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Is New Zealand at risk of becoming a nation of 'Stepford Citizens': people who smile politely, nod encouragingly, and recite word-perfectly the bi-cultural and multi-cultural slogans of their masters?

Is New Zealand at risk of becoming a nation of 'Stepford Citizens': people who smile politely, nod encouragingly, and recite word-perfectly the bi-cultural and multi-cultural slogans of their masters?
Kim Williams of the Tauranga Ratepayers Alliance.

By Chris Trotter*

“Coprolite” was the word that sprang to the mind of Paora Stanley, chief executive of Ngāi Te Rangi. Although unsurprised by the behaviour of some of the 300-strong crowd who had turned out to the founding meeting of the Tauranga Ratepayers Alliance, their vicious heckling of Kim Williams, chair of the Alliance’s steering committee, as she attempted to greet her audience in Maori, constituted a “sad indictment on them and the city”. (Coprolite, for those who don’t know, is what archaeologists call fossilised shit.)

Stanley may be a little hopeful in describing the sort of folk who shouted-down Williams with cries of “Speak English!”, “We don’t want to hear that!” “Sit down!”, as fossils. It may simply be the case that, in a city like Tauranga – for many years the home of a particularly outspoken brand of Kiwi conservatism – the hecklers believed themselves socially licenced to respond in the way they did. Certainly, many of these folk may be old: reflective of a time when Tauranga was the “retirement capital” of New Zealand. Some of them may even have been fervent supporters of Tauranga’s erstwhile MP, Winston Peters, and his NZ First Party. But to assume that every heckler in the auditorium was a political fossil is surely a little heroic?

There is a strong political assumption across pretty much the whole of the mainstream news media, that racist, anti-Maori and white supremacist views are confined to the benighted inhabitants of rural and provincial New Zealand. That only in the sort of far-flung places one glimpses in the Steinlager advertisements is it still possible to find folk willing to express racist opinions out loud. For “woke” New Zealand, Tauranga is the epitome of provincialism: a centre that went from small town to big city without passing through any of the civilising experiences that dignified Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. In the eyes of these sophisticates, Tauranga is what Hamilton would have been like without the University of Waikato.

If only New Zealand’s political geography was so simple. Provincialism, however, is a state of mind, not a postal code. Racist views cannot be neatly corralled in the “heartland” so beloved of advertising executives. It lives and breathes just as vigorously in the suburbs of all our major cities – and is certainly not confined to this country’s burgeoning archipelago of retirement villages.

In metropolitan New Zealand, however, it would be most unusual to encounter anything as unselfconscious and virulent as the recent outburst in Tauranga. In the big cities, any such expression would attract instant retribution. In the big cities, racists have learned to censor themselves. Only among people they trust absolutely, do they feel free to say what they feel.

This is, of course, a much more dangerous problem than the honest and open expression of racist attitudes supposedly encountered in your nearest country pub. New Zealand risks becoming a nation of “Stepford Citizens”: people who smile politely, nod encouragingly, and recite word-perfectly the bi-cultural and multi-cultural slogans of their masters. Harmless enough, you might think. And so they tend to be, right up until the day the equivalent of a Donald Trump happens by with a whole new line of behavioural software.

Or, to put it another way: How likely is it that the nation which is happy to arrest and incarcerate Maori out of all proportion to their numbers; the nation which mentally replaces the word “beneficiary” with the word “Maori”, and then waxes eloquent on the moral deficiencies of all such bludgers, fraudsters and deadbeat-dads; is truly the tolerant and progressive nation its Stepford Citizens proclaim it to be?

Indeed, turning the whole proposition around, why is New Zealand’s political class so ruthless in its policing of ordinary citizens’ thoughts and expressions, if the racist cohorts of the population are, allegedly, dwindling rapidly in number and power? What would be the point of hate speech laws in a country whose younger generations are entirely at ease with the sorts of changes championed in the He Puapua Report? Why seek to curtail freedom of expression when, far from threatening to poison the political discourse, free-speakers are only likely to expose the wholesomeness of their ideals? One does not build a wall if there is nothing and no one to fear living on the opposite side.

Apropos of which, was it not the contention of Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghahraman, speaking in the Domain to the thousands of Aucklanders who had gathered to express their sorrow and solidarity with the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks, that the actions of the lone terrorist represented only the tip of the spear of the white supremacist ideology that lies at the heart of colonisation? And, why on earth would the Ministry of Education sanction courses designed to confront “White Privilege”, if racism was not an all-pervading evil of New Zealand society?

Either, racism is a coprolitic throwback: a fast-disappearing affliction restricted to the sort of “crusties” who heckled Kim Williams in Tauranga. Or, it is an all-pervading evil that must be confronted unflinchingly at every level of our society. What it cannot be, is both. Moreover, whatever it turns out to be: failing-fast, or fuelling-up; it cannot be dealt with successfully by suppression.

To their credit, the authors of He Puapua, two of whom fronted-up on TVNZ’s Marae programme on Sunday, 30 May 2021, are consistent in their call for a “mature conversation” about the ideas contained in their report. What the producers of the show, and the New Zealand news media generally, need to grasp, however, is that one cannot have a “mature conversation” if the only people invited to participate are all of the same mind. Nothing is more likely inflame public opinion than a well-justified belief that only one version of the story is being told.

It is worth recalling that the catalysing issue behind the turnout of 300 ratepayers in Tauranga was the Labour Government’s decision to unseat the Tauranga City Council and replace it with commissioners, whose first major decision was to impose a swingeing 17 percent rate increase on the city’s residents. It is not difficult to join the dots between the audience’s anger at losing the right to set their own rates, and what they saw as the equally high-handed imposition of Maori language and culture upon citizens with little liking for either.

Racism is not defeated by such methods. To defeat racism it is necessary to let people see it in all its ugliness – as they did in the reports of that Tauranga meeting. To construct a bi-cultural constitution, one must not only advance the arguments in its favour; one must also allow people to hear the arguments against.

When the Commissioner of Public Safety for Birmingham, Alabama, Bull Connor, ordered his police to turn firehoses on African-American children in their Sunday best; when Alsatian dogs were set upon unarmed civil-rights protesters; who got the better of the argument? When bulldozers flattened the wharenui on Bastion Point, what was it that New Zealanders witnessed?

The most effective case to be made against racism and white supremacy is simply, and always, to allow people to look upon its face.


*Chris Trotter has been writing and commenting professionally about New Zealand politics for more than 30 years. He writes a weekly column for interest.co.nz. His work may also be found at http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com.

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167 Comments

It's disgraceful really. Many Pakeha old farts in NZ think they know everything even if the reality is that they are generally ignorant about the world.

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"To defeat racism it is necessary to let people see it in all its ugliness..."

