The Te Aka Maori Dictionary defines Mana and Myth as: MANA – prestige, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma – mana is a ‘supernatural force’ in a person, place or object. MYTH – the modifier (adjective) “mythical” in this example is defined as “Some mythical tales of the Pakeha should be told for pleasure.”

These meanings potentially explain the modus operandi of elite Maori, both in politics (the Maori Party, Maori MPs in the Greens and the Maori Labour Caucus) and outside (Tuku Morgan), very clearly. They highlight the spiritual power, the supernatural force in a person, place or object as an historical front for their real purpose. That purpose is to use their positions to try to exert and gain prestige, power, influence and status.

They attempt to substantiate the importance of their mana by distorting the meaning of a document that their ancestors signed in 1840. One has to admit it is a useful tool to have in your armoury when all else fails. Unless there’s a Labour Government in power of course.

It is not without foundation that mana is considered legendary to Maori but in the current context it is fast becoming mythical. The Maori dictionary uses both “legendary” and “mythical” when defining the word ‘myth’.

History records their mana was enhanced internationally by their deeds in wartime and was trampled on domestically by the land confiscations that took place in the 1860s. That wrong has been accepted, apologised for and largely redressed, and the various tribes and iwi, had they used the compensation payouts wisely, should have witnessed a marked improvement in the situation of their people by now.

Despite their protestations to the contrary, Maori have derived much benefit from the arrival of the initial settlers. To deny this is a myth in itself. It is simply not facing up to the facts.

Facts might be unpalatable to the upper echelons of Maori society but this is not 1840, it is 2024 and the grass skirts have been replaced by cowboy hats.

Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

The first European settlers arrived on these shores in 1815. Fast forward to 1840 and the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. This led to all the nonsense we have today. If you Google “Te Papa” you will see the following question:

What is the Treaty of Waitangi?

The answer:

The Treaty of Waitangi is an agreement signed by representatives of the British Crown and by representatives of Maori tribal groups in 1840.

Many other sources say the same; it is an ‘agreement‘ – which is where the so called Maori elite come to grief. They would have us believe it is a partnership’. No sources I’ve researched have used the word “partnership”. Could “partnership” be used as a synonym for “agreement”? The thesaurus provides three headings for synonyms – strongest, strong and weak and the word “partnership” is not found under any of these headings.

They are going down the partnership path because that enables them to express ‘hurty feelings’ about the make-believe damage to their mana.

An agreement does not have the power to do that. The Willie Jacksons and Tuku Morgans of this world are taking us for a ride. Fortunately, there are a least a couple of straightforward and forthright Maori members of Parliament who are awake to this mischief.

By using their mana for unjust purposes, elite Maori tarnish it rather than honour it. By their actions and for the betterment of themselves, they are causing their people undue hardship and suffering. They would have us believe that they care. Unfortunately, the things they ‘care’ about, including their loss of mana, won’t feed one more Maori child, won’t stop one more Maori child from being murdered, won’t house one more Maori family, won’t get one more Maori person into work and won’t lift one more Maori family out of poverty.

Activism by Maori elites harkens back to 1840: blaming all their ills on colonisation to absolve themselves of all blame and avoid taking any responsibility.

They don’t need to worry about excessively high figures in child mortality, crime and incarceration, low school attendance, family violence and poverty. These were all caused by the Pakeha and it’s up to the Pakeha to fix it. While they’re preoccupied doing that (and the stats show they’re not doing a very good job of it) the Maori elite will run off to the Waitangi Tribunal with a truckload of claims against the Crown and hopefully get a few payouts (not for the benefit of their people mind you).

This is what has been going on, is still going on, and will continue to go on if not stopped. We are lucky that the ‘political handbrake’ is now on our side of the House and, with his mate Shane, will hopefully take the necessary steps to:

  • Stop the means whereby this rorting can continue
  • As part of the Coalition Government ensure policies are implemented that will benefit both Maori and the country in the spirit of the Agreement signed in 1840.

Those Maori on the left in Parliament need to stop paddling the waka for the elite and start thinking about what they might do for their own people. In place of infantile posturing and rhetoric they might like to try some tough love and structured policy rather than looking to the government throwing money around willy-nilly for no obvious positive outcomes.

Since the first settlers arrived the positives for Maori have far outweighed the negatives. Most Maori think so and are getting on with their lives. There are those on Struggle Street who need assistance and most Maori politicians in Parliament are letting them down.

Putting yourself before your people does nothing for your mana. Winston and Shane know it, David knows it and they intend to do something about it. They are in tune with public thinking on this matter.

Have I left anyone out? Um…um. Oh yes. Christopher! Will it be ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’? After all, it is his gig too. Winston, David and we the public need him on board. The outcome from the Select Committee might prove to be divisive but no more so than now. Hopefully, it will legally terminate the divisiveness that now exists.

There is mana for Christopher in being involved in that piece of New Zealand history.

A right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. Country music buff. Ardent Anglophile. Hates hypocrisy and by association left-wing politics.