regional councils explaining how effective they've been. Everyone gets up in the morning to do a good job.

            It's not enough. And you know it.

            The accelerated decline of our streams, rivers and lakes in mean that the new freshwater standards were necessary, and the guardian+regulator system we currently have just hasn't worked.

            Those old acclimatization society retreads would otherwise been able to demonstrate whole system improvements.

          • lprent

            Fish & Game has protected some of our rivers by getting water conservation orders and generally looking out for them. Check the facts on that.

            Historically, F&G and their predecessor New Zealand acclimatisation societies seem to have been great at introducing predator and browser species.

            The ancestry of the F&G are the major reason that our waters have fewer native animals every year, our native birds are disappearing, and our vegetation is eaten by deer, rabbits and possums.

            Basically they are a society that takes absolutely no part in preserving native species of plant, bird or water species. No part in the obligations of the Treaty. And a society that seems to have a extremely narrow focus on killing just enough of introduced species to ensure that they can keep decimating native landscapes.

            Many anglers and hunters are unhappy with this and want a poll taken of licence holders.

            Ah yes the self-entitled killers wanting to exclude anyone with a contrary opinion – like not filling streams with predator game fish. One whose ability to constrain agricultural pollution seems to mostly be constrained by their own members farming investments.

            A particularly narrow minded pack of immigrants, who really should return to their ancestral hunted out holocaust hunting fields in the northern hemisphere

            BTW: You'd have to a tone-deaf non-reflective dimwit to write your comment. Mind you, HT was just as much of a unthinking animal as well.

      • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.2

        I'm pretty sure that the arrival of modernity and colonialism are not the same thing.

        Colonialism was a capitalist method of consciously exploiting resources for individual profit and of bringing what was seen as the dominant and special European culture to people who were once civilised but had strayed away from that path the further they moved away from Europe. Maori were spoken of as one of the lost tribes of Israel by the very colonists who came to exploit and re-civilising them to be European was very much part of the thrust.

        Modernity which people like to reference by referring to Maori living in grass huts and using stone tools before Europeans came implies that without (white) colonialism modernity could not have occurred – that the two are so closely intertwined that the colonial approach and excesses were absolutely necessary for Maori to modernise.

        I'm pretty sure that there were a myriad of ways that Maori could have modernised – taken on and adapted to new technology.

        • Ad

          It would have been possible to separate them out if the land wars hadn't happened. They adapted fine until then.

          • Gosman

            Not entirely. The Maori economy was in serious decline by 1859 prior to the major conflicts in the land wars.


            "By the late 1850’s, the most significant and long lasting decline in economic circumstances for Māori had begun. The demise of the flour milling and shipping industries began with the collapse of the flour, produce and wheat markets. Crops were affected by caterpillars and disease, whilst improved transportation and communication meant that low-priced flour from city centres reduced the viability of provincial mills. These market trends also impacted on Pākehā, however, there was no significant diversification amongst Māori. This, among other factors, undermined their political power and therefore affected their commercial endeavours. At the same time, the demand for land by settlers had increased exponentially."

            • Ad

              The Maori economy, which in the North Island quickly paralleled the European colonist economy – declined in each area after battles in the 1840s in Northland and upper Wellington, then on to Taranaki and Waikato etc.

              You can go through the detailed blow-by-blow account of each area of Maori economic growth and decline after each specific invasion in James Belich's The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (1998).

        • Gosman

          If you follow standard Marxist thinking NZ needed to have a period of capitalist development to get to the stage where it was developed enough for socialism to be implemented.

          • Ad

            You should quote the part of Marx you are referencing.

            Even if you have quotes for it, it means Marxist history doesn't work in either New Zealand's social or economic history.

      • KJT 3.1.3

        He is not claiming anything of the sort.

        "Modernity," would have arrived whether or not it was bought to our shores by those who used five year olds as chimney sweeps, and developed a political system which gave the illusion of democracy, while retaining power with the rich.

        • Gosman

          The issue is how effective it would have been taken up by Maori. Maori had the ability, many of the skills, land, and resources required to develop a sophisticated economy. What they lacked was a large population base and capital.

          • Foreign Waka

            I belief education would have been a vital tool as all other nations traded on written records and it was needed to verify any deal. Even the Phoenicians, a formidable mediterranean trading folk used written records for much of classical antiquity.

            Maori had no written language until missionaries introduced the latin alphabet in early 1800.

          • Ad

            Being stripped inside 2 decades of land, labour, and capital is about as far from successful modernity as you can get. Successful modernity resourced with massive imported armies, laws, jails, and on top of that all the land, labour and capital that you need – that's successful colonialism.

            There's no useful counterfactual history to be had here.

  4. Siobhan 4

    Happy to invoke/waive?? Godwin's Law, yet again…..right now at National Party headquarters…

  5. mac1 5

    We Irish understand the effects of colonisation in war, sieges, famine, land loss, forced emigration, loss of civil liberties, rule from overseas, landlordism, racism, ethnic hatred.

