- Date published:
12:39 pm, June 26th, 2008 - 79 comments
Categories: history, john key - Tags: competence
Mr Key on NewstalkZB: “We’re not a country that’s come about as a result of civil war or where there’s been a lot of fighting internally, we’re, we’re a country which peacefully came together”.
So, the numerous pre-Treaty battles, the Flagstaff War, the Land Wars, Parihaka. decades or warfare in which many tribes lost their entire territory and thousands died – they’re down the memory hole eh? Oh yeah, and then there was the class warfare – Waihi 1912, The Waterfronters vs Massey’s Cossacks, The Despression Riots, The 1951 Lockout, when Prime Minister Holland declared New Zealand “at war” and call out troops against the wharfies.
It’s incredible enough not to remember the Springbok Tour, or whether you took part in an attack on the New Zealand currency, or whether you said “we would love to see wages drop” but not knowing that New Zealand went through decades of warfare in a contest for sovereignty between the Maori and Pakeha takes the cake.
Such ignorance is not befitting of a man who would be Prime Minister. I don’t care how nice your smile is; if you don’t know the first thing about New Zealand history, you’re not in a position to be running this country. Being one dimensional is the cornerstone of Brand Key, but it’s not something we can afford in a Prime Minister.
[For an in-depth analysis of the Land Wars see here or watch Jamie Belich’s series]
Can we throw the 51 waterfront lock out and other instances of class war into the mix? Peacefully came together my arse!
Maybe it doesn’t count until there’s a functioning market when you’re John Key. Kind of like how the Aborigines or Palestinians “weren’t there”.
Or maybe the wonderfully peaceful dawn raids et al?
Wow – it’s hardly possible to put into words how broadly offensive I find Key’s statement. Apart from issues of historical accuracy, there is an implied ellision of all kinds of interests, groups and power structures since settlement in New Zealand – and I mean since 1000 years ago. This is post-structuralism gone maddest, a kind of middle-class white male fantasy. It strongly suggests that that Key has enjoyed enough privilege to not personally feel the bite of social and material inequalities with historical antecedents. It also implies he doesn’t have the education to make the leap either. How else could he let something like that slip out?
“Mr Key on NewstalkZB:” The NewsTalkZB link goes to Wikipedia/New Zealand Land Wars ?
John Key has a bland, white bread view of New Zealand history that reflects what he clearly considers to be his New Zealand – that is, what white folk who think they are the norm talk about during the BBQ-go-round that occurs every summer at their various brand new, 500k salmon pink “bachs” in the Ohama to Whitiangi arc.
Lyn, you’re exposing your bigotry and prejudices here “a kind of middle-class white male fantasy”.
Bryan. That’s not a question but it should work now.
TomS. To be fair, Key’s ‘bach’ isn’t that pretty.
So are you TomS.
“what white folk who think they are the norm talk about during the BBQ-go-round that occurs every summer at their various brand new, 500k salmon pink “bachs’ in the Ohama to Whitiangi arc.”
You are always on about bigotry and racism and here you are doing the EXACT same thing in reverse. As always suspected, and increasingly evidenced. Heavy bitterness, hatred and envy. Cred drainage.
Is Key the NZ answer to George Bush? You could almost set your watch to the regularity of his ‘Keyisms’.
It’s like watching a bad superhero show.. -=Tune in next week to see how Key’s staff spin him out of this seemingly inescapable situation!=-
Yeah TomS, grow up, Omaha water front bach’s are well over a million dollars!
Ekarin, he he, kapow!, biff!, crunch!…
He was talking about Australian New Zealand history… Or it was a joke… Or he never said it at all…
vto – sorry – what? Are you suggesting that I’m prejudiced against white middle-class men? I’d say guilty as charged but that would imply that I dislike Key for being white, male and middle-class, when in fact I hate the way his position at the top of the food chain apparently makes him insensitive to social inequity. In other words I’m judging him on his openly stated opinion/belief – which, while it appears to be reflecting his social position, is neither determined by it or synonymous with it. You can be white, male and middle-class and still have a social conciousness. This ain’t prejudice my friend. This is judgement.
