Time to rethink the tobacco problem?

Violent robberies of dairies and service stations have increased, with tobacco products often being the target. Is it time taxes on tobacco were reassessed?

I received this by email:

I find the zealotry of Turia on tobacco incredibly naive.

NZ has a huge problem with P and cannabis, not to mention black market tobacco, precisely because the taxes of tobacco have been increased so sharply. It was silly to think you could tax it out of existence, people can and will use substitutes. Entirely foreseeable side effects and banning dairies from selling tobacco will only run owners out of business and shift robberies to petrol stations and supermarkets.

I can understand the zealotry of Tiriana Turia to an extent, as Maori have been affected disproportionately by adverse effects of smoking. She drove the substantial increase in tobacco tax, and this has been effective in lowering rates of smoking.

Smokefree NZ: What are our smoking rates and how are they changing?

Smoking rates in New Zealand Aotearoa continue to reduce, with 17% of adults currently smoking, of which 15% smoke daily (this has dropped from 25% in 1996/97).

Although 605,000 New Zealand adults still smoke, over 700,000 have given up smoking and more than 1.9 million New Zealanders have never smoked regularly.

That means over 2 million people, over half the population, must have smoked regularly at some time in their lives.

Smoking has changed in the last half century from a socially acceptable (by those who smoked) widespread practice to a fringe activity.

Social pressure against smoking and rising prices are having an effect overall.

  • Youth aged 15–17 6% (down from 16% in 2006/07)
  • Young adults 18-24 24% (down from 28% in 2006/07; however this age range now has the highest smoking rates of any age group)

Younger people are smoking much less, perhaps due to price pressure as much as peer pressure, but rates jump when they have more money available.

However Turia’s concerns are obvious when you see this demographic:

  • Māori adults 38% (40% in 2007)

That’s over twice the overall rate, and it has hardly come down. So price pressure can’t be working effectively.

  • Pacific adults 24% (26% in 2007)

That hasn’t moved much either.

Is it time for a rethink on how to address this? Maori and Pacific people may need different incentives to quit smoking (or better, to not start smoking). Rising prices just seems to give some an incentive to steal.

Maori and Pacific Island people also figure disproportionately in unemployment and low incomes. The price of tobacco puts even more financial pressure on them.

Logically one might think that $20 a packet of cigarettes – that used to be a common daily consumption level – would be a huge deterrent, but for some demographics it obviously isn’t working much.

Why do young people start smoking in the first place? Not getting addicted is an obvious aim, but prevention is proving difficult amongst Maori in particular.

Further increases in prices are likely to increase related crime, increase deprivation and push some to other drugs – cannabis must be getting price competitive, and smokers must be more easily tempted harder drugs as well.

It looks obvious that a rethink and a different approach is needed.

It’s easy to see what is not working, but it’s a lot more difficult to come up with effective solutions.

Andrew Little versus kaupapa Maori

Andrew Little stirred up Maori politics yesterday with comments on RNZ that slammed the Maori Party. There was a significant reaction via media and on Twitter.

RNZ: Māori Party ‘not kaupapa Māori’ – Andrew Little

Labour leader Andrew Little claims the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori after hitching its wagon to National, as a new deal between the Māori parties is signed.

Speaking to Morning Report today, Mr Little said the Māori Party hitched its wagon to National, but nothing had changed in terms of Māori over-representation in prisons and unemployment – so it had no influence over National.

He said they had conceded on every important issue.

“In the end, what it comes down to is – how do Māori have the strongest voice? Not just in Parliament, but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party, which is two MPs tacked on to a National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to. It’s all grace and favour stuff.”

He said Mana’s Hone Harawira was all over the show, and in and out of different waka all the time.

That’s a bit ironic. Harawira responded on RNZ:

Mr Harawira said the Labour leader’s comments about his deal with the Māori Party were inappropriate and quite nasty.

He told Morning Report he found it quite astounding how arrogant Labour leaders could be when talking about what Māori needed.