    So much so that my fellows who did not emigrate had to go through some Troubles to teach their colonisers about that…….

    And funnily enough that history is taught in Irish schools and the Irish language is taught compulsorily in Irish schools. A teacher in Ireland had to have the Irish language skills in order to be a teacher.

    I was taught by an Irish nun in NZ who told me she still thought in Irish when she taught maths because that was how she learned and was tutored in training.

    The culture is in the language and the history, along with the music and the spiritual heritage.

    Goldsmith's monocultural view is boring, wrong and weed-infested; in agricultural terms, he is just rye grass, artificial manure and wasted water, with all the down stream consequences of that.

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    Those who might like to read what was written at the time will find this resource useful.


    Keep an eye out for gems such as:

    There is another point to be considered; it may be offered in explanation of the fact, that such large profits may be cleared by the New Zealand timber-trade, but it supplies an additional reason for giving good wages to the native labourer. It is this–I state it in the words of Mr. Baring, in his evidence before lie Committee of the House of Lords:–"The timber is not purchased; they do not purchase the right to cut timber….. The wood is taken out of the forest; the natives attach no value to it; no purchase-money is paid for it." The fact is, that the timber of New Zealand is one of those possessions which the natives hold in common; and since no price is paid for it to any one else, equity demands that its prime cost should (in respect of their common right to its possession) be paid to those New Zealanders who have expended their labour upon it. And if it were cut by Englishmen, and not New Zealanders, a certain price or duty ought still to be paid, and go to the formation of a fund for the national wealth of the New Zealand people.

    "But the natives attach no value to it, and can derive none from it." Very true; and they attach scarcely any to their land, and this is a very strong reason why they ought to be allowed to part with both on equitable terms, but no reason why we should enrich ourselves by what belongs to them, without returning them an equivalent."

    Letter to editor New Zealand, Dec. 15th, 1838.

    • Ad 6.1

      That kind of thinking shows that our minds have themselves been colonised by distended commercial thinking about nature.

      The way I get to think through this isn't through Te Ao Maori, but through Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology, thinking through what it would even mean to conceive of damming the Rhine:

      "The hydroelectric plant is set into the current of the Rhine. It sets the Rhine to supplying its hydraulic pressure, which then sets the turbines turning. This turning sets those machines in motion whose thrust sets going the electric current for which the long-distance power station and its network of cables are set up to dispatch electricity.

      In the context of the interlocking processes pertaining to the orderly disposition of electrical energy, even the Rhine itself appears to be something at our command. The hydroelectric plant is not built into the Rhine River as was the old wooden bridge that joined bank with bank for hundreds of years.

      Rather the river is dammed up into the power plant…. What the river is now, namely, a water-power supplier, derives from the essence of the power station…. But, it will be replied, the Rhine is still a river in the landscape, is it not? Perhaps. But how? In no other way than as an object on call for inspection by a tour group ordered there by the vacation industry."

      When we conceive of commercialising river or forest as resource, we have already destroyed its place within the world.

      • Incognito 6.1.1

        Marx and Heidegger had interesting views on estrangement, as far as I can tell. I wish I had more time to look into it. When you treat Nature as a resource you give yourself an open invitation to be treated as a resource yourself – our view of the World and ourselves is warped. The user becomes used, the abuser becomes abused. I’ll leave it to better people such as Anne Salmond to think and write about these things and lead (into) the debate, if we are so lucky.

  7. Gosman 7

    Interestingly the much touted Maori economic development prior to the land wars of the 1860's was encouraged and supported by the Crown.

    "Governor Grey developed several policies in the early 1850s that were considered enlightened humanitarian ideals. He made private and public loans to Māori for the purchase of ploughs, mills and small vessels"


  8. Unicus 8

    Enough with the WOKE. revisionist crap already

    little NZ is a wonderful place to live – for Christ’s sake – why do faux historians have this lemming instinct to make it as miserable as possible imagining a past entirely populated by devils and gorgons bent on destroying the innocent and good

    live you bigoted scoundrels or leave us be

  9. Gosman 9

    A question for the ToW purists here.

    Why did the Iwi leaders who signed the Treaty agree to Article 3 if there was no perceived benefits of being part of the British empire and therefore to colonisation?

    • McFlock 9.1

      Not sure anyone has argued "no perceived benefit".

      But trying to limit the harm from other colonialists (before being screwed by one's treaty partner) is a far cry from the effects 180 years later being summarised as "overall it has had a positive effect".

      • mac1 9.1.1

        One of the effects of predatory colonisation was to be countered in the term of the first Liberal Government when just sixty years after the ToW, the government had to use taxation as a means of liberating land for the many that had been locked up by the few.


        And that was the effect upon new settlers, let alone the original Treaty partners.

      • Gosman 9.1.2

        Limit the harm from other colonialists???

