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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 25. 6 October 1972

Browned off with Ignorance

Browned off with Ignorance


While I support the effort of any individual to achieve 'sincere love and peace' I have personal objections to Margaret Davey's comments on Maori Culture. I hope you don't mind me being a pakeha by the way, but a year in a Pa and a Maori wife (who, incredibly enough is neither very superstitious, undemocratic, warlike, gluttonous or habitually drunk) has bred in me considerable respect for Maoritanga.

One or two points on our own culture first, however:
I.Pakeha culture is very superstitious. As an ordinary spectator of New Zealand society I am forced to admit the presence of (but not necessarily applaud) the superstitions surrounding the Football Field, advertising media, T.A.B., Christian Religion, abuse of L.S.D., Parliament and Capitalism. We don't all scorn Comrade Moses either Maggie — ask any of the 25,000 Jesus Freaks.
II.The Pakeha Government is undemocratic. What? You insist that we do live in a democracy? Well some people do I spose, Sir Roy Jack, Sir Leslie Monroe, Colin King Ansel, Rob Muldoon.
III.The Pakeha was warlike even before his imperialist forces invaded the Maori's homeland. His history of cruelty, violence and systematic slaughter is at least equal to that of any Polynesian people. I'm not a utopian pacifist but I think that of a cannon and a mere, the latter is more noble, less destructive and, dammit, much more sporting madam.
IV.O.K. O.K. It doesn't take a sociology graduate to gather that Maoris can sink a few ales. Most people whom circumstances force into the working class seem to go in for the grog. The difference is that the Maori seems to enjoy it more than a lot of other jokers. If you're suddenly forced into a boozing culture there are worse things you can do than be an affable drinking companion. Which most Maoris are.

Now Margaret, love, listen. There is little likelihood of Maoris imposing their "mud huts" on your utopian and humanitarian wonderfulness. The buggars just want to natter in their own language a bit more, so that the pakeha may learn something about Ahrohanui, korero, Mahi and Rangimare, of which he is largely ignorant.

Yours from the bar of the Tramways

Don Franks.