“I think what Māori really need is to not have white guys like Andrew Little telling us what to do, and what our aspirations should be. Mana has always been clearly its own independent organisation.”

A Maori Party founder and ex leader Pita Sharples later also responded – RNZ Labour leader ‘should be ashamed’- Sir Pita:

Sir Pita  said the Māori Party’s focus was solely a Māori one, and said he was “totally insulted” by Mr Little’s comments.

“It’s that kind of using made-up phrases like that to denigrate the authenticity of Māori that really does the damage in race relations. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Sir Pita co-led the Māori Party from 2004 through to 2013, and said he was baffled by Mr Little’s claims.

“We champion and build kura kaupapa Māori schools highschools, wharekura run reo Māori language programmes and work by hui in marae and always have mihimihi, (greetings) so I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

More from Stuff:  Political attacks are in full swing as Labour and the Maori Party go head-to-head for the Maori seats

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says…

“He is the worst example of someone who understands Maori and relationship agreements and how to work with other parties for that matter.”

She said the party is divided over Little’s decision to bring high-profile broadcaster Willie Jackson into the party and he’s been dishonest about whether Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare was asked to stand aside in his electorate.

“What’s obvious is there’s disquiet amongst the Maori MPs,” says Fox.

Little:

Little went on to say the Maori MPs in Labour were “fearful” of a high spot on the party list because “they don’t want to give the impression they’re being held up by belts and braces”.

He said Labour’s Maori MPs were advocating for low-list places – it’s widely speculated Jackson, who is running on the list, will receive a high placing.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, who will have a fight against Mana leader Hone Harawira for the seat after an agreement between Mana and the Maori Party to give Harawira a clear run, said Little was right and it was about getting more Maori in Parliament.

He said sitting Maori MPs were prepared to sacrifice a high list place in order to get more MPs, such as former TV presenter Tamati Coffey and Northland candidate Willow-Jean Prime, in to Parliament.

“It’s the risk we’re prepared to take,’ he said.

Unless Labour improves it’s support then list placings will be of little use. Winning an electorate is all important for Labour MPs.

It’s not just politicians who have piled into Little for his comments.


Sparrowhawk/KāreareaAndrew Little and the Māori lightbulb moment

It was a great question from Morning Report’s Susie Ferguson to the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little.

Ok…the Labour vote is high in those Māori seats, but isn’t there a hunger from the voters in those seats for an electorate MP who is from a kaupapa Māori party?

It was a great question for two reasons (in my mind)..firstly, the fact that Susie knew what a kaupapa Māori party was, and was comfortable with the nomenclature. Props. Secondly, the answer to that question showed Little lacks a useful understanding of Māori thinking. It was a kind of lightbulb moment in reverse: he showed us he had no idea where the switch is, let alone the bulb, that could illuminate Māori politics for any of us.

[Little] Well, the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori. We know that, it has conceded on every important issue affecting Māori in the last nine years.

[Ferguson]: They would probably take issue with that!

[Little] Well in the end, what it comes down to is: how do Māori have the strongest voice, not just in Parliament but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party which is two MPs tacked on to the National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to.

Oh boy. we have the Leader of the Opposition telling us what is and isn’t kaupapa Māori. I don’t really mind any Pākehā person voicing an opinion about things Māori. So the fact that Little is Pākehā doesn’t gall me. What galls me is that he has pronounced grandly upon something he doesn’t understand. As can be seen above he has given us a definition of kaupapa Māori.

Extrapolating from his words above we now know that a political party can only be kaupapa Māori if it wins battles in Parliament on every important issue affecting Māori.

And then he seems to contradict his own statement by saying the Māori Party provides the strongest Māori voice in Parliament (albeit from the beat up Vauxhall being towed behind the big blue bus).

Way to build up your own Māori MPs, Andrew, by conceding they don’t have the strongest voice already.

I’ll leave it to others to defend the Māori Party’s own record. That is not my focus; my focus is instead Little’s apparent ignorance of Māori and Māori modes of thought and action.

So what do we now know of kaupapa Māori in the wake of the Little interview?