You're making a good effort there, though not up to the Maori partys level yet

Agree. Maori, selected Labour most Green MPs are hardly generating the spirit of cooperation.

JC. Yes, good for you. It's high time this correlation with aged white skin and profound ignorance was outed. It's a trace element deficiency in their diet I suspect.

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Ummm....you do realize that's a racist thing to say?

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They are white and colonialist oppressors so it's OK.

we have Pacific Island in laws, and there from, a number of nieces, nephews & cousins. All in all an easy normal extended family relationship. Point is, in terms of any negative racial discrimination and other disadvantages such as lingo, they face as much as Maori might from let’s say, caucasian society, but there is not the government dedication to equate the same subsidies.

FG. I'm pakeha. My grandchildren include PI and like you we have had numerous horrible racism directed at them. Trotters middle NZ Stepford community which plays bland lip service to equality of opportunity but privately engages in bias against minorities, unconscious or otherwise, is virulently alive and kicking.

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Pakeha seems to be being superceded by colonizers for extra disparagment.

JC. Yes, good for you. It's high time this correlation with aged white skin and profound ignorance was outed. It's a trace element deficiency in their diet I suspect.

I suspect that was humor. Whether people like it or not, Maori is an official language of NZ so paying respects to that should be normal behavior. Disrespecting it is shameful and racist IMO.

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Is disrespecting an official language only shameful and racist if one of the languages is from people of colour? French is an official language of Canada and I have heard many Canadians outside of Quebec disrespect it. So would you say those non French speaking Canadians are showing shameful and racist behaviour? There are many examples around the globe where there is more than one official language and it doesn't have 100% support of the citizenry. Having said that, I do not condone the behaviour of attendees at the Alliance meeting in Tauranga.

Is disrespecting an official language only shameful and racist if one of the languages is from people of colour?

For sure. It's shameful and racist if those people whose language is being belittled and mocked are an indigenous, minority culture. But most of all, in this case, it shows a lack of respect and humility.

I can confirm that if you were intent on offending Maori, booing and telling our wahine to speak English while she is welcoming you would be right up there. There are idiots on both the left and right but I do sense an general increase in visible hostility towards things Maori. The cynic in me feels te ao and te reo have been hi-jacked by some pakeha to promote their own virtue/careers rather make a genuine difference (Reserve Bank is a classic example). Nevertheless, I'll take a period of over-promotion of te reo over my grandmother being caned for speaking it anytime.

With you on that. I was caned for not speaking “proper” english although given that particular peculiar master, may have just been something to make his day. Those were the daily extremes any pupil might encounter any day and while corporal punishment finally has been barred, there are still far too many extremists at practice with their agendas in all walks of life.

The cynic in me feels te ao and te reo have been hi-jacked by some pakeha to promote their own virtue/careers rather make a genuine difference (Reserve Bank is a classic example).

Oh for sure. I'm completely onboard with this. BTW, I was at a NZ govt event overseas when we were led through a group singing of Pokarekare Ana. It was out of my cultural comfort zone (I hate group singing regardless of cultural context). Just have to grin and bear it.

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J.C. A friend, senior govt department high level specialist in his field, is now forced to sing a team waiata at his regular team meetings. He and most of his colleagues just mouth the words as part of this practice, to do otherwise would have the cultural thought police down on their backs. I listen to mates in the public service with increasing incredulity as they relate the rapidly expanding reach into their every day lives of alternative culture and language. Some is understandable but more insidious for long term unit functionality is the sacrifice of objective best practice in operational disciplines including recruitment that often results from the cultural changes being driven.

Let me know when you are caned for speaking English.

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Well the English didn't have prominent elders petition for the banning of speaking English in schools. Below is a quote from e petition that Wi Te Hakiro, and 336 others presented to the Government for amending the Native Schools Act. You have prominent Maori to thank for this....

There should also be a general play-ground for the European and Maori children together. There should not be a word of Maori allowed to be spoken in the school, and the master, his wife and children should be persons altogether ignorant of the Maori language.

http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-BIM873TeHa-t1-g1-t2.html

That petition is an interesting read. The banning of speaking Maori in these schools was reasonable as the intention was to immerse the students in English. Being caned for transgressions seems cruel however I was caned and I witnessed a fellow student being quite brutally caned for speaking English in class when he was instructed to keep quiet. It was no big deal really, a source of some pride and amusement.

Yes, somehow these key facts are conveniently left out of the conversation and instead it's just another "grievance". Corporal punishment was a thing back then for all students that broke the rules or spoke out of turn.

I'm sure there were probably some children of early Chinese settlers who were caned at school for speaking Cantonese, why do we not hear about their plight? Is it because they just got on with life?

TK. Horrific and must never be forgotten but it was a long time ago and we've moved on a great distance since. On the same theme, perhaps let me know when the leadership of your local supposedly secular high school becomes to a significant extent captive to the agenda of external tribal 'advisers', with animist religious beliefs and radical BLM propaganda being actively promoted to pupils. And with senior teachers and HOD's too afraid to speak out or blow the whistle. I know of some.

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of ramming it down peoples throats.

Te Kooti,In my life I spent a couple of decades working in woolsheds as a shearer with a mainly Maori work force, talk about laugh Trev. Some of the best days of my life. No one rammed anything down anyone's throat except humour. Let's all live, respect and help each other.

My Grand Parents who are Irish were canned for speaking Gaelic and land taken, it's not a Pakeha thing. The type "My people were such victims" needs to have a good punch up to see who was worse off. The winner can get a award for most victimized.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. An eye for an eye... and all that, you get the point.

You post a lot of intelligent stuff, but comments like this suggest that you have a serious chip on your shoulder.

The article is about a woman being jeered by white NZers for speaking Te Reo. My point is contextual in that we have come a long way and entirely appropriate, relating it to the potato famine is simply a joke. I may or may not have a chip, but I'm not ignorant.

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Te Kooti’s Grandmother got caned for speaking Maori 70 (?) years ago. I was caned for arguing with a teacher 50 years ago. Get over yourself dude. If you want to bring up grievances from 2 generations ago then can I reach a bit further back and whine about the potatoe famine in Ireland and English policy causing the starvation of 20% of the population. But I’m the guy with white privilege ( 2 loving parents who prioritised their kids above everything else).

I was caned 47 years ago. I remember the bruising being quite significant. Kind of think it was cool and wouldn't choose to not have had the experience.

you didn’t experience the chalk line drawn across the seat of your trousers? Whereupon said assailant would try and “dust” it off. Also meant hitting same spot and, as in my case, drawing blood.

