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Orewa – 11 years on

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, February 5th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: identity, Maori Issues, racism - Tags: , , , ,

Has it really been 11 years since Brash’s infamous Orewa speech? Yesterday Gareth Morgan gave a very different kind of speech there…

The views that propelled the National Party close to government a decade ago were “harsh and intolerant,” philanthropist Dr Gareth Morgan told a small audience in Orewa today.

The man who gave those views – Dr Don Brash – sat in the audience to hear his famous 2004 speech described as being a “harsh and intolerant view that is intolerant of anyone who is different”.

“We still have a faction in our midst who see admitting culpability… is giving Maori the upper hand. This section of the community is clearly filled with fear.”

There has been much snide noting that the number at this event was small (19 + media), but the media helpfully gave the event so much coverage that Morgan’s message reached a much wider audience. Brash also had coverage of his predictable “no regrets“.

What to make of Morgan’s latest mission? At this point I (r0b) would like to pass over to marty mars – below the line is his comment in Open mike today…


NZH editor not happy with Gareth Morgan

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11396761

But Dr Morgan’s latest adopted cause is different, he has come around to a modern reading of the Treaty of Waitangi. He admits he is a latecomer to the idea of bicultural nationhood but that has not inhibited his willingness to antagonise any Pakeha who have not reached his stage of enlightenment.

Why be antagonised ?

Few Maori or Pakeha enthusiasts for the Treaty would dare speak of its modern meaning as definitively as Dr Morgan does. It is an idea that is constantly developing and open to experiment from both sides. The Maori Party has been one such experiment. It arose from resentment of the previous Labour Government’s response to the foreshore and seabed claim but when their independent party went into a National-led Government, it was too much for the most radical Maori. They formed the Mana Party with left-wing Pakeha, demonstrating that class politics was more important than a separate identity after all.

That last line is a doozy

instead Maori voters have largely returned to a mainstream party, puts their identity in perspective. Biculturalism does not seem to need independent political expression. It needs recognition and consultation by a party in power.

identity in perspective – NZH editor following a very well known line there.

For me I welcome Gareth Morgan working to educate Pākehā – some may move their ideas. I also like that he is talking to Pākehā from both marae and RSA Hall (or wherever it was). The editorial is entitled – “Biculturalism doesn’t need late convert” – I think it does.

51 comments on “Orewa – 11 years on”

  1. Tracey 1

    If that speech is in any way a criticsm of this Government I hope John key will move quickly to express his disappointment with someone who is not a politician having a view on politics?

    Possibly need a sense of self awareness to have regrets?

  2. Bloody great that someone stood up and gave a significant response to Don Brash’s divisive Orewa diatribe. It’s a shame that it had to be someone outside politics.

    Perhaps the low turnout reflects the attitude of the Orewa (National-voting) cohort: happy to listen to an idiot like Brash, but avoid challenging views from thinkers like Morgan.

    • Mainlander 2.1

      Colour me cynical if you like but i dont think it just reflects the attitude of Orewa, i have yet to meet anyone that gives a rats about what either Brash or Morgan think, to me one is struggling for relevance and the other has a book to sell and to much time on his hands, the fact that the media outnumbered the audience is quite telling… did i agree with Brash, No, but the whole thing looked kinda bizarre and boring,and i dont believe Te Reo should be compulsory but should be made available in all schools for the parents & children to make their own decisions

      • Jeeves 2.1.1

        Should English be compulsory?

        • Mainlander 2.1.1.1

          I would imagine surviving and being successful in life would be a tad difficult without it, i dont know if you can opt out of being taught English, but doubt if many parents would take that option even if it was available

          • Jeeves 2.1.1.1.1

            But if everyone already speaks it- why does it need to be compulsory?

            Can’t you see the obvious inequity in this?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        Of course te reo should be a core subject. So should sign.

        The simple, mundane fact of the matter is that being multi-lingual provides cognitive advantages, never mind that these are our official languages.

        The best thing about a multilingual approach to education is the way it undermines bigotry National Party values.

    • nadis 2.2

      i think it is spelled “tinkerer” not “thinker”. Gareths problem is he never follows through on anything. Raises an issue – like UBI – proposes a solution, then disappears on to his next project when people point out major flaws in his thinking. I know he doesnt need the dough from selling his book, but I suspect his bank of ego needs significant feeding.

      Linking to the Brash speech is pathetic. Since then we’ve had 5 years of Labour, 6 years of National. The Nats have moved away from that style of politics significantly.

