Monday, May 3, 2010

the past, the present, the future

Part of the negotiation of the Tuhoe settlement is the position that if the crown apologises then the iwi that worked with the crown should also apologise. As you can imagine - this is problematic.

From NZH
"Tuhoe leaders say a Crown apology for 19th century injustices would be meaningless unless tribes, namely Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu and Te Arawa, who fought with colonial forces also say sorry."
"Te Arawa representative Toby Curtis would say only that the iwi-to-iwi matter was extremely sensitive."First and foremost this matter would have to be discussed by Te Arawa."
"AUT University pro vice-chancellor Maori Pare Keiha has Rongowhakaata tribal links to Te Kooti and had ancestors who were killed by the religious and guerrilla leader.
But he was wary of the concept of an apology.
"I have no doubt whatsoever that our own people were not all kind and caring - but that's also the history of humankind.
"I'm always very cautious to revise history because whether you call it civil wars or internecine fighting, none of us were there."
This question of apologies from iwi who worked with government forces to oust other iwi from their homelands is a complicated and senstive issue. I think that all iwi have come to the realisation that during those times the nature of the forces against maori meant that the divide approach worked and that the coloniser forces used maori for their own ends - to get the land.

All maori ultimately were victims - the ones that thought they could stall the taking of their lands by working against their traditional enemies were victims because as soon as they were not needed - their land was taken too and any mana that they thought they had aquired by hanging around pakeha was shown to be an illusion.

And other maori, like many Tuhoe, protected Te Kooti and paid for it very severely. These people resisted colonisation, they resisted the stealing of the land and they paid the price by having the land confiscated and stolen anyway. 

We cannot know the pressures on a people being swamped and losing everything - what would we do? What are we doing now?

Any sorting out of this issue should be done in the traditional way on the marae - not via law.

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