Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020
News Every Day |

Guest Post: Hehir responds to Garrett

2

A guest post from Liam Hehir:

Former ACT MP David Garrett wrote a guest post at Kiwiblog entitled “Why I will never be an Aotearoan” setting out his resentment towards the trend of re-adopting Māori place names. I use the bolded word carefully because it is not my charactertisation. It is, in fact, how Garrett himself frames his emotions about the renaming of Mt Egmont to Mt Taranaki / Egmont in 1986 and the subsequent fall into disuse of the colonial name.

There is a lot to unpack in Garrett’s piece, including the idea that those of us of European descent should pay appropriate honour and respect to our own ancestors. I don’t quite share in his heroic view of the British Empire because that’s not how I prefer to view history. The fact is that, however, that the story of the English-speaking people is complex and the good and the bad of it all go into our identity and make us part of what we are.

The thing is I don’t think I’ve met many Māori who take issue with non-Māori cherishing their own customs and traditions. The reinvigoration of indigenous cultures poses no threat to those who feel safe and secure in their own identity. The only thing that is really being asked of us is courtesy and respect. My children are of Irish descent on my side and Scottish on their mothers. To the extent that we have an ongoing cultural identity, it is based around the ancient religion that our family clung to for the past 1,500 years or so. I have no intention of appropriating tikanga Māori and repurposing it in an inorganic way to make up for our own cultural deficit.

Nevertheless, my children will learn te reo. They will also be conversant with the protocols that they are likely to come across in the country I want them to love and feel patriotic about. For one thing, it will be hard for them to thrive without those skills. More importantly, however, this is part of what being a New Zealander means.

The Maori way of things, though badly damaged by the arrival of Europeans, was not driven into extinction. It survived, remains extant and is poised to thrive in the years to come. Those of us not capable of recognising this – even as internal outsiders to that culture – lack the tools to be fully prepared fully with our shared national life.

It is useful for me to think about our small family farm, which has been in our family for nearly one and a half centuries. That’s a long time by the standards of Irish in New Zealand and, though I will never be a farmer myself, I feel connected with the land broken in by my forebears. It is like a part of my soul is somehow infused into every paddock. If it were to ever pass into ownership outside of our family that would be a bitter disappointment to me.  And if I feel that way, think about how Māori dispossessed of their lands feel? They held them for much, much longer than we did, after all.

I will now address my question for David Garrett to him: You feel sidelined and resentful about the renaming of places in a way that attenuates your attachment to them. You do not feel you were consulted about this and that the decision consigns a part of who you are to the sidelines. Those are all very natural and human feelings because the names we give things are important and when they are taken away, it is disconcerting and alienating. So, Mr Garrett, with that in mind – how do you imagine Māori felt about those colonial names?



Read also

India bans 43 more mobile apps as it takes on China

Report: Israeli Military Preparing for Potential US Strike Against Iran Before Trump Leaves Office

What is a baroness?



News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro




Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here