      As far as I know – from dialog with management of tribal entities – the last 11 years generally but the last 6 specifically have seen massive accomplishment on treaty settlement. Even Tuhoe are getting happier – that’s a big result.

      There will always be a redneck segment of the population – ours is thankfully very small. Ignore them.

      Plemty of people stood up to Brash at the time. 11 years on painting an elderly, now completely irrelevant political outsider as a villian makes Gareth look like the same idiot as Brash was. “oh look here is the personifaction of XXXXX – isnt he/they evil”.

      How about Gareth come up with solutions to poverty – disproportionate in some identifiable sectors of our economy – that make changes now. And I’m thinking specifically of giving social welfare, economic development and health budget to community organisations.

      I’d be really impressed with Gareth if he came up with a solution to get the tribal organisations to invest in jobs. They already have a tax free advantage but are still unwilling to invest in job creation in their regions.

      • weka 2.2.1

        I agree that targetting Brash was probably not so useful. Morgan could have referenced Orewa back then but made a speech that was more focussed on now and the future.

        Unfortunately, there is still a need to address the core issues he raises. Too many in NZ still don’t understand the Treaty or why it’s important. IME that’s based on ignorance more than prejudice (apart from the outright bigots) so the more discussion in public the better. Bout time more people from Morgan’s class stood up and did this work.

      • Gareth has written a book and published several columns on the topic. I think his contributions to current affairs are timely and informative; it’s Waitangi Day tomorrow FYI. I’m glad he gets column inches in the MSM for writing things that makes Kiwis think.

      • Tracey 2.2.3

        if you think he speaks and runs do a bit more research. in any event no one has to listen to him if they dont want to. he has as much right to express them as hide, garrett, catton and any other kiwi the media will listen to 😉

      • Jeeves 2.2.4

        @ Nadis-
        So wrong on so many levels…..

        “Linking to the Brash speech is pathetic.”

        Not really- it was our sentinal race related speech. It, like Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood, Negro with the whip-hand over the whiteman speech, was an historical exclamation mark where many agreed fully and many nearly vomited with disgust. Morgan is simply using it as an identifiable viewing platform from which to ask- have our views changed yet?

        “The Nats have moved away from that style of politics significantly.”

        They’ve moved away from the style, but moved closer to the politics- significantly closer. They just aren’t naiive enough, or dare I say it Brash enough to think- and talk, like Brash did.

        “… the last 6 (years) specifically have seen massive accomplishment on treaty settlement. ”

        You are talking about treaty settlement – of grievances. Morgan is talking about the treaty. Very different things. A settled treaty will be a great starting point for a working treaty. Sadly 150 yrs after its time, but better late than never.

        Some of our Pakeha ancestors didn’t really take Queen Vicky’s sentiment in the genuine spirit she intended (see the Hansard records of the time for context)- and just thought ‘Fuck it- we’ll agree when it suits us and we’ll manipulate and legalise when it doesn’t’. THey superimposed by sheer power a completely integrated judicial/corrections/legal supersystem on to an utterly unprepared indigenous population and abused that very system when it suited to win victories over land that in a British court would have been seen as the vile manipulations they were. And they won. Well done those lads- they were great years altogether.
        Round two is now upon us and those wrongs have to be righted, and this is happening.
        Round three will involve actually giving the treaty a fair go.

        But it won’t be easy- because the redneck progeny of those pompous poms who stole a country for themselves- still can’t quite believe that Queenie Wikitoria actually thought the Maori were a decent bunch. Yes as decent as the rest of us-

        “There will always be a redneck segment of the population – ours is thankfully very small.””… Ignore them.”

        I’m trying hard to ignore this but I find that statement really quite wrong, never mind this patronising gem: “They already have a tax free advantage but are still unwilling to invest in job creation in their regions.”

        “There will always be a redneck segment of the population – ours is thankfully very small.”
        I am stunned that you think it is ‘small’. Unless you are literally only counting straw chewing farmboys from the south- and not yourself. I personally am finding it hard not to include your statements as within the same ilk.

        “oh look here is the personifaction of XXXXX – isnt he/they evil”.
        Please show any quote from Morgan that even comes close to this, even remotely close.

        • nadis 2.2.4.1

          hows this a patronising gem?

          “They already have a tax free advantage but are still unwilling to invest in job creation in their regions.”

          Last time I checked it looked like a fact. Is it patronising because I mention it? Wouldn’t it be more patronising if I didn’t. Unless you are closely connected to the large tribal corporations I’m pretty sure I have a better understanding of what they do and how they invest than you do.

