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Sailing along without guilt

Letter

Gosh I hadn't realised how insidious my cultural brainwashing had been, until I read Joe Naden's latest missive. As a practising Pakeha of nearly 83 years, I have been blithely sailing along without acknowledging the vast burden of colonialist guilt I was carrying. This has largely been inherited from my forebears.

Now the scales have dropped from my eyes, it is on with the “hair shirt” and time to undertake a somewhat daunting re-education programme, so that I can take my place in the brave new tomorrow, which we are all apparently marching towards.

From a psychological perspective, this is probably the root cause of my failing physicality, as “the wheels appear to be falling off”, big time.

Ron Taylor

  1. Lara says:

    Ron,
    I enjoy a good joke as much as the next person but your comment above simply isn’t very funny. Even though you claim to be as old as Alabama, you don’t get to be sarcastic about the fact that many Maori are still working hard to address the injustices caused by the past. Just look around you, you will see the evidence of the pain right here.
    No one is asking you personally to feel guilty for the fact that your forebears (and mine) reaped the benefits of colonisation at the expense of Tangata Whenua. We just need to fix the problems that have reverberated into the present.
    The education programme you mention is not daunting either. You will enjoy learning the facts about our nation’s past. You would really enjoy learning Reo Maori too. I betcha!

  2. Joe Naden, Mt Roskill says:

    Well Ron, you and I were born in the same year (1938) and I sailed along too unaware that the underlying cause of the woes of my ‘other’ people was colonization. It hit me so hard I went off to university at the age of 60 to find out what it was all about from experts like Professors Graham and Linda Smith, incidentally from Ruatoria and Tolaga Bay. Linda’s book “Decolonizing Methodologies” is considered a classic by all who study colonization and it could even influence you! I wrote a thesis on the negative effects of colonization on Maori in the education system from the 1847 Education Ordinance Act up to the then present day and others have quoted from it in their theses and articles.
    When I see something is wrong I go to the experts – not rely on my own knowledge or those of my friends who think like me or are of the same mode of thinking. Others I spoke with or listened to were Sir Hugh Kawharu, a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge as well as Auckland, Canterbury and Otago universities, and Dame Claudia Orange whom most would rank among the most knowledgeable of Treaty experts. I see where some of your Gisborne “experts” rubbish them and put themselves up as the “experts” based on their own opinions or some ex-politician or radical turn-coat Maori. As long as this happens, as Clive says, this “problem” will never go away.
    I say, “Stop bashing Maori under the guise of democracy. Think the real democracy, that includes all in the decision-making process and not a preponderance of one colour. It’s boring.”