Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Can Māori represent non-Māori

One of the reasons I have decided to keep on blogging is that I cannot find hardly any site discussing the election from a non labour/gnat viewpoint - notwithstanding the greens of course. The usually interesting Standard site is now overrun by newbie labour supporters barking every nanosecond about how great labours new campaign is, how goff won the debate by losing it and so on. I don't even bother with the right blogs. I'm looking forward to some of our great Māori blogs offering up some good debate and insight - we need it and we want it. 

The question raised by the post before this one is important - can non-Māori represent Māori? Does it matter? Can Māori represent non-Māori - may be an even better way to frame it. The Mana Party represents both Māori and non-Māori - the Māori Party says that they only represent Māori. Do they really? What about the F&S Act - did they represent Māori then?

What do you think and why do you think it?  

Thanks Jacque for getting me thinking about this issue.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marty,
Tough questions, and one as a Pakeha I find really forces me to let go of my privilege to reach real honesty. Through discussions with some very wonderful and clever people I am thinking more of asking can Maori represent non-Maori? Or can indigenous people represent colonizers? For it seems to me we need to start thinking way outside the current western square and colonial system if we are to leave a world worthy of our children's and future generations respect, much less survival. That is far to big a reality to be much of an issue with this election, and probably the next, and the next as well. But it is a good place to plant the seeds. Glad to see you back e hoa, your voice is needed. Kia kaha.

whanau4life said...

Great questions Marty!

Can non-Māori represent Māori? I think they can sympathize with us, and they can learn alot about us, they can have a really intimate understanding of how the Treaty of Waitangi is vital to us, but they cannot represent us. And if they did, how is that Tino Rangatiratanga? I will disclose right now that I have a limited understanding of the political scene, and an even more limited understanding of the Treaty - I dodged it whenever I could at varsity, learnt only what I absolutely needed to pass. It feels simple for me, what I know and understand about the needs of Māori stems from being Māori. The need to have an authentic understanding of those needs and how to best have them represented on a political level stems from being the mother of the next generation of Māori. I'm convinced that only Māori, and the Māori Party can represent those needs (I will quantify that one day so I don't look like I'm talking without backing it up). Yesterday you said you were gutted by what Pita had done. I felt very much the same way when Hone turned his back on the Māori Party. I am Te Aupouri, I was devastated. But I was also gutted by what Pita agreed to. Hell, it got so bad I declared that I would go running back to Labour with my party vote! But I soul-searched, and I will stick by the Māori Party. For now. And quickly (because comments shouldn't be longer than the blog) @Robb of course Māori can represent non-Māori! They do it everyday - its convincing them to also represent Māori that is the real issue!! Just kidding, this is a 'worldview' discussion worthy of a whole blog in itself! Ngā mihi - Jacque

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Rob

I like the way you think e hoa - we do have to think outside the dominant worldview and it is personal for us all. The more we think of the future generations the better off we will all be.

Kia ora Jacque

I promise that I love comments longer than the post - keep them coming because I enjoy reading your views.

I suppose i would argue that The Māori Party didn't listen to the people over the F&S repeal and therefore don't offer effective Māori representation or move us closer to tino rangatiratanga. I do agree that Māori have to lead, set the agenda, and deliver the benefits to the people, all within a Māori worldview.

The journey continues

Ngā mihi

Tempest said...

I struggle a little with this concept. To my mind the idea that Maori speak for Maori just doesn't wash. I don't believe there is a collective voice that can speak for Maori. That is too simplistic.

For instance Hone doesn't speak for me rather some of his ideas resonate with me but not all. He takes his direction from his kaumatua in Northland.I take mine from somewhere else and we intersect at various points.

Non-Maori already represent Maori right across the spectrum. You don't have to look very far to see that.