Brings back the memories. I attended a hard arsed boys only school where I was regularly caned for being a little shit. 100% deserved. Mrs middleman will disagree but I don't think it permanently scarred me. In a ritual humiliation you were sent to the rectors office to uplift a cane and bring it to the master. In the corridor outside the classroom the cane was then administered, to the amusement of passing boys, then you had to return it to the office. If you were quick you could race to your locker, chuck on some gym shorts underneath your pants and then run to collect the cane. That would usually mean the cane cuts didn't bleed. I strongly disagree with corporal punishment now but also observe with dismay the product of helicopter parenting, in the form of angst ridden, low resilience millennials. We've swung too far the other way.

It's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar ?

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Yes Chris, I am afraid this is all too common with MSM who have a code for what is not allowed to come on air or on video. Being anti-Maori policy or culture in any respect is not allowed on TV or radio, is howled down. I would estimate that about 20% of Pakeha have at least some resentments about how Maori are seen to benefit from government policies, especially in last 4 years but also in respect to treaty Settlements and health Authority or reasons given by media for why Maori so dominate poverty and homelessness, or crime, or prison pop or drugs etc. The sociological causation and correspondences for these societal phenomena are of course multiple and interactive, but this level of analysis is too sophisticated for most, and certainly not aired on TV. As a qualified social worker, I find it especially unfair that this profession is just assumed to be racist because they took Maori babies into care at birth and NONE of the profession was given any right to explain the criteria for such actions, on TV. This sort of thing leaks into the idea that Pakeha are all racist, which is rubbish. Also, definition of racist is not well done or subtle on TV or in print media. Racism is the belief that another group/ethnicity is inherently inferior to your own. Xenophobia or distaste for another culture, is not, in these terms, racist and the eliding of terms is v irritating and misleading. Lots of white people are aware fo what it is no longer ok to say, but that does not mean they have stopped thinking it. And they are not all Trump supporting over 65 red-necks. And suppression nd denial of their thinking and expression, and exclusion of it from MSM, does not make it go away.

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I agree with the majority of this comment. Any discussion on Maori seems to attract a call of racism so everybody stops talking about the issues but this also means we fail to fix the issues - hoping over time they go away is not a solution . There are lots of questions to be answered that nobody wAnts to discuss in case they are called Racist ie
Why are so many Maori in jail
Why are so many Maori on benefits - what is preventing them from getting jobs
Why do so many Maori live in poverty
Why are so many Maori children taken into care

Unless we hear both sides of the argument then how do we fix the above problems - I’ll give you the tip throwing money at it with little thought on where that money will be used won’t move the dial. Aside from that we have other societal questions that need to be addressed - no matter the race

Why do 10 children die a year from violence

Why does NZ have a high domestic violence rate.

We all know these stats but in the last 40 years little has changed - why

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I'll caveat something here, because I think it greatly clarifies the point I think you're making: throwing money at the problem and pretending that's the end of a moral imperative to improve the situation (while still claiming the moral high ground based on the amount of $$$ spent) is using these ills for political profiteering and should be called out as such.

I wager no one would have any problem with spending what it takes to lift Maori and younger generations out of poverty cycles, but that outcome has to be the main event, not the "we're spending more money than anyone else on it". It would be the best money this country has ever spent, IMO. But while this pathetic "speak English" racism flavour gets the headlines, the real perpetuation comes from a system designed to pat Maori on the head and nothing more.

I've been sat at meetings where KPIs split for Māori and non Māori are discussed and the reasons for the differences postulated. And I'm always baffled by the arrogance in all the same reasons trotted out by management when there is no one with a voice for Māori sitting at said meetings.

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I have a problem with "white privilege"

Its more a "majority middleclass privilege", not exclusive to western countries.

In alot of Asian countries the local are privileged over external cultures and races. But no matter where you are if you are at the bottom of socio-economic ladder, that is where a lot of crime happens and that is where the police extend their resources.

Thats why more white people get killed by police shootings in the US that Afro Americans (even though proportionately it is less), when your on struggle street, its a grind and everyone in that environment pays. Drugs, Education, Health, Abuse, violence, gangs are part of everyday life.

The kids are up against it from day 1

This is the big social issue that has never been addressed, fix that and a lot of the issues up the chain disappear. throwing money at it doesnt work, action needs to be taken. Build the best schools in these areas with the best teaches, best facilities. subsidise industry to create jobs in these areas. over invest in security and services to improve wellbeing. when Crime doesnt pay anymore and being productive does, it can make a vast difference at the individual level and up stream into the community

Read Thomas Sowells, 'Black Rednecks and White Liberals,' answers all your questions. Maori actually get a mention in the book.

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I was a degree of separation from a "baby stealing" case that was used as MSM fodder. The baby has become a dehumanised football in the name of racial politics. MSM doesn't care about the baby (a lovely wee child last time I saw them, after a huge amount of effort put in by a foster mother with a big heart), only that it happened to be Maori. The birth family's ethnicity has zero influence on my opinion of them but the emotional state the baby was in after visiting them, and the life choices they've made, certainly does.

One can play "what if" and "yes but" games for an eternity on this issue, but I wouldn't put any baby with any family that cannot invest the time and effort into that baby's best interests. Expletive-head breeders come in every colour of the rainbow.

(Gender-neutral terms used intentionally.)

Here is the crux of too many issues that are given a racial slant; "The birth family's ethnicity has zero influence on my opinion of them but the emotional state the baby was in after visiting them, and the life choices they've made, certainly does." MSM and interest groups seem to vigourously avoid asking the 'why' those choices are made. They just focus on the ethnicity and claim they are being unfairly judged. Sensationalism has disabled the objective investigation of the 'why'.

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Mike. Your 20% of pakeha having some 'resentments' is a conservative estimate if the 'results' from a recent Reid poll survey are anything to go by. Questions on whether Collins was justified in her concerns about separatist government policy and written by a TV3 'journalist' identified that a high 47% thought she was with something like 18% not having an opinion. This despite the questions being heavily slanted in favour of Arderns 'the treaty is a 50/50 partnership' agenda. Stereotyping those anxious about where race relations are headed in NZ as being racist old white guys or Tauranga residents is either lazy or mischievous.

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Actually I know of many who switch off when bombarded with Te Reo on TV. It's tokenism by those channels.

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I'm one of them, but it's not just Te Reo, I am a free thinking individual and I don't like anything rammed down my throat.

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Not just TV. Radio NZ is experiencing a huge slide in listenership. Those print media that have gone down a similarly woke pathway and replaced investigative reporting with culture wars advocacy are in serious decline. Arguing it's just a symptom of changing media consumption patterns and an ageing consumer base rather than people growing weary of tiresome social justice campaigning falls over when papers that have bucked the trend by sticking to basics, such as the ODT, are holding their readership. I absolutely support proper pronunciation of Maori names and inclusion of Maori words in everyday communication but repeated passages of a language I don't understand are a turn off. Literally.