Putting aside all the shit bigotry etc that this Key comment has flushed.. it does seem not too good for someone in his position. I will have to keep an eye out somewhere more objective to see what he really said and the context etc. You fullas are not always the most objective reporters of events.
Yeah, I’m with Robinsod on this one.
Thats not what he said.
And if he did say it, he was talking about Australia.
And if he wasn’t talking about Australia, he was joking.
Seriously guys, why are you picking on John Key? He’s just a nice guy, look at that smile! He just wants what’s best for the average kiwi family.
vto – listen to the linked report on NatTalkZB.
If Tariana Turia’s comments of 2003 are to be considered in this context, do Mr. Key’s comments make him a “Holocaust denier?”, and how could the Maori Party work with someone like that?
vto: Ok, suppose we accept your specious argument that commenters on here are being racist or bigoted or envious of Key’s wealth because they take issue with his manifestly self-serving view of NZ history. On what basis are these people suddenly not qualified to criticise his argument? The pot being black itself doesn’t make the kettle any less so, and in this case it’s the kettle whose opinions the country cares about, not the pot.
Careful how far down this rabbit-hole you go. You’re defending Key from attacks. Are we to assume this means you endorse his comments? Do you think they’re defensible? On what basis? Because the thing about pot-kettle-black lines of argument is that they’re circular. If you concur with Key’s assessment of NZ History, you are yourself bigoted (not to mention historically illiterate), which by your logic disqualifies you from pointing out others’ bigotry.
I normally have a fair bit of time for your comments on here, but this is just stupid. You frequently caution Standardistas not to defend the indefensible; I suggest you take your own advice.
[Edit: I see you have. Good!]
Lyn, I hear you but unconvinced. From being a white middle class male and suffering years and years and years and years of all sorts of accusations I have become sensitive. Just like other groups are sensitive after years and years and years and years of similar (tho different) accusations.
Lew, people can criticise him for that comment all they want. If he said it then it seems such criticism would be well justified. But to link it to his whiteness, his wealth, his middle classness, his salmon-pink bach, his (insert whatever label fits the bigotry here) etc well that’s just crappola of the same kind as is heard on talkback just with different labels thrown in.
I am not defending Key from attack, I am attacking the nature of some small parts of the attack. (sheesh, assumptions fly thick and fast on here).
(sheesh, assumptions fly thick and fast on here)
As opposed to where, kiwiblog?
🙂 Nature of the medium.
😉 I see andy beat me… Can’t even make a minor remark without…..
This sort of bald nationalistic revisionism is another case of tailoring one’s message to one’s audience – an example of politics by focus-group, and Key’s done it on a number of occasions on talk radio. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time listening to talk in NZ, and this is precisely what that audience wants to believe: that we’re one big happy country where everyone is equal, that we always have been, and that it’s only the stirrers and activists who think otherwise. Parekura is probably correct when he says 99% of New Zealanders know (in their heart of hearts) that this is false, but I’m also sure he’s aware that a fair chunk of the electorate (those riled by Orewa) just wish we had a nicer national mythology.
There are a number of strands to this discourse, all of which generally point to the same end-point: the right of Pakeha to run the country without being beholden to Maori interests. This denial line is one; but curiously, the other major one is the exact opposite, arguing that Pakeha won that right by conquest, just as the Maori allegedly won their rights to this land by defeating the Moriori. (This second argument is just as trivially exploded, since the Moriori were in fact Maori, displaced by other Maori in the course of ordinary warfare and migration. Walker’s treatment of this is best.)
Ultimately the Newstalk ZB audience now has an `authority’ they can cite in support of their favoured perspective. That’s the point of this exercise – to establish Key as an `authority’ on such matters among those who want to believe him. And when confronted with the argument that it’s plainly not true, they can always revert to the old line: “Well it would have been if it wasn’t for all those bad activist Maoris!”
Captcha: `do Politics’. Yep, he’s doing it, alright.
vto – “I am not defending Key from attack, I am attacking the nature of some small parts of the attack” in an attempt to distract from the issue.