  1. No Māori affiliated with the National Party can ever claim to come from a base of Kaupapa Māori
  2. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in terms of policy victories
  3. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in the strength of the loudest voice proclaiming it.
  4. Kaupapa Māori can only be exercised in regards to issues directly affecting Māori.

On this definition, neither the Māori Party nor the Mana Party nor Sir Āpirana Ngata could ever be accused of employing kaupapa Māori.

Little has provided a handy rallying cry for those who would seek to undermine the Labour Māori vote. I am sure his own Māori candidates, MPS and membership will not thank him for disparaging the Māori Party in this way when they find themselves having to defend a leader who has commandeered the Māori language and insulted Māori politicians and voters in such a cavalier way.


Little seems to be struggling with dealing with Maori issues, as well as going on the attack in trying to protect Labour’s Maori seats.

He has indicated he has no interest in talking to the Maori Party about coalition arrangements.

Maori 0f Little importance?

When Andrew Little went to Ratana last week he emphasised how important Ratana and Maori issues were to the Labour Party.

RNZ: Andrew Little joins us ahead of Ratana today

Andrew Little says it’s ridiculous to say Labour has lost the support of Ratana and wider Maori voters, and he is confident in the long-standing relationship.

Transcript from the audio:

The relationship we already have is a strong one where we are talking about what’s good, not just for the Ratana people, the Morehu, but what’s good for all Maori, and what’s good for all New Zealand. That’s what Ratana stands for, what T W Ratana championed eighty ninety years ago.

We are in that discussion with Ratana all the time. It’s not just a kind of one-off what somebody says on the 24th or 25th of January.

Sounds good.

So what did Little have to say about what’s good for Ratana morehu and what’s good for Maori in his next big political outing, which was just a few days later on 29th January at the join Labour-Green ‘state of the nation’ event?

Nothing.

He seemed to thing Bill English was important, mentioning him five times. But he didn’t mention Ratana, he didn’t mention Maori, and he didn’t mention the Treaty of Waitangi once.

His speech began:

Welcome to this historic day – the day when we start this important year, united in our resolve to change the government.

We are driven by one simple premise: That we can make this great country a better place for all New Zealanders.

Maori are included in “all New Zealanders”, but there is no specific mention of Maori issues. He mentioned Waitangi once, but that was just in a diss of English.

Metiria Turei spoke before Little and began:

Me aro koe ki te ha o Hineahuone.Mai te timatanga, ko Papatuanuku te whaea whenua, ko Hineahuone te ira tangata tuatahi, he wahine.

Tihei Mauriora!

She mentioned wahine five times, Aotearoa four times, and said “Our Green values of upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi” and “We will uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.

In contrast if Maori are important to Little and Labour it wasn’t obvious from his ‘state of the union’ speech.

“A shared NZ language would be uniting”

We have had recent discussions about whether the Maori language should be taught more to children so that it becomes more widely used. alongside our other official spoken language, English.

Traveller posted this:


People often refer to what can be dropped out of the syllabus to accommodate the addition of Maori. I am not talking anything other than learning the language to fluency. I’m not talking the continuance at college, high school other than there be a general reinforcement of cultural Tikanga/Maoritanga and that it is ideally seamlessly incorporated.

From personal experience, I know that preschoolers are like the proverbial sponge and learn second languages quite naturally. How? Two of my children went to Kohanga Reo for preschool. One of them went on to study other languages in mainstream schooling very easily, something I attribute to the bilingual nature of his preschool exposure.

Of course, the impetus to converse would vary from kid to kid, depending on their sociability and parental, academic and social reinforcement. It’s accepted that learning a second language (or third, fourth and fifth) is exceptionally simple and quite natural to preschoolers.

Ask anyone who has raised kids in expat compounds, in say, Saudi. It is common for children to happily converse in Arabic, French, German, English and to switch to the mother tongue of whoever they encounter with ease.