Extraordinary really. Any old newspaper identity will tell you that it is advertising revenue that keeps paper going. And that advertisers are attracted by awareness of that paper’s support in the community, ie subscribers. So turning off said subscribers is thus a double movement negatively, and a surefire pathway to collapse of said paper. I take the Christchurch Press up the driveway to elderly neighbours each morning. It is just a spectre of the paper it once was.

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Yes, I agree. I have given up on Radio NZ as I find their wokeness over the top. When I read or listen to news, I want both sides of the argument, but this is becoming a rare thing.

There is a more sinister side to the RNZ wokeness; I posit that they are using it to feel-good/virtue-signal, while studiously - and a mean studiously - avoiding the pending dilemma(s) approaching humankind.

Just when we needed Public Radio, we get woke near-religious piety, shallow thought (if indeed it qualifies as such - half of Morning Report certainly doesn't) and assumed assumptions.

Most of it's pretty shallow, not much higher brow than talkback.
Kim Hill is a national treasure, though.

Me too. I probably understand Te Reo better than many being a 90s child and I’d like to think I know a reasonable amount, but it’s really, really hard to follow now so I just tune out. In a funny way, by trying to improve equality they are not being inclusive by using language that many people just don’t understand.

dp

dp.

Tauranga - Hamilton by the sea.

That, I would suggest, is unkind to Hamilton. Tauranga is now a haven for those who hated seeing Auckland 'change' but were happy enough to sell their houses to migrants or foreign investors for the sweet windfalls.

Agreed. The old "my village is better than your village" trope is quite a depressing bit of "Coprolite".

I would live in Hamilton over Tauranga. And that's really saying something.
I find Tauranga soulless and boring, and the traffic has got pretty bad. It's got one really nice beach and a good climate.

As opposed to Hamilton with no beaches and cold and fog all the time ?

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While I find racism offensive in all its forms, there is much in this article I find disturbing. CT is conflating 'racism' with being 'white' or 'pakeha'. But racism is not the sole preserve of the European races. (Note that I do accept that the most extreme consequences of racism do fall on non-European groups). I was told of the case recently of a relatively newly qualified young female working on a District Nursing team, who visited an older Maori gentleman patient. Whilst there, she was called 'white trash' by this gentleman's Maori wife. Apparently there had been nothing in this nurse's presentation or treatment that warranted this response. In my business I witness racism almost daily, and none of it in my recent memory has originated from Europeans. But to challenge it is to court consequences.

Please do not misunderstand, i am not offended by the adoption of Tikanga Maori, and am equally offended by those who would shout it down. Such intolerance has been the instigator and enabler of hate crimes in the past and should be stamped out strongly. Cultural acceptance can and should be our only way forward.

My view is that none of us got a choice to be born with our skin, eyes, culture or country. To then measure a person by their appearance, accent or culture (when it does no harm) is then nothing short of rank arrogance.

My view is that none of us got a choice to be born with our skin, eyes, culture or country.

What does that have to do with making a few opening remarks in Maori though? Do you think Maori would be offended by opening remarks in Mandarin or Japanese to a speech on a marae by visitors from those cultures?

I have no doubt that some would be .. and some would not be. To suggest that all Maori somehow would have one and the same reaction to the situation is silly stereotyping.

Do you think it is protocol for Maori to shout down people on a marae for making an intro in a language they don't understand? Protocol on a marae dictates that speakers may only speak in Maori. A person who speaks in other languages may be asked to stop speaking. The speakers will be advised of protocol beforehand.

Sounds racist to me.

People just want "a fair suck of the sav" as the Aussies so eloquently put it.
When that doesn't happen the shouting starts.

The same 'fair suck of the sav' that thinks it's OK to socialise infants into vicious criminals then when they grow up into monsters tip them out of the country and society that created them back to a NZ dumping ground. Then to rub salt shamelessly boast that you've 'got rid of the rubbish'. Morrison may be beaming bonhomie from Queenstown just now but the bullying aussie gangster spirit remains as alive as ever not far below the skin.

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I don't think it is the nation state of Australia socialising the infants into Criminals. The slack Kiwi parent's do that all by themselves. Same as if they were in NZ.

Kiwi's in Australia need to grasp one very simple concept. They are living in a foreign country where they do not hold citizenship. Actually it is even simpler than that, just don't break the law!

Want to claim all the benefits? then become an Aussie. Can't do that because you messed up (Consistently and repeatedly) when you were younger? well that's not Australia's fault.

If these poor 501s really want to see what "mean" is, try doing what they do in Russia, Romania, Brazil, or China.

Yes, absolutely migrants with free agency have to play by the rules or get booted out. Their kids, the next generation, are another story. You know a small ppn will go bad when you accept their parents to help build your country. It goes with the territory. It's unnatural cruelty to pretend otherwise by booting out someone who is culturally 100% an Aussie and with no connections to NZ apart from being conceived there. Morrison and Dutton are playing cynical hooligan politics by appealing to a base Aussie voter instinct.

So your issue is that Aussie politicians are keeping their promises to Aussie voters? Wish we had that problem.

Either way they are hardly "Culturally 100% an Aussie", from what I have seen, it is the fact they are not culturally aussie that causes the problems.

As the saying goes "When in Rome...".

Like all immigrants they want to retain their own independent culture, and that usually sees them ostracized for being different. That leads them to congregate with like-minded individuals, and the rest as they say is history.

Ncents. 'Wish we had that problem'. That's good ! I've traveled quite a bit and observed in many places the ghetto immigrant mentality you describe. A suburb we used to commute through a bit was Molenbeek in Brussels. A predominately muslim migrant area that is an incubator for fundamentalism. One never quite got fully used to being jammed in a carriage with multiple backpack wearing youths of middle eastern lineage at a time when tensions were running high. Quite the test of ones commitment to non judgemental inclusiveness.

I was referring to the problem that the Pollies are doing what the voters want.

But , yes you are right re the individual "test". When faced with certain situations, ultimately it comes down to your own judgement and/or the judgement of those around you, and we all do the best we can with what we know.

It’s not just NZrs. Same deportation criteria and action applies to Brits, Greeks,Maltese et al.Media & politicians here don’t mention that much.

Believe it or not but immigrants (specifically Australian immigrants) to NZ are subject to a similar law as 501' visa holders. NZ can refuse entry to NZ based on failing a good character test. committing a crime in NZ or another country - including losing your licence in NZ can result in your been refused entry into NZ. For Australian citizens who live in NZ and dont take out NZ citizenship- because they are not considered "permanent residents" they are able to be deported in a very similar manner as the 501 deportees. Because there are very few Australian citizens living in NZ it never comes up as an issue - but it doesn't mean the laws are not the same..