          Another point – when I listened to Gareth on Radio Live the other day, he made the well understood point that Maori had a different understanding of what the treaty represented. Equally true might be that the Colonial government had a similar understanding – that Maori were signing up to the colonials understanding of the treaty, given how the English had behaved in other colonial jurisdictions. That doesn’t invalidate the treaty that just means we need to develop a current approach to solving Maori grievance – which I thought we were making good progress on. How does that make me a racist?

          Re the quote – Morgan was clearly raising the specter of Brash to make a point. Brash is goneski. We are 11 years on. Still might have similar issues but using Brash is a lazy, manipulative way to do it. Good way to seek headlines.

  3. Tom Jackson 3

    For me I welcome Gareth Morgan working to educate Pākehā

    It is possible to wish for injustices to be rectified and for Maori to be a lot better off than they currently are, and for Te Reo to be a compulsory subject without subscribing to the Gordian knot of identity politics.

  4. Here’s a link to the full text of Gareth’s speech: http://garethsworld.com/treaty/returning-orewa-treaty-don-brash-speech/

    Bryce Edwards wrote a good review of Morgan’s book “Are we There Yet?” and other extensive work on this topic: http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/nz-politics-daily-challenges-treaty-consensus

  5. framu 5

    theyve suddenly disabled comments on that editorial – i know, made a comment there this morning on it. I wonder why? – 🙂

    • freedom 5.1

      You may have also noticed that every MSM article (those I have seen anyway) where it even mentions Mike Sabin has not had comments enabled at all.

      • framu 5.1.1

        and brooke sabin has utterly disappeared

        note: not trying to tar brooke sabin here – just noting his sudden abscence from tv and why that may be.

        anyway – back on topic

  6. tricledrown 6

    Dinosaur Don Brash claim making Te Reo compulsory would have absolutly no value to our children!
    Is Racist Colonial..Bullshit designed to be deliberatly divisive.
    Learning more than one language improves childrens IQ and learning outcomes.
    Te Reo is unique to New Zealand(unlikebrash’s racist attitude)
    Now tourism is one of our biggest industries people especially Chinese((even chinese singaporeans)they don’t want to see another former homogenis british colony given what the British did to them).
    Time for Brash to take his narrow minded head out of his skinny white supremiscist ass!
    And recognize we have an unique indiginous culture found no where else in the World thats being Homoginized.
    Lets revere nuture and be proud of our brothers and sister’s.
    Who have fought bravely played on our sports feilds danced sung etc.
    For without Maori New Zealand would be jusy little Britain.
    From the Allblacks silverferns to our unique music,laguage,laid back easy going attitude our do it youself adaptions,not being affraid to chalenge authorit

  7. Jay 7

    “Te reo is unique to nz”

    Nope, te reo Maori is an official language of the cook islands. Nz Maori is merely a dialect of the Maori language, which is spoken all across the Pacific.

    In fact there were a great many dialects of nz Maori even, many of which have died out, although a few remain. The Maori spoken in taranaki for example is very similar to the dialect of Maori spoken in rarotonga.

    All these dialects are mutually inteligible,
    in fact, who did cook bring to nz to translate? A tahitian. He communicated fluently with Maori in nz.

    The biggest problem I have with compulsory Maori in school is, who’s going to teach it? Most modern speakers of so called Maori speak “university Maori”. Hallmarks include a strong English accent, a confusion of grammar, mispronunciation of words, vowels and consonants, and contrived and invented “Maori” words

    All this means that true native speakers – almost invariably older people, cannot understand what is being said by modern speakers. And modern students of so called Maori cannot understand what true native speakers are saying when they speak on marae

    The mutual intelligibility of nz Maori with cook island Maori has been lost, while older speakers of nz Maori can easily converse with a cook islander, younger speakers think it’s some kind of a “banana” language, and meanwhile cook islander laugh at their atrocious pronunciation

    Imagine a frenchman learning English from a book and trying to communicate with us. That’s how bad university Maori sounds to a native Maori speaker.

    This is a well known fact among Maori, and the terrible lack of true native speakers is a great worry.

    So, I would refuse to send my children to kohanga reo, and would rebel against any compulsory Maori being taught to them in school unless the teacher was a native speaker from somewhere where Maori is still spoken in the home. And nowadays that is almost nowhere. The Maori language was lost decades ago when they stopped speaking it in the home, and in my opinion the tipping point was reached a long time ago. True Maori is almost dead here in nz, and we will be left with the abomination that is modern “Maori”.

