The plastic waka controversy - it seems a non-issue - if local tangata whenua want to do it - then they can, they have negotiated a good deal. but there are some real issues around this waka. Personally I'd rather they actually carved a waka in front of people - show the skills and abilities and for me a plastic waka is meaningless.
A real issue is that this is the only promotion of Māori culture to the supposed hordes coming for the rugby. That is it, apparently, although this post notes another. If true it gives tokenism a bad name. Some people wonder what tino rangatiratanga is, well in my view it is the opposite of what we have with this situation. The rugby world cup is marginalising maori by presenting a false face, and behind the illusion we are creating is real suffering, real issues that need addressing. You cannot hold a people down and expect there to be no consequences - they are there in every statistic. Nothing will be fixed without self determination, it is the beginning, middle and end. Nothing will be fixed while we hide from our truth, which we will have to confront at some point. The whole paradox of it is, that when that happens, we will all be better off.
Another issue is this murk around the fact that sharples, the elected MP, without tender, gave the contract to a group that are his constituents. This could turn out really bad for Pita, I'm afraid. At the least, it gives his opponents ammunition but whatever happens the cloud has been cast and many will find it slightly distasteful, even if all the rules were followed.
To me the whole controversy reinforces why we need strong representation in parliment, why we need Hone to get this new Left Māori Party underway so that we can all hop on the waka and get to paddling. Self determination is a basic, essential human right - it is not based on colour or ethnicity - everyone, from any background can support that right. Tino rangatiratanga is not something to be afraid of, it is something to welcome. The truth will set us all free.
Hat tip - No Right Turn and Roarprawn