.

CT making lots of good points. But what NewsHub report is best?

Note both reports from same reporter on the same day.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/05/tauranga-crowd-jeers-...

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/05/tauranga-speaker-says...

It seems the first report was lifted from the Bay of Plenty Times - NZ Herald associate

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/tauranga-ratepayers-...

Both articles are 'best' because they are both clickbait and so will generate revenue. Which seems to be the only objective of many websites these days.

The two articles show up the two divergent views as in the word divergent, and as the quoted in the article 'the negativity of divisiveness", and as commenters in the thread use the word diversity.

It would seem for many that the objective is to divide.

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This incident is merely illustrative of pent-up frustration that will only become more frequent, as the liberal-academic race-theorising establishment foments more division.

A world where the amount of "diversity points" you can collect defines your usefulness, regardless of the individual merits of your argument or your own capability. A world where segmentation by race is more common, despite the experiences of the 20th century.

Most NZers are fair minded, but they hit breaking point when they are forced to genuflect before, rather than simply respect, another culture.

The division you describe is quite obvious. Jordan Peterson recently tweeted that the US Conservatives need to dump Trump and the stolen election narrative, and liberals need to dump critical race theory and diversity and inclusion narratives. The howls from both sides were as predictable as they are annoying. I won't genuflect to either side.

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It doesn't benefit either side. Telling white children that they're effectively evil from birth and should bear guilt for the actions of their ancestors, is not a recipe for mental health. Go to any therapist, and they will tell you that self-loathing is a cancer.

Similarly, implicitly telling members of other races that everything that's wrong with their individual lives is someone else's fault, is also not a recipe for good mental health. It curtails ambition and self-respect, which are key requisites for good life outcomes.

Take those two together and you have the reasons that China will win the 21st century. We are poisoning our children. Admittedly things aren't as bad as they are in the US, but you can see the direction of travel.

Yep. 100%, apart from the China part. There is still hope democracy won't implode. Absence of hope is another cancer.

Although I am a 'leftie' and am a supporter of all things Maori, where I think you do have a point is that it does feel, at times, that it is being shoved down people's throats a bit too much. Even as a liberal I find some of it too much. So there needs to be caution against going too far the other way.
But this incident in Tauranga was disgraceful. We are bicultural and bilingual, it's totally appropriate to begin a public address with some te reo. Even better when its meaning is provided in English immediately following the te reo.

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The majority of NZers are not bicaltural or bilingual , for better or for worse - even if you think they should be .

It is rude to address a gathering in a language you know most of the people present will not understand . So was the response from the crowd.

That's why I said follow the address in te reo with an English translation. Problem solved.
I have been in several situations where that has been done. Works well.

Yes we attended a lovely wedding where it was conducted entirely in mandarin and translated, as it went along, into english. It was an awfully long service though. Numb bum stuff.

paashaas. Maori is an official language. Short non grandstanding passages of introduction, preferably with interpretation, are in my view entirely appropriate for public gatherings.

Agree with this comment. I remember a couple of years back attending a number of meetings at the CCC, where all items were spoken in Maori and then English. Problem was there were no Maori speakers in the room. This is pure tokenism and a waste of ratepayer time and money as these meetings took twice as much valuable time out of all attendees already busy schedules.

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There is an implicit assumption that if you are not "brown" then you must be white and thus racist

You want to hear some racism? Listen to Dame Tariana Turei when she gets going
Full of vitriol, poison, hatred and racism
And she gets away with it
Try also Dame Rangimārie Naida Glavish and Jade Kake
And they're not white

Dame Tariana? Confusing her with the ex watermelon party co-leader welfare fraudster Metiria ?

Oops - corrected - are they related by any chance

only one of them.

Dame Turia! Lots of snide nasty racism comes out her mouth. A shocker indeed

But she took the honour.

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By the by: could we please have someone properly outline what the "Treaty" says?
About anything?
it is 3-4 pages long, written in 1840, ignored and lost til about 1920 and largely filled in with legal precedents post 1985.
Constant reference to it in MSM and not a word of it ever quoted.
Most of Maori who signed it did not get a translation.
Most of what was in it made no difference at all to sequestration of land before 1950.
Agreement with "Crown" which is NOT the government of NZ.
The Treaty itself entails zero obligations in law.
All such are interpretations by Courts set precedent
Read and are of it what you will....
https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/read-the-treaty/english-text

Most of references to the treaty in the MSM are interpretations of selected interpretations and precedents of the treaty.
This is summary of court and tribal precident that was published in 2004 (i think):
https://waitangitribunal.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/WT-Princi...
It worth reading for their definition of partnership (nothing like what the MSM would like you to believe).

Then last week we got the delusional and manipulative interpretations by Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (with all critical race theory you could ever need to make sure there's no common ground):
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/maori-party-co-leader-debbie-ngar...

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I am an immigrant, and I am not European. I have been living in NZ for a long time now and understand that the relationship between Maori and European Kiwis is complicated. However, I find how the Maori language is used very pretentious . As if Maori is the language of ceremony. You pray in it and now you can get on with the real thing.
Isn't it a bit disrespectful to Maori to use their language in this way? I may be wrong off course. I know that there are countries with no or multiple official languages. But the actual status of the language is primarily affected by the number of people who speak it as their mother language, and whether they comprise a considerable number of people in their locality. At least in Canada and Switzerland this seems to be the case.
I think Labor intends to create Maori Institutions for the Maori, where primary language of those institutions would be Maori (for people who prefer to use a service in Maori language). That makes sense (from use of language perspective), but the current use (or pretending of use to be more accurate) is just dishonest and pretentious in my opinon.

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Similar views. Praying/karakia to something you don't believe in is hypocrisy, not respect. Throwing in random words like mahi (work) into your speech will lead to a creole being produced that won't serve the best interests of New Zealanders as visitors won't be able to understand us.

Showing respect to Māori might include some place name changes where it makes sense (think suburbs and small towns where pa and marae were, not cities).

Agree. Whilst some Maori claim to be experiencing racism when the language is mispronounced perhaps why there's so much pushback

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Yeah fully agree. We spent a long time creating a secular society that didn't embed or promote religions and now we bust out karakia (read the translations, they are religious appeals to animist gods) at the drop of the hat. We have the RBNZ talking about upholding the will of tree gods. No one bothers to see through the implications because they're too scared to be called racist.

So why are we so concerned about equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunities?

I dunno, but that's certainly the case isn't it?

Chris Trotter says we imprison too many Maori, but that's and outcome. Were they targeted and unfairly imprisoned? Were they somehow held back and stopped from taking part in society which led to their imprisonment? Or did they just commit some crimes and get caught because that's what their friends and family do? I don't really know the answer.