    • Jay you’ve made quite a few definitive yet unprovable statements in there – I don’t agree with many of them at all. Language evolves and the revitalisation of te reo Māori is an ongoing, fraught with many challenges, undertaking. Personally those working and learning in this area are doing a great job in difficult circumstances and I wish they had more resources and support.

      • weka 7.1.1

        + tahi

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        with you. many countries have a spoken native language no one else speaks so it is not a legitimate complaint. also learning a second language from a young age ignites parts of the brain that otherwise lie dormantish.

        no idea why it upsets so many… this idea of te reo in our primary schools for all. what a great nod to the Treaty that would be.

      • Murray Rawshark 7.1.3

        Tautoko, marty.
        Jay’s basic premise is that it’s not what it was, so let it die. FFS, English is not what it was 200 years ago, nor what it is today in Las Malvinas. A poor argument.

    • weka 7.2

      So, I would refuse to send my children to kohanga reo, and would rebel against any compulsory Maori being taught to them in school unless the teacher was a native speaker from somewhere where Maori is still spoken in the home. And nowadays that is almost nowhere. The Maori language was lost decades ago when they stopped speaking it in the home, and in my opinion the tipping point was reached a long time ago. True Maori is almost dead here in nz, and we will be left with the abomination that is modern “Maori”.

      That’s basically an argument to let te reo die.

      Like marty, I’m not sure to what extent your assertions are provable, but they appear to be solveable if true.

      Hallmarks include a strong English accent, a confusion of grammar, mispronunciation of words, vowels and consonants, and contrived and invented “Maori” words

      Pretty good description of NZ English there too 😉 I am curious though, what you would call the machine you are reading this on, in te reo?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.3

      Ask the Chinese about the ‘simplification’ thats occurred in their ( main) language to make it more usable.
      The French standardised on Parisian French quite some time back, but there is a revival on regional languages with the more devolved local government.
      German has distinct regional differences and Swiss German when spoken on TV would require subtitles for other german speakers, yet standard german is still taught in schools there.
      Norway has two official written forms of their language which are acceptable.

      Afrikaans grew out of dutch with significant borrowings from english, but its easier for dutch to understand afrikaans than the other way round.

      The Emperor of Japan when he appears on TV speaks in a formal way, but no longer uses a form of court japanese that was unintelligible to modern listeners ( as occurred with Hirohito surrender broadcast)

      Its the nature of language to evolve and while Tahitians and maori might have been mutually intelligible in Cooks time, doesnt mean it would have to continue ( it didnt, let alone with the addition of parisian french!)

      Then there is the different versions of English!

      In other words its natural and something to be encouraged for a language to change or not as the case may be.

    • English Breakfast 7.4

      Well said. It is such an irony that it was Maori themselves who fought so strongly to have their own people prevented from speaking their language at school. Learning Te Reo is an admirable thing to do, when it is a choice.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.4.1

        The story of those who learnt maori in the home first and were punished at school – where they were sent to learn english- is a reflection of the prevailing theory of the time, that children couldnt be expected to learn two languages at the same time at a very young age.

        We now know that is wrong and in fact the opposite is true, children are naturals at learning another language at a young age.

        It happened in other places as well. In the US states which bordered Quebec, in the 1920s and 1930s, those whose parents spoke french at home were punished if they used french when they were attending american schools.

      • weka 7.4.2

        “It is such an irony that it was Maori themselves who fought so strongly to have their own people prevented from speaking their language at school.”

        what time period are you talking about?

      • marty mars 7.4.3

        nah english, the time for choice is well past – time to save the language using all available means. I’d add an incentive in too.

  8. vto 8

    Morgan reflects a sea-change that has and is sweeping through NZ on these issues..

    Brash reflects a retreating, defensive and outdated view of same ….

    That is clear as a bell (and hardly needed stating, it is so obvious)

    And where is Key calling on Morgan t butt out of politics and stick to his knitting, per Eleanor Catton? I think it is fantastic to have these sorts wading in deep to issues that affect our society so much….

    Eleanor Catton
    Gareth Morgan
    Dame Anne Salmond
    Mike Joy

    communication – it is always communication. the more the better.

  9. Jay 9

    It’s not solvable, to truly speak Maori you need to be immersed in it, and if you’re an adult, have a talent for languages. There just aren’t enough truly native speakers to go around.

    I have heard prominent and knowledgeable Maori bemoan the standard of Maori that is spoken on TV by the presenters even.

