Sunday, October 18, 2009

building sandcastles with mike

michael laws, the major of Whanganui, the ex-member of parliament who fled that domain in disgrace, the talk back host and sunday star times columnist who doesn't hold back on what he thinks, has written about Maori TV's bid for the Rugby World Cup free to air TV rights.

... but before we get into that i decided to look at the whole issue in a different way.

I have just cut out mikes insults to Maori. Sometimes seeing them all together, starkly exposed can offer insights and illumination that can be blurred by the rest of the arguments. Anyway that's my theory :)

I was surprised when i completed the task. I believe you can find gold even in a dirty place. And within the dirty place I had exposed, was indeed a gem, a nugget of gold. That has led me down the path explored after mikes quotes from the SST.

“So that is why i understand just why this country's most extravagant makework scheme, otherwise known as Maori Television, wants to bid for the Rugby World Cup 2011. This annual sinkhole siphons $35 million of tax payers funds a year – via Te Puni Korkiri and Te Mangai Paho – but still illustrates that just because you're a welfare bludger, it doesn't mean that you can't dream.”

“... a game that appealed to their aggressive instinct...”

“... and they want to use their bid as a trojan horse for the Maori language. This indigenous sinkhole wanted to sink even more taxpayers to satisfy their collective ambtion.”

“... and something around that sum that is, in turn, annually incinerated by Maori TV.”

“... ridiculousness of the Maori TV bid. A station with imperfect coverage, no real sports expertise, no track record in rugby and the commercial mentality of a dole bludger.”

“And we know one other thing: if Maori TV end up with the balance, then we will need to learn “you effing Welsh dork referee” in an entirely new language.”

Amongst all the poo there is a gem, “This indigenous sinkhole” It is great that mad mike has accepted that maori are indigenous. He has seen the light Halleluliah!

Indigenous - "The term indigenous peoples can be used to describe any ethnic group of people who inhabit a geographic region with which they have the earliest known historical connection, alongside more recent immigrants who have populated the region and may be greater in number."

Now that we have got the indigenous question out the way, we can actually begin to address the real questions. Such as, “”Should indigenous people receive special treatment?” “Is it important to respect and support indigenous cultures for the betterment of everyone?” “Why are indigenous cultures often overrepresented in negative statistics such as rate of suicide, rate of imprisionment, poverty, early death and so on?” These questions are not easy, especially in a country like this one.

We are interwoven and interlinked and we are who we are. The core part of who we are, is maori. Without our maori core we are unconnected and adrift. We all need the connecion we get through our maori aspect. And i call it that deliberately. Some whakapapa as maori. Some love and are loved by maori. Some are born here or choose to come here to live in the land of maori. By being here we all interconnect and by allowing maori to be our culture we all find a place to be, our Tūrangawaewae.

We are all unique yet we are one. Underlying us all is our love for this place and our gratitude that we have been blessed to be here. Maori culture is inclusive. There is a place for everyone but the place is determined by maori.

All of us are in the waka and the way to get unision in our paddling is through our acceptance of who we are. In the waka, when the timing is correct the waka takes on a life of its own. It speed-glides, seemingly effortlessly, sliceing through the waves, and the paddlers feel it and allow it and work with it. Our country can be like that.

How? Accept the past wrongs and make them right and that means in the macro sense giving maori control over their own destiny. For all of us we need to work on learning and listening and respecting maori culture. The more we learn and see a wider picture the greater our ability to learn will grow. Our waka is strong, it is named in all places – we need to remember the names and who named them.

So thanks mike for moving the debate along even if it moved in the opposite direction than what you may have wanted.

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