Thomas Sowell presents comparable evidence that does point to what the answer is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J92gQDZ4dL8&t=276s

Some of this Maori Rennaissance is similar to Sir Walter Scott's revival and embellishment of Scottish Clans, the tartan dress that continues through today in Scottish pride.

Sentiment goes from acknowledgment of those that have gone before us, to outright religious tribal revivalism.

It took a single search to find the answer. There is heaps of evidence that for the same record and offences Maori are imprisoned at a disproprtionate rate.

https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/2018/05/prisons/crime.html

MSM is not research.

If there was any such thing as equality of opportunity, there would be no Kings Colleges in the world.

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Racism is when you won't take a seat next to someone on a bus due to their colour.

It is not racism to avoid that person when they smell of drugs, is deliberately looking menacing, wears a gang patch, has dilated pupils, has legs spread and his hand down crotch.

That's my 101 on what racism is not. AND most of the time it is not.

How does this relate to people shouting down someone speaking in Maori? It doesn't. What you point out is not necessarily racism And neither is shouting down someone speaking Maori. But the latter is definitely ignorant behavior. And let's face it, racism is usually based around ignorance.

Think about it...

You think about...
Any rational person would avoid someone with those characteristics, regardless of their colour. And trust me, I have encountered plenty of caucasian people in that condition.
Maori is one of our country's two official languages, it's absolutely appropriate to use it in a public address.
I would call the behaviour in Tauranga racist. But at the very least it is offensive and disrespectful.

Ok so how does speaking to a group in a language they can't understand shsoe up. Is that not disrespectful to know your audience then say things ghey can't understand?

Bit like someone standing up and trying g to communicate in sign language, another official language.

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Respect is earned, not coercive.

New Zealanders travelling to Australia need to avoid talking Te Reo on public transport

Here is a spray by some diggers ranting at two French girls for talking in French
That stirred up a sh*t-storm

A write up in 9News
https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-man-who-filmed-racist-bus-ra...

Watch the video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1cPvIb0saM

Governments, their agencies and associated organisations love to supress dissenting views on all kinds of things but that's just a reflection of societies prejudices. You saw it in the 60s with progressive endeavours like the Civil Rights Movement and you are seeing it to a lesser extent today with the curtailment of free speech at venues of leading conservative voices. Even in the corporate world the whistleblowers in the financial crisis effectively got barred from their industry and when Michael Burry expressed an opinion about inflation recently on twitter the SEC visited him so he deleted his account.

People love a clear narrative that emphasises unity some sense of unity among the like minded at the expense of the patchwork of narratives that actually exist within society. We don't want the cognitive tax of having to form our own opinions being given conflicting information. In many ways people are so desperate to be told what to do and how to live that actually it doesn't much matter to them if the narrative they are buying into is true or not. Once you've drunk the Kool-Aid you're unlikely to go back.

The question I would like you to think about with Maori is where would they be if the Europeans had never arrived here ? Pretty sure I know the answer but sorry cannot post it here it's racist.

Wow, there's still people who say that in 2021?
Astounding.
Who knows, they might have become like the Japanese. Developed without being colonized.
It also depends on what your view of a happy, advanced society is. Maybe it doesn't have to be the western equivalent?

"Japanese. Developed without being colonized." - I did not realize Japanese lived in a stone age culture until Europeans arrived.

I don't understand your point...
Japan was a very poor country until it's self-initiated modernization program in the mid to late 1800s.
Who is to say Maori would not have done something similar?
But then as per my point, what if they didn't- who is to say an industrialized society is a superior one?
Btw I am 5th generation pakeha, along with the shameful incidents in our history I am proud of many of them. I am not ashamed at all to be Pakeha, and to be proud of our history.
But it's a nonsense to say Aotearoa would have been a basketcase without colonialism. I mean it might have been, but who knows.

My point is that Japan had a ancient and deep culture , with sophisticated social organization.
The modernization they have undergone over the last couple of centuries has nevertheless been painful to say the least.

Maori had a far more difficult starting position in that respect ... so the comparison is just silly.

Japan was until mid 19th century as isolationist as the word can describe. Not unhappy about that at all, resting on their own ancient heritage and skills. Then came Uncle Sam (actually Admiral Perry) with the famed gun boat diplomacy. That hastened change and upheaval, socially, commercially for which the nation was ill prepared. Ironically the interference by the USA created Japanese empirical ambitions culminating in their military invasions and territory envelopment ,1931 to 1945. The irony being MacArthur, for all his controversy and convolutions, then set about creating the modernisation of Japan a la western style to the point, that they have emerged as an economic powerhouse internationally and strategic ally.

Wow, you really seem to think lowly of Maori.
Actually some of their systems and world views were quite sophisticated.

Any examples of these sophisticated systems?

As David Lange said, something like, take a gander at Salisbury Cathedral and then make the historical comparison.

I do not think lowly or highly of any person ( Maori or not ) based on long passed history of their tribe or nation .
It would be truly racist to do otherwise - but that is implicitly your approach.

Yep, the Japanese were more advanced than Europe up until the industrial revolution. As were the Chinese - massively so.

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If NZ wasn't colonized do you think local Iwi would have developed a United National Iwi? Of would they be fractious and infighting like in the early 1800s? Still practicing slavery with a bit of cannibalism? Wonder how the Spanish would have managed the locals? Aztecs and Incas didnt do so well. Ps. I've tried to be careful with my language and content to avoid the ongoing claims of me being a racist.

Yes you are very racist indeed.
So tell me, noble white man, the great white race were so superior and dignified by the 1800s.
So they didn't practice torture, slavery, genocide, the holocaust....of course not!
Of course the white man was so much more morally superior to the Maori savages...
And there's no way Maoridom might have evolved, like the formerly barbaric white people did, within a modern worldview..
Racist.

did not take you long to run out of arguments and resort to what aboutery , followed by pulling the "racist" card. Pathetic.

Like Tonga or Thailand or Bhutan? If they could have imported steel, writing, new agriculture without importing germs then they could have created a utopia. Most likely not - it easily could have been 200 years of the musket wars with slavery and cannibalism - but it would be their Maori mistakes not aliens.
Are problems caused by foreign colonists somehow worse than the same problems caused by the indigenous population? If you answer yes then logically you must be against all immigration now.

This thread is very depressing indeed.
It's good to know though just how racist the country still is, rather than to be deluded that we have advanced quite far.
Btw, I have never said that this country would have been paradise on earth if it hadn't been colonized. But to assume it would have been a savage hell hole is a massive assumption, and racist one at that.