There appears to be a ‘window’ of learning language that ‘opens’ at about the age of ten months. Infants can hear much earlier, of course, and there is some evidence that they can even hear in the womb. It is clear that they will begin to imitate the ‘noises’ they hear, and when there is a reaction from their caregivers, they begin to associate meanings with the sounds.

Over the next two years, infants acquire language at an astonishing rate. By the age of three, they have acquired basic syntax (sentence structure), basic grammar (the ‘rules’ of the language), and a large vocabulary of basic words necessary to their physical and emotional survival. Their motivation to talk with their caregivers is high: asking for something usually results in being given the thing they need.

Similarly, when the infant begins to play outside, with other children, then the motivation to talk to these children is high, and the infant will try to learn the language of play. Later on, at school, the language of the school will be important, too.”

There is considerable debate among linguists as to when the ‘language learning window’ closes, if it closes at all.

However, there does seem to be an ‘optimal’ age for language learning, when the child’s mind is still open and flexible, and not cluttered with all sorts of other learning, not to mention the society’s views on which languages are ‘prestige’ languages, and which ones are regarded by the society as of little or no importance. The latter affects motivation: children will be admired for speaking a ‘prestige’ language, and teased and bullied for speaking a ‘non-prestige’ language.

When the mind is being taught many many other things than language, there is less ‘processing space’ left for language learning. At the moment, the ‘optimal’ time for learning a second language appears to be ‘at the same time as the first language’, i.e. in the home beginning at birth to three years (providing the parents speak these two languages as their mother tongue).

The next best time for learning a second, third, and even a fourth language, appears to be between the ages of two to seven years.

A third period for learning a second language is from about ten to thirteen years of age, this is in cases when the second language is not the language of either the parents or the environment.

This is the reason behind the push to introduce ‘foreign’ language learning into the curriculum of elementary schools, in the grade when the child is about ten-eleven years old.

The ideal would be to introduce conversation to all children at pre-school level relatively intensely. As our society evolved to being more naturally bilingual the home teaching would become a driving factor.

I truly believe that a shared NZ language would be uniting rather than polarising.

http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/biling.cfm


I agree that it would generally be uniting if children learned to speak Maori from a young age. There would be some grumbles but I think they would dissipate over time.

Children in mainstream now get taught a little Maori at school but nothing to the extent of being able to speak the language.

I’ve just spoken with a 12 year old who says they get taught some bits of the Maori language, and sing Maori songs, and but nothing conversational.

 

Should Te Reo be compulsory?

A language activist from Catalonia suggests making Te Reo compulsory.

Maori Television: Catalan Experts – Make te reo Māori compulsory

Last year Native Affairs spoke with Catalan language advocates who encouraged Aotearoa to follow the example of Catalonia by making te reo Māori compulsory here.

Catalonia is an autonomous province in Spain that includes the major city of Barcelona. It’s unique in Europe, governed by both Catalonia and Spain, with dual laws ruling the lives of those who live there.

In 1983 the Catalan government made the Catalan language compulsory in all public administrations, including schools and universities.

Now, over 4 million people speak Catalan, half the region’s population. And the language has been widely embraced throughout Catalonia.

Cristina Fons is a language activist who has been teaching Catalan for the past 25 years.

“I think that Catalan is very important, first because it is the language of the territory, of our ancestors, our tradition, and furthermore because we have a very rich history,” she says.

Cristina believes Aotearoa should follow the example of Catalonia by making te reo Māori compulsory.

And:

Humberto Burcet , a Catalan language teacher, speaks nine languages and has a PhD in te reo Māori and Samoan.

He was taken aback that te reo Māori was not more widely spoken here when he visited New Zealand.

“I went to Aotearoa to learn the Māori language, Te Reo, and for me it was surprising when I see my kids here learning Catalan….”

Like Cristina, Humberto thinks there’s every reason te reo Māori should be compulsory in Aotearoa.

“I think this is a good point to make te reo Māori available to all people who want to learn it and to make it possible to use it outside the school.”

I don’t see why te reo shouldn’t be a standard subject at school. I wouldn’t have minded learning it, it would have been more interesting and useful than the French I did.