Who will put up their hand and say they think John Key would make a good Prime Minister, and be willing to back it up?
Gerry Brownlee has just quoted an almost identical phrase spoken by Michael Cullen at a ToW day speech in 2005.
Lucky the standard wasn’t round then otherwise he would have got quite a spanking.
insider, what’s the quote?
“… a country with a continuous political tradition unbroken by civil war or revolution for over 150 years, something a bare handful of countries can celebrate.”
Oh and Cullen is a former university history lecturer and current deputy PM.
It’s weird isn’t it, especially since the same bunch of people are supposedly sitting quaking in their houses waiting for a home invasion (from you know who).
John Key said:
“We’re not a country that’s come about as a result of civil war or where there’s been a lot of fighting internally, we’re, we’re a country which peacefully came together.’
I think the question is what he means by how a country comes about. If he’s talking about February 6, 1840, which is distinctly possible, then isn’t he right?
There wasn’t a civil war a la the United States that led to them declaring independence from Britain. And most of the wars that are talked about above were post-1840, after the country “came about”, if that’s the date he has in mind.
A charitable reading of the quote (I haven’t listened to the interview) could see his comments as fair.
[well, you need to listen to the whole interview then, unfortunately it’s not online. Oh and the US wasn’t born out of the Civil war, it was the War of Independence. SP]
vto: The point is that it’s not just a factually incorrect view of history, it’s one which is particularly self-serving, in that it lends legitimacy to Key’s (and by extension, others’) impression that their success and wealth and privilege didn’t come at the expense of someone else’s – that they’re successful because they worked hard (and for no other reason), that they’re entitled to their salmon-coloured bach because of the sweat of their brows, and that they can’t understand how others can’t achieve the same. It ignores the fundamental fact of NZ history, that because of those wars, many Pakeha own or live on or work on illegally confiscated land. This contributes to wealth, to status, and to the other aspects of privilege which Pakeha mostly enjoy over others.
I lived much of my childhood on land confiscated from Nga Rauru and other iwi in Taranaki during those wars which Key says never happened. My parents and others bought this land from the Crown with the purpose of establishing a cattle station and other works on it. It all fell through, and the collective, including my parents, gifted the land back to Taranaki Iwi Katoa, in whose hands it remains. So I and my family can with some legitimacy say that we have made some small amount of redress to the descendants of those from whom the land was illegally confiscated over a century ago.
Despite this, I wouldn’t be nearly so bold as to claim my privilege is all my own – and that’s what Key has done, and given permission to everyone else to do.
Um insider – the treaty was signed in 1840. That kinda make Cullen’s statement true and John’s still a lie…
insider: Yes, technically correct. We have the longest running parliamentary system in the world, on account of Britain suspending theirs during WW2. Nor was our Parliament suspended for the Landwars.
This does not mean that we have a peaceful history.
captcha: expose for
insider: Nice catch.
Here’s the full speech: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10009758
“Waitangi Day, remains for many a source of argument and division rather than celebration or commemoration.
This despite all that we have to be grateful for, to celebrate, to commemorate, even to just enjoy. A country of enormous beauty, a country which by any reasonable standards is prosperous, a country with a continuous political tradition unbroken by civil war or revolution for over 150 years, something a bare handful of countries can celebrate.”
The quote is in fact about NZ’s political tradition. It is the political tradition which is unbroken by civil war or revolution, not the country, so it’s strictly not the same as what Key said. In fact, later on in the speech Cullen concedes exactly the points Key has disclaimed:
“Not merely was there a failure to exercise protection, the Crown was at times in the forefront of the process of dispossessing Maori of their language, their lands, their culture, and much else.
As a first-generation Kiwi who immigrated as a 10-year-old 50 years ago I refuse to bathe in the self-righteous glow of guilt over this – my ancestors were being oppressed in different ways at the same time. Nor can collective guilt be visited on present generations. But, as a New Zealander, I recognise that putting right these grievances, acknowledging wrongs and providing redress is a necessary phase of our history.”
Quite right. So on the face of this it’s disingenuous for Brownlee to selectively quote Cullen here, though I concede it’s possible Key has been selectively quoted also.
