Key was sending a message to Tuhoe

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, May 15th, 2010 - 97 comments
Categories: colonialism, foreshore and seabed, john key, racism - Tags:

Make no mistake, John Key’s comment about Tuhoe cannibalism was no accident, it was no joke, and it certainly was not ‘self-deprecating’.

Key didn’t just happen to accidentally make a comment that appeals to a deep-seated prejudice that is still current among redneck Pakeha and wedges our society in two. It was a message to Tuhoe, and the message was: ‘I’m going with the rednecks, they’re breathing down my neck. So, no deal for you Tuhoe and Maori Party, don’t expect much on the foreshore and seabed. If you don’t like it, I’m prepared to incite the rednecks to get my way. Take it or leave it’

This was a bargaining move. Sure, it backfired because it’s incredibly unsophisticated and won’t play well with the soft National vote, which is predominately non-Pakeha. That’s why Key told RadioLive “I’m not allowed” to repeat the comment (not the first time Key has revealed himself to be little more than an actor). But nonetheless it was a bargaining move.

As some of our commentators have already noted, Key is treating this treaty deal (and the foreshore and seabed deal) like a commercial negotiation. He doesn’t seem to get that it’s about the Crown recognising rights, recognising its past wrongs, and making recompense. He thinks the objective is to drive the hardest bargain possible and walk away if the offer isn’t good enough. It’s a money trader mentality and totally unsuited to the role of Prime Minister in the 21st Century.

97 comments on “Key was sending a message to Tuhoe”

  1. Soy Sauce of knowledge 1

    And now it’s gone international, well what did dingus expect? So… taken their land, taken their rights taken the piss, taken their mana so what next? Is Shylock also after his pound of flesh? Or is THAT racist?

  2. the sprout 2

    well said

  3. soft National vote, which is predominately non-Pakeha

    What?

    • Marty G 3.1

      The soft National vote is largely non-Pakeha.

      Remember, the soft vote shares more in common with Labour voters than core National voters in some aspects. After all, they voted Labour the previous 3 elections.

  4. I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head there Marty. Key is bemused by the way some Maori iwi refuse to settle for trinkets and half truths, as some in the past, (and the Maori Party now) were. He also has difficulty understanding the concept of the long game. He’s used to doing deals in days, sometimes hours, where everyone at the table made out like bandits and someone else always ended up paying. The idea that a negotiation could take generations to resolve is utterly foreign to him.

    Still, it’s not all downside. Happily, it turns out that Key is the wittiest man since Jonathan Swift and more fool us for not recognising his genius. Thank you, Fran. You are a beacon of journalistic hope in an otherwise bleak world.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10644971

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    How these tory swine all take their turn … Fran O’Sullivan now peddles the line that Tuhoe negotiators pushed Key into his unilateral move by “gazumping’ the government in releasing details of the park handover before “the political preparation’ had been done.

  6. grumpy 6

    I wonder what Billy T James would have made of all this?

    • felix 6.1

      You’re right grumpy, that is the appropriate index with which to measure the situation, or any situation involving Maori for that matter.

      • IrishBill 6.1.1

        I’m all for using dead comedians to gauge political issues. I’ve found the Keystone cops to be a particularly useful interpretive tool when applied to the current cabinet’s decision making process.

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          I use Stan and Ollie for analysing the complex relationship between Key and English.

          And for any issues involving white people I just think “what would Archie Bunker say?”

          • vto 6.1.1.1.1

            Well felix the reincarnated Archie Bunker, Homer Simpson, has covered all them issues with this grand one… “There is no problem so big that it can’t be ignored”.

            And for any issues involving brown people I just think “what would Jake the Muss, or in certain circumstances Uncle fuckin’ Bully, say?”

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

            Isn’t it great trying out the different variations of racist crap felix… seems everyone’s doing it. Not sure which are allowed and which aren’t though but hopefully someone can explain which racism is ok and which is not.

            • felix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              In case you missed it v, these tounge-in-cheek remarks stem from what grumpy said above about Billy T being the yardstick measure of whether something is racist or not.

              Cos you know, he was a maari, so if he didn’t mind having a laugh about it then what’s the frickin problem, right?

              Maybe you should be addressing your comment to grumpy and not me.

          • Mac1 6.1.1.1.2

            The Ollie slow burn followed by Stan’s tears? The heavy hand to the head? The Ollie “I told you so” look, before the comeuppance?

            In “Way Out West,” the breaking of eggs in each other’s pockets competing for the Bar Queen’s attention? The dance routine to The Trail of the Lonesome Pine? Showing the leg to halt the stage coach of State?

            Fertile ground, Felix.

  7. jcuknz 7

    I expect BTJ is laughing his head off ‘up there’ or ‘down there’ at the silly antics of people …. you don’t have to be cannibal fodder to be on the menu for dinner …. over sensitivity isn’t in it. But political commentators are experts at making mountains out of worm turnings and the rabble follow them blindly.

  8. Bill 8

    Still reckon there was a note of bitterness in John Boys delivery suggestive of him telling nobody anything but merely acting like a wee school boy….again, and simply airing his feeling of grievance towards Tohoe.

    Here’s that BBC link again. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8681655.stm It’s the grimaced looking away and down at the ‘been dinner’ that suggests he meant to insult rather joke. I reckon he thought he could he could get away with delivering it as a barbed comment that could conceivably be passed off as a ‘joke’.

    Or it might just be the way you tell ’em. Did anybody in attendance laugh?

    • Anne 8.1

      “Still reckon there was a note of bitterness in John Boys delivery suggestive of him telling nobody anything but merely acting like a wee school boy .again, and simply airing his feeling of grievance towards Tohoe.”