Well it was indeed a savage hell hole up to 1840 with locals slaughtering locals. Population went from 150K to 50K as a result in the 30 years after 1815. Think about that horror.
The British coming in 1840 was to stop all that which they did, with some difficulty.
Housemouse will say outlining that factual history is racist.
What Serbs did in Srebrenica the early 90s was equally horrific. It's an actual event, well recorded. But is descibing it racist? I don't think so.

Double post

I've only been to Thailand and that is not a hellhole, Tonga & Bhutan are reported OK too. I think my point was (a) so much has changed because of technology that the question cannot be answered (b) looking at countries ex-colonised such as Singapore & Somalia there is so much variation that they do have some control over their own destiny.
The musket wars involved loss of life and misery - I choose them as an example of how bad things can be but wasn't for the average inhabitant the Irish famine far worse?

Seems to be a lot of hypocrisy with the woke squad and media wanting Maori words pronounced "correctly" when very few seem to pronounce English words correctly either.

Looking forward to the day the woke squad start shaming people for speaking without received pronunciation.

Spot on. My wife and I lived in South America years back and we both learnt Spanish. We often found ourselves struggling with some words, but the locals kept encouraging us, would joke or kindly help us.
I remember trying to pronounce a Maori word awhile back and was criticized - that was my last attempt.

Nunca usen la palabra ‘pajero’ en Argentina. No es un modelo de auto, es un wanke£

If I am speaking a sentence in English, I use English tones and vowel sounds. The most common Maori words complained about being mispronounced are place names. If you were to tell someone you were off to visit the capital of France - how would you say it in English vs French?

Yeah...pronouncing Paris anything other than "Paree" should be considered racist by the woke crew.

That's a really stupid and disingenuous comparison.
France is a different country with a different language to English speaking nations.
In case you hadn't noticed, Maori is the official language of this country along with English. So we have two languages.
I am nowhere near great with Maori words, but I am trying to get better. It's disrespectful not to.
Luckily unlike most of the redneck old fogeys here, many young kiwis seem to be embracing trying their best pronouncing te reo properly.

We're interchanging English words for Maori when talking with our 4 year old daughter. But let's not pretend Maori is the official language of New Zealand.

Actually, we have three. I am guessing you are learning NZ Sign Language too.

Two actually. English does not have an Act declaring it to be an official language.

3. 2 are de jure and 1 is de facto. To argue that English is not an official language is asinine.

It is far from stupid or disingenuous.

If I attempt to speak a sentence in any language of the world regardless of what official language status that language may have, I should do my best to pronounce ALL the words using the tones/sounds/style of that language, including words not from the language. This holds true with any form of communication. This means, for example, when I am speaking English and mention any placename on the global, it is perfectly fine to use the "English" pronounciation of that placename.

What would be the point of hate speech laws in a country whose younger generations are entirely at ease with the sorts of changes championed in the He Puapua Report?

That is a good point. As a society we are now far less racist than we once were so why even think about introducing Draconian hate speech laws when society is doing a great job of self policing? Societies that require fewer written laws are more mature and educated and anti-racist sentiment is well embedded in the younger generations. It is quite curious.

Here's a very good video on Critical Race Theory and it's introduction into a wealthy school in the US. The parent speaking here seems very genuine, well read etc.

All a bit scary I reckon. It's not just 'anti-racism' training. It's teaching kids that it's not OK to question these things. It's teaching them that there is only 1 view and any other views will not be tolerated. They will lead to ostracism and ridicule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6uUpHgtctk&t=3s

These types that will yell boorish comments at public meetings were once an essential component of our glorious Empire. We could dress them up in red coats with convenient white crosses on them (more sporting) and send them out to do their duty for King and country. Cannon fodder some would unkindly call them. Now they are a liability, unthinkingly, as always, blurting out the first thing that comes into their heads, or trying out their stream of consciousness writing skills on Facebook. My God! Getting the notion that discretion is the better part of valour through these thick drongo's skulls is an impossible task indeed!

Yes. Ignorance is now a weird source of 'pride.'

Ignorance is a popular bedmate of arrogance, and vice versa.

Expect all this to get worse as kids are taught racist theories about white priveldige. You are going to see major backlash and decrease in labour/greens popularity. Fancy thinking racism would be fixed by more racism. Crazy. If a kid has one maori grandparent and 3 white grandparents do they still have to stand up and admit to their white privelidge? Asking any kid to talk about what is wrong about their colour is child abuse

If a kid has one Maori grandparent and 3 white grandparents, did 3/4 of their bloodline steal land from 1/4? How do they present a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal?

I take it that you haven't read Chris's article that this stream-comment section is in response to?

.

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Quite a bit of elderly bashing in this article. I’d estimate that 100% of that audience did not understand Te Reo, and had no interest in listening to a long unintelligible speech! What people forget is that there’s no such thing as too much Te Reo in the public sector, where it’s crucial for promotion to telegraph you cultural sensitivity to colleagues via zoom chats and e-mails. Outside the public sector however, long Te Reo speeches are equivalent to a sanctimonious and condescending belittling of the audience. Not surprising then that such an audience would react badly. Actually it’s quite commendable in this woke culture of ours that they objected. Most people would just sit there biting their tongues. Perhaps the problem in NZ isn’t racism but woke-ism.

There is no need for the rudeness displayed by those heckling. They are a disgrace. Yes, they can do it, but they had better be prepared to be called out for what they are when they do.

Unlike some Aussies, many Kiwis often harbour their racial related thoughts deeply. Though it will all come out fast when you throw them a bait...

Many Indians, Chinese, Russians, Japanese, and so on too.....

I have many friends and acquaintances that are pakeha, tauiwi, old and of a similar age.

One thing life experiences teaches you is, we all have a little bit of racism, prejudice, bigotry even within us.

There has been something that has been missing in the past few years which the word, 'tolerance'. We've forgotten what that means and how it works. Maybe it's time NZ became a Republic and we were able to set out the ground rules for a fresh start?

When I hear a bunch of crusties and others egging each other on like a mob of hyenas. A lob of the grenade, "G.t f...k'd you old dinosaur" usually stops them in their tracks just long enough for them to realise that they've overstepped the mark, usually does it.

Aside from that, you kinda think that these people are probably suffering from colonialism too. Too much of it I'm guessing.

What do you mean by "crusties"? Is this another "pale, stale" type of remark? What if one was to throw out the term "darkies", would that also be acceptable?

Takere,yes I believe tolerance is something we should all accept as normal. No one can speak all languages perfectly, it is impossible. So long as we can all understand each other I am sure it will be all fine. I would like to add that all languages evolve and we all need to accept change.

I have been reading this thread with interest. And I come at the issue of culture/difference from a learned philosophical point of view. And yes, learned in the sense of academic learning. I teach the philosophy of ethics to environmental studies students across a number of disciplines - both in the social as well as the physical sciences. I make no apologies for being an academic, though I realise we are often 'scorned' in many discussions.