I’ll try and track down Key’s full interview.
Yes Lew, you and others make good points, as do those who suggest that he may be being read out of context a little. My posts didn’t address the actual issue – I got sidetracked by some rising blood in my veins over other matters. Woops. Anyway, I’ve got a five year olds birthday to attend…
insider. It would be unusual to consider the Land Wars a civil war or a revolution – they were sovereignty conflicts between a coloniser and a native people, not a segments of a previously existing polity fighting each other, as in a civil war or revolution.
And, if you look at what’s he’s saying, he doesn’t claim there hasn’t been revolution or civil war. he was saying that we haven’t interrupted our democracy for civil war or revolution, which is a different thing from saying neither have happened.
Lew: I need to read more carefully, my first thought was “Lew is 60?! He didn’t look it at drinking liberally!”
Thanks for digging up the speech – amazing what context can do.
I look forward to seeing the entirety of John Key’s as well.
He doesn’t mention Parliament or the TReaty, only political tradition. Depends on how broad you want to view that phrase and the meaning of “unbroken by civil war…”.
Just as in how broadly you want to view “We’re not a country that’s come about as a result of civil war” (literally true unless the Musket Wars qualify)
and define ” a lot” in “where there’s been a lot of fighting internally”
insider. what the hell do you think our political tradition is? – parliamentary demcoracy and the Treaty.
Are you now saying that the Land Wars and all the other conflicts I mentioned don’t qualify as a lot of fighting?
If you want to live in the past, stand to gain from the grievence industry or dislike John Key then you could take his comments and frame an argument around them.
If on the other hand you think we should look forward instead of back and move on as one people then I don’t think what he said was so terrible.
Reminds me of discussions I’ve had with Americans about how the US has been one of the most violent nations over the last century or so. Takes a lot of persuasion and evidence to get them to start to question the history that they think they know. If JK can start to use a similar nationalistic revisionist approach then it just shows that our people don’t know our history well enough and need to be reminded of it.
The question that really needs to be asked though is: Does JK really not know our history or is this a purposeful tactic?
Those that forget the past are bound to repeat it.
Mike, lovely warm platitudes. Kinda hard to stand as one people when there’s all these people who feel aggreived and all these others who say nothing ever happened. If you’re in either of those camps you are stopping us moving forward as one people. If you’re in the former, you have a decent reason.
They are part of it but not it in entireity. Why do you want to narrow its meaning?
A lot is a relative term. A lot compared to what? The US Civil war? COnflicts in Ireland? Conflict around the creation of India and Pakistan?
“It would be unusual to consider the Land Wars a civil war…”
So why tag Key for saying essentially the same and give Cullen a free pass?
Oh and the US wasn’t born out of the Civil war, it was the War of Independence.
You’re right, obviously. My mistake.
vto – What do actually think about what Key’s comments?
Crap. The treaty made europeans citizens of the british empire, and honourary maori (or the other way around if you prefer), but all subjects of the crown.
In the 1860’s – 1880’s British imperial troops were dispatched to deal to rebellious subjects of the British subjects. Of course that was before NZ became a dominion etc.
But I’d call that a British civil war that formed how NZ developed. Basically Key is just being a idiotic dickhead again.
“Putting aside all the shit bigotry etc that this Key comment has flushed.. it does seem not too good for someone in his position. I will have to keep an eye out somewhere more objective to see what he really said and the context etc. You fullas are not always the most objective reporters of events.”
Of course, thats more of a comment on the political ramifications and general public perception, rather than his personal view on the actual comment.
I liked this article so much I used it for my own blog.
“Just look at this outrageous slip by the arch historical revisionist Michael Cullen. Surely by Turia’s definition, this would rank Cullen up there with Holocaust deniers?
In a ToW speech in 2005, Cullen had the barefaced gall to actually speak this race-hate in front of a Maori audience. Is ther no depth of white supremacist dogwhistling he will not stoop to?
“… a country with a continuous political tradition unbroken by civil war or revolution for over 150 years, something a bare handful of countries can celebrate.”