I don’t think making it compulsory in public administrations and it shouldn’t be compulsory at University level, but it would be good if all kids became proficient.

 

Maori crime statistics

Maori crime and imprisonment statistics are horrendous.

‘One law for all’ sounds impressive in theory but in reality some laws are unequally applied.

If Maori crime was successfully addressed to a significant extent then crime and prison statistics could improve markedly.

Tony Wright at Newshub: History’s role in understanding Māori prison rates

Last weekend I published an article entitled ‘Why are so many Māori in prison?’

The article took an historical view of Māori poverty using the expertise and knowledge of historian Vincent O’Malley and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

Although we don’t allow comments on the Newshub website – particularly for such an emotive and divisive article – I forgot to take into account the flurry of comments that would come through later on the Newshub Facebook page.

It was obvious some posters had simply read the headline and hadn’t bothered to read the article, but many had, and some of the comments were very interesting.

One main theme that came through was one of historical ignorance:

“Why blame century old injustices to Māori for their plight today?” was a common post.

Why indeed?

Intergenerational poverty and welfare dependence has had a direct effect on Māori crime rates. This is fact. You cannot deny it.

And it has had a major negative effect.

In a perfect New Zealand, Māori wouldn’t be on the wrong end of crime, poverty, and poor health statistics. The sad fact is that they are, and shockingly so.

Remember that Māori make up 14.6 percent of New Zealand’s population, but over 50 percent of the prison population.

All Kiwis need to be concerned about that statistic; it’s blight on our country and the end product of a social situation that simply isn’t working for Māori.

Not all Maori, but too many Maori, and this impacts on all of us through crime and costs through things like prisons.

Should New Zealand have a separate justice system for Māori?

A common theme posted was this: “We’re all Kiwis and we should all be treated the same, regardless of race.”

If you look closely at the New Zealand justice system you’ll soon realise Māori aren’t treated the same as everyone else.

As Ms Fox told me: “Māori are three times as likely to be incarcerated for the same crime as non-Māori, and you’re three times as likely to be incarcerated for longer periods for the same crime as non-Māori.”

Does this read as being treated the ‘same’ to you?

Newshub will be looking further into the high incarceration rates of Māori because it’s a major issue and one that’s often misunderstood within New Zealand society.

I believe we first have to first address it, and then seriously look at ways of improving it.

If we can’t at least do that, then what kind of society are we?

If Maori social problems, Maori education problems, Maori family problems, Maori crime and Maori imprisonment rates are successfully addressed then we will all benefit, and we will have a better country.

A different approach is needed, because what is happening now is a disgraceful failure.

Labour versus Maori and Partnership Schools

When announcing two new partnership schools ACT’s David Seymour blasted ‘relentless negative attacks’ on the education alternatives.

…they had also found themselves “the constant focus of relentlessly negative attacks” from other sectors of the education system who seemed to believe that the education system was funded for them, rather than for kids.

“I don’t think it is entirely fair that our Partnership school sponsors have had to be their own PR agents while also setting up schools in quite heroic and successful ways but nevertheless that is part of the reality they face.”

The Labour Party has strongly opposed partnership schools (aka charter schools), led by education spokesperson Chris Hipkins who seems to be closely associated with teacher unions.

The two new partnership schools that will open next year both aim to provide education leading to employment for Maori children. If Labour was serious about representing their Maori constituency they would recognise the potential benefits of fixing parts of our current education system that are failing many Maori kids.

Hipkins:

HipkinsEducationStatement

From a closing address Hipkins gave to Te Ara Whakamana Pathways and Transitions Forum:

Our education system needs to prepare our young people for a world we can’t yet imagine. We might not be able to imagine ‘what’ they will be doing, but we can predict with a reasonable degree of certainly some of the attributes they’ll need if they are going to succeed.

Far from having a ‘job for life’ they can expect to chop and change careers on a regular basis. They will probably undertake a range of different types of work, some salaried, some contracted, some in a workplace, some from home.