      It was there alright Bill. I saw and heard it too. The kind of response you would expect to get from a sulky ten year old who had misbehaved badly and didn’t get away with it.

  9. Soy Sauce of knowledge 9

    Whether each given individual (especially palagi individuals) were offended by the “joke” is actually of little consequence, that offense could be taken or that it could be construed to be offensive should be enough to make it a STUPID and ill-advised statement. The fact that it is now an international joke and that all Maori are now tarred with the same brush – not just Tuhoe – should be of concern to the Maori Party as well as the whole nation. – Hopefully now JK is self defecating….

  10. graham 10

    The fact is when the crown was stealing land from the maoris canabilism was also being practised by maori.
    That is why maori are embrassed by that.
    They are holding whiteys to account for the action of our forefathers but not themselves

    • Marty G 10.1

      How is making a joke about Tuhoe being cannibals now holding Tuhoe from 200 years ago to ‘account’ for some ritual cannibalism?

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        Maybe because graham makes a valid point.

        God help me I’d never imagined myself defending Key, but the man makes a somewhat clunky joke about the historic Maori practise of cannabalism… and the world comes to an end.

        In the meantime I get the sins of my evil white raping and pillaging mofo forefathers endlessly, and humourlessly, thrust down my gullet.

        Personally I’m fairly uncomfortable that the it’s only the Maori voices in this debate who are immune to criticism. Any other perspective is being shouted down as racist redneckerry.

        • QoT 10.1.1.1

          Well God forbid your little privileged fee-fees be hurt, RL. It’s not like that raping and pillaging actually did anything to contribute to Pakeha being on the top of the heap and Maori being at the bottom to this very day or anything, thus making it pretty fucking relevant.

          • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1

            Well fine QoT… if all white privilege in this country is so illegitimate in your eyes, then in the interests of moral consistency I’m waiting for you to find a Maori and give him or her your job/source of income and all your possesions such as they may be.

            That should fix the problem…no?

            • Lew 10.1.1.1.1.1

              The irony of a self-declared socialist advocating private charity as a balm for state-prosecuted wrongdoing iwould be funny if it weren’t so sad.

              Anyway, it’s disingenuous — if she did, you and your fellow travellers would be denouncing her as a self-hating race-traitor. As you have me, given my family’s — and others’s — decision to put our property where our mouths were.

              Anyway, the whole cannibalism thing was just a symbolic hook on which the more substantive betrayal and bad faith was hung. It’s not the allegations of cannibalism people are pissed off about — although it’s not very classy to mention, these are matters of historical fact — it’s the fact that the government thinks the Treaty negotiations are a joking matter which is the problem. I know that even you “blue collars, red necks” adherents don’t think this is the case.

              L

              • RedLogix

                Now you have me confused. You have commended to us, based on what you tell us about your families actions, private charity to atone for state-prosecuted wrong-doing.

                Now you tell me that this is bad irony?

              • felix

                I think the obvious difference is that Lew didn’t expect his (family’s) actions to “fix the problem” of white privilege.

              • Lew

                No, I agree that each person doing what they can is great. But it’s no substitute for state reparation for state misdeeds, which is precisely what you oppose.

                L

              • Quoth the Raven

                Redlogix – Stop this madness. Throughout this whole issue you’ve been sensible and considered. You know very well now is not the time to be sensible and considered. 🙂

              • RedLogix

                But it’s no substitute for state reparation for state misdeeds, which is precisely what you oppose.

                Make up your mind which state you are talking about. The one that committed the unquestioned misdeeds a hundred years ago…or the one that you and I are all citizens of now.

                I think the obvious difference is that Lew didn’t expect his (family’s) actions to “fix the problem’ of white privilege.

                Of course not, the actions of just one family were unlikely to be sufficient on their own.

                Given that we seem to have established that all non-Maori in this country enjoy illegitimate and unjustified privilege based on the unjust actions of the state several generations ago…then logically what is the only possible restitution that would be full and final settlement?

                I was told 30 years ago by Maanu Paul, the Chairman of Te Arawa Incorporation at the time (I think), that they would only settle for full return of their traditional lands, all assets on them, the restoration of tribal sovereignty ….and us white folk could stay if we didn’t mind paying rent.

                I keep getting accused of scaremongering, but then just these last few weeks we are being openly informed by Tuhoe and Ngapuhi that they never ceded sovereignty and will only settle for full return of their traditional lands, all assets on them, the restoration of tribal sovereignty ….and us white folk can stay if we don’t mind paying rent.

                Logically then I take it none of you guys have any problem with this?

              • felix

                Of course not, the actions of just one family were unlikely to be sufficient on their own.

                RL, it’s only you who has suggested otherwise.

              • Lew

                RL,

                Make up your mind which state you are talking about. The one that committed the unquestioned misdeeds a hundred years ago or the one that you and I are all citizens of now.

                Are today’s governments not bound by the decisions (and responsible for the failings) of their predecessors? Is that not one of the fundamental characteristics of the unitary state? The courts certainly think so — not to mention the modern governments themselves. And their electorates: after all, Labour are fairly blamed by the left for not reversing the worst parts of Rogernomics when they had the chance, and the present National government is just as bound by the Treaty of Waitangi Act as any other. Let them repeal it if they wish it gone; and let any government who wishes to do so campaign on the basis that they’ll expunge the Treaty from our legislative history. See how that worked out for them last time.

                logically what is the only possible restitution that would be full and final settlement

                Logically, the only possible restitution is whatever is agreed as the result of good-faith negotiation. Nobody — for all that you might caricature it thus — is advocating the rending of garments and delivery of all worldly possessions unto the wronged natives. What people are advocating is that a mutually satisfactory agreement be reached between the two parties. You think no such agreement is possible because — on the basis of a few anecdotes — you’re convinced that the natives won’t stop until they’ve turned Government House into a pātaka kai. The history of Treaty settlements, however, does not bear this out, no matter of what you might divine from the aspirational utopian goals of kaumatua who can scarcely believe they might have a chance at resolving the old grievances. You might compare Maanu Paul’s words with the actual Te Arawa treaty settlement for example.