        • weka

          I assume McFlock means that the ToW gave some kind of legitimacy to the British, and that meant not being colonised by other European countries.

          Also, Māori could see advantages to te Tiriti, but not forsee how treacherous the Brits would be, nor the longer term implications.

          • Gosman

            The Crown certainly had an agenda that didn't align with many Iwi. However the general thrust of the Crown's involvement in NZ could not really be described as treacherous as such. Most anti-Maori action were driven by British Settlers rather than as a direct result of the policy of the Crown towards Maori.

            • weka

              I said Brits not the Crown. But legislation and policy says you are wrong. Writing laws with the intention of assimilation wasn’t explained up front in treaty negotiations.

              • Gosman

                The policy of assimilation (or as Governor Grey put it amalgamation) wasn't in anyway hidden from Maori. The Crown in their negotiations kept discussing the benefits of colonisation and joining of the two people as one. It was one of the key points that came out of the Kohimarama conference for example.

                • Ad

                  Grey figured that assimilation wasn't possible after he met with the Maori King several times and decided to just invade the Waikato and just burn and steal everything.

                  Assimilation was a racist fog to cover for the gunboats storming up the Waikato River.

                  • Gosman

                    While the specific reasons given for the invasion of the Waikato were manufactured to a large degree by various people involved with the British side there was a legitimate reason to impose the Crown's authority. The Kīngitanga had conducted a policy of ethnic cleansing prior to the invasion.

                    • Ad

                      Prove your assertion with a reference that is better researched than the Waikato Tainui Treaty of Waitangi settlement:


                      "The Waitangi Tribunal in its Manukau Report (1985) wrote "It can simply be said that from the contemporary record of Sir John Gorst in 1864, from the Report of the Royal Commission sixty years after that, and from historical research almost a century removed from the event, all sources agree that the Tainui people of the Waikato never rebelled but were attacked by British troops in direct violation of Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi".

                      F. The raupatu lands were said in the Sim Commission Report to total some 1,202,273 acres. Some cash and lands were assigned to Maaori in the Waikato through the compensation courts, mainly to those Waikato Maaori who fought on the side of the Crown or remained neutral. These lands were not returned under the tribal estate but became part of the individual tenure title system of the Crown.

                      G. The War caused loss of life among Waikato-Tainui and the physical,and economic effect of the raupatu both immediately and over time has caused heavy economic, social and cultural damage to W aikato-Tainui."

                      The research that went into the claim doesn't bear evidence of your point.


                      This was a war instigated by Governor Grey to wipe out Kingitanga resistance from organised Maori and to gain productive land in the Waikato.

        • McFlock

          Poor relations with the French and trouble with traders/whalers/settlers who were out of anyone's jurisdiction and knew it.

          Where did you learn your NZ history – books written by Goldsmith & Brash?

          • Gosman

            The threat of the French has been overstated. It was not an overriding factor in the development of policy by the Colonial office towards NZ.

            • McFlock

              But you didn't ask about the motives of the colonial office. You asked about the motives of iwi.


              Sort of illustrates one of NZ's problems right there: discussions about issues facing Māori quickly end up focused on Pakeha.

              • Gosman

                There is also no indication that Iwi would have been any more or less concerned about French intentions to New Zealand. Regardless they could have signed a protection treaty in those circumstances. They did not.

                • McFlock


                  We have heard that the tribe of Marian [the French] is at hand, coming to take away our land. therefore we pray thee to become our friend and the guardian of these islands, lest the teasing of other tribes should come near us, and lest strangers should come and take away our land.

                  And if any of thy people should be troublesome and vicious towards us we pray thee to be angry with them that they may be obedient, lest the anger of the people of this land fall upon them. This letter is from us, the chief’s of the natives of New Zealand.

                  • Gosman

                    Ummm… that was a petition to the British Crown in 1831 and was after the declaration of Independence of Northerm Iwi in 1835 which was facilitated and acknowledged by the British. Indeed by 1835 NZ could already be described as a British protectorate in all but name.

                    • McFlock


                      Yes, a petition nine years before the Treaty that is an explicit "indication" about iwi concerns regarding the French.

                      Maybe some iwi wanted the Treaty to give it a name.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      The benefit they saw was, "wave of destruction" – they had the numbers, at that stage, but saw what was gathering at their borders. Benefit? Pfffftttt!
      Damage. Control.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Gosman is exercising his mind – six times doing this exercise pushing against a firm surface – called Callisthenics – will limber up your brain power. Soon you will have the strength and muscular flexibility of an Atlas!

    • mac1 10.1

      Isn't that 'callousthenics'? The production of thick and unfeeling skin as a protection against the impingement of outside forces?

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        I think I read earlier that you were extracted from the Irish (forcibly?) – you show a nice wit begorrah.

        • mac1

          "To be Shaw, to be Shaw, to be Shaw."

          GBS was the man who, when asked how he found New Zealand, replied, "Too many sheep!"

  11. greywarshark 11

    Love your title image micky.

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