Subject specific knowledge and technical skills will be a lot less important, transferable skills will be essential. Attitude and aptitude will be just as important, if not more important, than qualifications.

That poses enormous challenges for the education system and here, as around the world, we’re only just beginning to grapple with those.

The current focus on standardisation and measurement works against adapting the education system to the needs of the modern world. Those policies seek to refine a system that was well suited to the last century, but simply won’t cut it in the future.

Our focus has to be on a much more personalised learning experience, one that brings out the best in each and every individual. No two people are built exactly the same so we should stop forcing the education system to treat them as if they are.

One way to stop forcing the education system to provide more personalised learning experiences is through partnership schools. They provide an alternative for the many kids, by some counts a quarter, who are failing in the state system.

I want young New Zealanders to undertake courses of learning and study that leave their options as wide open as possible. Closer partnerships between schools, tertiary education providers, and industry will be vital.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean kids should be learning job-specific skills at school.

Job-specific skills are best learnt where they will be used – on the job. But a closer partnership between education and industry will result in a much greater emphasis on transferable skills, and less of an emphasis on subjects and credit accumulation.

One of the new partnership schools just announced:

  • Napier – Te Aratika Academy: a single sex (male) senior secondary school for years 11 to 13. It will have a vocationally-focused kaupapa Māori special character, and will target male Māori students. Sponsored by Te Aratika Charitable Trust. An opening roll of 67, with a maximum of 200 by 2019.

Te Aratika Charitable Trust is a new charitable trust formed by Te Aratika Drilling, a civil construction firm across the North Island.

Ronnie Rochel, the director of the company, said that since 1998 she had been working and mentoring young men.

“I am passionate about providing a platform for change,” she said.

She saw many young boys come in to apply for jobs and although they had been through the school system, they were were not employment-ready.

Sounds a lot like what Hipkins suggests – except that it isn’t under the control of the teacher unions that seem to have Hipkins as their spokesperson and seem to oppose diversification of education.

Partnership schools are one way of providing more personalised education and vocational preparation. Maori groups in particular see them as a more effective alternative for kids currently failing.

Will Labour put kids and Maori educational interests first?

Or do they have too close a partnership with teachers’ unions and don’t really want diversification beyond their control?

Duff versus Harawira

In a Herald column Alan Duff writes that Maoridom needs Hone Harawira back in politics like a hole in a waka (he said head but I like waka in it’s place).

The bone-headed fighter? No thanks

Oh dear. Maoridom needs Hone Harawira back in politics like the proverbial hole in the head. He couldn’t get on with the Maori Party, founded the Mana Party, had a bromance with the gifted but flawed German, Kim Dotcom. And when the admirable Kelvin Davis thrashed him in the last election, who does he turn on? Dotcom. But of course others, too.

A man with a hero-complex is not what Maoridom needs. They – our people – do not need someone pandering to our lowest common denominator, telling them their failures are not their fault but the fault of rich white people, greedy capitalists, a stacked system, government, all on the assumption these people are incapable of helping themselves.

Not once have we heard offered a solution to “poor” people’s woes, to “poverty.” He came up with no ideas on creating employment. Nor use of Northland Maori land.

No ideas on instilling an education ethos in the outlook of the very culture of those he claims to be fighting for. His ideas were and still are zilch.

He hasn’t demonstrated by a single gesture that maybe he should take a less hardline stance. Oh, no. Not Hone. He’s the self-described “fighter.” Whoopee, that’s gonna put a lot of Maori into their own homes and give them jobs, lift us up to the educated, aspiring middle class, a scrapper representing us.

Duff continues to pile into Harawira, then continues:

The last thing we need are bloody bone-headed fighters. Sure, genetically, we’ve all got the warrior in us. But for God’s sake know when to apply it and certainly not to advancing the Maori race.

We need our woman elevated to absolutely equal status. Not this outdated model of assigning women seats behind the front row because – yeah, sure – they need the males to protect them. Yes, women do need protecting – from too many of our Maori males. Too many of our kids need protecting from adult Maori males.