                L

              • RedLogix

                Is that not one of the fundamental characteristics of the unitary state?

                So therefore as citizens of this unitary state we are responsible for the sins of our foretfathers. So this means I do have a personal stake in the discussion after all.

                What people are advocating is that a mutually satisfactory agreement be reached between the two parties.

                Do you believe such an accord will be reached when the voice of one side is silenced because it’s ‘privileged’? Because now I’m in the position of being responsible for the restitution, but I’m not allowed to have any say in the negotiation.

                You think no such agreement is possible because — on the basis of a few anecdotes

                Anecdotes? Not what I heard Ngapuhi claim at the ToW Hearings this week. What do you imagine they are saying when they tell us that the 1835 Declaration of Maori Sovereignty is the primal point, and all else that follows has no legitimacy? I’m not being wholly rhetorical here, I’m interested to know.

                The history of Treaty settlements, however, does not bear this out, no matter of what you might divine from the aspirational utopian goals of kaumatua who can scarcely believe they might have a chance at resolving the old grievances.

                Which I guess is my point. What will resolve the grievances, when their dreams are so unattainable? The NZ State will never meet their aspirations, so how can they ever be satisfied?

                The problem with Te Urewera for instance, is not that it would have been politically impossible, with time and preparation, to sell the idea that title could be vested with Tuhoe…but once done, there remains a healthy suspicion that no other iwi would have been happy with anything lessor, regardless of what deals had been signed so far.

                If not this political cycle, then surely in the next. After all at the time I had asked Maanu how he imagined NZ might look like in 50 years time…he’s still got another 20yrs up his sleeve.

              • Lew

                RL, yes, we all have a responsibility, and we all have a stake in it. It is our country too, you see. That’s what the Treaty of Waitangi grants: legitimacy for tau iwi. Not just for settlement, but for government — both the ability for us to live here, and for us to run the show. It’s the only thing which grants that legitimacy, both in the principles of the legal and philosophical tradition of its origin, of dealing with other sovereign peoples in good faith and adhering to those agreements as a matter of honour; and according to the legal and political reality on the ground, the legal opinions of the courts and the historical interpretation of successive governments. This country was not conquered; it was colonised by the consent of the colonised. While you might wish it were otherwise (though I doubt you really do), these are the facts.

                But then, you knew that — you’re just pretending ignorance for rhetorical purposes.

                Do you believe such an accord will be reached when the voice of one side is silenced because it’s ‘privileged’? Because now I’m in the position of being responsible for the restitution, but I’m not allowed to have any say in the negotiation.

                Whose voice is being silenced? Are OTS and Crown representatives no longer permitted in Treaty negotiations? Are the views of Pākehā official and civil society institutions, courts, businesses, government agencies and citizens no longer considered? Notwithstanding that QoT or anyone else is free to criticise or mock you for them, you’re perfectly entitled to your views and their expression, in both formal and informal means. This is much more than what Māori have had for almost all post-settlement history.

                Honestly, making this argument you begin to sound like Dad4Justice, with his “teh feminazis are taking over teh world” rants. You’re a better sort than that.

                Which I guess is my point. What will resolve the grievances, when their dreams are so unattainable? The NZ State will never meet their aspirations, so how can they ever be satisfied?

                You begin from the assumption that full and complete accession to all demands is what all iwi require; that they’re terrorists holding the state to ransom. Again, history simply does not bear this out. The history of Treaty settlements is one of Māori settling for a tiny fraction and getting on with life to the extent possible.

                The problem with Te Urewera for instance, is not that it would have been politically impossible, with time and preparation, to sell the idea that title could be vested with Tuhoe but once done, there remains a healthy suspicion that no other iwi would have been happy with anything lessor, regardless of what deals had been signed so far.

                This is a legitimate concern, but one which ought to have been dealt with as part of the negotiations (as it has been many times before). Māori are particularly cognisant of the need for the results of their claims to be durable and politically tolerable to the wider NZ street.

                But now that the agreement — almost signed — has been nixed by executive fiat, it may well turn out that TÅ«hoe can no longer trust the authority of those crown agents with whom they have been negotiating. It may be that it does drag on until the next government, or the next. I think that would be a shame, but they need to do what they need to do.

                L

              • RedLogix

                Fuck it’s awesome to be white, ain’t it?

                So racism is something only white people can do?

                I totally could give up my job to a Maori person (assuming my workplace were down with that). And then I would still have all the advantages of my class and race to fall back on! I would still have family connections and a tertiary education and good childhood nutrition and everything else that is “privilege’.

                Not if we all take responsibilty for the crime the State committed, and we all abandon the privilege we so blithley abuse. Or we get the State to do it on our behalf.

                Can you not see the absurdity going on here? That somehow we will restore privilege and dignity to the Maori people by stripping it off the white?

                The simple truth is that we are no longer white Europeans, nor pre-colonial Maori. We are in the process of becoming something new, something that will be a fusion of both.

                My family has been in this country seven generations. The first member of my family was six foot tall red-headed midwife who arrived in 1832 from San Francisco. She learnt fluent Maori and on one occasion had a stand-up argument with Hone Heke and with the support of local chiefs…and won her argument. We’ve been here seven generations now, and if I travel back to England it’s obvious to me that I’m no longer English, nor anything else from foreign climes.