So, the numerous pre-Treaty battles, the Flagstaff War, the Land Wars, Parihaka. decades or warfare in which many tribes lost their entire territory and thousands died – they?re down the memory hole eh? Oh yeah, and then there was the class warfare – Waihi 1912, The Waterfronters vs Massey?s Cossacks, The Despression Riots, The 1951 Lockout, when Prime Minister Holland declared New Zealand ?at war? and call out troops against the wharfies.
It?s incredible not knowing that New Zealand went through decades of warfare in a contest for sovereignty between the Maori and Pakeha takes the cake.
Such ignorance is not befitting of a man who would be Prime Minister. I don?t care how nice your smile is; if you don?t know the first thing about New Zealand history, you?re not in a position to be running this country. Being one dimensional is the cornerstone of Brand Cullen, but it?s not something we can afford in a Prime Minister.”
Start the Car….
Lee – Monkey with Typewriter
By ‘Come about’ I would mean come into existence not shape. Examples of states that have come about from civil war include the former Yugoslavia, Pakistan/Bangladesh, North and South Vietnam (since reunited).
Don’t be silly, vto has no interest in the substance of the comments themselves, only in diverting attention from any serious discussion of them by throwing up one petty strawman after another.
It’s the defence-side equivalent of the hit-and-run technique and vto can do it all day long.
Lee, I know you’re not dumb. Read the thread.
Addendum: John Key’s full interview has not been aired, so at this stage we have no context for it, as we do for Cullen’s statement.
Agreed Lew. But what is fascinating is the kind of defense aroused.
Nat’s worried about the Maori Party perhaps? They could run out of coalition partners pretty fast.
Tane – you do wonder, when someone copy and pastes a blog of their own smack bang in the middle of a thread that discredits it in its entirety.
P.S. Lee, you think the clue would be in the locations of said speeches. Do you think Key would make the same speech in front of a maori audience?
Just shows your comprehension isn’t quite there compared to Cullen’s audience… You probably think Key’s comments are fine, judging by your level of critical thought.
Scoop appears to have a fuller copy of Keys statement
About 1/2 way down the page.
edit: might as well paste it here.
‘We may be many voices but ultimately we are one people. One of the unique things about New Zealand is that we are not a country that’s come about through civil war or a lot of fighting internally. We’re a country that peacefully came together – Maori and the Crown decided from both partners’ side that it was in their interests to have a peaceful negotiation. That’s what the Treaty was, a founding document – a development document – for New Zealand, and I think that we could work things out in a peaceful, sensible and mature way has actually been a defining part of New Zealand’s history. It’s very important, and it’s important we honour that now’.
yes tane I did – and I have also read the resultant judgements here – apparently Cullen is bursting with pride for his country and Key is akin to a holocaust denier.
Isn’t this what makes this country great though? Cullen an import from oversees, and Key Of Jewish descent all getting on with making the country a wonderful place to live?
I suppose context is all…
From the Herald today:
“John Key has said comments he made on Newstalk ZB were taken out of context after he was criticised for saying New Zealand had a peaceful history…. …Mr Ede said the (National) party was looking at “taking other actions” in relation to the comments but he would not say what those were….”
So what does that mean? Another call to the owners of the network followed by a “retraction” from the reporter involved?
Vanilla Eis: Thanks, that makes a big difference.
Key’s argument, per the above, is that both Maori and the Crown chose to set down their arms and negotiate peace and nationhood, rather than trying to fight it out (as in the US War of Independence, etc). This is correct.
However it puts him squarely in the crosshairs, since the vast majority of fighting took place well after the Treaty was signed, and this fact is what made those wars all the more egregious. The Treaty explicitly granted Maori some form of authority (that pesky Tino Rangatiratanga again) over their lands and resources, and the full rights of British citizens. This means neither the Crown nor settlers had a right to wage any wars of conquest or expropriation, which is precisely what they did.
Cullen was careful to limit the scope of his statement to NZ’s state structures and political history, and in the same speech acknowledged the breaches which followed the Treaty. Key was not, and pretended the breaches were historically irrelevant.