I have come to the conclusion that te ao Māori (literally translated the Māori world) is the most appropriate ethical basis on which to act as humans in this world. This contrasts to the other three main schools of ethical thought - Virtue Ethics (Aristotelian); Teleological Ethics (Consequentialism) and Deontological Ethics (Kantianism). All approaches are valid ways to analyse good vs bad behaviours and actions, but all three of these schools are anthropocentric (human-centered). Te ao Māori is similar to many indigenous ethical perspectives, which are eco-centric (an approach all but forgotten when applying traditional Western-style ethical frameworks). Te ao Māori has a sophisticated and well documented body of literature behind it - making it particularly accessible and applicable to today's ethical questions.

The problem is that very few New Zealanders of any race, color, creed or age are actually formally trained/educated/studied in morals/ethics of any school - let alone that of te ao Māori. To fully understand te ao Māori, it is necessary to have a reasonable understanding of te reo Māori. For example, the Māori word for "land" and "placenta" are one and the same word: whenua - i.e., that which surrounds, protects and nourishes human life. Understanding (and contemplating) this fact in the language gives you an idea about how the Māori world and its philosophical/ethical basis is woven together with the language.

I could go on with examples, but my point is this: only with an understanding of all four schools of ethical thought - (and understanding them enough to know which one you were largely brought up under and hence apply when formulating your ideas of socioeconomic right and wrong) - only with this will we (society at large) be able to find shared meaning (and hence shared direction) in the resolution of our modern problems.

Interesting Kate.
I think the 'western' view is not as 'western' as made out.
Indeed there is plain sterotyping about western. Or Euro or whatever.
Lots of us honkeys are in touch with land and surrounds and those are part of us.

I see no evidence of what you speak of when I compare Maori commercial businesses with other businesses.

Dale, I agree Maori have the same ideals as the rest of us. Everyone just need to settle down, let the more fundamentalist element have their say and we can have a reasonable debate and comprimise. At the end of the day we are all in this together and to prosper, however that may eventuate, the people of NZ have to co-operate regardless of ethnic background.

Except that globally NZ is at the far end of everywhere. Geographically and as well, an unlikely contender from that position to produce a major world changing culture. In other words NZ will not do unto Rome as the christians did. This is evidenced quite obviously in Australia for a start where Maori have succeeded in many walks of life without the benefit or assistance of their own traditions and culture being in play. In fact it is I suggest of great disservice to them to build up a fallacious and irrelevant belief at home, plus expectations, of great tribal prowess, which pales into insignificance once in the greater world out there, beyond these shores. Big fish in small ponds is an understatement to say the least.

The “main” schools of thought you identify seem awfully Eurocentric. Although I agree that most people do not have sufficient knowledge of many things that should be mandatory. Good luck changing that though. It seems we’re struggling as it is to teach kids to read, write and do their sums nowadays.

Yes, all very Eurocentric (i.e., Western philosophic thought) - here's a brief explanation which uses the words 'the three major approaches';

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/

Yes, I've been going on about teaching ethics/moral philosophy for years - I had hoped when the government was talking about introducing civics education into the national curriculum that that might actually happen one day. Then teaching 'civics' morphed into teaching NZ history instead - so I think I've missed out on that one. Certainly when I introduce tertiary students to the basics, many comment that it starts to make sense of everything, and explains why we have such difficulty making good/right decisions where the environment is concerned.

For literally thousands of years even before Christ the greatest minds that that have ever lived grappled with, and documented their thoughts on the topic of ethics. Recently Descartes, Nietzsche, Jung. I cant even begin to do this justice, and it's not my field. I know that a couple of thousand years ago mankind pieced together Christianity as a moral and ethical code to live by. How is it remotely possible that an indigenous population that without any form of written language before Europeans arrived could have... I'm sorry but what you're saying is just so ridiculous.

This comment has restored my faith in humankind. This faith was temporarily destroyed by reading through all the comments before it! (It's actually the second comments section on interest.co.nz where this has happened in the past few weeks, although Kate unfortunately wasn't there to save the day for the previous one, and I remain disturbed by what I read there).
Please don't ever leave the comments section of this website Kate! I couldn't agree more with everything you have said. I started reading (European) philosophy in my teens with my dad, although I never allowed myself the luxury of studying it at a tertiary level (which I am experiencing heightened regret over after reading your comment), I saved that period of my life for study in a more "practical" field... apparently! But I have taken that lens through into my work and I am incredibly grateful to now be working on infrastructure projects in Northland, that unlike when I was working in Auckland, generally all seem to have at least a degree of genuine likelihood of turning around the current fate of Northland, which is one of high deprivation. Northland is deemed the region of greatest deprivation in the country, we are also the region with the highest population of Maori. These facts are not mutually exclusive and it is heart breaking. As I have been working in this space (via project work) I have been learning about Te Ao Maori from my stakeholders / project partners and it has been blowing my mind. It aligns more closely with Buddhist principles that the European philosophers I read, but is again different. If Northland is to turn around it's fate, it is to do so by lifting up Maori, however and whenever it can. Te Ao Maori is incredibly graceful and dignified, and transformative when viewed in action and understood, even partially. I would be shocked if anyone who has seen what I have seen through my work up here would be able to say otherwise. I sit in a large office of traditionally right wing engineers, and it's been amazing to one by one see people's perspectives change over the years, generally after they have had the opportunity to with with iwi and hapu directly. I can honestly say there's not one person in our office now that isn't rooting for change up here and the identification of where investment is needed is clearly agreed.
To some if the commenters on here... Get out more! Don't assume you understand something because you have made a preliminary assessment using Western systems of evaluation. Try throwing yourself into something you don't understand for once and experience something new. Admit you don't know everything and perhaps even explore not needing to have an opinion on everything (especially when your knowledge is clearly superficial! Haha)

Wow, Solve_it. Thanks so much for the comment. It has made my day!

The fact that you are experiencing/living a renewed ethical/moral perspective on a daily basis in your work in the engineering field is wonderful! I've always felt the people of Tai Tokerau (of all colors, races, creeds and walks of life) are very special - as is the uniquely rich environment. The poverty that exists is incomprehensible for many New Zealanders. What a wonderful place to live - I'm so glad you are finding it so personally fulfilling. Keep up the good work! As a region it deserves better!

And thanks again for your comment!

White New Zealanders will learn to keep their mouths shut, and say nothing, while quietly booking a one way flight to Australia where their children won't grow up being demonised and penalised for being born white. "White Flight" will become a thing.

The same thing has happened in South Africa over the past few years hasn't it? What's the country like now?