                Us white skinned folk in this land are slowly becoming brown on the inside, while the browns among us have changed also. Within a few more generations the melding will be mostly complete. We have the choice of either learning, respecting and incorporating the best from each other, or locking ourselves into a bitter ‘left hand fighting the right’ squabble into historic irrelevance.

            • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s what the Treaty of Waitangi grants: legitimacy for tau iwi.

              So I take it that you aren’t too impressed by the idea that the 1835 Declaration not only pre-dates the ToW, but in doing so precedes and pre-empts it.

              But anyway the argument now clearly comes down on the side of all of us being personally involved as citizens of a state that committed a crime. As beneficiaries of that crime (receivers of stolen goods as it were) we therefore have no say in how the case against us is prosecuted, no defense is offered because the facts are not in question…and neither should we have any say in the sentence. . After all this is how criminals are treated are they not?

              Personally I’m convinced, Lew is right and as criminal white people we should all immediately find a Maori and give him everything back that we stole off him. Oh no… as good socialists we will get the State to do it for us.

              Are OTS and Crown representatives no longer permitted in Treaty negotiations?

              And almost nothing of what they are saying on my behalf appears in the public domain. A bunch of faceless Crown lawyers are not my voice. By contrast iwi protagonists are getting a lot of media space to push their argument….any dissenting voices being routinely shouted down as racist, d4j style, redneckerry ranting.

              The history of Treaty settlements is one of Māori settling for a tiny fraction

              Which of course is the reason why the ‘full and final’ settlement of one generation, becomes the perfidious betrayal of the next. Because while settlements are all well and good…and genuinely welcome…Maori society itself is riven with inequalities. History also shows that the considerable wealth already in the hands of iwi has failed to genuinely change much for those lower class browns who really are at the bottom of the heap. This failure is so readily spun into, ‘the settlement was never enough’, and feeds the anger and resentments of yet another generation of dispossed radicals.

              In the final analysis the settlements we have achieved so far, in the face of considerable disquiet and incomprehension from the actual rednecks among us, will be only undermined if another generation of ‘brownecks’ demand yet another round of concessions.

              Which they will if they remain ‘immune to criticism’.

              • Lew

                So I take it that you aren’t too impressed by the idea that the 1835 Declaration not only pre-dates the ToW, but in doing so precedes and pre-empts it.

                I know of no credible arguments to support that position, but if Ngāpuhi think they can bring some, more power to them. Not that it will have much impact outside their rohe.

                RL, trying to analogise this as an ordinary crime in terms of the practicalities of resolving it is pointless and stupid, since nobody is treating it as such. It’s useful to draw general parallels in principle, but the two bodies of law and custom which pertain to state-level actions are different from those to do with individual-level actions. But then, you know this, as well, so I guess you’re still playing the dunce just because … well, I don’t know.

                A bunch of faceless Crown lawyers are not my voice.

                They are your voice in this regard. You cast your vote, you pay your taxes, they’re doing your work. If you don’t like what they’re doing, you know your avenues of recourse.

                By contrast iwi protagonists are getting a lot of media space to push their argument

                Are you seriously claiming, as a wealthy white man, that you’re on the receiving end of a media bias which favours the poor and the brown? Yank the other one, it’s got bells on.

                while settlements are all well and good and genuinely welcome Maori society itself is riven with inequalities. History also shows that the considerable wealth already in the hands of iwi has failed to genuinely change much for those lower class browns who really are at the bottom of the heap. This failure is so readily spun into, ‘the settlement was never enough’, and feeds the anger and resentments of yet another generation of dispossed radicals.

                And you think the state should just go in and “fix” the problems of Māori society with a nice dose of bracing Marxism? Talk about the white man’s fucking burden.

                Notwithstanding the fact that the scenario you balefully foretell has not actually emerged.

                L

            • QoT 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Masterful derailing there, RL. Straight from “why can’t I make racist jokes when brown people are so nasty about our cultural history of white people shitting all over indigenous peoples” into “well what are YOU doing about it, are YOU okay with us all being forced onto boats back to Old Blighty???”

              Captcha: “exists”. Your privilege as a white person exists, and so does mine, and you know the awesome thing about being a member of a privileged group? I totally could give up my job to a Maori person (assuming my workplace were down with that). And then I would still have all the advantages of my class and race to fall back on! I would still have family connections and a tertiary education and good childhood nutrition and everything else that is “privilege”.

              Fuck it’s awesome to be white, ain’t it? Oh wait, except people get uptight about us making dogwhistle jokes about indigenous people who’ve just been ripped off by us again. Being white totally sucks!!!!!!!

    • felix 10.2

      One silver lining to this is it encourages all the bigots on the blogs (like grumpy and burt) to put their racism on record. Jolly good.

  11. Bill 11

    Putting aside the detail of cannibalism…because I really don’t much give a toss who ate who, when where and why.

    The tosser made a comment that implies savagery and lack of civility in people he is meant to be dealing with as equals. And they are not white people, which only adds a whole layer of implicit racism.

    but if people want to knee jerk to their own prejudice about cannibalism and risk missing the major point of all this, then hey.

    • PK 11.1

      ***but if people want to knee jerk to their own prejudice about cannibalism and risk missing the major point of all this, then hey.. ***

      I would have thought most people these days would have a prejudice against cannibalism?

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Most people probably do…but it’s hardly the point.