    It’s well-known among Maori, especially native speakers, but isn’t spoken about often

    Ten years ago I worked with a man who had a degree in Maori, but couldn’t understand elders when they spoke on the marae.

    They’ll all die eventually, and we’ll be left with an abomination that bears little resemblance to the beautiful language that I call Maori.

    • weka 9.1

      I appreciate you are mourning the loss of something beautiful and important.

      “Ten years ago I worked with a man who had a degree in Maori, but couldn’t understand elders when they spoke on the marae.”

      One solution is to bring those two together (send the uni man to the marae).

      If te reo had been taught as compulsory in primary schoo for the past ten years we would have far more funding and oportunity now for immersion situations and learning.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.1

        A meaningless comparison. Universities dont emphasis spoken language when they teach them to degree level.

        I all ways remember at high school, once there was a visiting professor of mathematics in our 7th form maths class. He didnt seem to know that much about the maths were were learning.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          I think the point is that a lot of people teaching te reo have learned their reo at uni not on the marae or at home. So the language being taught is uni te reo rather than marae te reo.

          I don’t know to what extent that is a problem.

    • Jeeves 9.2

      Oh well- I guess you’ll be all alone then, Jay, with no-one to understand you and no-one to talk to. But there’ll be a whole heap of people chatting away happily in a language that sounds like your old Maori, but is actually their new Maori. And they’ll call it Maori, or Te Reo.

      And you’ll can only talk to them if they are willing to speak english to you.

      For Christ sake its a dumb stance. Look at Gaelic in Ireland- completely different to what it was a hundred years ago- as is the music, dance, and overall culture. Its better- because its theirs and theirs alone.

    • Abomination is such a harsh, cruel word.

      Those who have been bought up immersed within the language and those who have learned it in whatever way they can are on the same page – they want to save the language and everything associated with it. I have worked with Māori giving their guts to save the language and the dialectic uniqueness relating to their rohe, their Iwi – to call their work, and their fluency and their total commitment to teach their tamariki, an abomination that bears little resemblance to te reo Māori, is beyond rude.

    • Fran 9.4

      Gosh I so understand where you are coming from. I am in perpetual mourning for the beautiful language called Latin and agree that the modern Italian we are left with is indeed an abomination, likewise I don’t understand why we English speakers don’t still speak the beautiful English of Chaucer.

      Get a grip!!

  10. feijoa 10

    I was actually shocked when my kids went to primary school( some years ago now ) and te reo Maori WASN’T compulsory! For some reason ( stupid, I know…), I just expected it would be. I think I learnt more Maori culture when I was at school in the 60’s – we did heaps of songs, dances, games, poi, weaving, etc,- more than kids do now

  11. venezia 11

    Jay – have you ever travelled in Wales or the west coast of Ireland and heard young people speaking the tongue of their ancestors in the street? These young adults learned their language(s) as children in the schools as a direct result of government policies to save these languages, and now there are intentional efforts to use it in public life and in the home. As it has evolved, it is different to the old timers language, but it was the old people who were the strongest supporters of such programmes, and just as I despair hearing how Americanised NZ English has become, no doubt there are currently older people in both these countries with similar reservations about the modernised Welsh or Gaelic. That is how it has always been – as a previous poster has pointed out, if language does not change and evolve it will die. Can you understand the Old English of mediaeval times? Of Chaucer?

  12. millsy 12

    You have to admit though, if it wasn’t for that speech (and certain other things), Labour VI would have gotten themselves 4 terms, maybe even 5….

    Brash’s strategy was flawless. In one fell swoop, the right ended up setting the agenda and never looked back.

    To date, no Labour leader has ever delivered a speech with that sort of impact.

    • Ad 12.1

      The difference between the reception Helen Clark consistently received and that Key is now receiving is in part a difference in how Nga Puhi and Waitangi Committee leaders treat Labour leadership. Mainstream media then sear that difference into collective memory.

      Clearly Labour is always fulsomely welcomed onto Ratana – no tantrums or tirades there.

      But who can forget Helen Clark as Prime Minister being harangued at length by that loathsome hag Titewhai Harawira, staged to enable the cameras to greedily track a tear fall down Helen Clark’s face?

      So why the difference in treatment?

      Maybe Nga Puhi elders are now a little more circumspect around Prime Ministers during Waitangi with the prospect of 200 million in settlement dangled in front of them. Or maybe Key’s charm really is that good. I suspect it’s the former.

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