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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)

“Tarutaru Pakeha.”

“Tarutaru Pakeha.”

It would be amusing were it not so unfair and unjust to the Maori to read the frequent criticism of the Maoris because ragwort and other noxious weeds grow on Maori land. Talkers at Rotary Clubs, editorial writers who have probably never travelled a mile in the Maori country, rate the native landowners for their neglect to kill ragwort. A South Canterbury paper says the Maori “is in a position largely to defy the law.” Alas, that much-defied law!

I have recently travelled several thousands of miles through pakeha farming districts, and I can recall very few places, even in the most productive districts, that were without a spot or so of ragwort. I have seen paddocks that could be described as “Fields of the Cloth of Gold,” in historic memory. A sheet of ragwort; the farmer had apparently given up the struggle, law or no law. The Maori has an adequate reply to his critics. The pakeha has muddled his land titles; the pakeha brought the ragwort and every other tarutaru (weed). “Why pick on the Maori? You pakehas have most of his land. Get rid of your pests first and show me the way.”