        The invading culture here used the existence of cannibalism as one illustrative example among many of how the indigenous peoples were lesser than ‘us’ and therefore fit to be dominated and decimated…sorry, ‘civilised’. The reality was that any difference was judged on a better/worse scale, with ‘our’ behaviours and traits always better and always excusable while the traits and behaviours of ‘the others’ were always worse and inexcusable.

        So massacres, genocides etc perpetrated by ‘our’ side were and are always excused as necessary if unfortunate steps on the way of ‘our’ benevolent crusade to civilise and bring modernity to ‘the others’.

        So Johnny Boy bringing up cannibalism feeds directly into mentalities that justified the colonial project of this country. And that’s the important point. Not the point of entry.

        Let’s put it another way.

        Lets say Tony Blair had announced to an audience during the N. Ireland peace process that he had just had an engaging dinner conversation with his Welsh counterpart…and juxtapositioned that with the impossibility of having one with his ‘thick as mince’ Irish one.

        Is the important matter the fact that he insulted the Irish by referring to them as stupid or is that an aside to the fact that he reiterated the perception of the coloniser as dominant and superior to the colonised?

  12. Marty G:

    You really should get a blackboard and start connecting all the dots.

    Care to share anything other comment by Key and what he really means?

    • Marty G 12.1

      I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here, Brett.

      Do you disagree with my analysis or not? If not, why not?

  13. infused 13

    My god, let it rest. It was a fucken joke. I can’t stand reading these posts anymore, you’re all retarded.

    • jcuknz 13.1

      Not all of us … some think it was meant as a harmless and mildly amusing dinner table joke and not worth the steam being generated but you know what many bloggers are like.

    • BLiP 13.2

      Its about context. Sure, in a television comedy show it might pass as slightly amusing, uttered by a Prime Minister just after unilaterally scuttling a Treaty settlement its offensive. Its a bit like the Employers Federation making jokes about being poor after having just won a decrease in the minimum wage.

  14. Tigger 14

    Love white commentators like O’Sullivan telling Maori what they should find offensive…

    • vto 14.1

      So if O’Sullivan was, all else being equal, brown instead of white it would be ok. Such a blatant racist there Tigger.

      • felix 14.1.1

        I don’t think you’ve quite got your head around what racism is, v.

        There’s a hint right there in your own comment: pssst! all else isn’t actually equal!

        • vto 14.1.1.1

          whats the purpose of the description ‘white’ then.

          • felix 14.1.1.1.1

            What do you think it is?

            • Tigger 14.1.1.1.1.1

              How about this then vto – no person has the right to tell any other person what to be offended by. Extrapolate that to this specific situation. That’s my point. She’s white. They’re Maori. She was telling them how to feel.

              • vto

                I would think that there are certain norms and standards of homosapien conduct that transcend race and which members of a community are entitled to comment on.

                Maybe just not here in aotearoa eh Tigger …

  15. coolas 15

    MartyG’s opinion played out for me at a meeting yesterday.

    “Well the media’s making a feast of Key’s joke,” says the Chairman.
    Ho ho ho from the 5 National supporters; salt o’ earth farmer/businessmen.
    “Dog’s breakfast if you ask me.” ho ho “We’re talking about Tama Iti.”

    Yep, coming on the back of his w/end with the party faithful, Key’s joke was scripted, and targeted at all those ‘Owera factor’ National supporters who think he’s conceded too much to Maori. “Good one, Johnny.”

    I think this is a warm up for the F&S legislation because it’s deeply unpopular with National supporters. My ‘red neck’ colleagues don’t want change. They’re especially concerned about the Court ruling on disputes.

    Urewera might be significant Real Estate, but is miniscule compared to the Foreshore & Seabed. Giving Maori more, in whatever form, is not going to be popular with the Orewa’s.

    Now look out for the spin designed to dismantle the F&S process, so Key can declare he tried, but others failed, and we go back to the status quo.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      If Marty’s analysis is correct, then it’s a stupid ploy by Key.

      Key has invested a lot of politcal capital in the relationship with the Maori Party. The reward is obvious: a second term. The numbers speak for themselves. National might win without the Maori Party – they’ll almost certainly win with them.

      So he pisses off the Maori Party to placate the redneck right. Why? So he can get more love at National Party cocktail functions? Where are those people going to go? (Please don’t say NZ First. It doesn’t exist).

      Politics 101: play to your strengths. Key can’t come off as a convincing Winston, or even Brash. He’s everyone’s cheery drinking buddy, not Mr Angry on talkback. The Kiwiblog Right might enjoy his “joke”, but they’ll despise him again a few days later, because of the ETS or the DRIP or backing down on mining, or any other move by “softcock” Key.

      All he’s doing is risking a lot, to gain little. So while it may be a “bargaining move”, I don’t think it’s a smart one.

      • PK 15.1.1

        ***If Marty’s analysis is correct, then it’s a stupid ploy by Key.***

        His analysis of the joke isn’t correct. It was a bad taste joke. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

        • Rex Widerstrom 15.1.1.1

          That’s my reading too, PK.

          Marty’s pulled up his psychiatrist’s couch and gone all Jungian on Key and it’s an interesting interpretation. But it’s just that – one interpretation.

          For it to be correct, one would first have to accept quite a bit of strategic mastery going on in the upper echelons of this government. I don’t see it anywhere else.. “Supercity”, “sexy coal” et al aren’t redolent of complex strategic thinking.

          Insofar as comparisons with the comedic greats of old go, it reminds me more of this in terms of subtle race humour.

          • Lew 15.1.1.1.1

            What you think the message was is irrelevant. It’s the message received by people on either side of the negotiation, and Key’s wider political base, which matters.

