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Cicero
10-08-2010, 08:36 AM
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Sunday, August 8, 2010
Michael Bassett: Hone Harawira's View on Racial Marriage

Hone Harawira’s call to prevent what in the South African Apartheid years was known as “miscegenation” (interbreeding between races) in his family comes two centuries too late. Mixed race sexual relations have been a part of New Zealand life since Captain Cook. Well before the Treaty was signed in 1840, Pakeha whalers, sealers and traders had established liaisons with Maori women resulting in mixed race children. The rush of mostly British settlers after 1840, boosted by Gold Rush immigrants in the 1860s, and Vogel’s immigrants in the 1870s, brought to our shores huge numbers of settlers, many of them unattached young males.

One major factor in the so-called dying out of the Maori race in the late 19th century was the fact that more and more people of Maori ancestry no longer qualified for the then strict definition of who was a Maori for census purposes. The four great early 20th century Maori leaders, Sir James Carroll, Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Maui Pomare and Sir Peter Buck all had non-Maori blood in their veins.

At the time of the Treaty Maori were not numerous in the South Island. It is widely believed that by 1900 the last full-blooded Maori had gone from there. As southerners drifted northwards, farming more and more of the North Island, mixed race co-habitation steadily increased. By the 1950s large numbers of mixed race people were found in even the remotest parts. Often those mixed race people married each other, and it became increasingly difficult for them to trace their tribal ancestries. Today it is not uncommon for Maori to list as many as six tribal connections. Most Maori MPs of recent times have had Pakeha ancestors. Peter Sharples and Tariana Turia have, and I would guess that the other Maori Party MPs including Hone Harawira himself, also do. It’s surely a bit late for Harawira to preach racial purity? That train left the station more than a century ago.

Prior to 1974 a Maori was defined as someone who was half-caste or more. But by 1974 it was increasingly difficult for many Maori to work out what, precisely, was their proportion of Maori blood for electoral, land and other purposes. The Maori Affairs Amendment Act 1974 re-defined a Maori as “a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a Maori”. This hugely widened the definition of who was a Maori. During the debate on the Bill one MP scoffed that it now seemed so wide that anyone who cycled past a marae could claim to be a Maori. Nearly every day New Zealanders discover that friends, neighbours, and grandchildren have a small portion of Maori blood. It doesn’t worry us; it’s just part of the rich tapestry of modern New Zealand.

It is Mr Harawira and Professor Margaret Mutu who seem to have problems. Would Mr Harawira worry if one of his children came home with someone who is more Pakeha than Maori? One of Shane Jones’ children, for example? Most people who are entitled to call themselves Maori under the 1974 Act are less than half Maori. Would one quarter Maori and three quarters Pakeha satisfy him? And what about the thousands of people who have as little as one thirty-second of Maori blood? Still Maori under the 1974 Act, but barely so. Or is there some magical formula in the Harawira-Mutu calculations when the wicked Pakeha influence that they detest, has been sufficiently swamped?

The way New Zealand society is changing, racial separatists amongst Maori will have to hurry or there will be no remaining partners for their children. Why not just give up and face the fact that for 200 years more and more young people have been acquiring Maori ancestry, even the progeny of fairly recent migrants. If that matters, then Harawira and Mutu owe us a serious explanation. And it had better be more convincing than the sort of separatist claptrap preached by that high priest of South African Apartheid, Dr Hendrick Verwoerd.

Michael Bassett is an historian.

Battleneter2
10-08-2010, 09:16 AM
Interesting read.

Using logic common sense and basic maths, those under 50% Maori heritage are not Maori, they are new Zealanders with some Maori heritage. I just find it sad those that are only like 15% are brainwashed into only identifying with there Maori heritage.

Richard
10-08-2010, 09:55 AM
No, Marcus Tullius Cicero. You are a Roman. I thought we had already established that. :thumbs:

Cicero
10-08-2010, 10:24 AM
No, Marcus Tullius Cicero. You are a Roman. I thought we had already established that. :thumbs:

So true Rich,but might there be say a 128th perchance?

Just short of a quid at the moment.

kenj
10-08-2010, 10:53 AM
So true Rich,but might there be say a 128th perchance?

Just short of a quid at the moment.

Try cycling past a marae, then put in an application for funding. It may work for you?

Ken :)

Cicero
10-08-2010, 11:20 AM
Try cycling past a marae, then put in an application for funding. It may work for you?

Ken :)

Are you saying...........

On ya bike?

SoniKalien
10-08-2010, 11:38 AM
I know it's important for Maori to retain their culture and their history, but I do think it's high time we all started living as one people and looking to the future together as a country. There is still a lot of seperatism going on here mostly fuelled by Maori idealism. We have to acknowledge the fact that Maori have their special needs, but that line is very blurry now.

Without trying to be racist, even though the Europeans did cause some hardships for the Maori people 300 years ago, today they are far better off thanks to European influences (eg health and education). Let's all just move on and be happy together I say :)

Speedy Gonzales
10-08-2010, 11:42 AM
Even if you apply for funding you probably wont get it. Unless you fill in an app form, (online or sent by mail), and give them your details as well as your parents full name / hapu, and their parents full name / hapu.

Then they'll check the info you've given. Then if everything is OK. Then you may get something. But, even if you register, the reason to get something would probably have to be a good one

I could probably apply, but I'm not full Maori, but my dad was. But then, I have no idea what his mum/dad's full name / hapu were. I suppose I could find out, but then it'll probably help if I were married / had kids, I dont have either

mikebartnz
10-08-2010, 10:33 PM
I have done better than just ride past a marae I have been to more than one so I might change my status.

kahawai chaser
10-08-2010, 11:47 PM
Even if you apply for funding you probably wont get it. Unless you fill in an app form, (online or sent by mail), and give them your details as well as your parents full name / hapu, and their parents full name / hapu.

Then they'll check the info you've given. Then if everything is OK. Then you may get something. But, even if you register, the reason to get something would probably have to be a good one

I could probably apply, but I'm not full Maori, but my dad was. But then, I have no idea what his mum/dad's full name / hapu were. I suppose I could find out, but then it'll probably help if I were married / had kids, I dont have either

Your father and any of his siblings/relations may have had maori land/shares/trusts which you can find out at mlol (http://www.maorilandonline.govt.nz/mlol/searchmlis.jsp). You need enter exact birth name(s). You can then contact Maori land Court (MLC) for any past NZ court documents, land trustees details, which may show names of your grand parents, and any alternative names, from about 1910. I have found out my great grandmother's name through MLC court transactions.

Also search NZ Archway Archives for any references (e.g. private land sales, land schemes, war service, Govt initiatives, etc), but need to contact them/court registry for actual document viewing if sealed/restricted. Maori.Org have a request type section for searching maori/whanau.