TomS: This should result in the full interview being published by Newstalk ZB. If Key’s comments have genuinely been taken out of context, I’m sure that’s what National would want too.
TomS. I reckon that’s exactly what it means.
More beating up on journos that don’t toe the line. Apparently, McCain’s campaign does the same thing – all friendly and matey with journos, get the journos to feel like you’re mates and not question you too strongly, until a journo says something wrong, then they turn on them.
So Steve, to precis – The situation is not that you have been suckered into a state of high excitement by a complete ‘beat-up’ article in the Standard which sets someone up to look like they are an ignorant racist …
It’s actually if the person who is set up retaliates and asks for some accuracy to be applied to what he may have said, that’s all the proof you need to be able to imply that person is part of a wider right-wing conspiracy to muzzle freedom of journlistic expression?
I think that’s called imprecis(e)…if not downright unintelligible.
‘precis’ – sorry – I have no acute accent on my keyboard – I think is a word of french origin used to describe a ‘potted version’ or summary of points made.
prÃ©·cis (prs, pr-s)
n. pl. prÃ©·cis (prsz, pr-sz)
A concise summary of a book, article, or other text; an abstract.
tr.v. prÃ©cised, prÃ©cis·ing, prÃ©cis·es
To make a prÃ©cis of.
[French, from Old French precis, condensed; see precise.]
I know what you meant, Lee. Maybe you missed my meaning.
-not accurate or exact
Lee: If he has done it before (putting a muzzle on a journo), what makes you think that he won’t do it this time as well?
Lynn: “what makes you think that he won’t do it this time as well?”
This here is conspiracy-theorist talk.
Here’s another bit of conspiracy theory for y’all: last time, one Barry Soper, an enormously experienced journalist, life member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery and famous antagonist of uppity politicians was at the heart of it all, and as those of you familiar with such things will know, Barry is Political Editor at Newstalk ZB.
From these simple facts it should be clear to anyone that Winston Peters engineered a seemingly-chance meeting between Barry and John at Winnie’s old hang-out – Il Casino (most people think it’s closed down, but it’s still running, just quietly), where Barry set about getting his own back with the aid of bottle of Louis XIII and a microphone.
Your move, John.
Captcha: `wanting fight’. Ding ding! Round two!
“Lee: If he has done it before (putting a muzzle on a journo), what makes you think that he won’t do it this time as well?”
I suppose that’s worse in your books than Clarke by-defintion-not-leaking certain information to journalists to rid herself of a police commissioner she didn’t like?
Your double standards (sorry for the pun) are quite truly breathtaking.
[Dude, her name’s Clark, not Clarke – she’s been a national figure for over 20 years, get it right. And are you going on about some quote from 8 years ago that Wishart is still wound up about? SP]
One particular strand that he may have weaved correctly… both sides did in fact sit down face to face as much as is probably humanly possible.
“[Dude, her name’s Clark, not Clarke – she’s been a national figure for over 20 years, get it right. And are you going on about some quote from 8 years ago that Wishart is still wound up about? SP]”
Sorry, I made a spelling mistake. I’m half-pie dyslexic and some words and names get stuck in my mind as being forever misspelt. The whole I before E thing always gets me.
But I notice you’re not actually defending Clark’s by-defintion-not-leaking selected evidence to journalists regarding the former police commissioner. All you can do is attempt to smear it in a thoroughly predictable manner by linking it to something Wishart said.
Which comes as no great suprise really.
I can sympathise with the half-pie dyslexic thing… I’ve got it going on too, can’t see when I’ve transposed letters unless I’m really careful, bunch of words I just never can remember how to spell.
Cullen made a pretty much identical comment in the house a couple of years ago but you at the Standard seem to want to let that pass.
Oliver: Of course if we’d have been running a few years ago, we might have made a post on it, same as we do for a lot of political comment today. But we only started in August 2007. You want us to post on something that happened years ago?
Do not be a total dickhead. The writers post on what they find interesting. You could always write your own blog and write on what you find interesting.
can’t seem to open the website to try to post this to Granny so might as well dump it here. Please feel free to plagiarise it and submit it as your own work if you want to, provided you are not a constant letter writer they screen.
