Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 2. March 27, 1958
Various motives of mediators
Various motives of mediators
"Thus when the mediator is withdrawn from the people the reforms collapse for the mediator has become more valued than the reforms which he has instituted .... Thus on his departure the only right substitute would be another mediator, the absence of which sees frustration and stagnation set in. It would be better therefore not to set up this kind of relationship if it cannot be maintained."
The motives of the mediator varied greatly, the speaker said. Isolation was one—the person far from town who needed an outlet for his energy. Emotional disturbance or the adoption of the Maori community as the only one where they could be loved and respected, was another. The Maoris were splendid in the handling of such people and made use of what they had to give, as well as soothing and comforting them.
Rebellion against society was the third and most evident cause. People such as those in close contact with Maori communities were regarded with profound suspicion when they tried to influence Government policy. Yet the Government showed much hesitation in accepting their specialist knowledge as for example Maori assimilation, which the mediators advocated but the Government opposed.
"Although the mediators may probably be right the Government suspects the motives behind the mediator's arguments. And their suspicions are fully justified. For I would say about almost anyone of these more influential mediators that he would turn the whole of New Zealand into a Polynesian paradise if he could. These people don't approve of our present civilisation and they dislike the idea of the Maoris having to adopt it. Quite obviously if these people liked. European civilisation why should they choose to live among the Maoris. As a group they are rebels and New Zealand society regards them as such."
Considering the manner in which the mediator benefitted from the culture he desired, saw before him but could never fully take in, Mr. Schwimmer said that normally as in his own case there was an intense relationship. He regarded Maori society as a strange object, the nature of which he wanted passionately to know. The disconnected pieces of knowledge which he collected became a vital part of his personality, labelled 'Maori world' as it were. "Here there were several processes going on at the same time. I saw the Maoris in the way in which they would see each other; I described them in the magazine in a way which would interest them; and I started friendships of a sort in which I was far more deferential than in ordinary life.
Mr E. Schwimmer, M.A., Advisory Officer. Department of Maori Affairs, Editor of Te Hou and formerly Co-Editor of the literary quarterly, "Arachne." New Zealand correspondent of UNESCO features and has contributed to "Landfall," "Numbers" and "Poetry Yearbook."
Two 'selves' thus became apparent—the one wrapped up in community causes and the other with the normal things of everyday life. This was true of all mediators. This phenomenon seemed to fit in and the unconscious, the hidden opposite with Jungian theory which saw the personality as consisting of the conscious being referred to as the 'shadow' per sonality. Psychlogical disorders were explained as the repression of the unconscious part of the self, the remedy being the making conscious of this shadow personality and giving it some work to do. Mr. Schwimmer claimed that it was this emergence of the hidden half which brought about the integration of the mediator's personality. But although the two 'selves' existed in harmony, the second had distinct qualities, being less robust, much better organised, and more able to embrace almost any religion at all.