            Negotiations like this are all about the tiny details, reading between the lines and responding to context and subtext as much as the text. Recall the (true) story about the North Koreans sawing an inch off their opposing negotiators’ chairs in 1953. These things matter, and you can bet your arse that the tone of the negotiations just changed substantially.

            L

            • Rex Widerstrom 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes Lew, but how it’s received has nothing to do with the intent of the speaker in making the utterance.

              I agree with your analysis of the outcome, I just don’t agree with Marty’s analysis of the motivation. The “joke” certainly carries that subtext if you choose to read it that way, meaning it wasn’t an appropriate remark. I just don’t buy the “message to Tuhoe” theory… I think Key thought he could win some guffaws from is pals without the remark being analysed beyond that.

              When conspiracy is weighed against stupidity, I usually assume stupidity unless the intelligence and strategic mastery of the communicator suggests I should think otherwise. This seems to me a typical “Yuk, yuk, yuk” buffoonerish foot-in-the-mouth moment.

              • Lew

                For all he might act the fool, he is an excellent deal-maker, manager of peoples’ competing interests, and an instinctive politician. I still don’t get why, after everything, Key’s enemies are those most taken in by the smile-and-wave act. You don’t get to be global head of FOREX for Merril Lynch without being cunning and ruthless and decisive, and that’s just what he’s been up to here.

                L

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.2

            “For it to be correct, one would first have to accept quite a bit of strategic mastery going on in the upper echelons of this government. I don’t see it anywhere else.. “Supercity’, “sexy coal’ et al aren’t redolent of complex strategic thinking.”

            Or just Muzzah McCully and little Stevey Joyce getting a fright from a focus group, 3news reckons…

            http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2010/05/national-denied-tuhoe-justice-because.html

            • ak 15.1.1.1.2.1

              Quite clear from the delivery that it was deliberate and pre-meditated – as was the “self-deprecating” follow-up. Not sure if the intent was to underline the focus-group-led crapping on the negotiations, just a typically Key tory-geek wank for laughs and attention, or both. More the latter I suspect, the wee boy still desperate to show he’s the biggest dick in the room, the arrogant faux-confidence of the “let them eat cake” set, spitting in the face of deserved criticism. Worse than F&S IMHO, be very surprised if he dodges serious utu.

  16. gnomic 16

    Any chance that what this episode reveals is that Key is a shallow individual who is something of a smart aleck and thinks the sun shines from his fundamental orifice? This sort of thing probably passes for wit when he is joshing along with the lads (say for example ‘Hone’ Carter) and may well reflect his true attitudes beneath the smiley facade.

    Anti-spam word, believe it or not – key.

  17. vto 17

    Just been mowing the lawns and was thinking that Key could have really stirred up a hornets nest with this. He has effectively legitimised such jokes so now anyone and everyone can make “mild, throwaway, self-deprecating, etc” type jokes about any and every race and their foibles.

    Oh yay. Just imagine it. Over the next few weeks Michael Laws will jump on the bandwagon. Hone will get back into it. Every tom dick and harriet across the country. The excuse has been laid before them ….

  18. greenfly 18

    As evidenced by yesterdays bad taste caption contest

  19. greenfly 19

    Anti-spam word: FAIL

  20. Ian 20

    I know we are supposed to be outraged but what is it other than a storm in a tea cup? There are surely meatier issues to tackle the government on.

    • Alexandra 20.1

      I think the point is, your supposed to have an opinion. I take it your opinion is that the outrage re Keys dishonest about turn and the timing of his not funny joke is a storm in a tea cup? If thats the case, I dont agree with you. I think the PM’s lack of skills in managing expectations and his overwhelming tendancy to mislead his audience is a very meaty issue and one which warrants tackling the goverment on.

  21. Jenny 21

    Cannibalism.

    Savages.

    Mass Murder

    Primitivism

    The 19th Century Christian colonialists, product of the British empire, believed that upon death you couldn’t get into heaven unless your physical remains were whole and un-scattered. This belief was known as bodily resurrection.

    resurrection of the flesh

    Even medical autopsies where only performed on the worst of the worst, executed criminals, and the unknown and unlamented dead, from the workhouses and mental asylums.

    In fact having your body quartered or buried in separate parts was considered the worst fate imaginable, and reserved only for extreme criminals or traitors.

    Indeed 19th Century Christian Europeans had a superstitious fear of the desecration of their mortal remains.

    In fact cremation was banned as an unholy sin by all Christian sects well up to the 20th Century. The Catholic Church being the last hold out, with the Pope lifting the ban against cremation in 1963.

    The 19th Century emotive response to cannibalism may be considered akin to how we emotionally regard pedophiles today.

    I wonder what these 19th C. Christians colonialists would think of such things as heart and face transplants, or limb transplants.

    Would they consider us to be cannibals for incorporating the body parts of the dead into ourselves?

    The answer is probably – and definitely.

    Probably, if there was no conflict.

    Definitely, if they were looking for an excuse to wage war.

    Arguably, the ancient Maori world view is closer to the modern materialist concept, that the dead are beyond all harm, as opposed to the Victorian era imperialists and colonists who believed that (white) human remains were sacrosanct.

    The spiritual views of the settlers who believed in the sanctity of the body, clashed with the view of Maori who practised ritual cannibalism as an act of war. And even in some cases as practised by ancient Maori as a ritual mark of respect for a fallen enemy.
    It was accepted that you could incorporate the strength, (or wairua), of your enemy by devouring their mortal remains.

    Through the other side of the looking glass, the European settlers used the emotional denigration of Maori as cannibals, as an excuse to consider Maori as primitives, and even sub human, to be slaughtered at will and for whom the accepted protocols of war could be dispensed with, ie Maori could be attacked under a flag of truce or shot in the back while fleeing, or as defenceless prisoners, or peaceful villagers men woman and children could be and were massacred, or taken into slavery and their homes burnt and their lands confiscated.