That’s a valid point but is on a much wider Maori issue than Harawira.

Maoridom doesn’t need tough-guy rhetoric, or protest for its own sake, a ceaseless outpour of negativity and blame-laying. In case you’re not aware, Hone, we’ve long used role models at our schools to give positive messages like: “It’s cool to read. It’s cool to aspire.” That’s all. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

Not for Hone. He wants to make it a scrap, a brawl, a war of insults and sarcasm. The man who thought Helen Clark getting “the bash” when she was mobbed by protesters at Te Tii Marae was not so bad.

Protest is useful if used wisely and sparingly – it’s important to pick fights that can be won rather than be a perpetual scrapper.

We knew he’d be back because he loves a scrap and loves being a heroic warrior figure.

He could try sitting down with people who are reasonable and come up with solutions to end Maori poverty and all our other problems.

This half-Maori columnist certainly believes Maori have a bright future, if only we could shut down the negative messages.

Or at least get the positive and constructive messages out there louder and more often so there is more prominence than the victim movement.

Not surprisngly the Bradbury promotion is giving Harawira an airing – Exclusive to Waatea 5th Estate 7pm tonight – Hone Harawira & Marama Fox

The soft and loud of “Pākehā”

(I have posted and reposted this in 2012 and 2014 but some who haven’t seen it might be interested).

I’ve often wondered what ethnicity to call myself.

I’ve never felt anything like “European”.  I only recently visited Europe for the first time in my life, and didn’t go to the countries my ancestors emigrated from.

European
— adj
1.     of or relating to Europe or its inhabitants
2.     native to or derived from Europe
— n
3.     a native or inhabitant of Europe
4.     a person of European descent

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=european&ia=ced

I’m of European descent, but then a lot of the world except Africa could probably claim some European link. Anyway, I see “European” as having a link to Europe now, not some time in the distant past.

“Caucasian” is another term sometimes used but it sounds more remote to me than European.

Cau·ca·sian
1.
Anthropology . of, pertaining to, or characteristic of one of the traditional racial divisions of humankind, marked by fair to dark skin, straight to tightly curled hair, and light to very dark eyes, and originally inhabiting Europe, parts of North Africa, western Asia, and India: no longer in technical use.

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=caucasian&ia=luna

So technically, that’s not me either.

usage: The word Caucasian  is very widely used in the US to refer to people of European origin or people who are White, even though the original classification was broader than this

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=caucasian&ia=ced

And I have no US heritage so ruled out there too.

So I should be using some local description. I certainly identify as a New Zealander and a Kiwi, so in a wider sense that is appropriate.

kiwi
As slang for “a New Zealander,” it is attested from 1918.

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=kiwi&ia=etymon

That sounds fine, but it isn’t universally known. I was talking to an American once who only knew a kiwi as a brown furry fruit, the sort that was called a Chinese gooseberry back in the old days.

New Zealander
— n
a native or inhabitant of New Zealand

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=New+Zealander&ia=ced

Yip, I’m one of those. But what sort of a New Zealander am I?

I was put off a common native language description, Pākehā, because I’ve heard some fairly derogatory “definitions” relating to fleas or fat pigs, but I’ve done some research that pretty much rules them out. What does Pākehā mean then?

1. (loan) (noun) New Zealander of European descent.
Te rongonga o te Māori i te reo kihi, hoihoi, o Kāpene Kuki rātou ko ōna hōia ka kīia e te Māori he Pakepakehā, ka whakapotoa nei ki te Pākehā. Nā te Māori tēnei ingoa i hua e mau nei anō (TP 1/1911:5). / When the Māori heard the soft and loud sounds of the language of Captain Cook and his sailors the Māori called them ‘Pakepakehā’, which was shortened to ‘Pākehā’. The Māori created this name. which is still used.

http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/index.cfm?dictionaryKeywords=pakeha

That sounds reasonable enough. What else is known about it? From Wikipedia:

There have been several dubious interpretations given to the word Pākehā. One claims that it derives from poaka the Māori word for (pig), and keha, one of the Māori words for (flea), and therefore expresses derogatory implications. There is no etymological or linguistic support for this notion.