Oh and Helen Clarke- used to keep goal for the NZ hockey team yeh?
What does John Key remember?
He has trouble remembering what he said to journalists, what party he is leading and what he intends to do if he gets into government.
Now he is airbrushing not only his own slippery asset-selling, Iraq-invasion-supporting tendencies, but also our history. Without the Waikato war, men such as John Logan Campbell wouldn’t have made it quite as rich with their newly acquired farms. The families of Parnell and Auckland may not have been gifted the pleasant Cornwall Park, which Campbell bequeathed for their recreation.
Nor would we have the Great South road that was built by Governor Grey to march troops into the Waikato.
The nearly 30 years of the New Zealand Wars shaped the population of the North Island. It was a formative violent struggle. The wars sufficiently fascinated New Zealanders to rate a 5 part television series, fronted by James Belich, with his arms earnestly waving.
To deny it was like a civil war is to take the iwi out of kiwi. We have struggled in our history and in the last 30 years for our history. Let’s tell it like it is, not like they wish it was
This now appears to have been exposed for the dog-whistle it always was. Ya?
You fullas are as bad as the nats for misdirecting etc
If the guy wants to be our prime minister he has to watch his mouth. What the Prime Minister says is important. More than partisan important when it is about spreading flawed impressions of our history.
I consider myself a self taught expert in New Zealand history in general and Wellinton regional history in particular.
The amazing amount of over analysing what John Key said, is the biggest load of left wing, anti National driven drival ever.
What he has been attibuted to have said and interpreted as saying is more of a reflection on that own persons opinions of John Key.
New Zealand wasn’t a true country till after the treaty of Waitangi, and if you want to be more accurate, not till after the second world war when we surrendered our Dominion status.
The only good thing about the whole bulldust affair, is that it raises an awareness of our collective history.
And Paul Robeson, I wouldn’t go quoting James Belich if I was you or even using him as a referrence. He is historical revisionist. That is, he revises the history. He has been discredited by some other historians and dismissed the writings of historians that not only wrote the histories, just after the New Zealand wars, but fought in them aswell. The really excelletnt book about the North Island Wars, Frontier, by Peter Maxwell gives details accounts of the land wars, and where Belich gets it wrong. But don’t take my word for it, go to the National libary and research for yourself.
Brian Marshall: Revisionism is a well-respected tradition in history, as long as it is done openly and with full discussion and justification. History written contemporaneously, even by those involved in the events recorded, is not axiomatically of a higher standard or more accurate than that which comes after. If it were there would necessarily only be one history of any given set of events.
As a `self-taught expert’ (I don’t know you, and you may well be one, but that’s a wonderful oxymoron) I wouldn’t be so quick to write off Jamie Belich, commonly regarded as one of our greatest living historians, on the basis of `some other historians’. Simply because you take Peter Maxwell’s word over Belich’s perhaps suggests more about you than it does about either or them, and you elide a great and complex discussion of NZ history and historiography by rejecting him so swiftly. One thing to note: by rejecting Belich you are to an extent rejecting NZ’s historical orthodoxy, and therefore the burden rests on you to prove your case, not on Belich or those of us who broadly agree with him to refute it.
One other matter:
“New Zealand wasn’t a true country till after the treaty of Waitangi, and if you want to be more accurate, not till after the second world war when we surrendered our Dominion status.”
This is strictly correct, however there are two issues which your observation throws up. Firstly, when generalising about a country’s history, politicians speaking to a lay audience do not tend to speak in strictly correct terms, and it is reasonable to presume that Key wasn’t doing so. Secondly, and more importantly, if you count country status from when NZ ceased to be a dominion, Key’s statement that “We’re not a country that’s come about as a result of civil war or where there’s been a lot of fighting internally, we’re, we’re a country which peacefully came together” is doubly false, since the period 1840-1947 included practically all of the internal fighting which Key avows never happened. If you argue that Key considers NZ to have achieved country status at the end of the dominion period, then you must concede our points about his statements being historically illiterate. If not, why did you raise it?