    Undeniably the practice of cannibalism by Maori was also an act intimidation, ie trying to achieve political aims by terrorising your enemy.

    In fact the practice of cannibalism as an act of war, had been out of favour by Maori educated by Christian missionaries for decades, was reintroduced by the Christian based Hauhau movement in their conflict with the crown, specifically as an act of intimidation and terror, springing from the Christian tradition themselves, the Hauhau knew full well the dread the colonialists felt at this practice.

    Both religious viewpoints of Maori and Pakeha, though conflicting on the treatment of the resulting dead from war, however did not fundamentally disagree on the need to wage war.

    The question might reasonably be asked who really were the savages?

    European imperial conflicts in scale and brutality have totalled up tens of millions of dead in war. Many times more have been killed in imperial conflicts waged by the total native peoples of the world resisting imperial European conquest and expansion.

    Added to the wars of imperial conquest, wars between rival centres of imperial power, like the first and second world wars, resulted in even more piles of corpses. That these resulting piles of dead were often bulldozed into mass graves never gets a mention by those determined to demonise Maori.

    All this savagery and mass murder is conveniently forgotten and ignored and the bogy of cannibalism is dragged up again and again by modern political opportunists, firstly as an excuse for their current behaviour, and secondly to embarrass, demoralise and dehumanise Maori, (even in their own eyes). The purpose of course is to silence any protest against injustice or treachery by Tuhoe against these same political opportunists.

    In the face of the recent injustice served up to Tuhoe. In my opinion, John Key’s utterences about cannibalism fall into this second category.

    Whether Key’s slur, stifles Tuhoe and their supporters, only time will tell. My guess is, that there is the very real possibility that this tactic will rebound on Key and his National government if they continue down this path.

    However Key and his advisers may think that this risk is worth taking as the temptation to further mine this vein of racism during the elections will be very strong as the elections look likely to either parallel or follow closely the so called “Terror Raid Trials”

    The label “Terrorist” of course being the 21st Century equivalent of the 19th Century label “Cannibal” against which no action is considered to punitive, or to cruel, or to brutal, or to unjust.

  22. jcuknz 22

    Interesting summary Jenny.
    Heard a sound bite of Goff gurgling on the radio last night before I turned it off in disgust. Doesn’t he and Marty know that a deal is not a deal until it is signed and delivered and if John Key had a change of opinion, well so what, I’m sure neither Mr Goff or Marty ever voted or ever will vote for him. Pragmatics of politics. To do a deal with Tuhoe is probably a good idea, I think I’m for it like John Key was and likely still is, except it is not politically acceptable for him at the moment.
    John Key is a centralist politician but to maintain his position he needs the support of those further to the right so we can expect a few of these glitches from time to time from him and his tribe while generally he maintains a fairly reasonable position..

  23. I don’t have a problem with cannibalism past or present. I’m sure in a worst case scenario we’d all eat human flesh to survive.

    It’s the bullshit attempt at being the victim Key tried that pisses me off. The inference that he’s pissed Tuhoe off so much they would kill him speaks to the notion that Maori solve their problems by violence and plays directly to pakeha prejudice. That he could possibly think himself as being a victim in his dealings with Tuhoe is laughable.

    Considering traditional pakeha response to Tuhoe concerns has nearly always been violence and victimisation is the real funny shit…

    err…maybe not

  24. vto 24

    I wonder if humans have ever been farmed for consumption..

  25. jcuknz 25

    I think it is quite likely if you apply lateral thinking to the word farm … “put to some use” … but I cannot think of an example right now apart from ‘company towns’ with the industralist herding their workers.
    But ‘white’ people have indulged in cannabalism in the past when other food supplies have run out. Shipwrecked survivors on rafts, medieval citizens of towns under siege etc.
    A matter of survival rather than for cultural reasons, though perhaps the eating to injest the character of your enemy could be a varient of survival, the better and stronger you are the more likely to survive against your enemies.
    Altogether not a very nice subject to talk about.. Though the fictional character ‘Hannibal the Cannibal” comes over as quite a ‘nice’ if of horrible practices by the time I had read ‘Hannibal Rising’ and in another of the books was happy to have found him living in S. America with the FBI woman as a conclusion.
    I wonder what it is that permits one to read without quarms material which would be highly objectionable in speech or video.

  26. It was a good joke and funny.
    If there are political ramifications then good.
    Its true.
    We New Zealanders own the foreshore, and we own the National Parks and Urewera.
    And we are not giving it all away to tribal racist interest.

    • Pascal's bookie 26.1

      Stole it fair and square eh?

      Fuckwit. Read a goddamn book why dontcha.

      And if ya want ya political ramifications, it pays to remember ya clausewitz. And be thankful for the patience of others.

      Again. Fuckwit.

  27. jcuknz 27

    And the Maori stole it from the Moa et al.?

    • Pascal's bookie 27.1

      Even if true, which would be weird, so what?

      • jcuknz 27.1.1

        I would suggest that it is true if you believe animals have a right to their territory and that the human race doesn’t own the whole planet to the exclusion of other species. A belief in others rights, such as capturing various creepie crawlies and placing them outside the house rather than just killing them … though I suspect one rather large spider recently is having me on and returning. It didn’t argue with me and knew to jump into the small tin I use for the transfer …. or maybe the tin was larger than the crack between wall and the doorframe it was trying to hide in from me. Who knows how spiders think.

        • Pascal's bookie 27.1.1.1

          And this has what to do with anything?