Although some are apparently offended I’m happy with the derogatory versions being ruled out.

The origins of the term are unclear, but it was in use by the late 18th century. Opinions of the term vary amongst those it describes. Some find it highly offensive, others are indifferent, some find it inaccurate and archaic, while some happily use the term and find the main alternatives such as New Zealand European inappropriate.

New Zealand European seems very strange, associating opposites, like an Arctic penguin.

Historian Judith Binney called herself a Pākehā and said, “I think it is the most simple and practical term. It is a name given to us by Māori. It has no pejorative associations like people think it does — it’s a descriptive term. I think it’s nice to have a name the people who live here gave you, because that’s what I am.

I can comfortably agree with that.

So depending on the circumstance I’m happy to describe myself as any of New Zealander, Kiwi or Pākehā.

New Zealand land wars

From The Encylopedia of New Zealand: Story: New Zealand wars

In the 1840s and 1860s conflict over sovereignty and land led to battles between government forces and some Māori tribes. The most sustained campaign was the clash between the Māori king and the Crown. Land confiscations to punish tribes that fought against the Crown have left a long legacy of grievances.

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The New Zealand wars were a series of 19th-century battles between some Māori tribes and government forces (which included British and colonial troops and their Māori allies, known as kūpapa).

Northland

In March 1845 Ngāpuhi led by Hōne Heke Pōkai attacked and destroyed Kororāreka (later Russell). His men fought British troops and other Ngāpuhi led by Tāmati Wāka Nene, until January 1846.

Wellington

In July 1846 Governor George Grey arrested Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha, whom he blamed for attacks on settlers. A rescue attempt failed, and government forces pursued Ngāti Toa and their allies into the hills behind Pāuatahanui.

Whanganui

Tensions between Whanganui Māori and settlers were heightened in 1846–47 by the arrival of British troops, the wounding of a chief and the hanging of Māori who killed four Europeans. Upriver Māori attacked Whanganui town, and after a battle at St John’s Wood a peace agreement was reached.

Taranaki

Many Taranaki Māori opposed land sales, and in 1860 there was conflict over a land purchase at Waitara. The British army invaded, and there was fighting until March 1861.

In 1865 there were battles in South Taranaki, and Major General Trevor Chute led troops around Mt Taranaki, destroying Māori villages.

Waikato

The Waikato was the home of the Māori king. The government wanted to punish his followers who had fought in Taranaki, and to make Waikato land available to settlers. Troops invaded in July 1863. War continued until April 1864, when King movement followers withdrew into what became known as the King Country.

Tauranga

British troops were sent to Tauranga in 1864. Rāwiri Puhirake’s men repelled a British attack on Pukehinahina (Gate ), but were later defeated.

Prophetic movements

Māori prophetic movements emerged to resist land loss. Some tribes opposed these movements, and numbers of kūpapa increased. The British government also began to withdraw troops.

In 1864 supporters of the Pai Mārire faith attacked British forces in Taranaki, and were defeated on Moutoa Island by lower-river Whanganui Māori. Pai Mārire spread to the East Coast, where its supporters were defeated by the armed constabulary.

Tītokowaru

Ngā Ruahine leader Riwha Tītokowaru wanted to defend Māori land in South Taranaki as settlers moved in and land was confiscated. He fought government troops and Whanganui Māori in 1868–69.

Te Kooti

Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Tūruki had been imprisoned on the Chatham Islands, where he developed the Ringatū faith. In July 1868 he escaped and returned to Gisborne, with 268 followers. He fled inland, and was pursued by the armed constabulary for almost four years.

Long-term impact

Figures are uncertain, but about 500 British and colonial forces, 250 kūpapa and 2,000 Māori fighting the Crown may have died in the wars. Māori who had fought the Crown lost large areas of land – about 1 million hectares in total.

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