An article written by Peter Jackson that was published by the NZ Herald on the 16th of June has been removed, and it has not been re-published by any other mainstream media outlet. It included comments by Ngapuhi leader David Rankin that turned the whole Black Lives Matters trend on its head as he called for Turangawaewae Marae to be torn down.
The NZ Herald like other mainstream media has been all too happy to publish articles calling for Pakeha cultural treasures, such as the statue of Captain Hamilton in Hamilton City, to be removed on spurious grounds, but for some strange reason they felt that they had to remove a call to take down a Maori cultural treasure despite its ugly history.
Here is the article that the NZ Herald apparently felt was too controversial to publish:
Black Lives Matter-inspired demonstrations against symbols of history, in New Zealand and around the world, have focused on monuments to Europeans, but Ngapuhi leader, David Rankin, has called on Tainui to take down Turangawaewae Marae, which, he said, his iwi had long regarded as a symbol of enslavement and oppression.
The marae, he said, represented a dark period in the iwi’s history, when Tainui slavers abused his people to build their marae and grow crops for them.
“For us in the North, Turangawaewae Marae is a symbol of that slavery, murder and cannibalism, and so needs to be pulled down,” he said.
“The wealth that Tainui generated was made on the backs of Ngapuhi slaves.”
He had the support of his Te Matarahurahu hapu, whose ancestors were among those captured by Tainui, and used as slaves. Sometimes slaves had become part of the communities of their captors, but in this case they were eventually killed and eaten.
“Tainui famously acquired corn by disembowelling my ancestor and removing the kernels in his stomach for seed,” he said.
“Tainui has a moral obligation to pull down that marae, which for us is a symbol of cultural hatred, and if they don’t pull it down, then we will come down and do the job for them.”
Several Ngapuhi hapu were preparing a submission to the Hamilton City Council to request the marae be dismantled.
“We hope that this submission will be completed by the end of the year,” he added, “but for many of our people, we can’t wait that long. Our anger is mounting. We demand that marae’s demolition immediately. For us, Ngapuhi Lives Matter.”NZ Herald
The double standards revealed by the removal of this article are shocking. It appears that cultural-historical treasures of Pakeha are fair game for criticism and removal because of the so-called evils of colonialism. Maori cultural and historical treasures, on the other hand, are off limits no matter how dark their historical past. How ironic that the evils of Maori slavery and cannibalism mentioned in the memory-holed article no longer exist in New Zealand precisely because of the civilising influence and governance of Pakeha colonialism.