          If you think animals have property rights and that’s good reason to deny Tuhoe their rights under the treaty then fine. But I’d like to see the argument made, as I’m pretty sure it’s not the reasoning the crown is using, for example.

          I’d like to know what the argument is though. Mostly because I’m hoping it’s not ‘Pakeha are to Tuhoe, as Maori are to animals’, and also because I’m curious to see if it mentions the treaty, which it must, to be at all relevant.

          • Lew 27.1.1.1.1

            No, Bookie, the irony would be that if the argument were genuinely being made on the grounds that “Māori are to Pākeha as animals are to Māori”, then it would follow that, since JC would call into question Māori rights to land since they’d taken it from animals, Pākehā would similarly have no rights to land, having taken it from Māori (quasi-animalistic as they might be).

            The trifecta! Wrong, and stupid, and self-defeating all at once! That takes some doing.

            L

  28. jcuknz 28

    I am trying to work out the Tuhoe spokesman, Mr Kruguer. Is he Dutch, South African or German with that name and how much Maori? Ironical that, european arguing with european over Maori matters. Though full marks to him that he hasn’t Maorised his name.

    • Lew 28.1

      WTF? Just because he has a German surname doesn’t make him a German, ya eejit. Blood quantum died in the 1950s.

      How about Tipene O’Regan? You think he should say “to be sure, to be sure” and wear a funny green hat with a buckle on it? Mark Solomon in a yarmulke and saying “oy vey”? Doug and Kennedy Graham — should they go around with a plate of crackers? Let me know if this is absurd enough for you or if I should continue.

      L

  29. jcuknz 29

    One could say that having a Maori name doesn’t make you a Maori then Lew.
    Our family dog had a 1/64th English sheepdog, of ChittiChitti BangBang film fame, but we always thought of her as a Golden Labrador. Not sure what she thought herself of, likely related to humans more than dogs.
    Personally I know I have Danish heritage in me and suspect Spanish through my Cornish heritage, Armada and all that maybe,or perhaps French from smuggling intercourse of the 17th century, but I consider myself to be English which is the majority of my heritage rather than any of the others.
    I trust you see and can accept that I have a valid point, though not of your convention, instead of foolishly calling me names. Better to make argument to counter mine I think.:-)
    If it is simply what one wants to be then I could claim to be Maori and get a share of the lollies.

    • Anita 29.1

      1) Being Māori doesn’t give you lollies; to benefit from a treaty settlement requires iwi affiliation.

      2) I think you kinda made Lew’s substantive point. You identify as English and I respect that. Someone with the same mix of parentage as you might identify as Pākehā (as I do, with a somewhat similar mix), or Australian, or Canadian, or Danish, or whatever and I would respect that.

      Tamati Kruger identifies as Māori, and I respect that (as I would’ve hoped you do). As a member of Ngai TÅ«hoe he claims to whakapapa to TÅ«hoe or Pōtiki, a claim I respect. If there was a dispute about his whakapapa that would be the business of Ngai TÅ«hoe.

      If you are genuinely interested in Kruger’s whakapapa learn Māori and list to him speak formally on a marae; he will give his whakapapa, back to at least TÅ«hoe or Pōtiki, when he speaks in formal contexts (as I would give mine back to my ancestors who came to New Zealand).

    • Lew 29.2

      JC, but what’s your surname? Because, clearly, that determines your ethnicity — sorry, I mean race — to a greater extent than anything else.

      L

  30. Alexandra 30

    ‘One could say that having a Maori name doesn’t make you a Maori’

    aahhhhh the old measure the whakapapa argument. I guess if a maori surname is achieved through marriage or by adoption you have a point. Generally though if someone has maori surname they are likely to have maori whakapapa and have the right to identify as such. I think the dog analogy is a bit unfortunate. Hopefully you and your dog have resolved that dilemma.
    Using ethnic dilution as an means of undermining cultural identity is an age old ploy. Colonial strategy involved inbreeding out the maori gene through inter marriage. European attitude at the time was that maori genes were inferior to european genes and in no time the maori race will be extinct. Fabulously that strategy backfired and simply created more people who identify as maori.
    What is certain though is a pakeha name doesnt make you non maori.

  31. Alexandra 31

    Ooops didnt mean to sound like a dog breeder with the term inbreeding out…shocking! I should have said rooting out.

  32. jcuknz 32

    A lot of the legitimacy of a claim comes from if one lives in a Patriarchy or Matriarchy. Having a european name suggests a greater proportion of european heritage and vice versa.
    I would imagine that one has to be Maori to belong to an Iwi to in turn get the lollies.
    But at what proportion does one stop being of one kind and become another.
    One can be proud and respectful of one’s heritage, I by written records to at least c1750AD and family myth to c850AD, but common sense tells me that it is improper to claim on a small proportion.
    I did not and do not wish to be offensive with my dog’s tale, only to suggest one [she] might wish to emphasis the English Sheepdog becuase of its theatrical fame but common sense tells us she was a G. Lab.

    • Lew 32.1

      JC, as I said in my initial remark, this line of reasoning marks you out as an eejit. Read Anita’s comment. Then read Alexandra’s. Then read Anita’s again.

      L

    • Anita 32.2

      You are imposing your measure of legitimacy as if it were the One True Way.

      At the risk of repeating myself, Tamati Kruger does whakapapa to Tūhoe or Pōtiki, that is absolute legitimacy for Ngai Tūhoe.

      And in case you want to go all “oral tradition savages!” about this, the UK recognises me because of my grandmother’s place of birth, not my surname.

  33. jcuknz 33

    Enjoy your satisfaction at your put down and attributation of false concepts to me and insults which I am refraining from returning.

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